I'm curious, Truth Teller. You do quote from Jude Wanniski about Saddam, Jimmy Carter and letters to Pres. Clinton in the '90s and what happened in Iraq in the 1980s... You seem like a reasonably intelligent man. Do you have any thoughts, ideas, plans for Iraq in the present and future? What are your thoughts on the Constitution? What should be in it? Will you vote on the Consitutional referendum? Will you vote in the next elections? What do you think are the most important priorities for Iraq now?
You know I cut you some slack with your naivete because you lived for so many years under a regime that controlled all the information and therefore your immature world view is not your fault. But honestly you are really getting ridiculous. Please take the next few years to LEARN something rather that try and educate others. You are making a fool of yourself. And you will make fools of your daughters as well if you do not start realizing that you need a lot more information than what Saddam allowed you to see before and what you have learned in the two years since. Branch out, stop reading things that only echo your own insulated paranoia.
OK I read what you say,"I srongly recommend you to read this."Once again its just garbage, who cares? What good is it? What does it have to do with Today and tomorrow?We can argue the past until a man changes to a donky, what good is it? The future is what's important.Again, I guess, there will be another 300 comments by here.
I srongly recommendIt hink you know it but it is "I strongly recommend".
I say we pull out now and leave this piece of sht and his famnily to deal with Zarqawi and others of his ilk on their own. Then if it should ever come to pass that these ignorant peasants present a threat to us again we turn their country into a desert of glass.
Baathi Lies Teller,That was really a good read; thank you for showing me how stupid you really are. I enjoyed it very much.I have one question for you though: Aren't you ashamed of being a Baathi propaganda teller saddam apologist scumbag?Give me a god damn break, well ya? We all know the truth, so stop telling lies, it will only make you look more and more stupid.
Truth Teller has a sometimes distorted view of things and he often seeks out sources that appear to support his beliefs when in fact those sources themsalves may engage in distorion or even propaganda. I am glad he expresses his beliefs in this blog even though I don't see things the way he does. But he does not lie. A lie is not the same as subscribing to false information or trying to get others to believe it.Vulgar, pre-adolescent idiots like the one who posted after Cam should keep in mind that very often in a democracy, citizens and their politicians will engage in nasty disagreements, but very seldom cross the line into personal attacks and assaults on the integrity of those who see things differently. Those comments were totally out of line.Truth Teller comes from a part of Iraq with a political culture that is clearly different from some other parts of the country. His blog provides me with insight into those different views and I think that is valuabe. And so is the picture I get of a professional man who loves his family living in a danger zone.You say you know the truth but what happens when some of that turns out to be untrue. How long will you remain loyal to your cherished false beliefs.Dan
cam:... you gave a perfect impression about yourself and the people you represent.We - the ignorant peasants - thank you for uncovering your real face...
the real lie teller why don't you tell us what you know if you do know anything at all?
I took a decision previously to delete every comment which contains offinsive words, or personal insult.in this section of comments there is some one who comment using the name of "real truth teller". his childish comment deserve deleting, but thanks to Dan who give him a lesson in ethics and principled. So I will leave his comment as an indication to his moral behaviour.
annThank you for the links.The first link is very informative to me. I hope every reader will read the first article. It is really very interesting.I cann't open the second link!
Don't believe a word coming from Wanniski. He's a disreputable crank.
It always surprised me how apparently civilized Germans could have followed Hitler's criminal policies. Reading some of the American comments and observing their blindness to the criminal nature of Bush's policies doesn't clarify completely the question, but shows me that it is really possible for apparently common people to accept vicious actions by their leaders. Some Americans really think their invasion of Iraq is good. I can only hope that in some not too far future these Americans may have to deal with a foreign intervention on their soil so that they may learn, first hand, what it means. It seems improbable, but I keep watching China...
annI apreciate your interest in this subject."There seem to be many lies being spread about the degree to which the US assisted Saddam."Yes you are right. the US assisted saddam in his war against Iran. At the same time (simultaneously) the US assisted Iran against Iraq!!!!This looked to be strange but it is true.The US supported the two by military informations and continue like that to prevent any side from being overtake the other."The US has been falsely accused of assisting Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. While Rumsfeld opened opportunities for Iraq to get loans from the World Bank, these were for agricultural development and infrastructure. Why is the US being condemned for helping Iraq build its infrastructure and update its agricultural technology? If the US had been assisting Iraq, Iraq would have won a short and complete victory - at least that is my belief."Again you are right. If the US assisted Iraq only, not the two side, it will the war in complete victory."Please be honest about who and what Saddam was and what he represented and stop slapping us in the face for it - it isn't our fault - its the fault of the people who supported him - we weren't the ones who enabled Saddam - Baathists were."The baathists enabled Saddam because he was one of them and thier leader, but why the US supported him? is still a mystery in my opinion."But what Saddam did to the US is unforgivable - he used our generosity as a weapon against us and attacked us without cause."Saddam was a tyrant dictator, he did very evil things against the Iraqi and against the humanity. But he didn't do any thing against the US.He didn't attack the US.Actually he is the one who made occupying Iraq easier.
I can't believe at my eyes! Finally a true Iraqi blogging what he think, rappresenting the majority of Iraqis! I was really tired of the pro-occupation blog made by suspects Iraqis. By Allah, I'm so happy! He lives in Mossul, a centre of Resistance against the invaders; can you tell us if you have witnessed some episodes of Resistance attacks?Regard to the pro-americans readers, I public a link that speak off clearly about the situation in Iraq and what about the Iraqis think about it:- http://ppoopp.host.sk/war/index.htmHis loading is slow, but you can get a real look to the Iraqi situation on the ground.
Interesting link: the reaction of the Iraqi mosques at the imminent American attack on Iraq.http://stream.realimpact.net/rihurl.ram?file=realimpact/memri/memri_friday_sermons.rmThis made clear the interior force that permit at the Iraqis so far of battling the invaders.
Truth Teller, I was born in Texas in 1957. Jimmy Carter was the worst President in my entire lifetime...and that's INCLUDING Bill Clinton who placed a close second.Quit trying to blame YOUR FUTURE on people external to Iraq. Pick up the banner and be a leader in your communtiy to create a FREE environment for your children (grandchildren?) to live and grow up in.In Iraqi politics, I see that Saddam's trial is nearing. They have reduced the number of charges to be pressed from 500 to 12. This includes a charge for killing 1000s of people with nerve gas.YOU, SIR, owe a "Thank you!" to us Americans. Stay out of our politics.---Dan
ann cool down please there is nothing personal."No, the US did NOT assist Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. The US did NOT assist Iran in the Iraq-Iran war. And the US didn't start assisting the Kurds until very recently. Unless you can provide irrefutable evidence please stop telling these lies as they are leading to more animosity."It is a well known fact, needs no evidence, the US assisted both side with military informations. I advice you to be more patient and not to hurry answering without being sure of what your are writing.By the way, I like a person who defend his country even if he/she has different point of view than mine.
"what Saddam did to the US is unforgivable - he used our generosity as a weapon against us and attacked us without cause." "Saddam attacked the U.S.? Really? When? Where? How? Specifics, please, and please provide your source for this information.
"No, the US did NOT assist Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war."Oh, yes indeed, the U.S. DID assist Iraq in the Iran-Iraq war. The U.S. assisted Iraq by providing it with technology and tactical information and advice, and by continuing to support Saddam's regime financially, tactically, and diplomatically despite the fact that the U.S. knew the Iraqi government was committing atrocities on and off the battlefield."The US did NOT assist Iran in the Iraq-Iran war."Oh, yes indeed, the U.S. DID assist Iran in the Iraq-Iran war, though it gave significantly more assistance to Iraq. Have you never heard, for example, of the Iran-Contra affair?"And the US didn't start assisting the Kurds until very recently."Ann, you need better, more in-depth information than you can get from a quick google search. The U.S. has a well documented well known history of assisting Iraqi Kurds whenever it was strategically expedient to do so. (Turkish Kurds, on the other hand, receive a very different treatment from the U.S., despite the fact that their plight is by far the worst in every way of any other group of Kurds.)
Dan, the American tells Iraqis to "Stay out of our [U.S.]politics."Iraqis stay out of AMERICAN politics?! This has to be one of the best of the best of many moments of irony provided by Americans providing advice to Iraqis. Thank you, Dan, for this incredible, classic American up is downism.
One of the arguments against the current American adventure in Iraq has been that Saddam did not support overseas terrorism.While searching for pictures of Mosul on the web I came across what looks like a Saddam-era picture of a small parade or demonstration in Mosul to honor a suicide bomber intent on going to Israel to slaughter Jews. I wonder if anybody can provide perspective on this. Reportedly Saddam used antisemitic sentiment to his advantage, but I have not previously seen much information on the way he did it. Of course if people in Mosul were practicing the art of blowing themselves up in inconvenient places before the latest wave of American tourism it might have something to do with recent bombings in Iraq.The page with a thumbnail and description of the picture is at Link to thumbnailsand the photo itself is at Link to photoI can't help wondering if the suicide bomber's costume in the photo was inspired by the KKK. The arabic writing on the costume and the banners is a mystery to me, of course.
Hurria - I applaude your accurate response to Dan's "Stay out of our (American) politics" comment. It was indeed an hillariously silly thing for him to say, and I'm glad you called my attention to it.I only hope everybody gets so involved in seeking political solutions to problems that they have no time or inclination to be involved in military solutions.
Truth Teller,I'm more and more appalled at the 'quality' of the American commentators to Iraqi blogs, including yours.Apart from the most obvious deceivers (propagandists who go on and on knowingly lying, like Moron99, addressing I suspect just the most ignorant of the American readers, because everybody else by now knows them for what they are), I'm truly astounded at those of them who seem to be 'in good faith' in supporting the mad adventures of their Government.Take for instance the ignorance of this poor 'Ann', and the arrogance of this poor Dan. One would have to think long & hard to find so incredibly gullible & ignorant beings, their childish narrow view of the world just in black & white, in any other country of the world apart from the US of America.Are there in Iraq any people similar to these creatures? Maybe some illiterate young Shiite from a very deprived surrounding, like Sadr City, giving vent to his frustrations in the way of mad fanaticism?Do tell us, Truth Teller: are there many Iraqis as silly as so many of your American commentators?
"Yes, Saddam attacked the US. For one, there was an assassination attempt by Iraq on former President George Bush I."No, there was an ALLEGATION of an assassination attempt by Iraq - an allegation which did not hold up at all well under investigation. "In international foreign policy, this is an act of war - it is a declaration of war."Would you be so kind as to post the citation from "international foreign policy" that states that attempted assassination of a former president is "an act of war - a declaration of war"? "Telling lies about US involvement in Iraq military is also an attack on the US."Is it also an act of war - a declaration of war according to "international foreign policy"?"I've looked at the facts and figures. I've seen the documentation."Would you care to provide us with your sources for all these facts and figures and documentation? "I was around some of the decision makers..."Who were these decision makers you say you were around? When were you around them?"and the thought was that Iraq was a country that needed help with its infrastructure and medical/educational/agricultural technologies to keep it from falling to the same 3rd century existance of its neighbors."Here's the biggest of many problems with this claim, Ann: During the '70's and '80's Iraq had some of the best, most advanced infrastructure in the Middle East. Iraq was at the top in terms of medical/educational/agricultural technologies as well as the provision of social services. In the '70's and '80's Iraq was considered to have the best system of distribution of national wealth to the population of any oil producing country. Families from all over the Arab and Muslim world sent their children to be educated at its universities, and its medical system was known to be the most up to date, comprehensive and well-equipped in the region. Iraq was was, in fact, considered an emerging first world country during that period. So, your contention that “the thought was” that Iraq needed help with its infrastructure is pure, unmitigated nonsense. It was during the mid-to-late '80's while you claim Iraq was receiving all that generous assistance from the U.S. that it began to downslide economically and socially. This was a direct result of the prolongation of the war with Iran – a prolongation that was encouraged by the U.S."We generously opened our doors, hearts, minds, and wallets to help Iraq"Generosity had nothing to do with it. States do not act out of generosity, they act out of self interest, and the U.S. "embraced" Iraq out of pure self interest.
Truth Teller,For an intelligent, mature man such as yourself you seem remarkably uninterested in the future of your country. Maybe you'd like to share with us some of your thoughts, if any.Do you have any thoughts, ideas, plans for Iraq in the present and future? What are your thoughts on the constitution? What should be in it? What should not be in it? Will you vote on the consitutional referendum? If so, why? If not, why not? Will you vote in the next elections? What do you think are the most important priorities for Iraq now?
"Saddam sponsored terrorism. It is a fact, not a speculation."If it is a fact, then provide some specifics and some support for your allegation, please, Ann. What specific acts of terrorism did Saddam sponsor? By whom? When? What was the nature of this sponsorship? What is your source for making this claim?"He readily stated so in his propaganda offering Palistinian suicide bombers money for their efforts."What did he say and when and in what context did he say it? Where are the specific quotes in which Saddam readily stated that he sponsored terrorism? What is your source for these quotes?Incidentally, Saddam Hussein did not "offer suicide bombers money for their efforts", which would have been rather futile, don't you think, given that their efforts, if successful, inevitably meant they would not be around to use the money. What Saddam Hussein did was to offer a stipend to the families of every Palestinian killed in the Intifada. That included the families or the relatively small number of suicide bombers, as well as the many hundreds of Palestinians killed by Israel as they went innocently about their business of going to school, to work, shopping for food, or sleeping in their beds in their homes. Saddam did this not to “sponsor terrorism”, but for pure self aggrandizement – to promote his desired image as the hero of the Arab world. Had his intention been to sponsor terrorism he would have done far better to give just a fraction of that money to terrorist groups to finance their efforts, not to the families of innocent victims killed by Israelis.“These bombers targeted Americans abroad.”Specifics and sources please? How many times? What are the dates? Where did this happen? Who were the terrorists? Who were the Americans? Why were they targeted? ”Unquestionably, Saddam attacked the US.”The only thing that unquestionable so far is that you have made a set of very general, unverified and unverifiable allegations without offering a scintilla of supporting information. After you have provided specifics and sources, then we will see what is unquestionable or not unquestionable.
Some background information on the FACT of U.S. military assistance to Iraq during the Iran - Iraq war can be found in this book by an American military officer who was personally involved in facilitating said assistance:From Ally to Adversary, by Rick Francona
“There can be little disputing that Saddam used military force and aggression to attack the US during the 10 years of sanctions.... Saddam's military aggression and deception is well documented.”Good! Then you will have no problem at all providing specific information, and documentation to support your claims that Saddam “used military force and aggression to attack the U.S.”.When did he attack the U.S. using military force? What was/were the location of the attack(s)? What was/were the nature of the attack(s)? What are your sources for this information?In the interest of factual accuracy, there were not 10 years of sanctions. The sanctions lasted more than 12 ½ years.“Althought newspapers and our government officials report no connection between Saddam and the 9/11 attacks…”Because there is exactly zero evidence of a connection, and an abundance of evidence that there was no connection.“I've also heard that match books commemorating the 9/11 attacks were issued within days of the event.”Gosh, you know, I’ve heard that every Jew who worked in the twin towers received a phone call on the morning of Sept 11 warning them not to show up for work that day, so they all called in sick. If we combine what I have heard with what you have heard, there is only one possible explanation for Sept 11. Clearly the culprits are The Jews working together with whomever issued those commemorative match books! Crime solved, case closed, someone tell Osama he is off the hook for September 11 (unless, of course, he is the one who issued the match books). “There is a lot of innuendo that connects Saddam to terrorist groups associated with the 9/11 attacks.”Non-specific, unsupported innuendo – wow, who can question the significance of that?“A federal judge in New York found Saddam guilty of being a part of the 9/11 events when a suit was brought forth by the survivors of victims.”And O.J. Simpson was found not guilty. By the way, you are incorrect. The judge did not find Saddam guilty of anything.“The truth is, Saddam attacked the US.”Specifics and sources, please. When? Where? How? What are your sources? Without that all your allegations are not worth the electrons you use to post them here.
