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Old 09-26-2002, 04:05 AM   #136
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In response to Ultraviolet7:

Thats true that there are a lot of statistics that appear that are inacurate or politically motivated or taking out of a certain context obscuring their true meaning. I do have import/export figures for Argentina that I could look up going back to 1980. I have not looked at that yet though. The United Nations though, and those that are apart of making the anual UN Human Development report try to given an accurate picture of the standard of living in countries worldwide. The members who compose the team making the Human Development report are economist, statisticions, and other experts from around the world. I think they try to give an accurate, objective, unbiased look at what the standard of living is in each country and how each country ranks among others. That certainly does not mean that their info is perfect, but I think they try to present an accurate picture. So I'm not really sure what to think on this. To much conflictive info. I'll give the import/export stats a look and see if that adds anything. I did see in the Economist this week that Argentina's GDP is -16% from this point last year. A 16% drop in GDP is not a recession, thats a depression. The UN development report for 2002 should be out in a few months, will have to see what the new figures look like.

On the subject of trade deficits I think an important factor is what percentage of the economy is actually involved in international trade. The Greater that percentage is the greater the effects of any trade deficit or surplus. But, I doubt the recent US recession is due to the US trade deficit. The reason is that the US trade deficit has been around since the 80s. Early 80s in fact. Actually I need to check to make sure, but I'm almost positive the early 80s were the last time we had a trade surplus. Over that 20 years of trade deficits we have had economic expansion of the late 80s followed by a small economic recession in 1990/1991 followed by a few years of slow growth then the most rapid and longest sustain economic expansion in are nations history. The trade deficit has continued throughout all of this and I can't really see it turning to a surplus any time soon unless tariffs are raised to reduce imports, and other markets become more open to US exports. A reduction in the strength of the US dollar could also push exports up and imports down, as buying American becomes less expensive relative to foreign products.

Very well said on the Soviet Union and World War II. The Soviets did by far the most fighting and dying. But the USA did send the Soviets Billions of tons of food, clothing, raw materials, and other supplies. I need to look up the statistics to be more exact. We did send them a few tanks, but back then, Soviet tanks were superior to US tanks.

The USA though helped and wanted to prevent the Soviet Union from being Knocked out of the war, because if the Soviets had been knocked out of the war, barring nuclear weapons that had not been developed in 1941, it would have been impossible to defeat the German military machine without the Soviets. So actually it was a vital reason to get into the war. US supplies and aid was already flowing to the Soviets before the USA was bombed by Japan at the end of 1941. The USA was of course totally unprepared for World War II. It took a while to build up enough military power comparable to the Soviets to be able to act at the level and strength that were at. There was no way we could have conducted D-Day in June 1942 only 7 months after Pearl Harbor. US participation was not large in the military sense in Eastern Europe because it was difficult to engage the German military from that front. There was a plan to send troops through the Balkans and hit German troops troops fighting the Soviets from the rear, but this was abandoned because the terrain in the Balkans was mountainous and easy for the Germans to defend. Italy was tried because it was easier terrain wise than the Balkans but that proved to be difficult as well as the fighting bogged down in central Italy. The best way to the heart of Germany though for US forces was through the plains of Northern France and into Germany. Much easier terrain for armor advances than the Balkans or Italy. Plus there was the advantage of forcing the Germans to fight on two widely different fronts. US troops were never sent in large numbers to Russia itself because of the greater logistical requirments involved plus other factors that would complicate things. But US Bombers did sometimes fly to the Soviet Union and fly missions from the Soviet Union against German forces. This was not typical though.

I should stop here because I'm starting to refight World War II. But, the USA aided the Soviet Union because having them knocked out of the war could very well mean complete German victory everywhere. I see your point with Afghanistan, but again you have to put Afghanstan in the context of the Cold War where resources are limited. Building a nation into a democracy is expensive. The USA only provided 1/3 of the supplies for the Mujahadeen which was little at best anyways. I see nothing immoral about helping people resist Soviet Occupation. I don't think we should have left the area so quickly when the Soviets left, but the demands for aid to Eastern Europe were to strong. Remember all this occured in 1989, Soviets leave Afghanistan Communism collapses in Eastern Europe. We simply do not have the economic resources to help everyone at any given time. Still though, I could tie any support to resisting Soviet occupation anywhere in the world to the goal of one day having a world that is set up along similar lines of American Democracy and Capitalism which was our goal in World War II. Very indirect and not specific to Afghanistan at the time, very true. In general, both examples are still aiding an enemy or a neutral force to fight another enemy. Both examples can be linked to helping preserve democracy somewhere no matter how direct or indirect the link is. So I do think it is a legit example.

Sorry about the comment, that was not good. I failed to realize that could be personal. I think I was just remembering a debate in a University class where such statements involving realism and idealism are often used. I'll try to make sure this does not happen again!

I don't want to beat a dead horse either , but I think your only examples on the Fundamentilist bulwark against the Soviets were Mujahadeen in Afghanistan, and Iran after the fall of the Shah. I disagree and still disagree on both points. Were there any other examples? Sorry if I do not remember them. I should probably go back to look. But as you said this one is probably a dead horse.

As far as Iran and the Shah go, I was just pointing out that the small number of old US equipment captured from Iran by Iraq, was US equipment that was bought while the Shah was in power. I have never seen any evidence or reports of US arms sold to Iran in addition of the arms for hostage deal. But if you have something, I would like to see it, if you felt like obtaining it. But don't worry about though. I have a weapons table like the one I posted for Iraq for Iran too. But I'm willing to look at other pieces of info.

I see your point with Satellite State and Client State. I think we were both misunderstanding each other on this one. No disagreement now.

On the issue of the use of force, I agree that the Police would not bomb a building to catch a single criminal, but again were not talking about that in Palestine or Jenin either. Were talking about organized resistance with hundreds of fighters armed with homade bombs, RPGs, and plenty of small arms, enough to inflict heavy losses on a lightly equiped Israely force. The IDF went in with light Infantry(foot soldiers) to TRY and keep civilian casualties down. Of course this is often done in vain in all conflicts. It would of been easier and less risky to IDF troops to simply suround Jenin and carpet bomb it from the air. They did not do that because of the mass civilian losses that would create. If there were a way for them to pinpoint where the terrorist were, then a precision strike from the air might of worked and prevented unnecessary civilian losses. The Israelies went in with foot soldiers though because it was impossible to pinpoint exactly where the terrorist were, hiding among the civilians. They tried to evacuate Jenin, and most but not all did leave the area of fighting.

You fail to mention the Israely lives that were saved by catching so many terrorist in one spot. The loss of innocent lives is unfortunate but there is only so much the IDF can do to protect innocent lives when a well armed terrorist group decides to make its stand in a civilian area. It has never been confirmed how all the 48 civilians killed at Jenin died. The Bulldozing of a house with civilians inside may of happened because of mis -communication in the heat of battle, which is when these events took place. If it was Israely policy to bulldoze any house in the area with civilians in it, there would be far more dead civilians.

Well if there is to be an exchange for Israely forces leaving the West Bank for no terrorism in Israel, why has Hezbolah not ceaced their terrorism since Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon which they promised. Perfect example of how land for peace does not work. Israel had actually pulled out of large area's of the West Bank even when there was a massive increase in terrorism. But following all the attacks in the Spring the Israely's moved back in heavily. What i curious is before last Spring with so many Israely forces withdrawn from the West Bank, why was there a corresponding increase in terror attacks. Your Logic would state that the Israely's would be rewarded for withdrawing many of their forces from the West Bank, not attacked. This turns the logic that, if the Israely's completely withdrew from Palistine there would be no more terror attacks, on its head. Rather, the terrorist are interested in simply one day wiping out Israel and all Jews. It was and has been the stated goal of the Arab countries with four attacks on Israel in the 20th century.

Well I guess some UN members are blind. Please tell me who does not agree that Baghdad is not in violation of 16 UN resolutions. Did the inspectors finish their job. NO Who does not know that the inspectors were thrown out of Baghdad in violation of the UN ceacefire agreement? Perhaps reluctence or opposition stems from having to participate in paying for the rebuilding of Iraq after an invasion. We like to have the support of the member nations to enforce the UN resolutions as the law calls for so that we can get help with the cost of undertaking such an operation. But if no one is willing to help, that is not going to prevent the USA from doing the right thing if it feels the need to act.

There may not be as much international support for an operation in Iraq right now as there was for Kosovo in 1999, I was just pointing out the the UN was not the be all and end all of what could and could not be done internationally. If it was, action would never of been taken in Kosovo. From the legal standpoint of the UN though, the ceacefire agreement legitmizes US action against Iraq to force it to comply with the terms it agreed to.
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Old 09-26-2002, 07:31 AM   #137
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
The difference between the IRA and the Mujahadeen is that the Mujahdeen were resisting an INTERNATIONAL invasion of their country.
The IRA thinks that they resist the British invasion (Ireland was a country of its own in history - so it's international too)

I would classify the Mujahdeen as Terrorists others would classify them as "liberty-fighters" pretty much the same just the view form the other side of the same fight.

Quote:

... The are other options available to the IRA to work out their grievances. The UK is a democracy, the Soviet Union is not. The Mujahadeen only had one option vs the Soviets, submit or fight.
Most of the things you said were right .- historical comparisions fail most of the time.
I just wanted to point out an example that it's easier for you to take a look "from the other side"

But.. no matter if it's a Democracy or not People imho have a right to decide on their own which government they want.
It's not our job to bless the world with our style of living - except the majority of the people call for support to get the regime change done. (As it was in Europe)

Quote:
Most of this is simple generalization. Tons of money to Bin Laden, nope. Bin Laden was a business man that had his own money.
But he got tons of money from various US organisations (CIA for example).
They didn't care about his motivations too much they were glad to have one who hates the Russans as they did.

