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Author Topic:   Is there a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda?
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 46 of 62 (147619)
10-05-2004 5:35 PM
Reply to: Message 43 by Quetzal
10-05-2004 1:16 PM


Well, in point of fact, yeah. Most of us DID expect Hussein to "drop his pants".

I don't understand why that's a reasonable expectation for a man running a country through fear in a culture where men must save face.

Saddam wouldn't have done anything different even if he had been weaponless (which he may very well have been), because he had a country to rule and face to save. He wouldn't have totally capitulated to the Great Satan under any circumstances, because he would have lost face. He would have done what it turns out he did do - capitulate, but defiantly.

Those damn Canadians. Always sticking their noses into other people's business.

Yeah. Don't you think we would resist them, on principle, even if we had nothing to hide? Don't you think our national pride extends that far?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 43 by Quetzal, posted 10-05-2004 1:16 PM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 50 by Quetzal, posted 10-05-2004 8:39 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 47 of 62 (147621)
10-05-2004 5:38 PM
Reply to: Message 41 by Primordial Egg
10-05-2004 1:02 PM


quote:
Personally, I don't think there is anything anyone outside the US administration, least of all Saddam, could have done to prevent a war.

Ok, ignore the post above this one. I agree with you. When people say that "George Bush is a great leader" my response is "So was the Pied Piper, and look where he took their children." Bush is playing the tune and a lot of people, mostly the conservative right, is dancing to it. They don't want the music to stop, nor look ahead and see where the Pied Pier is taking us. Hopefully we will get new leadership in the White House, if not in this election hopefully in a Cabinet coup that gets rid of the hawks.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 41 by Primordial Egg, posted 10-05-2004 1:02 PM Primordial Egg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 48 by Primordial Egg, posted 10-05-2004 7:08 PM Loudmouth has responded

  
Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 48 of 62 (147634)
10-05-2004 7:08 PM
Reply to: Message 47 by Loudmouth
10-05-2004 5:38 PM


When people say that "George Bush is a great leader"...

Do people really say that? (Sorry, I'm a Brit and can't really fathom the appeal).

Mind you (OT, and sticking my neck out here), do you think that Kerry would have done things differently if he'd been in office this term? From my restricted-view vantage point, I'd say that apart from not reading books about goats to schoolkids at crucially important times and possibly enlisting more countries to support the US in the invasion of Iraq, there's very little to choose between them, in foreign policy terms. Is this fair?

PE


This message is a reply to:
 Message 47 by Loudmouth, posted 10-05-2004 5:38 PM Loudmouth has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 49 by Minnemooseus, posted 10-05-2004 7:26 PM Primordial Egg has responded
 Message 59 by Loudmouth, posted 10-08-2004 2:03 PM Primordial Egg has not yet responded

  
Minnemooseus
Member
Posts: 3766
From: Duluth, Minnesota, U.S. (West end of Lake Superior)
Joined: 11-11-2001
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 49 of 62 (147639)
10-05-2004 7:26 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Primordial Egg
10-05-2004 7:08 PM


I would certainly hope that Kerry would not have invaded Iraq, but who knows?

It's hardly a good defense for Bush to say "Kerry would have screwed up the Irag situation just as badly as I did".

BTW, I gave your "sanctions" message a POTM. Those sanctions themselves could be considered "acts of war". Not military, but social/economic, and just as harmful (to say the least).

Moose

Added by edit: Wait a minute. There's the Iraq/Al Qaeda connection! If Iraq wasn't getting abused by the U.S., Al Qaeda might not have attacked us.

This message has been edited by minnemooseus, 10-05-2004 06:30 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Primordial Egg, posted 10-05-2004 7:08 PM Primordial Egg has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 52 by Primordial Egg, posted 10-06-2004 9:31 AM Minnemooseus has not yet responded

    
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4161 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 50 of 62 (147652)
10-05-2004 8:39 PM
Reply to: Message 46 by crashfrog
10-05-2004 5:35 PM


I don't understand why that's a reasonable expectation for a man running a country through fear in a culture where men must save face.

Welllll, when someone's (in this case, lots of someones) holding a gun to your head, likely saving face is immaterial. Besides, he'd already been under an inspections regime for 6+ years, remember? My guess is he figured this would be the last one, and no one the wiser. I think he was an idiot who badly miscalculated.

Saddam wouldn't have done anything different even if he had been weaponless (which he may very well have been), because he had a country to rule and face to save. He wouldn't have totally capitulated to the Great Satan under any circumstances, because he would have lost face. He would have done what it turns out he did do - capitulate, but defiantly.

