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Author Topic: Benefits to US from attacking Iran
thwap
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posted 16 August 2005 10:19 AM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ths editorial from commondreams discusses the possibilities that the US is capable of, and would benefit (by the twisted standards of the bush II regime, not the writer's) from attacking Iran.

The attack would be aerial, bombarding sites of military and economic importance, and would be combined with financing ethnic rebellions.

The goal would not be to occupy Iran, but to cripple it, and nullify its supposed threat to Israel.

It also states that there could be one last "war time" electoral boost for the upcoming Congressional elections, but I don't put too much stock in that. bush II has already lost two elections and the economy is in the toilet.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
Green Bastard
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posted 16 August 2005 11:58 AM      Profile for Green Bastard     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hmm...crippling Iran's military, ending its ability to threaten its neighbours and the world's oil supply with nuclear weapons, and helping overthrow the mullahs.

Sounds good to me. What's the problem?


From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
brookmere
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posted 16 August 2005 12:07 PM      Profile for brookmere     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The problem is that attacking Iran would cause it to become even more radicalized and unstable than it is now. Just look at Iraq - Saddam was a terrible guy, but you could deal with him, and he kept the Islamists out of the picture. Afghanistan is another excellent example (and I talking all the way back to before the invasion by the USSR).

In case anyone hasn't noticed, the US's nominal allies in Iraq, the Shias, are proteges of Iran, and they would surely turn on the US (and the UK) if their mentors were attacked. Don't the US and the UK have enough enemies already?


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cco
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posted 16 August 2005 12:19 PM      Profile for cco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The problem is that it's easy for Iran to escalate in a way that would require ground troops to counter (for example, let's say Iran blocks access to the Strait of Hormuz, cutting off oil shipments from and military access to the Persian Gulf). Iran's long borders with Iraq and Afghanistan mean that an aerial strike would likely escalate into a full-blown ground war before long.
From: Montréal | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 16 August 2005 12:29 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Green Bastard:
Hmm...crippling Iran's military, ending its ability to threaten its neighbours and the world's oil supply with nuclear weapons, and helping overthrow the mullahs.

Sounds good to me. What's the problem?


I take a backseat to no one when it comes to distate for the current Iranian regime. But it is not the United States business to go around the world overthrowing regimes at its whim. And when has Iran "threatened its neighbors"? Pakistan has nuclear weapons, and is in a more threatening situation than Iran is. Israel has nuclear weapons, but no one says a word about it. Which gets us to the rub:

quote:

Likudnik Israel is Bush's last remaining ally, or egger-on, in his war against "Islamic terrorism." Israel, which is loaded with nuclear weapons and is not a signatory to the nuclear pacts, is the accuser against Iran, asserting that Iran's nuclear energy program is just a veil behind which to produce weapons. Israel's Likud Party fears that Iranian weapons would be a check to its plans to complete the dispossession of the Palestinians and further expand Israel's borders.

http://tinyurl.com/b2wra


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Green Bastard
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posted 16 August 2005 12:54 PM      Profile for Green Bastard     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes, all the above scenarios might come true (destabilizing the region, further radicalizing the country, etc).
But I doubt the Americans could be any more disliked in the region than they already are, so on that end they probably figure they have nothing to lose.
Also, if they don't act Israel will, and that could cause an even greater uproar in the Muslim world.

From: Toronto | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
thwap
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posted 16 August 2005 01:42 PM      Profile for thwap        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Iranian regime are scum. I still recall their disgusting treatment of Kazemi, and their arrogant lying about it.

But I will in no way, shape, or form, give a green light (note: not claiming that I'm someone who matters) to the US to attack other countries and kill still thousands more people.

The bush II regime has killed and maimed as many people as the present Iranian regime.

And Israel's behaviour being potentially more destabilizing hardly seems relevant to the immorality of the US starting another war.


From: Hamilton | Registered: Feb 2004  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 16 August 2005 01:51 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Yes, all the above scenarios might come true (destabilizing the region, further radicalizing the country, etc).
But I doubt the Americans could be any more disliked in the region than they already are,

That would be true if the US had zero allies, friends, or neutral observers in the entire Middle East.

But they do. And "the above scenarios" would significantly worsen the position of the United States in the world, to say nothing of causing chaos and slaughter of innocents.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 16 August 2005 01:53 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oh, well . . . if they didn't do it then someone else would! So that's all right then.