"I only hope everybody gets so involved in seeking political solutions to problems that they have no time or inclination to be involved in military solutions."Please give that advice to your government first.
"I really, honestly do not understand why there is this huge dispute over whether or not Israel can exist as a nation and even more why the US is being held accountable for it."Ann, meaning no disrespect whatsoever to your question, which is a reasonable one, it is a complete non sequitur. What is your reason in introducing this in the middle of a discussion about Iraq?
Okay, Ann, thanks for your effort. I will take your allegations one by one, beginning with this one:"'I conclude that plaintiffs have shown, albeit barely, "by evidence satisfactory to the court" that Iraq provided material support to bin Laden and al Qaeda.'" U.S. District Court Judge Harold Baer, Jr., May 7, 2003This is not a finding of guilt. A finding of guilt requires proof beyond a reasonable doubt. This is a finding of liability based on the judge's impression that there was an extremely slight preponderance of the evidence. It is also a finding that flies in the face of all known reality, and cannot possibly stand up under any kind of scrutiny.But more importantly, that this judge believed - only "barely" - that a preponderance of the evidence favoured the plaintiff is not proof of anything one way or the other. Ann, even the Bush administration have never dared to actually claim Saddam had any connection to Sept 11. They have never done more than to try to subtly create the impression of it, and every time they have been asked about their efforts to create that impression they they have flatly denied even hinting at it. Don't you think that if they thought they had any evidence at all of a connection between Saddam Hussein and Sept 11 they would not try to hide it?
ann....unfortunately, I think, that the United States often acts contrary to itself. Even inside the same administration. For instance, when Halabja happened, many inside our government were outraged and immediately began trying to stop Saddam from doing anything like that ever again.On the other hand, there is plenty of evidence, gathered by the veterans of the 1st Gulf War, of our culpability with the Iran-Iraq war. http://www.laweekly.com/ink/03/23/news-crogan.php#top1Look up the ATCC. Do a google search: ATCC, Iraq, State Department. You don't export anthrax spores to a country in a war without some upper level authority approving the sale.It is true, Iraq got more help from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Soviets, France, etc. But we definitely played a part.The real fight between Iran and Iraq was over the Shaat-al-Arab, and some very oil-reach land near there. That Shaat-al-Arab is critical for the economy of both countries. They fought over it long before we came along. Saddam could have stopped the war far earlier. If he was manipulated by outside powers, that's his own fault. And the Iran-Iraq war did more to decimate both countries than anything that has happened after. No one could have prevented Khomeni and Saddam from coming to terms if they had been sane people. But neither was really sane. It seems likely to me that our Saudi "allies" were the major reason behind our involvement. And they certainly gave billions of dollars in loans to Iraq to continue the fight (fighting Iran by proxy for them). (Oh, and by the way, they still want that money back).http://www.truthout.org/docs_02/08.19B.reagan.iraq.htmBefore truthteller judges us too harshly, he should remember that good men from the Kurdish and Shia parties have kissed Saddam on the cheek and negotiated terms with him. I shouldn't point out Jalal Talabani, but it is true that, although he hated Saddam, there are pictures of him negotiating with him. Sometimes we feel we are forced to make deals with devils.Does truthteller wish Saddam had been the "president" of Iran? Does he wish Khomeni was in charge of Mosul? Solutions are easier if we prevent the conflict from starting. But once conflict has begun, it grows more difficult for our leaders to think clearly about the long term effects of their decisions. Such as mailing anthrax spores to Baghdad.
Ann,You have alleged that Saddam Hussein sponsored terrorism. I have asked you for specific information and sources to support your claims. For the most part the information is somewhat more specific than the vague, general claims you were making, but not as specific as would be required to support your arguments. Still, for the most part, it does give me something to respond to, and I will respond to what I can, and request more information where necessary:Before you start to try to build your case, you really ought to try to understand your terms and the case you are building."Terrorism sponsored by Saddam:1. ”Eco-vandalism of burning Kuwaiti oil fields.”This does not qualify as terrorism sponsored by Saddam. First, it does not even remotely fit the definition of terrorism. It is a fairly common act of war known as "scorched earth". Second it was not "sponsored" by Saddam, it was a direct act of Saddam's military. The Israelis have used the same kind of scorched earth practice when they were forced to withdraw from conquered territory, such as the Sinai. The Americans have also used scorched earth. They used it in Viet Nam and elsewhere, and they have used it in Iraq as well. It is a war crime, but it is not terrorism or "sponsorship of terrorism"."Halabjah."This, too, does not even remotely qualify as sponsorship of terrorism. It does not fit the definition of terrorism, and it was not "sponsored". I do not want to get into the details of this event now, though they are by no means as clear and undisputed as we have been lead to believe by those who would exploit this tragedy. Accepting for the sake of this discussion that the current version of the official U.S. government account is correct, the attack on Halabja was an act of collective punishment against a village that was known to give shelter and aid to the enemy at a time of war. As such it was an atrocity and a war crime, but not sponsorship of terrorism."Eco-vandalism of draining marsh. (perhaps world's largest anthropogenic ecological disaster)"Draining the marshes does not remotely qualify as sponsoring terrorism. It does not remotely fit the definition of terrorism, and it was not "sponsored".
"when Halabja happened, many inside our government were outraged and immediately began trying to stop Saddam from doing anything like that ever again."Jemy, please don't tell only part of the story. When the story of the attack on Halabja came out, the following happened:1. The CIA attempted a coverup. 2. U.N. attempts to take action against Iraq were squashed by the U.S. government.3. When the U.S. Congress found out that the Iraqi government had used U.S. made helicopters sold to Iraq by approval of the U.S. government, they attempted to impose sanctions that would prevent the Iraqi government from obtaining any more U.S. technology. The White House quietly killed this effort.The net result was that the U.S. government's pursuit of friendly relations with Saddam continued seamlessly.
@Ann, 6/5/2005 10:55:50 PM."a dark, sinister, abusive, 3rd century regime like that of Ayatollah Khomeini's".Oh great historian Ann, could you please tell me and all readers what the heck a "3rd century regime" means? Have you got problems with your chronology, or what? Do name, please, the "3rd century regime" you compared Khomeini's one to.
Let me make clear, Ann, that it is your job as the maker of the allegations to do the work of locating and providing supporting evidence for each specific claim you make. If you cannot provide at least one specific source supporting an allegation, then I do not need to rebut it, since it is worthless on its face.You list item after item after item without citing a single source or piece of evidence to support any of them. It is not my job, nor do I have the time to read through your list of "suggested readings" for information supporting your assertions. That is your job. I will be more than happy to address every single item for which you provide at least one piece of supporting evidence.For the time being, I will address some of your list despite the fact that you provide no sources and no evidence for the vast majority of them.
@Ann, 6/6/2005 12:37:07 AM."State sponsorship of Ansar al-Islam. Abu Musab al Zarqawi of al Qaeda opening and operated an Ansar al-Islam training camp in Northern Iraq".Again, the Ansar al-Islam camp in 'Northern Iraq' (precisely, in Halabja) was in Kurdistan, an area since 1991 completely outside of Saddam's control, and actually it was an enclave in PUK-controlled territory. What had Saddam to do with it? Or are you taking us for fools?"State sponsorship of Mujahedin-e-Khalq".The Mujahedin-e-Khalq group (originally a Marxist group, that then became a crazy personality cult centered on the Rajavi couple who founded it) has recently changed sponsors.How is it, oh so knowledgeable Ann? You missed this tiny bit? Don't you know that from May, 2003 the Mujahedin-e-Khalq are sponsored by the US of America (for possible use in some Iranian adventure)?"Grants for families of martyrs ($25,000 to suicide bombers in Palestine)".Really knowledgeable Hurria (6/5/2005 11:52:38 PM) had already answered to this 'allegation' of yours, that has anyway nothing to do with the US ("What Saddam Hussein did was to offer a stipend to the families of every Palestinian killed in the Intifada. That included the families or the relatively small number of suicide bombers, as well as the many hundreds of Palestinians killed by Israel as they went innocently about their business of going to school, to work, shopping for food, or sleeping in their beds in their homes").Since what you said had been already answered to, why did you spew forth this sillyness once more?And then you are the one who invites people to "listen" to her arguments?Apart from that, Saddam's support to Palestinian organisations has NOTHING at all to do with the US. Can you dispute this?So why do you go on with this sort of thing?"Iraqi diplomat Hisham al Hussein allegedly helped al Qaeda's Abu Sayyaf's attack on Zamboanga".Allegedly? ALLEGEDLY??? Does it seem to you anything worth repeating, 'hard' information?Allegedly, some sector in the Administration of the US of America organised 9/11. Allegedly."According to numerous defectors, Salman Pak was a training camp in Iraq" etc. "A lot of information came from Sabah Khodada, a former Iraqi army officer who worked at Salman Pak". So, Ann, you feel like repeating for the umpteenth time some 'rumours' and 'allegations' already long debunked, that came out straight from Chalabi's factory of lies.And we are supposed to take you in earnest?
The dogs howl and the train rolls on. What an incredible waste of time and energy are these endless circular arguments over unalterable events with ample 'evidence' to support any view you care to take. I would think that people who really have so much at stake and concern in the outcome would be looking forward rather than backward.
hurria,I'm trying to keep my comments succinct. (Ha! I know I'm not doing a good job)My point is that you can have two conflicting actions within the same administration. In your example, you are emphasizing that the White House is "the U.S." and not the Congress, who tried to stop the sale of helicopters, and who DID stop the sale of lots of chemical and biological agents, among other things.In Halabja, there is no evidence that the U.S. authorized, encouraged, or knew about the attack. The CIA, Commerce Dept, and other higher officials, however, seem clearly culpable in terms of their knowledge that Iraq had biological weapons, and tactically approved them.On the other side, there were plenty of people working in the administration that investigated Halabja and tried to prevent any other Halabja's from happening ever again. Which group of people represented the United States?Was it Steven Bryen and Casper Weinberger? Or was it those guys in the Commerce Department?A nation and its policies are infinitely complex. The U.S. has done some wonderfully noble things for Iraq. It has also done some really stupid things. There ARE evil men among us in the U.S. But there is very rarely a clear policy among them. Most of those businesses simply wanted to make a profit. Many of the individuals in the State Department were trying to encourage Saddam to join the "democracy club" (stupid, I know)Here's a COMPREHENSIVE look at what was going on:http://www.iran.org/tib/krt/tdl12.htmAnd here's an interview that emphasis the point:SAFER: When you were in that job as--as the--the Pentagon's cop to oversee what was going where, did you get into any confrontations? Dr. BRYEN: Oh, yes. Oh, yeah. I had a big confrontation over the shipment of atropine injectors to Iraq . I blocked it. And atropine is an antidote for nerve gas. And so far as I knew, the only nerve gas in the region was Iraqi nerve gas, so it was clear that they wanted one-- they wanted this for offensive purposes, not for defense. SAFER: To protect their own troops? Dr. BRYEN: To protect their own troops, and--and to allow them to use it in fairly close-in situations against--against other forces, Iranians or Americans or whoever. SAFER: You got into confrontations with whom? Dr. BRYEN: Well, the--the--the fight was mostly with the State Department. It was a million and a half injectors they were talking about, 1.5 million injectors, and these were militarized injectors; the same ones are used by the US Army. And I will--I just said no. It took me three months of--of quarreling, and--and--and finally, I threatened to have a press conference if they wouldn't stop. But in the intervening period, the news of the Kurdish attacks came out, and I think that discouraged the enthusiasm in the State Department for promoting this transaction. ------------------------I think you and an_italian are going to far. It's like hearing Bush's "axis of evil" speech, except the U.S. is EVIL. The truth is strong enough.
@Anonymous Stukasdad, 6/6/2005 02:55:41 AM."I would think that people who really have so much at stake and concern in the outcome would be looking forward rather than backward".Stukasdad, the one starting again with "unalterable events" from the past has been (repeating the sillyest & most debunked lies) your American 'Ann'. So we answer.But couldn't it be, Stukasdad, that you prefer to leave the past alone precisely because you have no right whatsoever to be occupying Iraq (and you know it very well)?
@Ann, 6/6/2005 03:13:48 AM."the UN was formed in part to protect Israel".Sorry, Ann... are you crazy or what? When the UN were formed (1945), Israel didn't exist yet! We know that you aren't a great historian, but... oh, maybe the UN were founded in the "3rd century"!!!"If the US truly has nothing to do with this (as I believe is truthful) then why do we keep getting called into it?".This is very interesting, because this statement of yours reveals, to all & sundry, that usually you do not believe in what is real, obvious and in the public domain, while you believe in some propagandist lies (see your previous post) widely and completely disproved.After the 1967 war the US of America decided - as a strategic decision - to choose Israel as their main and fixed ally in the Middle East.From then on, more than 50 % than the total of American financial support to other countries went, every year, to Israel, in order to support its economy and prop it up. If I'm not mistaken, about two thirds of the Israeli GNP are the fruit of US State donations.The US freely decided to make Israel their main ally in that area, and to prop it up; then they kept vetoing any UN resolution against Israel, which is illegally occupying, since 1967, with flagrant and continuous violations of the Geneva Conventions, the Palestinian Territories and Golan. The Israeli Govt. (led since the Seventies by the Likhudniks of Nazifascist origin) has scuppered any attempt of a settlement (including the February 2002 Arab League proposal for permanent peace in exchange for the end of the occupation), and the US have kept supporting Israel.So, Ann, what are you blathering about? This is not the history of the "3rd century" (you haven't yet answered on that, BTW), but of the 20th & 21st.
"In your example, you are emphasizing that the White House is "the U.S." and not the Congress, who tried to stop the sale of helicopters, and who DID stop the sale of lots of chemical and biological agents, among other things."What I am emphasizing, Jemy, is that the end result was that despite the efforts of some in Congress, the events in Halabja had exactly zero effect on the way the U.S. government related to Saddam Hussein."In Halabja, there is no evidence that the U.S. authorized, encouraged, or knew about the attack."No one here has even suggested they did, so why did you bring it up as if I did?"The CIA, Commerce Dept, and other higher officials, however, seem clearly culpable in terms of their knowledge that Iraq had biological weapons, and tactically approved them."That makes them culpable for a lot of things, but it does not make them culpable for the attack on Halabja. The responsibility for that is on Saddam Hussein and those members of his regime who approved, ordered and executed the attack."Which group of people represented the United States?"That is completely irrelevant. All that is relevant is that the events at Halabja changed nothing about U.S. government policy toward Iraq. The innocent victims of Halabja did not mean anything until years after they were sent to their graves, when they suddenly became useful objects for exploitation. It is a desecration of their memories and their lives.
Ann, I am sorry. I really don't mean to be difficult, but one link labeled as "sources for the others on the list" is not going to suffice. What you are obligated to provide is at least one specific citation for each specific item. I simply do not have the time or the interest to read through volumes of material searching for supporting evidence for each of your numerous allegations, and it is not reasonable to expect me to do so.Please provide me with a list of each allegation followed by the citations to supporting material for it. That is the only reasonable way to present such an extensive and varied list of claims.
"the UN was formed in part to protect Israel."Does it say that in the UN Charter? Where? In any other UN official or unofficial documents? Which ones? Where?And how do you explain the formation of an entire huge worldwide organization for the (partial) purpose of protecting a state that did not even exist when it was formed?
Ann, please - I cannot deal with it this way. I just don't have the time or the inclination to do all that reading to search for and decide what information you are trying to cite. One specific claim at a time followed by the specific citations that support it, please.
