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Vacating Hell: Iraq


Windu Chi
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Should the US leave Iraq?  

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  1. 1. Should the US leave Iraq?

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So, if we hadn't done all that, you are saying that Saddam's regime would have fallen on its own? I doubt it. He was way too oppressive and cruel for people to try against it.
The huge, insurmountable reason his people couldn't try to overthrow him was that they were crippled by our support of Saddam, then our economic sanctions against the Iraqi people, then our bombings. We made them DEPENDENT on him. End of story.

 

There has not been a case of an extremely repressive regime and the people rebelling against him and it succeeding. Or at least I don't know of one off the top of my head.
Of course there have been cases, many cases in fact. I pointed out two easily memorable ones in the post above yours, so please go back and read more carefully... and then I would advise you to go and learn more about world history from reputable, unbiased sources.

 

I understand your dislike of what we did during the cold war at times. I think we made some mistakes, including supporting Saddam. But we're responsible for what we've done, aren't we?
What do you mean "we're responsible for what we've done"? Since when has ANY US administration taken responsibility for US atrocities committed over the past six decades? Since when has the US provided financial compensation to ANY of its victims at a level proportionate to US crimes?

 

Nobody's taken responsibility.

 

And I think sanctions are appropriate tools to correct what we've done. I know why you dislike sanctions, and that's ebcause you believe they hurt the people and not the leader. They hurt the leader, trust me. They usually target items that the leaders want, such as weapons and high luxury goods (like the ones that have been placed on North Korea, as well as other ones). Humanitarian aid is given to the people.
Sigh. No Heavy, they DON'T hurt the leader, they HELP the leader. They make the people destitute and dependent upon the leader. We've SEEN it in action. We don't need hypothetical piffle about how it's an "appropriate tool", we've SEEN what it does to innocent people, we've seen it in Iraq. End of.
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What, "stop the economic sanctions, stop the bombings and send large wads of cash to democratising organisations and pro-human rights groups within Iraq" Isn't specific enough for you? It's hardly a "generalisation". It's practically a blueprint.

 

As for your claim that it wouldn't have "realistically worked"... Sheer

nonsense. Why wouldn't it have worked? There are many historical examples of oppressive regimes being overthrown through popular struggle throughout history. You've got the British being thrown out of India, Indonesia's overthrow of the horribly violent, US/UK supported Suharto regime... and many more. So why wouldn't it work in Iraq? Do you have ANY reasons to back this claim up? At all?

 

 

If you really think this would work you're fairly naive. England couldn't have kept India if it tried. 2 world wars in a quarter century and the rise of a bipolar US-USSR political landscape reduced England to a second rate world power. The Vietnamese kicked the French out of Indochina w/in a decade of WW2 ending, and not with non-violence for that matter. Even had the US/UK not supported SH in any way, there were still the Soviets and French, not to mention SH using Stalinesque tactics to control his regime. It is you that is mistaken. Apples and oranges. Iraq ain't India, it's probably arguable to what extent Suharto wasn't just shoved aside at the upper tiers of power by competitors. A more apt comparison would be NK and Iraq. If KJI can be moved aside by the paradigm you suggest, then that at least would be proof that you weren't indulging in wishful thinking. Still, the rub is that any "peaceful" organization would be given that kind of latitude required for your "non-violent" solution to take hold in thuggish dictatorships. Maybe Venezuela and Cuba should go on your list for non-violent "change".

 

Also, Hitler wasn't "Hitler" (ie the evil boogeyman of WW2 infamy) prior to 1938. Would have been interesting to see how the world would've turned out if the "give peace a chance in our time" crowd had NOT been in a position to screw up the world through wishful inaction. An ounce of prevention would no doubt have proven more palatable than kilotons of cure. How many might still be alive if Mao and Stalin had been stopped in their tracks? We'll never know, sad to say.....

 

BTW, "throwing $$ at a problem" is NO solution. I believe you've countlessly brought this up with regard to the current situation in Iraq. :p

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If you really think this would work you're fairly naive.
But once again, you've failed to provide any cogent reasons why it wouldn't work, Tot. You've just listed a lot of either incorrect or irrelevant things that do not support your assertions. And I'll go through them one by one.

 

England couldn't have kept India if it tried. 2 world wars in a quarter century and the rise of a bipolar US-USSR political landscape reduced England to a second rate world power.
Yes, England was a weakened power by 1946, but they were still comparitively more effective as an armed force and an international threat than Saddam's regime was following the first Gulf War. Iraqi military resources were positively crippled by decades of war, and the main thing... the MOST important thing keeping the Iraqi people from overthrowing their oppressive government... were US/UK sanctions and bombings. So what's your point? That a dictatorship has to be in a weakened state before people can effectively overthrow it? Perhaps so. But Saddam's regime WAS in a weakened state, throughout the nineties and up until our illegal and immoral invasion, therefore if we hadn't crippled the Iraqi public, they might well have overthrown Saddam.

 

So this argument hardly benefits you. If anything it benefits me more.

 

The Vietnamese kicked the French out of Indochina w/in a decade of WW2 ending, and not with non-violence for that matter.
And the US promptly began punishing said Vietnamese for such temerity!

