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News Saddam can not win in a military confrontation

  1. Mar 19, 2003 #1
    In the face of certain defeat and the deaths of may Iraqis, Saddam Hussein has been offered an alternative. Give yourself up and the US will not make war on your country.

    If Saddam truly cared about his people, he would leave the country, thus sparing the Iraqi people death and destruction.

    Saddam can not win in a military confrontation with the US. EVERYONE knows this including Saddam. Yet he willingly allows his people to die and suffer because he won't give up power.

    Saddam's resistance is proof that he does not care about his people.

    Whether the US is right or wrong in it's decision to attack Iraq, Saddams decision to resist, at the cost of Iraqi lives, can not be defended.
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 4, 2013
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 19, 2003 #2


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    I've been wondering just what he's thinking. Dictators, particularly the sadistic ones, often have little idea about what is going on around them. Their own intelligence people won't risk giving them bad news. Even now he could be convinced that the US won't invade without UN support. He might actually believe his own propaganda that we have no stomach for casualties. He might think that if faced with killing many Iraqi civilians just to get at him, we'll stop.

    He might have a couple of nuclear weapons. He could use one against an advancing army, and threaten to use the other in Baghdad if we enter the city in force. That might even work.

    There is some explanation why he chose not to cooperate with the UN. Some possibilities:

    1. He is just plain dumb/nuts. I don't think he could stay in power if this were true.

    2. He thought the US would accept his gestures as compliance.

    3. He thought the US would not invade without UN approval.

    4. He thinks his forces can inflict sufficient harm on the US to make us stop attacking.

    5. He thinks we will stop attacking if the civilian casualties are very high.

    6. He does not think he can retain power without WMD's.

    7. He thought we would attack regardless of cooperation.

    8. Life is not worth living without WMD's.

    9. He has nuclear weapons, and can use them to keep power.

    My bet is on 2,3,5 and 6.

  4. Mar 19, 2003 #3
    Sorry but this is one of the most dumbest "proofs" i've ever heard.
    Having said that I owe you an explanation of course:

    Let's put it in a question:
    Would G.W. Bush resign and leave America if, for some reason (starting a non UN sanctified war for instance), the UN security council would decide that he poses a threat to world peace?? Would he do it if he knew that by resigning he could prevent WW III??

    I don't think that under any circumstance a US president would do the exact same thing as Bush asks Saddam to do.

    Lets face it: I don't think there is any president/king/dictator in the whole world who would seriously think about doing this. Not because he doesn't think about his people, but simply because it is a very silly request.
  5. Mar 19, 2003 #4

    Tom Mattson

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    Ah, but there's a key element from Alias' proof missing in your scenario:

    Even if the entire world were to gang up on the US, the above condition would not hold.
  6. Mar 19, 2003 #5
    If Saddam resigns after the request of US this will mean that that US rules Saddam (therfore Iraq), and this will not be accepted.
  7. Mar 19, 2003 #6
    Did we need more proof that we don't like Saddam Hussien? And what does our opinion of him have to carpet bomb Iraq? He doesn't care about his people...but neither does Bush.
  8. Mar 19, 2003 #7


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    Alias, your proof is nice and logical and makes a lot of sense but is IRRELEVANT. You miss the key issue here: Criminal dictators are not rational or caring people. Their brains simply don't work the way yours and mine do.

    Does he care about the Iraqi people? I doubt the question has ever even entered his head. Its simply not relevant to him.

    Does he know he can't win? A dictator is omnipotent. He knows he WILL win. I don't know if you have heard any of his quotes on the first gulf war, but he truly does believe he won: he survived, therefore he won.

    Did he even decide to resist? The word "decide" implies alternatives. It has never even entered his head that there are alternatives.

    This of course is the reaon we have such a problem with the UN right now. EVERYONE misses this point. They assume Saddam is rational, therefore we must negotiate with him and pursue diplomacy. Because it really is true that if both sides are rational then a compromise CAN be reached. This extends to the war on terrorism as well. You CANNOT negotiate with an irrational enemy. You can only destroy him before he destroys you.
  9. Mar 19, 2003 #8


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    Editorial comment:
    "Carpet bombing" is a term thrown around by pacifists who don't understand war. It is not a tactic that has been used by the US since Vietnam for three reasons: it is ineffective, inefficient, and it causes too much collateral damage. Once precision guided weapons were developed and it became politically unpopular to kill civilians (not to mention morally wrong), we abbandoned it.

    We are NOT going to carpet bomb iraq.

    Note: a similar tactic was used a little in Afghanistan where large quantites of unguided bombs were dropped on caves. At best this was a scare tactic, at worst a futile shot in the dark. But either way it is not the same as carpet bombing.
  10. Mar 19, 2003 #9


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    Sorry, another editorial comment:
    No comment required.
  11. Mar 19, 2003 #10
    You may want to watch your own terms...who said I was a pacifist? I've been reading a report about a new bomb with teh concussive force of a nuke..ok, not carpet bombing,. but not exactly a precision bombing either. The roports of accurate bombing that will produce minimal civilians are pretty much lies...I know, I was in the Marines.

