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Armed Conflicts and Hindsight

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Alicat
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0 posted 11-13-2004 02:19 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

To Noah and others who think the Iraq invasion on the premise of WMD's was false, and that all the coalition members were misled and lied to just to promote American self interest, let me attempt to remind you of a few things.

All the permanent members of NATO believed there were WMD's in Iraq.  The UN Council thought there were WMD's in Iraq.  The UN had atomic, biological, and weapons inspectors in Iraq for years looking for them.  Why do that sans belief?  Israel bombed an Iraq nuclear facility while it was being constructed, and many thought that reactor was not the first one.  Up until the day before the invasion of Iraq, all Iraqi governmental workers thought Iraq had WMD's, even Saddam's closest advisors.  It wasn't until that day did Saddam finally say that there were no WMD's at all in Iraq.  By the time the Coalition found out, it was too late, and even then his own advisors didn't believe it was true.  And the invasion was to enforce the last UN resolution over the course of 12 years: come clean and allow inspections, or face the consequences.  What was the UN's idea of consequences?  More resolutions?  Shutting down the scandal riddled OFF program?  Send strongly worded messages watered down just enough so as not to offend, like using the word 'sanctions'?

Just about every military conflict in the entire history of this world could have been averted in hindsight.  Hindsight is such a nifty tool, as it allows rationalization for or against actions from the comfortable perspective of time.  Yes, now, NOW we know Iraq did not possess stockpiles of WMD's.  At the time, we did thought they existed.  France, Germany, Britain, Russia and our own agencies thought they did.  Saddam told everyone he did.  In hindsight we know he was bluffing, but how on earth were we to know then?

With foresight I know with clear certainty how this conflict will be recorded.  Hindsight and revision.
Rowley
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1 posted 11-13-2004 03:08 PM       View Profile for Rowley   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Rowley

Alicat,
No known nuclear power has ever been attacked. Saddam had no choice but to do everything in his power to make the world believe he had nuclear power as a "deterrent" in defense of his country being threatened by the super power of the world. If he had them or not doesn't matter. He did not have the "intent to use" because it would be suicide for his country. It is very evident that Saddam was not suicidal seeing his capture. The first priority for US forces invading Iraq was securing the oilfields, and hiring American companies to rebuild the infrastructure that we knocked down, and Iraqi's are fully aware of the American war profiteering. Just listen to the Iraqi's if you want to hear truth.

Alicat
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2 posted 11-13-2004 06:07 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

The foremost reason for Saddam's claims, at least to me, was more of a deterrant to Iran following Saddam's beginning of the Iran-Iraq War.  I'm not trying to offend you, but in a dictatorship one of the first things they do is  control of all media outlets, from television to newspapers and radio giving only the message the dictator wants the populace to know.  And yes, I could ask Iraqis about their feelings on the US led multinational coalition, and I already know the answers will vary depending on ethnicity, tribal affiliation, religious persuasion, region, locality, and personal slant.  It would be akin to asking an American about Mexican nationals in the US.  The answer will vary depending on who you talk to.

As for the nuclear reactor, it was called Tammuz 1 in al Tuweitha, southern Baghdad.  Iraq procured the components from a very willing France and it was nearing operational status.  It was bombed and destroyed by Israel on June 7, 1981.  This was called 'Operation Opera'.  Tammuz 2 was destroyed by American jets in 1991.  Due to Iraq's vast oil deposits, building nuclear reactors for peaceful purposes (i.e. energy) is laughable.  There was only one reason for them: weapons grade uranium and plutonium. source

Alicat
Mistletoe Angel
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3 posted 11-13-2004 07:26 PM       View Profile for Mistletoe Angel   Email Mistletoe Angel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Mistletoe Angel's Home Page   View IP for Mistletoe Angel

Alicat, I can see what you mean here. I really can.

But let me tell you something that's shocking. 75% of Republicans STILL believe there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Almost the same percentage believe there is a connection between Saddam and 9/11.

