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BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all

DougR 31 Jan 03 - 12:52 AM
Felipa 30 Jan 03 - 05:54 PM
GUEST 05 Sep 02 - 12:49 AM
Little Hawk 30 Aug 02 - 10:39 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 30 Aug 02 - 05:21 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 30 Aug 02 - 05:18 AM
Venthony 30 Aug 02 - 01:29 AM
GUEST 29 Aug 02 - 01:33 AM
Little Hawk 15 Aug 02 - 09:00 AM
Teribus 15 Aug 02 - 04:03 AM
robomatic 14 Aug 02 - 10:59 PM
robomatic 14 Aug 02 - 10:51 PM
Little Hawk 14 Aug 02 - 06:25 PM
GUEST,John Hernandez 14 Aug 02 - 05:19 PM
Little Hawk 14 Aug 02 - 01:14 PM
Teribus 14 Aug 02 - 07:19 AM
truer sound 13 Aug 02 - 09:44 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Aug 02 - 08:22 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Aug 02 - 08:18 PM
Little Hawk 13 Aug 02 - 05:56 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Aug 02 - 03:34 PM
Bobert 13 Aug 02 - 09:00 AM
Little Hawk 13 Aug 02 - 08:17 AM
Teribus 13 Aug 02 - 07:53 AM
Suffet 13 Aug 02 - 06:46 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 13 Aug 02 - 06:23 AM
NicoleC 13 Aug 02 - 12:11 AM
Little Hawk 12 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM
Bobert 12 Aug 02 - 10:49 PM
GUEST,Visitor - Richard H 12 Aug 02 - 10:38 PM
Little Hawk 12 Aug 02 - 10:14 PM
Suffet 12 Aug 02 - 08:38 PM
truer sound 12 Aug 02 - 02:44 PM
Little Hawk 10 Aug 02 - 09:05 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Aug 02 - 07:02 PM
DougR 10 Aug 02 - 12:29 PM
Janice in NJ 10 Aug 02 - 10:40 AM
Little Hawk 10 Aug 02 - 08:03 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 10 Aug 02 - 07:31 AM
Bobert 10 Aug 02 - 07:28 AM
DougR 09 Aug 02 - 11:31 PM
Bobert 09 Aug 02 - 09:34 PM
Bobert 09 Aug 02 - 09:18 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 09 Aug 02 - 07:41 PM
truer sound 09 Aug 02 - 07:38 PM
DougR 09 Aug 02 - 07:33 PM
NicoleC 09 Aug 02 - 07:17 PM
Janice in NJ 09 Aug 02 - 06:50 PM
GUEST,Souter 09 Aug 02 - 05:46 PM
NicoleC 09 Aug 02 - 03:04 PM

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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 31 Jan 03 - 12:52 AM

Felipa: if you think it is important enough to revive after such a long period, perhaps you would share with us what you think (other than the fact that you think it is an important subject).

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Felipa
Date: 30 Jan 03 - 05:54 PM

I just got around to reading this thread. I usually stick to song threads (the main reason for Mudcat's existence), and this thread is long,but the issue is so important ...


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 12:49 AM

Little Hawk - you are pro-terrorist and pro-drugs?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 10:39 AM

GUEST - Well, that's a pretty broad question... I'll tell you what I'm going to do: I'm going to cook up some brown rice and stir fry. I really have no idea what you should do, but maybe washing behind the ears would help... :-)

Venthony - Your description of an aroused democracy is entirely appropriate to the events of December '41, but not to most other historical cases of the USA at war. Most of them involved opportunism at the expense of someone militarily weaker...like Spain, Mexico, Canada, hundreds of Indian tribes, and so on. Yes, the citizenry was always all het up about defending "democracy", but the citizenry is easily fooled. What the hell, they spend their money daily on crap like cheesies and beanie babies, don't they? They are accustomed to being fooled.

The present "war on terrorism" is as phony and unrealistic as the "war on drugs". Terrorists are like little tiny fish that pass through a net. You cannot eliminate them by invading and massacring small countries (killing a bigger fish that is caught in the net). You can create lots more future terrorists by doing so, however. And...since the USA itself has been practicing and funding terrorism routinely for a couple of centuries all over the world...how can the USA be against terrorism???? The World Court brought down a ruling against the USA for practicing and funding terrorism against Nicaragua in the '80's, and the USA ignored it. Have you ever heard that reported on your local news programs? I bet you haven't. You live in a controlled media fishbowl with its own version of reality, and it's not even telling you half the story. No one is threatening your democracy except the people who run it...from the top. They lie to you, steal from you, and use you to keep the economy running. Their behaviour suggests to me that they hold you (the voters) in contempt, although they certainly find your patriotism convenient for their larger purposes.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 05:21 AM

Venthony: why do you want this particular "murdering, thuggish "jihad" out of business and buried deep in the ground", as oposed to all the other murdering thuggish leader out there in the world?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 05:18 AM

I haven't had time to read this whole thread, but I did notice someone concerned about Iraq's ability to attack "friends of the free world" such as Israel and Turkey. We should worry about a country's ability and propensity to attack any other country regardless of whether they happen to be currently cosying up with Washington. And it is mostly about whose side you are on, not about what is happening in the country. We all know about UN resolutions etc flouted by Israel, and Turkey is hardly a model country either. They have a terrible record of human rights abuses, and their record against the Kurds is almost as bad as Iraq's.

