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Forum posts for The War in Iraq was justified.

war
Posted by Polfuss on Nov 21, 2003
that's just silly Paul. just because you don't like the way someone runs there country doesn't give you the right to drop bombs on them. And how many civilian causalties have the U.S. caused since the war began? The U.S. put him in power and then they don't like what he does with that power. nonsense

Right
Posted by phduffy on Nov 21, 2003
Just because you don't like the way Hitler ran the country, didn't give anyone the right to drop bombs on him.
The civilian casualties have been far less than the number of citizens that Hussein killed each year/day. There are less dead Iraqies because of the war then if there had been no war.
Not to mention the fact that the Iraqies wanted it. I think I"m open minded about things, but please address this point.
And we're not talking about not liking the way in which someone runs their country. We're talking about the way a country treats its citizens. If you want to be a member of the international community, then you have an absolute duty to protect international citizens. If you care about human rights, democracy and decency, then yes, you have a duty to protect. those citizens from tyranny. Throwing people into a woodchipper feet first is not a disagreement about how you run a country. It is an afront to human decency to let attrocities like that exist in our world.

i'll give you something to chew on
Posted by alltogethernow on Nov 21, 2003
ok this will be short because i am going to do a post all about bush .. and then one on the united states .. so i won't get into details just yet..

but basically paul you are saying that in the case of iraq
'the ends justify the means...'

do you actually think we can actually allow the most powerful country to start taking actions like this.. ?

no one can defend saddam .. and i don't intend to .. but really
if the united states just wanted to free the iraqi people.. why didn't they say that in the first place?

why is haliburton co. (the company dick cheney 'used to' work for) getting billions of dollars, in un-opposed contracts without having to account for their spending... ?

i believe that the iraqi people benefited greatly from the ousting of their former dictator... i believe that iraq will become a better country in his absense.. but the united states has to stop being the cause of, and cure to many of the worlds problems....

ok enough i am off to drink soju and watch koreans get drunk and sing japanese pop songs.. check ya later

Okay.
Posted by phduffy on Nov 21, 2003
First off, Polfuss mentioned that the US put Saddam in place. I think that's irrelevant as to whether or not they remove him. It's very relevant when discussing whether or not you trust the US to do the correct thing when it's over, but not relevant as to whether or not the Iraqi people should be helped.

I feel that the 1st world has a moral obligation to help the third world. In same cases this means sending foreign aid. Sometimes we remove the patents on drugs, like we're doing for Afica. Sometimes we lower trade barriers so that we can allow South American farmers to benefit from our wealth. And on some extremely rare times we need to intervene with force to stop a tyrant.

This should never be an easy option, or the first option. But it should be an option. Other options were tried and failed. Iraq has been under an embargo since the first Gulf War to no effect. This really hurts only the people and not the administration. Diplomacy was tried to no effect. Saddam was offered a choice of taking exile somewhere. Ideally it would have been the UN that decided to do something about the situation in Iraw. However, the UN never decides to get involved in these types of situations. For various reasons, they don't believe in it. People argued as much as they could for assistance, and yet the UN wouldn't budge. I'm not sure what else should have been tried. Even when it came to the Weapons of Mass Destruction Saddam lied and played all sorts of games with the US and the UN. This is the sort of behaviour that makes it look like you have something to hide.

It's unfortunate that we have to allow some countries to perform like this (remember the US was not alone). However, the UN has made the decision to not use its power to stop suffering, so it's not an option.

Why is Haliburton getting contracts? I don't know. Nor do I think it's relevant to the question of whether or not the war was justified. There are a ton of things that aren't good about the war, and we should keep on the US to ensure that they're acting appropriately and that they do install democracy. I don't really think they will do a good job of it, and that worries me. But again, that's irelevant to the question of whether or not the war was justified.

It's a good point to say that the US has to stop being the cause and solution to the world's problems. However, once they've caused a problem, shouldn't they do everything in their power to fix it? Once again, here is where the UN should step in to assure that a new Saddam is not created.

Why didn't the US say that they wanted to defend the rights of Iraqis? They did say that. They had several reasons, and getting them out from under a dictator was one of them. I also believe that they believed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. If you saw Colin Powell at the UN security council meeting you know how frustrated he was with the world.

More points.
Posted by phduffy on Nov 21, 2003
Here's some articles that make similar points to mine, but they're better written.

Here, Aaron Lee Wudrick talks about how the Kurds want the war. If you're not familiar, the Kurds would be the people that Saddam has been practicing genocide against, including gassing about 300,000 of them.

http://imprint.uwaterloo.ca/story.php?f=2&t=2948&i=&v=f&story=2948

Here's one by Chris Edey, current University of Waterloo president, and former card carrying member of the NDP.
http://imprint.uwaterloo.ca/story.php?f=2&t=2946&i=&v=f&story=2946



I am glad that this debate has not been about insults. That is encouraging.

wepons
Posted by Polfuss on Nov 22, 2003
Were are the wepons of mass destructon? And know one tried to stop hitler untill he tried to take over the world.