A majority of those happen to be Fox News viewers. In a shocking PIPA/Knowledge Networks poll and study, 33% of Fox viewers believe we HAVE found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, in comparison to only 20% among CNN viewers, 19% among ABC viewers and 11% among PBS viewers. On the question of the U.S finding clear evidence that Saddam was working with al-Qaeda, 67% of Fox viewers believe that, a far cry from CNN viewers at 48%, ABC at 45% and PBS at 16%!

That's just the problem. Though you believe they do not exist now, there's still an incredible number of those out there who refuse to accept what all reports say otherwise and insist they ARE there and Saddam was directly responsible for 9/11.

With that said, what do you say to those 75% out there? What do you think of them?

Sincerely,
Noah Eaton

"You'll find something that's enough to keep you
But if the bright lights don't receive you
You should turn yourself around and come back home" MB20

Brad
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4 posted 11-13-2004 07:58 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

Wrong, wrong, wrong.

How many times do we have to go over this? Your assumption isn't that we had good evidence to go to war, it's that we didn't have evidence not to go to war.

To pretend there weren't other options, other priorities at the time, is to exercise blindsight, not hindsight. Either that or you have a serious case of amnesia.

You actually used the bombing from 1981? Still grasping for straws, aren't ya?

Brad
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5 posted 11-13-2004 08:02 PM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
And yes, I could ask Iraqis about their feelings on the US led multinational coalition, and I already know the answers will vary depending on ethnicity, tribal affiliation, religious persuasion, region, locality, and personal slant.  It would be akin to asking an American about Mexican nationals in the US.  The answer will vary depending on who you talk to.


If you're going to use this argument, please explain to me what each of these groups would actually say. Now, check for empirical evidence.

Do you honestly think anybody in Iraq thinks things are going swimmingly?
Alicat
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6 posted 11-13-2004 08:12 PM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

Not saying there weren't other options.  Just saying that Saddam was trying his best to build nuclear reactors, and not for energy production, unless by energy you mean the output of megatons of TNT.  Some of the other options out there, quite aside from enforcement of UN resolution 1441, is a short list.

1) Do nothing and wait for the UN sanctions to erode completely.

2) Issue yet another resolution in a long string (16) of rejected ones from Saddam.

3) Continue the Oil For Food program so that Saddam could rearm through trade with Syria.

4) Live and let live, turn a blind eye, and let Saddam kill as many people as he pleased while we yell at China for human rights violations.

Which of those would you prefer?  And what consequences for noncompliance with 1441 would you impose?

Hindsight seems to be working swimmingly for you.
Ron
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7 posted 11-13-2004 10:19 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

In 1963, Ali, the greater part of a nation believed Lee Harvey Oswald should be summarily killed. Only one man, however, acted upon his belief.

The argument that "everyone" thought Iraq possessed and intended to use WMD doesn't hold water because "everyone" didn't act on that belief. Many, on the contrary, absolutely refused to act, not because they had proof they were wrong but rather because they didn't have convincing proof they were right.

The U.S. was wrong. That's not good, but the fact remains that neither people nor nations can always be right. Making decisions means making mistakes. Hindsight says we were wrong. History, however, will say we didn't have the guts to admit it or the wisdom to correct it.


Huan Yi
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8 posted 11-13-2004 11:37 PM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Ron,

“or the wisdom to correct it.”

Perhaps returning Saddam to full power
and compensating him and his for damage
done to his regime and family, (two sons dead),
will in some small way ease the pain and suffering
we have caused him.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (11-14-2004 02:07 AM).]

Midnitesun
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9 posted 11-14-2004 12:03 AM       View Profile for Midnitesun   Email Midnitesun   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Midnitesun

Some of us had foresight, and begged the administration not to do this dastardly deed, that the consequences would be beyond our wildest nightmares.
So, it isn't all a hindsight explanation.
And some of us said that the re-election of this president would escalate the killings.
Read the numbers as they come...over 24 Americans (or so I heard tonight) killed in the past few days in Fallujah.

Huan Yi
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Waukegan


10 posted 11-14-2004 02:09 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Let’s not forget all the freedom fighters
dying so they can bring back Eden.
Brad
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since 08-20-99
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11 posted 11-14-2004 03:02 AM       View Profile for Brad   Email Brad   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Brad

quote:
“or the wisdom to correct it.?br>
Perhaps returning Saddam to full power
and compensating him and his for damage
done to his regime and family, (two sons dead),
will in some small way ease the pain and suffering
we have caused him.


By now, I'm sure the Jane Smiley article is known to just about everyone. But she used the wrong word, she called the Red States predominantly ignorant. That is wrong. They lack imagination and the inability to see multiple options.

Am I wrong? Look at the above quote. Is it being facetious or is it the reality of someone caged within a mindset that dares not include other options?

Why does it ignore that people are dying now and why does it not deplore the situation of the Iraqi people right now?  
Ron
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12 posted 11-14-2004 03:19 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Perhaps returning Saddam to full power and compensating him and his for damage done to his regime and family, (two sons dead), will in some small way ease the pain and suffering we have caused him.

I doubt that qualifies as wisdom, John (or as sarcasm, for that matter). However, returning Bush to full power probably doesn't qualify, either.
Huan Yi
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since 10-12-2004
Posts 6334
Waukegan


13 posted 11-14-2004 07:14 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Alicat,


“All the permanent members of NATO believed there were WMD's in Iraq.  The UN Council thought there were WMD's in Iraq….  Up until the day before the invasion of Iraq, all Iraqi governmental workers thought Iraq had WMD's, even Saddam's closest advisors. . .  

…. At the time, we did thought they existed.  France, Germany, Britain, Russia and our own agencies thought they did.  Saddam told everyone he did….”
  
Arms Inspector David Kay on PBS said that Saddam Hussein himself may have
believed he had weapons of mass destruction when in fact he didn’t.

With all the above, and assuming there wasn’t a massive world conspiracy
or delusion involving everyone including possibly Hussein himself, why
should I or anyone believe that in a country the size of Texas, once at the
command of a Draconian regime with billions to spend and years to spend it in,
that the Americans, (who some contend can’t do anything else right), have
been able with absolute certainty to prove a negative?

John


P.S.  On the lighter side, give your spouse, kids,
significant other, (or especially someone who just doesn’t
like you), a couple of hours to hide your car keys at the place
where you live and see how long it takes to find them.

[This message has been edited by Huan Yi (11-14-2004 07:51 AM).]

Alicat
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14 posted 11-14-2004 11:21 AM       View Profile for Alicat   Email Alicat   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Alicat

In hindsight, perhaps I shouldn't have started this thread while under muscle relaxants and heavy doses of Naproxen.  But I will continue anyhow.

Ron, I agree that I overgeneralized with the 'everyone' comment.  It was an open secret that Saddam possessed chemical and biological weapons and was striving for nuclear material.

John, I can't go with that assumption of a global conspiracy.  Though I wasn't involved in the process, I have a feeling it went like this:

Saddam, while trying to build reactors for non-peaceful purposes, asserts he has WMDs.  As proof, he uses chemical and biological agents against Iran, against Kurds, against coalition forces.  He tells his advisors and cabinet members he has them.  This gets leaked out to intelligence operatives who report back to their home countries that Saddam has them.  Notes are compared and shared among countries that Saddam has them.  And so the rumor becomes fact based on Saddam's track record.

And Brad, I could've sworn that Rowley's response said 'no known nuclear plants' which I took to mean no known nuclear plants had been destroyed in Iraq.  My mistake.  Taking the statement that no known nuclear countries have been attacked is false though.  Spain, France, Israel, Russia, and the US, just to name a few.  And one thing that some forget is that when an embassy is attacked, the country represented has been attacked.  The same goes for military bases, or military equipment, including ships and aircraft.  Technically, we've been at war with the terrorists since the late 80's.