And if the US wants countries to comply with weapons inspections, maybe they should agree to them themselves (they rule them out on the grounds of "national security") and maybe they should think before they use such a body as a means to spy on other countries. It's little wonder other countries may be suspicious of their impartiality.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Venthony
Date: 30 Aug 02 - 01:29 AM

Sometimes even as decent a nation as the United States -- the greatest and best and most compassionate state in the history of humankind -- simply has to kill the bastards who are trying to kill us.

Peace, as an abstraction, is a fine thing. Peace without justice and reckoning is meaningless.

I don't just want bin Laden and Saddam dead. I want them hung in public on a sunny small town square in Nebraska or Missouri. And then I want to play a lot of old fiddle tunes and have dinner-on-the-ground to celebrate.

You must understand, it's not President Bush who's at war. The American people are at war. Those of you in Europe may not appreciate this, and those of you over here on the lunatic fringe of the leftover left may not approve. But the overwhelming majority of Americans want this murdering, thuggish "jihad" out of business and buried deep in the ground.

The U.S. is a peaceful nation, but once aroused -- and this is a trend among democracies in general -- we don't merely defeat our enemies, we destroy them utterly. Think about world history since 1940, and you'll see what I'm getting at.

Democracies don't like to fight. It's not good for business, and there's no money in it. But once the horror starts -- history teaches -- we finish it.

Tony


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST
Date: 29 Aug 02 - 01:33 AM

What are we to do Little Hawk?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 09:00 AM

Teribus - Yep. Got that right. And those are just a few of the available examples. This sort of tragic stuff has been going on for a long time...and it never fails that the people on both sides of such disputes think that they are cleaner, more righteous, and more innately human than the OTHER guys...

However, as I said before, I do think that we are slowly moving toward greater human unity on this planet. There are just setbacks from time to time along the way.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Teribus
Date: 15 Aug 02 - 04:03 AM

robomatic - thanks but the words were not mine, they came from source material that I have used while researching the origins of the conflicts in the middle east.

LH - ""How would any part of the world react to the abrupt arrival of a distinctly different cultural group from many places far afield, the carving out of an area of land for that group by terrorism and warfare at the expense of the local people, and the maintenance of that group as a new military and political power in the region???"

Examples -
The British Isles (Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, Normans.) The USA (English, French, Spanish) Canada (British, French) Australia (British) New Zealand (British) South Africa (Dutch, British)


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: robomatic
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 10:59 PM

P.S. Teribus:

Thank you for your play-by-play of the 1956 Mid-east war. Cogent, well-written, and reasoned.

Robo


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: robomatic
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 10:51 PM

As with the creation of the multiple Latin cultures of today, it is not unknown for centuries of conflict, persecution and pain, not just between cultures but within them, to result in something coherent, worthwhile, and even beautiful. I would like to believe that this can happen in the Mideast. I certainly believe it SHOULD happen in the Mideast.

What would be really nice would be a kind of world-wide cessation of all hostilities and a grand collection of everyone with an axe to grind, and let's say a three year colloquiam:

Year One: Bitch Bitch Bitch. "Your grand-dad killed my grand-dad and stole his chickens." The back and forth of the truly pissed-off.

Year Two: "Well, we'll pay off for the chickens, but grand-dad was just a little quicker than your grand-dad, and his powder was drier."

Year Three: "Well, let's take this dry powder idea of your grand-dad's and put it into grain storage and go into business together. Only one problem is, whose country gets to tax us?"

"Who cares? We'll incorporate in Bermuda!"

As Abba Eban said: There will be piece, after we have exhausted all the alternatives...


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 06:25 PM

Yes, time can work wondrous things...there was once a time when many small tribes battled each other over places now called France, Germany, Mexico, etc. The basic tendency of human beings is toward larger cooperative associations. Things tend to get nasty, though, when there is a shortage of certain resources. They wouldn't get nearly so nasty if those resources were shared in a relatively equal manner.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,John Hernandez
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 05:19 PM

Little Hawk asks, "How would any part of the world react to the abrupt arrival of a distinctly different cultural group from many places far afield, the carving out of an area of land for that group by terrorism and warfare at the expense of the local people, and the maintenance of that group as a new military and political power in the region???" As a Latino in general and as a native-born Cuban in particular, I can appreciate the question. Certainly we know how the Arawak peoples responded to Spanish colonization, and we also know what the consequences of that response were. However, out of the Resistance and the Conquest, and also out of the African enslavement and eventual Emancipation, emerged the Latin American culture that the world recognizes and honors as a wonderful amalgamation of the Native American, the Iberian, the West African. Maybe the day will come when, whatever the outcome of the current Israel-Palestine conflict, a new and beautiful society will develop which no one would have anticipated. On the other hand, it took several centuries of slaughter and oppression us Latin Americans for that to happen.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 01:14 PM

Fascinating stuff. A few observations...

France is quite correct not to trust America. Mind you, the French are not trustworthy either! :-)

I always admired Tito for his independent stand. He was a tough customer. It's a pity that recent intrigues have torn apart the country which he managed to keep united for some considerable time.

