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Author: JimiH3ndrix Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 53806  
Subject: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/5/2003 3:24 PM
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I post this here because I noted DoctorBombay's recent thoughtful post, The case against a war with Iraq. I confess to being somewhat ambivalent about this specific war, but below lay out what I believe is the broad case for it, and the benefits of it.

A forwarning: it is long. It takes the form of a letter I recently emailed to a German friend, who I met when I was a student in Bonn. His academic credentials in international and European politics are as sterling as they get, and he was no doubt provoking me for a response (as you will see in his paragraph that introduces the post). That said, I have no doubt that he truly believes this is a catastrophic move on the part of the United States, and would have thoughtful reasons why; and I can assure you, he is not "just another thoughtless leftie American-hating European peacenik" (That tedious charge is why I am not posting this over at PA). His command of American diplomatic history exceeds that of 99% of Americans. I do below what I can to deflect his claim.

For a bit of context, he is writing to acknowledge receipt of the wedding present I sent to him. A kitchen discussion is referenced that ensued before his wedding between his godfather (a former General in the German military) and the godfather's French friend, Pierre (former officer in the French Occupation sector of West Germany, where he met the godfather).

I hope this contributes productively to the on-going dialogue on war and security,

Jimi

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Hope everything is going well in the west - but you, “Jimi,” should finally do something to stop the empire americain from making its worst hegemonic move in the last 50 years!

Would be glad to hear from you!


Patrick, my good man! Damn glad the package arrived: use them frequently and in good health.

Now, since you've broached the topic, let's talk shop.

The first thing I must say is that at this late stage, the Empire will not be stopped. Iraq's fate and the course for war were sealed by a 15-0 vote in the Security Council supporting Resolution 1441. For some “parties” to step forward at this late hour and say, “Mais, non!” and profess surprise and concern at our building military capacity in the Gulf is surely, well, ridiculous. There was no doubt in my mind, as there should have been no doubt in the minds of voting (and veto-wielding) members of the Security Council, that the Bush administration was not going to feel obliged to return to the Security Council for a subsequent final resolution. Here are the appropriate holes from 1441 through which the Bush administration can drive its heavy armor on to Baghdad:

4. Decides that false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations and will be reported to the Council for assessment in accordance with paragraphs 11 and 12 below;

13. Recalls, in that context, that the Council has repeatedly warned Iraq that it will face serious consequences as a result of its continued violations of its obligations;


The Bush administration set the trap that 1) foresaw obvious lies originating from Baghdad (see Iraq's subsequent report to the Security Council about its WMD) resulting in 2) “serious consequences,” which at the time, no one mistook for anything other than war.

Thus, it is a war we will have, barring the unlikely departure from Iraq of the Hussein Entourage, or his sudden death from lead poisoning viz. a bullet to the temple. If I were a bookie, I would assign a probability of either of those two outcomes to < 10%.

Let's now consider briefly the protests emanating from the Axis of E-ville… the E, of course, referring to “(Old) Europe.” I suspect that you would concede that 1) Saddam is a bad man, 2) Saddam is a liar, 3) Iraqis would be far better off without Saddam, 4) He has plenty of WMD, 5) Evidence suggests he has used chemical weapons, 6) The world would be a more bucolic place without Saddam. Why precisely the administration has decided to scratch this burr from between its backside and saddle at this moment in time seems to elude Old Europe: I will even entertain the possibility that some of this is about oil, Bush family honor, and most cynically, about the presidential election cycle (thanks to Karl Rove).

That acknowledged, I also believe—for better or worse—that Bush is also pursuing this military campaign because he thinks it is “just,” and it serves broader American strategic interests. I'll consider each in turn.

Linking the term “just” with any military action that will no doubt leave many innocent people dead always causes me discomfort. But let me emphasize that it does not matter whether I find the current course of action “just,” but rather to believe that I think President Bush finds the current course of action “just.” Which I do.

In opposition to this “just war” are the opportunistic Schroeder and the ever-conniving Chirac. What is it that they want? Seemingly, “more time… more time… why now… more time.” Yes, well, it seems to me that the conditions they seek to establish have a certain, “heads-I-win-tails-you-lose” element, in that, 1) if the inspectors find something, France (and its poodle, Germany) will point to that as evidence that inspections work, and therefore war should not be pursued; or, 2) if the inspectors fail to find anything (i.e., the elusive “smoking gun”), France/Germany can point to that “insufficient evidence” as reason why war should not be pursued.

Again, in all fairness and in the interests of analysis, I will also acknowledge that the Bush administration uses a similar approach when it insists that the failure to find anything is clear evidence of Iraqi intransigence, and therefore yet further “material breach,” while the discovery of anything (e.g., the paltry cache of chemical weapons munitions) is further evidence of “material breach.”

But all this is so-much political and diplomatic trivia that does nothing more than confirm for me that war is a +90% likelihood… and that the Security Council can work itself into paroxysm of indignation, as can Berlin & Paris, but war is coming, and when it is concluded, the Bush administration will point to the cited passages from 1441 as its justification... and when Saddam is gone, the protesters will disperse and the rhetoric that came from Berlin & Paris will appear in retrospect rather cowardly strident. Which makes the current Franco-German obstinacy seem not only feeble, but in vain. And while I admire the pure Realism of unprincipled French foreign policy that permits it to tack 180 degrees when self-serving advantage requires (as I have every expectation they will when use of American force seems imminent… la gloire dictates that France participate in any successful campaign!), Schroeder's shrillness is just down-right perverse.

I would suggest, additionally, that I am not alone in that perspective, given the proclamation issued by the so-called Gang of Eight European leaders yesterday [N.B. Obviously, I was slow to post this letter here]. While conservative commentators here thoughtlessly drool over what they see as vindication for Bush's “Just War,” I see it more as a clear slap at the determination by French and German leaders to equate Franco-German condominium with the position of the European Union. These eight were saying, “Ummm… no. You two are definitely NOT in charge of either any EU foreign policy position, nor will we submit to a political tyranny of your consensus.” As such, Franco-German obstinacy in the face of inevitability has set back, if not exposed the terminal futility of a common foreign and security policy for Europe. Quite a diplomatic achievement… while simultaneously, Blair has shown deft diplomatic acumen, demonstrating the primacy of security and foreign policy formulation outside the bureaucratic corridors of Brussels.

As such, Schroeder/Chirac do not promise to join the august ranks of Kohl/Mitterrand, Schmidt/d'Estaing & Adenauer/de Gaulle as those who decisively moved the "European" ball down field. Instead, they appear to me to have committed a penalty within the box in the 59th minute. Oops.

Put simply, my friend, from this side of the drink, they appear as ineffective asses… but, I guess it plays well politically at home (or not, if the most recent German elections are any indication).

On the issue of “hegemon,” I would offer two points. First, it must be recalled that the impetus for this is the devastation of 9/11. I am certain you can appreciate the historical trauma this represents for us on this side of the drink: our treasured oceanic defense—the heart of American security identity since its founding—came collapsing down on that date along with the twin towers. But let's be fair: since World War II, but especially in the post-Cold War era, the United States has never acted upon the world stage in proportion to its military capacity. In part, that was because we were prepared largely to rely on containment and deterrence. Well, I'm afraid an undeterrable opponent's attack on our soil has stirred us, and it really doesn't matter what the UN, or EU, or for God's sake, the French or Germans, have to say about how we are to conduct ourselves in years to come. The evening before your wedding, in the kitchen with Pierre and your godfather, I listened to their anger at Bush Diplomacy; and while I was distracted by another conversation, and desperate to join in, and in fact, felt like I was being simultaneously baited and invited to defend American policy, what I would have been tempted to say (but obliged by politeness not to say, of course) is: “I am terribly sorry that our transatlantic friends are irritated by our unilateral and aggressive shift in policy. Alas, spare us your input: the choice of insignificant little powers like you is to follow us, or get the hell out of the way.” They would not have appreciated that message, but it remains what I believe today: me, a Europhile!

Which brings me to my second point: we are not your run of the mill hegemon. If American history is any guide, and I think it is, here's what's going to happen. Saddam will be vanquished, although I worry about a WMD attack on Israel, and subsequent response, that might convert quantities of the Middle East sands to glass. While it may be messy, the United States vanquishes Saddam Hussein, and then we do what we do in victory: set up shop until a functional pluralistic system is in place… and remain until the locals formally—and through representative institutions—request our departure. We're still in Japan, and Germany, and Korea… and there are glorious pluralistic systems there, where if the public authorities insisted we left, would cause us to pack up and leave (see the Philippines, Subic Bay, 1992). We are not your run of the mill hegemon. We stick around, more or less, by begrudging invitation, because it is recognized that we seek not to dominate, but to bare the shared sacrifice required for defending the freedoms enjoyed by pluralistic systems.

I have every expectation that in 10 years, and likely 20 years, and conceivably 50 years, we will still have troops on Iraqi soil by such invitation.

Yup: we're going to set up shop in Iraq, oversee there the establishment of a pluralistic federalist system (a la Germany!) that allows all the ethnic fractions a measure of self-determination, and we'll offer the fledgling Iraqi government no end of preferential investment and trade advantages… just like with Japan & Western Europe in the 1950s & 60s. And Iraq will sit like a flourishing democratic “blemish” amid a sea of despotic regimes… and the neighboring oppressed will someday become fed up with their totalitarian overlords, just like they did in Leipzig in 1989, and they will rise up and say, “No more.”

And to achieve this simultaneously noble and self-serving end, Americans will expend the blood of its young and the gold of its treasury.

I know what you're thinking: “What the hell does Saddam Hussein have to do with 9/11 or the threat posed by terrorists?” Well, let me suggest that there is about to unfold a rather profound lesson on the global stage. Iraq has been obliged for a dozen years to disarm. He has chosen not to, and the Clinton administration, and for the first year, the Bush administration, seemed indifferent to doing much about it. Now, Iraq is about to suffer the wrath of American military might, and Hussein will be gone. People here talk about the war lasting perhaps 18 hours: even if it lasts 18 months, the U.S. most certainly will gain control of Iraq, and Hussein will be (in successive diminishing probability) dead, in a cell in den Haag or Guantanamo, or in exile. What this will have done—and this is the cornerstone of US post-9/11 security policy—is to have raised the costs to non-pluralistic states of possessing weapons of mass destruction. Pure & simple: a regime can maintain a non-pluralistic system, or can possess WMD, but it most certainly cannot do both. It isn't necessary to show that al Qaeda and Iraq are in regular contact: the New Rule is that the possession of such weapons alone (even by an opponent who has demonstrated a willingness to be deterred, as I believe Hussein has, both during and since the 1991 Gulf War) establishes sufficient opportunity to threaten us. Those who insist that the radical secularism of Iraq would never find common cause with the radical religionism of al Qaeda would do well to review the German-Soviet Non-Aggression/Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact of Aug. 14, 1939. Fascists and Communists (!!) found common cause, if but only opportunistically and temporarily. For those not paying sufficient attention, U.S. policy now is to deny—by pre-emption—any such opportunity:

“We must be prepared to stop rogue states and their terrorist clients before they are able to threaten or use weapons of mass destruction against the United States and our allies and friends.”
--National Security Strategy of the United States of America, September 2002, p. 14.

Those words are about to find their demonstration, and the lesson's intended recipients are: most immediately, Iran & Korea; somewhat tangentially, Syria and Libya; more distantly, even Pakistan… anyone who weds tyranny and WMD will appear on our radar screen, and be dealt with and disposed of. This will substantially shift the balance of costs and benefits for states pursuing, and contemplating the pursuit of, a WMD programs: pursuit will not enhance security. Once Europe itself is hit with catastrophic terrorism—and I believe it will be next, because I believe al Qaeda seeks less to oppose America, than to divide civilizations—NATO will re-dedicate itself to that shared purpose. And even Schroeder's successor will be on board….

