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Kilmer17

Why does the left do this?

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The protestors who were out this weekend (30k by national park service count, not the 300k they claim) want the US to only go after Iraq if their is unanimous consent with other nations. But a few months ago these were the same protestors at the IMF meetings protesting against multilateral governing decisions. What gives?

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Um, you are aware there are more than 30K of us, correct? What's more, we don't agree on lots of stuff. I know that from my friends, the ones going this weekend were not the same as the hippies against the IMF.

Truth told, my perception of the IMF protesters is that they typically are looking for something to protest. Maybe that's because I disagree with them, but the few I've talked to have had little in the way of coherant arguements.

The antiwar movement has some legit points. I agree that there is some serious uncertainty about what will happen if we go to war and win (much less lose). The point I hear most often is that we will be risking our troops' lives and civilian lives without having a clear exit strategy or clear end result that we are working towards. As my one friend put it, "I agree that we need to do something, but I'd like an exit strategy before every armed conflict." I can understand that point of view. I'd like to see some solid after the war plans. That would make the decision over whether the losses are worth it easier. As it stands now, we don't know either side of the equation, and I understand that troubles people. Does it trouble you?

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g, we DO have a clear exit strategy. Just like we have had in every war or "police action" since the debacle in Vietnam. Just because the administration doesnt let us in on every aspect doesnt mean they dont have plans.

I kept hearing over and over (I watched alot of it on CSpan) that we need to give Iraq more time. Fine and dandy. Set a CONCRET date. And no more adjustments. That's the problem, the protestors and speakers kept saying we were going too fast. Too fast?????? 11 years is too fast? Or even 1 year after Bush called for his ouster. OR even 6 plus months since the UN met on it. So how much time do we give this guy?

Further, the Nov 8 15-0 vote in the UN stated SPECIFICALLY that Iraq bore the burden of providing proof by Jan 18 (or was it the 8th). They havent done so. The onus was on IRAQ not the US.

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The problem is that we are placing faith in a small group of woefully ill-prepared inspectors. We KNOW they have massive amounts of nerve, mustard, and blister agents. We KNOW they have anthrax and smallpox. We KNOW they've been working on nuclear capabilities. We aren't going to find them with a bunch of half-hearted inspection teams. Its like me taking a couple of boy scout troops up to New Jersey and saying. Alright guys....meet me back here in 6 months with all of the Viagra in NJ and expecting that they're going to be successful. Because the Clinton Administration allowed Iraq to stonewall the UN and barely even broached the subject for the better part of a decade doesn't mean the problem is 'contained' and that we're not under threat. For all ANY of us know, Hussein funded and trained the 9/11 venture. I'm not saying its so. But Iraq's govt has the will, the capability, and the stated intent of killing Americans and as the situation in N. Korea clearly demonstrates, our ability to address the threat is greatly enhanced prior to their owning nuclear weapons than after the fact. They have been in violation of UN resolutions for 10 years now. Those that claim to support the almighty UN ought to be morally compelled to demand Iraq produce all of the missing chem/bio/nuke materials NOW or face the consequences of the existing resolutions. The problem with the UN is IT lacks the will to enforce resolutions the Security Council itself passed over a decade ago.

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I understand that there is a causus belli.

I'm just not sure there is an end result we are working towards. To some extent I agree with the protesters that the removal of Saddam is simply not enough. There has to be something there to take over. That's the problem. I don't see that or the makings of another government.

In Afganistan, there was another faction already trying for power. Unfortunately, the real resistance in Iraq was more or less destroyed about the same time we deserted the Kurds in the North.

I guess the scary part is to hear we have a plan they're just not telling us. When I hear that, I think that without that plan and without knowing our ultimate intentions for that part of the world, I can't really debate it's worthyness. It's like somebody saying I'm for a tax cut and then wlking out. How do you debate the tax cut? Without details, it's hard to know the worthyness of the idea.

To some extent, I can see the protesters point that the debate on the war is one owed to the American people, and to some extent to the civilians that will lose their lives in Iraq. Of course ultimately, it will and should come down to one man's desicion. That said, I understand the protesters unease. I never want going to war to be popular until we are at war. Once we're at war, we can rally around the troops. But until the shots are fired I'm comfortable with people questioning the wisdom and need to go to war. If that makes some people in power question the move to war or think things through more thoroughly, so much the better.

