It seems that the debate Iraq is spinning out of control, both on A.net, and, more importantly, within the ranks of NATO. Both are becoming intolerable, although on here it is not a matter of life and death, simply strongly-held beliefs and emotions coming forth.
What can be done, on here, and in NATO, to find common ground, and to restore some order of civility?
First on A.net:
-It's time for a Cease-Fire in the back and forth name calling. It has gotten way out of hand. I have had a part in it, but that stops here. For Americans and Europeans to be constantly throwing verbal grenades at each other is pointless, and accomplishes nothing. Maybe it's more impressive to do so, but it serves no purpose. Perhaps we should spend more time looking for and talking about that that unites us, instead of divides us: our common heritage (among most of us) of being in free, independent, prosperous nations.
-Perhaps it's time to reintrouduce the "one-thread at a time" rule. The forum is just jammed with anti-Europe and anti-US sentiment right now, repeating the same old lines that all of us are painfully familiar with. Maybe I'll suggest that on Site Related.
-It's time for all of us-and I put myself at the front of the list-to just step back a little, and stop the name-calling. We all, by now, are aware, that we all have our own strongly-held, very passionate positions on here, but it's getting downright mean. That has to stop, if it can.
Now, for NATO/The UN
-It is quite obvious that the U.S. has NOT made the case for war. The case has not been made to me, as an individual, and it has not been made to the rest of the world. The U.S. should now work fully within the framework of what the family of nations desires-more inspections, with more inspectors, aerial overflights, and the like. The U.S. will not suffer any humiliation in this, I believe, but it will in fact help improve the U.S's standing among those that oppose conflict at this time.
-The U.S. should, however, insist that the military pressure upon Iraq continue. Without the threat of armed force, Saddam Hussein will simply fall back into his usual pattern of delay, deceit and threat, that has let him defy the United Nations for 12 years. If it is shown that Saddam is indeed hiding WMD's, or if he launches some crazy attack against Saudi Arabia, or Kuwait, or Turkey, or Israel, then all bets are off.
-To this end, NATO and the UN should pledge to take up some of the burden within the buildup in terms of men and material. If pressure is to be kept up, it should be kept up by ALL
nations concerned, not just by one or two.
-NATO should convene an urgent meeting to keep trying to resolve the outstanding difference between the member nations. It simply must solve this chasm if it is to have any credibility or purpose left in the world.
First and foremost, the parlimentary maneuvering over giving DEFENSIVE aid to Turkey should end, and Turkey's wish to have NATO help in simply planning for a worst-case scenario should be immediately granted.
-With this in mind, a Summit is needed IMMEDIATELY among, most prominently, the leaders of the United States, The United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium, Russia, and other heads of State of NATO/EU nations. The air needs to be cleared between Chirac, Schroeder, Blair, Bush, and others. They ALL
need to start acting like adults, and statesmen, instead of school boys throwing slushballs at each other out of spite. They need to have a free, frank, HONEST and sincere talk together-without their entourage of advisors-maybe just translators-and just hammer it out.
-Within that mindset, Bush needs to step on the toes, and kick a few testicles withing the Congressional leadership, and immediately snuff out this mindless nonsense of leveling sanctions against France or Germany or any other ally, simply because of the tiff in NATO, and the disagreement over Iraq. This is more schoolboy nonsense, and the President should quash that immediately. It only hurts his administration to have DeLay and Hastert making assinine comments like they have been made. Conversely, any assinne comments from European ministers needs to be dealt with just as harshly by those heads of state.
Maybe some of you have more to add. As for me, I'm done with the back and forth for now. Curse me if you want, applaud if you want. But it's just gotten way out of hand, even for a overbearing Yank like myself.
Maybe we could at least try.