 

But what are you trying to say, that oppressive occupying regimes can be overthrown from within by revolutionary violence? Of course they can. They can also be overthrown by non-violent methods. So which should we be encouraging, funding and striving for? Which is more conducive to peace and the preservation of life... and which is more moral? The latter, of course.

 

Even had the US/UK not supported SH in any way, there were still the Soviets and French, not to mention SH using Stalinesque tactics to control his regime.
You're attempting to imply that US/UK support for Saddam's atrocities made no meaningful difference... And that's just ludicrous. I mean, really. Take away the political and financial support of the world's number one superpower... and what do you get? A severely weakened dictator.

 

Furthermore, the fact that others do an immoral thing doesn't make it right, doesn't make it okay, in fact doesn't mitigate it AT ALL... when we also do it.

 

It is you that is mistaken. Apples and oranges. Iraq ain't India, it's probably arguable to what extent Suharto wasn't just shoved aside at the upper tiers of power by competitors.
Once again, formless nonsense. You state "Iraq wasn't like India or Indonesia!!" without providing any logical argument to show that the situation in Iraq was such that popular struggle would NOT have overthrown Saddam, had we not bludgeoned the Iraqi people with our sanctions and violence.

 

As for your comment regarding Suharto, it's just self-serving. Popular struggle brought pressure to bear on his autocratic regime. Without that popular struggle, the same pressure would not have been brought to bear, end of story.

 

A more apt comparison would be NK and Iraq. If KJI can be moved aside by the paradigm you suggest, then that at least would be proof that you weren't indulging in wishful thinking.
Whether Kim Jong Il is deposed by his people or not has ZERO bearing on the uncontested fact that common people can and HAVE overthrown evil dictators in the past. So this statement makes no salient point.

 

As for your contention that North Korea is comparable to Iraq under Saddam's rule... It's both self-serving and completely incorrect. Iraq's military was so crippled that it was no danger even to its neighbors following years of US bombings and sanctions. North Korea's government DOES still have sufficient military capacity to threaten its neighbors. Which is largely why the US/UK haven't invaded it, methinks. It's not weak and defenceless enough. Yet.

 

Still, the rub is that any "peaceful" organization would be given that kind of latitude required for your "non-violent" solution to take hold in thuggish dictatorships.
This makes no sense. Perhaps you're trying to say something about revolutionaries becoming evil dictators when they get into power... but you'll have to clarify.

 

Maybe Venezuela and Cuba should go on your list for non-violent "change".
Venezuela and Cuba? Hahahah. Cuba's not a bad place to live, despite years of US military, political and financial persecution they have quite a high average standard of living there, certainly one of the highest in the region. Cuba is not the ultimately evil bugbear that Fox news likes to make out. ;)

 

The US government has always hated Castro's Cuba because, and I quote from a declassified 1964 state department document, Castro: "represents a successful defiance of the United States, a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half." It's that simple. Venezuela's a similar story, not least because of the co-operation between the Chavez and Castro regimes.

 

Once again Tot, I encourage you to form your opinions using facts, rather than neo-con propaganda.

 

Also, Hitler wasn't "Hitler" (ie the evil boogeyman of WW2 infamy) prior to 1938. Would have been interesting to see how the world would've turned out if the "give peace a chance in our time" crowd had NOT been in a position to screw up the world through wishful inaction. An ounce of prevention would no doubt have proven more palatable than kilotons of cure.
Firstly, it's arguable that Hitler was guilty of boogeyman-esque war crimes when he assisted the Franco regime's massacres during the Spanish "civil war" (read: nazi atrocity exhibition) at least as early as 1937, which I think you'll agree is prior to 1938.

 

Secondly, I'm not sure what you're trying to say... are you trying to say that someone should have murdered Hitler when he was much younger, BEFORE he committed any of his crimes? Which is to say... are you implying that people should be punished because they might commit a crime in the future? (which was essentially the stated basis for the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq, in fact.)

 

BTW, "throwing $$ at a problem" is NO solution. I believe you've countlessly brought this up with regard to the current situation in Iraq.
Hmmm. Actually you'll find (if you actually READ any of my posts on Iraq) that I have repeatedly stated that we have NEVER put enough money into the rebuilding of Iraq. "Throwing money at the problem" might at the very least be an interesting change from what we've been doing, which is either "keeping most of the money for ourselves" or "losing quite a lot of the Iraqi people's money." ;)
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But once again, you've failed to provide any cogent reasons why it wouldn't work, Tot. You've just listed a lot of either incorrect or irrelevant things that do not support your assertions. And I'll go through them one by one.

You haven't said much beyond..If it worked here, there's no reason it couldn't work there. I don't have to prove that it wouldn't work, you have to prove that it would. Just citing what you think COULD happen is a meaningless and empty reply. Also, to quote you, self-serving.

Yes, England was a weakened power by 1946, but they were still comparitively more effective as an armed force and an international threat than Saddam's regime was following the first Gulf War. Iraqi military resources were positively crippled by decades of war, and the main thing... the MOST important thing keeping the Iraqi people from overthrowing their oppressive government... were US/UK sanctions and bombings. So what's your point? That a dictatorship has to be in a weakened state before people can effectively overthrow it? Perhaps so. But Saddam's regime WAS in a weakened state, throughout the nineties and up until our illegal and immoral invasion, therefore if we hadn't crippled the Iraqi public, they might well have overthrown Saddam. So this argument hardly benefits you. If anything it benefits me more.

