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Old 12-13-2005, 01:04 PM   #16
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Originally posted by STING2
The United States is not in Iraq because of 9/11. But insuring that it does not become a failed state will go a long way in helping prevent another 9/11. The need to remove Saddam because of the threat he posed to the region and the planet was independent of the events of 9/11.

The Bush administration did mention the events of 9/11 in many of this speeches in considering the use of force in Iraq to re-inforce how vital it was that Saddam be verifiably disarmed. But the central case for war in Iraq has always been and will always be Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD in addition to several other violations of UN Security Council Resolutions vital to the security of the region and the planet. The serious problems and issues with Saddam did not start on September 11, 2001. It has been an issue since the United States fought one of its largest wars ever in terms of numbers of deployed troops to the region back in 1990/1991 Gulf War as well as the discoveries and conflicts inspectors had over the next 7 years until they were essentially kicked out. The United States in many ways was already at war with Iraq long before 9/11.


but that’s simply not what the administration told the American people. throughout 2002 and early 2003, there was a clear linking between 9-11 and Iraq, as well as the fact that Saddam Hussein’s WMD’s posed a clear and present danger to the American people as any reading of any of the transcripts from speeches to Sunday morning talk show appearances will attest, especially where Cheney is concerned.

clearly, this case was not reality.

let’s imagine, for a moment, that the Bush administration agreed with your series of rationalizations. why, then, the need for speeches about “reconstituting nuclear programs” and “mushroom clouds”? could it be that the original case for war was not terribly compelling to begin with? it failed to convince the UN that an invasion in March of 2003 was the only possible solution to the Iraq problem, nor did the administration think this would be compelling enough for the American people who would understandably balk at shouldering the costs and death toll of invading and occupying a country that never posed a direct threat to the American people. most Americans do not believe that the security of the Middle East and the planet (to use your alarmist language) is their sole responsibility.

thus, the invasion had to be sold in a package of intelligence manipulations designed through the use of post-9/11 trauma and fear-mongering to hustle Congress and the American people into war. the truth is that 9/11, important as it was, really should have nothing to do with Iraq and no place in any discussion of the war.

are you suggesting that it is appropriate for a government to manipulate it’s people into a war because they believe it to be necessary especially when they know that the “real” case for war would not be accepted?

further, if such security was in such a state of crisis, why the difficulty making the case? The case you make for war is further complicated by Wolfowitz who suggested last week that suggested that US forces might not have invaded if Washington had known then that the regime of had no weapons of mass destruction, and that there would have been policy options and alternative to war that, in hindsight, look far preferable than the mess we have today.





[Q] Mistakes have been made in the years since the initial invasion that indeed have made things much more difficult than they had to be in Iraq. But that does not change the fact that Saddam's removal had become a necessity for the planets security and that in his place, a new government and would have to be shaped and developed as well as a new military. Find a war where mistakes were never made. But the majority of the military continues to support the President on Iraq. As measured by the "Army Times" poll of over 4,000 soldiers, a much higher sample than most national polls conducted for a country of 300 million people, showed that over 80% of the military voted for Bush in the November 2004 election. Support for the President was slightly higher among those who had actually served on the ground in Iraq.[/Q]

The president’s approval ratings in US military is irrelevant to the discussion at hand, and it’s natural for people who have been asked to die for the ambitions and goals of a particular administration to believe that their current mission – one in which dozens are dying for every week – is one that is righteous and legitimate.

Simply tossing off mistakes in a Rumsfeld-esque “mistakes happen” bravado undercuts even more the sacrifices of American soldiers as well as the central case for the war itself.







[q] I don't dismiss the thousands of Iraqi's who have died primarily from terrorist and insurgent activity over the past 3 years just as I do not dismiss the 1.7 million people who died as a result of Saddam's actions both inside and outside of Iraq. If you want to talk about statistics involving death, there is no better place to start than with Saddam's in his actions over the past 24 years. Imagine if over 20 million Americans had been killed in unprovoked wars and executions over the past 20 years. That what it was like under Saddam. [/q]


why, then, wasn’t the humanitarian Saddam-is-a-really-bad-guy used when making the case for war back in 2002/3? is it reasonable to ask American kids to die because a dictator in another part of the world is a tyrant? do we really want to compare the 1.7 million killed in Iraq with, say, the millions who were killed as part of US proxy wars during the Cold War in battlefields ranging from El Salvador to Chile to Indonesia to Nicaragua.

i can agree that a strong democracy in the Middle East would have huge benefits for Iraq and for its neighbors as well as for the rest of the world. unfortunately, due to a combination of hubris and poor planning, our actions are not helping to bring this about. the removal of Saddam Hussein would be one thing. a skillful, international removal of Saddam would be a good thing. but this botched removal of Hussein followed by a stubborn insurgency and the creation of previously unknown problems (like suicide bombers) in Iraq has created many, man bad things.

the ineptitude of the post-war belies the fact that talk of democracy and the evils of Saddam are little more than a hollow mantra, a group of public rationalizations for a war motivated by the Bush administration's desire to dominate Middle Eastern politics and economics.

and don’t forget: the U.S. government has never actually relinquished sovereignty to the Iraqi government, nor will it any time soon, if ever


.

[q] To many people blindly make overblown claims about how terrible the sitution in Iraq is and miss the point that the majority of Iraq's provinces are relatively calm and several are actually dramatically improving in terms of standard of living as anyone who has been to Irbil Iraq can attest to. Its important to point these facts out because they rarely get mentioned by the media.[/q]

again, you seem to be viewing the situation through glasses even more rose-colored than the Media – which has been pro-war from the start and has only recently started to acknowledge the complexity of the situation. water and energy delivery, the state of hospitals (and medical supplies), highways, oil production and schools are worse off than before the U.S. invasion.

there is no question that elections are a positive change; it’s a good thing to see Arabs voting. however, the elected government does not have more than a semblance of actual sovereignty, and therefore the Iraqi people have no power to make real choices about their future. one example: the Shiite/Kurdish political coalition now in power ran on a platform whose primary promise was that, if elected, they would set and enforce a timetable for American withdrawal. as soon as they took power, they reneged on this promise (under pressure from the US). they have also proved quite incapable of fulfilling their other campaign promises about restoring services and rebuilding the country; and for that reason (as well as others), their constituents (primarily Shiites) are becoming ever more disillusioned. in the most recent polls, Shiite Iraqis now are about 70 percent in favor of U.S. withdrawal.





Quote:
Now, Iraq is at an historic point, one it would not be at if Saddam had not been removed from power nearly 3 years ago. While considering all the problems and difficulties over the past 3 years, it would be wise if those who opposed the US invasion of Iraq as well as the current occupation would consider what the consequences for the Iraqi people, the regions security and global security, if Saddam were still in power today. We know what the prior 24 years of Saddams rule meant for Iraqi's, the region and the world.

again, the sense of crisis – beyond the humanitarian – you express in regards to SH’s regime is simply not shared by anyone else. and what might be more terrifying than Saddam is the current emboldening of Iran whose leaders were much more compliant to U.S. demands before the Iraq invasion than they are now that they have seen how the Iraqi resistance has frustrated our military. the invasion of Iraq has probably done more to strengthen the oppressive Iranian regime than any other set of events since 1979; the longer the Bush administration stays and flounders, the more it undermines its ability to use the threat of military intervention to force other countries to conform to its demands.

it is interesting to note, though, that it’s entirely possible that the undermining of U.S. credibility and efficacy is one of the few good things to result from Iraq. in general, American military adventures tend to impose bad policies on other countries. we will all be better off with the multipolar world in which no single state can impose itself on others without at least the support of a great many others. we will be far better off in a multitude of ways if our country stopped spending more on its military than the rest of the world combined and started spending some of that money on things that would improve the welfare of our people like health care and education.

but you’re right, we are at an historic point, and it’s looking as if the best option is If the United States withdraws soon, there is at least a reasonable chance that the violence will subside quickly – as we saw in Vietnam where the millions dead as a result of US involvement subsided after 1975 – and that peace and stability in the region might ever so slowly take hold. the longer the United States stays -- further destroying the Iraqi infrastructure and destabilizing neighboring regimes (like Syria and Iran) -- the more likely it is that horrific civil wars and other forms of brutality will indeed occur.
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Old 12-13-2005, 10:20 PM   #17
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Originally posted by Irvine511




but that’s simply not what the administration told the American people. throughout 2002 and early 2003, there was a clear linking between 9-11 and Iraq, as well as the fact that Saddam Hussein’s WMD’s posed a clear and present danger to the American people as any reading of any of the transcripts from speeches to Sunday morning talk show appearances will attest, especially where Cheney is concerned.

clearly, this case was not reality.

let’s imagine, for a moment, that the Bush administration agreed with your series of rationalizations. why, then, the need for speeches about “reconstituting nuclear programs” and “mushroom clouds”? could it be that the original case for war was not terribly compelling to begin with? it failed to convince the UN that an invasion in March of 2003 was the only possible solution to the Iraq problem, nor did the administration think this would be compelling enough for the American people who would understandably balk at shouldering the costs and death toll of invading and occupying a country that never posed a direct threat to the American people. most Americans do not believe that the security of the Middle East and the planet (to use your alarmist language) is their sole responsibility.

thus, the invasion had to be sold in a package of intelligence manipulations designed through the use of post-9/11 trauma and fear-mongering to hustle Congress and the American people into war. the truth is that 9/11, important as it was, really should have nothing to do with Iraq and no place in any discussion of the war.

are you suggesting that it is appropriate for a government to manipulate it’s people into a war because they believe it to be necessary especially when they know that the “real” case for war would not be accepted?

further, if such security was in such a state of crisis, why the difficulty making the case? The case you make for war is further complicated by Wolfowitz who suggested last week that suggested that US forces might not have invaded if Washington had known then that the regime of had no weapons of mass destruction, and that there would have been policy options and alternative to war that, in hindsight, look far preferable than the mess we have today.





