Some reasons we should go to war with Iraq

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Messina
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Postby Messina » Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:09 pm

Foo-Byte wrote:Messina, you seem to be saying that a verbal contract is just as (if not more) binding than a written one. Am I interpreting this correctly?


No Foo-Byte, although I can see how it may seem that way. I am not a very eloquent writer. But let me try to clarify. A contract works well when there is a clearly defined law and a clearly defined process (based on jurisdiction given by the citizens that it applies to) for dealing with breaking of the contract (by means of force). I see international law as being far too political. Different nations are more different than two different people in the same nation as far as a law is concerned. And that law and the judges that rule on it must be subject to those two people in that country. I don't think that international law and court can act the same way between two nations. Again, the process and institution is far too political. For instance, many Arabs nations see the UN as being under the thumb of the US, lock, stock, and barrel. This is an example of the issues involved (though I may not agree that the UN is in fact under the US's thumb). While the UN sort of takes on a consensus type approach to most problems, issues of law cannot be effective if they are decided in this way. I think it is better to have ad hoc courts made, so that long term political motives are never realized.

So, I guess in short, I don't see a treaty between nations as being equivalent to a contract between citizens of a single nation.

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Postby TheIratePirate » Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:30 pm

It is far to late for me to get into this discussion and more or less all my views on the whole war thing has been expressed. But I’m going to comment on the treaty thing anyway.

The way I see it a treaty is like a contract. If you break the contract you there will be a price to pay. If you break a treaty the same thing happens. Off course you could refuse to pay that price,but then instead of a price there will be hell to pay.
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Postby Foo-Byte » Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:31 pm

Messina wrote:
Foo-Byte wrote:Messina, you seem to be saying that a verbal contract is just as (if not more) binding than a written one. Am I interpreting this correctly?


No Foo-Byte, although I can see how it may seem that way. I am not a very eloquent writer. But let me try to clarify. A contract works well when there is a clearly defined law and a clearly defined process (based on jurisdiction given by the citizens that it applies to) for dealing with breaking of the contract (by means of force). I see international law as being far too political. Different nations are more different than two different people in the same nation as far as a law is concerned.


I think I see the point you're going for, but I don't see it as being that complicated. An analogy that works well are the individual states and the federal government that make up the USA. If you apply that in a situation where the countries of the world are like the states, and the United Nations (or whatver) is the federal government, it's almost identical, even down to the federal government (UN) having no specific allegience, home state/country, or bias (although that could be argued). The world as it stands now is like the states not having a central government to tie them together. I realise that my view is simplistic, but I think it's a decent model to work from and aim towards. I even see it working if the human race spreads to other planets and systems - you still need a central body in order for the pieces to work together coherently, even if each piece can function independantly.

In order to counter, I suggest that your view appears to be contrary to allowing the very same enforcement bodies and power structures that you say it needs in order to work.

(I'm off home for the day now, but I'm sure I'll pick this up again tomorrow. G'night all!)

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Postby Messina » Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:36 pm

Fine, "who". BoA has me on edge. I really did put who first, really. He makes me second guess myself.

Lobstrosity wrote: it's just the way the current system works.


And the current system is ineffective. Too many of these treaties have no effect other than to make internationalists feel better about themselves. I am not saying that the US should never sign another treaty. But by not signing a specific treaty, it does not mean we don't care about the issue. It does not mean we are not working on the issue. If a treaty is going to be ineffective, we should not sign it and say so. And many recent treaties have been of this variety, or have been bad ideas in total. I think focusing on "making treaties" for everything and anything is pointless, especially given some of the recent treaties that we have been discussing. I am saying that the focus of recent treaties has been too focused on wording, not actions. I am not sure how to change that, the internationalist mindset is pretty entrenched.

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Postby toaster » Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:53 pm

Messina wrote:But by not signing a specific treaty, it does not mean we don't care about the issue. It does not mean we are not working on the issue.



