September 17, 2002
An Anti-War Dialogue

For those who aren't aware, I am an Animeboards Moderator. One of the reasons why Magnifisyncopathological exists is because I found myself argueing often in the Members Only area with other ABers. These arguements were almost always of a political nature. I wasn't aware bloggers did this kind of point-by-point refutation style of discussion until late last year when we had the infamous Robert Fisk incident, giving birth to the term, "Fisking."

What I'll do occasionally is take the debate's text off AB and transplant it here. The folks I'm argueing against won't be identified unless they ask me to. I'll keep the discussions off the main body for now since they'd monopolize the whole screen. Understand that these arguements grow long, with some posts approaching 22,000 characters. This first discussion totals over 9,000 words and is 25 pages long when pasted into Word. You may want to get comfortable. *laugh*

I apologize for any sloppy HTML...I'm viewing the source of the thread and copying only the text of the conversation and it's internal formatting, not how the tables and CSS around it looks. I may make a mistake here and there. Please let me know if something looks off. is my debate in a Members Only thread regarding a war in Iraq. This took place over the last few days, starting on the September 11th anniversary. it is ongoing as of 1AM central Texas time on 9/17. I'll post a followup if anything warrants it.

My Opening Statement

Read this.

I fully support invading Iraq. If you believe that government should be democratic and that citizens should have inalienable rights such as freedom of speech, press, religion, and economic prosperity, then you should support invading Iraq as well.

Bush said from the very beginning that he wanted to halt global terrorism in it's tracks and that the battle would be long and would reach many countries if they didn't change their totalitarian and repressive ways. Iraq is a convienent target. I believe we shouldn't stop their and put just as much pressure on North Korea and Iran. In Iran's case, things are falling apart for it's rulers that a democratic revolution is very likely to happen if we show our resolve and put a stop to the Iraqi government.

I don't care whether Bush & Co. are doing this to avenge the previous two administration's failures, whether they are doing this to open up more energy markets, or whether they're doing it to divert attention from the economy (which hardly needs more government meddling!). What matters is that when we kick that bastard out of there, we fix the system and give the Iraqis a chance to choose freedom and enjoy it.

Protecting our (and the world's) asses from weapons of mass destruction is a great idea and I think it's absolutely worth doing. But the real goal should be to free those people.

First Response to Others

Please bear with me. This will be a long post.

Says H.:
i am against it for the moment, and the reason is this, the proof they released isnt substantial enough to warrent trying to blow up Iraq.

This may be pedantic, but we aren't trying to blow up Iraq. We want to remove the government from power.

White House HTML file containing the basics of the American case against Iraq. And it's even done from a you-broke-the-UN-rules-repeatedly viewpoint.
Says N.:
To be quite honest, I don't think Iraq will use any kind of weapon even if they do have it. Maybe I give Saddam too much credit, but merely having the parts to construct a weapon is enough make America trip all over itself. The man isn't stupid enough to use it, yet he can't be trusted with it.

That's the thing, however. The whole reason why we had the Cold War was due to what was called MAD: Mutually Assured Destruction. The Soviet Union knew that if they launched against us, we had the firepower to wipe them as easily off the Earth as they did us. There is no point in hastening your own death. Since neither side wanted that to happen, we were stuck with a nuclear stalemate and fought our battles through intermediaries and satellites.

So what happens if Saddam gets a nuke? He suddenly gains nuclear bargaining power. The rest of the world now has to step lightly around him and not offend his sensibilities. He now has considerable leverage in regional affairs, from Palestine to Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia to Iran. Is it desireable in any way to give him those chances? Not only that, but he now has a way to strike other countries he has a gruge against through more-than-willing terrorists. He can simply hand over the bomb (which need not be larger than a simple moving truck and would likely be small enough to fit in a car trunk) to a terrorist outfit and let them do their worst with it. He wins on all fronts since it would probably be very difficult to trace the bomb back to him.

No, the danger is that he is both smart enough and crazy enough to own a nuke.

However, no one messes with the OPEC. They have the world by the balls and they know it.

OPEC has less power these days than people think. Russia is now a monstrous threat to them in terms of oil production. I doubt Bush would let OPEC get away with screwing with world oil prices and they know that. He's an oilman and so is a portion of his cabinet. They know that side of the business well. Not only that, but basic economics dictates that when prices rise, demand decreases. OPEC would be shooting themselves in the foot if they forced oil prices higher than the market set. And they know this as well. They can't afford to piss off their customers, who can just as easily get more oil from Russia or Canada.

The only way America would be able to 'win back' oil, if they were cut off, is by occupying one or more of the oil producing countries. Thus becoming a terrorist state itself.

No, we wouldn't do that. We'd allow the oil nations to elect their own governments in a freer society with open markets. Then it's simply a factor of businesses moving in with plans to develop capacity. We wouldn't nationalize the oil fields or occupy the countries for any long period of time. It doesn't make any sense to do so.

The motive, the what and the how IS important.

Why? Don't just state it. Explain.

We need to realise WHAT we are doing before we commit to something.

We know what we're doing.

Says E.:
The problem with the U.S. is our attempt to send the image of ourselves as philanthropists out to the rest of the world, while we're really just arrogant and concerned with ourselves.

