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View Full Version : Cheney Energy Task Force Documents Feature Map of Iraqi Oilfields


zimv20
Jul 31, 2003, 12:15 AM
link (http://www.judicialwatch.org/071703.b_PR.shtml)


Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption and abuse, said today that documents turned over by the Commerce Department, under court order as a result of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit concerning the activities of the Cheney Energy Task Force, contain a map of Iraqi oilfields, pipelines, refineries and terminals, as well as 2 charts detailing Iraqi oil and gas projects, and “Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield Contracts.”


did the energy industry set foreign policy?

wwworry
Aug 3, 2003, 07:38 AM
we are being totally suckered by the military industrial complex.

We spend $400 billion/year on the military NOT INCLUDING WARS!!!

more than NATO, Russia & China combined!!!

The GAO has labled the defence dept. the most financially mismanaged, ineffecient and wasteful department in the US govt.

They can not acount for trillions of dollars gone missing.

It's all about pork, not about a good military.

wwworry
Aug 3, 2003, 07:41 AM
and for those that think the deficit is not a problem
go here
http://www.nationalpriorities.org/taxes/IncomeTaxChart.html
enter how much you paid in federal income tax - not social security tax.
Click the button to see where it went

YOIKS!

Desertrat
Aug 3, 2003, 11:40 AM
It seems rational to me that there are facilities one would not want to destroy during a war. To avoid such destruction, wouldn't one wish to know the exact locations?

I fail to understand the "problem".

:D, 'Rat

zimv20
Aug 3, 2003, 12:22 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
It seems rational to me that there are facilities one would not want to destroy during a war. To avoid such destruction, wouldn't one wish to know the exact locations?

I fail to understand the "problem".


for one, the meetings took place before 9/11.

Sayhey
Aug 3, 2003, 12:23 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
It seems rational to me that there are facilities one would not want to destroy during a war. To avoid such destruction, wouldn't one wish to know the exact locations?

I fail to understand the "problem".

:D, 'Rat

Cheney's task force shouldn't be responsible for contingency plans for an invasion of Iraq. If it is making plans for the energy needs of the US it is interesting what their discussions about the oil fields of Iraq were all about. If, and this is a big "if", they were in discussions about the need to take control of these resouces, that would indeed be a "problem."

pseudobrit
Aug 3, 2003, 03:13 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
I fail to understand the "problem".

When Exxon is giving you battle maps and a nudge, something's wrong.

IJ Reilly
Aug 3, 2003, 07:36 PM
Did anyone else catch "Now with Bill Moyers" last Friday night? He interviewed Pentagon whistle-blower Chuck Spinney at length. Scary stuff, to say the least. The military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned us about has truly come to pass, and then some (Spinney calls it the "military-industrial-congressional complex" because of the way the politics of pork relentlessly feeds the process of waste in the military budget). They apparently haven't posted the transcript of the interview just yet, but an overview of the segment can be found here. (http://www.pbs.org/now/politics/spinney.html)

Desertrat
Aug 3, 2003, 09:04 PM
Seems to me that part of the Pentagon deal is to know all that can be known about any country's infrastructure, of whatever sort. Among other things, it can prevent bombing another country's embassy, ala Serbia and the Chinese...

We've war-gamed a near-infinite number of improbabilities, including being attacked by Canada! I'd bet we tap the Exxons or whomever, for every country where there is the remotest possibility of our being involved in a conflict.

9/11 has jack-all to do with when anybody did such studies. They've been unending ever since the Pentagon got serious about war-gaming. Experts in "Games Theory" get some pretty serious salaries, I've noticed.

Or would you prefer WW II saturation bombing, addressed "To whom it may concern"? Would you think we just send the troops in, in just any old direction, on the off chance that Superior Firepower might just do something good for our side?

'Rat

zimv20
Aug 3, 2003, 09:13 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Seems to me that part of the Pentagon deal is to know all that can be known about any country's infrastructure, of whatever sort.


the documents were circulated to energy companies in meetings that were relevent to the dept. of energy, not the pentagon.

I'd bet we tap the Exxons or whomever, for every country where there is the remotest possibility of our being involved in a conflict.


oh, i think i get what you're saying. implied is the notion that oil companies, who are not operating in iraq, have a better idea of the location of iraqi oil facilities than the US gov't, who has the CIA and satellites. if that's your scenario, you've got the information flowing in the wrong direction.

Desertrat
Aug 3, 2003, 09:28 PM
Oil company people work all over the world. I recently ran across a guy who came out of semi-retirement to work oil rigs in Syria, last year and the year before. If there's oil drilling or oil/gas pipeline construction, you're gonna find a bunch of folks from Texas and Louisiana on the job. Heck, who do you think found, explored and developed the mideast oilfields? Arabs?

Oil companies probably spend nearly as much as the CIA, on finding out all they can about what each other has found down below--and as much of that info as they can possibly steal from each other!

And given the western world's mutual inter-dependency on imported oil, you can sure bet that all Presidents and their folks work hand-in-glove with the various oil companies. Why else did Clinton go into Serbia? Answer: It's a major pipeline route from the underbelly of Russia, into central Europe.

It's not gonna change, either, until this country gets seriously into the nuke-plant business, along with wind power and fuel cells. One of the dumber things California has done is to build gas-turbine generating plants--at a time when we're running low on that source of hundreds of consumer products. (When push comes to shove in the dark, Californians don't believe CO2 has anything to do with Globular Worming--unless they're bitching at Bush. :D)

'Rat

pseudobrit
Aug 4, 2003, 02:18 AM
You still haven't made the connection.

We can understand why the oil companies would be able to help the Pentagon.

The question is: why were the oil companies giving the Energy Dept. -- which should have been doing things like finding solutions to the energy crises or just about anything except planning on what to do with the spoils of an invaded Iraq -- info on Iraqi oil fields unless the Dept. of Energy was going to use the info?

IOW, it's clear that this info was passed along not for military wargaming or strategy, but for the Dept of Energy to use in exploiting the loot we'd find in Iraq.

Desertrat
Aug 4, 2003, 05:34 PM
I make the connection; I just don't see any dark plot. Darned tootin' we're interested in Iraqi production. DOE tries to keep track of the amount of oil available from all fields in all areas. It is important to them to know if problems will develop from the condition of the equipment--as a for instance. Or, if there will be internal political problems, such as happened in Venezuela. I imagine the DOE folks are nervous as can be over the political stability of Saudi Arabia, what with the potential for problems of succession after the death of the king.

I imagine that over the next few years, you're gonna see a whole bunch of exploration and development in the Iraqi fields. The deal is, the French folks--Elf/Total--are out, and Exxon/Shell/Chevron, etc, are in. They'll sub the drilling to a lot of out-of-work US drillers. There will be a lot of pipeline construction, and I guess a bunch of refinery expansion.

And your lights will stay on and the water will come from your faucet and you'll be able to drive to Yosemite or Yellowstone...

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 4, 2003, 06:11 PM
I don't see the connection between the French oil companies being out of Iraq and the US and British oil companies being in, to water flowing from my tap or vacations to our national parks. Care to explain?

Desertrat
Aug 5, 2003, 07:35 PM
Oil and gas and refined products. All are being imported. All are used in generating electricity or in transportation. With electricity you have lights. With electricity, water gets pumped. Diesel lets semis move parts and pieces of generators and pumps, etc. Gasoline gets Mall Momma to her favorite activity.

I forget the exact numbers, but I read that Iraq was producing some 2 million bpd before the war. I have read that the potential is for around 6 million bpd. The sooner they get back to, and later above, the 2 million bpd figure, the sooner there will be adequate money for reconstruction and wages and such. Lord knows they need it, desparately.

Recent history has it that a world price of some $25/bbl creates a stable situation for both producer and consumer. (Clinton, OPEC, et al.) Right now, crude is running $30 to $32 per barrel. Increasing Iraqi output from 2 to 6 helps them; we and the rest of the consuming world--US, Europe, China, Japan--do better at $25 than at $32.

'Rat

Sayhey
Aug 5, 2003, 08:13 PM
Desertrat,
Do you think the benefits of the US being able to now order an increase of production from the Iraqi fields is a happy coincidence, or do you think that it's possible that Cheney's task force had discussions prior to 9/11 about the need for the US to figure out a way for that increase to happen?

It is curious that if it is just part of a simple inventory of oil reserves that Saudi , UAE, and Iraqi oil reserves are the only ones mentioned in the judical watch release. I don't want to jump to the conclusion it is something nefarious, but it sure seems to me that it should be looked into and the meetings of that task force that the Bush administration has so long held secret should be opened to the public.

IJ Reilly
Aug 5, 2003, 09:51 PM
Oil and gas are fungible commodities. It makes no difference to the users of these commodities if they are mined by companies from the United States, France or the UK. The only entities to benefit by one nation being "in" and the other being "out" of oil and gas production in Iraq are the corporations operating in the country that finds itself on the "in" side of the equation. I've always been reluctant to characterize this war as being about US control of Iraq's natural resources, but it seems to me, you're telling me that's what it was about.

Sayhey
Aug 5, 2003, 10:14 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
I've always been reluctant to characterize this war as being about US control of Iraq's natural resources, but it seems to me, you're telling me that's what it was about.

I think the main reason for this war is the geopolitical machinations of the neoconservatives. Putting a regime in the region that is controlled by the US and with possible US basing rights for the military changes the whole balance of power in the Middle East. That doesn't mean the acquisition of new oil supplies that can be turned on to lower the price of oil to US markets isn't important. That's true, IMO, even if Cheney's task force had the most benign reasons for discussing Iraqi reserves.

Desertrat
Aug 5, 2003, 11:25 PM
"I think the main reason for this war is the geopolitical machinations of the neoconservatives."

Given who signed on, I'd say it was not just the neocons.

"Putting a regime in the region that is controlled by the US and with possible US basing rights for the military changes the whole balance of power in the Middle East."

Well, sure. This was obvious long before we went into Iraq--this time. All ya gotta do is look at a map and have a bit of knowledge of where is the oil, where are the pipeline routes, and who are the players. And, it was talked about in the talking-head Sunday TV shows quite a lot, last year.

Given the problems in Saudi Arabia, with the factions there, I'd bet anything that our gummint and/or the Pentagon planners have been looking at options all during the 1990s. Particularly since WTC 1, in 1993.

We have two interests in the mideast: Oil and Israel. The oil deal is that we want stability of supply and price. That's why we've climbed in bed with so many sorry rat-bastard heads of state. The Israel deal oughta be obvious, after 55 years.

Look, I'm not saying I'm applauding each and every action. I just cross my fingers that things will work out to our favor. What I don't do is look for evil cabals and holler, "Crooked! Crooked!" at every move that's made.

'Rat

zimv20
Aug 5, 2003, 11:45 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat

We have two interests in the mideast: Oil and Israel.

wow. if you'd said that on these boards in march you'd have been smacked down as a pacifist liberal and given a lecture about how saddam's chem/bio weapons are about to be released down at your corner 7-11. you wouldn't want that? would you? WOULD YOU?

(deep breath, sorry)

it's odd now for me to see that the same thing i'd said was the real motivation -- and opposed the war because of it -- is now being used against me in a "don't be silly, of COURSE this is what it was all about" fashion.

IJ Reilly
Aug 6, 2003, 12:14 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
I think the main reason for this war is the geopolitical machinations of the neoconservatives. Putting a regime in the region that is controlled by the US and with possible US basing rights for the military changes the whole balance of power in the Middle East. That doesn't mean the acquisition of new oil supplies that can be turned on to lower the price of oil to US markets isn't important. That's true, IMO, even if Cheney's task force had the most benign reasons for discussing Iraqi reserves.

As nearly as I can tell, every aspect of how this war was rationalized, justified, politicked and executed follows the neoconservative game plan to the letter. Even many opponents of the war seem to miss this, and even more surprisingly, many of the proponents don't want to know -- or to admit they know -- that it has very little to do with WMD and least of all with freeing the Iraqis from tyranny.

Sayhey
Aug 6, 2003, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
"I think the main reason for this war is the geopolitical machinations of the neoconservatives."

Given who signed on, I'd say it was not just the neocons.

"Putting a regime in the region that is controlled by the US and with possible US basing rights for the military changes the whole balance of power in the Middle East."

Well, sure. This was obvious long before we went into Iraq--this time. All ya gotta do is look at a map and have a bit of knowledge of where is the oil, where are the pipeline routes, and who are the players. And, it was talked about in the talking-head Sunday TV shows quite a lot, last year.

Given the problems in Saudi Arabia, with the factions there, I'd bet anything that our gummint and/or the Pentagon planners have been looking at options all during the 1990s. Particularly since WTC 1, in 1993.

We have two interests in the mideast: Oil and Israel. The oil deal is that we want stability of supply and price. That's why we've climbed in bed with so many sorry rat-bastard heads of state. The Israel deal oughta be obvious, after 55 years.

Look, I'm not saying I'm applauding each and every action. I just cross my fingers that things will work out to our favor. What I don't do is look for evil cabals and holler, "Crooked! Crooked!" at every move that's made.

'Rat

Glad we don't have to argue about the facade of WMDs and human rights that the Bushies keep throwing up to obscure what's really going on. I think the formula of "oil and Israel" is a little too simple. According to the neocons, we have our own interests, outside of Israel and oil, in showing the region and the world the willingness of the US to use military might. They have put the world on notice - "future super powers need not apply, the position is already taken." Regional powers have been let know that they need to be aware of who is the "top dog" in the area.

I'm not interested in "evil cabals" or conspiracies either. This stuff is upfront in the writings of the neoconservative policy makers - no secret conspiracies needed.

By the way, you're right, Blair signing on gives Bush the cover of a "left" partner in the strategy of a remaking the Middle East. It's what makes Blair's betrayal of the principles of the Labour party so difficult to understand.

