John Simkin

Tim Gratz and the Iraq War

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As far as I can remember, Tim Gratz was the only member of this forum who thought that the invasion of Iraq War was a good idea. What does he think now? Here is a good summary of where we are at the moment.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2129453,00.html

Timothy Garton Ash (Thursday July 19, 2007)

The Guardian

Iraq is over. Iraq has not yet begun. Two conclusions from the American debate about Iraq, which dominates the media in the US to the exclusion of almost any other foreign story. Iraq is over insofar as the American public has decided that most US troops should leave. In a Gallup poll earlier this month, 71% favoured "removing all US troops from Iraq by April 1 of next year, except for a limited number that would be involved in counter-terrorism efforts". CNN's veteran political analyst Bill Schneider observes that in the latter years of the Vietnam war, the American public's basic attitude could be summarised as "either win or get out". He argues that it's the same with Iraq. Despite George Bush's increasingly desperate pleas, most Americans have now concluded that the US is not winning. So get out.

Since this is a democracy, their elected representatives are following where the people lead. Whatever the result of the latest round of Congressional position play - which included an all-night marathon on the floor of the Senate from Tuesday to Wednesday this week as Democrats attempted to outface a Republican filibuster - no one in Washington doubts that this is the way the wind blows. Publicly, there's still a sharp split along party lines, but leading Republicans are already breaking ranks to float their own phased troop reduction plans, together with proposals for partitioning Iraq between Sunni, Shia and Kurds.

Bush says he's determined to give the commanding general in Iraq, David Petraeus, exactly the troop levels he asks for when he reports back this September, and the White House may hold the line for now against a Democrat-controlled Congress. Leading Republican contenders for the presidency are still talking tough. However, the most outspoken protagonist of hanging in there to win in Iraq, John McCain, has seen his campaign nosedive.

Even if the next president is a hardline Republican, all the current Washington betting will be confounded if he does not, at the very least, rapidly reduce the number of US troops in Iraq. After all, that's what the American people plainly say they want - and so, incidentally, did 72% of American troops serving in Iraq, according to a Zogby survey conducted early last year. In fact, the boys themselves said they wanted to come home in the course of 2006.

The American people's verdict is remarkably sharp on other aspects of the Iraq debacle. Asked who they blamed most for the present situation in Iraq, 40% of those polled for Newsweek said the White House, and another 13% said Congress. In a poll for CNN, 54% said the US's action in Iraq was not morally justified. In one conducted for CBS, 51% endorsed the assessment - shared by most of the experts - that American involvement in Iraq is creating more terrorists hostile to the US rather than reducing their number. If once Americans were blind, they now can see. For all its plenitude of faith, this is a reality-based nation.

So Iraq is over. But Iraq has not yet begun. Not yet begun in terms of the consequences for Iraq itself, the Middle East, the US's own foreign policy and its reputation in the world. The most probable consequence of rapid US withdrawal from Iraq in its present condition is a further bloodbath, with even larger refugee flows and the effective dismemberment of the country. Already some 2 million Iraqis have fled across the borders and more than 2 million are internally displaced. Now a pained and painstaking study from the Brookings Institution argues that what its authors call "soft partition", involving the peaceful, voluntary transfer of an estimated 2 to 5 million Iraqis into distinct Kurdish, Sunni and Shia regions, under close US military supervision, would be the lesser evil. The lesser evil, that is, assuming that all goes according to plan and that the American public is prepared to allow the troops to stay in sufficient numbers to accomplish that thankless job - two implausible assumptions. A greater evil is more likely.

In an article for the web magazine Open Democracy, the Middle East specialist Fred Halliday spells out some regional consequences. Beside the effective destruction of the Iraqi state, these include the revitalising of militant Islamism and enhancement of the international appeal of the al-Qaida brand; the eruption for the first time in modern history of internecine war between Sunni and Shia - "a trend that reverberates in other states of mixed confessional composition"; the alienation of most sectors of Turkish politics from the west, and the stimulation of authoritarian nationalism there; the strengthening of a nuclear-hungry Iran; and a new regional rivalry, pitting the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies, including Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas, against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

For the US itself, the world is now, as a result of the Iraq war, a more dangerous and hostile place. At the end of 2002, what is sometimes tagged al-Qaida Central in Afghanistan had been virtually destroyed and there was no al-Qaida in Iraq. In 2007, there is an al-Qaida in Iraq; parts of the old al-Qaida are creeping back into Afghanistan; and there are al-Qaida emulator groupuscules spawning elsewhere, notably in Europe. Osama bin Laden's plan was to get the US to overreact and over-reach itself. With the invasion of Iraq, President Bush fell slap-bang into that trap. The US government's own latest national intelligence estimate, released earlier this week, suggests that al-Qaida in Iraq is now among the most significant threats to the security of the American homeland.

