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BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq

Amos 18 Mar 07 - 02:55 PM
Amos 18 Mar 07 - 02:56 PM
Don Firth 18 Mar 07 - 03:10 PM
Ebbie 18 Mar 07 - 03:24 PM
Barry Finn 19 Mar 07 - 12:19 AM
Ebbie 19 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM
GUEST,petr 19 Mar 07 - 07:51 PM
dianavan 19 Mar 07 - 09:02 PM
Donuel 19 Mar 07 - 09:05 PM
Dickey 20 Mar 07 - 12:06 AM
Teribus 20 Mar 07 - 07:03 AM
beardedbruce 20 Mar 07 - 07:12 AM
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Donuel 20 Mar 07 - 07:32 AM
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Little Hawk 21 Mar 07 - 06:18 PM
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Subject: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 02:55 PM

TOMORROW night is the fourth anniversary of President Bush's prime-time address declaring the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. In the broad sweep of history, four years is a nanosecond, but in America, where memories are congenitally short, it's an eternity. That's why a revisionist history of the White House's rush to war, much of it written by its initial cheerleaders, has already taken hold. In this exonerating fictionalization of the story, nearly every politician and pundit in Washington was duped by the same "bad intelligence" before the war, and few imagined that the administration would so botch the invasion's aftermath or that the occupation would go on so long. "If only I had known then what I know now ..." has been the persistent refrain of the war supporters who subsequently disowned the fiasco. But the embarrassing reality is that much of the damning truth about the administration's case for war and its hubristic expectations for a cakewalk were publicly available before the war, hiding in plain sight, to be seen by anyone who wanted to look.

By the time the ides of March arrived in March 2003, these warning signs were visible on a nearly daily basis. So were the signs that Americans were completely ill prepared for the costs ahead. Iraq was largely anticipated as a distant, mildly disruptive geopolitical video game that would be over in a flash.

Now many of the same leaders who sold the war argue that escalation should be given a chance. This time they're peddling the new doomsday scenario that any withdrawal timetable will lead to the next 9/11. The question we must ask is: Has history taught us anything in four years?

Here is a chronology of some of the high and low points in the days leading up to the national train wreck whose anniversary we mourn this week [with occasional "where are they now" updates].

March 5, 2003

"I took the Grey Poupon out of my cupboard."

— Representative Duke Cunningham, Republican of California, on the floor of the House denouncing French opposition to the Iraq war.

[In November 2005, he resigned from Congress and pleaded guilty to accepting bribes from defense contractors. In January 2007, the United States attorney who prosecuted him — Carol Lam, a Bush appointee — was forced to step down for "performance-related" issues by Alberto Gonzales's Justice Department.]

March 6, 2003

President Bush holds his last prewar news conference. The New York Observer writes that he interchanged Iraq with the attacks of 9/11 eight times, "and eight times he was unchallenged." The ABC News White House correspondent, Terry Moran, says the Washington press corps was left "looking like zombies."

March 7, 2003

Appearing before the United Nations Security Council on the same day that the United States and three allies (Britain, Spain and Bulgaria) put forth their resolution demanding that Iraq disarm by March 17, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, Mohamed ElBaradei, reports there is "no evidence or plausible indication of the revival of a nuclear weapons program in Iraq.". He adds that documents "which formed the basis for the report of recent uranium transaction between Iraq and Niger are in fact not authentic." None of the three broadcast networks' evening newscasts mention his findings.

[In 2005 ElBaradei was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.]

March 10, 2003

Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks tells an audience in England, "We do not want this war, this violence, and we're ashamed that the president of the United States is from Texas." Boycotts, death threats and anti-Dixie Chicks demonstrations follow.

[In 2007, the Dixie Chicks won five Grammy Awards, including best song for "Not Ready to Make Nice."]

March 12, 2003

A senior military planner tells The Daily News "an attack on Iraq could last as few as seven days."

"Isn't it more likely that antipathy toward the United States in the Islamic world might diminish amid the demonstrations of jubilant Iraqis celebrating the end of a regime that has few equals in its ruthlessness?"

— John McCain, writing for the Op-Ed page of The New York Times.

"The Pentagon still has not given a name to the Iraqi war. Somehow 'Operation Re-elect Bush' doesn't seem to be popular."

— Jay Leno, "The Tonight Show."

March 14, 2003

Senator John D. Rockefeller, Democrat of West Virginia, asks the F.B.I. to investigate the forged documents cited a week earlier by ElBaradei and alleging an Iraq-Niger uranium transaction: "There is a possibility that the fabrication of these documents may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq."

March 16, 2003

On "Meet the Press," Dick Cheney says that American troops will be "greeted as liberators," that Saddam "has a longstanding relationship with various terrorist groups, including the Al Qaeda organization," and that it is an "overstatement" to suggest that several hundred thousand troops will be needed in Iraq after it is liberated. Asked by Tim Russert about ElBaradei's statement that Iraq does not have a nuclear program, the vice president says, "I think Mr. ElBaradei frankly is wrong."

"There will be new recruits, new recruits probably because of the war that's about to happen. So we haven't seen the last of Al Qaeda."

— Richard Clarke, former White House counterterrorism czar, on ABC's "This Week."

[From the recently declassified "key judgments" of the National Intelligence Estimate of April 2006: "The Iraq conflict has become the cause célèbre for jihadists, breeding a deep resentment of U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement."]

From the NY Times


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 02:56 PM

"Despite the Bush administration's claims about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction, U.S. intelligence agencies have been unable to give Congress or the Pentagon specific information about the amounts of banned weapons or where they are hidden, according to administration officials and members of Congress. Senior intelligence analysts say they feel caught between the demands from White House, Pentagon and other government policy makers for intelligence that would make the administration's case 'and what they say is a lack of hard facts,' one official said."

— "U.S. Lacks Specifics on Banned Arms," by Walter Pincus (with additional reporting by Bob Woodward), The Washington Post, Page A17.

March 17, 2003

Representative Henry Waxman, Democrat of California, who voted for the Iraq war resolution, writes the president to ask why the administration has repeatedly used W.M.D. evidence that has turned out to be "a hoax" — "correspondence that indicates that Iraq sought to obtain nuclear weapons from an African country, Niger."

[Still waiting for "an adequate explanation" of the bogus Niger claim four years later, Waxman, now chairman of the chief oversight committee in the House, wrote Condoleezza Rice on March 12, 2007, seeking a response "to multiple letters I sent you about this matter."]

In a prime-time address, President Bush tells Saddam to leave Iraq within 48 hours: "Every measure has been made to avoid war, and every measure will be taken to win it." After the speech, NBC rushes through its analysis to join a hit show in progress, "Fear Factor," where men and women walk with bare feet over broken glass to win $50,000.

March 18, 2003

Barbara Bush tells Diane Sawyer on ABC's "Good Morning America" that she will not watch televised coverage of the war: "Why should we hear about body bags and deaths, and how many, what day it's going to happen, and how many this or what do you suppose? Or, I mean, it's, it's not relevant. So, why should I waste my beautiful mind on something like that?"

[Visiting the homeless victims of another cataclysm, Hurricane Katrina, at the Houston Astrodome in 2005, Mrs. Bush said, "And so many of the people in the arena here, you know, were underprivileged anyway, so this — this is working very well for them."]

In one of its editorials strongly endorsing the war, The Wall Street Journal writes, "There is plenty of evidence that Iraq has harbored Al Qaeda members."

[In a Feb. 12, 2007, editorial defending the White House's use of prewar intelligence, The Journal wrote, "Any links between Al Qaeda and Iraq is a separate issue that was barely mentioned in the run-up to war."]

In an article headlined "Post-war 'Occupation' of Iraq Could Result in Chaos," Mark McDonald of Knight Ridder Newspapers quotes a "senior leader of one of Iraq's closest Arab neighbors," who says, "We're worried that the outcome will be civil war."

A questioner at a White House news briefing asserts that "every other war has been accompanied by fiscal austerity of some sort, often including tax increases" and asks, "What's different about this war?" Ari Fleischer responds, "The most important thing, war or no war, is for the economy to grow," adding that in the president's judgment, "the best way to help the economy to grow is to stimulate the economy by providing tax relief."

After consulting with the homeland security secretary, Tom Ridge, the N.C.A.A. announces that the men's basketball tournament will tip off this week as scheduled. The N.C.A.A. president, Myles Brand, says, "We were not going to let a tyrant determine how we were going to lead our lives."

March 19, 2003

"I'd guess that if it goes beyond three weeks, Bush will be in real trouble."

— Andrew Bacevich, a retired Army colonel teaching at Boston University, quoted in The Washington Post.

[The March 2007 installment of the Congressionally mandated Pentagon assessment "Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq" reported that from Jan. 1 to Feb. 9, 2007, there were more than 1,000 weekly attacks, up from about 400 in spring 2004.]

Robert McIlvaine, whose 26-year-old son was killed at the World Trade Center 18 months earlier, is arrested at a peace demonstration at the Capitol in Washington. He tells The Washington Post: "It's very insulting to hear President Bush say this is for Sept. 11."

"I don't think it is reasonable to close the door on inspections after three and a half months," when Iraq's government is providing more cooperation than it has in more than a decade.

— Hans Blix, chief weapons inspector for the United Nations.

The Washington Post-ABC News poll shows that 71 percent of Americans support going to war in Iraq, up from 59 percent before the president's March 17 speech.

"When the president talks about sacrifice, I think the American people clearly understand what the president is talking about."

— Ari Fleischer

[Asked in January 2007 how Americans have sacrificed, President Bush answered: "I think a lot of people are in this fight. I mean, they sacrifice peace of mind when they see the terrible images of violence on TV every night."]

Pentagon units will "locate and survey at least 130 and as many as 1,400 possible weapons sites."

— "Disarming Saddam Hussein; Teams of Experts to Hunt Iraq Arms" by Judith Miller, The Times, Page A1.

President Bush declares war from the Oval Office in a national address: "Our nation enters this conflict reluctantly, yet our purpose is sure."

Price of a share of Halliburton stock: $20.50

[Value of that Halliburton share on March 16, 2007, adjusted for a split in 2006: $64.12.]

March 20, 2003

"The pictures you're seeing are absolutely phenomenal. These are live pictures of the Seventh Cavalry racing across the deserts in southern Iraq. They will — it will be days before they get to Baghdad, but you've never seen battlefield pictures like these before."

— Walter Rodgers, an embedded CNN correspondent.

"It seems quite odd to me that while we are commenced upon a war, we have no funding for that war in this budget."

—Hillary Clinton.

"Coalition forces suffered their first casualties in a helicopter crash that left 12 Britons and 4 Americans dead."

— The Associated Press.

Though the March 23 Oscar ceremony will dispense with the red carpet in deference to the war, an E! channel executive announces there will be no cutback on pre-Oscar programming, but "the tone will be much more somber."

March 21, 2003

"I don't mean to be glib about this, or make it sound trite, but it really is a symphony that has to be orchestrated by a conductor."

— Retired Maj. Gen. Donald Shepperd, CNN military analyst, speaking to Wolf Blitzer of the bombardment of Baghdad during Shock and Awe.

["Many parts of Iraq are stable. But of course what we see on television is the one bombing a day that discourages everyone."

— Laura Bush, "Larry King Live," Feb. 26, 2007.]

"The president may occasionally turn on the TV, but that's not how he gets his news or his information. ... He is the president, he's made his decisions and the American people are watching him."

— Ari Fleischer.

[The former press secretary received immunity from prosecution in the Valerie Wilson leak case and testified in the perjury trial of Scooter Libby in 2007.]

"Peter, I may be going out on a limb, but I'm not sure that the first stage of this Shock and Awe campaign is really going to frighten the Iraqi people. In fact, it may have just the opposite effect. If they feel that they've survived the most that the United States can throw at them and they're still standing, and they're still able to go about their lives, well, then they might be rather emboldened. They might feel that, well, look, we can stand a lot more than this."

— Richard Engel, a Baghdad correspondent speaking to Peter Jennings on ABC's "World News Tonight."

Ibid


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 03:10 PM

On the eve of the war, in a meeting I attended, Jim McDermott, Washington State's Congressional Representative from the Seventh District (which includes Seattle) said that ". . . this will turn into the same kind of quagmire as the Vietnam war. And I can see us eventually having to leave Baghdad the same way we had to leave Saigon:   frantically scrambling aboard helicopters from the roofs of buildings."

That hasn't happened yet, but so far, everything that Jim McDermott has said about this war has been right.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Ebbie
Date: 18 Mar 07 - 03:24 PM

John Young, columnist, New York Times News Service, 2/23

"By the time the public really focused on it, the decision to go to war had already been made." Pulitzer Prize winner Thomas Ricks in his new book 'Fiasco'.

Quote: Fiasco ought to be required reading for every policy maker and every high schooler.

In his book, Ricks recounts how "... specious claims about weapons of mass destruction got upgraded to fact, first by Vice President Dick Cheney at a veterans convention in Nashville in 2002, then by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, then by President Bush."

Quote: From Ricks' and others' accounts, including those of Bob Woodward, it is beyond disingenuous for Americans to be told that bad information is why we went to war. The truth is that in the buildup, facts were secondary.

Quote: "When the House debate began, there was just one reporter in the press gallery, writes Ricks. At their most intense points, the debates in both the House and the Senate attracted less than 10 percent of each body's members."

Quote: The media and the Congress, had decided to cede the fact-vetting and war-making functions to political operatives who told us we had no choice, no choice whatsoever.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Barry Finn
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 12:19 AM

So what's up about the longer road home?

"The road to hell is short, the road out is under construction" (me)

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Ebbie
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 01:09 AM

I prefer to think that the road *to* hell is under construction. Since we create it ourselves, we have the choice at each intersection to turn off.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 07:51 PM

the one difference betw Iraq and Vietnam, was that there were huge rallies and protests all over the world against the Iraq war right at the start, with Vietnam it wasnt until much later.

the republican line of supporting the troops is starting to wear thin,
after the shoddy treatment of veterans at walter reed, also the fact that military does not recognise ptsd - rather they call it a personality disorder such as bipolar etc so they dont have to pay anything.

also the private security companies such as blackwater, recruit all over the world - (when CBC 'dispatches' - interviewed a blackwater recruiter in Fiji, he said there is a large payment in case of death, however its never been paid because the people recruited ended up switching to other security companies so all they do now is just return the body..
meanwhile other Fijians who served and returned were not paid anywhere near as promised, the response was 'go to Britain and deal with the head office of Blackwater'


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 09:02 PM

You're right, petr, misdiagnosis of vets is a fairly commmon way of discharging service personnel and a way to avoid providing benefits for PTSD.

"Military records show that since 2003, 4,092 Army soldiers and another 11,296 men and women in other branches of the armed services have been discharged after being diagnosed with the disorder."

http://fairuse.100webcustomers.com/fairenough/aas0.html

I just heard Bush urge patience. He says it will take months, not weeks. Doesn't he realize it has already taken years since the day he proclaimed, "mission accomplished"? Just another another media blip. Meanwhile, the insurgents have switched the focus of their attacks to Kirkurk. So much for the possibility of Kurdish independence.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Donuel
Date: 19 Mar 07 - 09:05 PM

After all the carefully choreographed lies and fear campaigns so skillfully condensed by Amos, Don, Barry, Petr and Ebbie came the penultimate speech.

The last speech before W launched the bombs on Baghdad he spoke before the families of all the prominent neo cons in a room that had the look of a real town meeting. George said "I don't want a war, nobody wants a war, but its up to Saddam now."
He went on to way to say something like he would order a surprise attack on Iraq at prime time Eastern Standard Time on a dark of the moon Tuesday.

IMMEDIATLY following the "speech" a patriotic song and dance extravaganza by the Bishop of American wars of adventure, Billy Graham.
For 90 minutes they waved the flag and beat the drums for war, for God and for country.
It was choreographed so patrioticly as to make elementary students proud.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 12:06 AM

From The Sunday Times
March 18, 2007
Iraqis: life is getting better
Marie Colvin

MOST Iraqis believe life is better for them now than it was under Saddam Hussein, according to a British opinion poll published today.

The survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis found the majority optimistic despite their suffering in sectarian violence since the American-led invasion four years ago this week.