    A truly humanitarian effort for teh sake of the Iraq people would involve clearing a few blocks at a time with ground troops, not hundreds of cruise missles, and lots of bomber sorties.
  12. Mar 19, 2003 #11
    What do you think a daisy cutter does????

    A weapon which WAS used in afghanistan and WILL be used in Iraq
  13. Mar 19, 2003 #12
    Ahhh but just today russia has decided that they are going to keep the 2200 Nukes. I suppose that will suffice to defeat the states (Ok, and the rest of this planet with it)
  14. Mar 19, 2003 #13
    I don't understand how you came to that conclusion. There are several other nations with nuclear weapons, as well as lots of other weapons. There are US Citizens all around the world that would have to make it back to the USA to have any semblance of security.
    We have the largest, most powerful military, and maybe we could defeat the entire rest of the world, but not without huge losses.
  15. Mar 19, 2003 #14


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    Carpet bombing is a tactic where you drop large quantites of unguided bombs on a city. The daisy cutter was used against CAVES. Not a lot of civilians on a mountain in caves. We won't be dropping a daisy cutter or MOAB on Bagdhad.

    Thats nice. I was in the Navy. Did you read about our bombing efficiency in Afghanistan as compared to the first gulf war? And WHY it was so much more efficient? We used very few unguided bombs in Afghanistan and we will use very few in Iraq.
  16. Mar 19, 2003 #15


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    Here's something my dad sent out to our family egroups yesterday. I liked it so much ... I had to share it with all of you.

    Most of you will be familiar with the syndicated comic strip "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Watterson.
    Calvin the vitriolic kid and Hobbes the gentle "Tiger" are walking along a muddy patch.

    Calvin goes on one of his monologues:
    " I don't believe in ethics any more . As far as I am concerned the ends justify the means
    Get what you can while the going's good - that's what I say.
    Might makes right! The winners write the history books!
    It's a dog-eat-dog world, so I will do whatever I have to. And let others argue about whether it's right or not. "

    At this point Hobbes, walking behind, pushes Calvin out of his way into the muddy ground.

    The mud covered Calvin screams, " Why'd you do that?!"

    Hobbes explains calmly " You were in my way. Now you are not. The ends justify the means."

    Calvin screams, " I did'nt mean for everyone, you Dolt! Just me! "

    " Ahh... " smirks Hobbes.

    Now why did the above strip come to my mind yesterday while watching the world news?

    And why do I keep thinking that Calvin's first name is George?

    - S.
  17. Mar 19, 2003 #16


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    Calvin and Hobbes could be the single most thought provoking comic strip ever. A philosophy comic strip. Amazing. Most people don't even realize who Calivn and Hobbes are...

    Anyway, the concept you are talking about is "utilitarianism." The idea is comparing an immoral means to a moral end to see if they are compatible. Its a decent theory, but it doesn't cover all situations and it generally doesn't provide a definite criteria for deciding if something is moral or not: Do the ends justify the means? Maybe, and maybe not. There are other better moral criteria, but the utilitarian one is a simple and still useful one.

    So applied to the current situation, does the ends justify the means? What is the "ends" and what are the "means"? Are the "ends" moral and the "means" immoral?

    I'd guess many people consider war to be immoral. Is it really? Is there EVER a moral reason to go to war? Self defense? Defense of others?

    I'm asking a lot of questions and not giving a lot of answers....in due time.
  18. Mar 20, 2003 #17


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    Quite often the ends do justify the means. People like to use trite phrases as if they were convincing arguments, with unfortunately effective results. It is wrong to shove people around, to shoot them of to cut them open. Is it wrong to shove someone out of the way of a moving car? Is it wrong to shoot a maniac before he shoots into a crowd of people? Is it wrong to cut someone open in order to remove an inflamed appendix? IN all these cases otherwise unacceptable harm is inflicted, except that the end justifies the means.

  19. Mar 20, 2003 #18
    Hello to this sparkling and clean forum. When I heard the ultimatum against Saddam and his sons on Monday, the first thought that went through my mind was.
    "Bush has given an ultimatum that he knows won't be fufilled, therefore he has an excuse to go to war".
    As heumpje mentions very few leaders (especially leaders voted with 100% of the vote ) would capitulate to such a demand. It was chosen because they knew it was not going to be fullfilled. Now the Bush administration can say, "We did not start the war, Saddam could have saved himself and Iraq." So in my view it is not proof at all.

  20. Mar 20, 2003 #19


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    A demand like that is not meant to be proof of anything other than that we provided alternatives (which we have been doing for 12 years).

    Saddam COULD have prevented this. Was it reasonable to expect he would? No. What does that say about diplomacy? It was UNreasonable to expect diplomacy would work. After 12 years of failure, we had enough.
  21. Mar 31, 2003 #20


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    Sometimes asking the right questions is far more important than providing answers. Also, its silly to expect us (humans) to have figured out many of the answers.

    More basic than the question whether or not war/killing is moral is the question of what morality is all about.
    What constitutes morality ? How did it evolve ? With what objectives in mind ?
    No behaviour can be judged independent of certain basic objectives or functions to be optimised. What we currently consider innate morality or ethics is innate concepts and strategies for reciprocal altruism, cheat detection etc.
    And the default objective was maximising gene propogation.

    - S
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