It is not surprising that the Arab world reacted to the sudden creation of Israel in their midst by deciding that it had to be eradicated totally. How would any part of the world react to the abrupt arrival of a distinctly different cultural group from many places far afield, the carving out of an area of land for that group by terrorism and warfare at the expense of the local people, and the maintenance of that group as a new military and political power in the region??? The same way the Arabs did, that's how. Think about it if it happened on your land, for heaven's sake...

It is equally unsurprising that the Israelis felt justified in what they did, and fought like hell to survive and defend Israel. That's the way most people are...entirely self-interested.

Each side was seeing it strictly from their own point of view.

These problems all arise because the human race has not yet matured enough to see itself as one cooperative family, rather than as competing groups. Little children don't worry about the artificial divisions of humanity (toddlers don't, I mean), but their parents make sure to "educate" them as soon as possible by passing on hatred, suspicion and prejudice. By the time they're 7-10 years old, the damage has been done.

This could change as time goes by, and given other social advances that have occurred over the last few thousand years, I believe it will...a bit at a time. I am not one of those pessimists who flings his hands in the air and says: "It's always been this way and it always will be."

The visionary stories in science fiction about a united society on this planet are not just visions, they are a perception of what must finally occur as humanity matures.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Teribus
Date: 14 Aug 02 - 07:19 AM

LH - here's a potted history of the event that gives a little more background

The Suez War of 1956

In the fall of 1948, the UN Security Council called on Israel and the Arab states to negotiate armistice agreements. Egypt agreed, but only after Israel had routed its army and driven to El Arish in the Sinai. At that time, the British were ready to defend Egypt under an Anglo-Egyptian treaty. Rather than accept the humiliation of British assistance, however, the Egyptians met the Israelis at Rhodes.

UN mediator Ralph Bunche brought them together at the conference table and was later honored with a Nobel Peace Prize. He warned that any delegation that walked out of the negotiations would be blamed for their breakdown.

By the summer of 1949, armistice agreements had been negotiated between Israel and Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. Iraq, which had also fought against Israel, refused to follow suit. Bunche succeeded at Rhodes because he insisted on direct bilateral talks between Israel and each Arab state.

Meanwhile, on December 11, 1948, the General Assembly adopted a resolution calling on the parties to negotiate peace and creating a Palestine Conciliation Commission (PCC), which consisted of the United States, France and Turkey. All Arab delegations voted against it.

After 1949, the Arabs insisted that Israel accept the borders in the 1947 partition resolution and repatriate the Palestinian refugees before they would negotiate an end to the war they had initiated. This was a novel approach that they would use after subsequent defeats: the doctrine of the limited-liability war. Under this theory, an aggressor may reject a compromise settlement and gamble on war to win everything in the comfortable knowledge that, even if he fails, he may insist on reinstating the status quo ante.

Egypt had maintained its state of belligerency with Israel after the armistice agreement was signed. The first manifestation of this was the closing of the Suez Canal to Israeli shipping. On August 9, 1949, the UN Mixed Armistice Commission upheld Israel's complaint that Egypt was illegally blocking the canal. UN negotiator Ralph Bunche declared: "There should be free movement for legitimate shipping and no vestiges of the wartime blockade should be allowed to remain, as they are inconsistent with both the letter and the spirit of the armistice agreements."

On September 1, 1951, the Security Council ordered Egypt to open the Canal to Israeli shipping. Egypt refused to comply.

The Egyptian Foreign Minister, Muhammad Salah al-Din, said early in 1954:

The Arab people will not be embarrassed to declare: We shall not be satisfied except by the final obliteration of Israel from the map of the Middle East (Al-Misri, April 12, 1954).

A New Type of Warfare
In 1955, Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser began to import arms from the Soviet Bloc to build his arsenal for the confrontation with Israel. In the short-term, however, he employed a new tactic to prosecute Egypt's war with Israel. He announced it on August 31, 1955:

Egypt has decided to dispatch her heroes, the disciples of Pharaoh and the sons of Islam and they will cleanse the land of Palestine....There will be no peace on Israel's border because we demand vengeance, and vengeance is Israel's death.

These "heroes" were Arab terrorists, or fedayeen, trained and equipped by Egyptian Intelligence to engage in hostile action on the border and infiltrate Israel to commit acts of sabotage and murder. The fedayeen operated mainly from bases in Jordan, so that Jordan would bear the brunt of Israel's retaliation, which inevitably followed. The terrorist attacks violated the armistice agreement provision that prohibited the initiation of hostilities by paramilitary forces; nevertheless, it was Israel that was condemned by the UN Security Council for its counterattacks.

The escalation continued with the Egyptian blockade of the Straits of Tiran, and Nasser's nationalization of the Suez Canal in July 1956. On October 14, Nasser made clear his intent:

I am not solely fighting against Israel itself. My task is to deliver the Arab world from destruction through Israel's intrigue, which has its roots abroad. Our hatred is very strong. There is no sense in talking about peace with Israel. There is not even the smallest place for negotiations.

Less than two weeks later, on October 25, Egypt signed a tripartite agreement with Syria and Jordan placing Nasser in command of all three armies.

The continued blockade of the Suez Canal and Gulf of Aqaba to Israeli shipping, combined with the increased fedayeen attacks and the bellicosity of recent Arab statements, prompted Israel, with the backing of Britain and France, to attack Egypt on October 29, 1956.