It might be worth pointing out that many of these questions are being raised all over the world. An end result put forth clearly is likely to draw some support across the world. Even the Saudi plan of exile had support in part becuase it was a clearly stated end result to work towards.

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I am by no means an expert on the subject, but it seems to me, this entire deal is all about the oil.

Sure, Saddam is a madman, but the oil is the real issue. The powers that be want you to think that the US gives a rats a$$ about the people in Iraq, when in truth, the oil is the only concern. That is the same case in regards to the Gulf War. IF Iraq were a nation that had no natural resources, this would be a non factor.

I mean seriously... are we worried that Iraq will invade the US? Are we worried that they have ICBM's and if they did, do they have sufficient numbers to make a difference?

IF someone wants to us a WMD against us or someone else, it will be in a cowardly act like the 9/11 attacks.

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Total crap. IF it was about the oil we would have taken it back in 91.

What about the oil? What does that mean? "It's about the oil"?

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Originally posted by Kilmer17

Total crap. IF it was about the oil we would have taken it back in 91.

What about the oil? What does that mean? "It's about the oil"?

What that means is that our country wants to make sure the oil is secure and safe. The US doesn't want Saddam to destroy the oil fields. The US cant just go and kill everyone and take them, the US wants Saddam out and to place a person in charge that will do what the US wants.... You say that's crazy...?? That's exactly what the US always does.... it's pure history....

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code...even if your argument is accurate...that's just a side benefit!!! it is not the main reason to go to war against Iraq.

gbear....i don't agree with critical parts of your last....but nice post anyway!!!! and I agree...we need to hear more on what reconstruction plans are going to be (even though we all know these will be subjected to relentless attacks no matter what form they take). we need to eliminate the threat and a bad actor (take your pick). but we are also obligated to improve the lives of the true victims who have sufferred through decades of dictatorship, murder, etc. it is legitimate toask, since we are risking American lives and Iraqi citizens lives, what good will issue from this.

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It IS about oil.

Though we may not want to rule Iraq and all of its oil, we have a clear interest in ensuring that the flow of oil from the region is maintained at relatively constant prices, and that no power arises to monopolize it.

Saddam had territorial ambitions on Kuwait, Iran and Saudia Arabia. That's why we went to war in 1991. Do you think we really gave a fVck about "liberating" rich sheiks with 30 wives? Please.

If we install a Western-friendly government in Iraq, we would, in one fell swoop 1) rid ourselves of the biggest pest in the region, 2) Place control of the regions largest untapped reserves in the hands of western-friendly companies, and 3) further trump Saudi Arabia and the rest of OPEC's ability to raise prices.

Let's examine some of the other supposed motivations:

Humanitarianism?

We didn't seem to give a sh!t when people in Central Africa committed genocide by the hundreds of thousands. Nor did we lift a finger when Saddam was ACTUALLY gassing thousands of people in the 80's.

Weapons of Mass Destruction?

Well, we knew full well about Saddam's stockpile all through the 80's. Heck, the biological strains CAME FROM THE U.S. with the wink-wink knowledge of both the Reagan and Bush dministrations. And, if you haven't noticed already, Saddam has had those WMD's for 12+ years now, and they've never been used against us.

COULD Saddam theoretically at SOME point use them against us? Sure!!! ..., but theoretically so could Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, etc., etc. The point is that an imminent WMD attack agaist the U.S. has NEVER been substantiated.

We ARE concerned about WMD's in that we don't want Saddam to gain bargaining power through nuclear capability. That's why we're not simply bombing North Korea. It's also why we can't invade Pakistan to throw out the Al Queda sympathizers there.

So, if we're going to war to protect our interests in the region, and to keep the regional bully from gaining nuclear legitimacy, fine ... just be honest about it. But all this feigned concern for the people of Iraq, and the hype over the WMD's is just B.S.

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Again, we get almost no oil from Iraq, so that argument carries no weight. And We DID find evidence of WMDs. 12 chemical warheads last week, 4 more this weekend. Add too that Saddams refusal to abide by the surrender treaty of 91 and we have all the reason we need.

Germany ignored the treaties they signed after WW1 and the world (us included) did nothing about it. Let's learn from our past lessons.

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Republican proposed tax cuts + Republican invoked war = Republican budget deficit.

The cost of the war could be $100 billion or more.

At least if you can get the U.N. to unilaterally agree to a war, then you can presumably spread the costs among a number of countries. Otherwise the U.S. taxpayers will foot the bulk of the bill.

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Well, the easy solution is to take enough oil and "jewels" from Saddam and Iraq to finance the war effort once they are defeated. MAke that part of the ceasefire agreement.

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Originally posted by Kilmer17

Again, we get almost no oil from Iraq, so that argument carries no weight. And We DID find evidence of WMDs. 12 chemical warheads last week, 4 more this weekend. Add too that Saddams refusal to abide by the surrender treaty of 91 and we have all the reason we need.

Germany ignored the treaties they signed after WW1 and the world (us included) did nothing about it. Let's learn from our past lessons.

Whether we get oil from Iraq NOW is of no consequence.

It's the future that's in question: the future in which Iraq begins selling oil in large quantities again.

Iraq has the largest amount of untapped oil in the region. Once those fields are developed, Iraq will rival Saudia Arabia in output. Currently, the rights to develop that oil have been given to Russian and Chinese firms, who will begin tapping them once the embargo is lifted. These facts have been established in several major news articles, and recently on 60 Minutes

Clearly, a scenario in which Saddam controls a much larger supply (not potential supply) of oil, with all the business going to Russia and China is not in our interest. But, if there's a regime change, guess what??? Those contracts will be nullified. That has already been stated by the Iraqi opposition in exile. (see 60 Minutes, again).

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Originally posted by Kilmer17

Well, the easy solution is to take enough oil and "jewels" from Saddam and Iraq to finance the war effort once they are defeated. MAke that part of the ceasefire agreement.

You are correct there. This was hinted at by William Safire a while ago, and recently by the Cheney wing of the present administration.

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And those claims have been refuted just as many times by les slanted newsgroups and news programs.

And it still doesnt address the other issues of his weaponry and refusal to abide by the cease fire agreement.

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Originally posted by Kilmer17

And those claims have been refuted just as many times by les slanted newsgroups and news programs.

And it still doesnt address the other issues of his weaponry and refusal to abide by the cease fire agreement.

What claims?

The contracts with the Russians and Chinese are real.

The oil is real: 60 Minutes interviewed an oil industry consultant for much of its piece.

The plans to finance the war with oil proceeds has been proclaimed by bona-fide conservatives.

What is there there to refute? Look it up yourself. It's not like I'm copying and pasting from The Communist Daily News :laugh:

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Actually - it looks like we are getting more oil from Iraq now - especially since the strikes in Venezuela have been going on...

Guess who's helping United States fill oil supply gap? Iraq

Wed Jan 15, 5:08 PM ET

By MASOOD FARIVAR, Dow Jones Newswires

NEW YORK - Under sanctions and an erratic leader, Iraq has hardly been a reliable global oil supplier.

But in an odd twist, the United States has grown increasingly reliant on Iraqi oil exports to replace supplies cut off by a seven-week-old strike in Venezuela — even as the Bush Administration steps up preparations for a possible invasion — raising further concerns about the impact a U.S. attack would have on the oil market.

"The United States gets several hundred thousand barrels a day of crude oil from Iraq," said John Lichtblau, chairman of PIRA Energy in New York. "That's not insignificant."

Unpublished, preliminary government data indicate exports of Iraqi oil to the United States have been rising in recent weeks. Since the Dec. 2 start of the labor strike in Venezuela, Iraq's crude oil exports to the United States have averaged more than 500,000 barrels a day, nearly double the volume reported during the September-November period, the data show.

Last week, Iraqi oil exports to the United States jumped to 830,000 barrels a day, their highest level since early last year and nearly 10 percent of total U.S. imports that week, according to an Energy Department analyst.

While Iraq's exports remain below levels seen in 2001 and early 2002, the recent surge, including the shipments to the United States, is making a difference, analysts said.

The surge in Iraqi shipments helped boost total crude oil imports into the United States by 200,000 barrels a day last week to 8.5 million barrels a day.

"That's probably in reaction to the loss of Venezuelan exports," said Aaron Brady, an analyst at Energy Security Analysis Inc., a consulting firm in Wakefield, Massachusetts. "You need to make it up somehow. Iraqi oil is doing its share filing in that gap."

Iraqi oil exports have been erratic since the start of the United Nations (news - web sites) oil-for-food program six years ago. The program allows Iraq to sell as much oil as it likes provided revenue go into a U.N. account and are used mostly for humanitarian purposes.

After topping 1 million barrels a day in January and February of last year, Iraqi oil exports to the United States nose-dived. The decline came in response to the onerous conditions of a new U.N. pricing policy imposed to frustrate Baghdad's efforts to collect an illegal surcharge from traders.

Iraq compounded the problem by cutting off its exports in April in an ill-fated effort to spark a broad oil embargo in support of the Palestinians.

For much of last year, Iraqi exports averaged less than 1 million barrels a day, with less than half coming to the United States.

Faced with a sharp loss of revenue and U.S. threats of military action, Iraq quietly dropped the surcharge demand in September. Some analysts saw the move as an attempt to build commercial ties as a bulwark against a U.S. attack.

Whatever the motive, the change prompted major international oil companies to return to the Iraqi market for the first time in nearly two years, according to industry analysts and U.N. diplomats.

The result has been a clear rise in Iraq's oil exports, according to U.N. figures. Since the start of September, Iraqi exports have averaged about 1.5 million barrels a day, the figures show.

Iraq typically ships between 40 percent and 50 percent of its oil exports to the U.S. market. But even if more oil goes to Europe, in a global market it makes little difference, Brady said.

"It frees up other oil to be sent to the United States," Brady said. "It's helping right now."

With Iraqi oil exports rising and Venezuelan oil largely off the market, analysts are increasingly concerned about the prospect of losing both producers at the same time.

Those concerns have driven oil prices up over $33 a barrel to two-year highs in New York. Prices are now 75 percent higher than they were a year ago.

To help offset the loss of Venezuelan oil, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed Sunday to hike production by 1.5 million barrels a day beginning Feb. 1.

Iraq, an OPEC (news - web sites) member, wasn't part of the agreement, because its exports are controlled by the U.N.

OPEC officials said they will hike production again if Iraqi oil supplies are disrupted by a war.

The Bush administration has so far resisted pressure to release oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve to counter the Venezuelan supply shortfall. Observers believe the administration wants to have the option of tapping the reserve if there is a war with Iraq.

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I thought this was a pretty good article on Tony Blair. I really liked his response to his critics who think this war is about OIL

http://www.townhall.com/columnists/calthomas/ct20030122.shtml

Tony Blair's finest hours

LONDON - British Prime Minister Tony Blair is no Margaret Thatcher, but he sounded like her clone when he took to the floor of the House of Commons last Wednesday (Jan. 15) during the weekly Question Time and gave a spirited defense for the necessity of toppling Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

Responding to criticism of Blair's Iraqi policy from within his own party, as well as from the Conservative opposition, Blair delivered a formidable oration that combined the intense anti-Communist rhetoric of Thatcher and Ronald Reagan and a substance reminiscent of Winston Churchill's warning about a "gathering storm " created by another dictator in the last century.

Blair was asked by Member of Parliament Dennis Skinner whether, during his forthcoming meeting with President Bush in Washington, he will "tell George Bush that there is almost certainly a majority of the British people against the idea of a war with Iraq. Will he (cq) tell him that a lot of the British people are against the war because they see it is all about America getting its hands on the oil supplies in the Middle East? " Skinner added the familiar slander that this President Bush is vain and is "concerned more about finishing the job that his father failed to complete 10 years ago."

Leaping to his feet, Blair responded that if oil were the reason for war with Iraq, "it would be infinitely simpler to cut a deal with Saddam, who would ... be delighted to give us access to as much oil as we wanted if he could carry on building weapons of mass destruction. The very reason why we are taking the action we are taking (has) nothing to do with oil or any of the other conspiracy theories put forward. It (has) to do with one simple fact: the United Nations has laid down - indeed, it has been laying down for 10 years - that Saddam Hussein has to disarm himself of weapons of mass destruction and that he poses a threat because he used those weapons, and I believe that we have to make sure that the will of the United Nations is upheld."