[Q] Mistakes have been made in the years since the initial invasion that indeed have made things much more difficult than they had to be in Iraq. But that does not change the fact that Saddam's removal had become a necessity for the planets security and that in his place, a new government and would have to be shaped and developed as well as a new military. Find a war where mistakes were never made. But the majority of the military continues to support the President on Iraq. As measured by the "Army Times" poll of over 4,000 soldiers, a much higher sample than most national polls conducted for a country of 300 million people, showed that over 80% of the military voted for Bush in the November 2004 election. Support for the President was slightly higher among those who had actually served on the ground in Iraq.[/Q]

The president’s approval ratings in US military is irrelevant to the discussion at hand, and it’s natural for people who have been asked to die for the ambitions and goals of a particular administration to believe that their current mission – one in which dozens are dying for every week – is one that is righteous and legitimate.

Simply tossing off mistakes in a Rumsfeld-esque “mistakes happen” bravado undercuts even more the sacrifices of American soldiers as well as the central case for the war itself.







[q] I don't dismiss the thousands of Iraqi's who have died primarily from terrorist and insurgent activity over the past 3 years just as I do not dismiss the 1.7 million people who died as a result of Saddam's actions both inside and outside of Iraq. If you want to talk about statistics involving death, there is no better place to start than with Saddam's in his actions over the past 24 years. Imagine if over 20 million Americans had been killed in unprovoked wars and executions over the past 20 years. That what it was like under Saddam. [/q]


why, then, wasn’t the humanitarian Saddam-is-a-really-bad-guy used when making the case for war back in 2002/3? is it reasonable to ask American kids to die because a dictator in another part of the world is a tyrant? do we really want to compare the 1.7 million killed in Iraq with, say, the millions who were killed as part of US proxy wars during the Cold War in battlefields ranging from El Salvador to Chile to Indonesia to Nicaragua.

i can agree that a strong democracy in the Middle East would have huge benefits for Iraq and for its neighbors as well as for the rest of the world. unfortunately, due to a combination of hubris and poor planning, our actions are not helping to bring this about. the removal of Saddam Hussein would be one thing. a skillful, international removal of Saddam would be a good thing. but this botched removal of Hussein followed by a stubborn insurgency and the creation of previously unknown problems (like suicide bombers) in Iraq has created many, man bad things.

the ineptitude of the post-war belies the fact that talk of democracy and the evils of Saddam are little more than a hollow mantra, a group of public rationalizations for a war motivated by the Bush administration's desire to dominate Middle Eastern politics and economics.

and don’t forget: the U.S. government has never actually relinquished sovereignty to the Iraqi government, nor will it any time soon, if ever


.

[q] To many people blindly make overblown claims about how terrible the sitution in Iraq is and miss the point that the majority of Iraq's provinces are relatively calm and several are actually dramatically improving in terms of standard of living as anyone who has been to Irbil Iraq can attest to. Its important to point these facts out because they rarely get mentioned by the media.[/q]

again, you seem to be viewing the situation through glasses even more rose-colored than the Media – which has been pro-war from the start and has only recently started to acknowledge the complexity of the situation. water and energy delivery, the state of hospitals (and medical supplies), highways, oil production and schools are worse off than before the U.S. invasion.

there is no question that elections are a positive change; it’s a good thing to see Arabs voting. however, the elected government does not have more than a semblance of actual sovereignty, and therefore the Iraqi people have no power to make real choices about their future. one example: the Shiite/Kurdish political coalition now in power ran on a platform whose primary promise was that, if elected, they would set and enforce a timetable for American withdrawal. as soon as they took power, they reneged on this promise (under pressure from the US). they have also proved quite incapable of fulfilling their other campaign promises about restoring services and rebuilding the country; and for that reason (as well as others), their constituents (primarily Shiites) are becoming ever more disillusioned. in the most recent polls, Shiite Iraqis now are about 70 percent in favor of U.S. withdrawal.








again, the sense of crisis – beyond the humanitarian – you express in regards to SH’s regime is simply not shared by anyone else. and what might be more terrifying than Saddam is the current emboldening of Iran whose leaders were much more compliant to U.S. demands before the Iraq invasion than they are now that they have seen how the Iraqi resistance has frustrated our military. the invasion of Iraq has probably done more to strengthen the oppressive Iranian regime than any other set of events since 1979; the longer the Bush administration stays and flounders, the more it undermines its ability to use the threat of military intervention to force other countries to conform to its demands.

it is interesting to note, though, that it’s entirely possible that the undermining of U.S. credibility and efficacy is one of the few good things to result from Iraq. in general, American military adventures tend to impose bad policies on other countries. we will all be better off with the multipolar world in which no single state can impose itself on others without at least the support of a great many others. we will be far better off in a multitude of ways if our country stopped spending more on its military than the rest of the world combined and started spending some of that money on things that would improve the welfare of our people like health care and education.

but you’re right, we are at an historic point, and it’s looking as if the best option is If the United States withdraws soon, there is at least a reasonable chance that the violence will subside quickly – as we saw in Vietnam where the millions dead as a result of US involvement subsided after 1975 – and that peace and stability in the region might ever so slowly take hold. the longer the United States stays -- further destroying the Iraqi infrastructure and destabilizing neighboring regimes (like Syria and Iran) -- the more likely it is that horrific civil wars and other forms of brutality will indeed occur.
It is what the administration told the American People. The President began to make his case on September 12, 2002 at the United Nations and continued to list the key reasons that action needed to be taken up to the October 11, 2002 resolution by congress. The central case for war was always the fact that Saddam had failed to verifiably disarm of all WMD and the danger that posed to the region and the world. No one ever claimed that Saddam planned or launched the 9/11 attacks on the United States. That is simply false. Democrats are the ones who have gone through speeches to cherry pick various statements and comments to support a view that the administration was misleading the public into war. They have been spewing this crap long enough now that plenty of people believe it.

The administration put up as much of the intelligence they currently had on Saddam's WMD capability to support the central case for military action, but the intelligence that said chemical A was in the basement of build X or that Saddam's military had mobile bio weapons lab were in of themselves never the central case for military action, but indeed supported the central case for military action. The administration did not want to leave people completely in the dark about the intelligence they were seeing especially after such a catastrophic event like 9/11.

The United Nations was solidly convinced about the need for military action and passed resolution 1441 (15-0 vote) in November of 2002 authorizing such action if Saddam failed to comply with the 17 UN Security Council resolutions he was in violation of. Then in June of 2003, the United Nations passed another resolution approving the occupation of Iraq and has since that time passed two more resolutions approving the occupation and development programs there.

The United Nations as well as the American people recognized at the time that Saddam's continued failure to disarm and comply with the 17 UN resolutions passed under Chapter VII rules of the United Nations were indeed an intolerable threat to the security of the region and the planet. Americans heavily supported the 1991 Gulf War because most Americans understand how important the free and undisturbed flow of oil from the Persian Gulf is to the global economy as well as their individual lives. Bottom line, industrialized society depends on energy and a sudden surge in the cost of that energy for what ever the reason has a massive and sudden impact on the global economy. The Planet is currently dependent on the energy in the Persian Gulf for its standard of living. If Persian Gulf Oil were to be suddenly be completely cut off from the rest of the planet, a global economic depression would insue. Just look at what being cut off from a few oil rigs in the Gulf Of Mexico did after Katrina. The price shocks from that relatively minor disruption in supply were eventually felt on every corner of the globe. One would not be able to find a comparable event to the total disruption of oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. Within months, the planet would be experiencing and economic recession that would make the Great Depression of the 1930s seem like a picnic.

The importance of Persian Gulf Oil supply to the economic health of the planet has been growing since the 1940s. President Jimmy Carter even warned the Soviet Union in vague terms of the potential use of Nuclear Weapons by the United States if the Soviets decided to push beyond their current adventure in Afghanistan back in 1979/1980, into the Persian Gulf area. Its simply a widely accepted fact of the importance Persian Gulf energy to the global economy and that anything that would threaten the supply of that energy is a threat to the entire planet. US military planning for decades through both Democratic and Republican administrations has known and made plans based on this reality.

The only manipulation currently going on is by Democrats who are engaged in historical revisionism and are ignorant of the impact Persian Gulf energy has on the economy and the threat Saddam posed to that energy supply with both conventional and at times unconventional military assets.

There was no real difficulty in making the case for war. It took less than a month for the President to get 75% of the congress to pass the resolution authorizing the President to use military action, and it only took another month beyond that to get the UN to pass a by unanamious vote, resolution 1441 authorizing the use of military action against Saddam if he failed to comply. Since then, the United Nations has passed three different resolutions approving the occupation.

Wolfowitz is correct in his statements since the only way that anyone could prove that Saddam did not have WMD would have involved his 100% cooperation and accounting for all WMD and the United Nations Weapons Inspectors verifications of that. This NEVER happened though! Not even close. There was some cooperation from 1991 to 1996, but by 1996 all cooperation had for the most part stopped and the inspectors were essentially kicked out in 1998.

If Saddam had cooperated 100% over the past 10 years with the UN resolutions and had verifiably disarmed of all WMD, it is highly unlikely that the coalition would have invaded because the need to would simply not be there in the way it was in 2003.

The opinions of the United States military are always relevant. I also do not simply dismiss the fact that mistakes have been made. I take it very seriously, but one also has to realize that the fact that mistakes have been made does not make the mission or the prosecution of it a failure. Otherwise, one could make the case that every war the United Sates has been in was a failure.

You were the one that brought up the deaths of Iraqi's since the invasion in attempt to explain why it has made the lives of Iraqi's worse off than before. I simply came back with the statistics on death in Iraq when Saddam was in power to demonstrate that was simply not the case. I never listed it as a reason for going to war in 2003, but simply to show how tough Iraqi's had it under Saddam and why his removal allows the Iraqi people the opportunity to have lives they never even dreamed of.

