View Full Version : Hamster Wheel (politics ad nauseam)

Pages : 1 [2] 3 4 5 6

18th Sep 2005, 22:04
Nah Pilgirm, I'm too hot headed myself. Wouldn't last 5 minutes! I wouldn't be able to hold back....

I think you have to be a, ahem, "special kind of person" to be a poltician. Almost unhuman...

(cries of "whaddya mean "almost"!)

19th Sep 2005, 09:45
P101: do you think the Kurds have something to discuss with Rumsfeld? And don't you think the Shi'ites have something to discuss with Bush Sr.?


19th Sep 2005, 11:07
I think the Rumsfeild photo was taken in 1984 ? Pre Kuwait invasion and when we were all, possibly you too, cheering SH on against the madmen in Iran after the fall of the Shah and witnessing the instability created by the Mad Mullahs throughout the Middle East at that time. The choice might have been to engage both Iran and Iraq at that time, not an option in terms of the rules of engagement in the so called UN.

Given the bile being spouted from Tehran, their manipulation and creation of Islamist terror and export of a significant proportion of the terror machinery we see in place today in Iraq then I think we made the right call in those dim and distant days.

As for the Sunni, Shia, Kurdish issues, I take it you have a solution to centuries of tribal hostility ? Predating Saddam and his mass murdering regime. You seem to think that Saddam's tactics, effective as they were in keeping Iraq together are mitigated by the fact that he sytematically killed all parties in his country, without discriminating, in the hundreds of thousands. I suppose you will criticise us for not acting at that time but talk to the hand, the UN is responsible for turning blind eyes to mass murder in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Rwanda, Somalia etc etc with America as the patsy

19th Sep 2005, 12:02

I suspect he may be referring to the way that Bush Sr. encouraged ordinary Iraqis to rise up against the Hussein regime and who then washed his hands of the situation when the uprising assumed a greater momentum than anticipated. It is also interesting to note that you intimate that the West was cheering Saddam on while he was using chemical wepaons agains the Iranians and Kurds. Is this not a little hypocritcal?

Peter Galbraith, the writer of the following article, a former U.S. ambassador to Croatia, is a professor at the National War College. He was in rebel-held Iraq during the 1991 uprising.

Can it be that the events of 2003 in Iraq have finally dispelled the ghosts of 1991? The answer may not be quite as obvious as the welcoming throngs make it seem.

Just 12 years ago, the Shiite Muslims who constitute a majority in Iraq and in the city of Baghdad were betrayed by the United States -- an act that may have cost them as many as 100,000 lives. That recent history -- of which the Shiites are understandably a good deal less forgetful than we -- explains why the Shiites in the south initially greeted invading American and British forces with a good deal more reserve than expected. And as the continuing turmoil in southern towns and cities makes clear, building a democratic state in Iraq over the long term will depend to a large degree on how strong and lasting a trust we can build among these people.

The spontaneous Shiite uprising of 1991 consumed the southern part of Iraq right up to the approaches to Baghdad. Rebels came to U.S. troops, who were then deployed in the Euphrates Valley, begging for U.S. intervention. The Shiite political parties sent emissaries to the few Americans who would see them. To this day, I am haunted by the desperation in the appeals made to me by one group, as they realized time was running out for their countrymen.

Many of the problems we face now and in the future with Shiites likely have to do with the way the first Bush administration responded to those appeals. On Feb. 15, 1991, President George H.W. Bush called on the Iraqi military and people to overthrow Saddam Hussein. On March 3, an Iraqi tank commander returning from Kuwait fired a shell through one of the portraits of Hussein in Basra's main square, igniting the southern uprising. A week later, Kurdish rebels ended Hussein's control over much of the north.

But although Bush had called for the rebellion, his administration was caught unprepared when it happened. The administration knew little about those in the Iraqi opposition because, as a matter of policy, it refused to talk to them. Policymakers tended to see Iraq's main ethnic groups in caricature: The Shiites were feared as pro-Iranian and the Kurds as anti-Turkish. Indeed, the U.S. administration seemed to prefer the continuation of the Baath regime (albeit without Hussein) to the success of the rebellion. As one National Security Council official told me at the time: "Our policy is to get rid of Saddam, not his regime."

The practical expression of this policy came in the decisions made by the military on the ground. U.S. commanders spurned the rebels' plea for help. The United States allowed Iraq to send Republican Guard units into southern cities and to fly helicopter gunships. (This in spite of a ban on flights, articulated by Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf with considerable swagger: "You fly, you die.") The consequences were devastating. Hussein's forces leveled the historical centers of the Shiite towns, bombarded sacred Shiite shrines and executed thousands on the spot. By some estimates, 100,000 people died in reprisal killings between March and September. Many of these atrocities were committed in proximity to American troops, who were under orders not to intervene.

The first Bush administration's decision to abandon the March uprising was a mistake of historic proportions. With U.S. help, or even neutrality, the March uprising could have succeeded, thus avoiding the need for a second costly war. (Bush's defenders insist the United States had no mandate to carry the war to Baghdad, but this is beside the point. The uprising started after the Gulf War ended, and the United States was positioned to easily down Iraqi helicopters and halt Iraqi tanks.)

The current President Bush cannot escape these ghosts. An American may understand what happened in 1991 as carelessness -- inexcusable but not malicious. An Iraqi Shiite saw a superpower that called for a rebellion and then ensured its failure. Naturally, he assumed this was intentional. In the months and years to come, many Shiites may take a lot of convincing about U.S. motives and reliability.

President George W. Bush has done much right that his father did wrong. His administration has been in constant contact with the Iraqi opposition. Humanitarian supplies are being rushed to southern Iraq, and clear warnings were issued against those who might have committed atrocities in the first days of the invasion. Unfortunately, the president carries a national and family legacy that many Iraqis associate with deadly betrayal. Overcoming that legacy has only begun. It is one of the critical challenges that lie ahead.

19th Sep 2005, 12:33
I think the Rumsfeild photo was taken in 1984 ? What difference does that make? The Kurds were gassed before the Kuwait invasion.

Pre Kuwait invasion and when we were all, possibly you too, cheering SH So in your words, Hussein suddenly changed after GW1 into a monster? Probably because he was trying to control the oil?

I suppose you will criticise us for not acting at that time but talk to the hand, the UN is responsible for turning blind eyes to mass murder in Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Rwanda, Somalia etc etc with America as the patsy Don't try to change the issue, I was making clear that your blast against Galloway, who has no influence whatsoever and is peanuts compared with Bush and Rumsfeld, is both biased and proposterous. Your Kurdish and Shi'te friends might have a lot more to ask from both gentlemen than from Galloway.

Yes, that's what I meant Flypuppy and I'm sure P101 knew this.

Onan the Clumsy
19th Sep 2005, 13:28
I'm starting to get really worried about the lacksadasical approach to the defecit here in the US.

Nobody seems to care that the country is going deeper and deeper into debt and nobody seems to have any plan to stop the downward slide from turning into a head over heels tumble.

I can see that maybe there is a staggering amount of equity to back it up, but I don't think that's the point This isn't the way I run my personal affairs and I don't think it's the way the country should be run.

It seems pretty pointless having a military to defend the borders if you end up just giving away the country a billion dollars at a time.

Is it just me? or do others share this concern?

19th Sep 2005, 13:38
Damn right it's a worry, whether people outside the US like it or not, the US is crucial with regards to the world economy.

The US farts and everyone smells it.

A big worry is how much US Govt Binds the Chinese now have...

19th Sep 2005, 13:40
Onan, You mustn't concern yourself. Here, just take your medication and trust us. Repeat after me; "a billion dollars a day is chump change"...go on, say it again, "chump change". Say it a thousand times then go and watch your plasma TV. The people you elected will sort it all out.

You are getting sleepy.......sleeeeepy...... your eyelids are getting heavier and heav.....

19th Sep 2005, 13:48
Yeah, I share your concern.

I dislike the current administrations attitude to the economy and taxation (Using this year’s tax return for overseas filers):

Case 1: Married couple, $73,900 earned in salary, with no other income.
Form 1040
Lines 36 & 37 = $73,900
Std. Deduction = $9,700
Line 40 = $64,200
Exemptions = $6,200
Line 42 = $58,000

Total tax owed (from table) = $7,989

Case 2: Married couple, income of $73,900 in qualifying dividends, and no earned income.

I will not write down the whole calculation, but if you want to check it use ‘Qualified Dividends and Capital Gains Worksheet, P.34 of the instructions.

Total tax payable: $2,900

Right, sensible! Obviously before Bush you paid more tax on dividend income than earned.

19th Sep 2005, 13:53
Actually the federal budget deficit is quite low by historical standards as a percent of GDP, which is the only practical way to measure it. And the trend of growing revenues on reduced tax rates is definitely a positive. So don't lose any sleep now over the US economy. Its steady growth makes it one of the strongest economies in the world, and its huge and diverse scale allows it to have weakness in some sectors while other sectors carry the day.

The biggest worry is how today's American youth are going to obtain the education necessary to compete in a global economy where wage and benefit expectations are much lower. Much the same problem as is facing Western Europe. Thankfully the US does not have the overarching government burden most Western Europeans labor under.

The US has always come up with a new technological engine to generate growth. Large scale industrial mass production, the automobile, computers, digital electronics, etc. If I had to bet, I'd put my money on the US developing and implementing new era energy technology to generate growth for the next generation.

19th Sep 2005, 14:18
Don't worry about it Onan.

The whole world wants to buy US made stuff. As soon as it becomes cheap enough. And one day, it will be...

What you have to try and keep in mind is that it's in great part due to American capital flooding into places like China in the first place that have allowed the US consumer cheaper hifis, TVs, dish-washers, clothes etc. Boeings are still made in USA aren't they? I realise that this probably induces some short-term hardship vis-a-vis all the under-employed Americans who previously made this sort of stuff whilst they undergo retraining as NASA rocket scientists. Personally, I don't believe there is any danger to the US economy so long as working at McDonalds still allows one to buy a house and auto (even a non-Detroit one - the first Chinese ones just hit the European market BTW), and provided of course that ever more Americans succumb to being over-weight and obese.

These are great times for anyone with capital invested in the right place. It's become a free for all kind of place. The richest 10% will become even richer. It's unstoppable, unless that is, China does something silly, like invading Taiwan...

19th Sep 2005, 14:27
...with EU weapons technology.

19th Sep 2005, 14:29
No, actually the whole world wants to buy stuff, not American stuff. They want to buy stuff as cheaply as possible, and there are no prizes for guessing where that stuff is coming from.

BenThere put his finger on the truth in his second paragraph, but failed to include the cost of the Iraqi venture to fill out the picture.

He also exhibits in his final paragraph considerably greater faith than I that the individualism, enthusiasm, manufacturing ability and technical knowhow which made America the powerhouse it was and just still is, will continue to hold sway.

Remember the way Americans used to laugh at cheap shoddy Japanese goods in the 60's? Multiply that factor by ten to get a sense of the China effect, and that doesn't include India, let alone the rest of Asia.

BenThere, my friend, I fear you are sounding a little like the English singing Rule Britannia as their empire slowly set in the west. It won't happen overnight, but massive and irrecoverable changes in economic structures are in progress, and no longer can America hope to ignore total foreign debt and current account deficit while claiming a low federal budget deficit. You are fiddling while Rome is burning, methinks.

19th Sep 2005, 14:41
The US has always come up with a new technological engine to generate growth. Large scale industrial mass production, the automobile, computers, digital electronics, etc. If I had to bet, I'd put my money on the US developing and implementing new era energy technology to generate growth for the next generation. Unfortunately BenThere, meanwhile the US (and many parts in the EU as well to be honest) has been overtaken on both sides by other countries in the world on these fields. GM and Ford are practically bankrupt by now.

And as long as other countries are still pumping $$$ into the US, the citizins have nothing to fear...

PS With Katrina, the current government is probably the biggest spender of all governments in the past and that is really worrying to many Republicans.

Onan the Clumsy
19th Sep 2005, 14:48
Its steady growth are you being serious?

19th Sep 2005, 14:58
If I understood correctly from an article in last week's Economist, fully half of the US current growth is due directly from house-price inflation... :rolleyes:

19th Sep 2005, 15:13
Why, yes I am, Onan. Feast on some facts:


Binos, my esteemed friend, America has no empire of which to lament the passing. Interests, investments to be sure, but no empire. And I think Americans have demonstrated a long-standing desire to share the keeping of world order with others. Our history with NATO and coalition-building make my point. Only now, it seems, a majority of the populations of Western Europe have broken the covenant with us.

The future of the world economy will be enhanced when China and India become latter day exemplars of the Japanese model, as one hopes they will. Economic production is not a finite piece of pie. As China and India move into the First World, there will be plenty of demand for trade with the US.

Our period as the sole superpower hasn't been all that comfortable and has been expensive. Not many of us care to maintain that status as a national priority as long as we are secure in defending ourselves. We want to share it with China, Russia, GB, Australia, Japan and others hopefully of like mind.


Ford and GM in their present configuration are obsolete, as are FIAT, Renault, and Rover. They must adapt to survive. But they haven't been the engine of US growth since the 60s, and aren't likely to be in the future.

I agree that although the US is still the world's largest exporter, it is by a larger margin the largest importer, and that can't continue forever. And it won't.

After 9/11, Bush got a blank check to defend the US. The recession, which was hitting the US at the same time was exacerbated by 9/11. Deficit spending at times like that are nothing new. Now the political process is pressuring for fiscal restraint, and that will happen. Katina's impact on economic performance has yet to play out, but some quarters suggest the reconstruction and renewal of the Delta region will ultimately be an economic plus. The Japanese and German post-war recoveries were just such an example. Only time will tell.

19th Sep 2005, 15:47
BenThere, just for the record, I sincerely hope US economy will thrive, if only for my personal interest ;), besides it is a must for a healthy world economy.

Renault is quite successful btw. It's all about modern management. After Renault acquired an amost bankrupt Nissan, it made it healthy again . Schrempp succeeded in transforming MB, what once was a indistructable brand, into a wobbly giant. Shareholders value... my @<hidden>

19th Sep 2005, 15:55
Indeed the US is the worlds economic engine however it has been noted that China's cheap labour insatiable desire for technology at any price and increasing use of high tech hacking to steal by any means ever greater ammounts of US technology should prompt at least some concern.
With it's complete lack of democracy and a very scant regard for human or individual right, my feeling is that the present contempt of many for the US at present will at some stage be dwarfed by what will happen when the Dragon rises to superpowerdom over the Eagle.
Those who voiced their concern may well find themselves gagged and crushed if they step out of line. It will be a far cry from the relatively benign US that is the worlds superpower now.

19th Sep 2005, 16:00
I picked Renault out of my hat without any research. Even Ford and GM have enjoyed recent profitability.

My point is, the only way automobiles will continue to be manufactured in the US or Europe is through increased automation and the incessant elimination of labor as a share of cost.

19th Sep 2005, 16:07
.... I think Americans have demonstrated a long-standing desire to share the keeping of world order with others. Our history with NATO and coalition-building make my point. Only now, it seems, a majority of the populations of Western Europe have broken the covenant with us.

BenThere, in that one paragraph you have succinctly summarised a divergence of views in a way that only an American can.

The last sentence betrays the somewhat plaintive way a lot of the rest of the world sees America as reacting. YOU might think Americans have demonstrated a long-standing desire to share the keeping of world order with others, and you have a lot of evidence to back that up, at least to some extent.

What America has historically been less successful at is understanding a widespread view that the italicised sentence above contains a tacit sub-clause; as long as we have the final say.

Now I personally believe that for all its faults, if America did hold sway over the world's affairs in the sense of being a benign and paternal dictator, the world would probably be a better place by your standards and mine.

But I am sufficiently removed to see that an awful lot of people don't agree with me. Sept 11 was the ultimate example.

Once again we have moved inexorably from economics to politics, and unfortunately (in my opinion) the two now seem irrevocably linked.

Edited to add:
The future of the world economy will be enhanced when China and India become latter day exemplars of the Japanese model, as one hopes they will. Economic production is not a finite piece of pie. As China and India move into the First World, there will be plenty of demand for trade with the US.

I'm going to have a long think about that one. If you are correct, I will be proven totally wrong, and will gleefully admit it in the unlikely event I am still around.

19th Sep 2005, 16:10
It would be the contention of many that the two are in fact inextricably linked.

West Coast
19th Sep 2005, 16:25
I can imagine in a few years, if pprune is still around....

Kaos will be posting pictures of Condi meeting with Kim in North Korea in late 2005 as she and others attempt to iron the details out on the then recent agreement.
Will it be a picture she will regret?

19th Sep 2005, 16:53
Pre-WWII the US economy got a big boost from capital inflow from Europe. Afterwards the US was pretty much the only game in town as Europe and Japan rebuilt their devestated economies with considerable US aid.

The key victim of the Vietnam war was the US dollar, especially after Europe stopped financing it when they stopped buying T-bills. Nixon had to take the US$ off the Gold Standard.

It took until Clinton for inflation and interest rates to settle down.

The difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that today China is buying the T-Bills. The day is not long away when China will be in the position to make the US an offer it can't refuse vis-a-vis Taiwan.

The US may find that T-Bill chain firmly yanked if they endanger China's oil interests in Iran.

The one thing staying China's hand from anything precipitate is that hurting your best customer hurts your business.

I have far more confidence in China's leadership that I do in the Bush Administration when it comes to playing the long game:}

19th Sep 2005, 17:01
If I may divert the thread just a little...?

How do most Brits (or others, come to think of it) feel about the proposed new anti-terror legislation Blair has in mind?

Is it "more power than a good man should need, and more than a bad man should be allowed", the need for which is far from proven, or is it necessary given the threat we apparently face?

If police cannot find enough evidence to charge someone in two weeks after arresting them, is three months likely to be enough?

What do people think "glorifying terrorism" means? Does this include having a poster of Che Guevara on the walls of one's student bedsit? Has anyone ever come up with a definition of "terrorism" that's worth a damn? If not, how can we ever define "glorifying" it?

How happy are people that rights that were fought for hundreds of years ago are simply taken from us by the government just when they feel like it? What about Magna Carta? Did she die in vain (to quote Tony Hancock)? Whither Habeas Corpus?

Is it time we had a written constitution to guarantee our rights, duties etc. and to curtail the power of governments? Or are people happy that any government that has been elected by a minority of the electorate can in the ensuing five years do anything the heck they like?

19th Sep 2005, 17:12
WC, Condi may have shook hands with Kim, but if you took the time to investigate what Rumsfeld delivered Saddam those days, you wouldn't have made this silly remark. :hmm:

19th Sep 2005, 17:20
Even Ford and GM have enjoyed recent profitability. I doubt that BenThere, but if that's for real, they bloody well need it. They're in debt for $ 453 BILLION combined and both downgraded to junk bond status. Currently Ford is only suviving on F150 truck sales.

19th Sep 2005, 17:31
We began that process in 1776....and limiting the powers of government has been nothing but positive. Unfortunately, the federal camel continues to sneak his nose under the tent flaps all too often.

19th Sep 2005, 18:16
Below are Ford bottom line results
If you can wade to the bottom line, you'll see Ford posted earnings of roughly $3.5 billion last year.


Annual Financials for Ford Motor Company Fiscal Year-End:12/31
All amounts in
millions except per share amounts. 2004 2003 2002 2001

12/31/2004 12/31/2003 12/31/2002 12/31/2001

Net Sales 147,749.0 139,944.0 137,062.0 161,269.0

Gross Profit 11,893.0 10,259.0 12,035.0 32,921.0

Net Income 3,487.0 495.0 -980.0 -5,453.0

Edited to add GM:

All amounts in
millions except per share amounts. 2004 2003 2002 2001

12/31/2004 12/31/2003 12/31/2002 12/31/2001

Net Sales 193,517.0 185,837.0 177,867.0 169,051.0

Net Income 2,805.0 3,822.0 1,736.0 601.0

Source: Marketwatch

West Coast
19th Sep 2005, 20:56
A photo is a photo and a story line can be developed to support whatever you desire to make of it.

Onan the Clumsy
19th Sep 2005, 20:59
The first on the list says:
The most serious problems are foreseeable at GM and Ford. GM is due to launch a new lineup of full-sized SUVs in January, and Ford has just introduced its new Explorer, America's perennial best-selling SUV.

Analyst David Healy of Burnham Securities told Reuters in an interview last week that neither company is likely to return to profitability in North America before 2008.

"The whole segment is in a state of long-term decline," Healy said of SUVs.

U.S. carmakers' heavy dependence on big SUVs amid stalling demand was a factor cited by the Standard & Poor's ratings agency when it downgraded the debt of GM and Ford to high-yield, or "junk," status in May.

The auto giants, weakened by their seeming inability to sell enough cars without the use of profit-eroding discounts, have also been struggling under the burden of soaring costs for everything from health care to raw materials.

Lee Iacocca said "They should get off their asses and build more hybrids," He's a capitalist right?

Their stock really looked good...until 2000 (http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=F&t=my) I wonder what happened then :confused:

19th Sep 2005, 21:34
For what it's worth...my wife is doing her best to keep our local economy going.

19th Sep 2005, 21:46
Point of fact:

It took until Clinton for inflation and interest rates to settle down

Brilliant as he was to some people, he had nothing to do with inflation or interest rates declining. When he assumed office both were low, about where they are now.


And by the same token, with the aid of Adobe Photoshop, I could show you a photo of Tony Blair dancing with Lady Thatcher at a soiree neither attended.

19th Sep 2005, 22:00
For what it's worth...my wife is doing her best to keep our local economy going.

:p :p

I love when people go on about Clinton like this! He had nothing to do with the economic boom during his tenure because, um, he inherited the foundation of it from Bush Sr, yet it's his fault that the economy went into slowdown when Bush Jr took over so Dubbya is blamless!!

Bushisms if ever i heard them!

19th Sep 2005, 22:18
BenThere, GM's first quarter loss: $ 1,1 Bio and mounting. Lost 5% market share in 5 year (Ford 7%). Ford will most likely make a loss 2nd half this year.

Analysts never look back, only ahead.

Iacoca is right, as usual. US (and EU) is lacking Hybrid technology. Japan is 6 year ahead.

Re Photoshop, do you mean that the pic ain't for real? In fact it's a still of a video, I can send you the whole file if you like.

19th Sep 2005, 22:44

I only said Ford and GM had enjoyed recent profitability, along with my belief that their current business model is obsolete. Your facts and my facts are consonant.

As for the photo, no problem. I'm just making a point that photos are no longer believable in the modern era of digital technology. You can only look at the source for credibility.

One World,

I maintain that Mr. Clinton's impact was not felt until 1994 and continued until 2002. I don't take from him the economic performance during that time. Similarly, the Reagan (with Bush 1) years' impact was 1982-1994.

I would submit, however, that due to the interference of Newt Gingrich's conquering of Congress in 1994 for the Republicans, President Clinton was unable to do all the damage he would have liked.

The point is not to have my cake and eat it, too, but merely to assign accountability where it is due. Great Britain is no different. It took Thatcher two years to have an impact, and that impact continued to two years after she left.

No need to slag on this point. It's not self-serving, just realistic.

19th Sep 2005, 23:01
Dubya was much faster!
Wasn't he?

19th Sep 2005, 23:34
Is there a country that wouldn't require visas?

Maybe I'm missing something, but don't heads of State and similar people swan around the globe under a type of diplomatic protection from all the unpleasentness us real people have to endure?

Yes they have diplomatic passports. However the US decided when they will and wont recognise them, and who still needs a US visa. Their country so they can do what they want I guess.
However I feel that the leader of a country going to a UN meeting should be treated a little bit differently than that.

20th Sep 2005, 12:30
I suppose that occasionaly a leader is so odious that a country might even question itself on just what level of protection should a diplomatic passport offer. After all some coutries take it upon themselves to ignore diplomatic passports altogether, Iran being one that immediately springs to mind.

Solid Rust Twotter
20th Sep 2005, 16:20
Zimbabwe's rifling of locked diplomatic mail would qualify as well.

21st Sep 2005, 10:04
Interesting article in Counterpunch by Paul Craig Roberts...

US military analysts are beginning to wonder if the US has been defeated by the insurgency. Increasingly, Bush administration spokesmen sound like "Baghdad Bob." On September 19 the Washington Post reported that US military spinmeister Major General Rich Lynch declared "great success" against the insurgency that had just inflicted the worst casualties of the war, including a three-day mortar attack on the "safe" Green Zone.

Anthony Cordesman, a military expert at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC, says: "We can't secure the airport road, can't stop the incoming (mortar rounds) into the Green Zone, can't stop the killings and kidnappings." The insurgency controls most of Baghdad and the Suni provinces.

With its judgement lost to frustration, the US military has 40,000 Iraqis in detention--twice the number of estimated insurgents. Who are these detainees? According to the Washington Post, "Many of the men detained in Tall Afar last week were rounded up on the advice of local teenagers who had stepped forward as informants, at times for what American soldiers said they suspected amounted to no more than settling local scores."

Obviously, the US, not knowing who or where the insurgents are, is just striking blindly, creating a larger insurgency.

The Iraq government, despite being backed by the US military, is unable to control movements across the Iraqi - Syrian border. So the Bush administration has passed the buck to Syria. Puny Syria is declared guilty of not doing what the US military cannot do.

Adam Ereli, the demented US State Department spokesperson, denounced the Syrian government for "permitting" insurgents to cross the border. The US government cannot prevent a steady stream of one million Mexicans from illegally crossing its border each year, but Syria is supposed to be able to stop a couple hundred foreign fighters from sneaking across its border.

Paul Craig Roberts by the way was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration.

21st Sep 2005, 13:16
With its judgement lost to frustration, the US military has 40,000 Iraqis in detention--twice the number of estimated insurgents. Who are these detainees? According to the Washington Post, "Many of the men detained in Tall Afar last week were rounded up on the advice of local teenagers who had stepped forward as informants, at times for what American soldiers said they suspected amounted to no more than settling local scores."

That sounds horridly like Operation Motorman and the further policy of internment in Northern Ireland. Both were declared as a decisive moments, but both acted as recruiting sergeants for pira, especially internment.

Flying Lawyer
22nd Sep 2005, 01:32

You're one of the best debaters on political topics in Jetblast, but you damage your credibility when you resort to calling opponents 'fascists' - and especially when you make a personal attack.
SASless is not a fascist - he simply holds different views from you.
Descending to name-calling doesn't do your credibility any good, especially when you use such an offensive term - and you don't do yourself justice.

You may think it wise to edit your post yourself - unless the Mods get to it first. They're not going to allow an offensive personal attack like that stand - as you well know having been an active JB debater for a very long time - and may ban/suspend you from the thread, which would be a shame IMHO.


22nd Sep 2005, 07:04
After taking legal advice from my excellent PPRuNe legal team, led by FL, said post has been deleted!

22nd Sep 2005, 10:19
Agree facists goes to far, how about WingNuts? ;)

22nd Sep 2005, 12:01
Talking about wingnuts...

An interesting column from neocon Robert Novak:

"The Bush-bashing occurred last weekend at the annual Aspen conference sponsored by the New York investment firm Forstmann Little & Co. Over 200 invited guests, mostly prestigious, arrived Thursday night (many by private aircraft) and stayed until Sunday morning for more than golf, hikes and gourmet meals. They faithfully attended the discussions presided over by PBS's Charlie Rose on such serious subjects as "global poverty and human rights" and "the 'new' world economy." The connecting link was hostility to President Bush.

Longtime participants in Forstmann Little conferences (this was my first and, after this column, probably my last) told me they had not experienced such hostility against a Republican president at previous events. Yet, they were sure a majority of the guests had voted for Bush."

Link (http://www.townhall.com/columnists/robertnovak/rn20050922.shtml)

22nd Sep 2005, 13:05
Although I think all coalition troops should withdraw from Iraq immediately and let the tribes continue their thousands of years feuds, here is one blogger on the ground in Mosul who believes the troops are making a positive difference in the lives of the ordinary Iraqi citizen who despises the foreign insurgents just as much as the rest of us who will not tolerate terrorism.

Michael Yon (http://www.michaelyon.blogspot.com/)


22nd Sep 2005, 13:17

One blogger and he's not even an Iraqi, he's an American!

I guess everythings OK then?! :ok:

22nd Sep 2005, 13:22
Sarcasm is the lowest form of wit.:rolleyes:


22nd Sep 2005, 13:29
I'm only playing at the level of my audience! :ok:

22nd Sep 2005, 13:34
IraqtheModel (http://iraqthemodel.blogspot.com/)

About us.
In response to some e-mails asking me to give some information about who I am, my background,where I live...etc. I'm posting this piece of info. Actually we are 2 brothers, working together on this blog.

-Mohammed: 35 years old dentist/single/graduated from Baghdad university in 1995. Left his job 6 years ago because he refused to serve in Saddam's army, and now back to work in Samawa City in the southwest part of Iraq. Interests: poetry, reading (history, religions, philosophy and politics).

-Omar (I'm the one responsible for the publishing and internet work): 24 years old dentist/single/graduated from Baghdad university in 2002. Saved from the military service only by God and the coalition. Now working in Basra. Interests: music, sports (martial arts), reading (novels) and now blogging. We were all born in Baghdad and still living here.


It has a list of other Iraqi blogs down the right hand side.

22nd Sep 2005, 13:44
Oh my god!!!

This is fantastic!

A few Iraqi blogs out of a population of 26 million!

Hallelujah! The country is saved!!

22nd Sep 2005, 13:49
Can´t please some people. Just how many english speaking Iraqi bloggers did you expect? :hmm:

22nd Sep 2005, 13:53
I think the sauce has been flowing early.


22nd Sep 2005, 14:15
Four commandments of the religion we're up against are:

The occupation of Iraq was a horrible mistake and nothing good can come of it.

Nothing positive about events in Iraq should be noted or reported.

By fighting insurgents we are only recruiting sergeants creating more insurgents.

Anyone who says otherwise must be ridiculed and discredited.

22nd Sep 2005, 14:33
Apart from Abu Ghraib and some other scattered incidents, I think the Coaliton Forces behaved well like any other modern (Western) occupation force would do. OK, the Yanks are a bit more trigger happy than the Brits, but basically they're all decent guys. They're not Red Cross personal or Doctors without Borders. They execute what they're trained for and obey orders, that's why they're military.

The White House and top level Army commanders (in my eye just a politician as any other in Foggy Bottom) are fully responsible for the current mess for not sending enough troops, having no exit strategy and entered a country under completely false and incomplete intelligence. Not even mentioning the litany of mistakes after "Mission Completed", like dismissing the whole Iraqi army.

The fact that all of above has been neglected can hardly be blamed on the Coalition Forces. They do what they can.

I wish Junior for once did something good in his career; dismiss those people who either willfully or out of ignorance plunged a country and Coalition Forces into a quigmire. He can do it, see FEMA. However this will be a bridge too far for him, as he doesn't make any mistakes (acc.himself) and Eye-rack is his own private Idaho.

For now it's only mobbing with the tap running. At least another 250/300 thousand troops are necessary to do the job properly, like closing the borders. Problem is that this mess has already taken too long. Already in 2006 it will be difficult to refresh even this little army, unless....

West Coast
22nd Sep 2005, 16:50
"The White House and top level Army commanders (in my eye just a politician as any other in Foggy Bottom)"

Do tell, or rather expand upon your point, especially your reference to foggy bottom.

22nd Sep 2005, 18:31

I reckon Europe and the UK can tell us about how to close borders to illegal immigration? NOT!

For sure the Americans cannot talk about it....just look south to our Mexican border....and the problem we have with that one border alone...much less Iraq's borders.

22nd Sep 2005, 21:59
SASless, I'm sure it won't be 100%, but 3 times more troops will do a better job then they do now along the Syrian and Iranian borders.
I reckon Europe and the UK can tell us about how to close borders to illegal immigration? NOT! Well, it can, a little, as of March 2004:

US: 5,9 Mio illegal immigrants
Europe: 600.000 illegal immigrants

22nd Sep 2005, 22:09

You're absolutely right. Insufficient troop levels have been the leading cause of problems in Iraq since the end of the invasion. Given the current political climate, the augmentation is going to have to wait until the Iraqis provide it themselves.

The US has no idea how many illegals we have inside. They never answer their census questionnaires. And we don't require, thanks to ACLU, IDs that would identify them. Illegal immigration is a huge problem for the US, and an area where I think the Bush administration has not only totally shirked its responsibility, but has made the problem worse by its hints of amnesties and permits. Illegals should be fined, incarcerated to work to pay their fines, then charged for airfare back home, where their governments should be asked to pay for the hassle.

West Coast
23rd Sep 2005, 00:00
Have you figured it out yet that foggy bottom refers to the Dept. of State and not the Dept. of Defense? You have used it in improper context a number of times as of late. As an ambassador of Google, you might want to let them know.


brain fade
23rd Sep 2005, 01:40
Could somebody please remind me, what are we doing in Iraq?

23rd Sep 2005, 02:10
Glad you asked, Brain Fade.

We're establishing a democratically elected government after having deposed a ruler who murdered hundreds of thousands of his countrymen and started two area wars, fomenting instability in a region whose resources are critical to the world economy.

We're fighting and resisting Islamist terrorists who wish to destroy us and our civilization; terrorists who have no compunction about killing innocent civilians in Baghdad, London or New York.

We're establishing a geographical and geopolitical barrier between two rogue states who support terrorists mentioned above, oppress their people, and are a danger to world peace.

We're demonstrating that global Islamist terrorism results in the forcible destruction of regimes friendly to it.

Among other admirable things.

brain fade
23rd Sep 2005, 02:58
Seems more like the Shiites are the most likely to take power, and they are the 'mad mullah' types. In fact it's only the Sunnis ie Saddams old pals (the secularists) who are keeping them away from the levers of power. If the Shiites do get in then Iraq will be like Iran. So..........result? Ironic or what?

