Thursday, September 01, 2005

I am back

Hi very body.
I am back. Sorry for being too late.
I was in vacation, I spend it with the family in Syria and Jordan. You can read the details in Najma (The star of Mosul) blog.
Thank you to all who shared positively on my previous post, some, or at least one of them, is probably a psychopath (dan), I apologize for deleting his nonsense. I realize there should be a thought differences due to different culture, education and believes. But let discuss it in a civilized manner like civilized people.
If you agree I will continue, if you don't, I will close the comment section.
It is up to you my friends.

220 comments:

1 – 200 of 220   Newer›   Newest»
waldschrat said...

Well, those comments above seem pretty strange!

Welcome back, Truthteller! Don't let the idiots get you down, just delete their comments. If it were not for the comment section in your blog I would probably never have become involved in shipping stuff to the hospital so I think it's probably a good thing to leave comments enabled. You should have no compunctions, however, about deleting comments which are obscene or insulting, either to you or to other commenters. Sensible people will accept the principle that ideas may be discussed and debated but insults and obscenity are forbidden, and these are very reasonable rules. Ultimately, it is your blog and any rules you choose to impose you have a right to impose.

I hope you had a restful vacation. I was worried you might not return to Mosul - I know things are hard there, and I salute your courage in choosing not to leave Iraq as many other doctors have done.

waldschrat said...

On closer examination the comments by "cadsmith" and "roger" above seem to both be commercial spam and should probably be deleted. They have nothing to do with the topic at hand and only offer links to sites with lots of advertisements.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

I agree with Waldschrat. We may not agree with each other on certain things, but sharing our thoughts with each other, no matter how harsh they may be, is a worthwhile endeavor.

As for Dan, I think Strykerdad is right. I think he may be on some kind of medication. That may account for the mood swings. He does have valuable things to add to the discussion when he is having a "good day". So, Dan, if you are reading this comment, please know that I wish you all the best and hope to see you here again.

Welcome back, Truth Teller.

Jack Bennett said...

Welcome back, TT. I really enjoyed reading both HNK and Najma's account of your vacation. It seems like they enjoyed themselves and I guess in the end thats all that matters.

As for comments. Well I think Lynette is right. Most people can argue their differences in a calm and sensible manner. But this is your blog, it is up to you to decide when the line has been crossed and you should delete whatever you think is out of bands.

jemyr said...

Hello all,

Waldschrat, good to hear about the ostomy supplies arriving. I'll be emailing you shortly to see if I can help fund another shipment.

In general, however, I will be out of reach for the next two months. My hometown was in the direct path of the hurricane, and much of my time will be involved helping out there. I no longer live there, but my entire extended family, as well as my childhood friends, are all in bad shape. It's surprising how many things that happened in the early days following the war in Iraq, are now happening back home. (massive power outages, gas rationing, looting, random kindness, inability to organize infrastructure to effectively coordinate aid).

Bless you all, glad to see the moslawi family is still safe and sound (relatively speaking)

strykerdad said...
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John said...

Truth welcome back! Its entirely your discretion regarding your comments section, yet I would take some posts, seemingly reeking with naked delusionment and obvious madness, such as Dan, as representing some small form of banal amusement!

sykedad, very generous offer, worthy of commendation!!

Dan said...

TT:

Well said and point well taken. I am glad that you are back.

Yes. It is true that I have very violent mood swings. I must live with this and sometimes I alienate people on the Internet because of this.

Yet, I MUST SAY:

My whole point of addressing blogs such as yours is to communicate with different cultures and to help bring as much understanding and peace as I may.

As there were things that I commented on in your last post that were contrary to these two principles, an explanation is that I possess a lot of hate and have dificulty channeling it properly. Perhaps you experience the same living and working in Mosul.

I will TRY to mind my tongue.
Welcome back.

---Dan

Dan said...

TT:

BTW: A couple of good books that I have just read are "Fantastic Voyage" by Ray Kurzweil and "The Anti-Aging Solution" by Vincent Giampapa.

I think these should be in every doctor's tool kit. Please get them if you can.

---Dan

strykerdad said...
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Dan said...

TT:

What-the-heck...

Screw all the controversy among us. Will you please do a post about your vacation? Please?

---Dan

Dan said...

TT:
OK. OK.
Yes. Sometimes I do lose my train of thought so my last entry should be a redirect to your daughter's blog. I goofed. I apologize.

Perhaps I am not the best representative of the United States of America but, I certainly am ONE OF THEM.

My apologies.


---Dan

waldschrat said...

jemyr -
I have enabled the email link in my blog. Contact me at your convenience.

johninnz said...

Dan
when Truthteller asks for civilsed discussion, he probably means such things as not posting 5 times in succession. Good manners, in other words.

Truthteller, is there any chance that you could post something about current conditions in Mosul - are things getting better or worse? It's very hard to get any real news out here.

Alternatively, as an Iraqi citizen, father, doctor, can you assess the effect on you and your patients and family of the American conquest of your country? Has anything good come of it, or has it all been disaster.

We out here in the free world, who used to look up to America, just cannot believe what it has so suddenly become.

strykerdad said...
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Truth teller said...

john

"Truthteller, is there any chance that you could post something about current conditions in Mosul - are things getting better or worse? It's very hard to get any real news out here.

Alternatively, as an Iraqi citizen, father, doctor, can you assess the effect on you and your patients and family of the American conquest of your country? Has anything good come of it, or has it all been disaster.

We out here in the free world, who used to look up to America, just cannot believe what it has so suddenly become."


The current conditions in Mosul...If I said the truth, our American friends will be upset and get angry as if they are the reall cause to what had happened.
The condition is bad, I can say very bad, but there is an improvement although very little from two months ago.
The ordinary life become very difficult, the security situation is bad, if we get out of our house we may not be able to get back easly, thie happened every day, the streets may close for one reason or another, gunfire is so common, that the police, the national guard, and the Iraqi army cars never use Horns to warn people, they used gunfire instead. Thre American Stryckers A 7 tons machine move in the street in high speed with very loud Horn (like the train's) never stop, they may pass over a car or any thing in their way without even look behind them.
House raid during the night and day is very very common, innocent being put in prisons for months without a logical cause. People taken from the city were put in jail in Kurdistan ??. during the last few days, the government announced that they will free thousands of innocent detainees. The rich people, some of the doctors, and university teachers are fled out of the country. those who still here are subjected to repeated blackmail and threat. The police are not able to protect themselves.

Last week, one of my friend, a doctor, get a threat to be kidnapped or to pay money, he paid, and then call the police, to take any action to secure him and his family, the police officer told him, that he have two options, either to flee, or to close his clinic for 6 months.!! No action was taken what so ever.

Other thing is that, no body in the past mentioned that this one is Sunni or Sheei, we lived all as brother, the discrimination came with the occupation.

All these things are new to Iraq and to Mosul in particular. We knew these things only when we knew the American.
Are all these disasters or not? You judge.

johninnz said...

Thank you, Truthteller.
And you? What are your hopes and plans? I don't know whether you and your family are in a position to get out. But if you could, would you go? Or do you have reasons for hoping that things will improve?

Truth teller said...

john

I didn't planed to get out. It is against my principles. But I have only daughters, and to protect them in such circumstances is not so easy. I may send them out to complete their educatuions when they reach the colleges.
I don't think that things are going to be improved in the near future, may be after 2 or 3 generations, but difinitly not in the next 10 years.
The whole population must be replaced in ordr to forget the crimes and the awfull things committed by some of them.

strykerdad said...
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johninnz said...

Truthteller
When you say it would be against your principles to get out, what do you mean?
Your principles as a doctor committed to his patients?
Or as an Iraqi patriot? Or just a stubborn man? Or what?
I hope the question is not intrusive.

Truth teller said...

john

It is a mix of all of those.
I feel if people like me flee, no body will be there to defend Iraq, and that is what our enemies want.
Besides it my grand parents land, lived here and died here, I will not going to chang that.

Truth teller said...

Strykerdad

"The only thing that I would argue is your belief that Americans brought this on Iraq and that the conditions that exist are entire or even mostly because of Americans."

When I said the American, I mean the Occupation. And this quit right in my point of view.


"To pretend that there were no sectarian and racial divisions in Iraq before is ludicrous"

All the sectarian and racial divisions came to us with the occupation, believe me or not, my daughter didn't know if they are Sunni or Sheei, until racently ( after the occupation).


"Iraqi judges and police are releasing them

Iraqi police used to artrest every one in the scene of the events and claimed that they arrested so and so terrorists and then released them. That mean a very high percentage of the people here were being arrested and released at some time. Not because they paid, but because they are innocents.


"The group that ends up in control may choose your group to pay the price for security this time"

This is the democracy the occupation brought to us!!


"I hear some neighborhoods are banding together forming neighborhood watches"

From the second day of the arrival of the American troops together with the looters and thiefs, our neighborhood form watches groups to quard the neighborhood, i was one of them, I carried a Klashinkof and watched, but later on the american ask us to quit, to take the task themselves, and you know the result.


"did you refer to Northern Iraq as Kurdistan before?"

Yes from 1991 on I called the north of Iraq as Kurdistan, BTW the word Kurdistan mean the land of the Kurd. Every body here believe that the north of Iraq is a land of the Kurds within unified country.
I have very good relations with many of the Kurdish tribe leaders, I like them very much and they did the same.


"How would you feel if parts of Mosul were included in that state with the river forming part of the border? Do you think security would improve for Mosul if such a thing came to be as the Kurds have demonstrated an ability to maintain security elswhere or do you think the Kurds would oppress Arabs living there?"

I will take this as an honest question.

Ther will be a disaster to both the Arabs and the Kurds.
The Kurds are minority in Mosul, in both sides of the river. Although they are armed and supported by the American, but they can never control over the city.
But if this could happen it make no difference to me as far as they make no discrimination or sectarian division and no double standards treatment.

johninnz said...

Truthteller
Your dialogue with Strykerdad is interesting, now that he is being reasonable.
The main problem, as I see it, is that he fervently believes that the US forces are in Iraq for good and honourable reasons, and are behaving well and honourably.
You (and I) are not so sure, to put it mildly.
Perhaps, to add to our understanding, you could answer the following question:
A common theme, from people like Dan, and maybe Strykerdad, is that the Sunni in Iraq (all the Sunni, from his tone) dominated, exploited, and persecuted the Shia during Saddam’s reign. (The villains in Iraq were first "foreign fighters," then "Baathist remnants," and are now Sunni in general. It is apparently now almost a crime to be an Iraqi Sunni, the way they talk.)
So
In your medical career, in your private life, in your standing in your community, did you gain any advantage, any privilege or special treatment over your neighbours, because you were Sunni? (Assuming you are Sunni - I don’t know if you have ever said.)

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

johninnz, may I request that you kindly email me at muslawiyya@hotmail.com? I have some questions I would like to ask you in private.

Thanks.

waldschrat said...

What is ultimately sad is that much of Iraq's misery seems to be self-inflicted. Some damage is no doubt caused by Americans, but kidnappers, thieves, extortionists, and other common criminals seem to be Iraqi citizens preying on their fellow countrymen, certainly not Americans. Whether they can be controlled while American troops remain in Iraq and whether the situation will improve or deteriorate when the Americans leave is the question.

I really can not do anything about the "occupation", and I can not do anything about the kidnappers and thieves and murderers. I wish I could. The situation distresses me.

madtom said...

"Yes from 1991 on I called the north of Iraq as Kurdistan,"

Welcome back.
What did you call it before 1991?

Hurria said...

"What is ultimately sad is that much of Iraq's misery seems to be self-inflicted."

Oh yes, by all means blame the victims.

"Some damage is no doubt caused by Americans"

The overwhelming majority and greatest magnitude of the damage is caused directly by the Americans with their bombs and tanks and bulldozers and guns, and the rest of the machinery of war.

"but kidnappers, thieves, extortionists, and other common criminals seem to be Iraqi citizens preying on their fellow countrymen, certainly not Americans."

They account for a very miniscule percentage of the damage. And who are the looters, thieves, extorionists, killers, rapists and other common criminals who have been running rampant in New Orleans over the past week, foreigners?

"Whether they can be controlled while American troops remain in Iraq and whether the situation will improve or deteriorate when the Americans leave is the question."

No it isn't. The Americans have shown no interest at all in controlling these elements the entire time they have been in the country. On the contrary, they have consistently created conditions that facilitate their activities. These problems did not exist before you came to "liberate", and they have gotten steadily worse the longer you remain. Whether it will improve or deteriorate with you gone, it is am absolute certainty that it will continue to deteriorate as long as you remain.

"I really can not do anything about the "occupation""

Oh, but you most certainly can. Get out of your seat and write and call your Congress members, write letters to the editor, call talk radio shows, join one of the demonstrations on September 24, start a weekly vigil in your town, or join one that is already ongoing. Silence is assent. Do not be silent.

"The situation distresses me."

Then do something, anything, so that at least your voice is heard. It seems to me that you are someone who does take action, given your contribution to the Mosul hospital. You don't need to stop with that.

Bruno said...

[strykerdad] “I know some of my questions and remarks have to sound ridiculously naive to one who is living there--but I know that most of the American troops are good people who want nothing more than to have their efforts, for which they volunteered, to lead to an eventual result of which they can be proud.”

A final result of what? A fragmented, impoverished Iraq that is prey for US companies like Bechtel? Or a united impoverished Iraq that is a US satellite state, home to thousands of US troops? Or an Iraq that is crushed underfoot, with only the “good” Iraqis that support the Americans left alive, together with those that are too intimidated to speak out?

You know, I have read the blogs of these soldiers, and corresponded with them over the net. And I believe that quite a few of them are indeed the good people that you claim.

On the other hand, the policy of subjugation they are executing is evil, and they are irrevocably stained with that evil. The Nuremburg trials established that if a soldier is ordered to carry out a task that is immoral, or support a cause that is immoral, he is bound to disregard those orders. This means my sympathy for their individual morality and qualities is rather lessened.

I have noticed that the sentences for soldiers who refuse to redeploy to Iraq for moral reasons are much heavier than those for soldiers caught abusing or murdering Iraqis.

That says a lot to me about what your country stands for.

strykerdad said...
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Lynnette in Minnesota said...

"... but kidnappers, thieves, extortionists, and other common criminals seem to be Iraqi citizens preying on their fellow countrymen," Waldschrat


"These problems did not exist before you came to "liberate","
Hurria

Oh dear, I was just ready to give you an "A" on that propaganda essay. You need to work a little more on the subtlety of the lies, Hurria.

"who are the looters, thieves, extorionists, killers, rapists and other common criminals who have been running rampant in New Orleans over the past week,"

I don't know that I have seen anywhere where we have said that given the same circumstances as the people in Iraq, or something similar, that we would not act just like you. A breakdown in civilization will bring out the worst in some people.

strykerdad said...
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strykerdad said...
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Truth teller said...

madtom

It was part of Iraq, I called it by it name, Duhook, Erbil or whatever it called.
After 1991, there was a border between us, many check points on both side of the border, and different government there. The only positive thing is that, you need no passport to cross the border.

waldschrat said...