One in four Iraqis has had a family member murdered, says the poll by Opinion Research Business. In Baghdad, the capital, one in four has had a relative kidnapped and one in three said members of their family had fled abroad. But when asked whether they preferred life under Saddam, the dictator who was executed last December, or under Nouri al-Maliki, the prime minister, most replied that things were better for them today.

Only 27% think there is a civil war in Iraq, compared with 61% who do not, according to the survey carried out last month.
Related Links

    * Resilient Iraqis ask what civil war?

    * Violence slashed as troop surge hits Baghdad

By a majority of two to one, Iraqis believe military operations now under way will disarm all militias. More than half say security will improve after a withdrawal of multinational forces.

Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, said the findings pointed to progress. "There is no widespread violence in the four southern provinces and the fact that the picture is more complex than the stereotype usually portrayed is reflected in today's poll," she said.

What further proof does one need to recognize clearly both the Democrats in the US Congress and the Liberal World view are dependent on defeat in Iraq? If their Party and their philosophical movement are to remain remotely relevent then they must hope for ruin and further tragedy for Iraq and the Iraqi People.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:03 AM

Donuel - 19 Mar 07 - 09:05 PM

"After all the carefully choreographed lies and fear campaigns"

What complete and utter crap - on examination, all the supposed luminaries that you mention and applaud have only been able to parade opinion so far and all tend to buckle, cut and run when actually pressed to provide any real proof of evidence to back up their markedly flawed and baseless contentions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:12 AM

Donuel,

"George said "I don't want a war, nobody wants a war, but its up to Saddam now."
He went on to way to say something like he would order a surprise attack on Iraq at prime time Eastern Standard Time on a dark of the moon Tuesday."



"On March 19 at 9:34 p.m.—two days after demanding that Saddam Hussein and his sons Uday and Qusay surrender and leave Iraq within 48 hours—the U.S.-led coalition begins bombing Baghdad."

Big Surprise!

http://www.time.com/time/2007/iraq/1.html?xid=site-cnn-partner


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:19 AM

btw, UNR 1441 was 8 Nov 2002. With a 30 DAY time limit ( not met) for compliance.

http://daccessdds.un.org/doc/UNDOC/GEN/N02/682/26/PDF/N0268226.pdf?OpenElement


So, over 4 months time to hide evidence, and YOU call it a "surprise".


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:32 AM

Teribus, I respect your opinion and your relentless challenge of editorail opinions like mine that are not merely statements of facts.
Unlike many others you do not dismiss facts as insane opinion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:58 AM

The war in Iraq began four years ago today. Fans at sporting events around the U.S. greeted the war and its early "shock and awe" bombing campaign with chants of "U.S.A.! U.S.A.!"

Jeffrey Lucey, who turned 22 the day before the war began, had a different perspective. He had no illusions about the glory or glamour of warfare. His unit had been activated and he was part of the first wave of troops to head into the combat zone.

A diary entry noted the explosion of a Scud missile near his unit: "The noise was just short of blowing out your eardrums. Everyone's heart truly skipped a beat. ... Nerves are on edge."

By the time he came home, Jeffrey Lucey was a mess. He had gruesome stories to tell. They could not all be verified, but there was no doubt that this once-healthy young man had been shattered by his experiences.

He had nightmares. He drank furiously. He withdrew from his friends. He wrecked his parents' car. He began to hallucinate.

In a moment of deep despair on the Christmas Eve after his return from Iraq, Jeffrey hurled his dogtags at his sister Debra and cried out, "Don't you know your brother's a murderer?"

Jeffrey exhibited all the signs of deep depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. Wars do that to people. They rip apart the mind and the soul in the same way that bullets and bombs mutilate the body. The war in Iraq is inflicting a much greater emotional toll on U.S. troops than most Americans realize. ...




In the end, the story goes on, he hung himself with a garden hose in the cellar of his parents' home.

This is the kind of brutal end that is embraced by those who choose invasion and war as the first-line option. It is the price they don't see, like a teenager going crazy with a 17% credit card. The thing is, though, that those who don't know how the world works should not be entrusted with life-and-death decisions about it. It gets too ugly.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 01:26 PM

A thoughtful analysis on the present situation in Iraq, its roots and remedies, can be found in PDF format at this page. It is published by the Council on Foreign Relations and is called "After the Surge".


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 01:35 PM

The story of one mother willing to go to extremes to protect her son from being returned to Iraq when already brain-damaged from his first two tours can be found here.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 01:36 PM

Amos,

A worthwhile article, BUT you should point out

"After the Surge: The Case for U.S. Military Disengagement from Iraq is premised on the judgment that the United States is not succeeding in Iraq and that Iraq itself is more divided and violent than ever. It concludes that the administration's decision to increase U.S. force levels will fail to prevent further deterioration in the situation—and that there is no alternative policy with the potential to turn things around."

If one apriori agrees with the premise, fine- but one can write something based on an invalid premise and I doubt you would let it ride... ( unless it supported what you wanted to believe.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Ebbie
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 02:49 PM

I couldn't find what I had read this morning but this article comes close. The other one spoke of how difficult it had been to poll the Iraqis (Citizens who said they were afraid to talk were excused). My point in posting this is that it has a remarkably different slant than that given in the Washington Times from which Dickey posted

Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, March 20, 2007; Page A14

Poll Shows Dramatic Decline in How Iraqis View Lives, Future


"In the more comprehensive ABC News poll, conducted in partnership with the German television network ARD, the BBC and USA Today, Iraqis were asked whether the country was involved in a civil war; 42 percent said it was. Of the 56 percent who said the country was not in a state of civil war, more than four in 10 said such a conflict was likely.

"About half of the Iraqis in the ABC News poll -- 49 percent -- said that bringing more U.S. forces into Baghdad and volatile Anbar province would worsen security. Twenty-nine percent said it would improve the situation in those areas, and 22 percent said the troop increase would have no effect. President Bush has authorized the deployment of nearly 30,000 additional troops to Baghdad and Anbar to support a nearly five-week-old security plan.

"Sixty-nine percent of the Iraqis surveyed said the presence of U.S. forces in the country makes the overall security situation worse, but just 35 percent said U.S. and other coalition forces should "leave now." Thirty-eight percent said the forces should stay until security is restored; 14 percent said the forces should remain until the Iraqi government is stronger; 11 percent said they should stay until Iraqi forces can operate on their own.

"Fifty-one percent said they thought it was "acceptable" for "other people" to attack coalition forces. In the 2004 survey, 17 percent said such attacks were acceptable."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/19/AR2007031900421.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 06:22 PM

An interesting piece of history concerning Rumsfeld orders to include Saddam in the planning immediately 9-11 occurred. Taken from here:

"On July 23, 2005, I submitted an electronic Freedom
of Information Act request to the Department of Defense
seeking DoD staffer Stephen Cambone's notes from
meetings with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld on
the afternoon of September 11, 2001. Cambone's notes
were cited heavily in the 9/11 Commission Report's
reconstruction of the day's events. On February 10,
2006, I received a response from the DoD which
includes partially-redacted copies of Cambone's notes.
The documents can be viewed as a photo set on Flickr.

The released notes document Donald Rumsfeld's 2:40
PM instructions to General Myers to find the "[b]est
info fast . . . judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time - not only UBL [Usama Bin Laden]" (as discussed on p. 334-335 of the 9/11 Commission Report and in Bob Woodward's Plan of Attack).

In addition, the documents confirm the contents of CBS News' Sept. 4, 2002 report "Plans For Iraq Attack Began on 9/11," which quoted Rumsfeld's notes as stating: "Go massive . . . Sweep it all up. Things related and not." These lines were not mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report or Woodward's Plan of Attack, and to my knowledge, have not been independently confirmed by any other source. After the Rathergate fiasco, I wondered if CBS had been fooled into publishing a story that, from a publicity perspective, seemed too good to be true.

Finally, these documents unveil a previously undisclosed part of the 2:40 PM discussion. Several lines below the "judge whether good enough [to] hit S.H. at same time" line, Cambone's notes from the conversation read: "Hard to get a good case."

In addition to being available as a photo set on Flickr, you can download the documents in PDF format below. BitTorrent users can also download a 6.9 MB zip file containing PDFs of all the documents. [Torrent / Prodigem torrent details page]

Notes from 12:05 PM meeting [PDF]
Notes from 12:05 PM meeting (negative) [PDF]
Notes from 2:40 PM meeting [PDF]
Notes from 2:40 PM meeting (negative) [PDF]
Notes from 9:53 PM meeting [PDF]
Notes from 9:53 PM meeting (negative) [PDF]
DoD's FOIA release letter [PDF]
Raw scan of page 3 of notes [PDF]
Raw scan of page 5 of notes [PDF]
Raw scan of page 6 of notes [PDF]
Raw scan of page 9 of notes [PDF]

(Edited on 2/19/06 to include BitTorrent link, and on 2/23/06 to correct a typo and add another link to the Flickr photo set. Subsequent related posts: The Guardian Covers Cambone's 9/11 Notes; "Hard to get a good case": Early Attempts to Link 9/11 and Iraq)"

Innerestin'. It is pretty plain that Rummy was intent on the invasion of Iraq well before WMD ever loomed as an issue, and to use 9-11 as an excuse.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:03 PM

Well, okay, I'll admit that Bush was right about one thing and that was "bad intellegence"... Porblem is that it wasn't as much at the CIA but at the White House...

Why won't Cheney release his notes of his copnatcts at the CIA during the mad-dash-to-Itaqmire??? Well, I'll tell ya' why... Because they would show incessant pressure on analyists to sing the company fight song...

Why didn't Bush care much about the dissenting opinions in his daily reports from the CIA??? Well, I'll tell ya why... 'Cause it didn't play into Karl Rove's strategy for the Republicans to hold power in '04...

Why was Bush in such a hurry to invade Iraq given the Hans Blix report in January to the UN that Iraq was indeed now cooperating fully with the weapons inspectors??? Well, I'll tell ya' why... 'Cause had the weapons inspectors been able to continue their jobs then Karl Rove's plans to hold power whould have gone down the drain...

BTW, Why were Bush's attorneies in the 2000 Election so Hell-bent on gettin' to the Supreme Courth as fast as they could??? Fir a hint see last question... Oh, too hard??? Well, I'll tell ya' why... 'Cause like the weapons inspectors being pulled early these lawyeres felt that if the recount were to continue then their client would be "harmed" in losing the election... (I'm seein' a pettern here...)

Then there's this amtter of all the outright lies that Bush and his people were tellin'... Okay, on another thread there is a suggestion that if Bush didn't actually know he was liein' that the lies don't count... In other words, if Bush was so predisposed to going to war that any time he saw the "truth" coming toward him he'd stick his head in the sand so it really isn't lieing, is it??? Bullfeaathers.... He knew what he was doing... This a man so steeped in partisan politics that unless his IQ was under 80, he knew... He knew there were millions of folks in the streets accross the world sayin', "Hey, pal, slow the heck down... What's the big hurry" yet he pretended to stuick his head in the sand so he could later say, "Geeze, I musts got me some bad intellegence..."

Yeah, Goerge, you got that part right... You got some serious b ad intellegence but not to worry... There are a plenty rich folks and rich folks stooges (three of them here in Mudville) whyo are prefectly willing to turn yer worst prsident ever administration into some heroic afministration...

We have folks comparing you to Ronald Reagan...

Well, yeah, I can see the resemeblence... Alzheimiers, false calims of big victories and record deficits....

Tell ya what, folks, and especially to the 3 Stooges here in Mudville... Their ain't enough whitewash in the world to whitewash over Bush's war crimes against humanity... You won't be able to revise this guy's legacy... It is chizzeled in stone... There is no avoiding it any more than avioding death (pun intended) and tax cuts to the rich folks (pun intended)...

Yeah, 3 Stooges just thinkin' "Oh, here's another Bobert rant..." and dismiss the reality of their support for this anti-human adminstration and, fine, that is the perogative of any or all of the 3 Stooges to do... Might of fact, if they didn't dismiss it then I would be encouraged that one or all of the 3 Stooges might have had a little "Come to Jesus" and be willin' to confront the fact that they have been supporting war crimes against humaniity... But I doubt that will happen 'casue there's always revisions...

Problem with revising history while it's still warm is that it's hard to convince the folks who have just witnessed what they saw as being wrong about what they saw so...

...best of luck to the 3 Stooges here and all the stooges out there who think they can rewrite the legacies of their leaders or their support for these leaders decisions...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 07:22 PM

The survey of more than 5,000 Iraqis found the majority optimistic

I'd need to know a lot more about the way those people were selected, the circumstances in which the poll was carried out, and the actual questions asked before I'd trust that claim.

Sadam Hussein used to get 100 per cent backing in anything of that sort, after all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 20 Mar 07 - 08:22 PM

and an earlier British survey found only 2% Iraqis see US troops as liberators...
they waltzed right into OBLs plan, so far the only known connection between Iraq war and Alqaeda is that it has become a cause celebre for them..
damned if they leave and damned if they stay..

what should have been one of the easiest invasions in history by the largest military power - has become a monumental failure.
and teribus and others would have us believe they would have gone into Iraq if the worlds oil supply was in south america and the main product of Iraq was dates..


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 12:06 AM

From today's Washington Post:

..."When the argument over invading Iraq was publicly joined in summer 2002, many mainstream Republicans were queasy. That September, Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.) told me his constituents were "concerned about a go-it-alone strategy," and Rep. Thomas Petri (R-Wis.) said voters in his district expressed "concern about whether we know what we're doing or how we're going to do it."

The concerns of those good citizens were never answered because the administration was so successful in creating a lock-step mood, trumping doubters with extravagant claims about perils emanating from mushroom clouds and aluminum tubes.

The process of twisting the facts continued for four years. Every setback in Iraq was first ignored, then denied and then explained away as temporary. Some new strategy was always hyped as the beginning of a successful end. It's no wonder the war's remaining supporters get so little traction when they claim that the surge is working and that Bush should be given one more chance to get the war right. Patriotic skeptics have heard it before.

Foreign policy hawks fear an "Iraq Syndrome" involving a pathological wariness about the use of American force and an unhealthy mistrust of every word coming out of the White House.

On the contrary, this botched war is far more likely to lead to what might properly be called the Post-Bush Awakening. It is an awakening to the danger of viewing critics as traitors, to the costs of making everything about politics and to the sad tendency of establishmentarians to seek refuge within the boundaries of prevailing opinion.

It is also an awakening to the wise skepticism of everyday Americans toward ideologues who believe that optional wars of their design can miraculously change the world.

Here's what Vice President Cheney said in late August 2002 about the transformative potential of a war with Iraq: "Extremists in the region would have to rethink their strategy of jihad. Moderates throughout the region would take heart, and our ability to advance the Israeli-Palestinian peace process would be enhanced."

The uneasy constituents whom Camp and Petri were meeting with around the time Cheney spoke were too realistic to accept this nonsense whole. Next time, they will insist that their questions are answered and their doubts allayed before their sons and daughters are sent off to war.

None of this means that American opinion has become isolationist. The country's determination to defeat terrorism has not slackened. Most Americans still believe the war in Afghanistan was a proper response to the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and wonder why it was left unfinished so the ideologues could go off in pursuit of Utopia on the Euphrates. The men and women who wear the nation's uniform have never been so popular.

But those who spent the past four years hyping threats, underestimating costs, ignoring rational warnings, painting unrealistic futures and savaging their opponents have been discredited. This awakening is the first step toward rebuilding our country's influence and power."...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 12:27 AM

Not at all petr, if Iraq's main product had been dates instead of oil, it is highly unlikely that Saddam Hussein and Iraq would have have posed any threat to anybody. I doubt very much if the Soviet Union would have armed him in exchange for rights/options on date crops, as opposed to arming him to the teeth in exchange for oil as they did.

Bobert Fact - Hans Blix report in January to the UN that Iraq was indeed now cooperating fully with the weapons inspectors

Now here is what Dr. Hans Blix DID say in his Reports to UNSC in both January (where Bobert invented his fact from) and February:

Dr. Hans Blix Reporting to UNSC 27th January 2003

"The environment has been workable. Our inspections have included universities, military bases, presidential sites and private residences. Inspections have also taken place on Fridays, the Muslim day of rest, on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. These inspections have been conducted in the same manner as all other inspections. We seek to be both effective and correct.

