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Old 12-08-2007, 07:40 PM   #121
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Originally posted by Strongbow
Bottom line is that intelligence is usually not fact, but an estimate based on incomplete information.
And yet the Administration is willing to stake the lives on thousands of young men and women on an "estimate based on incomplete information" in order to throw the United States into war.

This happened in Iraq, and the "estimate" was wildly wrong. Why should anybody trust that this time they're right?
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Old 12-08-2007, 07:54 PM   #122
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And yet the Administration is willing to stake the lives on thousands of young men and women on an "estimate based on incomplete information" in order to throw the United States into war.

This happened in Iraq, and the "estimate" was wildly wrong. Why should anybody trust that this time they're right?
Bingo.
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Old 12-08-2007, 08:58 PM   #123
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Originally posted by DaveC

This happened in Iraq, and the "estimate" was wildly wrong. Why should anybody trust that this time they're right?
This is the real scary part. The whole "Boy who cried wolf" thingy.

What happens when they're right?
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:10 PM   #124
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Originally posted by DaveC


And yet the Administration is willing to stake the lives on thousands of young men and women on an "estimate based on incomplete information" in order to throw the United States into war.

This happened in Iraq, and the "estimate" was wildly wrong. Why should anybody trust that this time they're right?

Perhaps, but the fact of the matter is that in both 1991 and 2003, no one really knew what the situation was on the ground with respect to WMD until the United States invaded. What would be the consequences of not insuring that Saddam was disarmed? What are the consequences of not insuring that Iran is disarmed or some other country? In each case, the consequences are probably different to a degree and in some cases, the unknown may be to risky. But you have to weigh the consequences of action or no action in each situation. The cost of not taking certain action could concievably outweigh the cost of taking that action. The administration obviously came down on the side that even if the answer to the question of Iraqi WMD was "unknown", the risk and consequences were to great to let it go.

I don't see any evidence that the Bush administration has ever seriously contemplated striking Iran. That seems to come more from his political opponents. Airstrikes are a very temporary solution to a long term problem, and the only real lasting effect some sort of military action could have would be through a full scale invasion of Iran, and the Bush administration has certainly not at any point deployed or prepared the US military to do that.

I think the administration views Iran differently than Iraq, and may in fact be unwilling to actually use military action to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon because they view the consequences of such a development differently than with Iraq in addition to considering the cost. But, they certainly do not want the Iranians to know precisely what they would do at this time, because the not knowing whether the United States would invade or attack could impact Iran's decision to develop nuclear weapons. Both sides of the isle discuss the importance of keeping the military option on the table.

In fact, if the latest NIE is 100% accurate, that Iran stopped its nuclear program in 2003, it appears Iran's decision to stop may have been influenced by the US invasion of Iraq. Many have discussed whether this may have influenced Libya to give up its stocks of WMD in 2003 as well.

In any event, just as the Clinton administration kicked the disarmament issue of Iraq down the road to the Bush administration, it seems that the Bush administration will be kicking the issue of Iranian Nuclear development down the road to the next administration, which may be Clintons wife.
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Old 12-08-2007, 10:49 PM   #125
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Originally posted by Strongbow
I don't see any evidence that the Bush administration has ever seriously contemplated striking Iran.
...seriously?

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Old 12-08-2007, 11:09 PM   #126
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...seriously?

Angela
Well, besides words used in speeches and press conferences, can you name any concrete actions the President has taken to invade or strike Iran? Obviously, he wants the military option to remain on the table. None of the major democratic candidates for President are ruling out the military option either.
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Old 12-08-2007, 11:23 PM   #127
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Originally posted by Strongbow
Well, besides words used in speeches and press conferences, can you name any concrete actions the President has taken to invade or strike Iran?
Those constant speeches about wanting to invade Iran were what I was thinking of (World War III? Seriously, Bush?). The administration as a whole has been gung-ho about wanting to go. Oddly enough, though, they can't really take any other concrete actions, because they can't afford to do that. And yet they were clearly planning to try anyway.

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Originally posted by Strongbow
Obviously, he wants the military option to remain on the table. None of the major democratic candidates for President are ruling out the military option either.
I thought Edwards and Obama were opposed to the idea of war with Iran? And the fact that Bush wants the option on the table at all is troubling.

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Old 12-08-2007, 11:34 PM   #128
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What would be the consequences of not insuring that Saddam was disarmed?
That was what Hans Blix was trying to figure out before the President decided to kick him out and just invade instead.

The Iraq War never was about "disarming Saddam". You're not looking at the big picture if you think that's what it was all about.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:32 AM   #129
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That was what Hans Blix was trying to figure out before the President decided to kick him out and just invade instead.

