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Backtothemac
Jul 19, 2003, 12:05 PM
Well, I never thought this day would come. I personally think the action in Iraq was a bad idea. I don't mean this from an evidence standpoint, nor from world opinion. I mean it from the standpoint that we STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW TO NATION BUILD.

Instead of having a policy that is removing us from being the worlds 911, it is expanding. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO NATION BUILDING ALONE!

I hate to say it, but the UN needs to get into Iraq. We did the job, now let the world help stabilize that country.

I personally want a policy of isolationism. I don't want us involved where we don't need to be. Why sacrifice our troops and taxpayer dollars for people that don't give a damn about our country, or whether we are helping them or not.

I still like Bush, I just think that he has some very poor advice being given to him. Yes, I think we should have gone to Afghanistan and Iraq. But, I think we should get over whatever problems were with the UN and NATO, and let them finish the job now. Bring home the 3rd ID, and get that country stable.

pivo6
Jul 19, 2003, 12:20 PM
Thank you for admitting and posting that.

Before this turns into a "I told you so" rant from eveyone, let's come up with some ideas and discussion and how to solve the problems now. I agree with your idea of getting the UN involved now and get the entire world helping make Iraq a better place to live now.

mactastic
Jul 19, 2003, 12:24 PM
Agreed. We just should have had the UN in on the reconstruction from the beginning. Now we have an antagonistic relationship with them and most of the Security Council. These were major reasons not to do what Dubya did when he did it. The cost of this war for one year will easily equal the money spent on the first gulf war, only this time the entire tab is likelly to be picked up be the American taxpayer. The same number of soldiers have died in combat so far as died in gulf war one, with no end in sight. What I am beginning to fear is that we may end up simply leaving Iraq, putting us and the region in greater jeopardy than before. Whoever is elected president next fall needs to realize that what is done is done. We must fulfill our obligations to both Afghanistan and Iraq; now that we have started the job of by militarily defeating them, me must finish rebuilding them. Unfortunately, it will largely be at US taxpayer expense.:(

3rdpath
Jul 19, 2003, 12:58 PM
good for you for being open to other possibilities.

the main problem i see is that the u.s. staunchly denounced the necessity of u.n. inclusion...choosing instead to wave the "coalition of the willing" flag( which included such broad military powers as Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Iceland, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Mongolia, Palau, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Tonga and Uganda...). unfortunately the whole coalition's troop count is less than 4000 in total...not much help to be had there.

i can definitely foresee a large " screw-you" salute from the other countries we ignored or insulted( those "old europe" counties...). this huge tactical blunder will cost the u.s. many many billions of dollars to enlist the help of those previously " un-needed" countries. not to mention the loss of respect the u.s. is facing on the world stage.


here's a hypothetical: what do we do if we can't enlist the help of the u.n.?

1)a vietnam-esque retreat?
2)fight until our country is financially and mentally bankrupt?
3)take the whole country over and expand our empire? ( i see this as the likeliest possibility...of course it will be called something different..."operation adopt an iraqi" or some such nonsenese)

we are in deep doo-doo.

Backtothemac
Jul 19, 2003, 12:59 PM
Well, I agree with the President that we had to go. I cannot imagine the number of lives that were saved by going in when we did. Still, the time has come to mend old wounds with the UN and the rest of the allies that are needed for the reconstruction. I personally think that a system such as the one after WWII would be good. Divide Iraq into zones. Bring in massive, and I mean friggin massive humanitarian aid. Get the peoples hearts and minds. Let the Iraqi's choose a government, and not make it a bunch of officials that we choose.

Also, put a 500 million dollar bounty on Saddam. Not 25 million. Make it worth someones while to give up the bastard. I bet with 500 million on his head someone would give him up.

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 01:08 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Also, put a 500 million dollar bounty on Saddam. Not 25 million. Make it worth someones while to give up the bastard. I bet with 500 million on his head someone would give him up.
Any bounty on him is a bad idea. They've been saying he's probably dead, that he is irrelevant, and then the next day they put a bounty on his head. That tells the average Iraqi that he's probably still alive and that he might come back into power. Not a good thing to tell people who were terrified of him, see us as an unknown and possible threat, and also see us possibly leaving.

As for the UN, I would be surprised if the other countries we snubbed looked at us and said, "sorry, you made your bed, now lie in it." (Ha, lie in it... that is sort of punny considering some of the stuff coming out of the Bush administration).

I think freeing the Iraqis was a good thing, but I think the premise behind the war was totally bogus... so, I guess we've both rethought some things.

Backtothemac
Jul 19, 2003, 01:16 PM
Originally posted by mcrain

I think freeing the Iraqis was a good thing, but I think the premise behind the war was totally bogus... so, I guess we've both rethought some things.

Yea, I almost wish that they would have said that "he is killing his people, and is a tyrant, thief, and must be removed from power".

That would have been beter don't you think?

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 01:19 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Yea, I almost wish that they would have said that "he is killing his people, and is a tyrant, thief, and must be removed from power".

That would have been beter don't you think?

Better, yes. Honest, yes. Valid justification for unilaterally going to war, I don't know, and will never know, because they unfortunately did not do that.

By the way, BTTM, I like the new G5 tar.

Backtothemac
Jul 19, 2003, 01:22 PM
Originally posted by mcrain
Better, yes. Honest, yes. Valid justification for unilaterally going to war, I don't know, and will never know, because they unfortunately did not do that.

By the way, BTTM, I like the new G5 tar.

I agree. I am really starting to have my doubts over the way we went in. Although I am sure there are a lot of people in Iraq that are happy we went in when we did.

Still, more support would have been nice, but would France, Germany and Russia have ever supported it? Probably not. Thus, the "coalition of the willing" was the best that we could do. I really do believe that the links to terror in the middle east would have been the best avenue to go with. That and the human rights violations.

Thanks for the tar comment. Made it myself ;)

3rdpath
Jul 19, 2003, 01:25 PM
bounties only work for money motivated people. the iraqi's ( and afghans) are not of that culture. they don't get it. i watched an interview with an afghan villager about the bounty on osama...after the villager was described the millions of $$ offered he asked " will this be enough to purchase a cow"?

it's sadly poignant of the lack of cultural understanding we have of these countries and their people. and it's sadly telling of our motivations here.

money only makes our world go around...

Backtothemac
Jul 19, 2003, 01:27 PM
Originally posted by 3rdpath
bounties only work for money motivated people. the iraqi's ( and afghans) are not of that culture. they don't get it. i watched an interview with an afghan villager about the bounty on osama...after the villager was described the millions of $$ offered he asked " will this be enough to purchase a cow"?

it's sadly poignant of the lack of cultural understanding we have of these countries and their people. and it's sadly telling of our motivations here.

money only makes our world go around...

Not totally true. Remember, someone gave up what's his face. The guy that looked like he had been dragged out of bed. His name escapes me right now. A low level Al-Queada member gave hime up for the cash. The guy now lives in the US and is a multi-millionaire.

3rdpath
Jul 19, 2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Not totally true. Remember, someone gave up what's his face. The guy that looked like he had been dragged out of bed. His name escapes me right now. A low level Al-Queada member gave hime up for the cash. The guy now lives in the US and is a multi-millionaire.

there are always exceptions..by and large it hasn't been a successful tactic.

i can bowl a strike once every 10 frames...does that make me a good bowler?

zimv20
Jul 19, 2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, I never thought this day would come. I personally think the action in Iraq was a bad idea.

i applaud you for:
1. having an open mind
2. being honest enough to post what you did

i'm reading a book called "war is a force that gives us meaning," by chris hedges. i've only just started it, but the first part is this enlightening section called "the myth of war."

that's what people buy into -- the patriotism and the goodness of the cause. later, the reality sets in and the myth erodes. it sounds like you're making that transition.

pseudobrit
Jul 19, 2003, 02:31 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
that's what people buy into -- the patriotism and the goodness of the cause. later, the reality sets in and the myth erodes. it sounds like you're making that transition.

Sort of like the paradox of soldiering.

Every soldier spends his peacetime duty dreaming of combat; when a soldier is in combat, he spends the whole fight wishing he was back in peacetime duty.

zimv20
Jul 19, 2003, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Sort of like the paradox of soldiering.

Every soldier spends his peacetime duty dreaming of combat; when a soldier is in combat, he spends the whole fight wishing he was back in peacetime duty.

yeah, hedges (who has spent decades as a combat reporter and became addicted to the action) said that soldiers make the transition _very_ early.

Backtothemac
Jul 19, 2003, 02:33 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i applaud you for:
1. having an open mind
2. being honest enough to post what you did

i'm reading a book called "war is a force that gives us meaning," by chris hedges. i've only just started it, but the first part is this enlightening section called "the myth of war."

that's what people buy into -- the patriotism and the goodness of the cause. later, the reality sets in and the myth erodes. it sounds like you're making that transition.

Well, let me clairfy, that I was for the war, and I am glad that we did it. I am just not 100% positive about the way we did it, and the aftermath. I think that we need more international involvement.

I think that was is a means to settle political dispute. Nothing more. When it is forced on you, then it is a nobel patriotic act. However, when you go looking for it is not. I do not think we went looking for it. I believe that we had no choice to go into Iraq, but the aftermath is not good. Still, we have lost nearly 200 people in the conflict. Vietnam was over 55,000.

pseudobrit
Jul 19, 2003, 02:40 PM
BTTM, I respect your change of opinion.

This is not an I-told-you-so, but you've seen just one of the downsides everyone who was against the war was predicting would happen. War is too sloppy for an outcome like this not to have happened, and nation-building is impossible (empire-building is not though, and I fear that's what we're doing).

I would ask if Iraq is really better off without Saddam. Just because we'd rather be dead than subjects to a dictator doesn't mean we get to make that choice for others. I mean, did removing him the way we did really save more lives? Do we have the numbers to say that?

