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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think the very thing, that many non-americans don't have is the feel of an apparent danger.

    Yesterday, I read in a German Newspaper that a couple of weeks ago, the Director of the CIA, I think his name was Tenet, said in front of Congress (although unwillingly) that Iraq was not dangerous to the US at the moment.

    Well, then there might still be plenty of reasons to fight a war, but those don't justify a preemptive strike.

    Did this Observer story [observer.co.uk] make it to the American media? Just one more reason why p

    • by pudge (1) on 2003.03.05 12:14 (#17731) Homepage Journal
      Whether Iraq is currently a danger to the US is not relevant.

      Whether Iraq actually has prohibited weapons right now is not relevant.

      The UN Security Council has only authorized the use of force twice in its history. First in Korea, second in the Gulf War, 12 years ago. That war ended with the Security Council saying, "Iraq must be disarmed," "Iraq must disarm itself with our help, according to these procedures," and "if these procedures do not work, we will take additional steps."

      We are here 12 years later without Iraq being disarmed. Is it possible Iraq is actually disarmed? I don't think so, but if it is, then it should have done so according to UN procedure, which required documentation, verification by UN officials, destruction of NBC weapons by the UN (not by Iraq), etc. If it is disarmed, then it would allow its scientists to be interviewed on UN terms. It would not be actively hiding things from the UN inspectors. It is acting like an entity with something to hide.

      The UN Security Council must, therefore -- and it does, including France and Germany -- assume that Iraq has prohibited weapons, that it is not disarmed.

      Whether Iraq is disarmed is not the issue, because without verification, without their cooperation, we cannot know they are disarmed.

      Whether Iraq is currently a threat to the US is not the issue, because we are still trying to resolve the cease-fire agreement that Iraq has never, for any period of time, been in compliance with.

      Notions of preemptive attack sound nice but they are not the slightest bit accurate; it is not preemption, it is a continuation of a conflict that has never been resolved: the Gulf War. This is all about UN Security Council Resolution 687. Read it.
      • First person I remember saying that a preemptive strike was out of character for the U.S. was you. But I can't find it in your journal, now. Maybe I dreamed it.

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
        • I don't recall it, though it is possible. But it wasn't until a little while ago -- perhaps late January -- that I realized, through reading primary documents, that this was all related to the cease-fire agreement of 1991.
          • But it wasn't until a little while ago -- perhaps late January -- that I realized

            I know the feeling. We're all learning as we go. ;) I'm only just barely getting to the point where I can even verbalize my thoughts.

            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
      • Yeah, that might all be true, but your argument has one serious flaw:

        The security council is _no_ court room. Decisions made in the past, might be irrelevant today. Democratic governments change. Public opinion changes. These factors influence the security council. There is no blindfolded justice.

        I just feel, that I have a pretty good feel for how people feel in the US (I have lived there for some years) and how people feel in at least some countries in Europe. The difference is fear. And I can fully un

        • Another word for fear is "knowledge that you're going to get hurt." September 11 gave us fear, and helped us realize that desperate killers can inflict catastrophic casualties if we keep our guard down. It taught us to seal up holes in our security, and taught us that ignoring threats like Osama bin Laden and Saddam Houssein was not as safe as we thought it was.

          Yes, I agree with you that a big difference between the U.S. attitude and the Europe attitude is fear -- but I don't see anything wrong with tha

          --
          J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • I agree. It's perfectly valid. Just please, whatever you do, do it with international consensus. The US might somehow be able to argue that it is not breaking international law by referring to some 12 year old UN resolution, but that won't get you any more friends in the world. It will simply create even more little Osamas, just waiting to blow themselves up on my next flight to the US (Now I'm afraid; one the other hand, I'm going snowboarding for two weeks on friday. I probably die while taking a 60 feet

            • We want international consensus, but in the end, the United States cannot be expected to refuse to take reasonable action to protect itself even without that consensus. Assume for the moment that the United States has enemies in Europe and the U.N. (Which it does not.) You would be granting those enemies the moral right to tell the U.S. not to defend itself. We don't have to wait until everyone discusses the invasion in committee, so to speak.

              And I say all this as a pacifist, you realize. I'm opposed

              --
              J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
          • No, fear is not an option. Fear is defeat. Fear is what happens when terror strikes and terror wins. Saddam is no threat to the US, someone is using America's fear as a reason to get his oil, end of story.

            --

            -- Robin Berjon [berjon.com]

        • Decisions made in the past, might be irrelevant today.

          THe UN Security Council has, more than a dozen times in a dozen years, reaffirmed Resolution 687 (most recently last Novemberm in Resolution 1441, approved unanimously). Yes, times change, but nothing has changed about the mandate that Iraq is a threat that must be disarmed. Referring to it as a "12-year old resolution," implying that the UN Security Council may not still support it, is simply wrong.

          There is simply no basis for saying the UN Securi