Americans have probably not yet fully woken up to the appalling fact that, after a long period in which the first motto of their military was "no more Vietnams", they face another Vietnam. There are many important differences, of course, but the basic result is similar. The mightiest military in the world fails to achieve its strategic goals and is, in the end, politically defeated by an economically and technologically inferior adversary.

Even if there are no scenes of helicopters evacuating Americans from a flat roof of the US embassy in Baghdad, there will surely be totemic photographic images of national humiliation as the US struggles to extract its troops and all the heavy equipment it has poured into the country, perhaps this time an image snapped on a mobile phone and posted on the internet. Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo have done terrible damage to America's reputation for being humane; this defeat will convince more people around the world that it is not even all that powerful. And Bin Laden, still alive, will claim another victory over the death-fearing weaklings of the west.

In history, the most important consequences are often the unintended ones. We do not yet know the longer term unintended consequences of Iraq. Maybe there is a silver lining hidden somewhere in this cloud. But so far as the human eye can see, the likely consequences of Iraq range from the bad to the catastrophic. Looking back over a quarter-century of writing about international affairs, I can not recall a more comprehensive and avoidable man-made disaster.

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As far as I can remember, Tim Gratz was the only member of this forum who thought that the invasion of Iraq War was a good idea. What does he think now? Here is a good summary of where we are at the moment.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,2129453,00.html

Timothy Garton Ash (Thursday July 19, 2007)

The Guardian

A very good article John, it elucidates very well the sentiments of many people, myself included (to a large degree). It also identifies the elephant in the room, the swinging of the pendulum in the other direction, and its' unintended consequences.

Edited by Peter McKenna

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yeah, yeah, yeah....

America BAD.

Islamofascism GOOD.

or was it...

America BAD.

International Communism GOOD.

errr....wait....

America BAD.

Hitlerites and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere gang GOOD.

while I don't agree with the Cowherder from Crawford's policies, and don't think we need an Imperial Dynasty that shot their way into power, the America bashing on this forum is amusing....

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yeah, yeah, yeah....

America BAD.

Islamofascism GOOD.

or was it...

America BAD.

International Communism GOOD.

errr....wait....

America BAD.

Hitlerites and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere gang GOOD.

while I don't agree with the Cowherder from Crawford's policies, and don't think we need an Imperial Dynasty that shot their way into power, the America bashing on this forum is amusing....

Sorry, but I have two sons, nineteen and sixteen years old. I fail to see how my opinion, that I wouldn't want to see my, nor anyone else's sons KIA in (the war in?) Iraq, for a stabilzing presence over the 'Arc of Crisis', or for the price of oil is America Bashing.

I love my country, and feel our constitution (and what it stands for) to be one of the greatest pieces of human achievement in all of history. To excercise our first amendment right of free speech and to voice an opinion on such matters is the polar opposite of bashing, but rather it is practicing citizenship (although I would say it is but a meager part of it).

Maybe I misundertood your post, in which case I apologize.

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yeah, yeah, yeah....

America BAD.

Islamofascism GOOD.

or was it...

America BAD.

International Communism GOOD.

errr....wait....

America BAD.

Hitlerites and the Greater East Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere gang GOOD.

while I don't agree with the Cowherder from Crawford's policies, and don't think we need an Imperial Dynasty that shot their way into power, the America bashing on this forum is amusing....

Why don't you engage intellectually with the issues being raised. This has nothing to do with "American Bashing". George Bush and his administration are just a small group of Americans. Recent polls shows that he is in a minority in his views on Iraq. Anyway, I hold Tony Blair just as responsible for the mess in Iraq as George Bush.