“But what of China, which is both autocratic and possesses WMD?” I acknowledge that China represents a special geostrategic challenge, namely because it already possesses a credible deterrence that limits the U.S. capacity for direct confrontation. So be it. Eventually, China will have to democratize (a la Soviet bloc, 1989), implode (from the social demographic unrest of +1,000,000,000 citizens denied any meaningful expression of their will), or suffer isolation (a new Cold War). But that is not the immediate concern.

The immediate concern for your “Hegemon” is to dethrone those regimes that threaten to become stronger states by acquiring WMD, thereby creating the opportunity for terrorist acquisition. Is it a mistake? “Its worst hegemonic move in the last 50 years?” History will judge, but the script is as old as recorded history:

“The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.”
-- The Melian Dialogue, Thucydides

We are strong. We will do what we can, with or without our traditional allies. But you know what? We don't do so to make the weak suffer. We do so in self-defense… and in pursuing that self-defense, it is not the weak who will suffer, for it is ultimately they who we liberate from their oppressive tyrants.
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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15126 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/5/2003 3:47 PM
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That was a tremendous post. I can't thank you enough for contributing to the discussion here.

TJ
Going to reread right now.


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Author: mistahjake Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15244 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 11:14 AM
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This post is far and away the best in-depth perspective on this matter I've read on any of the boards.
Thank you for sharing it.
mistahjake

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Author: PeterRabit Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15284 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 3:03 PM
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tremendous post

far and away the best

The post by JimiH3ndrix is indeed an excellent exposition on the logical extension of American hubris.

Peter



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Author: MSHH Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15286 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 3:06 PM
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We are strong. We will do what we can, with or without our traditional allies. But you know what? We don't do so to make the weak suffer. We do so in self-defense… and in pursuing that self-defense, it is not the weak who will suffer, for it is ultimately they who we liberate from their oppressive tyrants.

Excellent, and seems only fair since the US has such a long history of supporting and backing those oppressive tyrants, including Hussein. I'm sure the weak will be very grateful that the US has seen the error of its ways now that it has become clear that Americans--yes Americans--might be at risk from these tyrants.

Mike




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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15290 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 3:45 PM
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The post by JimiH3ndrix is indeed an excellent exposition on the logical extension of American hubris.

Did you care to share with us your thesis on the war or was this just a drive-by posting?

I ask you to read the ROE on the announcement banner before replying.

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Author: MichaelRead Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Winner! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15293 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 4:00 PM
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We are strong. We will do what we can, with or without our traditional allies. But you know what? We don't do so to make the weak suffer. We do so in self-defense… and in pursuing that self-defense, it is not the weak who will suffer, for it is ultimately they who we liberate from their oppressive tyrants.

Excellent, and seems only fair since the US has such a long history of supporting and backing those oppressive tyrants, including Hussein. I'm sure the weak will be very grateful that the US has seen the error of its ways now that it has become clear that Americans--yes Americans--might be at risk from these tyrants.

Mike


I think you have to draw a distinction between the policies during the Cold War and after. During the Cold war if a country was anti-communist it would receive support while noses were held as the other characteristics of the regime supported. While there was some believing that eventually communism would implode, most in the US State Department (and many other allied governments) believed supporting the antis would contain communism. Don't forget that a World War had barely been over a few years and the consensus was that smaller skirmishes was far preferable to yet another outright war.

My view is that US foreign policy has shifted from holding noses. Those characteristics once overlooked are now front and center. Not that the US has become more moral but that the arena of acceptability of a regime or regimes has changed. I believe the criteria of intervention centers on the reach of a tyrant: expansionism beyond borders is now a benchmark of intervention.

How do we then ascertain expansionism other than through the decision that a regime wishes to impose its will forcibly upon another. Before someone takes that out of context and says that through war the US and coalition partners is imposing a will forcibly upon another I should point out that while this may be technically true it is not the aim of the US and partners to annex Iraq and impose a Saddam-style fiefdom on it.

Al-Qaeda is borderless yet it is supported by regimes with expansionist tendencies. When President Bush called several countries 'axis of evil' he was laying down a statement of a change in US foreign policy. That the US no longer wishes to hold its nose and support any system holus bolus.

I'm sure the weak will be very grateful that the US has seen the error of its ways now that it has become clear that Americans--yes Americans--might be at risk from these tyrants.

The US is at risk and has been at risk for many years. 9/11 brought the risk and its results home. Yet this was but a local manifestation of an undeclared war by a stateless force that had already made attacks upon Americans and American interests. My view is that 9/11 propelled US foreign policy sooner into this state of reprisal of those states supporting the stateless al-Qaeda. Bin Laden made a fateful error to his 'foundation' by causing this.

Saddam Hussein is a thug who, given the leeway to do it, will expand his thuggery further into the ME. Yes, this does increased the odds Americans will be harmed and that mainly because any acquisition of influence gained by Saddam also supports those stateless terrorist organizations. However, I would add it is not only just Americans. I would add Australians (as has been shown) and other western countries (England and ricin, etc).

In this I think you miss the point that it is Americans alone who have been attacked and that it is only Americans who will bear the brunt of further attack.

As for the weak being grateful I leave that to be answered when Iraq is freed from Saddam. I truly believe that what comes out will curl your hair.

MichaelR




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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15294 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 4:08 PM
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My view is that US foreign policy has shifted from holding noses. Those characteristics once overlooked are now front and center. Not that the US has become more moral but that the arena of acceptability of a regime or regimes has changed. I believe the criteria of intervention centers on the reach of a tyrant: expansionism beyond borders is now a benchmark of intervention.

I think you and JH have pointed your fingers exactly at the heart of the issue and stated Americas new foreign policy strategy succinctly and accurately.

Some will fear this change. For many it will take some getting used to. The victors will write the history of this policy shift. Let us hope it has a happy ending.

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Author: PeterRabit Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15295 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 4:10 PM
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Did you care to share with us your thesis on the war or was this just a drive-by posting?

I ask you to read the ROE on the announcement banner before replying.


I don't know how to pull up the announcement banner at this point.

Here are some recent posts on the war:

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18548979

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18548422

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18545934

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18544438

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18541402

http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18541289

Peter



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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15296 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 4:16 PM
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I don't know how to pull up the announcement banner at this point.

It's post number three.
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=17528936

Care to summarize and provide some support to your thesis?

I'll get to the links later but if you want to get the ball rolling now, the floor is yours.

After you read post number three (our ROE) that is.

Thank you. Enjoy the fellowship. We buy the first drink. Our watchword is civility and the bar rule is "Lurkers Strictly Cash."

TJ
part time official greeter

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Author: PeterRabit Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15297 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 4:34 PM
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Thanks, TJ. I like those guidelines a lot.

I strive to treat other posters with respect regardless of what board I am on. I p-box those who treat me disrespectfully so that I am not tempted to reply in kind.

I've got to go now. I will lurk in The Pub some and then add some of my thoughts to the discussions here.

BTW, I recced your post earlier where you attempted to fairly represent the anti-war case even though that is not your bottom-line conclusion. That is a difficult thing to do and I respect you for it.

Peter



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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 15298 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 2/6/2003 4:35 PM
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I will lurk in The Pub some and then add some of my thoughts to the discussions here.

I look forward to it.



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Author: tmorella Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19066 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 1:30 PM
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jimi:

well said and extremely well thought out. your analysis brought out some points that i didn't even consider (which, i guess in my own way, isn't saying much). i especially liked the "what we are going to do in iraq" segment, as it represented issues i have been stressing to friends of my own on the other side of the pond. should that idea come true, it could go a lot for, at the very least, stabilizing that entire region.

anyhow, i was wondering, did your european friend offer a response to your essay?

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Author: drumminfool Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19067 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 1:31 PM
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An interesting post and one that I believe captures the sentiment of much of the American public. For interested readers, I would recommend Thomas Friedman's numerous columns in the NY Times over the past year or so.

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Author: malcolml705 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19081 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 2:23 PM
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I think there is a failure in the US to recognise that the rest of the world are not going to just assume that the motives of the Bush administration are entirely pure. I also believe there is a failure in Europe to understand the impact of 9/11.

Being a European speaking in a US forum I will point out one or two of the issues that trouble us and much of the rest of the world:

1)The US has been happy to prop up autocratic and abusive regimes in the past - for instance the Shah in Iran and many Latin American regimes that perpetrated serious human rights abuses. How can you expect people to blindly assume the motives of US foreign policy are as morally superior as you suggest given this track record?

2)In the Middle East, the US gives a very strong impression that it is viscerally anti-Arab and anti Muslim. Clearly Palestinian terrorism is despicable, but so is Israeli treatment of Palestineans. UN resolutions require Isreal to withdraw from the occupied territories. Now we have Donald Rumsfeld referring to them as the 'so called' occupied territores, and no pressure from the US on Israel to stop building settlements, bulldozing peoples' homes and killing indiscriminately. On the contrary, US aid to Israel continues at around 25% of the entire overseas aid budget. Given that Saddam presents no immediate threat, the priority in the Middle East should be on the Peace Process. With progress there, support from the rest of the world for an attack on Iraq would be much easier to secure.

3)At the same time, we see that people like Douglas Feith, Richard Perle and David Wurmser - who in 1996 advocated toppling Saddam Hussein as a step towards enabling Israel to hang on to the occupied territories - are seeing their recommendations acted upon. This may or may not be one of the motivations behind this war, but it is naive to think that people around the world, or even in the US, will blindly accept that this is being done for the purest of motives.

Personally, I will be delighted to see Saddam overthrown, and I have no sympathy for the French line on this. However I see this as realpolitik and I resent the moral posturing and hypocrisy of the Bush administration.

PS comments like "the choice of insignificant little powers like you is to follow us, or get the hell out of the way" are not likely to improve Atlantic relations! You remind me of Donald Rumsfeld, casually belittling the contribution of 45,000 British troops who are prepared to die to further his ambitions.

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19083 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 2:30 PM
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You are quite the cheerleader for American Hegimony. I take issue with your post on many points, a few of which I will mention here.

1) you dismiss the secular culture of the Sunni's with a poor analogy. Fascism and Communism are both secular institutions involving the State as the ultimate Transcendent entity. Fact is it truly is a feather in Iraq's neferious cap that women and even Jewish Art forms have been allowed protections (see NPR on Iraqi musical traditions).

2) American Hegemony does not understand diplomacy, or Middle Eastern Culture. Diplomacy is often frustrating but, it bears succesful results. Many countries have not complied with demands that are gradually accepted during the diplomatic process. The French are diplomats. They wanted convincing proof of Bush's allegations. This is not unreasonable. And I say Bush's allegations because this is Bush's war. There is more dissent in this country than during any other military campaign in history.

3) You show a contempt for Middle Eastern understanding of this conflict that does not simply border arrogance. Again, the Middle East understands diplomacy... They have to. They live in a region which has not been stable since the last Millenium of Mesopotamian Culture. And what exactly do the American Diplomats put on the line with their diplomatic actions? we are large and isolated. The truth is that this war is perpetuated by a president who does not know about military action, diplomacy, and who has never been succesful at any business undertaking in his life. Bush has caused this war and might also have caused a war by Antagonizing the North Korean dictator.

Not every country wants the American way my friend. Quite an assumption on your part. There are other cultural instituions that see the free market system we abide by as a curse.

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Author: agentpreppie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19085 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 2:46 PM
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American Hegemony does not understand diplomacy, or Middle Eastern Culture. Diplomacy is often frustrating but, it bears succesful results. Many countries have not complied with demands that are gradually accepted during the diplomatic process.

