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peter2002
Jan 31, 2003, 08:33 AM
Bush has signed an executive order to use nuclear weapons against Iraq if they get the best of our soldiers with biological or nuclear weapons, or VX gas. Our secret forces who handle the big one have gotten their marching orders.

Seems ironic or is it sardonic? I'll have to find my dictionary. Gulf War 2.01 is going to make Auschwitz look like a picnic.

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20030131-27320419.htm

Pete

_____________________________________________________

Update: Experts See War in Iraq By End of March

http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml;jsessionid=GOGPJEOE1LQAWCRBAELCFEY?type=topNews&storyID=2147325

WinterMute
Jan 31, 2003, 08:53 AM
Originally posted by peter2002
Bush has signed an executive order to use nuclear weapons against Iraq if they get the best of our soldiers with biological or nuclear weapons, or VX gas.

Seems ironic or is it sardonic? I'll have to find my dictionary. This war is going to make Auschwitz look like a picnic. Pete

It's neither I'm afraid, it's moronic, lets talk about escalation shall we?

We should have taken Saddam out last time, this war needs nukes like I need a PC, Iraq is on it's knees anyway, sure a few of the ground forces might get into some nasty stuff, but it's a WAR, they are an ARMY, we're INVADING THEIR ********** COUNTRY, they aren't going to use pointy sticks and harsh language.

Now, without the shouting, if you really must fight, take it to the minimum level and no further, threatening nuclear reprisals is lunacy, I don't much care for Bush or his politics, but I thought he was better than that.

yamadataro
Jan 31, 2003, 08:55 AM
I can't believe I'm hearing news like this.

Two nukes used against humankind are enough enough enough. We should stop at that.

As a man from the country which took these only two, I'm 100% against Mr. Bush now :mad:

EDIT: BTW, is this a credible news source? Just never heard of Washington Times. Why is the news on "classified document" on the paper???

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 08:59 AM
Good lord man, war is war. He is trying to pressure Saddam to keep him from using his biological weapons, or chemical weapons don't you get that? He isn't talking about nuking Bagdad, but about tactical nukes to take out large armoured divisions that would be using chemical, or biological, or God forbid nuclear weapons.


Yes, us and our allies would be invading their country to remove him from Power because of 12 years of UN security counsel violations, and because of the ties to Al queda that will come public next week.

drastik
Jan 31, 2003, 09:04 AM
I think that everyone is over reacting here. The president has to sign an order to make nukes available. This doesn't really signal an intention to use them. Presidents since WW2 have signed such orders in any signifigant armed conflict, its just posturing. Bush loves to play tough-guy, and this is another toy for it. I hope, in my heart, that Bush knows better than to use a nuke. That would bring retaliation on the US like nothing other, and since we have zero ability to stop terroist atttacks at home, we peobably shouldn't invite them over.

yamadataro
Jan 31, 2003, 09:09 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Good lord man, war is war. He is trying to pressure Saddam to keep him from using his biological weapons, or chemical weapons don't you get that? He isn't talking about nuking Bagdad, but about tactical nukes to take out large armoured divisions that would be using chemical, or biological, or God forbid nuclear weapons.

I have no problem with political pressure and political games. But saying he's gonna use nukes is like saying "I'm gonna kill your mother if you don't release the hostages!"

I mean, there are certain things you simply can not say, whatever the intention is.

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 09:11 AM
Actually Clinton was known to do this more than once or twice. Yea, that is the other question. This paper, are they legit? Sounds like the National Enquirer.

And to everyone saying "man, I can't believe that Bush would do that, now I hate him", please explain what you would have us do, if during the invasion of Iraq, Saddam drops 3,000 tons of VX gas on our troops killing 50,000 in under a minute.

Wow, so much for not having WMD would you say. How would you respond to that if you were the President? If you knew going in that he had them, and that we were going to make him give them up, and the he killed 50,000 troops in a day? What the hell would you do?

Let me say this loud and clear. AT THAT POINT NUKE HIS ASS!

Sorry, but that is how I feel.

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by yamadataro


I have no problem with political pressure and political games. But saying he's gonna use nukes is like saying "I'm gonna kill your mother if you don't release the hostages!"

I mean, there are certain things you simply can not say, whatever the intention is.

No, it is like saying that if you rape my wife, then I will skin you alive. It is the ultimate threat. It is for intimidation.

yamadataro
Jan 31, 2003, 09:16 AM
Originally posted by drastik
I think that everyone is over reacting here. The president has to sign an order to make nukes available. This doesn't really signal an intention to use them. Presidents since WW2 have signed such orders in any signifigant armed conflict, its just posturing. Bush loves to play tough-guy, and this is another toy for it. I hope, in my heart, that Bush knows better than to use a nuke. That would bring retaliation on the US like nothing other, and since we have zero ability to stop terroist atttacks at home, we peobably shouldn't invite them over.

OK, I understand the situation a little better now. Thanks for clearing it up for me. Obviously I don't know much about American political system.

I just hoping Bush won't do anything nuts.

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 09:33 AM
Originally posted by yamadataro


OK, I understand the situation a little better now. Thanks for clearing it up for me. Obviously I don't know much about American political system.

I just hoping Bush won't do anything nuts.

No, you can understand it perfectly, but it is about letting them know that we have them, and will use them if they do.

WinterMute
Jan 31, 2003, 10:04 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac


No, you can understand it perfectly, but it is about letting them know that we have them, and will use them if they do.

Well, not quite, as of now, it's almost certain that Iraq doesnt have nukes, and we do have a land force capable ofdealing with chemical or biological attack, I sincerely doubt casualties of 50K, the number of planes neccesary to deliver the payload wouldmake a big and easy target.

My worry is that this kind of sabre rattling is a one way street, what happens if Saddam lobs a couple of gas shells into the lines, do we nuke him then, tactically or otherwise?

That level of overkill would almost certainly lead to other islamic nations becoming involved, and after all the gum beating we (the brits) and your good selves have been doing about weapons of mass destruction, this smacks of hypocrisy and thuggery.

Please don't get me wrong, Saddam and his tinpot regime have out-stayed their welcome by a decade, and he really deserves to have his arse kicked square, but pre-emptive strikes are dangerous things, as Al-queda discovered.

I hope the war will be short and limited, for there will bea war, make no mistake.

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 10:07 AM
Originally posted by WinterMute


Well, not quite, as of now, it's almost certain that Iraq doesnt have nukes, and we do have a land force capable ofdealing with chemical or biological attack, I sincerely doubt casualties of 50K, the number of planes neccesary to deliver the payload wouldmake a big and easy target.

My worry is that this kind of sabre rattling is a one way street, what happens if Saddam lobs a couple of gas shells into the lines, do we nuke him then, tactically or otherwise?

That level of overkill would almost certainly lead to other islamic nations becoming involved, and after all the gum beating we (the brits) and your good selves have been doing about weapons of mass destruction, this smacks of hypocrisy and thuggery.

Please don't get me wrong, Saddam and his tinpot regime have out-stayed their welcome by a decade, and he really deserves to have his arse kicked square, but pre-emptive strikes are dangerous things, as Al-queda discovered.

I hope the war will be short and limited, for there will bea war, make no mistake.

Water minute. Do you realize that the man has over 30,000 liters of Anthrax? How about the 5,000 tons of VX? Just to let you know, VX, a tablespoon will kill thousands, and I mean thousands. So, it is very possible. But say, he gets 5,000 with a chemical weapon, what then?

At what point would you use a nuke?

WinterMute
Jan 31, 2003, 10:16 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac


Water minute. Do you realize that the man has over 30,000 liters of Anthrax? How about the 5,000 tons of VX? Just to let you know, VX, a tablespoon will kill thousands, and I mean thousands. So, it is very possible. But say, he gets 5,000 with a chemical weapon, what then?

At what point would you use a nuke?

B2M, VX is only that effective against non-military targets, as is anthrax, this theatre is going to be as hardened as you can get, it's the only credible threat the idiot has got, and there's no certainty he can deliver the agent to the arena even IF he has it.

My point is not that we shoudn't go hunting bear, it's that we hunt with a rifle not a bazooka.

Try to identify you friends more closely, we don't like "friendly fire";)

etoiles
Jan 31, 2003, 10:20 AM
Like Bush said during his last speech "why would Iraq have weapons of mass destruction, if it was not for political intimidation or mass destruction" (or something like that).

Well, to be honest...do WE have them for any other reason ? Oh yeah, that is right, to 'defend' ourselves.

