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Old 10-29-2003, 06:46 PM   #241
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Our latest support of evil Dictators.

Tony Blair's new friend
Britain and the US claim a moral mandate - and back a dictator who boils victims to death

George Monbiot
Tuesday October 28, 2003
The Guardian

The British and US governments gave three reasons for going to war with Iraq. The first was to extend the war on terrorism. The second was to destroy its weapons of mass destruction before they could be deployed. The third was to remove a brutal regime, which had tortured and murdered its people.

If the purpose of the war was to defeat terrorism, it has failed. Before the invasion, there was no demonstrable link between al-Qaida and Iraq. Today, al-Qaida appears to have moved into that country, to exploit a new range of accessible western targets. If the purpose of the war was to destroy Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction before he deployed them, then, as no such weapons appear to have existed, it was a war without moral or strategic justification.

So just one excuse remains, and it is a powerful one. Saddam Hussein was a brutal tyrant. While there was no legal argument for forcibly deposing him on the grounds of his abuse of human rights, there was a moral argument. It is one which our prime minister made repeatedly and forcefully. "The moral case against war has a moral answer: it is the moral case for removing Saddam," Tony Blair told the Labour party's spring conference in February. "Ridding the world of Saddam would be an act of humanity. It is leaving him there that is in truth inhumane."

Had millions of British people not accepted this argument, Tony Blair might not be prime minister today. There were many, especially in the Labour party, who disagreed with his decision but who did not doubt the sincerity of his belief in the primacy of human rights.

There is just one test of this sincerity, and that is the consistency with which his concern for human rights guides his foreign policy. If he cares so much about the welfare of foreigners that he is prepared to go to war on their behalf, we should expect to see this concern reflected in all his relations with the governments of other countries. We should expect him, for example, to do all he can to help the people of Uzbekistan.

There are over 6,000 political and religious prisoners in Uzbekistan. Every year, some of them are tortured to death. Sometimes the policemen or intelligence agents simply break their fingers, their ribs and then their skulls with hammers, or stab them with screwdrivers, or rip off bits of skin and flesh with pliers, or drive needles under their fingernails, or leave them standing for a fortnight, up to their knees in freezing water. Sometimes they are a little more inventive. The body of one prisoner was delivered to his relatives last year, with a curious red tidemark around the middle of his torso. He had been boiled to death.

His crime, like that of many of the country's prisoners, was practising his religion. Islam Karimov, the president of Uzbekistan, learned his politics in the Soviet Union. He was appointed under the old system, and its collapse in 1991 did not interrupt his rule. An Islamist terrorist network has been operating there, but Karimov makes no distinction between peaceful Muslims and terrorists: anyone who worships privately, who does not praise the president during his prayers or who joins an organisation which has not been approved by the state can be imprisoned. Political dissidents, human rights activists and homosexuals receive the same treatment. Some of them, like in the old Soviet Union, are sent to psychiatric hospitals.

But Uzbekistan is seen by the US government as a key western asset, as Saddam Hussein's Iraq once was. Since 1999, US special forces have been training Karimov's soldiers. In October 2001, he gave the United States permission to use Uzbekistan as an airbase for its war against the Taliban. The Taliban have now been overthrown, but the US has no intention of moving out. Uzbekistan is in the middle of central Asia's massive gas and oil fields. It is a nation for whose favours both Russia and China have been vying. Like Saddam Hussein's Iraq, it is a secular state fending off the forces of Islam.

So, far from seeking to isolate his regime, the US government has tripled its aid to Karimov. Last year, he received $500m (£300m), of which $79m went to the police and intelligence services, who are responsible for most of the torture. While the US claims that its engagement with Karimov will encourage him to respect human rights, like Saddam Hussein he recognises that the protection of the world's most powerful government permits him to do whatever he wants. Indeed, the US state department now plays a major role in excusing his crimes. In May, for example, it announced that Uzbekistan had made "substantial and continuing progress" in improving its human rights record. The progress? "Average sentencing" for members of peaceful religious organisations is now just "7-12 years", while two years ago they were "usually sentenced to 12-19 years".