The Iraq War never was about "disarming Saddam". You're not looking at the big picture if you think that's what it was all about.


Well, its not really Hans Blix job to determine what the Geopolitical consequences of not disarming Saddam would be. His job was far more specific and technical about Iraq's WMD capacity and whether they had complied or not, it was never his job to decide what policy should be, only to verify whether the Iraqi's were doing what was required of them. The inspections after the 2003 invasion revealed numourous violations by the Iraqi's, related to WMD development that they concealed from the inspectors and could have revealed to them if they were serious about disarmament. It was not the "smoking gun" but the concealment of such activities proves intention which is really what this is all about.



The disarmament of Iraq was a key issue in determining what should be done. The only way you could think otherwise is if your ignorant of what happened in Iraq during the previous administration. This whole issue started long before W even knew he was running for President.
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Old 12-09-2007, 02:46 AM   #130
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Those constant speeches about wanting to invade Iran were what I was thinking of (World War III? Seriously, Bush?). The administration as a whole has been gung-ho about wanting to go. Oddly enough, though, they can't really take any other concrete actions, because they can't afford to do that. And yet they were clearly planning to try anyway.



I thought Edwards and Obama were opposed to the idea of war with Iran? And the fact that Bush wants the option on the table at all is troubling.

Angela
What speech did Bush actually state that he wanted to invade Iran? As to Bush's comments about "World War III", it only seems extreme if you have never heard the President of Iran discuss what he would like to do to Israel. I think that everyone can agree that the chances of any hypothetical World War III senerio are far less if Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. That is the point Bush was making. The only ones that are really gung ho about Bush going to war with Iran are the democrats who use at talking points to drum up support for their campaigns.

I've never heard that Obama and Edwards had 100% ever ruled out the use of any type of military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I'd be interested to see a speech or comment where they stated that. On a different issue, it may come as a shock to some, but Obama and Edwards would not rule out still having US troops in Iraq in 2013.

Back to Iran, again what evidence do you have that the administration was clearly trying to attack Iran? When did they make the effort? Such a major operation would require a noticable build of military force beyond what is already in the region. It certainly would involve consultations with all of the United States regional allies from Israel to Saudi Arabia, since a major response from Iran, possibly against other countries in the region, would be expected.
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Old 12-09-2007, 12:30 PM   #131
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Originally posted by Strongbow

Well, its not really Hans Blix job to determine what the Geopolitical consequences of not disarming Saddam would be. His job was far more specific and technical about Iraq's WMD capacity and whether they had complied or not, it was never his job to decide what policy should be, only to verify whether the Iraqi's were doing what was required of them. The inspections after the 2003 invasion revealed numourous violations by the Iraqi's, related to WMD development that they concealed from the inspectors and could have revealed to them if they were serious about disarmament. It was not the "smoking gun" but the concealment of such activities proves intention which is really what this is all about.

The disarmament of Iraq was a key issue in determining what should be done. The only way you could think otherwise is if your ignorant of what happened in Iraq during the previous administration. This whole issue started long before W even knew he was running for President.


all of this is moot because it is up to the UN Security Council to decide how to enforce it's resolutions, and not the US.

the WMD intelligence was widely viewed as sketchy, and while there was international consensus that Saddam was indeed a bad person doing bad things, there was only one country with one president who believed that the black box of intelligence gathering presented a strong enough case to justify a full scale invasion of a soverign nation. and you are truly ignorant of the causes of the Iraq war if you ignore how the "threat" of WMDs was presented to the American people. while it would have been illegal for SH to have had these weapons, the issue became not the existence of these weapons but the possibility that these weapons would be given to Al Qaeda and then used against the United States and it's allies. this is why they talked of mushroom clouds, and this was why 9-11 was mentioned in every single speach involving the invasion of Iraq. and this was where the rest of the world diverged with the US. there was no "imminent" threat posed by these now phantasmogorical WMDs. and it turns out there was no threat at all. and certainly there was nothing to justify an invasion of Iraq, especially now that we will be living with the fall out not just of a technicall illegal invasion, but a horribly botched occupation that has done more damage to the US than any other event since the Vietnam war.

and what's sad is that the actual, real, global threats that face the world right now -- Israel/Palestine, Pakistan, global AIDS, global warming -- need more US participation, and our credibility as a honest broker of sorts has been destroyed by the fabrication of the "threat" that WMDs presented to us and the world, as well as our competence in doing anything other than invading.
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Old 12-09-2007, 12:34 PM   #132
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Originally posted by Strongbow