I do find it ironic that the much vaunted Wanniski wrote that the Iranians were responsible for Halabja:http://www.polyconomics.com/searchbase/11-18-98.html
Ann wrote:"can't find any credible sources that even suggest must less prove that Saddam gave money to Palistinians who lost family members due to Israeli military aggression."That's funny, since you seemed to find this source credible enough when YOU cited it supposedly to support YOUR allegation that he supported terrorism:“Hussein vows cash for martyrs.” March 12, 2002. Published in The Australian, March 13, 2002, page 9"Here is the lede for that article taken directly from the article itself published in The Australian: "Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister, Tariq Aziz, has said Iraq will grant $US25,000 ($47,900) in cash to the families of each Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza." That's the first sentence taken straight from the source you yourself cited, Ann. Not a word here about suicide bombers or terrorists, is there? It DOES say "each Palestinian killed in clashes". Of course, you have no idea what the article you cited actually says, because you have never seen the article itself, have you? Instead you copied and pasted the citation from a "credible" secondary or tertiary source such as "husseinandterror.com" or "jihadwatch.org".That kind of sloppy work would get you an automatic failing grade on any research paper you wrote in any respectable university.
hurria,Please provide credible evidence for your accusations against US agencies and government officials in regards to their alleged involvement with Halabja. It seems you do not play by your own rules.You're starting to understand Hurria, Ann. This road has been trod many times before.
So... off the topic of Israel for a moment (!!!) and back to Iraq..."Truth Teller", An intelligent, accomplished man like you should have some ideas about Iraq's future path. Do you have any thoughts, ideas, plans for Iraq in the present and future? What are your thoughts on the constitution? What should be in it? What should not be in it? Will you vote on the consitutional referendum? If so, why? If not, why not? Will you vote in the next elections? What do you think are the most important priorities for Iraq now? What kind of government should Iraq have? Why? What will you do to help your country become what you want it to be? What kind of country do you hope Iraq will be when Aya is an adult?Surely you must have some thoughts and ideas about this. I'd be really interested in hearing them because Iraq needs intelligent accomplished people like you thinking about these things.Awaiting your thoughts while the usual suspects here go over and over the same old ground...
@Ann, 6/6/2005 04:15:22 AM."The UN formed Israel and therefore is obligated to protect Israel. Why are there countries in the UN that refuse to recognize Israel as a country? If it isn't a country, then how can it have a legitimate government that is occupying other lands".Again, you are not being sensible (and, again, the UN was NOT founded to protect Israel, LOL!). The UN may be "obligated to protect Israel", but not to protect its territorial conquests against the UN statutes, and not to compell all States in the world to recognise Israel. The UN recognised Taiwan as China, up to 1971; but many States did not recognise Taiwan as China, but the People's Republic. So what? Why are you muddling all matters in an illogical way?And, again, to quote a US State Department assessment in the run up to the Iraqi war (2002), based, as all the world and even the US Congress by now knows, on doctored, invented and fake information (provided by the Chalabi crowd, and sexed-up by the Neo-Cons), is not very supportive of what you say: don't you realise it?And even what the assessment (falsely) stated against Iraq was NO ground to go to war with another country, or to invade it.So, please, stop serving us some lies cooked years ago, and long since gone cold (and rotten).We are not all gullible Americans, you know.BTW, oh wise & learned Ann, what about "the 3rd century"?
Thank you, Ann, for complying with my request for clearer citations."Saddam paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers, celebrated martyrs, and commended Palestinian terrorism."No one has denied that Saddam Hussein paid stipends to families of Palestinians who were martyred in the intifada. What is at issue is whether or not this constitutes sponsorship of terrorism. I have already pointed out quite clearly that it does not for reasons including but not limited to the following:1. It is clear that Saddam's intention in paying stipends to the families of each Palestinian killed by Israeli forces was not to "sponsor terrorism", but to build and bolster support from Arabs by appearing to be the only Arab leader who was supporting Palestinians. Saddam wished to be seen as the greatest hero of the Arab world, and to take his place in history alongside the likes of Salaheddine and other great heroes. Making gestures like this was one of this ways of securing that place for himself. 2. Paying stipends to the families of each Palestinian killed by Israeli forces is no way at all to "sponsor terrorism". It is, at best, an extremely ineffeciant and unreliable method, even if he had limited the stipends to families of suicide bombers as is falsely claimed. If he wished to "sponsor terrorism", he would have funded terrorist organizations directly by giving them the money, not by easing the burdens of bereaved Palestinian families by granting them stipends. 3. If he wished to "sponsor terrorism" against the United States, then giving stipends to families of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces was less than useless for this purpose. Contrary to your unsupported and unsupportable claims, Ann, Palestinian suicide bombers do not "target Americans abroad", they go very specifically after Israeli targets in the occupied territories and inside Israel.
"The UN formed Israel..."Ann, you just keep coming up with one beautiful gem after another. The UN "formed Israel"? Ummmmm - no. The UN did not "form Israel". The UN does not "form" states, and it sure as hell did not "form Israel".Israel was admitted as a member of the UN on May 11, 1949, one year almost to the day after the Zionist founders of Israel declared statehood.
Now, let us look specifically at what you provided as sources for your claim that Saddam Hussein "sponsored terrorism" by offering stipends to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers:"Patterns of Global Terrorism" published April, 2003 by the U.S. State Department:Setting aside the suspect nature of any claims made by the Bush administration regarding Iraq, this paper contains nothing but a series of claims with no supporting evidence whatsoever. Some of the claims are as tissuepaper thin as the claims made by Colin Powell in his by now infamous dog and pony show in front of the U.N. and the world.Let's look specifically at the substance of the claim about sponsoring Palestinian suicide bombers:"Saddam paid the families of Palestinian suicide bombers..."That Saddam Hussein offered stipends to the families of suicide bombers is not in dispute. However, what this report significantly fails to mention is that he offered stipends to the families of ALL Palestinians martyred in the intifada, not just suicide bombers, and that as of March, 2002, he was offering the same sum - $25,00 - to the families of each Palestinian killed by the Israeli military. "...to encourage Palestinian terrorism..."This is nothing but self-serving speculation, and it does not stand up to even minor scrutiny or critical thinking. No one has produced a shred of evidence that his motivation was to "encourage Palestinian terrorism", and it is more than clear that his motivation was in fact pure self aggrandizement. Further, it is absurd to believe that offering a stipend to the families of each Palestinian killed by Israeli forces - or even to each successful suicide bomber - is going to encourage even one person, let alone a significant number of people, to deliberately blow themselves up with bombs. Experts in human behaviour do not find the theory that paying stipends to families encourages people to kill themselves even a little bit plausible. "Public testimonials by Palestinian civilians and officials and cancelled checks captured by Israel in the West Bank verify the transfer of a considerable amount of Iraqi money."That he paid stipends to the families of Palestinians martyred in the intifada is not in dispute. The evidence cited here proves nothing beyond the fact that the money was transferred."Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz"Wow, Ann, you must have really had to dig for this one!"Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz told lawmakers...Israel wanted Saddam to stand trial for...funding Palestinian suicide bombers."Ann, the fact that Shaul Mofaz says he wants someone to stand trial for something is evidence only that Shaul Mofaz says he wants someone to stand trial for something. It is utterly worthless in supporting your claim."He said Saddam had..."acted against Israel by...assisting terrorism through funding"."Paying stipends to the families of each Palestinian martyred in the intifada does not constitute "funding terrorism" by any stretch of logic. Even had he paid stipends only to the families of suicide bombers, that would not constitute funding terrorism. Funding terrorism means giving money to terrorists and terrorist groups to be used in carrying out their activities, not giving aid to the bereaved and often destitute families of dead terrorists."Saddam gave over $35 million to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers and others who had died in the three-year-old Palestinian uprising."But oh dear, Ann, here you are hoist on your own pitard again! I thought you said you could not find any credible source that says Saddam gave money to the families of anyone but suicide bombers, and yet here it is again. Can one assume that since you cited this as one of your sources, you consider it credible?Let's also do a very objective test with this information. How many suicide bombings were there between the time Saddam started offering these stipends, and March, 19, 2003? Multiply that by $25,000. Does it come to a sum even remotely close to the $35,000 Saddam paid out in stipends to martyrs' families?"Israel has said the donations encouraged Palestinians to join the ranks of militants who have killed over 450 Israelis in a string of bombings since September 2000 when the revolt began."Pure speculation that not only has no foundation, it also flies in the face of known reality and logic.
Ann, the lede in the article from The Australian (the article you cited, but did not bother to read) states with absolute clarity that the $25,000 stipend was offered to the families not of suicide bombers, to "the families of each Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli troops in the West Bank and Gaza." How you can possibly claim that it only refers to suicide bombers when it is right in front of you in black and white is beyond understanding. Others of your own sources also contradict you, as I have pointed out already. I would also urge you to do the simple mathematics. How many suicide bombings by Palestinians took place while Saddam Hussein was offering this stipend? At $25,000 per suicide bombing, how much money was paid to the families of these terrorists? It should be perfectly clear that the overwhelming majority of the $35,000,000 went to other martyrs, and only a tiny percentage of that money went for terrorist acts.
Ann, by no means did the UN "form Israel". All the UN did was to propose a partition of Palestine. That is not the same thing by any stretch of the imagination as "forming Israel".
"It sounds like we agree on the following: That Saddam offered money to families of suicide bombers."No, we do not agree on that at all. He did not offer money to suicide bombers, he offered stipends to the families of each Palestinian who was martyred in the Intifada. That included suicide bombersbut the overwhelming majority of the recipients of these stipends were not connected with suicide bombers. (And by the way, not all the families accepted the money, but that is another issue.)"He also offered them celebraty glory and martyr status."No, we do not agree on this at all. This is complete nonsense. Saddam had no standing to confer this on anyone. In the minds of those who believe in that kind of thing, Martyr status comes automatically to anyone who is killed by the Israelis, and "celebrity glory" also comes automatically in the minds of those who believe in that sort of thing."This would be considered supporting terrorism."No, of course we do not agree on this. What kind of childish game are you trying to play here?Haven't you read anything I have written? Even if the stipends had been excusively for the families of suicide bombers it would not be "supporting terrorism". Furthermore, I believe the original term was "sponsoring terrorism". I repeat that supporting or sponsoring terrorism means providing terorrists and/or terrorist groups with the means to carry out terrorist activities. Paying stipends to bereaved families is a completely different action."Are we ready to move on to the next item on the list?"You can move on to the next item any time you like, or you can list them all at once, as long as you provide the citations for each one clearly and in an organized manner.
Truth Teller, as always I read your link and the whole article but was saddened that you believe what was there. One of the things that always upsets me in articles like that is the stating as fact that the US is responsible for the deaths of childen... is it 500,000 or 800,000 as both figures were stated as "fact" in the article? The "oil for food program" even without all the cheating that Saddam managed should have provided for food and medicine for the children whatever the real and horrible number of deaths that occurred. There was only one person responsible for the suffering and death in my opinion and that was Saddam who was building palace after palace with the money and with all his friends living an outrageuosly lavish lifestyle.Note to Ann...I am in awe of your amazingly detailed and intelligent posts here...hopefully some of those so far on the other side of the "facts" will at least question some of their beliefs.Larry in Texas (so I am obviously a brainwashed American)
@Larry in Texas (so I am obviously a brainwashed American), 6/6/2005 06:27:37 AM.No, Larry, you are obviously a brainLESS American.Cannot you see that there was not ONE 'fact' in Ann's posts (who was quoting things she had not even cared to read), and that all the silly things she said ("3rd century" included) were easily rebutted?A child could see it. Larry in Texas cannot.
"...paper trails, documents, photocopies of checks, and celebrations of suicide martyrs are all over the web to support my claim that Hussein funded suicide bombers..."1. Funding suicide bombers means providing them all or part of the means to carry out their acts of terrorism. Paying stipends to the bereaved families of suicide bombers in no way provides the bombers with the means to carry out their acts of terrorism. 2. Yes, I have seen those alleged paper trails, documents, photocopies of checks that are all over such credible websites as "saddamandterror.com" and "jihadwatch.org". I notice they are all in Arabic. I suppose you read Arabic fluently? I suppose the people who put together those terribly professional, unbiased, and credible websites like "saddamandterror.com" and "jihadwatch.org" also read Arabic fluently. By the way, even I cannot read all those documents, because they are sometimes just too small or the images too unclear to be legible, but I guess your ability to read Arabic must be better than mine."- there is no credible evidence that he gave funding out of the kindness of his heart to families in need who were not part of the war effort."1. No one has ever claimed he has ever done anything out of the goodness of his heart, or that there was any goodness in his heart at all.2. No one has ever claimed he gave anything to "families in need". Saddam Hussein offered a stipend to the families of all Palestinians martyred in the Intifada. According to one of your own sources as of March, 2002 he was offering $25,000 to the families of each Palestinian killed in clashes with the Israeli military. According to one of your own sources he paid out a total of $35,000,000 to these families. You do the math. How many suicide bombings were there during the period he was paying this money? At $25,000 per suicide bombing, how much money did he pay to families of suicide bombers. That is only a small percentage of the total of $35,000,000,isn't it? So, the overwhelming majority of the recipients of these stipends must have been families of martyrs who were not suicide bombers. "Reading the quote is not understanding Aziz."What on EARTH does that mean? That is not even comprehensible English. "The fact is Hussein intended to support suicide bombers - and did so."And now you are a mind reader! You know what he intended in spite of the fact that he did something completely different?"Again, if you can name a family that received one of these grants who did not have a family member participate by being a suicide martyr, I'd love to hear about it."I don't have to. If you would read your own sources you would find that 3 out of 4 of them directly contradict what you are saying."There are names and faces associated with grant recipients who were suicide martyrs."1. How do you know that when you cannot read anything on any of the documents? Because it says so on some inflammatory website?2. No one is denying that Saddam Hussein granted stipends to the families of suicide bombers, so it would not be surprising to see proof that he did so. The fact and the reality is, however, that the majority of the grants went to the families of martyrs who had nothing to do with suicide bombings or terrorism.Do the math, Ann. How many suicide bombings were there while Saddam was paying out this money? At $25,000 per bomber, how much money did he pay to families of suicide bombers? What percentage of the money does that account for? Therefore, the rest of the money - the vast majorit of it - must have gone to families who had nothing to do with suicide bombers.
@Ann, 6/6/2005 06:03:16 AM."This would be considered supporting terrorism".No, it would not. You sillyly started this discussion you aren't able to keep up stating as truth an outrageous lie, namely that "Saddam attacked the US", and again, that "The truth is, Saddam attacked the US", and again, lying as you love to do, that Saddam regime had a part in 9/11 (6/5/2005 09:09:25 PM).Now, even if one were to term the fully legitimate Palestinian resistance against the illegal Israeli occupation 'terrorism', it, still, would have ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the US of America. So why are you repeating this rather idiotic stupidity, Ann? To what purpose?"Are we ready to move on to the next item on the list?".Yes, Ann, please enlighten us from your deep historical wisdom: name or describe "a dark, sinister, abusive, 3rd century regime" (we are a bit ignorant in history this side of the ocean, you know, especially in Italy, and in Iraq, since we have such a short history... LOL!).
"there was not ONE 'fact' in Ann's posts"To be fair and realistic, there were some facts in Ann's posts. It IS a fact that Saddam Hussein paid stipends to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. What Ann refuses to deal with, even though her own sources confirm it, is that he also paid stipends to each Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces.What Ann also refuses to deal with is that paying stipends to bereaved families of dead people does not constitute sponsorship of terrorism. Sponsorship of terrorism involves providing terrorists with the means to carry out their terrorist activities.Incidentally, Saddam Hussein is not the only one who has paid stipends to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. The government of Saudi Arabia, among others, has also been known to do so. But then Saudi Arabia is a U.S. ally, so we can't speak about that, can we?