There is little question that the power and longevity of Karimov's government has been enhanced by his special relationship with the United States. There is also little question that supporting him is a dangerous game. All the principal enemies of the US today were fostered by the US or its allies in the past: the Taliban in Afghanistan, the Wahhabi zealots in Saudi Arabia, Saddam Hussein and his people in Iraq. Dictators do not have friends, only sources of power. They will shift their allegiances as their requirement for power demands. The US supported Islamist extremists in Afghanistan in order to undermine the Soviet Union, and created a monster. Now it is supporting a Soviet-era leader to undermine Islamist extremists, and building up another one.

So what of Tony Blair, the man who claims that human rights are so important that they justify going to war? Well, at the beginning of this year, he granted Uzbekistan an open licence to import whatever weapons from the United Kingdom Mr Karimov fancies. But his support goes far beyond that. The British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray, has repeatedly criticised Karimov's crushing of democracy movements and his use of torture to silence his opponents. Like Roger Casement, the foreign office envoy who exposed the atrocities in the Congo a century ago, Murray has been sending home dossiers which could scarcely fail to move anyone who cares about human rights.

Blair has been moved all right: moved to do everything he could to silence our ambassador. Mr Murray has been threatened with the sack, investigated for a series of plainly trumped-up charges and persecuted so relentlessly by his superiors that he had to spend some time, like many of Karimov's critics, in a psychiatric ward, though in this case for sound clinical reasons. This pressure, according to a senior government source, was partly "exercised on the orders of No 10".

In April, Blair told us that he had decided that "to leave Iraq in its brutalised state under Saddam was wrong". How much credibility does this statement now command, when the same man believes that to help Uzbekistan remain in its brutalised state is right?

Monbiot.com
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Old 10-29-2003, 07:45 PM   #242
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Well, they (and their oil) can get liberated in 20 years. What? Isn't that how it works? Then we can all pat ourselves on the back for our humanitarianism.
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Old 11-07-2003, 11:22 AM   #243
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Methinks credidbility is disapearing.

Survey Shows Skepticism About Iraq
Most Americans Polled Don't Believe Conflict Is Key Fight in War on Terrorism
By Dana Milbank and Thomas E. Ricks
Washington Post Staff Writers
Wednesday, November 5, 2003; Page A13


Only one in seven Americans agrees with President Bush's assertion that the conflict in Iraq is the most important fight in the war on terrorism, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll.

Maybe some people are starting to care:

44% say they’ll vote against Bush

New poll finds only 38% support president’s re-election


ASSOCIATED PRESS

ALBANY, N.Y., Nov. 4 — More than four in 10 voters nationwide say they definitely plan to vote against President Bush next year — more than plan to vote for him, according to a poll released Tuesday.
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Old 11-07-2003, 03:28 PM   #244
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The Majority of Americans still, more than 6 months after the invasion, think that overthrowing Saddam was the right thing to do.
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Old 12-12-2003, 03:02 PM   #245
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Things don't seem to be going so good.

http://aolsvc.news.aol.com/news/arti...12051909990001
Inside Iraq, U.S. efforts to create a new, streamlined Iraqi army suffered a major setback Thursday when more than a third of the recruits resigned, complaining about pay and conditions.

Some 300 soldiers of the 700 drafted into the First Battalion of the Iraqi army walked away from barracks, with many reportedly looking for jobs with the better paying police.

The United States is recruiting and training an army it envisions as a force of about 40,000, along with larger numbers of police and border guards.

http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=17374

Wednesday's snafu, while embarrassing and potentially costly in itself, is symptomatic of a larger problem facing a White House that seems increasingly at sea over what to do about Iraq as various constituencies within the administration desperately jostle to protect their own interests.


The price of internal division has become especially clear over the past month in Iraq. Since November, the U.S. military has adopted aggressive counter-insurgency tactics in order to reduce insurgent attacks, but at the expense of the larger struggle being waged by the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) to win the "hearts and minds" of Iraqis, including the residents of the so-called "Sunni Triangle."


