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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 01:20 PM        "Iraq actually DID seek yellowcake in Niger"
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 02:12 PM       
Not quite Christopher Hitchinson, or Ann Coulter for that matter (see her most recent column), but it's reasonably well written:

http://newyorker.com/fact/content/?030331fa_fact1

WHO LIED TO WHOM?

by SEYMOUR M. HERSH

Why did the Administration endorse a forgery about Iraq’s nuclear program?

Issue of 2003-03-31
Posted 2003-03-24

Last September 24th, as Congress prepared to vote on the resolution authorizing President George W. Bush to wage war in Iraq, a group of senior intelligence officials, including George Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence, briefed the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Iraq’s weapons capability. It was an important presentation for the Bush Administration. Some Democrats were publicly questioning the President’s claim that Iraq still possessed weapons of mass destruction which posed an immediate threat to the United States. Just the day before, former Vice-President Al Gore had sharply criticized the Administration’s advocacy of preëmptive war, calling it a doctrine that would replace “a world in which states consider themselves subject to law” with “the notion that there is no law but the discretion of the President of the United States.” A few Democrats were also considering putting an alternative resolution before Congress.

According to two of those present at the briefing, which was highly classified and took place in the committee’s secure hearing room, Tenet declared, as he had done before, that a shipment of high-strength aluminum tubes that was intercepted on its way to Iraq had been meant for the construction of centrifuges that could be used to produce enriched uranium. The suitability of the tubes for that purpose had been disputed, but this time the argument that Iraq had a nuclear program under way was buttressed by a new and striking fact: the C.I.A. had recently received intelligence showing that, between 1999 and 2001, Iraq had attempted to buy five hundred tons of uranium oxide from Niger, one of the world’s largest producers. The uranium, known as “yellow cake,” can be used to make fuel for nuclear reactors; if processed differently, it can also be enriched to make weapons. Five tons can produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a bomb. (When the C.I.A. spokesman William Harlow was asked for comment, he denied that Tenet had briefed the senators on Niger.)

On the same day, in London, Tony Blair’s government made public a dossier containing much of the information that the Senate committee was being given in secret—that Iraq had sought to buy “significant quantities of uranium” from an unnamed African country, “despite having no active civil nuclear power programme that could require it.” The allegation attracted immediate attention; a headline in the London Guardian declared, “african gangs offer route to uranium.”

Two days later, Secretary of State Colin Powell, appearing before a closed hearing of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, also cited Iraq’s attempt to obtain uranium from Niger as evidence of its persistent nuclear ambitions. The testimony from Tenet and Powell helped to mollify the Democrats, and two weeks later the resolution passed overwhelmingly, giving the President a congressional mandate for a military assault on Iraq.

On December 19th, Washington, for the first time, publicly identified Niger as the alleged seller of the nuclear materials, in a State Department position paper that rhetorically asked, “Why is the Iraqi regime hiding their uranium procurement?” (The charge was denied by both Iraq and Niger.) A former high-level intelligence official told me that the information on Niger was judged serious enough to include in the President’s Daily Brief, known as the P.D.B., one of the most sensitive intelligence documents in the American system. Its information is supposed to be carefully analyzed, or “scrubbed.” Distribution of the two- or three-page early-morning report, which is prepared by the C.I.A., is limited to the President and a few other senior officials. The P.D.B. is not made available, for example, to any members of the Senate or House Intelligence Committees. “I don’t think anybody here sees that thing,” a State Department analyst told me. “You only know what’s in the P.D.B. because it echoes—people talk about it.”

President Bush cited the uranium deal, along with the aluminum tubes, in his State of the Union Message, on January 28th, while crediting Britain as the source of the information: “The British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” He commented, “Saddam Hussein has not credibly explained these activities. He clearly has much to hide.”



Then the story fell apart. On March 7th, Mohamed ElBaradei, the director-general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, in Vienna, told the U.N. Security Council that the documents involving the Niger-Iraq uranium sale were fakes. “The I.A.E.A. has concluded, with the concurrence of outside experts, that these documents . . . are in fact not authentic,” ElBaradei said.

One senior I.A.E.A. official went further. He told me, “These documents are so bad that I cannot imagine that they came from a serious intelligence agency. It depresses me, given the low quality of the documents, that it was not stopped. At the level it reached, I would have expected more checking.”

The I.A.E.A. had first sought the documents last fall, shortly after the British government released its dossier. After months of pleading by the I.A.E.A., the United States turned them over to Jacques Baute, who is the director of the agency’s Iraq Nuclear Verification Office.

It took Baute’s team only a few hours to determine that the documents were fake. The agency had been given about a half-dozen letters and other communications between officials in Niger and Iraq, many of them written on letterheads of the Niger government. The problems were glaring. One letter, dated October 10, 2000, was signed with the name of Allele Habibou, a Niger Minister of Foreign Affairs and Coöperation, who had been out of office since 1989. Another letter, allegedly from Tandja Mamadou, the President of Niger, had a signature that had obviously been faked and a text with inaccuracies so egregious, the senior I.A.E.A. official said, that “they could be spotted by someone using Google on the Internet.”

The large quantity of uranium involved should have been another warning sign. Niger’s “yellow cake” comes from two uranium mines controlled by a French company, with its entire output presold to nuclear power companies in France, Japan, and Spain. “Five hundred tons can’t be siphoned off without anyone noticing,” another I.A.E.A. official told me.

This official told me that the I.A.E.A. has not been able to determine who actually prepared the documents. “It could be someone who intercepted faxes in Israel, or someone at the headquarters of the Niger Foreign Ministry, in Niamey. We just don’t know,” the official said. “Somebody got old letterheads and signatures, and cut and pasted.” Some I.A.E.A. investigators suspected that the inspiration for the documents was a trip that the Iraqi Ambassador to Italy took to several African countries, including Niger, in February, 1999. They also speculated that MI6—the branch of British intelligence responsible for foreign operations—had become involved, perhaps through contacts in Italy, after the Ambassador’s return to Rome.

Baute, according to the I.A.E.A. official, “confronted the United States with the forgery: ‘What do you have to say?’ They had nothing to say.”

