Anybody hear Sen.Boxer and Condie Rice?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steve Buckner, Jan 18, 2005.

  1. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    Bugnuts/ Jason,
    Cactus was making the argument that the US didn't play much of a roll in Iraq during the Iran/Iraq war and that simply is incorrect. Were you both around during the Iran/Iraq war, the Iran hostage situation, or the Iran-Contra affair? Did you pay attention to it if you were? The US has been manipulating the middle east for decades, and the Bush administration continues to manipulate US citizens to believe them. They're relying on the majority of the US to continue to believe the spin that they've put on everything, from their position on global warming, the changes to the ESA, the changes to the EPA, and to the war in Iraq to name a few.

    Should we have ignored Saddam now? Absolutely. No WMD's or links to Al-Queda. He wasn't a threat at the time of the invasion. We could have built world support, like GWB first proposed but then later dismissed, and this may have not cost the lives, dollars, and embarrassment that it has. The U.N. inspectors were in Iraq and left only when we were about to drop bombs on their positions. We've lost ground in Iraq and we've lost ground on the world stage because we invaded a country on false precepts. We're supposed to be the good guys, but we've not lived up to the ideals that you each have. We've damaged our relationship with most of the european countries and it is for that reason that Bush has plans to visit them in the near future to try to repair some of those relationships.

    Should we have invaded Afghanistan? Absolutely. We had good intelligence that Al-Queda was there and we took out the taliban. We had overwhelming world support immediately after 911 but that support quickly evaporated. We lost our opportunity to get Osama, after nearly 4 years, he's still at large.

    It may be uncomfortable for both of you to look at US involvment in these matters , but this is no conspiracy, there are plenty of sources that back up the stuff I've posted, look at the bibliography at the end of the article. Feel free to show an alternate opinion and back it up if you can. I'm certainly willing to examine it and even change my mind, but only if it's true. I would really love to believe the US is only out there to do the right thing, but the facts in the case just don't lead to that conclusion.

    You have a couple of choices, you can believe whatever GWB proclaims or you can seek out the truth and make up your own mind. Are you looking to find the truth or are you content with fairy tales? If any of this is rubbing you the wrong way its because you are looking squarely at information that GWB is not going to provide. Will any of my arguments persuade you? Probably not, you've already made up your mind, at the same time, maybe, if you had digested the information from the factual-historical past, maybe you would have a different opinion than you do, then again, maybe not.

    Right now, Republicans would love everyone in the country to just sit back and not bring focus to the errrors related to Iraq, it's too painful for them to look at the mistakes. The greatest lesson that I learned in college was to question everything, and not to take things at face value. Here are two quotes from from Carl Sagan that I think apply.

    "One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We're no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. it is simply too painful to acknowledge -- even to ourselves -- that we've been so credulous. (So the old bamboozles tend to persist as the new bamboozles rise.)"

    "Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us -- and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along."
     
  2. Mike Etgen

    Mike Etgen Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here

    I finally took the time to read this thread last night and was impressed by a lot of what was said, and especially by the information provided that took effort and thought. And I truly believe that wherever you stand on all of this, you're sincere in your concern for this country and the larger world.

    Having said that, I think Steve's above comment pretty well sums it up. Historically, if you want to confine it to the 20th century and beyond, the country of Iraq is an artificial state cobbled together initially by Great Britain. It was only one of the many and more recent colonial adventures undertaken over the centuries by that country.

    We've fallen right in with that tradition, and perhaps that constitutional justification mentioned by BR has been the impetus, but I doubt it. I'm more inclined to believe it's part of the old manifest destiny idealogy that entitles this country to use whatever means are necessary to leverage our way into the affairs of other countries, under the belief that our way and will are what's best for everyone.

    Like it or not, we've supported dictators and thugs whenever it has supported the "national interest" as defined by our leaders. In the Middle East in particular, because of our irrefutable dependence on one very significant natural resource, we've consistently executed tactics and strategies that keep the pipelines open. And I think it's disingenuous of us as a people to think that this history of ours is not at least somewhat related to the hatred of us that motivated and resulted in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

    Like it or not, we used that event and some very faulty intelligence (which most, including me, believed) to justify the invasion of Iraq. For the record, I was for that, although a little nervous about the long-term results.