Democracy? Well, like you, I hope we are trying to establish democracy. Not sure tho' how easy it is to bomb a country into it. Still, time will tell I guess. (wasn't Vietnam about the same sort of thing? Correct me if I'm wrong here, please).
You could always ask the French how they got on in Algeria when they tried to achieve the same (in fact a much better) outcome there! Might explain their reluctance to get involved in this latest fcuk up, come to think of it.

Democracy is lookig more and more like a busted flush anyway although I can't think of a better system other than benevolent dictatorship, with me as the BD. Even here in the UK, the seat of 'democracy' ,it's either vote Labour (more right wing than Mrs Thatcher) or Conservative, even more right wing than Labour. Some choice eh? And I write as a 'Right wing Conservative myself!)

Or Green.

Re your 'World Peace' comment.
Do you mean twixt Iraq & Iran? In which case do you mean that we've given up supporting Iraq in favour of Iran. Or do you mean Iraq & Syria? Who knows? Frankly I think the US is more of a threat to 'world peace' as you put it, than any of the above.

Re 'Islamic terrorism'.
Weren't the 9/11 hijackers Saudis?
No plans to invade Saudi Arabia yet, is there?
Or Pakistan for that matter.

I'm not saying I agree with it but apparantly the main Al Q grievance was the presence of US forces in Saudi Arabia. Shame if that is what started them off especially as your forces seem to have left now. Wonder why?

You would not of course agree with me that projecting US influence into an area awash with oil has anything to do with 'the war on "terrorism". And of course it has even less to do with getting that oil out of the area by pipeline to Haifa or some other seaport, has it?

Admirable things.

Gullible but 'patriotic' and genuinely well intentioned, if ill-informed folk like yourself supported 'Vietnam' to the end.

They were still wrong. But at least YOU're still alive.

58.000 US KIA. Unknown number of 'enemy' KIA. (We still don't count 'em, do we?) Surely these KIA would have been the benefactors of the 'democracy' we were trying so hard to shove up there arses, I mean 'bring them the gift of'.

Killing civilians is never admirable and it will be even less 'admirable' if Iraq descends into civil war or even if we antagonise acts against us which result in civilian deaths in our countries which otherwise would not have occurred.

A couple of 'factoids' for you. I would call them 'truisms'.

1. We (UK/US) Do not give a flying Fcuk about the 'citizens of Iraq'. Well do you, really? really.

2. The WMDs. Not there and no threat to the US even had they been there.

3. Never confuse 'Patriotism' with 'Blind loyalty'. It's a trap for fools.

So as I said: Could someone please remind me, what we are doing in Iraq?:confused:

23rd Sep 2005, 03:46
brain fade,

Is "remind" really the word you need?

Are you saying that you knew the reason but have now forgotten it? or are you asking some one to tell you that the reason has changed over time, and now with a considerable amount of hind sight a different reason is required?.

A benevolent dictator would appear to be the answer, the problem would be to get a democratically elected committee to select said benevolent dictator.


23rd Sep 2005, 05:51
Seems more like the Shiites are the most likely to take power, and they are the 'mad mullah' types. In fact it's only the Sunnis ie Saddams old pals (the secularists) who are keeping them away from the levers of power.

I think you'll find the Wahabbi and other fundamentalist sects are Sunni......

23rd Sep 2005, 10:49
Not true, Orac. Sunnis and Wahhabis are miles apart in their interpretation of the Quran and Sharia.

Sunni Islam is one of the most liberal sects, Wahhabi is one of the most fundamentalist. This is partly down to political considerations, and partly down to the legal school that each sect integrates into its theology. For example, Wahhabis embrace hadd interpretation of Sharia, which few other sects accept, taking it as the limit of punishment set down by the Prophet (pbuh). These hadd punishments include amputation for theft, stoning for adultery etc. As I say, most other sects consider these to be the maximum, not the prescribed punishment for every offence.

It is impossible to separate politics, jurisprudence, social anthropology and theology in Islam. Hence the deep divides between some of the various sects.

If you want to learn more, some years ago The Observer published quite a good guide to Islam. Informative reading, and I think you will find it explains quite a lot. There are many other books, of course, and I would recommend anyone interested to read before spouting.

23rd Sep 2005, 11:18
Islamic Fundamentalism (http://www.brucegourley.com/fundamentalism/islamicfundamentalismintro3.htm)

As has been noted, Islamic political fundamentalist movements are a twentieth-century development. Not surprisingly, the majority of these movements are of the Sunni variety. Of the 175 Islamic fundamentalist groups (mainly of the political variety) in the Arab world as identified by Dekmejian from 1970-1995, only 32 were Shiite fundamentalists (with an additional four having both Sunni and Shiite followers)........

23rd Sep 2005, 11:49
I'm not quite sure either what the link you posted has to do with anything, but there are various misconceptions therein.

For one, Islamic fundamentalism is very far from being solely a 20th. Century phenomenon. There have been many, many attempts throughout the history of Islam to go back to the fundamentals of Islam. Many of these have been politically-inspired.

Secondly, it would hardly be surprising if fundamentalist movements were heavily weighted towards Sunnis, since they are far and away the largest sect, and Shia one of the smaller ones.

Next, there are many, many sects within Islam; far more than simply "Shia" and "Sunni".

Finally, I have no idea at all who Bruce Gourley is. Apart from what is told about him on his own websites, the fact that he is a Christian Fundamentalist himself makes me doubt his credentials to be described as impartial.

Orac, I strongly advise you to read something more than what you find through Google. Read a book you know is independent of thought, independent of current political pressures, such as The Observer analysis I quoted earlier. It predates much of the current issues, so you know it is unhampered by current political complications.

23rd Sep 2005, 12:20
The figures he quotes are from Professor Dekmejian (http://www.usc.edu/uscnews/experts/244.html), who would seem to be an expert in the field and suitably impartial I would have thought, more so than a newspaper.

brain fade
23rd Sep 2005, 12:46
Re my use of the word 'remind'. What I was trying to say is that the reasons we were given for he war have turned out to be BS, So what was the REAL reason.
And I agree 'remind' is not the correct word. No need for 'hindsight' in my case tho. I always thought the war was a crap idea and that the causus belli was lies. I may be in danger of being proved correct along with all the other 'antis'.
Just for info , IMHO it was all about the projection of US influence into the area, securing oil supplies and routes to extract them and lastly and leastly,protecting Israel.

I wonder how it will end? Badly I expect.

You choose to miss the point. Aren't the Shiites the 'maddies'?
Are they or are they not looking most likely to finish up in charge?
You'll be claiming our old buddy Saddam to be a fundamentalist next.

One of the things that seperates us from the animals is the ability to change our minds, you know, as new facts or outcomes appear.
If it all goes well in Iraq, democracy breaks out, killing stops, peace in measurable quantities etc, I'll put up my hand to say how wrong I was to oppose this war.

Right now tho, as it goes to hell in a handbag, I'd say it's you who is most likely to have to change your mind. Question is..........Can you?:rolleyes:

23rd Sep 2005, 12:50
To suggest that ORAC should either read the Observer, a left wing rag, or study Google is quite insulting and serves only to demonstrate your very subjective and personally held views.

Strongly suggest that you make a big effort to be much more polite and a lot less patronising.

Every time you post you diminish any credence you may have previously held.

brain fade
23rd Sep 2005, 13:02
What a load of rot!
I read XXTSGR's posts and thought them to be objective and restrained.
In fact he suggested he read something OTHER than stuff on Google. The opposite of what you posted.


23rd Sep 2005, 13:30

Observer, a left wing rag

Good grief man, tell me what an "acceptable" newspaper is in your eyes? Oh, let me guess......


you've done it now I'm afraid, ORAC does not like to be wrong. As I've said, you've been warned....:uhoh:

23rd Sep 2005, 13:43
Parabellum seem to follow WC's example to waste PPRuNe's bandwidth with discussing the person and media rather than the subject. Probably it's because they fail to bring suitable arguments?

PS I'm quite certain ORAC does read the Observer, whether he will use it is another point... ;)

23rd Sep 2005, 13:59
Does anyone reach their conclusions from one source? There's no excuse for it with all the power of the internet at one's disposal.

Some of the beliefs shown on posts above indicate a rejection of the preponderance of evidence in favor of one's own particular prejudices. I just don't have the time today to tear apart the wild assertions and false assumptions so much in abundance. I can only be amazed at how narrow one's sources must be to really believe what they are saying.

It's certainly not personal, which is why I'm not mentioning any names. It's also clear from the tone of the posts as to what level the poster is informed.

23rd Sep 2005, 14:14
Well, I've learned a lot from XXTSGR's posts in the past. I think somebody from the religion involved probably starts the race with a little more credibility than those from outside quoting from any source they can find to support their beliefs. That's particularly so when that person, like XXTSGR, has never attempted to proselytise, only to make a gentle disclaimer against some of the more egregious falsehoods he sees written.

ORAC, I and (I suspect) most other people here are never going to bother challenging your links (in fact I confess I never read them) because you seem to be able to produce one at will to say anything you want it to say. I have a lot of spare time, but not so much as to bother finding opposing links. If it's something I know something about, I'll put my point across, otherwise I'll generally shut up. That's why I post on so few subjects.

If you want to argue with a Muslim about Islam by quoting internet sources, you go right ahead. I would actually like to hear some of your own words one day instead of instant links to somebody else's.

23rd Sep 2005, 14:36
BenThere, Some of the beliefs...indicate a rejection of the preponderance of evidence in favor of one's own particular prejudices. I think you just about hit the nail fully on the head there!

This place isn't a court where the judges have to be impartial... ;)

IMHO, impartiality is probably something that most of humanity is quite incapable of. I hesitate to put it quite so simplistically, but each of us brings along our own beliefs, instilled through many years. And "beliefs" by their very nature, are probably less rooted in evidence, than accumulated experiences and overall impressions ie. prejudices.

You could have all the proof imagineable...but try convincing someone who truly believes that the Earth was created in only 6 days about 5,000 years ago, or, in other words...prove that even if the dates are a little hazy, God was not at all involved at some stage... :)

brain fade
23rd Sep 2005, 14:47


I think it's easier to forgive those who were fooled into swallowing the lies that led to the war, than it is to understand those who still think it was a worth doing.

Nobody likes to admit they were fooled or that they naively fell for something that half the world could see was pish.

Some folk are plainly in denial, and it takes a degree of courage to admit, especially on pprune, that you were fooled.

Has anyone been big enough to admit that they were wrong to back the war?

It's getting harder and harder to see Iraq in any sort of favourable light.

ORAC. I'd like to hear from you as to whether you've revised any of your thinking in the light of recent events. I can't believe you still think as you did pre war.

BTW. I don't regard myself as the sharpest tool in the box (see user name!) but I'm man enough to admit when I'm wrong and I will do so if it all turns out rosy.

Clipper One
23rd Sep 2005, 15:51

We could say exactly the same thing about yourself.

Your views have been consistently "pro-war in Iraq" so what sources do you you use? Washington Times, NRO, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh etc etc?

I actually read/watch/listen to all the above plus others and numerous right wing blogs and come to my own conclusions. Do you?

23rd Sep 2005, 15:55
Some of the beliefs shown on posts above indicate a rejection of the preponderance of evidence in favor of one's own particular prejudices.

BenThere, I'm sure that even as you were typing that a sense of irony must have pervaded your thoughts. Come on, be honest now; somebody from the other side of the spectrum could have posted that one minute before you, and you would have been equally right or wrong, depending on a subjective view of "the preponderance of evidence". :hmm:

BTW, re your four commandments posted earlier;

The occupation of Iraq was a horrible mistake and nothing good can come of it.

Nothing positive about events in Iraq should be noted or reported.

By fighting insurgents we are only recruiting sergeants creating more insurgents.

Anyone who says otherwise must be ridiculed and discredited.

I agree entirely with number one, disagree totally with number two, vaguely agree with number three and humbly suggest that the evidence on this forum indicates number four applies equally to both sides.

23rd Sep 2005, 16:06
Thanks for noticing, Clipper. I do go to the sites of the three publications, and I very occasionally listen to Limbaugh, but don't go to his site. I do visit Nation, Guardian, Slate, Salon and other left of center sites.

I have come to my own conclusions about the Bush Administration, the Iraq War, and the terrorism war. I don't claim the administration or the execution of the war are perfect. There are a lot of problems. I expected an easier time of it, but I still think there was justification for the action and that it is only the beginning of the long-term effort.

I think the resistance of the left has been largely based on political opposition, and that it has made the task much harder than it needed to be. It's going to be a long time until we know who was right.

Maybe one day the electorate will tire of what we have and hand power to the left. Then we would see how those taking their pot shots now work to attain a better world, handle the Jihad, deal with the global economy, and, importantly, how principled its opposition will be.

23rd Sep 2005, 16:13
Why do you assume that opposition of the Iraq Invasion is from the left? That is a very dangerous and sweeping generalisation/assumption.

Speaking personally, my opposition to GW2 is based on the now proven fact that it was based on lies. Politicians lie, it is a known modus operandii, but there is a difference between lying about porking the secretary and lying about commiting troops to battle.

23rd Sep 2005, 16:15
Since most of the Islamic sites/authorities constantly say that 9/11 was not a moslem act, that a moslem will never kill a moslem and that Islam is a peaceful religion, I tend to take their proclamations with a pinch of salt.

XXTSRG's contention that it would hardly be surprising if fundamentalist movements were heavily weighted towards Sunnis, since they are far and away the largest sect, is surprising, since it would seem to axiomatically imply that Islam is a violent religion. There are more christians than moslems, but nowhere near the number of violent fundamentalists. Similarly for the numbers of Buddhists, Shintoists etc.

There are, indeed, more sects inside Islam that Shia and Sunnis, as there are more in christianity than catholic than protestant. To insist, however, that Wahabbism is not Sunni is like insisting that Presbyterianism is not protestant.

The similarity does not end there. Shia Imams have great authority, imbued with almost Pope-like infallibility and the Shia religious hierarchy is not dissimilar in structure and religious power to Catholic Church. Sunni Islam more closely resembles Protestantism without a formal clergy, permitting a much greater tendency, as in the USA, to allow fundamentalism to flourish.

There is a currently a wave of violence in the Shia community in Basra and southern Iraq, driven by Iran Muqtada al-Sadr and Ayatollah Mohammed al-Yaqoubi, who have come out against the proposed constitution. The majority, however, still listen to the words of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani who has urged the people to vote yes.

I would use as a crude measure of the balance between fundamentalism and politics how many attacks are committed by suicide bombers, who think they are going to heaven, and how many are committed using sophisticated charge shape devices by remote control by those who flee the scene or by agitators enciting mobs into action. On that basis I see fundamentalist attacks in the Sunni triangle, political attacks in the south.

Believe who you will.

23rd Sep 2005, 17:16

I think it was you who made the broad assumption. If you reread my post I addressed only the resistance of the left. Logically, the resistance of the left could only come from the left. That would be a subset of all resistance. It was that subset I was clearly addressing. You made the false deduction that I was saying all resistance was from the left. No hard feelings.

Islamic Jihad would be characterized by most as being ultra-right wing. Certainly there is resistance there as well, and I wouldn't argue about it.

One other quibble. You say it's a proven fact GW2 was based on lies. It's not a proven fact, but your opinion, to which you are entitled, and which I believe to be wrong.



Nice Post.

23rd Sep 2005, 18:26
Purely speculative reflection on my part and with reference only to the present time, but is not Islam in this day and age the religion most connected to violent opposition to those of other faiths?
Most others to my mind seem to advocate tolerance and co-existance.
I do of course accept that it is not all adherants of Islam however still seems to a substantial number.

23rd Sep 2005, 18:27
To be a lie, it has to be told knowing its falsehood. There's a big difference between that and saying something you believe to be true.

I've said before, WMDs were not the only reason that justified deposing Hussein, and there were sufficient reasons outside of WMDs that justified the action. Even if they are never found, does that prove they did not exist?

23rd Sep 2005, 20:23
Ben There,

In the UK the justification for war was based on WMDs and that they represented a clear and present danger to the UK. UNSCR1441 was the tool used to back up the actions of the coalition. A read of the resolution put the US Congress and Senate also used WMD's plus implied that Saddam was somehow complicit in the September 11th attacks. You yourself posted a link to the resolution, which, at the time seemed, to those who could take a step back and assess the situation with a little bit of common sense, like a distinctly weak argument.

The WMD's have been shown to be a red herring.
The Al Samoud missiles were poor and crude reworkings of the Scud system and no possible threat the UK or the US.
There was no link between Iraq and September 11.
The Iraqi Nuclear program was non-existant.
The truck and railway wagon mobile chemical laboratories that the US intelligence services "knew were there and where they were" never existed (despite being shown in a nice powerpoint show at the UN)

These are facts.

If the War on Terror™ was to have any chance of success, then Afghanistan and the mountainous region around the Pakistan border should have been secured before any other action was considered. You may have forgotten how much support the US had for this - including the French, Germans and Russians.

All that goodwill and support was squandered for the PNAC vision of the Middle East, I really cannot see any other explanation.

