View Full Version : "no war" sign

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12-Feb-03, 19:39
I take it by now every1 has seen or heard of this "sign" (i use the term lightly)on the hill at the hospital.
Obviously done by some 1 who doesn't have a clue about the "real"world.

I think this is absolutely daft as war is inevitable and necessary in the case of Iraq.
Is this not an act of "graffiti" or as it is made with litter "littering" ???????
If i was to put a slogan on the hill proclaiming war on Iraq i would be classed as warmongering or looked down on as a vandal which would be perfectly right.

Dont the people that did this realiise that the reason they have the freedom to do theses sort of things is through wars?????
The people of Iraq cant because they are governed by a vicous dictator with no regard to human life.
War is necessary i dont have to like it but it has to happen if we all want to live in a free society.

13-Feb-03, 00:41
Anyone got any idea who created that sign anyways?

Not that im for war in any way shape or form, but things like that do tend to trivialise it slightly...


13-Feb-03, 11:14
I wonder if someone from Caithness.org could go and take a picture of this sign for all us down south to have a look at?????

I wonder who it was?


13-Feb-03, 12:50
The reason people have had to go to war in the past to gain freedon is because previously no one was bright enough to come up with a better solution. And this sign makes you talk of littering or graffiti. WHAT PLANET ARE YOU ON??????

This possible war is about OIL not freedom, not liberty, not human rights, not anything else but OIL. Tony Bush is going to send men to their deaths to try and save his political career. Not only send men to their deaths but send them to cause the death of others for OIL.



I think the sign shows exactly what people think.

War is never inevitable. You just watch too much television and actually believe all the rubbish their telling you.

Of course Tony didnt actually say the word TANKS when he told the army to go and make people feel like they are in a state of war. How long do think it will be before he orders the "secret" army to blow something and pretent it was terrorists? Tanks at the airport? Big guns? They're all mental.

Lets face it, they've all been proven liars in recent days. If you believe anything they say from now on then you are just as bad as they are. Adolf Blair needs us to go to war or he's finished and he knows it. How many men would you send to their deaths to save your political career? How many people would you murder to get cheaper oil?

13-Feb-03, 13:30
Agree with you on the reason for the war Naill - but disagree that Blair is doing it to "save" his political career, it looks like one of the worst political decisions of all time!

Sadam is a terrible dictator, however the people of Iraq should not have to suffer (any more) for this.

I have to laugh when I hear "them" say they are winning the war against terror when we have tanks at Heathrow and Army helicoptors circling over London - who is winning.

13-Feb-03, 13:39
I cant believe there is a potential war brewing and all people are worried about is graffiting or littering the hill at the hospital!
I dont agree with this war at all. Mr Blair is pretending there is a high risk of a terrorist attack but really I think he is making the most of it to try to win peoples support for going to war. It is all very scary.

13-Feb-03, 22:16
Something needs to be done with the likes of Saddam or MADD AS but what about Ireland, no oil so no sollution! There are ways besides war.

13-Feb-03, 23:46
I couldn't agree more with Niall. As election day nears Smug Blair is worried about his political career. After all, what's happened to all his promises? The NHS, education, public transport etc., etc. Sadly, I voted for this political party as I always have done, but I think Blair is a terrible leader.[Lets face it, he's scared of Gordon Brown. Why do you think he is still the chancellor of the exchequer? If Gordon Brown has any sense he will contest Blair for prime minister.] Blair is nothing but smug. All these so called security threats at the airports is nothing but scare mongering. We only have Blairs' word for it.
You've only to look at America now. They are putting the frighteners up their own people by telling them to buy respirators and to stock up on necessities. If that's not scare mongering then I don't know what is. It's about time this government put it's own people first. If America wants to go to war let them. Until the UN have 100% proof that Saddam isn't complying then leave well alone. If they want rid of Saddam why not put elite forces into Iraq and put him under house arrest. I'm sure the people of Iraq would rather have that option than to have to fight. Better still, tell him we are going to send Blair to run his country. He'll soon give himself up.

14-Feb-03, 08:23
Tony Bush is going to send men to their deaths to try and save his political career. Not only send men to their deaths but send them to cause the death of others for OIL.

Of course Tony didnt actually say the word TANKS when he told the army to go and make people feel like they are in a state of war. How long do think it will be before he orders the "secret" army to blow something and pretent it was terrorists? Tanks at the airport? Big guns? wtf? They're all mental.


Adolf Blair needs us to go to war or he's finished and he knows it. How many men would you send to their deaths to save your political career? How many people would you murder to get cheaper oil?

This posting brings to mind the question:

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who moderates the moderator?)

Another appropriate quotation:

All power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

You are in a position of power, Niall, use it responsibly.


14-Feb-03, 10:32
point taken

14-Feb-03, 12:42
here is a quote for you .. war is hell
when has there ever been any war since time immaterial that has been good?
i dont care what it is over or who has the right and might
it dosent matter if it is with the best intentions.. the road to hell is paved with good intetions
war is nothing but a powr game and if we arnt careful a whole lot more is going to be at stake than a war in iraq...
N. Korea is on the brink of war and what happens when the pot is tippedd so to speak?
once somethinglike this starts you cant just stop it...
i think both bush and lair are idiots.. they go on and on aout terrorism but yet in laden is on the back buner and the saddam is now the main focus.. we think about iraq and the fighting there but think aout this.. if this goes to full scale war and not just in iraq ... its going to hit us.. its not just going to be something on tv... that we can safley watch from our living rooms and oohh and ahh about but reality.. there is not many that know the horror of war ... i dont and i dont want to either..
we see wars all the time on the telly but what is it going to be like when its you running for your life.. hiding in fear... not knowing if you and your family are going to be alive at the end of the day?
because i can tell you we are not ammune .. whats to stop us being attacked?
as most of you know im american and i am very worried for my family.. my mother is worried to death.. she wants to know how in the world you can prepare.. how do you seal dors and windows to protect you ?
well you cant
all you can do is pray and hope that it wont be you and yours that are under teh bombs and guns.. its ok to watch it on tv because it isnt real.. even when sept 11 th happened it wasnt REAL because it didnt happen to you ... go talk to someone that has lived thru a was and see what they say!
i can gurantee you they would rather do anything than experiance that again...
i know ill make people mad ith this post but its the truth.. war is never the answer..
and i know that a lot will say that im being ridiculous and that it will not come to the point that im talking about but you dont know that...
just think... if what they are telling us on the news now.. what they are not telling us...
just a few things to think about...

14-Feb-03, 17:22

things are really serious, but do yourself a big favour, stop watching the news. Instead, start looking for your news information from the sources that the news teams "quote", most of this is available online. It sounds like the US TV news is trying to do to you what the UK news is trying to do to us. Scare us. Both the US and the UK governments are telling us about how close the threat really is to our own shores. Sending armed police and army units to guard the airport. Just what are the tanks going to do at heathrow airport? Look boys there's a terrorist, load up the tanks and blow him away. dont think so. Its to try and make people believe that we have a state of war on our own doorstep. They are trying to make you believe that if you say anything against the war then you are being anti-patriotic and will damage their war effort. Somehow I dont think Saddam will be doing any different, he certainly wont be telling his subjects that we dont want to go to war with his country over his oil. He'll be telling them how close we are to attacking his country and how they must step up their efforts to protect themselves.

See the news about the ordinary Iraq man in the street buying up all the guns now that they've been allowed to do so? - which side produced that propaganda?

Did you ask your leaders to go to war over this (or any) matter?

Neither did we, neither did the people of Iraq.

We in Scotland have a chance soon to make our feelings known in a way that cannot be ignored by Adolf Blair, we'll hit him with the ballot box, him and his whole party (who have not thrown him out yet).

I can only hope that the some of the ordinary people of Iraq have seen what is all over the internet right now showing just what we all think about this war. (unless they visit the gung-ho CNN web site, which seems to have taken a leaf from the John Wayne book of diplomacy - SHOWDOWN: IRAQ - come off it!!!) Mabee they'll see from this that we're just as opposed to this war as they probably are and for a short time we also are powerless to do anything about it.

All we can hope for is that Blair or Bush take the plugs out of their ears sometime soon and listen to what the people who put them in their place want them to do.

Blair has been saying in the last few days that to go to parliament to ask permission to go to war would lose them the element of surprise. I dont suppose Hitler asked if it was ok to go to war with the rest of the world and they called HIM a dictator...

15-Feb-03, 04:35
I have been reading the messages and I would like to point out a few things.
The main question is…
Has Iraq got weapons of mass destruction?
Are they capable of making weapons of mass destruction?
Is Iraq harbouring terrorists?
Is Iraq a threat to peace in the Middle East? (By that, WE really mean, is could the price of OIL go up?)
Those are the main questions that should be asked. The first two questions, only the intelligence agencies can answer. The last two is a high probability, but not definite.
Then we look at how we got where we are now. We can go back and look at the last 100 years and see how the old Ottoman Empire was split up, but that will not help us. We can go back and look at the last decade, which would be easier. During the Iraqi & Iranian War, who supplied Iraq with weapons? France, Britain etc all did. Why? Iran had kicked the US out and accused all of the Western World of being “Satins Children” and tried to start a Holy War against the west. Iraq was seen as the good guys, so the West armed them. But then it turned nasty; Iraq used chemical warfare on the Iranians, or to be more pacific, the Kurds. Was this an act of war or terrorism?
Then in the 1980’s Iraq tried to make a nuclear weapon, but the Israelis bombed their nuclear plant, which put their nuclear capability back (but did not stop them). Who supplied them with the Nuclear Power Plant? France did. If they had a nuclear weapon would they have used it? The Israelis believed that they would!
We can now jump a few years and some politics and go straight to the Gulf War of 1992. Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1991. Why did they do this? For Oil! Why? To buy more power and or weapons.
It took the UN seven months to agree to let the Coalition attack Iraq, with the aim of kicking Iraq out of Kuwait. This was done with very little casualties on the Coalition side. In fact when we look at it, there was very little casualties to the civilian population of Iraq. The intelligence believes that more civilians were killed or died after the war, than during it. Now why is this? It was where Saddam decided to reap his revenge on the Kurds and people he believed did not do enough during the war, or people who he deemed were a threat to his leadership etc. Oh, also a lot of families were included in this, women and children.
Now we can look at what Iraq did to Kuwait. They tortured people left, right and centre. Executed people before evacuating the country. I will not bother with the fact that he pillaged the country first. Then decided to light the oilfields.
When the Iraqi soldier surrendered, did he support Saddam? No. Of the top of my head 90% hated him. So why do they support him now? It could be the fact that if a person does not, he or she disappears with their families. It sounds like the 1930’s & 40’s in Nazi Germany doesn’t it? It could be that they believe we are evil and the children of Satan. This depends on what they are being told. But I guarantee you one thing; WE are getting more information than they are!

So is Saddam a nice guy? Does he treat his people fairly? But the main question! Would he use a weapon of mass destruction against the West (if he has one or if he has the capability of making one)?

Now we look at what happened in Yugoslavia. Tito dies and leaves a vacuum, and then basically overnight, everyone is killing each other. This is called GENOCIDE!!!! This was what the UN was set up to prevent. It was intended to stop the Big Boys from invading smaller countries, as in the case of Iraq and Kuwait. So it did its job in 1992. It was also set up to stop GENOCIDE. This was to prevent what happened to the Jews, Gypsies etc in the 1930’s and 40’s. So why did it take SEVEN years for the UN to allow NATO to go in and “try” and stop the conflict? The reason was there was no OIL! Only men, women and children getting massacred.

So the next question is the UN any good? Somalia, the former Yugoslavia, Ethiopia etc all proves that the UN is a waste of time unless it is a rich country. If it is poor, thousands of lives can be killed (murdered) whilst they try and bring the “nutter” in charge around with embargos. Has anyone out there got any evidence that the UN embargos work? With the exception of France and the UK during the Suez crisis, as this does not count, as we are supposed to be a civilised country. I can’t find any.

So, who stopped the Coalition from going to Baghdad in 1992? It was the UN. Every country involved in the Gulf War was willing to sort out the Iraqi Government once and for all. But the UN stated that the coalition could not attack Baghdad as it had liberated Kuwait.

If (and history is a big IF) the coalition had been allowed to evict Saddam’s government in 1992, would we still be talking of attacking Iraq? I doubt it.

I seem to remember a day that shocked the western World, it was September the 11th. Most people can remember where they were on that day when they heard about the twin towers. WE, the US and the UK declared WAR on terrorism. It was not on Afghanistan, it was not the Russians etc. IT was war on Terrorism. I seem to remember Bush stating that this WAR would probably take years to fight. I also seem to remember most of the tabloid agreeing with this. But then again Britain has been at WAR with terrorism since 1969, in Northern Ireland and on the Mainland.

What has changed? Is it that the UN is softer? No, they have always been eager to try diplomacy, to the extent that it takes seven years of watching innocent people getting murdered. So what has changed? Is it that Iraq is a nicer country more “civilized”? Is it that Iraq is holding fair elections? Like the last one, where you have two boxes to tick, yes or no for Saddam. Oh and also you have to give you thumb print on the card!!! I wonder what happened to anyone who ticked the wrong box, once the Secret Police traced the person? I would the bet that they and their family have moved on and disappeared into the night.

Let's be realistic! What has changed since Sept 11th? Have we forgotten what has happened? Have we forgotten what could happen? We only have to look at Israel and watch the suicide bombers to see what can happen.

Is it that Blair is on a “Power” trip? Possibly, it could be he wants to do a Maggie Thatcher and the Falklands. But would it be any different if it was the Tories????

Niall states, “This possible war is about OIL not freedom, not liberty, not human rights, not anything else but OIL.” I think in all of the above there is a something about freedom, liberty and human rights. But I might be wrong! But it is sad to say, but true, he is right, it is about OIL. If it were a poor country, with no threat to the price of oil, then we would be backing the UN for at least seven years. But it is about OIL, with freedom, liberty and human rights to back it up.

I don’t like following the tabloids, as they “all” are biased, and all manipulate the “truth”, whatever that is! It is also like when NATO was threatening to go into the former Yugoslavia, with or without France’s and the Russian’s ok. Were NATO justified in what they did? I think they were and so did most of the military that I spoke to.
So now France, Germany & Russia are against a War with Iraq. I wonder why? Is it that they can see an arms sale in the future? It could be that France; Germany & Russia are not affected by Sept 11th.
I wonder what would have happened if Sept 11th had happened in Moscow or Paris? Probably the Mushroom of a nuclear blast would have disappeared by now and Baghdad (and any other “suspected” countries cities) would still be picking up the pieces. Oh, but not the French! Oh, no? Remember “Rainbow Warrior”, Tunisia etc. Then the Russians, when one of their satellite counties wanted independence. What do they do? They send in tanks, helicopters, troops etc. Then they flattened the city, men, women and children. So they are two countries with which to listen to, as they are “civilised”! Don’t get me wrong, WE are not innocent, but at least Scotland was allowed a vote on independence (whether fair or not). Whatever, I just wonder where their concerns are in the right place.

One of the problems is, that the military are gearing up for a war. A war that Saddam has had 11 years to prepare for. Will he make the same mistakes? Then if we do go in and save the day and Iraq gets their “freedom”, what happens when a puppet government fills the vacuum? Will it end up like Yugoslavia, one section seeking revenge on the other?

The other thing to remember, SADDAM HAS SWORN REVENGE ON THE US AND THE UK! It is too late to turn back the clock, and the other point, when he did this the Tories were in power! In a country that a persons word is held high and where losing face is a disgrace. I would take this very seriously.

I believe that the US and the UK should not fight another war on it’s own. I believe that the UN should be backing the sorting out of Iraq once and for all (including Somalia etc). If for no other reason, than freedom, liberty and human rights, never mind the OIL. The UN has had 11 years to sort this out and has done nothing to rectify it, even though that is what they are “supposed” to be there for.

If a War starts in Iraq, then the fundamental blame lies with the UN, as they had the opportunity to sort Iraq out in 1992, but did noting. Thus allowing other leaders the possibility to use the window of opportunity to further their own goals, whether it be the US, UK, France, Germany or Russia. They are all using it for political gains.

There is a saying “ a soldier is a person who fights for those who cannot fight for themselves” This is an honourable way for looking at the British Military. It is up to the Government to make sure that the war in which they fight is a honourable cause!

Which ever way we look at it. The world changed with Sept 11th. The question is are we on the right path or not?

15-Feb-03, 13:56
We've been lied to by all sides.

I think if everyone had said "we're going to war to rid the world of Saddam" then people might have a differnt attitude.

I dont think anyone is against the idea that he is an evil man that should have been removed from power a long time ago.

I also think that people are afraid that these global networks of political control, NATO, UN, EU etc are going to break down very badly. These controls were surely being developed (however badly or slowly) to prevent just the type of action that the american administration wants to take here.

A point made about myself in another post fits neatly here also

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who moderates the moderator?)

If the American Administration (and the UK for that matter) can go against the will of their people and the will of all the other countries with which they have formed these "strong" alliances, who is to stop them? If most of the western world thinks differently to these administrations then how do we prevent them from becoming dictatorships like the one in Iraq?

Our own government has mobilised the Army within its own shores, with its tanks and big guns well on display. Who is this really to keep under control? Terrorists landing at heathrow? The masses who (in some cases) are now afraid to leave their homes because of this oppressing presence in their town? I dont really know, but what is observable fact is that both the UK and the US governments want to make their people afraid of an unknown and unseen enemy.

Thankfully we've not been subjected to the same nonsense as the US citizens have regarding building airtight rooms with plastic sheeting and duct tape, but we did go through this before with all the silly government booklets like "protect and survive". Some are able to see these things for what they really are, like Helen, and others are terrified, like brandy's mother. Really, we all should be terrified, we all should be able to believe the words of our leaders, after thats why we voted for them, no?

Bush at this time still holds all the right cards, he can still stand down his troops and tell everyone he's doing the diplomatic thing, but as it was put to me, this would make tony look like an even bigger monkey.

I'm afraid of this whole situation getting out of control, far beyond the borders of Iraq. If our adminstrations are allowed to go to war without the permission of the people and the alliances we have strived to hard to create and improve, then what happens next? Do we all get kicked out of NATO, the UN and the EU? Who does that put us at odds with then? Who are our friends? The UK and the US against the rest of the world? I dont think that would work. It might be fine for the US to decide it wants to seperate itself from the rest of the world and be responsible for its own (something which seems to be underlying in US foriegn poilicy) but we are on the doorstep of our friends in the EU, should we be turning our back on all the work that has gone into building it?

The internet has brought many people from many different countries/cultures together, its allowed the sharing of ideas, ideals and just basic information. I think it has been a great shock to many to find out what the other peoples of the world really think about matters of importance (like this one), to find out that what they hear directly from the horses mouth does not correspond to what they are told by their governments. We've been told over here that the "americans" want to go to war with Iraq, but as we have discovered, by "americans" they mean the US government, and we have found out for ourselves that this is not necessarily the desire the people of the US. I'm sure that Saddam is telling his people that all westerners hate them, but given the chance they would find that we dont. (we dont even know them!!!)

Weapons of mass destruction, when are the inspectors arriving in the UK to see what we have hidden away? or the US for that matter. We advertise the fact that we have the biggest stockpiles of these weapons and yet no one is threatening war with us.

Many nations around the world are more afraid of the capabilties of our nations than they ever will be of Iraq. None of us should have such weapons, not just Iraq.

The question of blame has arisen, well to that I say, who cares?

What does it now matter who gave what to who and why?

The problem that is now upon us is what do we do about it? how do we progress our species beyond these petty disputes over land and resources? Surely these things belong to all of us and none of us at the same time. We could have given up the major uses of oil a long time ago were it not for the western governments allowing the large corporates to shelve any plan that might topple their financial sand castle. Bush announced that he would be giving more support to hydrogen fuel cells, and many will think that this is a new idea, but alternatives to oil have been around for donkeys years. Oil companies and other major manufacturers (the car industry) have bought and salted these things away for the day when the oil finally does run out, so that they will still have control over our lives. These people are holding us back while they line their pockets with the money of those who do not have enough power/money to change things. We need more things to happen like the genome project which was released onto the internet as soon as it was completed to prevent anyone from taking control over it. Financially, I'm sure this was disaterous to some corporate strategies involving this project, but tough, we have it now and its not for sale, its free.

I know that the solutions to all our problems will be long and difficult but we have to start somewhere and reigning in our governments to do as WE instruct them to do and not what they tell us they've done has to be a good place to start. If we are to have nations built on moral standards that we all agree on then we must ensure that we rid ourselves of the morally corrupt leadership we've allowed to slime their way into controlling our lives. In this modern age, do we really need representatives? We are all here connected to a system that allows us to represent ourselves, to put our own views forward, we all make differnt choices and we all agree that this is a good thing. We agree that magority should rule, but only when it does no harm to the minority and we all have the capacity to change the views of the majority by empathising with the plight of the minority. I hope in this situation, the leaders of the world will see sense and listen to the voices of their people, after all isnt THAT what we fought so many wars in our history to preserve?

15-Feb-03, 19:35
Mmmm! that "No War" sign was kinda lame, couldnt the two girls who were responsible for it just have stripped naked and walked around with a couple of banners instead :D

Seriously though, Saddam Insane is a threat to our future, but so is that idiot bush, he is just spoiling for a fight, where's Ronnie Raygun when you need him :D

I cant be bothered with all this conspiracy theory nonsense about oil, Iraq needs to be dealt with just like Afghanistan was dealt with, and look how better off the Afghan's are now and it was the same people spouting off against an attack on them, i just wish it wasnt a complete divot like George Bush that was dealing with it.

I mean, would you trust your future to a man who said..."the trouble with the French is that they have no word for entrepreneur".....oh dear! i think were in trouble :eyes


16-Feb-03, 06:46
I think Niall, you are missing the point about the UN. The UN was set up after WWII to stop what the Nazi’s & Japan did to other countries. It was designed to protect small countries from the BIG countries. The idea was that it would have the biggest military force on hand to deal with any aggressor. Rather than with France, UK and Poland taking one side and Germany, Austria and Italy taking the other. Two world wars proved that alliances did not work. All it did was start an arms race, which led to war.
When North Korea invaded South Korea, it was the UN that decided to take military action. It was not an American, Anglo war, it was a UN war. It showed what could be brought together if needed.
When France and the UK invaded the Suez in the 50’s. It was seen as the BIG boy attacking the little boy, i.e. bullies. The UN threatened military and economic actions unless France and the UK pulled out, which they did.
But when we look at the 1970’s, 80’s, 90’s and now the 21st century, the worth of the UN in now useless as they all seem to have agendas. It seems that it now wants to sit back and talk, whilst innocent people are murdered. That was not what it was set up for; it was set up to prevent this. The proof of the last three decades proves that it is not working.
Saddam is another Hitler, ruling over a country, and to an extent surrounding countries, with the threat of death and destruction. His attack on Israel during the Gulf War proves this. As Israel had nothing to do with the war, it was a pawn in his big plan. He really thinks that he can do what he wants. If I had to chose between Saddam or Blair or even Bush (who is trying to finish of the job that his dad started), I would chose the latter two and be thankful for it. It is the UN’s responsibility for the last 11 years to ensure that Iraq was treating it’s own people humanly and to ensure that it was not a threat to Middle East stability. It has failed over the last 11 years. Anyone who thinks Saddam will just sit back and not bother rearming is a fool.
NATO was set up to counter any attack by the USSR. That was it’s sole job. Now that its job is over and some of the former USSR countries and now joining NATO. The question is why? Why do we need NATO? It is because we do not trust the UN. Think about it the Cold War is over, NATO can pack up and go home. The UN can ensure that peace lasts in Europe, or can it?
EU, now that is a joke, as each country (including the UK) is jockeying for pole position. I might be bias but the French seem to stab the UK in the back ever 5 minutes. Also they change sides at a drop of a hat, or whenever the wind changes. That can pack up and go home as far as I am concerned.
When we look at NATO, UN and the EU, other than NATO, the rest seems to be in total disarray. I agree the UN was set up to stop the US and UK doing what they are planning to do. But before that, the UN was set up to prevent Saddam doing what he did and is still doing. I don’t remember the troops fighting in the Gulf wearing the UN badge!
In the past I don’t seem to remember ANY government asking the people, or having a vote, as to whether we go to war or not! It is up to the “elected” Government as to when we go to war. Napoleonic War, Crimean War, Indian Mutiny, Sudan, Boer War, WWI, WWII, Borneo, Malaya, Korea (UN), Falklands, Gulf etc. Not one of those conflicts, were Joe Public asked about whether we should go to war or not. Other than by the papers. Why should this one be any different? Every war we have had, there has always been protesters against war, and quite rightly, it is called freedom of speech, or just freedom. Something that other countries like Iraq does not have.

You ask who moderates the moderator? Well the UN seems to fit the bill in this case. It is doing a wonderful job eh! I don’t see the US being too scared about it! So my point exactly, the UN is useless. Because of its lack of commitment, it has allowed things to escalate to this disaster.

Imagine if NATO told the US, “if you attack Iraq, we will attack you” or “if you attack Iraq, we will blockade the UK”. Or something along those lines. What do you think the US’s response would be? It would have to sit back and look at the Big picture! As on paper NATO (excluding the US and UK) is as strong as the US and UK. The UN has lost it military threat, it now is just a voice, which it seems the US and UK is ignoring.

Your reference to the Government mobilising the Tanks at Heathrow. If there was or is a threat of terrorism. What would you prefer the Terrorist to see, a London Bobby with his truncheon, or an strong show of force, with “Light” tanks and armed soldiers? If a threat of terrorism came to the far reaches of Caithness, I would be screaming for the Army and not the village Bobby with his CS Gas, Truncheon and Handcuffs.
In fact it is standard policy to use the Army if there is a threat of terrorism. It has been going on since 1969, in Ireland and the Mainland! By all parties in power! The Governments, since 1969, have been making the public afraid of the unseen terrorist and using the Armed Forces. In fact when the Armed Forces are used in anti-drug operations (mainly the RN), the public seems quite happy. But I don’t remember all this panic about becoming a dictatorship! I remember the miner’s strike and Maggie’s Police State, but she was ditched when she got carried away with herself! The same can happen to Blair!

It seems that we now want to know all, including State Secrets. If we don’t get all the information, then there is something wrong. The question is this, is there a real threat to our National Security or not?

I read a CIA report. That stated that the worst nightmare to the US was if someone released the Plague in the underground in rush hour. One bottle of this would contaminate 1,000’s of people. Who would then go home, or to work contaminating others? The only problem is, that it takes about three days for the system to appear and then it is like a cold, then sever cold, then death. But by that time it is too late. This was written before Sept 11. Who were they pointing at? Iraq. Who was backing this up? The Weapons inspectors! Who demonstrated how easy it was to culture the plague? The weapons inspectors! What has changed in the last few years?

I have to laugh at the reference (by Niall ) to Tony being a “bigger monkey” and it fits, as it is one of the biggest cock-up ever made, when he made us into the US Muppets. But whatever, we are in the s**t and have made ourselves targets along side the US. We have entered the Boxing Ring and the bell has gone! We are committed, rightly or wrongly. All I want people to see is (what I regard as the truth), that the UN is not worth the paper and has allowed (or helped) the last few years develop. It is like the Anti-smokers attacking the smokers and accusing them of polluting the atmosphere, whilst ignoring the cars and lorries, when we blame the US and the UK. The US and the UK are the easy targets, but who are the real baddies? It comes as no big shock to the British Armed Forces or the US Armed Forces, that they are heading for the Gulf. They have been expecting this for 10 years. It seems the biggest shock, is why it has taken so long. In fact it seems they have been expecting to go there to finish a job that should have been done in 1992.

Our “friends” are the US, we have shared the same bed and we are committed. The situation is out of control, in the world of politics. But are we now targets for the hidden terrorist? That is what we should be asking, is (now) the threat real? When (Niall) says “of our friends in the EU”. I hope you are joking! Take a look at what France is trying to do to the UK for the last few decades!!!

The difference with the UK having weapons of mass destruction is that we have not used it on anyone! Unlike Iraq. Also we have an agreement that the Inspectors can inspect any site with minimum notice (I think 24 hrs). Iraq has in the last 11 years not always allowed the Inspectors that privilege; in fact it is only recently that they have been allowed “unlimited” access!!!!!!

I wonder what would happen if we got rid of all the weapons of mass destruction? Would France get rid of its? Would Russia, China, N Korea, Iran, Israel, India, and Pakistan etc. The list goes on!

Niall states, “The question of blame has arisen, well to that I say, who cares?” I care! Once this is over, whatever way it turns out! It should not be allowed to happen again!
Lets say the US and UK turn around and said “April fool, Mr Saddam, we were only kidding”. They all kiss and forget everything. Are we expected to go through the same thing in another 10 years? Learn the lesson form this one and make sure it does not happen again! Find out how it was allowed to happen and prevent it from happening again. Or are we selfish, we don’t care about the future? So everything is a lie! We only care about ourselves! So much for Freedom, Humanity and Justice!

One thing to remember, if nothing else. We are humans, but first and foremost, we are animals! We have destroyed anything that stood in our way, for what we call progress, animal or mineral. As in the film Matrix, “the humans are the virus”!!! The human race will be killing until something wipes us out! That is a fact of life. Not nice but true! Don’t think because we are civilised, that we don’t kill. It just means we are killing in a more civilised way. We have advanced technology; it means we can now kill more people quicker. In case you did not notice, our Armies get smaller, but our weapons get bigger! The killing wont end. There is always a bigger nutter around the corner that is waiting to go power mad (it might be Blair and Bush), or it could be Saddam. Note: the only year that a British Service Person was not killed on active service 1900 –2000 AD was 1961. Not bad for a peaceful nation!

There is another saying! One mans freedom fighter is another mans terrorist! All that differs is which side of the fence you site on.

The VOICE OF THE PEOPLE. I read that there were 25,000 on the streets of Scotland, against the War. The population of Scotland is 5,000,000 or there about! That was 0.5% of the population. Ok, lets say the 25% of Scotland is not eligible for a vote (so no voice), which leaves 3,750,000 people who have a voice! That means only 0.6% voiced their opinion that they are against the war! (I think the maths is correct). Or is the tabloids the voice of the people? Who by the way, were all behind Blair and Bush on Sept 11, 12, 13 etc. But then it seemed we were in the right then! There needs to be more than 25,000 out on the streets protesting before the voice (of Scotland certainly) is heard. The majority stayed at home!
Niall. You seem to change your tune. “We agree that majority should rule, but only when it does no harm to the minority and we all have the capacity to change the views of the majority by empathising with the plight of the minority.” This is a democracy, where the Majority counts, and stuff the minority. That is fact not fiction! And Scotland is one nation that should know that! Especially the back end of no-where, Caithness! Why do you think Dounreay came here? In case it went boom! Then the rest of the UK could carry on as if nothing happened! In fact there was a serious plan to test a nuclear bomb in a European environment in the 1950’s. Caithness was top of the list and that was not going to a vote! But it never came off and that is another debate!

Anyway. To prevent the same thing happening in the future, we can get rid of Blair, but can we get rid of the UN? Or can we replace the UN, which is now 50 years out of date, with something better?
Also we fought the last two wars in the name of GOD, KING and COUNTRY. Which lead to freedom, democracy (vote for all over 18 years), justice and most important humanity. Or so we were told, but then again that was by the Government, so it could be a lie!

16-Feb-03, 12:47


When Saddam has the technology needed, wonder who are we are going to run to when he nukes (are you so naive that you think he will never get them)?????????????


Sayin you want peace is easy, we ALL want peace

Call me insane, however I appreciate the incredible fact that young Americans have given their lives for freedom , I actually like Americans, rather than you, I have always liked em. .........

P.S. Its shocking how the lives of so many young Americans have been lost so you can post such rubbish............

16-Feb-03, 13:30
on poverty, unemployment and crime. It would be nice to see our own house put in order before considering problems other countries face around the world. The toppling of Saddam should be left for the Iraqi people to deal with and there is no dictator who cannot be brought down if the collective will of the people is strong enough. It happened in East Germany and the Soviet Union and any interference by Britain and the US just gives the Iraqi people a common enemy other than Saddam. The opportunity was there, at the end of the Gulf War, to force Saddam to relinquish power, it seems to me that a very tenuous premise for war is being used to make up for the fact that the job was not concluded properly the first time. Peace.

16-Feb-03, 14:36
My vote goes with America ...

It is interesting you mention Germany, I do not believe history cites that it was the german people responsible for overthrowing the dictator known as Hitler ... the atrocities he alone committed against the jews should never have been allowed to happen and yet once more the world is faced with another demented dictator - Saddam Hussien ... it is easy to bury ones head in the sand, let some other be responsible to take the necessary action, after all why should I get involved ... the why should be obvious, to ignore the likes of Saddam Hussien is to ignore humanity ...

Anti Americanism is rampant throughout the world at present and they are an obvious target, should they take action or should they forever be looking over their shoulder, waiting for another September 11 ... which would you prefer ... which would make you and your family feel safe ...

Give peace a chance they say and that is all nice and fine however I think Saddam Hussien has a very different agenda, one which is bound to affect us all in the end, even if we are not directly in his line of fire ...

God bless America ...

16-Feb-03, 16:39
If you look you will see that it was East Germany I mentioned and was, of course, referring to the Berlin Wall coming down. Far from having my head in the sand, I simply think it is more important for us to tackle the problems we face in our own country first instead of seeing ourselves, in league with the US, as some sort of global crusader sorting out the world's dictators. There are many atrocities in many countries worldwide but not many of them are oil rich. As I already said, the chance to remove Saddam was there at the end of the Gulf War, please tell me why it is right to do this now, and not then when there was the political support and public opinion that is lacking now?

16-Feb-03, 19:51
In the past I don’t seem to remember ANY government asking the people, or having a vote, as to whether we go to war or not! It is up to the “elected” Government as to when we go to war. Napoleonic War, Crimean War, Indian Mutiny, Sudan, Boer War, WWI, WWII, Borneo, Malaya, Korea (UN), Falklands, Gulf etc. Not one of those conflicts, were Joe Public asked about whether we should go to war or not.

You are correct. In the past wars have been declared by governments and announced to the people. This time it is different. Not because the people demand to be consulted before war is waged, but because the governments of the US and the UK seem to have decided that we needed to be convinced.

Now that strikes me as a little odd. Previously the reasons for war have been clear cut, indisputable, iron-clad. Argentina invades the Falklands - war. Iraq invades Kuwait - war.

This time? We have been trickle fed enough information by our respective governments to make us hungry for more. We are not stupid people (on the whole) and we have digested and, in the main, rejected the information we have been given so far.

I believe that any war is a tragedy, but I am not anti-war. If needs must, then so be it. But my government has given me advance notice of this conflict and has tried to convince me it is required. Why is it required?

To overthrow an evil dictator? I'm not convinced. If it were that simple then why the rush? He has been an evil dictator for a great many years. He has killed a great many people and, yes, he has used abhorant weapons to do so. But why now? We still have Afghanistan to clean up (that's not over yet). North Korea are threatening world peace. Pakistan and India are on the brink of war. Palestine and Israel are in a perpetual state of conflict. Why is Saddam suddenly such a threat to world peace? He certainly has no immediate threat, in terms of direct assault, to either the UK or the US.

He has weapons of mass destruction? Not according to Hans Blix. According to his report the weapons inspectors could find no evidence of those weapons. True, they could find no evidence that the known weapons had been destroyed, but surely that just strengthens the case for more time to be given to the inspectors?

He has links with terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda? Not proven. The US intelligence report given to the world as proof showed some very tenuous links that could not be proven and were, in the main, assumed.

He is killing his own people? Can't argue with this one. It's true, and it's a disgrace. But why the sudden realisation? He has been killing his own people for decades. What is the reason for the sudden interest?


As I've said, I have no strong anti-war feelings. But please, please, please can't somebody come forwards and tell us why? And not some wishy-washy reason that the government feels we will accept. I want the truth.

At the moment I am being left to draw my own conclusions. I am left with the feeling that this is a campaign led by Bush that is doing him the world of good in his ratings back in the US (especially since his shockingly close election victory). I am left with the feeling that we are going along with the US simply because Tony Blair thinks we should suck up to them. I am sure there is more to it than that, and I want to know what. It's not an unreasonable request, after all the government whet my appetite in the first place...

As for the behaviour of the US in this row... it's just shocking. The UN and NATO are built on the fundamental ability to debate, yet in this case the US is saying agree or be damned. We have Donald Rumsfeld calling France and Germany "old Europe" and comparing Germany to Libya or Cuba. Even more shocking is the US press attack on France, printing pictures of WWII graves with shocking headlines calling for France to be more appreciative of their sacrifice - as if they single-handedly won the war and freed the rest of the world. Yes, they did great things. But we were all involved in that war against a common enemy in harrowing times. How dare the US now hold up an IOU from such a situation and attempt to cash it?

We even have the US government threatening sanctions against any country which does not toe the party line. Seriously? That's bordering on dictatorial, and that frightens me.

Oh, and Rachelle!!!


I have another idea.... it's the best one yet. Let's have a pre-emptive strike against Iraq. Iraq may just develop nuclear weapons and use them against the west, so lets bomb them now, just in case.

Ooops. India have just launched a pre-emptive strike against Pakistan because both countries have nuclear weapons and thought the other might attack. Can we do anything about it? Oh. No. Guess we can't. We did the same thing to Iraq, didn't we. Ah well, let them fight it out.

And what's this? North Korea have launched an attack on South Korea. Now what? Ah. Nothing. We lost the moral high-ground there too.

If you take the time to actually read the posts by those of us questioning this war, you will find that we aren't suggesting crossing any fingers. We have a UN mandate against Iraq at the moment which calls for disarmament of weapons of mass destruction, prohibits the research and development of nuclear weapons, and allows for weapons inspectors to ascertain that the mandate is being followed. What we are suggesting (on the whole) is that we allow these people to do their jobs. They have reported no evidence of nuclear armament ("We have to date found no evidence of ongoing prohibited nuclear or nuclear related activities in Iraq. However, as I have just indicated, a number of issues are still under investigation and we are not yet in a position to reach a conclusion", Mohamed ElBaradei) and can find no evidence of weapons of mass destruction (or lack thereof).

It's possible that the government has a smoking gun, proof beyond doubt that Iraq should be invaded. Rather than crossing your fingers, burying your head in the sand, and hoping that this is the case, how about you look around you and decide for yourself if the evidence you have been presented with is enough to convince you. If it is, then that is fine. But please, please don't bring an important debate to the level of:

P.S. Its shocking how the lives of so many young Americans have been lost so you can post such rubbish............

It is true. So many young Americans have been killed in conflicts all around the world. As have French, British, Russian, Iraqi, Israeli, German, I could go on and on. The difference between one life lost in conflict and another is slight. It is the side of the fight it was lost on. It is the belief the life was lost for. Are you able to determine, for the entire world, which belief is just and which is not? Are you able to tell me that the American people have never entered a conflict, good intentions or not, for the wrong reasons?

The ongoing crisis with Iraq is being seen by many Muslims the world over as a war against their religion. My greatest fear, if we invade Iraq, is an increase in religious bigotry and hatred from both sides leading to the Jihad many terrorist groups have been calling for.

Rachelle, and many others, may scoff at the idea of giving peace a chance. It's not so much peace that I want to give a chance to, it's the weapons inspectors who could so easily prove vital in keeping that peace.

17-Feb-03, 03:44
You are right in the past the Governments have had a clear-cut enemy, including the Gulf War. Terrorism is not a clear-cut enemy; he/she can be staying in your own country as with N Ireland, or in Libya, the old USSR, and E Germany etc. How do you declare war on terrorism? The again when was the last time the US has had 4,000 killed in one day? I don’t know about the US, but the UK’s never had 4,000 killed in one day since WWI.
This might be why they are trying to sell the war to the people. It is not a simple thing as, “the enemy is over there, go get them.” It was easy in the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The enemy wore Red as in communism. We were united in Europe (excluding France as they were not part of NATO) as to who our enemy was. Sadly, as the Iron Curtain came down a new and real threat emerged. The new threat is called terrorism by the governments. But the reality is this…
We have surplus weapons, which was supposed to be used to stop a Soviet attack on Western Europe. And vice-versa for the ex-USSR countries. Where are the surplus weapons going? Not in the skips. They are being sold to the highest bidders. Again money is involved. So now we have (so called) poor or third world countries buying state of the art weapons. There was a threat of a missile being fired on aircraft. I just wonder if the weapon were used, whether it would be made in the USA, i.e. a Stinger Missile. They were supplied to the Afghans (and other countries) to shoot down Soviet aircraft. Once the Soviets left Afghan, the CIA were sent in to collect the ones not used. The Afghans decided to keep them. So the US said that the missiles would be useless now as they would be old. Ha ha, the Afghans still have weapons that work that are from the 1940’s. There was also a serious threat that the IRA had them!
To keep it simple, there is now an abundance of ex-Cold War weapons handed out across the world. Mainly coming from the ex-USSR counties that are strapped for cash. Then if we look at the weapons being sold, it is not just rifles, machine-guns etc, it is (suspected) that weapons of mass destruction. The Iranians now have a missile that can hit Isreal, where did they get that technology? Also it is worrying that they might have a few nuclear warheads just for fun. So put the two together and they have a LONG RANGE NUCLEAR MISSILE. Are we (UK) worried? No! But the Isrealies are!

I suspect there is more to this proposed war. What it is, I don’t know. But every Government since the last war, has been suspicious of Saddam. The little trickles of information, from defectors and weapons inspectors, have indicated that he is still in the weapons of mass destruction race. Whether it is in Iraq or some other country.

I think the question for the link between Al-Qaeda and Iraq is a definite yes. And if not directly, indirectly. As he has been supplying money to known terrorist, up to Sept 11. But then again so was Libya, but they shut down their training camps very fast! In fact, Libya is very quiet these days, which is good news. Lockerbie, proved that they are associated with terrorists. So another way to look at this, is why is the UK not wanting to attack Libya?

As to Saddam killing his own people and the SUDDEN INTEREST. The interest has always been there. But since 1992, the UN wont allows anything to be done about it. There was a serious plan to go and attack Iraq again in 1994, but the UN were against it.

Lets be honest about Germany they do not have a good track record, where wars are concerned. France turns with the tide. “I” believe they are out for themselves, with the aim of stopping the war in the Gulf and then being seen as the Big Brother of the New Europe. Don’t get caught by their sudden interest in peace. Any other European Country, but not France. Getting on to France and WW2, only 2% of their country were in the Resistance! When the Allies invaded North Africa in Nov 1942 (Morocco and Algeria), who were they fighting? No the Germans initially! Then before that the Australians and British attacked Lebanon. It was the job of the 11th (Scottish) Commando who attacked a bridge which was held by the Vichy French. Did the French lay down their weapons and welcome their fellow brothers with open arms? No! It cost William Campbell from Janetstown his life, including 125 other “Scots”. Were any of them killed by Germans? No, all by Frenchmen over two days.
Then worse, as accounted by Caithness soldiers. After the 51st Highland Division surrendered to the Germans at St Valery, they were marched to POW Camps in Poland. On their way they were allowed to stop at village wells and drink water. But most of the French towns refused the Scots a drink, but the other countries (including Germany) allowed them access to the wells. This sums up the French, in my eyes!

You joke about India and Pakistan! But do you realise that there is now a greater chance of a nuclear attack, than there was during the Cold War! Now that is something to think about! But it is ok; it is in the Far East. This again this is another area where the UN is failing in its so-called job!

When Tony said that N Korea was next on the list, he must have been eating magic mushrooms! If any country (other than China) attacks N Korea, then Seoul disappears! Tokyo might as well. With Korea it is not a case of preventing them from getting a nuclear weapon. It is that they defiantly have THEM (number unknown). If the US attacks them and China stays out of a war, then N Korea is goosed. So their only defence is to Nuke Seoul and then threaten to Nuke some other place. Korea needs to be handled with kid gloves!! Not by another nutter!!

In the past the UN weapons inspectors have been in and out of Iraq like yo-yo’s. The reasons? Not being allowed access to suspected sites. Or worse, just kicked out. Now (playing Devils Advocate) why did the weapons inspectors put complaints in against Iraq? It was because they suspected weapons of mass destruction were being hidden or being researched or built. Not because they liked the scenery.
Suddenly they can’t find anything. Oh, but then again, they did not let the weapons inspector into Iraq immediately after Sept 11, when the US wanted them in! Could it be a possibility that they have had time to hide evidence? So do we look forward to another ten years of wondering whether Saddam has the BIG weapons or not. Then one day we wake up and find out the UN was wrong. The problem is that it is not N Ireland that we are dealing with. It is not a few pounds of explosives. There is a possibility of a lot more. But then again the UN can always say, “Sorry we were wrong”.

If and a BIG IF. If Saddam had gone by the book after 1992, would we be where we are now? No! Would the US and UK be looking at spending billions on a mobilisation of the military, or would they be spending the money of the NHS etc and furthering a political career? The problem is not Iraq; it is Saddam, if he had the decency to die of a heart attack today, would there be a war? Possibly not. If Blair or Bush died today, would it make a difference to a war? I doubt it. Who is the problem?

We can sit here and debate the in’s and out’s of a war. But we don’t have the whole picture. I agree we have been fed bits and pieces, just to wet our lips. If Tony is lying to us, he will be found out! So why lie? Why is there not a stronger opposition being laid down by the House of Commons or House of Lords? Are they getting information that we are not?

If it is evidence we are looking for. Then I would say the last 10 years is enough to remove Saddam. He is a butcher to his own people and Kurds. He is a threat to future peace in the Middle East. He is an influence to other possible hostile nations. He has supplied funds to terrorist organisations. He is suspected of being behind culturing biological agents in Somalia. He still has Scud Missiles hidden (ops, sorry we were not supposed to mention that, as it seems to have been forgotten, but then again they are old). It is not a case of a smoking gun; it is a case of a loaded gun. It now is a case of why are we really going to attack Iraq, and without the support of the UN.

There is no right or wrong in war! War is not that easy. Is any war justified? Would it help to negotiate peace first? Yes. But then there comes a time to say enough is enough. 10 years later and we are still going over the same story. Has he weapons or not? I would say the UN has had enough time to find out FOR DEFINATE! Not a maybe!

You are right in “The ongoing crisis with Iraq is being seen by many Muslims the world over as a war against their religion. My greatest fear, if we invade Iraq, is an increase in religious bigotry and hatred from both sides leading to the Jihad many terrorist groups have been calling for.”
This is a real fear, but why has it come to this? Not because of Bush or Blair, as they were not around in 1992, they are more recent. Lets look at who has been there, the UN, Saddam and terrorism.

So if we did not have the “ever ending story of negotiation” of the UN. Who by the way, Saddam is looking at to prevent a war, and on his side. Then if the UN were not in the way, would Saddam run? The odds are that he would. He knows he could not stand up to the US alone. Where as now if there is a war it could escalate into a Middle East War, or worse an all out terrorist attack on the US and UK.
I think “give peace a chance” has had ten years in which nothing has changed. Sorry but this is a fact. Israel, Saudi, Kuwait, Egypt, Jordan, Turkey etc, all see him as a dictator and a madman. But their religion is against helping the unclean (us) attacking a fellow brother (Saddam). It was ok in 1992, as Saddam had attacked a fellow brother.

If you want to give peace a chance, then don’t call on the UN, as everyone just ignores them. Not just the US and UK! They are now seen as a food supplier, not the military might they were set up to be. It could be that too many cooks spoil the broth.

17-Feb-03, 06:12
:D well mr fernie, no doubt your a wee bit young to remember the reasons behind the 10 year war with iran.at that time,iraq was the united states friend.iran was seen as a hard-line muslim state,death to america...etc.america armned the iraq,s on the side.500,000 iraq troops died in that war.its terrible when you have 2 prodomeniatley muslim countries fighting each other.then in 1988,saddam saw fit to gas 5000 iraqi kurds,for no apparent reason.then in 1990 he decides to invade kuwait,much to the disgust of his fellow arab states,saudi-arabia asked the americans to help,and the un.the forces mandate,was only to drive saddam out of kuwait.100,000 iraqi troops died in the gulf war.saudi-arabia and kuwait picked up the tab for the gulf war.here we are in 1993 considering going to war with iraq,im all for it.he is a dictator,as bad,or if not worse than pol-pot was.he rules his country with fear.saddams own 2 son in laws found that out very quickly,there both dead,murdered by saddams family.america and uk,are worlds 1st,and fourth richest economies respectivley..were self sufficent for oil here in uk,and america is 80% self sufficent for oil.i have no doubt saddam has been untruthfull with the un,why should i trust the words of a man,who has led to death,over 600,000 of his own people.....?????.ohhhh i almost forgot.....after the gulf war in 91,there was in uprising in the south of iraq,amongst the more moderate muslims,saddam reacted swiftly,killing 25,000 of his subjects.if ever there was a reason for going to war with iraq,then oil surely must be at the bottom of the list.i would call it...unfinished buisness,for the benefit of mankind.....!!!!!!!!!.i dont want to see innocents getting killed,but unfortunatley this will no doubt happen.but the wider picture is what we need to look at...a new leadership..a new iraq....dictatorships....always have a sell-by date on them,saddams is no different. m.bain ps..you may ask yourself,why should we go do our bit with the americans...well..its called repaying a debt.they saved our hides in ww2,and if they hadnt came along at the right time,then we would be speaking german by now.were only a small country,we need allies like america,population 260 million........!!!!!!!!!!...........wider picture people.......!!!!!!

17-Feb-03, 12:03
Saved our hides? People say this like the USA made a big difficult choice as to whether ot not to help us during WW2. The big desicion they made was what they were going to charge us for the help. They were "paid for" mercenaries and no argument will convince me otherwise.

The took money for the food, money for the guns, money for the planes, money for everything. What do you think lend/lease means????

And while we're on the subject of the BIG WEAPONS, who has ever used these things? hmmmmm? not a difficult one this? c'mon you know who it is...

Thats right folks it was the good ol US of Nuclear A and in the almost 60 years since no one else has ever done the same.

Saddam, mad though he may be, is probably not stupid enough to actually use a nuclear device, even against the USA. Why? because it would be goodbye Iraq, not just a few buildings and a few lives, but everything, all buildings, all people, the whole country.

And the North Koreans, they are just trying to get themselves on the same playing field that all the other nuclear powers are on. Bringing themselves up to a point where other countries HAVE to listen to them, just as we force others (by simple ownership of BIG WEAPONS) to listen to us. When everyone has Nuclear weapons they only have the meeting table left to use to sort anything out. Anything else will mean death and destruction for all.

Yes, I am too young to remember the Iran Iraq war, I'm also too young to remember WW2, WW1, the hundred year war, the boer war, the american war of independence, the vietnam war, the korean war, and this means what?

We live in a very different age now, the last ten years has seen the views of our populations become known to the world, the internet has given us all a voice which (as we see on these boards) allows us to put our own ideas across to everyone else. This is leading us to a time where we are no longer happy to just GIVE the power of our country to anyone, now that we have access to more information and can now we choose be more informed on the subjects of today, we dont want our leaders, the people we elected to represent our views, to fire off and do whatever they want because THEY see it as the right thing to do. We no longer see it as their place to make these kinds of decisions on our behalf. If this was not the case then why do we demonstrate against war.

All the reasons for Saddam being an evil tyrant or whatever you want to call him, all the reasons there might be for going to war with Iraq, all these things have nothing to do with the situation in the UK and the USA, we want the desicions made on such matters to reflect the desires of the populus, we see that the desicions are going against our wishes. I've yet to see a PRO-WAR demo, or a GO GET SADDAM demo, how come? Because even the pro-war camp see that they would be made a spectical of, that they would be shunned from normal society.

I'm sure the Iraq people would love to be rid of Saddam, but whats waiting for them when he's gone? A US-friendly dictator? A US-friendly government? Is that what THEY want? Mabee if they were offered an Iraqi Friendly Government they might be more inclined to overthrow their leader. As an ordinary Iraqi I think I would be equally as afraid of the new as I was the old. Just as unstable, just as insane, only bigger and richer. Remember, Iraq is only involved in the conflict in and around its borders, how many fronts are the US and UK forces fighting on? Offering to change one warmongering leader for the BIGGEST of them all, doesnt really seem like a good deal to me, its like saying we'll swap tony blair for george bush, what would be different?

17-Feb-03, 12:42
I would agree that we need to look at the wider picture. But a new leadership in Iraq, continuing the "special relationship" between the UK and the US? These are not what make up the wider picture - these are pretty narrow in fact.

The wider picture will be the state of the world if the US and UK proceed with the reckless notion of going to war alone with Iraq. Let's be in no doubt that this would be interpreted as a war on Islam and would lead to a wider Middle East conflict which as we know would not stop there. This war could go on for years. No matter what the outcome, Western and Middle Eastern relations would take decades to recover to a reasonably peaceful state.

I agree with jjc that we would lose the moral high ground and would be unable to object to any pre-emptive strikes going on elsewhere in the world. Is this the kind of world we want to live in?

Lots of people are quoting history as grounds for going to war now. I would agree that we should learn from history, and take account of it, but we surely can't be led by it. Saddam Hussein's actions prior to the Gulf War shouldn't be used as the sole grounds for going to war now.

Surely we must proceed with caution, and consider the future world we will inflict upon ourselves if we react foolishly.

A lot of negotiation went into getting the weapons inspectors back into Iraq. Can't we allow them the chance to give us proof one way or the other? Why put in all that work just to pull them back out after a few weeks?

I also don't think this is just about oil. It's about something alright, and I'm sure there is a great deal we are not being told, but so far we've not been given enough evidence to shift public opinion in favour of war. I want to know why our country is driving down the agressive route - we deserve to know why. Why also do we have to do it now? Saddam's regime has been in place for many, many years, so why are the US/UK governments so keen to attack right now?

Some of you seem to trust our government to do what's right, and so will yourselves to believe that they have sufficient evidence that they're not telling us about (I pray that surely nobody is thinking that the evidence we've been given is sufficient grounds for war?!).

I won't just trust them. We absolutely have not been presented with enough evidence of links between Iraq and Al-Qaeda. For all we know the US is heading down the route towards war for the sake of Dubya's ego. And we're being dragged along too because Tony Blair made his "stand shoulder to shoulder with the US" speech after 9/11 and now there is no way of backing down. These are not grounds for a war! If there are reasonable grounds, let them prove it!

Until then, let us think carefully about what we are doing, and proceed with great care and caution.

On an extra note, it was less than 18 months ago that the citizens of the US wondered "Why does the world hate us so much?" I truly believed that, as a result of a great tragedy on their own soil, they would learn from their new-found vulnerability and tone down their arrogance and air of superiority. Sadly, the American self-reflection has gone quickly, to be replaced by an even greater level of arrogance. So France and Germany objected to US plans. They have every right to do so. Not so, thinks the US, who scream about US lives lost in France during WWII, and threaten sanctions (SANCTIONS!) against both countries. What?!!! The bully-boy tactics are back. No matter what the historic special relationship between the UK and US, surely for our own benefit we must not follow the US blindly anymore. I agree with what Niall has said about our European allies being more important for our future. The US seems intent only on making us a fellow target, and to drag us along so they don't feel quite so isolated.

17-Feb-03, 14:22
You are right in the past the Governments have had a clear-cut enemy, including the Gulf War. Terrorism is not a clear-cut enemy; he/she can be staying in your own country as with N Ireland, or in Libya, the old USSR, and E Germany etc. How do you declare war on terrorism?
How, indeed, do you declare war on terrorism? How do you declare war when there is no clear-cut enemy? In this case, we are preparing to declare war not on a state, or even a group of states, but on one man. This is not going to be a war against Iraq, indeed President Bush himself has said so:

The United States has no quarrel with the Iraqi people. They've suffered too long in silent captivity. Liberty for the Iraqi people is a great moral cause and a great strategic goal.
This is, instead, a war against an individual. Countless times he has been named directly as the terror that threatens the world. Saddam Hussein. True, this man is evil. Yes, he can easily be described as a monster, a homicidal maniac with the might of an army behind him. But let us not forget that the Iraqi people will be the soldiers and civilians killed in any war. Let us stop conning ourselves that this will be a war with only one victim.

If Iraq is in breach of UN resolution 1441 then it needs to be taken to task. Clearly we cannot simply go on throwing mandate after mandate at the leadership hoping that one day they will listen. I believe it is cruel and inhumane to continue to force economic sanctions on the Iraqi people when clearly these sanctions affect only the people of Iraq, and not their leader.

But IF Iraq is in breach of this UN resolution then we MUST act within international laws governing such situations. We (the west), as the supposed moral leaders of the free world CANNOT, and MUST NOT, act outside the law. Resolution 1441 states:

failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and co-operate fully in the implementation of this resolution, shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq's obligations and will be reported to the Council for assessment.

It does not say failure to co-operate fully in the implementation of this resolution shall result in war. We NEED a further resolution, agreed by the member states, before an attack on the people of Iraq can be seen as anything more than an act of agression.

The problem for the US led race-for-war is that some member states have raised questions regarding its validity. The French Foreign Minister, Dominique de Villepin, has called for inspectors to be given more time to complete their work. It seems that this is tantamount to treason against the world leader that 'is' the US. Who could have missed the outrage that this little gem caused???

http://www.nypost.com/seven/02102003/images/frontsm.gif and more recently :http://www.nypost.com/seven/02142003/images/frontsm.gif

And it's not just the NY Post that carries such headlines (they just have the most interesting pictures to go with them). There are calls, both in the press and from the US Government, for sanctions against any nations which oppose their views (despite the US leading the group in the number of vetos used - thanks Mr. Bremner for that gem).

why should we go do our bit with the americans...well..its called repaying a debt.they saved our hides in ww2,and if they hadnt came along at the right time,then we would be speaking german by now.were only a small country,we need allies like america,population 260 million

Are you sure, Londonwicker, that this is a debt we should be repaying? Do we believe that the US joined WWII for the good of mankind? Didn't the US join WWII after Pearl Harbour? Wasn't an act of war made against them first? And, if Germany had conquered Britain and, we assume, the rest of Europe, where would Hitler turn next? If Britain and the other allies were no longer in the fight, do you think that the USA would have been able to win a war against the rest of the world? Possibly, possibly not. Who is to say. What I do know is that many countries fought, many countries sacrificed their men (and women) in a war that spanned the globe. How one country can claim to have been the saviour of all mankind, especially now, is beyond me.

Oh, and we may only be a small country, but we are a GREAT nation. This little island of ours is recognised throughout the world. I, personally, am proud to belong to this nation and take offence at your almost apologetic tone. Whatever happened to the stiff upper lip and firm resolve that we were once so famous for?

You joke about India and Pakistan! But do you realise that there is now a greater chance of a nuclear attack, than there was during the Cold War! Now that is something to think about! But it is ok; it is in the Far East. This again this is another area where the UN is failing in its so-called job!
Oh, no. I don't joke about India and Pakistan and nuclear weapons. Frankly, the idea terrifies me. It also terrifies me that we could attack Iraq without a UN resolution, and give the green light to either country to attack their neighbour. There are ramifications to every action.

The[n] again when was the last time the US has had 4,000 killed in one day? I don’t know about the US, but the UK’s never had 4,000 killed in one day since WWI.
No. We haven't had 4000 killed in one day. We had them killed over time; bombed, shot, stabbed and tortured, one by one or by the dozen. All the while our government sought to find a peaceful settlement with the factions involved. I'm not equating the Taliban or Saddam Hussein to the IRA. What I am trying to do is step back and look at the situation with compassion and, perhaps, a little understanding.

At the moment Americans are racing around the globe seeking vengence. They did not look towards the Taliban with an eye for peace and justice. They went to Afghanistan for revenge. It was swift, brutal and usually from the air. And you know what? I don't blame them.

The trouble is that somebody now needs to stand up and say 'enough'. The fight against terrorism must, and shall, go on. It is a just fight. But at some point we need to step back and make it a rational, reasonable fight. When the fight is fuelled by a need for revenge, it can never be rational or reasonable, only a fight.

17-Feb-03, 16:50
Russia is no longer our enemy, and therefore we shouldn't be locked into a Cold War mentality that says we keep the peace by blowing each other up. In my attitude, that's old, that's tired, that's stale.

17-Feb-03, 23:11
and we still dont know who wrote the sign!!


18-Feb-03, 05:08
The only war in which a government deliberately attacks the “civilian” population is called a Civil War. Even then they are backing one side against the other. Like during the American Civil War. Or the Indian Mutiny or Boer War. This was the agenda until WW2. During WW2 the Allies attacked the civilian population. This was the first time a Civilian Population was attacked en-mass deliberately, out side of a Civil War. The reason is that the civilians were helping the other side’s war machine, in factories etc. So by killing the population, you stop the making of munitions, which stops the war. Or so the theory goes.
Germany had 2,050,000 CIVILIANS killed by the Allies (300,000 were by the Germans, i.e. Jews etc). Poland had 4,800,000 killed in Camps and 500,000 during war. Britain had 60,000 killed. USSR 6,700,000 killed and so on. It was a new kind of war. Some called it Strategic Bombing, Blanket Bombing on the Allies part. The mass of those killed by Germany and the USSR was cold-blooded murder, or Genocide. During the RAF & USAAF bombing campaigns of 1942-45 against Germany and its occupied territories, it was the USAAF that “tried” to hit military targets and this is why they attacked by day (Strategic Bombing). The RAF on the other hand bombed by night and this was called Blanket Bombing, where civilians were being killed. It was the attitude of, if the Rail yard is in Berlin, just bomb Berlin etc.
After the war people who had supported the mass bombing of Germany and its cities (which was most of the population), woke up to the reality of what happened. SO!!!! The UN was formed to stop this from happening and to protect the civilians and the little counties from the aggressors. Yes the same old story. It is supposed to be the UN that goes in and stops UN-HUMAIN acts! I.e. in the former Yugoslavia, Iran, Iraq, Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe, S Africa, Tunisia, Congo, Russia and Somalia etc. The list is endless.

The UN gave Saddam 7 months to get out of Kuwait. He refused and had to be force out. He then was given resolutions to abide by. Like “unrestricted access” to the weapons inspectors. Which he hindered and even kicked out as some points. He has attacked Kurdish civilians. He has murdered his own people and their families. He has been in breach of the weapon restrictions. Basically since 1992 he has prevented the UN weapons inspector from doing their job.

The UN weapons inspectors can’t say for sure, if he has biological or chemical weapons. They can’t say for sure he has no ability in which to produce them. They can’t say for sure whether he is planning to make them. They can’t say for sure anything. Now why is that? It is because he has been hindering the UN Weapons Inspectors since 1991.

Lets be realistic! He has been using the UN for his own agenda. He uses making fools out of them or blocking them, to show his own people who is in charge. He has publicly stated that they are not a threat to Iraq (meaning himself). The UN has lost all credibility that it had during the Korean War. It is like a punch drunk boxer now, past its sell by date. Saddam is still looking to be the new Prophet of the Arab World. How is he going to achieve this? By destroying Isreal or the West (i.e. USA). If he can start a holy war, so much the better. He will be in his underground bunker whilst his country is dying. Do you think he will care?