I also don't understand why you want to suddenly compare Saddam to the United States and its policy of containment during the Cold War which saved the planet from World War III and the end of all life on the planet.

US actions are bringing democracy to Iraq as anyone with access to some type of media outlet can see. The first Democratic elections were held in January of 2003 despite the fact that Anti Bush supporters said it would never happen. Then in October the country approved a consitution and on Thursday the country will elect a permanent government for the next four years. Iraq in terms of developing a new government is years ahead of both post-war Germany and Japan! More countries have been involved in Iraq around the world than were involved in Germany and Japan after World War II. There are more non-US troops in Iraq than there are non-US troops in Afghanistan. The occupation has been approved and supported by 3 different UN resolutions since 2003!

The fact that members of Saddam's regime would continue to resist once he was out of power was enevitable and no matter what was done during the removal could have prevented that.

The United States handed over control of the government to Iraq in July 2004. That is when Iraqi sovereignty was restored. If the newly elected government calls for the immediate withdrawal of all coalition troops, the coalition will withdraw. But there has not been such a call yet as Iraqi's understand the importance of foreign aid in developing the countries economy, military, and governmental institutions. But when Iraqi's feel that such foreign aid is no longer needed, the coalition will leave.


The media has to often only reported the bad news and none of the progress that has been made in Iraq. US military personal serving in Iraq are the ones that talk about this issue the most. I've talked to so many people who describe what they experienced and what they see on US TV at night as being two different things.

The reports about water delivery, energy supplies, the state of hospitals pre-war and post war focus on the Sunni area's as most Kurdish area's had these things in their "protected" zone while many Shia lived in conditions much like that ancestors did thousands of years ago. My best friend was stationed near a villiage at the start of the war where people NEVER had running water, electricity, and they ate and slept with their animals every night under the same roof. Much of the South is recieving services that they never had or have not had since the 1970s!

By the way, post war Oil production in Basra is now way ahead of pre-war levels!

The latest polls have shown that most Iraqi's consider themselves happy and are confident about the future. They support the poltical process and want democracy. New members of the Iraqi military who were members of Saddam's Republican Guard want the Coalition to remain in the country for at least the next two to three years. Most Shia have shown support for the coalition through their actions. The occupation is really only resisted in four of the 18 provinces of Iraq. The Kurds have had a foreign presence on some level ever since 1991.



The sense of crises I've expressed in regards to Saddam's regime is shared by many people from both the Bush Sr. and Jr. administrations as well as the Clinton administration.

Kenneth Pollack( a former national security expert on Iraq and the middle east from the Clinton Adminstration), Colin Powell, and John McCain all agreed with the sense of crises I've expressed, supported military action, still believe three years later that action was indeed necessary, and strongly support the continued reconstruction and development efforts by the coalition military and civilian personal on the ground in Iraq.

As for Iran, despite the threats it poses, lets remember for a second that Iran NEVER launched any unprovoked invasions or attacks on other countries like Saddam did on four different occasions. They never used WMD on the battlefield unlike Saddam who used it more times than any leader in history. Their armor/mechanized forces and air force are only half of what Saddam had in 2003 prior to the invasion. This is not to say there is no threat from Iran, because there indeed is one. But Iran has never been geographically positioned, had the capabilities of or the behavior of Saddam. That may change once and if they acquire nuclear weapons, but it will take more than simply that to make them the threat that Saddam was to the region and planet.

Saddam had to be removed independent of the obvious power vaccum it would initially create in the region. As Iranian leaders watch what happened to Saddam's regime over the past three years, I don't think they sit around thinking they are some how immune to what removed Saddam and his regime. To start with, even in 2003, they only have half of the military capability that Saddam had at the start of the 2003 war. Both the Taliban regime and Saddams regime are long gone and although war is unlikely unless Terhan were to decide to engage in Saddam like behavior, ie invading and attacking other countries unprovoked, the fact remains that given the right set of circumstances, the United States could and would remove the regime in Tehran if it became a necessity. Few if any regimes around the world would ever look at what happened to Saddam and his regime and be imbolden to engage in similar activitiy.

As far as cowing down to US and international demands, Iran has been probably the last country in the world to do so historically since 1979. The resistence over the Nuclear issue would be there with or without the invasion of Iraq.

Since 1945, most US foreign and military policy has been successful in helping to maintain peace and security throughout the world as well as detering certain regimes from engaging in war. The collapse of the Soviet Union, the end of Communist domination of Eastern Europe, the end of the Bosnian Civil war, the end of the war in Kosovo, securing and developing democracy in South Korea, Japan, Tawain, the removal of Saddam's military from Kuwait in 1991, and the removal of Saddam from power and the establishment of Democracy in Iraq all have shown US foreign and military policy since 1945 to have had more beneficial effects than any other countries foreign/military policy in history.

Vietnam is the only war where US credibility was damaged, and it was damaged not because it engaged and fought the war, but because it withdrew prematurely, essentially abandon South Vietnam to be overrun by the communist leading to the deaths and fleeing of millions of people and a communist dictatorship that has lated to this day.

This is why Saddam in the 1980s would often boast about the weakness of America. He would laugh and say "America withdrew from Vietnam after losing 50,000 men, but I just lost 50,000 men in one battle against the Iranians"! Bin Ladin has sited the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam as a sign of weakness as has his second in command in letters written to Al Zarqawi in Iraq.

If the United States withdraws from Iraq prematurely and it collapses, US credibility will indeed be damaged. But as long as it does not repeat the mistakes it made towards the end of the Vietnam War, it will be strenthened. To remove a regime like Saddam's and replace it with a multi-party democracy in a place like Iraq is simply unprecidented.

The world is better off with the enforcement of the United Nations most serious resolutions after 12 years. When the United Nations threatens the use of military force with resolutions passed under Chapter VII rules, it indeed has meaning and precedent that no violator can ignore. Iraq from the very begining has been a multi-nation operation. The security that the removal of Saddam has provided benefits the entire planet, especially growing countries like India and China who are growing increasingly dependent on the free flow of oil supply from the Persian Gulf Region.

Adjusted for inflation, the United States currently spends only about 2/3s of what it spent on the military in the 1980s and at other times during the Cold War. US military spending compared to other decades since World War II is anything but excessive, it is in fact not enough. If you want a military force that has armor on all its trucks and Humvees in peace time, your going to have to increase the military budget. If you want to make sure the men and women of the United Sates military have the best technology on the battlefield to give them the best chance of survival and mission accomplishment, your going to have to continue and increase military spending in many area's. I find it incredible that someone would call for a decrease in military spending yet at the same time attack shortages that exist in certain area's. If the United States military wanted to be prepared for all the unexpected outcomes and shortages unusual situations in war could produce, it will need to spend a lot more than it does now or even in peace time.

The fact is, heavy military spending in peace time cuts down on the casualties you will suffer in war time. Quality Weapons and extensive training are the only ways one can insure that casualities are reduced in war time. More accurate weapons, better intelligence, means that the probability that the enemy can be found, engaged, and destroyed with minimal or no loss of civilian life, is increased. Wars from the 1991 Gulf War, Panama, Bosnia, Kosovo, and even in the current Iraq war prove this.

The United States currently has the 10th highest standard of living in the world as reported by the United Nations Human Development Index. The idea that military spending at current levels or even reasonable increased military spending is impacting US standard of living is simply false.

The United States did not start the war in Vietnam nor is it at fault for the innocent lives who died as a result of a war waged by a Communist Dictatorship from the North with the support of sympothizers in the South. The United States withdrew all of its combat troops from Vietnam by 1972, and completed a full withdrawal by March 1973. South Vietnam did not fall to North Vietnames agression until April of 1975. The fighting and bloodshed did not stop with the US withdrawal in 1973. It continued. North Vietnam launched its largest military offensive against South Vietnam in the spring of 1975.

The premature US withdrawal from South Vietnam in the early 1970s is one of the saddest and most shameful events in United States history and led to the deaths and desplacement of millions of innocent South Vietnamese citizens. Those who remained have been enslaved and ruled by a brutal Communist dictatorship.

A premature withdrawal from Iraq could be an immediate disaster for both the Iraqi people and the region. It would likely create conditions for a much more violent and destructive war 10 to 15 years in the future. Unlike South Vietnam which was not sitting on or near the majority of the planets energy supply, Iraq is or is in close proximity to such a supply, and any event inside Iraq that threatens the planets energy supply and economic life line will be met with military force. As long as the planet depends on oil from the Persian Gulf for the cheapest form of energy, the importance to the United States and the world of Persian Gulf security will not change.

The United Sates and the coalition have accomplished an enormous amount in Iraq in a very short time. It is debatable what would constitute a premature withdrawal, but I think that at a minimum the coalition should stay in the numbers it is in, for at least another 2 years in order to insure the proper training of the new Iraqi military. I think it will be at least 5 more years before the Iraqi military is capable of handling national defense of the country as well as combating a violenting insurgency within the country, 100% independent of coalition forces. Of course, withdrawals can start well before that time as Iraqi capability increases.

The coalition has spent the past three years building and reconstructing Iraqi Infrustrutre, not destroying it. It has helped the a democratic government develop in record time. It is building a new military that will eventually be able to take over all the military task that the coalition currently provides. Leaving prematurely and allowing all that has been built to fall apart would be a terrible mistake and one that the country and region would likely pay for in an even worse war 10 to 15 years in the future.
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Old 12-14-2005, 11:29 AM   #18
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STING: you don't argue, you carpet bomb with cut-and-paste arguments.

i can only conclude -- since most if this i've read before -- that the vast majority of your posts are cut-and-pasted from a variety of different places, containing few original thoughts or insights -- the fact that none of your posts pays little more than cursory attention to anything i (or anyone else) ever writes is indicative of the fact that you are uninterestedin meaningful exchange. it's too bad -- you've many facts at your disposal, but it seems like a classic case of both missing the forrest for the trees.

i tried. silly me.
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:05 PM   #19
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maybe this is foolish, but i'm going to address your points, one-by-one, and i would appreicate it if you'd respond, one-by-one. your method of debating is unwieldy at best.

