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BS: Another Bush War (2) (Bush, Iraq)

McGrath of Harlow 02 Sep 02 - 06:05 PM
DougR 02 Sep 02 - 06:27 PM
Amos 02 Sep 02 - 06:45 PM
Don Firth 02 Sep 02 - 06:57 PM
kendall 02 Sep 02 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Sep 02 - 07:44 PM
DougR 02 Sep 02 - 08:05 PM
DougR 02 Sep 02 - 08:08 PM
Bobert 02 Sep 02 - 08:36 PM
Amos 02 Sep 02 - 08:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Sep 02 - 09:03 PM
Justa Picker 02 Sep 02 - 09:31 PM
kendall 02 Sep 02 - 09:47 PM
Amos 02 Sep 02 - 09:49 PM
Bobert 02 Sep 02 - 10:07 PM
McGrath of Harlow 02 Sep 02 - 11:05 PM
Bobert 02 Sep 02 - 11:20 PM
GUEST,Richard H 02 Sep 02 - 11:38 PM
Amos 03 Sep 02 - 12:13 AM
DougR 03 Sep 02 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,Thomas the Rhymer 03 Sep 02 - 01:24 AM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Sep 02 - 06:24 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 03 Sep 02 - 06:58 AM
Bobert 03 Sep 02 - 08:26 AM
Wolfgang 03 Sep 02 - 08:48 AM
kendall 03 Sep 02 - 09:13 AM
Amos 03 Sep 02 - 11:11 AM
artbrooks 03 Sep 02 - 11:17 AM
kendall 03 Sep 02 - 11:52 AM
NicoleC 03 Sep 02 - 12:06 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 03 Sep 02 - 12:12 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Sep 02 - 12:32 PM
kendall 03 Sep 02 - 01:56 PM
Bobert 03 Sep 02 - 04:43 PM
GUEST,Thomas the Rhymer 03 Sep 02 - 06:28 PM
Amos 03 Sep 02 - 06:37 PM
DougR 03 Sep 02 - 06:51 PM
kendall 03 Sep 02 - 07:24 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 Sep 02 - 07:24 PM
Amos 03 Sep 02 - 08:01 PM
toadfrog 03 Sep 02 - 08:01 PM
Don Firth 03 Sep 02 - 08:59 PM
Bobert 03 Sep 02 - 09:03 PM
michaelr 03 Sep 02 - 09:07 PM
kendall 03 Sep 02 - 09:53 PM
NicoleC 03 Sep 02 - 10:40 PM
Bobert 03 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM
artbrooks 03 Sep 02 - 11:10 PM
DougR 03 Sep 02 - 11:36 PM
Amos 04 Sep 02 - 12:47 AM
NicoleC 04 Sep 02 - 01:35 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 04 Sep 02 - 06:32 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 02 - 09:41 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 04 Sep 02 - 09:50 AM
NicoleC 04 Sep 02 - 10:52 AM
Bobert 04 Sep 02 - 10:53 AM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 02 - 11:13 AM
Amos 04 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM
kendall 04 Sep 02 - 12:37 PM
Don Firth 04 Sep 02 - 01:00 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 02 - 01:42 PM
Amos 04 Sep 02 - 01:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 02 - 01:48 PM
curmudgeon 04 Sep 02 - 02:50 PM
kendall 04 Sep 02 - 03:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 02 - 03:37 PM
DougR 04 Sep 02 - 04:51 PM
Steve in Idaho 04 Sep 02 - 05:19 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 Sep 02 - 05:38 PM
Amos 04 Sep 02 - 05:59 PM
curmudgeon 04 Sep 02 - 07:01 PM
kendall 04 Sep 02 - 07:30 PM
Bobert 04 Sep 02 - 07:53 PM
Amos 04 Sep 02 - 08:01 PM
curmudgeon 04 Sep 02 - 08:20 PM
Amos 04 Sep 02 - 08:42 PM
Don Firth 04 Sep 02 - 08:46 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 Sep 02 - 09:53 PM
NicoleC 04 Sep 02 - 10:20 PM
Bobert 04 Sep 02 - 10:36 PM
GUEST 05 Sep 02 - 12:58 AM
DougR 05 Sep 02 - 01:46 AM
Bobert 05 Sep 02 - 12:58 PM
DougR 05 Sep 02 - 01:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Sep 02 - 01:35 PM
Amos 05 Sep 02 - 01:41 PM
Bobert 05 Sep 02 - 02:17 PM
kendall 05 Sep 02 - 02:24 PM
Bobert 05 Sep 02 - 02:30 PM
DougR 05 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM
Don Firth 05 Sep 02 - 04:52 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Sep 02 - 04:53 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Sep 02 - 04:57 PM
kendall 05 Sep 02 - 05:08 PM
kendall 05 Sep 02 - 05:10 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 05 Sep 02 - 06:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 05 Sep 02 - 07:03 PM
Amos 05 Sep 02 - 07:49 PM

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Subject: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 06:05 PM

Here's part two of this overlong thread.

Why is Iraq seen as a terrible threat when Saudi Arabia, for example is not? After all, the people who organised and carried out September 11 appear to have been from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq.

What's so special about Iraq and Hussein. He carried out a brutal war against his neighbour in Iran, with American backing (remember the Iranian Airbus that was shot down by the USS Vincennes). He used chemical weapons and thousands were killed, at a time when he was being given effective backing by the US. He waged brutal war against dissidents in Irag, especially Kurds - not unlike the repression of Kurds carried out by Iraq's neighbour Turkey.

And he invaded Kuwait, which most Iraqis, including those who oppose Saddam, have always regarded as a province of Iraq, artificially detached from the country because it suited the Western oil companies and their agents in government.

A very nasty regime in many ways (not as bad as some, such as Saudi Arabia, especially if you are a woman), but is the idea that America goes round the world attacking all the nasty regimes? (I meant that as a rhetorical question, but I get the sinking feeling that that is in fact the idea, what with rhetoric about "axis of evil").

Wouldn't it be better to start at home, and identify how it could have been that the US Government helped to create such monsters - and to make sure it can never happen again.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 06:27 PM

True, McGrath, the U. S. backed Saddam in Iraq's war with Iran. Evidently it was believed that the U. S. had to come down on one side or the other, and at the moment, Iran and the U. S. were at odds. Countries must protect their own interests, and at that time, it looked as though backing Saddam was the way to go. That does not mean that it was the wrong thing to do AT THAT TIME.

The U.S. strongly backed Osma bin Laden when he and his hearty band of freedom fighters were fighting Russia. It was believed AT THAT TIME that it was the right thing to do. Perhaps it was ...at that time. There was no way of knowing that in the future, Bin Laden would be declaring war on the United States, but he did.

And while I'm on the subject, why all the wringing of hands and gnashing of teeth because Bush hasn't asked for a declaration of war against Iraq? There hasn't been a declaration of war in fifty years! But I digress.

My point is, today's friends may be tomorrow's enemies. If there were some way to predict (see the Psychic thread) these things it would be wonderful, but evidently there isn't.

Saddam is thought to be a tyrant. His people suffer under his leadeship, and his poisoning his own people (the Kurds) should present evidence enough that he is ruthless and unpredictable.

I agree that the Saudis are not as good friends as they would like us to believe. We have nothing to fear from a Saudi army, though, and we badly need their oil. Neither do they have weapons of mass destruction. If they did, perhaps the situation would be viewed differently.

The policy you refer to (arm yourself to the teeth so you won't be attacked) was reasonable for a long time. Pakastan and India have the bomb, but they do not appear to be a threat to anyone other than each other. They have had the "bomb" for years and the U. S. and GB have not considered invading either of those countries because they evidently are not viewed as threats to us and our friends.

I would not be at all surprised to find, after Iraq has been successfully invaded, that Iran and North Korea might be the next targets. There seems to be some hope, however, that relations between the U. S. and Iran might improve if the new President of Iran can figure a way to gain more power that currently is held by the religious leaders in that country.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush war?
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 06:45 PM

DougR:

Given your usually keen analyses, I ama little surprised to see you resorting to the rhetorical devices of a mugwump. It seems obvious to me the more people whoae deaths can be blamed on the Satan Amerika in Iraq, the more fanatic young turks there will be with enough glory-eyed fanatic adrenalin to do something just that dumb; and inverting the argument is completely illogical, since it begs the point -- sure asome might try without the added provication; but like any wad of wigglers, the more there are of them, the higher the chances one of them will invade! Just ask any ovum! Andf your treatment of Kendall's post is below you, Doug :>).

You are completely correct that as a PR device, conferences are pretty weak gruel, aren't they! But if I were making my living in some corner of an Iraqian kasbah I would feel much more comfortable selling my green tea and camel meat knowing there were conferences going on than I would knowing my furless leader had provoked a war. Even if he insisted he had had nothing to do with it!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Don Firth
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 06:57 PM

Much of what you say is true, Doug. In the instances you cite, the U. S. government did assume it was the right thing to do—at the time (although one of the things that ticked the Afghanis off was that the U. S. made them a lot of promises, then when the Russians left we dropped 'em like a dirty shirt). But right now, I can't see that Iraq, Iran, and North Korea are all that much of a danger to us. We still have the world's largest arsenal of weapons of mass destruction, and should any or all three of them attack us, they could never hope to prevail in a conventional war—and if they used WMDs, we have the military power and more than enough WMDs, by several orders of magnitude, to reduce all three countries to barren plains. Genuine threat? I don't think so. And I don't think George W. Bush thinks so either.

About that terrorist rowing up the river of your choice with a nuclear device stowed in his skiff (be he Saudi, Iraqi, or whatever):— Nobody can guarantee that it won't happen. But one thing I pretty well can guarantee: if the United States initiates hostilities against Iraq (or Iran, or North Korea), someone out there is sure as hell going to give it some serious thought.

