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Old 05-27-2007, 09:09 PM   #63
Spider AL
@Spider AL
A well-spoken villain...
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Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Help, help, I'm stapled to my workstation.
Posts: 2,162
Originally Posted by Heavyarms
First off, I am not Rogue15. I just said hi.
Oh, I beg your pardon Heavy, I thought you WERE Rogue15.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
This isn't meant to flame, but you really sound like one of those secular-progressive socialists, Spider.
Ah, now I understand why I confused you with Rogue15.

First of all, the fact that you seem to regard the terms "secular" and "socialist" to be negative enough to warrant an "isn't meant to flame" disclaimer... is ludicrous. Because:

1. secularism is a fine, laudable ideal. Keeping religions out of state issues is... well, it's GREAT! After all, organised religion is absolute nonsense, used throughout history as a tool to control people's minds and make them do awful things. Note that the United States was originally envisioned as being governed by an essentially secular administration. Unfortunately over the years some religious power-seekers have gotten their claws into what was once a promising national character and have warped it. "One nation indivisible", anyone?

2. As for socialism, there's nothing particularly negative about socialist ideals. They're certainly as laudable as any other political ideals. Like democracy, it would be nice to see what would happen if socialism was ever employed to any meaningful degree...

As for my own political proclivities, I don't identify myself with any particular political label. If we were to discuss classical political principles, you'd probably find that I was simultaneously more conservative than you, as well as more liberal. But political labels of this sort have been so debased by misuse over the years (calling the Soviet Union "communist", and the United States either "capitalist" or "democratic" are all good examples of flagrant misuse of political terminology) that they've become essentially meaningless.

My "politics" is merely based on two things: An ongoing attempt to think about the world logically, and some sort of innate desire to ensure the wellbeing of a majority of the world's population. Labelling it any other way would simply be inaccurate.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
There has never been any resolution from anyone in writing as far as I know stating that the invasion of Iraq is illegal. If you believe it is illegal, please find some evidence that states it as illegal.
I'm happy to provide evidence: It was illegal, because under international law (which the US signed up to) a United Nations resolution is required to approve such an invasion... or it remains illegal.

There is of course one exception defined by the UN charter, that is if a nation is attacked, they can retaliate militarily without first seeking UN approval. Of course this never applied to the United States, as Saddam was no danger even to his neighbors in 2003. Let alone the US.

So it was illegal. By definition. Do you have any cogent response to this undeniable fact?

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
Did we invade and learn that the intelligence was wrong? Yes. Did we invade and have no exit strategy: yes. Was the invasion illegal? No. Did we invade for oil and prop up American oil companies? No.
1. My dear Heavyarms, the "intelligence" you're referring to was intentionally fabricated through a process of cherry-picking and outright falsification. We have plenty of evidence from official memoranda and whistle-blowers from inside US/UK administrations to support this (fairly obvious) conclusion.

This is so well known that it's no longer even an issue and yet people like yourself still feel comfortable denying it? That's beyond me, it really is.

Everyone KNEW that Iraq was no danger to anyone. In 2001, representatives of the US government made repeated public statements declaring that they were pretty certain that Saddam's regime had no capacity to seriously harm any other nations in the region, not even with conventional weapons, let alone with WMDs. The UN weapons inspectors confirmed this judgement a little over a year later. Knowing this, can you really expect anyone to believe that the US government was so stupid that it invaded Iraq to find WMDs that everyone (including them) knew did not exist? I certainly don't believe them to be that stupid.

2. As for the exit strategy... I'm sure the US government had plenty of exit strategies in place. Will they be able to use any of them? Time will tell. I'm certain that all the exit strategies rather depend on achieving sufficient "stability" (public quiescence) for a US puppet regime to survive against the populace.