But that's also not that important. The US foreign politics made lots of mistakes in the cold war and some of them we still see in the "Arabic world"

Quote:
Its true that the USA supported Iran when the Shah was in power to counter Soviet supported Iraq. The US never sold weapons to Iraq. Iraq did capture US weapons from Iran during the Iran/Iraq war though, but this was a tiny amount.
Because of a Dictator like the Shah the religious fundamentalists got enough support in the country to make their revolution.
It took a long time - but now the Iran made it's own way to a democracy. It isn't as perfect as our democracies but it's on the way and it's leading into the right direction.

Quote:
Terrorist target innocent civilians, not military personal! We do not target civilians we target the military. Huge difference.
That's what i said before.
We don't target civilians because we believe they are not our enemies.

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I understand the UN resolutions do not explicitly call for regime change, but they do call for military action if the ceacefire is broken to disarm Baghdad.
So you agree that the focus change from the US to the "change of the regime" isn't supported by the UN resolutions?

That's all i wanted to say.
And if you do this without a UN res. you violate international laws.

(As you do when you use daisy cutters)

Quote:
The USA is not pro war, we are pro international Security!
Everyone is pro (nat. and internat.) Security. But it's not only me who thinks that the military action the US is planing increases the risk of international terrorism.

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Were not giving up are idea's of right and wrong for cheap oil, we are enforcing are idea's of right and wrong by preventing Saddam and others from threatening the economic health of the world!
If you want to do so than please talk with the other governments of the World in the UN and find a way.
Try to understand them as they try to understand you.
If you want more peace in the world you should respect the war-monopol of the UN. Stop unilateral actions.
If you don't care about international laws don't expect that the enemies of the US would do it.

Btw supporting the ICC would be a step in the right direction too.

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Again, the UN CEACEFIRE AGREEMENT mandates that military action be taken to enforce the agreement if it is broken!
Right - and that's why noone calles it an invasion or unlawfull when you would inforce the Boycot of iraq with Military.

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The USA tried though those 11 years to keep santions on Iraq and prevent other countries from doing trade that would violate the sanctions. We flew
Our governments weren't interested too much to enforce the trade boycott with Iraq (good examples France/Turkey - noone put presure on them).

Quote:
USA was involved in a intensive inpsections regime to try and disarm Iraq peacefully. The USA has done a lot of things, diplomatically and peacefully, over the past 11 years to get Iraq to fully comply with UN resolutions. It has failed. That is why force is necessary! It is the only language Saddam understands!
We had this discussion before the inspections failed not only because of the Iraq but also because of the US they put spies in the inpsections-team and because of that Sadem threw them out of the country.

Quote:
I don't see how your assertion that what I said to Not George Lucas imply's that every country would go for weapons of mass destruction to safeguard against US invasion. I'm afraid you did not understand what I said. The US did not invade the Soviet Union because they had nuclear weapons, the US did not invade the Soviet Union because we never had the CONVENTIONAL military strength to do so, if that had been are intention.
I don't share your opinion.


Quote:
After the 1960s the likely hood of nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union during a conflict was made less likely when the Soviets achieved nuclear parity with the USA. BUT it made a conventional military conflict in europe MORE likely because the use of nuclear weapons was unlikely because of the uncontrollable risk their use in the war would create.


I think you're wrong here - a looser could always be willing to destroy everything when he can't win anymore.
Because of that there was no more chance to win a war when the enemy had nuclear weapons.

Quote:

Rogue nations attempting to obtain weapons of mass destruction will in fact only increase the likely hood that they are attacked by the USA. The USA is not detered by their WMD because it has its own arsonal of WMD. Part of the reason that Chem/Bio weapons were not used in WW II when most countries had them or could build them.
Chemical weapons were used in WW II.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
In response to Klaus again:

The USA could have installed a democracy in Cuba just like we did in Italy, Germany, and Japan after World War II. The proper investment of funds would achieve this.
There is one big difference between Europe and lots of other countries US invaded or were trying to invade.

In Europe the people were happy that they were free again.
They welcomed the enemy soldiers with Flowers. I don't think that the Cuban People would have done this because of a currupt US supported military regime they had before. I don't believe that the Iraqi people would welcome the US with flowers either.

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As Afghanistan is the case you sometimes do have to bomb or defeat a country in order to stop terrorism.
I can only repeat myself - i'm not a pacifist and i agree that at some point military force can be neccessary (most of the time because the problem was ignored before or the problem resulted of a war before)

Quote:
It is unfortunate that the USA did not intervene in the world the way it has since World War II, before World War II. From Europe to Asia, to the middle east, the US military intervention has secured democracy, prosperity, security, and stability, for millions of people in many countries around the world. My father served in the US military for 30 years during the Cold War and I am very proud of his service to help secure democracy, prosperity, and stability throughout the world!
I understand that you're thinking verry positive of the US military because of the things you said above but you shouldn't ignore that lots of military action (not only from the US but also from the US) killed many people and installed dictator regimes.

You can't win war against terrorists with military actions only. War can lead to new terrorism because it creates new hate especially if your war could be for egoistic reasons only (Oil, Gold, other resources or just strategic points to threaten someone else.)

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Old 09-26-2002, 04:31 PM   #138
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In response to Klaus:

The IRA targeted British civilians in England, Scotland and other area's outside Northern Ireland. The Mujahadeen did not target Russians in Moscow or any other Soviet city. The Mujahadeen went after Soviet military targets. In the eyes of the world, the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan was just that. In the eyes of the world the British never invaded Northern Ireland since Northern Ireland is apart of the United Kingdom. Even Ireland itself agrees that Northern Ireland is apart of the United Kingdom. I have ancestors that come from Northern Ireland in my background who are protestant and not Catholic. Clearly they may have well viewed where they lived to be apart of England as well. Most people in Northern Ireland are Protestant and would ask you, What United Kingdom invasion are you talking about?, we are apart of the United Kingdom. One of the chief differences between terrorist and freedom fighters are that terrorist target civilians while freedom fighters go after the source of occupation which is a foreign military. With your logic, your saying that Afghanistan had no right to self-defense or to be supported by other countries in that self-defense. Afghanistan was an independent country before the Soviets invaded. Northern Ireland has never been an independent country at any time. The majority of people there want to remain apart of the United Kingdom.

Hey if you have a factual dollar amount of a money transfer from the CIA to Mr. Bin Ladin himself, prove it. People alleged this simply because Bin Ladin was involved in the war in Afghanistan and so was the CIA. There fore they automatically assume without hard evidence, that the CIA must have given Bin Ladin tons of money. Bin Ladin already had tons of money before the war. But hey, if you have documented evidence lets see it here, otherwise this is just unproven speculation.

US foreign Politics was not perfect during the Cold War, but it certainly made far less mistakes than had been made prior to the Cold War. There is very little I would have changed about US Cold War policy. It was massivily successful in finally achieving its goals.

I agree that UN resolutions do not explicitly say that regime change is necessary if Iraq violates the ceacefire agreement. But military invasion of Iraq to force compliance with UN resolutions is clearly mandated. If, AND ONLY IF, in such an invasion, it is found that the only way to bring a resolution to the war and there by Iraqi compliance with UN resolutions, would a regime change be justified.
For example, if Iraq had refused the UN ceacefire agreement in 1991, US forces would have continued toward Baghdad. If as US forces entered Baghdad Saddam still refused and continued to fight US and Coalition forces, Saddam would have been eventually captured, Killed, or would have left the country. Regime change is obviously possible even if it is not intended, if Iraq chooses not to cooperate and resist UN resolutions.

The UN would not exist if it were not for the USA. We always do seek to work with are allies and listen to their views. But the UN is not the be all and end all of when and where countries can take action to defend their citizens or prevent slaughter. The UN never approved NATO military action in Kosovo but we took it and saved thousands of people from being slaughtered by the Serbs. The USA has the right to defend its citizens without a vote from any international body. We seek support of the international community, but lack of that support will not prevent us from acting to defend ourselves.

The USA had to have spies on the inspection team because Iraq was already cheating and hiding its weapons from the inspectors. The USA set of devices to monitor Iraqi movement without them knowing. It was this intelligence, called spying, that allowed us to detect when and where Iraq had stationed sensitive equipment. You CANNOT effectively inspect and disarm Iraq if you do not spy on them without them knowing! This spying was the only way we were able to discover they were cheating. The fact that they were cheating not only allows the us to spy, but were mandated by the ceacefire agreement to actually invade the country with military force let alone spy!

A looser, unless he is Saddam or Hitler or have mental problems would not be willing to destroy everything including himself if they were about to loose. From my father and other people I know that were high ranking US officials during the Cold War, I know for a FACT that US strategy in Europe changed from massive retaliation with Nuclear weapons to FLEXIBLE RESPONSE in the 1960s. Flexible response strategy involved resisting Soviet invasion only with conventional weapons and ONLY using Nuclear weapons if the Soviets used them first. We never stated pubically that we were giving up the right of a first use of Nuclear weapons in a conflict, but our goal was simply to be able to deter each type of conflict with similar weapons, a conventional one with conventional weapons a nuclear one with nuclear weapons.

If we were being defeated by a Soviet invasion of western europe, it accomplishes nothing to esculate to the use of nuclear weapons to defend oneself because that would just bring down Soviet nuclear weapons on our remaining troops and cities plus exposing the US mainland to devastating nuclear attack. Such a decision is essentially suicide. Suicide is not a defensive action and will not save what we are trying to defend. In fact it would only insure its destruction. Far better to be defeated but survive to fight another day even if its a century later.

