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BS: 'a totally needless war'

McGrath of Harlow 07 Nov 03 - 09:12 PM
Deda 07 Nov 03 - 11:31 PM
Amos 07 Nov 03 - 11:38 PM
Alaska Mike 07 Nov 03 - 11:39 PM
Les in Chorlton 08 Nov 03 - 02:43 AM
Little Hawk 08 Nov 03 - 03:06 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Nov 03 - 06:31 AM
Les in Chorlton 08 Nov 03 - 06:53 AM
Raptor 08 Nov 03 - 08:04 AM
greg stephens 08 Nov 03 - 08:16 AM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Nov 03 - 09:45 AM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Nov 03 - 10:11 AM
Strick 08 Nov 03 - 11:13 AM
Amos 08 Nov 03 - 11:48 AM
GUEST,Les in Chorlton 08 Nov 03 - 12:51 PM
Peace 08 Nov 03 - 01:14 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Nov 03 - 01:17 PM
GUEST,perplexed 08 Nov 03 - 01:29 PM
Peace 08 Nov 03 - 02:37 PM
katlaughing 08 Nov 03 - 07:26 PM
Uncle_DaveO 08 Nov 03 - 07:38 PM
Amos 08 Nov 03 - 08:17 PM
Bobert 08 Nov 03 - 08:23 PM
Bill D 08 Nov 03 - 08:35 PM
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Bobert 08 Nov 03 - 08:48 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Nov 03 - 09:07 PM
Bill D 08 Nov 03 - 09:25 PM
Little Hawk 08 Nov 03 - 09:50 PM
GUEST,pdc 08 Nov 03 - 10:28 PM
Amos 08 Nov 03 - 10:39 PM
katlaughing 08 Nov 03 - 10:42 PM
Bobert 08 Nov 03 - 10:43 PM
Strick 08 Nov 03 - 11:32 PM
Peace 08 Nov 03 - 11:51 PM
Strick 09 Nov 03 - 01:32 AM
GUEST,pdc 09 Nov 03 - 01:53 AM
Peace 09 Nov 03 - 01:59 AM
The Fooles Troupe 09 Nov 03 - 10:22 AM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 03 - 10:50 AM
Amos 09 Nov 03 - 11:51 AM
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Little Hawk 10 Nov 03 - 12:18 AM
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Bobert 10 Nov 03 - 09:02 AM
GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 11:15 AM
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GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 12:13 PM
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GUEST,petr 10 Nov 03 - 02:32 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 03 - 03:56 PM
Peace 10 Nov 03 - 04:07 PM
GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 04:19 PM
Little Hawk 10 Nov 03 - 05:04 PM
Peace 10 Nov 03 - 05:27 PM
GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 06:02 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 03 - 06:38 PM
Peace 10 Nov 03 - 07:03 PM
GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 07:07 PM
Bobert 10 Nov 03 - 07:22 PM
Peace 10 Nov 03 - 07:34 PM
McGrath of Harlow 10 Nov 03 - 07:35 PM
GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 08:17 PM
Peace 10 Nov 03 - 08:39 PM
Cluin 10 Nov 03 - 08:48 PM
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Peace 10 Nov 03 - 09:12 PM
GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 11:22 PM
Peace 10 Nov 03 - 11:31 PM
Bobert 10 Nov 03 - 11:36 PM
GUEST,Strick 10 Nov 03 - 11:50 PM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Nov 03 - 12:49 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 03 - 06:13 AM
The Fooles Troupe 11 Nov 03 - 07:59 AM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 11:14 AM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 03 - 12:32 PM
Little Hawk 11 Nov 03 - 01:14 PM
Wolfgang 11 Nov 03 - 02:23 PM
Ebbie 11 Nov 03 - 02:50 PM
Little Hawk 11 Nov 03 - 03:45 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 05:10 PM
Little Hawk 11 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM
Cluin 11 Nov 03 - 05:30 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 05:35 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 03 - 05:46 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 06:13 PM
Cluin 11 Nov 03 - 06:39 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 07:34 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 09:33 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 10:29 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 10:30 PM
GUEST,pdc 11 Nov 03 - 10:41 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 10:52 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 10:53 PM
Little Hawk 11 Nov 03 - 11:14 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 11:38 PM
Wolfgang 12 Nov 03 - 04:32 AM
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Little Hawk 12 Nov 03 - 11:32 AM
ard mhacha 12 Nov 03 - 01:20 PM
GUEST 12 Nov 03 - 01:46 PM
Wolfgang 12 Nov 03 - 02:03 PM
Little Hawk 12 Nov 03 - 11:59 PM
GUEST,pdc 13 Nov 03 - 01:07 AM
GUEST,Frankham 13 Nov 03 - 01:10 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 01:53 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 03 - 01:55 PM
Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 03:50 PM
Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 06:49 PM
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Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 07:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 08:19 PM
Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 09:27 PM
Strick 13 Nov 03 - 11:46 PM
GUEST,perplexed 13 Nov 03 - 11:58 PM
Peace 14 Nov 03 - 06:58 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Nov 03 - 07:17 PM
Bobert 14 Nov 03 - 07:25 PM
Little Hawk 15 Nov 03 - 12:03 PM
Peace 15 Nov 03 - 04:15 PM
Little Hawk 15 Nov 03 - 06:01 PM
Peace 15 Nov 03 - 06:18 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 03 - 07:14 PM
Teribus 16 Nov 03 - 10:59 AM
Peace 16 Nov 03 - 01:53 PM
Bobert 16 Nov 03 - 08:18 PM
Little Hawk 17 Nov 03 - 12:43 AM
GUEST,Teribus 17 Nov 03 - 07:33 AM
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Bobert 17 Nov 03 - 07:57 PM
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Subject: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 09:12 PM

As the body count rises it's becoming clear that this was a totally needless and counterproductve war - in terms of all the reasons given to justify it.

Weapons of Mass Destruction, links with AlQaida - noone sincerely argues for either of those. They fall back on the fact that Saddam was a vile ruler, and the claim that this was the only way to change things for the better. And on that alone the case for the war rests.

It's a powerful argument, and even though it could never make this war a legal one, it's possible to argue thta the moral,imperatuve was more important.

But if you read this article in the Guardian on Friday, that argument seems to start to crumble - Saddam's desperate offers to stave off war -

"In the few weeks before its fall, Iraq's Ba'athist regime made a series of increasingly desperate peace offers to Washington, promising to hold elections and even to allow US troops to search for banned weapons. But the advances were all rejected by the Bush administration, according to intermediaries involved in the talks."...

...Gen Habbush ...repeated the invitation to allow Americans to search for weapons and added an offer to hand over a suspected terrorist, Abdul Rahman Yasin, who had been convicted in the US for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Centre. The regime would hold elections within two years, and the intelligence chief even offered to fly to London to discuss the issue in person...

Mr Perle...told the New York Times he had been told by the CIA not to pursue contacts with the Iraqis. A US intelligence source insisted that the decision not to negotiate came from the White House, which was demanding complete surrender.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Deda
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 11:31 PM

I completely agree about it being a terrible war, one that we were forced into by dishonest leaders with their own agendas, based on vengeance and greed. They continue to lie and misspeak about it all the time, even now, and I no longer believe a word they say. I am pretty much at the stage of disregarding mainstream US media almost entirely, and relying on BBC, alternative radio, blogs, etc. However, that being said, if Saddam had sent any messages, no matter what, he would not have gotten a hearing -- not because the Bushites were determined to go to war no matter what, but more because Saddam had said one thing and done another over and over and over and over again, for so many years, that he was way past the "Cry Wolf" stage; anything he said could pretty much be disregarded, just based on his own record. It doesn't work to try to make Saddam into a peacenik, or into an honest or trustworthy negotiator. He wasn't. He was a liar and a megalomaniac and a creep. But there have been plenty of those, in the recent history of the world, and in the not-so-recent, too, and we can't take on the task of eliminating them all. This was and is a bad war, but not because Saddam really wanted peace.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Amos
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 11:38 PM

Well said, Deda!

A


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Alaska Mike
Date: 07 Nov 03 - 11:39 PM

How can you say this war was needless? Haliburton and Bectel are certainly getting our money's worth out of it. Haliburton, hmm isn't that Dick Cheney's old firm. Surely a coincidence.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 02:43 AM

I know I am going to regret this but.........

... I don't even know wher to begin.

On Sept 11 some people declared war and carried out a major attack on the US, the nature of which we have never seen before.

The US did not really know what to do but clearly felt that 'something must be done'. Bush did lots of things including Afganistan and Iraq. No doubt he had lots of other reasons for doing these things.

I will try to stick close to Iraq even though it's neither possible or even an honest thing to do. The UN and the US had a long term commitment to get change in Iraq. A number of options were possible including,
1. carry on hoping that the sanctions would eventually cause change,
2. invade when the US did,
3. invade later,

Given what Saddam was doing to lots of people in and around Iraq 1. is not without its problems. Given the history of evil regimes, later can be a very long time (USSR, Korea, China, lots of places in Africa and Easten Europe). So, 3 might be as effective as 2 but with lots of dead and tortured people in the meantime.

Iraq has lots of politically motivated gansters and people who want the US humiliated. They are trying to stop the re-development of Iraq. I guess they would do this after any invasion. Maybe later would be better. All the options are bad but we cannot re-run history and start again. I guess we would need to calculate how many people would die in each option.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 03:06 AM

It would be hard to find a war that wasn't in the final analysis, needless, given the fact that there are almost always better alternatives than open aggression. (One exception I would make is Vietnam's attack which deposed the Khymer Rouge...there was genuine need for that.)

In this case the provocateur and aggressor was the United States, and yes, the war was absolutely needless...unless your need is to secure vast oil reserves and strategic new bases in a vital region. Ah, well then...

Hitler's need for attacking Russia in 1941 was to secure vast agricultural areas and vast oil reserves in a vital region.

Stalin's need for attacking Finland in 1939 was to occupy disputed land in the Karelian isthmus. He figured it would be easy to overwhelm the Finns...it proved to be very, very hard indeed.

The Japanese need for war in 1941 was to secure vast oil reserves in the Dutch East Indies and break an American-imposed trade embargo (probably established partly to drive Japan to war).

Saddam's need for war when he attacked Kuwait in '91 was to recover a disputed territory which had been carved out by the British empire to serve as an oil source...territory which Iraquis considered to belong to Iraq.

Argentina's need for war in the Falklands was to secure disputed territory considered by them to be part of Argentina, and provide a distraction for their public so they would forget about domestic abuses by the military government.

And so on...

All clear cases of aggression. All needless, considering that there were far better alternatives of a more peaceful sort available. All the above cases of aggression (except Vietnam's, and to some meager extent, Stalin's) failed miserably in the end, as I expect this American one shall too.

In the meantime, a lot of people will die, and politicians will pontificate about "freedom" while spreading destruction. In an armed dispute, one party's "freedom" is achieved specifically by the destruction of the other party's freedom...to be who they are and live as they will and desire.

Aggressors believe not in law, not in freedom, not in justice...but in force, power, the law of the jungle. They always say they are doing it for someone's freedom, and their soldiers and populace are often (in fact usually) naive enough to believe that. The Germans certainly did in 1939 and 1941.

Had Saddam not already existed, America would have probably found the need to invent him, given the strategic situation in the Middle East. I can only wonder who their next chosen number-1-bad guy-threat-to-the-entire-world will be?

He will probably be swarthy, from a small country, and have a beard or mustache. He will probably be Muslim. He will almost certainly be located in a strategically important area. Whaddya want to bet?

One thing a huge and ever-expanding military empire simply must have is a new enemy to fight every few years...otherwise how can you justify building and maintaining more weapons than the whole rest of the World put together?

This while people live hopeless lives in decaying ghettoes...even on the home turf of "the land of the free and the home of the brave". Freedom, is it? Ha! Whose freedom, I ask? And at what cost? Not my freedom. Not that of Iraquis. And not yours either, unless you are among the ruling elite in the centers of world financial, media, and military power.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 06:31 AM

It wasn't a question of Saddam really wanting peace, but rather of him being desperate to avoid a war in which he had no hope of winning, or surviving, except possibly as a hunted fugitive.

