[thechat] war phase 2

Hugh Blair hblair at hotfootmail.com
Tue Nov 27 15:43:29 CST 2001

> >  > Is Iraq being forced to follow rules other countries don't 
> have to follow?
> >
> >Yep.  Question for your thoughts.
> >You have 2 children and one is a constant problem. Let's say
> >that the problem one always horded cookies under her bed. Wouldn't
> >you treat that one child differently (because of her history)
> >and search her room more often than the other (sweet) child?
> I find it really uncomfortable when people explain their view of 
> international politics to me using the US as a "parent" country and 
> other nations as "children."
> It shows a paternalistic view of the world.
> & anyway,  policing and punishment doesn't address the root issues of 
> anything.  It is simply a reaction to the immediate situation.  Okay 
> in the short term, not effective (even counter-productive) in the 
> long term.
> In fact, I don't even think punishment should be used on children. 
> (another discussion.)

Erika, I purposely didn't mention "punishment", I said "treat...search".
I don't know what "punishment" should be used if any, but my point was
to counter your question about treating Iraq differently than "other
countries."  I don't see the US as a "parent" country and I didn't 
mean to imply a "paternalistic view of the world."  I was just trying
to point out why someone/a country *should* be treated differently.

> Not that I think the US really concerned about Iraq outside of how 
> Iraq affects US business interests.

I'll be the last to say that business interests don't play a part in
the US actions, but I *do* believe that these interests aren't the
compelling reason for the current actions in that part of the world.

> >  What about here?
> >  > http://www.deoxy.org/wc/wc-consp.htm
> >
> >Just another opinion.  Just because it's published on the web
> >doesn't make it real.  But of course you knew that.
> Right. OTOH, the piece is factually dense and provides references.

Oh, for a few days to do my own research on the points this puts
forward.  I'd learn, we'd learn, minds might change.  But I have to
note that very early in the article it states "Information that has 
come to light" but doesn't clearly state all the sources for it's
opinions.  Geesh, I'd really like to see an analysis of this piece.
> One could refute certain conclusions, put the information together 
> differently, or go back to the primary sources and try to find holes 
> or inaccuracies.  I find this document pretty interesting actually.

+1 Agreed on all points.
> >  > If it wasn't okay for Hitler, or for Saddam, why is it okay for us?
> >>  Why do we so easily accept this relativistic thinking?
> >
> >Again with the "Hitler" & "Saddam" comparisons - yet with no answer
> >to the question.  IMHO I think the scope & details of the problem(s)
> >mentioned are different.
> The Saddam question?  I don't know.  I'd like to hear Iraq's side of 
> the story.  But I have not heard it.  But there's a lot I haven't 
> heard about the Iraq situation.
> In any case, if Iraq is to be handled with force, is that not a 
> decision for the UN?  Or is the UN just obsolete?

The US may be obsolete, but it certainly is impotent.  Various
countries - US included - mainly use it to force opinions and
actions on other nations.  In my view, it should be disbanded.
What should take its place?  I'm not sure.  There may not be
anything that can or should.
> And regarding my comparisons of the US with other past and present 
> "rogue states," we may well be in a different situation.  But I don't 
> know, because I've not seen a single in-depth analysis of the 
> situation in major media that does not take a "rah rah USA" point of 
> view.
> I've not seen an in-depth asking of hard questions about our own 
> motives and actions.

Oh, the Washington Post and other print media have been doing that
from the start.  And reading the foreign press can be quite eye
opening.  I've seen many different points of view.
> I think that after Hitler was dead and gone, a lot of Germans sat 
> around in the rubble asking themselves how exactly they managed to 
> vote this guy into office and then allow him to do what he did.

I'm sure they did.  But remember, a vote there and at that time was
nothing like a vote in the US.  A very different country structure
was in place than what the US has.
> It starts with an averting of the eyes when the atrocities occur.

Let's hope we never do this.

> I do not feel comfortable with my government's activities at home 
> or abroad.
> In fact, I feel so uncomfortable, that even "publicly" criticizing my 
> government now gives me a twinge of fear.   For the first time in my 
> life.

That's a bad thing.  You and I should always feel comfortable 
expressing our opinions even if they differ from the 'masses'.
This is one of the basic 'freedoms' in our country.

[great discussion]


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