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The War Discussion - Page 9

post #241 of 271
Jeanie G., how right you are! I had a really horrible experience today. One of my students, a really sweet 17-year-old, is Lebanese, and told me a few weeks ago that she had Lebanese relatives in Baghdad. She wasn't in school yesterday, but came in today to take a test. After the test, she totally broke down and cried, in part because people were talking about the fall of Baghdad (my fault - I asked what their reaction was, not knowing that she had a tragedy in the family). Tuesday evening her family got word that her mother's sister, brother-in-law, and five nieces and nephews had been killed when their home was hit by a bomb. R.'s little five-year-old cousin was the only one to survive. Her mother had a nervous breakdown and is in the hospital. These people are/were Palestinian refugees who left Lebanon because of the civil war, and went wherever they could in order to try to ensure their kids a safer life. R.'s family probably won't be able to take the little boy in, provided that he makes it, because of Germany's strict immigration laws. Another student, whose family is from Bosnia, has been trying to bring her orphaned cousins to Germany for two years. Their father was killed in the war there, and their mother, her father's only sister, died of an embolism two years ago. The German authorities say they should be adopted by Bosniacs. What a horrible world we live in!
post #242 of 271
That poor girl! I will keep her family in my prayers.
post #243 of 271
I am a patriot, but as I said before this war started, war is not glory; war is hell, to quote Patton. I hope those who wanted to see Baghdad flattened read your post, jcat. We are sending our children, and they are mostly only boys and girls, not men and women, to kill and be killed. Hussein is a monster, no doubt, but our CHILDREN are dying and innocent civilians are dying. We have changed stories. That concerns me. We have struck the first blow; that is not an American tradition. I'm sure our intent is good, but let's tell it like it is.

And in the future, let's use the UN for what it was intended, to solve world problems. We were among the strongest supporters. They asked for 18 more days, I believe, and we said no. So, must the UN side with us to be right? I don't know the answer to that. We would have to have been able to read Hussein's mind to know if a first strike on his part was imminent. We didn't have enough evidence to convince the rest of the world. The UN is not perfect, but it is our best chance for peace in this world.

I thank God we have not lost more of our troops, but every life lost lessens me. God bless the innocents on both sides. I certainly hope, now that we have changed this pre-emptive strike to a liberation of the Iraqi people, that we follow through- with as little loss of life as possible. It took years to stabilize Europe. It will cost many more lives, much money, and many years to stabilize Iraq. God help us all, and give a special blessing to your student and her family, jcat.
post #244 of 271
Thank you - I'll let her know that others are thinking of her and her family's pain, and praying for them. That's so right about the children - we're forcing 18 and 19-year-olds to carry a very heavy burden, and also teaching them to ignore the opinion of the international community.
post #245 of 271

You keep saying that we changed our minds in the middle of the war. You obviously did not see President Bush on television before the war began when he outlined what our objectives were. One of the top priorities was the liberation of Iraq. Hence the "Operation: Iraqie Freedom".
post #246 of 271
My television has been on MSNBC almost non-stop since Colin Powell began speaking to the UN. I am not uninformed. His argument was that we that Hussein was hiding nuclear weapons and biological weapons which he intended to use. He did not suggest the liberation of the Iraqi people in any of the broadcasts I watched. I heard his evidence of these weapons. It's possible he was right, but the U. N. wanted an extra 18 days, I believe, and we did not accept that proposal. Yet, we are members of this organization. When Mr. Bush called the war Operation Iraqi Freedom, I was shocked.

There are cruel dictators all over the world. I would like to see all oppressed people freed from dictatorships, but it's not feasible for us to do this unilaterally. Nevertheless, I am happy that the freedom of the Iraqis is a byproduct of this pre-emptive strike, which is what this war was supposed to be. We couldn't prove the existence of the weapons or Hussein's intent to the satisfaction of the organization we strongly support. Our intent is good, I believe, but we HAVE changed our tune. If we were mistaken, we can now say the liberation of Iraq was our primary purpose. Did you see Colin Powell's address to the U.N.?
post #247 of 271
These are the lead paragraphs of Colin Powell's address to the U. N. in the Washington Post:

By Colum Lynch
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, February 5, 2003; 3:30 PM

UNITED NATIONS, Feb. 5--U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Powell presented the U.N. Security Council with the United States most detailed case to date of Iraq's efforts to secretly develop chemical, biological and nuclear weapons and its attempts to thwart U.N. inspectors' disarmament of Iraq.

