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gilshafir
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: San Diego, CA USA
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 02-18-2003 22:51

There is no constructive debate. The United States doesn't really care if Iraq has weapons of mass destruction (WOMD), we are just looking for an excuse to attack the country. The reasons for this are not oil, if that is what we cared about we could easily make a lucrative oil deal with Iraq if we agreed not to attack them. We want to take over the country and turn it into a western-style democracy to stablize the region and reduce our dependency on the Saudis. This is obviously a huge gamble as they have chemical and biological weapons and will probably give them to Bin Laden. I doubt France, Germany, or Russia actually care about whether Iraq has WOMD either, they are simply concerned with maintaining their current trade deals with Iraq. These facts make the currents weapons inspections pointless.

I am little conflicted on this matter, I feel the World would be a better place without Saddam but the United States doesn't have any justification for attacking him. Prior to the Cold War, the only justification for the United States going to war with a country was if that country posed a threat to our country. I agree with this philosophy. Iraq doesn't posed a threat to the US. Therefore the question isn't really does Iraq have WOMD but are they planning on using them against the United States. Since the answer to that is no we can't justify an attack.

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 02-18-2003 23:02

Good day, and welcom to the mix. I don't think I've seen your name in these parts before.
Anyway, something you said kinda had me stumped.

quote:
Prior to the Cold War, the only justification for the United States going to war with a country was if that country posed a threat to our country.


Actually, that's not the case. We attacked the many places (for example, the Philippines) mostly out of imperialism. Mexico was another example. Texas and California didn't come on board because they were threats. It was strictly 'manifest destiny', baby.

There's another story (I'll dig up the details later) of a president who ordered a port town in Central America demolished -- flattened, because they tried to make his boat pay the port fee everyone else had to pay. He said 'no', they said 'yes'.
He called them names and ordered the navy boats to flatten the town. They did.
No threat there, just arrogance.

gilshafir
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: San Diego, CA USA
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 02-18-2003 23:07

Oh yeah... I guess our first imperialist war was the Mexican war in around 1840. Well please ignore that aspect of the post, I still believe the US being in danger of being attacked is the only justification for going to war.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-18-2003 23:59

gilshafir, I would like to welcome you as well.

Things have changed a bit in the equation primarily because we were brutally attacked and lost almost 3,000 civilians on September 11, 2001 by a foreign force. Can you tell me what country attacked us?

Of course you cannot because we weren't attacked by any one specific country. But it certainly was an act of war (I'm using the general term there and was not intending to get into whether it should be viewed as a criminal act). So who do you strike back at?

According to our policy makers, we will target the terrorists themselves like Bin Laden and his minions but also any nations that give them safe harbor and/or support.

This is why Hussein is on our hit list because there is every reason to believe that he either has direct ties with Al Qaeda or indirect ties in that he will be in a position to strike at our country by providing WoMD to the terrorists of his choosing.

I believe this is the rationale for attacking Iraq with respect to the criterion you put forth.

Additionally, Iraq is not the only country that falls into this category. Sadly this is just the beginning of a new protracted global struggle similar to the Cold War.

. . : slicePuzzle

gilshafir
Nervous Wreck (II) Inmate

From: San Diego, CA USA
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 02-19-2003 00:31

A link between Iraq and Al Qaeda is a justification for war. A link including Iraq directly financing terrorist attacks against the US or providing support in order to carry out an attack (this has to be from the government of the country, not just a few people such as in Saudi Arabia).

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-19-2003 07:17

Ahhh...Bugs? Could you maybe provide some evidence of that? To the extent of my knowledge, there is no evidence linking Iraq (the government) and Al Qaeda. In fact, I believe that Bin Laden would very much like to see Saddam toppled, as well...and I don't think that Saddam would give him any WMD because of this...

Therefore, I would really like to be able to examine any evidence you may have...

I believe Afghanistan was helping Al Qaeda and that after asking for Bin Laden's deportation (which was refused by the Taliban), the following war was justified...but Iraq?

And Welcome to the Asylum, gilshafir...enjoy. Please check the :FAQ: ...


WebShaman

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 02-19-2003 08:09

i personally think that it's completely reasonable to assume that iraq would be helping al queda. just because they have two different agendas doesn't mean that saddam wouldn't let him hide out/transport/or whatever in iraq. i'm sure there would be a cost involved.....what that would be i wouldn't know.....
someone (sorry can't remember who/when/where) had posted that saying "the enemy of my enemy is my friend". nobody believes saddam when he says anything else....but he should be believed on this point??? that makes no sense. the same goes for bin laden.
is it really that far fetched to think that there isn't a bit of back scratching going on between the two??
obviously, i have no 'rock solid' evidence to make my case for me....but from what i've seen, there's very little of it on either side.
just my thoughts....please carry on

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-19-2003 12:01

Ok...you want to know why America is embarking along these lines...and why Iraq? This article explains that - It's called Pax Americana

quote:
America&#8217;s new National Security Strategy report is a succinct presentation of a strategy of military dominance that rejects the policies of deterrence, containment, and collective security. Instead, the new grand strategy stresses offensive military intervention, preemptive first strikes, and proactive counterproliferation measures against rogues and other enemies. Put simply, the U.S. security strategy is no longer one of defense and reaction but offense. As President Bush states in his introduction to the strategy document: &#8220;The only path to peace and security is the path of action.&#8221;

The path of action as sketched out in this radical new view of what&#8217;s needed to keep America secure echoes two earlier strategy documents. One was written in 1992 by Pentagon analysts Paul Wolfowitz (now Deputy Security of Defense) and I. Lewis Libby (now Vice President Cheney&#8217;s chief-of-staff) called the Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) document, and the other more recent strategy document entitled Rebuilding America&#8217;s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century was produced by the neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