    Forget for a minute that we're desperately dependent on oil and need a "stabilized" Middle East, and focus on the more immediate dilemma. We have a Commander in Chief who has committed lives and resources to the Iraq adventure. I suspect there's a place where he knows it was a mistake, Rumsfeld knows it was a mistake, Cheney knows it was a mistake, but how could any of them face the everyday soldiers and families who have made the real sacrifices and say, "Oops...my bad." A lot of us, who are safely out of harm's way, would like to think we would "respect" the Administration if they would just come clean and acknowledge what so many of us have figured out.
    But I don't know how I would feel, if it were me or my son or daughter who had been asked to honor that commitment to serve, to hear from my Commander in Chief that it was a mistake. I really don't know...

    So, what about the people in our Armed Forces, not to mention the many Iraqis who really wanted us there and feel they're better off for it. Can we really now say, "Sorry...shouldn't have done this...now if you'll excuse me we'll just gather up our things and go home."

    For me, that's the 64 million dollar question. I've sometimes wondered, back when GWB was talking about restoring the sovreignty of the Iraqis, if it wouldn't have made sense to be sure there was a "referendum question" on the Iraqi ballot:

    "Should the American forces withdraw completely and without condition by April 1, 2005?"

    A "yes" vote, if GWB were sincere, would be the ultimate assertion of "sovreignty."

    But, what does that say to the individual soldier? To the rest of the world? Is it a surrender? Is it an acknowledgment of the sovreignty of another nation? Does it signal a massive shift in United States foreign policy - a willingness to forgo our own interests to respect the rights of other peoples to self-determination? Is it a capitulation to terrorists? Would it tell Osama, Al-Quada, and the newer breed of insurgents that we're pulling out of the game of global influence? Are we ready, today, for a potentially long period of an unpredictable and unreliable supply of oil?

    These to me are the tough questions. And I frankly don't know the answers to any but the last. No, we're definitely NOT ready to do anything that risks our access to Middle Eastern oil, because that access underpins our whole way of life.

    The administration's absolute unwillingness to respond to that one fact with anything other than business as usual, is the single most discouraging fact about it.

    I may be an unrealistic idealist, but I believe that if the leaders of this country identified energy independence as the single most important goal of this nation, and the most vital to our survival as a people, we citizens would fall in and make it happen. In my opinion, we are all thirsting for someone with the leadership capability and the courage and the vision to say it and mean it.

    Forget the false choices that paralyze us with fear and indecision. I resent these kinds of questons:
    "Do you want salmon or jobs?"
    "Do you want wild land or homes?"
    "Do you want to own an SUV or peddle a bike?"
    "Do you want some infidel holding the oil supply hostage?"

    This country desperately needs some true, visionary leaders. We can't keep doing business as usual - not in my opinion.
     
  3. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    Steve,

    The U.S. did NOT put Saddam in power! Saddam became "vice-president" of Iraq in 1968, after a coup led by the Ba'athist Party; and became the official "president" in 1979, although he was the actual ruler long before he became "president". Saddam's Iraq was a client of the Soviet Union, NOT the U.S., he modeled his regime after Josef Stalin's!

    Over 85% of Iraq's weapons are/were Soviet weapons. That is why you see that AK-47 rifles, Soviet tanks, Mig fighters, Soviet RPG's and Hine helocopters were used by Saddam's forces. U.S. weapons accounted for only 5% of the armaments Saddam had; even the French had supplied more weapons to him. Your own post points that out: "The United States did not act alone in this effort. The Soviet Union was the largest weapons supplier, but England, France and Germany were also involved in the shipment of arms and technology."

    It's actually not true that we wanted Iraq to win; what we wanted was for Iran NOT to win! A Reagan Administration official once made the statement that "it's to bad both sides can't lose".

    At the time that we gave Iraq minor assistance (as your post so kindly verified), Iran was threatening to overpower Iraq due to it's superior manpower (Iran also used chemical weapons during that war). The U.S. could not accept this, as I previously pointed out (and you seem to concur), because we were afraid of Iran spreading Islamic fundamentalism throughout the mid-East.

    What the U.S. was actually hoping for was a stalemate between the two sides.

    Nobody is saying that the U.S. has perfectly clean hands regarding the Middle East, geo-politics sometimes requires this. But this insinuation that the U.S. is the cause of the troubles in the region is simply false. The U.S. has been a late-comer to the region, remaining largely uninvolved until the 1970's. The boundaries and political divisions of the region were mainly a British design.
     
  4. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    That's the nice thing about hind-sight, Steve. It's usually 20/20! However in this case, your slightly miopic!

    The ENTIRE world thought that Saddam had WMD. It wasn't even questioned IF he had them or not, everyone was certain that he did. That's just about as certain as any intellegence gets!

    As for your assertion that there was no connection between Saddam and al Qaeda, that is not entirely true. There is evidence of connections between the two. There is no proof of Iraqi involvement in 9-11 however.

    "I don't think there's any doubt but that there were some contacts between Saddam Hussein's government and al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden's people." (9-11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, News Hour with Jim Lehrer, June 16, 2004)’

    "Yes, there were contacts between Iraqi and al-Qaeda, a number of them, some of them a little shadowy. They were definitely there." (9-11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean, News Hour with Jim Lehrer, June 16, 2004)

    "Bin Ladin also explored possible cooperation with Iraq during his time in Sudan, despite his opposition to Hussein's secular regime... A senior Iraqi intelligence officer reportedly made three visits to Sudan, finally meeting Bin Ladin in 1994." (9-11 Commission Staff Statement 15, June 16, 2004)

    Along with these links, the Czech government STILL stands by it's assertion that Mohammed Atta met with Iraqi intellegence officials in Prague in early 2001.

    If you check Charles Duelfers report, you will notice that this idea of "world support" in containing Saddam Hussain is fantasy! Many of the nations that the left likes to complain President Bush failed to get support from, were accepting bribes from Saddam. Nations like France had been attempting for years to remove the sanctions that were on Iraq prior to our invasion. They were never going to support putting MORE pressure on Saddam!

    Duelfer concluded that if the sanctions were fully removed (they were already seriously weakened), Saddam would have been a greater danger than ever. Saddam was prepared to resume production of his chemical/biological weapons and his nuclear program, and could have them operational in short order. The only nation that was responsible for keeping those flawed sanctions on Iraq was the U.S.

    So was going into Iraq the "right" thing to do? Yes it was, the U.S. had been kicking that can down the road for too many years. Will it be a success? Only time will tell!
     
  5. bugnuts

    bugnuts Member

    I planned a trip to the OP last year when the consensus was that the rivers would be in great shape and some big nates would be hiding in the riffles. (Several liberals even agreed with my analysis and accompanied me. :D) In fact, the rivers still had a bit too much color and it turned out to be a bit early for the natives. Bummer...a rare trip to the OP with nada to show for it...oh well. :confused: I still saw the usual breathtaking sights and breathed some fresh air. :thumb:

    In Skinny's world, the trip itself was a mistake despite the fact the every source of information available agreed on the timing and conditions, and despite the fact that I had a good time. Now before you toss aside my blatant attempt at levity, Steve, by saying that any trip to the OP is a good one no matter what, doesn't clinging to the fact that no WMD's were found ignore the larger duty we Americans have imposed on ourselves since day one with respect to world freedom? Every source of information available agreed Saddam had them, and now we are giving the Iraqi's a shot at democracy that they wouldn't have had otherwise. What's the prob? Would a neater, cleaner packaged war be different?
     
  6. Robert Niles

    Robert Niles ..still learnin'

    Don't know why she bugged Condy so much, Condy is just a patsie, a pawn for the hawks. I remember when Powell had a backbone, but they ripped it right out of him and stuck in some sort of symbiote. Did the same with Condy, you can tell by the way she only knows a few phrases and repeats them over and over.
     
