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January 5, 2003

A War for Oil?

By THOMAS L. FRIEDMAN


Our family spent winter vacation in Colorado, and one day I saw the most unusual site: two women marching around the Aspen Mountain ski lift, waving signs protesting against war in Iraq. One sign said: "Just War or Just Oil?" As I watched this two-woman demonstration, I couldn't help notice the auto traffic whizzing by them: one gas-guzzling S.U.V. or Jeep after another, with even a Humvee or two tossed in for good measure. The whole scene made me wonder whether those two women weren't "” indeed "” asking the right question: Is the war that the Bush team is preparing to launch in Iraq really a war for oil?

My short answer is yes. Any war we launch in Iraq will certainly be "” in part "” about oil. To deny that is laughable. But whether it is seen to be only about oil will depend on how we behave before an invasion and what we try to build once we're there.

I say this possible Iraq war is partly about oil because it is impossible to explain the Bush team's behavior otherwise. Why are they going after Saddam Hussein with the 82nd Airborne and North Korea with diplomatic kid gloves "” when North Korea already has nuclear weapons, the missiles to deliver them, a record of selling dangerous weapons to anyone with cash, 100,000 U.S. troops in its missile range and a leader who is even more cruel to his own people than Saddam?

One reason, of course, is that it is easier to go after Saddam. But the other reason is oil "” even if the president doesn't want to admit it. (Mr. Bush's recent attempt to hype the Iraqi threat by saying that an Iraqi attack on America "” which is most unlikely "” "would cripple our economy" was embarrassing. It made the president look as if he was groping for an excuse to go to war, absent a smoking gun.)

Let's cut the nonsense. The primary reason the Bush team is more focused on Saddam is because if he were to acquire weapons of mass destruction, it might give him the leverage he has long sought "” not to attack us, but to extend his influence over the world's largest source of oil, the Persian Gulf.

But wait a minute. There is nothing illegitimate or immoral about the U.S. being concerned that an evil, megalomaniacal dictator might acquire excessive influence over the natural resource that powers the world's industrial base.

"Would those women protesting in Aspen prefer that Saddam Hussein control the oil instead "” is that morally better?" asks Michael Mandelbaum, the Johns Hopkins foreign policy expert and author of "The Ideas That Conquered the World." "Up to now, Saddam has used his oil wealth not to benefit his people, but to wage war against all his neighbors, build lavish palaces and acquire weapons of mass destruction."

This is a good point, but the Bush team would have a stronger case for fighting a war partly for oil if it made clear by its behavior that it was acting for the benefit of the planet, not simply to fuel American excesses.

I have no problem with a war for oil "” if we accompany it with a real program for energy conservation. But when we tell the world that we couldn't care less about climate change, that we feel entitled to drive whatever big cars we feel like, that we feel entitled to consume however much oil we like, the message we send is that a war for oil in the gulf is not a war to protect the world's right to economic survival "” but our right to indulge. Now that will be seen as immoral.

And should we end up occupying Iraq, and the first thing we do is hand out drilling concessions to U.S. oil companies alone, that perception would only be intensified.

And that leads to my second point. If we occupy Iraq and simply install a more pro-U.S. autocrat to run the Iraqi gas station (as we have in other Arab oil states), then this war partly for oil would also be immoral.

If, on the other hand, the Bush team, and the American people, prove willing to stay in Iraq and pay the full price, in money and manpower, needed to help Iraqis build a more progressive, democratizing Arab state "” one that would use its oil income for the benefit of all its people and serve as a model for its neighbors "” then a war partly over oil would be quite legitimate. It would be a critical step toward building a better Middle East.

So, I have no problem with a war for oil "” provided that it is to fuel the first progressive Arab regime, and not just our S.U.V.'s, and provided we behave in a way that makes clear to the world we are protecting everyone's access to oil at reasonable prices "” not simply our right to binge on it.



Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company


Now is the time to make real the promises of Democracy.


[This message was edited by MBM on September 10, 2003 at 01:28 PM.]

© MBM

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That, AQ, is because I wholeheartedly agree that this war talk is being put forth for a reason other than to "disarm" Saddam. Whether the real reasons are oil related or ideological in nature (another argument I've heard that makes a lot of sense; I'll post on it when I get a chance), the fact remains that I'm sure Bush and Co. are lying, and it's transparent and really outrageous, IMO. I guess you haven't read my posts on Iraq in other threads.

Missed you too!
VOX and AQ,

There are numerous schools of thought that encompass both the strategic and tactical reasons we plan to wage war against Iraq. The main reason we were over there the first time was strategic in nature--prevent the Iraqis from capturing/controlling Saudi Arabia. When we eveicted the Iraqi Army from Kuwait and sent them back to Bagdad, we accomplished that objective so we stopped prosecuting the war.

The reasons we are waging a war this time include: halting nuclear proliferation by the Iraqis and the threat that poses to Isreal, our Middle Eastern ally; the whole oil control thing; to dethrone Saddam in order to heal his father's bruised ego; to deter terrorism (since Iraq is a big $ supporter of terrorism); flex our muscles for the world. These are just some of my own personal thoughts on the issue.

You are right, Korea is our greatest threat and we do not want to get decisively engaged with them at this point unitl we can get enough forces in that theater to deter the threat they pose.

The fact of the matter is the president has four tools he can use to influence foreign policy which are diplomacy, information, military and economic pressure.
761tank,

I agreed with you that korea is the greatest threat, but since we are sending the bulk of our forces to the middle east it doesn't seem like we are to serious about trying to challenge the North Koreans at this time. They probably know just like we know ourselves that we can't fight a war on two fronts like we did during WWII.
Jazzdog,

You bet your tail we cant fight two major conflicts at once. We have downsized so much that our ability to flex our muscles globally has been significantly affected. Additional missions like Africa, Bosna, Kossovo, Indonesia and others have served to stretch us out even thinner. Bottom Line is we dont want to fight Korea because it could start another World War. I am so mad at some of our so-called allies. Some of them are selling nukes, chem, etc to our enemies on the black market, even after we are providing aid to help get there countries stabilized. Korea is dangerous because of the likelihood that China and others would get involved.
761Tank, just go ahead and say Russia. Because they are definitely one of those so-called allies who are selling nukes. They have their own problems with the Chechyens. I think that a good indicator of what they will do to us if we cross them is what they did to the Chechyen rebels and 120 civilians a few months ago. I don't think China will get involved with the Korea thing, they have trade relations at stake.
Besides the N. Koreans are saying that all they wanted was normalized trade with the West so that their people could eat instead of starve. Now that thousands upon thousands are starving there it makes their gov't and our gov't look bad. Us for not granting the N. Koreans request to normalize trade and them for choosing to build up nuclear capabilities and let the people starve.
I agree that the military is too thin and that even though we don't want it, when we go to war the draft will most likely be activated. Right now they are calling up reservists to active duty and putting active military on stop-loss. While I was in my job fell under stop-loss. They just released us from that last year and from what I understand that it will be implemented again very soon. Thank god my enlistment was up before they started that again.

You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom.
Malcolm X, 1965
Can it get any clearer than this that this war is about oil?

From The Observer

US buys up Iraqi oil to stave off crisis

Seizing reserves will be an allied priority if forces go in

Faisal Islam and Nick Paton Walsh in Moscow
Sunday January 26, 2003
The Observer

Facing its most chronic shortage in oil stocks for 27 years, the US has this month turned to an unlikely source of help - Iraq.
Weeks before a prospective invasion of Iraq, the oil-rich state has doubled its exports of oil to America, helping US refineries cope with a debilitating strike in Venezuela.

After the loss of 1.5 million barrels per day of Venezuelan production in December the oil price rocketed, and the scarcity of reserves threatened to do permanent damage to the US oil refinery and transport infrastructure. To keep the pipelines flowing, President Bush stopped adding to the 700m barrel strategic reserve.

But ultimately oil giants such as Chevron, Exxon, BP and Shell saved the day by doubling imports from Iraq from 0.5m barrels in November to over 1m barrels per day to solve the problem. Essentially, US importers diverted 0.5m barrels of Iraqi oil per day heading for Europe and Asia to save the American oil infrastructure.

The trade, though bizarre given current Pentagon plans to launch around 300 cruise missiles a day on Iraq, is legal under the terms of UN's oil for food programme.

But for opponents of war, it shows the unspoken aim of military action in Iraq, which has the world's second largest proven reserves - some 112 billion barrels, and at least another 100bn of unproven reserves, according to the US Department of Energy. Iraqi oil is comparatively simple to extract - less than $1 per barrel, compared with $6 a barrel in Russia. Soon, US and British forces could be securing the source of that oil as a priority in the war strategy. The Iraqi fields south of Basra produce prized 'sweet crudes' that are simpler to refine.

On Friday, Pentagon sources said US military planners 'have crafted strategies that will allow us to secure and protect those fields as rapidly as possible in order to then preserve those prior to destruction'.

The US military says this is a security issue rather than a grab for oil, after a 'variety of intelligence sources' indicated that Saddam planned to damage or destroy his oil fields - which would inflict up to $30bn damage on the US economy and cause irreparable environmental damage.

But the prospect of British and US commandos claiming key oil installations around Basra by force has pushed global oil diplomacy into overdrive. International oil companies have been jockeying position to secure concessions before 'regime change'.

Last weekend a Russian delegation flew to Baghdad to patch up relations after Iraq's cancellation of its five-year-old contract to develop the huge West Qurna oil field - worth up to $600bn at today's oil price. Lukoil was punished by Baghdad for negotiating with the US and Iraqi exiles on keeping its concession in a post-Saddam Iraq.

The delegation of Ministers and oil executives returned to Moscow with three signed contracts. Oil is the state budget's lifeblood, and Russia requires an oil price of at least $18. Russians fear a US grip on a large reserve of cheap oil could send prices tumbling.

But Saddam has offered lucrative contracts to companies from France, China, India and Indonesia as well as Russia.

It is only the oil majors based in Britain and America - now the leading military hawks - that don't have current access to Iraqi contracts.

Richard Lugar, the hawkish chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, suggests reluctant Europeans risk losing out on oil contracts. 'The case he had made is that the Russians and the French, if they want to have a share in the oil operations or concessions or whatever afterward, they need to be involved in the effort to depose Saddam as well,' said Lugar's spokesman.

A delegation of senior US Republicans was in Moscow last Tuesday trying to persuade Kremlin officials and oil companies that a war in Iraq would not compromise their concessions. A leaked oil analyst report from Deutsche Bank said ExxonMobil was in 'pole position in a changed-regime Iraq'.