--FPIF Policy Report by Tom Barry



As to the what (and the how) this is to be accomplished, this

quote:
In September 2000, PNAC issued its strategic plan on how America should exercise its global leadership and project its military power. In its forward, PNAC&#8217;s Rebuilding America&#8217;s Defenses notes that PNAC&#8217;s plan &#8220;builds upon the defense strategy outlined by the Cheney Defense Department in the waning days of the Bush administration.&#8221; It credits the draft of the Defense Policy Guidance as providing &#8220;a blueprint for maintaining U.S. preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.&#8221; (Wolfowitz and Libby were the two dozen consultants involved in the report.) Among the key conclusions of PNAC&#8217;s defense strategy document were the following:

&#8220;Develop and deploy global missile defenses to defend the American homeland and American allies, and to provide a secure basis for U.S. power projection around the world.&#8221;
&#8220;Control the new &#8216;international commons&#8217; of space and &#8216;cyberspace,&#8217; and pave the way for the creation of a new military service&#8212;U.S. Space Forces&#8212;with the mission of space control.&#8221;
&#8220;Increase defense spending, adding $15 billion to $20 billion to total defense spending annually.&#8221;
&#8220;Exploit the &#8216;revolution in military affairs&#8217; [transformation to high-tech, unmanned weaponry] to insure the long-term superiority of U.S. conventional forces.&#8221;
&#8220;Need to develop a new family of nuclear weapons designed to address new sets of military requirements&#8221; complaining that the U.S. has &#8220;virtually ceased development of safer and more effective nuclear weapons.&#8221;
&#8220;Facing up to the realities of multiple constabulary missions that will require a permanent allocation of U.S. forces.&#8221;
&#8220;America must defend its homeland&#8221; by &#8220;reconfiguring its nuclear force&#8221; and by missile defense systems that &#8220;counteract the effects of the proliferation of ballistic missiles and weapons of mass destruction.&#8221;
&#8220;Need for a larger U.S. security perimeter&#8221; and the U.S. &#8220;should seek to establish a network of &#8216;deployment bases&#8217; or &#8216;forward operating bases&#8217; to increase the reach of current and future forces,&#8221; citing the need to move beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia to increased permanent military presence in Southeast Asia and &#8220;other regions of East Asia.&#8221; Necessary &#8220;to cope with the rise of China to great-power status.&#8221;
Redirecting the U.S. Air Force to move &#8220;toward a global first-strike force.&#8221;
End the C*****n administration&#8217;s &#8220;devotion&#8221; to the Anti-Ballistic Missile treaty.
&#8220;North Korea, Iran, Iraq, or similar states [should not be allowed] to undermine American leadership, intimidate American allies, or threaten the American homeland itself.&#8221;
&#8220;Main military missions&#8221; necessary to &#8220;preserve Pax Americana&#8221; and a &#8220;unipolar 21st century&#8221; are the following: &#8220;secure and expand zones of democratic peace, deter rise of new great-power competitor, defend key regions (Europe, East Asia, Middle East), and exploit transformation of war.&#8221;
According to the PNAC report, &#8220;The American peace has proven itself peaceful, stable, and durable. Yet no moment in international politics can be frozen in time: even a global Pax Americana will not preserve itself.&#8221; To preserve this &#8220;American peace&#8221; through the 21st century, the PNAC report concludes that the global order &#8220;must have a secure foundation on unquestioned U.S. military preeminence.&#8221; The report struck a prescient note when it observed that &#8220;the process of transformation is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event&#8212;like a new Pearl Harbor.&#8221;



And here is how it is to be implimented

quote:
Instead of the nonproliferation strategy, the new strategy document calls for &#8220;proactive counterproliferation&#8221; which &#8220;must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed.&#8221; This type of security strategy is described in the following ways in the National Security Strategy:

&#8220;The U.S. can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past.&#8221;
&#8220;We cannot let our enemies strike first.&#8221;
&#8220;We must adapt the concept of imminent threat to the capabilities and objectives of today&#8217;s adversaries.&#8221;
&#8220;To forestall or prevent hostile acts by our adversaries, the U.S. will, if necessary, act preemptively.&#8221;
&#8220;We must build and maintain our defenses beyond challenge&#8221; and &#8220;dissuade future military competition.&#8221;
&#8220;To contend with uncertainty and to meet the many security challenges we face, the U.S. will require bases ands stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia, as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. forces.&#8221;
The new security strategy did not emerge full-blown in reaction to the terrorism of September 11, 2001. That catastrophe did, however, open the door to this radical strategy of anticipatory self-defense and the global projection of U.S. military power. It also served as the catalyst for a major infusion of tax dollars into the Pentagon&#8212;with the DoD budget projected to increase from $310 billion at the end of the C*****n administration to $469 billion in 2007.

This new strategy of rapid militarization at home, a permanent and expanding U.S. military presence abroad, and a policy of first strike defense against perceived enemies is one that was foretold. The military strategists, neoconservative analysts, and military-industrial lobbyists spent the 1990s preparing the strategy of U.S. military preeminence that the Bush administration is now implementing under their direction.



So there you have it...Pax Americana. This is now the new Foreign Policy of the US. So Iraq is not 'just' about Oil, Mr. Bush's Dad, or about 'liberating' those poor Iraqi's...it's about maintaining Americas peace and dominance into the next century through the use of force. This is very well outlined here

quote:
Instead of the nonproliferation strategy, the new strategy document calls for &#8220;proactive counterproliferation&#8221; which &#8220;must deter and defend against the threat before it is unleashed.&#8221;



This is really nasty stuff, folks...

quote:
When the excerpts of the draft version of the Defense Policy Guidance leaked to the New York Times, Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) was horrified and denounced the document as a prescription for &#8220;literally a Pax Americana.&#8221; Written by two relatively obscure political appointees in the Pentagon&#8217;s policy department in the aftermath of the Gulf War, the draft DPG called for U.S. military preeminence over Eurasia by preventing the rise of any potentially hostile power and a policy of preemption against states suspected of developing weapons of mass destruction. It foretold a world in which U.S. military intervention overseas would become &#8220;a constant feature&#8221; and failed to even mention the UN.