  7. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member


    Steve:

    Who ever said they believed that America was always out to do the right thing? Our government, and all democratic governments, look to provide for the welfare and protection of it's people and it's values. Do we always make the right decisions? Of course not! There are two simple things that drive individuals and society as a whole: Greed and fear. They both cause individuals and countries to make horrible decisons. I am sure you could recall a couple of your own. I know I can! I am not living in a "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" coccoon. It is not naivete' or simpleness that drives my viewpoints. I clearly understand the repercussions of our nation's actions. I have implemented the policies and objectives directed by our nation's leaders by rifle point. I've seen young men give their lives with a belief in the government decisons. Greed drives all countries. It is not sacred principles that provide the security you sleep under tonight or a desire to do good that enables you to enjoy the highest standard of living in the world. No matter how much you want to believe there are not, there ARE bad guys out there right now that would love to destroy our country. They'd love to destroy all that we stand for, all that we hold sacred. They'd love ot see our economy collapse, our citizens divide, and our values wither. Do you know why? Because then they'd write the rulebook. Because then they'd live the great lives we live. What do you think their goals are? What do you think would happen if the world stuck their heads in the sand and ignored the threat? Do you think you'd live in a better or worse world? George Bush would seem pretty moderate compared to just about any Arab leader, don't you agree? I mean, to my knowledge, he's never quartered anyone or cut a tongue out for someone insulting him. Do you now what stops them? It's fear! Do you know what creates that fear? It our military, our wealth, our strength in world politics, our purchasing power for their countries products, and the knowledge that if you cross the line, if you threaten our friends or our nations values for too long, we will answer. Shock and Awe Steve, remember?

    You see Steve, I don't believe in the black choppers. I don't believe that evil men in high places are plotting their next evil and unfair move. I don't believe that someone thought, "Hey, if we controlled Iraq, we control the OIL! (Insert evil laugh here) And then: WORLD DOMINATION!"

    What I do believe is that greed and fear get the best of all men (and all countries). The greed is easy to understand, Steve. He who has the money in this world (or the oil) gets to make the rules the rest of the world lives by. That's how it's always been. That's how it always will be. I for one like the values of western nations. I like the democracies that we live in. So, if it comes done to Saddam Hussein's Iraq controlling the moneys (and the power that comes with it, you know like the money to purchase weapons to kill 12,000 people.) No fair, Jason; that Kurd killing thing again?) or the USA controlling the source of those moneys (oil). I'll take the later every time. Call me crazy, but history might say that the guys who wear those nice robes and drive Bentleys make some SCCCAAAARRRRYYYY decisons.

    A guy who goes to church and fishes or a guy that beheads and has 13 wifes??? Hmmm, I'll take they one without the sword and rifle in his picture please.

    If the worst is true and a bunch of old greedy men, with dark thoughts of world domination, said "Let's get that oil"; I still wouldn't be disappointed. Because in the end, it's greed and fear. The guys with the most cash, and the most planes, and the most tanks have always called the shots. AND THEY ALWAYS WILL, STEVE! I'll take a little greed, because, trust me, it's alot better then the fear! Remember the fear? 9/11? The day you felt that tight gut, that hollow chest, the day you called your loved one to see if they were ok, the day you realized what it felt like to live Isreal, the day they brought the fear to your front door?

    I believe it is time to take a stand. I will not live my entire life in fear. I certainly do not want that legacy for my children. Sure, we may have stoked the flames of fanatacism, but the fanatics were there to flame. They didn't need our help. The meek may someday inherit the earth, but for now the strong will rule. I hope to God, the strond always have the values of the country I live in today. It's the hurtful truth Steve. It always has been..........
     
  8. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member

    This, from a Canadian newspaper, is worth sharing.

    America: The Good Neighbor.

    Widespread but only partial news coverage was given recently to a remarkable editorial broadcast from Toronto by Gordon Sinclair, a Canadian television commentator. What follows is the full text of his trenchant remarks as printed in the Congressional Record:

    "This Canadian thinks it is time to speak up for the Americans as the most generous and possibly the least appreciated people on all the earth. Germany, Japan and, to a lesser extent, Britain and Italy were lifted out of the debris of war by the Americans who poured in billions of dollars and forgave other billions in debts. None of these countries is today paying even the interest on its remaining debts to the United States.

    When France was in danger of collapsing in 1956, it was the Americans who propped it up, and their reward was to be insulted and swindled on the streets of Paris. I was there. I saw it.

    When earthquakes hit distant cities, it is the United States that hurries in to help. This spring, 59 American communities were flattened by tornadoes. Nobody helped. The Marshall Plan and the Truman Policy pumped billions of dollars! into discouraged countries. Now newspapers in those countries are writing about the decadent, warmongering Americans.

