Iraq – You Break It, You Buy It

From the very beginning, I have been against the invasion of Iraq.

A little over 1 year later, we are left with a sad story about oil, greed, freedom fries and weapons of mass destruction. It was never about democracy.

Something went wrong last year, something important, that shouldn’t be forgotten. Namely that the second Gulf War was started on false premises. It is important to remember, because this fact alone signifies not only a major democratic problem, but a significant change in the way nations wage war. It is a dangerous precedent, that an invasion can be justified by bad “military intelligence”.

Denial and Deception

In February, 2003, Colin Powell visited the UN in an attempt to rally support for an invasion of Iraq. In a colorful presentation set in big bold, beveled letters entitled “Iraq – Failing to disarm”, he presented the U.S. case.

He mentioned several reasons why invading Iraq was absolutely critical at that time; Saddam Hussein had attempted to obtain nuclear weapons materials from Africa. Saddam Hussein had connections with Al Quaeda. Iraq posed an imminent threat to the U.S. and the iraqi neighbors. Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

    • The evidence that Saddam had tried to obtain nuclear weapons materials from Africa was forged.
    • The claim that Saddam Hussein had connections with Al Quaeda, was later contradicted and withdrawn.
    • The “imminent threat” that Iraq supposedly pose, is invariably tied together with the fact that no weapons of mass destruction was ever found in Iraq. The U.S. has virtually given up on the search. David Kay, former top U.S. weapons inspector plainly said, “we were all wrong”. Rumsfeld even lied about his statements about the urgency of the war.

 
All this seems to have been forgotten. But it is a vitally important fact, that the war was started on false premises. It is a point that cannot be argued.

Instead, the purpose has changed. Now the war is no longer about disarming a threat, it’s about liberating a country.

“America will never seek a permission slip to defend the security of our people” – From State of the Union address, January 2004

Indeed the capture of Saddam Hussein was a positive step, but the master-plan for removing him from his throne was flawed all along. The amount of troops needed to fight the war was miscalculated, not to mention the consequences…

“Things have gotten so bad inside Iraq … we will, in fact, be greeted as liberators” – Cheney, prior to the war

– Instead the troops were met with a guerilla war.

I cannot claim to have all the answers to what should have been done instead of this war. But initiating a preemptive war based on false premises, with a flawed plan, without UN support definately wasn’t the way to go.

In fact, it all comes down to cause and effect. The cause for the war, was forged. The effects are yet to unfold. I hope for the best, but fear the worst.

Why not North Korea?

There are many wrongs, in our messy little world. As a planet, we should strive to right these wrongs, and make it a better place. Iraq, did indeed have a brutal dictator, and the cruelties commited in the former regime were unforgivable. No-one can argue this. Something had to be done.

But is this different from what happens in China, North Korea, Cambodia and most parts of Africa? No. Cruelties and atrocities happen every day, all over the world. This doesn’t mean we should stand by idly and do nothing, quite the contrary. But when pondering specifically the Iraq war, one has to think, why Iraq, when there are so many other places just like it? Well for one, North Korea probably has nukes, so we can’t “liberate them” right at the moment. The same goes for China. Africa is quite a mouthful. And Iraq has oil. That’s right, the precious black commodity that flows in tonnes, every day. In a world where oil fuels our entire society, I refuse to believe that the second largest proven oil reserve had nothing to do with the choice… of “liberating Iraq”.

Democracy?

In latin, democracy means “people’s choice”. The word alone, is contrary to the idea that it can be forced upon a country with shock and awe. It is no longer about choice.

Democracy must be learned. We know that from the USSR—they are still learning to this day—but the seeds of free elections have been sown, and it has been born from within. I believe that Russia will remain democratic, and learn to appreciate its values.

Perhaps Iraq can too. But with guerilla wars, an inflamed middle east, terror attacks and casualties daily, it is a country that has been broken. We cannot force western ideologies and values upon such a country. The only thing the war has brought Iraq is destruction. How can we expect the iraqi people to trust that “we know better”? We broke Iraq, and so say the values we preach: “If you break it, you buy it”.

It looks like we just bought Iraq for many years to come, and if we want to force democracy, it’ll be expensive.

Was there really, no other way?

36 thoughts on “Iraq – You Break It, You Buy It”

  1. DarkBlue says:

    I don’t believe we will ever succeed in trying to impose democracy on a culture that has dictatorship so deeply ingrained in the national psyche.

    I agree that Saddam Hussein didn’t deserve his position – but a dictatorship, by definition, is a repressed culture. The average Iraqi would not know any different. With no frame of reference, it’s surely impossible to imagine any other way of life.

    Our imposed “liberation” has certainly revealed an alternative lifestyle – one of guerilla war, rampant crime, uncertainty and a greater level of repression than was previously known.

    Yes, the Iraqi people must really appreciate all that we have done for them!

    America should be accountable for its rash, unprovoked, illegal war. I’ll wager that no US statesman stands in front of a war-crimes court though.

  2. lastman says:

    Everybody in the United States is entitled to the opinion that they believe is right. That is what makes America so great, but saying that the war is “wrong” and that we as a country should have not gotten involved is not going to stop the war. There is more to this war than just sending troops over and giving Iraqis their well deserved liberty. It’s about making a stand as a nation. Unfortunately as a nation we don’t support the actions of the person who leads us. Instead we bad mouth, patronize and persecute. When a soldier comes home from war, he shouldn’t be hearing what he went and fought for was wrong. He fought for his country, the morals of this nation and the world. Now you can say whatever you want to say… that this an illegal war, that it is wrong, that Bush is an idiot, that this administration is not doing its job, but when it comes down to it, you may have not voted for the president and the administration, but the nation did. So suck it up and stop bitching about what was and worry about what is. This is why we have elections, if you don’t like the president now – support is four year term and then vote for somebody else in the next election. The people have spoken.

  3. Joen says:

    DarkBlue, very good points, thanks for your comment. I came to think of how we suddenly all care about the Iraqi people and their freedom. It was the same with Afghanistan, how we suddenly came to care about womens rights there. Don’t get me wrong, caring for these issues is not wrong, but it just goes to show you how a war, or media focus (or the two combined) can “lead our attention”. I mention this, of course, because there are so many other repressed cultures we could also be caring about, but forget due to the lack of focus.

    lastman: also good points. Thanks for your opinion. I should quickly mention that I am european, born in Denmark. I take it upon myself to criticise the war because it affects the entire globe, and is thus a matter of international concern, not only national.

