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billvon

Looks like we just bombed Yemen

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Remember back when the US destroyed the Chinese embassy in Belgrade? Again, hard to claim moral superiority there.

Um I think there's a slight difference here. :P You're comparing a deliberate act to an accident.
Speed Racer
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>The UN likes to play their little holier than thou games as we (the
> US) fund them and fight their wars. But god forbid we want to go
> defend ourselves from the evils of this world.

Uh, no. Recent events have the UN playing the only peacekeeper in the world. If not for them, Milosevic would still be in Yugoslavia. If not for them, we'd be bombing Iraq now. They are right now serving the purpose for which they were created - make sure war is the last resort instead of the first.

End result of all their "little games" over the past few months? Most of the biggest nations in the world will agree with the US resolution to resume inspections. If they succeed, then the UN has just prevented Hussein from getting nuclear weapons and prevented a war that will kill tens of thousands. If the inspections fail, then much of the world will support armed action against him. Not bad for "little games."

"Defend ourselves from evil?" The UN has supported our attempts to get Al Quaeda. They are against (as is most of the world) the US's attempts at 'preemtive invasion' as a method of foreign policy - and we would be, too, if it were China who decided to 'defend themselves from evil' by invading countries like North Korea, Hong Kong and Japan.

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The UN has NO place in today's world.



What?!? That's... what?... Just what would make you say such a thing?.... What?

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The UN likes to play their little holier than thou games



I know you already know this but UN stands for United Nations! If you feel they are acting 'holier than thou' towards the US, it's because a LARGE cross-section of the PLANET beleive the US should clean up it's act a bit.

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as we (the US) fund them and fight their wars.



American fights Americas wars... you know that just as well as I do.

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But god forbid we want to go defend ourselves from the evils of this world.



We are talking about Saddam still right? 'cause he hasn't attacked the U.S... thus the US attacking him really isn't 'defending yourselves' from anything.


If we want a global nation, fine. Let's put it to a vote. I say disband the UN and let everybody think for themselves. It has outlived it's usefulness and has become the all-powerful wizard.



You are mistaken here, the UN is the only thing going for non-americans that wish to think for themselves (Vs. just going along with whatever the States does)

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peace



Yeah, the UN wants it whereas the States are almost afraid of the word.



My Karma ran over my Dogma!!!

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Bill,

The US did not respond to Germany's European war UNTIL they were attacked by Japan. We then declared war on Japan, then Germany declared war with the US. There were plenty of people like the ones we see here, shouting that we should ONLY go to war with Japan since they were the only ones to attack the US. In fact, the US was officially neutral until then. Is it any more ethical and morally correct to think that atrocities and invasions are all okay as long as they don't affect us? What if we had listened to people who said we should stay the hell out of Europe? What will happen if we listen to people who say we should stay out of the middle east? Leave them to their own devices?

Many of you forget that for every bastard country and terrorist organization, there are thousands and millions of people in those countries who DO NOT agree with their leaders, who are desperately looking for help. Who is going to help them? Could you go to Iraq and tell someone who's life has been destroyed by Saddam's regime, "Sorry, pal, not our business! Just wait another few years for the UN to decide if you're worth helping."

Let me anticipate the response of "It's the OIL we're after, not the people"... The US imports more oil from Venezuela than the middle east. Iraq's oil may help out in the future, or lower prices slightly... but most of that oil is contracted (by Saddam's gov't) to the very European countries who disagree with the US's desire to overthrow Saddam.

Maybe, I'm ignorant (you probably think so already), but I will not believe that ANY US President would think, "Hey, the economy sucks... let's go fuck someone up!" Not even the shadiest of presidents. There are still humans in charge of this country, and I do not believe they take any of this lightly.

The situation is what it is, no matter what we do... people will be pissed off one way or the other.
Oh, hello again!

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>Different situation. We just want them to leave us alone. We are in
> our own land, they are in theirs. They should have stayed home.

OK, I'm having trouble figuring out what you're referring to here.
Are we talking about just Al-Quaeda or the Muslim community here?



To be totally clear, Al-Queda. There is huge Muslim community out there that does not support their actions. I don't have any problem with Muslims at all.

The only thing that makes it tricky is that the government of Muslim countries is enmeshed a lot farther than religion is here. I know that religion has involvement with the political process in this country, but it is different.