Our disagreement, Desertrat, seems to come around the question of whether we as American citizens have a responsibility to speak up against the cynical use of the blood of our children, our sisters and brothers, our fathers and mothers to bring this "realignment" about. And that doesn't even speak to the deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis that have taken place in our name.

I guess it comes down to what we mean by "our favor." I don't think the world of Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Wolfowitz is one that is to the favor of the American people, much less the world.

Sayhey
Aug 6, 2003, 01:17 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
As nearly as I can tell, every aspect of how this war was rationalized, justified, politicked and executed follows the neoconservative game plan to the letter. Even many opponents of the war seem to miss this, and even more surprisingly, many of the proponents don't want to know -- or to admit they know -- that it has very little to do with WMD and least of all with freeing the Iraqis from tyranny.

Well said.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 6, 2003, 06:33 AM
there were also issues of people on cheney's energy task force being those who manipulated the "energy crisis" in california last year. enron execs and such...

http://www.faultline.org/news/2003/02/leopold2.html

Desertrat
Aug 6, 2003, 08:34 AM
May be, Ambrose, may be. However, given the Kalifornia government's efforts at creating a statewide Free Lunch for all but the producing class, I have zero sympathy. Pick your problem out there, and they brought it on themselves.

The Kali gummint's behavior during the fat years of tax-take remind me of Mexico's behavior during the boom years in oil prices of the 1970s. "This party's gonna last forever!"

The irrationality of their environmental policies--which contributed directly to their energy crunch--didn't bring the proverbial chickens home to roost; it brought buzzards--one of which was Enron. :D

Back to the mideast awl bidness: I see the U.S. as having a pretty much hedonistic society. We want the status quo of cheap driving and the "good life", whether SUV or Lexus sedan to go to the Mall with its unlimited shopping. There will thus always be a strong level of support for those whose efforts are touted or are believed to enable this status quo.

'Rat

mactastic
Aug 6, 2003, 10:18 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat

Back to the mideast awl bidness: I see the U.S. as having a pretty much hedonistic society. We want the status quo of cheap driving and the "good life", whether SUV or Lexus sedan to go to the Mall with its unlimited shopping. There will thus always be a strong level of support for those whose efforts are touted or are believed to enable this status quo.

'Rat

Just to clarify, are you espousing this as a position worthy of support, or are you pointing out flaws in our society in a cynical fashion?

IJ Reilly
Aug 6, 2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
May be, Ambrose, may be. However, given the Kalifornia government's efforts at creating a statewide Free Lunch for all but the producing class, I have zero sympathy. Pick your problem out there, and they brought it on themselves.

Not to single you out, but I've been wondering for some time how so many people who don't live in California can profess to be so expert in the state's issues and problems.

Sayhey
Aug 6, 2003, 11:31 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
May be, Ambrose, may be. However, given the Kalifornia government's efforts at creating a statewide Free Lunch for all but the producing class, I have zero sympathy. Pick your problem out there, and they brought it on themselves....

...Back to the mideast awl bidness: I see the U.S. as having a pretty much hedonistic society. We want the status quo of cheap driving and the "good life", whether SUV or Lexus sedan to go to the Mall with its unlimited shopping. There will thus always be a strong level of support for those whose efforts are touted or are believed to enable this status quo.

'Rat
It would be easy to let the topic drift into the degree of responsibility for California's woes. Did California's stupidity in following Wilson's flawed deregulation of energy or did the Texas Energy Companies and Bush's henchmen bear more responsibility for the crisis? We could go on and on.

On the thread's topic it would seem you think that military actions to perserve the status quo of overcomsumption of oil is an effective, if not legitimate, foreign policy. Should we just accept this or perhaps try and bring about a different set of principles to guide the use of the terrible weapons of war?

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 12:55 PM
Originally posted by wwworry
we are being totally suckered by the military industrial complex.

We spend $400 billion/year on the military NOT INCLUDING WARS!!!

more than NATO, Russia & China combined!!!

The GAO has labled the defence dept. the most financially mismanaged, ineffecient and wasteful department in the US govt.

They can not acount for trillions of dollars gone missing.

It's all about pork, not about a good military.

Wait a sec. How much do we spend on social programs? The military budget accounts for less than 10% of the federal budget.

IJ Reilly
Aug 6, 2003, 01:26 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Wait a sec. How much do we spend on social programs? The military budget accounts for less than 10% of the federal budget.

No, if you look at the budget, you'll see that it's closer to 18%. Only Social Security is larger, but it's a nondiscretionary program with its own dedicated source of funding. Defense spending is the largest federal program supported by the general fund. What's more, these figures don't include the supplemental requests being made for the war(s), so it's probable that defense spending will become the largest line-item in the federal budget this year, when all the accounting is done (which, given the history of defense spending accountability, will never happen).

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 02:47 PM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
No, if you look at the budget, you'll see that it's closer to 18%. Only Social Security is larger, but it's a nondiscretionary program with its own dedicated source of funding. Defense spending is the largest federal program supported by the general fund. What's more, these figures don't include the supplemental requests being made for the war(s), so it's probable that defense spending will become the largest line-item in the federal budget this year, when all the accounting is done (which, given the history of defense spending accountability, will never happen).

You are correct. 17.5%. Except it is discretionary. Military spending is not a nondiscretionary program. Non military discretionaly spending is about 14.9%.

Social programs, medicare, medicade, etc, 54.9% of the budget.

IJ Reilly
Aug 6, 2003, 03:23 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
You are correct. 17.5%. Except it is discretionary. Military spending is not a nondiscretionary program. Non military discretionaly spending is about 14.9%.

Social programs, medicare, medicade, etc, 54.9% of the budget.

My point was that Social Security spending is nondiscretionary. The defense budget is the largest discretionary item in the federal budget, and could become the largest item of any kind this year. It doesn't make much sense to me to lump together a bunch of the other federal programs in order to make the defense budget look smaller by comparison.

If you want to make comparisons, try this one on for size: A week or so ago, congress was debating the operating subsidy for Amtrak. The general direction is for the termination of the operating subsidy and breaking the national system apart into state systems -- IOW, the destruction of the national passenger rail system. The cost of keeping it together? One billion dollars -- coincidentally, the same dollar amount as keeping US forces in Iraq for one week.

Now that's a comparison worth making.

wwworry
Aug 6, 2003, 04:31 PM
Everyone knows the most inefficient govt. dept. with the MOST LAX accounting rules and the most CORRUPT is the defence department.
(sorry for the caps)
by everyone I mean generals, accountants , people who want a strong military, etc.

What's also interesting is how the big defence contractors have spread their business across the widest range of congressional districts. I think it would be easy to cut the military budget by 25% and still have by far the strongest military in the world.

wwworry
Aug 6, 2003, 04:33 PM
Interest payments on the debt is another stupid thing we pay for and get nothing from.

Desertrat
Aug 6, 2003, 05:25 PM
mactastic, no, I'm not espousing. It's probably more of an old-age cynicism, but based on what I see around me in my wanderings.

sayhey said, "On the thread's topic it would seem you think that military actions to perserve the status quo of overcomsumption of oil is an effective, if not legitimate, foreign policy."

Saying "effective" leads on to questioning whether or not we should have done anything at all in 1991. There are reasonable odds (IMO) that Saddam would have just begun selling Kuwaiti oil, had we done nothing. But odds ain't certainties. If Desert Shield/Storm was effective, then so far so good.

"Should we just accept this or perhaps try and bring about a different set of principles to guide the use of the terrible weapons of war?"

Yes, I'm in favor of a major change, although it seems to me that Pandora's box has already been opened. That is, if we just worked our way out of Iraq as gracefully as possible, and generally "brought the troops home", I'm not sure there would be some resurgence of good will from Al Qaida et al. And, what happens if Al Qaida then focusses its efforts on Saudi Arabia? They also hate the House of Saud, and might get into sabotage of Saudi oil facilities--a parallel to FARC in Colombia. And then?

I dunno. It's irrelevant whether we pull all the troops home and act benevolently toward the rest of the world. There are too many people out there who hate their own regimes. IMO it gets aimed at us only because we've "been in bed with" those regimes. But, when the regime owns commodities which we need, with whom else do we deal?

'Rat

Desertrat
Aug 6, 2003, 05:33 PM
:D IJ, I'm in no way claiming to be an expert on Kalifornia, but I wandered the Haight-Ashbury in 1967. Hung out at Harry's Question Mark bar. And the No Name Bar and the Two Turtles in Sausalito. Willow Springs and Sears Point are neat raceways. I was in the water bidness in Texas; got a full guided tour of the California Water Project, back in its early days from Oroville Dam to LA. (Do you know how Coalinga got its name?) I guess the general Susanville area is about my only blank spot.

And there's just bunches of online news...

:), 'Rat

pseudobrit
Aug 6, 2003, 05:50 PM
Wow. It's refreshing to see such an honest person who's pro-war. I can't say I see it as a good thing, just oddly comforting.

While the anti-war were saying "this is just about oil and Israel and regional domination and a neo-con agenda"

the pro-war were saying "this is about WMD and the safety of our nation after 9/11, if you disagree you support Americans being killed in terror attacks" which has been spun into "this has always been about removing an evil dictator from power. Saddam won't be murdering any children now. If you disagree, you're supporting a murderer."

What you're saying is, "this was just about oil and Israel and regional domination and a neo-con agenda. What's wrong with that?"

Refreshing indeed. Disturbing, but refreshing.

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 07:01 PM
Wow, psuedo, we agree. I find it disturbing. That is not the reason that we went to war.

I just have one question to pose to everyone who was against the war. I am not trying to flame, or cause a riot. ;)

Just a serious, honest, one word answer will do. :P

If Clinton would have decided to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from Power in 1998, would you have supported it?

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 6, 2003, 07:07 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
If Clinton would have decided to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from Power in 1998, would you have supported it?

can't do a one word answer. it depends on the case his administration made. i didn't and still don't) buy the bush administration's rationale, which, every day, was different. for me personally, bush had to show me much more given his and his administration's ties to the oil industry, as well as what they had done since taking office.

zimv20
Aug 6, 2003, 07:14 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

If Clinton would have decided to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from Power in 1998, would you have supported it?

if he'd given the same reasons as bush gave and presented the same evidence: no.

Backtothemac
Aug 6, 2003, 07:26 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
if he'd given the same reasons as bush gave and presented the same evidence: no.

Didn't he use the same evidence to justify the bombings in 98 though? Daschle, and others wanted regime change then, and saddly some republicans used politics and said it was to divert attention away from Saddam. I personally supported Clinton 100%.

Desertrat
Aug 6, 2003, 08:10 PM
I dunno as how I'm all that much a supporter of the war, as I am accepting of it as, "Well, that's what politicians do." That is, I try to figure out if--given their biases and all the ideas and views they bring with them to their high offices--there is some amount of rationality in the policy decisions.

To me, this Iraq thing builds on the policies of the 1940s--support for the idea of a Jewish state--and then on our later involvements with "underbelly" countries in our efforts at containment of the USSR during the Cold War--plus the good ol' boys in the awl bidness.

For instance: Had it not been for the Cold War, we would not have gotten Mossadegh replaced with the Shah. That led, eventually, to the US Embassy takeover in Iran, which led to our support for Saddam. That support gave him even more of a case of megalomania that he already had, apparently. He became a cruder version of Nasser, in a way. (Nasser's UAR was a political effort at pan-Arabism. It seems that Saddam had rather take his nearby neighbors via force.)

Where I've shaken my head against the Bu****es' yak was in their perception that harping on WMD was necessary and important to sell the deal. It wasn't.

At any rate, whether I'm right or wrong, we're riding a mideast tiger, and it ain't really safe to just bail out of the saddle. Ain't a lot of fun staying on his back, either.

'Rat

wwworry
Aug 6, 2003, 09:11 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
If Clinton would have decided to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from Power in 1998, would you have supported it?

Why are you so hung up on Clinton? I mean, at this point, who cares? We might as well, when we debate Bush's policies, talk about Nixon.

Sayhey
Aug 7, 2003, 01:35 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat ...At any rate, whether I'm right or wrong, we're riding a mideast tiger, and it ain't really safe to just bail out of the saddle. Ain't a lot of fun staying on his back, either.

'Rat

I agree with your last sentiment. Although I think Bush was wrong in going to war to accomplish objectives (at least what he claims were his objectives - elimination of WMDs, and support for Iraqi human rights) that could have or were being accomplished without an invasion; I agree we cannot just walk away.

What can be done is to open the process of rebuilding Iraq and laying the basis for a democratic society there to other nations and the UN. If we just walked away now Iraq would turn into a balkanized country with the South dominated by Shia fundamentalism. A second mini-Iran is not helpful to anyone. If we are to accomplish any of this we must give up the goal of turning Iraq into a de facto protectorate. All of it will cost billions and billions of dollars, but that can't be avoided now.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 7, 2003, 06:26 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
At any rate, whether I'm right or wrong, we're riding a mideast tiger, and it ain't really safe to just bail out of the saddle. Ain't a lot of fun staying on his back, either.

There was an op-ed in the houston chronicle a few days ago written by a retiring sort-of big shot in the navy or army whose last detail was working pretty high up in Secretary's office...she basically lambasted the defense masterminds for, among other things, having no kind of exit plan for iraq. they figured chalabi (sp?) would ride in and assume power, all the iraqis would welcome him and us, and everything would be rosy.

...

i wonder if things will improve if and when we find saddam.

Desertrat
Aug 7, 2003, 07:38 AM
Ambrose, could that article have been by Ms. Kwiatkowski? If so, see my comments in the "Intelligence" thread, here. I've read a good bit of her stuff on the Lew Rockwell site. She seems like a double-handful of razor blades for sharp.

wwworry, there's just no such thing as an incident which is isolated in time. Things done before Clinton affected his regime; his policies and actions are affecting us today. All of us bear responsibility for the consequences of our actions, whether or not we've left town.

