Some reasons we should go to war with Iraq

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Lobstrosity
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Postby Lobstrosity » Sun Sep 15, 2002 3:21 am

Messina wrote:The onus is on the people who accuse them that they were. It is interesting that you expect some sort of evidence to prove a negative, but think a mere accusation requires some extensive and documented denial.


I just realized how funny this line is coming from you, Messina. While I totally agree with it, it goes completely against your stance on Iraq. There is no solid evidence to prove Iraq is currently manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, yet you support Bush's position that the onus is on Iraq to prove such. A full-scale invasion of a country is no minor thing and as such should require some serious justification. Usually, the motivations are either "bad" (i.e. selfish) in that the invading country attacks first (we have branded Germany, Japan, and the USSR evil for such acts) or "good" in that the invading country is responding to some overtly agressive act on the part of the invadee (is this even a word?). Before we attack, we should have some serious evidence of some serious wrong-doing.

Messina, you claim it is immaterial to judge Bush's personal motives while I suspect nearly all of your opinions on Iraq are weighed heavily by your notions of Saddam's "evil" motives. India has an active weapons of mass destruction program (we don't even need weapons inspectors to know this) and you're not advocating invading them. You would probably counter this by saying that Saddam has a record of hostility, but much of that record was US-sponsored hostility! Doesn't that make it justified aggression, or were we just flat-out wrong then (as opposed to completely right now in wanting new war in the region)? Anyway, I digress--I feel I'm hinting at something important here, but I'm not sure how to phrase it well so I will move on to what I really want to talk about.

When you are the leader of a country, "face" is a very important thing. All politicians are highly interested in saving face so that they can put a positive spin on events when they present them to their people. Iraq had weapons inspectors in their country for seven years (from 1991 to 1998), at which point Clinton pulled out all inspectors and bombed Iraq. Now we are demanding Iraq unconditionally accept ALL US demands on them. I admit, were there nothing to hide, logic dicates that Saddam should simply acquiesce. If he were to do so, however, he would look like a spineless coward to his people. There is absolutely no room for saving face, no way to put a positive spin on things to the Iraqi people. I don't know whether any politicians in his shoes would give in to such demands, but it especially clear that someone as power-hungry as Saddam cannot. The point I'm trying to make here is that we cannot view Saddam's refusal to US demands as proof that he's hiding something. International politics make it a far more complicated issue than that. Using war to force their hand is simply the tactic of a bully.

Wow, this is getting long, but I continue nonetheless. So let's assume that Saddam does have a few weapons of mass destruction hidden somewhere. What happens when we invade with the clear intention of killing/arresting him at all costs? Does he (a) say, "damnit guys, you got me. GG. I surrender now." or (b) use all weapons at his disposal to put up the largest resistance possible in what he knows is a losing battle? My vote would be for the latter.

Think about it like this:
You're playing starcraft. Your two allies are dead and your expansions have been destroyed. Your three opponents are on route to finish you off and all you have left is a ghost and a nuke silo...with a nuke in it! Assuming you can't be cheap and disconnect, you'd probably try to use the nuke to do some minor damage as your base is destroyed, right?
Since starcraft analogies always translate flawlessly into real life, I think it's clear that Saddam, if pushed into a corner, would unleash his arsenal. So now what is the US response? Do we nuke Baghdad or not? In my mind, nuking Baghdad would be one of the most horrific outcomes possible. Millions of innocent people would be killed and in my mind these people are not deserving of such a fate simply because they happen to be subjugated into serving a moronic dictator. Ok, so what if we don't nuke Baghdad? Then we come off looking like spineless cowards who have a giant arsenal of weapons we will never use. I tend to be of the opinion that Bush would be more averse to the latter than to the actual provoked use of nukes on civilians. I know this is just a "what if" scenario, but it is not an astronomically unlikely result of an armed conflict with Iraq. As such, it is an inevitablilty we should consider when weighing the pros and cons of this endeavor.