If you've been reading my posts, I think you realize that I believe he WAS weaponless in the end. I disagree that he needed to save face. No one internally was going to say anything, that's for sure. And who do you think he cared about outside of the country? Besides, he wasn't "capitulating to the Great Satan", he was allowing a (hitherto) toothless UN inspection team into the country under duress. Not much change if any for what he was under between 92-98, by his lights. Heck, the first go around made him more friends than anything we did to him during the first Gulf War. He could literally laugh at the UNSCOM folks. I'm sure he intended to do the same in the last round. He simply misjudged ol' GWB.

Yeah. Don't you think we would resist them, on principle, even if we had nothing to hide? Don't you think our national pride extends that far?

The situations are not even close to analogous. The countries and cultures aren't even remotely similar. What WE would do in that situation has zero relevance for what the options and possibilities were for Hussein.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 46 by crashfrog, posted 10-05-2004 5:35 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 51 by crashfrog, posted 10-06-2004 12:32 AM Quetzal has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 51 of 62 (147690)
10-06-2004 12:32 AM
Reply to: Message 50 by Quetzal
10-05-2004 8:39 PM


The situations are not even close to analogous. The countries and cultures aren't even remotely similar.

So, you think that there's less of a cultural sense of defiance, national pride, and insistence on self-rule in the Middle East? You think that in the Middle East, capitulation to superior force is recognized as right and proper?

I don't understand the argument that you're making, here. We're not talking about aliens on Pluto, with inscrutable motivations and feelings. If you want to know how folks feel about national soveriegnty in the Middle East, you can just turn on your TV.

I asked a simple question. Do you really think we know so little about people in the Middle East that it can't be answered?

This message has been edited by crashfrog, 10-05-2004 11:33 PM


This message is a reply to:
 Message 50 by Quetzal, posted 10-05-2004 8:39 PM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 53 by Quetzal, posted 10-06-2004 1:27 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Primordial Egg
Inactive Member


Message 52 of 62 (147748)
10-06-2004 9:31 AM
Reply to: Message 49 by Minnemooseus
10-05-2004 7:26 PM


minnemooseus writes:

Those sanctions themselves could be considered "acts of war". Not military, but social/economic, and just as harmful (to say the least).

Just the amount of media coverage that the damage caused by sanctions get is shocking. One would think, in a democratic society the fact that the UN people on the ground, humanitarian co-ordinators, hardly apologists for Saddam, quit in disgust after accusing our countries of genocide (on a scale comparable to Rwanda) is at least grounds for a public discussion, but it seems to be the norm that the excuse that Saddam caused the suffering by spending the oil for food money on palaces is accepted uncritically and without further explanation.

PE


This message is a reply to:
 Message 49 by Minnemooseus, posted 10-05-2004 7:26 PM Minnemooseus has not yet responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4161 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 53 of 62 (147806)
10-06-2004 1:27 PM
Reply to: Message 51 by crashfrog
10-06-2004 12:32 AM


So, you think that there's less of a cultural sense of defiance, national pride, and insistence on self-rule in the Middle East? You think that in the Middle East, capitulation to superior force is recognized as right and proper?

As to the first question, don't be ridiculous. I've never said that or implied it. We're talking about Hussein, yes? We're talking about a megalomaniac who was convinced of his own invulnerability and in many ways completely divorced from reality. No one who wanted to keep his head attached to his shoulders was going to gainsay him. I am convinced he believed, and may have been led to believe by external powers (although admittedly this is a suspicion, not a fact I can evidence), that a superficial compliance with a new set of inspectors would enable him to get the sanctions on his country lifted - a critical policy goal. In addition, he made major propaganda points by playing the martyr to the evil oppression of the Great Satan - a term he borrowed from the Iranians. He quite simply miscalculated Bush's desire to go fight a war somewhere.

I don't understand the argument that you're making, here. We're not talking about aliens on Pluto, with inscrutable motivations and feelings. If you want to know how folks feel about national soveriegnty in the Middle East, you can just turn on your TV.

Since I've spent a great deal of time living and working in the Middle East, I don't need to turn on my TV to understand how proud and yes touchy Arabs are about nationalism, etc. However, don't try to extrapolate from Arab nationalism to Hussein's political moves. He had quite a definite objective - getting the sanctions lifted - and saw this as an opportunity to try to have his cake and eat it at the same time. He failed on his gambit, primarily because IMO he never imagined Bush would actually go to war. Wrong, again. Just like Kuwait...

I asked a simple question. Do you really think we know so little about people in the Middle East that it can't be answered?

Actually, you asked a very complex question, as I've tried to point out. It's unclear to me, at least, which of us "knows so little about the people in the Middle East", and especially about Hussein, that we can't predict actions and motivations.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 51 by crashfrog, posted 10-06-2004 12:32 AM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 54 by crashfrog, posted 10-06-2004 1:34 PM Quetzal has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 54 of 62 (147809)
10-06-2004 1:34 PM
Reply to: Message 53 by Quetzal
10-06-2004 1:27 PM


I've never said that or implied it.