Drawing on recently declassified satellite imagery and intercepted radio and telephone conversations between Iraqi officials seeking to hide nerve agents and other banned weapons, Powell told the packed chamber that Iraq has squandered its last opportunity to disarm peacefully and that the council was approaching the day when it will have fulfill its obligation to take action against Iraq. Powell said that an "accumulation of facts and disturbing patterns of behavior" constitutes proof that Iraqi is in violation of its disarmament obligation.

"This is part of a policy of evasion and deception that goes back 12 years, a policy set at the highest levels for the Iraqi regime," Powell said. "My colleagues, we have an obligation to our citizens, we have an obligation to this body to see that our resolutions are complied with. We must not shrink from whatever is ahead of us."
Here is a link to the story: http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp...&notFound=true
post #248 of 271
Thread Starter 
Jeanie is right that we have changed our tune, and it changed when we decided to go in. When talking to the UN WMD were the only topic, nothing about freeing an oppressed people. The Freedom part came in when we announced we were taking Saddam down.

The UN may have wanted 18 more days, but the French made it quite clear that they would veto ANY military action for any reason. Their reasons are quite clear now. Some of the weapons stashes that were found are recent weapons from the French. France, Germany and Russia (the most opposed to any military action) are the countries who benefitted most from the oil-for-food program. Much of their oil comes from Iraq. We only get 2-3% from Iraq, that wasn't our motive. The UN voted unanimously that something must be done with Saddam Hussein and his weapons, then they couldn't decide what to do.

Got this breaking news from hubby: U.S. troops on Thursday said they may have found evidence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq -- what is possibly a stash of weapons-grade plutonium at an Iraqi nuclear facility and an air-conditioned truck that may be a mobile bioweapons lab.

Of course, this is unconfirmed right now, they need to test it all. It's pretty damning all the same.

And a quote to end my novel here.

"The only way for evil men to exist is for good men to do nothing."
post #249 of 271
Quote from Heidi's post:
. Some of the weapons stashes that were found are recent weapons from the French. France, Germany and Russia (the most opposed to any military action) are the countries who benefitted most from the oil-for-food program. Much of their oil comes from Iraq. We only get 2-3% from Iraq, that wasn't our motive. The UN voted unanimously that something must be done with Saddam Hussein and his weapons, then they couldn't decide what to do.

Isn't it sad that we cannot trust the word of our supposed friends in this world, and that the motives for their actions-and our own, at times, are less pure than we would like to believe? I remember how adamantly I argued with my father that our motives were exactly as represented, and white and pure as the driven snow! I am not disillusioned with my country, but I am not as naive as I used to be. (In fact, if Daddy was still alive, we'd still be fighting!) We, all of us, tend to cover our respective butts.
post #250 of 271
MSNBC posted a chart, the other night, detailing weapons sales, to Saddam 1973-2001, by country.

The top three were Russia/Soviet Union (57%), France and China. The US accounted for 1% of the total and that was during the years that we were backing Iraq against Iran.

The nuclear reactor, bombed by Israel was sold by France. WHY would the third-largest oil producer, in the world, need a nuclear "power" plant?
post #251 of 271
I have never denied that destroying weapons of mass destruction is one of our major objectives, but also was freeing the Iraqi citizens. And I quote from the speech President Bush made on Monday, March 17, 2003 before we went to war:

"Many Iraqis can hear me tonight in a translated radio broadcast, and I have a message for them: If we must begin a military campaign, it will be directed against the lawless men who rule your country and not against you. As our coalition takes away their power, we will deliver the food and medicine you need. We will tear down the apparatus of terror and we will help you to build a new Iraq that is prosperous and free.

In a free Iraq there will be no more wars of aggression against you neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms. The tyrant will soon by gone. The day of your liberation is near."
post #252 of 271
People in West Virginia are raising money, to bring "Mohammed", the Iraqi responsible for Jessica Lynch's rescue, to the US for a visit. Several veterans' organizations have raised quite a bit.