I agree. Bush should be more honest about this and be frank, as he bluntly was during his UN speech today.
Says A.:
Of course Bush father did not want to put Saddam down because of the problem it would generate. He probably hoped for someone else to solve the problem later. Now we have the Monkey trying to finish up everything his father didn't. But say, didn't your parents (and I mean all of you) tell you not to smoke or light matches near to flammable substances? Seems like no one told this to George Bush. He seems not to know what would happen if he lit up the scene a little. THE WHOLE GODDAM MIDDLE EAST WILL EXPLODE. That means the end of Saudi Royal family to give place to some extremists. That also mean Israel to be surrounded by ferocious and enhardened enemies like the old times.

You assume all these negative things, but what is your reasoning behind them? I, too, believe the Middle East would become chaos if we went in and took Saddam and his government out. I think that's a good thing since those other governments are some of the worst on the planet. The people they keep under their heels (i.e., the whole population) are sick of it and want more freedom and prosperity. They want the old glory of the Arabic and Islamic geopolitical days of yore. Those days are impossible when you have these totalitarian theocracies in charge. Iran, which started the whole Hardcore Muslim Nation bandwagon, is falling apart at the seams and invading Iraq would be the next best thing we could do for them short of directly working on Iran itself.

It's the same for Syria and to a lesser extent Saudi Arabia.

I don't know anything about nuclear weapons, but I REALLY do know about bacteriological weapons in Iraq. The only bacteriological program they finished is bothulism (spell?), BUT first of all this is one of the less dangerous bacteriological weapons, secondly they don't have the correct vectors to spread it.

Wrong, wrong, and double-wrong. Iraq has weapons of mass destruction NOW and has the ability to make them NOW.
Says this report from the time of Desert Storm:

Says this report covering a UN report in 1994: (four years before Saddam kicked out the inspectors, giving him four-plus years of secrecy to rebuild)
Destroyed were "over 480,000 liters of chemical warfare agents (including mustard agent and the nerve agents sarin and tabun); over 28,000 chemical munitions (involving eight types of munitions ranging from rockets to artillery shells to bombs and ballistic missile warheads); and...over 1,040,000 kilograms and 648 barrels of some 45 different precursor chemicals for the production of chemical warfare agents," UNSCOM said.[italic emphasis mine]

You are way off base to say Iraq's chemical and biological capability is nothing to be worked up about.

By the way, in case you've read about Scott Ritter's statements that Iraq is not a credible threat, read this and this. Ritter is a fraud.

So an attack will only mean inocent people dying (cuz america is going to leave Iraq ground flat after the attack they're preparing) for no reason at all. But nobody seems to think about Iraquis who have nothing to do with Saddam, probably many of you think killing em isn't terrorism.

This is simply stupid. Name one good reason why the US Military would roll in and "flatten" Iraq or Baghdad. Tell me, with a straight face and complete sincerity, that the US Military would kill mostly civilians uninvolved with fighting the war. Explain to me why you believe our military (and any other respectible countrys who move with us) would be so inept, reckless, and undisciplined.

You can't, because this is a bullsh*t line of arguement.

Seems like Bush is trying to divert attention because of his failure to disable Al Qaeda.

This is possible. Politicans have done this before in the past and will do it in the future. However, even if he was doing this JUST to divert attention away from his failings, the outcome is still a desireable one, yes? Or do you want the Iraqi people to be plagued with this prick, his ruinious family, and his repressive government for the rest of his life?

It seems he never learnt the Viet Nam Lesson, wich was, no matter how strong you are, if the enemy isn't conventional, only wits count, and well, Bush ain't well known for his wits.

Bush doesn't micro-manage. He has a whole team of experienced people to handle the details. Bush isn't going to be leading any charges, won't be pouring over tactical maps, and won't be selecting targets to hit. Again, our military doesn't work like that.

We still have to remember who supported Saddam in the Iraq-Iran war. T'was the US, but no one seems to remember now. Seems also frequent how many monsters the US supported to eliminate problems, only to find this monsters turn against the feeding hand, good example of this is Bin Laden.

Which makes it all the more sensible that it is OUR responsibility to fix the problem, yes?

Of course he's backing up Al Qaeda and many extremists (still the relations aren't quite good considering Saddams regime isn't based on religious belief but it's an laic one), but just because of the infamous "enemies of my enemies are my friends".

So you admit Iraq has direct international terrorist connections? Good. That saves my fingers from a lot of unnecessary typing.

If Saddam lets inspectors in he might shut Bushs blabbing mouth, but still will mean more Western influence in Iraq, wich means less control of the population by Saddam, wich will probably mean Americans inciting opposing factions in Iraq to arise the people against him. We still have to remember that Saddam, as the devil, isn't wise because of evil, but because of old.

Is it OK with you that he's in control over there? Or am I missing something in this quote?

The UN inspectors aren't dumb.

The UN inspectors aren't there, and Iraq has been blocking their access for years. They haven't had the chance to put their investigative skills to work since getting expelled.

Clinton didn't make no cowboy movie about his attack to Bin Laden.

WTF? Huh? Who made a "cowboy movie" about attacking bin Laden?

sometimes it seems like American leaders becoming very prepotent, almost fascist.

1. A system of government marked by centralization of authority under a dictator, stringent socioeconomic controls, suppression of the opposition through terror and censorship, and typically a policy of belligerent nationalism and racism.

2. Oppressive, dictatorial control.

Nope. US leaders do not qualify, not even close. You want to condemn fascism, aim your tongue towards the Middle East.

I can only feel worried about Israelis, because the first strike Saddam will make if attacked, is going to be Israel.