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 7, 2003, 10:42 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
:D IJ, I'm in no way claiming to be an expert on Kalifornia, but I wandered the Haight-Ashbury in 1967. Hung out at Harry's Question Mark bar. And the No Name Bar and the Two Turtles in Sausalito. Willow Springs and Sears Point are neat raceways. I was in the water bidness in Texas; got a full guided tour of the California Water Project, back in its early days from Oroville Dam to LA. (Do you know how Coalinga got its name?) I guess the general Susanville area is about my only blank spot.

A lot of people wandered the Haight in '67, but few have any memory of it. So credit where credit it due on that account! The serious point being, I do think you need to live here to have a grasp of California's complicated political landscape. It's changed a great deal in the last 25 years.

Answer to trivia challenge: Coalinga = "coaling station A," so named by the railroad.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 10:46 AM
Originally posted by wwworry
Why are you so hung up on Clinton? I mean, at this point, who cares? We might as well, when we debate Bush's policies, talk about Nixon.

Because Clinton's adminsitration used the same evidence to justify dropping over 800 cruise missiles on Iraq, and to keep the sanctions on them for over a decade.

What I am saying to democrats is I know Clinton is you guys golden boy. HE agrees with what Bush did. He even said recently that the intel was good intel. He even supports the action, so if he was your golden boy, why are you not agreeing with what he says now, and during his administration.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Because Clinton's adminsitration used the same evidence to justify dropping over 800 cruise missiles on Iraq, and to keep the sanctions on them for over a decade.

What I am saying to democrats is I know Clinton is you guys golden boy. HE agrees with what Bush did. He even said recently that the intel was good intel. He even supports the action, so if he was your golden boy, why are you not agreeing with what he says now, and during his administration.

Unlike Dittoheads, I like to think I can come to my own opinions regardless of what anyone else thinks. Do you agree with Bush 100% of the time? Or Rush Limbaugh? Then why should progressives have to agree with Bubba?

I guess that's not directed at me since I'm pretty disgusted with democrats too, but still, not all democrats are alike. Surely you have noticed that not all republicans share the same views?

Sayhey
Aug 7, 2003, 10:55 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
If Clinton would have decided to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from Power in 1998, would you have supported it?

No, I would have supported many measures to help Iraqis get rid of Saddam short of invasion. That goes for Clinton or Bush or any other President who was faced with the challenge.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
No, I would have supported many measures to help Iraqis get rid of Saddam short of invasion. That goes for Clinton or Bush or any other President who was faced with the challenge.

My point is not about people like me or you. My point is that the same democrats in Congress that are now trying to discredit Bush, called for the removal of Saddam in 98 by any means necessary.

I find that very sad.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:01 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Unlike Dittoheads, I like to think I can come to my own opinions regardless of what anyone else thinks. Do you agree with Bush 100% of the time? Or Rush Limbaugh? Then why should progressives have to agree with Bubba?

I guess that's not directed at me since I'm pretty disgusted with democrats too, but still, not all democrats are alike. Surely you have noticed that not all republicans share the same views?

No, I don't agree 100% of the time, no one does. But I was raised that politics stops at the border. And what the Dems in Congress are doing is projecting that past the border. That is the point I was making.

Desertrat
Aug 7, 2003, 11:04 AM
Backing way up to WMD and justifications and such: Haven't there been more than one UN Resolutions condemning Saddam for his possession of WMD, during the 1990s?

Didn't Clinton, in April of 1998, comment on Saddam's possession of WMD?

That's why I get a bit grumpy at the "Bush lied!" stuff. Whether or not he got fed wrong info is another matter, entirely. He certainly had reason to be predisposed to believe that Saddam had WMD. How many times have any of us made statements based on what we thought were others' truthful commentaries?

Saddam had four inspectorless years to hide stuff or move it to Syria or wherever. You give me the resources of a nation to hide stuff, and four years in which to do it, and I doubt you'll find anything within a few months. And WMD is not just nukes. We're told that you can set up an anthrax lab within a house-sized facility, and a chem lab for nerve gas doesn't need to gigantic. Further, the equipment for either bugs or toxics is similar to perfectly legitimate stuff--so if spread around, how does one tell?

Stipulate for the moment that positive evidence will be found that there are some sorts of WMD in Iraq. Will you then say, "Well, yeah, the war was justified."?

'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:07 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Backing way up to WMD and justifications and such: Haven't there been more than one UN Resolutions condemning Saddam for his possession of WMD, during the 1990s?

Didn't Clinton, in April of 1998, comment on Saddam's possession of WMD?

That's why I get a bit grumpy at the "Bush lied!" stuff. Whether or not he got fed wrong info is another matter, entirely. He certainly had reason to be predisposed to believe that Saddam had WMD. How many times have any of us made statements based on what we thought were others' truthful commentaries?

Saddam had four inspectorless years to hide stuff or move it to Syria or wherever. You give me the resources of a nation to hide stuff, and four years in which to do it, and I doubt you'll find anything within a few months. And WMD is not just nukes. We're told that you can set up an anthrax lab within a house-sized facility, and a chem lab for nerve gas doesn't need to gigantic. Further, the equipment for either bugs or toxics is similar to perfectly legitimate stuff--so if spread around, how does one tell?

Stipulate for the moment that positive evidence will be found that there are some sorts of WMD in Iraq. Will you then say, "Well, yeah, the war was justified."?

'Rat

Rat, that was very, very well said, and I agree with you 100%.

IJ Reilly
Aug 7, 2003, 11:08 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
If Clinton would have decided to invade Iraq and remove Saddam from Power in 1998, would you have supported it?

Only if he'd assembled an international coalition, obtained the backing of the UN Security Council, and had committed to a plan for post-war Iraq that was internationally broad-based. IOW, the same criteria as I've established for Bush now. Some of us don't view these issues through the lenses of our parties if only because we don't have a party.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:12 AM
Originally posted by IJ Reilly
Only if he'd assembled an international coalition, obtained the backing of the UN Security Council, and had committed to a plan for post-war Iraq that was internationally broad-based. IOW, the same criteria as I've established for Bush now. Some of us don't view these issues through the lenses of our parties if only because we don't have a party.

Man, I admire that you are an independent. But I riddle you this. If the UN doesn't support a military action for what ever reason, does that mean that we cannot take action for our own interests. I am not talking about this case specifically, but remember, that the action in Bosnia wasn't supported by the UN either. So, why is the UN the end all of US policy. Why let foriegn governments determine the actions of the us.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 11:16 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
No, I don't agree 100% of the time, no one does. But I was raised that politics stops at the border. And what the Dems in Congress are doing is projecting that past the border. That is the point I was making.

Oh yeah, those awful Democrats that won't stop bitching. As I recall, there was alot of Republican brouhaha during our adventures in Bosnia that didn't stop once troops were there.... Both groups have abandoned that traditional position of politics stopping at the waters edge.

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 11:32 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Oh yeah, those awful Democrats that won't stop bitching. As I recall, there was alot of Republican brouhaha during our adventures in Bosnia that didn't stop once troops were there.... Both groups have abandoned that traditional position of politics stopping at the waters edge.

I agree with you. I was very, very pissed off at the Republicans in Congress for that. I supported Clinton 100% on military actions he took. I did not always agree with how he deployed the military, but the actions 100% support.

zimv20
Aug 7, 2003, 11:46 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat

Stipulate for the moment that positive evidence will be found that there are some sorts of WMD in Iraq. Will you then say, "Well, yeah, the war was justified."?


my position on this is unchanged: when an independent inspection team confirms weapons that i believe were an immediate threat to the US.

anything less means the WH didn't have to cut the inspections short and bypass the UN SC. again, for me the means must be balanced w/ the ends.

Sayhey
Aug 7, 2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Backing way up to WMD and justifications and such: Haven't there been more than one UN Resolutions condemning Saddam for his possession of WMD, during the 1990s?

Didn't Clinton, in April of 1998, comment on Saddam's possession of WMD?

That's why I get a bit grumpy at the "Bush lied!" stuff. Whether or not he got fed wrong info is another matter, entirely. He certainly had reason to be predisposed to believe that Saddam had WMD. How many times have any of us made statements based on what we thought were others' truthful commentaries?

Saddam had four inspectorless years to hide stuff or move it to Syria or wherever. You give me the resources of a nation to hide stuff, and four years in which to do it, and I doubt you'll find anything within a few months. And WMD is not just nukes. We're told that you can set up an anthrax lab within a house-sized facility, and a chem lab for nerve gas doesn't need to gigantic. Further, the equipment for either bugs or toxics is similar to perfectly legitimate stuff--so if spread around, how does one tell?

Stipulate for the moment that positive evidence will be found that there are some sorts of WMD in Iraq. Will you then say, "Well, yeah, the war was justified."?

'Rat

Last question first - no. There were undoubtably WMDs in Iraq at sometime; we may have helped put them there in the '80s. In the time right before the invasion, the UN inspectors had the most unfettered access ever. You could credit Bush's saber rattling for that if you want, but the point is the elimination of any possible WMDs could have taken place without military intervention.

The point of the "Bush lied" rhetoric is not that WMDs could not have been present, but rather that it appears obvious that the Adminstration exaggerated the threat to one of imminent danger to the US in order to justify the invasion. Either we have incompentant intelligence services or someone took the edge of the envelope estimates and used them for political purposes.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 11:53 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Man, I admire that you are an independent. But I riddle you this. If the UN doesn't support a military action for what ever reason, does that mean that we cannot take action for our own interests. I am not talking about this case specifically, but remember, that the action in Bosnia wasn't supported by the UN either. So, why is the UN the end all of US policy. Why let foriegn governments determine the actions of the us.

I'm with you here, the UN route shoud be tried first of course, but there will be many times that the security council will not be able to come to agreement, and unilateral action will be necessary. However, when Bubba couldn't get the UN to agree, he was at least able to unify NATO and go in with them backing him. He also didn't treat the rest of the world with the total lack of respect that "Bring 'Em On" Bush has. Whatever else Clinton was, he was a schmoozer who was able to convince people (even interns) to do things they otherwise might not have done. I didn't see that level of diplomacy from Bush. I feel that our standing in the international community has suffered dramatically because of some of the rhetoric from the Bush administration, and I am concerned that this may cause us more trouble later on down the road than it solved now.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 7, 2003, 12:20 PM
originally posted by IJ Reilly
Some of us don't view these issues through the lenses of our parties if only because we don't have a party.

here here.

originally posted by mactastic
I feel that our standing in the international community has suffered dramatically because of some of the rhetoric from the Bush administration, and I am concerned that this may cause us more trouble later on down the road than it solved now.

it's pretty stunning how quickly the worldwide sympathy for the US after 9/11 has reversed into anger and even hatred.

IJ Reilly
Aug 7, 2003, 01:07 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Man, I admire that you are an independent. But I riddle you this. If the UN doesn't support a military action for what ever reason, does that mean that we cannot take action for our own interests. I am not talking about this case specifically, but remember, that the action in Bosnia wasn't supported by the UN either. So, why is the UN the end all of US policy. Why let foriegn governments determine the actions of the us.

Every case has its own individual considerations. In Bosnia the US had the support of NATO and neighboring nations, which was important and helpful both for the long and short runs. Continued strife in the Balkans threatened to spill over into neighboring countries (especially Greece). A European calamity was in the making.

Does the US ever have the right to take unilateral military action? Yes, of course -- when we're attacked, or at the very least can demonstrate that we're about to be attacked. And if that's the case, I don't see why our traditional allies at least (if not the UN) won't also be persuaded of the immanency of the threat and the rightness of the cause. In the case of Iraq, the Bush administration took the position from the very beginning that no level of international consent was required, and this is where I think Bush pointed the nation down a very different and more dangerous road. (Quite a few prominent Republicans also have this concern.)

So acting in our interests, sure. But the question is how we act in those interests, and even more importantly, how those interests are defined.

Sayhey
Aug 7, 2003, 01:30 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
My point is not about people like me or you. My point is that the same democrats in Congress that are now trying to discredit Bush, called for the removal of Saddam in 98 by any means necessary.

I find that very sad.

The people like you and I are progressive democrats who are looking for a third party that's a viable alternative?;) Funny, I hadn't peg you for a "fellow traveller."

Democrats as well as republicans signed on to initiatives to help Iraqis overthrow Saddam. No one signed on to an invasion until last October (November?) when the congressional resolutions were passed. I criticize the democrats who bowed to political pressure and casted their votes with Bush. Yes, it is hypocritical for the Dems to have voted for the resolution and now jump on Bush. The hypocrisy doesn't prove Bush right; it only proves that some folks don't have much backbone.

mactastic
Aug 7, 2003, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
The people like you and I are progressive democrats who are looking for a third party that's a viable alternative?;) Funny, I hadn't peg you for a "fellow traveller."

Democrats as well as republicans signed on to initiatives to help Iraqis overthrow Saddam. No one signed on to an invasion until last October (November?) when the congressional resolutions were passed. I criticize the democrats who bowed to political pressure and casted their votes with Bush. Yes, it is hypocritical for the Dems to have voted for the resolution and now jump on Bush. The hypocrisy doesn't prove Bush right; it only proves that some folks don't have much backbone.

Amen to that, most democrats were taking positions that were designed to cover their political ass rather than stand up for what they believed. Very few were willing to risk facing the planned Republican assault on anyone who voted against either the war, or the tax cuts. For shame! Paul Wellstone is probably spinning in his grave over it.

pseudobrit
Aug 7, 2003, 06:46 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
That's why I get a bit grumpy at the "Bush lied!" stuff. Whether or not he got fed wrong info is another matter, entirely. He certainly had reason to be predisposed to believe that Saddam had WMD. How many times have any of us made statements based on what we thought were others' truthful commentaries?

How many times have any of us made war on what we thought were others' truthful commentaries?

Desertrat
Aug 7, 2003, 06:52 PM
Sayhey said, in part, "Either we have incompentant intelligence services or someone took the edge of the envelope estimates and used them for political purposes."

I'm not sure that "incompetent" is the appropriate word. Seat of the pants, it's a bit more likely that "the system" or "bureaucratic inefficiency" plays a part. That is, raw data is analyzed, but the opinions of the analyst might affect the meaning or conclusions from the data.

"Used them for political purposes."? Yeah, likely. Always remember that bureaucrats are forever; elected officials come and go. Not just in intelligence agencies, but in others such as EPA or USF&WS, etc. The employees at whatever level are people and as such have their own agendas.

It's a form of corruption that has been around since kings first had advisors and spies...

'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 7, 2003, 08:48 PM
Originally posted by Sayhey
The people like you and I are progressive democrats who are looking for a third party that's a viable alternative?;) Funny, I hadn't peg you for a "fellow traveller."

Democrats as well as republicans signed on to initiatives to help Iraqis overthrow Saddam. No one signed on to an invasion until last October (November?) when the congressional resolutions were passed. I criticize the democrats who bowed to political pressure and casted their votes with Bush. Yes, it is hypocritical for the Dems to have voted for the resolution and now jump on Bush. The hypocrisy doesn't prove Bush right; it only proves that some folks don't have much backbone.

Well, here is a great thread that I started a while back. You can see how I feel about Politics, and what I will run on when I run for President.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=8256&highlight=platform

Sayhey
Aug 7, 2003, 09:08 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Well, here is a great thread that I started a while back. You can see how I feel about Politics, and what I will run on when I run for President.

http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?threadid=8256&highlight=platform

B2TM,
I'm the father of two so I understand the sentiments expressed in your thread. However, I'm against the death penalty. I know you start out with the proposition of life without parole, but it seems to go to the death penalty pretty quick. I don't like the State being in the business of executing people. To many abuses are possible that can never be set right. If you do run let us all know so we can follow the campaign. Good luck.

Sayhey
Aug 7, 2003, 09:21 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat I'm not sure that "incompetent" is the appropriate word. Seat of the pants, it's a bit more likely that "the system" or "bureaucratic inefficiency" plays a part. That is, raw data is analyzed, but the opinions of the analyst might affect the meaning or conclusions from the data.

"Used them for political purposes."? Yeah, likely. Always remember that bureaucrats are forever; elected officials come and go. Not just in intelligence agencies, but in others such as EPA or USF&WS, etc. The employees at whatever level are people and as such have their own agendas.

It's a form of corruption that has been around since kings first had advisors and spies...

'Rat

'Rat,
I used the word incompetent because I can think of no other to discribe an agency that tells us that Saddam has WMDs that are being produced and deployed to the extent they can be used within 45 minutes and after months of searching none can be found. My gut tells me that the intelligence folks told the political boys that the danger fell within a range and the politico types just took the best case for their plan to invade. The rumblings of this have been reported by many folks including Seymour Hersch at the New Yorker.

Sure there are agendas at many different levels of the government, but the shots on this one were called by Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Wolfowitz.

By the way, I like the Hightower quote - always liked him.

Desertrat
Aug 7, 2003, 10:23 PM
Sayhey, have you seen the photo-series of the GIs excavating the nearly-buried Mig? Only the tops of the rudders hadn't been covered. It does make me wonder what other stuff might be more deeply buried...

(The .ppt series was sent to me as an email enclosure, and I'm not savvy enough to know how to add it to the post.)

'Rat

Sayhey
Aug 7, 2003, 10:50 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Sayhey, have you seen the photo-series of the GIs excavating the nearly-buried Mig? Only the tops of the rudders hadn't been covered. It does make me wonder what other stuff might be more deeply buried...

(The .ppt series was sent to me as an email enclosure, and I'm not savvy enough to know how to add it to the post.)

'Rat

I've heard about them; I haven't seen them. Could be all kind of stuff buried in Iraq, but makes you wonder why they would bury the only weapons that had any hope of stopping US & British troops. This stuff was supposed to be availible within 45 minutes to strike our troops. I'm sure it wasn't Saddam's humanitarian misgivings that stopped them from using these weapons.

Pinto
Aug 7, 2003, 11:10 PM
Originally posted by Ambrose Chapel
here here.



it's pretty stunning how quickly the worldwide sympathy for the US after 9/11 has reversed into anger and even hatred.

My sympathy (for the US rather than individuals) began disappearing within a day.

Once Bush started saying things like "this happened not because of anything the US did, but because they hate freedom" and "this is an attack on freedom" etc.

Also when CNN on the same day showed images of Palestinian woman celebrating the attack, when in fact those images were from years ago.


9/11 was the best thing that could have happened to Bush, and watching him take advantage of a tragedy was just sickening.

I hear all the time people saying that Bush and his attitude is not representative of the US public in general, but the fact is, as President he is representative of the US.

At the moment that image is one of a lying bully, and so that's how America is viewed.

Everything the US does is in it's own interest, that's ok because thats what countries generally do. Just stop spouting on about freedom and "In God we Trust" because all the US does is pay lip-service to such ideals, and hypocrisy is universally hated by all cultures.

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 12:28 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
B2TM,
I'm the father of two so I understand the sentiments expressed in your thread. However, I'm against the death penalty. I know you start out with the proposition of life without parole, but it seems to go to the death penalty pretty quick. I don't like the State being in the business of executing people. To many abuses are possible that can never be set right. If you do run let us all know so we can follow the campaign. Good luck.

And I support your opinion, and agree with you on most cases. Except those that involve the murder or rape of a child, or other special circumstances.

Here is a link to my Brothers picture and case. Notice that an execution order was given for June 5th, but it is currently stayed.
http://www.adc.state.az.us/DeathRow/DRowTZ.htm#TOWERY

Sayhey
Aug 8, 2003, 12:45 AM
Originally posted by Pinto
My sympathy (for the US rather than individuals) began disappearing within a day.

Once Bush started saying things like "this happened not because of anything the US did, but because they hate freedom" and "this is an attack on freedom" etc.

Also when CNN on the same day showed images of Palestinian woman celebrating the attack, when in fact those images were from years ago.


9/11 was the best thing that could have happened to Bush, and watching him take advantage of a tragedy was just sickening.

I hear all the time people saying that Bush and his attitude is not representative of the US public in general, but the fact is, as President he is representative of the US.

At the moment that image is one of a lying bully, and so that's how America is viewed.

Everything the US does is in it's own interest, that's ok because thats what countries generally do. Just stop spouting on about freedom and "In God we Trust" because all the US does is pay lip-service to such ideals, and hypocrisy is universally hated by all cultures.

Pinto,
I have spent most of my life trying to stop people in powerful positions, like Bush, from bullying the less powerful - and I'm an American. Bush doesn't represent my interests or the interests of the millions of Americans who took to the streets to try and stop the war. He doesn't even represent the majority of people who voted in 2000.

Having said that what he can claim to represent is the resolve of people to not let religious fundamentalists conduct a holy war of terror against any society that does not conform to medieval doctrines of conduct. I'm sure that resolve is still as strong in New Zealand as it is here and in many other nations of the world.

Does Bush use the objections of the world against terror to further other ends? I think he does, but it does no good to overlook the need to be steadfast against al-Qaeda and others who would set the world back centuries.

If you truly object to the conduct of the US government then it might be advisible to try and work with the many, many Americans who also object to that conduct. In my experience, the only thing going for those of us without the power of Bush etal, is our sheer numbers. Only in unity can the powerful be stopped from their bullying.

Sayhey
Aug 8, 2003, 12:57 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
And I support your opinion, and agree with you on most cases. Except those that involve the murder or rape of a child, or other special circumstances.

Here is a link to my Brothers picture and case. Notice that an execution order was given for June 5th, but it is currently stayed.
http://www.adc.state.az.us/DeathRow/DRowTZ.htm#TOWERY

B2TM,

There is little I can say other than I'm truly sorry to hear about your brother. I don't know any of the details (other than what you posted) of the case and don't know if he is guilty or innocent, but I still will say I don't think the death penalty is something the state should mete out. The punishment of murder by state sanctioned murder does none of us any good. Personally, I wish you the best of luck in what I know must be incredibly difficult times.

zimv20
Aug 8, 2003, 02:57 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Sayhey, have you seen the photo-series of the GIs excavating the nearly-buried Mig? Only the tops of the rudders hadn't been covered. It does make me wonder what other stuff might be more deeply buried...


just want to make sure you understand you are applying this logic:

1. we believe they did something with A
2. they have done that thing with B
3. therefore, they have done that thing with A

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 8, 2003, 06:37 AM
Originally posted by Pinto
9/11 was the best thing that could have happened to Bush, and watching him take advantage of a tragedy was just sickening.

don't forget that the GOP is having their convention next year in nyc, and broke a long-standing gentleman's agreement with the Dems by moving the date closer to 9/11 (i believe conventions had always been agreed to take place prior to labor day)


I hear all the time people saying that Bush and his attitude is not representative of the US public in general, but the fact is, as President he is representative of the US.

Sayhey already wrote what i would here...i know he is the representative of the country, but just remember he wasn't even really elected, certainly not by a majority, and now his approval rating is starting to decline so as to worry GOP bigshots. hopefully this will begin to show the rest of the world that not all americans are behind him.

Desertrat
Aug 8, 2003, 07:41 AM
No, zimv20. It's a "maybe" thing. But, people follow patterns, which is why detectives often succeed in catching crooks.

I don't see where the 45-minute thing is considered important. The Arab world in general, and Saddam in particular, are noted for bluster and braggadocio.

One thing I find intriguing in all this speculation is that Intel folks have been trying to psychoanalyze Saddam ever since he came to power. As near as I can tell, they've failed, miserably. As near as I can tell, he has never at all been predictable in his decisions. (Outside of the generic, "Kill the enemy!"--whomever the perceived enemy might be.)

'Rat

toontra
Aug 8, 2003, 11:00 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
One thing I find intriguing in all this speculation is that Intel folks have been trying to psychoanalyze Saddam ever since he came to power. As near as I can tell, they've failed, miserably. As near as I can tell, he has never at all been predictable in his decisions.

The inability to predict Saddam was where the US came unstuck most spectacularly. IMO they were 99% certain that Saddam would never agree to the unfettered UN inspections outlined in Resolution 1441, because of the humiliation it would represent to him personally, and the fact that it would produce evidence of the WMD, if they existed. The US would then be on strong ground to rally the world around a second (recent) UN resolution.

They were "spectacularly" wrong. Saddam called their bluff and this left the US with no fall-back position. They couldn't let the UN inspections carry on their due course because they realized, too late, that the weapons probably didn't exist. Having decided two years previously that a "tame" Iraq would suit their geo-political ambitions, they were forced into the "preemptive" attack without world support, the consequences of which will be felt for decades.

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 11:38 AM
Originally posted by toontra
The inability to predict Saddam was where the US came unstuck most spectacularly. IMO they were 99% certain that Saddam would never agree to the unfettered UN inspections outlined in Resolution 1441, because of the humiliation it would represent to him personally, and the fact that it would produce evidence of the WMD, if they existed. The US would then be on strong ground to rally the world around a second (recent) UN resolution.

They were "spectacularly" wrong. Saddam called their bluff and this left the US with no fall-back position. They couldn't let the UN inspections carry on their due course because they realized, too late, that the weapons probably didn't exist. Having decided two years previously that a "tame" Iraq would suit their geo-political ambitions, they were forced into the "preemptive" attack without world support, the consequences of which will be felt for decades.

There is only one problem with this. Everyone on the sc voted for 1441 and agreeded that Iraq was in Material Breach. Now, the French, Germans, and Russians did not ever support the invasion, because of their own geo-political interests in Iraq. And that is there right to do so. But should that shape US policy in any way, shape, or form? No, not at all.

Sayhey
Aug 8, 2003, 11:52 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
I don't see where the 45-minute thing is considered important. The Arab world in general, and Saddam in particular, are noted for bluster and braggadocio.

One thing I find intriguing in all this speculation is that Intel folks have been trying to psychoanalyze Saddam ever since he came to power. As near as I can tell, they've failed, miserably. As near as I can tell, he has never at all been predictable in his decisions. (Outside of the generic, "Kill the enemy!"--whomever the perceived enemy might be.)

'Rat

First, we have no place to criticize the so-called "bent" of Arab world for "bluster" when Bush is out there saying "Bring it on!" Second, the 45 minutes is a estimate the US and Britian were putting out not Saddam.

To the larger point, sure it is still quite possible that we will find many things hidden in Iraq that will make our collective hair on the back of our necks stand up, but it won't change the fact that Bush and Blair told us these WMDs were an imminent threat to us. It is that imminency that is key. If the threat is not one that can be dealt with through inspections, UN joint actions, and other pressures on Saddam then B&B can justify the invasion. All the evidence is that the threat was exaggerated in that we were not under any real imminent threat.

toontra
Aug 8, 2003, 12:45 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
There is only one problem with this. Everyone on the sc voted for 1441 and agreeded that Iraq was in Material Breach. Now, the French, Germans, and Russians did not ever support the invasion, because of their own geo-political interests in Iraq. And that is there right to do so. But should that shape US policy in any way, shape, or form? No, not at all.

Your reasoning is flawed. If Saddam had refused access to the UN weapons inspectors, or, if WMD had been found during inspections, there would have almost certainly been a second UN resolution passed authorizing military action, either unanimously or with a large majority.

Your judgment of the French, Russian and German motives are simplistic, not to say misrepresentative.

Sayhey
Aug 8, 2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by toontra
Your judgment of the French, Russian and German motives are simplistic, not to say misrepresentative.

