View Full Version : Broad cross-section marches againt war

John Feeney
02-15-2003, 06:52 PM
That's how it was in San Diego today, and apparently in much of the world:

The demonstrators seemed like a cross-section of modern British society. There were entire families-fathers and mothers with small children in tow-and elderly people moving slowly but deliberately on their own. Some wore costumes and some were in jeans. There were veteran activists and people who said they had never been on a march before in their lives.

Full article (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13397-2003Feb15.html)

I was heartened to see similarly wide support here. If by some chance world opinion, as expressed by such marches and the stances of France, Germany, Russia, and others helps prevent this war for the time being, I hope it will lead to much more investment in and investigation of alternative (non-war) methods of resolving the current situation. I've been appalled by the neglect of such methods to date.

02-15-2003, 07:41 PM
You wrote "I've been appalled by the neglect of such methods to date." Well I suppose there is little need to invest in your book John. Just can't justify the expense with opinions like these in your post above.

02-15-2003, 07:53 PM
There ya go Jimbo, I bet you've really hurt his feelings now. That'll teach him. Last time he thinks differently than you!

Chris Alger
02-15-2003, 07:54 PM
And I'll bet it wasn't 35 degrees and overcast like it was in Colorado Springs, the regional antiwar locus because of it's military ties. Christians, communists, anarchists, "veteran activists" and more than a couple of Republicans. I was surprised at the turnout of seniors, given the weather, although quite a few brought small kids. At 3,000 strong I thought we looked pretty impressive lined up on the route to the Air Force Acadamy, trading peace symbols with sympathetic drivers. Then I heard on the radio that the Rome demonstration brought out 1 million. This in a country that supports the war effort. Wow.

Chris Alger
02-15-2003, 08:09 PM
There isn't much in John's book about Iraq. It does, however, presume the reader's ability to cultivate certain mental habits, abilities if you will, that (as far as I can tell) you assiduously avoid. So you should probably save your dough for this reason.

But you're welcome in my game.

02-15-2003, 10:18 PM
Clarkmeister I appreciate your wit. I had no intention on hurting anyones feelings, just utilizing my freedom of choice to donate my money to a wino rather than purchase his book. I served my country in order that John was able to not only think differently than I but so that he was able to freely express himself. What have you done lately in that regard? Checkraise a 4/8 player wirh the nuts?

02-15-2003, 10:20 PM
Thanks for the invitation Chris. When do we play? Will other intelligent bigots be joining us as well?

02-15-2003, 10:22 PM
I wonder if these issues came up at any of the demonstrations today. From the article from the link in Rick's post:

"My 20 years of work in Iraq's nuclear-weapons program and military industry were partly a training course in methods of deception and camouflage to keep the program secret. Given what I know about Saddam Hussein's commitment to developing and using weapons of mass destruction, the following two points are abundantly clear to me: First, the U.N. weapons inspectors will not find anything Saddam does not want them to find. Second, France, Germany, and to a degree, Russia, are opposed to U.S. military action in Iraq mainly because they maintain lucrative trade deals with Baghdad, many of which are arms-related."

Does any body deny the veracity of these statements? Note who makes the accusations.

"Since the passage of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1441 we have witnessed a tiny team of inspectors with a supposedly stronger mandate begging Iraq to disclose its weapons stockpiles and commence disarmament. The question that nags me is: How can a team of 200 inspectors "disarm" Iraq when 6,000 inspectors could not do so in the previous seven years of inspection? "

Note the word begging and what about this point anyway?

"Put simply, surprise inspections no longer work. With the Iraqis' current level of mobility and intelligence the whole point of inspecting sites is moot. This was made perfectly clear by Colin Powell in his presentation before the U.N. last week. But the inspectors, mindless of these changes, are still visiting old sites and interviewing marginal scientists. I can assure you, the core of Iraq's nuclear-weapons program has not even been touched. Yesterday's news that Iraq will "accept" U-2 surveillance flights is another sign that Saddam has confidence in his ability to hide what he's got."

What about the claims that surprise inspections don't work? Where is the proof that they do? Is he lying about the Iraqi nuclear-weapons program?

"Meanwhile, the time U.N. inspectors could have used gathering intelligence by interviewing scientists outside Iraq is running out. The problem is that there is nothing Saddam can declare that will provide any level of assurance of disarmament. If he delivers the 8,500 liters of anthrax that he now admits to having, he will still not be in compliance because the growth media he imported to grow it can produce 25,000 liters. Iraq must account for the growth media and its products; it is doing neither. "

What about this claim regarding anthrax?

"Iraq's attempt to import aluminum tubes of higher tensile strength than is needed in conventional weapons has been brushed aside by the IAEA's Mohammed El-Baradei. He claims there is no proof that these tubes were intended for modification and use in centrifuges to make enriched uranium. Yet he fails to report that Iraq has the machining equipment to thin these tubes down to the required thickness (less than one millimeter) for an efficient centrifuge rotor. What's more, they don't find it suspect that Iraq did not deliver all the computer controlled machining equipment that it imported from the British-based, Iraqi-owned Matrix-Churchill that manufacture these units."

Where is this equipment anyways?

"Mr. Blix also discounted the discovery of a number of "empty" chemical-weapons warheads. What he failed to mention is that empty is the only way to store these weapon parts. The warheads in question were not designed to store chemicals for long periods. They have a much higher possibility of leakage and corrosion than conventional warheads. Separate storage for the poisons is a standard practice in Iraq, since the Special Security Organization that guards Saddam also controls the storage and inventory of these chemicals."

This makes a lot of sense doesn't it?

"What has become obvious is that the U.N. inspection process was designed to delay any possible U.S. military action to disarm Iraq.


"Germany, France, and Russia, states we called "friendly" when I was in Baghdad, are also engaged in a strategy of delay and obstruction. "

From someone who used to be involved hmmm....

"In the two decades before the Gulf War, I played a role in Iraq's efforts to acquire major technologies from friendly states. In 1974, I headed an Iraqi delegation to France to purchase a nuclear reactor. It was a 40-megawatt research reactor that our sources in the IAEA told us should cost no more than $50 million. But the French deal ended up costing Baghdad more than $200 million. The French-controlled Habbania Resort project cost Baghdad a whopping $750 million, and with the same huge profit margin. With these kinds of deals coming their way, is it any surprise that the French are so desperate to save Saddam's regime?"

Could it possibly be that France is motivated by economic interests in Iraq?