Hurria -

Glad to see you are still in good form. FYI, the difference between New Orleans and Iraq is that in New Orleans people complain because America does not help enough, while in Iraq people complain because America tries to help at all. Americans are capable of working together to resolve problems (and are doing so in New Orleans). Can you say the same of Iraqis?

johninnz said...

Well that’s a surprising comment, Waldschrat. Thought you were one of the good guys.
Enlighten me - why did the US pick on Iraq to "help?" What’s so special about Iraq? Why didn’t you choose Burma to "help" instead - there’s been repressive governments there since the 1940’s? Why not North Korea - conditions there are much worse than in Iraq? Come to that, why not NZ? We’ve got a Labour government here - left-leaning, the ultimate evil! Why aren’t the Marines down here blowing us to bits to "help" us?
I mean, Truthteller is probably not too happy about a theocratically-ruled Iraq allied with Iran. Which is what your "help" seems to be producing.
I think he would say, "Thanks very much for your "help." Please give us more help like Waldschrat did, not "help" that comes out of a gun. Leave us alone to sort out our own problems, go home and look after yours."
I would tend to agree with him. You can stay in Iraq till hell freezes over, but you’re not going to turn it into Idaho. Or Louisiana. It is its own place.
And so is the rest of the world.

strykerdad said...
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johninnz said...

Well Strykerdad, let's face it, in 2003 Iraq and Saddam (and Truthteller) represented about as much of an immediate threat to the Continental USA as NZ, and Helen Clark (and I) do today.
Would hav been a lot easier to have done us, if Bush wanted to show how macho he was.
Might even have won.

Hurria said...

"in Iraq people complain because America tries to help at all"

Oh, come on! If what "America" is doing in Iraq is trying to help, then no one in the world would appreciate such help. Just wait until "America" starts doing in the U.S. Gulf what it has been doing in Iraq and then you will see what people there will complain about.


"Americans are capable of working together to resolve problems (and are doing so in New Orleans). Can you say the same of Iraqis?"

Well, why don't you Americans get the hell out of Iraqis' way and stop trying to control everything that goes on there, and then you will find out whether you can say the same of Iraqis.

waldschrat said...

Hurria, just about every American I know wants to help Iraqis, none have serious enmity towards them except for a few who consider them (unjustly in my opinion) to be a nation of homicidal fanatics. As far as I can tell, Iraqis fear other Iraqis more than Americans and rightly so.

American forces are not going to leave Iraq right away, Hurria. Get used to it. Neither you nor I can do much about it, and for my part I am far from sure I would be inclined to withdraw American forces from Iraq even if it were in my power top do so.

cile said...

sorry, i don't have time now to read all the comments here, so i don't know if i am intercrossing in a discourse...
but: i am wondering if in Mosul more is known about the story Baghdad Dweller describes today on her blog? 'Youngest Iraqi killed by...' -> http://www.roadstoiraq.com/index.php?p=495
I hope some more can be found out about this?
bests to you all,
cecile (streamtime)

strykerdad said...
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Bruno said...

[strykerdad] “Every credible human rights organization agrees that the violent death rate among Iraqis today is roughly half what it was under Saddam, even excluding the carnage of the Iraq-Iran War.”

** B U L L S H I T **

This is complete crap, dredged up from where, one knows not.

Every study I’ve seen has concluded the opposite, be it the Lancet which calculated (last year) that the Iraqi death rate was roughly 98 000 mortalities higher than under Saddam, or be it health studies that conclude a large increase in child mortality.

I would seriously like to see these ‘credible statements’ of yours.

Backup for MY statement:


Let them eat bombs - The doubling of child malnutrition in Iraq is baffling
Terry Jones - Tuesday April 12, 2005 - The Guardian

“A report to the UN human rights commission in Geneva has concluded that Iraqi children were actually better off under Saddam Hussein than they are now.
[...]
It now appears that, far from improving the quality of life for Iraqi youngsters, the US-led military assault on Iraq has inexplicably doubled the number of children under five suffering from malnutrition. Under Saddam, about 4% of children under five were going hungry, whereas by the end of last year almost 8% were suffering.” //end excerpt

And:

Study puts Iraqi deaths at 100,000
By E. ROSENTHAL- THE NEW YORK TIMES - Friday, October 29, 2004

PARIS -- "About 100,000 civilians have died in Iraq as a direct or indirect consequence of the March 2003 U.S.-led invasion, according to a new study by a research team at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. [My note: Rosenthal misunderstands the conclusions – the study calculated *excess deaths* to be +-100000, and they are not necessarily all civilians]
[...]
In the study, teams of researchers led by Dr. Les Roberts fanned out across Iraq in mid-September to interview nearly 1,000 families in 33 locations. Families were interviewed about births and deaths in the household before and after the invasion.
[...]
Although the authors acknowledge that thorough data collection was difficult in what is effectively still a war zone, the data they managed to collect are extensive. Using what they described as the best sampling methods that could be applied under the circumstances, they found that Iraqis were 2.5 times more likely to die in the 17 months after the invasion than in the 14 months before it." //end excerpt


Adding to the regular violence of war, the Iraqis also face acute shortages of basic services - which exacerbate the situation. Like here:


Living conditions in Iraq 'tragic'
2004 Survey reveals 85% of Iraqi households lack stable electricity, 54% have access to clean water.

“Planning Minister Barham Saleh, during a ceremony in Baghdad, blamed the dire living conditions in most of the country on decades of war but also on the shortcomings of the international community. "The survey, in a nutshell, depicts a rather tragic situation of the quality of life in Iraq," Saleh said in English at the event, attended by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan's deputy representative in Iraq, Staffan de Mistura.

The 370-page report entitled "Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004" was conducted over the past year on a representative sample of 22,000 families in all of Iraq's 18 provinces. Eighty-five percent of Iraqi households lacked stable electricity when the survey was carried out. Only 54 percent had access to clean water and 37 percent to sewage.

"If you compare this to the situation in the 1980s, you will see a major deterioration of the situation," said the newly-appointed minister, pointing out that 75 percent of households had clean water two decades ago.” // end excerpt


[strykerdad] “Everything I have read tells me that Iraq was a pressure cooker being held together by one of the most brutal regimes of our time.”

So, instead of letting the steam escape slowly, you hit it with an axe. Bravo.

johninnz said...

Getting a bit heated up again, Stryker.
See, I’m just a dumb Kiwi, I believe that when a guy says he wants to do something, and then goes ahead and does it, he knows what he’s doing.
Presumably, as a patriotic American, you are familiar with the documents of the "Project for the New American Century." (PNAC) All your current leadership contributed to it - Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, etc. Not GWB, I’ll grant you, he don’t write so good, but brother Jeb is there.
These documents are quite specific about their goals - projection of American power around the world, hegemony over the world, securing sources of oil, and so on. There was nothing secret about it, they laid it on the line. Including invading Iraq on behalf of Israel.
You doubtless agree with all this. I beg to differ.
I’m sure you’re a nice enough guy, personally, but I’m damned if you are going to have "hegemony" over me. I think I’m probably more civilised, better educated, and more compassionate than you are, and you are not going to tell me how I should live or what I should believe. Just stay home and tend your own garden, OK? After New Orleans, it sure needs it.
And your precious leaders are quite mad if they think they can "project American power" and "exercise hegemony" over the EU, which collectively is a bigger economy than yours, plus China and India, plus South America, etc etc. Plus Iraq, where their first attempt at "superpower supremacy" is being defeated by a few thousand rag-tag insurgents.
I don’t think Truthteller likes you having hegemony over him, either. I don’t blame him.

Hurria said...

"Hurria, just about every American I know wants to help Iraqis, none have serious enmity towards them"

Waldschratt, try to understand that what just about every American you know wants to do is 100% irrelevant. The only thing that matters is what your country's government is doing on the ground in Iraq. What your country is doing on the ground in Iraq is not helping. What your country is doing on the ground in Iraq is the exact opposite of helping. It is doing enormous and very long lasting harm.

Hurria said...

Every credible human rights organization agrees that the violent death rate among Iraqis today is roughly half what it was under Saddam, even excluding the carnage of the Iraq-Iran War.

Name one human rights group, credible or non-credible that "agrees" to this. Every human rights group of which I am aware "agrees" to the exact opposite. As Bruno pointed out, the evidence is overwhelming that the death rates from all causes has increased several fold.

strykerdad said...
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strykerdad said...
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strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

"Hurria--there you go reading my entries again."

Actually, I did not read your "entries". I rarely read your "entries". I saw that bit of obvious nonsense in Bruno's post. I only just now read the one that contains the above comment because I saw my name as I was scrolling past. Now I will respond to the rest of it.

"I based that opinion on an article I read a few months ago which used various reports form various human rights organizations that are hardly proAmerican."

So now it is merely your OPINION that “Every credible human rights organization agrees that the violent death rate among Iraqis today is roughly half what it was under Saddam, even excluding the carnage of the Iraq-Iran War”? And you base that on an unnamed article by an unnamed author in an unnamed publication, and you still cannot name even one human rights organization, credible or non-credible. And you say MY posts are devoid of facts?!

In any case, this is a question of fact, not opinion. Either it is a fact that "every credible human rights group" has agreed on something or it is not a fact. Your opinion and mine are completely irrelevant. Your "opinion" that “Every credible human rights organization agrees that the violent death rate among Iraqis today is roughly half what it was under Saddam, even excluding the carnage of the Iraq-Iran War” is demonstrably contrafactual.

"Now you force me to find it and check it out..."

Well, I DO apologize for asking you to back up one of your more demonstrably outrageous statements with specifics.

"But I am certain any 'proof' I am able to research will be denied by you..."

Let's see your "proof" first.

"especially since you seem to deny that the an Afal campaing ever took place ro is wildy exagerated."

Kindly stop making these kinds of false attributions. I have never at any time in my life denied that the Afal (sic) campaign took place. On the contrary, I have informed any number of people about it and in considerable detail. Neither have I ever suggested that it is "wildly exaggerated".

strykerdad said...
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johninnz said...

Strykerdad
No, Wombats are Australian. Here’s a bit more information about NZ, which I posted in another Blog in response to some stuff about the negative experiences that Katrina survivors had with the authorities.

There have been comments in the news about a "third world" response to Katrina by the USA. That doesn’t seem fair. I do not remember seeing extensive footage about looting, civil disorder, and massive armed response by the authorities in the third world Tsunami disaster. As I recall, even in the rebel areas of Aceh and Sri Lanka, hostilities were temporarily suspended.
This seems more like a "fourth world" situation, a new Orwellian world where the image of civilisation is a gun-toting US policeman or soldier. Baghdad and New Orleans become one city, half dry and half wet.
"If the only tool you know is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail?"
The following is not intended to sound smug or superior, just to suggest that this fourth world doesn’t have to be inevitable. There are other ways to live.
From New Zealand, a "once in a hundred years" disaster:
"The 10-day floods that hit Manawatu in mid February 2004 saw 2,000 people evacuated and another 10,000 without power, water or road access. More than 250,000 people were affected by the flooding event and many will continue to be affected for years to come."
It’s doubtless not a fair or realistic comparison, but to put that in perspective with North America on a population basis, you need to multiply those figures by about 100, i.e. 200,000 evacuated, 1,000,000 without etc, 25,000,000 affected.
There was no panic, looting or civil disorder. The response of the local and national emergency services was straightforward, prompt and effective. The Army were of course involved, but without their guns. You can’t shoot a flood. No foreign aid was expected or requested.
(The heroine was Cow 569. A dairy farmer’s wife was swept away by a flooded river, but survived by clinging to Cow 569, who swam her to safety. Presumably now has the best spot in the milking shed.)
The point is, if these gun-toting cops and soldiers of the New Orleans nightmare can get it so wrong there, just how wrong have they been getting it in Iraq for the past two years?

Hurria said...

"The UN did a larger study that ascribed approx one-quarter as many fatalities."

The UN study and the study published in the Lancet are not comparable. The UN study convered a different, and shorter, time period, and looked at different things than the Lancet study did. When you take into consideration the differences between the two studies the UN study actually tends to confirm the findings of the Lancet study.

"The Lancet "study" was more of a political stunt than a study"

That is not only untrue, it is downright libelous both to the scientists who designed and conducted it and to the prestigious journal that published it. It was a legitimate study undertaken by reputable, experienced scientists who have an excellent track record with this type of study, using a recognized methodology.

"published without any peer review."

That is a plain, flat-out falsehood. The study most certainly WAS subjected to peer review as any must be to be published in that or any other scientific journal. In addition, every recognized professional in the field who has commented on the study has found its methodology and its analysis sound.

"One obvious hint was the way they went back 14 months before the invasion--why not 24 or 36 or 72?"

That is so absurd as to be utterly unworthy of comment.

"And whose records did the use for comparison? The Baathists?"

I just love it when people who have not even bothered to read the study try to criticize it. Try reading the study and you will find the answer to your question.

"I will look for the lengthy article from which I formed my opinion"

Please do, and I hope you find it. It will be entertaining to dismantle it.

"The exact details I will not attempt to recall, but the conclusion that the death rate in Iraq today is roughly half what it was is very clear in my memory because I will admit that it surprised me."

It should surprise you, since it contradicts every single piece of available evidence - not to mention common sense.

"I will acknowledge that any study by any group can be spun to support any point of view anyone wants to take"

Not it can't.

"but using the deaths reported by the Iraq government and then doubling it just to be fair still doesn't approach deaths during the Saddam era."

What are you talking about? Who are you saying did that?

"the country is in the midst of a civil war, so I don't doubt it."

The country is in the midst of a bloody, brutal, and destructive occupation by a foreign power. THAT is the cause of the problems there now, NOT some imaginary civil war.

Hurria said...

"I prefer to believe that the dead and suffering today is a tragic cost for a better future"

You do not have the right to make that determination on behalf of the Iraqis.

Hurria said...

"Hurria, I was certain that you slapped me down for referring to the ethnic cleansing and slaughter of Kurds some time back, blaming some of that on Iran and saying the rest was exagerrated."

You are wrong.

waldschrat said...

Hurria said...

... "Waldschratt, try to understand that what just about every American you know wants to do is 100% irrelevant." ...


Actually, Hurria, it isn't. What Americans I know want to do they find a way of doing, and their sympathy for the plight of Iraq translates into real benefit for Iraqis. The problem is that at every turn they have to work around problems and situations which I believe are aggravated by your unremitting rhetoric and rejection of anything which might be positive in America and it's people. I admire your determination and resolve, Hurria, but I believe it is mis-directed.

Hurria said...

