Mechanisms? C’mon, man! Do you mean like the mechanisms in place that keep nukes from being proliforated?
[quote=“Rascal”]Another statement that has nothing to do with the argument / question asked: what had Saddam/Iraq to do with 911?
What are you talking about? The poster to whom I was responding raised that as a point and I commented on the same.
What’s so funny? The argument that I am refuting suggests that Bush claimed the threat was imminent. That is absolutely false. Why is it inappropriate for me to suggest that the arguer look at the speeches?
[quote=“Rascal”]A fact proven wrong is not a fact. Stupid. (Like in stupid argument, not stupid you)
You may want to look up the defintion of the word “fact” before you continue to use this argument.
And btw: an opinion can also be proven wrong or right.[/quote]
No, Rascal… I stand by my argument and the above statement re facts and opinions. In law, we frequently argue about the facts. Then, after arguing, we agree on certain facts and procede from there to base our opinions on the agreed upon facts.
Tell us, how can an opinion be proven wrong? The facts on which an opinion is based can be proven right or wrong… but the opinion cannot be proven right or wrong.
It was “of course” because that is what rational people do… they base their opinions on facts. Their facts may be wrong… and that would affect the quality of their opinion.
No, I don’t think they attempted to mislead or deceive.
No, I am merely saying that you cannot prove a lie based on incorrect facts.
Could he? It is becoming apparent that Saddam was lied to by his underlings as to what they possessed or what was in the works.
And you say nothing about the massive US/British intel failure this denotes.
The fact is that if Saddam was such a baddie, why did the US wait to invade and topple him?
Tigerman says that Saddam used WMD in the past; sure, with the tacit understanding of the US. This is not in dispute. The US has done the same.
Everything that the US was proffering [to convince a sceptical world] was that Saddam was a threat to the region and the US and even England. The fact that Saddam was a dictator was about 20th fiddle in the pitch.
The US went to war, alledgedly, because it needed to protect itself. But it turns out that there was no threat at all, as the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has just concluded ("Left-wing pinko facist peaceniks!!!).
Why is the US administration still trying to back their snake oil sales? Why don’t they come clean?
“We thought they had WMD, drone delivery vehicles, mobile chemical labs…etc., but we were wrong. We have to go back and do some detailed soul-searching and find out why our intel lead us down a very destructive path. Should we have let the inspectors continue their work? Certainly. We made a terrible misjudgment and while we feel that with Saddam gone, in the long term, the nation has a better chance of finding its own legitamate voice in the international community. But for now, we apologize to the Iraqi people for our wanton invasion and our continuing lack of fire discipline in your country.”
Look, you don’t blow up a person’s entire house because you think he has a meth lab only to find out that there is nothing there, but boast about how much the man liked to kick his dog. Yes, the analogy lacks order of magnitude, but you get the idea.
[quote=“Jive Turkey”][quote=“spook”]The acquisition of weapons of mass destruction by small, rogue nations significantly ups the ante of danger and reduces the margin for error in judging any threats.
Please define “rogue nation.”[/quote]
I’d define ‘rogue nation’ as any nation whose policy making is in the hands of single-minded fanatics or a fanatic unconstrained by law, court, informed public opinion or principles and who are bent on re-making existing order consequences be damned.
I’d include the following in that category: North Korea, Iran, Israel, post 9/11 United States, Libya and Cuba.
That’s true. However, Saddam ran Iraq with an iron fist… if he wanted to clear up the matter he could have permitted the weapons inspectors complete access and he would have done as he was obligated under the terms of the UN cease fire agreement. He didn’t do that. They say that the scientists lied to protect themselves. Saddam could, had he wanted to, say to his scientists, “you wll truthfully disclose all information regarding the status of our weapons to the UN, or else I will kill you and your entire family”. He didn’t do that, did he?
There was no imminent threat. The fear expressed by Bush was that of Saddam eventually cooperating with terrorists.
I disagree. The inspectors had 12 years… more than sufficient time. Yet, they still hadn’t a clear understanding of Saddam’s weapons or lack thereof. Which brings us back to my point that had Saddam wanted the issue resolved, it was in his power to do, notwithstanding the behavior of his scientists.
I again disagree… we may have been wrong about the status of Iraq’s weapons… but we were correct to go in and finally ascertain the status. The UN cease fire agreement was supposed to confirm the status of Saddam’s weapons. Saddam did not cooperate and the status remained unclear. The US, and any other nation that believed that Iraq possessed WMD, shoud not be blamed for inferring that Saddam possessed certain weapons, when after all, the Iraqis admitted to such possession after the first Gulf War. The burden was entirely on Saddam to confirm and account for his weapons… not on the US.
The analogy fails not only due to magnitude. As has been explained repeatedly, Saddam had the burden of proving that he didn’t have the meth lab. The US didn’t have that burden. You cannot look at this issue as if it began only on 911. The issue goes back to the end of the first Gulf War.
Seriously, this is the most tenuous of reasons to go to war. How many countries could come under this umbrella?
The fact is, in short, that the US should have had iron-clad intel before going to war. This was not a move to intensify already crippling sanctions. This was going to war, and killing, as it turned out and could have been predicted, far more civilians in Iraq than were killed on 911 (an event that Iraq had nothing to do with).
You do not wage war without absolute, incontrovertable proof that it is needed. This was lacking with Iraq.
Are you really standing by the notion that inspectors, sanctions and no-fly zones could not monitor Saddam sufficiently such that war was the only solution? Absurd.
Perhaps the heat needed to be turned up, but going to war was too extreme. Even Saddams neighbors were not concerned that he was a threat to anyone. And you know for sure that if Israel had the slightest twitch of concern, they would have taken out whatever worried them – they have before.
You also earlier seem to indicate that in some way that Saddam was saying that he had these weapons but was not coming forward to disclose them. As I recall, unless I am indeed getting senile, every spokesman out of Iraq before the war was saying that “we don’t have them.” Inspectors were in, Al Samud missiles were being dismantled…war is not a thing to take flippantly, but the US jumped the gun…they were lustful of this.
If Saddam was such a threat or in breach of UN Security Council resolutions (of which Israel is a far more dramatic infringer), what was different say a year earlier? Nothing. The year before? Nothing.
The nut for me: you do not wage war on maybes. You better be goddamn sure it is the last and only solution. In this case, it was hardly the only recourse.
Seriously, this is the most tenuous of reasons to go to war. …The nut for me: you do not wage war on maybes. You better be goddamn sure it is the last and only solution. In this case, it was hardly the only recourse.[/quote]
Well, I couldn’t agree more. Especially if “sufficient-enough” argument #5 (or whatever), “establish Democracy in Iraq and it will spread throughout the Middle East,” has been used previously.
[Note: This is, however, where the Bush supporters usually insert their “9/11 changed everything” argument.]
9/11 changed nothing in US foreign policy planning it simply supplied the catylist for policy implementation.
All the players were in position before 9/11, as too were their policies primmed and ready for implementation. Hence, it is falacy to argue that 9/11 changed everything. It’s far more likey that if the 9/11 event hadn’t occured then something of a similar magnitude would have been distilled.
It’s clear that WMD were used as a ruse to go to war. It’s not uncommon for Bush administration officals to admit as much.
Donald Rumsfelds’ now famous remark on the Known Knowns and the Unknown Unknowns is revealing of the paranoid state of US policy. The Unknown Unknowns are a justification to go to war. The fact that Saddam didn’t have WMD’s is an interesting case of the Unknown Unknowns being revealed.
What is very, very hard to escape about all this are the strong ties of Bush’s family with the oil business, in particular Osama Bin Laden’s family. Yet, it’s not just Bush who has strong industry ties, or vested interests it seems almost every man and his dog in his administration has some kind of vested interest in proliferating war.
They have interests in everything from feeding the troops to the manufacture of new high tech military hardware. All of this sits snuggly beside their oil interests both strategically for the US and financially for the officals. This they sugar coat in the democracy domino for the ding bats to swallow.
I think it’s hightime the US had more democratically elected officals in high positions. Positions such as the Secretary for Defence should never be appointed, they should be elected officals. This would subject them to oversight. It’s a huge hole in the US model for democracy that leads to cronyiem that’s beyond the reach of the people.
Iraq declared that it had x WMD at the end of the first Gulf War. Iraq was able to show whay happened to y WMD at the time of the UN cease fire and agreed to account for the remaining z WMD.
Iraq failed to account for the z WMD. Iraq continually stalled and deceived the inspectors.
The US was NOT obligated, in this situation, to have perfect intelligence. The US was perfectly justified in relying on Iraq’s admission that it still had z WMD for which it had not yet accounted.
The war (first Gulf War) was not ended, but, a cease fire (conditional) was called. It isn’t as if the US started a new war.
OBL stated that one of the primary reasons al Qaeda was at war with the US was the stationing of US troops in Saudi Arabia. Why were US troops in Saudi Arabia? So, Iraq had LOTS to do with the 911 attacks, and all of the other attacks that al Qaeda perpetrated previous to 911.