A lot of Iraqis who died wouldn't have if Saddam was left in power pending a more peaceful, practical, world-supported solution to remove him. No Americans would have died if he was left alone until diplomacy ran its course.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 02:45 PM
backtothemac,
I agree that we need as much positive international involvement in Iraq as possible (UN or NATO or some other stablization force). The US doesn't need to bear the burden of nation building alone, most of our troops aren't trained for it (although some are) and our troops present a more tempting target than those of some other nations. Having said that, I do think we did the right thing, although not at the right time. It should have been done much sooner, by Clinton or Bush 41.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
BTTM, I respect your change of opinion.

This is not an I-told-you-so, but you've seen just one of the downsides everyone who was against the war was predicting would happen. War is too sloppy for an outcome like this not to have happened, and nation-building is impossible (empire-building is not though, and I fear that's what we're doing).

I would ask if Iraq is really better off without Saddam. Just because we'd rather be dead than subjects to a dictator doesn't mean we get to make that choice for others. I mean, did removing him the way we did really save more lives? Do we have the numbers to say that?

A lot of Iraqis who died wouldn't have if Saddam was left in power pending a more peaceful, practical, world-supported solution to remove him. No Americans would have died if he was left alone until diplomacy ran its course.

The large majority of the Iraqi people are better off, and are happy Saddam is gone.

Backtothemac
Jul 19, 2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
BTTM, I respect your change of opinion.

This is not an I-told-you-so, but you've seen just one of the downsides everyone who was against the war was predicting would happen. War is too sloppy for an outcome like this not to have happened, and nation-building is impossible (empire-building is not though, and I fear that's what we're doing).

I would ask if Iraq is really better off without Saddam. Just because we'd rather be dead than subjects to a dictator doesn't mean we get to make that choice for others. I mean, did removing him the way we did really save more lives? Do we have the numbers to say that?

A lot of Iraqis who died wouldn't have if Saddam was left in power pending a more peaceful, practical, world-supported solution to remove him. No Americans would have died if he was left alone until diplomacy ran its course.

Just look at it this way. There won't be mass graves of innocent people, and prisons with children in them any longer. But you are right. Nation building is not possible.

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Just look at it this way. There won't be mass graves of innocent people, and prisons with children in them any longer. But you are right. Nation building is not possible.

Bush Jr. said in his campaign speeches and debates that the US would not nation build, but now that he's in Iraq, his tune has changed dramatically.

I hope we don't get stuck there for too long. The longer we are there, the worse we will be in their eyes.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 03:18 PM
Originally posted by mcrain
Bush Jr. said in his campaign speeches and debates that the US would not nation build, but now that he's in Iraq, his tune has changed dramatically.

I hope we don't get stuck there for too long. The longer we are there, the worse we will be in their eyes.

Bush did scoff at nation building during the campaign, but the events of 9/11 led him to adopt a more proactive policy. In Iraq, the climate is better for nation building. There is some degree of Iraqi identity among the people. They have had a thriving, educated culture in the past, and they can have it again. Neither the US nor any other outside power can force nation building, but in places where the potential and tradition already exists, as it does in Iraq, it can be successfully helped along.

zimv20
Jul 19, 2003, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
There won't be mass graves of innocent people, and prisons with children in them any longer.


Khayriyat Taaban squatted to rest in the blistering sun, her head-to-toe black abaya billowing in the furnace-like wind. Every day, she has been making the long walk to look for her son at Abu Ghraib, deposed Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's most notorious prison.

The prison -- which under Mr. Hussein was dreaded for its torture chambers and mass executions -- is open again, now run by Iraq's U.S. occupiers. And Iraqis still fear it.


link (http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20030712/UPRISAH/TPInternational/Africa)

i can't find it now, but i read an article about kids/teenagers being held in this prison, alongside adults. since its reopening, i mean.

Sayhey
Jul 19, 2003, 04:34 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The large majority of the Iraqi people are better off, and are happy Saddam is gone.

macfan, if we follow this logic, should we now invade Saudi Arabia? Libya? or the many other authoritarian regimes in the world? I agree with your estimate of how bad Saddam was, but what gives us the right to make this decision for the Iraqi people? There is a tremendous difference in trying to spread democratic traditions through peaceful means and sending troops into a sovereign nation to bring about "regime change." Perhaps our committment to democratic traditions should lead us to different methods.

IJ Reilly
Jul 19, 2003, 04:54 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Bush did scoff at nation building during the campaign, but the events of 9/11 led him to adopt a more proactive policy.

He did more then scoff at it, he stated his determined opposition to the entire concept during the election. And let us not forget why: it was to show his opposition to the Clinton foreign policy in places like Kosovo, which came under a lot of fire from Republicans at the time, who attacked the wisdom of putting American soldiers "in harm's way" for the purpose of "nation building," and asking a lot of pointed questions about "exit strategies." So it might be a good moment to ask who was right and who was wrong about whether the U.S. had a national interest in seeing turmoil extinguished in some of the world's most dangerous places (deathbed conversions, notwithstanding).

I also don't buy the story about 9-11 "changing everything." There's a whole raft of problems with this theory, not the least of which is that 9-11 really changed very little, except the perception of the threat of international terrorism on U.S. soil -- it's a reality that clearly had existed for years beforehand. Looked at in this way, it's arguable that the decidedly more detached/isolationist Bush policy (as he articulated it before the election and to some extent carried it out afterwards), was further from the mark in dealing with the realities of international terrorism then was the Clinton policy.

Also, there's evidence that the Bush administration had been making plans to "do" Iraq before 9-11, and used 9-11 to add urgency to the matter by attempting to connect, in dubious fashion, Saddam and al Qaeda.

As far as the UN is concerned, this was a bridge the Bush administration burned before they even crossed it. This has been the crux of my criticism of the administration from day one. But again, it's important to remind ourselves why this occurred: it is because the people running the administration's foreign policy do not believe in the UN. They believe in the United States using its military power, unilaterally if necessary, to advance its interests in the world. This is also not a new theory -- it's been preached by a certain contingent with the Republican party for over ten years. Until recently, it had been flatly rejected by the people at the top.

So very little of this happened by chance. It occurred as a deliberate exercise of foreign policy. It's now time to ask whether the evidence points to this policy being right or wrong; in our national interests, or against them.

mcrain
Jul 19, 2003, 05:13 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Also, there's evidence that the Bush administration had been making plans to "do" Iraq before 9-11, and used 9-11 to add urgency to the matter by attempting to connect, in dubious fashion, Saddam and al Qaeda.

I heard a report on NPR, and someone was saying that the invasion of Iraq was something considered since 1991, and that there were those in the Bush Jr. administration who, right after 9-11, advocated going after Iraq instead of Afganistan because it was "easier."

In addition to what IJ said, it also seems like going after Iraq was pre-planned and that they were just looking for an excuse to convince the public that they could do it.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 06:56 PM
The Pentagon has pre planned wars against just about anyone you can think of. It's their job. They had been at war with Iraq for all of the 1990s, and it was time to finish the job.

sayhey,
We can't invade all of them. Saddam was particularly bad, and, by happy coincidence, just happened to be in defiance of multiple UN SC resoulutions. We should seek a change in government in places like Saudi Arabia and Lybia, but military action isn't always the solution. What gives us the right to make the decision for the Iraqi people? You ask that question as though the Iraqi people didn't revolt against Saddam in 1991. They made the choice, and we let them down. This time, we did not let them down.

IJReilly,
9/11 did change things. It changed perceptions, and it changed reality. Also you're contradicting yourself saying in one sentence that Bush was running an isolationist policy and in the next that he was planning to invade Iraq pre 9/11.

IJ Reilly
Jul 19, 2003, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by macfan
9/11 did change things. It changed perceptions, and it changed reality. Also you're contradicting yourself saying in one sentence that Bush was running an isolationist policy and in the next that he was planning to invade Iraq pre 9/11.

I'm not contradicting myself, the Bush administration contradicted itself. I'm not making the policy, I'm just reporting on it.

As far as 9-11 is concerned, yes it changed perceptions, which is what I'd already said, but it changed few if any facts with respect to the threat posed by international terrorism. Those dangers were present equally both before and after 9-11. Before 9-11 Bush was articulating a policy of non-interventionism in the world's hotspots, by way of saying he was not Bill Clinton. After 9-11 the lack of wisdom of this policy for political purposes became evident, and it was changed -- radically.

pseudobrit
Jul 19, 2003, 08:05 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
macfan, if we follow this logic, should we now invade Saudi Arabia? Libya? or the many other authoritarian regimes in the world? I agree with your estimate of how bad Saddam was, but what gives us the right to make this decision for the Iraqi people?

As I said, just because we as Americans would say give me liberty or give me death doesn't give us the right to make that choice for others.

pseudobrit
Jul 19, 2003, 08:07 PM
BTTM, I'm curious; do you still think that Iraq was an immediate threat to the people of the United States?

Sayhey
Jul 19, 2003, 11:46 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The Pentagon has pre planned wars against just about anyone you can think of. It's their job. They had been at war with Iraq for all of the 1990s, and it was time to finish the job.

sayhey,
We can't invade all of them. Saddam was particularly bad, and, by happy coincidence, just happened to be in defiance of multiple UN SC resoulutions. We should seek a change in government in places like Saudi Arabia and Lybia, but military action isn't always the solution. What gives us the right to make the decision for the Iraqi people? You ask that question as though the Iraqi people didn't revolt against Saddam in 1991. They made the choice, and we let them down. This time, we did not let them down.


Macfan, it was not the military planners many contingency plans that was the problem. Paul Wolfowitz has been arguing for the use of US military power to overthrow Saddam since at least the end of the first gulf war. This was not the work of someone just thinking up "what if" scenarios, but rather a political agenda he and others have pushed for over a decade. The so-called Bush doctrine is really the Wolfowitz doctrine. What changed after 9/11 was that a new adminstration had neo-conservatives in place who could seize the opportunity to push their agenda. The neo-conservatives have won. They have now overthrown decades of diplomatic accomplishments from Republican and Democratic administrations to remake US foreign policy into a updated version of the old colonial vision. This is complete with the new and improved "white man's burden" of spreading democracy and market economies.