[q] It is what the administration told the American People. The President began to make his case on September 12, 2002 at the United Nations and continued to list the key reasons that action needed to be taken up to the October 11, 2002 resolution by congress. The central case for war was always the fact that Saddam had failed to verifiably disarm of all WMD and the danger that posed to the region and the world. No one ever claimed that Saddam planned or launched the 9/11 attacks on the United States. That is simply false. Democrats are the ones who have gone through speeches to cherry pick various statements and comments to support a view that the administration was misleading the public into war. They have been spewing this crap long enough now that plenty of people believe it.

The administration put up as much of the intelligence they currently had on Saddam's WMD capability to support the central case for military action, but the intelligence that said chemical A was in the basement of build X or that Saddam's military had mobile bio weapons lab were in of themselves never the central case for military action, but indeed supported the central case for military action. The administration did not want to leave people completely in the dark about the intelligence they were seeing especially after such a catastrophic event like 9/11.[/q]



come on STING, you know this isn’t true. in Bush’s prime-time press conference in early Mach of 2003, he mentioned Sept. 11 eight times and referred to Saddam Hussein often in the same breath with Sept. 11. No, bush never directly pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president, but the highly calculated, focus-grouped effect was to reinforce an impression that persisted among much of the American public, abetted by Fox News: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks.

New York Times/CBS poll in March of 2003 showed that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was "personally involved" in Sept. 11. stopping short of an outright lie, there is no question that the White House deliberately encouraged this false impression. immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, no one ever mentioned Iraq or Hussein – so look at the change between then and early 2003, and there was a strong correlation between those who see the Sept. 11-Iraq connection and those who support going to war.

what this indicates is the administration’s understanding that the American people would not support the invasion and occupation of a country that did not pose a direct threat to the American people. thus, they knew they had to spin the war in a manner that would create a sense of crisis that was missing throughout the 1990s – Sept. 11 gave them the ability to manipulate public opinion and distort reality in order to maximize public support for a military action that the American people would never have stood for prior to 9-11.

this was achieved by what is known as the White House Iraq Group that was organized in August of 2002 by Andrew Card. According to the WP, the group was in charge of the "escalation of rhetoric about the danger that Iraq posed to the U.S., including the introduction of the term 'mushroom cloud'”

On Sept. 6, 2002, Andrew Card told the NYT that "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

on September 7-8, 2002 the administration began it’s full court press:

on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney accused Saddam of moving aggressively to develop nuclear weapons over the past 14 months to add to his stockpile of chemical and biological arms.

on CNN, Rice acknowledged that "there will always be some uncertainty" in determining how close Iraq may be to obtaining a nuclear weapon but said, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

on CBS, Bush said U.N. weapons inspectors, before they were denied access to Iraq in 1998, concluded that Saddam was "six months away from developing a weapon."

on 10/14/02: Bush says of Saddam "This is a man that we know has had connections with al Qaeda. This is a man who, in my judgment, would like to use al Qaeda as a forward army."

on 1/21/03 Bush says of Saddam "He has weapons of mass destruction -- the world's deadliest weapons -- which pose a direct threat to the United States, our citizens and our friends and allies."

on 2/5/03: Colin Powell addresses the United Nations, asserting that there was "no doubt in my mind" that Saddam was working to produce nuclear weapons.


much of this found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...&notFound=true
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Old 12-14-2005, 12:51 PM   #20
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[q] The United Nations was solidly convinced about the need for military action and passed resolution 1441 (15-0 vote) in November of 2002 authorizing such action if Saddam failed to comply with the 17 UN Security Council resolutions he was in violation of. Then in June of 2003, the United Nations passed another resolution approving the occupation of Iraq and has since that time passed two more resolutions approving the occupation and development programs there.

The United Nations as well as the American people recognized at the time that Saddam's continued failure to disarm and comply with the 17 UN resolutions passed under Chapter VII rules of the United Nations were indeed an intolerable threat to the security of the region and the planet. [/q]

you still can’t get around the fact that the invasion began without the explicit approval of the United Nations Security Council, thus rendering the invasion a violation of the U.N. Charter. kofi annan is on record saying that the invasion was illegal.

you’re right in that Congress did grant Bush the authority to wage war, but the Resolution also encouraged, though it did not require, the US to gain UN Security Council approval for an invasion, however international law clearly states that Security Council approval was required unless an attack by Iraq had been immient. despite the administrations claims of an “urgent” and “growing” and “immediate” threat, none existed.

i also think you don’t fully understand what Resolution 1441 was about and you don’t even acknowledge that there is serious debate over whether or not that resolution legitimized military action – the language was vague, threatening “serious consequences” if Iraq did not verifiably disarm. according to most members of the Security Council, it is up to the council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced by march 7, Blix had noted that progress had been made in Iraq, but that disarmament would take months and not days or weeks to verify. hence, many European nations asked for more time, and ultimately only 4 countries announced that they would support a resolution backing the war.

so, Bush proceeded with an informal and unauthorized coalition, of which 98% was American or British, and many of the other coalition “members” (many of whom did not want their names made public!!!) were bought and paid for through coercion, bullying, bribery, or the implied threat of U.S. action that would directly damage the interests of the country.

so, please, no one believes that the UN was in agreement with the US either in regards to its position on what 1441 actually meant nor in the legality of the Iraq War. to paint reality, as you do, in a single color is wholly false. and, again, there’s no mention of “security of the region” and nearly all the language centers on WMDs – a double embarrassment for the US in light of the absence of Iraqi WMDs.
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Old 12-14-2005, 01:44 PM   #21
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[q]Americans heavily supported the 1991 Gulf War because most Americans understand how important the free and undisturbed flow of oil from the Persian Gulf is to the global economy as well as their individual lives. Bottom line, industrialized society depends on energy and a sudden surge in the cost of that energy for what ever the reason has a massive and sudden impact on the global economy. The Planet is currently dependent on the energy in the Persian Gulf for its standard of living. If Persian Gulf Oil were to be suddenly be completely cut off from the rest of the planet, a global economic depression would insue. Just look at what being cut off from a few oil rigs in the Gulf Of Mexico did after Katrina. The price shocks from that relatively minor disruption in supply were eventually felt on every corner of the globe. One would not be able to find a comparable event to the total disruption of oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. Within months, the planet would be experiencing and economic recession that would make the Great Depression of the 1930s seem like a picnic.[/q]

much of this defies logic in a geopolitical context – where is/was the threat of the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf being cut off immediately? please cite the stated intention – and then the ability – of Hussein to cut off all of the oil from the Persian Gulf, and please show that this was part of the rationale for the original Gulf War. most of Hussein’s rationalization for the invasion of Kuwait in 1991 were a combination of pan-Arab nationalism, anti-Western imperialism (Kuwait being a post WW1 British creation), and Kuwait’s slant drilling into Iraq. and please show how containment of Iraq was inadequate from keeping Hussein out of both Kuwait and, more importantly when it comes to the world’s oil supplies, Saudi Arabia.

also, shouldn’t this be an impetus to explore and investigate alternative sources of energy beyond oil?
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:13 AM   #22
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Originally posted by Irvine511
STING: you don't argue, you carpet bomb with cut-and-paste arguments.

i can only conclude -- since most if this i've read before -- that the vast majority of your posts are cut-and-pasted from a variety of different places, containing few original thoughts or insights -- the fact that none of your posts pays little more than cursory attention to anything i (or anyone else) ever writes is indicative of the fact that you are uninterestedin meaningful exchange. it's too bad -- you've many facts at your disposal, but it seems like a classic case of both missing the forrest for the trees.

i tried. silly me.
The above post has nothing to do with the topic. Even if what you say above were accurate, which its not, one is not to go around making such personal remarks about other people in the forum.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:15 AM   #23
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maybe this is foolish, but i'm going to address your points, one-by-one, and i would appreicate it if you'd respond, one-by-one. your method of debating is unwieldy at best.

[q] It is what the administration told the American People. The President began to make his case on September 12, 2002 at the United Nations and continued to list the key reasons that action needed to be taken up to the October 11, 2002 resolution by congress. The central case for war was always the fact that Saddam had failed to verifiably disarm of all WMD and the danger that posed to the region and the world. No one ever claimed that Saddam planned or launched the 9/11 attacks on the United States. That is simply false. Democrats are the ones who have gone through speeches to cherry pick various statements and comments to support a view that the administration was misleading the public into war. They have been spewing this crap long enough now that plenty of people believe it.

The administration put up as much of the intelligence they currently had on Saddam's WMD capability to support the central case for military action, but the intelligence that said chemical A was in the basement of build X or that Saddam's military had mobile bio weapons lab were in of themselves never the central case for military action, but indeed supported the central case for military action. The administration did not want to leave people completely in the dark about the intelligence they were seeing especially after such a catastrophic event like 9/11.[/q]



come on STING, you know this isn’t true. in Bush’s prime-time press conference in early Mach of 2003, he mentioned Sept. 11 eight times and referred to Saddam Hussein often in the same breath with Sept. 11. No, bush never directly pinned blame for the attacks directly on the Iraqi president, but the highly calculated, focus-grouped effect was to reinforce an impression that persisted among much of the American public, abetted by Fox News: that the Iraqi dictator did play a direct role in the attacks.