During the run up I remember people backing the Blair-Bush line in arguments. No, there would be no war - the troop build-up and the sabre-rattling was intended to avoid war, because under pressure, Saddam would crack, and the reasons for war could be eliminated.

And this seems to have happened - except that the Bush-Blair axis was determined to have the war.

Elections supervised by the USA and French within two years, and thousands of US troops allowed into Iraq carrying out thorough inspections. Does anybody think that the outcome following the war is actually going to be any better than that?

Other vile dictatorships have been allowed to be dismantled. Pinochet was allowed to take a ceremomial place as President while his regime was eliminated. Regime change in Iraq was possible without war.

However, without war asset stripping of Iraq by Bush's friends in big business would not have been possible. Moreover, keeping large armies massed on Iraq's borders for years if need be, to maintain the pressure that was getting results would have been seen as incompatable with the US election timetable. On the other hand a quick war and a profitable peace wasa anticipated as helpful in avoiding regime change in Washington.

So advice from their own experts that it just wasn't going to be that simple, and that a war would be likely to have all kinds of disastrous results were brushed aside.

From an history exam paper in 2050: "The Great War and the 2203 Iraq War shared one characteristic. They were both at the same time unnecessary and inevitable." Discuss and evaluate this view.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 06:53 AM

'Regime change in Iraq was possible without war'. Possible yes, eventual yes, although to what? Africa gives many scarry examples of change is more or worse. Don't get me wrong, european empires lie at the heart of most of these problems.

All the options are bad but we cannot re-run history and start again. I guess we would need to calculate how many people would die in each option.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Raptor
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 08:04 AM

Don't you people sleep?

No wonder I can't reach Little Hawk Before noon!

Yeah The war was bad
Yeah bush sucks

Go To Bed

Raptor

SHEESH!


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: greg stephens
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 08:16 AM

McGrath: your latest thesis, like your previous ones, seem to me to involve believing Saddam hussein's announcements. i thin there is a tiny flaw here.
   Also, whatever your views, "totally needless" seems a bit strong. If you were prepared to listen to views contrary to your own, I think I bit of a chat to the vast number of Iraquis totally supporting the Americans might open your eyes.You opposed the war, and fair play to you. I find the arguments of those people I know with family in Iraq compelling, interesting, and challenging to my pinko-liberal world view. And a lot of them are 100% pro the American/British adventure.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 09:45 AM

The thing is, they weren't willing to wait and keep on putting on the pressure, and see whether it was going to be possible to achieve a satisfactory outcome without war. Perhaps that wouldn't have beenm possible - but it seems pretty clear that one reason for pushing ahead with the war was a fear that, if they didn't move quickly, the justifications for the war would be eliminated. (And of course the electoral clock was ticking as well.)

I am sure there are a good number of people among exiled Iraqis who saw war as the right way and the necessary way, as there often were among exiles from Eastern Europe during the Cold War. I can see why they might think that way, and in their circumstances I can readily imagine doing the same. But what has happened to Iraq so far, and what is happening now, and looks like happening in the future, does not look very likely to pan out at all well.

I think one very likely outcome will be that, at some point, Washington will redefine this whole exercise as a kind of punitive expedition; it will just pull out, and leave Iraq to sort itself out, in circumstances far worse than could have been achieved by a forceful carrot and stick operation, without war.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 10:11 AM

McGrath of Harlow said:
The thing is, they weren't willing to wait and keep on putting on the pressure, and see whether it was going to be possible to achieve a satisfactory outcome without war.

Ah, but that HAD been tried, unsuccessfully and ad nauseam. It had not been successful, and never would have been successful.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Strick
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 11:13 AM

Nothing much good comes from war, it's true. In this case, a few back channel feelers wouldn't have been enough to convince most people that Saddam was sincere. After all, he made promises and broke them repeatedly over the last 13 years.

I have a cat who bites. Be warned. Just because he lets you pet him and purrs, don't be surprised if he suddenly tires of being petted and bites you anyway. I have scars to prove it happens. Why trust an animal or human who behaves that way?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Amos
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 11:48 AM

Well, yes. But you aren't moved to stomp his brains out, are you?

The problem of Iraq was difficult, many faceted and far beyond the capabilities of the Bush gang. They don't do subtle. Evasive, underhanded, secretive are the closest they can get.

There's a LOT of blood in the sand that didn't need to be there. We're not just talking about upsets or spitting matches; we're talking about human beings torn apart by flying lead and steel, tissues and muscles ripped to shreds, leading to death. American death, Iraqi death, the fact is that VERY FEW of those deaths involved anyone who was originally involved in the situation or actually causing it. Maybe the Hussein boys qualify.

From this perspective I would say needless is an excellent word, but not because Hussein would have made peace, as Deda pointed out.


A


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Les in Chorlton
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 12:51 PM

i have chipped in my bit above but might add that if the US has a bad enough time in terms of dead soldiers it will make them more reluctant to do the same thing again for a while.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 01:14 PM

1) Anyone who thinks Saddam Hussein was a garden-variety SOB needs to have another look at him. He had demonstrated his willingness and ability to use chemical weapons (on the Kurds), and he did terrorize his own people. The behaviour of his troops in Kuwait in 1990 was criminal, and his disregard for life or anything resembling morality was evident in his own country and elsewhere. It is clear to me that Iraqis were unable to change their own government, and it is equally clear that they wanted to.

2) The United States has had a history of being 'cops of the world', and the Monroe Doctrine of the 1820s and all the 'Manifest Destiny' crap from the 1840s has hung on in both the popular and political mind. It seems quite normal for the USA to engage in imperialistic activities. The ability of the United States to wage war is awesome, and that ability has been beneficial to all of us (World War II is the example that comes to mind). However, more and more the USA has tried to act in place of the United Nations.

3) The United Nations has had its cajones clipped. It is a quite impotent organization. (My country has a long history of involving itself in 'peacekeeping' efforts sanctioned by the UN. At present, Canada has troops from the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry and JTF2 stationed in Afghanistan. But, Canada's refusal to participate in the Iraq War has cost us much. We have had and continue to have our economic peepee slapped by the United States, and being loyal to the United Nations has done us no good.) That said, it should be evident to all that both the United Nations and the United States have changed substantially over the past fifty years.

I will not, however, blame the American people for their government's policies. I think Americans have lost control of their government, just as the United Nations has 'lost control' of its members. Personally, I am glad Hussein is 'gone'. But that will not make me glad that Bush is in power. He is an equally dangerous man, and he controls the most significant military power in the history of the world. THAT, my friend, is friggin' scary. Coupled with a New World Order, none of this scenario bodes well for the future of humankind. Was this war needless? Maybe, and maybe not. But then, that's no longer a hypothetical question, is it?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 01:17 PM

"It had not been successful, and never would have been successful."

The UN inspectors had been allowed back in, and were getting increasing cooperation. Hans Blix and his colleagues have gone onrecord as saying they wanted to keep going. And here we have evidence that Saddam was willing to allow them to be reinforced by thousands of US troops, and to permit elections monitored by the US and France.

It was being sucessful, that was the problem. That was why the process had to be cut short.

Indeed one additional reason for haste could have been fear that, once people realised how weak the regime actually was, with no reserves of poison gas and so forth, there would have been real prospects of a successful internal revolution, producing a regime which would not be ready to cooperate in asset stripping Iraq to help Bush's friends.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,perplexed
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 01:29 PM

Well, speaking of laws of the jungle, as the dominant beast on the planet, you've got to ask yourself if you're willing to allow another smaller beast to run around and do what it will on what you consider your turf. Saddam is someone we've manipulated in the past, to our ends. We attempted a trade embargo to force him to become compliant with our wishes once again. When a lesser beast challenges a greater one with noncompliance the outcome will eventually end up in some kind of confrontation. Who will win? The answer seems clear enough. If you were the most powerful entity would you chose to allow another much smaller and weaker one win in a showdown? Whatever the exact reasons for our being there are, hmm, let's see, strutting our world dominance thing by seeking economic assurances via the control of the region's resources to bolster our insatiable profiteering, we are there, establishing our dominance over yet another region outside our "official" borders. Of course, we've been doing just that, exerting our dominance in the area, for a long time. We've been doing it to maintain our stature, our place at the top of the heap. Does this struggle to maintain our standing ever allow us to relax our posture? No. Just because you're paranoid, it doen't mean they're not out to get you.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 02:37 PM

perplexed: I am missing your point.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 07:26 PM

Les in Chorlton, if the US has a bad enough time in terms of dead soldiers it will make them more reluctant to do the same thing again for a while. That's what we all thought about Viet Nam and so far it has not been a deterrent. I wish you were right.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 07:38 PM

Bruce said: But that will not make me glad that Bush is in power. He is an equally dangerous man, and he controls the most significant military power in the history of the world. THAT, my friend, is friggin' scary.

I'm afraid I can't argue with that. But look on the bright side: At least he's in a position where he can be removed bloodlessly by constitutional means. Which is (more's the pity) not to say that he will be so removed at the end of this term. Money talks, and he's a formidable fundraiser.

But one can always hope for that end, which couldn't be said for Saddam.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Amos
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 08:17 PM

Which is (more's the pity) not to say that he will be so removed at the end of this term. Money talks, and he's a formidable fundraiser.



I assume you mean bloodlessly?


A


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 08:23 PM

Back to the questions I was askin' Teribus, et al, before the invasion. If Saddam was (or is) such a bad man, why not just assasinate him, rather tham drop over 30,000 bombs and fire millions and millions of artillery, tank and small arm rounds at Iraqi's that, ahhhh, weren't Saddam????

Why is this such a difficult qiestion to get a straght answer to???...

Me and the Wes Ginny slide rule figured that if Dan Rather could get within 4 feet of him then an assasin could have gotten close enough to get the job done....

Oh yeah, firgot that Perle and Wolowitz had this plan going back to 1992 that called fir the occupation of Iraq, fir stategic (think oil here) reasons...

And where the heck is Teribus now that his plans have gone left??? Opps, make that right. Very right...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 08:35 PM

I think Americans have lost control of their government

the US has not totally lost control of its government,...the mechanisms are still there. But this government is getting cleverer at lulling the populace into not BOTHERING to exercise that control. The spin doctors are working overtime to sell war, loss of privacy, environmental degradation,,etc...as necessary things to keep our security and 'image' intact. They sell this crap in different ways to different segments of the population...and they only need to convince 50.1% 49.9% of the people that they are at least the lesser of two evils.

It 'may' be that too many dead kids in Iraq, along with 87 billion other reasons will push their luck and smoke & mirrors too far, but ANYTHING can happen in a year. If the greedy Democrats don't spend all year berating each OTHER, maybe they can field a candidate who will


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 08:37 PM

stop this nonsense


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 08:48 PM

Bill,

I'm not sure that The Dems can get anyone *elected*, given the unlevel playing field... First, the Emerican people in general don't give a crap who's in power ot they'd vote, Second, the guy with the most money wins 93% of the time and... Third, the Repubs have control of the folks who *oversee* the election counting...

Personally, I'm looking for other countries to move to 'cause this one is lookin' more and more like USS Titanic about an hour before she went down...

Highjacked and Bushwacked...

You and Rita might want to start lookin' to before the great exodus and property values plunge...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 09:07 PM

"...they only need to convince 50.1% 49.9% of the people "

If they could get 49% of the people voting for them, that'd mean virtue everyone who voted.

In practice 25% would be ample.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bill D
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 09:25 PM

McGrath..I figgered everyone would assume I meant % of voting public..I guess you can't overdo explicit references..*grin*

Bobert... Australia, maybe..but I have too uch 'stuff' and I'm too blamed OLD! I guess I'll sit here and be the resistance movement...since I'm only 40 minutes from 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Maybe I can burn an effigy of G.W. on his lawn...one of those in his fligt suit..


