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Old 10-05-2002, 01:16 AM   #46
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Martha needs a spank.

Thank you-
diamond-

Come on! But ya gotta catch me first!

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Old 10-05-2002, 05:51 AM   #47
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Originally posted by martha



Come on! But ya gotta catch me first!

This I would like to see. Dave, no offense buddy, but I saw you take your lap around the heart. HEHE....I really hope that was not top speed.
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Old 10-05-2002, 06:07 AM   #48
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What would it take......

Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora


You don't care if the government is tapping your phone without your knowledge?!

He who would sacrifice his liberties for security deserves neither liberty nor security.
--Benjamin Franklin
The wiretap isssue was brought up with the words "suspected terrorist". I am not a suspected terrorist therefore I am not concerned.
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Old 10-05-2002, 07:01 AM   #49
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Originally posted by U2Bama
I do wish some here would take the chance to read it.
I did read it
it was a good article
it managed in pointing out the dangers of Sadam
the article didn't mention anything though about the real possibility of attacks leading to more hatred towards the western society in the Middle East and as a result to possible new generations of terrorists
I still think it's hard to denie that it's questionable if removing Sadam by means of war will lead to a more peacefull world
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Old 10-05-2002, 07:03 AM   #50
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Re: Re: Re: Re: What would it take......

Quote:
Originally posted by Foxxern


These two are particularly disconcerting from the Patriot Act:
  • Authorization of "roving wiretaps," so that law enforcement officials can get court orders to wiretap any phone a suspected terrorist would use.
Ok...here was the original statement. "Roving wiretaps" are used to follow the person. Having just read everything I could find on this roving wireptaps are used for law enforcement to follow the individual so that they cannot avoid the tap by switching phones, a technique used by many a criminal that was trying to avoid being tapped.

Roving wiretaps have been in place since 1996. This part is nothing new. I believe Congress Amended some of this in 1998 to protect citizens rights.

My understanding of the two areas for wiretaps are as follows:

[.] Probable Cause that target committed one of a list of serious crimes now including terrorism and computer crimes
[.] Target is a foreign agent and a significant purpose is to gather foreign intelligence

Under the Patriot Act a wiretap:

*Determined by FISA Court (50 U.S.C. 1803); Records sealed.

Allows FISA "roving" intercepts of target's wire/electronic communications regardless of the location. Court order need not specify name of library (previously had to specify parties who are required to provide assistance) Sect 207.

Wiretaps of non-US persons who are agents of a foreign power 120 days with extensions up to one year.

Attorney General reports on number of requests granted, modified and denied; in 2001, 932 requests 934 approvals.



As it read, the wiretap is Determined by a by a FISA Court. It allows roving wiretaps to phones the terrorist or suspected terrorist uses. The phones do not have to be specific and may include libraries. The legnth of surveillance is 120 days and up to a year.

The court is still there to maintain the Checks and Balances of the US Constitution. The fact that only two were deinied in 2001 does not scare me. It reinforces my belief that they are not abusing the power.


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Old 10-05-2002, 04:44 PM   #51
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What would it take......

Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


This is where we disagree. I do not think foreigners coming to this country from places and from countries which Al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations are operating deserve the rights of an American citizen. If detaining them while their background is checked and they are determined to be safe, and protects more people from dieing I am for it. If there were some evidence that this power has been abused in the past year I would fully support looking into things.

I will answer the "I'm surprised comment with a comment". I am surprised that you would place the safety of our citizens over the "rights" of someone coming into this country.
Their backgrounds should be checked before they enter the country in the first place. If, at that point, it is determined that they may pose a threat to the US, then they should be kept out. But once they legally enter the US and register as permanent residents, I do believe they should be subject to all the same laws as US citizens, barring of course rights such as voting which are specifically restricted to US citizens. All US residents (and most tourists, depending on country of origin) should be subject to the same laws as the rest of us. If a person wished to make their residence in the US, and their background has previously been given approval, I see no reason why their constitutional rights should not apply in the same way as they would to a US citizen. I am not putting their rights above those of a citizen, but I am putting them on the same level.
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Old 10-05-2002, 10:43 PM   #52
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Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: What would it take......

