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John Simkin

Removing Dictators From Power

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There is an old saying, "The truth is always concrete." The abstract idea of "removing dictators from power." is no reason for going to war. If it were the UK would be at war with Musharaff as well as the Taliban, with Kuwait, Saudi and Iran as well as Iraq.

As it is when the people of Kurdistan were oppressed by Saddam he had the aid and assistance of the US and the UK providing him with the arms and the poison gas to carry out his will. The US and the UK cheerfully turn a blind eye to repression against the Kurds in Turkey. Whatever else it is clearly the case that they are not motivated by a desire to "remove dictators."

It may not be a reason but it makes a good pretext.

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There is an old saying, "The truth is always concrete." The abstract idea of "removing dictators from power." is no reason for going to war. If it were the UK would be at war with Musharaff as well as the Taliban, with Kuwait, Saudi and Iran as well as Iraq.

As it is when the people of Kurdistan were oppressed by Saddam he had the aid and assistance of the US and the UK providing him with the arms and the poison gas to carry out his will. The US and the UK cheerfully turn a blind eye to repression against the Kurds in Turkey. Whatever else it is clearly the case that they are not motivated by a desire to "remove dictators."

It may not be a reason but it makes a good pretext.

Whoever claimed that "truth is always concrete" should revue the distinction between truth and fact.

Truth is what we perceive!

IE: The world is flat! All persons accept and state that the world is flat, and all known elements of fact indicate that the world is flat.

Therefore, were one to stand on the witness stand and swear to tell the "truth" , then he would state as truth that the world is flat.

Fact is what actually exists without any perceived ideas applied to it.

The world is actually oval!-----Fact!---------That the state of the individual has not provided him with the knowledge to recognize this, neither negates the fact that the world is oval, nor does it negate that to the individual, the "truth" that the world is flat.

No one stands up and swears to tell: "The facts and nothing but the facts".

The person tells the "truth" as they perceive it to be, which may or may not be fact.

US policy stands that we will not, under normal circumstances, become involved in the removal from power, of a foreign head of state unless it becomes necessary for economic and political world stability.

Fidel Castro, & Cuba, offered no threat until such time as introduction of the Soviet Missiles occurred.

After removal of the missiles, then the Government of Cuba, in whatever form, was of no threat to US economic interests or world stability.

Were we, as a nation, to decide to remove each and every objectional world leader, then we would have our hands full right hear at home with many of our own democratically elected (or appointed)(Gerald Ford)

Presidents.

In fact, a considerable amount of time and taxpayer dollars which could have gone to better usage, were expended in getting rid of Richard Nixon, and an attempt to remove Bill Clinton.

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There is an old saying, "The truth is always concrete." The abstract idea of "removing dictators from power." is no reason for going to war. If it were the UK would be at war with Musharaff as well as the Taliban, with Kuwait, Saudi and Iran as well as Iraq.

As it is when the people of Kurdistan were oppressed by Saddam he had the aid and assistance of the US and the UK providing him with the arms and the poison gas to carry out his will. The US and the UK cheerfully turn a blind eye to repression against the Kurds in Turkey. Whatever else it is clearly the case that they are not motivated by a desire to "remove dictators."

It may not be a reason but it makes a good pretext.

Whoever claimed that "truth is always concrete" should revue the distinction between truth and fact.

Truth is what we perceive!

IE: The world is flat! All persons accept and state that the world is flat, and all known elements of fact indicate that the world is flat.

Therefore, were one to stand on the witness stand and swear to tell the "truth" , then he would state as truth that the world is flat.

Fact is what actually exists without any perceived ideas applied to it.

The world is actually oval!-----Fact!---------That the state of the individual has not provided him with the knowledge to recognize this, neither negates the fact that the world is oval, nor does it negate that to the individual, the "truth" that the world is flat.

No one stands up and swears to tell: "The facts and nothing but the facts".

The person tells the "truth" as they perceive it to be, which may or may not be fact.

US policy stands that we will not, under normal circumstances, become involved in the removal from power, of a foreign head of state unless it becomes necessary for economic and political world stability.