    I'd like to see just one of those countries that is gloating over the erosion of the United States dollar build its own airplane. Does any other country in the world have a plane to equal the Boeing Jumbo Jet, the Lockheed Tri-Star, or the Douglas DC10? If so, why don't they fly them? Why do all the International lines except Russia fly American Planes? Why does no other land on earth even consider putting a man or woman on the moon? You talk about Japanese technocracy, and you get radios. You talk about German technocracy, and you get automobiles. You talk about American technocracy, and you find men on the moon -! not once, but several times - and safely home again. You talk about scandals, and the Americans put theirs right in the store window for everybody to look at. Even their draft-dodgers are not pursued and hounded. They are here on our streets, and most of them, unless they are breaking Canadian laws, are getting American dollars from ma and pa at home to spend here.

    When the railways of France, Germany and India were breaking down through age, it was the Americans who rebuilt them. When the Pennsylvania Railroad and the New York Central went broke, nobody loaned them an old caboose. Both are still broke. I can name you 5000 times when the Americans raced to the help of other people in trouble. Can you name me even one time when someone else raced to the Americans in trouble? I don't think there was outside help even during the San Francisco earthquake. Our neighbors have faced it alone, and I'm one Canadian who is damned tired of hearing them get kicked around. They will come out of this thing with their flag high. And when they do, they are entitled to thumb their nose at the lands that are gloating over their present troubles. I hope Canada is not one of those."
     
  9. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    For all of you who keep saying that America was loved by everyone before we invaded Iraq, that editorial was written by Gordon Sinclair in 1973.

    The world didn't all of a sudden "love" us after 9-11, they just felt pity for us! As soon as it was obvious that we didn't need their pity, it was back to their usual dislike for us.
     
  10. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    Jason,
    If greed and fear, using your terms, are what rule the world, and the US is using those tools to get what it needs, is there any real difference between Saddam and GWB? Maybe I'm somewhat of an idealist but I would like to think that those who are running this country, and the principles upon which it was founded, are better than that, but maybe you've proven my point, maybe there is no real difference, it's just fortunate for us that we're on the winning side...but we have yet to see the end of it I'm quite certain.
     
  11. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    Cactus,
    As always, thank you for debating this topic. We will probably always disagree but I can respect you and your opinions and for giving responses with thought.

    I did find an interesting site that gives some additional information about Saddam and the Iran/Iraq war: http://www2.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/index.htm

    Maybe you've already seen this stuff, apparently it consists of documents that have been de-classified. You were correct in the Soviets supplying Iraq in the early stages of the war. It wasn't until after Iraq looked like they were going to lose that the US stepped up with conventional/chemical weapons and financial help.
     
  12. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member

    Steve:

    I know that you are a man of intellect. What do you think? Name the biggest attrocities committed by George Bush and now compare Saddam Hussein. You have to realize that the world's politics are challenging. Idealistic talk about right vs. wrong doesn't solve it's problems. The UN is a prime example of that! On that topic, you must realize that even the UN's main objective is wealth distribution. An important objective, as poverty and despair are the seeds of terrorism. The principles that founded this country are idealistic. Proof of that is the fact that our citizens fail to honor the principles every day. "All men are created equal?", we've sure screwed up that founding principle; our government and citizens alike. The balance of world power will always be an interesting plight. The quest for that power has written many interesting chapters, as well as horrifying ones, in the world's history book. I may not like every chapter that mentions the US, but as a whole I am damn proud. You should be as well.

    If you need some help in comparing George to Saddam, I have provided some statistic. Ponder them a while and then answer your own question, "is there any real difference between Saddam and GWB?"


    * **
    April 4, 2003
    Past Repression and Atrocities by Saddam Hussein's Regime


    For over 20 years, the greatest threat to Iraqis has been Saddam Hussein's regime -- he has killed, tortured, raped and terrorized the Iraqi people and his neighbors for over two decades.

    When Iraq is free, past crimes against humanity and war crimes committed against Iraqis, will be accounted for, in a post-conflict Iraqi-led process. The United States, members of the coalition and international community will work with the Iraqi people to build a strong and credible judicial process to address these abuses.