Your second paragraph seems to view the decision on whether to invade another country as a function of our abilities. Indeed, as you so rightly say, "we can't invade them all." But it is not just a question of stretching our military capabilities. It is not even just a question of which tactic might work best in a given situation as you so aptly note that, "military action isn't always the solution." Somewhere, there must enter into the calculation whether we have the right to do so.

The right-wing is very ready to admonish so many of us for our moral failures, but this new ideology of the neo-conservatives goes us one better. They undermine the very basis of our democratic traditions in our relations with other nations. If it is not a right for each nation to select their own path without foriegn troops to tell them how to do that, then self-determination has no meaning. Isn't that what 1776 was all about?

I think I've written to you already that I don't think our nation should be shy about the virtues of democracy. We should use every peaceful method to promote more democracy in the world. It just can't be exported by bombs and bayonets.

macfan
Jul 19, 2003, 11:51 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
BTTM, I'm curious; do you still think that Iraq was an immediate threat to the people of the United States?

Saddam's threat was ongoing and not likely to change with time. "Immediate" is a term that doesn't have much meaning in that context. Earthquakes are an "immediate" threat in California, but we might not have a big one there for many years. A tornado is an "immediate" threat in many parts of the US, but a particular town may go for many years without having one touch down. That is why people take preemptive action against earthquakes and tornadoes by having earthquake kits and basements. When there is a small cobra in your garden, you don't wait until he grows up and rises to strike at your kid before you dispatch him. To quote Winston Churchill, "Still, if you will not fight for the right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory will be sure and not so costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance for survival. There may be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no chance of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves."

You ask who are we to decide for others that they will be free as though somehow freedom is cherished only by the enlightened few. The following quote from Mr. Blair sums up my views on this subject so well that I will allow him to speak for me:

In the end, it is not our power alone that will defeat this evil. Our ultimate weapon is not our guns, but our beliefs.

There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values, or Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was Serbia's savior.

Members of Congress, ours are not Western values, they are the universal values of the human spirit. And anywhere...

Anywhere, anytime ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police.

The spread of freedom is the best security for the free. It is our last line of defense and our first line of attack. And just as the terrorist seeks to divide humanity in hate, so we have to unify it around an idea. And that idea is liberty.

We must find the strength to fight for this idea and the compassion to make it universal.

Abraham Lincoln said, "Those that deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves."

And it is this sense of justice that makes moral the love of liberty.

I believe him to be right because I have seen it with my own eyes and heard it with my own ears.

IJ Reilly,
You said on the one hand that Bush was running an isolationist policy pre 9/11, and then said that he was planning to invade Iraq before 9/11. If he was planning to invade Iraq before 9/11, he wasn't running an isolationist policy. I don't think he was planningn to invade Iraq before 9/11 at all. There's no evidence of this, and it would have been quite impractical to launch a full scale invasion anyway. (Of course, there were war plans for Iraq, just like there are invasion plans for many other countries). He wants to get re-elected, and he knows from his father's experience that military action isn't the way to get re-elected.

After 9/11, the importance of intervention was not merely political, it was practical. It will take a reshaping of the Middle East to get rid of the terrorist threat, and Iraq is an important starting point to do that. It's all wrapped up together.

zimv20
Jul 20, 2003, 12:27 AM
Originally posted by macfan

I don't think he was planningn to invade Iraq before 9/11 at all. There's no evidence of this

actually, there's lots, as summed up neatly here (http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/wot/iraq/pre911callsforwaronIraq.html)

pseudobrit
Jul 20, 2003, 01:02 AM
Originally posted by macfan
You ask who are we to decide for others that they will be free as though somehow freedom is cherished only by the enlightened few.

Oh, get off it! We are the enlightened ones who will nobly sacrifice their lives for their freedom?

The following quote from Mr. Blair sums up my views...

And the following quote from Mr. Bush sums up my views... of Mr. Bush...


Q Nick Robinson, ITV News. Mr. President, do you realize that many people hearing you say that we know these are bad people in Guantanamo Bay will merely fuel their doubts that the United States regards them as innocent until proven guilty and due a fair, free and open trial?

PRESIDENT BUSH: Well, let me just say these were illegal combatants. They were picked up off the battlefield aiding and abetting the Taliban. I'm not trying to try them in front of your cameras or in your newspaper.

But we will talk with the Prime Minister about this issue. He's asked. Prior to his arrival, he said, I want to talk about this in a serious way, can we work with you? And the answer is, absolutely. I understand the issue. And we will. We'll have a very good discussion about it -- right after he finishes answering this aspect of your question.

WTF???

professor
Jul 20, 2003, 01:27 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by macfan
The Pentagon has pre planned wars against just about anyone you can think of.

This is exactly the problem with the U.S.: War, weapons, violence - that's about all in terms of plans, visions, and international "cooperation".

Backtothemac
Jul 20, 2003, 02:07 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
BTTM, I'm curious; do you still think that Iraq was an immediate threat to the people of the United States?

Yes, but only because of "quality" intel that I saw when I was in the military and when I was working in and around DC.

Backtothemac
Jul 20, 2003, 02:09 AM
Originally posted by professor
[QUOTE]Originally posted by macfan
The Pentagon has pre planned wars against just about anyone you can think of.

This is exactly the problem with the U.S.: War, weapons, violence - that's about all in terms of plans, visions, and international "cooperation".

No professor, the Pentagon has to prepare for different type of warfare. Because we never know where we will be attacked from. Thus, that is their job. They are the military. Sadly, they are needed in the world.

mactastic
Jul 20, 2003, 08:41 AM
Originally posted by macfan

sayhey,
We can't invade all of them.
Thank god!


IJReilly,
9/11 did change things. It changed perceptions, and it changed reality. Also you're contradicting yourself saying in one sentence that Bush was running an isolationist policy and in the next that he was planning to invade Iraq pre 9/11.

Bush's isolationist stance was a knee jerk reaction to do or say the opposite of anything Bill Clinton said. He didn't really believe it, but he knew he could change his position later and say some series of events made it necessary to re-think his position. I'm thinking Bush would have "changed his mind" over a few Iraqi incursions into the no fly zones if 9-11 hadn't come along. And if he really did have a change of heart, why the head scratching and lengthy decision process over Liberia? Taylor is a bad guy right? Abuses his people? Is indicted for war crimes? In other words, why was Iraq at the top of the hit list? Something made Iraq special and it wasn't WMD's. Chem/Bio weapons are not strategic weaponry, so IMHO, the entire case of the immediacy of the threat rested on the nu-cu-lur program.

zimv20
Jul 20, 2003, 08:43 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
the Pentagon has to prepare for different type of warfare.

indeed. they _better_ be doing that.

i think to dismiss the neocons designs on iraq as simple wargaming is to miss the intent. by their own admission, some of them (wolfowitz, armitage, perle, rumsfeld, cheney) have been openly calling for the invasion of iraq since the 80s. that's not wargaming.

macfan
Jul 20, 2003, 10:41 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Oh, get off it! We are the enlightened ones who will nobly sacrifice their lives for their freedom?

No pseudobrit, my point is, as so eloquently made by Mr. Blair, that "There is a myth that though we love freedom, others don't; that our attachment to freedom is a product of our culture; that freedom, democracy, human rights, the rule of law are American values, or Western values; that Afghan women were content under the lash of the Taliban; that Saddam was somehow beloved by his people; that Milosevic was Serbia's savior.

Members of Congress, ours are not Western values, they are the universal values of the human spirit. And anywhere...

Anywhere, anytime ordinary people are given the chance to choose, the choice is the same: freedom, not tyranny; democracy, not dictatorship; the rule of law, not the rule of the secret police."

Your insistance that we are somehow imposing freedom in Iraq ignores basic human rights and desires of virtually all people, including the Iraqi people. The better question is "who are we to leave others under the boot of someone like Saddam?" While we can't and should not invade every place where there is a despot, Saddam was worthy of removal. In other places, we should be undermining dictatorships and giving money and moral support to democratic movements.

I don't know what you are complaining about Bush's response to that question. I watched the press conference. He was simply letting the reporters know that this was the last question and they would be leaving as soon as the prime minister commented. Nothing wrong with that that I can see.

Also, in the new spririt of this forum, a little more civility is called for on your part.

mactastic,
How is it that you are a mind reader that you know what Bush was thinking pre 9/11? Also, Charles Taylor is no Saddam Hussein. You are right that it wasn't WMDs that made Iraq special. It was Saddam.

Sayhey
Jul 20, 2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by macfan

Your insistance that we are somehow imposing freedom in Iraq ignores basic human rights and desires of virtually all people, including the Iraqi people. The better question is "who are we to leave others under the boot of someone like Saddam?" While we can't and should not invade every place where there is a despot, Saddam was worthy of removal. In other places, we should be undermining dictatorships and giving money and moral support to democratic movements.


I'm constantly amazed at conservatives that have jumped on the "human rights" bandwagon. Where was Wolfowitz, Cheney, etal in the call for the basic rights of the Iraqi people when they wanted to use and arm Saddam to the teeth during the Iran/Iraq war? Where were they prior to 9/11 when the rest of the world condemned the Taliban and its treatment of women and religious minorities? Now all the sudden the downtrodden Iraqis (notice the shift from WMDs) transformed our raison d'etre into freeing the oppressed masses of the world. Give me a break. Basic human rights are only used by this administration when it is convenient for other reasons. This is about the use of military power to transform the balance of power in the world and in the mideast specifically. It serves to put the world on notice that if the US doesn't like what you are doing you just may have the marines landing in your backyard.

IJ Reilly
Jul 20, 2003, 11:37 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Macfan, it was not the military planners many contingency plans that was the problem. Paul Wolfowitz has been arguing for the use of US military power to overthrow Saddam since at least the end of the first gulf war. This was not the work of someone just thinking up "what if" scenarios, but rather a political agenda he and others have pushed for over a decade. The so-called Bush doctrine is really the Wolfowitz doctrine. What changed after 9/11 was that a new adminstration had neo-conservatives in place who could seize the opportunity to push their agenda. The neo-conservatives have won. They have now overthrown decades of diplomatic accomplishments from Republican and Democratic administrations to remake US foreign policy into a updated version of the old colonial vision. This is complete with the new and improved "white man's burden" of spreading democracy and market economies.