3. Of course the invasion WAS illegal, by definition. As stated before.

4. Did we invade for oil? Well let's ask the question: Why DID we invade? It wasn't to "find WMDs". That's been established. So why invade a backwater, ailing country like Iraq? The most obvious explanation in this case is that Iraq has some of the largest energy reserves in the world, in a world that is rapidly running out of viable energy sources. And it was invaded by a nation that drinks oil like it was Coca-Cola. (tm)

So you tell me. Did we invade so that we could plant a friendly regime in Iraq and thus ensure our consumption of energy for the next few years? Of course we did. There's no other realistic reason on the table, Heavy.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
Please also define oppressive imperialism. I don't see the U.S. annexing anyone for their own personal benefit.
I'll be happy to define it!.. and you certainly see the US attacking, invading and persecuting MANY nations for its own benefit, by the way.

1. For the past fifty years or so, the US has been constantly expanding its network of entrenched military bases worldwide, often at the cost of the indigenous population of the areas they move into. I could give the Chagos Islands fiasco as a notable (and ongoing) example.

2. Economic imperialism is one aspect of US foreign policy. The threat of economic sanctions is often used as a sort of bludgeon to bring other nations in line. And in fact, US sanctions have probably killed significantly more civilians in Iraq than US bombs have.

3. Thirdly, the US has been funding violent, oppressive regimes that butcher countless people worldwide (The Suharto regime in Indonesia is one good example, Saddam's regime in Iraq is another good example, but of course there are many... MANY more) just because those regimes are ostensibly friendly to the US.

4. Last but not least, the US has been both directly and by proxy invading weak, defenceless nations in amoral attempts to INSTALL (and maintain) such friendly regimes, for the past few decades. Vietnam, various places in South America... Iraq... etcetera.

This is exactly the pattern that previous major imperialist powers followed, the British Empire being a notably similar example. We even invaded the same places using the same propaganda! The parallel with Iraq is bizarrely exact, if you look at the record. So does the US qualify as an oppressive, imperialist power? Of course it does. It oppresses people economically, by proxy AND directly, and with its immense international influence and multiple military garrisons worldwide, it's most definitely an empire. Whether you wish to call it one or not.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
And if the President doesn't set national policy, who does? Dick Cheney? Karl Rove? "The Man?" In the end, the buck stops with the President. He's responsible. He's the elected official, as well as the VP. It's their responsibility.
You seem to have some sort of ingrained urge to believe that one person has to be "the boss". An innate urge to believe that somewhere, if you go high enough up the chain, one middle-aged guy in a leather chair smoking a Cohiba Robusto and stroking a white cat "calls the shots".

It's just not the case, Heavy.

On a national scale, decisions are formed by a massive conglomerate of very slightly varying financial interests, each sensitive to the pressures exerted on them by all the rest. In short, the US has an oligarchic arrangement going on. Decisions are made both consciously and unconsciously by the opulent minority en masse. There's no "one guy". The President, the Vice President... they're just mouthpieces. Spokesmodels. Figureheads. In fact it's arguable that national policy is pre-determined WELL before it gets to the governmental stage.

That's the net effect of our undemocratic system of governance, you see. Or perhaps one could say that our undemocratic system of governance is the effect of natural human weakness en masse.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
And I don't know much about corrupt bargains in Iraq, I'm assuming you mean the Halliburton thing. Definitely wasn't a great idea, but we still are sending aid to Iraq.
Very few people who support the US government in its illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq seem to know much about America's corrupt dealings worldwide, Heavy.

In this case I was referring to the nine billion dollars from the reparation fund lost in the shuffle by the American occupation authority (the CPA), under Paul Bremer's administration.


And as stated in previous threads... We're giving a PALTRY amount of money to Iraq. It's totally insufficient to rebuild what we've destroyed. It took us over fifteen years to bring the country to its knees like this... it's not going to be solved by a pathetic few billion dollars.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
Okay, the United States did not pick the government. Maliki was not picked by the United States. IF he was, you need some evidence to back that up.
Ack! Of course the US "picked" the government! The US vetted the list of candidates prior to the election. By definition, that means they selected those that could run. Therefore, it was NOT democratic. Secondly, the whole "elections" were a clear violation of the Hague Convention (which the US is signed up to, by the way) which forbids an occupying military force from making any permanent changes to the government of the occupied country.