Israeli Ambassador to the UN Abba Eban explained the provocations to the Security Council on October 30:

During the six years during which this belligerency has operated in violation of the Armistice Agreement there have occurred 1,843 cases of armed robbery and theft, 1,339 cases of armed clashes with Egyptian armed forces, 435 cases of incursion from Egyptian controlled territory, 172 cases of sabotage perpetrated by Egyptian military units and fedayeen in Israel. As a result of these actions of Egyptian hostility within Israel, 364 Israelis were wounded and 101 killed. In 1956 alone, as a result of this aspect of Egyptian aggression, 28 Israelis were killed and 127 wounded.

One reason these raids were so intolerable for Israel was that the country had chosen to create a relatively small standing army and to rely primarily on reserves in the event of war. This meant that Israel had a small force to fight in an emergency, that threats provoking the mobilization of reserves could virtually paralyze the country, and that an enemy's initial thrust would have to be withstood long enough to complete the mobilization.

Israel Routs Egypt

When the decision was made to go to war in 1956, more than 100,000 soldiers were mobilized in less than 72 hours and the air force was fully operational within 43 hours. Paratroopers landed in the Sinai and Israeli forces quickly advanced unopposed toward the Suez Canal before halting in compliance with the demands of Britain and France. As expected, the Egyptians ignored the Anglo-French ultimatum to withdraw since they, the "victims," were being asked to retreat from the Sinai to the west bank of the Canal while the Israelis were permitted to stay just 10 miles east of the Canal.

On October 30, the United States sponsored a Security Council resolution calling for an immediate Israeli withdrawal, but England and France vetoed it (This is the resolution referred to by Fionn). The following day, the two allies launched air operations, bombing Egyptian airfields near Suez.

Given the pretext to continue fighting, the Israeli forces routed the Egyptians. The IDF's armored corps swept across the desert, capturing virtually the entire Sinai by November 5. That day, British and French paratroops landed near Port Said and amphibious ships dropped commandoes on shore. British troops captured Port Said and advanced to within 25 miles of Suez City before the British government abruptly agreed to a cease-fire.

The British about-face was prompted by Soviet threats to use "every kind of modern destructive weapon" to stop the violence and the United States decision to make a much-needed $1 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund contingent on a cease-fire. The French tried to convince Britain to fight long enough to finish the job of capturing the Canal, but succeeded only in delaying their acceptance of the cease-fire.

Though their allies had failed to accomplish their goals, the Israelis were satisfied at having reached theirs in an operation that took only 100 hours. By the end of the fighting, Israel held the Gaza Strip and had advanced as far as Sharm al-Sheikh along the Red Sea. A total of 231 Israeli soldiers died in the fighting.

Ike Forces Israel to Withdraw
President Dwight Eisenhower was upset by the fact that Israel, France and Great Britain had secretly planned the campaign to evict Egypt from the Suez Canal. Israel's failure to inform the United States of its intentions, combined with ignoring American entreaties not to go to war, sparked tensions between the countries. The United States subsequently joined the Soviet Union (ironically, just after the Soviets invaded Hungary) in a campaign to force Israel to withdraw. This included a threat to discontinue all U.S. assistance, UN sanctions and expulsion from the UN.

U.S. pressure resulted in an Israeli withdrawal from the areas it conquered without obtaining any concessions from the Egyptians. This sowed the seeds of the 1967 war.

One reason Israel did give in to Eisenhower was the assurance he gave to Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion. Before evacuating Sharm al-Sheikh, the strategic point guarding the Straits of Tiran, Israel elicited a promise that the United States would maintain the freedom of navigation in the waterway. In addition, Washington sponsored a UN resolution creating the United Nations Emergency Force (UNEF) to supervise the territories vacated by the Israeli forces.

The war temporarily ended the activities of the fedayeen; however, they were renewed a few years by a loosely knit group of terrorist organizations that became know as the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

Fionn - In my initial posting, the 72 hours I referred to was the time it took for the Anglo-French forces to secure the canal zone - I made no mention of them resolving the conflict in 72 hours. I still contend that had they stayed they would have created a line that Egypt would have had to breach to get at Israel. As to the Russian threat - that was pure bluff (mind you Nikita was rather good at that) - as was their Berlin Blockade a few years earlier - they had a hard enough time in Hungary.

Another little side note:
Very few countries that disappeared behind the "Iron Curtain" accepted Marshall Aid, one that did was Tito's Yugoslavia, Stalin tried like hell to alter that state of affairs and threatened full Soviet occupation - Tito's response was to tell Stalin in no uncertain terms that if he were to send in Soviet troops the Yugoslav's would do the same to them as they had done to the Germans - Stalin backed down, one of the rare occasions he did so when threatening a considerably weaker nation.

Another off-shoot of Suez was ultimate withdrawal of France from an active role in NATO - their reasoning being that, on past performance, they could not trust America. Within their military that perception exists to this day.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: truer sound
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 09:44 PM

SOrry for the misinformation in My post about Ike.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 08:22 PM

Damn and blast! "Nasser nationalised the dam" should have been "Nasser nationalised the canal" in my last post. (Now my penultimate post!)


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 08:18 PM

Damn! "Nasser nationalised the dam" should have been "Nasser nationalised the canal

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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 05:56 PM

Pretty good summation, Fionn. Thanks. I was not too well up on the details of that particular episode.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 03:34 PM

Well that's a thought-provoking hypothesis about Suez, Teribus. But I don't think you've made due allowance for cold war tensions, with the whole world then in fear of WW3. It also threatened to bring Arab-Israeli tensions to the boil when there was already alarming instability in Europe and Asia.

