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Tags: NS investigates
Bugger off mate. I enjoy fencing with Morgy because I believe that a man who lives with a badger can't be all bad - you on the other hand are clearly beyond redemption.
Ah, I see we are into another area where we are unlikely to reach a consensus.
I think this is a timely moment to point out that I am neither left nor right in any meaningful sense. I believe that both Stalin and Churchill were, like Millie, terribly terribly modern. Hitler too for that matter.
I am more accurately though a true communist as I believe in grass-roots 'communities' as the best way to realise the 'good life'. But I believe also that evolution is preferable revolution in seeking this goal. A bottom-up rather than a top-down approach you might say. Grassroots movements, traditional communities, a more informed/empowered citizenry - back to a saner scale of living where, when people do behave badly (which they do some of the time but not most of the time), the consequences are proportionately less ghastly; less catastrophic from the point of view of human misery/suffering. I know what you're going to say: that growing a beard and wearing a woolly jumper is no defense against the evil ones. But I believe that one day the bewhiskered woolly jumpered ones will outnumber the evil ones and not before time if you ask me. They just need a bit of coaxing; to be tickled a bit with respectful exchanges of ideas rather than have their innards turned out by a Thermobaric Bomb.
Saddam saw himself above all as a new Saladin who would unite the Arab peoples into a single greater nation - the aspirations of a pan-Arabic nationalism that propelled the secular Baathist movement.
It was never going to be palatable to the Western Powers and much of the ensuing strife and misery in the region can be attributed to the desire of the Great Powers to thwart this project of Arab unification. Arab disunity has been the main guiding principle of the region's geopolitics. Thus Kissinger could say of the Iraq-Iran War - 'it's a pity both sides couldn't lose'. Baathism and Islam are potent unifiers and are feared in equal measure for this reason.
Nothing is murkier than the media disinformation and black propaganda over this region's troubled history. Just to take your one point concerning Halabja; here is the US War College's own conclusions after close examination of the eye-witness accounts and forensic data:
Stephen Pelletiere, who was the CIA's senior political analyst on Iraq throughout the Iran-Iraq war, closely studied evidences of "genocide in Halabja" has described his group's findings: "The great majority of the victims seen by reporters and other observers who attended the scene were blue in their extremities. That means that they were killed by a blood agent, probably either cyanogens chloride or hydrogen cyanide. Iraq never used and lacked any capacity to produce these chemicals. But the Iranians did deploy them. Therefore the Iranians killed the Kurds."
Iran and its Revolutionary Guard had taken the town with the help of partisan Kurdish guerrillas and held it for several months. The Iraqi counter-attack used Mustard Gas but as the War College also pointed out: this is an incapacitating agent that only results in death in 2% of cases. Perhaps the Iraqi attack on the town might be defended in the same way that NATO currently does in Afghanistan - that is by accusing the defenders of using civilians most egregiously as human shields. A typical tactic of evil ones I believe.
Clearly the US stirred the pot vigorously during the Iraq-Iran War assisting both sides (whatever happened to Olly North?) with WMD perhaps also 'inadvertently' facilitating the Iraqi Nuclear programme. When the US pegged out the Kuwaiti rabbit for the Iraqi fox in 1990 it was with the intention of fully neutralising the Iraqi Military threat and to prepare the way for change to a more congenial regime. The extent to which US bombing destroyed the Iraqi infrastructure including Water Treatment Plants and its dire consequences for the civilian population has never been fully reported in the mainstream press. But this bombing 'back to the stone age' and subsequent sanctions must account for many thousands of civilian lives - many would argue hundreds of thousands.
It was after a decade of such sanctions that we were supposed to believe that Iraq had rebuilt itself into a threat so great that 'doing nothing was not an option'. There were many in both the US and the UK intelligence community who viewed the talking up of the Iraqi threat by politicians with growing alarm - not least because of its potential to do great harm to the 'credibility' of bona fide intelligence work. You had the Plame/Niger affair whilst we had the shameful Dr Kelly episode.
If Bush has escaped impeachment it is likely that it is because neither political party in the US has any real appetite for a process that could do irreparable harm to their most revered political institution. In short another Nixon might have had people wondering if it was the system not the man that's all f**ked up.
Re: the UN
I know UN-bashing is a favourite past-time of neocons but the UN is generally only as effective as the sum of its parts - even if it is weighted generously in favour of certain parts. The US have cynically supported the UN when it serves their geopolitical interests and actively sought to sabotage it when it doesn't; and nothing is more illustrative of this than Rwanda where the US not only opposed increasing the peacekeeping force and expanding its mandate but actively campaigned to draw down the force during the height of the massacres. This was the moment when Richard Clarke at the NSA and orchestrator of US policy on the Rwandan crisis drew up his ignominious Policy on
Reforming Multilateral Peace Operations
(PDD 25) - effectively a doctrine of no troop committal except in the most extreme and verifiable of circumstances. It guaranteed that the killings would go on with US acquiescence. The fact that it assisted their sponsee, Kagame, into power may be purely coincidental.
raggy, raggy, raggy. The Nation is the most knee-jerk, leftist, anti-American publication on US newsstands.
yeah it's what we call 'mainstream' over here. You should read it occasionally in the interests of balance. Prospect and the WSJ can't possibly give you the rounded picture you know.