Now that the UK and the US are in Iraq, withdrawal is not an option - the bed is made and now we have to lie in it.

While Iraq is not another Vietnam (the politics and world dynamics are totally different), but the potential for it turning into something deeply ugly for the region and wider world is there. The US & UK forces are commited to Iraq for at least the 5 years just to maintain some form of stability and to prevent the country falling apart into Kurd, Sunni and Shia factional areas. The knock on effects of that would make Kosovo look like a picnic.

Turkey and Iran would not accept a formally organised country of Kurdistan. Turkey showed that at the end of GW1 with their actions against the Kurds then. Funny thing about the Kurds though, despite the fighting a War on Terror™, the US didnt seem to have much difficulty using the services of the PKK in Northern Iraq.

The Shia areas in the South of Iraq would probably align themselves with Iran - not something the West would find attractive.

Which leaves the Sunni in the middle who are never really likely to accept the "rule" of the US.

Is there a solution to this mess? I can't see one. We should not have been there in the first place. Hussein should have been dealt with in the early 1990's when we had a myriad of chances, from direct coallition action on Bagdhad to supporting the uprising the Pa Bush called for. my guess is that we are stuck with this cock up for along time and the daily bomb attacks will slip slowly down the news items. I have no doubt that in certain areas things are getting better for certain parts of Iraqi society, but was all this misery really needed?

23rd Sep 2005, 20:53
One possible outcome is that democracy will be established under a federalist framework. The large Shia population and its afinity with Iranian Shia may mitigate to the detriment of the theocracy of torture and corruption under which Iranians live.

Ironically, Iranians have, in a widely accepted scientifically conducted poll, voiced the highest approval rate in the Middle East of the United States. How would you spin that? What does that mean for the future of Mullahcracy, not only in Iran, but througout the Muslim world?

Blair's insistence on emphasis of WMDs was a strategic error. The fact that Hussein fired on no-fly zone aircraft and obstructed inspections was enough to resume hostilities.

The failure to depose Hussein in 1991 was due to the mandate given coalition forces only to liberate Kuwait. The alliance with the Arab nations involved would have likely evaporated had Baghdad been conquered at that time. Terms of peace were thus negotiated with Hussein, which he violated, leading ultimately to his demise.

23rd Sep 2005, 22:21
No doubt about it, Bush's numbers are heading way south according to the latest polls.

Latest polls (http://www.pollingreport.com/BushJob.htm)

Dissaproval among Americans as high as 58%...

Even the Fox News poll shows a dissaproval rating of 51%!!:eek:

23rd Sep 2005, 23:00
I think those who claimed (and still do) that Hussein had to be ejected from Iraq and that the WMD's was a side issue and that it was always about getting rid if this "threat" to the US, should go back and read Perle, Big Dick and Rummy's thoughts in the infamous PNAC document.

While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein

23rd Sep 2005, 23:30
"Has anyone been big enough to admit they were wrong to back the war?"

The answer is "YES!"

And he isn't anybody this one who admits now he was wrong to back the Iraq war.

Remember this ex-General Powell?

He made a fool of himself in front of UNO General Assembly, and Security Council, with his uncredible show about WMDs.

Then he let us know that he had protested against what he had been told to "reveal" on this occasion.

In a recent interview - supposed to talk about Katrina....- he had to answer to precise questions about Iraq, and admitted HE WAS ASHAMED OF WHAT HE DID AND REGRETTED IT!

It seems the General has left the battlefield.......but petty officers here are still presenting his torn out dirty banner.

What a shame!

24th Sep 2005, 08:03
Incorrect Grandpa, he said he regretted his speech to the security council. He has never said he was wrong. In fact, in the same interview, when asked if he had been for the decision to go to war, he answered in the affirmative and added ''I'm glad Saddam is gone.''

24th Sep 2005, 08:23
One World,

You have hit the nail on the head...the issue of American Troop presence in that part of the world...remains the central point of the whole problem.

How does the Western World...including Europe and the USA...inject effective Diplomatic force in the Middle East, Near East areas without having the ability to project military power into the area on both a longterm basis and on short notice without having a presence?

Diplomacy requires some means to back up diplomatic action and that is the threat of force in the shape of military force.

brain fade
24th Sep 2005, 11:21

Thanks for that. Well, if Colin Powell can admit it there's got to be hope for some of our fellow ppruners.

Have to say though I always found it a bit odd that General Powell was unable to pronounce his christian name properly.

ORAC. Don't be shy!
Do you still think as you did during the build up to 'Iraq', or are you beginning to give the 'antis' just a wee bit more credit than you did then?

BTW. Whether CP said it or not matters little. He WAS wrong!


Perhaps the answer is for the troops to return home and for the US to manage WITHOUT the ability to force diplomatic issues!

US sovereignty ends exactly where the US ends. No country has the right to influence events in other countries other than via diplomatic means.

That's why it's called 'Diplomacy'.

24th Sep 2005, 11:59
Brain Fade a profound statement. If only other powers felt the way you did. Do you really imagine that countries like Iran, Iraq and North Korea, just to name a few, have ever seriously considered NOT meddling in surrounding countries???:confused: :rolleyes:

24th Sep 2005, 12:28
Whether or not WMDs of either Iraq or Iran could reach the USA or the UK has never been a serious issue or consideration. Iraq knew in 1991 that if it could wipe out Israel it would regain all lost respect from other Middle eastern countries and leave Saddam Hussein in a position of considerable power, feared by his neighbours who have never trusted him anyway.

It is a recorded fact that Iraq, Iran and several other ME countries have vowed to, one day, wipe Israel of the face of the planet and this is the crux of the ME problems we have to-day. If any ME country has or had such an ability then due to long standing pacts, in place for years, then both the USA and the UK would be drawn into to a full scale ME war involving WMDs that would be used against Israel and any neighbours sympathetic to the West and any coalition forces that are in theatre. What is happening in Iraq today would look like a country picnic by comparison and that is the primary reason, not oil, that it was deemed necessary to bring Saddam Hussein, a proven loose canon with a reputation at stake, down from power.

Blix may have said he doubted any WMD still existed but Blix was not the sole source of intelligence, by any means.

24th Sep 2005, 12:45
Blix may have said he doubted any WMD still existed but Blix was not the sole source of intelligence, by any means.

But he was right! And that's the critical point. He was the expert who led the official, legal team accepted by the world community. He knew more than anybody the state and extent of any weapons in Iraq.

The US did not like what he had to say because it did not fit their agenda so he was ignored and the powers that be went over him.

Quite shameful really.

24th Sep 2005, 13:52
I seem to recall a gentleman by the name of Scott Ritter (?) who was accused of everything from treason upwards for suggesting Saddam had no WMD. Whatever happened to Scott?

Look guys, it's fairly sad that everybody here seems more concerned with protecting their own reputation (told you so! did not! did too!) than how the hell this mess is going to be solved.

Maybe Robin Williams** has the right idea after all? Light-hearted or frustrated, who knows, but I seem to recall proposing something similar back on the late lamented Current Affairs thread a couple of years ago.
** "I see a lot of people yelling for peace
but I have not heard of a plan for
peace. So, here's one plan."

1) "The US will apologize to the world for our "interference" in their affairs, past & present. You know, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Tojo, Noriega, Milosevic, Hussein, and the rest of those 'good ole boys', we will never "interfere" again.

2) We will withdraw our troops from all over the world, starting with Germany, South Korea, the Middle East, and the Philippines. They don't want us there. We would station troops at our borders. No one allowed sneaking through holes in the fence.

3) All illegal aliens have 90 days to get their affairs together and leave. We'll give them a free trip home. After 90 days the remainder will be gathered up and deported immediately, regardless of whom or where they are. They're illegal!!! France will welcome them.

4) All future visitors will be tho-
roughly checked and limited to 90 days unless given a special permit!!!! No one from a terrorist nation will be allowed in. If you don't like it there, change it yourself and don't hide here. Asylum would never be available
to anyone. We don't need any more cab drivers or 7-11 cashiers.

5) No foreign "students" over age 21. The older ones are the bombers. If they don't attend classes, they get a "D" and it's back home baby.

6) The US will make a strong effort
to become self-sufficient energy wise. This will include developing nonpolluting sources of energy but will require a temporary drilling of oil in the Alaskan wilderness. The caribou will have to cope for a while.

7) Offer Saudi Arabia and other oil producing countries $10 a barrel for their oil. If they don't like it, we go some place else. They can go somewhere else to sell their production. (About a week of the wells filling up the storage sites would be enough.)

8) If there is a famine or other natural catastrophe in the world, we will not "interfere." They can pray to Allah or whomever, for seeds, rain, cement or whatever they need. Besides most of what we give them are stolen or given
to the army. The people who need
it most get very little, if anything.

9) Ship the UN Headquarters to an isolated island some place. We don't need the spies and fair weather friends here. Besides, the building would make a good homeless shelter or lockup for illegal aliens.

10) All Americans must go to charm and beauty school. That way, no one can call us "Ugly Americans" any longer. The Language we speak is ENGLISH...learn it...or LEAVE...Now, isn't that a winner of a plan?

"The Statue of Liberty is no longer
saying 'Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.' She's got a baseball bat and she's yelling, 'you want a piece of me?' "

24th Sep 2005, 14:24

24th Sep 2005, 15:19
he said he regretted his speech to the security council. He has never said he was wrong. ORAC, why do you think Powell regretted his speech?

Binos, since it became know that Ritter was set up in an internet sex sting, in which an undercover cop posing as a sixteen-year-old girl lured him into "sex chat" over the internet, he became more or less a persona non-grata. Subesequently the charges were dismissed to the legal equivalent of a traffic ticket. Don't you just wonder who set this sting up and leaked it to the press?

24th Sep 2005, 15:22
Blix may have said he doubted any WMD still existed. When?

Blix is a cany man and never said that they never existed, only that he could not find them. He even accepted that he had no proof that known weapons had been destroyed. It would also have been incompatible with his position as the head of UNMOVIC to have expressed such an opinion. he had to maintain a totally neutral opinion on the matter, if he had expressed such an opinion he would probably have been sacked. Even in his report (http://www.un.org/Depts/unmovic/recent items.html) after the invasion he said, and I quote:

" I have publicly said that I wished these units every success in finding the truth about the weapons, which, at UNMOVIC, we have concluded could exist and which several governments are convinced do exist. I have no doubt about the determination of these units to work objectively."

After the war he was free state his views, but not before.

24th Sep 2005, 16:29
CK, anyone who dares disagrees with this administration and worst of all, former officials who worked in the administration who then come out and criticise can expect disgusting smear campaigns aganst their characters. Dissent will not be tolerated

Hence Ritter, Clark dismissed and slagged off.

And even civilians like Cindy Sheahan viciously attacked in certain media quarters.

For a laugh, I'd like to direct peoples attention to the darling of the right in the US, Ann Coulter. A woman GOP'ers worship. Below is a choice selection of things she has actually said. Some of it is almost unbeleivable, yet she's consistently given air time....

"[Clinton] masturbates in the sinks."---Rivera Live 8/2/99

"God gave us the earth. We have dominion over the plants, the animals, the trees. God said, 'Earth is yours. Take it. Rape it. It's yours.'---Hannity & Colmes, 6/20/01

The "backbone of the Democratic Party" is a "typical fat, implacable welfare recipient"---syndicated column 10/29/99

To a disabled Vietnam vet: "People like you caused us to lose that war."---MSNBC :eek:

"Women like Pamela Harriman and Patricia Duff are basically Anna Nicole Smith from the waist down. Let's just call it for what it is. They're whores."---Salon.com 11/16/00

Juan Gonzales is "Cuba's answer to Joey Buttafuoco," a "miscreant," "sperm-donor," and a "poor man's Hugh Hefner."---Rivera Live 5/1/00

On Princess Diana's death: "Her children knew she's sleeping with all these men. That just seems to me, it's the definition of 'not a good mother.' ... Is everyone just saying here that it's okay to ostentatiously have premarital sex in front of your children?"..."[Diana is] an ordinary and pathetic and confessional - I've never had bulimia! I've never had an affair! I've never had a divorce! So I don't think she's better than I am."---MSNBC 9/12/97

"I think there should be a literacy test and a poll tax for people to vote."---Hannity & Colmes, 8/17/99

"I think [women] should be armed but should not vote."---Politically Incorrect, 2/26/01

[b]"If you don't hate Clinton and the people who labored to keep him in office, you don't love your country." :confused:---George, 7/99

"We're now at the point that it's beyond whether or not this guy is a horny hick. I really think it's a question of his mental stability. He really could be a lunatic. I think it is a rational question for Americans to ask whether their president is insane."---Equal Time

"It's enough [to be impeached] for the president to be a pervert."---The Case Against Bill Clinton, Coulter's 1998 book.

"Clinton is in love with the erect penis."---This Evening with Judith Regan, Fox News Channel 2/6/00

"I think we had enough laws about the turn-of-the-century. We don't need any more." Asked how far back would she go to repeal laws, she replied, "Well, before the New Deal...[The Emancipation Proclamation] would be a good start."---Politically Incorrect 5/7/97

"If they have the one innocent person who has ever to be put to death this century out of over 7,000, you probably will get a good movie deal out of it."---MSNBC 7/27/97

"If those kids had been carrying guns they would have gunned down this one [child] gunman. ... Don't pray. Learn to use guns."---Politically Incorrect, 12/18/97

"The presumption of innocence only means you don't go right to jail."---Hannity & Colmes 8/24/01

"I have to say I'm all for public flogging. One type of criminal that a public humiliation might work particularly well with are the juvenile delinquents, a lot of whom consider it a badge of honor to be sent to juvenile detention. And it might not be such a cool thing in the 'hood to be flogged publicly."---MSNBC 3/22/97

"Originally, I was the only female with long blonde hair. Now, they all have long blonde hair."---CapitolHillBlue.com 6/6/00

"I am emboldened by my looks to say things Republican men wouldn't."---TV Guide 8/97

"Let's say I go out every night, I meet a guy and have sex with him. Good for me. I'm not married."---Rivera Live 6/7/00

"Anorexics never have boyfriends. ... That's one way to know you don't have anorexia, if you have a boyfriend."---Politically Incorrect 7/21/97

"I think [Whitewater]'s going to prevent the First Lady from running for Senate."---Rivera Live 3/12/99

"My track record is pretty good on predictions."---Rivera Live 12/8/98

"The thing I like about Bush is I think he hates liberals."---Washington Post 8/1/00

"The swing voters---I like to refer to them as the idiot voters because they don't have set philosophical principles. You're either a liberal or you're a conservative if you have an IQ above a toaster. "---Beyond the News, Fox News Channel, 6/4/00

"My libertarian friends are probably getting a little upset now but I think that's because they never appreciate the benefits of local fascism."---MSNBC 2/8/97

"You want to be careful not to become just a blowhard."---Washington Post 10/16/98

What a charming woman! :ok: And this is only to 2001! :eek: :eek:

24th Sep 2005, 17:40
So, am I right in assuming that the posters who have said that even though there have been intensive searches by the U.N. weapons inspectors, and no WMD's have been found, and no proof of recent WMD projects or developments were discovered, will therefore have no objection to the police searching their houses for child porn, and then issuing a statement along the lines of
"We have carried out a full investigation into BenThere, and despite finding no evidence whatsoever, we still believe that he is a paedophile."
It seems perfectly logical, as the following quote says:

"Even if they are never found does not mean that they did not exist"

brain fade
24th Sep 2005, 21:04

I take your post as a tacit admission that 'Iraq' is all about projecting US power in order to favourably influence outcomes in the ME.

I agree with you as I'm sure this is the case.

Could I just point out though, that had Mr Blair been as 'upfront' as you are, you'd be doing this war without the assistance of the UK or many of your other allies.

The gullible amongst us were told the war 'had' to be done due WMD threat. And they (amazingly) bought that BS!

A lie.

24th Sep 2005, 21:36

Politics in the States has become polarised with commentators on both extremes. To find one side, either side, complaining about the tactics of the other is derisory.

For every Ann Coulter there is a Michael Moore.

24th Sep 2005, 22:09
Have not seen him for long......

Got an idea what he is preparing?
(difficult to catch same success as his last film about Dubya's failures.)

24th Sep 2005, 22:16
Depends upon how one defines success I guess?

Anne Coulter knocks them out of the park everytime!:ok:

24th Sep 2005, 23:28
Nah, sorry ORAC, we've nothin' like Ann!

Moore goes go on a bit, but at least he draws attention to the shamful shenenigans that went out prior to the war and other itema that needed addressing like Dubbya's first election...

All Ann talks about is Clinton's d**k!!

25th Sep 2005, 06:28
All Ann talks about is Clinton's d**k!! Isn't that what Clinton talked about?


25th Sep 2005, 06:34
In answer to your question Grandpa, he is making a movie about hurricane Katrina. No doubt it will be well balanced and accurate as usual...... :hmm:

ps, To those who are interested in the impartiality of the Guardian/Observer, you may find this link (http://hurryupharry.bloghouse.net/archives/2005/08/11/al_qaeda_and_the_guardian.php) concerning their contributors Dilpazier Aslam and Sa’ad al-Faqih.

