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Monday, September 23, 2002
[from this message board]
First of all I wan to apologize for the delay in writing a response. This is in response to this post and this one.
You question that he's developing WMD in order to use them. Let's set up a little logical experiment: If you were Saddam and you knew that weapons inspectors wanted to make sure you didn't have WMD (under the threat of force), would you
a) develop WMD for the purposes of not using them, under the realization that you might be attacked for doing so
b) not develop WMD in order to not be attacked
c) develop WMD for the purpose of using them
Choice a is clearly not rational. Choice b is not factual (though it's a rational choice). Choice c is left.
I reject these three options. Since Saddam Hussein has not done anything that a host of other countries, including the United States, haven’t done before and yet finds that he is the consistent enemy of the U.S. since 1990, it makes sense to me that he might develop WMD for the deterrence factor. The U.S., and perhaps Iran and/or Israel, want to attack Iraq and so WMD are just a way of decreasing the likelihood of such attacks. The U.S. and Great Britain justify their nukes for this reason so what is the problem with Iraq doing so?
[me] There are lots of dictators in the world. What makes Hussein special?
[you]The fact that he wants to develop WMD in order to use them. Mugabe is a sh*thead, but that doesn't make him dangerous to other sovereign countries.
I guess we just disagree on this point.
[me] Most people want to be free
[you]That's not an excuse for not acting. In fact, the Arab world is the region of the world which has most been spared from democratizing any part of its institutions. Latin America democratized recently (to some degree or another, in most countries - and other qualifiers as needed). The march of democracy has been gradual, but it's natural to turn to a region whose lack of democracy has just leveled the WTC.
To what extent should the U.S. be in the business of dictating to other countries how they are to run their affairs given the existing conditions? And if the U.S. had the power to make every country a democracy at gunpoint, would the U.S. be justified in doing so?
[me] They don't identify with Hussein (or any other nation state, for that matter) so what is the message to them?
[you]I believe that there is evidence that they do. You don't have to agree, but there's the Prague-Atta thing. The anthrax. The WTC I bombing terrorist in Iraq. The other co-conspirators in Oklahoma City.
The first example s weak evidence but admittedly evidence. The rest of this does not in any way implicate Hussein or his government in the activities of Al Qaeda.
The fact that Saddam and Osama share a surprising number of similar issues - and they rank them in the same order, and declare them at similar times.
Can you give some examples of the “similar times”? As for agreeing on a number of matters, yes they do but they also disagree on some issues including the role of religion in governance.
The reasonable supposition that Osama/Al Qaeda are actually Saddam's undercover intelligence agency (Laurie Mylroie has a book about this, available at Amazon).
Well I don’t think that is a reasonable supposition given what I do know. I haven’t read Laurie Mylroie’s book so I can’t comment on its accuracy. What I can say is that there is a larger issue of Al Qaeda believe in Islamic theocracy while Hussein’s government is secular.
In terms of message: Hussein was able to say that he stood up the super-power and survived. Bin Laden was able to say the same thing after the Embassy bombings in Tanzania/Kenya, the USS Cole, etc. Bin Laden may not be able to say that now, and it's certainly in US interests to say that Hussein is not able to say that.
John Kennedy could have said the same thing. Ditto Ronald Reagan. Are we to assume that the Democrats and Republicans are conspiring with Iraq and Al Qaeda?
Bragging about standing up to a powerful foe is a time honored tradition throughout the world.
[me]I oppose fascism and Islamic fundamentalism. That doesn't mean I think the U.S. should be running the world.
[you] So what would you do?
I guess give what aid I can to forces that I agree with who oppose such movements.
By the way, I also oppose gun control and yet do not advocate the U.S. should take over Great Britain. I don't think Uncle Sam imposing the president's will on other countries is an acceptable means of accomplishing anything.
Incidentally, attacking Iraq in no way implies that the US is running the world.
Well I do believe it is the first step in a process.
And many people who say the US shouldn't act as the world's policeman freely criticize the US when it doesn't act fast enough (remember Hutus and Tutsis?).
For the record, I do not criticize the U.S. for not acting in Rwanda, however tragic that situation was. What I will do is point out that the U.S. did not use that tragedy as a reason to intervene and I believe the reason for this is that it was not in the economic and/or military interests of the U.S. to do so.