View Full Version : The forums have been BORING recently...

02-23-2003, 01:53 PM
So here's this...

ZNet Commentary
Warmongers' Last Hope February 22, 2003
By Stephen Shalom

The warmongers in Washington are not doing very well.

France, China, and Russia - all veto-wielding members of the Security Council - along with Germany are opposed to war, their spines strengthened by the massive peace demonstrations of Feb. 15-16. As things look now, a veto may well be unnecessary because the United States will be hard-pressed to get the required 9 affirmative votes for war in the Council, as the three African members of the Council have already lined up with France.

Security Council approval is not just a formality. It provides the
cover which may be necessary for various nations to support the U.S. war.

In Italy, right-wing Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - facing
overwhelmingly anti-war public opinion, massive demonstrations, and the threat of a general strike from the nation's largest trade union federation - has declared that he wants Security Council authorization.

In Spain, Prime Minister Jose Maria Anzar's party trails the Socialists in opinion polls for the first time in three years, and he too has now called for Security Council authorization.

Most critically, Britain's Tony Blair -- Bush's most craven supporter - faces a population heavily anti-war, the largest political demonstration in his country's history, and revolt in his own party. In the words of one expert at the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies, Blair "desperately needs UN backing."

The problem for the Bush administration is that without Security
Council authorization the United States may not have any significant allies, which in turn may make war politically infeasible. Polls still show a majority of Americans opposed to any unilateral U.S. attack. Despite determined police obstruction the turnout in New York City on February 15 was truly massive, and demonstrations nationwide showed the breadth of the opposition.

Anti-war resolutions have been passed by cities and towns across the country - and not just in Berkeley, Ann Arbor, and Cambridge, but in Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Boulder, Chicago, Cleveland, Des Moines, Detroit, Gary, Jersey City, Milwaukee, New Haven, Newark, Paterson, Philadelphia, Providence, San Francisco, Santa Fe, Seattle, Syracuse, and Washington DC., among others.

So Bush urgently needs a UN resolution and he needs it soon - too much delay will interfere with the Pentagon's timetable and allow opposition to grow even stronger.

Secretary of State Colin Powell's previous effort to sway the Security Council was_ unsuccessful. His claims of an Iraqi-Al Qaeda connection convinced no one (the alleged Al Qaeda chemical weapons site in Iraq was disputed by Kurdish officials, reporters on the scene, and plain common sense: would Washington really have permitted such a facility to remain in the zone controlled not by Saddam Hussein, but by the Kurds?). His visual presentation consisted of artists' drawings (a gimmick pioneered by the Reagan Pentagon, imagining Soviet weapons systems that didn't exist) and photographs that UN weapons inspector Hans Blix insisted were open to multiple interpretations.

The Bush administration has one final hope for getting a Security
Council resolution: Iraqi refusal to comply with explicit demands from the weapons inspectors.

Three such demands are in play. One is the insistence that Iraq allow surveillance overflights by U-2 planes and other aircraft. The problem here is that these flights occur at the same time that U.S. and British warplanes are flying over Iraq, with no authorization from the Security Council; Iraq occasionally targets these warplanes and the warplanes routinely bomb Iraqi targets.

In such a situation, Iraq would either have to give the U.S.-U.K.
warplanes free rein or else risk hitting one of the U-2s. Nevertheless, it seems as if Iraq has acceded to this demand, depriving Washington of an excuse for war. A second demand is that Baghdad permit Iraqi scientists to be interviewed without handlers present and without tape-recording. It seems as if Iraqi concessions will be forthcoming on this point as well.

The third demand, however, is likely to be harder to resolve. According to the terms of Security Council resolution 687 from 1991 - the resolution that called for the elimination of Iraq's weapons of mass destruction - Iraq was banned from possessing any missiles with a range greater than 150 kilometers (93.2 miles). The logic here was that Iraq was entitled to maintain weapons for self-defense, but not weapons that could strike as far as Israel, as had occurred during the 1991 Gulf War. Now, however, the weapons inspectors have reported that an Iraqi missile, the al-Samoud 2, exceeds the permitted range.

Bush administration officials and its foreign mouthpieces have
maintained that the excess range of the al-Samoud missile represents - in various Blair formulations -- a "serious breach," "a significant breach," "a very serious breach." However, the extra range is of virtually no military consequence. Instead of 150 kilometers, the missiles could travel 180 kilometers - hundreds of kilometers short of being able to hit Israel. The editor of Jane's Missiles and Rockets has stated that firing the missiles past their allowed range offered Iraq little military advantage. And the Washington Post noted that "U.N. diplomats and missile experts maintain that the current ranges of Iraq's missiles do not significantly alter the military balance in the region."