Walschratt, while I appreciate any practical steps you and any of your fellow Americans may have taken to provide actual help to Iraqis, it is pure rubbish and absurd in the extreme to blame my "rhetoric" as you call it for anything at all. My "rhetoric" does not affect one single thing on the ground in Iraq, nor is there any possible way it could be any kind of impediment to any good deeds on the part of Americans or anyone else, and I can't imagine by what possible logic you could conclude that it is. Furthermore:

I have always confined my criticisms here and elsewhere to the actions of your government (and its military) in Iraq. I have never made any judgment, positive or negative, about America or its people, nor would I. Wnile some people are fond of generalizing, no kind of generalization about any group of people makes any sense, particularly a group as large and varied as the American people.

It is a clear and obvious fact, that while your donations of ostomy supplies and other good deeds on the part of a handful of individual Americans do show your individual good will, and do provide some small and very appreciated benefits to some Iraqis, the actions of your government in Iraq are uniformly brutal, deadly, and destructive in the extreme and do not provide anything good for anyone. If all American activity were confined to those good deeds performed by you and a handful of other Americans there would be nothing to criticize. Unfortunately, that is not the case.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

I do apologize for not acknowledging your mea culpa. It was ungracious and impolite of me. I will acknowledge it now, albeit belatedly. However, if you think that was ripping you to shreds, then I am afraid to think how you will feel when I reall do rip you to shreds!

"the Lancet report was released 4 days prior to the Presidential election which I remember distinctly."

You may not have cared for the timing, but that has exactly zero bearing on the validity of the study. Furthermore, four days before the election allows far to short a time for it to have any effect even if it had been well publicized, which it was not.

"When questioned, those responsible for the release barely tried to defend against claims of interference"

1. Interference with WHAT?!
2. Since when is barely trying to defend against something evidence of guilt?
3. So what? Even if they timed it that way deliberately, that has absolutely nothing to do with whether the study was sound. It was found to be sound in peer review, and every recognized expert in the field who has commented on it has found it to be sound.

"but the timing was obvious as the study had been finished nearly a month prior to its release."

1. Irrelevant to the validity of the study and its results.
2. The big complaint by the critics of the study has been not that they held it back from publication but that they rushed it into print. Neither is the case. The timing was just about normal for an article that is of a topical and timely nature, and has to go through peer review. They could not have gotten it into print any faster, and because the information would have been outdated in a very short time, it was important to publish it as soon as possible within the constraints of a peer reviewed journal.

"I also know that today I read several so called authorities who said it was not properly peer reviewed."

Where did you read this? Who were the so-called authorities? If you read that today then surely you will not have problems providing a source and more specific information.

As for the specific complaint that it was not properly peer reviewed, that only shows a lack of understanding of the peer review process. In addition, a journal such as the Lancet would not risk its reputation and standing by publishing articles without proper peer review.

"they noted several glaring problems in the methodology to which those responsible claimed insufficient data to enable a truly thorough study using normally accepted protocols(and no, I can't judge whether any or all of them mentioned are qualified, though I'm certain you could)--and that is as far as I am going to argue what is impossible to argue because it matters not."

Who are "they"? What are their qualifications? What specifically are the "glaring problems with the methodology"? What "normally accepted protocols are they referring to? What is your source for this information?

"I have no interest in arguing whose deaths count against whose side as these studies all do."

Once again, it is obvious that you have not read the study you are criticizing. But I will remember your proclaimed lack of interest in attributing deaths next time you try to insist that "insurgents" are causing the most deaths.

"Again, sorry for attributing those statements to you with regards to the treatment of the Kurds by the Saddam regime. I will delete the entry to avoid any confusion if you like."

Don't worry about it. We all make mistakes. However, do bear in mind that I do not accept at all having false attributions made to me.

"It's up to the Iraqi people to decide what the ultimate result will be, which it doesn't seem they are yet prepared to do."

You have missed the point entirely. In addition, it is not up the Iraqis. The Iraqis have no control over the situation and have not had since March 19, 2003. Stop putting responsibility on the Iraqis for the results of your government's debacle.

strykerdad said...
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johninnz said...

Hurria: "the actions of your government in Iraq are uniformly brutal, deadly, and destructive in the extreme and do not provide anything good for anyone"
Went a bit too far here, I suggest. Not uniformly - there have doubtless been some good intentions at some levels, and the likes of Strykerdad are obviously sincere in their belief that they are promoting something desirable for people in Iraq. Sincere but misguided?
I liked the story that Abu Kahleel, a very secular Iraqi, told some time ago in his Blog.
He described how, a few weeks after the invasion, a US patrol arrived to search his farm for weapons. They were polite, complimented him on his excellent English, and as they were leaving a girl GI called out "We want to be your friends." When he translated this, one of his workers said, "Well, I wouldn’t mind being her friend."
Recently his home in Baghdad was searched by a patrol. The soldiers behaved correctly, but it was impossible for either side to summon up any spark of friendship or goodwill - after Bremer and the Green Zone, after Najaf and Fallujah, after the check-point shootings and the wedding bombings, after the loss of power and water. After just too much had gone too wrong.
Strykerdad doubtless blames it all on terrorists and fanatics, and Iraqi incompetence.
I still hold the conquerors responsible for what happens in their conquest.
Doesn’t seem to be any middle ground.

madtom said...

TT: "After 1991, there was a border between us,"

We called it the No Fly Zone (NFZ). Would you have preferred that we had not created and enforced the NFZ? I ask because I have not been reading here long enough to know your position.

And in a related question from John
JNZ: "why did the US pick on Iraq to "help?""

We didn't pick Iraq. Iraq picked us.

madtom said...

"One obvious hint was the way they went back 14 months before the invasion--"

This is the crutch of that report. It starts it comparison at the point where saddam was trying desperately to look good in front of the world and get all sanctions lifted. I think it's also the height of the Oil for the UN program. I bet a few barrels could make whole villages appear out of thin air, on paper.

johninnz said...

Madtom
"We didn't pick Iraq. Iraq picked us."
Oh right, I remember now. When the Republican Guard came ashore in San Francisco, eh?

Hurria said...

"The American military is composed of Americans and acts to implement the policies of its elected leaders."

Is this your twisted way of saying that any criticism of the policies and actions of the American government as implemented by the American military is tantamount to criticism of America and its people? What utter rubbish!

And gee, I don't know who all those many, many Iraqis who write to you through American soldiers can possibly be, but the fact that they are writing to you through American soldiers might be a clue.

Hurria said...

"villages who have never seen a medical profession in its history?"

That is pure proganda crap. I can tell you beyond any question of a doubt that there is no village in Iraq that has never seen a "medical profession" in its history. I know that for a fact because I know that the Iraqi government ensured the provision of medical service to the remote parts of the country by requiring physicians to serve a number of years in those areas.

madtom said...

"When the Republican Guard came ashore in San Francisco, eh?"

There are other things worth protecting, over and above S.F. The world is smaller than that today.

Hurria said...

"There are other things worth protecting, over and above S.F."

And Iraq wasn't threatening a single one of them, nor was there any reason to believe it would do so in the foreseeable future.

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waldschrat said...

Hurria -

You said "Wnile some people are fond of generalizing, no kind of generalization about any group of people makes any sense, particularly a group as large and varied as the American people."

I could not agree with that statement more. As I see it, much of the death and chaos in Iraq and elsewhere is due to generalizing, as when a soldier slaughters an oncoming driver because he acts like he might be intent on mayhem, or a terrorist slaughters a blond, female aid worker because she looks like a minion of a foreign power. All human beings rely on generalization in their judgements to one extent or another, due to lack of time or lack of capacity or ignorance or failure of dilligence. It's part of being human - none of us is perfect, none of us makes perfect decisions, we tend to generalize and act on generalizations if for no other reason than our own human limitations and lack of information.

If this is true, if human beings generalize not only because of inclination but because of necessity, then is it safe or productive to characterize nations or groups or individuals as malevolent or unjust? Would it not be better to concentrate one's rhetoric on describing how things might be made better and hyold up examples of what is honorable and just and beautiful in this world for others to emulate and admire?

I wish I could say this better. I know it may sound hopelessly idealistic. Do the best you can to help Iraq and humanity, Hurria. I will do likewise.

madtom said...

"And Iraq wasn't threatening a single one of them, nor was there any reason to believe it would do so in the foreseeable future."

Iraq attacked and occupied important allies of the US and threaten to overrun another. The only thing that held Iraq back from taking what it called it's "lost province" and maybe much more was the US intervention and the imposition of the NFZ. Those actions on the part of Iraq had consequences. You can't rewrite history.

Hurria said...

"You choose to believe what the Baathist Information Ministry led by Bagdad Bob tells you"

No, I choose to believe the evidence of my own eyes and ears, and personal experience. That is what I choose to believe.

Hurria said...

"Iraq attacked and occupied important allies of the US and threaten to overrun another."

Talk about rewriting history! Iraq most certainly did NOT attack and occupy allies of the US, nor did it threaten to overrun any US allies. Iraq attacked and occupied one ally of the US only, and NEVER threatened to overrun any ally of the US.

"The only thing that held Iraq back from taking what it called it's "lost province" and maybe much more was the US intervention and the imposition of the NFZ."

Contrafactual rubbish.

"Those actions on the part of Iraq had consequences."

The action (not actions) had consequences - very severe ones - in 1991, and for a dozen years after. The 1990 invasion of Kuwait can in no way be used to justify invading Iraq 13 years later, and not even the Bush administration tried that one.

"You can't rewrite history."

You are the one who is trying to rewrite history.

Hurria said...

Waldschratt, if you really want to help Iraq and Iraqis, devote your time and energy to getting your government to withdraw its entire presence, military and otherwise, from the country. There will never be peace in Iraq as long as the U.S. is there stirring the pot.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

Strykerdad, speaking of evidence, I notice you still have not provided even one single source or one single piece of specific, let alone verifiable, information to support any of the numerous claims you have made here. And this despite the fact that for some of your claims you insist you have seen documentation for it. Why is that?

As for what you claim your daughter and the Iraqis you hear from through soldiers tell you, you are welcome to believe whatever you need to believe. I will continue to believe what I know to be factual based on what my eyes, ears, and personal experience tell me, along with the direct experiences of my relatives, neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and colleagues.

strykerdad said...
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madtom said...

"Iraq attacked and occupied one ally of the US only, "

Oh only one, at least that clear.

"and NEVER threatened to overrun any ally of the US."

Not according to them, they thought you were coming, the believed it to the point of asking the US to help, and invited the US to put troops on the ground, and allowed the US to use their territory to launch an attack to expel the Iraqi troops from Kuwait. But according to you it's

"Contrafactual rubbish."

I suggest that next time Iraq should make it's position more clear to your neighbors, to avoid confusion.
The fact remains that it fell to the US to contain Iraqi ambition and maintain order.

Hurria said...

"they thought you were coming, the believed it to the point of asking the US to help, and invited the US to put troops on the ground"

Nice try, but that is not at all what happened. It was not the Saudis who invited the US to put troops, it was the US that asked the Saudis to allow them to put troops, and it was the Saudis who refused again and again and again despite all the efforts of the US. Finally, it was the US that used falsified satellite photographs supposedly showing Iraqi forces gathered on Saudi's border to convince the Saudis that they were under threat of attack, and finally the Saudis agreed to allow US to put troops in their country.

The evidence that the satellite photos were faked is clear. Investigations have shown that satellite images taken from other sources in the same time period show no Iraqi forces on the Saudi border. On top of that the US government could clear all this up very easily by releasing some of those images it claims show Iraqi forces gathered on the Saudi border, but they have refused to do so.

"I suggest that next time Iraq should make it's position more clear to your neighbors, to avoid confusion."

There was no confusion whatsoever on the part of Iraq's neighbors in 2002-2003. Every one of Iraq's neighbors insisted that they did not see Iraq as a threat.

"The fact remains that it fell to the US to contain Iraqi ambition and maintain order."

More complete rubbish and utter hogwash. By 2003 the only "Iraqi ambition" was to survive another day. Iraq had no "ambition" of the sort you are referring to and had not for a dozen years. Iraq had not made a hint of a move toward anyone, and showed no indication that it intended to do so in the future. Further, Iraq clearly did not have the means to attack anyone. Why, even your own Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice, and numerous others made statements to that effect back in 2000 and 2001.

madtom said...

"The evidence that the satellite photos were faked is clear."

Do you have a source for this. I have heard it repeated many times but no one has ever given me a credible source. Maybe you could help.
Once we invaded we captured thousands of Iraqi troops from the border. And we killed countless others, one returning veteran told us that he walked for kilometers without his boots touching the soil. Not a pretty picture. Were they also fake, maybe lost tourist that took a wrong turn.

"Every one of Iraq's neighbors insisted that they did not see Iraq as a threat."

Yet they continued to allow us to use their air base and air space to patrol the NFZ. Very confuse aren't they?

"By 2003 the only "Iraqi ambition" was to survive another day."

And to bribe thier way out from under the international sanctions. Should we have agreed to saddams wished, should we have removed the northern NFZ, and allowed saddam to rebuild and crush the Kurdish autonomy?

strykerdad said...
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Truth teller said...

Hurria, strykerdad

These are facts from my personal experience:
Every doctor after graduating from the medical college, an dfinishing the residency, have to serve in the villages for about two years befor he allowed to complete his study or to open private clinic.

this was a rule, from the date when the Iraqi medical colleges started to graduate doctors.
I my self serve in the north of Iraq from 1973 to 1975, and so did all my colleagues.

I can say that no a single village in the north of Iraq didn't see a medics in its history, this true for the period before 1991. I don't know about the situation after that. But I also know that many of the medical staff had fled from kurdistan at that time, and they had a deficiency in doctors and other medics.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

Dear TT,

Yes, that is exactly right. The government provided the education for free, and to repay the government for their education, medical people were required to serve two years in the villages. This was one of many programs designed to use Iraq's national wealth to benefit the people. Iraq was ranked number one among oil producing countries for distribution of oil wealth to the population in the form of social services, infrastructure, etc.

We know this from personal, direct experience, TT. But of course, Strykerdad knows more than we do. How on earth can we, who depend on our direct personal knowledge and experience, possibly know more than Strykerdad, who has never set foot in Iraq and gets all his information from US occupation troops and unnamed, unknown Iraqis who he claims communicate with him via US occupation troops?

Hurria said...

Tell you what, Madtom. When you and Strykerdad start providing sources, I will. That seems like a fair deal, doesn't it?

Hurria said...

Stykerdad, every Iraqi medical professional who graduated from Iraq's colleges, or who studied abroad, was required to serve for two years in rural and remote parts of the country. That was part of a program undertaken to ensure that medical care was provided to all the population. TT is right. There is not one single village in all of Iraq that has never seen a medical professional in all of its history.

The Ba`thist government also implemented literacy programs intended to increase literacy in rural and remote areas. There was in addition a women's literacy program that was implemented throughout the country, although Iraq has historically had one of the most highly educated female populations in the Middle East, and they could have rested on their laurels in that regard. Until the sanctions destroyed the education system in the country Iraq was known to have one of the highest literacy rates in the Middle East, and the lowest differential between male and female literacy.

Until the sanctions destroyed its state-of-the-art medical system, Iraq was considered to have the finest medical system and medical care in the Middle East.