If chemical weapons were used on a large scale in World War II, please tell me when and where, and how it effected the outcome of the war. Why didn't Germans use chemicals against allied infantry on the beaches of Normandy. God knows the Germans had more than enough time to set up a system to kill large numbers of US and allied infantry that went on to the beaches without any protective gear. While your at it, give me the estimated number of deaths from chemical weapons in the war as well.

How did the Kuwaiti people react to US troops in the 1991 Gulf War? As far as Iraq that might be less certain since Iraq has so many different ethnic groups. There certainly will be ethnic groups in Iraq that will chear a US invasion.

I know war is not the only way to prevent terrorism but it is part of it. The US does not go to war for egoistic reasons. We go for to war for reasons of national security and international security. WE also do not target civilians in any war we go into unlike other countries. In my view and from what I have seen and read, all major US military action since 1945 has been justified.
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Old 09-26-2002, 05:17 PM   #139
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
The UN ceacefire agreement approves military action against Iraq if it violates the ceacefire agreement. Obviously the reasons for being cautious in this country is the cost money wise of taking down the Iraqi regime and having to have soldiers stationed in Iraq for the next 10 years. Nationbuilding is a difficult process which is why we are going slow about this and in addition why we want the support of other nations. In forcing compliance with ceacefire resolutions, regime change may have to happen. But then we are faced with the task of nation building. We do not want the 200 Billion dollar plus cost to fall just on our shoulders, we want as many countries as possible to help out with the peacekeeping and other duties afterwards. Were slow to move down this direction because of the aftermath. Coalitions are always better than going alone, but that does not prevent us for acting alone if we feel we have to.

As far as the actual military invasion, it would have been launched years ago, if nation building in Iraq was not a factor. But thats not reality and the USA and international community cannot afford to have Iraq crumble after an invasion. The threat to security and stability would be even greater if that happen. So the answer to your basic question of what is stopping us or slowing us down since we already have approval for military action is, we want as much financial and economic support that we can get from other countries as possible for rebuilding the country after the war or conflict is over. Getting little or none does not mean we will not act though.
I actually do find Popmartijn's observation logical, and though your argument seems to be a reasonable explanation for the delay in action on part of the US, there are some obscure points. If the threat posed by Iraq regarding its probable provision of WMD to terrorist groups is as impending as you claim, in view that there's no evidence of Al-Qaeda having been in any way definitely knocked out, of bin Laden having been killed, of other terrorist groups such as Hamas, Hezbollah, etc of being inactive (on the contrary), of the success the 9/11 attacks were in the eyes of terrorist organisations, it's reasonable to conclude that the US or any other western target can be hit by terrorists ANY MINUTE now. This means, following your logic of immediate threat, that every minute action is delayed the safety of US and other western citizens is increasingly put at risk.

Do you seriously believe that in such a case the monetary cost of preventing the "crumble of Iraq" post enforcement of the cease-fire resolution should be reasonably considered a priority?

In fact it would be thousands if not millions of US/western citizens at risk of being victims of a bio/chem attack. No government is willing to face such scenario under any circumstance. Furthermore if financing for post cease-fire enforcement costs requires an extra effort on taxpayers' part, who in their right senses would refuse paying more if they were certain that this operation would liberate them from a potential bio/chem hazard? For these same reasons no other western nation would be posing any obstacle but rather would fervently support the elimination of such potential risk. The fact that they are so reluctant to approve of action and that the US doesn't immediately launch an attack under such circumstances, you'll excuse me, sounds somewhat suspicious.

I've got to rush right now - I'll reply to your post to me later.
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Old 09-26-2002, 09:14 PM   #140
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In response to Ultraviolet7:

Sorry but I never said that the attack was impending or about to happen at any minute. Were acting because of the possibility of this in the future, and Saddam's violations of the agreements he signed. In addition, any large scale invasion of Iraq requires the deployment of large numbers(250,000) troops many from the continental USA itself. This is not like Afghanistan! All of the support element for such a force are in the US reserves and would have to be called to duty, which requires congressional approval, which the President is trying to get. Bottom line, we could not invade Iraq tomorrow even if we wanted to. Its going to take several months to position the forces that would be required to take over a country the size of Iraq half away around the world. While we prepare to position forces to possibly do that, we are trying to seek support from other countries for rebuilding Iraq after a possible invasion. Until any invasion force for Iraq is ready, we will continue to hunt for Al-quada using special forces and other intelligence organizations.
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Old 09-29-2002, 04:30 AM   #141
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In response to STING2's previous post to me
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The members who compose the team making the Human Development report are economist, statisticions, and other experts from around the world. I think they try to give an accurate, objective, unbiased look at what the standard of living is in each country and how each country ranks among others. That certainly does not mean that their info is perfect, but I think they try to present an accurate picture. So I'm not really sure what to think on this. To much conflictive info. I'll give the import/export stats a look and see if that adds anything. I did see in the Economist this week that Argentina's GDP is -16% from this point last year. A 16% drop in GDP is not a recession, thats a depression. The UN development report for 2002 should be out in a few months, will have to see what the new figures look like.
Maybe they have good intentions but as I said it depends on what's the profile of the cases studied, their number, whether figures such as GDP and economic growth ones are given priority over actual field research, etc. It's really conflictive info all right, and it's really alarming to think that in the same way this country's data is badly distorted such could very well be the case with other nations' reports. About our present situation being depressive rather than recessive there's absolutely no doubt.

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The USA though helped and wanted to prevent the Soviet Union from being Knocked out of the war, because if the Soviets had been knocked out of the war, barring nuclear weapons that had not been developed in 1941, it would have been impossible to defeat the German military machine without the Soviets.
It naturally would have been impossible to defeat the Germans without the Soviets. My point however is that the US did not go into war to save the former USSR from a nazi takeover, but rather to avoid such a takeover in other sensitive areas. I mean that it was a vital reason to lend the Soviets a helping hand because their defeat would have meant the failure of the real objective the US was concerned with which was to preserve their natural allies Great Britain and France as partners in trade as well as to avoid nazi control of the Middle East and of the whole of North Africa further than the already Italian controlled Libya. It's obvious that the Soviets indirectly helped to attain this goal since they were fighting their own war against the nazis. It's also obvious that it was recognised that they almost fought the war single-handed and that it was tacitly acknowledged that they could have probably defeated the nazis in the eastern front anyway in view of the generous compensation they were awarded at Yalta. Re D-Day, it had to wait indeed since it not only required of a certain amount of military power but it also relied rather heavily on intelligence operations. To establish a really effective intelligence network required its time. Moreover as we know D-Day also relied on the internal cracking of the nazi military and governmental hierarchy which was still monolithic in 1942. Furthermore though 1942 marked two decisive setbacks for Hitler at Stalingrad and El Alamein, the nazi forces were still compact and strong enough as to inflict heavy blows on the Allies such as at Dunkirk. I agree on what you say regarding US tactics to force the Axis to fight on different fronts.

Quote:
I see your point with Afghanistan, but again you have to put Afghanstan in the context of the Cold War where resources are limited. Building a nation into a democracy is expensive. The USA only provided 1/3 of the supplies for the Mujahadeen which was little at best anyways. I see nothing immoral about helping people resist Soviet Occupation. I don't think we should have left the area so quickly when the Soviets left, but the demands for aid to Eastern Europe were to strong. Remember all this occured in 1989, Soviets leave Afghanistan Communism collapses in Eastern Europe. We simply do not have the economic resources to help everyone at any given time. Still though, I could tie any support to resisting Soviet occupation anywhere in the world to the goal of one day having a world that is set up along similar lines of American Democracy and Capitalism which was our goal in World War II. Very indirect and not specific to Afghanistan at the time, very true. In general, both examples are still aiding an enemy or a neutral force to fight another enemy. Both examples can be linked to helping preserve democracy somewhere no matter how direct or indirect the link is. So I do think it is a legit example.
There's nothing immoral in helping people to resist Soviet occupation provided those people don't support an ideology as opposed to western moral principles as the fundamentalists do and as long such resistance leads to a truly democratic regime in which the same ideals that are supported in the free world can be applied in benefit of the local population. I mean, I understand that during the Cold War it was paramount to prevent the Soviets from taking over key areas further than what was already under their control, but while Islamic fundamentalism can perfectly well achieve the goal of communism containment, I don't see how it contributes in any way towards the end of establishing democracy and capitalism in the same lines as in the west. The constrainment of communist expansion is not enough a reason in my view to conclude that aid to such groups contributes towards the securing of western systems in the affected areas or in general. Fundamentalism is notoriously opposed to western forms and in particular to the US. Possibly it was thought at the time that as fundamentalist groups weren't self-sufficient as the former USSR was, they would always depend on US (or US controlled) funding to become operative and therefore would be easier to handle than a Soviet-controlled area in the Middle East. In fact they seemed to be for a time until they gained enough power to defy their previous mentors, which they hate anyway, and perform on US soil an attack not even the Soviets had dared to undertake in their own time. In my view this policy is (and has proved to be) extremely dangerous in the sense that it can backfire too easily and can hinder the achievement of the primary goal, as it can be presently witnessed in that terrorist groups of Islamic fundamentalist extraction are having all the west on the rack, not only jeopardising any further expansion of the western system but threatening it at its very origin.

The WWII and the Afghanistan cases are impossible to compare in my opinion because even if during WWII an enemy was helped, such help was accessory to the achievement of another immediate and clear goal which indeed contemplated the reinforcement of the western system. In addition this enemy's contribution in defeating a common evil was more than generously compensated as to secure certain basic lines of future behaviour even in presence of an "undeclared" conflict such as the Cold War. This scheme worked because the Soviet Union was under the control of a steady force with almost no internal opposition ever since the massive purges performed by the the Soviet leadership of the time within their own ranks. This guaranteed that the agreements reached with such authority would have a minimally solid base.