America on that occasion was in line with the whole of world opinion. Ike thought economic pressure would keep Egypt onside, but when he withdrew aid for the Aswam dam, Moscow stepped in - and Nasser nationalised the dam as another means to raise revenue (effectively stealing the canal from some Brit-French company that previously owned it).

To its credit America still argued against military force, on the grounds of international law and self-determination, believing that Egypt was inevitably going to face increasing economic pressure. (The US helped fund tanker construction, to ship oil around the cape, and pipelines were to be run, undermining the value of the canal.)

The US went as far as tabling a UN resolution aimed at peaceful resolution, but France and Britain vetoed it. These two former world powers finished up acting against world opinion and outside international law, all on the strength of a deceitful conspiracy with Israel. Half the British population (nearly half of parliament too) opposed the whole fiasco as a last wild imperial fling.

Effectively UK and France cost the west the moral high ground right when Kruschev was turning to the methods of Stalin (whom he had recently denounced) by sending the tanks into Budapest.

East and West had been frantic to win the battle for influence in the region. With hindsight (eg the Iraq spat in 1958) the Arab nationalism then emerging was actually a bulwark against communism rather than its agent, as was feared in 1956. And again with hindsight, there were opportunities for rapprochement with Moscow after the Stalin denunciation, rather than continuing a stand-off based on fear and hysteria.

Incidentally, after seizing the canal, Nasser subsequently accepted a UN resolution opening it to international shipping. So there was no justification for a war there. (I assume that this did not extent to Israel, which had been banned way back in 1948 or 49, regardless of who then owned the canal.)

The bottom line was that Britain and France could not afford the adventure. If it could have been resolved in the 72 hours that Teribus mistakenly thinks it took, they might have got away with it. But there was never a prospect of that. Britain simply could not afford to maintain an army in Egypt: in fact it was by withholding an IMF loan that the US forced the UK to retreat.

Moreover Britain had huge business interests in Egypt and thousands of UK nationals owned property there. Such implications were never thought through - Eden couldn't even decide whether British troops were officially at war or not.

Can't say your scenario might not have happened, Teribus, but it seems wildly optimistic to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 09:00 AM

Steve:

Neither, my friend. But it perhaps reflects well the confusion that many folks in the middle are feeling about the events of 9-11 and the US response.

Being a peace-nic from way back, I could not have written your song, but this is not written in judgement but observation. As an artist, one has to carve out a territory and you have done just that and I think it well reprsents the majority's thinking, so well done.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 08:17 AM

Interesting theory, Teribus. I wonder why America did oppose the British and French on that one? Any thoughts, anyone?

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Teribus
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 07:53 AM

Without the active support and involvement of Saudi Arabia and Turkey there can be no war - militarily it is just not feasible.

Before anyone quotes the recent campaign against Afghanistan in defiance of that statement, consider the following factors

1. Air power alone did not, and could not have, toppled the Taliban from power. The elements required to accomplish that were air power in support of the Northern alliance forces on the ground.

2. In that campaign the carriers were operating in the Indian Ocean, a vast expanse of water, completely devoid of any threat to the naval forces assigned to the task. For a seabourne assault on Iraq they would have to operate in the closely confined waters of the Arabian Gulf. Only one way in and one way out, relatively shallow water and surrounded by potentially hostile countries.

3. The use of air power against the Taliban in Afghanistan relied heavily on the free use of air space to over-fly Pakistan, without that they could not have got there.

Fionn has twice mentioned the Suez Crisis of 1956, where the American administration of Ike forced the British and French to evacuate the canal zone which they had taken in under 72 hours. I believe that was the biggest mistake made by any American government since the end of the Second World War, as the result of which we see what is happening in the Middle East today. The daftest thing about it was that America, because of it's stance on Israel got no credit at all from the Arab world - the USSR did. I say it was their biggest mistake for the following reasons

1. Had the British and French been allowed to occupy the canal zone and safeguard its use as an international waterway, Nasser could only have attacked Israel by confronting the troops of two NATO countries, both permanent members of the UN Security Council. Not even the Russians would have contemplated that.

2. Nasser's dream of a pan-Arabic coalition against Israel would have come to nothing. There would have been no Six Day War in 1967 and no Yom Kippur War in 1973 - as a result there would be no occupied lands in dispute today.

3. Elsewhere in the region there would have been no attempt by Syria to destabilise Lebanon (America waded in there themselves in 1958 to attempt to do what they had condemned Britain and France for doing two years before in Suez). The vast majority of Arab states would not have fallen under the influence of the Soviet Union during the Cold War period, particularly those along the North African coast, which caused America for the first time in it's history to deploy a permanent fleet in the Mediterranean.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Suffet
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 06:46 AM

"Let's Fight, Fight, Fight Against Each Other" was written in response to a very well known left-wing singer-songwriter who said he can no longer be my friend after I wrote the song, copied below, shortly after Sept. 11th and performed it on the Songs of Freedom TV show.


The New Battle Hymn of the Republic

Music: "John Brown's Body" ("The Battle Hymn of the Republic")
New words: Stephen L. Suffet © 2001

Stanzas only, slow and dirgelike, without choruses.