Very true. Israel is directly threatened by Iraq and was attacked during the Gulf War. The US managed to contain them when they were hit by Scud missiles, but this time Israel will not sit by and suck those casulaties in. They'll fight back, and everyone knows how bad-ass the Israeli military is. They'd carve a path from Jerusalem to Saddam's house.

Then, why Iraq? That's the question.... WHY???, if there are worse ones???

You have to start somewhere. Iraq is a good place.

Yes, that seems to be Americas excuse for everything. But not when dealing with other countries like when they put Pinochet into power.

An "excuse"? Are they not a worthy goals? Again, I ask you if you'd rather the Iraqis just sit under the thumb of Hussein and his cronies until he dies...and then his psycho family takes over.

Don't you think this black substance called oil has much to do in it?

Yes, it has a lot to do with it. Do you want a nuclear-wielding dictator with his track record free to do what he wants in that region? It's a direct threat to the largest available supply of oil in the world. You're damn right it has something to do with oil. That spigot has to remain open so every modern economy can remain active.

Much MUCH more than terrorism.

Yes, like what I posted the first time.

And, what do you call terrorism?

The deliberate use of violence against a civilian population in order to acheive political or social goals. Terrorists cannot directly confront their enemy so they avoid that confontation altogether and go for easier targets, putting the population in their sights. This works for them on many levels--but only superficially, as long as their enemy decides not to fight back.

*morally-relativistic rant*

Stick to the subject, A. We are talking about fighting Iraq, not the past sins of the US government.

But in Iraq, the way they're planning it, with air strikes and urban battle, there won't be much left after the storm

Bollocks. Keep making this stuff up, it gets better every time.

Yes, perhaps next threat will be this higly empoverished North Korea, right? Well, I've been talkin with North Koreans yesterday, they ran from their country, who is ultra empoverished and starving since the Russia fell. Perhaps they'll be the threat next. Yes I know they have long range missiles. Like if they're going to use them, you know, if you are strong and have those missiles you ARE a threat, but if you only have this missiles, but by no means can support a war, what will be the use of this? YEs, go on, attack them too, and force them to do business with REAL TERRORIST in order to economically survive. If you corner a cat, it's predictable it's going to strike desperately.

Yeah, we should just let those people die. We all know diplomacy solves just about everthing these days. Yep, I'm glad the UN's record of stopping opression in it's tracks, preventing terrorism, and stopping the spread of weapons of mass destructiong is so shiny.

Like chrome on a fresh turd.

After 9/11 there are 2 ways to take. The first one is the ways of war and conquer, as they seem to be taking now. This one will only lead for destruction, not only for the arabs, but for the americans as well, fracture for this war-on-terror coalition perhaps. The second one, is a deep reflection on WHY DID THIS HAPPEN, and perhaps finding the routs for it you may be able to find a peaceful solution, like instead of striking, helping. This is the way wich seems more sensate to me.

I want you and every other person who thinks like you to come up with the right words to stop people like Saddam. JUST WORDS. I want you to show how "understanding" these psycho f*cks can stop them from hurting us. I want you to show how "reflecting" on our problems will make them go away. I want you to explain how any of this will make a f*cking difference when none of the people we want dead give two sh*ts about your feelings, your words, and our love for freedom.

Try telling a murderer to stop what he's doing with just your language.

*New York Times article*

Horrible non-arguement. You don't assume the worse case scenario and then denouce the action based off it.

Says my favorite B.:
Once the US deals with Iraq, who's next?

China, Korea, or maybe the territory of Colombia held by the FARC?

Man, I'd never expect to see you in here.

Seriously though. China is not worth attacking militarily. North Korea, however, would greatly benefit from some direct forceful intervention. So would Columbia, but that is a problem best left to the Columbians, who have elected a new leader who seems less likely to give in or show weakness to the terrorists and extremists causing all the trouble in his country.

They should at least have a plan to help the people of Iraq after the war is over

We aren't stupid. We won't leave them alone after beating their military. They've got a lot of work to be done in their country. It is only logical that we help them fix it and get them on their feet.

Anyway, I'm stopping here, I haven't talked about this political stuff in ages, and I'm in no real mood to start up again...

I'm a lover not fighter.

Until next time, then.

Interjection Before Second Response

Oh man! Who woulda thunk it!?

From this Yahoo! article:
A top Iraqi official said Baghdad opposes the return of U.N. weapons inspectors and President Bush's speech to the United Nations was "full of lies."

"We do not accept Bush's conditions," Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz said in an interview in Baghdad that was broadcast Friday.

"The unconditional return of the inspectors will not solve the problem," Aziz said in the interview with the Saudi-owned MBC television network. The interview was conducted Thursday.

What jack-asses. Bush gives them a chance to save themselves, and they reject it outright. Of course, Bush knew this was going to happen, since Iraq is a country lead by irrational men. I say we're in there by November.

Second Response

Says A.:
Please Drizzten, America has no right of attacking someone only because this country broke UN regulations.

If you had taken more care to read my post, you would understand that breaking UN "regulations" (ha!, they're more like suggestions) is not the "only" reason why Iraq needs to undergo a regime change.

Yes I know, from those satellites and intermediares Bin Laden and Saddam where born, not countring many others. Many died because of this, innocents I mean, and what, who cares now?

Irrelevant to the discussion. I refer you to the comment I made saying it is our responsibility to fix the problems we create.