"Germany was the hub of Iraq's military purchases in the 1980s. Our commercial attaché, Ali Abdul Mutalib, was allocated billions of dollars to spend each year on German military industry imports. These imports included many proscribed technologies with the German government looking the other way. In 1989, German engineer Karl Schaab sold us classified technology to build and operate the centrifuges we needed for our uranium-enrichment program. German authorities have since found Mr. Schaab guilty of selling nuclear secrets, but because the technology was considered "dual use" he was fined only $32,000 and given five years probation.

Meanwhile, other German firms have provided Iraq with the technology it needs to make missile parts. Mr. Blix's recent finding that Iraq is trying to enlarge the diameter of its missiles to a size capable of delivering nuclear weapons would not be feasible without this technology transfer."

Could it possibly be that Germany is motivated by economic interests in Iraq?

"Russia has long been a major supplier of conventional armaments to Iraq--yet again at exorbitant prices. Even the Kalashnikov rifles used by the Iraqi forces are sold to Iraq at several times the price of comparable guns sold by other suppliers. "

Could it possibly be that Russia is motivated by economic interests in Iraq?

"Saddam's policy of squandering Iraq's resources by paying outrageous prices to friendly states seems to be paying off. The irresponsibility and lack of morality these states are displaying in trying to keep the world's worst butcher in power is perhaps indicative of a new world order. It is a world of winks and nods to emerging rogue states--for a price. It remains for the U.S. and its allies to institute an opposing order in which no price is high enough for dictators like Saddam to thrive."


"Mr. Hamza, a former director of Iraq's nuclear-weapons program, is the co-author of "Saddam's Bombmaker: The Terrifying Inside Story of the Iraqi Nuclear and Biological Weapons Agenda" (Scribner, 2000). "

He ought to know.

02-15-2003, 11:57 PM
Guys like Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic can only be removed by force.

I'm all for finding alternatives to war too. But doesn't it turn your stomach to think that if left in power, Saddam will go on torturing, mudering, terrorizing and rapng his own citizens on a wide scale on a wide scale?

How could anyone be for removing Milosevic yet be against deposing Saddam?

It seems the entire Left is rallying to defend the cause of this tyrant, as they do for many tyrants.

The coming war will probably kill fewer Iraqis than Saddam would manage to kill on his own over the next few years. The war will probably be over fast--very fast.

You can reason with reasonable people, and sometimes you can reason with somewhat unreasonable people, but tyrants only understand one thing.

And lastly I think Saddam poses a real and growing menace to the region, and even to ourselves.

John Feeney
02-16-2003, 01:11 AM
"Guys like Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic can only be removed by force."

Why would you say something like that as if it were an established fact?

One of the most glaring facts, to me, is that, relative to the most conventional political steps, precious little has been invested in money, man power, or other resources, toward investigating alternative methods to solve these problems, including getting Saddam out of power.

"How could anyone be for removing Milosevic yet be against deposing Saddam?"

I don't know if anyone is. I'm not against it. i just don't agree that we've come anywhere near exhausting our attempts to do so through means other than war. That may require some new ideas. And it appears our investigation and development of new alternatives to war has been nearly nonexistent.

"It seems the entire Left is rallying to defend the cause of this tyrant, as they do for many tyrants."

I think you know better than that.

"The coming war will probably kill fewer Iraqis than Saddam would manage to kill on his own over the next few years. The war will probably be over fast--very fast."

As might the "something else," which we can't even identify because we haven't bothered to develop it.

Why do some folks assume that because a problem is very difficult, and involves someone who rules by force, the only way to solve it is through war? Don't you guys kind of think humankind might do well to work toward ending war? I mean, we've made a little progress in other areas over the centuries. I think we're lagging in the conflict resolution department. Are you going to say, "Yeah, sure, just not right now"?

(This serves as my response to Jimbo as well.)

John Feeney
02-16-2003, 01:20 AM
"I wonder if these issues came up at any of the demonstrations today..."

Plenty of good information there, Tom. But I don' t think it negates the possibility of means other than war for dealing with these problems. In particular, I think we humans need to grow beyond our infancy in inventing and developing such means.

Billy LTL
02-16-2003, 02:20 AM
What have you done lately in that regard? Checkraise a 4/8 player wirh the nuts?

With all due respect I think this is unfair, Jimbo. I've been in the military too, maybe even served in the same place as you.

I don't believe the hundreds of thousands of anti-war protesters back home at the time served the United States of America with any less distinction than you or I.


Chris Alger
02-16-2003, 03:39 AM
"Guys like Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Slobodan Milosevic can only be removed by force."

And we know this because they never die? The list of perpetual tyrants continues: Ceausescu, Suharto, Pinochet, Marcos, Duvalier -- all removed only as a result of US invasions and US military dictatorship over their countries. Meanwhile, on earth .....

"The coming war will probably kill fewer Iraqis than Saddam would manage to kill on his own over the next few years. The war will probably be over fast--very fast."

1. Do you ever bother to do any research? From this week's Economist:

<ul type="square"> "MANY aspects of the war hanging over Iraq are unpredictable but one is not: the unusual vulnerability of the civilian population. There are two reasons for this. First, about 60% of the population, or 16m people, are 100% dependent on the central government for their basic needs; they survive only because the government provides them with a food ration each month. Second, after two wars, decades of misgovernment and 12 years of exacting sanctions, there is no fat to rely on.

In last year's Afghan war, as in the 1991 Gulf war, more people died from the indirect results of the conflict than from the fighting itself. And Iraqis now are far less able to get by. In 1991, most of them were in work, enjoyed fair health and had material assets; now, more than 50% are thought to be unemployed and most people have sold just about everything they once had (visitors gauge this from the markets, where the goods for sale are increasingly dilapidated). Though conditions have improved since the oil-for-food programme was set up in 1996, the report of an International Study Team*, academics and doctors with mainly Canadian backing, that visited Iraq at the end of last month found how vulnerable Iraqis still are. Most face grinding poverty, and children, in particular, are terrified at the prospect of war.

Estimates by Unicef, the UN's childrens' agency, show close to a quarter of children under five suffering from malnutrition, some of it acute. A leaked report reveals that the UN is working on the calculation that, in war, some 5.4m Iraqis will need emergency help from outside, with small children needing it most." [/list]
A populace with a month's worth of food. Terrified children already suffering from malnutrition. 5.4 million Iraqis in need of emergency assistance. And this doesn't even mention those that will be killed directly by US firepower.

What have the Iraqis done to you that warrants so much of your wrath? Oh yeah: they are non-modern Arabs who have "no one to blame but themselves" for their plight, as you put it with reference to the troubles of the Arab world generally.

2. How could you possibly guess how many people will die in the war? One way would be to ask the Pentagon for predictions of civilian war deaths generated by their dozens of computer scenarios. Unfortunately, you don't have the right to get this information from your government; it's none of your business. Such is the nature of the informed consent of the governed in the U.S.