An evil hand of terror has smitten our land,
Cruel war is thrust upon us, and united we shall stand,
But before we loose the dogs of war, the truth we must demand.
May the truth go shining on!

Are our weapons so intelligent, are our bombs so smart,
The evil and the innocent our bombs can tell apart?
Or together will they perish once the bombings start?
May the truth go shining on!

And if we march to battle in the Good Lord's Holy Name,
How are we so different from the ones we choose to blame?
War is never holy; it is evil and profane.
May the truth go shining on!

And the ones whose souls are guided by the sacred Inner Light,
Shall we brand them all as traitors because they will not fight?
Shall we lock them into prisons and keep them out of sight?
May the truth go shining on!

And the one we call Bin Laden, oh may the truth be known,
We armed him and we trained him when we claimed him as our own;
Now he bites the hand that fed him, as we've reaped what we have sown.
May the truth go shining on!

Will we who fight for freedom ourselves succumb to hate?
Or will our ranks be open wide to all who'd risk our fate?
The hand that smote our nation knew neither gay nor straight.
May the truth go shining on!

And when the battle's over, will those who now protect,
Be treated then with decency, with honor and respect?
Our will they suffer homelessness, addiction and neglect?
May the truth go shining on!

Yes, although that war is evil, we still may choose to fight,
For the lesser of two evils might just bring us through this night,
But let us not deceive ourselves that two wrongs make a right.
May the truth go shining on!



Is that a pro-war or an anti-war song? I wrote it and I still cannot decide. Maybe that's why Janice likes to call me a "militant moderate"!

--- Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 06:23 AM

Truer sound's last post was so staggeringly wide of the mark that it's worth a lenghty digression.

The Shah was never elected. Eisenhower propped up the Shah's disgusting regime and was dead before its downfall. The facts are more like this:

The Shah's dad seized the Iranian throne in about 1920. In WW2 he turned out to be too pro-German for Brit and Soviet liking. so they engineered the son's succession.

Anglo-Iranian (formerly Anglo-Persian, latterly BP) continued owning Iran's oilfields after the war. The Shah's government voted to nationalise the oil in defiance of the Shah, whereupon the CIA tried to destabilise the country and regain the Shah his authority. The plan (approved I think by Eisenhower)backfired big time, and the Shah was briefly deposed and exiled (1953), and parliament terminated the dynasty.

The CIA didn't give up, and with the support of Iranian army dissidents they got the Shah back in the driving seat within a matter of days. The motivation was oil plus fear of strong Soviet influence in Iran.

Thereafter the Shah pursued a blatant pro-west and pro-Israeli line which helped fuel anti-west muslim fundamentalism. By 1977 his secret police (SAVAK) were spreading terror without constraint, martial law was imposed, and America was the Shah's only friend in the world. In 1979, during Carter's US presidency, the Shah fled, and Khomeini returned to Iran from exile and of course the hostages were seized.

Digression over!

Getting back to the subject, it looks like the politicians follow Mudcat, because since this thread started, I've at last heard dissent being voiced in Washington against an assault on Iraq.

Here in the UK the Daily Telegraph (right up Doug's street I should think, even if the Guardian isn't) led yesterday with a survey showing two-thirds of UK voters against supporting miliatary action. Blair would never want to upset the voters, so that's Bush's only ally gone. Even Bush, in my view, will have to heed that signal, and back off, so for the moment I'm a bit more relaxed about the way things are going.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: NicoleC
Date: 13 Aug 02 - 12:11 AM

Dunno, Richard, but as a US taxpayer it annoys the hell out of me that we can only pay our buck privates $12k a year plus food stamps, but spend a few billion every year giving tanks and planes to {insert name of pet peeve repressive country here.} Is it any wonder hardly anyone votes when both choices are both the same old schtick?

But as Bobert said, I'm just a taxpayer, not a member of the ruling class. All I can do is holler about it -- a priviledge I am very thankful to have, even if most days it doesn't seem to accomplish much but let off steam.

Americans will fuss over tax money being used as non-military aid of any kind, yet most Americans happily and voluntarily dig in and send their personal money to victims around the world. Some days I just don't understand my fellow countrymen :)


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 10:58 PM

Well, Kipling called it "the White man's burden" when the British were ruling the roost. The Americans used to call it "Manifest Destiny" at one time, but later renamed it "The Free World" and still later the "New World Order". The Japanese used to speak of a "Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere".

Have a little compassion, Richard...those who must bear the burdens of an imperial policy have feelings too! :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 10:49 PM

Control.... Motive?: Ask someone of the ruling class...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,Visitor - Richard H
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 10:38 PM

Most Americans I've met are honest, decent, helpful people.

Yet in "Made In America" (Bill Bryson), one reads: "By 1960, military spending accounted for 49.7 percent of the federal budget - more than the combined national budgets of Britain, France, West Germany and Italy...Of the $50 billion that America distributed in aid in the 1950s, 90 percent was for military purposes."

At that time, of course, the Soviets were a threat. But writing in 1999, Richard Maybury ("The Thousand Year War in the Mideast" worth reading, by the way) states: "The US has troops in 144 countries, which is about two-thirds of all the countries on earth."

Could someone explain to a non-American why US citizens keep supporting administrations so preoccupied with war, and with setting up, arming and controlling tin-pot regimes all around the world?