ElBaradei’s disclosure has not been disputed by any government or intelligence official in Washington or London. Colin Powell, asked about the forgery during a television interview two days after ElBaradei’s report, dismissed the subject by saying, “If that issue is resolved, that issue is resolved.” A few days later, at a House hearing, he denied that anyone in the United States government had anything to do with the forgery. “It came from other sources,” Powell testified. “It was provided in good faith to the inspectors.”

The forgery became the object of widespread, and bitter, questions in Europe about the credibility of the United States. But it initially provoked only a few news stories in America, and little sustained questioning about how the White House could endorse such an obvious fake. On March 8th, an American official who had reviewed the documents was quoted in the Washington Post as explaining, simply, “We fell for it.”



The Bush Administration’s reliance on the Niger documents may, however, have stemmed from more than bureaucratic carelessness or political overreaching. Forged documents and false accusations have been an element in U.S. and British policy toward Iraq at least since the fall of 1997, after an impasse over U.N. inspections. Then as now, the Security Council was divided, with the French, the Russians, and the Chinese telling the United States and the United Kingdom that they were being too tough on the Iraqis. President Bill Clinton, weakened by the impeachment proceedings, hinted of renewed bombing, but, then as now, the British and the Americans were losing the battle for international public opinion. A former Clinton Administration official told me that London had resorted to, among other things, spreading false information about Iraq. The British propaganda program—part of its Information Operations, or I/Ops—was known to a few senior officials in Washington. “I knew that was going on,” the former Clinton Administration official said of the British efforts. “We were getting ready for action in Iraq, and we wanted the Brits to prepare.”

Over the next year, a former American intelligence officer told me, at least one member of the U.N. inspection team who supported the American and British position arranged for dozens of unverified and unverifiable intelligence reports and tips—data known as inactionable intelligence—to be funnelled to MI6 operatives and quietly passed along to newspapers in London and elsewhere. “It was intelligence that was crap, and that we couldn’t move on, but the Brits wanted to plant stories in England and around the world,” the former officer said. There was a series of clandestine meetings with MI6, at which documents were provided, as well as quiet meetings, usually at safe houses in the Washington area. The British propaganda scheme eventually became known to some members of the U.N. inspection team. “I knew a bit,” one official still on duty at U.N. headquarters acknowledged last week, “but I was never officially told about it.”

None of the past and present officials I spoke with were able to categorically state that the fake Niger documents were created or instigated by the same propaganda office in MI6 that had been part of the anti-Iraq propaganda wars in the late nineteen-nineties. (An MI6 intelligence source declined to comment.) Press reports in the United States and elsewhere have suggested other possible sources: the Iraqi exile community, the Italians, the French. What is generally agreed upon, a congressional intelligence-committee staff member told me, is that the Niger documents were initially circulated by the British—President Bush said as much in his State of the Union speech—and that “the Brits placed more stock in them than we did.” It is also clear, as the former high-level intelligence official told me, that “something as bizarre as Niger raises suspicions everywhere.”



What went wrong? Did a poorly conceived propaganda effort by British intelligence, whose practices had been known for years to senior American officials, manage to move, without significant challenge, through the top layers of the American intelligence community and into the most sacrosanct of Presidential briefings? Who permitted it to go into the President’s State of the Union speech? Was the message—the threat posed by Iraq—more important than the integrity of the intelligence-vetting process? Was the Administration lying to itself? Or did it deliberately give Congress and the public what it knew to be bad information?

Asked to respond, Harlow, the C.I.A. spokesman, said that the agency had not obtained the actual documents until early this year, after the President’s State of the Union speech and after the congressional briefings, and therefore had been unable to evaluate them in a timely manner. Harlow refused to respond to questions about the role of Britain’s MI6. Harlow’s statement does not, of course, explain why the agency left the job of exposing the embarrassing forgery to the I.A.E.A. It puts the C.I.A. in an unfortunate position: it is, essentially, copping a plea of incompetence.

The chance for American intelligence to challenge the documents came as the Administration debated whether to pass them on to ElBaradei. The former high-level intelligence official told me that some senior C.I.A. officials were aware that the documents weren’t trustworthy. “It’s not a question as to whether they were marginal. They can’t be ‘sort of’ bad, or ‘sort of’ ambiguous. They knew it was a fraud—it was useless. Everybody bit their tongue and said, ‘Wouldn’t it be great if the Secretary of State said this?’ The Secretary of State never saw the documents.” He added, “He’s absolutely apoplectic about it.” (A State Department spokesman was unable to comment.) A former intelligence officer told me that some questions about the authenticity of the Niger documents were raised inside the government by analysts at the Department of Energy and the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research. However, these warnings were not heeded.

“Somebody deliberately let something false get in there,” the former high-level intelligence official added. “It could not have gotten into the system without the agency being involved. Therefore it was an internal intention. Someone set someone up.” (The White House declined to comment.)

Washington’s case that the Iraqi regime had failed to meet its obligation to give up weapons of mass destruction was, of course, based on much more than a few documents of questionable provenance from a small African nation. But George W. Bush’s war against Iraq has created enormous anxiety throughout the world—in part because one side is a superpower and the other is not. It can’t help the President’s case, or his international standing, when his advisers brief him with falsehoods, whether by design or by mistake.

On March 14th, Senator Jay Rockefeller, of West Virginia, the senior Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, formally asked Robert Mueller, the F.B.I. director, to investigate the forged documents. Rockefeller had voted for the resolution authorizing force last fall. Now he wrote to Mueller, “There is a possibility that the fabrication of these documents may be part of a larger deception campaign aimed at manipulating public opinion and foreign policy regarding Iraq.” He urged the F.B.I. to ascertain the source of the documents, the skill-level of the forgery, the motives of those responsible, and “why the intelligence community did not recognize the documents were fabricated.” A Rockefeller aide told me that the F.B.I. had promised to look into it.
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 02:40 PM       
Very interesting article.
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 07:00 PM       
Evidence of Niger uranium trade years before war

Financial Times (http://news.ft.com)

Evidence of Niger uranium trade 'years before war'

By Mark Huband

Published: June 28 2004 5:00 | Last Updated: June 28 2004 5:00

When thieves stole a steel watch and two bottles of perfume from Niger's embassy on Via Antonio Baiamonti in Rome at the end of December 2000, they left behind many questions about their intentions.

