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BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all

Peter K (Fionn) 03 Aug 02 - 04:46 PM
DougR 03 Aug 02 - 05:44 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 03 Aug 02 - 06:30 PM
Joe Offer 03 Aug 02 - 09:05 PM
MAG 04 Aug 02 - 01:19 AM
GUEST 04 Aug 02 - 10:32 AM
Escamillo 05 Aug 02 - 04:56 AM
GUEST,John Hernandez 05 Aug 02 - 07:53 AM
Mrrzy 05 Aug 02 - 09:51 AM
GUEST,John Hernandez 05 Aug 02 - 10:18 AM
robomatic 05 Aug 02 - 01:01 PM
Bobert 05 Aug 02 - 02:26 PM
JedMarum 05 Aug 02 - 02:39 PM
Joe Offer 05 Aug 02 - 03:10 PM
Deda 05 Aug 02 - 03:10 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Aug 02 - 04:06 PM
05 Aug 02 - 06:48 PM
kendall 05 Aug 02 - 07:28 PM
Mrrzy 06 Aug 02 - 10:15 AM
harpgirl 06 Aug 02 - 11:53 AM
DougR 06 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM
wilco 06 Aug 02 - 12:29 PM
GUEST 06 Aug 02 - 12:34 PM
kendall 06 Aug 02 - 12:53 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Aug 02 - 01:14 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Aug 02 - 01:23 PM
DougR 06 Aug 02 - 01:32 PM
GUEST 06 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM
Bobert 06 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM
GUEST 06 Aug 02 - 01:42 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 06 Aug 02 - 03:38 PM
NicoleC 06 Aug 02 - 06:17 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 07 Aug 02 - 01:38 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 02 - 01:41 PM
Donuel 08 Aug 02 - 10:34 AM
An Pluiméir Ceolmhar 08 Aug 02 - 11:55 AM
Donuel 08 Aug 02 - 12:11 PM
DougR 08 Aug 02 - 02:33 PM
DougR 08 Aug 02 - 03:10 PM
GUEST 08 Aug 02 - 08:31 PM
GUEST,truer_sound 08 Aug 02 - 08:42 PM
GUEST,Souter 08 Aug 02 - 11:18 PM
GUEST,Souter 08 Aug 02 - 11:19 PM
DougR 09 Aug 02 - 01:16 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 Aug 02 - 06:23 AM
Janice in NJ 09 Aug 02 - 07:06 AM
Bobert 09 Aug 02 - 08:16 AM
GUEST,John Hernandez 09 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM
truer sound 09 Aug 02 - 10:15 AM
Little Hawk 09 Aug 02 - 11:39 AM

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Subject: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 04:46 PM

I was going to put this in the anti-war thread, but really it deserves a thread of its own:

"We continue to favour the reintroduction of the inspectors and we are supporting them as much as we can," said the US Under-Secretary of State, who is Washington's arms control expert. "But...our policy at the same time insists on regime change in Baghdad. That policy will not be altered whether the inspectors go in or not," Mr Bolton added. — From the BBC website.

Talk about having your cake and eating it.

Scott Ritter, who led one of the earlier inspection teams, is telling public meetings that Iraq's military capability is now little better than zero. What dose he base this on? Well contrary to popular wisdom, only about half a dozen inspections out of several hundred were interfered with by Saddam - and those were just delayed, not thwarted. Why does Ritter say it? My guess is, because he believes it's true. I can't think of a single reason why he would want to do Saddam any favours.

Such opinions, and the complete lack of evidence about WMDs (which plenty other countries have anyway) suggest that this bird won't fly.

Which must be why the US line keeps peddling the myth about an axis between Saddam and Bin Laden. Can there be anyone who seriously believes this? Saddam, again cotrary to some popular misconceptions, has no truck with muslim fundamentalism; moreover he was spawned by Saudi Arabia which bears Iraq enough emnity to have played a crucial role in Desert Storm. (According to the BBC, Washington's threatened hostility against Iraq has actually succeeded in uniting Iran and Saudi Arabia against such action.)

If Washington does plough in and destabilise the region, against the advice of even its friends, and the result is to provoke a few more 9/11s, I would have no qualms about saying the Bush administration had reaped what it sowed.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 05:44 PM

Perhaps Scott wishes to sell copies of his book in Iraq, Fionn.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 06:30 PM

Well yes, that's a possibility I suppose. But surely it would have been better commercial sense to pander to the American audience. (Remember the way stores sold out of the flag a few months ago?!)


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Joe Offer
Date: 03 Aug 02 - 09:05 PM

As an American, I have to say I am very embarrassed by what the Bush administration calls "foreign policy."
Wouldn't this be better grounds for impeachment than the Lewinsky affair? I wasn't proud of the last U.S. president, either.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: MAG
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 01:19 AM

Yeah, but remember Nixon was ousted for Watergate, not the carpet bombing of Cambodia (after destabilizing it by ousting Prince S.).


