|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 11:28 pm: |
Blackjack- Exactly. I don't think for a moment that we are perfect, and have perfectly clean hands, but I think that in general, the reasons we do the things we do are better than the reasons of say... al queda, or FARC.
Hobby- I'm not saying it's a lie, I'm just asking for some proof. Not saying "It wasn't us" is not really proof. And like I said above, I know we've done some shady actions, but I think that the ends justify the means in most of those cases (most, not all...). Considering the amount of crap that the USA has put up with, the amazing amount of outright aggression that we have to deal with on a daily basis, I think it's amazing that we are as restrained as we are.
|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 4:55 pm: |
On the other hand, we are a democratic nation which idealizes (if fails to achieve) the ideas of liberty and equality. We have a very open system which allows discussion and dissent, and we are willing to examine the possibility that our policies may be wrong. We may have sponsored terrorism, but we are in a better position thanmost other nations to STOP our government from doing so in the future.
It ain't perfect, but it's still the best anyone has done, ever.
|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 2:05 pm: |
Bollocks! The bombers were trained by the CIA. This fact was not even denied by the US, the US didn't even try to seriously pretend it was anyone else. And why would Reagan end covert operations in the Lebanon as a result if the CIA were not responsible?
If you believe that the US has not been responsible for backing terrorism in different parts of the world then you really are living in a dreamworld.
The US government's own definition of terrorism is
"...premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience."
"...the term "noncombatant" is interpreted to include, in addition to civilians, military personnel who at the time of the incident are unarmed and/or not on duty."
The CIA's covert operations and activities in South and Central America and other parts of the world (and told insult us by claiming that no unarmed people have died as a result of CIA covert operations) clearly fall within it's own definition of terrorism.
The US government therefore clearly sponsors terrorism and approves of it so long as it meets the political aims of the US government. The sort of terrorism the US government disapproves of is terrorism that goes against it's political aims. We all know this anyway so why can't we all act grown up about this and admit it rather than try to hide behind a screen of hypocrisy. All governments that have the power to do so, have sponsored terrorism to help further their political agenda (and this has always been the case throughout history). There are no good states and bad states when it comes to this, the only 'good' states are those without the clout to be able to do it. The US is dirtier than most in this regard not because it is inherently nastier than most, but because it is more powerful. Unfortunately that's just the way things are, just let's not try to pretend that the US are the guys wearing the 'white hats' trying to 'do the right thing'.
|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 10:03 am: |
Then it’s war! Then it’s war! Gather the forces! Harness the horses! Then it’s war!
Freedonia’s going to war!
Each native son will grab a gun.
And run away to war!
At last we’re going to…. Feet will beat along the street to… War! We’re going to war!
At last the country’s going to war
It seems the country’s going to war.
At last the country’s going to war.
We’re going to war!
This is a fact we can’t ignore.
We’re going to war! This is a fact we can’t ignore! We’re going to war!
In case you haven’t heard before. I think they think we’re going to war. I think they think we’re going to war
We’re going to war!
I think they think we’re going to war
We’re going to war!
We’re going to war!
We’re going to war!
|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 7:35 am: |
And even if it is true (not something I'll take without proof) it would seem like it's not a standard OP.
No, our SOP is to install SOB's like Pinochet, Suharto and Shah Pahlavi into power and let them do the dirty work.
Incidentally, the Beirut CIA chief, Bill Buckly, was subsequentally kidnapped and tortured to death by the brother of one of those killed in the bombing in question.
|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 7:31 am: |
But he didn't dissprove of it
Actually, he immediated brought an end to all covert actions in Lebanon as a direct result of it.
|Posted on Thursday, September 19, 2002 - 1:51 am: |
"...who were probably trained by the CIA."
The Key word there is Probably. See, has the State Department issued a statement supporting this? Where is the proof that the US did this?
And even if it is true (not something I'll take without proof) it would seem like it's not a standard OP.
Taliban backed al Queda- Dived planes into non-military targets to kill massive amounts of civilian non-combatants.
Hypothetically US backed Lebanese bomber- used car bomb in attempt to kill muslim cleric who exhorts his people to kill and bomb US targets.
While on the surface they may appear to be the same, there are some fundamental differences.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 10:54 pm: |
"It was Lebanese operatives who were probably trained by the CIA."
A clear case of a US-sponsored act of terrorism wouldn't you say?
"it's not as if Reagan came up with this plan himself"
But he didn't dissprove of it or express and form of mild condemnation about this blatant act of terrorism and if the intended target had been amongst the dead he'd have considered it a successful operation. And it's not as if the Taliban came up with the plan for the 9/11 act of terrorism but that still didn't prevent the West launching a full scale military war against them as sponsors of terrorism.
You can't treat the CIA as if they are not acting on behalf of the Government of the USA. You can't treat the CIA and their actions as if they are somehow not acting on behalf of US foreign policy. The US Government is responsible for the actions of the CIA. The buck stops with the US Government, not with the CIA.
Before we get all moral about the evils of states who sponsor terrorism we should look to the terrorism our own states have and continue to sponsor.
I remember once reading the CIA's own definition of terrorism (I'm in too much of a hurry to look for it now) but their own definition of terrorism pretty much fits a great deal of what the CIA itself does.
|Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 4:59 pm: |
To be fair, it was not Americans who set off the car bomb in question. It was Lebanese operatives who were probably trained by the CIA. They were probably not acting under direct orders from the US. The CIA has a lousy history of picking who to train (cough--bin Laden--cough--Noriega), and while that is enough for me to say we should keep them on a short leash (if not neuter them outright--bad dog!), it's not as if Reagan came up with this plan himself...
|Posted on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 - 12:37 pm: |
No Bjacques, I'm talking about 1985 when a truck full of explosives was left (by the US) outside a mosque in Beiruit which was timed to go off as worshippers were leaving the mosque. 80 civilians were killed and 200 were injured and the intended target escaped uninjured.
As for the Saudi government. Read the Saudi press (state controlled) to see which 'side' they're on. They're not just anti-Israeli, they're anti Western. So the Saudi Royal family don't actively get their hands dirty, big deal, top Mafia men usually keep their hands clean also. The Saudi Royal family do nothing to even attempt to stop the funding of anti-western terrorists and as a result more terrorist funding comes out of Saudi Arabia than any other middle-eastern country.
As for state sponsored terrorism, we only need to look to Nicaragua etc. to see clear evidence of US state sponsored terrorism. Bush should be very careful about getting on a high moral horse in the war against terrorism. The US has sponsored more than its fair share of terrorism.
As for a post-Hussein government in Iraq? There could have been one had the US not decided to keep Saddam in power. It seems that an internal revolution is not acceptable unless that revolution is US backed and controlled. We certainly don't want the majority of Iraquis (i.e. the Shiites) taking control. If the US has anything to do with it any post-Saddam government will not be representative but will be packed full of Sunni generals who can be bought. There will hardly be a Shiite or Kurd in sight.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 6:36 pm: |
Hob, you're probably talking about the bombing of the Majlis, the Iranian parliament. It was one of the resistance groups, maybe the Mujahideen e-Khalq, that did it, but the CIA helped. It's mighty big of the Iranians to talk to us at all. They did sponsor a few anti-US attacks, so maybe it's even.
Well, at least the so-called Hussein-bin Laden isn't the guy the Dutch arrested last week. He was an al-Qaeda militia leader hired by Hussein to wipe out Kurds. A lot of his fighters trained at camps in Afghanistan. Beyond that, Hussein seems to have kept those people at arms length.
As for the Saudis, the rulers anyway, they don't actively support terrorists so much as pay them to go away and not disturb their sleep. There's also an element of doing their bit in sticking it to the Israelis.
Hussein won this one on the international field, but he could overplay his hand. He played Bush and Rice for idiots, but if he sandbags the inspectors then Bush looks good after all.
A post-Hussein government would probably be a council or parliament, with more or less proportional representation. Except that, of the three Kurdish groups, the leftist PKK would be absolutely shut out at Turkey's behest. It's likely all the Kurds will hobbled anyway.
Also, unlike Afghanistan, Iraq is a high-maintenance country. After bombing the crap out of the infrastructure, as in Serbia, the coalition will have to spend more to rebuild it all fast enough to avoid humanitarian catastrophe. It'll stink if all the contracts for new power plants, refineries and POW camps go to Halliburton.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 2:53 pm: |
Keep in mind that the Sunni muslims, which have ruled Iraq for quite some time, only make up about 1/3 of the population. If the Shi'a, primarily rural, uneducated, and oppressed, were put in charge, we might well see a really nasty backlash, not to mention the rise of another Iran-style Islamic Republic. If nothing else, there would be decades of chaos.
Of course, we knew this back in 1991, which is why we left Saddam there in the first place.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 10:44 am: |
"...is there any proof that would make you ok with the idea? What would it take for you to support a war agaisnt Iraq?"
I'm with Blackjack and PV on this one.
"FTR, I'm with you. I think we should be applying the same rules to everyone over there. If Saudi, Iran, Syria, Lebanon.... any of them are found to actively be harboring terrorists, or aiding and abetting known terrorists, we should fix that."
Then why aren't we at war with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan? They are both big sponsors of anti-western terrorists. The Saudis are the biggest funders of anti-western terrorism on the planet, and we call them our friends (I suppose oil-money talks)
And what about US backed terrorism in Sounthern and Central America? The US has been condemned by the World Court for international terrorism in Nicaragua. And don't forget that the US rejected a Security Resolution calling on states to observe international law.
What about the truck bomb that the US set off (during the Reagan years) outside a mosque in Beirut? timed to kill the maximum number of people as they left. The bomb was timed to kill as many people as possible in the hope that a certain Muslim cleric might amongst the dead. 80 civilians were killed and 200 were wounded (the cleric was not amongst the deead or wounded).
We stand by while the Turks commit atrocities against the Kurds. We stood by when Saddam gassed the Kurds in his country, he was our friend then so that was OK.
Before the US gets on its high moral horse about the evils of terrorism it should examine the terrorism it has sponsored.
Or is it only classified as terrorism when the West doesn't sponsor it?
|Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 9:48 am: |
I suggest following the grand colonial tradition and turning over control to a despised minority group, in this case the Kurds. It's worked so splendidly in the past.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 9:39 am: |
One of the issues that seem to be being ignored in the call for a regime change is who is going to form the new regime? At least in Afghanistan there were a number of heirs apparent, in Iraq, as far as I am aware there is not one coherent opposition party. It looks like things are already starting to fall apart in Afghanistan delaying the withdrawal of US troops so how long would they expect to remain in Iraq after Sadam was removed? The worst scenario would be a power vacuum leaving the country without a stable government - would the US then appoint a Governor to oversee the protection of the oil reserves? Viceroy Cheney perhaps?
|Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 9:29 am: |
I'd second Blackjack, but add this: if Iraq launched an unprovoked attack on Israel, or began to massacre its Kurds again. And then, only in the context of a genuine international response.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 17, 2002 - 9:15 am: |
What would it take for you to support a war agaisnt Iraq?
As far as I'm concerned, Iraq would have to attack us.
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 10:53 pm: |
Alpha- you're baiting. Nice try though. In the US, in the end, Bush must pay attention to public sentiment. If he gets us involved in too many wars, he will be looking for another job in 3 years, regardless of how good of a job he thinks he's doing.
As for US policy, well.... I'm not sure what you mean about proof. So many people seem so dead set against goign against Iraq, is there any proof that would make you ok with the idea? What would it take for you to support a war agaisnt Iraq?
FTR, I'm with you. I think we should be applying the same rules to everyone over there. If Saudi, Iran, Syria, Lebanon.... any of them are found to actively be harboring terrorists, or aiding and abetting known terrorists, we should fix that.
but then again, I'm a staunch Imperialist. I think we should have taken over Somalia too.....
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 8:57 pm: |
"I guess we will find out that Saddam's sister's, best friend's, cousin once slept
with a member of Al Qaeda, or something along those lines"
New party game: Six Degrees of Osama Bin Laden.
I read an interesting theory as to why Iraq's WMD are such a threat to the US military: if used against our forces, they could wipe out shitloads of people (and thereby wipe out our military). And that is the reason why we want to disarm them: to ensure that we remain strong. So inpections and dismantling any WMD is definitely preferable to war.
I'm probably not doing the argument justice by my terse paraphrase, but it falls in line with a lot of stuff we do. It's a big cockblock, basically.
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 12:13 pm: |
"culture has become irrelevant because only the american government, military, and economy are relevant anymore." - Alphasoixante
That is the most intelligent, succinct assessment of the state of culture I've yet heard. It bears repeating.
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 11:08 am: |
"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."
Indeed, I too am curious to see this proof.
I guess we will find out that Saddam's sister's, best friend's, cousin once slept with a member of Al Qaeda, or something along those lines.
If you really look hard enough you could link just about anybody to anybody (particularly dodgy middle eastern despots and terrorists) and they've had a year to come up with something to link Saddam Hussain to Al Qaeda.
On the other hand the fact that 15 of the 19 suicide hijackers were Saudi Arabians (if there had been 5 or 6 Iraqi hijackers on the 9/11 planes we'd have already bombed Iraq to oblivion) and the fact that the Saudis have funded Al Qaeda still means that the Saudis are our frends and allies. No talk of getting rid of Saudi Arabia, the middle-east's biggest sponsor of anti-western terrorism.
The UK Parliament is being recalled, from their long summer break (hell, they get even longer holidays than us teachers) to debate what to do about Iraq. Although Tony already has the 'proof' against Saddam he will only be releasing it (no doubt the 'proof' is hidden in a vast wordy document that in itself would take several hours to read) to MPs a couple of hours before the debate in Parliament. Hardly enough time for MPs to prepare themselves for an informed debate on the 'evidence', but then Tony is never one to listen to Parliament, I'm surprised he's even going to attend a Parliamentary debate (somebody should remind him that he's not an elected President, he is in theory accountable to his party).
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 9:41 am: |
Why, there's a Canadian Goth right here in our midst!
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 8:51 am: |
Fortunately, the Canadians aren't anything like the Visigoths...
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 8:44 am: |
What I meant about the Roman Empire comment was that the US is starting to spread it self thin. If we got a War here and a War there Peacekeeping here , peacekeeping there. Who's guarding the fort ?
|Posted on Monday, September 16, 2002 - 7:26 am: |
As for Iraq's WMD's, we didn't seem to mind when they were using them on their own people, or the Iranians.
To tell the truth, I have never been able to figure out how we ended up being on the sides we are on in the middle-east. We have defended Kuwait and (by extension) Saudi Arabia, both oppresive monarchies with a strong reactionary, anti-Western Wahabbist disposition, and alienated remarkably westernized, secular (albeit still repressive) Iraq. We supported monarchy in Iran, as well, and managed to turn one of the most westernized nations in the region into an Islamic state in the backlash. Regardless of the rhetoric of the 1980's, Iranian "fudementalist" Shi'ism (if you can use such a term for a largely non-scriptural tradition) is STILL more friendly to the West than the puritanical Muwahhidun Sunnism of Saudi Arabia, and of bin Laden.
Our two biggest "enemies" in the region have more in common with out NATO ally Turkey (including a fondness for killing Kurds), than any of the nations we have been "defending" them from.