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Why are we at war?

  1. Mar 20, 2003 #1
    [SOLVED] Why are we at war?

    Please justify this war.
    I know that I'm in for a bit of stick here (nothing new for me), but I thought that I'd represent the thoughts of the majority of Europeans, who are dumbfounded by what's going on here. Even half of the British people are angered by this. And I'm one of them.
    I know that Saddam has commited many attrocities against his own people, but so have the Chinese. So, don't use that as an excuse unless you also propose marching upon Beijing.
    Where's the weapons of mass destruction? We haven't found any. And why can the US have enough nukes to blow the world up several times over, whilst Iraq is invaded for possibly harbouring some biological weapons?
    You cannot use 'terorism' as an excuse either; for nobody has any evidence linking Iraq with terrorism.

    To me, this whole thing stinks of oil and imperialistic might... mixed with paranoi of terrorism and a crumbling stock-market.
    And to walk over the judgement of the United-Nations (which asked for more time to find some real evidence), is the biggest disaster to befall the whole planet. The worst political-judgement possible. The United-Nations is the last bastion of World-peace. Our last hope.
    I think the US/UK have made a mistake - regardless of the outcome. Sorry to disrupt the gung-ho patriotism; but that's how I feel.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2003 #2
    This is a politics question, so it might get moved.

    Saddam Hussein is one of the world's most brutal dictators, possibly the most brutal since Stalin and Hitler. He has had more than a decade to disarm according to UN resolutions and has chosen instead to lie and deceive.

    The French stand cannot be taken seriously. The French have an appalling history of colonialism and support to dicatators. They are not on morally higher ground than the British and Americans.

    If you wish to know President Bush's ideological reasons for the war and the, perhaps naive, hope that democracy will spread from Iraq to the middle east in general, you can read the writings of one of his main advisers, Paul Wolfowitz.

    Some dictators can be contained, talked to, ie North Korea; some are of importance to the US, ie China and Saudi Arabia, and can/will be transformed over time. Some, such as Saddam or the Taliban, should be taken out immediately.

    When this war is won, no one will regret the loss of Saddam Hussein and his Ba'ath Party.
     
  4. Mar 20, 2003 #3

    russ_watters

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    One thing you must remember about the US is we are no more or less selfish than anyone else. It may very well be that our primary motivation is securing an uninterrupted flow of oil. But the French motivation for opposing it is no less selfish: they have a considerable trade investment in iraq.

    As you said, everyone agrees that Saddam is a terrible dictator. What separates the US is we are willing to act to correct that, where others are not.

    My opinion of this follows the "moral imperative." It is in fact IMMORAL to sit by and watch another person be persecuted if you have the means to stop it.

    Now how does this apply to China? We do NOT have the means to reasonably attempt to invade China so we won't. It really is that simple.

    Now of course that doesn't mean we always do what is needed to be done. In Somalia, we had nothing to gain whatsoever by being there. Our only mission was saving the lives of the civilian population. But as soon as 17 soldiers died we pulled out. Did we still have the means? Certainly. Why did we leave? Cowardace on the part of our leader.

    We should do as much as we can. Sometimes we don't do all we should. Often our efforts are inconsistent - they reflect the current political climate. But NONE of our failings our unique in the world. Again, the thing that sets us apart is we are willing to TRY to fix the problems in the world. And we alone have the means to fix many of these problems.

    As for time to allow diplomacy to work: How long does diplomacy have to fail before you say enough is enough? 12 years? The purpose of these inspections is for SADDAM to show that he has GOTTEN RID OF these weapons that we have already cataloged. He has not. The fact that we are finding illegal weapons is evidence of non-compliance.

    The US has nukes. Certainly. The US is the only country in the world to ever use them. Certainly. But the US is also a stable democracy - Iraq is not. A criminal dictatorship CANNOT be allowed to have such weapons.
     
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2003
  5. Mar 20, 2003 #4
    I would guess these reasons all come into play:
    1) With fears of fundamentalist revolutions in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, Bush wants a friendly country around and a backup place to base troops in the Middle East, both for normal geopolitical reasons (oil) and in order to try and stop terrorism there.
    2) The US administration wants to demonstrate its willingness to use force when defied, in the hopes that it will have to do so less in the future. Places like North Korea, etc, are likely to be less belligerent/combative after seeing the US conquer two countries in as many years.
    3) The US has been all wrapped up with Iraq for years and years, and Bush sees this as the only medium-term way out without risking Saddam or one of his sons re-arming and maybe pulling another Iran-Iraq or Kuwait.
     
  6. Mar 20, 2003 #5
    And saying they will support the assault if biological weapons are found/used makes them look even sillier...
     
  7. Mar 20, 2003 #6

    Njorl

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    Saddam Hussein did have biological and chemical weapons in huge amounts as of 1998. He showed no evidence of their destruction, and was not willing to do so.

    Iraq has worked with terrorist organizations. Their relationship with Hamas is well known. (I still don't buy the Al Qaeda connection. Their only contact to Iraq are the Al Ansar guerillas).

    Iraq has used chemical weapons.

    Iraq has attempted direct covert acts against the United States. Iraqi secret service attempted to assassinate former president Bush.

    It is a small step from these four items to sponsoring a terrorist attack with biological or chemical weapons against the US.

    Given this threat, the US first acted through the UN, imposing sanctions for several years. Saddam Hussein seized the food and medicine meant for his people, sold it, and used the profits to supply his military with materiel, and his cronies with luxuries. Sanctions had no effect.

    The US then made it clear that Iraq must disarm or be invaded. They did this through the UN, which agreed (with the disarming part). No cooperation at all was forthcoming. Pretend inspections were conducted and mock interviews with intimidated scientists were done. As the build up of US forces increased, there was some token cooperation, but nothing of substance. At the point when war was imminent, Iraq was still unwilling to cooperate. There was no possible additional diplomatic pressure that could be brought on Iraq. Some people wanted more
    time for inspections to work, but it was never a question of time. It was a question of willingness. Without cooperation, Iraq could increase its arsenal of weapons of mass destruction even while inspections were ongoing.

    Njorl
     
  8. Mar 20, 2003 #7

    enigma

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    Also, keep in mind that NATO weapons inspectors routinely investigate ALL member countries to make sure we are not developing bio/chem/nuclear weapons. That includes the US.

    It's not an issue for us, because we don't:

    give the inspectors runaround,
    keep them stranded on the side of the road for hours before they can continue onto an unexpected inspection site,
    have "minders" present when interviews are taking place,
    kill dissidents or their families,
    bug inspecter's hotel rooms,
    kill or imprison scientists who refuse to work on weapons programs,
    etc.
    etc.
    etc.

    or most importantly: develop chemical or biological agents for weapons purposes after the Geneva Convention made it illegal under international law to do so.

    Saddam has done and does do all of those things.

    Saddam is a psychopath. You do not allow psychopaths to keep weapons.

    A person does not need ICBMs to do catastrophic damage. Anyone who thinks that leaving a man like Saddam alone is doing enough to keep him from trying to hurt us or our allies is ignoring history.
     
  9. Mar 20, 2003 #8

    Tom Mattson

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    Funny, I mentioned that same fact in PF v2.0, and it was instantly pooh-poohed by the hippie--er--"progressive leftist" element.
     
  10. Mar 20, 2003 #9
    Sorry, but according to Blix Iraq was destructing the illegal weapons, and no mass distruction weapons were found !
    Not showing evidence does not mean that they still have the weapons.
    If the weapons were still there, why didn't Blix (and his crew) find them ?
    In other words, if Iraq did not proove they don't have those weapons, this does not proove that they have them !
    Proofs please ?
    Again, Blix said that Iraq was cooporative, so where are u getting this from ?
    Blix was able to access (almost) all the places he wanted to, he made interviews with the people he wanted to, he was free to do what he wanted !
    Sorry, but why is it that you (not you personally, but i mean all of you) assume that Iraq is able to hide weapons, and US is not ?
     
  11. Mar 20, 2003 #10

    Njorl

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    STAii,
    You seem to perpetually be under the misconception that the inspectors were there to look for evidence of weapons of mass destruction. They were not. Their only job was to examine the evidence provided by Iraq to see if it was conclusive evidence that the previously discovered weapons had been destroyed. Hans Blix himself said that trying to find the weapons without Iraqi cooperation was a waste of time. There were no interviews with Iraqi scientists conducted without monitors or a significant probability of a listening device. Any scientist who cooperated would expect to be tortured to death.

    Since Iraq refused to show evidence that weapons they had were destroyed, as they were required to do by a cease fire agreement they signed, the US is justified in assuming they have those weapons.

    You want proof of the gassing, the assassination attempt and the diversion of food and medicine. I obviously can not prove this to you over a web site. The first two were both demonstrated to the UN security council to their satisfaction. This is sufficient, unless you happen to believe that the UN is a pawn of the US. That ridiculous belief has been dispelled I hope. The third, since you lived in Jordan, you could have seen for yourself. I saw it being done on the evening news here in the US.