@Stukasdad, 6/6/2005 06:54:25 AM."The United States may be the most dominant military, economic, cultural force in human history, but it is composed of ignorant near animals. All wrongs in the last two hundred years can be traced to wrongdoing on the part of these subhuman Americans".Oh Stukasdad, you have to admit that it is not our fault (either of the Arabs, or of the Europeans) that you warmongering Americans proudly parade your subhumanity and your beastliness in the comments pages of Iraqi blogs.And that tells us that the US position of "most dominant military, economic, cultural force in human history" is not going to last much longer...And about the "last two hundred years", come on, that's slightly exaggerated... let's make it the "last sixty years"!
Ann,You are wasting your time and ours listing names. No one on earth has denied that Saddam Hussein paid stipends to the families of suicide bombers, so you do not need to prove that. "You haven't provided names of people who died and family recieved a grant, and martyrdom certificate, who were not suicide bombers."Read your own sources, Ann, and then do the math. How many suicide bombings were there when Saddam was paying those stipends? Multiply that number by $25,000. Divide that number by $35,000,000. That will tell you the very small percentage of the $35,000,000 that was paid to the families of suicide bombers. The rest of that money - the overwhelming majority - was paid to the families of martyrs who had nothing to do with suicide bombings."Even if you do, that doesn't change the fact that these suicide bombers received special attention - awards and financing -"No, they did not receive awards or financing. The families of the suicide bombers received stipends, as did the families of many, many more martyrs who had nothing to do with suicide bombings. "clearly this is state sponsored terrorism of Iraq."Clearly it is not. States that sponsor terrorism provide terrorists with the means in whole or in part to carry out their terrorist activities. Granting stipends to the bereaved families of Palestinians killed in the Intifada is not sponsoring terrorism, even though a miniscule percentage of the martyrs are suicide bombers.
Ann,You might try getting your information from sources other than "saddamandterror.com" or "jihadwatch.org" and that ilk. Just a suggestion.Oh - and your remark to Italian about moving to Iran and getting enlightened? You might consider taking your own advice. I don't recommend Iraq right now, though, particularly if you are a woman. "Liberation" has turned it into rather a hell on earth.
@Hurria, 6/6/2005 07:01:10 AM."To be fair and realistic, there were some facts in Ann's posts. It IS a fact that Saddam Hussein paid stipends to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. What Ann refuses to deal with, even though her own sources confirm it, is that he also paid stipends to each Palestinian who was killed by Israeli forces".You are right, Hurria, as you are about always. I should have qualified that statement: "there were not many facts in what Ann said, and those were chosen completely out of context, and in a specious and disingenuous way".
@Ann, 6/6/2005 07:01:01 AM."italian - move to Iran and enlighten yourself!". If this is your answer to mine "name or describe 'a dark, sinister, abusive, 3rd century regime'", as everybody understands I was not referring to Khomeini's regime.It was YOU who compared Khomeini's regime to "a dark, sinister, abusive, 3rd century regime". So, please, I'm asking you to name such a regime; was there ever one such?You cannot? Oh, I'm amazed! Or maybe you are always talking through your lower parts, where the sun does not shine?You see, if a human being engaged in a serious discussion is caught in a ludicrous blunder, usually the human being admits that it is a blunder, and moves on.One of the things that surprises me over and over about you warmongering Americans, is that you always seem completely unable to do that, to admit even minor mistakes. Which strikes us in the Old World very much, because that is the behaviour of total liars, swindlers and crooks.If one is unable to own up to 'minor' blunders, it is quite obvious that the person has no honesty at all.Be careful, Ann, because if you go on sillyly lying like that (ever heard of Pinocchio?), your nose will start to grow, and grow, and grow... and you risk ending up as a proboscis monkey (www.proboscismonkey.com)!
BAGHDAD, Iraq, June 5 - Sunni Arab leaders are expected to present by Thursday a list of 25 to 35 Sunni Arabs willing to help draft a permanent constitution, an official with a parliamentary committee overseeing the drafting said Sunday in an interview.The 55-member committee, dominated by Shiite Arabs and Kurds, the two groups that won big in the January elections, would then work with those Sunni Arabs to write the constitution, said the official, Bahaa al-Aaraji, a follower of the radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr. The additional Sunnis would not have formal voting power to approve or reject the draft, Mr. Aaraji said. But he added that the committee would agree to approve only a draft reached through a consensus with the Sunnis. The committee, which has only two Sunni Arab members, is trying to work out a way to be more inclusive during the constitution-writing process. Sunni Arabs, who ruled Iraq under Saddam Hussein and are leading the insurgency, largely boycotted the elections and are underrepresented in the National Assembly. The White House has been urging the new Iraqi government to ensure that Sunni Arabs have a fair say in the drafting of the constitution. - New York Times"...meantime life outside goes on all around you..." - Bob Dylan ("It's Alright, Ma, I'm Only Bleeding")
Saddam trial within two monthsIraqi Special Tribunal judge Raed Juhi told a newspaper on Saturday that the toppled leader was expected to go on trial within two months and described his morale as "low because he realises the volume of accusations for which he will be judged".- Al Jazeera
"Saddam trial within two months"ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!
"Saddam trial within two months"ZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!You may be bored by it, Hurria. I'm sure many thousands of Saddam's victims and victims' families are not.
Anonymous, many thousands of Saddam's victims and victims' families understand that any trial of Saddam is not about justice for them, but about making a well timed show for the Bush administration.
...many thousands of Saddam's victims and victims' families understand that any trial of Saddam is not about justice for them...Oh, I'm sure they are all so glad to have you speaking for them. Dear, that may be what you "understand" but I don't think I'll take your word for it, OK?
Dear Anonymous, I could not care less whether you do or do not take my word for. You know nothing at all about me, or about my history or my family history, and how many of my family and friends, including myself, are victims of Saddam and his regime.It is always amazing to me to see how Americans who have never stepped a foot in the Middle East, know nothing about its history, its politics, its society, its culture, and could not locate the different countries on a map, think they know more about Iraq and Iraqis than Iraqis do.
Is it possible that you understand Americans even less than you think Americans understand Iraqis? I think most Americans are frustrated by the endless discussion by Iraqis of wrongs real or imagined and instead look to make something of the future. I am told by Americans there that the Kurds seem to be different in that aspect, among others. The many blogs I read seem to bear that out as well as do the reports I read of the relative progress between the Kurdish dominated areas and the rest of Iraq. Is my perception wrong?
Dear Hurria, your self-righteous indignance doesn't impress me at all. Your oft-repeated tiresome refrain that you need to convince no one of anything, while insisting that others provide the equivalent of annotated legal briefs to back up their every comment, has become just that... tiresome.Say whatever you want, but know that just because you say you once lived in Iraq (how long has it been?) gives you no special privilege to speak for other Iraqis or to expect any of us to accept your every pronouncement at face value.You have no right to speak for anyone but yourself.
Strykerdad,"Europeans are much wiser, informed, ethically and morally superior, but ironically, that same superiority leaves them unable to influence world events because they see nuance and unlimited options, leaving them powerless..."Who ever told you that we want to influence world events? We would like every single country to be free to do whatever it wants, as long as that does not include aggression or in any other way interfering in other countries' affairs. And we accept the UN as the proper place to discuss and take action against aggressors or systematic violators of fundamental human rights. If ever we are subject to any form of aggression we will defend ourselves, like we did in the past. Don't forget that some Europeans fought alone for two long years against Hitler, before Americans decided that it was in their interest to intervene. We just wish that you would be less arrogant, less cocky, less brutal and more respectful of other peoples' rights and dignity. You, as a Native American, should know this better than anyone. But I suppose that since you couldn't beat them you decided it would be more profitable to join them... I wonder what your ancestors would think of that...
"I acknowledge that stipends were paid to Palistinian families who lost loved ones in conflict"Thank you for finally acknowledging that."but they didn't receive the same as the suicide bombers."After March, 2002, they did. Your own sources confirm that."I'm not claiming that giving money to the survivors was an act of terrorism anymore than giving 9/11 survivors money was an act of terrorism."What survivors? Survivors of what? Why are you bringing 9/11 into this all of a sudden? We are talking about the stipends Saddam Hussein paid to Palestinian martyrs of the Intifada."It is that money given to the 9/11 perpetrators families - that would be sponsoring terrorism."No, it would not be sponsoring terrorism. Sponsoring terrorism means providing terrorists with the means in whole or in part to carry out their terrorist activities. Giving money grants to the bereaved families of dead terrorists is not sponsoring terrorism."As is this hugely different (more than double the $10K amount) given to suicide bomber families"Okay, let's say for the sake of discussion that the amounts given to suicide bombers' families was more than double that given to other martyrs. 1. Sponsoring terrorism means providing terrorists with the means, in whole or in part, to carry out terrorist activities. Granting stipends to the bereaved families of suicide bombers is not sponsoring terrorism.2. From a purely practical perspective, it makes sense that the families of suicide bombers would need a significantly greater stipend because of Israel's policy of collective punishment against families of suicide bombers, which involved demolishing their houses, and detaining male members of the family. A family whose house has been demolished and whose bread winners have been detained has far greater needs."the certificates of merit"1. Sponsoring terrorism means giving terrorists the means, in whole or in part, to carry out terrorist activities. It does not mean handing out certificates.2. How do you know what you have seen on those ever-so-professional, ever-so-credible websites from which you get your information (saddamandterror.com, jihadwatch.org, etc.) are what they are represented to be? In fact, how do the people who put together those ever-so-enlightening websites know? Not one of you reads a word of Arabic, do you?3. Assuming that what you have seen on those websites really are "certificates of merit", how do you know they were not given to all the martyrs?"and martyr celebration status."1. What on earth is "martyr celebration status"? I have never heard of such a thing.2. For those people who believe in that kind of thing martyr status is automatic for every Palestinian who dies in the Intifada. It cannot be conferred on someone by Saddam Hussein or anyone else. 3. Sponsoring terrorism involves providing terrorists with the means, in whole or in part, to carry out their terrorist activities. Even if martyr status were not automatic, and were conferred by the blessings of Saddam Hussein, it would not be sponsoring terrorism."The others are just given $10K which I think is a nice thing to do for someone who is bereaving and may have suffered economic losses as a result of conflict they didn't create."Are you suggesting that the families of the suicide bombers are not bereaved, and did not suffer ecnomic losses as a result of a conflict they did not create?"The suicide bombers are being rewarded - posthumously -"No, they aren't. The suicide bombers do not receive any benefits whatsoever either posthumously or any other way from the stipends given to their families. Their bereaved families are being compensated for their losses, which are enormous, and which are the result of a conflict they did not create. Families of suicide bombers are collectively punished by the demolition of their homes and the detention of breadwinners."but it is known that they do what they do for posthuous rewards - so that IS sponsoring terrorism."1. It is known by whom? By the self- appointed "terrorism experts" who have mushroomed out of control in the past decade or so?2. Sponsoring terrorism means providing terrorists with the means, in whole or in part, to carry out their terrorist activities. Granting stipends to the bereaved and destitute families of suicide bombers is not sponsoring terrorism."There are cancelled checks, quotes from top Iraqi officials, and copies of certificates of merit to document the fact that Saddam was paying for terrorism."Paying for terrorism is providing the financial means, in whole or in part, for terrorists to carry out their terrorist activities. Cancelled checks written to the bereaved families of Palestinian martyrs, including suicide bombers, certificates of merit, and statements from "top Iraqi officials" absolutely do not document the fact that Saddam was paying for terrorism. They might document that he was granting stipends and giving certificates of merit to Palestinian martyres, including suicide bombers, a fact which has never been in dispute here or anywhere else."There are just rumors about Saudi Arabia - "No, Ann, there are not "just rumours". The Wahhabi government of Saudi Arabia has granted stipends of $4,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers."do you have a credible quote, photo of someone receiving payment, or photo of payment given - "LOL! Ann, if I wanted to I could or create a website, call it "Saudisandterror.com" or "wahhabiwatch.org", fill it with photographs and scanned Arabic documents you cannot read, and present it to you as proof positive of anything I wanted to claim. "I can, and have provided you with evidence that you say you accept."Anny, I have not said I accept your "evidence". What I have said is that you are wasting your time trying to prove something that has never for a moment been in dispute. "The evidence also states Saddam's money was given to families suffering from losses, but readily says it is not the same payment and not the same status or reward."Your own sources say that as of March, 2002, Saddam was offering a stipend of $25,000 to the family of each Palestinian killed in clashes with Israeli forces. Are you now trying to say your own sources are not credible?"It also does not give names or pictures."Ann, your "evidence" comes from such "credible" websites as saddamandterror.com and jihadwatch.org. These are hardly sources one would go to for comprehensive, unbiased information. "I've also read reports that suicide bomber belt factories were discovered in Iraq, but I don't know if it is true or not or who created them or when they were created."Yes. I also heard that every Jew working in the twin towers received a phone call the morning of Sept 11 warning them not to go to work that day, and that they all called in sick. "That would also be supporting terrorism."Not necessarily.
And we accept the UN as the proper place to discuss and take action against aggressors or systematic violators of fundamental human rights."Discuss"? Yes, the UN is very good at discussion, ad infinitum."Take action"? Not so much. Unless you mean the U.S. taking action because we are the only nation that does. Even when the Balkans were falling apart right in the Europeans' backyard, "action" didn't happen until the U.S. intervened... with no U.N. mandate.That's the way of the world these days and Americans understand it. If there's any action to be taken Americans will have to be the ones to do it. And if we don't, will be blamed for not doing it and allowing a sitiuation to deteriorate. By the way, I found the survey referenced here very interesting. Regardless of which side you think is right, it does go a long way toward explaining why Americans and Europeans have such a seemingly different approach to the world.When asked to agree or disagree with the statement "Success in life is pretty much determined by forces outside our control," only 32 percent of the Americans polled agreed, in contrast to 48 percent in England, 54 percent in France, 66 percent in Italy, and 68 percent in Germany.When I studied psychology this was known as the difference between an "external locus of control" and an "internal locus of control". Disregarding your views on which approach is correct it shows that the differences in worldview are not just specific to certain foreign policy initiatives or conflicts but are deep psychological differences in how we see our place in the world. This difference in worldview is deeply held and will probably not change anytime soon so Americans and Europeans should start thinking about and understanding how it affects our different viewpoints, instead of simply talking past each other as we do now.
"We've debated the question of whether or not grants and certificates of merit and status given by the former Iraqi government to families of suicide bombers is sponsoring terrorism."No, we haven't debated the question at all. You have continued to make certain assertions without a single supporting argument, or piece of evidence, and I have continued to present my arguments countering your unsupported assertions in the hope that you might at some point read and comprehend them.1. Sponsoring terrorism means providing terrorists with the means, in whole or in part, to carry out their terrorist activities. Providing stipends to the bereaved and destitute families of suicide bombers does not provide terrorists with any part of the means to carry out terrorist activities. Therefore providing stipends to bereaved and destitute families of suicide bombers is not sponsoring terrorism.2. Sponsoring terrorism means providing terrorists with the means, in whole or in part, to carry out their terrorist activities. A certificate is nothing but a piece of paper, and does not provide terrorists with any part of the means to carry out terrorist activities. Therefore giving certificates is not sponsoring terrorism.3. For those who believe in those kinds of things, martyr status is not conferred by Saddam Hussein, but is automatic for every Palestinian who dies in the intifada. For those who do not believe in those kinds of things, the issue is irrelevant. However, even if Saddam Hussein could confer martyr status (or "martyr celebration" status - whatever the hell that is), it does not provide terrorists with any part of the means to carry out their terrorist activities. Therefore it is not sponsoring terrorism.