25th Sep 2005, 07:40
MM's success is tapping into prejudice like yours Grandpa, and selectively presenting his "evidence" to conspiracy theorists and the even more gullible.


Even Blix acknowledged that there was a significant gap in the declared WMD held by Iraq following several years of obviously frustrating cat and mouse tactics employed by Saddam. The Inspection teams were pissed about for years. (By the way, Ritter isn't the best example of an establishment fit up - was he really innocent of the charges ?)

Tons of VX, Sarin, Mustard Gas and thousands of litres of Anthrax still remain unaccounted for following the Inspection team farce. Perhaps if you had accompanied my team and I when we escorted forensics experts to examine only some of the mass graves so far discovered in Iraq the evidence and the brutal proof of Saddam's murderous reign would become real, instead of a truth conveniently forgotten by the so called anti war campaigners.

Funny how concern in the chattering classes for dead Iraqis only starts following the liberation in 2003. In addition, Saddam basically gave his whole air force to the Iranians in 1990/91 to save it from destruction in the first Gulf War (ironic, since they didn't give it back) so why the scepticism regarding the same kind of illogical action regarding the lost WMD.

Lest we forget, Saddam killed and maimed thousands of Iraqi Kurds and Shia and WMD was his weapon of choice. His sabre rattling before the liberation and veiled threats that he would use WMD wasn't a bright strategy after all was it ?

The vast proportion of Saddam's arms were of Russian, Chinese, general East Bloc, French manufacture and I believe it was the Germans who sold the Iraqi regime most of their "dual use" chemicals. We of course sold them two much publicised Matrix Churchill Machine tool lathes. :rolleyes:

25th Sep 2005, 09:46
.....and never did That Rummys of yours get involved in helping his friend Saddam?

Now, back to Colin Powell!

Anyone got an idea what he could have regretted from his speach at UNO, except the ridicule that Bush Administration put on him with lies and forged revelations?

25th Sep 2005, 09:57
Certainly Grandpa, and it was nothing to do with the administration, he regretted the inaccuracy of the intelligence briefings he received from the CIA.

WASHINGTON (AP) - Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Thursday his prewar speech to the United Nations accusing Iraq of harboring weapons of mass destruction was a "blot" on his record.......

In the speech, Powell said he had relied on information he received at Central Intelligence Agency briefings. He said Thursday that then-director George Tenet "believed what he was giving to me was accurate." But, Powell said, "the intelligence system did not work well." "There were some people in the intelligence community who knew at the time that some of those sources were not good, and shouldn't be relied upon, and they didn't speak up," Powell said. "That devastated me," he said....

Still, Powell said that while he has always been a "reluctant warrior" he supported Bush on going to war the month after his U.N. speech. "When the president decided that it was not tolerable for this regime to remain in violation of all those U.N. resolutions I am right there with him with the use of force," Powell said.

25th Sep 2005, 11:15

I do believe it, yes. I notice you don't deny it but trawl up old news about a perfectly legal visit to Baghdad in the dim and distant past, in a world totally different from the one we live in today.

I think the Rumsfield visit was 21 years ago, in 1984, not long after the Israelis had destroyed French supplied nuclear tecnhology to Saddam at the Osirak reactor. French supply of nuclear know how to a tinder box region was totally irresponsible of course wasn't it ?

A trifle more destabilising than Rummy's visit to Baghdad, which was quite understandable at the time when the Iranians were even more of a threat to peace than they are now, and that is saying something given their export of terror and efforts to undermine a peaceful solution in Iraq today.

Please do analyse your own country's role in the Middle East situation today as well. Weakness, lack of moral fibre and collaboration with Saddam throughout the sanctions. Of course your old friend Chirac is absolutely a paragon of virtue isn't he ? :rolleyes:

25th Sep 2005, 12:31
C'mon Pilgirm, seeing the US assistance to Iraq at the time, it hardly gives one a platform to attack France!

In fact analyse other areas like the immoral support given to the Shah and the CIA assistance to the dreadful SAVAK and then look at other things like the USS New Jersey firing on Beirut and killing scores of innocent people and you have a catalogue of dreadul interference and immoral actions in that region.

It really is a thouroughly shameful record.

We are totally in glass houses here with regards to any lecturing on the Middle East and we should not be throwing stones.

25th Sep 2005, 14:53

Not much glass left here today ! :}

Quite a valid point, but one which I hope Grandpa might one day take on board since his repetitive, prejudiced lectures to wicked America are French hypocrisy at its most obvious. The US assistance to Iraq at that time was in fact largely symbolic since the Russian presence in Baghdad was massive and French War materiel was flooding in to both sides.

Like I said, the world is not the one we lived in throughout the cold war, with many wars (just as vicious as Iraq) then being fought by both ideologies by proxy in South America, Asia and Africa. The body count then was quite horrendous but we didn't get the chance to count them so personally in those days. The media wasn't quite so partial to flogging enemy propaganda then too.

I notice you didn't take issue with my points about French involvement and culpability though :E

25th Sep 2005, 15:13

The British aren't innocent in this field either. Does the name Matrix Churchill ring any bells?

25th Sep 2005, 15:21
Flypuppy, I think not, seeing he mentions them only 6 posts previously.......... :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

25th Sep 2005, 19:14
I'd rather face a couple of lathes in combat than well armed Mirage or MiG Jets equipped with Chemical Weapon aerosol dispensers or more conventional HE devices, French, Russian and Chinese armour, anti personnel and anti tank mines, etc etc :rolleyes: :E

How the hell can you get your knickers in such a twist over a couple of machine tools which could have been supplied by Walmart ?

25th Sep 2005, 19:51

There was a lot more than "just a couple of lathes"

The Scott Report uncovered the way in which Whitehall was working hand in glove with industry (in this case the arms industry) to circumvent export legislation. The Export Credits Guarantee Department, guarantees British exports. From 1985, the ECGD guaranteed the sale of defence equipment to Iraq to the tune of at least £25m a year. No such guarantee was available for Iran. In 1988, when the Iran/Iraq war ended, the guarantee for Iraq was quadrupled--to £100m. The chief secretary to the treasury who approved that huge leap was John Major.

In two other sections, the report exposes the central government hypocrisy--that arms to Iraq were carefully restricted throughout the period. First, all sorts of weaponry, often of the most lethal kind, got to Iraq from Britain through 'diversionary routes', chiefly through Jordan. Arms sales from Britain to Jordan were 3,000 percent (about £500 million) higher in the 1980s than in the 1970s. This had nothing to do with the expansion of the Jordanian armed forces, which were actually contracting in the 1980s. Almost all the extra weaponry went on to Iraq, and there were other conduits too: Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Portugal, Singapore, Austria.

Secondly, the 'restricted' policy became much less restricted for Iraq after the ceasefire of 1988. The entire British government was tempted by the honeypot which was opened up by Saddam Hussein as he expanded his vast armed forces after the peace treaty with Iran in 1988. The guidelines were changed to liberate a whole new category of defence sales, and no one was told about it.

The effect of the change was further to expand the close friendship between the British government and that of Saddam Hussein. In July 1990, a cabinet meeting chaired by Douglas Hurd agreed to scrap all remaining restrictions on arms sales to Iraq. But before the ministers' policy could be put into effect, their beloved ally Saddam Hussein wrecked everything by invading Kuwait. The policy of selling all arms to Iraq was rather hurriedly and nervously changed to selling no arms to Iraq.

The directors of Matrix Churchill who knew perfectly well that the machine tools they were selling to their Iraqi customers were to be used for weapons, including nuclear weapons. Their only defence was that the government knew what they were doing and let them do it, partly because ministers shared their intrinsic capitalist belief in the right to sell arms for a profit, partly because intelligence spooks liked to play silly secret spy games with the exporters.

I am sure ORAC could google up a few more companies like AT&T or IBM who exported technology via a Chinese supplier to Iraq which was involved with upgrading the Iraqi Air Defence Network.

25th Sep 2005, 21:01
Funny to read it when everybody knows (and Middle East citizens first) that the area is ravaged by a war launched by USA.

I could go on with the reply to your allegations that USA didn't help much Saddam during war against Iran (we all know that wars are won or lost due to intelligence -sorry Powell!- and Saddam was receiving satellite photography of Iranian concentrations.............Guess who gave it to him?).

But it's perfectly useless: we all know there that Saddam was considered the best to fight Iranian fundamentalist regime by all western (or non western...)powers, a judgement which led them to open the profitable market of war support for Iraq: USA, France, UK, Germany, Russia.....and many others.

And don't forget those chemicals provided by USA, then used to make those gas so usefull against Iranian and Kurds.

25th Sep 2005, 22:12
I am sure ORAC could google up a few more companies like AT&T or IBM who exported technology via a Chinese supplier to Iraq which was involved with upgrading the Iraqi Air Defence Network.

Indeed, and all with cunningly built in back doors allowing them to be taken down again when required.......... :cool:

26th Sep 2005, 02:15
It would be more productive if some brain power was utilised suggesting a way to stop the struggle, rather than who started it and why, no one will ever agree on that, who has all the facts to hand from all sides?? who interprets them from the same viewpoint. It is very sobering when people so close to the coalface make the following statements.

Crown Prince Saud.
"A son of the late King Faisal who has been foreign minister for 30 years, the prince said he sits on a council of Iraq's neighbours-Jordan, Syria, Turkey, Iran, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia-Their main worry was that the potential for the disintegration of Iraq into Sunni, Shiite and Kurdish states would bring other countries in the region into the conflict.

"Iraq is hurtling towards disentegration, and could drag the region into war, the Saudi Foreign Minister, Prince Saud al-Faisal believes."
" There is no dynamic now pulling the nation together," he said on thursday, "All the dynamics are pulling the country apart."

From Victor Davis Hanson,
But the existing problem in the Middle East stems from too much sectarian tribalism, not an excess of nationhood. How critical Iraqi resources would be split up, or how the peace would be kept by simply repackaging the problem, is never explained. Would Bagdad become another divided Jerusalem? Would populations be exchanged in the manner of Cyprus? Or would old land claims be perenially pressed as on the West Bank?would someone of mixed parentage be considered a a Shiite or a Sunni?

Or will peace have to wait until the views of Antony Flew are widely accepted, this published under the heading;
Famous Atheist now believes in God.

"Im thinking of a God very different from the God of the Christian and far and away from the God of Islam, because both are depicted as omnipotent Oriental despots, cosmic Saddam Husseins," he said "It could be a person in the sense of a being that has intelligence and a purpose, I suppose."

Will the withdrawal of troops, of any description, from Iraq result in any sort of settlement, or more problems than are currently apparent. Would all the problems be solved if the oil wells all dried up???


26th Sep 2005, 10:54
Would all the problems be solved if the oil wells all dried up???
All the problems caused by the US presence in Iraq certainly would be. :hmm:

26th Sep 2005, 15:21
Unfortunately Binos your simplistic contention that all the Iraq problems were due to Bush, while convenient defy logic.

There were and are a myriad of other factors which has gone into not only the present problems in Iraq, but the kneejerk reaction for the other favourite topics to be placed at his door.

The implacable hostility of individuals and nations coupled with growing economic muscle and extremist religious dogma does deserve recognition even from the most liberal politicaly correct and well intentioned, unless of course their belief includes that of complete willingness to be sacrificed by these unrecognised ( by them) opponents.

The fact is that others are not quite so willing to follow the policy of pacific appeasment, having observed what happened to the Dodo.

26th Sep 2005, 18:28
I don't think Binos was arguing that all Iraq's problems were caused by Bush. He was merely pointing out (inter alia) that there are quite a few of them and that some of them are caused by American presence there. I don't think that's beyond doubt, surely?

26th Sep 2005, 19:57
The biggest contributor to Iraq's situation is in fact Saddam himself so place the blame where it properly belongs. He antagonised the world in general for decades and created instability throughout the region, culminating in a bloodbath in the shape of the Iran/Iraq war and then invaded Kuwait to keep factions within his forces diverted from toppling his regime when it ended ignominiously for a so-called Arab strong man. The cat and mouse gamesmanship that followed throughout the 90's, including continued mass murder of Kurds, Shia and any dissenters within the ranks of his own regime also should never have been countenanced by the UN but that is another story, proven by Kofi's son's full coffers and resultant coffins. The blame for all this suffering was of course levelled at the "sanctions" by the intellectuals.

Iraq's problems began decades before Bush and before the situation became a cause celebre and "justification" for the whining, inadequate, brainwashed traitors who bombed London in the name of some perverted version of Islam.

British society and democracy allows for dissent from all in society in a framework of free speech. Luckily the vast majority of British citizens don't go all out to slaughter as many innocents as they can to force their will on the people, a tactic shared by Saddam in his glory years by the way, so the terrorists do have a lot in common with his regime.

26th Sep 2005, 20:14
And further you can check how naughty was this Saddam: he managed to induce poor Dubya in this unending preemptive war in Iraq which allowed drastic development of terrorism and fundamentalism......

26th Sep 2005, 20:21
I can't be right all the time Grandpa, that's your role on the forum ! ;)

"drastic development of terrorism and fundamentalism" ?? Where were you on 9/11, before the liberation of Iraq, and in Afghanistan when the Taliban were slaughtering all comers in the name of their year zero version of Islam throughout the 90's ?

BTW, I do hope paradise is tenanted by a large, bald, overweight benign, yellow gentleman with a big navel who will make the taliban primitives regret their sacrilege on the Budhhist artefacts which so offended them and their Islamic sensitivities.

27th Sep 2005, 02:26
Thank you, XXTSGR.

Paterbrat, I wryly suggested in response to a hypothetical from prospector that the USA would not be in Iraq if there were no oil wells. I didn't think that would be a very contentious conclusion, but apparently it makes me one of the politically correct well-intentioned liberals of which you speak.

Suggesting that all Iraq's problems were due to Bush would be, as you suggested, not only simplistic but egregiously false. I didn't say that, or even come close to it.

27th Sep 2005, 05:44
More from the article by Victor Davis Hanson that I doubt will convince/sway anybody that does not wish to be convinced/swayed, but would appear to be based on some reasonable thought.

"Once unpopular because we were alleged to be cynical in our support of dictators, we are even more suspect because we are proven proponents of downtrodden Kurds and Shiites in their efforts for political equality. Most Americans--since they are going to be disliked anyway--prefer to be hated for their idealism rather than their cynicism."

"Billions in American material aid has flowed to the Iraqs, even as the price of oil has skyrocketed, costing us billions more---so much for oil conspiracies and stealing Arab resources. In short, Iraq is not an imperialistic venture, but a messy, unappreciated attempt to make the United States more secure by removing dictators from their petro-dollar arsenals and leaving constitutional governments in their wake, while promoting social justice for the formerly marginalized.

Note that so far there are none of the indications that would rightly tell us it is high time to leave Iraq: Polls dont suggest that Iraqs want us out immediately; the parliament has not asked the United States to depart; President Talibani does not order us home; American military commanders and diplomats on the ground in Iraq have not concluded that success is impossible, and there is not a grass roots popular movement across religious and tribal lines to oppose the American-sponsored democratic reforms."


27th Sep 2005, 11:28
Could whoever edited my last post at least have the courtesy to advise that it had been edited and why? I'm big and ugly enough to look after myself.

27th Sep 2005, 11:56
You include 9/11 and Afgthanistan Taliban in Saddam misdeeds.

How wise are you for these inferences, while the common analyst believes Saddam had no links with them.

This way, for sure you are going to achieve the serenity and clear vision of universe Buddha is expecting from you.

Try harder!

27th Sep 2005, 12:09

You stated that the invasion of Iraq allowed the drastic development of terrorism and fundamentalism. Piligrim pointed out that 9/11 and the Taliban as examples that it existed before hand to refute your point. He made no causal link.

The only one making a connection between them in the previous few posts was you.

27th Sep 2005, 13:38
Yes, terrorism existed before. However, Iraq has now been turned into a vast training camp for them to try out all sorts of techniques and tactics. Iranians, Syrians, Jordanians, Saudis, Pakistanis are all having a whale of a time. Iraq has further turned all sorts of countries into recruiting halls for Al Qaeda which would never before the invasion have considered it.

The point was well made. Pilgrim is disingenuous to attempt to deny it.

27th Sep 2005, 14:19
Quite correct Binos, appologies for having presumed your anti Bush stance and will willingly concede that oil was indeed a huge part of the equation, not that anyone has ever said it wasn't.

If you do not count yourself one of the politically correct well-intentioned liberals of which I speak please forgive my presumption.

The fact to my mind remains that Iraq was a country that has had centuries of a harsher crueller way of life. It has for many years existed under a very extreme and brutal apperatus ruled over by a despot. Many of those who ran the country are still around and have infiltrated their way back into the institutuions which will now be expected to run the country. Will it, indeed can it be expected to change overnight. I don't think either it or Afghanistan can or will in the near future. You do not undo centuries of tradition and inbuilt realities of a particular way of life overnight.

27th Sep 2005, 14:30
Couldn't agree more, Paterbrat. That description would apply to at least 60% of the world's countries. Why the concern for Iraq?