Sounds pretty scary...and I will not support it. It's quite simply, insane. All examples of such a policy in human history, have failed. Granted, it will appear to succeed at first...however, it will only sponser more terrorism...what one cannot fight militarily, one fights with terrorism (otherwise known as guerrilla warfare)...there are many examples of this in human history. This type of policy, only results in more conflicts, more military interventions, as 'new' threats poke up here, and poke up there...all in response to the policy itself...it's a self-prophetising system, that results in a never-ending cycle of violence (unless one actually does manage to conquer the whole planet).

The only thing that makes this 'right', is might...that means abandoning the high ground. However, when doing so, it is oh so easy, to lose sight of the main subject...and so easy to abuse. Considering past American actions, I don't think that this plan can be carried out, without misabuse.

So there you have it...that which is in the background, running the show. You will notice that many of the names, in the Defense Policy Guidance, are on board in the Bush administration...including those who wrote the report.







[This message has been edited by WebShaman (edited 02-19-2003).]

MW
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From: 48°00´N 7°51´E
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 02-19-2003 12:02

Hmmm, world domination, why does this sound familiar to me? *scratches head*

[This message has been edited by MW (edited 02-19-2003).]

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-19-2003 12:23

All you Pax Americana needs...are answered here

quote:
"The United States will require bases and stations within and beyond Western Europe and Northeast Asia," the document warns, "as well as temporary access arrangements for the long-distance deployment of U.S. troops."

The report's repeated references to terrorism are misleading, however, because the approach of the new National Security Strategy was clearly not inspired by the events of Sept. 11. They can be found in much the same language in a report issued in September 2000 by the Project for the New American Century, a group of conservative interventionists outraged by the thought that the United States might be forfeiting its chance at a global empire.

"At no time in history has the international security order been as conducive to American interests and ideals," the report said. stated two years ago. "The challenge of this coming century is to preserve and enhance this 'American peace.' "

Familiar themes

Overall, that 2000 report reads like a blueprint for current Bush defense policy. Most of what it advocates, the Bush administration has tried to accomplish. For example, the project report urged the repudiation of the anti-ballistic missile treaty and a commitment to a global missile defense system. The administration has taken that course.

It recommended that to project sufficient power worldwide to enforce Pax Americana, the United States would have to increase defense spending from 3 percent of gross domestic product to as much as 3.8 percent. For next year, the Bush administration has requested a defense budget of $379 billion, almost exactly 3.8 percent of GDP.

It advocates the "transformation" of the U.S. military to meet its expanded obligations, including the cancellation of such outmoded defense programs as the Crusader artillery system. That's exactly the message being preached by Rumsfeld and others.

It urges the development of small nuclear warheads "required in targeting the very deep, underground hardened bunkers that are being built by many of our potential adversaries." This year the GOP-led U.S. House gave the Pentagon the green light to develop such a weapon, called the Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, while the Senate has so far balked.

That close tracking of recommendation with current policy is hardly surprising, given the current positions of the people who contributed to the 2000 report.

Paul Wolfowitz is now deputy defense secretary. John Bolton is undersecretary of state. Stephen Cambone is head of the Pentagon's Office of Program, Analysis and Evaluation. Eliot Cohen and Devon Cross are members of the Defense Policy Board, which advises Rumsfeld. I. Lewis Libby is chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney. Dov Zakheim is comptroller for the Defense Department.

'Constabulary duties'

Because they were still just private citizens in 2000, the authors of the project report could be more frank and less diplomatic than they were in drafting the National Security Strategy. Back in 2000, they clearly identified Iran, Iraq and North Korea as primary short-term targets, well before President Bush tagged them as the Axis of Evil. In their report, they criticize the fact that in war planning against North Korea and Iraq, "past Pentagon wargames have given little or no consideration to the force requirements necessary not only to defeat an attack but to remove these regimes from power."

To preserve the Pax Americana, the report says U.S. forces will be required to perform "constabulary duties" -- the United States acting as policeman of the world -- and says that such actions "demand American political leadership rather than that of the United Nations."

--AJC.com by Jay Bookman



Finally, the cat is out of the bag...now the real reason raises it's ugly head...

St. Seneca
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 3rd shelf, behind the cereal
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 02-19-2003 15:45

I never really cared for the impending war with Iraq, Webshaman. That is until you put into perspective for me.

Now I hope that we go to war soon. I vote that we attack the French next.

Moon Shadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Rouen, France
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 02-19-2003 19:49

Please everyone excuse me for my rudenness and my entorse to board "don'ts", but St. Seneca you are a just a silly fool.

What do you want by attacking France ? Demonstrating that your army is better than ours ? Creating the WWIII ? Please explain me your reasons.

Well I can see the result of mass propaganda in the US medias... SAD.

Silence is another speech. -Me

Michael
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: *land
Insane since: Nov 2000

posted posted 02-19-2003 19:56

Moon Shadow - I think it's pretty safe to say that St. Seneca is throwing in a bit of dry humour there.... and that wasn't something to be taken seriously. I think a little 'poke' is being made at France for their anti-american setiments due to what many would consider a rather "stuck-up" attitude about past events.

Anywho... I'm off to go back to.......... whatever I was doing before...


FAQs n' Bits: Michael

Moon Shadow
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: Rouen, France
Insane since: Jan 2003

posted posted 02-19-2003 21:09

Oh...Ok. St Seneca please accept my apologizes. I hope you thought it in the way explained Michael.

Silence is another speech. -Me

St. Seneca
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: 3rd shelf, behind the cereal
Insane since: Dec 2000

posted posted 02-20-2003 00:27

Not a problem, Moon Shadow, but I should appologize because I didn't mean to offend.

I WAS merely joking when I said that we should attack the French. However, it is humor borne out of frustration at not understanding why the French seem to hate Americans. Humor allows one to release such frustrations.

