Chilling stuff reported by the TimesOnline:
PRESIDENT BUSH yesterday accused Syria of having chemical weapons. In the clearest sign yet that Washington is turning its sights on Damascus
PRESIDENT BUSH yesterday accused Syria of having chemical weapons. In the clearest sign yet that Washington is turning its sights on Damascus
It is not chilling stuff.
It would be very chilling if we get indications that the war on terrorism will not be seen through.
I just want to see the boys successfully and safely finish their job in Iraq without loosing their spirit because of some unpleasant sights and smells that they necessarily have to endure.
Then, hopefully, Bush, Blair, Rumsfeld, Franks &Co will continue to remove the threats from
How they will remove the nuclear weapons safely from Pakistan is beyond me, but I wish them the best luck.
Finishing just one of the tasks on the list is enough to earn the honoured leaders a peace price.
Remember the 18 month rush to war we just had. Bush and Cheney aren’t likely to pull the trigger unless they get sandbagged, and that depends entirely on Syria and the UN.
I don’t think it’ll be necessary. If we can get an elected government in place relatively quickly in Iraq there will be SEVERE pressure on the other countries in the region. By attacking Syria we would squander that collateral.
But I’m here in Michigan, and the White House is a long way off.
I’m kind of hoping that Syria does provide us with a clear cassus belli as I’d like to settle a little score from 1983 (I know it was Hezbollah, but Syria was complicite) and kick that punk Assad the hell out of the region. Actually he’s probably quite harmless…he needs to get rid of that deer in the headlights look. But he’s an annoying punk none the less.
Stephen, I may be an outlier. The evidence pointing to the need for military action in Iraq was clear and compelling. We acted upon it and rightly so.
While we have known for years that Syria is a hotbed for terrorism it seems that the pressure that can be placed upon them by being sandwiched between two democracies in Iraq and Turkey might be more compelling than direct military force. As such, putting the money into strengthening democracy in those nations may solve a conflict with Syria more effectively than investing it in JDAM’s.
The important thing is that Syria knows that we can and will act if we believe it necessary, regardless of “world opinion.” North Korea and Iran are both making vaguely conciliatory gestures right now, and there’s no reason to think they won’t continue. Syria may well be ready to follow, after a bit of posturing.
We also have to keep in mind that Bush and Rumsfeld may be capitalizing on the political success of Iraq. Whether we can really do anything we want is irrelevant here. What matters is that Syria thinks we can…
It seems there would be no better time to strong arm someone than right after you kicked the ass of the last person [read nation] to ignore your ultimatum.
I agree with the above… after the 1st class ass kicking just delivered right next door, a few well placed comments should suffice. Just look at how N.K. suddenly did an about-face just as the Iraq Speed-Tune was winding down.
It’s clear to the world that we’ll do whatever is deemed necessary, no matter what the weinies in France, Germany and Russia say. A threat from the USA will be taken much more seriously now than it was just 30 days ago – and after all, we’ve got plenty of muscle sitting right next door.
Peter is proposing taking out the following governemnts:
>Finishing just one of the tasks on the list is >enough to earn the honoured leaders a >peace price.
And this *WAR* mongering, if it happens will earn the leaders a PEACE PRIZE?
doublspeak. And I thought Bush was doing this to get re-elected….
You’re assuming that “removing the threat” equals invasion.
As this thread and one below have already noted, North Korea has been served a big mug of STFU (and by the Chinese at that, not even ourselves), b/c of our activities in Iraq. If that makes them more responsible (hard to believe), then the Peninsula just became significantly more stable.
As for the Nobel Peace Prize, that particular little award has been significantly tarnished by recent recipients and the shenanigans associated w/ Carter’s award this year. Frankly, I doubt Dubya could be bothered angling for that POS (unlike certain other past POTUS and leaders).
Indeed, on Korea, it is interesting to note that Kim Dae-jung apparently paid on the order of millions and millions of dollars to a North Korean despot who probably makes Saddam look like an angel—and was rewarded the Nobel Peace Prize in response. What a crock.
Finally, if you think Presidents launch wars in order to get re-elected, I’m afraid you have a very bizarre idea of what motivates these folks, proper timing, and the risk calculus involved in wars.
Syria is the trailer park of the middle east. It has a sucky little army that gets blown up by Israel from time to time and no real industry to speak of. About all it can do is push around Lebanon…I’m sure that makes Asad a big man.
We don’t need to invade. Let the Syrians dig their own graves here. (they’ve opened talks with France if that’s any indication) We just have to push and they’ll end up doing something stupid to try and deflect attention from the fact that they’re a petty dictatorship and terrorist playground. Some unofficial encouragement from special forces wouldn’t hurt either.
Note that I carefully did not say a Nobel peace price, pricisely because it has been frequently awarded to the totally wrong people.
