|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 7:10 am: |
"All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?"
I gotta say, I am REALLY curious to see Tony Blair's "proof" that Saddam is somehow "connected" to al Qaeda. Those would be pretty strange bedfellows indeed.
Am I the only one who thinks Bush, Bair and "Pooty-Poot" Putin all look like a bunch of frat boys planning a kegger?
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 7:08 am: |
"The Roman Empire was not so bad." Having just watched Caligula at the weekend I think this rather depends on whose clique you were in...
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 6:03 am: |
france is culturally irrelevant because culture has become irrelevant. culture has become irrelevant because only the american government, military, and economy are relevant anymore. the only thing less relevant than culture are the opinions, interests, and well being of american citizens. in other words bob, you and i are irrelevant, so lay off the french. it's a sad display to see americans "debate" the issue of iraq as if their thoughts on the matter have anything to do with the decision. we're the human shield for their foreign policy.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 10:17 pm: |
The Roman Empire was not so bad. They had a fabulous sence of design in all things and valued good theatre and parties. Just my kind of civilization.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 9:06 pm: |
Our 42nd President, WJ Clinton said on Letterman the other night that he'd "be very surprised if a war with Iraq lasted more than a week." He would be in a position to know what Iraq's miltary prowess is (or was 20 mos. ago and I doubt much has changed). Smaller armies, not much in the way of new technology, etc.
Alph: As for France, in economic terms it is a backwater. In cultural terms, it's day in the sun passed so long ago that I find it amusing that they still consider themselves relevant. The fact that they are on the permanent UN Security Council is also amusing, for so many reasons. French Army? Make up your own jokes. France is about as important as Uraguay with older buildings.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 6:21 pm: |
President Bush is a jackass, and I'm ashamed he is in office. It's pretty clear we are gonna go to war with Iraq. Seems he's already made up his mind. He's throwing a big hissy fit because noone but the UK wants to back him up.
Is there any disagreement that the US is becoming more like the Roman Empire ?
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 3:20 pm: |
"(BTW--is anyone else annoyed with France pretending they actually matter?"
about as much as you (or any american citizen) matters.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 9:22 am: |
"What I would like to know is why so much of the European Community (or at least the ones I've seen on message boards) are so opposed to the US doing it's thing in Iraq?"
Because the USA 'doing its thing' as you put it involves blowing great numbers of other human beings to bits .The USA does not have a God-given right to bomb and kill who it pleases, when it pleases, for whatever reason it pleases. Why should we all just jump to attention and say "Yes Sir" without question whenever Uncle Sam wants to drop his bombs? (Some of us believe that human beings outside of the West and Israel do actually count.)
Before going to war a very good reason indeed is needed and all other avenues must have been exhausted. Are we to really believe that Saddam is planning to eventually launch an attack on the West? Why exactly would he want to do this? Where is this 'proof' we keep hearing about? Some of us need to be convinced before supporting the horror of war (the fact that the President of the USA thinks its a good idea simply isn't enough).
Saddam and Bin Laden do not have the same motives and ideals. Saddam's aim has only ever involved taking land from his neighbours. He is not an Islamic fundamentalist with an aim to destroy the West. He want's to expand his borders in an oil-rich region. He is not on a quest to destroy the West. He's an old fashioned, secular, despot and one who we've supported and turned a blind eye to his attrocities when he was our friend. He's still the same person he was when he was our ally, he hasn't changed.
"The situation has changed little since the Gulf War, other than his push to gain WMD."
This is not the same as the Gulf War (apart from the fact that it is about oil). During the Gulf War Saddam was the aggressor, he invaded Kuwait and the neighbouring states along with the West defended Kuwait. The West helped out to stop Saddam gaining Kuwaiti oil and being poised to threaten Saudi oil etc. And don't forget that the West took the decision to leave Saddam in power at the end of the Gulf war. There was a revolution of anti-Saddam Iraqi forces (including some of his senior army officers) in Southern Iraq towards the end of the Gulf War and Saddam could have been noverthrown. They didn't even ask for military support, all they wanted was access to captured Iraqi arms supplies. The West said no, allowed the revolution to fall and actively let Saddam stay in power.
Now the USA has decided that they want to get rid of Saddam. He hasn't invaded his neighbour like before, he hasn't launched terrorist attacks against the West. He's in breach of UN resolutions so hey we can use that as an excuse to bomb him to kingdom come (Israel on the other hand, well we'll support them in their breaches of UN resolutions). Let's try to associate Saddam with Bin Laden and 9/11 and we can dress it all up as an essential part of the 'war on terrorism'.
All the states in the region hate Saddam, they have far more to fear from him than the West and even they are not in favour (unlike during the Gulf War) of starting a war with Iraq.
America is on its own (as far as public opinion is concerned anyway) in this war. Blair might yet back Bush but the UK public will not back Blair if he does so and sending a nation's troops to war without public support always ends in disaster (especially when the body bags start coming home). Public opinion in the USA is not in favour of the USA going it alone and again a war without public support is doomed once soldiers start dying.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 5:37 am: |
While there are millions of American's who don't support Bush, the fact is he is still the CIC of our military. When the boss says go, they go, whether they want to or not.
I'm not sure why eveyone says that this military operation, if/when it happens, is going to be such a disaster. The situation has changed little since the Gulf War, other than his push to gain WMD.
What I would like to know is why so much of the European Community (or at least the ones I've seen on message boards) are so opposed to the US doing it's thing in Iraq?
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 2:58 am: |
I can't disagree with you on that.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 2:41 am: |
Blair and Bush are embarrassments to their respective countries. Worse, they could be leading us into a war that will be a complete disaster. Perhaps your media is not making you as aware as you should be that there are millions of Americans who detest Bush. My wife, who voted for Reagan, recently signed an impeach Bush petition.
As for me, I can't tell you what I'd like to see happen to Bush. It would get me thrown in jail.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 2:07 am: |
In that case then the vast bulk of the American public will all be very aware that British public opinion is very strongly against a war with Iraq and that Blair is actually sitting on the fence.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 1:54 am: |
"a point that doesn't come across in your media"
Believe it or not, we folks in the USA have access to international media. Yeah, we can get on the internet and read the funny pages in the Al Qaeda Times. On a good night, when the internet is really revving, I can actually access the British papers. Amazing, huh.
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 1:40 am: |
"Well, it looks the like the Italian PM is on board."
How 'on board' is he really? And are the Italian people 'on board'? No, they're strongly against it.
Public opinion in Britain is strongly against military action against Iraq. Blair is really out on an extreme limb here (a point that probably doesn't come across in your media) and even he hasn't come out directly in support of military action. The British public don't want it, Blair's own MPs don't want it, most of his own cabinet don't even want it. A leader that commits the Nation's troops to military action against public opinion from the start is making a big mistake.
At the moment Blair is hedging his bets. If your strongest ally is hedging his bets then you really have a very hard job to give the impending war against Iraq anything resembling Western (let alone International) support. Are the US public in favour of 'going it alone'? Not according to opinion polls. In the absence of an International coalition would Bush go to war against the wishes of the American public?
|Posted on Sunday, September 15, 2002 - 1:25 am: |
Yes, oil prices are currently low but as supplies dwindle prices will rise and as the supply gets smaller then the belief is that whoever controls the oil supply controls the oil price.
Gaining control over as much of the oil supplies in the region is what Saddam is after, why else did he invade Kuwait and why else did the West stop him? A USA backed puppet government in Iraq would give the USA more control over oil supply and hence oil prices and would release the grip of the Saudis. Why does the USA consider a regime such as Saudi Arabia that backs anti-Western terrorists as an 'ally'? Because the USA believes the Saudis control the middle-eastern oil supplies and can have a direct impact on oil prices.
Saddam's aim is not to 'destroy the West'. Saddam wants to control middle-eastern oil supplies, so do the Saudis and so do the West. He became our enemy when we stopped him from trying to do so in the Gulf war. Until before this he was our friend and ally in the region. We stood by him as our good friend and ally when he was happily gassing the Kurds.