Suho1004
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: Seoul, Korea
Insane since: Apr 2002

posted posted 02-20-2003 02:28

[offtopic]
While we are on the subject of France (sort of), I saw on the news this morning some restauranteer pouring bottles of French and German wine into the sewers. Apparently the statement is that he (and others) are not going to purchase French and German wines until France and Germany cooperate with the US. OK, whatever--I'm not going to go into whether I think this is right or wrong. But isn't it foolish to be pouring out wine that's already been purchased? For the love of all that is good in the world, don't let good wine go to waste! If anyone here has any French or German wine that they need to dispose of, send it to me and I'll dispose of it for you!

I just want to do my patriotic duty, that's all.
[/offtopic]

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-20-2003 09:20

Take care of yourself Michael...and be careful. Hope everything is ok on your end.

velvetrose
Paranoid (IV) Inmate

From: overlooking the bay
Insane since: Apr 2001

posted posted 02-20-2003 11:52
quote:
The path of action as sketched out in this radical new view of what’s needed to keep America secure echoes two earlier strategy documents. One was written in 1992 by Pentagon analysts Paul Wolfowitz (now Deputy Security of Defense) and I. Lewis Libby (now Vice President Cheney’s chief-of-staff) called the Defense Policy Guidance (DPG) document, and the other more recent strategy document entitled Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century was produced by the neoconservative Project for the New American Century (PNAC).

--FPIF Policy Report by Tom Barry



i am reminded of the phrase "New World Order" that was being used by dubya's dad and his cronies.. they didn't explain then exactly what that "new order" would be, but the specifics of it, as outlined above, are quite scarey

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-20-2003 13:04

I agree. It is scary...

Hopefully, the coming election will sweep it from the world...

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 02-20-2003 18:39

WS: And here is a similar srticle (although I think I'd need a clearer explanation or a better grasp of economics to grasp the whole thrust of things ):
www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,897766,00.html

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-20-2003 22:31
quote:
Ahhh...Bugs? Could you maybe provide some evidence of that? To the extent of my knowledge, there is no evidence linking Iraq (the government) and Al Qaeda. In fact, I believe that Bin Laden would very much like to see Saddam toppled, as well...and I don't think that Saddam would give him any WMD because of this...

WS, sorry buddy but I do not have anything that I think you would accept as "sufficient" evidence. I have heard reports of Al Qaeda being trained in areas within Iraq and there was the one clandestine meeting in Prague betweeen the two but I wanted to quote Michael Ledeen from his book "The War Against the Terror Masters" in order to explain why I said "...there is every reason to believe that he either has direct ties with Al Qaeda or indirect ties..."

quote:
That he [Hussein] played a role in the World Trade Center bombing of 1993 is highly likely, albeit unproven, and a relationship with bin Laden is as close to certain as you can get in the world of clandestine operations. his intelligence service certainly had contacts with Al Qaeda in Sudan, and Saddam has recently embraced extremeist Isalm, another element that points to a working relationship with Osama.



From "The Saudi Connection: Osama bin Laden's a Lot Closer to the Saudi Royal Family Than You Think," in the The Weekly Standard, October 29, 2001.

quote:
...Saddam's regime has lately encouraged the rise, in Iraq's northern safe haven, of Salafism, a puritanical sect tied to Wahhabism that hitherto had been alien to Iraq. It is no surprise, then, that one of these Salafi movements inside Iraq, the Junk al-Islami, turns out to be a front for bin Laden.



quote:
The most famous contact between Iraq and Al Qaeda came in Prague, on April 8, 2001, when Mohammed Atta--the key September 11 operative--met with an Iraqi intelligence case officer named al-Ani, working under diplomatic cover at the Iraqi embassy as second secretary and consul.

As a result of that meeting that the Czech intelligence service observed, Atta received $100,000 that most likely funded some of the 9/11 operation.

quote:
The unwillingness to recognize that Iran and Al Qaeda were working together prevented us from understanding the nature of the terror network, and blinded us to what was actually going on on the ground in Afghanistan. The best way to think of the terror network is as a collection of mafia families. Sometimes they cooperate, sometimes they argue, sometimes they even kill one another. But they can always put aside their differences whenever there is a common enemy. As in The Godfather, sometimes the Barzinis and the Corleones and the others join together to fight the feds. In this case, we're up against all five families, not just one. If they killed us, they'd go back to fighting over turf and methods. But in the meantime, it's all for one and one for all.

This answers why I believe they would work together.

Why did Bin Laden in his most recent audio address call on all Muslims to defend Iraq? I believe he knows he has to prioritize his enemies and match that to his agenda. Bin Laden wants to elevate himself as "caliph" for the entire Arab world and that requires taking out the US, Europe, and Israel *first* THEN he can turn on the secular infidels in his own realm.

Dang it! I have lived up to my vow of staying out of that other thread but I'm saying the same things here that I may have there! Ugh. But you did ask me a direct question and I didn't want to leave you hanging

Lacuna
Maniac (V) Inmate

From: the Asylum ghetto
Insane since: Oct 2002

posted posted 02-20-2003 23:19

weather or not this is on topic, you decide....but while channel surfing the other day the 700 club was on (those people scare me) and they were interviewing dore gold about his book "hatred's kingdom" and talking to him about everything that's going on. i only caught bits of information...
it had to do with saudi arabia/bin laden/ why they hate us...etc
anyways....here's the link to an excerpt (sp?) from his book....i found it interesting anyways. has anyone read this book or heard of this guy?

Book

[edit]well, apparently this guy was an ambassador so i'm sure you will have heard of him[/edit]
dore gold



[This message has been edited by Lacuna (edited 02-20-2003).]

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-25-2003 00:08

Question to everyone currently opposed to military action against Iraq:

If Hussein doesn't meet Blix's March 1st deadline with respect to destroying the non-compliant missiles, how would this change your current position if at all?

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 02-25-2003 00:52

It doesn't, really.

