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Saturday, October 08, 2005

One plus one equals three

"It is hard to argue with his [George W. Bush's] assertion that if militants controlled Iraq, they would be well positioned "to develop weapons of mass destruction, to destroy Israel, to intimidate Europe, to assault the American people and to blackmail our government into isolation." It is also hard to resist the temptation to say he should have thought of that before invading."

New York Times editorial, October 7

Perhaps the paper has forgotten it's key role in supporting the war and providing essential propaganda cover.

11 Comments:

Blogger boredinHK said...

Sorry have to call complete crap on this editorial.
Iraq was a threat , could develop WMD , was threatening Israel and Europe BEFORE the invasion.
The fact the invasion hasn't helped that much but looks set to leave a divided ,feuding mess is a separate point.
In realpolitik terms a crippled enemy is less of an enemy.And the surrounding states are set to be the biggest losers in the coming rout.

Friday, October 07, 2005 7:44:00 pm  
Blogger Brian said...

If you look at the effect the war has had on the perparedness of the US military it seems that the US is the one that has been crippled.

Saturday, October 08, 2005 2:45:00 am  
Blogger Ibrahamav said...

Actually, it appears the US has developed a slight limp that will go away in a couple of months after some rest.

But that's it.

Saturday, October 08, 2005 3:13:00 am  
Blogger Rich Bowden said...

I thought it was a great editorial.....shame about the NYT's leading role in the media's unquestioning charge to an ill-fated war though....

Saturday, October 08, 2005 8:05:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

" Actually, it appears the US has developed a slight limp that will go away in a couple of months after some rest."

I beg to differ. The US military looks nothing like the pueperpower it was purported to be prior to the disaser in Iraq. They have been made to look liek sitting ducks my an enemy that is armed witht he crudest of weapons.

How humilating for them!!

And in spite of the military resorting to allowing drug addicts, the illiterate and those with a criminal record to enlist, not to mention large cash incentives, recuriting numbers are the lowest they have been in decades.

Sunday, October 09, 2005 4:06:00 am  
Blogger Ian Westmore said...

boredinHK wrote:

Iraq was a threat , could develop WMD , was threatening Israel and Europe BEFORE the invasion.

With what? Its clear that the Iraqi army wasn't capable of threatening anyone. And this was clear BEFORE the invasion. For example:

"He (Saddam Hussein) has not developed any significant capability with respect to weapons of mass destruction. He is unable to project conventional power against his neighbours." Colin Powell, Feb 2001, Cairo

"Saddam does not control the northern part of the country," and "We are able to keep his arms from him. His military forces have not been rebuilt." Condoleezza Rice, April 2001

"[Saddam has not] "build his military back up or to develop weapons of mass destruction the last 10 years" America had been successful in keeping him "in a box" Colin Powell, May 2001


In realpolitik terms a crippled enemy is less of an enemy.

Iraq was crippled before and a danger to no one outside the country. However, the Bush/Blair/Howard/Berlusconi/Aznar initiated 'World's Biggest Terrorist Training Camp' in Iraq is going to produce an even more dangerous enemy than al-Quaida ever was. bin Laden and his minions only had the unsophisticated Soviets to develop their skills against, mostly in a rural setting. Their successors get to train against well equipped forces using western anti insurgency tactics in urban areas. This should help them greatly when they come, bombs in hand, to a town near you!

And the surrounding states are set to be the biggest losers in the coming rout.

True, the first graduates of the Iraq Terrorist Training camp are already beginning to undermine Iraq's neighbours. It'll get worse. And if/when they also collapse then it provides the terrorists with even more safe areas and cash.

Monday, October 10, 2005 3:17:00 pm  
Blogger boredinHK said...

Sorry Ian Westmore I was thinking that Iraq had a pretty checkered and disturbing past - and that the editorial was talking about how things hadn't changed much .
You are right to say that Iraq wasn't a threat immediately before the current invasion but I was referring to the prevous 20 years of hostility , invasions, firing scuds at Israel , that sort of thing.
Even Scott Ritter reported that if the sanctions were removed , the WMD program would soon be re-activated.
Re the consequences - I think they will be less than you fear . The Arab world will absorb the greater part of any negative fallout .For me , if the Iraqi shi'ites stick it to the sunnis for a while so be it . That's democracy baby.

Monday, October 10, 2005 6:34:00 pm  
Blogger Wombat said...

Scott Ritter said no such thing. He stated that such a program could conceivably be reconsituted.

Scott Ritter also said that the sanctions were being used by the CIA to locate he weraouts of Hussein so that he could be assasinated. IN 1998 the inspectors were ordered out of Iraq by the US and foloowed by a missile strike designed to tkae out Hussein. When that failed, Iraq said the inspectors woudl not be allowed in unless they dd their job as inspectors rather than a proxy of hte CIA. Yet the world presented this as Sadam being beligenent and non co-operative.

Scott Ritter also stated that in 1992, he as head of the ballistic missile inspection program demonstratd that Sadam had no remianing missile program and no missiles. The VIA woudl not allow him to formalise that report and insisted that the number of missiles was 200 (not based on fact of course). * mnths later after more investigation, the CIA agreedto a number of 14 and insited that woud not change nomatter what the findings.

The rasn for this was that the US was determined not to alow Iraq to be seen to be abiding by the sanctions in case this caused a domno effect and led to the snctions being lifted.

George HW Bush was on the record as saying thea the sanctrions would not be lifted so long as Hussein was in power. That is not waht the santions were in place for.

When

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 2:27:00 am  
Blogger boredinHK said...

"Scott Ritter said no such thing. He stated that such a program could conceivably be reconsituted."
OK that is a clearer wording.
My point is that over a long period of time , and all the events you mention I agree occurred and were influential,Iraq proved to be a threat.The actions you outline were tit for tat responses which developed asthe UN actions faltered and were countred by actions of Saddam Neither side is innocent in this regard.
I think longer and more harsh sanctions could have achieved aregime change ,which would be beneficial to the Iraqis. They still end up with feuding and social chaos due to changing political fortunes as groups move to cement their influence.
The war is for regime change .

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 11:28:00 am  
Blogger Wombat said...

"I think longer and more harsh sanctions could have achieved aregime change ,which would be beneficial to the Iraqis."

How do you come to that conclusion? Half a million schildren died under the existing sanctions. Longer and more harsh sanctions would have killed more Iraqi's. The Duelfer report (a partisan appointment at that) stated that Sadam's weapons program was pretty much done with by 1992, so Iraq endured 10 more years of slent genocide for nothing.

Sadam was obviously a nastry piece of work, but current events are proving that his sudden removal has lead to a power vacuum that will probably lead to eitther the country splitting into 3 regions, or another strong man rising to take his place.

"The war is for regime change."

Pitty we weren;t told that from the beginning. Mind you, had that beenthe stated aim, the war would not have gained any support. Regime change to remove a tyrant is good in theory, but there no international law or law under the UN charter recognises this as a legitimate rationalisation for war.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005 1:11:00 pm  
Blogger leftvegdrunk said...

Boredinhk, if the war is about regime change then what can we make of all of the other regimes which are not being confronted in the same way? I know that this line of argument is usually dismissed with something along the lines of, "do you want us to invade everyone?", but I still think that asking that question - doubting the official line - is critical to understanding the true motivations behind the invasion.

After that, we need to consider whether military power is the correct way to dislodge an entrenched tyranny. The ongoing conflict in Iraq is evidence that well laid military plans have their weaknesses too.

Saturday, October 15, 2005 11:42:00 am  

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