Seriously, al, if this is the best you've got....it might've happened....then you still have nothing. And the argument benefits you only in a fantasy world. Besides, considering that they didn't overthrow SH at the end of the First Gulf War, when they might have had a chance before all those pesky sanctions, your argument is basically bupkiss.

And the US promptly began punishing said Vietnamese for such temerity!

Self-serving irrelevancy.

But what are you trying to say, that oppressive occupying regimes can be overthrown from within by revolutionary violence? Of course they can. They can also be overthrown by non-violent methods. So which should we be encouraging, funding and striving for? Which is more conducive to peace and the preservation of life... and which is more moral? The latter, of course.

You're sounding a lot like those silly people who say things like communism (for instance) doesn't work because WE (ie the self-deluded purveyors and disciples of the ideology in question) haven't tried it yet.

 

You're attempting to imply that US/UK support for Saddam's atrocities made no meaningful difference... And that's just ludicrous. I mean, really. Take away the political and financial support of the world's number one superpower... and what do you get? A severely weakened dictator.

Furthermore, the fact that others do an immoral thing doesn't make it right, doesn't make it okay, in fact doesn't mitigate it AT ALL... when we also do it.

Once again, you infer things that are not in someone else's statements. I know you've got a bug up your arse about asserting your overbearing sense of morality into every occasion, but quit reaching. To spell it out for you....take the US and GB out of the picture and you still have other powers who benefitted from SH's rule. Given that one of them was a superpower (the USSR, remember them?), it's foolish to assert like you do that SH would have easily been removed from power through the peaceful means that you blather on about constantly.

Once again, formless nonsense. You state "Iraq wasn't like India or Indonesia!!" without providing any logical argument to show that the situation in Iraq was such that popular struggle would NOT have overthrown Saddam, had we not bludgeoned the Iraqi people with our sanctions and violence.

Just a reminder, al, you're the one making the argument that it could work, but consistently fail to prove it. I don't have to prove a negative, remember. Besides, as you should well know, the middle east is full of dictatorships which are not overthrown by people who haven't been burdened with crippling sanctions. End of story.

Whether Kim Jong Il is deposed by his people or not has ZERO bearing on the uncontested fact that common people can and HAVE overthrown evil dictators in the past. So this statement makes no salient point.As for your contention that North Korea is comparable to Iraq under Saddam's rule... It's both self-serving and completely incorrect. Iraq's military was so crippled that it was no danger even to its neighbors following years of US bombings and sanctions. North Korea's government DOES still have sufficient military capacity to threaten its neighbors. Which is largely why the US/UK haven't invaded it, methinks. It's not weak and defenceless enough. Yet.

 

 

Yes, apt. Neither SH nor KJI (let alone his father) would have tolerated the interference you advocate allowing to take place. Given that it's easier to fold in the face of intimidation than stand up to it, it's unlikely your pipedream peace activist agenda would have been sown on anything other than rocky soil in either country. The only think self-serving so far has been the deluded contention that peaceful activism will ALWAYS work in the end. END OF STORY.

This makes no sense. Perhaps you're trying to say something about revolutionaries becoming evil dictators when they get into power... but you'll have to clarify.

 

Way off the mark here (par for the course, as always). I basically addressed this above.

 

 

Venezuela and Cuba? Hahahah. Cuba's not a bad place to live, despite years of US military, political and financial persecution they have quite a high average standard of living there, certainly one of the highest in the region. Cuba is not the ultimately evil bugbear that Fox news likes to make out.

 

The US government has always hated Castro's Cuba because, and I quote from a declassified 1964 state department document, Castro: "represents a successful defiance of the United States, a negation of our whole hemispheric policy of almost a century and a half." It's that simple. Venezuela's a similar story, not least because of the co-operation between the Chavez and Castro regimes.Once again Tot, I encourage you to form your opinions using facts, rather than neo-con propaganda.

 

Earth to al......aw nevermind, you're in your own little universe, billions and billions of LYs away. ;) If you think that Castro's Cuba or Chavez's Venezuela are great places, then you are deluded (remember, that's just merely a neutral term, so no derision......unless you're willing to concede that you use that term the same way you'll ascribe to me now. ;)) Frankly, I won't take your word for it, no offense. Your obsession with neo-cons is very telling.

 

 

Firstly, it's arguable that Hitler was guilty of boogeyman-esque war crimes when he assisted the Franco regime's massacres during the Spanish "civil war" (read: nazi atrocity exhibition) at least as early as 1937, *snarky comment snipped*

Secondly, I'm not sure what you're trying to say... are you trying to say that someone should have murdered Hitler when he was much younger, BEFORE he committed any of his crimes? Which is to say... are you implying that people should be punished because they might commit a crime in the future? (which was essentially the stated basis for the 2003 illegal invasion of Iraq, in fact.)

