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Old 01-30-2003, 04:41 PM   #16
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Fizzing,

"How do you know how many people would die "in the longterm?" "

"How do you know it'll only be a three week war?"

"The aim of the war according to you would be regime change, and yet if Saddam doesn't lose power immediately, for example through a coup by opposition within Iraq, then the only way to take him out of power would be through on-the-ground fighting, which is likely to take place in Baghdad, and is surely likely to kill many innocent civilians."

Well to answer the first question in regards to the longterm, you have to look at the number of Iraqi civilians that die on annual basis because of Saddam Husseins rule. Then you have to look at the sanctions which are eroding every day not to the point that Saddam can smuggle 4 Billion dollars worth of goods every year. Saddam will eventually be able to rearm and go to war against countries in the reason. With greater WMD capability which he would target CIVILIANS with, the cost of that future conflict must be added to the number of Iraqi's that are dying every year from Saddam's rule.

Saddam's actions and rule have resulted in the deaths of 1.7 million Iraqi's, Iranian, Kuwaiti, UN coalition, soldiers and civilians. Iraqi's continue to die and suffer under Saddam every day adding to this number. Based on this and the possibility of a future conflict several years down the road, if Saddam is not disarmed, its easy to see that more lives will be lost in the longterm than in a 3 week war that does not target civilians.

The war will only last 3 weeks, because Iraq's conventional military does not have the capability to sustain itself at that level of conflict any longer than that. The Iraqi military is no match for US forces as proven by the first gulf war. I can go into specific GROUND engagements from 1991 to make that point if you would like.

This does not mean I think the war will be a "cakewalk". Fighting in the cities will be difficult when it occurs, but no fighting force can sustain itself indefinitely without secure continous logistical support, communications and information. The Iraqi military will lose these things rapidly once a military conflict begins.
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Old 01-30-2003, 08:47 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem
I suspect the supporters of the war, from here at Interference, will feel the same as those who oppose it in regard to the loss of life.
I'd hate to think there is a 'means to an end' mentality by those people. Perhaps there exists a kind of conflict among them where they are also fearful for the potential loss and the belief that the war, not the losses, has a purpose and a valid cause?

Collateral damage is a dreadful term.
The morality of the "means" and the morality of the "ends" should both be considered.

The inevitable loss of life due to war, both Iraqi and American, is terrible. But so are the consequences if we allow Saddam to remain in power, imho.

I do not see why emoting further about one side of the equation and not the other will lead to a more intelligent conclusion.
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Old 01-30-2003, 08:51 PM   #18
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Loss of life on both sides is terrible, however we will be bombing their cities full of innocent civilians, while ours will be soldiers.

Soldier's lives are as important, but they won't be sitting down to dinner and have their home blown up, very much like the workers in the WTC must have felt. They are trained and prepared for their role.
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Old 01-30-2003, 09:24 PM   #19
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Originally posted by Scarletwine
Loss of life on both sides is terrible, however we will be bombing their cities full of innocent civilians, while ours will be soldiers.

Soldier's lives are as important, but they won't be sitting down to dinner and have their home blown up, very much like the workers in the WTC must have felt. They are trained and prepared for their role.
I believe we are talking about different issues here.

I don't quite see the point in comparing our casualties vs. Iraqi civilian casualties. Just about all loss of life in this war will be tragic (even the lives of Iraqi soldiers--I'll bet that there are a large number of them who really want no part of Saddam's reign of terror but remain in their posts for fear of reprisal.)

Again, I think the main issue is the following: is the result of a war better than the result of not fighting a war?

I think that the result of a war will be a loss of American and Iraqi life, general disruption to Iraq's economy and health in the short-term, but with very real prospects for a bright future. I think that once Iraq's oil sales are used for rebuilding the country, and not for weapons programs and extravagant palaces, the country will recover quite well.

On the other hand, I think that the result of not waging a war will be Saddam's continued torture and murder of Iraqi dissidents, his continued mismanagement of the country's economy and general health, and his continued pursuit of terrible weapons.

