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Old 04-02-2003, 11:14 AM   #1
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Normal The War "In A Nutshell"



http://www.minimumeffort.com/nutshell.html

A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK
By Anonymous

PeaceNik: Why did you say we are we invading Iraq?

WarMonger: We are invading Iraq because it is in violation of security council resolution 1441. A country cannot be allowed to violate security council resolutions.

PN: But I thought many of our allies, including Israel, were in violation of more security council resolutions than Iraq.

WM: It's not just about UN resolutions. The main point is that Iraq could have weapons of mass destruction, and the first sign of a smoking gun could well be a mushroom cloud over NY.

PN: Mushroom cloud? But I thought the weapons inspectors said Iraq had no nuclear weapons.

WM: Yes, but biological and chemical weapons are the issue.

PN: But I thought Iraq did not have any long range missiles for attacking us or our allies with such weapons.

WM: The risk is not Iraq directly attacking us, but rather terrorists networks that Iraq could sell the weapons to.

PN: But coundn't virtually any country sell chemical or biological materials? We sold quite a bit to Iraq in the eighties ourselves, didn't we?

WM: That's ancient history. Look, Saddam Hussein is an evil man that has an undeniable track record of repressing his own people since the early eighties. He gasses his enemies. Everyone agrees that he is a power-hungry lunatic murderer.

PN: We sold chemical and biological materials to a power-hungry lunatic murderer?

WM: The issue is not what we sold, but rather what Saddam did. He is the one that launched a pre-emptive first strike on Kuwait.

PN: A pre-emptive first strike does sound bad. But didn't our ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie, know about and green-light the invasion of Kuwait?

WM: Let's deal with the present, shall we? As of today, Iraq could sell its biological and chemical weapons to Al Quaida. Osama BinLaden himself released an audio tape calling on Iraqis to suicide-attack us, proving a partnership between the two.

PN: Osama Bin Laden? Wasn't the point of invading Afghanistan to kill him?

WM: Actually, it's not 100% certain that it's really Osama Bin Laden on the tapes. But the lesson from the tape is the same: there could easily be a partnership between al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein unless we act.

PN: Is this the same audio tape where Osama Bin Laden labels Saddam a secular infidel?

WM: You're missing the point by just focusing on the tape. Powell presented a strong case against Iraq.

PN: He did?

WM: Yes, he showed satellite pictures of an Al Quaeda poison factory in Iraq.

PN: But didn't that turn out to be a harmless shack in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish opposition?

WM: And a British intelligence report...

PN: Didn't that turn out to be copied from an out-of-date graduate student paper?

WM: And reports of mobile weapons labs...

PN: Weren't those just artistic renderings?

WM: And reports of Iraqis scuttling and hiding evidence from inspectors...

PN: Wasn't that evidence contradicted by the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix?

WM: Yes, but there is plenty of other hard evidence that cannot be revealed because it would compromise our security.

PN: So there is no publicly available evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq?

WM: The inspectors are not detectives, it's not their JOB to find evidence. You're missing the point.

PN: So what is the point?

WM: The main point is that we are invading Iraq because resolution 1441 threatened "severe consequences." If we do not act, the security council will become an irrelevant debating society.

PN: So the main point is to uphold the rulings of the security council?

WM: Absolutely. ...unless it rules against us.

PN: And what if it does rule against us?

WM: In that case, we must lead a coalition of the willing to invade Iraq.

PN: Coalition of the willing? Who's that?

WM: Britain, Turkey, Bulgaria, Spain, and Italy, for starters.

PN: I thought Turkey refused to help us unless we gave them tens of billions of dollars.

WM: Nevertheless, they may now be willing.

PN: I thought public opinion in all those countries was against war.

WM: Current public opinion is irrelevant. The majority expresses its will by electing leaders to make decisions.

PN: So it's the decisions of leaders elected by the majority that is important?

WM: Yes.

PN: But George Bush wasn't elected by voters. He was selected by the U.S. Supreme C...-

WM: I mean, we must support the decisions of our leaders, however they were elected, because they are acting in our best interest. This is about being a patriot. That's the bottom line.

PN: So if we do not support the decisions of the president, we are not patriotic?

WM: I never said that.

PN: So what are you saying? Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: As I said, because there is a chance that they have weapons of mass destruction that threaten us and our allies.

PN: But the inspectors have not been able to find any such weapons.

WM: Iraq is obviously hiding them.

PN: You know this? How?

WM: Because we know they had the weapons ten years ago, and they are still unaccounted for.

PN: The weapons we sold them, you mean?

WM: Precisely.

PN: But I thought those biological and chemical weapons would degrade to an unusable state over ten years.

WM: But there is a chance that some have not degraded.

PN: So as long as there is even a small chance that such weapons exist, we must invade?

WM: Exactly.

PN: But North Korea actually has large amounts of usable chemical, biological, AND nuclear weapons, AND long range missiles that can reach the west coast AND it has expelled nuclear weapons inspectors, AND threatened to turn America into a sea of fire.

WM: That's a diplomatic issue.

PN: So why are we invading Iraq instead of using diplomacy?

WM: Aren't you listening? We are invading Iraq because we cannot allow the inspections to drag on indefinitely. Iraq has been delaying, deceiving, and denying for over ten years, and inspections cost us tens of millions.

PN: But I thought war would cost us tens of billions.

WM: Yes, but this is not about money. This is about security.

PN: But wouldn't a pre-emptive war against Iraq ignite radical Muslim sentiments against us, and decrease our security?

WM: Possibly, but we must not allow the terrorists to change the way we live. Once we do that, the terrorists have already won.

PN: So what is the purpose of the Department of Homeland Security, color-coded terror alerts, and the Patriot Act? Don't these change the way we live?

WM: I thought you had questions about Iraq.

PN: I do. Why are we invading Iraq?

WM: For the last time, we are invading Iraq because the world has called on Saddam Hussein to disarm, and he has failed to do so. He must now face the consequences.

PN: So, likewise, if the world called on us to do something, such as find a peaceful solution, we would have an obligation to listen?

WM: By "world", I meant the United Nations.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the United Nations?

WM: By "United Nations" I meant the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the Security Council?

WM: I meant the majority of the Security Council.

PN: So, we have an obligation to listen to the majority of the Security Council?

WM: Well... there could be an unreasonable veto.

PN: In which case?

WM: In which case, we have an obligation to ignore the veto.

PN: And if the majority of the Security Council does not support us at all?

WM: Then we have an obligation to ignore the Security Council.

PN: That makes no sense.

WM: If you love Iraq so much, you should move there. Or maybe France, with all the other cheese-eating surrender monkeys. It's time to boycott their wine and cheese, no doubt about that.

PN: I give up!
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Old 04-02-2003, 11:23 AM   #2
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very interesting!!
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Old 04-02-2003, 12:02 PM   #3
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That is sooo spot on. Exactly why Bush couldn't convince any but the Coalition of the bribed.
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Old 04-02-2003, 12:18 PM   #4
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Here's my version:

PN: Why are we invading Iraq?

PL (Pro-Liberator, not War Monger): Reason 1: We think Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and if he does, he will one day use it on us. Reason 2: Saddam is an evil tyrant who tortures his own people day in and day out.

PN: Well, what if he doesn't have weapons of mass destruction?

PL: Chances are, he does, because he used chemical weapons against his own people, and we have seen no evidence to suggest he destroyed it. In fact, we have discovered chemical weapon suits, antidotes, and material used to train terroists in chemical warfare.

PN: BUt he said he doesn't have them, and if he did, wouldn't the UN have found them?

PL: You trust the word of a man who has gassed his own peope, rapes women, and uses people as human shields? He knew when the UN was coming - you don't think he hid the weapons?

PN: But, what if he doesn't have them?

