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budgie
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I read the stroy of the Iraqi Shiite woman who was imprisoned for years and her brave son who ran the family in her absence. This example of the brutality that the Iraqi people suffered serves as justification enough to free them by force. It would have been justification enough in 1991. What other justification was needed? None, some say and I agree. Which is why the world is very concerned still about the current administration's motives and earlier attempts at providing good reasons. If freedom was enough, why did they insist that Saddam was a threat to America?

What was all this baloney about Saddam hiding chemical weapons? None of those weapons turned up have yet proven to be WMD. I hope they find more than 'traces' of chemicals on the warheads, I really do. This would vindicate the Bush camp somewhat. The alleged connection to terrorists certainly did not turn up any involvement with Al Qaeda. Saddam has never sold WMD to terrorist groups before, so why would he start - endangering his own regime in the process? One serviceman told his daughter before shipping to Iraq he was "going to get the man who made those two towers come down". Is that what the commanders have these brave soldiers believing?

If the mere intent to build WMD is enough to start a war over then America has bigger fish than Saddam to fry. It has not been proven he was or would have been a danger to America. Only those who subscribe to the administration's constant terror alerts and other tactics of scaremongering could be so easily convinced. And before the smoke even clears, contracts are being handed out to America firms to rebuild Iraq. Aren't there local firms with oil and construction industry expertise. Why does America have to profit from doing a good deed? The Bush team won't even share these deals with major British firms and Britain has been the chief ally.

Iraq has been freed and that is a good thing. The troops have fought admirably and nobly and have done a good job. But at the top - this whole enterprise smells of something fishy. A kind of neo-conservative adventurism that will both stroke Bush's reelection prospects with a quick victory and in the aftermath, provide a healthy economic stimulus to the United States. Will Americans truly be safer? Perhaps so, if only minutely and in proportion to the miniscule threat Saddam posed. But will the 'terror alerts' subside, actually giving them that feeling of safety, or will the culture of panic continue until the next elections have been settled? Despite the immediate benefit to the Iraqi people, a lot of countries and citizens will be asking questions in years to come.

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@Budgie

I'm ready :devil:;)

This example of the brutality that the Iraqi people suffered serves as justification enough to free them by force.

I agree with this 100% and in fact said as much in another post on this thread.

What other justification was needed? None, some say and I agree. Which is why the world is very concerned still about the current administration's motives and earlier attempts at providing good reasons.

While I can not speak to the Bush's administrations motive for this, world politics is not a strong point for me, I can make the following assumption. Most would not see this reason alone as good enough of a reason. So in an attempt to gain more support the administration brought these other reasons to light. One could say that reason enough lies in the former Government of Iraq's, I love saying that, refusal to abide by UN Resolution 687 (The resolution ordering the Cease Fire of the 91 war and setting the conditions thereof ) was grounds enough. I think it was also the Bush Administrations thought to give overwhelming proof that action was needed and that proof would lie in not just one area but several.

If freedom was enough, why did they insist that Saddam was a threat to America?

We could go back and forth several times as to what kinds of threat that Saddam posed to the US. Moreover we could go into greater detail what threats his government itself posed to the US. Think of it this way as one example, while Saddam himself maynot have had any need or desire to work with terrorist, and you notice I am not singling any one group out, there may have been those within his regieme that did.

What was all this baloney about Saddam hiding chemical weapons? None of those weapons turned up have yet proven to be WMD. I hope they find more than 'traces' of chemicals on the warheads, I really do.

I too hope that more than just traces turn up but how soon do you expect them to do so. Take into consideration the 11 dual use facilities found by the 101st Airborne. Why bury dual use mobil facilities unless they were being used for something that they were not suppose to be? I am not saying that this is the case but it seems awefully suspicious.

The alleged connection to terrorists certainly did not turn up any involvement with Al Qaeda.

I never did agree with playing this card, if you will. It is too likely to backfire if you, you being the one playing it, are bluffing. Or otherwise have no firm evidence of it. However, this not to say that I am ruling the possibility out. If in fact they can show a link between the terrorist group, that did have a training camp, in Iraq and Al Quaeda then I think it should be enough to say that the Iraqi Government, if not Saddam himself, knew of this. That would serve as enough evidence in some peoples minds.

If the mere intent to build WMD is enough to start a war over then America has bigger fish than Saddam to fry.

As I have said before with Iraq it wasn't just the WMD's. It was that and all the other things that went along with it. Not complying with the UN for example.

It has not been proven he was or would have been a danger to America. Only those who subscribe to the administration's constant terror alerts and other tactics of scaremongering could be so easily convinced.

I am not one that scares easily but I believe that the former Government of Iraq did pose a threat to the US and the rest of the world in it's own way. Maybe not directly but I believe the threat was there.

And before the smoke even clears, contracts are being handed out to America firms to rebuild Iraq

Can you provide any proof of this? I would think you would know better than to start talking about countries with contracts. Look at the contracts that Russia and France made with Saddam. Why isn't anyone on the other side of this issue, or the side that you are standing on, questioning the motives of a country like Russia? Have you not heard of the following?

Russian Oil Contracts

Why does America have to profit from doing a good deed? The Bush team won't even share these deals with major British firms and Britain has been the chief ally.

This statement smacks of "why do they get all the money and we don't". I am not trying to be insensative to you directly Budgie but I can't help wonder if those that are feeling the same way as you feel left out. Bare with me as I try to explain this better. That kind of statement by itself can be seen as greed. It's the socialistic view of monetary equalization. Everyone should get an equal piece of the pie. Unfortunately that isn't the way it works. If it did buisness would fold. Thereby having an adverse effect on your wallet and mine.

I am glad to see that you have reconsidered your earlier thought of retiring from this kind of debate and like you I hope that it remains civil. I have enough faith in the masses here to believe that it will.

Stout Hearts

Warhawk

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Note: Civil debate, refreshing to say the least!

Budgie, unfortunitly, the world is not fair in the least as far as war is concenrned. It basically brakes down to one nation propering off of the woes of another. I say basically because there are exceptions to the rule (Iraq for instance). In Iraq we deposed a dictator of fear and opression and the people are rejoicing. Now if you look back into history, war has always helped the economy of the winner, Especially if the winner is a government of free enterprise.

