cfalk
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Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 5:44 am

Now that's the big question. Hans Blix, ever a pessimist before, seems to think that they are making progress. Great.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&ncid=578&e=1&cid=578&u=/nm/20030208/ts_nm/iraq_dc

If Saddam is finally getting the message, now is the tricky part. Of course, what got him scared enough to make concessions in the first place is the sight of US and UK troops across the border, and a half-dozen carrier battle groups in and around the gulf. Now is the balancing act - maintaining the pressure of military threats, but not scaring him into withdrawing back into his shell. For instance, it is vitally important that France, Russia and others do not choose NOW to say that they support a strike. If these reports of Iraq beginning to cooperate better are genuine, then Saddam is scared shitless, and we have to keep him scared shitless and milk him for every concession he will give for the inspectors.

But if he's just buying more time, then that's a whole other story...

Charles

[Edited 2003-02-08 21:44:56]
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
dc863
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 6:20 am

To be honest Saddam is buying time. He's backed himself into a corner and this is the only way out. Truth is we are going to war and within a few weeks there will be no more Saddam.
 
GDB
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 6:32 am

France and Germany are working on a plan to presumably put to the UN.
1) Inspectors tripled
2) Inspectors escorted by armed UN troops
3) The Southern and Northern No-Fly Zones to be extended over the whole of Iraq, requiring a much greater allocation of aircraft, both for recce and armed escort, French, German and possibly other NATO airforces would supplement the US and UK aircraft currently patrolling the existing zones.
4) Throughout all this, the US and British forces would continue their deployment and build up, if Saddam refused to bow to this plan, they'd be used.

It is hard to see Iraq accepting this, but if the alternative was the full scale effort to overthrow the regime to ensure disarmament, could they refuse?
Saddam saying no could spark a revolt, people who think they'll be dead or before an international court soon, or worse of all end up at the mercy of the Iraqi people, might just risk attempting to topple Saddam, with all the dangers that brings.

The US should back this plan if it is for real, (apparently France and Germany have been working on it since the new year), it would defuse much of the anti-war opposition, provide the UN with a tough mandate and mend fences between the US and some of Europe, not to mention uniting Europe.

 
racko
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 6:47 am

GDP, the plan is for real, the German government has confirmed it after the Spiegel brought the plan up to the public.

There would also be unlimited flights of American U2s & German Luna-UAVs to assist the inspectors.

The plan sounds very good imho, this would basically take away much control from Saddam without the iraqi civilians suffering from the bomb strikes. Also it's a good chance for Iraqi people to stand up and select what they really want. Saddam can hardly chase people people with different opinions when there are thousands of blue-helmet UN soldiers in his backyard. An independent radio or TV station can be set up in order to inform people and they don't have to fear being killed for listening to it.

Also it's a good way for the US and UK to get out of the "war whatever happens" situation, there is a use for the troops in the gulf but they might not need to fight. Will also save billions of Euros/Dollars/Pounds and not harm the economy too much. On the other hand it's a good way for Germany and the other "no war whatever happens" countries to get out of this position, too. If Saddam fails to agree to this plan or attacks the UN forces, you can expect France & Germany to back an UN resolution for a war.

But maybe we should start a new topic to discuss this plan?

[Edited 2003-02-08 22:48:32]
 
b757300
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 7:29 am

And who is going to provide all these "UN" troops? First of all, the UN does not have a military. Are France and Germany going to provide the tens of thousands of troops? Not likely. They'll demand for the U.S. to supply the troops and demand that they place them under UN i.e. German/French command.

Don't count on this happening. The U.S. and U.K. will veto any such lame attempt and besides, since when can the UN tell the United States what to do. The UN is irrevelent and is driving itself down the road to extinction.
"There is no victory at bargain basement prices."
 
GDB
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 7:57 am

More UK troops were in the former Yugoslavia than US, as well as French and German.
The idea that the US always provided the bulk of troops for UN operations is a myth, propagated by the unilateralists in the US administration and media.

If this plan was rejected by Bush, due to pressure from his headbangers, watch US domestic support for war plummet, then Bush would be in a same position as Blair.
And Blair could not go to war then, he's in enough domestic trouble over this as it is, that's the only US ally gone, another factor helping Bush is that at least one over country is fully on side, kiss goodbye to that.

Quite apart from giving the lie to all this 'helping security, fighting terror' argument, the conspiracy theorist's view of US intentions would look to be right.

 
Klaus
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 8:13 am

Rummy has already stated that he was opposed to the plan.