PL: Then Reason #2 is a great reason to get rid of him. We are liberating Iraq.

PN: Oh, but you will be hurting innocent Iraqi citizens.

PL: Excuse me? Do you know that a great many Iraqi citizens would gladly put their lives on the line to get rid of Saddam?

PN: Well, war just isn't right in any circumstances.

PL: If the Allies hadn't gone to war against Hitler, you'd be speaking German right now, and all Jews, homosexuals and who knows what else would all be dead.

PN: Well then, the people of Iraq should rise up themselves.

PL: They can't. Saddam has all the power and would crush any insurrection in a split second.

PN: Well, I still don't believe in this war.

PL: I've gotta go now. But I want to leave you with a very memorable quote: "All it takes for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing".
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:16 PM   #5
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oliveu2cm:

great one, thanks, that fits for almost all pro/anti war dicussions )))

80sU2isBest:
I'm still curious if the US will accept a democratic election if the Ayatollah wins (remember that was the reason why they sold all the weapons of mass destruction to Saddam and helped him with US espionage pictures to use it against his neigbour)

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Old 04-02-2003, 01:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klaus
80sU2isBest:
I'm still curious if the US will accept a democratic election if the Ayatollah wins (remember that was the reason why they sold all the weapons of mass destruction to Saddam and helped him with US espionage pictures to use it against his neigbour)

Klaus

Klaus--In my view the U.S. had damn better accept a democratic election, no matter who wins. If they choose the Ayatollah, he wins; he's the President, inaugurate him! Otherwise there will be hell to pay.
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Old 04-02-2003, 01:51 PM   #7
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Re: The War "In A Nutshell"

Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm


http://www.minimumeffort.com/nutshell.html

A WARMONGER EXPLAINS WAR TO A PEACENIK
Reading this I was laughing incessantly.
I think in reality the warmonger would be much less patient to answer that many questions.
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:11 PM   #8
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I'm surprised the PeaceNik even bothered to ask these questions
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:21 PM   #9
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I think it does very well to bring out the weak reasons behind going to war!
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:24 PM   #10
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Re: Re: The War "In A Nutshell"

Quote:
Originally posted by ALEXRUS

I think in reality the warmonger would be much less patient to answer that many questions.
Actually, I was thinking pretty much the same thing about the Peacenik. About halfway through, many would start resorting to spitting on cops, blocking highways, staging "die-ins", and other "constructive" protests.
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:26 PM   #11
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And the Warmonger would become impatient and start an illegal preemptive war.
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:30 PM   #12
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Re: Re: Re: The War "In A Nutshell"

Quote:
Originally posted by 80sU2isBest

Actually, I was thinking pretty much the same thing about the Peacenik. About halfway through, many would start resorting to spitting on cops, blocking highways, staging "die-ins", and other "constructive" protests.
Sure. War is more constructive?
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Old 04-02-2003, 03:55 PM   #13
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The War "In A Nutshell"

Quote:
Originally posted by ALEXRUS


Sure. War is more constructive?
It is, and you are just a Russian Hippie.

Remember we gave you free speech
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Old 04-02-2003, 08:03 PM   #14
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Re: Re: Re: Re: The War "In A Nutshell"

Quote:
Originally posted by ALEXRUS


Sure. War is more constructive?
Nice one-liner, ALEXRUS (and great followup, whenhiphopdrovethebigcars). However, please stick to the subject. This about the reactions and conduct of people who support and people who oppose the war, not about the war itself.
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Old 04-02-2003, 09:41 PM   #15
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John Clarke and Brian Dawe!!
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Old 04-03-2003, 04:53 AM   #16
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hilarious. and sadly true.
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Old 04-03-2003, 10:54 AM   #17
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One point that is definitely not the way it would happen is the following:

"PN:But George Bush wasn't elected by voters. He was selected by the U.S. Supreme C...-

WM: I mean, we must support the decisions of our leaders, however they were elected, because they are acting in our best interest. "