Washington is split along hawk-dove lines about the role of oil in a post-Saddam Iraq. Two sets of meetings sponsored by the State Department and Vice-President Dick Cheney's staff have been attended by representatives of ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, ConocoPhilips and Halliburton, the company that Cheney ran before his election.

The dovish line, led by Colin Powell, places the emphasis on 'protection' of Iraq's oil for Iraq's people. His State Department has pointed to a precedent in the US interpretation of international law set in the 1970s. Then, when Israel occupied Egypt's Sinai desert, the US did not support attempts to transfer oil resources.

While the State Department is mindful of cynical world opinion about US war aims, officials do not always stick to the script. Grant Aldonas, Under Secretary at the US Department of Commerce, said war 'would open up this spigot on Iraqi oil which certainly would have a profound effect in terms of the performance of the world economy for those countries that are manufacturers and oil consumers'.

The US economy will announce zero growth this week, prolonging three years of sluggish performance. Cheap oil would boost an economy importing half of its daily consumption of 20m barrels.

But a cheaper oil price could have been reached more easily by lifting sanctions and giving the US oil majors access to Iraq's untapped reserves.

Instead, war stands to give control over the oil price to 'new Iraq' and its sponsors, with Saudi Arabia losing its capacity to control prices by altering productive capacity.

Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Defence Secretary, and Richard Perle, a key Pentagon adviser, see military action as part of a grand plan to reshape the Middle East.

To this end, control of Iraqi oil needs to bypass the twin tyrannies of UN control and regional fragmentation into Sunni, Shia and Kurdish supplies. The neo-conservatives plan a market structure based on bypassing the state-owned Iraqi National Oil Company and backing new free-market Iraqi companies.

But, in the run-up to war, the US oil majors will this week report a big leap in profits. ChevronTexaco is to report a 300 per cent rise. Chevron used to employ the hawkish Condoleezza Rice, Bush's National Security Adviser, as a member of its board.

Five years ago the then Chevron chief executive Kenneth Derr, a colleague of Rice, said: 'Iraq possesses huge reserves of oil and gas - reserves I'd love Chevron to have access to.'

If US and UK forces have victory in Iraq, the battle for its oil will have only begun.

God has told you, O man and woman, what is good; and what does the SOVEREIGN ONE require of you but to do justice, and to be compassionate, and to walk humbly with your God?
I live to be right! Big Grin I've been saying this for a while now. That's why you can't trust this administration. broscream

Our people have made the mistake of confusing the methods with the objectives. As long as we agree on objectives, we should never fall out with each other just because we believe in different methods, or tactics, or strategy. We have to keep in mind at all times that we are not fighting for separation. We are fighting for recognition as free humans in this society
Malcolm X, 1965
In the sense that the war(s) on Hussein were an effort to prevent hussein from dominating and controlling the world's oil as he has obviously expressed his desire to do so, then yes, it was a war to 'protect' the world's oil reserves from being monopolized by a rogue dictator.

But no mbm, Friedman is a fruitcake, and the ignorance regarding Korea is truly amazing considering you were presumed a 'thinking' individual mbm. (thats right, I'm not letting you hide behind friedman)

Again, I will simplify the language in an attempt to educate the lowest common denominator, since we apparently need to do so here. ANY war with N Korea, whether it victorious or not, ensures that Seoul Korea is hit with a barrage of artillery and troops unseen since world war II. Seoul is within artillery range of the North, as has been detailed about a million times now. If the US, or S Korea were to attack N Korea in any way, its a forfeit of at least a million S Korean lives in the first few hours.

And I haven't even touched upon the fact that the North Koreans are FAR FAR FAR stronger militarily than saddam was, and that CHINA has been N Koreas strong ally, and more pointedly the 'puppetmaster' of N Korea for over 50 years now. You want to war with China too mbm?

Any of that getting through to you yet?

The two situtations resemble each other in NO way. N Korea is FAR more delicate and difficult, and its amazing that anyone, such as you mbm, could remain ignorant of this even today. If the North indeed has nukes, and saddam did not, you mean to tell me you see NO difference between the two???? You think we should amass our troops on the border, like with saddam, so that one nuke can take them all out? You are aware that nuclear bombs 'blow up' arent ya?

God almighty, what would you have America do? Don't you think S Korea has any say in any of this? I mean, even the 'layperson' should recognize the dilemma of dealing with N Korea.

In addition, the attack on saddam was to prevent the very same dilemma we find with N Korea. Would it not have been a better situtation to have prevented N Korea from building Nuclear bombs in the first place, as we have now ensured with saddam? Why would you not understand thats part of why saddam was targeted? And why would you not look back at who was responsible for the N Korea mess in the first place, namely the first black president, Billybob Clinton?

Ignorance abounds. Amazing.

[This message was edited by sergeant on September 12, 2003 at 11:02 AM.]


[This message was edited by sergeant on September 12, 2003 at 11:08 AM.]
SERGEANT, SO GLAD TO SEE YOU BACK WITH YOUR UNIQUE TAKE ON THE WORLD! Roll Eyes

First of all, in this thread I've made NO comments about anything other than saying that Friedman's article is interesting. Your comments directed to me are therefore, presumably, indicative of either your inability to read or some personal hang-up that you may suffer from. Either way - you should get help! winkgrin

That said, do you remember the Bush Doctrine and what that is all about? It's about PREEMPTING threats. The fact remains that NK is a FAR more serious threat to the US, obviously. Despite this threat, we choose to negotiate there instead of dropping bombs, as in Iraq. Only a fool is blind to the inconsistency in that. Is the purpose of the Bush Doctrine to only apply when preempting threats from countries that pose no real threat?