The identity of the thieves has not been established. But one theory is that they planned to steal headed notepaper and official stamps that would allow the forging of documents for the illicit sale of uranium from Niger's vast mines.

The break-in is one of the murkier elements surrounding the claim - made by the US and UK governments in the lead-up to the Iraq war - that Iraq sought to buy uranium illicitly from Niger.

The British government has said repeatedly it stands by intelligence it gathered and used in its controversial September 2002 dossier on Iraq's weapons of mass destruction programmes. It still claims that Iraq had sought uranium from Niger.

But the US intelligence community, officials and politicians, are publicly sceptical, and the public differences between the two allies on the issue have obscured the evidence that lies behind the UK claim.

Until now, the only evidence of Iraq's alleged attempts to buy uranium from Niger had turned out to be a forgery. In October 2002, documents were handed to the US embassy in Rome that appeared to be correspondence between Niger and Iraqi officials.

When the US State Department later passed the documents to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the UN nuclear watchdog, they were found to be fake. US officials have subsequently distanced themselves from the entire notion that Iraq was seeking buy uranium from Niger.

However, European intelligence officers have now revealed that three years before the fake documents became public, human and electronic intelligence sources from a number of countries picked up repeated discussion of an illicit trade in uranium from Niger. One of the customers discussed by the traders was Iraq.

These intelligence officials now say the forged documents appear to have been part of a "scam", and the actual intelligence showing discussion of uranium supply has been ignored.

The fake documents were handed to an Italian journalist working for the Italian magazine Panorama by a businessman in October 2002. According to a senior official with detailed knowledge of the case, this businessman had been dismissed from the Italian armed forces for dishonourable conduct 25 years earlier.

The journalist - Elisabetta Burba - reported in a Panorama article that she suspected the documents were forgeries and handed them to officials at the US embassy in Rome.

The businessman, referred to by a pseudonym in the Panorama article, had previously tried to sell the documents to several intelligence services, according to a western intelligence officer.

It was later established that he had a record of extortion and deception and had been convicted by a Rome court in 1985 and later arrested at least twice. The suspected forger's real name is known to the FT, but cannot be used because of legal constraints. He did not return telephone calls yesterday, and is understood to be planning to reveal selected aspects of his story to a US television channel.

The FT has now learnt that three European intelligence services were aware of possible illicit trade in uranium from Niger between 1999 and 2001. Human intelligence gathered in Italy and Africa more than three years before the Iraq war had shown Niger officials referring to possible illicit uranium deals with at least five countries, including Iraq.

This intelligence provided clues about plans by Libya and Iran to develop their undeclared nuclear programmes. Niger officials were also discussing sales to North Korea and China of uranium ore or the "yellow cake" refined from it: the raw materials that can be progressively enriched to make nuclear bombs.

The raw intelligence on the negotiations included indications that Libya was investing in Niger's uranium industry to prop it up at a time when demand had fallen, and that sales to Iraq were just a part of the clandestine export plan. These secret exports would allow countries with undeclared nuclear programmes to build up uranium stockpiles.

One nuclear counter-proliferation expert told the FT: "If I am going to make a bomb, I am not going to use the uranium that I have declared. I am going to use what I acquire clandestinely, if I am going to keep the programme hidden."

This may have been the method being used by Libya before it agreed last December to abandon its secret nuclear programme. According to the IAEA, there are 2,600 tonnes of refined uranium ore - "yellow cake" - in Libya. However, less than 1,500 tonnes of it is accounted for in Niger records, even though Niger was Libya's main supplier.

Information gathered in 1999-2001 suggested that the uranium sold illicitly would be extracted from mines in Niger that had been abandoned as uneconomic by the two French-owned mining companies - Cominak and Somair, both of which are owned by the mining giant Cogema - operating in Niger.

"Mines can be abandoned by Cogema when they become unproductive. This doesn't mean that people near the mines can't keep on extracting," a senior European counter-proliferation official said.

He added that there was no evidence the companies were aware of the plans for illicit mining.

When the intelligence gathered in 1999-2001 was thrown into the diplomatic maelstrom that preceded the US-led invasion of Iraq, it took on new significance. Several services contributed to the picture.

The Italians, looking for corroboration but lacking the global reach of the CIA or the UK intelligence service MI6, passed information to the US in 2001 and to the UK in 2002.

The UK eavesdropping centre GCHQ had intercepted communications suggesting Iraq was seeking clandestine uranium supplies, as had the French intelligence service.

The Italian intelligence was not incorporated in detail into the assessments of the CIA, which seeks to use such information only when it is gathered from its own sources rather than as a result of liaison with foreign intelligence services. But five months after receiving it, the US sent former ambassador Joseph Wilson to Niger to assess the credibility of separate US intelligence information that suggested Iraq had approached Niger.

Mr Wilson was critical of the Bush administration's use of secret intelligence, and has since charged that the White House sought to intimidate him by leaking the identity of his wife, Valerie Plame, as a CIA agent.

But Mr Wilson also stated in his account of the visit that Mohamed Sayeed al-Sahaf, Iraq's former information minister, was identified to him by a Niger official as having sought to discuss trade with Niger.

As Niger's other main export is goats, some intelligence officials have surmised uranium was what Mr Sahaf was referring to.




Date: 2004-06-29
Source: Financial Times (http://news.ft.com/servlet/ContentSe...=1087373302314)
Location: Niger
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 08:04 PM       
Can't a man buy some goats for his country without being accused of buying uranium?


Its weird having both sides of a story on this board. But who knows maybe that intelligence is just more British propaganda
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Old Jul 16th, 2004, 09:45 PM       
LOL!

I had a friend that used to "order" pot by asking for "tires."

"Yeah, man... Um, I need to get... Um, two tires... y'know, a half?..."

Probably the same thing, more or less...