The CPA's job is to convince Iraqis that U.S. troops are there to help them to rebuild Iraq and help it progress toward a democratic future. However, the military itself, which lost a record number of troops to hostile fire last month, has now embarked on a military campaign based to a large degree on Israeli tactics. It is not a strategy designed to win popular acceptance, to say the least. Razor-wire fences, checkpoints, night-time raids and roundups, bombing, and the demolition of houses and other buildings have not to date persuaded Palestinians that Israeli soldiers are in the West Bank to help them.


The CPA and the military now have "opposing goals", noted ret. Rear Adm. David Oliver, who just returned from a high-level CPA job. "The military's goal has nothing to do with the (Coalition's) success", Oliver said.


This incoherence – or rather the exasperating difficulty of reconciling military tactics to political goals – was best expressed this week by Lt. Col. Nathan Sussaman, the commander of a battalion that has surrounded the town of Abu Hishma with a razor-wire fence. "With a heavy dose of fear and violence, and a lot of money for projects," he told the New York Times, "I think we can convince these people that we are here to help them".


Adding to the dangerous confusion is the continuing bureaucratic infighting in Washington over control of the Iraqi occupation. Neoconservative hawks around Pentagon chief Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney are fighting for power with the "realists" and regional specialists in the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

...
These conflicting and contradictory policies reflect the absence of a coherent underlying strategy that has the support of all the key factional interests back in Washington – the kind of policy unanimity that has long eluded the Bush administration. And while Bush has clearly been tilting away from the hawks in favor of the realists over the past two months, muddled policymaking is here to stay, as each side retains sufficient power to undermine the other.


That Baker was the latest victim of this malaise on his first day of work is in some ways encouraging. It may serve as an incentive for him to take greater control of the presently rudderless Iraq policy. Among all of Bush's advisers, Baker is a dyed-in-the-wool realist who, as Ronald Reagan's chief of staff and secretary of state during the first Gulf War, showed little patience for bureaucratic or ideological intrigue, least of all from neoconservatives. He may well be Bush's only remaining hope for a lasting resolution.
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Old 12-12-2003, 07:37 PM   #246
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Um, Ronald Reagan was not President during the first Gulf War.
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Old 12-12-2003, 07:51 PM   #247
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Um, Ronald Reagan was not President during the first Gulf War.
Reagan was not President when he was President....(I am kidding...teasing....JOKE)

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Old 12-12-2003, 09:24 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Um, Ronald Reagan was not President during the first Gulf War.
I don't think that what it said; "Among all of Bush's advisers, Baker is a dyed-in-the-wool realist who, as Ronald Reagan's chief of staff and secretary of state during the first Gulf War, showed little patience for bureaucratic or ideological intrigue, least of all from neoconservatives."

If this is the statement you are refering to it states Baker was Reagan's cheif of staff. Then secretary of state during the first Gulf War.
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Old 12-12-2003, 09:28 PM   #249
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I cannot spell so....who am I to jusge
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Old 12-17-2003, 01:20 PM   #250
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W got congressional authority to make pre emptive war based on lies.

Does anybody wonder who created and planted the fake "yellow cake nuclear documents" from Niger?


more lies below

Quote:
Senators were told Iraqi weapons could hit U.S.

Nelson said claim made during classified briefing

By John McCarthy
FLORIDA TODAY



U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Monday the Bush administration last year told him and other senators that Iraq not only had weapons of mass destruction, but they had the means to deliver them to East Coast cities.

Nelson, D-Tallahassee, said about 75 senators got that news during a classified briefing before last October's congressional vote authorizing the use of force to remove Saddam Hussein from power. Nelson voted in favor of using military force.

Nelson said he couldn't reveal who in the administration gave the briefing.

The White House directed questions about the matter to the Department of Defense. Defense officials had no comment on Nelson's claim.