Saddam is a nutter, worse than that he can be a clever nutter. He can’t at times understand why the UN allowed his army to escape from Kuwait. He can’t understand why they did not attack Baghdad. He looks upon the UN as being weak. To be honest with you so do other countries.

Of the soldiers I have spoke to, all are pissed about having to go back and do a job that should have been done 11 years ago. Who do they blame? Blair? No he was not there in 1991. Bush was also absent in 1992. So who is left? Saddam and the UN. Out of the two the UN is getting the most blame!

Should the US and UK attack Iraq and its Government? NO!!! The UN should say 11 years is enough. Saddam resign and leave Iraq, whilst the rest of the Arab Nations sort out a new Government. The Middle East has been at war since 1945. Civilians have been killed by the thousands. But then again they are only “rag heads” so why should we care? It is about time the situation was sorted out. Can anyone ever remember if the UN has sent troops to stop the Israeli &Arab conflict? No, because they have never been sent.

On about civilians being killed if Iraq is attacked. Lets not forget our civilians could be killed, in terror reprisals. OK, now we all believe that don’t we! And that is a REAL fear! Proof that Saddam has no regard for life, whether it is his own people or others! I don’t think there is a con, as to there only being one victim. There could be a lot more. But then again, there could be a lot more if nothing is done about the situation. But as I have said we can wait another 10 years for another Sept 11th and another 4,000 INNOCENT victims.

I like the “If Iraq is in breach of UN resolution 1441 then it needs to be taken to task.” IT has been in breach of every resolution since before 1992! Including Humanity! Or sorry Saddam and his loyal Government are in breach.
August 4, 1990 UN Resolution 660 demands the immediate withdrawal from Kuwait.
August 6, 1990 UN resolution 661 bans the importation of Iraqi goods.
August 9, 1990 UN resolution 662 finds the annexation of Kuwait has no legal validity.
August 18, 1990 UN resolution 664 demands that Iraq release foreign nationals who are being detained in Iraq.
August 25, 1990 UN resolution 665 strengthens the economic embargo against Iraq.
Sept 13, 1990 UN resolution 666 asks for continuous information on the humanitarian situation within Kuwait and Iraq.
Sept 16, 1990 UN resolution 667 condemns Iraqi violation of diplomatic compounds in Kuwait and demands the immediate release of foreign nationals removed from Kuwait.
Sept 24, 1990 UN resolution 669 imposes an air embargo on Iraq.
Oct 29, 1990 UN resolution 674 reiterates the condemnation of Iraqi treatment of foreign nationals and demands their release.
Nov 29, 1990 UN resolution 678 authorizes the use of "all means necessary" after January 15, 1991, to enforce previous UN resolutions, including that requiring Iraqi withdrawal from Kuwait.
April 3, 1991 UN Security Council Resolution 687 establishes the terms of the peace, including return of Kuwaiti property and prisoners, economic sanctions, and Iraqi disarmament. Iraq is to provide a list of all weapons of mass destruction in its possession. UNSCOM inspectors are to ascertain that the arms have been surrendered.
April 14, 1995 UN Security Council Resolution 986 establishes the "Oil for Food" Program
Dec 17, 1999 Resolution 1284 creates UN monitoring, verification and inspection commission (Unmovic) to replace Unscom. Iraq rejects resolution
Nov 8, 2002 UN Security Council Resolution 1441 calls on Iraq to cooperate with UN inspection teams and not to obstruct UN forces. Iraq must declare all weapons of mass destruction in its possession by December 8, 2002. UNMOVIC inspection teams began inspecting sites in Iraq.

13 UN resolutions since the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. How many has Saddam ignored hindered or sabotaged? He played the same UN 1441 back in Apr 1991& Dec 1999 with UN resolutions 687 and 1284. Did he play fair then? No! Will he be honest this time? No!

I think the time for talking is past. But I don’t think it should be the US & UK to go into Iraq. If they were to go in, I would prefer the backing of the Arab nations. But they are sticking by their fellow brothers. But do you think they will shed a tear if Saddam died? No, he is a thorn is their side as well.

Why should the rest of the world abide by UN mandates when Saddam is ignoring them, when it suits? He is playing a game and winning. Why because he see’s the West as being soft as well as the UN. I agree with the quote on 1441, and to be honest I even had to laugh at it! Saddam will too. He will use it for toilet paper, as it even sounds soft.

I think when the UN put a resolution to France and UK during the Suez crisis; they said get out or else. And they did, or else. No please, or we will have to rethink our wording. It was clear and to the point. Now that was to the two strongest countries in Western Europe (at that time)!!!!

There is no validity to the US & UK attacking Iraq; it is illegal in the eyes of the UN. But is it immoral? Is it unjust? I ignore quotes from France as they have hidden agendas! Greece yes, Germany yes, but not the French. Sorry, but I don’t trust them one bit! I could start on how they treated the Jews, British POW’s, Arabs etc but that is another debate.

The problem with tabloid papers is that they write what they want or what will sell papers. Before the last Gulf War there were papers against the war. “Thousands will die”. “It is not our war” etc. But then after the war the same anti-war papers were saying it was the best thing since sliced bread. Hypocrites the lot of them.

Londonwicker has a point we do owe a dept to the US. They did save our bacon in two world wars. Without them supplying weapons and food to the UK. History could have been different. It might have been we might not have the freedom to site here debating politics in safety. It might have been we would be told what to say and when to say it, as in IRAQ! And if you did not comply, you and your family (children, parents, uncles, grandparents etc) all disappear into the night.
It is true that USA was dragged into the war. But they could have dealt with the Japs first and left us to rot. But they (against public opinion) decided to sort out Europe first. Just as well for Berlin and unlucky for Nagasaki.
It was the US’s distance from Japan and Europe that allowed it to build a massive war machine that saved the day. Oh, and a little point, its millions of soldiers, airmen and sailors, which we (UK) did not have. Whether we like it on not, the USA did save our bacon.

The stiff upper lip went with the British Empire. We are a powerful nation still, but mainly because we have enough nuclear weapons to ruin any aggressor day, month, year and life.

Don’t worry about India & Pakistan, they are not alone. There are Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, every European Country, S Africa, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Japan, South Korea, Iran and others which are all capable of making a nuclear bomb. Not just UK, USA, former USSR, China, France, Israel, Iran and N Korea who defiantly have the “bomb”. Has the end of the Cold War made the world safer?????? Sorry to give you more nightmares.

I do not agree the US is racing around the globe seeking vengeance. That I believe that yaou are wrong. If so they would have attacked Iraq on Sept 12th. As they have always been on top of the list. I just wonder now, if they would have go away with it then? As most people were expecting revenge then. Well, Libya was expecting the US 6th Fleet to bomb them back to the Stone Age.

Then the UN should tell the terrorist “enough”. “ We” have nothing against Hindu, Muslim, and Jew etc. Unless they attack us. Someone did attack the US and did kill British people. Someone did plant the bomb on the Lockerbie aircraft. Is it the person/s who carried out the attack who is to be held in account, or is it the person who ordered them? Or the person/s who is financing the operation. The person/s who is supporting the bombing? Who should the revenge be carried out on? It can’t be left unaccounted for. That is not justice.

Ask yourself this then. After Sept 11, did Saddam publicly support the bombing? If he did (which he did) is he supporting the terrorists? Has he since 1991, supplied terrorists with weapons or money to further their operations? Are any of these organisations a threat to the UK?
If he is guilty of any one of these, then he is a terrorist. If you disagree then… It is like saying Hitler was innocent as he (personally) did not kill anyone other than during WW1. Worse, we know Saddam takes great delight in killing people personally. His son is even keener in that field than him. In fact he is supposed to keep a tight rope on his son, as he is a bigger nutter than him.

The proof is against Saddam. The question is should we just leave him? The UN Resolutions are like our New Year Resolution, hollow promises and hopes.

Yes FairyFi, we still don’t know who wrote the sign. See what happens everything escalates. Looking for sign makers and a big debate follows!!!!!

18-Feb-03, 13:30
Actually the people who wrote the sign were on the FRONT PAGE of the groat which followed the writing of the sign. If I actually bought it and had it to hand I'd put the names here, I dont, but I'm sure there will be someone who can oblige.

This only goes to show how many things go on that escape our attention.

18-Feb-03, 13:38
given as Ami Simpson and Gail MacDonald, both aged 25 from what I remember. Hope this is both correct and helpful. Peace

18-Feb-03, 13:53

When Iraq invaded Kuwait the UN mandate was for their immediate withdrawl back to Iraqi territory. They ignored that demand and the Gulf was ensued, however the mandate was adhered to and the war continued until Iraq withdrew and surrendered.

I can't argue with you that Iraq - and let us be clear, there are individuals who will take over from Saddam Hussein the minute he is no longer in power and they will continue the same regieme structure and they will hold the power, so I'm going to refer to Iraq as a regieme and NOT as simply Saddam Hussein - have flaunted countless UN resolutions something MUST be done about Iraq.

I can't argue with you that the situation in Iraq is frightening. We cannot cross our fingers and hope that Iraq does not continue in its attempts to aquire weapons of mass destruction. We cannot allow an entire country's people to live in fear of arrest, torture and execution.

We cannot allow Iraq to go unchecked, that would be madness, but we also cannot become the aggressors without due process.

It would appear from our experience so far that Iraq has decided in principle to provide co-operation on process, notably access...

Iraq has on the whole co-operated rather well so far with Unmovic in this field.

The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and, with one exception, it has been prompt.

We have further had great help in building up the infrastructure of our office in Baghdad and the field office in Mosul.

Arrangements and services for our plane and our helicopters have been good. The environment has been workable....

The same statement goes on to say that there are some issues with the inspections which need to be investigated and dealt with, but it does not state that the weapons inspectors are unable to carry out their function.

Why, when so much diplomatic effort has been put into getting the inspectors back into Iraq, should we now withdraw them as they are beginning their work? Tony Blair said yesterday that it was for the Security Council, and not the inspectors themselves, to decide if they were able to proceed with their work. Why is that? Surely the inspectors will be the best people to judge if they, themselves, are being hindered.

Yesterday there was an attempt to put the brakes on in the headlong rush for war. The EU leaders met and made a statement:

War is not inevitable. Force should be used only as a last resort. It is for the Iraqi regime to end this crisis by complying with the demands of the Security Council.

We reiterate our full support for the ongoing work of the UN inspectors. They must be given the time and resources the UN Security Council believes they need.

However, inspections cannot continue indefinitely in the absence of full Iraqi co-operation.

This must include the provision of all the additional and specific information on the issues that have been raised in the inspectors' reports.

Baghdad should have no illusions: it must disarm and co-operate immediately and fully. Iraq has a final opportunity to resolve the crisis peacefully.

To my mind this is more sensible. Weapons inspectors are to be given the time they need to do their jobs, so long as they are able to do their jobs. The Iraqi regieme has now been put on final notice by the members of the EU and the consequences of non-compliance are now clear.

More imporantly, the members of the EU have agreed, together, that the weapons inspectors are to be given a chance. I have been objecting to the US attitude, which seems to have been that there is nothing Iraq can now do because no matter what happens now Saddam Hussein cannot be trusted. This could ONLY result in a regieme backed into a corner with no hope of escape and, as has been said, a madman at the helm.

What is on offer now is a diplomatic opening through which the Iraqi regieme can walk, escaping a war that will inflict harm and suffering on the people of that country.

I can now only hope that the Iraqi regieme will grasp this final chance with both hands. Certainly they have now allowed U-2 spy planes to fly over Iraq, something which the weapons inspectors sited as an issue. Isn't a peaceful end better than war at all costs?

Londonwicker has a point we do owe a dept to the US. They did save our bacon in two world wars.
The US is a powerful nation, and they are our allies, but let us not see them as the saviours of the human race. Our countrymen fought, and died, in both World Wars as well, remember? Not only did they fight, but whilst they were on the battlefields their families and friends were being bombarded and killed in their own homes. They suffered rationing, blackouts, the constant threat of invasion. I am not going to play down the part of the US military in either case, but I am also not going to play down the parts played by others.

I had a quick scout around and found some figures for WWII:

Country - Military Deaths - Civilian Deaths
USSR - 10,000,000 - 10,000,000
China - 3,500,000 - 10,000,000
Germany - 3,500,000 - 3,800,000
Poland - 120,000 - 5,300,000
Japan - 1,700,000 - 380,000
Yugoslavia - 300,000 - 1,300,000
Romania - 200,000 - 465,000
France - 250,000 - 360,000
British Empire - 425,000 - 60,000
Italy - 330,000 - 80,000
Hungary - 120,000 - 280,000
Czechoslovakia - 10,000 - 330,000
USA - 407,318 - not significant*

*I know every death should be significant, but these are the figures I have

I have respect for all of those who gave their lives for their beliefs during WWII. What I object to is this belief that the millions of soldiers who died before the US got involved gave their lives needlessly, because all we needed was the US and the war was won.

Is it not wrong, after so many years, to hold the US above all others for their part in the struggle? Especially when you consider that it took until the 1960s for the allied countries to pay back the BILLIONS of dollars that the US were owed under the Lend-Lease Act (http://www.let.leidenuniv.nl/history/rtg/res1/master.htm)?

Don’t worry about India & Pakistan, they are not alone. There are Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Canada, every European Country, S Africa, Turkey, Libya, Egypt, Japan, South Korea, Iran and others which are all capable of making a nuclear bomb.
Ah, but I am worried. Not because they have the ability to build the bomb, but because the two neighbours have deep-rooted mistrust and hatred towards each other that has often come close to all out war. Yes, other countries have nuclear weapons, but none are so close to using them (and have recently threatened just that).

If he is guilty of any one of these, then he is a terrorist. If you disagree then… It is like saying Hitler was innocent as he (personally) did not kill anyone other than during WW1.
Aside from the fact that I am pretty sure Hitler neither killed, nor ordered the killing, of anybody during World War ONE, the comparison between Hitler and Saddam Hussein has been made countless times as part of the propoganda leading up to the second Gulf War... how about we focus on the current situation, rather than conjour up fears of past evil to justify dealing with the evil we now face. I don't think that anybody could claim that Hitler was innocent, but the comparison does not help the argument.

On about civilians being killed if Iraq is attacked. Lets not forget our civilians could be killed, in terror reprisals.
and unless we go about this in a way that does not alienate and insult the Islamic world, isn't it possible that terror reprisals could increase anyway? This is why the latest statement by the EU is so important.

“ We” have nothing against Hindu, Muslim, and Jew etc. Unless they attack us.
Who, exactly, are "We"? In Britain at the moment there are; 300000 followers of Judaism, 400000 Hindus, 600000 Sikhs, and 1.2million followers of Islam. Are you suggesting that "We" excludes them? And what about the population of the US, do we need to break it down to show that it is ethnically and religiously diverse? I hope not.

I agree with the sentiment of the initial part of the statement, I have nothing against any of these religions. However, it is not the religion that attacks its enemies, it is fanatical followers of religion. Take the Taliban and Al-Qaeda as examples. They act under the authority of their religion? Not according to the millions of more peaceful followers of the same religion. Can we blame the religion, or the people?

Anyway... I am glad that the EU have finally joined together and, at least, offered a way for Iraq to avoid war. We now we have an end point that we may or may not reach peacefully, but at least it is now set.

18-Feb-03, 18:12
The UN resolution 660 stated that Iraq withdraws from Kuwait. But there was nothing about surrender. That is why the Coalition attacked the retreating Iraqis, which became the “Highway of Doom”. The Coalitions saw this motorcade as a fleeing army and attacked it. It became a massacre; thousands of fleeing Iraqis were killed in the “killing zone”. If Iraq had surrendered then a cease-fire would have been put in place. But they did not.

We come back to the point, has he or hasn’t he got weapons mass destruction or the ability to make mass destruction. We know we have. "We", being the UK. Do you think Blair or Bush would use them against Iraq? No. Why is that? Because it cannot be used by any one man, there would be a need for approval from the Governments, Military and Crown (unless there is an attack against the UK). But in Iraq, one man can make the decision. But the UN can’t say for defiant that Iraq does not have weapons for mass destruction. It does not have the ability to produce weapons of mass destruction. It is not making weapons of mass destruction in another country. Leaving the most important questions to last, is Iraq planning to make and / or use weapons of mass destruction in the future?

Diplomacy can only be used against a Diplomatic country. Not used against a tyrant. Hollow threats, like starving his country does not affect a tyrant. Look at Hitler and his baboons, they fought to the last. Their country was destroyed, innocent people were dying all around them, but yet the fought on. The Allies demanded an unconditional surrender from Germany. Why was a diplomatic solution not found? Because you can’t deal with madmen.

I total agree with the EU statement. Force should be the last option. This leads to the next question has Iraq been co-operating with the UN fully in the last 10 years? Is it now co-operating? Or are they, as in the past, co-operating only when and where they want.

So now the UN wants us to site back give the Weapons Inspectors more time to do their inspections. So we wait another 10 years and then what? He is rearming. He is improving his Scud Missiles, he is preparing his Army. He has learnt his mistakes from the last war.

It is amazing that the strongest threat to Iraq from the EU is more or less on the eve of Battle. Is this proof that military force is the only thing that scares Saddam? It seems to be. We went through the same thing with Bosnia. The EU and the UN saying “give peace a chance”. Until NATO said enough is enough. In fact (of the top of my head) it might be the same countries that were shouting the same slogans, i.e. France and Russia.
Also how many times have Iraq been on final notice?

I don’t think the US are saying there is no option now other than war. If Saddam and his cronies backed their bags and left for the Artic the US would be happy for the Arab countries to ensure a new government was put in place. I know it is not as simple as that, but that is the gist of it. In fact they did offer him money to leave and safe passage. It makes sense as it is costing a fortune to go to war and it would be cheaper to pay the man (or bribe him). Peace is always cheaper than war, in cost. But sometimes costly in lives, i.e. Sept 11 = 4,000 killed.

I have to agree with the US. I would not trust Saddam, ever! But his way out is to leave Iraq and the Middle East. But then if he did leave would he form a terrorist organisation????

I don’t think a U-2 spy plane will make any difference. Iraq is the most photographed piece of land in the world. US satellites are monitoring it all the time. That is one area that I am suspicious off. As they had Satellites watching Iraq’s every move. How could/can they build new weapons factories without the US knowing about it? Or is it a myth, by the US? If they had decided to make a nuclear bomb, which needs certain materials, surly the US would know where they were building it. But then with Chemical weapons or Biological weapons, does he need nothing more that a chemistry shop? That I can’t answer as I am not a chemist.

I think Vietnam proved that the US is not the saviours of the human race. What atrocity happened in Vietnam was unacceptable. So yes they like other nations can be quite barbaric, including the UK. In fact it was Australia that started the Vietnam War. The US went in to help them stop the “Surge of Communism in the Far East”. Then Australia said enough, we are off. US stayed! They believed with military might that they would win. History proves a weaker force with more determination can win.
Yes other countries played their part in the overthrow of Germany and Japan in WW2. That was not the point. The point is that the US supplied the British Empire, China, and USSR with military & economic aid. Without which they might has lost the war. Or at least prolong the war, resulting in further loss of lives. I can’t understand why people don’t give the US the credit they deserve? Is it an ego thing? Fact is they did aid us and save our bacon. Yes we then went and defeated the Axis Forces. With Liberator Bombers, Sherman tanks, Liberty Ships etc. All (or the most of them) built in the US with the massive US workforce. We had our own tanks, bombers etc, but we did not have enough to defeat Germany. But could the US have defeated Germany without Britain? Not conventionally, as they needed a base in which to fight from. Could they have defeated Germany by themselves? Yes, Hiroshima and Nagasaki proves that.
The Lend – Lease Act was a way of bypassing the US mandates. Which would not allow the Government to supply weapons to one country against another. So they did not “give” us weapons etc, they sold it to us. As we did not have the money, we leased land out to them, i.e. rent. It was called finding a loophole in the system. At the time, I did not hear the British Government complaining; in fact I think they were delighted.
What was wrong was that the UK and other Countries paid back their dept, whilst Germany was rebuilt by aid from other countries and did not have to pay anything back in damages etc. That was morally wrong (but I am bias in that area).

The total killed in WW2 was about 55,000,000. About the population of the UK. Of which between 5 to 10,000,000 were exterminations. Again, that is what the UN was set up to prevent. Look at your history and see how many civilians have been exterminated since 1945. Then tell me the UN is doing a good job!

Ok, I will go along with you and agree only Pakistan and India have a real danger of using Nukes against each other. But what about tomorrow? If Saddam is left unchecked, will he use a weapon of mass destruction against Israel? Just imagine it, Saddam is dying (2 days to live), will he push the button, so he can die a hero? Whichever way we look at the situation, it is a Catch 22, possibly dammed if we do and possibly dammed if we don’t.

You call comparing Saddam to Hitler, propaganda. I have to laugh. This is what the UN was set up to prevent!!!!!!! There should be no country carrying out Genocide. If there is crimes against humanity, is what the UN should be preventing? The UN is now too bogged down in politics to function. “Look to your history, to prevent the same mistake happening again.” So it is now is ok to ignore history. Lets ignore that the US help Europe out in two World Wars. Lets forget that Germany and Japan carried out untold atrocities. So let forget that Saddam has attacked/butchered innocent people in the past. Lets forget that he has attacked and committed crimes against humanity in Kuwait. Lets forget he was a threat to the rest of the Middle East. Lets forget he attacked Israel with Scud Missiles, who was not part of the coalition. We will just forget “just” after the Gulf War he attacked the Kurds. I could go on… How can you say, “how about we focus on the current situation.”? When it is the past that has led us to the present situation. I was going to say, “lets just forget Sept 11th”, but I know this is not what you mean.

“We” refers to the Royal we. The UK. Being politically correct “we” the nation have nothing against any other race or belief. This is called “FREEDOM”!!!!

I agree with you. I hope the UN, EU, US, and UK & more importantly the Arab Nations can get a peaceful means to this crisis. But if not, will the US & UK attack Iraq. I believe yes, as it has go to far now. If you look at history, i.e. 1990 &91, it was the same countries that were against war, as is now. With the exception of Saudi Arabia.

There is a motto. “LA A BHLAIR ‘S MATH NA CAIRDEAN”
(On the day of battle, friends are good). 51st (Highland) Division motto.

I just hope that if it goes to war, the rest of the nations (mainly the Arab ones) back the US and UK. Otherwise…………..

Oh, also jjc were you one of the “no war” creators?

19-Feb-03, 01:35
Nope... 'twas not I, 'twas some other scoundrel with a pot of paint (should have come here instead, 'tis a much better venue for debate than a wall)

Anyway, Abewsed, I get the feeling that we are both starting to get drawn towards a common argument (like it, or not) but that we are approaching it from different ends.

I believe that war should be the very last resort and that, as long as the weapons inspectors can continue to report that they are being allowed to work, we still have a possible avenue for a peaceful end.

You (and I'm sure you will correct me if I am wrong) believe that the regime in Iraq has had its chance and we should overthrow that regime as quickly as possible.

Is it possible that we both believe that the statement made by the EU leadership, allowing for continued inspections but with a 'this is your last warning' message attached, might be a reasonable compromise?

I have believed from the beginning that the regime in Iraq is evil and that something must be done. I have also believed that if war is needed to facilitate the doing of that something, then so be it. I believe, however, that an act of aggression now, without further resolutions or inspections, could only be bad for global politics of the future. Moral high-ground, like any other high-ground, is sought after in conflict and once lost is extremely costly to retake. We should keep hold of ours for as long as we can.


Diplomacy can only be used against a Diplomatic country. Not used against a tyrant. Hollow threats, like starving his country does not affect a tyrant. Look at Hitler and his baboons, they fought to the last. Their country was destroyed, innocent people were dying all around them, but yet the fought on. The Allies demanded an unconditional surrender from Germany. Why was a diplomatic solution not found? Because you can’t deal with madmen.
I certainly hope that we, as diplomatic and democratic countries, are able to deal with non diplomatic regimes with diplomacy. I hope that when the UN and EU gather to discuss Iraq they do so with diplomacy and decency. I know it is a cliche, but we cannot stoop to their levels. Although, by threatening sanctions against France, I thought that the US might be coming close.

Again, you bring Hitler into the debate. If we are going to have a debate about war with Iraq, let us debate war with Iraq. We are all aware of, and I hope horrified by, the insane hell that spread across Europe, and I hope that there is nobody out there who can say that they would wish such things again. But to say Saddam Hussein 'might' become the next Hitler is to throw a 'what if' into the argument. Do we need a 'what if'? We already know that he has committed crimes against Humanity.

If you must compare him to somebody, choose Milosovic. Their crimes, their intolerance, their evil, are surely more comparable than an extrapolation of the future based on assumptions.

I hope to God that Saddam Hussein is brought to justice, but let it be justice and not fear that he might become the next Hitler, start a terrorist group, or push a button two days before he dies. We MUST punish him for crimes he HAS committed, when we start to punish people for crimes they might commit we are lost.


The difference that the U-2 spy plane will make is more symbolic than actual. When Hans Blix reported back to the UN he made reference to the Iraqis refusal to allow them to fly a U-2 spy plane. They have now done so. A step in the right direction? Let us hope so, and let us give that step a chance to become a full blown march.


I am unable to argue with you further on the ‘hooray, hooray, the US saved the day’ issue. It is off topic and I doubt we will ever agree. My final entry on that subject (unless you care to raise a separate thread) is this:

Both World Wars threatened the stability of every country on this planet, hence World War and not European War. Many, many countries fought in many, many battles. Millions upon millions of men died. I am proud to say that both of my grandfathers fought for my freedom. I am also proud to say that many other countries joined together to fight evil.

I am happy to stand up and say that the US was able to provide much needed aid, weapons, machinery and manpower. What should not happen is for any one country to claim the right to absolute subservience because they joined in on the side of freedom. To be honest, it sickens me. I find it incredulous that the US press has the gall to show a military graveyard in France and claim a right to unanimity (or rather, agreement to their opinion) because they too fought for freedom.

I hadn’t really thought about it until ‘that’ front page. The war, to me, was won by a coalition of good versus evil, no one above the rest, no one below. That seemed like the right way to think about it. Obviously Americans feel that the world owes them a debt of gratitude. Sorry, I give my gratitude to all, not a few.


Anyway, I thought of a crass similarity today between the way the UN are dealing with Iraq and the way we discipline our children (and lest we forget, Iraq is actually born of our meddling). I apologise in advance if this offends anybody, I don’t mean to compare Iraq to a child that needs discipline, nor do I mean to belittle the plight of the Iraqi people. Please read on and I hope you will understand my point…

When dealing with a child who will not behave you need to have some level of consistency or else the child will not understand. You cannot smile sweetly at the cute child tugging on your coat one minute and then slap their hand the next for being a pest. If you have allowed your child to run amok without any discipline and then you suddenly lash out you will confuse them and no lesson will have been learnt (except maybe that they need to move quicker next time). Instead you tell the child that what they are doing is wrong. If they do not stop, you warn them that they will get into trouble. If they continue, they get into trouble.

With Iraq we have been warning, and then turning a blind eye, and then warning, and then turning a blind eye. A few days ago we seemed ready to launch an all out offensive against them for behaviour which they have gotten away with for decades. Maybe it is a simplistic way of looking at things, but we needed to give them a final warning, one more wrong step and it’s punishment time, and this time we mean it. Until the EU leadership statement that had not been done. The discussion was purely one of should we, or should we not, punish them. Where is the incentive there for them to co-operate in the slightest? This way we have given them one final chance to behave before we give them a clip round the ear and teach them a lesson.

Again, sorry if it was a little crass. Hope the point is understandable though.


Abewsed, I’m not sure we will ever truly agree on this subject, or many others. But can we agree that the statement from the EU leadership giving the inspectors more time, with conditions, is a compromise? Not all out war, but not all out peace either? One last chance for Saddam Hussein to realise he is in a no-win situation and back down… hope he takes it.

19-Feb-03, 08:19
Well Well people i have certainly got you talking! i cant remember the last time i seen such long posts!!!! :eek:

I think that if iraq and saddam insane need some propoganda then they should just log on to caithness.org some of the posts i have read are nothing short of treason!!!(i use that term in jest).

The fact that you can all have an opinion just proves that democracy works, i dont have to agree with your point of view but at least you are allowed to express one.
If you were a shi-ite muslim in iraq (who form the majority of the country )you would be too petrified to express your view for fear of retaliation.
The fact remains saddam has killed more of his own people than we did during the gulf war.
People that harp on about the amount dead because of sanctions should stop and think-if all these people are dying through poverty why can saddam still build palaces and fund weapons?
I feel really proud to be a part of democracy when i read the posts because you all have a view and are allowed to express it, RIGHT ON!!!!!

I am not a labour supporter but reading some of the posts especially niall stalins(thats a reply for adolf blair! :evil )i can see that the reason some are replying is through political biases rather than valid arguments, but hey i have read them and some points do make sense so all i can say is open your mind and look at the facts and remember other people have a point of view too ,you dont have to like it but at least hear what is being said.

Well thats my point of view lets go to war get saddam overthrown but more importantly protect our own country cos if it gets out of hand we will all have a part to play when the preverbial hits the fan eg. if dounreay was attacked would some of us still harp on about not going to war? The threat is real and we all need to wake up to that fact.

Salam to all our muslim brothers that are innocent "goodbye" to the guilty.

If any1 wants to continue this then i am always on my yahoo id just pm me at any time and i will gladly chat.

19-Feb-03, 10:17
I don’t think a U-2 spy plane will make any difference. Iraq is the most photographed piece of land in the world. US satellites are monitoring it all the time. That is one area that I am suspicious off. As they had Satellites watching Iraq’s every move. How could/can they build new weapons factories without the US knowing about it? Or is it a myth, by the US?

erm, how do you think the weapons inspectors know where to go look?

Do you think Saddam gave them a list of all his weapons factories?

Or do you think a list was compiled from all the photographs and entry demanded to those sites?

19-Feb-03, 11:24
Just a little mood lightener I got sent by email today:

President Bush and Colin Powell are sitting in a bar.
A guy walks over and says "Wow, this is a real honor. What are you guys doing in here?"
Bush says, "We're planning WW III. We are going to kill 24 million Iraqis & one beautiful blonde with big boobs."
The guy says, "A beautiful blonde with big boobs! Why kill a beautiful blonde with big boobs?"
Bush turns to Powell, punches him on the shoulder, laughs & says,
"See, smart ass! I told you no one would worry about 24 million Iraqis! LET'S ROLL!"

Now, I'm not suggesting that Blair et. al. don't spend their time surfing the message boards of Caithness.org (and I'm sure that somebody with some degree of power does occasionally stop by), but just in case any of you would like to be able to voice your opinions some other place as well, the 'new look' BBC news site (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/2777911.stm) has finally started to accept comments on this very subject. Knock yourselves out :)

19-Feb-03, 14:32
Ah, but without the “scoundrels” who made the “No War” sign, we might not be sitting here debating and Bill might not be getting the hits. So some good has come from it. One bit I liked about the sign, was that it was not permanent and did no real damage. A nice silent touch really.

I think, or hope, that most people agree that war is a final solution. By this I do not mean it in the Holocaust way, but rather it is the last resort. It should not be used for Political “progress”.

The weapons inspectors have had their chance. Whilst in 1991, after the war, most people thought that with the disarmament of Iraq, that Saddam would no longer be a “real” threat to the Middle East. But because they have been hindered by Saddam and to an extent the UN, it has not worked. If it had, they would not still, 12 years later, be searching for “missing” weapons.

Yes I believe Saddam has been given “parole” (by the UN) to mend his way. He has been given a chance to sit back and be a good boy. At ever turn he has broken his promises and hindered the UN. So the only option is to get rid of him. Whether he stays and dies, as a martyr, or he goes on holiday to some nice island with loads of cash. Exiled like Napoleon, that is his choice. But peace to the Middle East and the World is what should be the “real” aim. That does not include the Human Rights issue.

I am laughing again. How many times in the last decade has Saddam been given the “last warning”? I will have to take my shoes off to count. It is the “nice” option. But Saddam is a “NUTTER” pure and simple. He is on another planet, or maybe we (the civilised world) are on the wrong planet. This is a new millennium, where the Cold War is over, one where we are not expected to die in a Nuclear Holocaust or from weapons of mass destruction. One where the next real threat is supposed to be a Meteorite / Comet strike etc. Or so we were are lead to believe.

I am all for “giving peace a chance”. But I am also for Justice. Not a Lockerbie justice, where Gaddafi gets away with “murder” and we all kiss and make up. But also I don’t want to see a new war escalate, i.e. a Middle East War. Or a vacuum left in Iraq where on faction is seeking revenge on the other for the treatment they have endured over the last two and a half decades. I don’t want Iraq dragging Israel into a war with the Arabs. There are enough problems in Palestine without more. I am not saying that it could end up in Armageddon, but it could go pear shaped.
If the Arab Countries came out and admitted that they want rid of Saddam and they would back the US and UK, things would be better. But they wont, as Saddam is a fellow brother. This is where the real problem lies “blood is thicker than water”. During the last war the coalition had the backing of the Arab world. But not this time, well not publicly.
We have Russia, France, Germany etc all saying that war is wrong. But realistically they were against the last War and getting involved in the Balkans Conflict. Both times those countries (France and Russia) were proved wrong. Again they are spouting the Anti-American slogans. Have you thought why? Is seems to me that they want to be the Big Boys, rather than the US.
We will take a look at the countries involved. France a country that disagrees with anyone and everyone. They want a New Europe; also they want to be in charge. A country that invites Mugabe to Europe. Nice one! Did they ask the rest of Europe?
Russia a country that is run by the Mafia, a country that will destroy a city against UN opposition.
Germany that has a track record for peace! Oh, also both countries (France and Germany) seem to have a growing support for National Front movements.
I think I will ignore their “human rights” protests.

But getting back to the possibility of war. There are still unaccounted weapon in Iraq.
360 tonnes of chemical warfare agents, including 1.5 tonnes of VX nerve agent;
3,000 tonnes of chemical precursors (which are developed into chemical weapons) including 300 tonnes uniquely used for VX.
Growth media for 20,000 litres of biological warfare agents. Any Iraqi claims that this will have degenerated will not be accepted, as mustard gas found in shells in 1997 was active.
Shells for use in biological warfare - 20,000 are missing say the British, 15,000 say the Americans.
Unscom said in 1999: "The commission has little or no confidence in Iraq's accounting for proscribed items for which physical evidence is lacking or inconclusive, documentation is sparse or nonexistent, and coherence and consistency is lacking.”
6,000 chemical warfare bombs.

Unscom said: “The commission has accepted the destruction of about 34,000 munitions on the basis of multiple sources, including physical evidence, documents provided by Iraq etc. However, it has not been possible to achieve a numerical accounting of destroyed munitions due to heavy bomb damage of the CW storage facilities, where these munitions had been stored during the Gulf war. The destruction of about 2,000 unfilled munitions remain uncertain, 550 filled munitions remain unaccounted for.”
Other key concerns for the US and UK include the following: “Why did Iraq try to import 60,000 aluminium tubes? Rapidly spinning rotor tubes in centrifuges are used to separate weapons grade uranium, though both the British and American reports acknowledge that the tubes could be used for conventional weapons as well.”

Now take a look at what is unaccounted for. Make no mistake; “if” Saddam still has these weapons, it is not for the good of others!

“I” agree with diplomacy. I don’t blame the US or UK for today’s situation. I blame the UN. They have had 12 years in which to ensure the safety of both the US and the rest of the World. It has failed, pure and simple.

I think with the threat of sanctions against France, by the US, was because they can see France’s hidden agenda.

OK, no more Hitler! So we will just say that Saddam is the biggest and most dangerous nutter on the planet. But this whole debate is a “what if”. What if we do noting about Saddam? What if there is no war? What if Saddam has the decency to take a gun to his own head rather than someone else’s? “We learn from the past, to influence the present, which will guarantee (i.e., that it never happens again) the future”. But I will debate on your terms; see I am a reasonable guy!

Ok, so how do we bring Saddam to Justice? You expect him to walk into Geneva and surrender. Then ask for a fair trial? If you want him brought to Justice, then like most criminals, you have to go and get him and the police have to be armed. You miss the point about Saddam, he thinks that he is untouchable. Whilst he thinks this, he will do what he wants.

Again I am laughing. (Note: I am sorry to any others reading this, but rather than make the debate longer, you will have to read jjc’s previous articles) Yes allowing the U-2 Spy Plane to fly over Iraq is a symbolic action. But it is an unnecessary one, because of Satellites. Great! Now the US can photograph Iraq from both Space and a Plane! Some compromise. It is just wasting more US money.

Ok, the ‘hooray, hooray, the US saved the day’ issue. Most of the world does not like the US being the “police of the world”. But when they need military assistance or monetary aid, who do they call? Ghost Busters? I myself get annoyed with being classed as the next State of the USA. But at least they have backed us in most things, unlike the French. If I had a choice of becoming a European State with France in charge, or the next new State of the USA. I will take the latter.

A little known fact: Before WW2 they baddies of this country were the US. Most of the war planning was against the US not Germany. Since WW2, the UK and US have not always seen eye to eye. The UK did not get involved in Vietnam etc.

I think that the US press showing the graves of the soldiers killed in France. Was stating that more US blood was spilt in Liberating France than French blood! Which is true. Up until France was Liberated, de Gaulle was seen as a traitor by his own people. But we will not get into my pet hate, France. But you are right everyone suffered during WW2. But what came out of WW2 was the saviour of the New World, the UN, which would keep the peace!!!!!!!!! “Hooray, Hooray, the UN saved the day” in Korea and Suez. But has become extinct since.

Yes the problems of today in the Middle East are from the West meddling in dividing up the Ottoman Empire. But then again religion has a lot to do with it. They have been fighting for 2,000 years and more. A long time to forgive and forget. We still remember the “Highland Clearances”, Culloden etc and that was only a few hundred years ago! Then it did not help, when most European Countries did not want the fleeing Jews (during and AFTER WW2) to seek refuge in our countries. So they had to occupy Palestine. But that again is another debate.

Jjc, you have a way with words. Ok, children now. Lets say you have a child with a hand grenade and he/she is playing with the pin. What would you do? Speak nicely to them or panic and shout at them? Most people would punish/scold the child, slap their hand etc. Why because of fear. Fear for the child’s safety and your own. Not out of hate. Well this child (Saddam) has already played with the hand grenade and has been scolded and punished. But he still wants to play with the “toys”. So now he is in trouble! What next?

We keep coming back to this final warning, then another, then another etc etc etc. But I know what you mean. Yes the EU is taking a stronger stance. Why is this? It is not because Saddam means to be good from now on. It is because they know the US and UK mean what they say.

JJC, if we did agree this debate would not be taking place. Hotrod4 is right: There are always two sides to the story/argument. We can have this disagreement, without worrying about the secret police kicking down our doors and our families disappearing into the night. We take it for granted but Freedom sometimes cost a lot.

Niall Fernie: Obviously someone got it wrong, or the Satellites are not that good. Otherwise the missing weapons would have been found by now! But then again, I already stated Saddam is a “clever” nutter and has learnt from his mistakes. If they don’t know where the “hidden/missing” weapons are, then I don’t think a U-2 flying at between 70,000ft and 90,000ft-taking photos will do much good. But then again a hundred weapons inspector searching an area covering 169,235 sq miles (Iraq), searching for a weapons dump, is like looking for a needle in a haystack.
But to be serious. How the UN (not USA) can’t find the missing weapons: Iraq was not that well photographed (spied on) before 1990. The maps that the UK had were out of date, some dating back to WW2 and we had the best ones. The Iraqi regime were building all the time, new roads, palaces, towns etc. Some weapons complexes were camouflaged as warehouses or whatever. Most of the Intelligence as to where the weapons were kept came from the Israelis, as they have been trying to keep an eye on Iraq before 1990. Also that is who the Iraqis were hiding the factories from, not the US. From the account of weapons missing, he obviously has hidden weapon dumps/factories somewhere within 169,235 sq miles. Or possibly in some other “friendly” country (Syria or Iran, are possibilities). It was the same as when the Iraqi Air Force (or what was left of them) flew to Iran (Iraq’s old enemy). If they decided to save the aircraft, why not the weapons of mass destruction.
The other way that they found some of the sites were from some of the Building Companies, by looking at the plans of the new buildings. But then again, they might have built a new building and renovated the old one. That Naill is how they knew where to look. Oh, also human intelligence (defectors) gave them info as well.
It is like me asking you to find a car in Caithness. The car is a Red Ford Escort, registration ASK????. I then change the number plate and colour. Then I hid it in a barn, garage. Or even move it into Sutherland. That is what the UN weapons inspectors are dealing with. It is not impossible, but the odds are against them, with or without a Spy Planes or Satellites. The West started to spy on Iraq too late, simple as that. Poor intelligence. A few people got the boot for that oversight. The Berlin Wall came down, we were all safe, no need to worry. What also needs to be remembered is that the Spying was still mainly aimed at Russia, to ensure they were dismantling their weapons. Hindsight is a great thing.

Saddam was asked by the UN, for a list of sites! Which they found out were, either known about or destroyed. They soon learnt that he was not to be trusted! His list was a sham.

What to ask is….
Do you think Saddam is telling the truth and the US and UK are lying?
Do you think Saddam will try and start a Holy War?
Do you think Saddam will use weapons of mass destruction?
Do you think he is or was supporting terrorists, since 1990?
Do you think he is still murdering innocent people?
Do you think he is a threat to peace in the Middle East?
Do you think Saddam should be left in control of Iraq?
Who do you trust the most, Saddam or UK/USA.
Who would you prefer to be governing you, Saddam or UK/USA?

Tick boxes will be supplied by Caithness.org (joke) If the tick boxes were supplied by Iraq it would be one sided!

19-Feb-03, 14:39
Had a look at the site jjc, but this one is better, more grit to it.

19-Feb-03, 16:34
Again I am laughing. (Note: I am sorry to any others reading this, but rather than make the debate longer, you will have to read jjc’s previous articles) Yes allowing the U-2 Spy Plane to fly over Iraq is a symbolic action. But it is an unnecessary one, because of Satellites. Great! Now the US can photograph Iraq from both Space and a Plane! Some compromise. It is just wasting more US money.

abewsed -

You are incorrect in suggesting that the use of the U-2 Spy Plane is an unnecessary action.

The spy planes will allow the UN to have real time images beamed back live, which is not the case with satellites.

With satellite imaging, you can only photograph the areas the satellites go over.

In addition, the spy planes can circle an area in order to obtain more detailed images.

I also read that some analysts believe that Iraq is able to track spy satellite orbits, meaning that they can move the weapons out of the way before they are photographed.

And as for you laughing at someone else's posts merely because they have a different opinion to you, I found that to be rather rude. Some of the contents of your posts have been somewhat lacking in substance (what are you actually contributing by calling Saddam Hussein a nutter, or by telling us how wonderful you think the US has been to us?), but nobody has been so offensive as to dismiss your posts as laughable.

I am all for “giving peace a chance”. But I am also for Justice. Not a Lockerbie justice, where Gaddafi gets away with “murder” and we all kiss and make up. But also I don’t want to see a new war escalate, i.e. a Middle East War.

You certainly don't sound as though you want peace. And a Middle East War could certainly be on the cards if we rushed into a war with Iraq without sufficient international backing.

To ask that weapons inspectors are given sufficient time to do their job is a reasonable request. Their job will be helped by the spy planes, which are apparently due to start flying over Iraq this week. It is certainly a more reasonable and considered notion than the "Let's blow Saddam the nutter off the face of the planet" idea.

Few people have said there should be no war at any cost - but it is reasonable to request due consideration and care before heading down a route which may leave us all living in a more frightening and violent world in the future.

19-Feb-03, 17:20
Okay, Abewsed, for the sake of argument I am looking at a child who is playing with the pin of a live grenade. What do I do? I either turn and run, or I wallop them and take the thing off them (not sure which I'd choose, suppose it depends on who the child belongs to and how noisy they are ;) ).

If we put this into the context of Saddam Hussein we have effectively been saying 'put it down now, or you are going to get hurt'. He has then put the grenade down (or simply stopped playing with the pin in front of us) for ten minutes before picking it back up. We then go back to 'put it down now, or you are going to get hurt'. This, I agree, cannot go on. We need to take the grenade off him. If that entails using force then so be it, but surely we first say 'give me the grenade, or else...'

You ask how many times he has been given a final warning and ignored it? I ask how many of those 'final' warnings have truly been final? It strikes me that the wording of the resolutions against Iraq to date have never gone so far as to say that the result of flaunting them will be war. Even 1441 talks of reports 'to the Coucil for assessment' and 'serious consequences'. We have all seen how the Iraqi regime like to play the odds, and frankly the odds may have seemed worth playing to them. After all, no country before was prepared to come out and say that the next step would be war.

THIS is why I feel that a new resolution, setting out the consequences of ignoring it, is needed, either to force the Iraqi regime to comply or to give validity to any future action. Until that is done we would be undertaking military action with the support of neither the UN nor the people.

You are correct, 'a hundred weapons inspector searching an area covering 169,235 sq miles (Iraq), searching for a weapons dump, is like looking for a needle in a haystack'. But then that isn't actually the job of the weapons inspectors, is it? The job of the inspectors is to inspect the evidence presented to them by the Iraqi regime.

As your list indicates, we already have a pretty good idea as to just what the inspectors are expecting to find, and the regime in Iraq is supposed to be supplying the inspectors with all the cooperation they need to prove that those weapons, and the facilities used to create them, have been accounted for and ,if required, destroyed.

In his last report to the UN, Hans Blix stated that 'Iraq had decided in principle to provide cooperation on process'. If this cooperation continues and the inspectors are able to trace all of the missing weapons would that not be a far better position from which to deal with the inhumanity of the Iraqi regime? I don't expect Saddam Hussein or his loyal followers to walk into The Hague and surrender any time soon, but until we are sure that the consequences are not going to involve retaliation with chemical and/or biological weapons I see no other way of getting them there (and I don't for a second believe that bombing Iraq will make them suddenly see sense and surrender. As I recall, Saddam used the bombings in the Gulf war to bolster his support).

You asked several question, so I feel it is only right that I give my personal answers:

Do you think Saddam is telling the truth and the US and UK are lying?
No. I don't believe that Saddam is telling the truth for a second. Do I believe the US and UK are telling the whole truth? Possibly, but I'm not quite convinced of that either.

Do you think Saddam will try and start a Holy War?
Possibly. But then if, as you say, the rest of the Arab states are only supporting him as a brother and not because they truly trust him, will they join in? If it were so easy to start a Holy War, wouldn't the Taliban have succeeded?

Do you think Saddam will use weapons of mass destruction?
He has proven his ability to do so in the past. Do I think he will use them now? I'm not sure, he would have to be insane to do so - but then he could well be insane.

Do you think he is or was supporting terrorists, since 1990?
Yes. Along with the US and many other countries, Iraq has been supporting terrorists.

Do you think he is still murdering innocent people?
Yes, I do.

Do you think he is a threat to peace in the Middle East?
Absolutely. Do I think he is the only threat to the Middle East? No.

Do you think Saddam should be left in control of Iraq?
Absolutely not. Do I think the US should get to appoint (sorry, monitor the elections for) a diplomatic regime? No. I think that the Iraqi people should be free to make their own decision (and before you start, yes, I am aware that under the present regime they do not have that choice).

Who do you trust the most, Saddam or UK/USA.
Got to be the UK. The choice for second place? Don't really trust either of them at the moment. Not sure where the USA is going to stop on its path of war. N. Korea? Libya? At least with Iraq we know from the outset we are dealing with liars and cheats. (sorry, I seem to have just gone off on one).

Who would you prefer to be governing you, Saddam or UK/USA?
See last answer... same for this one.

Okay, so that was the Q&A session over. Your turn, but only one...

The weapons inspectors are in Iraq as we type. They are, they report, receiving the kind of cooperation from Iraqis that they need to complete their work. So long as (and only so long as) this cooperation continues, what, exactly, is the problem with allowing them to complete their work?

And whilst you ponder that question, here's a little bit of a teaser for you....

The following two quotes are taken from a document titled, 'Differentiation and Defence: An Agenda for the Nuclear Weapons Program', House Policy Committee, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, February 2003.

The 1993 prohibition against research on low-yield weapons (under five kilotons yield) is a significant barrier to a robust advanced development program. Congress should consider repealing this ban.

The Congress should support the revitalization of the nuclear weapons advanced development program. The Nuclear Weapons Council should reestablish such a program consistent with the capabilities-based approach for national security.

This, from a country who have demanded (and been given) immunity for their troops from the International Criminal Court (including trials for war crimes).

This, from a country who have rejected the Kyoto treaty on combating global warming, despite being the greatest emmitor of CO2 in the world.

This, from a country whose President has stated that the support of the UN for military action against Iraq, whilst nice, is not essential for the US to go to war. In other words, UN support or not, the USA will make their own minds up. Good democracy, and fantastic respect for allies.

Now, do we trust that the USA have the common interests in mind, or are they looking more at 'what can the USA get out of this'?

Like I said, just a teaser.

19-Feb-03, 18:29

Iraq is a terrifying place to live. People are in constant fear of being denounced as opponents of the regime.

They are encouraged to report on the activities of family and neighbours. The security services can strike at any time. Arbitrary arrests and killings are commonplace.

Between three and four million Iraqis, about 15% of the population, have fled their homeland rather than live under Saddam Hussein's regime.

These grave violations of human rights are not the work of a number of overzealous individuals but the deliberate policy of the regime.

Fear is Saddam's chosen method for staying in power.
The United Nations Security Council and the UN Commission on Human Rights have repeatedly, over many years, condemned Iraq's human rights record. But Iraq continues to flout UN resolutions and to ignore its international human rights commitments.
On 19 April 2002, the UN Commission on Human Rights passed a resolution drawing attention to "the systematic, widespread and extremely grave violations of human rights and of international humanitarian law by the Government of Iraq, resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror."

On torture:

Torture is systematic in Iraq. The most senior figures in the regime are personally involved.

Saddam Hussein runs Iraq with close members of his own family and a few associates, most of whom come from his hometown of Tikrit.

All real authority rests with Saddam and his immediate circle. Saddam is head of state, head of government, leader of Iraq's only political party and head of the armed forces.

Saddam presides over the all-powerful Revolutionary Command Council, which enacts laws and decrees and overrides all other state institutions.

An RCC decree of 21 December 1992 guarantees immunity for Ba'ath party members who cause damage to property, bodily harm and even death when pursuing enemies of the regime.

Saddam has, through the RCC, issued a series of decrees establishing severe penalties (amputation, branding, cutting off of ears, or other forms of mutilation) for criminal offences.

In mid-2000, the RCC approved amputation of the tongue as a new penalty for slander or abusive remarks about the President or his family.

These punishments are practised mainly on political dissenters. Iraqi TV has broadcast pictures of these punishments as a warning to others.
According to an Amnesty International report published in August 2001, "torture is used systematically against political detainees. The scale and severity of torture in Iraq can only result from the acceptance of its use at the highest level."

Although Iraqi law forbids the practice of torture, the British Government is not aware of a single case of an Iraqi official suspected of carrying out torture being brought to justice.

Treatment of women and children:

Under Saddam Huseein's regime women lack even the basic right to life. A 1990 decree allows male relatives to kill a female relative in the name of honour without punishment.

Women have been tortured, ill-treated and in some cases summarily executed too, according to Amnesty International.

The dossier says that BBC correspondent John Sweeney said he had met six witnesses with direct experience of child torture, including the crushing of a two-year-old girl's feet.
Prison conditions:

Persecution of the Kurds:

Under Saddam's rule Iraq's Kurdish communities have experienced terrible suffering.

Documents captured by the Kurds during the Gulf War and handed over to the non-governmental oprganisation Human Rights Watch provided much information about Saddam's persecution of the Kurds. They detail the arrest and execution in 1983 of 8,000 Kurdish males aged 13 and upwards.
Persecution of the Shia community:

The Shia community, who make up 60% of Iraq's population is Iraq's biggest religious group.

Saddam has ensured that none of the Shia religious or tribal leaders is able to threaten his position. He kills any that become too prominent.

Harassment of the Opposition outside Iraq:

The UN Special Rapporteur has received numerous reports of harassment, intimidation and threats against the families of opposition members living abroad.

Methods of torture:

Eye gouging

Piercing of hands with electric drill

Suspended from ceiling by their wrists

Electric shock

Sexual abuse

Mock executions

Acid baths


This dossier does not include every Iraqi's personal story of suffering, caused by Saddam's regime, known to the British Government.

There are sadly far too many to mention them all. But the evidence in the dossier is a faithful representation of what ordinary Iraqis face in their daily lives.

Saddam Hussein has been ruthless in his treatment of any opposition to him since his rise to power in 1979.

A cruel and callous disregard for human life and suffering remains the hallmark of his regime


Dr. Hussain Shahristani, one of Iraq's top nuclear scientists,
was tortured after refusing to develop an atomic bomb for the Iraq
government. Amnesty International research has recorded
extensive evidence pointing to how prisoners in Iraq are
subject to torture, including beatings, being burned with acid,
electric shocks, and even amputation.


The dossier includes the story of Um Haydar, a 25-year-old woman who was dragged from her house and publicly beheaded in 2001 after her husband, suspected by the authorities of involvement in armed opposition activities, fled Iraq.
Guards took away her children and mother-in-law, and they have not
been heard from since, the dossier said.


Meanwhile, in Abu Ghraib, Jamal, Ali Abbas and others were witnessing
the worst of the Iraq authorities' political retribution.
Forced to clean out basement torture areas, Ali Abbas recalls
seeing inmates who had been subjected to electric shocks,
and others kept in cupboard-sized cells without light
and lined with shards of broken glass.


in the period 1992/1997, landmines placed by the Government of Iraq have caused more than 15,000 casualties of which 30% of the victims were children.


TEHRAN -- Government spokesman Abdollah Ramezanzadeh said here on Wednesday that Iran insists that Iraq had used 6,000 tons of chemical bombs against its citizens during the eight years of Iraqi-imposed war from 1980 to 1988.

Ramezanzadeh told a press conference that there is enough evidence to support the assertion that Iraq had used the bombs and Iran has been among those demanding necessary reparations to that effect by Baghdad.

He said Iraq had repeatedly used chemical weapons against Iranian combatants and innocent civilians, adding that the use of such weapons had left numerous victims.

He added that the number of the victims succumbing to chemical injuries is rising in Iran, IRNA reported.

19-Feb-03, 18:51
The above is the reality of life in Iraq - htere are many many other examples of this in the web.

I do not apologise if the details are upsetting. This is the life that Iraqi people have to put up with.

The UN has failed consistently to make any difference to this and other regimes who callously disregard human rights. The USA and the UK have the chance to topple Saddam and to encourage the formation of a new decmocratic government. This will be painful - the birth of something new is often painful and fraught with difficulties but what do we do?

Saddam is insane - i have no doubt of that. He also has ABSOLUTE POWER. No government to put the brakes on, no opposition to question his actions, no sanity to see the despicable nature of his regime, no laws which can hold him to account, no compassion, no fear. Are there many other nations which have all of the above? Where the countries with weapons of mass destruction are concerned none are so completely in the control of one single mad man.

I hate the thought of anyone dying as a result of war or the actions this government takes - a government i voted for. However, the UN has no teeth and cannot be relied upon to make Saddam toe the line - he just will not. Saddam HAS to be toppled - he isnt a naughty child, he isnt a person with whom you can reason.

Is it about OIL?

I think it might be but only partially. Given that SAddam is all of the above do we really want to have this man in control of anything let alone oil reserves? I think not. LOok how he set alight Kuwaits oil fields during the gulf war. The environmental damage this man could do on a whim is terrifying.

Do we know everything?

Of course we dont. It amazes me that people who argure their points as intelligently as some of you do , expect that we will know everything. We will never know everything. We have a governement to know everything and an oppositions to question everything. Thats why we vote. I really hope that not one of you has ever woken on election day and said " Och I cant be bothered today" Fortunately i dont have to make a decision about whether to go to war or not. I have elected people to do that for me.

Finally - Walking away from this is not an option. We have to do things which are distateful to us all at some points in our lives and i believe this is one of those times. Its not about some old debt and who kisses whose butt. It is about the issues i mentioned in my previous post and the fact that Saddam is a serious and real threat to peace and safety of millions of people throughout the world. He has to be stopped

20-Feb-03, 00:04
It amazes me that people who argure their points as intelligently as some of you do , expect that we will know everything.

Squidge - nobody is demanding that we know everything. We're merely requesting that, before war is declared in our name, we are given adequate reason and justification for doing so.

The human rights abuses are tragic but occur all over the world. The UK cannot act as the world's policeman. I agree that something should be done, and that sanctions over the last decade have not worked. However, if you think that the human rights abuses are the actual reason why the UK and US governments are seeking to go to war, you are very naïve.

This is just the more palatable reason they are providing you with, you are falling for it... I would prefer the real reason, be it oil, Dubya's ego or some idea conjured up by the US government to demostrate just how powerful they can be (oh, how tiresome US arrogance can get at times). That way we could make a choice based on the truth.

Quite frankly, I would like some more adequate evidence provided which indicates that we are heading towards a war for a more noble and just cause than Dubya proving to his daddy that he's a big tough guy who can do war too.

If this evidence is obtained from the weapons inspectors or the spy planes, so be it. If Iraq forms a real and immediate threat and it is proven, so be it. Until then, a war will not be supported by the majority of British society. I see no good reason to just automatically trust the government just because we have a democratic process... they have agendas just as any group does and those who do trust them should learn to read between the lines.

20-Feb-03, 01:36

Firstly, sorry if this seems like a personal attack on your post. I just spent quite some time writing a response and my PC crashed, so I'm a little angry... it isn't all you...

You shouldn't apologise for the dossier that the government submitted. True, it does contain some horrific information concerning the abuse of Human Rights in Iraq, but the truth often hurts. Of course, if that document had not turned out to be mostly plagiarised from the thesis of a student (who now seems to have dismissed many of his original findings) it may have held more weight with the press and public, but there you go. Plagiarism or not, I don't think we could call it a fabrication.

However, I think perhaps you are being a little too trusting of our government. This dossier was produced by the government in response to calls for them to divulge their reasons for seeking war with Iraq. It is, so far as I can tell, a document which details the horrendous crimes committed against the people of Iraq by their leader. I suggest you take a step back and look around the globe.

Let us start in Zimbabwe where opposition to the leadership can result in sever reprisals including assault, abduction, rape, sexual torture, destruction of property, and murder.

Or we could go to Uganda where you could face torture, execution, rape, death threats, and unofficial detention.

How about Nigeria where the government has been linked to extra-judicial executions and torture.

Unfortunately, the list does go on and on.

I am not for one minute suggesting that the fact that it goes on all around the world makes any kind of a case for the atrocities inside Iraq. Obviously the situation within Iraq is untenable and must be dealt with.

What I am suggesting is that you take the information we are receiving from our government and you look beyond it. The dossier references Human Rights abuses as the reason for their apparent desire to enter into a war. I ask myself why this only applies to Iraq. Is it because of the weapons of mass destruction? Possibly, but then why not mention them in the dossier? Perhaps it is because the weapons inspectors are currently receiving the cooperation they require to deal with them, or perhaps because our allies in the US are drawing up plans to develop new nuclear weapons themselves? I don’t know.

Do we know everything? Of course we dont. It amazes me that people who argure their points as intelligently as some of you do , expect that we will know everything. We will never know everything. We have a governement to know everything and an oppositions to question everything. Thats why we vote. I really hope that not one of you has ever woken on election day and said " Och I cant be bothered today" Fortunately i dont have to make a decision about whether to go to war or not. I have elected people to do that for me.

As I have mentioned in several of my posts that I feel we are not being told everything, I can only assume that you may be referring to me here.

In answer I would ask you to look back to my other posts on this subject and in this thread. In the past, wars have been declared by parliament and announced to the people. This time the government seemed to have a desire to convince us that this was a just and noble effort. They leaked information to us that they believed would rally us behind the war effort. Unfortunately, or fortunately (depending which argument you wish to make), some of us looked beyond the information we were being spoon fed, and started to ask questions. For example, if the reason for this war is a moral one based on Human Rights abuses, why did the government leave it to the ECB to decide if the English Cricket Team should travel to Zimbabwe?

What I would like from my government is enough information to convince me. Tony Blair seems to be convinced. He is not a stupid man. If he is convinced then I would like to know why.

Oh, and please tell me that you don’t honestly believe that your only obligation in the management of this country is when you elect your MP? We elect our MPs based on their beliefs, election promises, and previous performance. We elect them because we agree with the stances that they take on issues such as drugs or asylum seekers. We may even elect them because of the party they are standing for. But once they are elected we should not, and must not, just sit back and allow them to run the country however they like until the next election. Our MPs are in parliament to represent OUR views when making decisions. If we do not tell our MPs what our views are, how will they know?

Finally - Walking away from this is not an option. We have to do things which are distateful to us all at some points in our lives and i believe this is one of those times
True, walking away from this is not an option. Yes, we do have to do things which are distasteful to us when there are no other options. Thankfully, there are other options. I am going to ask you the same question as I asked Abewsed. What, exactly, is the problem with letting the weapons inspectors do their jobs?

I think that you may be underestimating (or as Bush would say, ‘misunderestimating’) the potential for this conflict to go wrong. As I have said before, if we go into this conflict without the backing of the UN we are in breach of international law. If we are in breach of international law, how can we expect to enforce the same law elsewhere? How can we pick and choose which laws suit us and expect countries such as Zimbabwe, Pakistan, India, etc. to follow them to the letter? If we lose the high ground we will never regain it.

Also, without the backing of the international community, how are we supposed to convince the Arab states that this was a lawful and justified war? Do we want to find ourselves fighting Iraq’s neighbours because we were in such a rush to do what we felt was right?

If we allow the weapons inspectors to at least try to do their jobs then we can avoid much of this risk. If the inspectors come out of Iraq next month saying that they were unable to do their jobs we will almost certainly go to war. However, we will have the support of our allies throughout the world and we will have stayed within the law.

I hate the thought of anyone dying as a result of war or the actions this government takes - a government i voted for. However, the UN has no teeth and cannot be relied upon to make Saddam toe the line - he just will not. Saddam HAS to be toppled - he isnt a naughty child, he isnt a person with whom you can reason.

Again, I posted an observation about the treatment of a naughty child, so I assume you refer to my post here. If you would be so kind as to go back and re-read that post, you will hopefully see that I did not intend to suggest that Saddam be treated like a naughty child. Far from it, as I agree that he is a very dangerous man. What I am suggesting is that he has shown in the past that he will back down from his defiant stance if he is threatened directly. Up to now the resolutions from the UN have not done that, instead they have threatened consequences with no clear details of those consequences.

This is why I, and I believe a lot of others, would like a new resolution making it quite clear that if the Iraqi regime does not fully support disamament, the consequence will be war. Given that document either Iraq will cooperate, or we will be able to go to war without becoming the aggressors.


By the way, I looked up the stuff on Human Rights abuses on the Amnesty International website (http://www.amnesty.org) - a link which I got from your post.