Saddam is not driven by a desire to destroy the West, he is not a radical Islamist like Bin Laden. Iraq is not even an Islamic state, let alone a radical Islamic state (like Saudi Arabia). He would have nothing to gain and everything to lose from launching weapons of mass destruction against the West. He has no desire to see his country totally annihilated. On the other hand he would be quite prepared to use all the weapons at his disposal to gain control of his neighbours oil supplies.
The impending war against Saddam is about oil, just like the last war against Saddam was.
|Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 11:52 pm: |
Well, it looks the like the Italian PM is on board. He also did some backhanded France bashing in disdaining their idea to give Saddam another gazillion chances before outlining any consequences. (BTW--is anyone else annoyed with France pretending they actually matter?)
Hob: I can't say that your oil mantra makes sense here. I know it has long been fashionable to accredit all US foreign policy moves to our wanting cheap oil, but it really doesn't get any cheaper than what we have right now. Gasoline here is less than 0.21 GBP per liter. (BTW--how much is it there?) You may have a point about us wanting to control the flow, but the current cost of oil doesn't jibe with this argument. At least not on the surface.
|Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 5:26 pm: |
'If the West was really serious about taking a moral stance on the 'war against terrorism' then it would withdraw political support for the Saudis (the largest backer of anti-western terrorists on the planet). '
Another statement in which I simply cannot disagree with.
|Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 12:55 pm: |
I hear Canada is nice this time of year.
|Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 6:39 am: |
Shoot, if bin Laden had made it to Iraq, Hussein would have had him executed as a big "screw you" to the Americans. For someone who talks big for the Arab World, Hussein's been surprisingly modest (since 1991). Cash indemnities to families of suicide bombers and relief for bulldozed families in the Palestinian areas.
Compare that with Hafez el-Assad or (in his heyday) Moammar Qaddafi.
South Park had it right
|Posted on Saturday, September 14, 2002 - 2:20 am: |
The USA are not planning to go to war on Iraq because they think Saddam Hussain is sheltering Bin Laden. If they thought so they would at least say so in an effort to gain some sort of support, outside the USA, for their preferred action. Saddam Hussain has no history of supporting Al Quaida and there would be no benefit to him to do so. Bin Laden and Saddam Hussain do not have like ideals, Bin Laden is a Muslim fundamentalist who wants to spread his version of radical Islam across the planet and Sadam Hussain is a secular dictator who wants to feather his own nest and extend his country's borders in an oil-rich region of the world. Being constantly in the US line of fire Sadam wouldn't want Bin Laden anywhere in Iraq, he's not stupid.
If you want to bomb a country because you have reason to believe Bin Laden is there then look to Pakistan. But then this should be no surprise beacuse Pakistan is where all anti-western terrorists seem to run to when they want a safe haven (after the US embassy bombings the flights landing in Karachi were full of the bombers. Check the West's most wanted terrorists list for yourself, count how many fled to Pakistan and how many have been apprehended ).
The forthcoming war against Iraq based is about control of oil supplies in the region. The belief that a US backed puppet-government in Iraq would release the grip that the Saudis have over the oil reserves and world oil prices. The Western economic system depends on cheap oil.
If the West was really serious about taking a moral stance on the 'war against terrorism' then it would withdraw political support for the Saudis (the largest backer of anti-western terrorists on the planet).
Pentagon spokeswoman, Victoria Clarke, is quoted as saying "Saudi Arabia is a long-standing friend and ally of the United States. The Saudis cooperate fully in the global war on terrorism". What a fucking joke that is. Perhaps she hasn't read the state controlled Saudi press? Perhaps she didn't notice when the Saudis were funding and supporting Al Quaida? But then she knows all this anyway. When the West is faced with a choice between money or principles, money wins out every time.
|Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 6:41 pm: |
"To me, from an historical point of view, the USA look like the roman empire. We all know how it ended... The question is how long will they stand as the king of the hill... "
Wolfgang, I couldn't agree more.
I believe Bin Laden is dead. Did you see the footage of what they did to those mountains? It was a complete demolition...And the US wouldn't just turn around and go for the next guy if Osama was still alive.