Quote:
Originally posted by Foxxern


Their backgrounds should be checked before they enter the country in the first place. If, at that point, it is determined that they may pose a threat to the US, then they should be kept out. But once they legally enter the US and register as permanent residents, I do believe they should be subject to all the same laws as US citizens, barring of course rights such as voting which are specifically restricted to US citizens. All US residents (and most tourists, depending on country of origin) should be subject to the same laws as the rest of us. If a person wished to make their residence in the US, and their background has previously been given approval, I see no reason why their constitutional rights should not apply in the same way as they would to a US citizen. I am not putting their rights above those of a citizen, but I am putting them on the same level.
Well, I guess we can agree to disagree. If someone is suspected of Terrorism and is in the country and not a citizen then I want the Police, FBI, and CIA to be able to do their job....protect us.
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Old 10-06-2002, 04:00 AM   #53
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Foxxern and martha : excellent points throughout the thread.

us3 - interesting article. However some points need to be noted:

1. If UN inspectors were in possession of information regarding the aflatoxin threat back in 1995 why is it that nothing was done up to date to destroy such weaponry and only now it has become a top priority to go all the way to Baghdad? Since it was not before 98 that UN inspectors were thrown out there was a three-year period during which Hussein could have been forced to do away with this weaponry, let alone actually publicising what he was up to. Why is it that Hussein was not forced to do away with such weaponry during the 95-98 period or else sanctioned for infringing specific UN regulations or was Iraq directly marched upon by UN forces? My point is that if what Mr Goldberg says is true no-one in their right senses can wait for SEVEN YEARS to undertake action. Is the whole of the UN (i.e. the whole of the International Community) lacking common sense or is this threat not as proven as it is claimed to be?

2. The author claims that there is a link between Al-Qaeda and Iraq without forwarding any reason to justify his claim other than he says so. I'm not saying that there is or that there isn't, simply I'm asking what is he bringing forward to prove his claim? Up to date such a claim has only been backed by the nebulous Rumsfeldian "Axis of Evil" charge.

3. Goldberg makes an curious claim in that the US will be more respected in the area rather than more hated because of this campaign. Using as a reference a past US operation in the area - the Gulf War - his argument becomes nonexistent. In fact it would be interesting to find out what the image of the US in the Middle East before and after the Gulf War was. To use naivete as qualifying factor as Mr Goldberg does, I think that it is "naive" to believe that US image in the Middle East after its impressive military display in the Gulf at the beginning of the 90s might have tilted to more respect rather than to more hatred. Anyway.

4. His itch about being told off for considering genocide a motive enough to remove Hussein is plainly ridiculous. When has it been a priority for a US government to intervene outside national borders because a genocide was taking place elsewhere? It would be commendable if it had been but then I suppose Mr Goldberg isn't that naive.

5. I believe that he is twisting the argument sustained by anti-war supporters to fit his own. One of the arguments opponents of invasion forward is that there is no conclusive proof regarding the real WMD potential Iraq has and therefore the real entity of the threat posed to the west. It does NOT put the stress on the "immediacy" (or rather lack of it) of the threat, since that would be, as he says, foolhardy. To conclude that this is the anti-war argument is not only a dishonest manoeuver on his part in order to be able to reinforce his point but also outright insulting since he is indirectly considering people whose opinions don't match his own to be stupid. The latter is reinforced by the lack of respect he shows for people who are anti-war by dismissing the bulk of them as "possessing limited experience in the Middle East". This is not only an arrogant statement but plainly an ignorant one.

6. Re his appraisal of the impending attack being considered in the future "an act of profound morality" - it's plainly disgusting. Wouldn't it have been more "moral" to destabilise Hussein years ago when he was found responsible of violating human rights and mass murdering his own people? Oh yeah, I forget that the west found nothing particularly wrong with his behaviour then - in fact he was no more than another third world dictator.