To me this is a key issue. Like in Vietnam, is it morally acceptable to urge the fighting of wars when it results in the deaths of thousands of young people? This becomes even more of a moral issue when one considers the motives behind the war. The official line is that this is part of a war on terror and is connected in some way with 9/11. Large numbers of people, including many members of this forum, pointed out that this action would actually increase terrorism and increase the threat to the security of the people living in the Western World. This has proved to be the case.

For example, this is what Timothy Garton Ash, one of the UK’s leading foreign policy experts had to say about the situation in Iraq:

“Beside the effective destruction of the Iraqi state, these include the revitalising of militant Islamism and enhancement of the international appeal of the al-Qaida brand; the eruption for the first time in modern history of internecine war between Sunni and Shia - "a trend that reverberates in other states of mixed confessional composition"; the alienation of most sectors of Turkish politics from the west, and the stimulation of authoritarian nationalism there; the strengthening of a nuclear-hungry Iran; and a new regional rivalry, pitting the Islamic Republic of Iran and its allies, including Syria, Hizbullah and Hamas, against Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan.

For the US itself, the world is now, as a result of the Iraq war, a more dangerous and hostile place. At the end of 2002, what is sometimes tagged al-Qaida Central in Afghanistan had been virtually destroyed and there was no al-Qaida in Iraq. In 2007, there is an al-Qaida in Iraq; parts of the old al-Qaida are creeping back into Afghanistan; and there are al-Qaida emulator groupuscules spawning elsewhere, notably in Europe. Osama bin Laden's plan was to get the US to overreact and over-reach itself. With the invasion of Iraq, President Bush fell slap-bang into that trap. The US government's own latest national intelligence estimate, released earlier this week, suggests that al-Qaida in Iraq is now among the most significant threats to the security of the American homeland.”

One possible answer to this is that Bush and Blair have little understanding of the politics of the region and made an honest mistake. This seems to me unlikely. For example, President Clinton came under pressure from the far-right to invade Iraq when he was in power. He commissioned a report from the CIA about the possible consequences of an invasion of Iraq. The report suggested that the likely consequences would be those identified by Timothy Garton Ash. Understandably, Clinton decided not to order an invasion. Bush and Blair also sought advice before ordering the invasion. However, we now know that they “cherry picked” the evidence in order to justify the invasion. Most notably, this was the claim that Iraq posed a threat to the Western World because it possessed WMD. Something of course that was untrue.

Whatever way you look at it, Bush and Blair seemed determined to invade Iraq. Why? There are several possibilities. (1) Oil; (2) Bush and Blair were acting in the perceived interests of Israel; (3) They were making decisions based on the economic interests of the arms manufacturers. If one looks at the financial backers of these two men, it is probably a combination of all three. It is of course no coincidence that the only beneficiaries of the Vietnam War were companies who were financial backers of Lyndon Johnson: General Dynamics, Bell Corporation and Brown & Root (Halliburton).

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Its not possible to understand Bush's motivations without an understanding of his particular psychology.

The main driving force behind his personality characteristics is what AA refer to as "The dry alcoholic" Whilst the individual is physically "dry" his thinking is still mastered by his addiction. Bush's behaviour betrays all the personality ticks of the bullying, controlling drunk, grandiosity, rigidity, intolerance of ambiguity. The bottle has simply been replaced by other, in his case, more dangerous obsessions.

The Father, Son relationship is also problematic, George senior is everything shrub isn't, a war hero university sports star and educationaly successful, Junior fell short, well short of his Fathers accomplishments. Iraq offered the prodigal a unique oppertunity on two, conflicting fronts, firstly he could prove himself to Papa, and secondly beat him at his own game, ie get rid of Saddam(whilst of course appropriating all that oil)

The method of Bush's madness is clear, once you understand the uderlying psychology.

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match your passport against mine, Mr. Lemkin?

errrr....you may have more stamps, but I assure you mine works....and is welcomed.

I'll ask one question, then leave the field to the "experts" and the intellectuals.

Is it possible to loathe what I'll term the "NWO", for lack of any better description, and still be a strong supporter of Capitalism?

because I do, and I am....

even after reading most of Spartacus' well put together pages....great site, kudo's to you, Prof. Simkin.

