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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 07:25 PM
Original message
Democracy, Theocracy, Plurocacy, Autocracy, Let's Call the Whole Thing Off
Edited on Sat Apr-24-04 07:38 PM by bigtree
I am amazed at the way the Bush administration's rational for invading Iraq has shifted and evolved over the course of this war. First there was the president's claim that: "Iraq is (was) expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons; Iraq has stockpiled biological and chemical weapons; is rebuilding the facilities used to make more of those weapons; Saddam Hussein recently authorized Iraqi field commanders to use chemical weapons; It is seeking nuclear weapons; Iraq is reconstituting its nuclear weapons program; the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sabin nerve gas, VX nerve gas; Iraq has a growing fleet of manned and unmanned aerial vehicles that could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas; Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVS for missions targeting the United States; Iraq is rebuilding facilities at sites that have been part of its nuclear program in the past; Iraq has attempted to purchase high-strength aluminum tubes for gas centrifuges, used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons."

When none of those appeals to our deepest fears following 9-11 proved true, President Bush tried to cover his his blunder which had already needlessly claimed hundreds of American and innocent Iraqi lives with the admonition that Saddam Hussein- "the guy who had tried to kill his dad,"- ". . . had a weapons program. Intelligence throughout the decade showed they had a weapons program. I am absolutely convinced with time we'll find out they did have a weapons program."

When that proved weak and unconvincing the president shifted again: "This is a guy who was a torturer, a killer, a maimer; there's mass graves. I mean, he was a horrible individual that really shocked the country in many ways . . . But I still know Saddam Hussein was a threat, he claimed, "and the world is better off without Saddam Hussein."

"I believe, that this violence we've seen is part of a few people trying to stop progress toward democracy." he said in Ft. Hood this month. Similarly, In November in London, Bush said, "The failure of democracy in Iraq would throw its people back into misery and turn that country over to terrorists who wish to destroy us. Yet democracy will succeed in Iraq, because our will is firm, our word is good, and the Iraqi people will not surrender their freedom.

Then the president's argument for our continued involvement shifted to the defeat of terrorism: "You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq, so that we don't have to face them in our own country."

That same mantra about defeating terrorism in Iraq was echoed by Vice President Cheney in a speech in October before the Heritage Foundation: "We are fighting this evil in Iraq so that we do not have to fight it in our own cities," he counseled.

Sadly, American soldiers serve as targets in Iraq, and their lives are no less important than ours here in the states. Inviting attacks on Americans overseas is an amazing retreat from the peaceful influence of a great nation of justice; humbled by bloody, devastating wars; and witnessed to the power of liberty, and to the freedom inherent in the constitution we wisely defend with our peaceful acts of mercy, charity, and tolerance.

More importantly, the president has repeatedly asserted that Saddam Hussein had no ties with Al-Qaeda or to 9-11. Further, by likening the conflict in Iraq to the worldwide terror offensive the president does what Hussein could not; he binds Iraqis to the Muslim extremists. He practically invites them to join the battle there and ally with the forces that threaten our soldiers daily.

"We have our best chance since the rise of the nation-state in the 17th century to build a world where the great powers compete in peace instead of prepare for war," Bush said after 9-11. "The United States bears a disproportionate responsibility for security." His position was in sharp contrast to candidate Bush, who had complained for months about former president Clinton's "nation-building."

There are many reasons why Bush's strategy of preemption is misguided and wrong. It is a licence to release the aggressor nation from their responsibility to pursue - to the rejection of their last reasonable admonition - a peaceful resolution to any perceived threat.

And, with a deft flex of military and political muscle the presumption of innocence, even in the face of a clear absence of proof, is a conquered victim of the tainted consensus of a cabal of purchased adversaries; " either with us or against us."

Lincoln once remarked: "A highwayman holds a pistol to my ear, and mutters through his teeth, "Stand and deliver, or I shall kill you, and then you will be a murderer!"