 

No, al. What I'm saying is that the spineless "peace in our time" proponents should have stood up to Herr Hitler as early as 1934-38 when he was busy openly defying the terms of Versailles. Reclaiming the Ruhr, annexing the Sudetenland and the Anschluss should have been the wake up call they needed to take another look at what he was trying to do. Given that he had spelled out in Mein Kampf what his intentions were, it would have been the equivalent of a no brainer. 1939-1945 was the result of their cowardice. How many had to die so that the craven and misguided peace crowd could have their moment in the sun? 50+ million. So much for the superior morality of the peacenik.

 

Hmmm. Actually you'll find (if you actually READ any of my posts on Iraq) that I have repeatedly stated that we have NEVER put enough money into the rebuilding of Iraq. "Throwing money at the problem" might at the very least be an interesting change from what we've been doing, which is either "keeping most of the money for ourselves" or "losing quite a lot of the Iraqi people's money."

 

Do you intentionally misinterpret people? You've griped about all the money wasted (from your pov) on Iraq and how it's such a mess. No doubt b/c the money was spent on the "illegal/immoral" war. The point is that throwing money at a problem is no solution, regardless of the desired outcome. Several examples of how throwing money at problems doesn't work are: sending lots of aid to corrupt african regimes in famine situations, only to watch it go to the warlords and corrupt govt bureaucrats; we spend tons of money in this country on education, higher than many countries on a per capita basis, yet consistently lag behind many nations when students are tested; and then there's the wars on poverty and drugs. No victory, just more poor people and more drugs in the streets. Sending and spending $$$ does not =success. BTW, I'm sure the Dems in congress will be disillusioned to find out that it's been Iraq's $$ (and not ours) that's been squandered. One less thing for them to lob at the current prez. ;)

 

 

Originally Posted by sa

If we were to discuss classical political principles, you'd probably find that I was simultaneously more conservative than you, as well as more liberal.

 

 

And vice versa, no doubt.... :rolleyes:

 

 

al....by definition, he will be more conservative in the areas where you are more liberal and vice versa. That was just sloppy (and immoral ;) )on your part. :tsk:

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You haven't said much beyond..If it worked here, there's no reason it couldn't work there.
That's quite correct, Tot. That, in fact, was exactly what I intended to say, it is all I NEED to say, and I have backed it up with plenty of logical evidence, historical examples, etcetera.

 

Dictators have been deposed by their own people in the past, this has WORKED in the past, there is no reason to believe it would NOT have worked in Iraq, had the Iraqi people not been starved and bombed into impotence by the US and UK. End of story.

 

I don't have to prove that it wouldn't work, you have to prove that it would.
Hah! attempts to shift the burden of proof aren't acceptable, Tot. You're supporting an immoral and illegal act of international aggression (the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq) that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and the lives of thousands of our own troops.

 

YOU are the one who has to demonstrate that less damaging means were SO unlikely to have worked that they weren't worth trying, in order to support your frankly weak position.

 

Those who advocate extreme violence in preference to other methods ALWAYS carry the burden of proof. ;)

 

Just citing what you think COULD happen is a meaningless and empty reply. Also, to quote you, self-serving.

...

Seriously, al, if this is the best you've got....it might've happened....then you still have nothing. And the argument benefits you only in a fantasy world.

Well that's just nonsense, Tot. Since we DID invade Iraq after battering its people into submission over the course of decades, we will never know with total certainty whether Saddam WOULD have been overthrown by his people. But it's certainly probable. After all, our sanctions were a major factor in strengthening his regime. And as stated above, you and your ilk carry the burden of proof, if you wish to defend an illegal and immoral invasion of a sovereign nation.

 

In short, my position on this matter is: "If one really wanted to depose Saddam and his regime, there were options available that would have been FAR less damaging to the Iraqi people than the US/UK invasion was. These options could well have worked, but were not explored in any meaningful way."

 

And your position seems to consist largely of: "We DID invade Iraq... so your ideas are pure fantasy only useful in a fantasy world therefore you lose!"

 

And frankly... what you're saying boils down to illogical nonsense.

 

Besides, considering that they didn't overthrow SH at the end of the First Gulf War, when they might have had a chance before all those pesky sanctions, your argument is basically bupkiss.
Eh? :confused: Tot, are we discussing the same "Iraq" here? As far as I'm aware, sanctions were imposed in 1990, before the start of the Gulf War.

 

Besides, for some significant period of time after the first Gulf war, the US was still actively supporting Saddam's regime, and foiling attempts to overthrow him. So even if your contention weren't based on a lack of knowledge of the topic (which it apparently was) it would still be erroneous.

 

For example, at the peace conference following cessation of hostilities in 1991, the coalition granted Saddam's regime the right to use attack helicopters within his own borders, without fear of US interference. These helicopters were subsequently used by Saddam's lot to massacre the Shi'ite uprising in the south of the country, resulting in thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of fatalities.

 

There's also the matter of the US blocking plans by rebel Iraqi generals to overthrow Saddam. The BBC reported the fact that in early 1991 these rebels requested US permission to launch attacks on Saddam's regime using captured Iraqi weaponry. They were- of course- refused any such permission, and- at least at Nasriyeh- were in fact disarmed by US forces.