In the Afghanistan case a hostile force was helped to do away in the area with a lifelong enemy, but the concept of securing democracy and capitalism was way too diffused since the force helped was undemocratic and opposed to western systems by nature and to make matters worse it was not conformed by a compact block in which there was either a clearly defined policy (through elements like a Constitution, a government system backed by real power, tradition, etc) or a clearly defined authority which would guarantee basically the enforcement of any agreement. In fact the mujahedeen while reunited in their majority under common religious fanaticism experienced unsurmountable differences within their ranks due to ethnic divisions which prevented the emergence of a clear leadership in absence of a clear political system. In this scenario it was impossible to reach any solidly based agreement, nor it seemed, out of plain arrogance or gross miscalculation, to be of any relevance to the US that it was, since it was probably thought that the mujahedeen could be easily manipulated in view of their outward dependence to be able to operate. What I mean is that it seems that the US didn't see the need of reaching any agreement, let alone to negotiate any compensation since it was probably seen that the aid given during the conflict itself was to be considered enough compensation. The 90s events are clearly consequential. The Islamic fundamentalists' natural rejection of western culture together with the fact that there was no benefit in the area other than the removal of the Soviets has put them in a position of jeopardising the very system the aid given to them was meant to protect.

Quote:
Sorry about the comment, that was not good. I failed to realize that could be personal. I think I was just remembering a debate in a University class where such statements involving realism and idealism are often used. I'll try to make sure this does not happen again!
Apologies accepted. Thank you.

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You fail to mention the Israely lives that were saved by catching so many terrorist in one spot. The loss of innocent lives is unfortunate but there is only so much the IDF can do to protect innocent lives when a well armed terrorist group decides to make its stand in a civilian area. It has never been confirmed how all the 48 civilians killed at Jenin died. The Bulldozing of a house with civilians inside may of happened because of mis -communication in the heat of battle, which is when these events took place. If it was Israely policy to bulldoze any house in the area with civilians in it, there would be far more dead civilians.
Maybe many Israeli lives were saved, but to this end Palestinian civilians had to be killed. I wonder if the IDF would have been so ready to do away with civilians to catch terrorists, if the civilians had been Israeli, for instance if terrorists were holding Israeli civilians as hostages or were discovered to be infiltrating Israeli civilian centres such as universities, stores, etc. Palestinian civilians immolated to save Israeli civilians. It undoubtedly responds to a logic of war. But then Mr Bush should refrain from calling Sharon "a man of peace". BTW it was not the bulldozing of ONE house but of several of them with people inside. In any case my point is that while it's perfectly legitimate for the IDF to protect Israeli citizens, what's not is that they purport to do away with terrorism with methods way too similar to what the terrorists themselves use. This makes it state-endorsed terrorism. OK they don't use suicide bombers but methods such as bulldozing civilian homes with people inside because terrorists are supposed to be there too aren't much different.

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Well if there is to be an exchange for Israely forces leaving the West Bank for no terrorism in Israel, why has Hezbolah not ceaced their terrorism since Israel withdrew from Southern Lebanon which they promised. Perfect example of how land for peace does not work. Israel had actually pulled out of large area's of the West Bank even when there was a massive increase in terrorism. But following all the attacks in the Spring the Israely's moved back in heavily. What i curious is before last Spring with so many Israely forces withdrawn from the West Bank, why was there a corresponding increase in terror attacks. Your Logic would state that the Israely's would be rewarded for withdrawing many of their forces from the West Bank, not attacked. This turns the logic that, if the Israely's completely withdrew from Palistine there would be no more terror attacks, on its head. Rather, the terrorist are interested in simply one day wiping out Israel and all Jews. It was and has been the stated goal of the Arab countries with four attacks on Israel in the 20th century.
In the first place it has to be stated that Hezbollah and Hamas are extremist organisations who may include in their agenda the wiping out of Israel and Jews in general, but that is not what the majority of Palestinians and Lebanese want. This is not something I'm conjecturing on but rather which I've heard repeated once and again by Israeli Jews who are furiously for retaliation against terrorist groups and blindly approve of everything the IDF does in this sense. However these groups are massively supported by the civilian population mainly because they also claim to fight for their right to an independent state which is what all Palestinians want. The question is why they support the Intifada headed by groups whose motivations represent what they want in a sense but are opposed to their wishes in the other. The answer is fairly simple: they've lost any faith they could have had in the good will of Israel and of the US. A brief analisys of the past ten years' events may be helpful.

In the post-Declaration of Principles years there was a significant decrease in terrorism in the area (even if there were actually attacks on both sides) and the world thought that peace could finally be reached. As a matter of fact Arafat, Peres and Rabin were awarded the Peace Nobel Prize in 1994. However the Declaration of Principles and other accessory agreements like Oslo II and the Wye River Memorandum indicated that Israel had to turn over the West Bank and the Gaza Strip to the newly created Palestinian Authority whose interim rule would not exceed a five year period (expiring in 1999) after which permanent settlements would be enforced including the proclamation of an independent Palestinian State.

Internal changes in Israeli politics (the assassination of Rabin in 1995, the victory of the extreme right with Netanyahu in 1996, the return of the Labour Party with Barak and finally back again to the right with Sharon) mainly related to the peace negotiations with the Palestinians conspired against the peace process, since many of the territories that had to be turned over to the Palestinian Authority weren't, Israeli settlements in territories actually turned over were not dismantled but rather reinforced, access to territories now lawfully under Palestinian Authority still remained under the control of Israeli military as well as basic supplies like water to them. This responded both to the fact that Islamic fundamentalist terrorist groups were still operative (though on a lesser scale) which could legitimately make Israel doubt of true Palestinian intentions and to the fact that the Israeli right-wing factions disapproved of the terms of the agreement with the Palestinians.

When in 1999 the Palestinian Central Council was legally authorised to proclaim an independent Palestinian State, in the light of the commitment made by President Clinton in a letter to Arafat to do everything he could to ensure that the negotiations on the permanent status of the West Bank and Gaza were concluded within a year, they agreed to postpone the proclamation of independence. During that year Barak and Arafat agreed to redefine the Wye River application timeline regarding the redeployment of Israeli troops as well as on the dismantling of 10 of the 42 illegal settlements established under the Netanyahu administration. The failure to proclaim the Palestinian State at the originally accorded date created unrest among the Palestinians and reinforced the position of terrorist groups who had never been favourable to negotiating with Israel (much less under US tutoring). Such unrest officially broke out as new violence after Sharon, at the time the Israeli opposition leader, performed an uncalled for visit to the Al-Aqsa precinct in East Jerusalem, a place considered holy by the Muslims. This was seen as an open provocation and there were massive Palestinian demonstrations which were violently repressed by the Israeli police. This fact, though symbolic, officially triggered the second Intifada led by extremist groups. Sharon's victory in February 2001 didn't but deepen the conflict since his aggressive policy included the reoccupation of territories under lawful control of the Palestinian Authority, expansion of settlements and the persecution of Palestinian terrorists. US Senator George Mitchell elaborated a report which called for a freeze on such activities on part of Israel to put an end to eight months of violence and US Secretary of State Powell even named a special mediator to help the two sides implement the Mitchell report which was naturally supported by Arafat but not by Sharon who has so far refused to co-operate. The Palestinian Authority is now in a position it can't control terrorist groups since they've got massive popular support. If Arafat (who I don't particularly appreciate) should try to oppose terrorist activities he would face a revolution which would put in his place more extremist (fundamentalist) authorities since the people seem to believe that the only way they can achieve the goal of an independent state is through these "freedom fighters" as past negotiations with Israel monitored by the US were never fully respected.

What I mean is that if the peace process would have been respected throughout, there would be no reason for Palestinians to massively support groups like Hamas. Even if they could continue to be operative because of their fanaticism, their resources would be much more limited since less people would want to join them or help them altogether and it would be the same people who would back their government in getting rid of them since they would be seen not as freedom fighters but rather as an obstacle to achieve lasting peace in their hard-earned new country. Also if such peace process would have been completed and the Palestinian government didn't comply in trying to do away with the remnants of terrorist organisations, the UN could easily step in since there would be a breach in some of their regulations (resolutions 242 and 338 in particular) regarding peace in the area.

I hope this helps to explain why terrorism has never been fully done away with in the area.

Which four attacks on Israel do you refer to in particular?

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Well I guess some UN members are blind. Please tell me who does not agree that Baghdad is not in violation of 16 UN resolutions. Did the inspectors finish their job. NO Who does not know that the inspectors were thrown out of Baghdad in violation of the UN ceacefire agreement? Perhaps reluctence or opposition stems from having to participate in paying for the rebuilding of Iraq after an invasion. We like to have the support of the member nations to enforce the UN resolutions as the law calls for so that we can get help with the cost of undertaking such an operation. But if no one is willing to help, that is not going to prevent the USA from doing the right thing if it feels the need to act.
I was just suggesting that some countries might interpret the law differently, otherwise there would be no reason for them to oppose this action. Regarding the last item I already replied on another post.
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Old 09-29-2002, 08:55 PM   #142
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Hello Sting,
thanks for your detailed reply i just don't have enough time to answer you faster. I'm sorry for that.

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
In response to Klaus:

The IRA targeted British civilians in England, Scotland and other area's outside Northern Ireland. The Mujahadeen did not target Russians in Moscow or any other Soviet city. The
As far as i know the Mujahideen didn't only target the Soviet army but also critic and civilians.