Truth,Do you think the Sadam was sponsoring terrorism through his grant/certificate/martyr reward program offered to the relatives of suicide bombers?
I have to say, I am also growing weary of the debate over Saddam. I can't see where hurria and italian are going with this. What was done to the Marsh Arabs and their environment is enough for me. I do not agree that we should stand by in the face of civil conflict. We didn't do so in Bosnia, and we shouldn't have done so in Rwanda. As far as the country most responsible for foreign meddling in Iraq, it is Saudi Arabia, hands down. Follow the money. Follow the self-interest.I am disgusted by other posts that call for violence in order to create "freedom". If we are in agreement that war is an immoral tool, that harms civilians, and that the U.S. should have tried harder to use different tools to get rid of Saddam, then why are we saying the best tool to "free" Iraqis from American oppression is violence. Currently, it is in America's best interest to see Iraq succeed as a democracy. Actually, it has always been in America's best interest to see Iraq become a democracy, it is only because our leaders didn't believe that Iraqis were capable of creating a true democracy that they made so many bad decisions in the past.Now, there is a moment where they believe differently. It would be smarter to take advantage of that moment. Unlike Saddam, America can be shamed into acting appropriately. But the "nation of evil" rhetoric does nothing to create that feeling of shame. An Iraqi version of Marin Luther can transform American public opinion. Another version of Osama bin Ladin, will not.As far as the American comments here about their disgust with the United Nations: The reason that Woodrow Wilson and FDR put so much energy into creating an international body, was so that we would have another way of solving the worlds problems without killing each other and ruining our economies in the process. No one said that these organizations were going to be perfect. Of course the U.N. has corruption, and endless squabbles, and other nonsense. Is the U.S. government any different? Instead of undermining and dismissing it, maybe we should work a little harder at finding ways to reform it. In addition, while we spend 400 billion dollars on our war machine, only 4 billion dollars are spent on the U.N. peacekeeping branch. Is it any wonder that the U.N. is so often ineffectual?But let's not forget Cyprus, Bosnia, El Salvador, and other countries were the U.N. HAS made a difference. Can we say we have a better record? (Liberia? Haiti?) What MILITARY action did Reagan commit our troops to that had long term results?The United States is simply a group of people. As is Italy, and the United Kingdom, and Iraq, and France. The root of evil in this world are men who sell the tools of war, and make profit on the suffering of other people. They are present in every world body, and in every country. Yet, there are also good men in every country, and in every world body. We are all brothers and sisters. We all love our children. We all want to live in a perfect world. Let us concentrate on making the present better. And we should start with the areas we know. If truthteller cannot make his neighborhood better, then how will all of Iraq become better? If I cannot help one homeless person in my city, then how can I stop homelessness in my nation?What are the roots of the problems right in front of us? And how can we change that?
ann"Truth, what do you believe? Was this sponsoring terrorism or not?"Sorry to disappoint you, you did a good job but you lose.My answer in short "it was not sponsoring terrorism"
Idealists are nice, but pragmatic realists give them the luxury of imagining a world full of lollipop fields and rainbow waterfalls. Men and women capable and willing of committing violence to preserve such rights are the only thing preventing worldwide tyranny. That is undeniable, historic fact. Why do people think human nature has changed completely over the last few decades? Because a largely non-threatening, benevolent dominant force has given other free nations that false impression--War is archaic, unlawfull, immoral---you have to feel very certain that your liberty is secure to take that view. It is a troubling paradox that it is only thourgh war or threat of war on the part of those who value liberty and are willing to sacrifice their lives that those ideals are so easy to claim as valid. Free societies are not a natural state for human beings, never has been. It is something obtained and preserved through violence or the real threat of violence.
Give me an example.What military actions has the U.S. committed since World War II that resulted in a better world? If World War II created a new Germany and Japan, then why didn't World War I do that? Could it be that the Marshall Plan was more important than the violence?We intervened in Vietnam. 30 years later, they are reforming their country on their own.
My answer in short "it was not sponsoring terrorism".Why am I not surprised?
What military actions has the U.S. committed since World War II that resulted in a better world?Well, for starters (just off the top of my head) our involvement in protecting South Korea in the Korean war leading to its now prosperous democracy, unlike its neighbor to the north.I'd add Afghanistan and Iraq to the list but I'd understand if others want to wait a few years to see how it all shakes out.Could it be that the Marshall Plan was more important than the violence?There would have been no opportunity for the Marshall Plan and democratic reforms without the preceding violence.
Truth Teller,Arthur Laffer and Jude Wanninski were the creators of "Supply-Side Economics," around 1980. Other important figures in the supply-side movement were President Reagan and Representative Jack Kemp.I think the supply-siders have some useful insights. The main idea is that a tax on any economic activity will bring in the same amount of revenue at two different tax rates, one low and one high. Won't a higher tax rate generate more revenue than a low one? It would, if the economic activity being taxed were not itself affected by the taxation. A tax rate, however, can always be made high enough to discourage the activity being taxed. Eventually, the level of activity will fall to the point where the tax revenue declines to the same total as would be collected at the given lower rate. Obviously, it makes more sense to operate at the lower rate. The government takes in the same amount of revenue and the rest of the economy benefits from a higher level of the economic activity being taxed.Most schools of thought have their originators and their later extremists. Unfortunately, the originators of supply-side economics (named above) were also extemists. It is crucial to determine whether an increase in a tax rate will increase or decrease revenue. The supply-side leaders, however, have always argued for lower tax rates without regard to the factual situation. That is one reason the Reagan and present Bush administrations have had such large budget deficits.Jude Wanninski has an unusual number of ideas. Also unusually, most of them are either very good or very bad.Jack Kemp was a football star in Buffalo, New York. When he retired from football, he ran for Congress as a Republican in a strongly Democratic district in Buffalo, and won. He was creative and energetic in the House of Representatives. One of his signature supply-side proposals was intended to help poor areas, like his District, in Buffalo. "Enterprise Zones" were to be in poor areas and were to be exempted from a variety of taxes to encourage businesses to locate there and employ local residents. I think that some US states have experimented with such zones. Rep. Kemp sought the Republican presidential nomination, in 1996 I think, but his effort went nowhere. He was too independent to be the leader of any party. His low-tax ideas were anathema to Democrats. The only faction of US public opinion opposed to UN sanctions on Iraq was on the Left, whereas the Republican Party is a party of the Right. The very fact that he was opposing the sanctions would cause Republican leaders to view him as...fishy.With that background, I find Wanninski's article interesting. His article preceded the Iraq War by 5 years. Iraq obviously HAD HAD chemical weapons, since it used them against Iran and against Iraqi Kurds. Rep. Kemp thought that, in 1998, Iraq had none, although he did not claim to be sure. I think events have shown that Iraq had none in 2003 and therefore Rep. Kemp very probably was right in 1998. The obvious question is, if Jude Wanninski and Jack Kemp had learned that Iraq had no WMD, why did not the intelligence agencies of the US, the UK , France, Germany, Egypt, and so on learn that?Saddam had gotten rid of WMD. Why didn't he prove it to the UN? The US probably would not have invaded. Newsweek says that Saddam and the Baath leadership and mukhabarat planned and prepared for resistance, starting a year or more before the invasion. A fraction of that effort, devoted to satisfying the UN inspectors, would have obviated war. Were Saddam & Co crazy?I have seen two explanations. One was that he feared that instrusive UN inspections would show the Iraqi people that his control was not total, which would undermine the regime. The second was that he was more concerned about Iran than the US. He wanted WMD as a deterrent against Iran. He knew that the Iranians had the same suspiciousness that Iraqis do. He thought that if he writhed against inspections, the Iranians would conclude that he had something to hide and so be deterred. He therefore tried to walk a tight rope: convince the US and the UN that he had no WMD, while leaving just enought doubt to deter Iran. As it turned out, he was wrong to fear Iran more than the US.
I sent the comment about the backgrounds of Wanninski and Kemp.Michael in Framingham
@Michael in Framingham.Thanks a lot for the information to the article Truth Teller linked to.While I find that your explanation of why Saddam didn't prove to the UN in unequivocal terms is probably the right one, I do not agree with the following: "The US probably would not have invaded".The so-called WMDs (hinting not too subtly about 'atomic mushrooms', while Saddam actually had only chemical weapons, that though being 'NBC' weapons are NOT WMDs) were not the reason for the US invasion, but just a pretext.The US, in that case, would have invented some other excuse (maybe working a bit more to sex-up the 'terrorism' angle...).
"to the article" is actually "on the article". Sorry for the mistake.
Anonymous,"Free societies are not a natural state for human beings, never has been. It is something obtained and preserved through violence or the real threat of violence"What a lot of bull! European nations are all free without violence or any threat of violence. We are free because we chose to be free. And those around us naturally respect that freedom. That's what we call being civilized. Of course to be free requires to have the will to defend that freedom if threatened from the outside, but that does not qualify as violence or threat of violence. That American cult of violence is what typifies fascism, so don't be too schocked when some people call Americans fascist.
anon,As for South Korea, check your facts on Reagan and his relationship with the dictators of South Korea. However, I feel I've pressed my point too far to an extreme. So I'll help you out:A better example would be Kuwait. I wouldn't disagree that Kuwait is better off because of our military intervention in 1991. But their civil structure returned to the "kind" dictatorship that existed before we protected it. Kuwaitis aren't considering giving women the vote because of our military intervention. The no-fly zone for the Kurdish areas are another good example. Kurdish areas flourished because we provided them the opportunity to do so. But the reasons they flourished, was because they had a civil society that took advantage of that protection. (Which is why it is understandable that we are frustrated with their Southern neighbors)The South Koreans began to flourish when they organized, and overthrew the dictator that oppressed them. If South Korea kept on the track it was on under its Western-proppeed up dictator, conditions would have been BETTER than under Kim Jong Il, but not transformed, like they are today.The Kurdish areas were BETTER, with our protection from 1991-2002, but they certainly weren't transformed. The Marshall plan was considered idealistic naivete. But it worked anyway. Martin Luther King and Gandhi were also considered naive idealists. But they changed the world.If the goal is transformation... if the goal is a better life for everyone, then you have to give a little more credit to idealists. Otherwise, you'll fail.It may sound like I deny that we need a military. I certainly don't think that. We need police in our cities. But I don't think we are in any danger of having a lack of armed men. We spend plenty on them.We do, however, have a lack of idealists. We have a lack of people who concentrate on peacekeeping, and economic transformation.I suppose, the problem is, unlike the 40's, we don't have extremists for peace. Muslims have extremists for violence, and Americans have extremists for violence. But we don't have a lot of people who will stand in front of the tanks at Tianemen Square.Imagine if instead of spending 400 billion on our military, and 4 billion on UN peacekeeping missions, we spent 200 billion on our military, and 200 billion on peacekeeping.
Strykerdad,"By the way, my Native American ancestors first encountered whites of the French flavor and sent them running, followed shortly by the Spanish."Being of a curious nature I have been reading a bit about your people's history and found the following:"Deerskins were important to the British, but for them the main attraction of the region was its ability to supply Native American slaves for their plantations in the Carolinas and West Indies. To enrich themselves and gain an advantage over their Choctaw enemies, the Chickasaw were willing to supply these. So an unholy bargain was struck. The British armed the Chickasaw, who because of their western location posed no threat to their settlements, and the Chickasaw, who were not in danger of losing their land, paid for these weapons by capturing women and children from neighboring tribes.""Interestingly enough, one of the British arguments to justify their wholesale enslavement of native peoples was that it was a necessary evil to keep these people from falling under the "influence" of Catholics. Although both sides tended to defend their actions in religious terms, Davion's cool reception had more to do with economics than religion. The Chickasaw were terrorizing every tribe in the region to capture slaves for the British, and a French presence, religious or otherwise, was not going to be good for business."This may explain your willigness to work with the Americans in enslaving Iraqis. One could say it is a tribal tradition...
I wouldn't disagree that Kuwait is better off because of our military intervention in 1991. But their civil structure returned to the "kind" dictatorship that existed before we protected it.The Kurdish areas were BETTER, with our protection from 1991-2002, but they certainly weren't transformed. If the goal is transformation... if the goal is a better life for everyone, then you have to give a little more credit to idealists.Oh, sorry, jemy. I didn't know the purpose of the United States was simply to transform the whole world into a Utopia. Forgive me for misunderstanding.Imagine if instead of spending 400 billion on our military, and 4 billion on UN peacekeeping missions, we spent 200 billion on our military, and 200 billion on peacekeeping.And what would those "peacekeepers" do and how would they keep the peace? Would they be armed? How is that different from a military? If not armed, what would they do when confronted with warring parties? Would they be similar to the UN peacekeeping missions that looked away during the massacre at Srebrenica and the UN Peacekeepers doing not much except soliciting sex from underage girls in Africa?
An Italian,You are welcome. Thank you for your comments.I genuinely don't know why Saddam did what he did. The explanations I gave were the only ones that I've heard of. They may be true. I could even add a third explantion of my own. Saddam proved at the time of the Gulf War that he was "Mr. Too-Little-Too-Late" when he offered to withdraw from Kuwait at about the time that the ground war was beginning. Perhaps the Iraq War was another illustration.I opposed the Iraq War (and the Gulf War, but supported the occupation and support what I think is a transition to genuine self-government). I opposed the Iraq War despite being convinced that Saddam had WMD. You make a point that I noticed during the approach of war, but that was rarely, if ever, mentioned in the public debate: WMD was being addressed as an almost undifferentiated group. Instead, there truly are important distinctions to make. I thought that there was a good case that he had chemical weapons, possibly in large amounts. I regard them as a limited threat as a terrorist weapon. I thought that there was little evidence that he had biological weapons. I also think that it is very difficult to make effective biological weapons that will kill many people. The big potential threat, in my opinion, is nuclear weapons. There was no evidence that Saddam had such weapons. There WAS evidence that he had programs in all three areas that he could have accelerated, when it was safe to do so, that is, if and when he could obtain an end to the Gulf War ceasefire and its obligations on Iraq.To me, at the time, one of the best pieces of evidence that he had something to hide was his history of resistance and lying to inspection. I think that this factor influenced many people, including perhaps those in intelligence, although it may not have been at a conscious level.Many people blogging and commenting about Iraq concentrate on the Coalition evaluation and use of the WMD issue. I think that Saddam's bizarre behavior also had great influence on the effects of the WMD issue and is worthy of remark.WMD was an important reason for the war, but there were several others. When you speak of US reasons and pretexts, I make another distinction in my own mind. I believe that the US public and Congress went to war for the reasons given at the time, including WMD.President Bush was another matter. I should probably mention that I voted for him in 2000, but quickly formed a mostly bad opinion of him, and voted for Sen. Kerry in 2004. I quickly summed up his main failing as "Shallow and proud of it." Like Saddam's, I find his reasons and motives a puzzle. Richard Clark claims that Pres. Bush was eager to find a connection between Saddam and September 11 from the moment of the attack. Bob Woodward's book about the movement to war is supposed to claim that Pres. Bush never consulted with his advisors on whether the US should invade Iraq, but spent 6 months or more discussing HOW to do it militarily. His shallowness is chiefly manifested in a lack of interest in in-depth information in many situations. It is perfectly possible that he pre-judged the matter on the basis of sketchy information and reasoning and went ahead full steam.More specific is the current Pres. Bush's peculiar policy relationship with his father, the elder President Bush. On many issues, he does exactly the opposite of what his father did. One reason appears to be that his father's loss in 1992 made him accutely sensitive to any of his father's mistakes that might have contributed to his losing the Presidency. During the 1992 election, the Democrats jeered to Americans who had lost their jobs: "You've lost your job; Saddam still has his." He also has a business style in which he likes to take an issue, deal with it decisively, so that it is solved and no longer an issue, then go on to the next issue. Having Saddam as a recurring issue from 1991 to 2002 probably struck him as a total absurdity. Finally, the assassination attempt on his father may have been crucial.Without WMD, Pres. Bush might have continued to want war, but the public and Congress probably would not have supported him. I think that that would have made war impossible. Also, although WMD was only one reason for the US to go to war, WMD was crucial in one special way. It alone was the "hook" by which the UN and an international coalition could be led to war. That is, it had taken on a life of its own in international politics. Only it was the subject of many Security Council resolutions over many years. Saddam's support of terrorism, the degree of Saddam's enmity towards the US, his violations of the human rights of Iraqis and others--had no such standing.Michael in Framingham
Hurria you said: Even if the stipends had been excusively for the families of suicide bombers it would not be "supporting terrorism". I repeat that supporting or sponsoring terrorism means providing terorrists and/or terrorist groups with the means to carry out terrorist activities. Paying stipends to bereaved families is a completely different action.This is not at ALL completely different. If a young man's family counted on him for financial support they would be very hurt indeed if he became a suicide bomber. Pride does not feed the children! However, he could die happily knowing that his family was taken care of. Then there's that bonus of the 72 virgins!