I think that it is a fine thing, that this man be recognized. He risked his life and that of his family, to do the right thing. He is one of the heroes, of this conflict.
post #253 of 271
Nora, you have proved my point. The liberation of Iraq was not presented to the U.N. "Iraqi Freedom," as presented by Presidant Bush, was announced one month after Colin Powell's presentation to the U. N. We have black and white documentation of that. It's an honorable goal, but certainly not the primary goal, as presented to the United Nations.
post #254 of 271
But we did not change our minds in the middle of the war. Our plans were all along to remove Saddam because of the threat he was to other countries (including our own) and that he was a tyrant who treated his own people horribly. As President Bush further stated on March 17th:

"Unlike Saddam Hussein, we believe the Iraqi people are deserving and capable of human liberty, and when the dictator has departed, they can set an example to all the Middle East of a vital and peaceful and self-governing nation.

The United States with other countries will work to advance liberty and peace in that region. Our goal will not be achieved overnight, but it can come in time. The power and appeal of human liberty is felt in every life and every land, and the greatest power of freedom is to overcome hatred and violence, and turn the creative gifts of men and women to the pursuits of peace. That is the future we choose."
post #255 of 271
I'm pleased that the Iraqis have been liberated, but deplore the cost of lives on all sides. I'm sorry if I offend people, but the only member of the current administration I have any confidence in is Powell, whom I consider the most intelligent member of our current regime. My use of that word is deliberate. I do not consider Bush the legitimate president. He does not have any influence over me, as I live overseas, but he obviously has control over my family and friends in the U.S.. I have carefully watched every president since Kennedy (I was born in 1957, and come from a very political, news-addicted and Marine-oriented family). What I'm afraid of is that Powell will decide that he cannot work with the administration. Then all the hawks, a.k.a Cold Warriors and Born-Again-Christians, will have gained control. The rest of the world already sees the U.S. as Bronsen-type cowboys - how can people ignore that? No government is perfect, but it would really be helpful if people forgot propaganda and concentrated on human rights. Fundamentalism - whether religious, political, nutritional or social - is obviously wrong, and conducive to conflicts. The U.S. guarantees freedom of speech - so I*m ashamed when I see compatriots call for boycotts of VIPs who don't think the current administration is setting a good example called traitors. BE CRITICAL and THINK FOR YOURSELVES!
post #256 of 271
Nora, I think you overlooked this part of my post: When Mr. Bush called the war Operation Iraqi Freedom, I was shocked.
post #257 of 271
Just a reminder to keep the discussion friendly and respectful.
post #258 of 271
Sorry. That reminder was necessary. And what I said about Born Again Christians was out of line. What I should have said is that I don't think it is wise for our politicians to constantly invoke God when we're invading a Moslem country - too many people in Islamic countries view this war as a Crusade, and that only reinforces their belief. Plus, isn't it impertinent, if not blasphemous, to pretend you know what God supports?
post #259 of 271
On another note: the 3rd Infantry Division held a very moving memorial service, this morning for their dead and David Bloom. They had come to regard him as one of their own and memorialized him as such.
post #260 of 271
Muslims didn't seem to have any problems invoking Allah when attacking Americans.
post #261 of 271
In every war, BOTH sides claim that God/Jehovah/Allah/Yahweh is on their side. As far as I know, noone has had a face-to-face talk with Him/Her, in a VERY long time.
post #262 of 271
A moving memorial service doesn't make up for the fact that these people are gone. I am sick to death of politicians on all sides who view their citizens as dispensable chess figures. The hurt/loss never entirely goes away. I have first-hand experience. I really resent politicians who put other people's kids in the line of fire, knowing that their own families aren't going to pay the "toll" in blood. My greatest wish is that all the so-called leaders are haunted by the souls of those they have sacrificed in the name of morals, religion, patriotism, the "greater good", political ideologies. etc., etc., etc.. I support our armed forces, but not the politicians who let them die in the name of power politics. This is the main reason I have little respect for politicians. All of us were shocked by 9/11 - but we have lost sight of who was responsible. Saddam Hussein is a despicable person, who deserves the very worst. He is not Osama bin Laden. The Iraqis have paid the price for 9/11, because they are Moslem and a convenient target, and because W. is doing his best to prove himself to his father. What harm have these people done us? Is it right to categorize all Moslems as potential enemies? I find it really sad that we let our emotions hold sway over our ability to reason.
post #263 of 271
The price of war is so high. We should know that war is the only way to solve a problem. IMO, war usually is the problem. A notable exception was WWII. There aren't many!

