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BS: 'a totally needless war'

Bobert 17 Nov 03 - 07:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 17 Nov 03 - 08:52 AM
GUEST,Teribus 17 Nov 03 - 07:33 AM
Little Hawk 17 Nov 03 - 12:43 AM
Bobert 16 Nov 03 - 08:18 PM
Peace 16 Nov 03 - 01:53 PM
Teribus 16 Nov 03 - 10:59 AM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Nov 03 - 07:14 PM
Peace 15 Nov 03 - 06:18 PM
Little Hawk 15 Nov 03 - 06:01 PM
Peace 15 Nov 03 - 04:15 PM
Little Hawk 15 Nov 03 - 12:03 PM
Bobert 14 Nov 03 - 07:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Nov 03 - 07:17 PM
Peace 14 Nov 03 - 06:58 PM
GUEST,perplexed 13 Nov 03 - 11:58 PM
Strick 13 Nov 03 - 11:46 PM
Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 09:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 08:19 PM
Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 07:26 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 07:00 PM
Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 06:49 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 03:50 PM
Bobert 13 Nov 03 - 03:41 PM
GUEST 13 Nov 03 - 01:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 13 Nov 03 - 01:53 PM
GUEST,Frankham 13 Nov 03 - 01:10 PM
GUEST,pdc 13 Nov 03 - 01:07 AM
Little Hawk 12 Nov 03 - 11:59 PM
Wolfgang 12 Nov 03 - 02:03 PM
GUEST 12 Nov 03 - 01:46 PM
ard mhacha 12 Nov 03 - 01:20 PM
Little Hawk 12 Nov 03 - 11:32 AM
GUEST,Strick 12 Nov 03 - 09:32 AM
GUEST 12 Nov 03 - 07:24 AM
Wolfgang 12 Nov 03 - 04:32 AM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 11:38 PM
Little Hawk 11 Nov 03 - 11:14 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 10:53 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 10:52 PM
GUEST,pdc 11 Nov 03 - 10:41 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 10:30 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 10:29 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 09:33 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 07:34 PM
Cluin 11 Nov 03 - 06:39 PM
Peace 11 Nov 03 - 06:13 PM
McGrath of Harlow 11 Nov 03 - 05:46 PM
Bobert 11 Nov 03 - 05:35 PM
Cluin 11 Nov 03 - 05:30 PM
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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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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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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,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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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 - 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 - 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: 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: 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: 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: 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: 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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