Back to Iran, again what evidence do you have that the administration was clearly trying to attack Iran? When did they make the effort? Such a major operation would require a noticable build of military force beyond what is already in the region. It certainly would involve consultations with all of the United States regional allies from Israel to Saudi Arabia, since a major response from Iran, possibly against other countries in the region, would be expected.


the mentioning of WW3, the characterizations of the Iranian president, and the administrations track record of standing at a podium and naming certain things and people "evil" and then invading their countries all seems to add up to a quite credible assessment that, at the very least, "regime change" in Tehran is a foreign policy goal of the present US administration.

thankfully, the 2006 elections were a sea change in US popular opinion, and saw the departure of Rumsfeld and the marginalization of Cheney withing the administartion, who's been clearly the biggest hawk in the administraiton. thankfully, it has been Rice who's been advocating diplomacy with Tehran from the start, and now that the Dems are in control, the WH has had to shift it's tactics and outlook in order to get anything done now that they are facing far stronger political opposition both in Congress itself and across the country (being a wildly unpopular president doesn't help either).
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Old 12-09-2007, 06:30 PM   #133
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all of this is moot because it is up to the UN Security Council to decide how to enforce it's resolutions, and not the US.

the WMD intelligence was widely viewed as sketchy, and while there was international consensus that Saddam was indeed a bad person doing bad things, there was only one country with one president who believed that the black box of intelligence gathering presented a strong enough case to justify a full scale invasion of a soverign nation. and you are truly ignorant of the causes of the Iraq war if you ignore how the "threat" of WMDs was presented to the American people. while it would have been illegal for SH to have had these weapons, the issue became not the existence of these weapons but the possibility that these weapons would be given to Al Qaeda and then used against the United States and it's allies. this is why they talked of mushroom clouds, and this was why 9-11 was mentioned in every single speach involving the invasion of Iraq. and this was where the rest of the world diverged with the US. there was no "imminent" threat posed by these now phantasmogorical WMDs. and it turns out there was no threat at all. and certainly there was nothing to justify an invasion of Iraq, especially now that we will be living with the fall out not just of a technicall illegal invasion, but a horribly botched occupation that has done more damage to the US than any other event since the Vietnam war.

and what's sad is that the actual, real, global threats that face the world right now -- Israel/Palestine, Pakistan, global AIDS, global warming -- need more US participation, and our credibility as a honest broker of sorts has been destroyed by the fabrication of the "threat" that WMDs presented to us and the world, as well as our competence in doing anything other than invading.
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. If you really want a clear cut example of that, just look at US foreign Policy in the Balkans during the 1990s under Bill Clinton. US military action in both Bosnia and Kosovo was clearly illegal from the standpoint of the United Nations. Those are clear examples where a soverign nation was attacked without any sort of authorization in any way shape or form from the United Nations. The legitamacy for US military action for purely security reasons was sketchy in those cases, not so with Iraq.

Iraq by contrast had presented the United States and its allies in the region with serious security problems for years following the events of 1990-1991. The invasion and annexation of Kuwait, the launch of Ballistic Missiles against Israel and Saudi Arabia, the risk to the global oil market, the issue of Iraq's WMD's which led to repeated US military action against Iraq after 1991. In fact, the United States has been engaged in some form of military action inside the borders of Iraq every year since 1991. As bad and problematic as Radovan Karadzic and Slobodon Milsovic were, they were not even in the ball park compared to Saddam's Iraq in terms of threatening US interest. Even in terms of the domestic humanitarian tragedy in Bosnia and Kosovo, Saddam was worse.

It would have been one thing if Saddam had become a virtual pacifist after his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War or been removed with 5 years of that war, but those things never happened and the threat remained. Efforts to contain Saddam started to crumble as countries in the region grew tired of enforcing sanctions and other members of the international community openly tried to bring them to an end. Most foreign Policy analyst as early as the mid-1990s sited Iraq as the country the United States was most likely to go to war with. The risk of simply leaving Saddam in power began to outweigh the cost of removing him.

While the general population in the United States has turned against the war in the past couple of years, the majority of the US military establishment still supports it and recognizes why removing Saddam was the right thing to do for US security. Few people dream or wish for the return of the Saddam regime in Iraq and those that do are either uninformed or have forgotten the major conflicts and wars the United States had already engaged him in prior to 2003.

