Don't get me wrong. I'm merely criticising certain members of the French government. It's so easy to generalise in terms of an entire country - "France is anti-war" or "America is pro-war". It was rather facetious of President Chirac to have sold many weapons to Iraq, not to mention a nuclear reactor no questions asked, and have used his own security agents to guard that reactor, and then threatened to veto Saddam's removal on what I believe were claimed to have been humanitarian reasons. That reactor was viewed as such a threat that Israeli and Iranianpersonnel teamed up to try to pass the French security. Imagine that!!
It was rather facetious of President Chirac to have sold many weapons to Iraq
Do you mean facetious like Rumsfeld and Cheney claiming we must go to war because Saddam is a horrible tyrant for using weapons they sold to him, against people that we wanted him to kill at the time?
Facetious like Powell visiting those same people Rumsfeld helped Hussein murder and announce that they were the reason we went to war? Lying to them that the US had protested Iraq's actions at the time (historians quickly took exception to that)? And that the WORLD should have removed Saddam sooner?
Facetious like various US officials visiting dug up mass graves of 1000's of Iraqis that are at least 10 years old and pointing to that as the reason we went to war, while ignoring the mass graves being dug for the 1000's of fresh Iraqi corpses we just created?
Facetious like claiming that if weapons inspectors hadn't found anything in 3 months they were never going to find them because it would be really easy without Saddam's interference, then turning around and 6 months after gaining control of Iraq saying it'll take time to find weapons?
Facetious like claiming that war is the quickest path to peace, that it will lead to greater stability in Iraq, and that it will decrease religious fundamentalist strongholds there?
Facetious like claiming that this has nothing to do with oil, then protecting ONLY oil resources, and instead of keeping it for Iraqis, selling it off to pay for the reconstruction efforts which is in violation of international law?
Yeah, Chirac allowed the sale of a nuclear reactor to Iraq. Israel and Iran (both of which were its adversaries) wanted to destroy it. And ultimately did so.
But let me ask you this as you snub Chirac. He said the war would destabilize Iraq and lead to needless loss of life, particularly since the reasons to go to war that Bush and Blair were citing (the WMDs) may not even be real. He advocated continued and reinforced UN measures to make sure Saddam stayed put and defanged.
This was his "claim" regarding humanitarian concerns.
Whether you think he meant them or not (nevermind countless other nations said the same thing), didn't he turn out right?
Didn't we throw a war for what turns out to be no reason except to install a government which will be under our thumb, and grab oil revenues?
There are no WMDs. Not even a hint of them (and believe me I expected them to find at least leftovers to a weapons program). And now our leaders have conpletely backed off that claim and say it was all about freeing them from a tyrant.
Only now there is more discord and chaos then ever. And even if we manage to get a government installed there will be no removing the fundamentalist elements we were supposed to be worried about!
There was a time when war was considered the last option of peaceful nations. Under Sharon/Bush/BinLaden we now see this sanity has been overthrown. Now it is "war is necessary to have peace." In other words, screw diplomacy because it is too slow and you might not get what you want. Since WE are blessed by God our weapons will crush THE ENEMY BEFORE HE CAN GAIN POWER TO STRIKE! The new peace:eternal war!
Ut! Don't forget pimping out on the Shi'ite revoultionaries when they tried to overthrow Saddam over a decade ago, in an attempted coup inspired entirely by the promise of funding and troops from the U.S.!
And for some strange reason, they don't trust us when we say we'll give them freedom now...
There were many other things I could have put on the list, but clipped due to an attempt at brevity and some things slipping my mind.
Watching the news over lunch I had a total V8 moment about something else I should have had on the list.
How about the entire Bush administration hyping Saddam and 9-11 at the same time, until the issues became synonymous, even telling troops that this invasion would be a result of 9-11, yet this week announcing to 70% of the American public (what the other 20+% knew all along)... Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11!
Almost. I might be mistaken, but I don't think anyone in the White House has actually said that Iraq wasn't involved in 9/11. Bush's statements have been more to the effect of "there's no evidence that Iraq was involved in 9/11, but we're sure they have ties to Al Quaeda."