And that's a strictly non-partisan observation.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush war?
From: kendall
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 07:34 PM

Amos, I'm not offended by Dougs treatment of my post; actually, I thought he was attempting some humor!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 07:44 PM

So what has Iraq actually done that poses a threat to the USA?

Sure, he's a threat to his own people in all kinds of ways, as he was at the time that the US was backing and arming him, but that is another matter. Round the world there are all kinds of countries with governments that are a threat to their own people, and most of them have reasonably cordial relations with the USA.

There's a saying that to a certain kind of person, once they have a hammer, everything they see starts to look like a nail. But in fact most thing don't get fixed by hitting them with a hammer.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 08:05 PM

I don't know, McGrath. You might pose that question to George Bush. He's the one that seems to think he is, and I'm assuming it is because he has good intelligence to support his view. I doubt he is going to share it with us though. Although he might. It was Don, I think, or Amos that suggested that Bush's speech on 9/11 might be a very important one. Perhaps we will know more then.

I don't think the terrorists we are fighting now would hesitate to row that boat up the river, Don, if they thought they could. It wouldn't take an attack on Iraq to prompt that. I say that in a strictly nonpartisan way too.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush war?
From: DougR
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 08:08 PM

ATTEMPTING!!! Durn, Kendall, that WAS humor! Mutter, mutter. I've been told New Englanders have to search for a sense of humor. Don't confirm it for me! :>)

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 08:36 PM

Doug:

You sure you ain't about 12 or 15 paid Busg staffers going 'round the clock defendin' the boss. Got to admit. I admire your stamina.

I'll wrestle with ya later, Right now, others are doing quite nicely.

Oh, BTW, what's Bush's next song and dance routine should level heads prevail aginst his war plans. At some point in time he;s gonna' have to face that big dog. You know, about the stealing of the election. That dog ain't going away without a fight. And that dog is gaining on him.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 08:43 PM

I'm assuming it is because he has good intelligence to support his view

He has not even declared the strong fact that such intell exists; even if revealing the data itself would be risky, I do not see a reason to play his cards so close to his chest that he looks like a Fascist. I know that is a loaded term, but it speaks to the implicit demand for support and compliance under threat of being labeled unpatriotic. Obviously he can't start a putsch just yet, but he can put a serious chill on the freedom of thought, which has been dinged up pretty badly already by our educational system and those with highly authoritarian axes to grind.

I think in making that assumption you have declared the key article of faith that I cannot share with you, Doug.    When I look back on the dodges and manipulations that have come out of the Bush cotillion (an excessively fancy dance for many couples) I somehow lose the focus of confidence necessary to make the same assumption you are, and consequerntly start looking for strings and mirrors and other devices associated with smoke and hokum.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 09:03 PM

"I'm assuming it is because he has good intelligence"...

That is quite an assumption, whichever meaning of intelligence is applicable.

I'm sure that if Iraq was in a position to row a nuclear device up the river to New York, that is precisely what Saddam would be trying to do right now - the intention being to get on the phone to the White House and the New York Times to say that the first move the US makes to attack, it'd be exploded. Good old fashioned MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) theory, as developed in the Pentagon.

In fact I suspect most governments threatened with imminent attack would be likely to try that. And given the probable truth of what Doug said there - "I would not be at all surprised to find, after Iraq has been successfully invaded, that Iran and North Korea might be the next targets" - the likelihood is quite great that somewhere in the lengthening list of targets there probably will be someone who actually is in a position to make a serious attempt to do it.

The impression I get - and which I think is shared by most people outside the USA - is that there are people in control who see September 11 as an opportunity to get away with doing all the things they've been wanting to do all along. They've got that hammer crying out to be used...

Just imagine if those skyscrapers had been in Moscow, and it had happened a few years ago, and the Soviet Union was gearing itself up to launch a war against some country which had nothing to do with the atrocity, but had a lot of natural resources, with the intention of installing a regime that would fall in line with the wishes of the USSR. Would that have been seen as a war against terror to be supported by every lover of peace and freedom on the planet? (As I said, there is nothing left-wing or right-wing about this stuff.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Justa Picker
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 09:31 PM

It's situation that has to be dealt with sooner rather than later. The first situation (attacking Iraq now) will cause thousands of deaths.

The second situation (Iraq with nuclear capability) will launch a first strike nuclear offensive against Israel, and, Israel will retaliate. Then, you have a massive shit storm, causing the deaths of millions of people, and dragging everyone else into WW III. That's the whole enchillada of the situation, i.m.o.

Since 1998 Saddam has had lots of time to hide his nuclear projects so that spy satelites, etc..cannot detect them. Iraq's offer to allow weapons inspectors back in at this point (or even more laughable, unqualified congressmen as inspectors) is a sham...and shell game. The inspectors were booted out in 1998 because they got too close.

The other alies won't support the U.S. because of oil and fears of another OPEC style crisis.

Thing is...where does it all stop? After the U.S. deposes Saddam and [hopefully] installs a democratic or more responsible regime (if there is such a beast), do they then go after North Korea? ... or would that be one to stay away from because of North Korea attacking Japan and South Korea with nukes? ...or settle the score with Iran once in for all? ... and on and on.

The U.S. is between a rock and a hard place and I don't envy GW and his advisers. Either decision, to act now or wait, will have proportionate consequences none of which are good.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 09:47 PM

You are right Picker; we are between IRAQ and a hard place.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 09:49 PM

Well, boys, what exactlky the hell IS the situation? This man has a nation with oil under it, and a big customer is mighty sore at him. If he had half the brains god gave Enron, he'd back his sheets and take a tack to restore decent relations and market the damn stuff to us. And the many other idiots who, like us, are addicted to it. Why should he do that? Because it would bring jobs, currency, international esteem, circulation and dialoue to his nation and restore it to some of the primacy among nations that it once deserved.

If he is too Neanderthal to see this as a possible path, we have to ask why and what the pressure points are that are driving him on some other course of action. Personal psychosis is one answer but perhaps a facile one.

What motivates this guy? Does he live with his Mom?

Anyone know for real??

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 10:07 PM

Well, justa picker, first of all I doubt seriously if Iraq has a nuclear "device" (for lack of a better term) and if in the slim chance it does, I fon't think they have a clue how to get it delivered to another counrty. Rocket science ain't folk music. I mean, It takes lots of testing. Ask the Germans and the US who have collectively blown more rockets up trying to get them to work than rockets that *actyally* worked. Now, something about rockets. Ya' can't hide the tests too easily. Ya' go firing the danged things off and all the radars start screaming, "Rockets". Now Saddam, inless he's firin' off in his garage, ain't within 20 years of having a delivery system. Okay, he may have a divice, which is doubtful, but lets say he has a device. Now he has to row the danged thing 4000 miles to the proverbial New York Harbor. (hey, why New York?)

Now as for GWB's list of folks to war with lets not forget that his "big three" are just the tip of his iceburg. After them, add another 20 or so counties that we don't particulally like and ya' got yerself a big ol' World War that makes the last one look like a Woodstock lovefest...

Well, if Bush is between a rock and hard place, he has worked real hard to get there. And it's well deserved. He has been beating one war drum after another since 9-11 and then he doesn't even have the smarts to tell Dick "Never met a country not worth blowing up" Cheney to shut the heck up. I mean, this guy is going to get some folks blown the heck up if he doesn't *shut up*! The world doesn't need his saber rattling. That's waht folks used to do before they sent the sons of the working class off to get their butts blown up.

No, Bush, should do just what he professes to be. He should get down on his knees and ask for God to tell him what he's 'sposed to do. And then he should listen> Ya know what? If he's do that, instead of all his Christain bhah, blah, blah, then he's come out and say, "Hey, things have gotten out of hand here. Satan is callin' the shots. It's now time for reason to take over. It's time for folks to look toward other ways of solving differences. it's timne for a World Summit on Peace" and the people would cheer and run in the streets and folks would look at possibilities rather than enevitabilities. Hope rather than fear. And Bush, a man of limited vision, would go down in history as the man who changed it all...

Yeah, I know, Bobert's a hopeless dreamer. Well, when it comes to Bush, probably. But when it somes to mankind, nah. We'll probably survive Bush and if we do we'll be stronger for it.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 11:05 PM

Well, if Saddam ever gets hold of nuclear weapons and so forth and decides to make a first strike against Israel, or (perhaps more likely) Israel, which already has nuclear weapons decides to fire them against Iraq because it thinks that he might make a first strike...It could happen.

But it's all assuming that just because the guys in charge in Baghdad aren't too nice (and maybe the guys in Jerusalem aren't that nice either, when it comes to it), they are going to commit suicide just on whim.

For forty years we had a situation like that between the two sides in the Cold War, and the world never actually blew up. I'm not a believer in that kind of balancing act myself, and I would always want any country I'm in to climb down from threatening to murder strangers by the million; and there's a built-in instability involved as well, and we were lucky to get away with it. But the idea that weapons of mass destruction do have a certain deterrent effect does have some validity.

And on that basis I seriously think that there is a strong likelihood that some countries on Bush's hitlist (probably not Iraq I'd guess) may well at this very time be doing their level best to ensure that they have a workable nuclear device installed in New York or Washington, just in case, as a deterrent.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 11:20 PM

All the more reason, MeGrath, for some genuine dialogue between countries, rather than saber rattling. Yeah, part of being the world's single super power, the US has a responsibility to mediate, arbitrate and well, ahhhh.... lead by example and forget the bullying...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: GUEST,Richard H
Date: 02 Sep 02 - 11:38 PM

I fail to understand the fascination with WMDs. Any country using WMDs against America or its allies would be bombed into oblivion. What's the mileage in that?

On the other hand, a handful of terrorists using box-cutters, garden insecticide, whatever, can make life very uncomfortable and disappear.

