Here's where we agree - I would also like hard proof of the WOMD. I think it would help lay this whole thing to rest.
If you don't agree with our methods of resolving this, then what do you think should have been done
I apologise for the long post, but I want to answer it properly.
he is a horrible excuse for a human being and should be taken out of power
Firstly, we are all aware of his crimes in the past - Halbja being an example -. I still believe the UN should be involved and that the U.N. Security Council should establish an international tribunal to indict Saddam and his top officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity. We have proof against him don't we? Indicting Saddam would send a clear signal to the world that he has no future. I believe by extraditing him to an international criminal court would put pressures on the Arab world to champion his removal because this would be diplomatic. The Arab world has all the excuse in the world now to wag their fingers at what USA is doing - but if he was indicted, they would have to accept it. You see by focusing on SADDAM and NOT the Iraqi people America would clearly be demonstrating that their interest is in changing his tyrannical regime and disarming his weapons rather than in harming the Iraqi people or taking the oil. None of us could argue at this diplomatic stance - it would cause world opinion to coalesce totally and firmly against Saddam's regime rather than against an American led war, as is now happening and is causing American's to believe that we're all anti-USA - WE'RE NOT. The US has some positive points that some on these boards should take care to note, and I hope that the Americans will also take the time to note the positivities of all of our homelands too.
Moving on, i still believe that disarmamemt should've been the main focus, rather than 'liberation' and so forth. people get sceptical about these things. We know there are many stifled people living under suppressive regimes, - Robert Mugabe being a good example - but we never really pay attention, maybe that's because our media chooses not to discuss it or maybe because it doesn't directly affect us. But by suddenly focusing on iraq,a country with the second largest oil reserves, of course people are going to assume it's about oil.
and not the 'freedom operation' that it's been labelled.
Anyway, about the disarmament : i think inspections would've worked with military enforcement - but NOT war. I know people roll their eyes about the inspections, but they are still a valid option. The inspections had shown progress - the agreement by Iraq to destroy its Al Samoud-2 missiles was significant. and a stepping stone. However, i didn't agree with sending over more of these inspectors. Rather, I belive inspections should've been conducted more aggressively and on a much broader scale. The US military deployment at that time should have been restructured to act as a multinational force with a UN mandate to support and enforce inspections. Those inspectors were risking their lives so if US force had accompanied inspectors to conduct precise and intrusive inspections with authorisation of entering wherever they wanted to and been given permission to retaliate against any interference (which probably would've occured) they would then have been able to destroy any weapons of mass destruction found as well as ensuring the protection of these inspectors. Even if they had to hold guns to their heads of the regime leaders : good
Rather hold it to theirs than the civilians. Alongside this, there should've been unrestricted use of spy planes and expanded no-fly and no-drive zones. The UN would have the go-ahead to do this, no doubt about it. People would have accepted this over the actions of a pre-emptive invasion much more easily. In addition, it wouldn't have costed us nearly half as much as it is now.
This kind of coercive inspections I believe would've worked. The only reason Saddam was co-operating with the inspectors earlier on was because of the deployment of those troops. He knew we all meant business. But they were all just sitting there looking menacing, not doing much else - the force should've been part of the inspections team. Some say, Saddam would've not coperated - in such strict conditions, it would've been tough s*h*i*t - he would've had to. He would have had no choice whatsoever. But it just seems that the Bush administration didn't careless and had already pencilled into their diaries exactly WHEN this war would kick off. For what reasons their impatience were attributed to is open to ambiguity. But Saddam was contained - he wasn't about to do anything to us.
Furthermore, we're all wondering now where these weapons are.
They could've been smuggled anywhere. In light of this, I really advocate strengthening the monitoring of regimes that have been proven to be rogue. I am aware that currently there isn't an international monitoring of commercial crossings into Iraq from countries such as Syria, Turkey, and other neighbouring states. I'm sure some would have their hands up in the air about this type of intrusion -but I think it should be vital, if the US and others really believe that certain nations are interlinked when it comes to terrorist activities. If there was some sort of advanced monitoring and scanning technology on the borders it may help prevent illegal arms shipments. that way we wouldn't all be running around playing guessing games over where these weapons could now be. Nor would we be finger-pointing nations and making negative base-less declarations as has been seen lately. With monitoring, we'd have conclusive hard-proof evidence with no holes. If such a monitoring scheme had been set up immediately after we all realised what a despot Saddam was, then he would never have had the opportunity to develop any chemical or biological weapons he is now being accused of having. Considering he invaded Kuwait and killed many, setting this type of big brother spy scheme on him , would've been appropriate and welcomed.
However I must say, that of course Iraq will have its own allies; America makes no secret of who her allies are, and in defense of Syria, they have always said they're against the war and have never agreed to it to this day. They're being accused of harbouring terrorists - a lot of our own govts have had with links to known terrorist groups, although orgainsations like the MI5 avoid this reaching the public domain. they want our govts to be kept on their high horses. In the UK there are many known IRA terrorists lurking around, only because most of them were released out of prison several years ago courtesy of Tony Blair and the Queen! There are extreme groups and fundamentalists in every nation - we've got our own little fascist party, BNP , gaining momentum every day. They pose a great risk, for if they ever came into power, it would be Hitler all over again.
But it's this whole 'you're either with us or against us' mentality that is messing everybody up. Apply this logic in your everyday life: if you know someone who doesn't always agree with your behaviour/comments/attitude, does that mean they are automatically your enemy? Of course not. The way the world is, people don't want to see things in either black or white: there are many grey areas, but by saying that comment, bush is effectively saying 'if you don't agree with me, you're an ememy and we'll come after you too' - is this democracy? The idea nations could be punished for disagreeing and maybe empathising with some, out of personal unity, makes us no different to the regimes we want to rid of. I don't agree with bush (not just on the war, but with many of his domestic policies when it comes to his own nation) - this doesn't mean I'm an enemy of America and her people. I have friends and relatives there. My anger is targetted towards these men in suits that seem to lead us by the nose all the time.
Anyway...where was I?
. .......I think by disarming the regime and THEN indicting all of them as war criminals would've effectively removed the problem of weapons of mass destructions as well as permanently disposing of his Ba'ath party. I belive that his regime definetly needed to be removed. But by invading and removing it in the way it has been done, is nothing short of imperialism. It drags us back to the dark ages of the British Empire - an empire that caused much devestation around Europe, the world in general and would've done so in US had it not been for France's intervention. I never wanted Saddam to stay after disarmament, but whilst the inspectors were there, he was contained and was of no threat. that containment should've remained until all weapons had been found and then he should've been arrested and indicted. But he's now on the loose and we're all pondering his wherabouts - we had him a few months ago!!!
I know I mention this a lot - but I do believe that resolving the Palestinian-Israel conflict could go a long way to people supporting the US 100%. It should've taken immediate priority. If America, UK and other EU nations just came together and really - and I mean REALLY - committed themselves to a peace plan, people would have more faith. Before liberating iraqis, I would like to liberate Palestinians who have been suffering their historical injustice for decades.. The attempts made by US just aren't wholehearted enough - it seems to me that when Bush says he will help, it's an afterthough and a PR exercise to make a last ditch attempt to win Arab support. On the other hand, his lack of action at certain times, helps him to contain the very important America Jewish vote come the future elections.
We need to all put aside our squabbles, forget the past fallouts. Rather than ganging up on one another, ALL the nations should recognise we all live in this world together. We all need to come up with a verey defined precise plan that should guarantee a Palestinian state by a specific deadline. BOTH israel and palestine need to improve their performances - israel must stop illegal occupation, palestinians must stop suicide bombings. Furhermore, We need to consult the Palestinians on this and not just impose what WE think is right. they have a voice and must be heard. Also,the safety and security of Israel must be guaranteed : this is important.
All this co-operration and decisive action would show that our leaders aren't operating with a double-standard or have hidden anti-Islamic mentatlities. there would be a clear political and moral link between the tragic unresolved Middle East crisis and the larger war on terrorism, including the Iraq issue.
The US needs to take a tougher stance with israel and encourage them to abide by the UN regulations set for them preventing illegal occupation. By being touger with israel, which has flouted UN resolutions for decades, - (including also being guilty of refusal of UN inspectors to check their W.O.M.D )- they would have so much support, it would be immeasuarble. America would prove itself as an impartial and fair superpower, rather than a nation which picks and chooses its friends as if we were all in a playground. I've said it before: as the powerful nation it is, America should be fair with everyone and not only expect EVERYONE to abide by international law, but to set the example first by abiding by international law too. It doesn't help when they pull out of world-treaties that other countries abide to. It unnerves and destabilises other countries, which in the face of American defiance will believe that if 'america's going to do that, so are we'. this 'do-as-I-say and not-what -I-do' is a sentiment that no-one , even as individuals, entertain.
I also belive that more of an effort should be made on the humanitarian crisis. On many news channels recently, i saw a lot of officials in Iraq denying this crisis. they seem to show more concern in sending guards to protect the oilfields rather than the civilians. Again, clear distinction needs to be made between our actions towards the iraqi people and saddam. These civilians are frightened of saddam - more frightened by our intentions. Remeber, we have never helped them in the past. They were deserted after the last Gulf war - why should they place faith in us? Colin Powell says saddam being dead or alive isn't altogether that relevant - well I'm sorry, but if the US and all of us want the Iraqis' trust, we should've grabbed hold of him first. ,
Our decade of sanctions along with Saddam's corrupt regime has caused immense suffering for the people of Iraq. Before the war started, the UN humanitarian agencies had evacuated personnel out of fear . Rather than waiting until after the war, UN and nongovernmental relief agencies should have significantly expanded efforts at the time to provide food, medical supplies, and other humanitarian assistance to the people of Iraq. By focusing on the suffering of the Iraqi people, and immediately trying to relieve it, would have helped to protect them from being the unintended targets of war. But our countries were too concerned with evacuating ourselves because 'we didn't want to lose any of our people'. But then we were told by Rumsfeld that this was would be a precise bombing campaign and advanced American technology would definelty avoid targetting any civilians. But having friends who have been or are in Iraq helping with aid, have said that didn't happen and that the bombing campaign has targetted everything: schools, universities, hospitals, villages. The fact that those relief agencies had been removed prior to action, had suggested that this campaign wasn't going to be altogether that precise anyway. Furthermore, I agree with a point made by a poster about how we should open our hospitals more. It would show that we're not indifferent towards the Iraqi people and that their welfare is of concern to us. We have the most advanced medical care and technology. But then,( I'm not sure of the attitude in America,) but over here in the UK, there would be many racist attitudes towards this with people saying 'don't bring those bloody immigrants here.' Well, we are more or less responsible for the destruction of their homes , so we need to help them get back on their feet.
I just think more should've been done for these innocents. They should've been evacuated temporarily or something. The deaths of Iraqi civilians and innocents just shouldn't have been a repercussion of war. I know people have said : 'well saddam woul've killed more anyway' I can't accept that. These 'anyways' are people's lives we're talking about. When I see images of the casualties, such as theage.com.au/ffxImage/urlpicture_id_1050172629133_2003/04/16/1604_aliabbas01,1.jpgAli Ismail Abbas who lost his limbs and his entire family, I feel physically sick. I feel that, our inability to have perserved down the diplomatic road to success, is to partly blame for his tragedy and many more like him. An innocent happy boy with a secure happy family life destroyed by OUR bombs. That 'shock and awe' campaign -
I felt scared and sick just seeing it on tv; imagine how those innocents must've felt. And the fact it was labelled that in the first place, is sick in itself. I know this may seem an odd thing to say: but I would've opened my own home for these people to give them safe refugee!!! :rolleyes: I think more should've been done to guarantee their safety.
Anyway, back to the'war on terrorism' - there are many terrorists in this world. These terrorists are in the form of many 'religions' - spanish ETA, irish IRA. They may not be a threat to American lives but they are to the rest of us. If America wants to be a world police - which bush's rhetoric suggest to me, they need to round up ALL the suspects and not define it to just what threatens them. As a Brit, we've been on the receiving end of IRA terrorist for years. Even when we think we've resolved it, breakaway groups such as the 'Real IRA' emerge who don't want a resolution whatsoever. They want NIreland back - whatever the means. In Palestine, little kids are being shot down by israeli soldiers for throwing rocks. Having travelled there, the brutality of the Israeli forces is quite apparent, towards Palestinian refugees. It's manifesting into more anger, by Palestinians that still feel resentful of the fact their territory has been illegal usurped. The constant bullying, in the form of curfews, sanctions, continous occupation is just fuelling that anger. Nothing seems to be done by us supposed 'moral' folk, we don't intervene enough for them. Consequently, this anger coupled with disregard, by us, explodes and gives rise to waves of suicide bombs. This can never be justified, but anger drives people to do the strangest, scariest things.
Having said that, despite my cynical rantings
, I think that the international campaign against terrorism has succeeded a little. It has managed to identify and apprehend some suspects, as well as freezing financial assets and isolating terror networks. But it seems that by acrimony and lack of attention, we're sidelining it because we're all focuusing on a country whom we haven't managed to prove conclusively was responsible for 9/11 - these are conspiracy theories. And yet to be proven conclusively. There are IRA networks set up in Britain - doesn't mean OUR government is funding them (hopefully). I think this war will fuel anti-American animosity in the Arab world, where the most necessary cooperation in this so-called 'war on terror' is most needed. It's no secret that the most of the anger comes from the Arab world - and like mentioned - it isn't because of jealousy of freedom. It's harsh foreign policy and the blatant support and alleigance to Israel at the expense of Palestinian sufferings. It really alienates these people from the West.
And we should all remeber that Osama Bin Laden still hasn't been found - the point of the war in Afghanistan wasn't to 'liberate Afghani women' as many claimed at the time :rolleyes: . lLet's be serious - it was to simply catch the number 1 suspect that the US felt was responsible for 9/11. However, he is nowhere in sight, and when asked about it, bush makes comments such as 'I don't know where he is.....do you?' as witnessed on ITV Tonight..... a few months after the war. If the main purpose of the Afghani war hasn't been acheived, why should people belive this war against Iraq should acheive its main purpose? Afghanistan itself isn't the nation we all promised to turn it into once invading, despite what SKY, CNN, FOX, NBC and other biased news channels may have suggested. It's a country that hasn't even had its roads fixed. What guarantee can we have that iraq will become the 'utopia' that we are being told it will?? Surely the capturing of BL would reassure people? Why America, a country with all the proclaimed intelligent units in the world, still haven't found this man a year and half later, worries me greatly. :huh:
I didn't provide him with weapons, nor did Bush
I'm not so simple-minded to assume you PERSONALLY had anything to do with it
. In regards to bush - he just isn't someone I place a whole lot of trust in.
But the fact is the West at large (UK included) have supported Saddam when he was at his worst. The west have always been aware of his brutality - bush senior was was aware of it, so why on earth didn't they monitor Saddam more? Why on earth was he appeased during this period? Strong oil links, and profit gains from the Gulf war most definetly encouraged the American administration of the time to keep Saddam in power for just a little longer. And maybe France does get the majority of its oil from Iraq which is a reason they may not have wanted to remove Saddam just yet but America didn't take Saddam out after the Gulf war for more or less the same reasons! Name-calling the French in such a bigoted and callous way as certain posters have done on these boards, is not only a brutal form of incitement but very hypocritical. Not just for the reasons I mentioned, but also because when others resort to attacking Americans in the same way as you've* been attacking the French, none of you like it! And although I don't agree with this childish type of arguing, it's to be expected
*(And when I say 'you've' - i don't mean yourself but certainly other Americans on these boards )
Moving on, No government is perfect, not yours and certainly not mine! I wish people would recognise that.