I didn't want to raise a discussion about Afghanistan here. I just wanted to show you that the "Axis of evil" can change verry fast maybee a better example:

We should take a close look on our friends and enemies when we prepare for war - because it's easy to see only the things we want to see.
Then dictators become monarchs, terrorists become rebells and agression becomes selfe defence and vide versa.

Hopefully a better example:

Donald Rumsfeld visited a country and called the President (or as i would say Dictator) trustworthy. He sent greets from his president and said he was happy to be here...

The folowing 8 years the USA sent equipment and raw materials for manufacturing biological and chemical wapons.
They got differnt labratory equpment. 3 Years late US military labors even gave them Anthrax and Botulinus to the "educational-ministery" of this country.
2 years later the dictator used toxic gas versus a minority in his country more then 5000 people died.
After that US continued to sell "dual-use goods" and helped him to research Biological, Chemical and Rocket technology.

Date? December 1983 - The Country? Iraq

I don't want to say that the US government did evil things - their point of view was just different than today (also it were partially the same people as today)

But like they didn't see the truth in the 80ies there is a good chance that they could miss it again.

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Hey if you have a factual dollar amount of a money transfer from the CIA to Mr. Bin Ladin himself, prove it.
I know i had it from a serious magazine (ai monitor something like that) but i can't find it anymore - searching the web for "bin laden CIA" is hopeless these days

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US foreign Politics was not perfect during the Cold War, but it certainly made far less mistakes than had been made prior to the Cold War. There is very little I would have changed about US Cold War policy. It was massivily successful in finally achieving its goals.
nothing is perfect and i don't expect it that way. the USA has much power and because of that a verry high responsibility because noone could stop them if they would do something wrong.

The USA did a lot of bad things starting right after its foundation. But the USA did also lots of verry good things (also starting right after its foundation)

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I agree that UN resolutions do not explicitly say that regime change is necessary if Iraq violates the ceacefire agreement. But military invasion of Iraq to force compliance with UN resolutions is clearly mandated. If, AND ONLY IF, in such an invasion, it is found that the only way to bring a resolution to the war and there by Iraqi compliance with UN resolutions, would a regime change be justified.
I agree that presure is neccessary on Sadam.
I agree that war is a possibillity
but before that we should invest the same energy and money in peaceful actions to put presure on him (for example controlling the merchandise with military enforcement. Acting against governments which don't sell non-humanitary stuff to the iraq regime.)

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The UN would not exist if it were not for the USA. We always do seek to work with are allies and listen to their views. But the UN is not the be all and end all of when and where countries can take action to defend their citizens or prevent slaughter. The UN never approved NATO military action in Kosovo but we took it and saved thousands of people from being slaughtered by the Serbs.

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The USA has the right to defend its citizens without a vote from any international body. We seek support of the international community, but lack of that support will not prevent us from acting to defend ourselves.
Yes of course the USA has the right forr self-defence. Noone qould criticize that.

I just don't see any Iraqi submarins near chicago or Iraqi MIGs over washington that would have to be struck back.
But baghdad has no chance to threaten the United States so the US dosn't have to defend anything.

Preventive war is another thing. It's unlawful. If you call preventive war a defence than every war - even the wars of the 3rd Reich can be interpreted as "only selfdefence".
Preventive war is a taboo in the international comunity - and there's a good reason why it is that way.
It's also a taboo to change regimes of different countries - no matter how much we hate them. This would be colonially.
And colonially would bring up lots of "rebells" (remember what i said before about for rebells?)

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The USA had to have spies on the inspection team because Iraq was already cheating and hiding its weapons from the inspectors. The USA set of devices to monitor Iraqi movement without them knowing. It was this intelligence, called spying, that allowed us to detect when and where Iraq had stationed sensitive equipment. You CANNOT effectively inspect and disarm Iraq if you do not spy on them without them knowing! This spying was the only way we were able to discover they were cheating. The fact that they were cheating not only allows the us to spy, but were mandated by the ceacefire agreement to actually invade the country with military force let alone spy!

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We never stated pubically that we were giving up the right of a first use of Nuclear weapons in a conflict, but our goal was simply to be able to deter each type of conflict with similar weapons, a conventional one with conventional weapons a nuclear one with nuclear weapons.
I thought one of your president said this that Nuclear weapons are just for response- but it's too long ago i don't know who it was.

Quote:
If we were being defeated by a Soviet invasion of western europe, it accomplishes nothing to esculate to the use of nuclear weapons to defend
I think you don't have to be a "Hittler or Stalin" to push the button "revenge".
And i'm not sure that everyone who can trigger this button - will stay cool in a situation. I'm glad that most of them are well educated and not hot tempered.

But don't forget the human factor.

Quote:
If chemical weapons were used on a large scale in World War II, please tell me when and where, and how it effected the outcome of the war. Why didn't Germans use chemicals against allied infantry on the beaches of Normandy.
Not in a large scale like in World War I - i agree to that point. Also not in Europe

Why no Chemical weapons in the Normandy?

Several reasons - the most important one was that large parts of the german military were not willing to do this because they knew that they would loose but they hoped to get a carea in fighting against Russia - they hoped that the powerfull German army was necessary to win a fight against the communists.
Some others were against hittler but just too scared for rebelion and they waited for the loss of war "to turn things back to normal" in germany. (fighting against hittler failed misserably everyone who turned against hittler was killed - somme in concentration camps - some emediately, some were killed including their whole family.

uh.. i don't want to turn this into a WW debate maybe we should open a thread for (not only this) subject of WW2

Quote:
How did the Kuwaiti people react to US troops in the 1991 Gulf War? As far as Iraq that might be less certain since Iraq has so many different ethnic groups. There certainly will be ethnic groups in Iraq that will chear a US invasion.
Sure there will be some - but for a change there needs to be a majority cheering - also people who can build up a new state and will be respected by the majority of the country.
A "satelite government" won't work for nation building.

Quote:
I know war is not the only way to prevent terrorism but it is part of it.
Imho war is not a weapon that fits for preventing terrorism.

Quote:

The US does not go to war for egoistic reasons. We go for to war for reasons of national security and international security. WE also do not target civilians in any war we go into unlike other countries. In my view and from what I have seen and read, all major US military action since 1945 has been justified.
I didn't want to say that the US is targeting civilians (and i hope i never said this).

1I tried to point out that every fighter fights his enemy - in our understanding civilists are no enemies. Terrorists have a different view of what is worth killing.

1b)i think cruelties and murder of civilians by purpose hapened in every military - after all there are too many humans - some of them are "black sheeps" and seeing all this cruelty in war dosn't turn out the best sides of humans).

2On the other hand lots of innocent civilians are killed by mass destruction weapons (see a-bombs over hiroshima and nagasaki). Also lots of civilians were killed by purpouse some still thought it would be for a good reason (to shorten the war)

If military from our culture kills civilians by purpose our people are shocked because we are sure the other people are not our enemies - it's just something between the governments (classical european idea of war - 2 kings hate each other and the military has to do the job.)


2)This is verry different in other cultures. If the race or the religion is the reason for war ALL civilians from the enemiy are guilty and therefore they do not need to separate between civilians and military.

3)a little different approach are the ones who just hate the enemiy so much that killing civilians is no good thing but it's "legal" because it's the only way to win.


i hope i cleared out what i wanted to say first with just one sentence.
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Old 09-29-2002, 10:48 PM   #143
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Old 10-02-2002, 02:54 AM   #144
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In response to Ultraviolet7:

In the case of aid to the Mujahadeen, I still think it was the right thing to do, because while it might not have contributed to the formation of democracy immediately in Afghanistan, it did contribute to the long range goal of containing Soviet Communism which was threatening the very existence of democracy on the planet. The building of democracy today in Afghanistan would not be possible without the democracies of the West. The democracies of the West exist today because the Soviet Union was successfully contained. It is not immediate nor is it direct, but nearly all actions by the West(including Afghanistan) to contain Soviet Communism in the Cold War contributed to the eventual victory over that Global threat to democracy, and there for contributes to all democracy then and in the future anywhere in the world, including Afghanistan where a democracy is currently being built.

In the case of "Fundamentalist" in Afghanistan its easy I suppose to generalize. The Mujahadeen was composed of members who did believe in womens rights and were open to some for of democracy without sacraficing many of their religious beliefs. Members of the Mujahadeen many years later would become members of the Taliban and to a lesser extent Al-Quada, but a large portion would also become members of the Northern Alliance. There was a huge degree of difference between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban/Al-Quada on many issues. Its not really correct to say that in supporting Fundamentalist we were not supporting any groups or people that might be interested in a western style democracy. The problem is there is not actually a single definition of a Fundamentalist and political and social views among them can vary. Maybe many that most might mistake or consider to be Fundamentalist are in fact not. What we do have is certainly a society of tribes where religion is strong and there is no history of democracy. But that in of itself does not mean we should not support them when they are attacked by a foreign power that threatenes us as well.

Al-Quada while based in Afghanistan has cells in many places around the world. Afghanistan was chosen in the mid to late 90s as a place to train, but there are other countries that could have been used as well. It does not follow that are support for the Majahadeen in the 1980s has today threatened are democratic systems. Al-Quada came from outside of Afghanistan and could have been based in other countries. The Northern Alliance has never threatened any western democracy and has only helped the West. The Taliban was supported by Pakistan in 1996 to combat their enemies in the Northern Alliance. In hind site, leaving the region so quickly after the Soviets did may not have been in the immediate interest of Afghanistan, but it was not necessarily a long term threat to US interest since Al-Quada's main base could have been located in a large number of other countries not even in the immediate region.