Our papers today carried an eyewitness account of 9/11 and one could feel again the anguish of the trapped, the bravery of firemen, the senseless waste of human life.

But don't Americans care that others feel similar anguish when their countries are bombed and their families killed in pursuit of one man or a small group?

IMHO, that is as unjustifiable as bombing a town in America because five escaped convicts are holed up there.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 12:13 AM

Richard:

I cannot speak for all Americans, of course, but yes, we care.

It is unconscionable to take swaths of human life whose owners have not engaged in your fight. It loses me sleep at night when I think about it but like most human beings, I suppose, I cannot think about it all the time. I know in military planning and operations, at least at the lower levels, extensive efforts are made NOT to harm civilians. But war is a SNAFU of SNAFUs by its nature. For one thing it is not conducive to clear thought of the sort that usually prevents serious accidents. For another it is extremely hard to unleash the dogs of war and then expect them to heel at short moments' notice. People are not really built for that and machines often are not either.

The concern about WMD is simply this -- the scenario of 9-11, in which three thousand thought they were going to work and were sent to Death instead is a chilling one. The notion that mass murder is an acceptable tool of war --worse, undeclared war -- means that the same pictures could come back to haunt us from any shopping mall, business suite, or industrial park in the nation. I should think anyone would be concerned with examing all possible avenues of prevention.

What some of probably feel is that our great weakness was not being afraid of boxcutters, but being unalert to the real nature of the situation, dozing along very much the way we were just before Pearl Harbor. It is understandable not to want to get caught off base twice in the same game, eh?

A



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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 12:43 AM

Yes, Richard H., I think Americans do care. No one wants to see any one killed. There have been needless killings in many countries, and anyone who finds comfort in that is sick. What we are talking about now, though, is survival. There are those in the world, for whatever reason, that feel that democratic nations should be abolished. I, for one, do not support that point of view. My liberal friends on this forum share my POV on this point, but are not willing to commit to war to preserve our freedom. In other words, they want the world to be the way it was prior to 9/11. So do I, but it is not, and probably never will be.

If war is necessary to preserve what we have, then we must go to war. There are those on this forum (hell, the majority on this forum) that blame the United States for all of the ills of the world. Yet many of them live here, enjoy what we have, and bitch because they don't have enough, and others have too much. In the same breath they will decry the plight of the poor people in nations of the world who would rejoice if that had a quarter of what they have.

I just don't get it.

As to your statement about WMD, IF a group, or country, was moderately successful in detonating a nuclear device in my country or yours, even on a scale less than the ones used in WW II, it could take thousands of lives and be the start of a nuclear holocaust. If that occurred, and the U. S. responded, the same folks that are railing against the government today (assuming they survived) would probably be first in line pointing fingers and critizing the fact that we responded.

What is so disheartening to me, is to read message after message on this forum that falls right in line with what the terrorists (assuming they can type) would write. To me, 'tis sad.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: GUEST,Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 01:24 AM

A few years ago, we did not speak much about war. At least not in the present tense... and we had money, a small but adequate measure of trust, and a world vision. WTO was our focus, for or against, and though admittedly vague, we could see hope somewhere off in the far distance, as we planned some kind of equitable world... The two party system was a joke, but now it's not funny. Our country was in at least tollerable standing around the world, and the U.S. was solvent... We had a sexually gullible Rhodes scholar in the White House, and he seemed to do his best to be open and thoughtful about his major decisions... We didn't give much thought to our own voting safety and integrity, because we had come such a long way from the stuffing and hiding of ballot boxes, the outright lying of ellection officals, and the use of intimidation around the voting booths... Thought was not a crime, and Ideas were openly discussed. Yes, I am being nostalgic... but what happened? ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 06:24 AM

This is all panning out precisely the way Bin Laden would have anticipated and wished. Bush and Co are carrying out their parts as if they'd been programmed.

A few years down the road, the way things are heading, there'll be an Islamist government in Iraq, the US will be out of Saudi Arabia, and America will be prowling up and down an isolationist cage.

It's amazing what you can do with a handful of suicide bombers and a few box-cutters.

In any conflict the first thing to work out is "what is it that my opponent would wish me to do?" But some people seem to find that a remarkably hard concept.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 06:58 AM

From a letter in the guardian yesterday:

"A man accused of killing 3,000 people is on the run from international justice. The relatives and survivors want justice, but the fugitive is harboured by a nation state. No, not Osama bin Laden, but Warren Anderson (Greenpeace finds American wanted for Bhopal tragedy, August 30). He is currently residing in opulent surroundings in New York state. The victims might ask George Bush whether he's with them or against them."


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 08:26 AM

Good point, McGrath. Bush does seem to be doing eveything that Bin Laden an Co., in their wildest dreams, want: extremist policies from Bysh and Co. That's what the two camps have in common. Both represent the repressive, dogmatic sides of their respective religions.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Wolfgang
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 08:48 AM

The German left has become a secret fan of Cheney. Two more talks along the same lines and we won't get a conservative government on Sept. 22. Go on, Dick, do your worst, we need you.

On the serious side, the truly relevant question, as some have remarked, is will the USA (and not only them) be safer with or without a war or whatever) with Iraq. I believe at the time being the right answer is 'without'. But that is not an answer from principle.

I think the action taken in Afghanistan (of course, not every aspect of it) was correct. If you have an enemy who can really do harm and damage to do nothing is an invitation to go on. To show that you are determined to retaliate and do harm to (whoever you get of) your enemy is a good mean of dissuasion.

But there is a point from where on showing more strength becomes counterproductive. For me, Iraq is that point. A message along the lines "we could and we wouldn't hesitate in case it was necessary" could be a very strong tactic. It doesn't of course persuade those who believe in sacrificing themselves, they are beyond argumentation, but it can reach those who have a more or less clandestine sympathy for the future terrorists. To tell the sympathisers what they are about to loose can make them a bit more supportive for police type actions.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 09:13 AM

Doug, my friend, you "Don'r get it" because you have the wrong slant on it! We are NOT blaming America for all the wrongs in the world, just those that WE have caused. It seems to me that you, and a handful of others, (my republican daughter) want to paint us as lilly white and not to blame for anything! We created Saddam, Batista, Samosa, Noreaga,Pinochet, the Shah of Iran, the list is endless. Remove the rose colored glasses and face reality! Those bastards had good reason to hit us, and, as long as we deny that, it will happen again. Right now I'm reading "An Introduction to Islam". Why? because I want to know my enemy. Does reading this book make me a Muslim? No more than going to a garage makes me a car.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 11:11 AM

Well, Kendall, we're pretty sure you're not a car -- never heard no car make folk music, have you? If you were one, though, I reckon you'd be a beautiful Bugatti!

Doug -- what we rail against, as Kendall said, is the awful consequences of our short-term thinking and manipulative foreign policies over the years. By playing "divide and conquer" amongst the power-hungry in SOuth America and the Middle East we have firmly established our national image as manipulative and somewhat bullying, liberal with dough for purchasing favors. I do not agree that Bin L 's crowd had good reason to strike as they did -- I think both they and we ourselves could acheive much more through the intelligent use of public relations and management skills.

Maybe we need to think our policy of getting involved heavily in local situations which we do not understand, and then lashing about trying to "cure" our lack of understanding by spending money. Part of the problem is that we are, by and large, an angry nation, and thus do not have the intelligence or patience to deal well with covertly aggressive groups who practice deception and indirect hostility. WE tend to call on folks to put up their dukes, which from their point of view would surely look counter-productive!

As for doing what Osama wants, I am pretty sure even he did not wish for so many of his troops to be exterminated by AMerican munitions, nor for the Taliban to be ousted from the Afghanian government. So I am at a loss to understand what this idea means that we are playing to his script. It's a cute rhetorical device but it would be a lot more persuasive with particulars added.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 11:17 AM

We are at war! Well no, because only the US Congress has the legal authority to declare war.

Anyway, we are engaged in warlike activities against a hostile force that attacked us without warning and killed almost 3,000 innocent individuals! Well no, we are chasing the remnants of a bandit force of extremists allied to the people who actually attacked us, and we have no real idea where the actual perpetrators are.

OK, but we're about to attack another of their allies that has "weapons of mass destruction" similar to the ones that were used against us! Sorry, but the country we're aimed at, regardless of how evil its leader actually is, has only the vaguest of ties to our enemy; there is no evidence, let alone proof, that they have ANY weapons of mass destruction; and there are several dozen of the weapons that were actually used in the attack parked at your local airport.

Well maybe, but that country used poison gas (OK, a semi-persistant nerve agent) against their own citizens some years back, and they kicked the weapons inspectors out, and they don't like our Israeli allies much. Yes, they did...and nobody ever said they were nice people. Perhaps they felt that inspectors were an infringement on their national sovereignty. After all, even the occupation of Germany ended after 10 years. And LOTS of people (and countries) don't much like the Israelis, justifiably or not. But are we, and should we, be in charge of worldwide vermin extermination?

So then, what is going on?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 11:52 AM

When I said "They had good reason to hit us" it was good reason from THEIR point of view, and that's what we must deal with. We must deal with thing as they are, not as we wish they were. Anything less than that is delusion.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: NicoleC
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 12:06 PM

I don't think the terrorists responsible for 9/11 had a good reason to take a shot at us, but neither am I surprised they came to that conclusion. It's the same thinking that says that's behind the US attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq.

The US isn't on some sort of vermin-extermination or "good vs. evil" campaign. There are much more brutal and threatening goverments that we're allied with and don't give a damn about their treatement of their own people. It all comes down to self interest, whether you think that's a good thing or not, and whether it's on a national scale or a personal one conducted by those in power.