But it's the message you deliver to the world, wether you like it or not, whatever the US decides, it will have a impact on the world, and if you decide not to sign a certain treaty, just because you think it won't be effective, it definately won't work, because others will follow, because they cannot espect any international pressure with the US as compaignon.
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Postby Messina » Thu Sep 05, 2002 8:56 pm

Foo-Byte wrote:I think I see the point you're going for, but I don't see it as being that complicated. An analogy that works well are the individual states and the federal government that make up the USA. If you apply that in a situation where the countries of the world are like the states, and the United Nations (or whatver) is the federal government, it's almost identical, even down to the federal government (UN) having no specific allegience, home state/country, or bias (although that could be argued).


Later Foo. For when you return:

That is another point I have been trying to get at but haven't explicitly stated. I don't see the UN as being a international version of our federal government. First, I don't think different states are as different as the different countries (I do not see most nations as equal to the US or France, or the UK, or Germany, or Russia, or China, etc.. ) . While a Californian is a Californian and a Texan is a Texan, they all consider themselves Americans. There is no equivalent identity for the world, however much internationalists wish it to be. I think the EU will be a microcosm for this effect, and I think there will eventually be problems in the EU because people won't go for the "European" identity (The NERVE of that German telling me, a Frenchman, how to make CHEESE, the Nerve!). Back to the US and it's states: All of these states' citizens have ceded to the federal government certain things with our Constitution. This would not work if our states were significantly different (we had to fight a whole civil war about our differences, and ONE side won) as is the case of different nations. I don't think many nations would want to cede the same kind of authority to the UN for this reason.

Addendum: When I pushed submit, I thought mine was the last post. But toaster saved me from posting consecutively. Phew!

On "message" delivering. I agree that we need to do a better job of salesmanship.

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Postby Bag of Ass » Thu Sep 05, 2002 10:23 pm

Messina wrote:Fine, "who". BoA has me on edge. I really did put who first, really. He makes me second guess myself.

I don't make you do shit. Your insecurity with the English language makes you second guess yourself. I just slightly nudge you to try to get you to think about it more.

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Postby Rob » Thu Sep 05, 2002 10:27 pm

Messina, you're in good company.

I'm apparently English, but Bag can out-grammar me with our "common" language at every turn.


I've stopped caring. Every time I screw up, he knew what I meant (after all), so I sleep easy when I make a faux pas. :D
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Postby Bag of Ass » Fri Sep 06, 2002 12:03 am

Yeah, I try to only bring it up when others do first...and in this case, Messina called out to me by name, so how can I not examine and correct him?

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Postby Lobstrosity » Fri Sep 06, 2002 1:02 am

Messina wrote:That is another point I have been trying to get at but haven't explicitly stated. I don't see the UN as being a international version of our federal government.

Currently it is not, but it is the direction in which I see things progressing and it is a direction I feel will leave us all better off in the long run. We have our differences, but I truly believe these differences can be overcome with time and increased intercultural exposure (as is happening now with things like global television, internet, radio, newspapers, etc). I think the EU might have initial problems, but look how far they have come already. I think it's amazing they were willing to agree on a common currency (alright England's still holding out, but I'm sure they'll come around)--I felt sure the French would view such a thing as an insult to their glorious traditions. I also feel that most Europeans desire superpower status. The only way they can achieve such a status is by collaborating as they are now. I wouldn't be surprised if in a century Europe was essentially one giant country.

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Postby Foo-Byte » Fri Sep 06, 2002 4:38 pm

I pretty much agree with Lob's post. The UN isn't the same as the federal government, but that's the direction it's heading. With international co-operation, we will end up with a United Earth Government (or whatever sci-fi phrase you care to use). It's happening slowly, starting with Europe and slowly spreading and taking form. I don't think that everything in the EU is perfect (your cheese example I agree with), but as long as there are guidelines that the members agree to abide by (similar to treaties and such), the level and depth of control that the federal government has in the USA shouldn't be a requirement. It's possible to form the different communities into a cohesive whole, with one central governing body to oversee the bigger picture. I don't think it will be easy to get there, and I don't think it will happen quickly. But I do think it's the right direction to go in.