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 04 Aug 02 - 10:32 AM

There is no real difference between Clinton and Bush, Democrat and Republican as it regards US foreign policy. One of the reasons Sadam shut down the weapons inspections is because the US put our spies on the UN inspections teams. THAT is how the world got the information on Iraq's military capabilities. And that was admitted by the US administration on Clinton's watch.

Doesn't leave much incentive for Sadam to open up to weapons inspectors now does it? This guy was, at one time, our son of a bitch despot, just like bin Laden. So, I think the lesson to be learned here is that the entire culture of US foreign policy, which is to nurture son of a bitch despots, isn't doing anything for national security. It does, however, put a lot of money in the coffers of the multinationals who want to do business in these regions unimpeded by labor and environmental laws. Which of course makes the politicians and businessmen the worst despots of all, doesn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Escamillo
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 04:56 AM

> Which of course makes the politicians and businessmen the worst despots of all, doesn't it?

I'll wholeheartedly endorse this comment !

Un abrazo - Andrés, banging the bank's fences in Buenos Aires


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,John Hernandez
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 07:53 AM

"It does, however, put a lot of money in the coffers of the multinationals who want to do business in these regions unimpeded by labor and environmental laws." So sayeth the anonymous guest regarding United States foreign policy! Ah yes, the Middle East is well known for its progressive labor and environmental laws -- as well as for its constitutional safeguards protecting the rights of women, children, ethnic and religious minorities, political dissidents, conscientious objectors, homosexuals, and people accused of crimes. That stands in stark contrast to the USA where women are routinely stoned to death for alleged sexual improprieties, where children are treated as chattle, where ethnic and religious minorities are either expelled or repressed, where political dissent is brutally crushed, where conscientious objectors are beheaded, where homosexuals are crushed to death under bulldozed brick walls, and where criminal defendants aren't even afforded the trappings of due process. Long live Saddam Hussein!


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Mrrzy
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 09:51 AM

Sorry to interrupt a rant, but did you mean Cattle or Chattels?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,John Hernandez
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 10:18 AM

The word "chattle" without an s can be be taken in either a singular or plural sense meaning property. The word "cattle" is actually one and the same. But grammar aside, does anyone seriously put any faith in Iraq's labor and environmental laws (presuming that such laws even exist)?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: robomatic
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 01:01 PM

The case for war, courtesy of a British publication:

http://www.economist.com/printedition/displaystory.cfm?Story_ID=1259408

Sorry but I don't know how to make it a bleu click-ee and I don't have the time right now to learn.

Cheers,

robo


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:26 PM

GUEST, John Hernadez: I think you may have misread GUEST's point which is that it's no secret that as the the world's military industrialists are gonna do what ever they can to maximize their profits, even if it means using the labor of the world's peasant class in areas of the world where they can get away with polluting the local environment. Hey, these are the same folks who have brought us Enron, Worldcom, off shore tax evading and a host of other examples of what greedy folks can do when left to guard the hen house. And I agree with GUEST in that Bush and Co. certainly don't have the market captured in blatent misdeed-ery for the Democrats are owned, lock, tock and barrel, by the same corporate croonies.

Yeah, sure, Bush seem to be more of a unilaterialist than Clinton but I think the actual differences are more in theis indivdual sales styles. I mean, would you really buy anything from Junior? The boy just don't think to well on his feet and won't look ya straight in the eye unless he's threatenin' to blow your butt up...

Yeah, this is one messed up foriegen policy and at its roots is the well being of the world's military industrial complex. I know some Catfolk don't like me using that term because its got a few miles on it but, hey, the reason it's got so many miles on it is because it so claerly describes the monster that we're dealing with...

Think outside the box. Think anything but the Repubocratic Party. Think democracy. Think.

Peace

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: JedMarum
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 02:39 PM

... and Saddam is such a nice guy, too. I can't believe the US government has the nerve to upset the peaceful ways of the region!


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Joe Offer
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:10 PM

No, Saddam is not a nice guy. According to the rules of warfare, if the leader of a nation is not a nice guy, the innocent citizens of that nation are open to attack from those who wish to make the world "safe for democracy."
If we attack Iraq, Saddam won't suffer - but the people of Iraq sure will.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Deda
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 03:10 PM

Click here for the Economist piece that robomatic cited. Saddam's use of chemical weapons against the Kurds are well documented and really horrific, and were an experiment that he meant as practice for his destruction of Israel. He intends to be remembered in history as the "hero" who destroyed Israel. The New Yorker did a long and detailed article about this, about the hideous chemical attacks on the Kurds, which has been cited on the cat before, I don't have the address to hand. It's a blood-curdling piece.