The threshold of threat in Iraq was such that it required us to send in American troops to topple a government and occupy a country. We KNOW that NK represents a FAR GREATER threat to us - yet we negotiate. And not only are we negotiating, we take a regional/bi-lateral approach to it by bringing in allies SK, Japan, China, and Russia to help us. Why the extraordinary double standard? It really calls into question our approach in Iraq - now doesn't it?

Further, your analogy about SK is patently ridiculous. DOES AMERICA HAVE A CLOSER RELATIONSHIP WITH SOUTH KOREA THAN ISRAEL????? Are you seriously suggesting that we are MORE concerned about the repercussions of our actions against SK than ISRAEL???? If the US was supposed to be so threatened by Iraq's WMD what must that have said about the threat to Israel? Despite that threat, we moved ahead in Iraq now didn't we?

Time to go back to hibernating or whatever you were doing!

rotflmao rotflmao rotflmao rotflmao rotflmao


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela


[This message was edited by MBM on September 12, 2003 at 11:39 AM.]
That was the expected response mbm, thats why I clarified that at least for me, it would not suffice for you to hide behind an article that YOU posted here. Don't play that I didn't say it nonsense, you KNOW you support most that silly article, else why post it at all. And Friedman is notorious for being a nitwit.

Lets see, 12 full years of UNITED NATIONS resolutions, negotiations, meetings, and sometimes threats and clinton had ALREADY installed the SANCTIONS, thats WORLD multilateralism AGAINST what saddam was doing for 12 whole years, and you are asking why no 'regional' approach with saddam????? Have you lost your senses man?

Seems to me ALL players knew that once negotiations and resolutions had failed, and even economic sanctions being imposed, the only remaining option was to issue force. Tell me mbm, in your view, what comes 'after' the 12 years of diplomacy, 12 years of UN resolutions, and then actual imposed economic and strategic sanctions? I'd really like to hear that. Are you suggesting the whole process should have been started over again or something? Another 12 years maybe?? Puhleeezzeeee.....

And fact is North Korea HAS, or claims to HAVE, nuclear weapons already. It would be kind of hard to pre-empt something that has ALREADY occurred.

And you are within a very small minority of people who believe there was no threat with saddam handing off bio and chem agents to terrorists. I think recent events in Iraq point out how fluid and numerous the terrorist presense both within and surrounding Iraq obviously were. Only a fool would gamble their children's futures on saddam not pursuing a relationship, or a single connection, with terrorists who shared his hatred, although one has the right to blindness I suppose.

So, you think it accidental that there was that HUGE terrorist training camp in north central Iraq who engaged the troops in bloody battle, that is before they cowardly ran away like the cowards they all are?

Well I'd think some if not most of us CAN connect dots when we see them. Come now, surely you don't believe there was no relationship between saddam and the thousand terrorists at that camp just a thousand clicks to the north, not to mention a few in outlying Bahgdad itself?

Remember that plane that was used to train hijackers? That sound innoculous to ya? Remember the Iraqi intelligence meeting with Atta? How about the terrorists captured in Baghdad, one of the most sought terrorists in the world was found in Baghdad. I mean, just how long you had that problem with 'selective' memory. The evidence so far has been overwhelming.

Sorry, but it would appear its YOU who has trouble reading. If one does 'not' negotiate with North Korea, one either attacks or waits to be attacked. I just finished pointing out the dilemma involved in any response to N Korea, with or without nuclear weapons. Please re-read that post, it is quite obvious that North Korea bears no simularity to Iraq. The brilliant strategic and tactical war just fought in Iraq would not be appropriate at all in a fight with North Korea. North Korea is a much more serious matter, and THAT IS a REASON to attempt diplomatic and regional leverage first. Its only been a little over one year that we've had the nuke issue with N Korea, as opposed to 12 years of world resolutionsand sanctions on Iraq. I think we should spend a little more time on peaceful resolution, don't you?

One size definately does not fit all in foreign policy, or at least it shouldn't.


In addition, its not the US that is so threatened by North Korea, its more a problem for S Korea, Japan, and the region. And that is why the REGION should definately be brought in to resolve the issue, especially China. And the negotiations so far have been brilliantly executed, China is for the first time trying to 'settle' a dispute rather than begin one. Thats very important to both China and the world, as China grows and seeks to find its place as a more important economic and world player.

History may likely recall this move by China as a significant turning point in China's maturity and diplomatic reach as a nation, as it gets the chance to assume greater regional responsibility and seeking peaceful resolution, perhaps for the first time in recent memory.

Can't imagine a better way to have handled that one so far.

As far as the American relationship to S Korea, I can tell you greatly underestimate the ties. Not only did we fight a war FOR S Korea at the cost of tens of thousands of lives, but we maintain, for 53 years now, the largest US Army division in the world there, 2nd Division. I'd say that represents how closely the US is tied to the Korean relationship, wouldn't you?

Tell me, how many troops do we station in Israel? So, lets try to keep the conversation a little closer to things you actually know about, alright.