In this updating, I'm bound, however, to register some problems. The first are related to two kinds of air operations. While we now have the technical capability to send a U-2 plane placed at our disposal for aerial imagery and for surveillance during inspections and have informed Iraq that we plan to do so, Iraq has refused to guarantee its safety unless a number of conditions are fulfilled.

As these conditions went beyond what is stipulated in Resolution 1441 and what was practiced by UNSCOM and Iraq in the past, we note that Iraq is not so far complying with our requests. I hope this attitude will change.

Another air operation problem, which was so during our recent talks in Baghdad, concerned the use of helicopters flying into the no-fly zones. Iraq had insisted on sending helicopters of their own to accompany ours.

This would have raised a safety problem.

The matter was solved by an offer on our part to take the accompanying Iraqi minders in our helicopters to the sites, an arrangement that had been practiced by UNSCOM in the past.

I'm obliged to note some recent disturbing incidents and harassment. For instance, for some time farfetched allegations have been made publicly that questions posed by inspectors were of an intelligence character. While I might not defend every question that inspectors might have asked, Iraq knows that they do not serve intelligence purposes and Iraq should not say so.

On a number of occasions, demonstrations have taken place in front of our offices and at inspection sites. The other day, a sightseeing excursion by five inspectors to a mosque was followed by an unwarranted public outburst. Inspectors went without U.N. insignia and were welcomed in the kind manner that is characteristic of the normal Iraqi attitude to foreigners. They took off their shoes and were taken around. They asked perfectly innocent questions and parted with the invitation to come again.

Shortly thereafter, we received protests from the Iraqi authorities about an unannounced inspection and about questions not relevant to weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, they were not.

Demonstrations and outbursts of this kind are unlikely to occur in Iraq with initiative or encouragement from the authorities. We must ask ourselves what the motives may be for these events. They do not facilitate an already difficult job, in which we try to be effective, professional, and at the same time correct. Where our Iraqi counterparts have some complaint, they can take it up in a calmer and less unpleasant manner.

The substantive cooperation required relates above all to the obligation of Iraq to declare all programs of weapons of mass destruction and either to present items and activities for elimination or else to provide evidence supporting the conclusions that nothing proscribed remains.

Paragraph 9 of Resolution 1441 states that this cooperation shall be "active." It is not enough to open doors. Inspection is not a game of catch as catch can.


Dr. Hans Blix Reporting to the UNSC - 14th February 2003

"Regrettably, the high degree of cooperation required of Iraq for disarmament through inspection was not forthcoming in 1991. Despite the elimination, under UNSCOM and IAEA supervision, of large amounts of weapons, weapons-related items and installations over the years, the task remained incomplete, when inspectors were withdrawn almost 8 years later at the end of 1998.

If Iraq had provided the necessary cooperation in 1991, the phase of disarmament - under resolution 687 (1991) - could have been short and a decade of sanctions could have been avoided.

Today, three months after the adoption of resolution 1441 (2002), the period of disarmament through inspection could still be short, if and I quote "immediate, active and unconditional cooperation" with UNMOVIC and the IAEA were to be forthcoming."

Doesn't sound like full pro-active co-operation to me, Bobert, by your own description within your family - you are telling lies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 12:51 AM

Oh, please, Teribus. Now you're trying to blame the Soviet Union for supplying arms to Saddam as if the U.S. or Britain would never do something like that. Accountability does not mean blaming someone else.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 01:06 AM

The Americans arm the Saudis to the teeth in exchange for oil. Why shouldn't the Russians have chosen to arm Iraq to the teeth in exchange for oil? What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

Arming people is one thing. Invading them is another. The significant invasions in relatively recent times in that general area have been, in sequence:

Israel invades Lebanon.
Iraq invades Iran.
Iraq invades Kuwait.
USA coalition partially invades Iraq during Gulf War (in response to Kuwait invasion).
USA-led coalition invades Afghanistan after 911 and occupies whole country (ostensibly to catch Osama Bin Laden...).
USA-led coalition invades Iraq in 2003 and occupies whole country.
Israel invades Lebanon again in 2006, then pulls back after not doing as well as they'd hoped.

I regard the launching of outright invasions of sovereign countries as a far bigger problem in the world than merely arming people who you happen to be doing business with. I also regard it as a far bigger problem than isolated acts of terrorism by shadowy groups like Al-Queda or paramilitary organizations like Hamas. It kills a lot more people, and it does a lot more damage. It is also the equivalent of governments themselves engaging in what really is terrorism...on a much larger scale than is possible for those who are normally labelled "terrorists" in the media.

It's a double standard. All the combatants, whether they know it or not, are committing terrorism. The effect is the same. They spread terror by force and by the threat of force.


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Subject: RE: BS:
From: Barry Finn
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:38 AM

"Reviewing the Road to Iraq"

Bush: "Where the hell's that road map again?"

VP: "Shit commander, we don't even know which country were in, do we!"

Bush: "Aren't we supposed to be headed to Israel?"

Lost With Out A Clue. Coming to a theater near you. Soon!


Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:16 AM

Here are the figures Dianavan for the period 1973 to 1990:

Soviet Unionand Warsaw Pact - 68.9%
France - 12.7%
China (PRC) - 11.8%
United States - 0.5%
Egypt - 1.3%
Others - 4.8%
Source: Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI)

Little Hawk - 21 Mar 07 - 01:06 AM

1) "The Americans arm the Saudis to the teeth in exchange for oil."

Eh, Little Hawk, I think that you find that the Saudi's go to the open market for Defence Procurement and they pay cash - They can afford to. So your statement above is incorrect.

2) "Why shouldn't the Russians have chosen to arm Iraq to the teeth in exchange for oil?"

Why indeed, all I was saying in response to petr was that they would not have done the same (i.e. supplied Saddam with 68.9% with all his weapons over the course of 17 years) in exchange for dates.

The significant invasions:

Israel invades Lebanon - Provocation supplied by ???? - Self-defence.

Iraq invades Iran - Absolutely no provocation at all, in fact at the time Iraq and Iran were engaged in talks to resolve their differences over the Shat-al-Arab. Classic example of naked opportunistic aggression.

Iraq invades Kuwait - Absolutely no provocation at all, another classic example of naked opportunistic aggression.

USA coalition partially invades Iraq during Gulf War (in response to Kuwait invasion) - Incorrect there was NO US Coalition it was a United Nations Coalition - TRUE?

USA-led coalition invades Afghanistan after 911 and occupies whole country (ostensibly to catch Osama Bin Laden...) - Incorrect, there was NEVER a US invasion of Afghanistan, US and other NATO forces were invited into Afghanistan at the request of the Interim Afghan Government and the UN. They remain there to date under exactly the same conditions, i.e. at the request of the duly elected and recognised government of Afghanistan and under UN Mandate.

USA-led coalition invades Iraq in 2003 and occupies whole country.
- Justification for their actions being failure on the part of Iraq to honour the ceasefire conditions that they had agreed to at Safwan in 1991 and being in material breach (at least on seven counts) of UNSC Resolution 1441 - Iraq's last chance. Their continued presence in the country is at the specific request of the duly elected Iraqi Government and under UN Mandate.

Israel invades Lebanon - Provoked by Hezbollah rocket attacks on civilian targets within the internationally recognised sovereign State of Israel. This Little Hawk is what is called self-defence which is every country's inalienable right.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 09:52 AM

T, you are a piece of work. We're in Iraq at the invitation of their Government? Meaning if they asked us to leave we would? I doubt that. Oh and the UN Coalition -- meaning the US was just going along with the gang, and was not instrumental -- not to say primary -- in making it occur? These are flimsy rationalizations laid out on top of some really messy bad decisions to make them seem palatable.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Scrump
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 10:04 AM

Wasn't Dorothy Lamour in this one?


...I'll get me coat.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Wolfgang
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 10:49 AM

I'd need to know a lot more about the way those people were selected, the circumstances in which the poll was carried out, and the actual questions asked before I'd trust that claim. (McGrath)

Here you go

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 12:56 PM

ha ha ha ha ha teribus, youre kidding yourself..
the middle east/persian gulf region has always been strategically important for the US, Kennan made the point after WWII, Eisenhower talked about it, even Carter back in the late70s..
which is why the French and British carved it up - and later the US came and got cozy with the Saudis, engineered a coup in Iran when a democratically elected government threatened to nationalize the oil industry... and if we started using solar power today it would still be the place to control, because you can deny it to others..

in the case of Iraqs naked aggression toward Iran,, (the US actually helped Saddam with satellite reconnaissance -) and didnt care much about the gassing of the Kurds either.

regarding all the UN quotes you may have, when Iraq started cooperating on the WMD inspections, BUsh changed tack and wanted a regime change.
and withdrew the vote from the UN security council as they knew it would be defeated...

hey? did they ever find any wmds? whatever happened to them.
and finally why didnt they go after NKorea if theyre the worst member
of the axis of evil that admits a wmd program..
oh I forgot, ,they already have the bomb..

(and oddly enough no one questioned the basic contradiction that two of those members of the evil axis are avowed enemies)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:13 PM

Good heavens petr what a strange recollection of history you have - must have something to do with growing up behind the iron curtain.

Point 1.
"the middle east/persian gulf region has always been strategically important for the US,"

Not as much as you would think, more a case of essential to the UK during WWII and to other allies during the time of the Cold War. More a case of denying it to the Soviets than anything else.

Point 2.
"which is why the French and British carved it up"

Well no petr, they didn't. The break-up of the Ottoman Empire was overseen by the League of Nations AND the USA.

Point 3.
"in the case of Iraqs naked aggression toward Iran,, (the US actually helped Saddam with satellite reconnaissance -)"

Well let's see, the Iran/Iraq War was kicked off by Saddam Hussein in 1980 and ended in a stalemate in 1988, exactly as the rest of the international community wanted it to. The US had no contact at all with Iraq until a private citizen was asked by his President to act as his special envoy to sound out the situation with Saddam in order to provide some non-military assistance as it looked as though Iran was going to win, that was in the Spring of 1984 (War four years old at this stage). Diplomatic ties were not effected until November of that year. All the other Gulf States helped Saddam a great deal more than the US did. The French provided strike aircraft and pilots for Saddam (I know, some very good friends of mine nearly got blown up by them off Kharg Island). While the US provided intelligence to Iraq, it provided military hardware to Iran in exchange for American hostages. If you are going to highlight something petr tell the whole story not just the part you like.

Point 4.
"when Iraq started cooperating on the WMD inspections"

That never happened according the good Doctor. Go and read his reports, the lack of full pro-active co-operation theme is common to them all - matter of record. And remember with Iraq's final chance came the proviso that that full, unconditional and pro-active co-operation had to delivered from Day One - never happened petr, because Saddam's trading partners, Russia, China and France (all permanent members of the UN Security Council) were telling Saddam that they would forestall any moves by the US and veto anything that looked to be too serious in the Security Council - in short America is not going to do anything - how wrong could they be, that might have worked with Clinton in office, but certainly not with Bush.

Point 5.
"Bush changed tack and wanted a regime change.
and withdrew the vote from the UN security council as they knew it would be defeated..."

What a pity for your reasoning petr that regime change in Iraq was made official US Government Foreign Policy a full two years before George W Bush came to be President of the United States. You are absolutely correct, the second draft resolution was never tabled because France had already said that they would use their veto to block it. Pity you didn't mention that part of it petr.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:22 PM

An invasion is an invasion. All kinds of fancy toe-tapping and blithering on about the U.N. changes nothing. An invasion is still an invasion, and it kills a lot more people and wrecks a lot more stuff than some scattered acts of terrorism.

My point was simple this: When national armed forces are used against another country in an invasion, they end up doing a lot more harm than is done by paramilitary groups and terrorist cells. They almost never do it in genuine self-defence. They do it because they think they see an opportunity for self-gain. This was true in the case of all the invasions I have cited above. How inconvenient for you, Teribus, that we actually agree that Saddam's invasions of Iran and Kuwait were unjustified! ;-) Otherwise you would have 2 more points in my post to try to pick at with some petty technicalities.

All the invasions I cited above were naked, opportunistic aggression. All of them used various flimsy excuses to justify doing what they wanted to do anyway. Not one of them has really succeeded in achieving what it was hoped it would, however, which should prove something...aggression is not only criminal, it is ultimately self-defeating.

"Provocations" can and will always be found (or invented) by an administration that seeks a war of aggression. Even if those provocations were quite insignificant and very limited in their effect, be assured that the war which follows will not be. War goes way beyond mere provocation. Those who launch wars are fully responsible for the results, and they should be brought to trial for it by an international tribunal.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:26 PM

And the US provoking Japan into attacking Pearl Harbour, so we could invade them? And Britain sending troops against Germany? The allies invaded Germany: Other than the Channel Islands, when did Germany ever invade Britain or the US???


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:27 PM

pont 3 -

"In addition, to intelligence, there was money and [the] contention, [according to a former US official], that "the US aspect of Iraq's war effort...must be somewhere in the neighborhood of .0001% of the total" vastly understates the US role in helping Iraq. All told, the Reagan and Bush administrations provided Saddam with more than $5 billion in loan guarantees.

"Even after the August 1988 cease fire between Iran and Iraq, even after the State Department told James Baker that Iraq was working on chemical and biological weapons, and even after discovering that Saddam had a nuclear weapons program, President Bush pressed for a billion dollars in agricultural loan guarantees, and waived congressional restrictions on Iraq's use of the Export-Import Bank."

Craig Unger is the author of House of Bush, House of Saud (Scribner 2004)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,TIA
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 02:34 PM

The Germans delivered an official declaration of war to the USA the day after Pearl Harbor. Did Iraq ever do that?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:00 PM

I said, "Bearded Bruce", that "those who launch wars are fully responsible for the results".

That includes Japan for invading China and later attacking the USA, Britain, and the Dutch East Indies (regardless of what Roosevelt did, and, YES, he certainly did provoke them). The Japanese military government had led them into a series of unjustified aggressions which eventually got them into a huge mess they couldn't get out of.

Germany was informed in absolutely clear terms by the UK and France in 1939 that a declaration of war by the UK and France on Germany would follow a German attack on Poland. Hitler chose to ignore that and he brazenly invaded Poland anyway. He tried to call what he foolishly took as the British and French "bluff". He was therefore fully responsible for the disastrous results...which eventually included Allied counter-invasions of German-occupied continental Europe and of Germany. Once a war is underway, one invasion may certainly follow another, depending on who is winning, right? I'm saying that he who launched the first invasion in the series is primarily (if not exclusively) responsible for the mess that follows.

In a similar sense, Saddam was responsible for the mess that followed his attacks on Iran and Kuwait (although the USA certainly took advantage of the situation anyway for their own gain in that region...and they may have deliberately helped to sucker Saddam into thinking he could get away with attacking Kuwait, but who knows?).

Likewise, as far as I'm concerned, the Israelis are primarily responsible for the mess that they made in Lebanon....twice now. I do not for a moment buy the excuse that some pinprick, puny little attacks by Hezbollah were the real reason for Israel's recent drive into Lebanon...they were the excuse for it, that's all. It did not pay off nearly as well as expected. Another miscalculation on someone's part.

Some historical comments, just as a matter of interest:

Germany never invaded the UK or North America simply because they were never effectively able to. They didn't have the naval strength necessary to pull it off. The Allies never invaded mainland Japan, because it turned out not to be necessary to do so in order to secure total victory. Who needs an invasion when the other guy has already agreed to an unconditional surrender??? ;-)

Why, gosh, if the British had just unconditionally surrendered to Hitler in 1940...then the Germans could have occupied Britain without ever invading them too! ;-) About as likely as the moon turning into green cheese, but it's fun thinking about hypotheticals, isn't it?

While there is often some wrongdoing and much hypocritical posturing on both sides in the leadup to a war...I am saying that the power which launches the first all-out conventional military attack(s) or invasion(s) in that war is the power primarily responsible for what follows.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:11 PM

"Germany was informed in absolutely clear terms by the UK and France in 1939 that a declaration of war by the UK and France on Germany would follow a German attack on Poland. Hitler chose to ignore that and he brazenly invaded Poland anyway. He tried to call what he foolishly took as the British and French "bluff". He was therefore fully responsible for the disastrous results..."

Saddam was informed in absolutely clear terms by the US and Britain in 2002 that a military occupation to dismantle his WMD programs would follow his failure to comply with the UNR 1441 and previous resolutions. HSaddam chose to ignore that and he brazenly refused to comply with the UNR that were imposed because of his attack upon Kuwait. He tried to call what he foolishly took as the British and US "bluff". He was therefore fully responsible for the disastrous results...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:19 PM

Oh...you mean he didn't dismantle his WMD programs?