Once again, the US was not required to know what WMD Saddam possessed. Saddam was obligated to account for the WMD he said he had.
See my comments above re OBL and al Qaeda. The inspections and sanctions were not working. They did not result in Saddam accounting for the WMD he said he possessed. The cease fire agreement was in effect for 12 years. For 12 years the US had been targeted by al Qaeda, and finally, on 911, al Qaeda struck with such devastaion that the issue had to be dealt with. The taliban, al Qaeda and Saddam were all appropriate targets.
Who was going to turn the heat up? And to what end? To contain Saddam? To do so would require an US troop presence in Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations. This is the very situation that has caused al Qaeda to declare war on the US. No, I don’t think turning the heat up was going to solve the problem.
Saddam’s neighbors had not been targeted by al Qaeda.
Hans Blix - the mother of all inspectors - stated that Saddam had failed to completely cooperate and had not accounted for z WMD. Its all in the report he submitted to the UN before the war.
No matter how many inspectors were in (and they were only in because of US pressure), the Iraqis were still dragging their feet and failing to cooperate fully.
There was no unknown. Saddam was in clear and open violation of the conditional cease fire agreement. Condition for halting hostilities not met… hostilities resume. I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for so many people to get their hands around.
Bush was not going to be a big foreign affairs president initially. All the Dems made a big deal out of Bush’s lack of foreign affairs experience and his desire to take the US in an isolationist direction.
911 definitely changed that.
None of them were President of the United States.
I think its absurd to deny the effect of 911… as if the complete destruction by foriegn forces of the two massive skyscrapers that dominated the NYC skyline in the cradle of the US financial center and the attack on the US military HQ could occur without affecting US policy.
Was Saddam’s failure to comply with the UN cease fire agreement a “ruse”?
Again… again… The only reason there were unknowns re WMD is that Saddam failed to comply with the terms of the UN cease fire agreement. Yes, indeed one side’s failure to adhere to the terms of a cease fire agreement is a good reason to resume hostilities.
This argument is a poor one. If Bush and Co. wanted to obtain cheap oil, war was not the best way to get it.
No, the ding bats believe in the conspiracy theories. 911 was real.
There was no unknown. Saddam was in clear and open violation of the conditional cease fire agreement. Condition for halting hostilities not met… hostilities resume. I don’t know why this is such a difficult concept for so many people to get their hands around.[/quote]
Probably because the condition you mention was one set by the UN, not by the US. When the US couldn’t convince the UN to enforce 1441 on Bush’s timetable…hostilities “resumed” anyway.
I have always wondered at the ability of you guys to use UN “cover” only when it’s politically expedient.
But this whole thing is beside the point. The decision to invade Iraq was made long before it actually happened, by some credible accounts immediately after Bush took office. For instance:
[quote=“USA Today”]Posted 1/10/2004 11:07 PM
O’Neill: Iraq planning came before 9/11
CRAWFORD, Texas (AP)
Arguing that the United States is alone the “true” voice of authority for the 149-member United Nations and the Security Council majority somehow disqualified is a fringe notion which is as absurd as a single Supreme Court justice announcing he or she alone is the ‘real’ voice of the Supreme Court and the majority thereby overruled.
More importantly, the analogy fails because the US wasn’t speaking as a “true authority” on the matter. The US was speaking as a nation that had been targeted for over a decade in increasingly violent and effective attacks by a terrorist organization.
That the terrorist organization stated as one of its primary reason for attavking the US, indeed for declaring war on the US, was that US troops were stationed in Saudi Arabia… this is a fact… just as it is a fact that US troops were stationed in SA as a result of Saddam’s invasion of Kuwait 12 years prior to 911.
It is also a fact that the first Gulf War was suspended by the agreement of all parties to the hostility to a conditional cease fire. As it is a fact that the conditional cease fire called on Iraq to IMMEDIATELY do certain things. 12 years later, and 17 resolutions later (each calling on Iraq to comply IMMEDIATELY), Iraq was still not complying with the conditions of the cease fire agreement.
Those are facts.
Thus, the US was not acting merely as a sole judge of a tribunal seeking to have its way in an arbitrary manner. The way had been agreed upon 12 years ago… but Saddam failed to adhere to the conditions of that way… and consequently, the US troops remained in SA… and because of this, al Qaeda declared war on the US…
Bush’s isolationist policy should best be interpreted as unilateralist. Isolationist is the wrong term to describe Bush’s initial acendency to the Presidency. Policies such as the steal tarrifs and the abandoning of the Kyoto accords are examples of unilateralism not isolationalism. It is absurd to argue that the US could ever be isolatioalist no mater who the president is simply look at the influence it has had over the world in the last 50 years.
