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Tony Blair





otiscom
Do you think he can do any good in middle east peace talks?
GSIS
I'm sure his middle east career will be short so he won't have time to do much damage.. Laughing
ThePolemistis
otiscom wrote:
Do you think he can do any good in middle east peace talks?


Blair is a warmonger.... the only peace he will see to is to ensure that peace exists in the oil fields and the oil pipes so that they can flow the wealth of the arab people -- oil-- (thus reducing them to poverty like in Iraq), to the USA and her allies.

Bush and Blair are the most corrupt people on Earth. They are the biggest terrorists.. Shame on them!!!
Moonspider
ThePolemistis wrote:
otiscom wrote:
Do you think he can do any good in middle east peace talks?


Blair is a warmonger.... the only peace he will see to is to ensure that peace exists in the oil fields and the oil pipes so that they can flow the wealth of the arab people -- oil-- (thus reducing them to poverty like in Iraq), to the USA and her allies.

Bush and Blair are the most corrupt people on Earth. They are the biggest terrorists.. Shame on them!!!


This is off the subject of the thread, but why do so many people, like yourself, believe maintaing oil supplies to be an immoral, corrput thing to do? Oil is life in the modern world, as important as water to the survival of the vast majority of the world's population.

So why is it immoral to maintain secure supplies?

Respectfully,
M
ThePolemistis
Moonspider wrote:


This is off the subject of the thread, but why do so many people, like yourself, believe maintaing oil supplies to be an immoral, corrput thing to do? Oil is life in the modern world, as important as water to the survival of the vast majority of the world's population.

So why is it immoral to maintain secure supplies?

Respectfully,
M


USA and UK do not want to maintain oil supplies, rather they want to secure the oil fields and oil pipes so that they can ship them to USA and UK and fill their bellies with that stuff.

As seen right after America was self-proclaimed victorious in Iraq, it was first to guard the oil fields and oil pipes rather than to prevent widespread looting, or even prevent the country from descending to anarchy like the state it is in now.

Although not as important as water in terms of our physical survival-ness, Oil is nevertheless vital for our needs. But such as resource is sacred too. It is too precious to be burnt off as a fuel in cars, when there are much better uses for oil and much better alternatives as fuels for cars.

However, the biggest problem is when the USA invades a nation purely for the sake of oil, of which virtually all of that countries oil export then returns to the US. This is not right! Because I agree with you that it is not immoral to secure supplies, but it is indeed immoral to have a monopoly over supplies.
And you and I both know, that the wealth of the oil belongs not in the Arab people or their governments, but rather to American companies such as Rockafellar and Halliburton, and their so called governments (men like Cheney and Bush).

Invading Iraq was about oil, just like invading Iran will be about oil. Because if its not, then surely North Korea, who conducts nuclear tests is a bigger threat to Iran. But America does not attempt to engage in North Korea precisely because they do not have oil and Iran does.

Also, Iran is attempting to switch to Euros as oppose to dollars for exporting oil, and given US large deficit and moving away from Gold standard in 1970s, such a move can severely lower the dollars value and shatter Americas economy especially if Venezuela was to follow, a country of which exports 10% of America's total oil imports.
Moonspider
ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:


This is off the subject of the thread, but why do so many people, like yourself, believe maintaing oil supplies to be an immoral, corrput thing to do? Oil is life in the modern world, as important as water to the survival of the vast majority of the world's population.

So why is it immoral to maintain secure supplies?

Respectfully,
M


USA and UK do not want to maintain oil supplies, rather they want to secure the oil fields and oil pipes so that they can ship them to USA and UK and fill their bellies with that stuff.


I respectfully disagree. The United States has maintained a military presence, including a significant naval presence, in the Persian Gulf since the 1980s for the primary purpose of insuring a secure route for world (primarily the U.S. and her allies) oil supplies.

That being said, there is pressure from the United States and the United Kingdom for Iraq to de-nationalize its oil production and allow foreign oil companies to come into the country. This I cannot argue with you. Although it may be in part due to political pressure from oil companies, I do believe it also to be a philosophical difference regarding governance and capitalism.

However, I do not for a moment believe the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq to secure oil fields for British and American companies. I think such a notion is simply conspiratorial nonsense. The reasoning for invading Iraq lay in preventing Hussein’s regime from becoming a source of material, financing, or location for sub-national terrorist organizations. Thus it legally (albeit debatably) fell within the framework of anticipatory self-defense. 9/11 created a United States deeply fearful of a dramatic terrorist attack with a WMD. We know terrorist organizations have the will to do it. The U.S. maintains (and her citizens illogically expect) the untenable goal of preventing 100% of all terrorist attacks in the future, certainly any attempt at something as grandiose as 9/11 or worse. To do this the government must be very proactive, for better or worse.

I personally am not so naïve and expect the U.S. to lose a significant portion of at least one city within the next ten to twenty years to a terrorist act, no matter what our efforts to prevent it.

ThePolemistis wrote:
As seen right after America was self-proclaimed victorious in Iraq, it was first to guard the oil fields and oil pipes rather than to prevent widespread looting, or even prevent the country from descending to anarchy like the state it is in now.


U.S. forces secured the oil fields and pipelines for a very logical and important reason. One might recall the ecological disaster caused by Hussein’s forces as they retreated during Gulf War I. The U.S. made it a priority to prevent that from happening in GW II. Simple as that.

As an aside, I must take issue with the sarcastic statement, “As seen right after America was self-proclaimed victorious…”

The United States and her allies were victorious. They defeated Hussein’s forces and toppled his government. At that point, that war ended. What is going on in Iraq now is a completely different conflict.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Although not as important as water in terms of our physical survival-ness, Oil is nevertheless vital for our needs. But such as resource is sacred too. It is too precious to be burnt off as a fuel in cars, when there are much better uses for oil and much better alternatives as fuels for cars.


I philosophically agree with you regarding personal vehicles. I wish we were off petro-fueled vehicles altogether by now simply because oil will rapidly become a scarce commodity in the all too near future. I believe we’re actually already too late in development and living on borrowed time.

Since we’re a capitalistic society, markets drive change. Thus I feel it to be ironic that many of the proponents of alternative-fueled/powered vehicles are also the first people to complain when gas prices start going up. Democratic leaders in the United States are bad to do this. As for me, I wish gas was $10 to $20 per gallon at least. That would force change and development. Politicians making speeches and passing token environmental laws will not.

But as we agree, oil is vital. It is how we all get food on our tables (just to name one vital use for it).

ThePolemistis wrote:
However, the biggest problem is when the USA invades a nation purely for the sake of oil, of which virtually all of that countries oil export then returns to the US. This is not right! Because I agree with you that it is not immoral to secure supplies, but it is indeed immoral to have a monopoly over supplies.
And you and I both know, that the wealth of the oil belongs not in the Arab people or their governments, but rather to American companies such as Rockafellar and Halliburton, and their so called governments (men like Cheney and Bush).

Invading Iraq was about oil, just like invading Iran will be about oil. Because if its not, then surely North Korea, who conducts nuclear tests is a bigger threat to Iran. But America does not attempt to engage in North Korea precisely because they do not have oil and Iran does.

Also, Iran is attempting to switch to Euros as oppose to dollars for exporting oil, and given US large deficit and moving away from Gold standard in 1970s, such a move can severely lower the dollars value and shatter Americas economy especially if Venezuela was to follow, a country of which exports 10% of America's total oil imports.


As I said earlier, I don’t believe the Iraq invasion was about oil. Rather, it was anticipatory self-defense. However, American companies are benefiting, and yes about 50% of Iraq oil exports go to the U.S. according to the CIA website.

Ironically you said it is immoral to have a monopoly over oil supplies. Does this mean that you are against the nationalization of oil production, as happened throughout the Middle East years ago and which is being dismantled in Iraq?

War with Iran

I don’t think the United States will ever invade Iran, at least not in a conventional sense to conquer and occupy the country. A war with Iran at most would entail special forces going in and securing portions of the country (such as nuclear facilities) for short periods of time in order to adequately destroy them. All Iranian naval forces and shore-based, short-range missile facilities would be wiped out quickly to prevent them from endangering the oil supply routes through the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. All medium and long-range missile sites would be targeted to prevent Iran from retaliating by hitting oil production facilities in other Gulf states (e.g. Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia) as Iran has threatened if attacked.

The United States does not have the personnel to conquer Iran and thus will not do so.

As Senator McCain has said though, the only thing worse than war with Iran is a nuclear-armed Iran. It would not be over oil and only a minority of even democrats running for the presidency or in congress would believe a nuclear-armed Iran preferable to war.

Iran's Euro-based Oil Bourse

Yes, Iran has talked about switching to the Euro. However a Euro-based oil bourse would not pose a significant problem for the United States economy, no matter how large. Stories to that end are just alarmist and not based in economic reality. It depends upon the concept of a mythical “petrodollar” (a dollar based on crude oil rather than gold) which in reality does not exist. That term comes from a misinterpretation of events in the 1970s, IMHO, and requires some leaps of Michael Moore-ian logic.

Countries do not hold U.S. dollars for the sole purpose of buying oil. And even so I don’t think the transactions demand for dollars to purchase oil is high enough to cause a financial setback for the dollar should even all oil trade be based on the euro (or any other currency or combination thereof).

Here is a brief commentary on the conspiracy theory surrounding the “petrodollar” and the Iran Oil Bourse: Strange ideas about the Iranian oil bourse

I’m sure you can find more on the Internet, although it is difficult to wade through all of the conspiracy theories on the topic.

Difference between Iranian and North Korean Threats

The United States is engaging North Korea, contrary to your comment, as one can see daily in the news. If you are speaking in purely military terms, I must simply say that North Korea is a far different animal than Iran.

We can wage war with Iran and accomplish limited objectives with relatively low costs of life and material and with little threat of expansion of the conflict aside from terrorist activity. The latter already exists so alert levels would merely be raised accordingly. Within 48 hours of the commencement of hostilities, Iran would be utterly incapable of launching any sort of conventional strike or counterattack to expand the conflict or interrupt oil supplies in the Gulf.

North Korea is a military-state with enough artillery pointed at Seoul alone to make any sort of military strike extremely costly. Their special forces (including all-female units) are highly capable and alone rival the size of the entire U.S. Army. Without nuclear weapons they possess a large number of biochemical weapons (deployable in both artillery shells and missile warheads as well as aircraft deliverables) and have a first-strike chemical policy. An attack by the United States upon North Korea would mean full-scale war on the peninsula to at least include chemical attacks by the North (and possible tactical nuclear strikes by the U.S. in retaliation and as the only means to stop DPRK conventional forces). Japan could be struck by medium-range missiles as well. North Korean forces would probably overrun Seoul before the U.S. and South Korean forces could stop the advance.

We’ve lost over 3,000 men and women in Iraq since 2003. We (alone, not including the Koreans) could lose more than 3,000 people within the first day of combat (probably in the first hour).

To say that we won’t engage North Korea militarily because they don’t have oil is terribly simplistic (in fact, downright wrong) and blatantly ignores the military and political realities. There is a vast difference between a U.S. military conflict with Iran and North Korea! (And that is an understatement to say the least. In comparison, any war with Iran would not qualify as a conflict at all compared to war with North Korea.) As one of the articles below points out, the DPRK is the only nation in the world with the capability and political will to fight a total war with the United States. The U.S. has not fought a total war since World War II. Iran certainly would not qualify as one either!

North Korea military and other information:
http://www.specwarnet.net/asia/NKSF.htm
http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/bgn/2792.htm
http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/world/dprk/
http://www.rense.com/general37/nkorr.htm

Respectfully,
M
ThePolemistis
Moonspider wrote:

I respectfully disagree. The United States has maintained a military presence, including a significant naval presence, in the Persian Gulf since the 1980s for the primary purpose of insuring a secure route for world (primarily the U.S. and her allies) oil supplies.


Precisely,,,its not about bringing stability into the region, its simply about America's love for oil.

Moonspider wrote:


That being said, there is pressure from the United States and the United Kingdom for Iraq to de-nationalize its oil production and allow foreign oil companies to come into the country. This I cannot argue with you. Although it may be in part due to political pressure from oil companies, I do believe it also to be a philosophical difference regarding governance and capitalism.


The only foreign oil companies in Iraq are American oil companies. Iranian or Saudi oil companies do not exist in Iraq, nor French or Russian for that matter.

Moonspider wrote:


However, I do not for a moment believe the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq to secure oil fields for British and American companies. I think such a notion is simply conspiratorial nonsense. The reasoning for invading Iraq lay in preventing Hussein’s regime from becoming a source of material, financing, or location for sub-national terrorist organizations. Thus it legally (albeit debatably) fell within the framework of anticipatory self-defense. 9/11 created a United States deeply fearful of a dramatic terrorist attack with a WMD. We know terrorist organizations have the will to do it. The U.S. maintains (and her citizens illogically expect) the untenable goal of preventing 100% of all terrorist attacks in the future, certainly any attempt at something as grandiose as 9/11 or worse. To do this the government must be very proactive, for better or worse.



The notion that Iraq was attacked predominately because of the intelligence at that time attributing it to breeding ground for terrorism and its possible links with 9/11 or AlQaeda is entirely false.
We know now that Iraq never ever shared affiliation with other terrorist organisations such as AlQaeda, when the British and American's did finance organisations such as Hamas and AlQaeda when it suited them, as well as Saddam's Baath party.

Nevertheless, if America was to prevent terrorist attacks in the future, it would only seem wise to the world and themselves that America would go after Saudi Arabia since most of the hijackers nationalities resided in this very American-puppet regime country. And also FYI: Not a single hijacker responsible for 911 or any terrorist attack against USA was from Iraq.
Iraq was never a threat against American and her allies and their people, and the only threat Saddam was to was to his own people and perhaps to a lesser extent his neighbours (but given the IraqIran war and Gulf war I, Iraq military was substantially weak).

The idea that Iraq was producing WMD as base ground for attack was again wrong. Assuming Iraq did possess these weapons (which we know now they did not), the only threat they will be towards would be Iran (America's enemy). And given what happened in 1980, in which America and Britain supported the use of chemical and biological weapons as well as provided them against the Khomeini government, in which Saddam proclaimed it is a war which would be over in 3 days, but Iran (land of the Aryans) fought back and Iraq asked for a cease fire 3 years later: then if this is anything to go by (and we have no reason why it would not be), then surely America would support Iraq possessing WMDs because the biggest threat would be towards Iran and not anyone else.

However, as I said before, it was about Oil. In 1999, Saddam Hussein changed the currency for trading oil in Iraq to Euros. Since then, the value of the dollar deprciated (since its not based on the gold standard but rather supply and demand), and in fact Saddam profited from it being in Euros. When American forces captured Iraq, they switched it back to dollars and not euros.


Moonspider wrote:


I personally am not so naïve and expect the U.S. to lose a significant portion of at least one city within the next ten to twenty years to a terrorist act, no matter what our efforts to prevent it.



This will never happen. No terrorist attack has the ability to wipe a significant portion of one or more cities, unless of course it happens from the inside.

On 911, 4 aeroplanes were hijacked at the same time, and changed their course of direction. Official reports suggest America had between 30-60 minutes to do something before it the twin towers. It would take approx. 6 mins for their military aircrafts to reach the passenger aircrafts. NORAD did nothing despite being repeatedly warned.

There are two reasons why 911 happened:
1. America's security simply ignored information that 4 aircrafts were off-course and their pilots not responding.
or 2. It was allowed to happen.

What we are sure of is that it is not due to America's lack of security. There was ample warnings that the planes were not on due course, so the answers lie in only in one of the two options above. America had the military might to do something.

Moonspider wrote:


U.S. forces secured the oil fields and pipelines for a very logical and important reason. One might recall the ecological disaster caused by Hussein’s forces as they retreated during Gulf War I. The U.S. made it a priority to prevent that from happening in GW II. Simple as that.



Is oil more important than establishing law and order?
The most basic need for people is not $$$, but rather peace and security.


Moonspider wrote:


As an aside, I must take issue with the sarcastic statement, “As seen right after America was self-proclaimed victorious…”

The United States and her allies were victorious. They defeated Hussein’s forces and toppled his government. At that point, that war ended. What is going on in Iraq now is a completely different conflict.



America won the battle, and not the war. The war will continue so long as there are attacks on American forces. The primilary stages of the war they won, was the removal of Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein's army was not the only threat against American forces, and until the people of Iraq, who are quite rightly against the occuption, stop attacks on American forces, the war will continue.


Moonspider wrote:


But as we agree, oil is vital. It is how we all get food on our tables (just to name one vital use for it).


Nice to agree on this issue.

Moonspider wrote:


As I said earlier, I don’t believe the Iraq invasion was about oil. Rather, it was anticipatory self-defense. However, American companies are benefiting, and yes about 50% of Iraq oil exports go to the U.S. according to the CIA website.


American oil companies are entirely benefiting. The french, the russians, the chinese, japanese, indians, saudis or iranians havent got a single oil company operating in Iraq. America oversees the oil exports of the country, and its production, which is something liek 1.5 million barrels per day.

and also according to the CIA webiste:
Iraq exports are: crude oil 84%, crude materials excluding fuels 8%, food and live animals 5%

Thus, oil is the absolute source of income to its economy. They are more dependant on economy of oil than any other nation. This is how much America cares about the Iraqi economy. The GDP of the country is only 40 billion, and if we remove oil, then you can estimate its number.

Moonspider wrote:

Ironically you said it is immoral to have a monopoly over oil supplies. Does this mean that you are against the nationalization of oil production, as happened throughout the Middle East years ago and which is being dismantled in Iraq?



I support nationalisation in some industries such as hospitals, schools and of course oil production. That is not to say privatisation cannot exist, but these industries should be like at least 80% nationalised for it to reap benefits for its people.
Indeed, I will be in support of nationalisation in the middleast which happened in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other countries. This wealth belongs to the Arab people and not the Americans. Oil is the wealth of the state, on the state's land, and not for some few individuals.
We have seen what privatisation of oil means as evident in Russia.

Moonspider wrote:

I don’t think the United States will ever invade Iran, at least not in a conventional sense to conquer and occupy the country. A war with Iran at most would entail special forces going in and securing portions of the country (such as nuclear facilities) for short periods of time in order to adequately destroy them. All Iranian naval forces and shore-based, short-range missile facilities would be wiped out quickly to prevent them from endangering the oil supply routes through the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. All medium and long-range missile sites would be targeted to prevent Iran from retaliating by hitting oil production facilities in other Gulf states (e.g. Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia) as Iran has threatened if attacked.


Of course, I do not blame Iran if it attacks the oil production sites in Iraq (which is ruled by America) , if America was to attack Iran.
But having said that, America will never want to attack Iran for interests other than oil. They know perfectly well, that Iran will never be able to hurt America, and even Israel. Israel is a devloped nation, and receives more aid from America than the world gives to the entire continent of Africa.
Given the US and EU sanctions, Iran's devlopment in nuclear material is extremely limited.

But my opinion on nukes is that unless America gives up her nukes, every country has the right to produce them. You cannot bully nations in dictating what they can and cannot do, unless you yourself give it up. I would hope the world is nuclear-free, but its for America to take the first step and the worlds only superpower and rolemodel, and if she does so, then I would be perfectly happy if USA attacks Iran because it is developing nuclear bomb.

Moonspider wrote:

As Senator McCain has said though, the only thing worse than war with Iran is a nuclear-armed Iran. It would not be over oil and only a minority of even democrats running for the presidency or in congress would believe a nuclear-armed Iran preferable to war.


Is a nuclear armed Iran a greater threat than a nuclear armed Israel or Pakistan?? These countries have nuclear bombs, but the world is silent on them. And Pakistan is under dictatorship too.


Moonspider wrote:

Countries do not hold U.S. dollars for the sole purpose of buying oil. And even so I don’t think the transactions demand for dollars to purchase oil is high enough to cause a financial setback for the dollar should even all oil trade be based on the euro (or any other currency or combination thereof).


It will since Venezuela says it would follow Irans footsteps if they were to change.

Moonspider wrote:

Here is a brief commentary on the conspiracy theory surrounding the “petrodollar” and the Iran Oil Bourse: Strange ideas about the Iranian oil bourse


The idea is simple. By converting to Euros, you make the Euro stronger and dollar weaker due to demand and supply. People will be more prone to keep their assets in Euros then and not dollars. This would depreciate the demand for dollars. The website states: "Those selling oil could convert those dollars back to euros or Japanese yen or whatever their hearts desired", but then rightfully concludes: "but rather the desired asset holdings of those who are accumulating the wealth."
If oil trade was switched to Euros, then Euros will be a desired asset holding due to its stability and demand.

Moonspider wrote:

North Korea is a military-state with enough artillery pointed at Seoul alone to make any sort of military strike extremely costly. Their special forces (including all-female units) are highly capable and alone rival the size of the entire U.S. Army. Without nuclear weapons they possess a large number of biochemical weapons (deployable in both artillery shells and missile warheads as well as aircraft deliverables) and have a first-strike chemical policy. An attack by the United States upon North Korea would mean full-scale war on the peninsula to at least include chemical attacks by the North (and possible tactical nuclear strikes by the U.S. in retaliation and as the only means to stop DPRK conventional forces). Japan could be struck by medium-range missiles as well. North Korean forces would probably overrun Seoul before the U.S. and South Korean forces could stop the advance.


Firstly, North Korea will never attack South Korea, and if they do so, then it would be aimed at the 50,000 American troops stationed there and not Soeul.
The people of North Korea and the people of South Korea regard each other of the same family, as brother and sisters, which is exactly what they are. Had it not been for Russia and America, they would still be one country.

North Korea would achieve nothing by attacking South Korea.

Moonspider wrote:

To say that we won’t engage North Korea militarily because they don’t have oil is terribly simplistic (in fact, downright wrong) and blatantly ignores the military and political realities. There is a vast difference between a U.S. military conflict with Iran and North Korea! (And that is an understatement to say the least. In comparison, any war with Iran would not qualify as a conflict at all compared to war with North Korea.) As one of the articles below points out, the DPRK is the only nation in the world with the capability and political will to fight a total war with the United States. The U.S. has not fought a total war since World War II. Iran certainly would not qualify as one either!



You over estimate the strength of North Korea. To say its a threat to the worlds only superpower is riduculous. And if such was the case, then surely it is in America's interest to prepare to a war against North Korea, rather than some middleEastern country that does not even know its own needs yet.
To fight North Korea now, is certainly better than have the possibility to face them later when they have simply grown stronger and stronger.

Diplomacy in N Korea we know is not working. N Korea is conducting nuclear tests. All that we know on Iran which is a possibility, we know on N Korea as a definate.
Then unless, as you are assuming, that this is a threat on parallel of what nazi germany posed in the 40s, then surely we should not be bombing tents and sand in some middle eastern country, but rather face real threats and challenges and decide to take action now rather than later.

Clearly, an attack against North Korea is more important than one against Iran. This again shows that the lack of action against N Korea despite it being a bigger threat than Iran, is because of oil or the lack of it in N Korea, and the ample of it in Iran.

For America, the sign of wealth is more dear to them than the safety of their military situated in S Korea, nearby and at home.
horseatingweeds
ThePolemistis, Moonspider offered you a thorough understanding of the subjects at hand yet you reply with over-simplified populous explanations.

Go after Saudi Arabia because the hijackers where from Saudi Arabia and not Iraq, who openly supports terrorist attacks against the US and Israel?

1. What would you be saying today about “this administration” had the terror attacks on the WTCs been stopped by knocking the planes out of the sky? If you where at the helm, is that what you would have done; with 0 precedence for the impending catastrophe burned hundreds of air-travelers to death?
2. If you think, “let it happen” there are some friends here for you. They’ll only make you less smart though.

And I don’t know if you’re an 8-year-old from some LA suburb or the son of a goat herder in Afghanistan, but your logic is simply false.

Security != $

In fact:

$ = Security
AND
$ + Security = $$$$
Thus
$$$$ = Security * 4 (and so on)

The difference in Iraq today as apposed to when Sadam ran things it that the oil $ will promote Iraqis and Iraqi society. $$$$ will get their economy running which will employ the board and impoverished young men who are currently ideal Al Qaeda recruits. This $$$$ will result in opportunity which will result in security which will result in further $$$$ and further security. Iraq could easily become a similar state to the wealthy UAE, unless the evil-doers have their way.

As I said, watch your over-simplification of matters. Moon has a good handle on these ideas; it would benefit you to read without feeling the need to find generic arguments.

With your logic: In the fall, mice move into my home. I shouldn’t kill the mice though. Last fall I killed 3 because my intelligence informed me there was a % chance they where carrying parasites that could infect my cat and dogs. This turned out to not be the case. The dead mice showed no sign a parasite.

This fall I shouldn’t kill the mice. If I do, I should kill my cat and dogs too. Like the mice, they are animals and also can carry parasites. They have been guilty of carrying parasites in the past too so I should probably just kill the cat and dogs and leave the mice alone.
ThePolemistis
Dear Horseatingweeds

If anything, Saudi threat is greater than Iraqs

horseatingweeds wrote:

Go after Saudi Arabia because the hijackers where from Saudi Arabia and not Iraq, who openly supports terrorist attacks against the US and Israel?



The reason I stated that America should go after Saudi Arabia is because if any nation was a breeding ground for terrorism, then through evidence, we find the majority of hijackers being of Saudi origin including the one supposedly to have masterminded it, Osama Bin Laden.
I do not advocate a war against Saudi Arabia, despite it being another puppet regime of America, but it would seem much more logical than attacking Iraq.

You said Iraq openly supports terrorist attacks against USA. However, not one single Iraqi has committed an act of terror against the United States, unlike a Saudi citizen.

It is true that Saddam Hussein spoke is a somewhat disturbing matter regarding the attack on America on 911, but many governments of many nations have supported terrorism.
For instance, whilst the EU and UK regard IRA as a terrorist orgranisation, America does not and even supports the IRA. Further, America aided Iraq with chemical and Biological weapons including Anthrax during Iraq's war with Iran. America even supports the terrorist regime of Israel with more aid than the whole of Africa, for which in return, Israel continues to violate Internation Law and break many Security council resolutions.


Blowing Plane in air would result in fewer civilian death

horseatingweeds wrote:


1. What would you be saying today about “this administration” had the terror attacks on the WTCs been stopped by knocking the planes out of the sky? If you where at the helm, is that what you would have done; with 0 precedence for the impending catastrophe burned hundreds of air-travelers to death?
2. If you think, “let it happen” there are some friends here for you. They’ll only make you less smart though.


I am sure every single person would approve of blowing a plane in the air and killing perhaps 200 people, than to allow that plane to crash into the twin towers and kill more than 2000 people, as well as shattering the lives of many many more.

Secondly, you seem to state that some sort of attempt was made to divert the planes. The truth is, there was none. American planes did not fly and go near the boeing to communicate with its pilot. If your not going to take down the plane, which would damage one of the busiest cities in the world, at least try to send your supersonic jets to try to divert its path or even comunicate with the pilots. America spends billions in Space projects, why not think of safety closer to home?

Also, how do we not know that the plane were not carrying some nerve gas or other biological weapons, as terrorists would like. Thankfully it was not, but had it been, then I would not like to see the state of NY today. And you will be still sitting all over the TV crying your eyes out that they shot the bloody plane in the air.

Therefore, the only wise decision would be to blow up the plane in the air. I know many innocent lives would be ended, but to allow the plane to enter densely populated civilian territories, would be much more devestating. In all cases of self-defence, innocent deaths are almost inevitable, and you must always try to minimise the number of civilian deaths.

horseatingweeds wrote:


And I don’t know if you’re an 8-year-old from some LA suburb or the son of a goat herder in Afghanistan, but your logic is simply false.



My logic is sensible. Destroy plane in air = less civilian deaths (less is a definite case)

Your logic is: Allow plane to hit Civilian areas = DEATHS OF PASSENGERS IN PLANE + higher deaths + chance of chemical/biological agent spreading (if terrorists carried it) + devestating the economy + fog for many days (NYers are even now ill due to the fog) +.....

I think my scenario, although may look disturbing to you, would be welcomed by every other sane person.



Security = +$$$ and NOT Security = -($$$)

horseatingweeds wrote:


Security != $

In fact:

$ = Security
AND
$ + Security = $$$$
Thus
$$$$ = Security * 4 (and so on)




I don't know what crap your talking about, but the way I see it is:

Security = peace and Stability.
Stability = Investment.
Investment = $$$.
Example: Switzerland - without war for over 400 years. Has highest GDP per head in the world.

Your mind is short sighted. Think above the horizon.

Iraq worse now than under Saddam

horseatingweeds wrote:


The difference in Iraq today as apposed to when Sadam ran things it that the oil $ will promote Iraqis and Iraqi society. $$$$ will get their economy running which will employ the board and impoverished young men who are currently ideal Al Qaeda recruits. This $$$$ will result in opportunity which will result in security which will result in further $$$$ and further security. Iraq could easily become a similar state to the wealthy UAE, unless the evil-doers have their way.




Being quite frank, that is not happening. In fact, Iraq is worse economically and socially under American rule than it was under Saddam. Under Saddam, there was Law and Order, it may have been under dictatorship, but there was some sort of security.
Today, America best refrains from calling it a civil war. If Iraq is not in a civil war, then I do not honestly know what country is in a civil war. There is no law and order today. Americans are dying, British soldiers are dying, but most importantly, innocent Iraqis are dying and at a much greater rate than during Saddams Iraq.

You pose many hypothesises in your paragraph, but none of it is happening. Ideally, thats how we would like the world to be: wealthy nations. But dude, quit dreaming and come to reality.

American's were invited with flowers, with the hope they would change Iraq. Now they are pelted with bombs and bullets for failing on their promise.

horseatingweeds wrote:


As I said, watch your over-simplification of matters. Moon has a good handle on these ideas; it would benefit you to read without feeling the need to find generic arguments.



Im living in reality. I pose facts, you pose scenarios far-fetched. You are alice, and you are living in wonderland, and until you realise that politics is a dirty game, you will never get any sense of reality.
Moon's idea do however offer an alternate view, and can be considered. Your ideas, are in an entire different dimension altogether.


Your assumption of my logic is not my logic but logic of our governments

horseatingweeds wrote:


With your logic: In the fall, mice move into my home. I shouldn’t kill the mice though. Last fall I killed 3 because my intelligence informed me there was a % chance they where carrying parasites that could infect my cat and dogs. This turned out to not be the case. The dead mice showed no sign a parasite.



Correct me if im wrong:
By mice you mean terrorists and by house you mean nation. By intelligence you mean secret services. Intelligence informs me that there is % chance of carrying violence (parasites) that could infect other civilians (cats and mice). After, we find no indication of violence by these terrorists.

I conclude one thing from this hypothesis: You are talking about the intelligence America and Britain had on Iraq being an iminant threat.

heyyy.... thats not my logic, thats the logic of our governments.

So, I oppose this hypothesis. You getting confused with other peoples logic.

horseatingweeds wrote:


This fall I shouldn’t kill the mice. If I do, I should kill my cat and dogs too. Like the mice, they are animals and also can carry parasites. They have been guilty of carrying parasites in the past too so I should probably just kill the cat and dogs and leave the mice alone.



Hmm,,, more riddles.

I think you are dreaming too much.. no one wants to kill innocent civilians.

Go after the terrorist.

But the imminant threat is not from Iran, Hizbollah or Hamas, nor was it from Iraq, the major threat to America is North Korea.

Conclusion:

Each day you are in Iraq trying to sort out the mess you made, each day North Korea is getting stronger, and its nuclear project is one step closer to targetting Washington.
horseatingweeds
Let me try to help you out here ThePolemists.

First, you are repeating yourself. Second, you’re not reading closely. Also, what you are saying would have made sense to me when I was about 17-years-old, I understand there is more to such situations than what one can gather from headlines.

If you consider an attack on Saudi more logical that Iraq, you simple have little understanding of US relations with either country. Go find this info on your own.

Iraq did plenty more than speak poorly toward the US and Israel. I’ll let you gother this info on your own too.

My point about blasting civilians out of the atmosphere is that people displaying your exact logic toward such event, had the evil Bush done so, would currently viewed the act as an overreaction, despite the obvious ramifications you mentioned. I wish the planes would have been destroyed, but they weren’t. It’s no ones fault except for the people, again displaying your logic, who refuse to accept realities. Realities that would compel the US to increase it’s military by more that twice and properly care for and support measures that would result in more creativity and cultural understanding when dealing with the enemies with whom we are AT WAR.

Here's the bug in you logic.

ThePolemists wrote:
Security = peace and Stability.
Stability = Investment.
Investment = $$$.
Example: Switzerland - without war for over 400 years. Has highest GDP per head in the world.


Before you have stability or investment, you need money. Money can be made as well as investment during instability, although not at efficiency. The key is initial money and investment to give the people of Iraq, the ones making thing unstable, a reason to ignore stupidity, such as joining Al Qaeda and committing sectarian murder.

Your example of Switzerland is very poor. Perhaps their GDP is good because they drink mountain water. Our, perhaps because they eat chocolate which substitutes for sex, or so I hear, and keeps their population more industrious. These arguments are just as logical. Regardless, absence of war does not equal security.

ThePolemists wrote:
horseatingweeds wrote:
The difference in Iraq today as apposed to when Sadam ran things it that the oil $ will promote Iraqis and Iraqi society. $$$$ will get their economy running which will employ the board and impoverished young men who are currently ideal Al Qaeda recruits. This $$$$ will result in opportunity which will result in security which will result in further $$$$ and further security. Iraq could easily become a similar state to the wealthy UAE, unless the evil-doers have their way.


Being quite frank, that is not happening. In fact, Iraq is worse economically and socially under American rule than it was under Saddam. Under Saddam, there was Law and Order, it may have been under dictatorship, but there was some sort of security.
Today, America best refrains from calling it a civil war. If Iraq is not in a civil war, then I do not honestly know what country is in a civil war. There is no law and order today. Americans are dying, British soldiers are dying, but most importantly, innocent Iraqis are dying and at a much greater rate than during Saddams Iraq.

You pose many hypothesises in your paragraph, but none of it is happening. Ideally, thats how we would like the world to be: wealthy nations. But dude, quit dreaming and come to reality.

American's were invited with flowers, with the hope they would change Iraq. Now they are pelted with bombs and bullets for failing on their promise.


Watch that reading and watch making obvious statements. To be quite frank Dude, your response to my paragraph seems unrelated….

This just make you sound foolish wrote:
Im living in reality. I pose facts, you pose scenarios far-fetched. You are alice, and you are living in wonderland, and until you realise that politics is a dirty game, you will never get any sense of reality.
Moon's idea do however offer an alternate view, and can be considered. Your ideas, are in an entire different dimension altogether.


I thought my mouse analogy would help you but you ran off with it. It you looked as close into actual thing as you did that, you would improve. My point was your surface logic.

“ We attacked Iraq to take away weapon. But hey, we gave Iraq weapons before and Saudi citizens where the bodies carrying our the terror attack. Shouldn’t we attack Saudi?”

Simple surface logic.

As for this bit of whatever, I wish I had read first. You may be to far lost for any help here.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Each day you are in Iraq trying to sort out the mess you made, each day North Korea is getting stronger, and its nuclear project is one step closer to targetting Washington.


Run back and give Moon’s stuff another read. The US needs to be in Iraq. NK is not getting stronger, that is one of the big problems. Crazy Kim is starving his people to create the people’s bomb, to protect the people…. The danger is to his neighbors, US allies. The troops in Iraq would't help in Korea so much. As Moon stated, NK would likely do the majority of damage over night with too many offensive points to neutralize.
ThePolemistis
horseatingweeds wrote:

First, you are repeating yourself. Second, you’re not reading closely. Also, what you are saying would have made sense to me when I was about 17-years-old, I understand there is more to such situations than what one can gather from headlines.


I repeat myself simply because you pose the same questions. Perhaps if you would pick up on the statements I repeat, I wouldn't repeat it.


horseatingweeds wrote:

If you consider an attack on Saudi more logical that Iraq, you simple have little understanding of US relations with either country. Go find this info on your own.


Firstly, I do not consider any attack on any Middle Eastern nation logical, or even any Muslim nation. No Muslim nation is a threat to America or Britain, but rather, most of them are puppets that were established by us or work in our interests, for instance, the family of Saud, Prince Abdullah of Jordan, Mr Mubark of Egypt, etc etc.

Lets look at the purpose of invading Iraq:
Point 1: Because Iraq was an oppressive regime towards its people
In fact, Saudi Arabia breaches much more human rights than Saddam Hussein did.

Point 2: Iraq had WMD
Saudi has WMD but these were willingly provided by Britain and USA. Iraq did not have WMD

Point 3: Iraq was under dictatorship
Saudi is under a dictatorship too

Point 4: Iraq spoke against Israel
Saudi Arabia does not even recognise Israel.Also, prior to Israel establishment, hundreds of thousands of Jews lived in Iraq and many thousands still do. In Saudi however, the case is different.

Point 5: Iraq was an imminent threat to USA
If we look at what happened with oil and Saudi in the 70s, and the rift that exists between SAudi and Israel, this poses a deep concern towards USA and/or her allies. Israel is USA biggest friend (and perhaps only) they have in the middle East.


Again, I do not advocate any war against the middle east. I am simply stating there is greater evidence supporting Saudi anti-freedom than Iraqi.

horseatingweeds wrote:


Iraq did plenty more than speak poorly toward the US and Israel. I’ll let you gother this info on your own too.



Tell me something Iraq did towards USA than Saudi Arabia did not do.


horseatingweeds wrote:


My point about blasting civilians out of the atmosphere is that people displaying your exact logic toward such event, had the evil Bush done so, would currently viewed the act as an overreaction, despite the obvious ramifications you mentioned. I wish the planes would have been destroyed, but they weren’t. It’s no ones fault except for the people, again displaying your logic, who refuse to accept realities. Realities that would compel the US to increase it’s military by more that twice and properly care for and support measures that would result in more creativity and cultural understanding when dealing with the enemies with whom we are AT WAR.



Why are you blaming it on the people? You now just stated that you would have prefered the plane being destroyed before it reached the destination. Obviously, I would too. Whatever the people thought, it is upto them.. let them think because there will always be groups that oppose Bush for doing something or not doing something: either way to some groups he would lose. But to the majority, shooting the planes before them reaching their destination would be the best option. American lives are at stake either way --by not doing something or by doing something.

However, The problem lies in America: for some reason, although willing to strike whom they please, not doing anything at home.
Like I said, fighter jets were not even launched from their airpads. 911 was simply one example of many, in which America allowed herself to be attacked.

ANother is Hurricane Katrina. How long did it take for the Bush administration to send her mighty army to helps its mainly black citizens. Again, America failed towards her people.


horseatingweeds wrote:

Before you have stability or investment, you need money. Money can be made as well as investment during instability, although not at efficiency. The key is initial money and investment to give the people of Iraq, the ones making thing unstable, a reason to ignore stupidity, such as joining Al Qaeda and committing sectarian murder.


In your first two sentences you may have some/shared point here but you must understand that although you need money to be secure you also need security to have money. Security not simply in prevention of industrial sabotage (i.e. the oil fields), but also from preventing corruption, thus ensuring that the money leaves the pockets who rule Iraq for the benefit of Iraqis and not merely themselves.

You go on to talk about money and investment to give to those who are unstable in Iraq. Here money is not an issue to these people: what they need is security. Job security for instance. I mean, the pay can be small, but so long as it pays for their daily bread and a slight more its okay. Like you said, money during instability will not be great. Therefore, once stability and security is cemented, e.g. by providing jobs, adequate water then of course it will lead to greater investment.

Thus, you must recognise, that security is a key issue, and the most imperative. The reason why America is failing at the moment in Iraq is simply because of the lack of security. America has all the money in the world, but cannot bring peace to a single street in Baghdad.
Bring peace by helping the people through jobs, security, preserving culture (e.g. museums) etc and Iraq will be a success story. Like I said, the Iraqi people invited Americans in their homes with the hope they would change Iraq for the better. The people kept their end of their bargin, America failed to keep theirs.
Now look at the situation they are in --- and its got nothing to do with money --- because America has tons of it. The key issue is in security.

horseatingweeds wrote:

Your example of Switzerland is very poor. Perhaps their GDP is good because they drink mountain water. Our, perhaps because they eat chocolate which substitutes for sex, or so I hear, and keeps their population more industrious. These arguments are just as logical. Regardless, absence of war does not equal security.


You are joking right??
Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Ireland, rest of Europe, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, are all successful because of the absense of war. War creates fear and the only benefit it brings is a increase in production for war products. The cost of war can never be repayed, Germany, Britain, or any major European nation still havent paid the cost of WWII. Britain still owes America billions. The Saudis owe America $50 Billion for Gulf War I.

Give me one example of a nation that is successful despite continuous war on both fronts, home and abroad against other nations?
(and FYI: those responsible for 911 were terrorists and not a nation)

horseatingweeds wrote:


The difference in Iraq today as apposed to when Sadam ran things it that the oil $ will promote Iraqis and Iraqi society



Maybe I can elaborate my initial answer. The difference you state is not happening. Oil Money is not used to promote Iraqis and Iraqi soceity and it never will. America still does not provide clean water to the people of Baghdad, and this is the most basic of needs.


horseatingweeds wrote:



I thought my mouse analogy would help you but you ran off with it. It you looked as close into actual thing as you did that, you would improve. My point was your surface logic.

“ We attacked Iraq to take away weapon. But hey, we gave Iraq weapons before and Saudi citizens where the bodies carrying our the terror attack. Shouldn’t we attack Saudi?”

Simple surface logic.




I think you mouse analogy fitted exactly for what the Americans and British did, so I woondered why the sudden turn of tables. I guess we wont be seeing them analogies for quite a while then Razz

As I said, I do not ask for war. I do not agree with any attack on the MiddleEast, be it against the Saudis or the Iraqis. Both of our governments (UK and USA) reputations in the middleEast were severly damaged by the Sykes-Picot agreement and Balfour agreement and more recently the Gulf war, the coup in Iran and many other countless disgraceable acts. I can understand what fuels their hatred towards us,, for it is us who have shaped their world.

Thus, We cannot change the past, but we can change the future. Again, I iterate, America had the chance of strengthing relations after the fall of Saddam, but it failed. America will never win in Iraq, but the best it can do is to accept they have failed (not to the terrorists but to the Iraqi people) in bringing peace and prosperity into the region - perhaps then there will be peace.



horseatingweeds wrote:



Run back and give Moon’s stuff another read. The US needs to be in Iraq. NK is not getting stronger, that is one of the big problems. Crazy Kim is starving his people to create the people’s bomb, to protect the people…. The danger is to his neighbors, US allies. The troops in Iraq would't help in Korea so much. As Moon stated, NK would likely do the majority of damage over night with too many offensive points to neutralize.



You state that Kim Jyong is starving his people to build the nuclear bomb. Surely, if such is the case then the people's army wont put much of a fight? Very Happy
But thats far from reality: N Korea is communist -- They actually care for the poor. They provide for the poor, from whatever little they have left. Plus, their counterfeit dollars finances their nuclear project Razz

The primary threat Kimmy boy is- is to America. There are 30 000 American troops stationed in S Korea, they would be the first to be targetted. Like I said, the people of South Korea and those of the North see each other as family, and that is exactly what they are. North Korea will not pose a great threat to S Korea. And with regards to Japan, well Japan has the best defense in the world militarily (since thats all it is based on), and also the military of USA on their soil is "guaranteed" to protect them.

The most important thing is that N Korea has built a nuclear device and Iran has not of yet. More dialogue should be taken towards N korea and tougher measures, if America truly wants to root the "Axis of Evil".

Finally, You also state that NK is not getting stronger. Are you waiting for NK to nuke its neighbours or the Americans to know how strong is?
I, although hate America in foreign affairs, must admit, that North Korea is a dangerous issue and a major threat. The main reason being that I would hate to see economically successful countries like Taiwan, Japan, Hong Kong and S Korea shattered by a nuke in the far east. Whether these countries would be the subject of it-- who knows?? but the definite thing is that their great economies would greatly suffer.

Leaving things later and appeasement does not help the situation, we saw the consequences of that with Britain and Hitler. If there is peace through dialogue, then I am for it. If its through greater sanctions on NKorea and those who help it, again you have my signiture. If it means war, whose means is to purely disarm N Korea, so be it.
horseatingweeds
ThePolemistis, I'm tempted to go through that twisted basket of SURFACE LOGIC up there and try to set you straight, but it's not worth my time and I doubt it will do any good.

Every paragraph is full of misunderstanding. You should do a little research.

If it's important to you, go ahead and highlight a few key points and I'll do my best, that is if you are willing to accept understanding rather than wiggle around. Security -> Job Security; stupid....

Just on note. GO BACK and read what I said about the 9-11 planes. I never blamed the people are said the planes shouldn't have been taken down. You really made a fool out of yourself there....

Fine, a second note. Please re-read your stuff. It low yield and you sound as if you are confused. If you are in fact confused, organize your thoughts in a manner where we can easily address them.
otiscom
Wow, all I asked was would Blair do any good.

Try to stick to the post!
horseatingweeds
What'd you do otiscom, steal those frih$s? Don't you know all topics under news degrade into a discussion on who's fault the state of the world is.... Laughing
ThePolemistis
horseatingweeds wrote:

Just on note. GO BACK and read what I said about the 9-11 planes. I never blamed the people are said the planes shouldn't have been taken down. You really made a fool out of yourself there....


You did.. Let me repeat what you stated:

horseatingweeds wrote:

My point about blasting civilians out of the atmosphere is that people displaying your exact logic toward such event, had the evil Bush done so, would currently viewed the act as an overreaction, despite the obvious ramifications you mentioned. I wish the planes would have been destroyed, but they weren’t. It’s no ones fault except for the people, again displaying your logic, who refuse to accept realities. Realities that would compel the US to increase it’s military by more that twice and properly care for and support measures that would result in more creativity and cultural understanding when dealing with the enemies with whom we are AT WAR.


You said, "People displaying your exact logic toward such event, had the evil Bush done so, would currently viewed the act as an overreaction".
By my logic, you are refering to me condoning the plane being blown up (ie. we could have done more), which answered your question: "What would you be saying today about “this administration” had the terror attacks on the WTCs been stopped by knocking the planes out of the sky?"
You later seem to support my answer by stating, "I wish the planes would have been destroyed, but they weren’t"

Now back to me stating you blamed the people. The majority of the people of America refuse to accept how Bush responded. The majority of the people side with me, stating that America could have done more regarding 911. By attacking me, you are attacking people with this logic. Hence, you blame the people (since these are in a majority), and moreover the victims.

These people do accept reality. We are the people who believe that defence at home is more crucial than the defence abroad (and given Iraq, neither case does America win). We are the same people who believe that America could have done more on 911 and the same who believed that "65% [of questions] were generally ignored or omitted" from the official 911 enquiry. We are also the same, that when Bush heard the ONLY words regarding 911: "Mr President, the Country is under Attack", he simply sat for 7 more minutes, despite not even knowing what kindof attack it was (it could have been nuclear), nor the security forces removing him to safety.

Therefore, to accuse my logic, the logic that more Americans day by day are willing to accept, is to accuse the people, for these outnumber those who believe your logic (the laid back approach).

I think your making a fool of yourself by having full faith in your failing Bush Adminstration.

horseatingweeds wrote:

Fine, a second note. Please re-read your stuff. It low yield and you sound as if you are confused. If you are in fact confused, organize your thoughts in a manner where we can easily address them.


I think too much info for you is not easy to digest. So i have one question at a time, although we probably need a new thread for this but here it is anyways:

1. Do you think your failing Bush administration acted like a rich, caring, glorious superpower role model to its people (forget the world in this question), on the aftermath of hurricane katrina?
horseatingweeds
Ok ThePolemistis, your displaying things I can't deal with.

1. Your put words into my mouth.
2. When it's obvious you are wrong or can't understand something you twist it around, like how you say I would disagree with knocking down the 9-11 planes. My point was simple that now you say more could be done, but if more had you would have believed it too much - not having definitive proof, like Iraq.
3. You have no concept of logic.
4. When I explain what you're saying makes no sense, you accuss me of not being able to understand.

You're to impressed with your own understanding to receive any form of enlightenment here or to lend to anyone else's. You're of no use to me. I'll unlikely respond to anything more unless someone else sifts something out of your sillyness and quotes it - assuming it has substance.

Just for fun, the hurricane was like the third that season. No one realized how bad it was. Many mechanisms degraded and failed the people. Blaming the "Bush Administration" is partisan foolishness. And to get thevv worgs owt a my mouth you shoved in, I have no huge fath in the Bush administration. They've made mistakes, not as bad of ones as the libs and dems like to believe, but they have had some thick stuff to deal with.

BTW, bringing up the hurricane in this situation in response to my pointing out your illogical ideas says something....
Moonspider
ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

I respectfully disagree. The United States has maintained a military presence, including a significant naval presence, in the Persian Gulf since the 1980s for the primary purpose of insuring a secure route for world (primarily the U.S. and her allies) oil supplies.


Precisely,,,its not about bringing stability into the region, its simply about America's love for oil.


Forgive me, but I must have misspoken, for you interpreted it very differently from as I intended. The point is to maintain the freedom of navigation for all nations through the Persian Gulf. The world is dependent upon it. (Naturally the U.S. favors her allies more so than those who are not. However freedom of navigation benefits all who import oil from the region.)

Our historic military presence there has nothing to do with “…America’s love for oil.” It stems from the Carter Doctrine as well as a global need for oil. Oil is life! Agriculture, not transportation, is the largest consumer of crude oil and natural gas. Our (very long) food chains depend upon it. Our farms depend upon it. Our processing facilities depend upon it.

Here is just one article on the importance of oil to agriculture:
Why Our Food is So Dependent on Oil

And when push comes to shove (by which I mean for the benefit of survival, not luxury) the United States is not dependent upon OPEC oil. The United States is the world’s third largest oil producer, behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia. Iraq may have a large oil reserve but the United States produced more than twice its annual amount at pre-war levels. In a lengthy crisis, oil can be extracted from untapped reserves in North America or from alternative crude oil sources such as the oil sands of Canada or coal in the United States (where resides the world’s largest deposits). This does not even take into account the amount of capital that the United States can pour into R&D and alternative energy sources.

World Oil Production 1960-2006

Should the Persian Gulf be somehow cut-off for a lengthy period of time, Americans might complain without end about high gas prices, high grocery prices, (high prices period), rationing of fuel, limits to their mobility, etc. However people in other parts of the world would be starving to death. That is why the United States made it a military priority to maintain secure sea lanes through the Persian Gulf. A stable world benefits the United States and her capitalistic markets. Steady oil supplies help ensure a stable world. It just so happens that a stable world benefits other countries as well.

As a side note, a stable Middle East oil supply does not benefit the world’s second-largest oil producer, Russia. Her supply lines do not depend upon the Persian Gulf. Whenever the region becomes unstable and oil prices sky-rocket, Russia benefits while the West suffers. Whenever the region is stable and oil prices come down, the West benefits and Russia suffers. Thus economically (and strategically) the U.S. and Western Europe are at odds with Russia over peace in the Middle East.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:
However, I do not for a moment believe the United States and the United Kingdom invaded Iraq to secure oil fields for British and American companies. I think such a notion is simply conspiratorial nonsense. The reasoning for invading Iraq lay in preventing Hussein’s regime from becoming a source of material, financing, or location for sub-national terrorist organizations. Thus it legally (albeit debatably) fell within the framework of anticipatory self-defense. 9/11 created a United States deeply fearful of a dramatic terrorist attack with a WMD. We know terrorist organizations have the will to do it. The U.S. maintains (and her citizens illogically expect) the untenable goal of preventing 100% of all terrorist attacks in the future, certainly any attempt at something as grandiose as 9/11 or worse. To do this the government must be very proactive, for better or worse.


The notion that Iraq was attacked predominately because of the intelligence at that time attributing it to breeding ground for terrorism and its possible links with 9/11 or AlQaeda is entirely false.
We know now that Iraq never ever shared affiliation with other terrorist organisations such as AlQaeda, when the British and American's did finance organisations such as Hamas and AlQaeda when it suited them, as well as Saddam's Baath party.


So am I to understand that you do not believe that the man Osama bin Laden referred to as the “Prince of Iraq,” Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, was in Iraq prior to the U.S. led invasion, or that no other members or associates of the Al Qaeda organization were in Iraq prior to the invasion?

As I said before, the reasoning for invading Iraq was anticipatory self-defense. In the wake of 9/11 the administration and the congress believed that it could not allow a nation to exist with the resources and will to aid terrorist organizations bent upon bringing down the United States. Afghanistan demonstrated what sort of attack a nation-state’s aid to a terrorist organization could bring upon the United States.

As President Bush said on October 7, 2002:
President Bush wrote:
Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. As President Kennedy said in October of 1962, "Neither the United States of America, nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world," he said, "where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nations security to constitute maximum peril."


If diplomacy failed in Iraq, military action was to be taken to remedy the perceived threat. I personally believe it was the correct choice given the information known at the time.

Here is the full texts of Secretary Powell and President Bush’s respective speeches.

Powell Address to UN, February 2003
Bush Address in Cincinnati, October 2002

Please provide a source for your assertion that the U.S. government once funded Hamas.

The United States never funded Al Qaeda either. However it did provide support to bin Laden and others when they were members of the mujahadeen fighting the USSR in Afghanistan. Those two completely separate issues. Remember, as I’ve oft quoted before, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Al Qaeda came into existence after the Soviet-Afghan war. (And I still proudly display my Afghan rug from their depicting Soviet military equipment during the war. Wink)

The U.S. also provided aid to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. This was simply to prevent Iran from winning, since that nation was considered the greater threat. At one point (during Iran-Contra), the U.S. was actually aiding both countries. Yes, the U.S. and Britain historically do business with questionable leaders and nations when it suits them (Napoleon, Stalin, Noriega, Hussein, Sa’ud, etc.). But such is the nature of world affairs. You can’t wage war with everyone who does not agree with you or whom you think possesses questionable moral character. Often one must choose lesser evils rather than between good and evil.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Nevertheless, if America was to prevent terrorist attacks in the future, it would only seem wise to the world and themselves that America would go after Saudi Arabia since most of the hijackers nationalities resided in this very American-puppet regime country. And also FYI: Not a single hijacker responsible for 911 or any terrorist attack against USA was from Iraq.
Iraq was never a threat against American and her allies and their people, and the only threat Saddam was to was to his own people and perhaps to a lesser extent his neighbours (but given the IraqIran war and Gulf war I, Iraq military was substantially weak).


Why would any country attack another because private citizens of the latter carried out an illegal act independent of the government? That is just a nonsensical argument for the sole purpose of misdirection, a non sequitur. Would Great Britain now be justified then to conquer India because of the recent attacks in Glasgow and London? There is no legal basis for that, or for your notion of the United States invading Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda is even more of a threat to the house of Sa’ud than it is to the United States. Therefore, if not for any other reason than that, Saudi Arabia is an ally of the United States in this war. To attack her would be akin to Britain invading the USSR in 1940 after Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, if they were capable. (And mind you that the USSR and Nazi Germany were allies when Britain and France first went to war with Germany in 1939.) To attack an enemy of your enemy is foolish.

ThePolemistis wrote:
The idea that Iraq was producing WMD as base ground for attack was again wrong. Assuming Iraq did possess these weapons (which we know now they did not), the only threat they will be towards would be Iran (America's enemy). And given what happened in 1980, in which America and Britain supported the use of chemical and biological weapons as well as provided them against the Khomeini government, in which Saddam proclaimed it is a war which would be over in 3 days, but Iran (land of the Aryans) fought back and Iraq asked for a cease fire 3 years later: then if this is anything to go by (and we have no reason why it would not be), then surely America would support Iraq possessing WMDs because the biggest threat would be towards Iran and not anyone else.

However, as I said before, it was about Oil. In 1999, Saddam Hussein changed the currency for trading oil in Iraq to Euros. Since then, the value of the dollar deprciated (since its not based on the gold standard but rather supply and demand), and in fact Saddam profited from it being in Euros. When American forces captured Iraq, they switched it back to dollars and not euros.


First of all, I must vehemently disagree with your assertion that the United States supported Iraq in 1980. The United States did not support Hussein’s invasion of Iran. In fact, the Carter administration did not even believe Hussein would do so and were therefore surprised when he did. (I studied Middle Eastern affairs under the late Ambassador Twinam, who was deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs from 1979 to 1982. Prior to the Iraq attacking Iran, he outlined to President Carter the reasons why he believed Hussein would not invade.) When Iran began to gain an advantage in the Iran-Iraq war, the Reagan administration did start providing intelligence to Hussein in 1982. This had nothing to do with supporting Hussein, just insuring that Iran did not win the war and gain significant territory and power in the process.

A must also disagree in the strongest against the notion that the United States provided chemical or biological weapons to Iraq! If you are going to make such an outrageous claim, I must insist that you provide a reference for that claim.

Once more, the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with preventing the nation-state of Iraq from directly attacking the United States. The purpose was to prevent Hussein from providing resources, weapons (particularly WMDs), financing, training, and safe-haven for terrorist organizations. No one ever made the argument that Iraq itself was a direct threat.

And as I argued before the notion of a “petrodollar” and the adoption of the Euro over the dollar in oil markets bringing down the American economy is false. I know there are even economists who would argue it. But I believe it to be wrong, as do many others, at least one of whom I referenced. Aside from that, I believe the transactions cost of dollars for oil to be low enough that even a complete shift of all oil trading to the Euro would not severely harm the U.S. economy.

Here is a fairly good paper on the Euro challenge to the dollar:
http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/wp/2006/wp06153.pdf

Although Mr. Engdahl engages in some paranoid flights of fancy, here is another article contrary to the conspiracy theories on the Iranian Oil Bourse (although he creates one of his own):
http://atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/HC10Ak01.html

This article also points out that it really doesn’t matter what denomination in which oil is traded.:
http://www.forward.com/articles/it%E2%80%99s-not-just-the-economy-stupid/

I think the Iran Oil Bourse-destroys-dollar theory to be just another conspiratorial doomsday prediction for the U.S. It doesn’t make sense. In my humble opinion, those who readily jump on it and embrace it (even PhD economists) either consciously or subconsciously want to see the U.S. fall from preeminence or worse. Their bias clouds their judgment.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

I personally am not so naïve and expect the U.S. to lose a significant portion of at least one city within the next ten to twenty years to a terrorist act, no matter what our efforts to prevent it.


This will never happen. No terrorist attack has the ability to wipe a significant portion of one or more cities, unless of course it happens from the inside.


If I could get a nuclear device into Central America and purchase an ocean-going sailing vessel, I have no doubts that I could take out a portion of San Diego (including Naval Air Station Coronado with hopefully – if I were a terrorist – at least one aircraft carrier in port.) Or if I could get a device into the Caribbean somewhere I could take out a portion of Miami in the same manner.

So unless you believe no drug smuggler ever gets into the U.S. by sea, than I assert it to be possible provided an organization could acquire a nuclear device. The latter I contend to be difficult, but not impossible.

ThePolemistis wrote:
On 911, 4 aeroplanes were hijacked at the same time, and changed their course of direction. Official reports suggest America had between 30-60 minutes to do something before it the twin towers. It would take approx. 6 mins for their military aircrafts to reach the passenger aircrafts. NORAD did nothing despite being repeatedly warned.


The 9/11 Commission Report contradicts your claims regarding the Air Force on 9/11. Just to quote one item regarding FAA and NORAD protocols in place at the time:

9/11 Commission Report wrote:

The protocols did not contemplate an intercept.They assumed the fighter
escort would be discreet,“vectored to a position five miles directly behind the hijacked aircraft,” where it could perform its mission to monitor the aircraft’s flight path.105
In sum, the protocols in place on 9/11 for the FAA and NORAD to
respond to a hijacking presumed that
• the hijacked aircraft would be readily identifiable and would not attempt to disappear;
• there would be time to address the problem through the appropriate FAA and NORAD chains of command; and
• the hijacking would take the traditional form: that is, it would not be a suicide hijacking designed to convert the aircraft into a guided missile.


You may download the entire document here: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/911/index.html


I did a quick Google search to try to find support for your claim and only came up with conspiracy theories about U.S. Government and Bush Administration complicity in the 9/11 attacks. If you have something more, please provide a reference.

But even if the Air Force was capable of scrambling fully armed fighters in time to intercept those airliners, what president in their right mind would give the order to shoot them down without precedent? Based upon your dumbfounded assessment of the U.S. military command response, I take it that you would have immediately ordered the airliners shot down.

Upon what would you base such a decision? When you were called before congress at the subsequent investigative hearings (or at your impeachment) to justify your orders, how would you have testified? There was no precedent for an airliner being used as a weapon. However hijackings were not entirely uncommon. In no hijacking that I know of prior was an airliner used as a weapon in a suicide attack. Rather, the hijackers made demands.

You might say, “well, I would have waited until it looked like they were aiming for a civilian area, then I would have ordered them shot down.”

By that time even shooting down the aircraft could cause casualties and damage on the ground as the airliner would be downed over a populated area outside the assumed terrorist objective. In the mind of most any commander, this would give them pause.

And, without precedent, you’d still have to justify your orders. Mind you the only evidence you may have from the airliners would be the terrorists making demands (as they did), further eroding the justification for your actions.

I’m not an expert on Air Force or FAA regulations and procedures now or before 9/11. I will concede that their were probably multiple failures in communication and execution, as there always are in surprise attacks. That is to be expected, especially when an attack is as asymmetrical as 9/11. The U.S. may be better prepared to stop such an attack in the future because it has now experienced one.

As we say in the military, we’re always fighting the last war. We may be able to stop a 9/11 style attack now (the “last war”) but that is also why we’ll never see another one. Terrorists are not going to try that tactic again precisely because we are prepared for it now that it has succeeded once. Instead, like any wise adversary, they will exploit a weakness.

ThePolemistis wrote:
There are two reasons why 911 happened:
1. America's security simply ignored information that 4 aircrafts were off-course and their pilots not responding.
or 2. It was allowed to happen.

What we are sure of is that it is not due to America's lack of security. There was ample warnings that the planes were not on due course, so the answers lie in only in one of the two options above. America had the military might to do something.


Now you are waxing conspiratorial on me. If you are prone to believe in such illogical theories than further debate is as much a waste of our time and effort as a debate between the late Carl Sagan and Stanton Friedman on UFOs and aliens.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

U.S. forces secured the oil fields and pipelines for a very logical and important reason. One might recall the ecological disaster caused by Hussein’s forces as they retreated during Gulf War I. The U.S. made it a priority to prevent that from happening in GW II. Simple as that.


Is oil more important than establishing law and order?
The most basic need for people is not $$$, but rather peace and security.


Once again, I apparently am communicating very poorly. I never said anything about securing oil fields for money. As I said above, we secured the oil fields to prevent a repeat of the ecological disaster that occurred in 1991.

In all wars, securing military objectives is paramount to restoring law and order. Do you believe that to be illogical, unsound military doctrine? In an unconventional, fourth generation civil war, as we currently have in Iraq, law and order can go hand in hand with military objectives. In a purely conventional nation against nation conflict (as in the invasion of Iraq) or civil war (such as the American Civil War), law and order are meaningless until military objectives are taken.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

As an aside, I must take issue with the sarcastic statement, “As seen right after America was self-proclaimed victorious…”

The United States and her allies were victorious. They defeated Hussein’s forces and toppled his government. At that point, that war ended. What is going on in Iraq now is a completely different conflict.


America won the battle, and not the war. The war will continue so long as there are attacks on American forces. The primilary stages of the war they won, was the removal of Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein's army was not the only threat against American forces, and until the people of Iraq, who are quite rightly against the occuption, stop attacks on American forces, the war will continue.


Semantics upon which we disagree. I see it as two different wars. The current grew out of the end of the former. If U.S. forces were to pull out entirely and the fighting in Iraq continued, would you claim the war was over? Based upon your statement above, you would. I would not, of course, because the current war is a different war than the invasion.

The war in Iraq is not about ending U.S. occupation, it is about different Iraqi factions trying to gain control of the country. U.S. forces are in the middle of it, not the primary target of it.

Will you agree with me that a war ends when one side achieves its military objective? The U.S. military objective upon invasion was to topple Hussein. Hussein’s objective was to stop the United States. Correct?

Now, based upon what you see and read, do you actually believe that the Sunni and Shiite factions currently battling in Iraq would lay down their arms and live at peace with one another the day the last U.S. service member left Iraqi soil? If you do not, then how can you believe this war and the invasion to be the same war? If it were the same war, the Iraqi objective would be met when U.S. forces left. Thus, it must be a different war.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

I don’t think the United States will ever invade Iran, at least not in a conventional sense to conquer and occupy the country. A war with Iran at most would entail special forces going in and securing portions of the country (such as nuclear facilities) for short periods of time in order to adequately destroy them. All Iranian naval forces and shore-based, short-range missile facilities would be wiped out quickly to prevent them from endangering the oil supply routes through the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz. All medium and long-range missile sites would be targeted to prevent Iran from retaliating by hitting oil production facilities in other Gulf states (e.g. Kuwait, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia) as Iran has threatened if attacked.


Of course, I do not blame Iran if it attacks the oil production sites in Iraq (which is ruled by America), if America was to attack Iran. But having said that, America will never want to attack Iran for interests other than oil. They know perfectly well, that Iran will never be able to hurt America, and even Israel. Israel is a devloped nation, and receives more aid from America than the world gives to the entire continent of Africa.
Given the US and EU sanctions, Iran's devlopment in nuclear material is extremely limited.


I doubt your claim that Iran is incapable of developing nuclear weapons. Would you please provide a source for this assertion? Not even the most conservative intelligence estimates I have seen claimed that Iran was incapable. And from what I have read, the limited sanctions placed on Iran are making little to no economic impact upon the country. US sanctions have been in place since 1979. They certainly have no new impact.

ThePolemistis wrote:
But my opinion on nukes is that unless America gives up her nukes, every country has the right to produce them. You cannot bully nations in dictating what they can and cannot do, unless you yourself give it up. I would hope the world is nuclear-free, but its for America to take the first step and the worlds only superpower and rolemodel, and if she does so, then I would be perfectly happy if USA attacks Iran because it is developing nuclear bomb.


Once again, your argument is just illogical misdirection. A nation will not give up a weapon without a replacement. The United States has no chemical weapons (aside from non-operational stockpiles awaiting destruction, or things such as tear gas, the latter of which is illegal in warfare and therefore only carried by law enforcement and security) or biological weapons, for example. However the U.S. has the WMD trump card: thermonuclear and nuclear weapons.

I wish the world were nuclear weapons free as well. But why would any nation give up a weapon when the same type of weapon could be used against it? In my opinion, giving up nuclear weapons would actually cause more wars because the U.S. would then be required to be more proactive in preventing others from attaining them (anticipatory self-defense) since it would no longer possess a strategic deterrent.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

As Senator McCain has said though, the only thing worse than war with Iran is a nuclear-armed Iran. It would not be over oil and only a minority of even democrats running for the presidency or in congress would believe a nuclear-armed Iran preferable to war.


Is a nuclear armed Iran a greater threat than a nuclear armed Israel or Pakistan??


Yes. It is. Can you make an argument why Israel and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are a greater threat to U.S. interests?

ThePolemistis wrote:
These countries have nuclear bombs, but the world is silent on them. And Pakistan is under dictatorship too.


Israel I could care less about aside from the fact that it gives other regional nations an excuse to pursue them. But until a country like the U.S. or an alliance like NATO guarantees Israel’s security (i.e., any attack on Israel is an attack on the U.S. or NATO) Israel will want the most powerful deterrent available.

Pakistan is more problematic, as the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan proved. (If you are not familiar with it, he founded Pakistan’s nuclear program but then shared weapons secrets with Iran, North Korea, and Libya.)

I wish neither of them had nuclear weapons, but they do. I gave the reason why Israel will not surrender hers. As long as India possesses nuclear weapons, so will Pakistan.


ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

Countries do not hold U.S. dollars for the sole purpose of buying oil. And even so I don’t think the transactions demand for dollars to purchase oil is high enough to cause a financial setback for the dollar should even all oil trade be based on the euro (or any other currency or combination thereof).


It will since Venezuela says it would follow Irans footsteps if they were to change.

Moonspider wrote:

Here is a brief commentary on the conspiracy theory surrounding the “petrodollar” and the Iran Oil Bourse: Strange ideas about the Iranian oil bourse


The idea is simple. By converting to Euros, you make the Euro stronger and dollar weaker due to demand and supply. People will be more prone to keep their assets in Euros then and not dollars. This would depreciate the demand for dollars. The website states: "Those selling oil could convert those dollars back to euros or Japanese yen or whatever their hearts desired", but then rightfully concludes: "but rather the desired asset holdings of those who are accumulating the wealth."
If oil trade was switched to Euros, then Euros will be a desired asset holding due to its stability and demand.


I addressed this above.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

North Korea is a military-state with enough artillery pointed at Seoul alone to make any sort of military strike extremely costly. Their special forces (including all-female units) are highly capable and alone rival the size of the entire U.S. Army. Without nuclear weapons they possess a large number of biochemical weapons (deployable in both artillery shells and missile warheads as well as aircraft deliverables) and have a first-strike chemical policy. An attack by the United States upon North Korea would mean full-scale war on the peninsula to at least include chemical attacks by the North (and possible tactical nuclear strikes by the U.S. in retaliation and as the only means to stop DPRK conventional forces). Japan could be struck by medium-range missiles as well. North Korean forces would probably overrun Seoul before the U.S. and South Korean forces could stop the advance.


Firstly, North Korea will never attack South Korea, and if they do so, then it would be aimed at the 50,000 American troops stationed there and not Soeul.
The people of North Korea and the people of South Korea regard each other of the same family, as brother and sisters, which is exactly what they are. Had it not been for Russia and America, they would still be one country.

North Korea would achieve nothing by attacking South Korea.


This is all blatantly false and I’d appreciate some references to back up your claims.

If North Korea is not a threat to South Korea, please explain the reasoning for multiple, annual joint exercises in South Korea, an extensive military alliance, and joint command structures. I’ve personally been to South Korea (it is one of my favorite countries) and served with Korean officers. I assure you that the South Koreans do not view the North as simply a threat to the U.S. and Japan and not to themselves.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Moonspider wrote:

To say that we won’t engage North Korea militarily because they don’t have oil is terribly simplistic (in fact, downright wrong) and blatantly ignores the military and political realities. There is a vast difference between a U.S. military conflict with Iran and North Korea! (And that is an understatement to say the least. In comparison, any war with Iran would not qualify as a conflict at all compared to war with North Korea.) As one of the articles below points out, the DPRK is the only nation in the world with the capability and political will to fight a total war with the United States. The U.S. has not fought a total war since World War II. Iran certainly would not qualify as one either!


You over estimate the strength of North Korea. To say its a threat to the worlds only superpower is riduculous.


Please provide references that contradict my own to defend your response. I stand by my professional assessment.

ThePolemistis wrote:
And if such was the case, then surely it is in America's interest to prepare to a war against North Korea, rather than some middleEastern country that does not even know its own needs yet.


We are prepared for war with North Korea. We constantly exercise with South Korean forces and other allies in the region. We have a significant military presence on the peninsula. As I mentioned above we have an extensive military alliance and joint command structure. The United States is probably better prepared for war with North Korea than any other potential threat.

ThePolemistis wrote:
To fight North Korea now, is certainly better than have the possibility to face them later when they have simply grown stronger and stronger.


Stronger?!!! Did you not at least briefly review my references to their military strength? The DPRK is a purely martial society and extremely capable.

Why are people who are completely against the relatively small scale war in Iraq or the potential limited war with Iran so ready to get millions of people killed and unleash a full-scale war on the Korean peninsula? War with North Korea would be the worst bloodshed seen since World War II. I myself may not live through it and certainly don’t want to have to return to a region and people I love so much under such circumstances. I’d take a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan every day of the week and twice on Sunday over fighting in Korea.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Diplomacy in N Korea we know is not working. N Korea is conducting nuclear tests. All that we know on Iran which is a possibility, we know on N Korea as a definate.


Diplomacy is working.
http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00400&num=2257
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/n-korea-to-let-un-verify-nuclear-shutdown/2007/07/04/1183351220245.html
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2007/07/05/2003368181
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070704.WORLD04-2/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/

ThePolemistis wrote:
Then unless, as you are assuming, that this is a threat on parallel of what nazi germany posed in the 40s, then surely we should not be bombing tents and sand in some middle eastern country, but rather face real threats and challenges and decide to take action now rather than later.

Clearly, an attack against North Korea is more important than one against Iran. This again shows that the lack of action against N Korea despite it being a bigger threat than Iran, is because of oil or the lack of it in N Korea, and the ample of it in Iran.

For America, the sign of wealth is more dear to them than the safety of their military situated in S Korea, nearby and at home.


Addressed above. North Korea is an entirely different situation than Iran. My professional opinion is that Iran can be engaged militarily with great geo-political risk but with little loss of U.S. personnel and property. War with Korea would mean the death of hundreds of thousands, mostly Koreans. U.S. losses would exceed Iraq losses in a matter of hours. Chemical and biological weapons would be employed by the DPRK. The U.S. might resort to tactical nukes in response.

Once again, please provide references that would help you defend your claims that North Korea is a paper tiger, poses no threat to South Korea, and that war with North Korea in terms of risk, casualties, and destruction to be equal to war with Iran. As for me, I’ll stand by my assessment.
horseatingweeds
Moonspider wrote:
The United States never funded Al Qaeda either. However it did provide support to bin Laden and others when they were members of the mujahadeen fighting the USSR in Afghanistan. Those two completely separate issues. Remember, as I’ve oft quoted before, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Al Qaeda came into existence after the Soviet-Afghan war. (And I still proudly display my Afghan rug from their depicting Soviet military equipment during the war. Wink)


From my understanding, the US supported the Mujahideen through Pakistan. Bin Ladin was part of the foreign Afghan Arabs, who had their own agenda and received no aid from the US or Pakistan.

http://usinfo.state.gov/media/Archive/2005/Jan/24-318760.ht

Also, just to throw another tid-bit in, here is an article on all the terror Saddam participated in and how he offered $25k to suicide bombers going after Israel.

http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/decade/sect5.html
ibay
All I can say about Blair is: Goodbye Mr. Beans
ThePolemistis
moonspider wrote:

Forgive me, but I must have misspoken, for you interpreted it very differently from as I intended. The point is to maintain the freedom of navigation for all nations through the Persian Gulf. The world is dependent upon it. (Naturally the U.S. favors her allies more so than those who are not. However freedom of navigation benefits all who import oil from the region.)


Is there anyone in the Arab world that prevents this freedom of naviagtion? Why does America need to have presence to ensure freedom of navigation is pursued even though the lack of it does not exist?


moonspider wrote:

Our historic military presence there has nothing to do with “…America’s love for oil.” It stems from the Carter Doctrine as well as a global need for oil. Oil is life! Agriculture, not transportation, is the largest consumer of crude oil and natural gas. Our (very long) food chains depend upon it. Our farms depend upon it. Our processing facilities depend upon it.


This is not a reason to get your hands on something that is not yours. There are oil in other places too, including closer to home, such as in Canada and Australia. HUge reserves exist: the only problem is that method of extraction is slightly more costly.

moonspider wrote:


Here is just one article on the importance of oil to agriculture:
Why Our Food is So Dependent on Oil

And when push comes to shove (by which I mean for the benefit of survival, not luxury) the United States is not dependent upon OPEC oil. The United States is the world’s third largest oil producer, behind only Russia and Saudi Arabia. Iraq may have a large oil reserve but the United States produced more than twice its annual amount at pre-war levels. In a lengthy crisis, oil can be extracted from untapped reserves in North America or from alternative crude oil sources such as the oil sands of Canada or coal in the United States (where resides the world’s largest deposits). This does not even take into account the amount of capital that the United States can pour into R&D and alternative energy sources.


I think I am aware of the ample importance of oil in uses other than fuels.

The very reason why Canada's reserves are not exploited, is what I highlighted above, that the cost of extraction is higher than in the gulf states. Indeed, when oil prices become high, like they were in 1973 at something like $120 a barrel, then Canada's oil may become more feasible. I dont think they maybe as efficient, but the closest alternative.


moonspider wrote:


Should the Persian Gulf be somehow cut-off for a lengthy period of time, Americans might complain without end about high gas prices, high grocery prices, (high prices period), rationing of fuel, limits to their mobility, etc. However people in other parts of the world would be starving to death. That is why the United States made it a military priority to maintain secure sea lanes through the Persian Gulf. A stable world benefits the United States and her capitalistic markets. Steady oil supplies help ensure a stable world. It just so happens that a stable world benefits other countries as well.



Other countries are already starving to death such as in Africa. The problem is not oil prices: for Nigeria has plentiful of oil. The problem in Africa today is because of corruption. Nigeria is one of the most corrupt countries on Earth, and their billions of pounds in oil wealth (> £100 billion) does not help its people where of every 5 children, 1 dies before the age of 5 and the majority of Nigerians living off less than $1 a day.

I think OPEC are doing a great deal in stabilising oil prices. They often increase production to minimise rising oil costs: This is sometimes without America influence.

moonspider wrote:



As a side note, a stable Middle East oil supply does not benefit the world’s second-largest oil producer, Russia. Her supply lines do not depend upon the Persian Gulf. Whenever the region becomes unstable and oil prices sky-rocket, Russia benefits while the West suffers. Whenever the region is stable and oil prices come down, the West benefits and Russia suffers. Thus economically (and strategically) the U.S. and Western Europe are at odds with Russia over peace in the Middle East.



I beg to differ. It is true that Russia has a huge wealth of oil supplies, but to say that when oil prices sky rocket, the West suffers is false.
There are many Western oil companies that work in the Arab world. Only 4 years ago, Shell (a Anglo-Dutch company) reported "profits" of approx. £10 billion, the highest ever in British history. In fact, you also see it in America, that western oil companies (like Texaco) are benefiting substationally from the high price of oil. It is true that Arab oil countries like Iranian and Aramco are benefiting too, but to say the West is suffering is an absurd lie.

In your latter statement to add Western Europe and US are at odds with Russia over peace in middleEast is again a wrong assertion. As I mentioned before, oil companies are benefiting-- but the ones that are, are usually American and British, for they only exist in iraq. WHy do you think the French resisted the Gulf war? And Russia? Because it meant that their contracts such as with elf (French oil company) and powerplant contracts with Russia became void. Iraq had a £20 billion (may be more) powrplant construction contract with Russia which became obsolete after the invasion.

Thus, to say, a rise of oil prices, handicaps the west is wrong.
However, it is true that Middle Eastern crisis, may hurt the West, it does not hurt them as great as you may think and certainly not as much as the oil producing countries themselves, and also there are countries that benefit from it.

moonspider wrote:


So am I to understand that you do not believe that the man Osama bin Laden referred to as the “Prince of Iraq,” Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, was in Iraq prior to the U.S. led invasion, or that no other members or associates of the Al Qaeda organization were in Iraq prior to the invasion?



I guarentee you from official governmental (British and American) intelligence from post-Saddam Hussein, that no associates of the AlQaeda organisation were operative in Iraq prior to the Invasion. Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda (with their branches) were like oil on water, they did not mix, and they were not present in Iraq.
Our own intelligence agencies confirm this.


moonspider wrote:


As I said before, the reasoning for invading Iraq was anticipatory self-defense. In the wake of 9/11 the administration and the congress believed that it could not allow a nation to exist with the resources and will to aid terrorist organizations bent upon bringing down the United States. Afghanistan demonstrated what sort of attack a nation-state’s aid to a terrorist organization could bring upon the United States.



The reasoning was all a pack of lies. The reason why Tony Blair led the British people into the war against Iraq, is because of the "45 minutes claim". When no WMDs were found in Iraq, he switched it to be liberating its people to get rid of a ruthless dictator.

Thus we see, the invasion of Iraq for self-defense was a forgery- a cockup - by spin doctors in Britain and America.

Again I iterate, our own intellgience confims that no other terrorist organisations were operative in Iraq.

Btw, we must note, that our intelligence agencies were not to blame, in their credibility sense. The 45 minutes claim was originally rejected by intelligence sources, but somehow crept in by spin doctors in the final report that was given to parliament.

moonspider wrote:


"Knowing these realities, America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud. As President Kennedy said in October of 1962, "Neither the United States of America, nor the world community of nations can tolerate deliberate deception and offensive threats on the part of any nation, large or small. We no longer live in a world," he said, "where only the actual firing of weapons represents a sufficient challenge to a nations security to constitute maximum peril."




Bush could have just as well said that about any country he was about to invade.
These are words that mean nothing. Where is the evidence is what counts??
Spin doctors fudged the evidence, so that it gave us a reason to invade. It is the very spin doctors, such as Allister Campbell, who are no longer in office. And im sure in USA, it is a similar story.

moonspider wrote:


If diplomacy failed in Iraq, military action was to be taken to remedy the perceived threat. I personally believe it was the correct choice given the information known at the time.



Again, I iterate, that the intelligence was "sexed up". The British Intelligence knew that Iraq did not have the ability to launch an attack in 45 minutes -- the reasons for British involvement in Iraq. This notion was rejected by our governemnt. It crept in at later stages, without proper verification, by men who wanted an invasion, for other reasons.'


moonspider wrote:

Please provide a source for your assertion that the U.S. government once funded Hamas.


I am not sure exactly on USA position, but I do know that Hamas did receive some support initially from Israel, as it would counter Arafats PLO.
If Israel supported it, then im sure USA would have.

moonspider wrote:


The United States never funded Al Qaeda either. However it did provide support to bin Laden and others when they were members of the mujahadeen fighting the USSR in Afghanistan. Those two completely separate issues. Remember, as I’ve oft quoted before, “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Al Qaeda came into existence after the Soviet-Afghan war. (And I still proudly display my Afghan rug from their depicting Soviet military equipment during the war. )



The US funded AlQaeda through military equipment and intelligence, along with the British government, and may have also done so through financial means.
The statement, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" should hold no value for America, who proclaims so greatly, that it never liases with any terrorist organisation nor accepts a single penny from them.


moonspider wrote:



The U.S. also provided aid to Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war. This was simply to prevent Iran from winning, since that nation was considered the greater threat. At one point (during Iran-Contra), the U.S. was actually aiding both countries. Yes, the U.S. and Britain historically do business with questionable leaders and nations when it suits them (Napoleon, Stalin, Noriega, Hussein, Sa’ud, etc.). But such is the nature of world affairs. You can’t wage war with everyone who does not agree with you or whom you think possesses questionable moral character. Often one must choose lesser evils rather than between good and evil.




I think Bush summed it up best: "Your either with us or with the terrorists." You cannot have both ways. I think America boasts too much that it does not affiliate with terrorist organisations, so its only in their moral interest that they act upon their word.
For instance, Saddam's baa'th party was a terrorist organisation. When he got into power, that still made him nothing less than a terrroist. By American government, calling him a courageous man and supporting him through miliary and finance against Iran, shows simply just how two faced America really is.

I accept that this is dirty politics, but then America should not boast too much that they are at war with the terrorists: when in fact they are only making them stronger.


moonspider wrote:


Why would any country attack another because private citizens of the latter carried out an illegal act independent of the government? That is just a nonsensical argument for the sole purpose of misdirection, a non sequitur. Would Great Britain now be justified then to conquer India because of the recent attacks in Glasgow and London? There is no legal basis for that, or for your notion of the United States invading Saudi Arabia.



I simply want an end to the corrupt Saudi government. I hate it. And if the justification for Iraq was because Saddam was a ruthless dictator (which was said in many of Blair's speeches), then the kingdom of Saud was worse than that of Saddams.


moonspider wrote:


First of all, I must vehemently disagree with your assertion that the United States supported Iraq in 1980. The United States did not support Hussein’s invasion of Iran. In fact, the Carter administration did not even believe Hussein would do so and were therefore surprised when he did. (I studied Middle Eastern affairs under the late Ambassador Twinam, who was deputy assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern and South Asian affairs from 1979 to 1982. Prior to the Iraq attacking Iran, he outlined to President Carter the reasons why he believed Hussein would not invade.) When Iran began to gain an advantage in the Iran-Iraq war, the Reagan administration did start providing intelligence to Hussein in 1982. This had nothing to do with supporting Hussein, just insuring that Iran did not win the war and gain significant territory and power in the process.



As you said, USA supported Iraq from 1982 onwards.
If it had nothing to do with supporting Saddam as you say it did, then why in 1984, did Americans feel satisfied with Iraq and state that "normal diplomatic ties have been established in all but name."


moonspider wrote:


A must also disagree in the strongest against the notion that the United States provided chemical or biological weapons to Iraq! If you are going to make such an outrageous claim, I must insist that you provide a reference for that claim.



Here is the link for declassified official information on the sale of such components to create chemical and biological weapons :

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/iraq52.pdf


moonspider wrote:


Once more, the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with preventing the nation-state of Iraq from directly attacking the United States. The purpose was to prevent Hussein from providing resources, weapons (particularly WMDs), financing, training, and safe-haven for terrorist organizations. No one ever made the argument that Iraq itself was a direct threat.



Again, absolutely false. Your ruthless President certainly did.

Bush stated: "Saddam Hussein and his weapons are a direct threat to this country , to our people and to all free people." http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030306-8.html

Rumsfeld stated that "No terrorist state [Iraq] poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people"




moonspider wrote:


And as I argued before the notion of a “petrodollar”Their bias clouds their judgment.



I see it like this: Currently, people perceive the dollar to be the most stable country and an ideal investment. If oil becomes traded in Euros, it would mean countries like Iran and Venezuela would like to invest their oil wealth in Euro oppose to dollars-partly cus of hate, but mainly because of benefits. This would decrease investment in dollars. A spiral effect will happen, since thru investment, greater would occur in Euros than dollars. Arab nations (althoguh oil still be traded in dollars for them), would invest in Euros. In fact, rich arabs are already considering in moving their wealth from dollars to euros. Other nations such as Chinese would follow in investing in Euros rather than dollars. The dollar value would depricate and subsequently collapse.
The currency of oil trading may not be the root cause, in which country the investment is, but currency of oil trading would be (or is) the trigger.

This view is not based on what you may proclaim to be conspiracl theories. Like I said before, the basis of my idea is that the dollar as a foreign currency reserve would be shifted from countries like Iran and Venezuela, leading other countries to follow,, in fact many are already doing so. A substansial reduction in the demand for the dollar would subsequently lead to its depriciation.


moonspider wrote:



If I could get a nuclear device into Central America and purchase an ocean-going sailing vessel, I have no doubts that I could take out a portion of San Diego (including Naval Air Station Coronado with hopefully – if I were a terrorist – at least one aircraft carrier in port.) Or if I could get a device into the Caribbean somewhere I could take out a portion of Miami in the same manner.

So unless you believe no drug smuggler ever gets into the U.S. by sea, than I assert it to be possible provided an organization could acquire a nuclear device. The latter I contend to be difficult, but not impossible.



This is most absurd. Firstly, a nuclear device is not something you can put in your back pocket and it would go unnoticed like the case of drugs. Also to create a nuclear device, requires billions of funding and years of research.
American satallites (the best in the world), are able to monitor nuclear devices. If anything, the terrorist would require stealth ships or submarine. I find that impossible.


moonspider wrote:


As I said above, we secured the oil fields to prevent a repeat of the ecological disaster that occurred in 1991.



OKay, let me put it to you this way: Of the money that is gained from the oil, how much is given back to the Iraqi people, to give even the basic of commodities: clean drinkable water??



moonspider wrote:


In all wars, securing military objectives is paramount to restoring law and order. Do you believe that to be illogical, unsound military doctrine? In an unconventional, fourth generation civil war, as we currently have in Iraq, law and order can go hand in hand with military objectives. In a purely conventional nation against nation conflict (as in the invasion of Iraq) or civil war (such as the American Civil War), law and order are meaningless until military objectives are taken.



Okay, the military objectives have been taken, i.e. oil fields are secured. Now where is the law and order in Iraq??

Remember:
America was not at war with the people. Not even some of the Iraqi army (some surrenders before a bullet was shot). The people were willing to give America a chance. Perhaps the decision was right about securing the oil fields. But now 4 years have passed, and we still have yet to see sign of Law and order, instead we are only seeing an exponential rise in attacks and an increase in terrorism. There are no signs that peace will ever be achieved with American presense.


moonspider wrote:


Semantics upon which we disagree. I see it as two different wars. The current grew out of the end of the former. If U.S. forces were to pull out entirely and the fighting in Iraq continued, would you claim the war was over? Based upon your statement above, you would. I would not, of course, because the current war is a different war than the invasion.



True, semantics we disagree. Regarding had US forces pulled out completely, indeed I would say the war is over.

moonspider wrote:

The war in Iraq is not about ending U.S. occupation, it is about different Iraqi factions trying to gain control of the country. U.S. forces are in the middle of it, not the primary target of it.


I would disagree. It is the complete opposite. I think the different Iraqi factions are caught in the middle but the Americans the primary targets.
Most ordinary Iraqis would like the American forces to leave Iraq. The middle men are normal Iraqis who enlist in for instance the police force, and subsequently are serving the law and order of the puppet government installed in Baghdad.
In general (but not in all cases), the Iraqis are united against the puppet regime and the occupying forces. Attacks are usually aimed at those who work for the puppet regime, and innocent civilians are sadly in the wrong place at the wrong time. This is not in 100% of the cases of course but in the majority.



moonspider wrote:

Will you agree with me that a war ends when one side achieves its military objective? The U.S. military objective upon invasion was to topple Hussein. Hussein’s objective was to stop the United States. Correct?



I would agree with you that Saddam Hussein's objective was to stop the invasion.
The American military objective maybe perhaps different. I believe it was to root out terrorism in Iraq. It may then have meant Saddam's government, but now it is a great deal more.



moonspider wrote:


Now, based upon what you see and read, do you actually believe that the Sunni and Shiite factions currently battling in Iraq would lay down their arms and live at peace with one another the day the last U.S. service member left Iraqi soil? If you do not, then how can you believe this war and the invasion to be the same war? If it were the same war, the Iraqi objective would be met when U.S. forces left. Thus, it must be a different war.




If sunnis were to wage war against shias in Iraq, it would be a civil war, and a war not concerning America. America's war will exist so long as American troops are on Iraqi land.

Personally, I think a conflict will happen. To call it a war would be an overstatement: there may be discrimination existing between the two in jobs, government or what not, but not a full scale war. It would be merely a conflict. I do not believe the conflict between these two will be like what we are witnessing in Iraq now. If the neccessary protocols are in place before America leaves, then there will be no conflict.


moonspider wrote:


I doubt your claim that Iran is incapable of developing nuclear weapons. Would you please provide a source for this assertion? Not even the most conservative intelligence estimates I have seen claimed that Iran was incapable. And from what I have read, the limited sanctions placed on Iran are making little to no economic impact upon the country. US sanctions have been in place since 1979. They certainly have no new impact.



I did not say incapable, I said "Given the US and EU sanctions, Iran's devlopment in nuclear material is extremely limited."
When I say the sanctions, I mean the exporting to nuclear material from these countries that would help in the development of a nuclear bomb. I am not simply referring to economical sanctions in non-nuclear areas.

Of course, you may also be aware of many months back, that there was sanctions placed on Iran preventing any material used to create a nuclear bomb from outside being imported to Iran including Russia.

I believe, that Irans nuclear ambition has at least 10 years to be achieved. This is the evidence based when they successfully enriched uranium on 11 or 12 April 2006.
They only enriched it to about 2-3% and you need it to be at least 15 for nuclear bomb, producing couple of hundred centrifuges. This means that they are years behind in the actually producing one that can create thousands of centrifuges.
Also, have they extracted plutonium yet, for use in a bomb?


moonspider wrote:


Once again, your argument is just illogical misdirection. A nation will not give up a weapon without a replacement. The United States has no chemical weapons (aside from non-operational stockpiles awaiting destruction, or things such as tear gas, the latter of which is illegal in warfare and therefore only carried by law enforcement and security) or biological weapons, for example. However the U.S. has the WMD trump card: thermonuclear and nuclear weapons.




Again, falsehood. You said: "A nation will not give up a weapon without a replacement."

There is an example which has: South Africa. It is the first and only country to give up its nuclear weapons project completely.

America has much worse weapons that chemical ones. It has uranium impleated bullets, that attacks the nervous system of its victim from one bullet.

So to say America, and the worlds powerful countries cannot take the first step is false. If they do, then I would support the complete end of the creation of nuclear weapons and the compulsion of organisations such as the IAEA to be present in any suspicious of doing so. Failure to comply with such nations would result in an immediate war/sanctions. No quid pro quo.


moonspider wrote:


Yes. It is. Can you make an argument why Israel and Pakistan’s nuclear weapons are a greater threat to U.S. interests?



When we talk about issues on nuclear weapons, it is a threat to world peace we talk about, not US interests. Nuclear weapons would kill more innocent lives than evil ones.
Anyone, possessing any nuclear weapons, would instantly be a threat to the world.

Israel states it will use these weapons if it has to. Britain says it will use them only if absolutely needed.

A nuclear bomb does not simply effect existing populations but subsequent ones too, as seen with Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where children today still have birth defects.

moonspider wrote:


Israel I could care less about aside from the fact that it gives other regional nations an excuse to pursue them. But until a country like the U.S. or an alliance like NATO guarantees Israel’s security (i.e., any attack on Israel is an attack on the U.S. or NATO) Israel will want the most powerful deterrent available.



I disagree. Firstly, if we had NATO applied to the world, then the world will be a success story. But we don't: but that does not mean that you should build nuclear weapons until such a case does.
By producing a powerful deterrent, it means that someday you may need to use it. Because Israel has nuclear weapons, that still does not stop attacks against Israel. Iran continues to threaten Israel if USA attacks, even though Iran does not possess at this stage nuclear weapons, and Israel does.

moonspider wrote:

Pakistan is more problematic, as the case of Abdul Qadeer Khan proved. (If you are not familiar with it, he founded Pakistan’s nuclear program but then shared weapons secrets with Iran, North Korea, and Libya.)


Indeed, I am well aware. But then again I do not see anything wrong with this. You cannot have a monopoly over nuclear weapons, and who are we to dictate which nation is stable and which is not.

moonspider wrote:


I wish neither of them had nuclear weapons, but they do. I gave the reason why Israel will not surrender hers. As long as India possesses nuclear weapons, so will Pakistan.


Israel will never need to use nukes, because they have the backing of the USA. So long as powerful lobby groups such as AIPAC exist. Bill Clinton once said:

"the Israelis knew that if the Iraqi or the Iranian army came across the Jordan River, I would personally grab a rifle, get in a ditch, and fight and die."
Source:http://edition.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0208/04/le.00.html


moonspider wrote:


This is all blatantly false and I’d appreciate some references to back up your claims.

If North Korea is not a threat to South Korea, please explain the reasoning for multiple, annual joint exercises in South Korea, an extensive military alliance, and joint command structures. I’ve personally been to South Korea (it is one of my favorite countries) and served with Korean officers. I assure you that the South Koreans do not view the North as simply a threat to the U.S. and Japan and not to themselves.

Please provide references that contradict my own to defend your response. I stand by my professional assessment.



North Korea is a threat to America, not South Korea. The only difference between the North and a South is a border barrier. South Korea refuses on several occasions to prevent harsher sanctions on North Korea.

Read this interesting article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/21/AR2006062101518.html


moonspider wrote:


Why are people who are completely against the relatively small scale war in Iraq or the potential limited war with Iran so ready to get millions of people killed and unleash a full-scale war on the Korean peninsula? War with North Korea would be the worst bloodshed seen since World War II. I myself may not live through it and certainly don’t want to have to return to a region and people I love so much under such circumstances. I’d take a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan every day of the week and twice on Sunday over fighting in Korea.



I truly doubt it would be the worst bloodshed seen since WW II.


moonspider wrote:

Diplomacy is working.
http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00400&num=2257
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/n-korea-to-let-un-verify-nuclear-shutdown/2007/07/04/1183351220245.html
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2007/07/05/2003368181
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070704.WORLD04-2/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/



I dont see these links as diplomacy working:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2007/07/05/2003368181 - This shows how nice the SK are to the NK. I have said before SKorea sees NKorea as family. It does not show the diplomacy between USA and Japan, of which most concerns me.

http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00400&num=2257 - simply exchange of hands... perhaps to buy more time?

http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/n-korea-to-let-un-verify-nuclear-shutdown/2007/07/04/1183351220245.html -- we need dates? he is simply trying to buy time.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070704.WORLD04-2/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/ - same as above, though succinct. haven't we been this road before? early 90s?


moonspider wrote:


Addressed above. North Korea is an entirely different situation than Iran. My professional opinion is that Iran can be engaged militarily with great geo-political risk but with little loss of U.S. personnel and property. War with Korea would mean the death of hundreds of thousands, mostly Koreans. U.S. losses would exceed Iraq losses in a matter of hours. Chemical and biological weapons would be employed by the DPRK. The U.S. might result to tactical nukes in response.



You are right in saying that attacking Iran would have great regional impliciations and imbalances, and it is precisely this than USA must not engage in conflict with Iran. I think the US will lose all credibility not only to the world, but to its people, on the after effects of and Iranian conflict. The Iranian people would resist an invasion moreso than the Iraqi. Any attack on Iran would be perceived to be a threat to the Muslim people and not to the Iranian gvernment. Some may also take it as weakening Israels neighbours (given Hamas, lebanon, Iraq).

The implications it would have for an attack on North Korea is different. N Korea neighbours support tougher actions, except perhaps china. But even CHina, does not agree with N Korea's nuclear ambition, evident from the nuclear trials NK carried out.

Economically, an attack against Iran would be more devestating than an attack against North Korea, especially when world economies are concerned.

PS: the topic of 911 would deserve a new thread. There is too much to discuss, and would make this post infinetly long. So forgive me for not replying on that. Lets try to bring to a close many of the issues here.
GSIS
Here's a (possibly) interesting point of view about TB and the Middle East.

TB knows a lot that Dubya probably doesn't want to become public knowledge. Probably far too much.

So, Dubya gets TB a 'nice little job' in the Middle East. There's no way TB is going to turn down an offer like that - he sees himself as a world leader, maybe even a world saviour. He can't refuse Dubya anyway, as they're bosom buddies.

Dubya knows TB is going to take a bullet, or be blown off the planet, very quickly if he takes a job in the Middle East.

TB is silenced. As an added bonus the assassination of TB is blamed on al Qaeda and enables Dubya to rekindle his 'War On Terror'.

Just a thought ...
Moonspider
ThePolemistis wrote:
PS: the topic of 911 would deserve a new thread. There is too much to discuss, and would make this post infinetly long. So forgive me for not replying on that. Lets try to bring to a close many of the issues here.


We have come far a field of the thread’s subject. I don’t wish to debate 9/11, though. There are several threads regarding that already and I personally am not interested in going over something that has been discussed ad nauseum here and elsewhere.

Thus, I’ll make this my last post on this thread and keep it as brief as possible.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Is there anyone in the Arab world that prevents this freedom of naviagtion? Why does America need to have presence to ensure freedom of navigation is pursued even though the lack of it does not exist?


No. But in the case of a war in the region involving Iran, they could wage war on shipping (as they did in the ‘80s) and or shut down the Strait of Hormuz. The U.S. Navy serves as a deterrent aside from its active support of operations in the region. Since the end or World War II the United States has always kept fleets deployed to certain regions. Six-month deployments are a routine for U.S. navy personnel in peace or war.

ThePolemistis wrote:

This is not a reason to get your hands on something that is not yours. There are oil in other places too, including closer to home, such as in Canada and Australia. HUge reserves exist: the only problem is that method of extraction is slightly more costly.


Canada is in fact the largest supplier of oil to the United States. Mexico is second.
Reference:Energy Information Administration

I don’t think the U.S. military presence or activity there has anything to do with economic greed. Naturally U.S. industries are going to benefit from the war. However that is not the reason for the war or military presence. However I do think U.S. companies should get preferential treatment in rebuilding programs and other contracts. The U.S. is the country spending a fortune and whose citizens are making the ultimate sacrifices more so than others.

I know we disagree on that, but so be it.

Pre-War Intelligence
I’m not familiar with the “45-minute” claim of P.M. Blair. However I don’t think U.S. claims were “sexed-up,” as you put it to the extent that many believe it to have been. I simply believe a lot of errors were made in the intelligence assessments. I will further concede that there may have been a bias (for whatever reason) among analysts to find fault with Iraq.

Picking the winning horse in the Kentucky derby does not make a person a prophet. Those who were against the war in the beginning (who are far fewer than those who are against it now) could just as easily have been wrong. I will not back track from my decision to support the invasion. I think the evidence presented at the time justified it.

I see it as a game of poker. It’s not as if the United States, Britain and others were screaming that Iraq had WMD programs and stockpiles while Hussein pleaded on his knees, “But I assure you, I have nothing! I have given inspectors everything they want! Allowed them access to every facility, every bit of information, every person they requested! Is there more they must see? I will show them! They have had unfettered access to every corner of my country and government!”

No. In this poker game, Hussein wanted to keep the world and his neighbors guessing. Thus he bluffed rather than show his hand. The U.S. and a small coalition called his bluff. Nothing more, nothing less. It was not until the war was over and his government no more that all the cards were on the table. Low and behold we discovered, he had nothing.

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:

Please provide a source for your assertion that the U.S. government once funded Hamas.


I am not sure exactly on USA position, but I do know that Hamas did receive some support initially from Israel, as it would counter Arafats PLO.
If Israel supported it, then im sure USA would have.


I disagree. The U.S. policy on terrorist organizations is different from Israel’s and always has been. We do not negotiate. Israel does so routinely.

ThePolemistis wrote:
The US funded AlQaeda through military equipment and intelligence, along with the British government, and may have also done so through financial means.
The statement, "the enemy of my enemy is my friend" should hold no value for America, who proclaims so greatly, that it never liases with any terrorist organisation nor accepts a single penny from them.


“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” holds true for most every country in history, certainly every empire. Americans practiced it even before the United States existed. (The Seven Years War and The Revolutionary War)

As for funding Al Qaeda, I don’t think the organization ever received direct support from the United States. I did some more research after seeing the post by Horseeatingweeds and found no U.S. records to indicate that support was given to any foreign fighters, only indigenous members of the Mujahedeen (i.e. Afgans).

Here is quote from Peter Bergen of CNN, who interviewed Osama bin Laden in 1997:

Peter Bergen wrote:
The story about bin Laden and the CIA -- that the CIA funded bin Laden or trained bin Laden -- is simply a folk myth. There's no evidence of this. In fact, there are very few things that bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri and the U.S. government agree on. They all agree that they didn't have a relationship in the 1980s. And they wouldn't have needed to. Bin Laden had his own money, he was anti-American and he was operating secretly and independently. The real story here is the CIA did not understand who Osama was until 1996, when they set up a unit to really start tracking him. Reference: Bin Laden, CIA Links Hogwash


ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:
Why would any country attack another because private citizens of the latter carried out an illegal act independent of the government? That is just a nonsensical argument for the sole purpose of misdirection, a non sequitur. Would Great Britain now be justified then to conquer India because of the recent attacks in Glasgow and London? There is no legal basis for that, or for your notion of the United States invading Saudi Arabia.


I simply want an end to the corrupt Saudi government. I hate it. And if the justification for Iraq was because Saddam was a ruthless dictator (which was said in many of Blair's speeches), then the kingdom of Saud was worse than that of Saddams.


I too have a problem with the Saudi government. My parents lived there for twenty years and I know it all too well. It is because of that experience that I came to believe in the 1980s that the war in which the U.S. now finds itself (not Iraq, but the war against radical Islam) to be inevitable. When I learned that the men who carried out 9/11 were Saudis, I simply shrugged and said, “Yeah, I expected that.” The execution of the 9/11 attack surprised me. I was very impressed. But the fact that it happened at all and that such a large attack was planned did not phase me one iota. I’d been waiting 15 years for it.

(I never liked the term “War on Terror,” since one can’t wage war against a tactic. Let’s call a spade a spade. The United States is at war with Radical Islam. If Muslims have a problem with that title, then they need to rethink their moral values and beliefs. Not all Germans were Nazis either, but if you fight beside them, for them, or support them, you’re going to face the consequences just the same.)

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:
A must also disagree in the strongest against the notion that the United States provided chemical or biological weapons to Iraq! If you are going to make such an outrageous claim, I must insist that you provide a reference for that claim.


Here is the link for declassified official information on the sale of such components to create chemical and biological weapons :

http://www.gwu.edu/~nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB82/iraq52.pdf


You may have misread this message. It supports my position, not yours.

First of all, it is not a “declassified” message, as you said. It is an unclassified message, which means that it was never classified. If it had been a declassified message, the original classification would still be visible (Confidential, Secret, or Top Secret). If you look at the line after all of the addressees, it states “UNCLAS” as well. Calling it “declassified” mystifies the document and portrays it as some secret reluctantly divulged by the government.

This document is a partial transcript from a public press briefing.

The document goes on to voice the concerns of the State Department regarding Iraq possessing and using chemical weapons. Thus the State Department is implementing tighter controls on the sales of chemicals to Iran and Iraq to prevent either country from obtaining potentially useful chemical supplies from U.S. companies for the purpose of manufacturing chemical weapons.

As you probably know, a peaceful facility that makes something such as pesticide can also make chemical weapons for use against humans. Thus the controls on the chemical compounds listed in this document.

After outlining to the reporters the restrictions placed upon U.S. companies, the following question and answer took place:

Transcript wrote:

Q: Is this precaution a result of finding that your material has been used by the Iraqi side against---

A: To the best of our knowledge the United States has not been the source of chemicals used by Iraq to manufacture chemical weapons. However, since many components are commonly used for other purposes, we cannot exclude the possibility that U.S. source of chemicals have been exported to Iraq. We’re not aware that they have, but because these chemicals are in fairly general usage it is possible without our knowledge, that they have. These that we’re taking are obviously to curb such exports in the future.


Thus the document supports my position that the U.S. government never provided chemical (let alone biological) weapons to Iraq. At most chemicals from some U.S. companies were unknowingly used to make chemical weapons before tighter controls were implemented by the U.S. State Department.

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:
Once more, the invasion of Iraq had nothing to do with preventing the nation-state of Iraq from directly attacking the United States. The purpose was to prevent Hussein from providing resources, weapons (particularly WMDs), financing, training, and safe-haven for terrorist organizations. No one ever made the argument that Iraq itself was a direct threat.


Again, absolutely false. Your ruthless President certainly did.

Bush stated: "Saddam Hussein and his weapons are a direct threat to this country , to our people and to all free people." http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/03/20030306-8.html

Rumsfeld stated that "No terrorist state [Iraq] poses a greater or more immediate threat to the security of our people"


I did not take those at face value but believe he meant what I said above. It was only a direct threat in that it could potentially provide weapons, resources, and other support to terrorist organizations which threatened the U.S. I believe this to be the correct interpretation when everything leading up to the war is taken in context.

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:

If I could get a nuclear device into Central America and purchase an ocean-going sailing vessel, I have no doubts that I could take out a portion of San Diego (including Naval Air Station Coronado with hopefully – if I were a terrorist – at least one aircraft carrier in port.) Or if I could get a device into the Caribbean somewhere I could take out a portion of Miami in the same manner.

So unless you believe no drug smuggler ever gets into the U.S. by sea, than I assert it to be possible provided an organization could acquire a nuclear device. The latter I contend to be difficult, but not impossible.


This is most absurd. Firstly, a nuclear device is not something you can put in your back pocket and it would go unnoticed like the case of drugs. Also to create a nuclear device, requires billions of funding and years of research.
American satallites (the best in the world), are able to monitor nuclear devices. If anything, the terrorist would require stealth ships or submarine. I find that impossible.


I was not speaking of a dime bag of cocaine. I was talking about smuggling millions of dollars worth into the United States by boat in a volume several times larger than a nuclear device. That is not entirely uncommon.

American capabilities, as good as they are, cannot detect nuclear material if it is lead shielded (provided the owner was careful not to get any nuclear material on the exterior of the container). A nuclear device in a leaded container in the bilge of a vessel could escape detection. Stealth ship or submarine not required. Wink

I’d simply detonate it while still on the water but inside the city. Besides the blast destruction the base surge from a water surface detonation provides some nasty contamination.

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:

As I said above, we secured the oil fields to prevent a repeat of the ecological disaster that occurred in 1991.


OKay, let me put it to you this way: Of the money that is gained from the oil, how much is given back to the Iraqi people, to give even the basic of commodities: clean drinkable water??


We’re working hard to rebuild Iraq. Progress is not as rapid as I would like. However a lot of good is being done there. I admit that a lot stands in our way, including sectarian violence and corruption. Unfortunately all we ever see and read in the media is the bad news. No one likes to cover the good, even here in the U.S. Just about the only good we hear comes from those who have served or are serving there.

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:

Semantics upon which we disagree. I see it as two different wars. The current grew out of the end of the former. If U.S. forces were to pull out entirely and the fighting in Iraq continued, would you claim the war was over? Based upon your statement above, you would. I would not, of course, because the current war is a different war than the invasion.


True, semantics we disagree. Regarding had US forces pulled out completely, indeed I would say the war is over.


For us, it would be. But I’d fear for Iraq’s stability if a pullout occurred in the near future. The war would not be over for them.

ThePolemistis wrote:
Again, falsehood. You said: "A nation will not give up a weapon without a replacement."

There is an example which has: South Africa. It is the first and only country to give up its nuclear weapons project completely.


Touché. I’d forgotten about South Africa. However one must confess that no country now or in the foreseeable future poses a strategic (nuclear) threat to South Africa. Therefore they have no reason to possess a nuclear deterrent.

A number of countries presently and in the long term pose a strategic threat to the United States.

ThePolemistis wrote:
America has much worse weapons that chemical ones. It has uranium impleated bullets, that attacks the nervous system of its victim from one bullet.


Depleted uranium rounds are anti-armor weapons, not anti-personnel. Why waste such a large, heavy round on a person when a simple 5.56mm full-metal jacketed lead round will do the job?

It is not as hazardous as a lot of people would have you believe and is used in far more than just military ordnance. In fact, it is no more toxic than lead (but twice as dense). Other usages include:

Counterweights in helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft
Airplane control surfaces
Radiation shields in medical radiation therapy machines
Containers for the transport of radioactive material
Defensive armor plating
Yacht keels

If it is that toxic, why do we use it to shield people from radioactive material!?

Studies have been done in Kosovo by the United Nations following widespread use of such ordnance during that war. The results are listed in the second article below.

Here are some links on DU, including from the World Health Organization: WHO Article
Uranium Information Centre
http://web.ead.anl.gov/uranium/

In combat the only people who might inhale dangerous levels of the uranium oxide dust are those in close proximity to vehicles or other targets of DU weapons. If I’m that close, I’d be more worried about getting hit directly or by shrapnel than inhaling the dust!

ThePolemistis wrote:
So to say America, and the worlds powerful countries cannot take the first step is false. If they do, then I would support the complete end of the creation of nuclear weapons and the compulsion of organisations such as the IAEA to be present in any suspicious of doing so. Failure to comply with such nations would result in an immediate war/sanctions. No quid pro quo.


Unfortunately as we see today, the U.N. is about as effective at enforcing international standards as Western Europe was at enforcing the terms of the Versailles Treaty.

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:


This is all blatantly false and I’d appreciate some references to back up your claims.

If North Korea is not a threat to South Korea, please explain the reasoning for multiple, annual joint exercises in South Korea, an extensive military alliance, and joint command structures. I’ve personally been to South Korea (it is one of my favorite countries) and served with Korean officers. I assure you that the South Koreans do not view the North as simply a threat to the U.S. and Japan and not to themselves.

Please provide references that contradict my own to defend your response. I stand by my professional assessment.


North Korea is a threat to America, not South Korea. The only difference between the North and a South is a border barrier. South Korea refuses on several occasions to prevent harsher sanctions on North Korea.

Read this interesting article: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/21/AR2006062101518.html


I did and found this quote:

If Necessary, Strike wrote:
South Korea has worked hard to counter North Korea's 50-year menacing of its own country, through both military defense and negotiations, and the United States has stood with the South throughout.


It doesn’t sound like Ashton Carter believes North Korea isn’t a threat to the South! Quite the contrary! He talks of the U.S. standing with South Korea, not vice versa.

As much progress has been made over the years, North and South Korea are still legally at war. The people I know in the South still hope and even believe in an eventual peaceful reunification. And I believe that will come to pass. But they do not underestimate the threat from Kim and the DPRK.

Here is a recent article from the Yonhap News:
Yonhap News Agency

ThePolemistis wrote:
moonspider wrote:

Why are people who are completely against the relatively small scale war in Iraq or the potential limited war with Iran so ready to get millions of people killed and unleash a full-scale war on the Korean peninsula? War with North Korea would be the worst bloodshed seen since World War II. I myself may not live through it and certainly don’t want to have to return to a region and people I love so much under such circumstances. I’d take a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan every day of the week and twice on Sunday over fighting in Korea.


I truly doubt it would be the worst bloodshed seen since WW II.


Should full-scale war break out on the Korean peninsula, for the United States and the Koreans it would be indeed. If you can find an assessment of a war on the peninsula that portrays it as less, then I'd like to see it.

ThePolemistis wrote:

I dont see these links as diplomacy working:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2007/07/05/2003368181 - This shows how nice the SK are to the NK. I have said before SKorea sees NKorea as family.


Nice?! It’s a quid pro quo, part of the negotiations to shut down the reactor! South Korea didn’t give it to the North for nothing. They expect something in return.

ThePolemistis wrote:
http://www.dailynk.com/english/read.php?cataId=nk00400&num=2257 - simply exchange of hands... perhaps to buy more time?
http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/n-korea-to-let-un-verify-nuclear-shutdown/2007/07/04/1183351220245.html -- we need dates? he is simply trying to buy time.
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20070704.WORLD04-2/TPStory/TPInternational/Asia/ - same as above, though succinct. haven't we been this road before? early 90s?


Could be. I don’t trust Kim’s regime at all. You're deja vu is on the money. I had orders to Korea in 1994 as part of the massive force destined for war there. The last minute agreement later broken by the North stopped the war.

I personally don’t expect diplomacy to work, but we have made progress. As I’ve stated, the alternative to negotiating is too bloody to contemplate and therefore must wait until there is absolutely no other choice. My hope is that saner men take the reins of power in the DPRK after Jong-il’s death.

ThePolemistis wrote:

Economically, an attack against Iran would be more devestating than an attack against North Korea, especially when world economies are concerned.


I disagree. A war in the Pacific would seriously depress Asian markets.

Respectfully,
M
Moonspider
Polemistis,

I just wanted to add a reference to an article that portrays U.S. involvement in Iraq from the perpspective I am use to hearing. It also indicates that most reporters (based on Michael Yon's experiences) only care about covering violence, thus the deluge of nothing but bad news in the media.

Dispatches from Iraq: We are Telling the Truth, by Michael Yon, July 6, 2007

Respectfully,
M
ThePolemistis
Moonspider:

I think this thread has gone on long enough, so it is best to bring it to a close. However I would like to wrap up a few things first.

Firstly regarding Iran. Any war against Iran would be an act of defense on the Iranian side, and offence by America.
So as you put it, for Iran to shut down the Strait of Hormuz or to wage war on shipping, would only occur in an act of war -- a war waged by America. And you with your military insight, should know that such an approach is in defense and only at war.
The war on shipping and shut down of Strait of Hormuz only occured when Iran was attacked. So my final statement regarding this is: if America does not attack Iran, then the freedom of navigation will never be violated.

Secondly about America's greed. America will never proceed in a war unless there was benefit for America "directly". By directly, I mean that if there was a war with an enemy of which no financial benefits exist except there exists a ruthless dictator oppressing his people and foreign businesses (to lesser extent Americas) then America will not conduct a full scale war like she did on Iraq. Perhaps a practical example of nation I can give is Zimbabwe: Robert Mughabe is worse than Saddam, but America will never conduct a full scale invasion of zimbabwe.

Now the 45 minutes claim. You can find further information regarding it on a simple search in Google(type 45 minutes claim), so I would not waste precious time quoting from these sources. However, it is important for you to note that the 45 minutes claim is what won the vote of the backbenchers in the house of commons and the public for UK to support militarily the war in Iraq.
Intelligence sources initially refuted it, but it crept "somehow" into the report in order to make the war justifiable.
Also, who cares if Saddam has WMD? I mean many countries with dictators more ruthless than Saddam have WMD. He would never have used these againt Americas allies anyway.

Regarding supporting terrorism. America does not classify IRA a terrorist orgranisation when EU and UK do. In fact, USA have a good relation with the IRA.
The chemical weapons support the sale of chemical weapon parts to Iraq. I have read the document otherwise I wouldnt source it. The source of course does not accept the sale of chemical weapons in their entirety to Iraq-- but the sources of chemicals it does. Its up to us to decide the true reason behind it, esp. with a dictator like Saddam and at a time in a war he was losing, and America would have done anything for Iran not to be victorious.

On the subject of threat, and the statement by Bush about Iraq being a direct threat. I think words mean a lot. Again, I state the 45 minutes claim, and this about BUsh being direct threat. For people like you who have served in the army, it is perceived as a statement of motivation. To the average American, it is perceived to be a statement of fear and their support for a war that would make them safe. The media is a powerful tool, and words are delicate in a build up to a war.
the only buildup you talk about is to army personel, not to average americans.

The nuclear issue: I thought nuclear radiation was able to penetrate further than lead. However, i am not sure on this nor have the time to research so I will leave this issue until I am sure.

Regarding progress: Tell me if Iraq is perceived to be a better place to live under the first 3 years of American rule than it was to live under any barbaric period of Saddams?
You say progress is not as rapid as you would like, but to me the progress is more backwards than that of Saddams.

Finally, on the NKorea. You may be winning here, espcially given recent events. But slow development is also happening on Iran too.
A war in pacific would seriously depress asian markets, I agree. But lets not discuss which would be the greatest threat to world economy, as this would put us in a spiral than none of us would come out from.

Also, regarding the article in your last post. America's +ve-ness towards Iraqis is in a mere handful. The fact is that >70% of ordinary Iraqis want an end to the occupation. The article is no way portrays the the general populations view, and its just as good as what they did in vn 30 years or so ago. It maybe good to some that these articles are being portrayed, but their sheer number by patriotic newstations supporting war, suggest a large deficieny of cases exist.


Hope this brings this topic to a close Smile

Peace
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