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#76555 - 03/30/03 05:17 AM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
MAD for Madrid Offline
Member

Registered: 06/26/02
Posts: 65
Loc: Madrid
Wolf I was too young when our soldiers came home from Vietnam to remember it. Let me say thank you for your contributions during that terrible confromtation. I sincerely pray that, no matter what one's thoughts on this current war, that our brave military personnel do not have to face that same shameful behaviour when they come home.

I get upset when someone characterises me as "pro-war". No one is pro-war. But some of us recognise that talking in the UN is not going to resolve the issue. Saddam Hussein is a terrorist. Whether or not he has direct links to Al Queda does not matter, he openly and proudly supports suicide bombers in the Isreali-Palestinian conflict - paying their families $25,000 for their "martyrdom". Sick! mad

Saddam also has proven that he lied to the UN consistently and for over 12 years by lobbing Scuds into Kuwait. So much for the arguement that the inspections were working and that Saddam was complying. He lied on several occasions that he had no Scuds. yeah right rolleyes

I also find it interesting that all the posters I've seen (many in my office) put up by the union organisers of the anti-war protests (CGT in particular) are advertising the protests as against the war, capitalism and globalisation. If that isn't mixing messages! I think a lot of the protesters are out there simply to protest against the fact that the US is strong enough to do what it believes is right.

I find it especially amusing to see these posters put up by workers at my company, a large global American financial services firm. If we aren't a symbol of capitalism and globalisation, I don't know what is. If you are against these two ideas, fine, but don't be a hypocrite and continue to accept a paycheque and then bite the hand that feeds you. Seems like petty jealousy to me.

I will agree that many of the protesters are there to protest only against the war and not capitalism and globalisation. For those, I respect your right to state your opinion. But please don't forget that we can enjoy that freedom because we have people willing to fight to protect our rights.
_________________________
great music: www.benjaminwagner.com
have a listen!

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#76556 - 03/30/03 08:36 AM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Madrid, Spain
We should keep our posts short in order to make them easy to read, and not to overload the server smile Thanks MM for letting the thread continue. The only way people understand each other point of view is talking (or posting in this case laugh ).

As for the argument of "...but USA created Iraq's regime" then spaniards should be ashamed for helping in the creation of the USA? Different times people. With the USSR pressing perhaps was the correct strategy... We can't judge nowadays issues with the mental frame of 30 years ago and viceversus.

Fernando

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#76557 - 03/30/03 12:07 PM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
thijs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 29
awwww -- GROUP HUG!!!

:-)

One thought to Wolf: I think you have concerns about the anti-war movement not supporting our troops. Understandable, considering your experience in Vietnam. I too thank you for your service - you were especially brave to remain a soldier in an unpopular war and it's unfortunate you suffered undue consequences afterward. It is dedication like yours that makes the world go round. However, keep this in mind: I really doubt we'll see a repeat of what happened in Vietnam. I think everyone learned that lesson. My viewpoint is that our troops lives should be cherished as our own. I do not believe this war is worthy of ANY American lives (and no Iraqi lives either). I am actually fighting for our soldier's freedoms. I want the soldiers to live their lives as they intended - not as consequences of an unjustifiable war that could have continued consequences in the world for decades (and maybe centuries?) to come.

As for media - Wolf - please run out and watch some left-leaning media! Fox news has been so friendly to the administration and at least when I've watched, I've never seen them question anything the admin. says! I find watching both right and left gives me some interesting perspective.

Say - no one has addressed the big nuclear question.

What do those of you who support the war think of this?

http://www.washtimes.com/world/20030131-27320419.htm

I know this is "worst-case scenario," but the question begs to be asked. I have to say that the use of nukes would probably bring the world together - against us. Considering world opinion, I don't think anyone would consider this a "defensive" move - even if WMDs are used against us.

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#76558 - 03/30/03 07:27 PM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Madrid, Spain
There is another argument that amuses me: "This war is illegal because it is not backed by the UN". It is implicitly backed by 1441 resolution, though not explicitly.

For me it is clear how the UN is unable to manage the international frame following the fall of the URSS, and in particular this conflict. It has no sense for me that a global institution like UN yet has first and second class countries, ones with a permanent representation and veto right, and the rest with a temporal representation and without veto.

In this conflict these characteristics of UN have played against a clear global resolution in the fight against terrorism, and those countries, like Iraq, that use and stock irresponsibly mass destruction weapons. Therefore, I don't consider a UN resolution necessary to make this war.

Fernando

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#76559 - 03/30/03 08:44 PM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
thijs,

Let's face reality. If the Iraqi high command unleashed a biological and chemical attack against the coalition forces, and it was taking a heavy toll in deaths, why on earth would we have to sit back and not react? The article may allude to us being willing to use nuclear force, but it says it isn't saying they will use force, just not ruling it out, under certain circumstances.

As soon as you can guarantee that Hussein's henchmen won't use civilians as shields, won't use chemical or biological warfare tactics, and won't use illegal acts of aggression during war time, like disguising themselves as civilians, faking surrenders, and using it as a ploy to murder soldiers that have been instructed to help the people, not kill them, you can bring this up as a valid point. Until then, it's not even worth discussion.

The problem with this whole "anti-war" campaign that is being brought up is that it's looking for positions to blame the coalition for everything, accusing them of everything, and conveniently ignoring the plight of the Iraqi people, and the atrocities that are being committed in the name of Saddam Hussein.

I'm sorry! You have to see the whole scope of what is happening in Iraq, not look at the issues with a totally biased point of view. You can't accept what one press offering says, or rely on one reporter to give you a synopsis of what to believe. You have to take the whole thing, digest it, then make a valued decision based on the reality of all events... not just a few.

What disturbs me about the point of view you represent is that anti-war people don't really care about how many coalition soldiers are killed, just as long as we leave Iraq without victory. The fact is, the movement is doing more to condemn soldiers than Saddam Hussein had dreamed possible. He uses the anti-war protests here as a propaganda tool, to urge his forces on, telling them that the vast majority of Americans are against the war, and we will pull out, as soon as our "death toll" gets high enough.

There was a time that this was considered treason. In fact, in Iraq, if you spoke out against Hussein you wouldn't get a trial, you'd be executed in the middle of a street, to send a message to anyone else who would speak out.

If this is what you wish to support, that's up to you, but to me, it isn't the answer. Knuckling under to tyrants and maggots like Hussein does nothing more than give them license to continue their assault against mankind.

Making matters worse, the time comes when these tyrants become strong enough, and have enough allies, that you get another WWI or WWII. Then people die by the millions. People who never would have died, had someone stopped the tyrants before they became strong enough to hold the world hostage.

I keep hearing how the "majority" of the people in the U.S. were against our involvement in Nam. That's not true. The vocal part of our society was against it, and those who supported the government were too timid to speak out. In the end, the "anti-war" enthusiasts never affected anything except a few local elections in places like Berkeley. The only places they had much real effect was where there were thousands of college students with too damned much time on their hands, living off the government, and telling everyone else what fools they were.

I can't respect that, and never will.

Look at all sides of an issue. Not just those that feed your personal beliefs. That's a rather narrow point of view in my opinion.

As for my involvement in Nam, I came back alive. There are over 58,000 names on a wall in DC of those that didn't come back. Some were friends, others relatives of some of us on this board. They are the ones that respect should be given to. Then, add today's soldier to those that deserve respect. Don't condemn them by letting Hussein or anyone else see that there's a lack of unity in our nation. Let them know that we are united in our stand. That our resolve is real, and won't go away.

Wolf

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#76560 - 03/30/03 09:57 PM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
mecky Offline
Member

Registered: 01/07/01
Posts: 91
Loc: US
As terrible as this subject is it has been very interesting for me to read all the different opinions. I truly believe that we are learning more about this war by reading what other people in other countries think of this. Many people from the different parts of the world come to this site. Viva la difference. This can make us proud of being free, Viva la internet and this site. It does not matter if I agree or disagree, each statement allows me think, maybe to change my mind or maybe make me believe even stronger. Yes this is a site about Madrid about Spain, but then our world has changed and it is because of this site we can educate ourselfes in learning how others think. And that makes this so good.
May we all be free to travel anywhere anytime soon again.

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#76561 - 03/30/03 10:06 PM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
thijs Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/28/03
Posts: 29
I guess my distrust in Bush has made me wonder if we would use nukes in lesser circumstances. I gave Bush the benefit of the doubt about the U.N. thing. I tried to tell myself he wasn't going to go through with this - that he was bluffing so that Saddam would listen up and fess up to weapons he may/may not have. But with the pounding-of-the-fist incident...I'm afraid he's not playing the game I was hoping he was playing. He's lost his mind. So not only are we changing the rationale for war, but we are changing the rationale for nukes. I find this quite sad. I still say nukes are for defense and the most dire circumstances. Not even to be discussed otherwise...to even say that we would consider them has undoubtedly alienated more of the world. And understandably so. What if Russia had said such a thing when battling Chechnya? How would we have felt about that?

