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January 16, 2003
'They're Not Warheads, They're Peaceheads'

(2003-01-16) -- Saddam Hussein reacted to news that UN weapons inspectors had found 11 chemical warheads today by saying, "They're not warheads. They're peaceheads."

The Iraqi president said he was intending to launch the missiles, tipped with a "mild, mountain spring fragrance" at countries with whom Iraq would like to be at peace--like Israel.

"It was going to be a surprise," said Mr. Hussein, "But the UN ruined it. Perhaps we have other surprises for our international friends. No peeking."

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Of course they're peaceheads. They're empty, just like our peaceheads. Like the one mounted on Sean Penn.

Posted by: ArtD0dger at January 16, 2003 04:36 PM

Allah be praised-- don't you infidels understand that we are a peace loving nation? Our glorious leader only wishes to spread warmth and good cheer!

Posted by: the talking dog at January 16, 2003 06:39 PM

If Bush truly knew where the WMD were, he'd have provided that information to the UN inspectors. That intelligence was never given because it was fiction. America is looking for an excuse to divert attention from the imploding economy.

The subdued White House response to the "WMD find" is indicative of the White House bluff. They are not serious about going to war, and are worried they might have to actually engage in combat. The war will be won, but at considerable cost.

Bush and his moronic agents are fools. They fail to respond to problems in their infancy, and provide ridiculous excuses to abuse the public in a pervasive manner. Despite all that isn't known about what happened prior to 9-11, this government creates new excuses to avoid accountability for the reckless conduct.

The White House behavior will not change, merely find a new playground to abuse. There's always America.

Posted by: X-liat at January 17, 2003 12:46 AM

Peacehead alert!

Posted by: Shanti at January 17, 2003 10:45 AM

"Pacifism necessarily invites escalating acts of war against anyone who practices it."

Posted by: Michael Glazer at January 17, 2003 11:45 AM

Hey X-liat, Bush has got the evidence, don't worry.

He's just waiting to let the world see what a waste of time the inspectors are. Next conflict (N Korea), the world opinion won't be so hung up on going on a wild goose chase beforehand.

Posted by: Jonathan Cohen at January 17, 2003 11:48 AM


Wake up and smell the toast burning. Bush isn't playing his intel trump cards until all of our forces are in place and ready to roll. That way when we let Blix make the big find, we'll be rolling across the desert before the empty heads in the UN have a chance to object. Let them try to justify their response only after we're already on the way to fixing Iraq. Oh, and the "infancy" of these problems was during the Clinton Administration, and you saw what non-action he took.

Posted by: Jolly Roger at January 17, 2003 12:07 PM

"Bush and his moronic agents are fools. They fail to respond to problems in their infancy"


Um, I think you misspelled the name of the president who failed to "respond to problems in their infancy". You forgot to include the letters l,i,t,o,c, and n, and accidentally added the letters s,h,b, and u.

And thanks for proving once again that Liberals can't get through even a short note of disagreement without namecalling - thanks for being consistent.

P.s. Did you ever consider that perhaps Bush isn't sharing info about WMD with the U.N. Inspectors because he doesn't want that corrupt organization to join Saddam in covering them up?

Posted by: Eric Cox at January 17, 2003 01:12 PM

Either Peaceheads or air-launched baby milk dispensers.

Posted by: Justin at January 17, 2003 03:39 PM


There have been many reasons to justify war. These are interesting. Yet, regardless our short-term security objectives, we need to consider whether the proposed war options truly address the financial costs.

This country could chose an alternate approach. By working through the UN we could put pressure on Saddam to leave, offer him safe exile, and work through the UN to create viable export markets to mitigate the risks of this unfolding economic crisis.


Letís consider the trail of reasons for acting in Iraq.
Attempt #1. The Saddam-Alqueda axis (illusory)
Attempt #2. Prevent spread of terror weapons (which Saddam doesnít have)
Attempt #3. Get Saddam to disarm (his military is wiped, whipped)
Attempt #4. Breach the UN charter --fail to report, and fail to cooperate (Cooperation continues, and reports are full; besides, nobody cares when Israel breaches UN Charters)
Attempt #5: OK, we admit it, we want Saddam to get out of the way of the oil.

Let us explore the possible reasons why the United States is deliberately withholding evidence form the United Nations weapons inspectors, a questionable proposition.

Jonathan Cohen asserts: "He's just waiting to let the world see what a waste of time the inspectors are. Next conflict (N Korea), the world opinion won't be so hung up on going on a wild goose chase beforehand."

This assumes that the world is going to gladly "get in line" after the Iraqi victory and translate those "expected benefits" into blind support for US action in Korea. Strange, following WWII, our allies became our enemies. Let us not assume all will cow-tow to the United States.

Jolly Roger posits: ìBush isn't playing his intel trump cards until all of our forces are in place and ready to roll. That way when we let Blix make the big find, we'll be rolling across the desert before the empty heads in the UN have a chance to object.î

In short, we have heard any pretext to invade. The original concern with waging war against Iraq was, ìIf cornered, Saddam might use the weapons.î Yet, there is the rush to invade to ìpreventî a disaster, when that invasion may precipitate the very disaster we allegedly hope to avoid.

However, this line of reasoning is problematic. First, if we canít find the weapons, then how can he use them; and second, if he does have weapons, and we may [not yet] find the weapons, why hasnít Saddam used these weapons now that he knows weíre going to attack?

There are only two options: Either he has them, and he's going to use them now [and he hasn't]; or he doesn't have them and he's not going to use them.

If the United States truly had knowledge of weapons, it would point them out, and invade right now. The US does not have any information, and has not pointed out where the weapons are, and has not made the case that Iraq needs to be attacked.

It makes no sense that Saddam would be waiting to have them found so that he would (a) then be invaded; and (b) he would respond with using them. He knows weíre coming, so if he actually has them, he would have already use them. I see no WMD raining down.

Moreover, if the US has a real problem with countries developing WMD, then why the reluctance to allow the world see the list of contractors on the Iraqi declaration? The answer is that the contractors are selling items to other countries; it remains to be seen in 2020 which countries we armed in 2003 that we then would have to fight.

If the US is truly serious about containing the spread of weapons of mass destruction, it would release the names of all companies providing weapons-assistance and contracting support so that future threats and conflicts could be impeded. However, this is not occurring. On the contrary, we are simply focusing on Iraq today, and going to use the same ìuncontrollable rogue enemyî to justify a new foreign war to divert attention.

If we were really serious about containing the threat of WMD, weíd aggressively enforce the existing statutes related to arms exports; and impose meaningful and swift sanctions on contractors for providing support. Again, the actual thrust of US military contract efforts overseas its completely at odds with this ideal.

Today, contractors provide many overseas support functions to non-US militaries. Rather than learning the lessons of Iraq, the US continues to ignore the lesson of Iraq and continue to endorse, sanction, support, and promote arms-assistance to overseas nations. This is permissible, yet fails to make a credible case that the US is concerned about foreign nation's access to weapons of mass destruction.

Those contractors knowingly participated in a program in Iraq; and continue to participate in other programs overseas. If these actions were illegal, then there should be no hesitation in publishing the names. However, the US has not published the names; and this silence/lack of disclosure sends the clear message that these contractors are not going to get pressure to stop assistance to other non-Iraqi militaries.

It remains to be seen when we [in hindsight] choose to label these ongoing overseas military support agreements as an imminent threats. Indeed, there is no threat today; there should be no threat in the future knowing the foreseeable and reasonable consequences of todayís actions. The only thing that is going to change is whether the foreign nations play by ìour rulesî or ìgo their own way.î

So long as the foreign nations abide by our arbitrary definition of success and progress, they are left alone. However, the minute these countries choose to take a path that may waver from what might be a foolish US approach, then that country will be on the short list and identified as the ìnext imminent threat.î Such as global community is of concern.

The US does not have a monopoly on the future or the vision for what the world might be. The US does an excellent job at preaching to the world about the standards it bears, yet in practice those standards are not put into practice. Rather, this nation in the wake of 9-11 has done everything to water down the constitution so that we can preserve the state. Prudent public policy is the fruit of free minds, not a harassed populace.

Clearly, it doesnít matter what happens, weíre going to still invade. Then why the big stink about the UN? So, why not tell the UN now where the stuff is so we can roll on the sand. However, this outcome doesnít answer the question, ìDoes Saddam really have WMD, is he in violation of the UN charter, has he failed to cooperate, and has there been a material breach of the declaration breach.î

Weíll have to see how many ìhonest mistakesî are found. Again, despite repeated indicators of problems at Enron, Andersen failed to increase audit scope. Honest mistakes are permissible; when they paint a larger picture of a larger effort underway, then we truly have a problem. It remains to be seen whether this find is a ìmaterial breach.î

Jolly Roger also states, ìLet them try to justify their response only after we're already on the way to fixing Iraq.î

So the US, despite saying the UN needs to be involved, is going to invade regardless what the UN does. Indeed, the UN is irrelevant; the US can veto any resolution to condemn US imperialism. However, a check on US military power may be the needed check to prevent the US from rapidly expanding to unsustainable levels. Recall the excesses of the bubble: Without adequate regulation, bubbles do burst.

Eric Cox offers and interesting reason: ìBush isn't sharing info about WMD with the U.N. Inspectors because he doesn't want that corrupt organization to join Saddam in covering them up.î

Hmmm: If it is true that there is a UN-Iraq conspiracy, why the disclosure of the recent empty shells? If the UN-Iraq axis were covering things up, it remains unclear why they would go to so much trouble to display empty shells. If true, we are asked to believe that the Iraq-UN axis is only disclosing ìminor findsî and ignoring and hiding the ~big~ finds. How the large finds could be found without the outside press also knowing remains unexplained.

The possible Iraq-UN alliance is problematic on larger grounds. This would imply that the United States is not part of a UN-US conspiracy. It remains unexplained why the alleged UN-US conspiracy to protect Israel has now changed to a UN-Iraq conspiracy to protect Iraq.

The potential implications of the UN-enemy-of-the-week-conspiracy are profound. It is reasonable to expect a UN-China conspiracy to invade Taiwan; a UN-Russia conspiracy to continue operations in Chechnya; and a UN-Mexico conspiracy to open the US borders and get social security benefits for Non-US migrant workers living in Mexico.

How so many UN-whatever-convenient-enemy-we-can-find [to take attention of the economy] conspiracies there can be without documentation, signed policies, or budgets remains to be explained. [If true, we are asked to believe extra-terrestrial aliens have superior mental powers because there are no documents related to UFOís, we know that the aliens have no paper, thus we are doomed to being invaded. Show me the UFO's and maybe you'll convince me that we need to put that in the budget.]

Clearly absurd, but it remains unclear why so many possible-illusory problems can only be solved with war; this implies that regardless the reason, the proposed solution is war, always war, and anyone who questions war as a solution doesn't understand. Indeed, I remain unconvinced that the war is going to address the "real problem" that remains unsolved: The imploding economy. Iraq is only a diversion and there is no imminent threat.

Regardless the results, it is clear the view is: The reason weíre going to war is that weíre going to war. That is as circularly plain as one can make it.

Let us hope the same approach is not also applied to domestic liberties: That ìwhatever reason, the net solution must be a watering down of the constitution.î Wait: They already did that after 9-11.

Whatís the next solution that will be justified using another convoluted logic train? Indeed, it is the justification for American imperialism. Unchecked power expands. Recall Napoleons march to Stalingrad: He entered with a fine military, but the increasingly large support line did him in. Unchecked power means the US will continue to expand faster than it can sustain. There is nothing stop the United States from over reaching its capabilities.

Currently the US is on the edge of exceeding its 2-theater war capability. Currently the United States is engaged in Homeland Defense (Theater 1); preparation for combat in Iraq (Theater 2); and concluding operations in Afghanistan (Theater 3); and on the verge of pouncing in Korea (Theater 4). Keep in mind all these battles are geographically unique, distinct, and require different war strategies.

It remains unclear what option the US plans to fall back on should it actually commit in Iraq and the United States or its allies are surprised by an ìinconvenientî Theater 5 requirement. Indeed, 9-11 reminds us that despite high technology, the worlds greatest superpower was surprised. Another surprise is possible.

Let us hope the United States does not bite off more than it can chew. It would be a shame that we follow the path of the Roman Empire: Too large to sustain, and too weak internally to support. We can choose our battles when we desire; but the enemy also may choose to fight when we are unprepared and distracted.

This nation has only so many resources. Each year the nation must decide how to allocate the available resources relative to the available requirements. This is nothing new.

What is new is that despite the strained budget [national debt, not just national deficit], and slowing economy, this leadership is consciously choosing to wage an expensive war which brings with it certain near and long-term costs.

Let us recall the lessons of Rome when we embark on these crusades. Victory on the battlefield may be certain, but when it comes at the cost of economic prosperity at home, then we have much to be alarmed.

Iraq remains contained. The no-fly zones [arguably illegal] remain enforced. There has been no appeasement. It is interesting that in a strained budget environment, this nation would rather choose a certain high-cost approach, than a more manageable low-cost approach.

If the United States were truly serious about repairing Iraq, weíd take the time to show we can do the job in Afghanistan. Todayís inaction in Afghanistan tells us about the legacy in Iraq; if not, then we can only presuppose that there are plans to return to Afghanistan at the same time that we have 70,000 US troops maintaining the peace in Iraq.

Both those theaters are real at the same time the third front [the continental United States] remains. We have enough for 2 fronts; we are juggling. 9-11 showed us that enemies can surprise us. Let us not embark on a rash action today ìbecause we can,î only to realize that the cost is far larger than we were willing to pay or support.

The US will win wars overseas. Let us hope this nation exists when they return. Heed the lesson of Rome. Arrogance can bait a nation into action when moderation is prudent.

There is no real reason to rush. Yet, all information we have today indicates there is every excuse for fast action. Iraq is a trap.

Ideally, the time to have this debate is now; yet this Congress has already [unconstitutionally] transferred the war-declaration power to the President. As we expand the American empire overseas, we are letting the home-front fall apart. What we do in the name of freedom abroad has come at a high price at home.

There is no need to rush to save the world from itself when there is much to be done at home. Indeed, we might try to do both; yet, what is spent overseas will not be available at home. It remains to be seen whether [in hindsight] the expected financial benefits of a war-time success in Iraq outweigh the financial costs.

This is a large investment with no persuasive arguments that the "war victory" is going to translate into economic prosperity or end this unfolding financial crisis. At worst, we may find ourselves wishing we had not spent the money on war, and saved it for ourselves when we really needed it. The economy continues to slow.

The time to consider this is now, not in hindsight when it is too late to change the decision. If considered, and the decision remains the same, you're on your own. I remain unconvinced this policy is prudent or that the forecasted economic benefits are going to be realized. Much was promised in the Caucuses to justify a war in Afghanistan [oil, pipeline]. When the actual reserves fell well below expectations, suddenly the commercial interest in Afghanistan evaporated.

Let us make sure we really know what we're assuming about the oil supplies in Iraq. Remember, that oil is not ours, it belongs to the Iraqis. We may conquer their land. But let us not do what the Nigerian government does and pillage the oil without spreading the wealth.

We need to make a credible case that the proposed vision of the United States is prudent. There is no vision. There is only war.

This nation needs to think about the signal it sends to the world when it preaches about freedom and the law, yet our practices at home are at odds with those principles. We need to walk our talk, and then the world will see our example.

Indeed, how this principle is applied overseas is debatable, and that's why we blog and debate.

If our constitutional system is truly remarkable and a prudent foundation for prudent policy, then let us show that we can hold our government accountable to that document. To date, much has been done to rationalize watering it down.

The people, not the government, run this country. People, not a system, can get things back where they belong. The people need to notice what is going on, gather information about the policies in place, and notice when this government is not doing what it promises.

The original agreement we made with this government was built on a foundation in the Magna Carta and Declaration of Independence. It is time to revisit those documents and ask not how they need to be changed, but what needs to be added to ensure that the system of checks and balances works.

No people should be threatened with non-sense to wage war. Indeed, the strategy of leadership is to mobilize a nation for war when the people on their own would not support that which is unsupportable.

I see no compelling reason that war is needed. I see many illusions given to justify a solution. War is an option. I remain unconvinced it is truly the "last" option. If there were "great reluctance" to go to war, there would not be so much effort to rationalize war--the reasons are unpersuasive, the logic confounded.

This ridiculousness needs to be challenged not out of fear, or of contempt, but out of a spirit of loyalty to the concept of prudence. This nation is built on the foundation of prudence: That free people can create prudent policy to move the nation forward.

It is clear that when the nation is unable to address financial issues at home, it is quick to mobilize for war. Yes, war is an option. But unlike WWII, the scope of the military's mobilization effort is much smaller on the aggregate economy. The much-touted "benefits" of inflation to offset this debt-deflationary liquidity trap is mere posturing.

If this leadership truly wants to move forward it needs to start coming up with some credible and workable solutions to this economic problem. Indeed, the President has proposed yet another fiscal stimulus package. Yet, that emphasis is on creating new growth and capacity at the very time that excessive capacity is the problem.

This country needs to being thinking in terms of a trans-national solution to a trans-national problem. If we strike out on our own in Iraq, we may win the war, but find ourselves with few allies to cooperate in a global economic stimulus package. Indeed, many will answer when we wave money. But, it is clear that the money can only be waved when it exists and appears.

The US may be at the verge of a new empire, a global expansion effort. Let us not rashly act. Let us recognize we are going to need to work with all nations to build a credible economic system that moves us through this unfolding financial crisis.

Before we wage war, let us think about what we hope to create, what we are for, and how we plan to build not just Iraq, but Afghanistan, and the other nations we need to cooperate with to create export markets.

Overseas, people are still hungry, nations are still in drought. This country could commit to work through the United Nations not a campaign to declare war, but launch an initiative to work through the Security Council a plan that would bring life to dry nations.

We could commit to create desalinization tanks on the coast of Africa and import water inland to irrigate dry lands. The future earnings from these societies will be long-coming. Yet, like new generations, they need to be nurtured, respected, and encouraged to participate in building their future.

Their success is our success. Indeed, war is sometimes needed to preserve a national interest. Yet, let us not quickly choose a path of war; although the battlefield victory may be easy, the long-term costs may be unbearable, not just at home but for all nations who are affected in the global economy.

I see a green Africa. One where the 5 permanent members of the Security Council agree to work together to create an export market. The investment banks of Wall Street know how to structure the financial instruments to allocate capital.

The future earnings of Africa could be the needed collateral for bond issues. That money could be used to purchase the needed materials to build Africa from the ground up.

Indeed, the local need to be involved with their future. We cannot make them become what we want them to be; we can only offer to work with them to help them create their future in their vision. What we can offer is the expertise to help guide them through decisions related to internal controls, corporate governance, and prudent program management.

The leaders of the world know that they can choose to work together through the UN Security Council for war. They can also choose to recognize the gravity of the unfolding economic crisis and collectively agree that despite the theat. of war, we need to tread carefully and plan for the world economy that will work together to create a credible solution to this unfolding financial crisis.

We can nurture the outside markets. It is possible. There is a way. War is not the only option to achieve our principles. Prudence commands that we consider a peaceful solution that creates what we would truly be heralded as being great statesmen and visionary.

Posted by: at January 17, 2003 09:34 PM

Nice long anonymous post and if I had written it I would be sure everyone knew who wrote it...


to paraphrase Patton:

"A good plan, violently implemented today is better than a great plan implemented too late."

In my business we call that analysis paralysis... while you're studying the situation, trying to figure out the perfect outcome and how to get there, your opponent eats your lunch.

You make the best plan you can on the info you have and go for it...

btw The inspection teams were just joined by some Syrians and Egyptions... but I'm sure they wouldn't tell Saddam what we know about his WMDs if they found out. Damn fella, I would love to get you into a poker game.

Posted by: Mike S at January 18, 2003 11:39 PM

Hey anonymous - you must be one of those pro-Palestinian folks because you brought up Israel when it was totally irrelevant. Good try, but now your nice long post has been tainted with deception and passivism.

Posted by: Justin at January 19, 2003 12:32 AM

Dear X-liat,
Your writing is terrible. It is long winded and makes no sense.

Posted by: B at January 19, 2003 07:09 PM

Justin, Looks like Palestine is relevant to Iraq. Wolfowitz wouldn't be talking about Palestine as a "this is what we promise" in order to shore up support for the Iraq adventure.

The true deception would have been to ignore Isreal's atrocities in Palestine. Good to see the US is stepping up to the plate after all these years. But, actions and results are needed, not just illusory promises.

B, thanks for your comments. I'll keep them in mind.

Mike S, the times we do not analyze, and rush to action may be the times we fall into a trap. Indeed, sometimes quick action is prudent; other times, it is safe to let things fall apart on their own.

It remains to be seen whether the plan is truly prudent. Violently executing a flawed policy is neither good nor prudent; we may win the war, but the peace will be costly. The time to speak up is now, not after the problem.

Posted by: at January 20, 2003 12:31 AM

Right now, every argument for "why we're not going to share with the UN team what we know" isn't holding up.

Every conceivable reason that has been given to justify "saying nothing," has an equally plausible method of saying, "We don't have to worry: If the WMD are there, then there's a way to find them." But that is not what is happening. We continue to hear the same non-sense of "Why we can't tell the UN what we know."

MikeS: You say [paraphrasing], "I'm sure the Syrians/Egyptians would tell Saddam what we know about the WMD..."

Who cares if Saddam would know what we know -- if the WMD are already there, then he already knows this. It doesn't matter whether the Syrians/Egyptians might tell him something. There's no reason to believe the US is going to "release sources and methods" -- we'll just tell the whole world "what we know" and the invasion will be on.

Its absurd to suggest, "We can't monitor all the sites" -- we only have to tell them one site at a time. If the US tells the UN team where the WMD are, then they could go in there. If Saddam "moves stuff out," we'll have the evidence, pictures, and records of the movement. It's not as though the UN is the only team in the ground; we've got other people watching sites, cameras in hand.

When the proof will be on the table: "Here's the WMD, and we're going to war." If we don't tell the UN team where the WMD are, then we're going to spend a year waiting for an excuse. Tell them now, get it on the table, and prepare for war. But, the White House isn't doing this.

The fact of the matter is: We don't know anything. If we didn't we'd tell them where the WMD is, and we'd go right there to watch the Iraqis hide the stuff.

All the "excuses for saying nothing" are just excuses for war. We may win the war, but if we're just making up reasons to justify a war, that's not a credible war. We need to be clear with what we really hope to accomplish and why.

Why is everyone so worried about just saying the truth: We're coming up with any excuse to get rid of Saddam, and allow US corporations access to the country so we can rebuild the country, and get access to the oil. It's as if the White House is afraid of just saying the truth. Itís not as if we havenít figured out the previous reasons are non-sense.

They arenít fooling anyone. They have no evidence of WMD, and they havenít provided what they do not have. They have every opportunity to show the information, and they havenít. Thatís not Iraqís problem, itís the White House credibility problem. If they had the information, they could have disclosed it. The White House has not done so.

Posted by: at January 20, 2003 12:54 AM

I think there's a rather obvious reason that the US isn't spilling all we know about Saddam's weapons, O Anonymous One: if we tell the UN, certain members of the UN will tell Iraq, who will then hide their weapons and thus be better able to use them when we attack.

Please remember that the inspectors themselves are not happy with how things are going, and have themselves said that the Iraqis are being deceitful.

Posted by: Just John at January 20, 2003 12:57 PM

I see an Africa where thousands have been slaughtered in bloody tribal warfare in the last decade, for no other reason that the fact that they hate each other. I see an Africa where thousands, even millions, of girls have their genitals mutilated every year. I see an Africa where women are regarded as nothing more than property. I see an Africa with abundant resources (not the least being Nigeria's oil), yet so much evil and corruption that it cannot feed it's people. I see an Africa where foreign aid gets siphoned off to the corrupt leaders who keep their people in poverty. Why on earth should I support investment there?

Posted by: robert at January 20, 2003 03:34 PM

The UN will ultimately support war with Iraq, because of the one thing it is most afraid of: becoming irrelevant. Let's face it, nothing happens in the UN unless the US makes it happen. Under Clinton, when there was no US leadership, the UN simply walked away from its responsibility to continue inspections.

Posted by: robert at January 20, 2003 03:41 PM

If we replaced all the warheads with lemonheads, we'd have lots of cavities.

Posted by: Lemon Head at January 20, 2003 05:12 PM

Yes, as the nation gets close to the ìideal February date for taking military action before the hot summer descends on Baghdad,î the world continues to believe the United States propaganda. It is truly amazing that so many continue to come up with a variety of create logic scenarios to explain away the White Housesís inability to produce evidence of WMD.

Thereís a larger issue at hand: The unfolding financial crisis. Iraq is the diversion. One solution to the financial crisis is to develop an export market in Africa. Although there are many compelling reasons to do nothing, the risks of inaction doom us to a financial crisis without a credible backup plan or export market. At worst, this nation proposes to build excess capacity and ignore the question, ìWhere are we going to find new consumers for this greater output?î

Each of the arguments below do an excellent job at illustrating the foolishness this nation finds itself. Remember, the same non-sense which drove the mania, is now fueling the ìinvade Iraqî mania. The same crew is using the same convoluted logic [read=înon-senseî] to justify believing more non-sense.

Despite the financial collapse of the 1990s, the non-sense continues, the leadership remains unchallenged, and the country remains well immersed in a cloud of ridiculousness. This is not ìpost9-11 fearî but the same ridiculousness which created the 1990s stock market bubble. The nation of fools has run out of money and theyíve now found a pile of weapons to play with. This is how really bad independent movies get made. The following excuses are really digging deep into the sewer.

Absurd: Iraq can move big objects faster than the UN inspectors can follow them.

Just John writes, ìif we tell the UN, certain members of the UN will tell Iraq, who will then hide their weapons and thus be better able to use them when we attack.î

This is problematic, even if the US doesnít tell the inspectors anything, and the UN finds the stuff, the Iraqis could still move the material. So the issue isnít whether the US does or doesnít say anything, but whether the US will be able to monitor what the Iraqis do after the UN finds them.

Further, even if the UN were to stumble on some weapons on their own, if we are to believe ìonce the UN finds them, the Iraqis will move them,î then this presupposes that the Iraqis will always move faster than the UN. This is problematic.

First, the UN inspectors are on trucks, planes, and helicopters. For the Iraqis to suddenly move a known weapon within close proximity of the UN without being detected is on the face of it difficult; but more broadly, the issue becomes a question of ìhow can Iraq actually move vehicles into the known area and then reposition the weapons without the UN inspectors chasing them. Thus, this argument has no merit.

This convoluted logic trail assumes that Iraq actually has WMD to hide; and then makes a great leap to suggest the weapons that we cannot find [and arguably do not exist] would then be used.

If Iraq already knows thereís an attack on the way, then regardless what they know or when, then they will still use them against us. So, it seems strange that the issue has shifted from ìwhether we know they have WMDî then to ìshould we tell them what we may not know,î then changes to ìwell, we canít tell them because they may be warned.î Which is it?

Whether we tell the UN or not, if Iraq has these weapons [undetermined], then regardless what we do or do not tell the UN, then Iraq would still have them to use. The problem is that Iraq has no weapons, and theyíre not in a position to use them. If Iraq does have WMD (not just conventional weapons) then why is the US waiting until the war, and not just attacking? Answer: That is a violation of the UN Charter to attack a country.

Thereís no evidence the inspectors are not getting cooperation. Rather, despite the ìoh, my we found chemical casings, surpriseî the UN Charter requires to criteria be met before there is a material breach. First, that Iraq, not cooperate; and second that there be a finding of an item that is not on the list. If Iraq is still cooperating, only one of the two criteria have been met. The real issue is that despite finding the chemical weapon casings, Iraq is still cooperating, thus in compliance with the UN charter.

The relative feelings of the UN inspectors are irrelevant. There is no provision within the charter that would take into consideration the US inspectors ìfeelingsî. ìPlease remember that the inspectors themselves are not happy with how things are going Such an assessment is not only irrelevant, but has no bearing on whether there is a material violation of the two criteria.

There is a difference between cooperating and deception. ìand have themselves said that the Iraqis are being deceitful.î Thereís a case to be made that the US is being deceitful in not disclosing the information they allege they have that would prove the case. Remember, there are two criteria: Failure to report something, and a lack of cooperation. If the Iraqis are still cooperating in the efforts to explain the oversight, then they are still in compliance; any combat operations launched would be in violation of the UN charter.

The creative logic trail doesnít answer the question, ìWhy hasnít the US disclosed what we know about where the stuff is actually hidden?î We have nothing but a moving argument as a basis to justify ëwhatever we have to sayî in order to justify the belief that ìIraq cannot be trusted and must be invaded.î Someone who keeps using ìwhatever reason of the dayî to justify an outcome is also in the same boat as ìsomeone who cannot be trusted.î

Robert makes an excellent case for pulling all money out of the US financial reporting system. Indeed, with so many concerns about internal controls and sustainable markets, it remains unclear why pension funds continue to expose cash to the US markets.
First, in light of Martin Luther King Jr day, let us recall that areas of conflict are not forever destined to fall under a cloud of doom. Communities can grow. Given the right nurturing, time, and support, even sand can be transformed to fertile land.

Just because people fight each other, itís not a reason to hope that we can contribute to their economic betterment. To reject this as an option to mitigate the risks of an economic collapse seem foolhardy. Rather than spend money on ensuring the consumers in Africa are around to purchase th products, the Bush administration chooses to focus on creating more output capacity in an already excess capacity market. It is absurd that the government is ignoring the consumer of the future output while additional output is being financed.

Warfare is not the problem. The problem is the attitude about the future buyers. ìI see an Africa where thousands have been slaughtered in bloody tribal warfare in the last decade, for no other reason that the fact that they hate each other. î Let us look forward to what might be unleashed in Iraqñconflict, yet that is not a barrier to companies discussing today how they might divvy up the country and build a better Iraq.

Indeed, Africa is a troubled land, but if they had enough resources to build a better life for themselves, would they have to fight? War can bring peace as it has come in Europe. 100 years ago, we might have walked away from Europe, forever condemning it to a backward status. But, the Marshall Plan post WWII changed how the world approached nation building. The same could be done in Africa, especially now when the world is looking for a solution to these economic problems.

Social norms aside, are we to ignore the problems of a region and deprive ourselves of a possible export market? It is true the treatment of women is awful, yet are we to deny them access and ability to have a better standard of living until they change their behavior? Apartheid in South Africa was abhorrent, yet are we expected to impose a blockade as we have done in Korea every time we oppose a practice? It remains unclear how many trade barriers would go up.

If we wait until Africa has perfect social customs, weíll wait until well after the financial crisis spreads. ìI see an Africa where thousands, even millions, of girls have their genitals mutilated every year.î As opposed to the male genital mutilations that are acceptable.

There is no reason to ignore the export value of an overseas market, regardless where it is located. ìI see an Africa where women are regarded as nothing more than property.î I see a US country where property rights are ignored, intellectual property discounted, where the rules and regulations related to securities are enforced with meaningless sanctions, and where contracts related to fiduciaries are ignored and fraud committed to avoid consequences when fiduciaries fail to honor contractual agreements to act on behalf of clients. If money is to be withdrawn where rights are not preserved, then it remains unclear why people continue to expose their already dwindling pension funds to the US financial reporting and regulatory system.

Local corruption can be handled by keeping the money in secure trust funds, and subject to strict oversight in conformance with Generally Accepted Auditing Standards. The US would do well if it could demonstrate that these auditing standards work at home before we expect other countries to abide by these auditing standards. Robert writes, ìI see an Africa with abundant resources (not the least being Nigeria's oil), yet so much evil and corruption that it cannot feed it's people. Besides US corporations like Enron that do the same worldwide, what evidence is there that the Iraqi resources will not be similarly plundered by American corporations? None.

Again, internal controls could be established that would ensure the money available for the local development remains safe. Robert foretells, ìI see an Africa where foreign aid gets siphoned off to the corrupt leaders who keep their people in poverty. Indeed, US firms regularly hide their earnings overseas in tax shelters, SPEís, and depriving the US of tax revenues.

In light of all the problems with internal controls, abusive behavior, unreliable accounting and financial reporting system in Africa, Robert asks a prescient question, ìWhy on earth should I support investment there? The same could be said of the United States which has the same problems with interal controls corruption, fraud, and creative funds transfers.

The UN was charted to preserve peace. We are being asked to ìmaintain their relevancyî the UN must now support war. Lemon head applies the Orwellian Logic and writes, ìThe UN will ultimately support war with Iraq, because of the one thing it is most afraid of: becoming irrelevant.î

Lemon head suggests that the US has a central role. Indeed, this is true; however, it remains unclear whether the USís ability to get things done is the necessary element to define the objective as necessarily desirable, prudent, or in the interests of the UN objectives. What is possible is not necessarily prudent.

Lemon Head writes, ìLet's face it, nothing happens in the UN unless the US makes it happen.î This implies that just because the US proposes something that it is legal, prudent, or wise. That is the heart of the Iraq debate. In my view, the Bush Administrationís proposed solution in all cases, however convoluted the argument, is ìwarî; that is not prudent, but merely justifying new excuses to use the most costly and least legal means.