Now, you just can´t make plans without consulting your friends first, can you?  Wink/being sarcastic
 
ph-kca
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 10:20 am

Saddamn and making concessions to the UN? Yeah, sure.
He has made more concessions with the UN as one can count on both hands.
And of course shortly afterwards he retracts it. Like Dc863 said above, Saddamn is only buying time. He has been playing these games for more then 10 years now. So NO, I don't think this is serious. But one can always be off the mark.
I think it's time that the UN finally kicks Saddamn and his henchmen to a warmer place.

GDB:
Why (re)uniting Europe?
So that France and Germany - as the mainland EU powers - can continue to boss around over the smaller EU-members? It's always France and Germany making plans together without first consulting the other EU-members. (example: the French and German plan for 2 EU-presidents) So I think that it's out of the question for the EU to speak as a united Europe. Also as people, governments and cultures in the EU-countries are that different from each other it's difficult if not impossible to speak as a united Europe.

BTW, I think that if NATO-members France, Germany and Belgium keep on blocking the time issue on the defence guarantee to Turkey, they should be canceled from the NATO. I think it is the duty of ANY NATO-member to help protecting the other NATO-members against possible attacks from the outside.
 
B747forlife
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 10:41 am

This plan about increasing the no-fly zone won't change a thing. Even now in the no-fly zone Iraq has weapons that can take planes down, so what is the point? Saddam will not give up his weapons and these concessions mean nothing. He is still lying through his teeth to the world, and it is about time that the Security Council, and everyone else, take resolution 1441 seriously.

-Nick

"The dictator of Iraq is not disarming, to the contrary, he is deceiving."

- President Bush in the 2003 State of the Union Address

Colin Powell Proved this quote on Wednesday.
 
racko
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:00 am

"Rummy has already stated that he was opposed to the plan."

He also complains that Cub....Lybi....old europe doesn't inform him on everything they do? I'm sure the first thing the US government does when an idea pops up their mind is calling up France & Germany and asking them for their opinion...

"Colin Powell Proved this quote on Wednesday."

Yep, with Tony Blair's fine dossier, right ? Judge from this and you know what the other "evidence" is probably worth. But it's ok, just bomb away the Iraq, it's far away from here and who cares about other human beings? These people suffer enough, let's free them by dropping bombs on their heads on instead of trying to find a solution which spares human lifes.

Bombing for peace is like fucking for virginity.

Why don't you just wait until the plan is presented until you say "no way"? Disagreeing with it until you know any details makes you look like something you always deny so much to be: warmongers.

[Edited 2003-02-09 03:10:18]
 
Klaus
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B747forlife

Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:05 am

B747forlife: This plan about increasing the no-fly zone won't change a thing.

It would mean little if it were just that. But it basically means the installation of a robust UN force on the ground as well (several thousand troops), basically taking military control away from Saddam. According to an aide to Chancellor Schröder, "If Saddam´s regime should implode due to disabling of his oppression apparatus, that would have to be accepted."

The deployment would include german ground troops. A tightened sanctions regime - specifically including the import of weapons - would also be part of the plan. As well as a massively upscaled inspection regime.


GWB: "The dictator of Iraq is not disarming, to the contrary, he is deceiving."

That Saddam is a scumbag didn´t need any further confirmation. Everybody knew that before.

You mean, like Bush I when he started the first Gulf war? I´d be careful. Most of the - extraordinarily weak - "evidence" produced so far has indeed supplied additional points for the inspectors to verify (some of those three months late, however), but seems to be largely devoid of independent or verifyable information... Parts of it have already begun to collapse. (Æ the british "dossier" that has turned out to be largely plagiarized from a years-old student paper)

What we need is a solution. And solutions rarely come in the form of bombs and occupation.
 
Klaus
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Racko

Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:15 am

Racko: I'm sure the first thing the US government does when an idea pops up their mind is calling up France & Germany and asking them for their opinion...

Of course! Fairness above all!  Wink/being sarcastic
 
jcs17
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 12:41 pm

1) Inspectors tripled

Great, now the Iraqis will have to work three times as fast to hide their WMDs..

2) Inspectors escorted by armed UN troops

Yeah, I'm sure that a bunch of armed Pakistanis, Morrocans, and Czechs wearing blue helmets accompanying the inspectors will convince the Iraqis to come clean.

3) The Southern and Northern No-Fly Zones to be extended over the whole of Iraq, requiring a much greater allocation of aircraft, both for recce and armed escort, French, German and possibly other NATO airforces would supplement the US and UK aircraft currently patrolling the existing zones.

So? What is the goal of this? We already have spy planes flying high over all of Iraq.

 Yeah sure
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
 
cfalk
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 2:09 pm

Some interesting replies.