I still think that taking Saddam Hussein out of power has nothing to do with WoMD (weapons of mass destruction), MoLR (missiles of long range), or ALwBA (arabic leaders with bad attitudes) IF all we're going to do is install another NGRT (no-good ruthless thug). To date, I'm convinced that is what will happen.

It doesn't solve the problem, it doesn't make Iraqi lives easier and it doesn't enforce (I won't say RE-enforce, 'cuz that it implies we've done it BEFORE) the notion that law, international law, is important...even necessary.

As I've said before, as long as it is within the bounds of the UN and (much more importantly) it will ultimately help the people of Iraq (that is, set up a democracy or a big push in that direction), I don't give a rat's ass if he's got banned weapons or not.

You (that would be the general, big-picture 'you') can make this about missles, chemical weapons, or belly button lint. I guess I don't care. What I do care about is using our power for good instead of greed.

I realized, Bugs, that I've done a lot of answering 'justifying' questions to you. Mind if I flip the tables here a bit? (Anybody in the 'for war' camp may answer, of course)
What would it take for you to say 'maybe this proposed war isn't such a good idea after all'?

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 02-25-2003 03:23

Absolutely fair question. I ask a lot of questions of your side and very few come back my way.

I would have to be convinced that Hussein, left to the UN or international community would not be allowed to become another DPRK.

I would also need a convincing argument that attacking Iraq would leave things worse for everyone involved. For instance, if it could be shown that massive forces of Arab holy fighters would rise up and begin to slaughter people left and right as a result. Or that all the Arab states would unite under a bin Laden figure and come hell or high water start a world war against what they perceive as the crusading West.

I would love to hear a convincing plan that did *not* include the status quo on how to deal with Hussein once and for all. What I mean by that is the "containment" option championed by Powell only *postpones* the war and does nothing to prevent it. So I would love to hear a plan from anyone that would get rid of the Hussein strangle hold and help set up a liberal democracy in Iraq. With all due respect to Emps, he offered a plan a while back that served to postpone the war by extended inspections. Whether we go in next month or next year it makes little difference if you want to avoid the going in part in the first place.

mobrul, international law is pointless when you have people who ignore it. We ignore it when it suits our needs and Hussein has no conception of adhering to such a thing so I simply don't see how that is a solution to anything, in this particular time in our human history. There is no authority that can enforce international law except the strongest nations and if they don't follow it closely, what possible chance does it have? Besides, what happens when the international law becomes "wrong"? Doesn't it give you any pause to consider a global force that enforces a corrupt law? It would be Rome all over again under Tiberius or some such creep.

Our moral credibility with respect to our upholding treaties and laws to the rest of the world meant nothing and means nothing to anyone but those inclined to think it matters. I'm very sorry to say it that way but I think it is the truth. I dont think China, DPRK, Syria, Iraq, etc. give a second's thought to our moral credibility as a nation. The *only* thing that matters is whether we can oppose them with force, PERIOD. If I were a tyrant, that is the only commodity with which I would trade. Hussein operates this way, his war against Iran proved that abundantly. They had negotions with Iran and he honestly couldn't understand why anyone would negotiate in good faith with him because he saw it only as a means to get the upper hand. He even mentioned this to one of the Iranian diplomats.

Anyway, those are a few things that would help sway my opinion. Please, by all means, keep asking the hard questions and perhaps you can point out some things I've missed. This topic is just as painful to me as you, mobrul, and I am looking for answers. We have different answers at this point and I know you honor true dialogue so let's keep it going.


WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-25-2003 12:31
quote:
We have the forces, and we have the will of the people...just need to impliment the idea...if Saddam then refuses, we can then use force...and be in the right. A much better idea, IMHO. So impliment a gradual change to democracy, backed up by the UN and the military forces that we have there now. Any 'deviations' from the plan, means war. Set out a timetable for the implimentations to take place, and follow them. Enable Saddam to go into exile (and give him a way to 'bow out' without being killed), so that he has a way out. In that sense, leaving options open, and pressing for a change in regime, along these lines, is much better, IMHO.

This would be a win-win situation. Mr. Bush could hold his head up high (because, either way, he wins), the UN could be happy, and the western world would also be happy.


-- WebShaman



I think this idea would work well...well, it would have worked well, before...now the US is 'locked' into a war...

One other question that I asked (and it's getting difficult to actually hold all these threads in context...), do you (Bugs) support the possible use of nuclear weapons (tactical) in Iraq?

Also in answer to this

quote:
I would also need a convincing argument that attacking Iraq would leave things worse for everyone involved

-- Bugimus


I think this article asks some very good questions, and supplies some very realistic answers - What If Turkey Agrees?



[This message has been edited by WebShaman (edited 02-25-2003).]

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 02-26-2003 16:46

Bugs, in your post above (thank you for responding, by the way) you talk about the irrelevance of international law and about the possibility of that law being wrong.

You say "international law is pointless when you have people who ignore it. We ignore it when it suits our needs and Hussein has no conception of adhering to such a thing so I simply don't see how that is a solution to anything, in this particular time in our human history. "

There is a significant flaw. You start with the assumption that international law is pointless as long as there are people in this world who ignore it. It is a basic part of both our philosophies that there will never be a day in any time in the present or future when there will be no 'bad guy'. So, according to your argument, international law will always be pointless.
Why, then, does that same argument not apply to the personal, village, city, or provential levels of human interaction?
There will always be a 'bad guy'. There will always be someone who doesn't respect law. Murderers, rapists, burglers and speeders ALL have ignored the law. So, do we simply throw out all law? Clearly that is ridiculous. To reconcile these two issues, you must make the argument, then, that international dealings are significantly different from all other types of social interactions. So far, that argument has not been made. I've never heard a convincing argument that international dealings are significantly different from business disagreements, provential, city, village, or interpersonal disagreements. The level of violence possible is potentially greater, but the basic, underlying pieces are all there.