You say Saddam handing a nuke to terrorists? Like if they where pals. Do you think he would be so dumb to give an ENEMY of him the power to do that famous "regime change" America so badly wants?

You think terrorists are part of Saddam's enemies? I'm laughing out loud right now. Especially since he pays the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, which immediately endears him to nearly every other radical Islamic terrorist group, including Al Qaeda. Not to mention other links which include harboring Abu Nidal...who has been kicked out and sentanced to death in so many countries that only Iraq would take him in.

If he had it he would use it as a negotiation tool with the West for sure (as South Korea tried to do when fired that long range missile that flew over Tokyo a few years ago). He doesn't want a war that may destroy his country (him) or the world either. Of course I don't know what he wants

Then how do you know he doesn't want a war that may destroy his country? Saddam's made so much noise aboout standing up to the "imperialist Western dogs" that he must stand up to us as long as possible. He's got the support of all manner of radical Islamicists by thumbing his nose at us. He's doing this out of stupidity and ego.

Now, how can the world trust the US would do that? More with the background it has. Builded and Unbuilded governments on other countries as they liked. Open markets you say? That's just another Do As I Say Not As I Do, as if Bush applied free markets policy.

Yes, Bush has compromised his free trade ideology for politics (steel tariffs and the farm bill). However, he is far more free market-oriented than nearly any other leader in the world at the moment. Besides, any trade liberalization would be a huge improvement in Iraq.

Well, seems like only America knows what they're doing, not the rest of the world. Look at the lack of confidence by Europe. Do they know what America's doing or where it's heading?

Frankly, who cares about what Europe thinks? They don't have to be involved if they don't want to. They can sit from the sidelines and jeer and blow hot air at us all they want. I'm constantly amazed by this line of complaint...why does it matter? The fact that someone disagrees with you does not mean you are wrong.

Well, Bush proved to be one of the worst orators in modern history.

Depends what you want the speaker to do. Do you want someone to weave and duck, not saying anything really substantive, go into how much he or she really cares for someone else and some other people/culture, laboring on how "unique" and "important" that other culture is...or do you want someone to speak honestly and straight to the point? I want honesty above all, and great orators aren't limited to flowery words and clever sentences. Great orators drive home their point.

You know what's the worst thing with Bush's bully attitude towards Hussein? That it's making Saddam public image rise a lot for Iraqui people.

Prove this and get back to me.

Now Iraquis have a definite enemy, always the excuse of a common enemy to join them all. Yes he's sadic and brutal, but the masses will only think he's a martir of the 'oppressing imperialists', and probably will forget everything he has done to them.

Typical. You assume "the masses" are sheep, unaware of the nature of the fight being brought to them. I consider them far more intelligent than that, since a human's desire to be free is universal. You can't forget the horrors someone imposes upon you when you have to deal with those horros every day.

There's one thing you're missing here. We cannot impose our western view of life to everyone, because, well not everyone sees life as we do.

While I believe the Western view of life is superior, I agree we have no right to impose it on everyone. However, there are leaders of countries out there that have nothing to do with preserving their culture. They want to preserve their power structure. Whether they do it through religious law or violence, it doesn't matter. If a country becomes bad enough and then aquires ways of causing widespread harm, then I believe it is the duty of the rest of the world to stop that country. Unfortunately, the only world bodies capable of peforming that action are too chickensh*t to do anything about it. They'd rather persue "roundtable discussion" or "peace talks" or "understanding" over and over again when it becomes painfully obvious to anyone with a working mind that those methods don't work when one side is there in bad faith or is simply unwilling to listen.

Examples of this are Pakistan. Before Musharraf they had somewhat of a democracy, wich didn't leave them with good memories, and that's proven when he made this referrendum to stay in power for 5 more years. The people AGREED with that.

Musharraf rigged that election. It is a comment on the people's willingness to deal with the responsibility of a democratic nation and their willingness to get rid of the corruption in the government that they let Musharraf take and hold power.

Same as this poor Nigerian woman who was condemned to die by stone throwing (dilapidation I think it's the correct name) because she had a child after being widow. I see it wrong, the west see it brutal and wrong. But they don't. They lived with those rules for hundreds of years and they like them, and we as freedom supporters have to accept it, like it or not.

If you truely support freedom, you would never say such a thing. Freedom isn't conditional depending if there's a legacy of it not being embraced. I refuse to accept that kind of barbarism. I refuse to think that it's fine for some people to think that kind of behavior is OK. It's f*cking wrong, man. By the way, do you think those women believe it's OK for their men to do this the women in their family? Why do you believe they should continue it? It is inhuman and it has to stop.

Same as this kids who where taken to prision in Iran because they made a party where they listened to Rock music, dran alcohol, wore jeans and short skirts. I think that's a stupidity. But Iranians support that, not only the government, because as general rule THERE IS NO GOVERNMENT WHO LASTS WITHOUT PEOPLES SUPPORT (not even Iraq). We have to accept it.

No, I won't accept it, and neither should anyone else. If the government rules by fear, then it becomes increasingly harder to initiate change from within. Starving people who are unable to exercise free speech tend to focus on their immediate problems instead of turning to the source. They'll either set up black markets to supply them with what they need or bribe officials into leaving them alone. And while eventually the people will depose of their leaders when sick of them, it's obvious that takes too long. The suffering they go through for the years it takes to peacefully get rid of these jerks is unnecessary.

With an explosion in middle east, you won't see the actual governments fall for more western friendly governments. You'll probably see more extremists gaining power, taking advantage of the chaos, wich will mean MORE terrorist attacks on US targets, more threats to Israel, etc.

This is why we don't simply destroy the Iraqi army and Saddam and then leave. We (and the UN, if they choose to actually do something) stay behind, helping them keep the extremists out of the picture until they have solid enough institutions to reject the threat. Also, know that being "Western friendly" isn't necessarily the goal here. The goal is to give the citizens' freedom back and show them this is the best way to live. Once that occurs, being friendly towards the West is a natural next step.

If Saudi Royal Family where to fall, they would be replaced by the most hard core muslim government ever.

I have my doubts about this, mostly because it is so hard to know what the people think in these theocracies. Since most of the media is state-owned, we can't reliably base our opinions off reports and polls from those outlets. I'll concede this point to you for now because I don't have enough information to emphatically state otherwise. Saudi Arabia is a special case since it has so many important symbols and materials Muslims revere and since it is probably the single largest exporter of extreme Islamicism in the world. It would be harder to keep the radicals out of power there, I agree.

Sources, Sources and more Sources mister. How do you expect me to trust sources such as WASHINGTON or the Iranians, historical Iraq enemies. Yes, they used those weapons.

Unbelieveable. You totally missed my point, which was that Iraq's WMD program is far beyond what you credited it as. If you are going to question my sources (and those were just the first few that came up), you'd better give better reasons why. Otherwise you sound like a conspiracy theorist.

Yes they have those weapons, they have chemicals and they have bothulism. They have some missiles too. But what, even my OWN country has them. I repeat, the only program they finished, and their main biological weapon is Bothulism, wich can't be accounted as the fiercest of them all, more considering the ones America has.

You question my sources and then admit to them being right. Until I see a reason to believe botulism is the main biological weapon Iraq wishes to use, I won't believe it. It is a sucky bio-weapon, which is reason enough for Saddam to want something better.

The rest are under development, as in many other countries. Then why is Iraq the exception for all this? Why is Iraq SUCH AN IMMEDIATE THREAT as Mr B preaches?

This may be a language barrier to overcome [FYI: A. is South American]. Bush is not stating that Saddam poses a threat tomorrow or in the next month. It's a longer-term threat he presents, but not one worth waiting five years or thirty-six months for. And why do I have to repeat myself? The Hussein government's practices in the past and in the present are the exception which demands action.

And of course, what do you think biological weapons are? Well, by definition they are weapons wich uses bacterias or patogen entities. They exist since the times of the ROMAN EMPIRE, when they threw dead bodies into their enemies water supplies.

Don't mince words here. We all know what biological weapons mean today. No one is worried about the disease possible from drinking water polluted by dead bodies. We worry about weaponized and mass-deliverable biological agents that are engineered to be as deadly and effective as possible.

They where even used in my own country in the famous 'desert conquer', a nice name for a truth called 'extermination of natives', in wich they gave the aborigins who where fighting by the government side, clothes taken from viruela (spell?) and sarampion (spell?) deseased people from hospitals. So not only this allied aborigins would die, but also the enemies, other aborigins who had contact with them would die too. So this shows how easy is to use diseases as weapons.

All the more reason to keep the worse capabilities out of the hands of people who are irrational and unstable.

What the world needs is evidence that Saddam is an IMMEDIATE THREAT!!

This pisses me off so much.

Yes, this is a great idea. Let's wait until we get satellite photos of Saddam prepping his rockets with bio, chem, and nuke warheads. Let's wait until they are pointed at Israel or sea ports where American ships are docked. Let's wait until he's ready to use them before we do anything about it. Let's wait until he tells the world he's ready to "negotiate" the Israeli withdrawl of Palestine.

When you see a dangerously poisonous insect in your house, do you wait until it gets near to your eyes to do something about it or do you kill it on sight?

I kill them on sight. I don't like getting stung.

I can't?? Take this, for ex. like 'how would be the US soooo stupid and inept as to burn thousands of villagers by indiscriminate use of NAPALM???'. Well that happened.

You've heard of the phrase, "learning from your mistakes," right?

And what I fear is this: Iraqi forces will use, same as Talibans did, civilians as shelters.

Iraq has done it before. It's one of the reasons we had to have such a prolonged aerial bombing campaign during the Gulf War.

Nobody will give a damn. They will bomb them either way. There will be lots of civilian casualties because of this.

The kind of war we'll be fighting won't be so based off aerial bombing. Since we're talking about urban combat with a dug-in enemy, there will be no other option but to send in ground forces. There will be civilian casualties. This is inevitable, through mistake and by the civilians-as-shields concern you have above. However, we cannot let them simply hide behind their citizens. Otherwise they can get off scot-free. We should be furious with the people who use their civilians as shields. Yet another reason why the Iraqi government is not worth keeping around.

More when there's street combat. You know that most people who die in this kind of combats are civilians stucked in the city? You mortar shell enemy positions, those mortars may fall over someones roof killing a whole family.

I doubt that any intelligent family would stay in a city one it becomes obvious it's under attack. Our technology is advanced enough so that we can choose and hit targets in a matter of minutes...we can discriminate between military and non-military targets. Accidents will happen and so will malicious acts by the Iraqi military. It's something we'll have to deal with. It will not be the civilian apocalypse you speak of.