No wonder I have been so confused -- I have been under the impression all this time that neither the inspectors or the troops under the invasion had found any.

Dang. Why wasn't I told?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 03:39 PM

No, BB, Saddam was asked to prove a negative. He was asked to prove that he didn't have WMDs. No one can prove a negative, therefore Saddam was asked to do the impossible.

He couldn't do it. Too bad for Saddam! ;-) (That's the way Bush planned it...you've got 'em by the shorthairs when you ask 'em to prove a negative, because a negative cannot be proven.)

Saddam did not invade anyone in 2003. He sat there like a helpless punching bag, waiting to get punched, because he couldn't prove a negative.

Hitler invaded Poland in 1939, starting a shooting war that ended up killing millions.

Hitler did what he did out of strength. Saddam suffered what he did out of weakness.

If you can't see the difference, it's just because you don't want to. ;-)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 04:13 PM

LH,

If you can read

http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/index.html

and state honestly that you think Saddam did NOT have a program of WMD and prohibited systems development, far be it for me to differ with you.

Saddam WAS in violation of UNR1441, his "last chance" to comply with the UNR that were imposed on Iraq for his invasion of Kuwait.

He was given the chance, and failed to even allow the inspectors the unlimited access that UNR1441 specified. He failed to allow unannounced inspections of sites of interest, as specified in UNR1441, and he refused to allow the required access to personnel for interviews, also as specified in UNR1441.

Sddam, after 4 MONTHS time to remove evidence, some of which activity was observed by satellite or overflights, was given 48 hours to remove himself from Iraq, which the US felt would allow a chance to determine, and remove, the prohibited weapons systems programs. He refused, and the US with other coalition forces, went in.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 04:18 PM

ok , so teribus is saying...

the middle east/persian gulf - has no strategic importance for the US
(despite the fact that Kennan, Eisenhower, Carter all plainly stated so)
wonder why the coup in Iran? pure coincidence probably that Iran wanted to take control of its oil resources.
(seems to me its you whos got the odd sense of history)

regarding the regime change bit..
whether that became policy 2 years before Bush, it wasnt part of the UN resolution regarding Iraq.
and they knew full well it would be defeated because France threatened to veto - I didnt leave it out because it was a known fact..
but so what, how many times has the US used its veto.

And after all - the security council veto is the ultimate form of non-compliance
(why did the US veto any space weapons agreement, and then complain about China doing away with one of its satellites - when the US did the same thing 20 years ago)

of course you conveniently omitted the point about North Korea
(the worst of the socalled axis of evil - why not go after them,
oh yeah, they already got the bomb)

and the other two members of the evil axis are avowed enemies.
(does that make any sense?)

but then 'the decider' didnt even know the difference between SHiite and Sunni two months before invading IRaq , 'I thought they were all muslim' he said..

fyi the Shiites are the ones that hang down from the cave...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 05:34 PM

Mr Blix said that while it was possible to argue that Iraq had breached the ceasefire by violating UN resolutions adopted since 1991, the "ownership" of the resolutions rested with the entire 15-member Security Council and not with individual states. "It's the Security Council that is party to the ceasefire, not the UK and US individually, and therefore it is the council that has ownership of the ceasefire, in my interpretation."

In other words, bb, it was not up to the U.S. to go it alone.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 05:46 PM

We did not go alone, we had a coalition of countries. The ones in the security council that objected are the same ones who declared that Darfur is not genocide, so they could avoid sending forces there, as well. Do you support THAT decision, as well?

IMO, the US should have acted in regards to Darfur ( and Rwanda, and Bosnia) rather than waiting for the Security council to decide enough people had been killed that they could send someone in- although it was NATO in Bosnia, and no-one in Rwanda...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 06:18 PM

BB, I simply do not believe that Saddam was ever again capable of being a credible threat to anyone outside his own borders after the Gulf War was over. His days of being a military threat to his neighbours were long over in 2003. Therefore any posturing on the part of the USA, the UK, the U.N. Security Council or anyone else to that effect was just a lot of smoke-blowing and cynical propaganda calculated to fool the American public and (hopefully) world opinion into support an unprovoked invasion of Iraq. Seems like they fooled you.

It was total BS, and that is now obvious. It was even obvious at the time to most populations in the world, but not to at least half the American population, who will usually believe just about anything they are told by Big Daddy....for awhile...until it turns out it really wasn't true.

I laugh at the bogus PR campaign leveled at Iraq in 2002-2003. It was the most classic case of the aggressor labelling its next helpless victim as the threat that I have ever seen in the modern era. It was ludicrous, inane, transparent, and outrageous. It equals the utter gall of people such as Hitler and Goebbels, who always claimed to be defending Germany too, if you recall...not to mention their idea that they were defending "western civilization". It's typical for such liars to pretend that they are defending decent values when they gobble up small countries.

Lawyers' technicalities and legal games, BB, do not excuse unprovoked and illegal invasions of other countries. And that's all that the noise at the U.N. and in Washington in 2003 was...word games conducted in order to fool and manipulate public opinion and stick a fig leaf on a US/UK policy of naked aggression.

A superpower whose economic and military clout gives them a means of blackmailing just about any small country in the world will always be able to cobble together some kind of wretched "coalition of the willing" (ha ha) to tag along as it does its dirty work. Hitler, for example, had Rumania, Bulgaria, Italy, Finland, Hungary, and the Croatians as allies...my, my, really confers legitimacy on the Reich, doesn't it? So nice to have a "coalition of the willing" on your side. ;-) The Soviets had all their East bloc satellites. England had its commonwealth.

Such coalitions prove nothing about moral right and wrong. They only demonstrate the effects and uses of grand imperial power.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 06:29 PM

"I simply do not believe that Saddam was ever again capable of being a credible threat to anyone outside his own borders after the Gulf War was over."

IF the UNR had been implemented, you would have been correct in your belief. The FACT that they were not, and he WAS rebuilding his military is well know- just look at the ( conventional) weapons and manpower that he had under arms when the coalition attacked. As long as members of the Security council were making LARGE amounts of money by selling him prohibited material, the UN was not going to do anything to enforce the UNRs.

Hitler also made good roads- So I suppose you don't want the Canadian government to make roads anymore, either? He was a vegetarian, as well- so we should object to that.

The reason I brought up the other countries was dianavan's "it was not up to the U.S. to go it alone. " She seems to think that if other nations agreed it would be ok to attack Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 21 Mar 07 - 06:45 PM

I'm not sure I follow your points about Hitler's roads and vegetarianism, BB. LOL! Look, man, I never think of anyone as all-bad, Hitler included. Bush included. You and me included. I know that people are a mixture of good and bad tendencies, and the same goes for a country or a given administration.

I cannot fault Saddam for rebuilding his military after the Gulf War. Anyone else in his position would have tried to do the same. His country was being bombed off and on ever since the Gulf War, and was not even allowed to use 2/3 of its own air space...which was given over instead to enemy aircraft which were bombing him whenever they wanted to! What would you do if someone did that to the USA for ten years? Would you NOT attempt to fight back? Would you NOT attempt to restore your military to full strength?

Iraq had every right to defend its own land, reclaim its airspace, and rebuild its own military. It did not have the right to invade someone else's land.

Anyway, it's nice to have you to play political ping-pong with, BB. Keeps me out of mischief, eh? ;-)

Your serve...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 02:44 AM

"It's the Security Council that is party to the ceasefire, not the UK and US individually, and therefore it is the council that has ownership of the ceasefire, in my interpretation."

That is totally incorrect. If that were the case there would be someone on hand to "sign" for the UN. There wasn't, there never is. Any ceasefire agreement is signed by all parties involved in the fighting (That may or may not mean all coalition members). If ANY signatory of the ceasefire breaks the terms of that ceasefire, it can be deemed as being broken by any other signatory.

The terms agreed at Safwan in 1991 were agreed by Saddam, who had no intention of keeping them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 04:57 AM

"In the buildup to the war, Saddam Hussein and the Iraqis were cooperating with U.N. inspections, and in February 2003 had provided Blix's team with the names of hundreds of scientists to interview, individuals Saddam claimed had been involved in the destruction of banned weapons. Had the inspections been allowed to continue, Blix said, there would likely be a very different situation in Iraq today. As it was, America's pre-emptive, unilateral actions "have bred more terrorism there and elsewhere."

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/03/18_blix.shtml


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 09:58 AM

LH,

OK, no problem.

"I cannot fault Saddam for rebuilding his military after the Gulf War. Anyone else in his position would have tried to do the same. His country was being bombed off and on ever since the Gulf War, and was not even allowed to use 2/3 of its own air space...which was given over instead to enemy aircraft which were bombing him whenever they wanted to! What would you do if someone did that to the USA for ten years? Would you NOT attempt to fight back? Would you NOT attempt to restore your military to full strength?"

OK, by the standard YOU have stated, if the Confederacy, after surrendering, had decided to rebuild its military and retake its territory, you would approve?

Can't you consider the KKK to be the gorilla forces of the CSA, and thus you would support their activities from 1865 through the present?

SADDAM LOST IN KUWAIT. He agreed to certain TERMS FOR THE CEASE-FIRE- his violations OF THOSE TERMS SEEM TO BE ACCEPTABLE TO YOU. PLEASE EXPLAIN.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 10:51 AM

Sigh... BRuce, I think you are altering LH's intent, in a frenzy.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 11:07 AM

That's it, BB! You have insulted all gorillas (and by extension, all other primates) by your inflammatory statement, and I quote:

"Can't you consider the KKK to be the gorilla forces of the CSA, and thus you would support their activities from 1865 through the present?"

OUTRAGEOUS! On behalf of offended gorillas everywhere, I refuse to dignify that absurd question with an answer. (and I am now stalking away, deeply offended)

(snort!)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 11:09 AM

LH,

You do not address the issue. Please explain why your comments re Iraq would not equally apply to the CSA?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 11:37 AM

Sorry. I just could not resist the joke. ;-)

Okay, here's how I see that. Iraq is not comparable to the CSA, because it's a complete other country from the USA, it's very far away, speaking a different language, whole different culture...whereas the Confederacy was one half of one original English-speaking American society that split apart in a civil war.

It think its just silly to compare Iraq to the CSA. You have to be Mr Fantastic (from the Fantastic Four) to stretch a point that far.

Regarding Saddam's violation of terms for the ceasefire: tell me, what, specifically, were his violations? Can you list them? And do you regard them as really having anything to do with Mr Bush's decision to attack Iraq in 2003 or were they just a handy technical excuse to?

I would think the latter. Petty legal excuses are almost always cited by aggressors who wish to attack someone, but want to make it look like they have a legitimate reason to.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 11:38 AM

well America claims the right to defend itself, so then
Nicaragua has the right to react militarily after the US mined its harbors.

Of course Nicaragua didnt do so, they tried to take it to the world court but then the US doesnt recognize it (although they like to use UN resolutions when it suits them, and complain about Saddam not COMPLYING with the rules)..

all theyve done is to spur those (that can), to increase their development of nuclear weapons. Ie. the states that disobey the Godfather. Such as Iran, and NK. to add to nuclear proliferation

QUite the opposite of their intended plan of maintaining pax americana through military strength - the US elites have actually cost AMerica much of its respect and prestige and made it look quite impotent.
as well as incompetent..

After all youd have thought that an invasion by the worlds most powerful military on a weak demoralized 3rd world nation with a broken down infrastructure, should have been one of the easiest in history.
(Rumsfeld thought it would be 6 days, maybe 6 weeks, and doubted 6 months...)

as a result they ended up with a more powerful Iran (which got rid of an enemy and gained much influence in Iraq)
They got a North Korea which under a new deal now gets to keep whatever nukes its developed..

South America, the back yard aint what it used to be..

theyve also spent trillions of the nations wealth..
in 20years as Goldman Sachs predicts Chinas economy will eclipse the US. (probably by then we wont be trading oil in US $ either)

and when it comes to empire, the economy (stupid!) trumps all.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Wolfgang
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 01:52 PM

Little Hawk is an Orillero, so he knows about the difference between Tortilleros, Toreros, Gorilleros and Guerilleros.

Wolfgang (who has no gorillerotic inclinations)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 22 Mar 07 - 02:56 PM

Nothing odd about Wolfgang. Now, female orangutangs... well, that is another story.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:07 AM

Amos - 21 Mar 07 - 09:52 AM

"We're in Iraq at the invitation of their Government? Meaning if they asked us to leave we would?"

Yes Amos, exactly that, not opinion that is what has been clearly stated by all parties all along, that is what is stated as a condition in the UN Mandate Resolution.

Other things that you and your fellow travellers have also doubted:

- The creation of the CPA and how long it would last

- The hand-over to an Interim Government made up of Iraqi's and how long that would last.

- The drafting of a new constitution for Iraq by the interim government

- The hand-over from the Iraqi interim government to a democratically elected Iraqi Government.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 11:31 AM

you should read an article by George Packer in this weeks Nyorker.
Its about how the iraqi interpreters who have worked for the Americans have been treated for the past 4 years. It may only be up for a few days. But what a surprise that the Americans in their arrogance have cared little for the opinions and treatment of their best allies in Iraq, no wonder they've lost.



here


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 12:08 PM

I'm sorry, T, but I doubt we would comply if we did not at the same time wish to leave for our own reasons.

This is just opinion. Obviously you have more faith in this administration than I do, or for that matter, 65% of the nation put together.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 12:30 PM

At last, the truth is out.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Little Hawk
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 02:49 PM

Ho! Ho! Nice satire.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 04:04 PM

Good article, petr. Its hard to believe that the U.S. claims to be helping the Iraqis when, in fact, they don't seem to like them or trust them.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Bobert
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 08:05 PM

bb,

Why have you gone back to SCREAMING at people???

Kinda reminds me of a few years back and I knew this guy who had a landscaping firm and had hired several Hispanis workers and thought that rather than learn a little Espanol he'd just SCREAM in English to them???

Didn't work with him and it ain't workin' with you either...

SCREAMING is rude, rude, rude... And guess what??? Yeah I'm sure this is going to come as a major surprise to ya, pal, but there are lots of folks who absolutely will nopt read anything posted by a SCREAMER...

Get it yet???

You are smart 'nuff feller to noe have to resort to rude behavior...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,beardedbruce
Date: 23 Mar 07 - 09:42 PM

bobert

after one has repeated something enough times, and never been understood, one grasps at straws- perhaps these people can't read anything but upper case?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Ron Davies
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 09:28 PM

Refresh--as George says, the truth is out--and it must be heard.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Don Firth
Date: 24 Mar 07 - 10:27 PM

Understood, BB. But not buying it.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Bobert
Date: 25 Mar 07 - 09:41 PM

Ditto, Don...


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 10:24 AM

Thew New York Times offers an article from a member of the Iraq study group on this page which lists out major milestones toward self-sufficiency in Iraq that have been missed.

I had an interesting discussion with a recently returned Iranian-born US citizen who went home to visit. He said that visiting in Tehran was a good reality check on how glad he is to be in the States, and he thinks all American youth should spend six months in a third-world country to get some kind of reality on what it could be like.

Reflecting on some of his remarks, I am of the opinion that the whole strategy of conquest in Iraq is misconceived because the administration, in their haste to evict Hussein, never analyzed what he was doing that succeeded in making Iraq a largely secular state.

Saddam was keeping Iraq secular in its public affairs by suppressing religious issues. Although the antecedents of the divide between Sunis and Shia go back to the 4th century, the issue that divides the Muslim universe is not the doctrine of the Shia or the doctrine of the Shiite; it is the doctrine, and the power, of their clerics.

The clerics define the teachings of the Koran as suits their interests. They often prohibit their flocks from studying the book itself, by insisting it is so holy it cannot be handled except with appropriate ablutions and formalities -- not conducive to study. Literacy is not universal anyway. So the infusion of the Koran;s teachings is done orally, through the medium of the clerics, and they have their own opinions about what should be taught. While the Koran itself originally abjures violence, much as the teachings of Christ do, these teachings are dramatically modified by the clerics to make the lessons support political divisions against Jews and Christians, against the United States, and against other Msulims who belong to the wrong club. Additionally, the Koran is provided often only in ancient classic Arabic, which is a bit like learning the Bible from a version written in Chucerian. There was no King James.