The good-guy image is wearing thin.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 10:14 PM

So...is it a pro-left or an anti-left song? I've read it twice, and I'm still not quite sure. It sounds like it's making fun of everybody, right or left, and that's not a hard thing to do in the political arena.

If you go back and look at political cartoons from the 1800's you'll see that there was even more intemperate controversy then than there is now.

You can be in my dream if I can be in yours...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Suffet
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 08:38 PM

Greetings:

For all those who enjoy ganging up on Janice, I offer the following anthem for the musical left.

--- Steve


LET'S FIGHT, FIGHT, FIGHT AGAINST EACH OTHER!

Music: Tramp, Tramp, Tramp by George F. Root (Same tune as God Save Ireland and Fight for Liberation and Are You Busy, Fellow Workers?)

New words: Stephen L. Suffet © 2002

In a world that's gone berserk,
Where every theocratic jerk,
Invokes some holy name to sell a cause,
Where the prophets, like of old,
Meet the profits, like of gold,
And hand in hand they bring us holy wars!

But ...

Let's fight, fight, fight against each other,
Down with social democrats!
Make the liberals in cahoots,
With the fascists lick our boots,
And drive away those Zionistic rats!

In a bleak morass we sit,
Covered up in Ashcroft's shit,
While the Bill of Rights is shredded to a pulp,
Where corporate rape and plunder,
Leave our planet six feet under,
Soon they'll sell us air at fifty cents a gulp!

But...

Let's fight, fight, fight against each other,
Down with all the slightly pinks!
Make that wishy-washy crowd,
Cry "Uncle!" right out loud,
And admit they're just a bunch of right wing finks!

Papa Marx he had a dream,
But it's broken, it would seem,
Yet I hear his dream-like words come once again:
Working people, let's unite,
For our freedom we shall fight,
We'll lose these chains, we have a world to win!

But...

Let's fight, fight, fight against each other,
Down with the imperialist lackey swine!
And if you ever voice a thought,
That I clearly can't support,
Then you better leave, because the Truth is mine!


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: truer sound
Date: 12 Aug 02 - 02:44 PM

Wasn't it the Eisenhower Administration that originally deposed the elected Shah of Iran, a watershed event that's pretty much (in my opinion) led up to many of the United States' current woes?

They were none of them angels. Ike did his share of covert meddling, just like every American administration in the 20th century.


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 09:05 PM

Your point of view is totally understandable, Janis, but it makes demands which are a little unrealistic, perhaps, in that they are simply one-sided.

What I mean is...if you must have "strict enforcement of the UN Security Council resolutions which Iraq accepted as a condition for ending the 1991 Gulf War."...and short of that...another war...

Then what do you do about enforcing the World Court's rulings against illegal USA-sponsored attacks on Nicaragua back in the 80's? The USA ignored the World Court, just as it has sometimes ignored the U.N.

How can the USA be compelled to obey international law when it thumbs its nose at the rest of the world?

It can't, because no one out there is strong enough to make the USA obey the law.

Thus, what we have in the world today is not in any sense the rule of law...but rather the rule of the powerful and well-armed. Saddam is more powerful inside Iraq than his Iraqui opponents...therefore he can tyrranize and dominate the local population. The USA is more powerful in the world than Iraq or Nicaragua or Canada...therefore the USA can attack Iraq and Nicaragua as it pleases (despite political fallout here and there) and can run Canada as a sort of compliant branch plant of corporate USA, despite the wishes of the Canadian public, because all Canadian political parties have been BOUGHT by corporate USA.

To imagine that any of this has anything to do with anything but brute strength and the will to use it is naive. Talk about justice and democracy is just window dressing to fool the American public, who generally have a short memory, assuming they ever heard about the World Court in the first place on their corporate-sponsored news networks...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 07:02 PM

Janice, how is the USA "allowing itself to become a better nation"? Is it simply by putting more and more of its population in prison, even though it already has a higher ratio of people imprisoned than any country on earth (and by a fantastic margin)? But then, what else can you do if you are going to have people living in abject destitution right beside others who live in obscene wealth? (GOP policy of course is to allow the gap to widen.)

But to stay within the context of this thread, in what way is the America of Junior, who wants to wage war for family glory, better than the America of Dwight D Eisenhower, to which I referred earlier (when I was making the point that in 1956 Ike pressured the British and French to abandon a madcap assault on Egypt)?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 12:29 PM

Hear! Hear! Janice in NJ! I like your style. Whatch out for old Bobert, Fionn and L.H., they're going to try to fry you! :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 10:40 AM

Fionn asks: Janice, it sounds like your so-called "middle ground" would involve hostilities of some sort against Iraq. How do you arrive at this view? Just national pride?

To which I answer: My middle ground would be strict enforcement of the UN Security Council resolutions which Iraq accept as a condition for ending the 1991 Gulf War.

As for national pride, it should not be the reason for going to war. But I am nonetheless proud of my nation (the USA), not because it is a perfect nation or even the best nation, but because it allows itself to become a better nation. And I say so even though I am aware of the wrong it has done.

Anyway, I come from a family of fighters. We love getting our licks in -- always have, always will -- but first we want to make sure we're in the right fight. And at present, the right fight is to preserve and strength our own democratic principles and institutions. I want to fight, for example, so the time will soon come when Americans will look back in shame that we imprisoned people, including our own citizens, without charges and without due process of law.