Fidel Castro, & Cuba, offered no threat until such time as introduction of the Soviet Missiles occurred.

After removal of the missiles, then the Government of Cuba, in whatever form, was of no threat to US economic interests or world stability.

Were we, as a nation, to decide to remove each and every objectional world leader, then we would have our hands full right hear at home with many of our own democratically elected (or appointed)(Gerald Ford)

Presidents.

In fact, a considerable amount of time and taxpayer dollars which could have gone to better usage, were expended in getting rid of Richard Nixon, and an attempt to remove Bill Clinton.

I wish the neo-con's in Washington could be addressed on the very points that are being eloquently addressed on this thread, in addition to the points raised concerning the UK by Derek McMillan. I have other deep reservations about the "Bush Doctrine" concerning the concept of "pre-emption." As Thomas Purvis mentioned, the US policy of removing a head of state "unless it becomes necessary for economic and political world stability" as we so distinctly observed prior to the current situation in "Messopotamia," (mis-spelling intentional) the term "necesssary" I believe, should have been discussed and decide on, in conjunction with our Allies, at a minimum, especially in light of the fact that Colin Powell is now on record as having given information on the floor of the UN, that could (and are) be(ing) said to have been erroneous (if given the benefit of the doubt) or outright lies (which is not exactly playing devils advocate). Having said that, pre-emption has, I submit, opened a potential for a nightmarish scenario for the future. Case in point; It is the year 2012, China has for some time has continued spending a great portion of its GNP on increasing military and nuclear technologies to the point where it effectively has the same level of nuclear capability and technology as that of the US and pre-emptively "invades" Taiwan over a manufactured incident remniscent of German intrigues before it invaded Poland in 1939. Although world opinion strongly condemns the action no government issues any demands for a withdrawal, and Taiwan is effectively swallowed into the Chinese sphere. The Chinese reaction to the condemnations of the international community over the invasion, are met by their response that "China has taken steps to neutralize a regime that posed a threat to it's sovereignty, the action we took is not uniquely different from what the United States did in 2003, with regards to Iraq." I submit that the proposed scenario, far from being preposterous, has been made even more of a potentiality by virtue of the application of the Bush Doctrine in Iraq (I had no problem with Afghanistan). There was a op/ed article in the NY Times about this very subject following the US led invasion in 2003, arguing that this same potentiality was paronoia. The reasoning that was used in drawing this conclusion was so ambiguous and fragmented that I felt like I was reading Orwell's "1984." I am not a Democrat or Republican, but an independent. I am old-school, which by my defintion is "I believe in the principles of government that are contained in the Constitution of the United States." To me the fact that the records of both 41 and 43 (Bush Sr., and Dubya) are on their way (with Bush Sr., they already are) to becoming "sealed" as in, not available to any government body or, FOIA, is so far removed from the principles of Constitutional Law (and the fact that the alleged "Congress" that sits in Washington doesent seem to have a problem with this) that as far as I am concerned the current government doesent "represent" anybody except Bush's "base," and on an individual basis when it is politically expedient to do so. When will anyone in Washington have the courage to state the obvious about the direction America has taken? I have been asking myself that question for several years now. It appears that no answers are immediately forthcoming. (With apologies to Bernard Sanders Cong. I-VT)

Edited by Robert Howard

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I don't think that the use of force by a foreign country to remove dictators from power can be justified. We have the case of Iraq to prove that there are always other motives (economic, for instance) behind the so-called "fight against human rights abuses". Saddam Hussein was a dictator. Everybody knew that. But under the international law, who gave the right to the USA and the UK to invade a country and change its government? Couldn't this become dangerous? Which are their criteria? Iraq was not a menace to the world and yet it was invaded. Who's next? The government of my country because the Foreign Affairs Minister was against the war on Iraq?

Edited by Rui Bras

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One criteria for removal would be proof that a dictator has murdered without due process of law over five thousand of his countrymen.

So do not worry, Rui, your foreign minister is safe.

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One criteria for removal would be proof that a dictator has murdered without due process of law over five thousand of his countrymen.

