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Old 12-09-2007, 08:21 PM   #136
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Originally posted by Strongbow
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In terms of US Security, what the UN thinks or feels is really moot. The United States is not going to compromise its security or the security of its allies for the sake of an international organization.

but this is exactly the point. the US tried to go through the UN. the UN disagreed. and the US went ahead and tried to enforce what was a UN resolution against Iraq on its own. thus, the whole idea of Saddam needing to prove "compliance" with the requirements to verifiably disarm is something he had to do in the eyes of the UN, and not the US.

and as we know now, Iraqi non-existent WMDs posed no threat to the US, and regional stability has worsened since the removal of Saddam.

it's not that there wasn't ever a case to be made for the removal of Saddam Hussein. rather, the way in which this administration went about fabricating a case has come back and bitten it in the ass, and in hindsight, it has been quite well demonstrated that this administration lacks the competence to have implemented *any* policy of regime change. what Americans object to and why the war is unpopular is because of the incompetence of this administration, as well as the fact that we were led into an unnecessary war on deliberately fabricated, utterly false pretenses.

Saddam did not pose a threat to Manhattan. he did not pose a threat to DC. he did not pose a threat to London, Berlin, Paris, or Moscow.







[q]As to this silly idea that Saddam posed no threat to the United States or the region, here is what Bill Clinton had to say about the issue in 1998:[/q]

there are lots of threats in the world. we do not go around removing every one we wish. what we do, and what the "preemption doctrine" was designed to do, was to give the president the authority to preemptively strike against countries that posed IMMINENT threats to the US or it's allies.

there was no IMMINENT threat. ever.

there was no case for war, the case that was made was a fabrication, and the stupidity of the action -- the unleashing of a still brewing Civil War, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, greater regional instability, hatred of the US across the globe, and the birth of another generation of jihadists -- has made itself abundently clear over the past 4 years, and the stupidity of the action itself is matched only by the incompetence of the administration that fabricated and then implimented this policy without even a thought as to the post-war occupation.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:26 PM   #137
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The 2006 elections have proven to be largely irrelevant, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Bush had already decided to part ways with Rumsfeld before the election, and his replacement has helped to enact policies that are even more unpopular with the new Democratic majority in congress than Rumsfelds were, with the Surge of US troops in Iraq involving 15 month tours of duty in Iraq instead of 12. The new Democratic majority were going to withdraw ALL US combat troops from Iraq by the start of March 2008. Instead with 75 days to go before that date, not only are most US combat troops not out of Iraq, but their numbers are in fact 30% to 40% higher than they were when the new Democratic majority took office. Every single Democratic effort to change US policy in Iraq has failed. If the Bush administration thought it was necessary to strike Iran, they could, and there is nothing the Democrats could do about it as proven by Iraq policy.

Its not as though Colin Powell, the Secretary of State prior to Rice, was against diplomacy and sanctions when dealing with Iran. There has been perfect continuity between their time at that particular post.

Its actually been reported that Rumsfeld was never even asked about his opinion in regards to military action in Iraq, so his influence on overall Bush administration policy seems to be a bit overblown. Colin Powell was probably the most influential member in the administration early on and was actually more influential than Cheney in regards to Iraq policy, getting the Bush administration to go back through the United Nations before going to war, while Cheney had felt that was totally unnecessary. Rice as Bush's National Security Advisor was obviously very influential back then as well. The fact is, there is debate but little serious conflict among the members of Bush's cabinet.

In addition, lets not forget that voter turnout in the 2006 election was 40% less than it was for the 2004 election, so the Democrats retaking congress may be more the result of an active, angry and energized minority base, rather than resulting from true increase in broad based support among the general public.


hi STING.

sorry, you're wrong.

the war is wildly unpopular due to incompetence and the fabrication of an "imminent" threat to US security.

Bush has tempered his approach with the much more moderate Gates because he had to fire Rumsfeld after the election -- it would have been far more politically smart to have fired him before the election, so you have no point.

Democrats have been unable to stop the war -- which is why their approval rating is so low, because the vast majority of the country wants out of Iraq -- but they have been able to shift it's course and they have been able to preven the administration from fabricating yet another crisis in regards to Tehran.

your grasp of politics in regards to what Congress can and can't do in regards to the creation of a war policy is so shallow that it's really not worth my time and effort to explain them to you here. and your understanding of the Bush cabinet is laughable as well. i don't even know where to begin, so i'll just let your own posts speak for themselves.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:28 PM   #138
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No one speech, just many references in various ones over the months. And while he never came straight out and said, "I want us to invade Iran", his language sure let us know that was what the administration wanted to do.



