Unfair use of force in Iraq?

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  • Reply 121 of 186
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    bunge:



    Quote:

    Saddam could control the lives of the people by controlling the food, water and communications. Give them food, water and an outside source of information and you would see a drastic change inside the country.



    How do you keep Saddam from taking control of the lines once you establish them? Armed forces inside Iraq?



    jimmac:



    Quote:

    Did it ever dawn on you guys that this isn't the only evil tyrant out there that's doing these kind of things?



    Yes. I've been well aware of other terrible dictators in the world for quite a while.



    Quote:

    Why pick this one?



    Because he slaughters his own people, stands in the way of the Iraqi population's advancement and very well might possess some very dangerous weapons. That and we've got a long-standing beef with him and he's ripe for an ass-kicking.



    Quote:

    And what makes us world policemen anyway? I thought that was the UN's job?



    Well you thought wrong.

    Ask the 800,000 Tutsi tribesmen in Rwanda how good the UN is at keeping peace in the world. Oh wait, they were all hacked to pieces by the Hutu majority while the UN knew 9 months in advance that it was going to happen and did nothing.

    Or perhaps we should ask the victims of Milosevic's ethnic cleansing, the UN sat still on that issue and we had to go through NATO to get that taken care of.



    The UN as a peacekeeping force is an unmitigated failure. Their silence on Rwanda enabled 800,000 murders and their bungling of the Iraq question has led to the death of 1+ million Iraqis.



    The UN gets to problems decades after they have already exploded. It is very depressing when you see a list of UN peacekeeping successes versus the number of UN peacekeeping failures when you take into account the resources available to the body.



    Why now? Because sanctions kill 274 Iraqi civilians every day and Hussein adds to that number with his citizen-gassing and political executions. I guess if you're more comfortable with the idea of slaughtering women and children via disease and famine than going in and taking out Saddam that's your business. I guess "Why now?" is a very valid question for someone with that mindset.
  • Reply 122 of 186
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tulkas

    Little things, like losing a war, signing a conditional ceasefire and breaking it, binding resolutions that were constantly breached and never really enforced.........................





    Well, i wouldn't say you are acting as the world's policeman. But, since the UN managed to bungle everything involving Iraq and essentially abdicated it responsibility, someone has to take action.





    Well, had the UN actually been able to get it's act together and enforce it's own binding resolutions, force would probably have been deemed necessary at some time. Point being, force is used, even by the UN and democratic nations to determine the fate of nations.




    I find it more than a little odd that the reasons for attacking Iraq seem to chnge all the time. There still seem s to be no proof of WOMD. There still seems to be no proof that they had ties to the terrorists that attacked us back in 01. He did cheer them on and so forth but that's not the same thing. Yes, Saddam is a bastard. But this has been going on for some time. I ask again what gives us the right to do this? Because we can? Why now?



    " essentially abdicated " this part is pure speculation and personal opinion on your part.



    I also find it strange that the president and Tony Blair find it necessary to go on TV and try to sell this to the public. If the cause is just and the rest of the world goes along with it these questions wouldn't come up.
  • Reply 123 of 186
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    By Groverat,



    " and he's ripe for an ass-kicking. "



    This part seems a little less thought out than emotionally charged to me. And really that's the part that bothers me the most. I don't like to stand by and watch these things happen but those things will still happen after Iraq. We stand on very dangerous ground when we try to take the reins of the whole world. We run the risk of becoming the thing we're fighting against.



    I know you're going to laugh at me but it's just an analogy. Didn't you ever used to watch Star Trek and the thing about the prime directive? Sometimes it's better to do the tough but right thing and let people who are not yours decide and develope for themselves. Otherwise you run the risk of becoming something you don't want to be.
  • Reply 124 of 186
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat



    How do you keep Saddam from taking control of the lines once you establish them? Armed forces inside Iraq?




    I can't think of a different way.
  • Reply 125 of 186
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,751member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jimmac

    I find it more than a little odd that the reasons for attacking Iraq seem to chnge all the time. There still seem s to be no proof of WOMD. There still seems to be no proof that they had ties to the terrorists that attacked us back in 01. He did cheer them on and so forth but that's not the same thing. Yes, Saddam is a bastard. But this has been going on for some time. I ask again what gives us the right to do this? Because we can? Why now?



    Little things, like losing a war, signing a conditional ceasefire and breaking it, binding resolutions that were constantly breached and never really enforced....................

    Why now? 9/11, even it not sponsored by Saddam, changed how the admin was willing deal with places like Iraq. Note, I am not tying them to 9/11, but it is reasonable to expect it changed perspective of the admin on the situation. That, in addition to possible ties to Al Qaeda formed after the Afgan invasion, point to the 'why now' part of your question.

