[B5JMS] Attn JMS: What about now?

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Sun Dec 22 04:25:07 EST 2002

From: edost at bgumail.bgu.ac.il (Edo Steinberg)
Date: 18 Dec 2002 14:59:06 -0800
Lines: 70

This time, there's nothing I can argue with in what you said. It's
probably all true. However, I still support an attack on Iraq - for my
own reasons, regrdless of Bush's reasons. I want to make sure Iraq
doesn't use nukes/bio/Chemical weapons against any of its enemies.
Saddam is a true threat to the Middle East and to the world. I don't
feel like having a repeat of when I was 8 years old in the shelter,
with a gas mask on, hoping no chemical missiles crash anywhere near
me. Last time the scuds were conventional. If we don't go after
Saddam, who knows what he'll use next time.

But I'm still not one of those saying "let's go after Saddam no matter
what". I have a problem with Bush's plans for Iraq after Saddam. I
have a feeling the current plans are going to lead to the same effect
as when they helped the Mujahideen in Afghanistan against the USSR.
I'm specificly referring to the group with ties to the Hizbullah
that's going to be part of the new opposition parliament. We need to
make better plans for post Saddam Iraq and then go out and kill the
bastard, destroy his weapons and build a stable regime there (I doubt
it will be democracy, though).

jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5) wrote in message news:<20021218023542.03205.00000131 at mb-cc.aol.com>...
> Okay, I'm probably going to get cyber-mugged for this, but let me put in my two
> cents on the Iraq situation, and the reasons behind it.
> It is really nothing more or less than an attempt to re-draw the map of the
> Middle East.
> By their actions and their statements, Bush and Co. seem to believe that they
> have a manifest destiny, and that they must act to seize the moment while they
> can, hence their haste to get things popping.
> If you take down Iraq and replace it with either a puppet government or one
> friendly to the US, suddenly you can bring down the price of Iraqi oil
> considerably.  If the other nations in the region don't go along, they get
> frozen out.  So suddenly the prices go down, profits go up, and (while fossil
> fuels last) everybody profits economically.
> Politically, if you take out Iraq, you remove a linchpin from the Mideast
> structure.  You have a friendly base of operations from which to launch
> military endeavors; you can aid your friends and loom over your enemies; it
> puts the US in a position to destabalize other countries in the area or bring
> them to the side of the US.
> That, I believe, is their plan.  The only thing wrong with it is that it can't
> work; the region is too interlinked and impossible to govern from afar, and
> they haven't fully thought out the doctrine of unintended consequences.
> Within an hour or so of 9/11, Rumsfeld -- according to the NY Times -- was
> asking people, "Can we pin this on Saddam, take 'em all down at the same time?"
>  They've clearly been looking for an excuse to go in on this for a long time. 
> If it wasn't 9/11, it'd be something else.  
> If you say it's about oil, that's only part of the picture; if you say it's
> about weapons and terror, that's also only a part of the picture.  You have to
> stand well back from the tapestry and get a good look at the whole of it to
> recognize the thing for what it is: an attempt to redraw the map of the Middle
> East in its entirety.
>  jms
> (jmsatb5 at aol.com)
> (all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
> permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
> and don't send me story ideas)



From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 19 Dec 2002 22:56:46 GMT
Lines: 82

>I still support an attack on Iraq - for my
>own reasons, regrdless of Bush's reasons. I want to make sure Iraq
>doesn't use nukes/bio/Chemical weapons against any of its enemies.
>Saddam is a true threat to the Middle East and to the world. I don't
>feel like having a repeat of when I was 8 years old in the shelter,
>with a gas mask on

Don't blame you.  So I guess the question before us is not so much "does the
end justify the means?" as "does the means assure the end?"

There are any number of governments -- friendly or hostile to the US -- that
have these weapons.  Do we take out all of them?  With so much of this out
there, does it make it one whit safer for the US?

On top of that...to the best of my knowledge, and I'm happy to be corrected on
this, Saddam has never made an actual threat to attack the US.  Even the CIA
came back and said that the odds of Saddam attacking the US are very close to
zero...unless he feels he's cornered and no longer has anything left to lose. 
He might then use it locally, or give it to others.

And let us remember that so far the Bush administration has not produced one
whit of proof that these weapons exist in the first place.  So we have a
conundrum on our hands: either he has them, and we guarantee an attack by going
after him, or he doesn't have them, in which case why are we going in?

The thing about regime change from outside is that it never works.  Any time
we've done it in the past, we've ended up making the situation worse, and had
those ghosts come back to haunt us later, in Iran, Iraq, the Phillipines, you
name it.

The only time it does work is when it's the people of the nation rising up. 
And they do, sooner or later.  They rose up in Poland, in East Germany, in
Russia proper, and elsewhere.  And that, for me, is the telling point: someone
from the outside coming in does not have the moral authority to make the change
stick, or make decisions with the best interests of the local population at

If, in 1775, prior to our declaration of independence, the Austrians had said,
"Look, we think you Americans are being oppressed, the British have these
terrible weapons, we're going to liberate you," and they did so, putting in a
puppet government, or setting up Austrians to run the country...would we have
ever accepted that?  Would we not have in time risen up against them?

GIving support internally to rebel forces in Iraq?  Sure.  Responding to a
direct attack against the US?  You bet.  Maybe even to just an announced

But none of that is ever going to guarantee the safety of the US.  Our friends
in Europe have learned this lesson already, with terrorist actions in both
France and Britain for decades.  But rather than torch their liberties,
egalities and fraternities, they set their jaw and endured it, allowing their
law enforcement arms time to deal with it...and for the most part, that's been

You want a guarantee that it can't happen here, but it can...and it will,
because in truth there's nothing that anybody can do to stop a handful of
dedicated fanatics.  The only surprise here is that it took this long for it to
happen.  And when it did happen, it came from a small group with lots of
sponsors, not as an act by one given nation against the US.

If Al-Quaeda had WMD, you can bet your ass they would've used them by now.  But
what we've had have been small, limited operations.  Nor -- and this is
strictly my opinion -- will any nation give them WMD to use on their behalf

For one reason: if that were ever to happen, if a big biological or chemical
attack were ever perpetrated against the US, there is absolutely no doubt in my
milnd, or in their mind, that we would glass over whichever country was

So as long as our enemies have something to lose, we're safe.  Back them into a
corner...and I'm not so sure.

(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2002 by synthetic worlds, ltd., 
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine 
and don't send me story ideas)

More information about the B5JMS mailing list