New York Times/CBS poll in March of 2003 showed that 45 percent of Americans believe Mr. Hussein was "personally involved" in Sept. 11. stopping short of an outright lie, there is no question that the White House deliberately encouraged this false impression. immediately after Sept. 11, 2001, no one ever mentioned Iraq or Hussein – so look at the change between then and early 2003, and there was a strong correlation between those who see the Sept. 11-Iraq connection and those who support going to war.

what this indicates is the administration’s understanding that the American people would not support the invasion and occupation of a country that did not pose a direct threat to the American people. thus, they knew they had to spin the war in a manner that would create a sense of crisis that was missing throughout the 1990s – Sept. 11 gave them the ability to manipulate public opinion and distort reality in order to maximize public support for a military action that the American people would never have stood for prior to 9-11.

this was achieved by what is known as the White House Iraq Group that was organized in August of 2002 by Andrew Card. According to the WP, the group was in charge of the "escalation of rhetoric about the danger that Iraq posed to the U.S., including the introduction of the term 'mushroom cloud'”

On Sept. 6, 2002, Andrew Card told the NYT that "from a marketing point of view, you don't introduce new products in August."

on September 7-8, 2002 the administration began it’s full court press:

on NBC's "Meet the Press," Cheney accused Saddam of moving aggressively to develop nuclear weapons over the past 14 months to add to his stockpile of chemical and biological arms.

on CNN, Rice acknowledged that "there will always be some uncertainty" in determining how close Iraq may be to obtaining a nuclear weapon but said, "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud."

on CBS, Bush said U.N. weapons inspectors, before they were denied access to Iraq in 1998, concluded that Saddam was "six months away from developing a weapon."

on 10/14/02: Bush says of Saddam "This is a man that we know has had connections with al Qaeda. This is a man who, in my judgment, would like to use al Qaeda as a forward army."

on 1/21/03 Bush says of Saddam "He has weapons of mass destruction -- the world's deadliest weapons -- which pose a direct threat to the United States, our citizens and our friends and allies."

on 2/5/03: Colin Powell addresses the United Nations, asserting that there was "no doubt in my mind" that Saddam was working to produce nuclear weapons.


much of this found at: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...&notFound=true
Its an interesting theory that I have heard a couple of thousand times, but its false. The Bush administration laid down its case for the need to move against Saddam starting on September 12, 2002 at the United Nations. On October 11, 2002, Congress passed the resolution giving the President the authority to take to the country to war against Saddam. All discussion about these theory's of misleading etc. should be focused on this month alone, because it is the only month relevant to the debate here in the United States about whether or not to go to war, because after October 11, 2002, Bush had all the authority he needed domestically to take the country to war.

I recall many people talking about Saddam on September 11 as well as after. I've seen studies which have shown it was the media that started debating about the need to go after the Saddam long before the administration actively started to debate the issue.

There were polls throughout the 1990s which showed the American public thought leaving Saddam in power after the 1991 Gulf War was a mistake and that they supported the removal of Saddam. Getting the public to support such action under any circumstances would not have been difficult. The country had already fought a war against Saddam, and new the threat he posed. The only foreign leader who had previously fought the United States, dead or alive, with better name recognition among the American public in the 1990s than Saddam was Hitler. So there was already a strong basis for people believing, that Saddam may have been behind, 9/11, regardless of what the intelligence would show in the days and weeks after 9/11.

I've seen all the above cherry picked qoutes before. The President didn't mislead the country into war. He took the appropriate steps and actions to remove Saddam from power. He explained the central case for war as well as providing supporting intelligence for that case. He got 75% of Congress to authorize the use of force. He then got a unanamous vote in the Security Council authorizing the use of military force in resolution 1441.
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:16 AM   #24
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[q] The United Nations was solidly convinced about the need for military action and passed resolution 1441 (15-0 vote) in November of 2002 authorizing such action if Saddam failed to comply with the 17 UN Security Council resolutions he was in violation of. Then in June of 2003, the United Nations passed another resolution approving the occupation of Iraq and has since that time passed two more resolutions approving the occupation and development programs there.

The United Nations as well as the American people recognized at the time that Saddam's continued failure to disarm and comply with the 17 UN resolutions passed under Chapter VII rules of the United Nations were indeed an intolerable threat to the security of the region and the planet. [/q]

you still can’t get around the fact that the invasion began without the explicit approval of the United Nations Security Council, thus rendering the invasion a violation of the U.N. Charter. kofi annan is on record saying that the invasion was illegal.

you’re right in that Congress did grant Bush the authority to wage war, but the Resolution also encouraged, though it did not require, the US to gain UN Security Council approval for an invasion, however international law clearly states that Security Council approval was required unless an attack by Iraq had been immient. despite the administrations claims of an “urgent” and “growing” and “immediate” threat, none existed.

i also think you don’t fully understand what Resolution 1441 was about and you don’t even acknowledge that there is serious debate over whether or not that resolution legitimized military action – the language was vague, threatening “serious consequences” if Iraq did not verifiably disarm. according to most members of the Security Council, it is up to the council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced by march 7, Blix had noted that progress had been made in Iraq, but that disarmament would take months and not days or weeks to verify. hence, many European nations asked for more time, and ultimately only 4 countries announced that they would support a resolution backing the war.

so, Bush proceeded with an informal and unauthorized coalition, of which 98% was American or British, and many of the other coalition “members” (many of whom did not want their names made public!!!) were bought and paid for through coercion, bullying, bribery, or the implied threat of U.S. action that would directly damage the interests of the country.

so, please, no one believes that the UN was in agreement with the US either in regards to its position on what 1441 actually meant nor in the legality of the Iraq War. to paint reality, as you do, in a single color is wholly false. and, again, there’s no mention of “security of the region” and nearly all the language centers on WMDs – a double embarrassment for the US in light of the absence of Iraqi WMDs.

Koffi Annan is not a member of the Security Council and does not determine whether x resolutions means this or that.

Resolution 1441 is just as explicit about the use of military force as Resolution 678 was in 1990 about the use of military force against Iraqi forces in Kuwait. Neither resolution actually uses the words military force. In fact, resolution 678 which authorized military action to removed Saddam from Kuwait in 1991 originally had the words "military force" in the body, but the Soviets cried about that and so the United States removed it.

If your going to claim that resolution 1441 did not authorize military action against Saddam in 2003, then you can't claim that resolution 678 authorized the use of military action to remove Saddam's military from Kuwait in 1991.

On the point of "Serious Consequences", realize that for something to be even a "consequence" of ones failure to do something, it has to be something that can be imposed or done that is not already being done. Iraq in November of 2002 from a legal standpoint already under the largest weapons embargo and sanctions regime the world had ever seen, although both of these were falling apart. In International Relations, the only thing more serious than the restrictions that were already in place on Saddam's Iraq would be military action, and not limited military action. Realize that United States and coalition had already been engaged in near daily combat with Iraqi Air Defense units for the past decade.

As far as Blix goes, they accomplished practically nothing. If Saddam was complying they should have been rolling out stocks of WMD or leading inspectors to where the WMD had been dismantled at some point in the past. They did neither. To this day, Saddam has failed to account for thousands of stocks of WMD. Four more months would have only allowed Saddam more time to prepare for the invasion and aftermath, increasing the number of deaths and difficulty experienced by the coalition and the Iraqi people.

There was never another UN resolution prior to the start of the war, so simply stating that only 4 countries supported it is false. In June of that year, the United Nations passed resolution 1483 approving the occupation of Iraq. If the military action of invading Iraq had been illegal, the UN would NEVER EVER pass a resolution approving an occupation brought about by an illegal military action.

Saddam's invasion of Kuwait was seen as illegal and the UN immediately passed a resolution condemning the invasion. There is no resolution or EVEN an attempt at a resolution condemning the coalition invasion of Iraq. Some will say that is because the USA would just veto it, but that has never stopped the UN from passing resolution after resolution against Israel, only to have the United States Veto it. Then you also had another resolution calling on Saddam to withdraw his forces from Kuwait. There has never been any UN resolutions calling for the immediate withdrawal of the coalition from Iraq.

There has now been three UN resolutions approving the occupation of Iraq over the past 2 and a half years. If the invasion were illegal, the UN would never approve the resulting occupation once, let alone three times.

It was never incumbent on the United States, the coalition or the UN to find WMD's to prove their case before or after the invasion. The resolutions are very clear that it was Saddam's responsiblity to verifiably disarm of all WMD and it was incumbent upon his regime and his regime alone to prove that they did not have WMD.

Say what you will about the coalition in Iraq, but remember that there are more Non-US troops engaged in the war in Iraq than there are engaged in the war in Afghanistan.


I like what Colin Powell recently said on the Barbara Walters special about the use of military force in Iraq, "when the President said it was not tolerable for Saddam to remain in violation of those UN resolutions, I'm right there with him on the use of military force".
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Old 12-15-2005, 04:17 AM   #25
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[q]Americans heavily supported the 1991 Gulf War because most Americans understand how important the free and undisturbed flow of oil from the Persian Gulf is to the global economy as well as their individual lives. Bottom line, industrialized society depends on energy and a sudden surge in the cost of that energy for what ever the reason has a massive and sudden impact on the global economy. The Planet is currently dependent on the energy in the Persian Gulf for its standard of living. If Persian Gulf Oil were to be suddenly be completely cut off from the rest of the planet, a global economic depression would insue. Just look at what being cut off from a few oil rigs in the Gulf Of Mexico did after Katrina. The price shocks from that relatively minor disruption in supply were eventually felt on every corner of the globe. One would not be able to find a comparable event to the total disruption of oil supplies in the Persian Gulf. Within months, the planet would be experiencing and economic recession that would make the Great Depression of the 1930s seem like a picnic.[/q]

much of this defies logic in a geopolitical context – where is/was the threat of the flow of oil from the Persian Gulf being cut off immediately? please cite the stated intention – and then the ability – of Hussein to cut off all of the oil from the Persian Gulf, and please show that this was part of the rationale for the original Gulf War. most of Hussein’s rationalization for the invasion of Kuwait in 1991 were a combination of pan-Arab nationalism, anti-Western imperialism (Kuwait being a post WW1 British creation), and Kuwait’s slant drilling into Iraq. and please show how containment of Iraq was inadequate from keeping Hussein out of both Kuwait and, more importantly when it comes to the world’s oil supplies, Saudi Arabia.

also, shouldn’t this be an impetus to explore and investigate alternative sources of energy beyond oil?
Most of the oil in the Persian Gulf comes from oil fields clustered around or near Kuwait. Kuzustan, the southwestern province of Iran has a big part of this oil as does Kuwait, southern Iraq and then Saudi Arabia. The part of Saudi Arabia where most of this oil is located is up near the border with Kuwait and Iraq.

