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Simon (89)

Simon
  simon-use-perl@perlhacker.org
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Busy Man.

Journal of Simon (89)

Monday June 17, 2002
12:57 PM

Doublethink

[ #5715 ]
This is not a pointed question; I honestly don't know the answer.

The reason the US government publically gives for moves against Iraq and Saddam Hussain is that Iraq is trying to develop "weapons of mass destruction" - nuclear weapons. Developing nuclear weapons is obviously a big no-no, which is why Iraq had to have the UN weapons inspectors in.

If this is the real reason (which I really doubt that it is) then why didn't America send the boys in when India or Pakistan went nuclear? And what goes on in the minds of these government folk that they can simultaneous believe that developing nuclear weapons is such a venial sin that we ought to go and assassinate the President, but the fact that the US already has nuclear weapons is good and proper? Obviously it's a flimsy excuse, but why has nobody called them up on it?

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  • I'm not endorsing Presidential policy toward Iraq or India/Pakistan (hey -- IPak!) at this point, but I think the reason is this: India/Pakistan have their weapons pointed at each other. Iraq would likely point their weapons at the U.S. The traditional vague opinion of the U.S. public on this is "We don't fight other people's wars; we're not the world's peacekeeping force; we defend ourselves heavily, etc., etc." Hopefully that's both a useful and correct assessment.

    Of course, we are apparently having

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
    • India/Pakistan have their weapons pointed at each other. Iraq would likely point their weapons at the U.S.

      Pakistan is one quick coup away from pointing missiles at anyone and everyone. The place is seriously like Iran just before the Loonie Moslem Revolution -- even down to having a uniformed autocratic dictator shakily propped up by the US, but rabidly opposed by seething religious madmen in his populace.

    • I'd be impressed if the Iraqis have also managed to develop ICBM technology to go with their nukes. If Iraq does succeed in developing nuclear technology you can bet that they'll be more interested in chucking them at Israel.

      Ooh, Israel, another country that has, in the past, attempted to develop a nuclear capability.
    • The traditional vague opinion of the U.S. public on this is "We don't fight other people's wars; we're not the world's peacekeeping force; we defend ourselves heavily, etc., etc." Hopefully that's both a useful and correct assessment.

      The problem is that just about any sort of war can be justified to the US public as a matter of "defense".

  • Failure to abide by the terms of the surrender in 1991 are a sufficient casus belli. If that isn't enough, we can count every time Iraq fired a missile at an allied plane since the Gulf War ended.

    Quite frankly, I'm surprised we didn't declare war again when Iraq kicked out the inspectors. Oh, wait, that's right - Clinton was in power.

    • Plus, the joint chiefs of staff will have pointed out the unwinnability of any such war, the effect it would have had on American relations with other nations in the Gulf and nearby, the lack of will on the part of the US public...

      Which are all probably still good reasons for not going in with a full scale fighting force, but instead putting covert teams in place and helping them build/train local opposition. After all, it worked in Afghanistan after the Russians invaded, and it's not as if there were any
    • Exactly what terms didn't Iraq abide by?

      Iraq threw out the weapons inspectors on accusations of spying. Turns out [csmonitor.com] Iraq was probably right.

      But the US was also obstructing [pbs.org] the very investigations they claimed to support.

      As to why the US would invade now. Simply because it can. Bush's popularity is high, there's a strong "torch the towel-heads" sentiment in the US after 9/11, and nobody's ever liked that nasty Saddam guy anyway.

      The fact that a few hundred thousand Iraqi citizens have either starved to d
  • Iraq is more of a threat to us and the region than any other country. Even Saudi Arabia wants us there to protect them and the region from Iraq. Plus, Iraq will almost certainly fire first at Israel, our ally (for better or worse), and we are obliged to protect our ally.

    TorgoX makes a good point that Pakistan is a coup away from being as dangerous -- or moreso -- than Iraq. But that's one of those pray-it-never-happens-and-address-it-if-it-does situations.

    Currently, India and Pakistan do not pose a con
    • Hmm, good thinking, but I'm more interested in the "but we have this stuff too" problem.
    • nucular

      Shock! Please tell me that was a typo and not a jab at the President from use Perl;'s original conservative. :) [Or, worse yet, an indication that most conservatives don't know how to say or spell that word.]

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Where I grew up, I knew a lot of Southerners -- lawyers, executives, airline pilots -- who all said "nucular". It is not a jab at the President, but ALL Southerners!
        • No prob. You can insult the rest of us, just not George W. :)

          I had a fifth grade teacher who forced every one of us to learn the correct pronunciation of that word. (Thanks, Ms. Tanner!) Unfortunately, like fifth grade math, it was one of those things that I think people were claiming next year they'd never heard.

          --
          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers