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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Politics (Score:3, Insightful)

    All this about when we should attack is crazy talk, unless there is the possibility of us attacking unnecessarily.

    That's a very simplistic analysis of the situation. Any good political science class would highlight a few issues here:

    • Iraq has engaged in and is likely continuing to engage in developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. These are offensive weapons, designed to inflict civilian casualties, not achieve military objectives.
    • Iraq has been at war with the US, and is likely to be at
    • by pudge (1) on 2002.08.28 10:44 (#12286) Homepage Journal
      That's a very simplistic analysis of the situation.

      Despite the apparent implication, "simplistic" is not a synonym for "incorrect."

      * Iraq has engaged in and is likely continuing to engage in developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. These are offensive weapons, designed to inflict civilian casualties, not achieve military objectives.

      I agree with all of this except for the "is likely." "Is possibly," yes. But I should clarify the point: I am not against action against Iraq in such a case, I am against war with Iraq in such a case. If they have these weapons, we should find them and destroy them. That doesn't require a war, necessarily.

      * Iraq has been at war with the US, and is likely to be at war with the US again. Future engagements are also likely to be in the form of state sponsored terrorist acts.
      Yes, I believe I did say that.

      On the one hand, there's a case to be made for a preemptive strike.

      It depends on what you mean by "preemptive." If you mean "retaliation to assault," I agree. Imagine someone pointing a gun at you, preparing to fire, and you quickly draw your own gun and kill him. That is retaliation to an assault (an assault is defined as the threat of imminent attack). That far, I agree.

      As to it not being simple: I agree that the decisions to be made about whether we are being attacked, whether the evidence we have is reliable, how it all fits together, that this is difficult. However, if at the end of the day we decide that Iraq is about to attack the US or Israel, or if we find out they haev nuclear weapons, or if we find out that Hussein is funnelling millions of dollars to Al Qaeda ... then no, I don't see the decision to respond as difficult at all. And if we don't have any strong evidence of any of these things, then I similarly don't see a difficult decision.