    -- Under Saddam's regime many hundreds of thousands of people have died as a result of his actions - the vast majority of them Muslims.

    -- According to a 2001 Amnesty International report, "victims of torture in Iraq are subjected to a wide range of forms of torture, including the gouging out of eyes, severe beatings and electric shocks... some victims have died as a result and many have been left with permanent physical and psychological damage."

    -- Saddam has had approximately 40 of his own relatives murdered.

    -- Allegations of prostitution used to intimidate opponents of the regime, have been used by the regime to justify the barbaric beheading of women.

    -- Documented chemical attacks by the regime, from 1983 to 1988, resulted in some 30,000 Iraqi and Iranian deaths.

    -- Human Rights Watch estimates that Saddam's 1987-1988 campaign of terror against the Kurds killed at least 50,000 and possibly as many as 100,000 Kurds.*

    -- The Iraqi regime used chemical agents to include mustard gas and nerve agents in attacks against at least 40 Kurdish villages between 1987-1988. The largest was the attack on Halabja which resulted in approximately 5,000 deaths.

    -- 2,000 Kurdish villages were destroyed during the campaign of terror.

    -- Iraq's 13 million Shi'a Muslims, the majority of Iraq's population of approximately 22 million, face severe restrictions on their religious practice, including a ban on communal Friday prayer, and restriction on funeral processions.

    -- According to Human Rights Watch, "senior Arab diplomats told the London-based Arabic daily newspaper al-Hayat in October [1991] that Iraqi leaders were privately acknowledging that 250,000 people were killed during the uprisings, with most of the casualties in the south."

    -- Refugees International reports that the "Oppressive government policies have led to the internal displacement of 900,000 Iraqis, primarily Kurds who have fled to the north to escape Saddam Hussein's Arabization campaigns (which involve forcing Kurds to renounce their Kurdish identity or lose their property) and Marsh Arabs, who fled the government's campaign to dry up the southern marshes for agricultural use. More than 200,000 Iraqis continue to live as refugees in Iran."

    -- The U.S. Committee for Refugees, in 2002, estimated that nearly 100,000 Kurds, Assyrians and Turkomans had previously been expelled, by the regime, from the "central-government-controlled Kirkuk and surrounding districts in the oil-rich region bordering the Kurdish controlled north."

    --* "Over the past five years, 400,000 Iraqi children under the age of five died of malnutrition and disease, preventively, but died because of the nature of the regime under which they are living." (Prime Minister Tony Blair, March 27, 2003)*

    --* Under the oil-for-food program, the international community sought to make available to the Iraqi people adequate supplies of food and medicine, but the regime blocked sufficient access for international workers to ensure proper distribution of these supplies.

    --* Since the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, coalition forces have discovered military warehouses filled with food supplies meant for the Iraqi people that had been diverted by Iraqi military forces.

    --* The Iraqi regime has repeatedly refused visits by human rights monitors. From 1992 until 2002, Saddam prevented the UN Special Rapporteur from visiting Iraq.

    --* The UN Special Rapporteur's September 2001, report criticized the regime for "the sheer number of executions," the number of "extrajudicial executions on political grounds," and "the absence of a due process of the law."

    Executions: Saddam Hussein's regime has carried out frequent summary executions, including:

    --* 4,000 prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison in 1984;
    --* 3,000 prisoners at the Mahjar prison from 1993-1998;
    --* 2,500 prisoners were executed between 1997-1999 in a "prison cleansing campaign";*
    --* 22 political prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison in February/March 2000;*
    --* 23 political prisoners were executed at Abu Ghraib prison in October 2001;*
    --* At least 130 Iraqi women were beheaded between June 2000 and April 2001

    *
    WHAT DO YOU THINK STEVE, IS THERE A DIFFERENCE?
     
  13. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    Steve,

    I too have enjoyed this debate. There are things we may agree on and the things we don't, we can debate with passion and still respect the other person's opinion.