But seriously, I don't think Israel is enthusiastic about doing it themselves--that's why they want the US to do it for them. If the US does it, then there can be occasional terrorist reprisals, but basically they're on another continent.
Israel may be the bully on the block, but they still have to live in the Middle East. If they start a war, they're going to see much more direct blowback, and they know it. The countries that tacitly tolerate them because they, too, are US clients (like Egypt and Saudi Arabia) could be forced into a much harder line. Or if they *don't* take a much harder line, they could face revolutions! In general, offensive Israeli military action, especially right now, could seriously destabilize the whole region, and not in a good way for Israel.

As to a radicalized Iran, it's not like that's hypothetical. Over the last few years of the Bush government, there have been repeated pushes for increased power by moderates in Iran. They have tended to look as if considerable success was within their grasp. Then, every time the United States has rattled their sabres, making threats, pushing for sanctions etc., the hard-liners have taken advantage of the outside enemy to regain control. If the US had just shut the fuck up about Iran for the last five years, the religious hardliners would be a rump by now. If the US or anyone else bombs Iran, we can say bye-bye reform for twenty years! And not just bye-bye reform, but more than likely a more radicalized, perhaps aggressive form of Islamic rule than before. Islam has been in power in Iran for twenty five years now, and in that time they have done nothing outside Iranian territory. They've been inward-looking as all get out, basically minding their own business, fucking their own people over but nobody else. So, great, pass them a signal in the form of huge freaking bombs that that's a losing strategy--force them to go on the offensive. Sounds really, really smart to me. NOT!!!


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nister
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posted 16 August 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Syria and Iran have 400 front line fighter bombers within 10 minutes of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem. Putin has put Sharon on notice that he will respond to an attack on Iran. China has signed a $67-billion energy deal with Iran. I think the Iranians have good reason to thumb their noses at the Republikuds.
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John K
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posted 16 August 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for John K        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What Rufus said minus the f***'s.

The myopia and self-delusion of the Bush neo-cons staggers the imagination. There's also this little thing about 'those not learning from history being doomed to repeat it.'

I ran across this little gem written by Jude Wanniski in November 2001 which nicely ties together the unintended consequences of Israel's bombing of the Iraqi nuclear reactor in 1981, and a critique of the then-planned bombardment and invasion of Iraq which took place 15 months later.
http://www.worldnetdaily.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=25237

Too bad so many of those on the political right remain under the spell of the neo-cons instead of listening to traditional conservatives like Wanniski.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
CanadianAlien
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posted 16 August 2005 02:40 PM      Profile for CanadianAlien   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good analysis of current situation re Bush admin and Iran by Michael Schwartz Aug 9 2005: The Ironies of Conquest - The Bush Adminstration's Iranian Nightmare

- Iraq situation is being sig influenced by Iran and in conflict Iran can put squeeze on US in Iraq
- Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) which Iran recently joined (Russia, China, and some 'stans) and other forms of relationship btwn Russia,, China & Iran has seen lots of new military hardware go to Iran that is making Iran increasingly unappetizing as target by US

Ray McGovern has also written some interesting pieces on how the insurgency in Iraq has restricted US options/timeline on Iran.

Still the Bush admin and the unseen mafia behind it is still bent on reorganizing the mid-east to eliminate regional competitors (first Iraq, now Iran). Schwartz ends his piece by speculating that their intent is being made clear by the public statements about viability and necessity for tactical nukes to take out hardened subterranean targets (in Iran).

Russia and China are helping Iran for the same reason that the USA wants to eliminate Iran ... oil (read national energy security) and the geopoltical positioning required to access oil.


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Albireo
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posted 16 August 2005 03:20 PM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I am not well informed on the complexities of politics in the region, so please feel free to point out where I'm wrong here, but ...

Effectively there is a civil war in Iraq between Sunnis and the Shiites who nominally control the new Iraqi government, army and police. They have their power because of the U.S. occupiers. The U.S. has more or less alligned itself with Shia factions in Iraq, and the U.S. army is only surviving in Iraq at current levels of conflict and casualties because of them. Imagine the escalation if the U.S.'s Shia allies were to turn against them, and if there were a Shia insurgency to match the Sunni one.

Now, don't those Shia factions have some affinity with the Shiite regime in Iran? If the U.S. started to bomb the shit out of Iran, then -- aside from killing innocent people and inflaming Iran -- what would that do to the U.S. relationship with their Shia allies in Iraq? Is it possible that a U.S. attack on Iran could piss off Iraqi Shiites to the point where all hell would break loose, and their losing war would quickly turn into a lost one?


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mijawara
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posted 16 August 2005 03:29 PM      Profile for mijawara   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Islam has been in power in Iran for twenty five years now, and in that time they have done nothing outside Iranian territory.
Hizballah might be surprised to hear that.