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 09:50 PM

Nobody trusted Saddam, Strick! But he was no real threat to the USA, he was simply a former hit man of theirs who failed to complete the hit (on Iran) and then went into business for himself (Kuwait) which wasn't appreciated by the Big Boss in Washington. He was a toothless cat, from the point of view of the USA, but not necessarily from the point of view of Kuwait or Iran or Saudi Arabia. He was an almost toothless cat from the point of view of Israel...who might yet one day acquire one or two teeth some day if not watched carefully...and he was being watched very carefully (as well as bombed and starved for about ten years, illegally in my opinion).

To take your analogy in another direction, what would you do if your problem was not a little domestic cat in your home who sometimes bites, but a ravening tiger who lives next door and says..."Do everything exactly according to my instructions and surrender unconditionally to my will or I will kill you and eat you quicker than you can say 'Jack Robinson'."

That ravening tiger is the USA, and its attendant jackals are the UK, Australia, and one or two other countries on occasion. Never mind about Israel...they are more like a barracuda on amphetamines, not that they don't have reason to be paranoid...they most certainly do...but they are themselves about 50% to blame for that.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 10:28 PM

A bit of absolutely unbelievable news: Yale University, who has been predicting elections since 1916 on the basis of economic trends, states that Bush will win in 2004 by a larger margin than previously predicted.

I cannot believe that the American public can possibly be that callous, stupid or naive.

Link:Yale Prediction for 2004 election.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Amos
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 10:39 PM

Bloodthirsty lot, aren't they?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: katlaughing
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 10:42 PM

Unfucking believeable! Maybe they are just saying it because he went to school there!


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 10:43 PM

Like I said. We may have to get out of Dodge in the next two or three years.... Startin' to look a whole like like 1937 Germany...

I'm hearing folks on C-Span every day that remind me very much of folks who are ripe fir pickin' by the fascists. Yeah, these folks ain't got one original thought in their pea minds but, by their comments, they are perfectly ready to "follow orders"...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Strick
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 11:32 PM

No, Little Hawk, the US is more like a puffed up Bobby on his beat. "Do everything exactly according to my instructions and surrender unconditionally to my will or I will run you in quicker than you can say 'Jack Robinson'." He may take himself too seriously, even use his nightstick too quickly, but he's nothing like a tiger. You really must try to learn the difference between the two. Some day you might encounter a real tiger and you know the story of the boy who cried "wolf!". (Forgive the mixed metaphors.)

Frankly, the US is not a threat to anyone right now, we haven't the military power to take on another adventure. And, however anyone abroad might view us, we're really rather the rest of the world went away and left us alone. Isn't that funny? We're can't be both isolationists and imperialists, now can we?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 08 Nov 03 - 11:51 PM

Strick,

The notion that the USA wants to be isolationist is a little off, excuse me for saying. It needs oil, and lots of it. It needs much that is produced elsewhere. No one--since the Canadians when fighting for the British in 1812-14--has invaded the USA. (We did apologize for burning the White House down.) Saying the USA would like to be left alone by the rest of the world just ain't a fact. Saying it don't make it so.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Strick
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 01:32 AM

You mustn't forget the incursions, however slight, from Mexico in the early Teens. ;)

Clearly that's why the US had to be drug into each of the major wars in the last century. Or why so many Americans favor of withdrawing our forces from Europe and most of Asia. Regardless, the Iraq war can't be solely about oil, can it? I mean, think. If all anyone wanted was Iraqi oil, they could get it by simply removing UN sanctions. What about the fact that the oil would go to France or Russia instead of the US? Who cares? Oil is "fungible". Every barrel of oil either nation bought from Iraq would be a barrel the didn't buy from the Saudis or Kuwait or Nicargua or Venesuela. More for us either way. Why bother with war when you could get the oil with a stroke of a pen?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 01:53 AM

Strick, the US doesn't want to "get" the oil in Iraq: it wants to control it.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 01:59 AM

Maybe mid-East stabilization. No, it doesn't fly with me. The US wasn't dragged into Vietnam. Or Iraq in the 90s, or Afghanistan, or Korea, or WW 1 or WW II. I don't see how the bombing of Pearl Harbor can be construed as the US being dragged into war. And as to The War to End All Wars, everyone was dragged into that. Have a good evening, buddy.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 10:22 AM

Australian ABC TV is showing an interesting documentary about the CIA and teh secret wars thay have been waging since the end of WWII. Even including the faking of an attack on US ship that started Vietnam. There's just too many to detail here, including Guetamala, Iran, Panamana, Chile, ....

Americans ask "Why do so many in the world not like us?"

It has been said that Sept 11 was a strikeback aginst the US which had been in ferment for many years.

I don't know - I'm just an Aussie mate! ....

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 10:50 AM

The puzzle with Saddam was, if he didn't have the wepons he was said to have had, why wasn't he fully cooperative with the inspection requirements from the start, instead of dragging his feet?

And the answer that makes sense to me was that so long as he was believed still to have stocks of poison gas, that was a major factor in holding down those Iraqis who didn't like him. After all he had shown he was willing to use it against Iraqis. If, through the inspection process, it had been demonstrated that he didn't have them, there would have been a real possibility of his being overthrown.

If liberation for Iraq had really been the objective, that would have been a more promising way of it being achieved, especially with a massive military presence on the Iraq borders, as a kind of guarantee aginst there being some of those WMDs after all. It would have been easy enough to extend the "no-fly zone " to cover the whole of Iraq in the event of an uprising, which would have transformed the situation.

But, as in 1992, when a previous Bush sat on his hands while the poeople he had urged to rise against Saddam were butchered, largely from the air, an Iraq freed by its own people was not what was wanted. Such an Iraq would not have been the kind of puppet regime that was wanted. It might even decide that on balance it had more in common with Iran than with America.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Amos
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 11:51 AM

Bear in mind that he was raised in an environment more like an open bazaar than a small town with shops. The difference extends to a lot of things about how you see and treat with others. The bazaar mindset is geared around face-to-face adversarial negotiation. One may lie, exaggerate, beat one's chest or threaten in order to win a bettrer position in the bargain. Shop keepers, on the other hand, find better long term leverage in putting known process on everything and not doing much in the way of negotiations on the shop floor. It is less anchored to their egos.

I doubt Iraq would slide over to an Iranian alliance.

But I have been wrong before, IIRC....


A


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 12:11 PM

Move one step up in the business food chain from the shop floor, and that "bazaar mindset" is more or less how things are done in our parts of the world as well. And the same goes for politics and diplomacy and negotiating.

Lying, cheating, bullying, blackmail, pretending to break off negotiations, flying into a rage... Nothing alien about any of those.

The war with Iran was artificially induced by Saddam's regime, encouraged by the USA and its friends. An alliance between Iraq and Iran would make sense for both countries, and for the rest of us as well. And it would be the last thing that the Al Qaida version of Islamism would wish to see.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 01:19 PM

"Dragged" into wars, Strick, "dragged". Drugs are things you take to treat illnesses or get high.

I understand that what you have described the USA as being (isolationist) is how you and many other ordinary Americans feel about the USA, but it's not how the rest of the world feels. The rest of the world sees the USA as the most interventionist and aggressive major power in recent history, and is very nervous indeed about it.

You're right that the USA doesn't have enough troops (foot soldiers, I mean) to take on another adventure...or to even stabilize Iraq effectively. That's true. But that doesn't stop the fools running your government from trying to bit off more than they can chew anyway.

Karl Rove, chief advisor to Mr Bush, decided some time ago that fighting short, decisive wars in small places was a good way to go, and would keep Mr Bush popular long enough to win the next election...and winning appears to be all that matters to Karl Rove. He has no moral stand on anything, but he plays to win.

Whether he turns out to be right about the next election remains to be seen. I think he may also have bitten off more than he can chew with the Afghan-Iraqui adventure.

Iraq did not attack the WTC, any more than the Spaniards blew up the Maine. Handy excuses result in "splendid little wars", but this one may not be so splendid in the long run. The Mexican incursions you mention were done by Pancho Villa, who cleverly enticed the USA into invading and attacking HIS bitter enemies in Mexico. The Americans went all the way to Mexico City and made life miserable for Villa's revolutionary opponents, but never got near Villa himself. How ironical. He even looked a lot like Saddam... :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Amos
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 01:41 PM

But, LH, what does such a person actually win, finally?

A


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 01:54 PM

Nothing good, Amos.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 02:17 PM

Thanks McGrath... I like you and your well considered point of view.

IMHO, the UN is only as impotent as the US makes it, by choosing to be a cooperative member and listening carefully to other countries the US would put a glorious power into the democratic potential of the international community... unpalatable indeed to the dark forces of US leadership as this carries with it a massive responsibility towards the welfare of the Second and Third world that Multinationals so ardently despise... So long as we remain aloof to the welfare of the rest of the world, and mistakenly persue our immediate and self serving ends to the exclusion of peace and general worldwide satisfaction, apparently our government can justify any covert action it chooses, chiefly because it has maintained itself as an 'outsider', and is 'outside' the domain of international law ...and religious integrity. This is an obvious mistake.

It may be that Saddam has been a puppet throughout his entire regime... who knows...

But an opinion, for what it's worth, is this...
That until the US bucks up, and becomes a legitimate worldwide colleague, attending to the wellbeing and the integrity of the entire world community in a genuinely benign and up front fashion... we will be condemned to live in the fear of underworld military activity and retribution... the world of outlaws... Which we must first transcend, and then rise above...

And it is 'We the People' who must insist on this... or it just won't happen.ttr


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 02:27 PM

Oops! ...another likkle problem wi' the cookie monster...


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Strick
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 03:16 PM

"'Dragged' into wars, Strick, 'dragged'. Drugs are things you take to treat illnesses or get high."

Naw, we was drugged in as far as it goes in Texas.

I wasn't aware that the feelings of the whole world are so apparent in Canada where you are(?). Nor that those feelings are shared in the 30 nations or so that participated in the Iraqi war. I know Central Europe doesn't count in some minds, but they know better than to think the US is a tiger. They've seen a couple up close.

As for the rest of Europe, anyone who sincerely feels the US is a threat to peace there really is on drugs. Or they like to marr their sleep with scary fairy tales.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 03:25 PM

Strickly speaking: Maybe youse was drug and maybe youse weren't drug. Canada chose NOT to participate in the most recent Iraq effort. We did in the 1990 effort. That one had UN sanction, this one didn't. Don't get your nose outta joint, Strick. I am not putting down the people of the USA. Your foreign policy sucks. Even you have to be able to see that. And Texas musta known this type of government might arise. Texas IS a republic, and I think it has reserved the right to 'leave' the United States if it so chooses. Don't try the old saw on me about how the US has been suckered into everyone else's wars. Jaysus, the US started a gang of them. There is much to admire about democracies. I happen to think your country is becoming less and less democratic every day. So why don't you and I simply agree to disagree, OK? Bye for now.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 05:39 PM

Nor that those feelings are shared in the 30 nations or so that participated in the Iraqi war.

Don't go imagining, Strick, that there was popular support in those countries for the war. Opinion polls pretty consistently showed that there wasn't. However the governments concerned decided that it was more important to keep in favour with Washington than with their own people.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 06:05 PM

Okay, if people are "drug" in Texas it's all right with me, Strick. :-) We've got slang here too, eh?

Of the governmenst which did willingly assist in the recent war against Iraq only ONE of them had majority support from its populace...the USA. The majority of people were opposed in the others. Spain is a spectacular example of that, where a huge majority opposed assisting in that war, but the government went ahead anyway. That's not democracy, that's a payoff is what it is... The same thing almost happened in Turkey, but the populace was so heavily opposed to joining the war that the Turkish government didn't dare to, despite being under tremendous pressure from the USA to do so. They were between what you call a rock and a hard place.