Always wondered how we Americans can attribute the most glorious motives for our leaders and the most base of motives to those who disagree. Couldn't be that French, Russian, and German leaders disagreed on principle, could it?

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 01:46 PM
Originally posted by toontra
Your reasoning is flawed. If Saddam had refused access to the UN weapons inspectors, or, if WMD had been found during inspections, there would have almost certainly been a second UN resolution passed authorizing military action, either unanimously or with a large majority.

Your judgment of the French, Russian and German motives are simplistic, not to say misrepresentative.

No it isn't, and no I am not being misrepresentative. Remember the French said that no matter what they would never authorize the use of force. Saddam was still not allowing inspectors to do their job, and even Blitz said that Iraq was not in full compliance, thus in material breach. Just that other countries would not support force.

toontra
Aug 8, 2003, 02:01 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
No it isn't, and no I am not being misrepresentative. Remember the French said that no matter what they would never authorize the use of force. Saddam was still not allowing inspectors to do their job, and even Blitz said that Iraq was not in full compliance, thus in material breach. Just that other countries would not support force.

Just days before the invasion, Blix said that he was getting unfettered access to all sites, including palaces, and was also getting increasing cooperation from Iraqi scientists. He said that he would be able to ascertain "within months" whether any WMD existed if his inspectors continued their work.

He wasn't given that opportunity.

The French statement you refer to was made in the context of massive intimidation by the US of the minor SC members to tow the US line. You must refer me to similar statements being made by the Germans and Russians - I don't recall them saying anything of the kind.

Desertrat
Aug 8, 2003, 02:33 PM
Sayhey said, "Always wondered how we Americans can attribute the most glorious motives for our leaders and the most base of motives to those who disagree. Couldn't be that French, Russian, and German leaders disagreed on principle, could it?"

I don't mean this as "bashing", but the French have long had a tacit agreement with the various Arabic terrorist groups that so long as violence did not occur on French soil, nor target French nationals, the Surete, et al, would not be activist in their normal efforts. This arrangement has generally been in place since Algerian independence.

The Germans and French have both been major suppliers of all manner of equipment to the Arab world. In general, that's fine; "bidness is bidness". However a significant portion of sales have been of equipment on various forbidden lists as materiel enabling WMD. This is established fact for over thirty years...

One obvious reason for French objection is that Elf/Total was the primary oil agent for Iraqi oil. The Russians had a reason--a five-billion dollar oil deal that (IIRC) Bush assured them could continue (in order to reduce their objecting).

If principles were at all involved on the part of these objecting governments, I'd say that Germany was the only one that was so acting. The German government has been working at stopping "evil exports".

'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 02:52 PM
Originally posted by toontra
Just days before the invasion, Blix said that he was getting unfettered access to all sites, including palaces, and was also getting increasing cooperation from Iraqi scientists. He said that he would be able to ascertain "within months" whether any WMD existed if his inspectors continued their work.

He wasn't given that opportunity.

The French statement you refer to was made in the context of massive intimidation by the US of the minor SC members to tow the US line. You must refer me to similar statements being made by the Germans and Russians - I don't recall them saying anything of the kind.

No, there was not a question about the weapons, but whether Saddam would give them up. Not one scientist was allowed to leave the country. Knowing that there were minders there, do you really think they would have told anything?

Sayhey
Aug 8, 2003, 02:58 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Sayhey said, "Always wondered how we Americans can attribute the most glorious motives for our leaders and the most base of motives to those who disagree. Couldn't be that French, Russian, and German leaders disagreed on principle, could it?"


...If principles were at all involved on the part of these objecting governments, I'd say that Germany was the only one that was so acting. The German government has been working at stopping "evil exports".

'Rat

Didn't mean the above quote to be directed at you, 'Rat. It was meant as a general observation of lack of objectivity of many Americans in trying to understand why others criticize us. I don't think economic and geopolitical reasons did not play into the French, German, or the Russian decisions to take the stand they did. That does not mean they could not object on the grounds of violation of international law and be sincere in those objections.

toontra
Aug 8, 2003, 03:55 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
No, there was not a question about the weapons, but whether Saddam would give them up.

There obviously was a question about the weapons, otherwise why inspections in the first place. As time goes, on that question mark only gets bigger.

To deny that there was any question about the existence of WMD is not a credible position to take, even for a supporter of the US action.

IJ Reilly
Aug 8, 2003, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by toontra
Just days before the invasion, Blix said that he was getting unfettered access to all sites, including palaces, and was also getting increasing cooperation from Iraqi scientists. He said that he would be able to ascertain "within months" whether any WMD existed if his inspectors continued their work.

He wasn't given that opportunity.

The French statement you refer to was made in the context of massive intimidation by the US of the minor SC members to tow the US line. You must refer me to similar statements being made by the Germans and Russians - I don't recall them saying anything of the kind.

The French position got tougher and less flexible as the US position got tougher and less flexible, which is precisely what you'd expect to see in the midst of a failure of diplomacy. Just to clarify for the record, the French position was not in opposition to all uses of force, but to any automatic force-authorizing triggers in Security Council resolutions. This may seem like a distinction without a difference, but it's exactly in such subtle positional gradations that diplomacy occurs and crises can be averted. When I look for a single point at which the Bush administration failed most miserably in this entire affair, it's in their utter lack of patience with the niggling, slogging, and often unrewarding details of diplomacy.

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by toontra
There obviously was a question about the weapons, otherwise why inspections in the first place. As time goes, on that question mark only gets bigger.

To deny that there was any question about the existence of WMD is not a credible position to take, even for a supporter of the US action.

The UN knew that the weapons were there based on documentation that was obtained during the 1st gulf war. The inspectors job is not to have to hunt for the weapons, but to confirm that they have been destoryed through assistence from the host government. They did not do that. They hid them, and blocked inspectors for years. There is no question about their existence unless Saddam made up the documentation so that the US would finally come and get him.

toontra
Aug 8, 2003, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
The UN knew that the weapons were there based on documentation that was obtained during the 1st gulf war. The inspectors job is not to have to hunt for the weapons, but to confirm that they have been destoryed through assistence from the host government. They did not do that. They hid them, and blocked inspectors for years. There is no question about their existence unless Saddam made up the documentation so that the US would finally come and get him.

Just to be clear, I'm talking about the period from September 2002 onwards. I'm afraid you cannot with certainty say that weapons existed in Iraq any more that I can say they didn't.

As to why Saddam refused to explain where the old stock had gone, who knows. I was drawn into this thread by Desertrat's observation that the US seemed unable to predict Saddam's decisions, with which I agreed. I would also say that the US intelligence over this whole issue appears to have been very poor, and when you go into a war predicated on intelligence, boy, you'd better make damn sure that intelligence is good.

That's all; I didn't really want to re-hash all the same old entrenched arguments.

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 05:03 PM
Originally posted by toontra
Just to be clear, I'm talking about the period from September 2002 onwards. I'm afraid you cannot with certainty say that weapons existed in Iraq any more that I can say they didn't.

As to why Saddam refused to explain where the old stock had gone, who knows. I was drawn into this thread by Desertrat's observation that the US seemed unable to predict Saddam's decisions, with which I agreed. I would also say that the US intelligence over this whole issue appears to have been very poor, and when you go into a war predicated on intelligence, boy, you'd better make damn sure that intelligence is good.

That's all; I didn't really want to re-hash all the same old entrenched arguments.

My brother, agree with you, but what about the intel makes you think it was bad intel?

toontra
Aug 8, 2003, 05:28 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
My brother, agree with you, but what about the intel makes you think it was bad intel?

Well, we were told that the best US & UK intelligence said that Saddam was in possession of stockpiles of WMD which were capable of being used within 45 minutes. That has turned out to be almost certainly untrue (4 months down the line already, let's not forget).

Whether any substantial quantity of banned weapons are found remains to be seen, but they are unlikely to have posed the threat that was used to justify the war.

I call that bad intelligence.

B2TM, I know your views on this matter from many other posts and we'll have to agree to disagree, for the time being at least. Neither of us are able to "prove" our claims - let's not waste our time.

Backtothemac
Aug 8, 2003, 05:33 PM
Originally posted by toontra


B2TM, I know your views on this matter from many other posts and we'll have to agree to disagree, for the time being at least. Neither of us are able to "prove" our claims - let's not waste our time.

Agreed. Man, peace and harmony in the political threads. Go figure ;)

zimv20
Aug 9, 2003, 01:16 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Remember the French said that no matter what they would never authorize the use of force.

they said they'd not support military action under 1441. they didn't exclude the possibility of another UN resolution.

i know you think they had other motives, but their stated position was: give the inspectors more time. i do not think that was an unreasonable position even at the time, and especially in light of, as sayhey is pointing out, the lack of evidence now indicating there was an immediate threat.

Desertrat
Aug 9, 2003, 09:09 AM
I guess every now and then I ain't wrong in self-back-patting. While I understood the reasoning of Bush I, et al, at the end of Desert Storm about leaving Saddam in as a balance of power, I thought it was a big mistake. Said so.

"More time." "More time." I've been listening to that crap for a half a danged century, and all I've seen is evil bastards taking advantage of more time in order to kill more people. Saddam had a dozen (bleep) years to get right with Jesus. How (bleep) much time did he need?

(Obviously I could get into one hellacious rant, here.)

'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 9, 2003, 10:06 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
B2TM,

There is little I can say other than I'm truly sorry to hear about your brother. I don't know any of the details (other than what you posted) of the case and don't know if he is guilty or innocent, but I still will say I don't think the death penalty is something the state should mete out. The punishment of murder by state sanctioned murder does none of us any good. Personally, I wish you the best of luck in what I know must be incredibly difficult times.

I understand, but look at this guy. Read his case. http://www.adc.state.az.us/DeathRow/DRowTZ.htm#TANKERSLEY

Should we pay to keep him alive, and risk the chance that he could hurt someone else? Or should we just get rid of him? Or, I say let the old lady's family deal with him.

Thanks for the kind words of encouragement. My brother committed the crime, and will meet his fate. The law is absolute, he knew it, and choose to be part of what happened that night.

mactastic
Aug 9, 2003, 11:17 AM
It still costs more to execute people than to lock them away for life. And IMHO life sentences should occur in deep dark holes. Possibly with grates on them, but thats as much comfort as I'm willing to allow.

Backtothemac
Aug 9, 2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
It still costs more to execute people than to lock them away for life. And IMHO life sentences should occur in deep dark holes. Possibly with grates on them, but thats as much comfort as I'm willing to allow.

It costs more to execute people becuase of the legal ramblings that occur to try to have the sentence overturned. If we had it to where there was not doubt. DNA evidence, or multiple witnesses, etc. Put in an express line, and it would be much less expensive. Plus, you cannot have cruel punishment, so deep dark holes won't work ;)

mactastic
Aug 9, 2003, 11:23 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
It costs more to execute people becuase of the legal ramblings that occur to try to have the sentence overturned. If we had it to where there was not doubt. DNA evidence, or multiple witnesses, etc. Put in an express line, and it would be much less expensive. Plus, you cannot have cruel punishment, so deep dark holes won't work ;)

Well you are right, and IMHO execution is far less cruel than a deep dark hole, but it is also reversible if for some reason we ever messed up.

Backtothemac
Aug 9, 2003, 11:27 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
Well you are right, and IMHO execution is far less cruel than a deep dark hole, but it is also reversible if for some reason we ever messed up.

Well, that is another thing. No death penalty unless there is conclusive DNA evidence. Like in my brothers case. The guy that was with him at the murder turned states evidence on my brother saying he did it. Robbie swears the other guy did it. The other guy got 20 years to life, Robbie got 9 life sentences + death. So, the evidence that Robbie did it was another convict pointing a finger at him. That ain't right.

So, must have perfect DNA evidence, or more than 1 credible witness, and if so, make the writ the final appeal. Then see ya!

zimv20
Aug 9, 2003, 12:07 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

Should we pay to keep him alive, and risk the chance that he could hurt someone else? Or should we just get rid of him?

as much as it sucks for society to pay to house and feed a career criminal, i don't see another way. i oppose capital punishment, both on moral grounds and wrt the evidence of how often the judicial system gets it wrong (and how badly misapplied it is to minorities).

this could turn into a nature vs. nurture discussion. was this guy born bad? or did his family and society fail him somehow? if his actions are a result of bad nurturing, i can justify society paying his way until he dies naturally.

that said, i am a proponent of people friggin' taking responsibility for their actions. society failing in certain ways doesn't mean this guy can absolve himself of guilt or responsibility.

Sayhey
Aug 9, 2003, 02:59 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
Should we pay to keep him alive, and risk the chance that he could hurt someone else? Or should we just get rid of him? Or, I say let the old lady's family deal with him.

I have no problem with life in prision without possibility of parole. Someone commits a crime like this, I don't want to see them outside of prison. I think the State's interest in punishing criminals should be something other than revenge. I would completely understand the victim's family if they wanted to see him drawn & quartered, but the State must act on the needs of society at large. That means making sure that such criminals never see the light of day, but it doesn't mean collective murder - no matter how evil the individual.

pseudobrit
Aug 9, 2003, 03:28 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
"More time." "More time." I've been listening to that crap for a half a danged century, and all I've seen is evil bastards taking advantage of more time in order to kill more people.

And now we're listening to it from Bush on his hunt for WMD, while he takes advantage of more time to kill more people.

Desertrat
Aug 9, 2003, 03:57 PM
"Hey, GI! Us leftover Saddamites don't want you here, so when we shoot at you, don't you shoot back!" Right on, PseudoBrit!

Heck, we'd be gone a lot sooner, if the Saddamites would stay quiet for a few months...

:), 'Rat

Sayhey
Aug 9, 2003, 06:01 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Heck, we'd be gone a lot sooner, if the Saddamites would stay quiet for a few months...