No conservative worth his salt would let that lie go by. The Supreme Court DID not select G.W. as the pres. The left whines and whines and whines about that, but the truth is it just didn't happen. G.W. had already won the electoral college...the only thing the Supreme Court did (and rightly so) was to say "enough of this madness...2 recounts showed he won...we are not having another recount!"
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:09 AM   #18
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Comparing the Threat of North Korea with the Threat of Iraq

Quote:
Originally posted by oliveu2cm

PN: But North Korea actually has large amounts of usable chemical, biological, AND nuclear weapons, AND long range missiles that can reach the west coast AND it has expelled nuclear weapons inspectors, AND threatened to turn America into a sea of fire.
By Rachel Alexander
Rightgrrl Contributor
March 15, 2003

Is the Bush administration using a double standard by aggressively reacting to Iraq but seeming to downplay the North Korean threat? The Left criticizes Bush, claiming that his concentration on Saddam Hussein is causing him to ignore the real threat, Kim Jong-il, who is rumored to already have missiles with the capability of striking the United States. Unfortunately, many on the Left are using the debate as just another strawman argument to criticize Bush's performance, as well as using North Korea as a sideshow to achieve their pacifist ideological goal of preventing military intervention in Iraq. Whom do you believe? Perhaps the issue isn't as simple as a few slogans hand-scrawled on protest signs. "Babes, not bombs," comes to mind.

Those on the Left claim that since it has now been revealed that North Korea probably has two nuclear weapons, as well as conventional missiles that can reach the U.S. mainland, military action is a higher priority there than in Iraq, which only has conventional weapons, chemical agents and biological agents. Yet isn't precisely because North Korea has nuclear weapons the reason why we should not rashly attack them? Such an attack could precipitate a nuclear war! The Left frequently and conveniently forgets history. From 1950 - 1991, the U.S. and the former Soviet Union maintained a chilly relationship of detente since each had nuclear weapons - and there aren't very many people in hindsight today who think we should have initiated a military campaign against the Soviet Union. The decision to go to war with a nuclear power must be examined with much more caution than a decision to attack an easily assailable nation that does not have nuclear weapons. Funny how the Left was so stridently opposed to President Reagan's aggressive stance towards the former Soviet Union in the 1980's, yet now they can't wait to criticize Bush for failing to go after North Korea immediately.

The Left is fond of pointing out that the Bush administration knew last September that North Korea has been building a light-water nuclear reactor, financed by South Korea and Japan. In truth, when the Bush administration found out about the reactor in September, it informed a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders. The administration did not further publicize the fact that North Korea had admitted it had a nuclear weapons program until three weeks later, after Congress had voted to authorize force against Iraq. The reason given for the delay was that the administration wanted to consult privately with Japan, South Korea, China, and other nations first. According to a recent article in the New Republic, there was no apparent reason for the Bush administration to have concealed information about North Korea. Even Iraq-squishy Democrats such as John Kerry have acknowledged that the new information about North Korea would not have changed their votes on the Iraq resolution.

Since 1993, North Korea has refused to allow inspections of its nuclear facilities by the International Atomic Energy Agency, violating the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. As we have since learned from Clinton's do-nothing policy towards North Korea in the 1990's, it would have been smarter to disarm North Korea back in 1993, when we first suspected Pyongyang was starting to build nuclear weapons. Then it would not have had the opportunity to develop the nuclear weapons they reputedly have now. But who was in power at the time? President Clinton, whose rationale for military action was overwhelmingly based upon whether it appeared to be an easy win that would increase his approval ratings. Following the advice of former advisor Dick Morris, Clinton based his policies on whichever way the current political opinion winds were blowing, in order to maintain his popularity ratings and likeability.

Hasn't the U.S. learned anything from experience? Now that North Korea has nuclear weapons, it presents a much more serious threat than it did ten years ago, and correspondingly, the U.S. faces a considerably greater and daunting task in disarming it. Since it is universally agreed upon that Saddam Hussein intends to obtain or build nuclear weapons, shouldn't we be taking his deception with the weapons inspectors more seriously, instead of allowing him to drag things out under the pretense of “negotiating” while, in secret, he continues to compile weapons?