Therefore, I submit that the situation in Canada was similar to that in the rest of the world, and our government had the guts to say "no" to active participation in an illegal war of aggression which was supported by neither the UN or Canada.

Yes, I am well aware that the Soviet Union was for some time an even more dangerous "ravening tiger" for its nearer neighbours than the USA. China was another, from Vietnam's and India's point of view. Israel is another, from certain people's point of view...but it all depends what side of the fence one is born on, doesn't it?

If you had been born Palestinian or Chinese or whatever, you'd probably see it differently.

As would I. In any case, I still think virtually all wars are needless, but once they start they keep rolling on their own momentum and there's not much people can do until the shooting stops.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 09 Nov 03 - 09:13 PM

Yo, Strick;

Would you mind listing the 30 nations and possibly on just how involved they were in the invasion of Iraq?

Ahhh, speaking of Texas. Is that the same joint that President Polk snet troops to, ahhhh, when it was Mexico, and when the Mexicans resisted, used it as an excuse to go to war with Mexico saying that the US troops had been attacked?

Ahhhh, and no, Iraq wasn't just about oil. It was:

1. A distraction to takes folks attention away from the failed "War on Trrorism" in Afganistan where now 90% plus of the country is under Taloiban and warlord rule...

2. Part of a big plan by Richard Pearle and Paul Wolfowitz that goes back to at least 1992 where the US occupies Iraq for stategic reasons.

3. Payback to the corporations that have pumped millions of bucks into the Bush campaigne who profit from war.

4. A logical extension of a joke of an energy policy that was secretly crafted by Dick Cheney and 42 oil men.

5. Business as usual for the Republican Party in keeping a boogie man de joir' on folks minds to keep nationalism and superpatriotism alive and well. Incidently, this is a carry over from stategies of the former Nazis that were broght into the Republican Party in the late 40's. Hitler profected it and it is still alive and well and living right here in the US, along with the likes of his buddy Laszlo Pasztor.

6..........

7...........

8..................

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 12:18 AM

Yes, Hermann Goering said at the Nuremberg trials that although no population is ever eager to go to war, it is the job of their leaders to make such decisions for them, and then to persuade the populace to support the war by convincing them that:

1. their country is already under dire threat or actual attack by the supposed enemy

2. the enemy is irredeemably evil and is committing atrocities on humanity

3. the defeat of this enemy will be beneficial to freedom, justice, and mankind generally...

Ho hum. Same old BS used by every aggressor.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 04:56 AM

Hmmm Bobert,

That doco I mentioned on the CIA above demonstrated that many Nazi war criminals were protected and brought to the USA to help foound the CIA... No wonder ideas leaked...

:-)


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 09:02 AM

Yup, and we all should keep in mind Laszlo Pasztor. Thie former Nazi founded the imfamous right wing Hertiage Council of the Republican Party... Hmmmm...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 11:15 AM

Oh it's clear that the thing about the US never starting a war is a myth we built up after Pearl Harbor to vilify the Japanese. We've been the aggressor or resorted to trumpted up provocations in numerous wars, mostly in the Western Hemisphere. That doesn't change the fact that the US lacks that central characteristic necessary to make it a real tiger: the urge to make any territorial gains permanent. Central Europe's seen some real tigers, the USSR certainly, but also Nazi Germany, Austria/Hungary, Turkey, France, heck even Poland and Sweden. The US just doesn't have what it takes. We'd mostly rather sort things out and go home.

But I have to admit you guys are clever. Citing Nazi propaganda techniques and then using them to vilify the people you disagree with all in a couple of posts. It's nice to have a boogey man even if you have to create one. So much simplier than looking into the deeper issues. :D

BTW, this report which seems to contradict what you say was published in Slate last week. Maybe those corporations who contributed to Bush aren't getting what they paid for.

Fables of the Reconstruction


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 11:45 AM

Territorial gains aren't in themselves that significant. For the USSR the main thing was having countries under control. There was no need to incorporate the satellite states intomthe Soviet Union. And that was how the USA has always preferred to arrange things also, in Latin America especially.

Strictly speaking, of course, the entire USA is in itself a relatively recent "permanent territoral gain".


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 12:13 PM

As are Canada and Australia who were founded and grew in essentially the same fashion at approximately the same time. Wonder what we three countries have in common?

Yes, the US has traditionally managed South America and the Caribbean as US territories. The Monroe Doctrine had the silent "except for us" tacked on the end. And Lord knows we kept the Shah in power in a most immoral way and no need to speak of the Saudis quite independent of the party in power or the British setting them up in power in the first place. Isn't "Sphere of Influence" a British term? Churchill, right? He certainly knew what Stalin was up to. The US tried to reject the idea in our idealism after WW II, but we weren't very successful at it.

Still, the US is earnest in wanting stability in the region and a quick trip home. No one, domestic or international, would tolerate Iraq as the 51st state. And we're quite happy to pay for the oil we get even if we have to compete with the French and Russians to get it. That's just ordinary business as usual.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 12:32 PM

Strick,

In my mind, the USA is one of the greatest all-time countries that ever existed. Period. I see much to admire about its geography, people and definitely music. However, I do think your present political leaders are being hijacked by BIG business and a power elite. I think you should be concerned about that, too. We all know that shit happens. But it's happening more and more lately, and that worries me. The 'business as usual' thing you mentioned isn't so. That is being orchestrated by multi-nationals and their friends. Don't you see that?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,petr
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 02:32 PM

it isnt Goering that came up with propaganda,
since the beginnings of civilization there have been a number
of ways of controlling a population - through armed power and codified laws, but also through 'educating' the population - which was done by both the ruling political and religious elite.

the US had to 'sell' the war to its population and a number of
factors were needed to convince the people- 1. that there was an imminent threat (ie. wmds), 2. that it could be quickly won with low US casualties (which was one of the main reasons the Vietnam war was lost) as well as minimal Iraqi civilian casualties (we dont actually know how many Iraqi civilians died since the US has deliberately chosen not to publicize the numbers, but so-called smart weapons made it possible to minimize bombing damage)
and finally, 3. that there was an evil ruler who tortured and slaughtered his own people - and built palaces while his own people starved.

plus there was still the residual effect of the 911 terrorist strike - even though there have been no proven links between Saddam and AlQaeda it was the perfect time to go after Saddam.

those were the 'public reasons' but what were the real reasons?
if it wasnt really necessary? Obviously it has been a stated policy that control/influence in the oil producing region of the Middle East is key to continuing US hegemony, plus the fact the US was keen to distance itself from Saudi Arabia, and remove one of the key reasons
that Osama Bin laden gave for attacking the US, that foreign troops, including women, were on holy Saudi soil. Not to mention the fact that distancing itself from the Saudi Police state, and establishing
a new base (ie. Iraq) in the area - were also key reasons..
lets face it if the principal export of Iraq was figs we wouldnt have this discussion (much less this war).
But another possible real reason is to establish some kind of democracy in the middle east to serve as an example. Now this may just be an infantile fantasy on the part of the US administration, but it does seem to be one of the most plausible reasons for the war.

they certainly havent succeeded in proving the wmds, and alqaeda link,
nor captured Saddam. But they did quickly win with few casualties,
and not to belittle the deaths of the occupation troops - when you think about the number of casualties in previous wars - a million Russian soldiers died in liberating Czechoslovakia in WWII, a couple hundred casualties is incredibly small number.
and though US troops are being attacked and killed on a daily basis
there really isnt a huge or well organized opposition.

Kalashnikovs are like toasters over there, everybody has one, there are over 5million people in Baghdad, and yet when there was supposedly a call from the former Baathist resistance for an uprising
nothing happened.

I doubt the US will pull out quickly McGrath, I think they will stick around to make sure the job is done. The low level insurgency right now will be more difficult over time, when the leaders are captured
and a larger trained IRaqi military and police is in place.
lets face it the reporters like a story, but with a 100,000+ US occupation force a few attacks arent much. The more effective attacks are on the international aid organizations, and attempts to draw the shiite majority into a civil war (which so far has failed even with the assassination of a major religious leader).

I think by next year things will have stabilized, mainly because the Iraqi people dont want to go back to the former regime. I also think
Bush will lose the next election to Clark, as the US public is starting to question some of the reasons for the war, and its hard for Bush to attack CLarks patriotism, having been seriously injured in Vietname while Bush sat out the war in a scout camp.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 03:56 PM

Strick: Of course the USA wouldn't want Iraq as a 51st state, any more than it wants Mexico or Cuba. Or any more than the USSR wanted Poland or Hungary inside the Soviet Union. Annexation and amalgamation involves all kinds of complications, and just isn't necessary.

And yes, of course Canada and Australia are made up of "permanent territorial gains" in the same way as the United States is, and in the same way as Russia very largely is. And of course the very term "sphere of influence" is the heart of what Empires are all about, and who else but the English would coin a phrase like that? (Unless it was the French, maybe.)

The thing is, there are all sorts of different types of empires, and quite often they don't actually involve direct annexation. Most of the British Empire was made up of protectorates, an analogous term to satellite and more or less what I imagine has been envisaged for Iraq in what might not call itself the American Empire, but pretty clearly bids fair to be one, it seems to me.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 04:07 PM

The purpose of a military is to defend and aggress. (I don't know if aggress is a word, but even if it wasn't, it is now.) As McG of H so aptly pointed out, economic warfare supported by a military presence is a mighty powerful reminder to everyone that the Golden Rule is at work in our world. He who has the gold makes the rules. Clauswitz was clear that a purpose of the military is to both protect and project a country's foreign policy. The days of Gunboat Diplomacy are not over.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 04:19 PM

I see your point McGrath. You think that Iraq could wind up as US pawns like Germany or Japan after the US occupation post WW II? No, that's not right. More like Saudi Arabia after Gulf War I? No, wait, the US has pulled out of there and we're back to the old "I'll scratch your back..." arrangement we've had for years there.

What exactly did you have in mind?

brucie, I do see it differently. The multinationals are only one part of a political puzzle, and not always the strongest or most influential part. Of course, that's partially because I world for a large international company and realize that nothing's as monolithic or effective as conspiracy theories make them out to be. Then too, I voted against Dubya in 1978, so I've known him longer than most. He really is a boy scout and believes most of this stuff. Big business is a factor, but so are a lot of other countervaling influences.

I do agree with you on one thing entirely. Gunboat Diplomacy will be with us always, at least until boats are no longer militarily significant and we use something else (F16s?). On the other hand, intimidating a country is not the same thing as annexing them.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 05:04 PM

The USA has not been much after literal territorial gains since the end of World War II...nor have most other developed countries, because offical colonization is no longer politically acceptable in the post World War II world. Its unacceptability was one of the things that eventually brought down the Warsaw Pact. What the USA seeks is economic control of key geographical areas, client governments that do what they are told (unlike Castro, for example), and military bases in handy places (like Guantanamo Bay or the Middle East or Japan or etc...).

Imperialism is different now than it was in the colonial times. It is generally accomplished behind the outer political facade instead of out in the open...by controlling the purse strings and the firepower. Those who do not cooperate are gotten out of power by bribery, economic pressure, murder, military coup, or outright full scale invasion...whatever works. Vietnam was a case where some or all those tactics finally failed. Cuba was another. Castro went to the USA following his successful revolution in 1959, expecting friendhip, support, and assistance from the "land of the free" (whose own war of independence from Britain he deeply admired). He got a big surprise. The US government wouldn't even talk to him. Then he went to the Russians, who were the only other game in town at the time.

Now Canada, for example, is technically independent but is an economic colony of the USA. Every Canadian knows that, and we can do nothing about it.