Preemption is a corrosive example for those countries who may feel threatened enough by their neighbors to move to resolve their fears militarily instead of engaging in the long-established enterprise of diplomacy and negotiation.

There is no longer any rational left for our continued occupation and stewardship of Iraq outside of a prideful, arrogant, blundering tyranny which has destroyed countless innocent lives and forever branded our country around the world as imperialistic thugs with no regard for innocent lives outside of our own selfish ambitions.

You hear this talk of 'hearts and minds'. We are way beyond the point where the damage to our credibility among Iraqis can be repaired. The restart of offensive action in Fallujah will signal a new intransigence, a moving of a line in the sand back and forth. We will only dig a bigger hole for our soldiers and further alienate any fringe of moderates that may have aligned with our mission there.

I'm exasperated by the new call by the cabal to re-legitimize the old Iraqi forces we shunned. They won't be any more accepting of our occupation and it's ludicrous to expect them to defend our interests there. There are reports of new demonstrations in Basra as most Iraqis there blame the recent bombing that took over 50 lives on the American force's presence. Any new indiscriminate assault that disregards civilian casualties will add to the open resentment.

I am presently rethinking my opposition to the call to "cut and run." In fact, the only reservation that I have is that we are responsible for the perpetuation of the very regime that we deposed there. We broke Iraq, we should help fix it.

Saddam Hussein was, without question, the leader of a brutal dictatorship. As many as 300,000 Iraqis are believed to have been deliberately murdered by the regime in the "Anfal campaign" against the Kurds, and the assaults on the Marsh Arabs and southern Shi`a populations, which resulted in thousands of more dead.

Between 1977 and 1987, some 4,500-5,000 Kurdish villages were systematically destroyed, and the survivors were forced into concentration camps.

Many of the atrocities took place at a time when the U.S. was actively supporting Hussein in a manufactured revolution against the Iranian government, whose leaders had humiliated Americans in the '70's hostage crisis.

Iraq used chemical weapons in 1983-1984, during the Iran-Iraq war. It has been reported that some 20,000 Iranians were killed by mustard gas, and the nerve agents tabun and sarin. In 1988, Iraqi soldiers invaded Kurdistan and rounded up more than 100,000 Kurds and executed them. In March 1988, in the town of Halabja, more than 3,000 civilians died from chemical gas attacks by the Iraqi military.

Iraq has been rightly condemned by the U.S. and most of the international community for these and other deadly actions against its citizens and its neighbors. But Iraq did not operate against its enemies alone or without our knowledge, and in many instances, U.S. support.

Nightline, in Sept. 1991 reported that the Atlanta branch of an Italian bank, BNL, was able to funnel billions, some of it in U.S. credits, to Iraq's military. The U.S. apparently knew of the transfers and turned a blind eye.

"Sophisticated military technology was illegally transferred from a major U.S. company in Lancaster, Pennsylvania to South Africa and Chile and, from there, on to Iraq. The Iraqi-born designer of a chemical weapon plant in Libya set up shop in Florida, producing and then shipping to Iraq chemical weapon components. The CIA, the FBI and other federal agencies were made aware of the operation and did nothing to prevent it."

The report further states: "During the 1980s and into the '90s, senior officials of both the Reagan and Bush administrations encouraged the privatization of foreign policy, certainly toward Iran and Iraq. They made a mockery of the export control system; they found ways of encouraging foreign governments to do what our laws prohibited. They either knew or, if not, were guilty of the grossest incompetence, that U.S. companies were collaborating with foreign arms merchants in the illegal transfer of American technology that helped Saddam Hussein build his formidable arsenal."

It summarizes that, "Iraq, during much of the 1980's and into the '90s, was able acquire sophisticated U.S. technology, intelligence material, ingredients for chemical weapons, indeed, entire weapon-producing plants, with the knowledge, acquiescence and sometimes even the assistance of the U.S. government."

The New York Times reported in Aug. 2002 that during the Reagan administration, the U.S. military provided Saddam with critical intelligence that was used in Iraq's aggression against Iran, at a time when they were clearly using chemical and biological agents in their prosecution of that war.