Next, you have presented a circular 'proof' for your theory of irrelevant international law. You've said, "We ignore it when it suits our needs and Hussein has no conception of adhering to such a thing ..."
You've said, in essence (my paraphrase) "We should not worry about international law, because there are people who don't worry about international law. As an example, we ignore international law. We should ignore international law because we ignore international law."
I'm not trying to be a smart-ass here. I'm not trying to put words in your mouth. If I've misinterpreted your argument, please speak up. I'm just reading what I see.

Next you say "There is no authority that can enforce international law except the strongest nations and if they don't follow it closely, what possible chance does it have?"
This is more of that circular argument.
We ARE the strongest nation. We control. We have the power. We can do most anything we want with that power.
Furthermore, we (that would be me and you) are arguing about policy of our country. I'm arguing that we should use our power to build international law. You're arguing we shouldn't contribute to the legitimacy of international law because we don't contribute to the legitimacy of international law. Excuse me, but am I the only one who thinks that argument borders on silly? Would you accept that kind of argument in any other realm?
"We, as web designers, should not worry about standards becuase we don't worry about standards."
"As a Christian, I know I am going to sin sometime, so I'm not even going to try not to sin."

Even I will admit (strongly) that international law is flawed today...likely always will be. All law, municipality level, business law, federal law, is, or has potential to be, flawed. We don't throw out the baby with the bath water. We say, "Law," (in that Platonic, Ideal type way), "is an ideal we should all strive to make real," while at the same time doing everything in our power to make it as close as possible to that ideal.

It's not as if we are arguing about some 'other' power, some power over which we have no control. I'm not arguing for Iraqi, Chinese, French, or Martian policy. We are arguing about US policy. The US, as the world leader, has power. We can use that power for good or evil. I'm arguing for good. You are arguing (essentially) that we don't need to use our power for good because we don't, and because no one else does.
Then what's the point of being a leader?
A 'leader' who uses his power for greed, especially at the expensive of others, isn't a leader. He's a bully.

Next issue:
You ask me "Besides, what happens when the international law becomes 'wrong'? Doesn't it give you any pause to consider a global force that enforces a corrupt law?"

Fair question. As I said above, law, as we write it, is never going to be perfect. On that we can both agree.
There are two different paths on which I'd like to take this conversation at the moment -- the theory and the practical. Let's start with the theory, shall we?

Theory:
Law can be messed up, flawed. Law has been flawed in the past (slavery, 'taxation without representation', Jim Crow/segregation laws, sufferage, Salem Witch trials, Illinois death row cases, the band of thugs in cops uniforms in LA a few years ago, the molesting cops in NYC, etc, etc, etc.).
In those cases, and the many others I can't possibly name, we did not have a large outcrying for a destruction of law. We do not have people yelling 'no more cops'. (OK, maybe a few people, but those people are stupid, are in the minority, and don't deserve a voice). What we do see is a call for better law. A push for integrity in the law. Sometimes that works (Illinois death row cases being commuted, cops in LA going to jail, etc).

Sometimes that doesn't work (segregation in the south, colony trouble with England).
When simply calling for better law doesn't work, we move to civil disobedience. Sometimes that works. There was some violence (and some threats of violence) regarding segregation laws, but not much. Most of what changed that were huge amounts of civil disobedience. Same with India trying to be free from the Brits. Too many other examples to mention.
Finally, when that doesn't work, we move to violence. Our breaking with England, one could argue WWII, perhaps Kosovo (though I'm not totally convinced), etc.
My point of all this is, you don't throw out 'Law' as an ideal. If it doesn't work today, you work to fix it.
We have the power to fix it!

Practical:
The matter of today (regarding Iraq) is that few nations are actually arguing for anything productive. There is no 'good guy' as I can see. I could ramble on and on about the flaws of French, British, Chinese, Russian, Turk and Iraqi proposals on the issue, but that would be a waste of time. Today I'm (we're) talking about US policy.

The US is saying (as I can see)
a) We're going to attack Iraq. If anybody else wants on board, feel free.
b) When we're done, we are going to install a military dictatorship in Iraq.
c) We are going to invite the Turks into Iraq to 'keep peace' (read 'kill the damn Kurds') in Northern Iraq.

I've never argued that war is a universal, no-questions-asked, evil.
What I've said is that if we are going to do something, (and something needs to be done)
a) war should be a 'last choice' option (On this I would argue we're really close. On some days I argue we're well past the mark.)
b) we should use this opportunity to push other good things as well.

First good thing we should push is democracy.
Second good thing we should push is free, secular, multi-ethnic/cultural/religious Iraq (and, by example, the rest of Middle East).
Third good thing we should push is a respect for law.

Which of those things is evil?
Which of those things is 'wrong' or 'corrupt'?

I hope you are going to answer 'none'. I think you will.
So, at this point, arguing we should proceed with the US plan (which is directly AGAINST all three of the things I mentioned above) because at some point in the future international law could be corrupt, is pointless.
Right now, it is the US plan that is 'wrong'. It is the US plan that is 'corrupt'.

Right now I fear you are arguing for a war that you want to happen, instead of the war that will happen. You can not wish away this military dictatorship that will follow; you can not wish away the oppression of the Kurds that will follow. You can not wish away the strong (inevitable?) possibility that the US will work to create and increase ethnic tensions in Iraq for its own power. You can not wish away the imperial actions of the US and the further distrust of international law and hatred of the US that will follow.

I'm with you when you say Hussien needs to go, needs to go today, should have been made to go yesterday, but we part ways when we talk about 'this war.'

'This war' is wrong.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 02-27-2003 13:29

Nice post Mobrul. Though I don't agree with all your points, I do agree that 'this war' is wrong. However, I don't think that Bugs is going to agree with that...just my opinion, of course. Actually, I wouldn't have a great problem with 'this war', if it weren't for the Bush administration. IMHO, it's just getting more and more erratic...all the symptioms of a war going wrong. Mr. Bush is jumping all over the place with this...it's hard to say what he's really trying to accomplish...and he's never given me any real enough reason to go to war.