That is unless they now know where he is hiding but need any excuse to get to him because it might cause a serious problem.(pardon me, im ramble-thinking) If Osama were in Iraq and they really don't want to say that that's where they know he is because it would most likely compromise their intelligence gathering operations (insider in Iraq). Is that at all possible? I know they have said that Osama and Saddam have had strained relations, but that means nothing when compared to like ideal...Just throwing a bone...
|Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 5:01 pm: |
The most disingenious argument to go to war with Irak is that that country is "ignoring U.N. resolutions."
If that were truly a valid reason, then the U.S. would have bombed Haifa and Tel Aviv a long time ago...
|Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 2:38 pm: |
There is so much that one could choose to grieve about these days that it would take 24 hr. Coach tours going in circles around the globe to see it all and start over again. It's all how you look at it and it's not going to change.
If someone can make money off of it, they will. The media decides actually WHO you should grieve for. And the lemmings follow.
There are approximately 1 to 2 murders a night a few miles from where I live and we don't have Coach Tours to the housing projects...because, the media doesn't go in there or they would be the next story.
I wouldn't make light of any singular occurrence, but the who, what, when, and where to grieve should be all up to the person...and you shouldn't be pressured or worried about others contempt. It's insecurity on the contemptuous.
Now 9/11 was on such a mass scale that it produced major change, change for the world. I did attend a bell ringing ceremony in Jackson Square which was quite moving, but of course, the media was all over it. There shouldn't be a fine line between the murder of thousands vs. the murder of one. It's one in the same, but, the media may not agree...or even politicians.
|Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 11:06 am: |
The 'grieve on command' phenomena is unfortuantely an all too common occurence these days.
The first real example of this in the UK was Princess Diana's death. I was just sick of being expected to go and sign a book of condolences and being looked on with contempt when I said I had no intention of doing so. She didn't impress me when she was alive so why should I cry tears for her when she died (anyway how can you grieve for someone you don't even know?).
Then there was 9/11.
Then the tragedy in the UK of the 2 abducted and murdered 9-year-old girls Holly and Jessica. There are now coach tours of 'grieving' people (all with their cameras of course to take a photo of the girls' graves) to the girls home town. Leave grief to the family and friends of those who have died, any other 'grief' is self-indulgence. Others should show concern and consideration but not 'grief'.
|Posted on Friday, September 13, 2002 - 10:55 am: |
I'm not saying that Iraq has complied with UN resolutions, nor am I saying that Iraq does not pose a threat. I'm not even saying that Saddam Hussain's regime does not deserve to be eliminated by force.
The entire arab world views Iraq as a danger, as they did when the West actively chose to let Saddam's regime stay in power after the Gulf War. Shiite opposition to Sadam could have internally overthrown him at the end of the Gulf war, but then we didn't want a pro-Iranian Shiite government in Iran, so we let the anti-Saddam revolt in Southern Iraq be defeated, we decided to leave Saddam in power.
Anyway I'm drifting a bit from the point here. What is clear is that the 9/11 anniversary is being used by politicians to gain support for a war against a regime that had nothing to do with the 9/11 attrocity. Use footage of grieving relatives, footage of people jumping from windows of the Twin Towers and show fatherless children to gain support for a war against Iraq. Keep things fairly low key in August and then capitalise on sad memories of 9/11 in September to gain support. The use of the 9/11 attrocity in this instance is sick, repulsive, cynical oportunism (but then what can we expect from politicians).
Anyway as for bringing those connected with the attrocity to justice why has Osama Bin Laden not been captured? No doubt he's living in relative safety, courtesy of our friends allies the Pakistani government. Probably sitting with his friend Mullah Omar, smoking a hookah with the Pakistanis? We talk about regimes that harbour terrorists, what about the Pakistanis and the Saudis. Now there we have regimes that have and probably still do harbour Al Qaida terrorists.
If we want to bring those regimes connected with Al Qaida to justice then don't look at Iraq, look at some of our closest 'allies' in that region of the world. Dealing with Saddam is a seperate issue and one that would not have as much opposition from middle-east states had it not been for Bush's very one-sided pro-Sharon stance (a real strategic shot in the foot for Bush's 'War against Terrorism').
The problem of Saddam Hussain and the 9/11 attrocity are two entirely seperate issues. Although I'm sure with all the hype and cynical political use of 9/11, there are now probably a lot of people in the West now who think Saddam Hussain was behind the 9/11 attrocity.