Maybe Tony Blair can write a memo that says Al Quaeda was acting under direct orders from Hussein, and Bush can use that as proof.
[This message has been edited by Dan Carroll, 09-18-2003]
Actually it was yesterday, and perhaps repeated once again today that Bush came clean on his Iraq claim. That's why the news at lunch reminded me. They had a clip of Bush telling reporters that Iraq had no direct role in 9-11... of course he did add that they had ties to Al-Queda.
Nevermind of course that it was revealed more recently that by "ties with Al-Queda" Wolfowitz or one of his associates admitted it was really only one guy and he was not a lieutenant of BinLaden's but more of a loose associate. Some lowranking AQ soldiers did come to train in Iraq with the knowledge of Iraqi intelligence, but ahem they also trained in the US with the knowledge of US intelligence.
quote:There was a time when war was considered the last option of peaceful nations. Under Sharon/Bush/BinLaden we now see this sanity has been overthrown. Now it is "war is necessary to have peace." In other words, screw diplomacy because it is too slow and you might not get what you want. Since WE are blessed by God our weapons will crush THE ENEMY BEFORE HE CAN GAIN POWER TO STRIKE! The new peace:eternal war!
You're absolutely right. Nobody even makes an effort to assure us that "this war will end all war" anymore. The understanding is that this war will most likely lead to the next.
The Gulf war that Dubya's dad fought was only waged so the Emir of Kuwait could regain his holy throne. Leaving Saddam in power was not a bungling foreign policy oversight, it was quite deliberate.
After the Balkans turned into Europe's latest genocidal sandbox, international outcry led to troops being sent to Bosnia. Unfortunately, after he signed the Dayton Accords, "Happy" Milosevic went from the New Hitler to a legitimate head of state again. After the shit hit the fan in Kosovo, he turned back into Hitler. This wasn't a mindless blunder, it was part of the plan.
Afghanistan may be free from the Taliban, but it's still ruled by fundamentalist warlord psychopaths. These folks were only too happy to team up and send the Taliban packing, but let's not pretend they're democratic-minded or pro-USA. Bush's man Karzoi may be clean, but they call him "the Mayor of Kabul" because his influence doesn't extend beyond the boundaries of the capital city. Anyone want to lay bets on how long it'll be before one of the Afghan warlords is the New Hitler of the Week?
------------------ I would not let the chickens cross the antidote road because I was already hospitlized for trying to say this!-Brad McFall
While we're on the subject of mass graves and such, we should also mention that, compared to Iraq's mass graves of Shiites who rose up in response to the US's lies about sending in troops to help them, Gen. Dostum's mass grave in Afghanistan was composed of 1-3k taliban *prisoners*, who were thrown into sealed metal shipping containers and effectively baked alive in the sun. And of course, if we want to get on the subject of torture (which, given that in Iraq we hardly found anything worse than electric shock devices - which every middle eastern nation uses, even Israel), we should cover our good friend Uzbekistan (which kindly let us use their bases in exchange for more money and weapons). Uzbekistan, who under Islam Karimov, was so bad about torturing that even their ally Britain felt that they had to issue a report condemning the prisoners that he had boiled to death.
quote:And of course, if we want to get on the subject of torture (which, given that in Iraq we hardly found anything worse than electric shock devices
Not quite. We have found some of the torture chambers of Uday and Qusay and they were not just places to apply cattle prods. This isn't to say that this was systemic throughout Iraq, but it does show that in some very high places in the government, torture was fairly sophisticated.
quote:Reference? What apart from isolation cells, hooks from the ceilings, and electric shock (again, all quite common in the middle east) has been found?
The Guardian reports Uday's treatment of the Iraqi Olympic team including beating the feet of those on the soccer team. In 1988, he beat his father's bodyguard to death in front of partygoers. And then there was his personal "pleasure palace" where he would take women from off the street to rape them.
The Free Press News Services reported that Qusay is the one who initiated the "prison cleansings" where overcrowding was solved by killing off the inmates, usually by a bullet to the head but often by dropping them into shredders. Regarding Usay, they report:
Rights groups and exiles have accused Uday Hussein of extensive torture. His methods included dropping victims in acid baths or dragging them over gravel and then dunking them in sewage pits.
If I recall correctly, it was an ABCNews investigation into some of the cells and it showed more than just "hooks from the ceilings." While they were cleaned quite well, residue on the walls showed that quite a lot was done other than electrotorture.
Incorrect, Rrhain. You claimed to have cited torture chambers that were found that things worse than electric shock. Your articles include nothing of the sort.
Nothing resembling the "acid baths" or "shredders" has been found. Given the tall tales told by exiles about WMDs, this is not surprising. Of course, a number of the stories were physiologically impossible, so it's not surprising either. Before the war, I actually traced back some of the stories to the exile who started them. A lot of the "shredder" type stories came from one exile who also claimed that Saddam not only had nuclear weapons, but had detonated them (hmm, we must have had our EMP-monitors on our satellites turned off.... ).
BTW, check out Qusay's record on Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, if you want an accurate story. Uday has a record there (he reminds me a bit of Faisal ibn Musad); Qusay has almost none. The only thing that I could track down there was the prison allegation, and HRW only lists it as an accusation that he was involved. BTW, that's the prison where the US is now detaining its inmates, and I've seen one interview with a prisoner who was released from there - he described the conditions as being worse than in Saddam's day, because the US doesn't even let the prisoners move, keeps bags over their heads most of the time, and they're largely kept out in the sun.
Yes, Uday and Qusay were both spoiled brats (what leaders in the Arab world aren't?), and Uday had a selfish mean streak a mile wide, but the sort of nonsense that's been spouted during the buildup to this war makes the portrayal of WWI German soldiers raping nuns and the 1991 "baby killings" seem like nothing.
Uday, the elder, was the brash playboy who had his guards round up girls as young as 14 for him to rape. He tortured anyone who displeased him, according to a recent Time magazine article, often using a medieval device called a falaqa to hang victims upside down by their ankles while he beat them on the soles of their feet. He once killed one of his father's bodyguards because he had introduced Saddam to the woman who would become his second wife.
Time also reports that Qusay was witnessed shooting four Shia Muslims in a roundup, giving orders that the rest of the 300 be killed as he left.
From an article from the May 25, 2003 article in Time:
With Iraqis free to speak more openly, it has become clear that the malignancy of Uday's behavior actually exceeded that of his reputation.
And what of the supposedly more civilized Qusay, who in recent years usurped his older brother's position as Saddam's heir apparent? Specific tales of Qusay's transgressions are rarer, but it is only in comparison with Uday that Qusay, 37, could be regarded as a moderate man. He, too, had an eye for women, though he is not known to have raped any. Like his brother and father, he lived extravagantly, even as Iraqis survived on government food rations. And he did his share of killing.
A family friend says the day Uday discovered the Internet was "a black day for Iraqis," because he used it to learn of torture methods from other ages and lands that he decided to try. He would lock victims in coffins for days at a time, says the source, or put them in pillories. According to a family friend, he also liked to have offenders beaten on one side. Then he would order medical tests and have the thrashings continue until the kidney on that side had conclusively failed.
Uday's favorite punishment was the medieval falaqa, a rod with clamps that go around the ankles so that the offender, feet in the air, can be hit on the bare soles with a stick. A top official in radio and TV says he received so many beatings for trivial mistakes like being late for meetings or making grammatical errors on his broadcasts that Uday ordered him to carry a falaqa in his car. Uday also had an iron maiden that he used to torture Iraqi athletes whose performance disappointed him.
I am not using Uday and Qusay as an excuse to invade Iraq. Indeed, I agree that the invasion was poorly thought out on practically every level and that pretty much every justification made by this administration to do it has been shown to be exaggerated or outright false. Claims that we should invade Iraq for humanitarian reasons were lip service at best...especially when we compare the statements to those made during the Balkans.
Is Iraq better off without Sadaam? I don't know. I do know that this administration had no idea what they were getting into and has no idea how to proceed from here.