"Yes. My country wishes to purchase from your country an amount of... Um, goats totalling 500 tons. With these goats we can finally subdue the Zionist Entity! These are weapons-grade goats, yes? ... You're not a cop are you?"
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 07:00 PM       
""Iraq actually DID seek yellowcake in Niger."

and......

"Is it not clear that Iraq SOUGHT yellowcake? You can split hairs and point to the word "assumed" but you can hardly avoid the rest of the paragraph that shows us this meeting took place. Yes, we are left wondering a bit, so if you want to show me how that quote from your article should leave me to believe Iraq did not seek yellowcake from Niger, rock on."

I realize this is a displaced quotation, but I wanted to separate Wilson from the Niger/uranium discussion. In reading your article, it seems to implcate Libya much more than it does Iraq in this global conspiracy of "undeclared" uranium. It's interesting, however, that Libya's interest in stockpiling yellowcake would be compared to Iraq, who already had enough "declared" yellow cake to stat such weapons programs if they so desired. However, correct me if I'm wrong, but Libya in fact had much less in terms of the weapons refining materials that they had declared. Check out George Joffe's article in the latest Current History journal, entitled "Libya: Who blinked, and why". It seems like it has become common knowledge that Libya actually pulled an old Cold War bargaining trick, and essentially declared a heck of a lot more than what they actually had, or what they were capable of. The IAEA, the same agency that reported the Niger forgery, also reported that Libya had over-stated her weapons production capabilities. It works for them, cuz they get sanctions lifted, and it works for us, b/c we score a victory in the "war on terrorism."

But does having yellow cake alone mean you have "stockpiles" of WMD??? It certainly didn't mean that for Libya.

Now you may be right-- perhaps Iraq did speak with Niger about uranium years ago......perhaps. But like I said, they already had it. And how much were they going to move from inactive minds that the French had given up on? Maybe they in fact did SEEK yellow cake, but that once again doesn't validate this war in Iraq, nor does it entirely invalidate the reports of Joe Wilson. The French didn't sell it to them, and who would be selling out of inactive mines???

To get picky over words like sought sounds to me like this isn't about justifying a war that in reality continues to take American lives, but rather, it's about giving the POTUS plausible deniability in what he said during the SOTU.
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Old Jul 23rd, 2004, 07:32 PM       
Quote:
Can't a man buy some goats for his country without being accused of buying uranium?


Can't a man buy some uranium for his country? I guess there's no point in arguing it, but everyone seems to consider it a given that only a few countries have the right to possess nuclear weapons, primarily the only country to have ever used one. If I were the leader of any country with valuable natural resources, I sure wouldn't feel safe without one. Nuclear weapons insure one thing, that the United States will never invade your country. If an Axis of Evil exists, guess which part of that axis doesn't have to worry about a U.S. invasion.
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 11:56 AM       
"yellowcake in Niger" is my favorite minstrel show!
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 01:14 PM       
I think you guys should be banned for saying Niger
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Old Jul 25th, 2004, 06:22 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abcdxxxx
"yellowcake in Niger" is my favorite minstrel show!
It would be a great Bing & Hope "Road" movie......
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 01:29 PM       
Actually, Kev, what Iraq had was uranium oxide, which is not suitable for weapons. It can make you sick, which is why it was so bad that the site it was contained within wasn't properly guarded... they found radioactive barrels being used to store rainwater in a local village right after the invasion...

Now, the whole problem with Iraq even seeking WMD materiel was that it had agreed not to do that as a condition of not being stomped into the sand post-Gulf War I. While the argument could be made that the sanctions themselves were unreasonable and imprudent, given that similar sanctions against Germany after WWI could be blamed in part for WWII, the sanctions against Iraq were still a reality and if it was seeking yellowcake in Niger, it was seeking to build nukes. That's a problem.

Combine that uranium, which is available from sources other than Niger, with those Nodongs being sought from N Korea, and you have a fully nuclear Iraq with the ability to coerce and destroy any nation within 600-1000 miles.

And Niger has uranium to sell. That's where Libya got it's yellowcake for it's nuclear program. Uranium is still that country's prime export. There's a big difference between "abandoned" and "empty." They were abandoned because nobody is supposed to be buying the stuff anymore because it's used for WsMD, which are not supposed to be being built anymore.

Libya just didn't have the money to complete it's plans to become a nuclear state... because of the sanctions against it. Thanks to the shift in American policy toward rogue states (like Libya,) it also no longer had the time required to complete the project. That's not to say that once Libya's economic picture brightens it won't restart it's WMD programs, but it could have a new leader by then as well. Despots don't live forever. Didn't we already kill his son, too? If he isn't overthrown before his natural death, Libya will likely Democratize after that happens.

As for Wilson, as I said: He was caught lying. His lies were used to fraudulently debunk a small part of the case for war, and to cast doubt on the Bushies' methodology for the rest of the reasons. If they overstated that then what else did they exaggerate, right? That's not to say some overstatement didn't occur, now. It obviously did. We knew it was happening when the case was being made. What Colin Powell didn't say, which was the primary reason for deposing Saddam, was that Iraq was a key tactical target in the larger War on Terror. We had valid reasons to do what we proposed to do, and actually deposing Saddam and reforming/freeing Iraq was just one benefit of doing it.

Iran is the most intransigent of the terrorist sponsoring states, and one that we cannot so easily "invade." From Iraq and Afghanistan, we now can apply pressure and aquire "on the ground" intelligence from the immediate East and West of Iran. We can also more effectively interact with Syria. Pulling our troops out of Saudi will hopefully allow it to begin it's own much needed reforms.

That's what this whole thing is all about: Democratizing the Middle East. That's the ultimate goal of the War on Terror. I support that goal. I believe it's OUR duty to help them to that end simply because our own mucking around in their political systems for the last 50 years has been responsible, to a point, for holding them back from more free government systems, at least in my opinion. Middle Eastern totalitarianism is, to a degree, collateral damage from the Cold War. All people deserve to be free, and if we are in any way responsible for any sort of institutionalized slavery, it is our duty to help fix that.

It's sad that we didn't shoulder this mandate without being threatened at the level of 9/11, but we were and we have, which is right even if belated. Similar to Fascist Communism in this one respect, Capitalist Democracy works it's best when all governments in the world are run with the same system. The difference is that Communism's economy can't compete with freer neighboring systems, and Democracies have too many inherent security holes to exist safely around totalitarian governments. Given the choices, I think we'd all agree that world government based in freedom for all people would be best, right?


To take it a step further, if the War on Terror simply shows the violent idiots of the world that terror can be fought effectively, terrorism may become a less attractive option for getting one's way. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Nations can no longer start a shooting war for fear of getting their asses utterly kicked by the US military, and now the same force is proving that terrorism doesn't work either... hopefully. Maybe the would-be despots of the world will just have to give peaceful means a chance.

I think I could live nicely in a world where trae sanctions and diplomatic insults are the greatest threat a nation can wield against another. How bout you?
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Old Jul 26th, 2004, 01:34 PM       
One more thing: The argument that those 16 words should have been left out of the SOTU address isn't so simple as it was a lie. The standard of proof is VERY high for what the President says in a speech, especially THAT speech. The Niger issue was "controversial," and had already been edited from a previous speech on that grounds. The White House said that it should not have been included in the SOTU address on the same grounds, but that doesn't make it not true... only not absolute proven fact yet.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 12:09 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
Actually, Kev, what Iraq had was uranium oxide, which is not suitable for weapons.
Hmm.....it would seem that everything I've otherwise read would conflict with that statement. Uranium Oxide most certainly has its uses, and while I swore it could be used for weaponry, I know that it can be used as energy for nuclear reactors (Just ask Rossing Uranium Limited. They LOVE the shit).


Quote:
Now, the whole problem with Iraq even seeking WMD materiel was that it had agreed not to do that as a condition of not being stomped into the sand post-Gulf War I. While the argument could be made that the sanctions themselves were unreasonable and imprudent, given that similar sanctions against Germany after WWI could be blamed in part for WWII, the sanctions against Iraq were still a reality and if it was seeking yellowcake in Niger, it was seeking to build nukes. That's a problem.
Not necessarily. If they violated UN sanctions, then yes, they certainly committed a boo-boo. But do you personally want to go to war with a country, and send thousands and thousands of your fellow citizens into battle b/c Iraq (like many other nations, including Israel) weren't in compliance with the UN?

Furthermore, the E! True Hollywood Story of Joe Wilson, otherwise known as the Senate Intelligence Committee's conclusions on intelligence gathering, actually found OTHER interesting things (aside, of course, from the semantics used by Joe Wilson). They accurately noted what many had been noting about the sanctions for years-- that they didn't hurt Saddam, they only hurt the Iraqi people, and they denied people access to needed materials (hence the manipulation of the Oil-for-food program). In the committee's words:

"Analysts believed that the fact that Iraq often attempted to obtain dual-use materials surreptitiously, through front companies and other illicit means in violation of UN sanctions, indicated that Iraq intended to use those materials for WMD. Analysts argued that Iraq would have no reason to hide itself as the end user of these materials if they were intended for legitimate purposes. However, analysts ignored the fact that Iraq typically used front companies and evaded UN sanctions for imports of purely legitimate goods. Analysts who monitored Iraq's compliance with the Oil for Food Program noted several reasons that Iraq wanted to avoid legitimate channels for imports including 1) the UN often denied materials needed for legitimate purposes because the materials had WMD applications, 2) using the UN's bureaucratic process was more cumbersome and tune consuming than using illicit channels, and 3) transactions using front companies were less transparent, making corruption and profit taking easier for Iraqi managers and officials."


Quote:
Combine that uranium, which is available from sources other than Niger, with those Nodongs being sought from N Korea, and you have a fully nuclear Iraq with the ability to coerce and destroy any nation within 600-1000 miles.
Nodongs being sought? I'll tell ya, there is a LOT of SOUGHTING going on here, and not enough PURCHASING! You know what they say paves the road to hell!!!

You'll have to enlighten me on this other tidbit that only the Right seems privy to these days.

Quote:
And Niger has uranium to sell. That's where Libya got it's yellowcake for it's nuclear program. Uranium is still that country's prime export. There's a big difference between "abandoned" and "empty." They were abandoned because nobody is supposed to be buying the stuff anymore because it's used for WsMD, which are not supposed to be being built anymore.
Hmm, I'm not so sure about that. Uranium certainly does have legitimate purposes, and again, your point about buying from Niger makes little sense. The French control the most prolific and producctive mines in Niger. So once again, would it seem like a completely CrAzY idea that Iraq may have "approached" Niger about the uranium in her "abandoned" mines in an attempt to get around the UN sanctions.....? And once again, from what I've read, uranium oxide is merely a production of the ore itself, meaning that Iraq had access already to the material. If they wanted these stockpiles, they could've already been well on their way without the help of questionable "abandoned" mines in Niger.


Quote:
If they overstated that then what else did they exaggerate, right? That's not to say some overstatement didn't occur, now. It obviously did. We knew it was happening when the case was being made.
Oh, now COME ON! I made this point in one of the other threads, but here it is. The Senate Intelligence Committee made it clear that there was MUCH left to be desired in the attempt to find WMD in Iraq. Mobile labs, nuclear tubing from Pakistan, the mustard gassing that wasn't mustard gas, just to name a few. As I have already stated, Joe Wilson wasn't some rebel critic who changed the course of perception on the war. This administration did a hell of a lot to earn that scrutiny.


Quote:
What Colin Powell didn't say, which was the primary reason for deposing Saddam, was that Iraq was a key tactical target in the larger War on Terror. We had valid reasons to do what we proposed to do, and actually deposing Saddam and reforming/freeing Iraq was just one benefit of doing it.
That's swell, but the reasons they never said that are obvious. A presumably free Iraq, a strategic point in the Middle East, an excuse to pull troops from Saudi Arabia, and a swinging tourist attraction known as Baghdad, are all well and good, but they don't justify invading a country on a false premise. The American people were led to believe that mushroom clouds and chemical baths were in their future if we didn't stop this mad man, who clearly, according to public opinion polls, had a coordinating role in 9/11. This administration played off the fears and sensitivities of a post-9/11 America in order to attain a "key tactical target". And as I've already noted, this design came prior to 9/11. The neo-cons were waiting for this, and 9/11 gave them an excuse to take it.

