Originally posted by AdamB
Because we are provoking them to change their course of action from an idle one to an active one.
I do not think this is true. To take the most recent example of terrorism against the United States, there was no trigger like this war for 9/11. It came out of nowhere.
My statement is, that there are two enemies here. Those that are terrorists (like Al Qaeda), and those that would be terrorists. There are far more of the latter.
Were there notable terrorist attacks in 1991 in retaliation for Desert Storm? How about in 1998 for Desert Fox? I am not 100% certain but I am confident that the answer to both of those is no.
We had a mandate and had played according to the rules. This time we do not and we are not.
This is not so clear and the cause is not so obvious. As I said before, those who will harm the US because of this war already had that in their plans.
I disagree completely. Some
of those who will harm the US because of this war had it in their plans. Many did not.
But unfortunately everyone in the Middle East feels threatened by us and our willingness to attack a country that they themselves don't think we should be attacking. They fear that next time it might be their own country. And they question our motives. If we cannot convince them of the truth, then we should adjust our actions according to perceptions of the truth.
You are taking a lot of liberties with truth here, tonton. You cannot speak for what "everyone in the Middle East" feels. That is crazy. You also greatly underestimate support for the war in Middle Eastern countries.
The picture you paint is different from the one painted by international leaders who have pledged support.
You know very well that international leaders have pledged support because of politics. Okay, instead of everyone
I should have said "many". But you missed my point. "They fear that next time it might be their own country." And why shouldn't they?
There is a balance, and you and I differ as to where the fulcrum lies. My stance is that the Bush view will come at a far greater cost in the grand scheme of things.
I am more than willing to sacrifice short term diplomatic happiness with allies (the EU mainly) to achieve even a small measure of peace in that very troubled region.
But we differ in opinion as to whether peace can ever be achieved through this method. There has not been peace in the Middle East for more than a few decades in all of the history known to man, especially the 20th century. You think the US can go in with bombs and impose peace on these people? You arefar more optimistic than I.
The cost of containment has been very expensive in the human sense all of this time, and war will also be expensive in the human sense.
The divisions between the US and the European anti-war nations will heal easily and quickly. We shouldn't let a preferable means get in the way of a necessary end.
It's not just the relationship with the West that I'm concerned with. We must find a way to heal the divisions between the West and The Middle East. And no one can claim that this is the preferable means to that goal.
But by going after Saddam in this way, we are provoking others. We must go after Saddam in another way, either fully sanctioned by international concensus, or in a more subtle way. But that takes patience. And Bush has an election to win.
Who are we provoking?
The threat to regional instability within Iraq is just as potent with or without a UN mandate. Flying a blue flag over our tanks instead of a red, white & blue one isn't going to make an appreciable difference in the transition to a Saddam-less Iraq. It is not as if a UN mandate makes those who would be terrorists happy.
We are provoking many angry Muslims who are straddling the fence on where to stand against the US. And yes, they have a much more compelling reason to go against us if we're not playing by the very same rules we ourselves have set.
Bush isn't up for election for another year. Would it not be in his best political interest to wait more and give the French (et al.) the time they wanted? I think so. Not everything is political.
I don't know what you would choose to do in his stead. But regarding the election, I certainly would want to get in before the opposition gains momentum. And regarding the war, Bush knows very well that if he doesn't go in now, it could all fizzle out in his face and he's left with nothing.
There are devout, fundamentalist, nationalist muslims in the US right now. And even the poor guys in Yemen might figure out a way to get here some day. There are Americans and consulates and embassies and hotels everywhere that can be attacke outside the US. Israel itself is prone to attack, and not just buses and bazaars. They will get through.
I am not interested in "outside the US" specific to this discussion.
How can you think about war without considering "outside the US"? So you admit to living within your borders? This is not looked well upon in this world.
I do not think the risk for increased terror on the mainland is significantly different than the risk of terrorism we face if we had waited a few more months.
Terrorists were not waiting for the UN to say "go ahead" to give support. Even with UN approval they hate the US and will attack. It makes no difference to them. The only way we could keep them from attacking us is to pull out of everywhere and start throwing money at them and even then we would remain the Great Satan. 9/11 should teach us that a trigger for terrorism is a false concept.
Once again you're looking at all terrorists in the same light. And you're ignoring the power one gains when they take the "moral high road". Take some time to understand Jesus or Buddha and ask yourself what would they do.
He doesn't have any money now. Is he a threat? Hell yes. Even your beloved Bush claims so adamantly. (Actually, I'm sure Osama's dead, but he's still a symbolic threat nonetheless). If Bin Laden hadn't had money then, he would have found the means. Especially now that we've provoked people into supporting him.
He is a threat because he has sources of funding. A broke man in the mountains of Afghanistan who isn't connected to a well-financed terror network makes no waves in the US.
What made al Qaeda special is that it had means, not hate. Hate groups have been in the middle east for a long long time.
Osama has sources of funding but no money. That's my point. Al Qaeda has had all of their accounts seized and connections crushed. Or are you saying that our efforts to do that have been a failure? I don't think they have failed. But even a broke man in the mountains of Afghanistan will find a means or join a cause already present. In the absence of Al Qaeda as we know it, others will fill the void.
People supported bin Laden long before George W. Bush took office.
Yep. And they will support somebody
long after Osama is dead.
Indeed. But haven't you ever agreed to something your parents insisted you do, but held a grudge of resentment for it?
Yes, but I was young and immature. Hopefully we can evolve past that.
There are far more "immature" people in tis world than you might want to admit.
Let's hope for quick peace and lots of forgiveness. I don't want an Islamic holocaust to be the end result of this. But that's the way we're heading.
"Islamic holocaust"? What do you mean by that?
I mean Sharon spreading VX over Palestine after a terrorist blows up his family. I mean a crazed GI buying a nuke from the Chechen Mafia and blowing up Baghdad as payment for whatever Iraq might do during the war.
Muslims are not evil. But so many Americans (and others) think they are and it can only get worse. Many people used to think Jews were evil, too.
There are far more anti-mohommadites than anti-semites these days. Especially within nations of power.