All we can do now is realize the errors of the past
But I don't see a whole lot of realisation going on - just denial. Politicians from both your nation and mine squirm like hell when questioned. They blatantly avoid the question by going off on a tangent and bleating flowery rhetoric about 'freedom' and 'liberation'. It's not enough for you and I to a mit the mistakes - THEY need to. All citizens love an open politician (when they do surface); immediate trust and faith is guaranteed. However, i'm aware that some Labour backbenchers have come forth and admitted they made a mistake, and although to some it may seem irrelevant, I seriously belive that if our leaders themselves came forward and admitted wrongdoings publicly, their subsequent actions would win so much support. We all know politicians are liars at the best of times but such open honesty would go down well. I think the majority of America people support Bush in America for genuine reasons - I belive the events of 9/11 have a lot to do with it. It made US realise they are just as vulnerable as the rest of us. The events I believe have caused Americans to rally behind their leader simply out of patrotism. American citizens more than likely don't give a damn about the oil. Why should u, why should any of us? it's not going to give us all immediate personal wealth, i'll still be in debt once this is over
but surely those in power will benefit from such riches? Bush's links to the oil industry aren't just an amazing coincidence
. My closest friend is more or less in support of the war but said 'not for the reaons that bush is going for' and it made me realise that pro-war doesn't mean anti-Islamic or pro-bush (although for many it easily could) just in the same way anti-war doesn't mean pro-saddam. We all sincerly want some peace to finally be brought to the people of Iraq that we have ignored for so long - but wars, missiles, bullets, death just isn't the way.
After 9/11, all those tears and speeches made about the wrongs of violence, and the destruction of innocent lives seems to have been negated by our own actions of violence and killings in Iraq.
most of the people of my generation had no idea what was going on over there or were too young to understand.
I agree with this point,
but our leaders most certainly did, so prehaps I should rephrase and say it is THEM with crocodile tears.
I know when Halabja happened many backbenchers in Parliament spoke out about it constantly: they were ignored by the prominent leaders. And although people say you can't blame the present govt for the actions of the previous one, I don't agree with this entirely. All parties that finally come into power stick with the status quo because it works. Why change things? I'm not too sure about US, but over here our labour govt is just like the opposing Conservative party. They're identical: the latter makes no secret of screwing us all up, whilst the former pretends it cares, then screws us all up anyway! They're all the same, so therefore, I'm very cynical about what they have and haven't been involved in when it comes to history.
And like I said: if Bush ever manages to bring peace to the Middle East, he has my support. If he starts making israel tow the line just as much as all the others out there, he will surely win so much support across the Middle East and generally around the world.
And to mention again- although I may express sentiments that can be considered anti-American, it's not the case at all. I realise my first ever post on the general boards (the one that opens this thread) was sarcastic, but I really cannot approve of bringing God into something like this. Whichever God it may be, surely asking for his vote of confidence, as bush seems to do, makes us just as bad as those 'religious madmen' we criticise? Religion should have no place in politics; it is religion itself that plays a huge part in why this world is so messed up - we all argue over which religion is right . It is this arguing which is responsible for the hate in NIreland, the hate in India and Pakistan. Therefore, I can't understand why our politicians seem to do it. They sound mad! We're all part of a war - that I like to believe nobody really wanted - which is devesating lives, destroying the homeland of people (Iraqis can be patriotic too!), we launch campaigns to 'shock and awe' , we dismiss those that do die from our bombs as 'a simple consequence' and what do we do? WE ask God to bless all of us!!!
No doubt that individual people like us, in our everyday regular lives, believe strongly in our respective religions and we observe it in the way it should be observed. We don't thrust it in people's faces or use it to justify violent actions. Therefore, I have criticisms for the powers-that-be, not ordinary folk like all of us here. We all just want a quiet life I'm sure of it. But it does seem that we're being told our lives seem more important than others : and that i just can't fathom. I don't want innocent Iraqis dying so I can keep my freedom. it may not seem that way to some, but that's more or less the hidden sentiment that underlies this war. We don't want to be attacked, so we attack others. It makes no sense
I just wish as member of the 'free world' or more 'advanced' nations we would endeavour to show others that in this modern day and age, WE can develop more effective and diplomatic ways to resolve our conflicts. Maybe what i propsed in the opening of my post may have taken longer to implement than a war, but i believe for the good of the future of our respective societies, in the longer term it would've been effective. I believe that Saddam doesn't have as many loyal supporters as he may claim. I'm sure that with enough coercison by the Arab nations, he would've been given up and extradited by his own people. It's because of US's indifference to israel's flouting, that the Arab nations are questionable about America and subsequently don't heed to their requests as immediately as they would do otherwise. If America put more pressure on Israel instead of always directing their criticism to just Palestinians, the Arab world's respect for America would be enormous. They would quite happily cart out suspects and stand 'shoulder-to-shoulder' with America in everything she does. But currently, they do perceive Israel has a terrorist-sponsored state with America quite happily funding it. Arab nations know America is the ONLY nation that can resolve the Israel-Palestine conflict - their failure to do so fuels their anger. None of these Arab nations like Saddam - afterall his record speaks for himself. No Muslim nation would ever agree with the crimes that man has committed against his own people - but he's not the only criminal in power in my opinion. However, because he is openly aggressive with the US and has empathised strongly with the families' of suicide bombers, the Arab nations feel 'well at least he's not a complete puppet of America and isn't afraid of telling them what he thinks'. They're all torn between what they feel is morally right (removing Saddam) and their continuous anger towards America who continues in supporting Israel openly. If America had somehow given the Arab nations some strong reassurance that they would do something, before this war talk had begun, they would've received support immediately.