And until the sanctions destroyed the country, Iraq was officially considered to have the best and most effective system for distribution of oil wealth to the population of all the oil producing countries.

Those are verifiable facts. What you claim you hear from American occupation troops, and what you claim you hear from unknown, unnamed Iraqis who you claim communicate with you via American occupation troops (!) is not only unverifiable, it contradicts know, verifiable facts.

madtom said...

"That seems like a fair deal, doesn't it?"

No not fair at all. I have not made any extraordinary claims. Iraq invaded Kuwait, threatened the KSA and the Kurds. Do I really have to site sources for this?

Your claim "The evidence that the satellite photos were faked is clear." is not a well know fact where I'm from, I have heard a few rumblings and once or twice people have directed me to a few sites... but nothing I would call reliable. So I would, I don't know about Strykerdad, appreciate if you would be kind enough to site some sources so I could get a better grasp of the story.

johninnz said...

Truthteller
Regarding your opening post, about whether to close your Comments section, I see that Raed of the Jarrar family has closed his unruly Comments section, partly I gather out of fear that he could be held legally liable for things that are said on it.
It will be sad if you decide to do the same. It was bad enough that your daughter, just an innocent girl, had to close her Comments because some people had no respect for her age.
Everyone seems to be trying to be reasonably polite at present. Give it a bit longer? I for one am learning something about how people like Strykerdad think, and how to communicate with them.
The facts that you and Hurria have provided above are very interesting. Our next door neighbour, like many Kiwis, is a heavily-addicted world traveller. He was reminiscing the other day about travelling through Iraq in the 70’s or 80’s, sleeping on his backpack in the main Baghdad bus (or rail?) station, and the friendliness of the people.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

"I have not made any extraordinary claims."

Oh, but you have. You have also engaged in some extremely extraordinary logic.

"Iraq invaded Kuwait"

In 1990, and was soundly routed from there, paying a very heavy price for its aggression in 1991 and for the next dozen years. Since 1990 Iraq has not made a hint of a suggestion of a move toward Kuwait or any other country. Nevertheless you insist that the 1990 invasion of Kuwait, which had been over and done with for over a decade, can be used to justify invading Iraq in 2003 - something even the most brazen members of the Bush administration did not try to do.

"threatened the KSA"

No, Iraq has never threatened the KSA, but even if it had, that would have been back in 1990 - more than a dozen years before the invasion of 2003. It has threatened no one since then, and clearly has not had the means to threaten anyone.

"and the Kurds."

More contrafactual rubbish. First of all the Kurds of whom you speak were and are PART of Iraq. Second, the last time the Iraqi government made any kind of move to threaten the Kurds was back in 1991 when, with the U.S. facilitating it, it put down the rebellion that George Bush I urged. Since that time "Iraq" as you call it has not tried to do anything to the Kurds. In fact, at various times one or the other of the two brutal, corrupt Kurdish warlords enlisted Saddam Hussein as an ally against the other in their constant turf wars. Actions which ceased over a decade before cannot be used to justify an invasion in 2003.

Hurria said...

Strykerdad, all I can tell you is that the information you are receiving from U.S. occupation troops, and these unnamed, unidentified Iraqis who supposedly communicate with you via U.S. occupation troops contradicts verifiable, known facts.

Hurria said...

PS American troops are entitled to their opinions, but let's be clear that they are first of all the opinions of the conqueror and second of all based on a complete ignorance of Iraq's history, society, culture, and political and social history and structure.

madtom said...

I guess your sources are not worth reading.

"Since 1990 Iraq has not made a hint of a suggestion of a move toward Kuwait or any other country."

Not true, they made countless attempts and aggressive moves against the NFZ. They built and activated and targeted out planes with targeting radar, and they fired on our plane. How can you say "not made a hint of a suggestion" It was very suggestive, the NFZ was the only think that stood between saddam and your neighbors to the south, and he constantly attacked and threatened those planes. Those missiles were very "suggestive" as to his intent. He intended to raise the cost of maintaining the NFZ in the American public eye, and to get out of the sanctions without ever having to comply with any of our demands.
Don't those action on the part of saddam suggest anything to you about his intentions?

strykerdad said...
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Pebble said...

ITM posted on a possible chemical attack today 9/11/05

Have you heard anything about it?

Thanks,

Pebble

Hurria said...

"Not true, they made countless attempts and aggressive moves against the NFZ."

Attempts at what? Aggressive moves against whom?

The no-fly zone was not a foreign country. The no-fly zone was part of Iraq. Therefore any "attempts and aggressive moves" they might have made "against" the no-fly zone were not against Kuwait or any other foreign country. The "attempts and aggressive moves" as you call them, were directed instead at foreign military airdcraft that were impinging on Iraqi airspace, and bombing Iraqi land.

Furthermore, the no-fly zone was unilaterally established and maintained by the U.S. without the approval of the UN or the international community. Its legitimacy was, to say the least, in question.

Bottom line, what you call "attempts and aggressive moves" were not against Kuwait or any other foreign country, but against an unwelcome foreign presence in soveriegn Iraqi territory.

"They built and activated and targeted out planes with targeting radar, and they fired on our plane."

Your planes were in their territory, and were bombing them several times a week. Training radar on and even occasionally firing on U.S. planes that are impinging on and bombing one's territory is a pretty natural reaction, and does not by any stretch or twist of the imagination constitute aggression against Kuwait or any other foreign state. If anything, it is defensive.

"How can you say "not made a hint of a suggestion" It was very suggestive, the NFZ was the only think that stood between saddam and your neighbors to the south, and he constantly attacked and threatened those planes."

He did not "constantly" attack and threaten those planes. Rarely did he do more than train radar on them, and generally that was in response to a bombing or some other provocation. In any case, training radar on foreign military aircraft that fly regularly over and regularly bomb one's sovereign territory does not remotely approach attacking or threatening or doing anything aggressive against Kuwait or any other foreign country.

And by the way, the no-fly zones were established unilaterally by the U.S. for their own self-interested purposes, and had nothing to do with protecting Kuwait (or the Shi`as for that matter, who suffered both from the regular American bombings, and from the Iraqi government during that period).

">Those missiles were very "suggestive" as to his intent."

Those missiles were allowed to him for national defense. If he shot a few of them at the U.S. military aircraft that were flying over his sovereign territory and bombing his country several times a week, that "suggestive" of nothing more than that he did not appreciate having U.S. military aircraft in his airspace and bombing his country. The most likely explanation for it is, in fact, defense against an unwelcome foreign military presence, particularly given the fact that that foreign military was bombing his country on a regular basis.

"He intended to raise the cost of maintaining the NFZ in the American public eye, and to get out of the sanctions without ever having to comply with any of our demands."

You have a very creative - and self-serving - imagination, and are a simply amazing mind reader.

"Don't those action on the part of saddam suggest anything to you about his intentions?"

I do not have your creative imagination, or your astonishing ability at mind reading. Therefore what they suggest to me is the obvious - that, like any national leader, he did not accept having foreign military aircraft in his airspace, and bombing his country every few days, and would periodically decide to do something about it. What it does not suggest is that he had any intention at all of invading anyone ever again.

In any case, if that had evern constituted a casus belli, it would have been long before 2003. As of 2003 it did not, and the Bush administration did not try to use it as one.

Hurria said...

Strykerdad, I'll have to hand it to you for your chutzpah in constantly insisting that I provide evidence while steadfastly failing to provide a single document or a single specific to support your claims, even when you indicate that documentation is readily available.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

Well, Strykerdad, what do YOU want? The text in Arabic of the programs TT and I told you about?

Actually, though, I was referring to your claims regarding the alleged halving of the mortality rate. You say there is documentation for that, but you have yet to produce it. I was also referring to your claims about the report from the Lancet, which you said were in an article you had read that day, but somehow you have not been able to produce it. There are numerous other examples, too, but you can never manage to produce them or any information about them.

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Dan said...

Bad link function...'Sorry 'bout that folks.

Hurria said...

Thanks for producing the article. Would you please post the URL so that I might look at and evaluate the entire article?

Thanks.

Truth teller said...

strykerdad

"Some great pictures here, Hurria---I have others that were sent to me personally that very much resemble the pictures on this site---who are these people?"

If you believe in pictures like those, I can supply you with million of pictures where thousands of people even Kurds and sheeis celebrating, just for seing Saddam. And hundreds of pictures where people demonstrated against the occupation.
Those pictures prove nothing to any body here.
BTW the picture you have are from the north of Iraq as I guess, where the government there are American ally. Did you ask your selfe what would be the situation if that government change it's mind and start to consider the American troops as an Enemy. That is not far a way from reality. The relation now is just an exchange of interests and benefits.

strykerdad said...
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kanetsu said...

the people most directly injured by radical Islam are other Muslims: Afghan Muslims by the Taleban, Iranian Muslims by the rule of the ayatollahs; in Iraq, most people killed by the insurgency are Muslims, too. Yet Muslim rhetoric concentrates on the crimes of “the West”. It may be that Muslims need to re-direct their rage against the people who are really oppressing and killing them.
Salman Rushdie

Truth teller said...

strykerdad

Thank you for your Non irritant comment. I will try to be as nice as you.
"I have heard accounts of people coming out of their houses with trays of food and drink which they insist the soldiers sample,"

This is a well known habit of all Iraqis specially with the foreigners. If you know soldiers who serve in Mosul during the early days of occupation when we thought they were liberators not occupants, they can tell you similar stories.

"I have no doubt that there are a smaller number in favor of US troops, a small number who are very anti US troops, and a majority who are glad Saddam is gone and just wish things would get resolved so that the US troops would leave."

I agree with you, but I don't believe that the US troops will leave ever.

"Considering all the pressures and dangers from all surrounding Kurdistan, I am unable to imagine a scenario where Kurdistan would ever see it in their interests to consider the US as an enemy."

The Kurds are Iraqis and majority of them are Muslims. They never forgotten what happened in 1991 when the US left them to face their destiny alone. Any single mistake by an American can change every thing upside down.
The condition with the Sheeis is the same. they don't love the american they just take advantage of them.

"To whom would you give credit for that newfound freedom for which many have suffered, including yourself and your family? How much do YOU and those around you value that freedom."

Honestly speaking WE never felt this freedom yet, We can't talk to other, we can visit our family, we can't even move in our town the way we want, we can't look to our surrounding in the way we want, we can't eat or drink what we want,
I can't drive my car in my neighborhood when I want, even we can't sleep in our bedroom with out fear of house raid.
You can't feel that unless you live with it. It is a real nightmare.

All this freedom is new to us, we did't use to it.
So please don't speak about freedom unless we try it in reality not in words.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

"Yet Muslim rhetoric concentrates on the crimes of “the West”."

A rather neat "sleight of hand". Blame someone else so you don't have to take any responsibility.

strykerdad said...
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madtom said...

"Those missiles were allowed to him for national defense. If he shot a few of them at the U.S. military aircraft that were flying over his sovereign territory and bombing his country several times a week, that "suggestive" of nothing more than that he did not appreciate having U.S. military aircraft in his airspace and bombing his country."

Just amazing how your love for papa saddam comes though in your writing. And to think that the bombing that was taking place was organized by saddam to kill shi'a. He would place his anti aircraft guns near civilians and then turn on the radar so the resulting bombs would kill shi'a civilians. But in you mind he was:

" like any national leader, he did not accept having foreign military aircraft in his airspace, and bombing his country every few days, and would periodically decide to do something about it."

I have to say, I know of no national leader who would act in this fashion. I think your imagination, or fascination, is greater than mine.

Hurria said...

Mostazaf, first learn the meaning of the terms you are using - like sovereign territory. After that you might be able to discuss things knowledgeably.

johninnz said...

I’m sort of out of this Blog, when the comments get over 100 or so they scroll so slowly on my machine that it’s difficult to follow them.
However, I think Strykerdad has referred to me - "those convinced of their superior intellect, education, and compassion." Ouch.
Strykerdad, I just wanted to say, without any sarcasm or condescension, that I was impressed by the tone of your last two posts, it was great to see you and Truthteller communicating across 10,000 miles without acrimony or rancour.
On the other hand, top marks to Truthteller for his response, about friendliness between Iraqis and US troops: "in Mosul during the early days of occupation, when we thought they were liberators not occupiers..." Sometimes a few words can say an awful lot.
Truthteller earlier predicted two or three generations before things would be bearable in Iraq. I guess that means 20 years at minimum.
Strykerdad, you have expressed optimism and hope, but also spoken of Iraq and the USA being intertwined "for the near future." I assume you agree that, even if the USA maintains some bases there, like it does in many countries, it must in the long run have no involvement in Iraq’s internal affairs, just as it has none in Germany and Japan now.
What’s your best guess or expectation on how long that will take? How long before it’s all really been worth it?

Bruno said...

Truth Teller --

[tt] “BTW the picture you have are from the north of Iraq as I guess, where the government there are American ally. Did you ask your selfe what would be the situation if that government change it's mind and start to consider the American troops as an Enemy. That is not far a way from reality. The relation now is just an exchange of interests and benefits.”

Quite right. I see that Turkey and the US are talking about plans to attack Kurdish groups in northern Iraq as we speak. First, I like the way they do this without bothering to consulting the Iraqi ‘government’, such as it is, as if they already owned the country, and second … I wonder how happy the Kurds are going to be when their cousins and relatives get blown up by the Turks?

Madtom --

Would you be so kind as to refer us to the UN Resolutions specifically authorising the No Fly Zones and detailing their purpose, duration and the parameters within which they were to be conducted? I think that you really need to educate us ignoramuses who view the NFZ’s as an act of war, as to what the reality of the situation was. Have fun.

Hurria, that was an excellent response, btw.



Strykerdad --

[sd] “The region, about 125 miles northwest of Baghdad, is a hotbed of insurgent activity.

The Marines, though, received a friendlier-than-expected welcome from Hit's residents in the early going.

A group of troops, operating in sweltering temperatures, stopped at one home to take advantage of the air conditioning. The hosts even changed the channel on the satellite TV to an English-language talk show about the Middle East.”

And you take this as indicative of what …?

I can already see the scene:

[Five minutes prior to the warm welcome extended to the Marines by Hit’s residents]

Mohammed : “Look there - here come some more of those murderous American bastards strutting about like they own the place! I’m going to spit on them as they pass!”
Abdul : “What? Are you crazy man? These guys shoot at us for driving too close to them and now you want to spit at them– do you want to end up in a camp with sticks up your arse?”
Mohammed : “Yes, you’re right. That would be stupid. So what do we do?”
Abdul : “We smile at them, offer cool drinks, and see if we can’t get them to drop some information about their plans, so that we can tell Hamid and the boys.”
Mohammed : “Hamid, the bomb guy? ”
Abdul : “ Who else?”
Mohammed : “Good plan! This sneaky stuff is much more intelligent. Let’s do it!”

;)


On the Lancet study:


(1) The strategy page article you provided does not cite sources for its statistics. I’m thinking that the author has engaged in a bit of um, ‘creative accounting’ here.
(2) Neither is the time frame compatible with that of the Lancet.
(3) The classification criteria and system for classifying people as civilians or not is not revealed.
(4) The Lancet makes a tally of the total death rate, not the ‘civilian’ death rate.

[article] “Adding a bit more to account for unreported deaths (especially in Sunni Arab areas where chaos, not the government, runs things)”

How much is a ‘bit more’? The author does not explain, nor explain what scientific method he used to extrapolate the numbers for a ‘bit more’.

He also is pretty damn vague on the “hundreds of thousands” that Saddam was supposed to have killed. Where does he get these figures from? From US/British propaganda? Is he aware that exaggerating the atrocities committed by an enemy is SOP for the US and it’s cronies. This is the same line that was tried in Serbia. FACT: only a few thousand of the ‘hundreds and hundreds of thousands’ of people killed in mass graves have actually turned up. You owe us about half a million dead Iraqis.

Ergo: it is somewhat difficult for one to accept these figures as indicative of anything in particular, especially given the author’s lack of sources and vague generalisations.

The Lancet however, WAS peer reviewed and WAS validated by some pretty important people in the fields of medicine and statistics. For example:

Counting the casualties
Nov 4th 2004 - From The Economist print edition

“Is the methodology used by Les Roberts of the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, in Baltimore, and his colleagues, sound enough for reliable conclusions to be drawn from it?
[…]
Nan Laird, a professor of biostatistics at the Harvard School of Public Health, who was not involved with the study, says that she believes both the analysis and the data-gathering techniques used by Dr Roberts to be sound.
[…]
Arthur Dempster, also a professor of statistics at Harvard, though in a different department from Dr Laird, agrees that the methodology in both design and analysis is at the standard professional level.” // end excerpt


So: even the Economist publishes a validation of the Lancet study.

And, may I add, if you look for people on the net that are actually statisticians and know what they’re talking about, they invariably express surprise that the methodology of the study is questioned. You can find one such person at the Crooked Timber site, for example.

Secondly, when Roberts used the exact same methodology to demonstrate that close to 2 MILLION people had died due to war in the Congo, nobody had anything to say about the science. On the contrary, Powell and Blair quoted these figures themselves as a basis for the urgency to take action. But, now when THEY are responsible for the deaths of people, the science suddenly becomes quackery?

This speaks more about the selective morality of the leaders of the USA and Britain than any valid critique of the Lancet.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

"I think that you really need to educate us ignoramuses who view the NFZ’s as an act of war, as to what the reality of the situation was."

If I might answer that for Madtom. Perhaps this piece will make it clearer.

"The "No-Fly Zone War" pitted the air and naval forces of the United States and the United Kingdom (also referred to as "Great Britain"), against the air defenses of Iraq. This conflict proved to be largely ignored by the media and the public in both the U.S. and in the U.K., though it impacted the military and the citizens of Iraq on an almost weekly basis, especially since the intense "Desert Fox" bombing campaign of 1998. The roots of this conflict are quite simple to trace: the inconclusive and vague cease-fire agreement ending the Gulf War of 1990-1991. This agreement called on the Iraqi government to allow United Nations weapons inspectors to search for prohibited weapons in Iraq, and, perhaps more importantly, allowed the Coalition Allies (originally the U.S., the U.K. and France), to enforce what came to be called "No-Fly Zones" over northern and southern Iraq. The original intent of these zones was to protect the rebellious Iraqi minorities (Kurds and Shiite Muslims) in northern and southern Iraq, respectively. The Coalition was permitted to fly warplanes over these zones to prevent Saddam Hussein's government from using military aircraft to attack these minorities. As time progressed though, the No-Fly Zones became a means for the Allies to force Iraq to comply with UN and Coalition demands, often related to the status of the weapons inspectors."

Madtom, I do apoligize if I preempted your response to that question of John's.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

"Do you mean that Saddam had a RIGHT to his territory?

No one can claim a RIGHT TO ENSLAVE.
"

Dan, you are very confused indeed. The right of sovereignty and the right to preserve the territorial integrity of a state have nothing whatsoever to do with enslavement. They are two completely separate things.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

"in Iraq, most people killed by the insurgency are Muslims, too."

So are most of the people killed by the US.

Hurria said...

"a majority who are glad Saddam is gone and just wish things would get resolved so that the US troops would leave."

The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are glad Saddam is gone.

The overwhelming majority of Iraqis are extremely unhappy with the Americans and are not in the least grateful to you because you have 1) made things much, much, much worse than they were before, and 2) have shown your true intentions.

The overwhelming majority of Iraqis know damned well by now that you have absolutely no intention of leaving - ever.

Hurria said...

"To whom would you give credit for that newfound freedom for which many have suffered"

WHAT freedom? There is less freedom now in Iraq than there was before. Now there is only misery and suffering and uncertainty and fear.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

As they experience more and more "Iraqi freedom", more and more Iraqis are looking back on Saddam's time as the "good old days".

During Saddam's time people had at least a semblance of normal life even at the worst of times. The streets were VERY safe any time of the day or night - some of the safest in the world, in fact. People had enough freedom of movement to go out of their houses, to visit friends and family, to go to work to go to school, and travel from city to city. The average Iraqi could go to sleep in his bed at night secure in the knowledge that no one would drop a one-ton bomb on his house, blowing it up over his head, or that a gang of armed thugs would not break down his door, ransack his house, terrorize the women and children, and drag every male off to be "detained" indefinitely, tortured, or worse.

Iraqis could send their children to school, or out to play, or to the store, or to visit friends or relatives with confidence that they would return home, safe and in one piece. Women could go out to work, to shop, to visit, or just to take a walk or a drive without fear of being carjacked, kidnapped, raped or murdered. Iraqis of all genders and ages could walk or drive on the roads without fear of being arbitrarily arrested, detained indefinitely and tortured, or blown away by their "liberators" or by an ill-timed roadside bomb. Women could go out dressed any way they liked, go anywhere they liked, and do anything they liked. The average Iraqi had at least somewhat dependable water, electricity, food and at least basic medical care.

That was life for the average Iraqi under the tyrant Saddam - not a fabulous life, but a life nonetheless. In "liberated" Iraq even that semblance of normalcy is gone.

And even that alleged freedom of speech you all keep blatting on about is an illusion. Iraqis CANNOT speak freely without fear, nor is there freedom of assembly, freedom of movement, and between you Americans, the resistance, the fanatics, and the common criminals, Iraqis are under constant mortal threat 24/7.

It is absolutely obscene for you and others like you to be sitting in your safe, comfortable homes half a world away telling Iraqis how free they are thanks to you. Iraqis know better.

Hurria said...

"if you have any understanding of how the American political process works, you know that the only way our troops will remain in Iraq indefinitely is if the Iraqi people make that invitation through its elected representatives."

I have enough understanding of how the American political process works to recognize what a huge, steaming, stinking pile of horse crap that is.

Hurria said...

"if you have any understanding of how the American political process works, you know that the only way our troops will remain in Iraq indefinitely is if the Iraqi people make that invitation through its elected representatives."

Let me be more specific about some of the things that make the above such a huge, steaming, stinking pile of horse crap:

The U.S. government staying in Iraq has exactly nothing to do with the "American political process". In fact, your present government has regularly bypassed and thwarted the American political process in order to do what it wanted to do.

The Americans staying in Iraq has a lot more to do with the political process in Iraq, which is exactly why making sure they have as much of a stranglehold as possible on that political process has been of such paramount importance.

The Iraqi people will NEVER make an invitation to the Americans to stay. That should be absolutely clear by now. Rest assured, also, that what the Americans do or do not do has nothing whatsoever to do with the wishes of the Iraqi people.

The Americans have done and will continue to do everything in their power to make sure any "government" in Iraq will be dependent on and therefore beholden to them. So far the two main things the current "government" have done is to jockey amongst themselves for power, and to figure out exactly how far and in specifically into what position the Americans are requiring them to bend over today.

strykerdad said...
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strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

Strykerdad, one cannot help but wonder how it is that you can reconcile your belief that your government has any intention of removing its military forces with the fact that it is, by its own admission, in the process of building four enormous, very permanent, and very expensive military bases. Those are not the actions of a government that is planning to leave any time soon.

Neither, for that matter, is the planned mega-embassy. One cannot help but wonder, if the Bush administration does not intend to maintain a very, very strong presence in Iraq for an indefinite period, why they need to build and maintain the largest embassy in the world in such a relatively small country.

Hurria said...

PS let's also not forget the fact that your government has also been building a rather costly state-of-the-art communication system between its increasingly largem elaborately American, and very permanent military bases. None of this can reasonably be seen as an indication that it intends to leave any time soon.

strykerdad said...
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strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

Stykerdad, try to understand that I could not possibly be less interested in or take less seriously what the corrupt war lord, opportunist Talibani or any other politician says, and particularly when they are saying it for an American audience. Everything they say has a self-serving political purpose, and we know for a fact that some of it, at least, is written for them by the Bush adminnistration's speech writers. Talibani in particular is completely in the pocket of the Bush administration.

Do yourself a favour and stop sitting in your comfortable home half a world away trying to tell Iraqis what is going on in Iraq and how Iraqis feel about it. Come live one month in Iraq as an ordinary Iraqi, and then you may by qualified to say something about it.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

No, I do not have need of servants, I have need of Americans like you to stop deluding yourselves.

And I was not suggesting that you should come to Iraq as part of the occupation/profiteering team, I was suggesting that you stop spouting cheery platitudes about "new found freedom", and come live in, say, Baghdad, or Mosul for a month as an ordinary Iraqi. We might even arrange for you to spend some time in Kurdistan so you can experience first hand the wonderful mafiocracy that your allies Talibani and Barzani are running there. You will learn, among other things, just exactly how free speech really is, even in Kurdistan.

Hurria said...

"there is no such thing as "sovereign territory."

You are dead wrong. There most certainly is such a thing. States are sovereign, and the territory of the state is sovereign territory.

"Soil and space and trees and rocks do not have sovereignty."

Soil and space and trees and rocks are not territory, they are objects.

"Sovereignty comes from the people."

100% incorrect. It does not come from the people in any way under any circumstances.

"Go get an education"

You are the one who is in need of an education in this matter. You might consider starting with a simple dictionary.

Bruno said...

Lynette --

Why, that was a most official and informative – sounding piece of propaganda! Congratulations, where did you find it?

Unfortunately for you, and in case anybody actually believes that nonsense, I happen to have the ACTUAL Ceasefire agreement ( UN Resolution 687 ) at hand. So, it was quite interesting to read this, because it would mean that somehow I had missed a very large and important chunk of the Resolution :

[lynette] “This agreement called on the Iraqi government to allow United Nations weapons inspectors to search for prohibited weapons in Iraq, and, perhaps more importantly, allowed the Coalition Allies (originally the U.S., the U.K. and France), to enforce what came to be called "No-Fly Zones" over northern and southern Iraq.”


After much scrutiny, I don’t see ANY authorisation of continued bombing of Iraqi targets, or over-flight authorisation or, in fact, any authorisation for continued military action at all.

I did, however, find THIS:


United Nations RESOLUTION 687 (1991)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 2981st meeting, on 3 April 1991

“Affirming the commitment of all Member States to the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of Kuwait and Iraq, and noting the intention expressed by the Member States cooperating with Kuwait under paragraph 2 of resolution 678 (1990) to bring their military presence in Iraq to an end as soon as possible consistent with paragraph 8 of resolution 686 (1991),
[...]
B 6. Notes that as soon as the Secretary-General notifies the Security Council of the completion of the deployment of the United Nations observer unit, the conditions will be established for the Member States cooperating with Kuwait in accordance with resolution 678 (1990) to bring their military presence in Iraq to an end consistent with resolution 686 (1991);
[...]
33. Declares that, upon official notification by Iraq to the Secretary-General and to the Security Council of its acceptance of the provisions above, a formal cease-fire is effective between Iraq and Kuwait and the Member States cooperating with Kuwait in accordance with resolution 678 (1990);

34. Decides to remain seized of the matter and to take such further steps as may be required for the implementation of the present resolution and to secure peace and security in the area.”


Conclusion?

There is NO, repeat, ** NO ** provision in the Ceasefire Agreement for either continued hostilities or over-flight by US / British / French aircraft. As per paragraph 34, the UNSC remained seized of the matter, and ‘further steps’ clearly and obviously refer to a new UN resolution clarifying what those steps might be – which would have been the requirement for a legalisation of the No fly zones.

Perhaps more importantly, (to paraphrase your excerpt) the said excerpt is a pile o’ crap which merely tries to fool the reader into believing that the US et al had some sort of mandate to institute the No fly zones.

And, my name is Bruno, not John.

Bruno said...

Strykerdad --

“… if they tell me they have been warmly greeted many times in ways that were genuine, I am going to believe them.”

That’s weird, you know. If all the Iraqis are so friendly and all, then who exactly is fighting you? Who is noting the movements of your troops and their times and using the ‘friendly’ populace as cover? How come US ‘intelligence’ has completely and utterly been outwitted time after time by the Iraqi insurgents?

I’ll tell you why: those Iraqis are not friendly, and your ‘tame’ Iraqis that work alongside US troops have been riddled with informers and double agents. But of course you’ll not believe me, and that suits me fine – it just means that your bad intel is going to hasten your defeat.

( Funny thing though, after the Vietnam war was over, and the cards were on the table, a whole whack of the Vietnamese working for the US actually turned out to be moles for the VC. )


[strykerdad] “What does the UN have to do with it? Did the UN negotiate the terms of surrender or do anything to bring it about?”

and

[strykerdad] “[infractions- my note] To which the UN responded by authorizing force as a consequence.”

I LMFAO at you. Please, don’t even bother trying to explain. Instead, you might want to provide us with a Ceasefire agreement OTHER than UN Resolution 687, that was negotiated and signed between the USA and Iraq. Then we will peruse its writ. Have fun!

Secondly, you can also supply us with the Resolution and specific paragraph wherein the UN “authorised force as a consequence”. Really, if you don’t have a clue of what you are talking about, then just zip the lip, OK?


[strykerdad] “The terms of surrender agreed upon by the losing party were being manipulated to murder thousands of civilians in insurrection or otherwise incovenient to the regime (deaths that you apparently deny--you are too kind when you describe yourself as an ingnoramus).”

Hmm. This is a whole discussion on its own.

Briefly: I don’t deny the deaths of thousands of insurrectionists. If you READ my post properly, you would understand this, because I said: “only a few thousand of the ‘hundreds and hundreds of thousands’ of people killed in mass graves have actually turned up.”

What I question is the scale of the deaths, given that the size of the mass graves that have been found are far below the sizes claimed by the US. I suspect the scale of the purported killings to be exaggerated. (Find me the additional mass graves and I will withdraw my allegation gladly.)This distortion was employed against Serbia as well.

Secondly: If one reads the reports on Saddam’s trial, he is NOT being tried for these deaths. Amazing, isn’t it? The US justifies a war on (amongst other things) the basis of the hundreds of thousands killed by Saddam, yet now it does not even want to prosecute him for those deaths. As I understand it, he is being tried for the razing of a village from whence an attack was launched on his motorcade.

The conclusions I draw from this are: the US / Britain don’t want their complicity in the insurrections, nor their nefarious motivations at the time questioned. Additionally, comparisons between Saddam’s justifications for the mass killings and the justifications used by the US for the razing of towns like Fallujah might arise, which would indeed be awkward for your heroes, wouldn’t it?

Bruno said...

Hurria --

Our ‘strykerfriend’ made this amusing comment:

“Hurria, if you have any understanding of how the American political process works, you know that the only way our troops will remain in Iraq indefinitely is if the Iraqi people make that invitation through its elected representatives.”

I find your response quite agreeable. Additionally, I might add that if he had any understanding of how the methods of American interference in other countries’ political processes works, he will understand that the US routinely uses huge sums of cash to buy off influential politicians and hence to influence the course of the events on the ground. It’s like a pimp and his whores.

(In any case, I’m guessing that even if Iraqi puppets are unable to muster sufficient support to formally invite the US to stay, the US will exploit the legal grey area and remain anyway.)

Bruno said...

Moustazaf --

[m] “Hurria, there are 200 free newspapers and journals today in Baghdad and Iraq. There are private TV and radio stations.”

This is a sick thing to say. “Free” unless they print something contrary to government writ, you mean. They have already been threatened with punishment if they write things other than the official government line. It’s also interesting to note how independent stations like Al Jazeera have been banned, and newspapers sympathetic to the idea of an Iraq without foreign oppressors closed down.

Naturally the US funds its own propaganda mouthpieces to drown out what little opposition remains, one of which is Al Iraqiya, if memory serves me correctly. Spout your bilge to a less informed audience, OK?

Bruno said...

mostazaf --

[m] "Bruno your ignorance is paramount. You claim 200 Iraqi publications are being censored. OK, produce link, or STFU."

Ah, I smell a little man hiding behind those aggressive words. Do you always hide behind bluster, or do you have the facts and intelligence to back up your arguments? I, of course, always do.

For example:

Press Watchdog “Deeply Disturbed” by Iraqi Regime’s Media Threat
Nov 15 2004 - Jim Lobe, OneWorld US

“[...]
Citing the 60-day state of emergency declared by Allawi on the eve of the U.S. offensive against insurgents in Fallujah, the HMC directive said news media must differentiate between “innocent citizens” of the city and the insurgents.

It warned that journalists should not attach “patriotic descriptions to groups of killers and criminals,” and urged the media to “set aside space in your news coverage to make the position of the Iraqi government, which expresses the aspirations of most Iraqis, clear.”

“You must be precise and objective in handling news and information,” according to the statement, which was reported by Associated Press and Reuters. “We hope you comply …otherwise we regret we will be forced take all the legal measures to guarantee higher national interests,” it said, without elaboration.

The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPA) said […] “We are very troubled by this directive, which is an attempt to control news coverage through government coercion,” said CPJ’s executive director, Ann Cooper. “It damages the government’s credibility in establishing a free and democratic society.”
[...]
When the HMC was first announced, both CPJ and the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (RSF) expressed concern. The latter suggested that the commission may have been set up to ban “certain criticism of the prime minister.” //end excerpt

Good enough for you?

[M] “Al-Jazeera was warned several times to stop publishing the racist, misogynist, and religious hatred literature produced by Zarqawi and al-Qaeda. When a publication calls for the assassination of a section of society, then it will get banned, and that includes in Europe. Waiting for your link, or STFU.”

Link? When you yourself ADMIT that Al Jazeera has been banned? I suggest that your logic has somewhat of a gap here. On the other hand, you try and justify that the reasoning behind the banning of Al Jazeera is valid. Ah, but whose criteria do we use for deciding whether a publication ought to be banned or not?

Europe’s?

America’s?

YOURS?

Your hypocrisy naturally will not extend the justification for banning a similar call for killing people from the side of the US, of course. For example, if some people lay out the fabricated case for an illicit war, which will result in a great deal of destabilisation and people being killed – I somehow doubt that you will apply the same censorship and banning to them.

Take this man and his news network for example. Have they been banned?

From billoreilly.com

“I don't have any respect by and large for the Iraqi people at all. I have no respect for them. I think that they're a prehistoric group that is -- yeah, there's excuses. Sure, they're terrorized, they've never known freedom, all of that. There's excuses. I understand. But I don't have to respect them, because you know, when you have Americans dying trying to, you know, institute some kind of democracy there, and two percent of the people appreciate it, you know, it's time to -- time to wise up. The big lesson is that we cannot intervene using ground troops in the Muslim world ever again. What we can do, is bomb the living daylights out of them, just like we did in the Balkans. Bomb the living daylights out of them. But no more ground troops, no more hearts and minds ... ain't going to work. They're just people who are primitive.” //end excerpt

No. On the contrary, despite his PERSONAL views of killing lots and lots of Muslims and Iraqis, Fox News remains the darling of the US right, and nobody would dream of censoring them. Al Jazeera merely relayed the news, which happened to be that of various militant groups, amongst other things, and was henceforth banned.

In reality you don’t really want a free press, you want a controlled press.

Onwards …

[M] “Dan, I guess it is quite a bit of progress that an upper middle class Baathist even has a blog, and then allows dissenting opinions to be heard.”

I’m assuming that you have some sort of ‘link’ for this? Or is this just your ‘opinion’ – ie – invented allegations without any real evidence for your claims?

[M] “Hurria, in the past 2 weeks: approx. 400 terrorists were killed and another 400 terrorists were arrested. The Iraqi Army lost only 5 soldiers. The MNF lost none. Zero - zilch.”

This is the clincher (as if I ever had any doubt) of the gullibility and bias that you are prone to. Only a retard accepts the CENTCOM numbers as fact, any more than one accepts the albasrah.net figures of the resistance. I suppose that you are one of the ones that believed that there were only 5000 Ba’athist ‘dead enders’ to deal with. It seems strange to me that a US general claimed to have killed about 50000 insurgents, yet the fight is raging stronger than ever. Iraqis must be strange people – obviously they can resurrect themselves to be shot more than once – IF one believes the US govt. bullshit propaganda.

Capture any SENIOR AIDES TO ZARQAWI lately? (*snigger*)


[M] “Let me ask you what do you think about this act? Do you find it commendable and heroic, or contemptible and dastardly?”

IF the facts are EXACTLY as you report them : contemptible, of course. What purpose does it serve to call up a hundred random civilians and blow them to bits?

Driving a VBIED into a US convoy would be a far more profitable way to die.

Hurria said...

"they tell me they have been warmly greeted many times in ways that were genuine"

And they knew it was genuine how? They are mind readers?

I wish they could hear what some of these same people are saying when they are not around! For that matter, I wish they could understand some of the Arabic exchanges their Arabic interpreters have in their presence.

beentherenowback said...
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Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Bruno,

Sorry about the John reference. You sound alot like him.

As you can see from the following rather large excerpt, we can all cut and paste those parts of a document that we think pertinent to our position. S/RES/687 (1991)
8 April 1991

RESOLUTION 687 (1991)
Adopted by the Security Council at its 2981st meeting,

on 3 April 1991

The Security Council,

Reaffirming the need to be assured of Iraq's peaceful intentions in the light of its unlawful invasion and occupation of Kuwait,

Aware of the use by Iraq of ballistic missiles in unprovoked attacks and therefore of the need to take specific measures in regard to such missiles located in Iraq,

Conscious also of the objective of achieving balanced and comprehensive control of armaments in the region,

Conscious further of the importance of achieving the objectives noted above using all available means

Deploring threats made by Iraq during the recent conflict to make use of terrorism against targets outside Iraq and the taking of hostages by Iraq,

Bearing in mind its objective of restoring international peace and security in the area as set out in recent resolutions of the Security Council,

Conscious of the need to take the following measures acting under Chapter VII of the Charter,

1. Affirms all thirteen resolutions noted above, except as expressly changed below to achieve the goals of this resolution, including a formal cease-fire;

9. Decides, for the implementation of paragraph 8 above, the following:

(b) The Secretary-General, in consultation with the appropriate
Governments and, where appropriate, with the Director-General of the World
Health Organization, within forty-five days of the passage of the present resolution, shall develop, and submit to the Council for approval, a plan calling for the completion of the following acts within forty-five days of such
approval:

(i) The forming of a Special Commission, which shall carry out immediate on-site inspection of Iraq's biological, chemical and missile capabilities, based on Iraq's declarations and the designation of any additional locations by the Special Commission itself;

32. Requires Iraq to inform the Security Council that it will not commit or support any act of international terrorism or allow any organization directed towards commission of such acts to operate within its territory and to condemn unequivocally and renounce all acts, methods and practices of
terrorism;



33. Declares that, upon official notification by Iraq to the
Secretary-General and to the Security Council of its acceptance of the provisions above, a formal cease-fire is effective between Iraq and Kuwait and the Member States cooperating with Kuwait in accordance with resolution 678
(1990);

34. Decides to remain seized of the matter and to take such further steps as may be required for the implementation of the present resolution and to secure peace and security in the area.


But there is no getting around the fact that Saddam Hussein in 1991 set in motion a chain of events that is still playing out today.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

I wish they could understand some of the Arabic exchanges their Arabic interpreters have in their presence.

How do you know that they don't? Iraqi's are not the only ones who may know how to act a part.

Hurria said...

Lynette,

I am sure Bruno will be able to point out to you very clearly why the excerpt you posted above in no way autorizes the unilateral establishment of no-fly zones by any member state, including the U.S., let alone regular bombing runs on the part of the U.S.

How do I know they don't understand what their Iraqi interpreters are saying in Arabic? Because I know how much Arabic skill they have, and because they still seem to think the Iraqis they are dealing with just looooove and appreciate them. Even the Kurds are fed up with them.

beentherenowback said...

I suppose it wouldn't take a lot of imagination to think of some ways to verify translations or to know what certain 'friendly' Iraqis say when they are suspect; and there may be ways your own imagination can't come up with. We have a friend we like to call 'technology'.

We have some translators who are not pro-US, but they are pro Iraq and work with forces on the street level to try to bring some justice and order out of the mess, and are great people. Others have ulterior motives and use their positions as translaotors to their own purposes when able and seem to think we are their own personal protection force. Others want to defeat the insurgency and see the political process succeed and recognize the neccesity of our participation. They are courageous people. It takes all kinds and Iraq has certainly got them. Any here care to volunteer? Those who really wish to effect change and do good for common Iraqis will find it can be a powerful way. You don't even have to like us, just be pragmatic and willing to do what you can.

I have to tell you, yes, some US troops seem to be mindreaders. Something that comes from a survival instinct afer a while. One thing I have learned about many Iraqis I have come across and observed is that they have developed an incredible skill at lying and duplicity, especially among themselves. More skills that come from a survival instinct I suppose, and one they have had to practice for a long, long time. Some have honed that skill beyond their capacity to use it and lie to themselves. You can see that without being a mind reader.

beentherenowback said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Truth teller said...

To the commentator on this blog.

I told you that I will delete any non sence and offinsive comments. I found the comments of both dan and mostazaf are non sence. In addition they insult Islam, the thing I will never allow to take place in my blog.
It looked to me as if they are just wasting time in their comment.

I will delete all their comments, the present and the future if any.
Dan, mostazaf you both are unwelcome here, found an other place to enjoy your selves.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Hurria,

No doubt Bruno will have something to say. He is one of the more wordier commenters around.

Beentherenowback,

I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your service. You and others like you have been working very hard. I want you to know that we really appreciate your efforts. I'm glad to hear you are back home safe.

Some of them resented my presence greatly and weren't shy about expressing that..."

Yes, and that is the difference between us and Saddam. If anyone expressed any disapproval of him or his policies it was likely to earn them a bullet.

Welcome home, Beentherenowback.

Hurria said...

"Hurria, dont play cheap word games with me."

As long as you continue to define as "cheap word games" insisting upon the correct meaning and usage of words, you can rest assured that i will continue to play "cheap word games".

"In the 21st century, only a state that has been created with the consent of the governed, is a legitimate state."

I would like to know more about this principle. What is your legal, historical, and logical basis for it? Please cite the specific applicable international convention(s), statute(s), decision(s), and legal opinion(s). Please provide historical sources for this as well.

"I dont care what your cheap definitions are..."

I am afraid that my "cheap definitions" are the universally agreed upon and accepted definitions - you know, the ones that appear in all the dictionaries, law books, legal opinions, etc.

"unless the state is legitimate, it is not a sovereign state."

What is your legal, historical, and logical basis for this statement? What makes a state legitimate?

"Territory is immaterial. A state could be on borrowed territory, but if legitimate, it can be sovereign."

How interesting! I would love to see information on tne legal and historical basis for this. I would also love to see a list of the legitimate, sovereign states that exist or have existed on borrowed territory.

"Saddam's state was not legitimate, and hence was not sovereign."

This is a unique take indeed on the applicable definition and concept of state.

"An illegitimate state is fair game for overthrow, either by the people, or by an outside force."

What is your legal and historical basis for this. Who decides whether a state is illegitimate and therefore "fair game for overthrow". I am particularly interested in this one, because it appears to fly in the face of all the applicable customary law, treaty law, and principles governing intenational relations.

"It is the people that bestows statehood and legitimacy by their consent. "

Your legal and historical basis, please - and please provide specific citations.

"A criminal does not have the right to be free. Neither does a criminal state, such as Saddam's."

Once again quite a fascinating take on the definition and concept of state. And fascinating, if rather incoherent, logic, too.

"So your "sovereign territory" that persecutes its citizens is not so."

More fascinating, if incoherent, thinking. Territory cannot persecute anyone or anything.

"That is why the US invasion, or in the case of Afghanistan the UN authorized invasion are not only legitiimate but commendable."

You know, I strongly recommend that you put together your legal, historic, and logical documentation for this, and present it to the Bush administration. They keep running out of pretexts and rationalizations for their actions in Iraq, and even they have not tried this one yet!

"Of course because of your ignorance, you would not have the faintest idea that people have the right to self-determination, and that is the basis of the formation of the state."

Oh, on the contrary, I have the strongest possible idea about self-determination. That is why I have been from the beginning adamantly opposed to a foreign power using massive deadly and destructive force to impose its presence and its military, political, economic, social, and cultural will on another country.

As for the basis of the formation of the state, I also have a very clear idea of that, too, and it is obvious that you do not even understand the concept of a state, let alone the basis of its formation.

"...you can take that and shove it up somewhere that the sun does not shine."

What a strong, intelligent, mature - and relevant - argument!

Hurria said...

"Hurria, could you please tell me what your job is?"

No, I will not.

"I am pretty sure that you are an isolated individual detached form working society, emigrant to the west (just like me), but you would be on the welfare rolls, free loading and sucking up on taxpayer's money, and contributing nothing of value to society."