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Postby Kauser » Fri Sep 06, 2002 4:50 pm

Foo-Byte wrote:I pretty much agree with Lob's post. The UN isn't the same as the federal government, but that's the direction it's heading. With international co-operation, we will end up with a United Earth Government (or whatever sci-fi phrase you care to use). It's happening slowly, starting with Europe and slowly spreading and taking form. I don't think that everything in the EU is perfect (your cheese example I agree with), but as long as there are guidelines that the members agree to abide by (similar to treaties and such), the level and depth of control that the federal government has in the USA shouldn't be a requirement. It's possible to form the different communities into a cohesive whole, with one central governing body to oversee the bigger picture. I don't think it will be easy to get there, and I don't think it will happen quickly. But I do think it's the right direction to go in.



If that ever happens. Irael should be banned from ever making guns, and China should be banned from making 440 Stainless steel. Somehow both manage to fuck up for the most part in these respective areas.
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Postby Jimbo Salvatore » Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:10 pm

My God, what a thread. I just have one question for Messina, if I may redirect the topic back towards the general vicinity of Iraq.
Why do you think that forcefully removing Saddam Hussein will have any sort of desireable effect on the global stage? Yes, I understand the concern about the whole weapons of mass destruction issue. I don't relish the idea of seeing this guy with NBC capabilities. But I don't honestly think he'd ever dream of using them. Sure I'm wandering off into the realm of personal opinion, but I was always of the belief that that is why we didn't get rid of him the first time around. We know he's not completely fucking insane and we couldn't say that about whoever might step up to replace him.
Okay, I gotta cut this short but I also want to know if you think that we could get away with attacking Iraq without igniting the entire reigon. The rest of the Arab nations seem to take a pretty dim view of this prospect (well, aside from Kuwait obviously) and I think might be more than a little willing to actually put their money where thier mouths are, especially if we don't bother trying to get anyone else's approval.
One more thing, as someone else put much more eloquently than I, consider the resources that will be involved in making sure that after Saddam is gone that some nutjob doesn't come right in behind him.
I understand your position, that if we don't like the prospect of war then why don't we come up with a better solution. But I don't think that we should rush into making a possibly catastrophic decision just because we couldn't think of anything better to do.

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Postby toaster » Fri Sep 06, 2002 9:46 pm

Thanks, as I stated sowewhere in another thread, no sane "crazy dictator" would actually consider using NBC weapons, or even give them to terrorists.
Especially when he's fighting his own little war against islamic fundamentalists.

Post Scriptum: Did you really read the whole thread...


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Postby Lobstrosity » Sat Sep 07, 2002 12:04 am

Messina:

Another point I should have made elsewhere but forgot to squeeze in is that even America isn't united on the idea of war with Iraq. I know you've stated that you haven't heard any good reasons from other nations why we shouldn't attack Iraq, other than "America sucks." Perhaps that is true. The Americans who are opposed to such an attack might actually have reasons you could agree with in that I doubt they boil down to the "America sucks" position. Colin Powell, Jimmy Carter (big surprise), and many republican and democratic congressmen would all rather we look for a more peaceful approach. I think a huge part of this is the fear of alienating the entire arab world further. I know Kuwait says that secretly the arab world wants Saddam gone, but as you've pointed out, I don't think Kuwait is being objective in their statements (or perhaps even truthful). Today Iraq claims America attacked civilian targets before "[Iraq's] couragous anti-aircraft units confronted the jets and forced them to leave Iraqi skies." Amazingly, I don't put much faith in the accuracy of these reports. I personally feel they have the same level of credibility as Kuwait's claims that the arab world secretly wants us to attack Iraq.

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Postby Jimbo Salvatore » Sat Sep 07, 2002 5:53 pm

toaster wrote:Post Scriptum: Did you really read the whole thread...

Well yeah, of course I read the whole thread. What else would I do at work... Work?

It's just that after four thick pages I hadn't heard any response to these questions (maybe my memory is going in my old age) and was just wondering about Messina's thoughts on the subjects.

I didn't mean to steal anyone's thunder, I was just curious, that's all.

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Postby Messina » Sun Sep 08, 2002 7:35 pm

Hey Everyone:

I kind of got burned out with the posting last week. I probably won't be posting with the same frequency as last week. I was told by Lobstro that someone asked me a specific question so I feel I need to answer that.

Thanks for the questions Jimbo. I will try to keep this short and clear

1. As far as global benefits. You may be correct that Saddam would not use them on us, or Europe. This is debatable. However, he may give the technology to others. He sees the US as an enemy. A enemy of his enemy is.... That's the idea (there are probably other arguments, don't think of me as an expert) with the weapons. As far as geopolitics if that is the word: A "western" Iraq would bring another ally to the region. It could and probably would accelerate a regime change in Iran by the people there fed up with the theocracy. Khatami is putting his foot down supposedly, but that may go the same way as everything else he has tried. Having Iraq out of the way as an enemy would allow us to further isolate Syria (so this would affect both Hizbollah (Iran) and Hamas (Syria) funding). These combined things would aid in finally bringing an end to the whole deal with Israel (the question of Israel is a-whole-nother thread). And yes, it would help free millions of Arabs from their tyrannical regimes. And yes, I am aware that there is oil in the region.

2. Just like in the first Gulf War, where many "experts" foresaw (is that a word?) the rising up of the Arab "street" and a complete destabilization of the region, and it didn't happen (same thing with Afghanistan a few months ago, can't we get new Middle East "experts"?). And I don't see it happenening here. As far as the first Gulf War "creating" Osama Bin Laden, well guys like him can find a "reason" to do anything (and if he can't he just blames the Jews).

3. About what comes after Hussein: Yes we must be careful who replaces him. The US will have to engage in "nation building" which we have been reluctant heretofore.

4. As far as resources go: if you agree with any of the above the resources are pretty much worth it. War is going to be costly, but I think that not doing anything will be far more costly.

Well, I guess it wasn't short. And 1 doesn't even really expound on the arguments. Oh well. Note again that I will be posting with lower frequency from now on (especially during the week when I should be studying and working), so I may not get to all of the points (I will try) made in opposition, particularly by the "Big Three": Lobstro, toaster, and Foo. Thanks.

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Postby toaster » Sun Sep 08, 2002 7:52 pm

Messina wrote: You may be correct that Saddam would not use them on us, or Europe. This is debatable. However, he may give the technology to others.


I think this is even more unlikely than using them himself.

Most radical terrorist are operating from Saudi Arabia/Iran, both far away from being close friends of the Iraq, infact there's more anti Iran propaganda in Iraq than anti US, though this may have changed in recent times.
However he's fighting his own war against the Shiites (sp), a religious/ethnical, rather orthodox minority in Iraq, but the majority in Iran.

Add: Where is the point in having NBC-weapons, if you give them away? They are only effective if you have them, not if you use or share them.
they create a balance, not a overweight.

This is why we had no nuclear war in the last 55 years.

And this is undoubtly a good thing.
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Postby Foo-Byte » Sun Sep 08, 2002 9:40 pm

Messina wrote:I kind of got burned out with the posting last week.

Heh, same here, which is funny because I usually don't get into political discussons. It seems that pretty much everything has been covered though, so I'm just going to pop in from time to time to watch for new developments (or post new developments as they come to mind).

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Postby Lobstrosity » Mon Sep 09, 2002 1:04 am

I, too, feel pretty much everything has been said. All that remains is to point out new facts and opinions as they come to light. Here is one such opinion that probably has some validity. This was a US weapons inspector working in Iraq and he seriously doubts that Iraq is currently capable of making weapons of mass destruction. He could be wrong, but I think if anyone should be knowledgeable on the subject it would be he.


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