I think it's possible to say that we can agree on the source of the disease....but perhaps not the best possible outcome of the cure.

that and I was feeling a little cranky that day.

oh, and one or two more things....

Mr. Lemkin, I'm well aware of the history of Nazi Germany, hidden or otherwise, thanks.....I recognised the style of speaking and gesticulating of some American leaders quite some time ago...decades, actually....it holds up to the old B&W newsreels quite nicely, doesn't it....or perhaps my "ilk" wouldn't notice?....I assure you my insomnia level has increased over the past 2 and one half decades.

and Mr.McKenna.....I certainly hope no one's children would be dragged off to war against their will....I sincerely extend that hope to any forum members....

ok....3 more things.....I am a moderator of an American Football team fan site.....believe it or not, we have a verrrry lively Religion and Politics sub-section.....name calling is definitely allowed....they call me "Tommy the Commie", mostly because of my hatred for Bush Co....I'm automatically labeled (libeled?) as a Hillaryista....

and that.....is scary.

especially to someone of my "ilk", as it were.

thanks for all the info and entertainment over the years....I'll continue to read here, for certain....try to remember if wasn't for the average American....this planet would very possibly be even more....screwed....than it already is....

cheers from sunny Florida.

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....try to remember if wasn't for the average American....this planet would very possibly be even more....screwed....than it already is....

… and for the average Russian, Chinese, Brit, Frenchman or woman, etc. Looks like we could do with a bit of George Orwell here:

"By "nationalism" I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled "good" or "bad." But secondly -- and this is much more important -- I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By "patriotism" I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."

(From Notes on Nationalism. The full essay is just as worth reading now as it was in May 1945 when it was written. There's a good, clean version of the text here: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/nation.../english/e_nat).

There are lots of very positive features of the United States, as I have to tell my students every time they start a US Culture and Society course. When the Social Democrats in Sweden embarked on their mission to fundamentally change the rigid, hierarchical - and essentially Prussian - Swedish society that had just lost a quarter of its population to emigration in a quarter of a century, it was the United States they took as their model. The United States, that is, that's embodied in the opening words of the US Constitution: "We hold these truths to be self-evident …"

However, if you think that that's all there is to say about the US, then you have to close your eyes to several important slices of reality. George Mikes wrote a really funny book about the French (Little Cabbages), which wasn't as successful as How to Be an Alien (his look at the British) in which he touched on the relationship between the French and the Americans. As close as I can remember, it goes like this: "For the French the Americans are like a benevolent, but heavily overweight, man who's standing on your corns. He professes his love and admiration for you, but you're just aware of his weight" (… and that was about a half century before 'cheese-eating surrender monkeys'!).

Talk to an Iranian about Mossadeq, or a Palestinian about their family home in Jaffa they're not allowed even to see, or a Latin American about the School of the Americas (whose lessons on torture were quickly spread around the world from Guatemala to Indonesia), or to Indonesians about the million people who were slaughtered by the pro-American incoming regime of Suharto, or the Cambodians whose families were being wiped out by the Pol Pot regime, which was, at the same time, being rigorously backed up by the Reagan Administration, and you'll get a different picture of the United States out in the world.

The Swedes admitted nearly 9,000 Iraqi refugees in 2006 … the United States admitted 63. Denmark is about to become part of the coalition of the unwilling and will withdraw its troops from Iraq soon. The evacuation flights for Iraqis who've worked with the Danes in any capacity at all, together with their families, have just finished leaving Basra. It's a bit telling, isn't it, that Denmark, quite rightly, sees that she has a responsibility for people who've helped the Danes … and that leaving them under the 'protection' of the US-backed Iraqi authorities is tantamount to a death sentence.

In other words, the US, seen from within the US, is the best, most just, most benevolent and most enlightened country in the world. About the only country I've visited or lived and worked in that *doesn't* say that about itself is Kuwait (so far). The US, seen from the outside, has its good aspects and its bad. One record Americans hold (for me, anyway) is in self-delusion (perhaps jointly with Italy!). One of the delusions is that the US is actually working for the good of people in other countries. Individual Americans might be doing that (as individual Russians, Chinese, Swedes, Brits, etc are), but it'd be hard to maintain the claim that the US, as a country, is.

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....try to remember if wasn't for the average American....this planet would very possibly be even more....screwed....than it already is....