You have mistaken for a double standard, simple common sense. Noone in their right mind, except maybe Bubba Clinton, would handle the two nations in the same way. Just would be ridiculously foolish to do so. Lets recognize good diplomacy and foreign policy when we see it, alright. It doesn't come round often enough as it is.

Imagine, I can hibernate and STILL hand out a historical and political whuppin on you. Maybe you need some rest yourself!

Good talking at you MBM, hope all is well elsewise.

[This message was edited by sergeant on September 13, 2003 at 01:43 PM.]


[This message was edited by sergeant on September 13, 2003 at 01:56 PM.]


[This message was edited by sergeant on September 13, 2003 at 02:06 PM.]


[This message was edited by sergeant on September 13, 2003 at 02:11 PM.]


[This message was edited by sergeant on September 13, 2003 at 02:19 PM.]
quote:
Originally posted by sergeant:

I think recent events in Iraq point out how fluid and numerous the terrorist presence both within and surrounding Iraq obviously were. Only a fool would gamble their children's futures on saddam not pursuing a relationship with terrorists, although one has the right to blindness I suppose.


So, who was the greater terrorist threat, Iraq or Saudi Arabia? Let's see, where's Osama Bin Laden from? Where were most of the 9/11 terrorists from? Bush holds hands with SA yet overruns a country that we have been "patrolling" and "inspecting" since 1991? Huh? Confused

quote:
Well some of us CAN connect dots.


Why is it that apparently you can only connect Iraqi dots?

quote:
The evidence so far has been overwhelming.


There has always been far greater evidence about Saudi complicity in violence and terrorism than an emasculated Iraq.

quote:
If one does 'not' negotiate, one either attacks or waits to be attacked.


Thank you for clarifying the finer points of the Bush Doctrine. I get it now. winkgrin

quote:
I just finished pointing out the dilemma involved in any response to N Korea, with or without nuclear weapons. Please re-read that post, it is quite obvious that North Korea bears no similarity to Iraq.


You're absolutely right! If the threat to Iraq was, say, a 5 - the threat from North Korea is probably a 9. A 5 causes us to invade a country. A 9 causes us to be diplomatic. Shouldn't diplomacy precede warfare, or has Bush rewritten basioc logic too?

quote:
North Korea is a much more serious matter, and THAT IS why they are being dealt with diplomatically for now, one size definitely does not fit all in foreign policy, or at least it shouldn't.


One size doesn't fit all huh? What's the Bush Doctrine about then?

quote:
In addition, its not the US that is so threatened by North Korea, its more a problem for S Korea, Japan, and the region.


Do you know NK has warheads that have the capability of reaching the West Coast of the United States? That's not a serious enough threat for you?

quote:
And that is why the REGION should definitely be brought in to resolve the issue, especially China.


Brilliant analysis! Why doesn't it apply to the Middle East where we have marched primarily alone and in the face of overwhelming international opposition?

quote:
History may likely recall this move by China as a significant turning point in China's maturity and reach as a nation, assuming greater regional responsibility and seeking peaceful resolution, perhaps for the first time in recent memory. Can't imagine a better way to have handled that one so far.


sleep Oh, sorry, did you say something?

quote:
As far as the American relationship to S Korea, I can tell you greatly underestimate the ties. Not only did we fight a war FOR S Korea at the cost of tens of thousands of lives, but we maintain, for 53 years now, the largest US Army division in the world there, 2nd Division. I'd say that represents how closely the US is tied to the Korean relationship, wouldn't you?


You've absolutely lost your mind if you contend that our relationship with SK is stronger than ours with Israel! You forfeit any credibility you might have had with that statement.

BTW - we went into Korea and stayed there not because we love 'kim che' - but because of a ridiculous theory about communism growing throughout the world. That's what also got us into the extraordinary mess called Viet Nam.

quote:
Tell me, how many troops do we station in Israel?


Tell me, how many nuclear warheads do we have in SK? I guarantee you that Israel has received far more military aid and support from us than SK.

quote:
You have mistaken for a double standard, simple common sense. Noone in their right mind, except maybe Bubba Clinton, would handle the two nations in the same way.


So, war was the only feasible option in Iraq? Is that what you are saying? Confused

quote:
Imagine, I can hibernate and STILL hand out a historical and political whuppin on you.


rotflmao rotflmao rotflmao rotflmao rotflmao


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela
"who was the greater terrorist threat, Iraq or Saudi Arabia"

Saudi government was and is not believed to be stockpiling chem, bio, or nuke agents, nor producing long range missles, now are they. The Saudi government has not invaded its neighbor nations, nor has there been 12 years and 19 UN resolutions against the Saudi government. Its the WEAPONS and the ACTIONS that were the danger, terrorists without lethal weapons are pimples on the world's ass. Its hardly even comparable mbm. But I sense your war monger anti saudi sentiment, and respect your view.

"Why is it that apparently you can only connect Iraqi dots?"

Sorry, that makes no sense to me at this point. I could have sworn I heard liberals using that phrase around 9/11 though??? Funny, they consistently don't seem to want to actually do that themselves however. Guess it was just more political posturing, eh.

"There has always been far greater evidence about Saudi complicity in violence and terrorism than an emasculated Iraq"

NO. Thats wholly incorrect. First off, news of Saudi complicity BEGINS pretty much with 9/11 as does the issue of terrorism. More importantly there were never 12 years of UN resolutions against Saudi. NEVER.