So does this give the US to start invading other countries that they don't agree with? When will Cuba be attacked? Iraq isn't the only country were people are tortured why not attack them all just let the US run these countries certainly the world will be better off. Right?

You're missing the point.
Posted by phduffy on Nov 22, 2003
Polfuss, you are completely missing the point. Did you read what I said?
In terms of whether or not it was justified to invade, it doesn't matter whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction. That's a seperate issue.

Yes, the world did nothing to stop Hitler, and because of that Neville Chamberlain is routinely looked at as one of the worst politicians of all time, and Hitler was responsible for the deaths of over 45 million people. That is exactly why we need to act now!
I saw Aaron make this point on tv, and I think it's a good one. If the world had gone into Germany in 1936 and stopped Hitler, we would probably still be debating whether or not it was the right thing to do. However, in hindsight we know that it would have been the right thing to do.

THIS IS NOT ABOUT DISAGREEING WITH OTHER COUNTRIES. Sorry for the caps, but since I've already made that clear I hope this will make it extra clear.
Cuba is nowhere near the same league as Iraq. Yes, you can lose your job and be thrown in jail for not agreeing with the administration. No, they do not randomly torture people or participate in Genocide!!! Iraq was trying to kill all the Kurds. It is extremely irresponsible to stand by while that happens.

Secondly, I am not talking about the US running other countries, nor have I ever said that. In fact, if you read what I said, you'll notice that I think that the UN should step in and make sure that there is a transition to democracy.
Would the world be better off without countries that participate in genocide? You're damn right it would be.

And again, it is irelevant as to whether or not other countries are bad. Everyone knows that there are other countries are bad. That has nothing to do with the decision of whether or not to attack Iraq.

It took me a long long time to come to this decision, and I was on the fence for a long time. If you're going to try to change my mind, please answer the following two questions:

1: Why is it wrong if the Iraqi people wanted it to happen? They said this before and after the war.

2: What else should we have done? Do we stand by and permit torture and genocide? If you don't think we can do that, let me know what our other alternatives are. Keep in mind that we've had them under economic sanction for over 10 years, that the UN refused to do anything about it and that they have always refused to put pressure on dictators, and that Saddam could have taken exile and there would have been no war.

If you can anser those, you might change some minds. Remember, war is a horrible, terrible thing. No one wants to see war in the world. But no one wants to see the mass muder of an entire culture either.

A rebuttal
Posted by Miguel on Nov 22, 2003
I guess I'll join the party....Lets start by examining Paul's arguments here:

"To begin with, people say that the war was about Oil. This is demontratably false." I agree, the whole oil argument is far fetched and weak..like a baby kitten. The war was not ABOUT oil, but to say that Iraq's reserves had no influence whatsover is also a bit narrow minded in my view. Before operation "enduring freedom", the oil company ELF was the only major player in Iraq. ELF is a French company, and the French did not like this war one bit....

"Secondly, there's the question of the weapons, and the connection to Al Qaeda. I propose that those are both irrelevant." How nice for you, why are they irrelevant Paul? Because I remember watching the news around the time the operation began, and Bush was all about WMD's and goofy Al-Qaeda-Iraq connections, never mind that Osama Bin Laden hates Saddam Hussein with a passion. The White House's communication releases were so obviously spun towards this link that a majority of Americans once (still?) think that Iraq had something to do with 9-11. in fact, it was only once the war came to its "official" conclusion (this shit is far from over) that all the lovey dovey talk about how Iraqi's should be freed came about.

I guarantee you that if the White House had stated that America should go to war with Iraq only because of the suffering of the Iraqi people Saddam Hussein would still be in power today and Bush would have been laughed out of office. No matter how you sugar coat it Duffy, there's lots of bad people and suffering innocents in the world today, and America shouldn't be in the business of deciding who needs liberation or not. Next up.....North Korea, Iran, Lybia, Brazil, China? I mean all those countries have extremely poor human rights records and the U.S has friendly diplomatic relations with 2 of them and the first three have so far not been hit with anything...yet

But oh yeah....Saddam Hussein likes to feed people into woodchippers and pour gasoline into their mouths (links please?). Basically Saddam was a bad man who did evuhl things and so it'sa good thing that he's gone. I actually think that his use of chemical weapons (obtained from the U.S) against the Kurds is far more disgusting than single, if especially horrific killings.

I know! Lets get together and come up with a definitive policy on when a country can be "liberated". I'll start!

A. When innocent people are killed with state approval (see death penalty, Texas, Governor Bush, record number of executions)

You're next buddy!
will it be B. When people are put into Woodchippers? WE JUST DON'T KNOW FOLKS!!