Fortunately, life has remained pretty nice in Canada anyway. Other places have not been so fortunate. As for Castro, he has survived, and that is a veritable miracle! Talk about having nine lives... I've been to Cuba, and I admire their spirit of independence very very much, though being under siege for 40+ years has cost them a great deal.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 05:27 PM

Strick,

You make some good points. I do understand that it ain't all that simple. However, I do not underplay the role of business interests in the present American political structure. Groups like MJ 12 do concern me. Power elites concern me. And as to Gunboat Diplomacy, maybe the HAARP Project will replace both boats and guns. You have yourself a good day, Strick. I do enjoy the way you write, even if I don't always agree with your content. You argue well from your view of things.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 06:02 PM

Little Hawk, Canada may be an economic pawn of the US, but you've more than made up for it by exporting Canadians to dominate the US entertainment media. I don't think either situation is intentional. Just a natural byproduct of living next to the world's largest economy. That's not the cause in the Caribbean where the US uses those islands as cover for the soft underbelly of the Gulf coast. There we don't tolerate much trouble (we've invade Canada what, three times and Haiti 7, for instance).

The US has a long tradition of not seeking territorial gains outside the continental US (even there we bought large chunks of land). We didn't keep part of China after the Boxer Rebellion. We tried to give the Philipines back a couple of times, but they weren't ready for it until after WW II. We'd free Puerto Rico (despite the Caribbean thing) if they'd make up their minds which way to go. I must point out that, while the US can be a diplomatic bully, it doesn't often use the kind of power, economic or military, it could. Japan had no compunction about shredding our economy in the 80s, Germany stood up to us this year on Iraq (and will suffer very little if anything for it) and France is, well, France. As far as evil empires go, we're a little too soft to be taken too seriously. What exactly are folks afraid of?

I do regret the damage the Iraq war's done to the Anglo Alliance, I admit.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 06:38 PM

"What exactly are folks afraid of?"

As you say, Strick, America has tended to keep the heavy-handed stuff for places that it has decided are within its sphere of influence. However it seems very posssible, to say the least, that with modern speed of communication and so forth that sphere of influence, which it sees iitself as needing to control for its own safteyty is going to be a great deal larger, to include places of strategic importance for raw materials, and places which could conceivably imply a threat.

And that historically is how extended empires have grown - not so much through calculated expansionism (leaving aside cases like the USA expanding across America, or Russia expanding across Asia), but rather through a need to extend "defensively". Defending trade routes, preemptive attacks on potential enemies, establishing secure forward bases and so forth.

And unfortunately that "Project for a New American Cenbtury" was not a forgery, and the people who are most closely associated with it appear to be in the driving seat.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 07:03 PM

The difference with US-Canada relations is this: You are our largest trading 'partner'. The NAFTA agreement was a sellout by the then Conservative government (Canadian Conservatives are somewhat like American Republicans). When we declined to go fight along side troops in the present Iraq war, our economy was damaged. By the US. It was punitive.

It made no nevermind to Bush and the crew that we had troops in Afghanistan, that we took losses as well. (Hell, loyalty. One American general did a book on the Gulf War. He listed the countries that were part of the coalition forces. Didn't mention Canada.) What mattered was that we weren't dancing to his tune. It has damaged the relationship between the countries, and I think it will be a difficult 'rent in the fabric of our friendship' to repair.

I understand that trade is trade. This time, a sovereign country's refusal to participate in a non-UN sanctioned war resulted in some serious slaps on the old economic peepee. Don't think your neighbours to the north are not aware of what happened and why. One friggin' cow that likely came from the US to begin with caused a massive retaliation to the Canadian beef industry. You don't really think that was about meat, do you? No sir. We have been friendly in the past, and we have usually had very good relations with the US. Those days is gone from my perspective. It may be something fundamental to the Canadian character: we don't like being told what to do! Hell, we don't even like it when OUR government tries to tell us what to do. And when they do, half of us don't listen, anyway (and the other half's too cold to hear).


I don't think the the USA is the evil empire, Strick. I do think it has some evil people hijacking its government. Wish it wasn't so.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 07:07 PM

Perhaps, McGrath, but there are two important counterweights to those bozos. First, the US is really not as invincible as some would like to believe. There are armies that are as technologically advanced, if not more so (Britain, Germany, potentially China) if not as large or equiped for air warfare.   Second, our forces are sincerely not structured to do what that plan asked for. Our professional army is too small for the plan. Heck, we're calling up reserves again just for a 3rd world country like Iraq.

That's what's called a non-repeatable event in US political terms. Call up reserves, ordinary citizens, once too often and this democracy will turn on you no matter how popular you started out to be. It would take a Pearl Harbor-9/11 scale event WITH a clear smoking gun for the American people to tolerate another war and the calling up of even more reserves under Bush. Bush would never get another authorization under the Wars Powers Act from Congress without that. You only get one unprovoked war like Iraq.

So mark my words. News that the carriers are moving toward yet another target without clear political consensus would start whispers of impeachment even amoung Republicans. Cold comfort for you since I doubt you believe it, but it's true.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 07:22 PM

I'm still waiting for any reasonable answer to the basic question of why, if Saddam's removal was so important, then why didn't the US remove him rather than kill tens upons thousands of *non-Saddams* and ended up entrenched in a terribly destabilzed Iraq pushing, of all things, ahhhh, democracy...

And with democracy, at best a joke in the US, how can it be taught to people by people who don't have a clue about it? Totally unrealistic. And the sad thing? Everyone knows it....

And, Strick, I didn't mean to play the "N" (as in Nazi) card as a way of shifting the discussion away from the focus of this thread. But looking around at what is going down in America, it is valuable to refresh our perspectives of the facsist movement of the 30's and compare things that were going on then to things going on in the US today...

And yeah, the US would rather not be seen as occupiers in countries that it clearly controls...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 07:34 PM

In fact, our government passed a law making the use of imperial measure verboten in Canada. It was the Metric Conversion Act passed in 1976 or 1977. Thirty years later, common folks still use imperial--that is, inches, feet, yards, and miles. I meant it when I said we don't like being told what to do. We're lots like Americans in that regard. Sorry, just had to get that off my chest. Feel much better now, thank you all.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 07:35 PM

One way empires have dealt with that kind of problen is to employ other people to do the fighting. The number of British troops in India was only a fraction of the Indian Army. The proportion of actual Romans in the legions kept on reducing till they ceased to be Roman in any sense except the crucial ones of armaments and tactics

I hope you're right, Strick, and that it won't pan out the Imperial America route. The trouble is, the situation we're in now is radically different from any that's existed previously. The whole world is in a sense in the palm of a single superpower, and the superpower appears to be in the hands of some dangerously deluded people with a remarkably effective privatised propaganda machine acting on their behalf.

And against that hope has to rest on the possibility that enough ordonary Americans will see through the propaganda, and effect regime change in their own country.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 08:17 PM

Funny, NAFTA was considered a sellout here in the US, too. We're not aware of any punitive actions being taken against Canada. The way the dollar has declined in value, I'm not surprise that we're not importing as much as we did (the trade deficit improved last month along with other economic numbers). What's being reported in Canada?

Hell, Bobert, let us know where Saddam is and most of the the Iraqis would gladly do him in. He isn't still alive because of a lack of trying.

I don't think that NATO or the Anglo Alliance constitute fighting through client states or replacing the legions with barbarians, do you McGrath? Be patient and glad nothing else can happen while we're tied down in Iraq. As for regime change, who knows. You should be aware that Americans tend to vote for incumbents when the economy's good and the US economy appears to have turned the corner. What's most likely to happen is that Bush will win again in a squeaker and spend most of his second term too politically weak to do much of anything.

Not that I know anything, of course.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 08:39 PM

Well, other than the continuing soft wood lumber dispute, not a heckuva lot. The American government refusal to import Canadian beef, even after testing to prove it wasn't infected with mad cow disease didn't prevent the US from refusing to import it. It came so close on the heels of the Canadian refusal to participate in the Iraq war that lots of people put two and twelve together. I might add here that not all Canadians were happy with our government's decision not to go to war. Chretien took some heat over that. I think Hussein should have been given a $.25 headache. Too bad that so many kids are being killed because of the neglect of that option. I am not of the opinion that the US is a country run amuk. I do hold the opinion that all is not right in Washington. Of course, it is not all right in Ottawa, either.

I know you are aware of economics, but in this case, I don't really think that's a help. We seem to be dealing with perceptions, and economic indicators will not be much help with that. Back to you, my friend.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 08:48 PM

The report I heard was that it was mainly Japan that was taking a hard line stance, refusing to have anything to do with Canadian beef and that the US were not importing it so as not to endanger their beef export contracts to Japan.

The whole thing reminded me of a few years ago, when Canada refused any imports of British beef during that "Mad Cow" scare. I'm not saying any of it was fair or unfair.... just that shit happens.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 08:58 PM

That it does, Cluin. We went through similar stuff with anthrax (destroyed a number of herds in Alberta) a few years back. I'm aware that countries protect their industries, and I understand that. I was just talking about Canadian perceptions.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Cluin
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 09:09 PM

That WAS my Canadian perception, brucie.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 09:12 PM

Touchee.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 11:22 PM

I believe the personal option for Saddam was explored in great detail and he was just too slippery. Remember he had his own son-in-laws executed and there's the little tape they showed of him having a list of names read out in the Iraqi parliment and causing his closest supporters to "disappear". He was not an easy target.

Sorry, but my recollection of the soft wood lumber situation was that it began long before the Iraq war issue. And being from cattle country, dude, you don't take any chances with any contagious cattle diseases. We quarantine fast and put herds down down even faster and we're not even mad at anyone.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 11:31 PM

I hear that! I spent 9 years in cattle country.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 11:36 PM

Yo, Strick:

Saddam is alive an well and livin' in Donnie Rumsfeld's basement, along with Osama bin Lsden...

Hey, boogie-men are hard to come by...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 10 Nov 03 - 11:50 PM

It's certainly good to have easily recognizable ones. Wag the Dog can take to long if you have to make new ones.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 12:49 AM

Who was that big mouth US Idiot claiming that Saddam & his henchman who boasted to the Iraquis "Bring it on!" US casualities have increased markedly since then...

Robin


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 06:13 AM

Yes, I think at present England is pretty close to being a client state.

When France and Germany actually declined to follow orders and collude in cutting short the inspection process and moving on to war, the reaction by the USA indicated that this was seen as a kind of mutiny by people who ought to have known their place. "How dare these French threaten to obstruct our will by using their veto?" - and that from a country which uses its own veto at the drop of a a hat.

As I said, I very much hope that Strick's optimistic feelings about all this are born out in practice.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 07:59 AM

yes McG, and cuts funding to UN programs at the drop of a hat, such as family planning, when it deigns to pay its dues at all...


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 11:14 AM

Foolestroupe:

I guess you could say that the Iraqi resistence movement is followin' orders by doing jus' what Bush has suggested they do: Bring it on...

Bush thinks its like a college football game... Maybe that's why in all of his fund raising he hasn't found time to attend one funeral of memorial service of a fallen US service man or woman... Oh yeah, he don't like hanging with the working class... Silly me...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 12:32 PM

No, be fair, that's because it'd be the wrong type of photo opportunity. As opposed to making a political spech at a Remembrance Day (Veterans' Day) parade, which symbolically links this war to more readily justifiable conflicts, such as the war against the Nazis.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 01:14 PM

Your viewpoint is interesting, Strick, and I'm enjoying reading it.

Canadians also tend to vote in incumbents when the economy is good and kick them out when it's bad. I don't know if the Bush administration decided to pull some strings and drive down the value of the US dollar...or if they just got lucky...but it has been a big help to them that the dollar fell.

It's been hard on Canada, because people are now tending to buy American goods if they can, since our money has gone up 15% against the American dollar in the last few months. It's hurt out balance of trade and taken a big chunk out of, for instance, my profits, because I sell to American customers. I am philosophical about it, and not worried, that's just the way it goes...and there's still enough money coming in okay anyway.

From the point of view of balance of trade, there is nothing better for a country than if their currency gets weaker on the foreign exchange...a weak dollar means lots of happy customers overseas, while domestically it doesn't make a whole lot of difference unless you are purchasing imported goods.

I am dreaming of the day the Canadian dollar weakens again. :-) It used to be worth 66 cents American, now it's worth 75 cents American. On the other hand, it's great if I want to buy hobby kits from the USA...and I do.

Those who are wise put away extra cash when times are good, and are prepared to ride out the lean times.

I hope you are right that the USA cannot take on another war at this point, and I think you may be.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Wolfgang
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 02:23 PM

Back to the questions I was askin' Teribus, et al, before the invasion. If Saddam was (or is) such a bad man, why not just assasinate him, rather tham drop over 30,000 bombs and fire millions and millions of artillery, tank and small arm rounds at Iraqi's that, ahhhh, weren't Saddam????

Why is this such a difficult qiestion to get a straght answer to???...
(Bobert)

I have tried hard but without success, Bobert, to find you asking that question before the invasion.

The only remotely similar remark from you on that theme before the invasion I have found was this response to 'Casual Observer' when he was proposing assassination:

As for the last assasination by the US, if I am not mistaken, was President Diem of South Vietmen and well, history does not bode well that assasination changes the events that follow.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Ebbie
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 02:50 PM

I'm curious and would like to propose two questions to you Canadians: #1. If you could snap your fingers, just like that, which country of the world would you choose to have as your neighbor? And #2, Why?
What qualities would you like (and not like) in your neighbor?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 03:45 PM

Denmark. They are friendly, harmless, and make great pastries.

Cuba. Nice beaches, cheap prices, friendly people, lovely weather.

Spain. Similar reasons to Cuba...sort of. Also lots of neat old architecture and historical sites.

Norway. See Denmark.

Iceland. Hot springs and good fishing.

Japan. Best hobby kits in the world.

Hawaii. Beautiful place to visit at any time.

Australia. Kangaroos and other neat animals.

France. Sophisticated cafe scene....on the other hand, it could lead to more French-English hassles and that would be a real pain!

Holland. Very liberal place and good-humoured too.

British Isles. Could visit Oakley with relative ease and maybe even get to meet Penelope Rutledge.

Ireland...as long as Belfast wasn't on the border.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 05:10 PM

I like the American people. We share : a language (mostly); the longest undefended border in the world; Joni Mitchell and Michael J Fox; some Great Lakes; Lake Champlain; weather; hockey and baseball leagues. The people are much like us in their cultures and dress. We are basically ignorant of each other's geography, and we're both disappointed that Shania Twain has decided to live in Switzerland. So, I'd say the United States of America.

My second choice would be Britain with Erin still attached. We are divided by a common language, but the music is great, as is the literature. I don't have a clue about British humour, and I would hope that they keep the Monarchy as a LOCAL curiousity. Someone on another thread told me that rugby has rules. I would then presume that cricket does, too. The fox hunting has to go and I'd insist that Scotland be given its freedom. (My name IS Bruce Murdoch!) So, I'd say Great Britain.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 05:26 PM

I wouldn't really want to be next door to China. They can be worrisome at times. I wouldn't want to be on the borders of India and Pakistan. The USA is also worrisome at times, but in a different way, and it's convenient to be next door to for a great many reasons, too many to list here.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 05:30 PM

Atlantis, Lemuria, Mu, Pellucidar, Cimmeria, Oz... yeah, that's it, Australia!

Actually, I like living next to the States too, for all the reasons brucie touched on above. But I'm especially happy to live next to the people of Michigan. I like Yoopers.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 05:35 PM

Yo Wolfgang,

I'm not too sure why the timing of my question is of any real importance here. Prior to the invasion I was arguing strenulously aginst the invasion. I was offering Saudi Porpaosals (mitchell Proposals) with the hope that the US would not be stupid enough to acrually invade Iarq... Since you have been thumbing through my prewar posts, I think you will find that consistent...

Then comes the stupid invasion of Iraq!

And the present quagmire...

And like anyone else, the landscape has changed and we all know more and most are now second guessing the wisdom of the invasion.

With that said, I don't find it an unreasonable question to ask why Saddam wasn't just simple assasinated rather than killing so many Iraqis that we're Saddam and throwing the region into sinstability.

And I have asked the question before and I'm still not getting anwswers unless you think asking me questions about when I first posed the question is an answer. If so, please elaborate on your answer.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 05:46 PM

"First catch your hare" as Mrs Beeton put it. And how'd they'd ever know they'd got the real one?

No the simpler thing would have been to announce publicy, so that the Iraqi people could hear it "We can now asure you that the bastard hasn't got any poison gas. And if he puts any helicopters into the air, we'll promptly shoot them down." And then sit back, and get ready to make friends with a fairly radical, but popular regime, made up of Iraqis who hated Saddam, but didn't trust outsiders too much either.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 06:13 PM

Saddam Hussein should have been given a double tap 13 years ago. He gassed his own people. Why be nice with the sonuvabitch? I agree with Bobert. Fair-shmair.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Cluin
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 06:39 PM

Agreed. 13 years ago, they might have been able to find him too.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 07:34 PM

Heck, Dan Rather of CBS sat 4 feet from Saddam just a month before the invasion....

And now that the US/UK has killed tens upomn thousands of *other Iraqis* we're hearing "Well, Saddam isn't in power anymore." Yeah, maybe and maybe not. Someone is organizing and funding the resistence movement in Iraq...

Meanwhile, back at the Texas ranch, the US has absolutley squndered it's best opportunity since WWII to come out as heros and now is viewed as a bunch of crooks and bullies...

I can't think of any *good* argument for what the US has done but would certainly welcome one of the prewar hawks to step to the podium and try, yet again, to explain their case.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 09:33 PM

Bobert,

I think you pose a tough thing for a prewar hawk to do. The Gulf War had UN sanction. The limits (objectives) of that war were clear: Free Kuwait. It's too bad that Stormin' Norman wasn't allowed to take Baghdad then. If he had been allowed to (and he could have), the US/Brits/etc wouldn't have to be doing it now. The problem, as I see it, is that the objectives of the Iraq War have never been clear. It has been a kinda 'we know you have WMDs and we are gonna look for them' kinda thing. There has been no 'moral' sense to this war. That should have been established prior to the invasion. Anyone who thinks Iraq didn't have WMD ain't thinking too clearly. Hussein had used them years earlier, and he certainly had the time to move them before the allies got into Iraq. Kinda like the police saying I know you have some grass in your house and I'm coming over in a few days to look for it. I strongly suspect it would be gone by the time the police got there. DOH!

The political and religious differences between the Shiites and Sunnis; the Kurds to the north who inhabit Turkey, Iraq and Iran--basically a people without a country; the interplay of alliances in the middle East have certainly given rise to a real hot potato. When the Romans asked, "Cui bono?", they really wanted to know. The allied powers that have got themselves embroiled in Iraq have yet to answer that old question. The recent spate of 'let's get in there and straighten this stuff out' is beginning to show its weakness. Afghanistan ate the Russians during their 7-8 (?) years there. It is doing the same to Yanks, Brits and Canucks. Yes, it's a good thing the Taliban has been ousted, but there should have been a new 'Caesar' waiting in the wings. Much the same can be said of Iraq.

(As a parenthetical statement, I am really pissed at the American reaction to Canada when we said we would not participate. We had a few ships of war stationed in the Persian Gulf, and about 2,000 troops in Afghanistan. We are not a war-like nation, despite having some of the better special warfare troops in the world, and some excellent light infantry. We are not rich enough to be all that powerful. Besides, we tend to be really good at peacekeeping--at least when there's some of that to keep.) Having said that, the Iraq 'incursion' has not had a clear objective. Taking down a despicable bastard is fairly easy; replacing that bastard with someone who ain't is another problem. And that's the problem in both Afghanistan AND Iraq.

I had written--e-mailed--your government when North Korea was making nasty noises with its nuclear arsenal. I suggested that maybe the US could lend about the same number of nuclear weapons to South Korea, and let North Korea know it intended to do so. For all its screwups, I trust the people of the United States to do the right thing more often than not. I have some serious doubts about extending that trust to the present government of the USA. Maybe the next election will get the remnants of MJ 12 out of Washington, and maybe then the world can rest somewhat easier. Some thoughts from your buddy in Alberta.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 10:29 PM

brucie,

Well, sniff, Iz all choked up! What can I say? Yeah, it is imparative to get the current guys out... They represent facism. You know, nationalism, superpatriotism, loss of liberty... Consolidation of power to the executive branch............ All the stuff that Hitler did in the mid 30's......

I've been a Greenie fir the last 2 decades, brucie, but given the very dangerous folks who have highjacked the US, and hopefull that they have not manipulated the election process mush more tha in 2000, I'll be workin' for whatever Dem get the nomination.

The US is at a crossroads an d if we dopn't get Bush out then the US will *never*, *ever* have a chance at democracy.

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 10:30 PM

I'm with you on that one, brother.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 10:41 PM

I heard on the news last night that the US is considering reinstating the draft.

I also read that university students are over 60% pro-Republican (Go figure!)

Now, put those two facts together, and wave bye-bye to Bush in 2004.
I hope.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 10:52 PM

The current student body doesn't have a clue. I know 'cause I know lots of 'em.... But, poor souls, they have different interests... Like paying fir tuition...

These folks are ripe fir pickin' since they really don't know whats going down... But they are receptive to "facts" which bodes poorly fir Bush...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 10:53 PM

In the words of the Brooklyn Dodgers fan, "Say it ain't so, Joe."


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 11:14 PM

Ha! I hope they are stupid enough to try and reinstate the draft. That will mobilize American public opinion against these foreign wars very effectively indeed.

brucie - Actually, I always considered the WMD argument to be a completely specious one. Not because the Iraquis necessarily didn't have any WMD's....no, not because of that at all, but because of this:

In my opinion any country has a sovereign right to possess its own WMD's if any other country does...it simply does not have a right to USE them on somebody in an unprovoked attack.

If you don't think so, then you must subscribe to the notion that certain countries have greater inalienable rights of self-determination than others do. This is the same as saying that certain people have greater inalienable rights than others do...which is an unconstitutional notion in both Canada and the USA.

You see, the USA and the other major powers have all kinds of WMD's and no one can do anything about it. Now they are saying that, well, it's okay for us to have these WMD's because we are more important, more civilized, more just, more democratic, etc ("we're better than them")...but that is a load of codswallop! What the great powers are is, they are more powerful, that's all, and they can afford to have massive amounts of WMD's, and no one dares stop them.

It is extremely hypocritical of people who already have hundreds or thousands of nukes to say that other people with a fraction of their striking power cannot have 3 or 4 or 10 nukes.

It's just power politics, that's all. It's the "haves" trying to maintain the "have-nots" in perpetuity and run a closed shop, like Al Capone or Bugsy Siegel.

Now I've always thought that a small country is safer without nukes...depending on who it might get attacked by in a large war...but North Korea is clearly safer with them, because they are a deterrent to attack by South Korea and the USA.

Iraq would have been safer with them for the same reason, which makes a strong argument for getting them, doesn't it, if you're an Iraqui?

Anyway, I reiterate that it is not a crime to have weapons, it is a crime to use them in an unprovoked attack on someone.

And that is exactly what the USA has done recently.

Iraq committed no direct crimes against the USA, but did commit domestic crimes on its own people....but so have any number of other governments that presently enjoy American support and encouragement. Saddam enjoyed American support and encouragement back when he was orginally gassing the Kurds!