I don't like the idea of the US attacking him, but neither do I like the idea of ignoring him, or of pretending he's not a real menace. I wish we had finished the job when we were there before -- but it's a very nasty piece of work. It would have been then, and it will be any time, and a lot of people on both sides will probably die. It makes me shudder to think that W may time his attack in order to restore his own approval ratings and give the Republicans a boost in the next election.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 04:06 PM

In the UK, many are drawing parallels with Suez in 1956, when a personally obsessed Tory prime minister (who had to take a recuperative holiday mid-crisis and was subsequently eased out of office on medical grounds) got the UK into a monumental folly against Nasser's Egypt, in deceitful collusion with France and Israel.

On that occasion it was the constraining voice of Ike who put a stop to the nonsense and forced an ignominious withdrawal of British troops. There are still constraining voices in the States, but alas they are outnumbered by the mindless kick-ass brigade so ably represented by this Bush administration.

Jed, Saddam is one of the worst. But is he really that much worse than the despotic, feudal ruling family that the US leapt to defend with Desert Storm? Or the military dictator in Pakistan, that the US has so suddenly befriended? Or many others that the US has actively supported (Mobutu, Pinochet, etc)?

So Saddam's record is hardly the point. The point should be that he's no threat to America, in any meaningful way.

He has no ballistic missiles, and has no prospect within his lifetime of building missiles that could reach the States. He has no chemical weapons, and if he has biological weapons they are almost certainly degraded by now. (His chemical/biological weapons - which never amounted to WMDs, by the way - were built up in the 80s with support from the UK and US, when Saddam was Iran's enemy, and therefore the west's friend.) He has no chance of developing such weapons on his own without it being detected by western intelligence agencies.

Furthermore there is not a shred of evidence that Saddam had the slightest thing to do with 9/11. Nor would it be likely that he had any involvement. In fact he has no truck with muslim fundamentalism and has made it a capital offence to proseletyse the islamic faith.

Everything I've said here is now being argued by the last head of the UN weapons inspectorate in Iraq, Scott Ritter. It is now fashionable in Washington circles to deride this guy. But hey - what's going on in the states?!! This guy is an ex-marine! A war vet! a former CIA agent! Apart from which, he was given the runaround by Saddam a few times. Why is he saying all this, and not what lynchmob America wants tho hear, which is surely where the money is?

So come on Jed - what's the case, beyond facile rhetoric, for war with Iraq?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From:
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 06:48 PM

I gotta feel sorry for the Kurds. The US uses them as a convenient excuse to send our boys and girls anywhere we want in the past decade, and it isn't for the ultimate good of the Kurds. Turkey is our ally and we never complain about their ongoing systematic attempts at the "ethnic cleansing" of their own Kurdish citizens. Nor has the US ever called Turkey to task for the ethnic cleansing of 200,000 Cypriots and the ongoing occupation of 40% of Cyprus, despite the repeated pleas from Cyrpus. And then there are the Armenians... I fear Turkey may be one of our future middle-east mistakes that comes back to bite us.

And yet... one of the reasons Iraq is actively deporting the Kurds is because the Kurds are engaging in their own "cleansing" the Assyrians from what the Kurds view as their territory.

Dubya is just itching to go down in history as finishing his daddy's work. At least daddy had an idea of what foreign policy was (however much I disagreed with it), but out fearless leader doesn't seem to have a clue that the calculus of his actions goes far beyond 1+1.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: kendall
Date: 05 Aug 02 - 07:28 PM

Is it significant that the only U.S. president to have a degree in history was Woodrow Wilson? Fact, The greatest general that ever lived was Alexander the great. He was defeated in Afghanistan,Fact,

Great Britain, one of the most powerful forces ever, defeated in Afghanistan. The Soviet Union a super power, driven out with their tails between their legs. Does Bush know this? If so, what can he hope to gain by re arranging the rubble in Afghanistan? Is this why he needs to focus attention eleswhere? Is it about "nation building"? what good will it do to take Saddam out? it would just mean another despot unless we impose a democracy on them, and that would take years, and billions of dollars.

"Oh when will they ever learn..."


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 10:15 AM

I've been looking through an "atlas of history" which is very interesting... Palestine first appears on Page 8. They even go through how the Hebrews became Jews, and why, and when. Palestine was Palestine when Lebanon was Phoenecia, and before... and they have never been a "nation" by our modern definitions. Reminds me of the Africans and native Americans who didn't have papers that said they owned their land... so the land had no owners, according to the white males involved. When, indeed.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: harpgirl
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 11:53 AM

What pains me so much about what seems to be imminent war in the region, initiated by George Bush, is my impression that this is really about improved access to oil and running a pipeline to China and just who will benefit financially in the long run. I don't pretend to be well versed in political science, but it all seems to be about the economy of the US at the moment, and the future profits of American corporations.

Shouldn't we be more concerned with water? When all the oil is gone ( like a glass slurping the bottom of the straw, and we will surely use up more faster with this war) water will quickly become more precious and another source of world strife. I hope I get to my retirement land in Arkansas with a drilled well before this all comes to fruition...very sad and frightened today it seems, hg


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 12:07 PM

Fionn: If you will produce proof of the claims you make that Saddam has none of the weapons he is suspected of having, you could save a lot of lives.