IMHO, Mr. Bush has handled this whole thing badly. He could still walk away from it, and win. But he will not. Will it be a disaster? Depends. Without a full-scale, all-out assault, the risk is large, that it will. What will happen afterwards? Funny, most people that plan a war (and 'this war' has been planned since 2001, and earlier, by other Administrations), have a plan for that. Mr. Bush doesn't. Or maybe he did, and does, but doesn't want to tell anyone about it. Now why would that be? Quite frankly, that makes me suspicious.

And I don't want to be suspicious. I want to have a clear reason for 'this war'. I'm not getting one. Why? The fact that I have to ask why, is bad enough. The fact that the world is asking why, is a clear signal to me, that Mr. Bush either doesn't know what he is doing, or that what he is doing, is not something he wants others to know, until it is too late. Otherwise, he could just come out and say it. 'This is why we are doing it, and this is what we are going to do, and this is what will happen afterwards.'

Instead, I get 'Well, we were going to do this, because of this, and afterwards?' changes to 'Ok, we are doing this, because of this, and maybe this afterwards', which then becomes 'We'll now do this (maybe), because of this (maybe), and as for afterwards...who cares (maybe)?'

On that note, I can't see 'this war' being worth waging.

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 03-04-2003 22:23

First of all, I want to say that your post was excellent and I have taken so long to respond to it because it made me think. It got me to thinking very deeply about some things and I have simply been unable to formulate a cohesive response until now.

quote:
You say "international law is pointless when you have people who ignore it. We ignore it when it suits our needs and Hussein has no conception of adhering to such a thing so I simply don't see how that is a solution to anything, in this particular time in our human history. "
...
You start with the assumption that international law is pointless as long as there are people in this world who ignore it.

Yes, my words are indeed flawed. In fact, I asked myself the very same thing a while after I wrote it. I asked myself how I could support any law because there will always be someone who doesn’t follow it.

What I need to do is explain why I said what I did. I was remembering all the times you have called us the worst terrorists in the world. While I think that is seriously exagerrated, I accept that we have certainly committed atrocities in our history. I don’t have a lot of faith in humanity, very little in fact. I believe we are wicked to the core when left to our own devices and so I don’t expect our country to be able to rise to the level of integrity that you and I would consider appropriate.

This is not to say that I don’t think we should do everything within our power to make this a better place. In fact, where I think we agree the most is when we compare the ultimate goals we both have for human interactions. It is to say that I am resigned to the fact that we need checks and balances on power because it will always be abused in one form or another.

My mind keeps going back to an image of the "wild west". In that environment, the law was not applicable in many cases and "good" people had to band together and fight "evil" people just to survive. Would it have been better for the long arm of the law to reach out and restore order and justice? Of course it would but that was simply not an option in many instances because enforcement of the law was impossible.

I think it is a current state of simple fact that our world is governed by the aggresive use of force, IOW, might makes right. If there was an overwhelmingly powerful planetary empire right now, it would decide the law that we would all live by. Would it be "right"? For all intents and purposes, yes, but ethically, not necessarily. It would depend on how the laws of the empire compared to what you and I know is “right” a la the inalienable human rights we hold dear.

quote:
Why, then, does that same argument not apply to the personal, village, city, or provential levels of human interaction?
...
I've never heard a convincing argument that international dealings are significantly different from business disagreements, provential, city, village, or interpersonal disagreements. The level of violence possible is potentially greater, but the basic, underlying pieces are all there.

There is little difference when we are talking about nations that share common values. When it comes to dealings between liberal democracies, I agree with your statement. When it comes to the former Soviet Union, the DPRK, and Iraq? I simply don’t think we can use that model.

I think that someday we may get to a point when there will be no appreciable difference between countries. One of the phrases I employed originally was “at this point in human history”. I don’t believe we are at a point where we have the luxury of treating all international dealings the same way we do dealings that are under the protection and enforcement of a common law.

quote:
You've said, in essence (my paraphrase) "We should not worry about international law, because there are people who don't worry about international law. As an example, we ignore international law. We should ignore international law because we ignore international law."

You’re perfectly justified in pointing out the circular logic and again I plead guilty to it. I was lamenting the fact that we are being opposed by an organization that supposedly holds international law in high regard. But more importantly, it is supposed to support human rights, freedom, democracy, and justice. There is no good reason to oppose taking down Hussein “the right way” and yet if we left this affair to the UN, nothing and I mean NOTHING would get done and we both know that. I am suggesting that there are times when we must do the right thing and not be held back by people organizations or countries who are unwilling to do what needs to be done.

An example to back this up would be Reagan’s insistence on deploying the Pershing missiles in Western Europe during the Cold War. It was met with tremendous opposition by the populations of Europe and yet we know now that it had a direct effect on the downfall of the Soviet Union by Gorbachev’s own admission.

quote:
We ARE the strongest nation. We control. We have the power. We can do most anything we want with that power.

I don't believe we are strong enough to dictate the world’s path. Sometimes I wish we were empire. But our resources are limited and our security is still threatened to a certain degree. Losing the WTC proves that we are far from untouchable. If we were in a position of empire, then I think this discussion would be heading a very different direction. Whether we retain our current status remains to be seen. It will be largely determined by how successful our efforts are against the current global threat to our way of life and the next threat whatever that turns out to be and most importantly whether or not we retain our integrity as a people.

quote:
A 'leader' who uses his power for greed, especially at the expensive of others, isn't a leader. He's a bully.

I have grave concerns that many Americans are losing their sense of duty to God by helping out their fellow humans by substituting it with their money and prosperity. Recall my pessimistic view of our humanity above.

quote:
I'm arguing that we should use our power to build international law. You're arguing we shouldn't contribute to the legitimacy of international law because we don't contribute to the legitimacy of international law.
...
"As a Christian, I know I am going to sin sometime, so I'm not even going to try not to sin."