I am all for the 'unfair advantage' as long as it is on our side, but the idea of 'tactical nukes' makes me kind of nervous. I don't know, it feels like a point of no return thing. It is one of the last taboos of modern warfare...we are not sure what is going to happen if someone makes the first step (except for the mass destruction part, that we know for sure).

GeeYouEye
Jan 31, 2003, 11:34 AM
Originally posted by etoiles
Like Bush said during his last speech "why would Iraq have weapons of mass destruction, if it was not for political intimidation or mass destruction" (or something like that).

Well, to be honest...do WE have them for any other reason ? Oh yeah, that is right, to 'defend' ourselves.

I am all for the 'unfair advantage' as long as it is on our side, but the idea of 'tactical nukes' makes me kind of nervous. I don't know, it feels like a point of no return thing. It is one of the last taboos of modern warfare...we are not sure what is going to happen if someone makes the first step (except for the mass destruction part, that we know for sure).

Who gives a crap about tactical nukes? They explode at ground level, as opposed to strategic nuclear weapons, such as the Hiroshima and Nagasiki bombs, limit the radiation to only slightly larger than the blast radius, and have a yeild of about 20 kilotons, about 5 kt larger than the Hiroshima bomb, but without any of the blast focusing effects that the detonation height and location of Hiroshima caused. The real "problem" with nuclear weapons is that they've never been used in battle. If there had ever been an occasion to use them during the cold war, I suspect people would be far less averse to them.

We will anot nuke Bahgdad. We will, hovever, use nuclear weapons on heavily defended installations and troop movements, especially if there is any indication that they are carrying Biological or chemical weapons.

lmalave
Jan 31, 2003, 12:58 PM
Originally posted by GeeYouEye


Who gives a crap about tactical nukes? They explode at ground level, as opposed to strategic nuclear weapons, such as the Hiroshima and Nagasiki bombs, limit the radiation to only slightly larger than the blast radius, and have a yeild of about 20 kilotons, about 5 kt larger than the Hiroshima bomb, but without any of the blast focusing effects that the detonation height and location of Hiroshima caused. The real "problem" with nuclear weapons is that they've never been used in battle. If there had ever been an occasion to use them during the cold war, I suspect people would be far less averse to them.

We will anot nuke Bahgdad. We will, hovever, use nuclear weapons on heavily defended installations and troop movements, especially if there is any indication that they are carrying Biological or chemical weapons.

Are you completely insane? Do you remember the hysteria over Chernobyl 15 years ago? How do you think the world will react to nuclear weapons being detonated in Iraq? And how, I pray, do you stop radiation from spreading? How are you going to stop the wind from blowing? I don't know what kind of propaganda you've been reading, man, but there's no way that you can contain radiation from an above-ground nuclear blast.

If Bush uses nuclear weapons of ANY kind, it will be the biggest military and political failure in U.S. history. I guarantee you the entire world would turn against us, and with good reason.

Backtothemac
Jan 31, 2003, 01:17 PM
Originally posted by lmalave


Are you completely insane? Do you remember the hysteria over Chernobyl 15 years ago? How do you think the world will react to nuclear weapons being detonated in Iraq? And how, I pray, do you stop radiation from spreading? How are you going to stop the wind from blowing? I don't know what kind of propaganda you've been reading, man, but there's no way that you can contain radiation from an above-ground nuclear blast.

If Bush uses nuclear weapons of ANY kind, it will be the biggest military and political failure in U.S. history. I guarantee you the entire world would turn against us, and with good reason.

Again, I ask the question, that if we do go in, and we starts using chemical and biological weapons should we ....

1) Pull out
2) Keep sending people in to be killed?
3) Hit the depots where the chemical weapons are with tactical nukes?

Remember the chemical and biological agents can spread just like radiation. So.....

Dont Hurt Me
Jan 31, 2003, 02:01 PM
This is a bad post,all presidents have had this option ! 2nd more -peter- they are not going to get the best of our troops!And 3rd of all what you really need to be thinking is that saddam might try to use these weapons of mass destruction on his own people!#3 is what i am concerned about because bastards like saddam are just like hitler if i am going down ill take as many of MY OWN PEOPLE as i can! Hitler did! TYRANTS dont CARE! I SAY WE SHOULD KILL THE BASTARD AND THE NORTH KOREAN NEXT! The world will then be nicer place!

wdlove
Jan 31, 2003, 03:02 PM
I'm behind Bush in his decison making process. Greater force is the only thing that will cause dictators like Saddam to take notice.

alex_ant
Jan 31, 2003, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Again, I ask the question, that if we do go in, and we starts using chemical and biological weapons should we ....

1) Pull out
2) Keep sending people in to be killed?
3) Hit the depots where the chemical weapons are with tactical nukes?
How about 4), which is #3 except with conventional weapons instead of with nukes? Or is the flash from those not bright enough to show the world what huge wangs we've got?

An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth will leave everyone blind, to paraphrase that old Indian chap. If we're opposed to the use of WMD in war, we shouldn't use them ourselves. Really, our military is so massive and powerful, there's no reason we should need to resort to nuclear weapons. Nukes also produce this stuff called fallout that has been known to do quite bad things to the environment (not least being causing a spike in cancer rates for decades into the future).

alex_ant
Jan 31, 2003, 03:38 PM
The real "problem" with nuclear weapons is that they've never been used in battle. If there had ever been an occasion to use them during the cold war, I suspect people would be far less averse to them.
I agree. The only people who would be averse to them would be the cockroaches, because they'd be the only ones left alive if there had ever been a nuclear exchange during the Cold War.

lmalave
Jan 31, 2003, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac


Again, I ask the question, that if we do go in, and we starts using chemical and biological weapons should we ....

1) Pull out
2) Keep sending people in to be killed?
3) Hit the depots where the chemical weapons are with tactical nukes?

Remember the chemical and biological agents can spread just like radiation. So.....

Iraq has had these weapons for at least 15 years, and the world has been more or less fine. If Bush precipitates this sort of attack through his reckless actions, it will again as I said be a colossal military and political failure. I'm STILL not clear on what our motivations are to invade Iraq. The only logical reason I've read is to establish a democracy so that we can spread democracy to the rest of the Arab world. Wether or not you *agree* that this is a course of action to take, at least it is based on a logical argument. Attacking Iraq when it is not a terrorist threat (as far as we know) and is a less serious nuclear threat than North Korea (not to mention our "ally" Pakistan which already HAS nukes), just does not make any sense to me. I guess for diplomatic reasons Bush can't state his true intentions though.

kiwi_the_iwik
Jan 31, 2003, 05:52 PM
Nuclear Weapons:

All men are cremated equal...


:(


Bad move, Georgie-boy. Maybe he should read "How to win friends and influence people".

macfan
Jan 31, 2003, 06:12 PM
There's nothing imprudent about letting it be known that these weapons can and will be deployed under certain circumstances. Let's assume for a moment that Saddam is thinking of sending missiles to Israel and the surrounding Arab states tipped with chemical and biological weapons, killing hunderds of thousands, if not millions. Now, let's assume that his generals charged with carrying out those orders happen to know that they are ground zero for a tactical nuclear strike in the event that this should take place. That just might lead them to reconsider their loyalty to Saddam.

BTW, kiwi, I don't think you ever explained why New Zealand didn't send an expeditionary force to Rwanda.

There's a lot of whining on here about what Iraq hasn't done and how Saddam deserves to be left alone. Let me just quote the president on that:

"This situation presents a clear and present danger to the stability of the Persian Gulf and the safety of people everywhere. The international community gave Saddam one last chance to resume cooperation with the weapons inspectors. Saddam has failed to seize the chance."

How many more last chances do you want to give that madman? Too many on the left are letting their dislike of Bush color their views of the situation. I don't care if you don't like the Bush tax cuts or private Social Security accounts or judicial nominations. He right on target with the Iraq policy.

chrisfx811
Jan 31, 2003, 08:21 PM
Originally posted by yamadataro


I have no problem with political pressure and political games. But saying he's gonna use nukes is like saying "I'm gonna kill your mother if you don't release the hostages!"

I mean, there are certain things you simply can not say, whatever the intention is.
there are certain things you cannot say? what is this friggen romper room? first, you wusses don't want bush to act aggressively. second, you don't want him to talk aggressively. next you won't even let the damn guy think aggressively! if you want a leader like this, it's real easy... move to france. i believe their government has already voted in advance to surrender to anyone:p

Thanatoast
Jan 31, 2003, 09:05 PM
isn't this kinda like throwing gasoline on a fire?

kylos
Jan 31, 2003, 11:03 PM
Slightly off topic, but in response to yamadataro, the Washington Times is a respectable paper written from a more conservative viewpoint. It's not as well recognized as other papers by the general public, but many on Capitol Hill are quite familar with it. It engages in fact based reporting and is nothing like the Enquirer.

