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French foreign minister speaks out - Page 6

post #201 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by Timo:
<strong>
SYN obviously does not hate America, no matter how you provoke him. He hasn't taken the bait, so why not lay off?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Not so obvious to me. He's cavalier with the facts and happy to insist upon a series of spurious charges that are against this country. As far as I'm concerned you can say anything you want that calls into question to the reputation of the US but you have to back it up. He's not even one tenth as critical of his own bogus sources as he has been of those of us who have routinely punched holes in his arguments. That's why I haven't been willing to lay off.
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post #202 of 369
[quote]Not so obvious to me. He's cavalier with the facts and happy to insist upon a series of spurious charges that are against this country. As far as I'm concerned you can say anything you want that calls into question to the reputation of the US but you have to back it up. He's not even one tenth as critical of his own bogus sources as he has been of those of us who have routinely punched holes in his arguments. That's why I haven't been willing to lay off<hr></blockquote>

Please demonstrate where you've punched holes in my arguments? Your only argument so far against my source is that the book wasn't written in english in the first place. This kind of argument is reminiscent of the "witch-hunt" that takes place everytime there's a leaked picture of Apple hardware/software, and almost every time the picture is authentic, before being proven so photoshop experts come to the conclusion that it's a fake. I have no idea why it wasn't written in english, and I don't care. That is not punching a hole in my argumentation, at least not for any adult here.

Trust me, I could have based my argumentation on a number of "I was told.." or "I saw on TV" etc.. I didn't because I'm not here to lie about anything, I have no interest whatsoever in lying to prove my points, because that would be taking a biased stance against the US, which is exactly the kind of thing I'm trying to avoid in participating in this debate (biased stance agains country x).

The sources I have cited, the bbc and the two books I have just quoted, have been scrutinized for evidence of factual inaccuracies ( getting the father of somebody wrong is not that big of mistake in a book that isn't focused on that perticular fact) by *very* serious french newspapers.

But once again, you guys are arguing on specifics, when instead what I want is to establish something much more general: That it is not correct to assume that the US is the ruling power in the world, and that it is not correct to simplify the geo-political equilibrium of the 21st century to "The US rules, all else is irrelevant". The issues at hand are much more complex, every action provokes a reaction, and one must understand and learn to take a step back from the initial emotional reaction and try to balance one's view of a matter, with the help from accurate information, not found in today's media, unfortunately.
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post #203 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
He's cavalier with the facts and happy to insist upon a series of spurious charges that are against this country.<hr></blockquote>

The same thing could be said about France or the EU or wherever in this forum.
post #204 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
<strong>
Please demonstrate where you've punched holes in my arguments?</strong><hr></blockquote>

You've said that we helped the Taliban (another spurious charge that I've never-the-less left alone) because we wanted to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. I pointed you to Congressional testimony that shows how the project truly was regarded in Washington. It doesn't back up your argument at all.

[quote]<strong>I have no idea why it wasn't written in english, and I don't care. That is not punching a hole in my argumentation, at least not for any adult here.</strong><hr></blockquote>

It's a perfectly fair question. Not surprising it wouldn't interest you, though. And that part about divulging state secrets? (You must have added that later.) How do you build a pipeline in secret?

[quote]<strong>The issues at hand are much more complex...</strong><hr></blockquote>

That's right. And kindergarten conspriracy theories just don't cut it.
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post #205 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by Timo:
<strong>
The same thing could be said about France or the EU or wherever in this forum.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I haven't made those kind of over generalizations. My specific complaints are with what SYN has posted.
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post #206 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
That it is not correct to assume that the US is the ruling power in the world,<hr></blockquote>
But it is correct to say that the US is the dominant military power in the world, with the ability to project its force world-wide. For good or bad.

[quote]...and that it is not correct to simplify the geo-political equilibrium of the 21st century to "The US rules, all else is irrelevant".
<hr></blockquote>
I don't think any thoughtful person would make such a statement.
[quote]The issues at hand are much more complex, every action provokes a reaction, and one must understand and learn to take a step back from the initial emotional reaction and try to balance one's view of a matter, with the help from accurate information, not found in today's media, unfortunately.<hr></blockquote>
Aye, that's the rub. I do not believe in a) the predictability of "every action provokes a reaction" I mean, you can say that, but it seldom really enlightens an analysis of a situation because there are too many variables for the equation. Worse, sometimes this "every action provokes a reaction" (very Hegelian, BTW) is used to blame, which always has a political motivation rather than an interest in truth. An example is the number of journalists in England who shrugged off the crime of the WTC et al assaults as "every action provokes a reaction." This is blaming the victim, and it is also a "short circuit" in reasoning. It squashes a very complicated understanding of the world, filled with holes, into a chemical metaphor, and as such is a disservice to truth and an escape hatch for criminals.