"Shouldn't diplomacy precede warfare, or has Bush rewritten that law too?"

Yes, we are in total agreement thats how Bush should proceed. Its only been a year since the N. Korean revelation. Diplomacy is correct, especially in light of the situation.


"Do you know NK has warheads that have the capability of reaching the West Coast of the United States?"

Yes, I have heard the claim. And I've always been informed its a fifty fifty proposition due to poor technology. But even that changes nothing. What would YOU propose, amassing US troops on the N Korean border to make it easier for N korean nuclear strikes?

You think the US should gamble with a first strike, and have the left coast run for 'fallout shelters' or something? Seriously, what do you propose be done, you really think we should attack North Korea tomorrow? Doesn't even make sense to me at this point.

"Why doesn't it apply to the Middle East where we have marched primarily alone and in the face of overwhelming international opposition?"

YES, now you are getting closer. The FACT that saddam had no friends in the region, and noone with any leverage over him is very true. And the FACT that the region is, and generally has been, neglected and generally chaotic for so long IS THE REASON for trying to promote a positive change right dab in the middle of the middle east.

Yeah, its bold, but 9/11 was the wakeup call that we needed do something besides ignoring the middle east and its despair and turmoil. Why do you think Iran and Syria are so fearful of US success in Iraq? Can't you see its because their dictators and religious leaders and zealots there are fearful of their own people following Iraq's example and acquiring a desire for freedom and democracy themselves? I mean, does this really need be pointed out to any grown person? Lordy.

"I guarantee you that Israel has received far more military aid and support from us than SK."

NO, EXACTLY wrong. How many Israeli cars, ships, and electronics have you seen lately? The upkeep of an entire army division, the largest of the US, and the marines and navy bases in Okinawa, and several air bases all around the peninsula, trade agreements left and right, all this makes the Israeli assistance look like chump change. That was truly an uninformed statement mbm.

"So, war was the only feasible option in Iraq? Is that what you are saying?"

No. what I'm saying is that it was the right thing to do, both for the Iraqis and your children's futures. Bold yes, costly yes, but the people of the region deserve to be set free from the grips of fanatical tyrants and terrorists, and the world should not have a festering wound of terrorists and dictatorships just ignored by the world community, who obviously would end up paying in blood eventually. You want to fix the middle east? Set down a strong democracy right in the middle of it, and let the region SEE with their own eyes what freedom and democracy can do for people.

History will view the attempt, whether successful or not, as a bold humane effort to finally come to grips with the problems in the region. I am literally thrilled that such a bold and historical undertaken is being attempted. Its long overdue.

Now, what was YOUR solution to the problems in the middle east and terrorists acquiring massive lethal weapons? Your saying just wait another dozen years or so? I personally think the wait is over, its now or never. Its worth the effort because the people there, and all over the world, are worth the effort.

Now, I've answered what you've asked.

Time for you to COME CLEAN MBM. Tell us why you think Bush should just attack North Korea today and forget negotiation, despite their nukes and huge heavily armoured military, and despite the million or so who would die in the South. And if you do not think so, then why are you arguing a point you don't even believe?

Silliness.....

[This message was edited by sergeant on September 13, 2003 at 03:05 PM.]


[This message was edited by sergeant on September 13, 2003 at 03:09 PM.]
quote:
Originally posted by sergeant:

Now, what was YOUR solution to the problems in the middle east and terrorists acquiring massive lethal weapons?


First I'd execute a saner Middle East policy that was far more balanced than the overwhelmingly pro-Israeli approach we've traditionally had. I'd treat the Arab world as partners, and with much more respect than we generally have.

Second, money and trade have a way of making friends - even the most unlikely ones. I'd actually INVEST in Arab countries - beyond just buying oil.

Third, I'd collaborate with Arab nations to increase our intelligence capacity there. Knowing that fundamentalism is a reality, I'd work with Arab partners to stay on top of the threat to a greater degree than we have traditionally.

Fourth, I'd INVEST in our national security. Bush's tax cuts and deficit spending have gutted states' ability to fight terrorism. I'd reorder our national priorities so that we could fund local anti-terrorist and security efforts and therefore sleep better at night.

Fifth, I'd become a better world citizen. Without compromising American objectives, I'd participate in the United Nations with the world as opposed to against it.

quote:
Your saying just wait another dozen years or so? I personally think the wait is over, its now or never. Its worth the effort because the people there are worth the effort.


So was Iraq about Saddam and WMD's or about freeing the Iraqi people? Which is it? Roll Eyes

quote:
Tell us why you think Bush should just attack North Korea today, despite their nukes and huge heavily armoured military, and despite the million or so who would die in the South.


Quite the contrary, I think Bush should have continued to use diplomacy in Iraq? If we waited 12 years, WHY NOW? What caused us to have to press the button now? Where was the "imminence" that required a military attack? What was worth the hundreds of American deaths and thousands of innocent Iraqi deaths?

Let's see . . . no WMDs, no link to 9/11, no effort to buy uranium from Niger, no nuclear weapons program . . . .

What was the war really about? And all the while Osama Bin Laden and Al Queda make fools of us and get stronger. The Taliban reconstitutes as we can't finish the job in Afghanistan and we create a quagmire in Iraq that sacrifices American kids on a daily basis. For what?