Quote:
Iran is the most intransigent of the terrorist sponsoring states, and one that we cannot so easily "invade." From Iraq and Afghanistan, we now can apply pressure and aquire "on the ground" intelligence from the immediate East and West of Iran. We can also more effectively interact with Syria. Pulling our troops out of Saudi will hopefully allow it to begin it's own much needed reforms.

That's what this whole thing is all about: Democratizing the Middle East. That's the ultimate goal of the War on Terror. I support that goal. I believe it's OUR duty to help them to that end simply because our own mucking around in their political systems for the last 50 years has been responsible, to a point, for holding them back from more free government systems, at least in my opinion. Middle Eastern totalitarianism is, to a degree, collateral damage from the Cold War. All people deserve to be free, and if we are in any way responsible for any sort of institutionalized slavery, it is our duty to help fix that.

Agreed, and I am someone who opposed the war but supports the occupation. I think to pull out of Iraq now would create a vacuum effect, similar to that which hapened in Afghanistan after Soviet withdrawl. That's why I had previously been outraged by this war, b/c while operations were falling apart in Afghanistan, and the fucking FRENCH and Canadians were training a national guard in Afghanistan, we were trying to justify a war with an old thorn. I'm glad to see that public pressure forced the president to invest more heavily in Afghanistan, and the topic interests me so much that I have been looking into getting a job with an elections monitoring agency over there. One snag they are hitting in Afghanistan, which will certainly be problematic in Iraq, is a failur to understand the concepts of democracy. Afghanis think their voter reg. cards are currency and are trading them to party bosses for bread. The Taliban has restructured itself there, and our "allies" in Pakistan seem incapable of doing anything about it. To me, this was where the war was at, and rather than winning the hearts and minds in Afghanistan, rather than restructuring their nation, we were already on to the next conquest. Nation building isn't a popular position to take, which is why Bush moved away from Afghanistan in the first place. We Americans, we seem to loves our wars, but hate the clean-up required after it. But if we're going to truly win this war, which is a war on thought, not on terror, the most important stuff MUST begin after the bombs drop.

That's just my opinion. Sorry for the rant.


Quote:
To take it a step further, if the War on Terror simply shows the violent idiots of the world that terror can be fought effectively, terrorism may become a less attractive option for getting one's way. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Nations can no longer start a shooting war for fear of getting their asses utterly kicked by the US military, and now the same force is proving that terrorism doesn't work either... hopefully. Maybe the would-be despots of the world will just have to give peaceful means a chance.
You're right, but what's next? As I said, you'll never truly stop the tactic that is terrorism until you figh the intellectual fight. We are fighting an extremist branch of Islam, and to make it worse, it's like a hypothetical prisoner's dilemma. Everything we do that can be perceived as imperialistic or as anti-islamic will push people into their ranks. That's where the war in Iraq irks me a bit, as well. :/

Quote:
I think I could live nicely in a world where trae sanctions and diplomatic insults are the greatest threat a nation can wield against another. How bout you?
Right, but the stakes are higher. They've been higher for the enemy for a good twenty years or so. Sanctions and jabs mean little to Bin Ladens, wouldn't you agree?
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Jul 27th, 2004, 12:49 PM       
You and I are likely closer on the topic than you previously suspected we would turn out to be. Neither of us has been plucked from the Kerry Bush, to be sure.

I'll respond in more detail later on. Just finishing up lunch now, and I want to read through the rest of the updated posts...

For now, I'll say that in my view, the comparisons between the WOT and Vietnam are extremely striking, though not in the sense profferred by the anti-war/ anti-Bush crowd. More later on.
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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KevinTheOmnivore KevinTheOmnivore is offline
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Old Jul 29th, 2004, 01:26 PM       
Bump!
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Jul 30th, 2004, 09:14 PM       
Sorry, man... I JUST got home from Cleveland 20 minutes ago, and that's after a 2000 mile road trip last weekend. Not had enough time between playing catchup at work and making my dogs stop hating me to post much. I'll update this weekend... this lazy, slow weekend. :D
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mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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Preechr Preechr is offline
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Old Aug 2nd, 2004, 06:40 PM       
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
Actually, Kev, what Iraq had was uranium oxide, which is not suitable for weapons.
Hmm.....it would seem that everything I've otherwise read would conflict with that statement. Uranium Oxide most certainly has its uses, and while I swore it could be used for weaponry, I know that it can be used as energy for nuclear reactors (Just ask Rossing Uranium Limited. They LOVE the shit).
Yeah... as I said in that other post, I wish the press were up to explaining this mess in a way that promotes understanding. Newsmax actually initially reported the long planned removal of Iraq's known uranium stores as proof of WsMD. Most of what they had was nuclear reactor fuel, as far as I know unsuited for weaponry, and the yellowcake they were "soughting" is what you'd need to stick in one of those centrifuge thingys to make a nuke...

Maybe Sethomas, resident genius, will enlighten me on this matter.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
Now, the whole problem with Iraq even seeking WMD materiel was that it had agreed not to do that as a condition of not being stomped into the sand post-Gulf War I. While the argument could be made that the sanctions themselves were unreasonable and imprudent, given that similar sanctions against Germany after WWI could be blamed in part for WWII, the sanctions against Iraq were still a reality and if it was seeking yellowcake in Niger, it was seeking to build nukes. That's a problem.
Not necessarily. If they violated UN sanctions, then yes, they certainly committed a boo-boo. But do you personally want to go to war with a country, and send thousands and thousands of your fellow citizens into battle b/c Iraq (like many other nations, including Israel) weren't in compliance with the UN?