I may be wrong, but the gist of your post was that war should be declared sooner rather than later in order to prevent further Human Rights abuses. I found it interesting, therefore, to find that Amnesty International are running an online petition calling upon the UN Security Council to assess the human rights and humanitarian impact of any military action against Iraq.

I also found it interesting that Amnesty International are calling for action against the USA for their continued use of executions. In addition the library contains numerous documents from Amnesty International regarding the detainees in Guantanamo.

The following may also be of interest to you:

UK: Internment one year on -- no hope in sight (http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Index/EUR450252002?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES\UK)

UK: Basic rights denied after 11 September (http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Index/EUR450192002?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES\UK)

UK: Rights Denied: the UK's Response to 11 September 2001 (http://web.amnesty.org/ai.nsf/Index/EUR450162002?OpenDocument&of=COUNTRIES\UK)

I guess we can all improve a little.

To sum up, I would like to quote a press release from Amnesty International.

USA/Iraq : Not in the name of human rights

In his speech to the UN General Assembly today, President George Bush made reference to the serious human rights violations perpetrated upon the Iraqi people by their government. In the background paper distributed to the media, several references were made to Amnesty International's reports published over the years on the human rights situation in Iraq.

" Once again, the human rights record of a country is used selectively to legitimize military actions." Amnesty International said.

" The US and other Western governments turned a blind eye to Amnesty International reports of widespread human rights violations in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and ignored Amnesty International's campaign on behalf of the thousands of unarmed Kurdish civilians killed in the 1988 attacks on Halabja.'

" As the debate on whether to use military force against Iraq escalates, the human rights of the Iraqi people, as a direct consequence of any potential military action, is sorely missing from the equation."

" Life, safety and security of civilians must be the paramount consideration in any action taken to resolve the current human rights and humanitarian crisis. The experience of previous armed intervention in the Gulf has shown that, all too often, civilians become the acceptable casualties of war."

" In the event of military action there is a serious possibility of large flows of refugees and the internal displacement of thousands of people. A humanitarian crisis can emerge caused by difficult or impossible delivery of basic supplies leaving shortages in food, medicine and the destruction of civilian infrastructure and institutions."

20-Feb-03, 03:33
jjc and drutt

I am not getting into this business of going through and dealing with every issue you raise in your posts - to be honest that is what makes posts overlong and tedious and difficult to follow . I have spelt out simply what is important to me. I have no expectations that you will agree with me or i will change your mind but i do have the right to post my opinions same as everyone else. I do not belive that attacks on iraq should be sooner rather than later but i will support them when they happen. I am not naive - I am aware that there are hidden agendas and issues which i am not aware of or do not fully understand. I know human rights breaches happen all over the place - yes jjc including the uk and the us - but i was trying to illustrate the fact that Iraq is a society with a regime "resulting in an all-pervasive repression and oppression sustained by broad-based discrimination and widespread terror." The same cannot be said about the us and the uk - even in our worst nightmares.

The human rights issue is an important one to me - that is the point. It may not be to others but it is to me. It is not the only issue - add the other things i said about saddam to the human rights issue and you wil see that there are a whole lot of reasons why i support this proposed action.

I was not for one minute suggesting that our vote is where our responsibility ends- completely the opposite - it is where it starts. People complaining and challenging need to start that by excercising their right to vote - without voting we cannot hope to begin to change things.

I find it disappointing that this thread has evolved into a long series of posts which simply contradict points made in previous posts. What posting of this type does is discourage people from putting their views across for fear they will look foolish or because they do not feel articulate enough to keep up with the rest of you. Well i have put my opinion across and it is exactly that - my opinion and my reasons. I thank god that i am able to do that without someone knocking on my door and shooting my children. I am sure that many Iraqis would love to have that priviledge too. I hope that one day they will have.

20-Feb-03, 06:51
I wanted to comment about the New York Post, the newspaper that showed the tasteless photos, and a few other things.

I have lived in the US for years (and I have a place in Edinburgh, as well) and to be honest, I have never even heard of the New York Post. Sounds like a small-time tabloid type of paper. The New York Times on the other hand, is a legitimate paper and I have seen no such pictures or articles of this type in any legitimate US newspaper.

It seems to me that it seems more appropriate to call the possibility of invading Iraq a Police Action, rather than a War, and that rather than a "pre-emptive strike," it is actually an enforcement of the disamament that he agreed to when he lost the Persian Gulf War and surrendered. Niall Fernie says that this is a war that most of the people in the United States do not support. Based on the recent polls that I have seen, and what I hear people saying here, I would have to say that is not at all accurate. The people protesting are actually a minute fraction of the 265 million people that live in the USA. I live in Hollywood, only a few thousand yards from where the center of the "War Protest" was being held and I must say that the turnout was very small, especially by California standards (and people here LOVE to protest). The few (2-3) thousand at the most, compared to the 15 million people that live in and around Los Angeles (Hollywood is located in Los Angeles), was not significant. I walked down myself to take a look.

Many Americans think that we should have taken care of Saddam 12 years ago, but that obviously didn't happen. They do believe that he is a real threat and that it is unlikely that he will voluntarily step down. I have heard plenty of Iraqis living in the US say that they hope that the US goes in and liberates Iraq, as they believe that their people deserve the chance to be free and free from Sadaam Hussein's reign of terror.

Of the recent polls that I have seen:
- 56% of American's support Bush in his decision to get rid of Saddam Hussein
- 51% support him going to war, even without a UN mandate.
-79% thought that Colin Powell had made his case for military action with Iraq

Is it really about Oil?

Think about it. That may have something to do with it, but the reality is that the US already buys oils from Iraq (food for oil program) at a very low price, as well as from other countries (Venezuela is actually the 4th largest supplier of oil to the US). The price of petrol in the US is approximately .95p a Gallon, which shows that they are not short of cheap oil for fuel. The price of oil & petrol will likely go UP quite a bit, if there is military action in the Persian Gulf Region.

Do you really think that Bush would risk the lives several hundred thousand US troops just for some even cheaper petrol? Turkey is demanding double the 6 billion that the US had offered in aid, in exchange for use of Turkish soil to base troops. Where is the savings, once you add up the cost of the military action, and the rebuilding of Iraq afterwards? The Economist magazine reports that France and Russia are likely to benefit the most from the invasion of Iraq, as they have pre-existing contacts with Iraq for cheap oil. The world has turned a relatively blind eye to the fact that regardless of the UN sanctions that prohibit Iraq selling oil, France & Russia have enjoyed a "special relationship" (i.e., have been buying cheap oil from Iraq, on the side) for years. :)

Saddam Hussein does have weapons and he has hidden them well. He has has 12 year to disarm and has refused to do so. If he had done so, all sanctions would have been lifetd and Iraq would have rejoined the world economy. However, he has preferred to keep his weapons, play his games and defy the UN.

Last year in the USA, 2 teaspoons of Anthrax (sent through the mail) killed several people and cost miilions of dollars in clean up fees.

Saddam Hussein is known to have stockpiled the equivalent of 5 million teaspoons of Anthrax. he has shown no indication that he has destroyed any of it. This along with all of the weapons that he has stockpiled over the years and which he is clearly hiding.

Perhaps he is not the only evil dictator in that part of the world, but he is the only one that invaded his neighbors (Kuwait). He lost the Gulf War and as a condition of surrender, he agreed to disarm. He has done nothing but make a fool of the UN and its inspectors over the past 12 years or so. He also gassed an entire village of 5,000 Kurds (which he videotaped, and was shown on the news) within Iraq, just to try out some poisoned gas that they had made (a lethal chemical weapon).

He has spent years allowing his people to starve, rather than disarm (while he lavishly spends the proceeds of the illegal sale of oil to Russia and France-as these 2 countries are well known to buy his oil, regardless of the UN sanctions). In the 10 years following the war in the Persian Gulf, Saddam Hussein had 50 lavish palaces built for himself inside Iraq, while his people have gone without. The number of civilan casulaties is likely to be less than any previous conflicts. Since the Persian Gulf War, technology has improved and targeting has become much more accurate. How many people have died in the Afghanistan conflict? Not that many, although any civilian casualty is a shame. Not many people realize that more Americans die in the US in 1 year, from car accidents than died in the entire Vietnam War. Of course, any casualty is a shame, but some reports say that in his 30 years in power, that Saddam Hussein has killed up to 1.5 million of his own people, and that number likely excludes the number of people that he used as human shields during the Persian Gulf War.

Say what you will about the US, but you will notice that whenever a conflict arises, the world expects the US to step in, provide troops and aid, and to foot the bill. The US does still have peacekeeping forces around the world including Kosovo and Bosnia, as well as the Sinai peninsula, in Egypt and many other places around the world,and the US taxpayers are the ones paying for it. Europeans love to criticize the US, including Britain, but where does everyone want to move to? Not hard to guess. And the truth is, that if it hadn't been for the US, Europe would have been completely overrun by Germany and the Nazis. Americans, for all of their flaws, pride themselves of being the "defenders of liberty and freedom" and they have no aspirations or desire to colonize Iraq.

I remember the Persian Gulf War very well as I was there, helping to liberate Kuwait during Desert Shield/Storm (as a ((female)) Sergeant and US Paratrooper, in the 82nd Airborne Division). It is also likely that I will be there once again, very soon as I am currently a 2LT in the US Army Reserves. (All this and a British passport also).

Most people in the US did not run out and buy duct tape and plastic sheeting (no-one that I know did), but the US weather service does recommend that people be prepared for any type of disaster (especially one due to weather). In light of the recent weather , I thought that I would include an e-mail that my mother passed on to me, regarding disaster preparations. Don't laugh- it actually seems to be good advice for anyone (esp. anyone living near a nuclear facility or any other potential target)!:

Sent: Friday, February 14, 2003 10:03 AM
Subject: Disaster Preparation

As an Emergency Manager with the U.S. Government, I have privileged
information to the current events and those events that may happen in
the near future. At this time, I want to take this opportunity to give
you some general advice for survival if a terrorist act hits very close
to home that could potentially incapacitate you. Here are some
suggestions to be prepared:

Treat this situation as if it were a major earthquake or other natural

1. If terrorism strikes in your state or even region, cellular phone
systems will go out due to the overloading of the system and the
resultant crash of the network. Also your regular phones may be
disrupted and the state of emergency may result in 1/3 of your region's
lines being turned off for periods of time so that the system doesn't
overload. This is similar to rotating blackouts, only on the phone
lines. Thus, develop a plan for you and your family members so that you
can either meet or be assured they will know how to regain contact with

2. Also consider that if family members work or frequently travel to
another city, roads may be blocked or unsafe to travel. Thus, arrange
for those members away from the general home area to divert to a close
friend's house in the city they frequent. Have them stay there until the
"all clear" is given. You (and they) will be more assured of their
safety. Have backup friends, too. Consider you will not be able to
communicate with them for at least four to 24 hours -- again, AT LEAST.

3. Ensure that you frequently refuel your vehicles and that they are
always full with gasoline. Those of you who frequently let your car go
below * tank may not get you home if stuck in local traffic. The last
thing you want is to run out of gas. Remember, gas stations need
electricity to run; and in a terrorist situation, they may be
ordered to shut down -- even if there is electricity available.

4. ALWAYS carry cash and lower dollar bills. In a situation with
communications failure, no store can process credit card/ATM
transactions because these require phone lines. If you frequently forget
to keep cash on you, have $40 in loose bills stored in a secret spot in
your car that you use the most. This way, if you get caught on the road
without cash, you have that secret stash.

5. Keep enough water on hand for ONE WEEK. Freshly bottled water. This
is because our municipal water systems ARE at risk. One week will be
sufficient for trucked water to make it in. The traditional three days
is too short.

6. Have your pantry STOCKED with food for one week, too. This should be
food that is very simple to make. You should also have enough packaged
food for a few days that require no cooking, should the electric systems
be taken out.

7. It is a good idea to have a portable emergency kit in a large duffle
bag containing the above items, should you (God forbid) ever need to be
evacuated. This way, you can grab the bag and go. Essential items
should include medicines (for one week's supply), toilet paper,
toothbrushes and paste, hand sanitizer, water/food, flashlights,
portable radios with plenty of batteries, pen and paper, whistle, rope,
duct tape, blankets, general toiletries, and anything else you feel to
sustain you for ONE WEEK. Believe it or not, this can all fit into one
large duffle bag for a regular sized family.

7. Pets. Make sure you have the appropriate carriers for your pets and
plan for extra water and food for them. It is a good idea to buy a small
bag of food for them and store it with that emergency duffle bag. Also
store leashes/collars, and extra water. Do NOT leave pets unattended. In
emergency situations, they know something is wrong, become frightened,
and may try to even run away. Be mindful of this.

8. In extreme cases, the Red Cross and local governments utilize Amateur
Radio as a way to pass welfare traffic. The terrorist acts in NYC left
Amateur Radio as the ONLY means of communications in or out of the city.
The city's 9-1-1 dispatch center was on the 12th floor of one of the
towers. That went down and so did their 9-1-1
system for the whole city. If you evacuate, it is best to go to the Red
Cross and have HAM radio pass welfare traffic to your loved ones across
the country.

9. If you are home when a situation occurs, STAY THERE. DO NOT go out
and drive around or wander. Subsequent events can immobilize you away
from home and create undue worrying from your family. Doing this also
hampers emergency efforts and obstructs life saving efforts. STAY OFF
THE PHONE. Calling everyone in the world ties up the phone system and
obstructs emergency services. It is best to CALL ONE party out of state
and have them contact everyone else to let them know you are okay.

10. The notion of this can't happen here was proved wrong. It can and
will happen anywhere. Report suspicious circumstances to law
enforcement immediately. Let them determine the severity of the
situation. If government says get out or to watch out for certain
places, don't take it lightly.

11. Don't panic. Just be prepared. Pull together.
The above can be applied to any disaster (floods, quakes, etc)...It is
also suggested that you research more for other items recommended to
stock up on not mentioned here (like clothing, good walking shoes, dustmasks).

Take care,
Scott Borgioli, Chief Emergency Communication Center
Officer/Incident Commander Chief Radio Officer US Department of Commerce
- National Weather Service

I hope that this was useful or at least interesting! :)


Fiona Rich

20-Feb-03, 12:14
My one and only post in this topic:



and to round it off, here is a song I was sent in the mail.

Sung to the tune of 'If you're happy and you know it...'

If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq.
If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq.
If the terrorists are frisky,
Pakistan is looking shifty,
North Korea is too risky,
Bomb Iraq.

If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq.
If we think someone has dissed us, bomb Iraq.
So to hell with the inspections,
Let's look tough for the elections,
Close your mind and take directions,
Bomb Iraq.

It's "pre-emptive non-aggression", bomb Iraq.
Let's prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq.
They've got weapons we can't see,
And that's good enough for me
'Cos it's all the proof I need
Bomb Iraq.

If you never were elected, bomb Iraq.
If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq.
If you think Saddam's gone mad,
With the weapons that he had,
(And he tried to kill your dad),
Bomb Iraq.

If your corporate fraud is growin', bomb Iraq.
If your ties to it are showin', bomb Iraq.
If your politics are sleazy,
And hiding that ain't easy,
And your manhood's getting queasy,
Bomb Iraq.

Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq.
For our might it knows no borders!, bomb Iraq.
Disagree? We'll call it treason,
Let's make war not love this season,
Even if we have no reason,
Bomb Iraq


20-Feb-03, 13:41
Drutt: I am correct is stating that a U-2 Spy Plane is unnecessary. At the beginning of the Gulf War the US did not have a satellite dedicated to Iraq. Now they do. The way it works, is much like Satellite TV (I.e. SKY), which is in a constant Orbit above UK/Europe. Off the top of my head, I think there are three satellites dedicated to Iraq. The first one went up between Aug 1990 and Jan 1991. It was before the land war started. I would assume that all three give different “real time” imagery, i.e. Infer-red, Radar and photo imagery.
Also there are other ways in which the US can monitor the area. There are unmanned aircraft, which has been used in the Gulf War and since. The ranges of these aircraft vary, but they can stay airborne for hours. In fact if you remember the gulf war, some Iraqi soldiers surrendered to one. The first surrender to an unmanned aircraft.
The whole idea of U-2 Spy Planes is totally laughable; it is a nice gesture, but a wasted one. Again it is Saddam’s way of a compromise, which again is not a real compromise, as the area is being watched all the time.
I am sure that jjc was laughing at some of my opinion. If I have offended jjc, I am truly sorry. Tell me where the substance is lacking as; I know Saddam is a nutter. He should be in an asylum. I also never stated the US was wonderful, but they are better than Saddam. But then again the anti-US don’t want to admit what the US has done for other countries during and since WW2. That to me seems unfair, as they have done more good than bad.
Again I could go over the old argument of what if Saddam is left to his own devices.
I could say that the UN has had over a decade to sort Saddam out.
I could say that it would be better for the Arabs to sort Saddam out.
I could say that my real fear is that it could end up pear shaped if the US & UK don’t have Arab backing.
I could say that I am worried that if Saddam is overthrown the new order could lead to a civil war amongst the different sects.
I could say that I don’t trust Russia and France.
All of the above is in past arguments…
I cant remember stating that the US & UK should go into Iraq with all guns blazing. What I have stated is that it is time for something to be done about Saddam, once and for all. If for no other reason than a humanitarian reason. I also stated that it should not be for political gain.
“No war at any cost”. It is exactly what people are saying. People are saying that it is not our problem etc. That it is only over oil (which is partly true).
You state “Few people have said there should be no war at any cost - but it is reasonable to request due consideration and care before heading down a route which may leave us all living in a more frightening and violent world in the future.” If that is the case consider what might happen if we wait another ten years!
Now if that sounds like a warmonger, then you need to read it again. But then again I did suggest that Saddam does the decent thing and blows his brains out. That I think would solve most of the problems. But then if I wanted a war, I don’t think I would have suggested that.

Jjc: Child argument: We asked him to put the grenade down ten years ago and it has not worked. He has improved his Scud Missiles to a greater range. Not just fixed them. What I am worried about is what type of warhead he planned to put on the end of it.

I agree with you on the wording of the UN resolution being “final”. The UN have not been firm enough with Saddam and his like. The UN likes to be politically correct, the nice guy to everyone. That is their biggest weakness and Saddam is using it. Saddam only understands one thing and that is force. I checked the UN site for areas of conflict. I was amazed at how many countries are being “Policed” by the UN. 14 countries still have UN troop “policing” it. From the 1940’s one area, 1950’s one area. 1960’s one area. 1970’s two areas. 1990’s eight areas. 2000 two areas. There have been 31 (according to my count) areas of conflict that the UN has been involved in since it was formed. 1940’s = 1, 1950’s 2, 1960’s =2, 1970’s = 3, 1980’s = 3, 1990’s = 18 and since 2000 = 2. Is the world safer now than during the Cold War?

Now if we take a look the numbers of areas the UN have been involved in, there were 11 conflicts between 1940’s and 1980’s. Then since 1990 = 20 areas. Now what I am trying to get across is that the UN is no longer the force it was in the 1940’s, 50’s 60’s 70’s and 80’s. There are more and more countries ignoring UN resolution. Why? Because they are now “policing” the areas. Sometimes there has to be action taken rather than policing. The wrongs have to be punished. Not like in the former Yugoslavia, where they wait seven years and once it is over, then look at punishing people for “crimes against humanity” etc. It is like a policeman watching someone murder someone, then arresting them. The idea is to stop the action, or at least stop it as soon as possible. We know Saddam is guilty of thousands of acts against humanity. If we are not sure then we give him a fair trial. Not leave him to go on and on and on.

You are correct it is not the job of the weapons inspectors to find the sites. They should have the sites identified to them, and then they check them. We can’t expect the Iraqi Government to show the UN where the site is, can we? But when you don’t know where the sites are, what do you do? That is why there are at “least” three satellites over Iraq 24 hours a day.

Ok I will not laugh drutt, but the statement; “Iraq had decided in principle to provide cooperation on process”. It is the “principle” bit that has me baffled. What does it mean? Is this more politically correct wording, that means nothing.
If the UN weapons inspectors find all the missing weapons, then the war does not start. But I would like the UN to take action against Saddam for the rest of his crimes.
Yes Saddam did use bombing (Israel) to bolster his support, but it did not work. In fact it was to drag Israel into a War, which then would then break up the coalition.
I see we are in agreement on all the questions in principle. One point I will make (one I think I made before), I do not want the US, UK or UN to decide who takes over Iraq, if Saddam is booted out or killed. That has to be made by the Arabs! Also if US, UK and others do use military action against Saddam, then once it is over, they leave ASAP. The (political) argument is to protect “our” national interests, i.e. terrorism. No to govern a country or control the oil.

I am laughing again (sorry Drutt) but does anyone trust the USA? Even themselves? But then again we can say that about “all” governments as they all have their own agendas.

Jjc wrote. The weapons inspectors are in Iraq as we type. They are, they report, receiving the kind of cooperation from Iraqis that they need to complete their work. So long as (and only so long as) this cooperation continues, what, exactly, is the problem with allowing them to complete their work?

My answer to the above, is how can we ever trust the Iraqi Government now after a decade of lies, or at best being “strangers to the truth”? How can we be sure that they have not made more weapons or set up factories in (lets say) Syria? How can the weapons inspectors be sure they got the lot? It is a big playing field to cover and if they could not cover it in the last 10 years, how long would it take to do it now? 1 year, 5 years, 10 years? I personally would prefer Saddam and his regime removed and then search for the weapons. If there are none, then we say, “sorry Mr Saddam, we were wrong, but you are still sacked”.

The teaser: “and Defence: An Agenda for the Nuclear Weapons Program', House Policy Committee, Subcommittee on National Security and Foreign Affairs, U.S. House of Representatives, February 2003.”
Before we start; the idea for a low-yield nuclear weapon came about during the Cold War. The idea was that if the USSR attacked NATO in West Germany, their armour could be funnelled into areas where low-yield nuclear weapons could be fired by the artillery against the USSR tanks. This would obviously stop their armour thrust. Or when the USSR used chemical weapons on NATO troops they could retaliate with Low-yield nuclear weapons. The reason for this was simple in theory. NATO could not stop the masses of Soviet Armour. By the time the US got its reserve forces to Europe, the war would be over. Also why risk thousands of US lives in convoys across the Atlantic. It confined a “small” nuclear war to Europe (mainly E & W Germany).
That is the very quick explanation of how this low-yield came about.
The problem was that it was a no go.

We use small nukes (low-yield). The Soviets use NBC. We us more small Nukes. The Soviets use Nukes. We use bigger Nukes, they use bigger nukes etc. The idea was a non-starter. The small Nukes were developed for Artillery, Aircraft, Ships, Cruise Missiles and Anti Submarine. Like most plans, it had flaws; it might not stop in Europe but go to an all out Nuclear War and end in Armageddon.
Britain and other European countries did not like the idea of Europe becoming a nuclear battleground, whilst the USA and USSR were left unscathed. So “myth” has it (only hear say remember), but the story goes that every RN Ballistic Missile Submarine had one Missile aimed at the US just in case they did not get involved fully. Whatever fully means. France was supposed to be the same. But as I said it is only myth!
The reality was probably all sides US, France and UK. Had at lest one missile aimed at each other just in case they changed sides.
Today the idea has resurfaced. This time with a difference. You use a small nuke on a country that does not have the capability to hit back. Or against a country that you have destroyed its weapons of mass destruction, before using a small nuke.
This time it is to be used against hardened bunkers that are buried deep underground. During the Gulf War, Saddam had his HQ’s in underground bunkers. But Saddam, being the “clever nutter” had done his homework. He had worked out at what depth his HQ’s would be safe from bombs, missiles etc. The US and UK did some thinking after the Gulf War about how a bomb could penetrate deep enough to destroy HQ’s which were dug in deep. Also with Afghanistan, the same applied to the problem of the caves. The UK came up with the Grand Slam and Tallboy invented by Barns Wallace (Dam Buster bomb) during WW2. These were built to destroy heavily fortified targets. Modify the bomb with modern metals and explosive. Drop it from great height and it would go faster than sound, which would penetrate deep into the ground before exploding. End result end of HQ! But the US decided to look at small nukes, to do the same job.
My personal thoughts: Keep away from the Nukes. It is nice and easy, but history has shown us it is not the way forward. Especially if another way is available.

As for immunity for troops from war crimes. I think most countries would want this. The Maggie did with the SAS “shoot to kill” incident in Gibraltar and other incidents.
I believe that the US asked for this, when looking at assassinating “someone” (who will remain nameless, but it starts with an S and ends in an S), back in the 90’s as under the Geneva Convention and UN, assassinating heads of state is a no-no. The theory is right, shoot one to save thousands, but it is still classed as a war crime. Or to the Brits it is more commonly known as the “shoot to kill policy.”

I cant answer the Global Warming issue, sorry.

I think Bush stated that he would protect the US at all costs, whether that meant going against UN policy or not. But as I already said above “But does anyone trust the USA? Even themselves? But then again we can say that about “all” governments as they all have their own agendas.” France, Russia, China, USA, UK and Iraq etc all have disregarded the UN at one time or another. It again is another demonstration of how weak the UN really is as a force to be reckoned with.

I see I can leave the human rights issues to squidge from now on, cheers squidge.

Drutt; If the Iraqi Government is overthrown, I don’t care who by, but by someone. Do you think other countries that are doing the same will not take notice? Of course they will, their necks (literally) are riding on it. Look at Africa since the 1960’s and independence, a war zone for the last 40 odd years!
“Imagine all the people living as one” John Lennon. I think most people would like to see that. But it is impossible, because we are Animals, then Humans.
So in a place like Somalia, the UN steps in and ensures a fair election of a government. If then a government is elected and then is infringing human rights i.e. murder etc. The UN then goes in and arrests the accused. Who then is taken to the Hague and tried for crimes against humanity. It is the law that most people live under, so why not the heads of state? That is supposed to be what the UN is there for, not to sit back and watch men, women and children being butchered.
The idea of the UN “was” that the UK & US would not be the “police” of the world. It was intended that they could ask certain countries to be their policemen. The idea “was” that 191 (I think) counties would supply the police. Which gave the UN, the biggest, most powerful-armed force in the world. An organisation that no one could stand up to, including the US and UK.

Also you pulled me up for being rude to jjc, for laughing. You are now being hypercritical, calling squidge “naïve” for having a different opinion to you. I hope you did not hurt squidge’s feelings.

I think everyone so far is trying to be honest with his or her own beliefs. If we did not differ we would not be talking. In fact I have a lot of respect for jjc and his/her opinion, though we differ. By this discussion, we might learn more, than what the Government is telling us. Or what the Media wants us to believe. It is good to get your feelings out in the open, even when we have very strong feelings. But please if you are setting the rule, please try to stick to them. For squidge, misguided might have been more politically correct, rather than “very naïve”. But I am bias, as I agree with most of what squidge is saying.

You say that the majority of the British do not support the war. Where is the proof? 1,000,000 men, women and children took to the streets to protest against war.
That means out of a population of 55,000,000 - 45,000,000 are not bothered about a war. Or another way of looking at it is that 98% does not care about the war, or 98% are for war! We all know that this is rubbish. But I don’t think I have ever heard of a protest for war.
Blair, a man who is accused of caring more for his points than anything else, has the lowest points in his career. By the way what are the points? Do you get that from Burger King or something?
We are great for saying the majority, when the majority stayed at home. The only way we will know what the majority want is at the next election. If we can find a decent party to vote for.

I think fionarich speaks for most military personnel, UK included, and for the US side of things.

20-Feb-03, 13:46

Sorry. My computer is behaving itself again and I'm a little less stressed...

I don't blame you for not wanting to indulge in this volley of huge posts that I seem to have started habitually sending (you should see my emails at work recently. Even the shortest of messages has started to span three or four pages - I guess it's just habit). Your point is well taken and I shall try my hardest not to indulge in too many verbal tirades in the future.

It is difficult though, because I believe in what I am saying. So does everybody else who posts here, hence the success of the boards. I'm not sure about Abewsed and the others, but my head is starting to hurt from pounding it on this wall. We all have our beliefs and opinions and I doubt that what I am typing will change yours, just as other posts have failed to change mine. Why do we continue? Perhaps because we are frustrated that there aren't many avenues open to us lowly citizens to express what we believe?

My point about Human Rights violations being a global issue was in no way intended to excuse the actions of the Iraqi regime. What they have done, and are doing, is wrong - pure and simple.

My concern is for the future. There are two ways that a war with Iraq can be fought; legally, or illegally. Fionarich suggests we would be better calling it a Police Action instead of war, and enforcement rather than a pre-emptive strike. Fine. We can dress it however we like, it will still be an act of aggression unless we have a UN resolution to absolve ourselves. If we go to war without the backing of the UN then we can call it a anything we like, but the truth is that we will never again be able to rely on the international laws to protect ourselves or others from the same action (*thwack* - ouch, the head again).

Without the international laws that govern (or are supposed to anyway) the way we, and our governments, go about things the "defenders of liberty and freedom" will be little more than the strongest nation dictating their will on others and imposing it through force and intimidation - but hey, at least the troops will have immunity from prosecution for any war crimes they commit.

I am reassured to read that it seems now to be only the US who feel that they do not need a second resolution in order to go to war with Iraq. Perhaps there is something to be said for public opinion after all.

The New York Post is, apparently, the eighth largest paper in the US and is the fastest growing paper in the states. However, it isn’t so much the size of the paper, as the sentiment. Whilst that sentiment may not be as blatantly obvious in the NY Times, I think that their placing an advert for commemerative prints of the VE Day edition on the same page (web, not print) as their article 'Chirac Scolding Angers Nations That Back U.S.' speaks volumes.

Disappointingly our own press has started to follow suit. The following is the cover of the Sun, as distributed in Paris:

I am ashamed that the press of this country can resort to such personalised attacks. Here we are, a bunch of (and I hope you forgive me for this) very ordinary people, debating a topic which will affect us all. We have been hot under the collars in a few posts, a little bit humerous in others, but we have remained mature about it. What does it say for the state of a nation when this is seen as an acceptable thing to do? I may not agree with Chirac's stance on a second resolution, but a little respect doesn't go amiss.

For the record, I really don't want to move to the US, I want to move home to sunny Caithness.

20-Feb-03, 14:50
abewsed - with regard to the spy planes, I will stand by my argument that this is a great step forward. The UN is not provided with real time imagery provided by the satellites (I believe the CIA restrict the access - perhaps they fear it will reveal things that are not in their interests). The spy planes will provide the UN with their first access to real time photography of Iraq.

Imaging satellites pass over Iraq every few hours - the fact that they have to orbit means that we don't get the constant, detailed, real-time imagery that spy planes could provide directly to the UN weapons inspectors.

I am not anti-war at all costs. I would agree that the UN must give a final message and they absolutely must mean it. But we need a second UN resolution and we need wider international support. With this, we could go in to topple the Iraqi regime which has caused suffering and poverty and death over the last 3 decades. Without it, it is an act of aggression which may lead to a wider Middle East war which lasts for many years.

I guess at the end of the day we agree on our fears about what will happen without wider Middle East backing. And I accept that things could go pear shaped whether we go to war or not. I worry about the state of the world we inflict upon our children and grandchildren... and while I argue that our aggression will result in a more frightening world, I accept that doing nothing could lead to just as much fear and violence.

I will accept that you have not argued that the US and UK should storm Iraq with all guns blazing, but this is what the US seem keen to do (and they'd drag the UK along with them for good measure). It is this that I find alarming. If we can get a second resolution and greater international backing then I would accept moving in the direction of war. I just think that the weapons inspectors should be given time to do their job. They went back in only a few weeks ago, after having been thrown out in 1998. After all the diplomatic effort that went into getting them back in, they need time to get on with the job.

I worry that Tony Blair keeps changing his argument and his justification for war. It makes him look shifty. It makes me wonder what his real reason is, and I can't trust him. I did not mean to cause offence to squidge by saying it was naïve to trust our government, so if I did squidge, I apologise.

squidge - I absolutely understand your humanitarian angle on this debate, and can't dispute the tortures or killings that occur every day in Iraq. I am grateful for every day that I wake up free from fear and free to speak my mind. As I have said above, I am not anti-war at all costs, but I hope that our government will proceed with care, just as Amnesty International ask for the humanitarian impact of war to be considered before committing to war.

I am sorry that you feel this thread has degenerated to a level where people may feel discouraged or intimidated about expressing their opinion - I would certainly not wish to contribute to this discouragement, and I apologise if you feel that I have. Of course everyone should feel free to express their opinions and their feelings about the threat of war.

There are aspects on which we disagree, and where we will never persuade each other of the absolute value of our own argument. There are also some aspects of this debate where we seem to agree but we're coming in from different angles. I don't expect we'll agree whether going to war or not going to war would be better for humanitarian progress, but we want the same result!

20-Feb-03, 14:58

I too would like to see a UN resolutions which supports the action. The points that Fionarich makes about it calling the action police action and enforcement are what any action against Iraq will be if there is a resolution from the UN to support it. However my big concern is that the UN will back away from this resolution - it wont happen. Even if the weapons inspectors come back and say nope we did not get the assistance we required then the UN will do what it always does and what it has done over the last 13 years which is give Saddam another chance and another. When does taking the moral high ground become avoiding the issue? If the weapons insepctors get the assistance and dont find the evidence of the existence of these weapons why cant they find the evidence of their destruction? It is agreed that Saddam clearly has had and manufactured these weapons so where is the evidence of their destruction if he hasnt got them any more?

Abewsed i absolutely agree with what you said about this - there is no way we can trust Saddam to be open and honest in any shape or form - forget about my naivety - to trust that he is being truthfull is like holding out a leg of lamb to a tiger and not expecting to lose your arm!!! To believe what is being said by this man is naive to the point of insanity.

See this is what i find alarming. Saddam seems to be wriggling off the hook and i think he has to go - Mad bad and dangerous to all of us - if the UN wont do it - then we HAVE to do it.

I like being an ordinary person. I like being able to have the freedoms to buy the sun or the new York Post if i wanted and get slightly snotty and pompous about other peoples opinions , I like to be able to say - I agree and i disagree with issues raised. I like to be able to change my mind when hearing others opinions if i want to - Its great living here.

Drutt, i was perhaps a little overwrought this morning - i never take offence unless i have been trying to post stuff since 11.30 and lost the thing twice - my exasperation got the better of me i am afraid and after a good nights sleep - suitable refreshed and somewhat calmer i feel a little less aggrieved. The latest posts have been far easier to follow, digest and consider so i am mollified.

And finally jjc, you would have loved this last week - the sun has shone - i have walked along reiss beach and dunnet beach. I have strolled around the town and seen people smiling cos the sun is shining. Caithness on a frosty morning is as beautiful as anywhere - it has fair taken my breath away this last week. Hurry home!!!!

20-Feb-03, 16:22
Cheers, Abewsed. I'm sitting here typing a promise to Squidge to try to shorten my posts, and all the while you are laying the foundations of my failure... *sigh*... ah well, here goes (forgive me, Squidge).

Firstly, you are right. I have been sitting here laughing at several of the things you have said and banging my fists on the desk at others. The difference is that I then sit back, take a deep breath, and reply to you with respect and without belittling your point of view by laughing - the only reason for which is to say 'look everybody, isn't this a funny statement'.
I have also refrained from resorting to insulting Saddam Hussein on a personal level (nutter or not ;) ) because I believe he has done enough to justify my opinion without it.
Don't get me wrong, I don't really care if you laugh at my posts or not. I'm old enough, and ugly enough, to live with it.

Okay, so that's that out of the way... let's move on.

The U-2 spy planes are essential for two reasons.
Firstly, because the weapons inspectors asked for them. Let us not make the mistake of second guessing their intentions or abilities, I am sure that if they asked for them, they need them.
Secondly, because they complement the three US KH-11 'keyhole' satellites and three Lacrosse imaging radar satellites which operate on polar orbits that take them over Iraq. The KH-11s take approximately 12 hours to return to position over Iraq, the Lacrosse satellites vary but still have considerable numbers of hours between passes. The combination of satellites means that one passes by every two hours. When the satellites pass over Iraq they have little more than ten minutes over any one target before they have moved on. I'm no satellite expert - this information was scavenged from the web - but surely if a U-2 spy plane can fill the gaps left by satellites it can only be a good thing?

When Drutt suggested due consideration, I don’t think that another ten years was his/her intention. Perhaps they meant that the fact that the US (and now only the US) are prepared to go to war without international backing (or a second UN resolution) points to something of a lack of due consideration.
Due consideration could be as little as waiting for the next report from the weapons inspectors. That would be next month, rather than next decade.
You may think that the UN has become less and less powerful over the years, and you may be right, but if the US take it upon themselves to decide when they will, and will not, listen to the decisions of the UN then it not only loses its teeth, but arms, legs and head as well. You can berate the UN for lack of action, but can you imagine international diplomacy without it? Can you honestly say that the world would be a better place if it returned to the old way of every country for themselves?

The point that I was trying to make with the ‘teaser’ was one of double standards. We have the US decreeing that weapons of mass destruction cannot be developed (and who could disagree?) and that the UN must be adhered to… on the other hand, they can opt out of the International Criminal Court jurisdiction and are contemplating dismissing a treaty preventing the development of new nuclear weapons. Where is the justice here? If we are going to talk about hypocrites, can we exclude the US government?

The official reason given by Washington for opting out of the ICC did not have anything to do with the possibility of assassinations. They feared that the ICC could be used as a forum to persecute US nationals for politically motivated reasons and that it could actually prevent the military from doing its job properly (eh?). How did they get this immunity? They threatened opposing countries with withdrawal of aid unless they toed the line. Very reasonable.

You question Drutt on his/her proof for their claims about support for war. Well, if we look to Mori they have usually got some poll on the go for such a debate, and here are the results.

Q – do you approve of disapprove of the way the President of America, George W. Bush, is handling the current situation with Iraq (the country ruled by Saddam Hussein)?
Net approval (%) = -49
Q – do you approve or disapprove of the way the Prime Minister, Tony Blair, is handling the current situation with Iraq?
Net approval (%) = -36
Q – would you support or oppose Britain joining any American-led military action against Iraq, with UN approval?
Net approval (%) = +32
Q – would you support or oppose Britain joining any American-led military action against Iraq, without UN approval?
Net approval (%) = -62

If you look back, Drutt did not actually say that Britain did not support this war. What Drutt said was:

If this evidence is obtained from the weapons inspectors or the spy planes, so be it. If Iraq forms a real and immediate threat and it is proven, so be it. Until then, a war will not be supported by the majority of British society.
This poll backs that statement up fully. If the UN are behind a war (which they would be if a second, and final, resolution fails) then the net approval is 32%. If the UN are not behind a war (which they will not be if the US decide that they can act alone) then net approval is -62%. Can't get much clearer than that.

But hey, if we are going to get picky about sources, let us look at your last post:

“No war at any cost”. It is exactly what people are saying
Can you back this up with evidence? Not according Mori... but we are all entitled to our opinions.

I think fionarich speaks for most military personnel, UK included, and for the US side of things.
No. Fionarich speaks for herself. I speak for myself. You speak for yourself. Drutt speaks for his/her self. We only have to look at our differing opinions to see that.

Squidge. Sorry about that, all done now. And please stop teasing me with tales of sunshine :(

20-Feb-03, 16:40
Of the recent polls that I have seen:
- 56% of American's support Bush in his decision to get rid of Saddam Hussein
- 51% support him going to war, even without a UN mandate.
-79% thought that Colin Powell had made his case for military action with Iraq

You say that the majority of the British do not support the war. Where is the proof? 1,000,000 men, women and children took to the streets to protest against war.
That means out of a population of 55,000,000 - 45,000,000 are not bothered about a war. Or another way of looking at it is that 98% does not care about the war, or 98% are for war!

I suggest you read this page before posting any more "statistics"


My belief is that statistics should be totally ignored if you dont know the full story behind the numbers.

And before anyone says it, I'm not attacking the two posters quoted, only using what they have posted as an example

20-Feb-03, 16:46
While I'm handing out URLs for all to go see, this one CANNOT BE MISSED!!!!!


Please dont miss the section "TARGET: IRAQ", its riveting ?;o)

20-Feb-03, 17:13

You're right, not a site to be missed. It's going to take me a while to read through it all though...

20-Feb-03, 23:07
To all: I will try to shorten my replies as well. The board is successful so far; people are looking at it and hopefully trying to understand how this mess started. Places like this message board is the only place people can vent off steam or have their say. So all the typing and reading might be paying off.

Drutt: regarding the U-2 spay plane. You say that the U-2 can provide the UN with real-time photos images, unlike the satellites, as the satellites are governed by the CIA/USA. Have you considered who flies the U-2? It is a USAF aircraft, flown by US personnel. So we have the US in charge of the Satellites and the U-2. So if the CIA are restricting intelligence to the UN, why all of a sudden is the U-2 going to be different. The same intelligence can be withheld, if it is withheld in the first place.

The US and UK (we) talk about this second resolution as if it is the second. I am not going back over previous messages, but this is not the second resolution, it is the 8th, 10th, 12th, whatever, since 1990. Lets not pretend this is Saddam’s second chance. All of a sudden (since 1991) the “world” is again taking notice of Iraq. Why because all of a sudden, peace (real peace) is threatened. Because the US and UK are threatening war, to get rid of an evil dictator. One way or the other, I hope this crisis is settles once and for all. Also that it is over quickly and not dragged out for another ten years, with the odd terrorist attack in between.
People seem to forget, that the UK is not a puppet sate of the US. We have ignored their “advice” in the past and will again in the future (I hope). The Falklands War was one occasion. The UK has it’s own opinion and if not “we” can rectify that at the poles.
The weapons inspectors (WI) have been back only a few weeks, “since being thrown out”. Who threw them out? No the US or UK! Who prevented the WI from having time to do their job? Not the US or UK.
Ha ha: Tony Blair looks shifty all the time! I don’t trust him or his party. But then again I don’t trust any party, as it is full of politics and politics are full of lies, miss-truths at best.

I agree with squidge, if the WI doesn’t find the “missing weapons”, then the UN will want more time. Then if they do find the “weapons”, do we take them away, slap Saddam’s hand and say, “bad boy, don’t do it again?” Or will the UN decide for ousting Saddam? Whichever way we look at it, Saddam will need to be ousted. Sorry, but this is the Catch 22. It looks like a war anyway, unless Saddam and his Government do the decent thing! The support of the “civilised” world is needed in any action against Saddam. The more intelligent leaders of the world (who have more information than us) know this. So is the real argument against the US and its military might. Or to be politically correct, its projection of power. The argument is not pro or anti Saddam. It is anti USA! So are we seeing the real objections for war?

Jjc: I see you have been doing you home work, unlike me! I did not know the WI asked for the U-2. I will have to go off and my own homework now and see “if” as I believe/d that Iraq has dedicated 24 hr Satellite/s above. But until then I will surrender the U-2 issue and agree that is will be a benefit to the WI and not a waste of time. But I could be back on the issue.

No I cant say the world would be a better place without the UN, as it still does more go than bad. But it does seem to have lost the plot. They are there to prevent what has been happening in Iraq and Yugoslavia. Not wait until the US & UK threaten action. Or until NATO decides to take action. The UN should be taking action. As I have said the action should be before the crime. If not, during the crime. But not years after the crime.

I got your point about the “teaser”. The problem with the “free” world countries, i.e. US, UK, France, Germany, Australia etc. Is that we have elections. Today we have a nice person (I don’t mean Tony), tomorrow who knows? It is up to Parliament etc to ensure the leaders are kept in step. If we talk about hypocrites, then all governments are included as politics change all the time. But I do take your point and agree with it, it is double standards.

I still think the ICC was looking at assassination. But I need more info to see where the issue lies. The US is no different that the UK or France. If we don’t get what we want we threaten walking out. It is politics

So now we look at polls to decide how our country is to be lead. Polls I think, we will all agree, are not the true figure. It could be 99% of the population are against any action by the US & UK. The only way to find this out is by a Nationwide Vote. In fact I think we would all love to know how the public really view this crisis. As Fiona has stated, the papers don’t reflect the “seen” feelings. I think the polls are the same, whatever for or against.

I am all for another Coalition, rather than US & UK going it alone. Between the two of them, they have the weapons, skill and manpower, to do the job. But there should be a backing by the Arab world. As I have said before it could go pear shaped. There is less chance of it going pear shaped, with backing, not necessarily physical support.

The “No war at any cost”. It is exactly what people are saying.” Is what people are saying, whether it is two, two thousand etc? There are people out there that want to leave the Middle East alone, irrelevant of the cost.

I can only take Fiona’s word for the US, as she is there. Also of all the people I have spoke to, they seem to feel the same. Saddam needs to be sorted out, once and for all. The issue is whether the US and UK go it alone.

I have to agree with Niall “My belief is that statistics should be totally ignored if you don’t know the full story behind the numbers.” As I don’t have a clue as to how we get one minute 1,000,00 on the streets and in the next paper 800,000 and so on. I am sure there is some “pro-Blair” paper out there that says the public is behind the war. Also I can’t get the http://www.whitehouse.org page. I will leave that till tomorrow.

I have tried to keep this short and stuck to the important issues. Sorry if it is long. But I don’t think I called Saddam a “nutter” once. Though he is! :)

21-Feb-03, 12:01
Jjc & Drutt. I have been doing a lot of reading. And have discovered that there is more than enough Satellite coverage of Iraq. Between Russia, US, Israel, France etc. It seems that every tom, dick and harry has a satellite over Iraq at one time or other. But between the US and Israel (who share there info) they are covering the whole of Iraq 24hrs a day. The shared info between US and Israel makes sense, as Israel would have a high probability of being attacked again by Iraq if a war started. (That is the short version).

This is my own thoughts on the U-2: Lets say the U-2 flies out of Kuwait, it would take about an hour to fly to Baghdad, as it flies about 430 mph. It can stay aloft for hours, but to be realistic, it can only stay aloft until the film runs out. Or if a data relay was aboard it could film forever. The main restriction is that the pilot would need to land, after say 8hrs, if for no other reason than for the toilet. It is a slow and old aircraft, which is about 50yrs old.
The most logical option, if the UN wanted up-to-date images, would be to use another countries aircraft. Like a Russia, France, Germany or Saudi Arabia recognisance aircraft. They all have fast aircraft with the same ability as the U-2. They all have aircraft like the RAF’s Tornado and Jaguar reconnaissance variation, which could be over a site, is minutes. Also if they were a “more friendly” country and the data could not be compromised by the CIA etc. The only benefit for a U-2 is its ability to fly high. This is not necessary as they have permission to fly over Iraq, so no Surface to Air missiles to worry about.
It is just another wasted gesture, as I am sure the US & the UN would prefer a more modern aircraft over Iraq than the U-2.
There is also the UAV’s (unmanned aerial vehicles). Which are just unmanned light aircraft. The US have 25 of the Predator versions, which can stay aloft for 40 hrs taking real time images. The only problem is their speed about 70 mph. This would mean that it would take 5hrs 30min to fly from Kuwait to Baghdad. 11hr round trip, but still leaving about 30 hours over an area, with no need to relieve a pilot. So if it is ability to stay over a site, then a UAV is more suitable. If it is speed to a site, then a faster aircraft would be preferable, i.e. Tornado.

As to the Majority of the population against a war with Iraq: The reason “I” believe that the consensus is “seen” as Anti-War is this:
People who are against something, have stronger feelings than those for it. So they make the biggest protest. Whilst the Pro-side, site back happy. Where as with war, this is even more relevant. As how many people would take to the street for a war? No one wants to be seen as a War Monger (or very few do). So how can you protest about something that you agree with? This is why the anti-lobbyist seems to have the biggest voice, whether it is over war, fox hunting, fishing, roads etc.

Last bit: In Oct 2002, Serbia-Montenegro and Bosnia-Herzegovina admitted that members of their security were shipping equipment to Iraq, against the UN sanctions.
(Janes Defence Weekly 6th Nov 2002) A vessel “Boka Star” was illegally shipping 208 tonnes of nitrocellulose propellant and nitro-glycerine. This was declared as “active coal.” This could be used for propellant for missile engines (Scuds). They also admitted that Jugoimport-SDPR were in breach of the UN arms embargo by overhauling engines for Iraqi MiG-21 and MiG-23 aircraft. I found this site about it. http://www-tech.mit.edu/V122/N52/ship-52.52w.html

To keep it short, it seems a lot of the UN sanctions are being broken by Iraq and a lot of the stuff is coming in and going out through Syria. Which makes sense as Syria has Mediterranean ports and borders Iraq. Mainly export of illegal oil on the black market.

21-Feb-03, 13:01
A good friend sent me these links today

Seems like it might not be only the USA who might have oil as an agenda in this war.







And the Germans may not have oil interests, but they are alledgedly
responsible for 50% of illegal weapons sales to Iraq!


So .... Interesting?

Mmmmmm I thought so too!!!!

gordon the moron
21-Feb-03, 17:25
It has nothing to do with oil otherwise the whole world would be trying to over run the place. Too many ill informed people think George Bush jnr wants Iraq's oil but economics dictates that the less oil in circulation the greater the value of Texas oil and the greater the prosperity of the south eastern region of the States.

21-Feb-03, 20:58
Once again, Abewsed, you seem to be justifying not allowing the weapons inspectors more time on the grounds that if they don't find the weapons of mass destruction they are looking for then they will draw the process out whilst they continue looking. Again I answer that by stating that the weapons inspectors are not in place to hunt around the deserts of Iraq looking under rocks for weapons. The UN resolution calls for Iraq to provide the information needed, the weapons inspectors will then, I presume, be verifying that information through inspections. The outline of the new UN resolution proposals also state that Iraq will be required to provide this evidence. If we have a new resolution and Iraq do not provide that information then I cannot imagine the weapons inspectors deciding to draw up a search grid and head off into sand with metal detectors.

On the subject of the second/new UN resolution, I can see your point - a number of resolutions have been created for Iraq and they have been in breach - but you are splitting hairs with regards the naming of it. Whether we refer to a 'new resolution', 'second resolution', or 'final resolution' is beside the point - even Tony Blair has referred to it as a 'second resolution'.
We all know what is being talked about, we all know the idea behind the phrase, whatever it is called. I won't mention the statistics because you and Niall have raised doubts over the validity of statistics on the whole (if anybody is interested, just scroll up), but I firmly believe that, on the whole, the British people require a final resolution on the subject.

The original point about the U-2 spy planes was this: The weapons inspectors asked for the use of U-2 spy planes and Saddam Hussein said no. This was raised in Hans Blix's report to the UN. Since then Saddam Hussein has backed down and allowed the planes to fly.
That, to me, seemed like progress. Not a lot, granted, but some. Until progress stops, can we morally justify war? If we are still making progress can we launch an attack having exhausted all other avenues?
Again, this brings me back to the issue of a new resolution. If a new resolution is put in place and it is clearly a final resolution then any breach by Iraq can be seen as the point when all possibilities have been exhausted. As we stand it is very difficult for me to see when we could draw the line and make that statement without either the weaons inspectors or another member of the security counci disagreeing.
Blair and Bush talk about a moral war. It is only moral if we have no other options open to us.

With regard to the satellites, I suppose it depends upon where you look. I have found reports which give almost exact times when satellites pass over Iraq and which back up my previous statement that Iraq is overpassed once every two hours.
I have no doubt that you have found documents that can describe 24-hour coverage. We could go back and forwards on this one all day, but neither of us will know the truth. Like I said, I'm no satellite expert.
I do, however, have faith in the weapons inspectors knowing what they are doing. They have asked for the U-2 planes and, as far as I am concerned, that's good enough for me. I don't think they would have asked just so they could see what one looked like. Yes, there are other options open to them. Why the U2? I don't know, but they have their reasons.

With regard to your last bit - overhauling the Iraqi airforce is, indeed, a breach of UN regulations. If that were the only case of a breach of the resolutions then I am sure we wouldn't be debating this, but the fact is that it is neither the only or the smallest breach of the resolutions. However, we come back to due process. Again we have to look at all other avenues being exhausted.
Neither your quote from Jane's (who, by the way, want to charge me to use their site... cheek), or any of the other sources for the same story I have found, has proof that the shipment aboard the Boka Star was headed for Iraq. Almost certainly it was, but the proof is not there. We have reports of assumptions and the belief of US officials. Can we condemn based on assumption and belief?
Again, I'm not suggesting that the Boka Star incident was a small thing - far from it - but if US officials have a belief that this was destined for Iraq (and their intelligence was able to intercept it) then it seems ludicrous to think that they do not know of other shipments.
In both the case of the airforce overhaul and the Boka Star, the weapons inspectors will know what they are looking for in documentation from Iraq.
Again, due process.

Just to clarify my feelings on the issue of Oil: I have no doubt that control of - or simply easier access to - the oil resources in Iraq would be a benefit to the US, UK, or whoever. But I don't believe that is the reason for this war.
I believe that the reasons for this war are humanitarian and political. I believe that the underlying reasons are just.
I think that the problems we are having are the different opinions as to how to manifest those beliefs into action: Do we go straight for the jugular and accept the risks that go with that, or do we approach with caution and try to minimise the risks?

21-Feb-03, 23:01
Saved our hides? People say this like the USA made a big difficult choice as to whether ot not to help us during WW2. The big desicion they made was what they were going to charge us for the help. They were "paid for" mercenaries and no argument will convince me otherwise.

The took money for the food, money for the guns, money for the planes, money for everything. What do you think lend/lease means????

And while we're on the subject of the BIG WEAPONS, who has ever used these things? hmmmmm? not a difficult one this? c'mon you know who it is...

Thats right folks it was the good ol US of Nuclear A and in the almost 60 years since no one else has ever done the same.

Yes, I am too young to remember the Iran Iraq war, I'm also too young to remember WW2, WW1, the hundred year war, the boer war, the american war of independence, the vietnam war, the korean war, and this means what? [quote]

Niall Fernie is correct about the USA not wanting to get involved during the early part of WW2. They were then an isolationist nation and the vast majority of the people did not want to go to war. The people would not support President Roosevelt spending for a war they were not in. It took an attack by the Japanese Empire on Pearl Harbor to get the USA into the war. Then 80% of the war effort went to Europe and 20% to the war in the Pacific. I was a US Marine in the Pacific for 36 months and always thought we were on the short end. I fought my way island by island until I was on Okinawa. At that time, all of us were happy when President Truman allowed the dropping of the only two atomic bombs we had on hand. We believed at that time it saved many of our lives plus the lives of many lives of Japanese civilians who were then ordered to prepare and sacrifice their lives against the American invaders. I guess that made us the big bad villians. By the way Niall, do you believe that lend lease money was ever paid back? You said you won't be convinced otherwise; however, I was there and I know personally what happened.

As to what should be done now, I am getting close to the old feeling of letting Japan, China, South Korea and Russia take care of the problem with North Korea. Likewise, I have that old feeling it is not our (USA) problem aand let the countries in Europe take care of the problems in Europe. It was not our war then (until we were forced into it) and I question whether it should be our war now.

However, I know the world is much smaller now and that we our more affected by the events in Europe and Asia than what occurred in the past. As much as I see the youth of my country and your country affected by all of this, I believe I will have to capitulate to the thought of taking care of the problems now instead of waiting until later. Then, it could be too late.

This 78 year old man includes this information for those like Niall Fernie who are too young to know what happened back then. Most of the history you read has been retold by Historian Revisionists who try to make everything politically correct to fit their own agendas. We have the same types of people here in the USA who continuously try to re-write history.

22-Feb-03, 01:57

Why the anger at the UK having to compensate the USA for Assistance? It's not as if the assistance was minor and inexpensive.

If the shoe were on the other foot and it was the USA (or any other country or continent) that needed help, do you think that British taxpyters would gladly fund a large scale invasion (on the scale of WWII, for example) and not expect to be repaid somehow for the costs that are associated with the help?

If you had a friend that had come to rescue you, and it cost them a fortune to do so, out of their own pocket, would you resent them for asking you to help them to cover the costs? Why do you think that the rules are different within governments?

Governments are not unlimited charity funds- the money comes from the taxpayers!!


Fiona Rich

22-Feb-03, 07:18
I can't read all there is about the reasons for either going to war or not going to war.
I don't believe it is just for the oil that the leaders are rattling their sabres.
I don't like the thought of war, as I'm sure 90% of the people on either side don't, but there comes a time when one has to put up or shut up.
Has the situation reached the point where neither side wants to lose face?
Are we being put in the position of , if we don't back Bush, we must back Hussein?
Keep in mind that America has gone to the aid of a lot more countries in the past than Iraq has.
I'm quite sure that the average citizen, American or Iraqi, does not want war.
What can be done to reach a peaceful settlement acceptable to both sides?
Maybe one small prayer can be heard by another and another and so on until its power takes hold. Prayer does help. Give it a try.Keep the faith, Baby.
Help one another as much as you can. That is why we have been put here, to help one another.
I wouldn't want the job of a Country leader - they are damned if they do and damned if they don't.

22-Feb-03, 11:11
Jjc. Just to put the record straight once and for all, as to MY views.
“I” don’t want the Weapons Inspectors (WI) to carry out more inspections under the UN. The reasons are two fold.
1/ They have been hindered by Saddam for the last 12 years. Which have restricted their movements greatly. Which has ensured that Saddam has not disarmed.
2/ Whilst the UN are asking for more time for the WI. Saddam is given more time and hope for staying in control of Iraq (which I find unacceptable) and escaping the demands of what was agreed in 1991.
Now we look at the big IF! If the WI were allowed to search for Weapons of Mass Destruction (WOMD) without restriction by Saddam or without being kicked out of Iraq by Saddam, over the last 12 years. Would the situation today?
If Saddam was not trying (and probably succeeding) to import equipment that will enable his WOMD program or enabling the continuation of his WOMD program abroad. Would we be where we are now?
Who is responsible for the situation that prevented the WI from carrying out their mission?
“I” blame Saddam for preventing the WI from ding their job.
“I” also blame the UN for being too soft with Saddam and allowing him to hinder the WI.
I can gather enough proof from the Internet alone to prove that Saddam has prevented the WI, for the last 12yrs, from ensuring to the rest of the world, that he does not have the ability to use WOMD. Iraq was “told” to give “all” the WI information about their weapons program. They are still waiting for “all” of it.
For the last 12 years I blame the UN for thousands of lives being lost in Iraq and around the world. They have stood back and watched people get butchered when they could have “tried” to stop it. But as the saying goes, “too many cooks spoil the broth”, that is the UN’s biggest weakness.
That is “MY” own feelings. But as I have said before, “I” would prefer the Arab nations to boot Saddam out, or they back the US & UK in any land war. Without them (not France, Russia, Germany etc) the whole Middle East could flare up.
If you have a better solution, I am glad to listen to it. If you can convince me of a better way, I will gladly change my mind. But you have not convinced me that the UN is the solution to the problem. Even today the Iraqi Government are “hinting” that they could disarm etc. What is a hint? What I want to hear is Saddam is surrendering, or going on a long holiday to the North Pole. But anyway, is this hint, because the UN have him terrified? No, it is because of the US and UK stance and “serious” threat of war.

I don’t agree with Blair if he is calling it the second resolution! It is the 10th, 11th, 12th or more.

I totally agree with you that “ the British people require a final resolution on the subject” of war or no war. But more important the people would like the truth about Saddam’s weapons program, and not snippet as in the part.

Ok I will agree that the U-2 is a step forward. As it is better that the WI have the U-2 than nothing. But I still think more is needed. (See you can make me change my mind).

Now we are getting to the gist of the arguments. “Is war justified?” When is it time to start a war? Is it when all progress has ended or when enough is enough?
I can only state my own feelings. I think it is when enough is enough. But then again I would have preferred that the Coalition finished the job, back in 1991. But the UN stopped the Coalition from doing that.

September 11th 1991: I remember hearing on the news about a terrorist aircraft crashing into the World Trade Centre. My first thought was “good! Not the Yanks will know what terrorism is like. Now they might stop sending money and arms to the IRA.” That was my initial reaction. But I changed my mind when the full story became apparent. No country deserved that, including my pet hate, France.
Because of Sept 11th, other countries are realising that terrorism is world wide and not restricted to regions far away. The Cold War has ended; the War against Terrorism has started.
If Saddam were suppressed back in 1991, then the threat of international terrorism would have been lessened. Or even put back a few years. Who do I blame for this missed opportunity? Saddam (not Iraq) and the UN (not the US, UK, Russia, China, N Korea, France etc.) I could be wrong, but that is my opinion.

Now back to the WI. The way “I” see it is… If you want the WI to work, they need real unrestricted access to all and any site they chose. They need real backing and support, not just words and pieces of paper. Whether we like it or not Saddam only takes notice of real action/threat, not words by the UN.

Sorry about Janes. I get the magazines. I could give you more incidents of infringement. But I am trying to keep this short.

Regarding the Satellites: I will leave it as, I have found all that the Big Boys are allowing us to find. But the US, UK and Isreal seem happy with what they have got so far.

Anyway whatever side people take, it is good that people are looking at the arguments. It shows people do care about what is happening, or I hope they do.

22-Feb-03, 11:49
My point about the lend lease was not that we should not have paid for the services/supplies of the americans, this happens all the time.

What angers me is they way that the second world war is thrown in our faces every time we disagree with US policy or what the US wants to do in other parts of the world.

The US did not come to help out of some desire to help the people of Europe, they came because they were forced into the war in the pacific and we agreed to pay them to come and help us. If we had not agreed the lend/lease, would they still have come?

This situation has been very benificial to the US as they have had financial leverage over our country ever since. This same situation though, has kept our country in a hole and dampened any booms in our ecomomy, but like any good financial institution, they've loaned more and more to countries like the UK to ensure they maintain their position. I dont blame the Americans for that, I'm sure its been of great help to many nations.

Just please stop referring to WW2 like we were done some sort of favour. And anyway, that was nearly 60 years ago in a very different world from today.

Newspaper front pages like the New York Post outrage, doesn't help relations between the US and Europe, and trying to force a wedge between the UK and Europe wont help things either.

22-Feb-03, 12:09
If the shoe were on the other foot and it was the USA (or any other country or continent) that needed help, do you think that British taxpyters would gladly fund a large scale invasion (on the scale of WWII, for example) and not expect to be repaid somehow for the costs that are associated with the help?
Probably not. I would, however, like to think that if the shoe had been on the other foot and it was Britain that had gone to the aid of the USA (and the other countries in the war) then we would not, more than half a century later, be calling for those we aided to follow our lead without question or conscience because they owed us.

I know that my statement might raise a few hackles and there are undoubtedly many people in the US who are open minded enough to recognise the important roles played by ALL in the conflicts of the past, but the overall impression I get is one of the US having a feeling of superiority over the rest of the nations of this world. The USA played a very important role in defending the freedom of everyone involved from the evil that was Hitler's ideal. I won't deny that, and anybody who does needs to re-read their history. But there were reasons beyond 'lets help out our allies' in the US decision to become involved. To claim that this was simply the US saving the day is somewhat simplistic.

Abewsed, once again I am left with a feeling that perhaps we are both heading to the same town down different roads.

I think that we both want to see Saddam Hussein removed from power in Iraq and his regime dismantled. Where applicable, individuals need to be held to account for their actions during their time in control; this idea that Saddam can simply wreak the havoc that he has and then skip off into exile is abhorant to me.