    Quote:

    Originally posted by jimmac



    " essentially abdicated " this part is pure speculation and personal opinion on your part.





    Speculation based on their inability to decide a course of action. If one refuses to act on one's responsibility, one abdicates one's responsibity.



    Quote:

    Originally posted by jimmac



    I also find it strange that the president and Tony Blair find it necessary to go on TV and try to sell this to the public. If the cause is just and the rest of the world goes along with it these questions wouldn't come up.




    Leader in democratic nations always try to sell their decisions. Bush sr sold GW1 to the public as well. It was just an easier sell.
  • Reply 126 of 186
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by Tulkas

    Little things, like losing a war, signing a conditional ceasefire and breaking it, binding resolutions that were constantly breached and never really enforced....................

    Why now? 9/11, even it not sponsored by Saddam, changed how the admin was willing deal with places like Iraq. Note, I am not tying them to 9/11, but it is reasonable to expect it changed perspective of the admin on the situation. That, in addition to possible ties to Al Qaeda formed after the Afgan invasion, point to the 'why now' part of your question.



    Speculation based on their inability to decide a course of action. If one refuses to act on one's responsibility, one abdicates one's responsibity.





    Leader in democratic nations always try to sell their decisions. Bush sr sold GW1 to the public as well. It was just an easier sell.




    So now because of 911 we've become the aggressor?
  • Reply 127 of 186
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jimmac

    I know you're going to laugh at me but it's just an analogy. Didn't you ever used to watch Star Trek and the thing about the prime directive? Sometimes it's better to do the tough but right thing and let people who are not yours decide and develope for themselves. Otherwise you run the risk of becoming something you don't want to be.



    ...and here we are with yet another entry into the annals of "sort'a gets it, but doesn't really 'get it'". The problem is that in Star Trek, they don't share the planet they live on. The primitive society cannot touch the Federation in the slightest. When you "share the planet", events abroad tend to have a way of snowballing back to you. So you can either ignore them, deal with them, or pre-emptively influence them. Prime Directive isn't valid when "they" can reach you with something as simple as a mailed envelope or a rented U-haul truck.
  • Reply 128 of 186
    randycat99randycat99 Posts: 1,919member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by jimmac

    So now because of 911 we've become the aggressor?



    More like "aware" and "pro-active", but "aggressor" seems to be a flashier hot-word for the "anti"-crowd.
  • Reply 129 of 186
    mrmistermrmister Posts: 1,095member
    " I know you're going to laugh at me but it's just an analogy. Didn't you ever used to watch Star Trek and the thing about the prime directive? "



    randycat did a good job of addressing this so I'll just confirm your suspicion: yes, I am laughing at you.



    For your own protection, never use this analogy in an arguement again. Find another way to convey distanced isolationism, 'cause no one will ever take you seriously.
  • Reply 130 of 186
    brussellbrussell Posts: 9,812member
    To drewprops' and Noah's question. Some suggestions for conditions under which a more liberal and democratic Iraq could occur without a US invasion:



    1. Containment and isolation.

    The Cold War model. Took longer than what could obtain 24-hour coverage by the cable news nets, but it ultimately worked.



    2. The US stays out of their way.

    Iran is probably the most democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. And they quite rudely chucked US out of their country, and we haven't messed with them too much since then. Look at the countries that do have heavy American involvement and support - Saudi Arabia, for example. I totally agree with jimmac's Prime Directive analogy here.



    3. The US supports countries that are liberal democracies, rather than simply enemies of our enemies.

    We ought to have a more idealistic foreign policy. We should show by example that we support liberal democracy, whether they support us or not. Turkey is getting better. Support them. Jordan could do better, but they're not bad, and we already do support them. Iran is doing well. Those are most of the countries surrounding Iraq. The best way to become a liberal democracy is to have neighbors that are liberal democracies.



    4. Drum roll please... Have a Palestinian state that co-exists with Israel!



    This is not a war of necessity. This is a war of choice. The fact is, we had an excuse (the cease-fire agreements after 1991) and the political will (that Osaddama and bin Saddam are vaguely linked in people's minds after 9/11).



    This idea that there is a deductive validity to this war is absurd. It is an extremely risky move. IMO, what happens after the war determines the long-term future more even than whether there is a war or not. There is a very good chance that this liberation could backfire and simply cause more resentment and opposition and Islamism.



