[B5JMS] Attn JMS: What about now?

b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu b5jms-admin at cs.columbia.edu
Tue Jan 7 04:25:14 EST 2003

From: Jere Lull <jerelull at mac.com>
Date: Mon, 06 Jan 2003 02:43:16 GMT
Lines: 117

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Jms at B5 wrote:
 > (someone else wrote)

>>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?
Talk very loudly and show a VERY big stick?

As I recall, one terrorist-friendly country (forget which: I'm just back 
from 2 weeks' vacation and too laid-back to get the name -- Libya?) got 
VERY quiet after some of our jets or cruise missiles targetted one of 
the ruler's compounds.

And didn't Pakistan (sp?) support the Taliban? But they're now our 
allies even though we're on India's side? [bet they would have been in 
the Axis of Evil if they hadn't "joined" 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.
I believe he knows that a direct attack, verbally or physically, would 
be essentially suicide, thus he doesn't say anything directly, but there 
are many instances where his statements went right to the edge.

Personally, I believe he's sane enough to not attack the US directly, 
but mad enough (both senses) to help other organizations that share his 
feelings and can act effectively.

>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?
As much as I hate to contradict my favorite writer/producer: Saddam HAS 
used some chemical/biological weapons, so we know he's had them in the 
past, and we have no reason to believe he's dismantled the production 
facilities or destroyed his stockpiles....

Bush, as dufus as he sounds, isn't dumb, particularly on political 
matters, yet his statements on Saddam, et al, sounded VERY stupid, 
particularly before he had any international support. BUT something said 
behind the scenes is bringing other countries onboard.

I have a friend in the military who, as best as I can figure things, is 
in the Intelligence branch. I haven't been able to get much out of him, 
but during one particularly good (drunken) party, he did say that there 
are some VERY good reasons to go 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.
Very true! Afghanistan's overthrow was a walk in the park, particularly 
compared to the USSR's invasion.

>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?
(too many historical references support this to refute, even if I 

>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
Giving support to the rebel forces is what I believe Dufus is 
attempting. I am not optimistic, though, given the first Bush's failure 
to support them and Saddam's ruthless suppression of them afterwards.

>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
Personally, I'm not willing to set my jaw and endure 100s of years of 
terrorism. I (and my children) can if we have to, but I'd rather remove 
the root cause ASAP.

Jere Lull
Xan-a-Deux ('73 Tanzer 28 #4 out of Tolchester, MD)
Xan's Pages: http://members.dca.net/jerelull/X-Main.html
Our BVI FAQs (290+ pics) http://members.dca.net/jerelull/BVI.html

From: jmsatb5 at aol.com (Jms at B5)
Date: 06 Jan 2003 09:00:16 GMT
Lines: 18

>Personally, I'm not willing to set my jaw and endure 100s of years of 
>terrorism. I (and my children) can if we have to, but I'd rather remove 
>the root cause ASAP.

But to assume that Sadam is the root cause of terrorism is naive and, most
important, incorrect.  He takes advantage of the situation, sure, and his reign
is a symptom, but he ain't the root cause.  Not by a long shot.


(jmsatb5 at aol.com)
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