As we have seen several times on the Forum, you are highly selective about those dictators you want to remove. Timing is also very important. For example, in the early 1980s Saddam Hussein destroyed the left-wing opposition in Iraq. This included mass executions. The American government made no protest about this. In fact, it provided Hussein with the weapons to do it. The reason being that at this time Hussein was their man. He was seen as someone who would destroy the left and would also take on the Muslim fundamentalists in the region. This is why they provided him with the arms (including chemical weapons) to attack Iran. It was only when he stopped doing as he was told that he became an enemy of the United States. As a result Bush decided to use Saddam Hussein’s human rights record to justify his overthrow. Only a passionate Bush supporter like yourself is incapable of seeing this. That is why politically literate people in Europe condemn the invasion of Iraq. It has nothing to do with the imposition of “democracy” (something you yourself have admitted on another thread that you don’t believe in). It is about power politics and the control of the world’s oil supply.

One criteria for removal would be proof that a dictator has murdered without due process of law over five thousand of his countrymen. So do not worry, Rui, your foreign minister is safe.

Don’t you believe him Rui, history shows that democratically elected politicians are not safe from the CIA if they go against the wishes of the American government. Look what happened to the Allende government in Chile in 1973.

Nor are you safe if you survive CIA actions in your own country. Orlando Letelier was a member of the Allande government who survived the CIA organized military takeover. He made the mistake of visiting America and was assassinated in Washington on 21st September 1976. The man who organized the assassination was Orlando Bosch. Born in Cuba, Bosch is a long-term CIA asset. He has been especially active in the fight against Castro. In October, 1973, he was responsible for planting a bomb on the Cubana Airlines plane flying out of Barbados. The midair explosion killed all 73 people aboard. This included all 24 young athletes on Cuba's gold-medal fencing team.

Two Venezuelans, Herman Ricardo and Freddy Lugo were eventually arrested for this crime and were sentenced to 20 years in prison. They claimed they planted the bomb on the instructions of Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada (another CIA asset). Bosch was arrested but freed in 1987 with the help of Otto Reich, the White House's leading adviser on Latin America. Bosch entered the United States, where he was granted asylum. He was eventually pardoned by President George Bush on 18th July, 1990. After all, it was mainly communists who had been killed on the plane.

Luis Posada escaped from a Venezuelan jail in 1985 as a result of a bribe from Jorge Mas Canosa, the head of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), an organization created by the CIA when Ronald Reagan was in power. The organization received substantial federal funds for running Radio and TV stations transmitting propaganda to Cuba.

In the 1980s Posada was accused of being involved in importing large quantities of cocaine into the US in support of the Contras in Nicaragua. According to Peter Dale Scott (Cocaine Politics) Posada was second in charge of a major Contra resupply operation at Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador. He was recruited by Felix Rodriguez, a long-time CIA operative who was with the Bolivian forces that captured and executed Che Guevera.

Posada gave an interview to the New York Times (July 12th, 1998), where he admitted to planning a series of bombings in Cuba. He also revealed that he had received $200,000 in US government funding via the Cuban American National Foundation for these attacks.

Posada continued to take part in terrorist attacks on Cuba. In November 2000 Posada and three colleagues, Guillermo Novo, Gaspar Jiménez and Pedro Remón, were arrested and imprisoned after trying to assassinate Fidel Castro at the University of Panama.

In August, 2004, President Mireyas Moscoso of Panama (under pressure from the US government), pardoned Posada, Novo, Jiménez and Remón for their role in attempting to assassinate Castro.

Posada now lives in Miami (one of Tim’s neighbours). In April, 2005, the Venezuelan supreme court approved an extradition request for Posada. So far George Bush has refused to allow Posada to return to Venezuela. He and the CIA (Bush’s daddy was director of the CIA when a lot of this terrorism was going on) are afraid what Posada might say in court. What was that about the United States War on Terrorism? Of course, it does not apply to terrorists who kill “leftists”.

See links below for an account of these CIA backed terrorists.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKoperation40.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKposada.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKbosch.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKnovoG.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKroderiguez.htm

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One criteria for removal would be proof that a dictator has murdered without due process of law over five thousand of his countrymen.