Therefore, I must conclude that the result of a war is better than the result of (not war).
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Old 02-02-2003, 05:02 PM   #20
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it seems that even if there were "dirty" bombs or whatever dropped on refugee camps, the people are still walking around, aren't they? it's like zombie zoo there. but here in Ca, we're having a grand auction where anyone can buy the buildings that house our long lost society. check it out, if you have the right satellite feed, there is a train in Santa Cruz up for sale, along with a Hotel in Reno. seems they're up for grabs, so to speak.

who' s got the bucks, or would you rather sit and chomp on your doritos?
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:27 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
Saddam's actions and rule have resulted in the deaths of 1.7 million Iraqi's, Iranian, Kuwaiti, UN coalition, soldiers and civilians. Iraqi's continue to die and suffer under Saddam every day adding to this number. Based on this and the possibility of a future conflict several years down the road, if Saddam is not disarmed, its easy to see that more lives will be lost in the longterm than in a 3 week war that does not target civilians.


Firstly - it's not solely Saddam's actions which have been responsible for those deaths. UNICEF states that over half a million children have died because of sanctions, because those sanctions have prevented them from getting adequate food or healthcare supplies.

Secondly, you say the conflict won't target civilians. During the last Gulf War depleted uranium weapons were used. These don't have to be aimed at civilians to have a devastating impat on them. Ten years later thousands of Iraqi citizens are dying from leukaemia and cancer because of the depleted uranium. You talk about the long-term impact of Saddam's rule and yet depleted uranium has a half-life of several thousand years, it will continue to devastate people's lives long after Saddam is gone.



Quote:
The war will only last 3 weeks, because Iraq's conventional military does not have the capability to sustain itself at that level of conflict any longer than that. The Iraqi military is no match for US forces as proven by the first gulf war. I can go into specific GROUND engagements from 1991 to make that point if you would like.


Once again, I don't see where your evidence is from. The US might be planning for a 3 week war but that doesn't mean it's guaranteed. I'm not saying the US won't win this war - of course it will - the US has a military larger than the next fifteen countries, it can win any conflict it wants. It's just that I'm not convinced that it can do so without killing thousands of innocent people.
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Old 02-03-2003, 07:25 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees


Firstly - it's not solely Saddam's actions which have been responsible for those deaths. UNICEF states that over half a million children have died because of sanctions, because those sanctions have prevented them from getting adequate food or healthcare supplies. [/B]
Hi Fizz, good to see you posting!

I have to disagree with you here on your numbers. I would also submit that it is trajic and that sanctions have "contributed" but they are not the sole cause.

Bagdhad controls the surveys that international groups conduct in their country. they do not allow UNICEF full access to their country. They do allow access to areas where the suffering is greater. One reason I believe UNICEF's numbers are incorrect is that After the UN instated the OIL for Food Program, the number of dying increased by 2,000 a month in 1999. This makes no sense. Humanitarian relief was going into the country.

There is ample evidence of preexhisting poverty, malnutrition, and a lack of proper medical care long before the Gulf War. This study was conducted in 1987 after the Iran Iraq War by Tufts University. The condition of the state of Iraq was kept very quiet by Saddam, for political reasons. Two of which, fear that the outside world thing he is weak, and for fear that his own people would rise against him.

The Iraqi infrastructure was badly damaged in the Iran Iraq War. Then with the invasion of Kuwaitt, Saddam used schools and hospitals in Iraq to store looted materials from Kuwaitt. "HE" destroyed his own hospitals. It is estimated that after the Gulf War Iraq needed $126 Billion Dollars to rebuild.

In actuality, the problems intially did not come as a result of food as wheat output increased from the Gulf War End to 1995 by 50%. The problem was their water suppies and sanitation systems were failing. They cannibalized and fixed things as best they could, but eventually they failed. The main reason of suffering in Iraq, has been disease.

THeir economy failed after The Iran/Iraq War. This added to the suffering, and this was one of the reasons Saddam invaded Kuwaitt. He needed access to the oil to turn his economy around as the price of oil was falling due to increased output by Kuwaitt and Saudi Arabia. By the end of the Gulf War, the sanctions and oil embargo further damaged the iraqi economy.