Quote:
Originally posted by paxetaurora
He who would sacrifice his liberties for security deserves neither liberty nor security.
--Benjamin Franklin
Great quote. Thanks for posting it paxetaurora.
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Old 10-06-2002, 04:05 AM   #54
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Originally posted by TylerDurden
Obviously the US has to use the sword, but also the pen. Its kinda like the whole plan is to kill every terrorist that pops up, but do nothing to stop them from popping up. Meanwhile actions like attacking Iraq are only going to double, triple the lines down at the old local terrorist recruitment office.
Absolutely agree.

Quote:
Afghanistan was the right move.
I beg to differ. The only positive result was the unseating of the Taleban. To reach this goal there was no need to subject an already devastated nation to such a war. The objective of this war failed since Osama bin Laden and his cronies are still alive, kicking and more than possibly operative. Curiously they seem to be no longer top priority. I wonder why.

Quote:
Iraq without the UN is a very bad move.
Agree again.

Quote:
Dealing with the reasons why there is so much hate for the US in the middle east (not necessarily by changing policy, some maybe) would be an excellent move.
It would undoubtedly be an excellent move only that I don't know how it can possibly be performed without a change in policy.

Quote:
Wealthy Western nations taking care of other regions now will save countries like the US from having to deal with, say Africa, as the next 'middle east' in 20 years time.
Undoubtedly, provided they understand the message and put it into practice. The results of the G7 summit earlier this year weren't too encouraging sadly.
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Old 10-06-2002, 10:10 AM   #55
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Originally posted by ultraviolet7



I beg to differ. The only positive result was the unseating of the Taleban. To reach this goal there was no need to subject an already devastated nation to such a war. The objective of this war failed since Osama bin Laden and his cronies are still alive, kicking and more than possibly operative. Curiously they seem to be no longer top priority. I wonder why.


I agree with everything said above. I was thinking about the Taleban during the Johnny Walker thread. THey weould still be in power if they had just worked with the US.

As for Osama, I really doubt he is alive. His cronies are though.
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Old 10-07-2002, 12:42 AM   #56
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In response to Ultraviolet7:

A couple of points in response to your post to Us3:

3. The USA was not hated more because of the US and coalition response to the Iraqi anexation of Kuwait. The USA had wide support even in the Arab world to throw Hussein out of Kuwait. Certainly there are those in the Arab world and elsewhere who were angered by this, but they represent the minority. Those that were saying Gulf War 1991 would lead to the overthrow of government throughout the middle east were proven wrong. Since the 1991 Gulf War the USA has continue to work with its allies in the region to keep a stable environment. The middle eastern countries continue to sell the west oil and the penetration of western culture into the middle east is far greater in 2002 than it was in 1991. The US was supposed to suffer hostility again for the invasion of Afghanistan. Governments being overthrown left and right. Again, this did not happen. Citizens in Iran have much more positive view of the USA than they did before the Gulf War. I'm not sure that the USA will be more hated or more respected in the region after an invasion of Iraq. I do know that since the 1991 Gulf War that the USA is not more hated in the region. Of course the smaller elements that hate the USA and are terrorist and existed before the Gulf War continued to exist after it.

The US did see problems with Hussein in the 1980s, but there was a greater threat in Iranian fundamentalism. In addition the Soviet presense in Iraq made it impossible to seriously do anything about it.

" The only positive result was unseating the Taliban". Unseating the Taliban was the first and by far the most important result of the War in Afghanistan. Nothing could be accomplished without this taking place first. I have friends that were involved in the military operations against the Taliban and what they did was no small feat and I totally commend their bravery and skill in taken down this evil government and liberating Afghanistan. Another friend of mine will be returning home from Afghaninstan in a month. His view of the situation there will be most informative.

