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Fahrenheit continued... ?

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Doc
    Welcome to the wonderful world of contemporary American political logic .
    Argh! (Collapses and has convulsions on the floor.) Somebody take me back to the rational sanity of the End of Time, please!
    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

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    • #47
      "And what defeats me, is how he can argue that we should wage war on somebody for disregarding the UN, thus totally disregarding the UN's decisions about how to take action on the matter."

      How exactly was the UN's decision "disregarded"? The resolution absolutely allowed for and contemplated a use of force to get Hussein to comply. Certain members of the UN wanted a different time table and/or a different first step, but the UN decision was in fact NOT disregarded, but adhered to in the spirit AND letter it was intended.


      (Note: edit to correct a spelling error.)

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by Bill
        How exactly was the UN's decision "disregarded"? The resolution absolutely allowed for and contemplated a use of force to get Hussein to comply. Certain members of the UN wanted a different time table and/or a different first step, but the UN decision was in fact NOT disregarded, but adhered to in the spirit AND letter it was intended.
        OK, Bill, you may have caught me on the wrong leg here, since I don't have all the numerous resolutions made by the UN at hand. So I have to dig back if I'm to find quotes to substantiate how *exactly* some of them were disregarded.

        As far as I remember, at the time of the start of the war, the latest UN resolution on the matter stated that it was preferred not to take military action against Iraq before Hans Blix and his inspectors had finished their work. Bush & Co. had to dig back to an earlier resolution which left open the possibility of future military action (but certainly no incentive to start it at the moment). This many months old resolution was contradicted by the newer ones, however, and therefore ought to have been considered put on hold.

        So, I think that a selective reading of the resolutions may make it possible to argue that they were adhered to in letter. But I'm really not convinced about the spirit part.

        EDIT: As indicated I could well be wrong here, but that's my honest impression of the events.
        "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by Bill
          How exactly was the UN's decision "disregarded"? The resolution absolutely allowed for and contemplated a use of force to get Hussein to comply. Certain members of the UN wanted a different time table and/or a different first step, but the UN decision was in fact NOT disregarded, but adhered to in the spirit AND letter it was intended.
          As probably shines through, my latest comment here was written in a hurry on my way out. I thought of editing it now, but let me take a second shot now instead of revising history.

          I suppose you're referring to UN resolution 1441, but resolutions don't tell the whole story.

          Resolution 1441 (November 2002) authorized the use of military action against Saddam. It also stated that new inspections should be made in Iraq to find the alleged mass destruction weapons, and that if Saddam obstructed their work, the inspectors (led by Hans Blix) had to report that to the Security Council which then were to take the decision whether or not the theoretical opening for the use of force in the resolution should be put into practise.

          After that, however, some time passed before the start of the war (March 2003), and a lot of heated debate went on in the UN Security Council. The inspections were started. Saddam complied in part, but dragged things out. The inspectors didn't finish on their original deadline, and asked for more time which the Security Council granted them. Bush wanted another resolution to state that Saddam was failing to comply, but was vetoed in the Security Council by France, Russia, China, and others. According to the rules of the UN game, therefore, the prolonged time for the inspectors must be considered authorized.

          This made Bush impatient, so the US decided to go its seperate way from the UN (followed by the UK, Spain, Denmark), and start a war without support from the Security Council.

          So, I find that the decisions of the UN Security Concil were disregarded (and even that the countries going their seperate way severely undermined the authority of the UN). I think that it's unfair to reduce this matter to a pedantic squabbling over time tables. Do you think that's an unfair interpretation?
          "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

          Comment


          • #50
            Without wishing to interrupt, the film has finally arrived at my local cinema... but that evil Mr Bush has put financial and diplomatic pressure on the cinema to show it only once a day, and after 6pm so I'll have to pay full price. Damn that nasty Mr Bush!!! Still, I plan to see it next week... then I'll go back to the original thread and try to catch up.

            As you were.

            D...
            "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

            Comment


            • #51
              "I suppose you're referring to UN resolution 1441, but resolutions don't tell the whole story. "

              Well, it either does or it doesn't. What I mean is, you can't require a country to follow the letter of the process, then when they do (and do something you don't like) say that isn't what you meant.