… and for the average Russian, Chinese, Brit, Frenchman or woman, etc. Looks like we could do with a bit of George Orwell here:

"By "nationalism" I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled "good" or "bad." But secondly -- and this is much more important -- I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By "patriotism" I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."

(From Notes on Nationalism. The full essay is just as worth reading now as it was in May 1945 when it was written. There's a good, clean version of the text here: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/nation.../english/e_nat).

Great quote as usual from Orwell. The problem seems to be that the people you decide on taking part in wars, never have to fight them. It is all to easy for old men to send young men into battle. I do not know how people like Bush and Blair sleep at night.

Here is an old man's views on war.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6921217.stm

The last known surviving British soldier to have fought in the trenches of World War I has revisited the site where he fought 90 years ago.

Harry Patch, 109, from Somerset, made the trip to Belgium to recall his part in the Battle of Passchendaele which claimed 250,000 British casualties.

He also went to pay homage to the tens of thousands of German soldiers who lost their lives.

Tuesday marks the anniversary of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Mr Patch served with the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry and was called up for service while working as an 18-year-old apprentice plumber in Bath.

During the fighting Mr Patch was badly wounded and three of his best friends were killed when a shell exploded just yards from where he was standing.

He made the trip with historian Richard van Emden, who helped Mr Patch write down his memories.

Mr van Emden showed him the five miles they advanced over 99 days which claimed 3,000 British casualties every day.

Mr Patch was also shown a recently discovered panoramic photograph of the fields taken in 1917.

"Too many died. War isn't worth one life," said Mr Patch.

He said war was the "calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings".

Mr Patch laid a wreath at the site of the trench, which now forms part of a German war cemetery.

"The Germans suffered the same as we did," he said.

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....try to remember if wasn't for the average American....this planet would very possibly be even more....screwed....than it already is....

… and for the average Russian, Chinese, Brit, Frenchman or woman, etc. Looks like we could do with a bit of George Orwell here:

"By "nationalism" I mean first of all the habit of assuming that human beings can be classified like insects and that whole blocks of millions or tens of millions of people can be confidently labelled "good" or "bad." But secondly -- and this is much more important -- I mean the habit of identifying oneself with a single nation or other unit, placing it beyond good and evil and recognizing no other duty than that of advancing its interests. Nationalism is not to be confused with patriotism. Both words are normally used in so vague a way that any definition is liable to be challenged, but one must draw a distinction between them, since two different and even opposing ideas are involved. By "patriotism" I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality."

(From Notes on Nationalism. The full essay is just as worth reading now as it was in May 1945 when it was written. There's a good, clean version of the text here: http://www.orwell.ru/library/essays/nation.../english/e_nat).

Great quote as usual from Orwell. The problem seems to be that the people you decide on taking part in wars, never have to fight them. It is all to easy for old men to send young men into battle. I do not know how people like Bush and Blair sleep at night.

Here is an old man's views on war.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/6921217.stm

The last known surviving British soldier to have fought in the trenches of World War I has revisited the site where he fought 90 years ago.

Harry Patch, 109, from Somerset, made the trip to Belgium to recall his part in the Battle of Passchendaele which claimed 250,000 British casualties.

He also went to pay homage to the tens of thousands of German soldiers who lost their lives.

Tuesday marks the anniversary of the start of the Battle of Passchendaele.

Mr Patch served with the Duke of Cornwall's light infantry and was called up for service while working as an 18-year-old apprentice plumber in Bath.

During the fighting Mr Patch was badly wounded and three of his best friends were killed when a shell exploded just yards from where he was standing.

He made the trip with historian Richard van Emden, who helped Mr Patch write down his memories.

Mr van Emden showed him the five miles they advanced over 99 days which claimed 3,000 British casualties every day.

Mr Patch was also shown a recently discovered panoramic photograph of the fields taken in 1917.

"Too many died. War isn't worth one life," said Mr Patch.

He said war was the "calculated and condoned slaughter of human beings".

Mr Patch laid a wreath at the site of the trench, which now forms part of a German war cemetery.

"The Germans suffered the same as we did," he said.

"You John Simkin are now Bush and Blair and its 9/12. You have the luxury of hindsight.