This is an excellent point and I need to be very clear that I retract anything I’ve said that suggests we not work to build international law and lead by example and lead justly. I agree with you wholeheartedly that we should do everything in our power to guide our world to higher ideals of peace, freedom, justice, and human rights.

quote:
Furthermore, we (that would be me and you) are arguing about policy of our country.

I actually wasn’t restricting my words just to US policy. I am perfectly willing to do that now but I was taking a global view and including all parties involved. This includes countries that you and I both know don’t care in the least about international treaties or law. My words above reflect this realization more than if we were just discussing how the US should act from its point of view.


I am going to answer the second half of your post in a bit. I wanted to get this in before this falls totally off the Asylum map. In fact, if you think your Bugs post delay indicator was going off, I think mine is broken!!! LOL

[This message has been edited by Bugimus (edited 03-05-2003).]

xRuleith
Obsessive-Compulsive (I) Inmate

From: Brighton Beach
Insane since: Mar 2003

posted posted 03-04-2003 23:07

Actually, Bugs, your ideas on humans being evil to the core, are not unsupported. For those who are farmilliar with the Christian religion, the bible states, that the mind, and heart, are all corrupt. It speaks of how humans are extremley greedy and evil, and how nothing human would ever lead you to the truth, and that the only thing that you could truly trust is God. Now, excuse me for sounding like a zealot, which I am not, I am merely sharing information. For you people, who do not believe in God, and believes that common sense (logic) is the best way to approach a problem. The bible also speaks of how that, too will lead you astray, because logic comes from the mind, and the mind is corrupted. Anyways, to end this rant quickly, I agree with you Bugs, on your whole post, and more specificly, your thoughts on humans being wicked.

I'm going to the moon, I cant stand it here anymore.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 03-05-2003 16:28

Sorry I was meaning to get back on this:

quote:
If Hussein doesn't meet Blix's March 1st deadline with respect to destroying the non-compliant missiles, how would this change your current position if at all?



So he has started to destroy these missiles but now this is said not to be enough.

Its been clear for months (decades) that Saddam will only do as much as he thinks he can get away with - although this leads to progess it tends not to be fast enough for those looking for war but is enough for the anti-war camp to point to as progress. It will (as he hopes) continue to drive a wedge between the various allies.

------------------------
And this is an interesting article on a couple of Iraq opposition parties which want nothing to do with the American plan for war:
www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,907687,00.html

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

Bugimus
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: New California
Insane since: Mar 2000

posted posted 03-05-2003 16:40

Emps, it does not lead to progress, that's the problem entirely.

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 03-05-2003 16:47

Bugs, beautiful post (the big one, that is). I patiently await part II.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 03-05-2003 17:40

Bugs: It does lead to progress in that more weapons are destroyed

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

mobrul
Bipolar (III) Inmate

From:
Insane since: Aug 2000

posted posted 03-05-2003 18:31

You know, emps, I think I'm more with Bugs on this one than you. (that's strange )
I see what you are saying -- more weapons ARE being destroyed -- but that is such a minimal deal in the big picture of it all. Taking away missiles with ranges over 93 km doesn't do a damn bit of good for the people of Iraq. It doesn't put food on anybody's plate, or clean water in anybody's drinking glass. It doesn't change the fact that he used chemical weapons against the Kurds or against the Iranians, and would likely do it again given even a hint of opportunity.
Saying that destroying 20 missiles, even 20 scores of missiles, is 'progress' is a bit like saying that a couple buckets full of water is a 'good start' on our mission to empty the Atlantic. Or that Pinochet was making progress by decreasing death squads by 1/4 over 5 years.
If we were talking about Pakistan and India decreasing (or agreeing not to build) their nuclear, or even conventional warhead armory by 20 missiles, that's progress.
At this point, progress with Hussein must be measured in much bigger steps.

Emperor
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist with Finglongers

From: Cell 53, East Wing
Insane since: Jul 2001

posted posted 03-05-2003 20:32

mobrul: Disagree away - although I'm not sure I was disagreeing with Bugs either (though destroyed missiles are still missiles that can't be used so that has to be progress - although rather miserly crumbs from the table perhaps ). I was refering to a specific point about the destruction of the missiles - Bugs asked if people here would change their position if Saddam didn't start destroying his missiles but he did and then pro-war people said it wasn't good enough so I was sort of trying to reverse the question

On the broader war front I have no genuine objects to a war with Iraq what I do object to is the haste and if this is being pushed through for humanitarian (something I really doubt the grounds for this war shift more often than those above the San Andreas fault) then the leaked UN report I mentioned in another thread would actually suggest that a rapid move to war could be disasterous.

A war for humanitarian reasons would be one that would wait until the correct humanitarian infrastructure had been funded and put in place and that takes time.

___________________
Emps

FAQs: Emperor

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 03-06-2003 09:40

I wholeheartedly agree with Emps, on this one.

As for this

quote:
Actually, Bugs, your ideas on humans being evil to the core, are not unsupported

-- xRuleith

While I believe that yes, all the negative things the Mankind has ever done is certainly inside of everyone, the same goes for the opposite...that all the positive things are inside, as well. Though these things are potentially within...and not 'guaranteed'...I feel that the environment, both natural and societal, have more to do with what one does with this potential.

Based on my own experiences, the best, and worse, of Mankind is within everyone.

WebShaman
Maniac (V) Mad Scientist

From: Happy Hunting Grounds...
Insane since: Mar 2001

posted posted 03-07-2003 09:37

A very 'interesting' turn of events...looks like the Congress is 'waking up' Full Article here

I especially like this part

quote:
"There is virtual unanimity," Mr. Daschle said, "in our express concern about the approach the administration has used. In our view, they have failed diplomatically. In our view, they are rushing to war without adequate concern for the ramifications of doing so unilaterally or with a very small coalition of nations."

-- The New York Times



This goes along the lines of what Emps and I have been saying all along...

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