              Your summary is to my knowledge, mostly right but not exactly right. I take as my primary source "Plan of Attack" by Bob Woodward, altough most of this stuff is readily available elsewhere.

              "...if Saddam obstructed their work, the inspectors (led by Hans Blix) had to report that to the Security Council which then were to take the decision whether or not the theoretical opening for the use of force in the resolution should be put into practise."

              Not exactly true; to my knowledge there was no requirement that the Security Council approve any measures already approved in the Resolution. In effect, they already authorized a set of possible actions in the Resolution itself.

              "The inspectors didn't finish on their original deadline, and asked for more time which the Security Council granted them."

              There is more to this; there was some discussion that the very length of time was the reason that the inspections were not efective; in many cases, Iraq was notified of the targets of upcoming inspections and given time to "prepare".

              "Bush wanted another resolution to state that Saddam was failing to comply, but was vetoed in the Security Council by France, Russia, China, and others. According to the rules of the UN game, therefore, the prolonged time for the inspectors must be considered authorized."

              To my knowledge, not true. Bush and the rest of the administration were advised that one alternative was to get another reoslution stating the obvious that Saddam was failing to comply. However, many in the administration (predominantly Cheney) advised that this wouldn't change anything already agreed to, it would only prolong the current situation and delay the inevitable. He was worried that the seeking of an additional resolution would only serve to communicate a clear message that the UN was not serious about its stance vis-a-vis Saddam Hussein.

              "This made Bush impatient, so the US decided to go its seperate way from the UN (followed by the UK, Spain, Denmark), and start a war without support from the Security Council."

              No; the US decided to act on the authority of the resolution, and not give the UN a chance to change its mind (READ: Not give France - who was the lone opponent in the negotiations of Resolution 1441, although they ultimately agreed to the resolution - a chance to finagle a way to get their wishes without appearing to be a road block or without admitting to the basis for their position). They were fully in accord with the established resolutions; their one failing was to not agree to further resolutions. Basically, they didn't want to keep having the same discussion over and over, while France availed itself of its oil contracts with Iraq and Saddam made a mockery of the already weak UN.

              Comment


              • #52
                Originally posted by Bill
                No; the US decided to act on the authority of the resolution, and not give the UN a chance to change its mind
                To me, this sounds pretty close to disregarding the UN (even if not violating a resolution, which I never claimed anybody did -- with the exception of Saddam, obviously).
                "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

                Comment


                • #53
                  "To me, this sounds pretty close to disregarding the UN (even if not violating a resolution, which I never claimed anybody did -- with the exception of Saddam, obviously)."

                  If you insist on having the US disregard anyone, it would not be the UN, but France. Much of the negotiations surrounding the passing of Resolution 1441 involved one-on-one discussions with France to get their buy-in, as any resolution must be passed unanimously by the members of the Security Council.

                  Not willing to allow one country - acting in their blatant economic self-interest* - to hold the entire process hostage is not exactly "disregarding", under any definition of the word.



                  * - Lest I get outraged responses, I don't think acting in one's economic self-interest is necessarily bad or wrong; the part that is wrong is doing so, then denying it, then castigating those that oppose you on moral grounds. Which, if you look back, is exactly what France did. They basically hung the US out to dry on moral grounds when they are playing at the same level.

                  Comment


                  • #54
                    Originally posted by Bill
                    If you insist on having the US disregard anyone, it would not be the UN, but France.

                    [...]

                    Not willing to allow one country - acting in their blatant economic self-interest* - to hold the entire process hostage is not exactly "disregarding", under any definition of the word.
                    I wasn't primarily after Bush in this case, but after the Danish prime minister who has based his whole justification for entering the war on Saddam disregarding the UN. I still think it's rather weird to punish somebody solely for not playing the UN game, and then not let the UN take the decision of how to handle the matter. Even if you question the motives of somebody in the forum of decisions.
                    "If the environment were a bank, we would already have saved it." -Graffitti.

                    Comment


                    • #55
                      "I still think it's rather weird to punish somebody solely for not playing the UN game, and then not let the UN take the decision of how to handle the matter. Even if you question the motives of somebody in the forum of decisions."

                      If I understand you correctly, I do agree with you.