As for Iraq disguising troops as citizens. Let's not forget what factions we have in that area of the world. They're not all friendly to the U.S. to begin with - not withstanding the fact that we left them high and dry 12 years ago. This goes back to my statement about media - some media are reporting that civilians are fighting back of their own accord and are legitimate citizens. Of course, Fox says it's all military dressed as civilians. Again - I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle - perhaps even both things are occuring. While sad, it's terribly naive to think that everyone in Iraq will welcome us. And you are only setting yourself up for disappointment (unless of course you continue watching Fox and only Fox for the rest of your life).

Concerning the anti-war campaign - those are some very broad stereotypes and assumptions you're riding on! I don't blame the U.S. for everything in the world - only the tyrants it creates, funds, and then decides is are no longer worthy of our support therefore we take 'em down with war. The other thing I blame the U.S. for is it's hasty and unethical push for war with nothing more than a "token" effort to include the rest of the world. If it wasn't for Powell, this never would have touched the U.N. As far as our soldiers and the anti-war movement not caring for them - see my earlier post on this topic - I think it's quite clear that you want to believe what you want to believe and refuse to consider what I say on this matter. Don't play victim.

As for the anti-war movement providing propoganda to Iraq, it's a two way street and just because the war has started does not make it right. It is still unjustified and unnecessary. Period. The U.S. has the tools to silence Iraqi media and they chose not to make that their first targets which is clearly poor planning on the part of our military. This is yet another example of this administration's amazing ability to screw things up. Why wasn't our "shock and awe" technology used to silence them immediately? Furthermore, the propaganda they report, while it's regrettably being used for the wrong reasons, it is the truth and we might as well face up to that. There are dissenters in this country and they have that right as part of this country under our constitution.

Again you do not understand that the anti-war movement does not support Saddam Hussein - you are blinded by your conservative leanings my friend. It is all about a rush to war that was not necessary. What would it have hurt to give this another 6 months or even 1 year?!? Even if the U.N. stayed in Iraq forever and no American lives were sacrificed, I would have been happy if some progress was made - the U.N. inspections undoubtedly distracted Iraq from obtaining weapons. He was contained - and I know conservatives hate that word, but we're still doing it in N. Korea, so why should this be different? As far as his evils, I hate to say that Saddam is Iraq's problem, but the potential hornet's nest we could unleash in the Middle East was never worth it. And again - if we apply this same justification in Iraq to the rest of the world, the U.S. will be in a state of war for eternity. Is that what you want? Where do we draw the line? Pakistan could be a threat - especially if their dictator government is overthrown. Somolia was a threat - why not them again? What about Libya? What about Syria? What about Iran? What about N. Korea? What about half of Africa? What about China?

The U.N. proved it's usefullness in the Gulf War - *that* is when it prevented another WWII. To compare the Iraq of today, a country with little power and not a state that supports it, of being capable of starting a WWII is not just illogical but based on untethered fear. What is a reasonable fear is that the U.S. has started the next WW. With mounting tensions in the middle east and a government asleep at the wheel here, this potential is far more likely than Saddam Hussein ever having had the ability to invade other countries. So I ask a question: What has changed since the Gulf War? Our closest friends and allies? Or the U.S.? It's quite clear - the latter.

And 1441 - ah yes, 1441. That resolution was worded so vaguely so everyone would get on board. There were reasons that France, Germany, etc. did not put specifics in the resolution. They didn't want the rush to war that the U.S. did. The U.S. got it's way by passing something that would "loosely" give it the right to go to war - a sad excuse for diplomacy - why bother?!?

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#76562 - 03/31/03 06:48 AM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
Wolf Offline
Member

Registered: 01/25/01
Posts: 1245
Loc: Rockford, IL/Milton, WI, USA
thijs,

Please don't refer to my stand on the issue as "conservative learning." I'm actually more like you than you'd imagine. My leanings are towards a socialized society that offers protection for the young, old, and those who cannot afford necessities like health care. In fact, I am in favor of socialized medicine to a point in the U.S. I believe in the rights of people, and also believe that corporate America has gotten way too strong, and dictates too much in government.

As far as Bush and his cabinet, the only one that I really have had any respect for in the past, or now is Colin Powell. I'm definitely not a conservative. I'm a member of what could be called a "backlash group," that will no longer tolerate a minority of people dictating what our government will do.