The War itself was accomplished in a very rapid action with virtually most of the loss of life among the Taliban. There was absolutely no other way to unseat the Taliban. The loss of life, especially among civilians, was far less than any other change of power in Afghan history. The war in Afghanistan was a huge success. There is no evidence that Bin Laden is still alive. If he his, he has been totally ineffective since 9/11. Al-quada has ceaced to be a relavent organization since its disruption from the invasion of Afghanistan. How effective has Al-Quada been since 9/11? What have they succeeded in doing expect perhaps a few of them managing to stay alive. FBI and CIA and other special forces will continue to hunt for Al-Quada around the world. But those are units that are not neccessarily needed for an invasion of Iraq. The USA has an active military force of 1.4 million in addition to the intelligence services. We can take care of Iraq while hunting for Al-quada in addition to continueing security operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, South Korea, and watching the China/Tawain situation. Just because you don't read about Al-qauda in the media or hear about them from politicians does not mean their not being hunted.
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Old 10-07-2002, 07:57 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally posted by ultraviolet7
Foxxern and martha : excellent points throughout the thread.
Dang...What am I chopped liver ? HEHE

us3 - interesting article. However some points need to be noted:


Quote:
[i]Originally posted by ultraviolet7
1. If UN inspectors were in possession of information regarding the aflatoxin threat back in 1995 why is it that nothing was done up to date to destroy such weaponry and only now it has become a top priority to go all the way to Baghdad? Since it was not before 98 that UN inspectors were thrown out there was a three-year period during which Hussein could have been forced to do away with this weaponry, let alone actually publicising what he was up to. Why is it that Hussein was not forced to do away with such weaponry during the 95-98 period or else sanctioned for infringing specific UN regulations or was Iraq directly marched upon by UN forces? My point is that if what Mr Goldberg says is true no-one in their right senses can wait for SEVEN YEARS to undertake action. Is the whole of the UN (i.e. the whole of the International Community) lacking common sense or is this threat not as proven as it is claimed to be?
When I first received the article I was thinking of posting it but I did not. The reason I did not post it was that I read in some places that aflotoxin has not yet been proven to be an effective weapon on the battle field. It is a naturally occuring mold found in pistacios and other nuts. The inspectors at the time could not figure out why they had so much of this stuff. I was not able to find any other information to indicate that this was usable as a weapon.

Quote:
[i]Originally posted by ultraviolet7
2. The author claims that there is a link between Al-Qaeda and Iraq without forwarding any reason to justify his claim other than he says so. I'm not saying that there is or that there isn't, simply I'm asking what is he bringing forward to prove his claim? Up to date such a claim has only been backed by the nebulous Rumsfeldian "Axis of Evil" charge.
There has been recent evidence uncovered in the compund of Yassar Arrafat that indicated that Al-Qaeda and Hamas were being trained in Iraq in the area of Chemical Warfare. This was shown on 60 Minutes a little over a week ago.

Quote:
[i]Originally posted by ultraviolet7
3. Goldberg makes an curious claim in that the US will be more respected in the area rather than more hated because of this campaign. Using as a reference a past US operation in the area - the Gulf War - his argument becomes nonexistent. In fact it would be interesting to find out what the image of the US in the Middle East before and after the Gulf War was. To use naivete as qualifying factor as Mr Goldberg does, I think that it is "naive" to believe that US image in the Middle East after its impressive military display in the Gulf at the beginning of the 90s might have tilted to more respect rather than to more hatred. Anyway.
Interesting point. Given the amount of cooperation between the Governments in the Middle East, and the United States during the Gulf War, it would seem to me that the opinion of the United States would be more favorable. Unfortunately, the support of the government in many of those countries, does not = support of the religious leaders and the people living in them.

I would also say that this President needs to think about how his father operated in gaining the support of the UN before making his move. This to me is a major difference so far in what is developing.


