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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I wish the UN made a resulition that required a disarmament of the USA. The world would be a much safer place.

    Why do you Americans believe you're soooo much better than the rest of the world?

    • Is that a serious statement and question? It doesn't appear to be.

      It is not the US that is requiring Iraqi disarmament. It is the UN Security Council, with about a dozen or more resolutions over the past 12 years, affirming over and again that Iraq is a threat that must be disarmed. France has repeatedly agreed to this, as has Russia, as has Germany, as has Syria, as has every other nation that has been on the Security Council (except for the new ones which have not yet had the pleasure).

      Also, Iraq has
      • Let me make it clear that I don't agree with Bart in his comment. However I think that the way you are stressing the fact that the UN Security Council is saying things is not as simple as you make it sound.

        You are clearly forgetting that some powerful nations (USA *and* others) are using their influence on other countries to push certain decisions. That's common knowledge. Like 'Hey France, it looks like you're going to vote against this resolution, but don't you think it will be rather inconvenient if we
        • by pudge (1) on 2003.02.26 8:27 (#17503) Homepage Journal
          I am not saying there are not a lot more to these things than meets the eye (in fact, I have been trying to let people know that far more is happening than any of us could possibly know).

          However, two things are clear: first, you own your vote. If you vote a certain way, then you have in fact supported what you have voted for.

          Second, there have been many resolutions over the past 12 years reaffirming Resolution 687. It wasn't a one-off deal. France has, dozens of times, reaffirmed its original agreement to its terms. There must be something to be said for repeated affirmation of something, even if you are not sure they meant it on a particular occasion or two.

          As to what George HW Bush should have done: I think most people would agree that the US should have taken out Hussein, but it was not his decision alone to make, any more than it his George W Bush's decision alone to make now. The United Nations decided it didn't want such a breach of Iraq's sovereignty unless it were necessary, and they thought they could disarm Iraq without force. They were wrong.

          And while YOU think that if we were going to forcibly disarm Iraq it had to happen 12 years ago, the UN Security Council has, again, repeatedly affirmed that this is not the case, that inspections are the chosen method of disarmament, but that further steps WILL be taken should inspections fail. I think the worst thing you can say about this is that the UN has taken too long to admit inspections have failed and that they need to move on to something else.

          I don't think it is really possible to overstate the case for "What the UN says, the UN should do." The world is becoming a much more dangerous place, and if the UN is not willing to follow through on its committments -- as it has committed to disarm Iraq -- it, in a real sense, becomes irrelevant. The question was raised, "if it is the UN that agreed to this with Iraq, why should the US act outside of UN consensus?" That can be answered, in part, by asking, "If the UN is unwilling to enforce its own resolutions, why should the US not come up with its own separate cease-fire agreement the next time it is militarily engaged on the UN's behalf?" Apart from the obvious -- that countries like Iraq will not cooperate if they believe they can get away with it -- it is also true that the UN cannot be a place for countries like France, Russia, China, the UK, and the US to come together for agreement if the UN is unwilling to enforce those agreements. The next time, the US will come to a separate cease-fire agreement, because what is the point of the UN's version?

          Quite frankly, I think your question about North Korea shows a lack of understanding; you say it seriously, but it isn't a serious statement. First, it has taken us twelve years to get to this point with Iraq, and you think that an equivalent action for North Korea would be to threaten them with war after a few months? That makes not a bit of sense. Second, the UN Security Council is currently taking up the North Korea nuclear issue, for the first time. The US is in very active talks with China, Japan, and South Korea. It is a process, and the process is moving forward. Maybe it will be a twelve-year process like in Iraq. I doubt it, but to draw parallels in such terms of immediacy is just nonsense.

          While I am being frank ;-), more nonsense is that the US and UK are part of the few who think inspections are not working. First, it is absolutely clear from the resolutions that inspections can only work with full Iraqi cooperation, and it is absolutely clear from the inspectors that Iraq has been significantly uncooperative in several areas. It is simply beyond reasonable doubt that inspections are not working, if by "working" you mean "fulfilling their objective" (and I can't see how it could mean anything else).

          Second, more to the point, there are dozens of countries who have signed on to the US-UK coalition against Iraq. Even a cursory glance at the news turns up two other Security Council nations, Spain and Bulgaria. But more importantly even than that: the German ambassador to the UN has said, unequivocally, inspections are not working. He said it just this morning on NBC. The issue for Germany is not that they think inspections are working, but that they can be made to work. Even Germany, who is opposing war, knows inspections are not working. However, Germany is not willing, at this time, to follow the resolutions to the letter -- which requires nothing less than full and immediate cooperatrion -- that they can try a bit more to avert war. I can't fault them for that. I can, however, fault them for believing, against all evidence, that Iraq will ever fully comply with inspections (which is the only way inspections can work).

          As to commando units: there is simply no conceivable way the United States would risk going to war if they could solve the problem by assassinating Hussein. Either they have been unable to do it, or they believe it won't solve the problem, or both. Probably both. A lot of people bring this up, and I would love to take this route if it were feasible. None of us can know if it is, but I can't see how the US wouldn't do it if it could.