There are numerous other reasons why the Bush administration is focusing its military sights on Iraq instead of North Korea. Unlike North Korea, which has had 50 years of relative peace with its neighbors, Iraq has gone to war twice with neighboring countries and has used chemical warfare on its own citizens. Military experts acknowledge that bringing down Saddam Hussein will probably be completed within a couple of weeks. North Korea’s military is three times larger than Iraq’s. A war with North Korea will require 700,000 troops, almost three times the number being sent into Iraq. Furthermore, Seoul, South Korea, is within striking range of North Korea's missiles. The city would be a likely target should the U.S. strike North Korea. Up until quite recently, South Korea has been a supportive ally of the U.S. Considering the risk of nuclear war from taking on a nuclear power, the Bush administration has chosen to engage in diplomacy first, using China as a conduit to pressure Pyongyang into halting its program to enrich uranium for weapons. The U.N. Security Council has given Saddam Hussein ultimatum after ultimatum, and if the Left had its way, would give him countless more before ever authorizing war. Funny how the Left is so quick to criticize Bush for not going after North Korea without so much as a peep demanding a single ultimatum against them first.

We all know that if there were no Iraqi threat, the Left would not be clamoring to go after North Korea militarily. Only if a Democratic president were in office, and needed a boost for himself and other Democrats in the polls, or a diversion from a scandal, and only if it appeared to be an easy in and out, such as appeared to be the case in Bosnia and Kosovo, would the Left support an attack on anyone. The Right is not being inconsistent here - does anyone really think that the Bush administration is going to sit back and allow North Korea to build and sell nuclear weapons? The Left pretends not to understand why the Bush administration is not going after North Korea immediately, because the Left truly does not want to understand - they would rather attack the Right as being inconsistent in order to drag down the approval ratings of Bush and the Republicans in Congress.

One prominent Left wing magazine has stated, “The administration's do- nothing policy [in North Korea] is foolish and dangerous, and quite unnecessary.” It will be amusing to see the Left eat their words when Bush ends the mission in Iraq and then goes after North Korea. Perhaps the Left shouldn't ask for what they want unless they really mean it, because they just might get it. Bush is not like Clinton - his philosophy entails stopping the threat of evil through the use of military force if necessary, much unlike the Clinton philosophy, which was primarily based on polls of domestic and foreign opinions to see how strongly they supported any particular decision. It is understandable if pacifists genuinely oppose military action against Iraq or North Korea. There are many who oppose military intervention, including many conservatives. But for the Left to pretend to support military action in North Korea, while opposing it in Iraq, is intellectually dishonest and should be exposed for being a double standard – the double standard of the Left, not of the Bush administration.
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Old 04-03-2003, 11:47 AM   #19
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80sU2isBest:

As i can see it they (the left-wingers/intelectuals) don't want to bomb both countries but they are just surprised by Bushs priority and some had the idea in the other direction, if you don't bomb N.Korea, than please don't bomb Iraq too
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Old 04-03-2003, 12:28 PM   #20
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Response to The War "In A Nutshell"

I ran across this at

http://www.blarg.net/~minsq/NCArchive/00000040.htm

03/31/2003 Entry: "No Cameras responds to a (self-described) 'Peacenik'"

I ran across a piece titled "A Warmonger Explains War to a Peacenik" (variously attributed to Anonymous, Victor Forsythe or Bill Davidson, if it is attributed at all—truth may be the first casualty of war, but intellectual property is clearly in the top five of casualties of anti-war protest), which is doing the rounds online (you can find it here, and here, or just do a Google search for the title). What a brilliant display of the Straw man fallacy; I don't think I've ever seen one quite so elaborate.
Following on from my own reasons for supporting this war, let the fisking commence!