You could have fooled me. What else did you mean in your previous post?

We're talking about Hussein, yes?

No, we're talking about everybody.

We're talking about Hussein, his advisors, his people, the leaders of the neighboring nations in whose eyes he would have had to save face or appeared weak.

We're talking about a megalomaniac

Yes, we are. And what do meglomaniacs do? Anything, to save face and avoid the appearance of weakness or capitulation.

He had quite a definite objective - getting the sanctions lifted - and saw this as an opportunity to try to have his cake and eat it at the same time.

That's one interpretation. Another, possibly simultaneous, is that he felt absolute capitulation would have embarassed him, cost him esteem and face.

I'm not saying you're wrong, but I can understand why you think my interpretation isn't a possibility, as well.

He quite simply miscalculated Bush's desire to go fight a war somewhere.

Not somewhere, Iraq. Iraq at all costs.

Again, I'm not sure what we're arguing about. Can you lay out your points of contention for me?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 53 by Quetzal, posted 10-06-2004 1:27 PM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 55 by Quetzal, posted 10-06-2004 2:04 PM crashfrog has responded

  
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4161 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 55 of 62 (147823)
10-06-2004 2:04 PM
Reply to: Message 54 by crashfrog
10-06-2004 1:34 PM


We're talking about Hussein, his advisors, his people, the leaders of the neighboring nations in whose eyes he would have had to save face or appeared weak.

Umm, I've been talking about Hussein specifically since my first post on this thread (post #35). Remember? I asked the question - and speculated on several possible answers - about what was in it (meaning allowing the second round of inspectors back in) for him personally? You seem to be fixated on thinking that Hussein's primary motivation is some kind of nationalism. Or that he would have cared one way or the other about what his people thought. He was actually able to use the situation to gain support externally by playing the Arab martyr card. If anything, the inspections merely helped that endeavor. He managed to go from being a pariah prior to the first Gulf War to being a symbol of US imperialism in the Middle East. And we played along. I sometimes think that if we hadn't had a president as nearly megalomaniacal as Hussein he might have succeeded in getting off scott-free.

Yes, we are. And what do meglomaniacs do? Anything, to save face and avoid the appearance of weakness or capitulation.

I would argue that megalomaniacs AREN'T particularly concerned with saving face. They are so assured of their own invincibility that nothing can touch them - let alone public opinion. Besides, he was winning the propaganda war right up until the tanks crossed the Iraqi border. Take another look at the run-up to the war and the political maneuvers both in the Middle East and even in the West. I am convinced he truly believed, even with tanks on the outskirts of Baghdad, that he was winning the ground war, as well.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 54 by crashfrog, posted 10-06-2004 1:34 PM crashfrog has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 56 by crashfrog, posted 10-06-2004 2:19 PM Quetzal has not yet responded
 Message 57 by Silent H, posted 10-06-2004 2:53 PM Quetzal has responded

  
crashfrog
Inactive Member


Message 56 of 62 (147827)
10-06-2004 2:19 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Quetzal
10-06-2004 2:04 PM


You seem to be fixated on thinking that Hussein's primary motivation is some kind of nationalism.

No, his primary motviation was his big fuckin' ego. Or at the very least, his egomania was not a factor that could be ignored, and that it was highly unreasonable to expect him not to resist, even if he had nothing to hide.

But instead, the adminstration styled his resistance as evidence of perfidy, which they used as justification for war. When in fact, Hussein did exactly what one would have expected a weaponless-but-defiant leader to do.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Quetzal, posted 10-06-2004 2:04 PM Quetzal has not yet responded

  
Silent H
Member (Idle past 4108 days)
Posts: 7405
From: satellite of love
Joined: 12-11-2002


Message 57 of 62 (147833)
10-06-2004 2:53 PM
Reply to: Message 55 by Quetzal
10-06-2004 2:04 PM


To be honest, I don't see why the reasons you and crash have been exploring can't all be right at the same time.

I would want to put in one piece of evidence that I am unsure exactly who it helps. Did you see the final interview of Hussein before the invasion?

In that interview Hussein credited the massive military buildup and his troops' ousting from Kuwait as the sign he needed to understand what the world community wanted. That seems to support, and from his own lips, that he was unlikely to understand anything short of a threat of force.

That's one reason I had little problem if what Bush was doing was heavy sabre rattling. Too bad that was not the case.

