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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I think it's clear all along that Bush felt for the strategic good of the US, he needed a strong ally producing a lot of oil cheaply, to keep world and hence US prices down over the next decade. Saudi is wobbly, and could topple at any moment, Iran is impossible because of recent history, which leaves Iraq.

    Iraq is good, there are outstanding UN violations, the regime is nasty, unpopular in the region, and worth removing, and best of all there is a huge supply of oil in the country that's not flowing onto

    -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
    • This begs the question of what Blair expected to get out of this. Once he turned into Bush's loyal sidekick, I don't think he could back down, but I am hard-pressed to come up with any convincing reason why he would stake his political reputation on a pre-emptive attack. I suppose if he thought that Iraq actually had those weapons, he might have looked like a hero, but Britain was busy cribbing notes from students and overruling their own intel, so I'd be suprised if Blair was doing more than betting (unl

      • Personally I think Blair has his own short (hidden) personal agenda. Normally on most issues he bends to public opinion, saying one thing to one group and the oposite to another. In many ways he is the charismatic "president" not unlike Clinton, who ends up doing nothing...

        I think it's quite clear that British military intelligence, like that of the US thought that Iraq posed no threat, though there was always the outide chance of somthing fishy going on. Blair either directly over emphasised, or indirect

        -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • I seem to recall pudge [] pointing out repeatedly last year the matter of enforcing U.N. resolutions (1205, 1194, and more).

    Of course, there's the matter of U.N. resolutions against Israel, but I like to get around that by claiming the U.N. is institutionally incapable of making an intelligent decision there.

    • The resolutions are an argument in favor of the war and I was considering bringing that up but it seemed such a weak argument that I decided to focus on the "bad man" argument. The UN issue is a curious one. The US often ignores World Court rulings, ignores treaties (in violation of the US Constitution, I might add) and harsh UN rulings against our allies are often vetoed by us. Thus, any argument that our country -- which repeatedly flouts the rule of international law and blocks its application against

      • I still fail to see a problem. Sometimes the interests of the U.S. (ahh, metonymy) align with those of the U.N. Sometimes they don't. International sovereignty, blah blah, why does the U.S. get a vote if disagreement is bad, blah blah.

        The "bad man argument" is just stupid. If I claimed that the 1993 Mogadishu action was just Clinton trying to impress a dumpy fat chick, it'd also be simplistic.

        I do agree that the U.S. has supported a lot of terrible people and makes alliances with some really shady g

        • I'm not sure if you'd prefer that the executive branch waits for perfect action, motives, and information before acting.

          No, I certainly don't think that's reasonable. However, I would argue that supporting blatantly immoral behavior while claiming a moral high ground can undermine support from the international community. While many nations routinely suffer from such hypocricy, to pre-emptively attack another country based upon it is a far more serious thing than condemning behavior while tacitly supp

          • In The West Wing a few seasons ago they had this thing where the US was supporting a regime that didn't respect women's rights, and the press secretary was complaining to the National Security Advisor (both of them women), and the NSA said, "it's a dangerous world, and everybody has guns, and I'm doing the best I can."

            Pakistan has nukes, propped up the Taliban, probably has Bin Laden in its borders, and its government is the result of a military coup of the democratically elected government. And now we fi
  • Okay, while I am quite interested in national and international politics, I am not so familiar with US politics and foreign ethical values.
    Currently I am very puzzled.
    Former President Clinton lied to the unimportant public and important judical system, about a sex afair. Definitely a bad thing, but he lied about some personal stuff which was not conected to his job. (Anyway a very common lie, a high percentage of the world citiziens have probably done before).
    If President Bush had lied to the unimporta
    • Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. This is perjury. While Bush may have lied, it certainly wasn't under oath (though I grant that the sweep of his lie is much larger). As a result, his lies about the war don't immediately appear to be a crime, though it might be a violation of his oath of office.

      As for why there are no talks of impeachment, I would suggest that the Democratic party saw the Republican impeachment effort on Clinton backfire (though not that much, obviously), so they don't want t

      • An impeachment, yes, would kill the Democrats. But also, let's be honest here: we do not know that Bush lied. OK, we can point out little things that may have implied things that weren't true, etc. But when Bush said that Iraq has WMD, we do not know what he knew. The question "what did he know, and when did he know it?" has not been answered.

        Unfortunately, it looks like it won't be answered for some time.