We also like a good barroom brawl. I've kicked a little ass in my day, only to have had the pleasure of caressing that same sweet ass by night!


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

It's refreshing to see people who can disagree and still maintain a sense of humour about it. One of the reasons I like this place...

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 07:31 AM

truer soudn, I completely overlooked that lamentable backsliding by Doug. I'm sure he didn't mean the "welfare" word to slip out!


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Aug 02 - 07:28 AM

DougR: You are right on this one. Guess that law of averages finally caight up with you... Jus funnin with ya there, this mornin. (Any day that begins with messin with my buddy, DougR, is a good one...)

Now, as for the typing. First of all, I'm not sure which keys are which because my teenaged son has worn the letters off most of them and so I spend a lot of time going back and fixing stuff. But then, I got a bad case of lexdexia and so what looks right to me ain't...

There, Dougie, I believe I've "left" you an opening...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 11:31 PM

Bobert: you have to rein in your typing. Your fingers are getting ahead of your thinking! :>) DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 09:34 PM

Not "my" but "by" the military.......


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 09:18 PM

Nicole: I want to congratulate you for renderin' ol' Dougie speechless. That ain't no easy feat.

And well, heck of a rant! And on the mark!

Yeah, your assessment is right on that this ia all about Bush and Co. getting their anti-human butts re-elected. No doubt. The guy has nothin' else to show for 2 years in office. Yaeh, the American sheep-people have been so duped my the Establishment Military Indusrial Media that they don't have a clue and are willing to say, "Yeah", when the pollsters call their sheep-selves and ask, "Are you behind the PRESIDENT in the WAR ON TERRIORISM?"

Makes my Wes Ginny boney butt sick.

Hey, this guy has set the country back about 35 years in just 24 months. At that rate, by the end of his term, we may go back to slavery. (Heck, Bobert. half the folks is slaves now. Just don't know it...) Yeah, this guy and his cohorts are more dangerous than a thousand Saddam's as far as I can see.

No, Saddam ain't no siant. Nor are a lot of folks who run the shows of the countries that we consider to be our allies.

Man, what total hypocrasy. Sharron is a war criminal having killed innocent Lebonese and Palestinians, yet he gets to waer a white hat?

Yeah, Nicole, you keep blastin' away. When your right you are entiled to rightous. Go for it...

As for the folks that think that Saddam, inspite of the facts, is palnning his attack of the US with his vast arsenal, beam my boney butt up............

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:41 PM

If Saddam was a threat to his neighbours, they would be showing some kind of gratitude for US belligerence, rather than open hostility. As for the threat to Israel, Doug, you must be joking. Israel's nuclear programme is about 25 years ahead of where Iraq's is now. I don't think Saddam's going to lob a bomb in their direction.

Washington's concern is all very touching, but frankly not wanted. Even a successful outcome could destabilise the region and leave the US more widely unpopular than it is already. Is it worth the risk, just to grab a few months of glory for Junior?

Janice, it sounds like your so-called "middle ground" would involve hostilities of some sort against Iraq. How do you arrive at this view? Just national pride?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: truer sound
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:38 PM

Its funny how the general beef of the American Right is often "welfare".

Why are hard working, tax paying Americans responsible at all for the condition of their fellow citizens who are less fortunate? It's an outrage that they should get one dime of assistance from the national kitty!!

Yet when justification for Military Action is needed, Uncle Sam is completely responsible for every needy citizen on planet earth.

Says Doug R: "...but what about Irael? Turkey? Other friends of the free world? Do you take the position that the two major powers have no responsibility for their welfare?"


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: DougR
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:33 PM

Wow, Nicole, you do go on when you are riled up dont' you? I hope you never get mad at me! I'm going back to the ranch now and pull the covers over my head. :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: NicoleC
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 07:17 PM

Hey, I did call him bloody-thirsty and violent. :) "Tyranical" might be a good adjective, too. My point is that a lot of crap is flying out the the current administration about how evil he is, but the arguments they are using are fundamentally flawed because they HAVE NO EVIDENCE. Our allies aren't buying it and neither should US citizens.

By justifying military action and the deaths of Iraqis and American soldiers for the sole reason that "we don't like him" makes a mockery of our own American values of justice and self-determination. If WE don't practice what we preach, what's to convince anyone else to follow our lead?

I think that Saddam's recent attempts at international politics and negotiation should not be dismissed out of hand. Even the "bad guys" moderate over time. Arafat used to be a full-fledged radical terrorist; none of this diplomacy stuff. So did Sharon, who blew up more than his fair share of Palestinian civilians when Israel was trying to establish a sovereign nation, but now he's a prime minister.

As long as Saddam is willing to come to the table and talk, why not? It's not like we aren't going to stop spying on him or get rid of our army camped on his doorstep in the meantime.

(Because peace doesn't help you win elections, that's why not.)


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: Janice in NJ
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 06:50 PM

Nicole, whoa! Isn't there any middle ground between a full scale inavsion of Iraq and your wanting to nominate Saddam Hussein for the Nobel Peace Prize?


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: GUEST,Souter
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 05:46 PM

Thanks, I knew it couldn't really have been 11!


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Subject: RE: BS: US foreign policy - an example to us all
From: NicoleC
Date: 09 Aug 02 - 03:04 PM

Sorry for the typos above. That's what I get for ranting :)


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