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Old 06-09-2007, 05:48 PM   #11
Spider AL
@Spider AL
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Originally Posted by Totenkopf
You haven't said much beyond..If it worked here, there's no reason it couldn't work there.
That's quite correct, Tot. That, in fact, was exactly what I intended to say, it is all I NEED to say, and I have backed it up with plenty of logical evidence, historical examples, etcetera.

Dictators have been deposed by their own people in the past, this has WORKED in the past, there is no reason to believe it would NOT have worked in Iraq, had the Iraqi people not been starved and bombed into impotence by the US and UK. End of story.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
I don't have to prove that it wouldn't work, you have to prove that it would.
Hah! attempts to shift the burden of proof aren't acceptable, Tot. You're supporting an immoral and illegal act of international aggression (the 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq) that has claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, and the lives of thousands of our own troops.

YOU are the one who has to demonstrate that less damaging means were SO unlikely to have worked that they weren't worth trying, in order to support your frankly weak position.

Those who advocate extreme violence in preference to other methods ALWAYS carry the burden of proof.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Just citing what you think COULD happen is a meaningless and empty reply. Also, to quote you, self-serving.
Seriously, al, if this is the best you've might've happened....then you still have nothing. And the argument benefits you only in a fantasy world.
Well that's just nonsense, Tot. Since we DID invade Iraq after battering its people into submission over the course of decades, we will never know with total certainty whether Saddam WOULD have been overthrown by his people. But it's certainly probable. After all, our sanctions were a major factor in strengthening his regime. And as stated above, you and your ilk carry the burden of proof, if you wish to defend an illegal and immoral invasion of a sovereign nation.

In short, my position on this matter is: "If one really wanted to depose Saddam and his regime, there were options available that would have been FAR less damaging to the Iraqi people than the US/UK invasion was. These options could well have worked, but were not explored in any meaningful way."

And your position seems to consist largely of: "We DID invade Iraq... so your ideas are pure fantasy only useful in a fantasy world therefore you lose!"

And frankly... what you're saying boils down to illogical nonsense.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Besides, considering that they didn't overthrow SH at the end of the First Gulf War, when they might have had a chance before all those pesky sanctions, your argument is basically bupkiss.
Eh? Tot, are we discussing the same "Iraq" here? As far as I'm aware, sanctions were imposed in 1990, before the start of the Gulf War.

Besides, for some significant period of time after the first Gulf war, the US was still actively supporting Saddam's regime, and foiling attempts to overthrow him. So even if your contention weren't based on a lack of knowledge of the topic (which it apparently was) it would still be erroneous.

For example, at the peace conference following cessation of hostilities in 1991, the coalition granted Saddam's regime the right to use attack helicopters within his own borders, without fear of US interference. These helicopters were subsequently used by Saddam's lot to massacre the Shi'ite uprising in the south of the country, resulting in thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of fatalities.

There's also the matter of the US blocking plans by rebel Iraqi generals to overthrow Saddam. The BBC reported the fact that in early 1991 these rebels requested US permission to launch attacks on Saddam's regime using captured Iraqi weaponry. They were- of course- refused any such permission, and- at least at Nasriyeh- were in fact disarmed by US forces.

I rather think that's QED on this point.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Self-serving irrelevancy.
What is irrelevant exactly, the point that the US government has a quite astonishing record of squashing popular freedom-fighting movements worldwide through the past fifty years? Come now Tot, don't slide into total denial.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
You're sounding a lot like those silly people who say things like communism (for instance) doesn't work because WE (ie the self-deluded purveyors and disciples of the ideology in question) haven't tried it yet.
Well actually communism hasn't been tried by any major states, any more than democracy has.

However, your comment is totally irrelevant, because my earlier statement is frankly uncontestable. I stated: "But what are you trying to say, that oppressive occupying regimes can be overthrown from within by revolutionary violence? Of course they can. They can also be overthrown by non-violent methods. So which should we be encouraging, funding and striving for? Which is more conducive to peace and the preservation of life... and which is more moral? The latter, of course."

And of course non-violent methods have been tried. And they have succeeded. And of course they're more moral. And more peaceful...