The United States was an accomplice in the use of these materials at a time when President Reagan's top aides, including then- Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Defense Secretary Frank C. Carlucci and Gen. Colin L. Powell, then national security adviser, were publicly condemning Iraq for its use of poison gas, especially after Iraq attacked Kurds in Halabja.

The classified support reportedly involved more than 60 military advisors from the Defense Intelligence Agency who provided detailed information on Iranian deployments, tactical planning for battles, plans for air strikes and bomb-damage assessments for Iraq.

A retired intelligence officer recalled that, in the military's view, "The use of gas on the battlefield by the Iraqis was not a matter of deep strategic concern."

A 1994 Senate Banking Committee report, and a letter from the Centers for Disease Control in 1995, revealed that the U.S. had shipped biological agents to Iraq at a time when Washington knew that Iraq was using chemical weapons to kill thousands of Iranian troops.

The reports showed that Iraq was allowed to purchase batches of anthrax, botulism, E. coli, West Nile fever, gas gangrene, dengue fever. The CDC was shipping germ cultures directly to the Iraqi weapons facility in al-Muthanna.

The National Security Archive at George Washington University has a collection of declassified government documents that detail U.S. support of Saddam's regime. This is the collection that contains a photograph of Saddam Hussein shaking hands with Ronald Reagan's Middle East envoy, Donald Rumsfeld, who apparently said nothing to Saddam about his nuclear weapons program or his use of chemical weapons.

My other reservation about cutting and running would be the inevitable consolodation of our installed 'authority', led by our puppet Ahmad Chalabi and his minions. Chalabi is a wealthy, U.S.-educated banker whose family fled Iraq when the monarchy was overthrown in 1958. Chalabi's CIA contacts led to the formation of the Iraqi National Congress in 1992.

Chalabi's influence in Washington comes from conservatives in and out of the administration who have been advocating for the deposition of Hussein and who are closely associated with the right-wing American Enterprise Institute and the Project for a New American Century.

Chalabi has been tried in exile by a Jordanian court and sentenced to 22 years in prison on 31 charges of embezzlement, theft of more than $70 million, misuse of depositor funds and currency speculation.

Chalabi's nephew, Salem Chalabi, has associated himself with the so-called Iraqi International Law Group, whose site boasts that their "clients number among the largest corporations and institutions on the planet."

And that: " . . . they have chosen IILG to provide them with real-time, on the ground intelligence they cannot get from inexperienced local firms or from overburdened coalition and local government officials."

Salem Chalabi is also in the process of arranging and overseeing the trial of Saddam Hussein. Not bad for an exiled nobody.

Here is a family (Chalabi) that has ingratiated themselves with monied influences, in and out of our government. Their administration benefactors spread our tax dollars around the world with abandon, yet treat the most urgent of our basic needs here at home with miserly neglect. Consistent with Ahmed's U.S. military escort back to his homeland, the Chalabis will assume whatever mandate for power, money, or influence that their Pentagon cabal will provide.

There will be no sovereignty for Iraqis as long as this new appointed dictator, whose 'authority' is buttressed with the lives and sacrifice of American servicemen and women, continues to occupy a position of leadership in Iraq, that even President Bush has asserted, is one that the Iraqi people deserve to determine for themselves in a democratic process.

On Friday, the United Nations' envoy said the 25 members of Iraq's propped-up ruling council should be excluded from the planned caretaker government that is to assume authority in June, with U.S. military oversight and protection.

The Washington Post reported Saturday that, "At the top of the list of those likely to be jettisoned is Ahmed Chalabi, a Shiite politician who for years was a favorite of the Pentagon and the office of Vice President Cheney, and who was once expected to assume a powerful role after the ouster of Saddam Hussein."