This did not change what Saddam did with the money coming into his country. Defence spending 5 Billion a year to 2 Billion a year in 1999. 2.5 Billion a year to build 50 monuments to honor Saddam. Wow, he cares about his people. Let's blame the sanctions!!!!!

Saddam has continuously distrubuted humanitarian aid, not where it was most needed. He has given it to the areas of the country where people are loyal to him. Entire groups of people have been DENIED basic human needs by "SADDAM" while other groups have been kept fat and happy. In some cases, HOSPITALS have been closed in areas where people are not supportive of Saddam and the equiptment moved to cities where Saddam has recieved the most support.

The United Nations reported that TIKRIT, SAMARA, and Bagdhad are privelaged cities. Member sof the Military and the Ba'ath party also benefit.

Since the GULF WAR:

*Saddams wealth has increased to $6 Billion a year.
*He has built 50 new palaces.
*Used pumping equiptment to build lavish waterfalls and fountains while there are areas of the country without water.
*UNSCOM inspectors found stores of medicines in wharehouses being kept from the public.


Since 1999, the Oil for food program has in fact reduced child mortality rate to below the numbers Before the GULF WAR.

However:

*Medicine that Iraq gets is being put into wharehouses and not distributed. Estimates in 1999 are that only 48% of the medicine the United Nations has forced Iraq to buy make it to the people.
*Baby Formula is smuggled out of the country at a profit.

The numbers of people who have died since the Gulf War cannot be known for sure.

Iraq claims to have increased from 1987-1997 from 16.5 to 22 million. This is an incredibly high growth rate. Not very believable numbers.

Columbia University professor Richard Garfield did his own estimates. His methodology is the current method that most organizations use to calculate such things today. His own estimates are that 130,000 to 150,000 children have died. The total over the same time period by his estimates are theat 200, 000 - 225,000 people have died.

If you want to blame the sanctions you can. The sanctions were designed with the mistaken belief that Saddam would have been removed from power by now and the sanctions lifted. I blame the fact that this man has used the sanctions to help those who are friendly to him and hurt those that have opposed him.

I would like to point out......totall Iraqi military casualties 30,000 in the Gulf War. 5,000 Civilian casualities. I have used the high end estimates for these numbers.

I believe that 35,000 casualties in a WAR are much more humane than watching 225,000 Casulaties due to this man's continuous oppression of his people.



Peace

PS. I have taken these numbers from pg. 125-139 of "THE THREATENING STORM" by Kenneth Pollack. I cannot post a link in case my integrity is questioned.
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Old 02-03-2003, 01:36 PM   #23
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Dreadsox,

That's a pretty detailed reply I don't doubt that Saddam has done many of the horrible things you listed, such as diverting aid to people who support him and away from his opponents or destroying hospitals. When I said in my original post that Saddam wasn't the only factor in the deaths of thousands of Iraqi people, I didn't mean to defent Saddam at all: I think he's possibly one of the most evil people in the world and I'd absolutely support him being removed from power, I just don't support that being done by military force.

However, I still believe the figure suggested by UNICEF of 500,000 Iraqi people killed since 1991 to be accurate. Simply because UNICEF, along with other UN institutions such as UNHCR have been in the country working to try to help the Iraqi people and have seen first-hand the suffering there. I've seen interviews with doctors who say that patients suffering from severe illnesses suffer horribly because they can't even get pain medication because the sanctions prohibit it. I've seen pictures of children with terrible birth defects caused by depleted uranium weapons. I can't just disregard that evidence.

Aid agencies working in the country have said time and time again that sanctions make their work immeasurably more difficult. For instance, Iraq isn't allowed to import refrigerated trucks as these are classified as "dual usage" items, that is they could in theory be used for a military purpose. This makes it impossible to transport some items, such as medicines from Baghdad to other parts of the country as they require refrigeration.

I realise that sanctions were intended to weaken Saddam's power. However, it's clear that they haven't worked. In fact they've weakened the ordinary people of Iraq and made it even less likely that an opposition movement could ever develop. If it's true that Saddam has chemical or biological weapons then the sanctions have clearly been an absolute failure, but they have caused untold suffering to the people of Iraq.