Where we differ is, it seems, simply a matter of the method of transport we use to get us there and how long the journey takes.
Firstly, let me say that I strongly believe that a final resolution needs to have definite timescales. No more of this never ending hope that one day Saddam Hussein will find a conscience. We need to make it clear that he has x numbers of days/weeks in which to comply and then time runs out.
That said, I still believe the resolution needs to be put in place. What concerns me is that this could be seen as a knee-jerk reaction by the UN (or more accurately the US) towards actions that it has, despite countless reports by organisations such as Amnesty International, been ignoring for years. If we want international backing for this action (and despite President Bush's statements to the contrary, I think we may need it to secure long term peace) then we cannot be seen to be striking out in anger. This needs to be a measured action which has been thought through and discussed.

If we go to war now then Saddam Hussein knows that the only way it will end is with his removal from power. As you say, he is a madman and he has his finger on the button that will launch chemical and biological weapons. Do you think he won't cling to power by his fingernails as the UN pull him out the doorway? If he has these weapons then do you think he won't use them against our troops, his neighbours, and even his own people before he goes?
If we give the WIs the final resolution to at least allow them to try and do their jobs then we have two possible outcomes. We go to war anyway when Saddam Hussein breaks the conditions of that resolution - in which case we are no worse off than we are now. Or he allows the WIs to do their jobs and we can be reasonably assured that he has no weapons of mass destruction. At that point we go to work on his regime using the same methods that we use on all the other regimes around the globe who abuse human rights but don't have weapons of mass destruction.

I don't think that we will ever agree on all of the issues here (although, like you I can change - I'll never call it a second resolution again because you are right, it isn't) but isn't that the beauty of our society? We have free speech that allows us to debate the topics that are close to our hearts. I absoutely believe that people care about what is happening (especially you and me, eh Abewsed? ;) ).

22-Feb-03, 12:54
I do not think, by you post, that you have studied World War 2, or any other war. I could fill page after page about the politics of the last war, but I wont waist my time. In fact to be blunt, I don’t think you know what you are talking about!
Calling the US Forces of WW2 Paid for Mercenaries is an insult to the US Soldiers, Sailor and Airmen who were killed during the last war, who “helped” liberate occupied Europe. Especially as some are still alive and believe that they fought in a just war! Or other whose family were killed in Europe.

To repeat myself: The reason that the US started the Lend Lease, was because the US Government already had an agreement (the Neutrality Act) with Europe (because of WW1) that they would not sell or support another European country against another, i.e. UK v Germany. This at the time suited Britain, as it was the strongest nation at the time it was agreed. This prevented the US arming the French against the UK etc.
So when the war with Germany started they bent the rules/ found a loophole in the agreement, by lending the UK weapons for the lease of land, thus helping the UK (Though until 1940 there was a cash and carry policy. For UK and France). Technically the property was still the US’s. Also the cost was very cheap (no hard cash)and the British were very grateful for the support. In fact the biggest argument was trying to get the US to change factories (car factories) into make more weapons etc.
After 7th Dec 1941 (Pearl Harbour), Germany and Italy declared war on the US (11th Dec 1941), dragging the US into the European War. This allowed Britain to buy weapons from the US. This money was to be paid back later (after the war, if we won), with no interest. To be honest, the cost was less that the actual cost of making the weapons. It would have been unfair to expect the US to foot the bill for the 38 nations that they sent aid to (Britain, New Zealand, Australia, China, India etc). By Aug 1945 the US had a bill of $42 billion out standing, with Britain owing 65% or about $28 billion. Were the American who put their money into war bond to help manufacture tanks, planes, ship etc expected to lose their savings?

Of all the soldiers I have spoke to that served in the Far East during WW2, “all” of them were happy when the Atomic Bombs were dropped on Japan! Why was this? Because it meant they would now survive and go home. The other option was the invasion of Japan, which all the Allied countries involved (UK, US, NZ, Australia, India etc) agreed would cost over 1,000,000 Allied casualties. This did not include the Japanese casualties, military and civilian.
Another point and a very important one! On 6th Aug 1945 the first bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, then with no surrender the second was dropped 9th Aug 1945 on Nagasaki. VE day came the following day.
Who built the bombs? British and American scientists!
Who gave the order to drop them? President Truman did, with the approval of both Churchill and Stalin at the Potsdam Conference in July 1945! So now we can include UK and USSR alongside the “good ol US of Nuclear A”!!!!
You need to study your history if you are going to accuse countries of mass murder. This anti – US is too easy. Who do we blame? Oh, the USA will do! Wake up! That is all propaganda, not history or even the truth! There are always two sides to the argument (the winners and the losers) and if you bother to look, you usually find the truth.
If you have watched the film Pearl Harbour and saw that one of the pilots went and flew with the RAF during the Battle of Britain in 1940 (a year before the US came into the war). Well that is based on fact! Volunteer were allowed to help the RAF (against the Neutrality Acts) from as early as Sept 1939. They were “allowed” to leave the USAAF and join up in Canada. The US were formed into Squadron called Eagle Squadrons. The 71st (Eagle) Sqn was formed in Sept 1940 and became operational in Jan 1941. The second was the 121st (Eagle) Sqn, operational in July 1941. The third 133rd (Eagle) Sqn, operational in Aug 1941. All three flew Spitfires and Hurricanes. In fact the 71st Sqn shot down more German aircraft than any other Allied Sqn!!!! They operated in the UK, Malta and Far East. I also know for a fact, that aircraft was not the major problem in 1940-42. It was the lack of pilots. But I also know that the RAF were very, very grateful to the USA for “allowing” 240 pilots to sneak in and help then, even although they were “paid for” mercenaries. But then again that also applies to the Polish, Czech and even French etc who also flew for the RAF.
The argument about the US staying at home and looking after them selves has been growing in the US. If for no other reason than cost. The argument was one that was about before WW2 and part of the reason they did not enter the war in 1939. I just hope that there is never another war in Europe again, because if there is, we might be wanting the help of the Big ol US of Nuclear A.

I just hope you realise what an insult you have given to the servicemen and women of the USA who fought in Europe 1942-45.

I cant understand a nation that watches so many American films, wears so much American fashion, listens to American music, eats American food etc. Why we are supposed to hate the Yanks so much. If I hated them as much as some people seem to do. I would not watch American movies, eat their food, buy their cloths etc. It seems to me that as a nation we are closer to America than France. I cant remember when the last a French film was on at the cinema, or when I saw people wearing a French hat and I have never tasted Frogs Legs.
Are we the British the hypocrites. Take it from me; there are a lot of things I don’t like about America. Or is it just plane jealousy?

It can’t be because they start wars, as Britain have started more war than the US in the last 200 years!
So what is it? But I think that should be in another discussion.

22-Feb-03, 14:06
abewsed, fionarich: the statements you responded to were not written by marion, but by Niall:


Marion, it's unfortunate that you used the quote facility in such a way that your post appeared to have been written by someone else!

(Yes, DrSzin has finally remembered his new password -- he choost couldna spell it yesterday.)

22-Feb-03, 14:48
DrSinz has a point. I don't think that Marion's argument was the same as Niall's at all. It looks more like he just forgot to include the '/' when he closed the quote from Niall. I imagine that what has happened is that the message board has automatically added the code to close the open Tag at the end of his post and what is and is not his own opinion have been mixed up.

Abewsed, if you had taken the time to read through Marion's post properly you might have picked up on that fact. If you had then you may not have said that he doesn't know what he is talking about. Of all of us, I think that perhaps Marion is the only one whos opinion is more than the regurgitation of TV documentaries, Hollywood films and history books. He was, after all, actually there.


Do you mind if I ask your opinion on something that has been raised in this thread? I wondered whether or not you, as a verteran of WWII, share the opinion that the NY Post, and others, seem to have regarding the US involvement. As somebody who fought, I presume alongside but if not, on the same side as men from allied countries, do you feel that we now owe the US a debt of gratitude for saving us? Or do you see it more as a group effort, with every country to be thankful and thanked together for the parts that were played over the years of conflict?

I know, given my own previous posts on the subject, that this may seem like a loaded question and that if you answer with something I disagree with I may well send a tirade of rebuttle your way, but I have no intention of doing so - you have more of basis for your opinion than anybody else who has posted so far. I just wondered what you thought.



22-Feb-03, 19:18

Why the anger at the UK having to compensate the USA for Assistance? It's not as if the assistance was minor and inexpensive.


If the shoe were on the other foot and it was the USA (or any other country or continent) that needed help, do you think that British taxpyters would gladly fund a large scale invasion (on the scale of WWII, for example) and not expect to be repaid somehow for the costs that are associated with the help?


If you had a friend that had come to rescue you, and it cost them a fortune to do so, out of their own pocket, would you resent them for asking you to help them to cover the costs? Why do you think that the rules are different within governments?


Governments are not unlimited charity funds- the money comes from the taxpayers!!



Fiona Rich


22-Feb-03, 19:22


22-Feb-03, 19:44
well done to darklighter for a bit of light relief as some of the posts are never ending.Thank god its on screen and not on paper as Rumster forest would have to be cut down to deal with it!!! :D
I know war is a sensitive subject but a little light relief goes a long way(unless that relief is for saddam!).
good to see records being broken im working on my next subject to see if we can break it again!!!!!.
Keep up the good work niall(sorry about the evil sign mr stalin! :D )

22-Feb-03, 19:50
DrSinz has a point. I don't think that Marion's argument was the same as Niall's at all. It looks more like he just forgot to include the '/' when he closed the quote from Niall. I imagine that what has happened is that the message board has automatically added the code to close the open Tag at the end of his post and what is and is not his own opinion have been mixed up.


Abewsed, if you had taken the time to read through Marion's post properly you might have picked up on that fact. If you had then you may not have said that he doesn't know what he is talking about. Of all of us, I think that perhaps Marion is the only one whos opinion is more than the regurgitation of TV documentaries, Hollywood films and history books. He was, after all, actually there.



Do you mind if I ask your opinion on something that has been raised in this thread? I wondered whether or not you, as a verteran of WWII, share the opinion that the NY Post, and others, seem to have regarding the US involvement. As somebody who fought, I presume alongside but if not, on the same side as men from allied countries, do you feel that we now owe the US a debt of gratitude for saving us? Or do you see it more as a group effort, with every country to be thankful and thanked together for the parts that were played over the years of conflict?


I know, given my own previous posts on the subject, that this may seem like a loaded question and that if you answer with something I disagree with I may well send a tirade of rebuttle your way, but I have no intention of doing so - you have more of basis for your opinion than anybody else who has posted so far. I just wondered what you thought.





Colin Manson
22-Feb-03, 21:41

It's an interesting topic but I'm never very sure who is telling the truth. How do you tell? I've been reading about Venezuela since I'm going over there and in the light of recent events I wanted to be aware of the situation but I found conflicting news reports and views. Who is telling the truth, it's not all black and white, it's all grey.

I'm sure you're aware of the recent events but the history behind these events seems to have two sides. Here is a link to the Opposition Video, I found it rather disturbing, the event are shown from there side of things and it paints a bleak picture. Is this another saddam in the making?


It's about 2MB but it's worth it I think. It's in English as well although there is of course a spanish version :D


23-Feb-03, 11:48
JJC, DrSzin and Marion,
Before I start (again), I have to thanks both DrSzin and jjc for pointing out that it was not Marion’s comments but Niall’s comments I was attacking. Marion, I send my apologies. I was a bit confused when reading you post, but I was too fired but at the time and never took the time to work it out. To Niall the comments I originally directed to (posted Sat Feb 22, 2003 11:54) Marion, is now directed at you! And I still mean every word I wrote!
Again thanks jjc and DrSzin, without you two noticing my error, I would have attacked the wrong person. And my sincere apologies to you Marion, I just hope you seen my error and realised that it was Niall it was directed at.

Now back to business.
Jjc I think (only joking)
We are one the same road as you say. We both want peace in the Middle East. In fact peace in the whole world would be nice, but that is still a pipe dream. I will that leave to songs. For now the Middle East will do.
I personally would be happy if Saddam would take £10,000,000 and “goes away” (I take it no swearing is allowed!!!!). He could join Idi Amin in exile and have a happy retirement (and hopefully a long slow, painful death). I do not (and I hope you agree) think Saddam is not worth one civilian, US, UK or Iraqi life. Also if £10,000,000 is what it would cost to stop the war, it would be worth it.
I also would like to see, as he gets to his exile, 1 x sniper, 1 x bullet (10p), 1 x target and 1 x death. That to me would be justice. No long drawn out trial on War Crimes, just a nice death that does not make the headlines. I would even suggest letting him live on Stroma, then make him into a tourist attraction. “Come and see what the devil looks like”. Plus it would cool him down a bit. But again a pipe dream. But somehow the sniper one seems the best so far!

Ok now we have narrowed our views down to removing Saddam. The next issue is when and at what cost. (jjc watch out on this one as I am going to play Devils Advocate at times). This will lets us see how hard it is to remove someone and still stay the nice guy! Also I hope to demonstrate how hard a war is to start.

I agree with you Saddam will do anything to stay in power, including attacking Israel with WOMD, which will drag the Middle East into a war. Also he could start a terrorist attacks on the western world.

Now we agree that Saddam is getting taken out, once and for all…
How much more time are you willing to give Saddam? Two weeks/months?

So we have given the Weapons Inspectors (WI) more time to find the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WOMD).
A/ they find WOMD.
Do we destroy the weapons and all go home?
Or do we then allow the US/UK attack Iraq unhindered and with support of the rest of the world?

B/ they find no WOMD.
Do we accept that Saddam was telling the truth and all go home?
Or do we accept that he has WOMD, but the WI just could not find them?
Either way we have a problem, which is, do we trust Saddam?

After A or B would you back the US/UK in a land war, without the UN’s backing?
After A or B would you back the US/UK in a land war, with out the Arabs backing?
Lets say the A or B allows the US/UK to start a land war against Saddam. Would you put a time limit on the war, ie 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years etc?
The US/UK go in and attack Saddam. At what stage would you stop the war? After 10, 100, 1000, 10000, 100000 US/UK or civilian lives are lost?

If Saddam does surrender under pressure and without bloodshed, do we give credit to Bush and Blair?

We have debated the right and wrongs of a war. We both agree that Saddam needs to be got rid of one way or another. So now we look how and at what cost. Watch out jjc, as this could get heated, but as there is an interest in the (“No War” Sign) post and people seem to be taking an interest, are you willing to push it a bit further? As these are also the questions that Bush and Blair will be faced with.

One thing that came to mind last night was that… I have been slagging the UN silly over the past few days. But you are the only person who has come forward to defend them. With the lack of real defence for them, as you said they did good work around the world. But yet no one seems to defending them for defending the peace and human right in the world. Does this mean that no one out there really thinks the UN is doing a good job? Just a thought!

23-Feb-03, 13:19
Colin Manson or anyone.
“The truth is a lie, that others want you to believe”

There are four types of truth.
1/ The winner’s truth (this is the historical truth)
2/ The loser’s truth (this is usually ignored or suppressed)
3/ The hidden truth (this is in secret files or destroyed. For this one, you might have to wait 25 to 100 years or never)
4/ Our Truth or Personal Truth (this is the most dangerous of the lot, this is what we want to believe).

To find the truth you find 1, 2 & 3 and then you have as near the truth as you will ever get.
But to get the whole truth. This means we are told No1 initially. But then when things die down or the media gets a hold of No 2 we are two thirds there. Then when the Governments allow, i.e. 25 to 100 years later, we get No 3. The whole truth! Or if it was destroyed it might never be found. But then it might be too late as we have made up our own truths. The end result is the Conspiracy Theories! Where very few know the real truth as it is hidden in the lies.

But we can take 1 & 2 and still be left without the truth.
Take the Christian World, which believes the Bible to be the truth. But Islam believes the Koran to be the truth. Only one of them can be the truth, or none are the truth. Why? Because the evidence is missing for 1,2 &3. Also No 4 comes into both, as they can be seen as being a Party Political Book, i.e. the Labour Manifesto. They have been changed over time, to suit people’s own needs, or perceived needs.
Take Genesis, the world was made in 6 days by god. Scientific evidence says the world took millions of years to make. But did people 2,000 odd years ago understand millions? We know that say 500 years ago, most people would not understand that length of time. They needed something to relate to, i.e. days, weeks, years, life times etc. Not millions or billions or infinity. So six days would make more sense to them.

If we take the Battle of Culloden 1746.
A: This was a Scottish v English Battle. = Untrue
B: This was a Jacobite v Crown Battle = True
C: This was a Catholic v Protestant Battle = True
So now we have B + C – A = Truth.
So why is it we are told it was a Scottish v English battle? Because “we” the Scots want to believe this. It was a choice of a Catholic Crown or a Protestant Crown. There were Scots on the “English” side, but no English on the “Scots” side. In fact when we look at it, the majority of Caithness and Sutherland fought on the Protestant side. Caithness and Sutherland (the Sinclair’s and Mackay’s) took Inverness from the Jacobites whilst the Battle of Culloden was being fought. (There is more to this, but this is the gist of it). This demonstrates No 4.

But if you want to change the truth use No 4.
Like the Atomic Bomb. Yes the USA dropped the bomb. Do we blame the pilots of the aircrafts? No! Why not? Because they were ordered to drop the bombs.
By whom? By the USA. But why not include the UK and USSR as they sanctioned it. Because we don’t want to be seen as being barbaric.

Or we hide something we do not want to believe.
The two atomic bombs were dropped in anger in Aug 1945 resulting in over 152,000 killed and over 136,000 wounded. We had never seen anything so destructive and were shocked (after the fact). So we swore never to use the Bomb again. What we forget is we have never had a nuclear weapon used in anger since. So it now becomes a deterrent, which so far has worked (whether we want to believe that or not, the fact is there has been no World War since).
If say the US or UK were to drop a nuclear bomb on Baghdad. Killing 152,000 and maiming 136,000, there would be a massive outcry.
But during WW2 between 5,000,000 and 10,000,000 people were exterminated by the USSR and the Axis forces between 1939 and 1945. But yet we were willing to sit back and watch thousands being killed and wounded in a Genocide program between 1991 and 1998 in the former Yugoslavia. The same thing but on a smaller scale.
Over the last decade there have been numerous Genocide programs World Wide, which when added up, would outnumber the two bombs dropped.
Why are we willing to watch thousands being killed in a Genocide program, but are shocked when thousands are killed in a nuclear attack?

Is that the Genocide program does not affect us (the UK), we can live our live the same as yesterday and the same tomorrow. So we ignore it. Or threaten sanctions. Watch it in the safety of our own homes and blame someone else.
But with a nuclear bomb, we can’t guarantee tomorrow, as it might escalate into a Nuclear Holocaust. So we will try and prevent a Nuclear War at all costs, but ignore mass murder.
A bomb is dropped on Baghdad tomorrow would mean MILLIONS would take to the streets the next day (including ME).
Why? Because we are all terrified of the possible outcome, as it is a threat to me and you and our families, not just to those far way.

Not something we want to hear is it. So most want to say that it is not true! But the evidence seems to indicate that it is the truth!
So there is now Historical Truth and our Moral Truth. Included can be Faith, which is a personal truth.


Note: I used the Bible/Koran, Bomb and Genocide to keep in with the US/UK v Iraq argument. If I offend anyone, I apologise now.

23-Feb-03, 14:13
One thing that came to mind last night was that… I have been slagging the UN silly over the past few days. But you are the only person who has come forward to defend them. With the lack of real defence for them, as you said they did good work around the world. But yet no one seems to defending them for defending the peace and human right in the world. Does this mean that no one out there really thinks the UN is doing a good job? Just a thought!

As to the Majority of the population against a war with Iraq: The reason “I” believe that the consensus is “seen” as Anti-War is this:
People who are against something, have stronger feelings than those for it. So they make the biggest protest. Whilst the Pro-side, site back happy. Where as with war, this is even more relevant. As how many people would take to the street for a war? No one wants to be seen as a War Monger (or very few do). So how can you protest about something that you agree with? This is why the anti-lobbyist seems to have the biggest voice, whether it is over war, fox hunting, fishing, roads etc.
Careful, Abewsed, you are getting close to contradicting yourself. You can't defend your own argument by saying that you are less likely to voice your opinion if you are for an action, and then defend your argument by questioning the number of people voicing their opinions for the UN. It doesn't work that way.

Anyway, that's nit-picking so I apologise... on with the debate...

Abewsed, you are happy for Saddam Hussein to remove himself from power and skip off into exile - which we all know is no longer the harsh life it used to be, especially not with £10m to play with - and have a happy retirement? Okay, that might end the regime that Iraq currently suffers under, but a main part of the argument for removing Saddam Hussein from power is that he has links to terrorist organisations. Do you think, with £10m to offer, he isn't going to be able to continue to pose a threat to us, and other countries, just because he no longer has control of Iraq? And isn't he going to have even more of a reason to hate us?

How much time Saddam Hussein is to receive to comply with a final resolution is not something for you or me to decide. We simply don't know what is reasonable. We could say two weeks, one month, two months, anything really, and it is likely that we would simply be pushing an unreasonable timescale onto the table. Why? Because we don't know what the exact nature of the information that the WIs require. We don't know how long is a reasonable amount of time for the regime to be allowed in order to gather that information and present it. If we offer a resolution calling for information that will take six weeks to compile and we give two weeks to return the data, then we will simply be pushing Saddam into a war and any chance of cooperation is gone.
Better that the call for a final resolution has been noticed by the US and UK governments and we allow them to work out the details based on what they know to be reasonable and to at least allow Iraq a chance to comply.

You gave two possible outcomes for allowing the WIs more time, and then two possible solutions. Your two solutions for each outcome are not, however, the only ones open to us. How about:
A/ they find WOMD. Presumably this will be with Iraqi cooperation because otherwise the WIs would have been withdrawn and we would be at war anyway. So, the WOMD are destroyed by the WIs and the production plants for the weapons are decommissioned. We are then confident that Iraq has cooperated with the resolution as layed out by the UN.
Now we neither abandon nor attack Iraq. Instead we do what we can within our power to facilitate a regime change in that country. We do what we do in the dozens of other dictatorships around the world, in the dozens of other places where human rights are violated. Most importantly, we work within the law.

B/ they find no WOMD. Again, presumably with the cooperation of the Iraqis as otherwise we would be at war. Again, we neither abandon nor attack Iraq. Again, we do what we can within our power to facilitate a regime change in that country. Again, most importantly, we work within the law.

In both cases we are working towards a regime change. Whether that is a change of the regime in total (i.e. removal of all in power and their replacement with a democratic leadership) or the change of ideals of the current regime (almost certainly with a change of leader, though not necessarily the entire organisation) to the point where they come into line with what is accepted and expected under international standards. In neither case are we left with the only alternatives being abandonment or war.

If Saddam surrenders under pressure and without bloodshed then we give credit to the UN, including the US and UK. We include Bush and Blair in that credit, but if we had allowed Bush (and therefore by default Blair) to follow their original course of action we would already have had that bloodshed.

Is that the Genocide program does not affect us (the UK), we can live our live the same as yesterday and the same tomorrow. So we ignore it. Or threaten sanctions. Watch it in the safety of our own homes and blame someone else.
None of us should be capable of ignoring the horrors of genocide, or even the 'smallest' breach of human rights. What we should be capable of doing is to react reasonably and effectively to counter that horror. An ill-considered response will only increase the horrors that we have to see inflicted upon the people of the world.

23-Feb-03, 14:13
well people we are still talking!!!

Why is the same people coming on spouting the same stuff?
Lets try another topic as i am fed up of seeing lengthy arguments that still dont get the point across!
If you have a point say it and let every1 else speak, some of the postings are just too long to read! :D
im thinking of something else to get the juices flowing(check my newest topic!)
Anyway peps gotta go dont wanna hog the webspace! lol

23-Feb-03, 14:38
Hotrod4, I'm still coming on 'spouting the same stuff' because it is important to me. Yes, some of my postings (and other people's as well - can't claim all the glory) are very long, but that is just an indication of the depth of feeling towards the topic itself.

The beauty of a message board is that everyone can speak. The debate that Abewsed and I are having at the moment is not preventing anybody else from saying their piece - in fact I am extremely interested in what everybody thinks about this. If you don't wish to follow, or add to, that debate then that is fine, but until our governments get together and finish the debate for us I see no timelimit here.

You have mentioned democracy before, and how "The fact that you can all have an opinion just proves that democracy works, i dont have to agree with your point of view but at least you are allowed to express one". Is it a case of freedom of speech so long as Hotrod4 is still interested?

As for which topic is more likely to get my juices flowing at the moment... a war with Iraq or "the peoples republic of Caithness"... I don't think I need to say. Still, we all have a right to our own opinion as to what is important.

23-Feb-03, 14:48
Well well jjc i've cerainly got your feathers in a fluster!

I know its a serious subject but hey lighten up, chill!

I only started this to get us all talking but see the funny side as well, after all arent we brits known for our sense of humour in a crisis?

It is a very serious subject, i am not condemning every1 for their points of view but some peeps are going a wee bit overboard

Lets all chill and debate not get overexcited over issues we cannot control.

I have many issues which i could not express over the forum as it may offend e.g terrorism in Ulster but i just chill and let it flow!

I dont mean to offend any1 i just love a good debate, and its working!

23-Feb-03, 15:18
In the Sunday Times today there is a piece by a woman called Nazannen Rashid - a kurdish woman. Amongst other things,she writes.... "

"In 1991 Saddam surrendered after the Gulf war and we saw the Iraqis kissing the shoes of American and British soldiers. It was fantastic for us Kurdish people and we siezed the opportunity to try to recapture our cities. But the western help never came and the uprising failed....April 4th Kirkuk was bombed by the Iraqis we fled to the border... old people...children died. ...I dont like war as a Kurd I've lived through war all my life. But the alternative is much worse"

Haven't we let these people down already? Haven't we allowed Saddam to carry out his brutal inhuman actions long enough? Shouldn't this man and his sycophants be removed?

Of course he should.

Whether we find WOMD or not - Saddam is insane. He believes that he is all powerful. If we find the weapons with or without the support of the iraqi regime then we still have an issue to deal with and it is not simply one of encouraging the iraqi people to develop a new regime. This will not happen without a fight. Saddam will try to hang on to power and will continue to be a terrifying dictator. He will smile and nod at the UN and the West and turn around and behave as he always had. The Iraqi people are frightened and oppressed. If Saddam stays there is ABSOLUTLEY no way they are going to be able to overthrow him. Saddam wil not leave, he will not allow the UN to go in and oversee elections, he will fight to keep what he believes is his. He will enjoy the support of some very powerful people in his own and other countries, he will continue to support terrorism. He will terrify people into doing his bidding even against their better judgement. Many people living in Iraq today have absolutely no comprehension of what their lives would be like if he was not in power.

We have no choice - Saddam has to be removed and it will need a war to do it.

23-Feb-03, 17:18
I would still argue a high degree of caution before deciding to go to war and I truly hope that the US/UK governments do not act hastily.

Donald Rumsfeld has apparently acknowledged that a land war could be waged against Iraq without the involvement of Turkey.

Despite this, Turkey are on the verge of agreeing a deal which allows US troops to use Turkey as a base for an attack on Iraq, in exchange for monetary aid. Seems harmless enough perhaps. However, Turkey is also pushing to be allowed military freedom in Northern Iraq. Partly this is due to their desire for Northern Iraqi oil, and part of it is to control the Kurdish areas of Iraq, and prevent part of Iraq breaking away to form a separate Kurdish region.

The Kurdish people are terrified of the Turks. We have a responsibility to ensure that the Kurdish people do not see one oppressor go only for him to be replaced by another.

Turkey has an appalling human rights record - the US/UK governments must not allow Turkey to get its own way in the haste to go to war, or the genocide could continue and we would be more responsible for it than ever before.

24-Feb-03, 12:12
Jjc. I will try and keep this as short as possible. If I miss something, let me know.

I see you are a fox! Yes I was contradicting myself over the UN question! But saying that, it is an important question (as I try and dig myself out of the hole).

On the Saddam and £10,000,000 bribe etc. I think if he went into exile, it would be hard for him to organise a terrorist cell, as he would be under surveillance all the time. Plus he would not have his human shield, i.e. civilians to protect him. I am sure the West and other Arab nations would ensure, after his departure, through the propaganda machine that his past was made public. But more important, it the “New” Government was installed and peace was secured, and then the people might see him for what he is. But then again my plan with the sniper still sounds the best! So he might hate us, but can he then hurt us?

Anyway Saddam decides to go away and the War Mongers don’t get to see “live war” on TV. We then give credit to the UN, Bush and Blair. Would the world be any safer, or will Bush and Blair be more dangerous, as they saved the day?

Time is very important, not for the UN, or Saddam, but for the Ground Troops. The US/UK have given the WI three more weeks to do their stuff. 14th March is now their deadline. Lets assume that the powers that be have predicted that the ground offensive will take 3 months. That means they want it over by mid June at the latest. The reason is that in May the temperature is “regularly” in the 90 degs. By August it is a high as 130 degs. The ground troops will be in full NBC suits, (without respirators on, unless attacked by WOMD). Now imagine that! Trying to operate in temperatures between 90 and 130 deg F! Then to make matters worse covered from neck to foot in NBC protective clothing. It is bad enough in a European environment, never mind the Middle East. Ground troops in NBC suits in that climate will be dropping like flies from heat exhaustion. That is why time is of the essence.
Saddam knows the US/UK will “have” to wear the NBC suits. He also knows their fighting ability will be impaired, whilst his troops are unhindered in this area. Even if he does not have WOMD, the US/UK can’t take that chance. One more bit, it also in the interest of the US/UK to have 3 more weeks as this will allow the new troops to get acclimatised.

Then there is the cost. It is costing the taxpayer millions to ship the equipment and keep the troops in the Middle East. Unlike the last war, where Kuwait and Saudi Arabia reimbursed the coalition forces. I am sure that the Pro and Anti-War sides would all like to see the money spent on the NHS or something else. The longer they stay the more it costs.

Option A & B the finding WOMD.
Iraq is dammed if the WI finds WOMD with their help. As it proves they have been lying and can’t be trusted.
Iraq is dammed if they don’t find ALL the missing WOMD. As it shows that they are still hidden.

Then another option. If the WI find all of the missing WOMD, with or without Iraq’s help. How can we be sure he has not built more weapons in the last 12yrs? The UN, US/UK and other nations know he has (been trying at least) to improve or renew his program.

I personally believe that the land war is going to start, irrelevant of what happens. I see squidge is dealing with the Human Rights, so I will leave that to him/her.

The Law: If Joe decides to shoot part of his family and then attacks his next-door neighbour. Killing some of them and holding the rest to hostage. The ARMED Police turn up. They ask him nicely to return home and no more will be said. He tells them he is staying. A siege starts and he is force back to his own house. This time he is told to get rid of all his weapons and no more will be said. He agrees. Then he lets police into his house to confirm this, but wont let them into his bedroom. The police become suspicious. So he kicks them out.
Would this be allowed to go on for 12yrs in a housing estate? No, Joe would have been arrested or killed. Either way the Law would not allow that to go on so long. The Laws of this country and the laws of the Middle East are the same in this area. Joe would have been killed or tried etc. Also if the Police (UN) could not deal with the situation the SAS (Coalition) would be called in. Should there be a difference between the people in the street and our leaders? No the laws should apply to both.

The Genocide: I don’t like what I wrote, as I am included in there somewhere. But it seems to be the truth, as “I” see it. It does show that something is broken and needs fixed, i.e. the UN.

Squdge & Drutt: You both have valid point about the Kurds and Turkey. But as I have taken up my quota for one day, I will only add this…
The Kurds were encouraged by the Coalition to rise against Saddam in 1991. The UN stopped an advance on Baghdad. They were then attacked by Saddam, so they had to leg it into Southern Turkey. Where for the last 12 years they have been ignored by most of the Coalition countries.
I seem to remember Bush (the Dad one) asking Iraq to rise against Saddam. The Kurds did that and they became Piggy in the Middle and paid for it in lives and homes.

It seems they also might have a connection with the Al Qaeda.

24-Feb-03, 12:49
To all, anyone wondering what might have happened if the two Atomic Bombs were not dropped in Aug 1945 read this article.


I wonder if the bombs were not dropped, would the World have blamed Truman for NOT dropping the bomb. Interesting eh!

24-Feb-03, 14:59
I am absolutely disgusted by this War on Iraq.
A more blatant war for control of oil would be difficult to find.
While my disgust is levelled mostly at the Labour Party, I am just as annoyed at the SNP and Lib Dems. They pretend that they are against the war, even speaking at rallies, but in truth they are FOR the war - as soon as the UN is cajoled into supporting the US government with a new resolution.
I'm against this regardless of any UN resolution, as are many ordinary supporters of these parties. But I still hope that even those who would like the comfort of a UN resoluton will still oppose this cynical drive to war by Blair and Bush.
There's a demonstration in Inverness on Saturday 15th March, called by the Coalition for Justice Not War. This is a loose organisation consisting of Trade Unions, the SNP, SSP, LibDems, and other assorted groups and individuals.

I'm urgently trying to organise support for this in Caithness and Sutherland. Anybody who would like to help may Email me on misteruniverse@tiscali.co.uk and I will keep you informed ofactivity. If you are taking any initiative yourself, or with friends, please let me know.


24-Feb-03, 15:10
Charter for the United Nations
Article 1 - The Purposes of the United Nations are:
1 - To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of the peace;

Ambiguous, isn't it? On the one hand we have the UN charter calling on members to take effective measures against threats to the peace and acts of aggression; on the other we have a decree that this should be done by peaceful means, and within the principles of justice and international law. And all in the FIRST paragraph. It's hardly surprising that even the members in the UN itself are at loggerheads.

Well, Abewsed, to take you up on your damned-if-they-do-damned-if-they-don’t statement – it’s not true. I have to believe it is not true because if it were we would have no hope.
We are forcing Iraq into a situation now where they have only two options; peaceful cooperation or war.
Given those two options, I have to agree with you – a land war looks inevitable. But the truth is that land war is not, at the moment, a certainty. There is still a chance of a peaceful outcome. If we now say that Iraq can never again be trusted, even if they appear to be cooperating, then we are removing any motivating factors for their cooperation.

Let’s take your man, Joe, as an example. Okay, so he has broken the law and shot family members and neighbours. The police turn up and give him a legal document offering immunity to withdraw to his own home, which he does. He gets another offer of immunity if he disarms, but he delays. The police come into his home and start a search, but find that the bedroom door is locked…

“No! No!” he cries as the police try the door. “That’s my bedroom and there are no weapons there.”
“But, Sir, the conditions you have agreed to say that we can look there.” replies a burley looking copper named George.
“Ah. Well. Give me a minute to think about this?” pleads Joe.
“Okay then,” agrees George. “We’ll give you five minutes. After that we are going to go in there and we expect to find a rifle on the bed ready for us to confiscate.” The policeman sits down with his colleague, Tony, and waits for Joe’s decision.
Whilst thinking about this, Joe overhears the two men talking.
”You know something?” George whispers, one hand covering his mouth. “I reckon we can’t trust this guy Joe. We know for a fact that he once owned a rifle so he should put that on the bed. But who’s to say he hasn’t a pistol too. I say we just shoot him in the head and be done with it.”

Now if I were Joe in this situation I believe the thought of shooting the pair of them might cross my mind. I have no way out anyway, I might as well try and run.
The point here isn't supposed to be that Saddam Hussein is being treated roughly, it is that if we force him into a corner with no way out he is going to kick and bite right up to the end. If he puts himself in that corner then we have no choice but to fight. But we really don't need to put him there ourselves.

So the US and UK are putting together a new/second/final resolution on Iraq. Good. That's it then, a last chance for Iraq. With this resolution comes the last chance for Saddam Hussein to cooperate fully. But at least the chance is there. If he ignores this one then even I have to admit that every avenue has been exhausted. And if he does cooperate, and the UN vote against war, I can only hope that Bush and Blair will adhere to the UN Charter:

Charter of the United Nations
Article 103
In the event of a conflict between the obligations of the Members of the United Nations under the present Charter and their obligations under any other international agreement, their obligations under the present Charter shall prevail.

And Frankie, I just got your post when I previewed my own... and I have to disagree. Oil may be a small factor in this crisis, but the sole reason? Bush (and Blair) may have gone about this thing all wrong, but I don't believe for a second that they are willing to take their countries into what is potentially a catastrophic conflict (especially if other Arab States join in) for oil. It is, for the US, a happy biproduct - not a reason for conflict.

24-Feb-03, 17:55
There is one sound practical reason for not invading Iraq.
That is that the entire region will become destabilised.
That will make the world a lot more dangerous place.
How do you like the Iranian Shiites and the Iraq Shiites making joint cause? Or the Kurds waging war on Turke? Or the Pakistani government collapsing and the Mullahs there taking over nuclear weapons?
Oh, yes, and in the short term a few thousand Iraqui women and children will be killed.
Or maimed. By our bombs.
That'll teach them the virtues of democratic governemnt, don't you think!

24-Feb-03, 19:40
To all, anyone wondering what might have happened if the two Atomic Bombs were not dropped in Aug 1945 read this article.


I wonder if the bombs were not dropped, would the World have blamed Truman for NOT dropping the bomb. Interesting eh!

[b]Abewesed, thank you for the posting of this web site. We WW2 Marines have discussed what might have happened had not the 2 atomic bombs been dropped at many of our annual reunions since WW2. marion

24-Feb-03, 19:58
The Kurds were encouraged by the Coalition to rise against Saddam in 1991. The UN stopped an advance on Baghdad. They were then attacked by Saddam, so they had to leg it into Southern Turkey. Where for the last 12 years they have been ignored by most of the Coalition countries.
I seem to remember Bush (the Dad one) asking Iraq to rise against Saddam. The Kurds did that and they became Piggy in the Middle and paid for it in lives and homes.

It seems they also might have a connection with the Al Qaeda.

I read the article you referred to and am left confused. Your message suggests a link between the Kurds and Al Qaeda (I may be misreading it), whereas the article you refer to is about a Lebanon based extremist Islamic group based in northern Iraq.

If you mean there is a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, I don't think this has been proven by any means either (though I'm not excluding the possibility), just because of the geographical base of the extremist group.

If an IRA unit set up in Glasgow, and then bombed somewhere in England, I'd like to think that England wouldn't blame Scotland for the bombing (well, fingers crossed anyway). In the same way, the geographical base of an extremist group doesn't indicate that it is necessarily linked with the Iraqi regime.

25-Feb-03, 12:24
I agree with you on the ambiguous statements of the UN. But then again that is politics and the UN in now a political organisation. As I have said the UN needs to reorganise it self, as it is 50yrs old and now out of date. The aims are righteous, but the actions are hollow.

I see the press have got hold of the fact that Iraq has the al-Samoud & al-Fatah missiles that are designed to exceed the 150km range permitted. I read about those months ago! The reason he is not allowed his “Scuds” to have a range more than 150km, is so he cant hit Israel. He has already attacked Israel without provocation in the past. So this is a deliberate breach of the disarmament agreements.
To make matters worse, he has now been caught by the WI and now refuses to comply with the UN & WI. Make you wonder why eh? Is he planning to attack Israel again? I can see Israeli F-15 Eagle’s being fitted with nuclear weapons (as if Israel has not armed the aircraft already).

Now the Dammed if they do and dammed if they don’t:
It seems by the above he is now caught lying. Not only that, he refuses to comply with the UN. You said, “We are forcing Iraq into a situation now where they have only two options; peaceful cooperation or war.” It seems he is not cooperating (for the time being).
It will be interesting to see what the UN do now. As they know Israel is a sensitive area already and the conflict with Israel must not escalate any more. It is easy to see what could happen if Israel is attacked. It took a lot of pressure to stop them last time. I don’t think it would work this time!

With the Joe issue: I was trying to demonstrate the difference between an ordinary person in the street and Saddam. The International Laws are the same, but on a bigger scale. He has been given the chance to rule over a peaceful country. This will not only save himself but his “family”. But he does not care about his “family” only himself! Worse he is now a potential threat to his neighbours. He has broken the law, the neighbours have not, and the neighbours should be protected.
If you went on a rampage killing innocent people, holding some as hostages. (We have seen this happen in the US and UK). What would happen? You would be killed or arrested. You certainly would not be left holding a loaded gun for 12yrs in the same street.
Saddam knows he is mistrusted by the Western & Arab worlds, nothing new there. He has had an option to pack his bags and go on a long holiday. If he stays and fights, he will die (so will others)! If he bugs off, then he lives. The moral issue is how many live will be lost to bring stability to the Middle East and the price of Oil? 10, 100, 1000, 10000, 100000?

But I get your drift. The worst case is that Saddam becomes trapped and used the WOMD (which he does not have) against the US/UK and civilians. Worse he uses it against Israel.
Lets say he does use WOMD. Who is to blame? US/UK or the UN?
Do the US/UK get blamed for attacking him and forcing him to use WOMD?
Or do the UN get the blame for allowing him to rebuild his WOMD?
One thing for sure it will not be Saddam, as it is too easy to blame a dead man.

Or we could just leave him and then he uses the “Scuds” on Israel. Then what? Israel retaliates in kind! If he uses conventional warheads, they will fly over Syria and Jordan airspace to get to Iraq. Whilst I don’t know about Jordan, I can bet that Syria will attack the Israeli’s aircraft. So now we have Israel v Iraq and Syria and Lebanon. Those countries will call on the other Arab Nations to attack Israel. Whether the US/UK or other countries get involved will not be an issue. As within two weeks it will be over one way or another. A coalition could not get there in time (even if the UN sanctioned one, they would probably still be debating months after). My fear is that Israel will retaliate with nuclear weapons, especially if WOMD are used by Iraq! They have said as much after 1991. Then the Middle East is goosed and so is oil, so is the economy etc. Then also to consider is the civilian population, thousands dead if not millions!

The WI now has three weeks to disarm Iraq and prove that he is not a threat to his neighbours (especially Israel). Then he might have a chance, but I doubt it. I think it is three weeks to get more US/UK troops to Kuwait and see if other countries will back the US/UK, but that is just my opinion.

If the US/UK do go ahead and attack Iraq, what is the UN going to do? Attack the US/UK? No, they might kick them out of the UN, but that also I doubt. But then again I don’t think the UN is much good for anything, other than playing middleman or feeing refugees. So no loss there!

I have been doing a bit of reading on the Oil issue. It seems that US and other Oil companies would like a pipeline from Iraq and Kuwait going to the Gulf of Oman, thus by-passing the Straits of Hormuz. Also Iraq has a line going to Tartus in Syria on the Med coast. This way Iran could not hold the world to ransom by blockading Hormuz again. It would suit the US and other countries to have Iraq feed a pipeline through Turkey to the Med. So there is a “hidden agenda” going on, but this has been going on for years (since 1982). So I don’t think it is the Big Issue, but it is an issue.

Rich: You are hitting on the “Pear Shaped” issue, which is a real threat. A Middle East war against US/UK is a real possibility. That is why I would prefer the more “friendly” Arab nations back a Coalition, as they did in 1991. Without it, things might escalate. But so far, Egypt, Saudi, Jordan etc are playing things close to their chests and I think they want Saddam out, once and for all. But they don’t want to be seen backing the US/UK against a fellow nation. They also have their “hidden agendas” which would be much better without Saddam.

Drutt: Sorry I was trying to keep things short. What I meant was the illegal shipments were being smuggled through Turkey to Iraq. Is there a possible Al Qaeda network in Turkey? I was not trying to imply the Kurds were backing the Al Qaeda.
“The Bush administration has a credible report that Islamic extremists linked to al Qaeda received a chemical weapon in Iraq last month or late in October,”
I personally believe that Iraq has backed Al Qaeda (with money at the least) over the past few years. Proof, I have none. But I am sure somewhere there will be. I seem to remember that the Saddam (is supposed to have) had a bank account for terrorist organisations. But so did Libya. If we look in the mirror so have the UK and the US, in the past. As “one mans freedom fighter, is another mans terrorist.” Depending on which side of the fence you site.

25-Feb-03, 19:04
Pure and simple, this despot must be stopped at all costs. Just read the horrific reports from people in "Saddams World". The torture, gang rapes, mutilation....I could go on. HE IS THE NEW HITLER, AND MUST BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS. I apologise for my bluntness, but at times it needs to be said. Yes, innocent women and children will be killed, but how many more will be killed if we do NOTHING?????


25-Feb-03, 19:05
I'm not going to blindly argue the 'no-war' side of this - in fact, I have never argued that there should be no war.
There were two things that I wanted to see;
1 - The Weapons Inspectors given more time at least to try and do their jobs.
2 - The UN to issue a final resolution, either Saddam cooperates or not.

With both of these now in place (at least the second resolution has been drafted) I'm not sure that there is anything else to be done. It now falls to the Iraqi regime to either cooperate and avoid war, or to choose not to cooperate. I can only hope that at some point during the next two weeks Saddam Hussein changes the habit of a lifetime and decides to cooperate fully with the UN. Fat chance? Probably, but at least the chance is there. Unfortunately, judging by his apparant lack of cooperation regarding the destruction of the Al-Fatah missiles, it seems unlikely that this will all end peacefully.

I agree, Abewsed, the timing of the resolution is somewhat conspicuous as well. The vote on the new resolution, effectively setting a war in motion should it pass, will take place in as little as two weeks. The BBC reported yesterday that there is still British armour being shipped to the region by sea. It's estimated arrival? Two weeks.
Could we be setting a timescale for the UN vote based on our own state of readiness? Possibly, but then that's not entirely unreasonable considering the probability that troops will be called into action.
Could we have given more time before the vote on the new resolution? Yes, but then why would we? There is no call for Iraq to completely disarm within two weeks. The call is for Iraq to cooperate fully and to begin the process of disarming. If that can't be started within two weeks then what difference will another two make?

I think that the tabling of this final resolution does what it should. It not only draws the line in the sand, but hopefully fills it with concrete. Now we can only wait and see if that line is recognised for what it is - last chance, final notice.

If the US/UK do go ahead and attack Iraq, what is the UN going to do? Attack the US/UK? No, they might kick them out of the UN, but that also I doubt. But then again I don’t think the UN is much good for anything, other than playing middleman or feeing refugees. So no loss there!
Abewsed, I think that perhaps there is still a larger issue here that you have not recognised. That the US/UK might suffer condemnation or sanctions from UN members is not the biggest cost of striking Iraq without UN support.
The real cost is that the UN will have lost any ability it once had to enforce international law around the world.
How can the US, as the only superpower left, pick and choose the laws it will follow based on its own agenda, and then expect other countries to bow to pressure and follow the laws to the letter?
The US are using the argument that Iraq poses a credible threat to their security in order to justify a first strike. There are many, many countries around the world who look at other countries and see a credible threat (not least Pakistan and India). How can we justify a first strike in one situation and then prevent it in another? The answer is we cannot. We would no longer be able to negotiate peace between any two countries who felt threatened by each other.
That is the true cost of going against the UN here.

And that is why the new/second/final resolution was, in my eyes and the eyes of many others, necessary. If it is voted through then we have the backing of the UN and we maintain our ability to work towards global peace.

Thankfully, a second/new/final resolution has now been tabled. The debate here seems to have been echoed across our nation and others and they have obviously had some effect because a week ago it was war or nothing so far as I could see. The final chance has been offered. All we can do now is wait and see if that chance is grasped or rejected.

Here's hoping....

25-Feb-03, 19:06
Pure and simple, this despot must be stopped at all costs. Just read the horrific reports from people in "Saddams World". The torture, gang rapes, mutilation....I could go on. HE IS THE NEW HITLER, AND MUST BE STOPPED AT ALL COSTS. I apologise for my bluntness, but at times it needs to be said. Yes, innocent women and children will be killed, but how many more will be killed if we do NOTHING?????


Bill Fernie
26-Feb-03, 08:36
Here is a web page that some one has goneover the 2003 Sate of the Union address bit by bit and rebutted many of the statments inlcuding the retoric and no matter what side you are on it does leave make interesting reading. Check it out here http://www.accuracy.org/2003/
Have you heard there is a big protest being organised in Inverness in March. Will the bobbies know how to handle this? A protest in Inverness. Tony Blair has to be worrried about this. How many protest marches have there ever been in Inverness. Mind you it may not get a big turn out. But just when you thought all the protests were over trust the Heelanders to come over the hill.

26-Feb-03, 19:26
I'm organising transport to the Inverness anti-war demonstration on Saturday March 15th. Anyone who would like to help/attend please contact me misteruniverse@tiscali.co.uk


26-Feb-03, 22:29
All in aid of Frankie goes to Holyrood perchance?

I would have thought Mr Universe could do such things without any help from mere capitalists...

26-Feb-03, 23:00
You are correct there is nothing else to do now but wait. But historically speaking, no army has mobilised and not been used in the end. I think the attitude might well be “we are here, so we might as well finish the job.” Also two political careers are on the line. Saddam would have to do a lot of proving, or else the World (mainly the Middle East) would have to threaten military action against the US/UK, for them to change their minds. But who wants to be seen supporting a “murderer” (other than France)?

I don’t think the UN will have the support to do anything to the US.
Imagine the UN demands for sanctions against the US. The countries that depend on the US for aid, military or otherwise will not/could not support the UN. Europe alone: Belgium, Germany, Norway, Spain, Netherlands, Italy, Denmark, Greece and Turkey. All import military equipment from the US. Never mind the rest of the world. It will never happen. Fact!

If the UN kick the US out.
The US could remove all the troops on UN duties. Then they could also remove the 6th Fleet from the Med . The 7th Fleet removed from the Western Pacific (China / N Korea areas). The Indian Ocean/Gulf Fleets are removed. All of these are “policing” hot spot areas. Who else can they get to fill that spots? Not Russia, not France, not Germany etc. Whether we like it or not, the US is supplying the majority of the UN’s “police force” directly or indirectly.

The final proof: Why would anyone expect UN sanctions to work against the US/UK? Especially as they never worked against Iraq for the last 12yrs! I also believe in the last 12yrs the UN HAVE lost the ability to enforce international law. Again: This is why I think we are where we are now. We had the League of Nations after WW1, then the UN after WW2. It could be that we will have a “son of the” UN after this is over. Then as time goes on the “UN” will change as the world changes. The World has changed in the last 20yrs, the UN has not. Out of the Cold War has come a new war/s, which it would seem the UN is not ready for. We will end up with the Federation of Planets and the USS Enterprise, then Star Wars and the Dark Force etc.

I think the deadline is set mostly due to the coming summer. I know this was a big issue during the Gulf War and I can’t see it being any different this time.

I “believe” the US/UK are picking the fight with Iraq over the non-compliance with the UN resolutions. Well that is the excuse anyway. Also no one can say they have complied with the UN resolutions.

India and Pakistan are different as if they go to war, they might not have countries after the war. Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD and it would be mad to try it) worked during the Cold War. We can only hope that it works still.
The WOMD is different for a terrorist, as they know where you live. But how do you then hit him, if you do not know where they live?
Put it this way terrorists attack the Twin Towers with two aircraft, resulting in 4,000 deaths. Then they say via the media that this is just the start, that they will use WOMD against them next. Where do you aim your weapons?
Country X attacks the Twin Towers with two missiles, resulting in 4,000 deaths. You know where the target is to fire your missiles in retaliation. If they threaten you with WOMD, then you aim your WOMD at them.
It is a new war, with new rules that the UN and the rest of the world were/are not ready for, including the US.

I hope the war with Iraq does not come off. But I also hope that Saddam takes a 9mm (Bullet) headache tablet. It could save a lot more headaches. It is crazy when you think of it! One man can make so much trouble. One small terrorist organisation can cause so much pain!

Is it right that Saddam can do as he pleases?
Is it right that terrorists with no borders can attack at will?
Is it right that the US/UK are retaliating?
Is it right that the US are trying to secure their country from further terrorist attacks, the only way they know how?

Or is it that Saddam is the only punch bag the US have left, as they don’t have Bin Ladden’s body?

DrSzin: Who said their was no humour in this discussion eh!

28-Feb-03, 07:49
Well spoken, Abewsed!!

As usual, your knowlege of world politics and policies are impressive! I am enjoying reading all of the posts within this debate, and yours the msot of all!!


Fiona Rich

28-Feb-03, 16:38
Birnam Wood is marching on Dunsinane and I doubt if MacSadam is going to escape alive.
To turn for a moment to the UN.
The UN is an effective organization in that it has enemies. It's greatest enemy is the USA. The USA aims for global hegemony. It's the new Empire, folks.
So I guess it's a matter of picking your side. Blair may think that the English speaking world should line up with the USA - common heritance and all that stuff...
My preference would be for the UK to become more European and more committed to the, admittedly frequently lunatic, UN.
To give Libya the responsibility for human rights is to say the least unfortunate. But I can't say that the USA has been much of a respecter of human rights either, certainly not in Latin America.
But watch for the anti-UN propaganda to escalate, look to more attempts by the USA to humiliate Europe. Bad people are incharge of the USA right now. Very bad people indeed...

01-Mar-03, 01:10
Well, I had thought that Bush and Blair had seen sense with the new resolution. I had, perhaps naively, assumed that this meant that the US government was now prepared to slow it down a little. Unfortunately, in the words of Bush himself, the new resolution is nothing more to him than ‘a commitment to our allies and friends’. Indeed, he is quoted in ‘USA Today’ today as stating that Saddam Hussein has no intention of disarming and must be forced to do so.

It’s a shame that the attitude of the White House at the moment appears to be one of war at any cost. Whilst Hans Blix is busy preparing his report for the UN, it looks as though Bush has made his mind up already. Great!
Where is the harm in waiting for Hans Blix to report? A few more days are all it would take.

Instead Bush has, once again, told Saddam Hussein that war will almost certainly be declared, regardless of the vote in the UN. How does this help? Will Saddam feel a) more likely, or b) less likely to destroy his weapons when he knows that if he does destroy them he will be left with a substantially weaker strike capability?

I fully support the idea of a new resolution in the UN and, unlike the French government, believe that if Saddam Hussein fails to meet the conditions in that resolution then we have no alternative than to go to war. Unfortunately Bush doesn’t seem to feel the same way.

I would like to think that Blair won't follow him to war without the resolution, but I think that is just wishful thinking. After all, our government allowed the US authorities to detain a 72-year-old Briton in a South African jail for three weeks without checking his details. Why? Who knows? But it reeks of UK officials not wanting to tread on US toes. And the only country involved to apologise? South Africa.
It's a disgrace when our own government would rather protect their relations with the US than question the false imprisonment of one of the very people they are in power to protect. How can we expect them to do anything differently when dealing with war in Iraq? Where George W. goes, we shall, I am sure, follow.

Oh, and since I'm back in the thread (I did try and get out, honest)... Abewsed, it was you who raised the issue of the UN kicking out the US/UK, so there's really no need to list the reasons why it won't happen.
I agree with you, the UN really cannot kick them out. The US are too central to everything that the UN does.
However - and I am saying this for the last time, I promise - we really won't need to worry about sanctions against the US/UK if they go against the vote, because future votes of the UN will mean nothing anyway. They will have lost all ability to function at all.

You may argue that Pakistan and India will refrain from attacking each other because they would both be destroyed if they ever launched a nuclear attack, but why do we not feel the same about Saddam? He knows that if he ever launches an attack with a WOMD against the US (or most other countries with nuclear capabilities) the response would be swift and huge. Is he likely to risk this? Who knows. He has a deep hatred for the west and all that it stands for. But then, Pakistan and India are hardly best friends, now, are they? What's to say that the tension there won't escalate? Do we really want to be powerless to intervene??
All it takes is for the US to reign it in and listen to the other members of the UN. Just for once, let them not rush in with all guns blazing...

Right, I am done now... I think... I cannot keep reitterating the same points over and over or my head might explode!!!

I'm watching the news with my head in my hands, and the whole situation has gone past reasonable debate. Bush is going to war, and I'm not sure if we are going to follow. I guess I'll just have to keep on watching.

Anyways, 100 posts in a single thread? Cool :cool: ... at least we are debating every angle, even if those in higher positions aren't.

01-Mar-03, 11:51
Before I start. I would like to say this jjc. I admire your commitment in this debate. You have the hardest job between the two of us. I did say a few days ago that the easy bit was over “Watch out jjc, as this could get heated, but as there is an interest in the (“No War” Sign) post and people seem to be taking an interest, are you willing to push it a bit further?”
There is a saying that “to make war, is easier than making peace!” That is very, very true. It is also true with this tread. I know that my ears have been burning at times. Probably you and other are saying that my birth certificate only has my mothers name one it :( . But I cant see any other way that people taking an interest in this thread can see both sides of the argument. Also I hope “we” are trying to get people to see that there is a bigger issue here than the US/UK/Iraq issue.

Saying that, it is time for more frustration.
I would not have expected anything less from Bush and Blair. Their attitude is one of war, with a hint of peace if he disarms. I would not expect them to say, “great! Now we can all go home.” They are saying, as far as they are concerned he is still not meeting the disarmament resolution. But if he disarms, not if he says he will, then peace could be an option. They are also still playing hardball with Saddam, of which I agree. They (and no one else) have got the weapon inspectors back into Iraq. They (and no one else) have poor Mr Saddam worried about his future health. They are not letting up on him; to do so would be a sign of weakness to Saddam. It is not what they are saying that worries me, it is whether they have made up their minds and war is a “go” anyway.

I personally think that Saddam has to destroy the missiles. To refuse to do so plays into Bush/Blair’s hands. Even if a war starts, he can still cause thousands of casualties (civilian and military). The missiles are only a threat to Israel really. So he does not really need them.

I must admit, that Bush has the proof. Saddam has not so far, disarmed. Far from it. He instead has decided to re-arm. I am waiting to see if he will destroy his missiles, or will he use some excuse to delay their destruction. “Ops, sorry Mr WI, but we seem to have lost them.” Or “the union says that we can’t destroy missiles this weekend.” If he does destroy the missiles, then it is a step in the right direction. The question is for whom? It means that Saddam cannot hit Israel with missiles if they are destroyed. But!!!! It also means that the US/UK don’t have to worry about a Scud attack on Israel if they start a land war!!!! So the question is, who does it benefit the most???? The problem is, we don’t really know what is going on. Does Bush/Blair mean what they say? Does Saddam mean what he says? Is Hans Blix sitting on the fence? (Sounds like the Bensons comedy, for those old enough to remember!)

I am disappointed at Hans Blix’s draft report, which was given to the media. As one reporter said, he is sitting on the fence. If you are Pro or Anti War, you can read into the “draft” any way you want. Say the final report comes out as being Pro-War, then the anti-war lobby will ignore the final report and quote the draft, and vice-versa for the pro-war lobby. My opinion is that he should have finalised the report before releasing it to the media. I have read parts of it, and can read it any way I want. It is not helping things.

Lets assume that Saddam does “fully” disarm. His “missing” WOMD is found and destroyed. Then the US/UK can’t accuse Iraq of being a threat to Middle East/World Peace. War cannot go ahead! Or will they raise the “human rights” issue? The problem is as I have said, no army has been mobilised which has not been used! But then again this could be one for the Guinness Book of Records.

I did not say Pakistan v India will not refrain from nuking each other. I just hope they do not. Like in this country, the leaders change. Who knows about tomorrow!

“I” believe that if Saddam is backed into a corner with no way out. He will react the only way he can. He could use WOMD against his own people and against the US/UK forces. There are a thousand things that can go wrong (from the US/UK side). But there are a thousand things that can go right.

What people seem to miss out on is this…
Saddam has in the past stated that if the Coalition (this was before the US/UK issue) attacked his country again. He would pull all his troops, artillery, tanks back into towns and cities. No more sitting in open desert waiting for smart weapons to destroy his Army. He will make the Coalition fight for every street (otherwise a Stalingrad). The civilian casualties will be high, as he will not allow the civilians to evacuate, they become his human shield. The US forces have been training a lot in street warfare over the past few years, but the casualties to the Soldiers on both sides could be high. To destroy the Artillery and Tanks with a “smart weapon” will also mean that the buildings next to it will be destroyed, which could be occupied with civilians. Saddam knows that this is the weakness in the US. He knows that the US does not want a new Vietnam, with images of “body bags” coming home. With images of dead women and children littering the streets.
Then if the coalition takes the suburbs of a city or town, or is his soldiers start to surrender, he could shell those positions with chemical weapons. Killing more civilians, who have no protection. It could get very bloody…
This does not include the option of other Arab countries, watching on “prime-time TV”, the slaughter of Arab civilians. Would they stand back and watch this? Could they stand back and watch this?
But then again, he might be calling the Coalitions bluff! “I” believe he is capable of this, which could lead to the “pear shaped syndrome.”

Then the other question is this. If the US/UK do take control of Iraq. Who is left to govern the country? How long will the US/UK stay?

I will end with this, as I see you are ready to explode.
I just hope that people reading this do appreciate the amount of time this is taking up. Thinking about answers, ways to put our opinion across. Typing and re-typing what we have to say. Screaming and pulling out hair etc. Some might argue that the replies are long and sometimes repeating what we have to say. True, but the arguments are also long and complicated.
Of all the media reports that I have see, this thread has covered the bigger picture, better than they have and with more commitment. But I could be wrong and bias!!!!

02-Mar-03, 15:04
Dear jjc & abewsed,

Some of us do appreciate the effort you two have put in here. I have been reading all your posts with interest, and have very much enjoyed your exchanges of ideas and also your "public duelling" -- if I may be so cheeky as to call it that.

I didn't read this thread at all for the first week or so because of the nature of the posts from both pro- and anti-war lobbies. But you two have changed all that. You have helped me think about things in ways I probably wouldn't have done otherwise. Not that I always agree with either of you, mind! Indeed, one might argue that this is the most finely-balanced international situation for a long time, and, perhaps surprisingly to some, has led to the best, most open, parliamentary debate for years. Even old Ken Clarke managed to surprise a few of us with his timely intervention.

Personally, I have been sitting much too close to the fence for comfort for several weeks. It's a deviously barbed-wire fence, and the dashed thing keeps moving! I think I've been over it one way or another several times whilst reading the newspapers this weekend alone. I have no doubt that the only way to treat Saddam is to keep tightening the screws until his pips squeak. The only questions are "which screw(s)?", "when?" and "how tight?". It's important that HE thinks we'll hit him militarily -- whether WE want to or not. Somewhat paradoxically, it may be a good thing to have a divided international community; it keeps the wily old fox guessing, and he can't play his usual well-planned games because he can't predict what will happen next. Do I really believe that? Hmm, perhaps not.

BTW I thought John Thurso was ok on Newsnight Scotland the other night. Not great, but ok. He avoided problems and hostages to fortune by not saying too much at all!

jjc & abewsed, please keep posting -- it will be interesting to hear your thoughts as events unfold.

Thanks guys!

PS I have also enjoyed the contributions and opinions from marion, squidge, kw14ultra, drutt, rich and fionarich (are they related?), and perhaps a few others I have forgotten.

Hmm, this is beginning to sound like an oscar-acceptance speech of the most patronising kind. Better wipe off the sycophancy and get back to work...

Dr :evil

02-Mar-03, 20:08
I don't know rich, but am also enjoying reading all of the postings in this discussion!


Fiona Rich :)

03-Mar-03, 15:40
I don't know Fionarich but she is obviously a smart person.