"Another firm case for the war is that the citizens of Iraq support the war. Here's the proof:
http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20031120.wwente1120/BNStory/International/?query=margaret+wente"

WOW POLLS!!! Statistics are awesome!!! They accurately reflect and summarize the opinions of an entire country which has no less than 4 ethnic and religious factions which hate each other. In fact I bet the Gallup people interviewed tons of people in the "Sunni Triangle" area where Americans are basically shot on site by guerrilas daily and all sorts of other areas where there is no water or electricity thanks to Coalition "Smart Bombs". No way would they just interview people in the Iraqi capital.... But hey! Heres a poll for you too buddy!

http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-uspoll14q3541960nov14,0,2467549.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-print



" you never believe that war is the right answer, condeming George Bush isn't the right answer.
http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20031121/COGEE21//?query=marcus+gee"

You actually summarize various arguments quite well, but this is just a disservice to you, why is this bullshit opinion piece quoted by you in the first place? HURR HURR LOOK AT THE FUNNY HIPPIES AND FEMINAZIS THEY'RE SO STUPID HURR HURR. Making fun of fringe radical elements is easy, I can make fun of Fox News all day and it doesnt change or address any of the real important issues regarding what took place in Iraq. This just disgusted me :) (dont worry I put a smiley face up to attenuate my disgust)

"However, the UN security council never approves these things, and did not approve intervening in Rowanda or Croatia, because that's not what they do."

Yeah...because the UN is meant to be an institution that PREVENTS war and tries to find diplomatic solutions to the many many problems facing its member nations. Remember Lester B. Pearson? He was pretty good at that whole dialogue thing you sometimes have when there are critical situations...(see Suez Canal Crisis). Do you honestly think the U.S put forth an earnest effort to establish dialogue and exhausted all its diplomatic channels? As far as I remember the UN inspection team withdrew from Iraq because America had begun operations against Iraq, not because of anything Iraq did.

"I can also understand the position that Iraq is no worse than Syria or Lebenon, Sierra Leone, etc. I think that's irrelevant. The only thing to consider is, are the people of Iraq better off now than before? Is the world better now than before? I think the answers to both those questions is yes."

Why is that the only thing to consider? Oh yeah because you said that's the only thing to consider...thanks for telling me what to think.

And why are the people of Iraq better off now? They have a foreign invader (LIBERATORRRRRRR) in their land and a great part of the country is without adequate medicine, water or energy...which it had under rule. Here's a parting fun link to mull over:

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/ap/20031120/ap_on_re_mi_ea/iraq_insurgents&cid=540&ncid=716

You see there are a significant number of Iraqi's who dont particularly approve of foreign invasions, and they are resisting to the bitter end. It seems it's ok for Americans to celebrate their successful resistance to an empire every 4th of July, but if Iraqi's want to fight back against foreign control of their country (BUT AMERICA WANTS TO GIVE THEM DEMOCRACY HURR HURR) they are labelled terrorist's.

Now now
Posted by phduffy on Nov 22, 2003
Miguel, I will respond to what you said later. For now let me just say that your post is that last one that treats this like it's a whateverdude debate about Voltron vs. Transformers or whether or not Jalen Rose will be good for the Raptors that I'm going to respond to. If you want to try to convince me or argue with me, that's fine.
However, I'm not interested in reading about feminazi's, quotes, or sarcastic dismissals of polls without any back up.

Later.

Sorry?
Posted by Miguel on Nov 22, 2003
Huh? I don't wan't to write an essay, I want to have fun with my arguments. I believe I gave you serious responses to your points. You got me on the dismissal of polls though. I am going to back that up in a bit, im looking for some articles I read about exactly the problem with polling in Iraq.

And Jalen Rose is awesome, but it looks like the deal isn't gonna happen, right?


lets talk 'justification'
Posted by alltogethernow on Nov 22, 2003
justification: (jst-f-kshn)

n 1: something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an action to be reasonable or necessary: "he considered misrule a justification for revolution" 2: a statement in explanation of some action or belief 3: the act of justifying:

"the justification of barbarous means by holy ends"- H.J.Muller

Let me put forth the suggestion that this war was neither reasonable OR necessary. Perhaps it will benefit the country of Iraq in the future... but this 'ends justify the means' attitude cannot prevail.

(Law) The showing in court of a sufficient lawful reason why a party charged or accused did that for which he is called to answer.

So Iraq was called to answer for WMD's I stayed home from work to watch Colin Powell address the UN. I found the whole speech a farce, their 'proof' was weak and in retrospect the reason for this was the non-existence of any weapons in the first place. The UN was right to not give their approval for the invasion. Based on poor, and downright false information how could they have acted differently. The fact is the US never mentioned the suffering of the Iraqi people domestically or to the UN until after operation Iraqi Freedom had begun. It was all about the weapons, and the supposed links to terrorism. Now if Iraq had actually been a party to either of these assertions I would have been all for the war. A threat like that could not go unignored, and really could have been a problem for world peace.

An analogy if you will:
Johnny is brought up on murder charges, when he is arrested they find him in possession of crack coccaine. The jury finds there is no evidence to support the murder charges. So, the prosecution says 'Oh we didn't really want to charge him with murder, he had crack... thats what we were after.. murder?.. who said anything about murder?' So, Johnny goes to jail anyhow.