Wow! You must have a crystal ball to have such a complete and accurate idea of me and my life!

"Have you everh held a real job with the private sector in your life?"

Oh, gosh no! How could I? After all, as you so accurately pointed out earlier, I am illiterate, so who would hire me? (Of course, being illiterate, it is difficult to explain how I can read and write things here, but I am sure little details like that don't bother you.)

"As you can see, I am not asking for any identifiable or private information."

And I cannot tell you how grateful I am.

"Please do not feel too embarrassed to reply."

Oh, I am not. My life is an open book, and you have already described me perfectly anyway, so there's no point in pretending.

Hurria said...

"Hurria, could you please tell me what your job is?"

No, I will not.

"I am pretty sure that you are an isolated individual detached form working society, emigrant to the west (just like me), but you would be on the welfare rolls, free loading and sucking up on taxpayer's money, and contributing nothing of value to society."

Wow! You must have a crystal ball to have such a complete and accurate idea of me and my life!

"Have you everh held a real job with the private sector in your life?"

Oh, gosh no! How could I? After all, as you so accurately pointed out earlier, I am illiterate, so who would hire me? (Of course, being illiterate, it is difficult to explain how I can read and write things here, but I am sure little details like that don't bother you.)

"As you can see, I am not asking for any identifiable or private information."

And I cannot tell you how grateful I am.

"Please do not feel too embarrassed to reply."

Oh, I am not. My life is an open book, and you have already described me perfectly anyway, so there's no point in pretending.

Hurria said...

"I suppose it wouldn't take a lot of imagination to think of some ways to verify translations or to know what certain 'friendly' Iraqis say when they are suspect;"

I suppose all it would really take is a knowledge of Arabic - something that your brilliant leaders thought was unnecessary to achieve a forceable takeover and transformation of an Arabic speaking country.

"and there may be ways your own imagination can't come up with. We have a friend we like to call 'technology'."

In other words, you are blowing smoke and have no clue what you are talking about. And you have no clue what those Iraqis who just loooooove you and are soooo grateful to your face are saying to each other about you right in front of your faces. It's a sure thing you don't have a clue what they are saying when you aren't around!

Hurria said...

"It is obvious that you are not interested in truth or international discussion."

LOOOOOOOOOOL!!!!!!!!

strykerdad said...
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Lynnette in Minnesota said...

That is why I have been from the beginning adamantly opposed to a foreign power using massive deadly and destructive force to impose its presence and its military, political, economic, social, and cultural will on another country.

So, we are to assume that you lodged a protest with Saddam when he invaded Kuwait?

Hurria said...

For the record, Lynette, of course I was opposed to the invasion of Kuwait, on much the same grounds as I was and am opposed to the U.S. invastion of Iraq, particularly given that the two invasions had much the same purpose. I was also opposed to the invasion of Iran.

strykerdad said...
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madtom said...

"Lynette,

I am sure Bruno will be able to point out to you very clearly why the excerpt you posted above in no way autorizes the unilateral establishment of no-fly zones by any member state, including the U.S., let alone regular bombing runs on the part of the U.S.
"

Thanks Lynette for posting the Text, but the question is a straw man, where is it written that we are dependent on the UN to defend our rights, our allies, and our interest from the aggressor. Iraq found us, we have to ask where was saddam's UN resolution? Or is it only the US that is required to have one.

strykerdad said...
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waldschrat said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
waldschrat said...

War sucks. Politics sucks.

Perhaps this is a suitable dirge for the times:

Lakes of Pontchartrain

Bruno said...

Lynette --

I appreciate that your efforts amply exceed those of the great bulk of the war groupies, who have not even read (or heard of) the relevant Resolutions, much less attempted to conduct an analysis of them. Nevertheless, I fear that your conclusions are still incorrect.

Let’s take it from the top.

(1) The Resolution is the legal property of the UNSC. This means that action taken on the behalf of the UN is a collective, consensus effort, not the results of any yahoo member that takes it upon itself to interpret and act on resolutions at will.

(2) The line “Conscious further of the importance of achieving the objectives noted above using all available means” that you quoted is incomplete. The complete line has “including a dialogue among the States of the region,” appended to it. I would hate to imagine some sort of intellectual dishonesty upon your part, so let’s assume it was an oversight.

Please note that this is NOT a specific declaration to ensure compliance by force – it is an affirmation to keep the option of force, amongst other options, on the table.

Now, if we examine the document further, we see that the line

“. Affirms all thirteen resolutions noted above, except as expressly changed below to achieve the goals of this resolution, including a formal cease-fire;”

supercedes any intention of the further use of force, given that in the text after it there is point 8 which refers to the key disputed objectives of your incomplete line, and point 9 which details specifically as to HOW point 8 (disarmament of Iraq in respect of NBC weapons) is to be carried out. This specific action calls for a Special Commission consisting of inspectors etc to ensure compliance. It says NOTHING of either no-fly zones or continued bombing.

On the contrary, the resolution takes pains to affirm Iraqi sovereignty and the inviolability of it’s border in paragraph A4 :

“4. Decides to guarantee the inviolability of the above-mentioned international boundary and to take as appropriate all necessary measures to that end in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations;”

Logically IF Iraqi compliance was linked to the use of force IN THIS SPECIFIC RESOLUTION – this line would have a caveat authorising continued hostilities if Iraq was not in compliance.

Again, line 34 “34. Decides to remain seized of the matter and to take such further steps as may be required for the implementation of the present resolution and to secure peace and security in the area.”

Clearly states that the UNSC reserves the OPTION to take ‘further steps’ but it does NOT detail what such steps are. Hence, and I repeat, a further UNSC resolution would be required to authorise force and the aims of that application of force.

Which is incidentally, substantiated (logically speaking) through the US trying to get use of force authorised in Resolution 1441 through the inclusion of a ‘trigger clause’ - a de facto admission that Resolution 687 was insufficient. As we all know, there was no such trigger clause included, which is why the US further wanted to pass the so called “second resolution” which would have been Res. 1442, which would have found Iraq in material breach of 1441 and which would have authorised the implementation of the threats of 1441.

Here ends, I trust, any further argument on the legality of the NFZ and the Iraqi war with respects to the United Nations specifically.

Lynette, you can argue for (and I will contest it) a moral or humanitarian need for the NFZ or war against Iraq, but legally speaking, you are flogging a dead horse.

Bruno said...

Beentherenowback --

[Btnb] “Those who really wish to effect change and do good for common Iraqis will find it can be a powerful way. You don't even have to like us, just be pragmatic and willing to do what you can.”

The problem here is that ‘doing what one can’ – ie – working for the Occupation – will inevitably contribute to the eventual enslavement of Iraq to the US and it’s corporate interests. I truly pity those Iraqis who - through the dismantling of the Iraqi government and bureaucracy by the US – are forced through economic necessity to work with the Occupation, thereby becoming targets. The sooner the US leaves, the better.


Hurria --

Beentherenowback said “We have a friend we like to call 'technology'.”

I’m imagining that he’s referring to some sort of speech translation device, such as those programs which allow one to communicate with computers. (Dragon’s “naturally speaking” comes to mind.) One the other hand, this software is notoriously finicky and difficult to set up even for an individual user … allow me to express my DEEP scepticism of the efficiency of an automated Arabic translator that is able to understand multiple individuals , not to mention the different accents and dialects.

Bruno said...

Beentherenowback --

[Btnb] “Those who really wish to effect change and do good for common Iraqis will find it can be a powerful way. You don't even have to like us, just be pragmatic and willing to do what you can.”

The problem here is that ‘doing what one can’ – ie – working for the Occupation – will inevitably contribute to the eventual enslavement of Iraq to the US and it’s corporate interests. I truly pity those Iraqis who - through the dismantling of the Iraqi government and bureaucracy by the US – are forced through economic necessity to work with the Occupation, thereby becoming targets. The sooner the US leaves, the better.


Hurria --

Beentherenowback said “We have a friend we like to call 'technology'.”

I’m imagining that he’s referring to some sort of speech translation device, such as those programs which allow one to communicate with computers. (Dragon’s “naturally speaking” comes to mind.) One the other hand, this software is notoriously finicky and difficult to set up even for an individual user … allow me to express my DEEP scepticism of the efficiency of an automated Arabic translator that is able to understand multiple individuals , not to mention the different accents and dialects.

Bruno said...

agh!Sorry about the double post.

Bruno said...

[strykerdad]

[bruno] Driving a VBIED into a US convoy would be a far more profitable way to die.

Strykerdad “[...] But really, why would a person driving a bomb laden vehicle attack non-military persons when military targets abound? [...] An attack on civilians is certainly more likely to be 'successful' as they are defenseless targets. A successful attack on a military target is less likely to have any lasting effect [...] So those responsible must think they can influence the ongoing politcal process though terror inflicted on the Iraqi people”


I’m sorry, but I disagree strongly with your conclusions. Attacking a bunch of civilians sends absolutely no message to anybody. Now, if these people were being hired to build an American base, it would make more sense, as at least there would be some sort of rationale behind the action. As far as I can tell, the attack was on a common labour point with no particular affiliation.

Who would profit from such an action? Not the legitimate Resistance, since such an indiscriminate attack simply blackens the name of those fighting for freedom.

Some people say the attack was designed to provoke sectarian warfare amongst Iraqis.

Let’s be honest – that’s just a dumb way of liberating your country. If Sunni and Shia start fighting one another, the only people to benefit would be those who want to impose a stark choice on Iraqis – that you are either with us or against us. The only people with this sort of motivation are the Americans or Al Qaeda. To me, the US and bin Laden are two faces of the same coin at this point in time.

The way to defeat the US is simple: keep up the attacks on convoys and soldiers, and keep killing the Iraqi intelligence apparatus that would collaborate with them. Without tame Iraqi snitches, the US is nothing more than a blind giant blundering about the countryside. Oh, and also keep the oil exports reduced to a trickle, so that every penny used to sustain this war comes from American pockets.

Killing innocent civilians contributes absolutely nothing to the eventual aim of a free Iraq. In fact, it is counterproductive, since it has the same effect that US killings of Iraqis has – it turns people against them. I wonder who was really responsible for this event.

As for the story of the drugged up child molesters, I file that straight under ‘US Propaganda for Dumb People”. The same as the mythical Kuwaiti babies ripped from incubators by Iraqi troops, and the same as Hussein’s people – eating wood chipper. I suggest you read Cockburn’s “Say, waiter, where’s the blood on my margerita?” for more background to the American way of psyops (psychological operations).


Oh, and as an afterthought, please note that these sentiments do not necessarily reflect the position of either the blog owner or other commentators.

Hurria said...

Bruno,

Yes, I imagine that fellow was talking about some sort of electronic translator. It's a close contest as to whether that or the incompetent American "linguists" would make a bigger botch of the job.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Hurria,

You are very eloquent in your comments here regarding our actions. Therefore, I was interested in what your actions were when Saddam invaded Kuwait. In what way did you show your displeasure with his actions?

Madtom,

"...where is it written that we are dependent on the UN to defend our rights, our allies, and our interest from the aggressor."

Actually I would argue that the UN is the one who is dependent upon US for any sort of material action on it's resolutions. But, Bruno's question was regarding the source for something I had posted and I was simply trying to answer him on that point.

Waldschrat,

Thank you for the song. It was beautiful. We can only hope that New Orleans and the Gulf coast will come back stronger and better than before. Yes, and Iraq and Afghanistan too. If you haven't heard about him there is a blogger who was posting through the entire hurricane and it's aftermath. His address is: mgno.com

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Bruno,

As you, I am sure, noticed I did not copy the entire text of the resolution. It was for the sake of brevity only. The end of the line: "including a dialogue among the States of the region," was not something that you were questioning the legality of, so I did not include it. No ulterior motive on my part.

You are right I would argue a humanitarian need, and we will not agree. But this document was written as a cease-fire agreement. Section 32 states:

32. Requires Iraq to inform the Security Council that it will not commit or support any act of international terrorism or allow any organization directed towards commission of such acts to operate within its territory and to condemn unequivocally and renounce all acts, methods and practices of
terrorism;


I would argue that his actions amounted to terrorism within the country of Iraq when he allowed his military to crush the Shia's in the south and the Kurd's in the north. Saddam abrogated the cease-fire agreement.

strykerdad said...
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Hurria said...

"I was interested in what your actions were when Saddam invaded Kuwait. In what way did you show your displeasure with his actions?"

How would YOU have shown your displeasure, Lynette, if YOU had been an Iraqi living in Iraq at that time?

madtom said...

"How would YOU have shown your displeasure, Lynette, if YOU had been an Iraqi living in Iraq at that time?"

<sarcasm> She would have written about it on her blog. Like you are doing here today. You yourself have told us how there is less freedom in Iraq today, than under saddam, so there should have been no problem with expressing her "displeasure".</sarcasm>

Hurria said...

Tom, do you really think that the freedom to post comments on a blog is the only freedom that matters? Do you think it is even the most important freedom? I assure you that as freedoms go it is way, way, waaaaay down the list.

The freedoms that Iraqis have lost thanks you your government are much more basic than the freedom to post on a blog, believe me.

And by the way, Iraqis are not even really free to post on blogs, as Khalid Jarrar and his family found out recently in a most terrible and frightening way. Even in idealized Kurdistan, in reality run by two competing mafiocracies, freedom of speech is little more than a nice-sounding slogan to be spouted for P.R. purposes.

But, Tom, even if Iraqis did indeed and in fact have true freedom of speech, that is absolutely worthless when you do not even have the freedom to sleep safely in your house, or drive on the streets, or walk to the store, or wear what you like, or provide the goods and services you have always provided.

madtom said...

"The freedoms that Iraqis have lost thanks you your government are much more basic than the freedom to post on a blog, believe me...But, Tom, even if Iraqis did indeed and in fact have true freedom of speech, that is absolutely worthless when you do not even have the freedom to sleep safely in your house, or drive on the streets, or walk to the store, or wear what you like, or provide the goods and services you have always provided."

I beg to differ. The freedom of expression is crucial to the maintenance of any democracy, without it non of the other "basic" freedoms are even remotely possible. Oh and the Idea that Iraq is now free is another strawman from you. I have never made that claim. I mean that useless draft is not even ratified yet, and the WAR still rages. Those freedoms are a promise of democracy, a democracy which we can help willing Iraqis "build". It's not something that comes out of a bottle, or the muzzle of a gun. When you complain that those promised freedoms are useless to the Iraqi's, you speak about something to which they have not even tasted yet. How can they know if they will like it or not if they have not had even a chance to experience life under such a system? Yet even under the circumstance of fierce war, the freedoms of expression are of such paramount necessity that they go before the democratic revolution. We could have had an easier time during this war had we just left the Ministry of Information in place, peopled by our puppets. Yet we chose to bring the basic and most powerful communication tool available to us. This tool allows for great people like our host TT to post completely anonymous postings to the world, and for us readers to react, with no, or at least minimal supervision from any authority.