03-Mar-03, 15:57
Today's news - the US and British airforces have commenced bombing targets in Iraq.
Does this mean the war has started?
On the other hand Turkey has refused to be a staging post for the invasion of Iraq which will come as an enormous relief to the Kurds.
And it looks less and less likely that either the UN or the EC are going to approve this war.
So what's happening?
As a medical writer I often turn to diseases for an analogy with international politics.
Take AIDS for example. Or diabetes.
Both of these conditions are incurable but manageable. They are CHRONIC diseases.
Look on Sadam as a chronic, manageable, disease and we may begin to get somewhere.
Now look at Dr. Bush and Dr. Blair. Their idea of curing the patient is to hack limbs off in all directions. In the long run this will be an impressive spectacle but - to extend the metaphor (simile perhaps?) - will simply spread the virus into hitherto unaffected parts of the body politic.
American foreign policy is itself is bginning to resemble a chronic psychiatric disease complete with hallucinations, night fevers, shuddering teeth and a massive dose of paranoia.
The rest of the world should pay no attention to these ravings other than to attempt to calm the patient (patients?) down.
I have a name for the Bush/Blair chronic disease: GRAND OLD DUKE OF YORK SYNDROME. He marched his men to the top of the hill and marched them down again. And when they were up they were up etc etc.
As for Sadam he makes me think think of the best cure for piles of hemmorhoids. That is to secure them with tight rubber bands, cutting off the circulation and they drop off. Sadam is clearly a chronic hemmorhoidic - I would use another phrase but it might be construed as bad language....

03-Mar-03, 18:23
Well, I spent yesterday putting up some new shelves and resealing my bath. I figured that if I just got my hands on some power tools (no pun intended, I’m talking about a jigsaw and drill) I’d be able to forget about the big wide world and have a relaxed weekend for a change. It didn’t help at all. With all of the media coverage of the Bush administration’s continued push for war it was very difficult not to think about the future… so here I am… again…

I’ve looked back over this thread and the arguments have rattled around inside my head in time with the drilling and hammering, and I’ve come back time and time again to the same question that I can’t seem to answer.

Why now?

We have heard the US and UK governments’ many, and changing, reasons. I’m not going to list them all over again and give my objections – the previous posts here do that well enough – but the gist is:

We started with the Weapons of Mass Destruction. When that wasn’t wholly accepted we moved onto a potential terrorist threat. Again, when that didn’t quite cut it, we had a moral reason. Ah, but there was rebuttal from the church and groups such as Amnesty International, so we find ourselves back with Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Throughout the explanations and disagreements, many of us, myself included, called for a second resolution to justify any war.
We hoped that this would put the brakes on the US lust for action, forcing them to set deadlines and conditions that Iraq could, if they wanted, achieve and avoid war.
We hoped that once this resolution was in place Iraq would make efforts to meet the conditions.
We hoped that the US would recognise their cooperation and would hold off on any action.

How naïve we were.

It is becoming more and more obvious that the second (sorry, Abewsed, final) resolution is intended as little more than an attempt by the US and UK governments to silence their critics and move to the next stage with as little opposition as possible. Indeed, as Rich suggested, the UK and US have already started a tacit war in Iraq.

Not content with patrolling the no-fly zones of Iraq, only using force in self-defence, our pilots have now been ordered to attack ground forces in preparation for war. We have attacked surface-to-surface missile stations that, by definition, pose no threat to the planes securing the no-fly zones. The only reason for doing so is to pave the way for invasion.

Bush has said that the disarmament of Iraq - in other words Iraq meeting the conditions of the UN - is not enough. He has said he will not be happy until Saddam Hussein is removed from power. He has stated his willingness to go to war without UN backing or assistance (although he is pretty safe that we, the UK, will follow along with our tail wagging).

Abewsed, you are right that we have Bush and Blair to thank for the progress we have made to date. The threat of force is necessary for us to complete our goal of disarmament in Iraq; you’ll get no argument from me there. Saddam has shown that without that threat he is incapable of complying with any UN resolutions. However, we will also have Bush and Blair to thank if Iraq do an about-face, bunker down and wait for an invasion force.

The Iraqi regime is showing real signs of improved cooperation with the Weapons Inspectors. They have begun the lengthy process of destroying their illegal missiles. They have identified the sites where they claim to have destroyed their chemical and biological weapons, and have agreed with the Weapons Inspectors the process that they will use to prove the quantity destroyed.

Real progress seems to have been made over recent weeks, but I fear that the Iraqi regime might look at Bush and realise that they are leaving themselves defenceless in the face of almost certain attack.
Perhaps because of the ratings boost he has received since the crisis began, perhaps because it deflects from the economic state of the US, perhaps just because, but for whatever reason Bush appears (to me anyway) to be turning into something of a warmonger.
Who can blame Iraq for questioning why they would continue to destroy their missiles when America is poised to attack regardless?

I think that it must be a delicate balancing act to use the threat of force to make the leadership of a country toe the line. Bush and Blair have taken Iraq to the precipice of war and, peering over, Saddam Hussein seems to have realised it is quite a long way down and has tried to take a small step back. Bush, meanwhile, has grabbed Saddam’s arm with one hand and a good fistful of Blair’s coat with the other and is trying to throw all three of them off the edge.

But hey, maybe I’m just [mis]underestimating the guy.

Anyway, before I go home and have a stiff drink – Abewsed, I have never questioned your heritage. The number of names on your birth certificate has no bearing on your stubbornness in this debate ;)

And Rich… a ‘Chronic Hemmorhoidic’? Eloquently put [lol]

03-Mar-03, 19:38
No the war has not started. It seems that Saddam or his Generals decided to “light-up” a US/UK aircraft around Basra. Basra is down near Kuwait, well within the No-Fly-Zone. This “game” has been going on for 12 years. Iraq is not allowed to lock their surface to air missiles (SAM) onto aircraft, which operate in the No-Fly-Zones. To do so is seen as a real threat to aircraft. In fact the Iraqi’s have, in the past, launched missiles at aircraft. When the Iraqi’s do “light-up” an aircraft the aircraft are allowed to attack the SAM Site/s. In fact it seems ridiculous that Saddam keeps doing this as it just allows the US/UK, and others, the opportunity to attack the SAM sites.

It seems someone it trying to see how far they can push things. My money is on Saddam doing the “initial” pushing, as the aircraft will have recorded the Iraqi SAM’s locking on with its radars. Which will or can be verified by the UN. So if there is no recording, then the US/UK are lying. Also the Electronic Warfare Aircraft, which some are operated by the UN, would also have detected this happening, or not happening.
But saying that, the US/UK has now taken the opportunity to destroy some of his Surface-to-Surface Missiles (SSM), which could be a threat during a land war. But no threat to the aircraft operating in the No-Fly-Zone.
The attacks on the SAM sites are legal, as it has the backing of the UN. The attacks on SSM sites are not legal, as they are not directly involved or a danger. So now we have not only one side breaking the rules, but also both sides.
My view on this is that the US/UK are correct. If there are any military threat in the No-Fly-Zone, ALL military targets are legitimate, not only the SAM’s. This game of cat and mouse has gone on long enough. It is one of those politically correct issues. The one used on the films, “no hostile action to be taken, until fired upon.” So some poor sod flying about is waiting for the threat of being fired upon every time he/she flies. For the last 12 years, this has been deemed as a Peace Keeping mission, where the politicians are safe behind a desk and the USAF, RAF and others take the risk. To have radar lock onto an aircraft is an aggressive action, whether a missile is fired or not!

About the diseases! I only understand that Humans are the disease. There will be wars, until we become extinct. Aggression is part of our nature. Today we try to control our aggression, in Sports etc. Today the “civilised” countries battle inside the stadiums, in Football, Rugby, table tennis etc.
The cure!
My suggestion is that we have a game to Russian Roulette between Bush, Blair and Saddam. Last man standing wins. See, doing it this way, the World leaders will have second thoughts about war. Or if they lose, no thoughts at all!
An interesting though just came to mind! Who would the US and UK want to be left standing??????

03-Mar-03, 20:56
Why now?
I believe it is that US wants to send a message to the World. Which is don’t **** with us! They got hit Sept 11. They invaded Afghanistan and destroyed the terrorist network there. Now they want to sort out the next big threat on the list, Iraq. Also they want to demonstrate that the US will not tolerate any county that harbours terrorists, which are a in/direct threat to the US.
Iraq and Bin Ladden had already stated that they would and could attack America. Both have already threatened terrorist attacks on the US, even before Sept 11th.
Also Saddam and Bin Ladden also threatened to use WOMD on both the US and UK. Ie, chemical or biological weapons. This is the reason I believe it is happening now. The intention is to destroy both the immediate threat and future threat.

As for the rest, I have no argument.

But I can’t understand why Saddam or his Generals threatened a US/UK aircraft! It does not make sense, as he is destroying his missiles on one hand and goes and acts aggressive with the other! Unless this is a sign of how far gone he is. It just gives the US/UK the opportunity to attack all of his SAM sites. I am still debating if the US/UK made the right (political) move regarding the Surface sites.
Or are the US/UK telling porkies?

Hey! Now that makes a change, a short reply!

03-Mar-03, 22:10

So, you suggest that we no longer follow a mandate of (and I use this phrase only for want of a less clichéd one) ‘do not fire, unless fired upon’? At what point, then, do we decide that a target becomes legitimate? How do we decide if we have enough evidence against a target to deem it a threat? Or do we simply rely on gut instinct? And is this decision down to the soldier in the field, or does he need to relay information up the chain of command and await a decision?

Okay, here’s a challenge…

The surface-to-surface missile stations destroyed over the weekend were targeted because they posed a threat to UK and US troops over the border. Presumably this means that the targets were recognised as a threat and destroyed either to prevent an attack on UK/US troops, or to pre-empt that attack.

The US DoD 'Dictionary of Military Terms' contains the following:

preemptive attack – An attack on the basis of incontrovertible evidence that an enemy attack is imminent

preventative war – A war initiated in the belief that military conflict, while not imminent, is inevitable, and that to delay would involve greater risk

*they don’t define preventative attacks

The challenge is simple. Pick one. You have categorically stated to Rich that we are not at war; therefore this was either pre-emptive or preventative. I'll let you choose.

Of course, if you choose pre-emptive then you have to back that up with incontrovertible evidence that Iraq is not only a threat, but was literally about to attack us.

But if you choose preventative, then you are saying that war with Iraq is inevitable and they will cease destruction of their missiles immediately.

Bit of a sticky one that… Sorry…

There is, of course, a third option. We could look up the word 'war' in The Oxford English Dictionary. Let's see, shall we?

'armed hostilities between esp. nations; conflict'

So, on that definition I suppose that we are actually at war (we are, I think, armed and hostile). But wait, if we are at war then Saddam Hussein will, again, cease destruction of his missiles.

This one just gets worse and worse.

We can dress the destruction of SAMs in a pretty coat of self-defence and it sounds reasonable. Our pilots are flying sanctioned missions, patrolling the “no-fly” zones. We cannot, and must not, expect them to ignore threats to their own safety whilst doing so.
Of course, if Saddam Hussein is to be believed then the planes strayed out of the “no-fly” zones and into Iraqi airspace. Normally I would chuckle at such a preposterous mistruth, but the MOD have said “This is one of the stronger allegations they have made so we are looking into it", which leaves me wondering this time.
If they did stray into Iraqi airspace? Well, if I were Saddam (who must be expecting the US to attack any day now) and an ‘enemy’ plane drifted my way, I might want to lock a missile or two on it (just to be sure).

However, the SSM sites posed no threat to the pilots patrolling the “no-fly” zones, and we aren’t at war with Iraq (are we?) so they should have been no threat to our ground forces in a neighbouring country. The pretty coat of self-defence seems to have lost some of its shine. In fact, it looks remarkably like a camouflaged cagoule of aggression.

And did anybody else notice that the US have added SSMs to the list of viable targets for the British and American planes in the “no-fly” zones? That’s jolly decent of them, isn’t it. Now Tony Blair doesn’t even need to trouble himself with the targets we attack. Good old George Dubbya!!!

03-Mar-03, 22:21
Those of us old enough to remember the Gulf of Tomkin incident won't be too impressed with the alleged threats by Sadam's air force.

04-Mar-03, 17:15
In an attempt to remove personal feelings towards Iraq and Saddam Hussein, a hypothetical question on a hypothetical country:

The people of a small country, Elbanyora, have a deep-rooted belief in the correlation between military might and global power.

The government of Elbanyora have recently had to admit to a secret program of biological weapons experimentation, including attempts to develop ‘super-anthrax’, a more potent strain of the deadly disease. Unrepentant, they have pushed forward with the program in the name of ‘defence’ with the latest administration pushing for an increase to the size and scope of the research. Successive leaders of the government have, so far, refused inspection teams access to their facilities.

Concerned sources within the government have leaked documents detailing secret meetings in the top echelons of power to kick-start a new project to develop and test nuclear weapons. Elbanyora are signatories of several treaties designed to curb such actions. Where these treaties cannot be sidestepped, the recommendation being put to the decision makers of the country is that they abandon the treaty. Again, this program is being considered in the name of ‘defence’.

Press reports of state-sanctioned hit-squads operating within the Elbanyora secret service have raised international concern, particularly after the Prime Minister gave the squads autonomy, no longer requiring them to clear each ‘hit’ with him first. These assassinations have been sanctioned both in domestic and foreign territories.

Human Rights organisations, including Amnesty International, have called upon the government of Elbanyora to immediately cease the torture of prisoners. They have identified a group of individuals who, held without charge or trial, have been subject to various forms of torture in the search for confessions. The government of Elbanyora have excused these actions on the grounds of internal security. Requests for inspections of the conditions under which these prisoners are kept have been refused.

In addition, the government of Elbanyora has continued to ignore international pressure to sign treaties on the control of land mines and small arms, refusing UN conditions on the illicit trade in small arms and light weapons, and continuing to utilise land mines in the military. They have also withdrawn from an Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which they originally signed in the 1970’s.

The government of Elbanyora have, in the past, shown they are capable of using weapons of mass destruction. They have shown themselves willing and able to initiate aggression against those whose belief systems differ from their own, and a great deal of the worlds population are fearful of their military might.

Now, assuming that you are George W. Bush, what do you do? Do you allow this country to continue to disrespect the laws of the international community, to continue to develop weapons of mass destruction? Do we allow the continued abuse of the human rights of the prisoners?

Got your answer?

Okay, so I'm not all that subtle and you probably already worked it out. If you were actually George W. Bush you would have given yourself a pat on the back for a job well done. Yup, I'm afraid my 'hypothetical' country is hypothetical in name only. The truth is that the description above is the good old USA.

The mighty moral attitude of Bush seems a little weak when you find his own government are themselves researching and manufacturing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, when you hear that they are subjecting prisoners from Afghanistan to torture in order to extract information, when you read their justification for the continued use of land mines, or when you read their case for refusing inspectors entry to their chemical facilities.

Before I started to post in this thread I had a slight mistrust of the government of America. However, I recognised that this was based almost wholly on The X-Files and various films such as ‘Enemy of the State’, so I tried to ensure that none of my gut feeling biased my argument.

I have tried to research my arguments in this thread, if only to be sure that I’m not spouting a load of regurgitated propaganda, and some of the information I have found has been truly eye-opening.

I now find myself with more than a slight mistrust of the US government – rather I am terrified.
I have had difficulty finding any treaties designed to reduce military capabilities or environmental degradation that the Bush administration has accepted.
They have threatened allies who question them with sanctions.
The mere suggestion of terrorist links is enough to make a nation tremble before them.

If I didn’t know better I might think that their ultimate aim was world domination.

Why do we follow along with this power-hungry administration, pledging our support at every turn? Well, what is the alternative?
- We can detach ourselves from the US, but then we need to admit that the way they are progressing is a concern. We would then be faced with the very sanctions and threats we have seen levied at other countries (look at France).
- We can join our allies and friends in Europe and, as a group, refuse to co-operate with the US, but this needs unilateral agreement and that is hard to find.

Instead, we follow along. Blair looks towards Europe and he sees Germany and France taking the lead with Britain following along behind. He looks towards the US and he sees power. By standing alongside Bush, Blair can claim a degree of authority that is no longer necessarily justified to this nation of ours.

Who knows, perhaps we are looking forward to the future as a member of the United States of Imperial America???

I hope you will forgive me for the tone of this post, and accept that it is no way aimed at Americans themselves, simply their government.
I am frightened and depressed for our future. We have a duty to ensure that the world is a safer place for all and that is why we should be looking at Iraq and demanding change, but the US government seems to be looking inward and are calling on change in Iraq for their own reasons.

The progress made in Iraq to date has been encouraging (missiles destroyed, scientists interviewed, the promise of evidence of the destruction of chemical and biological weapons) but we are now dangerously close to throwing all of that away. Bush and Blair have forced Saddam’s hand this far, making him start the process of disarmament and, who knows, maybe even regime change. But if we follow the US lead now, condemning any Iraqi attempts to meet our conditions as lies and games, then it will all be for nought.

Still, cheer up, it might never happen.... :eek:

04-Mar-03, 21:02
No I do not agree that the US/UK ignore the mandate “do not fire, unless fired upon” The opinion I have is one of… If someone fires at an aircraft, then destroy the SAM site! If this happens again, do the same. But if it happens again, destroy all the SAM sites and other military targets etc.
It is the timing of this happening that is scary! This should have been the policy 12yrs ago, not now.
But now this is taking place at an opportune time. On the one hand, the US/UK are giving Saddam more time. Then they take the opportunity to attack his military instillations/sites. Before a land war starts, the air forces will have to go in and destroy military targets. Now they are doing just that. Also they want to get support from others! The two do not go hand in hand.
Whichever way we look at it, the US/UK land forces are pushed for time, before the summer sets in. So they seem to have begun the Air Campaign now. The US/UK public might be against it, but I think the people who might have to attack Iraq, will welcome it! Who is right?
Also the other possibility is that the US/UK might be protecting the Kurds in the north and the Shiites in the south, from an attack if the ground attack starts.

My book has much the same as yours for the “pre-emptive attack & preventative war”. If I was to chose one, it would have to be pre-emptive attack, as they would/could use these weapons against ground troops or civilians.
But if I had to categorise the air missions, it would come under “pre-assault operation” – An operation conducted in the objective area prior to the assault. (US Department of Military Terms 1987.)
The is because the US/UK are planning an attack/assault on Iraq. It will be up to Bush/Blair to decide whether it goes ahead or not. The military terms are not for meant for politicians, it is for the military. Once the politicians decide what is to happen, the military will go ahead with whatever type of operation that suits etc.
I also looked up the “Shoot to Kill” in the book and wow and behold it is not there. But I know the US/UK had a shoot to kill policy. But they don’t now! It is called Shoot to Disable. Take from that what you want. Disable = wound or kill?
I know what you mean, but they will just make a new word/s to suit what they are doing. Safety attack, pre-planned attack, self-defence attack etc.
WAR!!!!! No, no, no, we don’t have wars, they are conflicts!!! Falkland War? No Falklands Conflict etc. War is a declaration between two nations. Today we do not declare war, it just happens. We do not go to the Embassy’s declaring war anymore. We now have the politically correct conflict. War + Conflict = the same thing – death!!! Killed in action = died on operation etc. The military use one, the politicians use the other.

If a US/UK aircraft “strayed” into Iraqi airspace by accident, then Iraq can lock onto the aircraft. If then it takes threatening action, it can be fired upon etc. So lets look at this scenario…
Any aircraft flying over Iraq this year has at least two AEW Sentry aircraft controlling them. They would have warned the pilot that he/she was about to enter the Iraqi airspace miles before it did. If the aircraft did stray over the invisible line, it was because they were ordered to!

If I was the commander of the ground troops in Kuwait and had the opportunity to destroy military targets before a “possible” ground attack. I would be silly not to take it! The SSM’s are a threat to any troops invading Iraq. The Commanders main concern is to his own soldiers first and foremost. It is a “tactically” correct action. It is a “politically” incorrect action.
But then again, Saddam did not declare war on Kuwait before he attacked, he did not declare war on Israel before firing scuds at them. In fact there was no war between Kuwait and Iraq. There was no war between Israel and Iraq. He attacked both without prior notice. At least the US/UK have given him notice before attacking.

Part two
Ok, the hypothetical “Elbanyor”
I hope you realise that you are keeping me on my toes, now I have to find more books!!!!!
This is a list of all the nations that have used WOMD since WW1, where all nations used gas.
Afghanistan (Poison Gas) 1980-81. China (Poison Gas) 1958. Cuba (Poison Gas) 1957. Egypt (Poison Gas) 1963-67. Ethiopia (Poison Gas) 1981-82. (Chemical) 1981-82. France (Poison Gas) 1957. (Chemical) 1959. Germany (Poison Gas) 1942-45. Iraq (Poison Gas) 1965, 1973, 1980. Israel (Poison Gas) 1982. Italy (Poison Gas) 1935-36. Japan (Poison Gas) 1937-42. (Biological) 1940-42. Portugal (Chemical) 1968-74. South Africa (Poison Gas) 1978. Spain (Poison Gas) 1925. Taiwan (Poison Gas) 1958. UK (Poison Gas) 1920’s. (Chemical) 1950’s. USA (Biological) 1951-53. 1965-70. 1978-81. (Poison Gas) 1951-53. (Chemical) 1961-71. USSR (Poison Gas) 1934, 1979-81.
Vietnam (Poison Gas) 1967-81.
Two Atomic Bombs dropped in 1945 by USA, with the backing of the USSR & UK.

As you can see there are a lot of other countries involved in WOMD since 1919. Not just the USA.
As for torture, I seem to remember that torture was used against the IRA, UDA etc in N Ireland, by the UK. Oh, and the Police in the 1970’s were known to have tortured some prisoners as well. Also there were assassinations carried out in N Ireland, by the UK. I can include France for the terrorist attack on Greenpeace’s “Rainbow Warrior”. I could include USSR, China etc. In fact all countries were involved in all of the above at some time or other.

A lot of the information on the USA will be true. You will find worse done by France, China, and USSR etc. One good thing about the UK is that it is a smaller country and the secrets are kept under the sheets longer. But make no mistake; the UK is a guilty as the next! The secrets are coming out slowly, but it is coming out!

You seem to be trying to convert the converted. I know what the USA is guilty of. I know what the UK is guilty of. The same applies for France, Germany, USSR, China, and Vietnam etc.
The way I do it is to keep to the facts, and try not to be blinded by others. I accept that torture will still go on in the USA, UK, and France etc. I also accept that some things are better kept away from the public. There are very dodgy people out there working for the Governments, not all of them are James Bonds or the SAS. All of what you have said, I can also include most countries alongside the USA.

I agree you should be terrified, as the world has become more dangerous, not safer. The way I look at it is to just accept that all Governments break the law. It is only when they get caught, that it stops (sometimes). Trust no Government!!!!

OK, the USA Empire is out for World Domination! No way! Even Hitler realised that for an Empire to succeed you need at least two other Empires to compete with. Otherwise it implodes. I think the Yanks will have realised this. Just to cheer you up. No Empire survives. Look at the Egyptians, Romans, Greeks, British, French, and Russian etc. Communism, now that is a great idea, all men equal (what about women?). But reality proves that some men (pigs) are more equal than others. It does not work, but the theory is sound.

We follow the US, because at the moment, they are better than the rest. Simple as that! Or would you rather follow France, Germany, Russia, China or even Iraq? You an I differ in your quote “We can join our allies and friends in Europe”. One country I would put on top of the enemy of the UK’s list is FRANCE. (I take that back, they are second after Iraq now.) Now they do want European domination!

Ask your self one question: Would you trust Iraq, if they destroyed all their missiles?
I think the only way the US/UK will not attack, is if Saddam bugs off or dies. That is my belief!

I agree with your last statement “Still, cheer up, it might never happen”.... The only problem is that I stopped believing in the tooth fairy years ago. Sad but true.
There is a lot to be said for MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction). Sounded crazy at the time, but at least you know which way to look for the enemy! Also no one could win, everyone loses!
So much for short posts!!!! I have just read all of what I wrote and now I am depressed!!!!!!

05-Mar-03, 00:06
Jjc and abewsed - boys - the world is a scary place - life is a terrifying rollercoaster ride.

It is clear that the US and the Uk stand guilty as charged in many respects. However i think we have less to fear from the US than you suggest.

What there is in both the US and the UK is a political system which will protect us from the demonic actions of a power crazed dictator. We have democracy. We have freedom of the press, we have free speech, we have the power to protest, we have the ability to change things with our votes, we have powerful politicians in opposition and we have the humanity of the people who live in these countries.

The population is not stupid. The ability of the person in the street to understand and debate the issues around complex political arguments is huge. You simply have to read this message board to see that. The press is not in the governments pocket, I do believe that we (society - that is - not you, me and abewsed with the dr thrown in for good measure) have a deep sense of what is right and would refuse to allow the world domination which you seem to suggest is almost imminent to take place. Quite simply our mates Tony and Dubya would not get away with being Saddam - I do not believe it would happen. This is not complacency either - before anyone decides that i am a naive trusting complacent fool. :eyes I have considered this issue many many times over the last 20 years and i do beleive that as long as we have the democracies which we do and the rights and priviledges which ordinary men and women like us fought for through civil wars, world wars, civil rights and other political struggles then I believe we are reasonably safe.

It is still scary though [para] however, if you live your life being scared then your life is less fulfilling than it might be otherwise. That applies whether you are scared of men, women, relationships, sex, aeroplanes, mice, spiders, world leaders whatever....
Fear takes something away from us. We can see this graphically illustrated in the situation of the iraqi people and those living in other opressive regimes.

Read the news, debate the issues, raise concerns and talk things through but dont be afraid. Live each day, love each day and keep yer flippin fingers crossed. I am holding out for that house on a hill in france and neither George, Tony nor Saddam is gonna get in my way.

05-Mar-03, 01:55
Absolutely, Abewsed, if the Iraqis targeted one of our planes in the "no-fly" zone, destroy the SAM site. If it happens again, destroy the SAM sites. But if it happens a third time destroy all military targets in the area? God, I hope not. What we have, or at least had, is proportional retaliation. They target our planes; we take out their ability to target our planes. If we move to the extreme of they target our planes and we obliterate them, then we passed the point of reasonable reaction and swiftly moved into the arena of war/conflict (delete as you like).

There is military tension between the Iraqis and the coalition. In any situation where there is military tension situations such as this, where one side tests the other, will arise. If we work on the 'three strikes and you're out' principle we will find it awfully difficult to prevent the slightest tension from escalating into all out action.

My real concern is with the attacks on the sites that posed no immediate threat to our aircraft. You are right, we will need to deal with such sites before a land war starts. But at the moment we are supposed to be pushing for peace.
You say 'Once the politicians decide what is to happen, the military will go ahead with whatever type of operation that suits'. Well, we are being told that the politicians are yet to decide what is going to happen, in which case what are the military doing going ahead with aggressive operations? I'm not suggesting that the military have taken it upon themselves to target these SSM sites, rather that the UK and US politicians may be in the process of bypassing the UN – which isn’t really a surprise, now I put it in writing.

If you were the commander of the ground troops in Kuwait and you had amassed your troops in preparation for what is still a potential conflict, I certainly hope that you would have the experience and restraint to recognise that you are still not actually in a state of war with the opposition. I'm no legal expert but I would assume that the destruction of these SSM sites, which, remember, bore no immediate threat to anybody as we are not at war, could be seen as an act of aggression and a de facto declaration of war. Certainly, if Iraq were to destroy one of our planes, rather than just target it, I think we would find ourselves at war quicker than we could say ‘What should we do, oh mighty Bush?’

About the whole ‘Elbanyor’ thing… I almost apologised for that tirade. I believe I may have overdosed on caffeine at the time, which explains the deep depression that set in as I typed and pondered. However, reading back what I wrote and the responses, I don’t think I will apologise.

Abewsed, you have listed a pretty telling group of nations who have used WOMD since WW1. Okay, first I feel I should thank you for switching to my side of the argument, but I suspect you haven’t.

One of the main reasons that we are on the verge of invading Iraq is that they have developed WOMD and have shown in the past that they are willing and able to use them, right? Okay, so take a look at the dates in your little list. Spot the problem I’m having right now?

Here’s a clue.

Two countries are at the top of my worry-radar at the moment: the US and Iraq. We know for a fact that the US has WOMD destruction (chemical, biological, and nuclear). We believe that Iraq has chemical and biological weapons, but not nuclear.
We know that both countries have proved themselves capable of using the weapons they have
Now compare the dates. Looks very much to me like the US actually used their biological weapons more recently than Iraq did. Conveniently, that’s not come up much in the media, has it?

Now add to this the fact that the US have rejected the Biological and Toxic Weapons Convention and it starts to look a lot like double standards, or worse.

I accept that torture will still go on in the USA, UK, and France etc. I also accept that some things are better kept away from the public.

The way I look at it is to just accept that all Governments break the law. It is only when they get caught, that it stops
Seriously? I have to admit that I expected more from you, Abewsed.
We are about to wage war on a country because their leader breaks the law. They have developed (we believe) biological and chemical weapons and the regime uses torture against its citizens. If you accept that it is okay for us to do this, then how do you justify a war against another country for the same action?

You ask if I would trust Iraq if they destroyed all their missiles? No. I’d want them to be monitored to ensure that they did not rearm. But I wouldn’t bomb them because I don’t trust them.

I don’t trust the US right now, either. I still wouldn’t trust the US if they publicly came forward and destroyed all of their biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons.

Squidge, I also hope that our political system will protect us from demonic actions… however, look at what’s going on at the moment. We have Bush and Blair putting a case for war in Iraq, and the people have said, ‘Woah! Hang on a second. Run that past me again? You plan to go to war in Iraq against the wishes of the UN? Isn’t that illegal? Not with my army then, Chappie’ and the pair of them responded as if to a petulant child.
We now have a US/UK resolution being put to the UN calling for war, in the mean time we have the US and UK bombing ground targets in Iraq. Seem like they listened to the people?

I hope you are right. I hope that I’m worrying for nothing. But if I’m not, yikes!!!

05-Mar-03, 13:42
I know it's a bit odd to reply to your own posts... but I just came across an interesting article on the web that has me incensed…

The article, in today’s Washington Times, is by columnist Jack Wheeler.

The subject is the interrogation of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) or rather, ‘How to torture him in such a way that it takes hours, not days or weeks, for him to break’.

Wheeler’s suggestion is that we use a combination of a real-time MRI scan and asphyxiation. His plan is that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed should be injected with Succinyl Choline Chloride, a depolarizing muscle relaxant, to effectively paralyze his diaphragm. His oxygen should be supplied by a respirator… now the fun really starts…

What Wheeler would like to see is for KSM to be asked a series of simple questions, to which the answer is already known. When he lies, the respirator is switched off for a sufficient period of time for the fear of asphyxiation to be known. This will build up a pattern in the MRI by which truth or lie could be detected. Questions are then moved up to ones which we do not know the answers to, again with lies punishable by torture.

Aside from the deep immorality involved in torturing a prisoner, Jack Wheeler’s comments show him to be a religious bigot. The questions to be asked to prove if KSM is lying? How about ‘Would you like a drink of pig grease’? Worse still, his suggestions once the torture is over…

After all useful information has been extracted from his brain, KSM should be informed that he will now be killed after his body is smeared with pig fat, that his dead body will be handled by women, and all other actions taken that prevent a Muslim from entering heaven upon death so that he dies believing he will never get the heavenly wine and virgins, but will burn in Hell instead. Upon his execution, there should be no physical remains. The body should be cremated and the ashes scattered to the winds.

There are several things which really concern me about this article (aside from the obvious moral issues I have with torture).

That this article was printed in a reputable paper such as the Washington Times is of grave concern to me. Abdicating torture is one thing, but the obvious undercurrent of anti-Islamic sentiment is outrageous.

More importantly are the issues arising from the author of the work. Dr. Jack Wheeler has lectured at the University of Southern California on Arestotelian ethics. He is an advocate of human rights. He is the founder and president of The Freedom Research Foundation which, to this day, advises Congressional offices on the many issues of political and economic freedom.

Dr. Jack Wheeler is an influential man. He is by no means unintelligent. Having travelled the globe, he is by no means ignorant in the ways of the world.

And yet his writing seems to advocate the use of both torture and religious hatred.

Where are we going in the world today?

Most of us will remember the Cold War. Communism was the enemy then, and the world was poised on the brink of disaster because of it. We hated them, they hated us, who could see an impasse? But one came. The world, all too briefly, knew something akin to peace. Yes, there were still conflicts. Yes, there was still bloodshed and bigotry. But we were no longer waiting for the big bomb to drop.

You would have thought we could have learned from our mistakes, but we haven’t. Instead we are lining ourselves up again. Once more, it is them versus us. Once more we have a moral enemy who are a threat to our way of life. Once more we can look forward to Hollywood blockbusters with a clearly defined bad guy for us to hate and suspect.

Why haven’t we learned? Maybe it is just in our nature. Maybe, as Abewsed has said, Humans are the disease. Maybe aggression is part of our nature. Or maybe it is greed. Maybe the lobbyists from the arms manufacturers in the west are as powerful as some fear. Maybe peace isn’t as profitable as conflict. Maybe there are just madmen out there who enjoy the rush. Whatever the reason, it certainly looks more and more like peace is not an option that those in power are willing to consider.

05-Mar-03, 13:49
Oh my god

I just read that article. I feel sick and cannot believe what i have just read.

"The ethics of torturing KSM should not be an issue"

How can anyone beleive that.

I agree with you jjc. This is terrible abhorrant and appalling. The fact that any paper gave this space and credibility is beyond belief.

I am horrified.

Bill Fernie
05-Mar-03, 14:28
Having watched the programme about the Cuban Missile Crisis on BBC last night it certainly makes a case for doing as little as possible on the war front. Using recently released Russian archive material the programme showed just how wrong both sides were in their reading of what each other was doing and thinking. Probably by good luck rather than anything else it llooks as if they averted the situation everyone dreaded. No two cases are ever the same but the programme did make apowerful case for sitting on your hands as long as possible when faced with making war. After all are we really sure of the threats posed by Iraq. Or will we fiind in 40 years that our officials and politicians completely misread the situation. Most of us will be dead by the time they open Foregin Office papers for close scrutiny to find out wht they really knew or thought they knew.

05-Mar-03, 14:58
Still... at least we have the free speech to discuss the issues of war.. don't we???

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A lawyer was arrested late Monday and charged with trespassing at a public mall in the state of New York after refusing to take off a T-shirt advocating peace that he had just purchased at the mall.
According to the criminal complaint filed on Monday, Stephen Downs was wearing a T-shirt bearing the words "Give Peace A Chance" that he had just purchased from a vendor inside the Crossgates Mall in Guilderland, New York, near Albany.

"I was in the food court with my son when I was confronted by two security guards and ordered to either take off the T-shirt or leave the mall," said Downs.

When Downs refused the security officers' orders, police from the town of Guilderland were called and he was arrested and taken away in handcuffs, charged with trespassing "in that he knowingly enter(ed) or remain(ed) unlawfully upon premises," the complaint read.

Downs said police tried to convince him he was wrong in his actions by refusing to remove the T-shirt because the mall "was like a private house and that I was acting poorly.

"I told them the analogy was not good and I was then hauled off to night court where I was arraigned after pleading not guilty and released on my own recognizance," Downs told Reuters in a telephone interview.

Downs is the director of the Albany Office of the state Commission on Judicial Conduct, which investigates complaints of misconduct against judges and can admonish, censure or remove judges found to have engaged in misconduct.

Calls to the Guilderland police and district attorney, Anthony Cardona and to officials at the mall were not returned for comment.

Downs is due back in court for a hearing on March 17.

He could face up to a year in prison if convicted.

05-Mar-03, 16:08
There are several things which really concern me about this article (aside from the obvious moral issues I have with torture).

That this article was printed in a reputable paper such as the Washington Times is of grave concern to me. Abdicating torture is one thing, but the obvious undercurrent of anti-Islamic sentiment is outrageous.

More importantly are the issues arising from the author of the work. Dr. Jack Wheeler has lectured at the University of Southern California on Arestotelian ethics. He is an advocate of human rights. He is the founder and president of The Freedom Research Foundation which, to this day, advises Congressional offices on the many issues of political and economic freedom.

Dr. Jack Wheeler is an influential man. He is by no means unintelligent. Having travelled the globe, he is by no means ignorant in the ways of the world.

And yet his writing seems to advocate the use of both torture and religious hatred.


I agree with (almost) everything you say. However, I feel duty-bound to make one point:

The Washington Times is very definitely NOT a reputable paper! It is one of the right-wing garbage rags that sprung up in the Reagan era -- I think! I'm sure some of our US-resident correspondents will correct me if I'm wrong.. You are probably thinking of the Washington Post which is a reputable paper. We have been here before with the NY Times (reputable) vs NY Post (Murdoch tabloid) confusion.

Note added later: I was right about the Washington Times, but it's worse than that -- it's owned by the Moonies: http://www.namebase.org/sources/GY.html Hey, at least some of my long-term memory is still intact!

Having said that, the article is utterly outrageous and sickening.

As for your comment on The Freedom Research Foundation (FRF), I would surmise that you have just discovered how utterly obnoxious some of the US extreme right-wing think-tanks (sic, they aren't capable of actually thinking.) are. The FRF are a bunch of neo-fascist scum -- apologies for using such language but it's true. I have come across Wheeler's articles before, and I am afraid the one you quote is not atypical.

But please, please, please, don't tar all American newspapers with the same brush. The NY Times and Washington Post are good papers -- honest! The quality US papers are often more objective than our qualities, at least from a US-centric perspective.

Bill Fernie
05-Mar-03, 16:23
There are many costs of war - only one of which is the financial cost that might be severe - increased oil prices, falling stock market, falling pound and al that flows from that. Gordon Brown yesterday announced a further £1.7 billion made available to cover costs associated with a potential war. To help put that into context you might want to take alook at the Treasury web site http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/newsroom_and_speeches/press/2003/press_34_03.cfm where the UK's holdings of International Reserves are shown to have fallen by US$50million to a net total of US$15,941 million or nearly 16 billion. Wonder what it will be in a couple of months time? How many hospitals, waiting lists, schools and so on can you get for £1.75 billion or conversely how many will we not get for a bit longer. Sad to say but the cost does not seem to be a factor as we seem to be easily able to afford it. Pity we cannot get a dentist in some parts of Caithness and GP's are getting ever thinner on the ground in the Highlands. Is that one of the costs of war for us?

05-Mar-03, 18:01
DrSzin, thanks for pointing out the ownership of the Washington Times – I guess I just looked at the ‘Times’ part of the title and assumed a degree of professionalism…

Doesn’t really detract from the 100,000 plus readers who have studied his column. Nor from the fact that the Freedom Research Foundation (‘neo-fascist scum’, or otherwise) have access and influence in some Congressional offices…

In defence of my own state of shock on reading Wheeler’s article, I suppose I was surprised to see such ignorance blossoming within the walls of power – but the more I think about it, the less surprised I am. Extremist views will always make more waves than moderate ones, all it takes is for the right person to be listening at the right time.

Judging by some of the radio debates I have listened to over the past few days (since the capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed), Wheeler is far from alone in his belief that torture may be justified. I have listened, incredulous, to professors, legal experts, politicians, and general members of the public, arguing that to torture this man is the only way we can ensure that we have the information we need. I have heard torture justified because he is just one man and many lives could be saved.

It concerns me that the fervour whipped up around the war on terror appears to be whipping up, in certain people, an equal distrust of Muslims. That al-Qaeda has based its entire being around the teachings of Islam is true, that Islam shares the views of al-Qaeda is not.
We need to separate the extremist groups from the religion – the two are very different.

Therefore it is imperative upon the Islamist activists and the Islamic government to opt for non-violence to reach their objectives, which are the establishment of the Islamic government, as far as the activists are concerned, or its survival as far the established government is concerned, so that they are developed and expanded quantitively and qualitatively.

It may seem like this takes us away from the debate on the war in Iraq, but does it? There is unrest among parts of the Muslim community (even within this country) who feel that the conflict in Iraq is just another sign of the growing mistrust of Islam.
We have struggled to come to any firm agreement that the reasons we have been given for the war against Iraq are just and truthful. If the question of religious intolerance were also thrown in as a possible reason for the conflict, I think we might continue to disagree. We don’t want to believe that people with enough power to start wars could also have enough ignorance to start wars based on religion. But if religious groups do start to believe this is a war against Islam, could we not be on the way down a very, very slippery slope?

As I said before, we used to have a war against communism. It went on for decades, and it was only fighting a political ideal. A war against religion could last for centuries – you would be asking the ‘enemy’ to change their entire belief structure and forgo what they believe to be eternal peace in the afterlife.

As for the cost of war. If this is a quick war (which it may not be) then it will bolster the economies of the US and UK. Hey, we all love a victory!!!

05-Mar-03, 19:44
:D well hell troops, im all for the war,many soldiers that fight in the frontline scottish regiments,ie..the highlanders,come from caithness.lets show them our support.i personally want to see saddam hussain and his cronies bombed into oblivion.why....????.hes not a very nice man is he......!!!!!!!!.we shall be doing man-kind a favour by getting rid of this dess-pot.over 600,000 iraqi people,kurds included,have died because of this mans folly.lets do him.....and do him good.you can cry from behind your computers,you can shout about not starting a war,as much as you want,but america is going to take him out......16th march is looking good,and there aint a thing we can do about it.lets talk about islam,in the quoran,we,the unbelievers are referred to as infidels,to be stoned and shot,where-ever we stand.theres is a real tolerant religion.how many of you know that there prophet,mohamhed took up with a 6 year old girl,and married her when she was 9.....!!!!!!!!.her name was ayesha.every time you beat your drums about no war,the islamic terrorists are rubbing there hands,thinking that your advocating support for the muslims as a whole.i see the islamic terrorists were in action again today...hamaz.....killed 19 people with a suicide bomb.......i dont know who is worse........hamaz..or saddam.....if ever a religion has basterdised itself,by its actions,then it has to be islam.16th march people........the end of saddam......and its time you good people in caithness started supporting our local soldiers......or better still...join the highlanders regiment.........byeee londonwicker

05-Mar-03, 20:10
Londonwicker, I scarcely think Christianity has anything to teach the Muslim world about tolerance!

05-Mar-03, 20:42
Last night I watched the news. The reporter stated that someone said Saddam was like a man on death row, reaching out for the last reprieve. This sums up Saddam’s situation. He is a condemned man and he knows it. Whatever happens his days as a ruler is numbered. He is hoping against all odds to prevent his death, or eviction.

War is a two-stage operation.
1/ the Period of tension (the build up to war).
2/ war.
The build up to war is where opposing sides are preparing to attack or defend. This is where the politicians are trying to stop or start a conflict. Take the Falkland’s War 1982. The Government puts an exclusion zone around the island. The Belgrano is sunk (2 May) outside the exclusion zone. Who ordered it to be sunk? The Prim Minister. Why? The Military reported that it was a “target of opportunity” and asked for permission to attack the ship. The PM Ok’ed it. The ship was sunk. There were two reasons for this.
The PM’s reason: To send a message to the Argentina’s that they are to leave the islands or else.
The Military reason: To prevent the Belgrano from being a threat to the UK task force.
The next time the PM gave an order, was to attack (28-29 May) Goose Green. This was to end the discussions and start a war/conflict. Their goal was to recapture the Falkland Islands, how this was done was up to the Military, all the PM got was updates.
Even today people argue that the British were wrong in sinking the Belgrano, because it was outside the Exclusion zone. But war is not like that. Targets are ideally destroyed before a battle starts.
Now we will go back before Goose Green.
25 Apr Commandos re-capture South Georgia. (Not a threat to the Task Force)
1 May Vulcan bombers attack the runway at Port Stanley. (Future threat to the Task Force)
2 May General Belgrano is sunk. (Future threat to the Task Force)
4 May HMS Sheffield is damaged (sunk 10 May).
14 May SAS attack aircraft on Pebble Island. (Future threat to the Task Force)
21 May UK troops land at Port San Carlos.
28 May Para’s attack Goose Green
Up until 28th May 1982 the US were acting as peace negotiators between the Argentineans and British. So all actions before this date was immoral? No! It was targets of opportunity. The opportunity presented itself to the countries, so they took it.
The same actions are being carried out in attacking SSM’s in Iraq. They are future threats and as such, the opportunity is given by the Government/s to destroy them. So the Military attack them.
You are getting mixed up between the Political actions and the Military actions. The Military is a very simple organisation. They will have one aim = destroy the Iraqi Military Capability. No nice rules, no game of cricket, no going home for the weekend. It is a very, very dirty and dangerous profession. They use weapons that are designed to Kill, wound, and destroy. The rule is self-preservation, or ideally put, the other person dies!
World War one was a declared war. Look at what happened! Trench Warfare. No commander wants that again. The successful attacks come unannounced. Poland, USSR, Pearl Harbour etc. All were successful (initially), because one side did not play fair and attacked without warning. That is the rules of war today.
You state
“If you were the commander of the ground troops in Kuwait and you had amassed your troops in preparation for what is still a potential conflict, I certainly hope that you would have the experience and restraint to recognise that you are still not actually in a state of war with the opposition.”
That is an idea in the land of dreams. A soldier is always at war. Take a NATO soldier on the East/West German Border during the Cold War! He is looking over the border at his enemy, a Soviet Soldier. But there is no war, so to the “dreamers” they should not be enemies. But the reality is that they could be trying “in the future” to kill each other, so they are enemies. Same as the Military in Kuwait are looking at the Iraqi’s as the enemy. If you are given a chance to destroy the enemy before an attack, then the Commander will take it! The Iraqi’s die, the US/UK go home alive, hopefully.

The reason that a US/UK aircraft has not been shot down is not because the Iraqi’s have not tried. It is because their missiles have missed. To lock on to an aircraft is an act of aggression and retaliation can be taken.

I am on your side. I don’t want to see US/UK, Iraqi soldiers or civilians die. Those people are pawns in the big ego-political picture. I am trying to be realistic. I watched on TV and read the books on the last one. If I want a re-run, I will switch the Discovery Channel on, or read the books. But I don’t want to see Saddam in power for another 10yrs. Or is son left in charge, so we go back in another 10yrs. I don’t want Saddam using Chemical/Biological or Nuclear Weapons on the US, UK or any other person. Only one way to stop it, by removing him, by force or by war. I would prefer the backing of the UN countries. But more importantly the backing of the Arabs.
I also want the truth to be seen, the real facts out in the open. Like, the users of WOMD are not just the USA. Or I can tell you that the Japanese had a unit set up called Unit 731, which killed 260,000 Chinese with biological weapons during 1932-45. But yet the USA are bad for dropping two bombs that killed 120,000 people. So the Japanese kill 260,000 people with two WOMD! Are we to feel sorry they had 260,000 killed by a WOMD? Or is it justice? That is a moral issue.

Like it or not! Any country can make WOMD in a chemistry lab. Britain does not have them? That is like saying that the Nimrod aircraft does not carry nuclear depth charges anymore, which is true. But it can still be loaded with them within 24hrs! The truth is all countries have them, whether they are made yet is the mutt point.
The difference between the USA and Iraq is that today if Bush uses WOMD, he can be booted out. Can the same be said for Saddam? Also I don’t think the US would use WOMD unless forced to use them. The biological agents that the US last used were in Cuba. See

The “nice” thing about chemical weapons is, that you can occupy an affected area after a short time. It also depends on the type of biological weapon used. It could be the flue, cold etc. I remember one outbreak of a flue bug in Europe being associated with an “accident” in the USSR. The winds brought it over the UK. It depends on what type of weapons is used. Also the most important issue is that the US President could not issue the weapon being used by himself! Things have changed since the days of the CIA self rule. Saddam has no constraints.

Torture issue: I said I accepted it. I did not say I like it! I accept that people die because of drunk drivers. But I have not said that I like it or drunk drivers! Read what I say and try and not read things that are not there. (I still can’t get that bloody smile across here! So there is supposed to be a smile here.) It takes me long enough to go over what you have written without going over my own stuff looking for mistakes!
So here endeth another long reply.

05-Mar-03, 20:47
Oops! seems like I used a bad word (bl**dy). so I dont know if this debate will carry on. If not, I have enjoyed the debate with you and hope all your wishes come true.

05-Mar-03, 20:58
One point to note:
War is a very expensive operation, especially when there is no war! So to get some dividends back, i.e. expenditure of munitions = new contracts = profit = taxes etc. So if there is no war!!!
Also “I” suspect that a new “Iraqi” Government might “want” to help repay the US/UK back some of the cost for “liberating” the country. But that certainly will not happen if they do not invade!

05-Mar-03, 21:19
On the subject of a grateful Iraqi citizenry giving a big cash reward to their liberators, I bet that ordinary Iraqis are having a whip round to PREVENT this war!

05-Mar-03, 22:20
This from the New York Times:

"President Bush has said that he doesn't believe in evolution (he thinks the jury is still out). President Ronald Reagan felt the same way, and such views are typically American. A new Gallup poll shows that 48 percent of Americans believe in creationism, and only 28 percent in evolution (most of the rest aren't sure or lean toward creationism). According to recent Gallup Tuesday briefings, Americans are more than twice as likely to believe in the devil (68 percent) as in evolution."

Always ask your ploitical candidate if he/she believes in Darwin and evolution. Anyone who doesn't is some sort of amazing ignoramus and never never to be trusted with high affairs of state. I bet that Sadam probably doesn't believe in evolution either!

05-Mar-03, 22:21
Well, Londonwicker, when I started to read your post I couldn't quite decide if you were being sarcastic or serious. Do you honestly believe that the best way to support our soldiers is to throw them into a war without international backing? Well, alrighty then, let’s go to war!

If ever a religion has basterdised itself, by its actions, then it has to be Islam
Pardon? So, the actions of a few have clouded your judgement on the entire religion? I certainly hope you are an atheist, if not I’d be interested to hear which religion you follow which has no terrorist group currently claiming that they fight for the further cause of their beliefs.

As for the Qu’ran calling for the unbelievers to be stoned and shot, I’d be interested to read the section of the text where it calls for people to be shot, as it is a document from around 700AD.
Perhaps we should not judge one religion without looking at another….

Thessalonians 1:8 - In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:

Abewsed (if you’re still there), I’m not getting mixed up between the political actions and military actions. I’m getting concerned over the confusion between the illegal and legal.

As I’ve stated before, my concerns are that we seem to have decided that we are somehow above international law. If we can decide which laws we will follow and which don’t really suit our purpose, then so can any other country.

Sure, as we stand at the moment, Iraqi soldiers are definitely to be deemed the enemy. We are at the stage now where we could go to war any day (like it or not), and we shouldn’t be sitting on our laurels and treating them as our friends and allies. However, I believe that we have a moral obligation to refrain from acting in an illegal manner, even if it suits our purpose. That includes the use of pre-assault operations. Remember, we are working towards peace - apparently.

Why do we have a moral obligation to behave in the correct manner?
Because we put ourselves on a pedestal and dictate to other nations how they should behave. We MUST lead by example; otherwise we are leading by dictate.

It’s the same with the torture issue.

We, as British citizens, must make it clear to our leadership that we DO NOT accept the idea that the breaking of international laws for war and human rights is sometimes necessary. We need to make it clear that we WILL NOT turn a blind eye just so long as it is kept out of the public eye.
A group of “dreamers” with ideals and no concept of the implementation did not decide international laws. Governments decided these laws. They knew that wars would still have to be fought, and intelligence gathered. They believed that it still be possible to do so. Have we now come to an impasse where advances in technology have taken us backwards until we no longer have the ability to carry ourselves within the law?

05-Mar-03, 22:55
:eek: well..maybe that was a bit harsh saying......that they are to shoot us,but it does call for them to kill the unbelievers.maybe stoning is a more apt description......im all for war...........lets bomb him...and bomb him good.from one infidel......me....to another...you.i cant really be bothered arguing,im tired.it really dosent matter what we say here,saddam will be bombed,by the americans soon....end of story......ps i hear there looking for good tree huggers up in forss....lol.......byeeeee london :Razz

06-Mar-03, 00:00
Quite frankly, Londonwicker, I'm disgusted. How narrow minded are you?

Have you read the Qu'ran? Have you read the Bible? I have read neither from cover to cover. I have read sections of both. I have tried to keep an open mind regarding all religions around the world.

Perhaps the quote in the last post was a little ambiguous, or perhaps you didn't recognise it as a quote from the Bible. Try these two, they are a little more direct.

On the crime of preaching a different religion:

Deuteronomy 13:6-11 - If your brother, the son of your mother, or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your bosom, or your friend who is as your own soul, entices you secretly, saying, `Let us go and serve other gods,' which neither you nor your fathers have known, some of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, whether near you or far off from you, from the one end of the earth to the other, you shall not yield to him or listen to him, nor shall your eye pity him, nor shall you spare him, nor shall you conceal him; but you shall kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. You shall stone him to death with stones, because he sought to draw you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and never again do any such wickedness as this among you.
or how about for the crime of practising a different religion:

Deureronomy 17:1-7 - You shall not sacrifice to the LORD your God an ox or a sheep in which is a blemish, any defect whatever; for that is an abomination to the LORD your God. "If there is found among you, within any of your towns which the LORD your God gives you, a man or woman who does what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, in transgressing his covenant, and has gone and served other gods and worshiped them, or the sun or the moon or any of the host of heaven, which I have forbidden, and it is told you and you hear of it; then you shall inquire diligently, and if it is true and certain that such an abominable thing has been done in Israel, then you shall bring forth to your gates that man or woman who has done this evil thing, and you shall stone that man or woman to death with stones. On the evidence of two witnesses or of three witnesses he that is to die shall be put to death; a person shall not be put to death on the evidence of one witness. The hand of the witnesses shall be first against him to put him to death, and afterward the hand of all the people. So you shall purge the evil from the midst of you.

You need to recognise that the text of the Qu'ran was, like the Bible, written in a different time.

I recognise that there are EXTREME Islamic states (such as Afghanistan was whilst under Taliban rule) where Islamic fundamentalists have come into power and take the word of the Qu'ran at face value - but you have to recognise that this is not the norm. I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that British Muslims manage to refrain from stoning their neighbours.

Oh, and lets make something quite clear. Iraq is an Islamic state. Iraq is NOT an extremist Islamic state. You can tell this easily from things like the fact that they have television, music and books, banned under the Taliban. Oh, and one of their most senior nuclear scientists is a woman. True, Iraq is moving towards a more extremist form of Islam, but that is because Saddam recognises that the bigotry and hatred shown towards Islam by many (Londonwicker?) has forged strong bonds between nations where none existed before - and that will only strengthen his cause.

Okay, that's religion out of the way... for this post anyway...

im all for war...........lets bomb him...and bomb him good *sigh*
So, Londonwicker, is ignorance truly bliss?

No, sorry, that was uncalled for. You are as entitled to your view as the rest of us. True, a somewhat more structured debate than 'bomb him good' has been taking place, but I'm sure you are comfortable with your stance. Trouble is that I'm not quite sure what to say to somebody who makes statements like that. There is no argument to make to your statement because you have given no reasons for your decision.
You are all for war? Good for you.
Let's bomb him? Let's not.
Let's bomb him good? Again, let's not.

If you would like to expand on your beliefs a little (other than Islam sucks, let's bomb Iraq), that would be great...

And what we type here may not make any difference to the current crisis - it is unlikely (though not beyond the realms of the imagination) that Bush or Blair have any idea we are even here. However, Blair is in power because of us. We voted him in. He is in his position to serve our best interests. We are having this debate in the hope that we, and maybe even you, will see a side to this debate that you haven't thought of. Perhaps what we discuss here will have a bearing on the box that is ticked in the polling stations come election time? Who knows, if we have debates like this across the nation, Blair might notice and listen up.

PS - Can you send me the details for the 'tree huggers' position? I've never hugged a tree before, but am open minded enough to give it a go.

PPS - I can trade you. I'll send you details for the position of 'blind follower'. I believe Blair and Bush are crying out for people to fill the position.

06-Mar-03, 07:08
:D iraq.im afraid is percieved to be a muslim state.......mind you there is a few christains there too...saddams a muslim....when it suits him.yes...im afraid your a simple minded tree hugger,who conveintly forgets to mention the facts/atrocities commited by saddam and his bootlickers,over the last 20 years or so.typical tree hugger actions.5000 kurds gassed in 1988,500,000 who died in the 10 year war with iran,100,000 who died in the gulf war,after they invaded kuwait.where alll the other arab states,paid us,to get rid of him.35,000 moderate muslims,in the south of iraq,who had a wee uprising after the 91 war.thats over 640,000 people,who have died,as a result of this demonic scumbags actions,so far.the acceptable face of islamic jihad,was in action again yesterday i see,another suicide bomber killing,maiming innocents,as per usual.i suggest....tree hugger,if you feel so strongly....about helping the iraq,s.....then why dont you book your one way ticket to baghdad,and put yourself forward,as a human shield......!!!!!!.i know a chap from the highlands,good caithness soldiers..whom im 100% sure,if he see,s a tree hugger in his sights,in iraq,then your history.thats called being loyal to your country.no doubt your one of these anti-capitalist types too,after having paid...bill gates wonga to use windows.....!!!!!!!.better still..move to france,or germany,with all the other cowards.your immaturity on these matters comes shining through in your posts.in fact.......your just a tree hugging coward,bliss-fully ignorant,off current and past world events.next youll be telling me the taliban......were poor misguided souls.......lol.....get a new widescreen tree-hugger.......its going down soon......deal with it. byeee infidel......londonwicker

06-Mar-03, 12:09

Before I answer, could you do me a favour and find the return key on your keyboard (you can’t miss it, it’s just below the backspace). I know that there have been complaints about the length of some of the posts, but cramming the same number of words into a smaller space doesn’t help.

Also, the key directly below return, the one with an upwards pointing arrow, is called the shift key. You will find it useful for adding capital letters at the beginning of your sentences. They, in turn, are useful for distinguishing which of your full stops is intended to denote an actual sentence end, and which is used instead of a comma (you can find that one right next to the period key)


It’s a funny term, tree-hugger. I always associated it with environmental activists (hence the use of the word tree). I suppose it must have originated from the concept of being at one with nature or something.

I had a quick look, and believe it or not, www.dictionary.com actually contains a definition for tree-hugger. To save you having to look it up, here it is:

An environmentalist, especially one who supports the preservation of forested land and the restriction of logging.
Anyway, I do care a little about the environment (hey, we all have to breath the air, right?). I recycle when I can be bothered. I object to big corporations spitting out poisons in the name of profit.
But if you want to build a bypass around my town, or add a lane to the M4 so that I can get to work faster, great, be my guest.

If, instead of accusing me of being an environmentalist (which does seem a little off topic), you wished to comment on my desire for peace, then you would be looking for the word ‘pacifist’. A pacifist is, according to the definition on www.dictionary.com, ‘someone opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes’.

Taken at face value, I do accept that I fall under that definition. I am opposed to violence as a means of settling disputes.
I reject that I fit that definition to an extreme. I may be opposed to violence when settling disputes, but I accept that it has its place. If we have exhausted all of our efforts to reach a peaceful conclusion to this crisis, then so be it. If war is the only option open to us, then we must have war.

Those people who have journeyed to Iraq as Human Shields are examples of the extremities of pacifism. They are the type who would not raise their fists in self defence or the defence of a loved one. They are, in my opinion, as dangerous as Saddam himself.

That said, they are unarmed and peaceful. Misguided or not, we cannot simply get them 'in our sights' and shoot them. It's wrong and it's illegal. If they have camped themselves around a military target which is bombed by the coalition, then they have made their choices and must accept the risks. But we cannot shoot them on purpose. Londonwicker, what kind of a world do you want to live in? The kind where we are allowed to demonstrate and debate, or the kind where our military can shoot us for doing so? Give it a bit of thought and you might realise that the arguments for going to war with Iraq are the very same arguments that dictate that we cannot murder protestors.

Unfortunately, Londonwicker, you seem to have quite a problem with Islam. On what do I base this? I could look only to your posts in this thread, and draw that conclusion. But I have looked back over all of your posts and the majority of them deal with Islam.
You use the word infidel an awful lot, always with scorn and derision. Some of your posts make the distinction between extremist and peaceful Muslims, but the overall impression that you give is that of someone who has based their understanding of Islam on media reports and hearsay. In one of your previous posts you have suggested that people read the Qu’ran and the Bible. Have you ever actually followed your own advice?

You have called me anti-capitalist, simple minded, a tree-hugger, a coward, immature, and ignorant of world events.
I nearly responded by calling you a religious bigot and warmonger, ignorant to the beliefs of those whom you judge. I would have said that you base your opinions on half-truths and assumptions with neither the intelligence nor willingness to investigate for yourself.
Then it occurred to me that the truth is that you hide the lack of substance in your argument behind insults, personal attacks and childish name-calling. If you were able to debate your point without resorting to such idiotic foolishness, I’m sure you would.

Whilst reading your previous posts, I came across this (http://www.caithness.org/phpBB/viewtopic.php?p=15121&highlight=#15121):

i wonder sometimes,who really is the desspot dictator......we should stand back...and take a good look at ourselves,and see how others see us around the world.and if theres problems,enter into constructive dailouge with that aggrieved people,rather than go on another bombing spree,which is designed to get votes,and appease the blood hungry masses
I had to wonder then if you have truly abandoned this sentiment, opting instead for the easier route of war. Or have your recent posts merely been a reflection of an immature need to insult and ridicule?

06-Mar-03, 20:31
Ok the legal aspect: The Government follows the legal aspect. The military follows orders. The UK military hope what they are doing is legal and honourable. They swore an oath to follow the orders of the Queen. The Government = Queen. The Queen is a figurehead. So in reality the Military follow orders from the Government. The military do not follow orders blindly, as which the common German excuse of WW2 = “ve vere following orders” etc. They can still be held for war crimes/crimes against humanity on an individual basis. But the over all legal aspect between the UN – US/UK – Iraq is not there concern. The military is concerned with what targets to destroy whilst trying to keep the casualties as low as possible. So far they have not hit any Iraqi targets with cluster bombs. Which seems to me, to confirm my theory that they are trying to keep the casualties as low as possible.
Simply put the Government deals with the “moral obligation to refrain from acting in an illegal manner”. The military deals with death and destruction. The two are miles apart in their responsibilities.

But lets look at the Government and the legal actions. Lets assume that attacking ten Iraqi targets are illegal and this actions resulted in the death of 20 persons. Do you expect the UN to take the US/UK to a War Crimes Trial against Iraq? When Iraq has done far, far worse? Or would you expect Bush & Blair to stand in Geneva on War Crimes, whilst Saddam has nothing done to him.

Tell France that they are “on a pedestal and dictate to other nations how they should behave.” That they “MUST lead by example; otherwise” they “are leading by dictate.” As far as I am concerned just take a look around you, every Government does what it wants. France would not accept British Beef and had to be forced by the threat of a massive fine. There are loads more aspects. I will say it again, the same countries that are against another Iraqi War, are the same (with the exception of Germany) as the last war! Were they morally correct then? Or was the Fact that when France saw that they were the minority and jumped on the bandwagon, was a moral issue, or a political one?