:), 'Rat

Problem is, 'Rat, it looks like we are there to stay regardless if Saddam is alive or dead. From the beggining the military has been talking about bases and it isn't just the leftovers of Saddam's regime that we have to worry about. As your friend Hackworth says it is going to be a long time.

Desertrat
Aug 9, 2003, 07:28 PM
Well, yeah, Sayhey. I was thinking of "stay" in terms of our direct involvement in the Iraqi government. A major base(s) there could easily be set up under some arrangement similar to our Status of Forces agreements during the Cold War, in countries such as Spain or Libya, etc.

From a strategic standpoint, our having bases in western Iraq has lots of pluses. I surely cannot see any US government--with either party in power--pulling our military out of the mideast. My limited understanding is that the rulers of most of those countries--most, not all--tacitly accept us as Big Nanny With A Switch, regardless of public comments. We want stability; they want stability. If we're paying for it, so much the better.

All this is not necessarily anything I advocate; it's just the way the situation appears to me.

'Rat

Sayhey
Aug 9, 2003, 09:32 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Well, yeah, Sayhey. I was thinking of "stay" in terms of our direct involvement in the Iraqi government. A major base(s) there could easily be set up under some arrangement similar to our Status of Forces agreements during the Cold War, in countries such as Spain or Libya, etc.

From a strategic standpoint, our having bases in western Iraq has lots of pluses. I surely cannot see any US government--with either party in power--pulling our military out of the mideast. My limited understanding is that the rulers of most of those countries--most, not all--tacitly accept us as Big Nanny With A Switch, regardless of public comments. We want stability; they want stability. If we're paying for it, so much the better.

All this is not necessarily anything I advocate; it's just the way the situation appears to me.

'Rat

Bases have a lot of pluses if your aim is to project US military power into the region. I'd question the wisdom of such goals. True stability won't come under US guns.

pseudobrit
Aug 9, 2003, 10:04 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
"Hey, GI! Us leftover Saddamites don't want you here, so when we shoot at you, don't you shoot back!" Right on, PseudoBrit!

Heck, we'd be gone a lot sooner, if the Saddamites would stay quiet for a few months...

:), 'Rat

I never blamed the troops, so please don't try to make it sound like I have.

Hey, let's paint a picture, part true, a part fiction:

The year is 1812, and you're a proud American citizen. The British are at war with you! They say they're there to end the brutal practice of slavery and free the slaves from the evil system the USA allows them to languish under.

They march on Washington and burn the Presidential palace! The president flees and is nowhere to be found! The Brits have occupied most areas and have control of most of the nation!

Whatcha gonna do? Lie back and take it? Or fight for slavery?

Desertrat
Aug 9, 2003, 11:28 PM
In the context of 1812, I'd fight "for slavery". A minority owned slaves, but I'd bet a majority believed it was a "right". (Totally OT: In the southern US, some 3% of all landowners owned slaves. I've yet to have somebody who believed "the Civil War was about slavery" explain how that 3% got so many of the 97% to go to war. (shrug) No class conciousness, I guess.)

I'll leave it up to you to tell me whether the pro-Saddam shooters represent the majority of all Iraqis.

And I took it for granted you weren't knocking the troops. SFAIK, nobody is, regardless of views as to US policy. Right, wrong or indifferent, though, folks that get shot at, shoot back. You, PseudoBrit, phrased it as though the Bushies are busy killing Iraqis for the fun of it.

I just see it as the sooner things get quiet, the sooner we can quit messing in Iraq's internal affairs. The sooner the Saddamites quit shooting, the sooner everybody there can work things out.

Sayhey, whether we're there or not, true stability in that region won't ever come about with the styles of the present regimes. The problems created by the Sharia-lovers seem endless. But I don't want to get over into yakking about energy and the US lifestyle, at least not in this thread. :)

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 10, 2003, 01:31 AM
I think pseudobrit's point was, the Bush administration wasn't councilng patience when it came to scheduling an invasion, but is demanding patience now, when it comes to finding the WMDs (which it just so happens was central to the sales pitch for the war).

Ugg
Aug 10, 2003, 01:55 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
From a strategic standpoint, our having bases in western Iraq has lots of pluses. I surely cannot see any US government--with either party in power--pulling our military out of the mideast. My limited understanding is that the rulers of most of those countries--most, not all--tacitly accept us as Big Nanny With A Switch, regardless of public comments. We want stability; they want stability. If we're paying for it, so much the better.


Except for Saudi Arabia, of course. Our biggest "ally" in the region has never been able to accept its relationship with the US and 9-11, al Qaeda, and the funding of terrorism are results of that uneasy relationship. The US needs the oil, the Saud Family needs the money but hates the US so pokes and prods where it can.

The rulers that do accept us tend to be in charge of a small percentage of the population, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, UAE, etc. Iran, Syria, Pakistan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia don't want us there and they've spoken in no uncertain terms.

Further US involvement in the Middle east will only lead to standoffs like the one in Korea.

Sayhey
Aug 10, 2003, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
...Sayhey, whether we're there or not, true stability in that region won't ever come about with the styles of the present regimes. The problems created by the Sharia-lovers seem endless. But I don't want to get over into yakking about energy and the US lifestyle, at least not in this thread. :)

'Rat

'Rat, I'm all for helping people change the "style of their regimes" when they want to build a more democratic society. I'd like to do it here and get rid of the electoral college and undemocratic recalls, but that's another question. My point is you can't do that by imposing our will on other nations through our military. I don't want to sound like a broken record, but our basing of troops in Iraq for the long term will show our true intentions for this invasion. It's about power, first and foremost.
True stability, IMHO, comes from nations respecting the rights of other nations. It comes from the people of each nation being able to express their will in the form and nature of their government. Figuring out how to make both of those things true isn't always easy, but US troops on a mission to establish a beachhead in the region that will be compliant to US wishes and allow for the further projection of military power from its territory won't help find that true stability.

On a personal note, 'Rat, if I called fundamentalist christians "bible-lovers," you think they might find it offensive?

pseudobrit
Aug 10, 2003, 07:37 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Totally OT: In the southern US, some 3% of all landowners owned slaves. I've yet to have somebody who believed "the Civil War was about slavery" explain how that 3% got so many of the 97% to go to war. (shrug) No class conciousness, I guess.)

No sense of historical accuracy I guess.

The number is closer to 25%.

You, PseudoBrit, phrased it as though the Bushies are busy killing Iraqis for the fun of it.

You phrased it as though every enemy we fought was busy killing people for the fun of it. I'm just trying to make you think that maybe we're not always the good guy. It's all about perception and perspective and it's easy to lose both when it's your own country doing the wrong.

I just see it as the sooner things get quiet, the sooner we can quit messing in Iraq's internal affairs.

I just see it as the sooner we quit messing in Iraq's internal affairs, the sooner it can get quiet.

Desertrat
Aug 10, 2003, 10:38 AM
I've said before that I think many of our foreign policy decisions which eventually led to our uses of military force were mistaken. I still hold to that view.

BUT: We are in Iraq. We are there, and there's no time machine to go back and redo anything. With that in mind, do you think that if we totally pulled all our military out of the mideast, right now, that things would really "get better"?

I'm coming from the position that if we can fulfill our stated intention of helping Iraq get some form of democratic system, we can pull back from several other countries. At some point, I hope, we could reduce our military presence in the entire area.

To some extent, I can compare our presence in the mideast, vis-a-vis stability, to the USSR's presence in the Balkans. After the USSR collapsed and no longer had any control, the internecine killing began.

In the mideast, we have the anti-Sauds, the Iranian efforts to export their version of Islam, and the general Arab efforts at genocide in Israel. I'm not sure, but I'd imagine our presence sorta holds things down to a dull roar...

'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 10, 2003, 11:20 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
as much as it sucks for society to pay to house and feed a career criminal, i don't see another way. i oppose capital punishment, both on moral grounds and wrt the evidence of how often the judicial system gets it wrong (and how badly misapplied it is to minorities).

this could turn into a nature vs. nurture discussion. was this guy born bad? or did his family and society fail him somehow? if his actions are a result of bad nurturing, i can justify society paying his way until he dies naturally.

that said, i am a proponent of people friggin' taking responsibility for their actions. society failing in certain ways doesn't mean this guy can absolve himself of guilt or responsibility.
See I have to say that I think it is required for justice to be served. For example. The guy that raped and murdered 5 year old Samantha Runion. The little girl was 5. He sodomized her and ruptured her organs, and left her by the side of the road.

Now, is he a minority? Yep. Do I care? Nope. How is it justice to let him live with three square meals a day for the rest of his natural life? While everyday their parents have to get up looking at their little girl's pictures knows that the beast that did that to their daughter is still breathing air? How is that fair? How is that justice? It isn't. Some people are way to dangerous to let them stay alive. If they excape. Just imagine.

Now, as far as minorities getting the death penalty more often. Well, go back a page or two, and look at the guys on death row with my brother. You will find that it is an equal spead of folks. As sorry, but it is a fact that more minorities commit violent crimes, thus, more likely to be sentenced to death.

Now, I know you must think, how can this guy be pro-death penalty with his brother sitting on death row. Because I don't change my beliefs to my personal life like in this case. They are constant and grounded. I think we call that character ;)

Sayhey
Aug 10, 2003, 11:22 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
...BUT: We are in Iraq. We are there, and there's no time machine to go back and redo anything. With that in mind, do you think that if we totally pulled all our military out of the mideast, right now, that things would really "get better"?

I'm coming from the position that if we can fulfill our stated intention of helping Iraq get some form of democratic system, we can pull back from several other countries. At some point, I hope, we could reduce our military presence in the entire area.

...In the mideast, we have the anti-Sauds, the Iranian efforts to export their version of Islam, and the general Arab efforts at genocide in Israel. I'm not sure, but I'd imagine our presence sorta holds things down to a dull roar...

'Rat

I agree to simply walk out is not the answer. I think I already stated in this thread (or was it another - they tend to blend together after awhile) that to do so would invite the balkanization of Iraq and the setting up of a "mini"- Iran. In this situation I think we have to hold the administration to its rhetoric about Iraqi democracy. In doing so it would be extremely helpful if the UN and other nations were involved in laying the basis for Iraqi democracy. It will also cost lots of money in the rebuilding of the infrastructure of society; something most nations don't want to help us with because of our unilateral decisions that brought on the invasion.

'Rat, I think it was you that called the situation "riding a tiger" and I agree with the metaphor. It's a horrible situation, but unless we abandon any "imperial" ambitions it is going to get worse.

Sayhey
Aug 10, 2003, 11:39 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
See I have to say that I think it is required for justice to be served. For example. The guy that raped and murdered 5 year old Samantha Runion. The little girl was 5. He sodomized her and ruptured her organs, and left her by the side of the road.

Now, is he a minority? Yep. Do I care? Nope. How is it justice to let him live with three square meals a day for the rest of his natural life? While everyday their parents have to get up looking at their little girl's pictures knows that the beast that did that to their daughter is still breathing air? How is that fair? How is that justice? It isn't. Some people are way to dangerous to let them stay alive. If they excape. Just imagine.

Now, as far as minorities getting the death penalty more often. Well, go back a page or two, and look at the guys on death row with my brother. You will find that it is an equal spead of folks. As sorry, but it is a fact that more minorities commit violent crimes, thus, more likely to be sentenced to death.

Now, I know you must think, how can this guy be pro-death penalty with his brother sitting on death row. Because I don't change my beliefs to my personal life like in this case. They are constant and grounded. I think we call that character ;)

B2TM,
There never will be fairness in any of these cases. Fair would be Samantha and other victims like her having their lives back. We could kill, maim, or torture the criminals who do these crimes from now until the cows come home and no degree of fairness will be achieved.

Instead we have to look at the type of society we want to be and what protections we need to put in to place. The removal from society forever of people who commit particularly heinous crimes is something we can all agree on. The question comes down to, IMHO, do we want to cede to the state the power to kill in our name and if so for what purpose? If it is to sate the need for revenge upon people who do these horrible acts, then I don't want any part of it. If it is to safeguard society from these criminals, then we can accomplish that with life terms without parole and at the same time prevent the taking of innocent life if a mistake in justice is made.

IJ Reilly
Aug 10, 2003, 11:48 AM
From my morning paper:

Iraqi Exiles Say They're Excluded From Rebuilding
A member of the new development panel has quit and others may follow. They say the U.S. is reluctant to share policymaking duties.

WASHINGTON — Some Iraqi exiles recruited by the Pentagon to help rebuild their homeland are pressing for a bigger role in reconstruction, saying they have been sidelined by Americans who view them as foot soldiers rather than partners in policymaking.

One prominent political scientist has resigned from the Iraqi Reconstruction and Development Council, and others are threatening to leave if the U.S.-led coalition does not address their concerns.

Coalition officials say the grumbling is limited to a handful of the approximately 130 Iraqi expatriates serving in Iraq on the IRDC, which was formed by the Pentagon in March to assist with postwar reconstruction planning.

But interviews with several IRDC members and other Iraqis familiar with the reconstruction effort suggest the dissatisfaction is shared by more than a few, and may reflect a management style that is contributing to anti-American sentiment in Iraq.

"The population of Iraq perceives correctly that it is the occupiers who are running things. Everybody else is there in some secondary or subservient role," said Chicago attorney Feisal Istrabadi, an advisor to Iraqi Governing Council member Adnan Pachachi.

"It's just like in the old days under the British mandate," Istrabadi said. "Technically, you had an Iraqi minister. But it was the senior advisor, who was always a Briton, who was running things. If you wanted to get things done, you went and saw the fellow with the blue eyes, not the Iraqi. That is very much the situation as it's perceived today."

In the view of some Iraqis, the concerns raised by some IRDC members reflect a broader problem that is corroding the relationship between allied authorities who see themselves as benevolent liberators and a population that increasingly regards them as insensitive overlords.