If you are the head of a Muslim country and you have knowledge that Al-Queda is there, then you have a problem. If Al-Queda commits an act and you do not repudiate them, then you are harboring and protecting them. You become part of a support network and thus, part of the problem. The problem needs to be eliminated. Get in the way, it sucks to be you...example-the former Afghan govt.

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Many of you forget that for every bastard country and terrorist organization, there are thousands and millions of people in those countries who DO NOT agree with their leaders, who are desperately looking for help. Who is going to help them?



Not us. We typically prop up the dictators and monarchs that are repressing their citizenship because they are friendly to us (support of Hussein vs. Iran, support of Saudi royal family, support of Kuwaiti monarchy)

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Let me anticipate the response of "It's the OIL we're after, not the people"... The US imports more oil from Venezuela than the middle east. Iraq's oil may help out in the future, or lower prices slightly... but most of that oil is contracted (by Saddam's gov't) to the very European countries who disagree with the US's desire to overthrow Saddam.



The bigger picture is that we're not looking to get cheap oil from Iraq, or hoping their contribution to OPEC keeps prices down. Yes, Iraq is an unstable country capable of destabilizing the entire middle east. That will have a huge impact on the prices that OPEC charges. And guess what, Venezuela is a member of OPEC. The only reason we import the most oil from them is because they are the closest and the price is fixed by OPEC. We want to keep the price OPEC has set down, Iraq attacking its neighbors will make prices shoot up (including what we pay to Venezuela) and that's what the gov't cares about.

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I will not believe that ANY US President would think, "Hey, the economy sucks... let's go fuck someone up!"



Ever hear any of the private tapes of Lyndon Johnson regarding the war in Vietnam? You'd probably change your view on what a President would do.

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Many of you forget that for every bastard country and terrorist organization, there are thousands and millions of people in those countries who DO NOT agree with their leaders, who are desperately looking for help.



Right now that must be the only legitimate reason for attacking Iraq.
Just make sure whoever is installed in Saddams place it actually better than him, this has not always been the case in previous US-driven regime changes.
---
PCSS #10

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>There were plenty of people like the ones we see here, shouting that
> we should ONLY go to war with Japan since they were the only ones
> to attack the US.

I am not one of them. We SHOULD have gone to war with Germany, since they were sinking our ships, had declared war on us and allied themselves with Japan. I am glad we did not declare war on Sweden during WWII just because there were some bad things happening there.

>Could you go to Iraq and tell someone who's life has been destroyed
> by Saddam's regime, "Sorry, pal, not our business! Just wait another
> few years for the UN to decide if you're worth helping."

It's just as hard to tell his wife "Sorry an American bomb killed your family and blew your legs off, but hey, now that bad man isn't going to ruin your life any more!"

Don't forget what war is. It is not a clean process to remove Saddam Hussein and install a US-friendly, pro-human-rights leader in Iraq. It is the systematic killing of Iraqis (both combatant and noncombatant) and systematic intentional destruction of their country. It is killing of men, women and children on a massive scale, and they will die horrible, agonizing deaths. It is the worst thing there is. There are times when it's necessary; WWII was one example of that, where we had to go to war to protect our own country. It should always be the absolute last resort.

Also, it is not our job to change anyone's life in Iraq. It is sad that Saddam is mean to his people, and I'd be all for diplomatic solutions to help out the people of Iraq. But we cannot invade any country in which we think some people are being treated badly. We are not the world's morality police, nor should we be.

>Maybe, I'm ignorant (you probably think so already), but I will not
> believe that ANY US President would think, "Hey, the economy
> sucks... let's go fuck someone up!"

I don't think so either, and I think that Bush really does think that invading Iraq will be to the US's best interests. I don't think he has ignored the fact that wartime presidents are quite popular, and I think he has taken that into account. But I also think that's not his primary consideration.

>There are still humans in charge of this country, and I do not believe
> they take any of this lightly.

I don't think they do either, but all humans can make mistakes.

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We're at war whether you like it or not. Nobody wants a war, but talk is not going to resolve this problem. You need to find the people who planned the WTC attack and remove them and their cronies. They will NOT stop attacking our country or people abroad. You can try to eliminate civilian casualties but you never will. But to sit on our hands and do nothing will not stop these terrorists from attacking us again. When they detonate a nuke in our country I imagine there will be large civilian casualty figure. What do we do then, if we're smart we do something to stop it before it happens. It's like the bully in high school, if you just let him take your lunch money, he'll do it every day until you take a stand. Diplomatic resolutions don't work with terrorists.