We have successfully used diplomacy before, however, a problem arises when those you are trying to work with don't understand diplomacy. Witness Iraq's history since 1991. There have been 16 seperate UN resolutions calling for diplomacy to end the conflict, each time the only way that Iraq would start to comply was when troops were moved in just across their border.

There is more dissent in this country than during any other military campaign in history.

One word: Vietnam

Bush has caused this war

Ludacris BS. Saddam could have followed the UN resolutions asking him to disarm at any point during the past 12 years and we wouldn't be having this conversation.

There are other cultural instituions that see the free market system we abide by as a curse.

Institutions see the free market system as a curse but what about the people living under those conditions? People were saying that such a system could never work in Japan. Last time I checked they were doing pretty well. The same was said for Russia. After some growing pains which should be expected, they are starting to function remarkably with it. Afganistan? Well the jury is still out on that one but it's seeming to start to come together.

Agent

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Author: talbotrr Two stars, 250 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19086 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 2:48 PM
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Hi all
I like many Americans dont want any war .there have been some very eloquent words to explain pro and con. However when people of other lands want to punish us for living in a peaceful Country kill innocent people and expect to get away with it ,I have to say I finally think that we finally have a diplomat in the White House.

We have been involved in some losing arguments in the past and cpould simply walk away with a tie, those were the days of stopping the communist takeover of the world. I can agree that the US is not Lily White and I can also agree that we have not always done the right thing at the right time.However this time I think its time to stand up to the mass of little tyrants who are but the Devil's own and take them out.
I recent the fact that in all the words put out by our Newspapers , who all quote the Muslims /Moslem leaders that Bush is the agent of the Devil,when in fact Saddam is the Devil the false prophet the anti christ .Who else but the devil would do the things he has done.
The French want to do the diplomatic thing till the Saddamn is killing frenchmen in the streets of Paris ( I dont think the Germans will do it 3 times)

Thank You
Talbotrr

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Author: tgrmn Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19087 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 2:51 PM
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"...3) You show a contempt for Middle Eastern understanding of this conflict that does not simply border arrogance. Again, the Middle East understands diplomacy... They have to. They live in a region which has not been stable since the last Millenium of Mesopotamian Culture. And what exactly do the American Diplomats put on the line with their diplomatic actions? we are large and isolated. The truth is that this war is perpetuated by a president who does not know about military action, diplomacy, and who has never been succesful at any business undertaking in his life. Bush has caused this war and might also have caused a war by Antagonizing the North Korean dictator.

Not every country wants the American way my friend. Quite an assumption on your part. There are other cultural instituions that see the free market system we abide by as a curse."
-------------------------

Conversely, you set the false impression without substantiation that Arabs who traditionally lie and view diplomacy from a different vantage point are somehow on some higher plain and American cultural, social, and diplomatic policies are to be subservient? Right.

If America is such an abomination, feel free to move to some socialistic culture and society widely available that your aspersion cast against Capitalism seems to indicate as your preference.

Don't think of the fact they are rescued habitually by Americans when they fall under a tyrant's boot due to their failed economic and political faults.

Good luck.

'Tigerman'





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Author: karosirrup Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19089 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 2:56 PM
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I have a cuban friend, came over on a boat/raft. Been a US citizen for 9 years. He has often expressed to me his frustration that America does not go to Cuba and free his people. He has many tales "that will curl your hair". Now he is angry that America is going all out to free Iraq and ignoring the suffering of Cuba. Just another perspective. I try to explain to him that Cuba is not a threat to us and he says, "so people suffer and are tortured and die because Castro does not bother America. That is BULL----!!". Very passionate.

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19091 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 3:05 PM
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1991. There have been 16 seperate UN resolutions calling for diplomacy to end the conflict, each time the only way that Iraq would start to comply was when troops were moved in just across their border.

ds writes: To use your term: one word. Containment. Containment also worked well in North Korea.



One word: Vietnam

DS: I think there is more dissent this time around Agent. But, if I give you the benefitt of the doubt you have tremendous global dissent.

Institutions see the free market system as a curse but what about the people living under those conditions? People were saying that such a system could never work in Japan. Last time I checked they were doing pretty well. The same was said for Russia. After some growing pains which should be expected, they are starting to function remarkably with it. Afganistan? Well the jury is still out on that one but it's
seeming to start to come together.

ds writes: Growing pains is a euphymism. I like our system, so do you, we have no right to assert it through arms.


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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19093 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 3:11 PM
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Conversely, you set the false impression without substantiation that Arabs who traditionally lie and view diplomacy from a different vantage point are somehow on some higher plain and American cultural, social, and diplomatic policies are to be subservient? Right.

ds writes: Arabs traditionally lie? what kind of a racist idiot are you?

If America is such an abomination, feel free to move to some socialistic culture and society widely available that your aspersion cast against Capitalism seems to indicate as your preference.

Ds writes: I never said that Capitolism was not my preference. My presence on this board indicates that I participate in the Free Market System. I just do not take it as a given that everyone feels my view is correct. And yes, i chauvanistically assert that experience is a good teacher when it comes to diplomacy... So shoot me Tiger.

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Author: agentpreppie Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19094 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 3:15 PM
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ds writes: To use your term: one word. Containment. Containment also worked well in North Korea.

Wait a minute, I thought we were supposed to go after them before Iraq. Wouldn't that mean that containment hasn't worked?

ds writes: Growing pains is a euphymism. I like our system, so do you, we have no right to assert it through arms.

I never said that it was the goal of the invasion, merely a side benefit. Giving people a taste of freedom after oppression almost always results in good. Look at Europe. Other than the UK our biggest supporters are former "territories" of the USSR. There's a reason they're supporting the action, they understand how great that first taste of freedom is.

Agent

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19097 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 3:24 PM
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ds writes: To use your term: one word. Containment. Containment also worked well in North Korea.

Is this sarcasm? I am just wondering. I don't really think that a country that is firing missles over Japan and threatening us with nuclear weapons is well contained.

American Hegemony does not understand diplomacy

From here in the US, I don't really see an American Hegemony. Sure, we would like the world to do what we tell them to, but for the most part I see countries telling us to sod off.

Ford


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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19099 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 3:29 PM
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darrell writes:

I never said to go after anybody Agency. Just said we shouldn't antagonize anyone. But let me digress and fall into your trap. In a situation like the Bosnian Conflict one might make the case for war. This is truly a dilemna. yhe only intelligent response to this dilemna was perhaps Noam Chomsky who said" we can look at Bosnia after we leave every area in which we support a dictator or a corrupt government of some sort.

"taste of freedom"? you use language that pressuposes that the rest of the world shares your idea about oppression and freedom. The Soviet Block was a complicated situation. Even today vis a vis Russian Imperialism are Chechnian Fundamentalists that want a type of freedom. Is Pushkin right to stop religious fundamentalism that has as it's aim freedom for a minority? You may have to concede that freedom is not a black and white issue. Freedom for us to pursue our interests is different than freedom to cloth women in Burkas and go after those percieved as Infidels.


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Author: russtms1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19101 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 3:32 PM
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Thanks for this post. It is a serious departure from the Talk Radio stuff that is still accusing Saddam Hussein of 9-11 with one breath, while reporting that Osama Bin Laden personally chose the targets with another. However, I believe you may be missing a bit of information, not surprising if you get the majority of your news from US sources (which have always had a narrow focus.)

I do not immediately concede, as you state, that "4) He has plenty of WMD." There is no doubt that he (Hussein) purchased chemical weapons from Britain and biological agents (including Anthrax) from the US, but the information we had in 1995 claimed these had been destroyed. There is no evidence he has ever managed to get nuclear weapons, and, given the lack of evidence that he has created new biological/chemical weapons, I will not automatically concede that he has them. (By WMD, you do mean chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, just like everyone else, I assume.) I would add one more point on the reasons to get rid of Saddam--he apparently commissioned assassins to kill a past president of the United States.

I accept your belief that President Bush is pursuing this war because he belives it is "just." I don't accept that that's all, considering the amount of money that's going to his campaign contributors and others with attachments to the white house, such as Haliburton, Bechtel, and Fluor, and the fact that only US companies that are large GOP contributors are allowed to bid on reconstructing Iraq after the war.

Let me now comment on UN Resolution 1441. There is no place in this Resolution where it mentions military action, just "serious consequences." Am I quibbling? Let's consider what various people said regarding this Resolution after it was passed:

Ambassador Richard Ryan from Ireland, regarding wording changes from that of automatic attacks: "The 'and' is very good," said Irish Ambassador Richard Ryan, who hadn't committed his country's support for the resolution until this week. "It keeps the hands of the council members as a whole on the steering wheel of the resolution in the future. It's of enormous significance." This wording change was from one described as follows: "They said the original wording proposed in the U.S. draft ? the third draft offered by the United States and Britain ? would have let the United States determine on its own whether Iraq violated the terms of the resolution, which could then trigger an attack on Baghdad."

So Ambassador Ryan believed that 1441 didn't authorize automatic attacks. What about Ambassador Sergei Lavrov of Russia? "We know the position of the United States. But if they say that this resolution is not about an extra authorization, [that] it's a genuine effort to have inspectors on the ground and to fulfill entirely the mandate, then it's quite important." He believed the vote was for strong inspections.

Indeed, the US seemed to subscribe to the view that the UN would make the decision to go to war. Here are the words of US Ambassador John Negroponte: "There's no 'automaticity' and this is a two-stage process, and in that regard we have met the principal concerns that have been expressed for the resolution. Whatever violation there is, or is judged to exist, will be dealt with in the council, and the council will have an opportunity to consider the matter before any other action is taken."

So all the ambassadors to the UN, including the US ambassador, believed that Resolution 1441 required the US to get approval from the Security Council before attacking. The Bush administration at the time stated that this was OK because use of force was permitted under previous UN Resolutions, specifically 678 and 687, which allow military action specifically to destroy weapons of mass destruction -- so we're back to my first paragraph; no one has provided credible evidence that Iraq has WMDs (to be fair, let me point out that no one has explained what happened to a large part of Iraq's known WMDs, either).

Referring to Schroeder and Chirac, you said, "Put simply, my friend, from this side of the drink, they appear as ineffective asses? but, I guess it plays well politically at home (or not, if the most recent German elections are any indication)." This is absolutely true. The US media has portrayed Schroeder and Chirac as ineffective asses; the US House of Representatives has so little real work to do that they eliminated the word "French" from their cafeteria. Now they don't eat "French Fries" (an American word, not called by this name anywhere outside of North America), or "French Toast" (named after an American chef whose last name was "French"). From the other side of the drink, the US House of Representative looks like a bunch of ineffective asses, but it plays well in the US.

Your first point about hegemony hit's the nail on the head. After 9-11 the US was so angry that we flattened what little was left of Afghanistan and now want to use this excuse to overthrow Saddam Hussein, which Bush was discussing before 9-11. Remember that, after Pearl Harbor, the US was so angry that it flattened two Japanese cities with atomic bombs--the only time nuclear weapons have been used in battle--and don't forget that one of the cities was civilian. This time the US Armed Services could probably defeat the entire rest of the world combined in a fair fight, so we get statements like " it really doesn't matter what the UN, or EU, or for God's sake, the French or Germans, have to say about how we are to conduct ourselves in years to come." That arrogance is what creates friction with other countries and causes young hotheads to become terrorists. The fear and anger engendered by the attacks is what causes Congress to abrogate one of its main responsibilities and give the President the right to make war on whomever he chooses, whenever he chooses.

Your second point about hegemony assumes American history will guide the future of this battle. Why? American history, at least since the mid-1800s, includes absolutely zero cases of the US invading a country against the will of the majority of other industrialized nations with the defined purpose of capturing or assassinating that country's leader so we can install a different regime. Virtually nothing about the post-9-11 "Bush Doctrine" follows American history. That is my greatest fear: President Bush believes he has been directed in this action by God, and doesn't need any approval from anyone, not even the American public. Why shouldn't he demand that the new Iraq be run on Christian lines, be run by Christians of his choice, and not necessarily be a democracy? Indeed, why shouldn't he decide that another country--perhaps Syria--also needs regime change, and invade them?