Now that we have deposed the dictator and restored freedom, America is going to rebuild Iraq just as It rebuilt Germany after WWII. In order to rebuild the country, you need indipendant contractors to provide expertise needed in rebuilding. Now the fact that we went to American companies is because by putting the money in American companies, the government helps the economy of America, thus helping most of the economies of the world. It is not the "evil empire" as put in european media, it is simply good politics.

Not to mention, that with UN support given in the beginning, the US would have been footing most of the bill (Face it, the US is the major supplier of funds to the UN).

Now on the topic of Saddm himself.

Saddam was not a especially direct threat to the US by himself. But when you give him the capability of training terrorists, procuring WMD, and the possibility of destablizing the entire Middle East, he becomes a threat to America and it's interests (mainly Israel).

The reason why we are having terror alerts is becaues we as a nation have only had one major terror attack on US soil. The fact that it killed more people than any other terror attack in history notwithstanding, we are not used to terror. If you excuse my play on words, but terrorists terrorize the American population. Not to a point of panic, just a creeping fear in the background.

The government cannot share all of its information on terrorists with the public (for odvious reasons). But it can at least give general warnings to alert the country that there MAY be an attack.

And while we are on terrorists....

We have located no less than 6 terrorist training camps in Iraq. These were unmarked by Iraqi maps but were stocked with Iraqi equipment. We have not linked them directly to Al Queada yet. But if you recall President Bush's statement at 7:00PM eastern time on 9/11/01, you will remember him saying that we will track down terror WHEREEVER it may hide. And we will consider any nation harboring terror an ENEMY to be delt with. He did not limit it to Al Queada, he pu it down in black and white...

Terrorists and the nations that harbor them will suffer.

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Budgie, you've continually have stated Saddam doesn't have links to Al Q, or terrorists who are a threat to the US. and isn't a threat to US. Fact, 1993 after World Trade Center bombing, one of the conspirators is given sanctuary in Iraq, the lead bomber, Yousef was captured in the Phillipines with an Iraqi passport ( they are Al Q members). Abu Nidal, who orchestrated attacks against US citizens as well as citizens of other countries, was found dead of 'suicide' (multiple gunshots to body) in Iraq where he had been living. At one of the terrorists camps in Iraq, up in the north, traces of ricin and bolinum? were found. Ricin is effective in poisoning through water systems and the other is an agent used in food. Iraqi instructions were found on how to produce both ( according to news accounts--I've not seen confirmation on that). I don't think we need to wait for more of our citizens to die on our soil to justify going after Saddam.

It's important to understand the way many think in the Middle East countries. Clinton's failure to act in force was viewed as cowardice, as was failure to unseat Saddam in the first Gulf War. You can go back to when President Eisenhower was in office and Nasser was starting problems in Egypt and surrounding areas. Britain and Israel wanted to seize the Suez canal, Eisenhower said no, an act that wasn't viewed as diplomacy but as one of cowardice, by Nasser.

You call it adventurism, I call it survival. Remember, our President declared war on terrorism, wmd was not the sole reason for attacking Iraq. Why does one bury a mobile laboratory if they have nothing to hide? No wmd's have been found yet, only traces, but the war was the first priority, now stabilizing the populace and dealing with the last of the hard core fighters, then an all out search for wmd. It takes time, patience is requisite. Don't fall prey to the media's impatience. Remember when they said one week into the war that the war plan was snafu and all these armchair quarterbacks (retired military embedded in TV studios) said there weren't enough troops, they started ground attack too early, etc, and got it stuffed back in their collective faces by the outstanding job of the coalition forces.

The coalition forces should be the ones to get first dibs on rebuilding contracts, especially since the US is allocating over 2 billion dollars for the job of rebuilding. To call it greed on the part of the US or even imply it, is indicative of greed of those being left out. How are we profiting when we are the ones putting up the majority of the funds? I'd be willing to bet you that a majority of the labor pool will be Iraqi's.

Give it time to play out. Remember, we're only a month into this, and for everything to be completed in the future, it will be years. I've stayed away from many topics once the war started, my belief is that once the war starts, debate stops until it's finished and support for the troops is my primary focus. I've always prefferred a civil debate, such as this, over the emotional ones.

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I agree, Budgie, the motives of those calling the shots were questionable right from the start. It was with this in mind that I personally could never bring myself to trust the Bush Administration (or indeed my own Government). British satirical political comedian/impressionist Rory Bremner described the case as best as I have heard it:

See clip here.

At one point... I was almost convinced, you know. There was a time - just after "Shock and Awe" (which I wasn't terribly pleased with but that's harldy the point of that part of the campaign) when the US Special Forces were helping the Kurdish rebels and everything was going smoothly - when I thought to myself "Okay, maybe this isn't so bad, we're doing the noble thing - helping the Iraqi people to overthrow the regime themselves - this is the way it should be done". But now that the action is over and accussations are being made against Syria... I'm totally baffled.

Was Iraq just seen as a way of both making war look easy (and therefore gathering additional support for the coalition) and also as a way of getting out of the UN, free to fight whatever wars we see fit without having to answer to any voice of reason?

I'm afraid that in my week away, I came to a decision. Maybe it was all the French air and mountain water (and ######' mountain sun burning my city skin :angry: ) or maybe it was finally getting round to reading "Stupid White Men" (*gasp*)... but I've decided that I can no longer support the Bush Administration in any of its actions.

I'm not out here bashing them so don't take this personally; it's most certainly not an Anti-American thing. I'm also not trying to convince you of some kind of "evilness" because I still believe that the American government has the best interests of its people in mind... I just want to make you aware of my stance from here-on.

So... as was stated in the title, I hope that this discussion can remain civil and that one of you will think any less of me because of my beliefs.

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PM, when stated as you did, no one should attack you, you stated your feelings without bashing our President. Sorry about your sunburn.

Abu Abbas, one of the cowards of the Achille Lauro ( they executed a wheelchair bound US citizen in his 60's) incident in the mid 80's has been caught in Baghdad. Will be interesting to see how long he has resided there. Italy gave him 5 life sentences, we had no laws back then to deal with an incident of that nature.

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I agree, Budgie, the motives of those calling the shots were questionable right from the start. It was with this in mind that I personally could never bring myself to trust the Bush Administration (or indeed my own Government). British satirical political comedian/impressionist Rory Bremner described the case as best as I have heard it:

See clip here.

At one point... I was almost convinced, you know. There was a time - just after "Shock and Awe" (which I wasn't terribly pleased with but that's harldy the point of that part of the campaign) when the US Special Forces were helping the Kurdish rebels and everything was going smoothly - when I thought to myself "Okay, maybe this isn't so bad, we're doing the noble thing - helping the Iraqi people to overthrow the regime themselves - this is the way it should be done". But now that the action is over and accussations are being made against Syria... I'm totally baffled.

Was Iraq just seen as a way of both making war look easy (and therefore gathering additional support for the coalition) and also as a way of getting out of the UN, free to fight whatever wars we see fit without having to answer to any voice of reason?

I'm afraid that in my week away, I came to a decision. Maybe it was all the French air and mountain water (and ######' mountain sun burning my city skin :angry: ) or maybe it was finally getting round to reading "Stupid White Men" (*gasp*)... but I've decided that I can no longer support the Bush Administration in any of its actions.

I'm not out here bashing them so don't take this personally; it's most certainly not an Anti-American thing. I'm also not trying to convince you of some kind of "evilness" because I still believe that the American government has the best interests of its people in mind... I just want to make you aware of my stance from here-on.

So... as was stated in the title, I hope that this discussion can remain civil and that one of you will think any less of me because of my beliefs.

If I may ask, what fresh insight did you walk away with after reading Stupid White Men? Did you pause to verify any of Mr. Moore's conclusions and ideas? I ask, because you should keep in mind - Mr. Moore is so far left that he is nearly off the scale, and he is, in my opinion, incapable of objectively viewing any situation.

Anyway...

I'm also troubled by our sabre rattling toward Syria. I'm a conservative-leaning pastor, and I'm a registered Republican, so I generally support our President. As of late, though, the Bush administration almost seems as though they're swinging a sword in a darkened room at an attacker that is definitely present, but unseen. I do fear that our current actions may have some short-term repercussions, but I do have faith that the great American experiment will succeed, and that we will grow out of and beyond this current 'witch hunt'.

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I think the media is finding itself in a "news vaccum" if you will. I say this because I think that the media is making more of the situation with Syria than is there. All I have heard coming from the Administration is that they have "expressed grave concerns to Syria on a number of issue's". I just wish that the media would back it off a little bit. They have the potential to make this worse than it might be.

Stout Hearts

Warhawk

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I agree with Warhawk about the media. When the Syria thing first came up, we were only watching the Syrian border, as Iraqi leaders, and Secret Police, were found crossing into Syria to escape detention, questioning, and possible charges of war crimes.

Syria was also being watched this time around, because of the stance that they took back in 1991 during the Gulf War.

I agree that they should be watched. After all, with the current military action in the region, the coalition would be less than prudent if they werent watching everyone they werent 100% sure of.

Im not sure that I agree with PM and Budgie on questioning the true motives of the war. Sure, I do agree with them that all the politicians have ulterior motives, but the original resolution as stated to the UN Security council was to free Iraq.

Yes, we could argue that point all day. And yes, you two guys have some very valid points. I even agree with some of them, but not all of them.

But I also believe in what we are doing over there, because I believe in the original purpose - to topple that madman, like we should have done in 91, and give the Iraqi people a shot at making their own destiny - without the threat of torture, with the right to express themselves, without fear of death, or worse.

Had we ignored world opinion in 1991 and finished the job while we were there, this wouldnt be an issue, and this thread wouldnt exist.

Ultimately, everything nowadays is done to a multi-purppose, especially where governments and politicians are concerned. All governments, I dont care who's, talk out of all 23 sides of their faces. All politicians are corrupt. It's the nature of the beast. You know what they say - "Absolute power corrupts absolutely." And that is an inarguable, stone cold, iron clad fact. I dont pretend to understand it all - it is too much to keep with.

But one thing is sure. Something good has come of this, and was a long time coming. The Iraqi people now have a shot. A chance to choose, and whatever else comes of this, we gave them that.

Sure, some folks are gonna get post war contracts and make money. That happens in every war and is unavoidable. Sure, everyone wants a say in the rebuilding, and to help influence the Iraqi's choice of a new government. That also happens in every war, and always has.

But the good that came from this cannot be ignored or pushed aside.

They have found his buried, bio/chem labs with documentation. They have found evidence of the chemical and bio agents.

So, even putting Iraqi liberation aside for the sake of argument, should we have waited until he proved to the world that he had chemical and bio weapons, and in the near future, possibly Nuclear Weapons, as evidenced by the plutonium they found, by using them against his own people, the Kuwaitis, and Israel? Should we have waited, watched a disaster and major genocide unfold, and then gone in to have him use those against us then?

The body count would have been horrendous.

No. I say we did the right thing, only 12 years to late. Bush Sr. should have had the cajones to stand up to the world in 91 when we were knocking on Sadaam's palace front door, and waxed his ass then.

Everyone was for the war then, because Kuwait had been invaded. Well I say that Iraq was invaded when this animal took power. If we had finished it 12 years ago, while the world was there, actually united, it wouldnt be an issue now, and none of us would be there now.

What do you guys think would happen if we werent there now, hadnt done what we have done, and he used his WMD's against Kuwait to try and take it again? And he would have. Kuwait has been a thorn in his side for years because they dont want him.Then the animal would use them against Israel.

Do you know what kind of s--tstorm that would cause? Dont fool yourself. Israel would not think twice about nuking them if he did that. What then?

This runs deeper than whatever we think of our respective governmemnts or each other's.

Israel came close to nuking Iraq in 91. If we hadnt been there, they would have. Sadaam mercilessly bombed them when they werent even involved.

Anyway, thats how I see it.

Incidently, any thoughts on anyone why Israel has been so quiet this time around?

Just another question for a friendly debate.

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I would agree that the Syria issue is strange. Quietly turning off the oil pipeline, then calling Syria to negotiate the turnover of Iraqis from Saddam's regime would have seemed to be a better approach than playing it out in the media. Since its in the open, Syria will be much harder to deal with than if they were approached one on one. I just can't figure out Rumsfeld's angle on this issue.

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I would agree that the Syria issue is strange. Quietly turning off the oil pipeline, then calling Syria to negotiate the turnover of Iraqis from Saddam's regime would have seemed to be a better approach than playing it out in the media. Since its in the open, Syria will be much harder to deal with than if they were approached one on one. I just can't figure out Rumsfeld's angle on this issue.

I sometimes speculate that, since the US has never really had to endure anything like 9/11/01, nobody really knows how to best handle things now. Granted, we were bombed by the Japanese on 12/7/41, but our reaction then was definitely not what we want to do now: bomb the hell out of everyone. (or bomb them to hell, whichever way you choose to see it)

Anyway, I personally believe that, perhaps the best course of action for the US, instead of rattling our sabre at everyone, would be to withdraw from the stage a bit, and take some time to figure things out.

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What was all this baloney about Saddam hiding chemical weapons? None of those weapons turned up have yet proven to be WMD. I hope they find more than 'traces' of chemicals on the warheads, I really do.

I think as we round week 4 of this campaign, it is too premature to make any confident conclusions about the presence of WMD's. They may be in Iraq, they may not be. I've not read any supplementary information or reports about the possibly enriched plutonium found or the warheads with chemical or biological contents, so at this moment I will not preach to the right or the left of this point.

However, the evidence so far uncovered is highly suspicious. Assuming that the 2 incidents previously mentioned turn out to be false, there is still plenty of probable cause to begin to paint a picture of Iraq's misdeads. The camoflauged chemical factory is one. If this factory is just a benign chemical plant churning out bottles of Mr. Clean, what would be the need for having it camoflauged and protected by Iraqi troops? I don't think that little installation was on a UN manifest. The mobile radar truck with the refridgeration and pulley system resembling a lab housing sensitive material also makes me wonder what has transpired within the past months prior to invasion. No wonder Iraqi radar didn't work. How about the other chemical lab found in the north of Iraq? Most fundamentally, let's also take into consideration the 10 years of information brought to us from our intelligence agencies as well as Britain's and Israel's. Maybe I'm just being naive, but I tend to trust the info brought from them more than I do any official in the Baathist Party. It is very hard for me to believe that Iraq had not been pursuing these weapons with the means of using them as intimidation on an international level or to use them against Israel. It is quite to the contrary of Sadaam's previous actions or psychological profile to believe that he had no ambitions of once again becoming a major power or, if given the time and the eased tensions, might actually achieve it. What might Sadaam have done if "the world" had it's way? I honestly don't want to know and feel that America, Britain and especially Israel feel good knowing that we don't have to think about it anymore.

As for Syria, I highly doubt that we will pursue any military action equivalent to what we did with Iraq. But, it appears they have been playing both sides and have been harboring Iraqi officials and possibly the weapons we are pursuing(I wonder what deals were being made between Sadaams and Syria during that 5-month fiasco of inspections...hmmmm) , so we're making good on our word that we do not take lightly those that flirt with the enemy. We may not act militarily, but we are in the position to squeeze them economically, and squeeze we will. If Syria wanted to be left alone, they should have done what Iran did and make Sadaam's minions do a 180 at the border.

Finally, let me just say this. If I'm wrong and Sadaam doesn't have these weapons, hasn't been pursuing them and didn't want anything to do with them, then I owe Budgie a coke and an apology. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than being wrong about Sadaam as a potential threat. In this case, however, I believe it was wise to error on the side of caution and take down that POS Hussein and let those other countries and terror entities hoping to kill our citizens know that they are accountable for their actions and will be responded to with actions, not merely words and empty threats.

@Parabellum

Oh man, did you read Mr. Moore's book? You HAVE to. It has the knack of making you want to laugh hysterically and vomit uncontrollably at the same time. Don't buy the book, mind you. I made that mistake and am now out $20 that I want back along with the 2 days I spent reading the first few chapters of that erroneously misguided piece of fiction. Just go to your local Barnes & Noble's and read the first chapter. You'll be elated at the weakness of his arguments and fearful that there are people who actually believe him. I woudn't worry though. He didn't convince anyone that didn't already want to believe.

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What was all this baloney about Saddam hiding chemical weapons? None of those weapons turned up have yet proven to be WMD. I hope they find more than 'traces' of chemicals on the warheads, I really do.

I think as we round week 4 of this campaign, it is too premature to make any confident conclusions about the presence of WMD's. They may be in Iraq, they may not be. I've not read any supplementary information or reports about the possibly enriched plutonium found or the warheads with chemical or biological contents, so at this moment I will not preach to the right or the left of this point.

However, the evidence so far uncovered is highly suspicious. Assuming that the 2 incidents previously mentioned turn out to be false, there is still plenty of probable cause to begin to paint a picture of Iraq's misdeads. The camoflauged chemical factory is one. If this factory is just a benign chemical plant churning out bottles of Mr. Clean, what would be the need for having it camoflauged and protected by Iraqi troops? I don't think that little installation was on a UN manifest. The mobile radar truck with the refridgeration and pulley system resembling a lab housing sensitive material also makes me wonder what has transpired within the past months prior to invasion. No wonder Iraqi radar didn't work. How about the other chemical lab found in the north of Iraq? Most fundamentally, let's also take into consideration the 10 years of information brought to us from our intelligence agencies as well as Britain's and Israel's. Maybe I'm just being naive, but I tend to trust the info brought from them more than I do any official in the Baathist Party. It is very hard for me to believe that Iraq had not been pursuing these weapons with the means of using them as intimidation on an international level or to use them against Israel. It is quite to the contrary of Sadaam's previous actions or psychological profile to believe that he had no ambitions of once again becoming a major power or, if given the time and the eased tensions, might actually achieve it. What might Sadaam have done if "the world" had it's way? I honestly don't want to know and feel that America, Britain and especially Israel feel good knowing that we don't have to think about it anymore.

As for Syria, I highly doubt that we will pursue any military action equivalent to what we did with Iraq. But, it appears they have been playing both sides and have been harboring Iraqi officials and possibly the weapons we are pursuing(I wonder what deals were being made between Sadaams and Syria during that 5-month fiasco of inspections...hmmmm) , so we're making good on our word that we do not take lightly those that flirt with the enemy. We may not act militarily, but we are in the position to squeeze them economically, and squeeze we will. If Syria wanted to be left alone, they should have done what Iran did and make Sadaam's minions do a 180 at the border.

Finally, let me just say this. If I'm wrong and Sadaam doesn't have these weapons, hasn't been pursuing them and didn't want anything to do with them, then I owe Budgie a coke and an apology. Nothing would give me greater satisfaction than being wrong about Sadaam as a potential threat. In this case, however, I believe it was wise to error on the side of caution and take down that POS Hussein and let those other countries and terror entities hoping to kill our citizens know that they are accountable for their actions and will be responded to with actions, not merely words and empty threats.

@Parabellum

Oh man, did you read Mr. Moore's book? You HAVE to. It has the knack of making you want to laugh hysterically and vomit uncontrollably at the same time. Don't buy the book, mind you. I made that mistake and am now out $20 that I want back along with the 2 days I spent reading the first few chapters of that erroneously misguided piece of fiction. Just go to your local Barnes & Noble's and read the first chapter. You'll be elated at the weakness of his arguments and fearful that there are people who actually believe him. I woudn't worry though. He didn't convince anyone that didn't already want to believe.

Yes, I've read his book. I've watched portions of some of his films. Why do you think that I have no respect for him? It almost seems as though he got some of his ideas from one of those magic 8-balls you can buy at Wal-Mart.

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As of late, though, the Bush administration almost seems as though they're swinging a sword in a darkened room at an attacker that is definitely present, but unseen.  I do fear that our current actions may have some short-term repercussions, but I do have faith that the great American experiment will succeed, and that we will grow out of and beyond this current 'witch hunt'.

*Pulls out old beer crate, turns it over and steps up onto it....*

Sensible words if ever I heard them. The war has so far turned up good results, nobody can dispute that. The people of Iraq are free now, terrorists long sought after have been found (Abbas had lived in Baghdad about 3 years). I can't argue with the results - only the motives. The President pushed so hard for a war he was seen as bloodthirsty and anxious for a fight. Perhaps it was pent up rage after 9/11, perhaps genuine fear, perhaps even a self-righteous drive to do good around the world or all of the above.

But are the hundreds (possibly thousands) of dead Iraqi civilians worth the capture of a few has been wanted men? Are the lives of over a hundred brave coalition servicemen worth decapitating a regime which posed no immediate threat? That loser Abu Abbas only ever killed a handful. It's like taking a sledgehammer to a mosquito.

The control that America will have over Iraq now - and its oil - causes the world to worry about America's real motives. I truly believe that the Bush team has caused a lot of damage in the world community by rushing everyone headlong into war and then by staking a claim in the spoils of victory (after all wasn't this war about liberation?) In order to calm the global situation down, prove that he is not an adventurist or madman, as many fear, Bush must engage in real diplomacy. This means involving the UN in rebuilding Iraq. This may mean opening the reconstruction tenders to international firms, including French or German. It may stink to those who feel America has earned the right to dictate terms in postwar Iraq, but is necessary to make the war seem ligitimate in the rest of the world's eyes.

After that the US must turn its eyes on peace. Saber-rattling towards Syria won't calm the situation down. Nor will another war. More intensive diplomacy is needed on the Korean peninsula as a war there (where Seoul lies only 60 miles from the DMZ, and the North has an itchy trigger finger) would be immeasurably more destructive in terms of civilian lives. And the Bush Team must, MUST, map a real and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. Israel needs to relinquish some territory, the palestinians need a homeland and they need a democratic leadership that abandons terrorism for good. Without putting out these small fires, and while continuing to endorse Israel's brutal occupation, America will forever be the target of what Egyptian President Mubarak warned would be, "a hundred bin Ladens".

If the current administration is not up to these tasks then I truly hope - for America's sake and the world - that voters do away with it next election. With any luck, Americans will say "Well, Bush got us through the hard times after 9/11, he ousted the Taliban and got rid of that nasty Hussein, but we need someone who cares more about the future of the world." Surely after the dust has settled, granting real peace and prosperity to all will be the surest way to defeat the scourges of terrorism, fundamentalism and dictatorship. This is how Eastern Europe abandoned communism and it's a healthy route for other nations to follow under favorable circumstances and responsible world leadership. If everyone in the world needs to be freed by war, the shooting will never stop.

Edited by budgie
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As of late, though, the Bush administration almost seems as though they're swinging a sword in a darkened room at an attacker that is definitely present, but unseen.  I do fear that our current actions may have some short-term repercussions, but I do have faith that the great American experiment will succeed, and that we will grow out of and beyond this current 'witch hunt'.

*Pulls out old beer crate, turns it over and steps up onto it....*

Sensible words if ever I heard them. The war has so far turned up good results, nobody can dispute that. The people of Iraq are free now, terrorists long sought after have been found (Abbas had lived in Baghdad about 3 years). I can't argue with the results - only the motives. The President pushed so hard for a war he was seen as bloodthirsty and anxious for a fight. Perhaps it was pent up rage after 9/11, perhaps genuine fear, perhaps even a self-righteous drive to do good around the world or all of the above.

But are the hundreds (possibly thousands) of dead Iraqi civilians worth the capture of a few has been wanted men? Are the lives of over a hundred brave coalition servicemen worth decapitating a regime which posed no immediate threat? That loser Abu Abbas only ever killed a handful. It's like taking a sledgehammer to a mosquito.

The control that America will have over Iraq now - and its oil - causes the world to worry about America's real motives. I truly believe that the Bush team has caused a lot of damage in the world community by rushing everyone headlong into war and then by staking a claim in the spoils of victory (after all wasn't this war about liberation?) In order to calm the global situation down, prove that he is not an adventurist or madman, as many fear, Bush must engage in real diplomacy. This means involving the UN in rebuilding Iraq. This may mean opening the reconstruction tenders to international firms, including French or German. It may stink to those who feel America has earned the right to dictate terms in postwar Iraq, but is necessary to make the war seem ligitimate in the rest of the world's eyes.

After that the US must turn its eyes on peace. Saber-rattling towards Syria won't calm the situation down. Nor will another war. More intensive diplomacy is needed on the Korean peninsula as a war there (where Seoul lies only 60 miles from the DMZ, and the North has an itchy trigger finger) would be immeasurably more destructive in terms of civilian lives. And the Bush Team must, MUST, map a real and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. Israel needs to relinquish some territory, the palestinians need a homeland and they need a democratic leadership that abandons terrorism for good. Without putting out these small fires, and while continuing to endorse Israel's brutal occupation, America will forever be the target of what Egyptian President Mubarak warned would be, "a hundred bin Ladens".

If the current administration is not up to these tasks then I truly hope - for America's sake and the world - that voters do away with it next election. With any luck, Americans will say "Well, Bush got us through the hard times after 9/11, he ousted the Taliban and got rid of that nasty Hussein, but we need someone who cares more about the future of the world." Surely after the dust has settled, granting real peace and prosperity to all will be the surest way to defeat the scourges of terrorism, fundamentalism and dictatorship. This is how Eastern Europe abandoned communism and it's a healthy route for other nations to follow under favorable circumstances and responsible world leadership. If everyone in the world needs to be freed by war, the shooting will never stop.

Wow...where to begin?

I think I could sum up my thoughts by saying that, from the tone of you post, you put too much emphasis on the US's role in international affairs. Why is it the job of the US to help secure peace for the Israelis and the Palestinians? Why is the US 'policing' several areas of the globe right now? Why is it that, whenever large sums of money are needed to provide humanitarian aid, the American taxpayer is called upon? What if, even for a decade, the United States of America simply stayed out of the world's affairs? Would the world get by? I think so, but it would be bumpy at first.

Perhaps it's just my perception, but it seems to me that the international community has become too dependant upon the United States. It's almost as if, on many occasions, the international community is unable to think for themselves, and solve issues/hand out aid, etc., without the US somehow being involved. In my opinion, if the current situation is to ever improve, then the international community must learn how to function without the US looking in on everything, and the US government must learn to have faith in her friends, and let go of the reins.

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I'd also like to comment: If there is actually a legitimate need to put American troops on Arab soil, we should not let '100 Bin Ladens' prohibit us from doing what's right and/or necessary. Terrorists cannot be catered to or appeased; rather, they must be stamped out and eliminated, whether by robbing them of their motivation, changing their religious/philosophical/socioeconomical conditions, or simply grinding them to dust.

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But are the hundreds (possibly thousands) of dead Iraqi civilians worth the capture of a few has been wanted men? Are the lives of over a hundred brave coalition servicemen worth decapitating a regime which posed no immediate threat? That loser Abu Abbas only ever killed a handful. It's like taking a sledgehammer to a mosquito.

Why dont you ask the Iraqi's if they think it was worth it. Do I think it was worth it? Yes I do. I in fact, was willing to pay that price myself. How many innocent people have those few"Has been wanted men" killed? Truly innocent, unarmed people, who were no threat to them in the least?

What price do you put on freedom, and the right to say what you want, and walk out of your house without fear of threat of being killed, or worse, tortured? Do you think that those terrorists and Sadaam would hurt no one else, and what would you do the next time they did?

What if they bombed your home town? Or what would you want if your leader ordered the gassing of your own people?

I dont like Bush either, but the fact is, the majority of America and Britain supported this.

Freedom, safety, and peace have a high price. The middle East and the world got a bargain this time.

I doubt very seriously that we will do anything militarily about Syria. Unless they get very stupid and start actively supporting and allowing the carrying out of terrorist acts.

Here in America, during the revolution and the civil war, we lost tens of thousands of people to accomplish the same thing we have in Iraq. We've lost hundreds of thousands of people in every war we ever fought to help liberate countries, and not one soul disputes any of that with the exception of Viet Nam.

As I said, yes, there are going to be alot of post war contracts that go to certain countries. But for the most part, those countries are getting the contracts because they have the resourses to do what needs to be done next.

American companies have been doing alot of business before the war in the middle east because they have the know how and the resources.

America and Britain, and the rest of the coalition are not there to take over. We never were. If we were, we could have done that in 91 and didnt.

Right now there is no government in Iraq. Should we just leave now that we have rooted out the weeds?

No. Every war we have ever fought, and we took over nothing. We conquered no one, and we forced no one to adopt our political system.

We rebuilt Japan and Germany after WWII. We are helping to rebuild Russia since the wall came down. We pulled out and left the Vietnamese alone, and we dont govern any of Korea.

Sure. After any war, there is sure to be influence on certain things by the victors. But we are not there to conquer and turn them into America.

We could have, had we wanted to, after just about every war we fought, but we havent.

As I keep saying, I dont like Bush either, but he doesnt have the power you think he does.

The house and the senate could have stopped this and kept it from happening, if it was as unpopular as you guys seem to think it is.

And I dont know about you, but I have been watching the news, and the Iraqis have been tearing things up since their government was rooted out. They are also ecstatic that Sadaam is gone. Should we just leave? I think not. We need to restore order, then let other coalition countries, (not us, the US), go in and help The Iraqis set up an infrastructure that they want.

No one protested us going into Afghanistan to do effectively the same thing. We are still there and no one is protesting. So, what is the difference to you guys?

Should we have just sit back and let the type of activity, and thousands of innocent people keep dying and do nothing?

All the inspections in the world wont stop a man like Sadaam. Unfortunately, only one thing will. Brute force. The UN hasnt been able to stop him in 12 years. But that is the only argument I have heard any of you come up with. I ask again, WHAT DO YOU THINK WOULD HAVE WORKED!?

A little more time and he would have turned the middle east completely upside down, and there is no one over there except the Israeli's who could stop him. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait asked for our help in 91 because they couldnt stop him.

We tried to get world assistance, and the other countries such as those in the EU werent having any, at least not until now, after we rooted the weeds out. Now they want in. Russia cant keep their own house in order. They have to take care of that first.

So, just like I asked Pyro at the start of the war, and you too, budgie, What effective alternative is there!?

UN sanctions and inspections for 12 years didnt work. The UN effectively walked away from the problem, until now of course. WHAT ALTERNATIVE? In 4 weeks of debates, none of you have come up with one.

You dont like the current solution, that's cool. I dont like it either. No one wins a fight, or a war. Everyone loses, even if they "win." But what EFFECTIVE alternative?

You dont like Bush. I dont either. But the fact is, this thing isnt as unpopular as you think it is, or it wouldnt have happened. Not just on Bush's say so.

But I will keep waiting for you guys' solution to this, that is different and effective, moreso than the path we have chosen. And dont forget, we asked the UN and other countries for help. They said no and left us on our own until now. The truth is, they didnt think we could pull it off, and didnt want to take a chance for fear of political suicide.

More worried about their own ass and agendas, than doing the right thing.

If it wasnt the right thing to do, why do they want in now? If it was so wrong, why not leave it alone now, and leave America and Britain and Austrailia to clean it up?

I'm stepping off the box now, and will wait patiently, another 4 or 5 or 12 weeks if need be, for you guys' answer to the viable, effective alternative.

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But I will keep waiting for you guys' solution to this, that is different and effective, moreso than the path we have chosen.

My last paragraph is full of solutions. Whether they will ever be implemented is a different story. Peace does not always come at the barrel of a gun. The Arab world - including many in Iraq - will remain bitter at the US for its support of Israel. Some people suggest the US should step out of world affairs. Does that include abandoning Israel? Didn't think so. Therefore America should make it work for all sides, rather than just propping up one.

The Bush administration seems wholly and selfishly concerned with American interests. Rushing into this war may be good for America in some people's eyes but in many cases bad for the world. How can what is bad for the world be good for America, when America is part of the world? I don't believe the president or vice president or any others in the cabinet care about the freedom of Iraqis. There are plenty of people that need to be freed in the world. The Palestinians for one. But we don't see the US rolling tanks into the West Bank to drive out the Israelis.

Looking to the future here, will removing the despot truly start to bring peace to the middle East? there are many steps that needed taking first IMO. Mostly diplomatic efforts. If America wants to stop terrorism and bring a new dawn of democracy it will need a new administration more dedicated to peace than to military adventurism.

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Iraq has been freed and that is a good thing. The troops have fought admirably and nobly and have done a good job. But at the top - this whole enterprise smells of something fishy. A kind of neo-conservative adventurism that will both stroke Bush's reelection prospects with a quick victory and in the aftermath, provide a healthy economic stimulus to the United States. Will Americans truly be safer? Perhaps so, if only minutely and in proportion to the miniscule threat Saddam posed. But will the 'terror alerts' subside, actually giving them that feeling of safety, or will the culture of panic continue until the next elections have been settled? Despite the immediate benefit to the Iraqi people, a lot of countries and citizens will be asking questions in years to come.

This paragraph, the last one in your post, has no solutions in it, only more 'Bash Bush" stuff, and how America is being greedy again.

All of your posts on this topic have been all about anti - Bush. We got the message, you dont like him. Fine.

But there are no solutions in the quoted paragraph.

I dont want to hear more anti Bush crap. I want to know what solution to the Iraq problem would work, that wasnt tried.

Who says that the British arent getting anything out of this, and if thats true, why arent they complaining and pulling out? And do you really think that they wouldnt pull out, or that we have enough influence over Britain to keep them there if they dont want to be there? I think not.

We arent going to see the final results of this endeavor for a couple of years. It wont happen overnight.

No, peace does not always come at the barrel of a gun, but, after 12 years, of peaceful attempts, put in place and at the approval of the world, it has been proven that a barrel of a gun is all Sadaam and men like him understand. After all, he ruled his country at the barrel of a gun, with torture as a reward for people's opinion, and a steady supply of state induced fear as a companion.

And I assure you Budgie, the Brits and the Aussies, and the other countries, would not be there if there wasnt something in it for all of them, so please stop the 'greedy Bush America thing". It doesnt wash anymore. I asked you and pyro to come up with viable , plausible alternatives.

This argument has gone on since day one of the war, and not even the hardcore protesters have alternatives, all they know is they dont want us involved. Fine.

I saw no one else but the Brits and the Aussies, and a few other small nations step up to the plate. No one else did. If everyone wanted it handled differently, they should have stepped up to the plate and handled it peacefully. But in this instance with Sadaam, that would never happen, because he understands nothing but force. He proved that .

So, until the alternatives, viable, effective ones mind you, are pointed out in this post, I will withdraw from this debate.

Im not flaming or attacking you budgie. In fact you and I have had several discussions, both here, and privately, and we know we arent attacking each other. But this is the same argument that has gone on for 4 weeks, and no one has answered my question.

Being anti Bush, and thinking this is all about American greed is not even a valid argument. The US spent 80 Billion Dollars just in the first 6 weeeks of this war. We are not getting rich off of it. Not to mention the fact that from reports, Iraq is broke and cant even pay its current debts, how are we gonna get rich? In fact, in this case, unlike 1991, the US govt is going to be paying the American firefighters and such that go over there because Iraq wont be able to. This isnt like Kuwait, who is richer than snot, and had money to throw around.

So, cmon man. Lets can the Bush bashing and greedy America routine. We've heard that for 4 weeks, and get some answers in here we can debate instead of rehashing the same old topics.

Stay cool, bro. :rocky:

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In order to calm the global situation down, prove that he is not an adventurist or madman, as many fear, Bush must engage in real diplomacy. This means involving the UN in rebuilding Iraq. This may mean opening the reconstruction tenders to international firms, including French or German. It may stink to those who feel America has earned the right to dictate terms in postwar Iraq, but is necessary to make the war seem ligitimate in the rest of the world's eyes.

After that the US must turn its eyes on peace. Saber-rattling towards Syria won't calm the situation down. Nor will another war. More intensive diplomacy is needed on the Korean peninsula as a war there (where Seoul lies only 60 miles from the DMZ, and the North has an itchy trigger finger) would be immeasurably more destructive in terms of civilian lives. And the Bush Team must, MUST, map a real and lasting peace between Israel and Palestine. Israel needs to relinquish some territory, the palestinians need a homeland and they need a democratic leadership that abandons terrorism for good. Without putting out these small fires, and while continuing to endorse Israel's brutal occupation, America will forever be the target of what Egyptian President Mubarak warned would be, "a hundred bin Ladens".

This is what I meant by solutions. I sent you looking after the wrong paragraph. If peace and freedom from fear and terror are what America truly seeks then, these steps - peace through peaceful means are a great start.