Lemon Head further suggests that the alleged inaction of Clinton would now justify action under Bush, regardless the merits or legality of that action. Lemon Head also makes the mistake of rewriting history by implying the UN ìwalked awayî because of Clinton. On the contrary, the reason the UN left was because Clinton had launched Operation Desert Fox. The inspectors were withdrawn not because of a lack of leadership, but because the UN team wanted the inspectors out of the way.

Thus when Lemon Head states, ìUnder Clinton, when there was no US leadership, the UN simply walked away from its responsibility to continue inspections.î he not only introduces an irrelevant basis of comparison, but presupposes todayís action is to remedy past inaction. Nothing could be further from the truth. The no-fly zone continues [unlawfully, and outside the UN Charter] and there is no appeasement.

Again, the existing ìkeep Saddam in his boxî approach is successful. This administration wants to escalate the costs of the campaign with the threat of military force, and does nothing to justify confidence that the Administration actually has any evidence of WMD. Again, the issue is not whether the US is capable of winning the war, or whether the US should take action, but whether such action is built upon reasonable reasons, and whether the proposed action is legal.

On both counts, there is merely a ìspin the dialî approach to selecting the excuse of the day to believe the US has either the legal or factual foundation for such a campaign. Indeed, the US may win a war, but it remains to be seen in terms of what financial costs and what damage to US credibility in terms of legal standing. Might does not make right.

Hitlerís advance to Russia was militarily possible, but the campaign was logistically flawed. Todayís White House hopes to remain immune to the laws of war by simply deferring all questions related to that law back to Saddam.

The US is not being responsive to valid concerns about its reasons for going to war. It merely shifts the burden of proof to the very entity who not longer has the burden of proofñonce Iraq made its declaration, the UN charter puts the burden not on Iraq to disclose [which it had already done] but only the requirement that it cooperate.

There is no evidence that the Iraqis are not cooperating, only anecdotal evidence the UN inspectors are tired of waking up in the morning and going to unfamiliar places. That is not evidence, that is just more whining. Brilliant analysis lemon headñ George Orwell loves you more.

Posted by: at January 20, 2003 06:53 PM

Hey, this is great. By wasting my whole freakin' day and night reading blah blah from some critter who can only get published on an instant post site, I really feel like I'm changing the world.

Yeah, the Iraqis are cooperating fully. What swell guys.

All We Are Saying, Is Give Peace Some Pants.

John Lemon-head

Posted by: Lemon Head at January 20, 2003 10:50 PM

Give War A Chance!

Posted by: Michael Glazer at January 20, 2003 11:22 PM

"As opposed to the male genital mutilations that are acceptable." Whoa...that's a new one. I hadn't heard that African and Muslim parents had begun castrating their sons to kee them chaste until marriage. Or is the babbler comparing "female circumcision" to the garden variety male circumcision. He is showing his utter foolishness. Let's see anyone with a sixth grade education research the two topics and look at the differences. Only a fool would make such a comparison,

Posted by: Robert at January 21, 2003 02:15 AM

"...what evidence is there that the Iraqi resources will not be similarly plundered by American corporations? None."

The babbler shows his guess is maybe 23 or 24, max. What evidence is there? Well, let's start with the fact that the babbler was actually able to use the phrase "Iraqi resources". If America was interested in plundering those resources, we'd have done it in 1991. The babbler is obviously too young to remember that.

Posted by: Robert at January 21, 2003 02:22 AM

"The inspectors were withdrawn not because of a lack of leadership, but because the UN team wanted the inspectors out of the way."

Yes, of course. That's why the UN sent them right back in as quickly as possible, and why they've been there ever since. Oops...sorry, I guess that's too logical.

Posted by: Robert at January 21, 2003 02:29 AM

"We're coming up with any excuse to get rid of Saddam, and allow US corporations access to the country so we can rebuild the country, and get access to the oil."

Again...remember 1991. Would have done it then if we wanted to. Why is that too difficult for the babbler to understand?

Posted by: Robert at January 21, 2003 02:34 AM

"This administration...does nothing to justify confidence that the Administration actually has any evidence of WMD."

Again, the babbler fails to grasp the simple logic. Materials were found in previous inspections a few years ago, and those materials have not been accounted for. The fact that they have NOT been found, or accounted for, is evidence.

Posted by: Robert at January 21, 2003 02:44 AM

Finally, bear with me while I share two true stories from the years I lived in north Africa in the mid-90s. Both are first hand accounts and are perfect examples of why the babbler's dreams about Africa will never be realized.

1. A new, eager Peace Corps volunteer arrived in his villiage to begin his project, far from the capitol. The project was simple. This small village had a date orchard, the harvest of which supported the entire village. All the inhabitants of this tiny village worked to tend the orchard. However, the dunes of the Sahara were rapidly encroaching upon the orchard. If something was not done soon, the entire orchard would die, thus eliminating the village's only source of income. The Peace Corps volunteer's project was to construct barriers which would keep the dunes at bay, thus preserving the village's livelihood, even their very society. He came with all the materials necessary (provided by our tax dollars) and the know-how to do the job, as well as the language training necessary to instruct the villagers on how to build the barriers. But when he began to instruct the villagers on how to build the barriers, he was hit with one question: "How much are you going to pay us to do this?" The volunteer was incredulous. He explained again that, if the work was not done, the orchard, along with their livlihood, would be destroyed. But the villagers said, "If you do not pay us, we are not going to do the work". At that point, the volunteer threw up his hands, returned to the capitol, caught the first flight back to the States, and quit the Peace Corps. True story, straight from the country director of the Peace Corps in that country.

2. Same country. World Vision International, a non-profit, non-governmental organization, produced a series of radio broadcast segments on the importance of childhood immunizations which were designed to be broadcast as public service announcements on the local radio stations. When they approached the station directors with the segments and explained what they were and why they were important, the station directors all hit them with the same question (you guessed it): "How much are you going to pay us to do this?"

Posted by: Robert at January 21, 2003 02:29 PM


The world economy continues to slow. The US seeks a diversion overseas. The situation is desperate.

The US continues with the propaganda. The US and UN have the burden of proof. The US intelligence community has failed to provide the information to the UN.

The US has painted itself into a corner. It did not realize that Iraq would comply. The US is looking for any excuse to start a war in Iraq. The leadership wants another diversion from the imploding US economy.

Rather than looking for market solutions to the imploding world economy, the US leadership hopes to start a war. The dire financial situation is putting greater pressure on the leadership. They are desperate for an economic solution. Unable to find a credible solution to this unfolding financial crisis, the US leadership continues to use every non-sense reason to arrive at the decision ìwe need to go to war.î The facts are not there.

Possible non-military solutions to this unfolding economic crisis continue to be rejected using standards completely at odds with economic forces. It is clear that despite the catalyst of 9-11, the country requires the catalyst of a financial crisis before it awakens to the scope of the unfolding economic problems. There are many excuses for inaction.

The US leadership is defeatist when looking at credible economic solutions. It knows time is running out. Venezuela, Ivory Coast, Ecuador, Argentina, Indonesia, and Pakistan remind us that a financial crisis and a loss of confidence can translate into some pretty nasty things. The clock is ticking. Not in Bagdad, but in Washington. They have run out of options to turn the economy around. Their only solution is to mobilize for war. Not even that desperate act is going to mitigate this unfolding financial crisis.

US Arrogance continues.

The US intelligence community continues to fail to provide specific information to the United Nations. If that information existed, and has been passed on to the UN, it has not resulted in any material evidence that Iraq has (1) made a material breach of the UN resolution; or (2) has failed to cooperate.

Let us recall the original post. The question was "why doesn't the US tell the UN what our intelligence knows so that the UN can go in there and find what the US 'knows.'

US unable to perform as have the British

The US intelligence community has failed to provide specific information to the UN. The US leadership continues to make claims ìthat there is evidence,î but refuses to make that information known like the British.

There has been no credible reason to explain why this is not possible. Moreover, the British intelligence have turned over information to the UN only about sites that are of concern. It remains unclear why the US cannot do what the British have done. Again, the British have not provide evidence, only "concerns." The UN has returned to these sites multiple times.

The burden of proof is on the UN and US, not Iraq. The US has failed to provide the evidence. The UN Resolution requires that there be material breaches of the resolution by (a) failing to disclose the status of the weapons; and (b) failing to cooperate. The UN has issued Iraq a grade of "B", in that they are for the most part cooperating.

IF there truly is evidence in the US intelligence community that Iraq has WMD, then why isn't the US providing that information to the UN as the British have done? No answer on that one. It is clear that if the US decided to provide this information to the UN, then the US Special forces could wait outside the facilities and monitor where the material is taken.

Illusory reasons for US intelligence ìnot to provide the informationî

We are asked to believe that the Iraqis are going to move the material faster than those [who surround the installation] can monitor the facility. This is absurd. Special forces can track the material. The real answer is that the US has nothing specific, only concerns that [despite repeated UN visits back to the facilities] the US will not believe.

Iraq may have WMD, but it's not because the US knows anything, or the US is providing specific information to the UN. The only reason the Iraqis have the WMD [if true] is that they've both declared the material in the declaration, have cooperated with the UN, or have hidden programs [that sill cannot be found].

Continued claims without evidence ñ US and UN have burden of proof

There is no merit to the argument that "lack of evidence" is evidence. That is fiction. Iraq is cooperating, and has already made the declaration.

There's been no evidence presented on this board to show that the materials found earlier have not been accounted for. Rather, these are just baseless accusations; if true, we'd be hearing more about "non-cooperation" from the UN. The UN's garde of "B" is not indicative that the Iraqis are actively hiding anything, only that there are repeated allegations and accusations.

Allegations are not evidence

An allegation may be ultimately be true, but not because the US has provided the information to the UN inspectors; or that the UN inspectors have found evidence Iraq has failed to provide the information in the declaration; or that Iraq has failed to cooperate.

Alleging that something violations both principles of the UN resolution [both a material breach of the declaration; and not cooperating] is not the same as actually providing the information and evidence. It is up to the US to provide that evidence. It is not up to Iraq to prove something that they've already asserted in the declaration. Despite the burden of proof resting with the US [not Iraq], the US consistently fails to provide specific information to the UN [as the British have done] to show that Iraq is in violation of the UN resolution.

That materials may have not been accounted for is not evidence, it simply means they don't know where they are. Have they been destroyed, have they made an error, and where do we think they are? It is up to the US to show that Iraq is in violation of both principles in the UN resolution [material breach, and failure to cooperate]. The US knows it needs to prove it's case, has not done so, and continues to shift the burden of proof from itself to Iraq.

Now, the job of the UN [and US intelligence] is to answer and provide information on what happened: Has it been destroyed; was it put in the declaration; or is it being deliberately hidden?

We do not have answers. Not because Iraq is "not cooperating" but because the UN has not found the answers, and the US [despite allegations that it has evidence] has failed to provide that information as have the British.

Challenge: Financial crisis ñ Solution: Africa as an export market

Let's focus on some creative rewriting of the information discussed. When discussing the potential risks of developing an export market in Africa, some have suggested that the locals will plunder resources have they have done in Nigeria. However, to be fair, the US similarly tolerates the same abuses under such companies as Enron. Thus, there is no merit to the argument that the African culture is necessarily unique in its ability to plunder, so the risk of abuse and plunder is insufficient to argue that Africa cannot be developed.

However, rather than focusing on the issue of Africa, the argument is now mixing the metaphors. The original points concerning plunder was used to say that Africa is not immune to the world economic cycles; that the US needs to recognize that Africa is an option; and that despite plunder in Nigeria, the option to develop an export market remains.

However, rather than discuss Africa, the discussion is mixed with Iraq to imply that "because we took no action in 1991, then there is no evidence we'll do it today."

Small problem, unlike today, in 1991, the US did not invade or plan to invade Baghdad. We fell well short of that potential outcome--the goal was to get Iraq out of Kuwait. We met that objective. Thus, to suggest today that we have to "finish the job" implies that the original objective was not met. This is untrue.

Rather, the real agenda is to ensure that the US has sufficient basis/foundation/excuses to launch a war. Regardless the approach used, the solution appears to always end up with "we need a war." To accomplish what? "Let's have a war to end a war." Iraq is contained. The no fly zones exist. The inspections continue. The US continues to make allegations without specific information; and the US has not provided specific intelligence [that allegedly justifies wars] to the UN [despite the British who have provided only concerns, not specific intelligence.]

Why the inspectors left: US Operation Desert Fox

One of the excuses for inaction was to suggest that the US was kicked out, and we need to return because Iraq has been uncooperative. Indeed, such a myth has taken hold. The truth is not that Iraq kicked the inspectors out, but that the UN pulled the inspectors out because of Operation Desert Fox.

Artificial Timelines

It's unclear that the UN put enough pressure on Iraq; yet, despite the UN inspectors going back, suddenly there's the push to say, "Despite what the UN has agreed to do [hold Iraq accountable to the declaration, and make them cooperate with the inspections], there's an artificial time line to accelerate the inspections.

This accelerated time line has nothing to do with "Iraq's lack of cooperation" and everything to do with saying [before it gets too hot] that "we need to start a war now so we finish it before it is too hot." Again, this simply attempts to accelerate the inspection time line beyond what is reasonable.

Appeasement: Illusory ñ No fly zones exist ñ there is active containment of Iraq

Iraq isn't a threat now that it is surrounded, and the no-fly zones are in force. There is no merit to the argument that there is "appeasement" as the pressure is on, the inspections are occurring, and the information is being assessed.

2003: Broader goals than 1991

There's also the non-sense argument that "what we didn't do in 1991 is evidence of what we'll also not do in 2003." This is ridiculous.

The US fell short of taking over the country in 1991. However, the 2003 plan is to take over. Unlike 1991 where the US corporations were not given a say, today's discussions actively debate the role US companies would play in divvying up the oil fields. The point being: The US needs to recall the lessons of Africa (Nigeria) and remember the oil belongs to Iraq, not the US corporations.

The US is making allegations that WMD exist, that Iraq is not cooperating. Yet, the UN says otherwise. Iraq is cooperating; and the British ìconcernsî have proven unfounded. There is no evidence.

The Bush Administration has fallen into a trap. It assumed [incorrectly] that the Iraqis would not cooperate, and that the UN would find the evidence. Small problem. Iraq is cooperating. And despite the opportunity to share US intelligence with the UN, the UN still canít find evidence that Iraq has failed to disclose information as they were required to under the UN. But even if Iraq fails to disclose everything, the Iraqis are in violation of the resolution only if the both (1) have a material breach; and (2) fail to cooperate.

The US accuses the Iraqis of committing a breach [without providing the evidence to the UN], and at the same time ignores the second criterion: That the Iraqis not cooperate. The US is simply making allegations [without having any evidence that it can show to the UN] that Iraq is violating both standards. At best the US is posturing, at worst the US is merely coming up with more reasons to confuse the public to justify a war that [on its own merits] would not be supportable. It is not as if the President doesnít have the backing of Congress. The vote has been taken. The President is allowed to use force. The president has a problem. He cannot find what he alleges exists. That is not Iraqís problem. It is the United Stateís problem. If the US launches a pre-emptive war against weapons that cannot be found, then there is a reasonable basis to question the legality of the effort.

Again, this is not say the WMD do not exist. Rather, it emphasizes that the US has painted itself into a corner. The UN resolution is clear. Iraq must violate two criteria. The US cannot pick and choose. The UN Security Council has voted. The US cannot now after that resolution has been passed, choose to change the terms to arrive at the conclusion it desiresñlegal foundation to justify war.

Iraq is a diversion from the imploding world economy.

Rather than focus on constructive solutions [such as getting the world to cooperate on developing an export market in Africa], we continue to hear the refrain, "the solution to this disaster is war." That is non-sense. Today's "war mobilization" is much smaller than WWII. The war is going to have a negligible impact.

The reason the US will continue to slide into an economic depression, and fail to see the potential of developing an export market in Africa: The current leadership has given up, expects Africa to do work for nothing.

Let's take a look at comments that clearly show the world is quick to embrace war, and give up when offered Let us look at the defeatist attitude of the "leadership". "Examples of why ... dreams about Africa will never be realized." That is rather inspiring.

Can we think of any other reason to ignore the potential export market in Africa, and automatically embrace war as the remedy to our economic ails? No answers here.

It would appear as though there is a double standard. The US unions trance around the world preaching about "labor rights," but as soon as someone in Africa asks to be paid for their work, the attitude of the arrogant US "leadership" is to ask, "How dare they ask to be paid to work."

Why do the arrogant US "leaders" expect Africa to not be paid for their work? These are reasonable questions.

It is reasonable for Africans to refuse to cooperate with the outsiders when those "in charge" are demanding that they "get involved" without adequate compensation. These are reasonable questions: "If you do not pay us, we are not going to do the work"; "How much are you going to pay us to do this?"

We need to realize that if we choose to develop an export market in Africa [to mitigate the impact of further debt-deflationary liquidity traps], then we need to be able to come to the table with funding, not just tales of woes/excuses of why we can't do something. There's no reason we should expect Africans to work without pay, and they have ever right to demand payment. If the US wants to solve this economic problem, then we require economic solutions, not social welfare and give-aways.

Allegedly the "free markets" are the engine of capitalism; yet when called to practice this tenet, Africa is told to put up with more non-paid work. No wonder they refuse to cooperate with the arrogant social workers--the program isn't brining prosperity, only work without adequate resources to support that requirement. Such a program is not development, but a burden and Africans have every right to not cooperate with the arrogant leadership and social workers who expect them to solve our economic problems with free labor.

Why arenít we paying them? No answer here. We expect to be paid in the US, the Africans should similarly expect to be paid to do work.

There is no doubt why the social programs failed in Africa. The US expects immediate results. Hereís a hint: It has taken centuries to build up America; it will take the same time in Africa. That it will take a long time is no excuse for inaction, but merely a reason to say, ìThen letís get started now.î

During a time of fear, the non-sense rises. This board is evidence that the fear is pervasive. We are on the verge of a financial crisis. The current leadership has no solution. They are ineffectual. They are desperate. They continue to show they only know war. That solution will not work. This leadership has rejected all options. It is time to seek alternate solutions to this failed leadership.

Posted by: at January 25, 2003 05:23 PM

I'm a conservative, but I'm also curious why Bush isn't showing his 'evidence' to the U.N. If he and his administration are so impatient with the U.N., why are they so slow to show their 'evidence? I don't necessarily oppose war, I just hope they don't go to war without substantial evidence.

Posted by: jdk at January 25, 2003 09:51 PM

"It is reasonable for Africans to refuse to cooperate with the outsiders when those "in charge" are demanding that they "get involved" without adequate compensation. These are reasonable questions: "If you do not pay us, we are not going to do the work"; "How much are you going to pay us to do this?" "


"Why arenít we paying them? No answer here. We expect to be paid in the US, the Africans should similarly expect to be paid to do work."

What utterly foolish babble. American radio stations are not paid to run public service announcements, hence the term PUBLIC SERVICE. Regarding the date was their orchard the Peace Corps was going to help save. Their pay would have been the survival of their orchard and the income from those continued harvests.

I'm still waiting for this idiot to explain why "female circumcision" (i.e. genital mutilation) is no worse than male circumcision...remember his line, "As opposed to the male genital mutilations that are acceptable."

Posted by: at January 26, 2003 12:44 PM

Interesting that there continue to be no reasonable explanations for "Why the US failed leadership refuses to supply the UN with the 'evidence' they say exists."

Stay on topic. How long do we wait until the "leadership" provides a reasonable amount of information?

Indeed, this country continues to lap up the non-sense about "why we need to go to war," without actually answering the question, "Why now?" and "What the rush," and "now that the UN inspectors are there, what is the pressure to accelerate a timetable?"

We're not hearing any credible answers, just more diversions to irrelevant issues.

The US has already provided chemical weapons to nations that have turned against us. There is no merit to the argument, "Iraq may provide these weapons to terrorists." The US is already doing that. The US is merely justifying "peaceful arms transfers" as top-cover for the arms contractors, and refusing to be held accountable for their reckless actions.

It is encouraging to continue to see many questions posed related to issues totally outside the "Iraq debate". Put that questioning to the Administration; nobody outside the Administration has the burden of proof, the reason to respond, or any reason to explain or justify their conclusions.

If the US is going to demand that the public be paid reasonable wages, then so too should other countries have the right to demand income. IF there is no money there to pay the worker's wages, then those entities are not viable economic units.

Why is it that the United States lectures the world about "benefits of capitalism," and the "rule of law." When those principles are applied [demanding wages, sustainable profits, and reasonable amounts of evidence], suddenly the US is immune to the standards it imposes on others.

Is it any wonder why the world continues to show contempt for the United States. Constantly preaching about free markets, yet not allowing others to demand wages; constantly talking about the benefits of market economies, but then throwing up their hands when unable to generate sustainable markets; preaching about the benefits of civilized society, but not holding our own leadership accountable to standards of integrity, ethics, evidence, and reasoned discourse.

Who is the United States to send their workers around the globe as "examples" of these principles, yet those workers are unable to demonstrate those principles in their daily lives. We are asked to ignore the US transgressions, but hold other nations accountable under the threat of attack for minor deviations of standards that are selectively ignored.

The United State's problem is that it hopes the world doesn't realize that there are double standards. There is one standard for the US, and there is a moving scale for everyone else. The US continues to preach about the fine, excellent, and superior society. Yet, this society is to be mocked when it shows nothing but contempt for reasonable decisions.

How can a nation survive it if so quickly ridicules and abuses those who dare speak their minds. A free society can only develop prudent policy if that society embraces the principles of free thinking, open debate, and straightforward answers to simple questions.

Yet, at every turn, this nation's leadership chooses to have a double standard. At each turn, the US leadership has set the standard, and Iraq has met the standard.

This nation lobbied hard to have the UN inspectors return. They are back in Iraq.

This nation pushed hard to have the UN Security Council pass a resolution. There is a resolution. It is in force. Iraq is complying. They have a grade of "B".

This nation said that Iraq must meet two conditions. That it must cooperate. And that Iraq must make a declaration. Both of those requirements are met.

Yet, now this leadership wants to change the rules. Suddenly this leadership realizes that Iraq is actually complying, that there is no excuse for a war, that the legal foundation for war is based on non-sense.

That the US disagrees with a leader is no basis to threaten war. Are the US citizens going to tolerate US government's threats against Germany for the German leaders' decision to honor their own country's concerns with the US leader's reckless approach?

The UN was designed to preserve peace. It was forged in the wake of WWII. The principle was to advance the interests of all people.

This leadership would like to turn the clock back. TO have the rules rewritten. To ensure that the principles that are advanced are only those principles that allow the US to do what it likes.

Indeed, the UN is irrelevant to the US because the US can no longer push the UN around. Suddenly, despite all that pushing, the US is realizing that other nations have grown up. Other leaders are being held accountable.

Now, the US wants to divert the world from the US leaders' lack of accountability. They have no evidence. The US leadership continues to fail. It should be mocked. Yet, all this leadership can offer is more non-sense excuses to blame someone else for their own problems.

This nation has a problem. The financial crisis continues to unfold. Yet this leadership has no options. They are fearful. They are desperate. They are not proposing to use war as a means of rallying the nation.

Yet, the nation is not rallying. The nation is asking questions. That cannot be answered. There is no evidence. there is no plan. There is no strategy.

All this leadership offers is illusions, threats, double standards, and lack of accountability.

The UN is now calling the US's bluff. The UN is now holding the US to account. The UN members are now wondering whether the US is relevant.

Despite the largest economy, and most powerful military, the US is now showing that despite economic and military might, there are limits to what can be achieved. Especially, when the leadership has not plan, no vision, no credible basis for their policies.

Are we to blindly believe a leadership that can offer nothing of substance to back its claims? Indeed, how many other claims have they made that are equally absurd, without evidence, and designed to mislead and distract attention.

Truth is not a matter of simply shouting louder, or diverting attention. Truth is to be found with reason, inquiry, measured responses to simple questions.

This leadership has a hard time with questions, hard time with accountability, and a hard time with simply providing a simple story. This leadership offers moving arguments, poorly crafted arguments, and no details to support their accusations.

They may have the loudest propaganda machine, the fasted printing presses to print money, and the biggest weapons, but these do not win the hearts and minds.

Hearts are won when there is substance behind the words. When there is a demonstrated track record of compliance and adherence to the standards that we expect of others.

We have not done that. That is why the world loses confidence in the US leadership. Why despite the money, threats, manipulation, propaganda, and actual use of military force ... the world remains unconvinced.

Rome fell because it stretched itself too thin. While the legions were in foreign lands conquering land, the hearts at home saw what was falling apart.

Today's leadership is facing a budget crisis. Iraq is costly to contain. Yet, despite this certain cost to keep no-fly zones, this leadership would have us spend untold billions of dollars in an uncertain campaign. Why this leadership chooses now to spend what may be uncertain amounts of money over a less costly course of action remains unclear.

Yet, Rome committed the same error. Despite the budget challenges, there was more pressure to expand. More principles to assert. More battles to prove themselves.

This leadership is quick to take the bait. That is why this world mocks the US. This leadership is quick to run into skirmishes, expand beyond its resources, and then admit "We can't possibly ask the Reserves to be called up because this 'crisis' [if that is what we are conveniently calling it today] might interfere with their jobs."

If the Reserves are truly able to avoid getting called up, then this leadership is truly admitting this is not a crisis that it would have us believe it is. Yet, the propaganda spews forth that there are grave consequences if no action is to be taken. Strange, the Administration's actions are at odds with that statement. A true crisis would have us call up the reserves, rally the allies, and fight for principles.

But the world sees that those principles are not being practiced. Only imposed. Principles not exercised, merely spoken.

Who is the United States to preach to the world about who is right or wrong, when the US refuses to comply with the rules of evidence it routinely imposes on others. Yet, this leadership is quick to avoid direct responses to simple questions. Who are we to expect some deep thinking and robust plans to more complicated issues like balanced budgets and economic development or long-range overseas advancement.

This leadership deserves to be questioned. Deserves to be second guessed. It has run out of options. It has proven that the call for "trust us, we're different" is merely another political slogan to avoid accountability, scrutiny, and questions.

The honey moon is over. It is time for some credible plans. Straight answers. And some realistic statements on what this leadership plans to do to remedy their credibility problem. They have no plan. They have no clue. They have only excuses, diversions, and non-sense to offer.

The country is at risk. The financial crisis continues to unfold. The populace is gradually waking up to the financial problems. And now recognizing that the real threat to our security is not a man in a cave, but a man in an office. Insulated. Cocooned. Out of touch. Hoping for diversions.

This leader cannot stand the scrutiny he deserves. So he has shifted the accountability to foreign lands. This leader knows the issues that he has no answers. He simply embraces non-sense and blames someone else.

This leader is unsettled. Not because of a threat from abroad. But because the population is awakening to his ruses. Realizing he is unsure. Awakening to the reality that he has no plan. Understanding that he is being eaten alive inside with fears that he too is going to succumb to the economy.

The unfolding economic crisis falls on his watch. And he has no plan. He has fired the people around him. Yet the new crew is wearing the same old hat.

It is time for new leadership. Accountable government. Straight answers. Credible plans. And actions that are consistent with our principles. This leadership offers nothing but excuses, diversions, delays, accusations, and nothing of substance to justify confidence or a believe in anything specific.

This leadership has failed. This leadership needs to be held accountable for marching this nation to the brink of war on the basis of illusory information. This leadership needs to be held accountable for providing to Congress illusory "information" to arm-twist congress into voting to give the President [unconstitutionally] the power to declare war when he sees fit.

The many issues that continue to unfold should be debated in Congress. The reason for checks and balances is to ensure no one branch is all powerful. And that in the end, the government stays out of the people's livers, and does the people's bidding.

This leadership has used non-sense to push Congress into allowing the President to arbitrarily decide when to wage war. This is at odds with the Constitution. Despite the Congressional role, the Congress is silent. Congress believes the debate is over.

Yet, it is clear the debate is not done. The facts are not known. What has happened is that the Congress has deferred power to the President unconstitutionally; and the only thing stopping the US from being held accountable for unlawful war is not the US leadership, but an outside entity that is checking the US.

The only thing preserving the security of the United States is the UN. For it is the UN that is stopping the President from waging an illegal war that would otherwise be used by other nations to justify counterattacks against the US.

Mexico knows the game. Mexico has withdrawn from the Rio pact. Mexico does not want to come to the "aid" of the reckless US should the US be counter-attacked.

The US is losing allies and friends. We have squandered our principles and momentum we might have used to advance our principles. This nation has over-used the "woe is me, we got hit on 9-11."

It is now time to realize that the world expects the US to embrace and practice the principles we are allegedly fighting for. The US leadership continues to demonstrate that it will use whatever non-sense it believes will justify a war so that it can divert attention from this imploding economy. Diversions are not solutions.

The reason for the resignations is that there is an integrity issue. A loss of confidence. The foundations are there. Yet, the principles are not exercised.

This leadership needs to be as open with the GAO about Enron as it expects Iraq to be open with the world. Iraq is open. Yet, this administration remains silent about what the GAO wants to know.

This leadership demands the world play by rules. But when it comes to holding our leadership accountable for those rules, there are double standards. This leadership wants overseas diversions to avoid impeachment hearings into the reckless conduct in re Enron, Haliburton, and Harkin. Wants to avoid questions about why the same crew that mislead the nation in 1987 in re Iran contra should suddenly be believed when it comes to information security, total information awareness, and overseas military options.

This nation has much potential. It has a legal system that could be used. A free press that could ask the pointed questions. yet, it is clear that there are many who desire to wait until there is a disaster to awaken from their coma to ask the touch questions.

Why did the President mislead the nation about what he knew prior to 9-11?

There are serious questions which remain unanswered. There is no prospect this nation should believe there is a system of checks and balances in place with it refuses to hold its chief executive accountable for misleading statements.

Why has the FBI not reorganized and responded to the threat of White Collar Crime?

The chances of white collar crime are increasing, at the very time that the FBI is diverting resources to fight the phony war on terrorism. There is a risk to all that as the economy continues to slow, local governments are going to be under greater pressure to creatively address budgeting shortfalls. Wall Street is waiting to offer them the poison. Just as we saw in Asia in 1997, nations will blindly fall into the trap of believing an economic miracle, only to have that disaster explode. The states are setting themselves up. The FBI is not helping create credible forces and mechanisms to mitigate the risks of local crime.

Why does the Justice Department continue to spew out standards of investigations that its field agents continue to ignore?

A nation of laws must have law enforcement. Yet this law enforcement system is so preoccupied with investigations into civil rights violations, that needed training requirements remain unfilled. Why is the public to believe that their concerns are going to be satisfactorily resolved when the agents continue to spew out non-sense statements about the statutes, laws, jurisdictions, and the rules of evidence. Government workers should be reliable, not sources of doubt.

Why does this government preach to the world about "what we need to do in the wake of 9-11" yet is unable to put into place screening techniques that will screen for bombs?

The US is clearly to arrogant to embrace solutions other nations might have. Rather than do what works, this nation is focused on the high tech solution. Again, the Y2K crew that ran out of places to hide their budget problems, are now coming hat-in-hand to Washington for another bailout to hide the true scope of the financial meltdown.

This leadership could simply say, ìYou will comply by this date.î But this leadership continues to be arm twisted. Many reason to change the deadlines.

Hereís a hint: The reason you have a credible deadline is to get compliance. The threat of a due date does much to get people to think of solutions. Yet, despite there being no money, the leadership continues to believe that the solution requires many dollars.

There are lowcost solutions. And this leadership fails to see the benefit of holding people to the deadline.

Who is the US to talk to the world about "superior management," when proposals to have bomb sniffing dogs are rejected over high-cost, high-tech screening devices that have yet to be fully operational?

Rather than solve the problem, this leadership continues to believe that ìother nations approachesî are beneath the US. What arrogance.

Why has this government not found out who in the NAVY was aware of the 9-11 pilots who were being trained at NAVY bases in Florida?

Despite the reasonable questions, all we hear are excuses. Despite all those who knew they were there, we have yet to see a full accounting of what training they received. It remains to be seen how much the 9-11 compares to Pearl Harbor. It is a shame that despite all that isnít known, the US can get away with making baseless allegations.

What has happened is that this leadership ran out of options to turn the economy around. It allowed there to be an attack so it would mobilize the country. The leadership knew. And Congress has failed to hold the leadership accountable. Congress has fallen down.

Why is this nation so quick to march to a costly war, when the prospect of that war benefitting the economy is small, and the chances of bankrupting this nation are high?

When the nation is fearful of facing its own economic collapse, many foreign enemies are created to justify a war.

Why is this nation so quick to march to war, when the reasons are unknown, the excuses are pervasive, and the non-sense is high?

Fear of an economic collapse spurs many to rationalize non-sense. Remember, the pension funds continue to melt. Argentina was once a vibrant economy. There are real fears that the US could follow the same path as Argentina.

How many service personnel have to get sick taking vaccinations?

Many. For the 1991 Gulf War Syndrom continues. Todayís military are now taking vaccinations that will jeopardize their safety. Ask those military personnel who are throwing the vaccinations overboard.

Some problems need to be buried. Iraq doesnít need to be stirred up. It is a hornetís nest. Waiting to explode. There is no reason for the US to walk in there. If Iraq was truly a threat, then let the Middle East neighbors clean up the mess. The US is not the worldís policeman. It cannot afford the role. Let the UN take the lead. The US has problems at home. Problems with accountability, with failed leadership, and an imploding economy.

One can only speculate why despite such non-sense, this leadership can get away with so much. Clearly, the mania is still with us. The same crew that spewed out non-sense to justify throwing money into cash burning enterprises is now spewing out non-sense to rally the nation for war.

Are we truly going to be better off? For war is only going to further distract the oversight, and only allow more abuses to be rationalized. War isn't the answer. Accountability remains the needed objective. For it is the basis for prudent policy. This leadership is anything but prudent. It is desperate, fearful, and ineffectual.

These problems are on their watch. They have failed. It is time for new leadership.

Posted by: at January 26, 2003 05:25 PM

This is how a dictator can rise to power. We currently have a dictator in the United States. The only thing keeping the United States citizens safe is the United Nations, which is a check on the Presidentís power. Congress has unconstitutionally voted to give the President the power to declare war.

Illusory evidence

The leadership has no evidence, it simply chooses to fabricate evidence to arrive at a pre-determined conclusion.

Ordered the FBI and CIA to ìfind and documentî links between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden. ìFind a link, any link, no matter how vague or unproven, and then use that link to justify action against Iraq. All logic says there has to be one, but we havenít established it as a fact. Not yet.î

Advancing policies that put US safety at risk

The US military action would mean the US is the aggressor nation

There is a major shift underwayñ Americaís longstanding ìno first strikeî policy and that the move

This leadership is advocating a policy that says we will invade another nation that is not currently attacking us or invading any of our allies.

There is a real possibility the US is underestimating the scope of Arab opposition to the proposed US invasion of Iraq; could well result in conflicts with other Arab nations

It remains unclear which nations would take advantage of the rising anti-Americanism to simultaneously attack and destroy Israel.

Lack of international support

There is widespread understanding that the US does not have the support, but the leadership continues to beat the drums louder.

ìWe had the justification. We had the support. We donít have it now.

There is the risk that the Arabs may unite in opposition to the US, and shut down the oil supply should the US invade Iraq, further jeopardizing the world economy.

The US is unable to build support; ìWe donít have the backing of other Middle Eastern nations.

The UN is shifting from a peace body to a check on power; at the same time the US is hoping to argue that the UN can only be relevant if it support pre-emptive strikes.

In the goal of ìmaking the UN relevant,î it remains unclear whether NATO will survive, ìWe donít have the backing of any of our allies

Unconstitutaionl Actions

Congress now sees the importance of ìnot voting to give the President a blank check.î

ìLack of Unity in Congressî should have prevented a vote for war; now that ìLack of Unity in Congress is unable to stop the President. We have clearly lost the intent of the Constitution. ì[W]e donít have the kind of unity we need on this thing. It could blow apart on us at any time.î

This is why the Congress is not allowed to give the Power to ìdeclare warî to the President. There must be a check on his power. It is unlikely the lawyers are going to marshal enough support to challenge the unlawful Congressional action.

This is a nation of fear; the leadership is afraid to check the dictator ñ ìNobody in the party wants to come out publicly and tell the President heís wrong,î


The current leadership is threatening the Pentagon. They have told the current military leaders to agree with the dictator or find other jobs

The dictator is calling any opposition to his policies to be no less than an act of treason
There is no strategic benefit to the campaign.

The US vital and immediate security interests are not at risk. This battle is being waged not for national security interest, but being fought more for political gain, a desire to divert attention from the faltering economy, and shore up Bushís lagging support at home. Ironically, the very action he plans to take to beef up his standing most threatens his Presidency.

Fracturing Leadership

As the President steps further outside the bounds of the Constitution, and puts the nationís security at risk, senior leadership are recognizing Congress is unable to stop the President. There are emerging indicators that there is the possibility of a coup in the United States.

Joint Chiefs of Staff are split over plans to invade Iraq; uniformed officers are urging caution in that Bush is pursuing a "dangerous course."; urging President George W. Bush to slow down, but the leadership is being threatened with either support the war, or resign/find another job.

There is a deepening rift between the professionals who wage war for a living and the administration civilians to want to send them into battle

The internal dissension is rising, raising doubts about the war urging restraint until United Nations weapons inspectors can finish their jobs. These voices of caution are not just being ignored, theyíre being threatened with silence.

Posted by: Military Coup? at January 27, 2003 12:56 AM

United States Admits: We made up the story

Using excuses of ìsources and methodsî to avoid admitting, ìWe have nothingî

The best intelligence provided to France and Germany has not persuaded them to support a war. At best they are skeptical over the need for military action.

The White House has stated in the past that it would pressure the Pentagon and CIA to find any link between Iraq and Alqueda. Despite that clear track record of pressing intelligence agencies to arrive at pre-determined conclusions, now the White House has come up with another ruse. Use the same ìPentagon that they pressured into actionî as the excuse for the White House inaction. The White House cannot have it both ways.

There is no evidence to support the administrations claims. Even if the ìclassified informationî did exist, the White House dictatorship now admits they still do not have enough leverage over the EU. ìGosh, if we could threaten to close down some NATO bases, maybe theyíd listen like Congress does.î

There is no smoking gun. The White House is using the hypothetical threat of a future attack as the basis for action today. The US Actions would merely precipitate the very conflict that the US hopes to avoid. It is not merely the actual use of weapons, but there fact that another nation fails to blindly obey the US that is prompting the US action.

The UN pulled the weapons inspectors out in 1998 in preparation for Desert Fox. Should the US dictatorship choose to launch another pre-emptive strike, this will merely be another excuse for the UN to once again pull out the inspectors.

It remains unclear what criteria the US would approve that would say ìThe 1991 Gulf War is over.î Regardless what Iraq does, the rules keep changing. There is no prospect that the UN embargo of Iraq will end. There has been no appeasement. The unlawful no-fly zone remains in full force.

All the basis for the allegations against Iraq are innuendo, suspicions, and concerns. Yet, nothing is stopping the UN from making repeated trips back to the areas the British intelligence have identifies ad concerns.

Hiding behind the ìitís all classifiedî non-sense in order to avoid any accountability.

All this effort after WWII to develop satellites capable of monitoring troop movements, and the US now wants us to believe that we have to go to war to stop a war. Actually, the US is very good at creating propaganda, but has a demonstrated track record of poor confidence in its costly satellite technology.

Itís time to pull out of the Middle East. Let the high tech satellites watch for Iraqi troop movements. If they go into the oil fields, thatís all the evidence we need. There is no merit to the argument that ìwe canít wait that longî as our high tech satellites will be there to watch the Iraqis move forward.

The US ìleadershipî has built up the forces, and now uses the excuse, ìThe longer we wait to let the debate drag on, the more we have to pay to keep these troops here.î Once again, the ìleadershipî is using more non-sense to rush to war.

The US is hoping that the UN inspectors will deliver a strong indictment. The problem is that even if they are in material breach, have not cooperated, and there is evidence of WMD, the UN security council still has not approved a pre-emptive strike. Rather, weíre simply back to developing another resolution.

But there is nothing stopping the President from going to war. He has the approval of Congress. Why does the commander in cheese choose to avoid war when nothing but his own fear is stopping him? Indeed, he knows that our own uranium stockpiles would cause grave damage to the troops, who would pass that communicable disease among the civilian population once they return from battle.

The Pentagonís idea of a ìcost benefit analysisî is to see whatever lie they have to create to fabricate evidence to sway Congress. Congress is naive. The Pentagon will cloak all kinds of things as ìsecretî that is actually fiction. The Pentagonís ìclassified briefingsî are not reliable, factual, or based on science. They are merely statements of whatever has to be said to convince whoever they need to the predetermined policy.

There is no merit to the argument that ìthis may compromise sources and methodsî as the information relates only to Iraq, where the alleged weapons are. There is no requirement that sources and methods be disclosed before the specific location of those alleged weapons is revealed.

ìCharges against Saddamî and ìevidence of violations of UN resolutionsî and ìfactual information that satisfies the leadership and public as a foundation for war, and ìthe legality of warî are 4 different issues.

We simply have another ìNixonís secret planî to back up boisterous rhetoric. They wouldnít be talking about an ìace cardî unless they actually had no ace card that they couldnít play. They would have already played that ace card without talking about it.

There is no secret plan, secret evidence, or hidden ace card. It is just more White House desperation to pressure the world into accepting their convoluted version of events.
To suggest that Iraq has ìlearned from the Cuban missile crisisî is absurd.

The US has similarly demonstrated that despite the Cuban Missile Crisis, it has ~not~ learned about the importance of providing specific, clear, and compelling evidence to justify a war. Without that information, such a pre-emptive strike remains unlawful. It should not take this long for the US to reveal information; that information could be sanitized, but it is impossible to sanitize information that is illusory.

We simply admit that the intelligence is ìless than certainî which is the same as saying, ìWeíre not sure if we have anything here other than allegations.î This White House would like to suggest we launch war because they ìthink that should be done.î Funny, the same standard, if applied to the US would justify a pre-emptive strike against any country because we have ìthreatened to use nuclear weaponsî against a country that has not done anything.

''The dictator in the White House has got weapons of mass destruction,'' Bush said last week. ''He's a dangerous, dangerous man with dangerous, dangerous weapons.''

The White House has had this many months to make its case, and now says, ìwe might do something about that.î Thatís the same as saying, ìWe havenít got anything to give you right now because weíre still trying to figure out how to sell this war.î

There is nothing that suggests the statement, ìWould very likely present some additional informationî is based on anything that is enforceable. The promise to give information, is not the same as actually providing the information, nor is it evidence, nor is that promise the same as sufficient evidence to justify what is otherwise unlawful war.

This administration fails to hold itself accountable for the same smokescreen over Enron, Haliburton, Harkin, and the Cheney energy commission.

The UN resolution does not require Iraq to get rid of WMD. Only that the information be disclosed, and that Iraq cooperate. Iraq has already complied. It remains unclear that there is any set of conditions that Iraq could met that would ever lift the embargo, end the US illegal no fly zone, or get the administration out of the meddlesome foreign adventures.

Despite the alleged ìevidence,î the US fails to share the list of concerns with the UN. There is no plan to do as the British have done and prove a specific target, and then surround the facility to watch for shipments out of the area. IF they canít do this, then why should we believe the US military is going to be able to destroy what a small group cannot track or follow?

Show us the proof.

Posted by: at January 27, 2003 05:24 PM

I have a simple, single question to anonymous.

If the US goes to war against Iraq, and, after occupying the country, find significant quantities of nasty stuff (chemical, biological, potentially nuclear) that Saddam claims did not exist, how will you explain this? "Male genital mutilation in Africa"? "Enron"? The voluminous fulminations wander all over the place and focus on nothing and have no salient point. So, I guess that all these factories and weapons that "don't exist" were planted by the CIA, FBI, Mayberry Police Department?

Posted by: Rancid Roadkill at January 29, 2003 11:58 PM

The supposition that a war with Iraq would save an economy the size of ours is the ranting of an imbecile! That a war as short as this would be could possibly distract the American public from an imploding economy, is the fantasy world of an utter dolt. It's pathetic that someone could waste so much time and energy on such feeble assumptions. Oh, and the last time I checked, we had enough oil without access to Iraq's.

You want altruism? We are willing to go to war with Iraq (at a large human and financial cost) and potentially destabilize an oil-rich region and potentially create more enemies in an oil-rich region and potentially alienate a large portion of the world and even American voters, just because it may be the right thing to do. No one knows for sure at this point in time, but if your honest (and I'm fairly certain "Anonymous" is not) you have to acknowledge the possibility that war may end up being the right thing to do.

Posted by: Joe at January 30, 2003 02:49 AM


The claims that the Taliban have developed WMD are dubious. Prior claims proved to be based on illusory plans that were unworkable.


Today, we hear claims that the Taliban had weapons. Indeed, such a claim should prove alarming. However, let us recall some points in history.

Flashback: Earlier claims about nuclear weapons program was a joke

There was a claim that the Taliban had plans to develop nuclear weapons. There was the claim that the BBC had discovered the Taliban "found some secret plans on the internet" to develop WMD. Small problem, those plans were based on a joke. Taliban fell for hoax, and those plans were not workable.

Other stories about the joke WMD plans

Interesting, those plans "that everyone found" were bogus. So, where is the ~second~ set of plans that the Taliban allegedly used to create these new weapons programs?

Are we to believe that the Taliban deliberately left the bogus plans in the open, and kept their real plans in private. Indeed, we are being asked to believe the Taliban are so skillfully, that they would go out of their way to both copy, organizes, analyze, then destroy documents that are false; and all the while leave absolutely no trace of the real plans that "they really did use, we promise" to make WMD.

It is time for the Alice in Wonderland Charades to end. There needs to be some credible explanations given why these plans (the second set, the real ones that work) were not discovered until now. We've had those prisoners in Guantanamo Bay for over a year, and now they suddenly realize that there's a second set of plans? Ridiculous. They would not have taken this long to figure it out.

The immediate rush to validate the first set of plans was grounds enough to suspect the real WMD programs of the Taliban. In those piles of papers and the minds of the prisoners should also exist the second set. But, we're asked to believe the Taliban were initially too stupid to realize the plans were fake; and now we're being asked to believe they were so crafty, that they mislead us, and left the first plans as a ruse.

We clearly afford the Taliban great skills and abilities. Clearly, the US propaganda machine would like to twist the facts and truth to arrive at whatever conclusion is necessary to justify whatever conclusions is desired.

Today's claims of "progress" deserve to be questioned

Latest claims

The previous "progress report" proved to be illusory, and based on an internet joke. There was no evidence the actual plans would work, only that the Taliban believed they would work.

Today, we are being asked [yet again] to forget the ruses of the past, ignore the bumbling actions of the Taliban, and assign to them the ability to (a) fall for a ruse; (b) despite that ruse still develop a bomb; and (c) make significant progress despite that ruse.

Put it back on the leadership. Have them explain:

how the earlier WMD-instructions and plans (that were bogus) suddenly are workable;

how the earlier evidence that proved to be fiction, has no allowed the Taliban to create a weapon.

They have no explanation. They have no story. They only have the desire for the country to believe "there exists a threat" without explaining why the previous story should be ignored.

How many more non-sense stories are you willing to accept? The initial "Taliban WMD plans" were proven to be illusory. There is no reason to believe that they've got a second set of plans, that have remain hidden; or that the first set of plans were deliberately left as a ruse.

Taliban have no WMD. The first reports correctly identified the plans as being a joke. The White House is simply pumping out more propaganda to link the Taliban to Iraq and the threat of WMD. if this truly was a problem, the US "intelligence" would have gotten the information out of the prisoners in Guantanamo and found out the plans were both false, and a ruse to hide the efforts. That it has taken this long to link the Taliban to the WMD is simply a sign of desperation on the part of the Administration.

Posted by: at January 30, 2003 08:40 PM

FBI Informants: A track record of suspect claims of impending doom.

Latest Propaganda: Alqueda going to attack in .. Zimbabwe if US attacks Iraq. Uh...can we come up with any other "so what" reasons to do nothing?

The whole story with the "possible attack from Canada" is also dubious. let us recall that the "invaders from the north story" was merely a ruse by an informant to get a lighter sentence.

They've had informants in the past who have lied to get lighter sentences, or get advantages.


Even if it were true [which is doubtful], does anyone really care if terrorists are in Zimbabwe? Think of the bright side: All those people going to Zimbabwe would probably add tremendous value to the GDP.

Who cares

Classified information is not necessarily accurate.

Just because someone has something that is "classified" doesn't make it true. The US Goverment lies all the time, classifies it, and then uses that "classification" as a reason to hide what they have fabricated.

These news reports are simply more of the "let's call anyone who dares raise a question about Iraq" as a supporter of Alqueda. Brilliant strategy KGB, MI6 and CIA! Do you all long for the days of the Cold War when you could drink together?

More excuses not to provide evidence

These news reports are just diversions. They still have not provided evidence. Just more of the same "classified information" that they refused to accept as real: Classified information that said there were attacks on the way.

Double standards on information

Why are we to believe "this classified information" today, yet we are asked to reject the other "classified information" that said the US knew about 9-11 before it happened?

Let one happen...stop the rest.

If they want us to believe this classified information, then they need to explain why they've rejected the other classified reports that show the US knew about the attacks prior to 9-11. Can't have it both ways, but this leadership wants two standars on all things.

What's the next non-sense?

Posted by: at January 30, 2003 09:45 PM

What other evidence is required that there is no serious discussion going on about the Iraq WMD evidence?

They've got enough time to play computer games. Clearly there's no evidence to be debated or discussed.


Posted by: at January 31, 2003 01:24 AM

You guys talk too damn much. All of you are twisting the perception of the facts to prove your own points.

Justified or not, we are going to bomb Iraq back into the bronze age. Then we should firebomb Dresden again and flatten Paris for good measure. Stupid Krauts and Frogs. Maybe we could get the UN to let us annex Sweden so we could import some fresh blonde trim. Now that would distract me from the economy.

Maybe conqur the netherlands cuz they got legalized drugs. I'd be happy to supervise the incineration of the Weed of Mass Skunkstruction.

Next we should occupy canada before they take their name off the globe and hide. They're too nice anyway. Lets ship the populace of french quebec to the desert of Arizona. It'll be an inverted siberia. It'll be fun to watch 'em go crazy in the heat.

Then we've got to fly to south america and spray the rainforest with Agent Orange, cuz we know the coke is there somewhere. We could drink a cerveza with a contra and be home before lunch.

Next, we the three kings of orient are, lets kill Castro with an exploding cee-gar. Then we can import all the cigars and those old '50s Chevys, cuz we need the spare parts.

Note to readers: Its called 'satire', you blockheads.

Posted by: ZeBob at January 31, 2003 01:18 PM

Forget about the location of WMD. Does George W. Bush know where my remote control is? I can't find the damn thing and I left it on the sofa. I have to actually get up and turn the TV on and off. My finger is killing me.

Danjo,I support Lemonhead.
LemonHead for President!

Posted by: at January 31, 2003 01:27 PM

Unbelievable! Do people really think that surfers will read endless tirades on the comment section of a blog. I do this just to release comedic and cynical energy. People, go outside and get some fresh air.

John Lemon

Posted by: John Lemon at January 31, 2003 09:57 PM

"We continue to hear many excuses for not providing the evidence. Yet, this nation cannot credibly argue we are for justice and prudence when that result can only be achieved through illusion and fact-less allegations."

To the Anonymous one with too much time on his hands:

Once again, the key illusion that you have wasted so much time on, is that a war with Iraq could save the economy or seriously distract people from it. I have not heard, nor can I fathom, a credible self-serving argument for the US to go to war with Iraq. Ouch baby, very ouch! Because you have spent enormous time and energy trying to build a skyscraper, not even realizing that you forgot the foundation. Please digest this before wasting another 3 hours tilting at windmills. If you must post again, have the decency to limit your droning to 500 words or less. Focus, dude, and gently let your ego be aware: your writing (like my writing and just about everyone else's) is not compelling enough to read in such gaudy bulk.

Well, I have to go now and put out a fire in my kitchen, if I can get someone to pay me to do it, that is. After all, that would be work.

Posted by: Joe at February 1, 2003 01:42 AM

Phony axis of evil

Alleged connection between AlQueda and Iraq is non-sense, but on illusory works of fiction from unreliable witnesses. If Saddam and AlQueda were truly aligned, after 9-11 the US would have struck Iraq first, then Afghanistan. It has been more than a year, and the US has provided no evidence of an Iraqi role in 9-11.

Illusory evidence

The allegations that AlQueda has WMD or that Iraq have AlQueda WMD are both non-sense. The AlQueda bomb program was an internet joke; the instructions do not work. It remains unclear why there is a rush, or to accelerate the UN inspection time line other than to start a war before the summer heart. The UN inspectors need to be given time to complete the work.

Risks related to illegal pre-emptive US military action

US risks backlash if it takes pre-emptive action. Mexico has already cancelled the Rio pact. Troops who follow illegal orders are not given protections and are subject to being held accountable for war crimes.

Hitler Analogies: US Needs to look in the mirror

There has been no appeasement. The illegal no-fly zones remain, the blockade is still in place, and the Iraqi population continues to starve. The US, not Iraq, is the aggressor. It is inappropriate for the US to anoint a new Iraqi leader. Iraq, not the US, owns that oil.

The US needs to practice principles of freedom, respect, and prudence at home before it preaches to the world how it should live. Credibility comes when the world sees the results of our prudent policy at home, not when we say one thing in our Constitution and do something else.

US Imperialism

The US excuses for war are based on fiction. There is no evidence of WMD. Accusations are not evidence. US has the burden of proof. Iraq has already provided the declaration and continues to cooperate. If the US really wants to make the case that it is ëdoing good,î then it should demonstrate that principle in Afghanistan with deliveries on the promises. If the US fails to provide credible reasons to pre-emptive attack Iraq, then all people in all nations have a reasonable basis to fear US military intervention.

However, rather than calm the world's fears with illusory assurances [talk to Iraqis who led the uprising against Saddam but were betrayed], the US could simply provide the evidence and information to show Iraq is not in compliance. But despite many opportunities to provide this information, the US has not done so. The information is illusory

The US is simply channeling the rage over 9-11 into a second front, shifting attention from Afghanistan to Iraq. This war hype is out of control. The only thing stopping the US from illegally launching an illegal pre-emptive attack is the possible veto from France at the UN.

The US citizen's only hope of avoiding war is to rely on France. The US Congress unconstitutionally granted the power to declare war in Iraq to the President.

US faces the risk of a financial crisis

The US is not in a position to financially support the long-term effort in Iraq. Social Security requirements are looming. The current budgets need to be devoted to US economic interests at home, not creating more disasters abroad.

The US economy continues to spiral down. The American system is crumbling, its leadership has failed. US President is foolish, desperate. US is acting like WWII Germany.

It is ridiculous for the US to believe that a war in Iraq is going to save the economy; all the war will do is distract attention from the unfolding economic depression. War is not a solution to the US financial crisis, liquidity trap, or debt-deflationary spiral.

Posted by: . at February 4, 2003 07:57 PM

Let's send the Anonymous one with too much time on his hands to Iraq. This would save the whole world.

Maybe shim (she/him) could ask Iran if Iraq has WMD?

Posted by: nyc burnout at February 12, 2003 07:01 PM

Where are the WMD? Above concerns about WMD are still valid.

Posted by: Still waiting at May 22, 2003 08:32 PM
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