It may be Israely policy to bulldoze the houses used by terrorist, but its not policy to bulldoze houses with people inside. I'm not saying this did not happen as I'm sure it did. Certainly there may be members of the IDF that took criminal action. Another factor is mis-communication which is so common in intense combat operations especially at night. Some of these houses were bulldoze in the middle of combat. Confusion and possibly some criminal IDF members led to the bulldozing of houses "with people in them", not Israely State policy. I see no equation of Israely tactics with Palestinian terrorist at all. In addition, if the IDF had the goals and aims of the terrorist they are fighting, everyone in the West Bank and Gaza would have been murdered decades ago. While the IDF has the power to do this, they have not done so. IF the Palestinian terrorist had the power of the IDF, they would not even hesitate to do this to the Jews in Israel.

I find Palestinians resort to Terrorism because of the failure to comply with a signed treaty on time an absurd action for them to take. Clearly they have benefited from working with Israel and the USA on eventual statehood. When has violence of any type benefited Palestinians in the last 55 years? The process was working, most Israely troops had withdrawn from the West Bank. Their violence only helped to elect Sharon. The Palestinians failed to crack down enough on terrorist before the 2nd intifada but still Israel was committed to the peace process and working out the final details. The best peace deal the Palestinians would ever get was handed to Arafat and he rejected it. Their reasons for supporting the terrorist stem from a lack of education and the understanding of Law/Government. If your a Palestinian and believed to have aided Israel, you are not given a trial, but are instead beaten to death by a street mob. In Israel, there is the rule of law and a trial for those that are accused of acting against the state.

The 2nd intifada has only made things worse for Palestinians. Clearly their choice to give more support to the terrorist was not at all intelligent when they had gained so much by working with the USA and Israel. If Palestinians want to have a State, they need to disengage from terrorism which will NEVER achieve any of their goals. They then need to form institutions of law and government and show responsibility in those area's before Israel can seriously consider leaving the area thereby allowing them to form a state. The only way the Palestinians will ever have a state is if they work with the Israel and the USA to achieve that. Its unfortunate that Palestinians fail to realize this, but it does not take a genious to do so.
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Old 10-02-2002, 08:24 AM   #145
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
In response to Ultraviolet7:

The 2nd intifada has only made things worse for Palestinians. Clearly their choice to give more support to
Right - worse for palestinensians - but look who won - the hardliners on both sides got (temporarily) more support because:
if you have a enemy of your people they support you even if they don't share your oppinion
and.. they can say "as i said you can't talk with them, the only thing they understand is force.

Quote:

terrorism which will NEVER achieve any of their goals. They then need to form institutions of law and
Sad but true - only Terrorism brought (back) international attention to that problem

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Old 10-02-2002, 12:12 PM   #146
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Evidently, I forgot to click the submit post button yesterday.

Here's a few random thoughts I've been having recently.

1. The United States does not need war right now. The country is pretty much split down the middle, and unless the president can get the whole nation to back him, any war against Iraq will fail.

2. What the country does need, if, indeed, Iraq really is a threat to us (of which there is still no real hard evidence), is not war, but the very real threat of war to the point where they back down. If there really is a threat, Iraq will respond to violence with violence. They would more likely respond better to immense pressure.

3. If the United States does invade or strike Iraq, there are only two possible results. If they turn out to have weapons, they will strike back. We have no way of knowing, at this point, what, if any, weapons they have, and, should we find and destroy any, there would be no guarantee we got them all. If Iraq ends up not having any weapons, the United States, no matter what our intentions are, will be the international bully, and everyone will see us as the bad guy.

4. Ever since Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941, the United States has flat-out refused to perform any pre-emptive strikes. The goevernment had the attitude that such an act is uncivilized, unjust, and beneath us. We're better than that.

5. The president needs to look to his predecessors for inspiration. It is obvious to me that he knows nothing about the presidential legacies before him, he has no understanding of his role, and he's entirely incompetant for his office.

6. The president wants war by any means necessary. There is nothing Saddam could do, short of killing himself and his entire family, that would give teh president second thoughts.

7. One thing I think a lot of people are overlooking is the potential loss of innocent individual lives. Right now it's all political, but I don't believe it is right for anyone to watch a bullet tear through his best friend simply because of the baseless hunch of some Texan thousand miles away.

8. On a completely unrelated note, Israel needs to pull out of Palestine. They have no right to be there.
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Old 10-04-2002, 12:47 AM   #147
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In response to Sting2

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
In the case of aid to the Mujahadeen, I still think it was the right thing to do, because while it might not have contributed to the formation of democracy immediately in Afghanistan, it did contribute to the long range goal of containing Soviet Communism which was threatening the very existence of democracy on the planet. The building of democracy today in Afghanistan would not be possible without the democracies of the West. The democracies of the West exist today because the Soviet Union was successfully contained. It is not immediate nor is it direct, but nearly all actions by the West(including Afghanistan) to contain Soviet Communism in the Cold War contributed to the eventual victory over that Global threat to democracy, and there for contributes to all democracy then and in the future anywhere in the world, including Afghanistan where a democracy is currently being built.
I see the point of communist containment as I've already stated in my previous post. However, while the countering of communism is undoubtedly beneficial to allow for the spread of capitalism, it doesn't in any way guarantee the spread of democracy. I've already stated on previous posts that dictatorial regimes are perfectly well suited to develop capitalist economies. The triumph of capitalism isn't necessarily the triumph of democracy. In fact capitalism and democracy shouldn't be considered as inseparable partners because they are clearly not.

On another account, you seem to believe that fundamentalism, in its role to counter communism, was a completely innocuous weapon which could be easily disposed of leaving behind almost no side-effects after the main objective was reached. While the original idea must have certainly been such, it's undeniable that fundamentalism gained considerable power in the area as a result of its role in the Afghanistan episode against the Soviets. This is because a great part of the victorious mujahedeen were actually fundamentalist (not all of them, it's true) and radical individuals such as bin Laden and others, now members of Al-Qaeda, were undoubtedly empowered by leading them to victory. It may be conjectured that they might have been anyway even if the US had refrained from backing their operations, but that is something we cannot state our opinion on since it was not what actually happened. My point is that while the western system might have globally triumphed (partially - let's not forget China) with the fall of Soviet communism, at the same time it began to become jeopardised by radical Islamic groups - the same helped previously to eradicate communism. Such jeopardy, embodied by more than actual attacks on western countries, can be hardly denied in view of the current "security measures" applied in the western world and in particular the US. In fact, such measures designed with the idea of containing the terrorist threat precisely originated in the action of fundamentalist groups who were in the first place empowered by a US-backed operation and whose presence in the area is mainly US responsibility, are actually curtailing basic freedoms that democracy is supposed to guarantee. Note that I'm not saying that capitalism is under threat but rather that democracy is.

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In the case of "Fundamentalist" in Afghanistan its easy I suppose to generalize. The Mujahadeen was composed of members who did believe in womens rights and were open to some for of democracy without sacraficing many of their religious beliefs. Members of the Mujahadeen many years later would become members of the Taliban and to a lesser extent Al-Quada, but a large portion would also become members of the Northern Alliance. There was a huge degree of difference between the Northern Alliance and the Taliban/Al-Quada on many issues. Its not really correct to say that in supporting Fundamentalist we were not supporting any groups or people that might be interested in a western style democracy. The problem is there is not actually a single definition of a Fundamentalist and political and social views among them can vary. Maybe many that most might mistake or consider to be Fundamentalist are in fact not. What we do have is certainly a society of tribes where religion is strong and there is no history of democracy. But that in of itself does not mean we should not support them when they are attacked by a foreign power that threatenes us as well.
I'm aware of the differences between the Taleban/Al-Qaeda members and some of the more moderate Northern Alliance ones. Nevertheless they were all part of the force helped to reject the Soviet invasion in Afghanistan. Bin Laden and some others - future Al-Qaeda members - were, as it is noted, actually pulled in by the CIA to lead the resistance movement. What amount of power the actual factions did finally retain is entirely another story. What's certain is that the more radical groups seemed to be more organised and clear in terms of political system desired and ideology sustained. In contrast, the more in general moderate Northern Alliance has been notably divided since its very inception because of its multiethnic conformation which included groups with deep ancestral differences as well as confronting Islamic fundamentalists and other members who weren't. As I said before, it was a force with which no solid-based agreement could have been reached regarding the direction the new Afghanistan was to undertake. This and the fact that albeit "having done nothing against but rather in help of the west" no support at all was provided to prevent their overthrow on part of the Taleban back in 96 is really something to think about.

On another account, the fact that some of the Northern Alliance members were not fundamentalist does not necessarily mean that they would be proclive to applying western systems. In fact many of them actually defended a strong nationalistic ideology rather left-wing oriented, though not particularly pro-Soviet, since they saw the Soviet intrusion as another form of imperialism. Such a situation would not leave much room for the development of a capitalist system in the lines the global powers desire, neither it would probably promote a democracy in the western pattern considering their lack of democratic tradition and their otherwise strong tribal organisation. It is more than obvious that the situation with the Northern Alliance is different now than in the early 90s, since the aid they received from the US to unseat the Taleban last year forces them to accept certain conditions from the west if they expect to retain power in Afghanistan. In addition, it must be noted some of their stronger national leaders such as Abdul Haq are no longer around.

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Al-Quada came from outside of Afghanistan and could have been based in other countries. The Northern Alliance has never threatened any western democracy and has only helped the West. The Taliban was supported by Pakistan in 1996 to combat their enemies in the Northern Alliance. In hind site, leaving the region so quickly after the Soviets did may not have been in the immediate interest of Afghanistan, but it was not necessarily a long term threat to US interest since Al-Quada's main base could have been located in a large number of other countries not even in the immediate region.