27th Sep 2005, 14:50
The concept of Iraq as a vast training camp for turning otherwise peace-loving Muslims into terrorists, action in Iraq as recruiting sergeant for Al-Qaeda martyrs, as most recently invoked by XX is a false and wrong deduction.

What provides new recruits is success and propaganda. To them the success of jihadis in Afghanistan against Russia in the late 20th century was the biggest inspiration for the movement. It and similar actions in Chechnya, Aceh, Kashmir, the Phillipines, Somalia, and ultimately wherever Islam touches non-Islamic populations, inspire these zealots to engage in their struggle.

Proselytizers, supported by missionary funding largely generated by petrodollars, inculcate young adherents with hatred for Jews and Americans most notably, and Infidels and Apostates with lesser, but still lethal indoctrination. The movement pre-existed all current military action taken against it.

I'm convinced we would be fighting it whether Iraq was invaded or not. 9/11 has been the worst manifestation of Jihadi terror so far, but there is potential for much worse, which is why we have to fight it wherever it exists, and stop its ability to succeed whether in Iraq, Luton, or Los Angeles. It is a cancer that has metasticized all over the world, and needs to be stopped at all costs for the sake of freedom and survival.

So fight it in the best way you can conceive. You may think the best way is in the courts. You may think it more important to respect the sovereignty of nations promulgating and harboring it, such as Saudi Arabia and Syria. I don't.

A final point. If Jihadis are becoming seasoned in Iraq, so are we. And we are killing them there in the thousands, denying them the success they are fighting for. They have turned Iraqis against them for their indisciminate murderous tactics, and one day maybe even all of us will see them for what they are and the threat they pose to all civilized people.

27th Sep 2005, 15:04

As always, you take the rigid line and refuse to listen to debate outside your own prejudice and preconditioning.

The training camp you refer to is also a graveyard for the AQ insurgents of all hues and from all quarters. So be it. Every car bomb just alienates normal Iraqis from the killers. There is also a significant level of retaliation against the "Arab" fighters from the Iraqi factions in each enclave of the country, exactly because they are killing indiscriminately. XX - watch the many internet videos of the Moslem killers laughing as they kill innocents and tell me the propaganda is working for them.

If the Moslem murderers from Chechnya, Jordan, Lebanon, Algeria etc etc weren't in Iraq, they would be slaughtering scoolchildren, restaurant patrons, hotel guests, nightclubbers and theatregoers in their own countries........ So better we kill them in Iraq in great numbers before they get the chance to finish their "training" XX. I note that quite a number of the released Gitmo prisoners have been killed or recaptured too - great news.


27th Sep 2005, 16:24
It is maybe a little worrying to read the above posts and then try to come up with an answer that doesn't sound like one is trying to excuse terrorism or religious hatred, but I suppose I can try.

While 9/11 killed many, other instances of death and destruction have been visited upon muslims by "christian" forces, and not so very long ago. July 1995, in fact. Up to 8,000 men and boys were slaughtered in the the worst atrocity in Europe since the end of World War II. Add to that the torture, rape, and killing of many women and children, which occured from July 12 through July 18, in and near the UN declared "safe area" of Srebrenica.

These people, almost exclusively muslim, had been delivered to their executioners by the international community. It doesnt matter if we try to apportion blame on any one group or individual for the failings in Bosnia - the likes of Bin Laden and his supporters have already done that, and they see "the West" as guilty of allowing muslims to be butchered.

Logic has no role in this. As was mentioned earlier the success of jihadis in Afghanistan against Russia in the late 20th century was the biggest inspiration for the movement. They humbled, and were instrumental in the destruction of, the Soviet Union. They got one superpower and now they want the other. To an extent that part of the problem is the making of the US, when they supplied and trained the Mujahideen. One of the ironies is that the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan to try and prop up a communist government in order to stop the spread of Islam into the Southern areas of the USSR.

Afghanistan probably is what let the genie out of the bottle as far as international jihadist are corncerned, who then started looking around for additional causes and reasons to justify their murders. (Palestine being one and Western troops in Saudi Arabi being another. These are of course nothing but lame excuses)

Sadly, the jihadists do not represent the opinions and beliefs of the overwhelming majority of muslims, in the same way that the PIRA did not represent the opinions and beliefs of Roman Catholics. On the other hand, like PIRA, many jihadist groups grow up because of a percieved feeling of discrimination or the impression of powerlessness.

Comments like "now for Bradford" are not going to win any friends and will do nothing positive for the situation. You really should feel a little ashamed of that one Pilgrim.

27th Sep 2005, 16:59
An important distinction of the Bosnia/Kosovo attrocities is that they were committed by an isolated megalomaniac-led regime which was vanquished by the West.

The killing of Muslims as occurred in Former Yugoslavia was not a widespread ideological movement comparable to Jihad, which is. As such it is a much greater threat to world peace and Western civilization.

For moral equivalence you might ask why Jihad is not descending upon the Sudan, where extraordinary numbers of Muslims are being killed by Muslims in Darfur. The Sudan regime is the comparable entity to the Milosevic regime.

27th Sep 2005, 17:51
Ben There,

I'll say it again, it doesnt matter if we try to apportion blame on any one group or individual for the failings in Bosnia - the likes of Bin Laden and his supporters have already done that, and they see "the West" as guilty of allowing muslims to be butchered. Logic has no role in this.

As for the ethnic cleansing of the FYR, I think you will find that it was indeed a widespread ideological movement within the region. I was not suggesting the the Balkans in the 1990's was a threat to the stability of the region (although history has shown that the Balkans has in the past been a trigger for other global scale conflicts), but more a reason for why the jihadists are acting the way they do. There are some muslims do feel to a greater or lesser extent that "The West" gave Milosovic and his cronies something of a green light to do what he did. The actions of the Dutch Battallion in Srebrenica certainly did not give the impression that they were there to protect civilians from the Bosnian Serb forces.

Sudan, if I remember rightly, was one of Bin Ladin's boltholes, where he had many high level contacts. It might explain why it is exempt from the attentions of the jihadists.

27th Sep 2005, 20:43
Everything is OK in Iraq : US troops kill so many terrorists there that no one will be left to attack us in our peacefull western countries.

Thank you Dubya! The world is safer now! Alleluhia!

This affair was a masterpiece of world strategy:

First invade Iraq where notany fundamentalist organisation was active, and notany terrorist group was threatening said peacefull western countries.

Then, leave the borders of Iraq without any control, and don't guard huge Saddam's weapon depots, to allow terrorists to come in an begin their attacks.

.....................It's only a matter of days/month/years (choose the period you like) to kill them , and their reinforcements as long as they enter Iraq, and as they are trapped into this suicidal behaviour they can't do anything abroad.

Madrid bombing never existed, Algerian terrorists never trained in Afghanistan...................

27th Sep 2005, 20:48

There was a flicker of perception in what you wrote.

But Madrid was all about intimidating the Spanish into laying down arms and quitting the fight, which they chose to do.

Algerian terrorists are the same as Jihadists everywhere. "If you let your women show their face, we'll kill you."

27th Sep 2005, 21:00
The training camp you refer to is also a graveyard for the AQ insurgents of all hues and from all quarters.P101: don't you think that's exactly what they're after? They want kaos and civil war, everything that unsettles the status quo.

Another unfortunate side effect of the unnecessary Iraq invasion besides the obvious proof of US incapabillity of surpressing the insurgence, is being crippled for negotiating other dangerous areas. Iran can do what it want, NKorea can more or less say what it want, there will be no invasion for the next 5-10 years, unless the US is attacke by another nation. Well, maybe something in order of the Bahamas or the Virgin Islands.

As I said years ago, "MIssion Completed" was a celebration of a tactical victory after a battle of 3 weeks, but a great strategic loss for the next 10 year in respect of US' allies, enemies and their world image.

27th Sep 2005, 21:00

I swear. every time you mention Dubbya I'm going to mention "Chirac". The French should be ashamed of that man.


No, I'm not ashamed of the Bradford reference because those self obsessed brainwashed tossers who killed their fellow Britons and the apologists for their cruel actions are the ones who should be ashamed. Every community in the UK has them now.

The most important point about the young, self obsessed and brainwashed Moslems whining about their "anger" is that they chose to kill despite living in a democratic society where we have the right to dissent by peaceful means. Any further atrocities committed by their ilk will definitely see a tremendous backlash against them from the British public.

No Kaos

I don't think that is what they want. Their losses are tremendous and every AQ leader and fighter downed is a real hurt to them. The Afghan and Iraqi insurgencies are designed to forestall the implementation of democratic process and despite the setbacks both Countries' electoral processes are progressing inexorably.

Why, because the people want it ! Factional in-fighting in Iraq is in fact "all about oil" because the fundies know that is where the power is. The insurgents exploit that because they have the cultural street savvy to do so. We don't.

Time will tell, but the weakness in the Western thinking is that we apply rational thought processes to a region riven with endemic corruption ("Wasta" - it's a way of life out here) and nepotism and a cultural acceptance that life is cheap. The divisions out here are centuries old. The West is really racist because we accept barbarity from the Iraqis and Afghans, because "that's what they do, isn't it ?"

Security ? We are going to have to fight for it. Face it.

27th Sep 2005, 21:28
Their losses are tremendous and every AQ leader and fighter downed is a real hurt to them. Another sign you don't understand their strategy. All of the yihadees go to Iraq knowing, to say better, expecting to die. Losses are no problem for them. You still look at them with western spectacles. For your comfort, you're not alone, even the President and his guvmint do that. Security ? We are going to have to fight for it. Face it. You have to explain me again what security has to do with GW2.Time will tell, but the weakness in the Western thinking is that we apply rational thought processes to a region riven with endemic corruption Well, I take it you do agree with me then, at the end?

brain fade
27th Sep 2005, 23:48
Terrorists who genuinely 'have a cause', are actually extremely hard to beat. If there is popular support for 'the cause' or something external that drives resistance it's almost impossible to defeat them.

Being occupied by the US is hard to beat as 'a cause'.

Just look at Northern Ireland for an example or Vietnam or pick your own out of many possibles. It's always the same line of pish from our 'leaders': "We never negotiate with terrorists".

However, usually after about 20 years of killing has gone by, and countless atrocities, they finish up negotiating anyway, after all how else do things ever get resolved?

OK, it's different with a 'stand up' Army. These can be beaten militarily.

Not the case in Iraq tho' is it? I'm fed up hearing from our leaders about how we have to fight for freedom etc etc.

Iraq is not a winnable fight for us.

It IS a winnable fight for the 'insurgents'

The only way we can win is if they decide to stop, and they won't.

So it's simply a question of how many we have to lose before we tire.

Was it the Gen. Giap who said 'We will lose 10 men for each that you lose, but it is you who will tire first'. Correctly as it turned out. (turned out to be more like 50:1, or was it more?)

I'd love to see Wolfowitz, Cheney, Bush et al out there with an M16. Let's see how they'd get on if they had to do a bit of the 'fighting for freedom' themselves.


28th Sep 2005, 17:50
You are welcome with you rant against Chirac (I dislike his policy of tax reduction for the rich and taking more money from the poor)................

..................But please don't forget: As long as he keeps on track to leave Dubya alone in his war for Iraq oil, he will get approval of the vast majority of French citizen-which is the only point he is interested in-

28th Sep 2005, 18:49
Looks like De Lay's in trouble (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4291706.stm).

28th Sep 2005, 18:58
Oh My God! A crooked politician? He must be the first in the history of mankind.

He must be guilty, the media thinks he is, so it must be true.

What really fascinates me is that the politicians from the other party can keep such a straight face while expressing moral outrage.:E

28th Sep 2005, 19:05
Grandpa, you said:

As long as he keeps on track to leave Dubya alone in his war for Iraq oil, he will get approval of the vast majority of French citizen-which is the only point he is interested in-

I find it interesting that the focus of France is on Bush and Iraq when I would think it should be focused on the slow process of national suicide through which it is passing.

Is Chirac actually taking money from the poor? I'm surprised they have much to give, being poor and all. I guess he must find it profitable or he wouldn't do it, but his logic has surprised me in the past.


28th Sep 2005, 19:51
How come you are not aware it'seasier to make money from the poor : you find a lot more of them.......and nobody speaks for them at all levels of governments.

Suicidal behaviour: I thought the effects of Dubya's policy had been noticeable enough for some of your kind to examine situation at home instead of ruling the world............
Sorry if I was mistaken.

29th Sep 2005, 14:59

You've got part of it right. I have an issue with Chirac. But it's because he not only didn't support the alliance that existed between France and the US, he trashed it. He has undermined the United States at every opportunity, all the while allowing illegal subversion of sanctions against Hussein and corruption in the oil-for-food program.

Please observe that Russia, China, and a hundred other countries did not support the coalition. I haven't come down on them.

My big problem with both Chirac and Shroeder is their opportunistic anti-Americanism, and the unnecessary damage they do to their countries. I'm also not fond of the direction of statism and political correctness which they tried to foist on the EU, which so far, thankfully, has met with at least some resistance.


29th Sep 2005, 15:18
My big problem with both Chirac and Shroeder is their opportunistic anti-Americanism, and the unnecessary damage they do to their countries. By that, I guess you mean the recent toppling of the Eiffel Tower and the deaths resulting in the latest multiple Metro bombings in Paris (I'm not that familiar with tall buildings and infrastructure in Germany, sorry)?! Oh! So that's why Hewlett-Packard are getting rid of a couple of thousand French employees...?! :uhoh:

Go on then, destroy people's illusions: Plant a few bombs in Paris / Berlin... :}

29th Sep 2005, 15:26

Another sign you don't understand their strategy.....Here we go again. I fought in both Gulf Wars and saw more fanatical and compassionate human behaviour than you could ever imagine.

Well, I've seen enough of them surrender and throw their weapons down (when given the chance) to realise that soldiers know their value, on both sides of any conflict, and they are human beings too.

Normal human behaviour prevails in the majority; Frankly, the fanatics are much easier to deal with. The fact that Zarqawi admitted defeat after the elections proves they are hurting and every atrocity is a vindictive swipe at a predominantly Moslem population which has rejected them. Same story in Afghanistan.

Their organisational structure demands figurehead leaders and every one slotted is a major loss to them (Same strategy employed by the Israelis against Hamas) The leader of Hamas will soon be a fourteen year old schoolboy.

29th Sep 2005, 15:36

If I had any idea what you were talking about, I'd respond.

My reference to their damage to their countries was more related to high unemployment, near zero economic growth, and unsustainable social policies.

Do you think France has made itself immune from Jihadist violence? Is that the nature of the crude allegory?


Your perception is clear. Thanks for your service.

29th Sep 2005, 16:37
BenThere, how can it be merely a crude allegory?! France has not yet been struck by an attack of the scale of 9/11 or even 7/07. Not for want of trying according to some sources though....but you know how it is, everyone jumps on the bandwagon?!

...unsustainable social policies... Just because we can't afford to keep the down-trodden in food and clothing any longer doesn't mean that the French are ready to accept US repercussions to French foreign-policy in the sense of HP's recent announcements... :}

But thanks for not responding: I expect anyway that we'll have to wait for a suitably powerful hurricane to hit here before the evidence of French social policy becomes evident... ;)

29th Sep 2005, 20:41
...Chirac is worse than Putin and the Chinese dictator.

Anyone is able to chose his friends.....

I personnally does NOT consider American as ennemies, NO......I am only trying to sort out the good ones from the bad:

Seems easy: Lynndie England is one of the bad, and the fact she got only THREE years, while no highranking officers had any trouble isn't going to make a lot of friends for you in Iraq).

Thanks to Michael Moore site, I had the opportunity to read Cynndie Sheehan speech at the last antiwar meeting : THIS woman said the truth, I have much respect for her, and I think she makes more friends for USA in one word than your President in 5 years of mandate

29th Sep 2005, 20:59
P101, your comments remind me of Dick Cheney's statement a couple of months ago that the insurgency in Iraq is "in the last throes".

Even if you had fought in both GW (and still find the time to post here regularly, which is quite an astonishing achievement), many of your predictions in the past did not materialise. Many of the soldiers who dropped their weapon became insurgents later.

Re insurgents being rejected by the Muslim population, I mentioned before that's their stratgey. All they're after is civil war, which is now looming behind the horizon, the minute the US will get their troops back. Probably starting around the 11-2006 elections (light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel effect).

Many experts are now believing that civil war is inevitable. The Saudi Foreign Minister recently said: "Iraq is a very dangerous situation and a very threatening situation. The impression is (that it is) gradually going toward disintegration. There seems to be no dynamic now that is pulling the country together."

"All the dynamics there are pushing the (Iraqi) people away from each other," he said, adding that, if current trends persist, "It will draw the countries of the region into the conflict..."

Dunno about Cindy Sheehan, Grandpa. According people in the know like Rush Limbaugh Cindy Sheehan is just Bill Burkett. Her story is nothing more than forged documents.:hmm:

30th Sep 2005, 01:19
A glimmer of hope... :O

With regard to the attempted suppression of images from Abu Ghraib under the Freedom of Information Act (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4295324.stm) Judge Hellerstein said America "does not surrender to blackmail, and fear of blackmail is not a legally sufficient argument to prevent us from performing a statutory command.