Your second paragraph seems to view the decision on whether to invade another country as a function of our abilities. Indeed, as you so rightly say, "we can't invade them all." But it is not just a question of stretching our military capabilities. It is not even just a question of which tactic might work best in a given situation as you so aptly note that, "military action isn't always the solution." Somewhere, there must enter into the calculation whether we have the right to do so.

The right-wing is very ready to admonish so many of us for our moral failures, but this new ideology of the neo-conservatives goes us one better. They undermine the very basis of our democratic traditions in our relations with other nations. If it is not a right for each nation to select their own path without foriegn troops to tell them how to do that, then self-determination has no meaning. Isn't that what 1776 was all about?

I think I've written to you already that I don't think our nation should be shy about the virtues of democracy. We should use every peaceful method to promote more democracy in the world. It just can't be exported by bombs and bayonets.

Very eloquently stated, thank you.

Sayhey
Jul 20, 2003, 11:44 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Very eloquently stated, thank you.
Glad you liked it. Thanks for the kind words.

IJ Reilly
Jul 20, 2003, 12:02 PM
Originally posted by macfan
You said on the one hand that Bush was running an isolationist policy pre 9/11, and then said that he was planning to invade Iraq before 9/11. If he was planning to invade Iraq before 9/11, he wasn't running an isolationist policy. I don't think he was planningn to invade Iraq before 9/11 at all. There's no evidence of this, and it would have been quite impractical to launch a full scale invasion anyway. (Of course, there were war plans for Iraq, just like there are invasion plans for many other countries). He wants to get re-elected, and he knows from his father's experience that military action isn't the way to get re-elected.

After 9/11, the importance of intervention was not merely political, it was practical. It will take a reshaping of the Middle East to get rid of the terrorist threat, and Iraq is an important starting point to do that. It's all wrapped up together.

Well, as we've seen, evidence of pre-9-11 planning for the Iraq affair does exist. At the same time, Bush was sharply pulling back from US efforts to broker a settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians. In fact, the administration had gone as far as to blame the Clinton administration for the unrest that arose in Israel and the West Bank during the middle of 2001, an accusation which they were forced to withdraw. I'd call that isolationism of a kind. What 9-11 marks is the triumph of the unilateralists over the traditionalists in the Republican party. It allowed those in the administration who saw Iraq as a piece of unfinished business to built a rationale for implementation of the "regime change" policy that prior to 9-11 was more difficult to justify.

pseudobrit
Jul 20, 2003, 12:21 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Yes, but only because of "quality" intel that I saw when I was in the military and when I was working in and around DC.

Do you think that intel could have changed since you've gotten out of the service?

If the Bush administration had quality intel, they would have released it to bolster the cornerstone of their argument and silence the vast and vocal opposition. They not only didn't provide concrete evidence, they used "evidence" they knew was false.

mactastic
Jul 20, 2003, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by macfan
mactastic,
How is it that you are a mind reader that you know what Bush was thinking pre 9/11? Also, Charles Taylor is no Saddam Hussein. You are right that it wasn't WMDs that made Iraq special. It was Saddam.

I don't know, but that is my best guess, or analysis, of the situation. You speak of things you couldn't possibly know all the time, but do I challenge your analysis on the basis that you are some kind of psychic? No. I accept your analysis and then rebut the points I think differently on.

I think this because Bush excoriated Clinton for "nation building" while embracing the Wolfowitz doctrine of reshaping the middle east. Those views are incompatible, so either Bush was lying all the way back on the campaign trail, or he did a total flip flop on an issue that he used as a hammer while campaigning. I don't claim to be a mind reader, only an opinionated member of the general public.

So if Saddam makes Iraq special, why doesn't Taylor make Liberia special? Because Liberia isn't in the middle east. Thats why IMHO.

mcrain
Jul 20, 2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Saddam's threat was ongoing and not likely to change with time. "Immediate" is a term that doesn't have much meaning in that context. Earthquakes are an "immediate" threat in California, but we might not have a big one there for many years. A tornado is an "immediate" threat in many parts of the US, but a particular town may go for many years without having one touch down. That is why people take preemptive action against earthquakes and tornadoes by having earthquake kits and basements. When there is a small cobra in your garden, you don't wait until he grows up and rises to strike at your kid before you dispatch him.

You need to invest in a dictionary. If you don't have the cash, I'd be happy to forego demi-god status and send you a good websters.

Immediate means here and now, not just possible, but likely in the very near future. California does have an immediate threat of earthquakes because one can happen at any time, and there is no warning, and, most importantly, the known threat and possibility are there. As opposed to tornados. When the skies are clear and there are no funky weather fronts moving through, there are no immediate threats of tornadoes. Only when the conditions are right, conditions that we know of by satellite imagery, weather measurements, and other EVIDENCE of an immediate threat. A small cobra, by the way, for the un-educated, is just as, if not more, dangerous than an adult b/c they are just as venemous, far smaller, and far less reluctant to bite (oh, and they are far harder to see).

To say that Saddam was an "immediate threat" because of the possibility that he may, on some future date, have something he doesn't have now, is like saying we should all run to the storm shelters when there isn't a cloud in the sky. Just plain dumb.

macfan
Jul 20, 2003, 02:03 PM
Originally posted by mcrain
You need to invest in a dictionary. If you don't have the cash, I'd be happy to forego demi-god status and send you a good websters.

Immediate means here and now, not just possible, but likely in the very near future. California does have an immediate threat of earthquakes because one can happen at any time, and there is no warning, and, most importantly, the known threat and possibility are there. As opposed to tornados. When the skies are clear and there are no funky weather fronts moving through, there are no immediate threats of tornadoes. Only when the conditions are right, conditions that we know of by satellite imagery, weather measurements, and other EVIDENCE of an immediate threat. A small cobra, by the way, for the un-educated, is just as, if not more, dangerous than an adult b/c they are just as venemous, far smaller, and far less reluctant to bite (oh, and they are far harder to see).

To say that Saddam was an "immediate threat" because of the possibility that he may, on some future date, have something he doesn't have now, is like saying we should all run to the storm shelters when there isn't a cloud in the sky. Just plain dumb.

Which is why I said the immediacy of the threat has no meaning in this context. It would be better to use the words chronic and acute, IMO. It was a chronic threat rather than an acute threat, but even a chronic threat should be dealt with.

With regard to your being psychic, I ask that somewhat tounge in cheek because Bush seemed so much more interested in his domestic agenda than anything on the international scene before 9/11. Barring 9/11, I don't think that would have changed at all. Politicians like to get elected, and domestic success is what usually does it. In fact, by the current economy, there's no way Bush should win in '04.

Bush did do a total flip flop after 9/11.

mcrain,
Taylor is no Saddam, but you are also right that geography has a lot to do with it.

3rdpath
Jul 20, 2003, 02:06 PM
Originally posted by macfan

How is it that you are a mind reader that you know what Bush was thinking pre 9/11?

macfan, your opinions are always stated with the absolute certainty that can only come from the clairvoyant knowledge of the hearts, minds and souls of bush, his administration, and the military.

...it might be wise to question your own telepaphy every once in a while.

mactastic
Jul 20, 2003, 08:54 PM
Originally posted by macfan
With regard to your being psychic, I ask that somewhat tounge in cheek because Bush seemed so much more interested in his domestic agenda than anything on the international scene before 9/11.

Bush had almost literally no foreign policy during the campaign. He had zero foreign policy expertise. His only foreign policy was to be against anything Clinton was for. His largest expertise in areas outside the US were his interest in improving relations with Mexico, and Pres. Fox, which has since fallen by the wayside. His foreign policy is so obviously coming directly from the pages of the neocon playbook that even most conservatives have rejected until now.

macfan
Jul 20, 2003, 09:10 PM
Like any governor, including Clinton, Bush talked down the foreign policy importance in the campaign. (Remember how Clinton was going to deal differently with Haiti? And China? He got elected and his "changes" in Haitian policy immediately went away). In any event, I tend to agree with a proactive foreign policy that promotes democratic values and market economies.

Sayhey
Jul 20, 2003, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Like any governor, including Clinton, Bush talked down the foreign policy importance in the campaign. (Remember how Clinton was going to deal differently with Haiti? And China? He got elected and his "changes" in Haitian policy immediately went away). In any event, I tend to agree with a proactive foreign policy that promotes democratic values and market economies.

While your characterization of Clinton's China policy maybe correct, I remember the events around Haiti quite differently. If I'm correct he had troops on the way to Haiti when the old coup leaders gave way and surrendered power to the ousted popularly elected President, Jean-Baptiste Aristide. A far cry from Bush 41's policy of hands off and pushing the boat people back into the sea.

I think you'd also have to acknowledge a much more active Clinton role concerning human rights in China later in his presidency.

macfan
Jul 20, 2003, 10:38 PM
Nope, I'm not talking about the occupation that was done in Haiti later. I'm talking about the refugee policy that Clinton said he would change if elected. He was elected, but decided to keep the old policy that the Bush administration had before him: the one you characterized as "pushing the boat people back into the sea." Just campaign rhetoric, that faded in the cold light of reality and the Haitians who, given false hope by that rhetoric, took to the seas in dangerous boats trying to get to the US, with quite a number of them dying in the attempt. That's why Clinton kept the same old policy, and that's why Bush had it in the first place. My point isn't whether a policy was good or not, the polnt is that governors always they to de-emphasize foreign policy and draw distinctions with the incumbent.

added:
Here's a link (http://www-tech.mit.edu/V117/N53/china.53w.html//) to a Washington Post story on the China bit. Note the quote below, emphasis added, indicating the about face versus the campaign.