I don't trust Bush any further than you do. In fact, I don't trust politicians in general. To me, term limits, no pac money, no lobbying and "$10,000" a plate fund-raisers should be tolerated. Anyone who spends more than 12 years in the Senate, or 8 years in the House of Representatives has become so engrained in the political crap that it disturbs me.

I believe Bush was hoping that the UN would have enough guts to "force" Saddam Hussein to capitulate, without there being war. France, Germany, and Russia, forced the issue, by their own greed. Had they signed on board, Hussein would have knuckled under to world pressure, disclosed what he obligated himself to, following the Gulf War, and we would have seen the al-Qaeda operations in the North of Iraq removed. If you're looking for a scape-goat, as to why we are at war, look no further than those three "great nations," whose only reason for supporting the man were pure greed.

You don't take the ability to, or will to use, weapons of mass destruction, when the opponent has shown a propensity for having used them, even against his own people. That wouldn't make sense. The threat has to remain there, so the enemy thinks twice about doing it. Rest assured, Hussein would have used WMD already if we had said we wouldn't use them, under any circumstances.

In a state of war, as exists in Iraq, the rules of engagement say that the combatants will be in uniform. Anyone else who fights, in civilian clothes, is considered a guerilla or engaged in espionage, and the country that captures them has the right to stand them against the wall, and execute them. We aren't doing that, despite the fact that Hussein's "faithful" are not only using this as a tool of war, but engaging it's usage in such a manner as to endanger civilians. It is against every convention of war, and only a despot, and people who don't care about human life would stoop to such levels of depravity. If that's the way Fundamentalist Muslims conduct war, I'm afraid I see no reason that they should be shown quarter.

It's easy to judge the past. Why did the U.S. support Hussein in the beginning? It was an era where it was the Soviet Union against the West, and both sides were backing opposition to the other. It's not an issue worth discussion, since neither side really did the right things, but at the time, it seemed like the only viable options. Neither side would allow the other to "rule the world." Since that era has passed, we have to police the crap we caused... on both sides.

The anti-war movement does not care about people. Just saying we should pull out of Iraq is condemnation of millions. You can try to justify it any way you want, but those who have lived under a tyrant would disagree with you. It's time for the world community to rid the surface of the earth of these beasts.

As far as pointing at other nations as "future targets," let's just say one thing. If they harbor terrorists, allow them to operate at will against our friendly nations, and support their cause, I see no reason they should be protected from the wrath of the free world. If that's a message that there may be more nations under the gun, so be it.

Whether or not Res. 1441 was a watered down version or not doesn't matter. What does matter is that Hussein not only violated the accord, he flaunted it in the face of the UN, and nobody had the guts except our coalition, to do one damned thing about it. The UN has totally lost it's focus, and no longer has a reason to exist.

Wolf

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#76563 - 03/31/03 09:04 AM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
Fernando Offline
Executive Member

Registered: 07/05/01
Posts: 1563
Loc: Madrid, Spain
Good! That is the spirit! Short messages laugh

Thinking in loud voice, I find interesting how people can decide (myself included) in less than one minute if this war is necessary or not.

It seems that in my country (Spain) everyone has become a high strategy analyst stating how wrong (in the majority of the cases) or right this war is... To take a decision one must have a truthful information, based on processed amount of data, consider all the facts, the situation and the possible outcomes of the different possible decisions you can take.

We should all be more humble. We don't have veridic and complete data, can't wisely analyze it, can't take into consideration all the facts (for we don't know all of them), can't imagine the different possible elections, and can't forsee the probable outcomes. Therefore, in my opinion, we should delegate our decision rights. Can anyone imagine someone better suited and informed to judge the situation than the presidents of our countries? Not only that, but they have the legitimacy that a democratic election gave them.

I wan't my president to take that decision for me.

Fernando

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#76564 - 03/31/03 09:54 AM Re: This damn war (& coming to Spain)
el viajero Offline
Member

Registered: 09/15/02
Posts: 198
Quote:
those who have lived under a tyrant would disagree with you.
It's not as clear-cut as that, which becomes obvious every time reporters interview a bewildered American field commander (or whatever the correct term is) from the present war. I think these guys were told they could expect civilians cheering in the streets as U.S. troops approached, like something out of a World War II newsreel. Instead, they're being shot at, and they seem genuinely surprised, perplexed and disappointed.

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