What do YOU do as leaders of both the UK and the USA in the days, weeks and months after the 9/11 attacks?"

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I'm not quite sure what your point is, Craig, but let me have a go.

I was on Öland (the long, thin island off the southern coast of Sweden) at a meeting on 9/11, and the first reaction of all of us when we saw the TV footage was that this was an accident. Then we saw the second plane … but it still looked like an accident!

The immediate reaction should have concentrated on the actual events, tragic though they were. A major landmark in New York was destroyed (at the second attempt, after the first one in 1993), and just over 3,000 people were killed. A mature world leader would have swallowed hard, bitten the bullet and, strangely enough, thanked his lucky stars that the butcher's bill wasn't greater.

When the IRA were bombing England in the 1970s it was fate alone which prevented similar losses - not any intention on the part of the people that planned those bombings. As an IRA leader said, after having attempted to assassinate the Prime Minister with the Brighton bombs, "Mrs Thatcher has to be lucky every time, but we only have to be lucky once".

If we'd had leaders in both countries at the time who *didn't* have a hidden agenda, then the reaction should have been calm and considered. Some heads needed to roll in the respective intelligence services, and a serious investigation needed to be carried out into *why* the clues had been missed and the messages hadn't got through. Unfortunately, both in the 1970s and after 9/11 that wasn't the case. The leaders involved *did* have a hidden agenda, and they proceeded to take the courses of action they had originally intended to take - the actual acts of terrorism were just an excuse.

The net result is a situation where the terrorists won. They managed to provoke the disproportionate response they were after. The British have just about managed to extricate themselves from the mess in Ireland, although the anti-democratic and draconian laws which were passed in the 1970s (by a government which was *nominally* liberal) are still on the statute books.

The US stirred up a much bigger and more dangerous hornets' nest, though, by attacking Iraq, when their real enemy was in Afghanistan. Even at the time, in the 1970s, the British government knew that they'd have to come to some sort of accord with the IRA sooner or later. The US are still in denial, though, in my opinion, so reckon on centuries before the Iraq mess is cleared up … and those will be centuries when the mere mention of the "shining city on the hill" will just evoke cynical laughter outside US territorial waters.

The Crusaders have been gone from the Holy Land since Acre fell in 1291, but the memory is still very fresh, so reckon on around 8 more centuries before the US is let off the hook for the imbecilities it's perpetrated in the last 7 years.

Edited by David Richardson

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Its not possible to understand Bush's motivations without an understanding of his particular psychology.

The main driving force behind his personality characteristics is what AA refer to as "The dry alcoholic" Whilst the individual is physically "dry" his thinking is still mastered by his addiction. Bush's behaviour betrays all the personality ticks of the bullying, controlling drunk, grandiosity, rigidity, intolerance of ambiguity. The bottle has simply been replaced by other, in his case, more dangerous obsessions.

The Father, Son relationship is also problematic, George senior is everything shrub isn't, a war hero university sports star and educationaly successful, Junior fell short, well short of his Fathers accomplishments. Iraq offered the prodigal a unique oppertunity on two, conflicting fronts, firstly he could prove himself to Papa, and secondly beat him at his own game, ie get rid of Saddam(whilst of course appropriating all that oil)

The method of Bush's madness is clear, once you understand the uderlying psychology.

Wow steve ... You really DO believe you're a psychologist , don't you ? ... Did all of this profound wisdom come from taking psych 101 classes , or for being the janitor of a psych ward for over 20 years ?? ... LOL .. ( that's a joke by the way )

But why beat around the bush ( pun intended ) by talking all of this psychological mumbo jumbo about him being an alcoholic and having an inferiority complex because his daddy is everything he isn't ? .... Daddy's IQ has been clocked almost as low as Juniors is ( both well below 100 ) , so I doubt that the son's problem has much to do with daddy being the better man ... They both were incompetent as presidents ... So why not just call Junior what he really is ? ... A sociopathic fascist .

Edited by Duane Daman

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Actually, I agree with the America Bashing comment. It's pretty rare that you find a comment about North Korea doing this, or China doing that, or Libya doing that, etc. It is most often CIA / FBI / US. Granted, what people raise may very well be true in most if not all cases - but by the same token, we do have to recognise that other nations in the world do things that we would also not agree with.

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