More. (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/iraq/la-fg-exiles10aug10,1,4392341.story?)

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 10, 2003, 02:10 PM
iraq: i agree that we can't simply pull out now, but otoh..i don't know! i don't know if the claims that the iraqis have are legitimate or if they are scared to speak well of the americans because saddam is still alive and they still fear him...there was an article in the ny times recently about the communication breakdown there. none of the iraqis believe the us-run news station, and so they don't know what is happening. a bunch of iraqis interviewed didn't know who bremer was, and once they were told, automatically called him a liar b/c he is american. i don't know what the answer is but there needs to be some serious bridge-building.

death penalty: i support it in theory...someone who is a dangerous predator and nothing more should be executed if the crimes warrant it...but there is too much political ambition in the mix for me to trust in our society's ability to decide when the death penalty is justified. you may remember the case from the chicago-area a few years ago - brutally murdered child, huge public outcry, 2 low-rent thugs wanted the reward money and claimed to be witnesses, DA with political ambition decided to railroard them convicting them w/ death penalty and retrying them once or even twice after appeals set them free (or at least commuted the sentence, can't remember), meanwhile the real killer (who the cops knew was really guilty) killed again b/c the DA didn't want to acknowledge his guilt in railroading the other 2 guys..finally one of the officers admitted the whole thing and brought everyone down. that and texas' record...no we as a society are not ready to decide life and death in criminal cases, imho.

Desertrat
Aug 10, 2003, 05:59 PM
IJ, I sure agree we don't want to be seen as being ultra-picky and exclusionary, but it might be helpful to know something about those who feel excluded. A Devil's Advocate view might well be that not all those who professed to have fled Saddam are actually competent to be in a high government position...

I spend a lot of time with the feeling that too many journalists just don't really know what questions to ask, and it's frustrating. My mother's phrase is, "News Lite".

Which heads off towards Ambrose' comment about communications breakdown...

'Rat

IJ Reilly
Aug 10, 2003, 06:09 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
IJ, I sure agree we don't want to be seen as being ultra-picky and exclusionary, but it might be helpful to know something about those who feel excluded. A Devil's Advocate view might well be that not all those who professed to have fled Saddam are actually competent to be in a high government position..

At 130 people, this group is quite small. If the coalition forces can't find 130 competent people in all of Iraq, that suggests another problem altogether. Besides, it matters very little who the dissatisfied people may be, and it's unclear to me what you might do with this information if you had it. Perceptions can't be fought with facts.

zimv20
Aug 10, 2003, 06:35 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
See I have to say that I think it is required for justice to be served.


what happened to the 5 year old is one of the more horrible things i've heard. if something like that happened to my nephew, i'd want to kill the guy myself.

i can understand an individual's desire for revenge, but i don't think that is the state's job. as horrible as it is for the family, i still oppose it.

to answer your question, no, it's not fair.

it is a fact that more minorities commit violent crimes, thus, more likely to be sentenced to death.


studies have consistently shown that minorities disproportionately receive more severe penalties for their crimes, including application of the death penalty.

this is why former illinois governer jim ryan (GOP) declared a moritorium on the state's death penalty. he used to believe in it, until studies he commissioned showed how it was being applied. now he's very anti-death penalty.

Backtothemac
Aug 10, 2003, 09:19 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
what happened to the 5 year old is one of the more horrible things i've heard. if something like that happened to my nephew, i'd want to kill the guy myself.

i can understand an individual's desire for revenge, but i don't think that is the state's job. as horrible as it is for the family, i still oppose it.

to answer your question, no, it's not fair.


No, not revenge, but justice. How many times do these guys get out, only to do the same thing to another person. No prision is 100% escape proof.

So, why risk the threat to society. I say good ridence to them. They reap what they sow.

zimv20
Aug 10, 2003, 09:31 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
No, not revenge, but justice. How many times do these guys get out, only to do the same thing to another person. No prision is 100% escape proof.


'get out' as in escaping? i bet it's not that often, overall.

i can't buy that killing someone is a reasonable solution to 'leaky' prisons.

pseudobrit
Aug 10, 2003, 09:40 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
So, why risk the threat to society. I say good ridence to them. They reap what they sow.

1 of 7 later have their sentence overturned, often because of innocence.

Good riddance indeed.

wwworry
Aug 10, 2003, 10:24 PM
I still say there is clear evidence of the Bush administration overstating the immediate Iraqi threat or using evidence that turned out to be wrong to convince the American people of the need to go to war with Iraq. That much is not debatable.

How did 50% of the American public get the idea that Iraqis were in on the 9/11 attacks?

There is clear evidence that the Bush administration will over-ride scientific conlusions editing them out of publications when it does not agree with their policy. This much is not debatable.

THere is evidence that the Bush administration will use financial audits as a tool to discourage non-profits that do not agree with administration policy.

Call it what you will but it is not honest and not open. No matter what the situation was in Iraq the American people deserve better from their elected officials.

Powell's battle cry fails test of time (http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/front/6496667.htm)

As for the death pemalty I think it should only be used when there is more evidence than eywitness testimony AND the person charged has to agree to capital punishment. AND they would even have to administer their own poison. I pity whoever's job it is to kill someone. Humans should not kill other humans. Most other species have that common sence.

zimv20
Aug 10, 2003, 10:58 PM
Originally posted by wwworry

Powell's battle cry fails test of time (http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/front/6496667.htm)


wow, total debunk-fest.

pseudobrit
Aug 10, 2003, 11:20 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
wow, total debunk-fest.

Oh, come on! This was never really about WMD anyway, it was about freeing the people of Iraq from a terrible dictator who would have murdered them all! It was about making sure their valuable oil would be controlled by US oil giants where Dick Cheney used to be CEO! It was about making sure a 9/11 never happens again!

Backtothemac
Aug 11, 2003, 12:40 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Oh, come on! This was never really about WMD anyway, it was about freeing the people of Iraq from a terrible dictator who would have murdered them all! It was about making sure their valuable oil would be controlled by US oil giants where Dick Cheney used to be CEO! It was about making sure a 9/11 never happens again! :rolleyes:


Wow, you almost got the entire thing. Why mock a peoples freedom? Why? Does it do any good at all? I don't undertand why you and others have so much hostility towards this administration. I just don't get it.

:(

zimv20
Aug 11, 2003, 12:46 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
I don't undertand why you and others have so much hostility towards this administration. I just don't get it.


- their actions don't match their words
- their actions make me feel cynical
- they inspire distrust
- i see no leadership or reason for hope

as an exercise, go back and read just the thread titles (particularly, the ones i've started) and you'll get a nice overview of why i'm cynical.

Backtothemac
Aug 11, 2003, 12:48 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
- their actions don't match their words
- their actions make me feel cynical
- they inspire distrust
- i see no leadership or reason for hope

as an exercise, go back and read just the thread titles (particularly, the ones i've started) and you'll get a nice overview of why i'm cynical.

Yea, but you have to find some truth to what they say. Every word cannot be a lie. THat is how I felt about Clinton. Not 100% of what the man said was a lie, and he was my President.

Would you take a bullet for Bush?

zimv20
Aug 11, 2003, 12:50 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

Would you take a bullet for Bush?

no.

some friends and family members, yes. why?

Backtothemac
Aug 11, 2003, 12:53 AM
Originally posted by zimv20
no.

some friends and family members, yes. why?

Just curious. I would take one for any President. That doesn't make me better than you, just dummer than you ;)

Sayhey
Aug 11, 2003, 12:54 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
:rolleyes:


Wow, you almost got the entire thing. Why mock a peoples freedom? Why? Does it do any good at all? I don't undertand why you and others have so much hostility towards this administration. I just don't get it.

:(

B2TM,
I'm hostile to this administration because I believe that it like no other administration in my lifetime (starting with Eisenhower) is a danger to the future of our nation. The combination of what looks to me as empire building internationally and the undermining of basic constitutional rights at home (read as the "US Patriot Act") is something that makes me worry for the future. It is not helped by the fact that any objections to the administrations chosen path is shouted down as unpatriotic. Their course is hardly politics as usual.

zimv20
Aug 11, 2003, 12:56 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
That doesn't make me better than you, just dummer than you ;)

:-)

hmmmm... maybe it was that basic training ;-)

zimv20
Aug 11, 2003, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
Their course is hardly politics as usual.

yes, using that as a defense is becoming a pet peeve of mine. i see this administration's behavior as markedly more self-serving than any other.

i am truly boggled as to why, while it's so transparent, so many others choose to not see it.

Backtothemac
Aug 11, 2003, 12:58 AM
Originally posted by Sayhey
B2TM,
I'm hostile to this administration because I believe that it like no other administration in my lifetime (starting with Eisenhower) is a danger to the future of our nation. The combination of what looks to me as empire building internationally and the undermining of basic constitutional rights at home (read as the "US Patriot Act") is something that makes me worry for the future. It is not helped by the fact that any objections to the administrations chosen path is shouted down as unpatriotic. Their course is hardly politics as usual.

I am sad that people feel this alienated. I do not find desent upatriotic, I find lies unpatriotic. No matter who is guilty of them. I am a republican though, and I know many here are democrat, some are independent.

I find that the actions of the administration are necessary. Parts of the Patriot Act are pushing the limits, but remember, it is Congress that voted on it, so be mad at them too.

We are not being imperialistic, but yet protecting ourselves from future 9/11's. At least this is how I feel, and we all know what opinions are worth right ;)

pseudobrit
Aug 11, 2003, 01:12 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
I am sad that people feel this alienated. I do not find desent upatriotic, I find lies unpatriotic. No matter who is guilty of them. I am a republican though, and I know many here are democrat, some are independent.

I find that the actions of the administration are necessary. Parts of the Patriot Act are pushing the limits, but remember, it is Congress that voted on it, so be mad at them too.

We are not being imperialistic, but yet protecting ourselves from future 9/11's. At least this is how I feel, and we all know what opinions are worth right ;)

I would rather a 9/11 every week than those fascist pieces of **** called PATRIOT Acts I and II becoming the law of the land forever. Whatever happened to live free or die? Did it become live safe and report to your neighbors to the FBI for reading the op/ed page?

Can you imagine what the founding fathers would have thought of an FBI that can secretly subpeona library records?

zimv20
Aug 11, 2003, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac

We are not being imperialistic, but yet protecting ourselves from future 9/11's.

i feel it's bloodlust and revenge. iraqis were not responsible for 9/11, yet that's where the war went.

*** warning *** cheezy analogy time ***

the US is like the guy whose girlfriend dumped him in a bar. now he's drunk and looking to pick a fight with anyone.

eventually, the bloodlust will wear down and we'll feel stupid. and be universally hated.

zimv20
Aug 11, 2003, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Whatever happened to live free or die?

fear took over

Sayhey
Aug 11, 2003, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
I am sad that people feel this alienated. I do not find desent upatriotic, I find lies unpatriotic. No matter who is guilty of them. I am a republican though, and I know many here are democrat, some are independent.

I find that the actions of the administration are necessary. Parts of the Patriot Act are pushing the limits, but remember, it is Congress that voted on it, so be mad at them too.

We are not being imperialistic, but yet protecting ourselves from future 9/11's. At least this is how I feel, and we all know what opinions are worth right ;)

Believe me when I say I'm sad too that so many feel alienated from our government. I don't look at it as a Democratic and Republican divide. I know very well there are many Republicans who have concerns like I do and many Democrats who support Bush. I do remember that many in Congress both supported the war and went along with the Patriot Act. It just seems to me that the Administration is the straw that stirs the drink.

I know we disagree on many issues, particularly around the war, but I think opinions are worth quite a lot. Indeed part of my worry is concerning the ability to continue to express dissenting ones. I hope I'm wrong and your respect for dissent will soon be expressed in the Administration as well.

IJ Reilly
Aug 11, 2003, 01:34 AM
Finishing off the paper this evening, I came across this OP-ED piece which is worth reprinting in full. I think it should answer BTTM's questions about why some people, including many traditional conservatives, feel alienated by the actions of this administration.

Stepping Off the Platform

By Clyde Prestowitz, Clyde Prestowitz is author of "Rogue Nation" and president of the Economic Strategy Institute. He was a trade negotiator in the Reagan administration.

President Reagan once explained his political switch during the 1950s from the Democrats to the Republicans by saying, "I didn't leave the Democratic Party. The Democratic Party left me." In these days of neoconservative ascendancy among Republicans, traditional conservative Republicans like me increasingly understand how Reagan felt. But this time it's the Republicans who are leaving us.

We conservatives have historically been skeptical of ambitious campaigns abroad aimed at remaking the world. It was the great British conservative philosopher Edmund Burke who cautioned against imperialism by saying: "I dread our being too much dreaded." It was President Dwight D. Eisenhower who argued that "we must not destroy what we are attempting to defend" and who further noted that "an empire on which the sun would never set is one in which the rulers never sleep." And it was John Quincy Adams who warned that if America became "dictatress of the world" then "she would be no longer the ruler of her own spirit."

Traditional conservatives were pleased during the election campaign of 2000 when candidate George W. Bush spoke of the need for a more humble approach to U.S. foreign policy and for reducing excessive U.S. deployments abroad. It therefore came as a shock when the Bush administration seemed to go out of its way to insult and irritate longtime friends and allies.

Take, for instance, the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, a pact beloved by many of America's allies, including Britain. Traditional conservatives generally opposed it because they thought it unfair to U.S. interests. But it had not been submitted for approval to the U.S. Senate in the summer of 2001 and was not going to be because there was no way the Senate would ratify it. Since it was effectively in limbo, many conservatives wondered why the new administration felt a need to take the treaty out of hibernation and loudly reject it, thereby needlessly alienating our allies.