After 9/11, rather than acknowledging and understanding the deep-rooted problem that people have of America in terms of the Israel support, Bush immediately said 'you're either with us or against us' and went even further to single out nations as being 'on the axis of evil' It was alarming to hear and now he waged an ilegitimate, non-UN backed war, that will aggravate the problem even more. Most extremists are born as a retaliation to the failure of a superpower to do anything: they take the law into their own hands. Individual suicide bombings, by helpless, powerless people are shocking and unacceptable, but when it's men in suits, with all the power in the world, releasing bombs, it's just evil. If only he had initiated the plan to create this dual-state that September as well as launching his plan to capture terrorists in parallel, his committment to peace, law and order would be more credible. i just feel that to a large extent, the genuine feelings of 9/11 have been manipulated by a governmnet and turned into a license for them to go around the world and take revenge as if we're all in some kind of gangsta film. Even the news channels are corrupt now. But unfortunately we depend on them so much to keep us informed and updated as there is no other way of knowing. Throughout this war, i have watched news programmes from countries all around the world. BBC News 24 did weekly comparison of war coverage from around the world including American, Arabic and European networks. You could be forgiven for thinking there were 5 different wars on! So consequently, I'm sceptical about evrything that we're being spoon fed! Our governments aren't always honest with us about everything - they deny, lie, protect - not necessarily because they care but because it suits them and their ideals at the time. It's all about being re-elected.
Now, I'm not saying we should've sat on our hands and waited for Israel and Palestine to be at peace - this will take years to come to fruition - before we took action against Saddam. What I'm saying is that we were constantly being told Saddam's an IMMINENT threat and action is necessary RIGHT NOW. Whilst those inspectors were in Iraq and our forces on the borders, his hands were well and truly tied. He couldn't do anything to us. This process of containment should've been continued, as I mentioned, backed up with military escorting inspectors around Iraq. They would've found the weapons , since those pro-war seem 100% certain he has them. He would've been caught red-handed and would be automatically charged. He and his cohorts would've been immediately removed, and UN officials and all of us would've had to committ themselves to creating a post-Saddam govt immediately. Sure it would've taken a while - but so what? This war dragged on and no doubt the post-war conflict will drag on even further, but if we truly want to diminish terrorism, whilst avoiding killing innocents, it would've been worth the time and effort. However, we took the violent route and are faced with a completely destroyed country with nothing left in it, scared civlians who hate us, don't trust us, don't believe us and the main man on the run. All these ramifications could've been avoided. We should've taken the higher road.
By resorting to violence to resolve what we perceive as OUR problems, we're showing others that it's okay for them to also use violence to resolve THEIR problems. it's such a dangerous precedent and one that surely will only give rise to more terrorism.
For that reason alone, that is why I am against this war which I never wanted and which was co-initiated by a Labour government that i never voted for! No democratic recognition for me
And to conclude - Everyone's opinions are worth their own weight. Your comments interest me alot and make me realise we're all different......diverse opinions is what creates open mindedness. I'm aware that i can't change your mind, you can't change my mind. But by exchanging contrasting opinions, it makes us all more insightful ........hopefully