I don't understand (well I really do)why you folks credit Bush with the initiation of a probable war with Iraq. If Saddam had complied with the U.N. resolutions he signed, there would be no need for a conflict. Saddam is blameless in all of this mess?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: wilco
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 12:29 PM

This kind of political material doesn't need to be in this venue. There are many other sites on the web.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 12:34 PM

Water is a hugely important factor in political science harpgirl--on the water wars in the western US, try reading the book "Cadillac Desert". Explains much.

Anybody remember Bechtel from the Reagan/#41 days? And the corporado kingdom they built on Saudi soil?

Yes Bobert, Guest John H. did misread my post, and thank you yes, you did interpet it exactly correctly.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: kendall
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 12:53 PM

How many years were the inspectors in Iraq?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:14 PM

In response to the post not even credited to a guest: very pertinent commentary re Turkey. Turkey has the second largest army in NATO. It and Iran are two of the nations most looking to gain from a vacuum in Iraq. (One of the reasons that Iraq was not defeated by the coalition last time.)

As it happens, both Turkey and Iran are striving to keep muslim fundamentalism out of government. In Turkey, parliamentary democracy is propped up by the Army; in Iran, elected parliamentarians (with about 75 per cent popular support) are working towards a liberal democracy, but massively hampered by a council of ayatollahs who retain influence through a flawed constitution put in place in the heady days after the Shah was ousted.

Doug, I can't prove anything more than you can. On everything about Iraq's military capabilities I'm quoting Scott Ritter (UNSCOM) and the international atomic energy authority. Who is it (and be honest about this) that you are choosing to believe?

But what have WMDs got to do with anyting? Musharraf and Sharon, among others, openly proclaim their WMDs. Musharraf recently tested his, in defiance of world opinion, including American. Musharraf and Sharon are friends of America; Saddam, with a military capability close to zero, is enemy #1. Are you sure this is making sense, Doug?

I really see no need or excuse for war with Iraq. What is needed is political engagement, initially through intermediaries. A slow process, maybe, but in the meantime Saddam poses no threat to America. (If he is any threat to his neighbours, why are they all so hostile to an American invasion?)

Have we learnt nothing from the 20th century???


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:23 PM

Just seen Kendall's question. Can't check for sure right now, but I think they were there 1991-98. Again going from memory, I think they carried out about 500 inspections, of which about ten were interfered with in any way - and then only postponed, not refused. If any of this turns out to be wildly wrong when I've checked, I'll do a correction.

From what Ritter has been saying in interviews, it seems he is sympathetic to the Iraqi view that some of the disputed inspections sought to go too far into Iraqi state security, and therefore way beyond the brief.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:32 PM

Any chance you are so high on Scott Ritter because he supports your point of view, Fionn? If I am not mistaken, I believe Scott Ritter's boss does not concur with his opinion. I'll do some research on that statement to be sure I am correct. I think it is conceivable that Scott Ritter's primary interest is selling his book, and seeking speaking engagements for which he can demand a large speaking fee. He has a lot of company, however, in this regard who are both liberal and conservative.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM

Right DougR. And as usual, we are still waiting for you to cite *your* "facts" in support of your claims. All you ever do in these threads is come in, make spurious and dubious claims that you never back up with any information. You then ALWAYS project "bias" onto everyone else's information.

Those sorts of tired old Republican tactics are obvious to some of us. But your down home, folksy style of "getting along" with the Mudcat regulars keeps too many in this forum from challenging both your claims, your source of information, as well as your motives.

Now, as to the history of weapons inspections, here is a relevant clip from FAIR's website, on an article from Aug 1, 2002:

Quote of article starts here:

Three and a half years ago, some key information about U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq briefly surfaced on the front pages of American newspapers -- and promptly vanished. Now, with righteous war drums beating loudly in Washington, let's reach deep down into the news media's Orwellian memory hole and retrieve the story.

"U.S. Spied on Iraq Under U.N. Cover, Officials Now Say," a front-page New York Times headline announced on Jan. 7, 1999. The article was unequivocal: "United States officials said today that American spies had worked undercover on teams of United Nations arms inspectors ferreting out secret Iraqi weapons programs.... By being part of the team, the Americans gained a first-hand knowledge of the investigation and a protected presence inside Baghdad."

A day later, a followup Times story pointed out: "Reports that the United States used the United Nations weapons inspectors in Iraq as cover for spying on Saddam Hussein are dimming any chances that the inspection system will survive."

With its credibility badly damaged by the spying, the U.N. inspection system did not survive. Another factor in its demise was the U.S. government's declaration that sanctions against Iraq would remain in place whether or not Baghdad fully complied with the inspection regimen.

But such facts don't assist the conditioned media reflex of blaming everything on Saddam Hussein. No matter how hard you search major American media databases of the last couple of years for mention of the spy caper, you'll come up nearly empty. George Orwell would have understood.

End quote

Here is the link to the article in full:

http://www.fair.org/media-beat/020802.html


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:39 PM

No, Fionn, we haven't learned a danged thing from the 20th century. Maybe that's why there are so many folks who feel they need to repeat the course by turning back the clock. Thinking in the large sense it makes no sense to me, but then I don't consider myself one of the sheep in the herd.

But when you look at it under a looking glass, hmmmmm, smells of money, ego and control. The only way the Republican fraternity thinks it can hold the power is to keep "a good war" (insert you own comment here:______) on the front burner. They've got a true light weight in the White House who was selected by his daddy's court appointments, who is a draft dodger, thief, a bad businessman and won't look anyone in the eye unless accompanied with some sophmorist threat. They have bungled the economy with their Cash Give-away, creating deficits (al la Reagan..) and destabilizing the market and the faith of investors. They passed an education bill but now won't write the checks. They talk big, but do little and that which they do they won't pay for or canb't pay for. So, yeah, for them to stay in office, they've called the "ol' end around" play from the olden days. War, war and more war until the American people throw em' out, which, unfortunately they haven't seen enough yet to do...

Sad thing is that I have no faith whats so ever in Joe Leiberman and Tom Daschle's Democrats. If they were really anything more than a rival fraternity, they woulod be all over the Iraq situation, offering alternatives. And they would be all over the corporate corruption. Further proff, as if we needed it, that we have a one party system in the US and right now it's Hell bent on WAR.

Rant over.

Vote Green, or anything but Repubocrat

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 01:42 PM

And here is an excerpt from an article in the Guardian, giving some background on the history of UN weapons inspections in Iraq:

Start quote:

First, there is the history of UN weapons inspections in Iraq from 1991 to 1998. It is true that Iraq has not fully complied with its disarmament obligation, particularly in the field of biological weapons. However, this failure does not equate to a retained biological weapons capability. Far from it. Under the most stringent on-site inspection regime in the history of arms control, Iraq's biological weapons programmes were dismantled, destroyed or rendered harmless during the course of hundreds of no-notice inspections. The major biological weapons production facility - al Hakum, which was responsible for producing Iraq's anthrax - was blown up by high explosive charges and all its equipment destroyed. Other biological facilities met the same fate if it was found that they had, at any time, been used for research and development of biological weapons.

M oreover, Iraq was subjected to intrusive, full-time monitoring of all facilities with a potential biological application. Breweries, animal feed factories, vaccine and drug manufacturing facilities, university research laboratories and all hospitals were subject to constant, repeated inspections. Thousands of swabs and samples were taken from buildings and soil throughout Iraq. No evidence of anthrax or any other biological agent was discovered. While it was impossible to verify that all of Iraq's biological capability had been destroyed, the UN never once found evidence that Iraq had either retained biological weapons or associated production equipment, or was continuing work in the field.

End quote

Link to full article:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Print/0,3858,4280517,00.html


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 03:38 PM

Doug, what I've heard from Ritter has seemed well-informed and persuasive, and as such it's influenced my view. The interviews with him that I've seen here in the UK have not mentioned, let alone plugged, any book, so I didn't know about that, beyond your earlier comment.

Are you saying Ritter has made it up to sell a book, even though the patriotic truth (as you may see it) would presumably have got him better sales? What exactly IS your line on Saddam/Iraq/Ritter etc, Doug, and would you care to say who/what has been informing YOUR viewpoint? I ask because I honestly don't see how anyone could read up on this subject and still be sanguine about where Bush is going.

Bobert, Joe and others, I can imagine how difficult it must be to take issue with a particular issue when that issue has been so heavily wrapped in the national flag.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: NicoleC
Date: 06 Aug 02 - 06:17 PM

Uh, the Turkey comment was mine. My cookie crumbled (again.)

Scott Ritter has a history of being solid Republican conservative, and very hawkish. He's a former Stormin' Norman crony and Geo. Bush supporter. The reason so many people are taking what he says to be a valid assessment is precisely because it's out of character for him. This is not a guy who is pro-Saddam in any way. The only people that don't seem to be listening are the ones who hired him in the first place.

Ironically, although Richard Butler was called to testify in the Senate hearings, Rolf Ekeus was NOT -- and he served the longest as UNSCOM chairman, and during almost all of the period in question (1991-98). The hearings were a sham and the desk was stacked, and yet the pro-attack Foreign Relations Committee still can't come up with a single reason why Saddam would be so suicidal as to attack us. He may be a scoundrel, but he's also a very political creature, and he knows that such an attack would be his death warrant. On the other hand -- say he DOES have these weapons, do you think he would withhold their use if he were under attack by America? I'm hard-pressed to imagine he wouldn't.