Second, I agree people should take an emotional step back, but I do not believe that people can argue dispassionately. If you are dispassionate, you don't care, and if you don't care, you're not invested in the debate and therefore the whole thing is simply an exercise (BTW: an analogous excercise is the poster who simply posts to piss people off. They don't care either.)

Finally, you rely on "certain accurate information" "not found in today's media." You know well that "accurate information" is an oxymoron when it comes to politics. Everything is tainted by viewpoint. Perhaps the trick is to have many viewpoints.
post #207 of 369
Here's some more interesting reading. It doesn't exactly put the US in a good light but it has the advantage of being true. <a href="http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/C?r107:./temp/~r107uyLIPH" target="_blank">This is the text of a speech</a> given by California Congressman Dana Rohrbacher (R) on the floor of Congress September 17, 2001. He knew Ahmed Shah Massoud personally and was so concerned when he heard he'd about the attack on Massoud that he scheduled an appointment to meet with the NSC. His appointment was for 2:30 in the afternoon of 9-11.

[ 02-15-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #208 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by roger_ramjet:
<strong>

I haven't made those kind of over generalizations. My specific complaints are with what SYN has posted.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Rog, I didn't say you did. I said posts in the Forum did. It's interesting to compare reactions, though.
post #209 of 369
Thread Starter 
This is the kind of things that make an EU-sceptic like me glad that we have EU:

<a href="http://news.ft.com/ft/gx.cgi/ftc?pagename=View&c=Article&cid=FT33CZ00PXC&live=t rue" target="_blank">"Minister of foreign affairs for EU" Chris Patten speaks out</a>

What he say there is not just well weighted words. It is what many of those he represent actually feel. Most people I know felt with US after 911

and understood the reason for the hunt for OBL and AQ and most european countries offered aid for that hunt. But disagree with the latest development in the rhetoric from Bush et al. The text is an response to Powells (who many europeans up untill now have seen as "their man" in the cabinet) comment to the european reaction.

[ 02-15-2002: Message edited by: Anders ]</p>
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post #210 of 369
That goes back to my original point. European doubts are irrelevant. We'll call you when we need you. Don't sit by the phone. We will act alone and protect our country. If Europe doesn't agree then ... well who cares if they don't agree.

The writer above advocates multilateralism for the sake of multilateralism. He doesn't want the US to act alone simply because he doesn't want Europe to be left out. Our interest isn't in making an aging Europe feel good about itself in its old age. He also advocates of dialog for dialogs sake. The same old failed policy that has not worked on Iran, Iraq and N. Korea. Why keep it up? Also he does not want Europe to build its military. Rather he wants to rely on the US. Well if we have our own fully functional military why would we bother to ask Europe how we should use it?

If Europe has a valid reason about why our actions will affect them then they can take it to Powell and Bush. Otherwise .. shut up and stay out of the way. We have a war to fight.

[ 02-15-2002: Message edited by: Scott H. ]</p>
post #211 of 369
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>
If Europe has a valid reason about why our actions will affect them then they can take it to Powell and Bush. Otherwise .. shut up and stay out of the way.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Thats exacly what "the writer above" is doing. He is what come closest to an european foreign minister and he is "talking" to Powell. Its a reaction to an interview in FT with Powell.

And he isn´t advocating multilateralist for its own sake. He is saying that "Europe" believe that condemning other nations and threatening with war is NOT the way forward to obtain security in the world (also USA) and that WILL affect us. The action of US will most certainly alter both our security AND threaten the work we are doing in other nations to better the situation.

[ 02-15-2002: Message edited by: Anders ]</p>
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post #212 of 369
What I'm saying is that the work that has been done and is proposed has failed. The foreign policy of Europe has failed to produce any results. More talk will not work. We do not want to cut a deal with the real Satans of the world. The ones that shelter terror and have so far, after so much talking on and on endlessly, refused to stop the terrorist and have, in fact despite all the talking, exported 50 tons of weapons to a region full of terrorist.

Face the fact that this policy has failed.
post #213 of 369
The problem of terrorism, is that terrorism has no face, that's why it's very hard to fight against him.
post #214 of 369
Terrorism is not "faceless". These are real people in real camps using millions of dollar to pull off these attacks. The have scattered to Pakistan, Iran and other countries. They may be hard to find but we know who and what to look for.