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The Real Red Menace
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Postby The Real Red Menace » Sun Sep 15, 2002 4:30 am

Good post Lob. Very nicely put.
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Postby Messina » Sun Sep 15, 2002 6:26 pm

Lobstrosity wrote:I just realized how funny this line is coming from you, Messina. While I totally agree with it, it goes completely against your stance on Iraq. There is no solid evidence to prove Iraq is currently manufacturing weapons of mass destruction, yet you support Bush's position that the onus is on Iraq to prove such.


It does not go against my stance on Iraq. I once again ask what part of the evidence against Iraq highlighted in that pdf is not "solid". It is not Bush's position that Iraq prove they don't have weapons, other than allowing inspectors in to look for them. That is not how inspections work. They exhaustively search and if they don't find anything, they determine there are not weapons (if they don't do it this way, it has nothing to do with Bush). If weapons are documented as existing, and Iraq can't account for them, they are suspicious. They are not trying to prove a negative. If they positively cannot find anything, they can't conclude that there are weapons. But documents show that they do have such weapons. But see, inspectors can't inspect if they aren't allowed back in (let's keep this argument on our current president). The "U.S." demands you speak of are directly in line with the U.N. demands. So your little attempt at zinging me falls flat on its face on all counts.

In addition to answering the question of what isn't "solid" evidence, I would like to know what justification would be "serious". Again, if you under no circumstances would support an Iraq invasion, asking for evidence that would make you change your mind is ridiculous. I am not saying you are such a person, but have no idea. So answer this: Under what circumstances would you support an invasion of Iraq?

You two are a curiosity, according to good leftist sources.

Addendum: Triple digit post count! And these are LONG posts. GG guys.

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Dynagrip
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Postby Dynagrip » Sun Sep 15, 2002 6:34 pm

Well shit, I think Lobstrosity has covered it rather well this round. I might wait a couple of days and then try to stick my head back in here. Of course in that timeframe we could already be on the warpath.

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Postby Foo-Byte » Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:24 pm

Some day when I have a little more time, I'll have to catch up on these recent posts. Meanwhile, let me just add these two links.

Firstly, Iraq has decided to allow weapon inspectors back into the country:
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_671821.html

Secondly, the US dismissed their offer:
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_671849.html

Make of it what you will. I think it clearly states the the US (well, Bush anyway) wants a war and doesn't care about the inspections. He wants to bomb something, and damn it, he will as the leader of "the most powerful nation on Earth". If the belief is such that the invitation to inspections is a fake, then take them up on the offer, prove it fake, and then re-visit the war thing. It's almost guaranteed that support will be higher if that is indeed what happens.

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Postby Groovis » Tue Sep 17, 2002 2:45 pm

IF he thinks acting like a fucking dictator is going to get him re-elected...

Check that, if he is reelected, I may be home shopping in another country.

Or I can start my own grass roots movement to have RI cecede from the rest of the country. Fuck smallest state. Luxombourg has nothing on us!!!

I can't belive this shit...

I like how he's pushing for action before the mid-term elections. And then has the gall to say (especially NOW) that it isn't politically motivated.

One an unrelated note, I almost rearended some jackhole with a "I'm glad I voted for Bush" bumber sticker... regret is a funny little animal.

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Postby hobokenbob » Tue Sep 17, 2002 10:03 pm

Yup, that news made me feel alot less proud to be American, compunded even more so since I am a Republican. (for the record, I did not vote for Bush)

All this harping about weapons inspectors as the reason we should go to go to war (yeah right), and now that Hussein has caved, and agreed to them - no conditions - Bush basically goes "fuck you, camel jockey, I'm going to carpet bomb your already war-ravage hunk of god forsaken desert anyway, because I don't like your face!"