Quote:
[i]Originally posted by ultraviolet7
5. I believe that he is twisting the argument sustained by anti-war supporters to fit his own. One of the arguments opponents of invasion forward is that there is no conclusive proof regarding the real WMD potential Iraq has and therefore the real entity of the threat posed to the west. It does NOT put the stress on the "immediacy" (or rather lack of it) of the threat, since that would be, as he says, foolhardy. To conclude that this is the anti-war argument is not only a dishonest manoeuver on his part in order to be able to reinforce his point but also outright insulting since he is indirectly considering people whose opinions don't match his own to be stupid. The latter is reinforced by the lack of respect he shows for people who are anti-war by dismissing the bulk of them as "possessing limited experience in the Middle East". This is not only an arrogant statement but plainly an ignorant one.
What I am finding interesting is that some Democrats are supporting this bill to give the President the power to act. They claim that the reports they are viewing indicate that Saddam further along with his WMD program than they had realized. The Bi-Partisan support seems to be going Bush's way. I would think this is an indication that things are serious indeed. The final vote will tell the story. Remember 11 Democrats in the Senate voted for Desert Storm.





Quote:
[i]Originally posted by ultraviolet7
Great quote. Thanks for posting it paxetaurora.
I agree it is an excellent quote. Mr. Franklin is one of my favorite characters in history. I do not believe it applies to the Patriot Act.

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Old 10-07-2002, 09:06 PM   #58
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what dread said,(if someone can show me how to parse a quote into sections I would throw in an additional 2cents ans. UV7), coupled with the fact that the author of the article is well qualified, as he actually went undercover into Iraqikurdistan and substantiated Iraqi-AlQaeda link, etc...and saw first hand harm done to Kurds from chemical attacks.

I believe there is a longer and more substantive essay is in the New Yorker or Sunday Times Mag. This article I posted was actually an ongoing dial. at slate.

To me the most salient point of the article is the last 3 paragraphs, and gives support to titled thread...

"Israel's sneak attack on a French-built nuclear reactor near Baghdad was an act of inexcusable and short-sighted aggression," the editorial states. "Even assuming that Iraq was hellbent to divert enriched uranium for the manufacture of nuclear weapons, it would have been working toward a capacity that Israel itself acquired long ago."

Israel absorbed the world's hatred and scorn for its attack on the Osirak reactor in 1981. Today, it is accepted as fact by most arms-control experts that, had Israel not destroyed Osirak, Saddam Hussein's Iraq would have been a nuclear power by 1990, when his forces pillaged their way across Kuwait.

The administration is planning today to launch what many people would undoubtedly call a short-sighted and inexcusable act of aggression. In five years, however, I believe that the coming invasion of Iraq will be remembered as an act of profound morality.
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:42 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dreadsox


Dang...What am I chopped liver ? HEHE
Nope, not yet! I'm gonna turn ya into chopped liver if you continue to disagree with martha, Foxxern and me!! (runs after Dreadsox with a chopping knife)

Quote:
When I first received the article I was thinking of posting it but I did not. The reason I did not post it was that I read in some places that aflotoxin has not yet been proven to be an effective weapon on the battle field. It is a naturally occuring mold found in pistacios and other nuts. The inspectors at the time could not figure out why they had so much of this stuff. I was not able to find any other information to indicate that this was usable as a weapon.
I wasn't either. Anyway my comment arose from what the article claimed to be a definite threat as reported from a UN inspector.

Quote:
There has been recent evidence uncovered in the compund of Yassar Arrafat that indicated that Al-Qaeda and Hamas were being trained in Iraq in the area of Chemical Warfare. This was shown on 60 Minutes a little over a week ago.
It's strange since I haven't read anything about this even in the last few days. In fact it was publicised that the US government was making such a claim, but could come up with no evidence to back it. Anyway if you say that it was reported that evidence regarding the Iraq-terrorist networks link was unearthed, and the source who provided the information is trustworthy there's nothing to say.