Finally, you state that the US security policy demands that a country can have a non-pluralistic system (and you really need to determine what you mean by this; many countries you would probably consider "non-pluralistic" would be considered pluralistic by their citizens) or it can possess WMDs, but not both. You state that China is a special case for which you allow an exception; I believe this is due to the economic ties we have rather than their WMDs. What about North Korea? We are idly standing by and allowing them to build nuclear weapons. Certainly no one would claim North Korea has a pluralistic system. They have even threatened the US with nuclear war. Why has President Bush allowed this to happen? This certainly violates what you call the post-9-11 security policy of the United States; North Korea was known to be building more nucluear weapons by the time Bush took office, yet little is being done. What about totalitarian states that have the capability of chemical and/or biological weapons, such as Congo? What about states with WMDs that are becoming more and more totalitarian, such as Israel and Egypt? I find it difficult to accept your assertion that the US is following the security policy you describe.

Yes, it is true that ?The strong do what they can, and the weak suffer what they must.? I hope your optimism is well-founded; my personal belief is that, because this country has a long tradition of helping its conquered enemies rebuild and because the form of pluralism we call "representative democracy" is too unwieldy to be run as a hegemony, you will be right about the end result. I continue to hope this war will be over quickly and without significant loss of life. I agree that the world will be much better without Saddam Hussein or one of his close allies running a country in the political time-bomb called the Middle East, and I have great optimism for the future -- I can only hope you and I are both right.

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19103 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 4:13 PM
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darrell writes:

No Ford I was not being sarcastic. North Korea's dictator was antagonized by bush's axis of evil speech. Even Bush's

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19107 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 4:30 PM
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North Korea's dictator was antagonized by bush's axis of evil speech.

But the Taepodong-2 missile that was fired over Japan was done so in 1998. The one that was set off on March 10 was fired over water.

North Korea has a very long history of using brinkmanship to get what it wants. It was threatening the world nuclear weapons that got it into the "Axis of Evil". Little Kim has been threatening the world with nukes for a while, and has shown a willingness to sell them to anyone. For him to be upset over being included in the axis, is as absurd as his hair.

The think that I find worrisome is that he may make a move while we are busy in Iraq. He could feel that we would not want to wage two wars at once, so he could grab South Korea or simply up the violence.

Ford

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Author: highprice16 Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19111 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 4:47 PM
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forget about oil.
forget about christianity being spread through the middle east
forget about assasination attempts on someone's father.

i have it on good authority that the only reason we are going into IRAQ and consequently PDRK sometime in the future is for the self serving goal of getting the rest of the world on our imperialistic foot-inches standard of measurement.



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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19112 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 4:47 PM
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i have it on good authority that the only reason we are going into IRAQ and consequently PDRK sometime in the future is for the self serving goal of getting the rest of the world on our imperialistic foot-inches standard of measurement.


Eff the metric system!

6

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19113 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 4:50 PM
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darrell writes:

Kim's hair is absurd. The female rapper lil Kim is also a lot prettier, though if published reports are accurate, not any kinkier.

I guess my main issue from a strategic point of view, including Iraq and North Korea, is that containment is a viable solution. Kudos to your point about the missles. You do incline me to acknowledge that North Korea is always dangerous, contained or not.

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Author: pantherviews One star, 50 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19116 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 5:30 PM
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We are strong. We will do what we can, with or without our traditional allies. But you know what? We don't do so to make the weak suffer. We do so in self-defense… and in pursuing that self-defense, it is not the weak who will suffer, for it is ultimately they who we liberate from their oppressive tyrants.

This statement will one day be found to be irrational and archaic. In fact many find this so today. No matter how 'righteous' this effort appears, it cannot rationally be called self-defense; that is the irrational part.
Anyone see why? It will seen as archaic because diplomacy failed because it was not pusued in earnest. Is this clear? Is there some denial here? That will be clear when the consciousness of the collective evolves to a point where this becomes self-evident...war will be then be rare or a thing of the past...

Wishing everyone a long and happy life!
Pat




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Author: tgrmn Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19118 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 6:20 PM
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"Ds writes: I never said that Capitolism was not my preference. My presence on this board indicates that I participate in the Free Market System. I just do not take it as a given that everyone feels my view is correct. And yes, i chauvanistically assert that experience is a good teacher when it comes to diplomacy... So shoot me Tiger. "
----------------------------

I have no idea what doppel I'm talking to but, never the less, I retract my somewhat uncivil remark regarding finding an economic and political system/country that more suits a socialist. America is big enough for every thought and ideology.

Let the market place and light of reality shine brightly on all, and the faults will become self evident and those found wanting, examined, and subsequently discarded on the ash heaps of history to follow the rotting remains of the fraudulently self styled Internationalist Soviet Union and the failed Leftist ideologies it fomented and touted.

Good luck.

'Tigerman'



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Author: phxhawk Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19120 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 6:46 PM
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Excellent post!

I am cutting and pasting and emailing this to everyone I know

thanks again

phxhawk

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Author: gilvoice Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19122 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 7:51 PM
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Well Said.

Thank you

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Author: dakeyras Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19123 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 8:06 PM
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i have it on good authority that the only reason we are going into IRAQ and consequently PDRK sometime in the future is for the self serving goal of getting the rest of the world on our imperialistic foot-inches standard of measurement.

Eff the metric system!


The Stonecutters Song

Who controls the British crown
Who keeps the metric system down
We do!
We do!

http://www.lawine.be/simpsons/stonecutters.html



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Author: jgkramer Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19125 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 10:11 PM
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Thanks for your thoughtful email about the war. I really appreciated you taking the time to do this.

For another perspective on the subject, please refer to Lee Harris's essay called "Our World Historical Gamble". The link below should take you right to it.

Jim


www.techcentralstation.com/1051/defensewrapper.jsp?PID=1051-350&CID=1051-031103A

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Author: cdm2003 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19129 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 11:03 PM
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This letter is well-written, though I wouldn't necessarily use the word "cogently" to describe an argument based on specific interpretations of certain facts, some of which are barely tenable, as opposed to premises which are widely, or perhaps in this case, "globally," accepted.

Perhaps the poster should be given a certain amount of maneuvering room, as it is over a month old, and new data have emerged. However, I think it is erroneous to continue to "reach high" for reasons for what a great deal of the world populous considers to be a base act of aggression.

Our president has thrown the "weapons of mass destruction" phrase in our faces so many times that it seems to have lost a modicum of meaning. Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, or at least that is the view of the current administration. However, U. N. weapons-inspectors were unable to find anything so damning as to warrant immediate action. Now, the inspectors were there, inside Iraq, "on location," doing what they deemed proper to look for such things. The Bush administration, on the otherhand, has relied upon some other methodology for information gathering, none of which I see as being any more effective than actually being there. A satellite may be able to snap a photo of your license plate from an ungodly number of miles into the Earth's atmosphere, but a pair of trained eyes a few feet away can make out additional details. Perhaps the most failing criticism of these weapons, is that if Iraq really had some weapons that were capable of, let's say for the sake of argument, killing more than one hundred people with a single discharge, than why is it, when the bombing began and the majority of American and British troops were in the contained and relatively small area of northern Kuwait, didn't Iraq use them? It seems to me that these supposed weapons, which the poster of the original message seemed to find so threatening, were in existence and able to be utilized, that Saddam Hussein missed his chance at what could have been a devastating blow to American infantry. Even at this time, as our troops are probably now spreading out through the very edge of southern Iraq, we are still congested enough for a "weapon of mass destruction" to "destroy" a great "mass" of American men and women. Last I heard, a total of eight missiles, possibly modified Al-Samoud II surface-to-surface missiles had been fired towards Kuwait, none of which hit a target. If the danger was so imminent as to warrant invasion, then where is this danger? Of course, I will eat my hat if something horrible happens, but it seems that Hussein's best chance for maximum American casualties has past. Unless he's planning something else, I doubt we'll see them. I recall that this is what happened during the first Gulf War, with expectations of "something terrible" lurking around a corner. Something terrible, that is, that never happened.

Perhaps troops will uncover something the inspectors did not. However, if some weapon is discovered but never used, than just how much of a threat did Iraq pose? It seems to me that North Korea, which has a burgeoning nuclear program, is more of a threat in that fashion, so any strict adherence to the President's logic would have taken us there *first*.

Furthermore, likening an alledged alliance between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden with the 1939 Soviet-German non-aggression pact is impossible. If it were, then we could just sit back and wait for Hussein and bin Laden to eventually destroy each other and then we'd have one enemy less to worry about. Hindsight is a great thing, but *any* comparison between this current invasion and WWII is shameful. Politics, geography, diplomatic efforts, armage, etc., were quite different in the previous war. And, suffice it to say that Saddam Hussein is *no* Adolf Hitler in any way, shape, or form.

It's convenient to trapze about history looking for appropriate support and precedence, but unfortunately nothing can equate to modern situations. If Bush wants Hussein dead, feeling that an invasion of Iraq will accomplish this, then why hasn't he "wrapped up" his previous attempt at the very same thing? Did we not invade Afganistan looking to capture bin Laden? We got him, right? We got Melosavic in Serbia, correct? I suppose our great success in capturing our enemy leaders should be emphasized by Hitler's presence at the Nuremburg Trials?

The fact that there was dispute amongst the international community as to what should be done with Iraq should alone have given us cause to work with that community, not against it. I think Europe's disdain with us doesn't come from any animosity to our particular leaders, but simply because of our inability to consistently work within coalitions. Europe is attempting to set a global example of this with the European Union. That has not been entirely successful to date, but it shows a dedication towards unity, a dedication which we flagrantly disregarded in our handling of Iraq. Any American President is no better nor worse than any French Prime Minister. Collectively, however, the whole becomes greater than the parts. Unfortunately, America continues not to play at that game, using arrogance (and I don't attach any political denotation to this word here) as a means to an end.

Thanks for listening.

Chris

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Author: Domingoknife Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19131 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/20/2003 11:24 PM
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People--vehemently disagree with the argument by asserting your own views. Don't attack the person. Refer to the Rules of Engagement on the sidebar to the right.

DK

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Author: yourick Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19132 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 12:03 AM
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first i just want to say WOW! that's a lot of heavy material to digest in one evening.

now where to start...

like so many others i believe hussein is not the person, or type of person i want running the country in which i live. this seems to be the only consensus. having said this, i still have a problem with g.w. and his handling of this situation.

prior to his election stealing, candidate bush said he did not believe in nation building. if this does not qualify as nation building i don't know what does, kinda reminds me of a previous bush candidate's promise of "no new taxes." but i digress.

he made promises to rebuild afghanastan and promote a democracy there, also after a war, this one against terrorism, as if we could wipe out all terrorists. the afghan people have been forgotten and bin Laden is still at large. g.b. senior admitted that their would be a problem finding a government for all the iraqi people and the world who would be better than hussein, and was unable to reach a satisfactory conclusion. this was the reason given for not going to bagdad in the first gulf war, i do not believe the x*#! son, whom i also believe is much less a statesman than his father, has found the answer that eluded his father.

i also have difficulty with giving diplomacy 12 months to work after at least 9 years of inactivity, to allow the situation, if it is indeed of this magnitude, to be ignored this long is inexcuseable. not just by the u.s. government but the u.n. security council as well, and this would include the first year of the current bush adminstration. apparently no one has felt threatened untill g.w.bush and not untill after 9/11. and, i do not believe denigrating someone, no matter how callus, qualifies as diplomacy.

the regan adminstration had no problem with the gassing of the kurdish village by hussain. it only became news after 9/11.

we trained and supported hussain, espically in his war against iran, untill he invaded kuait. we trained and supported bin laden, we know what these people are capable of, our tax dollar, and the cia, helped to create them and others.