    I agree with some of what you have to say, and would like to add that the troops that do their duty, whether or not the war is justified or not, should be supported. My major beef here, is that their sacrifices could maybe have been avoided.

    Whether or not Bush was indeed elected or not, can be discussed. Not only due to the mysterious circumstances with the recounts, the judges that stopped the recount, and the whole Florida ballot thingy. And let’s not forget that the majority of the american people voted for Gore—the only reason Bush was (supposedly) elected was due to the electoral college.

  4. Chris says:

    lastman – Here is what is wrong with your arguments:

    “but saying that the war is ?wrong? and that we as a country should have not gotten involved is not going to stop the war.”
    sure it can. It helped end conflict in Viet Nam. it’s one of the tenets of a democracy- military action will not endure if the people are opposed to it. it’s the bane of military leaders, but an important check and balance system that ensures we use military might conscientiously.
    “There is more to this war than just sending troops over and giving Iraqis their well deserved liberty.”

    yeah, it’s about finding WMD and ties to terrorism…oh wait….

    “It?s about making a stand as a nation.”

    a stand for the cause of misguided military action? a stand for pre-emptive, nation-wrangling, regime-toppling, democracy-forcing military blunder?

    “Unfortunately as a nation we don?t support the actions of the person who leads us.”

    dude, please. you speak as if you hold the position of a president in a nation over the practicality and legitimacy of the man’s actions. who cares that he’s president? if his (and his administration’s) policies are dishonorable, dishonest, inefficient, poorly executed and planned, why should we support him? where’s the logic in that?

    “Instead we bad mouth, patronize and persecute.”

    no, we react in a democracy…we take a stand. that’s the function of a democracy. what you’re witnessing is a president and administration conduct themselves in a highly secretive way, pushing the boundaries on what is and is not acceptable to the people- and you’re seeing the citizenry push back.

    “When a soldier comes home from war, he shouldn?t be hearing what he went and fought for was wrong.”

    you have to examine the possibility that it was wrong. in five years, if Iraq descends into a brutal civil war, what then? was the war worth it? what did the soldiers die for?

    “He fought for his country,”

    no, he fought for an administration. and fighting for a country, you fight for the ideologies of the administration, and possibly a majority, or minority of Americans.

    “…the morals of this nation”
    morality is relative. it doesn’t make sense to say “the morals of this nation”. you assume that our explicit relative morality is transcendent from our culture to the Iraqi culture, and can be transposed just like that.
    “and the world.”
    generalization.
    “Now you can say whatever you want to say? that this an illegal war,”

    ‘tis.

    “may have not voted for the president and the administration, but the nation did.”

    actually, no they didn’t. and i don’t remember a vote by the people about invading Iraq. I DO, however, remember a vote by congress, in which they were lied to.

    “So suck it up and stop bitching about what was and worry about what is.”

    “what is” is because of “what was”, and “who is” in the white house. typical.

    “This is why we have elections, if you don?t like the president now – support his four year term and then vote for somebody else in the next election.”

    why would someone support the president and his/her administration if they disagree with the policies, implementation of them, etc? if you say, “to support the nation”, then you have abandoned or suspended your individualism and sense of reason, “right” and “wrong” in order to let nationalism, a contrivance, supercede these things.

    “The people have spoken.”

    Yes, they have. And they have said that they actually voted for Gore in 2000, they’ve spoken and said they’re getting sick of Bush, they’ve spoken and said they’re losing faith in the occupation of Iraq.

    The people may have spoken, and unfortunately, you did here.

  5. DarkBlue says:

    The arguments for and against the war can and will go on forever. Hundreds of years from now, students will study their history and debate the issues for hours on end.

    I do not criticise the troops (apart from those who, by their actions, have generated even more hatred of the West). The troops are blameless, they are soldiers – soldiers follow orders. It’s the orders themselves and the people issuing them which I condemn.

    “… you may have not voted for the president and the administration …”

    Bush is not “my president”. I am an Englishman. I am governed by a puppet of Bush, but not by the man himself.

    My biggest concern is for the precedent that has been established: That the USA can (and will) ignore global opinion and disregard the UN. That the USA can invade another country and depose its leadership based on a mere suspicion (WMDs) and with no supporting evidence. That the US govt. can manipulate the emotions of its subjects and use that manipulation to justify a war (how many Americans believe that Saddam Hussein was involved in the terrorist attacks of 9/11?)

    If America chooses to act as the world’s policeman, judge, jury and executioner then it better be beyond reproach – and, with the war in Iraq, there are simply too many question-marks.

    Joen is right. This war is NOT about WMDs, terrorism, liberation or justice. This war is about oil!

  6. chris says:

    DarkBlue,

    I agree, but with one exception:

    “I do not criticise the troops (apart from those who, by their actions, have generated even more hatred of the West). The troops are blameless, they are soldiers – soldiers follow orders. It?s the orders themselves and the people issuing them which I condemn.”

    you’ll say i’m being unrealistic, but i believe i am truthful in saying a soldier is a person, and people have the capacity to choose. you criticize those who were involved in the mistreatment of iraqi prisoners, but exempt the actions (and the very capacity to choose?) from the other soldiers? if you are against war, don’t bother with the paradigm of military hierarchy- blame the soldiers along with the policymakers.

    it’s an extreme, but can you escape its truth? can you balance your critique of those who make policy, over those who carry it out? is the hitman guilty of his or her crime, or solely their client?

  7. Invader says:

    I hope US has learned that they cannot rule the world without europe, and crime doesn’t pay. Saddam should have been captured during first gulf war.

    What I don’t want, is a europe that ends up like US because “europe must stand up against US”.. Hope you understood it, hate english =)

  8. Joen says:

    Invader,

    I too, do not hope that the EU doesn’t unite just to form another superpower, rather to ensure security and stability for all EU countries. Unfortunately, I suspect just that, will happen. Maybe in 10 years, I won’t be criticising the U.S. president, but the EU president.

    DarkBlue, I agree with you on the bulk of what you have to say, and partly about what Chris also mentions.

    Soldiers are people and can make up their mind. But when orders are given to them, it takes a huge strenght of will to disobey them, let alone face the consequences.

    Surely the soldiers responsible for the recent iraqi prisoner treatment could have made better judgement. It cannot be defended. But war will mess with your mind. The atrocities the soldiers have seen and experienced, will numb their minds. While this does not excuse what they have done, in any way, it does make things more complex.

    So Chris, when you say

    a soldier is a person, and people have the capacity to choose. you criticize those who were involved in the mistreatment of iraqi prisoners, but exempt the actions (and the very capacity to choose?) from the other soldiers
    – you present things a bit more black and white than they really are. Determining right and wrong during wartime can’t be easy.

    And that, is why war is so wrong.

  9. chris says:

    yes, but you can never deny that those soldiers could, no matter how hard, disobey orders.

    they made several decisions. they decided to enlist. they decided to journey to iraq as ordered. they decide to remain there every day.

    i go to work every day, that doesn’t mean i have to.

    i present things as black and white, but nevertheless it is a truth you can ultimately not deny.

  10. Joen says:

    I didn’t deny it, as I also said: “Soldiers are people and can make up their mind”.

    The point I’m trying to get across is, that some decisions are not easy. I’m sure situations arise, that these soldiers aren’t trained for. It’s not always possible to make a clear-cut and “right” decision when knee-deep in the dead. A well thought-out decision takes time, space and a good overview of the situation.

  11. chris says:

    yes, but my point is that they are there. i know the next thing someone might say is “they’re fighting for your freedom”, but in Iraq, i think not.

  12. DarkBlue says:

    “Soldiers are people and can make up their mind”

    How many of you have served in the military? I haven’t personally. But I do know this, a soldier is conditioned, from boot camp onwards, to always obey the orders he is given – even if those orders seem objectionable or questionable in any way.

    The whole military hierarchy is 100% dependent on this basic premise. A soldier cannot make moral judgements, a soldier cannot just choose “not to go to work today” – both decisions would most likely result in a court martial and discharge (imprisonment is not uncommon either).

    It is ridiculous to place the burden of choice on a soldier during peacetime – during war, doubly so.

    Let us not forget that soldier is not an island either. One man making a moral choice will not affect the course of a battle, let alone a war. The option simply doesn’t exist.

  13. chris says:

    DarkBlue,

    i think you fail to understand this truth:

    if there is a system where one is discouraged from individual thought, action, etc,:

    1) it is a contrivance. it is an invention. people enter into it, and abide by it, of their choice. nevertheless, it is a system we’ve invented. their obedience to it supports it, nothing more. we’ve invented it, yet many think they must serve it.

    2) one man making a choice may not affect a battle…? recognizing that more people using their will and free thought are able to inspire others, and lead by example isn’t hard to do, is it?

    I ‘ll even use an example within the framework of this subject- the military. special forces troops are given an enormous amount of leeway to not conform, to think for themselves, use special tactics, etc. the results they can achieve, especially in large numbers, is quite dramatic.

    let’s take a closer look at what you wrote, though.

    “But I do know this, a soldier is conditioned,

    from boot camp onwards,”

    so, you agree. they are taught a set of rules. they are conditioned, taught. they make the choice to enter into that agreement, and all that it entails. if they choose to support it, that’s their choice, too. what you’re suggesting (if i’m not mistaken) is that they are exempt from personal responsibility because of this invented system??? poppycock, i say!

    “The whole military hierarchy is 100% dependent on this basic premise.”

    yes, but a “military hierarchy” system being dependent on that premise still doesn’t justify wrongdoing on the part of someone who parlays their personal responsibility onto some “system”.

    also, any system like the military, besides being a contrivance, is nested within a larger mishmosh of ideas, values, etc in our society. our larger, entrenched values in society supercede the intricate and sometimes nonsensical rules of any military system.

    “It is ridiculous to place the burden of choice on a soldier during peacetime – during war, doubly so.”

    the soldier’s burden is greater if they must act completely against their will, and obey orders that contradict their convictions, no?

    yes, i can imagine it would be hard disobey orders, and that would cause distress. but once value, importance is taken away from this foundation you speak of (the need, no matter what, to obey orders, no matter what distress it causes) everything becomes more simple, clearer.

    moreover, besides obeying orders, and the military hierarchy, it’s important to realize that no matter what “rules” are in place in any system, people ultimately have a choice, even if the process of choosing, or desired outcome is painful.

  14. DarkBlue says:

    I’m sorry Chris (et al), but I remain unconvinced by your arguments.

    In my opinion, a soldier does not have the luxury to question his orders, much less to disobey them.

    The majority of troops sent to Iraq (or any other front) probably realise the injustice of the war. But they have taken an oath to obey their commander-in-chief and his representatives. They have sworn before their God to protect and to serve.

    The common infantryman is not given enough information to be able to argue against orders that might seem inappropriate. He believes that his superiors have issued their commands for a reason.

    A soldier knows that to disobey an order could cost him his own life and end the lives of his colleagues – men who he has to trust and whom depend upon him acting in unison with themselves.

    In this situation, do you still believe that a soldier has a choice? Can he still say to himself, “I object to this order, I’m not going to do this”? Of course he can’t, he doesn’t have that luxury.

    “recognizing that more people using their will and free thought are able to inspire others, and lead by example isn?t hard to do, is it?”

    Not at all. This happens every single day. But, in the context of a grunt on the field of battle, it would be extremely rare for a soldier to disobey his orders and manage to convince the rest of his indoctrinated, disciplined and highly-motivated unit to do likewise. In war, there is simply too much at stake.

    “special forces troops are given an enormous amount of leeway to not conform”

    Non-conformance is not the same as disobedience.

    “what you?re suggesting (if i?m not mistaken) is that they are exempt from personal responsibility”

    If a soldier is given an order to take the life of another human being, he is not subsequently charged with murder (excluding war criminals). The soldier IS exempt from responsibility in that sense yes.

    I don’t doubt for one minute that the soldier who kills lives with horror of his acts for the rest of life though – his moral, ethical or religious responsibility is something he has to reconcile within himself.

    “the soldier?s burden is greater if they must act completely against their will”

    That’s what they are paid for! That’s their job. There’s simply no way out of that. As I wrote earlier, the soldier forgoes his own personal convictions when he takes his oath.

    “people ultimately have a choice”

    Yes they do. But a soldier’s choices are limited.

  15. chris says:

    DarkBlue…I don’t think you get it.

    You speak about oaths to country and “god” (btw, what does a deity have to do with a nation-state?), and other things a soldier may commit to. Yet this this has no bearing on their ability to decide, at any given moment, to change the course of their actions. Court marshall? Death? Do these_actually_prohibit the person from disobeying? No, they discourage, but never prevent.

    You’re attaching superficial aspects (consequences, rules of law) to actions such as killing. Because a soldier is not prosecuted for killing a person does not mean that he or she is not responsible for the death. Why is this base denominator important? Because just as easily as some have decided that soldiers are covered from prosecution in the instance of war, it could easily be decided that a “moral stance” regarding war could swing drastically, that these soldiers could at some point be held accountable. Our laws are to keep order, but they are malleable and contrivances. They are changing at every instant.

    You can’t limit the idea of choice, the idea of personal will to these things which are relative, constantly in flux does not make sense. You must abandon them and ask yourself “what is static, unchanging?” What is unchanging is your power to change, to assert yourself as an individual, to choose.

    Can I choose at this moment to not eat anymore? Run a marathon instead of going to work tomorrow? Rob a bank? End my life? Yes, to all of these, regardless of the consequences. I have the power to choose at every instant.

    “Yes, but you’re not being practical” I predict you will cry out. “You’re living in a dream world of theories” you will say to me. But who is living in the dream world, if bound by such silly inventions? Who is limited, imprisoned in paradigms that are meant to be our servants?

    “I don?t doubt for one minute that the soldier who kills lives with horror of his acts for the rest of life though – his moral, ethical or religious responsibility is something he has to reconcile within himself.”

    ah, so you unknowingly agree with me, yet argue like a traveler on the terrain of reason who has lost his compass.

    you admit that the soldier must act in bad faith, when he or she acts against their sense of right and wrong. how does this soldier “reconcile” what he or she has done with the complete contradiction with their value system? The answer is they can not- yet some would tell them that they are exempt from personal responsibility because they are in a war. the zenith of relative morality- right and wrong, twisted and pulled in separate directions, skewed and distorted, rationalized, until the disillusionment of it all ….pulls…pulls…and snaps apart.

    why would you dishonor me with such sentences as:

    “That?s what they are paid for! That?s their job. There?s simply no way out of that. As I wrote earlier, the soldier forgoes his own personal convictions when he takes his oath.”

    Paid for. So because you offer me money, and I accept it, I have no choice after that point? Forgoes personal convictions? They are suppressed, yet can never disappear. Oath? I can take one oath one second, and take an opposite oath the next. Such is choice.

    I suggest Philosophy 101, Nietchze’s Will to Power, the writings of German sociologist Max Weber, Matrix:Reloaded, and serious self-introspection be undertaken before your reply.

    😉

  16. Joen says:

    Chris,

    I happen to agree with DarkBlue on this one.

    You’re argumenting that choice, is always possible, no matter who it is, what situation it is, and what’s in question. You argue this because in the physical, material, mathematical world, such a statement cannot be argued. In such a place, choice determines everything, and choice is free.

    You, yourself suggest Philosophy 101, and Matrix Reloaded. I say: “There is no spoon”.

    I do not either, believe in predetermined choices. I do believe in free will. However, do you not agree, that branches of the very philosophy you preach, state that there is no free will? That there are no choices?

    Your point, that one can always choose, surely cannot be so absolute? No, because even in such a mathematical world, only mathematics itself is an absolute.

    My point is, you are not divinely right, in saying that one can always choose.

    Going back to the point of soldiers, I must also say (repeat?) that what is right and wrong, is not easy to determine. Sometimes what you do in a situation genuinely seems right, but later on—due to bad judgement—turns out to be really bad. We hope never to be put in such situations, but we all are. I’ve made some bad choices, I’m sure you have, too.

    With this said, I would like to thank you all for a great discussion so far. Please feel free to continue, good or bad, if you wish.

    Frankly I’m surprised the “Hitler”-card hasn’t been played yet.

  17. kjsgirl says:

    Well now I’m glad I didn’t play the “Hitler” card when I thought of it haha. It has been an interesting discussion to read. Highly enjoyable given the usual lack of interesting/meaningful discussions in online posts.

    Joen, “Why not North Korea?” and the related questions you spoke of were things I had asked myself and others quite a few times. It was interesting to see your take on them. I’m glad you posted on this topic.

    There are many things I don’t like about the times we are living in, they’re not easy, but one thing I do like is being part of a country that ‘allows’ it’s people to have their say and effect the outcome of governmental decisions. Hmm, even that’s debateable isn’t it…

  18. Anders Rask says:

    How is it that the Iraq war was about oil?

  19. Joen says:

    Hello Anders, Thanks for your comment.

    If you’re asking me, why the Iraq war was about oil, I must admit I don’t have much backing evidence. For the same reason I only hinted at it in the article. It’s a thing I’ve pondered a while, discussed with friends, and as such it’s not more solid than that. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.

    Iraq has (as mentioned), the second largest oil supply in the world. Global economy, is invariably tied to oil and gas prices. We all know how people cry out when gas prices surge, we even know about the huge price difference between european and US oil. (Est. 50 cents a gallon vs. 1 euro a litre gasoline?).

    And then this comes along: “Oil prices jump on Iraq oil pipe blast“. This event is but one of the “everyday” things that just shows how important iraqi oil is.

    As Frank Herbert told us in Dune, “The spice must flow”. I think the same thing can be said about oil. To fuel todays society, it must flow in countless barrels every day.

    Thus, I think it’s about controlling and ensuring an undisrupted flow of oil.

    I’m sure there’s much more to it than that, though.

  20. Anders Rask says:

    There is no doubt that the availability of oil is important to the global economy. It is however not as important as it used to be. Say during the 70’s where you had the oil crisis. In real terms oil prices have been higher than the crisis peak several times over the last few years without being a decisive or significant factor in decreased economic activity. The reason for the lessened importance is mainly due to the economy growing in to a service and knowledge economy in the last thirty some years. And most certainly so in the US.

    The report from Ireland’s Top Business Site does not say whether or not the price rise is due to the sabotage or if it was just the trigger. They also leave us short of any analysis on possible effect on Business in Ireland.

    In other words it is a big question whether or not any increase in the oil supply coming from Iraq can increase the economic activity in the US enough to make the war a profitable venture?

    And if we imagine that it really was about oil, I think a good question is if they could not have gotten around it much, much easier and cheaper. Say they could have tried to lift the sanctions that limited the oil production in Iraq. They could have tried to make a deal with Saddam. Promise him support for oil.

    After all the US and the UK are not really getting much control over the oil. They can exert a great amount of influence. Especially now. But that influence will fade over time as the democratic government gains power (or the country descends into all out civil war … which it by the way will not).

    I for one do not believe this war was about oil. If one believes such things it must also be interesting to remember that France was about to strike a deal with Saddam about oil-concessions before the war.

  21. Joen says:

    Thanks for your comment, Anders, sorry for taking so long to reply.

    You present a valid case, but do not convince me.

    Regarding the article on “Irelands top business site”—it was cleverly Google News’ed just for the reply. I was trying to make a point that it takes very little to “rock the news media”, if it’s about oil prices possibly rising.

    In other words it is a big question whether or not any increase in the oil supply coming from Iraq can increase the economic activity in the US enough to make the war a profitable venture?

    Well, profitable venture for who? For the american people I don’t think this war will ever be a profitable venture. Gas prices will remain artificially low, but “You break it, you buy it”—everything has a price and forcing democracy for years to come is going to be damn expensive.

    The real reason this war was about oil, is not about profit, however, the real deal lies in the macro-economics and so-called “energy security”.

    1. Projected reports show that U.S. oil production will drop by 12% over the next 20 years, increasing the dependence on imported oil. At the same time, U.S. oil consumption is set to increase 33%.

    2. Some speculate that the strength of the dollar is tied to a U.S. deal with OPEC to denominate oil sales in dollars.

    3. With the (as mentioned) second largest proven oil reserve, Iraqi oil production is set to soar post-war, due to international investments in oil industry expansion.

    4. As the “Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century” report states:

    “The United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a de-stabilizing influence to … the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. Therefore the US should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/ diplomatic assessments.”

    » Sources: Bush’s Deep Reasons for War on Iraq, CorpWatch: The New Oil Order

    As for making a deal with Saddam, an option—true, but it would give him the upper hand. Also, the “food for oil” program did exist, not to forget.

    Indeed France made some bad moves. I won’t even try to defend them.

  22. Chris says:

    Anders,

    What was the war about then? Do you really believe Bush was serious about WMD and links to terrorism?

  23. Joen says:

    kjsgirl, sorry for not replying to your post before.

    I agree that living in a country that has freedom of speech is a blessing. One day I hope we can all take that liberty for granted. Til then, we’ll just have to use it as much as we can.

  24. Marc says:

    Where to start:

    In the Powell speech you linked to a close inspection will show the word “imminent” was never used.

    You noted no Al-Qaeda links. While certainly not conclusive evidence of extensive collaboration, the 9/11 report seems to give a great deal of weight to the charges that there were “ties” between Iraq and Al Qaeda. It also rains on the parades of one Mr. Clarke, who had claimed Iraq was a diversion, that there was “absolutly no evidence tht Iraq was supporting al-Qaeda, ever“. In fact, it is quite devastating on that point, using Clarke’s own words.

    I’ve compiled all the (notable*) Iraq references in the report….with links to the 9/11 report pages.

    Page 58: Bin Laden built his Islamic army with groups in various countries, including Iraq.

    Page 61: Bin Laden willing to explore a relationship with Iraq.

    Page 61: Bin Laden agrees to stop supporting activities against Saddam; Reports indicate Saddam may have supported, or at least tolerated, Ansar al-Islam.

    Page 61: Bin Laden met with a senior Iraqi intelligence officer, and asked for assistance. No evidence of an Iraqi response. This was not the last attempt.

    Page 66: Iraq took the initiative to contact Al Qaeda.

    Page 125: Clarke suggests that a chemical factory is probably the result of an Iraq-Al Qaeda agreement. Chemical evidence backs that up.

    Page 134: Clarke discusses the possibility—even likelihood—that Bin Laden would move to Baghdad, if attacked in Afghanistan, and cooperate with Saddam.

    Page 334: Clarke’s report found anecdotal evidence of an Iraqi link to Al Qaeda, but no compelling case that Iraq was involved in 9/11. Something Bush never said and was a result of media spin.

    I should note that neither I nor the 9/11 Report are claiming that Iraq and Al Qaeda were engaged in an ongoing collaborative relationship. I merely point out that there was quite a history of mutual overtures, an apparent willingness to work together, and possible historic cooperation on chemical production/training. I neither suggest, believe, nor consider it relevant to the prewar calculation, that Iraq was in an ongoing cooperative relationship with Al Qaeda. As Bush said, the danger from that relationship laid in the future.

    On to this little piece of nonsense quoted from your entry: “The U.S. has virtually given up on the search” Do you not read the news? The search has never stopped. In fact a final report is due out in a few weeks. Part of the reports results have been leaked to the press.

    As Duelfer puts the finishing touches on his report, he concludes Saddam had intentions of restarting weapons programs at some point, after suspicion and inspections from the international community waned.

    It will also add more evidence and flesh out Kay?s October findings. Then, Kay said the Iraq Survey Group had only uncovered limited evidence of secret chemical and biological weapons programs, but he found substantial evidence of an Iraqi push to boost the range of its ballistic missiles beyond prohibited ranges.

    Nothing to see here.. no threat. Please.

    A short note on the “war for oil” meme. At start of the war the US imported 20% of the total output from the Arabian Gulf area. So what you are really saying is no war to protect the world’s supply of oil. A full brakedown of the meme can be read here.

    And another short note on the Oil for Food program you mentioned. It was corrupt and broken from its inception. All under the nose of Kofi and his son who stood to profit from it, among thousands of others. None of which were Iraqi children, and their mothers.

  25. Joen says:

    Rumsfeld used the word “Imminent”, several times, as you’ll see in the video:

    “Some have argued that the nuclear threat from Iraq is not imminent, that Saddam is at least five to seven years away from having nuclear weapons. I would not be so certain.” – Donald Rumsfeld, September 18, 2002

    As for your references to Iraqi / Al Quaeda ties, I find them all to be vague, inconclusive, and as Clarke’s report appearantly states (as you quote)—anecdotal. It is hardly enough to start a war on a country, even when all diplomatic options were not exhausted.

    In fact, what if we were to compare those ties you mention, with the Bush / Saudi connection (so cleverly illustrated in Fahrenheit 9/11)? How’s Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein for connections? What about the fact that the US supported the Mujahedin warriors in Afghanistan (including one of later herostratic fame, Osama Bin Laden) in their war against communists? In fact, one could argue that Al Quaeda used to have stronger ties with the US than with Iraq.

    My point is—there was not by a longshot reason enough to invade Iraq. This leads me to believe the war was for many other reasons than to strike back at terrorism, or even “freeing” Iraq.

  26. Marc says:

    As for your references to Iraqi / Al Quaeda ties, I find them all to be vague, inconclusive,

    I said the same thing in different terms. The point is there were many ongoing ties with Saddam and, as will be pointed out in the forthcoming Duelfer report he had every intention to restart his missle programs among others when the UN sanctions were either lifted or became week enough to work around them.

    As for the use of imminent, your original ref was to the Powell speech, yet you change the reference to a video of Rumsfeld when it is shown you were mistaken. Strange that.

    Why is it that Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam over 20 years ago relevant Todays context? Are you trying to say that the policy in effect in ‘83 could and should not be changed? Are you saying that because you believe it was wrong then that the US should continue that same wrong relationship? Not a very persuasive arguement.

    In fact, one could argue that Al Qaeda used to have stronger ties with the US than with Iraq.

    Sorry, better do a little more research al-Qaeda didn’t come into being until well after the Russian/ Afghan war ended.

    A few questions. 1. Why in your mind is it not justified to “resume” a war that was stopped by a ceasefire agreement in 1991. An agreement that was repeatedly and blatantly violated since 1991.

    2. Did you support the war in Kosovo? Also a war that did not have the “UN stamp of approval” until after it started.

    A couple further points – Is it not supporting terrorists, as Saddam did, to supply Palestinain suicide bombers families with payments of $25,000 each. A sum that was raised to $35,000 just before the war.

    Here are a couple more terrorists that Saddam supported, Abu Nidal who Saddam asked to help train al-Qaeda terrorist groups. And Abu Abbas whose group killed an American on the hijacked cruise liner Achille Lauro in 1985.

  27. Joen says:

    As for the use of imminent, your original ref was to the Powell speech, yet you change the reference to a video of Rumsfeld when it is shown you were mistaken.

    Untrue. I was not quoting Powell. I was simplifying and summarizing the content of his speech, not quoting actual words. The point of it remains though, as the immediacy of the war was urged across the board, in one word or another. The Rumsfeld clip was just an example of this.

    As for Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Rumsfeld shaking hands with Saddam Hussein, they both illustrate a point. The point is, that when the US is best friends with a country, that country does not constitute “terrorists”. As soon as that country becomes the enemy (the case of both Al Qaeda and Saddam), they are classified terrorists.

    As a wise man said: One country’s terrorists are another country’s freedom fighters.

    In this case, Al Qaeda is “just” a terrorist network. The fact that Al Qaeda came to Afghanistan after the Russian/Afghan war ended, does not change the fact that Osama Bin Laden, who benefitted from US support in forementioned war, was surely classified a terrorist by Russia, at that point in time.

    Your questions.

    1. It is unjustified because it did not have the support of the UN security council.

    2. Yes, I did think the Kosovo war was necessary. All that which the UN does is not always right.

    As for Saddam supporting suicide bombers, I’ve never heard about that. Saddam was an asshole, but it makes no difference in my thinking the Iraq war was fundamentally flawed. The same goes for your last newsbit.

  28. Marc says:

    You are not alone, many people have not heard that Saddam supported the terrorists in Palestine. There are many reasons for that, simple lack of knowledge, and being blinded by ideology among them. But as I said he did, and would still be paying it, if he were not sitting in jail.

    I again maintain the Rumsfeld/Saddam meeting is instructive of only one thing. That times and situations change both on the personnel and national level. Do you understand why America in that time frame was supportive of Saddam? Do you recall over two hundred American hostages being held by Iran for over a year due to the feckless and incompetent Pres. Carter? As many things in life, including US elections, at the time it was a choice between the lesser of two evils. Support for Saddam then was a counter balance to the newly installed Mullahs in Iran. And as history teaches us, was the beginning of State sponsored terrorism and along with it the ideology of the world being ruled under Sha’ria Law.

    “As a wise man said: One country?s terrorists are another country?s freedom fighters.”

    Surely you jest. Freedom fighters were the French resistence in WW2, or the Contras in Nicaragua. To equate the term freedom fighter with Islamofacists, whose ultimate goal is to place the world under the thumb of Talaban like rule, is the height of moral relativism.

    Iraq today is far, far better off today than at any time since Saddam’s rule began. Of course we could turn Iraq over to the UN and they could setup another, in a long line of sex for hire establishments, something they are VERY good at.

  29. Marc says:

    I almost forgot this bit of nonsense

    “Iraq has (as mentioned), the second largest oil supply in the world. Global economy, is invariably tied to oil and gas prices. We all know how people cry out when gas prices surge, we even know about the huge price difference between european and US oil. (Est. 50 cents a gallon vs. 1 euro a litre gasoline?).”

    Really, and why is that? Is it because of the evil Bush empire keeps prices low? Is it because of the “many Bush ties to the Saudi’s? ‘ (Which BTW doesn’t explain why oil prices are going up that could hurt the US/World economy and Bush’s re-election)

    Oil is a product based on the worlds supply and demand just like any other produce. The disparity in US/European prices – and Japans for that matter – is based solely on government imposed taxes. To say or imply anything else is flat out wrong.

  30. Joen says:

    Please excuse my taking so long time to respond. These are not simple matters to discuss, and I do have to ponder my response before typing it.

    Let’s not confuse priorities. Saddam is a brutal dictator, and I like him as little as you do. The real debate here, is whether the war was absolutely the last resort, which I completely disagree with, for reasons mentioned in this article.

    While I’m sure you know more about Jimmy Carter than I do, calling him incompetent is something I’m sure a lot of other Americans will disagree with. He did, after all, get the Nobell Peace Prize “for his decades of untiring effort to find peaceful solutions to international conflicts, to advance democracy and human rights, and to promote economic and social development”. Surely this peace prize is not handed out randomly, some people must have found him competent. And hostage crisises are not easily solved, just look at the two recent, terrible events in Russia.

    But yes, I understand why times and situations change. It is, politics, after all. But already then, Saddam was considered a bad guy, not? So how does this whole issue not demonstrate the flip-flopping of opinions? This was my point, and I stand by it.

    Surely you jest. Freedom fighters were the French resistence in WW2, or the Contras in Nicaragua. To equate the term freedom fighter with Islamofacists, whose ultimate goal is to place the world under the thumb of Talaban like rule, is the height of moral relativism.

    I do not jest, I am quite serious. The classification of being a terrorist vs. being a freedom fighter is entirely dependant on your perspective. I am not talking about Islamofascists, French resistance fighters or Nicaraguan Contras. I am talking about terrorism on a meta level.

    The definition of terrorism, as defined by FBI:

    the unlawful use of force against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population or any segment thereof, in the furtherance of political or social objectives. This definition includes three elements: (1) Terrorist activities are illegal and involve the use of force. (2) The actions are intended to intimidate or coerce. (3) The actions are committed in support of political or social objectives

    Illegal activities, through the use of force, to further political beliefs.

    Is that not, exactly, what freedom fighters fight for?

    No, I do not jest at all. The perspective is all-important, and unless one really considers the other side of the story, one’ll never understand why Iraq is all but fighting a civil war now.

    The whole discussion of whether Iraq is better off today than it was before the US invasion is … ignorant! You are forgetting that Iraq was not the only dictatorship at the time! If you’ll reread the part of this article entitled “Why not North-Korea?”, you’ll know what I mean. The choice of Iraq was deliberate, and not in any way related to “freeing the Iraqi people”, or “toppling a regime”. It was about Weapons of Mass Destruction! More than a thousand soldiers and tens of thousands of Iraqis have died for this reason, do not forget it.

    War was not the last resort, that is my very point. It precedes the whole “better off today” debate, which I by the way strongly disagree with, and Powell does too.

    As for Oil prices, you are forgetting how Bush keeps prices low. That is at the very core of my “nonsense”. “Food for Oil“… I mean, what is that anyway?

  31. Marc says:

    A short word about oil prices, you said:

    As for Oil prices, you are forgetting how Bush keeps prices low. That is at the very core of my ?nonsense?.

    No that is nonsense that either you have read in a slanted article, or you constructed in your mind to justify an anti-war stance.

    This data is using California California prices. Adjusted for inflation the price has gone up during Bush’s time in office with the exception of 2001, and 2002 as a result of a world wide drop in demand directly related to the 9/11 attacks. This year 2004 it is at the highest US price level ever. So where is the Bush “keeping prices down” evidence?

    Sorry that should have been Oil for Food Program. It is detailed in length at Friends of Saddam. And note the the three largest benefactors are France, Germany, and Russia. The same triumvirate that blocked any US attempts to avert the war via the UN Security Council.

    Lets start with Pres. Carter, you may believe he was an effective President but I stand by my assessment, he was the worst US Pres. in the 20th Century. Rather than dwell on Carter here are some of his “accomplishments.” But I will add this.

    Considering the fact that Palestinian PM Arafat (the world’s oldest terrorist) also won a Peace Prize in 1994 it just may call into question how they award the medal. After seventeen years of on-and-off intifadah, the Palestinians, led by Arafat, have done nothing but bomb civilians in pizzarias and night clubs. Of course Jimmy Carter called him a “Statesman.” Arafat lets not forget he walked away from a Clinton brokered deal that gave him over 90% of what he demanded to continue his reign of corruption and terror.

    You can believe Saddam was no threat but one of his own nuclear scientists gives every indication that was not the case. Here is a sample from the link.

    AN IRAQI scientist-turned-author says the most significant pieces of his country?s dormant nuclear programme were buried under a lotus tree in his backyard, untouched for more than a decade before the US-led invasion in 2003.

    But their existence, Dr Mahdi Obeidi writes in a new book, is evidence that the international community should remain vigilant as other countries try to replicate Iraq?s successes before the 1991 Gulf war to develop components necessary for a nuclear weapon.

    In The Bomb in my Garden, Dr Obeidi details Saddam?s quest for a nuclear bomb: “Although Saddam never had nuclear weapons at his disposal, the story of how close Iraq came to developing them should serve as a red flag to the international community.”

    And from the NYT is the second installment of his article.

    What was really going in Iraq before the American invasion last year? Iraq’s nuclear weapons program was on the threshold of success before the 1991 invasion of Kuwait – there is no doubt in my mind that we could have produced dozens of nuclear weapons within a few years – but was stopped in its tracks by United Nations weapons inspectors after the Persian Gulf war and was never restarted. During the 1990’s, the inspectors discovered all of the laboratories, machines and materials we had used in the nuclear program, and all were destroyed or otherwise incapacitated.

    By 1998, when Saddam Hussein evicted the weapons inspectors from Iraq, all that was left was the dangerous knowledge of hundreds of scientists and the blueprints and prototype parts for the centrifuge, which I had buried under a tree in my garden.

    In addition to the inspections, the sanctions that were put in place by the United Nations after the gulf war made reconstituting the program impossible. During the 1980’s, we had relied heavily on the international black market for equipment and technology; the sanctions closed that avenue.

    So far, Obeidi makes a strong case for weapons inspectors, save for one subtle piece that becomes apparent later on: the Iraqis already had the expertise and had managed to hide enough of their research, the most critical of it in Obeidi’s own garden.

    Another factor in the mothballing of the program was that Saddam Hussein was profiting handsomely from the United Nations oil-for-food program, building palaces around the country with the money he skimmed. I think he didn’t want to risk losing this revenue stream by trying to restart a secret weapons program.

    Of course Saddam didn’t want to openly rock the boat while stuffing his bank accounts with Western cash, primarily from the same nations that opposed the eventual effort that deposed him. On the other hand, there wasn’t much boat-rocking with which to be concerned, when many of the same people—including the UN bureaucracy entrusted to enforcing and and maintaining the economic sanctions—directly benefitted from Saddam’s kickbacks. The monetary motivation to keep things running smoothly existed in spades on all sides except the Iraqi people, whose money went everywhere except onto their plates.

    Was Iraq a potential threat to the United States and the world? Threat is always a matter of perception, but our nuclear program could have been reinstituted at the snap of Saddam Hussein’s fingers. The sanctions and the lucrative oil-for-food program had served as powerful deterrents, but world events – like Iran’s current efforts to step up its nuclear ambitions – might well have changed the situation.

    Iraqi scientists had the knowledge and the designs needed to jumpstart the program if necessary. And there is no question that we could have done so very quickly. In the late 1980’s, we put together the most efficient covert nuclear program the world has ever seen. In about three years, we gained the ability to enrich uranium and nearly become a nuclear threat; we built an effective centrifuge from scratch, even though we started with no knowledge of centrifuge technology. Had Saddam Hussein ordered it and the world looked the other way, we might have shaved months if not years off our previous efforts.