As for Maliki, the US exerted massive pressure on Jafaari (Maliki's predecessor) to step down as PM. (Presumably because they considered Jaffari to be too pro-Iran.) They (both the US and the UK) then publically approved of Maliki assuming the office, from that day to this. That's about as "picked" as you can get, short of physically lifting the man into the PM's chair.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
The Sunnis boycotted the election, that's their problem. The point is there was a free and open election, and intimidation and violence was very low during that time.
"Free and open"? A minority of the population voting for candidates selected by an invading force, candidates who in most cases were completely unknown to the voters ANYWAY, because the list of candidates was not released to the Iraqi people before the election... In a nation where half the country was still deep in armed conflict...

Is that what you call "free and open"? That's madness! It was about as far from "free and open" as it was from "democratic". Be serious.

As for the Sunnis... Frankly I'd have boycotted such a sham, such a grim parody of an election, if I were an Iraqi.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
You at points like to give the U.S. every reason for wrongs, including everything bad Saddam did and that we absolutely destroyed the Iraqi people when Saddam did a much worse job. He's a bad guy. You realize if he wasn't there, a lot of these things wouldn't have happened probably. I see what we did was effective policy tools. Sanctions are designed to change a leader's policies.
I don't understand much of this paragraph, but I'll try to address some points:

1. Yes, Saddam was indeed a "bad guy". He was a bad guy who was funded and armed by the US and UK. He was funded and armed by us because he was killing our ideological enemies (Iranians). Therefore, our states share responsibility for his evil acts. End of story.

2. You say: "If Saddam wasn't there a lot of these things wouldn't have happened probably"... And that's nonsense. Do you think there's a shortage of evil people in the world? If it wasn't Saddam heading up the regime, it would have been someone else, and the US and UK would have funded and armed them too, as long as they were fighting OUR ideological enemies, as Saddam's regime was.

3. The sanctions were effective at starving Iraqi civilians, and forcing them to depend on Saddam's regime even more than they depended upon it before. That is ALL they were effective at doing. Such sanctions aren't meant to "change a leader's policies", but to harm innocent civilians in the hope that they'll pressure their leaders into going along with US policies. Therefore, they're immoral.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
My problem with the Iraqi people now is they don't want to help the American forces, whether or not they are an occupying force. They do realize if they help the country be secure the occupying force leaves sooner.
So your problem with Iraqi people is that they're not rushing to help a violent and self-interested occupying power, that invaded their country without cause and without concern for the effect on the civilian population? Yeah, they're an ungrateful bunch, those Iraqis.

And to the US regime, "secure" means "under the control of the US". That wouldn't be in the interest of the Iraqi people either.

Originally Posted by Heavyarms
So, my question to you spider, is what should we have done? Iraq was a problem at the time. What should we have done to solve the problem before the war, with intelligence (that turned out incorrect, but was believed true by the entire world community for the most part) that says they have WMDs present. What'ya going to do?
1. Iraq wasn't a "problem", for its neighbors or for us. So what "problem" are you referring to?

2. The pseudo-intelligence dredged up prior to the illegal invasion wasn't believed to be true by "the entire world community", nor even "for the most part". This is a classic fallacy always squeakily wheeled out in all debates of this type. Almost everyone conceded prior to the invasion that Iraq might have some old fashioned chemical weapons material lying around somewhere. But virtually nobody believed the US/UK lies stating that this possibility constituted a meaningful and imminent threat to anybody, and of course only a minority of countries supported the illegal war. So your assertion is meaningless.


Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Killing unarmed people, as Saddam set out to do, sounds mighty close to terrorism. So given the atrocities he committed one would have to be amoral to allow it to happen.
Of course it was terrorism! It was terrorism not only allowed, but also essentially funded by the US and UK. We approved of Saddam's evil actions for YEARS, until he fell out of favour with our governments. So are our governments amoral? Of course.

[FW] Spider AL
Hewwo, meesa Jar-Jar Binks. Yeah. Excusing me, but me needs to go bust meesa head in with dissa claw-hammer, because yousa have stripped away meesa will to living.
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