I certainly don't think we're the "good guys" here, and really my idea of good guys and bad guys have done the way of santa claus and the easter bunny, but as a supposedly peace-loving, supposedly enlightened people we have the obligation that if there is any chance for a peaceful resolution at all to take it. Bush just shat on the olive branch and sprinkled the dove with buck shot. Fucking Texans :evil:

edit: interestin that the use of a certain derogitory word got auto filtered. Not that I was using it in a deliberately hurtful way, but rather to make a point. I've changed the label to "camel jockey" to make it less cheesy, you guys can use your imagination as to what it replaced
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

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Bag of Ass
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Postby Bag of Ass » Tue Sep 17, 2002 10:49 pm

Was it the n-word or the c-word? Those are the only currently censored words here.

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Groovis
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Postby Groovis » Tue Sep 17, 2002 10:57 pm

Just in case you thought the Army Game is a huge waste of tax dollars, here's how much it will cost (roughly) to ATTEMPT to kick Mr. Saddam's ass.

http://www.msnbc.com/news/808595.asp?pne=msn

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Postby Crippled.Mizer » Tue Sep 17, 2002 11:12 pm

Other administration economists say that their main fear is that an Iraq war could lead to a sustained spike in prices.



I hope to dear mother that this does not include gas. I mean it has already risen to extraordinary prices.

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Postby Messina » Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:39 am

Hello everyone. Bush called for a UN resolution with explicit consequences if Saddam doesn't allow inspectors. How has that policy changed? It hasn't, but somehow Bush did something to make you “less proud” or whatever to be an American than you already were. Sheesh. Iraq comes out and says “Oh, we're sorry, we will allow inspectors, no conditions”. Now Russia is saying “Hmmm, looks like we don't need to set a punishment because they are already agreeing”. Did it ever occur to any of you that Saddam is trying to fool the UN into doing nothing? No, it didn't; you are so blinded by your hatred of Bush that you take Saddam at his word, or at least advocate positions that are equivalent. Bush is saying you shouldn't trust him, and its true. Voting on consequences does not do anything, unless Saddam doesn't let inspectors in. So what exactly is the harm in voting for hypothetical consequences (especially if you believe that Saddam will comply)?

Saddam's tactic is working perfectly, isn't it? And what about that timing? Perfect. If the UN doesn't vote on explicit consequences for noncompliance, Saddam gets extra time, and can draw out the negotiations on inspectors ad infinitum, merely by saying he agrees to them and wants to meet to “discuss” them. That's how the UN has operated up to this point. Bush is saying on one hand for the UN to do its job; talk is fine (well......), but the threat of force must be made. On the other hand he is saying “You don't fool us Saddam, we are still preparing for war, just in case you fool these UN bureaucrats into doing nothing”. See the point is that threats of military operations against him have worked. That is why Saddam is “caving”. So far. If the UN doesn't agree to explicit consequences (sorry for the repetition), Saddam wins this round. That would be bad. Thanks.

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Postby The Real Red Menace » Wed Sep 18, 2002 4:50 am

That would all be fine if Bush was saying that he just wants a resolution passed, but pragmatism shows that Bush is gearing up for a war, and every time something comes up that says "Wait, maybe we shouldn't go to war.", Bush dismisses it offhandedly. He wants a war, and the justification comes afterwards.

War should be the last choice of a civilized people. However, Bush has consistently made it his first threat and his favorite choice. If Iraq has agreed to allow weapons inspectors into the country, then why not pass the U.N. resolution? Why must we prepare for war when Iraq has conceded? Do you even know what these demands are? No. They could be entirely frivolous, or entirely unreasonable.

The White House dismisses in its argument any notion that the Arab League had any influence on this change, calling it simply a tactical step in the 11th hour. The administration also seems to think that it knows something that the entire rest of the world does not know? How can this be? Is the US the only country possessed of smart people? Somehow I doubt it.

I will put it to you again. The US does not stand to gain anything in terms of security by disposing of Iraq. Nor is Iraq the most oppressive of regimes in the world, nor the greatest violator of human rights. This is a crusade of frivolity, and the world knows it. Bush will look for any excuse to wage his war, a war the people of the US do not want. That should be enough to keep us out of war in an ideal world, without needing to discuss the ethics of looking to war as our first strategy in dealing with rulers like Saddam.
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Postby Messina » Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:18 am

Hey Red:

Rapid Fire:

Yes, gearing up for war is required if you forsee that you may actually go to war. Yes, Bush has made it a threat, but not "offhandedly". The threat of force is necessary, otherwise there is no motivation for Saddam to do anything. Witness what the sanctions did. Notice Bush's position is reaping possible dividends (if the UN takes them).