So much for getting one more U.N. resolution, as some have requested. What good would another resolution do when Saddam has failed to heed all the others?

Later, Blair returned to the subject in response to another member's call to allow the U.N. weapons inspectors to "do their job" and that member's contention that if President Bush takes "unilateral action against Iraq, he will be defying the United Nations."

Blair said, "... the only reason we have U.N. weapons inspectors back in there is the firm stand that has been taken. Does anyone seriously believe that we would have U.N. weapons inspectors back in Iraq if there were a possibility of disarmament happening in a peaceful way? Does anyone really believe that they would be there if we had not sent the clearest possible signal?"

Then came the Churchillian part: "It is also important ... to ensure that we continue to send that signal of strength. If Saddam believes for a single instant that the will of the international community has abated - that the international community does not have the solidity of purpose that it needs to see this thing through - the consequences of either conflict or prolonged conflict are increased .... If we can avoid conflict we should, but the choice is Saddam's .... Does anyone believe that, if we do not take a stand as an international community now in respect to weapons of mass destruction, some terrorist group is not in the future going to get hold of that material and use it? " Blair added ominously, "... the threat is real, and if we do not deal with it the consequences of our weakness will haunt future generations."

The British press is awash in breathtakingly virulent anti-American rhetoric because of U.S. policy on Iraq. President Bush is mocked as an ignoramus, and America is excoriated in ways usually reserved for enemies, not friends.

Into this breach has marched Blair, who has been a consistent supporter of the president's policies, because he knows terrorism also affects Britain, which is now home to an unknown number of terrorists who wish his nation as much harm as they do the United States.

Blair's steadfastness has been his finest hour. One can hear Lady Thatcher giving a "hear, hear!" for his not "going wobbly."

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Riggo... nice posts, you are definately on the right track.

The whole "lets save the world from Saddam" is such a sham. Oil is the main key to it all.

This whole left vs. right is getting old as well. I am neither Republican nor Democrat, but I will point this out, those of you war mongers who say its the right thing to do now, were you saying that same thing about Milosovich (sorry if that's not spelled wrong), were you in support of Clinton's actions.... Is this the right thing to do or are you just blindly supporting the Republican president?

If Bush wants war, that's ok.... but a few years ago, Clinton was just trying to cover a sex scandal... is that what this is all about....?? I'm no Clinton defender, I'm not trying to say he was right, I'm just asking, where is your support coming from, the facts or your party alignment?

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My only critisism of Clinton (in this regard) was he didnt do enough. He left American soldiers at risk by sending in too few troups. He should have used the full power and might of our military to accomplish the goals. HE also shouldnt have rolled over when Saddam kicked out the inspectors.

And what do I need to look up? That we would benefit if a more friendly govt was in place? Hardly a revelation. Im looking for proof or even a meaning to "It's all about the oil".

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Originally posted by Kilmer17

My only critisism of Clinton (in this regard) was he didnt do enough.

Then my post wasn't really aimed at you. If you felt the same way while Clinton was in office (about using the military), than I can respect your stance.:cheers:

I am against the people who are all for war now because their guy is in office, but when it wasn't their guy, they were the opposition....

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On that we can certainly agree. Where was Pelosi and Daschle when Clinton was going into Kosovo and dropping bombs in Sudan? They were silent. Only now when it's politcally savvy do they speak out against it.

And the same goes for the GOPers that criticized Clinton for the actions as being a distraction from Monica. They should have criticizede him for not going far enough. But I digress.

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Originally posted by Kilmer17

On that we can certainly agree. Where was Pelosi and Daschle when Clinton was going into Kosovo and dropping bombs in Sudan? They were silent. Only now when it's politcally savvy do they speak out against it.

And the same goes for the GOPers that criticized Clinton for the actions as being a distraction from Monica. They should have criticizede him for not going far enough. But I digress.

I agree 100%. Dachle and others who didn't speak out then should shut their pie holes. The "politicalness" should be removed.

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