    The hawks accuse the doves of being racist for saying we shouldn't give them democracy - like they don't deserve it. But that argument could be turned around. The hawks are racist for believing that the Iraqis are incapable of providing a liberal democratic society for themselves, without our intervention. I'm sure they would have, with time. Now, they might get there quicker, but they just as well might not get there for much longer.
  • Reply 131 of 186
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    bunge:



    Quote:

    I can't think of a different way.



    So when Saddam's troops come up to the lines and try to snatch the food away you shoot them?



    Or are you of the opinion that simply having the troops inside Iraq would make him capitulate to the threat to his power?



    I'm interested in how this might work out.



    ---



    jimmac:



    Quote:

    This part seems a little less thought out than emotionally charged to me.



    What about the rest of it.



    Quote:

    And really that's the part that bothers me the most. I don't like to stand by and watch these things happen but those things will still happen after Iraq. We stand on very dangerous ground when we try to take the reins of the whole world. We run the risk of becoming the thing we're fighting against.



    We already have the reins of the world, there is no choice to grab them. They have been in our hands since the end of World War Two. Our only choice is how responsible we are with that power. We cannot act like we are not the peace force of the world, we cannot ignore our duty. It is there whether or not we like it. The world will look to us to make things right whether we want to be isolationist or not.



    Our democratic system is an inherent protection against such tyranny. If Dubya goes too far we can vote him out. And if he decides he'll use the military or police forces to subjugate the constitution and establish himself as a permanent authority we have an armed populace to challenge him (not for long at this rate). In Iraq there is Saddam's way or the plastic shredder, not so here.



    We do not risk becoming what we're fighting against at all.



    Quote:

    Didn't you ever used to watch Star Trek and the thing about the prime directive?



    I never watched Star Trek. I tried but it caused me physical pain... dear God what a terrible show... *shudder*



    Quote:

    Sometimes it's better to do the tough but right thing and let people who are not yours decide and develope for themselves.



    And I suppose you are applying this logic to Iraq. You say in there "develop for themselves" and this is impossible in Hussein-controlled Iraq.



    Unless you are advocating revolution in Iraq. And if you are advocating that the people rise up against Hussein I am shocked and disturbed because that would make the bloody sanctions look like a cakewalk. Saddam killed 50,000 rebels after the Gulf War (and we asked them to revolt but provided no support). They tried that before and we sold them out.



    One of the promises of the UN was to promote peace throughout the world and free people from tyranny. The UN has failed time and time again to do it. The promise of the United States is to do the same, and we are trying to do it now.



    We have grown so jaded to the idea of slaughtering the people with disease and starvation we don't give it second thought. We gloss over the idea of 1+ million dead from indirect action to scream and wail about a few thousand dead from direct action. It is heartless and inhumane.



    Billions across the world starve and are illiterate, yet our "left" marches with "no blood for oil" signs, their checkbooks closed to charity and open to Starbucks and hemp manufacturers. Shopping sprees at the Salvation Army and $150 Birkenstocks but no support for the Red Cross (unless they happen to be selling totally cool t-shirts). Buy a Socialist Worker and rant about the elite for a minute and apparently you're saving the world.



    I've been reading Thomas Friedman lately and he puts out the idea that America has always been a beacon of hope to the oppressed of the world, but for the last couple of decades we have abandoned that promise and fell into an ugly cycle of selfishness and corruption. Not that Bush is unselfish or not corrupt, but the very idea that we are even trying to liberate the Iraqi people to me is a message of hope, a sign of a future in which America will no longer tolerate bullies and will work to better the world.



    Of course, one can be skeptical. It is always easy to scoff at Bush's idea to get rid of Saddam to better Iraq by saying, "well look what Reagan did in El Salvador" or "he's an oil man" but these types of tangents have no use.



    There is a shame built into Americans that we should be ashamed of our largesse. We should be ashamed of our position of power and, most recently, we should be ashamed to feel pride in our country. Currently the most accepted form of "patriotism" in the intellectual circles is to bash and demean America.



    But how constructive is this? What is the point? I am well aware of our sordid past (and present), but why dwell on it? Why sacrifice an undoubted positive (the ouster of Saddam Hussein) at the alter of nay-saying and skepticism?



    Will war to oust Saddam really be worse than the devastation of sanctions? And even if it is worse doesn't the promise of a future without Saddam, a future without oppression and terror something worth fighting for? Have we lost the will to fight for a better tomorrow?



    Well many say that is the realm of the UN. The hope for the 20th and 21st centuries was that the United Nations would help the oppressed and that the "international community" would work together to build the world. And I can't think of a more laudible goal. I also cannot think of a more inherently flawed concept.