3. How could you possilby guess how many people Saddam is likely to kill or injure during hte next few years? The worst human rights abuses in Iraq occurred prior to the Gulf War. When similar facts about the US are brought to your attention, you dismiss them as having occurred "in the past," under different historical circumstances.

"You can reason with reasonable people, and sometimes you can reason with somewhat unreasonable people, but tyrants only understand one thing."

Is your only reference work an encyclopedia of cliches?

"And lastly I think Saddam poses a real and growing menace to the region, and even to ourselves."

This must be the thousandth time you've made this hysterical prediction without any contemporary facts to back it. You still haven't reconciled how this can be possible given that Saddam can't "menace" away the no-fly zone he's been penned up in for 10 years. 1000 X 0 = 0.

Chris Alger
02-16-2003, 04:13 AM
The answer to your question is no, at least for the veteran activists. People who have spent most of their lives sifting through and refuting war propaganda weren't taken back by this thing at all. It even falls into a propaganda genre: the defector/turncoat (typically with a history of aiding tyrants) who serves his new masters by promoting the idea that "war opponents don't understand as I do that the current enemy" is bent on world domination, irredeemable, Satan incaranate, etc. The two questions you always ask are (1) what's his record for veracity and (2) what's in it for him? When this things aren't disclosed, as they weren't in the Wall Street Journal copy where I read them first, you discount them automatically. And then you start to dig.

"Does any body deny the veracity of these statements? Note who makes the accusations."

First try to reconcile his premise with reality: Either (1) Saddam has some unique, mysterious way of hiding WMD or (2) the talks the US has been engaged in with Russia for several years over the desturction of Russia's WMD, which the State Dept.has described as eanest and productive, have been a total waste of time, as they would be in any country that prefers to simply conceal them.

But note the source as well: only one of hundreds of Iraqi scientists, but one who also happens to have an axe to grind, a track record of misstatement and exaggeration and a current book to promote.

Who is Khidhir Hamza?
By Firas Al-Atraqchi;hl=en&amp;ie=UTF-8
It's all about money and exposure.

This week Khidhir Hamza, a former Iraqi nuclear scientist who defected to the U.S. in 1994, testified before a U.S. Senate panel investigating Iraq's nuclear armaments. Hamza told U.S. Senators that Iraq was three years away from creating up to three atomic bombs. Containment would not work with Iraq, Hamza claims. He strongly suggested regime change.

Hamza was joined by famed Oscar-nominee (former UNSCOM weapons inspector) Richard Butler. Butler so vehemently implicated Iraq behind the anthrax spread last fall that CNN rewarded him with a permanent chair next to the 'sexy' Paula Zahn. Since then no evidence has emerged that implicates Iraq or any foreign country. In fact, recent news reports seem to indicate that the anthrax spores were home grown.

There are some facts to consider about Hamza: The first; that he has not been in Iraq since 1994. Eight years out of the country and the man thinks he is an expert. The UNSCOM team acknowledge that their absence from Iraq for four years has made them blind to Iraqi activities. So, then, where is Hamza getting his information? I, for one, would like to see it. Quoting 'other' intelligence sources is not enough.

Secondly, Hamza is one of hundreds of prominent Iraqi scientists and engineers. The man, by far, does not hold exclusive knowledge to Iraq's weapons programs.

Hamza is also a Shiite. Let's dispense with the pleasantries; most Shiites in Iraq would love to see Saddam go and outside Iraq make no secret their hatred for Sunnis. A popular catch phrase repeated by Iraqi Shiites is "We will murder all you Sunnis while you sleep".

Consider also, Hamza's flair for misinformation and contradiction. In January 1999, Hamza addressed the Seventh Carnegie International Non-Proliferation Conference (Carnegie Endowment For International Peace Non-Proliferation Project - January 11-12, 1999; Washington, D.C.):

"The plans were made and designed for an eventual production of 100 kilogram bomb -- six bombs. That would be a reasonable arsenal in something like five to 10 years. So in a decade or so, Iraq would become a real nuclear power like Israel."

Hamza spoke as a representative of the Institute for Science and International Security.

In 1999, Hamza spoke of six bombs in no more than 10 years. Yesterday, he told the U.S. Senate it was three bombs in no more than three years. Fine. Let's give the man the benefit of the doubt. It has been three years since his Carnegie speech. However, the misinformation continues.

Douglas Pasternak and Stacey Schultz of U.S. News interviewed Hamza in December 2001. The following is an excerpt from their subsequent article:

"Hamza and his colleagues had 31 kilograms of uranium from their Osiraq reactor that had been destroyed by Israeli bombers in 1981, from which they could distill 18 kilograms enriched enough to form the core. But they also knew that any such move would set off alarms at the International Atomic Energy Agency, which monitored Iraq's use of uranium, and that Iraq would be stopped from developing any more enriched uranium. Thus, Iraq would be able to build only one oversize bomb. Informed of this, Hamza says, Saddam agreed to shift to concentrating on using chemical and biological weaponry to halt the allied forces of Desert Storm."

"Even worse, he says, he is certain that Saddam Hussein has been rebuilding Iraq's chemical and biological programs-a task far easier than reconstituting the nuclear program."

In the above article, Hamza indicates that Iraq is focusing on non-nuclear weaponry. At the Senate hearing, Hamza seems to have backtracked and said that Iraq is focusing on its nuclear program. And if Iraq was able to build only one bomb in 1990, before allied bombings and intensive UNSCOM inspections and monitoring, how could they possibly build three, let alone six bombs now?

Earlier in October 2001, Hamza participated in an online chat for CNN. Following are excerpts:

"CHAT PARTICIPANT: If America could just do one thing in Iraq, what would you like see happen?

HAMZA: I would like to see the Iraqi opposition better trained, some two or three thousand persons, trained and sent back into south Iraq, and supported by U.S. Air Force, no U.S. troops, just Air Force, doing what it is doing now, but a little more intensely. By watching Saddam's troop movement and making them stay in their box, is all that's required right now. Just send the Iraqi opposition trained militia, and support them there. That's the only thing we need now. That's the official position right now of the Iraqi opposition, they want to be supported this way, with some resources provided, say food and some equipment. Minimal cost opposition. Much less than is being done in Afghanistan right now, for instance. This way, the U.S. would eliminate the major terrorist government in the Middle East right now, probably the world."

The above statement from Hamza is ominously identical to positions expressed by former CIA Chief Woolsley, Deputy Secretary of Defense Wolfowitz, and other hawks calling for Iraq's regime change.

The above also leaves open the question of Hamza's reliability. In claiming the official position of the Iraqi opposition, Hamza comes of sounding like their spokesperson. Consequently, all his opinions are skewed and biased. According to the CIA itself, the Iraqi opposition is known for manipulating, lying, distorting and fabricating defections and news coming out of Iraq to garner support for an attack on Iraq.

What also sticks out like a sore thumb is Hamza's own CV. Did he really head Iraq's nuclear weapons program? In 1999, David Albright and Kevin O'Neill published a report for the Institute for Science and International Security titled "Iraq's Efforts to Acquire Information about Nuclear Weapons and Nuclear-Related Technologies from the United States". In the report, Hamza is listed as "a senior Iraqi nuclear scientist who held several high-level positions in Iraq's pre-Gulf War nuclear weapons program". Question is why did the very institute where Hamza worked not list him as head or director of the Iraqi nuclear weapons program? Does this distinction not carry a weight of its own?

There have been widespread allegations that Hamza was little more than a mid-level physicist in Iraq. According to the Center for Non-proliferation Studies (CNS) and the CNS Monitoring Proliferation Threats Nuclear Abstract Database Hamza was definitely not the head of Iraq's Nuclear weapons program. From an article available on that database; "documents were faxed to the Times' offices from Greece by a person claiming to be acting on behalf of Dr. Khidhir Abdul Abas Hamza, a physicist known to have worked on electromagnetic enrichment of uranium (EMIS) for Iraq's nuclear weapons program, PC-3." (Nuclear Fuel, 4/24/95, p. 16, by Mark Hibbs).

The article goes on to state "the IAEA confirmed that Hamza worked in Iraq's nuclear program, and the Sunday Times located an article published in the 2/79 issue of Nuovo Cimento, a scientific journal, by "K A A Hamza of the Nuclear Research Centre, Tawattha [Tuwaitha], Baghdad".

However, according to Hamza's own CV (available at http://www.isis-online.org/publications/iraq/cvhamza.html) Hamza was not a part of the Nuclear Research Centre at Tuwaitha in 1979. Hamza was Head of the Fuel Division, Theoretical Section at the Iraqi Atomic Agency between 1975 and 1980. In the Publications section of the CV, no mention is made of the above article in Nuovo Cimento.

Isn't it peculiar that the IAEA, a much-lauded nuclear watchdog among other things, did not recognize that Hamza was head of Iraq's nuclear program but rather as someone who worked in the program? Would the IAEA never have met the men during its course of work in Iraq? That's a little hard to fathom.

The answer may lie in Hamza's own bungling. By his own admission in the September/October 1998 issue of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: "Over the years, I had many roles. I was chief of the fuel division in the 1970s, head of the theoretical division of the enrichment program in the 1980s, scientific adviser to the chairman of the Iraqi Atomic Energy Commission (IAEC) in the mid-1980s, and--for a brief period in 1987--director of weaponization." ( http://www.thebulletin.org/issues/1998/so98/so98hamza.html)

"For a brief period". Touching words. A brief period in 1987 and yet the man is touted as the brilliant head of Iraq's nuclear program.

Of course it was a brief period because in 1988, Hamza took charge of Theory and Modeling of the Dense Plasma Focus (DPF) Project and Manager in charge of the Iraqi delegation to Poland.

Despite the discrepancy in his CV, the fact that the IAEA never recognized him as head of the nuclear program, and quite amazingly, his own admission that he was the head for a brief period ending in 1988, Hamza is brandished as Iraq's chief bomb-maker. In interviews on major news outlets, Hamza is referred to as Iraq's most senior nuclear scientist who miraculously is still alive today to tell the tale.

Mr. Hamza, just who in blue blazes are you really?

Greed and prejudice answer that question. Prejudice in that Hamza is a Shiite bent on seeing a Shiite government take power in Iraq. In his 1999 Carnegie Conference speech Hamza said: "For example, the Iranians present themselves as defenders of the Shi'is which is a majority of the Iraqi population, which is not the actual government. They are not representative of the actual government. Now, that is a threat to all other groups in Iraq."

Earlier, this article showed that Hamza strongly endorsed the Iraqi opposition. The most infamous Iraqi opposition group is the Iraqi National Congress (INC) who have been in bed with the CIA and Mossad for nearly a decade now. The INC head, Ahmad Chalabi, a notoriously corrupt fellow, is also Shiite.

Finally, we come to the most important factor: Money. Hamza wants to be shown the money. In every single segment, every single interview, every single talking head and sound bite, we hear of Hamza's book "Saddam's Bombmaker". Who would buy a book from a mid-level physicist, or a part-time head of a nuclear program? Nah, beef it up a little. Call yourself head of the nuclear program for the longest time, say 20 years. A nice even number. Then proclaim that you have all the secrets on all of Iraq's nuclear, biological and chemical weapons. Don't mention how you got all this information.

Start to raise your hands about Iraq invading Zimbabwe and sending fissile material to Uranus. That should scare a few people. Tell everyone Saddam is coming to get them. Get on every radio show and babble your way through the scripted lines you were given. Endorse every attempt to attack Iraq. Endorse your Shiite chums in the INC.

Sit back and watch sales of your book soar.

And the book is hilarious by any account. Hamza has claimed that the Iraqi nuclear weapons program drained him and drove all of Iraq's scientists and engineers feverishly under the threat of prison and execution. Yet despite all his workload, Hamza had time to describe sexual exploitation of women in the Iraqi leadership, germ paranoia, human guinea pigs and the incredible claim that Iraq stockpiled barrels of germs and bio-gunk in the path of allied troops.

Sounds like A Thousand and One Nights. But then again, Arabs are always counted on to embellish a few here and there.

So, who are you again Mr. Hamza?

According to Scott Ritter, UNSCOM's most aggressive former weapons inspector, who appeared on a July 31st edition of CNN's Crossfire, you are a liar.

02-16-2003, 05:07 AM
"Hamza is also a Shiite. Let's dispense with the pleasantries; most Shiites in Iraq would love to see Saddam go and outside Iraq make no secret their hatred for Sunnis. A popular catch phrase repeated by Iraqi Shiites is "We will murder all you Sunnis while you sleep"."

I am not surprised by this statement, but find it very interesting. I may post a follow up later.

Do you know if Baptists say the same thing about Unitarians? My guess is that Baptists would drown all Unitarians if given the chance. Perhaps I am wrong in this assumption but it sounds reasonable.


02-16-2003, 05:34 AM
You have that freedom. Others have served their country so that dissent against dictatorial edicts is permitted. Only in America could a man that dodged the draft, and deserted the National guard would be the commander in chief urging Americans to aggressively invade a 3rd rate power. Of course that commander has a familial interest in the 1/8th percentage of developed oil resources that the 3rd rate power represents.