Yeah, Iran and Israel aren't buddy-buddy-name me one area in that part of the world that is. But that doesn't make our reference to WW3 any better, especially since I believe Bush was using that phrase mainly as a means to try and frighten us into supporting the idea. Which is something this administration's been very good at doing during its entire time in office.

Besides that, we have nuclear weapons, too. Many, many countries have them. So why we're targeting Iran specifically for this, I'm not sure. If we want Iran to refrain from having nuclear weapons, we need to disarm ourselves, too, as does everyone else.



It may be talking points with some, but with others, I think their response to Bush's plans are valid and worth stating.



I don't know exact specific lines from speeches, I don't have time to read up on every one. I just know that Obama, at least, has been pushing more for diplomatic means to dealing with Iran-I've seen him talk about such things in the stuff I've watched with him, I've yet to hear him state any mention of using military force to deal with Iran. And I hear on the news about how Hilary's critique of Iran, calling one aspect of it a terrorist organization, makes her a target of criticism for Edwards and Obama, which tells me that they disagree with her on that issue.



Now that I have heard, and that disappoints me, as I think we need to be gone from there way, WAY sooner than that.

(I would think that'd be an argument for their being opposed to military action in Iran, too, by the way-if they find it likely troops will still be in Iraq that many years down the line, then that means we won't have enough troops to send into Iran, so I highly doubt they're looking at joining Bush on the push for an Iran conflict anytime soon)



I will refer you to Irvine's answer here, as he explained it much better than I would've been able to .

And I guess that's another thing, too-if we know Iran would respond to an attack, why bother starting one in the first place? I don't want them to respond, just as I don't want them to start anything, either.

Angela
You can read almost anything you want to when it comes to language. Did Jimmy's Carters statement that he was willing to use Nuclear Weapons to defend the Persian Gulf after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 mean that Jimmy Carter wanted to nuke the Soviet Union? Did Reagans comments during his administration mean he wanted to Nuke the Soviet Union? There were certainly politicians back then that attempted to make that arguement, but there was really no basis for it.

The vast majority of countries in the world do not have Nuclear Weapons and most countries are not active sponsers of terrorist organizations like Iran is, so the concern over Iran's movement towards a nuclear weapon is warrented and countries like China, the Soviet Union, Germany, France, the United States and the United Kingdom all agree on that point.

I've not seen where Obama has ruled out using military force against Iran, and he even wrote a speech a while back that got the support of some people in the Neo-Conservative community. In addition, while Hillary voted to name the Iran's Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist organization, Obama while he did not vote for the measure, did not vote against it either.

The Iraq conflict occupy's much of the US military's active US Army and US Marine Corp, but the US Navy and US Air Force have more than enough assets to strike Iran and a few other places as well, given that Iraq is now overwhelmingly a ground operation. In addition, the US Guard and Reserve is not fully mobilized and could be if there was a war with Iran. So it is not necessarily so, that the Bush administration or the next administration has no military options while the United States is involved in Iraq.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:33 PM   #139
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the reason why Reagan may have rattled some sabers in the direction of the USSR but no one ever actually believed he'd attack/invade is because of the fact of mutual assured destruction. both the US and the USSR had thousands of missiles, so a war between the two would have meant the end of the world (or at least 50m dead on both sides).

Iran has no such weapons. a strike against Tehran is entirely within the realm of possiblity, and the blowback would be in the form of opinion (which the Bush administration has made a point of not caring about) and further regional instability (which, again, they don't care about).

i think everyone agrees that military force should not be ruled out when dealing with Tehran, ever, but as the NIE has demonstrated much to the embarassment of the Bush administration and the country as a whole, Tehran is nowhere near becoming any sort of a threat that would justify anything other than active, engaged diplomacy. HRC's vote was wrong, and Obama's no-vote was just cowardly, and you can bet he's regretting it now in the face of the NIE.

i wish you'd spend more time worrying about "enhanced" interrogation techniques and our worn-out forces and the fact that "the surge" cannot be sustained beyond March of 2008.
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Old 12-09-2007, 08:56 PM   #140
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but this is exactly the point. the US tried to go through the UN. the UN disagreed. and the US went ahead and tried to enforce what was a UN resolution against Iraq on its own. thus, the whole idea of Saddam needing to prove "compliance" with the requirements to verifiably disarm is something he had to do in the eyes of the UN, and not the US.

and as we know now, Iraqi non-existent WMDs posed no threat to the US, and regional stability has worsened since the removal of Saddam.

it's not that there wasn't ever a case to be made for the removal of Saddam Hussein. rather, the way in which this administration went about fabricating a case has come back and bitten it in the ass, and in hindsight, it has been quite well demonstrated that this administration lacks the competence to have implemented *any* policy of regime change. what Americans object to and why the war is unpopular is because of the incompetence of this administration, as well as the fact that we were led into an unnecessary war on deliberately fabricated, utterly false pretenses.