 

I rather think that's QED on this point.

 

Self-serving irrelevancy.
What is irrelevant exactly, the point that the US government has a quite astonishing record of squashing popular freedom-fighting movements worldwide through the past fifty years? Come now Tot, don't slide into total denial.

 

You're sounding a lot like those silly people who say things like communism (for instance) doesn't work because WE (ie the self-deluded purveyors and disciples of the ideology in question) haven't tried it yet.

Well actually communism hasn't been tried by any major states, any more than democracy has.

 

However, your comment is totally irrelevant, because my earlier statement is frankly uncontestable. I stated: "But what are you trying to say, that oppressive occupying regimes can be overthrown from within by revolutionary violence? Of course they can. They can also be overthrown by non-violent methods. So which should we be encouraging, funding and striving for? Which is more conducive to peace and the preservation of life... and which is more moral? The latter, of course."

 

And of course non-violent methods have been tried. And they have succeeded. And of course they're more moral. And more peaceful...

 

Once again, you infer things that are not in someone else's statements. I know you've got a bug up your arse about asserting your overbearing sense of morality into every occasion, but quit reaching.

Childish and mildly profane nonsense Tot, I've never made incorrect inferences regarding your posts. Sadly the reverse is not true.

 

To spell it out for you....take the US and GB out of the picture and you still have other powers who benefitted from SH's rule. Given that one of them was a superpower (the USSR, remember them?), it's foolish to assert like you do that SH would have easily been removed from power through the peaceful means that you blather on about constantly.

Ah, the usual pattern: You accuse others (wrongly) of inferring things from your posts that they shouldn't... and then leap forward and completely misrepresent your opposition, putting words in their mouths and waving straw men around like there's no tomorrow.

 

I have NEVER asserted that "SH would have easily been removed from power through peaceful means". Who said anything about "easy"? Where did you get this nonsense from? Find a quotation that supports it. Go on.

 

The fact remains that the US/UK supported Saddam throughout his most grevious atrocities, and by this support, contributed greatly to his longevity as a brutal dictator. The removal of this support would have meant a massive reduction in Saddam's capabilities. We take responsibility for our actions, and the actions of the US and UK helped to create and maintain a violent, brutal war criminal in the seat of power in Iraq.

 

Just a reminder, al, you're the one making the argument that it could work, but consistently fail to prove it. I don't have to prove a negative, remember.
All I have to do is prove that it can work, Tot. And history shows that it can. As for you "having to prove a negative", Nobody's asking you to.

 

All you have to do to support your incredibly weak position (that our actions in Iraq were justified) is provide some reasons why you think alternative means (peaceful or not) should not have been tried FIRST.

 

Besides, as you should well know, the middle east is full of dictatorships which are not overthrown by people who haven't been burdened with crippling sanctions.
Many people in the Middle East are oppressed by their amoral governments/rulers. Some of whom also have US support. But what's your point? How does any of that relate to the fact that the US/UK supported a brutal dictator in Iraq for decades, before trashing the innocent populace of that nation? Answer: It doesn't.

 

Yes, apt. Neither SH nor KJI (let alone his father) would have tolerated the interference you advocate allowing to take place. Given that it's easier to fold in the face of intimidation than stand up to it, it's unlikely your pipedream peace activist agenda would have been sown on anything other than rocky soil in either country.
Tish and posh, it's DEMONSTRABLE that at several points in the past few decades, Saddam relied on US/UK support in order that he might commit his atrocities in quelling rebellion. A couple of examples have been cited above.

 

Plus, Tot... history is full of courageous people who are willing to stand up to intimidation rather than fold, and there are still many. Just because protest is difficult doesn't mean people aren't doing it. And there have always been revolutionary organisations even in the harshest conditions. So I don't think your contention holds water.

 

The only think self-serving so far has been the deluded contention that peaceful activism will ALWAYS work in the end.
Once again... Who has said anything of this sort? Have you been reading the same thread that I have? I certainly haven't seen anyone say "peaceful activism will ALWAYS WORK IN THE END RAAAH!!11" or anything close to it.

 

Please provide a quote. :)

 

Way off the mark here (par for the course, as always). I basically addressed this above.

Well since I'm still unable to decipher your earlier statement: "Still, the rub is that any "peaceful" organization would be given that kind of latitude required for your "non-violent" solution to take hold in thuggish dictatorships", it's hard to say whether you addressed it or not.

 

It doesn't make any kind of sense to me. Please rephrase and repost.

 

Earth to al......aw nevermind, you're in your own little universe, billions and billions of LYs away.
Childish...

 

If you think that Castro's Cuba or Chavez's Venezuela are great places, then you are deluded
Ah, well since I don't "think they're great places", I must not be deluded. I am however aware that they're better places than the neo-cons make them out to be, just as I'm aware that Castro and Chavez aren't the fire-breathing monsters that the neo-cons make them out to be.

 

(remember, that's just merely a neutral term, so no derision......unless you're willing to concede that you use that term the same way you'll ascribe to me now. ) Frankly, I won't take your word for it, no offense. Your obsession with neo-cons is very telling.
I think pretty much all the thinly veiled slights in this paragraph have been addressed before. As for "taking my word" that conditions in Cuba are some of the best in the region (despite characteristic economic terrorism on the part of the US government), you don't have to take my word for it. Just read some independent studies.