War against civilians to injure the government is not a new concept; it's been around since war itself. Supposedly the Geneva Convention put an end to it, but it's still a war tactic hotly debated at West Point, Annapolis and war colleges around the world. The fact is, chevauchee works quite well, and military leaders are loath to give it up. Now we just drape the practice in terms of "collateral damages" and pretend like it's an unexpected occurance. The individuals in the military may be honestly sorry, but the military mechanism itself is not -- else we'd be a lot better about avoiding those deaths.

I do think that most Americans care about deaths of individuals. But many Americans don't even think about the deaths of people in countries we bomb -- defense mechanism? I don't know. I do know that many people I'm personally aquainted with gloated over the death toll in Afghanistan and considered the mounting casualties like a scorecard -- how many Afghani death is worth the death of one terrorist victim? Some of them even applauded the deaths and mistreatment of American citizens of middle-eastern descent. These were not bad people or cruel people or people with strong political convictions of any kind. They were the kind of people that pick up stray dogs and give money to homeless shelters. But it was as if in their anger they didn't consider middle eastern people to be PEOPLE.

Doug, you may a leap of faith about government that I simply don't share. I have less faith than usual in the current administration, but honestly I don't trust any administration. You may be happy with the current administration and trust their use of power, but you may NOT trust the next one. Do you really want to repeal civil liberties, create a mega-powerful internal secret police, and wage war with every petty country that doesn't do exactly what we say? In 2 years or 5 years we're going to have a different administration wielding that power, and you may not trust them, but it will be very hard to stop them from using those powers.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 12:12 PM

Doug, face it. Saddam is no threat to the US. He is no threat to his neighbours either, or they would be squealing. He is probably no threat to Israel, but if he is, so what? Let Israel sort it. They are much farther down the WMD route than Iraq, thanks to US indulgence.

Perhaps you could just enlarge a bit on why the US had to take one side or the other in the Iraq-Iran war? Or why it had to defend the feudal dictatorship in Kuwait, which which Iraq had an arguable claim? Or what its interest was in arming Bin Laden, the Mujahadeen etc?

Once you start talking about US national itnerests, you might as well go the whole hog and admit that the US interest this time is that Iraq has got the second biggest proven oil reserves in the world. Looks like some of that (the whole of the northern oilfield, according to one rumour) would go to Turkey in return for Turkey making itself a US launchpad. But that still leaves plenty of spoils to justify US "interest".

Those in favour of US agression seem to cherish some vision of a docile democracy once Saddam is gone. Not likely. Iraq would be carved up, with Turkey getting the biggest slice, but Iran and Syria also in at the feeding frenzy.

Turkey is already massively the strongest power in the region - a secular democracy saved from islamic fundamentalism only by its army (more than 95 per cent of the people are muslim). Siding with the US would almost certainly be the end of democracy in Turkey - making that country a natural next enemy for the states, but one many times stronger than Iraq is now. This was a big factor in why the gulf war ended where it did, last time round.

One day, but surely too late, the US administration will realise that its best line of defence would have been to start building some friendships around the planet. More likely they won't get the message until Iraq has been trashed, and been followed by a few more WTCs in San Francisco, LA, Washington, etc. Even then, they won't be too concerned, provided America has WON, and the popular vote is still secure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 12:32 PM

As for doing what Osama wants, I am pretty sure even he did not wish for so many of his troops to be exterminated by American munitions, nor for the Taliban to be ousted from the Afghanian government. So I am at a loss to understand what this idea means that we are playing to his script.

How about this:

The events of September 11 indicate that whoever was behind it - say Bin Laden for short - is willing to use people like pawns, to be sacrificed, and probably isn't worried about the idea of getting killed. Whatever it takes.

The Taliban in Afghanistan and the foreign Al Qaida volunteers are just more pawns. Getting killed was what they were there for, the same way bombs and ammunition are there to be exploded. And that is probably just as true of Bin Laden as the others. These people mean business, and the hijackers of September 11 show the price they are willing to pay, collectively and as individuals.

What appears to be the objective is to split the world in two, with America and a few reluctant and payroll states on its side, a lot more sitting on their hands, and the mass of the world's population seeing America as the enemy, and most of the world's Muslims manipulated into being on the other side.

And that is what it is shaping up to look like. A war by America on Iraq will be just what is needed, from that point of view. It gets rid of Saddam, who has been a serious block to the setting up of an Islamic Republic in Iraq. It is likely to mean that the Americans get thrown out of Saudi Arabia by the present regime there, in a desperate attempt to hold on to power, though before too long there is be a change of regime there, and an Islamic Republic. And things go on from there.

Sooner or later America pulls out from its involvement overseas, and a whole row of dominoes topple.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 01:56 PM

As I said, it doesn't matter if we agree that they had good reason to hit us. It's not our opinion that counts here. I don't believe they were justified either, but THEY DO!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 04:43 PM

Danged, McGrath, you're just ahead of me on this thread. This is the point I was trying to make earlier when I stated something to the effect that Bush is doing exactly when Bin Laden would want him to do. This thing is quicky becoming a war between Christain and Islamic fundementalists with the middle the big loosers.

Lets look where Bush got a lot of his dough and support. Take awy the major corporations who just wanted to buy their slices of power and you are left with the Christain Right. These are the same folks who couldn't care less if some nut shoots a doctor leaving an abortion clinic. These are the same folks who, contrary to the Constituion, want kids forced to pray to their God. Yeah right, like they have a clue. These are the old testament folks who go for that "eye for an eye" and "God fearing" garbage. Yeah, they call themselves Christains but don't spend much time with the Gospels and just don't have a clue about Jesus's teachings. Yeah, these are the scary folks in our country. They've taken over the churches and run out all the followers of Christ. They believe that women should be subservient to men.

Starting to sound familiar?

On the other hand, you have Bin Laden and Co. professing belief in Islam but conviently interpreting the Koran in a way that justifies jahad with violence. Jahad is struggle... not violence. But the Islamic extremists have been very good at getting folks to follow their interpretations much the way our Christian Right brainwashes folks who go out and shoot doctors, thinking they are carrying out the wishes of God.

Not much difference.

Now, in order to get more folks to cross over from moderate Islam to extreme right wing Islam you have to have a clear cut *bad guy*, and I'm here to say they couldn't have hand picked a better one. A Christain Righter of the highest order...

And he's playing this thing out as if he were wired and programed by the Islamic fundamentalists...

Meanwhile, the moderate Christains and Moslums are gonna get their butts blown up in the cross fire...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: GUEST,Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 06:28 PM

Who's interests do this "war" serve? Who's "freedom" is really at stake? Why the so vehement assertion of "pride"? Where has all the money gone? Who actually was behind the Twin Towers bombing? Where are they?

My point is... The only assurance we have right now is that secrets are being kept, and the American people are over a barrel... along with the rest of the world. If this is a Democratic Country, and I believe it is... inevetably, it is up to us. Hooray for us!

ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 06:37 PM

Well if it's up to us, I say let's start a campaign for rational open discourse, non-authoritarian compassionate learning that emphasizes the development of personal judgement rather than blind taping,. and dialogues in search of the greatest good.

But let's not do all this in the middle of a shooting war -- that would be pretty dumb. If there are forcers of destruction being aimed at us, a tricky balance between negotiation and the ability to use necessary force is called for -- a subtle task, and not one I think M. Boosh is well-suited for.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 06:51 PM

Good posts all. McGrath, your last post was excellent I think, and you may well be right.

In regard to the U.S. involvement in the conflict, other than the fact that we were attacked, there is no doubt but that oil is a primary reason we are involved. Why? We need it. At the moment, we cannot function without it. So it is in our best interest to see that the oil fields where most of our oil comes from is in friendly hands. One way to assure that, is to march in and take over ourselves. Another way is to cultivate current leadership and that is what we have been doing. This often requires our crawling into bed with folks we would really rather not bed down with.

Such is the case in the conflict between Iraq and Iran. Funny, but when that was taking place, I don't recall any voices in the wilderness crying out because we sided with Saddam. At the time, as I pointed out earlier in the thread, or in another, it seemed to be the right thing to do.

Art, no one can say with any certainty that Saddam does not have weapons of mass destruction. I do believe that Bush, Cheney, et al, may know, but for any of us to say emphatically that he does not is, in my opinion, ludicrous. Of course if you work for the FBI or CIA, I might be wrong, but somehow, after reading your posts I don't believe that to be the case. As to whether or not we are at war, I simply cannot fathom anyone thinking we are not. It doesn't matter that the Congress hasn't declared war on the terrorists, THEY declared war on us! And I belive that they did that publicly in 1998! They attacked us! To argue semantics makes no sense to me at all. The last time war was officially declared was over fifty years ago!

Kendall, you must have done something right. You have a Republican daughter. Bless her! Does she take after her mother? :>) My brother is every bit as liberal as you, and we simply do not discuss politics. Keeps for friendlier family reunions.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 07:24 PM

My daughter has been bucking me since she was two!. I see Tony Blair has come out for us. Maybe they do know something we don't; but, in the case of the shrub, I doubt it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 07:24 PM

I never understand this thing about not declaring war, but waging it in any case. If war hasn't been declared, that means a state of war does not exist, and any use of armed force outside the context if immediate self-defence surely counts as piracy or something of that sort.

As I understand it, America has a procedure in its constitution for declaring war, so if being at war is seen as appropriate, what's the big deal about going about it the legal and proper way? Roosevelt didn't say at the time of Pearl Harbour "we've been attacked, so there is no need for us to declare war", did he?

And in any case there doesn't seem any evidence that Iraq was in any way involved in September 11, nor Iran, nor North Korea, nor whatever other countries are next in line.

If the checks and balances in the constitution about that kind of thing are for some reason no longer appropriate, surely the right thing to do is change it, not just ignore it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 08:01 PM

Surely, Kevin!