Which is not to suggest that Tehran has been anywhere near as generous a supporter of Islamist terror as, say, GWB's adopted family in Riyadh. But Muqtada al-Sadr, Hamas, PIJ, GIA, EIJ, and many others have demonstrably benefitted from Iran's largesse in the not-so-distant past.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: mijawara ]


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josh
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posted 16 August 2005 03:33 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Anyone with half a brain would have known that by invading Iraq and deposing Hussein, Iran would increase its influence in Iraq and the region as a whole. And, in addition, that Iraq would likely become an Islamic Republic, which it is well on its way to becoming. After all, that's one of the reason the U.S. supported Iraq in its war against Iran in the 1980s.

So what is to account for this apparent monumental stupidity? While Bush certainly fits that definition, Cheney and Rumsfeld cannot be described as such. Was it blind ideology? Possibly. But what ideology? Freedom and democracy? A desire to spread Christianity? If so, creating another Islamic Republic is a funny way of doing so. Was it a desire for bases in order to remove U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia? To a degree. But the U.S. has bases in Turkey and now Afghanistan. Oil? Always a factor, especially for the Bush clan, but I suspect conversion of oil money from dollars to euros has more to do with it. A desire to safeguard Israel? Sure, that was a factor for people in Cheney's and Rumsfeld's offices. But how is creating another Islamic Republic beneficial for Israel? Personal grudge? A bigger factor than you would think. The son avenging, and surpassing, the father.

In spite of all of these, I've come to the conclusion that the only logical reason is to be found in the Machievellian world of Karl Rove. War with Iraq served two big political purposes. One, it allowed Bush to continue to exploit 9/11 by playing "commander-in-chief." And two, it divided the Democrats, and it still does. Just look at the contortions Kerry went through. So, I believe the reason for this monumental stupidity is domestic politics. Short-term political gain while ignoring the long-term consequences.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: josh ]


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
obscurantist
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posted 16 August 2005 04:13 PM      Profile for obscurantist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I agree, josh.

I puzzled over the stated and possible actual motives for the invasion of Iraq, in the context of the half-assed way the subsequent occupation has been carried out. I concluded that the primary (perhaps the only) purpose of the invasion was the way in which it would reduce US domestic politics into an even more mindless festival of jingoism than it already is.

And it worked. So why not try it again, and again? And hell, if it inspires people to fight back with terrorism, that just feeds into the vicious cycle that these guys can use for their own benefit.

You're right - in the long term, it is likely to be a "monumental stupidity" with terrible lasting consequences. Historians will probably look at the US invasion of Iraq (and attack on Iran, if it happens) as a mistake just as catastrophic as the start of the First World War, more catastrophic than Johnson's gradual entanglement in Vietnam. But Bush, Cheney, Rove, and co. don't care about that likelihood, or they have a mental block about it.

quote:
Originally posted by josh:
In spite of all of these, I've come to the conclusion that the only logical reason is to be found in the Alice in Wonderland world of Karl Rove. War with Iraq served two big political purposes. One, it allowed Bush to continue to exploit 9/11 by playing "commander-in-chief." And two, it divided the Democrats, and it still does. Just look at the contortions Kerry went through. So, I believe the reason for this monumental stupidity is domestic politics. Short-term political gain while ignoring the long-term consequences.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: obscurantist ]


From: an unweeded garden | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
maestro
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posted 16 August 2005 04:55 PM      Profile for maestro     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Green Bastard:
Hmm...crippling Iran's military, ending its ability to threaten its neighbours and the world's oil supply with nuclear weapons, and helping overthrow the mullahs.

Sounds good to me. What's the problem?


I'll just point out the 'world' doesn't have an oil supply. Most of the oil in the world exists within countries (except for deep sea oil). Those countries own the oil.

The phrase 'world's oil supply' is one used by right wingers to obviate the sovereignty of oil producing nations.

Yet the US is one of the largest oil producers in the world. Does anyone think of the US supply as part of the 'world's oil supply'. As soon as you think of US oil, you realize how dumb the idea of 'world's oil supply' is.

The US motivation in Iraq is oil and nothing else. Not necessarily because they need the oil, but who has their hand on the oil tap, controls everything else.

As a empire on it's way down the garbage chute of history, the US has no choice but to use it's military force to maintain it's current pre-eminent economic position.

This fact is stated quite clearly in the Project for a New American Century.

Chaos in Iraq is not necessarily a bad thing from their point of view. After all, in such circumstance who owns the oil? They can make a deal with anyone they deem fit, and there's very little anyone else can do about it.

The US has already threatened Iran with nuclear weapons, and that will be their last gasp. They have no chance of defeating Iran in a conventional war.

