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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Most of this news coverage has taken the form of Tony Blair speaking on behalf of Parliment, and Parliment speaking on behalf of the British people.

    Tony Blair is deliberately misrepresenting British public opinion. The opinion polls are mostly showing the majority of the British population don't support the war (at least, not without another UN resolution).

    On what grounds are the British people not supporting war in the gulf?

    It's not just in the UK. Much of Europe seems to have the same doubts. Ther

    • by jordan (120) on 2003.02.11 20:44 (#16916) Homepage Journal
      • The major one seems to be that the US seems to be trying to circumvent proper UN procedures to start the war as soon as possible.

      The US has worked under the auspices of the UN for more than a decade. The allies have worked assiduously to develop a concensus in the UN, with some success (Resolution 1441).

      However, the UN is not World Government. It's ineffective in that role due to the ability of any Security Council member to veto. The UN did not approve of the bombing of Serbia over Kosovo because of the threat of Russian veto. But, intervention in Serbia was the right thing to do.

      Similarly, the UN might not approve action against Iraq due to vetoes from France and Russia. France and Russia are two countries that have a large economic interest in Hussein's Iraq, having made many contracts, some legal - others grey, with Hussein's Government that might be worthless if that Government disappeared.

      It may be the right thing to go in regardless of the interests of France and Russia.

      • Too many Iraqis will die

      This is a tragedy. It's also tragic that many people, especially young people, die every day in Hussein's Iraq due to starvation and disease, while humanitarian aid and proceeds from oil sales that are earmarked for humanitarian purposes are siphoned off to the Army and Nuclear/Biological/Chemical and Missile programs.

      This situation feeds the hatred of the West and the US in the 'Islamic Street'. It cannot be allowed to continue. I know of no way to avoid it but regime change. I'm open to suggestions as to how that could be accomplished without war.

      • It's clearly just about the oil in the region

      I disagree that it's "just about the oil". Would it have been "just about the oil" had we finished the job 12 years ago? No.

      Look, it's hard to imagine a situation in the Middle East that doesn't have something to do with the oil reserves, but to try and write it off as being "just about the oil" is overly simplistic.

      • A war will destabilise the region

      Doesn't seem to me that there's much support historically for that position. The first Gulf War didn't destablize the region.

      In fact, one of the great problems of the region is that the resources are all tied up in the hands of a few and the countries lack open institutions. If we can help facilitate the change of Iraq to a more Open Democratic society, it might tend to serve as an example. It might help to move Iran away from the Mullah controlled prison it is today.

      You may be right. It might destabilize the region. Of course, the status quo in the region is pretty miserable, so some destabilization might be a good thing.

      • The US has no right to remove the leader of another sovereign nation

      When does the US gain that right? When a dozen US cities are in flames, 1/2 the population is dead from smallpox? When?

      It's clear that Hussein has given up none of his asperations to dominate the region and perhaps the World. Otherwise, what is he doing hoarding tons of Nerve Gas and other agents? He will not succeed in dominating the region as long as the US is a world power.

      It's not lost on Hussein that the $500,000 investment by Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks reaped $700,000,000,000 in economic damage to the US. How much more could be done with Hussein's aid? Would the US be able to stop Hussein if they were tied up with a 100 9/11 sized attacks + smallpox?
      There's clear evidence that Hussein has already started down this road with helping terrorists in Britain make Rison.

      It's best to finish up the work begun some years ago. To make Hussein comply with International Law.

      It's not pretty, I admit. War never is. This may well be part of an ongoing battle that will require us to choose sides.

      When you are out there marching with the Imams - who want to establish Taliban-style regimes everywhere, anti-American Communists and pacifist who would have given in to Hitler, think about which side you may be choosing.

      • The point that the US has gone along with UN procedures needs to be emphasized. For the last six months, the US has not in any way stepped outside UN procedures, nor done anything to circumvent them. It simply is not happening.