Like I said I don't know if it really helps either side in this. I really feel like both of you have elements that make up the larger picture.


holmes
"...what a fool believes he sees, no wise man has the power to reason away.."(D. Bros)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 55 by Quetzal, posted 10-06-2004 2:04 PM Quetzal has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 58 by Quetzal, posted 10-07-2004 8:58 AM Silent H has not yet responded

    
Quetzal
Member (Idle past 4161 days)
Posts: 3228
Joined: 01-09-2002


Message 58 of 62 (148048)
10-07-2004 8:58 AM
Reply to: Message 57 by Silent H
10-06-2004 2:53 PM


That's interesting. There's an AP article by Laura Meckler called Questioning Reveals Saddam Motivated by Prestige, Iran on my AOL newswire this morning that seems to support the contention that Hussein was more interested in his own "legacy" than by anything else.
quote:
''He accrued power and prestige far beyond his inherent weight by positioning himself as the only leader to stand up to the last superpower,'' the report said.

At a Senate hearing, [former weapons inspector Charles] Duelfer was asked why - if Saddam did not have weapons of mass destruction before the 2003 invasion - he did not simply comply with U.S. and U.N. demands in an attempt to avert the war. Duelfer said Saddam's instincts were always to negotiate - to seek something in return before giving something up.

''He had not realized the nature of the ground shift in the international community,'' after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Duelfer said.

Until the end, Saddam saw himself as a great leader of a great nation, the report says. With an eye to history, he had bricks made for use in the historic city of Babylon molded with the phrase, ''Made in the era of Saddam Hussein,'' mimicking the ancient bricks there.

''This narcissism characterizes his actions,'' the report says. ''And while it is not always visible, it is always there.''


This seems to support my contention that he truly miscalculated because he was divorced from reality. It also speaks to Crash's idea that he was concerned about how he was viewed - although I think that "saving face" is probably not the correct characterization.

Oh, well, enough on this subject already.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 57 by Silent H, posted 10-06-2004 2:53 PM Silent H has not yet responded

  
Loudmouth
Inactive Member


Message 59 of 62 (148406)
10-08-2004 2:03 PM
Reply to: Message 48 by Primordial Egg
10-05-2004 7:08 PM


quote:
Do people really say that? (Sorry, I'm a Brit and can't really fathom the appeal).

Bush being a "good leader" is one of the main topics of his campaign. And the reason he is a good leader, you ask? According to his campain, because he is consistent and he doesn't send "mixed messages". I can't fathom the appeal either.

quote:
Mind you (OT, and sticking my neck out here), do you think that Kerry would have done things differently if he'd been in office this term? From my restricted-view vantage point, I'd say that apart from not reading books about goats to schoolkids at crucially important times and possibly enlisting more countries to support the US in the invasion of Iraq, there's very little to choose between them, in foreign policy terms. Is this fair?

Kerry would have invaded Afghanistan, no doubt. He supported this from the very beginning. Kerry would not have invaded Iraq, especially with inspectors already in the country. In fact, I doubt that Kerry would have even asked Congress for an OK to use force. Kerry would have gone through diplomatic routes to reinstate UN inspections. At least this is my opinion.

As far as allies, the French and Germans were both part of the invasion of Afghanistan. They aren't against America defending itself, quite the opposite. What they are against is imperialism which the US is sliding towards. What I find interesting is that Bush expects to have veto power over every country in the world, especially those in the middle east. Yet, when faced with forming a coalition, he states that a sovereign nation should not let another country have veto power over the US. Bush has made america look like a bunch of hypocrits, and ruined our credibility world wide.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 48 by Primordial Egg, posted 10-05-2004 7:08 PM Primordial Egg has not yet responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 60 by MrPhy42, posted 10-08-2004 2:18 PM Loudmouth has responded

  
MrPhy42
Inactive Member


Message 60 of 62 (148410)
10-08-2004 2:18 PM
Reply to: Message 59 by Loudmouth
10-08-2004 2:03 PM


"According to his campain, because he is consistent and he doesn't send "mixed messages"." I agree with John Stewart in his interview with Bill O'Reilly last night... Bush would rather be sure of something than right about it.

It just goes to show, with enough fear, and repetition, people will stand behind anything.

As far as the invasion of Afghanistan, It is getting pretty old when people reference that as some of Bush's outstanding record. A couple of planes killed thousands of people. The person that organized it was in Afghanistan. We said hand him over, they said no. We invaded. Bush didn't take any radical steps in that decision, he did not do anything extraordinary. He made a decision that my five year old could have made. Then, instead of hunting down the leader (as Bush promised he would at all costs before later stating that He didn't care where Bin Laden was, and that it was not a priority) he starts another war, in an unrelated country under false pretenses, and bad info, thus spreading our military thinner.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 59 by Loudmouth, posted 10-08-2004 2:03 PM Loudmouth has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 61 by Loudmouth, posted 10-08-2004 4:01 PM MrPhy42 has responded

  
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