Quote:
Interesting point. Given the amount of cooperation between the Governments in the Middle East, and the United States during the Gulf War, it would seem to me that the opinion of the United States would be more favorable. Unfortunately, the support of the government in many of those countries, does not = support of the religious leaders and the people living in them.
Exactly. It does not equal people's feelings because the said governments don't normally act in their own population's interests but rather favour external ones mainly because most of them are dictatorial or democratic puppet rules. The religious leaders are another matter entirely - esp Islamic fundamentalists who see western penetration as contradictory to their principles. They also cash on the fact that pro-western governments or those not so evidently so but still open to co-operation with the west are not acting in the people's best interest, to inflame locals with the notion that the west is guilty of all their problems, not to mention that it is an "enemy of Islam" since it has deployed troops in places considered holy by the Muslims, it supports Israel in detriment of "our Palestinian brothers", etc.

Quote:
I agree it is an excellent quote. Mr. Franklin is one of my favorite characters in history. I do not believe it applies to the Patriot Act.
Well this one is for discussion but I can't give a final opinion since I don't live in the US. There's no denial however that there's been an outcry in most of the western world regarding the curtailing of basic freedoms secured by democratic systems, in particular in the US. The extent of this I can't judge but I see that even among US citizens there's not a consensus regarding how real this situation is. However a few months ago I came across a couple of articles - one (an AP report) regarding Internet monitoring practices originated in the US under the excuse of "increased security" and another one, an interview performed by the prestigious French paper Le Monde to Mary Robinson former Republic of Ireland President and present appointee to the UN as High Commissioner for Human Rights, in which she reported serious breaches to democratic and human rights derived from policies recently implemented both in the US and some European countries as a result of the 9/11 attacks. Regretfully I could not come up with an English version of the article (only available in French or Spanish) but I did summarise the main concepts when I posted it on another U2 forum (Zootopia). If you are interested I can provide the links to both that post and the original Le Monde article.
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Old 10-08-2002, 03:51 PM   #60
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In response to Sting2

Quote:
Originally posted by STING2
A couple of points in response to your post to Us3:

3. The USA was not hated more because of the US and coalition response to the Iraqi anexation of Kuwait. The USA had wide support even in the Arab world to throw Hussein out of Kuwait. Certainly there are those in the Arab world and elsewhere who were angered by this, but they represent the minority. Those that were saying Gulf War 1991 would lead to the overthrow of government throughout the middle east were proven wrong. Since the 1991 Gulf War the USA has continue to work with its allies in the region to keep a stable environment. The middle eastern countries continue to sell the west oil and the penetration of western culture into the middle east is far greater in 2002 than it was in 1991. The US was supposed to suffer hostility again for the invasion of Afghanistan. Governments being overthrown left and right. Again, this did not happen. Citizens in Iran have much more positive view of the USA than they did before the Gulf War. I'm not sure that the USA will be more hated or more respected in the region after an invasion of Iraq. I do know that since the 1991 Gulf War that the USA is not more hated in the region. Of course the smaller elements that hate the USA and are terrorist and existed before the Gulf War continued to exist after it.
There's no doubt that the US had wide support even in the Arab world to throw out Hussein from Kuwait, but as I've already stated in agreement with Dreadsox in my reply to him(?), such willingness to co-operate was basically at government level but not certainly at popular one. This stems from the fact that many of the Middle East governments while either allegedly pro-west or open to co-operate with the west are at the same time unpopular, since they do not operate most of the time in their own people's interests. This makes people resent the west since they feel their governments are serving foreign interests in detriment to theirs. Musharraf's regime or Saudi Arabia's are clear examples. Those who were angered do not represent a minority but rather a majority, only that they are a powerless majority as opposed to the powerful minority who backed the US in the Gulf. A great part of that majority is absolutely convinced that the west is to blame for their problems and as I've already said fundamentalists take advantage of this situation to inflame people further by saying that the west is an "evil force" which in addition does not respect Muslim holy places, helps Israel against the Palestinians, etc. The penetration of western culture is undoubtedly larger now than it was 10 years ago, but that which may seem positive from our western point of view is not seen as such by a large part of the Muslim world who instead view it as an uncalled for intrusion in their culture, especially the portion of the Muslim world who because of their lack of education and the fact that they are victims of oppressive policies their pro-west governments apply on them are the easiest prey for Islamic fundamentalists. Re the US being supposed to suffer hostility for its intervention in Afghanistan, this is too recent an event to definitely assert that they aren't going to. I fervently hope that you don't suffer such hostility, but I still guess it's too early to say. While Afghan women and people in general brutalised by the Taleban aren't certainly going to be hostile to the US for their removal, there have been huge movements in Pakistan and other places repudiating such action and supporting Al-Qaeda. Regarding the citizens of Iran, it's more than obvious that they would have a more positive view of the US after the Gulf War since they succeeded in defeating their lifelong enemy.

Quote:
The US did see problems with Hussein in the 1980s, but there was a greater threat in Iranian fundamentalism. In addition the Soviet presense in Iraq made it impossible to seriously do anything about it.
I understand Iran was a priority in US concern back in the early 80s. However the Soviet presence, even more conspicuous in the form of direct invasion rather than of armament supply, wasn't deemed to be an obstacle for the US to do something about Afghanistan at approximately the same time. It's more likely an explanation that at the very beginning of the Iran-Iraq conflict Iraq was seen as an useful tool to keep the Iranians in line.

Quote:
The War itself was accomplished in a very rapid action with virtually most of the loss of life among the Taliban. There was absolutely no other way to unseat the Taliban. The loss of life, especially among civilians, was far less than any other change of power in Afghan history. The war in Afghanistan was a huge success. There is no evidence that Bin Laden is still alive. If he his, he has been totally ineffective since 9/11. Al-quada has ceaced to be a relavent organization since its disruption from the invasion of Afghanistan. How effective has Al-Quada been since 9/11? What have they succeeded in doing expect perhaps a few of them managing to stay alive. FBI and CIA and other special forces will continue to hunt for Al-Quada around the world. But those are units that are not neccessarily needed for an invasion of Iraq. The USA has an active military force of 1.4 million in addition to the intelligence services. We can take care of Iraq while hunting for Al-quada in addition to continueing security operations in Bosnia, Kosovo, South Korea, and watching the China/Tawain situation. Just because you don't read about Al-qauda in the media or hear about them from politicians does not mean their not being hunted.
While immediate death from actual bombing was not excessively high among the civilian population, there have been reports by the FAO and by independent aid agencies such as Oxfam, that bombings actually cut thousands of Afghan peasants off food supplies as a result of the pulling out of aid organisations beacuse of the lack of safety which meant the suspension of programmes currently undergoing, actual roads being cut so that whatever supplies could have reached them didn't and more important of all that 80% of grain crops were ruined by the bombings. Besides this there have been reports regarding the use of cluster bombs which is said to have increased the risk of people being blown off even after the actual cease-fire, as the unexploded bomblets actually become landmines which go on to swell the number already present from the Soviet era. The reports go on to say that children are more at risk since the bomblets are colourful and prone to attract a child's attention, not to mention that they could be easily mistaken for US air-dropped food packages since they were similar in colour. The toll on civilian life is according to these reports much higher than what it's officially acknowledged, since the victims of starvation or of these landmines aren't being taken into consideration.

There was absolutely no way of unseating the Taleban? Scores of times regimes have been toppled without the need of a war. Why was it impossible to avoid the war this time?

There's no evidence that bin Laden is alive in the same way that there's no evidence that he's dead either. The fact that Al-Qaeda has not perpetrated any more attacks since 9/11 doesn't constitute enough proof that it has been done away with or is unoperative. The fact that nothing is heard on the press about hunting for Al-Qaeda members and bin Laden himself means that it's either not a priority any longer or that no noticeable progress has been made in such a hunt.
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