                      Comment


                      • #56
                        At this point it's pretty darn amusing if you look back and recall that conference where Colin Powell was pointing at PowerPoint slides with detailed graphics of those "mobile chemical weapons labs" that were never found. How elusive they are in the huge Iraqui desert. They probably have special desert tires to speed through all that soft sand, speed over them dunes!

                        ____________
                        I wonder why Powell ended up being so apologetic about the whole fiasco? Maybe he knows something that Bush and other cronies don't know. :?:
                        How about that Tim Russert interview where the aide turned the camera and tried to stop him from speaking his heart?

                        You don't know what I'm talking about? Ah I know, it can be tough to keep up with all the news. I don't claim that I do...

                        Even if the US government did no wrong in following protocol to wage war, it doesn't change the fact that they fucked up royally.
                        It doesn't seem to matter to Bush and Cheney. The ends justify everything, even gargantuan mistakes. Saddam is out of power. That's their justification. Their ideology to handling theats is preemption. It's all about the ideology. They really don't give a shit about what the rest of the world thinks. What a bunch of assholes.
                        \"Bush\'s army of barmy bigots is the worst thing that\'s happened to the US in some years...\"
                        Michael Moorcock - 3am Magazine Interview

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                        • #57
                          "I wonder why Powell ended up being so apologetic about the whole fiasco? Maybe he knows something that Bush and other cronies don't know."

                          Well, that is one of the great failings of the Bush administration: the unflexibility. Some of his programs are EXACTLY the same as they were when he trotted them out in the primaries to the 2000 election. Despite our differences, we can all agree that in every single way the US is not the same country it was in 2000.

                          "Even if the US government did no wrong in following protocol to wage war, it doesn't change the fact that they fucked up royally."

                          I don't understand this; even if they did it right, they did it wrong?

                          "Their ideology to handling theats is preemption. It's all about the ideology. They really don't give a shit about what the rest of the world thinks."

                          Is that what you mean? The "fucked up royally" is bad ideology? I don't argue with that at all, although I do argue with the "caring about the rest of the world" nonsense. I mean, I am all for diplomacy; it's got to be a cornerstone of any successful foreign policy. But we should be engaging in diplomacy for the greater good and for long-term stability, NOT to avoid stepping on people's toes. I think we are putting too much blame on Bush (well, maybe not TOO much) and not enough on the rest of the world (specifically France and Russia) who are allowing this bad situation to be much worse. There is a real possibility that Saddam could have been removed relatively peacefully IF France and Russia had come to the table with open kimonos instead of attacking us on moral grounds while they were dealing under the table. You can't void one entity for protecting its own interests at the expense of the other, when the one is in that very position to start with because the other was protecting their own interest in the first place. Does that make sense?

                          Comment


                          • #58
                            Originally posted by Bill
                            "
                            I don't understand this; even if they did it right, they did it wrong?
                            Pardon me for jumping in...

                            I think some people might say instead even if they did right (not "it right", they did it wrong.

                            Bush is very much to blame for people's responses like this. He has tried to make political debate a series of competing dualisms (if you're not for us, then you are against us, etc...), so people have begun to respond to him as narrowly as he responds to issues. People have begun to judge him by his own rhetorical logic. Bush is bad, so his war is bad, even if he may have done it for the right reasons.

                            I hope that makes sense. I've had little sleep for the past five days, and my mind may still not be clear.

                            By the way, about the earlier post and France. It's interesting to me that some of the same people who were very critical of France for pursuing its own agenda are some of the fiercest supporters of the US's right to do the same.

                            Comment


                            • #59
                              "By the way, about the earlier post and France. It's interesting to me that some of the same people who were very critical of France for pursuing its own agenda are some of the fiercest supporters of the US's right to do the same."

                              Well, that is a loaded statement, at least as regards my views. I am not saying one way or another whether pursuing one's own agenda is right or wrong (I personally tend to think it is a case-by-case assessment). All I am willing to say is you can't have your cake and eat it too. Or, if you will, to paraphrase your post, "some of the same people who were very tolerant of France for pursuing its own agenda are some of the fiercest critics of the US's right to do the same."

                              Comment


                              • #60
                                Oops, sorry about that one Bill. I didn't mean to come across like I was accusing you of thinking that way. Hopefully you know that if I accuse you of something, I will make sure to single you out by name :lol:

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