That's one of the points that perturbates the liberal half of this mishmash! Talk about the rule of law!!! What's the "law" on states of war, waging of?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: toadfrog
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 08:01 PM

At the time of Pearl Harbor, the United States did not declare war. There was something on the order of a resolution recognizing that a state of war existed.

You know, separate and apart from who encouraged Saddam in the past and whose fault it all was, and all that good stuff that does not make a whole lot of difference, it is an awfully good rule never to go to war unless it is really, really necessary. (Which it isn't this time; I don't care what Fox News says.) Even the "only world power" should think at least three times before going to war. You use up your resources that way. You burn up your money, kill off promising young persons. Undermine national morale, if not brilliantly successful. If successful, you breed jingoism and militarism (which may be one of the things our adminstration has in mind.) And more than anything else, a big country which throws its weight around too much breeds resentment and makes enemies. The French and Germans and Russians all had to learn that, in turn, from harsh experience. I had hoped we were above that.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Don Firth
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 08:59 PM

Toadfrog, on December 8th, 1941, in his famous "Day of Infamy" speech, Franklin D. Roosevelt ended with these words:— "I ask that the Congress declare that since the unprovoked and dastardly attack by Japan on Sunday, Dec. 7, a state of war has existed between the United States and the Japanese empire." [Emphasis mine] Full text here. That same day, Congress formally declared war. On December 11th, the following request and response was made.

That's the way the Constitution says it's supposed to be done, and that's the way Roosevelt did it.

There's something I've been wondering about for some time, and it gives me cold chills. I thought I might share my shivers.

Maybe Osama bin Laden is not the only one who wants a Holy War.

Those who were close to him say that Ronald Reagan was awed by the biblical prophecy of Armageddon, which he translated into a vision of nuclear hell on earth. After all, God told Noah, there would be "fire next time." Some maintain that he, like many Millenialists, looked forward to the time of the final confrontation between Good and Evil (the Battle of Armageddon) which would culminate in the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of the Kingdom of God on Earth. This, they said, tended to explain his "evil empire" speech and his generally confrontational stance when it came to international relations. One of the many manifestations of Reagan's Millenialist view was his appointment of James Watt as Secretary of the Interior. Watt believed that since the End Time was close at hand, it was God's intention that we should go ahead and use up all our natural resources. In fact, he was quite frank about this, which explains his policies.. But there was one problem with Reagan's idea of the Soviet Union as "the evil empire." Millenialists generally believe that the Final Battle will begin in the Middle East (TV preacher Garner Ted Armstrong used to beat on this theme incessantly, as do many of the current crop).

I don't know the nature of Bush's religious beliefs, but he frequently makes comments about being a religious man. Well, that's very good, if it manifests itself as a sense of ethics and morality and regard for one's fellow humans. But a few things tend to make me worry a bit. First, there is his "axis of evil" speech, which seems to be an echo of Reagan's "evil empire" speech. Second, Bush has appointed Gale Norton as his Secretary of the Interior. Gale Norton served under James Watt during the Reagan administration and shared his beliefs. Most environmental organizations regard Norton as a one-woman ecological disaster. This, once again, echoes Reagan. Third, if Bush's religious beliefs are similar to those Reagan held, the September 11th attacks, made by avowed non-Christians, might seem like a Sign from God. Since dealing with Osama bin Laden and his minions has proven to be like trying to nail Jell-O to the wall, Saddam Hussein makes a much more convenient Anti-Christ.

Just a wild speculation. But I wonder why Bush is so adamant about going to war with Iraq when many of his own advisors and so much of the rest of the world oppose it, maintaining that it will destabilize the Middle East and lead to a wider conflict? Well . . . maybe that is why.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 09:03 PM

McGrath:

Yeah, we can change the constitution and have many times strating with the Bill of Rights, which amounted to 10 changes made in, oh, about 1878 or so to the best of my feeble memory.

And we've ammended it another 17 times since the Bill of Rights to cover all kinhs of things such as outlawing slavery, allowing black folks to vote, later allowing women folks to vote. Heck, during one of out more dogmatic periods we outlawed alcolhol. But then afew years later, got the collective shakes and passed the 21st ammmendment bringing it back. Thank God for that one!

But back to the Bill of Rights. Heck, over the last 20 years we've pretty much ignored the heck out of 'em and that is perhaps why Bush thinks, "Aww, to heck with 'em entirely. Just paper!"

Yeah, we've been routinely violating the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th with confiscature of property of those arrested for crimes involving drugs. Now, I ain't into drugs much these days but when the government can take your house for a roach in an ashtray, that's going a but far... Talk about cruel and unusual (8th)!!!

Now we have with these detainments some major 5th and 6th ammendment issues and with Tom Ridge turning citizens into spies and checkin' the internet for folks like a lot of us here for subversives, we have a host of Bill of Rights ammendments takin' a beating, the 1st (freedom of speech and expression) on the ropes. And when they've had enough of us and bust into out houses and take us away then the 4th (probable cause), 5th (fue process), 6th (speedy trial by an impartial jury... ha!) and the 8th (cruel and unusual punishment) will get their time at the whipping post.

So, yeah, the so called war powers act (Article 1, Section 8) is just likie the rest of the constitution. Its there if ya' need it but heck with it if ya' can trample it into the dirt like they've allready shown they are perfectly willing to do...

Well, as much as I hate the NRA, I gotta commend them for keeping the fire lit over the 2nd ammendment, though I doubt seriously that the founding fathers envisioned kids walkin' the streets with the nasty guns that are reafily available...

But that's for another thread...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: michaelr
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 09:07 PM

Just because past Presidents have found legal loopholes that "allowed" them to wage "police actions" against Vietnam, Korea, Grenada etc., and just because past Congresses have rolled over and played dead when confronted with such shenanigans, we should not view this sort-of half-legal quasi-warfare as the acceptable way to go, Doug; the fact that precedents exist has no bearing on legality.

And it dismays me to keep hearing folks saw on about "Saddam kicked out the weapons inspectors". He did not! The US and UN pulled them out when it was politically convenient to do so, as has been explained here before.

Has anyone listened to what our top guy on that inspection team has to say on the subject?

Michael


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 09:53 PM

The ecomomy is in the tank. War stimulates the economy.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: NicoleC
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 10:40 PM

Governments do have a tendency to pull out the war card whenever they want to stimulate the economy, and a cursory review of the Bush family portfolio shows that they will profit hugely from war.

War stimulates the economy for a select handful of businesses and their investors who benefit from it. Military contractors. The oil industry and other energy companies. Media. People who sell pro-war t-shirts. Financial firms that lend money to the government.

Unfortunately, when energy prices skyrocket and commodities become scarce, the vast majority of the public suffers, and the inevitable recession following a war hits them even harder when they lose their jobs as well. Then, in the post-war slumped, big businesses who made bundles of cash during the war will whine and demand more tax cuts to boost their sagging bottom lines, and once again, the average American will pay the difference whether said company uses those tax cuts to keep employees working or spends it on another extravangant multi-million dollar bonus for their top execs.

It is shameful that the administration's domestic response (aside from the repeal of civil liberties) to 9/11 revolved around telling people to go out and buy something, instead of suggesting that they do something good for themselves, the country and the environment. Like "10 Things You Can Do to Reduce Our Dependence on Middle-Eastern Oil."


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 10:49 PM

Good point, Nicole. Ya' know... if we could reduce our oil comsumption by 15% we wouldn't need to import one drop if Iraqi oil.

But then Junior and Co. would have to take a 15% paycut!

Nah, they'd just up the pump prices and make even more with less investment.

What the heck got into my thinkin' there, anyway?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: artbrooks
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 11:10 PM

Doug, if you'll check my last post, I didn't say Mr. Hussain and his thugs had no WMDs. What I said was "there is no evidence, let alone proof, that they have ANY weapons of mass destruction". Saying that there is no proof that they have any is hardly the same as saying, conclusively, that they don't. And no, I don't work for either the CIA or FBI, and my top secret clearence has been lapsed since 1995. I am an Army Command and General Staff College graduate and have degrees in history and economics. Most important, I follow the news and refuse to accept somebody else's interpretation of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 03 Sep 02 - 11:36 PM

Michaelr: I beg to differ. I think Saddam kicked the inspectors out of Iraq. I dont' know why there is so much hemming and hawing about who is to blame for the cessation of inspections anyway. Saddam is clearly in violation of the U. N. Accord because he agreed, at the end of Desert Storm, to allow unfettered inspections. He reneged. Seems pretty clear to me. I do think it would be wise for Bush to go back to the U.N. and take another shot at requiring Saddam to allow the inspectors back in and allow them to look wherever they wish and at whatever they wish. If he doesn't agree, and there is ample proof he is planning the kind of mischief the administration thinks he is, then go get him. His offer to allow a congressional delegation in to make the inspections is laughable.

Someone earlier asked, why should there be inspections in the first place? It was a condition Saddam agreed to in order to stop Desert Storm from going on into Bagdad and killing his sorry ass.

Nicole: Do you REALLY believe Bush would start a war only to line his own pockets with money? If you do, I think that is sad.

The fact that people DID go out and buy consumer goods their tax refund is greatly responsible for the economy's improvment. That and the tax reduction.

Telling folks to save oil isn't going to get the job done. Americans still want to drive their SUVs, pickups, big cars, etc., and consider the right to do so, almost as important as preserving their civil rights.

I just saw an interview with Alan Dershowitz (sp?) on TV. Now no one can point the finger at him and say, "Conservative." Yet, when asked about the loss of civil liberties so many of you are concerned about he said, (paraphrasing) "there are times during national emergencies when it is necessary to revise our civil rights to suit the situation." Not an exact quote, but that was the gist of what he said. I agree, and I never thought in a hundred years I would ever agree with him on anything.