As for alternatives - alternatives to what.? I have said a hundred times I was not against military action, only the timetable. I believe that if the Bush administration had put a little more effort into diplomacy, undulged in the UN inspections just a little longer, then more of the world - including France and Germany - would have gotten on board with this coalition. I have been repeatedly told that after 12 years saddam's time had run out. I'm sure it had. But only a few more months of wrangling may have ensured that friendship between old allies endures, and then everyone could have gone and got Saddam together. After 12 years, what's a few more months? I can't prove that it would have worked out that way but its as big an 'if' as wheher Saddam was going to sell WMD to bin Laden. I too am tired of the circular arguments, but I have to stick to my guns. People are saying "12 years is enough" over and over as though that's a good enough reason to snub major allies and march off to war without UN approval. It is not. A few months on the other hand may be all it would have taken to get the world to agree that 12 years of saddam's antics was quite enough and all get in it together. That would have made me happy.

As for my poinion of Bush it is no secret. I probably have not been clear on exactly what I accuse Bush of so I will spell it out:

1) Seeking to muscle around weaker nations and settle old scores.

2) Stirring up a largely unnecessary war to distract people from troubles at home and justify it through people's post-9/11 fears of terrorism.

3) Stimulating the American arms industry by going to war and then, commandeering the reconstruction of Iraq, ensuring that Amercan businesses and the American economy profit from it.

4) Worst of all ignoring common sense and the world community, as well as seeking to bypass international law in order to get his pet project started. Irresponsible.

All this will lead to better reelection prospects for the president. After all, that's all politicians really care about. Yes, I know Congress had to approve the war, but it was Bush's initiative. I have not been swayed by the peace movement. I believe that War is a viable option sometimes. I am not repeating accusations I heard from Hollywood personalities or armchair politicians. I have read and watched extensivley from all sides of this and formulated my own opinion.

To recap:

My solutions - America should be working harder at the root causes of terrorism and instability in the middle east, rather than engaging in strongarm tactics against the wishes of the world community.

My alternatives to the war - None. Never had any. Sorry, guys, if you're looking for an enemy, I'm not a peacenik. If Saddam was determined to dodge his responsibilities indefinitely then sooner or later he's have to be taken out. But I would have preferred to see some more patience from America on this one.

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If I may ask, what fresh insight did you walk away with after reading Stupid White Men? Did you pause to verify any of Mr. Moore's conclusions and ideas?

Very little of what is presented in the book is speculation. As unfortunate as it is, Moore states hard facts concerning the "difficulties" behind the 2000 Presidential elections.

As John Adams said when successfully defending British redcoats on trial for the Boston Massacre:

"Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passions, they cannot alter the state of facts and evidence."

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Ah Budgie, throughout this you have stated Saddam had no ties to terrorists, thus wasn't a threat to the US, and when shown the different terrorists in Iraq, you call it a handful of men and Abu Abbas only killed a few people. What about Abu Nidal--his count was in the hundreds of killed. The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 killed a handful, wounding hundreds--just how many casualties does it take to justify going in. Our President hasn't ignored common sense, he expouses it. Why would a couple of months more of helped after Saddam's refusing to adhere to 2 different Un resolutions over 12 years. It certainly would have given Saddam more time to plan for an invasion and possibly inflict greater casualties on coalition forces. I would say to you that it is other nations avoiding commonsense--prove me wrong. Our President, who announced a war on terrorism, has stayed true to the course, while so many other countries have drifted from their initial stance. We lost more civilians in the course of a couple of hours on 9/11 than Iraq lost in a war that's around 30 days old now (1300 was the highest number I've seen thus far). Name any conflict that surpasses this one in it's attempts to avoid civilian deaths or even comes close--there aren't any. Clinton's route was diplomacy--what did it earn us--bombing of the US Cole, bombing of the Afican Embassies, leading up to the worst attack on our nation's soil. It was time to act. Saddam was given the chance to go into exile and he refused and said bring it on. The coalition did and did an outstanding job. Do you honestly believe that Saddam, aftering seeing all the statues of himself, his palaces, pictures people had to have of him in their homes and paintings of him on walls, that the egomaniac would ever succomb to diplomacy? Commonsense says no. Remember, the fight was brought to us, and we will fight to survive.

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But I will keep waiting for you guys' solution to this, that is different and effective, moreso than the path we have chosen. 

My last paragraph is full of solutions. Whether they will ever be implemented is a different story. Peace does not always come at the barrel of a gun. The Arab world - including many in Iraq - will remain bitter at the US for its support of Israel. Some people suggest the US should step out of world affairs. Does that include abandoning Israel? Didn't think so. Therefore America should make it work for all sides, rather than just propping up one.

The Bush administration seems wholly and selfishly concerned with American interests. Rushing into this war may be good for America in some people's eyes but in many cases bad for the world. How can what is bad for the world be good for America, when America is part of the world? I don't believe the president or vice president or any others in the cabinet care about the freedom of Iraqis. There are plenty of people that need to be freed in the world. The Palestinians for one. But we don't see the US rolling tanks into the West Bank to drive out the Israelis.

Looking to the future here, will removing the despot truly start to bring peace to the middle East? there are many steps that needed taking first IMO. Mostly diplomatic efforts. If America wants to stop terrorism and bring a new dawn of democracy it will need a new administration more dedicated to peace than to military adventurism.

Several issues here:

#1 - The entire Arab world hates Israel as much, if not more, than we support them. If ceased to support Israel, the nation would cease to exist. Put no value on the fact that Arabs hate Jews; our decisions should not be influenced by the hatred of people that cannot be reconciled.

#2 - It is the President's job to look out for America first. Period. See, this is what I mention often, and time again. America does not exist for the betterment of other nations. We must take care of ourselves first, because no one else is going to do so.

#3 - Will removing Saddam bring peace to the middle east? In a word, no. The only thing that will bring peace to the middle east is, sad to say, a change in religious views. Many Arab states are iron-fisted Islamic theocracies, and they cannot, and will not co-exist with anyone who is an 'infidel'.

See, the issue at the heart of the matter is, as one Muslim scholar put it: "In the Qu`ran, I can find nothing to teach us how to be a minority religion. The Muslim motif is to come across the desert in a cloud of sand and dominate everything in one's path." If you've ever read the Qu`ran, I mean really read it, then you should not find this to be a stretch of the book's message. In the many hours I've studied the Qu`ran, I've yet to find any substantial teaching that would suggest that Muslims are to get along with everyone else, and put others first (as you suggest the US should do.)

So, what does this mean? It means that, until old-world Islamic ideas on religion, societal role and status, law, and tradition are cast off, in favor of sensible, practical thought, the situation in the Middle East will not change. Ever.

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