Ok, “we” must “make it clear to our leadership that we DO NOT accept the idea that the breaking of international laws for war and human rights is sometimes necessary.”
I will go along with that! After Saddam is taken to answer for his breaking of international laws for war and human rights and WILL NOT turn a blind eye just so long as it is kept out of the public eye.
You are contradicting your self. It is ok for Saddam, but not ok for US/UK!!!

You have a valid point: It could be that we (US/UK) have advanced technology. Which enables a battle to be fought with precision and less casualties. What some call “humane conflicts”, but I wonder if getting killed or maimed with a 500lb bomb or a Tomahawk Cruse missile makes a difference. But the casualties are kept low. So wars could not be more of an option than before.

I know a lot of Highlanders (Seaforth, Gordon & Camerons). I never came across one of them that wanted to shoot an unarmed civilian. I have spoke to other Scottish Soldiers who served in N Ireland, Falklands etc. In fact I seems to remember a lot of them feeling sorry for the civilians in Kosovo and Iraq. Some even helped Iraqi soldiers, handing out water and food; none of them gave an Iraqi civilian a bullet in the head.
You seem to be giving a wrong impression of the Highlanders! They are not butchers, they are professional soldiers and as such they deserve a more honest picture than you are giving. Oh, also they are there to protect and even fight for the “tree hugger’s.” It is called freedom of speech. It is also the “tree huggers” voices that make the Government think about sending soldiers into battle. So maybe they even save some soldiers lives.
Also I wonder how a Highlander is going to shoot a “tree hugger” in Iraq, as they are not posted there. But maybe your mate is attached to the Black Watch or another unit.
Seriously if your mate is saying these things, he/she needs to talk to someone, like a doctor. Or even look at changing sides, as it might be they need to join Saddam’s Army. But I hope (if your are to be believed) that this was said in bravado/jest and over a lot of drinks!
Certainly most seem to think this conflict should not be taking place today. The reason is that it should have been sorted out 12yrs ago.
If you are really behind the Highlanders, then try and keep them out of “your” argument. Or if you have to include them, give them the support you say they deserve, and do not try and dishonour them by including rubbish like they will shoot some “tree hugger”!

06-Mar-03, 20:38
I see I am still in the game (so far!)
Error: last sentence should read…
You have a valid point: It could be that we (US/UK) have advanced technology. Which enables a battle to be fought with precision and less casualties. What some call “humane conflicts”, but I wonder if getting killed or maimed with a 500lb bomb or a Tomahawk Cruse missile makes a difference. But the casualties are kept low.
So wars could be more of an option than before.

06-Mar-03, 23:18
I'm sorry, Abewsed, but I'm going to have to take you up on your notion of the military somehow not having to worry too much about the legality of their actions.

Yes, the government are required to follow the law, I would hope to the letter. But to suggest that the military are only required to 'hope' that what they do is legal? Seriously?

I am brought back, once again, to condsider the fundamental reason why we are on the brink of war with Iraq. It doesn't matter what the offence that Blair or Bush use to justify the cirsis today: WOMD, human rights abuses, terrorist links, or UN resolutions. All of the reasons we have been given have the same basic foundation. They all involve Iraq breaking international law.

What you seem to be suggesting, Abewsed, is that somehow this is an occasion when two wrongs do, actually, make a right. You seem to be saying that because Iraq has broken international law, it would be acceptable if we did the same thing in order to punish them.

You ask if, had we illegally attacked and killed 20 persons, should those responsible be held to account? Of course they should. Would I expect this to be done whilst Saddam has nothing done to him? Of course not. It was you, not me, who suggested that Saddam should be allowed to claim amnesty and leave for assylum. I truly believe that Saddam must be held to account for his crimes and those of the people under his command. What I do not believe in is the notion that we are somehow above the laws that we are trying to uphold. As I've said, we must lead by example.

You think that I am condradicting myself? Where have I ever said that it is okay for Saddam to break international laws? I think it is an awful regime that rules Iraq, and we should be doing everything that is LEGALLY within our power to do. I do not accept that my government can act illegally in my name.

As for the French, and all of the other countries in the UN. I am quite sure that they all have their own agendas. I believe that all of the countries in the UN have set themselves up on a pedestal and have a moral obligation to earn that status through morally correct actions. I will say to the French that they must act out of moral, and not economical or political, duty. My concern at the moment is whether we, Britain, are acting within the remit of our standing in the international community.

I'm not quite sure why so many people think that we can abandon the fundamentals that we are fighting to protect, simply because they make the process longer and remove the certainty of war. We are undertaking a task which requires us to be beyond reproach, and that means that we must tread carefully and follow the rules.

07-Mar-03, 00:55
Ok put it this way.
The Government tells the Military to Invade country R, because it is a threat to our nation. Do you seriously think General Y is going to ask for proof that the Government is telling the truth. The Military’s job is to invade.
If the Government tells the Military to defend the UK from country F, that General X is going to ask the Government for proof?
If the Government tells the Military to deter country G from possibly attacking the UK. You don’t expect General X is going to ask the Government for proof?
What the fundamental difference between our nation and others nations is that the Military do not get involved in Politics. THAT IS WHY WE DON’T HAVE A GENERAL IN CHARGE OF THIS COUNTRY, i.e. A DICTATOR!!!!!!! Look at Cuba, China, Libya, Iraq etc all of those countries have the Military in charge! Not like our country where the vote counts, in their countries the GUN counts! I am serious! The only way to have a democratic country is to separate the military from politics. The politicians and lawyers deal with the rights and wrongs, not the Military.

You say that Bush/Blair have to abide by the letter of the law. Yet you expect them to deal with a guy that ignores the letter of the law. They are abiding by the letter of the law, to the sanctions that were set 12 years ago, which have not been met!
Same as if I was on parole from prison. I am expected to abide with certain rules. If for 12yrs I keep breaking the rules, the police come chapping on my door, I refuse to come out and go back to prison. So the Police then threaten to use force. Are you saying that is wrong? That suddenly the use of force is illegal. It is the same principle as what is happening in Iraq!

We all have our own thought on why we are on the brink of war. Legally though: it is because Saddam has not complied with the past resolutions (some 12yrs old). He was threatened 12yrs ago, as to what might happen. Now it might happen. Is it legal to invade? Yes, because this was the resolution that prevented the Coalition in 1991 from going to Baghdad. This is the main reason, which also includes disarming, destroying WOMD and human rights.

You said the US/UK are breaking the Law by attacking the SSM’s. I said I agreed with it, but thought the timing was wrong. I tried to point out that in today’s world this is acceptable to strike targets before hostilities “officially” start, i.e. Falkland War 1982. In fact being legally correct; WARFARE IS ILLEGAL, as it is inhumane! I think that point was made by some anti-war protesters when they damaged some UK Hawks that were due to be shipped abroad. So the UN acted illegally in 1991 and in Yugoslavia etc.

Ok we will cut to the chase here. You want Saddam held to account. Ok, we all do, some would prefer him dead, but whatever. I will even accept he “goes away”! But how are you going to do it? Give him more time to dig in? Give him more time to make up new lies? Wait another 12 yrs and see what happens? Pray he destroys his 600 odd (missing) chemical shells?
Rich made a point; would the Iraqi people be willing to pay money for the US/UK not to invade. Yes they would. But I wonder if they would pay more to get rid of Saddam? (interesting thought).

Or even better the US/UK pulls out of Kuwait and they all go home and live long and prosper. Then 2yrs, 10yrs etc. Saddam decides to start something on his deathbed, so when he dies he can get closer to Allah.
Who do we call? Who will supply the aircraft carriers? France, Russia? Germany? China? Two have aircraft carriers, but I would not fancy their chances of doing the job. Who will supply the armour and air force to defeat Saddam? The same countries can, but the Russian, Chinese and French armies will need time to train their soldiers. As for the first two, their attitude would be to bomb Baghdad into oblivion as they don’t have modern precision weapons, that the US/UK do.
The US/UK have the military power there right now to do the job. You cant expect them to come back later, which cost billions of £ & $. They are leading by example; Saddam has had 12yrs, is that not long enough? (I would swear, but I have pushed my luck already). If I murdered a man in 1991, I would be looking at a parole board by now! This is enough time for a murderer to repent his ways etc. Saddam has had the same time and done nothing, but lie, murder, cheat, steal etc. If he was put in front of a parole board, the chances they would recommend he be imprisoned for the rest of his life. The UN is the parole board, and they are recommending he is still left out on parole! The UN is defunct a dinosaur from the Cold War. The Cold War is over, so is the UN. It is time for the “son of the UN”.
I am tempted to say that the US/UK should leave the UN. Let the French, Germans, Russian and Chinese run the UN. Now that would be a laugh! A/ they could not afford it. B/ If you think the Yanks are Gung Ho, then wait until the French, Russians and Chinese are let of their chains. Now the Germans; they have good troops, but a tendency to get a bit carried away with things, like world domination. Whether we like it or not the UN only has it’s status because of the USA. Without the USA the UN is defunct.

The rules/legality was set 12yrs ago and anyone who thinks the rules/legalities have not been broken by Iraq needs to read the truth, not the Tabloid News Papers.
The US/UK has a right to defend its country and if need be, by a pre-emptive attack. Saddam has already threatened the US/UK with WOMD between 1991 and Sept 11th. He has already threatened the US/UK with mass terrorist attacks, between 1991 and Sept 11th. He has supplied money/arms to terrorist networks in the past. He has supported Bin Laden before Sept 11th and on Sept 11th. I seem to remember on Sept 11th in Baghdad a certain man who went out amongst his people celebrating the Twin Towers disaster. It might be my imagination, but I was sure it was Saddam!
There is a saying “fly with the crows, get shot with the crows.”
I am more worried about the things that might go wrong with an invasion, than the legality of attacking SSM sites, which are a threat to the civilian population and the US/UK troops.

07-Mar-03, 13:23

I think we are looking at two different aspects of legality here. I’m not suggesting that the military commanders question the government’s legal authority to order them to war – in fact I would expect that the top commanders of the military would have had considerable input in any military decisions taken by the government anyway.

What I am adamant about is a little more fundamental. I fully expect our forces, from the lowest rank to the highest, to conduct themselves in a lawful manner when they are involved in military operations.

You say that Bush/Blair have to abide by the letter of the law. Yet you expect them to deal with a guy that ignores the letter of the law. They are abiding by the letter of the law, to the sanctions that were set 12 years ago, which have not been met!
Absolutely. I say that Bush and Blair have to abide by the letter of the law, especially dealing with somebody who ignores those same laws. That is, I believe, what our society is built upon. We have laws and we obey them. If the laws are antiquated and no longer applicable to our societal structure, then we debate them in Parliament (or the European Parliament, or the international forum) and we bring them up to date.

What we do not do is circumvent the laws that do not suit us.

You might argue that whilst this holds true for society in general (you cite the case of the parolee), the government might need to occasionally break the law for the common good (how did you put it? That we should "just accept that all Governments break the law"?).

Well, I would argue that the government must be above reproach when dealing with international issues. We are in the process of 'laying down the law' with Iraq. In so doing, we must show ourselves capable of following those very same laws.

And let us not confuse ourselves here – the letters of the laws that Bush and Blair must abide by now are not all confined to the pages of resolution 1441.

Resolution 1441 does not deal with the way that war should be waged. It does not specify, case-by-case, the actions that are, and are not, abuses of human rights.
There are far wider ranging documents dealing with such issues, which we are obliged to follow at all times – with, or without, the addition of 1441.

To use your own analogy – a parolee and the police - if the evidence is there then the parolee must be taken to court and the police must prove their case. Before the police are able to knock on his door and take him to court, they must have sufficient evidence to justify their action. That evidence must have been collected within the bounds of the law. If the parolee resists arrest, then the police are entitled to use force to make that arrest – but only as much force as is necessary. Also, once that parolee is taken before the court, the police are not allowed to then decide that they can't wait for the court system to hear the case and throw the man into one of their cells for the rest of his life.

You ask what I would do about Saddam. I believe that what we are doing at the moment is the right thing to do. We are pushing him to disarm with the THREAT of force. We have weapons inspectors in place who are monitoring their disarmament. At the moment, and until the Hans Blix reports otherwise, the Weapons Inspectors are being met with cooperation.

I am no fool, I realise that the threat of force is only any good if you have the will to follow through on that threat. If Hans Blix comes back and declares that the Weapons Inspectors are unable to do their work, then we must disarm Saddam through force.

You suggest that 'anyone who thinks the rules/legalities have not been broken by Iraq needs to read the truth, not the Tabloid News Papers'. I wonder if you could share your sources with the rest of us? Where, exactly, have you found the truth? The US claim to have shared all of their intelligence with their allies, yet a good number of their allies are not convinced. Hans Blix has yet to report back on the cooperation levels of Iraq, so unless you have a friend who is a UN Weapons Inspector, I'm not quite sure how you can know they are no cooperating. You certainly put no faith in reporters. So, please share?


The worry that I have with the Iraq-US-UK situation is that we appear to be riding the coat tails of the US with little thought for the situation other than cries of 'but Saddam is evil'.

Blair initially announced that Iraq was failing to meet the demands of 1441, and therefore we were possibly going to war, and a good proportion of the public said 'no'. Many of us called for a second resolution, one that laid down in black and white that failure to comply would result in war (and let's face it, 1441 doesn't actually do that).
Blair heard this and felt his powerbase threatened. He took his case to Bush and they came back with a second resolution. Great, I thought, a chance for peace.

Then I saw Blair on the television, already laying the groundwork for ignoring the second resolution and going to war anyway.

Newsnight (6th Feb)

JEREMY PAXMAN: OK, so they report back next week. Will you give an undertaking to this audience, and indeed to the British people that before any military action you will seek another UN Resolution, specifically authorising the use of force.

TONY BLAIR: We've said that that's what we want to do.

JEREMY PAXMAN: But you haven't given an explicit commitment that those are the only circumstances under which British forces will be used.

TONY BLAIR: I haven't but what I've said is this - those are the only circumstances in which we would agree to use force except for one caveat that I've entered.
And I'll explain exactly why I've done this. If the inspectors do report that they can't do their work properly because Iraq is not co-operating there's no doubt that under the terms of the existing United Nations Resolution that that's a breach of the Resolution. In those circumstances there should be a further Resolution.
If, however, a country were to issue a veto because there has to be unanimity amongst the permanent members of the Security Council. If a country unreasonably in those circumstances put down a veto then I would consider action outside of that.

Still, though, a ray of hope. Blair had, in my opinion, stated that in order for us to commit to action without the UN firstly Hans Blix would have to report non-cooperation from Iraq, and secondly there would have to be unanimity (' The condition of being unanimous' to avoid any confusion) between the permanent members of the security council, except for one veto.

Now, it still didn't rest easy with me (going against the UN), but in the case where a unanimous call for action was vetoed by one country (which would mean it was likely the veto was for political reasons) then I could see some justification for action.

However, the conditions which Blair had stated would lead us to ignoring the UN no longer look likely, and we are moving to caveats upon caveats:

Blair's comments on Newsnight are, according to his official spokesman, "hypothetical because of the Prime Minister's strong belief that a second Resolution would be passed". As are his comments made in an MTV interview yesterday where he upgraded his belief that a veto from a single country would lead him to ignore the UN, to a new one where multiple vetoes from "countries" would lead him to ignore the UN – effectively doing away with his previous claim that there would have to be unanimity amongst the permanent members.

What this means is that Blair and Bush can now push the smaller members of the UN towards a yes vote (as already demonstrated through the threat of withdrawal of aid), effectively doing away with the views of the permanent members (and their vetoes).

And since we are following along behind whatever decision the US makes, the statements coming out of the US at the moment are just as worrying:

Bush – National Press Conference – March 6th
I'm confident the American people understand that when it comes to our security, if we need to act, we will act, and we really don't need United Nations approval to do so. I want to work -- I want the United Nations to be effective. It's important for it to be a robust, capable body. It's important for it's words to mean what they say, and as we head into the 21st century, Mark, when it comes to our security, we really don't need anybody's permission.
It looks very much as if we (US/UK) are building up for war regardless of a second/final/further UN resolution. How can we justify putting the resolution in place if we also pre-lay the foundations for ignoring the results?


Maybe you are right, Abewsed. Maybe it is time to leave the UN. But what is the alternative? Son of UN? You are deluding yourself there. The alternative to the UN is the US. They have already shown, throughout this debate, that it is their way or nothing. You think we could build the 'Son of the UN' as anything more than the international offices of the United States of America?

07-Mar-03, 15:42
Is it just me or is this topic turning into the jjc and abewsed show?
Why dont you two get together on the phone or something or meet up in the Bignold and sort it out!!That would raise some cash on pay per view!! :D

It seems to me jjc that you are a saddam clone .My point being every time some1 says something you dont like you'ere straight back on trying to shoot them down. Isn't that very similar to what Saddam is like in Iraq?
Lets Bomb the idiot now b4 its too late, lets get in there take him out and get back to living in a civilised planet(if thats possible with all the islamic fundamentalists).
you cannot claim that i am against Islam as i have moslem friends but there not the problem ,the fundamentalist fanatics that hide behind religion are the real threat to a civilised society.
I feel for the guys going out there, a few of my colleagues that i served with are going out there but i have nothing but admiration for them as i know what there heading for.Its not an easy job by any means but at least they have the guts to do something instead of hiding behind a computer.Good Luck lads be safe.

07-Mar-03, 16:09
Actually, hotrod4, I've enjoyed following (and sometimes contributing to) this topic, and I'm quite sure I'm not the only one. This is not a simple subject and there are no easy answers, which is why the debate has been so in-depth.

Both jjc and abewsed (plus others) have made valid and thought-provoking arguments which have led me to reconfirm or reconsider my beliefs on some aspects of this threat of war.

The arguments that many people have made have been a great deal more considered than your latest snippet - :roll:
Lets Bomb the idiot now b4 its too late

This isn't the first time you've complained about the continuation of this thread. What's the problem? Finding it difficult to follow the debate? Or did you just want people to agree with your "no war sign is grafitti" stance and be done with it?

And just because we are not out in the Gulf, preparing for war, since when did that mean we couldn't have a point of view?

Nobody is forcing you to follow the thread, lots of people are enjoying following it, so either join in (preferably with an argument with more substance than quoted above) or don't read. I honestly don't understand what your problem is.

07-Mar-03, 17:01
Well, Hotrdo4, thanks... I'm glad to see that I've managed to argue my point so well that you see me as nothing more than a 'Saddam Clone'. I see I've done well :eek:

Nice move, though, saying that every time somebody says something I disagree with, I come straight back and shoot them down – kind of removes my ability to disagree with you… Very clever… (Ever thought of a career in politics?) ;)

But, hey, I might as well give it a go….

First. I have, to the best of my knowledge, only referred to one person on this thread as being 'against Islam', and that's Londonwicker (who, I think you will agree, had some pretty severe views). If Londonwicker wishes to refute that, that's up to them. I have no idea what your feelings are towards Islam in general and, quite frankly, unless you decide to start using it as an argument in this PUBLIC forum, I don't really care.

I agree with you that society faces a threat from fundamentalists who hide behind religion (any religion). Dangerous fanatics have always posed, and will always pose, a threat. The reason being that they believe in what they are doing so strongly that they are often willing to die for their cause. How do you set about changing that?

If I thought for one minute that bombing Saddam Hussein would take us back to a civilised planet, I'd agree with you. A quick, decisive, pinpoint attack that destroyed the Iraqi regime with no ramifications would be ideal. A little hard to come by, but there you go…

What is more likely to happen is that we go to war against Iraq and further destabilise the already destabilised Middle East. We add fuel to the anger and hatred of the very fundamentalists that we fear. We send a message to every nation currently bowing to UN pressure that we don't even follow the will of the UN, so why should they continue to do so?

If we are left with no alternative than to go into Iraq by force and physically remove the Weapons of Mass Destruction along with the regime, then we will just have to take the risk that any one of the above might be a consequence. If we get to the end of the line with the Weapons Inspectors and we fail to act then we are sending out an even worse message, that the UN does not have the ability to enforce its own legislation. But at the moment we are not at the end of the line.

And if this thread appears to be little more than the 'jjc and abewsed show', I apologise. I have enjoyed reading every message posted, and whilst I disagree with a lot of the sentiment, unless it is blatantly offensive I really don't object to other people having a point of view… do you?

As for your 'Its not an easy job by any means but at least they have the guts to do something instead of hiding behind a computer' statement, it might be worth your while to consider that not everybody in this world has the full set of physical attributes required to physically pick up a weapon and fight for their country. The fact that you are not a member of the armed forces does not exclude you from having, and voicing, an opinion on such matters. I believe that the men and women who fight for this country deserve our support and respect. My support and respect includes voicing my opinion as to whether my government are acting correctly when asking our sailors, soldiers, and airmen to enter into that fight.

07-Mar-03, 17:34
It seems to me jjc that you are a saddam clone .My point being every time some1 says something you dont like you'ere straight back on trying to shoot them down. Isn't that very similar to what Saddam is like in Iraq?

Hotrod - I think you are a little harsh here. jjc has been entering into a debate and thats what happens in civilised and free societies. I have found that the arguments that both jjc and abewsed have put across have been interesting and coherent. The posting about the washington times article on torture has really made me think. I was arguing with a friend of mine about how appalled i was about the potential use of torture in any circumstances and i said

" We have to be better - we cannot allow torture in any circumstances - we have to be within the law otherwise we are no better than Saddam"

Isnt this what jjc is saying. The laws and our compliance with them mark us out as free and democratic responsible nations. jjc said

We are undertaking a task which requires us to be beyond reproach, and that means that we must tread carefully and follow the rules.

I have come to the conclusion that he is right on this. For this war to be just it has to be within the law. The more i see in the media and read here the more i am begining to firmly believe this. I was certain that saddam should have had his last chance but i have changed my mind. I cannot decry the use of torture as being outside the law and beyond what is right and proper and then condone the breaking of the law to wage war on Iraq. For us to be secure in the knowledge that we are doing only what HAS to be done we need a second or final resolution. Without that resolution we are just going our own way and that will pose more problems than it solves.

This does not, however mean that i do not support armed action against Iraq - I do. I fully support this as a means for the removal of Saddam - more than that - i think it is inevitable. We just need the official backing to do this.

There have been many analagies in this thread so please forgive me if i use another. It appears to me that this situation si similar to one in which a hospital finds they have to approach a court to decide that a patient will get treatement. This happens sometimes where blood transfusions are refused on religious grounds i think. The doctor knows what has to be done... he/she knows that it is vitally important for the surgery to take place...he/she is impatient to get on with it and save the persons life. However that doctor also knows that if they take the action without authority they will be committing an act of assault or worse so they take it to the court and get the proper authority. This is what is happening here i think. Blair and Bush are impatient to get started and they know whjat has to be done. However they need the proper authority to do so. Without it they could find themselves guilty of a criminal act.

Islamic fundamentalists are a continuing problem. Fundamentalism is extremely dangerous whether it is islamic or christian or other. I have no ideas about how to deal with this problem but it seems to me that we have to examine the problems which encourage fundamentalism to develop. Some of these seem to be inequality and desperation, hatred and ignorance, persecution and oppression and particularly it seems religious or racial intolerence. Where these things exist it seems that it is mainly young men who find themselves drawn into fundamentalism as a way in which they are empowered to act against the particular problems of the society which they live in. Wicked people with their own agendas of power and evil can use this as a way to further their own ends - whipping up youngsters into a frenzy from which they firmly believe that the only way out is a truiumphant death.

I think we have had another thread on this and i will endeavour to find it and link it to here.

Hmmmmmmm this is a hugely complex issue i think

07-Mar-03, 20:17
I also would expect the military from the lowest ranks to the highest ranks to conduct themselves within the “acceptable” limits of warfare. This too is a dark area. As killing, is illegal. But in today’s warfare it is even more complicated. Especially with the media following the troops. In all wars, all sides have committed atrocities. In war the UK forces expect none, but know that some will happen.

Then there is an argument that came up after the last Gulf War. The Iraqi’s had dug bunkers in the desert. It was decided not to attack the bunkers conventionally but just cover them up and ignore them. They used armoured bulldozers to do the job. Which resulted in the Iraqi’s being buried alive! Legal or not? To the civilians, it was illegal. To the military it was warfare. To some of the public it is unfair. It is only unfair when you lose!

That is just one type of view of warfare being inhumane. But in the big picture the Military is given a task. They plan the operation, with the weapons that are available. They then present it to the War Cabinet (or whatever name the Governments use), who either approve, or disapprove the plans etc. Once the plans are approved the Military prepare to execute the plans. When the war starts, the plans are stuck to as much as possible. But if they have a pacific target that needs to be destroyed, i.e. near the civilian population, then the War Cabinet decides where to destroy the target or not. During the Gulf War this was the job of Colin Powell, he was the middleman between the Military and the Government. Hopefully the casualties will be kept to a minimum, but overall the Military have a broad spectrum in the battles. So, yes the Military have a say in where and how the battles are fought, but not in the targets that could be classed as “sensitive”.

The law is getting broken daily. If this were not true the lawyers would be out of a job. International Law is being “tested/broken” every day. The UN laws have been tested by Bush/Blair’s Governments. Why? Because the UN laws did not work! The proof is there, Saddam has not disarmed, he is still murdering people, he has sided with Bin Laden (indirectly, if not directly). Worse, he still has the ability to mass-produce WOMD, or he has WOMD.

Why not stick to the UN resolution 1441? The error of 1441, is that no one thought to put a time scale in it! But as it does not have a time scale, is 12yrs not enough? So the US/UK put a “second/last” resolution on the table. But everyone is in turmoil over it, so why not revert back to 1441? Because it does not suit France, Germany, Russia and China! But yet they agreed to 1441, 12yrs ago!
I have previously listed the resolutions over the last 12yrs given to Iraq, which (if I remember correctly) only one has been complied with.

Na, na! If a parolee breaks the law, he does not need to be taken back to court. He can be locked up and the parole board deals with it or a Judge. No court case is needed for a return to the prison. If the police have enough evidence that he is armed and dangerous. Then he will have a choice, dead or alive!

Oh, wait a minute. You agree with THREATENING Saddam with military action. But what he believes is that the UN threat is hollow. But yet he fully believes that the US/UK threat is real. It has to be real to work! He has to know, that the US/UK WILL invade! Not might, not maybe, not possibly. It has to be fact! If the US/UK pull out and go home. Do you honestly believe Saddam will listen to UN threats, which he has ignored for 12yrs? He wont, and why not? Because the US/UK – UN relationship is over. He has won, not the UN, not France, Russia, China and Germany, nor US/UK, but Saddam!

Truth = both sides and the secrets. The media only puts in what it wants the public to hear (one sided arguments). People will buy the papers that say what they want to hear. It is like the media and the Scuds. Great, it sounds like they only discovered that Saddam had them, through the WI. But I knew about them months ago. France, Germany, Russia (China?) and the UN, have been sent intelligence information by the US/UK regarding Iraq. Israel has been passing on information.
Of all the papers that I have read very few gets the fact right, whether it is small errors or great errors. I trust none of them. I will read military magazines, books, released documents. But I try and read both sides. The military magazines are usually the best as they deal in one subject, Military! Also the better ones like, Janes, who deals with world wide military issues is one of the most accurate. So far! I have never known them to get it wrong, as they distinguish between fact and possibility, unlike the Tabloid Papers. I have been following Saddam for 12yrs and reading the accusation and proofs etc. It is all there to be seen, but as mort people buy the Sun (biggest selling newspaper in the UK), they don’t get the truth, they get the Sun’s Truth. Much like the New York Times etc.
But through these sources, I have proved that other countries have used WOMD. The Japanese murdered 260,000 Chinese with WOMD. The US dropped the A bombs with the approval of the UK and USSR. Which a few non-military researchers know about and the Sun (probably) have not told them etc.

I agree with you, the UK is following the US. Two reasons: 1/ The US is correct, Saddam and his threat to the US/UK needs to be dealt with once and for all. 2/ If we follow the US and other countries don’t, we could gain politically, i.e. trade, weapons and protection from the rest of Europe. There are no doubt more political reasons, but as I don’t follow politics I can only guess here.

Make no bones about this. If the new resolution works or not. The US/UK are going to invade Iraq. As I stated already no Army has ever been mobilised that has not been used. I can’t see US/UK making the Guinness Book of Records! Only way to stop them is by the UN backing Saddam and threatening the US/UK with direct military action. Which will not only destroy US/UK world relationship, but also destroy the UN totally.

If as you said the US try to replace the UN. The US public would vote Bush out! They don’t want to pay more for the defence of other countries. They don’t want their soldiers going to other countries to have them killed in small wars etc. They see Saddam a threat to their nation. It is not because they want World Domination. The USSR tried that and look at them now! The Americans are not stupid. Yes they are proud to be seen as the most powerful nation in the world. As were the British during the Empire. The US can see what would happen if they tried to run the world. This would lead to wars all over the shop, that they and only they could deal with. The US are wanting to cut back on Military expenditure (which NATO and UN have tried to convince them not to), not build more war machines, that the US Tax payer has to pay for.

Drutt & Squidge
Thanks for backing jjc and myself. Nice to see someone is reading this.

Whether you believe this or not (though personally I couldn’t care less). I am not sitting here typing up loads of bull, just for the fun of it! If I wanted my name in highlights and everyone to see it, I would put letters in the papers. My aim (and hopefully others) is to try and get people away from No War and Pro War attitudes for the sake of it. If people are to sit on one side of the fence, then hopefully they will know and understand the consequences of what might happen, either way. They will learn that warfare is ugly and complicated enough. When you add politics into it, it is a nightmare! I am sure jjc has had his/her nose stuck in books, papers and on the Internet, trying (successfully) to put his/her points across. Which has cost a lot of time and effort, a show of their true conviction to their beliefs.

What I can’t understand is why you take offence to people arguing against a war on this post. If I don’t like a TV program I turn on the other channels. There are plenty of other posts out there to look at. You started this, but others developed this into a heated debate. I am all for others taking over the debate. I am in fact disappointed that others don’t get involved. There is enough for everyone! But if you are Pro-War, then try to be a bit more positive and not just lets bomb Baghdad and ignore the civilians. Remember, “A soldier, is a person who fight for those who cannot fight for themselves.” Which includes civilians! Well that was what I was taught and truly believe the British Army is all about. But you must have been with a different Regiment!
See what you have done now! You have just made the debate longer…

07-Mar-03, 22:04

I may be wrong, but I get the feeling that you have, at one time, been in the armed forces (you say to Hotrod4, "you must have been with a different Regiment"). If that is so (in fact, even if not) then I would hope you are familiar with at least some points of the Geneva Conventions. For example…

Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1)
Article 35 – Basic Rules

2 - It is prohibited to employ weapons, projectiles and material and methods of warfare of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering.

I'm not sure what everybody else thinks about this, but I can see why burying enemy soldiers alive, to suffocate, might be construed as causing unnecessary suffering. However, I can see that this would be an appealing option to the soldiers involved. I can't say first hand, it's not something I have ever had to experience, but I imagine the risks involved in clearing an enemy bunker system are considerable.

The key, I think, is in the word unnecessary.
Considering that the ratio of Iraqi soldiers killed to Coalition during the Gulf War was 500:1 – with nearly a quarter of the Coalition casualties resulting from friendly fire – you can draw two conclusions.
Either this shows that the tactic worked, Coalition forces were spared from death by this action. Or this shows that the risks were not great enough to warrant this inhumane action. It just depends on personal interpretation, I suppose.

I can see why you say this is a 'dark area' – there are two sides to every decision made. But this doesn't remove the requirement on us to act within the law – or our interpretation of the law. I believe that our soldiers do, in the main, behave in an acceptable manner in extreme situations. The case I questioned was the attack on the SSMs, which I think we can both agree was ordered from the US government, and which we have (I believe) already both agreed was legally questionable (correct me if I'm wrong).

I also entirely reject the notion that torture could ever be acceptable. Indeed, the same Geneva Convention quoted above, also says:

The following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever, whether committed by civilian or by military agents:
Torture of all kinds, whether physical or mental
There really isn't too much room for ambiguity in that one…

Yes. I believe that threatening Saddam Hussein with war is what has pushed the situation forwards with regard the Weapons Inspectors. The Iraqi regime is cooperating with them to the extent that they are, not because they have developed morals, but because they have been threatened.
However, the power of that threat disappears the instant that this stops being a threat, attached to conditions, and becomes a promise, regardless of conditions.

Hans Blix's report today was decidedly non-committal. In points it recognises the progress made by the Weapons Inspectors, and the increased cooperation that the Iraqi regime is showing. In other places, it raises valid concerns where more cooperation is required.
Effectively, Blix has avoided being the person responsible for making the statements that lead to war – and who can blame him? Unfortunately we are left in exactly the same situation after this report as we were before.

None of the countries, either for or against immediate action in Iraq, have claimed that Saddam's regime is in complete compliance with 1441 (which, by the way, came into effect just four months ago and not twelve years - but I can see where you are coming from). The question is whether the cooperation shown so far is enough to hold off war.

This is the important time for the continued cooperation of the Iraqi regime. Abewsed, if there are 'no bones about it' and we are going to invade Iraq whether we get a new resolution or not, then why on earth should we continue to expect them to destroy their missiles or give up any information about WOMD? You say that the only way to stop the US/UK is for the UN to back Saddam and threaten them with military action? What UN, exactly? If the US/UK go forwards with action without the backing of the rest of the international community, then the UN won't mean a thing. Even if it does continue to exist, it will be powerless.

If we have the US and UK going it alone and a 'new' UN is formed, who is going to be in it? After such a blatant refusal to recognise the power of democracy at work, will any of the existing UN countries want to form a coalition with the US and UK? Can the US and UK form an effective coalition on their own, or, as you suggest, will the British and American people realise the costs involved? I fail to see the wide ranging political advantages in following the US into exile.

08-Mar-03, 01:12
Found it

It was "holy books virgins and marbles"


not exactly what i remember but some interesting points on fanatacism made by helen and londonwicker. Mainly centred on the palestinian problems but worth a look see.

and its not as long as this either.

PS changed link folks so it takes you to page one - a little better i think :eyes

08-Mar-03, 16:25
I Just though i would give my tuppence worth, i was angry after watching the news about a politician who had gone out to visit the troops, to see if they have all the supplys they need, he said that they have enough food, in fact that thier ration packs were very nice, and sufficient for thier needs, yes all very well for him to say that as "HE" wont have to eat them everyday, i might think differently if i hear that all of Blairs lot, decided to support thier troops in every way, and ate them too.

08-Mar-03, 21:00
I am familiar with Article 35; this was what I was referring to when I stated; “In fact being legally correct; WARFARE IS ILLEGAL”.
The reason the Gulf War ratio of killed was 500:1 was because Saddam expected a mass assault like D-Day. If Saddam had his way the casualties would have been much higher, into millions if he instigated a holy war. It never happened, the modern warfare has moved on from WW2, Vietnam etc. It has in fact moved on from the Gulf War 1991. The EMPASIS now is on minimum casualties, to both sides. People seem to think of a soldier as a killer. He/she is not, as much emphasis is on winning hearts and minds as well as the battlefield tactics. There is no use going in and killing everything that moves (Vietnam tactics) then being seen as tyrants. To be brutal, this is one area that the US has learnt from Vietnam. You have to let the people see that you are on their side, or that you are not as bad as Saddam makes out.

If you watched the news today General? was in Kuwait seeing the British Troops. Someone asked if war was definite. He said it was not, but that was for the politicians to decide. So the Law is a political issue and that has to be kept separate from the Military. Even if there is a war crime on the battlefield, the Military (usually) deals with it, by a court martial. The reason is that the Military understand what is acceptable where as the public might not.
Regarding the conduct of the British Forces, I believe they have the lowest war crime record during WW2. It is still carried on today.

The attacking of the SSM’s are questionable, but not from a tactical side. But rather from a political side. I think it is legal, but rather misleading when it is done just now. But if we want some sick humour! At least we are helping Saddam disarm! So some might say we are already helping Saddam and the UN.

Torture is totally unacceptable. But!!!! If Joe has planted a bomb somewhere is a city and he said it is due to go of at X time. He is then caught. Would torture be acceptable if time was running out and he was refusing to give the location? Would it be acceptable to apply torture to save lives? This is a moral Catch 22 question, so you don’t have to answer. It is just to make a point.
Whether we agree in the moral issue or not. Torture still goes on. It might be that it is morally acceptable to the Government for a certain situation. I don’t know. But in a scenario like the above “all pressure will be applied to extract the information”. It makes you wonder what the term “pressure” means, eh! Physical torture is a thing of the past, as you stated drugs could do the job better.

“I” believe the soft approach of the UN, by allowing Saddam to break 18 (?) resolutions since 1991, has lead us to the situation today. It does not help that France and Germany want to control Europe and get rid of the USA out of Europe at the same time. Rather than concentrating on the real issue Saddam, has not helped matters! Don’t get fooled by France’s agenda, it is anti USA and UK. I even feel the UN is seeing the true agenda behind France.

So we agree that the reason Iraq is co-operating is due to the threat of War. If that threat disappears (i.e. US/UK pack up and goes home) will Saddam still disarm? Will the WI stay in Iraq? Get the idea.

Hans Blix should have just given the truth, whatever it might have been. But now we have possibly, might, could etc. He is sitting on the fence again. This has just made the situation worse. Both sides have valid points now.

The reason Saddam is destroying his missiles is… This is his straw, as the reporter stated; he is like a man on death row, trying for the last stay of execution from the chair. He is clutching at straws. He has 90 scuds, how many has he destroyed? Lets say he has 50 left when war starts. That is enough to give Israel a headache. I don’t think the US/UK are or were expecting anything, other than backing from the UN and the Arab countries. The UN can threaten the US/UK with military action. If this is done the UN is finished, but I don’t believe the US/UK will risk a World War over Iraq. They could back off and go home, but the UN is finished and so is the US/UK co-operation with the UN countries. Those countries will have to then choose sides. US/UK or the UN. Otherwise the world is split in two again, another Cold War.

Jjc: What democracy at work??? The UN left Yugoslavia to a “European Killing Fields” for 7 years. Even then it was NATO that forced the issue. Also NATO did what the US/UK are threatening now, i.e. going in with the UN blessing or not. The UN is now a formation of 191 countries, all jockeying for political power. Take a look at the top slots. Pakistan, France, Russia, China etc all of who in the past decade has broke UN rules. The UN has become too political to operate to protect the innocent.

The US is built on Equality, Liberty and Justice. They are brought up on that from birth. So now they are going to get rid of that and adopt Jackboots! No way. The reason the USA got hit on Sept 11th was due to their biggest weakness. They believed that they were invulnerable. But I could also list faults for the UK, Russia, France, and Germany etc. I know we could go into racism in America, i.e. the Black and Whites etc, but so can every country. So far they have done more good than bad. Just ask some countries that have been fed with US aid.

If the US goes into exile. The UK must follow as their poor cousins. Or face being under France and Germany in Europe. I will take the poor cousin. I will trust the US before France and Germany, never mind Russia and China. “Fly with the crows, get shot with the crows.”

Now lets assume, hypothetically, that the war starts and two weeks later it is over. Iraq is liberated and the Arabs decide to set up a new government, the US/UK go home etc. Will France say they were wrong? No! Will the world be a better place? No! We will be at war with someone else. Peace has its price, usually in the form of a new enemy. Out of chaos comes order, but order can only last so long, then chaos then order etc, etc, etc.

The problem is that the Army have loads of RAT-packs to use up. So the idea could be, that the soldiers could save the Government a fortune by eating them.
It seems that the Government are telling porkies again. As it was identified that new mobile canteens were needed during the last Gulf War and during the Balkans Conflict. Both times the Government said they would invest in new mobile canteens, like what the US has for their Army.
It could be that the Governments idea of a mobile canteen is a NAAFI Tea Van from the London Blitz. Soldiers should not have to live of RAT-packs yet; they will be eating enough of them if a land war starts.
Hey, maybe we should send the RAT-packs to Saddam, he then eats them. Does not go to the toiled for 5-6 days and then when he does he will be in agony. Sounds good, but it will be stopped by the UN as it could be classed as torture!
There is another reason that the politicians do not eat the rations! That is because they could not claim expenses for it! But maybe I am being cynical!

09-Mar-03, 00:04
i might think differently if i hear that all of Blairs lot, decided to support thier troops in every way, and ate them too.

Fit? Id's no cannibals we need, id's cannonballs :evil :evil

09-Mar-03, 00:17

You have mentioned a 'what if' several times now – what if the UK and US back off and go home. It seems to me as though your argument is that we go to war, or we go home.

We are both agreed that the threat of force being wielded against the Iraqi regime, based largely upon the presence of our armed forces just over the border, is the catalyst that has kick-started Saddam's sudden boost in cooperation. We both agree that if that threat suddenly disappears, the cooperation will vanish just as quickly.
Where I think we disagree is this. You appear to believe that the withdrawal of our forces is the only alternative to action, whereas I believe that there are many stages in between.

You mentioned the al-Samoud II missiles almost as a separate issue, but really this all falls under the large umbrella of timing. We have amassed our troops in Kuwait, a blatant show of force, which has been wielded against Iraq and has forced Saddam to begin to cooperate.
Despite Bush referring yesterday to the 'few' missiles that have been destroyed, Iraq has in fact destroyed almost one third of their illegal missiles. It has taken them seven days to do this. Now Blair and Bush are calling for Iraq to be allowed only a further ten days. The maths simply does not add up. Seven days for one third, ten days for two thirds?

You raise the problems for Israel if we go to war with Iraq and they still have these missiles, and I agree. If we place a deadline on Iraq that they cannot meet, one thing will happen, one will, I believe, probably happen.
What will happen is that we will go to war with Iraq and they will still have al-Samoud II missiles capable of hitting Israel.
What will probably happen is that Saddam will know that he cannot meet the deadline. If he knows that he has no chance of meeting the requirements, and will therefore be going to war, won't he realise also that he is destroying weapons that he will have a need for very shortly?

As for the notion that 'The US is built on Equality, Liberty and Justice'. Yes, the US was built on those ideals, but do you believe that these beliefs extend to the entire population of the globe? Or even that the entire world welcomes the American take on equality, liberty, or justice?
Perhaps you are looking at a second reason for September 11th? Is it possible that the fanatics who took part in the horrific acts of that day believe that the ideals that the US preaches to the world are not the ideals that they wanted to follow? I do not, for one second, justify their actions. I do, however, believe that the US can be a tad over zealous when dictating the thoughts that they will allow in a free world.

Woodrow Wilson, U.S. President during WWI We have come to be one of the worst ruled, one of the most completely controlled and dominated Governments in the world - no longer a Government of free opinion, no longer a Government by conviction and vote of the majority, but a Government by the opinion and duress of small groups of dominant men.

You suggest that I don't 'get fooled by France's agenda'. Believe me, I'm not. This seems to be the same as your belief of 'war or withdraw'.
The fact that I disagree with the US/UK stance, does not instantly mean that I love the French stance. There are different ideals and reasons in this world. Black and white are not the only colours in this argument.

Yes – France, Germany, Russia, and everyone else opposed to the UK/US, have their own political and financial reasons for that opposition. I do not.
My reasoning is that I believe that the Weapons Inspectors are making progress and, so long as they are doing so, we cannot justify the use of force.
The day that the Weapons Inspectors leave Iraq and tell us that they cannot do their jobs, that's it. Time is then up. But at the moment the Weapons Inspectors are still working towards a peaceful end to this whole mess.

09-Mar-03, 13:26
:D well troops.in my previous post,i mentioned the 16th march,as a start date for saddams removal.wel.well...lo and behold,the 17th march,is saddams big day.....and no doubt,if they capture him,he wil be appearing at the hauge,war crimes tribunal.goodness me,aint these labour mp,s,a bunch of yellow bellied cowardly turn-coats.when your backs to the wall,you certainly know who your friends are.get your widescreens ready people,sky tv,will no doubt give the best coverage.and one word to the tree huggers who didnt want war.......TOUGH.....lol.i like this democratic society we live in,but being a realist,i realise,that sometimes,we need to look at the wider picture,and react accordingly.were not a large country,were not the great superpower we once were,300 years ago.id rather have the americans as my allies,than the chinese,or the russians.....roll on the 17th,it will be a swift victory for the allies,and the iraq,s wil suffer no more,sanctions will be lifted,etc.saddam no more......baghdad no more.....lol.the human shields are leaving baghdad..mmmmm...wonder why.....lol....tree huggers,go to baghdad,if your not happy with uk stance..........did it ever cross your mind,that the french,german,russian stance,has all been pre-planned.its called using the media.....to win a war.....byeeeeeeeee londonwicker.... :cool:

09-Mar-03, 20:51
What if; “what if the UK and US back off and go home. It seems to me as though your argument is that we go to war, or we go home.”
That is correct. I believe as the UN, Europe and everyone is spilt, including the UK as to war or no war. It is just that, War or no War. Saddam now is playing a game; France & Russia (I am not sure about Germany and China) are playing a political game. It is more than just Saddam. It is who is right and who is wrong. It is turning into a political show of force. Out of the three sides two will lose.
US/UK v France, Germany, Russia & China. One has to lose.
US/UK v Iraq. One has to lose.
If Saddam is left in power he wins and US/UK, France, Germany, Russia & China lose. As a political war will begin.
If US/UK win. Saddam, France, Germany, Russia & China lose. As a political war will begin.

US/UK cannot keep the military in Kuwait indefinitely. It cannot fight efficiently in the summer conditions.
As you stated it has taken seven days to destroy about 30 Scuds (al-Samouds). This leaves about 60 to be destroyed. I am sure that they could be taken out to the desert and with placed explosive charges where all 60 could be destroyed in a day, not weeks. It took 100hrs to destroy the fighting capability of the Iraqi Army in Feb 1991. I am sure that 10 days are more than enough to destroy 60 Scuds! If Saddam is having trouble with destroying them, all he has to do is take them out to a place in the desert (preferably in the No-Fly-Zones) and the USAF and RAF will do the rest. All within a day.

I am sure the Special Forces are ready to “try” and stop Saddam from using his Scuds on Israel. The reason I say this is that for the WI to know how many he has, they will know where they are. And someone will have passed this onto the US/UK. The Scuds will be watched 24hrs a day. Only problem is if he has others hidden. If some Scuds get through and hit Israel, I would assume that the US will have already deterred them from retaliating, plus the Israeli’s now intend to hit the Scuds before they reach the cities. If on the other hand, one Scud has a Chemical or Biological warhead. Then it is goodnight to Baghdad! But then again they don’t have to worry about that, as France is sure that they have none!
He is playing his last Ace Card, which is to buy time by destroying the Scuds. This is creating two obstacles 1/ He is being seen as co-operating in disarming (12yrs later). 2/ Splitting the UN. This is causing confusion and confrontation between USA – Europe – Asia – Middle East and in the UN. He knows that the biggest “weakness” the West has (to him) is the concern for lives and he is playing it for all his worth.

Yes I believe, the Americans believe in themselves and that they are the only Super Power left in the world. I also think the US like to see themselves as being the police of the world. When was the last time the US invaded a country without justification? You show me one and I will show you that every other country (including UK, France, Russia, Germany and China etc) has done worse between 1900-99. Up until recently they have been trying to stop the spread of Communism. Vice-versa for the USSR and China. Now they are trying to stop the spread of terrorism.
I am sure that the terrorists behind Sept 11th do see THE WESTERN WORLD as enemies. But when was the last time US attacked an Arab country (before Sept 11th?). Now take a look at France, Russia etc. The USA is a Cosmopolitan Country, it allows different religions to practice with more tolerance than most Western Countries.
OK so Woodward Wilson was a bigot! So was most of the Western World in WW1 and after it. I could give you quotes about what the Royal Family and the Gentry thought about the British lower class during the same period. I think Haig summed it up, during the Battle of the Somme. It went something like this. “I don’t care about the 50,000 casualties, I am more concerned about the loss of the 2,000 horses.” We keep going back to the mirror. You have to also look at Britain, France, and Germany etc. But I suppose that the 5,000,000 – 10,000,000 people executed during 1942-45 by the Germans, might have preferred to be in America under Woodward Wilson.

One thing that baffles me is that people slag the Yanks for being War Mongers, then they slag them for not helping the UK in WW2 until 1942!

Ok so we give the WI more time. Say until the middle of May (3 months). Then Saddam says stuff it, I have changed my mind. He then throws the WI out of Iraq. You then expect the US/UK ground troops to attack Iraq and fight in temperatures ranging from 90-130 degrees F? To make matters worse, they are in NBC suits! The casualties from heat exhaustion would be in the 1,000’s!
What I am trying to tell you it is too late, the troops are there, the weapons are there. You can’t expect to keep troops in this condition and keep the moral high. It is too late to play the waiting game. It is War or No War. Our troops are out there living on RAT-packs. How long can they live on that? How long can they stay away from home? It is past the stage of playing games with Saddam. Someone has to decide what to do, invade or retreat!
If it is invade, then that is the end of Saddam. Whether it brings new problems we will have to guess.
If we do not invade, we know that the problem will be there for years to come. It will also mean that no one will invade Iraq again, as it would be political suicide. So Saddam will be able to do what he wants.
Two options: One ends Saddam. One does not. The options of the UN countries are up to them. But which way we go now, will make no different to the divide between the UK and France. That has been done. The new political worry is the divide between UN nations.
There is very, very few countries without skeletons in their closets. There are very few countries without blood on their cloths. Some are good, some are bad and some plane ugly. Saddam, Somalia, Zimbabwe are all run by the ugly. The problem Iraq has it has the ugliest leader out there. Who is refusing to go away or change.

One thing for sure, If I were in the Gulf just now. I would be wondering who’s side the British and the UN were on! Saddam’s or theirs. Most believe that this war is unnecessary as it should have been finished 12yrs ago.

09-Mar-03, 20:56
:D Watch my lips..........17 th march......is when the show kicks off......duhhhhhhhhhh..........!!!!!!!!!!!!. :roll:

09-Mar-03, 23:49
17th March which year??????
I take it you are on about the land war, as it seems the air offensive has already started with the SSM sites.
If they don’t kick off on the 17th March 2003, will you come back and apologise. Because I have a feeling that it might not be that date.
The reason I say this is because I thought (and I might be wrong) Saddam has until midnight on the 17th March 2003 to decide. So logically it should be 0001 on the 18th March 2003 that a ground offensive is launched. That is assuming Saddam does not do the decent thing first and have a heart attack. Which is unlikely, as you need a heart first.

10-Mar-03, 00:05

Okay, I will agree that the military preference may well be for any action in the Gulf to take place before the summer heat really sets in. The Iraqis are naturally acclimatised to the heat, being as they live there. Our soldiers are not.

However, Abewsed, you have already stated that the decision as to if and when we go to war is a political one, and not military. Granted, the politicians have military advisors and will know the best times to send our troops into battle, but I would also have to say that they recognise other influences (political, moral, and personal) which will bear equal pressure on their decisions.

Also, my understanding of the NBC procedure is that our troops will not be in the NBC suits (complete with gas-masks, rubber gloves, and rubber boots) during every minute of operation. Perhaps somebody could clarify from personal experience, but my understanding is that the NBC equipment is used (and this is from the US military website so I expect there are some differences with UK troops):

- When chemical alarms or detection kits signal the presence of chemical agents.
- When any artillery, mortar, rocket, or aircraft attack with other than HE munitions occur on or near their position.
- When smoke or mist of an unknown source appears in the area
- When a chemical attack is suspected for any other reason, such as enemy soldiers seen wearing protective masks or clothing, or presence of dead animals or people with no outward sign of injury.
- When a team must enter an area known to be or suspected of being contaminated by a chemical or biological agent
- When, for no obvious reason, soldiers have particular symptoms (runny nose, choking or tight chest, blurred vision, increased breathing rate).

I'm not suggesting that the summer conditions of the Middle-East will be at all comfortable or practical to wage a war in. However, Abewsed, you do seem to be painting a picture of around 100,000 UK and US troops performing every mission dressed head to toe in full NBC kit.
Even in the relatively low summer heat of southern England, it would be difficult to maintain performance under such conditions – and I don't believe that is what is expected of our troops in Iraq.

Further, long gone are the days when armies withdrew from the field for six months whilst they waited for the seasons to become more favourable. We no longer retreat to our castles for the winter and wait out the snow. We have the technical capabilities to weather the storm and fight when and where required.

Okay, I'll give you the 'war or withdraw' thing… partially.
I didn't really explain myself too well before. Obviously, there are only two possible outcomes here, we go to war or we don't. There is no 'we kind of go to war – ish' possibility here.

What I meant was that you seem to be arguing that we go to war NOW, or we withdraw, which just isn't right. As I have said before, the report from the Weapons Inspectors indicates that they are still able to succeed in their task.

Abewsed. In a slightly patronising tone (I felt) you told us not to 'get fooled by France's agenda'. You have also suggested that we 'read the truth, not the Tabloid News'. Well, I throw the same charge at you. Perhaps you should read outside the Tabloid anti-French propaganda and try to determine for yourself what their words actually mean.

To the best of my knowledge, only one country so far has come out and actually said that war is not an option they are willing to consider. And that country was NOT France, it was Russia.
Having watched the responses of the congregated Foreign Secretaries to the Blix report, I would say that the all bar one of the countries opposing the US/UK are calling for more time rather than no war. They have recognised the increased cooperation of the Iraqi regime and have voiced a belief that the Weapons Inspectors be given more time.
If, as you say, we are unable to leave our forces in the area without action for any length of time (and considering the costs involved in keeping our troops in the region on standby), is it not feasible that some of the countries voicing concern over the US/UK rush for war are actually doing so with one less biasing factor than we are? After all, they aren't concerned with the hasty deployment of their troops, which will need to be justified, like we are.

One other point to note is that there are currently more members of the Security Council who have chosen the side against the US/UK action, than have chosen the side for. The smaller nations, those without the power to resist the US, appear to be waiting on the fence to chose the side that allows for political survival (possibly a display of the fear that the US can ignite, even amongst allies).

The Iraqi regime has said that they will hand over information proving the destruction of the missing biological and chemical weapons tomorrow. This will go a long way to prove or disprove their offer of cooperation. I imagine that if they don't hand over the information, or if the information handed over is inaccurate, then the majority will have to agree with the US/UK. A blatant reversal of Iraqi position will force their hands.

One thing that baffles me is that people slag the Yanks for being War Mongers, then they slag them for not helping the UK in WW2 until 1942!
It needn't baffle you. There is a big difference between joining your allies when they are already AT war, and appearing to be hell-bent on starting a war that will suck your allies in with you, regardless of their opinion on the matter.

One other question I had following your last post. You abdicate that Iraq simply take their remaining al-Samoud II missiles into the desert, where either they, or the RAF, can blow them to smithereens. If that is done, who will then pay the huge sums that will be required to go back to the site and firstly ensure that all of the missiles are actually destroyed, and secondly clean up the highly unstable tangle of explosives and missile parts that is left? Who will you ask to risk their lives to do this post-obliteration cleanup? The Iraqis are sensibly and safely destroying their missiles. If we increase the time allowed to complete this task from ten days to thirty, just to allow it to be done safely, where is the harm?


You appear to have some kind of a pre-pubescent, psychological hard-on for the notion of violence and destruction - you might want to seek some form of counselling for that.

Bill Fernie
10-Mar-03, 02:22
I have just deleted a post as I feel the name calling is about to get out of hand.
Please argue by all means. I realise it takes a while longer to work up the arguments and name calling takes a second or two. But it is thouroghly uninteresting to read. If anyone disagrees with comments or arguments on any points then it is much more interesting to read the opposite views but without the veiled references.
Thanks and back to it.

10-Mar-03, 08:38
:D well bill,we all know your views on the war,ie.its for oil.unlike the iraq,s,we live in a free democratic society,where freedom of speech is paramount....need i say more........ ;)

Bill Fernie
10-Mar-03, 11:21
London Wickers refernce to my views on the war are not accurate. I do not believe it is just about oil. The whole situation is much more complex than that as will have been seen from the newspapers and other debates not least here.
without getting too deeply into the debate I will say that I am against the war in the current circumstances where the UK and USa are about to go it alone without the UN backing they sought. This alone has many imponderbales for the future of the organisation and it may go the way of the League of Nations before it.
It does concern me greatly that a war may be and is seen by many countires as unneccessary untill all and every avenue has been exhausted to settle the problems - which to many in the Uk, France, Germany and many other countires has not been proven. the problem for the Uk is that some of the so called evidence has been manufactured and shown to be at the very least unliklly to be supported by the facts.
I certainly support our troops and hope that they come back safely. If a threat were proven then I think I and many others of the 70 - 80% agsint the war in many places including the Uk would say lets get this sorted out.
But what is the point in having an organisation like the UN which is every expensive to run but would be cheap if it stopped wars. In this case they have shown they are not ready to back a war and as they reperesent the bulk of the people of the world shoudl they not be allowed to have a chance to take all the steps if they are working however slowly and grudgingly on behalf of the Iraqi regime.
If direct acts and threats were proven then I would be all in favour of getting on with it. But it is a last and final step as few wars really in the long run trurn out they way anyone predicts. If history judges us as a nation that went to war agsint the advice and pleading of the UN then we may be the losers in the long run as our reputation for fairness and openess takes a beating. I am in agreement with the removal of any bad government espially for the people who must live under it. But is it for us to say that we will take over a country that may yet descend into chaos unless we are prepared to retain an army for an unspecified period in the region.
We should stand by our allies when an attack is underway or is seen to be a definite threat. But even though the talking may seem interminable we have waited 11 years to get to this place would most folk not rather wait a bit longer for resolution than head to war. Many other countires have eventually overthrown there bad leaders in the long run and it may one day happen here also. Difficult as it is for them should we not allow the process to worked out by their own people.
This is reiterating some of what has been said in a variety of postings but to make it clear.

10-Mar-03, 11:48
:D well troops.i hear what your saying,but most of you have completley sidetracked the issue of why were even considering giving saddam a taste of his own medicine.in the table of rouge leaders,he must rank somewhere up at the top.along with hitler,pol pot,idi amin.600.000 iraq,s have died,at the hands of this mans warped single determination.the vast majority of iraqi people are religious by culture,if not birth.they dont give a hoot for the great satanic west,and all that implies.we are infidels to them,nothing less.......!!!!!!!.the world will be a safer place,once this desspot is removed.we in the uk.are renound for our sense of fair play,do you really think the brits/usa want to steal the oil......!!!!!!!!!.cmon troops,we can afford to pay for it.i live in a large jewish community in london,a prime target for terrorists,in the event of a forth-coming war.caithness seems like a good place to be at the moment.im 100% scottish by birth,and proud to be british too.and if that means,falling in line behind the goverment on this one,then so be it.im gratefull we live in a free democratic society,i take out,and when the going gets tough...ill stand up and be counted......im no coward......and all i hear in here is conspiriacy theories,and very few facts.fact is,saddams a bam.....17th march........our troops will need all the support they can get.thank goodness the americans are our allies,we have another rouge state.......north-korea beating its drum. byeeeee london.

10-Mar-03, 12:44

Couldn't have said it better myself - and God knows I've tried ;).

I will support our troops 100% if and when they go into action, and if an immediate threat is proven then I will support the initiation of that action. However, so far the threat has not been proven, and nor has a lack of cooperation from the Iraqis.

I find it interesting that Clare Short should have felt it necessary to raise her concerns in public, considering the amount of access to Blair that she has as a Cabinet Minister. She has, according to a report which I heard on the radio this morning, been stressing her opinion on this matter behind closed doors for some time. She has apparently been placated by statement such as 'we're considering it' even whilst Downing Street has been portraying a solid backing for Blair.

Obviously her views are strong enough for her to effectively put her career on the line to ensure that those views are heard. But how, in the light of the undeniable evidence that Bush and Blair blatantly believe that they have on Iraq, can one of our own Cabinet Ministers – who, let's face it, must have access to more information than any of us – not be convinced?

And Clare Short isn't alone. We have numerous Personal Private Secrataries, Labour MPs and Aides voicing their concern (some to the point of resignation). Even other Cabinet Ministers (including Robin Cook) are reported to be voicing their own concerns.

How can Blair claim to have anything like the evidence required to support the case for not allowing Weapons Inspectors more time, when he has failed to influence even his own Cabinet?


We have not sidetracked the issue of why we are 'considering giving Saddam a taste of his own medicine'. That is the very question we are debating. Is the reason that we are considering that action justifiable and proven? If you think so, then tell us why rather than insulting us with claims that we are conspiracy theorists.

Being proud of being British does not mean that you automatically need to fall in line behind the Government. This Government must earn our support and backing by proving their case. So far they have failed to do so, rather spectacularly (as I said above, even within their own Cabinet).

Nobody is suggesting that you would be a coward if you don't blindly follow the decisions of your Government (in fact, I believe that you are the only person who has raised that possibility). You are grateful that we live in a free democratic society? Well, surely that means that I should be able to question the actions of my Government without fear of receiving a white feather through my letterbox.

Also, the notion of 'conspiriacy theories, and very few facts'? I have spent considerable time and effort, as have many of the people posting here, sourcing as much information as possible to back up the statements made. Can you say the same? Statements such as 'saddams a bam' hardly hold up to much scrutiny when interrogated for the fact.
What we have here are the honest and genuine beliefs and fears of a group of people who feel so concerned about the current situation that they are willing to spend their time thinking, investigation, and talking about the issue.

Bill Fernie
10-Mar-03, 13:31
Just reread the winning essay by a young schoolboy at Caithness Heritage Fair in 2001. I hope the rest of his chllingly accurate predictions do not come to pass sooner than he wrote.... If you missed it its still on the site at http://www.caithness.org/fpb/october/bestessay/

10-Mar-03, 19:42
:D its well known bill and neil,that your both against any war.and that in my opinion your being very selective about who posts what on the boards.bit unfair that aint it...........or do you only want people to hear you.......we dont want war at any cost views.......why have you deleted the jokes post........?????????????. :D

Bill Fernie
10-Mar-03, 19:43
If you missed Clare Short a Uk cabinet minister who has threatened to resign you can hear the broadcast from today on the BBC Westminster Hour at http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/the_westminster_hour/
As they say it is most unusual for a cabinet minister not to be sacked from their post for such an ant-government viewpoint. In the interview she says the Prime Minister is acting recklessly, "reckless with our Government, reckless with his own future, position and place in history." What do think about that?

10-Mar-03, 19:46
:D when you join goverment,i can imagine you tow the party line,and keep yor personal opinions to yourself.she has just undermimed the pm..........goodbye mrs short.......you wouldnt do that in iraq......!!!!!!!!. bye london...

Colin Manson
10-Mar-03, 19:52
:D its well known bill and neil,that your both against any war.and that in my opinion your being very selective about who posts what on the boards.bit unfair that aint it...........or do you only want people to hear you.......we dont want war at any cost views.......why have you deleted the jokes post........?????????????. :D

It wasn't Bill that deleted them it was me and the next person that swears in any message will be banned. There is a reason for having different boards and most people seem to have figured out that jokes don't go in the General Forum.