***************************************
Awright, guys, you don't have one, so don't act like one

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>We're at war whether you like it or not.

With Al Quaeda. Not Iraq. I'm all for the war against Al Quaeda; but being at war with a terrorist group does not mean we're at war with all Arabs.

> When they detonate a nuke in our country I imagine there will be
>large civilian casualty figure.

China, North Korea, Pakistan and India all have nuclear weapons. I sure hope our solution to the nuclear threat isn't always an invasion. We have to learn diplomacy at some point if we want to keep that nuke out of the US.

>It's like the bully in high school, if you just let him take your lunch
> money, he'll do it every day until you take a stand.

And then he'll beat the crap out of you _and_ take your lunch money, because you will then be playing by his rules. A better solution is to avoid him and let him pick on someone else.

And if you feel you really have to 'win' against this bully? Come back after college, drive up to the McDonald's he works in, and say hello to him while he works the fryer. It will be clear who won, and who got to "keep the money."

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>It's like the bully in high school, if you just let him take your lunch
> money, he'll do it every day until you take a stand.

And then he'll beat the crap out of you _and_ take your lunch money, because you will then be playing by his rules. A better solution is to avoid him and let him pick on someone else.



A better solution is too get a bunch of your little friends together and pound him. Worked for me in elementary school. The international adult version was called the coalition forces when they kicked Sadams butt out of Kuwait. SH already had all of Kuwaits lunch money.

The other poster was right. Try the ignore/avoidance on a violence problem and they come back again and again. Besides, if we ignore it and he "picks on someone else", it may be a country like Kuwait and then who is next? How many countries does the bully get?

Following that logic, everybody in Europe would be speaking German right now (as a primary language).

I don't know if we ignore SH if he will eventually end up in the McDonalds drive thru. Diplomacy sure gets some odd outcomes.

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Bill,
Don't get me wrong, an invasion of Iraq is not a good thing. I haven't heard a reasonable explanation from our government for an invasion. Is Saddam a good guy (ask his people) hell no. I don't condone a war against his country, just a war against him (in a similar manner the recent Al Quada operatives were taken out).

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China, North Korea, Pakistan and India all have nuclear weapons. I sure hope our solution to the nuclear threat isn't always an invasion. We have to learn diplomacy at some point if we want to keep that nuke out of the US.



You can work with some countries thru diplomatic means, some you can't.

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And then he'll beat the crap out of you _and_ take your lunch money, because you will then be playing by his rules



You can't run away the rest of your life. Sometimes you've got to nut up.

I still like you Bill, not everyone expresses the same opinions but at least in our country we can toss them around at each other without having to go to war.....
I hope your not an eco-nazi too. :ph34r:

***************************************
Awright, guys, you don't have one, so don't act like one

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I don't condone a war against his country, just a war against him (in a similar manner the recent Al Quada operatives were taken out).



Quick question -- how exactly do we, as a country, go to war against a country's leader without going to war against the country.
Many don't particularly care for our current president. But if another country were to come assassinate him, don't you think people would be FAR more offended at that invasion of our sovereignty (however misguidedly I might think it's used sometimes) than happy with the thought that Bush was out? (feel free to go back 3 years and substitute our previous president if you can't come to grips with this).

If we, as a country, try to obviously destabilize Saddam Hussein simply because he's a world-class bad guy (which he is), then many people who love their country will stand up for it. Remember that "my country right or wrong" thing?

And don't forget he has 2 sons who are worse than he is. Really. The older one is vicious, uncontrolled, and stupid, and the younger one is smarter, more controlled, and still vicious.

I don't know what the answer is. But we paid for the destabilization of Allende in Cuba in the 1970's for a long time, and we shouldn't have to learn that lesson again and again. We helped Aristide to come to power in Haiti, and it's not siginificantly improved over Duvalier, is it?

Wendy W.
Edit: I don't know what the answer is, but when something really isn't our problem, we probably ought to figure out where it becomes our problem, and address that part of it. We don't want to wait until he blows someone up or releases biologicals, but I think that pushing for inspections, and then offering the overwhelming force we're capable of to support them, would be a good start.
There is nothing more dangerous than breaking a basic safety rule and getting away with it. It removes fear of the consequences and builds false confidence. (tbrown)

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Wendy,
I can't really argue against your point. Our country has made some very poor foreign policy decisions in the past. I'm sure there will be some more in the future.
Our problem is we are not at war with a country, but with a group of like minded individuals that want us dead (yes; you, me and all Americans) and no amount of diplomatic action is going to change their
minds.
But, I will say that if we eliminate SH and his posse, the population of Iraq would probably not lose too much sleep over it.