I'm not actually going to bother copying the so-called "answers" of the WarMonger, since these are merely a parade of straw men. Instead, I'll just take on the "questions" of the "PeaceNik"; I'll have to edit them a bit, of course.


PeaceNik: Why did you say we are we invading Iraq?
NoCameras: For a number of reasons, the primary one being that the Iraqi government is in violation of 17 UN Security Council resolutions made acting under Chapter VII of the UN Charter.

PN: But I thought many of our allies, including Israel, were in violation of more security council resolutions than Iraq.
NC: A common misconception; the resolutions you're referring to are two (which, you will find, is less that seventeen) Chapter VI resolutions, in which the Council makes recommendations dealing with the "Pacific Settlement of Disputes." (I recommned you read this article.) Resolution 687, on the other hand, is a Chapter VII resolution, which is binding, though Iraq actually agreed to comply with it; by agreeing to comply with 687, Iraq agreed, among other things, to divest itself of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons, delivery systems for those weapons, and all programmes to develop those weapons and delivery systems.

PN: [...] But I thought the weapons inspectors said Iraq had no nuclear weapons.
NC: The IAEA destroyed most of the Iraqi nuclear programme in the 1990s, and they now believe the Iraqis didn't manage to rebuild it, if that's what you mean. Mind you, not that anyone would have known if Iraq hadn't let the inspectors back in because the Bush administration threatened invasion. Then there are still the chemical and biological weapons programmes, which form a threat to other countries in the region.

PN: But I thought Iraq did not have any long range missiles for attacking us or our allies with such weapons.
NC: They've certainly been trying to develop them, as a quick glance at any number of UNSCOM and UNMOVIC reports will show (if you'd actually bothered to read them). And if you accept that Israel and Kuwait are American allies, a long-range missile isn't even needed to hit an American ally; a short or intermediate-range one will do.
There is also the fear that Iraq might supply biological or chemical warfare agents to terrorists.

PN: But couldn't virtually any country sell chemical or biological materials? We sold quite a bit to Iraq in the eighties ourselves, didn't we?
NC: Well, materials and warfare agents aren't the same thing; I could sell you a load of charcoal, sulphur and potassium nitrate, but whether you'd have the wherewithal to turn it into gunpowder is a different matter. As for the supposed US sales, so I've read, but as far as the chemicals are concerned, I've never seen any actual proof to back that assertion. However, the CDC, among others, did sell some germ culture samples to Iraq in the 1980s.

PN: We sold [...] biological materials to a power-hungry lunatic murderer?
NC: Those culture samples were actually sold to the Universities of Baghdad and Basra, on the understanding that they were for medical research; as it turned out, they went straight into the Iraqi bioweapons programme, but as Jonathan Tucker, an UNSCOM bioweapons inspector, put it: "I don't think it would be accurate to say the United States government deliberately provided seed stocks to the Iraqis' biological weapons programs."
And again, materials and agents are not the same thing.
And though I wouldn't call Saddam a lunatic, he's certainly a power-hungry murderer; witness his attempt to annexe Kuwait in 1990.

PN: [...] But didn't our ambassador to Iraq, April Gillespie, know about and green-light the invasion of Kuwait?
NC: What Gillespie actually told Saddam was: "We have no opinion on the Arab-Arab conflicts, like your border disagreement with Kuwait." This might have been tacit approval for an Iraqi move to seize Bubiyan Island—the subject of the border dispute—but it sure as hell wasn't a green light for Iraq to annexe all of Kuwait. This is borne out by the fact that on 24-Jan-1990, the FY 1992-1997 Defense Planning Guidance was published; this instructed Central Command (CENTCOM), then headed by General Norman Schwartzkopf, to shift the focus of its planning away from the threat of a Soviet incursion into the Gulf region (and Iran in particular) and towards the threat of an invasion of the Arabian peninsula (and especially the capture of the oil fields) by another country in the region (source: Washington Post and Wall Street Journal, both of 07-Feb-1990). These instructions were confirmed by General Schwartzkopf in his testimony to the Senate Armed Forces Committee on 08-Feb-1990; he also drew attention to the fact that Iraq had recently purchased from the Soviet Union a large amount of armoured fighting vehicles, artillery pieces, etc. which had become surplus to Soviet requirements following the withdrawal from Eastern Europe.
So not only was the annexation of Kuwait by Iraq not approved by the United States government, planning was already in the works to meet such an eventuality.
Now, because it's your script, I have to bring up Osama bin Laden. So, "Osama bin Laden" already.