I think instead your trying to state a defeatist point of view so as to make any US attempt seem heavy handed and doomed to failure.
post #215 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>Terrorism is not "faceless". .</strong><hr></blockquote>
Well i should have write that terrorist are faceless.

Unfortunately they are, it's not written on their face that they are terrorist, you can know where they live, but you will have problems to detect them. If it was the case, how you explains that the FBI did not detect them when they where in USA ?

In France we have our terrorist , and great britains too (spain also) we know that many of them live in corsica : terrorist represant 0,1 % of the corsica nation, most of the corsica people wants to still be French. What do you propose to do in that case ?
Any proposition is wellcome, because we don't have find any good proposition after whe have tryed differents politics for the 20 last years.

[ 02-15-2002: Message edited by: powerdoc ]</p>
post #216 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by Scott H.:
<strong>

I think instead your trying to state a defeatist point of view so as to make any US attempt seem heavy handed and doomed to failure.</strong><hr></blockquote>
Oh no; i wish you good luck, but it is a very, very difficult task. Your gouvernement is very aware of this situation. He know also that's not a reason to do nothing anyway. I just point that the war against the terrorism is new, and new solutions have to be founded in order to stop it.
post #217 of 369
This is getting better.

[quote] ou've said that we helped the Taliban (another spurious charge that I've never-the-less left alone) because we wanted to build a pipeline across Afghanistan. I pointed you to Congressional testimony that shows how the project truly was regarded in Washington. It doesn't back up your argument at all. <hr></blockquote>

ScottH himself pointed to a text backing up my claims (IIRC), and I don't think your congressional testimony from a guy in a leather coated office stands any credibility when compared to the testimony of Massood.

[quote] It's a perfectly fair question. Not surprising it wouldn't interest you, though. And that part about divulging state secrets? (You must have added that later.) How do you build a pipeline in secret?
<hr></blockquote>

Your question might be fair, it doesn't discredit my source, furthermore, do you really believe somebody posing as a senatorial aid would go about unnoticed in a book that has been so talked about? Indeed, I talked about "divulging state secrets", but what you don't seem to understand, because of your selective reading, because I've already stated this before, is that I was supposing the book contained state secrets since one of the contributers was an ex-CIA operative. The book is not only about the pipeline. Your stubbornness regarding this issue and your "Reagan brought down the USSR with one speech" is getting quite abnoxious. Furthermore, nobody here has supported your claims. So will you please understand that:

a) the book being written in french doesn't make it a fake
b) I have no idea why it was written in french and all I've said regarding this matter are suppositons, as I've said before.

[quote] I don't think any thoughtful person would make such a statement. <hr></blockquote>

Read the very first post of this thread, and the following ones by ScottH, you will realise that he has made just that statement. About him being thoughtfull though...

[quote] Aye, that's the rub. I do not believe in a) the predictability of "every action provokes a reaction" I mean, you can say that, but it seldom really enlightens an analysis of a situation because there are too many variables for the equation. Worse, sometimes this "every action provokes a reaction" (very Hegelian, BTW) is used to blame, which always has a political motivation rather than an interest in truth. An example is the number of journalists in England who shrugged off the crime of the WTC et al assaults as "every action provokes a reaction." This is blaming the victim, and it is also a "short circuit" in reasoning. It squashes a very complicated understanding of the world, filled with holes, into a chemical metaphor, and as such is a disservice to truth and an escape hatch for criminals. <hr></blockquote>

To be quite honest with you, I wasn't suprised at 9/11. I was indeed surprised, and horrified, at the sheer scope of the attack, yet the fact that a fundamentalist group had attacked the US wasn't a surprise for me. In fact what did surprise me was the fact that it hadn't happened before, especially considering the behavior of Israel in the few weeks preceding the attack.

Furthermore, I agree with you to a certain extent. You can't base your analysis on every action provokes a reaction. You can't dismiss it either. As in all things, there must be a correct balance between both.

[quote] Second, I agree people should take an emotional step back, but I do not believe that people can argue dispassionately. If you are dispassionate, you don't care, and if you don't care, you're not invested in the debate and therefore the whole thing is simply an exercise (BTW: an analogous excercise is the poster who simply posts to piss people off. They don't care either.) <hr></blockquote>

To be quite clear, and I've discussed this recently with my philosophy teacher:

I think Bush's speeches in the week following the attacks were diplomatical blunders because he spoke under emotion. Soon his aides took over and the speeches got much more reasoned. IMO, most of the actions of the US ever since the attack, especially in Afghanistan, have been very balanced, thought about and mature, thanks to Colin Powell and the fact that Bush doesn't decide what his army does on his own. You can hardly criticize the US given the circumstances. Yet recently, again, Bush' speeches have been made under intense emotion and have lead to international outrage.

[quote] Finally, you rely on "certain accurate information" "not found in today's media." You know well that "accurate information" is an oxymoron when it comes to politics. Everything is tainted by viewpoint. Perhaps the trick is to have many viewpoints. <hr></blockquote>

Exactly. That's the point I've been trying to make, and this what certain people here don't seem to understand.

[quote] That goes back to my original point. European doubts are irrelevant. We'll call you when we need you. Don't sit by the phone. We will act alone and protect our country. If Europe doesn't agree then ... well who cares if they don't agree. <hr></blockquote>

Al Quaeda, and terrorism in general, are international groups, "without a face", as has been very accuratley said by powerdoc. How will the US, on its own, fight it? Will it start bombing all supposed terrorist-cells? In ally countries? hint: it can't. It needs all the help it can get from Europe, and if you aren't up to speed, the investigation has been immensely sped up by the help of German, British and yes indeed French help.
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post #218 of 369
[quote]I think instead your trying to state a defeatist point of view so as to make any US attempt seem heavy handed and doomed to failure. <hr></blockquote>

If the US thinks it can deal with it alone, then indeed it is bound to fail. An action of this scope requires international cooperation, even if you don't like it ScottH. Intelligence wise, the US needs all the help it can get, since the end of the cold war it has focused on "passive" surveillance, as in no on the field old-fashionned intelligence gathering, prefering instead emphasizing on an Echelon/Carnivor type strategy.
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post #219 of 369
[quote] He knew Ahmed Shah Massoud personally and was so concerned when he heard he'd about the attack on Massoud that he scheduled an appointment to meet with the NSC. His appointment was for 2:30 in the afternoon of 9-11. <hr></blockquote>

Massood was already dead, and with him the only adversary to the Taliban.
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post #220 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
<strong>

If the US thinks it can deal with it alone, then indeed it is bound to fail. An action of this scope requires international cooperation, even if you don't like it ScottH. Intelligence wise, the US needs all the help it can get, since the end of the cold war it has focused on "passive" surveillance, as in no on the field old-fashionned intelligence gathering, prefering instead emphasizing on an Echelon/Carnivor type strategy.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I would love it if the world/Europe would cooperate with U.S. But if it wont the so be it. We don't need Europe to go after these guys. And it bugs the crap out of Europe.
post #221 of 369
Europe was internally outraged at the way the U.S. acted in regards to 9/11. Of course, the leaders gave tacit support, but that was a thinly-veiled sheepshow. I'm surprised there weren't more world leaders talking about how we "deserved" it.

People have been whining since 9/12 about how they won't be "allowed" to criticize the U.S. because of the attacks, let's not act as if our "allies" are really that. They cuddle up to us because we have the money and the guns, but if those weren't in the picture the elitist European nations would drop the U.S. faster than a backup-date for the big dance.

Europe has decided to take a rather apathetic and languid approach to fighting terrorism, the very fact that Bush decided to take action or to call a spade a spade enrages them and other people who prefer to sit under the crushing dullness of "diplomacy at all costs." (A philosphy that allowed President Clinton to sit idly by while our *soldiers* were being killed off by the dozens.)

If the EU is against the United States doing what is necessary to protect her citizens, then I fail to see what purpose the EU's criticisms serve.
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post #222 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
I'm surprised there weren't more world leaders talking about how we "deserved" it.
<hr></blockquote>

You're right: On 11 September Chirac must have been warming up some real good crocodile tears:




You guys talk about Europe as if it were one place. Here's a more nuanced look: an assessment of the Campaign Against Terror, dated 1 October, by the US Dept of State:

[quote]NATO COUNTRIES
Â*
In general, reaction across the political spectrum to the Bush administration's "calm and methodical" behavior in the wake of the attacks has been notably positive.Â* The president's speech before Congress, his calls for Americans to shun anti-Muslim behavior and the executive order freezing terrorists' assets all appear to have reassured commentators that the U.S. was acting in a responsible manner.Â*
Â*
Nevertheless, while praising the Bush administration's "astute diplomatic footwork" and public relations strategy thus far, uncertainty appeared to be on the rise about future U.S. plans and whether Washington could achieve its ambitious goal of defeating terrorism.Â* A majority of commentators--mainly writing in, but not limited to, liberal to center-left dailies in West European capitals--argued that the U.S. must now set out clear aims and objectives, consulting closely with coalition allies.Â* Many also demanded the U.S. produce hard evidence that Usama bin Laden masterminded the attacks.Â* At the same time, more conservative analysts--most notably in Britain, Canada and East European capitals--viewing the attacks as an assault on all democracies, were unrelenting in their calls for a military reprisal.Â* Cynics--a distinct minority, mostly in the Greek press--continued to blame U.S. policies for fostering anti-Americanism and fueling international terrorism.
Â*
In the second and third weeks after the attacks, writers focused on how U.S. coalition-building could change the geopolitical landscape. Â*Concern grew that in an effort to forge new alliances with sometime foes--Pakistan, Russia, China, Iran, Sudan, Syria were named--the U.S. would overlook certain human rights and nonproliferation issues.
<hr></blockquote>

Full text <a href="http://usinfo.state.gov/admin/005/wwwh1o01.html" target="_blank">here</a>.
post #223 of 369
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>Europe was internally outraged at the way the U.S. acted in regards to 9/11. Of course, the leaders gave tacit support, but that was a thinly-veiled sheepshow.</strong><hr></blockquote>

That is a flat out lie. I actually think there is more internal US sceptisim against the attack on Afghanistan than European. Almost everyone I know recognised 911 as an attack against US and it had the right to defend itself against those who did it. Would our government offer ground troops, military ships and fighter planes to help in the war one month before the election to parliarment if it hadn´t the support of the population? Only one party (the most left winged) with about 6-7 seats out of 179 was against it.

What european leaders said in september was not "Its their own fault". No they basically said three thing over and over and over again.
  • This is an outrageous attack on US. Of course they have every right to hit back on those who did this and their supporters and we are morally obligated to assist according to article five and we will do that.
  • Internal security must be secured. Laws must be passed allowing police and agencies to operate more freely (I disagree with a lot of the legislation that have been pushed forward under this hat but that is what they said)
  • We must identify the source of terrorism and work to stop it.

Now the disagreement between Europe(ans) and US is how we do the last thing not on the attack on Afghanistan. Bush et al seems to think #1 and #3 is the same thing and that you somehow can bomb or scare the source of terrorism away while "we" think that the source of terrorism is rooted in much more fundamental conditions and you have to deal with them to get rid of it.

What you obviously fail to see is the difference between a war against an identified enemy Al Quada and its supporter Taliban and then a war against anything Bush declares as evil. It is two different things at least for me and also what I read out of any of the reactions from european politicians.
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post #224 of 369
Thread Starter 
Germany gave up their post WWII "no german troops outside Germany" policy after 911 to be able to assist US troops if needed and everyone knowing just a little bit about post 45 Germany know it is not a trivial political desicion. The coalition between the green and the socialist party was close to breaking up because of this (the common members of the green party was partly against it but Fisher convinced them to support it). Doesn´t seem to be facade half-assed support to me.
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post #225 of 369
Thread Starter 
[quote]Originally posted by Timo:
<strong>
n the second and third weeks after the attacks, writers focused on how U.S. coalition-building could change the geopolitical landscape. Â*Concern grew that in an effort to forge new alliances with sometime foes--Pakistan, Russia, China, Iran, Sudan, Syria were named--the U.S. would overlook certain human rights and nonproliferation issues.</strong><hr></blockquote>

I partly disagree with that analysis. One of the positive things that was hoped by at least parts of the press was if US was to cooperate with Iran (using landing strips, getting supplies or at least using air space) in the fight against Taleban and getting more normal relations to it this way. Unfortunetly it wasn´t nessesary.
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post #226 of 369
Thread Starter 
One last thing before I hit the sheets:

[quote]Originally posted by groverat:
<strong>
If the EU is against the United States doing what is necessary to protect her citizens, then I fail to see what purpose the EU's criticisms serve.</strong><hr></blockquote>

We are not against security but "we" disagree strongly on how to obtain it. Will calling Iran and NK evil make it more secure for us or at least for US citizents? Will an attack on those countries do it? I don´t think so and nobody have explained to me how this is suppose to work. I just don´t buy the "well the Iranian population will see this as support for their fight for freedom" unless you hope for a revolution. The best authority on NK is SK in my book and they were pissed when Bush cancelled the sunshine policy. What are the goals to that? Starve the country to death or hope for a revolution?