Saddam did not pose a threat to Manhattan. he did not pose a threat to DC. he did not pose a threat to London, Berlin, Paris, or Moscow.







[q]As to this silly idea that Saddam posed no threat to the United States or the region, here is what Bill Clinton had to say about the issue in 1998:[/q]

there are lots of threats in the world. we do not go around removing every one we wish. what we do, and what the "preemption doctrine" was designed to do, was to give the president the authority to preemptively strike against countries that posed IMMINENT threats to the US or it's allies.

there was no IMMINENT threat. ever.

there was no case for war, the case that was made was a fabrication, and the stupidity of the action -- the unleashing of a still brewing Civil War, hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqis, greater regional instability, hatred of the US across the globe, and the birth of another generation of jihadists -- has made itself abundently clear over the past 4 years, and the stupidity of the action itself is matched only by the incompetence of the administration that fabricated and then implimented this policy without even a thought as to the post-war occupation.

The US tried to get UN support for the wars and Bosnia and Kosovo, and did not even come remotely close. That did not stop the United States from taking military action in conflicts where the necessity of intervention was far less from a security standpoint than in Iraq. Again, regardless of how things play out at the United Nations, the United States acts in its own security interest, and the Bush administration moved with the full support of the American Congress and people.

There is near perfect continuity in the arguements made by Bill Clinton in the late 1990s and the arguements made by the Bush Administration prior to the 2003 invasion. As George Bush Sr. stated in 1990, as Bill Clinton stated in 1998, and as George Bush Jr. stated in 2002, Saddam's WMD program was indeed a threat to the United States and the rest of the world, regardless of what state such a program may have been in at x time.

Saddam posed a threat to any country that is dependent on oil for energy, and yes that includes London, Berlin, Paris, and Moscow, as well as the rest of the planet.


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there are lots of threats in the world. we do not go around removing every one we wish. what we do, and what the "preemption doctrine" was designed to do, was to give the president the authority to preemptively strike against countries that posed IMMINENT threats to the US or it's allies.
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there was no IMMINENT threat. ever.
Sure, which is why Bill Clinton struck Iraq multiple times during his administration.

Bill Clinton intervened in a Civil War in Bosnia and Kosovo that involved the same risk as any military intervention in Afghanistan or Iraq in terms of the length of time cost involved in stablizing those countries. Those upset over US military action in Iraq and willing to join the extremist movements would have done so any way with the US invasion and occupation of Afghanistan. The US invasion and occupation is just as exploitable a recruiting tool for jihadists as it was in the 1980s when the Soviets were there.

Much of the cost of the post-war occupation of Iraq was unavoidable given the Sunni level of resistance. But that risk was present in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Kosovo as well, and if the risk had materialized, it would have impacted those actions in a similar way.
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Old 12-09-2007, 09:11 PM   #141
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hi STING.

sorry, you're wrong.

the war is wildly unpopular due to incompetence and the fabrication of an "imminent" threat to US security.

Bush has tempered his approach with the much more moderate Gates because he had to fire Rumsfeld after the election -- it would have been far more politically smart to have fired him before the election, so you have no point.

Democrats have been unable to stop the war -- which is why their approval rating is so low, because the vast majority of the country wants out of Iraq -- but they have been able to shift it's course and they have been able to preven the administration from fabricating yet another crisis in regards to Tehran.

your grasp of politics in regards to what Congress can and can't do in regards to the creation of a war policy is so shallow that it's really not worth my time and effort to explain them to you here. and your understanding of the Bush cabinet is laughable as well. i don't even know where to begin, so i'll just let your own posts speak for themselves.
If that were the case George Bush would not have been re-elected. Nor would the Republican party of increased its majorities in the House and Senate, which for the incumbent Presidents party, had not been done in half a century. Opinion polls show that support for the war did not change until nearly a year after the 2004 election. Historical analysis shows that long nation building endovours that become costly naturally become unpopular over time.