It is this disconnection from their own sources which brings about the persistence of the division; left to their own devices, the two sects usually live tolerantly with each other and sometimes intermarry.

If the United States were to invest a fraction of its war chest into revitalizing the true messages of the Koran, by, for example, providing millions of paperback copies faithfully translated into modern Arabic, or millions of leaflets emphasizing certain sectors as used to be done by Christian sects in this country, it wouldbring about a revival of genuine Muslimism and disempower the clerics whose authority depends on the inability of the masses to see the original material.

It will not work to seek to force the people of Iraq to live in brotherhood under one government, by showing them the force of arms and conquest. That ain't how brotherhood works. Giving them a Koran they could read for themselves would be a powerful remedy to this paradox, although it would piss of the mullahs dramatically.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 10:35 AM

An excellent point, Amos.
A couple of hours ago I was listening to the radio, and some journo was spouting forth about how Gideons Bibles should be banned from hotel rooms because (she thought) they "limit freedom of choice". Her opponent simply said "well, how about adding a copy of the Coran in English as well, then?" - she was stumped. Having read your post, I now think there are at least two excellent reasons why the Gideon organisation should actually publich and distribute such a version of the Coran, if nobody else will.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 06:43 PM

What a great idea!

Yes, the Mullahs are a bit like the Catholic priests who tell their parishoners how to vote or the Benedictines that believe that only they have the authority to interpret the Bible. Remember the Cathars? They were Christians who were called heretics and killed. Remember the Inquisitions? Christianity went through that stage but it was only when people began to read and interpret the Bible on their own, that they began the journey to freedom - when church and State were separated. Remember Martin Luther?

Again, it looks like it gets down to education. Before anyone can actually read and understand the Koran, they have to be able to read it in their own language. Wouldn't it be great if the Koran were distributed in many languages, free of charge? At least it would be a start. Most educated Muslims, however, do read and interpret the Koran on their own. Its the illiterate who depend on the Mullahs.

Yes, the Mullahs are a bit like the Vatican. Can you imagine if the Vatican ruled the western world today? Wait a minute! Do they? Lets consider stem cell research, abortion and what constitutes sin or how you get to heaven. They still have alot of power and they also have alot of property and money. I think the Vatican and the Mullahs are actually a pretty good comparison.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Donuel
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 08:16 PM

The Vatican has no overt power to rule anything. They do influence political movements as easily as lending no support to the liberal priests in South America. The dictatorships kill the liberal nuns and priests and life goes on. John Paul clearly influenced Solidarity in Poland but claiming he defeated the Soviet Union is just plain wrong.

dianavan, while stem cells got all the press, I believe the nanobiological sciences have grown to immense proportions and will deliver suffering in the form of nano pollution to a community or friend near you.

The current escaped nano threat is not life threatening but it is painful itchy and ugly. There has been no comment by the Vatican or ethicists with a natinal voice that I have heard regarding nano technology becoming combined with biology.

Beyond the claim that nanobots will eat our garbage and pollutants there has almost no public overview of the problems nanotech has already caused.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,Peter Woodruff
Date: 04 Apr 07 - 09:05 PM

911 would never have happened if the "men behind the bushes" didn't want to steal the oil fields in Iraq.

Peter


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 05 Apr 07 - 10:41 AM

ANother interesting tragedy in the hostory of Iraq is encapsulated in this Reuters article describing the dangers of being a professor in a country where students are willing to issue death threats if they don't get the grades they want, regardless of merit. "High grades or death" is of course a very stupid proposition, but if the brains of the nation are forced to flee to Jordan or further afield in a quest for some kind of sanity, the long-term consequences will be more mullahs and not enough competence to build a middle class, asthmatic markets and limping capital, with consequent poverty and suppressed growth potential.

Try explaining that to an eighteen=year-old with misunderstoods about calculus and a Kalashnikov.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 09:57 AM

Tragedy in an administrative mask: here is a partial list of civilian claims for deaths and losses caused by US troops in Iraq. Many of these are accidental by-products of combat. Many more of them are accidents. Some of them, if true, are tales of murder, little My-Lais whose truth will never be known.

These heartbreaking stories sit squarely on the plate of the Bush gang, IMHO -- they are predictable fruits of war.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 12 Apr 07 - 01:22 PM

Lessons of the past about war, as taught by the poets who lived in it, with it, in spite of it: Poems about War.

If Rove, or Rumsfield, Or Wolfowitz or W had understood one tenth of these lines, they would have had a different idea indeed about playing Caesar in the fields of Mesopotamia.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 09:23 AM

Washington Post:

Will Iraq Be the Next Rwanda?

By Stuart Gottlieb
Sunday, April 15, 2007; Page B07

Remember Rwanda? The history books have not treated kindly America's inaction while more than 800,000 Tutsis were slaughtered by their Hutu compatriots in the spring of 1994 after a plane crash killed the presidents of Rwanda and Burundi.

Now consider a scenario in which the decisions and actions of the United States were the primary reasons for a country's descent into chaos and sectarian violence, yet instead of doing everything possible to avert a humanitarian catastrophe, America chose to walk away. What would the history books say about that?

Should the Democratic leadership in Congress succeed in forcing the hasty withdrawal of American forces from Iraq, we may well find out.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid point to escalating sectarian violence between Iraqi Shiites and Sunnis as the primary justification for pulling out U.S. troops. In a joint letter to President Bush last month urging him not to veto legislation that includes timelines for withdrawal, Pelosi and Reid said that they have come to the "inescapable conclusion that U.S. forces should not be trying to contain an Iraqi civil war" and that "a phased redeployment of U.S. forces should commence."

Democrats try to soften this message by arguing that a date certain for withdrawal will force Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to, as Pelosi and Reid put it in a January statement, "find the political resolution required to stabilize Iraq."

But these arguments are as falsely optimistic as the White House's claim four years ago that our troops would be greeted as liberators. According to the bipartisan Iraq Study Group, "A premature American departure from Iraq would almost certainly produce greater sectarian violence and further deterioration of conditions." And the National Intelligence Estimate released in January warned that rapid U.S. withdrawal would probably lead to the collapse of Iraqi security forces, along with "massive civilian casualties and forced population displacement."

Americans are understandably frustrated with the administration's mismanagement of this war. And stabilizing Iraq has proved to be a tremendous challenge. But Democrats elected in November on promises to end the war need to be careful.

History will note that the same Democrats who supported America's interventions to help end civil wars in Bosnia and Kosovo in the 1990s now favor a withdrawal policy in Iraq that is likely to cause even greater human suffering. While the toll in Iraq has been tremendous -- at least 75,000 civilians have been killed since the war began in March 2003, the Brookings Institution estimates -- this number could increase tenfold or more should all-out civil war emerge. Such a development would signal the death knell of the main Democratic foreign policy legacy of the 1990s: the principle of "no more Rwandas."

History will also note that while primary blame lies with the White House, in October 2002 overwhelming, bipartisan majorities in the House and Senate voted to authorize this war. That there is a growing consensus in both parties that the war was a mistake does not free the United States from its responsibility for creating the power vacuum in Iraq. Withdrawal in the face of a nearly certain humanitarian catastrophe would leave a black mark on America's reputation and diminish its role in the world for generations.

Those calling for swift withdrawal say that the war has lasted too long and taken too great a toll in American blood and treasure. But these considerations must be weighed against all our interests in the region.

Beyond the humanitarian reasons to find a viable exit strategy, vital strategic concerns include preventing a failed state in the heart of the Middle East, an al-Qaeda safe haven in western Iraq and oil prices that top $100 per barrel.

Does this mean the United States should endure endless sacrifice for what may be a lost cause? Of course not. But Democrats should not oversimplify the prospects of painless withdrawal the way the White House once exaggerated the prospects of easy victory. The stakes, both moral and strategic, are simply too high.

This moment calls for congressional leadership that is united toward bringing stability to Iraq. At a minimum, the president's new counterinsurgency strategy needs to be given every opportunity to succeed, if only to permit a more deliberative discussion of all withdrawal options.

In 1998, President Bill Clinton apologized to the people of Rwanda for America's failure to help stem the killing that occurred on his watch.

Should Iraq descend into all-out civil war, there will be far more to apologize for in the decades to come.

The writer, a Democratic foreign policy adviser and speechwriter in the Senate from 1999 to 2003, directs the policy studies program at Yale University.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Barry Finn
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 09:29 AM

Remember Rwanda
Remember the Alamo
Remember the Maine

All tripe to either drum up passions to go to war or stay at war.

Barry


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 09:32 AM

Remember Cambodia

Remember Bosnia

Remember Dachau

Remember Armenia


Obviously, you consider genocide to be tripe.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 09:45 AM

"....SUBJECT: U.S. Policy on Counterterrorism (U)

It is the policy of the United States to deter, defeat and respond vigorously to all terrorist attacks on our territory and against our citizens, or facilities, whether they occur domestically, in international waters or airspace or on foreign territory. The United States regards all such terrorism as a potential threat to national security as well as a criminal act and will apply all appropriate means to combat it. In doing so, the U.S. shall pursue vigorously efforts to deter and preempt, apprehend and prosecute, or assist other governments to prosecute, individuals who perpetrate or plan to perpetrate such attacks. (U)

We shall work closely with friendly governments in carrying out our counterterrorism policy and will support Allied and friendly governments in combating terrorist threats against them. (U)

Furthermore, the United States shall seek to identify groups or states that sponsor or support such terrorists, isolate them and extract a heavy price for their actions. (U) ..."

http://www.fas.org/irp/offdocs/pdd39.htm


Bill Clinton 1998 :
"The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow."

Al Gore 2002:
"Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 09:53 AM

Clinton Letter on Weapons of Mass DestructionThe White House
Office of the Press Secretary
By President Clinton, November 12, 1998

Dear Mr. Speaker:

On November 14, 1994, in light of the dangers of the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons ("weapons of mass destruction" -- WMD) and of the means of delivering such weapons, I issued Executive Order 12938, and declared a national emergency under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.). Under section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), the national emergency terminates on the anniversary date of its declaration, unless I publish in the Federal Register and transmit to the Congress a notice of its continuation.

The proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery continues to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States. Indeed, on July 28, 1998, I issued Executive Order 13094 to strengthen Executive Order 12938 by, inter alia, broadening the types of proliferation activity that is subject to potential penalties. I am, therefore, advising the Congress that the national emergency declared on November 14, 1994, must continue in effect beyond November 14, 1998. Accordingly, I have extended the national emergency declared in Executive Order 12938, as amended, and have sent the attached notice of extension to the Federal Register for publication.

On July 28, 1998, I amended section 4 of Executive Order 12938 so that the United States Government could more effectively respond to the worldwide threat of weapons of mass destruction proliferation activities. The amendment to section 4 strengthens Executive Order 12938 in several significant ways. The amendment broadens the type of proliferation activity that subjects entities to potential penalties under the Executive order. The original Executive order provided for penalties for contributions to the efforts of any foreign country, project or entity to use, acquire, design, produce, or stockpile chemical or biological weapons; the amended Executive order also covers contributions to foreign programs for nuclear weapons and for missiles capable of delivering weapons of mass destruction. Moreover, the amendment expands the original Executive order to include attempts to contribute to foreign proliferation activities, as well as actual contributions, and broadens the range of potential penalties to expressly include the prohibition of United States Government assistance to foreign persons, as well as the prohibition of United States Government procurement and imports into the United States.

The following report, which covers activities on or before October 31, 1998, is made pursuant to section 204 of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1703) and section 401(c) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1641(c)), regarding activities taken and money spent pursuant to the emergency declaration. Additional information on nuclear, missile, and/or chemical and biological weapons (CBW) proliferation concerns and nonproliferation efforts is contained in the most recent annual Report on the Proliferation of Missiles and Essential Components of Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Weapons, provided to the Congress pursuant to section 1097 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Years 1992 and 1993 (Public Law 102-190), also known as the "Nonproliferation Report," and the most recent annual report provided to the Congress pursuant to section 308 of the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991 (Public Law 102-182), also known as the "CBW Report."

Nuclear Weapons

In May, India and Pakistan each conducted a series of nuclear tests. In response, I imposed sanctions on India and Pakistan as required by the Glenn Amendment. Beyond our unilateral response, world reaction was pronounced and included nearly universal condemnation across a broad range of international fora and a broad range of sanctions, including new restrictions on lending by international financial institutions unrelated to basic human needs and aid from the G-8 and other countries.

Since the mandatory imposition of U.S. sanctions, we have worked unilaterally, with other P-5 and G-8 members, and through the United Nations to dissuade India and Pakistan from taking further steps toward creating operational nuclear forces, to urge them to join multilateral arms control efforts, to persuade them to prevent an arms race and build confidence by practicing restraint, and to resume efforts to resolve their differences through dialogue. The P-5, G-8, and U.N. Security Council have called on India and Pakistan to take a broad range of concrete actions. The United States has over the past 5 months focused most intensely on several objectives that can be met over the short and medium term: an end to nuclear testing and prompt, unconditional adherence to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT); a moratorium on production of fissile material for nuclear weapons and other explosive devices, and engagement in productive negotiations on a fissile material cut-off treaty (FMCT); restraint in deployment of nuclear-capable missiles and aircraft; and adoption of controls meeting international standards on exports of sensitive materials and technology.

Against this backdrop of international pressure on India and Pakistan, U.S. high-level dialogue with Indian and Pakistani officials has yielded some progress. Both governments, having already declared testing moratoria, indicated publicly that they are prepared to adhere to the CTBT under certain conditions. Both withdrew their opposition to negotiations on an FMCT in Geneva at the end of the 1998 Conference on Disarmament session. They have also pledged to institute strict control of sensitive exports that meet internationally accepted standards. In addition, they have resumed bilateral dialogue on outstanding disputes, including Kashmir, at the Foreign Secretary level.

In recognition of these positive steps and to encourage further progress, I decided on November 3 to exercise my authority under the Brownback provision of the 1999 Omnibus Appropriations bill (Public Law 105-277) to waive some of the Glenn sanctions. Through this action, I have authorized the resumption of Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, Trade and Development Agency, and International Military Education and Training programs in India and Pakistan and have lifted restrictions on U.S. banks in these countries. We will continue discussions with both governments at the senior and expert levels, and our diplomatic efforts in concert with the P-5 and in international fora.

So far, 150 countries have signed and 21 have ratified the CTBT. During 1998, CTBT signatories conducted numerous meetings of the Preparatory Commission (PrepCom) in Vienna, seeking to promote rapid completion of the International Monitoring System (IMS) established by the Treaty.

On September 23, 1997, I transmitted the CTBT to the Senate, requesting prompt advice and consent to ratification. The CTBT will serve several U.S. national security interests by prohibiting all nuclear explosions. It will constrain the development and qualitative improvement of nuclear weapons; end the development of advanced new types; contribute to the prevention of nuclear proliferation and the process of nuclear disarmament; and strengthen international peace and security. The CTBT marks a historic milestone in our drive to reduce the nuclear threat and to build a safer world.

The Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) held its 1998 Plenary in Edinburgh, Scotland, March 30 to April 2, on the twentieth anniversary of the publication of the Nuclear Suppliers Guidelines. With 35 member states, the NSG is a mature, effective, and widely accepted export-control arrangement. Over the past 7 years the NSG has established a Dual-Use Regime (DUR), agreed to require full-scope safeguards as a condition of nuclear supply, created an effective Joint Information Exchange, and strengthened controls over technology and retransfers. The NSG is considering further activities to promote regime transparency, following the success of the 1997 Vienna transparency seminar, and is preparing for a transparency seminar in New York during the run-up to the 1999 NPT PrepCom.

The NSG is considering membership for Belarus, China, Cyprus, Kazakhstan and Turkey. China is the only major nuclear supplier that is not a member of the NSG, although China did join the Zangger Committee last year and recently has expressed an interest in learning more about the NSG.

The NPT Exporters (Zangger) Committee has demonstrated its continued relevance to the multilateral nonproliferation regime as the interpreter of Article III-2 of the NPT by the membership of China in October 1997 by recently agreeing to a statement deploring the Indian and Pakistani nuclear tests. This is the first time the Zangger Committee has ever issued a statement not directly related to publication of its Guidelines. Furthermore, the Zangger Committee is considering a U.S. proposal to add conversion technology to the Trigger List.