Most of the Persian Gulf's oil supply comes from this small area in close proximity to southern Iraq. Iraq is idealy geographically positioned to attack all of these oil rich area's so close to its border. Saddam would only need to advance a few dozen miles into Saudi Arabia or have missiles or aircraft attack such targets to do tremendous damage or in fact sieze much of the oil supply that the planet depends on.

Saddam's stated intentions mean nothing, his actions and their effects on the international community are all that matter. Saddam has over a 1,000 mile border with Iran. Guess why Saddam only invaded the Southwestern province of Kuzustan? When Saddam invaded Kuwait in 1990, the country was well over $100 Billion dollars in debt from the aid it had received during the Iran/Iraq war. There is only one reason Saddam invaded Kuwait and its not because Kuwait was the "19th province".

If Saddam had continued across the border of Kuwait into Saudi Arabia, he would only need a few dozen miles to be in the largest oil fields on the planet. Saddam indeed had an opportunity, but he did not take it at the time, partly because he expected an immediate US attack on Kuwait with light infantry like the 82nd Airborne, which is why he moved in the rest of his Republican Guard divisions only days after taking Kuwait. The reality is that Saddam could have taken both Kuwait and most of Northeastern Saudi Arabia and the United States at least initially would be incapable of stopping him do to the fact that no US troops were on the ground in Saudi Arabia. The planet is lucky that Saddam's chronic mis-caculations actually were a plus in this particular situation.

Regardless, any responsible defense strategy has to look at the particular opponents behaviors and capabilities in order to determine the risk in the future. After the 1991 Gulf War, our ability to prevent a repeat or a worse situation than what happened in 1990 is diminished by the fact that stationing large numbers of US troops on the ground in both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia indefinitely was politically impossible from the standpoint of those two countries. Small numbers of troops were acceptable. There were 200 to 300 ground troops in Kuwait and another contingent of ground troops of that size in Saudi Arabia. There were rotations of Air Force and Naval forces that would bring totals in both countries over the 1,000 mark. Compare that with the 420,000 man force Saddam still had after the first Gulf War along with 2,700 Tanks, thousands of other armored vehicles, nearly 2,000 artillery pieces and over 300 combat aircraft. Not to mention, an unknowable number of Scud Missiles or other Ballistic Missiles and a vast quantity of unaccounted for stocks of WMD.

While Kuwait and Saudi Arabia worked to re-arm their forces with better weapons, the fact remained that these two countries forces were to small on their own to defeat Saddam's forces. As long as Iraq under any leader, technically has the ability to defend itself from Iran, it will always technically have the potential ability to invade and take over its smaller Arab neighbors to the south. That is one of the big security problems when an unfriendly regime is in control in Baghdad.

Containment of Saddam relied on fool proof sanctions, a weapons embargo, UN inspections and Saddam's cooperation with those inspections to disarm and prevent all WMD and WMD related activities. It also was dependent on the US ability to rush heavy armor divisions from the Continental United States to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait faster than Saddam could deploy his divisions to those same area's. There was enough equipment pre-positioned in Kuwait for 1/3 of a US armored Division, but CIA estimates run in the 1990s showed that a sudden determined invasion by Saddam with the majority of his conventional forces would likely overrun Kuwait.

WMD, especially now that Saddam's forces were less than half the size they were prior to the first Gulf War were even more vital to his capabilities. This is why achieving the verifiable disarmament of Saddam's WMD arsenal was so important. Existing, or the development of new WMD and ballistic missiles, not to mention Nuclear Weapons, would give Saddam capabilities that would severely retard or entirely prevent, at least initially the deployment of US forces to Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. The United Nations Weapons inspectors found that Saddam was only 6 months to 1 year away from getting a nuclear weapon at the start of the first Gulf War. The knowledge gained from that attainment would never completely disapear which is why Saddam's compliance with disarmament was mandatory as it would show a true change in his behavior and insure that despite the progress that was made in the past, he would have no immediate capabilities and require time to rebuild and his intentions would likely have changed.

Nearly all of the key compenents of containment started to fall apart in the late 1990s. The extensive sanctions and weapons embargo regime started to fall apart and Saddam began to trade hundreds of millions of dollars of goods through the black market and by 2000, Billions of dollars of goods were passing across the border with Saddam making some healthy profits.

The ability of Saddam to re-arm his conventional military force with new technology, currently or further down the road, was becoming a greater possibility. New technology in the hands of a still large Iraqi Army would definitely change any caculations about the immediate threat level in the Gulf and how capable the United States would be in responding to it. The situation was already difficult, and the weakening of the Embargo and Sanctions just from the standpoint of Saddam gaining the ability to re-arm conventionally would make things much worse.

What ever one thinks of what Saddam's true WMD capability was in 2002, the weakening of sanctions and the weapons embargo would only make it more likely that Saddam could rapidly advance what ever capabilities he had in this area, with know how and technology that was not available in the 1980s in respect to production of WMD.

Finally, with UN inspectors kicked out of Iraq in 1998 leaving Saddam with potentially still unaccounted for stocks of WMD, plus the ability to restart programs without the knowledge of the international community was a serious blow to containment. The ability to maintain, restart, and bring in new WMD programs increased dramatically with the removal of inspectors, and the erosion of sanctions and the weapons embargo.

Containing Saddam required that inspectors verifiably disarm him of his original arsenal and that sanctions, the weapons embargo, as well as inspections insure that a new one could never be built. But the inspectors failed to completely verifiably disarm Saddam of his original arsenal and were kicked out of the country. The weapons embargo and sanctions fell apart and the politcal and economic realities of the region made restarting them or building them back simply impossible. Even if inspections, sanctions and the weapons embargo had successfully been maintained, it would still have been a very difficult and dangerous task for the USA to defend the Persian Gulf without having substantial numbers of troops stationed on the ground in the region.

In March of 1991 as Saddam signed the Gulf War Ceacefire Agreement, few people believed that Saddam would still be in power in five years time. But once again, Saddam succeeded in doing what the experts said he would not or could not do. The entire world has failed to predict what Saddam's next moves would be. Most people predicted Saddam would never invade Iran, but Saddam did despite the weakness of his military at the time and the fact that it nearly destroyed his regime early in the war. 10 years later, the majority expert opinion said he would never invade Kuwait, another Arab state, but he did. Then they said he would withdraw rather than risk a major war with the USA that could topple his regime, but he stayed in Kuwait and fought the United States despite all the risk to his regime and himself, in the process, launching Scud Missiles at Israel and even launching a failed invasion of Saudi Arabia in the early weeks of the war.

To say that Saddam, mis-caculates is and understatement. Containment also requires that Saddam be detered. All the evidence from his 25 year rule shows that he was rarely if ever detered by anything. Saddam was given every opportunity to comply after the 1991 Gulf War with the resolutions that would have allowed him to get out from under sanctions, and enrich himself and his regime. He was given these opportunities even at the last moment and did not take them. His regime is now destroyed and he sits in Jail. To allow someone like Saddam the opportunity to re-arm his military with new conventional weapons, WMD and or even nuclear weapons would have been a worse mis-caculation than anything Saddam had previously done in that area, given the risk of siezure and or sabotage of the Persian Gulf Oil supply. The failures of containment and the inability to rebuild it and sustain it in the way required is another reason why regime change became a necessity.


I would agree that it is vitaly important that alternative sources of energy be explored do to the planets current and growing dependence on Persian Gulf Oil. But the search for these alternatives will not change the facts as they stand today in regards to Persian Gulf Oil and its impact on the global economy. The only way the planet will switch from Persian Gulf Oil is if an alternative source of energy is found that is both cheaper and more efficient than Oil from the Persian Gulf. Thats the reason why oil became the dominant form of energy in the 20th century and its the only way oil is going to be replaced.
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Old 12-15-2005, 12:29 PM   #26
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Its an interesting theory that I have heard a couple of thousand times, but its false. The Bush administration laid down its case for the need to move against Saddam starting on September 12, 2002 at the United Nations. On October 11, 2002, Congress passed the resolution giving the President the authority to take to the country to war against Saddam. All discussion about these theory's of misleading etc. should be focused on this month alone, because it is the only month relevant to the debate here in the United States about whether or not to go to war, because after October 11, 2002, Bush had all the authority he needed domestically to take the country to war.