Moron99 said...
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Moron99 said...

"In the 21st century, only a state that has been created with the consent of the governed, is a legitimate state."

to which Hurria responded:

I would like to know more about this principle. What is your legal, historical, and logical basis for it? Please cite the specific applicable international convention(s), statute(s), decision(s), and legal opinion(s). Please provide historical sources for this as well.

to which I respond:
You should definitely do so if you have the time. It is the very heart and soul of what the occuppiers and many in your government and ISF are fighting for. Yes, you are right, there are many who work for other goals, pursue other agendas, or only care about grabbing wealth. But nothing in life is pure good or pure evil. As you know, not even Saddam was all bad. So, yes. You should learn more. This concept is a central and critical part of the war that rages in your country.

strykerdad said...
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Bruno said...

Lynette –


LOL! Persistent, aren’t you?

OK, look, for the third and final time, in caps for those who are hard of hearing:

THE 1991 CEASEFIRE AGREEMENT WAS THE LEGAL PROPERTY OF THE * UN * AND *NOT * THE US.

The UN is the final arbiter of whether the Ceasefire was broken or not, and what action ought to be taken. NOT THE UNITED STATES. I don’t care if Saddam had, in fact, kept all his NBC weaponry and had called for an International Terrorist Conference in Baghdad – legally speaking, it would have been up to the UN to declare him in material breach of the Ceasefire AND to stipulate what action was to be taken.

You have argued that Res. 687 called for continued use of force. It clearly does not. What it does, at most, is to reserve the use of force as one of many future options to pick from. Or more precisely, for the UN to pick from.


Now, you claim that the quelling of the insurrections by Saddam constitutes an act of terror and hence a breach of the Ceasefire, and hence allows the US to take action – ASSUMING – please note the ‘assuming’ - that it could legally do so, without UN sanction. Alright, that was quite a nasty time. Perhaps you have a case on that score.

Let’s flip the scenario over. Iraq drops thousands of leaflets over American cities calling for the people to overthrow their oppressors, and promises to aid them in doing so. Half the people in the US riot on the streets in response and the military is called in to restore order. Tell me, would that be viewed as an act of war by the US?

YES OF COURSE IT WOULD.

If you see the suppression of the rebellion as state terrorism (and you could make a case for that – just ask the US Southern states about Gen. Sherman.) then this fact cannot be divorced from the fact that the US breached the Ceasefire by promoting violence and sedition within Iraq by calling for insurrection.

This itself is a breach of the Ceasefire.

So, really, who started it, huh?

Bruno said...

Madtom --

[mt] “We could have had an easier time during this war had we just left the Ministry of Information in place, peopled by our puppets.”

I’m assuming that you read my reply to Moustafaz concerning media freedom, as well as the excerpt detailing how journalists must adhere to the ‘government line’ or else. Again, I repeat: Iraqis are free to write what they like, so long as it does not contradict the official line. Alternative media like Al Jazeera are banned because they cannot be controlled.

Blogs like Truth teller’s are a different proposition. Controlling blogs is both virtually impossible and a waste of time. Impossible because there are so many of them, and a waste of time because their audience is relatively limited in comparison to traditional print and televised media. Take Raed’s blog for example, probably the biggest Iraqi blog judging by the number of comments. He has reached a million or so hits in a over a year. This is actually nothing if one compares it to print media which reach that number daily, or televised media which can reach tens or hundreds of millions daily. This means that the truth is restricted to a small circle of people who actively search it out; the majority of people drink the kool-aid peddled by the MSM which is controlled by people like Murdoch et al. What I’m saying is, blogs are too small a concern to worry about.

Bruno said...

Moron99 –

My God! A balanced sort of opinion from M99!

Can this really be the same fanatic M99 we all know?

*rubs eyes*

Nope, it’s still there.

;)

waldschrat said...

This struck my eye, perhaps it will interest others:

--------------------------------------------
Egypt-Gaza Border
Open for Business

Associated Press
September 13, 2005 9:48 p.m.

RAFAH, Gaza Strip -- The Egypt-Gaza border was open for business Tuesday: cheap cigarettes, live goats and Egyptian tourists flooded into Gaza, and Gazans celebrating their new freedom rushed to Egyptian seaside resorts.

Any semblance of order along the once heavily guarded frontier disintegrated a day after Israeli troops left Gaza after 38 years.

Israel told Egypt that it was growing concerned about possible weapons smuggling, and Palestinian police promised to begin sealing the border.

The border hopping began soon after Israel pulled out Monday as Palestinian families went to see relatives in on the Egyptian side of Rafah and boys jumped over to buy cigarettes with plans to sell them at a profit in Gaza.

But what had been a trickle turned into a torrent Tuesday as news of the lax border security spread and Palestinians from all over Gaza headed to Rafah to cross into Egypt.

Palestinians pried open doors in the massive metal security wall left by Israel and squeezed through. Thousands of others walked through gaps in the wall that Israeli tanks used to drive through. The razor wire that topped the short Egyptian wall had been mostly ripped off by Tuesday afternoon.

Fathers lifted their children over the wall, teenage boys helped push elderly women over. Palestinian girls in school uniforms walked through the Egyptian fields holding hands, while men pulled cars beside the wall and filled them with smuggled goods.

Before Israel withdrew, Egypt agreed to post 750 security officers on the border to prevent militants from smuggling advanced weapons into Gaza for use against the Jewish state. Israel and the Palestinians haven't agreed on how and where people and goods will be allowed to move between Gaza and Egypt.

Israel said it talked to Egypt about the chaos, though it understood the Egyptians hadn't yet fully deployed their border guards.

Zalman Shoval, an adviser to Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said Israel might eventually seek international monitors for the border.

"The great danger is that both people and arms could be smuggled under the unwatchful eyes of the Egyptians -- that was the whole purpose of coming to this agreement," Mr. Shoval said.

Jamal Kaed, the Palestinian commander of southern Gaza, said 1,000 Palestinian police would be sent to the border to patrol and set up roadblocks. By Tuesday afternoon, a bulldozer could be seen lifting a concrete block into place to plug a gap in the wall on the Palestinian side.

Mr. Kaed also said the Palestinian forces were seizing marijuana as well as cigarettes and food that was smuggled into Gaza.

But the border was a hectic bazaar Tuesday afternoon.

Gazans returned from Egypt with cases of cigarettes tied to the roof racks of their cars. Others came back with a list of goods that were cheaper in Egypt: children's formula, cheese, jerry cans of gasoline, huge rugs, laundry detergent, fluorescent light bulbs, blenders, nuts and cakes.

One man pushed a refrigerator over the 3-foot-high border wall and another hoisted nearly a dozen goats over as Egyptian soldiers chatted with the Gazans, occasionally searching cases of cigarettes for weapons.

At least one Rafah resident said that amid the chaos, some weapons had crossed to the Palestinian side. But there was no confirmation.

Moneychangers in Gaza did a furious business as Palestinians bought dollars to bring to Egypt.

Copyright © 2005 Associated Press

madtom said...

"The UN is the final arbiter of whether the Ceasefire was broken or not, and what action ought to be taken. NOT THE UNITED STATES."

Yea right, tell it to the pilots. I guess that when they see that their plan is being tracked by radar, or missiles fly by just missing their wings, that they are to call the UN and ask if in fact the cease fire was broken? You should write that not only in capitals but make them bold also. You need to yell so YOU can hear yourself.

" Al Jazeera are banned because they cannot be controlled."

What a lie, al-jazerra is not banned, it's watched by millions of Iraqis every day. And if blogs are so inconsequential, why were they so controlled by the last regime, and by most of the neighboring regimes, and places like Cuba. It's a lot of wasted effort for such an inconsequential thing?

Hurria said...

"In the 21st century, only a state that has been created with the consent of the governed, is a legitimate state."

to which Hurria responded:

"I would like to know more about this principle. What is your legal, historical, and logical basis for it? Please cite the specific applicable international convention(s), statute(s), decision(s), and legal opinion(s). Please provide historical sources for this as well."

Moron99:

"You should definitely do so if you have the time."

You have missed the point entirely. I was challenging the person who made this nonsensical claim to substantiate it with something outside of his own imagination. I am not going to waste my time looking for a basis for it because there is none. Furthermore, the person making the claim does not even understand the terms he is using. Now, if he had said that the only state he views as legitimate is one that has been created by the consent of the governed, then his statement would make some sense. However, I believe he would be hard pressed to name such a state.

"It is the very heart and soul of what the occuppiers and many in your government and ISF are fighting for."

More contrafactual nonsense. What these people are fighting for has nothing to do with the governed and everything to do with their own unenlightened self interest.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

"How would YOU have shown your displeasure, Lynette, if YOU had been an Iraqi living in Iraq at that time?"

lol! You ARE slippery aren't you?

But you are right that wasn't a fair question, was it? Because both you and I, and anyone else who would be honest, knows that to cross Saddam was to invite death.

"...freedom to sleep safely in your house, or drive on the streets, or walk to the store, or wear what you like, or provide the goods and services you have always provided."

Yes, these are freedoms that for certain people living in Saddam's Iraq, were granted. The little girls and boys who didn't rock the boat and did what Saddam told them to. Now, unfortunately, when Iraqi's have the temerity to want to govern themselves, those freedoms are being take away. Taken away by the remnents of Saddam's supporters, common criminals and terrorists who would capitalize on Iraq's turmoil. Those freedoms will only return if those people are defeated.

Moron99 said...

Hurria,

It is just a concept that can be neither proven nor disproven. Is a nation defined as a group of people living in a territory or as a territory within which the people live? If you examine your own preconceptions you will find an equal number of them that can be neither proven nor disproven. The idea that a nation is defined by its people is the root ideology of modern democracy.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Bruno,

Yes, I do tend to be a little stubborn.

" You have argued that Res. 687 called for continued use of force."

Actually, no, I was arguing that since there was a breach in the Cease-fire the document was made invalid. It's provisions are void. In other words, the war never ended, or maybe I should say paused.

"...the fact that the US breached the Ceasefire by promoting violence and sedition within Iraq by calling for insurrection."

But, if you are correct, that is up to the UNSC to decide, isn't it? Not for any yahoo out there.

Interesting dilemma, hmmm? What came first the chicken or the egg?

"Alright, that was quite a nasty time."

We agree on something.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

Moron99,

Welcome back.

Lynnette in Minnesota said...

"...boys jumped over to buy cigarettes with plans to sell them at a profit in Gaza"

Don't they know those things can kill you?

Truth teller said...

Sorry Huria I deleted your post accidentally.
Here is a copy of Hurria post

(( "It is just a concept that can be neither proven nor disproven."

No, it is nothing more than an opinion that has no legal, historical or logical basis. In fact it has no basis whatsoever in anything resembling reality.

"Is a nation defined as a group of people living in a territory or as a territory within which the people live?

Irrelevant to the discussion. The discussion was about neither nation nor territory. The issue under discussion was the legal issue of what determines the legitimacy of a state.

"If you examine your own preconceptions you will find an equal number of them that can be neither proven nor disproven."

Irrelevant to the topic of the discussion. The topic is states and the legal basis for their legitimacy.

"The idea that a nation is defined by its people is the root ideology of modern democracy."

Irrelevant to the topic. The topic was not the ideology of modern democracy, but the legal and historical basis for the legitimacy of states.

Try again, and this time see if you can actually come up with a relevant argument. ))



Sorry again.

Hurria said...

"You ARE slippery aren't you?"

No, I am not slippery. You are the one who tried - and failed - to be slippery with your very clumsy "trick question".

Hurria: "...freedom to sleep safely in your house, or drive on the streets, or walk to the store, or wear what you like, or provide the goods and services you have always provided."

Lunette "these are freedoms that for certain people living in Saddam's Iraq, were granted."

Only in your propaganda-soaked mind Lynette. In reality they are freedoms which the overwhelming majority of Iraqis had prior to "liberation", and which they do not have now. Even at the worst of times in "Saddam's Iraq" as you call it, the average Iraqi had some semblance of normal life. Now, thanks to your government, there is no semblance of normal life for anyone, and Iraqis who originally welcomed the U.S. as liberators are looking back on Saddam's time as the good old days.

"The little girls and boys who didn't rock the boat and did what Saddam told them to."

More from your propaganda-soaked mind. It is just amazing the way people who have never set foot in Iraq, and most likely could not locate it even today on an unlabeled map are sure they know more than do Iraqis who have actual direct experience of the place and time.

"Now, unfortunately, when Iraqi's have the temerity to want to govern themselves, those freedoms are being take away."

Even more ironic that they are being taken away by the policies and actions of the very people who insist they are liberators.

"Taken away by the remnents of Saddam's supporters, common criminals and terrorists who would capitalize on Iraq's turmoil."

Ah yes - the mythical "remnents (sic) of Saddam's supporters"! You gotta love the persistence inherent in the propaganda-soaked crowd!

It is certainly true that common criminals and "terrorists", which were never a major problem at any time in Iraq's history prior to March, 2003, are capitalizing big time on the turmoil in Iraq. And who exactly has created and has determinedly and constantly exacerbated this turmoil? Who has created a nice, nurturing environment in which these common criminals and terrorists not only operate freely, but thrive and increase? Who has failed utterly to control these common criminals and terrorists, and has completely abdicated their legal and moral responsibility as the occupying power to protect the population from them (something Saddam did very effectively, by the way)?

"Those freedoms will only return if those people are defeated."

American forces are still responsible for the overwhelming majority and greatest magnitude of deadly and destructive violence. It is their bombs, not those of the mythical "Saddam supporter remnents (sic)", criminals, and terrorists that Iraqis fear will demolish their homes over their heads while they are sleeping. It is their goons who break into people's houses on weak or no evidence at 3:00 in the morning, terrorizing their families, wreaking havoc, stealing money, jewelry, and "souvenirs" . It is they who have bombed entire towns and cities to rubble, turning hundreds of thousands of Iraqis into permanent refugees. It is they who make indiscriminate arrests with the result that - according to the U.S. military - 75-90% of all the people they have imprisoned are completely innocent. It is they who have subjected tens of thousands of mostly innocent Iraqis to false imprisonment, humiliation, severe abuse, torture, rape, and even death.

And it is they who created and who continue to mantain the conditions that allow the criminals and the terrorists to wreak their own, far lesser but still significant havoc.

Iraqis will not have any chance at anything resembling a normal life until the Americans are gone - not just a "drawdown of forces", and not even just a complete pullout of forces, but the complete removal of all official U.S. presence.

Truth teller said...

I noticed just now that all the posts by Strykerdad has been deleted, there is a note say "This post has been removed by the author." That mean they are deleted by some one who know Strykerdad password.
Last time strykerdad said that some body has an access to his password and deleted his posts without his knowledge. I hope this didn't happened again.

Strykerdad, did you delete your comments? Or some one else?

Hurria said...

TT, do not worry about accidentally deleting my post. I guess you had a lot to delete, and it is easy to make a mistake. Thanks for putting it back akhi.

strykerdad said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
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