I think that if the U.S. is going to spend all this money, and blood, on other countries, it might as well address the root of the problem, instead of getting re-embroiled over and over again. It is not our job to "create utopia". But if we don't want to return to Afghanistan again, we need to get serious about helping it to transform. We'll spend far less if we saturate the country with a reconstruction plan now, instead of dribbling our way through it. And the same is true of our many interventions in the past. In retrospect, so many seem like a waste of lives and resources.As far as your examples of the U.N. peacekeepers, did I ever say that the U.N. was perfect? Couldn't I turn your analogy around and ask if your intention is to spread more Abu Ghraib torture throughout the world? If the U.N. could do some of the same things they did in Cambodia, El Salvador, and Cyprus, but on a far larger scale, then yes, I think they'd be a better solution.The spend far less than we do, and somehow manage to get the same, or better results. Right now, our armed men rely on a patchwork of NGOs and corporations as their "peace" branch. If those people are necesarry, why don't we focus on having a real organization that focuses on stabilization. I'm not saying we don't need the military. We do. We have a powerful one. What we don't have is a powerful, organized, plan-oriented, peace branch. The complaints against the U.N. are the same as foreigners complaints against the U.S. "Don't you realize that they screw up?" "Don't you realize that their leadership is stealing and lying?" No kidding. Let's concentrate on fixing the problems, and creating sustainable solutions.
Strykerdad,The events I refered to were in the 17th century, so that your war descriptions of the 18th century cannot be seen as justifying enslaving women and children to sell them to the British. But reading your post I almost could believe you were saying that you were doing those women and children a favour by letting them live... Just like you are now doing a favour to the Iraqis by killing them and destroyng their cities to bring them your democracy...As to your helping the Americans "enslaving" Iraqis, I had expected you to understand the mataphor. Invading a country, destroying their institutions, destroying their cities and infraestructures, imposing your will on an independent nation, is the modern form of slavery. But maybe I had overrated your hability to see the point...BTW, I have not been reading "French" history. My source of information was:http://www.tolatsga.org/chick.htm
metaphor, not mataphor...
There's a big fight in Tal Afar, according to reports: Link
Anonymous,"And what would those "peacekeepers" do and how would they keep the peace? Would they be armed? How is that different from a military? If not armed, what would they do when confronted with warring parties?"UN peacekeepers are armed. But they are not aggressive as Americans are. And, being made up of troops from several countries, there is a guarantee that their military capability will not be used to further any particular state's interests. Americans are in Iraq to further American interests. UN troops would have been there to defend Iraqi interests. The reason why Americans do not like the UN is exactly because their presence hinders American imperialism. The very same reason why I favour the UN. If Americans really wanted to help Iraq they would let the UN take over peacekeeping operations in Iraq. But that wouldn't help the US control Iraqi oil, so let's forget it.
The BBC is asking for Iraqis to describe the events of their day:Link to BBC inquiry
If Americans really wanted to help Iraq they would let the UN take over peacekeeping operations in Iraq.Y'know, I'd almost like to see the U.S. troops replaced by U.N. troops (and where would all these U.N. troops come from?) just to see what would happen. I'm sure the terrorists and Baathist thugs and their hired guns conspiring to impose their will on Iraq would be rubbing their hands in glee as they watched the U.S. troops depart and the cute blue helmets approach.
Strykerdad,It's not a question of sense of humour. I actually am quite stupid. That's why I have not been able to grasp that the American invasion of Iraq was an act of generosity. Americans are getting killed, Iraqis are being killed, maimed and humiliated. Cities are being destroyed. All for the sake of the Iraqi people. So that they may enjoy the same freedom of Americans, namely the poorer ones, those belonging to racial minorities, those living in slums, poorly educated and without any opportunities... One has to be pretty dumb not to see the generosity behind those regretable colateral damages which envious people insist in portraying as war crimes... Sorry, Strykerdad. Do you promise not to burn me at the stake?... Nor to sell me as slave to the Americans?...Nor (to keep it more actual) send me to the concentration camp of Guantanamo?...
So that they may enjoy the same freedom of Americans, namely the poorer ones, those belonging to racial minorities, those living in slums, poorly educated and without any opportunities...I love how Europeans seem so concerned about American poor, or racial minorities. As if Europe had no poor, no racial minorities, no slums...So sorry America is not a Utopia yet, Alby, but get back to us when Europe is Utopia, OK? Until then, worry about your own poor and we'll worry about ours.
Anonymous,"So sorry America is not a Utopia yet, Alby, but get back to us when Europe is Utopia, OK?"But you see, we spend our money trying to improve the life of our underprivileged, not invading other peoples' countries with dumb excuses. Having been through the Bronx and Harlem I can assure you we are closer to solving our problems than you will ever be solving yours. Can you immagine how much could be achieved in you inner cities with the money you spend killing Iraqis? Of course there is no oil in the Bronx, so that it would serve no purpose spending money there... And niggers are no better than ragheads...No, we are not perfect in Europe, but at least we are no threat to anyone. We do not kill children and other innocent people in the name of "democracy". We do not think collateral damage is acceptable. We do not delude ourselves with the thought that might is right. We have killed and enslaved enough people in the past and have decided that nothing justifies that sort of violence. Eventually you will learn that too. I hope that happens before you get us all killed...
You Europeans are sooo cute. I can almost see you stamping your feet in frustration because no one is listening to you. :-)
By the way, what was it that disturbed you so much about Harlem when you visited? All the black people? It couldn't have been extreme shocking poverty or rampant crime because you won't find that in Harlem these days. Heck, even former President Clinton has his office in Harlem. I wonder why you were so disturbed by it.
I woner if this stry can possibly be true:a moat around Mosul?It seems insane on first examination.
Dr. Truth Teller,The blog you linked to is written by a bit of a kook!Not that she doesn't sometimes make sense, but if you read her other posts, you'll see that she is a defender of President "Tricky Dick" Nixon among other dubious characters in American politics. I'd take whatever she writes with a grain of salt.Best wishes. Please take care,Tilli (Mojave Desert)
waldschratYes it true, I wrote a post about it in my family blog "http://mosulfamily.blogspot.com/" plus other news. all are as strange as this.
That is strange alright. Actually making an effort to secure the city by preventing cars from bypassing checkpoints and making it harder to hide large amounts of explosives inside the trunks of cars. What are they thinking? Don't they know the solution to car bombs is blaming the US for all wrongs past present and future and spreading outlandish rumors while trying to rationalize the murderous barbarity of the 'insurgents'? Those silly fools who are risking their lives to try to make things better for the citizens of Mosul. Yes, let's ridicule them from our hiding places.
TT,Perhaps you could clear up some questions and information that I share with some others with whom I have corresponded. Why is it that Kurdish Iraqis in the North are so much more predominantly pro American? Is it true that even today Kurds are not allowed to own property in Mosul, though a process is underway to change that? Is it true that Saddam reacted to the Kurdish uprisings after the Gulf War by forcibly removing many Kurds from Mosul, killing many thousands of them, and giving their homes to mostly Sunni Arab Iraqi professionals (doctors, engineers, etc) as inducements to move to Mosul and take over the administration of the city? Is it true that the dominantly Kurdish areas, such as Dohuk, are peaceful and thriving and Americans walk around freely and are welcomed into homes as honored guests? Is it true that many Kurds are returning from exile to reclaim the property stolen by the Saddam regime, explaining why many well to do citizens of Mosul are so bitter and adamantly opposed to the overthrow of the Baathist regime? I have several times asked these questions of you, and asked if the situation applies to you or anyone you know, or if the circumstances I described as related to me are total fabrications or have some basis in truth as you know it. One who describes himself as THE Truthteller shouldn't shy away from such relevant questions, should he?
The moat:The sad fact -- and I suppose the local government is desperate to find a way to protect its citizens -- is that the Nine Gates to the City will probably just create easy focus-points for the bombers and also add to the sense of siege the Moslawis already live under.God, it's so sad.-- Tilli (Mojave Desert)
Why is it sad that some Iraqis take initiative to fight back? I find it inspiring that at least some are willing to take risks to fight against the evil bastards who stand between them and the hope of a peaceful, prosperous future instead of cowering and pointing fingers at all around them. Strykerdad, I looked up the situation in Dohuk after reading your post----what is so different about Dohuk? Why can't Mosul do what is being done in Dohuk? Why are the 'freedom loving, but American hating' among you so willing to discount how the Kurdish Iraqis feel? Because they don't hate the Americans, is that their failing? Hypocrites--------
Kurds want their own state and will ally themselves to the devil to get it. Americans will do fine if they end up accepting a Kurdish state. However I suggest that you pay attention to Turkey. The Turks will never accept a Kurdish state that can be used to carve part of Turkey away. And anyone who thinks that Kurds will be happy with being Iraqi citizens better prepare for some surprises... It will also be interesting to watch the Americans trying to satisfy both Kurds and Iraqis...
So Alby,The Kurds don't count, is that what you are saying? Why are you not rallying to their cause as they are a persecuted minority trying to reclaim their lands. How do you explain cities like Dohuk? They are making the best of the situation, peaceably, enthusiastically, exploring the possibilities that have opened up---is their crime that they are not murdering and maiming and treat American soldiers as friends? Or that they don't permit 'insurgents' to operate in their midst? Why are you antagonistic to the Iraqi Kurd when you claim to be on the side of peace? Are you that transparently phony?
Albatroz,If the Kurds show they are capable of forming a peacable, democratic state, then why not? I would bet they would be more than happy to invite the US to build permanent bases and there are several right there in Mosul that would be ideal. And if Turkey doesn't like it--so what? the US only has to mention that they might move forces now based in Turkey to the New Kurdistan--what are they going to say? I see little to argue against giving the greenlight to the Kurdish people to decide where they would like the borders to be and tell them to have at it. Non Kurds who don't wish to live peacably in the New Kurdistan will have a place to go--south. The Iraq border is largely an artifice of Western meddling anyway. I suspect a largely autonomous Kurdish region will be part of the future anyway, as it is now in the present. Even you, the self appointed defender of the 'Iraqi people', apparently don't consider them 'Iraqi' judging from your comment.
Anonymous,From an outsider's point of view I also think that Kurds have a right to their own country. And that includes Kurds from Iraq, Turkey, Syria and Iran. And I thought so much before you got so interested in Iraqi affairs. But accepting that has consequences that I am not sure Bush has ever considered. You can't satisfy Kurds, Turks, Arabs and Persians at the same time. You will have to make choices, and I am curious to see what choices you will make.Then you said something interesting:"The Iraq border is largely an artifice of Western meddling anyway."Do you realize that applies to Kuweit as well? Kuweit is an artificial state created so that the British could control Kuweiti oil. Logically and historically Kuweit should be part of Iraq. Saddam Hussein thought so too, but the US and the rest of the world disagreed. If we can be flexible enough to accomodate a Kurdistan, we should have been flexible enough to accept the correction of some of the "Western meddling" (reincorporating Kuweit in Iraq) you mentioned. But, of course, the question is not one of correcting Western meddling, but one of selecting which meddling is in our interest...Whatever way you look at it, it is always a question of imperialism...
Were there 'Iraqis' in Kuwait fighting to join Iraq? Seems to be a fundamental difference between Saddam forcibly annexing Kuwait, and Kurds rebelling against Saddam. Has to do with the will of the people rather than the desires of the tyrant. If meddle we must, then we should meddle in ways that meet our interests and the majority of the persons involved when both can be somewhat satisfied. Tolerating or even supporting tyrants is much easier though. So now it seems that you think from the Kurds point of view, the war is a positive development? I've read account after account describing Kurds continuing to welcome US soldiers as liberating heroes. How can that be, doesn't that make you uncomfortable?
Anonymous,"I've read account after account describing Kurds continuing to welcome US soldiers as liberating heroes. How can that be, doesn't that make you uncomfortable?"Not at all. There is an Arab proverb that says: "The enemy of my enemy is my friend." If I were a Kurd I would certainly welcome any army that would further my independence wishes. But don't start thinking that this welcome means that Kurds think very highly of Americans or are looking forward to an American style democracy. As soon as their objectives are fulfilled and you no longer are necessary to guarantee their independence they very probably will ask you to leave. But I still think that you will end up betraying your Kurdish friends. Turkey is a lot more important as an ally than an independent Kurdistan would ever be. The US will not endanger Turkey's friendship to accomodate Kurdish independence wishes. So, don't expect to be forever welcome in Kurdistan...
Anonymous,To illustrate my point here goes an item of news from Reuters:"Turkish Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul on Tuesday urged U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to do more to stop Kurdish militants he said were crossing the border with Iraq to carry out attacks in Turkey.Gul raised the issue in a meeting with Rice one day before Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan meets U.S. President George W. Bush.Speaking to Turkish reporters after his meeting with Rice, Gul said terrorism in Turkey was a matter that needed to be urgently addressed."There is leakage from Iraq, and a noticeable increase in attacks on our troops by PKK terrorists utilizing remote controlled bombs and mines. We cannot ignore this, and I expressed that the U.S. needs to be more decisive in this struggle," said Gul."
Strykerdad,Watch it! I might end up enjoying your sense of humour... Just you leave my scalp alone, ok?... Seriously, I still think you are wrong, but at least you are putting your money where your mouth is, if I may speak so bluntly. Some of the other guys around here are not risking anything personal in this American venture. You are risking something very personal, and that I respect. I just wish you tried to understand that we may be right and you may be wrong in this whole sorry business... Tragedy is around the corner, and you seem not to be aware of that possibility.
Jemy said:"I think that if the U.S. is going to spend all this money, and blood, on other countries, it might as well address the root of the problem, instead of getting re-embroiled over and over again."Finally, some sense!
The main cause of suicide terrorism is a response to foreign occupation.http://www-news.uchicago.edu/citations/05/050518.pape.htmlAmericans, especially, should read this, as it is about research undertaken and published by an American university professor, Robert Pape.What nearly all suicide terrorist attacks actually have in common is a specific secular and strategic goal: to compel modern democracies to withdraw military forces from territory that the terrorists consider to be their homeland.Pape analysed data - he compiled a database of every suicide bombing and attack around the globe from 1980 through 2003 - and his conclusions are based on that data, rather than preconceptions, political expediency or American Christian fundamentalist bigotry.Rachel, a Brit in London
So why are the vast majority of suicide bombers in Iraq targeting Iraqi forces representing an Iraqi elected government as well as innocent bystanders? So foreign forces will leave Iraq? How is that working out for them? Why are the suicide bombers generally comprised of individuals from outside Iraq? Are you proposing suicide bombers are justified and that their target should acquiesce to whatever demands they make? I submit their goal is primarily to gain power for themselves and impose their will on the citizens of the 'occupied' lands not to give them freedom. With a democratic process in place, that is the only logical conclusion. They are not heroes, they are narcissists driven by the frustration born of feelings of inferiority and an archaic belief system. It has nothing to do with liberty.And I found your statement about fundamentalist American christian bigotry to be a wonderful example of bigotry AND hypocrisy.