If the Pentagon Papers have taught us anything, it is that the Government will lie to the people to support corporate welfare.

If the Church Committee's findings have taught us anything, it is that the US intelligence community will deceive, and at times kill, Americans that seek to expose fraudulent "incidents" which it caused to gather support for economic wars which kill millions.

Still playing illegal online poker, Jimbo?

02-16-2003, 03:19 PM
In NYC it was amazing. 25 degrees and cold cold cold winds and still hundreds of thousands came (the police commisioner estimated 100,000, while the protest organizers estimated 400,000. I think usually a good idea for most protests is to average the two). We were denied a permit to march (land of the free - right?) and the police built blockades to keep the crowd seperated. But spirits were high.

Just wanted to report my experience /forums/images/icons/smile.gif


02-16-2003, 03:28 PM
"We were denied a permit to march (land of the free - right?)"

Regardless of what you think about the war, there was a pretty legitimate reason for this. I mean, it's not like you weren't allowed to protest, they just kept a huge, unmanagable crowd in a reasonable place.

02-16-2003, 04:02 PM
"I mean, it's not like you weren't allowed to protest, they just kept a huge, unmanagable crowd in a reasonable place."

Doesn't it seem wrong to you that the police can be allowed to contain free speach? The point of allowing a rally but not a march is to be able to say that you are up-holding free speach, but at the same time let as few people as possible see it.

"Regardless of what you think about the war, there was a pretty legitimate reason for this [denying a permit to march]"

The reason was that because of the hightend state of alert the police would have been spread too thin. However they had 5,000 officers involved. And they were mostly holding their barracades to keep the crowd seperated. Allowing a clear avenue for a march would have been far more organized and easier for the police. Also there were so many protesters that 4 avenues were taken over by scores of people. It took me over 2 hours to make it to 1st Ave (where the rally was), and I was still 12 blocks north of the speakers! Finally if the police did this so they wouldn't be spread too thin, then why was the following neccessary:

"At 1:45 pm, Chief Joseph J. Esposito, the highest-ranking uniformed officer, oredered the department's highest mobilization, a rare measure that brought 1,000 officers from precincts and other commands around town. The alert was last used in November 2001, when American Airlines Flight 587 crashed in the Rockaways." [Today's New York Times]

In any case, thank you for your reply. I know what the police and the city have said... I just don't believe it. Take care,


nicky g
02-16-2003, 04:15 PM
Why would the NYPD have been unable to control an "unmanageable" march of 400,000 when smaller police forces were happy to allow marches 3 times that size in other cities?

02-16-2003, 04:21 PM
Will anything anyone ever says satisfy you? Maybe someday you will realize that everyone isn't out to get you. Your protest cost the city millions of dollars, disrupted travel, and took thousands of officers away from other concerns (unless they were just given extra duty and paid overtime...in which case add to the money /forums/images/icons/smile.gif ). Maybe you can give them a little leeway? I know it is all a big conspiracy, right? Didn't the organizers apply for the permit only a few days before? So should the city immediately stop everything so that they can allow 200,000 people to shut down their roads and then march an unmanagable crowd past a prime terrorist target? I know you are all pacifists so nothing will happen but heck with all the people in Bush masks, Bush himself might slip into the crowd undetected and blow something up!

02-16-2003, 04:26 PM

After posting the above, I realized I had not really addressed what you had posted.

I think it's great that there seems to be a rising worldwide consciousness, if you will, looking for better solutions than war--hopefully this consciousness will make a difference, if not in the present case of Iraq, then at least in the future. Now, if Saddam would only get into the spirit;-)

I think "other solutions" have been tried without avail for many years, but there may be one last hope to avert war: efforts are still being made to convince Saddam to cede power and leave the country, and these efforts are far from exhausted. Hopefully Saddam will see the light and take this opportunity as he comes closer to the realization that no amount of game-playing or public opinion will otherwise save him. Let's observe that if this occurs, it will be due to his rational analysis that he will face humiliation and total defeat otherwise. If he should choose wisely and vacate, let's not forget that the primary enabling mechanism would appear to be the threat of overwhelming force.

It would be nice if we had indefinitely to contemplate such matters and to try new and different tacks with Saddam, but I do believe the clock is working against us with regards to WMD potentially or actually getting into terrorists' hands. At least, the clock certainly isn't working for us in that regard.

I applaud your apparent faith in the potential humanity of even those like Saddam and Pol Pot, and while I have much faith in the humanity of most people, historically there appears to me to be no reason to have such faith in history's very worst tyrants.

02-16-2003, 04:44 PM
If we DON'T take care of Saddam, he will continue to misuse and probably starve his own people. We could provide some relief if we could get in there, and I expect we will provide food and humanitarian aid on a large scale.

I've read several military scenarios of the possible war, with the most likely seeming to be a quick elimination of Iraqi military targets by air, followed by a complete encirclement and seige of Baghdad...not the street-to-street fighting Saddam is hoping for.

I don't hold wrath towards the Iraqi people, as you falsely portray--I hold disgust and contempt for their ruler. As for Arabs in general, I do not hate them either--and I think it is most unfortunate that so many of their problems are brought on by adherence to outmoded ideological and political systems. To the degree some of them hate us irrationally and intend to harm us because we are Westerners, I do condemn and pity that fanatically aggressive outloook.

A look at Saddam's history backs up the fact that he poses a serious potential threat to the region and quite possibly to ourselves. Rather than me having to prove it, I suggest that prudence would dictate that the opposite should have to be proved.

02-16-2003, 04:49 PM
"Will anything anyone ever says satisfy you? Maybe someday you will realize that everyone isn't out to get you."

Calm down Glen. I don't have any argument with you, but you seem to be getting very upset with me. So I will try and address some of your points:

"Your protest cost the city millions of dollars, disrupted travel, and took thousands of officers away from other concerns"

As does every protest.

"Maybe you can give them a little leeway?"


"I know it is all a big conspiracy, right?"

I never said that, nor do I believe that. The city wasn't being very secretive.

"Didn't the organizers apply for the permit only a few days before?"

Change "days" to "weeks", and you'll be closer. It was more recently that the city finally conceded to allow a "stationary rally" -- that is they would allow a gathering, but no march (the city fought for a long time to not allow anything). That is when the court battle began. Note how most of this began way before the terror warning came out.

I'm sorry you're upset with me. But all I did was support a cause I believe in.


02-16-2003, 05:17 PM
how does it cost the city? cant it be considered a form of welfare since it gives the police something to do?

or do u mean the police are taken away from their revenue producing activities (ie, writing tickets).