To quote a twentieth-century revolutionary of the modern:
'Earlier revolutions were against peasants, or nobility, or the clergy or against dynasties and their network of vassals, but in no case has revolution succeeded without the presence of a lightening rod that could conduct and channel the odium of the general masses'
And fear of course.
To Martin Bright:
Why not investigate the part played by the British MSM in the al-Dura Hoax?
Your 11:30 directive to antileft is the funniest damn thing I've read all year.
Your answer to me was excellent, so it'll take me a while to respond to it properly.
But for God's sake, raggy:
never, never, never refer to yourself as a communist in any context. In the minds of the overwhelming majority of Americans, the very word conjures up the specter of Stalin. As for trot, in the US the noun stands/stood for diarrhea (as in "galloping trots").
Take a gander at the 10:54 Carl Jones post.
The no doubt prepubescent "Jones" - who else would assume the handle of a footballer? - would now have us believe that he's in fact an adult with a wife to defend him.
The more things change ...
Little nazi creeps apparently still dress up in drag to evade capture.
A: why do you even bother with the ridiculous WMD argument? First, "WMD" is a very loose term and includes things which arent a serious threat to country's like ours with infinitely more deadly weapons
M: As the Strother Martin character observes in Cool Hand Luke, "what we have here is a failure to communicate." Unlike the craven Bush equivocators, when I use the term WMD I mean one thing and one thing only: nukes. Substitute nukes for WMDs and my words should become comprehensible.
A: are you seriously claiming that somehow a reason for bombing someone is "because they have nukes or something really dangerous"? Come on, that's a reason NOT to bomb someone! Surely, thats pretty obvious, isnt it?
M: Just the opposite. The reason for bombing someone is to prevent that someone from developing the capacity to deliver those nukes. Now, that's "pretty obvious."
A: And please dont tell me that somehow "they could give them to the terrorists" because that would show a complete lack of understanding of the secular arab nationalist movements.
M: Apparently, you've swallowed the airtight compartmentalization nonsense whole. The operative Arab principle remains "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." Terrorists form and dissolve marriages of convenience constantly. The Sunni 9/11 zealots were accorded safe passage through fiercely Shiite Iran on their way to attack their common enemy, the US. Iran similarly cooperates with its Hamas Sunni proxies against their common enemy, Israel. Until recently, the ostensibly secular Fatah Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades coordinated their attacks upon Israeli civilians with their Hamas counterparts.
A: Besides which, you should know who sells the most weapons to crappy dysfunctional regimes. Weve cornered that market- no doubt about that.
M: In an imperfect world, it regularly becomes necessary to choose between the lesser of two (or more) evils. Stalin wasn't my best buddy either, until the greater and more immediate threat of Germany came along. And the "crappy dysfunctional" regimes that the US arms rarely represent clear and present threats to western national security."
M: He invaded Iran and Kuwait causing perhaps a million deaths."
A: Im so tired of hearing this too... Please leave out "Iran" next time. You know full well that we supported him in that. Indeed, that was the period when we sold him the most weapons. Bad, bad argument
M: There occur conflicts in which we'd prefer that both sides lose. When we supplied Saddam against Iran, we regarded the latter as the more virulently hostile regional threat and acted accordingly.
M: "He ran a murderous, cruel and brutal authoritarian Baathist dictatorship."
A: Honestly morgan, Im right wing too so youre a bit embarrassing here. You really shouldnt use arguments which are so lame. A "murderous, cruel and brutal authoritarian Baathist dictatorship" is pretty similar to the "murderous, cruel and brutal authoritarian wahhabist dictatorship" that we sell WMD to, or any of the other lousy regimes that America is friends with.
M: My (non-exhaustive) list of reasons for invasion was specifically intended to provide overall context. No single explanation should be considered in isolation from the rest.
A: I can understand in some circumstances using that argument- like when it's urgent and would prevent masses of killing (Zimbabwe or Sudan for example) but not 10 years after the massacre!
M: Saddam's murderous rampages against his own Kurds and Shiites clearly indicated how he'd behave toward Saudis and other regional regimes once he could blackmail them with nukes. As I've stated, we seldom sell arms to those who present a clear and present danger to western security.
A: Turkey has killed plenty of kurds in that time- you wouldnt bomb them would you?
M: The PKK is a violent marxist terrorist organization which threatens Turkish civilians. If the Kurds (with whom I usually strongly sympathize) refuse to restrain the PKK, it unfortunately becomes Turkey's right to protect its own citizens.
A: So come on- quit pimping such a dumb war or use more serious arguments.
M: It was a necessary war that Rumsfeld almost sabotaged with his experimental minimalist military theories.
And antileft, it's a very odd conservative who opposes capital punishment.
Raggedy Man - I disagree; Morgan is proof that someone who lives with a badger(?) CAN be all bad! If he can find his way to this website, he can't be dumb enough to actually believe the stuff he's coming out with.
Methinks that Pimples doth sulk because Morgan of Vegas hath insulted Carl of Riefenstahl, object of P's adolescent affection.