But the fact is, the US and UN spent a lot of time looking for solid evidence in Iraq and didn't find a darned thing. If we had any evidence, Bush & Co. would be trumpeting it as loud as they could right before bombing the hell out of another bunch of mid-East civilians. As it stands, attacking Iraq without a shred of proof is the moral equivalent of slaughtering an entire family because you have a gut feeling Dad might commit a crime in the future.

Doug: Which agreement are you specifically saying that Saddam violated and exactly how? There's a few in play here.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:38 PM

Thanks for the background on Ritter, Nicole. Didn't know about the Republican/hawkish background, and for me it adds weight to his present stance. As Churchill said: "It's better to be right than consistent."

The serious newspapers in the UK reported the Senate hearings in line with your account. A mass-circulation tabloid (Daily Mirror) reported 91 per cent against supporting military action against Iraq, in a readership poll.

I'm still interested to hear what sources have been influencing Doug's views.

(As I write this, the BBC is saying that a UK junior foreign minister has just had a meeting with Gadaffi. Expect to see him back in the international fold sometime soon. THat should be the objective with Saddam too.)


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 02 - 01:41 PM

Fionn, please don't hold your breath waiting for Doug to post his sources. The world needs good guys like you.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 10:34 AM

My story starts with a typical example of our foriegn policy with small countries and then moves on to Tora Bora, the Caspian pipeline and planned invasion of Iraq.



Out at the Flint Eastwood chicken farm.
............................................................................

Sharef Jarge I ain't got no quarrel with you,
its the damn railroad men that want my land.

Bart, yer gonna hafta take the money or face yer maker.

Oh Sharf, please no. Yer not one ofem too...

Black Bart yer gonna clear out or eat lead. Its upta yew.

'but i dont have no gun'

The Sheriff throws one down on the ground in front of Bart.

"Go ahead , reach fer it"

'I dont wanna'

"Go ahead ya coward , I'll give ya a count to 3. One Two
BANG "

Black Bart bites the dust.

Sheriff... Sheriff its deputy Dick don't shoot.
Both banks in town jus bin blowed up.

Didja see who did it?

No Sheriff...

I spect I knowd who did it. Ben Fagen that no good, one way snake in the grass. An ta think my daddy taught that boy to shoot.
Were gonna hafta round up a posse ! ...


High in the Terry Berry hills.
-----------------------------------------------------------

He's up thar in those rocks somewhere. You go around and come up the back while we cover you.

But thats Indian territory back there...

Wouldja rather we walk straight up that mountain in plain sight?

Maybe we kin just burnem out?

The winds goin the wrong way. It'll just come back on us. Now git on up thar and flush him out from behind.

Sheriff can't we jus head em off at Mule Packer pass?'

"Just do what I say. We're stayin here in case they double back."

But Sheriff they might git away an cross into injun territory. You know they're thicker than thieves.

Quit cherwhinin, make mistake no bout it. Jus git in them caves an once urine, fire off some wornin shots.

What?

Umm, Make no mistake about it...Never mind that. Were stayin here an you go flush em outta them caves back toward us.

------------------------------------------------------------
"Sheriff ,they gotta way. They're holed up in Injun country and the heathens said they won't handem over."

'We'll just ride in with our posse and takem'
v

"Well Sheriff some of the boyz down thata way are kinda skittish to face them injuns. They're the only ones in them parts that got big guns"

A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do, Were goin in.
We want Ben Fagen Dead or Alive. Were gonna huntim down ,smokim out, and bringim to justice or my name ain't Sheriff Jarge. Were gonna git every last one ofem.

Are you comin with us Jarge?

No, but yer a goin.

"Thats stretchin it Slim. No matter how ya cut it we're out numbered up there"

Yeah? Well...mebbe yer right Dick, it don't matter no never mind. While they're in there we got their land fer the railroad line.

Ya know Jarge, while were at it we might think about killin the Irapaho chief so we kin git at them gold deposits once an fer all.

That ain't a half bad idea. My Daddy took on them Iraps an nearly had em too
iffin it hadn't been fer them Fort Jude Generals bein afeard ofa injun uprisin.
Tell ya what...
Lets head on back ta town, declare marshall law an git some more men.

Do ya think they'll buy it?

Hellsbells, half never belived me when I tole the truth an the other half believed every lie I tol'em.

Yep, an half never even voted fer ya.

What was that?

Uhh, nothin Sheriff I was jus thinkin, what about Ben Fagen ?

He's probly dead already. Now lets git us some gold an co - lect some of that railroad money.

Yee Haaw


Back at the tumble weed saloon
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''

Jeb: Hey deputy Dick don't shoot , how ye been?

Deputy Dick whispers to Jeb: Thank God fer yer daddy's sake that steerin Jarge is as easy as lettin the horse find its way home while he's sleepin in the saddle.

Jeb: Should we tell'em we knowd that the banks might be blowed since the 4th a July?

Dick: Are you nuts? He'd blame the whole galldurn thing on us.
By the by whare is yer brother Jarge?