You say that war should be the last possible choice for a "civilized" people. Have we invaded yet? The point is Europe is looking for any way out of military confrontation, like they did in WWII with Germany, at the expense of being realistic about the prospects with Iraq. There is a difference between "exhausting all options" and sticking your head in the sand and hoping everything will be fine. What Bush is calling for the UN to do is to pass a resolution that spells out consequences. Those consequences must require force.

The fact that the US is mostly alone has nothing to do with the validity of the position. Sometimes, the majority is on the wrong side. I am not sure where you get that the people don't want and Iraq war. Are there new numbers? Of course, even if people did all agree that war was the answer wouldn't make it in itself a good idea. Finally, once again I remind you that we have threatened action, we have not invaded Iraq. As far as security is concerned, I totally disagree, for reasons already discussed in this long thread. Hmmm, this was supposed to be "rapid" so I will end it here. Thanks Red.

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Postby The Real Red Menace » Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:35 am

Right, because we all know how Saddam about to roll in his tanks and annex half the countries in the middle East, and then kill all the Shii or something. I'm sure his army posts a viable threat, and that's the reason we're valiantly rattling our sabres once again.

We have no business threatening war on anyone right now, period. Europe is not looking for a way out because it has made it clear that it will not get itself into this confrontation.

Tell me again the consequences if we don't go to war? I'm somehow not very worried that my nation is in danger from a country that can't even shoot down the planes that will probably be bombing them by Christmas. The fact is that the U.S. is protecting its Empire just as Britain did in the 19th century. It's bullshit. And Bush is going to realize we're not buying it when he gets his ass kicked out of the White House in 2004.
"Behold I am the Dragon, before me you rightly tremble!"

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Postby Messina » Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:28 pm

Red:

It's great that you feel that your nation is secure. Wonderful. Hussein is counting on the complacence of Europe and the U.S. in the face of danger. I am sure he didn't expect Blair to stand up to him. We have no business? Of course we do. Not only will the UN not do its job, no one else will either. Our position as superpower makes everything our business; whether we like it or not, we have a responsibility. You advocate shirking that responsibility. Our “empire” is nothing like the British empire of old. That sentiment is what is bull feces, but to be expected from you. Europe doesn't want to get involved? Exactly, they are shirking responsibility by putting their heads in the sand, hoping that all the badness is visited on the US, the UK, or maybe “just” Israel.

The reasons, as have been discussed already, come down to weapons. The only reason Hussein's armies don't pose a threat to anyone is because we operate a No-Fly zone in Iraq; force works. On weapons you (by which I mean your side) first claim there is no evidence, then when shown evidence, you claim it isn't ”solid”. Rich. Or you then you make the claim “Even if he had them, he wouldn't be stupid enough to use them”. This argument usually specifically talks about nuclear, so I will talk about those. First of all, that is quite a gamble, but again Hussein expects complacency. Secondly, one need not use a nuclear weapon to reap its benefits. If it offered no benefits, why would he be pursuing them (he is)? One may talk about “messages” we are sending with an attack on Iraq. I ask what message we are sending when we allow the likes of Hussein to develop, right under our noses, nuclear weapons. It is too late in other cases, and look at the problems it is causing. If he develops nuclear weapons, he will be untouchable. He never needs to use them. He can do whatever he wants, and who then would stop him? He wants to invade Kuwait, fine, don't want to lose Paris or New York or a bunch of soldiers in a mushroom cloud because of Kuwait. It was enough to get a UN resolution in the past, would it work if he had nuclear weapons? Which leaders would vote for such a resolution in that case? But that is unpleasant for you all to contemplate, so maybe you should go back to denial of evidence, or believing that Hussein actually means “no conditions”. In the end, he may allow inspectors, but don't think for a second he would have if we didn't prepare for war. I'm off to work now. Thanks.