Which explains why the Iranians are keen to get their own nuclear program off the ground. The only power the US recognizes is the power of nuclear weapons. This is absolutley clear given their dealing with North Korea.

In the end, countries at war use everything at their disposal regardless of consequences, because any consequence is better than defeat.

The current administration in the US is no different. We have to hope saner heads prevail before they use nuclear weapons.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
No Yards
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posted 16 August 2005 04:55 PM      Profile for No Yards   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I don't think there is any big complicated explanation behind the Bush wars. Sure there are some side benefits, like oil, moved bases, etc. that may or may not come to pass depending upon how things go, but I think the real answer is that the neo-cons see war as a reason in and of itself.

They see war as a vehicle that allows them to control any and all other situations. Their only problem is that they over-estimated the ability and power of their military, and they are of course wrong.

There is a difference between being smart and being conniving ... conniving requires you to be able to look ahead a step or two beyond your opponent to achive a victory; being smart requires you look beyond the first couple of steps and consider the actual consequences of a "victory".

Bush and his gang are masters at being conniving ... they are not very smart at all.


From: Defending traditional marriage since June 28, 2005 | Registered: Jun 2003  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
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posted 16 August 2005 05:07 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
crippling Iran's military, ending its ability to threaten its neighbours and the world's oil supply with nuclear weapons, and helping overthrow the mullahs.
Sounds good to me. What's the problem?

Strong countries have no right to invade other countries unless facing an immediate threat,

Saddam was expelled from Kuwait after invading it, because invasions are wrong, and violate international law.

It is all too easy to come up with a reason to blow up your neighbour. But don't expect others to treat you as anything but a monster if you do.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 16 August 2005 05:17 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Rufus Polson:
As to a radicalized Iran, it's not like that's hypothetical. Over the last few years of the Bush government, there have been repeated pushes for increased power by moderates in Iran. They have tended to look as if considerable success was within their grasp. Then, every time the United States has rattled their sabres, making threats, pushing for sanctions etc., the hard-liners have taken advantage of the outside enemy to regain control. If the US had just shut the fuck up about Iran for the last five years, the religious hardliners would be a rump by now. If the US or anyone else bombs Iran, we can say bye-bye reform for twenty years!

That is why so many South Koreans are more afraid of America than they are of North Korea. Every time North Korea settles into a groove (however tenuous) the Bushies stir up trouble.

I think that there is a design here. (I won't call it intelligent, but design never-the-less) By creating enemies, the US gets eternal war and an endless demand for military hardware, thus keeping much of the American economy afloat. At least, that's the motive; it doesn't seem to be working as well as projected.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 16 August 2005 05:25 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The invasion of Kuwait was not a going concern at the time for the then U.S. ambassador to Iraq. And certainly not for the Saudi's who were funding Saddam's war with Iran with full CIA knowledge of it at the time. About 5000 Iraqi-Kurd's on the northern border region were gassed to death with cyanide, according to CIA specialist, Stephen Pelletiere. The Iranian's preferred to use cyanide gas while Saddam's troops would retaliate with mustard gas.

Another interesting point made by the Iraqi government gone bad was that Kuwaiti's were allegedly drilling oil reserves which extended into Iraq after repeated warnings from Baghdad to cease doing so. Most countries would consider that an act of aggression in and of itself. Kuwait's an imperialist shithole anyway.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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posted 16 August 2005 06:17 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Fidel:
Another interesting point made by the Iraqi government gone bad was that Kuwaiti's were allegedly drilling oil reserves which extended into Iraq after repeated warnings from Baghdad to cease doing so.

Weren't the Bushes doing that?


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nister
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posted 16 August 2005 06:40 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fidel, about the gas used at Halapja. I'm pretty sure it was phosgene, not cyanide. Mustard gas was the staple of Iraqi forces.
From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 16 August 2005 06:46 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yes? By what I've read about America's own mining and mineral rights laws, the owner of an ore body or oil reserve is the person who first laid claim to it with legal claims staked, which would include that part of the mineral or ore body extending beneath an adjacent property and overiding that owners mineral rights. I believe Iraq came before Kuwait in the general order of nation states.

quote:
And you know that our relations with the Emirates and Kuwait had been good. On top of all that, while we were busy at war, the state of Kuwait began to expand at the expense of our territory. You may say this is propaganda, but I would direct you to one document, the Military Patrol Line, which is the borderline endorsed by the Arab League in 1961 for military patrols not to cross the Iraq-Kuwait border.