I need some goals for this policy to be able to understand it.
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post #227 of 369
nevermind.... <img src="graemlins/hmmm.gif" border="0" alt="[Hmmm]" />

[ 02-16-2002: Message edited by: New ]</p>
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post #228 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by Anders:
<strong>

I partly disagree with that analysis. One of the positive things that was hoped by at least parts of the press was if US was to cooperate with Iran (using landing strips, getting supplies or at least using air space) in the fight against Taleban and getting more normal relations to it this way. Unfortunetly it wasn´t nessesary.</strong><hr></blockquote>


You mean fortunately it wasn't necessary. We don't want to have to compromise with them.

Why would the US want to make nice with the current government in Iran?
post #229 of 369
I think the Iranian government will be overthrown without US intervention.
post #230 of 369
I think that's the idea. Plus when it is we don't want to the ones that supported the former government.
post #231 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
<strong>
Massood was already dead, and with him the only adversary to the Taliban.</strong><hr></blockquote>

No, on Sept 11 Massoud wasn't already dead. He lingered for five days after the initial attack (which was on Sept. 9) in a hospital in Tajikistan, cared for by Russian army surgeons, before dying of his wounds. And he obviously wasn't the only adversary (just the most formidable) to the Taliban. The Taliban are no longer in power, are they?
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post #232 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:

<strong>... I don't think your congressional testimony from a guy in a leather coated office stands any credibility when compared to the testimony of Massood.</strong><hr></blockquote>

Let's see. You allege that our policy is driven by our desire to build a pipeline across Afghanistan but it doesn't matter to you that Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Energy said otherwise? And he took this position because there was an alternate route available that didn't present the same investment risks as the Afghan route. This is of no consequence? Think whatever you want to think. Make as little sense as you want. I have better things to do than to argue with you anymore.

[ 02-16-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #233 of 369
[quote] Europe was internally outraged at the way the U.S. acted in regards to 9/11. Of course, the leaders gave tacit support, but that was a thinly-veiled sheepshow. <hr></blockquote>

They did agree on Article 5 of NATO, and nobody I know or heard of had the balls to go against that. Europe doesn't hate the US. Europe just doesn't approve all actions, and this is what you don't understand.

[quote] No, on Sept 11 Massoud wasn't already dead. He lingered for five days after the initial attack (which was on Sept. 9) in a hospital in Tajikistan, cared for by Russian army surgeons, before dying of his wounds. And he obviously wasn't the only adversary (just the most formidable) to the Taliban. The Taliban are no longer in power, are they? <hr></blockquote>

Again, like a child, you discuss semantics. Massood being dead or close to dead doesn't change anything. Does it? He died in the end.

Now to discuss your "argument" regarding the pipeline:

[quote] In other words, by this testimony it's obvious that the Afghan option wasn't very high on the list. <hr></blockquote>

Well, how shall I put it... It seems to me you do infact suffer from a sever case of attention span disorder. If you had read the document, instead of picking a paragraph out of context, you would have noticed the entire document you pointed me to insisted on the importance of Aghanistan to the pipeline for UNOCAL and CentGas.

here are a few interesting exerpts:

[quote] The second option is to build a pipeline south from Central Asia to the Indian Ocean. One obvious route south would cross Iran, but this is foreclosed for American companies because of U.S. sanctions legislation. The only other possible route is across Afghanistan, which has of course its own unique challenges. The country has been involved in bitter warfare for almost two decades, and is still divided by civil war. From the outset, we have made it clear that construction of the pipeline we have proposed across Afghanistan could not begin until a recognized government is in place that has the confidence of governments, lenders, and our company.


Â*Â*Last October, the Central Asia Gas Pipeline Consortium, called CentGas, in which Unocal holds an interest, was formed to develop a gas pipeline which will link Turkmenistan's vast Dauletabad gas field with markets in Pakistan and possibly India. The proposed 790-mile pipeline will open up new markets for this gas, traveling from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Multan in Pakistan. The proposed extension would move gas on to New Delhi, where it would connect with an existing pipeline. As with the proposed Central Asia oil pipeline, CentGas can not begin construction until an internationally recognized Afghanistan Government is in place.

Â*Â*Â*Â*The Central Asia and Caspian region is blessed with abundant oil and gas that can enhance the lives of the region's residents, and provide energy for growth in both Europe and Asia. The impact of these resources on U.S. commercial interests and U.S. foreign policy is also significant. Without peaceful settlement of the conflicts in the region, cross-border oil and gas pipelines are not likely to be built. We urge the Administration and the Congress to give strong support to the U.N.-led peace process in Afghanistan. The U.S. Government should use its influence to help find solutions to all of the region's conflicts.

