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euclid,

Let me make something perfectly clear, because you seem to be trying to 'spin' my attempts at clarification. You haven't made me 'backpedal', and I am not 'recanting'. Let me show you how my previous two posts are consistent.

First, we obviously need to know more about those who participate in, and otherwise sponsor, terrorism. If we have credible (hopefully confirmed, but if there's an immediate threat, we may have to act w/o confirmation) evidence of terrorist cells, we should take them out. I am not advocating that we bomb those who dance in the streets after we've been attacked, no matter how sick I think those individuals are. There is a BIG difference between a few missiles and wholesale destruction of the landscape. Either you didn't get that point, or you chose to ignore it.

Second, perhaps my use of the word 'resources' twice was a bit confusing. Obviously, we're not going to devote 50% of our GNP to combatting terror. In the first post, I meant to say that we need to use everything we can to root out and destroy terror cells, including securing the help of other countries. I include the intelligence organizations of Britain and other allies in this definition. In the second post, I refer to 'national resources' because terror is not the only thing we have to spend money on. Sorry for the confusion, but I'm not 'backpedaling'.

Third, no matter what the issue, I hope our government always looks at the LONG-TERM effects of their actions. However, that doesn't mean that once we've made a decision (and I mean the U.S. here), we should necessarily let it be overwritten by France and Italy and the rest. I'm not saying we should ignore them, but let's just say they don't have a good track record of fighting totalitarianism. To your question of short-term versus long-term goals, we should always be trying to achieve what's best for the most people -- not necessarily American interests at the expense of the rest of the world, but our government, and our military, are paid for by Americans, so our government and military serve them FIRST, and the rest of the world SECOND.

As to your accusation regarding oil, don't try to put words in my mouth. As it turns out, it's more like your foot in your mouth. I would love to see the U.S. reduce its dependence on foreign oil, probably more than most Americans. I've actually done research on advanced solar cells. Does that sound like someone in love with the oil industry?

You want to believe that Saddam can be rehabilitated, if only we can give him the right incentives. I disagree. Do you really think the people of Iraq have any real 'cultural sovereignty'? I don't think 'brutal repression' and 'use of chemical weapons on Kurds' fits into the definition of 'cultural sovereignty'. At least, not mine.

Do I see Saddam Hussein as an 'irredeemable zealot'? Yes. If that makes me 'horribly misguided' in your book, then so be it.

Dean

P.S. Where is this alleged 'better way' you're so proud of?
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