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Once again, you infer things that are not in someone else's statements. I know you've got a bug up your arse about asserting your overbearing sense of morality into every occasion, but quit reaching.
Childish and mildly profane nonsense Tot, I've never made incorrect inferences regarding your posts. Sadly the reverse is not true.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
To spell it out for you....take the US and GB out of the picture and you still have other powers who benefitted from SH's rule. Given that one of them was a superpower (the USSR, remember them?), it's foolish to assert like you do that SH would have easily been removed from power through the peaceful means that you blather on about constantly.
Ah, the usual pattern: You accuse others (wrongly) of inferring things from your posts that they shouldn't... and then leap forward and completely misrepresent your opposition, putting words in their mouths and waving straw men around like there's no tomorrow.

I have NEVER asserted that "SH would have easily been removed from power through peaceful means". Who said anything about "easy"? Where did you get this nonsense from? Find a quotation that supports it. Go on.

The fact remains that the US/UK supported Saddam throughout his most grevious atrocities, and by this support, contributed greatly to his longevity as a brutal dictator. The removal of this support would have meant a massive reduction in Saddam's capabilities. We take responsibility for our actions, and the actions of the US and UK helped to create and maintain a violent, brutal war criminal in the seat of power in Iraq.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Just a reminder, al, you're the one making the argument that it could work, but consistently fail to prove it. I don't have to prove a negative, remember.
All I have to do is prove that it can work, Tot. And history shows that it can. As for you "having to prove a negative", Nobody's asking you to.

All you have to do to support your incredibly weak position (that our actions in Iraq were justified) is provide some reasons why you think alternative means (peaceful or not) should not have been tried FIRST.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Besides, as you should well know, the middle east is full of dictatorships which are not overthrown by people who haven't been burdened with crippling sanctions.
Many people in the Middle East are oppressed by their amoral governments/rulers. Some of whom also have US support. But what's your point? How does any of that relate to the fact that the US/UK supported a brutal dictator in Iraq for decades, before trashing the innocent populace of that nation? Answer: It doesn't.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Yes, apt. Neither SH nor KJI (let alone his father) would have tolerated the interference you advocate allowing to take place. Given that it's easier to fold in the face of intimidation than stand up to it, it's unlikely your pipedream peace activist agenda would have been sown on anything other than rocky soil in either country.
Tish and posh, it's DEMONSTRABLE that at several points in the past few decades, Saddam relied on US/UK support in order that he might commit his atrocities in quelling rebellion. A couple of examples have been cited above.

Plus, Tot... history is full of courageous people who are willing to stand up to intimidation rather than fold, and there are still many. Just because protest is difficult doesn't mean people aren't doing it. And there have always been revolutionary organisations even in the harshest conditions. So I don't think your contention holds water.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
The only think self-serving so far has been the deluded contention that peaceful activism will ALWAYS work in the end.
Once again... Who has said anything of this sort? Have you been reading the same thread that I have? I certainly haven't seen anyone say "peaceful activism will ALWAYS WORK IN THE END RAAAH!!11" or anything close to it.

Please provide a quote.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Way off the mark here (par for the course, as always). I basically addressed this above.
Well since I'm still unable to decipher your earlier statement: "Still, the rub is that any "peaceful" organization would be given that kind of latitude required for your "non-violent" solution to take hold in thuggish dictatorships", it's hard to say whether you addressed it or not.

It doesn't make any kind of sense to me. Please rephrase and repost.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Earth to nevermind, you're in your own little universe, billions and billions of LYs away.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
If you think that Castro's Cuba or Chavez's Venezuela are great places, then you are deluded
Ah, well since I don't "think they're great places", I must not be deluded. I am however aware that they're better places than the neo-cons make them out to be, just as I'm aware that Castro and Chavez aren't the fire-breathing monsters that the neo-cons make them out to be.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
(remember, that's just merely a neutral term, so no derision......unless you're willing to concede that you use that term the same way you'll ascribe to me now. ) Frankly, I won't take your word for it, no offense. Your obsession with neo-cons is very telling.
I think pretty much all the thinly veiled slights in this paragraph have been addressed before. As for "taking my word" that conditions in Cuba are some of the best in the region (despite characteristic economic terrorism on the part of the US government), you don't have to take my word for it. Just read some independent studies.

As of last year, Cuba's economic growth was apparently the highest in Latin America. In terms of healthcare, visits to the doctor and hospital care are free and of a high medical standard, the majority of prescription drugs are affordable to most Cubans, public contentment is reasonable, Castro's regime is still quite well regarded,... literacy runs at about 99% (which, truth be told is probably better than the functional literacy level in my own country) and the Cuban literacy program has been adopted by many other countries. The last I heard in about 2001, university education was state-funded, i.e: free.