        Could it happen? Could the US go to war without the support of the UN, or against the apparent will of the UN? Yes. But there are no examples of the US doing this. To say the US is trying to circumvent UN procedure is fabrication.

        Perhaps it is meant that the threat of acting w
        • The point that the US has gone along with UN procedures needs to be emphasized. For the last six months, the US has not in any way stepped outside UN procedures, nor done anything to circumvent them. It simply is not happening.

          I'm not an expert on this stuff, but it was my impression that the ongoing UK gov/US gov bombing campaign/"no fly zone" was outside UN procedures.

          To put it another way: some people ask why Bush is rushing to war. I say, Iraq has been breaking its agreement with the UN for a decade
          • I'm not an expert on this stuff, but it was my impression that the ongoing UK gov/US gov bombing campaign/"no fly zone" was outside UN procedures.

            I specifically said "for the last six months." Yes, the enforcement of the no-fly zone has continued in that time, but it has been going on for a decade, and I was thinking of new things, not long-term continuing things. Sorry for the confusion.

            I, for one, am highly skeptical that a dictator installed by the US gov after an invasion would treat people much b
            • Oh, and in addition, Chalabi doesn't look like a dictator (in description) to me, though, of course, appearances can be deceiving.
            • I think the US government, rather than starting more wars, should just leave well enough alone, and stop the counterproductive stuff. Once we get to that point, *then* we can talk about trying to encourage good things to happen. The US exports a tremendous amount of military machinery. Take Mexico or Columbia, for example. Or US government backing of Egypt's dictator (those are *not* elections). Or talk about the Kurds -- the US government ships death machines to the Turkish military, which then uses t
              • Again: not addressing the issue of disarmament. Not convincing.

                As to opposition and the INC, yes, the head of the Iraqi National Congress has apparently been blessed by the US government to take over. It's not just the US, though; apparently, Chalabi also has the blessing of Iran and is working to gain support from the other main opposition groups (last I heard, a couple of weeks ago, a summit was planned for today in Northern Iraq).
                • Again: not addressing the issue of disarmament. Not convincing.

                  Do you see any connection between the actions of the US government and violence in the world? Does this bother you? Why would anyone trust these people? I'm not saying this as a Democratic-vs-Republican thing at all -- this nasty stuff goes on whatever party is in power. The whole Afghanistan mess was brought on by the Carter administration (though of course imperialist meddling goes way back, e.g. the British Empire stirring up wars there
      • When you are out there marching with the Imams - who want to establish Taliban-style regimes everywhere, anti-American Communists and pacifist who would have given in to Hitler, think about which side you may be choosing.

        I was taking your comments seriously until you spoilt it with that piece of stereotyping.

        If you only take away one piece of information from this discussion then let it be this - the Anti-war movement in the UK is not just made up of hippies, socialists and radical Muslims. A complete c

          • I was taking your comments seriously until you spoilt it with that piece of stereotyping.

          It would have been stereotyping had I said that all or even most of the marchers were fringe types. I did not say that.

          What I said was that you would be marching with those types. I think this is undeniable.

          It's ironic to me that you would show solidarity with those who would take your rights away to protest in the future.

          • It's ironic to me that you would show solidarity with those who would take your rights away to protest in the future.

            Sure, if they were marching for the right to take away my rights to protest in the future, then that would be a problem. But they're not. They are marching for the same reason as me. To protest against this war. This is a single issue march. And on that single issue I agree with everyone else who will be there on Saturday. You can't draw any other conclusions about the beliefs of anyone w

              • Sure, if they were marching for the right to take away my rights to protest in the future, then that would be a problem. But they're not.

              Are you sure? If you asked a militant Imam, he might well say that their opposition to the war is part of a greater plan to bring down America and that the aim of bringing down America is part of a greater plan to bring about a World Islamic state.

              I would want to distance myself from these monsters, but that's just me.

              If you live to see, God Forbid, the destruction