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Nope, this war makes no damn sense!
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Nope, this war makes no damn sense!

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Posted by apperception ( on March 14, 2003 at 09:53:49:

In Reply to: "Rushing to war" and other fallacies posted by Ev ( on March 12, 2003 at 21:41:06:

> 5, you make many points in your reply that I believe are erroneous.

> You seem to have bought into this idea that the US and its allies are ‘rushing’ into war. Let’s see, there’s really nothing new or more effective to tell you than what has already been pointed out time and time again. I ‘has’ been 12 years since Iraq was defeated in war and entered into a ceasefire agreement. This agreement ‘did’ have provisions that the Iraqis would have to comply with, or face “serious consequences”. The Iraqis ‘have’ failed to live up to any of the provisions of the ceasefire. The UN ‘has’ passed an additional 16 resolutions over this 12 year period in an effort to force Iraqi compliance. It ‘has’ been several months since Resolution 1441 was unanimously passed by the Security Council. Resolution 1441 ‘did’ call for Iraq to make “a currently accurate, full, and complete declaration of all aspects of its programmes to develop chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, ballistic missiles, and other delivery systems such as unmanned aerial vehicles and dispersal systems designed for use on aircraft, including any holdings and precise locations of such weapons, components, sub-components, stocks of agents, and related material and equipment, the locations and work of its research, development and production facilities, as well as all other chemical, biological, and nuclear programmes, including any which it claims are for purposes not related to weapon production or material; “. If Iraq failed to make this prescribed complete and truthful declaration they ‘were’, under 1441, to be found in further material breach.

If the resolution was passed by the UN, then it's for the UN to decide what methods should be used to enforce it. Not just the United States.

> Well, did the Iraqis live up to any part of Paragraph 3 of Resolution 1441? They’ve had plenty of time. Actually, time was never the problem. The problem all along has been that Saddam has no intention of disarming in the manner prescribed in 1441. Not 12 years ago, not today, and not in the foreseeable future. To believe otherwise, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, is to chase a pipe dream. I believe this is the road the true pacifists have chosen.

Eh, I'm not a pacifist. I just don't think any of this is a big enough deal to overthrow a country. There's no proof that they have anything beyond the barest shell of a WMD program. It's not a big enough threat to sacrifice American or Iraqi lives, let alone do damage to the UN.

The whole pro-war contingent is blown out of proportion anyway. Few people even think this war is in the interests of America. At least I haven't read any coherent arguments that convince me (and I've read an awful lot!). I think this is happening because there's a very fringe ideological clique running things in the US now which is basically an expression of the far far religious right.

> I don’t believe that countries like France, Russia, China, and Germany are fooled as the pacifists are. These countries have a whole different set of reasons for not backing forced Iraqi compliance. They won’t favor forced compliance a week from now, a month from now, or a year from now. They have their own interests in the region and these interests are not best accommodated by military action. For them it’s not about weapons of mass destruction. For them it has nothing to do with liberating an Iraqi population that is in desperate need. For them it’s truly about the oil and trade agreements they brokered with Saddam. Their main fear is that the government replacing Saddam will not allow them sufficient room at the table. It’s also about their earnest desire to ‘rein in’ the US and fetter its military power. This is the truth of the matter.

So what? And the United States doesn't have interests? Heh. Welcome to politics. :) There are no "disinterested" or "altruistic" actors here. It's a question of power.

If it's so important to liberate the Iraqi people, why not also liberate the Saudi people? Their regime is just as repressive, but they're an ally.

> These countries, and those who support their position, are well aware that the US cannot leave its troops and weaponry in place indefinitely. There are many reasons that this is true. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to quickly realize that there’s a staggering cost in dollars and troop morale associated with leaving our forces lingering in the region. There’s also the problem of ‘force protection’ associated with leaving these troops in a vulnerable situation. I’ve noticed that these aren’t French, German, or Russian troops we’re choosing to leave exposed. For that matter, we’d be hard pressed to find a Canadians contingent, either. Would you be fine with leaving Canadian troops in a vulnerable situation any longer that was absolutely necessary? [I’m assuming that you’ll answer no, but I’ve learned not to rule anything out.] We don’t want to leave ours there any longer than necessary either. If it were the French, German, Russian, Canadian, and Chinese troops who were sitting in the middle of the desert exposed to possible WMD attack we, the US and our allies, might be a bit more amenable to slow-rolling the negotiations. I think I’ve made the point as to why the US and Britain want action taken quickly.

But the problem is that it IS going to involve a prolonged occupation, and there's no sign that the US has any definite plan of what they're going to replace Saddam with. I mean ... how do you propose they do it? What can they replace Saddam with such that there won't be a prolonged occupation? I haven't heard any answer to this.

> Btw, do you think there’s a chance in hell that those inspectors would be back in Iraq without the ‘credible’ use of force bringing about Iraqi compliance? And by ‘credible’ I exempt the use of UN forces.

> 5, this one point has gotten quite lengthy and I’d really like to know your thoughts on ‘rushing to war’ before going further. Well?

It looks like 5 has backed down for some reason, so I thought I'd jump in.

Well of COURSE the inspectors are there because of the threat of force. Do you think any country -- hey, let's take the US for example! -- would open their doors to an inspection of their topic secret weapons program? "Oh, c'mon right in guys. Let me show you our national security secrets. Don't miss the 2 o'clock bus out to Area 51 now."

That's not even the point. The point is that the inspectors are there now, and the inspections by most estimates seem to work.

They seem to have problems, sure, but take into consideration the fact that the United States wants to overthrow the goverment of a country that presents no real threat to anyone. All our intelligence shows that Iraq has only the bare bones of a WMD program, that most of it has been dismantled by the Unscom inspects.

After they overthrow that goverment, they have presented no clear plan as to what they plan to do with it, other than plant a Haliburton flag on the capitol building. I mean, where's the political vision here? There is none. The US has already said they're not going to establish democracy. So what they? Just put in another military dictator at the top, this time pro-American? That's noble. How is the al-Bu Majid clan, which forms the base of the power structure in Iraq, going to tolerate that? Politics in Iraq is still run on the basis of clan affiliations, not unlike the mafia.

On so many levels this is, I'm afraid, completely half-assed. We're going to open an unmanagable can of worms with this, because there's no plan for what to do with Iraq after we invade it. We're going to piss off, quite literally, the whole world. We're going to abrogate international law. We're going to drive Muslims into the ranks of fundamentalism. We're going to create a global climate of instability, because no one will know, after all, "Who's Next?" I mean, this is the inevitable conclusion when world politics turns into a bad episode of WWF Raw, now isn't it?

> Ev

> > OK that's two mistakes the UN made. But I ask you who would have even went to try to resolve those issues if the UN hadn't?

> > Here's a quote from www.cds.forces.gc.ca/pubs/speeches/21-feb-02_e.asp

> > "We were also kept busy in the past year on missions around the globe with our UN and NATO allies. Last year, our troops returned from successful UN missions in East Timor, in Ethiopia and Eritrea and in the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia. At the same time we are maintaining a significant presence in Bosnia, working with our NATO allies to ensure a secure environment for the local population."

> > I think the Bosnian peace keeping mission didn't go so well. But once again without the UN who would have fixed the problem America, Canada, Britain. Who? No one. And with out the UN no one would have went to East Timor, Ethiopia, Eritrea, or the former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia.

> > For every problem where you UN made things worse, where a problem would have resolved itself or some other nation would have come in to fix a problem. There are at least three examples where the UN helped solve a problem or at least was the only group who were willing to go in and try.
> >

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