Also, I've always heard higher figures than the 30,000 people killed in the Gulf War. However, even accepting that figure, it doesn't take account of the people who have died due to the continuing effects of the Gulf War. Wars don't just kill people while they're going on - they disrupt a country's food supplies and water supplies, they disrupt its healthcare and sanitation provisions, they destroy its homes and schools and hospitals. All of those things continue to hurt and kill people long after the war has ended. And, in the case of Iraq, the use of depleted uranium weapons continues to cause thousands of people in Iraq to suffer from illnesses such as cancer and leukaemia.


*Fizz
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Old 02-03-2003, 02:22 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by FizzingWhizzbees
Also, I've always heard higher figures than the 30,000 people killed in the Gulf War. However, even accepting that figure, it doesn't take account of the people who have died due to the continuing effects of the Gulf War. Wars don't just kill people while they're going on - they disrupt a country's food supplies and water supplies, they disrupt its healthcare and sanitation provisions, they destroy its homes and schools and hospitals. All of those things continue to hurt and kill people long after the war has ended. And, in the case of Iraq, the use of depleted uranium weapons continues to cause thousands of people in Iraq to suffer from illnesses such as cancer and leukaemia.

OK, you blame the sanctions for 500,000 deaths. I disagree that there are that many deaths. The evidence clearly demonstrates that Iraq has maintained a consistent population growth for the past 30 years. This is using IRAQI nreported population growth numbers. The deaths, starvation, and disease, were in place at the time of the Gulf War and long prior. I would also argue again, that UNICEF and other organizations have only been given access to areas in which Saddam allows them. If they are only allowed to go to the worse case places, their ESTIMATES (and that is what they are) are going to be inflated.

How can you blame sanctions for the decimation of his sanitation systems when he has built 50 palaces with elaborate water falls and fountains? He has the money, and the supplies to alleviate the suffering of his people.

How can you blame the sanctions, when he has stores of medical supplies and equiptment according the the UN, that are not being given to the people? How can you blame the sanctions when he has closed hospitals, and moved the equiptment to cities in which he has support?

His choices HAVE increased the suffering. The sanctions have failed to weaken his power. You are 100% correct. This is why continuing to pretend that the policy of caintainment is working is so foolish. It is a failure as a policy.

Your numbers actually stregnthen the case for war. If 35,000 died in the war and 500,000 have died under sanctions, then all the more reason to forcibly remove him from power. I am willing to go with your numbers if you like. It proves my point even more.
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Old 02-03-2003, 05:46 PM   #25
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Fizzing,

Iraq is a POLICE STATE and it is impossible for any UN organization to get reliable accurate numbers on the public health situation in Iraq. The doctors and other organizations are only allowed to see what Saddam once them to see. Saddam is willing to starve and kill as many people as he can in a certain area of the country and then bring in UNICEF to report to the world that the sanctions are killing an absurd number of people in Iraq. Saddam can create and fabricate any situation to create the illision he wants the rest of the world to see. That is the power one has in a Police State.

From 1991 to around 1995, Saddam refused humanitarian assistence under the United Nations oil for food plan. From 1996 he has used it, but Saddam controls the distribution of all humanitarian aid in Iraq. He can give aid to one part of the country while deny it to the other.

Iraq has built a full sized nuclear weapon but was missing fissionable material. Iraq has the capability to build and develop WMD componants. Iraq does not need to import refrigerated trucks. They have plenty of them working for their Biological and Chemical weapons programs. In addition, Iraq does have access to medicines but these often end up for resell in Jordon.

Sanctions today largely do not exist. Iraq can import basically anything it needs, and if it is blocked by UN sanctions it can easily be smuggled in. The value of all goods smuggled into Iraq last year was 4 Billion dollars! If Saddam wants to order spark plugs or other parts for his 700 T-72 tanks, he can despite the fact sanctions prohibit it. The only thing Saddam has not been able to get yet, are large items like a whole tank across the border. But it won't be long before this won't be a problem either considering how fast Containment is crumbling.