STING, you are blatantly wrong about this.

there was a White House Iraq Group who's sole mission was to sell the American people on the need for an invasion through the suggestion and innuendo that there were links between Saddam and Al-Qaeda, and Saddam and 9-11. the existence of the group is on record in all major newspapers, as are Cheney and Scooter's frequent visits to the CIA and the Pentagon throughout 2002 as the case for war on the premise of the "imminent threat" of Iraqi WMDs was cut-and-pasted together from vague intelligence.

simply saying it isn't so isn't much of an argument at all.

the decision to invade Iraq had been made the night Bush won the election in 2000. the administration chose to monger fear and exploit the suffering of 9-11 while wielding the specter of an attack with WMDs in order to win popular support for the invasion as talk show appearances and speech transcripts will attest. as a matter of legality, Bush had permission to go to war. as a matter of politics, Bush needed the permission of the American people, who would be fighting and dying. to win this, he knew he needed to create a sense of threat and urgency, which is why the language i pulled -- hardly cherry-picked; please, go read the transcript of Cheney's Meet the Press appearance -- was central to the Bush administration's case to the American people and which is why the intelligence surrounding the existence of WMDs had been so throughly cherry-picked -- this has precedent, as well, with Rumsfeld's creation of a "Team B" to provide a more dire assessment of the Soviet Union's military capacities while he worked in the Ford Administration.

simply because Bush had the Congressional authority to go to war -- and, again, note the dates, chosen one year and then one year and one month after September 11th, hardly a coincidence -- doesn't mean that he had popular support, nor does it mean that Congress made a wise and prudent decision. also, there is a caveat in resolution 77-23 that says that Bush does have authority to attack Iraq *if* Saddam Hussein did not give up his Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). you also ignore international law becuase the US requires explicit Security Council approval for an invasion unless an attack by Iraq had been imminent.

force was *not* authorized by resolution 1441 itself, as the language of the resolution mentioned "serious consequences," which is generally *not* understood by Security Council members to include the use of force to overthrow the government. both Negroponte and Greenstock, in promoting Resolution 1441 in November 2002, gave assurances that it was *not* a step to invasion without consultation of the Security Council. such consultation was forestalled by the US and UK's abandonment of the Security Council procedure and the invasion of Iraq. even Richard Perle has said that the invasion violated international law.
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Old 12-15-2005, 06:55 PM   #27
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STING, you are blatantly wrong about this.

there was a White House Iraq Group who's sole mission was to sell the American people on the need for an invasion through the suggestion and innuendo that there were links between Saddam and Al-Qaeda, and Saddam and 9-11. the existence of the group is on record in all major newspapers, as are Cheney and Scooter's frequent visits to the CIA and the Pentagon throughout 2002 as the case for war on the premise of the "imminent threat" of Iraqi WMDs was cut-and-pasted together from vague intelligence.

simply saying it isn't so isn't much of an argument at all.

the decision to invade Iraq had been made the night Bush won the election in 2000. the administration chose to monger fear and exploit the suffering of 9-11 while wielding the specter of an attack with WMDs in order to win popular support for the invasion as talk show appearances and speech transcripts will attest. as a matter of legality, Bush had permission to go to war. as a matter of politics, Bush needed the permission of the American people, who would be fighting and dying. to win this, he knew he needed to create a sense of threat and urgency, which is why the language i pulled -- hardly cherry-picked; please, go read the transcript of Cheney's Meet the Press appearance -- was central to the Bush administration's case to the American people and which is why the intelligence surrounding the existence of WMDs had been so throughly cherry-picked -- this has precedent, as well, with Rumsfeld's creation of a "Team B" to provide a more dire assessment of the Soviet Union's military capacities while he worked in the Ford Administration.

simply because Bush had the Congressional authority to go to war -- and, again, note the dates, chosen one year and then one year and one month after September 11th, hardly a coincidence -- doesn't mean that he had popular support, nor does it mean that Congress made a wise and prudent decision. also, there is a caveat in resolution 77-23 that says that Bush does have authority to attack Iraq *if* Saddam Hussein did not give up his Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs). you also ignore international law becuase the US requires explicit Security Council approval for an invasion unless an attack by Iraq had been imminent.

force was *not* authorized by resolution 1441 itself, as the language of the resolution mentioned "serious consequences," which is generally *not* understood by Security Council members to include the use of force to overthrow the government. both Negroponte and Greenstock, in promoting Resolution 1441 in November 2002, gave assurances that it was *not* a step to invasion without consultation of the Security Council. such consultation was forestalled by the US and UK's abandonment of the Security Council procedure and the invasion of Iraq. even Richard Perle has said that the invasion violated international law.
Resolution 1441 is just as explicit about the use of military force as Resolution 678 was back in 1990 in regards to the removal of Saddam's military from Kuwait. No where in Resolution 1441 does it state that another resolution would be required. If the UN Security Council found the invasion to be illegal, it would never have passed three different resolutions approving the occupation. If the invasion was illegal, where are the UN resolutions or attempts at UN resolutions condemning the invasion and calling for the removal of coalition troops? If Richard Perle said that, he is wrong. The United States and other coalition governments believe the invasion was legal, and other states have shown they feel the same way through their actions in the Security Council in approving the occupation and not calling for a resolution condemning the invasion or calling for an immediate withdrawal. Its an open and shut case.

Saddam failed to account for over 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of Sarin gas, and over 20,000 Bio/Chem capable artillery shells just to name a few things. To say that Saddam failed to comply with the resolutions and verifiably disarm of all WMD is an understatement.

Ukraine, Belarus, and Kazakstan all verifiably disarmed of thousands of nuclear warheads from the former Soviet Union and did so in less than two years. That is how the disarmament process is supposed to work, not the BS that occured over 12 years in Iraq with Saddam playing "hide and seek" or the "dog at my homework" games.

I'd find nothing wrong with Bush making the decision to go to war the night after he won the election, because the coalition should have already gone to war at that time. Rather than a rush to war, the 2003 invasion of Iraq was long overdue and the delay, considering the weakening of sanctions, the embargo and the lack of inspectors on the ground, further risked international security.

I've read all the cherry picked qoutes by liberals fashioned together to make the rather silly case that the President lied, misled etc the nation into war. The central case for war by the President was Saddam's failure to verifiably disarm of all WMD. Intelligence on current WMD capabilities and connections to Al Quada were also presented to support the case.

The President did the right thing, and the country agreed on November 2, 2004 when they gave Bush the first majority victory by a President in an election since 1988 as well as voting to increase the lead by Republicans in both the House and Senate, something that had not happened for an incumbent President in an election in over half a century. All that despite all the liberal groups claiming that Bush was the next Hitler or films filled with inaccurate rubbish by Michael Moore and others.

Today, millions of Iraqi's, as many as 73% of those eligible to vote have voted in Iraq's first election for a permanent national assembly for the next four years. Saddam has been removed and his regime can no longer invade or attack the region as he did for 25 years. The future has never been brighter for Iraqi's, and provided the United States does not withdraw prematurely, this is the best chance Iraq has ever had for achieving a stable, prosperous and peaceful society and way of life. If Michael Moore and his crowd had their way back in 2003, Saddam would still be in power and Iraqi citizens and the rest of the world would be suffering the consequences.
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Old 12-16-2005, 10:41 AM   #28
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Resolution 1441 is just as explicit about the use of military force as Resolution 678 was back in 1990 in regards to the removal of Saddam's military from Kuwait. No where in Resolution 1441 does it state that another resolution would be required. If the UN Security Council found the invasion to be illegal, it would never have passed three different resolutions approving the occupation. If the invasion was illegal, where are the UN resolutions or attempts at UN resolutions condemning the invasion and calling for the removal of coalition troops? If Richard Perle said that, he is wrong. The United States and other coalition governments believe the invasion was legal, and other states have shown they feel the same way through their actions in the Security Council in approving the occupation and not calling for a resolution condemning the invasion or calling for an immediate withdrawal. Its an open and shut case.

Saddam failed to account for over 1,000 Liters of Anthrax, 500 pounds of mustard gas, 500 pounds of Sarin gas, and over 20,000 Bio/Chem capable artillery shells just to name a few things. To say that Saddam failed to comply with the resolutions and verifiably disarm of all WMD is an understatement.


In regards 1441, I’d like to point out that you ignored the assurances by Negroponte and Greenstock assured everyone that it was not a green light for an invasion. You say it was; they say it wasn’t. Why did Tony Blair work furiously for another resolution to authorize force (one that France said it would veto) if 1441 is as clear an authorization for war as you make it out to be? Finally, and this is an important point: it is up to the Security Council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced. What 1441 says and doesn’t say isn’t for the United States to decide.

Another point: resolution 678 contains the phrase “all necessary means." 1441 does not.

Clearly, you are in the wrong here. Anyway …

Resolution 1441 offered Iraq a final opportunity to disarmam and to provide a complete disclosure of weapons as required by Resolution 687, and “serious consequences” were threatened. Resolution 1441 threatens "serious consequences" if these are not met. It reasserted demands that UN weapons inspectors should have "immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access" to sites of their choosing, in order to ascertain compliance. Let’s note that Iraq agreed to 1441 on November 13 and Blix and ElBaradei returned to Iraq later that month, and in December Iraq filed a 12,000-page weapons declaration with the UN in order to meet requirements for this resolution. Each successive Blix report – in january, february, and march – noted a greater level of Iraqi compliance. No, not nearly enough, but enough to convince many nations that the disarmament of Iraq was achieveable without a direct, unilateral invasion by the United States.

I also can’t believe you would just gloss over the furious debate over 1441 and whether or not it authorizes military action – simply because you believe it to be an authorization does not make it an open-and-shut case. You’d do well to acknowledge that, yes, other viewpoints are equally valid, or at least acknowledge that other viewpoints exist. What I think irritates myself, and most other people, about your posts is the presentation of a stark, black-and-white reality as total fact, whereas anyone with a brain and a television and newspapers knows just how contentious all of this was, and to dismiss the opinion of the rest of the world and close to half of the American population isn’t just arrogant, it’s foolish.

I would also note that the impetus to avoid war comes from nations, unlike the United States, who have seen the effects and aftermath of war in the 20th century on their own soil. Many do not believe that war is an effective geopolitical tool, and that war should not only be the absolute last option, but that it is always the worst option.

I agree that, at some point in time, a war might have been inevitable, or at least some sort of military conflict with Hussein. But to assert that it had to happen then, in March of 2003, is firstly incorrect, and it also guaranteed that worldwide popular opinion against the US would be at a maximum making it impossible for politicians to support the US lest they face the electoral consequences at home. The result, you see, is that US troops have proved to be inadquate to successfullly occupy the country, something that might have been achieveable with the broad international support similar to the coalition formed in 1991. don’t you see that, even if the legal case is correct, that popular support is just as crucial for the successful implementation of the mission. If you believe so mightily in the removal of Saddam for the myriad reasons you’ve laid out, why not take the time to actually build a coalition so that you can be successful?