Moreover, the Iraqis argue that the reason why some test flights of the al-Samoud have exceeded 150 kilometers is because the missiles were not weighed down by a guidance system; when normally configured, they maintain, the range is within prescribed limits.

Those eager for war have argued that the excess range, even if
militarily insignificant, is - in the words of Australian Prime
Minister John Howard -- "further evidence of a long pattern of deceit and evasion and trickery," just "another example of Iraq's refusals to abide by the decisions" of the Security Council." But in fact, the information on the test flights was provided by Iraq in October 2002 and again in its 12,000 page declaration of Dec. 7, 2002. So, far from showing Iraqi deceit and deception, the al-Samoud is an example of Iraq offering information to the inspectors.

Nevertheless, the real controversy involves what is to happen to the missiles now. On February 21, Blix sent a letter to Iraq demanding that Iraq destroy the missile and all its related equipment beginning March 1. Given the imminent threat of war, and the fact that about half of the 100-120 al-Samoud's have already been delivered to the Iraqi army, it's easy to see why Baghdad will not be eager to give up these weapons. Of course, Saddam Hussein would be well-advised to get rid of the missiles anyway - their value in deterring a U.S. attack is surely less than their harm in increasing the legitimacy and hence the likelihood of an attack. But what if Hussein refuses? Does this constitute justification for war?

There are at least three reasons why such a refusal does not provide morally adequate reasons to go to war.

First, the immense costs of war -- the risk to the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians, the increased likelihood of
global terrorism, the possibility of massive chaos throughout the
Middle East, the legitimation of further domestic repression, and the diversion of billions of dollars that should be spent on human needs - are not suddenly worth it because Iraq's missiles have a range of 180 kilometers instead of 150.

Second, while refusing a demand from the inspectors violates
resolutions of the Security Council, there have surely been other
violations of Security Council resolutions - by Israel, Turkey, and
Indonesia, among others - that have been much more serious than a militarily insignificant excessive missile range. Yet no one
contemplated war as the solution in these more serious cases.

Third, while an Iraqi refusal to give up the al-Samoud is wrong, it is hardly surprising. U.S. officials have been working for months to
discourage Iraqi cooperation with the weapons inspectors. They have essentially been saying to Saddam Hussein: give us access to all your military facilities, give us the right to discover the location of all your weapons factories, military bases, and the like, give us the right to fly spy planes over your territory unimpeded, and when this is all done, regardless of what the Security Council says, the United States will still be committed to "regime change." Such a message is hardly designed to inspire Baghdad's compliance. And now Washington is further insisting that Iraq destroy its most modern missiles.

Any Iraqi refusal to eliminate the al-Samoud comes in the face of U.S. actions that have been in clear violation of the UN Charter. The Charter explicitly prohibits not just the use of force without either Security Council authorization or in self-defense, but even the threat of force (Article II, Section 4). Yet no one can doubt that Washington has been threatening force against Iraq. There has been no Security Council authorization for any such threat, nor has there been any armed attack by Iraq against the United States, and hence these threats are patently illegal.

But it's not just a matter of U.S. threats. The United States has also violated the Charter prohibition against the use of force without appropriate authorization. U.S. officials have acknowledged that U.S. (and Turkish) troops are already on the ground in Iraq (Wash. Post, Feb. 13). It is true that there has been no Security Council resolution condemning these acts of war - but the Charter does not say that the use of force is permissible as long as it is not condemned by the Council. Rather it prohibits the use of force unless authorized by the
Council (or in self-defense, which is irrelevant here).

For twelve years U.S. and British warplanes have been flying over Iraqi territory without any authorization and attacking Iraqi radar and anti-aircraft facilities that have tried to interfere with them. In
recent months, however, the U.S.-U.K. planes have been targeting military sites without any pretense of acting defensively. For example, in this past week they struck at surface to surface missile sites - which pose no risk to the warplanes. In other words, the U.S. is insisting that Iraq give up some of its missiles that may technically exceed the permitted range at the same time that the U.S. is carrying out unprovoked acts of war against Iraq. These are not circumstances calculated to elicit maximum Iraqi cooperation.

Unprecedented anti-war organizing and mobilization, along with a fortuitous international constellation of forces, have derailed the
Bush administration's rush to war. But we need to be ready to address and expose their last ditch effort of using the al-Samoud missile as a pretext for an immoral and potentially disastrous war.

My longest post ever.:)

Mod Note: Cleaned up your post so its easier to read and not so broken. Also merged your Back2Back post. There was no need for the extra post.

02-23-2003, 02:02 PM
Only boring if you consider political shouting matches with people you otherwise consider friends a good thing.

02-23-2003, 02:15 PM
No, just boring generally.

Dar' Argol
02-23-2003, 02:37 PM
Well, regardless if they are boring or not, that is no reason to interject a political artical such as this to get things fired up again.

And please EricRG, the next time you "cut and paste" an artical, make sure it is readable. Meaning, make sure all the sentences are connected properly and everything looks as it should. You can use the "preview post" otion for this or if you post it and it looks wrong, you can use the "edit" button and edit your post accordingly. I spent 10 minutes fixing something that was not even my opinion, and I don't like doing that.

02-23-2003, 02:49 PM
It wasn't boring until I clicked on this thread. Where's the sleep smile when you need him. Nevermind, I'll use this one since you've officially bored me into a coma. Political discussion breeds fighting, I'd rather people consider it boring. :dead:


Jar Jar Binks

02-23-2003, 02:57 PM

Can't you guys do better then THAT?:rolleyes:

02-23-2003, 03:06 PM
Originally posted by EricRG
Can't you guys do better then THAT?:rolleyes:
Sure, let me try. :)

Originally posted by EricRG
My longest post ever.:)
It's easy when you cut and paste 99% of it. ;) :D


Jar Jar Binks

Darth Jax
02-23-2003, 03:13 PM
No one forces you to read the forums. If you find a topic boring, skip it. If you want more exciting forums, then add threads you'd like to discuss. Politics and religion are sure to start arguments, which personally i find BORING.

James Boba Fettfield
02-23-2003, 03:15 PM
Well, it's nice to see this topic has already taken a turn for the worse. Now it's time to insert Mr. Angry Face :mad:

02-23-2003, 03:24 PM

02-23-2003, 04:30 PM
Sure, I can do better EricRG

Trying to stir up trouble like this makes you look like a jackass. Are you that pathetic, where you need to read flame wars and insulting posts to get off? Apparantly so.

Is that lively enough for you? :rolleyes:

James Boba Fettfield
02-23-2003, 04:37 PM
How can you call this boring, look at Jargo's new avatar. Tee hee, it makes me laugh.

02-23-2003, 04:43 PM
LOL, I agree JBF. Jargo's new avatar is great. I'm still waiting for him to slap a pair of underoos in the orange box. To go along with his location. ;) :D


Jar Jar Binks

02-23-2003, 05:09 PM
Heh. I'm with EricG. I like it when stuff gets stirred up.

So we argue with each other when we are otherwise friends?

We're not always friendly even when it comes to Star Wars.

Watch this: The Phantom Menace was a highly enjoyable movie I liked a lot! It was pure genious the way George Lucas set things up to be revealed in Episode 3. Some surprises are coming, and TPM is being redeemed!

You know I really believe this, too!

Anyway, most of the time I dig the religious and political discussions around here. I still love it when someone tries to make me believe there's a God and can't prove it, and I can't wait for capitalism's ultimate failures which will cause the riots in which those that have not will riot against those who have. The rich, trying to buy their private property's security will be unable to turn their backs on the minimum wage private security guard force and people will learn that everyone from all socio-economic levels and all races are all interconnected with each other, but they might learn that a little late from some knuckles in the face or the barrel of a loaded gun. A better, more peaceful resolution is within our reach now, but as population grows, both naturally from the birthrate, and from over-immigration, we're headed down, down, down to the fall of Western Civilization, and my bloodthirst and my ammunition are all waiting on a "heightened state of alert." I will cover myself with the blood of my adversaries and scream from the top of the tallest mountain I conquer and declare myself a warlord and my followers will serve me! I think it will be something like Braveheart. Cool way to prove the Republican's wrong huh? -And they think that we are all pacificsts because we don't want to engage Saddam without proof and evidence that we should be doing so. Pacifist? Heh. My gun is loaded. I just need justification to shoot somebody. Then there will be "Tycho Unleashed!"

Anyway, the fantasy is there in me, a self-described male who's imatience, anger, and natural predatory instincts are stronger than his modesty or any self-preservation instincts or healthy fears, and just hanging under control of what is his logic, intelligence, and self-restraint against the rage that is his passion.

I want to take that hill!