What more can be said? Is Cuba perfect? No. Would I rather live there than in the UK? No.

The Cuban press cannot be defined as "a free press" and poverty is high. Certain imported drugs are too expensive for Cubans to afford with any regularity. But for myself I might go on holiday to Cuba. It's not an oppressive hell-hole. But then, I never thought it was. We just don't get the same level of anti-Cuba rhetoric in the UK as you do in the US.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
What I'm saying is that the spineless "peace in our time" proponents should have stood up to Herr Hitler as early as 1934-38 when he was busy openly defying the terms of Versailles.
1939-1945 was the result of their cowardice. How many had to die so that the craven and misguided peace crowd could have their moment in the sun? 50+ million. So much for the superior morality of the peacenik.
Heh. In a move typical of those who support our illegal invasion of Iraq, you attempt to equate those who desire peace and justice with appeasers and cowards. It doesn't wash, Tot. People are more than the caricatured extremes you seem to wish to divide the world up into. It is not a case of being either a "cowardly peacenik" or a bloodthirsty warmonger. There are those, like myself (and most dissidents, frankly), who would happily engage in violence if it served some useful, moral purpose.

Should those who engage in international aggression be punished? Of course. Would it have been a really great idea to organise assasinations of the Nazi leadership as early as 1937? I think so. Does any of this apply to the situation in Iraq? Of course it doesn't, Unlike Germany in '37/'38, Iraq was no danger to anyone, no danger to its neighbors, no danger to us. Did our sanctions and bombings do any good for the Iraqi people? No. Did our invasion of Iraq in 2003 improve the lives of the Iraqi people? No.

Therefore, it's one example of aimless, self-interested violence that I'm NOT in favour of. And neither should you be.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Do you intentionally misinterpret people?
I've never misrepresented you. I wish the reverse were true.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
You've griped about all the money wasted (from your pov) on Iraq and how it's such a mess. No doubt b/c the money was spent on the "illegal/immoral" war.
Eh? You're conflating two issues. The first issue is that our money (the public's money) was wasted on an illegal and immoral war. This is not "money spent on Iraq". It's money spent on DESTROYING Iraq, for the political gain of our rulers. I have indeed complained about this. (Not "griped", thank you very much.)

The second issue is that comparitively little money has been spent by us (the aggressors) on repairing the damage we did in Iraq. I would like to see some money "thrown" at THIS problem.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
The point is that throwing money at a problem is no solution, regardless of the desired outcome.
Is this the best you can do? I say "we're not spending enough money on repairing the damage we did in Iraq", and you respond "throwing money at a problem is no solution". Please.

Suppose someone drives their car into the front of your house, and you take them to court to obtain damages. Would you be satisfied if the Judge dismissed your case on the basis that "throwing money at a problem is no solution"? We did the damage, we should pay for the repairs. And we should pay MORE than we have so far paid, and we should handle the money more intelligently and more MORALLY than we have so far. End of story.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf
Several examples of how throwing money at problems doesn't work are:...
Why exactly do you think that fumbling around for examples of how money has been mis-spent helps your case at all?

Here, let me give you another example of mis-directed, mis-handled money: The nine billion dollars from the Iraqi reconstruction fund lost by the American administration of said fund.

So what's your point? My point is that more money has to be spent, and it has to be better handled and morally directed.

Originally Posted by Totenkopf definition, he will be more conservative in the areas where you are more liberal and vice versa. That was just sloppy (and immoral )on your part.
Once again you expose the fact that you don't know what classical conservatism means. It's non-ideological, Tot. Classical conservatism and liberalism aren't mutually exclusive. I think the reason you're making this error is that what YOU know of as conservatism is a corrupted, state-capitalist sham, totally unrecognisable as conservatism in the classical sense.

Still, the same could be said of modern "liberalism."

Furthermore, I fail to see how "immorality" comes into the equation as regards this paragraph. Even if your assertion were correct (which it is not). I think you're just throwing random accusations around now.


Originally Posted by Nancy Allen``
Long story short, a strong military alone cannot win politics for you but you cannot win without it.
Define a "strong military". I think we're all in favour of a well trained military force in our own nations. What I'm not in favour of is using that military force to butcher innocent Iraqis for no reason other than political gain for our ruling classes.

[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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