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Author: PeterTColt Three stars, 500 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19133 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 12:37 AM
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Have you noticed that most of the European support for the war , except for Great Britain and Spain,, is coming from Eastern European countries who only recently were liberated from Communist oppression. Maybe their recent memories of dictatorship have helped shape their decision. They seem to cherish their freedom and capitalistic turn in their countries.

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Author: mazzabud1 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19135 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 1:01 AM
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We are faced with a very simple choice. Saddam Hussein has trained terrorists to attack the US and destroy our society. Many of you have stated the reasons for defending the US and you are accurate in your support. The choice is: FIGHT THEM THERE, NOW ON OUR TERMS or FIGHT THEM HERE, LATER ON THEIR TERMS.
Take your pick. It is going to happen.
MZ

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19136 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 1:57 AM
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I have no idea what doppel I'm talking to but, never the less, I retract my somewhat uncivil remark regarding finding an economic and political system/country that more suits a socialist. America is big enough for every thought and ideology.

Let the market place and light of reality shine brightly on all, and the faults will become self evident and those found wanting, examined, and subsequently discarded on the ash heaps of history to follow the rotting remains of the fraudulently self styled Internationalist Soviet Union and the failed Leftist ideologies it fomented and touted.

Good luck.

'Tigerman'

ds writes:

Well thank you for your retraction but your lack of civility is not the major concern here. You may want to examine your assumption that all Arabs lie, a statement like this, though unintentional reeks of other more obvious stereotypes. Trust me, I probably am uncivil; so let that remark stand and consider retracting this other statememtn.

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Author: webwide Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19144 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 9:33 AM
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prior to his election stealing, candidate bush said he did not believe in nation building. if this does not qualify as nation building i don't know what does, kinda reminds me of a previous bush candidate's promise of "no new taxes." but i digress.

Please drop the silly "election stealing" comments. I believe that 9/11 changed the perspective on 'nation building.' Do you allow for policy adjustment as necessary?

he made promises to rebuild afghanastan and promote a democracy there, also after a war, this one against terrorism, as if we could wipe out all terrorists. the afghan people have been forgotten and bin Laden is still at large.

bin Laden (if indeed he is still alive) is hiding in caves. The Taliban is, for all intents and purporses, demolished. 1000 U.S. troops are still pursuing them. Afghanistan, FAR from being forgotten, is rebuilding and we are still assisting with that. Just because the major media outlets aren't covering it any more doesn't mean that U.S. involvement has ceased.

i also have difficulty with giving diplomacy 12 months to work after at least 9 years of inactivity, to allow the situation, if it is indeed of this magnitude, to be ignored this long is inexcuseable. not just by the u.s. government but the u.n. security council as well, and this would include the first year of the current bush adminstration. apparently no one has felt threatened untill g.w.bush and not untill after 9/11. and, i do not believe denigrating someone, no matter how callus, qualifies as diplomacy.

I think you just answered your own question. 9/11 changed viewpoints. The U.S. finally forced the U.N.'s hand and forced it to back up its own words (or not). I agree that allowing the situation to go this long is inexcuseable. We should have rolled right back into Iraq as soon as they first violated the terms of surrender.

we trained and supported hussain, espically in his war against iran, untill he invaded kuait. we trained and supported bin laden, we know what these people are capable of, our tax dollar, and the cia, helped to create them and others.

There is some truth to your statement. In context (during the Cold War) it was a 'lesser of two evils' choice. The Cold War is over and we are now realizing that we must deal with these monsters we helped create. Just because the CIA (under JFK) helped the Baath Party gain power in the late 50's doesn't mean that Bush must, therefore, allow them to continue to train terrorists to attack U.S. targets, does it?

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Author: webwide Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19145 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 9:41 AM
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I have a cuban friend, came over on a boat/raft. Been a US citizen for 9 years. He has often expressed to me his frustration that America does not go to Cuba and free his people. He has many tales "that will curl your hair". Now he is angry that America is going all out to free Iraq and ignoring the suffering of Cuba. Just another perspective. I try to explain to him that Cuba is not a threat to us and he says, "so people suffer and are tortured and die because Castro does not bother America. That is BULL----!!". Very passionate.

I notice this is your first post since joining the Fool in January. Welcome!

Cuba is, politically speaking, a '3rd Rail' issue. Looking back to the Elian episode, just watching network news coverage you would never know that Castro had ever tortured one person, nor that he restricted freedoms we take for granted here in the U.S. It would take a major publicity campaign, lead by the major news outlets, to shift public sentiment and make them aware of Castro's atrocities. Don't hold your breath.

Another train of thought is that simply ending the embargo would be the best way to undermine Castro, allowing Cubans to taste free enterprise and exposing Castro himself as the primary reason for the suffering of the Cuban people (as opposed to the embargo itself). I like this approach for several reasons, one of them being legal access to Cuban cigars. :o)

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Author: webwide Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19149 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 10:06 AM
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After 9-11 the US was so angry that we flattened what little was left of Afghanistan and now want to use this excuse to overthrow Saddam Hussein, which Bush was discussing before 9-11. Remember that, after Pearl Harbor, the US was so angry that it flattened two Japanese cities with atomic bombs--the only time nuclear weapons have been used in battle--and don't forget that one of the cities was civilian.

This idea you espouse is a very simplistic and naive view of history. The only thing 'flattened' in Afghanistan has been a few buildings here and there, as well as a few caves being imploded/sealed. This country is one of the most mountainous regions in the whole world and is a favorite target for rock climbers and mountaineers who have become bored with the rest of the world's climbing areas (hmmm, perhaps they made large GOP political contribusions? I'll have to check into that). The damage inflicted was minimal (especially when compared to the Soviet invasion) and we are indeed helping to rebuild this devastated nation. You imply that we practically obliterated an entire nation as a knee-jerk reaction out of anger. That is preposterous. Even more preposterous is your notion that Hiroshima and Nagasaki were equally knee-jerk reactions based upon 'anger' -- when in fact there were almost four years in between Pearl Harbor and our use of nuclear weapons.

Virtually nothing about the post-9-11 "Bush Doctrine" follows American history. That is my greatest fear: President Bush believes he has been directed in this action by God, and doesn't need any approval from anyone, not even the American public. Why shouldn't he demand that the new Iraq be run on Christian lines, be run by Christians of his choice, and not necessarily be a democracy? Indeed, why shouldn't he decide that another country--perhaps Syria--also needs regime change, and invade them?

Your fears are quite ungrounded. First, do you have some supporting documentation for your assertion that Bush is making foreign policy based on divine inspiration? I have seen nothing of the kind. Second, you mentioned Congressional approval. How does this line up with your assertion that Bush thinks he "doesn't need any approval from anyone?" Third, Bush has spoken many times about turning control of Iraq over to the Iraqi people. Where do you get this notion that he might set up some sort of Christian Theocracy? I find that absurd.

As far as other countries and regime changes it all depends on their support of terrorism. That has been stated early and often since 9/11.

You state that China is a special case for which you allow an exception; I believe this is due to the economic ties we have rather than their WMDs. What about North Korea? We are idly standing by and allowing them to build nuclear weapons. Certainly no one would claim North Korea has a pluralistic system. They have even threatened the US with nuclear war. Why has President Bush allowed this to happen?

China and North Korea are different. First, they have mutual support and/or treaties. Second, as you mentioned, they are now nuclear powers. We got to Iraq before this happened, but once nukes enter the picture the whole game plan changes. This should be obvious.

You malign Bush for 'allowing' this to happen. I presume you feel equally as upset toward Clinton? Most of this development happened on his watch, after all.

What about totalitarian states that have the capability of chemical and/or biological weapons, such as Congo?

One at a time, man, one at a time.

What about states with WMDs that are becoming more and more totalitarian, such as Israel and Egypt? I find it difficult to accept your assertion that the US is following the security policy you describe.

Israel and Egypt have been quite friendly and cooperative with the U.S. for many years now. Was that a joke?

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Author: patchdodd Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19158 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 10:41 AM
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This idea you espouse is a very simplistic and naive ... etc.

Easy web. We're all friends here.

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Author: JimiH3ndrix Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19175 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 1:08 PM
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Holy cow!

So much recent traffic on this letter! OK, I'm going to try to respond to as many points as I can in the short time provided. However, I am going to have to permit myself to cherry-pick, as a result.

First, I would acknowledge that my friend did respond, but because of the rather short nature of his response, I didn't feel it would contribute much to reproduce it here. Furthermore, I would reemphasize that I expressed ambivalence about this war in the preface to the post, and while I will not actively protest it, and while I will welcome Hussein's departure, I am actually opposed to this specific war. Go figure.

Malcolm,
How can you expect people to blindly assume the motives of US foreign policy are as morally superior as you suggest given this track record?

I didn't mean to imply that. In fact, I originally conceded that oil, family pride and even <gasp> the presidential election cycle were possible contributing factors to the specific timing of the venture. Nothing very honorable about sending American youth and innocent Iraqi civilians to their untimely deaths for those goals.

That said, my purpose was to produce as solid a defense for the war, balanced between interests and principles, as I could, and by extension, flesh out the contours of what I believe is at least a competitor for a post-cold war order. In like-spirit, and to deflect the attack on American foreign policy as "morally superior," the cold war commitment to the defense of Europe and regime change among communist countries (see... it just ain't that original a principle, folks), were terribly self surving but also morally just: that's probably one contributing reason why the Eastern Europeans have piled on to this effort. I believe there is a moral component to liberating people from tyranny... which is why the Franco-German position was in the final analysis bankrupt.

PS comments like "the choice of insignificant little powers like you is to follow us, or get the hell out of the way" are not likely to improve Atlantic relations! You remind me of Donald Rumsfeld, casually belittling the contribution of 45,000 British troops who are prepared to die to further his ambitions.

Yes... well, this line might be why my friend did not respond at greater length. I have said on various occasions on these boards that Rumsfeld should have been immediately fired after his "old Europe" crack. I know that it, and he, make the conservatives swoon with puppy-love, but his pigheadedness has complicated the hell out of American diplomacy, by functioning as some sort of self-appointed "Secretary of State, Jr." That has worked at cross purposes to American interests. Again: he should have been immediately fired... if not then, then after his ill-advised remarks concerning the British contribution to war. Fer crissakes, why was he undermining our closest ally on this issue?! I am not interested in the explanations of puppy-lovers....

But to address the broader point, France & Germany are insignficant middle powers: this crisis bears out the point! The US does not need their military or political or economic contribution to pursue the Iraqi campaign to a successful conclusion. Alternatively, a Franco-German effort to pursue a similar campaign would be a complete fiasco, because those two countries do not possess the force projection capacity for leading such a campaign. I agree that such frank talk does not contribute constructively to transatlantic relations (relations, by the way that I cherish both personally and politically), but that doesn't make the observation false. That doesn't mean we don't need European support or friendship, nor that transatlantic relations are permanently damaged. My view is that Bush & Co. rode into town spitting on everything the Europeans hold dear, and as a result, they detest him personally and politically, and until he is gone, transatlantic relations will suffer. But the congruence of shared interests & history suggest that once these personalities pass from the political stage, everything transtlantic will be much warmer again.

And a future American administration will fall back on the Clinton habit of pretending individual European countries are something more than insignificant middle powers... because easy flattery serves one's own diplomatic and political ends. But until European countries, or the Brusselian League show a sustained commitment to establishing an ability to project force, on military matters, the principle will remain, as stated, "Get on board, or get the hell out of the way."

dsimon,

You are quite the cheerleader for American Hegimony. I take issue with your post on many points, a few of which I will mention here.