As we have seen several times on the Forum, you are highly selective about those dictators you want to remove. Timing is also very important. For example, in the early 1980s Saddam Hussein destroyed the left-wing opposition in Iraq. This included mass executions. The American government made no protest about this. In fact, it provided Hussein with the weapons to do it. The reason being that at this time Hussein was their man. He was seen as someone who would destroy the left and would also take on the Muslim fundamentalists in the region. This is why they provided him with the arms (including chemical weapons) to attack Iran. It was only when he stopped doing as he was told that he became an enemy of the United States. As a result Bush decided to use Saddam Hussein’s human rights record to justify his overthrow. Only a passionate Bush supporter like yourself is incapable of seeing this. That is why politically literate people in Europe condemn the invasion of Iraq. It has nothing to do with the imposition of “democracy” (something you yourself have admitted on another thread that you don’t believe in). It is about power politics and the control of the world’s oil supply.

One criteria for removal would be proof that a dictator has murdered without due process of law over five thousand of his countrymen. So do not worry, Rui, your foreign minister is safe.

Don’t you believe him Rui, history shows that democratically elected politicians are not safe from the CIA if they go against the wishes of the American government. Look what happened to the Allende government in Chile in 1973.

Nor are you safe if you survive CIA actions in your own country. Orlando Letelier was a member of the Allande government who survived the CIA organized military takeover. He made the mistake of visiting America and was assassinated in Washington on 21st September 1976. The man who organized the assassination was Orlando Bosch. Born in Cuba, Bosch is a long-term CIA asset. He has been especially active in the fight against Castro. In October, 1973, he was responsible for planting a bomb on the Cubana Airlines plane flying out of Barbados. The midair explosion killed all 73 people aboard. This included all 24 young athletes on Cuba's gold-medal fencing team.

Two Venezuelans, Herman Ricardo and Freddy Lugo were eventually arrested for this crime and were sentenced to 20 years in prison. They claimed they planted the bomb on the instructions of Orlando Bosch and Luis Posada (another CIA asset). Bosch was arrested but freed in 1987 with the help of Otto Reich, the White House's leading adviser on Latin America. Bosch entered the United States, where he was granted asylum. He was eventually pardoned by President George Bush on 18th July, 1990. After all, it was mainly communists who had been killed on the plane.

Luis Posada escaped from a Venezuelan jail in 1985 as a result of a bribe from Jorge Mas Canosa, the head of the Cuban American National Foundation (CANF), an organization created by the CIA when Ronald Reagan was in power. The organization received substantial federal funds for running Radio and TV stations transmitting propaganda to Cuba.

In the 1980s Posada was accused of being involved in importing large quantities of cocaine into the US in support of the Contras in Nicaragua. According to Peter Dale Scott (Cocaine Politics) Posada was second in charge of a major Contra resupply operation at Ilopango Air Force Base in El Salvador. He was recruited by Felix Rodriguez, a long-time CIA operative who was with the Bolivian forces that captured and executed Che Guevera.

Posada gave an interview to the New York Times (July 12th, 1998), where he admitted to planning a series of bombings in Cuba. He also revealed that he had received $200,000 in US government funding via the Cuban American National Foundation for these attacks.

Posada continued to take part in terrorist attacks on Cuba. In November 2000 Posada and three colleagues, Guillermo Novo, Gaspar Jiménez and Pedro Remón, were arrested and imprisoned after trying to assassinate Fidel Castro at the University of Panama.

In August, 2004, President Mireyas Moscoso of Panama (under pressure from the US government), pardoned Posada, Novo, Jiménez and Remón for their role in attempting to assassinate Castro.

Posada now lives in Miami (one of Tim’s neighbours). In April, 2005, the Venezuelan supreme court approved an extradition request for Posada. So far George Bush has refused to allow Posada to return to Venezuela. He and the CIA (Bush’s daddy was director of the CIA when a lot of this terrorism was going on) are afraid what Posada might say in court. What was that about the United States War on Terrorism? Of course, it does not apply to terrorists who kill “leftists”.

See links below for an account of these CIA backed terrorists.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKoperation40.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKposada.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKbosch.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKnovoG.htm

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/JFKroderiguez.htm

With the failed attempt to make Iran the "moderate" Arab nation, and loss of the country to the fundamentalist muslim's, the US immediately sought to make another power within the Arab world.

This is their "Balance of Power" philosophy, in which no Arab nation is allowed to become so strong that it could easily create a full scale conflict into which the US would be drawn.

As a result of US Support and training, Iran now had become one of the stronger Armies of the region.

The history of the Arab nations basically is one of when they were not engaged in fighting outside influence, they were engaged in fighting among themselves for control.

It is unclear as to much of the rationale behind the actions of Saddam. However, one aspect is obvious.

This being that any "minority" within Iraq was subject to be eliminated.

Had Saddam achieved this, then obviously he could have gone to completely "open elections" in which he would always be the one elected.

Therefore, the frequent reference to his "Hitler" activities.

As a leader of the country of Iraq, who was duely elected, in open and free elections, the US would have absolutely no chance of engaging world opinion and support against the Saddam Government.

As to the claims that the "CIA" did all of the items stated, this is somewhat like the old saying "The Gods Did It".

Those within the US system of "free enterprise", achieved much of their wealth long before advent of the CIA, and many of them were obviously of the interpertation that "free enterprise" meant exactly that.

Being that they, as a financial entity, were free to do whatever they wished in the pursuit of wealth.

(The name "ENRON" should stand out here)

Therefore, long prior to the CIA, or for that matter any foreign intelligence activities, US free enterprise had fully developed the means and methods to financially manipulate various countries of the world, to the financial advantage of the "Capatilists".

"Economic Control" as opposed to Military Control, is by far more peaceful and is considerably less expensive to maintain. Therefore, the US Government avoided interference in the activities of these american capitalist so long as it could do so.

However, capitalism eventually determined that it was also to it's advantage to control the Presidency of the US, as well as much of the Congress.

In this regard, the US became a full exporter of the "free enterprise" system, even if it were not actually so free.

The free enterprise/capitalists, after gaining considerable financial control of american politics, thereafter utilized such control to assist in overthrow of any government and/or removal from power of any world leader who was, or appeared to be against the financial interest of the ultra-rich.

In many instances, this change in government was of an obvious benefit to US interest, and therefore US government support was frequently provided either in the manner of advice; assistance; names of personnel; etc.

Due to this tacit support from the US, many of these activites thereafter gained the reputation as having been actual US/CIA/US Intelligence operations conducted by the US Government.

Case in Point: CAMCO/aka William D. Pawley, and the AVG.

However, in most instances, it was in fact the monies of the Ultra-Rich/Capitalists of the US, as well as their actions which ultimately created these changes in world political philosophy.

Not to mention the simple fact that "Corporate Spying" existed long before CIA spying came into existence.

Just as Corporate "kick-backs"; bribary; etc; became a standard and acceptable form of "business as usual" in achieving financial interest in any business or government.

Since the ultra-wealthy also ultimately control much of the world media means, there is of course little difficulty in their promotion that the "CIA did it" is the answer.

As such, those who have not worked for and observed the financial manipulations of which large financial empires are capable of, think only in terms of the US Government and the CIA.

ERGO! The CIA did it!

And, in many such instances, those who are receiving the funding and support for their activities, think along these same lines, and therefore "ASSUME" that all of this support; training; financial aid; etc, is coming directly from the CIA.

In many aspects, the CIA has itself taken full advantage of this false "ego builder", in that many foreign leaders and dictators are as naive as is much of the remainder of the world as to how the US government is entirely willing to allow the monies of "Free Enterprise" to police the world if necessary.

Therefore, each time that I hear, or read about how the "CIA" did something, then I must also laugh at the capability of the world media system to persuade persons to repeat what is frequently merely another unsubstantuated rumor as if it were a proven fact.

Tom

P.S. "Free Enterprise" will, if one has the funds, sell atomic fuel; chemical and biological weapons; war materials; etc; etc; etc.

This is why it is referred to as "Free Enterprise".