    Ain't this a great country! :beer2:
     
  14. Steve Buckner

    Steve Buckner Mother Nature's Son

    Jason,
    Thank you for giving me an opportunity to show you what has happened in terms of body counts since the US invaded Iraq:

    According to CNN here are recent figures:

    10,502 US troops wounded
    1,532 Coalition Troops killed
    U.S. does not tally the number of non-hostiles wounded

    Estimates are that approximately 37,000 Iraqi civilians have been killed
    Approximately 9,200 combatants have been killed. Realize that not everyone who is opposing the US occupation is a terrorist (despite GWB's proclamation that anyone who defies the US is a terroris), they are simply fighting for their own country. According to the GWB doctrine, I would also be labeled a terrorist because of my contempt for his administration.

    If we were to estimate the number of wounded Iraqi's using the same baseline as or the casualties of Americans, approximately Iraqi civilians 370,000 have been wounded/mamed.

    The attrocities commited by the US as it relates to Iraqi/Afghani detainees as the US (directed by GWB, Rumsfeld, Rice) ignores the Geneva Conventions will probably not become public for years.

    The extent of the attrocities commited at Abu-Ghuraib prison by the US will probably not become public for years, but you can bet they are hurriedly burying any additional links/memos from Rumsfeld and/or GWB ordering this to occur, although some documentation already exists. I would be happy to show your some graphic pictures of US soldiers standing over detainees who were beaten to death during the interrorgation and smiling :)

    The attrocities commited in Guantanamo bay will probably not become public for years. Guantanamo Bay was set up so that the US could proceed with whatever techniques it wanted to without being constrained by Geneva Conventions. Many of those detained in Guantanamo are undoubtedly Al-Queda, but we should still treat them humanely.

    Given our relatively short occupation of Iraq and the attrocities associated, much of which will be covered up, I'd say the only real difference between GWB and Saddam is that GWB has not killed any of his relatives...and giving him the benefit of doubt, he probably has not cut any of their tongues out. Realize that Saddam had 20 years to do what he did, GWB has only had 2 years but he's catching up remarkably well. If one were to extrapolate the death count over the next 20 years, the race would be neck and neck, I'd put my money on Bush, he is being driven by greed after all...

    Besides invading another country and the crimes commited there, for the US to ignore the Geneva conventions should put GWB right in line with Saddam and he will hopefully be tried as a war criminal.

    The main point is this, it's ok to go to war and to fight the bad guys but when the US invades another country and commits the same types of attrocities as those we're condemming, it's hard to tell the difference between the two.
     
  15. Jason Baker

    Jason Baker Member

    Steve:

    You finally got me. The United States intentions in Iraq are horrible. Our intent was to kill civilians, help terrorists to recruit more beheaders and suicide bombers, and to create a power base centrally located in the Arab world in which to commit the war crimes that will lead to the destruction of the Muslim world. It's all predicated by GWB; as God has called him to destroy these Jesus haters. What we should have done is just asked them to behave. You know, follow the laws we've created as a world society. We have that silly governing body called the UN. The one that passed those resolutions, you know, the ones Iraq ignored SEVENTEEN times. In your idealistic world I suppose that more talking would have resolved the issue. After all, that's clearly what we seen throughout history. Reason has always prevailed. Well, except for a war here and there. Oh, and about 10 million+ deaths in the meantime.

    Your idealism, to me, is humorous. Your thoughts; that of my college days. We'd sit in the coffee shop and solve the world's problems. Very clear answers to the issues we discussed. Goodness always prevails, right? Then on to the real world. Then onto the business world. You know what, the answer aren't clear their either. The best companies with the best intentions don't always win, Steve. It's dirty, competitive, and complicated. A lot like the world's politics. Right and wrong are hard to differientate at times. Hindsight always 20/20. Who to make alliances with, who not?

    Some of us face those realities, in our work and in our thoughts, some are still pondering. Sitting wishing that good will preavail.

    Say hello to the fellows at the coffee shop for me. Wish I could join you, but I've got some realities that need attention.

    We've always got fishing. :) That's the one issue I'd bet we'd agree on.

    I love your passion for your beliefs. I wish others cared as much. Your opinions and thoughts do enlighten me. Let's continue our healthy banter. I will look forward to the next post that grabs our attention. I know you'll be there, I'm counting on it! :beer2:
     
  16. Kalm

    Kalm Member

    So it all boils down to this. We are waging a war on terror. And the most effective way to win this war is to spread democracy across the planet. How do you do this? Militaristically, as in the war in Iraq. Or do you rely upon the forces of capitalism and hope that a Starbucks on every other corner of Tehran or Damascus will do the trick?