At one time, Clinton was in sympathy with many of these critics. But, after accusing George Bush in the 1992 campaign of "coddling" Beijing, he quickly reversed course after discovering that the Chinese did not respond to confrontational tactics. While Clinton's policy has strong support among big business and elite foreign policy circles, administrations officials say he must now make the same case to a broader public.

mactastic
Jul 20, 2003, 10:58 PM
You are correct macfan, politicians often say one thing and do another. I wasn't happy when Clinton did it, and I'm not happy when Bush does it now. That is the risk you take when you elect people with no national political experience to be president. It doesn't really change the point the Bush obviously told us what his handlers told him we would want to hear, and then did what he damn well pleased.
Rove and Card started planning for election '04 as soon as '00 was over. I'm not saying Clinton didn't do the same with Carville as soon as the '92 campaign was over, just that I'm not happy with a snow job from any politician.

And I like a proactive foreign policy as well, I just don't see one from Bush outside of his use of force. To me, proactive is not the same as coercive.

Sayhey
Jul 20, 2003, 11:12 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Nope, I'm not talking about the occupation that was done in Haiti later. I'm talking about the refugee policy that Clinton said he would change if elected. He was elected, but decided to keep the old policy that the Bush administration had before him: the one you characterized as "pushing the boat people back into the sea." Just campaign rhetoric, that faded in the cold light of reality and the Haitians who, given false hope by that rhetoric, took to the seas in dangerous boats trying to get to the US, with quite a number of them dying in the attempt. That's why Clinton kept the same old policy, and that's why Bush had it in the first place. My point isn't whether a policy was good or not, the polnt is that governors always they to de-emphasize foreign policy and draw distinctions with the incumbent.

added:
Here's a link (http://www-tech.mit.edu/V117/N53/china.53w.html//) to a Washington Post story on the China bit. Note the quote below, emphasis added, indicating the about face versus the campaign.

I don't think I disagree with your larger point. Candidates do often say things in campaigns that they don't follow through with once elected. I don't think that is limited to Govenors with limited foreign policy experience, but the overall point is valid concerning both Clinton and Bush.

I'm not sure if I take your point about the Haitian boat people correctly. Your not blaming Clinton's campaign proposals for the increase of refugees, are you? I know this is way off the point of this thread, but if so that is a piece of revisionist history that stretchs the limits of credibility. Clinton's policy towards refugees from Haiti and toward the Haitian regime was different from Bush's from day one. I do agree, as I stated before, that your point concerning Clinton's campaign rhetoric around China and his preformance once elected is right. It changed later in his administration, particularly around the time of his trip to China, but that doesn't mean you aren't right in your original point.

I don't have a problem with holding Bush to his campaign rhetoric. That should be a problem mainly for those who voted for him. Certainly, once he was confronted with the new reality of a post 9/11 world, he had to change some of his ideas. It would be idiotic to stay with his campaign slogans concerning "nation building" in a world where we are responsible for holding Afghanistan and Iraq together. Again the problem is in his adoption of a neo-conservative foreign policy. A change in his views that place any chance for peace at risk.

macfan
Jul 20, 2003, 11:59 PM
Clinton's policy towards refugees from Haiti and toward the Haitian regime was different from Bush's from day one.

Like the Hertz commercial said, not exactly.

"[T]hose who do leave Haiti for the United States by boat will be stopped and directly returned by the United States Coast Guard."
--Bill Clinton, radio address to the Haitian people, 1/14/93.

Now, according to reports I remember at the time, the reason he made that radio address was to try to stop Haitians who were taking to the seas in greater and greater numbers, having been encouraged by statements like this one:

"I think the president [Bush] played racial politics with the Haitian refugees. I wouldn't be shipping those poor people back."
--Bill Clinton (Miami Herald, 3/4/92)

Would a president elect make a radio address to a small island country telling them he would, in fact, be shipping them back if there wasn't an upsurge in the numbers coming? Not likely.

Sayhey
Jul 21, 2003, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by macfan
Like the Hertz commercial said, not exactly.

"[T]hose who do leave Haiti for the United States by boat will be stopped and directly returned by the United States Coast Guard."
--Bill Clinton, radio address to the Haitian people, 1/14/93.

Now, according to reports I remember at the time, the reason he made that radio address was to try to stop Haitians who were taking to the seas in greater and greater numbers, having been encouraged by statements like this one:

"I think the president [Bush] played racial politics with the Haitian refugees. I wouldn't be shipping those poor people back."
--Bill Clinton (Miami Herald, 3/4/92)

Would a president elect make a radio address to a small island country telling them he would, in fact, be shipping them back if there wasn't an upsurge in the numbers coming? Not likely.
Funny you should focus on the Clinton Haitian refugee policy of the all the points in my last post. Agreed Clinton's policy was not what he said it would be. His difference from Bush was only in regard to refugees who made it to shore, as I recall. Not one of his finest hours. The cause of those refugees coming to our shores was the horrible situation in Haiti. What was substantially different from Papa Bush was his policy on the restoration of a popularly elected President. Bush 41 did not care if the democratic will of the Haitian people was upheld. I wonder where Cheney and Wolfowitz were on these questions. I'll bet they were in there fighting to get the president they advised to bring democracy back to Haiti! Clinton did in the end make a great difference in Haiti. Now from your previous posts I would have thought you would have hailed that as a great victory for democracy and for the direction US foreign policy should have gone.

macfan
Jul 21, 2003, 01:31 AM
sayhey,
My point is that Clinton adopted the same policy as the Bush administration, and how this relates to campaign rhetoric vs. policy implementation. I am not commenting on the wisdom of said policy. BTW, how are things going in Haiti today? No one really seems to care enough for it to make the news.

I focused on that particular point because it was related to a previous point I had made and the your point seems quite incorrect based on the evidence I have seen, and you expressed some uncertainty as to what I was saying in relation to Haiti and the numbers of refugees. I'm not sure why you find that funny, but if you do, glad to provide you with some merriment in this dark world!

added:
BTW, I did support Clinton's intervention in Haiti, but I'm not sure if he followed up on it very well.

mactastic
Jul 21, 2003, 08:22 AM
Originally posted by macfan
sayhey,
My point is that Clinton adopted the same policy as the Bush administration, and how this relates to campaign rhetoric vs. policy implementation. I am not commenting on the wisdom of said policy. BTW, how are things going in Haiti today? No one really seems to care enough for it to make the news.

I focused on that particular point because it was related to a previous point I had made and the your point seems quite incorrect based on the evidence I have seen, and you expressed some uncertainty as to what I was saying in relation to Haiti and the numbers of refugees. I'm not sure why you find that funny, but if you do, glad to provide you with some merriment in this dark world!

added:
BTW, I did support Clinton's intervention in Haiti, but I'm not sure if he followed up on it very well.

The larger point is that Bush is president now, and can be held accountable for his statements. Clinton has been out of office for almost 3 years now. Let's deal with the situation at hand, and as conservatives are fond of saying "Get over it!" You seem to be arguing that because Clinton did it too, its acceptable for Dubya to do the same. Are you arguing that you want Bush to uphold the same moral standards as Bill Clinton? I didn't think so.

zimv20
Jul 21, 2003, 08:42 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Are you arguing that you want Bush to uphold the same moral standards as Bill Clinton? I didn't think so.

bush ran on the "opposite of clinton" platform, and he meant "better than," right?

i also recall: "my administration will avoid even the appearance of impropriety."

mcrain
Jul 21, 2003, 09:21 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
i also recall: "my administration will avoid even the appearance of impropriety."

I remember that too, and the first thing they did when they got there was put together a panel of who knows who to create a new energy policy for the country. The people on that panel came from huge energy companies that happened to have swindled tons of people out of huge amounts of money and been involved with huge accounting scandals. Yet, for some reason Bush's people think that not talking about it is avoiding an appearance of impropriety. I guess they think if they keep it secret, that is the same thing as if nothing bad happened.

Sayhey
Jul 21, 2003, 10:38 AM
Originally posted by macfan
...BTW, I did support Clinton's intervention in Haiti, but I'm not sure if he followed up on it very well.

Glad to hear it, macfan. It good to see you are more consistent and dedicated to the cause of democracy in the world than the neo-conservatives and George Bush who seem to use it as a fig leaf to cover other geopolitical ambitions.

macfan
Jul 21, 2003, 10:49 AM
Folks,
I'm not criticizing Clinton in this instance for saying one thing and then making an about face. He needed to change his tune to keep many people from dying at sea. I'm saying that campaigns sometimes differ from the policies that get implemented. For the most part, candidates follow their campaign policies, but not all the time. It's not a criticism, it's just the difference between the ideal and possible. Why seek to make everything a partisan issue?

That quote about avoiding the appearance of impropriety reminds me of Clinton more than Bush. Clinton, though, promised us the most ethical administration in history. Based on the number of time that administration's ethics made the front pages, I'd say he came pretty close!

zimv20
Jul 21, 2003, 11:11 AM
Originally posted by macfan

Clinton, though, promised us the most ethical administration in history. Based on the number of time that administration's ethics made the front pages, I'd say he came pretty close!

are you talking about his personal ethics or those related to governance?

Sayhey
Jul 21, 2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by macfan
...For the most part, candidates follow their campaign policies, but not all the time. It's not a criticism, it's just the difference between the ideal and possible. Why seek to make everything a partisan issue?

I agree.

The changes made by Bush since his elevation to the Presidency aren't a problem because he changed, but rather the nature of those changes. The fact a candidate changes policy once he or she gets elected is really only of interest if the changes don't fit the circumstances or hypocrisy is involved. In the case of Bush, the hypocrisy may best be seen not in Dubya himself but rather the cynical use of the issues of WMDs and the human rights of the Iraqis by neocons who have never had any interest in these issues outside the projection of US power.

macfan
Jul 21, 2003, 01:56 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
are you talking about his personal ethics or those related to governance?

Mostly governance. He didn't make any direct statements about his personal ethics other than to say he had caused "pain" for his family. Clinton had a whole string of really shameful scandals in his administration, topped off by the pardon scandal as he left office.

sayhey,
I think the changes Bush has made in foreign policy are appropriate in the circumstances. While there would be more ideal solutions (i.e. a larger coaltion in Iraq), in the real world you deal with the possible. I think those so called neocons have an interest in projecting US power to protect US interests by promoting democratic and free market values around the world. Those WMDs and human rights violations were and are legitimate reasons to remove Saddam, whether one happen to think Bush is cynical or not.

