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spikegifted - Random thoughts

 

So they found WMD

October 8, 2003

The question here is not whether Saddam was removed or not, it is the method or path which arrived at his removal. I think everyone agree that he's an evil guy. However, that doesn't justify the invasion of another sovereign state by foreign powers, especially without an UN mandate.

President Mugabe of Zimbabwe is an evil guy and he's also killing the people of his country also, but I don't see the US and UK sending couple of divisions each to enforce a 'regime change'. China has weapons of destruction and it's government is not democratically elected, and guess what we don't see the the US even threatening to remove China as 'the most favored trading partner' status. Israel illegally invade a previously agreed area that is considered controlled by Palestinian Authority, strike against targets in Syria, has secret WDM programs and has been in acting in contravention to UN resolutions since the 1970s, I don't see the US even lifting a finger to even condemn its action.

Do we see a pattern here?

The fact is simple: the US choose to dictate issues for or against sovereign states that are considered friends or foes through its colored polarized lenses of the current administration. It is prepare to act unilaterally, against all odds - 'You're either with us or against us.' Of course this mentality of unilateralism is only ok if it is the US that's the aggressor. Why? The evidence is plain horrible to look at... The last time the UK decided to act unilaterally was the Falkland War. Mrs Thatcher sent a force there while the US spent time standing on the sideline. It was not until the UK literally begged for assistance did the US provided support. So much of the 'special relationship'. To roll back a little further, there was the Suez Crisis...

Aside the US, the other major partner-in-crime in the current mess in Iraq is, of course, our beloved country, the UK. Our PM brought the UK into this conflict solely on the basis of the Iraqis possessed WDM and they're a threat to the security of the UK. Nothing more, nothing less. The evidence to support the PM's case for war is getting thinner and thinner. First of all, the rather disputable dossier on Iraq's WDM - we all know that the terms between battlefield ballistics and strategic weapons were deliberately confused in the dossier and the assessment was that even if the Iraqis had battlefield chemical or biological weapons, they couldn't deploy them with ease due to their desire to hide the weapons against spy satellites and spy planes. Now, I don't much agree with the politics of Robin Cook, but I think he knows a thing or two how this government functions... And he's claiming that the PM 'knew Iraq had no WMD' in his new book (his diary). If this is in any way inaccurate or even libelous, I hope he has a good set of lawyers.

The truth is, there was no justification for the UK to get involve in this mess in Iraq - not the one stated by the PM anyway. If he's stand up and say: "Look Saddam is an evil guy, he's going to anyway, we're going to join in a help our friends in the US', it may be quite different. It may not sound pretty and not as many people will be convinced by this case, but at least it's the truth.

I'm not asking politicians to be saints - they can't be, they're politicians. However, I expect our PM to at least give it to us straight for something as important as sending our country into war. It is very simple, but at the same time very fundamental. This is something called integrity.

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October 8, 2003

The reason I have to edit my message was that it was at 4am that I typed it because I found your arguments so blatantly absurd that I have to reply to it before I go to bed and thanks to my tiredness, I made grammatical mistakes and I tried to correct as many of them as possible. I resent your accusations.

There are lots of reading materials if you look hard enough, however, I believe after acquiring the data, you need to digest it first (read: think it through) before it become useful. I’m fully aware that there’re lots of sites out there that are full of ‘supporting facts’ for the case for war. However, how many of them are actually offering anything close to be considered ‘independently verifiable’ sources? The fact is: there are few.

The leaders of the US and the UK were so blinded by their obsession to pick a fight with Saddam, they were not only willing to stretch the evidence as far as it would go, but were also more than willing to do anything in their power (legally or otherwise) to shut up the doubters. The problem for the doubters is that in order to make their reservations known, they run the risk of being publicly ridiculed by the supporters of the war, ie. the governments and the agencies working for them. The doubters’ messages were drowned out and washed over and the doubters themselves were made to shut up. There was no room to for doubters. Well, what kind of a show are these leaders think they’re running. This is not some kind of a board game, where you send plastic pieces across oceans to fight other plastic pieces. This is war. There are people in wars - soldiers and civilians made in flesh and blood.