The terrorists who claim to be killing for the sake of Allah are not following the teachings of Islam. They are radicals. Our problem is that we are trying to kill an idea. There are people all over the world with this idea. It's not possible to fight them in any one country. This is not to say that Hussein's regime was/is not cruel.
post #264 of 271
David Bloom, war correspondant, died of natural causes. The brave soldiers who died in battle enlisted in their respective armed services with the knowledge that they might be called upon to bear arms against any foe that their country considered to be a dangerous agressor. There was no draft. A soldier knows the risks when he/she signs on. War corresponants also know the risks. No one dragged them kicking and screaming into battle. The only true "innocents" were the Iraqi citizens who were caught in the crosshairs. These same people were the innocent victims of Saddams regime. It has been reported that nearly every Iraqi citizen knows someone who "disappeared" under Saddams' reign. Who knows how many of them would have been killed in the future by Saddams henchmen? Hopefully, when this war is over, the killing and torture of innocents will cease. That is my prayer and that is what I think we are fighting for.
post #265 of 271
Wasn't it WWI that was called "the war to end all wars"? How many wars have there been in the meantime? I don't have much faith in human nature anymore. It's true that we no longer have the draft, but a great many people join the armed forces for economic reasons, hoping to take advantage of educational or training opportunities, and really hoping that they'll never be called upon to kill other people. Some are following the family tradition, and others want to see the world. Sure - once they've joined, it's their duty to fight, but I still feel sorry for kids who find themselves being shot at and having to kill others.
post #266 of 271
Hooray - ALL 7 POWs rescued and in good condition!!!
post #267 of 271
I was so excited I lost my original posting on this! Hooo Raay!!!!!
post #268 of 271
Thank the Lord! I was sure the POWs were lost. Miracles do happen.

As far as WWII goes.....I have often wondered if that war would have been as fierce, or even occurred at all, had someone taken Hitler out earlier(as we are now taking Saddam out). Opinions?

And, I am all for pacifism Jcat. The problem with it is the same as the problem with Communism....not everyone will play by the rules. Both ideologies are perfect on paper but you throw in that unpredictable human factor and they go right down the tubes. How long would Saddam's cruel regime survived if we had sat back and wagged our collective fingers at him? How many more people would have suffered and died? Sometimes force is what is needed to bring about lasting peace.

Ask a mother who does not believe in spanking her child if she would swat his behind if it was the only way she could be sure that he would stay out of traffic. Sometimes we must compromise our basic principles to achieve the desired outcome in a more timely manner for the good of all.
post #269 of 271
I am a pacifist at heart. I see war as the epitome of evil. However, I do believe we had no choice but to stop Hitler. In fact, our brave Allies fought alone for years while Roosevelt tried in vain to convince Congress and the American people that we should help. The difference between Hitler and Hussein is that Hitler had taken over Poland, he had arrested and murdered the Jews, he had bombed England. These were facts, not speculation. Churchill had warned the world about Hitler. Noone had listened. We can only wonder "what if?"

My concerns now are that it is the U.S. who struck the first blow. We went to the U.N. with the argument that Hussein had weapons of mass destruction and intended to use them. We'll never know if he intended to take over other nations or use weapons of mass destruction, but history will always remember that the United States did. Perhaps we will be remembered for taking out a monster amd helping to establish a democratic Iraq, or perhaps we will be remembered as the super power that ignored the opinions of the United Nations, attacked Iraq, and called it liberation. We'll never know if we were right. I love my country and what I have always considered its idealism. Our actions in the last 35 years, however, have been questionable. I pray that we are doing the right thing. I am far from certain, however. The question is not "Is God on our side?" but "Are we on the Lord's side?"
post #270 of 271
I'm not hearing any outrage, against Fidel Castro's execution of the three men who tried to escape Cuba or this week's roundup and imprisonment of dissidents. Where is the Hollywood crowd, now?

They trumpet their right to fredom of speech but remain remarkably silent about regimes that, as a matter of policy, punish their citizens for speaking out.
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