I know Saddam was not connected to 9/11.  He was, however, directly linked to terrorism.  Millions paid out to families of suicide bombers.  The willing harboring of terrorists.  A 747 fuselage and cockpit used for specialized training, restricted from the Iraqi military.  Some will disavow any or all of this, since most will acknowledge only those things which mesh with their own perspective, self included.
Huan Yi
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Waukegan


15 posted 11-14-2004 11:50 AM       View Profile for Huan Yi   Email Huan Yi   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Huan Yi

Alicat,

“As proof, he uses chemical and biological agents against Iran, against Kurds, against coalition forces.  He tells his advisors and cabinet members he has them.”

Basically show and tell.

John
Denise
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16 posted 11-14-2004 11:52 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Please share your wisdom and imagination regarding the situation in Iraq, those of you who believe that the U.S. acted wrongly. What would be some of the ways that we could correct the mistake?

How would history judge the U.S., I wonder, if stockpiles of WMD's were there, as was the common belief before the war, and we failed to intervene, and Saddam caused a cataclysmic event, either directly or indirectly through the sales of WMD's, or the materials necessary to create them, to terrorists?

Ron
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17 posted 11-14-2004 01:05 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
What would be some of the ways that we could correct the mistake?

You can't ever put the milk back in the bottle, Denise, if that's your sole interpretation of correcting a mistake.

You can, however, take the bottle out of the hands of any two-year-old who has proven themselves unable to wield it safely. Failure to do so only increases the risk of spilling more milk. Not to mention breaking the bottle?
Rowley
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18 posted 11-14-2004 01:25 PM       View Profile for Rowley   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Rowley

Only if you consider Hamas a terrorist organization has Saddam harbored terrorism.
Rowley
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19 posted 11-14-2004 01:38 PM       View Profile for Rowley   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Rowley

I'm not saying what Hamas has done is right. All I'm saying is they are doing what they have to do. Too many of their people have been killed. We are all aware of Israel's strength compared to the Palestinian's. The strong are crushing the weak, and the rich are crushing the poor. This is the sad truth.
Denise
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20 posted 11-14-2004 08:49 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron and/or Brad, so what are some of the imaginative ways to deal with the problem, if you think the U.S. acted in error, and what about my second question? How would the U.S. be viewed by history if stockpiles of WMDs did exist, as commonly believed, and we did nothing, and Saddam caused a cataclysmic event that could have been prevented by disabling him?

Hamas does not have to do what they do, Rowley. None of the terrorist organizations do. None of their people would have been killed if they did not engage in their terroristic activities. Israel has acted in self defense of her people. Study the history. Every war and every violence has been perpetrated first against Israel, not the other way around.
Rowley
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21 posted 11-14-2004 09:17 PM       View Profile for Rowley   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Rowley

Denise,
I suppose it depends on what side you are on.
Ron
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22 posted 11-15-2004 12:07 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Ron and/or Brad, so what are some of the imaginative ways to deal with the problem, if you think the U.S. acted in error, and what about my second question? How would the U.S. be viewed by history if stockpiles of WMDs did exist, as commonly believed, and we did nothing, and Saddam caused a cataclysmic event that could have been prevented by disabling him?

1. To first step, Denise, has to be making sure the same kinds of mistakes don't happen again.

2. What if Saddam turned out to be a Klingon and our world was destroyed in retaliation? Games of what-if can be fun, and even I think, fruitful. So long as we remember they're just games.

You and I are of similar ages, Denise, so I would ask you to remember the Cold War era of the Fifties and Sixties. The sudden, shrill shriek of air raid sirens that too often replaced recess bells, and the struggle to push your heart back down where it belonged. The cold, almost damp feel of bare concrete walls as you filed into the nearest bomb shelter. The very real, almost palpable fear that civilization really was on the brink of destroying itself. Remember?

Nikita Khrushchev scared me silly. Fidel Castro, in the early-Sixties, gave me sit-up-and-scream nightmares. But I can honestly say I never gave Saddam Hussein a second thought. Cataclysmic event? He has never been more than a thug.

Still, the answer to your question isn't tough. How will history view our relationship with Osama bin Laden both before and after 9/11? The answer, I suspect, would be much the same.


 
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