Jeb: He wuz tellin Daddy back home bout howee got Ben Fagen single handed when he choked ona pretzel real bad.


dh 2002


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: An Pluiméir Ceolmhar
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 11:55 AM

That's it in a nutshell, Donuel.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Donuel
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 12:11 PM

Jeb: Whare ya goin Dick?

Deputy Dick: An undisclosed location.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 02:33 PM

Nicole: The resolutions I referred to are listed in a resolution by the U. N. Security Council adopted at its 3924th meeting, on 9 September 1998. The document can be found at http://ww1.umu.edu/humanrts/resolutions/SC98/1194SC98.html Sorry I can't do blue clickies.

Fionn: I base my opinions on information received from major news sources. Fox News Network, CNN, you name it. I believe these sources, though not perfect, are more reliable than sources that heavily weigh the news either to the left or the right. GUEST is fond of quoting the GUARDIAN. That publication could hardly be described as a bastion of conservatism. The Washington Post and the New York Times are viewed by conservatives the same way. We are influenced by what we read and what we hear. Despite GUEST'S snide remarks to the contrary, I do listen and read both sides.

I have not heard of any liberals challenging the veracity of NPR and Public Television. Therefore, in order to reply to your request, Fionn, I went to that source to see if I could find information to support my views.

As all of us know, the arms inspection problem has been with us since about 1996 so it is not a new one. Iraq never welcomed U. N. Inspectors as they agreed to do, and toward the end by all reports thwarted the efforts of the inspection team at every turn. An interesting interview with Richard Brooks, Chief of the U.N. SpecialCommission to Iraq by Elizabeth Farnsworth on the Jim Lehrer can be found in the News Hour archives at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour//66/middle_east/july-dec97/iraq-11-6.html

At that same site you might want to read the Secretary of Defense Cohen's interview by Jim Lherer. The U. S. has been considering military action against Iraq since 1997 as a possible solution to ensure that Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 03:10 PM

I just realized that I did not address another question I was asked. Someone wanted to know a source for my comment that Scott Ritter's boss did not agree with his point of view.

Those of you who are enamored of Ritter should do a bit of research on the Internet. I think you will find evidence to support my statement that he might be more of an opportunist than patriot, regardless of his Marine Corp experience. I found a interesting article on the CNN.com website dated October 1, 1998 from Correspondent Richard Roth. In the article Roth reports that "U.N. reprimands former weapons inspector." I quote only the first three paragraphs but the whole article is there for you to read:

"UNITED NATIONS (CNN)--Former United Nations arms inspector Scott Ritter has been taken to task by his former boss for allegedly violating his U.N. contract by going public with information about weapons inspections in Iraq.

U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said United Nations Special Commission Chairman, Richard Butler sent Ritter a letter, supported by U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, expressing concern about his public airing of knowledge obtained through his job.

Ritter resigned in late August in protest over lack of action by the United Nations following Iraq's refusal to cooperate in weapons inspections."

In those same archives (CNN) there is another interesting article in which Ritter takes the U. N. to task for "Catering to Bagdad." It can be found at: http//:www.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9808/27/iraq.ritter.o1/index.html

The title of Scott Ritter's book is, "The Endgame:Solving The Iraqui Problem Once and For All."

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 08:31 PM

Even though Woodrow Wilson had a degree in history he is in fact the US President who invented screwing with other countries governments. He constantly meddled with Mexico (invaded the country some 14 times or so, I can't remember the exact amount,) He supported the Whites with American troops in the Russian Revolution, effectively galvanizing the Reds towards the US and contributing mightily to the coming Cold War, and his "peace efforts" at the end of World War One helped demolish the German economy, making Adolf Hitler a viable alternative.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,truer_sound
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 08:42 PM

The Woodrow Wilson comment is mine. I didn't type a name in. Sorry.

I don't know exactly where Doug R's fact disprove Ritter's point of view. I don't think it matters cause no ones posted to this for hours.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,Souter
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 11:18 PM

I am unfortunately unable to comment on your other points, truer_sound, but Wilson did try to prevent the Treaty of Versailles from being written the way it was. At least, that's what I learned in American History. He wanted there to be no retaliation against Germany, among other things, and he was shouted down. Was it his 11 point plan? I think so. Sadly, I am too ignorant to know if that is the correct number. If anyone knows better, please feel free to post.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,Souter
Date: 08 Aug 02 - 11:19 PM

To remember, should say, I know it just fine. Just haven't thought of it in a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 01:16 AM

Ok, truer_sound, let me see if I can simplify it for you.

1. Scott Ritter resigns his position in 1998 with the U. N. Special Commission, because he doesn't feel the U. N. is being TOUGH enough on Saddam, who was preventing the team Scott was on to do the job they were hired to do. That job, was to see that Iraq was 100% disarmed. Not 20%, 50% or 80% ...100%. That was the agreement Iraq made with the U. N. in exchange for the U. N. not continuing Desert Storm.