    It has not worked. Genocide, famine, ethnic cleansing and dozens of wars have all raged on while the UN functions mainly as a humanitarian body (which is great) and is an undeniable failure when it comes to international security; the list of failures versus successes is just sad.



    So you get a point where you are sacrificing lives and good for politics. And that is the point we reached with Saddam. We had slaughtered his people for 12 years to try and get them to overthrow him and time was up, enough was enough. Hence, "ripe for an ass-kicking." It's an expression you don't like because the West is taught that American power is bad and flexing that power without a UN stamp is downright evil.



    But that's not the case. To me there are few things more evil than how the UN ignored the genocide in Rwanda. I am ashamed of the US's lack of initiative on that and how we have given over our sovreignty to the UN. I am proud of Bush for taking that back. My nation's military is not the tool of international diplomats. Our fighting men answer to the Commander in Chief and that is all.



    I am not ashamed to be an American. I am not ashamed of America's promise. I can acknowledge the mistakes and hope for the best in all situations.



    Right now the best is to hope for victory against Hussein.
  • Reply 132 of 186
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    BRussell:



    Quote:

    1. Containment and isolation.

    The Cold War model. Took longer than what could obtain 24-hour coverage by the cable news nets, but it ultimately worked.




    At what humanitarian cost? Do we really want a repeat of that? It was horrible.



    And past that, we *couldn't* do what we're doing in Iraq to Russia. They had the bomb.



    Quote:

    2. The US stays out of their way.

    Iran is probably the most democratic and liberal society in the Middle East. And they quite rudely chucked US out of their country, and we haven't messed with them too much since then. Look at the countries that do have heavy American involvement and support - Saudi Arabia, for example. I totally agree with jimmac's Prime Directive analogy here.




    When the US stays out of Saddam's way he becomes a territorial aggressor. He is worse than the Shah or Ayatollah.



    Quote:

    3. The US supports countries that are liberal democracies, rather than simply enemies of our enemies.



    I agree 100%.



    Quote:

    We ought to have a more idealistic foreign policy.



    I agree 100%. I think that's what Bush is doing now.



    Quote:

    We should show by example that we support liberal democracy, whether they support us or not. Turkey is getting better. Support them. Jordan could do better, but they're not bad, and we already do support them.



    We give Turkey and Jordan LOTS OF MONEY. Lots of greenbacks. And they like us for it. They will march and such but they know where the bread is buttered. We do support them a great deal and it is the smart thing to do.



    Quote:

    Iran is doing well.



    Iran, to me, is one of the most interesting questions of this whole thing. Perhaps because it is the nation in there I know the least about. I am fascinated at how liberal ideas will develop with their burgeoning youth population.



    Quote:

    Those are most of the countries surrounding Iraq. The best way to become a liberal democracy is to have neighbors that are liberal democracies.



    Eh... no. Didn't work for the USSR. We had to cripple their economy and thereby cause unthinkable human suffering to get them to crumble. I think a war to kill the badman and then lots of international aid to help rebuild is better.



    See: Germany, Japan.

    But if we can do it without having to drop nukes or carpet bomb cities then by jove I think we've got it!



    Kill the bad guys, send them LOTS AND LOTS OF MONEY AND SUPPORT to rebuild. That's the idea. Killing their people by the millions in a war of attrition is the bad bad bad evil idea.



    Quote:

    4. Drum roll please... Have a Palestinian state that co-exists with Israel!



    Oh sweet Lord. Please, I'll go to church if you make this happen.



    This is the absolute key to the terror question, IMO.



    Quote:

    This is not a war of necessity. This is a war of choice. The fact is, we had an excuse (the cease-fire agreements after 1991) and the political will (that Osaddama and bin Saddam are vaguely linked in people's minds after 9/11).



    An excuse for what? When someone is trying to find an excuse they have an ulterior motive. What is that ulterior motive? A desire to kill Iraqi people with bombs? Oil?



    Quote:

    There is a very good chance that this liberation could backfire and simply cause more resentment and opposition and Islamism.



    Or it could work out well and liberalize (to an extent) a very big part of the Arab world.



    Do you think the way we've treated Iraq for the last 12 years hasn't been building resentment?



    Quote:

    The hawks accuse the doves of being racist for saying we shouldn't give them democracy - like they don't deserve it. But that argument could be turned around. The hawks are racist for believing that the Iraqis are incapable of providing a liberal democratic society for themselves, without our intervention. I'm sure they would have, with time. Now, they might get there quicker, but they just as well might not get there for much longer.



    I think they can do it for themselves, but only after decades more of oppression and mass-murder. Only after millions of more civilian deaths by disease, starvation and political killings.