PN: Osama Bin Laden? Wasn't the point of invading Afghanistan to kill him?
NC: Among other things; the other objective was to destroy al-Qaeda's base of training and operations. The second objective was more or less achieved, though it seems Osama may have escaped. It's sort of hard to tell, since there haven't been any more video tapes. Maybe he's alive, but in such an awful state he doesn't want to be seen. All we have to go is these audio tapes, which may or may not actually be by Osama bin Laden. Like the one broadcast by al-Jazeera on 11-Feb-2003, in which someone claiming to be Osama calls upon "Muslims in general and the Iraqis in particular" to resist the American invasion.

PN: Is this the same audio tape where Osama Bin Laden labels Saddam a secular infidel?
NC: He obliquely refers to the Ba'ath Party as "socialists" and adds "socialists are infidels wherever they are"; since Saddam is the leader of the Ba'ath Party, we may assume this applies to Saddam as well. But at no point does he actually apply the term "secular infidel" to Saddam, so I have to conclude you haven't read the transcript. If you had, you'd know the purported Osama also says that "there will be no harm if the interests of Muslims converge with the interests of the socialists in the fight against the crusaders, despite our belief in the infidelity of socialists."

PN: He did?
NC: Yes, read the transcript. I'm a bit surprised you hadn't already, to be honest.
Oh, sorry, I didn't stick to your script! Let's take it from the top of the page.
"Powell presented a strong case against Iraq."

PN: He did?
NC: Yes. Again, read the transcript. Yeah, sorry if I'm falling into repetition here, but you don't appear to have read up on this. Powell presented a pretty powerful case that Iraq was not cooperating "immediately, unconditionally and actively" with UNMOVIC and IAEA inspections, as required by resolution 1441.
You're going to have to wing the next bit of the script, because I'm not as cooperative as your fictional WarMonger.

PN: But didn't that "Al Quaeda poison factory" Powell mentioned turn out to be a harmless shack in the part of Iraq controlled by the Kurdish opposition?
NC: To be precise, Powell referred to it as a "poison and explosives training centre"; he never used the word "factory." I admit I have my doubts as to the credibility of this al-Qaeda/Ansar al-Islam/Saddam link, but it's not because of your misrepresentations.
Next.

PN: And wasn't there some British intelligence report that turned out to be copied from an out-of-date graduate student paper?
NC: A small part of the report was indeed copied, more or less, from a paper on the build-up to the 1991 Gulf War written by Ibrahim al-Marashi. The paper itself, however, is hardly "out of date"—it was published in the Middle East Review of International Affairs last September. Moreover, as this BBC article describes ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/2736149.stm ), the copied sections relate to the functions of organs of the Iraqi government, and those haven't changed much over the past 12 years. Ibrahim al-Marashi said himself, on BBC Two's Newsnight programme, that apart from "a few minor cosmetic changes" the material was still accurate.