And really Paul, if the US cared so much about the human rights abuses happening in Iraq .. why no compassion for abuses elsewhere? Why the US themselves may be commiting quite the abuses in their very own Git-MO isolation camp. Some individuals have been there since the first encounters in Afghanistan. A large number of juveniles and children reside there awaiting a trail, or release both of which may never happen. The US in many cases have not even told families of the detainees that they have their children/husbands/sons in Git-MO. Sometimes even claiming that they do not keep records concerning exactly who they have in the camp. The US usually responds to criticism about the camp by saying that the camp doesn't have:

"jurisdiction to rule on the legal rights of these people, since they are being held on foreign soil, in Cuba, on land that is only leased to the United States." - US government lawyers (when asked by reuters to explain why exact records of who is in the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba)

http://www.thememoryhole.org/gitmo/no-gitmo-records.htm

http://www.boston.com/news/world/articles/2003/11/16/guantanamos_child_soldiers_in_limbo/

http://www.thememoryhole.org/gitmo/gitmo-site.htm

And finally, This week when Bush and Blair gave an address together ... Tuesday morning I believe. They were still using the al-Qaeda/Sept 11th buzz words, the same day that the CIA released a document saying that there is no link between al-Qaeda and Sept 11th.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A46460-2003Nov15.html

The whole ordeal disgusts me on a very profound level.
If the United States wants to be the worlds police force, isn't the UN supposed to police them?..... and stop them from using their incredible might any which way they choose?

Who watches the Watchmen Paul?

Websites detaling Hussein's attrocities
Posted by phduffy on Nov 22, 2003
You asked for it, now you've got it.
Here are links to articles detailing the attrocities that Hussein committed, including the woodchipper stuff.

"Physical and psychological torture and ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners remained widespread. Methods of torture reported included beatings, electric shocks to the tongue and genitals, suspension from a rotating fan, burning the skin using heated metal implements or sulphuric acid, and rape. Some prisoners were said to have been flogged before their release."
http://www.amnesty.org/ailib/aireport/ar97/MDE14.htm

The following is from Human Rights watch.
http://www.hrw.org/wr2k1/mideast/iraq.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/1940050.stm


As for the UN, here are some of the countries that get to vote on these resolutions:
http://www.hrw.org/press/2001/05/unvote0503.htm

Amnesty international does not like the states.

http://www.warroom.com/iraqiwar/firstperson.htm
In response to you the article linked to that contained information about one Iraqi that's against the war, this is one who's for the war.


As for the woodchippers, I've found about 100 people talking about that story, but not the actual story itself. So it's fair to be skeptical about it. However, I have just documented many attrocities, and you have admitted that he was practicing genocide. My case can stand on those issues.

I have one more question for everyone, but I am going to make that a seperate post. Please read and respond.



good stuff
Posted by Miguel on Nov 22, 2003
Ok, I am agreeing with you that Saddam Hussein was not good. Im even saying that its good that Saddam Hussein was removed from power. But there are more than a few Iraqi's who now have it worse under coalition rule than under Saddam's Rule. What does it matter if it's a dictator or an elected president ruling over you if you're starving or getting killed by terrorists attacks?

I know that it is generally considered that what is going on right now is transitional and eventually Iraq will be a functioning state. But how long will it take for that to happen? Iraq once had museums, night clubs, an olympic team and many other things.....

Here''s another question just to keep going on that point, is it better to have no police or a corrupt but partially effective police?

You can't just look at this issue and simply say that: the war was justified because it is a good thing that Hussein is gone. On a pure utilitarian basis, are Iraqi's more satisfied under Hussein or Coalition forces? That is more important to me than the moral implications of a dictator's removal from power.


also...
Posted by alltogethernow on Nov 22, 2003
Paul you said:

"In terms of whether or not it was justified to invade, it doesn't matter whether or not there were weapons of mass destruction. That's a seperate issue."

I can't really agree with this..
because the essence of justification is the fact that the actions taken must be justified by the situation at the time, NOT after the fact.

I'll say this for a third time because you haven't responded to the other two:

are you saying that the ends justify the means?


jesus i just read my post
Posted by alltogethernow on Nov 22, 2003
i meant to say that there is no connection between IRAQ and sept 11th

there are probably some other small errors.. but i think my point gets across..

ok i win
Posted by alltogethernow on Nov 22, 2003
http://www.thememoryhole.org/pol/us-and-uz.htm

My thoughts
Posted by pudding on Nov 22, 2003
Ok I haven't spent the time necessary to find the 3-5 major points being argued by the two sides of this argument, but i will throw in some of my thoughts off the top of my head. I am having trouble focusing though, as there is lots of talking here. So please forgive me if I wander.

1. After talking my ex-boss who is from Iran, she believes that a war to remove a cruel and oppressive govt (i don't want to say dictator, because it is a group of peope, not just one, who is in control) such as that in Iran or Iraq would be accepted by the populace.

2. The UN is slow as molasses when it comes to helping suffering people. True, they ar slow, but when you have veto-wielding countries with widly differing views it is hard to act. Remove the veto powers and things can happen much more quickly. It is NOT the US's place to unilaterally take action.

3. I think that as a group, the Iraqis are better off after the war, even with damaged infrastructure, no government, and groups of insurgents attaacking the occupying army. . However, the average american citizen is probably scared shitless of these phantom terrorists. Similarly, IMHO the world is NOT a safer place... for reaons I will elaborate on when I have some time to think.