But go and look for yourselves. You will see the Kuwaiti border patrols, the Kuwaiti farms, the Kuwaiti oil installations -- all built as closely as possible to this line to establish that land as Kuwaiti territory. - Saddam Hussein to then US Ambassador April "Dizzy" Glaspie


Excerpts From Iraqi Document on Meeting with U.S. Envoy


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 16 August 2005 06:54 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nister:
Fidel, about the gas used at Halapja. I'm pretty sure it was phosgene, not cyanide. Mustard gas was the staple of Iraqi forces.

Stephen Pelletiere, the CIA's so-called specialist on the Iran-Iraq war, just described it as a "cyanide-based" blood agent, which the Iraqi's were not known to have posessed either at that time or in 2003 as US bombers made with "Shock and Appall" over Baghdad.

We can be pretty sure that if there was evidence that Saddam gassed Iraqi-Kurd's to death, mouthpieces for the right everywhere would be saying, "I told you so."

PM Blair admits graves claim 'untrue'

Where are the mass graves ?. Probably in the same place as "Serbian mass graves," "Saddam's WMD" and "nurse Nayirah."

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Fidel ]


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 08:05 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Shouldn't this be in the Middle East section.
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Michelle
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posted 16 August 2005 08:06 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Is Iran "the middle east"? (Am I trolling?)
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 08:06 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
lol
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Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 08:12 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
But, then why is there a "middle east" section or is it a section only for "Jewish" issues or something.
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Michelle
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posted 16 August 2005 08:28 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I didn't think the struggle for Palestinian autonomy was a "Jewish issue", Cueball.

I see your point, though. When we started the forum, not only the Israel/Palestine threads, but all the Afghanistan war threads were taking over the news and politics (and a couple of other) forums, and they were nasty and contentious. So we thought we'd try to contain them so that people who were trying to avoid them wouldn't feel like they had to avoid the news and politics forums altogether.

But then if I remember correctly, people started arguing about whether Afghanistan and even Iraq qualify as "the Middle East", and so it kind of morphed into the forum where people mostly discussed Israel/Palestine, and we no longer fought people who wanted to post stuff about Iran or Afghanistan in other forums.

Besides, the problem threads that were so acrimonious that we were trying to contain were going into the Middle East forum anyhow, so what the heck.

That said, I don't know, maybe there should be a name change for that forum unless we do want to start putting all the Iraq war threads there too. However, putting all the Iraq threads there too will mean not only a lot more volunteer moderating time on my part, but also that those threads will be dropped into the most dysfunctional forum on the board. And I'm concerned that not only will a bunch of threads that don't need the kind of zealous moderating that the middle east threads do will be overmoderated, but that perhaps those threads will start taking on the same tone as the threads in the ME forum.

Just my thoughts on the matter. Maybe I should've put this in rabble reactions.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 08:41 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ok then, well if we are going to define the "the Middle East to exclude Iran, and I guess everything up to Egypt as well. Why don't we simply define the middle East as everything up to Cheba farms, north of Sinai, and bounded by the Jordan River and the Mediteranean on the east/west axis.
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Michelle
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posted 16 August 2005 08:42 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Hey, I have no horse in this race, really. I always thought Iran and Iraq were part of the Middle East too, but I've heard people argue vehemently that Iran at least is not.
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 08:48 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That said, I don't know, maybe there should be a name change for that forum unless we do want to start putting all the Iraq war threads there too. However, putting all the Iraq threads there too will mean not only a lot more volunteer moderating time on my part, but also that those threads will be dropped into the most dysfunctional forum on the board. And I'm concerned that not only will a bunch of threads that don't need the kind of zealous moderating that the middle east threads do will be overmoderated, but that perhaps those threads will start taking on the same tone as the threads in the ME forum.

So if the threads relating to the Middle East that actually cause contentious debates are to dropped into the memory hole, ME forum, why not just ban discussion of Israel and Palestine outright, as dysfunctional. Its to bad that some issues are challenging and morally ambiguous, and some people can't handle that.

I just don't see why people can't just ingore subject topics or debates they don't like. I am not sure why the board feels a need to overmoderate and adminstratively bias this issue alone.

To me this amounts to blatant systemic dissaperaing of discourse of issues relating to one specific racial group (Palestinian Arabs) the kind discussed by Ward Churchill and others, as an essential aspect of the framing of discourse of ethnic cleansing and genocide. It is a shame that this board seems to be falling into this motif.

It would be excusable if the the policy of having a ME forum was actually adhered too, in that at least some "other" ME issues appeared there once and a while. But this fig leaf has disappeared to.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 08:55 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
Hey, I have no horse in this race, really. I always thought Iran and Iraq were part of the Middle East too, but I've heard people argue vehemently that Iran at least is not.

Well, in a sense you are the horse in this race.