PN: Well, okay, but weren't the reports of Iraqis hiding evidence contradicted by the chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix?
NC: Ah, you refer to Blix' report to the Security Council on 14-Feb-2003. Blix didn't actually contradict Powell, he qualified one of Powell's allegations:
I would like to comment only on one case, which we are familiar with, namely, the trucks identified by analysts as being for chemical decontamination at a munitions depot. This was a declared site, and it was certainly one of the sites Iraq would have expected us to inspect. We have noted that the two satellite images of the site were taken several weeks apart. The reported movement of munitions at the site could just as easily have been a routine activity as a movement of proscribed munitions in anticipation of an imminent inspection. Our reservation on this point does not detract from our appreciation for the briefing.
As you see, Blix does not say it wasn't "movement of proscribed munitions," he says it might "just as easily" have been routine activity. Logically, of course, it follows that the reverse is equally true, and that it might just as easily have, in actual fact, been "movement of proscribed munitions."
I don't know either way, but Blix' last line in that quote pretty much sums up the almost total inaccuracy of your assertion that Blix contradicted Powell.

PN: Oh, wait, I forgot to point out those "mobile weapons labs" were only artistic renderings!
NC: I'm glad you mentioned those; here's what Blix had to say about those in that same report:
It is our intention to examine the possibilities for surveying ground movements, notably by trucks. In the face of persistent intelligence reports for instance about mobile biological weapons production units, such measures could well increase the effectiveness of inspections.
The rest of that particular report is pretty damning as well; large amounts of chemical (VX) and biological (anthrax) warfare agents unaccounted for, the discovery of undeclared empty chemical munitions, missile casting chambers which had been destroyed under UNSCOM supervision "reconstituted," 380 SA-2 missile engines imported in contravention of paragraph 24 of resolution 687...

PN: Erm, yeah, never mind about that. There is no publicly available evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, though, is there?
NC: Well, Blix reported on 14-Feb-2003 that a start had been made on the destruction of 50 litres of mustard; in his quarterly report, published two weeks later, that destruction was still in progress, so when the original version of this "dialogue" was written there most certainly was evidence.

PN: Uh, yeah, but... that stuff was being destroyed; there's no evidence that there are any other WMDs.
NC: Ah, now there you have a valid point. But finding those weapons is not the inspectors' primary job.

PN: [rallying] Okay, what is the inspectors' job?
NC: To verify whether Iraq has divested itself of NBC weapons, delivery systems and development programmes, thereby complying with resolutions 687, 1441 and all intervening relevant resolutions. Thus, the burden of proof is not on the inspectors to prove that Iraq has not disarmed, it is on Iraq to prove to the inspectors that it has. And since it has, thus far, failed to this, it remains in "material breach" of its obligations under the aforementioned resolutions.

PN: Erm... but what about North Korea? North Korea actually has large amounts of usable chemical, biological, AND nuclear weapons, AND long range missiles that can reach the west coast AND it has expelled nuclear weapons inspectors, AND threatened to turn America into a sea of fire.
NC: So you're advocating war against North Korea; are you sure you're a "peacenik"?
PN: No. I mean, yes. Erm, maybe.
NC: Besides, North Korea is not a state party to the Chemical Weapons Convention, so—unlike Iraq, which agreed to abide by resolutions 687 etc.—there's nothing to stop it having chemical weapons; there's nothing to stop it developing missiles either. Besides, the Taepodong 2, the one that can supposedly reach my house, is untested.
Say, the main source for the claim that North Korea actually has nukes and that the Taepodong 2 works is the Chairman of the CIA—when did you start believing spooks? No, don't answer that.
The basic difference between Iraq and North Korea is that in the case of North Korea, diplomacy has not been exhausted. At least, not yet.

PN: But it has in the case of Iraq?
NC: The Iraqi government agreed to resolution 687 in the first place because the 1991 Coalition was clearly going to stomp it if it didn't. In the twelve years since then, just about the only thing that has got Iraq to even pretend to fulfil its obligations is the imminent threat of armed force. You do realise that UNMOVIC had been around for more than three and half years before it was even let into Iraq? If it wasn't for the threat of invasion, UNMOVIC might have gone its entire existence without ever setting foot in the country it was supposed to be inspecting.
You tell me what possible diplomatic solution there might be.

PN: You clearly can't see the big picture! [stomps off in a self-righteous huff]
NC: Sigh.
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