    The sanctions regime would not have lasted forever, and even after 9/11 UN members pressed for an end to it and a restoration of Saddam as a major trading partner. With billions in cash reserves from Oil For Food corruption and billions more coming in from legitimate trade, Saddam could have used the core of his dormant nuclear research to quickly reconstitute an enormous threat—and by hiding his chief researcher and all of the necessary data, it would have been, as Obeidi says, a snap.

    And let’s not forget the revelation that a number of Iraqi nuclear scientists and their materials were smuggled into Syria just before the invasion. Obeidi warns the world of the danger presented by his former colleagues:

    So what now? The dictator may be gone, but that doesn’t mean the nuclear problem is behind us. Even under the watchful eyes of Saddam Hussein’s security services, there were worries that our scientists might escape to other countries or sell their knowledge to the highest bidder. This expertise is even more valuable today, with nuclear technology ever more available on the black market and a proliferation of peaceful energy programs around the globe that use equipment easily converted to military use.

    And what of the recent Syria Revelation of two days ago?

    Syria’s President Bashir al-Asad is in secret negotiations with Iran to secure a safe haven for a group of Iraqi nuclear scientists who were sent to Damascus before last year’s war to overthrow Saddam Hussein. …

    A group of about 12 middle-ranking Iraqi nuclear technicians and their families were transported to Syria before the collapse of Saddam’s regime. The transfer was arranged under a combined operation by Saddam’s now defunct Special Security Organisation and Syrian Military Security, which is headed by Arif Shawqat, the Syrian president’s brother-in-law.

    The Iraqis, who brought with them CDs crammed with research data on Saddam’s nuclear programme, were given new identities, including Syrian citizenship papers and falsified birth, education and health certificates. Since then they have been hidden away at a secret Syrian military installation where they have been conducting research on behalf of their hosts.

    There is one large distinction in your definition of a terrorist. (BTW I would agree it matches what would be called a freedom fighter) A freedom fighter is sowing his terror in a localized area, i.e. one country or area of that country. Islamofacists stated desire is to conquer the whole of western society. You, me, democracies, dicators, it matters little to them. Anyone not under Sha’ria law is their target. Read bin- Laden’s Fatwa of 1996, and the second issued in 1998. Then tell me you believe he is the run of the mill every day freedom fighter. For the sake of everyone I would hope you are right, but it is very doubtful. It is World War 4. A loss means my daughters and any you may have may live without an education, be subjected to “honor killings,” and female circumcision.

  32. Joen says:

    No that is nonsense that either you have read in a slanted article, or you constructed in your mind to justify an anti-war stance.

    Did you stop and think that oil might run out some day? Say, in 40 years? I honestly do not believe oil prices can stay low all the time, no matter what measures are taken. Per definition, they will rise directly related to the decline in global reserves. I’m surprised the oil prices haven’t risen further already.

    There are other reasons why this war was about oil, and I will quote what I wrote to another commenter in this thread:

    The real reason this war was about oil, is not about profit. The real deal lies in the macro-economics and so-called “energy security”.

    1. Projected reports show that U.S. oil production will drop by 12% over the next 20 years, increasing the dependence on imported oil. At the same time, U.S. oil consumption is set to increase 33%.

    2. Some speculate that the strength of the dollar is tied to a U.S. deal with OPEC to denominate oil sales in dollars.

    3. With the (as mentioned) second largest proven oil reserve, Iraqi oil production is set to soar post-war, due to international investments in oil industry expansion.

    4. As the “Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century” report states:

    “The United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma. Iraq remains a de-stabilizing influence to ? the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. Therefore the US should conduct an immediate policy review toward Iraq including military, energy, economic and political/ diplomatic assessments.”

    As for France, Russia and Germany—did I even once voice my support for those nations or their personal interests in the war? No. The UN consists of more countries than those (thank god). My anti-war stance doesn’t mean it’s Europe vs. the USA. It means it’s my opinions against the war. Just because I live in Europe, doesn’t mean I agree with what happens here!

    You mention a lot of interesting quotes and sources for Iraqs dormant nuclear programme from prior to the first Gulf War (which I supported). Is any of it relevant to this war? Is there any proof that there was an imminent threat to the US and Iraqs neighbouring countries? Is there any proof that Iraq planned to reinstitute their weapons programme? You quoted it yourself: “threat is always a matter of perception”, but was their anything imminent about it?

    Are you forgetting, by the way, that the UN weapons inspectors did enter Iraq prior to the war, not finding any evidence of any weapons programme or the interest to start one? Did you forget, that these very same weapons inspectors recommended against the war?

    I will ask again: Why not North Korea? When we are acting world police, anyway, why not rid of the rest of the bad guys?

    As for terrorists vs. freedom fighters. I must iterate that I do not condone any extremist forms of religion, be it the mis-interpreted islamism, or even extremist christianity. Religion has nothing to do with politics, no matter what religion you cling to. As such, I’m not particularly a fan of Sharia law, which at the very core is religion and politics combined.

    Do not get me wrong when I say this: whether one is a freedom fighters or a terrorist, it is entirely defined in the eye of the beholder. The very reason for suicide bombers, is that they believe in their cause. While I can certainly see why you (and I) would label that a terrorist, do you not agree that if you turn the perspective 180 degrees, the suicide bomber would be considered the freedom fighter? As such, whether the freedom fighting or terrorism is local or global, it doesn’t matter. I am convinced that many suicide bombers see the US soldiers in Iraq as terrorists.

    Once again, this just shows you that the very word “terorist”, which is emotionally loaded, has no purpose at all. We all know that blowing yourself up is wrong, we know that killing is wrong, and we know that freedom is good. Is this not enough? Do we really need a vague label such as “terrorist”? Isn’t that to overly complicate things?

    With this response, I would just like to mention that I really appreciate your taking the time to reply here. While we may not agree, this very discussion is an expression that there is intelligence on both sides of the issues.

  33. greymullet says:

    But is this different from what happens in China, North Korea, Cambodia and most parts of Africa?

    Let’s not forget Saudi Arabia, a country with appaling human rights violations.

    Or, for that matter, the USA. Detention without trial, a leader who, for 4 years, was not elected by the people. It all adds up…

  34. Joen says:

    Or, for that matter, the USA. Detention without trial, a leader who, for 4 years, was not elected by the people.

    I agree completely. The things that are happening right now at GITMO belong in the last century. It’s mindboggling! But hey, GITMO is part of Cuba, so they can do what they want to there. Duh.

  35. from turkey says:

    Fuck bush.

    he is very very very stupid man.

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