"Indeed, the freedoms that we champion are as important to our success in Iraq and Afghanistan as the guns and missiles with which our troops are armed."

Do you think it'll be long before they start spraying agent Orange over there? :}

30th Sep 2005, 05:09
This behaviour would of course invoke a louder shriek of indignation from all the Michael More aficionado's than the showing of innocent people being beheaded on El jazeera TV.

Both behaviours are of course abhorrent to the vast majority of all people. Do we see any attempt at punishment of the people carrying out the beheadings by their national authorities?? or have I missed it??


30th Sep 2005, 12:44
What exactly is your point, prospector?

30th Sep 2005, 15:02
Bonjour, Gramps,

So Cindy Sheehan is making friends for America, you say?

I really don't think so. I am enjoying her slow march to her breakdown. She has made herself readioactive to all but the most committed anarchists and misfits here in the States. Maybe you meant to say she is making friends for herself outside America. On that we could find agreement.


You mentioned HP's announced layoffs in France. It was part of a worldwide drawdown which did not single out France, where about 15% of the total jobs were lost. You won't need a hurricane to prove France's social policies, just a bankrupt state and population after those receiving transfer payments, pensions, and dole benefits have taken all there is to give.

As it stands now, it would take about 10 Katrina's to equal the human toll of a hot summer in Paris.

I suggest you turn your attention to Germany where Daimler just eliminated 8,500 jobs. I'd be interested in your take on that.


30th Sep 2005, 16:02

Germany is poised for a steady recovery. German savings are at an all time high. The people have just lost their self confidence to a degree. Once they get that back and they will get it, they will recover. Real wages have fallen dramatically and working hours are nearly back to 40 a week - to the point where some employers say they don't see much difference between the cost of hiring a German or British worker. And business confidence is on the up again as bosses are more bullish then they have been for some time

Remember per capita, Germany is still the biggest exporter in the world.

A lot of this can be traced back to re-unification. Kohl was a moron when it came to Economics and allowed a 1:1 rate between the Deutschmark and the Ostmark. When it should have really been 1:3.

30th Sep 2005, 16:37
Remember per capita, Germany is still the biggest exporter in the world.

Can this be true? Without looking it up, I find it, as Maxwell Smart might have said, hard to believe? Biggest gross exporter? Of what? Cars and coal? Surely not?

Biggest net exporter (biggest current account surplus)? With the accumulated debts of reunification? Even more surely not?

(Nine question marks in a row; is that a record? err, make that ten).

Sorry OW22, as I said, I'm talking blind here and may be missing something really obvious. I know you're talking per capita, but something doesn't ring true here.

30th Sep 2005, 16:42
Sorry Binos, my mistake they're the biggest Exporters full stop.

Germany $ 893,300,000,000 2004 est.

United States $ 795,000,000,000 2004 est.

China $ 583,100,000,000 2004 est.

Japan $ 538,800,000,000 2004 est.

30th Sep 2005, 16:48
That's an awful lot of Mercs and BMW's. My gaster has never been so flabbered. :ooh:

(err, source please?)

30th Sep 2005, 16:50
Jesus, more questions!

Should be accepted by everybody, it's the CIA Factbook...

This entry provides the total US dollar amount of merchandise exports on an f.o.b. (free on board) basis. These figures are calculated on an exchange rate basis, i.e., not in purchasing power parity (PPP) terms.

30th Sep 2005, 18:19

Not that I need to prove it to a lightweight, antagonistic, faceless contributor on any internet forum but I did in fact fight in both conflicts, giving me a very jaundiced view of the wank talked on here sometimes by people who spend a lot more time on the net than I ever can or would wish to. Please check the "frequency" of my posts and compare them to yours and try to get a life.

We do have a laugh at how "outraged" and angry the very people who supported the New labour project in the first place get when they realised how gullible they have been in supporting Blair and the rest of his con artists.

However I did what I had to do and still believe in it. And yes Lima, I am now a "security contractor" out here although you try to make it sound like some kind of criminal endeavour. Since you have no concept of the work I do, your thoughts are of no consequence to me.

I think you'll find my posts a wee bit sporadic but surprising as it might be to you and many others, we do have internet access in Kuwait and many other outposts here. It does keep us sane, even having to wade through some of the turgid, politically biased commentary on here but hey, that's why Danny allows us to participate.

30th Sep 2005, 18:56
OW22 I am not really questioning your facts, however maybe the date of the facts on Germany.

In today’s issue of “USA Today”, the US issue, on page 8A under the World column there is an article titled “Campaign tries to stroke German pride”. In this article there are 3 facts stated that seems to counter you rosy picture that painted about Germany. The 3 facts in this article are:

“Jobless rate is stuck above 10%, more than twice the US rate.”

“Economic growth is projected to be less that 1% this year, among the slowest rates in Europe.”

“Top companies, including engineering group Siemens, are relocating jobs to Eastern Europe, India or China.”

Therefore, perhaps you understand why I am at somewhat at a loss to accept that with such a stagnate economy how Germany can be the top exporter of the world. To be sure it is very possible that facts in “USA Today” are incorrect, but the CIA has been wrong on occasion as well.

If you could provide more current facts backing up you statements on the Germany economy it would be greatly appreciated.


30th Sep 2005, 19:15
Perhaps the CIA got their intelligence from the same source from which they found out about WMD...? :uhoh:

30th Sep 2005, 19:22
Con, it's not just the CIA, any publication you may care to read such as the Economist will say the same. Don't worry man! It's not an indication that Germany is the worlds most powerful economy! The US is safe for now!

But they are hardly bankrupt or in the mire. Slow growth and 10% Unemployment are fixable. Economies change all the time. But German exports for instance rose 22% last year!

To breakdown the Exports we can see the following:

Food and live animals 4.2%
Beverages and tobacco 0.8%
Crude materials (inedible), except fuels 1.8%
Mineral fuels, lubricants, and related materials 1.1%
Animal and vegetable oils and fats 0.3%
Chemicals 13.4%
Manufactured goods, classified chiefly by material 15.9%
Machinery and transport equipment 49.1%
Miscellaneous manufactured articles 10.4%
Commodities and transactions not classified according to kind

It's not really difficult to see why Germany is the top exporter surely. I mean look at the strength of their Motor industry. Reflected in the figures above. Chemicals, machinery as well have always been strong.

I'll take another US publication, this time from Yale University.

According to Yale Global Online:

All the available data indicate that Germany is profiting from its integration into the international division of labor - and is holding its own on world markets despite competitive pressure from eastern Europe and China.
Despite the appreciation of the euro in the past years, German merchandise exports - which do not factor in the value of German services sold abroad - increased by 22 percent in 2004, the World Trade Organization (WTO) announced recently. It confirmed Germany's position of world champion in the export of goods, ahead of the United States and China - even though the figures cited by the WTO exaggerate German exports from a domestic perspective.

Because the WTO measures exports in dollar, the nearly 10 percent appreciation of the euro vis-à-vis the greenback is calculated into Germany's export growth rate. In euro terms, German exports rose by 10.4 percent last year - roughly the same as US and Japanese exports, but markedly less than China, which sold 35 percent more goods abroad last year.

Apparently, the German economy profits from foreign trade, despite competition from China and eastern Europe. And the positive trade balance, which has also increased over the past few years, rebuts the thesis that Germany is only exporting pre-products imported from eastern Europe these days, and that its ex-port successes are therefore fake successes.

Germany has also fared well compared to other export nations over the past few years. According to OECD and WTO, its world market share of goods and services exports remained stable at about 9.4 percent in 2004 - over one percentage point higher than in boom year 2000. The United States lost market share during this period, but still commands about 10 percent.

30th Sep 2005, 20:21
Germany's balance of trade is enviable, wish that the US current account numbers were so robust. Yet the unemployment and economic growth numbers are ghastly, and have a much greater impact on its citizens' sense of well-being.

Interestingly, you would find on the list of net exporting economies some of the world's poorest people and worst-performing economies, along with some of the wealthiest and best performing. France carries a healthy current account surplus as well, yet France is in the same doldrums as Germany.

30th Sep 2005, 21:23
Okay OW22, that answers my question.


1st Oct 2005, 00:14

Should have addressed that post to Grandpa. The topic moved on a bit now, but for anyone to quote from Michael Moore site, and expect it to be accepted as unbiased fact would be drawing a very long bow.


West Coast
1st Oct 2005, 01:23
Remind me again what your military record is? Two years of conscripted duty, is that correct?

"Thanks to Michael Moore site, I had the opportunity to read Cynndie Sheehan speech at the last antiwar meeting : THIS woman said the truth, I have much respect for her, and I think she makes more friends for USA in one word than your President in 5 years of"

She can use all the friends she can get. She has lost a lot of them as of late. Even the luvvies are jumping ship after she whined about the Hurricane coverage putting her on the back burner. "Just a little wind and rain" I believe was her quote.

1st Oct 2005, 02:00
West Coast,

My feeling is that if her son was called up as National Guard for service in Iraq then perhaps she would have more of a case than when he is full time military, accepting the pay and conditions of peace time and then when required to do the job he was paid for she complains bitterly. Surely as full time military, getting killed is more of an occupational hazard than than any other occupation.


West Coast
1st Oct 2005, 05:21
I agree.

Eyes wide open. You join the military, you accept the benefits at at the price of the occupational hazards associated. Before any of the luvvies say anything, I was in GW1 and in Somalia. I came close to having my name on the other side of the ledger in training and in operational situations a number of times.

1st Oct 2005, 10:13
Yes....dangerous life the military. The US Marine Corps did a study and found out.....that their loss rate is not significantly higher when compared to personnel losses from non-combat causes in non-combat areas.

Unfortunately, people are lost to car accidents, training accidents, helicopter crashes, and other "normal" causes in peace time as well as in combat. It appears that savings from one cause can be offset by other causes....such as combat.

Lets put this into perspective....we have lost approximately 2,000 people in just over two years in Iraq. That is a tragedy. We lost almost that many in two days at a place called Betio (Tarawa).

1st Oct 2005, 10:57
Personally uninvolved in anything MIddle Eastern I do take the chance to speak with any Israeli or Arabic national I come across. Fact is this, no-one in the vaunted West (particularly the 'free' press. . . although free from what. . . intelligent and factual reportage?) can grasp the Iraq status quo unless they've been there.
What Israelis tell me, from the many times I've picked up hitch-hikers, is illustrated in these forums. We look (myself included) through Western 'filters'. More than a few Iraqis live and work in a local town here and it's an eye-opener to hear their reasons for leaving.
I appreciate Pilgrim's 'eyes-on-the-ground' viewpoint. Nothing is more valuable than up-to-date intel.

1st Oct 2005, 15:23
Military people have viewpoints informed by reality in the world's hotspots. That gives them a credibility others on either side of the political issues under scrutiny don't possess.

Do you find it thought-provoking that overwhelmingly, soldiers who have served in Iraq are in favor of not only current policy, but the justification for the invasion and the leaders who made it happen?

1st Oct 2005, 15:29
Really Ben? Have you never heard of many of the Vet organisations aginst his war just like we were against Vietnam?

Conan The Barber
1st Oct 2005, 15:30
People in general have an extraordinary ability to convince themselves that they are 'doing the right thing'. That does not make it so.

The old "hammer a nail into a wooden board all day" experiment is a perfect example.

1st Oct 2005, 15:43
Lima, it gives them 'a' credibility, not necessarily 'more' credibility. That's an important distinction you missed in my post.

Certainly there are veterans and veterans groups against the war. But the preponderance of veterans of Iraq support it, even among those maimed by it. Any way you spin it, it's undeniable regardless of what officers' mess you went to and engaged in conversation.

I've spoken myself to more than 100 Iraq War veterans, most of them wounded, who had no idea of my political views or reason to mislead me. I can count the negative comments on one hand. Such a survey may not be scientific but I don't think the margin of error is too high. On that basis I believe the support level is higher than 90%. They express disgust, but that is reserved for the press misreporting events and people who claim to support them but undermine them just the same.

1st Oct 2005, 15:59
Not exactly a scientific poll you've conducted there Ben, Where was it taken? The "Republicans for War" summer Barbeque?

"And now folks, here'e the raffle for war memorabillia, let the bidding beig for a Charred Iraqi's foot!"

Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney have no military experience. So how much credibility do you give them? You could be on a sticky wicket wirth the comments you;ve just made!

1st Oct 2005, 16:07
Most conversations I've had with them took place on Air Force medevac flights carrying wounded, and visits to hospitals where they are recovering.

I've never attended a Republican event in my life.

I took no credibility away from non-military people in any way, not Bush or Clinton. They have alternate sources of credibility. And I explicitly said my straw poll was not scientific.

Please reread my post then review your unwarranted comment. Do you have an argument that doesn't involve discrediting someone, or are you devoid of material to support such an argument?

1st Oct 2005, 16:15
Eh, no Ben,

I'm asking you to support your assertion that these soldiers support the war. I'd like something more concrete then "I had a quick chat with them down the back of the airplane..."

You've just dismissed someone who said a counter statement to your after talking to British soldiers....

1st Oct 2005, 16:26
It get's confusing when I don't address individuals. I was responding to OneWorld's "Republicans for War Summer Barbecue" comment, which was directed at me.

I actually think these back and forth personal defenses and challenges take away from the thread. How 'bout we get off that and go back to the Hamster and leave each other out of it? Before you get bent out of shape I admit I'm equally guilty.

1st Oct 2005, 16:32
Copy that Lima :p

Let's all just sit down and have a nice cold beer or 6! :cool:

1st Oct 2005, 16:52
Remind me again what your military record is? Two years of conscripted duty, is that correct? Correct, and your point is? Enough time to learn (in those days) is that the army is collectively surpressing personal using their own minds and independent thoughts. The Army thinks for you.

Serving in the army being a guarantee for the correct view on the war is not a fact. Rather the opposite I would say. See what I predicted years ago and what warmongers like you did.


West Coast
1st Oct 2005, 16:54
"West Coast, what has someones military record got to do with their opinion on foreign affairs ?"

I never said it did. You're associating the two, not I. BTW, who's opinion pole was that? A link would be nice. I'm sure you're simply quoting the number that the poll indicates. I'd like to know the bias of those conducting it.

You have been in Europe too long.

West Coast
1st Oct 2005, 19:50
"By asking Kaos about his military record, what exactly was the relevance of that ?"

Because I simply want to know. Are you being paranoid?

1st Oct 2005, 21:30
Still interesting to know the point of asking WC. Or was it, as usual, one of your feeble efforts wasting bandwidth with personal drivel.

West Coast
1st Oct 2005, 21:43
Oh dear, a personal attack. What does the TOS say about that?

My memory is faulty, trying to remember what your expertise is in the area of military operations. That's all.

1st Oct 2005, 22:21
Better ask Lynndie England!

She is an expert.
(and if you don't trust her, ask her boyfriend......you know, this guy who got ten years!)

2nd Oct 2005, 01:28

You do go on about this prison abuse.

Yes it was wrong, and the perpetrators have been punished, even up to the lady Lt Colonel (I think) who was in charge of the prison.

Now lets have a little balance from you and give us the benefit of your knowledge on the attempts by Iraq to catch and punish the perpetrators of the public beheadings. What, you have not heard about any efforts? Why is that I wonder.


2nd Oct 2005, 04:17
Military people have viewpoints informed by reality in the world's hotspots. That gives them a credibility others on either side of the political issues under scrutiny don't possess.

No doubting the truth of the first sentence, Ben, but I'm inclined to take issue with the second. The whole raison d'etre of the military is to gather together a collection of individuals who will unquestioningly do what they are told, to the point of laying down their lives as necessary. For obvious reasons, this is how things must be; the last thing a military needs is a group of philosophers and critical thinkers among their front line troops.

But it means that members of such a group will tend to club together, to back each other up against all opposition, and to cultivate an attitude of "us against the world". Similarly they will tend to support whatever they are told to do, and they will resent any opposition from those who aren't there or haven't experienced the horrors they do. Indeed, were they not to do this, it would be a sad indictment of military recruitment policies.

I'm not at all sure this means that their views have more credibility than the views of those tending more towards critical thought. In fact, when it comes to the ethics or even political consequences of what they are being told to do, I suggest they are probably less capable than outsiders of true independent thought.

West Coast
2nd Oct 2005, 06:34
Way to much generalization along with the robot like characterizations for me to buy it.

2nd Oct 2005, 06:49
Who cares? :rolleyes:

West Coast
2nd Oct 2005, 07:21
I do, enough to let you know you're incorrect in your blind obedience beliefs.

2nd Oct 2005, 14:36
It was to be expected that somebody from the military would take offence with my post, the surprise is that it's taken so long. But I did my best not to suggest that nobody in the military is capable of independent thought, which is why I qualified my thoughts with "tend to". I am not one of those who snidely come up with "military intelligence" as the archetypal oxymoron.