I like that line, even if it mistakes an argument for personal opinion.

Fascism and Communism are both secular institutions involving the State as the ultimate Transcendent entity.

I don't care. Circumstance can make of any couple strange bedfellows. The "ethic" of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," and all that. On that, we'll simply have to disagree.

Not every country wants the American way my friend. Quite an assumption on your part. There are other cultural instituions that see the free market system we abide by as a curse.

Yeah, like the Taliban, for example.

Quite an assumption on your part to infer that I equated pluralism with "the American way." In fact, if you reread what I wrote, I indicated that the German federal model might be the best pluralistic model available to accomodate Iraq. There are plenty of pluralistic models out there, and I'm not looking for reproduction of "the American way" anywhere.

However, I do believe that those "cultural institutions" that deny individual political expression in some generous form, and otherwise propogate by fomenting hatred of the "other," are degenerate and unworthy. Yes, that makes me arrogant: I desperately want my fellow human travelers of planet earth to be permitted the freedoms I enjoy.
So be it.

I worry, however, that your argument seems to dance precariously with those who suggest Middle East "culture" or "tradition" render impossible the formation and sustanance of pluralistic systems. I hear this on occasion: it's like some sort of perverse reverse-Manifest Destiny, where wholesale sections of humanity are incapable of establishing representative systems of government, or of protecting basic human and civil rights.

That perspective is truly arrogant, since it insists that what we enjoy, others are incapable of enjoying. I'll retain my arrogance of faith in progress.

But now, having read through your subsequent posts, I see I may have overstated my criticism of your initial position, but without time to go back and correct, I will simply end by saying, I appreciate that you see shades of grey, because I do too. It isn't black & white, I don't see it as such, even if the original argument suggests I do.

No hard feelings, eh?

russtmss,

I do not immediately concede, as you state, that "4) He has plenty of WMD." There is no doubt that he (Hussein) purchased chemical weapons from Britain and biological agents (including Anthrax) from the US, but the information we had in 1995 claimed these had been destroyed. There is no evidence he has ever managed to get nuclear weapons, and, given the lack of evidence that he has created new biological/chemical weapons, I will not automatically concede that he has them. (By WMD, you do mean chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons, just like everyone else, I assume.)

Last things first. Yes, traditionally, WMD = NBC and radiological weapons.

I would recommend to you the final report submitted to the UN Security Council by UNSCOM--I believe it's dated 1998, published shortly after the weapons inspectors were withdrawn in December 1997. (I might be making hash of these dates.) Anyway, it represents the fullest account of WMD in Iraq: it indicates that there was plenty in the way of uncertainty about what Iraq still retained, especially in the biological realm.

Your documentation of what ambassadors said in the wake of 1441 is superb. I was working effectively on what my impressions were of what was agreed at the time. The "automaticity" claim by Negroponte is especially prombelmatic for me, however. Very good... must reconsider my thinking on 1441. Really outstanding.

From the other side of the drink, the US House of Representative looks like a bunch of ineffective asses, but it plays well in the US.

How dare you speak of our elected Representative in any manner but praise and reverence! I am appalled that you would portray them as "asses." Insulted, even. You are no patriot, and you are possibly a seditious america-hating evil-doer.

Oh wait, I agree:
http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18721631

OK... I gotta prepare to leave town for bidniz... I gotta call "time" on this.

Happy weekend all,

Jimi

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Author: webwide Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19180 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 1:56 PM
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Easy web. We're all friends here.

which is why I said "this idea you espouse" instead of "you are"....

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Author: patchdodd Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19183 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 2:22 PM
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Easy web. We're all friends here.

which is why I said "this idea you espouse" instead of "you are"....

A skinny difference at best.

One of the rules that always stuck with me from my sales days was to never criticize a prospect's previous decision. If someone drives a Neon on to my Chevy lot and I proceed to tell them what a piece of junk Neons are I am - by extension - criticizing their decision to purchase and calling them an idiot, even if that isn't what I intended.

People take their ideas personally. Rebutting an idea with placid language is one thing. Using words like "simplistic", "naive", "knee-jerk reaction", "preposterous", and "absurd" are all hyperbolic, appealing to the viscera rather than the cerebrum. When you apply these words to someone's ideas - someone's creation - your result is quite another.

Patrick

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Author: webwide Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19189 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 2:52 PM
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People take their ideas personally. Rebutting an idea with placid language is one thing. Using words like "simplistic", "naive", "knee-jerk reaction", "preposterous", and "absurd" are all hyperbolic, appealing to the viscera rather than the cerebrum. When you apply these words to someone's ideas - someone's creation - your result is quite another.

I can agree with some of what you say here. Perhaps absurd could have been omitted, and maybe a better synonym for 'preposterous' would be appropriate. I don't normally get so worked up, but I suppose I could reword a few things. I will disagree on the 'knee-jerk reaction' phrase since I was rephrasing the other person's statement.

What about the following rewording in your opinion?

"This idea you espouse is a very simplistic and naive view of history."
becomes
"This idea you espouse seems to me to be an over-simplification of a much more complicated period of history"

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Author: patchdodd Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19191 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 3:21 PM
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What about the following rewording in your opinion?

That's fine web. You weren't really a big offender to begin with and I'm hardly the board cop.

Some of TJ's posts have gotten me interested in flame wars and how they start. Nothing personal (of course) but I think posts like yours are often catalysts. I am frequently guilty of doing the same but I try to watch myself around the Pub. Civility is key and erring on the side of humility is probably best.

To get back to it though, I think that most flame wars have a three step genesis:

1) An unpopular opinion.
2) An aggressive non-personal reply.
3) A personal reaction.

Boom.

I think that if the process can be interupted anywhere it is in the second step. In this medium intercession has to come from self policing. Some would call it self-censorship but others would call it civil discourse.

Regards.

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Author: klee12 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19200 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 5:44 PM
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Great post. May I add a couple of comments:

1. In regard to the legality of U.S. in Iraq, see

http://www.labour.org.uk/legalbasis/

where the British government gives the legal basis for invasion of Iraq. Essentially, a material breach of UN resolution 687 allows use of force, and 1441 affirmed there was a material breach. Secondly, Powell said that it was understood before the negotiations leading to 1441 that if there was not compliance, force would be used. The French said there was no such understanding. Someone is lying. I'm inclined to believe Powell rather than the French.

After the first Blix report, the French ambassador to the UN called for additional inspectors, Chirac said on several occaisons that France would agree to force when Blix would say that inspections would not be useful. This is not realistic; for various reasons the U.S. cannot leave 200,000 troops in the Mideast region. If the U.S. were to leave the Mideast, then inspections would be hindered; if U.S. were to build up forces, then Iraq could make some gestures at compliance. Powell would never have agreed to such a scenario.

2. I think the war is just in the moral sense. Saddam has withheld medical attention to parts of his population causing deaths of many children; he does this so that he can blame the U.S. for their deaths (see Kenneth Pollack "The Threatening Storm"). Estimates are 1000 to 5000 children killed every months. It is likely that waging this war will cause fewer deaths that not waging it. We will have to wait to see. Surely an act is not immoral if it leads to better lives for more people than otherwise.

3. The issue for Europe is not whether the U.S. is a hegemon or not; the issue is what role does Europe want to play in the world. Cutting down hegemon's may sooth one's ego, but history will view it as an unworthy goal. Contributing to bringing stability to this world is a worthy goal, even if one is the leader.

My 2 cents

klee12

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Author: klee12 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19203 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/21/2003 5:50 PM
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Oops, last sentence should read:

.... even if one is not the leader.


sorry.

klee12

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Author: SmTwnGrl Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19219 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/22/2003 5:51 PM
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Thank you, "Jimi," for articulating so well what many of us feel, and to all the others who have tried to pull apart and to those who have defended, very successfully, I think, our actions.

Lately, it's seemed that the Wall Street Journal is the only place where serious analysis of world situations and reasons for other countries actions are discussed. Although as a non-NY Times subscriber, I've missed most of Thomas Friedman's latest columns, so appreciate the earlier reference on this board and will check them out.

However, I was pleased this morning to hear on NPR such solid-support for our country's actions. Even ol' D. Shore managed to hold himself in check. And tears came ..., of pride, to hear the American Iraqi Foundation spokeswoman say how grateful they were for what we were doing for their families and friends.

Again, thanks to all contributors!

STG

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Author: cdm2003 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19223 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/22/2003 8:05 PM
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"And tears came ..., of pride, to hear the American Iraqi Foundation spokeswoman say how grateful they were for what we were doing for their families and friends"

I'm sorry to have to say something negative about this statement, but I am very tired of hearing all sorts of people saying, whatever their intentions, what the Iraqi people want or don't want. Our President says they want to be liberated. Saddam Hussein says they hate us and wish us dead. Here a presumably American spokeswoman is now saying what they want as well. All over the world everyone has an opinion about what the Iraqi people want. However, I have not heard anything that would give me a clue as to what really goes through the mind of the Iraqi "man-on-the-streets." Maybe they don't have the opportunity to share. If that's the case, then say so. Don't put words into their mouths.

Thanks for listening.
Chris

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Author: webwide Big red star, 1000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19231 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/22/2003 11:20 PM
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I'm sorry to have to say something negative about this statement, but I am very tired of hearing all sorts of people saying, whatever their intentions, what the Iraqi people want or don't want. Our President says they want to be liberated. Saddam Hussein says they hate us and wish us dead. Here a presumably American spokeswoman is now saying what they want as well. All over the world everyone has an opinion about what the Iraqi people want. However, I have not heard anything that would give me a clue as to what really goes through the mind of the Iraqi "man-on-the-streets." Maybe they don't have the opportunity to share. If that's the case, then say so. Don't put words into their mouths.

Chris,

First of all I must ask how you have come to the conclusion (presumably) that the Iraqi people might actually like having Saddam Hussein as their dictator? I would presume the opposite unless I heard otherwise.

Second, the person I just saw interviewed from the American-Iraqi Foundation indicated that he had many family members in Iraq. He indicated that a council was in place to begin taking over post-war government transition issues. He also mentioned the great anticipation that all of his family and friends had regarding the end of Hussein's reign. I have seen and heard the same from others on TV and radio interviews as well as during war coverage.

Hope that helps. :o)

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Author: synchronicity Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19233 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/22/2003 11:51 PM
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I must ask how you have come to the conclusion (presumably) that the Iraqi people might actually like having Saddam Hussein as their dictator?

There's a saying, can't tell you exactly where it's from, something like "do not judge me until you have met my successor".

I'm sure most people in Iraq would be thrilled to be done with Saddam. That doesn't mean they trust that the person who will take over after a US military victory will be any better. We don't have a perfect record with "nation-building" following military success, and our rep in the Middle East is a bit spotty.

the person I just saw interviewed from the American-Iraqi Foundation indicated that he had many family members in Iraq. He indicated that a council was in place to begin taking over post-war government transition issues. He also mentioned the great anticipation that all of his family and friends had regarding the end of Hussein's reign. I have seen and heard the same from others on TV and radio interviews as well as during war coverage.

Not that I'm disagreeing, but remember that you're talking about aself-selecting population, consisting of those people who disliked Iraq and Saddam enough to get the heck out and move to another country. It's like the (relatively few) Saudis that either my wife or myself have met: they've all been very wealthy. Of course, these were the Saudis whose parents were capable of sending them to the US to attend a pricey private liberal arts college. My wife was shocked to learn that the average GDP in Saudi Arabia was rather low until I explained this point to her.

Anyway, I'm guessing a lot of Iraqis want Saddam gone, but A) the ones you'll hear in interviews are likely those who REALLY want him gone, and B) somebody pretty good still has to take his place, otherwise it's "meet the new boss, same as the old boss"

-synchronicity

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Author: beyondweb Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19234 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/23/2003 12:28 AM
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I've been searching for a good hour to no avail. =o( A few days ago, this post along with a 2nd post were featured on the site. Can anyone direct me to the 2nd post? Hopefully someone knows what I'm referring to...