02-16-2003, 05:26 PM
Sorry about the tone. I just get a headache sometimes because a lot of people excercise too little common sense. The important issue is the merits of the war and it bothers me when people use it as an excuse to take pot shots at leaders, etc... There are a lot of people here who will never believe anything anyone in power tells them (unless it is that someone is lying to them /forums/images/icons/smile.gif ). Also, as a strong civil liberties supporter, I think that we need to choose our battles. When you randomly lash out at every goverment decision, it makes you look like a radical and then you will never be heard. I mean what does anyone here know about crowd management that the NYPD doesn't know? And since the answer likely is nothing than we should stick to things we know about. They challenged the decision in court and lost. Next hand. It wasn't really what you said that bothers me, it is the overall tendancy of posters of late to use namecalling, sarcasm and other inflamatory language instead of facts. For instance someone signed a recent post "dubya stand for whore". Where does that get us?

02-16-2003, 05:46 PM
To respond to your points:

"Maybe you can give them a little leeway?"


Because they are people just like you trying to do their jobs and for the most part trying to do what they think is right. Calling them wrong is one thing but hinting that they are liars and people who are out to destroy your right to free assembly is another.

"Your protest cost the city millions of dollars, disrupted travel, and took thousands of officers away from other concerns"

"As does every protest."

Which is why the right to free assembly shouldn't be unlimited. You can easily begin to infringe on the rights of others when you assemble in public place. If you wanted to go to central park, I think they would have no arguement, but when you start to disruput the business of the city by blocking roads, etc..., it has to be regulated. People who own businesses may have to shut down because there are 200000 people blocking where their trucks pull out. Are you giving them the money they lose because of this? They are people like you. And they may support a war. Or they may just want to do their job, and they can't. This matters too. The people who work in the UN have a right to not be blown up. They probably won't be blown up, but it is something that must be considered.

"But all I did was support a cause I believe in. "

All I argued with was your pot shot implying that your rights had been trampled upon, not your stance on the war or your excercise of free speech.

02-16-2003, 06:21 PM
Eagerness to actually kill others solely because of religious differences seems to be predominantly the province of Muslims, not Christians, nowadays.

The West had it's Reformation and Enlightenment; the Muslim world desperately needs a parallel ideological evolution.

Perhaps the U.N. should make it an international crime for anyone to issue international murder-fatwas.

Falwell at his scariest is still centuries ahead of that.

Chris Alger
02-16-2003, 07:02 PM
"If we DON'T take care of Saddam, he will continue to misuse and probably starve his own people."

According to the Red Cross, due to sanctions the prevalence of malnutrition in Iraqi children under five almost doubled from 1991 to 1996 from 12% to 23%. You might find sanctions to be worth the price the Iraqi children pay.

But ducking this issue by pretending that Saddam is solely resopnsible for a policy created and implemented by the West is totalitarian doublespeak, regardless of how often you encounter the argument in the media. Arguing that Saddam's failure to comply with UN demands makes Saddam solely responsible for the sanctions that follow is equally ridiculous to arguing that Bush's failure to comply with bin Laden's demands makes Bush solely responsible for 9/11.

Saddam criminally refuses to do what's demanded of him to get them lifted, assuming that's possible, but nobody with any understanding of his history can be surprised by this. He's not the one being sanctioned, and prior to the UN he sanctioned his own people at will in far more barbaric ways. His undisputable lack of concern for his people is, furthermore, a staple of your argument for war. Which makes sanctions an issue of Western face-saving versus infanticide and child starvation It's just one step short of inficting pain for its own sake, or mass sadism.

John Feeney
02-16-2003, 08:21 PM
Let me just clarify a couple of things. First, I really don't have any paritcular faith in the potential humanity of guys like Saddam, Pol Pot, etc. I doubt we disagreee much on how disturbed and maniacal most such figures are. I just think it may often be possible to get them out of power without war.

That leads to the main thing I've been driving at: Relative to the funding of the defense budget almost nothing is being spent on investigating and developing nonviolent alternatives. I haven't researched it heavily, but it appears to me that almost all such investigation/development involves small, private organizations. Their funding has to be almost nonexistent compared to the defense budget and the money that goes into private research and development of military technology.

What ideas and methods might arise if large think tanks and other organizations had billions of dollars to spend on researching and creating nonviolent methods?

That said, I don't mean to dismiss the efficacy of conventional diplomacy. It does seem, though, that it is sometimes not able to achieve its potential due to the attitudes of leaders involved. This is obviously just a subjective impression, but it seems leaders often react with frustration and abandon diplomacy before they have to. Thus, there too, I could see the value of research to address social issues which may often impede effective diplomacy. (or applying the results of existing research)

Additionally, as Chris points out, nonviolent resistance has often had surprisingly dramatic results. And that's without any of the R&amp;D that I'd like to see. (I believe most of the techniques used have simply been developed "in the heat of battle," so to speak.) So even simple programs to educate people in the history and results of such methods might have great value. When people are unaware of potent alternatives, they're going to more quickly assume the time for war has come.

Finally - and I know we'll disagree here - now seems like a pretty good time to try encouraging and implemeting some of the nonviolent strategies we do have. Yes, there's a terrorist threat. Yes, they're working on adding to their methods. I do wish we had put more into nonviolent solutions sooner, but we're not facing imminent attack from Iraq. This unilateral attack idea seems to me to be way out of line with the current situation, and may set an incredibly dangerous precedent.

It's not like we can say, "Well, we've exhausted all nonviolent methods with Iraq and they didn't work." What sort of steps has the U.S. taken recently to foster nonviolent methods of resolving the problem with Iraq? Once you get beyond conventional diplomacy and weapons inspections, I don't see anything.

02-16-2003, 08:54 PM
"If we DON'T take care of Saddam, he will continue to misuse and probably starve his own people"

Who cares.

If your son was sent into Iraq for this war and died, do you really think the cause is worth it? I certainly don't. If you do, then we'll just have to agree to disagree.

02-16-2003, 09:00 PM
" What have you done lately in that regard?"

Nothing. But that doesn't mean I can't point out that the tone your response to John struck me as being beneath you.

02-16-2003, 09:20 PM
Well, I'm having a hard time conjecturing up scenarios which would provide nonviolent means to get Saddam out of power. Maybe a think-tank could come up with some that might work--or maybe not. At any rate, if you have any to suggest, I'd be interested to hear them.

As far as nonviolent rsistance to Saddam, his own people can't do that--he just kills any he sees as threats or impediments. As far as nonviolent pressure from the outside of Iraq, isn't that pretty much what we/ve tried for 10 years or so? Maybe if there were millions marching worldwide calling on Saddam to resign instead of calling on us not to attack him, he might listen. Do you think so?