2. Ritter is formally chastised by his boss, with the approval of the Secretary General of the U. N. for releasing classified information he gathered while on the job for the U. N.

3. Scott Ritter writes a book the subject of which is how the Iraqi situation should be resolved.

4. The purpose for a writing a book is to sell them and make money.

5. Scott Ritter, in 2002 states that Iraq is not a threat, has no weapons of mass destruction, etc.

6. Since there have been no inspections, how does he know that?

You see no discrepency in his positions?

Still too complicated to understand? :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 06:23 AM

Well none of us here are experts Doug, but I would have thought it was pretty obvious that some weapon systems require access to materials that are in scarces supply and fairly easily tracked. Western intelligence for instance claims a fairly good knowledge of where the world's weapons-grade uranium is.

Add to that that the US is bombing Iraqi defence installations nearly every day and has complete control of Iraqi airspace. Surely the most technologically capable nation on earth is able to accumulate a lot of evidence from such a situation?

Add also that Iraq's transport/electricity infrastructure was bombed to kingdom come in 1991. And add further that the country has for several years been surving under a tough sanctions regime.... Can you begin to see how intelligent people might find their way to draw intelligent assumptions?

I still hear nothing about how a war might improve the situation, and if it would, why not a war too against India, Pakistan, North Korea and a few others?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:06 AM

I'd like to get back to the issues John Hernandez raises. What he describes through his sarcasm is not just Iraq, but many so-called friends of the USA as well -- Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Yemen, Egypt. In general most effective way the West has in dealing with such repressive regimes is through strengthening our own democratic institutions, living up to our own democratic values, and teaching by example. Yes, sometimes economic sanctions and military actions are necessary, but only in the short run. Meanwhile, what is most important for us to do is not succumb to the temptation to destroy our own democracy (fragile and imperfect it is) in the name of preserving it. That means, at very least, turning Hamdi and Padilla back over to US civil authorities for criminal prosecution, if a case can be made aginst them. Otherwise, it means letting them letting them go, as distasteful as that might seem. Allowing the US government to hold a person in military custody indefinitely with neither due process nor POW status means that the terrorists and all the other enemies of democracy have won a enormous victory. We should be ashamed of ourselves if we let that happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 08:16 AM

I'll second those thoughts, Janice in NJ, since I really don't have time this morning for one of my patented tirades and you've presented the position well.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,John Hernandez
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 10:01 AM

I also second Janice's thoughts, even if that means I'll be agreeing with Bobert this time. Now as for Bobert's "proof" that the USA has a one-party system, I suggest that he visit my native country, just 150 breezy kilometers south of Key West, and take some careful notes on what a one-party system really is. I suspect Bobert has been listening to too many songs by the likes of Jim Garland, Florence Reece, Sis Cunningham, and Sarah Ogan Gunning. For example:

Take the two old parties, mister,
No difference between them can I see,
But with a Farmer-Labor Party,
We can set the people free.


From I Don't Want Your Millions, Mister
by Jim Garland


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: truer sound
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 10:15 AM

What I don't hear in this is where the United States obtained the right to decide whats best for any nation they please. Think of how laughable it would be if Saddam Hussein announced to the world that he was committed to "Regime Change" in the United States. That he or anyone else feels that the current US admninistration is corrupt and indecent does not, in the eyes of the world, give him the right to depose it. Yet the United States, being as they have the big F'ing guns, can raise hell anywhere they like.

Souter, it was 14 points.

Doug R., no reason to get nasty. We've only just met.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 11:39 AM

I've said it before: to imagine that Iraq is a threat to the USA is asinine. Iraq was once a threat to its neighbours when the USA was arming it to the teeth and backing it. That Iraq is not much of a threat to its neighbours now seems pretty clear...Saudi Arabia, for one, has just informed that USA that they will NOT permit an attack on Iraq to be launched from their territory. Interesting development.

Saddam Hussein is like a former mafia hitman who screwed up and was dumped by the Big Boss. Not useful anymore. Just like that jerk Noriega, remember him? He screwed up too. He screwed up reallll bad! Then there's that other hood, Bin Laden. He outlived his usefullness bigtime after the Russians left Afghanistan. There's nothing worse than a hired killer who has outlived his usefullness.

So whaddya do wit' old hitmen when dey've outlived der usefullness? Ya send in da gang and waste 'em! What if it's gotta be done on someone else's turf? Well, ya pay da saps off or ya cow 'em into submission wit' ya superior firepowah, dat's what.

A kid could figure dis one out! Whatta buncha saps!

Dat joik Saddam is gonna be on da bottom of da harbour wearin' cement ovahshoes when we det 'troo wit' him. Just wait and see!

Did I forget to mention...da Big Boss has his headquarters in Washington, D.C. He owns da city. Nobody crosses da Boss...and lives.

- LH


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