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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19238 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/23/2003 7:28 AM
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http://boards.fool.com/Message.asp?mid=18541570

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Author: cdm2003 Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19244 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/23/2003 11:51 AM
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"First of all I must ask how you have come to the conclusion (presumably) that the Iraqi people might actually like having Saddam Hussein as their dictator? I would presume the opposite unless I heard otherwise."

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not suggesting that anyone could possibly enjoy living under a harsh and ruthless dictator. However, I believe that when propaganda becomes a tool of war, or peace for that matter, for *both* sides, that we shouldn't just take a single person's statements and extrapolate them to the feelings of an entire country. We have methodologies such as statistical polling to attempt to determine, within certain margins of errors, what certain groups of our own American populations feel. Groups that do such polling do not simply take an individual's views and then project them upon the entire society. My statements merely reflect that a member of an American-Iraqi Foundation is not going to be completely objective, and therefore should not instantaneously be assumed to represent the entire feelings of a foreign population.

Aside from that, many other countries seem to believe that the citizenry of Iraq is not in as horrendous a condition as we seemed to believe. No...I'm suggesting that they know any better than we would or anyone else for that matter. All I mean is that until we can actually attempt to determine what the Iraqi's believe using an appropriate methodology, we cannot assume that one person speaks for all (isn't that one of our current complaints about Saddam Hussein?).

As a similar example, we believed we were liberating the people of Afghanistan from oppression by ridding them of the Taliban. However, Afghanistan is far from safe for Karzei to move in and establish a representative democracy. When we invaded, aside from our reasons at the time, a beneficial affect of our actions was a sort of induction of freedom to the people. Now, Karzei cannot manage his own country without a team of American body guards. The Taliban is trying to make strides towards getting back into Afghanistan and seizing power. To me, this does not sound as if we had a truly representative idea as to what the people of Aghanistan believed they wanted.

That's all...I did not mean to debate what the people of Iraq think about what they want. However, I simply don't think it is appropriate to extrapolate a single statement into the sentiments of an entire country.

Hope that helps. ;)

Chris


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Author: beyondweb Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19336 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/24/2003 11:13 AM
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That was it! Thanks!

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 19500 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/25/2003 12:09 AM
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dsimon,

You are quite the cheerleader for American Hegimony. I take issue with your post on many points, a few of which I will mention here.

I like that line, even if it mistakes an argument for personal opinion.

ds writes: We are on a public board and you took a viewpoint. You are not proposing a thesis, you are stating an opinion. Your tone as you respond to your friend also suggests a strong and cheeky opinion. This is no expository essay.

Fascism and Communism are both secular institutions involving the State as the ultimate Transcendent entity.

I don't care. Circumstance can make of any couple strange bedfellows. The "ethic" of "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," and all that. On that, we'll simply have to disagree.

ds writes: fine, but as an analogy this is imperfect.

Not every country wants the American way my friend. Quite an assumption on your part. There are other cultural instituions that see the free market system we abide by as a curse.

Yeah, like the Taliban, for example.

ds writes: you should rise above this argument. This is practically an Ad Hominem attack. The Taliban is the only other succesful cultural way I suppose. Us versus them. The "Every man for himself" part of the American Psyche as opposed to the "no man is an island."

Quite an assumption on your part to infer that I equated pluralism with "the American way." In fact, if you reread what I wrote, I indicated that the German federal model might be the best pluralistic model available to accomodate Iraq. There are plenty of pluralistic models out there, and I'm not looking for reproduction of "the American way" anywhere.

ds writes: I'll grant you this point, but american interests should not determine policy, rather moral rectitude should disinfect and allow any nation to create good public policy.

However, I do believe that those "cultural institutions" that deny individual political expression in some generous form, and otherwise propogate by fomenting hatred of the "other," are degenerate and unworthy. Yes, that makes me arrogant: I desperately want my fellow human travelers of planet earth to be permitted the freedoms I enjoy.
So be it.

ds writes: Your understanding of freedom is an idea about freedom. It is at the very least relative. Consider that Iraq grants more religious freedom and less msygony than any other Arab nation. Do you consider Saudi women free? How about class conscious Kuwaite society where people are free to starve to death and women are treated worse than my pet cat in a state of nature.


I worry, however, that your argument seems to dance precariously with those who suggest Middle East "culture" or "tradition" render impossible the formation and sustanance of pluralistic systems. I hear this on occasion: it's like some sort of perverse reverse-Manifest Destiny, where wholesale sections of humanity are incapable of establishing representative systems of government, or of protecting basic human and civil rights.

ds writes: look in your own backyard my friend. This war is eroding our civil rights, and the question is if our government can protect its citisens. The Middle East has a whole Plethora of different social structures, just as Africa did before Western trained fascists (leaders) came in and taught people how to wage wholesale war.

That perspective is truly arrogant, since it insists that what we enjoy, others are incapable of enjoying. I'll retain my arrogance of faith in progress.

ds writes: who enjoys? the kids in the ghetto who can't get a decent education? the people who starve to death in the most prosperous nation in the world? the seniors who have to eat dog food while a minority of seniors are entitled to retire to a life of luxury? Your American dream is as imperfect as everybody else's cultural constructs. If you are well off and enjoy the American dream you are a minority in this country. Some faith. You have more faith than Keirkegaard before he encountered the big E!

But now, having read through your subsequent posts, I see I may have overstated my criticism of your initial position, but without time to go back and correct, I will simply end by saying, I appreciate that you see shades of grey, because I do too. It isn't black & white, I don't see it as such, even if the original argument suggests I do.

No hard feelings, eh?

DS writes: Russtmss my hard feelings are the sentiments that have gained favor in this dialogue, not with you. I thought TMF people might at least express as strong a sentiment against this conflict as for it. As an American I would give my life to let you and your ilk express your views. I am just dissapointed that at least one other person did not try to "carve you a new cornhole" with a response that is counter to yours (said with affection). I thought the fools were a more enlightened and pluralistic group.
russtmss,


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Author: JulioSoy Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20012 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 2:08 AM
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This pro-war, pompous and somewhat infantile screed suffers from some of the most twisted logic imaginable. It is almost ultra-Orwellian and contradicts itself at every turn.

But his argument seems to go like this: "We're right and everyone else is wrong." Blame anyone or any nation that objects to the horror and terrorism of war. "It's all Germany's fault. It's all France's fault...etc." when the only ones choosing to kill and destroy are the governments of the US and the UK.

In his perverse argument, the ones who created the war are the "good guys who want peace". The one who are against it are "the reason we have to go to war." How warped.

Well, I'm an American citizen too and I don't consider myself part of the gang of maniacs who call mass murder and destruction of lives and communities "liberation". It's a lie. And the fact that I'm an American doesn't make me part of this "we". I don't attack people who have never attacked me. I don't start wars. I don't raise my middle finger to the rest of the world simply because my military is bigger. I'm not a part of this.

This discussion doesn't belong on this website anyway. There are at least 2000 websites where these debates can be posted.

But this poor fellow is truly brainwashed and is trying, so very hard, to create a justification for the worst war crimes imaginable. He's defending the indefensible. Why? Because George Bush and the media have told him he must and he's naive or confused enough to actually believe them. Now he must create a bizzare set of "reasons" as to why this war is somehow "justified". It's sad and sick.

Every nation in the world---well, virtually every one---has the overwhelming majority of its citizens completely opposed to this obscenity of an unprovoked war. Even where the government has bowed to the power and control of the USA and agreed to march to Bush's orders---as in the UK and Spain---the population of those countries is overwhelmingly against this war.

Our country and our society is sick, misinformed (as in 55% of the population believing Saddam was responsible for Sept. 11) and often bloodthirsty, unable to see the humans in Iraq as anything but "obstacles" to be moved out of the way---by any means necessary.

But the truth is, they are just like us: fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, aunts and uncles...to support the killing of these people and then chant "USA USA USA" as if you were at a football game is repulsive beyond words.

This war isn't about "self-defense" (could any sane and intellectually honest person believe that?) It's about a group of barbarians who although bigger, stronger and richer than any group of people in history, are deep down, overwhelmed with fear and paranoia and who have to strike out at someone, somewhere, in order to make themselves feel safer and better.

And we're all going to live in a much, much more dangerous world because of this mentality.

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Author: fleg9bo Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20013 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 2:15 AM
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JulioSoy writes:
It's about a group of barbarians who although bigger, stronger and richer than any group of people in history, are deep down, overwhelmed with fear and paranoia and who have to strike out at someone, somewhere, in order to make themselves feel safer and better.

Nobody I know who supports the liberation of the Iraqi people even remotely fits this description. Can you provide some evidence of this rather strong assertion?

--fleg


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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20014 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 3:13 AM
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This pro-war, pompous and somewhat infantile screed suffers from some of the most twisted logic imaginable. It is almost ultra-Orwellian and contradicts itself at every turn.

When I read this rant, I was not sure if you were being sarcastic or not. Since I have seen similar rants from people who aren't being sarcastic, I will assume that your rant is based on a lack of knowledge - which as you pointed out is all too common in the U.S.

First, in 1990, there was UNSC Resolution 678 which stated, in part:

2. Authorizes Member States co-operating with the Government of Kuwait, unless Iraq on or before 15 January 1991 fully implements, as set forth in paragraph 1 above, the foregoing resolutions, to use all necessary means to uphold and implement resolution 660 (1990) and all subsequent relevant resolutions and to restore international peace and security in the area;

In furtherance of this resolutions call to restore international peace, Iraq was required to disarm as a part of the cease fire agreement (note: no peace treaty has ever been signed to end that war) which was agreed to by Iraq in order to allow Saddam to stay in power. Iraq has never followed through. Since the cease fire agreement has been broken by Iraq, the situation reverts to the prior state - full hostilities. We gave Iraq 12 years and 17 resolutions, the last of which was 1441, in order to follow through, which Iraq repeatedly failed to do. Result: since Iraq has been in breach of their agreements, we have finally responded, though way too late, IMHO.

Every nation in the world---well, virtually every one---has the overwhelming majority of its citizens completely opposed to this obscenity of an unprovoked war.

Why should we defer our foreign policy decisions to the citizens of other countries? Bush's job is to protect and defend the citizens of this country, not follow the polls in foreign countries.

Even where the government has bowed to the power and control of the USA and agreed to march to Bush's orders---as in the UK and Spain---the population of those countries is overwhelmingly against this war.

http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30100-12273957,00.html

The majority of Britons now approve of Prime Minister Tony Blair's handling of the Iraq crisis, according to a survey.

A new poll has shown a sharp rise is support for Mr Blair compared to levels before the military campaign began.

The ICM poll said 56% of those asked said they believed Blair's handling had been "about right".


I'm just curious, by what math system is 56% support of the current approach equates to "the population of [the UK] is overwhelmingly against this war"?

This discussion doesn't belong on this website anyway.

Why not?

But this poor fellow is truly brainwashed and is trying, so very hard, to create a justification for the worst war crimes imaginable....

Please support this with rational documentable facts, not personal opinion. I invite you to make a logical case. Give evidence of the alleged war crimes. State the charges, the treaties they violate, and the evidence to support them.

Well, I'm an American citizen too and I don't consider myself part of the gang of maniacs who call mass murder and destruction of lives and communities "liberation". It's a lie.

Please describe the mass murder that are being committed in Iraq.

I don't attack people who have never attacked me.

So if you sibling, parent, or child was being raped and tortured, but you weren't attacked personally, you wouldn't attack the attackers of your family? Assume that they are gagged and cannot ask for your help.

I don't start wars.