02-16-2003, 09:29 PM
US casualties will probably be quite low. How many US soldiers died in Afghanistan out of how many that were sent over there? How many US soldiers died in the last war with Iraq? A few hundred, out of six figures? Sounds like pretty low-risk odds to me.

02-16-2003, 09:37 PM
I thought we'd discussed this aspect at length in other threads.

I hold that Saddam didn't have to let his people suffer under the sanctions--he obviosly had TONS of money to spend, and chose to spend it on the military, and his WMD projects, and on erecting palaces and statues of himself all over the place--instead of spending some of it to help his people.

You disagree. Fine. But I don't think it's really highly relevant here, unless you just feel like rehashing that entire debate in the middle of this thread.

As for his systematic campaigns of torture, rape and murder of his own citizens, that will soon be coming to an end. Thank God. Maybe if you were an Iraqi, you'd be praying for someone to come and do away with their Stalin. Or maybe you wouldn't.

02-16-2003, 09:39 PM
"Nothing. But that doesn't mean I can't point out that the tone your response to John struck me as being beneath you. Fair enough Clarkmeister, and perhaps I was too harsh on you. It simply struck me as odd that you were criticizing my right to withhold my funds from someone with whom I disagreed with their political views. I also surmised that if John had been "just another poster" that you would have said nothing at all. I hardly think he needed you to come to his defense. Why don't you buy a 2nd copy of his book so that I will not have harmed his bottom line? Then perhaps we will both feel better! /forums/images/icons/smile.gif

On another subject you asked MMMMMM about his son being killed in Iraq. That is the primary objection I have to the protestors. At least during the Vietnam era a majority of the protestors were at risk of being drafted and forced to serve their country. As far as I know todays Armed Forces are all volunteer and could have at least expected the possibility of war. If all the peace protestors would have donated their time to help underprivileged children in their respective countries this weekend they would have at least accomplished a worthy goal. In reality all they have done is cost the taxpayers money and made themselves "feel good". Historically it has been shown that a war can be ended by marching in the streets but highly unlikely it will be successful in the prevention of one.

02-16-2003, 10:13 PM
ha ive got you there!

how many soldiers from gulf war applied for disability?

theres a whole can of worms there if you care to look into it but if you do you cant say it was without human cost.

John Feeney
02-17-2003, 01:17 AM
"Well, I'm having a hard time conjecturing up scenarios which would provide nonviolent means to get Saddam out of power."

And I'm having a hard time designing the next ICBM. But give either of us a billin bucks and I'll bet we could create an orgainzation that could make some good progress on either task.

In other words, it would be surprising if you or I were able to come up with such scenarios off the tops of our heads. But give us sufficient resources to do so and it might be different.

And that makes my point. You have billions going to military R&amp;D on the one hand, then on the other hand you have two unpaid guys on a website saying, "Hmmm, what might be an effective nonviolent tactic here? I'm not sure..." That about sums up the difference in resources thrown at each approach. Not a very good balance if you ask me.

Now, I realize there are other people looking at nonviolent methods, but you get the point about the imbalance. In reality, anyone well versed in nonviolent resistance (not me) would probably be able to suggest some ideas applicable to the Iraq situation. And such ideas might or might not be effective. But how much more confident might we be of their effectiveness if the ideas had been were thoroughly researched and tested with sophisticated methodologies? Moreover, in many cases the cost of such methods, either financial, or in human lives or suffering, is tiny compared to that of war. So you almost end up figuring, "What the hell, it can't hurt."

"As far as nonviolent resistance to Saddam, his own people can't do that--he just kills any he sees as threats or impediments."

Maybe there are nonviolent tactics that (a) would not be perceived as threats, or (b) that would somehow shield their practicioners. More to the point, I don't think we can say they "can't do that" when we aren't well versed in what "that" is or might potentially be.

"As far as nonviolent pressure from the outside of Iraq, isn't that pretty much what we/ve tried for 10 years or so?"

Yes, but what kinds of nonviolent pressure? Diplomacy and sanctions have their place. But where's the creativity in looking for other methods?

"Maybe if there were millions marching worldwide calling on Saddam to resign instead of calling on us not to attack him, he might listen. Do you think so?"

Probably not, but maybe so - if it would somehow cause him to see it as to his advantage to step down. Perhaps "subsequent to" would be better than "instead of" though. Right now, many see it as a matter of urgency to create more time to seek a solution other than war. But if war is prevented or delayed for some period, sure, it might be worth considering, though I imagine there might be more effective tactics.

02-17-2003, 03:25 AM
The eagerness to kill is exacerbated by both Muslims and Christians. The outward manifestations are sometimes different. Muslims more blunt, Christians in subdued tones.

Jerry Farwell, Pat Robertson and their ilk are far more dangerous or scary than most people think. And this because they are not usually blunt. Subtle and deceitful is what they aim for in everything that really matters to their agenda.

In fact, I regard both of them as exact replicates of Bin La-la. The only difference is in tactics.


02-17-2003, 04:58 AM
Many (majority of) peaceful Islam followers in the world as well. Many practice their faith here in the good old USA and I'm glad of it too.

02-17-2003, 05:18 AM
You have to understand a couple of things. NYC is a fortress in a lot of ways right now. Much more than in other cities in the USA (except for DC possibly). There's a massive police presence everywhere especially in places like Grand Central Station. This has been the case since 9/11. We can debate whether or not NYC is being overly paranoid or is in the front line of the war on terrorism i.e. highly likely to be the target of the next attack by terrorists but the fact remains that it is in a much higher alert status than every other city in the USA besides Washington DC maybe. I've communicated a fair amount with some NYC residents and those who work on Manhatten and it sucks by their accounts. So whether or not the heightened security in NYC is justified it's a fact of life and I might add highly understandable given the events of 9/11. The paranoia regarding a possible terrorist attack in NYC on the one year anniversery of 9/11 is evidence of the fear and irrationality that exists in NYC. An attack on that day would have absolutely been the worst move by the likes of al Qaida and their sympathizers but the parnoia in NYC was rampant nonetheless. Again justifiably so given the horror of the events of 9/11/2001. So to outsiders when security is given as the reasons for controlling the size of the demonstration, it may appear devious and irrational but I assure you that it isn't devious in the least. It's very consistent with what's gone down in NYC since the attacks of 9/11. Believe what you will but that's what's going down in NYC.

02-17-2003, 08:11 AM
That was neither mine nor Clarkmeister's point.

Besides, as Jimbo says, they're volunteers, not draftees. When they signed up they knew it was for a risky job.