It's true that Al-Qaeda came from outside Afghanistan and that it could have been harboured by governments like Sudan's or Libya's, but let's not forget that bin Laden himself and some of his most conspicuous cronies in Al-Qaeda were, as I've already mentioned, actually planted in Afghanistan by the CIA during the 80s. After their participation at the lead of the resistance against the Soviets, they were obviously seen as heroes by the people in the area. It's not too hard to imagine that they would try to cash in on such success by basing themselves where they had already gained a good deal of credibility and popularity by fighting "for Afghanistan".

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It may be Israely policy to bulldoze the houses used by terrorist, but its not policy to bulldoze houses with people inside. I'm not saying this did not happen as I'm sure it did. Certainly there may be members of the IDF that took criminal action.
I did not say that it is Israel's policy to bulldoze houses with innocent people inside, but rather that they are stopping at nothing in their operation to capture terrorists. This could be considered on superficial analisys a legitimate intention but it actually can't in view of the way it is causing scores of victims (and not particularly by accident) among the Palestinian civilian population. I mean that Israel is perfectly entitled to go after terrorists but it is certainly not entitled to systematically murder Palestinian civilians in such operations. What I'm trying to say is that in their legitimate fight they are using illegitimate methods which are comparable to what the Palestinian terrorists use. On another account I've never heard of Israel's government ever acknowledging the fact that IDFmembers at Jenin might have incurred in criminal action and much less issuing a mea culpa for it. Such a fact implies that they do endorse such methods.

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If the IDF had the goals and aims of the terrorist they are fighting, everyone in the West Bank and Gaza would have been murdered decades ago. While the IDF has the power to do this, they have not done so. IF the Palestinian terrorist had the power of the IDF, they would not even hesitate to do this to the Jews in Israel.
They haven't had the need to, but anyway I did not say that Israel's policy is to wipe out Palestinians, though Sharon personally and others in his line of thought would probably wish to. The difference here compared to the Palestinians is the wider control opposing forces within Israel can exert due to its democratic stability. That is the reason why Israeli governments led by extremists like Sharon have refrained from wiping out Palestinians. If Palestinian terror had the power the IDF does there certainly would be no more Israel, since their goal is to wipe out Jews, but again such a goal is the exclusive priority of Palestinian terrorism and not of the bulk of the Palestinian people.

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I find Palestinians resort to Terrorism because of the failure to comply with a signed treaty on time an absurd action for them to take. Clearly they have benefited from working with Israel and the USA on eventual statehood. When has violence of any type benefited Palestinians in the last 55 years? The process was working, most Israely troops had withdrawn from the West Bank. Their violence only helped to elect Sharon. The Palestinians failed to crack down enough on terrorist before the 2nd intifada but still Israel was committed to the peace process and working out the final details. The best peace deal the Palestinians would ever get was handed to Arafat and he rejected it. Their reasons for supporting the terrorist stem from a lack of education and the understanding of Law/Government. If your a Palestinian and believed to have aided Israel, you are not given a trial, but are instead beaten to death by a street mob. In Israel, there is the rule of law and a trial for those that are accused of acting against the state. The 2nd intifada has only made things worse for Palestinians. Clearly their choice to give more support to the terrorist was not at all intelligent when they had gained so much by working with the USA and Israel. If Palestinians want to have a State, they need to disengage from terrorism which will NEVER achieve any of their goals. They then need to form institutions of law and government and show responsibility in those area's before Israel can seriously consider leaving the area thereby allowing them to form a state. The only way the Palestinians will ever have a state is if they work with the Israel and the USA to achieve that. Its unfortunate that Palestinians fail to realize this, but it does not take a genious to do so.
It is an absurd action from our western point of view. Not from theirs since in view of actual facts they were entitled to legitimately doubt Israel's and US' intentions. Let's not forget that this was a very delicate peace process because there was mutual mistrust from day one, in addition to the fact that it was the US, Israel's perennial mentor, to become the tutor of such negotiations. To make matters worse, the most inflexible factions on each side (Israel's more extreme right wing and Islamic fundamentalists from Hamas on the other) were never in agreement with these negotiations. It was then more than predictable that if conditions weren't respected to the last comma it was calling for trouble. Even if the peace process was taking place in part, the fact that Israel had reinforced settlements in areas they had to evacuate, that they refused to hand over control of water supply and access routes to the West Bank and Gaza and on top of that the Palestinians were asked to postpone their lawful right to statehood in 1999 in exchange for the promise of the completion of the process within 2000, which did not happen, didn't certainly contribute towards Israel's and the US' credibility regarding the actual intention of completing this process in compliance to what was accorded. Conversely, as Klaus rightly says, it gave arguments to more extreme organisations like Hamas to justify in the eyes of Palestinians the need to engage in the second Intifada and naturally to the hardliners on the other side who had not been favourable to negotiate with the Palestinians in the first place to justify in turn their access to power in order to go back on what had been signed and strengthen their aggressive policies regarding Palestinians on the excuse of countering terrorism.

It is more than clear that Palestinians have to disengage from terrorism to conform a stable state, but then there must be also true will on part of Israel to allow them to have this state on the agreed conditions. The problem rests in my view on the fact that there are strong factions on both sides which don't really wish for peaceful cohabitation. As it may be true that Palestinian terrorists wish to wipe out the Jews it is also true that many Israelis don't want a Palestinian neighbour state. It is wrong to say that everything is the Palestinians' fault, mainly when such conclusion derives from the sole consideration of the Palestinian reaction rather than including the origin of such a reaction, which is related to the fact that they were kicked out of their soil in the first place to allow Israel to exist. In this context the claim that "Palestinians need to show responsibility before Israel can seriously consider leaving the area thereby allowing them to form a state" should be really thought over.

On another account, violence has indeed benefited Palestinians in the last 55 years! Do you think anybody would be even considering granting them anything near statehood if they hadn't resorted repeatedly to violence as the powerful method it is to draw attention on their cause? Not certainly that I approve of such a method, but if something's certain is that nobody was paying attention to their claims until they engaged in this modus operandi, which has certainly succeeded in putting their case under the noses of those responsible of ignoring them for so many years.

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Sorry but I never said that the attack was impending or about to happen at any minute. Were acting because of the possibility of this in the future, and Saddam's violations of the agreements he signed. In addition, any large scale invasion of Iraq requires the deployment of large numbers(250,000) troops many from the continental USA itself. This is not like Afghanistan! All of the support element for such a force are in the US reserves and would have to be called to duty, which requires congressional approval, which the President is trying to get. Bottom line, we could not invade Iraq tomorrow even if we wanted to. Its going to take several months to position the forces that would be required to take over a country the size of Iraq half away around the world. While we prepare to position forces to possibly do that, we are trying to seek support from other countries for rebuilding Iraq after a possible invasion. Until any invasion force for Iraq is ready, we will continue to hunt for Al-quada using special forces and other intelligence organizations.
I'm sorry if I misinterpreted you regarding the immediacy of the threat posed by Iraq - my bad. In any case it's me who is saying that if the threat the US claim exists regarding bio/chem weapons is as real as they say, Hussein could provide such weaponry to terrorist groups any minute now. There's no logic in saying that an enemy is armed to his eyeteeth with WMD and because of it is subjecting an important part of the world to a bio/chem hazard at the same time of claiming that he is not going to carry out his threat immediately! If he is posing a threat because of present armament he can put such armament to use whenever he decides to which could very well be right now.
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Old 10-06-2002, 06:48 PM   #148
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In response to Klaus:

It is true that "Duel Use Technology" went to Iraq in the 1980s but also to dozens of other countries around the world. Unless there were already sanctions on a particular country at the time, "duel use technology" would be approved. In addition, Iraq recieved most of its duel use technology from other countries besides the USA. Germany in fact not only sold "duel use techonology" but military weapons to include The Milan Anti-Tank Missile, The Roland Anti-Tank Missile, and various armored vehicles which I don't recall at the moment but could look up if need be. This is military combat equipment with only ONE use! The USA never sold Iraq Military combat equipment. Its true that we contributed to Iraq's Bio/Chem program because of lax import/export controls and the "duel use" factor. But the US aid given to Iraq had no relevant effect on the Iran/Iraq war or the conflict with the Kurds. Even if the USA had not given the permission for the shipment of "duel Use Technology", the Iraqi's would have recieved what they needed from Europe which was already directly selling them Military Combat Equipment. But even Western Europe's role is minor when compared to the Soviet Union's sales and support for Iraq. In fact, Iraq really did not need support from anyone else but the Soviet Union. I have the Military Equipment table for Iraq posted on one of these pages for 1989, the massive support from the Soviet Union and China is self evident. Their support of Iraq was really the only one that was substantial enough to matter and be relavent.

As far as Iraq, we have done nearly everything we can short of war to get them to comply with the resolutions and ceacefire they signed. From a purely legal standpoint, the UN should be and is legally at war with Iraq already. If Iraq would be willing to agree to coercive inspections, which involves the deployment of US military forces with the weapon's inspectors in Iraq, then I think we could for the time being hold off on regime change and see if it works. Anything short of that won't work as the past 11 years has proved. If they don't agree to it, then regime change is the only option left.

Iraq does not have to have Mig-25s over New York or troops in Miami to threaten the USA. This the 21st century not the 16th century. Our security is hurt and threatened any time a country that has a large trading relationship with us is attacked or stability in an economically important region of the world and there for the USA is upset. Its an economic fact. You don't need to cross a single countries border to hurt and threaten that country, they are many other ways.