Furthermore, the E! True Hollywood Story of Joe Wilson, otherwise known as the Senate Intelligence Committee's conclusions on intelligence gathering, actually found OTHER interesting things (aside, of course, from the semantics used by Joe Wilson). They accurately noted what many had been noting about the sanctions for years-- that they didn't hurt Saddam, they only hurt the Iraqi people, and they denied people access to needed materials (hence the manipulation of the Oil-for-food program). In the committee's words:

"Analysts believed that the fact that Iraq often attempted to obtain dual-use materials surreptitiously, through front companies and other illicit means in violation of UN sanctions, indicated that Iraq intended to use those materials for WMD. Analysts argued that Iraq would have no reason to hide itself as the end user of these materials if they were intended for legitimate purposes. However, analysts ignored the fact that Iraq typically used front companies and evaded UN sanctions for imports of purely legitimate goods. Analysts who monitored Iraq's compliance with the Oil for Food Program noted several reasons that Iraq wanted to avoid legitimate channels for imports including 1) the UN often denied materials needed for legitimate purposes because the materials had WMD applications, 2) using the UN's bureaucratic process was more cumbersome and tune consuming than using illicit channels, and 3) transactions using front companies were less transparent, making corruption and profit taking easier for Iraqi managers and officials."
Harry Browne, the old crackpot, has had some interesting things to say form a historical perspective regarding the Iraqi sanctions. From his point of view, the sanctions caused Iraq to remain hostile, just like similar sanctions against Germany post WWI allowed Hitler to gain power and caused WWII. Harry actually said this before 9/11, too, which is neat. He basically predicted this whole thing, though his prediction for where we are now was much bleaker than present realities.

And, no, I don't favor our enforcing whatever the UN mandates, mostly because that organization is too heavily weighted in favor of dictators and despots. If a UN mandate favors Democracy in general terms, I can see using it as a veil of approval for doing the right thing when it needs to be done (again, not that I'm implying anything about Iraq in particular) but that's all UN mandates are anymore: sham constructs that one can hold up and call world opinion if it serves one's purpose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
Combine that uranium, which is available from sources other than Niger, with those Nodongs being sought from N Korea, and you have a fully nuclear Iraq with the ability to coerce and destroy any nation within 600-1000 miles.
Nodongs being sought? I'll tell ya, there is a LOT of SOUGHTING going on here, and not enough PURCHASING! You know what they say paves the road to hell!!!

You'll have to enlighten me on this other tidbit that only the Right seems privy to these days.
I'M NOT THE RIGHT, DAMMIT!!! :D

Here's some information regarding N. Korean missile deals with Iraq and other MidEast countries. Honestly, I suspect that this is not so much "far right" knowledge as your sources are just a littel too left to find this stuff there. I look at what everyone has to say, and I generally find the truth somewhere in the middle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
And Niger has uranium to sell. That's where Libya got it's yellowcake for it's nuclear program. Uranium is still that country's prime export. There's a big difference between "abandoned" and "empty." They were abandoned because nobody is supposed to be buying the stuff anymore because it's used for WsMD, which are not supposed to be being built anymore.
Hmm, I'm not so sure about that. Uranium certainly does have legitimate purposes, and again, your point about buying from Niger makes little sense. The French control the most prolific and producctive mines in Niger. So once again, would it seem like a completely CrAzY idea that Iraq may have "approached" Niger about the uranium in her "abandoned" mines in an attempt to get around the UN sanctions.....? And once again, from what I've read, uranium oxide is merely a production of the ore itself, meaning that Iraq had access already to the material. If they wanted these stockpiles, they could've already been well on their way without the help of questionable "abandoned" mines in Niger.
Again, I don't think nuclear fuel can be enriched for weapons use, but I could easily be wrong. I'll wait on Seththomas to clear this up for us... Either way, what Iraq had was locked down and monitored and the enrichment equipment destroyed... so Iraq proved it's desire to continue development of nukes by hiding some equipment (known to be true) and seeking yellowcake (also known to be factual.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
If they overstated that then what else did they exaggerate, right? That's not to say some overstatement didn't occur, now. It obviously did. We knew it was happening when the case was being made.
Oh, now COME ON! I made this point in one of the other threads, but here it is. The Senate Intelligence Committee made it clear that there was MUCH left to be desired in the attempt to find WMD in Iraq. Mobile labs, nuclear tubing from Pakistan, the mustard gassing that wasn't mustard gas, just to name a few. As I have already stated, Joe Wilson wasn't some rebel critic who changed the course of perception on the war. This administration did a hell of a lot to earn that scrutiny.
Yes, this thread has quickly blended into the other one. It is important to note, however, that no war-time administration is upfront about it's current war strategies or intelligence while the war is still going on. We can scrutinize all we want, but a lack of full disclosure by the government is not necessarily damning proof that George W Bush is actually Satan himself.

In the end, we can only guess what's truly going on until well after all the shooting has stopped. Most Cold War documentation is still classified, and will remain so for a very long time, most likely. Yes, this is mostly to protect the guilty, but that's just how this stuff works. We are only told the minimum amount of half-truths required to get us to let them defend us however they feel is best.

As fucked up as that sounds to say, it's not not entirely an evil thing in practice. "You can tell me what to do or how to do it, but not both" is a maxim for me in my own business, and I guess I have to let government have the same leeway. I wouldn't consider lying to be an acceptable part of my own business practices, but I don't think we're debating the proliferation of lying within government circles, are we?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
What Colin Powell didn't say, which was the primary reason for deposing Saddam, was that Iraq was a key tactical target in the larger War on Terror. We had valid reasons to do what we proposed to do, and actually deposing Saddam and reforming/freeing Iraq was just one benefit of doing it.
That's swell, but the reasons they never said that are obvious. A presumably free Iraq, a strategic point in the Middle East, an excuse to pull troops from Saudi Arabia, and a swinging tourist attraction known as Baghdad, are all well and good, but they don't justify invading a country on a false premise. The American people were led to believe that mushroom clouds and chemical baths were in their future if we didn't stop this mad man, who clearly, according to public opinion polls, had a coordinating role in 9/11. This administration played off the fears and sensitivities of a post-9/11 America in order to attain a "key tactical target". And as I've already noted, this design came prior to 9/11. The neo-cons were waiting for this, and 9/11 gave them an excuse to take it.
Congress voted to let the opaque shroud of deception be lowered on the world when they authorized the war. That is how wars are fought. Once we set out to fight a war, the objective on the homefront is to keep the rubes behind you, no matter if that takes a few fibs. Democrats have always done this just as Republicans have, for the same VERY OBVIOUS reasons.

When the President notified us his objective for the country was an all out War on Terror, this is what he meant. He might as well have said, "From now on, I will be publically lying to you and all of our Allies because I know our enemies will be listening. Any actual truths about this war will only be heard in the most secure conversations, and there is no way any of you will know anything for sure. This is the last time you'll likely hear me speak any truth about this war until it's over, and I can't tell you how long that'll take because I simply do not know."

And of course this was a pre-planned thing! What part of regime change in Iraq being official Clinton policy is so mysterious? Every bit of the assault on Iraq was only waiting on last minute adjustments to be implemented... most likely sitting on a shelf in the Pentagon since prior to the FIRST Gulf War. I personally feel kinda good about that, honestly. I'd like to think those in charge of keeping terrorists out of my local shopping mall are at least somewhat on the ball.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
Iran is the most intransigent of the terrorist sponsoring states, and one that we cannot so easily "invade." From Iraq and Afghanistan, we now can apply pressure and aquire "on the ground" intelligence from the immediate East and West of Iran. We can also more effectively interact with Syria. Pulling our troops out of Saudi will hopefully allow it to begin it's own much needed reforms.

That's what this whole thing is all about: Democratizing the Middle East. That's the ultimate goal of the War on Terror. I support that goal. I believe it's OUR duty to help them to that end simply because our own mucking around in their political systems for the last 50 years has been responsible, to a point, for holding them back from more free government systems, at least in my opinion. Middle Eastern totalitarianism is, to a degree, collateral damage from the Cold War. All people deserve to be free, and if we are in any way responsible for any sort of institutionalized slavery, it is our duty to help fix that.
Agreed, and I am someone who opposed the war but supports the occupation. I think to pull out of Iraq now would create a vacuum effect, similar to that which hapened in Afghanistan after Soviet withdrawl. That's why I had previously been outraged by this war, b/c while operations were falling apart in Afghanistan, and the fucking FRENCH and Canadians were training a national guard in Afghanistan, we were trying to justify a war with an old thorn. I'm glad to see that public pressure forced the president to invest more heavily in Afghanistan, and the topic interests me so much that I have been looking into getting a job with an elections monitoring agency over there. One snag they are hitting in Afghanistan, which will certainly be problematic in Iraq, is a failur to understand the concepts of democracy. Afghanis think their voter reg. cards are currency and are trading them to party bosses for bread. The Taliban has restructured itself there, and our "allies" in Pakistan seem incapable of doing anything about it. To me, this was where the war was at, and rather than winning the hearts and minds in Afghanistan, rather than restructuring their nation, we were already on to the next conquest. Nation building isn't a popular position to take, which is why Bush moved away from Afghanistan in the first place. We Americans, we seem to loves our wars, but hate the clean-up required after it. But if we're going to truly win this war, which is a war on thought, not on terror, the most important stuff MUST begin after the bombs drop.

That's just my opinion. Sorry for the rant.
No problem. If you do decide to go over there, I'll personally respect the hell out of you and pray for your safety. I care greatly about the events that are unfolding, but not enough to risk my own life to play more of a part in it than talking to you about it. Maybe that makes me an ass or marginalizes me, but I'm not willing to admit to myself that I was born free to die for someone else's freedom. I'd like to think I'll someday serve my purpose in a less bloody capacity, though I shake the hand of every soldier I ever meet as I offer them my thanks for what they do.

While it's true our post-war actions leave much to be desired, I'll point to what we have done for Japan, Germany, Italy, England, Vietnam, Korea... etc... and ask you to compare that with what other vicotrs of wars have done in the past. I'd say we're upholding a somewhat higher standard than any other country ever has, and our military record so far could only be compared to ancient Rome... We have never enslaved those we defeated. All we ever asked for was space to bury our dead, and to what account would you like your billions of dollars deposited?

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
To take it a step further, if the War on Terror simply shows the violent idiots of the world that terror can be fought effectively, terrorism may become a less attractive option for getting one's way. That would be nice, wouldn't it? Nations can no longer start a shooting war for fear of getting their asses utterly kicked by the US military, and now the same force is proving that terrorism doesn't work either... hopefully. Maybe the would-be despots of the world will just have to give peaceful means a chance.
You're right, but what's next? As I said, you'll never truly stop the tactic that is terrorism until you figh the intellectual fight. We are fighting an extremist branch of Islam, and to make it worse, it's like a hypothetical prisoner's dilemma. Everything we do that can be perceived as imperialistic or as anti-islamic will push people into their ranks. That's where the war in Iraq irks me a bit, as well. :/
I believe free Iraqis will fight that intellectual fight in a way we could never pull off. America can say whatever it wants to, but it all sounds like the same old lies to those in the Middle East. Once Iraq kicks us out, and they will, and Democracy allows them the freedom to outpace the economies of every other Arab nation combined (like Israel's has done) the theocracies will topple themselves... I hope, anyways...

We could only hope to start the fight. It's up to Arabs to finish it, as they are the only ones the other Arabs might trust.

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevinTheOmnivore
Quote:
Originally Posted by Preechr
I think I could live nicely in a world where trade sanctions and diplomatic insults are the greatest threat a nation can wield against another. How bout you?
Right, but the stakes are higher. They've been higher for the enemy for a good twenty years or so. Sanctions and jabs mean little to Bin Ladens, wouldn't you agree?
Bin Laden has to operate out a country, and he has to get money and guns from somewhere. While terrorists can be bred in a free society, I'd wager they're much more rare than in Palestine or Somalia.
__________________
mburbank~ Yes, okay, fine, I do know what you meant, but why is it not possible for you to get through a paragraph without making all the words cry?

How can someone who obviously thinks so much of their ideas have so little respect for expressing them? How can someone who so yearns to be taken seriously make so little effort?!
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