Two world maps: The mission and the popular vote.

  • #51
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CaptainQuasar:
which is one of the major reasons why the Iraq War was completely unjustified and the Bush administration had to fabricate intelligence to get anyone to go along with it.
ThomasT:
It seems that a majority of US and worldwide poll respondents view the US invasion of Iraq as a violation of international law and as being accomplished partly through lies and propaganda orchestrated by the Bush administration.
Yes, this is a fair summary. And maybe 50% of the American people would agree given the voting figures on tuesday.

If this is so, why hasn't some sort of formal investigation of this been started -- either by the US Congress or by some international group?
It probably won't happen in the US in a hurry, if at all. Not because people ( the Dems ?) don't want to do it, but because it would be too divisive at this time.

The best we can hope for is an end to an insane foreign policy driven by religious bigotry, and a return to Realpolitik.

But this is all discussed in the 'Iraq War' thread, so not strictly appropriate in this thread.
 
  • #52
To tie it all back to the original theme of the thread, these are the reasons that the election of Obama over his more hawkish opponent being favored by people around the world is not a simple matter of those foreigners being selfish. Avoiding things like precedents for preemptive war and unjust wars like the Iraq invasion are in the interest of everybody in the global community of nations, including Americans.
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  • #53
One other point on an item from mheslep's list:

-Saddam continues to fund Hamas Jihadists.
That would be the democratically-elected government of Palestine, BTW. Saddam funding them does not look any different to me from the U.S. funding and supplying weapons and military training to governments and groups all over the world who are often very nasty characters - including all the funding and weapons that probably ended up being given directly to members of Sunni death squads in Iraq! (That link goes to a posting from a liberal blog but note the direct quote from General Mixon at the bottom.)

I'm not saying that Saddam was a nice guy because of that, just that when it's something we do ourselves it obviously does not constitute some urgent justification to initiate a preemptive war.
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  • #54
mheslep
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And wait just a second, mheslep - that Richard Clarke thing you quoted says that after the Gulf War there was a nuclear program discovered by the U.N weapons inspectors that the CIA hadn't found and that hadn't been bombed during the Gulf War, a program which at that point was nine to 18 months from an initial test. That test didn't happen - so what you cite there demonstrates that the U.N. inspection program worked, which is one of the major reasons why the Iraq War was completely unjustified and the Bush administration had to fabricate intelligence to get anyone to go along with it.
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You seem to be responding to some other argument and spiralling off on a tangent. Clearly, I grabbed the readily available Clarke cloak to refute the nonsense about 'there never was a viable WMD program' in Iraq.
 
  • #55
mheslep
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That would be the democratically-elected government of Palestine, BTW.
No, there was no such government in 2003. Even so, the Hamas jihadists suicide bombers were funded by Saddam, the government or lack there of in Palestine is irrelevant.
 
  • #56
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mheslep:
Clearly, I grabbed the readily available Clarke cloak to refute the nonsense about 'there never was a viable WMD program' in Iraq.
If there ever was a WMD program, and it failed, then it was not viable. So there never was a viable WMD program. This has been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere so I rest my case.
 
  • #57
mheslep
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mheslep:

If there ever was a WMD program, and it failed, then it was not viable. So there never was a viable WMD program. This has been discussed ad nauseam elsewhere so I rest my case.
More misinformation. Go do some research and post the sources. The Iraq WMD program was stopped by the first gulf war, it did not fail.
 
  • #58
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mheslep:
The Iraq WMD program was stopped by the first gulf war, it did not fail.
That being the case, the oft repeated claims of the Bush administration on WMD are disinformation. I will grant that prior to 'desert storm' Iraq did have primitive ICBM's and probably ambitions to equip them with more deadly payloads.
 
  • #59
mheslep
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[...I will grant that prior to 'desert storm' Iraq did have primitive ICBM's and probably ambitions to equip them with more deadly payloads.
Iraq never had an InterContinental Ballistic Missile, primitive or otherwise, which is defined as a 5500km range.
 
  • #60
mheslep
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But it's not like any of those things are now impossible. Iraq has been a Congo or Rwanda for more of the time post-invasion than not - remember when they were finding groups of dozens of decapitated bodies at a time in Baghdad?
Dozens? I said Rwanda, not Chicago, Il.

CQ said:
Iraq is not the "stable and peaceful country" that McCain declared it to be a couple of months ago.
Misinformation.

CQ said:
And for another example, Iran has extended its influence in Iraq far beyond what it ever was able to do before.
Yes, there are obviously many terrible consequences to the war. Again, as Hurkyl pointed out, these points are not useful unless they're are weighed against the consequences of leaving S. Hussein in place.
CQ said:
And if they or Saudi Arabia ever decide to invade, they can now justify it based on the U.S.'s preemptive war precedent - another nice little "Russia protecting Ossetians" type scenario. We've actually already seen some degree of this with Turkish incursions into Northern Iraq against the Kurds - there's no way we could say with a straight face that we can invade Iraq but the Turks can't.
As I mentioned above, Iraq is hardly the first precedent for either a pre-emptive or preventative attack. Only Imperial Japan qualifies otherwise for the US in the last 100 years. I reject comparisons of Iraq under Hussein with the Turks/Kurds or Russia/Georgia unless and until the Turks/Russia show where the Kurds/Georgia: 1) invaded or annexed two countries, 2) committed genocide on their own inhabitants, 3) started a WMD program, 4) have dozens of UN resolutions and sanctions against them.
CQ said:
...Nor in the reduced security for Americans now or in the future. No matter what happens from now on out - not even if McCain had won the election, escalated troop levels, and remained there in force for a hundred years - no terrorist group would regard the terrorist activities and efforts in Iraq during the period of occupation as some sort of failure. Now that all of those techniques are well-polished and proven successful on a world stage terrorists all over are probably eager to accomplish the same sorts of things again.
Could you show how the wannabe terrorists would not see their efforts as a failure, how their techniques were 'proven successful' given that AQI was utterly destroyed as a coherent force? Rather, it must be seen now that if an independent actor in early post Saddam Iraq wanted a path to some self-empowerment, the only possible way to do it was to get involved in the democratic process, that joining AQI will gain you nothing in the end, instead it will surely get you dead.

I do not condone the US/Western path to the Iraq war. I do reject fallacious parallels to it and pretense that there would have been zero consequences for doing nothing except to continue the NFZ and the corrupt Oil for Food program.
 
  • #61
Right... so, anyways, regardless of cavils about the meaning of the word "viable" or which acronym to use to describe Iraq's pre-war missile technology that they probably developed at least partially with funding from the United States, it is firmly established there was no WMD program present in Iraq to justify setting a 21st-century precedent for preemptive war.
No, there was no such government in 2003. Even so, the Hamas jihadists suicide bombers were funded by Saddam, the government or lack there of in Palestine is irrelevant.
Okay, you're seriously advancing, as a benefit of the U.S. action of bombing and invading Iraq and definitely killing a minimum of 40,000-50,000 civilians to use the lowest estimates (I can't cite the U.S. military estimate, of course, because for some strange reason the U.S. policy has been to not try to estimate how many civilians in total were killed) that maybe Hamas received a little bit less funding and consequently maybe a handful fewer people were killed in the Israeli-Palestine conflict?

Dude, you're utterly scraping at the bottom of the barrel to come up with anything at all. There's just no rational way to deny that avoiding things like the Iraq War happening in the future is by far in the best interest of both the United States and the entire world.

And if that seems somehow unrelated to the rest of this discussion about why there was a great deal of overseas interest in Obama becoming president I would say that it's you who are spiraling off on tangents here.

Dozens? I said Rwanda, not Chicago, Il.
Okay... so, at a point when dozens of decapitated bodies a day were being found in Baghdad, heavily armed factions controlled various regions of the city, Sunni death squads killing Shia and Shia death squads killing Sunni, an enormous percentage of the population had fled or was fleeing to avoid the violence, people were changing their names to avoid being the "wrong" ethnicity, people were getting shot if their cell phone rang and it had a distinctively Sunni or Shia ringtone... you're saying that sort of environment is more like Chicago than Rwanda?

Iraq is not the "stable and peaceful country" that McCain declared it to be a couple of months ago.
Misinformation.
Oh, really? You wanna hear him say it? Here, at 0:50. And here's the Time Magazine interview it came from.

And by the way - declaring that to be misinformation out of hand because it conflicts with your view of the situation instead of simply requesting a citation or making sure of the facts? That would be the kind of thing that got us into this mess in Iraq. (Both of those links are in the first hit for a Google search of "stable and peaceful country mccain". And the rest of the first twenty hits at least are on this topic.)

(And I'm not saying that I'm not guilty of this kind of thing - once the war actually started I gave in and stopped arguing against it and I never should have.)

Yes, there are obviously many terrible consequences to the war. Again, as Hurkyl pointed out, these points are not useful unless they're are weighed against the consequences of leaving S. Hussein in place.
That simply is not true. We leave dictators in place all the time. We sold arms and anthrax to Saddam Hussein himself. It absolutely is not necessary to ask hypothetical questions about what would have happened if Iraq had officiated over a deadlocked UN committee, or any of the other hypotheticals you're bringing up, to figure out whether the exceptional military measure of invading and occupying a country against international convention and consensus in an action that removed a stable government from the Middle East was morally justified nor even whether it was at all a very good idea.

As I mentioned above, Iraq is hardly the first precedent for either a pre-emptive or preventative attack. Only Imperial Japan qualifies otherwise for the US in the last 100 years. I reject comparisons of Iraq under Hussein with the Turks/Kurds or Russia/Georgia unless and until the Turks/Russia show where the Kurds/Georgia: 1) invaded or annexed two countries, 2) committed genocide on their own inhabitants, 3) started a WMD program, 4) have dozens of UN resolutions and sanctions against them.
Uh, you realize that the United States itself qualifies for being preemptively invaded under your list of criteria there, right?

So yeah, basically it's impossible for us to take the high ground here and say things like "In the 21st century, nations don’t invade other nations."

Could you show how the wannabe terrorists would not see their efforts as a failure, how their techniques were 'proven successful' given that AQI was utterly destroyed as a coherent force? Rather, it must be seen now that if an independent actor in early post Saddam Iraq wanted a path to some self-empowerment, the only possible way to do it was to get involved in the democratic process, that joining AQI will gain you nothing in the end, instead it will surely get you dead.
Wow, so we've shown a bunch of suicide bombers that they'll die only having hit the U.S. for the lives of five thousand soldiers, a trillion dollars, contributing to eroding the international reputation and political clout of the U.S., and in giving people all over Iraq and the rest of the Muslim world more excuses to blindly hate us. What a deterrent. What kind of suicidal terrorist would pursue such a small gain? They'd have to be crazy.

I do not condone the US/Western path to the Iraq war. I do reject fallacious parallels to it and pretense that there would have been zero consequences for doing nothing except to continue the NFZ and the corrupt Oil for Food program.
Ahem, Mr. "2007 Baghdad was more like Chicago than Rwanda" rejects fallacious parallels? What an indictment.

No one in this thread said anything similar to "nothing bad would have ever happened if Saddam remained in power" so I find your intimation that opposing such a notion is your main objective here to be disingenuous.

And besides that, you're doing two further and rather underhanded things: 1) you're setting up a false dichotomy there that opposing Saddam meant either an invasion or no change at all, and 2) it's implicit in your statements that there even was some kind of catalyst that provided any reason to draw our attention away from the War on Terror.

It's great that you don't condone the "path to war" - but that implies that you condone the invasion itself, which I just about find monstrous. There aren't any pretty, clean ways to invade and occupy a country larger than Germany or Japan with thirty million people in it. In all likelihood hundreds of thousands of civilians died in the course of this and your primary justification is that we "got" Saddam?

War is not the way we deal with these things. You don't see us doing anything remotely like this in response to the genocide in Darfur or the military junta ruling Myanmar that kills protesting citizens by the hundreds and thousands, uses the military to extract forced labor from the populace, and impeded the distribution of aid to survivors of the cyclone earlier this year to protect its political position.

If another dictator just like Saddam ends up in control of Iraq ten years after we leave we aren't going to be invading again and we wouldn't have been disposed to even if McCain had won the election and the country remained on that more hawkish track politically. Condoning taking the certain path of widespread death and misery in war, for the reason of deposing Saddam or the other reasons you have listed, when no self-defense was involved and any implied concern for the Iraqi people is spurious, is condoning an immoral act. And an act against the best interests of the United States, as I've demonstrated above. It's in denunciation of that and of anyone who might be in favor of that sort of thing that people around the world advocated for Obama.
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  • #63
So he did. I apologize; Sen McCain had said several times that a stable and peaceful Iraq was 'within reach', or was the goal, etc.
Well, I certainly acknowledge that was probably simply a slip of the tongue to some degree for him, he probably wouldn't have gone as far as claiming it was already peaceful and stable if he hadn't been throwing his great fighting spirit into a presidential campaign at the time.
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  • #64
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Very interesting map. Maybe the world should be allowed to vote as it affects all of us?

I live in Norway, and the support for Obama is enormous. You can finally be proud of being American again.
 
  • #65
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I live in Norway, and the support for Obama is enormous. You can finally be proud of being American again.
Rather than some sort of false pride, it would seem that humility and hard work toward more civic freedom are the indicated courses of action for the people of the US.

Even if Obama turns out to be a champion of the people rather than a corporate lacky, the system is weighted toward greed and corruption.

So, if it turns out to be business as usual during Obama's term (and there are already indications that it will be) then our civic freedoms will continue to be subtly eroded.
 
  • #66
Even if Obama turns out to be a champion of the people rather than a corporate lacky, the system is weighted toward greed and corruption.
I totally agree. That's what I've been saying, that Obama's election can't cause us to let our guard down or flag in our efforts. Among other things, we have to figure out how to put things in place to prevent something like the Iraq War from ever happening again.
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  • #67
mheslep
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Very interesting map. Maybe the world should be allowed to vote as it affects all of us?

I live in Norway, and the support for Obama is enormous. You can finally be proud of being American again.
Great! You go first, though, ok? Who is opposing Stoltenberg in the next election and where do I vote? First off, I favor a reduction in the price of North Sea crude.
 
  • #68
Great! You go first, though, ok? Who is opposing Stoltenberg in the next election and where do I vote? First off, I favor a reduction in the price of North Sea crude.
Heh heh, great response to him. I definitely don't think there ought to be any direct interference from one country in another country's democratic process (though perhaps kasse was joking). A few years ago when there were all of those public protests here in the U.S. by illegal aliens, trying to influence the outcome of votes about enforcing laws against illegal immigration, I really thought that was a bit much (even though I'm relatively permissive in my views on immigration.)
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  • #69
OmCheeto
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I lived in the San Francisco Bay area from 1998 to 2007 and there's a good change I'll
go back to the US. So a significant part of me is actually American.... It's a personal thing.

When I went to the US it was overwhelmingly popular. I would like that to return and
I believe it will.


Regards, Hans
I sent a private message to lisab this morning explaining that I shed no tears when Obama won. It's articles like the following make me choke up:

What Obama's Win Means To Turks And The World
Asli Aydintasbas 11.07.08, 12:00 PM ET
Istanbul, Turkey

But is it possible that this trend has changed overnight? Why are people sobbing about Obama's victory if they hated the United States a minute ago? One wonders if there is something Freudian about the need to disown a parent so that you can love him again. The world has been angry at the U.S. for so long that it suddenly feels like hugging a sibling that you, unwillingly and out of hurt feelings, had stopped talking to.
There's something inside of me that hates being guilty by association.

I should point out that the above was not the snippet I sent to Lisa.

This is what I sent her:

Fatma, our cleaning lady, walked in yesterday--all smiles and with a newspaper in hand. "He won. That dark guy made it!"

Fatma is from a remote village in the Black Sea region of Turkey and moved to the big city here only a few years ago for her children's education. "My son--9-years-old--was saying [Barack Obama] is just like us. They showed pictures from his village, and his family has just one cow and are really poor."

For Fatma, the new U.S. president is also from poor village stock and came to the big city and made it against all odds. When her two sons watched the American election results, there was an understanding that they, too, could grow up to become presidents here in Turkey--a message that somehow was never communicated so openly to a Turkish kid.
The next best thing to educating someone, is being a good role model, or perhaps giving someone just a small glimmer of hope. Something that has been seriously lacking from us over the last 8 years, IMHO.
 

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