Tank shells too, more (I don't mean they will do it on purpose, but it happens) because of scared civilians running away in the line of fire, or just errors made by soldiers who will shoot, not wanting it, civilians. Armed forces aren't perfect, less when ground troops are involved. More if you take in consideration the people who loses everything because they have to leave the city in fear of being killed in the confrontation. Many starve, you know?

I know. It's a fact of war that there are unintended deaths. All the better to have some now and get them out of the way rather than prolong them and have those people suffer in a longer run. Harsh? Yes. Worth doing for the future of the country? Absolutely.

Let me tell you a little story about a guy my pops met in Brazil. He was an Iraqi businessman. He told my pops he used to love travelling to the states. But by the times of the gulf war, he was on Baghdad. Well during the bombings, he heard a strong noise coming from the lower floor of his house. What did he find when he got there? A missile lying in the couch having a cup of coffee. He never went to the states again. Now what can you tell me?

That guy is smart for staying away from his country. He'll be even smarter for returning after we kick out the government. He, however, is an idiot for prefering to return home over the US, where he'd be free to practice his religion and enjoy his life to the extent of our Constitution.

Depends on what you call desireable. Saddam out of power? Yes of course. More fighting of rival factions? No, of course not. Many 'casualties of war'? Of course not. A nuclear f*cking war? r u kidddin me?. A stepping stone for attacking other countries? Of course not.

The rival factions are being united as we speak. They know part of our reason for going in is because we know there are Iraqi freedom fighters willing to take up the cause and do some of the work. By disintegrating into a mess, they'd do themselves more harm than good, and you can be sure the US won't allow it. No, that isn't desireable.

A nuclear war? Where did you get that from? Iraq is not supposed to have those ready yet. Pakistan has them and so does Israel. You can be sure that the US won't allow Israel to escalate the war with nukes. Pakistan has no reason to butt in. This is a waste of time to worry about.

I've explained why the downfall of other countries is desireable.

There are OTHER means to get Saddam out of power that don't mean slaughter.

I'm waiting to hear them.

Wonder how it worked during Viet Nam war.

This isn't Vietnam. That, in case you've forgotten, was a different situation in a totally different time.

And also consider that the president holds the ultimate desicion on some hard subjects, as throwing a nuke or some extreme measure

Of course. This doesn't change anything. Bush does not direct the detailed military objectives. He has a staff (like all Presidents) for that.

Yes, but not with more slaughtering, and not taking the whole world in this crusade, and I don't mean not respecting the UN on this too. Now it's a responsabilty shared with the world, and the world doesn't need no more war. T'was enough the damage done by your little creations. And what will keep America from creating many more of this monsters?'s our responsibility. The only way I could see this as anyone else's is if you consider the complete failure of the UN to accomplish it's goals in Iraq.

Yes, it's worth killing people over. Those people will mostly be Iraqi combatants. It won't be a slaughter, unless you are talking about how badly we'll stomp their military into the ground. It isn't going to be that hard to do this, you know. Iraq's military is a ghost of what it once was twelve years ago. It's one of the reasons why they've spent so much time on WMD--to make up for that weakness.

The only thing that will stop us from pissing someone off in the world is to kill ourselves. Our actions anger people all over the world. That alone is no reason to do nothing. It is the choice of the individual to decide to target and kill civilians out of anger.

But you better not think that Saddam and Qaeda are something like 'best friends'. Cuz they're not.

I don't think that is the case, no.

I said:
If Saddam lets inspectors in he might shut Bushs blabbing mouth, but still will mean more Western influence in Iraq, wich means less control of the population by Saddam, wich will probably mean Americans inciting opposing factions in Iraq to arise the people against him.

You've admitted that Saddam needs to go, you've admitted he has control over a stock of biological and chemical weapons, and you've admitted he's a repressive bastard. So why does it sound like, in that last sentence of yours, that it would be a bad thing if the people get sick of him and do something about it?

I meant that Saddam doesn't want to be toppled. That's one of the reasons he's so reluctant in letting inspectors come in.

Then they must go in by force.

So I said "Inspectors aren't dumb", they'll know if Saddam's hiding something.

Yes, and my comment said that it is pointless to argue this because the inspectors aren't in the country and he won't let them in. Not only that, but unless they have the power of force behind them, Saddam can simply bob and weave and lie to them about paperwork and where the sites are. He did it for years, which was one of the reasons why it took so long in the first place. The inspectors are not dumb. But they can't do their jobs unless they have complete access to everything. Saddam won't give them that. He must be forced. Case closed.

Well yes, middle east is almost like the reincarnation of Franco, but Bush ain't no saint himself.

We should save this for another thread. We'd get off-topic in this one.

Nowadays it's so much different. You have brutals by both sides.

And which one is less brutal? The free societies of the West or the unfree societies of the Middle East?

Continued, next post.

Third Response

Says A.:
Wich worries me even more because on thing is America fighting arabs, and another thing is ISRAEL fighting arabs. I don't want to imagine how the arab world will react to that.

It would be ugly if they reacted with military force, I agree. I can't offer any hope in this senario, because very little can be assumed about it. It is the single worst possible thing that could happen beyond a biological, chemical, or nuclear attack exchange.

First, there are other countries making their people suffer and violating human rights, and does the US want to wage war desperately on them?

US policy is not consistent. I wish to everything that it was. We have to take one step at a time. Correct this glaring error, and then move on to the other things we've screwed up.