Chemical and Biological Weapons

The export control regulations issued under the Enhanced Proliferation Control Initiative (EPCI) remain fully in force and continue to be applied by the Department of Commerce in order to control the export of items with potential use in chemical or biological weapons or unmanned delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.

Chemical weapons (CW) continue to pose a very serious threat to our security and that of our allies. On April 29, 1997, the Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production, Stockpiling and Use of Chemical Weapons and on Their Destruction (the Chemical Weapons Convention or CWC) entered into force with 87 of the CWC's 165 signatories as original States Parties. The United States was among their number, having deposited its instrument of ratification on April 25. Russia ratified the CWC on November 5, 1997, and became a State Party on December 5, 1997. As of October 31, 1998, 120 countries (including Iran, Pakistan, and Ukraine) have become States Parties.

The implementing body for the CWC -- the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) -- was established at the entry into force (EIF) of the Convention on April 29, 1997. The OPCW, located in The Hague, has primary responsibility (along with States Parties) for implementing the CWC. It collects declarations, conducts inspections, and serves as a forum for consultation and cooperation among States Parties. It consists of the Conference of the States Parties, the Executive Council (EC), and the Technical Secretariat (TS).

The EC consists of 41 States Parties (including the United States) and acts as the governing body for the OPCW between annual meetings of the Conference of the States Parties. Since EIF, the EC has met numerous times to address issues such as scale of assessments, CW production facility conversion requests, facility and transitional verification arrangements, and staff regulations.

The TS carries out the verification provisions of the CWC, and presently has a staff of approximately 500, including about 200 inspectors trained and equipped to inspect military and industrial facilities throughout the world. The OPCW has conducted nearly 300 inspections in some 20 countries. It conducted nearly 100 such inspections in the United States. The OPCW maintains a permanent inspector presence at operational U.S. CW destruction facilities in Utah, Nevada, and Johnston Island.

The United States is determined to seek full implementation of the concrete measures in the CWC designed to raise the costs and risks for any state or terrorist attempting to engage in chemical weapons-related activities. The CWC's declaration requirements improve our knowledge of possible chemical weapons activities. Its inspection provisions provide for access to declared and undeclared facilities and locations, thus making clandestine chemical weapons production and stockpiling more difficult, more risky, and more expensive.

The Chemical Weapons Convention Implementation Act of 1998 was enacted into law in October 1998, as part of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriation Act, 1999 (Public Law 105-277). Accordingly, we anticipate rapid promulgation of implementing regulations on submission of U.S. industrial declarations to the OPCW. Submission of these declarations will bring the United States into full compliance with the CWC. United States noncompliance to date has, among other things, undermined U.S. leadership in the organization as well as our ability to encourage other States Parties to make complete, accurate, and timely declarations.

Countries that refuse to join the CWC will be politically isolated and prohibited under the CWC from trading with States Parties in certain key chemicals. The relevant treaty provision is specifically designed to penalize in a concrete way countries that refuse to join the rest of the world in eliminating the threat of chemical weapons. We anticipate rapid promulgation of U.S. regulations implementing these CWC trade restrictions.

The United States also continues to play a leading role in the international effort to reduce the threat from biological weapons (BW). We are an active participant in the Ad Hoc Group (AHG) striving to complete a legally binding protocol to strengthen and enhance compliance with the 1972 Convention on the Prohibition of the Development, Production and Stock-piling of Bacteriological (Biological) and Toxin Weapons and on Their Destruction (the Biological Weapons Convention or BWC). This Ad Hoc Group was mandated by the September 1994 BWC Special Conference. The Fourth BWC Review Conference, held in November/December 1996, urged the AHG to complete the protocol as soon as possible but not later than the next Review Conference to be held in 2001. Work is progressing on a draft rolling text through insertion of national views and clarification of existing text. We held four AHG negotiating sessions in 1998, and five are scheduled for 1999.

On January 27, 1998, during the State of the Union Address, I announced that the United States would take a leading role in the effort to erect stronger international barriers against the proliferation and use of BW by strengthening the BWC with a new international system to detect and deter cheating. The United States will work closely with U.S. industry to develop U.S. negotiating positions and then to reach international agreement on: declarations, nonchallenge clarifying visits, and challenge investigations. Other key issues to be resolved in the Ad Hoc Group in 1999 are details on mandatory declarations, placement of definitions related to declarations, and questions related to assistance and export controls.

On the margins of the 1998 U.N. General Assembly, senior United States Government representatives attended a Ministerial meeting hosted by the Government of New Zealand and sponsored by the Government of Australia to promote intensified work on the Compliance Protocol. I will continue to devote personal attention to this issue and encourage other heads of state to do the same.

The United States continued to be a leading participant in the 30-member Australia Group (AG) CBW nonproliferation regime. The United States attended the most recent annual AG Plenary Session from October 12-15, 1998, during which the Group continued to focus on strengthening AG export controls and sharing information to address the threat of CBW terrorism. At the behest of the United States, the AG first began in-depth political-level discussion of CBW proliferation and terrorism during the 1995 Plenary Session following the Tokyo subway nerve gas attack earlier that year. At the 1998 plenary, at the behest of the United States, AG participants shared information on legal and regulatory efforts each member has taken to counter this threat. The AG also reaffirmed its commitment to continue its active outreach program of briefings for non-AG countries, and to promote regional consultations on export controls and nonproliferation to further awareness and understanding of national policies in these areas.

The Group also reaffirmed the participants' shared belief that full adherence to the CWC and the BWC is the best way to achieve permanent global elimination of CBW, and that all States adhering to these Conventions have an obligation to ensure that their national activities support this goal. The AG participants continue to seek to ensure that all relevant national measures promote the object and purposes of the BWC and CWC. The AG participants reaffirmed their belief that existing national export licensing policies on chemical weapons-and biological weapons-related items help to fulfill their obligations established under Article I of the CWC and Article III of the BWC that States

Parties not assist, in any way, the acquisition, manufacture, or use of chemical or biological weapons. Given this understanding, the AG participants also reaffirmed their commitment to continuing the Group's activities, now that the CWC has entered into force.

During the last 6 months, we continued to examine closely intelligence and other reports of trade in CBW-related material and technology that might be relevant to sanctions provisions under the Chemical and Biological Weapons Control and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991. No new sanctions determinations were reached during this reporting period. The United States also continues to cooperate with its AG partners and other countries in stopping shipments of proliferation concern.

Missiles for Delivery of Weapons of Mass Destruction

The United States continues to carefully control exports that could contribute to unmanned delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction and to closely monitor activities of potential missile proliferation concern. We also continue to implement the U.S. missile sanctions law. In April 1998, we imposed Category I missile sanctions against North Korean and Pakistani entities for the transfer from North Korea to Pakistan of equipment and technology related to the Ghauri missile. Sanctions imposed against two North Korean entities in August 1997 for transfers involving Category II Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) Annex items also remain in effect.

During this reporting period, MTCR Partners continued to work with each other and with potential non-Partner supplier and transshipment states to curb proliferation. Partners emphasized the need for implementing effective export control systems and cooperated to interdict shipments intended for use in missile programs of concern.

The United States was an active participant in the MTCR's highly productive May 1998 Reinforced Point of Contact (RPOC) Meeting. At the RPOC, MTCR Partners engaged in an in-depth discussion of regional missile proliferation concerns, focusing in particular on South Asia. They also discussed steps Partners could take to increase transparency and outreach to nonmembers, and reached consensus to admit the Czech Republic, Poland, and Ukraine to membership in the MTCR. (Reports on their membership have been submitted to the Congress pursuant to section 73A of the Arms Export Control Act.)

In May 1998, the United States was an active participant in the German-hosted MTCR workshop on brokering, catch-all controls, and other export control issues. In June, the United States played a leading role at the Swiss-hosted MTCR workshops on risk assessment in MTCR licensing decisions. The workshops involved the participation of MTCR Partners, as well as several non-MTCR members, and were successful in providing practical insights on export control and licensing issues. In particular, it helped participants identify risk factors and ways to assess them. The MTCR held its Thirteenth Plenary Meeting in Budapest,

Hungary on October 5-9. At the Plenary, the MTCR Partners shared information about activities and programs of missile proliferation concern and considered additional steps they can take, individually and collectively, to prevent the proliferation of delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction, focusing in particular on the threat posed by missile-related activities in South and North East Asia and the Middle East.

During their discussions, the Partners gave special attention to North Korean (DPRK) missile activities, expressing serious concern about the DPRK's missile export practices and its efforts to acquire increasingly long-range missiles. The MTCR Plenary Chairman issued a statement reflecting the Partners' concerns, noting in particular that the Partners urged the DPRK to refrain from further flight tests of WMD-capable missiles and to cease exports of equipment and technology for such missiles. The Partners also agreed to maintain special scrutiny over their missile-related exports in order not to support North Korean missile development in any way.

At Budapest, the Partners also discussed ways to further the MTCR's efforts to promote openness and outreach to nonmembers, including by sponsoring additional seminars and workshops for members and nonmembers. The Partners supported a U.S. proposal for an MTCR-sponsored workshop in 1999 on "intangible transfers of technology," in order to develop a greater understanding of how proliferators misuse the Internet, scientific conferences, plant visits, and student exchange programs to acquire sensitive technology and to identify steps countries can take to address this problem. They also agreed to give further consideration to a technical-level workshop for border guards and Customs authorities on export control enforcement. In addition, the Partners noted China's increased willingness to engage in meaningful dialogue on missile nonproliferation and export control issues, and renewed their previous invitation in principle to China to take the steps necessary to join the Regime.

The Partners also made additional progress at Budapest toward reformatting the MTCR Annex (the list of MTCR-controlled items) to improve clarity and uniformity of implementation while maintaining the coverage of the current Annex. They hope to complete this process in the near future.

During this reporting period, the United States also worked unilaterally and in coordination with its MTCR Partners to combat missile proliferation and to encourage nonmembers to export responsibly and to adhere to the MTCR Guidelines. Since my last report, we have continued missile nonproliferation discussions with China and North Korea and other countries in Central Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.

In October 1998, the United States and the DPRK held a third round of missile talks, aimed at constraining DPRK missile production, deployment, flight-testing, and exports. The United States expressed serious concerns about North Korea's missile exports and indigenous missile activities, and made clear that we regard as highly destabilizing the DPRK's attempt on August 31 to use a Taepo Dong 1 missile to orbit a small satellite. We voiced strong opposition to North Korea's missile exports to other countries and made clear that further launches of long-range missiles or further exports of such missiles or their related technology would have very negative consequences for efforts to improve U.S.-North Korean relations. The talks concluded with an agreement to hold another round at the earliest practical date.

In response to reports of continuing Iranian efforts to acquire sensitive items from Russian entities for use in Iran's missile development program, the United States continued its high-level dialogue with Russia aimed at finding ways the United States and Russia can work together to cut off the flow of sensitive goods to Iran's ballistic missile development program. This effort has netted some positive results. For example, during this reporting period, Russia began implementing "catch-all" provisions imposing controls over the export of any material destined for a WMD or missile program, and provided detailed implementing guidance on these controls for Russian entities. Russia also agreed to meet regularly with the United States to discuss export control issues. In addition, at the summit in September, President Yeltsin and I announced the formation of seven bilateral working groups -- nuclear, missile, catch-all and internal compliance, conventional weapons, law enforcement, licensing, and customs -- for the rapid exchange of information on the wide range of nonproliferation issues.

In July, Russia launched special investigations of nine entities suspected of cooperating with foreign programs to acquire WMD and missile delivery systems. Russia subsequently took steps to end exports to Iran by three of these entities and to pursue two of the cases as smuggling issues. Consistent with the Russian action, the United States took action against seven of the nine entities in July pursuant in part to Executive Order 12938, as amended. We suspended all United States Government assistance to these seven entities and banned all U.S. exports to them and all of their imports to the United States."

http://www.bu.edu/globalbeat/nuclear/Clinton111298.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:10 AM

Dickey,

Maybe you weren't here back when Joe Offer stated that cut and posts longer than a screen's worth are taboo...

This is about the longest one since then so maybe Joe's request needs to be revisited...

A link is just fine... Or, as Amos usually does, a short synopsis or a ccouple paragrapghs and a link...

Just good Cat/cyber manners...

Now back to the food fight...

Bobert:]


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:14 AM

I agree with Bobert on this one: Some quotes, and a link would have been better.

For one thing, most of those here will not bother to read what was posted, for fear of finding something they do not agree with. They can just ignore the clicky and attack the poster, instead.

"You can't teach a pig to sing"... Nor inform someone who wants to remain ignorant.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: TIA
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 10:32 AM

Amen BB


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 11:13 AM

Bobert: I appologize. I had that in mind when I was posting but I thought it would fit in one screen. I was in too much of a hurry and I failed to preview it. I will take more time in the future.

Now back to the good fight :D


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 11:24 AM

The situation in 1998 and th esituation in 2002 were quite different. I don't see the logic of prorposing that a description of conditions in the past which have changed shuld be used as an explanation for action in the present. SSeems to me it is ignoring time itself, always a mistake.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 11:26 AM

Today the Baghdad bridege that was bobmbed did not fall into the river like the one last week.

The surge is officially considered a failure by the Parliment since the green zone bombing.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 11:32 AM

Women in Iraq

Women in Iran


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 11:54 AM

Your bigotry is showing, good DIck. I spoke recently with an Iranian who is now a US citizen, and reurned to Tehran to visit his parents. The Shiite society of Iran is actually much more tolerant about Sharia law, and much mor e liberal towards women, then the Sunni.

None of which, BTW, has much bearing on the thread's title or topic.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Donuel
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 11:57 AM

I have a serious question.

What does a FINAL defeat have to look like for George W Bush to recognize it?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 12:08 PM

Women in Iran, alternative view.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 12:16 PM

Amos: The friend was not a woman. And you call me biggoted? Ask an Iranian Woman

The Iraq Liberation Act
WILLIAM J. CLINTON, THE WHITE HOUSE, October 31, 1998.

Today I am signing into law H.R. 4655, the "Iraq Liberation Act of 1998." This Act makes clear that it is the sense of the Congress that the United States should support those elements of the Iraqi opposition that advocate a very different future for Iraq than the bitter reality of internal repression and external aggression that the current regime in Baghdad now offers.
    Let me be clear on what the U.S. objectives are: The United States wants Iraq to rejoin the family of nations as a freedom-loving and law-abiding member. This is in our interest and that of our allies within the region.
    The United States favors an Iraq that offers its people freedom at home. I categorically reject arguments that this is unattainable due to Iraq's history or its ethnic or sectarian make-up. Iraqis deserve and desire freedom like everyone else. The United States looks forward to a democratically supported regime that would permit us to enter into a dialogue leading to the reintegration of Iraq into normal international life.
    My Administration has pursued, and will continue to pursue, these objectives through active application of all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions. The evidence is overwhelming that such changes will not happen under the current Iraq leadership.
    In the meantime, while the United States continues to look to the Security Council's efforts to keep the current regime's behavior in check, we look forward to new leadership in Iraq that has the support of the Iraqi people. The United States is providing support to opposition groups from all sectors of the Iraqi community that could lead to a popularly supported government.
    On October 21, 1998, I signed into law the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act, 1999, which made $8 million available for assistance to the Iraqi democratic opposition. This assistance is intended to help the democratic opposition unify, work together more effectively, and articulate the aspirations of the Iraqi people for a pluralistic, participa--tory political system that will include all of Iraq's diverse ethnic and religious groups. As required by the Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act for FY 1998 (Public Law 105-174), the Department of State submitted a report to the Congress on plans to establish a program to support the democratic opposition. My Administration, as required by that statute, has also begun to implement a program to compile information regarding allegations of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes by Iraq's current leaders as a step towards bringing to justice those directly responsible for such acts.
    The Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 provides additional, discretionary authorities under which my Administration can act to further the objectives I outlined above. There are, of course, other important elements of U.S. policy. These include the maintenance of U.N. Security Council support efforts to eliminate Iraq's weapons and missile programs and economic sanctions that continue to deny the regime the means to reconstitute those threats to international peace and security. United States support for the Iraqi opposition will be carried out consistent with those policy objectives as well. Similarly, U.S. support must be attuned to what the opposition can effectively make use of as it develops over time. With those observations, I sign H.R. 4655 into law.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 01:26 PM

It seems very off-the-wall to me that offenses against women in Iraq's pre-invasion prison system are being blamed on Iran. Kinda like something your man Limbaugh would come up with.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Apr 07 - 01:47 PM

Donuel,

As long as there is breath in the lungs of Bushites there will never be a "Final Defeat" because they are "true believers", much like the horses in "Animal Farm" and will keep respinning the story until they drop in the field... Maybe they will succeed, much the way partisans and folks of other motivation have done to sanitize the Bush administartion's failures much the way that Abe Lincoln's failures have been respun, sanitized to the point where now most folks who haven't really bothered to study history think that Lioncoln was so kinda hero...