Moreover, we, as tax payers, have to fund this war. We, as electorate, elected this government to achieve the following goals:

- long-term economic stability
- rising living standards for all
- expanded higher education as we raise standards in secondary schools
- a healthier nation with fast treatment, free at the point of use
- full employment in every region
- opportunity for all children, security for all pensioners
- a modern criminal justice system
- strong and accountable local government
- British ideas leading a reformed and enlarged Europe
- global poverty and climate change tackled

The Labour Party 2001 General Election manifesto taken from the Labour Party web site. (full document)

None of the above points mentioned the invasion of another sovereign country. If you argue that the invasion of Iraq was to provide security to this country, the argument was invalid and the evidence ambiguous.

It can be argue that the evidence of intention to build WDMs and the fact that papers and plans to achieve such goals have been found was sufficient to justify the case for war. However, this is not the age of Minority Report. Intent is not good enough to as evidence (although in homicide cases, it is often used a secondary evidence). Additionally, I would like to point out that since the Iraqis had WDMs prior to 2000, they must have existing plans and technical know-how for these weapons. Does it mean they intend to use them again? Again we cannot unlearn acquired knowledge and technical abilities.

Ultimately, you and I probably read from the same sources. However, I choose to use the one ability that set human beings above other animals - we have a large and sophisticated brain that is capable of logical thought process and I choose to use this ability to analyze the material I come across and come up with my own judgment and positions on issues. I noticed that you haven’t actually made any direct reference to any of my assessments in my previous post. I’m assuming that you are in agreement with my comments and that there was no case for war.

On another note, DaBeeeenster and I have cross swords many times on a number of issues and topics. However, we’ve managed to keep our arguments in a relatively civilized manner. I sincerely hope that you can conduct this debate in a similar fashion. (Because I dearly love to see what other ‘evidence’ you can come up with which is so revealing to the world that even the best intelligence powers on this planet have failed to unearth.)

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October 9, 2003

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"All you have to do to make the people do your bidding is to convince them they are being attacked, then denounce the protestors for lack of patriotism. Whether a fascist dictatorship, or a democracy, or a communist dictatorship, or a parliamentary government, that is how it works."

-Herrmann Göring
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That's a very good quote and I'm impressed that you managed to find it and quote it in full...

However, that statement is only a good approximation of certain type of national culture. It relies on the 'obedience' of the people, like the Germans before WWII or the Japanese, where the people are generally ‘apolitical’. On the whole, these are ‘conformist’ type culture and the public is not going to question deeply the motivation or hidden agenda of politicians. However, we live in an information age, where people are accustomed to unbiased news reporting and freedom of information. People are allow and often encouraged to make up their own minds about things - hence the dossier on WDM.

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October 9, 2003

The whole point of our discussion here is because there're not concrete facts. However, the lack of up-to-date facts doesn't mean it would prevent us from forming our own opinion based on what out in the public domain.

When to come down to it there are two points that sum up my opinion:

1) The removal of Saddam from power can be considered 'just'.
2) The manner which the UK government led this country into war is incorrect and improper - 'the end', in this case, does not justify 'the means'.

Raise whatever points or speculation you choose to, but based on what is known - the lack of WDM; the dated intelligence prior to the invasion; the deliberately misleading of the use of WDM (instead of battlefield munitions); the PM ignoring the possibility of increasing terrorist threats after the collapse of Saddam’s regime; the lack of evidence regarding Saddam’s attempt to acquire nuclear materials; the brief weapons inspection allowed by the US prior invasion - there is no justification to send armies into the country. As I’ve said before, if the case for war was other than the threats of Saddam’s ‘WDM’, people (that’s the MPs) would have made up their mind to support military action based on other facts. The PM has deliberately misled this country into a war.