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Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 09:02 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I mean doesn't it strike people as a little odd that if the US attacked Iran it would appear here in the news forum, while if the US green lighted an Israeli bombing of Iranian nuclear facilities it would appear in the ME forum?

From the article:

quote:
A plausible spin could be that America and Britain must act where the international community has failed, and that their action is the responsible alternative to an Israeli attack. The conventional wisdom is that, even if diplomacy fails, the US is so bogged down in Iraq that it could not take on Iran. However, this misunderstands the capabilities and intentions of the Bush administration.

[SNIP]

The possible negative consequences of an attack on Iran are well known: an increase in terrorism; a Shia rising in Iraq; Hizbullah and Iranian attacks on Israel; attacks on oil facilities along the Gulf and a recession caused by rising oil prices. Advocates of war argue that if Iran is allowed to go nuclear then each of these threats to US and Israeli interests becomes far greater. In this logic, any negative consequence becomes a further reason to attack now - with Iran disabled all these threats can, it is argued, be reduced.



[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 16 August 2005 09:05 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'll talk to Audra about it and see what she thinks, okay?
From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 16 August 2005 09:12 PM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Why not just make a contentious issues forum, not restricted to any geographical region? Users are warned that in that forum they will likely run into some fairly passionate (to say the least) attacks; if nothing else it'll give the trolls a place to hang out ...
From: flatlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 09:19 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
[A little more ranting] Looking at the article above one could almost coclude that it is an article about Israel, substantively in key ways, but in this case it can appear in the News forum because it does not directly involve Palestinians.

If it is the case that threads, subsantively including Israel that do not relate to Palestinians can appear in the News forum, but threads which involve threads about Palestinians and Israelis only appear in the ME forum, then is it not the case that the ME forum is actually a Palestinian forum only.

Well what is that, really?

What would people say if any and all threads relating to women, were shunted off automatically to the Feminism forum.

What would we call that?

I certainly respect the principle that Feminism should have a protected space on the board, but no one would suggests that an important US supreme court decision on Roe Vs. Wade, should not be posted in the News forum.

What would that be called?

This seems to me to be at the heart of Coyotes desire to see the forum changed in its nature to justify itself as anything other than a sop for an issue that makes people uncomfortable.
[/end a little more ranting]

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 16 August 2005 09:32 PM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I see your point. Perhaps it would be more to the point if we were to call the forum "Israel/Palestine" and that way we're targeting the threads that get the most contentious without using some vague name that isn't saying what we really mean.

I know that this will still not thrill people who don't want to see this issue stuck in a separate forum. But I think the consideration that a) the forum needs special moderating attention due to the fact that it has a history of spawning nasty posts and pretty horrid personal attacks, and b) there were so many complaints from people who found themselves avoiding the entire news/politics section due to the total overrunning of those forums with the same old sniping between the same few posters about Israel/Palestine, overrides the concern about marginalizing the issue.

It's either "marginalize" by putting the threads in a forum where the usual participants know where to go to find them, or let the threads completely dominate a few other forums and intimidate those who would otherwise participate in threads other than the ones on the Israel/Palestine issue.


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 09:43 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:
I know that this will still not thrill people who don't want to see this issue stuck in a separate forum. But I think the consideration that a) the forum needs special moderating attention due to the fact that it has a history of spawning nasty posts and pretty horrid personal attacks, and b) there were so many complaints from people who found themselves avoiding the entire news/politics section due to the total overrunning of those forums with the same old sniping between the same few posters about Israel/Palestine, overrides the concern about marginalizing the issue.

Why does it need special moderating attention?

My feeling is that the reason it needs special moderating attention is because the board refuses to act directly against repeated behviour by some posters that would otherwise get them bannned. It appears that they are protected from sanction.

Certainly, people can ignore issues they don't like. why do they have to be removed entirely from the public view? Like what? They can't stop themselves from opening a thread, or closing it when it bugs them -- they don't want to be reminded at all of the issue?

Psychologists call this avoidance. Why does the board enforce avoidance?

If there is an overproliferation of threads, threads can be closed, and people can be warned to focus debate.

Interestingly, your solution actually comes close to the solution that Coyote originally suggesested, other than that Coyote would have given it a clearly anti-occupation slant. something that is fairly non-contentious even among ILP, and most of the Zionist posters here.

Hardly anyone advocates for the occupation to continue.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 09:46 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Personally I prefer changing redefining the term Middle East, as I described above. If it catches on, we can use it as the basis for the name of new state created from Israel/Palestine.
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Américain Égalitaire
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posted 16 August 2005 10:00 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Back to the issue at the top of the thread.

I have said for a long time that the US must (in their minds) eventually invade and occupy Iran, at least its most strategic areas. The Straits of Hormuz are the key and the prize is both the straits and Tehran's oil.