Gates has engaged in policies at the defense department that are even more unpopular with Democrats than what Rumsfeld did. How exactly have the Democrats shifted US policy on Iraq when their chief goal in that regards was the withdrawal of all US combat troops by March 2008, 75 days from now? Its not necessarily about what congress is technically capable of doing, but what is politically possible, and the Democrats have discovered that they don't have the mandate or the ability to do what they planned to in January of 2007.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:09 PM   #142
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the reason why Reagan may have rattled some sabers in the direction of the USSR but no one ever actually believed he'd attack/invade is because of the fact of mutual assured destruction. both the US and the USSR had thousands of missiles, so a war between the two would have meant the end of the world (or at least 50m dead on both sides).

Iran has no such weapons. a strike against Tehran is entirely within the realm of possiblity, and the blowback would be in the form of opinion (which the Bush administration has made a point of not caring about) and further regional instability (which, again, they don't care about).

i think everyone agrees that military force should not be ruled out when dealing with Tehran, ever, but as the NIE has demonstrated much to the embarassment of the Bush administration and the country as a whole, Tehran is nowhere near becoming any sort of a threat that would justify anything other than active, engaged diplomacy. HRC's vote was wrong, and Obama's no-vote was just cowardly, and you can bet he's regretting it now in the face of the NIE.

i wish you'd spend more time worrying about "enhanced" interrogation techniques and our worn-out forces and the fact that "the surge" cannot be sustained beyond March of 2008.

There actually were many people who believed mistakenly that Reagan was going to take the country into a nuclear war back in the 1980s.

Bush has kept the prospect of military action against Iran on the table, but there is nothing to suggest that the option has ever been seriously considered. One can cherry pick statements from various speechs to make up what ever impression you want to, but there has never been any thing more concrete that would show that the administration was seriously considering going after Iran with some sort of military option. The talk and hysteria about it is really more of a political tool for the Democrats.

As Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates and General Petraeus have told Congress repeatedly, the Surge can be sustained through the call up of National Guard Brigades or the further extension of active duty combat brigades. The National Guard has 34 combat brigades and only 22 of them have actually been deployed to either Afghanistan or Iraq over the past 6 years and then only once. While the Active Duty Army has a deployed to home ratio often of around 1 to 1, the total number of Active Army combat brigades has increased from 33 in 2003 to 44 now at the end of 2007 and will eventually reach 48 by 2009.

Secretary Of Defense Robert Gates has rescended prior Department of Defense policy which allowed National Guard Brigades to only be deployed for only 18 months in a 5 year period. National Guard Brigades can now be activated for deployment at any time without the previous restrictions. This factor and the expansion of the Active Army will both reduce the strain that has overwhelmingly fallen on the Active Army and Active Marine Corp for the past 5 years. The Active Marine Corp is also being expanded as well.

The NIE far from being an embarassment is not in conflict with the Bush administrations statements. Iran is still moving forward to the capabability of developing a nuclear bomb. The hard part is not warhead design which the new NIE ESTIMATES that worked was stopped on in 2003, but making the fuel necessary for such a bomb, and that has not stopped. Iran claims that it is making the fuel for reactors to produce electricity. A problem with that claim is that Iran does not have any such reactors.

Ironically, the NIE estimate that Iran stopped Warhead design in 2003 suggest that their decision to do so may have been impacted by the Bush administration invasion of Iraq in 2003. Regardless Iran is still making progress toward a bomb and the new NIE did not significantly differ(from the 2005 NIE) in its Estimate of the earliest date at which Iran would obtain a bomb, that being late 2009.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:15 PM   #143
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wow, it's like it's 2004 in here. kind of how we like to believe on Wednesday what we believed on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday.

i'm not even going to bother.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:20 PM   #144
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Sure, which is why Bill Clinton struck Iraq multiple times during his administration.


okay, i'll bite here, but that's it.

this was a policy called CONTAINMENT. it was what was applied to Iraq throughout the 1990s. why? because, yes, Saddam's Iraq was a threat, but it wasn't an IMMINENT THREAT to anyone. if Iraq had stepped back into Kuwait, tossed some more Scuds at Tel Aviv or Tehran, then, yes, you might have had a situation that would have required some sort of foreign invasion.

but as it stood throughout the 1990s, Iraq was CONTAINED. this was Bill Clinton's policy, as well as pursuing regime change, but doing that through working with internal iraqi opposition forces, not through pursuing a strategy of a unilateral invasion.

