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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

      • 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 o

      • 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 better than the current one.

            That doesn't really address the point of the question, which was primarily rhetorical: that people are at the same time saying Bush is rushing, and asking why American waited so long, and I find the questions to be mostly incompatible; and that any time someone asks why Bush is rushing, it is reasonable to ask them why 12 years is not a sufficient amount of time.

            That said, I can't imagine how a US-installed dictator could be worse than Hussein, but even addressing that question in this way assumes that the US will be installing a dictator. I don't see that happening. In fact, the reports I've seen are not that the US will be installing anyone, but that the Iraqi opposition is choosing him, with the blessing of the US (the difference between your parents choosing your betrothed, and providing blessing for whom you've selected).

            smh.com.au [smh.com.au] has an interesting story, but the headline and lead are misleading: the quotes and facts provided don't actually support that the US has "chosen" anyone. If it works out as this article says, Ahmed Chalabi is already the head of the Iraqi National Congress; the US didn't put him into that position. The US didn't talk to the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution or the Iranian Government to smooth things out, Chalabi himself did. He has been doing the work to get support for himself. Again, blessing != choosing.

            Also according to this article, the opposition forces will hold a summit tomorrow, where -- my guess -- is they will choose the next Iraqi leader. Blix speaks in 5 minutes to the UN. A lot is happening ...
            • 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