4. Paul: The major issue that I think makes this forum so confusing is your use of the word "justified". Trev made a strong point , I don't want to repeat him, but I believe that saying the war " will benefit" iraqis (more in the long run) is more accurate.

I am going to stop now, as I can't concentrate anymore. Will add more later. Please don't yell at me because I just rambled.


Okay, here goes.
Posted by phduffy on Nov 23, 2003
Here, I attempt to answer some of the questions that have been raised:

First, Miguel:

"The war was not ABOUT oil, but to say that Iraq's reserves had no influence whatsover is also a bit narrow minded in my view. Before operation "enduring freedom", the oil company ELF was the only major player in Iraq. ELF is a French company, and the French did not like this war one bit...."

Okay, and does this tell us more about the war and the coalition forces, or does it tell use more about France and French opposition to the war? (And I absolutely love France). I will grant that the oil reserves may have played a part. However, as you said, the war was not about oil.

""Secondly, there's the question of the weapons, and the connection to Al Qaeda. I propose that those are both irrelevant." How nice for you, why are they irrelevant Paul? Because I remember watching the news around the time the operation began, and Bush was all about WMD's and goofy Al-Qaeda-Iraq connections, never mind that Osama Bin Laden hates Saddam Hussein with a passion. The White House's communication releases were so obviously spun towards this link that a majority of Americans once (still?) think that Iraq had something to do with 9-11. in fact, it was only once the war came to its "official" conclusion (this shit is far from over) that all the lovey dovey talk about how Iraqi's should be freed came about."

Okay, I have tried to cover this point before, but I have obviously done a piss poor job of it, as everyone seems to bring this up. What I'm saying is this. I believe that the US believed that Iraq had WMD, and that there was a connection between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. Furthermore, I think it's irrelevant whether these are true. The point is, the coalition forces believed this to be true, and the war happened, and things are better now. I hope this is a little more clear.

"North Korea, Iran, Lybia, Brazil, China? I mean all those countries have extremely poor human rights records and the U.S has friendly diplomatic relations with 2 of them and the first three have so far not been hit with anything...yet"

Right, and I am also trying to make clear that I think it's irrelevant whether there are other bad countries. The question is: Do we use force to intervene in Iraq? North Korea has no bearing on that question. You also have to remember that each country is extremely unique. North Korea has been threatened with military actions, but they also have nukes, and that's a potential reason to slow things down. Many of the African countries have no real central government, or are allready in a state of civil war. This makes it alot harder to remove a dictator. To be honest, I'm not totally familiar with the situation in Brazil, but are you telling me that they're on par with Iraq? China is a tough one, as it exposes alot of weaknesses of the UN and the coalition forces. It's such a huge trading partner/potential partner, that people are wary of upsetting them.
However, another thing to remember is that most of these countries at least pay some lip service to the UN. China at least tries in some areas to act responsibly. Iraq never did that. In Iraq all the factors came together.

"I actually think that his use of chemical weapons (obtained from the U.S) against the Kurds is far more disgusting than single, if especially horrific killings."

Fair enough. The point is that it doens't really matter what you think is the worst, the point is that it's a horrible situation. As for the chemicals being obtained from the US... what is the US supposed to do now? The fact that they used US obtained chemicals to particpate in genocide is even more evidence that the US should intervene and try to correct this horrible mistake.

" When innocent people are killed with state approval (see death penalty, Texas, Governor Bush, record number of executions)"
I'm not sure what your point is here. I am confident that you are not comparing the two countries. You are smarter than that. Yes, bad things happen in the states, and yes, the death penalty is bad (yes, I believe that, just to show you that I"m not a right wing nut). However, they are not even in the same stratosphere as Iraq.

I included a link to a website that reported on polls. I also included a link to an article by Aaron where he talks about running into some former Iraqis in Toronto having a pro war rally. You included a link about one Iraqi general that was against the war. If you want to take that as evidence that the Iraqis are against the war, that's fine. I am more comfortable accepting the results of various polls, and the numbers of former Iraqis around the world that have taken a stand against their former country. I guess it's just a personal decision.

"You actually summarize various arguments quite well, but this is just a disservice to you, why is this bullshit opinion piece quoted by you in the first place?"

I quoted the first part to show you saying something nice about me. :)
The reason I included this link (and the two other opinion pieces from Imprint) is because I am not a professional, or even an amature journalist. So I thought they'd be able to demonstrate my point better than I. I agree with this particular piece in that people that compare George Bush to Hussein are absolutely clueless. Calling GWB an international terrorist shows a large amount of ignorance about what's going on in the world today (hint: it's the international terrorists that are the international terrorists). Why not march against them? Why not march to support Turkey, which has shown the rest of the world that a country can be both free and Islamic, and which has suffered a series of horrible attacks by people that are threatened by this.
However, all of this is not really what we're discussing right now, so I will forget about it.

I will respond to questions about the UN further on in this post.

Are Iraqis better off now than before? That's a difficult and important question. I believe that they are. If you think differently than I can understand being against the war. I am a firm believer in democracy, and believe that it is much better than a theocracy or even a monarchy. There are of course 100s of over things to consider.