The editorial is spot on in the thinking - any negative consequences are only worse in the long run if the US waits. Again this is their view.

Wildcards are many. Would the US us tactical nukes? I really don't know and I shudder at the thought. Would Iran destabilise? I think they would rally around their government. Would the Shi'ites in Iraq go ballistic? Without a doubt in my mind. More terrorism and a wider and bloodier war.

But again, the US feels that with oil rising through the roof and the strains beginning to be felt along their supply chains and for all the other reasons stated, its now or never.

The biggest wildcard - why would the Iranians tell the US and Europe to take a hike on the nuclear fuel enhancement if Tehran didn't have some kind of security guarantee from the Chinese? What would be the reactions if US F-16's streaking across the Iranian skies met Chinese MiGs?

The Chinese are in a situation as ultimately desperate as the US in regards to oil. Knowing the US had a huge foothold in the area of the world where about half of all the oil left in the world is, they have been scrambling all over the world to secure the necessary contracts to keep their economy chugging along. Iran is the current feather in their cap and they cannot afford to lose it to the US. The Russians, as previously pointed out, have concern here too, but their domestic supply situation puts them somewhat more at ease than the Chinese.

If China faces up the US in Iran and makes it clear they will fight for the oil, will the US, if they can't have it, destroy the oil fields?


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Panama Jack
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posted 16 August 2005 10:31 PM      Profile for Panama Jack     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Américain Égalitaire:
Back to the issue at the top of the thread.

I have said for a long time that the US must (in their minds) eventually invade and occupy Iran, at least its most strategic areas. The Straits of Hormuz are the key and the prize is both the straits and Tehran's oil.


Actually, resource wise, Iran is more prized for its reserves of natural gas, number #2 worldwide behind Russia. Note that this are proven reserves.... I seem to recall that given its political situation, Iran's mountainous terrain hasn't been geologically surveyed to the level that Russia has, and therefore is expected to have a higher (although unproven) reserve.

[Iran also has oil adjacent to Iraq]

Natural gas production is rapidly peaking here in North America ... bad news considering most of the continents new electrical generation facitilities use LNG as their fuel. China too, has skyrocketing rates of LNG use.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Panama Jack ]


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cueball
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posted 16 August 2005 10:41 PM      Profile for Cueball   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Américain Égalitaire:
Back to the issue at the top of the thread.

Right, there is abosutely no connection between Israel's regional policies, US intentions in Iran, and its ongoing struggle with Palestinian Arabs. In fact China is more relevant than Israel.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


From: Out from under the bridge and out for a stroll | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 16 August 2005 11:04 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cueball:

Right, there is abosutely no connection between Israel's regional policies, US intentions in Iran, and its ongoing struggle with Palestinian Arabs. In fact China is more relevant than Israel.

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Cueball ]


I didn't say that.

I was just trying to get the discussion back to the original post and editorial.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
nister
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posted 16 August 2005 11:04 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
AE, China needn't face the US in Iran, they can take them on in Taiwan. The US has needlessly given the Chinese a second front and themselves a huge PR problem.

China could announce an oil embargo of Taiwan, and leave the US with no good options. They could send yet another carrier group to the area, but what would their orders be? Escort ships into port? China's Sunburn super-cruise missile will destroy whatever it's pointed at, including US carriers. China's economic levers are also formidable.

The US has recently sent another dozen B-52's to Guam, and announced that B-2's are to be deployed there, which is a noteworthy departure for a weapon touted as a weapon of global reach. I think the Chinese will rattle US and Taiwanese cages and see how firm the US resolve is. If they do, they won't want to wait for the B-2 deployment.


From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 16 August 2005 11:17 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nister:
AE, China needn't face the US in Iran, they can take them on in Taiwan. The US has needlessly given the Chinese a second front and themselves a huge PR problem.

China could announce an oil embargo of Taiwan, and leave the US with no good options. They could send yet another carrier group to the area, but what would their orders be? Escort ships into port? China's Sunburn super-cruise missile will destroy whatever it's pointed at, including US carriers. China's economic levers are also formidable.

The US has recently sent another dozen B-52's to Guam, and announced that B-2's are to be deployed there, which is a noteworthy departure for a weapon touted as a weapon of global reach. I think the Chinese will rattle US and Taiwanese cages and see how firm the US resolve is. If they do, they won't want to wait for the B-2 deployment.



Given the choice between breaking our assurances to Taiwan and protecting the sources of the lifeblood of the US economy and our "non-negotiable" way of life, the US would abandon Taiwan, or should for Iran. If Bush is really serious about defending the Taiwanese against a Chinese attack then he's far more mad than I ever thought he was. I can see no scenario in that theatre that doesn't rapidly escalate to nuclear, do you agree?