There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life
that is less than the one you are capable of living. - Mandela


[This message was edited by MBM on September 13, 2003 at 03:27 PM.]
"Why now?" Obviously, when it comes to terrorists getting weapons and the obvious hate and deprivation of so many, the better question is "WHAT ON EARTH ARE YOU WAITING FOR?"" Personally, when it comes to security of any type, NOW is always better than 'maybe someday' as you propose.

"First I'd execute a saner Middle East policy that was far more balanced than the overwhelmingly pro-Israeli approach we've traditionally had"

Oh, well thats just 'swell' mbm, good lord, whats that, right out the 'bureacratic non-speak jargon manual'??? I like to see you get support to give away freebies to Iran, who then turns around and produces nukes for ya. Brilliant.

I can see your not going to enlighten yourself today, and its not so important to me to force you to. We are all going to live to see what a democracy in Iraq is going to bring. And I'm sure I'll be telling yall then, 'see told ya so'. Of course, you'll think of more ways to twist and squirm your way into other headlights by then.

So, you'd work against the Israelis? I hear they got nukes too. Boy, you really want to fight someone big don't ya mbm. first n korea, then Israel. Hey, lets fight pakistan and india while you are at it.


"I'd collaborate with Arab nations to increase our intelligence capacity there."

Funny, since its your side who tends to CUT intelligence and military budgets so much, now you see the error in that. Fact is NOONE in history has done what you propose more than Bush. We've got more collaborative intelligence in that region today, and daily growing, than ever before in history. Must be hard agreeing with Bush for ya, huh.

You'd 'invest' in national security???? Tell us mbm, who generally CUTS national security budgets, and who has to come in and repair that damage historically? In my lifetime, I recall Reagan mending Carter's damage, and Bush now mending the clinton debacle.

Yeah, you'd invest, what a joke! You don't even like investing in the long range security of freeing the Iraqi people, let alone sound believable regarding 'defense spending'.

But lets say we can take you at face value. Which social programs would be cut in order to fund all this military spending you claim to favor???

tick tick tick..... getting pretty quiet.....
No, there has NEVER been a binding resolution against Israel in history, and there has been 19 against Iraq. Please, we must educate ourselves better.

A 'non-binding' resolution is simply an 'advisement' or an expression of 'opinion' by the UN body. Naturally, with so many arab nations in the UN, the votes for non-binding resolutions against Israel are there, and one or two have been issued for Israel. These have no forceful consequences, and are not 'threat-like' in any way.

However, a Binding resolution is one that is a DEMAND or ORDER from the UN to do this or that. The two are worlds apart in importance, and Israel has NEVER been demanded by the UN to do anything.

Its akin to asking any group of folks, do you want world peace? Most will vote yes (unless you are an islamic terrorist), and the body will agree that there SHOULD be world peace and will issue a resolution that says 'we believe there should be world peace'.

But, lets say theres a particular person or people who are disturbing the peace, creating hostility, and the same group of folks get together and say, no, we can't have that hostility. They vote that a binding resolution be drafted that says "STOP disturbing the peace or else"!

Thats a good analogy for the difference between the types of resolutions against Iraq and Israel. Many nations have been issued non-binding resolutions, fairly common.

You can also think of the condemnation of the US for not signing Kyoto. They might not like it, but they are hardly thinking of using force to for the US to sign. World of difference.
Threat is such a relative term SGT.

Threaten whom, what, when and how?

Short of paranoia and unsunstantiated links, the U.S. cannot demonstrate, has not demonstrated the threat... After all wasn't the war about UN violations.

An article informing about the so-called unsupported "double standard" regarding the binding vs. non-binding UN resolutions as they relate to Iraq vs. Israel says that, "Being a nuclear-armed power is not, by itself, a breach of international law." Well, in terms of THREAT, if a country actually possesses WMD & Nukes vs. a country regardless of legal compliance merely attempting to develop a program it's hard to call the latter a threat at all just because of a technicality in international law.
quote:
"Israel is thought to possess a large nuclear arsenal, about which it is not being open and honest *1, and this is provoking to its neighbours." *2

{{ LINK }}

All Bull or should I say BUSH-SH!T aside, the highlights in the quote about Israel above were the basis and exact principles of what the U.S. has called the Iraqi "threat"... Any justification or rationalization that Iraq was "more of a threat" just because it was not in compliance with "binding" resolutions is absurd.

I doubt any CONservative who are so much into law and order would argue that criminals should be let off the hook for serious crimes just because of technicalities in law that make prosecution of the criminal "non-binding"...

[b]By any objective analysis, Israel is ,threat wise, just as criminal as Iraq.
Did not Bush/Powell/etc. justify war with Iraq versions I & II by saying Iraq was:
  • a "threat" to its neighbors *2 and
  • trying to conceal it activities by not being forthcoming with its plans to seek production of WMD & Nukes *1??

Conservatives position on this is just evidence that there is a DOUBLE STANDARD. It hypocritical because they abandon cardinal ideas in their basic philosophy just forward their agenda.
Perhaps I am not as educated as I should be or at least by Segeant's standards.... I'll just use my common sense.

Frankly, I'm very uncomfortable with the fact that we have militarily stretched ourselves so much by invading Iraq. We chose to invade a country that we believed had wmd and was a serious threat to the US. Unfortunately, we were unable to build enough international support for the invasion.