What will happen with a so much debilited little empire as Iraq is. The strong head falls, I don't think it can be replaced, not even by his psycho family. Because, well, Saddam formed himself starting in minor leagues. That gave him much knowledge his successors will lack.

If you think my opinions are flimsy on some things, you have no idea how flimsy I think this one is. I have no idea how healthy Saddam is. He's in his 60's right now. He could end up like Castro, hanging on until the very end, forcing his country through unneeded suffering. Wouldn't you rather a democratic government be ready to step in immediately after he's gone, rather than wait for it to evolve on it's own, and possibly get stuck like many other "democratic experiments"? I don't want to take that chance. I think we shoulc be pro-active in this.

Reminds me of tacticts used in some southeast asian country....

Vietnam was a military disaster, not terrorism. The crimes commited then do not equate to terrorism. Again, a topic for another thread.

If Saddam or Bin Laden aren't a past sin of the US government, then what are they?

They are. So there is no need to try to smear the US with accusations about things we've done in the past that don't deal with bin Laden and Saddam.

I don't know, but seems like you believe that speech about 'quick and costless war'. I wonder how quick and costless it would be to the civilian side.

It will not be costless. It will be pretty quick, as long as no other nations intervene and Iraq doesn't attack a retaliatory Israel. I find it interesting you are so deathly worried about the Iraqi civilians when you'd simply leave them to Saddam's whims for however many years he's still in power. If a strip of strong tape is stuck to a hairy leg, do you pull it off slowly (prolonging the pain) or do you tear it off all at once and deal with it temporarily?

Let those people die? Well, in change you will be KILLING that people. If that's Americas view on diplomacy, I should be scared, very scared.

If you are unable to understand that we don't target civilians and would prefer they not die, then there's no point in talking to you. The other side does these things, yet protests the loudest whenever someone threatens them. It's complete hypocrisy.

By the way, that part you quoted was sarcasm. I was mocking what your position advocates.

I wonder then why did they use diplomacy with all other countries having Biological, Chemical and Nuclear weapon if they have such a disbelief in diplomacy.

Diplomacy is only useful when both sides compromise. Iraq will not.

Well, Russia was far more powerfu (and fucked up *) than a simple Saddam or Bin Laden. And what did America do with it?

A history lesson:

The Soviet Union had an arsenal of nuclear weapons that rivaled ours. They also had a land army more than capable of flooding Europe. They were truely a force to be reckoned with. Therefore, we silently agreed to not attack each other head-on. This is what I was describing when I talked about MAD. There are many ways to handle situations...but only a few are effective. You cannot apply one method to all situations and expect it to work effectively. So, instead of a Real War with the USSR, we had the Cold War, which is largely responsible for most of the nasty hotspots we've got now.

If you think we should engage Iraq with the same tools we used for the USSR, you are out of your mind. The two situations could not be more different.

Put in example you're the principal of a school. You have the knowledge that you have some junkies on your school. There are 2 ways from here.

Way 1: You expell all of them: Then you free yourself and your school from the drug problem, but those kids are now on the streets, probably beated up by their parents, with a fuc*ed up future in front. Now you have socially inadapted persons, and probably you'll have to face the drug problem again

Way 2: Try to help them: You may fail, probably you will, but if you DO help them and get them straight again, you free yourself from the drug problem, and you give society less problems. And if you have to face the drug problem again you would have the experience to do it better, and more effectively.

Is there anything wrong with this reasoning?

This is a bad analogy, but I agree that helping drug addicts is important. It should be done before force is applied. But, if reasoning with them and helping them fails, then you kick them out. Which is precisely what we've been doing with Iraq for the last few years. It isn't as if the demands were impossible to comply with.

Youmay say this has nothing to do with the subject, but I just wanted to show how the use of force screws everything most of the times.

Yeah, when it is used in the wrong situations. A counter-example:

Suppose you've got someone in your house who is raping your mother. Do you ask him to stop, or do you grab the nearest thing and proceed to beat the hell out of him?

Different situations, different responses. Your assumption that we would rather use force because it's the only option is incorrect. We've been dealing with Saddam for over decade. It is sheer stupidity to keep trying methods that do not work. Talking with Iraq does not work.

I didn't assume it? Because, well, perhaps you meant by the worst case scenario another attack on the US. I mean by it a 3rd world war, wich will not only affect America, but everyone else too (including people who has nothing to do neither with America nor the extremists nor Saddam).

My point was, it is not logical to present the worst-case senario for some action and then condemn that action on the basis of the fear that worst-case senario presents.

Benefit? I wonder how's that? Do you really know the situation North Korea's been going since Russia fell? They're starving.

Yes. I know this. I said that North Korea's situation is so bad that a regime change would be a great idea to have them go through.

Korea doesn't want to deal with terrorists, They don't want those long range missiles to attack nor Japan nor South Korea. The're just screaming for attention.

I know this as well. But since their government is Communistic, they can't do anything about it without putting their lives in danger. To be honest, North Korea deserves the world's attention next in the This Government Sucks department. It's right up there with the worst of the worst.

I read that article yesterday. Bush ain't that rational either, he's falling in Bin Ladens plan. That's sad, you know?

Huh? Post a link to bin Laden's plan. I'd love to read it.

Bin Ladens masterplan (as I see it)

Oh. This is what you think it is. That's just as good, I guess.