    Blix never said Iraq was cooperating. He said Iraq was making progress toward cooperation. He then gave pathetic examples of Iraq throwing the UN a bone or two. Iraq destroyed 50 missiles which were essentially useless anyway, and allowed the interview of 9 scientists in hotel rooms which were never examined for listening devices. That was the extent of Iraqi cooperation. In fact, to the end, Blix said Iraq was not in compliance of resolution 1441 at any time.

    Njorl
     
  12. Mar 20, 2003 #11
    Some of the interviews were made outside Iraq.
    Not only scientists where interviewed, lot of people were interviewed too.
    And UN gave Blix to interview whoever he wants, whenever he wants, where ever he wants, so must have been able to interview some people without the the Iraqi government knowing.

    After all, suppose that Iraq had mass destruction weapons, and that it should be attacked, isn't this a decision that the UN should take and not the US ?
    Who gave the right to US (along with UK) to decide what should happen next ?
     
  13. Mar 20, 2003 #12
    I've just heard the news that 'ricin' (a poison) was found in a Paris station.
    That's something else which few people seem to have considered: this very war will fire the terrorists to a frenzy; thus increasing terrorism - not decreasing it.
    Though we cannot be expected to do nothing about terrorists, we should be especially careful to act in a manner that does not create more terrorists, and more terrorism. Clearly, invading a moslem country against the wishes of the UN, is not an act made with this thought in mind. It seems our actions are going to bring an abundance of terrors upon us. Ironically, yet sadly, our actions have worsened our situation.
    I see no gain for anyone here, except the money-men. Terror is something which thrives upon fear. Terror wins again.
     
  14. Mar 20, 2003 #13
    To not deal with a threat because it might encourage someone else to be threatening is something the French do.

    If you discover a hornets nest very close to the front door of your house, do you not attempt to remove it because in the act of doing so you might get stung.

    We have a word for people like that in America. We call them pussies.
     
  15. Mar 20, 2003 #14

    The French do lots of things. At one time, they had the mightiest armies in the world, and thought nothing of using them. Don't mock them as cowards. The French as a whole might have lots of faults, but cowardice aint one of them.
    Unfortunately, this particular hornet's nest is bigger than Iraq itself. And unless you totally destroy it in short time, you'll be stung several times over by the hornets which you do not get - the terrorists.
    Like I say: don't confuse wisdom with cowardice. Doing all you can to avoid war, does not make you a coward. It makes you wise.
     
  16. Mar 20, 2003 #15
    Zargawee,
    Saddam had 12 years in which to get rid of weapons and illegal substances. He did not. The charade came to an end when the USA and its allies lost patience with him and with the United Nations, which was not prepared, until the last minute, to enforce inspections.

    If Saddam had disarmed, Iraq would not have been invaded.

    Why should we have any sympathy whatsoever with a leader who gases, tortures, poisons and murders his own citizens? Removing him from power is good; it is one of the best things that President Bush has done.
     
  17. Mar 20, 2003 #16
    Alias, whatever happened to Mauritania? but I see that you are still yourself, insult to win.

    Read my signature, as it is very apropo to you!
     
  18. Mar 20, 2003 #17

    russ_watters

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    So hiding and lying about weapons for 12 years, then only destroying them when they are caught red handed with them is compliance? Yikes.
    See above: You acknowledge they have illegal weapons. *IF* is not a relevant question. It is only a question of HOW MUCH they still have.
    The UN has proven repeatedly that they do not have the stones to take action when action is required. We go around the UN all the time. Yugoslavia comes to mind: the UN couldn't decide so we invoked NATO. Hell, even France is currently fighting a war without UN approval.
     
  19. Mar 20, 2003 #18
    Well I heard someone mention the french and not wanting to go to war?


    They want iraqi oil fields and they have once-upon-a-tiime- secret tradings with iraq hence the reason they wont fight them! Watch the news and read the paper.
     
  20. Mar 20, 2003 #19
    Alias what post were you replying to?


    And shouldn't that post be edited somewhat?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 20, 2003
  21. Mar 20, 2003 #20
    Without getting into or revealing a pro-war or anti-war stance, I think a majority of people agree that Hussein has and will pose a threat and that removing him from power may help distribute the wealth of Iraq to the rightful owners (the citizens and that is if the imperialist powers don't get their hands on it first). The problem is how to go about it with minimum loss of life and without further imflaming a dislike for the western powers.

    In the long run, the question is not why, but how.
     
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