    The problem with the former is that we still haven't had that debate, even though the process has already begun. Now I'm not one to favor initiatives, but it seems that if this is our calling, the whole plan should have been layed out and discussed before we acted. Iraq was sold first as a war of national security and only after things went bad was it sold as a war of liberation. Which is not to say that to influence the ideology of the muslim world through strong-armed tactics was not the original goal, but if it was, that was not conveyed directly to the american people. For if we are to embark on this road we must weigh the length of the endeavor (generations?), and the cost (tax cuts?), not to mention the odds of success, and perhaps most importantly (as Bright Rivers would suggest) whether or not it is ultimately pragmatic. What happens after Iraq becomes democratic? Sure Libia has stepped in line, but how democratic is it? Have all the terrorits fled? What if Iran points to it's recent elections and says "see, we're democratic."

    And what of the rest of the free world? Changing the face of the planet should warrant some input from everyone else, shouldn't it?

    Bright River's post was very eloquent and very persuasive, but I would submit that we have started down that road without ever really discussing the full ramifications of it. After all, it's just a theory cracked up by Paul Wolfawicz and Co. after the first Gulf War.
     
  17. BOBLAWLESS

    BOBLAWLESS New Member

    What's done is done. We can argue forever over the meaning and wisdom of what was done and this is valid of course.

    But it does not answer the more pressing question of what will we do? What happens now? And there are some big "what ifs."

    What if Irag tumbles into a bloody civil war where muslims attack muslims and we get very bloodied as they do so. Do you think the Sunnis will sit still for an election that turns them out of power?

    How long can we sustain our presence? The violence is increasing not decreasing. We are trying harder but losing more control and lives than ever before. How long will the American public allow GWB to continue this fiasco? Steve is no dummy and thousands, yea millions are joining his thinking. Count me in his camp for sure.


    And when we do leave as we surely must, what will be left behind? A strong man of some sort, a new Saddam Hussien? Totalitarianism again?
    Will it all have been for naught, like Vietnam?

    These are some frightening prospects and yet the administration does not address them. We have no exit stratedgy. What will become of us, our troops, our world image, or national debt, or future as a world leader?

    Bob, the It's late (2:25 AM) and I'm going to try to go to sleep. But I will worry for us. I don't fiind a lot of sunshine headed our way. :ray1:
     
  18. Cactus

    Cactus Dana Miller

    No I don't! That is what all of the terrorist attacks are about right now. If you notice, the brunt of the current terrorist attacks are aimed at Iraqi government officials, national guard, police and people wanting to vote. The attacks against American and British forces have gone down recently.

    Far from this myth of some of the insurgents "just fighting for their country's freedom". The insurgents are KILLING their countrymen because they don't want elections. They know that the new government will be a majority Shi'a. The Sunnis are only around 25% of the population of Iraq but have controlled it for decades. That is why they are trying to frighten the voters away from the polls this coming Sunday.

    The insurgents leader, Zarqawi, just yesterday stated that this is a war against democracy, that anyone voting is an infidel and will be killed. He isn't making these proclamations because the Iraqi people are behind him, but because he knows that if the Iraqis vote, al Qaeda's hopes to make Iraq an Islamic Republic in the mold of the Taliban will die.

    The former Ba'athists are fighting because they know that they will no longer dominate the nations government and industries. They know that after the election, that it will be difficult to recruit fighters with the claim that they will be fighting to rid Iraq of the American "imperialists". They will then be fighting against an Iraqi government elected by a majority of Iraqis!

    The leader of the nations Shiites, Ayatollah Sistani, has stated that the new Shi'a majority government will be a secular government, not a theocracy like Iran. It could turn out to be more of a democracy like Turkey.

    In recent opinion polls in Iraq, over 80% of respondants said that they intend to vote in this Sunday's election despite the threats of death made against them (and WE complain about having to wait in line for an hour to vote :rolleyes: ). If you were to listen to reports of our soldiers in Iraq, you would hear that the vast majority of Iraqis are excited about the election and are hopeful of the future.

    Look's like there may be some sunshine behind those dark clouds to me, Bob! :thumb: