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PostPosted: Fri Dec 13, 2002 11:24 pm 
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On a smaller note, should war be neccessary (which at this point it probably is), hopefully the Powers That Be will utilize some of our Superior Technology(tm) to keep said war quick and as bloodless as possible with maximum results. Winning an argument by hitting people is easiest if your blows are fast and painful, as a barrage of strikes that leave the losing side aching do not have them respect your power but nurse their grudges and think about the times they almost put the winner in their situation.

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 14, 2002 1:56 am 
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On 2002-12-13 22:24, AriaMech wrote:
On a smaller note, should war be neccessary (which at this point it probably is), hopefully the Powers That Be will utilize some of our Superior Technology(tm) to keep said war quick and as bloodless as possible with maximum results. Winning an argument by hitting people is easiest if your blows are fast and painful, as a barrage of strikes that leave the losing side aching do not have them respect your power but nurse their grudges and think about the times they almost put the winner in their situation.



This would work if we had this Superior Technology(tm). The problem with the war on Iraq is that we're going in with the purpose of deposing a leader, not systematically liberating areas or towns. We have to take the battle to Baghdad and Hussein's stronghold(s). This isn't going to be a point and click missle war. This is going to be a city fight, hence the Army's increase in city fight training.

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 4:13 pm 
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On 2002-12-13 21:42, Kills Commies wrote:
...as I don't give a crap what 'your opinion' is.


We'd noticed.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 4:40 pm 
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I'll elaborate for Treespeaker, who appears to want to seem so stupid that he cannot clearly take the meaning of that sentence correctly.

"I don't give a crap about your opinions when they do not address the facts at hand and have no facts themselves to back them up."

Please stop playing games Tree.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 15, 2002 6:30 pm 
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The alternative is logical argument, and at this point I'll just be repeating myself yet again. I'm sure everyone agrees that this forum isn't going to change anyone's opinion on war in Iraq, so why beat my head against that particular brick wall again? I've played devil's advocate for a while, now it's beginning to wear; in conclusion I'd rather have fun.


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 17, 2002 4:21 pm 
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On 2002-12-15 17:30, Treespeaker wrote:
I'm sure everyone agrees that this forum isn't going to change anyone's opinion on war in Iraq, so why beat my head against that particular brick wall again?


I beg to differ. I do not currently have a strong opinion regarding war in Iraq (which is why I've largely stayed out of debate threads involving it), and would be open to a persuasive argument from either side.

On the other hand, I tend to skip over duellists. Let's have a <i>debate</i>, not a shouting match, okay?

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PostPosted: Fri Dec 20, 2002 3:18 pm 
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Now that finals are over and I'm back at home, I'll clarify my position in a day or two.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 30, 2002 6:44 am 
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We're still waiting...


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2002 7:40 am 
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Ironically, I would have been in favor of crushing the Hussein regime after the Gulf War and replacing it with a surrogate free market democracy, but I think invading at this point is the worst idea ever.

I mean, you can claim the moral high ground and say that we should depose Hussein because he's a threat to the region, and to a far lesser extent, a threat to us. However, we must consider how our military presence may make things far worse. We must come to terms with the fact that the USA has shitty public relations in the Middle East, and any show of aggression in the region can give the terrorists more emotional capital to make war against us.

I'm far more willing to engage in a campaign to stir up the Iraqi people to depose Hussein themselves. This is not a simple undertaking at this time because, believe it or not, Hussein has enough public support to run his country at least for the time being. The only major resistance within his borders comes from the Kurds.

War in Iraq may be inevitable, but it doesn't have to happen now. As foolhardy as it may seem, it is far safer to wait until Iraq poses a valid threat to its neighbors. We cannot start a war because we think they are planning on starting a war. For one, this is hypocritical. We went to war with Hussein because he started a war with Kuwait, citing that Kuwait historically was a part of the territory currently known as Iraq. And now we plan to go to war with Iraq because they might be approaching a point at which it may threaten us or its neighbors? As ridiculous as it sounds, I would say that Hussein's case for war, based on a historical claim, is a far better and more moralistic reason for war than our own pre-emptive case.

If Saddam truly is developing WMDs with the intent of using them on us or his neighbors, we should wait until the threat. Can Hussein just fling a WMD at Israel without warning? Probably not. Chances are that he would use the WMDs as a means of intimidating his neighbors. This is the role WMDs have played throughout history. THIS is something we can prevent when and if it happens, as we have the same bargaining chips, and many other means of sanctioning an intimidation attempt. He sure as hell isn't going to indiscrimately lob chemical weapons at Israel, for example. After all, Hussein has whined that his country has been heavily scrutinized and searched for weapons, while everyone admits that Israel has a nuclear arsenal and a track record of not inconsiderable human rights abuses, but has not been placed under the same binding UN sanctions as Iraq. We have to ask ourselves what Hussein would gain from threatening his enemies in the region. It all comes down the the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction. Saddam may not be a good ruler, but he does know that if he were to attempt to use a WMD on his enemies, he would be swiftly annihilated. You can take the "but he's crazy" argument if you wish, but you'll have a hard time finding a precedent for it. Lone madmen use WMDs in awful Bruckheimer flicks. Stalin had the bomb, was certainly batshit bonkers, and never used it because he was surrounded by officials who could stop him from using it.

