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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 without UN support is "trying to circumvent proper UN procedures," but it isn't. There's nothing in the UN procedures that say you can't say that.

        One might say that actually acting without UN support is "trying to circumvent proper UN procedures," but it technically isn't, either, as there is nothing that says military actions must be approved by the UN. Heck, the UN has *already* given support for "serious consequences"; while that is not a blanket approval of military action, it is a lot closer to support of military action than it is a prohibition of the same.

        Also, as to "as soon as possible": it's been 10 years we've been trying to get Iraqi cooperation/compliance, and it's been five years since the UN inspectors left because of the lack of it. Bill Clinton, as President, said we can't wait for Iraq, that we need to address the problem before it becomes unmanagable. This isn't new. This isn't something that just started happening six months ago. It's been going on for years now, and it's been the same old thing.

        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; why are other nations stalling?
        • 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 b
            • 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