Bush did not continue the CONTAINMENT policy. he radically changed the policy, make a catastrophic mistake, and has been eating crow ever since, and paid for it in the 2006 elections after barely squeaking out a 2004 electoral win that was due mostly to internal domestic issues and the ruthless Republican manipulation of Terror Alerts and 9-11.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:50 PM   #145
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Welcome back, Sting. Nice to see you haven't removed the blinders.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:57 PM   #146
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okay, i'll bite here, but that's it.

this was a policy called CONTAINMENT. it was what was applied to Iraq throughout the 1990s. why? because, yes, Saddam's Iraq was a threat, but it wasn't an IMMINENT THREAT to anyone. if Iraq had stepped back into Kuwait, tossed some more Scuds at Tel Aviv or Tehran, then, yes, you might have had a situation that would have required some sort of foreign invasion.

but as it stood throughout the 1990s, Iraq was CONTAINED. this was Bill Clinton's policy, as well as pursuing regime change, but doing that through working with internal iraqi opposition forces, not through pursuing a strategy of a unilateral invasion.

Bush did not continue the CONTAINMENT policy. he radically changed the policy, make a catastrophic mistake, and has been eating crow ever since, and paid for it in the 2006 elections after barely squeaking out a 2004 electoral win that was due mostly to internal domestic issues and the ruthless Republican manipulation of Terror Alerts and 9-11.
The contention of whether Iraq was an imminent threat to this or that country was not the relevant factor. Preventing Saddam from returning to the capability he had in of August 1990 was the goal and the line in the sand in regards to decisive military action. At any time Iraq could have invaded any of the country's that it bordered or sent artillery, shorter range ballistic missiles, aircraft etc. into other countries. In fact, the CIA even caculated in 1995 that Saddam still had the capability to overrun Kuwait, at least temporarily. This coupled with the break down of sanctions and the weapons embargo by the year 2000 created the possiblity that Saddam could quickly reconstitute many of his prior capabilities. The failure of UN inspections to insure disarmament after 7 years was a serious problem that could only be solved through regime change.

The use of internal opposition to Saddam to bring about regime change was a total failure, and never had any real chance of success.

Kenneth Pollack who was the Clinton Administrations leading expert on Iraq came out strongly for regime change through invasion after Iraq prevented inspectors from coming back into the country in 1999, and most of the rest of the sanctions and weapons embargo fell apart.

Bill Clinton himself supported the Bush administrations build up against Iraq in 2002, and the March 2003 invasion as did his wife Hillary Clinton. He viewed it as the unfortunate but necessary action given the failure of previous methods to achieve disarmament, and the lack of any true moderation in Saddam's behavior.

Bill Clinton never viewed Operation Iraqi Freedom as some radical change in policy and still stated his support for the invasion in the summer of 2004, over a year after the invasion itself. The only way to insure that Saddam was disarmed and would never threaten the region again as he did in 1991 was through regime changed, as every other method that had been tried had failed.
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Old 12-09-2007, 10:58 PM   #147
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Welcome back, Sting. Nice to see you haven't removed the blinders.
HA HA HA.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:07 PM   #148
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wow, it's like it's 2004 in here. kind of how we like to believe on Wednesday what we believed on Monday, no matter what happened on Tuesday.

i'm not even going to bother.
The cost of the occupation and the mistakes made during the occupation do not change the fact that Saddam had to be removed.

Its understandable that the cost of the the current occupation has gradually led to the majority of the US population turning against the war, at least for now.

But that would have been the case in Bosnia, Kosovo, and even potentially Afghanistan if the US military had experienced casualties similar to Iraq.
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:07 PM   #149
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He wasn't an imminent threat, though. What was the problem with containing Saddam?
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Old 12-09-2007, 11:26 PM   #150
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He wasn't an imminent threat, though. What was the problem with containing Saddam?
Well, that depends how you define imninent threat, and thats also not actually the guiding factor in taking decisive military action in this particular case.

The problem with containing Saddam were the requirements of containment. 1. UN inspections and Saddam's cooperation with those inspections. 2. Sanctions. 3. Weapons Embargo 4. The bordering countries willingness to enforce sanctions and the embargo. 5. The greater international communities willingness to support sanctions and the weapons embargo. 6. Arab governments tolerance of limited and inconclusive US military action launched from bases on their land.

By the year 2000, nearly all these essential elements of containment were gone, with much of the sanctions and embargo only existing on paper and not in reality. In fact by then, the entire Syrian border was open for any type of trade, and Saddam was making Billions of dollars from it.
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