I was around during WW II, which was the last declared war as Don pointed out, the Korean War, Vietnam, Desert Storm, and I do not remember any debate about the formality of declaring war. As I recall, there was only one single vote in the Congress against declaring war against Germany and Japan in 1941.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 12:47 AM

Doug,

With all due respect, the economy was not stimulated by Bush's magnaminious return of small amounts of money to taxpayers. It was abread and circuses gesture. The fact that our budget WAS balanced and is now again running a deficit while the national debt continues to swell is not offset by his generosity. It was not meant as an economic stimulus but as a PR token.

As for his tax policies causing the economy's improvement, I don't know if you have noticed but the Dow is sitting around 8300. It hasn't been so anemic since Jimmy Cartter yielded the throne. The economy reflects, among other things, confidence in money and in markets.

However I woudl disagree with Nicole that economies inevitably slump post war. The boom post WWII brought us suburbs, refrigerators, the electric home, the family Chevy, the transistor radio and the popularization of tennis and television, the 45 rpm and 33 1/3 RPM LP record, stereos, the Weavers, Pete Seeger and the seeds of the Beat, Hip and Flowerchild generations.

The post Gulf War boom brought us the Internet, PDAs, desktop computers in bounding numbers, optical technology, HUMVEEs and HDTV, USB and Firewire and wireless networks, cellphones, E-Bay and Amazon.

Just to keep both perspectives in view here.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: NicoleC
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 01:35 AM

Doug, if Geo. W. would indulge in insider trading with Harken Energy, perjure himself over the Waltrip/McNeil funeral home scam, went AWOL for a year while supposedly serving with the 187th Tactical Recon (Alabama National Guard), and suddenly dump oil stock right before the Gulf War while Daddy was in office (no coincidence there?), do I believe that he is capable of starting a war to linehis own pockets?

Hell, yes. Is he? I have no idea. Boy, I hope not. But I also don't think his code of ethics has suddenly taken a 180 now that he's in the White House.

Amos, WWII is kind of an exception, but it's the one we still judge war economy by. In the aftermath of WWII, although the vast majority of women lost their jobs when the GI's came home, it also socially opened up a huge segment of today's workforce. Women didn't flock to factories right away, but the potential workforce was effectively doubled; reducing the wages they had to pay to an individual, a shock to the average American family from which we've never recovered. How many familes can get by on one income now?

Everything about economics is arguable; you'll never find two economists that agree. We had a postwar economic surge after the Gulf, but was that due to the war, or due to the growing popularity of the internet and it's power to reduce business costs? The internet was a military project started in 1957, not a Gulf War benefit. Most of those technical advances you mentioned were not products of the Gulf War, but the generous spending on scientific research from 1940 to about 1990. I guess you could say it's a Cold War benefit, so maybe I'm wrong :)

Either way, the post-Gulf economy a short-lived surge, and we've fallen back to pre-war levels. Like other wars, brought short-term economic gains, but recession in it's aftermath. Vietnam is a prime example.

Doug, so what if people want to drive their SUVs? I'm talking about simple measures that cater to self-interest. Proper tire inflation (which hardly anyone has, because the owner's manual doesn't usually tell you the correct pressure) can increase gas mileage by 2-3 mpg. What a savings! There's a great collection of war posters at: http://www.state.nh.us/ww2/index.html
What a difference in attitude! ('Cept the "loose lips" stuff, but at least they weren't asking you to spy on your neighbor.)

Lord, if you think that that silly $300 tax ADVANCE (not refund) helped the economy, your IRA must be doing way the hell better than mine.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 06:32 AM

Were the weapons inspectors expelled, or were they withdrawn?

Here's a timeline from the guardian:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,768571,00.html

April 3 1991 UN security council passes resolution 687, dictating terms of Gulf war ceasefire. Requires Iraq to declare and destroy weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile delivery systems. Also establishes UN special commission (Unscom) to monitor and verify elimination of weapons May 1991 Unscom begins inspections in Iraq

February 1992 Security council condemns lack of full compliance

July 1992 Unscom personnel try to enter agriculture ministry in Baghdad without warning for inspection. They are blocked and begin 24-hour observation. Forced to leave country after being attacked by mobs in street

July 1993 Unscom prevented from installing monitoring cameras at two missile test stands. Government backs down under threat of international military action

June 1994 Unscom destroys chemical warfare agents

June 1996 Inspectors denied access to sites associated with Republican Guard and Special Republican Guard, believed to be involved in concealment of weapons. Iraq denies access to four of six sites, saying they are presidential areas. Iraq condemned in August for gross violations of UN resolutions

June 1997 Iraq again blocks Unscom from certain sites

October 1997 Iraq refuses to deal with US personnel working for Unscom

November 1997 Resolution 1137 condemns continued violation by Iraq

November 1997 Russians secure return of Unscom

January 1998 Iraq continues to block inspection teams

October 31 1998 Iraq ends all cooperation with Unscom

December 16 1998 Special commission withdraws staff from Iraq, Unscom disbanded

December 17 1999 Resolution 1284 creates UN monitoring, verification and inspection commission (Unmovic) to replace Unscom. Iraq rejects resolution

March 1 2000 Hans Blix assumes post of Unmovic executive chairman

November 2000 Deputy prime minister Tariq Aziz rejects new weapons inspection proposals

March/May 2002 UN secretary general Kofi Annan unable to persuade Iraqi representatives to allow inspectors' return

July 5-6 Talks in Vienna between Annan and Iraq's foreign minister, Naji Sabri, fail.

July 25 2002 Sabri says any agreement must include route towards lifting sanctions, ending threats of regime change, and end to no-flight zones

August 2002 Iraq invites chief weapons inspector to Baghdad for talks on resuming inspections

***

So the weapons inspectors were withdrawn, but only after repeated refusal to co-operate. Part of Iraq's premise for nonco-operation was that the US were using the inspection teams in order to spy - a claim that turned out to be true, which is why they were particularly opposed to their being any Americans on the inspection team.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 09:41 AM

Wouldn't it be great if there could be an agreement that all states open themselves to full and fair weapons inspection, so that any weapons of mass destruction, and preparations to make and deploy them, could be a matter of independently verified public record.

Once countries like the USA and the UK had signed up to that then it'd be fair to come down heavy on places like Iraq if they didn't fall in line.

That's a serious suggestion mind, nothing ironical about it. I can't see why any democratic country should be shy about letting its citizens know what is being done with their taxes.

(After all the first people to use poison gas against the Kurds were the British back in the 1920s, and the USA used Agent Orange freely in Vietnam, with continuing appalling results - birth defects, cancer...)

"War is good for business" Thirty-fourth Ferengi Rules of Acquisition.

"Peace is good for business" Thirty Fifth Ferengi Rule of Acquisition.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 09:50 AM

Agreed McGrath - and not forgetting that there is only one country to have used nuclear weapons so far. I certainly wouldn't be surprised if the US had the biggest capability for chemical and biological attack that they are not telling their citizens about. But ofcourse that would only be for defence purposes...


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: NicoleC
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 10:52 AM

I don't think that's silly McGrath; I totally agree. The 1972 Germ Warfare Treaty says just that, but it has no teeth and can't really be enforced. There have been international calls to revise the Convention adding enforcement protocol, including major efforts on the part of George Sr. Both Bush Sr. and Clinton recieved flack from the pharmeuceutical industry because they don't want their property inspected.

BWC treaty finally added compliance measures. In July 2001, George Jr. has spurned the convention altogether and refused to comply with it, stating that since the compliance measures were inadequate, the US wouldn't ratify the treaty at all.

Ironically, the strains of several of the biological agents found in Iraq were identical to the US-created versions, meaning somehow Iraq got them from us. The US exports biological media, like anthrax, around the world.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 10:53 AM

Some really good arguments here and I would agree, as I stated in an earlier post. Sure, Bush, has oil on his mind and the fact that he and Cheney are both oilmen should be a cause for some "hmmmmmmmm, what's this all about" thinking.

Also, enter the "military industrial complex" that my friend Dougie and others don't like to hear me talk about and thinks get even stinkier. These folks have been supported very well from the working classes tax dollars for the last 50 years. They've always had some "evil empire" or renigade country to keep them in business. And these folks spend alot of dough on politicans. Why? Hmmmmmmm? Ain't rocket science. If there were no "bad guys" they'd, as they may be doing now, invent some.

Lastly, there is one motivation that that comes to mind. Bush desperately needs to find something to "Legitimize" his Presidency. I think by now we all know that he didn't actually win the election. The facts are in and it shows a well thought out Jim Crow effort on the part of Bush's brother, Jeb, and Katherine Harris to disfranchize some 57,700 voters who were disporportionately black. And Bush knows this.So a war with Iraq is something he wants very badly. To him, it gives him legitamcy while keeping that sleeping dog (the election) under the porch.

Problem is, the American people, thru internet and emails and letter writing, I think have gotten the government's attention. As bad as Bush wants and needs this war, he has positioned himself nicely between the proverbial rock and hard place hopefully just end up being served a large slice of Crow Pie instead.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 11:13 AM

"military industrial complex" - a phrase coined by that well known liberal fellow traveller President Eisenhower, when he warned against it as a threat to democracy in th USA. It was tiny in those days, mind. compared to today.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 12:02 PM

No-one seems to mind the fruits of that complex, though -- advanced technologies on every front. Let me remind you that one of the keystones of the complex is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency which was responsible for the development of the Internet (with support from Al Gore) and made it possible for a lot of good to happen, including the Mudcat.

That said, I could not agree more with the resurrection of Ike's warning. In many ways the M.I.C. is a bloated monster. IF anyone were to closely examine the value gained for money spent in services from TRW and Lockheed Martin, to name two key participants, there would be a sky-high scandal rippling through every administration back to Herbert Hoover!

A

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 12:37 PM

President Eisenhower was a Liberal? What are you smoking?