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Postby hobokenbob » Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:43 pm

you missed my point. of course hussein's word can't be trusted. that doesn't matter, we still have the obligation to follow through on any chance for a peaceful resolution no matter how small. I'm saying it's not acceptable to go to war without trying for peace. Bush isn't saber rattling, he's moving in strike fighters. It's clearly obvious to everyone that he want's to go to war, rather than feels forced he must go to war because there is no other option. That IMO is the difference between a warmonger and a responsible president.
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

Jason Mustian

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Postby hobokenbob » Wed Sep 18, 2002 5:46 pm

and it was the n-word... what's the c-word thats not allowed? is it cunt?
In fairness, we've been building 'ground zeros' near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.

Jason Mustian

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Postby Too-Much-Coffee Mistress » Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:10 pm

Messina;

Didn't you, earlier in this thread, accuse me of only believing the words of those who supported my position? Seems like you're awfully fond of that yourself. What in your eyes makes Bush's statements, accusations, and plans of action any more valid than the majority of the rest of the world??

Just to reiterate quickly, in case you missed it the first time. A quote from a 1999 report submitted by UNSCOM:

"...a great deal has been achieved in: verifying Iraq's frequently revised declarations; accounting for its proscribed weapons capabilities; and in destroying, removing or rendering harmless substantial portions of that capability. "

edit: Short ass post. Damn work. But one more quick thing...

I would like to express my sickness at how the sheep in this country seem to be swinging in support of war because of that sound-bite from Condaleeza Rice (the mushroom cloud-smoking gun) quote. God forbid they should actually research what's happening as opposed to eating up quotes from the local news...
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Postby Foo-Byte » Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:07 pm

My original point (or one of them) may have been overlooked too.

I have no doubt that Saddam's statement is a stalling tactic. Even if he does let the inspectors right back in, it probably won't be long before he pulls shit to interfere again. We all know that.

However, Bush wants a war. He is (generally) the only one who does. By singlemindedly persuing his desire to bomb Iraq, he is portraying the USA as a thug and not an enforcer of peace. My point was that if he truly wants a war, and truly cares what the rest of the world thinks, then he should wait until Iraq does interfere with the inspectors and then use force. Not only will the UN have had time to draw up penalties for Iraq, but the use of force will meet with wider acceptance because Iraq will have been proven a liar once again.

Let me illustrate what I feel the perception will be if Bush attacks prior to sending in inspectors:

Bully: Give me your lunch money or I'll hit you
Geek: Here's my money
Bully: A-ha! Take this *punch*

Additionally, by setting such an example, countries will feel like they have no choice when confronted by the USA:

USA: Dismantle your nuclear weapons or we'll bomb you!
Mad Dictator: You'll bomb me anyway! Take this, capitalist pigs!
USA: Argh! I'm burning!

Basically, it's a losing move.

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Postby The Real Red Menace » Wed Sep 18, 2002 7:15 pm

This is my last post on this issue.

There are two fundamentally different perspectives in play here:

Those who believe that the U.S. is interested in looking after the welfare of the world and protecting peace, and endeavors to act justly in all its undertakings, even when it is vigilante justice. The goal of any foreign policy is to keep the world safe for everyone, especially the U.S. and its allies, and to ensure a fair balance of power, using the U.S.' superpower status to achieve this to levels other governments cannot or will not pursue.

Then there are those of us who believe that the U.S. is an imperial power, whose aim is to secure its own hegemony at any cost, and has violated human rights and supported in the past the same dictators who have butchered thousands of people. These people view the prime goal of American foreign policy is to subdue economic and military competitors, making the world safe for American business.

These are two ultimately opposed and irreconciliable perspectives, and since this issue, being the major factor in determining whether we trust the U.S. government to do the right thing, is at the core of this discussion, it seems we shall have to agree to disagree.
"Behold I am the Dragon, before me you rightly tremble!"


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