The reason, I think, was that Rumsfeld, especially, wanted and needed a unilateral invasion to demonstrate the capabilities of the US forces, the whole “shock and awe” scenario. While the US was certainly capable of overthrowing the vastly weakened Iraqi army without much of a problem, maintaining security on the ground in the face of an insurgency that might have as many as 200,000 supporters has proven to be much, much more difficult than anyone in the White House imagined.

Might French troops, German troops, or the troops from any other Arab nation have been helpful? Might we be toasting the success of the invasion today – instead of having it turn, politically, into another Vietnam as a strong majority of the American public thinks the war wasn’t worth it – had the Bush administration showed patience not with Saddam, but with getting the rest of the world on board?

What your posts demonstrate, to me, is precisely the arrogant, of-course-I’m-right attitude of the Bush administration that doesn’t do much when it comes to assembling broad support – and please contrast this with Bush 1 and Jim Baker. It’s no secret that Bush is famously incurious, famously isolated, and famously uninterested in the opinions of anyone other than his group of yes-men. I think an argument can be made to support an invasion of Iraq *if done correctly*, but I think it’s also true that this president, in particular, was uniquely unsuited for the task at hand.



more later, work permitting ...
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Old 12-16-2005, 04:55 PM   #29
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The only thing I would like to note is that Resolution 1483 made the invasion legal retroactively.

I have argued in this forum that the invasion was indeed illegal because 1441 did not provide the clear language necessary to invade Iraq.

1483 made it a retroactively legal invasion.

http://www.nationalreview.com/commen...inan052303.asp
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Old 12-17-2005, 03:32 AM   #30
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In regards 1441, I’d like to point out that you ignored the assurances by Negroponte and Greenstock assured everyone that it was not a green light for an invasion. You say it was; they say it wasn’t. Why did Tony Blair work furiously for another resolution to authorize force (one that France said it would veto) if 1441 is as clear an authorization for war as you make it out to be? Finally, and this is an important point: it is up to the Security Council itself, and not individual members, to determine how the body's resolutions are to be enforced. What 1441 says and doesn’t say isn’t for the United States to decide.

Another point: resolution 678 contains the phrase “all necessary means." 1441 does not.

Clearly, you are in the wrong here. Anyway …

Resolution 1441 offered Iraq a final opportunity to disarmam and to provide a complete disclosure of weapons as required by Resolution 687, and “serious consequences” were threatened. Resolution 1441 threatens "serious consequences" if these are not met. It reasserted demands that UN weapons inspectors should have "immediate, unconditional, and unrestricted access" to sites of their choosing, in order to ascertain compliance. Let’s note that Iraq agreed to 1441 on November 13 and Blix and ElBaradei returned to Iraq later that month, and in December Iraq filed a 12,000-page weapons declaration with the UN in order to meet requirements for this resolution. Each successive Blix report – in january, february, and march – noted a greater level of Iraqi compliance. No, not nearly enough, but enough to convince many nations that the disarmament of Iraq was achieveable without a direct, unilateral invasion by the United States.

I also can’t believe you would just gloss over the furious debate over 1441 and whether or not it authorizes military action – simply because you believe it to be an authorization does not make it an open-and-shut case. You’d do well to acknowledge that, yes, other viewpoints are equally valid, or at least acknowledge that other viewpoints exist. What I think irritates myself, and most other people, about your posts is the presentation of a stark, black-and-white reality as total fact, whereas anyone with a brain and a television and newspapers knows just how contentious all of this was, and to dismiss the opinion of the rest of the world and close to half of the American population isn’t just arrogant, it’s foolish.

I would also note that the impetus to avoid war comes from nations, unlike the United States, who have seen the effects and aftermath of war in the 20th century on their own soil. Many do not believe that war is an effective geopolitical tool, and that war should not only be the absolute last option, but that it is always the worst option.

I agree that, at some point in time, a war might have been inevitable, or at least some sort of military conflict with Hussein. But to assert that it had to happen then, in March of 2003, is firstly incorrect, and it also guaranteed that worldwide popular opinion against the US would be at a maximum making it impossible for politicians to support the US lest they face the electoral consequences at home. The result, you see, is that US troops have proved to be inadquate to successfullly occupy the country, something that might have been achieveable with the broad international support similar to the coalition formed in 1991. don’t you see that, even if the legal case is correct, that popular support is just as crucial for the successful implementation of the mission. If you believe so mightily in the removal of Saddam for the myriad reasons you’ve laid out, why not take the time to actually build a coalition so that you can be successful?

The reason, I think, was that Rumsfeld, especially, wanted and needed a unilateral invasion to demonstrate the capabilities of the US forces, the whole “shock and awe” scenario. While the US was certainly capable of overthrowing the vastly weakened Iraqi army without much of a problem, maintaining security on the ground in the face of an insurgency that might have as many as 200,000 supporters has proven to be much, much more difficult than anyone in the White House imagined.

Might French troops, German troops, or the troops from any other Arab nation have been helpful? Might we be toasting the success of the invasion today – instead of having it turn, politically, into another Vietnam as a strong majority of the American public thinks the war wasn’t worth it – had the Bush administration showed patience not with Saddam, but with getting the rest of the world on board?

What your posts demonstrate, to me, is precisely the arrogant, of-course-I’m-right attitude of the Bush administration that doesn’t do much when it comes to assembling broad support – and please contrast this with Bush 1 and Jim Baker. It’s no secret that Bush is famously incurious, famously isolated, and famously uninterested in the opinions of anyone other than his group of yes-men. I think an argument can be made to support an invasion of Iraq *if done correctly*, but I think it’s also true that this president, in particular, was uniquely unsuited for the task at hand.



more later, work permitting ...

Can you find me a qoute where Negroponte and Greenstock specifically say that an "invasion of Iraq would require the passing of UN Security Council Resolution beyond resolution 1441", and I don't mean a qoute that could be interpreted as that either.

Tony Blair had problems domestically that forced him to look into the possiblity of another resolution. It turns out he really did not need to as I believe the British parliament declared its support for the invasion a few days before it happened.

The Security Council passed a 15 to 0 vote a resolution that authorized military action to bring about compliance with UN resolutions if Saddam failed to comply. If any member did not want military force to be used against Iraq in regards to non-compliance, they had the opportunity there to veto it. No one did!

Resolution 678 does contain phrase "use of all means necessary" but what do you think the Soviets found that acceptable after they forced the United States to remove the words military force? The fact remains, resolutions 1441 is equally clear about authorizing military action as resolution 678 was. In fact, given the context in 2003, with Iraq under sanctions and weapons embargo, the term "serious consequences" is more indicative of military force than the "use of all means necessary" back in 1990.

Lets note that Saddam agreed to the UN Ceacefire agreement in 1991 which required the Saddam to verifiably disarm of all WMD. The fact that Saddam agreed to 1441 is meaningless unless he in fact verifiably disarms. Issuing the same 12,000 page report that UN Weapons Inspectors found completely unsatisfactory in 1998 is not progress in terms of disarmament. The coalition invasion of Iraq was not a unilateral invasion and was authorized by resolution 1441.



If the UN Security Council thought the invasion was "illegal", why has there been no UN resolution or attempt at one to condemn it?

Why has there been no UN resolution calling for the withdrawal of coalition troops?

Why would the UN approve an occupation brought about through an "illegal" invasion?

The UN clearly saw Saddam's invasion of Kuwait as being illegal. Notice the resolutions and actions that were taken in response to it. Everything the UN has done since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 has been the opposite of what it did in response to Saddam's invasion of Kuwait.




Many of the nations that avoid war at all cost, are the same nations that allowed Hitler to rearm and start World War II killing 5 times as many people as World War I did. Most of these nations have lived for nearly a half century without any war on their territories because the United States provided the military support and other security measures necessary to deter the Soviet Union from military action. Unfortunately, they seem to forget this as well as World War II and what caused that war. There is one country that has not forgotten what happened before and during World War II, and has experienced more war than any other country in the 20th century. The name of that country is Israel. Check out that democracies views on war, the military, national defense and World War II.


One does not have forever to remove an intolerable threat to international security. Have you ever consider the cost of waiting? With sanctions and the weapons embargo almost completely eroded, what would be the consequences of waiting? The more time passes, the more difficult the situation becomes in regards to the actual fight itself do to the greater opportunity of Saddam to prepare for the fight in a number of ways.

The United States was able to assemble a broad coalition of countries that have contributed in various ways to the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 and beyond. Lets remember that the Germans contributed no troops to the first Gulf War. The French only contributed one light armored division. Beyond American and British forces, the only serious contributions were from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt, and Syria. Egyptian and Syrian forces had to be transported by the United States to the area. None of the four arab countries forces saw heavy combat in the war and played only a symbolic role. Nearly all of the fighting was done by the American and British forces in the first Gulf War.

Remember that the number of non-US coalition force on the ground in Iraq, is greater than the number of non-US coalition forces on the ground in Afghanistan. While one can maintain that technically the Gulf War I coalition was larger than the 2003 Gulf War coalition, it would be a mistake to say that the 2003 Gulf War coalition was not a broad one. Italy, Spain, Ukraine, Poland, South Korea and Japan all contributed ground combat troops to the postwar occupation in 2003. Notice that none of these countries contributed any combat troops to the 1991 Gulf War at any point in time.

Waiting more time would not have produced a broader coalition. It would have only bought Saddam more time to make things difficult for the coalition, both during the invasion and post-war occupation.



This is my honest opinion. I'm not in the dark when it comes to how contentious these issues are. Remember this is an overwhelmingly anti-Bush forum. But the run up to the first Gulf War was even more contentious than the 2003 war. The war resolution back then only passed by a few votes in congress. There were Democrats that argued that resolution 678 did not make military action legal.
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