"Huh? I don't wan't to write an essay, I want to have fun with my arguments. "
Perhaps I was a little hasty. Some times I get a little defensive about these things. Reminder to myself: Attacks on your arguements != attacks on you.

"And Jalen Rose is awesome, but it looks like the deal isn't gonna happen, right?"
I woudln't be so sure about that. Be patient my friend. Sure the frontcourt will suck, but we won't have Davis and we'll be able to score. I have to admit that the Jameson rumours were silly.

On to alltogethernow

"So Iraq was called to answer for WMD's I stayed home from work to watch Colin Powell address the UN. I found the whole speech a farce, their 'proof' was weak and in retrospect the reason for this was the non-existence of any weapons in the first place."

I think farce is a bit strong, but I agree that their proof was weak. However, what do you think Powell thought? It was clear to me that he sincerly believed that he was in the right, and he was extremely frustrated with the Security Council. I believe that the US believed that Iraq had WMDs. Furthermore, Iraq was not acting like a country with nothing to hide. They mislead, lied, and delayed as much as possible. Now, this certainly doesn't make the guilty, but it added fuel to the US/coaltion forces.

If you are arrested for murder and it turns out that you didn't murder anyone, but you raped someone, you will go to jail. That's as it should be.

"Why the US themselves may be commiting quite the abuses in their very own Git-MO isolation camp. Some individuals have been there since the first encounters in Afghanistan."

If the US is participating in human rights abuses, they are nowhere near the same level as Iraq. And yes, I think it's deplorable what they're doing. I understand their reasons and disagree with them. I also disagree with my own country (for the Arar situation). I have no love for the US (although I have no hate either). I certainly wouldn't have voted for anyone in the current administration. That doens't mean everythign they do is wrong. I support people that want them to be accountable about how they're treating their prisoners.

"If the United States wants to be the worlds police force, isn't the UN supposed to police them?..... and stop them from using their incredible might any which way they choose?

Who watches the Watchmen Paul?"

And here we get to the crux of the matter. The problem with your analogy is, who are the Watchmen? The UN are supposed to be the Watchmen. They are supposed to do their best to ensure situations like the one in Iraq don't happen. So what do we do when the UN fails its duty? Who watches the Watchmen indeed! (Okay, sorry about that). The UN failed to provide the people of Iraq with a safe country. So what happens next? We can ignore them, or continue the band aid solution of sanctions. (Note, they are only band aid solutions because they don't work. In another situation they might be an appropriate response). The UN failed itself, it failed the world, and it failed the people of Iraq. Some would argue that it's not our job to step in when the UN fails. I would argue that someone has to. Like I mentioned earlier, I believe that the 1st world has a duty to help the 3rd world.

Back to Miguel:
"I know that it is generally considered that what is going on right now is transitional and eventually Iraq will be a functioning state. But how long will it take for that to happen? Iraq once had museums, night clubs, an olympic team and many other things.."

I agree with some of your points. The world absolutely should make sure that the transition of power is as quick as possible, and that any imperialistic tendencies are immediately stopped. However, I think mentioning the Olympic team as an example of thigns that are good for Iraq was a bad idea. That would be the same Olympic team where you were tortured if you failed to live up to your expectations.
http://espn.go.com/oly/bloodontherings.html
http://espn.go.com/oly/columns/farrey_tom/1546588.html
The first link will lead you to an entire section on the situation.

Your question about the police is good, and I don't know the answer to that.

" On a pure utilitarian basis, are Iraqi's more satisfied under Hussein or Coalition forces?" I would argue yes. If you're a believer in Kantian ethics that I assume you would feel that we should not have invaded. Fair enough.

Back to alltogethernow:
You say that you can't agree with my argument that it doens't matter whether there were WMDs or not. I'm going to repeat myself, but here goes: my belief is that the US believed that there were WMDs. That's good enough for me. I would not condone them lying about it. However, if they had never claimed that but still wanted to invade, then I think I would still support it.

"are you saying that the ends justify the means?"
I am saying that I believe that the response to the situation in Iraq was the correct one.

Okay, on to pudding:
"After talking my ex-boss who is from Iran, she believes that a war to remove a cruel and oppressive govt (i don't want to say dictator, because it is a group of peope, not just one, who is in control) such as that in Iran or Iraq would be accepted by the populace."
Okay, but what does your boss... wait, a minute. You're agreeing with me on this point? Unusual.

" The UN is slow as molasses when it comes to helping suffering people. "
So what's an acceptable pace? Waiting until the genocide is complete? And what about when they never step in?

"I think that as a group, the Iraqis are better off after the war, even with damaged infrastructure, no government, and groups of insurgents attaacking the occupying army. . However, the average american citizen is probably scared shitless of these phantom terrorists. Similarly, IMHO the world is NOT a safer place... for reaons I will elaborate on when I have some time to think."

The only argument against the war that could possibly change my mind is the one you just brought up. Did they just create another Hussein, Bin Laden? That's a good point. It's hard to say. Japan and Germany certainly recovered nicely, and Vietnam hasn't produced any terrorists. On the other hand, the US had a hand in the creation of Bin Laden and Hussein.