Therefore, the recent attack on Iraq was launched for spurious reasons...and reasons not spoken of or admitted to by the US administration. Either that, or the US administration is collossally stupid...and believes its own media propaganda. I don't think they're that stupid.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 11 Nov 03 - 11:38 PM

True, LH, too true. It would be a better world without any WMD, or weapons at all for that matter. (I am convinced that the Israeli possession of about a dozen nukes prevented the use of chemicals on them in the Gulf War. I think Israel would have had no option but to let the dozen go to targets in the Middle East.) That said, I see a difference: the balance of nuclear power and MAD assured that no one use the weapons at all. I grew up with that philosophy around me. I didn't sleep well at night, along with billions of other people, but we seem to have got through the so-called Cold War. Today, we have dictatorships in possession of WMD. Picture a syphilitic Idi Amin with nukes. I guess the difference I see is this: when I protested at People's Park in Berkeley, I felt some assurance that the National Guard troops likely wouldn't use the weapons they had with them. The half-tracks were a 'show of force' to establish who was in charge, and the 'concertina wire' a method of forcing demonstrators along given routes. I don't think I'd feel that sense of comfort in Saddam Hussein's Iraq. Your argument reminds me of one posited by Pat Paulson (sp?) regarding hijackings on planes. He suggested that every passenger be given a loaded gun when boarding and that would put things in perspective for everyone else. I don't think the reasons for the attack on Iraq were spurious; I do think they were not very well thought out. I would like to see the ABC stuff destroyed--assuming we have the ability to do that. As a second and only other choice, I'd like to see no new growth in the WMD capability of ANY country. Back to you.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 04:32 AM

Bobert,

one of my interests is memory and how it changes with time. That opinions change with an event is no wonder, the interesting thing is that memory about previously held opinions also does change according to present opinions.

From that angle, the exact timing of when you have first asked a question is irrelevant but whether it was before or after a vital event (the war) is interesting. Before the war, when the idea of assassination came up you have spoken out against it, at least that's how I interpret your post that I have quoted. I do not mind at all any change of opinion in any person, but I recommend that people are aware that they have previously held another opinion.

As an aside, your repeated claim that nobody has responded to this question is untrue. You may not have liked the reponse (I do not mean my post) but there has been at least one.

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 07:24 AM

LH,

Regarding who has, and who hasn't got WMD's, and whether or not it is desireable to have them.

Nuclear weapons:
Up until the point that India and Pakistan acquired them and started testing both their devices and delivery systems, the trend was that the major powers who possessed nuclear arsenals were actively reducing them with a view to ultimate elimination of those weapons from their inventory. The acquisition of those weapons by India and Pakistan in effect stopped that in its tracks.

Chemical and Biological Weapons:
The vast majority of countries through agreements and conventions have agreed to dispense with these weapons and destroy what stocks they have (The USA by the end of December 2007).

I don't think that the US will reintroduce the draft - conscripts armies are of little use these days, and have been for quite some time. The US military found that out during Vietnam.

Bobert, why not ask Dan Rather what precautions Saddam took prior to that interview. How close he was is irrelevant, those tasked with Saddam's protection would have made sure that whoever was sitting across the table from Saddam posed no threat. If memory serves me correctly wasn't the first strike of the recent conflict specifically intended to eliminate Saddam Hussein. If so they did at least attempt it. Even with Saddam gone, there still remained his sons and the inner circle of the Ba'ath Party to deal with. Pure speculation of course, but I don't believe much would have changed, in fact with either of his sons in power, things would have been more likely to get worse.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Strick
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 09:32 AM

At least according to some sources, the draft board recruiting is just strange timing. Board members are supposed to serve a term of 20 years (really?) and those recruited when things were reorganized under Reagan are just have their terms expiring.

I wonder if it would take an act of Congress to reactive the draft which wasn't eliminated, merely made inactive (18 year olds are still required to register for instance). An attempt at bringing it back would be amusing. Who ever brought it up would never hear the end of it.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 11:32 AM

Yes, well, I would much prefer if no countries had WMD's, but how do we get there?

If I were running a small country I would not waste my money and resources building nuclear weapons. I would try to get along peacefully with my neighbours.

Given the history of the Korean conflict, though, I am not surprised that North Korea has built nukes. They experienced a war, a bombing campaign, and a biological warfare campaign in the 1950's that no one has forgotten and that war is still technically not ended. Nor am I surprised that Israel has nukes. In both cases, it's a deterrent...but it's also a very dangerous one...you never know what may happen with deterrents, do you?

I don't think the fact that a country has or is developing WMD's is a moral basis for invading that country, no matter who they are. It's like the big rancher saying..."Lookee here...I cain't let them Mexican farmers have Winchesters like I've got...they are jest a buncha stinkin' wetbacks! I'm gonna send mah cowboys out and burn 'em out of their miserable shacks!"

You've got to remember that using those WMD's would provoke massive retaliation, so is even someone like Idi Amin actually going to be that stupid and suicidal? I think probably not.

The real danger is not that a national entity have nukes, but that a secret, clandestine organization have them in a secret location...because such people imagine that they can strike their chosen enemy in a terrorist attack and not be found for a counterstrike. Therefore, I would use the secret service and a variety of other means to vigorously prevent that from happening, but that does not equate to invading a sovereign country like Iraq, in my opinion.

It is the unofficial, hidden, clandestine possessor of the WMD that is truly dangerous (and criminal), not the national government which openly exposes itself to attack if it uses them.

It's like registered guns versus illegally owned guns. You know who's got the former...you don't know who's got the latter.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: ard mhacha
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 01:20 PM

Never mind Dan Rather, wasn`t Rumsfeld slobbering all over Saddam at the time of the Iraq-Iran war, Saddam was then the good guy fighting the evil Iranians.
And I so far haven`t seen any reference to the lies from the White House concerning Jessica Lynch`s heroics in Iraq, at least the young lady came across as seeming a hell of a lot more honest than the lying wind-bags in the US dirty-tricks dept. Ard Mhacha.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 01:46 PM

In answer to your question LH - By adherence to non-proliferation treaties, enforced by the UN if necessary and through arms reduction treaties.

Your statement regard the fact that it would be better if no countries had WMD's is laudable, but entirely at odds with your often expressed belief that it is every country's right to possess such weapons.

One question for you - If no one has forgotten the Korean War, why is it always referred to as "The Forgotten War"?

North Korea only experienced that particular war by dint of the fact that they initiated it. North Korea's Peoples radio proclaiming that their territory had been invaded by South Korean forces so they had no other option but to invade South Korea. That should sound familiar to you LH - it's exactly the ruse the NAZI's used against Poland in 1939 - that was untrue as were North Korea's claims.

North Korea requires "nukes" for blackmail, not for defence.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Wolfgang
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 02:03 PM

Why is Korea Called 'The Forgotten War?'

Wolfgang


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 12 Nov 03 - 11:59 PM

I meant, in the context of my sentence above, that no one in North Korea has forgotten about that war...(or in South Korea, for that matter). Plenty of other people have forgotten about it.

Non-proliferation treaties are two things simultaneously:

1. an honest attempt to limit the spread of deadly weapons
2. a dishonest attempt to limit the "haves" to a select club, so they can maintain hegemony over the "have-nots"

It's not easy to sort out the moral balance between those 2 aspects...

If I had been in the major powers, I would have tried to limit the spread of nukes too, but I'm hardly convinced they did it all out of altruism. I would have tried to disarm on both sides (as has been attempted to some extent by the USA and Russia on some occasions).

I dream of a perfect world, in which people had no enemies, and shared things equally with one another...but I don't expect to see it happen. Given an imperfect world, one must attempt imperfect solutions, and keep trying to do the best one can. Some countries are in a position where they truly need to arm themselves heavily and be vigilant...others are in a position where that is hardly necessary. Each place must be dealt with according to its own unique characteristics. If I were Castro, I would put a great deal of thought into defence preparation. If I were the leader of Denmark, I would give it comparatively less attention. And so on...

Yes, North Korea started that war. Absolutely. And they pretended that they didn't, just like the Nazis. South Korea, under Singman Ree (did I spell that right?) also did incredibly undemocratic things, murdered vast numbers of people, and refused to be a signatory to a peace settlement when hostilities ended, so they have both been utterly intransigent, as far as I can see. There have more recently been some hopeful signs between the 2 Koreas.

Blackmail, under certain circumstances, can BE a form of defence...and I believe that is partially the case regarding North Korea and their nukes. They're paranoid, isolated, and desperate, and are engaging in what they see as sheer survival tactics. Do I like their social system? No, not a bit. But they're still human beings, with their own rational for what they do. It would be hard to find a nation more traumatized by war than Korea.

One reason that the Korean war is "forgotten" is...nobody won it.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,pdc
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 01:07 AM

This reference is way upthread, but I just couldn't let it go by.
"In the words of the Brooklyn Dodgers fan, "Say it ain't so, Joe."

Nope! That was said by a young boy to "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, a well-loved player (who played in his bare feet) with the Chicago White Socks in 1919, when it was discovered that Chicago had thrown the World Series. The players did so because they were desperately underpaid, while the owners made a fortune off them. 9 players, including Shoeless Joe, were kicked off the team and never reinstated.

Shoeless Joe was also the inspiration for W. P. Kinsella's novel "Shoeless Joe," the book on which the movie "Field of Dreams" was based.

Sorry -- old baseball fan here, just had to set the record straight. Hope you don't mind.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Frankham
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 01:10 PM

Did anyone think that Saddam and Osama is useful to Bush?
The unseen enemy can be an aid to suspend civil liberties
in the US and to make Bush more powerful as a John Wayne
Commander of the Armed Services. It may be that Saddam and Osama are more useful to Bush alive. It gives Ashcroft more muscle as well.

I suspect that Saudi Arabia knows where both are.

What we're seeing now is a kind of mafia-style takeover of the
US government. it's about business and the control that the
big corporations have over the citizens of the country. The big ones finance the Bushes and even buy out the weak-minded Democrats.
Jeb cleverly rigged the Florida elections. This Bush mafia is smart and there may be no "hits" in the US but there were for inoocent
women and children in Iraq. Talk about weapons of mass destruction, the use of depleted uranium is now taking it's toll in the cancer
of the Iraqi people. It's another dirty secret like Agent Orange.

Because of the pre-emptive strike there is no moral US authority for worldwide negotiations in North Korea or other hotspots in the world.
Who is the largest possessor of WMDs in the world today? Which administration would be apt to use them in a pre-emptive strike?
Where does the evidence point?

Frank Hamilton


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 01:53 PM

Red Kabul revisited - Are the US rulers of Afghanistan at last adopting the agenda of their Soviet predecessors?

Interesting piece here pointing out that many Afghanis look back on the period following the Soviet invasion as a kind of golden age - and that the US rulers are currently getting a lot of brownie points because, in all kinds of ways, their regime is doing more or less the same things as the Soviets did. (In face of much the same kind of opposition.)

Funny old world, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 01:55 PM

Well, hell yes! High time to start redressing the situation! Turn the clock back as it were.

Repeal all the Patriot Act stuff - that could be done immediately.

Release and repatriate all the detainees down in Gitmo - again that could be done immediately. They would of course need to be compensated for their loss of liberty and earnings during their captivity

Pull the troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, as they are not doin' any good there, sure the people there will get along just fine - just through the numbers involved that might take a couple of months, but I'm sure the locals would ease up on the killin' as our lads get increasingly thinner on the ground.

To attempt to regain the confidence of the rest of the world the US of A's WMD's could be scrapped - again just through the numbers involved, and the technicalities involved, that will take some considerable time. But to show good faith and clear intent we could arrange to have them shipped to countries nominated by the League of Non-Aligned States for storage so that the US armed forces could not use them in the interim period.

Now "big business" and those "multi-national corporations" - that's where it gets tricky, you see they tend to employ a load of people, generate income and provide a means of forward investment. But let's see, we could nationalise them of course, we could increase their level of taxation, although either of those measures might send them runnin' for the border to set up elsewhere. Our loss would then be someone else's gain, or vice-versa, when you think of how evil big business and big corporations really are.

Entire programme could be complete within a year, the world would love us and we could all sleep safe in our beds - So simple why hasn't anybody thought of it before.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM

Wolfgang,

I most certainly agree with your impression that I would not have condoned the assasination of one man, Saddam Hussien, prior to an invasion which killed tens upons thousands of Iraqis that just didn't happen to be him...

Yeah, being one who believes in pro-human, pro-earth, pro-communiction between nations, pro-compromise, pro-listening, pro-etc. assasination seems to me to be a step backwards.

But with that said, coupled with my utmost hopes and prayers before Bush ordered the invasion that he would find some face-saving way out of the invasion, I don't think it is an unrealistic question to pose.