There is no confirmed evidence that Depleted Uranium has caused any ill side effects. The USA has used Depleted Uranium in its shells and rounds in Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, and Somalia. Many may take suffering people and blame the cause on depleted uranium but there is no conclusive evidence that depleted uranium is at fault. Depleted Uranium was more extensively used in Kuwait than Iraq yet all the suffering is in area's of Iraq that Saddam controls. The USA will be using Depleted uranium in Iraq if there is a war just has it did in Kosovo back in 1999. Every day in Aberdeen Maryland, Soldiers and Scientist are engaged in ballistic tests using new rounds with depleted uranium against armor that has depleted uranium woven into the mesh. Soldiers work and train with Depleted Uranium Shells and Armor all the time. Workers who build tanks in Detroit and other places work closely with Depleted Uranium as well. Yet all the health effects that it is alleged to cause come out of Saddam controlled Iraq. I think you get the picture. In 1988 when Depleted Armor was invented and introduced into the mesh on US tanks, the amount of radiation workers and soldiers would be exposed to was said to be less than what you recieve from watching TV.

The evidence shows that Saddam has the money and the technology to prevent nearly all the suffering the takes place in Iraq, which is an unknown figure. In addition the United Nations sanctions allows Saddam to buy plenty of humanitarian supplies. The small number of unique small items that may be banned by the United Nations can easily be produced by Saddam or smuggled in. At this point in 2003, the only thing not getting into Iraq are large items like Tanks, Artillery, and military aircraft. It won't be long before those items will get into Iraq, as containment crumbles, and Russia, China, and France compete with each other to sell new conventional weapons to Iraq as they did in the 1970s and 1980s.

As for a 3 week war in Iraq, I have seen this figure from military analyst and retired military personal that have discussed the very issue. In addition, what happened in the 1991 Gulf War is public record. Iraq's elite troops, the Republican Guards lost 3 and half of their 8 divisions in the Gulf War. Those 3 and half divisions were destroyed within hours after they were engaged by US ground forces. Another 2 and half divisions would have been destroyed in the next 48 hours after the ceacefire was called for after just 100 hours. I can go into more detail if you would like to hear of the ground battles of 73 Easting, Medinah Ridge or the Kuwait International Airport.

Fighting any war where the tempo of operations is fast and the number of troops involved at any one time is in the hundreds of thousand is an enormous supply and logistical task. Soldiers at any point anywhere do not have unlimited ammunition, fuel, and food, spare parts and other important equipment. Without daily and sometimes hourly resupply, military units cannot function. Without a large unbroken, logistical and resupply chain, no military force can sustain itself for very long.

The combination of being engaged by qualitative superior military forces on a mass scale with no way to protect or defend its logistical supply base which is not large to begin with, will lead to the rapid collapse of Iraqi forces. War is always unpredictable, but what evidence there is suggest this war will not be longer than 3 weeks. The sooner its over, the smaller the loss of life will be.
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Old 02-03-2003, 05:49 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox
*Saddams wealth has increased to $6 Billion a year.
This would mean that Saddam is one of the wealthiest men in the world, surpassing even Bill Gates, at over $60 billion, not counting what he had before the Gulf War.

Does this make sense? Just wondering...

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Old 02-03-2003, 06:06 PM   #27
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Easily since Iraq is a dicatorship and everything that is produced in Iraq or goes into Iraq is essentially under Saddam's control. Most governments around the world are wealthier than Bill Gates. Because Iraq is controled by Saddam, it makes perfect sense that he is wealthier than Mr. Gates as long as Mr. Gates himself is not wealthier than Iraq.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:13 PM   #28
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Ahhh. The difference between wealth and liquidity.
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Old 02-03-2003, 06:22 PM   #29
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Quote:
Originally posted by melon


This would mean that Saddam is one of the wealthiest men in the world, surpassing even Bill Gates, at over $60 billion, not counting what he had before the Gulf War.

Does this make sense? Just wondering...

Melon
I stand corrected...the "a year" should not have been there. Forbes magazine estimated his personal wealth to be 6 Billion.

My humble apologies.

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