***************************************
Awright, guys, you don't have one, so don't act like one

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>A better solution is too get a bunch of your little friends together and
> pound him. Worked for me in elementary school.

Yeah, but he has friends too. And to extend the analogy, one of them now has a nuclear weapon. All the kids in the world ain't gonna stand up to one lunatic kid with a nuclear weapon.

In any case, I would like to believe that we have learned a little bit since we were kids, and relationships between countries have evolved past "my dad can beat up your dad."

> Besides, if we ignore it and he "picks on someone else", it may be a
> country like Kuwait and then who is next? How many countries does
> the bully get?

I don't know, but IT'S THEIR PROBLEM. Pakistan and India have been feuding over Kashmir for years; should we invade one of them to prevent "the bully" from taking it over? If not, why not? Are the people of Kuwait important, but the people of Kashmir expendable?

>I don't know if we ignore SH if he will eventually end up in the
> McDonalds drive thru. Diplomacy sure gets some odd outcomes.

Unfortunately you are correct. Up until now our solution has seemed to be "give the bully lots of money and guns and hope he will blow away another bully." Didn't work with Al Quaeda. Didn't work with Hussein. And now we're stuck with a lot of well-armed bullies.

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>I don't condone a war against his country, just a war against him

Again, I agree that Saddam is a bad guy. But we're not talking about a war against Saddam. We are talking about a war with Iraq. That means killing as many Iraqis as possible - men, women and children. Sure, we will try not to kill too many kids, but if it's "only" 500 we'll probably pat ourselves on the back and say "Well, we tried! Sorry, moms and dads. We're still the good guys."

Make no mistake. War is killing a people and destroying a country. It is the worst thing there is. You win a war by killing more of your enemy than he can kill of you. You can't be pro-war and anti-killing.

Is war sometimes necessary? Yes, unfortunately. But like I said, it is the absolute last resort, when every reasonable (and even unreasonable) attempts at diplomacy have failed.

>(in a similar manner the recent Al Quada operatives were taken out).

We tried several times during the Gulf War. Failed there; I don't see him as getting any dumber (or us getting more US operatives into Iraq.)

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>There are also known IRA members in the US, is it ok for the UK to send unmanned planes over to kill them? <

The difference here is the US government does not support the IRA
"America will never be destroyed from the outside,
if we falter and lose our freedoms,
it will be because we destroyed ourselves."
Abraham Lincoln

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The government of Yemen was aware and is supportive of anti-terror operations being conducted within their country. They have told their citizens to support the efforts of the security forces in routing out terrorists. They may not have specifically approved the missle firing, but they knew we were there.

Josh
All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. - Edmund Burke

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"In any case, I would like to believe that we have learned a little bit since we were kids, and relationships between countries have evolved past "my dad can beat up your dad." "

I know, I was just working with your analogy. I was just stressing that avoidance didn't work in elementary school if it only shifts the heartache to your friend and ruins their life ongoing. So why sit back and let SH take over Kuwait and whatever else? Saudi Arabia was sweating it. They knew what target country "B" was. Would we get involved after SA, or wait until after Iran?

So us and all our buddies in the UN kicked his butt at the invitation of the Kuwaitis and Saudis. Confrontation isn't always the answer, but avoidance is hardly if ever a good one.

>I don't know if we ignore SH if he will eventually end up in the
> McDonalds drive thru. Diplomacy sure gets some odd outcomes.

"Unfortunately you are correct. Up until now our solution has seemed to be "give the bully lots of money and guns and hope he will blow away another bully." Didn't work with Al Quaeda. Didn't work with Hussein. And now we're stuck with a lot of well-armed bullies. "

Earlier, I just was getting a humorous visual about SH working in the McD's drive thru. When we gave OBL all the stuff, he wasn't exactly a bully. The Russians were doing the butt-kicking. We just leveled the playing field a little. You can't predict that in the future that he was going to be a problem. Besides, he is rich. He would have gotten the stuff anyway. He has lots of financial resources. We may have helped, but we aren't responsible for how he turned out. That was where he was going. I totally refute responsibility for his choice of goals. Those are his choices.