Colin Manson

10-Mar-03, 19:53
:( i never swore........check my post........ :D

Colin Manson
10-Mar-03, 19:54
I didn't say that you swore

10-Mar-03, 19:58
:D the jokes have a political slant colin,highlighting the current situation,as regards russia,germany and france,s alterior motives......very relevant in these trying,testing times. london :(

Colin Manson
10-Mar-03, 20:07
I don't care what slant the Jokes have, this isn't a Political section or a Jokes section.

Not all of the jokes were suitable for this site anyway, so it's up to you, if anyone wants to take this risk and see how far you can push the limits then they are free to do so. If I consider anything to be inappropriate then I will ban the person involved.

Colin Manson

10-Mar-03, 20:14
:D mmmmmmm i seem to recall putting up a non offensive post,about these countries,and there alterior motives,.....theres always 2 sides to every coin........thats one of the joys of living in a democratic..free speech society...........bill,s post about clare short.......and if i disagree with it...ill be censored.........my posts cover facts...nothing else,at least afford me the same platform,as you guys at caithness org,have afforded yourself.......byeee london. :D

10-Mar-03, 20:48
To get back to your post, Bill (please?), I was initially surprised that Clare Short kept her job through these last few days. I had thought that a public airing of laundry such as she took part in would warrant almost immediate dismissal.

Then I thought about it and I'm not sure that Blair had any choice. Despite the rumours in the press over the likes of Robin Cook, the public face of Downing Street has been one of a united Cabinet, backing the stance of the Government 100%.

There have now been a number of vocal objections from within the Labour and Conservative parties to the actions of their party leadership. Clare Short has, without a doubt, been thrust forwards as the figurehead of that voice.
Blair is supposed to be on a whirlwind campaign (via the telephone) of the members of the Security Council who still have votes that could be won over to the US/UK side. For him to very publicly take time out of that most important task and mow down democratic oppositions of his stance back home would not only further damage his already poor reputation within his own country, but would very likely cause him embarrassment abroad – just when he needs to be as clean as a whistle and everybody's best friend.

Once the Iraqi crisis has come to an end, we shall see if Clare Short has permanently damaged her career under Blair. I would very much doubt she will survive the next Cabinet reshuffle, if she lasts that long.

The shame of it is, in my opinion, that a Cabinet Minister was forced to take such measures, and so publicly. It only strengthens my personal belief that Blair has chosen his path and is following it blindly, mindless of the opinions of friends, advisors and allies.

As for calling him reckless… I'm not sure whether I would describe him as reckless, or misguided. The choice of Clare Short's words only goes to show how strongly she feels about this issue. This is a man who, I would imagine, she has had almost daily contact with. To hold a place on the Cabinet they must have had mutual respect and trust. Still, she has become so exasperated by his actions that the word she uses is 'reckless'. In political terms, there are many less critical and personal phrases that she could have used.

Bill Fernie
10-Mar-03, 20:59
George Foulkes MP claims that the silent majority support the government view of going to war. Well its a point but is it right. Checking the other side for balance http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/scotland/2837479.stm Scots MP's and MSP's ae bound to be divided by this issue but so they should be if they are to refelct the views of the whole country.
If you want to read the 10 Downing Street Press Briefing on Clare short for an oicial government view - as it was this morning it is at http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/Page3239.asp However that may all change by tomorrow given the increasing publicity being given to it on all TV programmes in the UK.

10-Mar-03, 21:58
There is never a good time to go to war. Many are against war, for different reasons i.e. higher taxes, saving lives, moral objections etc. All of them are valid. I agree that we need Anti-War protestors. It is the same a CND, Greenpeace etc. They ensure that the Government and industry keep pollution etc down. Without them, it might be that the Pentland Firth might be glowing in the dark. They all have a place in society, if for no other reason to make us think before we leap.

The time to go to war is when all options have been depleted. It is not if the French, German, Russians, Chinese and the UN decide to go to war. “I” believe as do the US/UK & Spain that Saddam (not Iraq) is an enemy of the US/UK. I also believe he is a very real threat to peace in the Middle East.
Over the last 12yrs have led us back to the same problem, Saddam. I don’t believe we can go on and on and on. There has to be a fight or surrender. The problem with this fight, it is not just the US/UK v Iraq. It is the US/UK v Iraq, France, Germany, Russia, China and the UN. It has ended up a Political World War. Make no mistake whatever happens, the UK – France & Germany relationship is goosed. The US – France & Germany relationship is goosed.

NBC: From the last Gulf War the UK and US troops were in full NBC suits (Respirators off) during the land war. As there are fighting under the same Chemical threat as last time, the procedures should be the same.
If a gas is used, then a respirator is fine, but if chemical or biological weapons are used, which reacts with contact to the skin. A soldier will have to wear a NBC suit. The problem is Saddam will not tell us before hand what he might or could use. So to be safe, they will wear the suit and carry the respirator.
You have included all the textbook NBC drills etc. All it takes is an airburst overhead, which sprays the troops with chemicals, and they are contaminated. If they are wearing the full NBC suit, they will have a chance of surviving. It takes longer than 7-10 seconds to put on an NBC suit, the time allowed to put on a respirator.
Of the 100,000 soldiers only a third will be doing the combat fighting, the rest is logistics etc. So yes it could be that 33,000 soldiers will be going into combat with NBC suit on. If they are in Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFV) like the Warrior (UK) then they can take the suits off (as the Warrior is capable of operating in an NBC environment). But unlikely as they must be prepared to “de-bus” at any time and attack or protect a position. Also it is hard to get 10 soldiers dressed in a sardine can! It could be that your AFV gets hit and damaged, and then you are open to the elements. To keep it short, there are more reasons to wear the NBC suit, than not wear it.
Jjc you don’t have to believe anything, it is the truth.
See http://www.national-army-museum.ac.uk/pages/gulf.html
This is Major John Potter. MC. RHF during the last War. He is in FULL NBC Suit (minus the respirator, and gloves, which are in the bag on his hip). He has the suit and boots. It is like a sauna, wearing the suit, even in a European environment. It is good for keeping warm in cold conditions, but murder in the heat! There are other images in books etc, Pte Thomas Gow. MM. Royal Scots, won the Military Medal aged 17yrs. He is in the same dress as Major Potter. Also he is drenched in sweat! Imagine, for a moment, what amount of water it takes to operate in those conditions.
So again the military know that fighting in NBC suits and in extreme heat will lessen the ability of the soldiers to fight efficiently. This is why they will be pressurising the Government to start the war ASAP, to beat the summer! Not so they can get Saddam. If they were not facing the summer, they could probably wait a few months. If you remember the kick of date was originally November. The date has already been dragged out for 5 months. If it was in Europe they could afford the luxury of time, but not in Iraq.

You can beat the Russian, China, France, Germany, Iraq, Iran, and N Korea etc. BUT one thing no army can beat is nature. We being simple humans forget we are not Gods! It might be that if the US/UK are forced to wait much longer, we might have to retreat and wait for winter.
I think you are getting mixed up with “all-weather” aircraft/machines. Until a battlefield robot is invented, I am afraid that the humans are limited to weather conditions.

Nope! No such thing as War-ish. In a war it is win or lose! The winner (hopefully) has few casualties. The loser has lots more.
During WW2 the US military put their own soldiers lives first, then civilians then the enemy. Today they put civilians first, then their own soldiers and last the enemy. This is called a modern war. No other country is capable of this. They are unlike the Russians who (seemingly) do not care about civilians. Why is the US different? The reason is simple they have the technology, others don’t. They will spend millions to save civilian lives, where other countries wont or cant. If I had to chose a country to attack the UK, give me the Yanks, as then my family has a better chance of survival than if any other attacked. And we say they are warmongers!!!! I would class them as “caring” warmonger then!

WE can go over the WI getting more time to do their job, but we are back to the summer! The Soldiers can’t afford more time! If they have to fight in summer, more people will die! Soldiers and civilians. Mistakes will be made; civilian target will be hit, blue on blue incidents etc. People who are fatigued operate less effectively, thus more mistakes are made! Just the same on a Monday morning after a boozy weekend, less work is done and more errors are made. The difference being is that people who have weapons cant afford mistakes, as people die because of their mistakes.

Anti-French propaganda; I have read very little in the news about the French or the Germans. I don’t need the Sun, Record etc to see what is going on. Over the last 10yrs France has wanted European dominance. Pure and simple. Look at how many times the UK and France has agreed over anything! They burn our sheep, refuse our beef, and try at every corner to stop the British. I don’t need a war to tell me which side they are on. France has not said they will or wont veto a war. The same tactics they used in 1990. Then when they saw which way the wind was blowing, they did a quick u-turn! The French had troops in the Gulf, they have military advisers, and they know what “time” would mean to a war. It would mean no-war. Either that or the French military advisers are stupid!

I would not call a year and a half a rush to go to war. I would “class” it as planned!

The Iraqi’s have until the 17th March to hand over “all” the evidence of the destruction of their WOMD. But they could do what they did before, tie everyone down with paperwork! The way I see it, the ball is in Saddam’s hands. How he plays it now is up to him. But he is playing with people’s lives.

Ok, So the US was supposed to our Allies between WW1 and 1939. Read your history again. Up until 1938, our biggest threat, military and economically were the USA! The US was separate from Europe and at the time suited the British Empire. The British before 1940 did not want the US involved. Yes they wanted their aid i.e. tanks etc. But before the fall of France and Churchill, the US was encouraged to keep out of the hostilities by the British Empire!

If the Iraqi’s allowed the RAF to blow the Scuds to smithereens. Then we should allow them to clear it up. It wont cost a lot to confirm the missiles are destroyed. They put them all in a line and let the RAF drop a couple of payloads of cluster bombs on them. As long as the RAF hit the targets, they will be converted from weapons to scrap! There also will be no explosives left or fuels. If your want to ensure their total destruction, add napalm to the target.
Yes the Iraqi’s are being sensible with destroying the Scuds. They are also running out of time! Their choice. Me! I’d go for the quick option and clear the mess up later! But I am not Saddam. The harm in allowing him 30 days instead of 10, is TIME! Which the military are running out of.

As for the Government falling to bits. I would say that it is not the War that is splitting the Government. It is the UN issue. They know that if the US/UK attack Iraq, then it is the end of the UN. They know real impact of this. I don’t, as I said, I study military not politics (but at time the two do cross paths). The end of the UN could open the door for further Saddam’s. I believe the real fear is not War but the political aftermath. Split Political World, Split Political Europe.
I wonder if Clare Short is in a French Party??? Just a thought!! (only joking, but it would make a nice conspiracy theory, so watch out for this one!).

I say, the US/UK go in or go away. One way or the other. If we wait another month. The US/UK soldiers will be TRYING to fight in un-fightable conditions. I can’t see it being another 100hr battle, rather a 100-day battle, right through summer. Options can be put forward, the time for an attack cant.

PS tomorrow is my last day at this, as I have to go away for a week. By the time I come back the issue could well be decided. I don’t know if I will get time to reply during the week. So could you assume that tomorrow is the last message from me till next week.

10-Mar-03, 22:16
Interviewed in the latest Atlantic magazine former president Bill Clinton says he would be in favour of getting rid of Saddam always provided that the means used did not worsen the overall situation in the Middle East and in the Muslim world.
I share his misgivings.
Canadian prime Minister, Jean Chretien says the US has won already. Why go to war and kill thousands of innocent people? Chretien is right. Sadam is on the run anyway. Why launch a horific war because the inspectors have disovered a new drone type missile? The us/uk stance seems to me to be unreasonable in the extreme. Not to mention reckless.
Reckless belligerence is how I would describe things.
And I can't help but think that supporters of the war are demonstrating reckless credulousness.

10-Mar-03, 22:49
:D All i hear on the tv,and radio,and newspapers,is how no-one wants this war.i do want this war,ive stated my facts and reasons many times.it really galls me,when all the anti-war people stand up,and say,no-one wants this war......!!!!!!.i bet if we took it to a vote,at least 65% of brits would sanction a war,without un reseloutions......source.sky tv,s vote today.trouble is,the anti-war mob,think,or wish there speaking for the people.one has to commend the tory goverment for backing tony blair.the facts,figures,deaths,deciet,deception are there to see for all concerned.yet people like the anti-war mob,dont see saddam and his ilk..ie terrorist groups like hamas,al-queda as a threat to world peace.how stupid can these people be.......!!!!!!.saddam.......aint a nice trustworthy-stand up guy.the french,germans and russians have deleusions of granduer,methinks there cutting there nose of to spite there face.they will suffer for snubbing america,and stirring up trouble.......the dollar means a lot to there econimies.over a 10 year period,the french cost the uk,billions of pounds.........!!!!!.as they refused to stop illegal aslyum seekers from coming to uk.basically france didnt want to pay to help them,in there first safe country.....ie...france.there a sneaky bunch......not to be trusted.i want it all to end swiftly,as it will......then...theres north-korea on the horizion........a real rouge state.....and a threat to all world stability.north-korea has a 1million man plus army.we have 140,000 troops.thank goodness the americans are our allies.......wider picture people.........!!!!!!!!!!. londonwicker

11-Mar-03, 05:06
Hello all,

For anyone wondering where my replies have been, I have twice spent 2 hours writing a reply, just to have each entire response lost because of not being able to log in and have been unable go return to my posting!

Will be contributing soon to this debate!!


Fiona Rich

11-Mar-03, 13:04
colin manson wrote:
"I don't care what slant the Jokes have, this isn't a Political section or a Jokes section. "
mmmmmm..... if this is the case why are people allowed to quote mps and advertise what politicians have said ,is that not politics?????

To the person (i forget their name) who said i can leave the thread whenever i want if i am not interested well i am very interested i,f that was the case i wouldn't have started the thread in the first place!!!
Though sometimes it may seem i am slagging people off ,i aint, it just i feel just as strongly as the others and sometimes i may put my point across in a manner that may not agree with every1(hey im original! :D )
This is not meant to upset any1 merely to put my point across.

If i have upset any1 at anytime then i apologise.
It may sound callous to say "bomb the idiot" but thats the way i see it and thats the language i use to get my point across.
I agree with some of the posts war is not nice but it is necessary to rid the planet of the evil that is Saddam.
I know all religions have their fanatics we have them in Scotland i.e Protestant and catholic.I am very passionate about my patriotism to the crown and would do whatever was necessary to protect the crown and the state of Great Britain( i suppose in a way i could be called a fanatic). It seems that more people are concentrating on Iraq but what about Ulster???. The ira have bombed,maimed,killed innocent people for years but now there negotiating peace.
To me this is wrong and i hope that we dont go down that road with saddam.That is my main worry with this war.
keep up the debate i dont always agree but respect every1's view.

11-Mar-03, 13:16
Okay, Abewsed, I recognise that I am probably wrong in the NBC suit issue and that our soldiers will be required to perform their duties in the suits (when in the field). Again your posts seem to speak from personal experience. Are you ex-military (or current)?

Still, it strikes me that if the politics of war are separate from the military then the politicians have far wider ranging issues that they should be considering than the temperature in the field. The fact that summer is fast approaching does not excuse our politicians from due process.

I don't agree with the concept of backing off and allowing Saddam to continue as if he has nothing to fear, but, as you said yourself, 'The time to go to war is when all options have been depleted'.

We cannot get away from the fact that Iraq is cooperating with the UN as never before. They continue to destroy their al-Samoud II missiles. They continue to allow unmonitored interviews with scientists. They say they will provide evidence regarding the destruction of chemical and biological weapons.

For us to start military action against Iraq (or rather to scale up our current action from air-strikes to a land war) would be unjustifiable in the face of this cooperation. You are correct that Iraq has been ignoring UN mandates to cooperate for over a decade. You are correct that this is unacceptable. However, once Iraq had started to cooperate, we had to accept that disarmament would take time. If Saddam was an individual, with an arsenal in his home, we could expect to walk in on Monday and take his guns home in our truck. But he isn't. He has an entire military force behind him, which needs to be accounted for and dealt with. Obviously this was going to take more than a few weeks.

You say that 'The Iraqi’s have until the 17th March to hand over “all” the evidence of the destruction of their WOMD', but that simply isn't true. The deadline of 17th March was set in a proposed amendment to the draft resolution which the US and UK planned to submit to the Security Council for a vote. That vote has not taken place, nor is it likely to take place with the document in its current form. Therefore, the deadline does not yet exist. If the US and UK decide that this deadline has been set and act accordingly then they will not only be acting against the decree of the UN, but will have failed even to ask what that decree might have been.

Several of the countries who have voiced concern over the original drive for war have also (perhaps not surprisingly) voiced similar concerns over this new deadline – not only that the deadline is too soon and does not take into account the current progress being made by the Weapons Inspectors, but also that there are no quantifiable measures in place which Iraq can meet to avoid this conflict.

So now it looks as though the PROPOSED deadline will be extended, and that a list of requirements may be added to the new resolution before it is put forwards for a vote – despite claims from the US/UK that the deadline would not be extended and that 1441 contained sufficient measures to warrant that deadline. Could it be that Blair and Bush have been struggling to find the support that they claimed to already have?


I'm surprised that you are so blasé about your wish for war. I have always assumed that nobody in their right mind actually 'wants' a war, and that wars come about when people accept that they have reached the end of all other avenues and war is the unfortunate requirement.
I, myself, am not anti-war. I accept that if we reach the stage where there is no possibility of a peaceful resolution, we cannot simply throw our hands up and walk away. If Saddam fails to disarm under the threat of war then we certainly will have to disarm him through the use of war.
The point that many people, myself most definitely included, have been trying to make is a simple one. We have not yet reached the ends of all of the other possible avenues available to us. War is supposed to be the last method by which we vie for world peace, not an option someplace in the middle of negotiation and diplomacy.

You have stated before your acquaintances in the armed forces. I suggest that you ask them how they feel about war. I suspect that, although trained for combat, they would probably tell you that they do not spend their time wishing they were shooting at people – nor being shot at themselves.

Some of us tried to deal with the statistics of this issue previously in this post. At the time Niall questioned the validity of statistics. Whilst I disagree with him and believe that without statistical analysis we would live in ignorance of the whole picture, relying only on data we had gathered ourselves to form opinions, I let the issue drop. However, since you brought it back up again….

You quote a vote (I assume telephone) on Sky TV that 'proves' that 65% of Brits would 'sanction a war, without UN resolutions'. In this instance, I would be inclined to agree (in part) with Niall. This vote is neither representative nor fair. Why? Because there are no controls.
For a start, the demographics of voters will not have been controlled. The only people permitted to take part in this vote are those people who were watching this program. There will have been no attempt to ensure that people from all social groups have taken part.

It would be fairer to say that '65% of Sky TV viewers who were watching this particular television programme' would…. But then you still have the issue of multiple votes. After all, there is nothing in place to stop somebody who is as pro-war as yourself from voting twenty or thirty times, if they so desired, skewing the results far outside the actual figure.

I would be more inclined to search for my statistics from an independent and recognised research group, such as MORI who ensure that their samples are of adequate size, free from bias, and representative of the population as a whole. And their statistics disagree with those from Sky TV – sharply.

They found that:

75% of the population would support the UK joining military action in the event that the WI find evidence of Iraq hiding WOMD and we have UN backing.

Only 46% would support the UK joining military action in the event that the WI find evidence of Iraq hiding WOMD, but the UN not backing action.

Only 41% would support the UK if the WI find NO evidence, but the UN still vote for action.

And 67% would OPPOSE the UK joining military action without the WI finding evidence of Iraq hiding WOMD or UN backing.

The current situation is that the UN has NOT backed action, and the WI have found NO evidence of Iraq hiding WOMD. Therefore, I would be quite confident to take you up on your bet.

Oh, and if you wish to look at the 'wider picture', I suggest you investigate just why it is that the US have not issued a threat of war against North Korea. We can threaten Iraq without too much concern because their armies are comparatively weak. To threaten the North Koreans is a whole different ball game. Do you really abdicate that we finish with Iraq and then head off around the world 'taking out' any regime that does not follow our doctrine? I thought you liked the idea of a democracy???


If you don't get a chance to post again before this discussion is overtaken by actual conflict, thanks. It has been interesting to debate my opinions so thoroughly and I have certainly come to change quite a few of them. I hope you haven't felt your time has been wasted, I certainly don't.

That thanks goes to everybody else who has added to this thread - and keep it coming, I'm learning every day...

I hope that we are both proved wrong. I hope that the UN does not crumble under the political weight of this argument. I hope that we do not follow the US blindly around the world decreeing our will. I hope that this does not escalate into a wider ranging war, sucking in the entire Middle East as it spreads. I live in hope.

Have a good week. :D


11-Mar-03, 13:52
Ok time is running out, for US/UK, UN, Iraq and myself. So I will put forward what point I think are the major ones. This is a long posting, and I apologise for that. But as it could be one of the last ones before the big decisions are made I have put what I think are the relevant points across.

1979 (July) President Al-Bakr resigns and Saddam Hussein takes over.
1980-88 (Sept) The Iran – Iraq War begins.
1981-88 Iraq uses chemical weapons against Kurds.
1990 (Aug) Iraq invades Kuwait.
1991 Operation Desert Storm begins (Jan-Feb).
1991 (Mar) Ceasefire signed.
1991 (Mar-Apr) Iraq suppresses Kurd and Sheit rebellions.
1991 (Apr) Northern No-Fly-Zones put in place.
1991 (Aug) Southern No-Fly-Zones put in place.
1993 (Apr) Attempted assassination of George Bush in Kuwait. Iraq behind the attack.
Tomahawk Cruise missiles launched against Iraq military targets.
1998 (Oct) Iraq stops all co-operation with Unscom (WI).
1998 (Dec) Operation Desert Fox. This is an attack by US/UK on Iraq’s WOMD program.
2001 (May) Saddam's son Qusay elected to the leadership of the ruling Ba'th Party, fuelling speculation that he's being groomed to succeed his father.
2001 (Sept) Twin Towers attack in New York.
2002 (April) Baghdad suspends oil exports to protest against Israeli incursions into Palestinian territories. Despite calls by Saddam Hussein, no other Arab countries follow suit. Exports resume after 30 days.
2002 (Nov) UN WI return to Iraq for the first time since 1998, backed by a tough UN Security Council resolution which is reluctantly accepted by Baghdad. The resolution threatens serious consequences if Iraq is in "material breach" of its terms.
2003 (Jan) Chief weapons inspector Dr Hans Blix delivers a harsh report to the UN Security Council, accusing Baghdad of failing to come to a "genuine acceptance" of disarmament.

That is the shot version. The way I see it is that since 1979 there has been a threat to Middle East stability. This could also include the Israeli – Palestine problems. We have had UN backed WI inside Iraq from 1992-98 and from late 2002-present day. A total of 7 years worth of investigation. Which has still left us wondering, “does he or doesn’t he” have WOMD?
We have countries breaking embargoes by succeeding (or not) to smuggle in aid to Iraq’s military program, which might or might not include the WOMD.
We have had Saddam playing “games” with the UN resolution from 1990-2003. There is enough evidence here to suggest he has a total disregard for the UN.
We have Saddam threatening the US/UK since 1991 with revenge attacks using terrorist tactics. This also included the use of Chemical/Biological weapons on our cities.
Saddam has sanctioned an assassination attempt on a US president (unsuccessfully). This could be classed as a direct attack on the USA, as such WAR.
We have Sept 11th, on which day Saddam was on TV publicly supporting the destruction and attacks in the USA.
We now have Saddam destroying his Scud missiles, which were in total breach of UN resolutions. He is now supplying “new” evidence of what happened to his “missing” WOMD and chemical & biological capability.

So what we have is on one hand a madman/tyrant/misguided leader (call him what you want), who has no regard for world opinion UNLESS faced with a real threat of attack. Sanctions do not bother him; he just ignores them or hinders them. He has faced the world (UN) and survived. He has faced the might of the UN (US/UK/France/Saudi etc) and survived. He looks and speaks to his people as if he has won a war. Which at times I must agree with him.
If people think (for whatever reason) that if Saddam does comply with the WI, and if the US/UK withdraw out of Kuwait, that he will behave himself. I believe that those people are misguided. He will return to his former self.

We now are faced with not just right or wrong about a war in Iraq. No longer is it US/UK v Iraq. That would be too simple. Now we are faced with a POLITICAL War, US/UK/Spain v the UN, France, Germany, Russia, China and other countries. What I think needs looked at is why those countries have different ideas about Saddam. What are the hidden agendas?

Now we will look at the US/UK. They formed the backbone of the Coalition during Desert Storm. The majority of which was supplied by the USA. Without the USA, does anyone believe that the Kuwait could have been taken within 2 months of hostilities? I cannot see any other country doing what they did. Or if the other countries did liberate Kuwait, it would have taken longer and probably cost more lives.
The US is now seen as the aggressor. I wonder why? Is it that they are going around killing innocent people? Is it that they are invading countries left right and centre? Is it that they just want the Oil in the Middle East? No, none of them apply. So what is the Real problem? From what I see, it is not if War is right or wrong. It is not, should the UN allow an attack on Iraq. It has turned into a European v USA political war, with the votes in the UN being used for political gains.
I think most people would like to see Saddam removed from power. Most would be happy with war, as long as the UN allows it. So the problem is with the UN and USA/UK. There will be people that will argue against War for other reasons.
I seems to me that some European Countries want the USA out. This is the same as after WW1 and after WW2. They have done their bit; the cold war is over, so now they can go home. Why do other countries want the US out of Europe? It is so that the US will have no voice in Europe via NATO. So we will form a European Army with no USA. Who want to be in the top slots?
It seems that some European Countries are wanting to “pick a fight” with the US and the opportune time in now. The issue is Iraq. I don’t believe that Russia, China, France and Germany, have the interests of the Iraqi people or the Middle East at heart, but rather their own political agendas.
I have not heard anything but “more time”. All the countries will know that this is on thing the US/UK cant afford. It has put the invasion off from Nov 2002 till Mar 2003. The reason was trying to gain the support of the UN. I have not heard any side sanction an Air War one Iraq, which could be used to destroy military targets and ignore the civilian population etc. The excuse is more time for the WI total.
This has turned into a Political World War, with the main aim to remove the USA (and to a lesser extent the UK) from the World Stage.

This one, I have thought very long and hard with. I am sure I am correct. If the Twin Towers took place in France, Russia or China. All of those countries would have been attacking Iraq and Afghanistan within a year. They would not have asked for UN support, they would have just done it. The same countries were against the war in 1991. When they realised that the support was not with them, they then switched sides and France asked to be part of the coalition. This time they have the support on their side and are using it to its maximum. The objections to a war might be seen as being morally correct. But behind the scenes, I would bet that it is something different. Truth = Winners story, Losers Story and the Secrets. It could be that it will be at least 50yrs before we find out the truth of what is really going on politically.
ONE prediction. If the US are removed from the European stage. WE (the UK) will be worse off. The French, German and Russians will gang up on the UK. They will be the Triad of Europe. We could well be at war with them in the future (politically or military).

If the ground troops are to have any reasonable chance of succeeding in removing Saddam from power in a short time frame. This has to be done now not later. The heat and NBC is the biggest threat to the troops. So someone has to decide what to do. Option one, attack now. Option two, pack up and go home.

Option one: guarantees (as much as possible) the removal of Saddam and his Government. It guarantees the end of Iraq’s WOMD. It guarantees that the Arab nations put in place a new Government. It guarantees a political war US/UK/Spain v France, Germany, Russia. I also believe France & Germany will go “oooppss” wrong decision and shut up. The UN could be in a turmoil. But it does need to re-look at the organisation, as it is out of date now.

Option two: guarantees the destruction of the Europe – USA relationship. The destruction of the UN. It guarantees that France, Germany and Russia become the voices of a New European Order. It also guarantees that Saddam is left in power, whether he will rebuild his military and WOMD is another debate. But my money is one of he will rearm with French and Russian aid and will restock his WOMD.

Note: the reason I put in that option two guarantees the destruction of the UN, is that the USA are the only power today, that can supply the UN with a military force needed to influence UN resolutions at short notice. Basically the USA is the backbone of the UN. We might not like that idea, but it is true.

IS THE REAL ISSUE then US v Europe? The removal of the only super power left from the European shores?

War: It is never easy to order the attack on any country today. Via the medial, we can now see the live images of women, children and soldiers casualties. It brings war closer to us. Most of us have families and we can associate with what we see.
We have seen how savage war can be. Vietnam proved to the USA how young men can have little or no regard for other human lives. They looked in the mirror and did not like what they saw. To be fair, it was as much the military being controlled by the politics that caused that situation than anything else. We cant just blame the US for this, Germany, France, UK, Balkans etc have all had their share of being barbaric in modern times.
Because of the Vietnam War, the US looked at it’s self and changed its policies (publicly anyway). Today they wage war at military targets as much as possible. They can destroy a military target with pinpoint precision (taking out human errors). They can go into a city and remove the military threat with minimum destruction. Unlike the Russian who fire rockets indiscriminately into its own cities. People are still looking at Vietnam; they forget that they kept the civilian deaths in the Gulf War and Balkans to a minimum. If someone has to remove Saddam, lets make sure it is the USA and not some other country that does it, if for no other reason than keeping the casualties as low as possible.
We forget that the USA is not the first organisation to defy or threaten to defy the UN. Russia has done it (in their own country). NATO did the same in 1996-97 in the Balkans.
It will be decided whether the US/UK invade Iraq. If they invade, it is could be the end of US-Europe (France and Germany) and UN relationships. If they don’t invade, they will go home and not come back and it will guarantee the end of US-Europe (France and Germany) and UN relationships. Will then the Middle East become safer or more dangerous?

If the US pull out its “peace keeping” forces (carrier forces) from the Gulf/Indian Ocean/Sea of China/Med. Will Iran hold the world to ransom by blocking the Straits of Hormuz AGAIN? Will Pakistan and India start a war? Will Arab nations decide to remove Israel once and for all? Will Iraq attack, Kuwait, Saudi, and Jordan etc? Will Libya start to rebuild its power in the Med? Will Tunisia try and close the Straits of Gibraltar?
There is only one Nation keeping the “peace” or to be honest, preventing an outbreak of hostilities in those areas. The Nation is the USA! No other nation (to-day) can do what they are doing. They have spent more money (US tax payers $) ensuring peace in the Med, Middle East, Far East than any other nation.
Only once (that I can remember) that the US attacked an Arab country without warning. This was Libya in retaliation for the Lockerbie bombing. Even then France would not allow the US bombers (F-111) to fly over its airspace. So they flew from the UK, down through the Bay of Biscay, in through the Gibraltar and onto Libya. So there is nothing new again with France.

My personal belief is this: I say we liberate Iraq. If not, we could have a World of small Wars. But it is ok, because we can always blame the Yanks! Only problem is that I cant see the Yanks coming to the rescue! It is ok, we have the French, Russia and China who can then act as the World Police!!!! What a thought! No: What a nightmare that would be!

Basically we are faced with two bad options: It now depends on which is the worst.

As I have said before I would be happy if Saddam went into exile. It is not justice, but at least everyone else wins (UN/USA/UK/France/Germany/Russia/China). Other than that he takes the ultimate headache tablet a 9mm bullet! Or last but not least, the UN allows the USA an exemption from War Crimes or Crimes against Humanity and allows the assassination of Saddam by Special Forces.

11-Mar-03, 14:10
jjc:Why do you keep asking if abewsed is military or ex-military?

Maybe he wants to keep any involvment a secret.
I would not comment on anything military as i signed the official secrets act and am bound by that.(with regards to equipment etc)
It makes no difference to his opinions whether he be military or not, he is voicing his OWN personal view regardless of background.

If it is so important then maybe we should ask who is homosexual,who is black,who is protestant,who is muslim???.To be honest it doesn't matter where your from or what floats your boat, all that matters is that you are expressing your own view.

I am not sticking up for any1 i just feel that this being a public forum it is up to the users own choice what they disclose personally.

11-Mar-03, 15:29
I have already stated that Politics is not my thing, unless it crosses into the Military field. I can’t argue that the Governments are right or wrong. But they all have their agendas. I can only assume they are all the same, which is, liars! I am trying more to concentrate with the civilian and military issues. I try to keep out of the political and humanitarian arguments. I prefer those who study those things to argue that cases. Though I have crossed the borders a few times.
I have tried to demonstrate that WAR is not simple, that there are always two sides. But more importantly the military have different agendas from the politicians. “Time is running out”. Options are being depleted from a military point of view. Now we have a Political wrangle as well.

See I prove my point, you are correct with the 17th March deadline. That is why I try and keep out of the Political issue. But we come back to the Military, who have a natural deadline = summer. We can’t argue that one. I suspect Saddam knows this, as do France, Germany and Russia. It was one of the biggest issues during the last Gulf War.

Lets assume that the US/UK do back down and give more time for the WI and UN. I just hope that people remember who forced Saddam into that situation, the US/UK. Not the UN, not the French, Germans, Russians or Chinese. If they are to get credit is should be for saving Iraq from an invasion. The only way that the Military can give more time is to be 100% sure Saddam does not have WOMD. Then a liberation of Iraq could be feasible in summer, if Saddam decides to play games again. But for that we need the troops stationed there until Saddam is totally disarmed. Cost then becomes a big issue!

I will say one thing, that I hope everyone who has been following this thread… Saddam is not worth one civilian, Iraqi Soldiers, US Soldiers or UK Soldiers life. If the war does not come off, I will be happy. But the problem will not go away. The Political War has begun. I think that will take years to mend. I am even tempted at times to say pull out the troops and leave the Middle East to its own devices. But, I know that this would just open the doors for other tyrants to upset peace.
These arguments are Catch 22 as no country is playing cricket. No one has declared war; no one has stepped onto the battlefield as in day of old etc. We are facing unseen enemies, or assassins. Politics now have a duel role, peace and protection. The protection does not just include your own country but that of the oppositions. This is one sided, when the opposition does not play by the same rules and does not care about their own people.

I believe that USA is not as bad as we make out. I also believe whilst they come across as being Gung-ho and arrogant at times (like all of us). They have learnt over the last 3 decades. I also believe they do more good than bad (world wide) than France, Germany, Russia and China. I also believe they do not get the recognition that they deserve.
We the British people believe we are a good nation, un-racist etc. I wonder at times when I see people enlisting in our Army, signing up for 9, 12 or more years. Taking part in our wars, dying for our country. Then after serving their stint or being medically discharged, they are refused British Citizenships! That really annoys me. It make me wonder how good we really are. If you are still wondering whom I am on about it is the Ghurkha Soldiers. Who has taken part in most of “our” wars over the last 100 years? He has shown more loyalty to our Nation than the majority of our own people. Would the US treat the Ghurkha like that?

But that over. I have enjoyed / hated / been frustrated / came across as arrogant / swore (sorry Colin) on and off the pages / looked at myself a few times and wondered who’s side I was on. Was it worth all the hours? I don’t know, it is up to those out there to answer that. I have tried to debate honestly and fairly. I have swung for war and no-war so many times, I am dizzy at times.
If I don’t get time tonight to get one last spout in before I go…
To (in alphabetical order)
Bill, Colin, DrSzin, Drutt, fionarich, Highlander, hotrod4, londonwicker, Marion, Niall, rich, Squidge
I thank you all. I might not agree with some of your arguments and views, but it is good that we can all get our voice across (some more than others, for that I am sorry).

To jjc,
I have enjoyed your opposition/arguments etc. I apologise at calling you names off screen (your ears must have been burning at times), which is probably a sign of how well you have put your arguments across. I don’t ken if you are a loon or a lassie.
So if you are a lassie xxx.
If you are a loon = MINUS xxx!!!! A well done is good enough!!!
But whatever; I wish you well and to all the rest of the ant-War (for whatever reason), I do sincerely hope a peaceful end can be resolved and your wishes come true. I don’t mind being wrong on that side of the argument!!!

Arab proverb: Kull toukhirah feeha khiraa. “Each delay may be a blessing in disguise. Delay is preferable to error.”
Gaelic Proverb: An deidh cogaidh thig sith. “After war comes peace.”

11-Mar-03, 15:53
:D well,well......to the person who argues with the validity of the sky news.....votes of the day.i really dont think any poll can ever achieve a snapshot of peoples views,unless you ask everyone offcourse.sky news today,has 80% of its voters,backing tony blair.no doubt youll be telling me next,its only labour supporters who watch sky news........!!!!!!.its becoming a bit clearer now,as to why the french president has decided to use his veto vote,on a second reseloution.in the past,the president of france has described saddam hussain,as his friend......!!!!!!!.france has made billions of francs,selling the iraq,s weapons in the past.no-doubt saddam still owes the french lots of euro,s.i hear the russians stand to lose 25 billion in contract money,if we go to war with iraq.and no-doubt zee germans are owed,or hope to gain a few dollars from there buisness dealings with iraq.what disturbs me even more,are the french,whom ovbiously have delusions of grandeur.they dislike the americans,as do zee germans,and the russkies.the french want to head a new europe,that keeps the usa at arms lenght.i dont want to be party to that.america is the world superpower.just supposing,if we joined france in its stance.we,d lose our american allies,and if ever some rouge state decided to attack europe,we,d be without american backing.russia is skint.......the german army is....!!!!!!!!.and the french have more faces than the town hall clock.we need america.and now to north korea,that great communist state,where the vast majority of people live in poverty,and un aid,pays for weapons.next you wil be telling me,communismn is a good thing,and democracy is a bad thing.north korea are a threat to there neighbours,and there own people.im glad the threat of american supremacy is there to keep the peace.or maybe,you think,the french,germans,and the russkies can take on a 1 million man army,with ever increasing nuclear capabilities....lol...i dont think so.some of you guys,just refuse to see the wider picture,and all that entails......how can you be so blind..............londonwicker ps....im sure,that when the war begins,all british/usa forces will be shooting any enemies that come into view.no doubt the iraq,s will be shouting there usual warcry......I CURSE YOUR MOUSTACHE......I CURSE YOUR MOUSTACHE......lol.......byeeeeeee londonwicker :cool:

11-Mar-03, 15:53
Hotrod4 - the reason I have asked (twice) if Abewsed has a military background is because I am intrigued by the amount of military knowledge he has. I would like to know if this knowledge is based on personal experience or on research. A lot of Abewsed's statements on military issues are written as statements of fact, sometimes with no evidence to back them up. As are a lot of my own statements.

I have learned a great deal during the course of this discussion. One thing I have tried not to do is accept anything that anybody else has said as a statement of fact unless I can verify that statement. I have read Abewsed's posts on NBC suits and have accepted that my view was wrong - I merely wondered if I am basing my new opinion on somebody's experience, or on the opinions of an obviously interested observer.

As for the official secrets act.. a good many of us are subject to the rules of that particular document. It doesn't stop us from giving details of ex-employers. I have worked in three jobs requiring me to sign it, but if you look at my C.V. you will not find a seven year gap when I disappeared off the face of the earth. I cannot discuss details, but I can say 'Yes, I worked there'.

If Abewsed does not wish to comment on any part of his life, that is fine. Of course he is not obliged to divulge any details which he doesn't want to. It doesn't stop me from asking from whence his seemingly considerable military knowledge came.

Abewsed, if you were somehow offended by my innocent questions, I apologise. No offence was intended... I hope my previous posts have shown that I, like you, try to base my discussions on own opinion and limited knowledge, rather than berating somebody else's.

and I just got your last post. I am a 'loon' but will do my best to ignore the kisses [lol]

11-Mar-03, 16:49

It was me who argued the validity of the Sky News votes of the day… and I continue to do so now. An increase in Tony Blair's approval rating of 15% in just 24 hours? Wow. For any Prime Minister to have an approval rating of 80% at any time is quite a feat, let alone when the media are holding daily debates on his actions.
I don't suggest that only Labour supporters watch Sky News. I do suggest that the same problems with yesterday's Sky News vote hold true for today's vote.

In the past America has considered Iraq to be a friend. In the past American has supplied Iraq with arms. In the past America did not exactly leap to the defence of the Iranians when Iraq invaded.
As for the contract money, the US is in the process of accepting tenders for a contract to rebuild Iraq's infrastructure after 'the' war. That contract will only be awarded to US companies and is worth around $900m. The total cost of post-war rebuilding is estimated at $30bn. Do you believe that Iraq won't be expected to repay that money?
Both sides have political and financial reasons for their decisions. The US/UK stance cannot be said to be based entirely upon humanitarian concerns.

But hey, America are the world superpower… the biggest kid in the playground… best do as they say then, eh Londonwicker???

PS - tone down the racism, please? A lot of us have managed to hold this debate for 7 pages now and we haven't had to resort to childish remarks like 'zee germans', 'russkies', or 'I CURSE YOUR MOUSTACHE'. I find your remarks to be uneducated and insulting and they add nothing to what some of us feel is an important discussion.

11-Mar-03, 18:11
[lol] lol..jjc....your speaking in volumes........as per usual........saying nothing atall.....jjc....how ignorant can you get,calling someone a racist,because they dont agree with your point of view.......!!!!!!!!!!!!.are you english by chance jjc.....?????.lol.i think you thought you,d use this forum,for your own purposes,ie.im right...and no-one else matters......no-body will challenge my views,coz you think your in tune with the vast majority of the brit publics views.WRONG........your posts..are going around..and around,covering very little new points.i state facts,and your that engrossed in your own opinion,you refuse to take others points of views onn.....your one of these guys that always has to be right.......!!!!!!!!.bottom line......saddams getting bombed soon.......end of story.12 years is enough for any nation to disarm.bad boyz.....bad boyz.........what yaa gonna do...........coz there coming for you..lol...lol....bye saddam cheers london :Razz

11-Mar-03, 18:46

lol…okay londonwicker,let,s try this you’re…way…perhaps then,we can get someplace!!!!!your right…i have no,thing,useful to say…obviously,you are writing,facts,whilest i write nothing..except lies…!!!!perhaps i have wasted my,time and energy…over the past,few weeks…worrying needlessly,about the possible,issues…that could arise from this conflict?????after all,if the radical extremist mulsims,should be provoked…by this war…then blair will have it,under control within…minutes!!!!!!i guess i have,proved,in the last seven pages…that my point of view is immovable…unchanging even????you are of,course,right…i mistakenly believe that the majority of…brits…think that war might not,be the only!!!option…obviously the majority,of people…happen to think that this,war is going to be some,kind of viewing extravaganza on there widescreens…tree huggers like me should,get on a bus..to that sewage works in baghdad….we are better off there with zee germans, russkies, and those cursed english!!!!!!!!!got to go get my bus now…let,s bomb him good!!!three cheers for blair….ps..i called you a racist because,you,re posts so far have shown.that to be a FACT!!!!!!! byeeeeeeeee….jjc [lol] :D :) [disgust]


To anybody who isn't Londonwicker... sorry about that.
I will try to return to normal sanity levels later today. If anybody would like to continue talking to me (please, Londonwicker, not you!) then I'll still be here... patiently waiting for the war to start...


11-Mar-03, 19:12
:D did i hear you say radical extremist muslims.....could that be construed as a threat.....????????????.you dont like it jjc,when someone questions your viewpoints......i see these radical extremist terrorists,ie hamas....bali....moscow siege....london ricin find...less than 1 mile away from here i may add.they are scum...and to be hunted,and brought to task,wherever they are..ie,syria,west-bank,indonesia,saudi-arabia..yemen..etc.zee french makes a tounge in cheek reference to monty phyton.the russians.....did you know that 75% of all local goverment workers in moscow,are on the take....corruption is endemic,from up high...to down low.the french.......who want to lead the european masterclass....no thanks...ill stick with the yanks......cmon tony.......100% proud to stand up for tony,and proud to be british.......and all that entails.its funny how im only hearing the tree-huggers views on tv/radio.......i wonder what mr joe public thinks.....mmmmmm.jjc if i had spare money.....id buy you a 1 way ticket to iraq.but hey..we live in a democratic country.....where my views....are is important as yours.... bring it on.........17th....byeeeee :Dps i hear the french president is desperate to stay in power..reason.....when he was mayor of paris....he was on the take.......!!!!!!!!!!.the minute this right winger leaves power.......they can arrest him........alterior motives..huhhhhhhhhh

11-Mar-03, 19:22
It seems that not only is the prospect of war heating up, but also this post. :eek:
I decide to see if the allegations against Russia, France and Germany that I am making and londonwicker (though in more graphic term) are true. I did not spend long searching. See …

It would seem that they all have their hands in the cookie jar. Londonwicker is speaking the truth. It is more than rights and wrongs of the war that are the issue! There are loads more out on the Internet!

This one outlines the France-Germany pact:

Hey jjc chill out, listen to some Fleetwood Mac or get a pillowcase and punch it. Londonwicker is expressing his views and we have to respect it (this is a democratic posting). He is a bit extreme, but so are bombs, bullets etc. It is better he is shooting out words, than bullets. ;)

Londonwicker: can you please try and be more appeasing to the “tree huggers”? I hate defending your side if you are being aggressive. Plus I like the “tree huggers” jjc especially!!!! :o)

Fiona can you hurry back as I would like to hear more about the American viewpoint. It seems that the dirty washing is going to come out soon, about the France, Germany, Russia and China! The slagging mach is just around the corner.

One more bit, as I am totally anti-French: “In the local arena the National Front now controls the mayor's offices in four French cities: Toulon, Orange, Marignane and Vitrolles.”
Just look up “national front” +France. It is not a pretty picture! Not a nice thought that the (wan-a-be) head of a European State has some of it’s major cities run by the National Front, who aim (seems to be) throw or keep out the Jews and the Arabs! Sounds familiar, eh!

PS. I still cant get the smiles to work! Nope I think I have cracked it!

11-Mar-03, 19:24
Disaster!!!! Still not cracked the smiles!!!!!!! Is there a conspiracy going on with this smiles???

11-Mar-03, 19:46
Hey Abewsed, don't you have a flight to catch or something?

Anyway, don't worry about me. I'm quite relaxed (actually, I'm up to my arms in Dulux Satinwood... keyboards in a right mess [lol] )

I'm well aware that Londonwicker is expressing his views, and really didn't mean to imply that he not post at all... it's just too much effort to go to constructing a proper response, only to go through it all again... see... I was relaxed... now look what you've gone and done!!!! [mad]

*deep breath*

I do respect Londonwicker's right to an opinion... whether he believes that or not (which plainly he doesn't).

Anyway, the point of this post is...

It's very easy to find websites to back up the anti-French/German/Russan/Chinese arguments. It is also very easy to find the same kind of websites against the UK/US policies (I'll go get the links, if you like, but really don't think it's worth it... they are easy enough to find).

If we base this debate on whether or not our European 'friends' are being entirely honest, we are missing a large portion of the debate... whether we are being entirely honest ourselves.

As I indicated in my post to Londonwicker (the one before the rant). The US are set to gain considerably from contracts to rebuild Iraq (once they've flattened it). They will also gain considerably through their defence industry, which has strong lobbying power in Washington. The UK will gain considerably by sucking up to Bush... a super-power behind you can never hurt. We will also, nodoubt gain financially from further contracts to rebuild Iraq, and from the UK based offices of said US defence corporations.

France/Russia/Germany/China/UK/US... we all gain from war with Iraq... we could all lose from war with Iraq... we all have our hidden agendas in our stances on this war.

The question is, are WE doing the right thing. Not 'are France doing the right thing'? Not 'are Germany doing the right thing'? But, is the UK doing the right thing?
I personally would leave France et. al. to their own citizens. If the Germans are happy to ignore Saddam, that's up to them. If Russia are anti-war, fine. I am concerned with the actions of MY Prime Minister. I am concerned for the lives of BRITISH soldiers. I am concerned that MY Government are working for world peace, and not US appreciation. Londonwicker may think I am unpatriotic for questioning Tony Blair, but the truth is I am all for this nation and her people.

Anyway, keep trying with them there smilies :D

11-Mar-03, 21:03
I object to the term "tree-hugger."
What possible relevance does it have to the debate?

11-Mar-03, 21:05
Not quite sure, Rich. I gave up asking and just had to accept that by consensus of those present, I do, indeed, hug trees… :eek:

11-Mar-03, 23:02

lol…okay londonwicker,let,s try this you’re…way…perhaps then,we can get someplace!!!!!your right…i have no,thing,useful to say…obviously,you are writing,facts,whilest i write nothing..except lies…!!!!perhaps i have wasted my,time and energy…over the past,few weeks…worrying needlessly,about the possible,issues…that could arise from this conflict?????after all,if the radical extremist mulsims,should be provoked…by this war…then blair will have it,under control within…minutes!!!!!!i guess i have,proved,in the last seven pages…that my point of view is immovable…unchanging even????you are of,course,right…i mistakenly believe that the majority of…brits…think that war might not,be the only!!!option…obviously the majority,of people…happen to think that this,war is going to be some,kind of viewing extravaganza on there widescreens…tree huggers like me should,get on a bus..to that sewage works in baghdad….we are better off there with zee germans, russkies, and those cursed english!!!!!!!!!got to go get my bus now…let,s bomb him good!!!three cheers for blair….ps..i called you a racist because,you,re posts so far have shown.that to be a FACT!!!!!!! byeeeeeeeee….jjc [lol] :D :) [disgust]

LOL jjc.........i get it!!!!......let,s see if evryone else dose.

12-Mar-03, 16:50
First - sorry - this one is going to be long and I'm not sure I've made it all that easy to read....


In an attempt to prevent this debate from spiralling down into a petty squabble I started to do some research into any ulterior motives that the US might have for the crisis in Iraq… I came across something which I find extremely interesting.

Londonwicker, you mention conspiracy theories and I am quite proud of this one, so listen up…

First I started to look into the possibility (although highly unlikely) that the US might be motivated by oil. As I've said before, I don't think it is true, but I wanted to keep an open mind…

I came across a document titled 'Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century'. You can read the full text here (http://www.rice.edu/projects/baker/Pubs/workingpapers/cfrbipp_energy/energycfr.pdf). It contains the following:

Iraq remains a destabilizing influence to U.S. allies in the Middle East, as well as to regional and global order, and to the flow of oil to international markets from the Middle East. Saddam Hussein has also demonstrated a willingness to threaten to use the oil weapon and to use his own export program to manipulate oil markets. This would display his personal power, enhance his image as a “Pan Arab” leader supporting the Palestinians against Israel, and pressure others for a lifting of economic sanctions against his regime.

A new plan of action should be developed to use diplomatic and other means to support U.N. Security Council efforts to build a strong arms-control regime to stem the flow of arms and controlled substances into Iraq. Policy should rebuild coalition cooperation on this issue, while emphasizing the common interest in security. This issue of arms sales to Iraq should be brought near the top of the agenda for dialogue with China and Russia.
Once an arms-control program is in place, the United States could consider reducing restrictions on oil investments inside Iraq. Like it or not, Iraqi reserves represent a major asset that can quickly add capacity to world oil markets and inject a more competitive tenor to oil trade.
It seems that the Bush administration has read this too, considering that an overview of President Bush's energy policies (http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/energy) can be found on the Whitehouse website which states, in only the third bullet point, 'America's energy security is threatened by our dependence on foreign oil'.

I did some more digging around on the oil issue, and you won't be surprised to learn that there are many more out there which claim the US are threatening Iraq over oil. But I want to stick with the report quoted above for now... you'll see why in a minute...


After looking at the oil I decided to look for any other hidden agendas that Bush might have for going into Iraq. I have stated my belief that the US defence industry will gain considerably from the Iraq crisis, so I looked there.

It didn't take long before I came across The Carlyle Group (http://www.thecarlylegroup.com) - 'a private global investment firm that originates, structures and acts as lead equity investor in management-led buyouts, strategic minority equity investments, equity private placements, consolidations and buildups, and growth capital financings'.

What did I find to be top of the 'Focused Industries' within the Carlyle Group? Why, Aerospace and Defence, of course… including United Defense (http://www.uniteddefense.com) – 'a leader in the design, development and production of combat vehicles, artillery, naval guns, missile launchers and precision munitions used by the U.S. Department of Defense and allies worldwide. For many of its key U.S. Department of Defense programs, United Defense is the sole-source prime contractor and systems integrator.'

So obviously, I think, The Carlyle Group may be lined up to profit considerably from any military action, including the Iraq Crisis. I thought it might be interesting to dig a little deeper into the group… say, to take a look at the people behind it.

The first name to jump out of the page at me was George Bush Snr. That’s right. Dubbya's dad is set to gain quite substantially from any military action in the Gulf. But I knew that already. Somebody else's article on that fact is what drew me to the group in the first place.

Then I looked again, and a couple of other names caught my eye. Also present in The Carlyle Group are:

The Honorable James A. Baker, III – 61st Secretary of State under President Bush Snr
The Right Honorable John Major CH M.P. - British Prime Minister during Gulf War

You may be wondering why they caught my eye? Well, let's go back to the oil issue, shall we?

The document 'Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century' was written by an 'independent task force, sponsored by the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy of Rice University and the Council on Foreign Relations'.
Before quoting them in my post I wanted to make sure that I wasn't, once again, giving credibility to the ravings of an extremist group in the US… so I checked out the Baker Institute and the Council on Foreign Relations.

The first thing you might notice is the name, 'The James A. Baker, III Institute for Public Policy'. James A. Baker, III? Could it be?

Oh, yes it could… the Honorable James A. Baker, III (61st Secretary of State) is the same James A. Baker, III who lends his name to this institute. In fact, the institute is housed in the James A. Baker III Hall at Rice University.

James A. Baker, III himself? He is on the board of advisors and is the Honorary Chair.

John Major? Well, aside from being our Prime Minister during the Gulf war, and being Chairman of Carlyle Europe, the Right Hon. John Major is also a member of the Board of Advisors in – you've guessed it – the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy.

Could this not be construed as a conflict of interests for our friend President George W. Bush?
The Carlyle Group, and therefore George Bush Snr, stands to gain considerably from the Iraqi crisis (money which will eventually pass to George Bush Jnr).

At the same time The Carlyle Group can be linked to an 'independent' (and I use the term loosely) institute that has advised increased focus on Iraq.

Since I've managed to confuse myself, I'll try to put this into graphics..

President George Bush Snr
(member of)
The Carlyle Group
(connected through board members to)
The James A. Baker, III Institute for Public Policy
(advisor of policy on Iraq and Oil to)
President George Bush Jnr
(financially and genetically linked to)
President George Bush Snr

Anyway, there's my conspiracy theory for you. I'm not saying I believe that this is the motivation for the US stance on Iraq (God knows there are a lot more issues), but it does look suspicious. Just goes to show that France/Germany/Russia/China/etc. aren't the only ones who have financial and political agendas.

PS – I haven't booked any holidays and have no plans to go anywhere… so if, by some remote chance, I disappear from the face of the Earth will somebody please cry 'CIA' and post my theory to the BBC….

12-Mar-03, 17:14

Hmmmm clever though - when you writing your novel then jjc? Can i order an advanced copy. Make a great storyline if you ask me.


12-Mar-03, 17:27
Haven't started it yet, Squidge, too busy posting here ;) .. I'll let you know as soon as it's underway (assuming the CIA hitmen don't get me first!!!)

12-Mar-03, 20:56
Weel feggs,
this debate has been swinging from one side till another and I have been an avid reader since day one.
I have not agreed with everything that has been said by the contributers but I have enjoyed the intelligent and sometimes informative writtings from the majority of the contributers, there have been one or two triades that I have totally disagreed with but we are a free and democratic society so I have to put up with the bigoted and narrow mindedness of the few.
Finally jjc, as Caithness George's Campagain manager I would like to nominate you to stand as his running partner and become his Vice President........ free Cod liver oil for all, whit div ye say jjc?

12-Mar-03, 21:12
Me? Vice President? And on a manifesto promise of free cod liver oil, how can we lose?

Finally... power is within my reach!!! :evil

Sorry, I mean... let's get on with doing good deeds... :D

Bill Fernie
13-Mar-03, 11:06
For anyone in protest mode a march agsinst the war takes place on Saturday in Inverness at 1.00pm from Marks and Sepncer. A few meetings et still to go in Highland listed at http://www.caithness.org/fpb/march2003/stopthewar.htm

13-Mar-03, 19:22
:D now,as i was saying.........the 17th is looking good,did you hear mr duncan smith on sky news today.....???????.and the queens been ordered to cancel her engagements next week.......its coming people..........soon...very soon.goodbye sadam............cya londonwic ;) ker.....

13-Mar-03, 21:19
Funny thing happened to me just now when I went to see what IDS had said on Sky News… I came across a 'Sky News' poll asking the question: Iraq: Is UK right to fight without the UN accord?
Now, as I've said before, I don't put too much faith in uncontrolled polls, but I know that others here have a lot of faith in good old Sky News… so the results of the poll?

52% say NO…

Again, Londonwicker, we come back to the 17th. The deadline to which you consistently return is from the following text:

3 Decides that Iraq will have failed to take the final opportunity afforded by resolution 1441 (2002) unless, on or before 17 March 2003 the council concludes that Iraq has demonstrated full, unconditional, immediate and active cooperation in accordance with its disarmament obligations under resolution 1441 (2002) and previous relevant resolutions, and is yielding possession to UNMOVIC and the IAEA of all weapons, weapon delivery and support systems and structures, prohibited by resolution 687 (1991) and all subsequent relevant resolutions, and all information regarding prior destruction of such items.
Your much-publicised 'deadline' is actually part of the draft resolution tabled at the UN by the UK and US. It comes from a document not yet ratified by the Security Council. In fact, a document which now, according to Colin Powell, may not even be put forwards for a vote. As we type, your 'deadline' is officially recognised by nobody. That's not to say that it won't be the day we go to war... but not because it's set in stone as invasion day.

Interestingly, the text quoted above is the third point under the section: 'Acting under Chapter VII of the charter of the United Nations'.
Whilst debating the case for this new resolution, Blair and Bush have both made it clear that they are willing to go forwards with military action with, or without, the support of the UN Security Council. Maybe we should remind them of Kofi Annan's words when he said 'If the US and others were to go outside the Council and take military action, it would not be in conformity with the Charter'. Perhaps this is a case of trying to have your cake and eat it?

But then, they are really struggling to get a hold of that cake at all, aren't they? Look at the history of this new resolution.
We've started with the US declaring that there was no need for a second resolution. Then they recognised that Blair needed a second resolution for his political survival.
The second resolution didn't slip past the Security Council as easily as Bush and Blair had perhaps hoped, so we attached six measures to the document that Iraq could be judged on. The opposing nations saw one of those conditions as little more than forcing Iraq to fail in their obligations, so guess what… it was dropped. We are down to five conditions.
But we are still stuck. There are questions as to the reasonableness of a suggested deadline now only four days away. There are also concerns that the new resolution is nothing more than a promise of military action. So Blair and Bush continue to push for the resolution, whilst saying it isn't necessary, whilst saying that they will probably go to war regardless…

Could it be that we are now going to abandon the second/final/new resolution entirely? Are we right back where we were in February, ignoring the objections and pushing straight on to war?

14-Mar-03, 13:08
seeing as its ok for some to post messages about political marches i think i should post mine! http://www.unionjackshop.com
All sales will fund a noble cause.
If its ok for some to post propoganda on this thread then its ok for me to post my beliefs.
I believe strongly in this cause, i have supported them since 1986 and will continue to do so.
I believe very strongly in my country(Great Britain) and wish to show my allegiance to the flag.
I will support our boys out in the gulf no matter what happens,(and yes i am a reservist and am willing to do my bit)Its about time some of the tree huggers got to grips with reality and support these guys.

Mates of mine have been in Iraq for a few months now and cannot wait for the official sign to get the job done.
I will not say who they are though JJc would love me to name and"shame" them.As i am under official secrets i will not divulge any further.If jjc signed the aforesaid document then he would not be willing to divulge such info on a public site.(though i think he may have signed it while working for a civilian org that doesn't hold the doc with the respect it deserves)
Ii am in full support of londonwick becoming an MP rather than jjc (he just talks nonsense and doesnt get any further on in the debate)
Vote Londonwick for your local MP who needs paragraphs when you have the vocabulary of Londonwick!!!!! :D

14-Mar-03, 14:05
Well, Hotrod4, I see we're back to the use of 'tree-hugger'. I'm glad to see that you have decided to buck the trend of talking nonsense, and are busy moving this debate on…. Good for you!!!

I would have thought that your first objection to naming and shaming your mates in Iraq would have more to do with your respect for their privacy than with your having signed the Official Secrets Act.
I would neither ask nor expect you to divulge their names because, quite frankly, what they are called is irrelevant. I can't pop off to Iraq and verify what you have said, so what difference does it make? Am I likely to go and check the Electoral Register for their existence? No. You have said what they think, and that's good enough for me.

The fact that some of your mates want to go to war really doesn't have much impact on whether war is morally the right thing to do. Some of my mates would like to legalise drug taking and polygamy but it doesn't follow that therefore we should.

I've looked at the website and can find no articles relating to anything discussed in this thread. There are no references to Iraq, no details for a demonstration (pro-war or anti-war), no statements of belief on this matter. In fact, the site seems to be devoted entirely to the Loyalist movement in Northern Ireland.

The march to which Bill refers is a march on the topic of war in Iraq. This thread is on the topic of war in Iraq. See the connection????

The Union Jack Shop is one of two things.
-Either it is simply a gift shop (as it claims). In which case what are you doing posting it here, it belongs on a different board, let alone thread.
-Or it is a supporter of loyalist groups that sells paramilitary goods. In which case it has no bearing on the political aspects of this thread.