NK admitted that they had wmd and has made it known that they will be willing to use them. Even if invading NK was not a logical option, shouldn't we have kept ourselves prepared for the possibility of a Korean war? This would have undoubtedly forced us to work more with the UN. It probably would have delayed the invasion, but honestly, would Saddam have used his wmd while the whole world was watching? That would have handed over to us all the support we needed....It would have justified a US led invasion. Personally, I would not have minded another 12 years of working with saddam if it would have delayed a war. Let's delay wars as long as possible.

Are we better off now? I don't feel better off. I feel like we are a sitting duck for even more attacks. The states are having trouble funding increased security needs, NK is still a threat and there is an even greater opposition to the US by the Arab countries. Terrorists will always find a way to get the resources that they need. Their determination is fueled by hate and oppression.

Since we truly cannot put a face on terrorism,
we have to work harder to protect ourselves. We also have to work harder at our negotiation skills.
Oh and another thing, I'm sure people will say that delaying the invasion of Iraq would have resulted in another 9/11. This could very well be true but, we do have to ask ourselves why other countries hate us so much. What are we doing to fuel their hatred? Is it because they are jealous of us or because we refuse to help them? Is it because we help countries that are under attack? I'm sure that everyone may have different opinions.... We should regularly ask ourselves, what could we have done differently in solving a particular problem. I don't know that we do that often enough.
Keylargo, you ask:
"What are we doing to fuel their hatred?"

And I ask YOU, what are YOU doing that is fueling their hatred and deserved of being savagely murdered for?

People tend to distance themselves from the hate of islamic terrorists, which is stupidity given the indiscriminate savageness of islamic terrorists that we've all seen with our own eyes. They have sworn their hate for all of us, and want to KILL every black american man, woman, and child. Thats just reality.

9/11 was the largest wholesale slaughter in any single day of black folks ever in US history, hundreds of innocent black people who never harmed anyone were viciously murdered for going to work that day. And with the advent of bio or chem or nuke weapons in their hands, they aren't going to seek targets out in suburbia, so guess who's inner city families are going to be hit the hardest?

And what have we really done to cause them to wish us all dead? Not a damn thing, they are WRONG and totally without souls.
quote:
9/11 was the largest wholesale slaughter in any single day of black folks ever in US history, hundreds of innocent black people who never harmed anyone were viciously murdered for going to work that day.

Damn!! I think you really need a break!!
(and while you're at it... CHECK YOUR FACTS or provide some proof of your aSSertion...)

You know... I went to school with a guy that thought he was a Black Russian during the Cold War when Reagan called the Soviet Union the Evil Empire and all that... Everybody knew he was mentally disturbed. And I think he knew too.

But you SGT??? I don't know if you'll ever know!
giveup
quote:
Originally posted by sergeant:
Keylargo, you ask:
"What are we doing to fuel their hatred?"

And I ask YOU, what are YOU doing that is fueling their hatred and deserved of being savagely murdered for?

People tend to distance themselves from the hate of islamic terrorists, which is stupidity given the indiscriminate savageness of islamic terrorists that we've all seen with our own eyes. They have sworn their hate for all of us, and want to KILL every black american man, woman, and child. Thats just reality.

And what have we really done to cause them to wish us all dead? Not a damn thing, they are WRONG and totally without souls.


But why do these Islamic terrorist exist and why do they target us? There has to be a reason. Some say they target Americans because we are responsible for the people we elect into office. So, is it us that they hate or our leaders and our foreign policies?

Are they just evil people that hate peace-as Bush puts it- and want to destroy all that opposes them? Well, that kind of describes the US at times. We go against all that oppose US policy.

So,it looks to me like a battle between two stubborn ideologies where innocent people on both sides die.
This is for fools who embrace right-wing propoganda just to feel closer to "dem gud white folk"

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Blix Says Iraq Probably Destroyed WMDs

ASSOCIATED PRESS

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Former U.N. chief weapons inspector Hans Blix believes that Iraq destroyed most of its weapons of mass destruction 10 years ago, but kept up the appearance that it had them to deter a military attack.

In an interview with an Australian radio station broadcast Wednesday, Blix said it was unlikely that the U.S and British teams now searching for weapons in Iraq would find more than some "documents of interest."

"I'm certainly more and more to the conclusion that Iraq has, as they maintained, destroyed all, almost, of what they had in the summer of 1991," Blix told Australian Broadcasting Corp. radio.

"The more time that has passed, the more I think it's unlikely that anything will be found."

Blix indicated he thought the U.S.-led coalition had backtracked on the issue of Iraq's weapons.

"In the beginning they talked about weapons concretely, and later on they talked about weapons programs. Maybe they'll find some documents of interest," he said.

Blix, who spent three years searching for Iraqi chemical, biological and ballistic missiles as head of the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, said Iraq might have tried to fool the United States into believing it had weapons of mass destruction over the years in order to deter attack.

"I mean, you can put up a sign on your door, 'Beware of the Dog,' without having a dog," he said from his home in Sweden.

The United States and its allies Britain and Australia invaded Iraq in May after saying Saddam Hussein's regime was developing nuclear arms as well as chemical and biological weapons.

However, a search by the U.S.-led Iraq Survey Group - which is made up of some 1,400 scientists, military and intelligence experts - has failed to uncover any weapons of mass destruction since the conflict ended.

President Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair have come under increasing pressure to prove that Iraq had a weapons of mass destruction.

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