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Author Topic: Tsk tsk Mr. Bush  (Read 7261 times)
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wellsy
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« on: June 17, 2004, 10:28:55 AM »

Well, this recent report on Iraq has certainly left those leaders who were committed to Iraq skating on very thin ice. For those of you who don't know, the report states that the September 11 attacks had no relevance or support from Saddam Hussein, thus removing another reason for the war (now crossed off with WMDs). The statement that he was defying UN laws raises the question, Why wasn't the UN involved if he refused to cooperate with the UN? Why did America have to make the UN irrelevant and "go it alone"?

Maybe some of you guys would like to talk about this.
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Defender
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2004, 10:51:24 AM »

Seems fairly cut and dried to me, a bid to secure oil interests in the Middle East cloaked in the guise of America the Liberator whilst simultaneously trampling over the very human rights the administration was so claiming to champion.

 -Def.
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nightwing
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« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2004, 04:10:31 PM »

Quote
The statement that he was defying UN laws raises the question, Why wasn't the UN involved if he refused to cooperate with the UN? Why did America have to make the UN irrelevant and "go it alone"?


An interesting version of logic you've got there.  The US made the UN irrelevant by going it alone?  The truth is the UN made itself irrelevant by refusing to take action when Saddam flouted its resolutions for 12 years.  Whatever you may think is the reason why the US "really" invaded Iraq, the fact remains that the UN undercut it's own authority by saying for over a decade, "This time we really mean it," and each time doing nothing.

If there is any danger to the UN posed by all this, its the danger of the last few holdouts in the world finally realizing that the UN is a sham, a barely held-together organization of nations with conflicting interests that only has "power" if all the participants are willing to play along.  And as the US has proven (and before it, Russia in Chechnya and France in Algeria, etc), its a simple matter to ignore the UN and go your own way whenever you like.

The UN has not been made irrelevant in the last year.  It has been irrelevant since 1948.

Quote
For those of you who don't know, the report states that the September 11 attacks had no relevance or support from Saddam Hussein, thus removing another reason for the war (now crossed off with WMDs).


The answer here is adding up to be bad intelligence.  A decade's worth of it.  Before the war, it was "common knowledge" that Saddam had WMDs and only now are we piecing together how that assessment could have been so completely wrong.  You could argue it's a case of Bush hearing what he wanted to hear, and there may be some truth to that.  But he was no less convinced than his predecessor Clinton, or indeed most world leaders.  And it should be remembered that not so very long ago, when Clinton was in the White House, John Kerry was a fervent supporter of military action against Saddam, even if it did upset the UN (citing Russia and France in particular, he cried, "Where is their backbone?")

Like so many other things in this world, what side you're on often depends on your party affiliation.  Bush has stumbled into an ugly, costly and potentially politically ruinous mess in Iraq.  But I strongly believe he thought he was doing it for the right reasons, and that he'd be vindicated in the end.  Whether the American people are willing to forgive a miscalculation and, yes, failure on such a large scale we'll find out in November.

But as for what the UN thinks, I frankly don't give a tinker's darn.  Any organization that puts Libya on it's "Commission on Human Rights" obviously has its head so far up its rear end that it's beyond useless.
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wellsy
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« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2004, 01:41:41 AM »

nightwing, did you know that in the 1920s and 30s, the League of Nations, established by America (but without America's support) attempted to stop a repeat of the First World War. However, this failed as nations ignored the League's attempts of appeasement. The UN had America's support, but with America having declared itself independant of the UN by this action, it has set a bad example for the rest of the world, allowing nations a set precedent to 'do whatever they want'. The UN was trying to solve the situation diplomatically. The US hurried through the diplomacy stage in its eagerness for war, and so, miscalculations were made.

It should be understood that, with America now free of UN process, theres no telling what sort of precedent this has set. The UN is an organisation to set up to try and stop WWIII, but as nations ignore its rulings, it has less ability to do this. And the French in Algeria and the Russians in Chechnya were dealing with internal affairs, something the UN can't really butt into. Alegria was a French colony, and the French were unwilling to allow its independance. So they had to suppress a rebellion. In Russia, it was a similar scenario. I am not taking sides, but this is just what happened.

So thus, its understandable why I am concerned that America hs destabilised the entire world. The repurcussions might not occur for some time, but I dare say it is only a matter of time.
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Spaceman Spiff
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« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2004, 06:31:32 AM »

Quote from: "wellsy"
...in the 1920s and 30s, the League of Nations, established by America (but without America's support) attempted to stop a repeat of the First World War. However, this failed as nations ignored the League's attempts of appeasement.

I've read and re-read these sentences, but I'm at a loss to determine how you interpret them to support your position regarding Iraq.

For those of you following along without a dictionary, "appeasement" means "making concessions to avoid a fight".

First, let's get the history straight.  The League of Nations was proposed by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson as part of his "Fourteen Points" peace plan to end the World War.  Wilson worked with the leaders of the allies to establish the League.  The U.S. Senate, however, rejected the treaty and prevented U.S. participation.

In 1932, the League condemned Japan for invading Manchuria, but the League did not use its "collective security" clause to forcibly oppose the Japanese.  In 1935, the League condemned Italy as an aggressor for invading Ethiopia, and approved sanctions to punish Italy.  These sanctions had no teeth, however, because fundamental war materials, such as steel and oil, were exempt.  Japan and Italy discovered that the League was impotent.

The League was really out of the picture during the height of the appeasement process.  This was the policy followed by the French and British governments in the late 1930s to avoid war with Germany.  In 1936, Hitler re-militarized the Rhineland.  In 1938, Hitler annexed Austria.  There were protestations and hand-wringing, but no one attempted to use force to stop the Germans.  The French and British governments even sacrificed Czechoslovakia to appease Germany.  Each concession emboldened Hitler to demand more.  And France and Great Britain frittered away the time, allowing the Germans to re-arm, allowing Hitler to make secret pacts with Stalin, and allowing their zeal for peace to plunge them into war.

So, how do you relate this to the Iraq war?  Are you suggesting that the U.S. undermined the UN's attempts to appease Saddam Hussein?  I'll agree with you on that.  For over a decade, Hussein stalled and prevaricated.  Hussein discovered that the UN could be played for suckers, so he had no incentive to cooperate.  The U.S. did for Iraq what the French should have done for Germany in 1936.

Then again, maybe I misunderstood your analogy.  Are you suggesting that the U.S. undermined the UN by being an aggressor (like Japan, Italy, and Germany in the 1930s).  Okay, let's consider that.  If that's the case, why didn't France, Germany, and Russia introduce a Security Council resolution condemning the U.S. (and U.K., Austrialian, Polish, Spanish, etc.) aggression against Iraq?  Furthermore, why didn't they send their troops to defend Iraq?  Seems to me they are the one's undermining the UN, since they aren't opposing aggression.

You seem to be very good at pointing out the mistakes made by President Bush, but what if the intelligence was right and he took no action?  Would you have praised Bush for his restraint if al-Qaeda had acquired biological agents from Hussein and released them in Orlando or Tel Aviv or Sydney?
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wellsy
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« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2004, 10:50:59 AM »

spaceman spiff, Bush acted on false pretences to pursue a neo-conservative goal. He heaped a load of out-of-date evidence and tried to use it to gain approval in the world community (which it really didn't do very well). The evidence is now completely false, and it is now being deemed an illegal war. Germany's annexation of Austria, the re-militarisation of the Rhineland, the annexation of Czechoslovakia were all attempts to stave off war, as they feared it could lead to a repeat of WWI.

now, those nations that maintained neutrality were saying that they had no love of Saddam, but were unwilling to shed blood on very shaky evidence. And now it is coming to light that they were correct in their stance. This is why they didn't oppose nor endorse the invasion. I have no love for Saddam, but with only 2% of the population percieving the coalition as liberators, I wonder how much longer the American will for war will hold.
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Spaceman Spiff
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« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2004, 04:29:22 AM »

Quote from: "wellsy"
Bush ... heaped a load of out-of-date evidence.

During the UN Security Council debate in early 2003, it was generally accepted by the intelligence services of many nations that Iraq had WMDs or was working to develop them. The debate was whether or not the Security Council is serious about its resolutions. The U.S. and the U.K. held the consistent position that a resolution should be enforced. France chose the inconsistent position of voting for a resolution then refusing to enforce it. If the Security Council members don't take their resolutions seriously, why should Iraq? The invasion by the coalition was consistent with the Security Council resolutions that demanded compliance from Iraq.

Much nonsense is being broadcast and printed about the 9/11 commission's finding that Saddam Hussein was not involved in planning the attacks on September 11, 2001. President Bush never made that claim. He said that there were links between Hussein and al-Qaeda. The commission did not deny those links. If the U.S. intelligence agencies had given President Bush evidence that Hussein was behind the attacks, the U.S. would not have asked for a Security Council resolution at all. The President would have gone to the U.S. Congress for a declaration of war.
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wellsy
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« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2004, 09:51:15 AM »

But the problem is that the economic sanctions were the UN's way of enforcing its resolutions. And it was stated that there were credible links between Saddam and bin Laden. The report shoots that reason down, as it said that there was no collaborative relationship between them. Thus, how can this be a part of the War on Terrorism, rather than a simple (but increasingly complicated) regime change?
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