In fact, it would be much better create a new peace price, say The Rumsfeld Peace Price, to be awarded to a person who has removed a severe threat to the world peace.
The Rumsfeld Peace Price is awarded only when a severe threat has successfully been removed, not on a regular basis.
I have a better suggestion for Rumsfelf Peace Price: It is awarded when someone feeds a baby monster, and then kills him after he becomes a mature monster.
It has many advantages:
1- No one remembers that you fed the monster, even your mama and aunty jessy.
2- Everyone will think you’re a hero, because you kicked a monster’s ass; even if you lose him in the jungle or desert and fail to finish him off.
3- You will own monster’s home and all his food and furniture in a short time. It would have been impossible to do that when he was a baby monster.
4- You can feed neighboring baby monsters and repeat the same story, but remember to kill any other potential heros living nearby! Baby monsters must be yours to kill when they grow. Otherwise you won’t be able to own their homes.
Oh, Mazdak, what the hell are you talking about? Is this the “the U.S. created this mess” argument again?
We did not “create this mess”. The mess was created by the Baath party, which was an import from Nazi Germany with Stalinist flavoring added.
But, even if we did “create this mess”, our obligation to fix it would be paramount.
So do you still want to argue that lame position?
Mazdak, who would have won your version of the prize regarding Stalin? After all, he received aid from the US and the UK, traded w/ Hitler, and fed upon the carcass left by Lenin.
The Khmer Rouge, who were CREATED by indigenous folks (they deserved them?), supported by Mao in their rise to prominence?
Castro, propped up by the USSR?
Methinks you really haven’t thought this through at all, in pursuit of your little trope.
of course you had to fix it, and I believe it was too late. US didn’t create the mess, but helped the stinking mess grow a lot: Remember Rumsfeld in Baghdad in mid 80′s? or when Stark battleship was hit by Saddam’s airforce with French missiles and still he continued to receive cuddles?
I wonder how you helped a mess which was created by the Baath party (bad guys), which was an import from Nazi Germany (bad guys) with Stalinist flavoring added (again bad guys).
Seems that American government is extremely confused about giving help to friends and foes…
By the way thanks for your reply, because it had all my points in it
No, it’s called times change. Nations become friends, nations become enemies.
By your lights, we should hold the Russians at arm’s length for all eternity. The People’s Republic of China should never have become part of the anti-Soviet alignment.
Do you hold other states to such dead-weight, fixed, unchanging standards??
Iraq under Saddam was bad. Was it worse than the Ayatollah’s Iran? For those who “respect” international law, after all, Iran was taking over embassies, sponsoring terrorism, etc. Iraq, like the USSR in 1942, was bad but not worse.
Keeping in mind, of course, that our level of support for that regime never approached that of France, the USSR, or China—none of whom seem to have shown any qualms at all for their past behavior. Better to always be a bastard, eh?
Oh, and the Stark was a Perry-class FRIGATE, not a battleship. Don’t throw military stuff around if you don’t know diddly.
You have to be able to look at the big picture throughout the last half century. What we’re seeing is the opposite of a vicious circle in ridding the world of evil. Basically, we employ a lesser evil in order to rid the world of a greater evil, until the evils become small enough to stamp out ourselves. Look at the evidence back to WWII.
We sided with the Soviet Union (sort of) in order to destroy Nazi Germany
We sided with small time dictators (Iraq, Afghanistan) to destroy the Soviet Union
Now we can knock out these dictatorships ourselves or with minimal help of other undesirable countries whose days are numbered themselves (Pakistan, Saudi Arabia)
The next step will be to pressure the petty dictators to step aside or reform, which we’ll be able to do ourselves. The result will be a world full of democracies that are extremely unlikely to fight each other, and a much safer world overall.
To follow up on Mike M’s comment:
It also becomes easier over time. When Dubya listed the “Axis of Evil,” everybody scoffed.
W/ Iraq done, what happens? Iran makes it clear that it will NOT let the Iraqi leadership flee there, and, amazingly, indicates it wants to talk to the US. This IS the Great Satan, remember.
And North Korea? From “My way of bilateral talks, or the highway,” Kim Jong-il now says, “Did I say bilateral? I meant multilateral, c’mon whaddaya say?” And the Russians and Chinese, who long said, “We have no dog in this fight, we won’t lift a finger,” are now busily trying to get the NKs to be good little Koreans.
Now, Russia, China, both have their flaws. And no doubt your kids will point to this moment and say, “Hey, you cooperated w/ them.” But from the capital of the reunified, democratic Korean republic, or the more democratic Iranian republic, somehow I suspect that’ll probably be worth it.