There is however absolutely no factual proof that the US Government, as an entity, has ever allowed it's nuclear; biological; or chemical weapons to fall into the hands of a ruler such as Saddam.

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One criteria for removal would be proof that a dictator has murdered without due process of law over five thousand of his countrymen.

So do not worry, Rui, your foreign minister is safe.

I wonder... Why five thousand?!

Edited by Rui Bras

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The fight for Freedom and Justice cannot justify an arbitrary use of force by a foreign power against a sovereign state. First and foremost the responsibility of overthrowing a dictatorship belongs to the people of that country. Democratic states should support the movements that truly want to want to change the political structure, without any intent of profiting from that support. This may be a romantic point of view in this day and age. But the struggle for Freedom and Justice must not be stained by calculism and hypocrisy.

Moreover this struggle won't be for real if it implies the replacement of a repressive government by another repressive government. To oppress a people in the name of Freedom and Justice is an absurd, like we see in Iraq!

The world will always need Freedom fighters whether to defend the rights of the people against tyranny, or whether to prevent the preversion of their fight by imperialist powers.

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John wrote:

That is why politically literate people in Europe condemn the invasion of Iraq.

Note John's imprecise use of the English language.

Not "most politically literate..." or "Almost all politically literate". The implication is that anyone who was politically literate opposed the war in Iraq.

Certainly John himself cannot believe that. He certainly must believe that Tony Blair is politically literate, even if he opposes Blair's policies.

Mr. Bras wrote:

The fight for Freedom and Justice cannot justify an arbitrary use of force by a foreign power against a sovereign state. First and foremost the responsibility of overthrowing a dictatorship belongs to the people of that country

In principle, of course, one must agree with this principle. But, of course, any effective dictatorship will have the power to oppressively quash any internal dissent and any realistic possibility of an internal revolt. Any dictatorship that cannot accomplish this is not worthy of the name.

When and under what circumstances a foreign power ought to overthrow a dictator, or even assist an internal revolt, remains a very difficult one.

Re your question why I selected 5,000 as a number it was obviously an arbitrary number.

The question is whether it is possible to formulate an objective basis for the removal of a dictator who is practicing what constitutes crimes against humanity.

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In the absence of the forum this week my students came up with the following questions they would like members to consider:

"Should governments use military action to remove unpleasant political leaders from power?"

I think it would be rare to find a political leader who was 'pleasant' - unpleasantness is one of the qualifications for the job.

If the question refers to political leaders responsible for murdering innocent people - do you mean their own people or another country's innocent people. (I think you can guesss where this is heading.)

No government would go to war purely with the intention of removing a leader from a country. There are always other motives - mostly linked to wealth, the balance of power, or religion.

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Without wishing to offend our American correspondents and knowing this is not an entirely rational argument (but then I AM a woman), I think what offends me most about the invasion of Iraq, is the hypocrisy that it was done by a country which the rest of the world is starting to perceive as being highly corrupt, fanatical, uncaring and undemocratic itself. Certainly, here in Australia that is a strongly held belief as we see our PM sycophantly fawning over Bush and trying to take us down some of the worst aspects of American economics and culture.

I'll never forget seeing the musical Miss Saigon years ago, when the black American soldier, looking at the horrors caused by the war there, sang: I am an American. How could I do wrong?

Apologies to our US posters, but I think it's a growing feeling round the world that in fact they can be very wrong.

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Without wishing to offend our American correspondents and knowing this is not an entirely rational argument (but then I AM a woman), I think what offends me most about the invasion of Iraq, is the hypocrisy that it was done by a country which the rest of the world is starting to perceive as being highly corrupt, fanatical, uncaring and undemocratic itself. Certainly, here in Australia that is a strongly held belief as we see our PM sycophantly fawning over Bush and trying to take us down some of the worst aspects of American economics and culture.

I'll never forget seeing the musical Miss Saigon years ago, when the black American soldier, looking at the horrors caused by the war there, sang: I am an American. How could I do wrong?

Apologies to our US posters, but I think it's a growing feeling round the world that in fact they can be very wrong.

