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Bush: "I'm a war president... with war on my mind"

Election 2004 Bush 2004

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#21 Rov Judicata

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 02:05 PM

Rhea, on Feb 9 2004, 11:51 AM, said:

Terrorism against the Israelis would most certainly have been dealt with BY the Israelis. They're not exactly shy flowers. :p
I'm not sure I understand your conditional; there's not much dispute that Saddam funded it.

Secondly, Israel really couldn't do anything. Saddam didn't exactly leave "I'm over here!" signs. Aside from a military invasion of their own-- and even if they could have done it, just IMAGINE what the occupation would be like-- there wasn't much to be done.

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Zack: Oh, I agree completely that regime change in Iraq has been a formal goal of US policy since at least the Iraq Liberation Act. But there are a lot of ways to want to get rid of an unfriendly regime short of full-scale military invasion, which wasn't seriously on the table before 2002.

But the military invasion part isn't the problem-- that went extremely well by every measure. It's the occupation and ceconstruction part, which we'd have to do even if we had used some other method to get rid of Saddam.
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#22 Uncle Sid

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 03:40 PM

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I'm not sure with the "you" whether this statement was meant to be direct address to me or whether it was meant for the populace in general.  I'm going to respond to it though.  If X, then Y logic works better rhetorically if the second part of the equation isn't insulting. 

I do apologize for making it seem specific.  I do mean "you" in the general sense, but English is lacking in a general second person.  Using "ye" would be just a little too archaic.

As for saying that people live in a dream world if they believe certain things, I'll be honest and say that while that's entirely my opinion, it's also been my experience.  I can't say this enough, people in the US aren't willing to move unless it's right in front of their noses, and much of that comes from self-absorption, especially from educated people who should know better.  Does that mean that I think everyone is suffering from that particular malady?  No.  But one doesn't make a point by discussing the exceptions to the rule.  

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If you would like to claim that every individual soldier who has died in that conflict would have died if we hadn't invaded, you may; but don't expect to find much agreement with that position.

I probably won't get your agreement or others who hold the same views, of course, so you can be certain that I don't expect agreement.  However, I tend to take a long view on this.  Would the *same* soldiers have died?  No.  Would *more* soldiers end up dying if we hadn't acted?  Yes.  

Tne Mideast is a powder keg, and unfortunately, we can't just ignore it.  We need the oil that's there, or we fall apart and we won't get it unless we make certain it's available.  While that's the case, we're going to be a target for those in that area who don't like us and want to continue living in the seventh century, taking everyone else with them.  While the Mideast is still filled with vicious authoritarian states, it's going to remain a problem.  

Saddam Hussein may have had no weapons left, but I don't think anyone doubts that once the sanctions were lifted, probably right about now, he'd have gone back to setting them up.  If he didn't succeed in building a nuclear weapon, then his son Quesay or Uday would have.  Once that happened, it would be another North Korea, where we have to face the possibility of our troops and two of our allies being nuked.  Of course, by the time the US population reacted, it would be too late.  

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My experience suggests that people who are told the truth are more likely to engage in right action than people who are lied to.

People have known the truth about Iraq for well over a decade.  We've all read the reports, and seen that Iraq was trying their best to get around their responsibilities.  So what did we do?  Nothing.  And don't tell me that the American people would have gotten behind an expensive, *seemingly* pre-emptive war without something dragging them out of their complacency.  It wasn't going to happen.  Soon, the French and the Russians would have had those sanctions down so they could collect on their debt, and we would have tired of wasting money on flying planes over Iraq to do nothing but hold off the day that Saddam's ground attack aircraft could take off and pound the snot out of the Kurds.  

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The idea that "lies" were necessary may be one of the most disturbing things I've ever read you type here.

No, I'm saying that it may have been lies that might have been the only things that could move us.  That *is* disturbing, but it's disturbing that it might well come to that extreme before anyone moved.  

Just to make sure you didn't miss the part where I said that any lies should result in action against the liar, I am reiterating that a lie is unacceptable, but I do not want to see people look at this and use the crashing and burning of the Bush Administration to be the catharsis that they need in order to go on ignoring the world around them.  Lying is bad, but we can't just put ourselves on a high horse and burn the person who did our dirty work.  If we, ourselves, make it impossible to do the right thing truthfully for this country, then we are partially responsible when things are done in our name dishonestly.  

Finally, again, I am speaking under the assumption that we do find that this was any more than simply an error.  There is only speculation at this point whether we're talking about a lie or misinformation.  And to be perfectly frank, any administration that was prepared to outright lie about something like this was not going to find it the least bit difficult to set up some "proof" as well.  So I find it difficult to believe that this was a charade instead of a comedy of errors.  Still, not so good to be caught with our pants down, but at least that doesn't mean that we have people acting in bad faith.
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. - Jack Handey

#23 Rhea

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 03:45 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Feb 9 2004, 12:03 PM, said:

Rhea, on Feb 9 2004, 11:51 AM, said:

Terrorism against the Israelis would most certainly have been dealt with BY the Israelis. They're not exactly shy flowers. :p
I'm not sure I understand your conditional; there's not much dispute that Saddam funded it.

Secondly, Israel really couldn't do anything. Saddam didn't exactly leave "I'm over here!" signs. Aside from a military invasion of their own-- and even if they could have done it, just IMAGINE what the occupation would be like-- there wasn't much to be done.
So let me get this straight - the war in Iraq is a preemptive strike designed to save the Israelis from a country they couldn't or didn't want to attack?

And if it was THEIR country that was threatened, wouldn't it be THEIR responsbility to deal with it?
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#24 Uncle Sid

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 03:48 PM

^
So the Poles should have dealt with the Germans all by themselves in 1939?
I can picture in my mind a world without war, a world without hate. And I can picture us attacking that world, because they'd never expect it. - Jack Handey

#25 WildChildCait

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 03:51 PM

yep, he's got war on his mind al right. He wanted a war, he decided to go out and get one. He got one.
Can't disagree there.

Though I do disagree with the whole bloody thing.

y'know, getting news from more than one country is fantastic.....what they agree on I take as fact. What they don't, I take as propaganda. It cuts down teh news by over 80%.

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#26 Rov Judicata

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 04:02 PM

Rhea, on Feb 9 2004, 01:43 PM, said:

So let me get this straight - the war in Iraq is a preemptive strike designed to save the Israelis from a country they couldn't or didn't want to attack?

And if it was THEIR country that was threatened, wouldn't it be THEIR responsbility to deal with it?
Er, no.

The entire thing was a sidebar. All I'm saying is that Saddam*did* have connections with terrorism, simply not Al Qeada (as far as we know, anyway). I was marely bemoaning the fact that-- for people who say "Saddam had no connection to terrorism!"-- the lives of Israelis don't seem to count. Is that enough to justify the war we had? Not really. But it's a point that people consistently get wrong.

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And if it was THEIR country that was threatened, wouldn't it be THEIR responsbility to deal with it?

Well, to be fair, intervention to help an ally isn't forbidden, or even controversial. Again, not in THIS case, but your statement as an absolute doesn't work. I seem to vaguely recall something happening in Kuwait in a few years back...

Isolationism is dead as an effective foreign policy in any case, and has been for a long time...
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#27 CJ AEGIS

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 04:08 PM

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Rov: However, the old adage, "It may be better to seek forgiveness than permission" may well be true with the UN.
I still like “bite us”. ;)  

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Rov: Good point, although it's terrorism that apparently doesn't 'count'
It is over there so it really isn’t our problem seems to be the mindset I see too often.  Call me biased on this one but I consider Israel to be the one country we should be doing everything we can within reason to help.  Then I have actually had the chance to live with an Israeli whose family settled in the US and get their insight into the situation.  

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Rhea: Terrorism against the Israelis would most certainly have been dealt with BY the Israelis. They're not exactly shy flowers
And how could Israel force Saddam to stop funding suicide bombers?  Ask him to stop nicely because Israel could never manage a military operation to oust Saddam on their own.  The IDF is the 800 lb gorilla of the Middle East but even it can’t pull an operation off like that.  Plus even with the US riding shotgun the diplomatic flak would have been disastrous for Israel.  This all along with the fact that half the Middle East would have probably attacked Israel.

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Rhea: So let me get this straight - the war in Iraq is a preemptive strike designed to save the Israelis from a country they couldn't or didn't want to attack?
Knocking off a threat to a major close US ally was just a big plus.  And as for the rest what Sid said. ;)
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#28 Consubstantial

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 05:19 PM

Uncle Sid,

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Would *more* soldiers end up dying if we hadn't acted? Yes.
  Please explain how you know this.  How would more of our soldiers have died if we hadn't invaded Iraq?

I wouldn't dream of telling you that Americans would have gotten behind a "seemingly preemptive" war on Iraq without "something dragging them out of their complacency."  In fact, I'm aware that many Americans didn't, haven't and won't get behind the war on Iraq at all.  

I have found the truth capable of jolting folks out of complacency on occasion.  I just fail to agree that, if the truth fails, lying to cause that jolt is an ethically acceptable option.  In my experience, folks tend to lie when they think the truth won't get them the result they want.  (i.e. self-interest)  Can't motivate people with the truth, then lie.  That'll get'em motivated.

Additionally, the American government is already hampered by a credibility problem.  Like the boy who cried wolf, government officials have lied to the public deliberately and in concert on so many issues at so many times that some citizens will never believe what their government tells them.  

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If we, ourselves, make it impossible to do the right thing truthfully for this country, then we are partially responsible when things are done in our name dishonestly.
We have not made it impossible for the government to "do the right thing."  Ergo, we are not responsible for their dishonesty.  Or if you insist on repeating this unfounded claim, please provide some support for it.  In fact, if one group is making truthful right action difficult for the other, I'd have to say the guilty group must be the government. Since the government makes and enforces the laws, the government makes it impossible for us as citizens to do the right thing truthfully for this country because the government has more power over an individual citizen than the individual citizen has over the government.  

I just can't buy into your picture of the poor, helpless American government who can't tell its citizens the truth because they won't let it.  Instead the government has to lie to them and it's the citizens' fault.  If those awful citizens would just do what the government wants them to do without thinking or questioning, then the government wouldn't need to lie.  (Is there a throwing up smiley around here?) :barf:  

I think you make some good points most of the time.  The idea that we caused the government to have to lie to us about Iraq; so we are at fault isn't one of them.  

For Zack who said that the people who wanted this war

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quite rightly deduced that the way to sell this war to America was to scare the crap out of us with stories about Saddam's fearsome WMD arsenal and the possibility that he'd give them to Al Qaeda.

From Bush's 2003 State of the Union address: "Before September the 11th, many in the world believed that Saddam Hussein could be contained. But chemical agents, lethal viruses and shadowy terrorist networks are not easily contained.

Imagine those 19 hijackers with other weapons and other plans, this time armed by Saddam Hussein. It would take one vial, one canister, one crate slipped into this country to bring a day of horror like none we have ever known."

General commentary directed at no one in particular:
With rhetoric that dishonest no wonder some of the citizens of this fine country believe Saddam was part of the Sept. 11 attacks.  Imagine, because it isn't the truth and it isn't real.  So imagine and when you are terrified by what your imagination has shown you, support the invasion of Iraq because Saddam didn't have anything to do with September 11 unless you imagine it.
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#29 Uncle Sid

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Posted 09 February 2004 - 08:12 PM

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Please explain how you know this. How would more of our soldiers have died if we hadn't invaded Iraq?

Let's be clear here, what I write is my opinion, however, justifiably you've seen it as a fairly strong one based on the fact I didn't qualify it.  

The Mideast is a powder keg that simply isn't going to go away on it's own, and unless these sorts of situations are handled at the right time, in the right manner, they explode, and they take a lot of people with them.  

Iraq was a state in the grips of an expansionist dictator who had NBC weapons, at least at one point, and he definitely had the desire to get them again.  This sort of dictatorship can go one of many ways, where few to none of them good for the rest of the world.  He could have continued to rule, and his programs set up again as soon as the sanctions were pulled.  If he died too soon, one of his sons would have taken over.  

Or he could have been overthrown, probably by the Shiites, and the best thing we could hope for would be an orderly transition to a Shiite state, most likely aligned with Iran.  At worst, it would have become a free-for-all zone like Afghanistan.  While I've never believed that Iraq was a huge al-Queda supporter, Iraq did/does host al-Queda as well as a bunch of other terrorist groups.  If the Ba'athist regime fell apart on it's own, it could have easily been the next Afghanistan, complete with expanded al-Queda presence and oil to boot.

Without direct US intervention, I see none of the likely paths pointing towards democracy at all, and without putting out boots on the ground in Iraq, there would not be sufficent levels of involvement to do anything.  Of course, by that point, it would be too late.  We could have tried, at that point to invade, but we'd be (rightly) seen as invaders.  Or we could do nothing and let the cards fall how they may.  

We let things drop in Afghanistan, and we got spanked hard for that.  Failure to deal with Iraq would be a critical failure of US foreign policy, a failure that would eventually be paid for in blood of US citizens, just as we are paying for Afghanistan now.  

Do I know any of this?  Nothing that I could prove with mathematical rigor, perhaps, but I see lots of disturbing things that measure up with past events in the Mideast and the rest of the world very well.  Needless to say, now I won't have my chance to be proven correct, or incorrect for that matter, but I think it was the right decision to make.  

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We have not made it impossible for the government to "do the right thing." Ergo, we are not responsible for their dishonesty. Or if you insist on repeating this unfounded claim, please provide some support for it.

Again, I'm not saying that we're responsible for dishonesty.  The Bush Administration is responsible for the actions it takes.  Nevertheless, I would very much say that self-absorption of the US public limits the options of the government to do what needs to be done.  That's two different things.  What it does is that it puts an administration in a position of either lying, or doing nothing, and that can end up being a Catch-22 when non-action can cause the situation to get that much worse.

The fact is that we should have been able to deal with Iraq simply on the basis of them breaking their promises made at the end of the Gulf War.  There's millenia of precedent of victors ensuring their terms are carried out by threat of force being re-applied.  You shouldn't be able to face down a victorious power and ignore them or their sanctions.  It didn't matter that Saddam had no WMD ten years later, or even that we were wrong about him having them.  It was his job to prove he was complying.  He didn't, and we let him get away with it for far too long.  

Is that the American public's fault?  Yeah, it is.  The apathy, that is, not the decision to lie.  I can't point to any poll figures or anything (although they might be found), but I live here and see what people are saying every day on the news and in public and have been for ten years.  There's no way, short of Saddam invading Kuwait again, that we would have moved without some sort of fabulous claims and the coincidence of the terrorist attacks.  No way.  We won in '91 and proceeded to continue to decimate our military and intelligence assets because of the so-called "peace dividend".  It took us blundering around in Somalia and Yugoslavia before we realized the mistake, but we still ignored Iraq.  

I don't know what sort of proof you think will convince you, and I honestly don't have the time to do a research paper on it, although it is tempting. If you want, though, you just look around and ask yourself what would have happened if you came to the complex conclusion that Iraq needed to be dealt with in 2000. Then try to get the American people to go along with it by laying down the dry facts of it.  Just see how far it would have gotten in Congress or at the watercooler, for that matter.  Not far at all.  And you know, if this reluctance was based simply on the premise of "give peace a chance", I might understand it, but that's not it.  It's more like, "what do I care" or "how is that going to raise my taxes" or "Boo hoo, my little Danny joined the Army to get free college, not to actually be a real soldier, it's so unfair."

You may snicker at the idea that the government can be rendered powerless to act, but in reality, while the government can have a great deal of power over individuals, in terms of broad policy it really is locked into popular opinion, or more accurately, popular apathy.  If you think that the government is free to do what it chooses, get yourself elected to Congress and then try and touch Social Security.  See how much power you have then.  Zero.  How about suggesting that we begin a comprehensive program to spend an additional 100 billion dollars a year on feeding people in other countries, with the required tax hike to go with it?    Heh.  Now try and argue that a 200 billion dollar war can simply be forced on us by the government.  No way.

What I am concerned about, and have always been concerned about is not in making the administration look better.  What I care about is that we open our eyes and really look at these problems and realize that some actions are really really ugly and destructive, but sometimes they have to be taken, especially if we missed the opportunity to do it the right way the first time.  I think that if Bush was determined to be lying, that there is a good chance that it will shut down any real questioning of our attitudes about decisive action in the Mideast for decades.  The war will get tarred with the same brush that Bush might be, and we'll ignore the fact that our isolationism is just as much a problem as any ten politicians.
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#30 Consubstantial

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 04:20 PM

I'm no isolationist.  Saddam should have been ousted by Bush Senior.  He failed to finish the job and that as much as anything else cost him a chance at re-election.  Decisive action should have been taken then.  The public wanted it taken then.  The President chose not to take it.  

I applaud your desire to see people think deeply about issues this complex.  I'd have to say that I share it.  I appreciate the thoughtfulness of your response.  Because of the differences in our contexts and experiences, our analysis has led us in different directions.  From my perspective the government has forced a 200 billion dollar war on us.  There are many people, who wanted to see Saddam deposed when he invaded Kuwait and who were appalled by the fate of the Kurds and our role in it, who wanted to see us help the people of Iraq and who now feel betrayed a second time by a second Bush president.  

Often I even question the idea that decisive action needs to be taken in the Middle East without stopping to define decisive action, examine the conditions that led us to this context, make our primary concern the welfare of the people who live there and refrain from trying to force them to adhere to a way of life and/or cultural imperatives that are not part of their making or their history.  And I don't have time to write that research paper either.  I have too many other papers in line ahead of it.  And I better get back to them.  Combining procrastination with political frustration may just be the epitome of non-productivity.
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#31 Drew

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 04:28 PM

Consubstantial, on Feb 10 2004, 03:18 PM, said:

I'm no isolationist.  Saddam should have been ousted by Bush Senior.  He failed to finish the job and that as much as anything else cost him a chance at re-election.  Decisive action should have been taken then.  The public wanted it taken then.  The President chose not to take it.
Actually, his favorability rating was astronomically high after Desert Storm. Coming into 1992 he seemed unbeatable. And that is what cost him the election, IMHO; the fact that he thought he had it sewn up and came off as distant and disinterested for most of the campaign season. Clinton, on the other hand, hammered on the economy ("It's the buzzword, stupid") and got attention. By all rights, Clinton should have lost. The campaign had barely started before it became obvious what a sociopathic liar Clinton was, but hubris on the part of Bush 41 and two determined little men named Carville and Stephanopolous resulted in an incredible upset.

Desert Storm was Bush 41's ticket to four more years. He squandered it.

I often feel like Bush 43 is going to do the same thing.

Edited by Drew, 10 February 2004 - 04:29 PM.

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#32 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 04:34 PM

Consubstantial, on Feb 10 2004, 02:18 PM, said:

I'm no isolationist.  Saddam should have been ousted by Bush Senior.  He failed to finish the job and that as much as anything else cost him a chance at re-election.  Decisive action should have been taken then.  The public wanted it taken then.  The President chose not to take it.
Yeah, you raise an excellent point. The contradiction, of course, is that Bush would have been in flagrant violation of international law if he had done so, and may have provoked many of the same responses Bush 43 is getting now. Still, a lot of blood would have been saved. Not a choice I would want to have to make.
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#33 Drew

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 04:45 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Feb 10 2004, 03:32 PM, said:

Not a choice I would want to have to make.
And that's why we won't elect you.  :cool:

I suppose a good question to ask about now is: who do our sworn enemies hope doesn't get elected in November? That's the person I'm voting for.
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#34 Rov Judicata

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 04:56 PM

Drew, on Feb 10 2004, 02:43 PM, said:

And that's why we won't elect you.  :cool:
I would be the worst politician ever. ;).

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I suppose a good question to ask about now is: who do our sworn enemies hope doesn't get elected in November? That's the person I'm voting for.

Heh. Well, that's a start. But it completely ignores the domestic front, which is important too. Concerned as I am about terrorism, I'm not sure I'm prepared to be a single issue voter...
St. Louis must be destroyed!

Me: "I have a job and five credit cards and am looking into signing a two year lease.  THAT MAKES ME OLD."
Josh: "I don't have a job, I have ONE credit card, I'm stuck in a lease and I'm 28! My mom's basement IS ONE BAD DECISION AWAY!"
~~ Josh, winning the argument.

"Congress . . . shall include every idiot, lunatic, insane person, and person non compos mentis[.]" ~1 U.S.C. § 1, selectively quoted for accuracy.

#35 G1223

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 04:56 PM

We had the allies in the middle east all but threaten to pull out of the colation. if we did not stop. . Mean their went whole logisital train for supplies and the lack of airfields.


In short the Saudies wanted him contained never defeated. Remember we were unable to use the airfields in Saudia Arabia this time around. It was not out of fear of Saddam's reaction but to try and prevent us from getting a solid hold on the country.  There is why he was allowed to remain in power.

#36 G1223

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 05:05 PM

Which sets of enemies? I mean look at who are our friends They are not France or Germany. While they are not our enemies they have been working at cross purposes with us since the mid 90's,

Russia we not staring down one another with nuclear waepons  at least not as often but Putin is not a friend and only a few issues of enlightened self intrest keeps him from being more anti american.

China. The other superpower trying it's best to be silent till it's ready.  It is the major back in my opinion of North Korea Just so as to muddy the waters or to allow China a chance to "Do us a Favor" for a hand in pulling on the break away provinces.

So Drew trust me I see a array of folks who are not our friends and it's the reason I will go with a canidate who is not willing to let the UN direct our actions. And that is not John Kerry.

#37 Drew

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 05:05 PM

Javert Rovinski, on Feb 10 2004, 03:54 PM, said:

Heh. Well, that's a start. But it completely ignores the domestic front, which is important too.
Given the current state of things, I'm not sure that it's nearly as important as foreign policy.
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#38 G1223

G1223

    The Blunt Object.

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Posted 10 February 2004 - 05:05 PM

Which sets of enemies? I mean look at who are our friends They are not France or Germany. While they are not our enemies they have been working at cross purposes with us since the mid 90's,

Russia we not staring down one another with nuclear waepons  at least not as often but Putin is not a friend and only a few issues of enlightened self intrest keeps him from being more anti american.

China. The other superpower trying it's best to be silent till it's ready.  It is the major back in my opinion of North Korea Just so as to muddy the waters or to allow China a chance to "Do us a Favor" for a hand in pulling on the break away provinces.

So Drew trust me I see a array of folks who are not our friends and it's the reason I will go with a canidate who is not willing to let the UN direct our actions. And that is not John Kerry.



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