Somebody up above mentioned that it would be tough to get rid of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. I think you just nuke them and then claim that they accidentally nuked themselves. I think Bush, Cheney and Powell are smart enough to figure that one out. We just need to give them more time to execute the plan — make sure to vote the RIGHT way in 2004, 2008, 2012, etc. OK, people? Our way and our standard of living are at risk if you vote wrong.
Thanks to Dean and Mike M for arguing against Mazdak’s points as well or better than I would have.
The “but we supported Saddam in the 80s” line is instantly shot down, with minimal effort, by anybody who was more than 12 years old in 1979 during the Iran hostage crisis. Alliances – and that is much too strong a word for the U.S. support to Iraq in the 80s – are often with unsavory nations, but it doesn’t make them wrong at the time, and it doesn’t entitle armchair analysts to criticize them 20 years later. The Cold War was, quite correctly, our main concern – we didn’t have the luxury then of going after punks like Saddam Hussein.
Mazdak shows classic signs of white liberal perfectionist guilt syndrome (WLPGS). Unfortunately the prognosis is not good. See your shrink, Mazdak. Reveal your irrational need for perfection before action and your illogical projection of Western rationalism onto Islamists. Then there may be some slight hope!
it’s called times change. Nations become friends, nations become enemies. Do you hold other states to such dead-weight, fixed, unchanging standards??
Times change, I agree. Russian now is way different from the USSR before; so is Japan. But not Iraq definitely, which became worse every year (since the establishment of the Ba’athists).
Moreover, France & USSR sold lots of weapons to Iraq, but America came to war directly (and it was when the Perry-class whatever ship was hit), the Iranian airliner was downed, and …
I hate to say this, but I’ve no good idea what you’re talking about.
Russia and France sold Iraq arms (Russia and China both sold Iran arms too, btw). What that has to do w/ the hit on the Stark, or the Iranian airliner, is beyond me. Those two incidents are certainly not related to each other, coming about a year apart, iirc.
As to the larger issue of changing alignments. Iraq changed, but so did Iran. The US supported Iran (under the Shah), and did not support it after his fall. Iran, in ’79, appeared to be much more of a threat (threatening revolution throughout the lower half of the Gulf), so we turned to Iraq. It should be noted that so did the rest of the region. Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, in particular, subsidized both Iraqi arms purchases, and also food.
Your point is?
We sided with…
We can knock…
Here are two questions:
1- Who is “We”? and what’s his/her responsibility?
2- What are the priorities which drives the “We” person to back some government or help an evil? For example why doesn’t the “We” guy attach Cuba, Pakistan, Belarussia or North Korea? Because it doesn’t worth it? So what about democracy in that country? I’m pretty sure getting rid of Castro is much easier than Saddam…
(Sorry for bad english…)
Firstly, I guess around 80% of Iran’s population didn’t exist during the hostage crisis.
Secondly, I understand that everything US did in the past (WWII, Cold War, …) was in accordance with its national security and interest (or at least they thought it was). But do you think it’s justified for some country (say Bigland) to give weapons for example to Canada, Mexico and Bahamas to invade, occupy and change the gov. in the States just because the current American gov. is against Bigland’s interests? Or if they think a new socialist American gov. will bring much more peace to the region and the world?
I rather live in a world run by logic than greed and ignorance. By the way you need to resit the medical board exams because I neither have anything against the “west” nor any sympathy for the islamists…
I prefer to clarify a point first, and that is I’m here to exchange ideas and talk about politics, and not to insult or accuse anyone. It interesting to know how you see the world.
And now about your message: Almost all Arabs backed Saddam, because they were very afraid of similar revolutions happening in their countries. All those countries were and still are dictatorship, and you know it as well that most of them rule the same way they did 1000 years ago. They didn’t want to lose their throne and any kind of republic system was and is their nightmare.
So Arabs backing Iraq does not necessarily mean Iraq was the good guy (which wasn’t). It means that they did not want to see anything happening to their own dictator government. (continues)
The Stark accident and shooting down the Iranian airliner did not happen in the same month, but they happened during the same war (Gulf War I?).
It’s amazing how tolerant America was towards Iraq (the Baathist Iraq, which was an import from Nazi Germany with Stalinist flavoring added) when they shot Stark.
Was America happy that Saddam is fighting revolutionary Iranians because:
A) Iranians had just rid themselves from Shah’s long brutal dictatorship, and were arguing about the type of republic they want?
B) Iranian revolution resulted in loss of American interests; and America wanted those interests back even if those interests were guarded by a dictator like Persian Shah or Arab Sheykhs?
C) America was only angry that Iranian revolutionarists stormed the US embassy and was seeking revenge? If no hostage had been taken, would Iran have been the good guy?
When reading messages in this weblog, one of the main problems is that quite often you mix two different subjects of “American interests/national security” and “democracy (in the world)” together. These two issues are obviously very different.