Whereas, I do not condone assasination as an acceptable means of solving differences, I am enough of a humanist and pragmatist to question whether, given the human loss and chaos we find in Iraq today, (not to mention the Billion$$$$...) if assasination would not have been way lesser of two evils.... Like, way lesser...

The way things have played out certainly cast continued and stronger doubts on the credibility of the motives of the Bush administration:

Consolidation of power.
Secrecy.
Corruption.
Obstruction.
Run away Superpatriotism and nationalism.
Evasiveness.
Demonization of the opposition.
Opression of ones citizens.
Etc.

And none of these address 9/11 or another 9/11...

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 03:50 PM

I think the reason assassination is frowned on by political leaders is they worry that it might catch on.

The reason the rest of us should be sceptical about it is that, with very few exceptions, assassination makes leaders more dangerous rather than less. The main importance of most leaders is as a symbol of the regime they head. Assassination does nothing to reduce that symbolic power.

There is no reason whatsoever to think that killing Saddam would have made any appreciable difference at all.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 06:49 PM

Well, McG, if it would have saved tens upon thousands of lives, billions of dollars and denied Bush's folks their goal of occupying Iraq.

But yer, right. We shouldn't have done *either*!

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 07:00 PM

But why should,it have made any difference whatsoever if Saddam had been killed, and one of his sons had been in his place instead? Or if the assassins had managed to kill all his family, some other member of his entourage.

All right, I suppose it might have been used as an excuse by Bush to back off. But he had every excuse anyway, if he hadn't been hellbent on invading. As witness the article that started this thread - Saddam's desperate offers to stave off war:

"Washington dismissed Iraq's peace feelers, including elections and weapons pledge, put forward via diplomatic channels and US hawk Perle."


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 07:26 PM

Well, think about it. Had Iraq not been invaded then by now I think it would have been apparent that Iraq was not a threat, did not have WMD or in cohoots with Al Quada.

That would have left Bush only one Boogieman. I agree that one of his sons would have taken over and I'm not arguing that much of anything would have changed immediately inside Iraq. But it would perhaps have perhaps satisfied Bush's thirst for blood.

Again, both assasination or invasion was wrong, wrong, wrong...

The question I have posed is not out of order...

Since after all the huff and puff about mushroom clouds, WMD, AlQuada (which have all been disproved) the Bush administration has rewrittne its reason for the invasion; "Well, we got rid of Saddam!" My question is addressed to those apologists and revisionists.

So, I ask them; "Yaeh, if Saddam was yer problem, why not kill just him, rather than tens upon thousands of folks that ain't him?" I'm not advocatin' assasination. Just lookin' at current excuse da' jour....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 08:19 PM

I always have a certain regard for the approach said to have been taken by the Ukrainian anarchist Nestor Mahkno on one occasion, when he insisted on meeting an enemy warlord face to face, walking right into the middle of his camp on his own. On meeting him, Makhno shot him, and rallied the man's followers to change sides. The point is, he cut out the middle-man, did the job himself.

Can't see Bush up to that, somehow.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 09:27 PM

It would take more than one bag of pretzels (wink, wink), McG, to get Bush to stand up to anyone in a *real* fight. He prefers to send his "seconds" when it comes to rubbin' elbows, or receiving punches, from the working class...'er any other class, fir that matter....

But I'd rather see these situations worked out with 16 ounce boxing gloves and pay-per-view. Arafat v. Sharon, hmmmm? Chirak v. Bush? Hmmmm? Hey, how about Gore v. Bush? Gore would take Bush out in about 30 seconds unless Bush outruns him... Hey, Clinton v. Gingrich? Now that would be interesting.... I see it Clinton in a majority decision 115-113, 114-113, 114-115 but heck of a last round. Hey, how about Nixon v. John Dean. Dean in three rounds. How about H. Dean and J. Dean? (No, Bobert. These two guys is 20 years different in age.) Ahhhh, Howard in two. Hey how about Saddam and Bush? Well, Saddam in the forth! Almost had the weisel in the 2nd but Bush just outran him... Hey, now here's an interesting one. Blair and Osoma. Well this wasn't too purdy since Osoma had to fight while trying not to knock over the rolling I.V. caddie carrying his dialysis stuff but after catchin' on, Blair down in three.....

And now, ladies and gentlemen, the main event. Lets get ready to rumble!!!! In this corner, weighin' in at 198, the Darling of the Right... Doug Richhhhhhhards and in Green trunks, weighin' in at 178, the Wes Ginny Hillbilly Bobbbbbbb-errrrrrrt.....

Pow! Whack!

Ouch, Dougie......

Bob(sniff)ert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Strick
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 11:46 PM

This is too amusing. One moment Bush is criticized by all of Europe for his shoot-from-the-hip cowboy diplomacy and now we're upset because he didn't personally face Saddam at high noon? You don't mean to seriously question whether a Texan would be upset at shooting someone are you?

And surely we're all aware that the notion that the US was secretly assassinating world leaders we don't agree with is infinitely more worrisome than the thought that the neocons are planning another war they can't possible drum up the public support for? After all assassination is so much more cost effective and deniable than war. Saddam, himself a former assassin, was just too hard to get to. Lots of other world leaders would be sitting ducks. I've got a little list. They never will be missed.

Thanks, I need the laugh.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,perplexed
Date: 13 Nov 03 - 11:58 PM

'a totally needless war'?

Brucie, Law of the jungle, numero uno: Where does a thousand pound gorilla sleep?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 06:58 PM

Any friggin' place s/he wants!

What does a 1000 lb canary say?
















Here, kitty, kitty, kitty.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 07:17 PM

Or of course they could always play Russian Roulette. Let God decide. Can't see how Bin Laden or Bush could object to that, if they believe what they say.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 14 Nov 03 - 07:25 PM

LOL, McG.... Think you got both of 'em with one stone.... 'Er maybe just one. Hmmmmmm?

("Like which one?", Bobert asks slyly...)

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 12:03 PM

Yeah, but the thing about God is, God won't decide for you. You have to do the deciding. This frustrates the hell out of people, and some of them get so frustrated that they decide not to decide at all...which is itself a decision!

ARRRRGH! God is just too smart for most people.

Claiming that God is on one's side, of course, is a very popular mode of thought, afflicting people at many levels of society...but the fact is, God is on everyone's side.

This sort of equanimity and total lack of prejudice bugs the hell out of people! Some even become atheist, satanists, and lawyers as a form of protest against such blantant lack of favoritism on God's part.

Everybody wants to be among the "in group", y' see... :-)

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 04:15 PM

God is on the side of the big batallions. Always has been. How you doin' LH?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 06:01 PM

Doing great here, Brucie. Yep, I think it was Stonewall Jackson who said that the basic rule in war was: "Get there fustest, with the mostest!" (and strike at the first good available opportunity, and not one second later, and don't EVER let up until it's over, and don't let a retreating enemy get away, and when outnumbered...defend tenaciously on the best ground you can find).

The Army of Virginia was better at most of those things than the Army of the Potomac, but they blew it badly at Gettysburg and never recovered the iniative again.

Jackson always prayed fervently for God's aid before a battle, and then he set about doing HIS part, which was to give it his absolute best effort possible. That's a smart combination. He only ever lost one (minor) engagement on the field of battle...was too badly outnumbered on that occasion.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 06:18 PM

Yeah, LH, I hear that. Dylan's "With God on Our Side" sure nails it. But on occasion, it almost seems as if God intervened. I'm thinking of the 1947-8 war in the middle east when Israel was being 'established'.

Neither did Nathan Bedford Forrest ever lose a battle, and he is credited with saying, "Get there first with the most men." Too bad he became a KKK leader.

I have always wondered about the need of many people facing death to find God. There ain't too many athiests in foxholes. Oh, there's some real tough guys and gals who don't need anyone, but I don't think I'm one of those. Anyway, "Keep up the skeer."

Bruce


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Nov 03 - 07:14 PM

"Get there first with the most men."

That is likely to win the battle. Maybe it even seems to be enough to win the war. But as they're finding out in Iraq right now, it's a lot more complicated than that.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Teribus
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 10:59 AM

brucie,

"God is not on the side of the big battalions, God is on the side of the best shots." Voltaire I think.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Peace
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 01:53 PM

Voltaire's brain is missing; it really is. His heart's still around, however. That's all that's left of his whole body. The ultimate weight-loss program. Good quote.


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 16 Nov 03 - 08:18 PM

Voltaire also said in reference to the Big Guy, "God is a comedian playing to an audience afraid to laugh."

I like that one......

Good to see you made parole, T.......

Jus' funnin' wid ya'.......

Ahhhh, how ya like yer little war? We told you it was gonna turn out this way back last year...

Awww, nevermind. Don't need no homework assignemnts....

Bobert


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Little Hawk
Date: 17 Nov 03 - 12:43 AM

Good shots are nice to have, but there are usually plenty of them on both sides of a war or a battle.

Hiroyoshi Nishizawa, for example, was probably the finest fighter pilot in the entire Pacific theatre in World War II, and shot down about 90 to 100 American pilots who were often flying superior planes to his own...but it didn't win the Japanese the war. The Americans had the greater numbers, the more modern equipment (after '42), and lots of good pilots of their own.

Nishizawa finally died helplessly in a transport plane which was jumped on by US Navy Hellcats while transferring him and other pilots to a new airfield. He had had an intimation of death only days before, and told his friends that he did not expect to live long. He swore once that no American could ever shoot him down when he was at the controls of a fighter plane, and as fate would have it, that turned out to be the case.

One place where good shots do win the battle is in a duel. Otherwise, it's mostly the big battalions that win battles, unless they're very badly commanded.

As for Iraq, a successful military occupation of an invaded land is a far more trying task then winning on the conventional battlefield, and is fraught with longterm risks for the occupiers. Ask the Russians about Afghanistan.

That Voltair quote is a gem!

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: GUEST,Teribus
Date: 17 Nov 03 - 07:33 AM

In the time that Voltaire was writing the best example of how true his quote was the Pennisular Campaign, Waterloo and of course The Battle of New Orleans

Been down in Australia Bobert, and in answer to your question - it's very early days yet. What they are into is going to take years Bobert, its no overnight thing. I believe I did say that before, the previous example I gave, I believe was the de-nazification programme undertaken by the Allies at the end of the Second World War (That took 5 years - in Iraq we are up to what, 6 months?? - early days).

All wars are needless Bobert, doesn't mean they don't happen, and under certain circumstances at times they are necessary.

Read somewhere that you had just retired - Congratulations.

How are you spending your retirement - getting in a bit of training for them ol' cotton fields??? - Yess funninnn'

T


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 17 Nov 03 - 08:52 AM

Mightn't Voltaire have been thinking on terms of assassination with that "best shot" remark?


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Subject: RE: BS: 'a totally needless war'
From: Bobert
Date: 17 Nov 03 - 07:57 PM

Yo, T,

Ahhhh, speakin' of the de-nazification program after WW II, have ya' read Russ Bellant's "Old Nazis, the New Right and the Republican Party"? Seems that alot of these nazis just assimilated rith into the Republican Party. One, Laszlo Pasztor, founded the Heritage Groups Council. And it looks as if these folks just didn't wander in. They were recruited! Hmmmmmm? Explains a lot...

(Yeah, I got retired. My employees got togather and voted my butt out. Made me an offer I couldn't refuse and showed me the door. Hmmmph! I don't get no respect! But I'm busy. Playing blues every Saturday with the Arhie Edwards Blues Foundation. Doing community stuff with a bunch of, ahhhh, Republicans. Don't ask. And doing a major house renovation... Busier now than ever...)

No, I ain't been to Tazmania but I got blues musican friends there from pudder-world..

As fir cotton fields? Well, I've decided that if it looks like Boss Hog is getting close to havin' me pick his cotton, I'll just find another country to live in, thank you... Bad knee... Wouldn't last a week...

Bobert


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