Looks like things have settled down somewhat. I haven't tortured myself to the point of reading the entire thread but I will venture to offer some observations.1. the US helped BOTH sides in the Iran/Iraq war. It needs to be remembered that the war started immediately after the Iran/US hostage incident so at that time we saw Saddam as the lesser of two evils. Also the Iran/Iraq war lasted longer than a single US administration and our knowledge concerning the actions and activities of both countries increased during the period so there is no surprise that the policies toward the 2 countries changed during the course of the War.
"So why are the vast majority of suicide bombers in Iraq targeting Iraqi forces representing an Iraqi elected government as well as innocent bystanders?"This statement contains three very big and very obvious mistakes. First, there is, as far as I know, no numerical information to support your contention that the vast majority of suicide bombers are attacking "Iraqi forces". We do not even know what percentage of the attacks are suicide bombings. Second, the so-called "Iraqi forces" are in reality proxy occupation forces. They are hired, trained, equipped (very poorly), paid, and commanded by the U.S., not by the iraqi "government". The Iraqi "government" is not an elected government. Every person who holds a position was appointed, not elected to it."So foreign forces will leave Iraq? How is that working out for them?"It isn't working out too badly so far. The so-called "coalition" is shrinking steadily - even Britain is trying to figure out how to get out of it - and the Bush administration is absolutely frantic to be able to declare Iraq all democratized, its forces all trained and capable, and beat a hasty retreat for those permanent military bases they have finally admitted they are building."Why are the suicide bombers generally comprised of individuals from outside Iraq?"What actual evidence is there that they are?"I submit their goal is primarily to gain power for themselves and impose their will on the citizens of the 'occupied' lands not to give them freedom."If so they've picked a pretty self=defeating way to go about it. They don't have an awful lot of power to throw around or much will to impose* on anyone once they've blown themselves into hundreds of little pieces. "With a democratic process in place, that is the only logical conclusion."When and if there is ever a democratic process in place, it will be possible to draw conclusions on that basis. Until then, it is only smoke, mirrors, and wishful thinking.*Ironic, isn't it, that it was actually self-proclaimed terrorism expert and walking fashion faux pas, L. Paul Bremer III who stated flatly that "we will continue to impose our will on this country".
Strykerdad,It is not worth it putting your children's lives (and everybody else's children's lives) at risk to further GWB's friends oil interests. One thing can this European cynic assure you: democracy and freedom have nothing to do with the US intervention in Iraq, even if Kurds end up with a country of their own, which I most definitely doubt will happen. Are you sure beyond doubt that I am wrong on this?
First, there is, as far as I know, no numerical information to support your contention that the vast majority of suicide bombers are attacking "Iraqi forces".Well, no one has taken a "poll" as far as I know but a cursory review of the news will bear this out.If so they've picked a pretty self=defeating way to go about it. They don't have an awful lot of power to throw around or much will to impose* on anyone once they've blown themselves into hundreds of little pieces.Obviously the one blowing himself will not personally gain anything (except 72 white raisins) the strings are being pulled by those who send these idiots to blow themselves up. And you're right. You've caught onto the flaw in their "plan". They have none. It's simple nihilism.It is not worth it putting your children's lives (and everybody else's children's lives) at risk to further GWB's friends oil interests.Strawman alert!
Let's look at some players in Iraq:Iran, who supports SCIRI and the very large Badr Brigade, who are currently running cities in the SouthTurkey, who does not want the Kurds to create an autonomous country, and is actively angry with the PKK, who is engaging in attacks on Turkish soil.The PKK, the PUK, and the KDP. Who really want an independent Kurdistan, and who all seem to have their own militias. And seem to have problems getting along with each other.The ITF (The Turkmen's party in the Kurdish areas). Who are worried that the Kurds will treat them as badly as Saddam did. They like some Kurdish organizations better than others.Sadr, who has created his own militia, and whose followers killed rival religious leaders, as well as beat up, shot at, and abused people they don't think act "islamic" enough in their areas.The al Da'awa party. Assorted Sunni organizations.The INC.These are off the top of my head. All of these organizations seem to have done a good job at seizing property, and imposing their rule on their assorted cities. No party is completely trusted by any other party.Does anyone here think that these parties are not jockeying for power? Does anyone think that the organizations who used violence in the past to further their political agenda, are today eschewing violence?Does anyone here disagree that an independent Iraqi police force would be a direct threat to the militias who have established control over certain cities already?Establishing a just nation with a group of guys like this is hard. Some would say impossible. A mediator (a middle-man) would make that transition easier. Right now, the mediator that is in place is the U.S.If you don't like the U.S., then you would do better finding a way to get another mediator in the mix. But how long do you think that's going to take? While there should definitely be a focus on improving the U.S.'s behaviour, there also needs to be a lot of focus on how to make certain that:A) Secularists have a voice in the political processB) The various organizations in Iraq respect the rule of law.So hurria, when you say "The Iraqi "government" is not an elected government. Every person who holds a position was appointed, not elected to it."Who elected SCIRI? Who elected Sadr? Who elected the PKK? They're running their own organizations and imposing their own doctrines on their own areas. Why is no one being held accountable for attacking students on campus? Who will make these men obey the rule of law? Who will protect the rights of the Yazidis, and the Turkmen, and the Assyrians, and the Christians? Who represents the Marsh Arabs? How exactly, do you plan to implement a path to a fair, and just society? What tools are before you, that you will use? How do you bring all the parties I mentioned above together? And incorporate all those others who have no voice? And how do you propose making them deal with one another in a rational manner, without using their militias to gain concessions to make their parties more powerful?
This is happening about 20 minutes from me by car:Link to Al Qaida in Lodi, CaliforniaSuch things do not encourage me to trust Arabs or those who follow Islam. I try to tell myself "this is prejudice, prejudice is bad", but some days it is harder than others to believe.
Dear Truth Teller,I see on 6/4 @11:18:42 P.M, you said:"I took a decision previously to delete every comment which contains offinsive words, or personal insult."On 6/6 @7:35:10 A.M, an italian said:"Or maybe you are always talking through your lower parts, where the sun does not shine?"My question is, shouldn't this comment (and many similar others by said author) be grounds for deletion, per your guidelines? It just seems like a discrepancy, although I do understand how trying it must be to monitor so many comments. Thanks,0023
"no one has taken a "poll" as far as I know..."Polls are not useful for determining matters of fact. "a cursory review of the news will bear this out."No, it will not. A cursory review of the news will not bear out anything except what is being reported in the news, which is neither dependably accurate, nor at all complete.
I know this study is invalid because it contradicts hurrias views, but here goes anyway:June 7, 2005 -- ACCORDING to the SITE Institute, a respected counter-terrorism organization, only 9 percent of suicide bombings sponsored in Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are conducted by native Iraqis. Analyzing data from a "martyrs" list posted on a Zarqawi Web site, SITE found that 42 percent of the killers hailed from Saudi Arabia, 12 percent from Syria, 11 percent from Kuwait, with the rest from an assortment of Asian and European nations.
"no one has taken a "poll" as far as I know..."Polls are not useful for determining matters of fact. No s**t, Sherlock. I guess you're not very good at figuring out when you're being mocked. I guess "poll" being in quotes wasn't enough to tip you off. I'll use a flashing neon sign next time.No, it will not. A cursory review of the news will not bear out anything except what is being reported in the news, which is neither dependably accurate, nor at all complete.Then point us to a better, more comprehensive and dependable barometer and, no, your own imagination doesn't count.
"I guess you're not very good at figuring out when you're being mocked.What I am not very good at is caring what people say when they cannot even keep the players straight. You see, it is not I but Moron99 who thinks citing ot demanding polls - whether they are real or nonexistent - is the answer to everything. I do not ever even mention polls unless I am either 1) discussing something to do with public opinion, or 2) pointing out yet another of Moron99's misuse of poll data, real or nonexistent."I guess "poll" being in quotes wasn't enough to tip you off. I'll use a flashing neon sign next time."Next time if you want to mock someone for using polls as their universal authority for every possible claim, try mocking the peeson who actually does that. You will definitely have a better impact that way."Then point us to a better, more comprehensive and dependable barometer and, no, your own imagination doesn't count."Again, you cannot seem to differentiate the players, even when you are one of them. You are the one who makes claims with nothing behind them but your imagination. My point was that there IS no comprehensive or dependable source (barometer is hardly the appropriate word here) either for the percentage of attacks that are suicide bombings or the percentage of suicide bombings that are Iraqis vs foreigners. Therefore, you have no basis for your assertion that "the vast majority of suicide bombers are attacking 'Iraqi forces'".
My point was that there IS no comprehensive or dependable source (barometer is hardly the appropriate word here) either for the percentage of attacks that are suicide bombings or the percentage of suicide bombings that are Iraqis vs foreigners. Barometer, meaning indicator or mechanism for measurement, in the way I used it is certainly an appropriate word. If you have a more reliable source or mechanism to measure suicide attacks please share it with the class.Therefore, you have no basis for your assertion that "the vast majority of suicide bombers are attacking 'Iraqi forces'".Yes I do. The news reports. If you don't like it, tough. But that's how information is disseminated in modern society. You can go on all day wallowing in a philosophical rhapsody about how all things are essentially unknowable. But that's a coward's way out of a conversation. Unless I see something right in front of me I have no way of "knowing" it except through the reports of others. We all are forced to make informed judgments based on what we see and hear and read and deduce. If you don't want to do that, fine. You'll be waiting forever for the definitive quantifiable proof you seek (though I don't really believe you seek it but rather hide behind the lack of it).
Dear "strykerdad",I am so very sorry to disappoint you, but the only "mind set" I have is that conclusions should not be pulled out of thin air or wishful thinking, but should be based on a combination of reliable, accurate information, logic, reason, and common sense.a"ACCORDING to the SITE Institute, a respected counter-terrorism organizationa..."An unattributed article from an unknown source claiming this heretofore unheard of "SITE Institute" is a "respected counterterrrorism organization". We don't know by whom it is respected, or why and for what it is respected. Of course, anyone who wishes to promote anyone or anything can label it "respected". That does not tell us anything useful at all."only 9 percent of suicide bombings sponsored in Iraq by Abu Musab al-Zarqawi are conducted by native Iraqis."How many suicide bombings have there actually been in Iraq?What percentage of the total number of suicide bombings are sponsored by Abu Mus`ab Zarqawi? How many, if any, of the Abu Mus`ab Zarqawi stories have any basis at all in reality? "Analyzing data from a "martyrs" list posted on a Zarqawi Web site..."What evidence is there that this supposed Zarqawi web site has anything at all to do with reality?
Dear Anonymous,If you want to depend on news reports, which are, for the most part, simply repetitions of the filtered, canned, and spun information made available by the Bush administration, then by all means feel free. I will continue to seek out more reliable and complete information, to which I will continue to insist upon applying a large dose of critical thinking and well informed analysis.
Once again, Hurria, if you have better sources of information please share them. Show us where you get your "reliable and complete" information to which you apply "a large dose of critical thinking and well informed analysis". If you insist that we provide you with definitive proof and all else is mere conjecture then I insist on the same from you. If you don't provide it then you have nothing to add to this conversation. But I think most of us realized that long ago.
Strykerdad,You have not reacted to my following statement:"One thing can this European cynic assure you: democracy and freedom have nothing to do with the US intervention in Iraq, even if Kurds end up with a country of their own, which I most definitely doubt will happen. Are you sure beyond doubt that I am wrong on this?"May I presume that you do have some doubts about GWB's intentions?... If you do you will simply have joined the majority of Americans who think so too...In fact a just published Washington Post / ABC News poll shows that:" Nearly three-quarters of Americans say the number of casualties in Iraq is unacceptable, while two-thirds say the U.S. military there is bogged down and nearly six in 10 say the war was not worth fighting -- in all three cases matching or exceeding the highest levels of pessimism yet recorded. More than four in 10 believe the U.S. presence in Iraq is becoming analogous to the experience in Vietnam.Perhaps most ominous for President Bush, 52 percent said war in Iraq has not contributed to the long-term security of the United States, while 47 percent said it has. It was the first time a majority of Americans disagreed with the central notion Bush has offered to build support for war: that the fight there will make Americans safer from terrorists at home. In late 2003, 62 percent thought the Iraq war aided U.S. security, and three months ago 52 percent thought so."
Any news about the ditch built around Mosul, Truth Teller? Tell us what the Mosulis think about it, who and how many are hired, and how far the project is done, if you have the time to spare, and have the motivation to do so.
Hurria dear,the evidence suggests that your small faction of the whole is losing ground. The behavior pattern of insurgent leaders - wishing to negotiate a cease-fire - is the stereotypical example of gaining time to regroup after a series of defeats.
"if you have better sources of information please share them. Show us where you get your "reliable and complete" information"Yet again, you appear to have mnaged to miss my point completely. My point is that it is useless to make assertions for which no support exists - you know, assertions such as yours that the "vast majority of suicide attacks are against Iraqi forces". In the absence of supporting information, such statements are nothing more than speculation and wishful thinking.
"We all are forced to make informed judgments based on what we see and hear and read and deduce."No we are not forced to do any such thing. We have the freedom at all times to decide that we just don't have enough information to form judgments about certain things.
In the absence of supporting information, such statements are nothing more than speculation and wishful thinking.Wrong again, Hurria. The supporting information is there for all to see and I've decided, with my "freedom at all times to decide", to make informed judgments based on it. Your refusal/inability to answer simple questions, and your silly semantic games have become tiresome. You are free to continue to play them, Hurria. And I am free to ignore you which I will proceed to do. If you ever have something substantive to add to the conversation or ever deign to answer some of the many questions asked of you perhaps you will be worth conversing with again. 'Til then, I'll leave it to moron99 and others with more patience than I.
"The supporting information is there for all to see and I've decided, with my "freedom at all times to decide", to make informed judgments based on it."You do indeed have the right to do that. However, judgments based on "a cursory look at the newspapers" certainly do not qualify as informed.
What happened to all the "insurgents" and all the "imperialists" on this blog? Did they go on hollidays?...