"The major issue that I think makes this forum so confusing is your use of the word "justified"
You're not the first person to say this to me. To be honest, I have no idea what you're talking about, and don't understand the confusion. However, I will not use that word in the future.
Don't worry, there will be no yelling at anyone.

Okay, we're now up to 18 posts, a new record. I may have cheated by posting like 5 times myself. I hope that the 3 people that actually bothered to read all this got something out of it. It took me... wow, it took me an hour.

Later.

An addition
Posted by phduffy on Nov 23, 2003
I have tried to answer all the questions put to me. I would like to repeat my two questions. If you answer these satisfactorly you may even change my mind:

1: How can we be against a war that the people of Iraq supported?

2: What was the other alternative? Do we ignore the situation there, continue our 11 year diplomacy effort, or something else?

Dictators anyone?
Posted by alltogethernow on Nov 23, 2003
Japan and Germany are fine.. but what about the rest?

The US directly, or indirectly had a hand in the rise of the following:

holy shit wait their is quite the list ... AHEM:

Abacha, General Sani ----------------------------Nigeria
Amin, Idi---------------------------------------------Uganda
Banzer, Colonel Hugo ----------------------------Bolivia
Batista , Fulgencio---------------------------------Cuba
Bolkiah, Sir Hassanal ----------------------------Brunei
Botha, P.W. ---------------------------------------South Africa
Branco, General Humberto ---------------------Brazil
Cedras, Raoul -------------------------------------Haiti
Cerezo, Vinicio -----------------------------------Guatemala
Chiang Kai-Shek ---------------------------------Taiwan
Cordova, Roberto Suazo ------------------------Honduras
Cristiani, Alfredo -------------------------------El Salvador
Diem, Ngo Dihn ---------------------------------Vietnam
Doe, General Samuel ----------------------------Liberia
Duvalier, Francois --------------------------------Haiti
Duvalier, Jean Claude-----------------------------Haiti
Fahd bin'Abdul-'Aziz, King ---------------------Saudi Arabia
Franco, General Francisco -----------------------Spain
Hitler, Adolf ---------------------------------------Germany
Hussan II-------------------------------------------Morocco
Marcos, Ferdinand -------------------------------Philippines
Martinez, General Maximiliano Hernandez ---El Salvador
Mobutu Sese Seko -------------------------------Zaire
Noriega, General Manuel ------------------------Panama
Ozal, Turgut --------------------------------------Turkey
Pahlevi, Shah Mohammed Reza ---------------Iran
Papadopoulos, George --------------------------Greece
Park Chung Hee ---------------------------------South Korea
Pinochet, General Augusto ---------------------Chile
Pol Pot---------------------------------------------Cambodia
Rabuka, General Sitiveni ------------------------Fiji
Montt, General Efrain Rios ---------------------Guatemala
Selassie, Halie ------------------------------------Ethiopia
Salazar, Antonio de Oliveira --------------------Portugal
Somoza, Anastasio Jr. --------------------------Nicaragua
Somoza, Anastasio, Sr. -------------------------Nicaragua
Smith, Ian ----------------------------------------Rhodesia
Stroessner, Alfredo -----------------------------Paraguay
Suharto, General ---------------------------------Indonesia
Trujillo, Rafael Leonidas -----------------------Dominican Republic
Videla, General Jorge Rafael ------------------Argentina
Zia Ul-Haq, Mohammed ----------------------Pakistan

Abacha, General Sani ----------------------------Nigeria
Amin, Idi---------------------------------------------Uganda
Banzer, Colonel Hugo ----------------------------Bolivia
Batista , Fulgencio---------------------------------Cuba
Bolkiah, Sir Hassanal ----------------------------Brunei
Botha, P.W. ---------------------------------------South Africa
Branco, General Humberto ---------------------Brazil
Cedras, Raoul -------------------------------------Haiti
Cerezo, Vinicio -----------------------------------Guatemala
Chiang Kai-Shek ---------------------------------Taiwan
Cordova, Roberto Suazo ------------------------Honduras
Cristiani, Alfredo -------------------------------El Salvador
Diem, Ngo Dihn ---------------------------------Vietnam
Doe, General Samuel ----------------------------Liberia
Duvalier, Francois --------------------------------Haiti
Duvalier, Jean Claude-----------------------------Haiti
Fahd bin'Abdul-'Aziz, King ---------------------Saudi Arabia
Franco, General Francisco -----------------------Spain
Hitler, Adolf ---------------------------------------Germany
Hussan II-------------------------------------------Morocco
Marcos, Ferdinand -------------------------------Philippines
Martinez, General Maximiliano Hernandez ---El Salvador
Mobutu Sese Seko -------------------------------Zaire
Noriega, General Manuel ------------------------Panama
Ozal, Turgut --------------------------------------Turkey
Pahlevi, Shah Mohammed Reza ---------------Iran
Papadopoulos, George --------------------------Greece
Park Chung Hee ---------------------------------South Korea
Pinochet, General Augusto ---------------------Chile
Pol Pot---------------------------------------------Cambodia
Rabuka, General Sitiveni ------------------------Fiji
Montt, General Efrain Rios ---------------------Guatemala
Selassie, Halie ------------------------------------Ethiopia
Salazar, Antonio de Oliveira --------------------Portugal
Somoza, Anastasio Jr. --------------------------Nicaragua
Somoza, Anastasio, Sr. -------------------------Nicaragua
Smith, Ian ----------------------------------------Rhodesia
Stroessner, Alfredo -----------------------------Paraguay
Suharto, General ---------------------------------Indonesia
Trujillo, Rafael Leonidas -----------------------Dominican Republic
Videla, General Jorge Rafael ------------------Argentina
Zia Ul-Haq, Mohammed ----------------------Pakistan