It is not as if there’s nothing better to do with the money we’ve spent, and are going to spend, on the war with Iraq and its ‘reconstruction’. We’re living in a country where law and order is breaking down; we’ve one of the worst public transport systems in the whole of Western Europe; we’ve an appalling health service; we’ve a substandard education system. Don’t let the propaganda from the government fool you into thinking that we’re living in paradise - we’re not! What’s wrong with spending some more money on these rather urgent domestic problems?

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October 9, 2003

Loosing a key is a messy room is easy... But loosing a bunch of WDM, it's manufacturing sites, chemical and biological laboratories, etc is significantly more difficult. Just remember, the last time UN inspectors went there was late 2002. It may be possible for the Iraqis to have done deals with its neighbors to hide the weapons in such short period of time, but it is impossible to remove all the evidence if its capabilities - it takes a lot of time to remove the equipment, decontaminate the place, demolish the facilities, then decontaminate again to completely remove any traces of manufacturing capabilities. Iraq did not have the time nor the resources to carry out such operations.

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October 10, 2003

Loosing a key is a messy room is easy... But loosing a bunch of WDM, it's manufacturing sites, chemical and biological laboratories, etc is significantly more difficult. Just remember, the last time UN inspectors went there was late 2002. It may be possible for the Iraqis to have done deals with its neighbors to hide the weapons in such short period of time, but it is impossible to remove all the evidence if its capabilities - it takes a lot of time to remove the equipment, decontaminate the place, demolish the facilities, then decontaminate again to completely remove any traces of manufacturing capabilities. Iraq did not have the time nor the resources to carry out such operations.

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October 10, 2003

The rise of Islam fundamentalist as a terrorism threat to the Western world is in part thanks to the decades of insensitive and ignorant policies pursued by, principally, the US and, less evidently, the UK. We planted the seeds of our current problems a long time ago. For example, Mr. bin Laden's hatred towards the US and the West was initially the result of the US's insistence on having an air base in Saudi Arabia and similarly stationing of troops inside Saudi soil... This ultimately led to the evil events which took place on September 11th, 2001. In effect, we created our own problems by being insensitive to Arab concerns and sensitivities and now we're playing price for it.

Don't try to mix the two of them together. Saddam's regime is not religious nor fundamentalist as it was essentially secular. He only played the Islam card when he needed Arab support. From what I can understand, al Qaeda can't stand Saddam either because of he isn't religious enough. You can't simply mix the two together. The simplistic case made by the US administration is misleading. What is Saddam's enemy and what is al Qaeda's enemy doesn't make them bed-fellows. Hence there's no tangible links between al Qaeda and Iraq before the war. However, now that Saddam is not around to run the show anymore, al Qaeda is free to roam the country to whip up anti-Western feelings.

What's better?

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October 10, 2003

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Are you suggesting we invade every country that may provide WOMD to terrorists? If this is the case, what on earth did we invade Iraq for? There are far more relevant countries to invade if this is the reason.
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I'm not sure if any country has actually provided any WMD to terrorists, not as far as I know anyway... However, I see you point.

I think it is more appropriate to look at 'invading countries that have supplied weapon systems to rogue states' (to use a 80s term). In that case, the first country to be invaded should be the US, closely followed by the UK, then China, France, Russia - that's all permanent members of the UN security council!! And they're also the holders of over 95% of the world WDM!

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October 24, 2003

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Where are the WMD's by the way? Not heard a lot more about this since the apparent discovery of WMD's? Maybe it was just a tube of toothpaste but cos it was in arabic it looked like Anthrax????
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The more probable truth is (and I hate not to disappoint those war-mongers among us) - there is NONE!! Wake up! Smell the coffee!! There is no WMD in Iraq... Of course, I stand to be corrected, but if the intelligence might of the US can't find any after 6 months, I very much doubt they'd ever find any.

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October 25, 2003

Is it not true that the only reason why the UN never delivered mandatory solutions on Israel is because the US will veto them if it was ever tabled. Additionally, no many countries on the UN Security Council, permanent members or otherwise, will want to cross the US these days.