Suppose, however, that Saddam started arming terrorists. This is far more frightening than the possibility of the Iraqis launching a WMD themselves because by placing it in the hands of a non-state actor, the Iraqis lose some amount of responsibility and may have a greater chance of sneaking it into Israel or even the USA for a surprise attack. Once again, though, this wouldn't be a smart move on Hussein's part. He would have little to gain from such an attack, and would DEFINITELY be implicated in it and would consequently be dealt with. If flying a plane into the WTC can whip the American people into such a bloodlust, imagine the patriotic fervor that would result from the detonation of a WMD within our borders. We would embark on a terrible campaign against terror, the likes of which would dwarf the one we are in. Not even the most jaded of antiwar hippies would think twice about letting action against the Iraqis get bogged down in the bureaucracy. We wouldn't even need much intelligence to connect the Iraqis to the attack.

The same holds true for an attack on the Israel, the only other plausible recipient of Iraqi attacks. A WMD attack on Israel

Furthermore, why the hell would Arabs use WMDs on Israel? The Palestinians and Israelis are so distributed in the area that casualties would spread to both sides. Furthermore, nukes would destroy the very land the Palestinians are fighting for. Go ahead and play the "but the Arabs are crazy, and don't care, as long as they kill Jews" card, but bear in mind that it is horribly ethnocentric and overly simplistic.

The government of Iraq knows this. As despotic as Hussein may be, he and his officials are at least competent, and will not act with the nihilistic aggression of the non-state terrorists in the Middle East.

In my eyes, this is about understanding what this despotic regime is really after. It's simple to say that Hussein wants revenge for the decimation of his nation at the hands of the US, but an analysis of Iraqi policymaking points to something else. For instance, look at Hussein's public image. The posters, murals, and signs with his mug plastered everywhere in Baghdad is evocative of Stalin. The man clearly wishes to forge a legacy for himself. Look at the frivolous monuments to his image throughout the country. The theme park. The rebuilt Mesopotamian palaces. The rebuilding of the Tower of Babel. Hussein often cites mythical and historical figures as his major influences. The anti-Jewish and anti-America propaganda, just as our own anti-Arab inflammatories, is used to muster public support. It is not at all symbolic of his will to start a war with us.

It is very, very clear that he loves himself more than he hates us.

As for his human rights background (and I appologize for making this into a footnote), Hussein has indeed committed heinous acts against the Kurds. There are two frequently cited points of contention against this, both of which are somewhat valid, but not a proof against this argument. The first is that we helped him do it (Bush turned a blind eye to the gassing of the Kurds because Iraq was a trading partner at the time). The second is that there are other nations with comparable, if not worse backgrounds.

To the moralistic argument, I say, once again, that we should consider the human impact that our own war against Hussein will have. Since he sees it coming, there is no feasible way that we can dismantle the regime without getting into a very messy guerilla war in the streets of Baghdad. He's got body doubles and he sleeps in a different place each night. We will be faced with heavy civilian casualties if we fight a war in attempt to dismantle him. In short, if we engage in a ground offensive, we will be far worse to his people, or at least come off that way.

I offer a few alternative solutions. Start an uprising, or wait and watch what he does. The first is improbable because as I said earlier, Hussein has control of his people, and is well liked, especially those in the majority ethnic group he belongs to. If it were to succeed, however, it could result in a coup d'etat that would be far more bloodless than an American invasion. The second involves more risk, but it is a risk we are used to. We cannot start a war because we think someone else might start a war. That sets a very poor example for other nations, and as the foremost of the world powers, we must be mindful of the example we set for others. If we are to be the world's police, we'd better act like it, and stop acting like a rogue state. International law was devised at the eve of the World Wars to hold states accountable for their actions. As the sole law enforcer on this planet, we must not act as though we are above it by subverting the time-tested doctrine of threat containment with this pre-emptive trash.

It's very late, and I've become very longwinded, especially considering that this is merely a messageboard post. I appologize, but I thought I'd try and get as many of my points out as possible


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:17 pm 
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Machiavelli believed that a republican form of government would collapse if not for constant political infighting and war with other countries. Our economy is also blowing chunks recently. Nothing a good war couldn't fix, right?

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 31, 2002 4:54 pm 
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War may not necessarily repair the economy. Only arms and energy groups stand to gain much from a war.

The only way that a war could stimulate the economy is if it unites the country against a common enemy and motivates an increase in production. A second Gulf War won't do that, as there are far too many people against military action. The issue is far too divisive to create any form of nationalistic spirit.

Well, that may not be the only way, but one thing is for certain: the first Gulf War did nothing for the economy, and that is exactly why George Bush I was not reelected. He was a tremendously popular wartime president, but his support crumbled when the economy began to dip. On top of that, in the first Gulf War, there were far fewer dissidents rocking the boat.


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