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2003-02-17 Britain
Blair to defy anti-war protests
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Posted by Steve White 2003-02-17 10:52 am|| E-Mail|| Front Page|| [447 views since 2007-05-07]  Top

#1 People get aware: Jack Straw: 'War difficult without public backing'

There are however some anti-democrats who prefer to close their eyes for democracy and call people of different opinion "peacemongers".

Let peace survive hysteria

Posted by Murat 2003-02-17 05:40:49||   2003-02-17 05:40:49|| Front Page Top

#2 Murat, 1.72% of the population cannot claim to be a majority, ever. A mob, yes, but fortunately we don't have a mob rule system. In Britain the government is elected through democratic elections and given a mandate to rule for a set period, during which time it acts as it sees fit. Only one member of the cabinet is likely to resign over this issue, and the main opposition party is foursquare behind the government over its stance towards Iraq. As no one's called for a vote of confidence in Tony yet, I think we can rest assured the mob will not be able to shout down parliament for the forseeable future.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-02-17 06:03:47||   2003-02-17 06:03:47|| Front Page Top

#3 Re Bulldog,

I don’t know where you’ve got the impression that the number is 1.72%, recent public opinion polls in Britain revealed that most British regard the US a bigger danger to the world than Saddam. One should take a minute to rethink how that could have happen.
Posted by Murat 2003-02-17 06:24:16||   2003-02-17 06:24:16|| Front Page Top

#4 Whether or not a majority, it is astounding that so many Brits have placed themselves squarely on the side of Sadam and thus, on the side of continued torture, rape and murder of Iraqis. Unless Voldemort really exists, it is difficult to explain this.
Posted by mhw 2003-02-17 07:13:24||   2003-02-17 07:13:24|| Front Page Top

#5 MHW
It is so easy to say if you are not pro warmongering you must be on the side of Saddam and thus, on the side of continued torture, rape and murder of Iraqis.

Well I hope you too recognise how laughable this cliché sounds, try to understand once that people don’t love Saddam, but horrify the war, bombing, killing and misery it brings upon so many people.
Posted by Murat 2003-02-17 07:34:29||   2003-02-17 07:34:29|| Front Page Top

#6 Murat, The topic's the anti-war protest. A lot of people turned out for that, but that doesn't give them the right to dictate to the government what to do. The government has a democratic mandate, and will do what it believes to be in the British interest based on the information available to it. It's the job they were put there for and their decisions don't have to be popular ones.

More people regard the US to be a threat to world peace because they are stupid, and I'm afraid that's a fact. It's also because Saddam is relatively weak. It's thanks to the coalition forces during and since the first gulf war that Saddam isn't more of a threat. Besides, when you read peace, read stability. When people think of "peace" too many are content to think of that as other people suffering rather than themselves.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-02-17 07:38:19||   2003-02-17 07:38:19|| Front Page Top

#7 not difficult to see how this can happen with the repeated anti-US prejudice of twits like you. To put the US on moral parity with Iraq as far as world threats goes speaks volumes for the radical nature of your position and tells me I should ignore it and stick to the facts.
Saddam is killing and terrorising his own people as we speak, but you don't give a dips*it about that, do you?
Killing is A-OK if a dictator does it, right Murat?
Posted by anon 2003-02-17 07:41:03||   2003-02-17 07:41:03|| Front Page Top

#8 Anon, don’t be childish of course it is not ok if a dictator kills. But do you want me to make me believe that the utter motivation is to get rid of a dictator? What about Khadaffi, Assad, the Saud family, the various dictators on the African continent and some Latin American nations? What’s their difference, compare it with your logic and tell me why only Iraq (if you can)?
Posted by Murat 2003-02-17 08:01:09||   2003-02-17 08:01:09|| Front Page Top

#9 Murat, Still defending Saddam? You don't want the US to act against him till they've got rid of someone else first? Who would you start with? I'd have thought that Saddam's one of the nastiest available. He has ususually strong penchants for invading his neighbours, lobbing chemical weapons around and persecuting his population, so he's about as close to a cartoon villain as you can get. This question comes up time after time from the pacifist camp, which is strange given that it's neither an argument against war nor of any relevance to the problem of Saddam.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-02-17 08:18:21||   2003-02-17 08:18:21|| Front Page Top

#10 ' cause a regime change in Irak is part of a global change of policies toward Middle East. WMD are something of a pretext, oil is important (as in "strategically", not as in "economically"). Irak is not a target by itself, it is a mean to a larger aim, set in a global "cold war" against reactionnary, antiwestern forces unleashed by islamic factions that has gained an incredible momentum and a an enormous weight in the muslim world in last 30 yrs. You can thanks the egyptian brotherhood(s), gulf money and madrasa system for that.
The USA are going to use the sadamite entity to step in the heart of darkness and change the regional statu quo to serve (in order) US, western, local reformists (?), and local joe-six-pack 's interests. At least, that's the general plan. I hope it will work out fine, but somehow I have doubts. Still, this time, as long as you don't look too closely on details or after-thoughts, the USA really are on the side of angels.
Posted by Anonymous 2003-02-17 08:35:50||   2003-02-17 08:35:50|| Front Page Top

#11 Bulldog,
Are you serious, until now you where giving rational answers, now you are bluntly accusing me of defending Saddam. Who is Saddam to hell with him, but I am against bombing a whole nation to kill one criminal. Besides the picture you paint is not realistic anymore, Iraq is a nation chopped into three, under heavy embargo since 1991. All of their military equipment is heavily obsolete. One thing you say is right he has become a cartoon villain personage, a paper tiger. If the US is really after Saddam to liberate the Iraqi people, which I doubt, why does the US not grant him a safe passage to another country like Yemen for instance. Getting rid of a dictator peacefully without the need of bombing thousands of innocent people to Walhalla.

I know some of you will call me peacemonger, Saddam aide or whatever, that’s what people do when they lack rational answers! (except anonymous)
Posted by Murat 2003-02-17 08:48:15||   2003-02-17 08:48:15|| Front Page Top

#12 I'm not that rational... Btw, comments are now longer than the original aricle, and none of you is going to convince your opponent. chill out, folks, you're just wasting space.
Posted by Anonymous 2003-02-17 08:52:10||   2003-02-17 08:52:10|| Front Page Top

#13 Murat, get real. The age of carpet bombing is over. The only way Iraqi civilians would die in massive numbers is when Saddam decides he wants to go out like Hitler, who ordered the complete destruction of Germany and the Germans because they were not able to bring him final victory. But remember that even Hitler's most loyal followers were not prepared to carry out that order.
Posted by Peter 2003-02-17 09:07:52||   2003-02-17 09:07:52|| Front Page Top

#14 Murat, ...A paper tiger only because he had the stuffing pulled out of him and burnt on the Basra highway, then was sat upon for a decade. But don't you see the UN will never sanction overt US-instigated regime change because, whatever it's about, the UN's not about improving governments. It would be terrific to be able to take out Saddam with a scalpel blade but the consequences of that would be more dire, ironically, for the US et al. than to go in with the whole military circus. For one thing removing the man himself would not, by any means, topple the regime (how many times do you think you could repeat that trick without international opinion getting a little hostile?). Assassination of foreign heads of states the size of Iraq are considered a diplomatic faux pas, for quite obvious reasons. It would make Saddam a Tomahawk Martyr and be the best possible way start WWIII. If you want Saddam to go, and to have confidence in his successors, you have to have force on the ground.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-02-17 09:13:58||   2003-02-17 09:13:58|| Front Page Top

#15 Actually I believe murat makes a good point, if not the one he wants to make. To quote "What about Khadaffi, Assad, the Saud family, the various dictators on the African continent and some Latin American nations?" He is right, they are all dictators, brutally oppressing the people they are supposed to govern. We cannot do all at once, but attacking Iraq and occupying it will in the long run release forces to free people in other parts of the world. Who knows, maybe the Saudis, Syrians, or Libyans will be the next people to enjoy our freedoms. Unless there is someone who believes that a Muslim or Arab is incapable of achieving freedom, which I believe is racist
Posted by Anonymous 2003-02-17 09:24:38||   2003-02-17 09:24:38|| Front Page Top

#16 When Murat speaks about the Europeans being more concerned with Bush than Saddam, it would behoove everyone to read Rober Kagan's great piece (piece hell, it's damn near a book) on the history and status of the European and American divide. the article can be found here at Policy Review. Kagan is a foriegn policy analyst and sometime columnist for the Washington Post.
Posted by Bob Ballard  2003-02-17 09:37:56|| []  2003-02-17 09:37:56|| Front Page Top

#17 Peter, I know the age of carpet bombing is over, but we have not reached the age of guided missiles with Saddam homing devices yet. Whatever technology is used, it cannot avoid thousands of civilian casualties.

Bulldog, the US intelligence knows exactly who are the regime members, there can be issued an ultimatum for these guys to leave Iraq, occupation and bombing would not be necessary then, the people would do the work.

Anonymus, I agree with you, the world would be a much finer place without those regimes.
Posted by Murat 2003-02-17 09:51:23||   2003-02-17 09:51:23|| Front Page Top

#18 Jack Kelly writes in today's Washington Times that Iraqi casualties have been wildly overstated: the real number appears to be "between 1,500 and 6,000, with the lower number being the more likely."

Higher numbers, the ones that Murat would seem to support, include the Iraqis that Saddam hisownself killed.
Posted by The Kid  2003-02-17 09:54:36||   2003-02-17 09:54:36|| Front Page Top

#19 Ooops! The casualties above are for Gulf War I.

(Premature "submit query" - need a safety for the mouse button.)
Posted by The Kid  2003-02-17 09:58:54||   2003-02-17 09:58:54|| Front Page Top

#20 Yes the bombing will kill people.

That was true in Afghanistan.

Any objective person would now say that we bombed them OUT of the stone age,
Posted by mhw 2003-02-17 10:20:46||   2003-02-17 10:20:46|| Front Page Top

#21 Murat, can't be done, for reasons I stated before, plus extras. Saddam wouldn't let anyone on that big red bus to Peaceful Exile. But even if they did, without occupation you'd likely get anarchy, a bloody power vacuum and, worse, possible French influence. Now THAT would be irresponsible. You can't simply ask an entire administration to walk out the door and not replace it. The UN - God forbid! - wouldn't want to be seen involved in such a flagrant coup d'etat, so you couldn't expect the Blue Berets to go running in. So all you're left with is those posing the ultimatum, and that'd be those girding their loins right now.

Saddam's had the ultimatum already, and if he won't show the international community his toys, he certainly won't show them a "Gone Fishin" sign on the gates of Baghdad. Not without exterminating anyone remotely capable of taking his place first, anyhow.

In a perfect world the criminals would go quietly into the sunset, but it just ain't practical.
Posted by Bulldog  2003-02-17 10:33:01||   2003-02-17 10:33:01|| Front Page Top

#22 Murat:
The cost-benefit analysis that Washington has done on going to war with Iraq will show that the benefits outweigh the "costs" (I know we are also talking about people). The problem is that some benefits are not immediately apparent to some people (you and the protesters), nor can they be overtly expressed by the administration.

Try to follow this reasoning:
1-In the past Saddam was actively seeking to develop weapons of mass destruction.
2-If left alone, his programs would be successful.
3-There is no guarantee that he would not sell these weapons to anyone who wants to buy them (you must assume this to be true)
4-The "cost" of protecting against the proliferation of these weapons in the future would be tremendously greater, resulting in another "Cold War" (developing weapons programs to try to keep one step ahead of the other guy)(the "cost" refers to not only the dollar amount)
5-The technology to develop these weapons will be more widely available with time (in other words, Saddam's scientists will only get smarter)
6-Saddam can be defeated without plunging the whole world into war.

You tell me which option is more "peaceful". The people in-the-know have learned from WW2 and the Cold War era.
And this doesn't even mention the other benefits for the region and the US.
Posted by RW 2003-02-17 11:19:46||   2003-02-17 11:19:46|| Front Page Top

#23 This is by no means a comparison of Tony Blair with Lincoln, but keep in mind the situation. Lincoln had tons of detractors in his situation in the war between the states, not just in the South, but in the North, including in his own government. So many were self serving, including his own generals. However, Lincoln knew that this was the big banana, and he had to make a stand on principles, and similarly Tony has put himself on the line. Our countries are in the greatest peril that they ever have been. Well, at least we know who our friends are and who the enemies and detractors are. Hats off to Blair and Bush who, though not perfect, are trying to do the right thing for everyone's sake.
Posted by Alaska Paul 2003-02-17 12:16:22||   2003-02-17 12:16:22|| Front Page Top

#24 Blair would not be supportive of the war unless he agreed with the National Security Council's "pre-emption" doctrine, which Bush recited at West Point, last May. Bush's type of "pre-emption" involves diplomatic stumbling, purchasing unsavory alliances, rhetorical denial of Islamic "jihad" dogma ("islam is peace"), delivery of a Saudi veto viz the social development of post-Saddam Iraq, reliance on worthless civil policing methods (refusal to torture Guantanamo genocidists to gather evidence), sanitary or limited war (use of smart bombs, restrained carpet bombing), inordinate delays in face of enemy buildups, telegraphing targets ("axis of evil"), beligerent "peace" (viz forced armistice between Northern Alliance and Taliban), inducing Islam friendly "democratic" elections (Turkey, Pakistan, where the leaders of two major parties were in exile, and jihadis control the media), etc.

What does Bush's oil-patch, rainbow-coalition do when faced by a challenge? Last month, al-Azhar University, the authoritative center of Islamic opinion (fatwah). ordered production of nuclear weapons by the Islamic states. Bush chose not to respond to that challenge, which has policy implications for the 57 member states of the Organization of the Islamic Conference. American troops will pay for the disorganization, ideological blindness, petro-orientation, and pathological irresolution of the Bush government. It is time to discard piecemeal notions, and think wholesale.

Think like this: Muslims are the mortal enemies of civilized peoples and they need to be placed under extreme constraints, and this must be done on a global scale.
Posted by Anon 2003-02-17 13:08:05||   2003-02-17 13:08:05|| Front Page Top

#25 "...the utter motivation is to get rid of a dictator? What about Khadaffi, Assad, the Saud family, the various dictators on the African continent and some Latin American nations? What’s their difference, compare it with your logic and tell me why only Iraq (if you can)?"

Not just Iraq, they happen to be first. I think the purpose of a National Security Advisor is to review threat assessments, and prioritize. A dictator such as Mugabe who has no WMD and no territorial aspiritions is a low priority. Saddam, Kim JongII rather higher priorities.

Arguably the biggest issue facing the UN is if they as a body single out Iraq for force sanction, they expose many member countries to a similar potential fate. Which is why we see such a heavy focus within the UN on Israel; keeps the pressure of Libya.
Posted by john  2003-02-17 13:15:50||   2003-02-17 13:15:50|| Front Page Top

#26  Peter, I know the age of carpet bombing is over, but we have not reached the age of guided missiles with Saddam homing devices yet. Whatever technology is used, it cannot avoid thousands of civilian casualties.

In the article pointed to right below this, John Heidenrich says, "The number of civilian deaths from bombing was less than 1,000". Given the fact that the upcoming conflict will see more use of precision munitions than before, then a reasonable assumption is that civilian casualty figures will be comparable to the previous installment.

If you still think there are going to be scores of civilian deaths due to a rain of high explosives from above, then you need to stop believing what the hysterical anti-war types are telling you.

What about Khadaffi, Assad, the Saud family..

Their turn may be coming up; it's wise to tackle things one thing at a time. Once Hussein is whacked, all the other despots will be on notice.
Posted by Bomb-a-rama 2003-02-17 13:37:06||   2003-02-17 13:37:06|| Front Page Top

#27 Germans think Saddam has smallpox, Gerhard got the report before the election and suppressed it.
Posted by Anonymous 2003-02-17 20:08:47||   2003-02-17 20:08:47|| Front Page Top

#28 Saw that too Anon - good post! - How many lawsuits would it take to bankrupt Germany (nice name by the way) should it be proven they had notice Iraq had Bio agents they didn't tell the victimized populace?
Posted by Frank G  2003-02-17 20:16:01||   2003-02-17 20:16:01|| Front Page Top

#29 And how many lawsuits will the Kurds and the Shiites file after the war when they find out who sold Saddam the chemical goodies in the first place?

Just in case you wonder.. it was Rumsfeld,2763,866942,00.html
Posted by Greedy Lawyer 2003-02-17 21:28:08||   2003-02-17 21:28:08|| Front Page Top

#30 "However, 25 days later, Ronald Reagan signed a secret order instructing the administration to do "whatever was necessary and legal" to prevent Iraq losing the war."

Don't get too greedy.
Posted by Fred  2003-02-17 23:33:22||   2003-02-17 23:33:22|| Front Page Top

#31 "A 1994 congressional inquiry also found that dozens of biological agents, including various strains of anthrax, had been shipped to Iraq by US companies, under licence from the commerce department."

That must have been "necessary and legal", too?
Posted by Greedy Lawyer 2003-02-17 23:48:52||   2003-02-17 23:48:52|| Front Page Top

#32 greedy lawyer, you're name is Murat, you can't fool me.

The logic? 3 dictators are better than 4, you twit! So yes, there are other dictators in the world but it is not valid logic to say 'if you can't get rid of all of them, you shouldn't get rid of any of them especially if it helps your own interests'

And lets not pretend that you would be in favour of the US removing the other dictators - you would be the first to raise your whiny voice about US imperialism.

Get real, what I said stands. You think violence and despotism is A-OK for people like Saddam: the real crime for you is that the US might act in self-interest on the international stage and interfere with another country. Even though that action would actually IMPROVE the lives of Iraqis - that doesn't interest you, you would sacrifice the lives of ordinary Iraqis at your temple of anti-Americanism so you could have the high moral ground and feel safe in your bourgeouis self-satisfied and pompous attitude.

You make me sick why don't you go and be a human sheild so we can bomb you?
Posted by anon 2003-02-18 04:42:41||   2003-02-18 04:42:41|| Front Page Top

#33 Murat,let try to explain it this way.
If you have 4 or 5 bad guys in your nieghborhood.The worst one is a crazy,sadistic,thieving rapist who will stop at nothing,kill anybody to get what he wants.
Legal Authorities do not have the will or courage to put a stop to the rape and slaughter.
1/2 your nieghbors say the maniacs live down the street and are no threat to the rest of the"hood"(not realizing in their nieve self- delusion that the criminals will soon be looking for fresh prey).The other 1/2 get tired of being victums,or see a clear and present danger and know getting rid of the thugs is the right thing to do.
What do you do?
You and your nieghbors get together load up the shotguns,and starting with badguy #1 on the list you take them out.
It is a pretty simple concept,really."All it takes for evil to win is for good people to do nothing".
Posted by raptor  2003-02-18 07:46:52||   2003-02-18 07:46:52|| Front Page Top

07:46 raptor
04:42 anon
00:34 Tresho
00:03 Tresho
23:48 Greedy Lawyer
23:48 Tresho
23:33 Fred
23:10 parallel
22:47 Dreadnought
22:41 RW
22:29 Christopher Johnson
22:24 Alaska Paul
22:07 seafarious
21:40 Denny
21:38 RW
21:31 Tom
21:28 Greedy Lawyer
20:48 Alaska Paul
20:42 Alaska Paul
20:31 Frank G
20:27 Anonymous
20:18 Frank G
20:16 Frank G
20:14 borgboy

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