 

As of last year, Cuba's economic growth was apparently the highest in Latin America. In terms of healthcare, visits to the doctor and hospital care are free and of a high medical standard, the majority of prescription drugs are affordable to most Cubans, public contentment is reasonable, Castro's regime is still quite well regarded,... literacy runs at about 99% (which, truth be told is probably better than the functional literacy level in my own country) and the Cuban literacy program has been adopted by many other countries. The last I heard in about 2001, university education was state-funded, i.e: free.

 

What more can be said? Is Cuba perfect? No. Would I rather live there than in the UK? No.

 

The Cuban press cannot be defined as "a free press" and poverty is high. Certain imported drugs are too expensive for Cubans to afford with any regularity. But for myself I might go on holiday to Cuba. It's not an oppressive hell-hole. But then, I never thought it was. We just don't get the same level of anti-Cuba rhetoric in the UK as you do in the US.

 

What I'm saying is that the spineless "peace in our time" proponents should have stood up to Herr Hitler as early as 1934-38 when he was busy openly defying the terms of Versailles.

...

1939-1945 was the result of their cowardice. How many had to die so that the craven and misguided peace crowd could have their moment in the sun? 50+ million. So much for the superior morality of the peacenik.

Heh. In a move typical of those who support our illegal invasion of Iraq, you attempt to equate those who desire peace and justice with appeasers and cowards. It doesn't wash, Tot. People are more than the caricatured extremes you seem to wish to divide the world up into. It is not a case of being either a "cowardly peacenik" or a bloodthirsty warmonger. There are those, like myself (and most dissidents, frankly), who would happily engage in violence if it served some useful, moral purpose.

 

Should those who engage in international aggression be punished? Of course. Would it have been a really great idea to organise assasinations of the Nazi leadership as early as 1937? I think so. Does any of this apply to the situation in Iraq? Of course it doesn't, Unlike Germany in '37/'38, Iraq was no danger to anyone, no danger to its neighbors, no danger to us. Did our sanctions and bombings do any good for the Iraqi people? No. Did our invasion of Iraq in 2003 improve the lives of the Iraqi people? No.

 

Therefore, it's one example of aimless, self-interested violence that I'm NOT in favour of. And neither should you be.

 

Do you intentionally misinterpret people?
I've never misrepresented you. I wish the reverse were true.

 

You've griped about all the money wasted (from your pov) on Iraq and how it's such a mess. No doubt b/c the money was spent on the "illegal/immoral" war.
Eh? You're conflating two issues. The first issue is that our money (the public's money) was wasted on an illegal and immoral war. This is not "money spent on Iraq". It's money spent on DESTROYING Iraq, for the political gain of our rulers. I have indeed complained about this. (Not "griped", thank you very much.)

 

The second issue is that comparitively little money has been spent by us (the aggressors) on repairing the damage we did in Iraq. I would like to see some money "thrown" at THIS problem.

 

The point is that throwing money at a problem is no solution, regardless of the desired outcome.
Is this the best you can do? I say "we're not spending enough money on repairing the damage we did in Iraq", and you respond "throwing money at a problem is no solution". Please.

 

Suppose someone drives their car into the front of your house, and you take them to court to obtain damages. Would you be satisfied if the Judge dismissed your case on the basis that "throwing money at a problem is no solution"? We did the damage, we should pay for the repairs. And we should pay MORE than we have so far paid, and we should handle the money more intelligently and more MORALLY than we have so far. End of story.

 

Several examples of how throwing money at problems doesn't work are:...
Why exactly do you think that fumbling around for examples of how money has been mis-spent helps your case at all?

 

Here, let me give you another example of mis-directed, mis-handled money: The nine billion dollars from the Iraqi reconstruction fund lost by the American administration of said fund.

 

So what's your point? My point is that more money has to be spent, and it has to be better handled and morally directed.

 

al....by definition, he will be more conservative in the areas where you are more liberal and vice versa. That was just sloppy (and immoral ;) )on your part. :tsk:
Once again you expose the fact that you don't know what classical conservatism means. It's non-ideological, Tot. Classical conservatism and liberalism aren't mutually exclusive. I think the reason you're making this error is that what YOU know of as conservatism is a corrupted, state-capitalist sham, totally unrecognisable as conservatism in the classical sense.

 

Still, the same could be said of modern "liberalism." ;)

 

Furthermore, I fail to see how "immorality" comes into the equation as regards this paragraph. Even if your assertion were correct (which it is not). I think you're just throwing random accusations around now.

 

-

 

Long story short, a strong military alone cannot win politics for you but you cannot win without it.
Define a "strong military". I think we're all in favour of a well trained military force in our own nations. What I'm not in favour of is using that military force to butcher innocent Iraqis for no reason other than political gain for our ruling classes.
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You are in a debate forum. People are going to debate with you when they believe you are stating things that are not correct. In other words you stated America uses it's military force to butcher innocent Iraqis. I'm going to make this clear, prove it or STFU.