I continue to feel that there is a lot more cooperation and colusion behind the scenes between the U.S. and its European allies. Things are just going a little too well to be camplete accident. I still think that a god cop/bad cop game is being played.

http://www.airliners.net/discussions/non_aviation/read.main/328898/4/

The U.S. must not agree publicly to the French/German plan. If they do, Saddam will interpret it as a drop in pressure. The U.S. must keep the pressure up, and the best way to do it is to act like a rabid dog just barely held back, while others convince Saddam to give in without a fight, to avoid getting mauled.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
GDB
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 5:55 pm

Eh, hello? The reasoning is that Saddam would reject this plan, thus directly defying the UN, thus making forming a serious coalition against him a whole lot easier. Thus making an implosion of the regime more likely.
But I guess some of you really, really, want your fireworks on TV.
When a bunch of dead civilians are shown, do you quickly switch channels?
 
racko
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 9:43 pm

"Yeah, I'm sure that a bunch of armed Pakistanis, Morrocans, and Czechs wearing blue helmets accompanying the inspectors will convince the Iraqis to come clean."

How are you talking about new europe?
But ok, no army other than the army from the country under god is worth anything. I wonder why all these unworthy nations even have an army.

"Yeah, I'm sure that a bunch of armed Pakistanis, Morrocans, and Czechs wearing blue helmets accompanying the inspectors will convince the Iraqis to come clean."

Too bad they're not cooperating with the inspectors, or why do you think they had withhold their "evidence" with was presented wednesday so long instead of giving them to the inspectors immediately?
 
FDXmech
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Sun Feb 09, 2003 11:49 pm

But I guess some of you really, really, want your fireworks on TV.
When a bunch of dead civilians are shown, do you quickly switch channels?


No, on 9/11 that was basically all that was on TV.

Before I get a , "That wasn't Iraq reply", I want a world free of such potential menaces who are capable of just such an act.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
GDB
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Mon Feb 10, 2003 12:19 am

It is an uncomfortable fact that the 1991 bombing only really disabled Iraq's potential nuclear programme, as the large plant and facilities needed are not mobile, or easy to hide.
The chem/bio stuff was virtually untouched by the war though, however 7 years of UN inspections did very seriously degrade Iraq's stockpile and programmes in this area of WMD development.
Probably why Saddam was so keen to get the inspectors out in 1998, could it be that his chem/bio cupboard was getting very bare by then?
So discount inspectors all you like, they did a hell of a lot more to blunt Saddam's WMD's than the Gulf War ever did.


 
Alpha 1
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Mon Feb 10, 2003 5:19 am

To answer the question in that started the thread: God, I hope so. I watched a little of the Blix news conference this morning, and I find it intriguing that Blix apparently received documents that werent' contiained in Iraq's original "mother of all weapons' reports", that came out a while back, so it does make you wonder if Iraq, that has never told the truth under Saddam, is telling the truth now. And, despite my hope that there won't be a war, I just can't bring myself to believe Saddam will ever tell the truth.

France and Germany are working on a plan to presumably put to the UN.
1) Inspectors tripled
2) Inspectors escorted by armed UN troops
3) The Southern and Northern No-Fly Zones to be extended over the whole of Iraq, requiring a much greater allocation of aircraft, both for recce and armed escort, French, German and possibly other NATO airforces would supplement the US and UK aircraft currently patrolling the existing zones.
4) Throughout all this, the US and British forces would continue their deployment and build up, if Saddam refused to bow to this plan, they'd be used.


I like this plan, for all my criticisms of Germany and France. If this is the real deal, I think it should be implimented. It has inspectors roaming all over Iraq, and backs it up with a concrete threat of force, something France and Germany have been unwilling to back so far. I think behind the scenes, despite the rehtoric coming from Berlin, Paris and Washington, I wouldn't be surprised if this plan is being discussed.

Yeah, I'm sure that a bunch of armed Pakistanis, Morrocans, and Czechs wearing blue helmets accompanying the inspectors will convince the Iraqis to come clean.

Jcs, you've been reading too much GOP propoganda. Would you prefer Iraq coming to heel via peaceful means, using such troops, if it can be accomplished, or at the loss of American lives? If it can be accomplished peacefully, I'm all for it.

The U.S. must not agree publicly to the French/German plan. If they do, Saddam will interpret it as a drop in pressure.

I disagree, Charles. If the buildup would continue under this plan, and the forces facing Saddam have more time to coalesce and train, there's not dip in pressure at all, I think. As part of this, the U.S. and it's partners should hold wide-ranging and very public exercises that show Iraq that if they're lying and deceiving, they'll have a world of UN-sanctioned hurt.

Eh, hello? The reasoning is that Saddam would reject this plan, thus directly defying the UN, thus making forming a serious coalition against him a whole lot easier.

I think Saddam would have no choice but to accept a pseuo-occupation of his country, or he would automatically trigger a conflict. Plus, it gives time for some more clandestine alternatives to get Saddam the hell out of there a chance to work, and save all of us a lot of unpleasantries.
 
GDB
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Mon Feb 10, 2003 6:05 am

The actual figures for Iraqi WMD's so far destroyed, 11% in Desert Storm, 89% in 7 years of UN inspections.

Properly escorted UN inspections, hugely increased, with the US/UK build up still going on, the whole of his airspace denied to him, will put huge pressure on the very survival of the regime, especially if the West is united around it, Saddam's only hope would be to split his enemies even more.

Jcs and his kind might get their TV special denied to them, good, give them time to put their beliefs in action and enlist, (I doubt it).

But I'm not optimistic, Bush being influenced by the armchair warriors has led to plenty of poor foreign policy moves so far, ironically making the real fight against terrorism more difficult.
 
cfalk
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Mon Feb 10, 2003 6:10 am

The actual figures for Iraqi WMD's so far destroyed, 11% in Desert Storm, 89% in 7 years of UN inspections.

That's impossible, GDB - Both the US and the UN agree that there are large amounts of unaccounted-for WMDs, regardless of whether you think Saddam still has them or not. So you can't say your numbers are "actual"

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
GDB
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Mon Feb 10, 2003 7:50 am

No, that was the % of destroyed WMD's, most were not destroyed in 1991, that's my point.
Why did Saddam suddendly make life impossible for the UN in 1998? Because he could not risk what little remained of his stockpile getting uncovered?
Saddam's whole point in life is to become a WMD toting leader of the Arab world, never going to happen, he's boxed in, under surveillance, the only terrorist outfit that has ever managed to land a blow on the US hate him, not that he'd trust any of his precious WMD's to a bunch of fundamentalists who would like to see him gone too, but for very different reasons to the West.
Anyway, WMD's are of little use without a delivery system, a few SCUD's and some dinky little remote controlled converted trainer aircraft are not exactly ICBM's are they?
 
cfalk
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Mon Feb 10, 2003 2:42 pm

Whoops, sorry about the misunderstanding, GDB. Right, you are.
But I think it is easier to make a delivery system than you say. It becomes especially easy if the delivery system is willing to die for the greater glory of Allah. This is where Al Qaeda might come in. They have plenty of people of that calibre, and Saddam just might find that useful. A common enemy can make strange bedfellows.

Damn, I should not have said that last sentence. A picture just flashed through my mind of Saddam and Bin Ladin in bed together. Eeewwwwwww!!!!

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
Klaus
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Cfalk

Mon Feb 10, 2003 8:13 pm

...or Bush and Blair, for that matter...  Wink/being sarcastic
 
eg777er
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Mon Feb 10, 2003 10:29 pm

I think this plan also has merit, if executed correctly.

In any military action, the largest number of casualties hit the country that is most represented: so in a 'Gulf War 3', the overiding casualties will be American.

Now, what frightens me is that invading a country and destroying its leadership is a whole different kettle of fish to kicking a country out of somewhere it is occupying (e.g. Gulf War 1). In 1991 the US were supported by popular sentiment from oppressed Kuwaitis.....in 2003 Iraqi support will be with Saddam. Until that support crumbles (and noone has yet said when they think that is likely to occur), you can bet that every AK-47-toting Iraqi will have his weapon trained on the head of an American solider. Anyone seen Black Hawk Down? I know it's Hollywood, but street-fighting in Baghdad will be very similar. I can imagine it's a nightmare that the UK and US Generals are having as they sleep: getting bogged down in prolonged urban warfare in Baghdad. 1991 taught us that war is won or lost on the ground, despite overwhelming air power, Saddam remained safely in his bunker. Jcs and his ilk in the US seem to think war is a glorified video game, with high tech bombs and video imagery and UAVs........but it's really soldiers against soldiers.

I read in a UK paper that the US has prepared 100,000 body bags and 6,000 coffins for potential use in the Gulf. Someone is obviously working on a contingency plan that does not result in a swift victory.

So my message to the draft-dodgers in Washington, who have no real experience of the realities of war, is only commit the American military to action unless you have exhausted all the options and that there was no other way - even the ones that have still to be thought of.

Because if the US goes to war now, and it all goes horribly wrong, and as the body bags come back, I guarantee the first question will be: "Why didn't we try France and Germany's Plan?".
 
FDXmech
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Tue Feb 11, 2003 12:44 am

How does Hans Blix feel about the Franco/German proposal.

Attempting to avert war and achieve greater success with weapons inspections, Germany and France may present a plan to beef up U.N. inspectors in Iraq.
However, Blix rejected that idea and said more inspectors would make little difference.
”“The principle problem is not the number of inspectors but the cooperation of the Iraqi side,”
he told NBC’s Katie Couric.
His comments echoed those made Sunday by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell who said that the French-German proposal would not ease the crisis.


Perhaps there are two perspectives. The Franco/German end game being the avoidance war at all costs with flexible Iraq compliance . An admirable stance but Iraq up until this point has only reached this point under threat of arms, not threat of negotiation. As opposed to the U.S. and its allies end game of ridding Iraq of its WMD. This isn't meant as a swipe, just an observation.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
N79969
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Tue Feb 11, 2003 12:59 am

I think if France and Germany ante up here-- there could be a third way. Rather than sending in only UN "peacekeepers" or "inspectors", I think French and German troops should be sent into Iraq to neutralize all of Saddam's conventional forces while inspectors continue looking. In addition to a 100% no-fly zone, Saddam's military will be forced to stand down completely...not even practice for the Iraqi Army Band. This would be sort of like a "boot" on an illegally parked car. Let this go on indefinitely or as long as France and Germany are willing to babysit Saddam's army. FDXMech correctly points out that all results with Saddam have been obtained by the threat of force and not the threat of diplomacy.

If Saddam refuses to go along with this plan, then his time is up.

I also think that the threat of Saddam is not limited by his ability (or lack thereof) to build weapons delivery systems. As mentioned above, he could find willing "distributors" for his "product" in al-Qaeda. Although Saddam and OBL have not gotten along historically, that does not mean they will not have common grounds in the future. Remember the Ribbentrop-Malotov pact.
 
GDB
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Tue Feb 11, 2003 1:10 am

I agree Eg77er and to an extent, FDXmech, the plan allows for the US/UK military build up to continue, and the more force you can put in place the better, carry out high intensive, high profile training too, right on the Iraqi border. That, along with a bigger, more aggressive inspection force, free of Iraqi 'minders' could well force more Iraqi compliance.

If war still came, as is likely as these new demands are far tougher than any before and Saddam had badly miscalculated before, the heat beyond March is not a show stopper, as the US and UK forces are well able to fight at night, the Iraqi armed forces, much less the militia being prepared for defence of cities, are nowhere near as well equipped with thermal imaging and other night fighting aids.

Rejecting this move out of hand could be a very severe mistake, it plays into the hands of those who say 'it's all about Bush's revenge and/or oil'.
The problem is that not only the usual knee-jerk types, who oppose any military action who are saying , here in the UK it's very much the mainstream view, likely to be well over half a million marching in London next Saturday against attacking Iraq, the problem for Blair is that they will come from all walks of life and a wider part of the political spectrum than usual.
And yet, given an UN resolution, support for attacking Iraq becomes a majority view, I cannot believe that Bush cannot see this, because I bet the majority of Americans don't want a war without UN consent, the last one was Vietnam, yet it seems lessons have been forgotten.

It might be up to Saddam to prove that he is not hiding WMD's, but it's also up to Bush to show that all reasonable steps are being taken to avoid war, that this is about increasing security, not that he's wanted to do this all along, using Sept 11th as an excuse.
 
Klaus
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GDB

Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:45 am

According to a CNN poll released a few minutes ago (I hope I remembered the numbers exactly):

- 27% of americans questioned were against an attack regardless of UN support.

- 34% were for an attack if there is UN support..

- 39% were for an attack, regardless of UN support.

So Bush still needs UN support, apparently...
 
FDXmech
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RE: Are Iraqi Concessions Serious?

Tue Feb 11, 2003 6:58 am

And yet, given an UN resolution, support for attacking Iraq becomes a majority view, I cannot believe that Bush cannot see this, because I bet the majority of Americans don't want a war without UN consent, the last one was Vietnam, yet it seems lessons have been forgotten.

Kosovo was not fought with the U.N. Security Councils consent. President Clinton bypassed this channel as Russia would not vote in favor.

I was a little boy during Vietnam. But reasoning at the time was, better to fight and halt communist aggression abroad than have it reach our own shores. Well the difference between Vietnam and Iraq is that bloodshed and the threat of more has reached our shores. We are not fighting abroad for fuzzy idealistic reasons. 9/11 brought it home.

No American wants war for wars sake. But there comes a time when lousy situations must be resolved, not simply postponed. Our children and future generations would be unfairly penalized if the present situation was not resolved.
You're only as good as your last departure.

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