Bttm: It is conservative in its opinions, but stories are generally without bias. At least you know what you're getting. I think you'd like it.

macfan
Feb 1, 2003, 01:20 AM
isn't this kinda like throwing gasoline on a fire?

No, it is not.

Thanatoast
Feb 1, 2003, 02:44 AM
yeah, you're right. the threat of nukes in the middle east won't make us any more enemies over there or destabilize the region any more. what was i thinking? [/sarcasm]

macfan
Feb 1, 2003, 02:52 AM
what was i thinking?

You weren't, but then that is something of a pattern.

Thanatoast
Feb 1, 2003, 03:21 AM
oh i see, a personal attack instead of responding to my (admittedly sarcastic) argument. perhaps you'd like to try to actually answer it?

macfan
Feb 1, 2003, 03:32 AM
I already explained once. Here it is again. How about a reasoned response from you instead of a hackneyed cliché about gasoline?

There's nothing imprudent about letting it be known that these weapons can and will be deployed under certain circumstances. Let's assume for a moment that Saddam is thinking of sending missiles to Israel and the surrounding Arab states tipped with chemical and biological weapons, killing hunderds of thousands, if not millions. Now, let's assume that his generals charged with carrying out those orders happen to know that they are ground zero for a tactical nuclear strike in the event that this should take place. That just might lead them to reconsider their loyalty to Saddam.

Telling Saddam that his use of WMDs chemical, biological, or nuclear, on either our forces or his neighbors might leave him open to a nuclear strike from the United States shows his generals that we are serious and our allies in the region that we are willig to defend them against Saddam's WMD attacks. This was made known in the first Gulf War, and it did not collapse the coalition against Iraq, and may well have prevented Saddam from deploying certain weapons that he had. So, no, it's not "like throwing gasoline on a fire."

Thanatoast
Feb 1, 2003, 03:42 AM
except for the first line of course, that's more the kind of post i was looking for.

your first argument didn't cover my question. your second argument, however, does. thank you. see, reasoned response gets you farther than lashing out. now perhaps we could teach bush this...:p

kiwi_the_iwik
Feb 1, 2003, 09:51 AM
Originally posted by macfan
BTW, kiwi, I don't think you ever explained why New Zealand didn't send an expeditionary force to Rwanda.

Good grief, macfan.

Are you still going on about that?!?

Well - if you must know, we did send a force to Rwanda: a military medical force. Because of the extent of the disaster, many of the world's nations sent relief to the beleaguered people - except the US...

New Zealand has a population of around 3.6 million people - about as much as Las Vegas. We have a proud tradition of helping our neighbours, without having to resort to violence or war. We learned our lesson helping the Allies in 2 World Wars, and 2 police actions (Korea & Vietnam) - the lesson being that everyone suffers a war, regardless of geography. That's why it's so important to try a diplomatic strategy.

Doesn't the past 12 years of this situation tell you anything?

Bullying doesn't work.

France, Germany and Russia can see it - are you going to argue with Chirac, Schroeder and Putin? Don't you think THEY know what's at stake here? I believe they are in a much better position to criticise the behaviour of the US government than anyone else. Why don't you stop and think about THAT, instead of reading my rants? I'm not an elected official who has any say in the situation. And as far as the UK government goes (where I live now), public opinion doesn't matter one bit - even though our leaders are supposed to be the voice of the people.

The majority of the population of this country don't want to go to war. They don't want to see their sons and daughters involved in a conflict over oil.

Nelson Mandela was speaking a few days ago - and mentioned that war was an immoral act. The crux of the matter was that Iraq had 60% of the world's supplies now - untapped - and that any alliegence with a new Iraqi leader would be beneficial to US's interests.

The biggest problem is - it's an ARAB world out there in the Middle East. And bombing the Iraqis will do nothing but create sympathisers to their cause - regardless if Saddam gassed his own people or not. They will stick together - it's like the US patriotism that you are so proud of. The Nation of Islam will come together and fight against the Infidel Aggressors.

Now, before you go lunging off on a tangent and tell me how I'm anti-american - I'd like to mention that I am not a Muslim (I'm Church of England, and my wife and child are Catholic). However, there are certain points that you have to understand.

Firstly, Not everyone has the same opinion - the world would be a very dull place if that was the case. Therefore, I suggest you look into things with a bit more of an open mind. You might even come to a more realistic decision than I did as to avoid war. I truly hope that is the case - because if more people were tolerant of their neighbours and their beliefs, then perhaps war may become obsolete.

Secondly, the world shouldn't revolve around the United States of America. I know you believe that what you are doing is in everyone's best interests - but really, I don't think that much thought has been put into anyone or any nation outside the big 52. Of course, Tony Blair would get a mud facial if Bush stopped in a hurry. But what do France, Germany and Russia know that you folks don't?

Like the flash animation goes in the Gulf War 2.5 thread - Israel is in real danger of becoming a loose cannon. They're nuclear armed, and believe most DEFINITELY in a pre-emptive strike being the best form of defence. I've been to Israel a number of times, and have worked there - I KNOW what these people can do. You should be VERY scared - especially now that Sharon has returned to power (he has a very short fuse). His party would have absolutely no qualms in using a retaliatory nuclear attack. And of course, if Bush is seen to be advocating a nuclear strike, then nothing will stand in their way.

I have a right to be worried. I have a 2 year old son who I want to watch growing up.

Worst case scenario - all hell breaks loose, and we all need SPF 60 000+ sunblock and get orange affros.

Best case scenario - your boys go home intact, and the people of Iraq finally get rid of Saddam before the resumption of free trade and the lifting of the crippling sanctions on their nation - all without having to resort to violence and war.

The world ain't perfect - there's a long way to go to create a Utopia. But with everything, there is a first step. And my rule states that you start as you mean to go on.

:)

Thanatoast
Feb 1, 2003, 12:53 PM
thank you kiwi, for that great post. i especially like the last line.
:)

macfan
Feb 1, 2003, 02:00 PM
Well - if you must know, we did send a force to Rwanda: a military medical force.

And a lot of good that did to stop the massacres.

The crux of the matter was that Iraq had 60% of the world's supplies now

Mr. Mandela is a great man, but geophysics is not his strong suit, and he is not right on every issue. Saddam doesn't sit on 60 percent of the world's oil. In addition, Mr. Mandela seems to be of the opinion that the reason the US and UK are willing to attack Iraq is that Kofi Annan in black. That is, quite frankly, ridiculous.


France, Germany and Russia can see it - are you going to argue with Chirac, Schroeder and Putin?

I don't have to argue with them. The leaders of Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark have done that already. Your appeal to the wisdom of France, Germany, and Russia is not particularly compelling. Indeed, it is easy for you to assign economic motives to the United States, but you seem to think that France, Germany, and Russia do not have any such motives. I suggest you examine their potential coflicts of interest with the same enthusiasm with which you criticize the United States.

The biggest problem is - it's an ARAB world out there in the Middle East. And bombing the Iraqis will do nothing but create sympathisers to their cause - regardless if Saddam gassed his own people or not. They will stick together - it's like the US patriotism that you are so proud of. The Nation of Islam will come together and fight against the Infidel Aggressors.

The reality on the ground does not reflect that Arabs will rise up and support Saddam. Many of Saddam's neighbors rightly see him as a threat, and this is reflected in their decisions to allow US forces to use their countries as staging areas for an attack on Iraq. It is also reflected in the efforts to force Saddam in exile.

You seem to think that negotiation with Saddam is a viable option. Sadly, history has taught us that the clear threat of force is the only kind of "negotiation" that he understands.

They're nuclear armed, and believe most DEFINITELY in a pre-emptive strike being the best form of defence. I've been to Israel a number of times, and have worked there - I KNOW what these people can do. You should be VERY scared - especially now that Sharon has returned to power (he has a very short fuse). His party would have absolutely no qualms in using a retaliatory nuclear attack.

Are you implying that Israel is going to use nuclear weapons as a pre emptive strike? They didn't nuke Iraq last time around even after they were hit by scuds. Or a retaliatory strike? That threat of a retaliatory strike no doubt functions as a check on Arab states whose enthusiasm for attacking Israel is no doubt somewhat dimished by the knowledge that their own capitals could be reduced to ruins were they to try to destroy Israel again as they have done in the past.

It is almost comical how you are able to see Sharon as a serious threat with a very short fuse, but are unable to see Saddam as a threat.

And of course, if Bush is seen to be advocating a nuclear strike, then nothing will stand in their way.

Do you realize how utterly devoid of reason that statement is? Think about it. If Israel used a preemptive nuclear strike, they would no longer have any support from the United States, and they know this. More importantly, it's not very far from the capitals of their enemies to their own small country. They have to live in the neighborhood with the fallout. Israel would only use nuclear weapons as a very last resort.


Best case scenario - your boys go home intact, and the people of Iraq finally get rid of Saddam before the resumption of free trade and the lifting of the crippling sanctions on their nation - all without having to resort to violence and war.

The world ain't perfect - there's a long way to go to create a Utopia. But with everything, there is a first step. And my rule states that you start as you mean to go on.

I agree with your best case scenario. Short of that, the next best solution still must involve Saddam being removed: if force is required, then so be it. I would rather see a bloodless coup. The presence of US forces and the threat of their use against Saddam is a step in the right direction in that it increases the odds of getting him out without the use of force. And if you want to make the world a better place, you can't just turn a blind eye to places like Rwanda and Somalia, and you can't turn a blind eye to the threat represented by madmen like Saddam.

Doesn't the past 12 years of this situation tell you anything?

Bullying doesn't work.

Doesn't the past 70 years tell you anything? Hitler was a bully in his neighborhood. Bullying worked quite well for Hitler until someone stood up and said enough is enough. France ignored him, "safe" behind the Maginot Line. Russia signed a non agression pact with him, "protected" by diplomatic agreement. Hitler overran all of France and much of Russia before the use of force removed him from power and ended his bullying once and for all. Saddam is a bully in his neighborhood, and his bullying worked quite well for him until someone decided that enough was enough.

I don't know why you are concerned about being called anti American. Whether you are anti American or not is incidental the the quality of you analysis of the Iraq situation, and that analysis, sadly, seems to be sorely lacking substance.

lmalave
Feb 1, 2003, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by macfan

Doesn't the past 70 years tell you anything? Hitler was a bully in his neighborhood. Bullying worked quite well for Hitler until someone stood up and said enough is enough. France ignored him, "safe" behind the Maginot Line. Russia signed a non agression pact with him, "protected" by diplomatic agreement. Hitler overran all of France and much of Russia before the use of force removed him from power and ended his bullying once and for all. Saddam is a bully in his neighborhood, and his bullying worked quite well for him until someone decided that enough was enough.


Trying to compare Saddam's Iraq to Hitler's Germany is laughable. In the 30's Hitler built the most fearsome war machine the world had ever known to that point. Saddam? He couldn't even beat Iran, for goodness sakes :rolleyes:

Plus, your timeline doesn't go far back enough. Why didn't we try to punish Germany after World War II the same way we did after World War I with the Versailles treaty of 1919? After all, we had even more reason to hate Germany after WWII. But no, we didn't punish them. We realized that the Versailles Treaty contributed to Hitler's rise by sowing the seeds of German discontent. So what did we do? Did we impose harsh economic sanctions and enforce no-fly zones :rolleyes:
Of course not. Those policies are stupid. Instead, we gave Germany (and Japan) all the help it needed to restore itself and become a democracy. The same principle applies here. Terrorists are evil, yes, but our current approach will NEVER eliminate it. On the contrary, we are only guaranteeing future generations of suicide bombers. We have to forget about "justice" and retribution and focus on results. Our goal should be to establish prosperous, democratic, capitalist countries in the Middle East, not to "root out" the terrorists as we are doing now.

wdlove
Feb 1, 2003, 07:36 PM
We have to root out terrorism first, then we can try to set up democratic governments!

lmalave
Feb 1, 2003, 07:55 PM
Originally posted by wdlove
We have to root out terrorism first, then we can try to set up democratic governments!

Well, we have opposite viewpoints then. In my opinion, if we're waiting to establish democracies until we root out terrorists, then it will NEVER happen, because we'll never get rid of terrorism this way. If we push for democracy in the region, however, we would dramatically change the whole sociopolitical structure that breeds terrorism. Sure it wouldn't be easy and we'd put ourselves in the line of fire, but I think it has a far greater hope of giving us long-term security than our current actions...

kiwi_the_iwik
Feb 2, 2003, 06:23 AM
Terrorism is closer to home than you think.

The IRA maintained a bombing campaign in Northern Ireland and the British mainland for decades before - in the true style of democracy - negotiations took place, thus bringing an end to the hostilties (well - bringing a tentative ceasefire, at the very least).

One of Tony Blair's first actions in his Prime Ministerial position was to attempt to bring peace to the region by use of negotiation. It's been nearly 90 years of near-civil war in NI, with many Protestants and Catholics killed or injured during the hostilities - that's UK CITIZENS, by the way. I was in Belfast covering Blair's famous speech for ITN ("...The peace train is leaving..."), directed at the Sinn Fein and Loyalist factions, and intent on creating a ceasefire. Then there was the Marshall report, which finally bought agreement to the table.

The peace process is still ongoing, but is seen to be working at long last. Both Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams and his loyalist counterpart (and NI First Minister) David Trimble are now seeing eye-to-eye on many issues - it may not be a perfect beginning, but it's a start.

My point?

What could have possibly changed Tony Blair so much that negotiations are not even an option in the Middle East, when in his own backyard he can see the positive results of talks for himself?

The IRA were terrorists - plain and simple. I'm not advocating terrorism by any means - and believe that any terrorists must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law - but you have to feel that there must've been some reason why terrorism was their only option.

OK - you crush terrorism. All you're left with is a new generation of very annoyed people - more than happy to take up arms against their aggressors.

Nip it in the bud, now. But peacefully - the way Blair did in Belfast...

By the way, macfan -

1. NZ sent a force after the massacres occured - not before - and it was only doctors. New Zealand has no Air Force (just transport and maratime search & rescue aircraft), 4 Frigates and a surprisingly small defence force. We have no aggressors, and therefore no need for a war machine.

2. Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark are like sheep. They have little or no drive without the US - a country of extreme power and influence. Whereas France, Germany and Russia are Superpowers in their own right - and can quite happily stand on their own two feet, thank-you-very-much...

3. The aforementioned "Nation of Islam" is more unifying than you could imagine. They may fight amongst themselves, but they will rise up against any attack aimed towards their brethren.

4. I think you should go to Israel and see for yourself how tense the region is. You have Arab countries on 3 sides, all eyeing the arable landscape of the Golan Heights with great interest. It is only natural that Israel's military is perhaps the most modern and dangerous in the world today - military service is compulsory for all men and women over the age of 18, and it is not uncommon to walk the streets of Jerusalem, say, and see teenagers on a night out, carrying their M16's and Uzi's over their shoulder in readiness for an attack. The Yom Kippur war showed them that they need to be prepared at all times - even during Passover. Now - pair this with their attitude of preservation after the atrocities of the Holocaust, and you have an extremely dangerous situation. They will defend their homeland with any and all means - including the use of nuclear weapons. It took all of George Bush Snr.'s powers of coersion to prevent Israel launching a counterstrike against Iraq last time. I doubt whether Dubya would even hold them back in even a token effort.

macfan
Feb 2, 2003, 06:48 PM
Kiwi,

What could have possibly changed Tony Blair so much that negotiations are not even an option in the Middle East, when in his own backyard he can see the positive results of talks for himself?


Maybe you, like Blair has done, should consider that the commonality between Ireland and Iraq is that they both start with the letter "I" but there is not much else.

1. NZ sent a force after the massacres occured - not before - and it was only doctors. New Zealand has no Air Force (just transport and maratime search & rescue aircraft), 4 Frigates and a surprisingly small defence force. We have no aggressors, and therefore no need for a war machine.

2. Britain, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Poland and Denmark are like sheep. They have little or no drive without the US - a country of extreme power and influence. Whereas France, Germany and Russia are Superpowers in their own right - and can quite happily stand on their own two feet, thank-you-very-much...

3. The aforementioned "Nation of Islam" is more unifying than you could imagine. They may fight amongst themselves, but they will rise up against any attack aimed towards their brethren.

4. I think you should go to Israel and see for yourself how tense the region is. You have Arab countries on 3 sides, all eyeing the arable landscape of the Golan Heights with great interest. It is only natural that Israel's military is perhaps the most modern and dangerous in the world today - military service is compulsory for all men and women over the age of 18, and it is not uncommon to walk the streets of Jerusalem, say, and see teenagers on a night out, carrying their M16's and Uzi's over their shoulder in readiness for an attack. The Yom Kippur war showed them that they need to be prepared at all times - even during Passover. Now - pair this with their attitude of preservation after the atrocities of the Holocaust, and you have an extremely dangerous situation. They will defend their homeland with any and all means - including the use of nuclear weapons. It took all of George Bush Snr.'s powers of coersion to prevent Israel launching a counterstrike against Iraq last time. I doubt whether Dubya would even hold them back in even a token effort.


1. Maybe New Zealand should consider spending a little more on defense. The reason you have no need for a significant military force is that we, the United States, provide security for you.

2. I suppose as a New Zealander you would know a few things about sheep. Funny how you insult those European countries who have a view different from your own by calling them sheep, but you seem to view France and Germany as "superpowers" and paragons of virtue and justice. Rest assured, France and Germany are not superpowers (they lack the ability to project military power arond the world in any serious way). Nor are they pillars of virture and objectivity on this situation.

3. They did not rise up the last time Saddam was attacked. In fact, a lot of them joined in the battle against Saddam. What makes you think they will rise up this time? Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and others in the region are cooperating to differing degrees in disposing of Saddam. Not all Arabs are Islamic fundamentalists (neither is Saddam, for that matter). There is no credible evidence that they are going to rise up in his defense. There is better evidence that many in Iraq will rise up against Saddam at the first chance. Indeed, they have done so in the past (much to the shame of the United States, we did not provide them with an environment that would enable them to overthrow them).

4. You have no evidence other than your personal dislike for and fear of Bush that he will turn a blind eye to a nuclear strike from Israel. Your view of him as some kind of trigger happy cowboy is a media-driven ideological caricature (as is the very concept of a trigger happy cowboy). More importantly, you ignore the fact that Israel will be in the position of contaminating themselves if they nuke, for example, Damascus. Israel has shown remarkable restraint recently in not directly striking any number of Arab countries. As long as they are not attacked directly by these countries and face being destroyed, it is fairly certain that you will never see them use those weapons. It remains bizzare that you see Israel, the most democratic country in the region, as the biggest threat to peace, while Saddam's Iraq, with historically documented expansionist aims and known weapons of mass destruction is seen as no big deal. Before you start a lecture about the plight of the Palestinians, consider that they have been offered a state of their own, but Arafat rejected the offer because it would represent the end of the conflict. In short, Israel is willing to live at peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinian leadership is not willing to live at peace with a state of Israel.


Imalave,
Trying to compare Saddam's Iraq to Hitler's Germany is laughable. In the 30's Hitler built the most fearsome war machine the world had ever known to that point. Saddam? He couldn't even beat Iran, for goodness sakes

And Hitler couldn't even beat Russia. Saddam used to have the 4th largest army in the world. He was, like Hitler, in a position to dominate his region. Like Hitler, he is a brutal tyrant. If you can't see the fact that Saddam plus nuclear weapons equals a fearsome war machine, you need to call a doctor because there is something seriously wrong with your brain.

Plus, your timeline doesn't go far back enough. Why didn't we try to punish Germany after World War II the same way we did after World War I with the Versailles treaty of 1919? After all, we had even more reason to hate Germany after WWII. But no, we didn't punish them. We realized that the Versailles Treaty contributed to Hitler's rise by sowing the seeds of German discontent. So what did we do? Did we impose harsh economic sanctions and enforce no-fly zones
Of course not. Those policies are stupid. Instead, we gave Germany (and Japan) all the help it needed to restore itself and become a democracy.

There are a couple of errors and serious flaws in your reasoning here. First, recall that "we" didn't "punish Germany" after WWI. The United States didn't ratify the Treaty of Versailles. We, the American people, wanted to leave the world to it's own devices. We didn't join the League of Nations, and we brought our military forces home. We learned the hard way that isolation from the world is not a good foreign policy choice.

The second, and much more problematic issues is with your idea that sanctions and no fly zones are stupid policies that would be better replaced with some kind of plan much like we did for West Germany and Japan after WWII. That is wonderful except that, in case you haven't noticed, Saddam is still in power! We didn't start rebuilding Japan and Germany until the governments we were fighting had been defeated, and we shouldn't try to rebuild Iraq as long as Saddam is in power.

I agree entirely that we should attempt to establish prosperous, democratic countries in the middle east, but we should also work to root out terrorism. The policies are not antithetical, they are complementary and should move forward simultaneously.

lmalave
Feb 2, 2003, 07:24 PM
Originally posted by macfan

And Hitler couldn't even beat Russia. Saddam used to have the 4th largest army in the world. He was, like Hitler, in a position to dominate his region. Like Hitler, he is a brutal tyrant. If you can't see the fact that Saddam plus nuclear weapons equals a fearsome war machine, you need to call a doctor because there is something seriously wrong with your brain.


Ok, several things wrong with these statements. First of all, no one has ever conquered Russia. They know how to defend their Motherland. Napoleon ring a bell? Like Napoleon, Hitler's lunacy was trying to fight a war on two fronts. And what the hell does having the 4th largest army matter? North Korea has one of the worlds largest army, but do you really think they're that formidable? And if Saddam was dominante in the region as you say, then why did he get his ass kicked by Iran? Iran was not only as strong as Iraq militarily, but it wielded enormous political power in the Middle East as leaders of the Islamic Revolution. I agree with you that Saddam + Nukes = OH SH**!, but to me that's a "Rogue State" argument. To say Saddam = Hitler is hyperbole in my opinion and is giving way too much credit to a small-time thug.

There are a couple of errors and serious flaws in your reasoning here. First, recall that "we" didn't "punish Germany" after WWI. The United States didn't ratify the Treaty of Versailles. We, the American people, wanted to leave the world to it's own devices. We didn't join the League of Nations, and we brought our military forces home. We learned the hard way that isolation from the world is not a good foreign policy choice.

The lessons of history are the lessons of history nonetheless, does it matter which countries were involved? Do you seriously deny that the Marshall Plan was conceived as a way to avoid repeating the mistakes of the Versailles Treaty? that was my whole point!

The second, and much more problematic issues is with your idea that sanctions and no fly zones are stupid policies that would be better replaced with some kind of plan much like we did for West Germany and Japan after WWII. That is wonderful except that, in case you haven't noticed, Saddam is still in power! We didn't start rebuilding Japan and Germany until the governments we were fighting had been defeated, and we shouldn't try to rebuild Iraq as long as Saddam is in power.

I agree entirely that we should attempt to establish prosperous, democratic countries in the middle east, but we should also work to root out terrorism. The policies are not antithetical, they are complementary and should move forward simultaneously.
I *agree* with deposing Saddam. I *disagree* with our "war on terrorism", which in the Middle East has meant giving repressive dictatorships free rein to oppress their people. I firmly believe this will never, never "root out" terrorism, but only ensure future generations of Osamas. Saudi Arabia is doing far more to foment terrorism than Iraq ever has.

In general the U.S. has been very irresponsible in the whole Middle East region. Examples:

- Abandoning Afghanistan and Pakistan after we had helped flood their countries with arms and drugs.
- Inciting the Kurds to fight Saddam in the 80's and then pulling out and letting them get slaughtered
- Inciting the Kurds (again) and the Shiites to rise up against Saddam after the Gulf War, and then sitting by while Saddam slaughtered his people.

We better start learning to finish the job and clean up our messes or else it's going to keep biting us in the ass.

kiwi_the_iwik
Feb 3, 2003, 05:43 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Kiwi,
Maybe you, like Blair has done, should consider that the commonality between Ireland and Iraq is that they both start with the letter "I" but there is not much else.

Firstly, Ireland and Northern Ireland are two entirely different countries - it's like calling Canadians US citizens. Northern Ireland is a member of the United Kingdom, and is therefore under Tony Blair's jurisdiction. The comparisons I was making (if you bothered to read between the lines - but I suppose now I have to spell it out for you) is that we have the same kind of situation - the IRA at the time was on a bombing campaign, and was also involved in various assassinations, which terrorised the nation. In order to do that, they required arms - you don't have to have weapons of Mass Destruction to deal in carnage: what we had here was innocent men, women and children being murdered in the streets (the Omagh bombing was a classic example, even though that was a breakaway splinter group known as the Real IRA. What Tony Blair did was to try to diffuse the situation peacefully - to save any more unnecessary casualties.

So - what can WE do to prevent any unnecessary casualties in future conflicts? Simple - n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-e.

1. Maybe New Zealand should consider spending a little more on defense. The reason you have no need for a significant military force is that we, the United States, provide security for you.

Ooh - that's a laugh. Since we pulled out of the ANZUS treaty in 1985, military relations between our two countries have been frosty at best. Also, you need us a helluva lot more than we need you. The US airbase in Christchurch is the ONLY place you can use to support the US-run McMurdo Base in Antarctica - it's the closest point without wasting fuel and resources (and no-one else in the vicinity will give you landing rights - NZ also owns ALL the small islands in the area...).


2. I suppose as a New Zealander you would know a few things about sheep. Funny how you insult those European countries who have a view different from your own by calling them sheep, but you seem to view France and Germany as "superpowers" and paragons of virtue and justice. Rest assured, France and Germany are not superpowers (they lack the ability to project military power arond the world in any serious way). Nor are they pillars of virture and objectivity on this situation.

He, he. Quite. With a population of 3.6 million people, and 70.6 million sheep, I would...

France, as a powerfully run Republic (perhaps the most globally successful version to date), has an immense reign of power. They have a formidable armed service - and with it, an equally formidable nuclear arsenal - and a very strong economy. Also, they have a large global presence, with many colonies.

Germany, although not permitted to have a large military force since WWII, do have a very good defence force. And as the world's 3rd largest economy, they definitely have a great deal of influence.

And as an American, I'm sure you know what the former Soviet Union has to offer. Doesn't it seem ironic to you that the Russians would rather resolve this without violence, whereas the US would rather go in, guns blazing?

3. They did not rise up the last time Saddam was attacked. In fact, a lot of them joined in the battle against Saddam. What makes you think they will rise up this time? Jordan, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey, and others in the region are cooperating to differing degrees in disposing of Saddam. Not all Arabs are Islamic fundamentalists (neither is Saddam, for that matter). There is no credible evidence that they are going to rise up in his defense. There is better evidence that many in Iraq will rise up against Saddam at the first chance. Indeed, they have done so in the past (much to the shame of the United States, we did not provide them with an environment that would enable them to overthrow them).

The recent tragedy of the Columbia mission brought with it some hurtful comments from the Arab world, and this highlights the intense dislike for Americans in the Middle Eastern region. The more likely scenario is that people will rise up against a natural aggressor - a force powerful enough to have stopped medication and food from reaching their borders.

I personally think that the Iraqis have got greater issues with the US than with Saddam. These people have vowed to defend their country to the last - their wives and children are to be protected at all costs. In their eyes, all the Americans have ever done is to bomb them, starve them and deprive their families of - in some cases, lifesaving - medication. Add the extra degree of propaganda from the Saddam war machine, and you have a race of people intent on protecting their way of life (even if that way of life is deemed to be substandard, it's all they know). Better to reach these people on a more personal level - not bombing the bejesis out of them. They'll just hate you more...

There are at least 2 crews on the ground in Baghdad from my TV network - I know them all, and talk to them regularly. Although they are welcomed with open arms by the locals, any land invasion by the US would change their opinions VERY quickly. That has already been documented by them.

Also, take for example Bahrain - a nice place with an affluent lifestyle attached. The crews we have placed there have already received death threats - there is currently a Fatwa on all Westerners in Bahrain. A cameraman friend of mine (and an avid mac user!) was pretty much afraid to leave his hotel room. Luckily, now he's living it up onboard the US Marine Carrier USS Nassau, doing 2 reports per week, and getting a suntan in safety...

4. You have no evidence other than your personal dislike for and fear of Bush that he will turn a blind eye to a nuclear strike from Israel. Your view of him as some kind of trigger happy cowboy is a media-driven ideological caricature (as is the very concept of a trigger happy cowboy). More importantly, you ignore the fact that Israel will be in the position of contaminating themselves if they nuke, for example, Damascus. Israel has shown remarkable restraint recently in not directly striking any number of Arab countries. As long as they are not attacked directly by these countries and face being destroyed, it is fairly certain that you will never see them use those weapons. It remains bizzare that you see Israel, the most democratic country in the region, as the biggest threat to peace, while Saddam's Iraq, with historically documented expansionist aims and known weapons of mass destruction is seen as no big deal. Before you start a lecture about the plight of the Palestinians, consider that they have been offered a state of their own, but Arafat rejected the offer because it would represent the end of the conflict. In short, Israel is willing to live at peace with a Palestinian state, but the Palestinian leadership is not willing to live at peace with a state of Israel.

I personally find it ironic that you label Israel as democratic. And, yes, I WILL go into a lecture on the plight of the Palestinians. If it wasn't for the British handing over the region to the Jewish population after WWII, Palestine would remain with the Palestinians. So, what we have is a form of reverse racism. I hope the world will never forget the atrocities that took place during Hitler's reign, but that does not give the Israellis the right to brutally victimise the Palestinians who live in the region peacefully. I know there are factions of Hesbollah revolutionaries scattered throughout the region, and I cannot and will not condone their activities. But I have seen the brutality myself - and have personally been on the receiving end (as a member of the Press, I am quite frequently in the line of fire. However, I was surprised to find that the fire in question was coming from Israelli troops - with a flack jacket on with the word "TV" emblazoned across the front and back, and holding a broadcast camera, you'd think I'd be identified as a neutral figure. But, no - more like a big, fat target. An Italian cameraman was shot in the head next to me with a high velocity round - it's not something I was keen to see...).

But, in all honesty, tell me:

If a foreign power decided to give your country away to another ethnic culture, and you were suddenly treated like a second-class citizen in your land of birth because you were the wrong religion, would you sit back and do nothing?

Now, don't get carried away, macfan - it's just a hypothetical scenario - it won't happen...

;)

As for my so-called personal dislike and fear for Bush - well, anyone who would try and stereotype an entire region for links with Al Qaeida, and pick on Iraq in the "War Against Terrorism" (hmmm- don't see any Iraqi terrorists - just a bunch of poor druse farmers and a few goats...) certainly gets my vote for the world's dumbest individual.

And, because the said individual has his finger on the button, I've every right to be scared.

WinterMute
Feb 3, 2003, 12:55 PM
This from the BBC website:

The UK is prepared to use nuclear weapons against rogue states such as Iraq if they ever used "weapons of mass destruction" against British troops in the field, defence secretary Geoff Hoon has told MPs.

Mr Hoon said he was not certain Britain's nuclear arsenal would deter a first strike from a state willing to sacrifice its own people to make a "gesture".

They can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would willing to use our nuclear weapons

He also told MPs the possibility of terrorists acquiring weapons of mass destruction was a cause for "real anxiety" and something "we would have to guard against very seriously".

However, he stressed, there was no evidence that any terrorist group had so far acquired such weapons.

And the prospect of terrorists acquiring ballistic missiles was not considered a major threat.

Mr Hoon was briefing MPs on the threat posed by four countries identified by the UK as "states of concern" - Iraq, Iran, Libya and North Korea.

Chemical weapons

"There are clearly some states who would be deterred by the fact that the UK possesses nuclear weapons and has the willingness and ability to use them in appropriate circumstances, " he told the Commons defence select committee.

"Saddam Hussein has demonstrated in the past his willingness to use chemical weapons against his own people.

"In those kinds of states, the wishes and needs and interests of citizens are clearly much less regarded, and we can not rule out the possibility that such states would be willing to sacrifice their own people to make such a gesture."

No evidence

He added: "They can be absolutely confident that in the right conditions we would be willing to use our nuclear weapons.

"What I can not be absolutely confident about is whether or not that would be sufficient to deter them from using a weapon of mass destruction in the first place."

Of the four "states of concern" identified by the UK, Mr Hoon said North Korea appeared closest to developing intercontinental ballistic missiles.

There was no evidence of a direct threat to the UK from North Korea, he said.

But, he added: "Their threat is a threat to the stability of the world because they are clearly very determined to sell their equipment to anyone who has the cash to buy it."

Mr Hoon also singled out Libya as a cause for concern.

"I am sure Libya has an aspiration to develop a weapon of mass destruction and, equally, would like to purchase the necessary technology to allow it to deliver it.

"That conjunction is something we keep a close eye on."




----

It's catching...:eek:

Still, the points about delivery are well made, just because Iraq may have these weapons doesn't mean they have the kit necessary to deliver them.

Hiding a few flasks of nerve agent is a piece of piss, hiding a missile system is a bit trickier.

lmalave
Feb 3, 2003, 12:56 PM
Originally posted by kiwi_the_iwik

I personally find it ironic that you label Israel as democratic. And, yes, I WILL go into a lecture on the plight of the Palestinians. If it wasn't for the British handing over the region to the Jewish population after WWII, Palestine would remain with the Palestinians.

I think you don't have your history straight here. Jews were in the region well before the U.N. stepped in or even existed, and native Jews (admittedly only a couple hundred thousand) along with new Zionist settlers had already carved themselves out a niche in the region. The Zionists were established enough that the U.N. set aside territory for both the Jews AND the Palestinians in what they though was an equitable arrangement based on the EXISTING political situation and population distribution. So Israel was not created out of thin air to placate Western guilt over the Holocaust, as current anti-Israel propaganda would have you believe. Yes, of course there was a surge of Zionist immigration after WWII, but only to join their compatriots that were already established there.

So Palestinians HAD their own territory (which is now Jordan), and even had control of Jerusalem, but they and the Arab world were not content with anything less than pushing the infidels out to sea, so every Arab country declared war on Israel. Only after the Arabs getting their asses soundly kicked did they lose territory currently occupied by Israel. And Israel is (or at least was) perfectly happy to coexist with Palestinians, granting everyone within Israeli borders full citizenship. Again, the Arab world was not content with anything less than pushing the infidels out to sea, so instead of integrating themselves into Israeli society or emigrating to Jordan or other Arab states, instead they chose to create preposterous "refugee" camps instead of accepting Israel. The choice is really up to the Arab world. They can accept Israel and the whole region would prosper. Or they can fight Holy War and move inexorably toward nuclear holocaust.

And let me be clear, I'm in no way religious and I think Israel has done some questionable things. But overall if I had to pick sides in this dispute I'd side solidly with Israel. Let's not forget that it's Arab anti-Semitism and fanaticism that's at the core of the problem here, not Israeli and Western disregard for the self-determination of the Palestinians. I really suggest you go and read about the history of Zionism in the region of what is now Israel, and read about how the Palestinians were already granted their own territory and self-determination, before you go and start making uninformed commentary.

yzedf
Feb 3, 2003, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by lmalave
I guarantee you the entire world would turn against us, and with good reason.

That happened in 1941 when we decided to be the bully... I mean police force for the world. That is the UN's job, not the USA's.

War sucks. Lots die. Last time it was them (Iraqis). This time they will again. The only uncertainty this time is; will we?

Threat of nuclear war is not very threatening to dictators. They kill their own and their enemies without remorse. Saddam is a dictator.

The biggest deterent to nuclear war with Iraq are the oil fields. If all of our cars did not use gasoline from that region of the world, Saddam and his people would have been nuked already :(

All of this sucks.

Let the world solve their own damn problems. We have enough problems stateside.

macfan
Feb 3, 2003, 03:42 PM
kiwi,
Since we pulled out of the ANZUS treaty in 1985, military relations between our two countries have been frosty at best.

Don't worry, mate, we'll protect you anyway! Just like we protected France for 50 plus years, in spite of their non integration with NATO. Our protection of you includes protecting the sea lanes that allow you to sell those 70 million sheep. And to your neighbors, the Australians, thak you for your support.

Simple - n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-e.

If only it were so. "n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-e" is not a solution to all problems in every situation. Just ask Neville Chamerlain. The United States was n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-i-n-g with the Empire of Japan as their carrier based planes moved to attack Pearl Harbor. We have n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-e-d with Iraq, both after they occuppied Kuwait (to no avail) and in the decade following the cease-fire (also to no avail). You can n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-e successfully only when you have an honest partner in those n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-i-o-n-s. Saddam has shown NO EVIDENCE that he is an honest partner when it comes to n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-i-n-g.


If a foreign power decided to give your country away to another ethnic culture, and you were suddenly treated like a second-class citizen in your land of birth because you were the wrong religion, would you sit back and do nothing?

Looks like imalave has addressed this myth.

I personally find it ironic that you label Israel as democratic.

While it is by no means perfect, Israel is, as I said, the most democratic government in the region. That you cannot see this indicates either a lack of knowledge or maybe, God forbid, just old fashion anti-Semitism. As a democracy, they have real elections, real political parties, a generally free press, and an independent judiciary--all hallmarks of a democratic form of government. Israeli Arabs have the right to vote, and many have been elected to the Israeli parliament.

I could say that New Zealand isn't democratic with just as much credibility as you have claiming that Israel isn't democratic. I'll bet those sheep don't have the right to vote! ;)

Firstly, Ireland and Northern Ireland are two entirely different countries - it's like calling Canadians US citizens.

I know the difference between Ireland and Norther Ireland. My point is that the situation as a whole is very different from the Iraq situation, and it is a point that still stands.

yzedf
That happened in 1941 when we decided to be the bully.

Are you unaware of history or are you trying to be funny? Did you somehow forget how the United States got involved in fighting WWII in 1941?

The biggest deterent to nuclear war with Iraq are the oil fields. If all of our cars did not use gasoline from that region of the world, Saddam and his people would have been nuked already.

Fear not. When we tested nuclear weapons in New Mexico, it did not make the oil fields of West Texas unusable. The reason Iraq hasn't been nuked is that the United States, the UK, Israel, France, Russia, and other nuclear powers do not consider it a good to thing lob nuclear weapons around like candy at a Mardi Gras parade.

Let the world solve their own damn problems. We have enough problems stateside.

We tried that before, but it didn't work out too well.

kiwi_the_iwik
Feb 3, 2003, 06:59 PM
It seems to me that the US has lost it's powers of n-e-g-o-t-i-a-t-i-n-g (!), especially since the Cuban Missile Crisis. When all else failed, and the world was spiralling into the void of nuclear conflict, it was diplomacy that saved the day. Clear heads and cool tempers prevailed - and planet Earth lived on.

And no, macfan - our sheep don't have the right to vote...

...but the Palestinians' right to vote is extremely questionable. Palestinians can vote, undoubtedly - but not for Israeli positions. The Palestinians' elected officials have absolutely NO impact on Israelli affairs - they hold office to a non-existant establishment with no power, except to their small allocated regions (those areas reminded me of American Indian Reservations). They even have their own police force and ambulances that deal solely with their own, because their Israeli counterparts wouldn't even stop to help. A classic example of Palestinian power comes from events unfolding last year, when the Israelis, repeatedly infuriated by the ongoing Hesbollah guerrilla attacks, decided to launch it's own attack on the Presidential offices of Yasser Arafat - that's the PALESTINIAN LEADER!!!

Do you call that democratic?

:rolleyes:

Anyway - I'm getting bored with this line of discussion. You can agree, occasionally, you know, and not just try to take a contrary position for the sake of argument.

I, too, dislike the Iraqi leader. I just believe there has to be a better way other than by going to war, and losing a lot of good people in the process.

Go on - put your thinking cap on and TRY to think of a better way of getting out of this quagmire. Think of it as your "Kobiashi Maru" scenario...

...I dare you.

By the way - if George "Dubya" said in a speech "If you're not with us, you're against us", what IS his intention with France, Germany and Russia?!?

:rolleyes:

And lastly, imalave -

How can my commentary be uninformed when I witness it first-hand as I work for an international 24/7 news station on location in these hotspots, whereas you read about it in books?

I know what I'd go for - the bare facts in front of my face, rather than the bare faced propaganda distorting the facts.

Sorry...

:(

lmalave
Feb 3, 2003, 08:02 PM
Originally posted by kiwi_the_iwik

...but the Palestinians' right to vote is extremely questionable. Palestinians can vote, undoubtedly - but not for Israeli positions. The Palestinians' elected officials have absolutely NO impact on Israelli affairs - they hold office to a non-existant establishment with no power, except to their small allocated regions (those areas reminded me of American Indian Reservations). They even have their own police force and ambulances that deal solely with their own, because their Israeli counterparts wouldn't even stop to help. A classic example of Palestinian power comes from events unfolding last year, when the Israelis, repeatedly infuriated by the ongoing Hesbollah guerrilla attacks, decided to launch it's own attack on the Presidential offices of Yasser Arafat - that's the PALESTINIAN LEADER!!!

Do you call that democratic?

:rolleyes:


Yes, the Palestinian Authority is a separate organization, but Arabs who want to stay in Israel have and always have had full citizenship in Israel. I agree with you that the Palestinian Authority is not a true Palestinian state, but read your history - JORDAN was set aside as a Palestinian state. Hey, colonialism sucks and when the European powers pulled out they couldn't draw borders along exact ethnic lines. I mean, look at Iraq - did they grant the Kurds their own state? And look at Africa - it's even more messed up. But what is your solution? Ethnic cleansing? So you side with the Arabs that would like to push the Jews out to sea?


And lastly, imalave -

How can my commentary be uninformed when I witness it first-hand as I work for an international 24/7 news station on location in these hotspots, whereas you read about it in books?

I know what I'd go for - the bare facts in front of my face, rather than the bare faced propaganda distorting the facts.

Sorry...

:(

I'm NOT letting you off the hook there just 'cause you're a journalist, buddy. Since when does being on location make your opinion more valid? Both the Israelis and Palestinians live on location, after all, and both have widely divergent views on the current conflict, to say the least. So who's correct?

Besides, my commentary was on the historical context of the current conflict. Yes, of course if you look in isolation at the current state of the Palestinians, you'd tend side with them. But realize that the Palestinians were offered their own state when Israel was created. And also realize that Palestinians didn't even have a national identity at the time. If anything they were just southern Syrians. Did Arabs within the original Israeli borders resent being part of an infidel state? Sure, but not because they had any national identity. At most they had a religious identity and just knew that Israel was going against the pan-Arabism that they fancied. Nothing but religious hatred, pure and simple. And this despite the fact that Israel welcomed Arabs with open arms, knowing their best policy by far in this situation was to be a good neighbor. But alas, the Arabs didn't even give Israel a chance, and declared war immediately, and the rest is history.

If you would like to give me a different version of history, then I'd like to hear it. Like I said, I'm not fervent on this issue, but the information that I have leads me to side with Israel.

kiwi_the_iwik
Feb 4, 2003, 04:40 AM
Sometimes, to get a better picture of what's really happening, a third person's perspective is required. Every side has its own story. I try to be as unbiased and objective as possible - but when you see the hardships some of these Palestinian settlements endure, you can't help but be affected by it.

As a cameraman (no - I'm not a journalist. I wouldn't call my worst enemy one of those... ;) ), I have been privileged to see a great many things, and experience a great many cultures. Hell - I'm already onto my 4th passport (and, incidentally, am more than likely going to travel to the Gulf for the impending fireworks). So, although I see things that many of you do not, I can't be prejudiced in my decisions. I've met Bush Snr., Clinton, Blair, Chirac, Putin and Schroeder, Sharon, Nehtenyahu and Arafat, amongst others (including the Queen, and Gen. Pinochet... but that's another story). Therefore, I think I am qualified in my points - regardless of what you read in books - most of which written by people who summise their judgements based on the extrapolation of the facts.

One comparison to the Israeli situation that springs to mind is South Africa. "What", I hear you say?

When I was in Cape Town back in 1994, I filmed in Mandela Park and Crossroads - two large shanty towns. What I saw was the most atrocious living conditions that I had ever seen - Crossroads was increasing in population size by 4000 per day: a staggering statistic. Nothing but tiny corrugated iron sheds for miles in every direction, and the grim layer of orange dust hanging over their impoverished existence. These areas had been put aside for the Black South Africans by the ruling White party - even though their claim to the land was insignificant compared to that of the Zulus and the Bantus (along with other tribes) that lived in the region for many thousands of years. It was - and is - an abomination that this blatant disregard of human rights ever happened. And STILL it occurs - in Israel.

Throughout history, you will see, the British have been "stitching up" Middle Eastern countries to further their own means. Jordan felt betrayed by the British, and became independent in 1946 (So, hang on a minute - how could it possibly be put aside as a Palestinian state if they were independent already? That's like taking the rights from yet another country!) - and it was in 1948 that Israel was formed when the British Mandate in Palestine ended. After Britain handed over the territory to the minority Jewish population, they instigated a race war - plain and simple. The problem was, it wasn't British to begin with. It's as if your country was given away to another group of people, and you had no say in the matter. Oh - and you get to move on to an entirely different country. It doesn't make sense. Back in the '40's, things were done with very little thought to the consequences they might incur - "...it's not our problem anymore - let future generations sort it out..." kind of attitude.

Another example would be the French in Indo-China. They alienated swathes of people after trying to set up colonies in the region - and putting their own "spin" on democracy. Little wonder these countries weren't inspired by the concept. It was up to the UN (during Korea), and the US (in Vietnam/Cambodia) to try and bring stability to the area. Unfortunately, it was an angry time for all parties concerned - especially as it was during the volitile period known as the Cold War - and quite possibly did more to create the monster juggernaut that is the US military today - and equally quite possibly the reason why the US feels it justified to "flex their muscles", to prove that Vietnam was a period in their history that should be recorded as a "glitch", and should not in any way reflect the readiness of their forces.

The bottom line is:

I don't want war. Nobody should want war. War is evil in itself - it brings nothing but chaos, pain and misery. Now, why would you want that? The next thread should be if anyone can think of a PEACEFUL solution to the conflict. I don't have the answers - and you can bet your brass razzoos that the Blair and Bush don't either. They've backed themselves into a corner, and now they have to produce what they've been threatening. So, why don't you ALL try and give one possible solution? It's certainly food for thought.

Remember -

"You're either with us, or against us."

;)

WinterMute
Feb 4, 2003, 06:24 AM
A while back, the European Court of Human Rights (I think that's the one) passed a resolution, (I'm not certain what they actually are called, "laws" maybe?) stating that the ownership of nuclear weapons wasn't itself wrong, but that threatening to use them was illegal.

So, if true (I hate inaccurate reporting), that puts Blair and Bush in contravention of international law. It's illegal folks.

Got this from Mark Thomas's Channel 4 show last night, very late so it's all a bit vague, sorry.

macfan
Feb 4, 2003, 12:07 PM
War is evil in itself - it brings nothing but chaos, pain and misery.

Yes, war is evil in itself, but no, it doen't always bring only chaos, pain, and misery. Sometimes, war brings freedom. The worst war the United States has experienced in terms of loss of life was the Civil War. It was a horrible conflict with massive casualties. However, it ended slavery and brought freedom to an enslaved people. I believe that the sacrifice was worth it because it ended an intolerable situation and brought a people out of slavery. Sometimes freedom is costly. WW II was the worst war in human history in terms of death and destruction, but put Hitler out of business and it brought freedom, prosperity, and peace to Japan and Western Europe for the half century plus since.

So, although I see things that many of you do not, I can't be prejudiced in my decisions.

Of course you can be prejudiced in your decisions. Being a camerman does not make you objective.

and equally quite possibly the reason why the US feels it justified to "flex their muscles", to prove that Vietnam was a period in their history that should be recorded as a "glitch", and should not in any way reflect the readiness of their forces.

Your decision to ignore what Saddam represents and instead offer some kind of national phychoanalytic evaluation of the US use of military force is a good indication that, despite your expertise with a camera, you seem to lack the ability to "see" anything beyond your own prejudices. Indeed, whatever crisis in confidence in the US military over Vietnam, it has long since passed. It has no need to prove itself to anyone.

WinterMute,
You are quite right to question the accuracy of the reporting. Here's the relevant part as it relates to whether that court thinks vis a vis international law. It is an advisory opinon from 1996 that, in typical judicial habit, doesn't make a definitive statement.

... There is in neither customary nor conventional international law any specific authorisation of the threat or use of nuclear weapons;

... There is in neither customary nor conventional international law any comprehensive and universal prohibition of the threat or use of nuclear weapons as such...

... in view of the current state of International Law, and of the elements of fact at its disposal, the Court cannot conclude definitively whether the threat or use of nuclear weapons would be lawful or unlawful in an extreme circumstance of self-defence, in which the very survival of a State would be a stake....

WinterMute
Feb 4, 2003, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by macfan


WinterMute,
You are quite right to question the accuracy of the reporting. Here's the relevant part as it relates to whether that court thinks vis a vis international law. It is an advisory opinon from 1996 that, in typical judicial habit, doesn't make a definitive statement.



Yes, Mark Thomas has a habit of making sweeping statements, but he's funny as hell.

I did get the impression that the ruling he was reffering to was later than 1996 though, is there anything else you know of?

macfan
Feb 5, 2003, 05:16 PM
That's the only one that I found, but there might be something else. There was an article on the opinion in the AMERICAN JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL LAW (Vol. 91 No.1 January 1997). The opinion was request by the World Health Organization.