Iraq is a country that has been suffering from wars and bloody conflicts for 5,000 years and what you see now is a decisive episode of the bloody Iraqi saga. Perhaps its richness is what attracts all these wars, or maybe it's the despair of its people - whatever the reason the result is the death of innocents, the spread of fear, terror and injustice. I can't remember any period longer than a two year without wars and destruction. We have grown accustomed to storing food and the basics of life.The war made it possible for the country to have a chance of moving ahead in a democratic fashion. The sanctions could not be removed before the regime was removed, and only then could the country pick itself up again. With the removal of the old regime and the elections, we have reached the beginning of a new era. Bath ideology has been dealt a death blow in Iraq.The recent developments have demonstrated that the occupation and the resistance continue to be the two primary forces in the country, but they also underscore how difficult it is to discern the underlying logic of the confrontation between them.Remember, don't be fooled by the press coverage, all these car bombs in Iraq are not detonated at random, nor are they primarily directed at [the Coalition] Forces. In fact, primarily and the vast majority are aimed at recruits or active duty members of the Iraqi police and army.It makes sense that the different armed gangs have chosen Iraq to make their stand against the USA. They don't much care about the Iraqis it seems, as they are from other countries and probably categorize Iraqis as mostly collaborators with the west and traitors to Islam. Or what ever excuse they come up with to murder innocent Iraqis by blowing them up at random.The Ba'athists don't care about the average Iraqi either, as proved again and again when they were in power. These are probably the worst of the two, as far as motives go. For their motive for the murder is greed and power.Before the current security campaign against them, Insurgents patterns were simple: When police and the National Guard were stationed in cities, the terrorists would hire criminals in enforcing criminal law, delivering criminals to them and avoiding armed conflict with them directly, except when they participated in campaigns against them.In general, I want to say that the situation in Iraq is still not good, but we can see that the heroes of Iraq sacrifice themselves to keep the smiles on the faces of the children. Pray to God to preserve the heroes of the police and the army and the guards and very honorable Iraqi who protects the smiles of the children and women of Iraq.During the last two years, Iraqi people were almost left alone because many people and nations did not support the war in Iraq.If you watch Arabic media channels you can see obviously what kind of biased news that focused only on making all insurgent’s military actions as a legal resistance against Occupation, but they were ignoring daily casualties of innocent civilian Iraqis kidnapping, disturbing daily life by random terror, car-bombs and all other society destruction by mean of this criminal behavior.Now it is needed time for start talking about types of assistance to be given to Iraqi people, it is responsibility of all western and Arabian countries that used Iraq in the past to go to war for their political goals.We were the majority simple Iraqis don’t care about political conflicts, we already paid the high prices from our blood, our family’s future, and wealth.Now the time can give proofs about the real intentions and goals for each country to stop the suffering of my country. It is time now to talk about peace, to stop killing each other, and to end this war to save precious lives of all sides.We really need serious talks from USA and other European countries to our public about the infrastructure building in Iraq, how to remove poverty from this country, to motivate small businesses, and improving economy. Smiling and shaking hands in a polite diplomatic scenes in front of TV channels is not working to change our miserable past-current situations into a nice dreams of progress and democracy.I spent my last 25 years dreaming in seeing my country living’s condition just like any other country in the Arabic or western world.Iraq must stop paying other’s blood taxes, we had enough , I just asking my self when surfing on internet: why only few sites are talking about the needs for a positive future of Iraq?As a conclusion, the dream of every honorable Iraqi is to live in peace and quiet. Please try to give solutions that help us in achieving our goals, in treating our wounds and rebuilding our damaged country again.I need people from every where on this globe to react with me and share their ideas and comments, in same time my thanks go to Mr. Michael Yon who gave chance for my lines to appear on his blog.By A Free Writer – Iraq
In my book the only way to solve a country's problems is leaving its people alone to sort things out. If I have a discussion with my wife the last thing I need is having the neighbours and passers by in the street to tell me what to do. So, first get everybody out. Second be ready to assist, if asked to. That's it. And you will see how quickly things get better. And if by any chance things do not get better, leave them alone. It's none of our business anyway.
"the only way to solve a country's problems is leaving its people alone to sort things out."This is especially true if you are the one who created the problems in the first place.
In my book the only way to solve a country's problems is leaving its people alone to sort things out.Yeah, I guess we should have let Saddam deal with the Kurds his own way instead of setting up a protectorate, after 100,000s of murdered villagers. He cetainly sorted them out. Germany was sorting out its Jewish problems, and the world let them for far too long? Do you agree? And on a less obvious humanitarian basis, we should let the Middle east spiral downward until the access to much of the world's oil reserves is lost and not do anything to try to maintain some sense of order to preserve them? The worldwide economy collapses, no doubt resulting in death and suffering, and no doubt bringing numerous wars. You live in a much simpler world than I do. If only america didn't screw it up for everybody else!
I don't see how the albatroz's husband wife thing is a good analogy. Yea, under most circumstances, people should mind their own business. But if I hear a guy coming home drunk and beating up on his wife and kids every night, it would be criminally negligent for me to not do anything about it.Basically, yes, people should be left to sort out there own problems. That's why America did not invade Iraq back in 1991. That's why it took years and years of doing nothing to let Iraq sort out all of its own problems.And yes, if, in this day and age, the United States had a leader who declared himself president for life, who killed his political opponents and who wanted to kill off all the americans of african, asian or latin descent, I would be PRAYING for France to invade and forcibly remove that individual.
People keep missing the fundamental point that no tyranny can prevail against the wishes of the people. Unless it is a tyranny imposed from the outside. So, you may be sure that if a tyrant is not removed it is exclusively because people do not want to remove him. Or are not willing to pay the price for that removal. If that's the case, leave them alone. Of course, if you are confronted with deliberate genocide, intervention - by the UN - is in order. But that was not the case in Iraq. And if Kurds were being subject to a genocide attempt, the proper answer would have been to go in, create a Kurdish state, guarantee its existence, and leave. Without trying to change anything else. Obviously that's not what the US did. Why? Strykerdad gave the answer:"And on a less obvious humanitarian basis, we should let the Middle east spiral downward until the access to much of the world's oil reserves is lost and not do anything to try to maintain some sense of order to preserve them?"Oil. That's the answer. That's why Iraq was invaded but not North Korea.
So we should allow the middle east to spiral downward, allowing states like Iran to obtain nuclear weapons, (as would Iraq had we followed your advice), let regimes be overthrown by religious zealots, and all would be fine? Insuring that the world has access to the oil is the ultimate humanitarian cause, as the loss of that fuel would destroy the worlds economy likeley causing suffering and conflict on a scale beyond anything ever known. Great plan---the world is neither as simple or as small as you seem to believe. Yes, oil is the ultimate answer, because without it we could benignly neglect the mid east as we do most of Africa. And I have little doubt their society would probably be behind the saddest of those in Africa were it not for oil dollars. Oil is neccesary, and oil provides huge amounts of funds to people who are not accountable to their own people and would use those funds to insure they never will be accountable to anyone without intervention from outside. Why does the US have to take on this problem? Who else is going to do it? I wish there was another country out there better equipped for the job, because we seem to have forgotten how to truly defeat an enemy before we can rebuild them, but we are it. Like it or not.
@6/11/2005 01:11:37 AM."And yes, if, in this day and age, the United States had a leader who declared himself president for life, who killed his political opponents and who wanted to kill off all the americans of african, asian or latin descent, I would be PRAYING for France to invade and forcibly remove that individual".Nice emotional rant you have here, superficially (but only most superficially) convincing.There are some reasons why the UN allows in its norms an external military intervention aimed at 'regime change' ONLY in the case of genocide, and NOT when "a leader declare[s] himself president for life", or "kill[s] his political opponents".The reasons are, quite simply, that that would be a recipe for all out war by all against all, precisely what international law is supposed to prevent.You have violations of human rights every day in your prisons, for instance, according to the human right groups (I do not mean Guantanamo or Abu Ghraib or Camp Bucca here, but the 'normal' US jails); and your capital executions and their modalities (lethal injection) are without doubt 'cruel and unusual'; and not just you have REAL WMDs, but you have invaded many countries since WW2, with loss of life among the civilian population of those countries and atrocities being committed by your troops; and some could claim that your 'democracy' is just an oligarchy on plutocratic basis...So, you see, there would be plenty of reasons for external military intervention in the US and enforced 'regime change', according to what you say; but there would be plenty of reasons for invading most of the other countries in the world, as well! And be sure that a State having a grudge against another would be always only too happy to find plenty of such reasons...And that's precisely why your invasion of Iraq has been considered wrong by the UN and by most of the international community.Indeed, what you add ("[a leader] who wanted to kill off all the americans of african, asian or latin descent", meaning GENOCIDE) is the only case in which the UN rules allow enforced 'regime change'.Trouble is that, in the case of Saddam's regime, the hypotetical comparison you make is completely unfounded. There will be no charge of 'genocide' at Saddam's trial, because he did not attempt any. He did commit some atrocious repressions, notably against the Kurds; but he didn't want "to kill off" all the Kurds, he just wanted the Iraqi Kurds (many of whom had different national aspirations than being Iraqis) to lie low.That was the aim of his massacres, not the annichilation of the Kurds or of any other ethnic or religious group. Being an American, you should remember the way many States of the US were up to the Sixties: there were indeed discriminated minorities, ethnic groups compelled to 'lie low' or else (including the occasional atrocities, like lynchings). But the only actual genocide was perpetrated earlier on, against the Native Americans.And, by the way, differently from what some rather ignorant US commentators to Iraqi blogs believe, the 'lie low' Saddam wanted to impose on the Kurds was absolutely NOT what the 'lie low' meant for, e.g., the Blacks in the US!It just meant their accepting to be Iraqis first of all, instead of being first of all Kurds (I support the Kurds' right to self-determination, as for all the peoples on earth; but I'm afraid they have chosen bad leaders and worse allies, who will betray them again, like they did already twice, in 1975 and in 1991). And, for the religious fundamentalist among the Shiite, it meant accepting the Baathist secular regime, instead of striving for an Islamic Republic on the Iranian model.What is the US standard response to anybody attempting secession inside the US?Do you remember what happened in Wounded Knee in the early Seventies, when the Native Americans attempted some separatism? And do you remember what happened in 1861, when the Southern States did?So, you see, since Saddam was not engaged in genocide, it was completely illegitimate to invade his country to remove him, and even more illegitimate (and against the Geneva Conventions) to unilaterally attempt what you call 'nation-building' (that most Iraqis call 'nation-destroying' instead).Of course, if I had a bad dictatorship in my country, as Saddam's undoubtedly was, I would conspire (like all political exiles always did) with foreign powers to get some help to down the dictatorship; and some of the said powers may help the exiles and opponents under the table to overthrow that dictatorship.But, again, according to the UN they would be allowed to invade my country only if my dictatorship were engaged in REAL genocide.That's why the Kosovo war of 1999 was illegitimate as well, and didn't get the approval of the UN. Only that Clinton was more seductive towards the European lefties, and got the (illegitimate) support of their Governments...If your Government had truly as its aim to 'liberate' the Iraqis from Saddam's dictatorship, right after the invasion, in May 2003, it should have delivered Iraq to the UN for elections and a democratic process; instead it sent Gauleiter Bremer, and started a monstruous tragedy.Possibly the real aims were not at all to 'liberate' the Iraqis...
@Stukasdad, 6/11/2005 03:21:45 AM."Why does the US have to take on this problem? Who else is going to do it? I wish there was another country out there better equipped for the job, because we seem to have forgotten how to truly defeat an enemy before we can rebuild them, but we are it. Like it or not". Stukasdad, sometimes you have at least the grace of honesty! It is a bit crude for those of us who (thanks be to God) are not Americans, but at least you seem to call a spade a spade, and a prick a prick.You admit that your invasion is aimed at your hegemony and power in the world, not at the 'liberation' of the Iraqis!I would add that some other of your fellow wormongering Americans who comment to Iraqi blogs should try to have your same candour. Think of that 99 times Moron, or that Ann, or that Anonymous, always vomiting out silly lies! I wonder how they must feel when they see themselves in a mirror...Unfortunately, Stukasdad, your American attempt at world domination will be resisted and eventually defeated, like Hitler's was.
@All (but especially Moron99!).From 'The Boston Globe' of today, the 10th of June, 2005:"Meanwhile, a recent internal poll conducted for the US-led coalition found that nearly 45 percent of the population supported the insurgent attacks, making accurate intelligence difficult to obtain. Only 15 percent of those polled said they strongly supported the US-led coalition".The article is titled "Insurgency seen forcing change in Iraq strategy" (http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2005/06/10/insurgency_seen_forcing_change_in_iraq_strategy/).Will you stop from now on, Moron99, blathering about moronic or fictitious polls by tendentious think-tanks?This, I suspect, finally settles the argument.
"Look, Norman, the loons! The loons--they'rewelcoming us back!"--On Golden Pond :-)
...nearly 45 percent of the population supported the insurgent attacks"nearly" 45 percent? so something less than 45%? so obviously less than a majority? I guess that means most Iraqis don't support the insurgent attacks...hmmm, seems to me that was moron99's point all along. Thanks for proving it!:-)
"I guess that means most Iraqis don't support the insurgent attacks...hmmm, seems to me that was moron99's point all along."No, that was NOT Moron99's point all along. Not at all. Moron99's point all along was that support for the "insurgents" had declined significantly, while support for the U.S. had increased. In fact, 45% for "insurgents" is, if anything, an increase in support, and 15% support for the Americans is hardly an increase.So, aside from the fact that Moron99 failed spectacularly to provide a single one of the polls he insisted supported his contention that support for "insurgents" had declined while support for Americans and increased, it appears that there IS a recent poll showing quite the opposite.
15% support for the Americans is hardly an increaseYou, and others, need to always be careful how you read polls. (This goes for moron99 and everyone else too). The poll italian quoted does not say only 15% support the Americans. It says 15% strongly support the U.S-led coalition. There's a difference. We've all seen enough polls to know that the way questions are worded and how deeply answers are probed has a big effect on the outcome. We've all seen polls that show a large difference between "support" and "strong support". Frankly, the 15% "strongly support" number is higher than I would have guessed it would be. I doubt you'd even get 15% of Americans to say they "strongly" support the U.S. being in Iraq.
Again, italian, you can't take one charge against saddam, "gassing the kurds", and then argue against invasion as though that was the only charge. there were many reasons to invade, and i don't believe any one of them was good enough, but, put together, regime change was the best way to handle a growing crisis.But, even given your more rosy account of what kind of ruler Saddam was, if it was America instead of Iraq, I would still be in favor of regime change.If International Law really carried as much weight as you say it does, then the genocides in Rwanda would have been prevented. The current genocide in Sudan would be stopped. Are you encouraging your government to invade Sudan and replace its government, as this is what is required by International Law?
In fact, 45% for "insurgents" is, if anything, an increase in support, In the spirit of your repeated insistence that those of us who make statements like that need to back them up with proof I respectfully ask the same of you.
but at least you seem to call a spade a spade, and a prick a prick.Italian, I did NOT call YOU a prick, therefore your statement is faulty---though no more than any other you've made or are likely to make in the future.
"but at least you seem to call a spade a spade, and a prick a prick."Italian, I did NOT call YOU a prick, therefore your statement is faultyPhhhbbbbttt! [spit-take] LOL. You owe me a new keyboard, strykerdad.:-)
Alby, In effect we did stop the genocide of Kurds by prventing further attacks by air and other support. Unfortunately, it was too little too late, but there is and has been a largely autonomous Kurdish zone in N iraq since the attempted genocide--Though an estimated one quarter million or more Kurds murdered is a good start at genocide. If we had done what was just, we would have helped Kurds retake their villages and surrounding area which contain a large percentage of the oil reserves in Iraq. Had it been only about oil, that would have been unquestionably the best option. Only out of concern for Turkeys wishes, I think, did we not do that. Lesson learned? Apparently not, as Turkey proved to be a poor ally.
Hurria dear you still miss the point. The majority of Iraqis reject your view of the future. They embrace the current government as representative and they embrace the idea of constitutional guarantees that protect them against future saddams. Your pro-insurgent point of view is rapidly losing support. The competing ideology is rapidly gaining ground.There are two competeing ideologies in Iraq.One, like yours, says that whoever holds power has the right to define Iraq and that the people must serve the leaders. The other says that the people have the right to define their government and that the leaders must serve the people.Hopefully, no Iraqi likes MNF troops on their soil. I personally would distrust any who wish for MNF to stay. But most now realize that they need MNF to defeat those like you. When they no longer need MNF, they will ask them to leave. In the interim, they have a future to build that does not include a bourgeoisie ruling class like yourself.here is the IRI poll. There have been myriad other informal polls and the results are always consistent with IRI findings. Polland here is a very good explanation of how the outside world sees your insurgency Link
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