Democrats tried to present Bush as being weak on foreign policy and isolationalist for party political reasons. However, his pedigree is buried in foreign policy. That’s undeniable, and his family is part of the republican political machinery. It is sad for you that you should make, and hold to such an argument.
It’s a documented fact that the foreign policy pundits in the current administration were looking for such an event as 9/11 to implement US foreign policy of war on Iraq. So weather it were 9/11 or some other eventuality this hegemonic foreign policy would have been asserted under this administration with almost certainty - hence the players. It’s far more reasonable to assume that if you’re going to build a house you’ll surround yourself with architects, plumbers, electricans and carpenters.
It’s not a matter of wanting cheap oil. It is a matter of securing supply. These are two extremely different concepts. I’d be surprised if this administration would really want cheap oil. My guess is they’d prefer expensive oil so they can continue to line their pockets. However, securing supply over Iraq’s oil is clearly a priority; one only has to see how the war was executed if you were to have any doubts at all. Controlling Iraq’s oil is the US’s ace-in-the-hole at the end of this conflict, and it will have precious little to do with how they carve up the cake; although, as you can imagine, that will be icing on the cake. It will be their influence over Saudi Arabia unfetted by their dependence on Saudi oil.
In the end we will all have to take stock and see who were the real beneficiaries of the Bush administration. However, from my perspective he has found himself in a virtuous circle the kind of virtuous circle that has been the making of Kings.
I disagree. The unilateralist charge came later. Bush was first criticized as being an isolationist.
Yes, the US would have influence around the world no matter who was/is Prez. But, everything is relative. Anyway, even a move toward isolationism by the US would influence many places around the world.
The charge of unilateralism is bogus, of course, because every nation at times acts unilaterally. Bush’s decision to reject Kyoto was a correct decision and one that could only be made unilaterally… so what? In any event, you critics have charged that Bush is “isolationist” and “unilateralist”, while at the same time charging that he had hegemonic plans on the middle east. You cannot have it both ways. And Bush was, again, not an unilateralist… he went first to the US Congress and then to the UN for support. In the end, he obtained support not from the UN, but from a multilateral coalition. That is hardly “unilateralist”.
Its sad that you would try to deny that Bush was in fact seen as an isolationist by Europeans and Democrats even after his first 100 days in office. What changed that? 911, of course. Its absurd to argue, as many of you do, that Bush is wrong at every turn. Here are reports written prior to 911 from just a few different news agencies regarding Bush’s foreign policy:
[quote=“CNN Report”] European leaders had hoped Bush’s natural conservatism and non-interventionist instincts would be tempered by the narrowness of his election victory.
Instead, after the instinctively-internationalist Bill Clinton they have found themselves [color=red]faced by an isolationist president[/color] who has rejected international agreements on land mines, nuclear testing and an international criminal court.
[quote=“The Guardian”] The Bush administration is making a major effort to dispel European notions that [color=red]the United States is favouring an isolationist foreign policy[/color].
The impression given by George Bush’s presidential campaign was that his administration would not engage the US in issues outside its borders unless the interests of Americans were directly affected. It is now making a concerted diplomatic effort to counter that impression.
[quote=“National Review”] In a time of world peace and stability, it can be hard to pick holes in a president’s conduct of foreign policy, but George W. [color=red]Bush’s critics have found a bad rap to hang on him: He is an isolationist[/color].
Senate majority leader Tom Daschle picked the moment of Bush’s departure on his second European trip to say that “[color=red]we are isolating ourselves[/color]” and “minimizing ourselves.”
In any event, there isn’t much difference, if any, between “isolationist” and “non-interventionist” with respect to the US.
Its also a documented fact that the US didn’t make any move on Iraq until AFTER 911. 911 happened and the US under Bush reacted to it. REACTED. The desires of certain people that were not acted on are not relevant.
Do you work for xinhua? People’s Daily? How can you possibly characterize current US foreign policy as “hegemonic”?
Doesn’t change the fact that if they wanted a secure supply a war was still the worst way to go about getting the same. Saddam wanted very much to sell his oil to the US. All the US had to do was ask the UN to drop the sanctions… well, OK, we’d also have had to embarass certain UN member nations profiting from the sanctions to agree to drop them. That’s another glaring inconsistency in the UN’s refusal to support the US effort to enforce the UN cease fire agreement… “Saddam is not a threat”… “but, we need to maintain the sanctions to keep him in line”…