It is my belief that the world relies very heavily, perhaps too heavily, on the strategic capabilities of the higher officers in the military. Certainly it is they who will provide the intelligence that will be passed on through the political strategists, who will process it so that eventually it will appear out of the mouths of politicians without doing too much harm to their re-election prospects, so let's hope for everybody's sake they get it right.

My point about the undesirability of critical thinking in the lower ranks I think remains valid. The military is not for everybody. It certainly wouldn't have been for me, but I take my hat off to those who embrace it and put their lives on the line for the rest of us sitting in front of computers passing safe and comfortable judgment.

2nd Oct 2005, 14:50

Seems to me the facts dispute your statement.

The British and American Military is a conscript military. (The example is World War Two.....the last major conflict we have fought) during which maybe 30 Million men and women served in the two nations' military. You reckon everyone of them were robots that marched into blazing machine guns without wondering why they got there?

Do you think for one instant that we have men and women in our modern all volunteer armies that have marched like robots to the sound of the guns?

You really do insult the current bunch of warriors that are taking the battle to our enemies. They do so out of duty and love of country, not just because they have been brainwashed into becoming killing machines.

2nd Oct 2005, 15:35
What Binos maybe trying to say is, it is once you're in the military that maybe the robot mentality kicks in.

And that is because of the nature of the organisations and the chain of command that you must obey orders. There is no questioning allowed once you are in the service. If you fail to carry out orders in wartime the penalties are very severe. People may join the miliatry because of family tradition say and out of a sense of duty, but that does not mean that all of them agree with what course of action their government forces them to take.

The military simply does not allow you to question it's actions. So it's not being robots per se, rather it's the fact that your hands are tied to a degree once you're in. You can say no and question your commanders but as I said the penalties are so harsh that they act as an effective deterrent.

The military does not want independant free thinkers on the battlefield. Make no doubt about that.

2nd Oct 2005, 17:41
Well then, since the haties only seem to accept opions of military on the ground, maybe they believe Colonel Tim Collins - famed for the speech he delivered to his men in the 1st Battalion of the Royal Irish Regiment hours before they went into action in March 2003 - who described the situation in Iraq now as "a right rollicking cock-up".

He accused the US and Britain of having "blundered" into Iraq without an adequate plan for postwar reconstruction. "We blundered into Iraq, relying on pure military force and brute instinct to remove the regime and then step back and think that would solve it."

Compare what he says and what I and P101 said until now...Link (http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/article316589.ece)

A year ago I said Iraq would sink futher into a quigmire whilst Pilgrim101 said that Iraq would be able to take care of itself in a year. Having fought in Iraq P101 must know that the Iraqi security troops shrank from 3 to 1 brigade.

2nd Oct 2005, 18:30
Collins of course, in a very predictable and tedious fashion, will be instantly dismissed by the usual suspects here.

Stand by.

West Coast
2nd Oct 2005, 18:31
"The military does not want independant free thinkers on the battlefield. Make no doubt about that"

Nor do they want a "big gun, little gun, must charge machine gun nest" mentality. If you're saying they don't want someone spouting off about strategic importance of the mission (as in going to Iraq) then I agree to a point. There are free thinkers out there who manage to suppress public opinion who are just as effective as those who are 100% behind it.

That you may be able to nail someone on the prune with a timeline not met means what to the overall conflict? Not a thing.

What was your military back ground again? Did you serve or more like Junk and didn't serve. If you did, what was your speciality?

2nd Oct 2005, 21:38
Did you read what Collins said and compared what I've said all the time, WC? Looking forward what you have to say about that. Maybe you'll wonder what Collins' speciality is... :hmm:

2nd Oct 2005, 23:31
.....believe that the orders to treat the prisoners without respecting Geneva Convention were issued by an ordinary Colonel?

I'm sorry but I remind of some discussions at high Government level about allowing torture in US jails throughout the world, and we have also examples of USA using subcontractors in Egypt for the dirty work.

The only reason why this had to stop in Abu-Ghraïb was the effect of photo's publication everywhere, and specially in the muslim world (we are now drifting on another thread about the reruitment of terrorist in countries such as Indonesia/Bali).

West Coast
3rd Oct 2005, 00:10
Don't flatter yourself. Those I've met from the military were proud to tell me they served their country. Be it as a cook or a fighter pilot. Junk had the gonads to say he didn't serve. OW has no problem telling those who ask he did serve. Are you ashamed of something?
I'll read Collins article if you say if you did or didn't serve.
If the salient point of his article is that Bush and Co didn't expect this level of insurgency, then perhaps. I also know that officers at his level are rarely involved in the larger details, in the macro sense so to speak. Does your military training allow you to understand this?

3rd Oct 2005, 02:02
Needless to say, the media were conveniently distracted from the first anniversary (or, in J-school-speak, "one-year anniversary") of

this: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rathergate)

3rd Oct 2005, 12:08
Plamegate... (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/10/01/AR2005100101317_pf.html)

3rd Oct 2005, 13:42
The British and American Military is a conscript military.Errr - since when, SASless? Last time anyone in the UK was conscripted was 1960. In the US conscription stopped in 1973.

The British Army is a professional outfit. Sorry to shoot your fox. :eek:

Curious Pax
3rd Oct 2005, 15:20
I hestitate to put a link to the BBC's news website knowing the red rag that it is to many bulls on here, but John Simpson's weekly commentary is worth a look this week: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4304516.stm
It doesn't seek to suggest that Al Quada is anything other than a dangerous terrorist grouping, but does suggest that the way the west tends to comprehend them and hence approach the fight against them may be wide of the mark. May or may not be right, but a view worth considering.

The thing that most grabbed my attention was the suggestion by a US professor that Al Zarqawi in Iraq may not actually exist! I guess that would be quite a smart move if you were an insurgent - create a slightly heroic (to the insurgents) leader, who by definition cannot be captured as he is a figment of someone's imagination. A bit the same way as I suspect that some misguided folk in the middle east probably look on Bin Laden in a similar way as he continues to evade capture. I'm pretty sure OBL does exist though, as enough people seem to have met him prior to 2001.

West Coast
3rd Oct 2005, 18:59
"The British Army is a professional outfit. Sorry to shoot your fox"

The Royal Marines, absolutely. Two thumbs up there. The Brit army didn't impress me the way I thought they would.

3rd Oct 2005, 19:09
Two thumbs up there. The Brit army didn't impress me the way I thought they would.

Jesus WC! :eek:

Better don the tin hat for that one!

West Coast
3rd Oct 2005, 22:19
Let me rephrase to properly express what I meant. I expected the Brit army to be on par with the Royal Marines. From my admittedly limited exposure, they weren't

3rd Oct 2005, 22:47
When was the last time the British Army fielded Army Groups?

You cannot field an Army today...yet alone an Army Group.

The last time you fielded an Army....it consisted of conscripts...and in the World War before it contained conscripts as well.

We and the Britisn maintain a standing all volunteer military...but in time of War....both countries rely upon a draft/conscription to man the armies they field...and the Regular Military become cadre to the new units being formed....as if they have the unique knowledge it takes.

The Germans have a professional army too I guess...complete with a union if I am not mistaken.

I am sure the Austrian Army is professional....they sure kept the Germans out since WWII.

5th Oct 2005, 17:10
GW III?! (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4312516.stm) Britain has accused Iran of responsibility for explosions which have caused the deaths of all eight UK soldiers killed in Iraq this year. If one can only disregard the earlier dubious "45 minute" warning, I suppose this claim should still carry more weight than if it had been emitted by the White House?! Is this the long-expected sequel to "Iran Air Flt. 655" and "PanAm Flt. 103"?! :uhoh:

5th Oct 2005, 17:40
I believe that in NA unlike the ME the method employed for removing someone like GB is to place a slip of paper into a box at the approriate time. Quite a civilised method really, does not however work too well where the more physical and explosive methods appear to be the favoured choice.

5th Oct 2005, 18:23

Yer logic defeats me....Britain blames Iran....a British newspaper makes a headline....and it is George Bush's fault somehow? Explain that to me please?

George is being replaced....at the end of his second term...just as the system has worked for years and years.

West Coast
5th Oct 2005, 19:20
"When will someone take up arms and replace G W please before there is nothing left of the Middle East ?"

"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?"

Just like Bluto, he's on a roll. Give him a by on the logic for now.

6th Oct 2005, 15:30
"There is no justification for Iran or any other country interfering in Iraq," Mr Blair said. A little out of context perhaps...?! (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4315924.stm) The rest of you have 45 minutes in which to respond... :O

6th Oct 2005, 17:27
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour ?

John Belushi as Bluto in Animal House I believe :ok:

6th Oct 2005, 17:30

Like it or not, regime change is coming. My guess is Syria first, then Iran. You see, the regimes there are part of the big problem.

brain fade
6th Oct 2005, 17:35

Really not trying to be cynical but I think the regime in the USA is in great danger of becoming the problem.

6th Oct 2005, 17:52
For you, maybe it is, Brain.

brain fade
6th Oct 2005, 19:00
Me and anyone who's 'not with us', eh?

Onan the Clumsy
6th Oct 2005, 19:20
the suggestion by a US professor that Al Zarqawi in Iraq may not actually exist ...and he has a name suspiciously like Kaiser Sowsay

George is being replaced....at the end of his second term...just as the system has worked for years and years. to be technically correct that would be since 1944, and then it would have taken until 1952 to take effect. (or 1945 and 1953 if you prefer) :8

6th Oct 2005, 21:48

What? You prefer "Peace in our time"?


6th Oct 2005, 22:30
Ben....easy on the Huffy Puffs....just remember they still cannot accept the concept that it could be their bus, train, or office building that might be attacked. Until then...it is all academic to them....:uhoh:

West Coast
7th Oct 2005, 02:23
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbour ?

"Dunno who you're quoting there Westie but it weren't me"

You truly are suspicious if you don't know basic lines from a comedy classic.

Curious Pax
7th Oct 2005, 08:44
But we could SASless, that's the point. I don't think anyone disagrees that there is a huge problem in the Middle East, and that there are a lot of murderous evil b*s*a*ds out there that need to be sorted out one way or another.

Where we disagree is the approach taken by the US Government and its allies (UK principally of course). Unfortunately it seems impossible to debate that sensibly here without being accused of anti-Americanism, which certainly is not true in my case, nor I believe in most others. Contrast that with discussion about UK government policy on here - many of the right wingers are vitriolicly anti-Blair, but I don't think any of them have ever been accused of being anti-British because of those views (and rightly so).

We've been round this loop before, but my belief about the best way forward in Iraq (though the history of the last 2-3 years makes this more difficult) is that stronger moves to get the majority of the Iraqi population onside are necessary. I suspect that at present 25% are pro American; 25% are strongly anti, and the rest are ambivalent. If the middle 50% can be persuaded that the Americans are a good thing for Iraq, then the 25% anti will diminish. The more marginalised the violent extremists are, the harder their job becomes. However this will not stop all violence immediately, but it would be a massive improvement.

7th Oct 2005, 08:53
Louie Freeh, former Director of the US FBI is writing a book that will expose Bill and Hillary Clinton's mis-conduct while in office.

One comment by Freeh....

In another revelation, Freeh says the former president let down the American people and the families of victims of the Khobar Towers terror attack in Saudi Arabia. After promising to bring to justice those responsible for the bombing that killed 19 and injured hundreds, Freeh says Clinton refused to personally ask Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to allow the FBI to question bombing suspects the kingdom had in custody – the only way the bureau could secure the interviews, according to Freeh. Freeh writes in the book, “Bill Clinton raised the subject only to tell the crown prince that he understood the Saudis’ reluctance to cooperate and then he hit Abdullah up for a contribution to the Clinton Presidential Library.” Says Freeh, “That’s a fact that I am reporting.”

Never mind Louie Freeh is an idiot as well.....look into why the FBI has had immense problems due to the lack of computers.

7th Oct 2005, 09:17
I wonder if Freeh mentioned Waco or Ruby Ridge in his book?

7th Oct 2005, 10:13
The Buck stops at the top right Kaos....winds up being Bill Clinton's reponsibility.

7th Oct 2005, 10:44
Results of a Democratic Party funded study about why they are losing elections.....well go figure!

The liberals' hope that Democrats can win back the presidency by drawing sharp ideological contrasts and energizing the partisan base is a fantasy that could cripple the party's efforts to return to power, according to a new study by two prominent Democratic analysts.

On defense and social issues, "liberals espouse views diverging not only from those of other Democrats, but from Americans as a whole. To the extent that liberals now constitute both the largest bloc within the Democratic coalition and the public face of the party, Democratic candidates for national office will be running uphill."

7th Oct 2005, 11:06
Your Lord and saviour:

One would think to win against that you wouldn't have to do anything at all.

7th Oct 2005, 17:14
It is time we returned to the conscript military...every farmers son and daughter should have the privilege of serving their country....and risk dying for it. Maybe we would not grow so fond of using our military as a result. That would be a benefit to all concerned.

7th Oct 2005, 17:21
James Carville, the advisor that ran Bill Clinton's successful campaigns for President said this in a speech recently....

Democrats need to cut the “Kumbayah crap” from their rhetoric, James Carville said Thursday night.

7th Oct 2005, 17:32
OK, I said I wasn't going to bother engaging with SASless again, but sheesh; with Dubya under extreme fire from not only the opposition but from his own heartland over just about everything in the last two months, topped off by his remarkable choice of the religious fundamentalist who holds his will as the latest Supreme Court judge, all SASless can do is search the internet for signs of the Democrats being in trouble!

Things are not good in GOP heartland! Cone on guys, surely we can find a photo somewhere of a Democrat up a sheep? :8

Onan the Clumsy
7th Oct 2005, 17:42
Don't be fooled by the two party system. Because you're against one party does not necessarily mean you are for the other.

Absolutely the left is in disarray, or perhaps more accurately, the right will not tolerate any opinion outside of its own narrow adgenda, not even from within itself.

This is not news. This was obvious when the Democrats fielded a candidate who had actually seen combat in the service of his country and this service was so skillfully used against him.

The right may be better organised but it doesn't make them better.

The right may be in power at the moment, but what good does that do us all?

West Coast
7th Oct 2005, 17:56
"topped off by his remarkable choice of the religious fundamentalist who holds his will as the latest Supreme Court judge"

Perhaps if you didn't post evocative crap like that SAS might not beat up on you and you might feel more at home. What you posted shows your disconnect. Many of the staunch conservatives are criticizing her selection.

West Coast
7th Oct 2005, 18:01
"I suspect that at present 25% are pro American; 25% are strongly anti, and the rest are ambivalent. If the middle 50% can be persuaded that the Americans are a good thing for Iraq, then the 25% anti will diminish"

I fail to see the value of this portion of your post. How did you arrive at these numbers?

Are you still using that broadbased definition for neocon you had a few months ago that included Kerry and she Clinton? Problematic for you I imagine.

brain fade
7th Oct 2005, 18:09
Agree totally.

Isn't that the purpose of the ANG/ NG? To make sure involvement in conflict is widely distributed?

7th Oct 2005, 18:25
Now, now West, remember that all of us “neocons” are tarred by the same brush. To be honest I’m not too happy about her myself, and that is not because I think she is too liberal.:)

Now back to the next presidential election. In all the polls I have seen lately have New York’s ex-Mayor Rudolph Giuliani well ahead of all other possible candidates including Hilary Clinton. This is of course polls of candidates of both parties.

7th Oct 2005, 20:08
And it's a great day!

Senators passed a law preventing torture in each and every location where USA has got prisoners of any kind, after John Mc Cain declared:

"I'm devastated every time we leave or encourage our soldiers to forget what makes our greatest force : the fact we are different and better than our ennemies."

Another great new: Mohamed El Baradaï has got Nobel Prize for Peace. (hope you remember he repeated Saddam had no Nuke when Dubya tried to fool us with fear about it).

About torture, I'm glad to tell you I could see the film "La Question" yesterday evening, and could speak to Henri Alleg, author of the book which contributed much to shorten Algerian war by showing every citizen what our army was doing in Algeria, and made the plot for the film..
>More than 80 years old and still strong enough to lecture for 2 hours up to midnight and answer with humour and penetration to questions ( in French this word has 2 meanings, one of which is the ancient word for "torture") from French and Algerian public.

Great day for human rights.

Curious Pax
7th Oct 2005, 20:19
Not hard figures WC, but meant to illustrate the fact that there is a silent majority in the middle who I believe have been alienated by the US who could be brought onside without a vast effort, but with some thought. The knock on effect of that would be to move more of the strongly anti folks into at least the middle ground, in turn minimising those for whom the US will never be able to do anything right.

A feature of many countries in that part of the world is that for reasons of self preservation many people tend to try and make sure they are on the side who has the upperhand. At the college my father taught at there were a lot of Iranian students in the late 70s. A surprisingly large number changed from Shah supporters to Ayatollah supporters overnight as soon as it became clear who was getting the upper hand. At the moment I think that a lot of Iraqis are making sure that they don't leave themselves exposed to retribution if and when the US do finally leave.

brain fade
7th Oct 2005, 20:26

Do you detect a trend in that there graph?

SEO by vBSEO 3.6.1