Meanwhile, to otherwise liven up these forums, from time to time I think of creative, funny stuff, or stuff that's just stupid enough to laugh at (either at my own expense, or because you're even more base than I am). I feel the return of Darth Mouse Droid and the Sniffers' Association is in order.

It's truly amazing how long stupid threads last around here!

But I've been very busy either working or in my personal social life, so I've had less time to spend here. But if you post something else really dumb, flag me with a private message. I could use the laugh - and don't miss that Bananna thread in the "other section." I tried that with brocolli but it just didn't take off the same - probably because it was an unwanted accessory with a Star Wars figure. Though it's nice to know that green vegetables are still healthy in a galaxy far, far away.

-Insanely yours, Tycho

02-23-2003, 06:49 PM
Originally posted by James Boba Fettfield
How can you call this boring, look at Jargo's new avatar. Tee hee, it makes me laugh.

I thought I was the only one.

02-23-2003, 10:06 PM
I did giggle at Jargo's avatar, but who said I even asked for an argument? I just wanted to see what people thought of the article. (Apparently not much). Can't political discussions be civil? Looks like this thread is doomed to rehash the recent pro- versus anti- political thread debate. Oh well, I tried.

Darth Jax
02-23-2003, 10:19 PM
i tried reading the article but lost interest in it after just a couple of sentences. therefore i jumped to the conclusion you posted it simply to try and get a discussion going about politics in the hopes it would turn into the name-calling spiteful discussions they often become. sorry bout that. i would agree that lately there haven't been all that many threads that i just had to keep current on (being a huge metallica fan, the new discussion there i find enjoyable) but that's where my suggestion of starting threads that you'd be interested in lies. i just want to follow others leads, not being an idea man myself, so will chime in on whatever threads could benefit from my opinion.

EJ has changed his avatar a couple of times recently. i like the new one, although the question that comes to mind is are those the new glasses?

02-24-2003, 01:00 AM
Dudes and uh, dudettes, let's all be calm and civil here. Don't like, uh, worry and stuff because Fred Durst is totally hoping and wishing and rapping over nu metal that we're like, not gonna be at war for long if at like, all or something. So uh, like Fred said we can be with each other in "agreeance" or well you know - whatever either way we can all be in agreeance that this war should um go away real quick so Fred can go out on tour with um, some rock bands.

Well EricRG, at least you know where Fred Durst stands on your article. :)
LOL, I can't recall reading one post by you that actually dealt with Star Wars (pro or con). :p :crazed:

02-24-2003, 02:41 AM
Is a guy with the last name "Shalom" going to write a pro-war article? I stopped reading at the byline ... of course any article with the word "warmonger" in the title is going to be a parody anyway right? Seriously, I'm no fan of war ... but if you're bored go get a hobby. Try something to do with Star Wars, I hear it's quite popular.

My shortest post ever.:)

James Boba Fettfield
02-24-2003, 02:44 AM
You guys make me lol.

I feel dirty typing lol.

02-24-2003, 02:47 AM
Originally posted by plasticfetish
My shortest post ever.:)
It's easy when you don't cut and paste 99% of it. :crazed: :D


Jar Jar Binks

02-24-2003, 02:55 AM
Originally posted by James Boba Fettfield


James Boba Fettfield
02-24-2003, 03:09 AM
It's only 4 am, and my day has already been made better.

02-24-2003, 03:18 AM
Come on everyone, group hug! :crazed: :D


Jar Jar Binks

James Boba Fettfield
02-24-2003, 03:23 AM
I think we've ruined this topic.

02-24-2003, 04:30 AM
Im glad I can waste time at work enjoying this - you guys rock

( must study, no time for forums, must study, no time for the forums.. grrr.. it just doesnt work.. )

Eternal Padawan
02-24-2003, 08:49 AM
Hey! Did you guys read that entire article?!?! For some reason there's some verrrry interesting news about Nicole Kidman and a stick of margerine about halfway down! :eek: God bless Australian nude cooking!!:D ;)

The Overlord Returns
02-24-2003, 09:05 AM
Couldn't you have just posted a link to the article?

And, when attempting to spark political debate Eric...I fin it best NOT to say "I'm bored" before hand....just post theartuicle, ask for opinions....ande wait for Howdy to show up ;)

Dar' Argol
02-26-2003, 01:10 PM
You guys think that article was hard to get through now, you should have seen it b/4 I fixed it:rolleyes:

Anywho, it seems this tipic is going no where, and i haven't said this for a long time either . . . . . soooooooo . . . . . . .