We've discussed this possibility in an earlier thread I believe. Someone stated that the Chinese would be willing to call Bush's bluff and I agree. What I fear is that Bush might not back down at that point either. Christ, I hope this doesn't happen. I'd like to think they're smarter than that at The White House.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
nister
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posted 16 August 2005 11:46 PM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This is usually met with ridicule, but Taiwan's Chen Shui-bian may be the answer to America's prayers. You may remember that he was running for re-election, and losing badly in the polls, when he was shot twice and taken to hospital. His poll numbers jumped 30 points, and he narrowly won re-election.

He refuses to show the bullet wounds, although some pictures were released by the attending hospital [head cropped from shot]. Earlier this year, while in Palau, he attends a beach party PR meet'm greet'm photo-op wearing a full scuba suit, while everyone else is wearing grass.

The US could condemn such a man, and flounce off stage in high dudgeon.


From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 17 August 2005 12:14 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by nister:
This is usually met with ridicule, but Taiwan's Chen Shui-bian may be the answer to America's prayers. You may remember that he was running for re-election, and losing badly in the polls, when he was shot twice and taken to hospital. His poll numbers jumped 30 points, and he narrowly won re-election.

He refuses to show the bullet wounds, although some pictures were released by the attending hospital [head cropped from shot]. Earlier this year, while in Palau, he attends a beach party PR meet'm greet'm photo-op wearing a full scuba suit, while everyone else is wearing grass.

The US could condemn such a man, and flounce off stage in high dudgeon.



That's interesting and certainly an "out" for the US if need be. Politically though, the Bushies have had to make the calculus, cold as it always is, that the US population isn't going to want to have its military bleed for a faraway island of which we know nothing and doesn't even have any oil. And there is no terrorist threat from Taiwan. Most Americans would say, let the Chinese have the bloody island, see if we care.

By the way, Palau - wasn't that one of the "Coalition of the Willing" that Michael Moore ridiculed in F9-11?


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
cco
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posted 17 August 2005 02:21 AM      Profile for cco     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Palau is only independent from the US on paper. It is technically a "freely associated state" since 1993, something akin to the old PQ proposals for sovereignty-association; in reality, it participates in US federal programs and is largely administered by the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs, the same people who handle the Virgin Islands, Micronesia, and Guam. Palauans aren't considered US citizens but can live and work freely anywhere in the US without a visa.

Calling Palau a member of the coalition would be like calling Puerto Rico or Oklahoma a member of the coalition (although that didn't stop them from doing it; apparently the administration is counting on the average American having no clue where Palau is).


From: Montréal | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 17 August 2005 09:31 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by cco:
Palau is only independent from the US on paper. It is technically a "freely associated state" since 1993, something akin to the old PQ proposals for sovereignty-association; in reality, it participates in US federal programs and is largely administered by the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs, the same people who handle the Virgin Islands, Micronesia, and Guam. Palauans aren't considered US citizens but can live and work freely anywhere in the US without a visa.
Calling Palau a member of the coalition would be like calling Puerto Rico or Oklahoma a member of the coalition (although that didn't stop them from doing it; apparently the administration is counting on the average American having no clue where Palau is).

The avererage American doesn't have a clue where Puerto Rico is. But maybe Moore should have said something about Palau's status, especially since they're primarily, for all intents a purposes, a protectorate.


From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
nister
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posted 17 August 2005 09:55 AM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
If Chen's "wounds" are real, he certainly should display them, while he has a chance. China will come calling when the tides are high in the spring of 2006, IMO. They will want a quick decapitation, a media makeover, and a return to business as usual. Look for them to sprinkle some goodies about; perhaps some Olympic events relocated from Beijing.

AE, you touched on the conundrum the US faces..if China takes on Taiwan, oil prices may spike a little, but if the US injects itself into the mix, oil goes through the roof.

So, how does this affect Iran's future? I see a bright future for a Greater Iran, joined at the hip to Iraq, pushing for a return of Iraq's province, Kuwait. If the US comes to the same conclusion, and has the political will, they will want to flatten Iran's regime altogether, and the sooner the better.


From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
nister
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posted 18 August 2005 10:46 AM      Profile for nister     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Palau was one of a string of "countries" Chen was schmoozing, seeking formal recognition of Taiwan as a nation. I watched the comments of a few young Taiwanese; they thought the exercise tawdry and unhelpful.

Conventional wisdom is that Taiwan's loyalties split thus; a third for status quo, a third for outright independence, a third for reunification.


From: Barrie, On | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged

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