We sold tanks to SH because we didn't want to directly confront Iran. He didn't like Iran already. Iran/Iraq ran out of our stuff a long time ago. Iraq used Russian tanks to invade Kuwait. SH has a huge amount of oil money. If we had sold him nothing, someone would have sold it to him. The Chinese and French also have arms industries looking for cash. It is not just us and the Ruskies.

Bullies with lots of cash become well-armed bullies regardless of who sells it to them. We sell a lot of stuff to countries who don't try to be dicks with it.

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>When we gave OBL all the stuff, he wasn't exactly a bully.

Well, he was certainly a bully, he was just a poor one without too many weapons, and thus was invisible. There are tens of millions of people like him in the world. He became the leader of a massive, effective and well funded radical terrorist organization because we gave him the money to do so. I think we should decline to fund radical terrorists in the future.

>We may have helped, but we aren't responsible for how he turned
>out.

Well, in that case, Afghanistan bears no responsibility for helping Al Quaeda. Why did we attack them? Or does support of an organization mean you bear some of the responsibility for that organization?

>We sold tanks to SH because we didn't want to directly confront Iran.

And so now, apparently, the answer is either to invade or sell even more tanks to Iran, which will rise in power and attack Iraq. Of course, we'll then have to sell nukes to Turkmenistan (or at least a whole lot of F-16s) to keep Iran down when they get uppity. Then, when Turkmenistan remembers that we were once their sworn enemy . . .

Arming lunatics and hoping they attack people you don't like is a very poor foreign policy, if you wish to plan farther than two years in the future.

>If we had sold him nothing, someone would have sold it to him. The
> Chinese and French also have arms industries looking for cash. It is
> not just us and the Ruskies.

Oh, I agree. Yet we continue to sell him stuff and buy his oil through intermediaries. In 1995 we sold him neutron pulse generators; we continue to support his oil sales (though they are now limited.) Stopping that _first_ makes more sense than financing him then attacking him later.

One of our biggest problems with our country's foreign policy is that there is simply no planning beyond 4 years, tops. Why plan when someone else will be in office? If we had people who could see farther than four years into the future, we wouldn't have problems like the WTC bombing, our massive funding of the Middle Eastern terror industry, and our reliance on their products.

>We sell a lot of stuff to countries who don't try to be dicks with it.

I think Al Quaeda were sorta dicks with it.

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"The US did not respond to Germany's European war UNTIL they were attacked by Japan. "

Och, the US were late for the first and second world wars, so they've been trying to start the third one early ever since........

Joking folks, just joking.....;)

"The situation is what it is, no matter what we do... people will be pissed off one way or the other."

Ain't that the truth Trent my friend, and at the end of the day, regardless how much bandwidth we chew up on this subject, we actually have little or no say in what will eventually happen. We can disagree on the whys and wherefors, but at least we are united in saying that something HAS to be done.

THe last time we were on a brink like this, there were pics of missiles in Cuba, I believe that once evidence of Saddams transgressions is available, the naysayers and us tree huggers will have to agree on some form of action. Whether it is economic, or miltary, its going to be neither cheap nor pleasant. And its not not going to be quick either. Its been over a year, and I still see no sign of bringing the bastards responsible for all this to justice....>:(...NB I don't see Saddam Hussein's name on the FBI's most wanted list. So using the 'war on terror as an excuse to invade Iraq is not justified. If we are going to send people to war, at least let them know what they are about to die for. Don't let their deaths be hollow and meaningles.

Okay, rant over, to get back on track, the Washington post reports that the missile strike (as opposed to 'bombing') was conducted with the knowledge or at least 'tacit approval' from the Yemeni authorities, and I hear no cries of unfair play from the Yemeni govt.

If this is indeed the case, I say No Foul, and the action was justified. Of course I would much rather see a trial, given that in the civilised world people are innocent until proven guilty.....
--------------------

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me. Thomas Jefferson

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They are camouflaged to fit in with the terrain, and when children find them, they often consider them as toys




A friend of mine just returned from Afghanistan a few weeks ago. He told me the story of a 13 year old boy and his 9 year old sister. They walked up to the edge of a mine field that had been laid to protect one side of the compound. The minefield was clearly marked with a concertina wire and signs. For whatever reason the kid started poking at the mines with a stick. The mines did what they were supposed to and removed one of the boys legs below the knee and sprayed the girl with shrapnel. Not sure what this kid was thinking. You might think kids around there would know better and understand what mines are. I doubt the Russians purposely targeted children.

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