More surprising and of greater concern was the reversal by a small group of self-styled neoconservatives, in the wake of Sept. 11, of Reagan's winning Cold War strategy. The U.S. commitment to "no first strike" and deterrence that brought down the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union was tossed over the side in favor of a doctrine of preventive and preemptive wars. Out, too, were long-term alliances like NATO, and in their place came temporary and shifting "coalitions of the willing."

We were told that Saddam Hussein with his weapons of mass destruction and close ties to Al Qaeda was an imminent threat to the United States in response to which we had to strike before being struck. Subsequently, in the absence of any trace of chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, we have been told the real reason for the invasion was to change the whole nature of the Middle East by recasting it in an American democratic capitalist mold.

So now America has a "mission" that neoconservatives have openly called one of imperialism. This is not what conservatives voted for, nor is it consistent with America's historical anti-imperialism.

Even more important than foreign policy is what's happening on the home front. Traditional conservative Republicans have always been for small government and fiscal responsibility with budgets balanced over time. They have also always emphasized protection of individual rights and supported strong state and local governments. These core conservative values have now been all but rejected.

Take the issue of big government. Although it is often associated with social programs, big government is more often the result of expansion of military programs than of anything else. The Pentagon is by far the biggest part of the U.S. government, and it is growing so fast that its spending will soon top that of all the world's other military establishments combined. Conservatives have always been opposed to rampant bureaucracy, but the new Department of Homeland Security represents a huge bureaucratic conglomerate only slightly behind the Pentagon.

As for balanced budgets, even the Congressional Budget Office's projections show that the surpluses of the 1990s have turned into endless oceans of red ink. The Patriot Act along with new visa regulations and guidelines for investigative agencies has imposed the greatest constraints on individual American freedoms since the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.

Then there is the plight of the states and local governments, of which California is only the most dramatic example. After the federal interventionism of the Clinton administration, traditional conservatives expected a Republican administration to reemphasize, at least to some extent, the rightful powers and authority of state and local governments. Instead, there has been a plethora of federal mandates to the already cash-strapped states, all without any federal funding. Moreover, in areas like educational testing and drug policy, the overriding of state and local government policies through the imposition of federal standards and rules has continued and even accelerated.

The irony here is that it is the supposedly liberal Democrats who are talking about fiscal responsibility, limited government, individual rights and caution on grand missions abroad. So more and more traditional conservatives have been asking the question: Who are really the liberals, and who are the conservatives? Indeed, it was Maine Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, a Republican and member of the traditionally conservative Main Street Coalition, who played a key role in capping Bush's tax cuts at $350 billion; and a large number of Republicans revolted against the neoconservative leadership to vote down new Federal Communications Commission rules allowing further mergers of large media companies. Perhaps this indicates that traditional Republicans are making an important discovery about who they are and where they belong.

There is nothing neo about imperialism. It is just as un-American today as it was in 1776. And there is nothing conservative about the giant military-industrial establishment, budget deficits or failing local and state governments. Far from conservatism, this is radicalism of the right, and it is unsustainable because it is at odds with fundamental — and truly conservative — American values.

wwworry
Aug 11, 2003, 04:54 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
I find that the actions of the administration are necessary. Parts of the Patriot Act are pushing the limits, but remember, it is Congress that voted on it, so be mad at them too.

Was it necessary for the administration to paint such a dire and immediately dangerous picture of Iraq even though the facts did not entirely agree with them?

toontra
Aug 11, 2003, 05:25 AM
Originally posted by wwworry
Was it necessary for the administration to paint such a dire and immediately dangerous picture of Iraq even though the facts did not entirely agree with them?

Exactly. Of course it wasn't "neccessary". Therefore one is forced to look for other explanations such as oil, geo-political control and domestic politiking.

Such a conclusion isn't conspiricy-theorising, it's plain reasoning.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 11, 2003, 06:10 AM
so are these alienated conservatives a threat to W's re-election next year?

as an aside, when was the last time a us president had a line as eloquent as: "an empire on which the sun would never set is one in which the rulers never sleep."

?

Desertrat
Aug 11, 2003, 07:07 AM
IJ, isn't it 130 ex-patriates, not 130 Iraqis, total? While I agree about the "perceptions" aspect, it's not clear to me if it's some of the ex-pats complaining; all of the ex-pats complaining, or some or all of non-ex-pat Iraqis.

A can of worms, regardless...

'Rat

Backtothemac
Aug 11, 2003, 09:05 AM
Originally posted by toontra
Exactly. Of course it wasn't "neccessary". Therefore one is forced to look for other explanations such as oil, geo-political control and domestic politiking.

Such a conclusion isn't conspiricy-theorising, it's plain reasoning.

You know what I love. Say we did not go in. And Bush would have let inspections go on for ANOTHER 12 YEARS, and Saddam would have used a WMD on someone. You would have wanted to hang Bush for inaction. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.

toontra
Aug 11, 2003, 10:29 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
You know what I love. Say we did not go in. And Bush would have let inspections go on for ANOTHER 12 YEARS, and Saddam would have used a WMD on someone. You would have wanted to hang Bush for inaction. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.

Not at all. Hans Blix stated categorically that he would have been able to find any WMD, if they existed, within months. Not years, months.

The chance of Saddam "using them on someone else" in the meantime is not realistic.

12 years of inaction (as you see it), does not excuse a sudden, drastic and ill-conceived over-reaction.

IJ Reilly
Aug 11, 2003, 11:04 AM
Originally posted by toontra
Not at all. Hans Blix stated categorically that he would have been able to find any WMD, if they existed, within months. Not years, months.

The chance of Saddam "using them on someone else" in the meantime is not realistic.

12 years of inaction (as you see it), does not excuse a sudden, drastic and ill-conceived over-reaction.

Haste driven by domestic political considerations, is the way I'd describe it. It's remarkable how the supporters of the invasion have been reduced to making the binary argument that we either had to do "this or nothing," when a lot of people were advocating for something which was neither inaction nor precipitous unilateral action.

zimv20
Aug 11, 2003, 11:21 AM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
You know what I love. Say we did not go in. And Bush would have let inspections go on for ANOTHER 12 YEARS, and Saddam would have used a WMD on someone. You would have wanted to hang Bush for inaction. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.

i'd be willing to bet that, had bush backed down and allowed inspections to continue, but hussein again interfered, the UN security council would have agreed to draft a new resolution clearly allowing the use of force. then there would have been a more valid coalition.

IJ Reilly
Aug 11, 2003, 12:06 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
IJ, isn't it 130 ex-patriates, not 130 Iraqis, total? While I agree about the "perceptions" aspect, it's not clear to me if it's some of the ex-pats complaining; all of the ex-pats complaining, or some or all of non-ex-pat Iraqis.

I don't recall, but if the authorities are only drawing on expats for this duty, then that suggests another problem. From what I've heard (and would expect), the Iraqis don't have a special warm and fuzzy place in their hearts for their countrymen who fled when the going got rough, and now want to come back and run the place with the blessings of the United States. From the article, it was clear that not every member of this team was dissatisfied with their treatment, but that quite a few were, and were becoming quite vocal about it. If the US is in the least bit anxious to quell what seems to be the growing impression of colonialistic behavior in Iraq, then clearly, a much more concerted effort will be required.

Desertrat
Aug 11, 2003, 03:50 PM
"If the US is in the least bit anxious to quell what seems to be the growing impression of colonialistic behavior in Iraq, then clearly, a much more concerted effort will be required."

Amen.

Where's today's version of MacArthur? We definitely need someone of that capability, given how the Japanese reacted to him and his style. :)

'Rat

wwworry
Aug 11, 2003, 03:53 PM
Originally posted by Backtothemac
You know what I love. Say we did not go in. And Bush would have let inspections go on for ANOTHER 12 YEARS, and Saddam would have used a WMD on someone. You would have wanted to hang Bush for inaction. He was damned if he did and damned if he didn't.

You just don't get it. Misrepresenting information to the American people is not good for any reason.

1. What does he think of us that he can not state an argument truthfully to get us to support action in Iraq?

2. What happens the next time when there really is an imminent threat?

3. It does not matter what it's for. But if it's for a war then that's really bad. What that sort of action implies is that trust in his own good judgement is worth more than a few American lives. It also goes against the constitution and the war powers act.

Why not let us (the people) make informed choices and informed opinions? What's wrong with that? To defend the kind of misinformation coming out of this administration is to defend... well I do not want to say what. Make up your own mind.

IJ Reilly
Aug 11, 2003, 05:05 PM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Where's today's version of MacArthur? We definitely need someone of that capability, given how the Japanese reacted to him and his style.

The desire for a statesman-like approach has to come from the leadership, and as nearly as I can tell, this desire isn't present in that place. Long ago I came to the sad conclusion that the people at the top are control freaks.

Desertrat
Aug 11, 2003, 08:13 PM
"...the people at the top are control freaks."

Yeah. I dunno if Ike really fit in this, but we've had mostly controller-types after Ike. (Well, dunno about Carter; Ford almost doesn't count.)

Seems to me that it's pretty much a worldwide malaise, generic to governments theirownselves...

'Rat

Pinto
Aug 12, 2003, 05:46 AM
I think the one good thing about
Arnie is that he is a rich, self-made man. With hopefully none of the big-business and old-politics connections that make todays Govt such a farce.

I think the US needs more Govt by the people, for the people. and less elitism at the top.

Arnie doesn't strike me as elitist. And I don't think he is bribable.

But then again, I've never met him at the Pub for a beer, so what do I know.

Pinto
Aug 12, 2003, 05:55 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
"...the people at the top are control freaks."

Yeah. I dunno if Ike really fit in this, but we've had mostly controller-types after Ike. (Well, dunno about Carter; Ford almost doesn't count.)

Seems to me that it's pretty much a worldwide malaise, generic to governments theirownselves...

People who crave power tend to become the powerful. They tend to be more concerned about getting and keeping power than doing what's right for the people they are supposed to represent.

They also tend to be greedy as money=power.

The unfortunate fact is that scum rises to the top. And people who crave power are the very last people who should be given it.

This is obviously a generalization. Plenty of people would like to be powerful, so they could help others. But they are not hard-nosed or cunning enough, and tend to get **** on by the real B*st@#ds who are out there.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 12, 2003, 06:32 AM
that's what politics is now, power for the sake of power, winning at all costs. their was a recent article in the new republic ( i think) about the current plight of House Dems, how they are treated like crap by Delay et al, and after one particularly humiliating thing delay did (taking away the conference room the Dems had always used), one of his cronies said, "it's all about winning - why should we help them beat us?"

yep, by the people, for the people, etc..

Desertrat
Aug 12, 2003, 08:27 AM
Ambrose, it's not new at all, insofar as how the rePubes are treating the Donkeys. It's a "turnabout is fair play" deal. It is, however, more petty and vicious than, say 40 or 60 years ago.

A trend I have seen since the beginning of LBJ's Great Society programs is the greater importance to the political animals that their party have power: Political power controls the spending of ever more funding to ever more programs. The ascendancy of one's party is thus ever more important, as it allows the buying of votes via more programs and money therefor.

IMO, the Bushies are now the primary players in the buy-votes-with-tax-dollars game. Nothing new; the Democrats played it for decades.

Back to oil: A US DOE analysis of Saudi Arabia is at

http://www.eia.doe.gov/emeu/cabs/saudi.html

When you figure the politics of Saudi Arabia, there are some scary numbers there. The issue of succession in the House of Saud is near, and Al Qaida is strong in S.A. And, the Wahabi aspect...

My take on the whole thing is that there is reason for The Powers That Be (TPTB) to learn all they can about oil. They believe they need to do what they can to assure a steady supply to us here--but I think most of us here would agree that the methodology sucks. "His heart is in the right place, but his head is in his fundamental darkness."

'Rat

zimv20
Aug 12, 2003, 08:45 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Ambrose, it's not new at all,

tired...

IJ Reilly
Aug 12, 2003, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by Desertrat
Ambrose, it's not new at all, insofar as how the rePubes are treating the Donkeys. It's a "turnabout is fair play" deal. It is, however, more petty and vicious than, say 40 or 60 years ago.

Each successive turnabout seems to get more petty and vicious, and that's the problem. Republicans griped about how they were treated as the minority, but when they found themselves on top, instead of setting an example by behaving more magnanimously towards their opponents, they handed it back in spades.

mactastic
Aug 12, 2003, 11:01 AM
At least they aren't dueling anymore, or getting into fights with blunt objects on the floor of the house.;)

IJ Reilly
Aug 12, 2003, 11:29 AM
Originally posted by mactastic
At least they aren't dueling anymore, or getting into fights with blunt objects on the floor of the house.;)

Who's to say that would not be an improvement?

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 12, 2003, 11:38 AM
but the line, "it's all about winning" etc is just so abhorrent though...politicians should be banned from calling themselves public servants.

i wish i had answers..maybe if people sat up and paid attention and actually voted something better might be done, but i doubt it.

zimv20
Aug 12, 2003, 11:56 AM
Originally posted by Ambrose Chapel

i wish i had answers..maybe if people sat up and paid attention and actually voted something better might be done, but i doubt it.

no, i think that's the answer exactly. the voting public must:

1. educate themselves, and
2. vote

it's our job to hold elected officials accountable. i don't think we've been doing that very effectively, at least as long as i've been of voting age.

Ambrose Chapel
Aug 12, 2003, 02:11 PM
Originally posted by zimv20
no, i think that's the answer exactly. the voting public must:1. educate themselves

which they'll do by watching fair and balanced news reporting...
;)

and 2. vote

last year there were reports coming out during the mid-term elections about all kinds of voter intimidation tactics...i think one was from baltimore, someone/some group put up all these signs saying, "Vote!...but first make sure all your warrants, bonds, etc are paid up, that you're squeky clean, etc..."

after the 2000 election, if the turnout in 04 isn't high, i guess that'll be it.