Neither did we.

I don't raise my middle finger to the rest of the world simply because my military is bigger.

I'm truly sorry you have such a low opinion of 3/4 of your fellow citizens.

I'm not a part of this.

But you will benefit.

But the truth is, they are just like us: fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, children, aunts and uncles...to support the killing of these people and then chant "USA USA USA" as if you were at a football game is repulsive beyond words.

This is offensive to 250,000 people who are dying in order to free an oppressed people. This is offensive to the millions of Iraqis who are desperate to get out from under a brutal dictator. And finally, it is offensive to me. I support the war, not because I want to see people die, I don't; not because I want to cheer "USA USA USA", though I support my country and the troops fighting. I support the war because diplomacy has failed, inspections were failing, and there was no rational alternative. I support the war because the current regime in Iraq supports terrorism, and I don't.

This war isn't about "self-defense"...

Yes, it is. Which of the following do you think would have been more credible?

1. At noon on 9/10/01: A post that stated within 24 hours there would be a terrorist attack on the U.S. using hijacked passenger planes to fly into the WTC and Pentagon, and it would bring down the WTC, or

2. This war is about self-defense.

Keep in mind before you answer:

1. The WTC was designed to take the impact of a passenger jet and remain standing.

2. Iraq has invaded 2 neighboring countries in the past 20 years.

3. Iraq used chemical weapons on its enemies and its own citizens.

4. Iraq has been a long time supporter of terrorst.

5. Iraq has consistantly for several years supported terrorist attacks against an ally.

6. Saddam has stated multiple time he considers the U.S. to be an enemy.




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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20024 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 7:00 AM
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What you don't know is that Jimi opposes the war.

What you don't know is that here we try and attack the post and not the poster. Particularly since the poster doesn't support the war.

So the mentality of the poster is that of someone who can evaluate and discuss both sides of the issue and not resort to hyperbole but couch an international relations argument within the framework of international relations language.

I think we'll live in a much safer world because of his sane and intellectually honest mentality.

I would recommend you familiarize yourself with the rules of engagement on the banner on the right. You'll find your rhetoric is a bit edgy for us here. Since we are engaged in honest and open discussion on the topic you'll find a bit more support of assertions and a bit less hyperbole will make it easier to join the conversation.

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20093 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 10:53 AM
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dsimon writes:

Juliesoy: thanks for restoring my faith in the population sample represented at TMF!

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20096 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 11:13 AM
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dr Bombay:

Look there have been some strong posts both ways. You either allow for this, or you don't. Lets see, in my case I was told to repatriate if I didn't agree with the war, among other things. Your friend is not above contempt because he chose to play devil's advocate and support what appears to be the majority position on this board. It would be nice to hear him express his true opiniopn now that the gig is up.

Some of us do feel like people have been brainwashed. Since when is a war a way to redress compliance issues? Also, the language people feel so comfortable using, little slogans like liberation, freedom, etc. suggests that people need to deconstruct and understand both: what these words actually mean and what they imply in the war situation.

Juliosoy is also right about dissention. A lot of people do not agree with this war!

here is my point Doc... Brainwashing may be a strong word but hey! the words being bandied about supporting this war suggest brainwashing. This is frightening and true. I would like to propose the following exerscize for anyone caring to partake:

Can you talk about this conflict without resorting to doublespeak. Without using big loaded words like liberation, freedom, etc. Can you justify this aggression without assuming that the Iraquis are all waiting to throw down there weapons when Allied troops enter their village? Can you fathom the idea that many progressive people feel like the Iraqi's (some of whom may like America) are angry with this choice to resolve this dispute with force?

Finally, I don't know if your friend did this... but JulioSoy is right to express contempt for anyone claiming there is proof of an alliance between AlQuaida anf Iraq. To date no proof of this cnnection, or the weapons we claim Iraq has, has been uncovered.

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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20110 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 12:20 PM
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You either allow for this

I allow.

That said...

I just wanted to stand up for Jimi whose post was called pompous, illogical, ultra orwellian, and infantile in the first two sentences. I think I described the posters comments as edgy and had some hyperbole. The rest was an defense of Jimi not an indictment of the new poster, who I think you'll admit came in guns blazing.

Brainwashing may be a strong word but hey! the words being bandied about supporting this war suggest brainwashing. This is frightening and true. I would like to propose the following exerscize for anyone caring to partake:

Can you talk about this conflict without resorting to doublespeak. Without using big loaded words like liberation, freedom, etc. Can you justify this aggression without assuming that the Iraquis are all waiting to throw down there weapons when Allied troops enter their village?


I've made the case many times. I have done so in the language of international relations. I speak of the dynamics of a unipolar military power, the clash of civilizations, realpolitic, communitarianism and liberalism with it's associated democratic peace. I have taken the thoughts of Thucydidies, Huntington, Hobbes, Fukiyama and merged it with others like Smith, Nash and Axelrod to make the case that preemption is a potentially valid doctrine. I have shown the benefits to the poor of living under a system of economic freedom and case studies where when given the opportunity and institutional support that the people have a higher standard of living and the world becomes more secure. I have added the cost of lives and treasure of Allies and Iraqis to the calculus. I have taken every opportunity to say that those who disagree with the war may have valid opinions. This is why my "post of the day" was the case against the war.

Can you fathom the idea that many progressive people feel like the Iraqi's (some of whom may like America) are angry with this choice to resolve this dispute with force?

Yes. However anger doesn't convey well. In JulioSoy's case anger made Jimi a target when his ability to see and appreciate both sides of the issue should make his opinion particularly relevant and valuable. This type of post is divisive. If I were Jimi I'd consider never posting here again. I offer that more support to assertions and less hyperbole would make the conversation go easier.

Finally, I don't know if your friend did this... but JulioSoy is right to express contempt for anyone claiming there is proof of an alliance between AlQuaida anf Iraq. To date no proof of this cnnection, or the weapons we claim Iraq has, has been uncovered.

I have never made this claim. I know that Hussein did support terrorism, at least until Abu Nidal commited suicide in a hail of gunfire now we only have the terroist camps and defectors testimony as evidence, but I have never claimed it was sufficiently linked to Al Queda to justify the use of force.





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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20126 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 1:42 PM
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Can you talk about this conflict without resorting to doublespeak. Without using big loaded words like liberation, freedom, etc.

Help me understand how we can talk about giving people their freedom, and liberating people from an oppressive dictator without using those words?

I'll tell you what, I will agree to not use those "loaded" words, if you will agree not to use "loaded" words that justify your position, such as "aggression", "progressive", etc.

Can you fathom the idea that many progressive people feel like the Iraqi's (some of whom may like America) are angry with this choice to resolve this dispute with force?

What right do you have to define progressive people as those who oppose the war? And why do progressive people "feel" instead of "think"?

To date no proof of ... the weapons we claim Iraq has, has been uncovered.

Missiles with a range of over 95 miles were prohibited. There have been missiles fired at Kuwait from twice that distance, and shot down after traveling 150 miles.

The proof is there. Just look at the facts and you will see it.

FF

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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20130 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 2:07 PM
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Missiles with a range of over 95 miles were prohibited. There have been missiles fired at Kuwait from twice that distance, and shot down after traveling 150 miles.

I just heard the report again -

The numbers are wrong, but the essence of the argument are unchanged. The limit apparently is 150 miles, yet the missile traveled 190 before impacting in a non populated area (the gulf, I think).

FF

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Author: finsternis Three stars, 500 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20141 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 2:36 PM
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"Missiles with a range of over 95 miles were prohibited. There have been missiles fired at Kuwait from twice that distance, and shot down after traveling 150 miles.

I just heard the report again -

The numbers are wrong, but the essence of the argument are unchanged. The limit apparently is 150 miles, yet the missile traveled 190 before impacting in a non populated area (the gulf, I think)."

FF,

FWIW it's worth the limit is 93 miles or 150 km.


http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A21047-2003Feb3¬Found=true

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Author: FoolishlyFree Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20183 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 5:35 PM
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FWIW it's worth the limit is 93 miles or 150 km.

Thanks. That explains my confusion. :^)

FF

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Author: JimiH3ndrix Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20218 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 8:04 PM
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I just wanted to stand up for Jimi whose post was called pompous, illogical, ultra orwellian, and infantile in the first two sentences. I think I described the posters comments as edgy and had some hyperbole. The rest was an defense of Jimi not an indictment of the new poster, who I think you'll admit came in guns blazing.

Thank you, Doc. I appreciate it.

If I were Jimi I'd consider never posting here again.

If you read that with a John Wayne lilt, it sounds like a threat!

What you don't know is that Jimi opposes the war.

Yeah... some seemed to have overlooked that minor detail. Oh well.

I don't shrink from the unilateral use of force over the preferences of our traditional allies or the Security Council if necessary. Hardly.

I just considered this the wrong war at the wrong time for the reasons others, including you, have already articulated. There's little point in re-hashing their specifics: it just comes down to a subjective calculation of net improvement to our national security. Honorable people can disagree.

In that vein I will simply observe that $74.7 billion would have been one helluva down-payment on a global campaign to destroy al Qaeda (remember them?) and its equivalents in cooperation with our traditional allies. I have extreme doubts that the current campaign is purchasing an equivalent sum in "security" for the United States. And I am worried that its costs to us could escalate.

I sure hope it ends swiftly, in our favor, and with minimum casualties. I'm definitely not rooting against our guys, but resent the idea that Americans must not speak out publicly against policies of their own government with which they disagree. That's tyranny in my book.

That said, I ain't attending any demonstration any time soon.

Jimi

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Author: DoctorBombay Big gold star, 5000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20219 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 8:16 PM
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If you read that with a John Wayne lilt, it sounds like a threat!

If threats keep you coming back, <John Wayne> then listen here pilgrim...</John Wayne>


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Author: emschulze Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20249 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 9:58 PM
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I sure hope it ends swiftly, in our favor, and with minimum casualties. I'm definitely not rooting against our guys, but resent the idea that Americans must not speak out publicly against policies of their own government with which they disagree. That's tyranny in my book.

Unless dissent is met with repression, I don't see how it anyone could call it tyranny.

If criticism is legit, then criticism of criticism is also legit.


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Author: emschulze Big gold star, 5000 posts Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 20252 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 3/27/2003 10:08 PM
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Message from a European 'friend':

French foreign minister Dominique de Villepin gave a talk at London's International Institute for Strategic Studies in his first visit to Britain since the outbreak of war.

During a question and answer session at the end of his speech he refused to answer the question: "Who do you want to win the war?"


http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-12276172,00.html

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 21557 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 4/1/2003 9:10 PM
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dsimon writes:

First to Doc: I understand where you are coming from. And yes you avoided the hyperbole in your posts. many do not.

To the guy who thinks progressive is a loaded term: If you read the post it says "many progressive people", suggesting that some may not share a majority position. I don't want to sound snippy but christ... read before you post.

The terms I use to describe opinions have not been coopted as a description of the war, for or against, Iraq. I think it is dangerous to repeat slogans and like it or not, liberating iraq, operation enduring freedom, etc have become slogans with a meaning vis a vis a life all their own. Nobody uses the term progressive to suggest that people feel instead of think. People are using terms like freedom to justify attacking Iraq on a compliance issue.

Furthermore there is nothing wrong with using any word you want provided you are aware that you are making assumptions... Assuming Iraqis, even those sympathetic to this country want the American solution to Saddam is an assumption. On the other hand, assuming that "many people oppose this war" is a statement of fact.

Language can distort I didn't invent the problem, nor am I the clever boy to figure this out.

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Author: dsimon3387 Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 21558 of 53806
Subject: Re: Letter to a European Friend Date: 4/1/2003 9:14 PM
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dsimon writes:

PS: Jimi? I hope that Doc is exxagerating and that you will consider posting again.

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