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You are in a debate forum. People are going to debate with you when they believe you are stating things that are not correct.
Didn't a moderator say that to you, not so long ago? How odd.

 

In other words you stated America uses it's military force to butcher innocent Iraqis.
I stated: "What I'm not in favour of is using that military force to butcher innocent Iraqis for no reason other than political gain for our ruling classes." which you'll note is different to what you just typed.

 

And I was referring to- among other atrocities- our invasion of Iraq in 2003, which caused untold DIRECT Iraqi civilian casualties... and of course indirectly has caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands more. I presume you don't dispute that these things happened? ;)

 

I'm going to make this clear, prove it or STFU
How emotional. As implied above, unless your contention is that our illegal and immoral invasion did NOT cause massive civilian deaths... it is already proven.
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You said that America used it's military to butcher innocent Iraqis. Not that the terrible colateral damage of a war that shouldn't have happened were caused by American forces, or the military was there to strike at Iraqi's army and the cost was far too high, no the direct quote was use it's military to butcher innocent Iraqis. Now I'm demanding that you provide evidence of this. If you cannot your statement is false.

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Hahaha... "the terrible collateral damage of a war that shouldn't have happened was caused by American forces" is the nice, friendly, pro-invasion way of putting it.

 

How I put it is: Before the 2003 invasion, a blind mongoose could have told you that such an invasion would result in massive civilian casualties. The US government knew it. But they invaded anyway, because it was in their political interests to do so. They knew those civilians would die, but they went ahead anyway.

 

That's murder. In ANYONE'S book, it's murder. So do I feel uncomfortable about using words like "butcher"? No. Hundreds of thousands of people dead? Shot, bombed and starved? That's butchery.

 

And as stated before, no further evidence is required. We DID invade, we DID kill hundreds of thousands of civilians both directly and indirectly. It happened, our governments are responsible... end of line.

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No, you put it that America "used it's military to butcher innocent Iraqis". We should never have gone into Iraq, just look at what happened. By your inferrence however you're saying that American soldiers were send to the town of Ab Nabi **** to kill the men, women and children who were unarmed. How about Normandy? Would that be classed as murder too?

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By your inferrence however you're saying that American soldiers were send to the town of Ab Nabi **** to kill the men, women and children who were unarmed.
You mean "implication". No, such a thing wasn't implied in my statements. You have inferred something that was not there in the text. Your problem, not mine. I will not respond to further misunderstandings on your part concerning the word "butcher". It's nothing personal, I just don't have the time to keep repeating myself anymore.
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When you come up with questions that I haven't answered seventeen times, you will get a new response. Until then... sorry, but it's not worth my effort to go around in any more circles with you- no matter how diverting- as I have in the past.

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Patton, Eisenhower, ect who planned Normandy knew how bad it was going to be, how many people were going to die, and they still went in. Given your statement that "Before the 2003 invasion, a blind mongoose could have told you that such an invasion would result in massive civilian casualties. The US government knew it. But they invaded anyway, because it was in their political interests to do so. They knew those civilians would die, but they went ahead anyway." I'll be generous and leave how valid much of that statement is alone, the point is clearly it does apply. So don't try and dodge the question, answer it.

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Ahh Nancy, if you genuinely can't see the difference between the situation in Europe in '44, in which heavily armed and still highly dangerous Nazi forces illegally occupied several other sovereign nations in Europe and were committing atrocities the scale of which had never been seen before in the history of the world,... and Iraq in 2003, a crippled, impoverished nation which the US government declared was no danger to ANYONE as early as 2001...

 

If you can't see the stark differences between these two invasions that render them incomparable, then my goodness, how are we supposed to have a meaningful debate? Answer: we can't.

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Saddam was a bug that needed to be stepped on, the people of Iraq can now have the freedom to think act and speak without fear of torture and death. But of course without that fear holding them back the country's fallen apart with war, not just America against Saddam, Sunnis against Shi'ites, Insurgents wanting to drive out the invaders and Al Qaeda rocking up to the party to kill them some Yankees. Is the country better off? Define better off, calm but living in fear and under tyranny or free and exploding in chaos. Both options suck, and Bush was a fool. If he was going to go against everybody anyway then he didn't need to go to war, a nice quiet assassination and orchastration for a coup would have done the job better.

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Didn't a moderator say that to you, not so long ago? How odd.
You'd think I'd at least get a little credit when the quote is verbatim, but what'll you do. /sigh

 

a nice quiet assassination and orchastration for a coup would have done the job better.
I have strong doubts that assassinating the leader of a country would have actually accomplished things better in any way that the invasion did, and almost certainly would have created FAR worse global backlash against the United States.
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Unfortunetly Bush was going to do something about Saddam no matter what. The UN wasn't going to stop him. Other countries weren't going to stop him. America wouldn't stop him either. So if inaction was clearly not an option was there an alternative to sacrificing American lives? Arming the Sunnis, the Kurds, to take over Iraq after Saddam was assassinated, I'm not sure how valid such an option was but we could have saved so many lives if it was possible.

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Dictators have been deposed by their own people in the past, this has WORKED in the past, there is no reason to believe it would NOT have worked in Iraq...

 

Mere conjecture on your part.......END OF STORY.

