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Skeptic US/British planes fire on Iraq (closed) (102* d) RE: US/British planes fire on Iraq 24 Feb 01


Gern,

I'm not sure Ramsey Clark is all that credible a source. He has avery bad habit of mixing fairly well documented (such as the destruction of the power grid - calling it civilian is silly. It implies a separate Military power grid.

I hadn't heard the tanks with snow plows one. Are there really dozer blades for tanks? It would seem a very inefficient use of the weapon.

Fuel Air Explosion is also a new one. (though how that's "nuclear" isn't clear). Dumping fuel and setting in on fire? What about vaporization and flash back? Or a sudden updraft engulfing the plane/copter in a fireball?

If their was all the atrocities and "genocide", where was China. They were Saddam supporters. Surely they would have leaped at the chance to publically embarrass the allies.

I recall skimming the book. It struck me that it ought to be subtitled "The Big Book of hearsay and Wishful Thinking". It came out in 1992, right after the War. That had to be some fast research.

That aside, there probably were individual incidents that qualify as atrocities. Genocide implies much more than that.

All that said, I agree that W seems to be using Iraq for political purposes.(The aspirin Factory bombing comes to mind as an example of type) For better or worse, Bush Sr stuck fairly close to the UN Mandate. And got a lot of criticism for doing it to begin with and then for not perusing it (as in taking out Bagdad). Muzzling the press (with their consent) was ominous. I've also heard speculation that Bush is doing all this to vindicate Bush Sr. Stress is on the speculation

Peace (if you want a win/win situation anyway) isn't unilateral. If all the players don't go along it ends up with somebody being the Martyr. And yes, somebody needs to take the first step. It probaly should be us. It probably won't be.

My experience is that the people who glorify war have generally never been there. In Viet Nam, there were guys who lived for it. They had their own little groups. Really frightening.

A friend of mine who's now a prison guard said that he never figured that type out while he was in Nam. But after guarding Ted Bundy for a couple of months, he realized what they were.

Why do we need the planes in the no fly zone. Between our radar, SAM's, superior air power, spy satellites (with a 1 meter resolution), the air patrols seem more provocative than preventive. Why do we use the UN mandate as an excuse in Iraq, and ignore the UN on the West Bank settlement issue in Israel? Or, as McGrath brought up, ignore state supported terrorism? While Israel is perfectly within its rights to use assaination as a tool, we don't and there is an executive order (and legislation) prohibiting as a "tool" for th US. Hard to condem "Arab Terrorists" on one side and ignore it on the other and expect anything but deep distrust.

In Iraq, we backed ourselves into a number of corners. First by totally misunderstanding Sadaam, then by imposing draconian surrender conditions. Apparently no one remembered the lessons learned (the hard way) after the punitive and economically debilitating Treaty of Versailles. The conditions and our own erratic foreign policy give Saddam plenty of opportunity to paint Iraq as a victim. It worked for Hitler, after all, and allowed him to develop and maintain the loyalty he needed to create the third Reich.

If the peace protests of the 60's can be considered successful (and that it was, just wasn't the sole cause of the end of the War), it was because of a lot of dedicated men and women saw past the rhetoric and slogans and media curcuses and started pointing out carefully, consistently, with good documentation what was happening. And reminding people that it was wrong. Calling people "war mongers" and "baby killers" didn't win the Movement many friends. Showing them the atrocities, reminding them of what the believed in as right and wrong did. .

During the South African embargo, I had a friend who was on the Board of a university that had investments in South Africa. He said that most of the members ignored the issue for along time because they were being accused of being bigots, of supporting genocide. In their mind it was just a business decision and the name calling was totally unwarranted: were sound bites. What got their attention was a group that carefully documented what was going on and reminding the board members that what was happening wasn't morally right. It worked.

Accusing someone of being a bigot (even if he is) wins no friends. Giving him the chance to look like a good guy (even if he isn't) works better.

I suppose it depends on your goal: working to resolve the (admittedly bad) problem, or just expressing your opinions. I don't know your history, or mean to imply anything about your motives, btw. My experience has shown that tossing out words like genocide and deliberate and systematic slaughter so glorified in our countries does little to even get people to start thinking , let alone win any converts.

Regards

John


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