And many americans felt that it was wrong to enter WWI, as well as WWII, and the Korean conflict.

Only history can accurately judge whether such items are the correct/best course of action.

Neither the American public, nor any other society is priviliged to ALL the information upon which such decisions are made.

Therefore to "Judge", is to do so without all of the facts before one.

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* * * * * * * * * * *

The fat lady has not yet sung on Iraq. I believe I shall live to see the day that John will be man enought to post the thought: "I was wrong."

Surely creating a democracy in a country where there have not been democratic cultures and institutions is not an easy task. How long did it take General MacArthur to install a democracy in Japan? But if democracy and tolerance can be effectuated in Iraq, it will result not only in a far better life for the Iraquis but also a far safer world.

I'm not sure I agree with Tim, I am generally suspicious of the motives which powers give for intervention abroad unless it's just UN peacekeeping efforts. I used to think that the recent NATO intervenion in the Balkans was an example of genuinely humanitarian intervention but then read a couple of articles in the paper which suggested that it was not about stopping ethnic cleansing but about Milosovic gettting in the way of European trade and business (one newpaper article said that only official governmen tbuilding were hit, no private companies' buildings). I think that often there is a degree of self interest in invervention, geo-political motives etc, as with US involvement in South American affairs over the last 50 years. 'Great powers will be great powers', 'realpolitik' etc.

I did however think that Tim's post was a well argued and well written one and it has made me think a bit about my preconceptions.

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* * * * * * * * * * *

The fat lady has not yet sung on Iraq. I believe I shall live to see the day that John will be man enought to post the thought: "I was wrong."

Surely creating a democracy in a country where there have not been democratic cultures and institutions is not an easy task. How long did it take General MacArthur to install a democracy in Japan? But if democracy and tolerance can be effectuated in Iraq, it will result not only in a far better life for the Iraquis but also a far safer world.

I'm not sure I agree with Tim, I am generally suspicious of the motives which powers give for intervention abroad unless it's just UN peacekeeping efforts. I used to think that the recent NATO intervenion in the Balkans was an example of genuinely humanitarian intervention but then read a couple of articles in the paper which suggested that it was not about stopping ethnic cleansing but about Milosovic gettting in the way of European trade and business (one newpaper article said that only official governmen tbuilding were hit, no private companies' buildings). I think that often there is a degree of self interest in invervention, geo-political motives etc, as with US involvement in South American affairs over the last 50 years. 'Great powers will be great powers', 'realpolitik' etc.

I did however think that Tim's post was a well argued and well written one and it has made me think a bit about my preconceptions.

Among the many mistakes which the US Government (& economy) has made, was the suppression of the underpriviliged (primarily black race) in this country.

With the economic; educational; and political agenda of the US, much of minority american was not brought into, or allowed into the economic mainstream.

Therefore, cultures developed of what were not "Consumers".

In a capitalistic democracy, in event that one is not a consumer, then one is of course a burden on the remainder of society, as to "consume" is to generate jobs for others in production of consumer goods.

As "economic" america began to understand this fallacy of our own system, then we observed considerable social change as it was recognized that for the good of the social culture, ALL must be brought into the economic mainstream and made into "Consumers".

Therein lies the rants and ravings of many as regards the "World Bank"; "The Trilateral Commission"; etc; ect; ect.

In order for a society to better itself, it must "create" jobs for it's mass/population.

In order to create jobs, it must produce consumer goods which someone must consume.

By introduction into Iraq of the full force of the "Capitalistic" society of all of the "consumer goods" and therefore jobs, and subsequent betterment of an individuals economic wellbeing, the US is in effect spreading the "demon seed" of a capitalistic society.

Once introduced to the "better" things in life, few societies are willing to revert back to the days when they did not have the "luxeries" which were offered by introduction of capitalistic opportunities.

Therefore, the ultimate "Big Conspiracy" is not to make everyone a "socialist"; "communists"; "marxist"; etc.

It is to make the entire world population a "Consumerist" who consumes in order to create jobs for the remainder of the world in order that they may be employed in production of these consumer goods, and therefore themselves be able to afford to become one of those "Consumerist" as well.

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