Mr. MARESCA. First, on the question about Afghanistan, of course we're not in a phase where we are negotiating on a contract because there is no recognized government really to negotiate with. However, we have had talks and briefings with all the factions. It is clear that they all understand the significance for their country of this pipeline project, and they all support it, all of them. They all want it. They would like it to start tomorrow. All of the factions would like it to start tomorrow if we could do it.
<hr></blockquote>

The involvement of the company in Afghanistan, coupled with the fact that a route through Iran is not viable, clearly demonstrates that YOU, my friend, are not
a) capable of reading a document
b) capable of having an unbiased opinion
c) Are very stubborn on irrelevant issues.

Anything else?

As to some poster saying the US shouldn't tie with undemocratic countries such as Pakistan:

You herlad democracy like it's some kind of St Graal. Guess what, it isn't. Not only is it now an obsolete concept, but in some countries, it can not handle itself. Without the help of Pakistan, the US would have been in a very unfomfortable position in Afghanistan. Pakistan has just gone through 20 years of corrupted democratic governments. General Muscharraf is a very good man, as can clearly be seen by his recent speeches and action. He's the best ally the US will get in the area. When the time will come, he will also stage elections. However for the time being, the stabilitty of the country and of the region is not enough for elections. Furthermore, he has the support of a large majority of the population, so your point about the country not being democratic is irrelevant. The same applies to other countries.
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post #234 of 369
[quote] As to some poster saying the US shouldn't tie with undemocratic countries such as Pakistan <hr></blockquote>

I deleted that statement, but as you refered to it anyway I guess i'll have to explain my point a bit more.
I said that the way the US allies itself with stategicly important partners to make short-term millitary gains, could backfire in a major way later (i.e. Iraq).
It is a bit hard to accept the "axis of evil" of the month, when the "friends" of the US, are just as bad...
About Musharaff; He might be the best ally the US has in the region, but he is also a millitary dictator who siezed power with force from a democraticly elected government. The signal the US send is clear: "If your a power hungry general who feels left out of the worlds spotlight, then go ahead! Just throw out those no-good politicians and run the show yourself. Just remember to be a friend of the US. Let us build a few bases, and you to can be a superstar of international politics.
You can't really hide behind the argument that he is a "good dictator"... thats a real dangerous path to walk down.
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post #235 of 369
[quote] I said that the way the US allies itself with stategicly important partners to make short-term millitary gains, could backfire in a major way later (i.e. Iraq).<hr></blockquote>

Very good point. The US tends to only see short-term benefit, in most of its actions (see kyoto protocol)

[quote] About Musharaff; He might be the best ally the US has in the region, but he is also a millitary dictator who siezed power with force from a democraticly elected government. The signal the US send is clear: "If your a power hungry general who feels left out of the worlds spotlight, then go ahead! Just throw out those no-good politicians and run the show yourself. Just remember to be a friend of the US. Let us build a few bases, and you to can be a superstar of international politics. <hr></blockquote>

You might want to get your facts straight. The gvt before Muscharraf (that of Nawaz Sharif) was corrupted, in fact Sharif already had gotten ousted as a PM once for charges of corruption. While General Muscharraf was outside the country, Sharif tried overturning him, and putting an armies chief that as loyal to him. Upon learning this, Muscharraf tried flying back to Pakistan. Sharif ordered the Airport authorities to prevent him from landing. Muscharraf managed to land nevertheless, with the help of loyal generals within the army. Landed with fuel left for only 2 minutes. Sharif got charged with kidnapping and other charges related to that event and the corruption issues. The seizure of power of Muscharraf was actually greeted with demonstations of joy throughout the country. So while some democracy advocates might paint the events as being "millitary dictator who siezed power with force from a democraticly elected government", the facts say otherwise.

Once again, diversity of sources and information is key.
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post #236 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
<strong>
Anything else?</strong><hr></blockquote>

Yes. When it comes to attention deficits I've got nothing on you. I did not fail to notice that Unocal was invoved in Afghanistan. I specifically mentioned that fact in my post. The problem is those 5 words at the end of Mr. Maresca's statement, "... if we could do it." They couldn't. The Afghan project was all but dead by the time of this hearing. When you're looking to spend billions of dollars you can't just wish away the political instability of the region. And as you have helpfully pointed out, his testimony was that ALL of the factions in Afghanistan supported the pipeline project across the country. ALL of them. That pretty much vitiated any need to deal with Taliban to the exclusion of the other factions even if the Afghan option remained a viable choice. Finally, you mentioned that an Iran route is not viable. That wasn't the primary alternative that wasn't presented.

[ 02-16-2002: Message edited by: roger_ramjet ]</p>
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post #237 of 369
when you point at the sky, the idiot looks at the finger...

you're living proof of that saying.

I KNOW the pipeline was NOT possible. It was not possible BECAUSE of the taliban, the instability of the region etc. My initial point was that the US was in negotiations with the taliban regarding that pipeline, and that it was amongst the reasons why it closed its eyes on the doings of the taliban, expecting some positive outcome of the dealings.

Furthermore, your document dates from 98, ie the taliban had JUST come to power (and don't start discussing the definition of "just" in order to convince yourself that you're right). It doesn't adress AT ALL the evolution of the issue in the 3 years that followed. But dismissing Massood's testimony for this text is quite convenient for you isn't it?

So to sum this all up, I'll let you choose between my version and yours:

Me: The US waited until the 9/11 attacks before doing anything regarding the Taliban, thus letting them violate human rights and destroy valuable international cultural property. The US helped the taliban come to power in 97 because they were long-time soviet-era allies, and the US thought they would bring stability to the region, and help them securing energy deals.

The US closed its eyes on the actions of the taliban from 97 up until somepoint in 2001 because they badly wanted the taliban to stabilize the country, and thus allow the pipelines. When it became apparent at some point during 2001 that even though the taliban had control on over 90% of Afghanistan, especially the area where the pipeline was supposed to be built, and that nevertheless the taliban didn't agree on the pipeline deal, the US got pissed. Bush gets elected and warns the taliban gvt that it better cooperate, or else.

During all this time Afghanistan was the number one training ground of terrorist extremist forces in the world.


You: The pipeline deal was off in 98, and from there on, the US was simply either acting stupid and not realizing that Afghanistan was a dangerous breeding factory for terrorists and thus doing anything about it, or the US was being a hypocrite and letting the taliban do whatever they wanted as long as they didn't do anything to US assets.

Which is it?
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post #238 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
<strong>Me: The US waited until the 9/11 attacks before doing anything regarding the Taliban, thus letting them violate human rights and destroy valuable international cultural property. The US helped the taliban come to power in 97 because they were long-time soviet-era allies, and the US thought they would bring stability to the region, and help them securing energy deals.

The US closed its eyes on the actions of the taliban from 97 up until somepoint in 2001 because they badly wanted the taliban to stabilize the country, and thus allow the pipelines. When it became apparent at some point during 2001 that even though the taliban had control on over 90% of Afghanistan, especially the area where the pipeline was supposed to be built, and that nevertheless the taliban didn't agree on the pipeline deal, the US got pissed. Bush gets elected and warns the taliban gvt that it better cooperate, or else.</strong><hr></blockquote>After the Soviets left in 1989, there was civil war and fighting among different anti-Soviet factions. Yes, we supported anti-Soviet groups. But can you provide evidence that we supported the Taliban over other anti-Soviet groups?

Because there's a lot of evidence that's inconsistent with that idea: We had a grand jury convene against bin Laden in 1996, when he was already in Afghanistan with the Taliban. So we didn't like the Taliban even back then. Then we bombed Afghanistan in 1998. We also imposed sanctions on them in 1999. Doesn't sound to me like we supported them. Lots of prominent American citizens (like the Lenos) and politicians were talking about how bad the Taliban were even as they were taking power around 1997.

At the very least, your timing is wrong if you're suggesting we didn't do anything until 2001.
post #239 of 369
[quote]Originally posted by SYN:
<strong>
I KNOW the pipeline was NOT possible. It was not possible BECAUSE of the taliban...

... Furthermore, your document dates from 98...</strong><hr></blockquote>

Right. That's how long the project has been DEAD.

Hmmm. The pipeline was not possible BECAUSE of the Taliban and yet the US chose not to intervene. Obviously the Afghan pipeline was no longer something that was being seriously pursued. And yet you make it central to the US's motives. From my first reply to you I knew this was a waste of time... Indulge in name calling if it makes you feel clever. I should have left this alone when I first said I was done with you.
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post #240 of 369
earlier in this thread I have pointed to evidence the US supported the taliban over other factions, most notably the Northern Alliance.

As to my timeline in my previous post, it wasn't pinpoint accurate, I know, I was trying to make a point, not getting exact dates; and though there might be a few months difference between my timeline and what happened, the general idea is unchanged. I know the US sent a couple of Tomahawks on Afghanistan after the USS Cole attack. Relations were heating up at that point, but my point remains.
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