But ya' have to hand it to revisionist... They sometimes can pull of making chicken salad oyut of chiken sh*t...

So there will never be a "Final Defeat"... The current crop of partisans will pass the stories down to their kids who will pass the stories down to their kids and... Historians will be bought much as flat earth scientist are have been bought during Bush's first 6 years...

And the beat goes on...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 12:01 AM

Amos: How did you make that connection? There is your use of a straw man issue again. No body said there was a connection but you imply someone did, compare them to Limbaugh.

Also you accuse me of being biggoted for showing the difference in the status of women in Iraq compared to women in Iran. As proof of this biggotry you say you asked a man about it and he said there is no problem. Your biggotry tells you that if a man says there is no problem, you can believe him but if a woman complains, she can't be believed.

In both instances, your logic is flawed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 12:14 AM

John F. Kerry 2003

"As I said last summer in New York, for Democrats to win America's confidence we must first convince Americans we will keep them safe. You can't do that by avoiding the subjects of national security, foreign policy and military preparedness. Nor can we let our national security agenda be defined by those who reflexively oppose any U.S. military intervention anywhere...who see U.S. power as mostly a malignant force in world politics...who place a higher value on achieving multilateral consensus than necessarily protecting our vital interests....
...Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime .... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction .... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ...."


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 01:13 AM

Oh, bullshit, Dickey. You take one picture of a hanged woman, presumably Iranian, and say it represents the status of women in Iran. That is an attempt at bigotry. I have no idea what you thought you were doing, but it was pure codswallop to make the insinuation.

It is not my strawman -- I just said it was the kind of thing your friend Rush would try to pull. Making sweeping nasty generalizations from precious little specifics and making them look like a widespread situation was a specialty of his, and yours. It's just primitive chaos-mongering. No-one should be fooled by it, althugh it can get people riled up.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 15 Apr 07 - 03:00 AM

100 up


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 12:28 AM

We kiss Saudi ass all the time and Saudi women must have a desultory life since they're not allowed to go to school, to work, to drive, to travel around the country without a husband to accompany them. Yet Saudi women seem to accept it. When the US knocked the Taliban out of power after 9-11, Afghan women were reluctant to remove the burkhas.

So if dickey or whoever is going to show a photo of a lynched Iranian woman as some kind of proof of how bad Iran is then why didn't we attack Iran rather than Iraq where women DID go to school, have jobs, could drive, etc. etc.? In fact, didn't Iraqi women already have the right to vote before we invaded? And, if so, don't their votes count for no less of a sham now than they did then? At least Saddam supplied then with the basic amenities of life. The govt they vote for now can offer them nothing. Actually it offers but it doesn't deliver.

More and more suicide bombers are women. Early in the invasion, I saw a teen Iraqi boy on some program say that he liked the Americans and wanted to work with them. His sister heard him and she started yelling that the Americans ruined their lives and that she hated them and that they should go home before they make things worse (which they did). We're not exactly seeing Arab women throwing themselves into the arms of the big strong American GI Joe begging to save them from the barbaric, chauvinistic Arab/Muslim men.

Whatever we think of their treatment, it only matters what they think. It's their culture and we're going to have to learn to respect it. Obviously the vast majority consider Islam and all its misogynistic values to be a lesser evil than being occupied by Americans.

I've been there and it's a different culture. Arab people are strange by our standards. They're not easy to understand. I think any Muslim society is that way for us. But we're strange to them too. It's not right of us to go charging into Iran to save their womenfolk. I don't think their womenfolk want to see our ass.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 02:05 AM

Well said, 282RA!

If the U.S. really gave a shit about the women of the Middle East, they would have invaded Saudi Arabia a long time ago.

There's something really slimy about men who try to use women's rights as a reason for war.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: 282RA
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 07:09 PM

[I've been trying to put together a road to American involvement in Iraq. This is sketchy and incomplete but it offers some possible answers.]

1992 – The Wolfowitz Doctrine was drawn up at the tail end of the Bush I presidency. After losing the election to Bill Clinton, the plan was presented to him on February 18 and presented as the Defense Planning Guidance for the fiscal years of 1994-99. Written by the U.S. Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Paul Wolfowitz and his deputy I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, the doctrine stated that the U.S. should act unilaterally to engage in "pre-emptive intervention" against other nations deemed as a threat i.e. any nation seeking superpower status. The United States, the doctrine stated, should be the only superpower and all other nations eliminated as potential rivals including not allowing them access to vital natural resources (such as oil) that could give them global leverage even if that natural resource was located within their own borders. The doctrine was leaked to the New York Times and created such an outcry due to its aggressively imperialist rhetoric that it was retracted and rewritten under the direction of Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell and re-released in April. Clinton shelved it.

2000 – George W. Bush elected 43rd U.S. president despite losing the popular vote to Al Gore. Richard Cheney became vice president and Colin Powell secretary of state. Scooter Libby became Cheney's chief-of-staff. According to Paul O'Neill, former Bush cabinet member and secretary of the treasury until resigning in 2002, "From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go." From there, came the idea that the U.S. should topple him from power. "For me," said O'Neill, "the notion of pre-emption, that the U.S. has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap." During National Security Council meetings, O'Neill was surprised that no one raised any questions about why Iraq should be invaded. "It was all about finding a way to do it," O'Neill states. "That was the tone of it. The president saying 'Go find me a way to do this.'"

2001 – A cell of al-Qaeda operating out of the Taliban-governed Afghanistan and under the leadership of Saudi native Osama bin Laden attacks and destroys the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11th. Two hijacked commercial passenger liners were flown into the WTC setting it ablaze and causing its collapse. Several thousand people lose their lives. Another plane is flown into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. No one in the building is hurt but everyone aboard the hijacked plane die. Another hijacked passenger liner crashed into a field in Pennsylvania before reaching its intended target which may have been the White House. All aboard are killed. Bush vows to find and punish those responsible especially bin Laden, his deputy al Zawahiri and Afghanistan's leader Mullah Omar.

A few days later, the CIA station chief in Rome received some documents from the Italy's intelligence service, SISMI (Servizio per le Informazioni e la Sicurezza Militaire), concerning the sale of 500 tons of uranium oxide called "yellowcake" from Niger to Iraq. MI6, the British spy agency, also had been investigating the claim which seemed to stem from a 1999 visit by the Iraqi ambassador to Niger where French officials wondered if Iraq might be trying to obtain yellowcake to make nuclear weapons or fuel rods (Niger being a former colony of France which still owns and oversees part of Niger's yellowcake industry). The Rome CIA station chief filed the documents with the CIA's Operations Directorate in Langley, Virginia and then promptly dismissed them as non-credible. Langley, in turn, sent copies to the CIA's European and Near Eastern divisions as well as to the CIA's Intelligence Directorate and to the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). Langley included the information in the Senior Executive Intelligence Brief that was distributed to senior policymakers and congressional intelligence committees in October. The brief made clear the information was dubious.

By November 20, the U.S. Embassy in Niger received copies of the documents and investigated the claims of Iraq attempting to purchase 500 tons of yellowcake from Niger and found it wanting. They communicated their findings to the State Department where analysts agreed that such a sale could not be kept secret and was therefore highly unlikely. Besides, Iraq had no had no plants to process the uranium.

The U.S. government pressured the French government to investigate the claims in the documents. After determining the documents were forgeries and even journeying to Niger to look around, French investigators found nothing.

2002 – In the wake of 9-11, Bush unveiled the National Security Strategy of the United States, a.k.a. the Bush Doctrine. A virtual rehash of the original Wolfowitz Doctrine a decade before, the Bush Doctrine stated that "military pre-emption" and unilateral action must be employed for purposes of "extending democracy, liberty, and security to all regions." Rather than deterring and containing threats as had been the past U.S. foreign policy, the Bush Doctrine advocated aggressive military action before any such threat could develop. The doctrine describes its foreign policy as "muscular."

On February 5, the CIA received more Iraq-Niger documents from SISMI and deputy commander in charge of U.S. armed forced in Europe, General Carlton Fulford, Jr. went to Niger to investigate a connection and found no evidence that one existed. The DIA also wrote a report on the documents, which were obvious forgeries that the CIA had failed to catch. When Vice-President Cheney read the DIA report, he demanded another investigation into the Iraq-Niger connection. The CIA sent a former ambassador to Iraq, Joseph C. Wilson IV, to Niger to assess the intelligence. Like those before him, Wilson learned that Niger had two uranium mines—Somair and Cominak. Both mines were owned and run by a multinational consortium consisting of France, Germany, Spain, Japan and, of course, Niger. To remove 500 tons of uranium (1/6 of Niger's annual output) from these mines to sell to another nation would require the approval of the consortium as well as the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) not to mention the minister of mines and the prime minister of Niger (who would no doubt notify Niger's president).

In March, the State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) released a report titled Niger-Iraq: Sale of Niger Uranium to Iraq Unlikely. The large number of trucks needed to transport 500 tons of uranium to Iraqi cargo vessels would be prohibitive as well as requiring them to cross international boundaries in order to transport the cargo over a thousand miles to the proper ports. In short, far too many people would know about the deal if it had occurred which was so improbable that the intelligence could be dismissed outright. The matter was laid to rest…or should have been.

By September, the DoD released a report titled Iraq's Reemerging Nuclear Program which alleged that "Iraq has been vigorously trying to procure yellowcake and uranium ore." British intelligence sources made the same allegations later in the month which the British government released in a report of its own.

In October, a Milan reporter named Elisabetta Burba working for a newspaper called Panorama received a call from an Italian businessman named Rocco Martino who made money on the side selling various and sundry intelligence documents and he had sold some to Burba in the past and she found him a credible source. Martino called Burba and told her that he had some documents she might want to look at so she flew from Milan to Rome on October 7 and met Martino in a restaurant. He handed her a dossier containing papers written in French. Among the papers was a letter, written in all caps like a telex, from Niger's president, Mamadou Tandja, to Saddam Hussein confirming a deal to ship 500 tons of yellowcake in two phases to Iraq. The letter, bearing Niger's official letterhead, was dated October 27, 2000.

Without further analysis and checking, Burba could conclude nothing except, if the letter was genuine, it would blow the lid off a major covert operation. She took the dossier and its contents and told Martino she would need to corroborate the evidence and, if she could do so, would talk with him later about payment. Martino agreed. Burba flew back to Milan and showed her boss, Carlo Rosella, Panorma's editor, what she had obtained from Martino. Rosella suggested showing the documents to the Americans at the embassy in Rome. Burba flew back to Rome on October 9 and met with Ian Kelly at the American Embassy. They talked and then Burba gave Kelly the documents.

The same day Burba met with Martino in Rome, Bush gave a speech in Cincinnati where he stated that Iraq "possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons." By December, the State Department repeated the Iraq-Niger allegation prompting the government of Niger issued a strong denial of the charge.

2003 – On January 20, the White House included the allegation in a report to Congress while Paul Wolfowitz, now deputy defense secretary under Donald Rumsfeld, repeated the charge to the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City the same day. Meanwhile, the New York Times published an op-ed piece called Why We Know Iraq Is Lying written by National Security Secretary Condoleezza Rice where she too repeated the allegation about Iraq trying to purchase uranium ore. Secretary of State Colin Powell asked, "Why is Iraq still trying to procure uranium and the special equipment needed to transform it into material for nuclear weapons?" in a speech given before the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 26.   

Two days later, Bush delivered his State of the Union address to Congress and spoke of the need to attack Iraq alleging it was building an arsenal that can be used against any other country including the United States. To bolster his case, he offered several pieces of information supposedly gleaned from various intelligence agencies. One of them results in what are now known as "the 16 words": "The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." Iraq was under U.N. sanctions and not allowed to constitute any weapons programs. Yet, Bush insisted that Iraq had somehow stockpiled this frightening new weaponry that consisted of over 25,000 liters of anthrax ("enough doses to kill several million people"), over 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin ("enough to subject millions of people to death by respiratory failure"), approximately "500 tons of sarin, mustard and VX nerve agent" along with "upwards of 30,000 munitions capable of delivering chemical agents." Serious allegations. Bush called these "weapons of mass destruction" which eventually became known simply as "WMD." How Saddam Hussein had managed to stockpile this huge arsenal under strict U.N. sanctions was not explained. Bush's assertions, however, were not met with doubt simply because the memory of the horror of 9-11 was still fresh in the minds of the American people.

The 16 words played a large role in convincing the American public of the need to test the Bush Doctrine on Iraq. Invade and disarm Iraq before it gets a chance to use any of their illegal weapons. Let their oil revenues pay for reconstruction. On February 6, Secretary of State Colin Powell addressed the United Nations about the need to take action against the machinations of the Iraq and Hussein. Powell's address was highly detailed and very specific about the threat Iraq posed. Audiotapes, satellite photographs, statements taken during interrogation of suspects seized in Afghanistan, intercepted radio messages, allegations made by Iraqi defectors and so on provided the details of Powell's address. If the rest of the world was still not convinced that Saddam Hussein posed a huge threat to global stability, the United States and Britain bought the allegations virtually without question.

The American press was virtually unanimous in its praise of Powell's speech calling it "impressive in its breadth and eloquence" (The San Francisco Chronicle), that the speech was "more than sufficient to dispel any lingering doubt about the threat the Iraqi dictator poses" (The Denver Post), that "Mr. Powell eliminated any reasonable doubt" (The Washington Times), that "Only the blind could ignore Powell's evidence" (The Dallas Morning News) and the San Jose Mercury News even added that Powell made his address "with no exaggeration, a rhetorical tool he didn't need."

Indeed the American press was complicit and instrumental in selling the Iraq invasion to the public. Few journalists or newspapers sat down to go over the evidence presented in Powell's speech. Had they done so, they would have been forced to retract their praise and recognize that exaggeration was virtually all Powell's speech was—exaggeration and outright lies. Whether Powell knew them to be lies remains a subject of debate but today we know for certain that they were deliberate deceptions. Regardless, Powell's speech along with Bush's SOTU address were enough for Congress to authorize Bush to invade Iraq on March 20.

Four months after Powell's speech, about three months after the United States had already invaded and began occupying Iraq having toppled Saddam from power, U.S. News & World Report became one of the first, if not the first, paper to question the allegations presented by Powell before the U.N. They printed one damning bit of evidence that tells us quite clearly that Powell knew full well that he was lying even as he addressed the U.N. assembly: Upon reading the original draft of the speech, Powell shouted, "I'm not reading this! This is bullshit!" Two months later, Charles J. Hanley, an AP reporter, meticulously critiqued Powell's speech to the U.N. and found it laden with falsehoods and errors which set off war critics. The American people began to grouse about the faulty data and even the necessity of the invasion but it was too late.

With Powell's speech thoroughly discredited, attention turned to Bush's SOTU address and its allegation contained in the 16 words regarding Iraq attempting to purchase uranium ore from Africa ostensibly for use in making nuclear weapons.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 11:11 PM

Amos:

Explain how the comparison of the fate of the two women is "an attempt at bigotry"

Would Dianvan prefer the purple finger over being hung from a crane?

None of you could debate your way out of a paper bag so you need to constantly use hostile personal attacks and straw man issues to bolster your faulty logic.

Huge cut and pasts are accepted from some people but jeered if posted by other people and I am accused of bigotry.

Bigot: One who regards or treats the members of a group with hatred and intolerance.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Peace
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 11:14 PM

You're not a bigot. You're an asshole.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 16 Apr 07 - 11:26 PM

Dickey:

Words of one syl-la-ble, pal. You tried to paint Iran as land which hangs wo-men by showing one pic-ture. Not log-i-cal. I e-ven showed you pic-tures of ma-ny o-ther wo-men in same land who not hanged, buy per-fume, smile. Your pic-ture not true as ex-ample, more as ex-cep-tion. See?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 01:20 AM

Actually, Dickie, I would prefer that you not use women or women's issues to attempt to confirm your faulty logic. If you are a man, you don't have a clue about women's issues. If you want to feel sorry for women, take a look at Saudi Arabia, the U.S. ally.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 07:10 AM

"Another plane is flown into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. No one in the building is hurt but everyone aboard the hijacked plane die."