Nelson said the senators were told Iraq had both biological and chemical weapons, notably anthrax, and it could deliver them to cities along the Eastern seaboard via unmanned aerial vehicles, commonly known as drones.

"They have not found anything that resembles an UAV that has that capability," Nelson said.

Nelson delivered the news during a half-hour conference call with reporters Monday afternoon. The senator, who is on a seven-nation trade mission to South America, was calling from an airport in Santiago, Chile.

"That's news," said John Pike, director of GlobalSecurity.org, a Washington, D.C.-area military and intelligence think tank. "I had not heard that that was the assessment of the intelligence community. I had not heard that the Congress had been briefed on this."

Since the late 1990s, there have been several reports that Iraq was converting a fleet of Czechoslovakian jet fighters into UAVs, as well as testing smaller drones. And in a speech in Cincinnati last October, Bush mentioned the vehicles. "We're concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States," the president said.

Nelson, though, said the administration told senators Iraq had gone beyond exploring and developed the means of hitting the U.S. with weapons of mass destruction.

Nelson wouldn't say what the original source of the intelligence was, but said it contradicted other intelligence reports senators had received. He said he wants to find out why there was so much disagreement about the weapons. "If that is an intelligence failure . . . we better find that out so we don't have an intelligence failure in the future."

Pike said any UAVs Iraq might have had would have had a range of only several hundred kilometers, enough to hit targets in the Middle East but not the United States. To hit targets on the East Coast, such drones would have to be launched from a ship in Atlantic. He said it wasn't out of the question for Iraq to have secretly acquired a tramp steamer from which such vehicles could have been launched.

"The notion that someone could launch a missile from a ship off our shores has been on Rummy's mind for years," Pike said, referring to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

Sen. Bob Graham, who voted against using military force in Iraq, didn't return phone calls concerning the briefing. Spokespersons for Reps. Dave Weldon and Tom Feeney said neither congressman could say if they had received similar briefings since they don't comment on classified information.
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Old 01-08-2004, 01:03 PM   #251
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Report says Iraq didn't have WMD
Author: Political pressure influenced intelligence before war
Thursday, January 8, 2004 Posted: 12:52 PM EST (1752 GMT)




WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Iraq had ended its weapons of mass destruction programs by the mid-1990s and did not pose an immediate threat to the United States before the war, according to a report released Thursday.

Bush administration officials likely pushed U.S. intelligence assessors to conform with its view the country posed an impending danger, said one of the authors of the study.

http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/01/08/spr...ort/index.html
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Old 01-08-2004, 09:13 PM   #252
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We need a sarcastic clapping smile right about now.
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Old 01-08-2004, 09:23 PM   #253
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No proof links Iraq, al-Qaida, Powell says




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Old 01-09-2004, 12:52 AM   #254
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Up until December, the coalition had yet to find Saddam, I don't think anyone would really claim he did not exist prior to his capture.

Even Saddam addmitted in 1998 to having substantial stocks of Bio and Chem weapons. Its all in the UN inspectors report at the end of 1998.

According to the 1991 Ceacefire Agreement, Saddam was required to VERIFIABLY Disarm of all WMD.

Whether the US or any other coalition member has evidence of a specific WMD system is irrelevant.

What matters is whether Saddam VERIFIABLY Disarmed of all WMD? The answer to that question is NO.

Saddam never fully complied with any of the 17 UN resolutions passed against him under CHAPTER VII rules of the United Nations.

The only thing that would have prevented military action was total VERIFIABLE Disarmament, as required by the 1991 Gulf War Ceacefire, and that never happened.

Failure to finally enforce the resolutions against Saddam would have endangered the entire Planet, do to Saddam's past behavior, past/present/ and future capabilities, to disrupt and destroy the planets energy supply and economy, as well as perhaps another million or so civilian lives.
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Old 01-09-2004, 12:58 AM   #255
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Ok let's put aside everything else for one second and agree about everything you said

but...
Quote:
Whether the US or any other coalition member has evidence of a specific WMD system is irrelevant.
Sting this does matter because this is how they sold the war.
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