    This is yet another chance for the UN to show its mettle. It has been a resounding failure so far, let's see if it can make up for lost time.
  • Reply 133 of 186
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    By Groverat,





    " I never watched Star Trek. I tried but it caused me physical pain... dear God what a terrible show... *shudder* "



    Some how I'm not surprised. But, this might surprise you and I'm sure you won't understand but I'm also not ashamed to be an American. I just want us to live up to what we stand for and not become something else.
  • Reply 134 of 186
    groveratgroverat Posts: 10,872member
    Don't hate on me because I dislike Star Trek.
  • Reply 135 of 186
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    Don't hate on me because I dislike Star Trek.



    I love Star Trek and any Science Fiction series or movies. Nevermind i am still loving you Grover
  • Reply 136 of 186
    newnew Posts: 3,244member
    I'm sorry I havn't found time to answer drewpops question, since I've been held up in all-day seminars both yesterday and today. I promise I'll get back to this as soon as I find time. Hopefully tonight. :-)
  • Reply 137 of 186
    drewpropsdrewprops Posts: 2,321member
    Good, I'm waiting....

    \
  • Reply 138 of 186
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat



    So when Saddam's troops come up to the lines and try to snatch the food away you shoot them?



    Or are you of the opinion that simply having the troops inside Iraq would make him capitulate to the threat to his power?



    I'm interested in how this might work out.




    Obviously we could go into details forever but realistically it simply works out to be the trigger Bush was looking for, but it brings all of the U.N. along for the ride AND saves face by giving a last ditch effort to a peaceful solution.
  • Reply 139 of 186
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by groverat

    Don't hate on me because I dislike Star Trek.



    I don't. It's just listening to your viewpoint, the way you think ( your philosophy of life ) I'm not surprised you didn't like Star Trek.
  • Reply 140 of 186
    jimmacjimmac Posts: 11,898member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by drewprops

    Hey now, you kids don't let this thread fall off the bottom without helping me here....I really honestly would like to hear an answer to my question.



    And let's not be snippy.

    Really, I want answers not rhymes or pat little sayings.





    My question, (it's a good one) lest we forget it, is:

    What are those "certain conditions"?




    This question was posed to New, who said:

    "I'm saying it would be best if they were givien the chance to liberate themselves. And for that to happen certain conditions need to be present."




    If it makes you feel any better (don't know why it should) I wake up every morning to the news of the war on my television...and my first few minutes awake are spent with a twisted knot in my stomach. I despise our armed forces being over there. But even with that dread I realize that this is the correct enforcement of a United Nations policy; a policy that other nations are too fearful to enforce.



    I would love to know another solution that enables the Iraqi people to rise beyond the torturous gang that rules the country. It seems to me that the "solution" posed by the dissenting U.N. nations is to "wait it out".....and what, wait for it to "go away"? Hellooooo Mister Hitler!



    No, that can't be it. Your "certain conditions" argument must be more than that!

    There has to be a more holistic solution that these nations (and/or you) have in mind. One that addresses the human rights abuses and a decade of parlor games with the United Nations. One that results in a safe country where supplies can be distributed to the people who really need them and not some warlord.



    I'm very bothered by the fact that the UN is not behind this action.

    Among my greatest hopes is that one of the side-effects of this war is a reformation of the United Nations, one where it is not a powerless creche of tired politicians who have been put out to pasture by their governments. If a giant Star Goat were about to devour our planet the United Nations would be loaded onto the B-Ark and sent off as the first wave (DNA fans alone will understand that reference).



    So people, help me see a different way.



    I'm about as anti-war as they come.

    But I'm even even more anti-lawbreaker.





    Answer this question before you ask me anything else.



    ~~PLEASE~~




    I think it's more important that they be able to choose for themselves which way they want to go. Right now they are filled with propaganda no doubt that Saddam is their only way to live. So you've asked what they need ( not how they get it ). I would say education ( and some kind of resistance movement ) on What Saddam and they world are all about. Ask them : Do you want to govern yourselves or live under the only conditions you've ever known? Who knows they might choose Saddam ( or someone just like him ). I think this would be strange but our values, perspective, and theirs aren't the same.



    Who knows we might liberate them only to find them going right back into this situation in a few years. And you know it's their right to do that whether we like it or not.



    The only thing I'm asking is given that there are many countries in the world with this situation do we intend to liberate them all? I think that's beyond even our reach. I remember another war where we were going to keep a people free from communism ( and kick some North Vietnamese ass ). Well that isn't exactly what happened is it? After a while we found the situation was much more complex and wasn't what we thought ( for them or us ).
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