The statements by the U.N. envoy are an encouraging sign that the international body will not rubber-stamp the U.S.-invented regime which has replaced the U.S. government's previous accomplice, Saddam. Our continued aggression resigns the nation to a perpetual global threat against the United States and our interests. Diplomacy provides hope that the killing among all countries would end, by the force of our collective resolve; not at the point of a weapon.

Me Book
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:01 PM
Response to Original message
1. Oh, kick I guess
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leftofthedial Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:06 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. no time now to comment fully
the absence of public and media concern over the shifting rationale for war is troubling, to say the least.

The media are controlled by the bushgang, post-2000 Coup, so that is understandable. But why don't more citizens express outrage over the deceptions that led the US to launch an unprovoked invasion of oanother country?

I'm left with apathy, ignorance, stupidity and laziness as the only explanations.
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:10 PM
Response to Original message
3. But why do you hate freedom?
Seriously though, I like it all put together like that. This one gets bookmarked. :)
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:20 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Freedom
Freedom is poetry, taking liberties with words, breaking the rules of normal speech, violating common sense. Freedom is violence.

Norman O. Brown (b. 1913), U.S. philosopher.
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Toucano Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 08:21 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. Excellent! n/t
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Beam Me Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:28 PM
Response to Reply #4
7. "The Christian prayer is for the end of the world,
that it may come quickly. The only question is how: a mistake here could prove quite costly."
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:59 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Rapture
THE fairest, brightest, hues of ether fade;
The sweetest notes must terminate and die;
O Friend! thy flute has breathed a harmony
Softly resounded through this rocky glade;
Such strains of rapture as the Genius played
In his still haunt on Bagdad's summit high;
He who stood visible to Mirza's eye,
Never before to human sight betrayed.
Lo, in the vale, the mists of evening spread!
The visionary Arches are not there,
Nor the green Islands, nor the shining Seas:
Yet sacred is to me this Mountain's head,
Whence I have risen, uplifted, on the breeze
Of harmony, above all earthly care.

Wordsworth, William. 1888
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Beam Me Up Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 11:00 PM
Response to Reply #8

He's out there.
I can feel His Presence, lurking.
He watches me through the window.
But hides when I turn to look.

Enraged, I fly to the door.
And down the front steps.
I will not be terrorized!
I shall find and Annihilate Him!

But just slow enough to insure that I have seen,
His Translucense fades into the Great Tree outside My Father's House.
My Mouth opens as large as my head.
I BELLOWWWWWW at Him with a Force that could Kill LEGIONS!

He does not move.
Yet I am stopped.
Only my right foot Touches the Earth.
Arrested in His Gaze of Terifying Love.

Slowly I Awaken.
To a WORLD that is more NIGHTMARE than THAT.
WHO Dream Themselves as MEN.


My Body IS The Great Tree
Whose Trunk is the Core of The Eternal
Whose Mighty Limbs are the Columns of Heaven
Whose Branches are the Pathways to All Worlds
Whose Twigs Nurture My Leaves, The Stars

I Span The Great River
My Roots Divide the Dark Waters
And Cleave the Bedrock of All
Drawing forth Nourishment from The Depths
To Feed YOU, My Children
Who Are My Flower, My Fruit, My Seed

THIS I Give YOU as A Sign
That YOU May Drink of MY Fountain
That YOU Shall Not FEAR
That YOU Shall Endure to STAND WITNESS
As My LEAVES Fall From the Heavens
And Spill Forth My WOMB for THEE


I fear that I may soon Drown
As the Dam of My Heart Cracks Open
Flooded by the Tears of The Gods





BMU 042404
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #10
12. Powerful words BMU
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 09:11 PM
Response to Original message
6. kick
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-24-04 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #6
9. nite folks
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Karenina Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Mawnin'!
GOOD ONE!!! :thumbsup:
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 05:40 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. Tanks
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Paranoid_Portlander Donating Member (823 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 11:17 AM
Response to Original message
14. Kick.
So many of these night-time threads deserve to see the light of day. So many of my own posts consist of "kick".
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bigtree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Apr-25-04 03:14 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. I'll take this opportunity to execute a stealth kick
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