Ray Zee
02-17-2003, 10:12 AM
their attacks also kinda follow a pattern of recurring where they were stopped before. like trying to get even or to finish the job.
next spot for an attack will be l.a. as that one is a return for them.

John Feeney
02-17-2003, 03:43 PM
Now it's my turn to say I realized after posting that some of my post didn't really address your point. I think your comment about not being able to come up with any scenarios where nonviolence could help in the current situation was in response to my comment that now would be a good time at least to apply some of the known nonviolent tactics. But my comment about developing the next ICBM, and the need to have more resources thrown at developing nonviolent methods was obviously a reference more to the future than to right now.

I don't know enough about nonviolent tactics to recommend specifics. I'd just like to see very serious efforts made in that direction. We see clearly the money and man power going into military preparations as we speak. Yet we see little, if anything, going into exploring or implementing nonviolent options. (I'm sure small private groups are talking about it, but are they heard by those in power?) I won't pretend I know how to do it, but as an example, if a team of nonviolence specialists (including, say, some who had been directly involved in places like the Philippines, Haiti, etc., and some pure "theoreticians.") were assembled to assess current options and make recommendations, that might be a good start.

nicky g
02-18-2003, 08:24 AM
"unless you just feel like rehashing that entire debate in the middle of this thread."

Hell, why not? In his not very sympatheic biography of Saddam, Said Abburrush says that in the late 70s, Saddam was using nationalised oil revenues to build schools and hospitals while other Arab leaders were building palaces and statues (and still are, as is he). Under him, the comfortable middle classes rose from 28% of the population to more than %50 before the gulf war. Iraq's standarsd of living was admired throughout the Middle East.
Clearly that didn't remain the case, while the grotesque human rights abuses, ethnic cleansing and so on did. But the idea that throughout Saddam's regime he's done nothing but blow all Iraq's money on vanity projects and weapons isn't true. Before the sanctions etc Iraq could afford its military spending etc and also keep its people as the most comfortable in the middle east. Two of the heads of the oil for food programme resigned in protest at how the sanctions regime was being run, which suggests that Iraqi misgovernment is not the main cause of Iraqi poverty at the moment. After the war, there is no way the Iraqi oil reserves will be used to benefit the people of Iraq at all, which it did, to at least a much greater extent than in any of the other oil producing nations, throughout the 70s and 80s; the money will flow out to western corporations. I think that's a shame.

02-18-2003, 10:15 AM
I certainly don't think the Iraqi oil money will just benefit Western corporations.

Right now the Iraqi oil industry is in a sad state and desperately needs investment and reconstruction.

Greater oil revenues wil accrue to Iraq, as well as jobs being created for Iraqis.

nicky g
02-18-2003, 10:32 AM
If that's the case why are the vast majority of people of other oil producing nations so miserably poor? Look at Nigeria; the oil industry provides jobs but all the profits flow straight to Shell and co. The Iraqi oil industry needs reconstruction becasue we blew it up and then forbade them from selling it.

02-18-2003, 11:19 AM
The vast majority of major oil producing nations are poor largely for two reasons:

1) Their economies are not nearly diversified enough. An economy which relies primarily on the export of natural resources will be inferior to an economy which is well-rounded, especially if the well-rounded economy includes the technology sector

2) Archaic religious/political systems stifle free thought, free speech and innovation

nicky g
02-18-2003, 11:30 AM
Hmm. But the people of Iraq weren't poor in the 70s following the nationalisation of oil, as Blair effectiely pointed out.

02-18-2003, 12:32 PM
Their standard of living was better then than today, but how did it compare to others with more advanced, diversified economies? For example, Spain's GNP far exceeds that of Saudi Arabia--although mere natural wealth suggests that the opposite should be true.

I find it hard to believe, too, that Saddam's being in power and spending insane amounts of money on his military projects and attempted conquests didn't have a serious impact on the country's overall prosperity. Huge military spending creates a major drag on any economy.

nicky g
02-18-2003, 12:44 PM
"Huge military spending creates a major drag on any country". Of course it does. I'm not defending it. My point is that the Iraqi people were much better off ecnomically with a nationalised oil industry, and that that won't be allowed to be the case after the war, when Iraqi oilfileds will be turned over to foreign oil corporations. I'm not saying that nationalising oil solves everything and should be relied on 100%, or that Saddam administered it particularly wisely. Just that it's been shown that oil-exporting countries can massively increase their people's standard of living if they retain control over the industry, and that that doesn't happen in most pro-west oil exporters,and won't happen in Iraq post-war.

02-18-2003, 02:16 PM
If the proceeds from oil sales on the world oil markets are owned by the Iraqi people, why would it harm the Iraqi revenues? Also, if the West invests in the Iraqi oil industry (as France and Russia have already been doing, with more plans and contracts in the works) why should that be presumed to be to the detriment of the Iraqis? I would tend to think otherwise.

nicky g
02-18-2003, 02:35 PM
Oh i don't know. I'm confused. There's surely a difference between a nationalised oil industry and one largely controlled by foreign companies. But I don't know enough about how the oil industry works to take this further. All I'll say is that under the Iraqi nationalised scheme the people clearly benefited, whereas in Saudi, Nigeria etc they barely do at all - the standard of living is far below what it could be if oil profits were directly reinvested. Surely if the profits are going directly to the country rather than foreign companies the country is better off?

I'm not around tomorrow (was away yesterday too). When's our Latin American thing kicking off? I've been reading up /forums/images/icons/wink.gif

02-18-2003, 09:12 PM
i heard on the radio before nationalization of oil in iraq the iraqi regime or people or whatever got like 3.5% of the profits or something like that.

02-18-2003, 10:32 PM
I haven't been reading up yet so it will take me a little bit longer to get up to speed or at least to bookmark some decent sources.

Chris Alger
02-19-2003, 04:14 AM
Actually I think the organizers of the demonstration blew it. If NYC is like a fortress since 9/11, their original path has been like that for some time.

I lived on 44th street between 1st and 2d avenues, a stone's throw from the UN and the UN Plaza hotel. Our neighborhood often resembled a secret servicemen's convention -- black broncos, suits with earphones running along side, unmakred sedans with flashing lights, mirrors for looking under vehicles, cops everywhere. The US Mission around the corner has something that looks like a concrete tank trap in front of it. During the Gulf War I once had to show ID just to go home from work, home being next door to the Kuwait Mission to the UN. Not the best locale to put 500,000 peole yelling about imperialism.

The organizers didn't submit an application until a few weeks before the march. The police originally offered 3rd avenue a few blocks over (the Gulf War march was on 2d), but negotiations bogged down and the cops finally drew the line at no march at all. If there had been a timely application for a march somewhere not quite in the face of the UN, my guess is that it could have been worked out.