It is highly unlikely that the United States population would continue to support the mission in Bosnia or Kosovo if the Serbs had decided to resist in any way they could for as long as they could, as the Sunni's and other groups in Iraq have. Would the United States still support the missions in Bosnia and Kosovo if both were still ongoing with 10,000 US troops killed and a long difficult road ahead involving a 10 or 20 year commitment under such hostile conditions? That is precisely what Bill Clinton potentially risked in both Bosnia and Kosovo when he chose to intervene with the US military in those conflicts. Conflicts in countries that did not nearly pose the security threat that Iraq once did. But, a Serb insurgency never developed in either case and because of that, those conflicts and the potential risk they involved have largely been forgotten.

The same, although to a lesser degree could be said about Afghanistan. Would the US population still support the mission in Afghanistan if the fighting and insurgency was as intense as Iraq has been? If the US had taken 13,000 Killed in action as the Soviets did in the 1980s, would the support still be there? Because Al Quada were based out of Afghanistan at the time of 9/11, there would probably always be strong residual support, but its unlikely that it would be as strong as it is today if the casualty situation was similar to that of Iraq. In fact, Canada has suffered almost 100 killed in Afghanistan and is already facing strong domestic pressure to pull their troops out of Afghanistan.

Despite the anti-war sentiment in the United States today, there is the potential that this will wane and fade over time, provided there is a steady improvement inside Iraq and especially once a new administration is in office and takes ownership of the conflict. That next administration will probably be Hillary Clinton's, and despite her current pandering to the anti-war left of her party, she has much more in common with Bush and his camp, than much of the base of the Democratic party.

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:

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Old 12-09-2007, 06:49 PM   #134
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Originally posted by Strongbow
What speech did Bush actually state that he wanted to invade Iran?
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.

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Originally posted by Strongbow
As to Bush's comments about "World War III", it only seems extreme if you have never heard the President of Iran discuss what he would like to do to Israel. I think that everyone can agree that the chances of any hypothetical World War III senerio are far less if Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon. That is the point Bush was making.
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.

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Originally posted by Strongbow
The only ones that are really gung ho about Bush going to war with Iran are the democrats who use at talking points to drum up support for their campaigns.
It may be talking points with some, but with others, I think their response to Bush's plans are valid and worth stating.

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Originally posted by Strongbow
I've never heard that Obama and Edwards had 100% ever ruled out the use of any type of military force to prevent Iran from developing nuclear weapons. I'd be interested to see a speech or comment where they stated that.
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.

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Originally posted by Strongbow
On a different issue, it may come as a shock to some, but Obama and Edwards would not rule out still having US troops in Iraq in 2013.
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)

Quote:
Originally posted by Strongbow
Back to Iran, again what evidence do you have that the administration was clearly trying to attack Iran? When did they make the effort? Such a major operation would require a noticable build of military force beyond what is already in the region. It certainly would involve consultations with all of the United States regional allies from Israel to Saudi Arabia, since a major response from Iran, possibly against other countries in the region, would be expected.
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
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:09 PM   #135
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the mentioning of WW3, the characterizations of the Iranian president, and the administrations track record of standing at a podium and naming certain things and people "evil" and then invading their countries all seems to add up to a quite credible assessment that, at the very least, "regime change" in Tehran is a foreign policy goal of the present US administration.

thankfully, the 2006 elections were a sea change in US popular opinion, and saw the departure of Rumsfeld and the marginalization of Cheney withing the administartion, who's been clearly the biggest hawk in the administraiton. thankfully, it has been Rice who's been advocating diplomacy with Tehran from the start, and now that the Dems are in control, the WH has had to shift it's tactics and outlook in order to get anything done now that they are facing far stronger political opposition both in Congress itself and across the country (being a wildly unpopular president doesn't help either).
Well, Ronald Reagan said much the same thing about the Soviet Union, but no one ever seriously believed that Reagan was planning to invade the Soviet Union. Are the chances of some hypothetical World War III senerio happening less, if a regime that advocates for the destruction of Israel does not possess nuclear weapons? I think so, and most democrats probably do as well, except they can't resist the opportunity to grossly twist language to their political benefit. Yes, Bush said things about the Taliban regime and Afghanistan and invaded Afghanistan. But everyone supported and still supports those actions. Bush made the case against Saddam, just as Bill Clinton had before him, and the majority of people, especially congress who had access to much of the same intelligence that the adminstration did, supported the action.

Regime change in Iraq was US policy well before Bush was even running for President. The United States may like to see a different regime in Iran, but there has never been the same level of scrutiny or concern by the US government in either Bill Clintons or George Bush's administration over Iran.

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.
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Old 12-09-2007, 07:21 PM   #136
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[B]

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, 07:26 PM   #137
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Originally posted by Strongbow


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, 07:28 PM   #138
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Quote:
Originally posted by Moonlit_Angel


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, 07:33 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, 07:56 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.


Quote:
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.
Quote:
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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