It is never unlawful to prevent the slaughter of thousands of people. It is in fact immoral to not prevent such slaughter from happening. But in Iraq, it is really about Iraq's unlawful invasion and anexation of Kuwait in 1990 and the ceacefire agreement of the 1991 Gulf War which they have been in open defiance of since 1998. We are legally and morally bound to enforce the ceacefire agreement. Again from a legal standpoint, we have been at war with Iraq since 1998.

The Germans didn't use chemical weapons in WW II because their military usefullness was in question since proper use relies on so many variables(example:Whether, othersides protective measures, etc.) when attacking another military force. In addition, the use of such weapons would simply bring retaliation in kind from the Allies. Bottom line, Chemicals were not used on a large scale because it was not clearly defined from a military standpoint that it would give either side an advantage. Attacking and killing civilians is a different matter all together though. Its far easier to kill unprotected, unknowing, civilians going about their business in a small area, than to attack a fully protected, armored mobile unit, that is prepared to respond in kind if need be.

War can be very effective in preventing terrorist attacks. One only wonders if an invasion of Afghanistan in 1998 would have prevented 9/11. It is not the only tool in general, but it may be the only tool especially when terrorist are in route to their objectives. It also may be the only tool that will successfully prevent Saddam from transfering large quantities of WMD to terror organizations in the future.
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Old 10-06-2002, 07:21 PM   #149
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In response to Not George Lucas:

1. Most opinion polls I see show that there is strong support for a war against Iraq. Just watch the Senate and House votes this week. It is expected that 75% of the Senate and 75% of the House of Rep. will vote for the Presidents resolution. It is a fact that there is more public support for action against Iraq today than there was in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait.

2. Iraq has never responded to immense pressure in the past. They have only substantially altered their behavior when military force was involved. If Iraq agrees to COERCIVE inspections with US military forces in Iraq to ensure there is no obstruction and the UN inspections team can go anywhere and inspect anything, then we may be able to temporarily hold off on regime change and see how it goes.

3. Certainly Iraq will try to strike back with these weapons, but by striking first the odds go up that we will be able to neutralize many of the delivery systems that would be used to spread these weapons around the battlefield or an attack on Israel. An invasion and regime change in Iraq have far better odds of achieving disarmement of Iraq than the old UN inspections regime.
Even if Iraq does not have weapons, we will simply be forcing compliance with the UN ceacefire agreement which calls for Iraq to be completely disarmed. Again the last time UN inspectors were in Iraq, even Scot Ritter himself said(1998, the last time he was in a position to know something) that Iraq still possesed significant amounts of WMD capability and was still a threat to the world comunity.

4. Actually the USA has acted perhaps pre-emtively several times after WW II, Panama and Cruise Missile strike in Afghanistan and Sudan in 1998 just to name a few. Quicker Pre-emtive action in Bosnia could have saved thousands of lives.

5. You have to realize that presidents are not kings and have large numbers of advisors around them. Bush is not making US policy on his own, he is consulting with perhaps the best Foreign Policy team this nation has ever had with Colin Powel, Condelleeza Rice, Dick Cheney, and Rumsfeld.

6. "The President wants War by any means necessary" Clearly that is not the case. The presidents wants to protect the world community from a grave and growing threat. He wants to prevent the slaughter that we saw on 9/11. He currently has the support of the Congress and the American people. He is working with the UN, but will not rely solely on the UN to defend US and other countries citizens lives.

7. This is not simply the "Baseless Hunch" of some "Texan". The US military and intelligence community in addition to former UN weapons inspectors, plus Iraq's UN and ceacefire obligations provide all the basis the USA and Allies need to take action.

8. Israel has every right to defend itself from Palestinian terror or invasion from Arab countries which has happened multiple times in the past 50 years. Israel will withdraw once there is a peace agreement and Israel's security concerns have been solved. It would behoove the Palestinians to adopt a course of action that actually has a chance of achieving their goals which terrorism will never be able to.
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Old 10-06-2002, 08:52 PM   #150
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In response to Ultraviolet7:

The US did not empower Al Quada because a decade before we provided 1/3 and I underline 1/3 of the material support for a different group called the Mujahadeen. This support was cut off in 1989, and the money and small amount of weapons were already used up by the time the Taliban took power. Bin Ladin already had his own money and supporters without any aid from any country. After 1991 Afghanistan fell into a period of ethnic conflict which was a natural part of its history for thousands of years until the Taliban siezed power and pushed the Northern Alliance into the mountains. Democracy is NOT in jeopardy in the USA because of support for the Mujahadeen in the 1980s nor is any democracy in jeapardy because of that support. Nor was Fundamentalism really used in a significant way as a bulwark against Soviet Communism. Yes there was some material support (1/3 of which came from the USA) for the Mujahadeen in the 1980s, but much of that was already used by the time Al-Quada became active on the international scene in a major way. Most Al-Quada members today never fought in the 80s against the Soviets and Bin Ladin's true role in that war was mainly support for the Mujahadeen with money. Its true that US withdrawel from the region allowed Al-qauda to later set up an impressive base there, but that could have been done in several other countries so it can be seen as empowering them.

The Northern Alliance were not supported because the USA did not feel the region of a great enough importance to warrent major support, especially with the newly independent countries of Eastern Europe needing aid quickly. Money is limited and nation building was seen as being more important elsewhere than in Afghanistan.

There are all kinds of places around the world in which democracy has developed without there being a long history of democracy prior to it. Anyways back to the original point, I see US aid to the Mujahadeen as being clearly justified from the point of 1. Self defense against an invader 2. Helping to contain an enemy that threatens the vary existence of democracy worldwide.

The CIA did not plant Bin Ladin in Afghanistan, he planted himself and others. Many people in the Mujahadeen back then did not even know who Bin Ladin was. Bin Laden and Al-Quada operated largely outside of Afghanistan before the Taliban came to power there. The only thing comparable to a hero was the leader of the Northern Alliance who was murdered by Bin Ladin on Sept 10, 2001.

It is not clear nor has it ever been proven that any member of the IDF intentionly killed an unarmed civilian that was known not to be a terrorist. Most likely what happened is simply what always happens when urban combat occurs. Civilians get caught in the crossfire or are killed in structures that collapse. First the Palestinians claimed thousands were dead, then they claimed hundreds. Finally it was found that 48 civilians had died. A very small number considering the intensity of the fighting. The only guilty party here is the terrorist themselves who decided to use the urban environment to hide among the civilians to make their stand against the IDF.

Israel's slowness to comply with certain resolutions does not change the fact that continueing to cooperate with Israel on these matters resulted in a major net positive for the Palestinians and they were well on the way to a peace agreement and withdrawel of Israely forces. Its not simply rational for them to stop cooperating and resort to terrorism because of Israel's failure to yet comply with a few conditions here and there. Clearly the process was moving forward and despite the setbacks, it was a net positive. Terrorism will never help Palestinian achieve any of their goals. It only ensures that the IDF will never leave the West Bank.

There is a common view among many people that in 1947, Israel was created when a large number of Jews from Europe moved in and kicked Palestinians off their land. That is not what happened. First, there had been a Jewish community(however small) living in the area on a constant basis for thousands of years. Jewish emigration to Israel started to grow in the late 1800s with the approval of the Ottoman Empire which owned the area. There was no Palestinian State and the area only had 400,000 a tiny number of which were Jews that had lived there for thousands of years. Most area's were basically unoccupied. The Jews from Europe settled in unoccupied area's. As Jewish emmigration increased some people became concerned by the Ottoman Empire continued to allow it.

At the end of World War I the Ottoman Empire was defeated and dismantled and the British and the French began to build independent states in area's where no states had existed for hundreds if not thousands of years. Of course the Jews wanted a state as well as the Palestinians wanted a state. The Palestinians would not except any Jewish State. The UN plan in 1947 allowed for a Jewish State that was divided into 3 parts while the much larger Palestinian state was fully connnected. The UN plan did not require the removal of anyone.

In 1948 when Israel accepted the plan, it was attacked by 5 Arab nations which attempted unlawfully to destroy it. Israel defended itself and in the ensueing military operations came into possession of more land than it had been given in the original agreement. MOST Palestinians fled these new area's Israely military units moved into the area. SOME were kicked out by Jews by they are the minority. Most fled or actually stayed. One out of every 5 Israely's is a muslim.

The formation of Israel did not cause anyone to be kicked out of their home. But the fighting started by the invasion of Israel by 5 Arab countries did. If the Palestinians and the Arabs had simply accepted the UN plan offered in 1947, the Palestinians would be in a far better position today and would have their own state, plus no one would have been kicked out of anywhere.

In light of the fact that the Palestinians could of had everything they wanted and more in 1947, I do not know how you could say the violence has helped the Palestinians cause. It certainly did not improve their situation in 1948 or in any of the Arab/Israely wars that followed. Palestinian violence has only produced negative effects for them. The USA would be far more likely to put pressure on Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and Gaza if the Palestinians were engaged in passive resistance. Israel is a democracy and a nation of a laws. In such a situation, passive resistance like that of MARTIN LUTHER KING can produce a positive result. Israel never annexed the West Bank and Gaza and was always willing to talk about resolving its disputes. Israel is not a dictatorship and there for a passive form of resistance can effect it just as the US civil rights movements of the 50s and 60s brought about better equality for African Americans in the USA. Violence has only made things worse for the Palestinians and brought Israely soldiers in large numbers back to the West Bank. It has only increased support among American voters for strong military response to terrorist actions. The US does have strings it can pull with Israel, but its never going to pull them as long as Palestinians try to use terror to achieve their goals. Violance has been an utter and complete failure for Palestinians over the last 55 years. Its time they adopt a new strategy that does not involved terrorism and actually has a chance of achieving their goals of statehood.
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