 

YOU are the one who has to demonstrate that less damaging means were SO unlikely to have worked that they weren't worth trying, in order to support your frankly weak position. Those who advocate extreme violence in preference to other methods ALWAYS carry the burden of proof.

 

You are confused. You have to prove that it would've worked, not that it "could've worked" (gee, the sun COULD blow up tomorrow/it worked in the lab :rolleyes: ). The other statement is just a conceit on your part and thus meaningless.

 

 

 

And frankly... what you're saying boils down to illogical nonsense.

 

Your statements are fanciful nonsense, al. They, the people of Iraq, had an opportunity in '91 and either didn't or couldn't take it. Sanctions hadn't seriously weakened them at that point. That you think a harsh dictator like SH (or even KJI) would stand aside as you and your misguided companions pumped money and activists into his country while doing nothing is testimony as to how deluded you are on this topic. He didn't get where he was by sitting idly by while people plotted his downfall.

 

Also, as your childishly condescending rant demonstrates, it wasn't sanctions that stopped anything. It was ill advised policy that resulted in SH being able to take advantage of western ambivalence to prevent himself from being toppled from within. The same kind of brute force that would have been turned on naive people like yourself had you sought to interject yourselves into the political equation. And don't be disingenuous, those "pesky sanctions" you refer to weren't merely between the summer of 1990 and SH's defeat in march '91, but the cumulative effect of several years to over a decade.

 

Childish.......I've never made incorrect inferences regarding your posts. Sadly the reverse is not true....I've never misrepresented you. I wish the reverse were true.

 

Honestly, al, that you could make such statements with a straight face is illuminating. You consistently engage in misrepresentation and then cry foul that others have done it to you. It's extrememly hypocritical of you to cry wolf about other people's treatment of you when you have been quite prolific at throwing out a slew of ad hominems yourself. My observation about your style was spot on.

 

It's also obvious that you have a blindspot when it comes to facts that don't fit easily into your paradigm. You're completely oblivious to the fact that were the US/GB not supporting SH, then the French and Soviets would have filled that gap. Fact. The real reasons that the Russians and french were not on board with either conflict in the first place was b/c of their business ties. So, before you go off into left field, as is often your MO, this means (as I pointed out earlier) that SH was extremely unlikely--to the point of not at all--to have been removed through the methods you obsess about in your replies. Whether it was US/GB support or from the French/USSR, SH was VERY unlikely to have been toppled in either (or any other)case.

 

 

All I have to do is prove that it can work, Tot. And history shows that it can.

 

History doesn't exist in a vacuum, al.

 

 

Many people in the Middle East are oppressed by their amoral governments/rulers..... But what's your point....

 

The point is that you don't have any proof that sanctions are the cause of the inability of anyone in that region to remove their despots. The rest of your statement is your usual self serving rant.

 

 

 

Tish and posh, it's DEMONSTRABLE that at several points in the past few decades, Saddam relied on US/UK support in order that he might commit his atrocities in quelling rebellion. A couple of examples have been cited above.

 

Plus, Tot... history is full of courageous people who are willing to stand up to intimidation rather than fold, and there are still many. Just because protest is difficult doesn't mean people aren't doing it. And there have always been revolutionary organisations even in the harshest conditions. So I don't think your contention holds water.

 

Not really sure how this relates to your point that SH could have been toppled though "peaceful means" (it doesn't, to be blunt). Also, you make the obvious glaring mistake here of assuming that I take the position that "peaceful protest" can NEVER work, which is not something I've ever said. I just don't share your obvious delusions about how effective it WILL be.

... Who has said anything of this sort?

 

Here you strain credulity to the breaking point. Your position can FAIRLY be summed up as "given the opportunity, peaceful activism WILL work (apparently no matter what the case) b/c it has worked in the past."

 

Earth to al......aw nevermind, you're in your own little universe, billions and billions of LYs away.

 

Childish...

 

No, humorous and spot on to boot.

 

 

 

Furthermore, I fail to see ........

 

Sadly, that's true.

 

 

To be honest, al, your arguments about whether SH could have been removed peacefully rest on "what ifs", so you can assert anything you want, but that won't make it true. Just delusional.

 

Also, your other consistent mistake is to assert a moral stance to any of my arguments (other than of your own making). You may think that I've been amoral in my approach to the situation, but can't actually cite any examples of my saying "going into Iraq was moral b/c..." (hence my extremely appropos comment about your need to assert your sense of morality re. everyone's comments). But frankly, if you wish to assert that the US/GB created the frankenstein monster called Saddam, it CAN BE argued that it was their moral responsibility to remove him. I assert that it was merely pragmatic in the end. Regardless of what you think about the legality of the first Gulf War, the second was merely a resumption of hostilities that were only halted by a cease fire agreement. Frankly, if a war breaks out on the Korean peninsula, it would be a resumption of hostilities, not technically a "new war". But as to the current conflict in the region, I actually don't disagree with the notion that it has been botched.

 

...you attempt to equate those who desire peace and justice with appeasers and cowards. It doesn't wash....

 

I'm sure Neville Chamberlain felt the same.....;) .

 

As a wise man said, don't go away angry......just go away. :smash:

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