http://www.rrojasdatabank.org/dictatrs.htm#Park

also here is an article about exactly what we are talking about here...

http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/05/06/nyt.kristof/


Paul's 2 points:
Posted by pudding on Nov 23, 2003
Point #1: "How can we be against a war that the people of Iraq supported?"

Although we know now that some (yes, most likely a majority) of Iraqis wished Saddam gone, and we can infer from that fact that they supported the war, the decision to "save" them was not made with the backing of the current world body, and the current rebuilding efforts are pathetic at best. The world body chose to go with diplomacy (a surprising move for a group that wants PEACE), and although people were dying, and continue to die, look at the current impact of the war on global security, major world economies (not many people died back home, but I think the stress of losing your job and 25% of your life's savings in RRSPs isn't trivial), and international relations... they have all suffered greatly. It is hard to compare that to being fed through woodchipper, but the pain and suffering are no less real.

The decision to go to war was made under the guise of terrorist links and WMDs... both of which appear to be groundless. The war wasn't to free the Iraqi people.

We can be against the war for the basis on which it was made, but we can be FOR the benefits that can/will be reaped by iraqis assuming the US decides to rebuild their country and let them run it. I hope we see it start to happen soon.


Point 2: "What was the other alternative? Do we ignore the situation there, continue our 11 year diplomacy effort, or something else?"

That is a tough one. I don't think the plight of iraqis was being "ignored" so to speak, it just wasn't shown in the media because they don't care about suffering unless it fits into the CNN mold - tornados, killer bees, tropical storms, blizzards - god knows we don't want to see any human suffering.

Lifting the sanctions would have been a step in the right direction, and an infusion of cash to help the people of iraq. The world could have donated money to help buy medicine, and other vital supplies throughout that period, instead of having to deal with $55B in rebuilding costs (which I think should be the sole responsibiltty of the US and Britain). http://www.undp.org/dpa/journalists/unworldbank.pdf

I don't know where the line is to use force to create peace, that is for a majority of voices in the world body to decide. And that decision would be made much easier without the constraints of veto power, which only allows the major world powers to ignore problems that won't benefit them by vetoing any resolution to act. I don't think war was required, but it happened.

Maybe this fiasco will force some changes within the UN to prevent this from happening again... or the US spitting in the face of the world body will further reduce its ability to act. We will have to wait and see.

GIve them money???
Posted by phduffy on Nov 25, 2003
pudding, I'd like to respond to something you said:

"The decision to go to war was made under the guise of terrorist links and WMDs... both of which appear to be groundless. The war wasn't to free the Iraqi people."
Yes, it was. The Iraqi people are better off now, and they're free. You guys are saying:
a) There never were any terrorist links or WMD
and
B) The was wasn't about helping the Iraqi people.
So what was it about? Why would the US lie about all that stuff, just to go to war? Those two statements don't make sense.

"That is a tough one. I don't think the plight of iraqis was being "ignored" so to speak, it just wasn't shown in the media because they don't care about suffering unless it fits into the CNN mold - tornados, killer bees, tropical storms, blizzards - god knows we don't want to see any human suffering."

I'm not saying that the plight of Iraqis was being ignored by the media. I don't care if the media reports on it or not. It was ignored by the Western World, who did nothing to help.

"Lifting the sanctions would have been a step in the right direction, and an infusion of cash to help the people of iraq. The world could have donated money to help buy medicine, and other vital supplies throughout that period, instead of having to deal with $55B in rebuilding costs (which I think should be the sole responsibiltty of the US and Britain)"

So, when confronted with a murderous dictator, you should send him all kinds of money? What kind of message is that? Furthermore, there were at least 30 countries involved in the coalition against Iraq. So, if you think that only they should pay, make sure you include all 30 countries.
However, this attitude of "We should make Britain and the US pay" absolutely disgusts me. Enough of this childish 'were better than you, we were right and you were wrong' nonsense. The people of Iraq need help, and I certainly hope that my country isn't one of the ones that's going to sit on the sidelines.
Here's some discussion of countries involved:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A49565-2003Mar18¬Found=true
http://www.greatestjeneration.com/archives/001022.php
http://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=123



Terrific Website
Posted by phduffy on Nov 25, 2003
Here's a good website that shoots down theories on both sides of the debate, and tries to offer some truth:
http://www.spinsanity.org/columns/20030320.html