Backtothemac
Jul 21, 2003, 02:08 PM
Everyone, remember that the purpose of this thread was not to argue about what we think. It was to voice my opinion changes, and the overall problem of politics in its whole.

zimv20
Jul 21, 2003, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by macfan
Clinton had a whole string of really shameful scandals in his administration, topped off by the pardon scandal as he left office.


you changed "ethics" to "scandals." any particular reason?

i'm ready for the list of scandals. i'll throw in travelgate, for which clinton was exonerated. not sure the pardon was a scandal, just dubious.

MrMacMan
Jul 21, 2003, 02:23 PM
BTTM:
Thank you for stating why you no longer believe in this.

Though I think it was Bush's intention to Go in, kill and whipe out the regime and then call in the U.N for help, but he found many bumps along the way:

1. WMD -- Where are they and why did you say they were in iraq?
2. Calling eurpoean nations 'old europe' -- Will now have bigger problems gaining U.N support.
3. Nations of the willing -- As opposed to the nations that wouldn't go? Most of the nations world-wide didn't go into iraq.

Look, I believe they had a plan, it backfired a little, this is my theory.
Pick up after 9/11 first:
Pump everyone up with patriotism. So they all support the nation, etc.
Then we want to attack the 'evil-do ers' -- everyone would suport attacking afganistan, it would be an easy victory because of no real 'army' and little technology, and that the innitial shock that your being swarmed with troops would have an easy victory.
After this the U.S would quickly switch to iraq butt kicking mode.
Problem: They didn't do it fast enough, people were asking, 'why' to go into iraq.
This causes a great delima in the administration, they needed a plan stronger then 'saddam is a bad guy' so they and the U.K fabracated some intel about iraq having tons and tons of chemical, bio and nuclear weapons. WMD.
By this time they had a reason and wanted to push this through, get U.N support and everything.
Problem: U.N asking too much -- France (known supplier of weapons and trade with iraq, also oil) and germany (oil relations) wanted a good damn reason for attacking before destroying there cheap oil.
The more and more Bush talked, the bigger he dug himself into a whole.
The U.N wanted more intel, they had none so they sent in inspectors. Did they find anything? No, but the U.S was pushing too hard.
We invaded, has anything been cleared up? No, not really.

But the administration trys by telling us we (me and you) said to go into iraq because of Saddam and not because of what I thought was their main piece of 'evidence' that they had WMD.

Sayhey
Jul 21, 2003, 02:25 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Everyone, remember that the purpose of this thread was not to argue about what we think. It was to voice my opinion changes, and the overall problem of politics in its whole.

point taken.

Your ability to not dig in your heels and change your opinion does you credit. A characteristic that would do us all well in trying to figure out where we go from here in Iraq and Afghanistan. I like what you said about bringing the UN and Nato into the situation and removing troops. It would entail giving up control of the situation, but if feasible the best solution in a bad scenario.

macfan
Jul 21, 2003, 03:04 PM
Originally posted by MrMacman
But the administration trys by telling us we (me and you) said to go into iraq because of Saddam and not because of what I thought was their main piece of 'evidence' that they had WMD.

I would argue that we did go into Iraq because of Saddam in the following way. France has serious WMDs, but we do not worry about them because France is not run by Saddam Hussein. WMDs in and of themselves are not that great of a threat, IMO. Certain people with WMDs are a threat.

Sayhey
Jul 21, 2003, 03:31 PM
Originally posted by macfan
...sayhey,
I think the changes Bush has made in foreign policy are appropriate in the circumstances. While there would be more ideal solutions (i.e. a larger coaltion in Iraq), in the real world you deal with the possible. I think those so called neocons have an interest in projecting US power to protect US interests by promoting democratic and free market values around the world. Those WMDs and human rights violations were and are legitimate reasons to remove Saddam, whether one happen to think Bush is cynical or not.

macfan, we get back to the issue of where are the WMDs? If, as it looks now, the inspection regime was working and had forced Saddam to destroy his WMDs then Bush's response was not appropriate in the least. What was being and could have continued to be accomplished by peaceful methods was circumvented by another agenda that had next to nothing to do with WMDs. I agree "in the real world you deal with the possible," however the evidence shows a peaceful solution was possible.

If the human rights violations are legitimate reasons for the US to take it on itself to decide to remove regimes then we have a long list of countries to change, don't we? My concern with the professed interest by the neo-conservatives in human rights is that they only go so far as this issue lines up with their percieved US geopolitical interests. Again I say where were these concerns when the same brutal dictator was supported by Reagan/Bush in the 1980s. If Wolfowitz and Cheney had shown the consistant concern on human rights that you have, then their motives might be believable. They have not.

macfan
Jul 21, 2003, 04:02 PM
We don't know where they are, yet. However, patience is advisable. There are several ways to verify WMD programs, including finding weapons themselves, production facilities, documentary evidence, and testimony from participants in the programs. Information is being gathered right now, and we should wait to see what that information says. The former weapons inspector in charge of gathering information is confident he has sufficient evidence now and will have even more compelling evidence later.

Saddam gave up 150 billion dollars or so by not complying with the UN about WMD programs. These are just not the actions of someone who doesn't have a WMD program, IMO.

Without regard for the Cheney's motives, I like the policy that got rid of Saddam, a man who probably killed at least 300,000 Iraqis. I can't be sure what the motives were, but I can see what the policy is, and, since I think the policy is justified, I'm not overly concerned if there is some hipocrisy involved in that they don't go off invading every place with a despot.

wwworry
Jul 21, 2003, 04:33 PM
Originally posted by macfan



Clinton










Clinton this , Clinton that.
Bush apologists always talk about Clinton, especially when they are scared.

IJ Reilly
Jul 21, 2003, 04:35 PM
It isn't a matter of hypocrisy so much as it's a matter of doctrine. Disregarding for the moment whether Bush turned on a dime with respect to how the US should be involved with foreign affairs -- or why -- the questions now are: what is the Bush foreign policy doctrine, and where does it lead?

So as not to be coy about this, my feeling, from what I've seen and heard, is that the Bush doctrine calls for US military intervention abroad where and when US pleases, for whatever reasons US decides (before or after the fact), and under terms the US is prepared to dictate. Where this leads, IMO, is the weakening of international institutions, increasing resentment of the United States in the world, and growing chaos in places where the US is not willing or able to exert military strength.

The US faced a similar dilemma with the Truman Doctrine, so this is not really a new issue. In fact it seems to me that the Bush Doctrine is essentially the Truman Doctrine writ large.

Backtothemac
Jul 21, 2003, 05:03 PM
Link I said,, I think that all of them are full of ****. I personally think that we need major reform for the people, by the people in Washington.


don't all of you?

MrMacMan
Jul 21, 2003, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by macfan
I would argue that we did go into Iraq because of Saddam in the following way. France has serious WMDs, but we do not worry about them because France is not run by Saddam Hussein. WMDs in and of themselves are not that great of a threat, IMO. Certain people with WMDs are a threat.
True, and point taken but the U.S always has a policy of ' we don't want you to have weapons comparible to ours' stance.

Originally posted by Backtothemac
Link I said,, I think that all of them are full of ****. I personally think that we need major reform for the people, by the people in Washington.


don't all of you?

Anarchy!!! :looks around as no one follows:

REFORM! ;)

mactastic
Jul 21, 2003, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Link I said,, I think that all of them are full of ****. I personally think that we need major reform for the people, by the people in Washington.


don't all of you?

YES! And the only place I can think of to start is strict campaign contribution controls. The ones enacted recently don't really do any good. It's why the greens are in favor of publicly funded elections, which I know, many conservatives think of as communist, or at least that's what I have been called when I mention it. IMHO money does NOT equal free speech. Those who have more money have more speech under that system. Its as simple as that. I just read an article in the paper that I tried to find to post here but haven't found yet that talks about the direct correlations between contributions and congressional members votes. It also breaks the amounts down and clearly shows that the side with more money to spread around almost ALWAYS wins. Something needs to change.

BTTM, you are almost starting to sound like a progressive! ::ducks:: Just kidding, but seriously, your posts lately have been very thoughtful and not insulting at all. Well done.

macfan
Jul 21, 2003, 07:33 PM
The problem with campaign contribution limits is that campaign contribution limits run afoul of first amendment issues. While individuals may not think money = speech the courts have so held to varying degrees. I think you're right that something needs to change. I think the ability of Congress to spend and tax differentially needs to be restricted. (i.e. no special treatment for certain corportations or groups).

I think it's rather silly for someone to call you a communist for wanting public funding of elections. Communists generally don't want elections to begin with!

pseudobrit
Jul 21, 2003, 09:15 PM
Originally posted by macfan
The problem with campaign contribution limits is that campaign contribution limits run afoul of first amendment issues.

Nope. How you spend money is not free speech; it's regulable and has been since the nation was founded.

Anyway, all they'd have to do is make it illegal for campaigns to take the money. You can already restrict how a candidate is allowed to gather money and how he can spend it. Problem solved.

pseudobrit
Jul 21, 2003, 09:17 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Link I said,, I think that all of them are full of ****. I personally think that we need major reform for the people, by the people in Washington.


don't all of you?

I wish we had a nice centrist Progressive party.

BTTM, I asked a question awhile ago and it probably got lost in the static here:

Do you think the quality intel you had when in the service could have changed or been debunked since you've been out?

Backtothemac
Jul 21, 2003, 09:51 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
I wish we had a nice centrist Progressive party.

BTTM, I asked a question awhile ago and it probably got lost in the static here:

Do you think the quality intel you had when in the service could have changed or been debunked since you've been out?

Well, here is the deal with that. If Saddam , after inspectors left in 98, decided to get rid of all of the weapons that he had been hidding for years, and spending plenty of money to develop and hide. Then yea, the intel could have been bad.

But that is totally opposite of his personallity. He doesn't think that way at all. Psuedo, I can tell you that he had them, and I am 100% sure they still have them in the country, or exported them to Iran, or Syria. I would bet nearlly anything on it.

Still, I am becoming more progressive.

macfan
Jul 21, 2003, 09:58 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Nope. How you spend money is not free speech; it's regulable and has been since the nation was founded.

Anyway, all they'd have to do is make it illegal for campaigns to take the money. You can already restrict how a candidate is allowed to gather money and how he can spend it. Problem solved.

I'm not saying money is or isn't speech, just that courts have ruled that it is to some degree. Not allowing campaigns to take money runs afoul of freedom of association rights. If there was a simple solution, we would have already found it. It's very complex.

mcrain
Jul 21, 2003, 10:48 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Link I said,, I think that all of them are full of ****. I personally think that we need major reform for the people, by the people in Washington.


don't all of you?

Yes, I think the majority in Washington are full of it. That's why I'm voting for REGIME CHANGE IN 2004!

Ugg
Jul 21, 2003, 11:22 PM
Well, if corporations didn't have the legal status of "people" we would see a lot less corruption. It's one thing for a company to lobby for policies and another to pay for them.

Free Speech has been applied too broadly when it comes to corporate campaign contributions. It's time to dismantle a system that favors the rich and put one in place that offers equal access to all.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 01:28 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Link I said,, I think that all of them are full of ****. I personally think that we need major reform for the people, by the people in Washington.


don't all of you?

yes

Sayhey
Jul 22, 2003, 02:03 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Link I said,, I think that all of them are full of ****. I personally think that we need major reform for the people, by the people in Washington.


don't all of you?

You got my vote.

mactastic
Jul 22, 2003, 11:17 AM
Ah, here it is. Interesting article on the effects contributions have on members of congress and the decisions they make.

In the vast majority of cases, the biggest recipients of interest group money voted the way their donors wanted, according to the AP's computer-assisted analysis of campaign finance data from the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. Groups that outspent opponents got the bills they wanted in five of the six cases examined by the AP.

Article (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uslatest/story/0,1282,-2925757,00.html)

Corportations should definetly not count as people when it comes to giving money.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 12:19 PM
There is something that no one seems to understand. Like water finding its own level, money flows to power. It doesn't matter if you take away the collective rights of individuals to give money as expressed in a corporation or union, new ways of making donations will emerge. In addition, you are taking away the free speech rights of citizens when you restrict their ability to spend money to get their message out.

There's also a question of cause and effect. Do contributions cause votes? Could be. However, members of Congress also have philosophies that they run on. Some people run on a "green" kind of platform, and they get donations from "green" interest groups. Some run on a pro-union platform, and unions support them. Did they run on a pro-union platform because the unions gave them money or did they get the money because they were already pro-union?

mactastic
Jul 22, 2003, 12:30 PM
Originally posted by macfan
There is something that no one seems to understand. Like water finding its own level, money flows to power. It doesn't matter if you take away the collective rights of individuals to give money as expressed in a corporation or union, new ways of making donations will emerge. In addition, you are taking away the free speech rights of citizens when you restrict their ability to spend money to get their message out.

There's also a question of cause and effect. Do contributions cause votes? Could be. However, members of Congress also have philosophies that they run on. Some people run on a "green" kind of platform, and they get donations from "green" interest groups. Some run on a pro-union platform, and unions support them. Did they run on a pro-union platform because the unions gave them money or did they get the money because they were already pro-union?

I actually understand that quite well. (I know, it's pretty surprising.) However, to continue your water analogy, we spend great amounts of time and effort and money to control where water flows and to make sure that it doesn't cause and health, saftey, or welfare problems for the general public. Yet we let money flow virtually unimpeded into politics. All I want is to see a metaphorical system of dams, dykes, levies, flood control channels, storm drains etc. set up to prevent damage to the public interest in politics. Perhaps if the money from say, the unions wasn't available anymore there would be a lot fewer people running on a pro-union platform anymore. Or if corporations couldn't give the way they do now, perhaps there would be less support for industry-beneficial legislature.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 12:34 PM
Originally posted by macfan
you are taking away the free speech rights of citizens when you restrict their ability to spend money to get their message out.


then the flipside is that people w/ no money have no voice.

mactastic
Jul 22, 2003, 12:38 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
then the flipside is that people w/ no money have no voice.

That is exactly where I find the court's rulings so strange. That seems to be a clear violation of the equal protection part of the constitution. I'm clearly not an expert on constitutional law, but I just don't understand how the ruling of cash = free speech fits that requirement.

IJ Reilly
Jul 22, 2003, 01:39 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
then the flipside is that people w/ no money have no voice.

Well right, and this analysis relies on the notion that it's okay for the political process to be bought and sold by special interest groups so long as these groups represent a variety of (presumably, competing) special interests. IOW, the buying of members of congress is a "free market," and what could possibly be wrong with a free market?

3rdpath
Jul 22, 2003, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Well right, and this analysis relies on the notion that it's okay for the political process to be bought and sold by special interest groups so long as these groups represent a variety of (presumably, competing) special interests. IOW, the buying of members of congress is a "free market," and what could possibly be wrong with a free market?

it's not a democracy...it's an auction.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 01:49 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
the buying of members of congress is a "free market," and what could possibly be wrong with a free market?

i'm going to duck as the market anarchists come flying in.

i'm in favor of going back to the one-person one-vote concept. too bad congress is left to regulate itself wrt campaign finance. anyone remember what percentage of the members of congress are millionaires?

sturm375
Jul 22, 2003, 01:57 PM
I have said (before the war), and continue to say that we definately needed to invade Iraq. Not because of the WMDs or lack there of, but because Saddam was a mini-Hitler. Peacefull means of reforming his murder had failed. France and Germany had given up (if they every really tried) and just bought oil from this murderer. Not every situation calls for this kind of action. Most would be solved throught peaceful means. This one could not. I think that if the people of a country that is governed by tyranical dictator express a desire to be free, or at least free from that dictator, we have a duty to our fellow man (gender non-specific) to aid in their revolution in whatever way we can. Even force it it is called for.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 01:58 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
then the flipside is that people w/ no money have no voice.

People with no money have the same voting right as people with lots of money. Bill Gates gets one vote, and I get one vote. In addition, there is no reason to complain that people with no money have no voice. First, there aren't many, if any, people with "no money." Second, there's nothing stopping them from forming a group, everyone chipping in a dollar or two, and having multiple milliions of dollars to promote their views on particular issues.

There is a difference between corruption and bribery on the one hand and buying advertising or making campaign contributions on the other. A special interest group and citizens seeking redress of greviances are one and the same. It just depends on whether you agree with them or not whether you call them a special interest (bad) group or a citizens group (good).

The equal protection clause of the Consitution does not mean that the people must be heard equally. That seems ridiculous. The right to speak does not include the right to be heard. One might as well argue that the equal protection clause means that everyone should make the same amount of money at their jobs.

IJ Reilly
Jul 22, 2003, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i'm going to duck as the market anarchists come flying in.

Too late -- they're already here.

Unfortunately, there never seems to be a shortage of people who will fight to keep the "mother's milk" in politics. Even a corrupt system could not stand for long if it didn't have its defenders.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 02:23 PM
Originally posted by macfan
People with no money have the same voting right as people with lots of money. Bill Gates gets one vote, and I get one vote.


in an election, yes, but that's a vote for a person, not an issue. at least not directly. it's been shown that specials interests can buy their way. that's not fair.


There is a difference between corruption and bribery on the one hand and buying advertising or making campaign contributions on the other.


true. i'm afraid there's much more of the former, though.


A special interest group and citizens seeking redress of greviances are one and the same.


true, and there are some effective grass roots movements, but i wonder how well it fits our model of democracy. we vote in representatives and, to some extent, want hands off. we simply want our gov't to work. and it's our representatives job to stay informed.

contrast that to switzerland, where almost everything is decided by referendrum. in that case, it's everyone's job to stay informed.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 06:06 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, here is the deal with that. If Saddam , after inspectors left in 98, decided to get rid of all of the weapons that he had been hidding for years, and spending plenty of money to develop and hide. Then yea, the intel could have been bad.

But that is totally opposite of his personallity. He doesn't think that way at all.

But he had to know that Bush was crazy enough to invade his country and that he would be toppled, right? He's not stupid. Perhaps he complied (at least much more than he otherwise would have) when he realised what Bush wanted and that his regime was in jeopardy.

It's sad if that's the case; it will let everyone else know there will be no diplomacy, that once Bush has made up his mind, the matter is closed.

Backtothemac
Jul 22, 2003, 06:11 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
But he had to know that Bush was crazy enough to invade his country and that he would be toppled, right? He's not stupid. Perhaps he complied (at least much more than he otherwise would have) when he realised what Bush wanted and that his regime was in jeopardy.

It's sad if that's the case; it will let everyone else know there will be no diplomacy, that once Bush has made up his mind, the matter is closed.

Well, yes and no. Saddam was very intelligent, but a megalomaniac. He really beleived that he could defeat us in the first war, and probably again in this one.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 06:16 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
He really beleived that he could defeat us in the first war, and probably again in this one.

i wonder if he still believes it, after today. or have we just made him more dangerous? (c.f. other thread on NIE report)

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 06:18 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
It's sad if that's the case; it will let everyone else know there will be no diplomacy, that once Bush has made up his mind, the matter is closed.

As far as the national security of the United States is concerned, that's the kind of President I want. In this day and age, threats need to be dealt with firmly. Tyrants like Hussein and Kim Jong Il can't be coddled.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 06:21 PM
Originally posted by raschild
As far as the national security of the United States is concerned, that's the kind of President I want. In this day and age, threats need to be dealt with firmly.

molly ivins, who's been covering bush in texas for a long time, said that when what bush wants flies in the face of all evidence, he'll say "my gut tells me."

i want a president who bases decisions on facts and evidence. bush is as close-minded as they come.

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 06:26 PM
zimv20,

Personally, I trust the judgement of the man in the White House. It's not an easy task. I believe he is acting in the best interest of the US to the best of his abilities. I can't imagine anyone doing a perfect job of it under any circumstances, especially not under the dramatic events of this man's presidency.

macfan
Jul 22, 2003, 06:29 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
But he had to know that Bush was crazy enough to invade his country and that he would be toppled, right? He's not stupid. Perhaps he complied (at least much more than he otherwise would have) when he realised what Bush wanted and that his regime was in jeopardy.

It's sad if that's the case; it will let everyone else know there will be no diplomacy, that once Bush has made up his mind, the matter is closed.

pseudobrit,
Saddam failed to comply. If he had complied, the information that has been found now would have been revealed then (including buried nuclear equipment). Compliance would have been clear when we saw scientists being interviewed with their families outside of Iraq and a clear account of what happended to those things that were found by weapons inspectors before they were kicked out that last time.

zimv20,
Molly Ivins is not an unbaised or balanced source for an analsyis of Bush's decision making processes. She's a partisan hack, and she plays the part well.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 06:34 PM
Originally posted by macfan

Molly Ivins is not an unbaised or balanced source for an analsyis of Bush's decision making processes. She's a partisan hack, and she plays the part well.

i think she rocks. she brings up a lot of good questions in the process of "hacking".

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by raschild
zimv20,

Personally, I trust the judgement of the man in the White House. It's not an easy task. I believe he is acting in the best interest of the US to the best of his abilities. I can't imagine anyone doing a perfect job of it under any circumstances, especially not under the dramatic events of this man's presidency.

i don't trust him. i think his motives are suspect and he's not nuanced enough to run a company, much less a country. he thinks in black and white in a world of greys.

i too believe he thinks he's acting in the best interests of the country. but i think he grossly misunderstands what this country is supposed to be about. his disregard for constitutional protections and his unabashed mean streak (c.f. the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife) attest to that.

if this is the best the US can do, i want out.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 06:51 PM
Originally posted by raschild
As far as the national security of the United States is concerned, that's the kind of President I want. In this day and age, threats need to be dealt with firmly. Tyrants like Hussein and Kim Jong Il can't be coddled.

But they can be contained. Which may require a little bit of firm coddling.

This is world politics, not pro wrestling.

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 06:53 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i don't trust him. i think his motives are suspect and he's not nuanced enough to run a company, much less a country. he thinks in black and white in a world of greys.

i too believe he thinks he's acting in the best interests of the country. but i think he grossly misunderstands what this country is supposed to be about. his disregard for constitutional protections and his unabashed mean streak (c.f. the outing of Joseph Wilson's wife) attest to that.

if this is the best the US can do, i want out.

The great thing about the United States is that everyone can have their own opinion, even if it's wrong. ';)' I like President Bush, and I support him.

By the way, where do you think he's off on "what this country's about"?

PS-I hear Canada is a nice this time of year. Too close? Try France!

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 06:56 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
But they can be contained. Which may require a little bit of firm coddling.

This is world politics, not pro wrestling.

Contained? Yes--to a certain point. When that point is crossed (as Saddam did), it's time to take action.

Another thing about containment--it's kind of a "look the other way and hope nothing happens" approach. Under strict containment bad things still happen.

I'm done.

bond003
Jul 22, 2003, 07:00 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, I never thought this day would come. I personally think the action in Iraq was a bad idea. I don't mean this from an evidence standpoint, nor from world opinion. I mean it from the standpoint that we STILL DO NOT KNOW HOW TO NATION BUILD.

Instead of having a policy that is removing us from being the worlds 911, it is expanding. WE HAVE NEVER BEEN ABLE TO DO NATION BUILDING ALONE!

I hate to say it, but the UN needs to get into Iraq. We did the job, now let the world help stabilize that country.

I personally want a policy of isolationism. I don't want us involved where we don't need to be. Why sacrifice our troops and taxpayer dollars for people that don't give a damn about our country, or whether we are helping them or not.

I still like Bush, I just think that he has some very poor advice being given to him. Yes, I think we should have gone to Afghanistan and Iraq. But, I think we should get over whatever problems were with the UN and NATO, and let them finish the job now. Bring home the 3rd ID, and get that country stable.

It seems to me that that the news out of Iraq is getting to you. Donít be discouraged or frustrated. Those who planned this war knew all this would take place. The fact that they publicly did not come out and say we are going to loose about 600 soldiers is only part of the PR war. Things will continue to be tough for the US in Iraq as long as Saddam and his friends are around. We will loose many more of our brave men, before that country is stable and the population no longer feels too scared to assist the US.

The death of each soldier is sad but it would be too naive to assume that everyone who is stationed in a very dangerous country like Iraq is safe. Most people donít know that we loose over 150 soldiers every year in training accidents.

What I donít understand is how bringing our forces home would make Iraq a safer place. And how adding UN forces would make Iraq rebuild faster. If anything we need more of our own forces there, but right now we donít have enough.

If we continue to loose 300 soldiers a year, 2 years from now, than I would be willing to entertain other options. But three months into this action is much too early to talk about the US failing over there.

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 07:05 PM
Originally posted by bond003
... three months into this action is much too early to talk about the US failing over there.

A man after my own heart.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 07:16 PM
Originally posted by raschild

By the way, where do you think he's off on "what this country's about"?


i'll whip off a quick ten:

bush:
1. thinks the executive branch is master over the judicial and legislative branches
2. thinks it's okay to circumvent judicial protection in any circumstance he deems necessary
3. seems to not believe in the separation of church and state
4. believes he's above the law
5. thinks it's okay to circumvent the legislative branch w/ unprecendented use of executive orders
6. destroyed a history of never using the military for pre-emptive action
7. via the patriot act and so-called "enemy combatants," dispenses with "innocence before guilt"
8. believes his position allows him to enforce his personal beliefs on others (c.f. executive orders on killing family planning funding, medical marijuana, legal brothels)
9. favors militarism over diplomacy
10. is willing to insult allies and incite enemy troops for political gain

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:17 PM
Originally posted by raschild
PS-I hear Canada is a nice this time of year. Too close? Try France!

I could tell you where to go, too.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 07:24 PM
everyone play nice, please.

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 07:28 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
i'll whip off a quick ten:

bush:
1. thinks the executive branch is master over the judicial and legislative branches
2. thinks it's okay to circumvent judicial protection in any circumstance he deems necessary
3. seems to not believe in the separation of church and state
4. believes he's above the law
5. thinks it's okay to circumvent the legislative branch w/ unprecendented use of executive orders
6. destroyed a history of never using the military for pre-emptive action
7. via the patriot act and so-called "enemy combatants," dispenses with "innocence before guilt"
8. believes his position allows him to enforce his personal beliefs on others (c.f. executive orders on killing family planning funding, medical marijuana, legal brothels)
9. favors militarism over diplomacy
10. is willing to insult allies and incite enemy troops for political gain

Either you've really thought this through, or you listen quite carefully to Molly Ivins, or whoever that was, or some other liberal "thinker." I lean towards the latter.

As soon as you have evidence for #'s 1,2,3,4, or 10, let me know. As for the others, (e.g. 6 & 8) you list them like they're bad things.

For the rest, he's within his rights as the Chief Executive of this country.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:28 PM
I was gonna say Azerbaijan.

zimv20
Jul 22, 2003, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by raschild
Either you've really thought this through, or you listen quite carefully to Molly Ivins, or whoever that was, or some other liberal "thinker." I lean towards the latter.


ha! very clever. i mention her once and now she's my sole source of information.

you are, i'm sure you're aware, free to disgree with me. or be blissfully blind to what's going on this country. or ready to consent to someone's whim simply because you've surrendered your right to an independent opinion.

i have strong beliefs in the ideals of this country. bush runs counter to just about every one. if the nation truly does not care, then the US is no longer the place for me. and though you may joke about it, i am indeed looking.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by raschild
As soon as you have evidence for #'s 1,2,3,4, or 10, let me know.

1: blocked the courts' access to his administration; executive orders

2: Guantanamo

3: Faith based initiatives; God tells him to invade places and he obeys

4: many instances in his past, including when he had his driving record expunged upon becoming governor of Texas

10: "Old Europe" and other sleight of hand comments

6: military force is only to be used in the face of certain danger that must be clear and present

8: his personal beliefs should not be allowed to infringe on the American people to the extent that executive orders are taking precedence over State law passed on referendums.

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 07:37 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
I was gonna say Azerbaijan.

Thanks for the suggestion, but I'm happy right here.

raschild
Jul 22, 2003, 07:45 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
1: blocked the courts' access to his administration; executive orders

2: Guantanamo

3: Faith based initiatives; God tells him to invade places and he obeys

4: many instances in his past, including when he had his driving record expunged upon becoming governor of Texas

10: "Old Europe" and other sleight of hand comments

6: military force is only to be used in the face of certain danger that must be clear and present

8: his personal beliefs should not be allowed to infringe on the American people to the extent that executive orders are taking precedence over State law passed on referendums.

Looks like we'll have to agree to disagree. There's no way we'll ever come to agreement on any of this. Thanks for an...interesting discussion.

Later.

pseudobrit
Jul 22, 2003, 07:47 PM
Originally posted by raschild
Looks like we'll have to agree to disagree. There's no way we'll ever come to agreement on any of this. Thanks for an...interesting discussion.

Later.

Hmm. I guess you couldn't refute any of what I said?

mcrain
Jul 22, 2003, 07:54 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Hmm. I guess you couldn't refute any of what I said?

That's on tomorrow's episode of Rush Limbaugh's magical world.

Sayhey
Jul 22, 2003, 08:55 PM
Originally posted by mactastic
...All I want is to see a metaphorical system of dams, dykes, levies, flood control channels, storm drains etc. set up to prevent damage to the public interest in politics.

Now normally I agree with most of what you say, mactastic, but placing the awesome reponsibility of "flood control" to "prevent damage to the public interest in politics" on the admittedly strong shoulders of just one segment of the population of my fair city is just too much. What have these brave sisters done to you, I ask? Shouldn't we be right in the front line with them? Indeed, I say we....... what? Oh, it's a variant of "dike" you say? Never mind.

:D
hey, when we use the term in SF it means leathers and harleys!