My definition of war: The Ultimate Failure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 01:00 PM

Methinks it was a touch of irony. . . .

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 01:42 PM

Harlow is in England, kendall.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 01:45 PM

Kendall is in Maine, KEvin! :>)

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 01:48 PM

Actually it wasn't wholly irony either - there was the implication that there appear to be people around in positions of power and influence in the USA who probably would class Eisenhower as a liberal at the least.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: curmudgeon
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 02:50 PM

Lar Daley, America First Party Presidential candidate in 1956 declared Eisenhower to be a card carrying Communist. Daley dressed in an Uncle Sam suit as well.

Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 03:06 PM

If Eisenhower was a liberal, I'm a Martian. And, I know where Harlow is.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 03:37 PM

The default mode of communication round here is ironic, is what I meant. If I actually mean precisely what I say I tend to feel a need to signal that, rather then the other way round.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 04:51 PM

Bobert: When are you going to put a cork in that tired old argument that Bush didn't win the election? Don't you know if there were any teeth in that argument, Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, to say nothing of Al Gore, would be on that like flies on you know what.

Is it reasonable to say that even if Saddam DOES have weapons of mass destruction including a nuclear bomb, hydrogen bomb, time bomb, stink bomb, anthrax bomb, whatever, the majority of you would be in favor of just letting him go his own way, and do whatever he wants to do? Is that what you think we should do?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Steve in Idaho
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 05:19 PM

Here's what James Webb, former Marine and Secretary for the Navy under Reagan, had to say Clik here .

Makes more sense than anything I've read so far.

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 05:38 PM

The thing is, if Saddam does have some kind of weapon of mass destruction, like any number of other governments, including some with human rights records as bad as or worse than his, is he more likely to use them if Iraq isn't attacked or is attacked.

Like a lot of other people in presidential palaces round the world, Saddam is a nasty piece of work - but the other thing he has in common with the other nasty pieces of work is that he probably wants to survive, and stay in power (well, staying in power must seem pretty vital for him if he wants to survive, given the enemies he has made.) There are no indications whatsoever that he shares the dedicated suicidal attitude of the people who carried out September 11.

Just what is it that makes Iraq a more suitable target than China, for example? A worse record on human rights and expansionism? Apart of course from the fact that China definitely does have weapons of mass destruction.

There was a thought provoking cartoon in today's Guardian. A bunch of generals sitting around maps of Iraq, all looking highly taken aback when one of them blurts out "What if he has got weapons of mass destruction?"


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 05:59 PM

James Webb makes more sense than anyone currently on the Hill that I have seen.

This is dicey brinkmanship with high risks and only problematic benefits on the outcome side...

The UN is the right force to send in to Iraq, if the situation is as grim as Bushie baby would suggest without substantiating it... it is possible that he WILL substantiate it next week, but it is still the best choice of forces. Not the US Army, except as an adjunct to a United Nations action taken with plenary consent.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: curmudgeon
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 07:01 PM

Doug,

You stated that "...Tom Daschle, Dick Gephardt, Joe Lieberman, to say nothing of Al Gore, would be on that like flies on you know what. " While not perfect, they are most assuredly not flies, but I'm not sure I "know Iwhat" Bush really is aside from being a de facto president, certainly not de jure.

This man, more ill advised than Aethelred the Redeless, has shown a total disregard for the Constitution on more than one count. His belief that he can engage this country in war withouth so much as a by-your-leave from Congress, puts him in league with Charles I who,tried to levy war without parliamentary consent. Look at where that got him.

At the same time, Bushcroft is holding American citizens incommunicado for alleged offenses. The Constitution clearly requires the "...privelege of the writ of habeas corpus" be untouched except in the case of "..rebellion or invasion..."

By declaring these same citizens to be "enemy combatants," Bushcroft has again affronted the Constitution"s absolute prohibition of bills of attainder.

While it is most important for us to exercise our rights of dissent in this unilateral attempt to overthrow a foreign sovereign power, we must be more diligent with regard to this administration's attempt to cast aside those principles upon which this nation is founded.

To paraprhase B. Franklin, Those who would give up liberty for security deserve neither -- Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 07:30 PM

Bush was on the evening news, and, he said he would go to congress, and to our allies. Maybe there is hope for him. (And us)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 07:53 PM

Doug: Tell ya' what, mu friend, I'll make the same offer to you as I made to Tony. There just happens to be an American journalist who just happens to have the goods on Jeb and Katherine. Copies of memos, interviews, film footage, the whole nine yards. But can he work in this country? Heck no, the ruling class is scared, ahhhh, well they're real scared of this guy. You see that no matter what, Dem or Repub they don't want the "system" questioned becuase if the American people ever figure out that the governemnt is as rigged a TV wrestling, then the ruling class will be ousted.

So, Greg Palist, American, works for the Guardian and the BBC. Now he has written a book entitled "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy" which details not only the Jim Crow stuff that Jeb and Kate pulled off but will provide you a climpse of just how controlling the ruling class is.

So Doug, here's the deal. You read this book and I'll read any book that you want me to, The we'll have fun comparing notes. How about it? And no cheatin' 'cause I'm gonna test you and you can test me on whatever you want me to read... Deal?

Now I will warn you that if you are not prepared to find out just how shady your guy is then you might want to stand pat. Just like Bush.... "For God's sake, fon't let *that dog* out from under the porch." Junior told an advisor.

And you thing Tom Dascle is going to blow the whistle and risk costing his party a couple hindref million dollars from the ruling class. Hmmmmmmmmm? Think about it. Those guys all know the rules...

Bobert

Deal?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 08:01 PM

Nat Hentoff has written for New York's Village Voice since I was a lad.

Here a clip on his current piece, distributed by Declan Mccullough:





   Nat Hentoff
   General Ashcroft's Detention Camps

   Time to Call for His Resignation
   September 4 - September 10, 2002

      Jonathan Turley is a professor of constitutional and
   public-interest law at George Washington University Law School in D.C.
   He is also a defense attorney in national security cases and other
   matters, writes for a number of publications, and is often on
   television. He and I occasionally exchange leads on civil liberties
   stories, but I learn much more from him than he does from me.
   
   For example, a Jonathan Turley column in the national edition of the
   August 14 Los Angeles Times ("Camps for Citizens: Ashcroft's Hellish
   Vision") begins:
   
   "Attorney General John Ashcroft's announced desire for camps for U.S.
   citizens he deems to be 'enemy combatants' has moved him from merely
   being a political embarrassment to being a constitutional menace."
   Actually, ever since General Ashcroft pushed the U.S. Patriot Act
   through an overwhelmingly supine Congress soon after September 11, he
   has subverted more elements of the Bill of Rights than any attorney
   general in American history.

   [...]


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: curmudgeon
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 08:20 PM

Many thanks, Amos, for posting this link. It so ably describes the potential for domestic terrorism in the guise of patriotism

American Patriot Act; do you remember what the last refuge of the scoundrel is?

Office of Homeland Security; what's the real difference between "homeland" and "fatherland?"

Tom


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 08:42 PM

Thanks. 'mudgeon.!

I think this article on Lieberman's Thought Police is also of significance here.

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Don Firth
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 08:46 PM

I definitely agree with Norton1 about the James Webb article. It gives a good overview of what's really at stake. And the Nat Hentoff article is enough to really give one the creeps. There is the old saying that "those who will not learn from history are doomed to repeat it."

The following demonstrates my level of trust in governments in general, and has nothing at all to do with partisan politics. In this, I share the same misgivings the Founding Fathers had when they wrote the Constitution.

How to Build a Monster

Pre-WWII Germany was a democracy. The way Adolph Hitler managed it—building a nearly invincible military machine and gaining absolute control at home—was by mounting a campaign to frighten the German people with threats of imminent danger posed by both external and internal enemies (like communists and Jews), blaming all of the nation's problems on "them," and at the same time, invoking fanatical patriotism. Then he raised the fear level and gained verisimilitude by getting some of his goons to stage a few bits of domestic sabotage and blamed it on communists. Duly frightened, the people then gave Hitler free rein to do whatever he deemed necessary to keep the nation secure. At which point, as some of you may recall, things got a little unpleasant for a whole lot of people.

Now, I'm not suggesting that GWB is any kind of Hitler. Nor am I suggesting that 9/11 was some devious domestic plot. But when I hear the policies that Bush and his minions want to institute, it tends to make me a bit apprehensive. I really don't like the direction the current administration is trying to take this country.

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 09:53 PM

Steve/Norton, thanks for the link to the James Webb piece - all the more forceful for being penned by a Reaganite.

Watching the anniversary stuff I am reminded that in the aftermath of WTC, the whole world felt for America. Never has such an abundance of goodwill been squandered with such profligacy. Tonight I watched, astonished, as Powell was booed off the stage in Joburg. Nothing personal, I'm sure. The message was aimed at the US administration, in which Powell, ironically, is far from the worst.

Doug defends the Bushes against accusations of base motives. Maybe he's right. But you can bet that Clinton would never have led America to this nadir. And Clinton would have had the guts to go to Joburg, where he would have commanded respect, for all his personal failings.

Doug, I don't see why you hold out for this being a war. Surely the WTC atrocity, perpetrated by terrorists representative of no government, were criminals, albeit on a larger scale than we have previously seen? The crazy rhetoric by which it is called a war will come to haunt America - not least at Guantanamo Bay, where generous portions of humble pie will have to be consumed before that monumental fiasco is finally untangled.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: NicoleC
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 10:20 PM

Anyone catch the interviews with the Armed Services and Intelligence Committie Heads in NPR thing evening? It was nominally about GW's suggestion today that he would approach Congress and the UN about Iraq, but they wandered afield, of course. Both stated that they were not aware of any evidence that Saddam posed an imminent threat, although it is believed that he has WMDs, but that the intelligence community was quite certain that he WOULD use them if we attacked, since he had nothing left to lose. If anyone knows of solid evidence, it would probably be these two. There is a chance that GW has some evidence they don't, but that seem pretty unlikely. Gramm (Intelligence) mentioned that the deterrent effect that has worked so well with N. Korea, which has both the weapons and the delivery mechanism, seems like it would work fine in this case.