Well, I bet he's hoping for the US to attack Iraq. Why? First, he would get rid of an agnostic regime in middle east. Secondly, well, it's like a domino effect. Bush attacks Iraq. The only think Iraq can do is to attack Israel. Israel gets attacked, and we all know how much Sharon likes to fight, so Israel sends troops and fights with Iraq, probably massacring more than the Americans. But what happens next? As I said before, one thing is Americans attacking arabs (and idea wich makes arabs angry), but something really different is Israelis attacking arabs (wich they find unacceptable). What happens? Arabs start to revolt against governments who backed the US and Israel. Saudi Royal family will be in danger, because that will be high time for fundamentalists there to revolt the people and take power. Will the US be able to stop it while still fighting in Iraq?

As I said earlier, this is one of the worst-case senarios. I cannot offer comforting words about this. All I can say is that it if it comes to this, it will come down to whoever's influence is the greatest. I believe it won't come to this because we'll strike fast enough to prevent Iraq from attacking Israel. That hypothetical attack is the lynchpin in the entire doomsday senario. And if Iraq attacked Israel first, the Arabs would have no legitimate grounds for complaint if Israel retaliated, which would mean more of our allies would step in and help prevent an Arab military push.


I have no idea what the extremists want. I figure that if they knew Saddam had the weapons and they had harder ways to get them, they'd find some way to get them from him...either by asking for a deal or by stealing them. It is a statement of opinion.

All the pieces have been set. Everything Osama needs is the first push, and Bush is the man for it.

You're missing a crucial part of this plan. What is bin Laden supposed to accomplish besides killing millions of people, rendering vast tracks of the area unliveable, and horrifying the rest of the world? There's no way the governments in power would let him go through with such an ambitious plan for such complete chaos and destruction, since they'd be part of it.

One thing that Bush lacks for an attack to be seen by the whole world as imperative, or at least to be done now and why it hasn't done before, is evidence that Saddam represents an IMMEDIATE THREAT. We all have to remeber that infamouse Cuban missile crisis thing. When US ambassador to the UN said Cuba had missiles pointed towards the States, both Russians and Cubans said it was a lie, so he brought pictures about it. Has Bush done the same?

The situations are not comparable. Saddam is working towards nuclear weapons (Cuba and the USSR already had them), and we can't even be certain he doesn't already have them (Saddam cannot reach our country with the missiles he has now, either). Therefore, in order to prevent him from using them (and his other WMD) in the future, we go in now. For Christ's sake, you read the speech Bush gave to the UN. Saddam hasn't complied with those UN resolutions. It's time to enforce them. Otherwise, what good are they?

Why can't Saddam be contained as they contained Stalin?

Because containment means nothing for the people who are stuck living in that country. Because Saddam won't allow inspectors in his country to make sure he hasn't gotten any further with his WMD program. Because Saddam has the guts, the means, and the irrationality to use those weapons.

Because Stalin and the USSR would have been the worst possible foe to fight against toe-to-toe. We choose diplomacy over overt war because that kind of war would leave nothing useful behind. The risks of that total devastation were far greater than the risks you've posted about an Arab-American war.

Before waging war Bush has to prove that deferrance will not contain Saddam anymore. When Bush proves this, then I may approve what he's planning to do.

Look up the UN Security Council resolutions yourself. They aren't doing anything except ruining his country and forcing his operations underground. Once we get rid of Saddam, we can stop the trade embargo.

Then, why do you all lose hope in peace so easily?

Because idealism in the face of reality is a losing game. You assume I've lost hope in peace. You are wrong. Peace is pointless if the people aren't enjoying it's fruits. Believing in peace as the solution for all these problems is blind stupidity. Asking someone to be nice and get along is the worst idea of "containment" I've ever heard.


You really need some history classes.

But then why do you feel so fine about having more people experiencing this again???

How many times do I have to say this? This war will be a temporarily painful solution to a very bad problem. The suffering we will inflict is nothing compared to the suffering they will go through until Saddam dies or leaves his post. It doesn't get any simpler than that.

Continued, next post.

Fourth Response

Says A.:
Sources such as WASHINGTON or the Iranians are no good to me. As if I trust what AP or Reuters say about the people in Afghanistan. I have my serious doubts that they're telling the whole truth. Official quotes? Official quotes like the Russians "It's a lie, we don't have missiles in Cuba" or Nixon "I have done nothing in watergate". Sure Sure.

And with this, I'm done with talking to you. You'll never believe what I say because the evilcorporateAmericangreedygovernment-runmedia will never tell the truth. Begone, troll.

Second Interjection

It's too bad A. doesn't trust the major corporate news services. Otherwise, he'd know about the White House's rejection of the Iraqi acceptance of unconditional weapons inspectors.

And to think that this would be worth talking about.

Posted by Drizzten at September 17, 2002 12:27 AM

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Your pro-war arguments have no affect whatsoever if you can't even spell words like "convenient" and "there."

Posted by: Megan Kugler on June 29, 2004 03:26 PM

Megan, two things:

1- I have renounced my position on the War in Iraq ( ) and reject nearly all the justifications I laid out in this much older post.

2- Your criticism is infantile at best and at worst an indication that you consider style more important than substance. So I emphatically encourage you to either grow up or reexamine your priorities. I'm sorry I MISSPELLED A FEW WORDS.

Jesus Christ. Of all the things you could have picked apart...

Posted by: Drizz on June 29, 2004 04:11 PM
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