We all know that Saddam had WMD up to 2000 when the UN Weapon Inspectors last went to Iraq. However, I think Saddam has somehow gotten rid of these WMDs between 2000 and 2002 (or 2003). Remember that weapons dossier that the Iraqis delivered to the UN in December 2002? Well, it said it has nothing and how the victors are pretty much finding nothing... I have to agree that the fact that few people were prepare to believe them was due to the number of times Saddam and his regime crossed the line. However, so far, it would appear that Saddam was telling the truth.

Don't forget, it does Iraq no favors to admit that it has no WMD - it makes the country look weak. Saddam's regime is not based on religion nor nationalism, it was based on fear - fear of people living within it and fear of people living around it. To actually admit on an international stage that it has no WMD sends out all the wrong signals to Iraq's enemies - the country suddenly looks like an empty shell (which was what it was). Saddam's standing amongst Arab leaders will be diminished and that's something Saddam couldn't and probably wouldn't be able to handle.

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October 26, 2003

There's no substantive link between the US and the chemical weapons used by the Saddam regime. However, it is not entirely unbelievable to think that the technology came from the West. Don't forget, after the Islamic Revolution in Iran, Iraq was seen as the counter-balance to those Islamic revolutionaries and many Western powers supported Saddam during the Iraq-Iran War.

If we were to get righteous about these things, nearly every single NATO arms producing country (that's the US, UK, France, Canada, Italy, Germany...) have at one stage or another directly or indirectly supported a regime that is considered 'evil'. If you go back far enough, Arnie thought Hitler was cool and he touched women's bums. International geopolitics is one very messy area to play with these things. What is considered 'right' can be considered 'wrong' the next.

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October 27, 2003

That's pretty good, but that's not entirely accurate of how the world functions.

Back in the good days when there were two 'superpowers', for any budding developing nation, they want to attract Western aid for commerce, infrastructure and military. Depending on where the country is, it has a number of carrots that they can dangle in front of the West - oil, other mineral resources, cheap labor, suitable sites for bases, etc. The more of these carrots they've, the more willing the West (or other potential powers-to-be) will be prepared to give them the support they want.

The West for their part were willing to ignore or overlook the negatives of these regimes. The saying was: "We know he's a son of a b!tch, but at least he's our son of a b!tch." As time went on, more and more developing countries around the world have arsenals of weapons, given by/sourced from/funded by, etc the West. Since we in the West is trying to have the moral high-ground in every argument going, so we soon came unstuck - the 'son of a b!tch' that we supported turned out to be a blood sucking a-hole who murders his own people, sucks up all the aid money and threaten his neighbors...

Now, we've a problem! The West has spent lots of money and time to build up this 'son of a b!tch' to that we've another country 'on side'. But now that the Cold War is over, his excesses cannot be overlooked. To make matter worse, because we have gradually withdrawn support to him, he's now making threatening noises towards us!! We have to teach the 'son of a b!tch' a lesson!!

That's what happened over and over again...

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October 28, 2003

I'm not trying to sound cynical nor am I trying to stir things up... However, if the US have ever supplied the Iraqis with biological or chemical agents or their precursors (and I'm not suggesting that is the case), I very much doubt we'd ever find any evidence of such activities. Such information will be deemed to 'sensitive' to ever to be allowed to be declassified. Anyway, we're talking about a country that is doing something about the 'Axis of Evil' here, not just some country with 'old Europe' attitude or a former 'Evil Empire'! This is the leading light of the civilized world, which is, in fact, holier than thou. How can such a country be capable of selling things that can potentially turn to some truly nasty and horrible to some unstable madman like Saddam?

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October 28, 2003

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The US didn't fire them though!
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This is like the pro-gun lobby in the US: "It's not the guns that kill people, but the people who've guns who kill them." And to use another quote: "Prevention is the best treatment." Now, if we add these two together, we have the following: "Pre-emptive strikes are necessary to eliminate our past mistakes."

Read it in whatever way you choose to.

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October 29, 2003

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Now, you know what I am going to say next. What business does the US have in the Middle East?
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Well... There are four reasons why the US has 'business' in the Middle East:
1) 'O'
2) 'I'
3) 'L'
4) Israel

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