Once again, glad to see that you are furthering this debate… :eyes

15-Mar-03, 08:39
:D attenshun.....lol....well,after 12 years of asking saddam to dis-arm nicley,and numerous un reseloutions affimiring this,looks like weve reached the end of the road.many of you in here,have put foward your conspiracy therioes as to why war shouldnt happen,but in all reality,its a lot to do with saddams non conpliance with everyone.i hear the old oil story.....lol.are you guys for real......!!!!!.ovbiously some of you are not old enough to remember saddams actions of the last 20 years or so,maybe some of you anti-war heroes think saddams a nice guy......lol..this desspott is not to be crossed,as many have found out,to there peril.including 5000 iraqi kurds.men,women,children,gassed by mr insane.45,000 british troops are in the gulf region,as war seems a certainty,lets all support our unsung heroes,who serve this country,and serve it well.by tommorow night,we should have an announcment from te azores as regards when it kicks off,ill stick to 17th march.5 days later we shall march into baghdad,victorious.not one of you anti-war protesters voiced any concern for our brave british heroes,on the front line.you merely spouted off your ignorant ill thought out observances,for your own ends.over a period of time,even i saw what saddam was upto,and that took 250,000 troops on his doorstep to achieve that.along with being the worlds fourth richest economy,comes responsibility,theres good and bad,in this world,with saddams actions,speaking zillions for his standing......in effect,you cant have your nice democratic lifestyle,without putting your neck out,every now and again.as ive said,in the sphere of world-wide politics,ide rather have the yanks on my side,than say....the self-satisfying russians,french or the germans.the wider picture people,or are you incapable of grasping that......????????.get yourself a slab of fosters,put your feet up,switch on the widescreen......and enjoy.the liberation of iraq.sky..and cnn will no doubt provide the best coverage.and because of the wonders of modern technology,created by the west,we shall see it unfold as it happens on the 17th. have a nice day........london.ps ever wonder why the west has been prospored beyond belief........???????.lets not forget it was a scotsman.....who pioneered tv. :D

Bill Fernie
15-Mar-03, 15:03
I do not tink that most folk would have naything other than support for our troops wherever they were sent by our government. Howver tha is not the same as support for an illegal war. Even our politicians are not unanimous although it is not helpful that some of them did not vote the way they thought right in the vote in the Scottish Paliament. Malcolm chishoolm has nowe said he voted with the government even though he persoanlly did not believe it was right. He voted to support the Labour Party. Surely before any war starts our politicians should be using their best judgement and using it to do what only they have the power to do "influence the outcome of government policy" If they cannot do that they should not be there. A few stood out agsaint this party political pressure and will have the loyalty of their constituents no doubt at the next election in May.
Support for the men who are in our armed forces is not the same as negating our responsibilties and saying we support a war when we do not. Once upon a time a country could be led to war by a government claiming they had the support of the majority. That has all changed as we can all now exhange information very quickly.
To say that we should saettle down and support the war because it is imminent is just the same as Malcolm chisholm towing the party line to support the governemtn. If he and a few tohers like minded had stick to the prinicples they say they hold the government might havebeen defeated - they only won by 6 votes. That would have sent a powerful message to the government in Westminster. In such an important issue surely it was important that our politicians put aside their party politics.
I for one am not prepared join in this prevarication and changing sides.
If you believe the war is wrong then it is still wrong even after we begin any action.
More and more evidence suggests the UK and USA actiosn will and are viewed as illegal by other countires and legal academics in the UK. This is the stuff of war crimes trials with the potential to have our countries looked upon with a great deal of at least disdain in many countries.
France and Germany may not be the friends of our present government and at that level we my be unhappy but they are it appears reflecting wht their own people want. In our case we are told that policitianc sometimes have to take hard decisions but surely that should involve listening.
A patriotic call to support our troops against a bad regime in another country is not the point. Until the last chance it is to let each other know what we really think unlike many of our prevaricating politicians whom the electorate should judge harshly in a post-war period. When they were needed most to make their voices heard they judged party loyalty more important than the lives of the people inlcuidng our service personnell. I would like to see every politician who wrings their hands after any of the imminent disasters is banished by the electorate for not standing up for their genuine beliefs on whatever sside of the debate that is. We deserve at least to know how they all feel and expect them to vote accordingly on such an impostant and life threatening issue.
We should not be afraid to express our views on something so important four our country and our allies. Telling a friend they are wrong is allso of greathelp and may be seen as one of the best things that was done by a later government of any country concerned.
It may be that the current Us government is strongly committed to this action but the next oen may look back on it with disdain and wish their allies had more strongly condemned it to avert the commencement of hostilties. Just as the state of play has altered hour to hour at the UN so will the day to day week to week look different and with hindsight a war looked likley to have been averted "if only......................"
The evidence presented to date to the public has at best been patchy. The evidince available to the government just might be of higher quality although by now we mainly doubt that as more would have been forth coming gibven the tight corner the UK and US find themselves in at the UN.
To live in a democracy is to have the ability to speak your mind. It is governed by the majority and for the most part this operates effectively - nothing is perfect. But the history biooks are littered with examples of where wars are proved to be folly even when there is justifiable cause. This is very different where we have had to fight because we had no choice and our backs were to the wall. Changing a regime becuse it is bad may seem like a good idea but when compared to the number of what might be considered in our lights not helppful or bad for thecountires concernerned could lead us to war for the next 20 years if we apply similar logic.
Win or lose lives will be lost on all sies military and civilain (mainly Iraqi unless retaliation is already in the pipeline). We may be at the start of a long period of retribution set off by this action to remove what we consider a bad government in another country.
The polarisation of beliefs and views of people in places other than Iraq may be affected for years to come. This may have been very different if this was an Arab led war with our support but it is not. The countires round about including those we are friendly with do not have records that stand up to much scritiny on human rights. This may coloru their view of removing a regime in case they are next. They are content to see someone removed by a western power as they will not be held accountable by their own people and may stay a while longer in their own regime.
Littel in these situations is usually as straightforward as they appear. A huge range of other issues are in play with the change of regime being but one apsect which may be achieved albeit at as yet unknown cost in lives, finance and future world relations and world public oopinion. It is increasingly difficult for any country to shrug off world opinion. the thought out arguments of other counties are as valid as our won and by ignogint their perspective we may be diminishing our ability to have a sy in future except by following the same line again - going it alone. Why whoudl other countries support us in any future time on other issues when we have so blatanltly ignored their views on tis one. Is that diplomacy? If it is then it may be that we will see it thrown back in our faces on another issue that we do not want France, Germany , Russia or whoever to desist in some action. Perhaps the nineteenth century gunboat diplomacy is still alive but heaven forbid it remains so as that led in the end to crisis after crisis, war after war.
We may view that we have had many years of peace with only the Falklands intervening but the rest of the world can hardly have our view with wars and civial unrest in many countires in some cases going on seeminly forever impoverishing their people and ruining their countiries.
It is this scenario that I for one do not want to see come upon any country involved UK, USA or Iraq. Retribution for terrorism cannot be exacted from one country alone and as with the drugs problem will keep rising up in two other places for everyone you put down no matter how ruthlessly. If war was the answer to peace we would have had a peaceful world long ago. It plainly is not although from time to time unavoidable. But is this such time? We may not like the leadership of any one country but why should we go to war if we do not have a majority for it. Labout has a majority in power but it was put there to do what the people want. A positive outcome in terms of a win may be a certainty but at what cost. On one level the political cost will be very high for any government that ignores the majority of its people. although the numbersmay be unknown and few folk will demonstate for a war there can be little doubt that the anti war numbers are far in excess of those in favour. If we were to be invaded that would be very different but neither we or our neighbours currently face this.
We may be in the brink but there is still time to draw back. If we do fight I commend the troops to do their best - they can do nothing else. If we do fight - win or lose I will like many others make my voice known in the place democracy makes possible - the ballot box.

16-Mar-03, 10:28
Hello all!

I am back briefly- my apologies for the recent silence- have been out of town for several weeks!

Wow- so many pages of postings! Very interesting- everyone rehashing the same things! Over here in the good ole’ US of A, people seem to be very supportive of Bush’s decision to rid Iraq of Saddam Hussein. American’s tend to be isolationists for the most part, but people here see the danger of allowing Saddam Hussein to continue on, and they do support Bush, overwhelmingly.

I for one, don’t understand the resistance that Europeans have to ousting Saddam Hussein. Let’s look at the simple facts:

-Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait and Kuwait asked the USA for help, which was given, hence the 1st Gulf War.

-The US military pushed the Iraqis out of Kuwait, and for those of you who STILL believe that this is all about oil, lets’ look at this fact:

-At that time, the US Military had a clear road to Baghdad and many thought that they should just roll right in and completely oust Saddam Hussein and take over then. The US government at the time could have easily taken control of Iraq and their oil. Pres. George Bush Sr. left the decision to Colin Powell, as to whether or not to take Baghdad. Colin Powell decided that the objective had been reached, to push Saddam out of Kuwait and chose to end the conflict, as Saddam Hussein had agreed to surrender. And JJC, just FYI, Colin Powell was General Colin Powell at the time, and my boss! If it were all about oil, they would have just taken over 12 years ago when they had every chance to do so.

-Saddam Hussein LOST his attempt to take over Kuwait and he surrendered. He agreed to disarm and let’s face it- he has had every chance to do so for 12 YEARS! He has made NO effort to do so and now at the last minute, he is still making feeble attempts. Why are so many people calling for the inspectors to have more time? I find it hard to believe that people really believe that if nothing is found, then they no longer exist:

The tons of VX nerve agent, the 5 million teaspoons of “weaponized’ anthrax
and the stockpile of the other weapons that Saddam Hussein is known to have, but has
absolutely NO proof of destroying. JJC, are you naive enough to think that a man
like Saddam Hussein has the same values and value for human life, as you & I do? If
you think that, then you are sadly mistaken. SH loves anti-war protesters- I am sure
that it feeds his ego.

Bill Fernie: As for this being an illegal war, is it really? There are enough reasons to justify forcibly disarming Saddam Hussein. Look at all of the past UN resolutions dealing with Saddam Hussein- how many of there has their been? At least 12! It is likely that less people will die in this conflict than any other, as bombs are much more accurate than they were 12 years ago. Most people will evacuate the cities and compared to the number of people that Saddam Hussein has himself killed, the number will be minimal. Any loss of life is a tragedy, of course, but isn’t it a greater tragedy to do nothing? Hundreds of thousands of people have died at his hands- countless more than would die in any US/British led conflict (far more people die each year in car accidents and no-one protests about that!).

Everything is political, and politicians run the world. People like Chisholm are able to vote to support Blair, but then cater to their voters by claiming to regret the decision. It is likely that a vote by the Scottish parliament, against a conflict with Iraq, would have made no difference, regardless! Not to be unkind, but I read the Scottish news daily and it often seems that Scottish politicians spend far more time bickering & backstabbing each other (and going 6x over budget for the new parliament building), than they do making any positive changes for the people of Scotland!

And JJC, just FYI, if you were knowledgeable enough, you would know that the objective of this conflict is to cause as little damage to the infrastructure & the people of Iraq. The USA would like the infrastructure as intact as possible as to minimize the cost of rebuilding. The bulk of the damage is likely to come from Saddam Hussein himself, as it is reported that he had already wired 800 oil wells in Southern Iraq with explosives.

I find it interesting how it is often those with the least knowledge that protest the most. If only everyone were as knowledgeable as Abewsed! If that were the case, all of the “tree huggers” (used in the USA to refer to all ultra liberal protesters- no matter what the cause!!) would be terrified of the weapons that Saddam Hussein presently controls/ has hidden. They would be the 1st in line to want him out!! For years, no-one believed that Hitler was actually exterminating people in concentration camps.

In the USA, people all have their own differing opinions, but the still support their military. Many cities have hosted a “We Support our Troops” rally. LondonWicker is right- the Queen’s Own Highlanders are a group of soldiers to be proud of. I know quite a few of them myself, and I have been impressed with their degree of dedication and professionalism. In the United States, people are very patriotic and they literally go up and thank soldiers for their service to this country. When was the last time anyone in Caithness went up to one of your local boys that are serving in the 1st Battalion, the Highlanders and thanked them for the public service that they perform- that of risking their lives to protect and serve everyone else (a job that pays little enough and is often hard and thankless). As an American soldier (and former female US Paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne Division) I have often being approached and thanked for my service, by ordinary Americans. I can’t tell you what it meant to me, to be the recipient of those heartfelt thanks.

I find it interesting that those that protest the most are usually the ones that have never served in the military, and have never risked their lives for anything. The Iraqi people would be glad to have the same freedom as those of us in the Western world enjoy.

And Abewsed is right- scratch the surface of the truth a little and it is likely that many secrets will come out about France, Russia & Germany. They all have their own secrets and secret deals with Saddam Hussein for oil, and it has been alluded to by The Economist magazine, that it is likely that there are many secrets that will come out, about illegal weapons and materials supplied to Iraq by these countries, in recent years. Secrets that they are eager to hide as the truth would likely cause these countries a great deal of embarrassment.

So, those of you so against ousting SH, how would you feel if your town/village were on the receiving end of a letter full of anthrax, or an attack on your local nuclear plant (that he perhaps had funded? I don’t mean to offend anyone by my directness, but think about it. In the Philippines last week, a suicide bomber’s mobile phone was recovered. Oddly enough, he had the number of an Iraqi diplomat saved in his phone. Coincidence? I think not! (This was also reported by The Economist, in case anyone is wondering). No one wants to go to war, not even Bush, but if he and his advisors are convinced enough to take this all the way to a war, then they must believe that he poses quite a great risk to our security.

Another thing to think about: How legitimate will the UN be really, without the participation of the USA? The UN already relies on the US to provide the majority of peacekeepers and military personnel for their peacekeeping missions (the US pays for those peacekeepers and US soldiers risk their lives, as do British soldiers, acting as peacekeepers, world-wide). The Economist magazine says that France is orchestrating the ultimate downfall of the UN as it will now be seen as ineffectual and unable/unwilling to enforce its own resolutions.

I hope that everyone is having a lovely week, enjoying the freedom that they have- to voice their opinions freely, vote and live in peace (unlike may others in this world).


Fiona Rich

16-Mar-03, 17:18
Yet again, the pro-war side argue that we should be grateful for our democracy, right to vote and freedom of speech. However, if we care to exercise those rights, by urging against a war without UN backing, we are being disloyal to our country. So what you are suggesting is that we should be so grateful to live in a democracy is that we should behave as though we have no right to protest about our government's actions? I don't understand your logic behind it… care to explain?

And FYI, fionarich, just because the term "tree hugger" is used in the US to describe liberal protestors doesn't make it less offensive. You (along with others) are using it as a term of insult, and I would have thought you able enough to construct an argument that you wouldn't have to resort to insults.

So the majority of US citizens back Dubya Bush? Fine. It's hardly relevant to deciding upon the appropriate actions of the British Government.

I also accept that the French and Russian motivations for not backing a war are somewhat dubious and more concerned about their own economies than the welfare of the Iraqi people. But then, this isn't relevant to the actions made by the British Government, which will have to be justified to the British people.

I am offended by the repeated suggestion that the anti-war protestors are disloyal to the British military. On the contrary, I am very concerned about the morale of our military, who will probably be asked to fight in an illegal war.

Those who think that our troops are, by virtue of their chosen profession, therefore gung-ho and pro-war, are trying to fit our military personnel into a neat little category. Most American people back George Dubya, so I presume that most American soldiers also back him. That's fine. But our military personnel represent the whole spectrum of British society, which means (logically) that many of them are concerned about and opposed to this forthcoming war (just as British civilians are). They will also be concerned about the opinions of their partners and their families. They will of course follow any orders given to them, and that is why we can be proud of them. But don't insult them by suggesting that every soldier thinks that "bombing him good" is the best thing to do for the future of world peace.

As for this being an illegal war, fionarich, you and I clearly differ on the definition of legal and illegal. While I can see where abewsed is coming from when he discusses the weaknesses of the UN, if we go to war without UN backing it will be an illegal war.

And this is where my concern for British troops really escalates. The British Government has ratified the treaty creating the International Criminal Court. If we proceed down the route of an illegal war, British troops could be hauled before the ICC facing trial for war crimes! Cleverly enough, the US opted out of this international court, and has negotiated agreements to prevent their military personnel from ever being prosecuted.

And fionarich, just FYI, if you were knowledgeable enough, you would know that the US has already announced its intention to bomb Iraq's infrastructure, including bridges and the water supply. This will be done with the outward intention of ending the war as quickly as possible (which is understandable), but there will also be civilian casualties and lots of valuable rebuilding contracts for US companies. [disgust]

One last thing -

I find it interesting that those that protest the most are usually the ones that have never served in the military, and have never risked their lives for anything.
Just because most people have not served in the military, why are you so scathing about their right to protest? I respect your points of view, but my concern is about the decisions made by the British Government. Its obligation is to the security and welfare of the British people (including its military personnel). And proceeding with an illegal war certainly doesn't appear to be in the interests of the British people (civilians or troops).

16-Mar-03, 17:51
:D drutt...you dont speak for me...or for millions of others.......okay........let the fight begin........london ps.......on ye go fiona....... :lol:

16-Mar-03, 18:30
i know a chap from the highlands,good caithness soldiers..whom im 100% sure,if he see,s a tree hugger in his sights,in iraq,then your history.Perhaps you ought to practice what you preach and not speak for others...

I was not speaking for others but for myself. I was merely suggesting that it is a reasonable assumption that military personnel are not all pro-war. Some will be, some will not be. I therefore suggested that those in favour of war should not presume to speak on behalf of the British military.

16-Mar-03, 20:00
:D och well........tommorow,mon the 17th.......is the day.......war will begin within 24hours.................its all good...............london......

17-Mar-03, 00:27
So Bush, Blair, and Aznar have had their little meeting in the Azores and, despite it supposedly not being a council of war, have emerged with a joint statement (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/2855567.stm).

Bush has said that tomorrow is "a moment of truth for the world" whilst Blair speaks of a "final appeal for there to be that strong, unified message on behalf of the international community", so maybe we should presume that the final resolution will be put to the vote at the Security Council tomorrow. Maybe it won't and we will be at war come Tuesday.

If I were to bump into Tony Blair tonight, maybe finding him partaking of a little Dutch Courage in my local, these are the things I would like to say to him.

First, I would bring his attention to the actual text of resolution 1441. I would remind him that at no point does resolution 1441 call for automatic war if Iraq does not fully comply with the requirements of the document. Indeed, it specifically calls for the Security Council to 'convene… in order to consider the situation and the need for full compliance with all of the relevant Council resolutions in order to secure international peace and security'. I would ask him if he feels that this means something other than allowing the Security Council as a group to decide upon the action to be taken.

Next I would suggest that he find a transcript of his Newsnight interview with Jeremy Paxman. In particular, I would draw his attention to the following (which I have quoted before but feel is vital at this stage):

OK, so they report back next week. Will you give an undertaking to this audience, and indeed to the British people that before any military action you will seek another UN Resolution, specifically authorising the use of force.
We've said that that's what we want to do.
But you haven't given an explicit commitment that those are the only circumstances under which British forces will be used.
I haven't but what I've said is this - those are the only circumstances in which we would agree to use force except for one caveat that I've entered.
And I'll explain exactly why I've done this. If the inspectors do report that they can't do their work properly because Iraq is not co-operating there's no doubt that under the terms of the existing United Nations Resolution that that's a breach of the Resolution. In those circumstances there should be a further Resolution.
If, however, a country were to issue a veto because there has to be unanimity amongst the permanent members of the Security Council. If a country unreasonably in those circumstances put down a veto then I would consider action outside of that.
But Prime Minister, this is, you say, all about a man defying the wishes of the United Nations. You cannot have it both ways.
If one of the permanent five members of the Security Council uses its veto and you, with your friend George Bush, decide somehow that this is unreasonable, you can't then consider yourself absolutely free to defy the express will of the Security Council. What's it for otherwise?
First of all, let me make two points in relation to that.
Firstly you can't just do it with America, you have to get a majority in the Security Council.
Secondly, because the issue of a veto doesn't even arise unless you get a majority in the Security Council.
I would point out to him that I, like many, took this to be a promise that he would only send our troops into conflict with the backing of the majority of the UN Security Council. I would ask him if his stance on this matter has now change as it appears that he has recently been back peddling furiously.

I would also like to ask him why. Why he feels so confident in his actions, when he has spectacularly failed to convince some of his closest political allies? Why he appears ready to overlook the will of so many, perhaps even the majority, of his own people? Why he feels that Iraq is such an immediate (emphasis on the immediate) threat that he feels war, rather than Weapons Inspectors, to be the right path to take. I would also ask him if the decision to go to war will be voted on in the House of Commons, or if he has made the decision all by himself.

Fionarich. I did spend some time this morning typing up a response to your post, but I was so incensed by some of your statements that I took the decision to scrap what I had written and come back to it later, when I had had a chance to slow my typing down a little. Thankfully, Drutt has responded in the mean time and seems to have pretty much covered many of the statements that I found to be so insulting.

I needn't reiterate what Drutt said about the issue of us 'tree-huggers', or your opinion of my support for the British military personnel stationed in the Gulf. I also appreciate Drutt's words on your opinions as to democracy and our right to voice our opinions. I would like to add that I wondered just how you envisage the ideal society? Are you suggesting that we only be allowed an opinion, perhaps even a vote, once we have served in the military? This seems like a step backwards rather than forwards.

As for your 'just FYI, if you were knowledgeable enough…' phrase (which I took particular offence to almost as much for the condescending 'FYI' as the question of my intelligence and knowledge), the objectives of this conflict are to disarm Saddam Hussein, and to remove his regime from power. If the objective of this conflict were to cause as little damage as possible, the objective could be met quite simply by not going to war.
As for the actual objectives… The objective of disarmament is currently being worked on by the Weapons Inspectors. Surely, if the objectives of this conflict can be met using the Weapons Inspectors, that is a better alternative than conflict?
The secondary objective of regime change is illegal under international law, pure and simple. We have laid our values and beliefs into the international laws by which we live. One of those laws is that regime change is not a recognised reason for international conflict. Though we may desire regime change, we must seek it through alternative means.

Oh, and on the subject of condescending FYIs… So, Colin Powell was General Powell during the Gulf War. And your point is? Do you honestly think that this is something I was unaware of until you happily shed light on the subject for me?

I do, however, wonder where you find the evidence that Colin Powell personally decided if the Coalition should take Baghdad or not. I would like to see that very much.

The truth of the matter is that Colin Powell was a military man during the Gulf War. Would President George Bush Snr. have left a decision as important as whether his nation remains at war to anybody other than himself (remember, he was Commander in Chief at the time)? I certainly hope not.
Even if Bush Snr. could have left the US decision to Colin Powell, the ultimate decision lay with neither man. The US Government may like to think that they are the decision makers of this earth, but as recent events have clearly shown, they are not the only voices. The UN decision to accept the Iraqi surrender was just that, a UN decision. It was voted on and accepted by the members of the UN. It was not an individual effort.

I am not naïve enough to believe that Saddam Hussein has the same values as you or I (or even that you and I share common values). Are you naïve enough to believe that the fact that Saddam Hussein does not have values we agree with somehow justifies us abandoning our own? As I have already said, we laid down our values in international law. Those values were laid down in law to prevent us from abandoning them as and when we saw fit.

You mention the legitimacy of the UN without the backing of the USA. Well, I would obviously rather the USA continues its membership of the UN and diplomacy and democracy continue within the organisation.
But, if I had to choose? I would rather a smaller, more contained, United Nations which no longer recognises the USA as a member, than a powerful and dominating United Nations who's will is nothing more than the dictate of a single, self-righteous nation that refuses to adhere to the law of the very organisation it uses as a whip.

I hope that you are wrong, Londonwicker, and that Blair has insisted that the new resolution go to the vote at the Security Council. I hope that he look at the result and consider the response carefully. I hope that you don't honestly believe that war is 'all good'.

17-Mar-03, 03:38
My my, drutt & jjc,

You seem incensed that I have a differing opinion! I do not recall at any time mentioning that anyone else should not be allowed their opinions. It seems that you are implying that I should not be allowed mine, just because it differs from yours!! Not everyone is dying to participate in anti-war demonstrations!

The UN is not necessarily the ultimate authority on conflicts. Of all of the conflicts that have ocurred world-wide in the past 50 years or so, the UN has sanctioned only 3, and plenty of other attacks & conflicts have have occured world-wide, with no-one asking the UN their opinion. You may think that the UN can be effectual without the US, but it has been shown to be relatively ineffectual at enforcing its own resolutions.

How much more time do weapons inspectors need? They have already had 12 years and if your read the original UN mandate dealing with this issue, the responsibility lies with Saddam Hussein to be forthcoming with information and to actively participate in voluntarily disarming. It does not say that weapons inspectors are supposed to seek out his well hidden weapons and go and find them. He is the one forcing this issue, as all he would have to do is give up the weapons and mobile labratories that he is known to still have.

If things were as simple as giving the weapons inspectors more time then I am sure that would be allowed. However, if he has made little to no effort in the past 12 years, and is still making no real attempt even now to disarm, what is a few more weeks difference going to make?

And why the anger with the term "tree-hugger"? It is a very commonly used term here, and most activists here will proudly telll anyone that will listen that yes they are a tree hugger and are pround to say so.

It seems that you are reading what you like into my comments, and attributing things that I am thinking, when that us not necessarily the case. They are not meant to anger anyone, they are merely a different opinion, from someone living in a diffferent country, with a different leader. They are based on my personal experience and knowledge of international politics- a subject which I may or may not know more about than you- I don't know you, so that is something that I do not know.

This conflict may seem illegal to you, but here it is seen by many as the right thing to do, to prevent having to remove him when he is much more powerful & more dangerous. I don't see any of his arab neighbors comlaining that he may soon be gone. Considering that in the the past he has attacked Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iran, I don't think that they will be shedding any tears when he is gone.

And people here feel as if SH is a real threat to the world and that a regime change isw not a bad thing. Seeing as Saddam Hussein is unlikely to step down or to really start disarming now, what do you suggest? Another 12 years of inspections?

I am sorry if a differing opinion angers you, but freedom of speech also allows me to have an opinion- one that just happens to differ from yours.


Fiona Rich

17-Mar-03, 12:45

Incensed that you have a differing opinion?

I did, it is true, get quite worked up whilst reading your previous post, but because your opinion differs? Afraid not. What got me worked up was the method that you chose to convey your message more than the message itself.

Okay, so in the USA the term 'tree-hugger' is commonly used to refer to ultra-liberal protesters.
For one thing, I don't consider myself to be ultra-liberal simply because I disagree with rushing into war without international backing.
For another, you are not posting on a US only message board, you are posting on a message board open to all and based in the UK. In the UK the term 'tree-hugger' carries with it certain negative connotations, which I would rather were not directed at me simply for voicing my opinion. Had you read my previous posts you would already have noticed my objection to the term (including my reasons), I can therefore only assume that you utilised it knowing full well that it would cause insult.

Also, you questioned my knowledge three times during your post, once directly by using my profile name. Perhaps you feel that open and honest debate justifies personally insulting those who disagree with you, but I do not.


The problem that arises if we now question the UN effectiveness and legitimacy is that the US and UK Governments initially sought to follow the UN route in order to justify this war. It smacks of Governmental hypocrisy for them to have done so, realised that their tactic was not working, and to now decide to go it alone.
They are using the United Nations resolutions to legitimise their cause, and yet are unwilling to adhere to the majority will of the United Nations Security Council.
Do we really think that if Bush and Blair fail to get the majority in the Security Council vote on the new resolution they will sit back down at the negotiating table and seek a new way? Of course not, Bush has already said as much.

You ask how much more time the Weapons Inspectors need, and I would reply that only they can say.
The Weapons Inspectors are making progress in Iraq with the apparent cooperation of the regime. The process of disarmament is under way and the Iraqis have begun to hand over documented evidence of the destruction of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
I believe it must be the Weapons Inspectors who should have the final decision on their own effectiveness. It should be they who come before the Security Council and say 'enough, we can go no further'. Until they have done so there is still a possible path to a peaceful end to this conflict. So long as that path remains open to us, can we morally say we did everything in our power to avoid war?

If war is necessary, then so be it. But first, prove war is the only option.

17-Mar-03, 13:28

What I think is interesting is how the debate on this conflict polarises people. You either believe that war is the right thing or you dont. There is no way in which people will be convinced otherwise. An example of this was evident when Tony Blair met the studio audience in the Trevor Macdonald programme the other night. Tony Blair evidently believed in what he was saying so did the audience. Nothing that TB said would make that audience changed its mind - he was respectful in his responses and - given that he was dealing with a group of women who had lost loved ones in conflicts and terror attacks - that was absolutely the right way to be but he was firm and unwavering in his message. The women were passionate and strong in their belief that war is not the answer and they were scathing inthe response they gave to TB in the form of a slow handclap.

This is not an issue where a consensus is ever going to be reached. Whether that is accross the domestic political arena or the international arena makes no difference. Tony Blair has the nations interests at heart on a much greater scale than we are probably aware of. Much was made in the papers yesterday of the "Whose side are we on issue" Will we end up isolated from Europe - will we end up isolated from the USA - Have the French boxed themselves into a corner - further distancing a "Federal Europe" from the might of the USA and leaving Britain bobbing around either dangerously isolated or fortunatley independant depending on what page you read.

The issues around who will run and monitor Iraq post war also offered much scope for variety in peoples opinions - suggestions arose about democracy and the western interpretations of it - Algiers was suggested as an example.

In addition, there were Iraqui voices denouncing the war and those supporting it. There was anti islam columns talking about "the enemy within" and there were columns explaining that this is not about islam. The oil issue was explored - upheld and denied as a reason for this conflict.

The point of me saying all this is to get a focus on the wide variety of issues which surround this action. The government are in a position to pull all these issues together and probably many many more which we are not aware of. I believe that we should have a UN resolution before we go to war. However i understand that the time has come to act and i understand that without the resolution this government will take us into war - not because they feel like it - not because they want the oil wells - not because TB wants personal glory - but because they have considered all these issues and have decided that this is the only way forward. I do not envy them their task.

It appears that arguing for or against this war is a bit like arguing for or against the existence of god. The point is that you if you believe in God - no one will convince you otherwise. If you dont then no one will convince you otherwise.

So, it appears that we are on the brink of war and i hope and pray for all those involved in this - whether they be british or US soldiers, Iraqui soldiers or civillians, ordinary people or government officials. There is no reasoning in the face of evil someone said today - lets hope that Saddam is removed and the world becomes a better place for it.

17-Mar-03, 16:58
Sadam's had 12 years to disarm say the pro-war faction.
Let's settle that canard once and for all.
Sadam has been substantially contained for 12 years. Nobody much cared about his alleged weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was a constant minor irritant but essentially a dead issue. A bad situation but no worse than that prevailing in many other parts of the world.
What distinguishes the Bush administration is its eagerness to open up this dead issue and by the astonishing sleight of hand by which Sadam is branded a sponsor of international terororism.
Where is the evidence of links between Al Quaida and Iraq?
There is none.
But there is more than ample evidence that the current administration is looking for an excuse to bring overwhelming military might to bear on the entire Middle East and establish it once and for all as part of the US Imperium.
This is a policy for disaster because the USA cannot reconstruct the Middle East on its own. The financial costs are too huge. Plus any regime they establish will be of doubtful legitimacy
To slightly change the topic. A medical friend of mine thinks Bush is on valium during his press conferences. I think he may be right!

17-Mar-03, 17:30
That's it then. In the words of Ari Fleischer, "the diplomatic window has been closed".

The draft resolution, which Blair promised would be accepted by the majority of the members of the Security Council before he would send British troops to war, has been removed from the table and no vote will now take place.

Whether France or Russia issued a veto against this resolution was never the important factor - Blair had a ready-made 'get out of jail' card in the event of that happening. The important condition was that Blair, at the very least, manage to raise enough international support to require that veto. He made a commitment to do so; he set that condition upon himself.

So now, despite the potential way-out offered by the Weapons Inspectors, despite apparent cooperation by the Iraqi regime, Bush has pushed this issue far enough that there really is no non-military route left. Let's face it. If Saddam goes into exile Bush will only want to go in anyway to remove his son (who would no doubt ascend to power in his father's place).

I hope that the Cabinet members and MPs who have voiced their disagreement with Blair's stance now have the moral fortitude to follow their beliefs rather than their party. I hope that Blair has enough dignity left in him to bring this to the House of Commons for debate, rather than declaring war by himself.

Most of all, I hope that our troops stay alert and safe and do their jobs well, and that the coming conflict is as swift and merciful as many have predicted. For the sake of our troops, I hope that those who believe that the Iraqi army will withdraw to towns and cities, turning this into months of difficult urban warfare, are wrong.

It's a nice sunny day here today. People are going about their daily lives: working, shopping, going to school, and jetting off on holidays. To look out the window you really wouldn't think that we are living under an immediate threat to our lives so great that come tomorrow we will be engaged in a war that could change the political face of the entire earth.

What a depressing day this has turned into http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung/traurig/sad-smiley-066.gif

17-Mar-03, 18:15
The day is going to get a lot worse. We are promised a Bush speech at 8:00 pm EST this evening.
Am I alone in finding Bush speeches one of life's eerier experiences?
There's the curious immobility of his features as if someone had stuck a poison dart of curare in his thorax. Then there's the peculiar little sneer. (His only real facial expression) There's the uncanny resemblence to Alfre E. Neuman of Mad magazine fame. There's the sense that he's so dyslexic he can't even understand what he is seeing on the teleprompter.
There's the sermonizing tone. Bush knows what's good for us and by God we're going to get it.
There's the overwhelming sense that we have somehow slid into an alternate universe and none of this is really happening. It's like watching a slow motion plane crash....

17-Mar-03, 18:18
:D Iraq will be defeated......as you already have been jjc.......now run along and subscribe to sky,as they will have the best tv coverage.your opinions as to why we should not go to war,were boring,and lacking substance.mines.....on the other hand,served up facts.what a lovley day...........londonwicker ps watch george bush jnr give his live speech,at 1am this morn. :D

17-Mar-03, 18:21
:D and your the coward that baled out before it crashed.......!!!!!!!!!.deal with it lad......have a real nice day....... :D londonwicker

17-Mar-03, 18:21
Well done, Robin Cook. It can't have been an easy decision to make, but I am glad that at least one Cabinet Minister has shown the strength of character to uphold his own beliefs above those of the Prime Minister.

Robin Cook
I can't accept collective responsibility for the decision to commit Britain now to military action in Iraq without international agreement or domestic support.

17-Mar-03, 18:40

Well, Londonwicker. You got me. Through the strength of your argument, the intelligence of your debate, and the sheer lack of any substance or fact in anything I have said. Wow. I must have been so blind not to see it before - of course war is great. How could I possibly consider it to be anything other than a viewing spectacle fit only for my widescreen TV?

Thank you for showing me the error of my ways. I am forever in your debt.

I shall tell my grandchildren of your debating prowess and verbal aptitude. When they go to school and are struggling through their classes (after all, they will have my genes – an inbuilt disadvantage) I shall sit them down and tell them the tale of Londonwicker. They shall be filled with awe and a desire to prove themselves worthy of your admiration.

I shall tell them of your maturity and your manners, asking them each time they say something foul or act in a childish manner, 'Now, children, would Londonwicker behave in that way?'

In short, I shall ensure that your posts are set in stone as an example of the standards to which they should strive. They will worship your words as the epitome of all that is good and decent.

Once again, Londonwicker, thank you.

17-Mar-03, 18:44
:D watch it and weep.......i took as much notice of your words...as i gave to the credence of saddam hussains.your so unelegant in your defeat jjc..........let the party begin......... london :D

17-Mar-03, 18:58
There is a postively autumnal glow envelopng this debate as it winds down. Here is an item that I sure reflects the feelings all of us on the "losing " side of the debate (as if we weren't ALL losers!)

From the world's most popular novelist, Paulo Coelho, an open letter of praise for President Bush.

Thank you, great leader George W. Bush.

Thank you for showing everyone what a danger Saddam Hussein represents. Many of us might otherwise have forgotten that he used chemical weapons against his own people, against the Kurds and against the Iranians. Hussein is a bloodthirsty dictator and one of the clearest expressions of evil in today’s world.

But this is not my only reason for thanking you. During the first two months of 2003, you have shown the world a great many other important things and, therefore, deserve my gratitude.

So, remembering a poem I learned as a child, I want to say thank you.

Thank you for showing everyone that the Turkish people and their parliament are not for sale, not even for 26 billion dollars.

Thank you for revealing to the world the gulf that exists between the decisions made by those in power and the wishes of the people. Thank you for making it clear that neither José María Aznar nor Tony Blair give the slightest weight to or show the slightest respect for the votes they received. Aznar is perfectly capable of ignoring the fact that 90% of Spaniards are against the war, and Blair is unmoved by the largest public demonstration to take place in England in the last thirty years.

Thank you for making it necessary for Tony Blair to go to the British parliament with a fabricated dossier written by a student ten years ago, and present this as ‘damning evidence collected by the British Secret Service’.

Thank you for allowing Colin Powell to make a complete fool of himself by showing the UN Security Council photos which, one week later, were publicly challenged by Hans Blix, the chief weapons inspector in Iraq.

Thank you for adopting your current position and thus ensuring that, at the plenary session, the French foreign minister, Dominique de Villepin’s anti-war speech was greeted with applause – something, as far as I know, that has only happened once before in the history of the UN, following a speech by Nelson Mandela.

Thank you too, because, after all your efforts to promote war, the normally divided Arab nations were, for the first time, at their meeting in Cairo during the last week in February, unanimous in their condemnation of any invasion.

Thank you for your rhetoric stating that ‘the UN now has a chance to demonstrate its relevance’, a statement which made even the most reluctant countries take up a position opposing any attack on Iraq.

Thank you for your foreign policy which provoked the British foreign secretary, Jack Straw, into declaring that in the 21st century, ‘a war can have a moral justification’, thus causing him to lose all credibility.

Thank you for trying to divide a Europe that is currently struggling for unification; this was a warning that will not go unheeded.

Thank you for having achieved something that very few have so far managed to do in this century: the bringing together of millions of people on all continents to fight for the same idea, even though that idea is opposed to yours.

Thank you for making us feel once more that though our words may not be heard, they are at least spoken – this will make us stronger in the future.

Thank you for ignoring us, for marginalising all those who oppose your decision, because the future of the Earth belongs to the excluded.

Thank you, because, without you, we would not have realised our own ability to mobilise. It may serve no purpose this time, but it will doubtless be useful later on.

Now that there seems no way of silencing the drums of war, I would like to say, as an ancient European king said to an invader: ‘May your morning be a beautiful one, may the sun shine on your soldiers’ armour, for in the afternoon, I will defeat you.’

Thank you for allowing us – an army of anonymous people filling the streets in an attempt to stop a process that is already underway – to know what it feels like to be powerless and to learn to grapple with that feeling and transform it.

So, enjoy your morning and whatever glory it may yet bring you.

Thank you for not listening to us and not taking us seriously, but know that we are listening to you and that we will not forget your words.

Thank you, great leader George W. Bush.

Thank you very very much!

17-Mar-03, 19:10
:D Thank you rich,for accepting defeat gracefully.....lol bye london

17-Mar-03, 19:26
Rich. Nice. JJC

17-Mar-03, 23:41
Well you are all so busy congratulating yourselves or wallowing in self pity at your "defeat" that not one of you seems to have spared a thought for the real losers in all this. Those people who will lose their lives.


Londonwicker - lets see you whoop with glory when the first pictures of dead babies appear on the screen and reduce the rest of us normal compassionate human beings to tears. Reading your post s is making me feel a bit nauseous just now.

jjc and rich stop it - you are making him worse!!!!

This war became unavoidable on September 11th. I hope that it is short and mercifully light on casualties and i hope above all else that history will show that it was the right action to take because the alternative is terrifying.

I will wake every morning and in so far as i pray i will pray for all those affected and hope for a quick end to this war

18-Mar-03, 01:23
:D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D

18-Mar-03, 01:42
Hey Squidge... not fair... I'm not wallowing in self pity (please tell me that the sarcasm of my post at 5:40 wasn't taken seriously?)

We aren't at war yet and although there is little, if anything, to stop it from happening, until it does you will still find me here wondering what on earth the world has come to. I'll probably still be here afterwards too, head in hands, wondering where we go next.

I honestly don't know why this is being seen as an issue of victory and defeat. This is an open debate where we have been voicing our opinions and discussing what is raised. Pure and simple. I never expected to change the political ideals of the Labour party by posting on this message board. I thought Rich's post was nice, pure and simple. The letter which he quoted stated several issues which I agree strongly with. I liked his post. Sorry.

However, I do see what you mean about Londonwicker. I will stop encouraging him, honest.

My final words before going to bed concern Clare Short. I hope that she considers her position overnight and finds it to be untenable. She stated her case on national radio, simply that if there were war without a second resolution then she would resign. We obviously have no second resolution. For her to remain in the Cabinet now will undermine not only the good work she has done in Government, but also the beliefs of all those who, like me, also called for a second resolution.

18-Mar-03, 03:52
:D jjc,squidge.........dont you remember the images of all that women and children saddam gassed to death back in 1988...5000.....i do.......youve conveintly forgot i see.................46hrs.....9 mins...........war. london

18-Mar-03, 10:01
Lets all have a cuban and watch the war commence..............

18-Mar-03, 10:43
I cant stop myself from saying it...

All those who are looking forward to watching a real live war on TV are sick.

How could you possibly get any pleasure from watching real people trying to kill each other?

Isn't it bad enough for the solidiers that are there, knowing they may be about to take part in what many people in the world believe to be an illegal war.

During the Falklands War, I remember seeing some poor soldier who had just been blown up, losing his leg and much blood, being carried into a medical unit by his comrades. I remember suddenly thinking, I hope he doesnt have any family watching this.

How painful would it be, not only to see your father/son/husband/friend in such a state, live on television. But also to know that there are probably hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people, watching possibly the last traces of normality be washed away from your life.

Personally I cant watch it, and I cannot believe the crass and insensitive way that londonwicker and others have promoted the glorious, live and in technicolor, tv coverage of such a horrific event.

18-Mar-03, 11:42
When Clare Short was asked if she would resign if there were no UN mandate for war in Iraq she responded, "Absolutely. There's no question about that."
When asked if Tony Blair had been reckless she said he had been "reckless with our government, reckless with his own future, position, and place in history."
Why then, am I not surprised to find that after overnight consideration we find her back peddling furiously to keep her job?

Whether you agree with Robin Cook or not, you have to recognise that he has resigned from an influential job (which provided him with an official residence in London). He has taken a substantial pay cut. He has publicly disagreed with his party leader and friend. He did this because he put his moral values above his political aspirations. Agree or disagree, he has gone up in the estimation of many.

And just look at some of the points he has made.

It is not France alone that wants more time for inspections. Germany wants more time for inspections; Russia wants more time for inspections; indeed, at no time have we signed up even the minimum necessary to carry a second resolution. We delude ourselves if we think that the degree of international hostility is all the result of President Chirac. The reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading partner—not NATO, not the European Union and, now, not the Security Council.

Iraq probably has no weapons of mass destruction in the commonly understood sense of the term—namely a credible device capable of being delivered against a strategic city target. It probably still has biological toxins and battlefield chemical munitions, but it has had them since the 1980s when US companies sold Saddam anthrax agents and the then British Government approved chemical and munitions factories. Why is it now so urgent that we should take military action to disarm a military capacity that has been there for 20 years, and which we helped to create? Why is it necessary to resort to war this week, while Saddam's ambition to complete his weapons programme is blocked by the presence of UN inspectors?

it is more than 30 years since resolution 242 called on Israel to withdraw from the occupied territories. We do not express the same impatience with the persistent refusal of Israel to comply. I welcome the strong personal commitment that the Prime Minister has given to middle east peace, but Britain's positive role in the middle east does not redress the strong sense of injustice throughout the Muslim world at what it sees as one rule for the allies of the US and another rule for the rest.
His words have even more weight when you consider his Cabinet membership will have allowed him access to the intelligence and briefings that, if the case were proven, should have easily persuaded him that his moral obligation would have to lie with supporting action.

Clare Short, on the other hand, has gambled on the outcome of the Security Council vote, which never took place. She lost. But when it came time to pay the croupier she seems to have forgotten even placing the bet. Far from the honest and forthright stance taken by Robin Cook, Clare Short seems, to me anyway, to have tried to boost her political career on the back of a very real humanitarian crisis.

But then, can't we say the same about Blair? Didn't he also gamble on the results of a Security Council vote that will never take place? Doesn't he also seem to have conveniently forgotten his own words?

Now is a good time for Blair and Bush to stop relying on the Security Council resolutions to justify their actions. We are now acting outside the remit of the UN, with even Kofi Annan saying that unilateral military action is in breach of the UN Charter. We are no longer enforcing the will of the Security Council members, and must stop acting as though we are. This is now independent action and we must justify it for ourselves.

Also, I wonder what would happen if 'Hussein & Sons' does pack up shop and leave Iraq? What will Iraq be left with? A tribal nation with no leader and (possibly) Weapons of Mass Destruction under the control of whoever had them hidden at the time? Perhaps a democracy could emerge, but far more likely just a violent race for the next tribal leader to take power. And at the end of it? Well, they might still have the Weapons of Mass Destruction. Isn't it a good job that Blair and Bush are confident that Saddam will never leave Iraq???


18-Mar-03, 12:11
:D jjc,squidge.........dont you remember the images of all that women and children saddam gassed to death back in 1988...5000.....i do.......youve conveintly forgot i see.................46hrs.....9 mins...........war. london

I have not forgotten - in fact that is what i remeber to remind myself why i beleive that this war has to happen. But believing this war is right doesn't remove compassion,revulsion, pain and horror at the results. I have not forgotten anything londonwick. I believe that this is the right course of action. Despite this i cannot find myself able to rub my hands with glee at the idea of people being killed in any way.

You are off your head if you think this is entertainment. This is about as serious as it gets.

:Lets all have a cuban and watch the war commence..............

And you should know better!!!!

We will be given the pictures and the news stories and should watch as much as we can stand - the reality of war is that it is painful and terrifying and in our sanitised safe and insulated world with central heating and double glazing and food and water available all the time we would do well to remind ourselves of that.

There should never be any conflict which we accept gleefully and without debate and serious consideration and for you two to suggest that it will be entertainment is appalling.

18-Mar-03, 13:05
I watched the Presidents address to the nation last night and was a little worried that it sounded like an old western -

"Saddam, git yer boys and you out of town befer noon tomorrow or we're coming to git ya!" (apologies for crap accent)

Was he thinking he was Ronnie Reagan? The plea to the I-Racki people not to blow up our, oops sorry, their oilwells was like saying to a truculent kid don't pull your sisters pigtails. They're going to pull their sisters pigtails!!!!

Worrying times ahead.......................

18-Mar-03, 14:24
Hi all,
Before I start again, I would like to point out that the future conflict in Iraq is NOT a video game, it is not a war story in the Commando comic, it is not a fantasy book. It is reality! If things go according to plan, it could be a swift /short war. But as with all wars/conflicts where the Dictators are willing to fight to the end, it could end up becoming long and bloody. So please do not try and make this into an Old Firm Football Match, there one side wins and the other loses, where only their pride can be hurt. Treat it with the respect “both sides” deserve. To those that want to celebrate the War, leave the cigars, Champaign etc until it is over. This war is guaranteed to show plenty of action, but it has no re-takes, no Oscars. It only has death and destruction.

To the so-called “tree-huggers” the time to protest for war is over, for now. The aftermath will prove which side is right or wrong. I personally feel that the proof for action will be proved correct. This does not mean that the debate is over; it means that the debate has now moved on. Bomb or not Bomb, is now not an issue. The bombs are a reality now, not a possibility. Terrorist attacks are a strong possibility etc.

My view on the media is one of switching the “video” (live coverage) off and implementing a news ban on the war. When I was away the Sun came out with information about the Para’s being dropped on airports etc. It makes nice graphic details for the armchair generals, but it also helps Iraq in planning for new defences. Whilst I don’t believe the Iraqi military are stupid, I do believe the old saying “loss lips sink ships” etc. I would prefer TV coverage being censored for at least 24hr before being released to the public. This allows time for the battle to move on and gives the Iraqi’s less time to react/plan. They will know what is happening, as it is hard to ignore bombs, missiles, tanks etc.

Londonwicker: “I told you so” The war did not start on the 17th! I see that you have still not admitted your mistake. So now it is going to be D-Day +2? Or is it?????? Watch and see!

The US/UK ARE GOING TO WAR. It is the end of the debate of rights and wrongs. The proof of WOMD will come out soon enough. It is time to pray (if you believe in a god), if not, it is time to back the Military Forces. The reason for this is that the Military and the Civilians are the pawns in this 2nd Gulf War. When I was away I spoke to soldiers and some of their parents. In fact yesterday I spoke to two RHF (Royal Highland Fusiliers) who were getting ready to go to Ireland. Whilst they are not involved in the Gulf, they are concerned about Britain’s ability to fight effectively. The problem is that the Government/s have cut the Forces back too far. The ability to replace casualties is stretched to the limit. If the UK is going to become “Peace Makers/Keepers” for the world, they will need to re-evaluate their ability to “effectively” carry this out. But one thing, not one soldier was against the War; they all agree that this is a just war. They feel that they can make a difference by removing Saddam form the Middle East.

The debate of Legality is still an issue. The political argument is still an issue. The future of the EU, UN, NATO is still there. What the UK now has to look at is our alliance with the French, Germans, and Russians etc. I think the UN is finished and the time for the “son of UN” has now to be looked at.

Whatever side you are on Pro-War or Anti-War, remember this is not fiction, it is reality! People are going to die, so please try and recognise that fact.

That over…
Rich: you stated, “Nobody much cared about his (Saddam) alleged WOMD.” I disagree with that, that has been a major issue since 1991. What you mean is either; you did not care or the Public did not care. The Military have always cared. It has been an ongoing issue since 1991. By the US/UK, Kuwait, Saudi, Israel, Turkey etc.
The proof that Saddam supported Al Quaida was captured on film 11th Sept 2001 in the streets of Baghdad. Proof of a direct support is still being investigated. The proof or lack of proof will come out soon enough. From my point of view, as the Al Quaida and Saddam have the same enemies, it would seem logical they have the same aims and as such will support each other. They both wanted a holy war, as such they were/are allies.

JJC: You admit that Saddam could still have Biological/Chemical weapons left over from the 1980’s. Note: He is not allowed ANY, none, zero etc. He is banned from having any, researching into developing any, having the ability to produce any. The is in black and white. He stated he has none, whilst the US/UK state he has. The UN does not know for definite!
I agree that if they sort out Iraq, then morally they have to then sort out Palestine, once and for all.

That is all for now, as there has been so much written since last week, that I am trying to catch up again.

18-Mar-03, 15:48
Just watching the news on BBC24 and a clip of a heavy artillery vehicle being driven through the desert. All of a sudden the 'tank' ground to a halt in a cloud of dust. Scenes of the crew clambering all over their mount and one of them stating to camera "We are having a bit of trouble with overheating. We'll wait for 10 or 15 mins then try it again"

Well, this bodes well for any drive through Iraq doesn't it? Once again our forces are having to put their lives on the line with second rate equipment, brought about by the defence cuts imposed by this government. Hope they have issued all troops with pickaxe handles cos they'll need them when their SA80's pack up!!
I mean have they learnt nothing since the last time??

18-Mar-03, 17:02
Hey Abewsed, welcome back. Good trip?

Unfortunately, you've come back in and declared that the debate on the rights and wrongs of war is over.
Not if the ongoing parliamentary debate is anything to go by. Listening to the many different MPs as they make a final desperate attempt to prove, or disprove, the case for war I have to say that their views are as diverse and sincere as those posted in this thread. Indeed, listening to the live web broadcast (http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/realplayer/media/lwg2.ram) I have to say that, if it weren’t for the party whips and political sucking-up, I believe that the Government could well struggle to gain any kind of parliamentary approval for this action.
As it is, the vote tonight is going to be embarrassing for Blair. With a majority the size that the Labour party has at the moment, it must be galling for him to contemplate reliance on the Tory vote to pass this motion.

At 10pm the members of the House of Commons will vote on the motion presented by Blair, et.al. and on the amendment calling for more time. I am not naïve enough to believe that Blair will lose this vote, but until he has passed the motion we will not be going to war.

And, yes, I accept that there is a possibility that Saddam has chemical and biological weapons. I also accept that he might not. Hence, the Weapons Inspectors should be given more time. If Hans Blix comes to the UN Security Council and reports that he and his team have come to the end of the line, then the time for the Weapons Inspectors is up. Until he, or his representative, has done so, how can we discount the possibility that there are no such weapons? Are we really going to war on gut instinct and mistrust?

Anyway, welcome back.


Oh, and MadPict. If we are struggling to give our troops toilet roll and boots, what made you think their vehicles would work? Fortunately we have some of the best soldiers in the world and they will adapt and prevail. Fortunately our soldiers are more able than those who command them.

18-Mar-03, 19:47
Lions led by donkeys?

18-Mar-03, 20:12
:D Feet up time people....crack open the beers,reach for the popcorn,and let the battle commence.......!!!!!!.Unlike the tree-huggers who are anti-anything,im 110% behind tony blair,and our brave british troops.It shall be a swift victory.....deal with it......messrs fernie and co,if you feel that strongly about iraq,i believe if your fast,youd still get a flight out to baghdad......!!!!.You bite the hand that feeds you,hippocrits......!!!!!.YOU take all this western democracy has to offer you,and when the going gets tough,you show your true colours.who needs enemies,with friends like you lot......!!!!.I for one,just cant wait till it kicks off,ill be sitting here,in london,with a clear conscience,watching saddam,and his despised cronies,being brought to book.Cubans all around,and crack open the beers.i see the wider picture. :D cheers london.

Bill Fernie
18-Mar-03, 20:56
I will shed no tears for Saddam Hussein but neither do I think it a cause to celebrate going to war. by allmeans celbrate if we leave a free Iraq behind after it is all over and more expecially if no one dies because of it. As this seems unlikely I will await another time to crack open the beers etc.
I hope our troops are as tencious as they need to be and that they also survive what they are being asked to do. Sitting hundreds of miles away from the conflict is no reason to gloat and sit back as if we were watching a movie. Whilst the removal of a bad leader may improve the lives of those that are left it remains to be seen wheher the Iraqi people will come out unscathed. After many weary years they have survived all that could be thrown against them. But it has been at a terrible price in terms of poor living conditions to which they have adapted just as this country did in World War Two.
Time will tell if the rest of the world comes to accept ours and the US governments point of view or at least are persuded to help in the reonstruction and do not hold it agaisnt us for the foreseeable future.
I do not think it is in any way hypocritcal to take an opposiong point of view especially in something as important as this. I still think that we have not been given all the facts and probably will not know the whole truth for many years - such is the case in many wars and conflicts. Little is what it seems with the benefit of hindsite. Given that my point of view is held by a large number of folk around the globe there has to be room for places to say so - that is after all part of democracy. The MP's who have shown their disgreement in parliament or resigned important jobs have taken a stand as they should. They deserve repsect for being so honest. I hope that everyone who expresses an opinion on either side will be shown similar courtesy in the many forums open to express an opinion. Even yourself London Wicker despite your somewhat gungho beligerant attitude. I doubt that you really do see the wider picture - in fact it appears somewhat narrow from the perspective of a world stage and given the Scottish propensity to travel the world hardly a credit to anyone who would live in a caring society.
I wish sincerely that our troops achieve what they are asked to do and come back home and kill few people. That will be a victory to be proud of. After that who can tell. A chapter of history may close with the removal of Saddam but another will surely be opening and let us hope that it has a happy ending.

18-Mar-03, 21:04
:D Feet up time people....crack open the beers,reach for the popcorn,and let the battle commence.......!!!!!!.Unlike the tree-huggers who are anti-anything,im 110% behind tony blair,and our brave british troops.It shall be a swift victory.....deal with it......messrs fernie and co,if you feel that strongly about iraq,i believe if your fast,youd still get a flight out to baghdad......!!!!.You bite the hand that feeds you,hippocrits......!!!!!.YOU take all this western democracy has to offer you,and when the going gets tough,you show your true colours.who needs enemies,with friends like you lot......!!!!.I for one,just cant wait till it kicks off,ill be sitting here,in london,with a clear conscience,watching saddam,and his despised cronies,being brought to book.Cubans all around,and crack open the beers.i see the wider picture. :D cheers london.

Aye this is a sad day indeed - and I pray that there is a minimum of casualties on both sides and it doesnt matter whos right and who is wrong- each person who dies in this war has families and it sickens me to see people get all excited at the fact that people will die --

jjc,squidge.........dont you remember the images of all that women and children saddam gassed to death back in 1988...5000.....i do.......youve conveintly forgot i see.........................

Who is the hypocrite now?

18-Mar-03, 21:32
:D What is your point...........typical ac cameron..........opens his mouth,and nothing comes out.........!!!!!!!!!!!!. london :D

18-Mar-03, 21:42
I am not being baited by you londonwicker .... I am sure all the other people with an inclining of common sense can understand what I say

18-Mar-03, 23:05
I understand every word you ever say ac my friend & I agree with you totally.......
War iS a terrible thing but we have to look at the whole picture and support our boys & girls as they strive to make "our' world a better, safer and more peaceful place for all of us to live in..Mr Fernie included

19-Mar-03, 03:01
Of all the soldiers I have spoke to, the Kit seems to be their biggest issue! They just don’t have confidence in it. The kit is designed for a European environment, not a desert. Imagine if that self-propelled gun had packed up during a fight, or if it was moving to a new position and packed up! Not nice for the troops needing artillery support. If, and this is a big IF, the future governments want the forces to fight anywhere and at any time, they need to re-look at the equipment that they are supplying the troops with.
They (US/UK) have learnt a lot since the last time. I am sure that Sky News / CNN will show you soon enough. But the new kit is all in the smart weapons, not the boots, rifles, engines or the other million and one basic equipments. The US/UK have known for a long time what Saddam has been planning, he has been mouthing off long enough. So for the last 6 years the US/UK have been testing out new weapons and tactics to take out his tanks and artillery in built up areas. The main problems are that the poor infantry still have to go in on foot. Nothing has changed much over the last 100yrs.

Hello again. I had a very good trip and thanks for asking.
I apologise for putting it across that the rights and wrongs of war is over. What I meant was that the debate of its right and wrongs are over. That US/UK are going in, no if or buts. Parliament seems to agree that if the troops are going in, they expect all to support them. The rights and wrongs will or should be left for later. That will be for the Governments/EU/UN etc to fight over after the war. Sorry, but I was predicting that war was inevitable, before the voting.
I will accept that Saddam has WOMD. But that is just me. Prepare for the worst and if proved wrong, it is a better feeling, than preparing for the best and getting hit with the worst!
But whatever it seems that the public backing for war in the Gulf is swinging. It seems also that time is running out, both for the US/UK troops and Saddam. One way or other the conflict will end and one of the two sides, US/UK/Spain v UN/France/Germany/Russia/China, will be proved wrong.
I agree with you one the toilet roll and tanks issue with MadPict. The UK forces will adapt and prevail, but also some will be wounded and possible killed, because some of the kit does not work when needed. Again, proof that they have the (supposed) best kit, supplied by the lowest bidder! There is some logic in that, but I don’t know where!
I must admit that I was annoyed at some of the threads and that made me a wee bit touchy. So once again, sorry to you and others.
To the few, enjoy the armchair TV and hope that you are not part of a terrorist attack! “He who laughs last, laughs the longest!”

19-Mar-03, 03:49
It seems that history is repeating itself! France is trying to go with the flow. This was the same in 1990/91, when they opposed war and once they found out that they were left in the minority, they rushed to be part of the coalition.
“France yesterday promised military assistance for America and Britain if their forces come under Iraqi chemical or biological attack, even though Paris strongly opposes war and questions the danger posed by Baghdad's arsenal.
In a further attempt to repair frayed relations with Washington and London, the French government has also granted permission for US aircraft to overfly its territory.”

It seems that now, they are uncertain that Iraq has WOMD! They were sure last week and the weeks before. Now they are not so sure, eh! But it seems to be that they are saying to Iraq, “don’t use your WOMD, or else we will join in.” They also seem to be taking heed of the report that Saddam has sent WOMD down to the south of Iraq.

FRANCE has made their bed and now I hope they lie in it! They are too late to join the band wagon. If it was not for them, there “might” have been a chance for another coalition to be formed. But they have prevented a united front being formed, which has split this Government, as it is the UN issue that has been the biggest issue. I hope they pay dearly for it!

There seems to be more countries willing to give direct or indirect support to the US/UK in the coming conflict. If so they are welcome, as long as there are no French included.

I can see that the wind is changing and that France is scared it will soon be seen as the troublemaker and that they could be the main instigator in the destruction of the UN.
They played all their cards and now it seems that they have no aces left! I must admit I will enjoy this future armchair TV event. At times like these, I love being proved correct!!!!!

19-Mar-03, 04:41

How many people will tune into CNN and other news organisations in the comin weeks and months?

How many british people? How many European? How many Asian?

i would suggest the vast majority of humanity will tune in. Does that make us all "sick"?. For sure we all will have various reasons to keep updated. My reasons? Well for one, I look forward to the day the American (you know, the nationality Niall has "never been keen on") led allied forces free the people of Iraq from a most abusive regime. Does this make me sick? Or do i need to turn my TV off and bury my head in the sand to gain a halo? The sickest thing of all would be to do nothing.

PS I notice France starting a nice little back flip there. Took em all of 24 hours.

19-Mar-03, 10:52
Feet up time people....crack open the beers,reach for the popcorn,and let the battle commence.......!!!!!!.

Lets all have a cuban and watch the war commence..............


If anybody else has comments about the TV coverage along these lines then I'll also consider them to be sick. I dont think it needs further explanation.

19-Mar-03, 12:39
Of all the soldiers I have spoke to, the Kit seems to be their biggest issue! They just don’t have confidence in it. The kit is designed for a European environment, not a desert. Imagine if that self-propelled gun had packed up during a fight, or if it was moving to a new position and packed up! Not nice for the troops needing artillery support. If, and this is a big IF, the future governments want the forces to fight anywhere and at any time, they need to re-look at the equipment that they are supplying the troops with.
They (US/UK) have learnt a lot since the last time. I am sure that Sky News / CNN will show you soon enough. But the new kit is all in the smart weapons, not the boots, rifles, engines or the other million and one basic equipments....
....The main problems are that the poor infantry still have to go in on foot. Nothing has changed much over the last 100yrs.

I know they don't have confidence in their own kit - I recall our troops buying their own boots because the DMS boots they were issued with were totally inadequate for the conditions in the Falklands.
Why should the servicemen and women have to spend their own money on better equipment. It has long been a gripe among the ranks, and successive Defence Ministers have been told. The latest issue boot is an improvement but how long have alternatives been available? Just look at the kit issued to US Forces.

I remember the SA80 being criticised when it was still under trial - it was a great target weapon but failed field tests. It still does!!!
Yet the likes of the M-16 has been proved to be a reliable weapon. It has just needed slight changes since the Vietnam War - but because we had to support our arms industry they went ahead with the poorer design. Why else do special forces use the M16/M4 - not because they think it looks cool....

I wracked my brain yesterday trying to remember the correct term for the SPG - hence my reverting to "tank".
But you got my point OK -
"Wheres the artillery support?"
Ah, they've had to call out the AA - they said they'd be along ASAP

An army marches on it stomach - but why are troops having to eat food sent from home or rations scrounged from US troops. Well maybe its because all our field kitchens have been scrapped? The catering branch of the services has been taken over by Eurest or whoever runs it now - just a token number of service personnel are actually employed as chefs. The compo rations probably have an expiry date of 1993 on them (Ah Compo sausages - hate to think what was in them but I loved them - bit like Red Puddings..)
The US forces have probably got MacDonalds and BK and Wendy franchises following them round! ;)

The senior officers blame it on logistics - "It has to come 3000 miles and there have been breaks in the chain" one stated last week. For goodness sake, how long has this build up being going on? Or did they put all their eggs into one basket and stick it on one ship which has broken down? Yet another aspect of the services which has been partly civilianised - supply.
The soldiers who fought the great desert campaigns in WWII probably had it better than our boys and girls do today - issue them 303's and Ammo Boots and KD shorts and shirts and let them get on with it!!!

Rant over. [mad]

19-Mar-03, 13:12

How many people will tune into CNN and other news organisations in the comin weeks and months?

How many british people? How many European? How many Asian?

i would suggest the vast majority of humanity will tune in. Does that make us all "sick"?. For sure we all will have various reasons to keep updated. My reasons? Well for one, I look forward to the day the American (you know, the nationality Niall has "never been keen on") led allied forces free the people of Iraq from a most abusive regime. Does this make me sick? Or do i need to turn my TV off and bury my head in the sand to gain a halo? The sickest thing of all would be to do nothing