Another commentator brought up the issue that having made the threats, GW is in danger of losing his far-right war-hawk supporters if he *doesn't* attack. I hate to gamble lives on GW's desire to save face.

I wonder if GW ever plans to ask the American public if they are willing to lose a few more thousand, maybe million, civilian lives for the sake of this war when Saddam retaliates by sending a nice package of American weaponized anthrax to a crowded city like NYC or Boston or Atlanta?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 04 Sep 02 - 10:36 PM

You are right, Nicole, as per usual. Junior has painted himself into the corner and now...ahhh... it's either try to salvage something or just look the fool that he is. And if he tries to salvage something, he will be a bigger fool. If this were chess, he'd be just two moves from being checkmated, which doesn't say too much for him since so far his only opponent is himself....

"Better to remain silent and thought a fool than to speak and remove all doubt"....

Couldn't happen to a nicer guy...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 12:58 AM

there is a time peace and time for war


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 01:46 AM

Wow! Lots of material to respond to. Ebbie, if you are reading this, I'm sorry I cannot respond with reams of rhetric, must be brief.

McGrath: Iraq has oil, China does not. I do wish folks would quit quoting from the Guardian as though it was the epitamy of truth. Were I to quote from a Rush Limbaugh newsletter, I would be hung and quartered, but those who quote from the Guardian expect that it should be taken as unimpeachable truth. I don't think that is so.

Amos: So the U.N. goes in. Who will supply the majority of the troops and equipment? Tahiti? Puerto Rico?

Curmudgeon: Be that as it may, George W. Bush is the president.

Kendall: "Maybe there is hope for him?" I'm going to tell your daughter what you wrote!

Bobert: Right! A giant conspiracy! Your offer would be tempting under different circumstances, but at the moment I am reading Einstein's Theory of Relativity and it requires all of my time.

Amos: So Hentiff wants Ashcroft to resign? Lots of folks do. I respect Jonathan Turley, but if something is wrong, sue, and let the courts decide what is right.

Fionn: The terrorists declared war on the United States in 1998. Duh! So assumeing the terrorists are the fuckor, and we are the fuckee, what are we supposed to do? Send flowers? I don't think so.

Nicole: No, I think GWB is trying to PREVENT a "few thousand, maybe a million civilian lives (being killed)." That really is the point of the whole thing!

Bobert: You do keep croping up. No, Bush has not painted himself into a corner. The Democrats are using that tactic (no, I'm not calling you a Democrat so don't get excited)for political purposes, but when the chips are down, if Bush decides to invade Iraq, I'll bet you a penny sucker most of the Democrats in Congress will say, "Right one!."

I feel a bit like an Africanized Bee protecting my hive, and it is late at night, so would you folks take a deep breath, and agree to attack me tomorrow? I really need the rest.

Thank you, and goodnight.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 12:58 PM

Doug: Well, Good Mornin' to ya, my friend. Hope you're not too worn out from yesterday. Looks like you had a purdy big day hangin' in for your guy. And thanks fir not callin' me a Democrat 'cause you know that get's ol' Bobert real cranky.

So you're reading Einsein's "Law of Relativity"? Well, I'm hear to tell ya, without giving too much away, that the ending is a little disappointing. Well, that's the way I found it to be. Heck, you'll probably love it.

Speaking of Einstein, didn't he say that "A problem cannot be solved with the same consciouness from which it was created"? Well, I know for certain he is creadited with saying, "Insanity is repeating a behavior expecting different results." I kind of think both of those thoughts are relavent here, especially when one considers the fact that Bush's first thoughts in solving problems involve violence. Nevermind. Just rambling...

I gotta go turn some wrenches, Doug.

Later.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 01:26 PM

There you go, Bobert! Now you've spoiled the whole thing for me. I've been on the first page for three months now and I haven't got to the part where he might have said those things you quoted.

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 01:35 PM

"Iraq has oil, China does not." So, Doug, this is really all about a cynical use of the terrible events of September 11 as a way of getting hold of another country's resources and making a lot of money for the people in the oil business?

That's a degree of cynicism about the people in control of the USA government that takes my breath away a bit; though looking back over the decades maybe its right after all. So often it has turned out that what seemed like paranoid fanbtasies about that kind of thing have been the truth, or have even fallen short of the full truth.

But then you suggest that "GWB is trying to PREVENT a "few thousand, maybe a million civilian lives (being killed)". And that suggests a completely different and rather less cynical explanation, and what's the fact that Iraq has more oil than China got to do with that?

I've still to hear any serious evidence that Iraq is any more of a danger to the rest of the world than a number of other states, including some with good relations with teh USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 01:41 PM

Doug:

The hard fact is we will be on the front edge if the U.N. takes military action against Iraq as a rogue state. But the world of difference will be that it will be the community of nations versus a rogue state under a process of international law, rather than a unilateral invasion by the United States as an act of undocumented "preemption". Bush keeps calling Saddam "a threat to America" but he won't say plainly why he says so. What's a thinking person to make of that? Paranoia, rabble-rousing, dramatizing his father's regime, or worse? It isn't good leadership to harp on about an enemy of great magnitude based on a subjective opinion, and he offers precious little else! WHY?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 02:17 PM

Add to what Amos has said, Iraq may have WMD's but no real way to get them where they would like to get them. At best, what they have would be like hunting deer with No.12 bird shot.

Their scariest delivery system are the few SCUD's they may have, which they still don't know how to steer. Yeah, they're dangerous, but to whom? Iraq doesn't even know. Yeah, they'll shoot them if attacked but the danged things, for all they know, may turn around and blow up on them.

Then they have the L-29's. Real scarey drones, just filled with anthrax and nasty stuff. These planes are drones and fly real slow. And they're not easy to hide and the US beyond any showdow of a doubt knows just where they are and should Iraq launch one or two they're gonna get their butts covered with anthrax as the f-16's take em' out.

Then they have, and you'll hear Bush talking about these things as if its new info. a helicopter mounted sparyer (the "Zubaidy") and a "drop tank" that mounts on a F-1 Mirages. Problem is that if these aircraft get anywhere close to the "no fly zones" they're history and agian the anthrax ends up falling on Saddam and Co.

Now Bush is going to use all kinds of words to descibe the threat to the US when he talks about Iraq at the UN but Bobert's money is that you won't hear any evidence of Saddam having anything else. Oh yeah, he'll huuf and puff and try to make these things sound real scarey. You know, kind of like what they have to do before Mike Tyson fights anymore. But guess where Mike ends up on fight night?

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 02:24 PM

IF Saddam gets a nuclear device you can bet your ass that Isreal will take it out. Remember that nuclear "power plant"? They didn't debate endlessly whether or not to put it out of business.

To quote a 1960's saying; "Fighting for peace is like balling for chastity." War IS the ultimate failure.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Bobert
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 02:30 PM

When I grow up, I want to be just like you Kendall. You can say so much with so few words...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: DougR
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:20 PM

No, McGrath, it is not about our taking over the oil fields, it partially is about keeping our oil supply coming though. I still believe the major reason there is talk of war is because Saddam is a dangerous person with dangerous weapons.

Suppose some president had settled things with Hitler before he had a chance to invade Poland. Wouldn't the world have been a better place with WWII?

DougR


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Don Firth
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:52 PM

(sigh)

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:53 PM

But what indications are there that he's going to invade Poland, or the local equivalent?

The Kuwait business was very much on the same lines as the Argentine adventure in the Falklands/Malvinas, or the Chinese in Tibet - an attempt to re-incorporate what was seen as a chunk of the homeland that had been detached to suit the needs of the foreign imperialists. And the war with Iran - in a real sense that was Iraq acting as an agent of America against Iran at a time when Iran was seen as the main enemy. A willing agent, seizing what must have looked like an opportunity, and to reduce the real possibility that there might be a popular pro-Iranian radical Islamic revolution in Iraq.

I'm sure that, if the possibility of expansion of Iraq's regional power dropped into his lap, Saddam would be only too happy to take it. But there's no reason to see that happening. And that assumed appetite for aggrandisement is something which is present in a very large number of regimes around the world, at all times.

And if it's really true that acquiring Iraqi oil is a reason to invade the country, how would that be anything other than another example of that assumed appetite?


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 04:57 PM

And ain't this thread getting a bit long to load? I people want to continue it I suggest a part 3 is started. I won't do it myself, because I started the part 2. (But remember, even a thread of 40 or 50 posts keeps some people from being able to open them.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 05:08 PM

Bobert, sorry to disallusion you, but, I havn't yet grown up myself! Thanks anyway.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: kendall
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 05:10 PM

that should be disillusion


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 06:02 PM

To keep "our" oil coming through, Doug? Who says it's yours, or does America own the world? And you can't send flowers to the terrorists till you find out where they are. (Clue: try looking in the USA. I doubt if there are any in Guantanamo Bay.)

But you've changed your position a fair bit, Doug, so I shouldn't be arguing with you. It even looks like Bush himself is beginning to heed rational argument just a little bit.


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 07:03 PM

Once again: This thread is getting a bit long to load? I people want to continue it I suggest a part 3 is started. I won't do it myself, because I started the part 2. (But remember, even a thread of 40 or 50 posts keeps some people from being able to open them.)


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Subject: RE: BS: Another Bush War (2)
From: Amos
Date: 05 Sep 02 - 07:49 PM

Oh, OK, OK!!

Mosey on over to Part Three boys. This part of the barn is full up!!!


A



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