Not quite accurate.

"The Pentagon attack killed 184 people: Fifty-three passengers and six crew members on board American Airlines Flight 77, and 125 military and civilian personnel inside the building."

http://www.cnn.com/2006/US/05/16/pentagon.video/index.html


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Arne
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 01:57 PM

BeardedBruce:

btw, UNR 1441 was 8 Nov 2002. With a 30 DAY time limit ( not met) for compliance.

That's a lie. I've refuted this hogwash of BB's previously, but like a good Dubya-butt-sucker, he just trots it out again a month or two later.

U.N. inspectors started inspections Nov. 27th, and Iraq handed over 12,000 pages of documentation on Dec. 7th.

There were complaints on the level of co-operation (including an unaccountable complaint that the 12,000 pages of documentation were too much, and intended to obfuscate things), but Iraq did formally "comply". Further issues with the level and nature of compliance were being worked out. But BeardedBruce thinks (as did Dubya) that the proper response is to go in immediately with full guns blazing (and in the process, ruin Iraq, kill hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and several thousand young U.S. soldiers, and shred the U.S. military and economy). BeardedBruce is an eedjit and should be kept appropriately sedated and restrained for the duration of any social occasions.

Cheers,


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: beardedbruce
Date: 17 Apr 07 - 02:08 PM

Arne, old chum,

YOU have refuted nothing. The UN stated that Iraq was "NON_COMPLIANT" with the resolution, not me.


Arne is an eedjit and should be kept appropriately sedated and restrained for the duration of any social occasions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 19 Apr 07 - 12:07 PM

An interesting writeup concerning the web of media-hypnosis and administrative bullshit that ramped the nation into war.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 19 Apr 07 - 02:24 PM

ALthough I will not retract my comments on Mister Dickey's photo-rhetoric, I do think he deserves an apology for mine.

Here is an article which changed my thinking. I also recommend the recent book called Infidel, which describes in detail what it like to grow up as a young woman under strict Muslim rules.

I think I had underestimated the degree to which law-by-priesthood and obsessions about imaginary rectitude had permeated Iranian culture since the eviction of the Shah Pahlavi regime.

A.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Ron Davies
Date: 19 Apr 07 - 08:59 PM

Amos--

Your Moyers article is indeed worth reading--and I'm sure the show is worth watching. And it's also true that the editorial page of the WSJ was one of the top cheerleaders for the Iraq war--and still thinks both that we will "win" and that it's essential to do so.

But in fact it was the Wall St Journal---the reporting--which showed me clearly the pathetically feeble nature of the Bush regime's case for the war. The reporting exposed the drivel that passed for logic in the Bush regime--and demolished the house of cards the regime built to justify its tragically stupid war.

I look for objective reporting when I can find it--and figured the WSJ was my best bet--certainly over blogs, the New York Times, and other media which can be easily attacked as biased.

So when the WSJ pointed out in great detail the extreme unlikeliness of an alliance between Saddam and Osama--particularly given their histories--that toppled one of the main pillars the Bush regime was using. The WSJ also severely questioned the WMD argument--and pointed out the propaganda windfall for Osama that the war was likely to be..

So even before the war I had enough of what I considered objective evidence to realize the Bush regime was far from making the case it needed to in order to justify the war.

And I called the White House comment line and told them so.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 10:37 AM

Amos: I see you have the ability to back off which is good. My compliments.
I realize that I get overheated some times and revert to rhetoric.

My Colonel Beauregard scenario could be construed as biased and biggoted. I was trying to illustrate the fact that you do not ask the person with the advantage if they are taking advantage of someone, you ask the someone it they are being taken advantage of.

I think women in Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia, Iran and still in Iraq some cases are not treated well but change is possible. The woman with the purple finger illustrates that. However that is one of the things that is causing the extremeists there to fight and kill each other. It is against their religion to treat men and women equally.

My hope is that the moderates will come together and oppose the extremists and gradually wind down the violence. That may be an impossible thing to some people but I think it is better to have a positive attitude rather than a defeatist attitude.

Who ever accomplished anything with a defeatist attitude?

Pork goes to War

Thomas Schatz New York Times
March 30, 2007

EMERGENCY spending bills are called "Christmas trees," for the unrelated "ornaments" that are added by members of Congress. (They are exempt from budget rules and are almost never vetoed, making them magnets for pork.) The nickname is usually not literal, but the Senate's version of the fiscal 2007 supplemental appropriations bill that passed yesterday includes, among scores of other nonessential items, money {$40 million] for Christmas-tree growers.

Behind all their lofty rhetoric about the Iraq war and bringing home the troops, members of the House and Senate were busy tacking on $20 billion and $18.5 billion respectively in unrelated spending to President Bush's $103 billion request. (He intends to veto the bill.)

Despite their campaign talk about earmark reform last fall, the new Democratic leadership shamelessly used pork to buy votes — before the vote, Representatives Collin Peterson of Minnesota and Peter DeFazio of Oregon acknowledged that add-ons for their districts would influence their decisions.

The heavyweights also led by example: the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid of Nevada, added $20 million to eradicate Mormon crickets, and David Obey of Wisconsin, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, came away with $283 million for the Milk Income Loss Contract Program.
This chart, which is a partial list of some of the most egregious earmarks, shows that the new bosses are already feeding at the trough, and "war pork" threatens to sink their fiscal credibility.

Harry Reid: The war is lost. (but give me my pork and I will vote to extend it some more)


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 10:40 AM

Clear Channel just sold ALL of their TV stations.

What do you think this means.

the neocons have lost?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 10:46 AM

My hope is that the moderates will come together and oppose the extremists and gradually wind down the violence. That may be an impossible thing to some people but I think it is better to have a positive attitude rather than a defeatist attitude.



I agree completely. I do not have a defeatist attitude about the Middle East. But I think by being lured into a contest of brute force, which is an addiction that is well practiced in Iraq and other Muslim countries, we are being sucked into playing the wrong game. I much prefer the quiet certain courage of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and the conquest of ideas over the slaughter of innocents as proof of might.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Stringsinger
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 10:48 AM

As Noam Chomsky has said in his interview with Amy Goodman, sure you can win in Iraq by utterly destroying the country and its people. Then it becomes a satellite of the US. British Petroleum and Exxon can then rape the country of its oil.

The same pattern followed historically in Vietnam and the difference is today there is more protest sooner than there was during the Viet war years. North Vietnam and North Korea still remain pretty much the same despite US agression.

You can't win in a foreign country by pre-emptive war unless you are prepared to utter destroy that country. You can occupy it but only for so long until the inhabitants of the country rise up to defeat the occupiers.

Iraq is a lose-lose proposition.

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Teribus
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 11:50 AM

"Then it (Iraq) becomes a satellite of the US. British Petroleum and Exxon can then rape the country of its oil."

Did the good Mr. Chomsky state exactly how this could be done Frank?

"North Vietnam and North Korea still remain pretty much the same despite US agression."

Well when you consider that there is now only a Vietnam (No North and South) that leaves us with North Korea. Care to provide some examples of US aggression with respect to that country Frank. If memory serves me correctly the only aggressor to have run roughshod over the Korean penninsula since the end of the Second World War has been North Korea itself, that aggression having been confronted successfully by a United Nations Force.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Donuel
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 12:39 PM

The American Enterprise Institute is the think tank that sold Dick Cheney and Rumsfeld and other like minded meglomaniacs on an American ownership of the World. On the idea we could spend the new Peace dividend on an Iraq War that would then sustain itself on the oil profits.

Well, look at the freedom we sold Iraq. Look at the massive new American debt.

It failed.

The neocons lost that war.

The IRaq Parlament says so.

Congress says so.

Sure neocons can start a new one but we are down to nuclear options now.

The rats are leaving the ship now that they have stirred up a Islamic nationless hornets nest which is full of real and present danger.

Even Clear Channel sold ALL their TV stations today.

The president advertised for a War Cazr to take over.
There were no takers.

what more proof do you need that the war is lost?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 02:43 PM

However that is one of the things that is causing the extremeists there to fight and kill each other. It is against their religion to treat men and women equally.


Dickey - This war is not about extemists killing and fighting each other about equal rights for women.

Its about who will hold power in Iraq. The people voted for a Shia majority government. For all you know, the woman with the purple finger voted for a Shia. It doesn't matter what you or anyone else thinks is right. Its what is right for the Iraqi people.

Who have been the victims of most of the bombs in Iraq? Its the Shiites! Saddam was a Sunni (Baathist)! Sunni are secularists and the people of Iraq have sufferred greatly as a result of U.S./Sunni and now al Qaeda bombings. Why would they want a Sunni govt.? Their alternative is a Shiite govt. Thats what they voted for.

This is not a women's issue. Don't even try to use women as an excuse for this war. It has nothing to do with women's rights and all to do with power and that power is in the hands of men, not women. Doesn't matter what your religion is, women of the Middle East are culturally dominated by men. Life is more important than the veil, at this point.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Bobert
Date: 20 Apr 07 - 08:34 PM

Well, when the Seanate Majority leade stands up and say "This war is lost," there is a good chance that things aren't excatly going too well... We're not talkin' about some freshman senator here but the majority leader...

I've been saying this along time now and evidence isn't exactly on the Bushite's side that I, or the good senator, are wrong in our assesments...

At some point in time the reality will set in with even the most partisan of the Bushites here that this war has been lost...

Okay, I recognize that there will be a small umber of them that will not accept the loss and will argue until the day they die that " we could have won if only ___________," just as those who argue that if we had just stayed in Vietnam then we would have eventually won...

This war was lost the day the Supreme Court stopped the recount in Florida in 2000!!!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 11:39 AM

>>Who have been the victims of most of the bombs in Iraq? Its the Shiites! Saddam was a Sunni (Baathist)! Sunni are secularists and the people of Iraq have sufferred greatly as a result of U.S./Sunni and now al Qaeda bombings. Why would they want a Sunni govt.? Their alternative is a Shiite govt. Thats what they voted for.<<

According to the Bush administration, Iran is arming the insurgents who are killing most the American troops. So that means the Shia are doing most the killings since Iran is a Shiite nation who hate the Sunnis. If the administration is right, they're actually justifying leaving Saddam in power--as, of course, he should've been.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 12:24 PM

282RA - If you look at the cities and other places that have been the most victimized, they are Shia. Shiites are not targetting Shiites. Sunnis are targeting Shiites. It appears that the bombs that have taken the greatest toll, have exploded in Shia towns, neighborhoods and market places.

The Bush administration SUSPECTS that Iran is arming the insurgency (both sides) but there is no proof that this is sanctioned by the Iranian govt. Its just more propaganda to deflect blame. In fact, the Sunni/al Qaeda militants have stated that they have the capability of making their own weapons. Some Iranian made weapons may have fallen into the hands of Sunnis but so have Russian and post Iraqi weapons.

I have no doubt that Iran is probably arming Shia Militia but al Sadr's army is mainly involved in reprisal killings. They are not doing the bombing. They are not suicide bombers and they do not set road side bombs. It is the Sunnis (who George Bush is protecting) that are responsible for most of the carnage in Iraq.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 02:41 PM

"Its what is right for the Iraqi people."

And they are the ones that should decide that by voting which was enabled by the toppling of Sadam. Maybe they will have to kill each other for 10 more years before they decide what is best.

Meanwhile you have al Qaeda and Iran stirring the violence, not the US. The US is trying to keep a lid on the violence like the police in a big city.

When The US pulls out, what happens then? All kisses ang hugs between Sunni and Shia? I don't think so.

Do you Believe it is best for the Iraqis if the US and the UK were to pull out?


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: GUEST,282RA
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 02:55 PM

>>I have no doubt that Iran is probably arming Shia Militia but al Sadr's army is mainly involved in reprisal killings. They are not doing the bombing. They are not suicide bombers and they do not set road side bombs. It is the Sunnis (who George Bush is protecting) that are responsible for most of the carnage in Iraq.<<

Again, this is not what the administration alleges. According to them, Iran is training insurgents to build IEDs and the armor-piercing explosives. So either a good chunk of the insurgency is Shiite or Iran is training Sunnis. Neither seems likely but that is their spiel.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Dickey
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 02:58 PM

Amos: We got some vibes.

Brute force seems to be the only thing the Muslim extermists believe in.

I hope that there is a large majority of Muslims that are not extremeists that will eventually win out but it seems to me they do not object enough about the actions of the extremists. It seems they sit idly by until one of theirs gets killed and then they want to blame the US for their relative or friend being killed.


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Amos
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 04:00 PM

I dunno what vibes you're thinking of, Dick, but asserting that brute force is the only thing Muslims understand is like claiming that women enjoy rape.

There is a war of ideas afoot here, but it is NOT the war between shallow-minded Christians and shallow-minded Muslims. It is, rather, the war between the idea of coercion and the idea of dialogue and understanding. It is the war between the idea of wiping out your competitiors, rather than simply out-creating them in a postive direction. It is a war between a sane future or one haunted by insane slaughter. You get to pick which side you're on.

Rationalizations and false generalizations won't work.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: akenaton
Date: 21 Apr 07 - 04:27 PM

Very well said Amos!


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: dianavan
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 01:37 PM

Dickey and Amos - Iran is not a threat to us.

"The people of Iran are probably the most pro-Western in the world, though that will not stop them fighting like hell if we are foolish enough to attack them. Not that they will do so with nuclear weapons any time soon. Iran is rather bad at grand projects. Its sole nuclear power station has never produced a watt of electricity in more than three decades, the capital's TV tower is unfinished after 20 years of work and Tehran's airport took 30 years to build."

"This is not some medieval theocracy where females are hidden away or forced to do the will of their menfolk. Men and women sit in animated mixed groups at the lunch tables, conversing as equals. Headscarves are worn. It is still the absolute law. But they are worn in such a way as to make a fool of that law. They are pushed back as far as they can go without actually falling off, held in place by no more than a blast of hairspray, revealing the front parts of elaborate and often vertical hairstyles - frequently blonde."

Please read this wonderfully, informative article.

http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23393411-details/Iran:+A+nation+of+nose+jobs,+not+nuclear+war/article.do


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Bobert
Date: 22 Apr 07 - 08:43 PM

Screw Iran ans screw Syria... These countries are being set up as straw men... This popular propaganda that the US is actually fighting a "proxy war" with Iran is just that: propaganda...

Recent intellegece reports suggest that Iraqi Al-Qeada (IAQ) has little or no real ties to bin Laden's group other than jihad, which is a real broadstroke...

No, this boils down to an extremely ill-thought-out venture that Pearle and Wolfowitz propsed to Bill Clinton in the early 90's and wer thrown out of the Oval Office... But Bush bit becuase of his daddy's run in with Saddam... This the the real story ina nutshell...

Okay, I will be the first to admit that things in Iraq are very messed up... I, as well as others, perdicted the exact scenerio that we no see in Iraq: a full fledge civil war...

What to do??? Ahhhhh, fir starters: not what we have been doing, that much is for sure... If---and this is big if--- there is to be a political solution among the various parties that are now engaged in "civil war" it cannot be accomplished with an occupying army in their country...

Politically speaking, Bush has circled the wagons and bought a few more months but a few more months isn't going to change amything in the final chapter of Bush's ***bad decision***... Years won't either...

This ain't about a victory... This is about when we collectively see that this was ****and is**** unwinable...

Like I said earlier, there will be a nimority of Bushites who will argue to the grave that this was was winable, regardless of its outcome, just as there are a small minority of folks who thought if the US had just stayed, and stayed, and stayed in Vietnam then the US would have "won" but...

...then again, there are folks who still argue that the US never landed on the moon...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Reviewing the Road to Iraq
From: Wolfgang
Date: 25 Apr 07 - 06:46 AM

The last thing the Middle East's main players want is US troops to leave Iraq (from THE GUARDIAN)

Across the region, ordinary people want the Americans out. But from Israel to al-Qaida, political groups and states have other ideas

An interesting view in my eyes.

Wolfgang


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