Guest

Open Letter To All Americans

Wed Feb 26, 2003 11:48 pm

Translated by a good friend of mine, written by Beppe Severgnini, one of
Italy's most famous journalists and frequent publisher on the Economist and
involved with the Corriere della Sera (Italy's most influential newspaper)
etc. etc. It is an "open letter" to the US...

Cheers


Dear American Friend, We haven't been in touch for a while, and a lot has
happened. Predictable, perhaps. But neither you nor I predicted any of it.
Many people here in Europe think you are being unreasonable and aggressive.
Many of you believe we are irritatingly spineless. You and I have been
around enough to know things aren't like that. Still, it's good to get it
all out in the open. For if Saddam manages to disunite us, he'll have won
even if he loses. Are we going to let him get away with that?


Before asking you to search your soul - don't worry, we're coming to that -
let me search mine. Like many Italians, French, Germans, British, and
Spaniards, I am embarrassed to note that Europe has arrived at this moment
of truth in disarray. It pains me to see the communist banners that flew
over some of history's worst massacres fluttering alongside the peace flags.
It upsets me that the sinister Tariq Aziz is welcomed as if he were a
statesman and peacemaker, when he's merely a butcher's assistant. However,
thoughts like these don't mean that I have committed to this war. And that's
what you in America don't seem to understand.

The reason for the confusion was pointed out by Paul Krugman in a New York
Times article. You are insufficiently informed. Obviously, American
newspapers do their job, even if the Wall Street Journal is a bit
over-emotional and - I'm tempted to say - "Italian". But how many people in
the United States read newspapers? What counts in the US is television, and
American TV has opted to prepare its viewers for war, not debate the rights
and wrongs.

In Europe, we're all wondering: why pick on Saddam, with so many
other rogues around? Not many people are asking that question in America.
One reason could be that most people here think the 9/11 terrorists were
Iraqis (they were Saudis), and that's not just my impression. It's confirmed
by the opinion polls, as has been reported in the New York Times. To quote
Krugman again, "We have different views partly because we have different
news", or as we Italians might say, "abbiamo idee diverse anche perché
abbiamo informazioni diverse". Admittedly, it sounds snappier in English.
In this situation, my dear American Friend, it's hard to be rational, yet
reason is needed.

We Europeans are your friends, your allies, and in many
cases your ancestors. We are not your subjects. It is our duty, not just our
right, to criticize you. Would you believe me if I told you that I have
recently begun to appreciate what it must have felt like to be an Indian
under the British Raj?

The feeling is not a pleasant one, I assure you. Mind
you, I'm one of those who believe that the emergence of a post-Cold War
"democratic superpower" is a good thing. Better that than an undemocratic
superpower (the Soviet Union, if it had won), or a superimpotent democracy
(Europe, for the time being). The world is not the magic garden some
pixilated pacifists imagine it to be. Instead, it's a sort of overcrowded
schoolyard that needs a supervisor to keep some semblance of discipline. If
necessary, by physical restraint. The supervisor has to be cautious, wise,
and morally justified, and must be seen to be all three. Otherwise, there's
trouble. It angers me to hear people in Europe comparing Bush to Hitler. Yet
I am also convinced that your President has put America's reputation on the
line, and I don't think he realizes it. A few days ago, someone who knows
the President well said to me, "George W. Bush is not like his father, who
is a New Englander.


George is from Texas. He sees things in terms of good and evil. He likes
clear-cut decisions. And he doesn't know much about Europe." That's fine.
We'll be happy to explain. We'll point out to President Bush that caution is
not the same thing as cowardice, nor is doubt tantamount to treason. At
times, doubt and caution are signs of wisdom (we live next door to the Arab
world. We know some of these characters only too well). We'll explain to him
that a bit of self-criticism can help you get your ideas across. He should
admit that we westerners have supported Saddam (the "secular Arab"!). He
should explain - as a friend of Big Oil - that Iraq's reserves have little
to do with current events. Many people in Europe would believe him, and
accept that the reason for the war is the one stated: the Bush
administration is worried that there might be another 9/11, this time with
chemical, bacteriological, or nuclear weapons.

We'll explain to George W. Bush that impressing our leaders with a tour of Camp David is not enough. He
has to win our hearts, as John F. Kennedy did in Berlin. Respect and trust
cannot be delivered to order; they have to be earned. Any parent, friend,
lover, or colleague will tell you this. So why shouldn't the world's most
advised, informed, and influential man be able to grasp the point?

(traduzione di Giles Watson)

 
Guest

RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:27 am

I only have one thing to say to that:

Free Iraq!


'Speed
 
Klaus
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NormalSpeed

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:39 am

NormalSpeed: I only have one thing to say to that: Free Iraq!

Why does this detailed response remind me so much of Letterman´s "Osama tapes"...?  Wink/being sarcastic

"Osama": Oh, and death to America!
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 12:46 am

This has some bearing on the issues he addresses:

http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/26/opinion/26FRIE.html
 
GC
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:16 am

Hopefully this'll go someway to convince our cousins in the US that we are for them, but we just think their government and media are horribly wrong. I guess it hit home for me last night when watching Lou Dobbs on CNN in the UK. He constantly refers to anti-war marches as "anti-American" marches. Please, Please get into your red, white and blue skulls...

WE ARE NOT ANTI-AMERICAN JUST ANTI WAR WHEN THERE ARE OTHER OPTIONS OPEN, AS OPPOSED TO A PRE-EMPTIVE STRIKE AGAINST A FAR WEAKER NATION WHICH GOES AGAINST THE DOCTRINE OF A JUST WAR.

If we're all wrong and Saddam is poised or equipt to attack two of the strongest and best trained military nations in the world (US & UK) or our homelands please let us in on the secret.  Angry
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:23 am

A significant portion of those marchers are the usual anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-everybody types. The anti-American protesters like to make their presence known at any public forum they attend.

To call the anti-war marches 'anti-American' is not entirely inaccurate.
 
FDXmech
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:29 am

>>>In Europe, we're all wondering: why pick on Saddam, with so many
other rogues around?<<<

I think "Why pick on Saddam", is a terrible mischaracterization and untrue.
Besides the, "ancient history", of the Persian Gulf War peace terms, the very recent U.N resolution passed unanimously by the Security Council makes this statement nonsensical. The U.N decreed Iraq to disarm, not to be contained or benignly neglected.

Perhaps instead, the writer should have wrote, "Why doesn't Iraq comply with the U.N resolution.

The, Other rogue nations", argument is silly. If the U.N refuses to enforce its resolution in regards to Iraq, what credibility does this show other rogue nations who have WMD aspirations and that the U.N has no legal predicate to disarm.

Maybe he meant N.Korea. Well, hopefully that situation is being addressed. Or did he actually mean why doesn't the U.S. show force against N. Korea like it's doing with Iraq? Well, the situation at this moment in time though perhaps more dire than Iraq, is different in that negotiated settlement might be the best recourse as opposed to the military option.

>>>Not many people are asking that question in America.
One reason could be that most people here think the 9/11 terrorists were
Iraqis (they were Saudis), and that's not just my impression. It's confirmed
by the opinion polls, as has been reported in the New York Times.
<<<

You know, I find this suggestion to be full of baloney (bologna  Smile.
I think this myth or disinformation was somehow started and perpetuated to portray Americans as ignorant stooges willing to to be misled into war. I frankly don't know anyone who thought the 9/11 hijackers to be Iraqi. But I suppose in the interest of furthering their cause, the anti-war/anti-disarm contingent will justify their cause by using this questionable polling data.

And to boot, didn't the hijackers operate from Hamburg? Does that make Germany a villain. I would absolutedly reject that too. It matters not the country of origin, but the crime against all humanity.

>>>George is from Texas. He sees things in terms of good and evil. He likes
clear-cut decisions. And he doesn't know much about Europe." That's fine.
We'll be happy to explain. We'll point out to President Bush that caution is
not the same thing as cowardice, nor is doubt tantamount to treason.
<<<

Well after 9/11, the time of dithering and indecision was history. G. Bush and the U.S. basically think now that all bets are off and now is the time for action. More inspections to buy Iraq time is like continually hitting the "snooze button" on the alarm clock on a workday. It might buy a few extra comfy minutes in bed, but eventually the time comes to get up and rush like heck to make it out the door on time to compensate for hitting the snooze button in the first place.


>>>We'll explain to George W. Bush that impressing our leaders with a tour of Camp David is not enough. He
has to win our hearts, as John F. Kennedy did in Berlin. Respect and trust
cannot be delivered to order; they have to be earned.
<<<

JFK put the U.S. on the line to help an ally through perilous times, will these countries do the same or is this just a one way street?
Yes, respect and trust must be earned. But does this apply to Germany and France as well. Must they be earned as well? Does Germany/Frances position equal that of of JFK in Berlin. Not only of immediate sympathy after 9/11 but putting conflicts of interest aside for the worlds greater good (for our children and grandchildren as well).

But he wrote in a nice and civil manner despite my disagreements on several points.


You're only as good as your last departure.
 
travelin man
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:41 am

I am not totally in support of war, and think other options may exist (although I am not sure what those are at this point). But the demonstrations I witnessed in NYC personally a week and a half ago were as much anti-American as they were anti-war. I saw signs that contained the US, British, and Australian flags stamped with "The True Axis of Evil". I saw numerous signs equating Bush with Hitler.

And you know what? I didn't see ONE sign calling for Iraq to disarm. In my opinion, a true "Anti-War" demonstration would focus not only on the threat of force, but on the cause of the confrontation in the first place. But, again, in the anti-war demonstration I witnessed, I didn't see ANY signs suggesting that Iraq and Saddam Hussein were anything but victims of big bad America (and the UK to some extent).
 
Toner
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:45 am

Odd that the word Israel does not appear in this letter. That's what it's all about.

Perle, Wolfowitz, Fleisher, all dual citizens, and the chickenhawks fushing Bush into the war, for Israel's sake, not ours.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:52 am

A significant portion of those marchers are the usual anti-capitalist, anti-American, anti-everybody types. The anti-American protesters like to make their presence known at any public forum they attend.

Or at least that's what two thirds of the living room media insists. It's February in Florida which means I've been hanging out with a lot of visiting Midwestern blue and white collar suburbanite friends on vacation who aren't any of that.....they ARE against this war though. They just don't march or wear Doc Martens.

A protester against the female player who's been turning her back on the flag at college basketball games summed up the sheer idiocy of the present 'patriotic' zietgeist....."she's turning her back on all the people who died for her freedom!" bitched this indignant Yankee Doodle. Or put simply, shes turning her back on all the people who died to give her the right to turn her back. "Freedom" is being tossed around a lot lately like a beer slogan by people who love freedom...as long as everyone else thinks like them!

The combat in Iraq could all go right, or it could go very very wrong, so the right wing and its' massive propaganda machine know their tamales are on the line here.....that's why they've claimed such vengeful use of patriotism. I'm glad at least some of our brethren across the Pond are recognizing that.
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 1:57 am

Note I said a 'significant portion' and not 'all' or even 'most'. I realize that there are soccer moms and ex-marines in the anti-war movement. But more often than not, the guy or gal who gets the mike at these 'peace' rallies, is some idiot that thinks that America is the villain and that Kim and Hussein are hapless victims of American 'bullying.' They just love the word 'bullying.'

Toner,

I have never heard the Perle, Wolfowitz, or Fleischer hold dual-citizenship. Are you sure? I did not think you could hold certain positions if you are a dual citizen.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:13 am

They just love the word 'bullying.'

Maybe because it's the right word?

But regarding your stereotype of the protesters, you don't think for one minute those are the kind of yaahboos that tv news editors instruct their news crews to hunt down and get on tv? I mean the Pope is an anti-war (sorry anti-American protester)....you don't think those news editors would rather put Norah Neo-lib on tv than deal with the Pope's opinion, for fear of actually having to make his pro-war Catholic audience think instead of grandstand?



 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:23 am

HM,

I have seen plenty of soccer mom's and other's saying that "I've never done anything like this before" on the news. I repeat that I have not sterotyped these protesters. The anti-American nuts come out of the woodwork for any opportunity to go out and denounce the US. An anti-war rally led by MADD would draw these guys out. These guys get the mike and take the stage before the TV crews can get to them.

"Bullying" is the wrong word. I have seen an e-mail from an Arthur Andersen employee in India whining about US bullying when the DOJ put the firm under criminal indictment. It is beyond the stage of 'cliche'. We are supposedly bullying a lot of countries right now. I think the term 'bullying' is construed outside of these United States to include producing TV programs that people prefer over locally made documentaries about agriculture, selling greasy fast-food (99-cent heart attacks), and standing up to despots like Kim Jong Il. Whenever I hear someone overseas complain about US bullying, I get out the Morton's salt and a tablespoon.
 
FDXmech
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:41 am

It's amazing to see the parallels between pre-WW2 U.S. and today. Here are a couple excerpts from his speech.

PRESIDENT FRANKLIN D. ROOSEVELT'S BROADCAST


Washington, D. C., May 27, 1941


There are some timid ones among us who say that we must preserve peace at any price-lest we lose our liberties forever. To them I say: never in the history of the world has a nation lost its democracy by a successful struggle to defend its democracy. We must not be defeated by the fear of the very danger which we are preparing to resist. Our freedom has shown its ability to survive war, but it would never survive surrender. "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."

There is, of course, a small group of sincere, patriotic men and women whose real passion for peace has shut their eyes to the ugly realities of international banditry and to the need to resist it at all costs. I am sure they are embarrassed by the sinister support they are receiving from the enemies of democracy in our midst-the Bundists, and Fascists, and Communists, and every group devoted to bigotry and racial and religious intolerance. It is no mere coincidence that all the arguments put forward by these enemies of democracy-all their attempts to confuse and divide our people and to destroy public confidence in our Government-all their defeatist forebodings that Britain and democracy are already beaten-all their selfish promises that we can "do business" with Hitler-all of these are but echoes of the words that have been poured out from the Axis bureaus of propaganda. Those same words have been used before in other countries-to scare them, to divide them, to soften them up. Invariably, those same words have formed the advance guard of physical attack.
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
Guest

RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 2:44 am

Why doesn't Iraq just disarm? That's the easy way out of this. Why don't all you supposed "peace activists" orchestrate a demonstration to put pressure on Saddam to get rid of ilicit weapons? That will also preserve peace, will it not?

'Speed

[Edited 2003-02-26 18:45:44]
 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:39 am

"Many people here in Europe think you are being unreasonable and aggressive.
Many of you believe we are irritatingly spineless. "

Many many of us here are aginst the war, but for reasons which our European cousins  Yeah sure may not wish to aknowledge and not for reasons that have anything to do with Hollywood, freeing Iraqis or worrying about European sensibilities. We do not want our tax dollars going to a war that will benefit mostly European business concerns and to further rebuild countries where we have no interests. Furthermore we do not want war because it will only foment resentment against the US because of the pride-laden feelings that the US is interloping in an internal Middle-Eastern issue. Taht will therefore bring us more terror while Europe walks away scott free - since they will not be percieved as the agressor. Added to this is that while the US has complicity in establishing the Bathist regieme in the 60's, the Europeans have have contributed to the problem by doing business with it (along with the US), enriching it and selling it arms, nuclear plants technology etc. as well. We also realize that interveining in this affair will also have a greater negative effect by making us even more of a pariah than we already are in the Muslim world and that a majority of Islamic countries seem to be more at ease in dealing with the less rigid Europeans.

Spinelessness isn't really a proper term, "forked tongue" may be more to the point, since Europe continues to do business with Iraq, yet chides us for creating SH, but does not allow us to correct that by deposing him by what methods that may be needed-therefore that makes Iraq more of a European problem than the US (note that we also take into account that Europe would preffer ceaseless negotiation, inspections and other non-action, again making it hteir problem). We also realise that Europe, as a "united front" - the EU, are also a "superpower"-who have made it well known to us that they have alternative viewpoints and wich them to be respected. We realize that it is about time that Europe take up more of a responsibility, both politically and financially, in world affairs, and that they feel quite strongly about it.

Perhaps in our own "arrogance"  Yeah sure in the desire for a terror free world, free of extorsion, we are bit to willing to export that ideal outside of our owm borders--other countries should have the freedom to make the selection of the societies and circumstances in which they choose to live in.

"We Europeans are your friends, your allies, and in many
cases your ancestors"

That may or may not be true as far as ancestors. However friends and allies are solely a different issue. Allies, financially and as trading partners for sure (hence "Daimler"-Chrysler etc). Friends, not necessarily, suspicious, probably and not because of the current political affairs. European consternation with the US goes back quite a while, such as the missle deployments/nuclear theatre issues of the eighties for example.

Culturally there are too many differences between us which will impede us from ever more than being "aquaintances"-especially the European arrogance, typified by statements such as this "We'll explain to George W. Bush that impressing our leaders with a tour of Camp David is not enough" . It is presumtuous on the part of Europe to contantly stereotype the US as unintellegent or short sighted. europe should realise as much as they desire to be treated as world power, they must also treat non-Europeans with a modicum of respect as well as having more of an open mind to alternatives other than their own. For as much as they accuse the US of this, they too fall into the Eurocentric trap of "bloddymindedness" by for example, by not wanting to understand why after 12 years of endless negotiation no action whatsoever has been taken to mitigate Iraq.That is just as a legitmate point of view. Europeans also seem to dismiss 9/11 as nothing more than a humaitarian tradgedy and not a sociopolitical one other than "the US is to blame". We also dismiss the platitude "we love your people but not your government" because our governement, for better or for worse is a reflection of "us" (regardless of the internal infighting amongst our parties) and again reflect European dismissal of us as nothing more than uninformed, uneducated and unwashed becuase we elect a government which does not reflect what they feel is right. Columns such as this only reinforce the arrogance of europe in dealing with us.







 
Klaus
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NormalSpeed

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:52 am

NormalSpeed: Why doesn't Iraq just disarm?

It does.

Still, hoping for joyful acceptance of every single request would be a bit illusionary. The process is messy and tedious, yes. But so are many other things that don´t have a realistic alternative.
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:54 am

"It does.

Still, hoping for joyful acceptance of every single request would be a bit illusionary. The process is messy and tedious, yes. But so are many other things that don´t have a realistic alternative."

What in tarnation are you talking about? Iraq has done everything under the sun but actually disarm.
 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:54 am

"The process is messy and tedious, yes"

And needlessly prolonged!
 
GC
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 3:58 am

I realise that there are valid arguments for disarming Saddam, and I agree with most of them. However (I can only speak for myself), the thing that angers me about the whole thing is the double standards, consider the following.

1. Iraq and Kuwait were created by the British, dividing up a huge land with people of common ancestry that went back to at least 4000BC (ever heard of Abraham?) as documented in the early books of the bible (if you believe in its historical accuracy) and archeological studies at places like the recently rediscovered UR and Babylon.

2. The US, Britain and France armed Iraq after Saddam came to power in order to fight Iran

3. When Saddam bombed the Kurds we still sold arms (including chemical weapons manufactured in the US) to Iraq in order to fight Iran.

4. Even though sanctions wouldn't affect a despot like Saddam (or Mugabe) the UN saw fit to employ them, thus destroying the once affluent middle class and killing millions of children through famine and lack of medicine. Yes this was Saddam's reponsibility, but the international community didn't bring him to account in the years following the gulf war. In fact if 9/11 hadn't happened, I would argue that we'd still be talking sanctions and containment. We waited 11 years, just enough time for the hatred to build against us. But as we haven't got Bin Laden, Bush needs someone to hit out against.

5. Israel is in direct breach of UN resolutions to return to its pre-1967 borders. The '67 war was justified on Isreal's part as they faced threat from almost every Arab nation (they were invaded and thankfully kicked arse!) but Israel has continued to occupy illegal territory, making the situation worse, in fact striking Lebanon and Iraq in the eighties as well as missile strikes against an already desperate Palestinian people (I deplore the suicide bombers too, but ever wondered where they get their zeal from?). Why hasn't the UN sent peacekeepers in to police the Palestinians and enforce the will of the international community on Isreal. They have nuclear weapons and are not afraid to flex muscle.

I really feel that the middle east crisis is largely due to the fact that we have been led by greed and oil, one rule for one nation and one for another. Peace will only come about when we get real and get honest and put our mistakes right. If they still hate us then that's their problem, but at least it won't be because of what we've done.


 
Klaus
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N79969

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:04 am

N79969: What in tarnation are you talking about? Iraq has done everything under the sun but actually disarm.

Have you even bothered to look at what´s going on?

Iraq´s nuclear program has been dismantled (and yes, dismantling a nuclear weapons program consists of more than dropping a few bombs on a reactor).

The destruction of known chemical weapons stockpiles is going according to plan.

Right now, the declared disposal sites for the remains of the biological program are being inspected.

So if you´re expecting something along the lines of a domestic drug bust complete with hands to the wall and policemen barking orders, you´re in for a disappointment. Disarming a country does indeed look somewhat differently.
 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:06 am

"Iraq´s nuclear program has been dismantled (and yes, dismantling a nuclear weapons program consists of more than dropping a few bombs on a reactor). "

Yes, byut dismantling is not "destroying" is it? since something dismantled also conntes the possibility of "reassembly"....
 
Klaus
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747-451

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:06 am

Klaus: The process is messy and tedious, yes

747-451: And needlessly prolonged!

When the only tool you´ve got is an attack force, everything will look like a target...
 
Klaus
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747-451

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:08 am

747-451: Yes, byut dismantling is not "destroying" is it? since something dismantled also conntes the possibility of "reassembly"....

Come on, you´re clutching at straws.  Wink/being sarcastic
The weapons are being destroyed, not just disassembled.
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:10 am

Klaus,

What in the heck are you talking about? You must be the only person on earth that believes that Saddam is actually disarming because of the show they are putting on.

If Saddam actually disarmed, it would look like what Kazakhstan and South Africa did.
 
FDXmech
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:14 am

>>>The destruction of known chemical weapons stockpiles is going according to plan.<<<

I must have missed something. What chemical weapons stockpiles and whose plan. Be specific.

>>>Right now, the declared disposal sites for the remains of the biological program are being inspected.<<<

Do you mean declared as in Iraqs phony WMD declaration?

Your arguments are not buttressed by your willingness to accept fiction as fact.  Smile
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
FDXmech
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:19 am

It's one thing to have smoke blown up your a**, it's something else to to smile and say, "This is good and going according to plan".  Smile
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
cfalk
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:35 am

The French and other appeasers always take the view that somehow this is a new crisis, and that the past 12 years simply never happened. Where were they between 1991 and 2002 when Iraq ignored resolution after resolution?

I can only conclude that either :

1) They simply do not care if Saddam disarms or not.

2) They are so afraid of a fight that anything is better. (Not the kind of people you would trust to protect your family or valuables)

or 3) They are taking this position simply because it blocks the U.S. which everyone loves to hate.

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 4:45 am

No Klaus, I am not. I am asking a legitmate question, being how effective these inspections are and how long they have gone on and in light of the trustwortyness of SH  Yeah sure.
 
Klaus
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 5:12 am

Cfalk: The French and other appeasers always take the view that somehow this is a new crisis, and that the past 12 years simply never happened. Where were they between 1991 and 2002 when Iraq ignored resolution after resolution?

How about trying to keep the UN alive while the US governments attempted to starve it to death? It was the USA who blocked progress on many, many matters in the UN over the past years, exactly until 9-11 prompted a sudden re-awakening of american interest in the world organisation.


747-451: No Klaus, I am not. I am asking a legitmate question, being how effective these inspections are and how long they have gone on and in light of the trustwortyness of SH.

The inspections have proven to be effective, even with a somewhat reluctant cooperation by iraqi officials. But even the cooperation has improved considerably over the course of the inspections.

The success of the inspections does not depend on the trustworthiness of Saddam, it only depends on cooperation. Quoting Hans Blix´ first report before the Security Council: "Trust cannot be assumed in advance. Trust can only arise as a result of the inspections."

If the world community trusted Saddam, the inspections would be redundant. Which they clearly are not.
 
cfalk
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:01 am

How about trying to keep the UN alive while the US governments attempted to starve it to death?

Are you sure you are not confusing cause and effect? The U.S. started withholding funds because the U.N. was notoriously bureaucratic, slow, and ineffective in relation to the massive amounts of money it consumes. It's been an issue for many years.

Just one example - The World Health Organization. It's one of the biggest within the UN, and is headquartered about a mile away from my house here in Geneva. It's a huge monolithic building - I have no idea how many thousands "work" there.

The WHO is supposed to spearhead health programs, prevention, vaccination, manage epidemics like Ebola, etc. etc. Mainly in the developing world. So why is it that 97% of the WHO's budget is spent right here in Geneva? Only 3% actually goes to the people and countries that need it.

Here in Geneva, large newly-built UN office buildings are sprouting up like mushrooms. The HCR built a fabulous one last year, and a couple more were completed this year - I believe one is for the ILO and I don't know what the other one is. Nice building though.

If the UN is so tight for money, how come they have been expanding like crazy for years? If they are really hard-up for cash, how come they are building office buildings costing huge amounts of money only a tiny fraction of these funds actually go to field operations?

The UN is a bureaucratic empire, and as we all know, bureaucracies are self-perpetuating.

The inspections have proven to be effective, even with a somewhat reluctant cooperation by Iraqi officials. But even the cooperation has improved considerably over the course of the inspections.

How do you come to the conclusion that the inspections have been effective? And all these "concessions" that Saddam has made are a joke, designed to get headlines. For instance, The allow the U2 flights, but only with 48-hours' notice. That's a joke.

If we wait long enough (like 20 or 30 years) the inspectors may be in a position to certify Iraq as WMD-free. Maybe. But how many Iraqis are you willing to kill with the continuing sanctions while the inspections continue.

Conservative estimates indicate that 15,000 Iraqis die every month because of these sanctions. It is well proven that they don't work in terms of getting Saddam to cooperate - a pretty clear hint that he continues to hide things. So when France and Germany say "let's go on as we are for another 4 months", what he is really saying is "let's starve another 60,000 Iraqis. It's OK, there are no TV cameras there. It's better than losing our deals with Saddam and spending money on a military operation."

Charles
The only thing you should feel when shooting a terrorist: Recoil.
 
FDXmech
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:18 am

>>>The success of the inspections does not depend on the trustworthiness of Saddam, it only depends on cooperation. Quoting Hans Blix´ first report before the Security Council: "Trust cannot be assumed in advance. Trust can only arise as a result of the inspections."<<<

That's incorrect and a misnomer to boot. The U.N. resolution wasn't to seek out and inspect Iraq's WMD but to verify their compliance of disarming.

If Saddam isn't forthcoming with accurate data, the only recourse is to look for his WMD.

OK, so assume you find some WMD, does that by default mean Iraq complied with the UN resolution.

A) Does that mean Iraq keeps whatever WMD the inspection process didn't find.

B) Or does that mean the inspection process and sanctions that go with it proceed indefinitely? And along with that, the hardships on innocent Iraqi's that will naturally follow to satiate Saddams WMD desire and certain countries lack of will to enforce the U.N mandate which they themselves agreed to?
You're only as good as your last departure.
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:26 am

Following up on what FDXMech says, I think the most nonsensical aspect implicit in that argument is that the WMD do not exist if the inspectors do not find them. Thus the al-Samud missles did not exist and a violation did not occur until:

a. the inspectors found them and,
b. realized that they exceeded the 93 mile range limit.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:46 am

I think the most nonsensical aspect implicit in that argument is that the WMD do not exist

I think the only thing more nonsensical is the three letters WMD.

Four Boeing jetliners were WMD's on 9/11.
Two weeks ago a Molotov cocktail was a WMD in a Seoul subway.
One week ago a friggin' sparkler used by Great White was a WMD in a Rhode Island nightclub. (Put the 82nd Airborne on the hunt for hair bands!)

Spending 95 billion attacking Iraq and shipping dead Americans home to their familes because Saddam probably figured out how to mix ammonia and chlorine, or because he's got missiles that could threaten that increasingly American of cities, Tel Aviv, ain't good enough. Meanwhile we use kid gloves on the maniacs that REALLY DO have all the greatest hits in mass destruction devices. Unreal.

Exactly 91 more people died in a crowded West Warwick bar than in the first widespread anthrax attack on America....(you must remember it, the one that still has all the frat boy FBI agents going "Huuuuh?")

The WMD debate is simply the scariest sounding of the myriad of weak reasons the Bush Administration has used to keep our minds off the real intentions in Iraq. By the looks of this thread, it's working perfectly.
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 6:53 am

I disagree with you HM. All of your examples are poignant. We need to pay attention to all kinds of risks. However those types of acts do not diminish the danger of a ridiculously large stockpile of some of the deadliest agents known to mankind in the hands of Saddam.

Check out much VX or botulinum it takes to kill one person. Or check out how many a few grams of either can kill. It takes ridiculously little of this stuff kill or injure thousands.

 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:02 am

"Four Boeing jetliners were WMD's on 9/11.
Two weeks ago a Molotov cocktail was a WMD in a Seoul subway.
One week ago a friggin' sparkler used by Great White was a WMD in a Rhode Island nightclub. (Put the 82nd Airborne on the hunt for hair bands!)"

A bus travelling to Atlantic City crashed and killed two people, is that a WMD or do we ban busses too? HM, that's a bit simplistic and I'm suprised at you.

 
heavymetal
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:13 am

a ridiculously large stockpile

And I retort, En.....where?. I don't doubt ol' Hairlip has a few tanker trucks of Naughty Juice slipping out the back gates as the UN inspectors arrive, and I don't doubt the words of Hans Blix that the "Iraqis have NO credibility", and I don't even doubt that the presence of studly US Marines over the horizon has been the driving force to make Saddam relent on the issue of inspections to begin with....

But you (and our President) make it sound like Iraq is the bio-chem-weapon Death Star, with massive Albert Speer designed underground cities built only for the purpose of cranking out WMDs. Guys! Give me a hint as to where they are and I'll be onboard with this.

More likely the labs are small and discrete, you say? Well then, is it not logical to assume that small discrete labs could exist in the caves of the Pashtun regions of Pakistan? In the teeming slums of Karachi or Islamabad? In the shanty towns outside Kuala Lumpur? The Bush doctrine towards Iraq would have us believe this country is the model for what to be afraid of , ergo we MUST invade. But the genie is out of the bottle and no nation building in Iraq will change that.

Across America, cities are firing cops. And firefighters. The first line of defense and response in our domestic war on terror. Budgets are depleted. The nation's governors are screaming for promised federal money. The lauded safeguards so forcefully designed after 9/11 still aren't paid for. We've got AK-47 weilding Cuban sailors pulling up in the heart of an American tourist town unmolested, and poor Tom Ridge has to feebly verbalize why, then talk about duct tape to keep our fear hungry tv news editors from focusing on the holes in the system.

Forget about Fortress Baghdad. Let's get back to the notion of building Fortress America.
 
heavymetal
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:16 am

A bus travelling to Atlantic City crashed and killed two people, is that a WMD or do we ban busses too?

No, 747, we ban terrorists. We ban..or more specifically, find, catch and jail(and/or kill) the people who could use buses or jetliners or Molotov cocktails or crowded rock bars for their terrible ends. Here. Not in Basra or Tikrit.

By invading Iraq, we only create more terrorists. That's how it works.
 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:18 am

"By invading Iraq, we only create more terrorists. That's how it works. "

Not necessarily, but it will destroy a base for various terror groups and the potential for a distribution point of weapons etc etc.

(However, I don't want to do it, let "Europe" handle it...)
 
heavymetal
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:24 am

Not necessarily, but it will destroy a base for various terror groups and the potential for a distribution point of weapons etc etc

A "base" for terror groups creates an "address" for terror groups. Terror groups don't want that. Think one step ahead, Seven Four. One of the many concepts that died on 9/11 was big sprawling terror training camps ala Kandahar Heights. The bad guys will learn on the fly now. Think one step ahead, like they do. Not 1999, like theesident and his Defense Secretary.
 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:26 am

HM,

Again, you make some very good points. They need to flood the states with money for cops and simply to prime the economic pump. I won't defend Bush's economic policy because I do not believe in it.

There could be labs cooking this crap up in Karachi. Possible. But we know about Saddam's pile. The UN documented the existence of literally thousands of tons of WMD already. They passed 17 resolutions telling him to get rid of it. Either he destroyed them or he did not. If he did the former, Saddam would be running out with these documents, tail-wagging, showing the world how good of a guy he is...but he is not. Prudence requires that we assume the latter. It would only take a little of this stuff getting into the wrong hands to wreak havoc.

The burden is not on this country to point out where these things are sitting. Saddam has a country the size of California in which to stash stuff. Satellites cannot see everything. The burden is on Saddam Hussein to:

a. Here is the stash
b. Here are the remains of destroyed weapons and the documents we produced after the fact.

Like I have said, botulin and VX are not like the change you stick in a jar on your dresser. If a country has the stuff, they keep careful track of every single bit. They keep it under lock and key. They keep the windows shut. In 1999, the UN said that it existed. Now they cannot find it. All that we should reasonably deduce is that he is hiding it.

 
N79969
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 7:33 am

9/11 proved that the terrorists have the ability to distribute terror. The next step for them is to refine the 'product' they seek to distribute. The Bush Administration is ahead of the curve on this one.
 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:34 am

"A "base" for terror groups creates an "address" for terror groups. Terror groups don't want that. "

However, HM, they may not have an address, they do have a place to source their materials and a tolerant place train their operatives such as the Taliban turning a blind eye to Al Qaida. And there is no such thing as not leaving "tracks" either, no matter how "mobile" or "nomadic" they may be (eg: the masacre at Lod airport in 1972 and the Japanese Red Army Faction; the hifghly "mobile" group was tracked from Japan to the Bekka Valley and all the movements they made between those points. As a matter of fact speaking of "adresses, Fusako Shigenobu made her address in the Lebanon until she was extradited in 2000....I wonder if she was having tea and crumpets with Lehla Khalid...) No teerorists don't aknowledge addresses because "friendly countries" offer them shelter (Iran, Iraq) and funds (SA) etc...
 
777236ER
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:51 am

No teerorists don't acknowledge addresses because "friendly countries" offer them shelter (Iran, Iraq) and funds (SA) etc...

Funding terrorists? Something the US must be pretty knowledgeable about then!
Your bone's got a little machine
 
747-451
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 8:52 am

"Funding terrorists? Something the US must be pretty knowledgeable about then!"

Sure, right...  Yeah sure

[Edited 2003-02-27 01:15:06]
 
777236ER
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:12 am

All the hundreds of thousands of dollars to Irish terrorists didn't actually exist then?
Your bone's got a little machine
 
747-451
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Joined: Wed Oct 04, 2000 5:50 am

RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:16 am

As I have said many times before, the US is part to blame for funding the IRA, but that has been attenuated quite a bit, however, your won authorities could have done more to prevent the activities of the movement as well...
 
777236ER
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:19 am

Yeah, the British government LOVED all the funding.

So we've gone from "Sure right" with your trademark and now completly clichéd "", to an admittance of "the US is part to blame for the funding of the IRA."

People in glass houses...
Your bone's got a little machine
 
747-451
Posts: 2327
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:28 am

shouldn't throw stones...and the UK is about as pristine as the US when it comes to world affairs.  Yeah sure
 
777236ER
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RE: Open Letter To All Americans

Thu Feb 27, 2003 9:31 am

So wait, it's wrong for other countries to fund terrorism...yet there's no wave of ""s when the US does it? And now you're bitching about one of the few countries who actually want a war?!

To paraphrase you:
Your bone's got a little machine

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