2002 September 15 Sunday
US Iraq war polls: depends on what you ask

Am I the only person who has noticed different commentators arguing that support for a war against Iraq is either declining or increasing? Conflicting poll results are trotted out to make these conflicting arguments. Matt Welch, writing in the Canadian National Post, quotes a Time mag poll showing declining support and barely a majority in favor of war

The process, which has featured not a small amount of administration inconsistency, has rapidly eroded U.S. confidence in a new war (a new Time magazine poll shows that support for using ground troops in Iraq has sunk to 51% as of late August, from 73% last December).

Some Canadian readers are no doubt thinking that Americans do not support the idea of taking out Saddam's regime. However, a Knight Ridder poll taken Aug. 5 to Aug. 18 shows 2/3rds in favor of attacking:

Two-thirds of Americans favor taking military action in Iraq to end Saddam Hussein's rule, a new Knight Ridder poll indicates.

Of course, since this poll is about a month old some might think that support has declined a great deal in the last month. Well, right after Bush's speech to the UN on Sep. 12 and 13 a Newsweek poll showed 2/3rds of the American public in favor of war against Iraq:

Two-thirds of Americans say they support using military force against Iraq, says a new poll, even though most people think taking that step will cause serious problems among other Arab nations.

This AP story on the Newsweek poll breaks it down into more detail:

People now support by a 55-37 margin sending in large numbers of U.S. ground troops to ensure control of the country. They were evenly divided on that in late August.

Also, 3/4ths of the public supports an international force to remove Saddam. So we see that people are more in favor of removing Saddam than they are of putting US soldiers at risk (which, of course, is not surprising).

This ABC News poll does an excellent job of breaking out the nature of the public's support for a war on Iraq:

Movement in Bush's direction on the basic question of attacking Iraq took place before his U.N. speech. Support for military action fell from 69 percent in an Aug. 11 poll to 56 percent on Aug. 29, then rebounded to 64 percent in a Washington Post poll completed Sept. 6. Again, it's 68 percent in this poll.

Others have tracked a similar course. A Gallup poll question, which specifies the use of ground troops, showed support slipping from 61 percent in June to 53 percent Aug. 21, then recovering to 58 percent Sept. 4.

These results suggest that even before the Bush UN speech the Administration's increased efforts to rally support for the war were bearing fruit. So most of the increased support is not a one-off emotional reaction to a speech well delivered. This bodes well for continued support for a war on Iraq. Be sure to click thru to the ABC News poll as it has some nice tables breaking down the answers into a lot more details and it compares support before and after Bush's UN speech.

One odd result in the ABC News poll is that of those who think the nature of the threat from Iraq has been accurately stated the support for war is 85%. But of those who think the threat has been understated the support for war is lower at 76%. Why would someone think the threat from Iraq is understated and yet be less likely to be for war?

A significant portion of the American public doesn't want a war if that means taking a large number of casualties. Some portion of the public make their war support contingent upon other nations showing their support for it. Still, there's a large core of supporters who are in favor of a ground war even if that means taking a large number of casualties.

Share |      By Randall Parker at 2002 September 15 11:05 AM 


Comments
Bryan Pitchford said at December 24, 2002 12:15 AM:

I'm only 18 and i even know that saddam has to go. he's murdered his own people, and anyone who has seen the pictures of the dead kurds would understand that he has to go. I myself have seen these pictures, and i was terrified to see a dead mother holding her dead newborn. someone who does this is clearly not humane to anyone but himself. The fact that the U.N. has not stepped in and punished him for this is just going to cause another nazi germany, where he is free to murder anyone that is not to his liking. he set ablaze the oil fields in kuwait, clearly destroying the environment...still the U.N. never steps in. Iraqi soldiers murdered kuwaitis in front of US troops after the Gulf War, and we could not do anything about it, because everyone seems to be afraid to punish this man (if he can even be called that). personally i believe the UN and many other countries are just scared to take him on...they only go after him for weapons of mass destruction, the same ones he has used against his own people, and the UN is only concerned with disarming him. He tried to assassinate president Bush, and anyone child out there would want revenge on him if he tried it with their father...in fact, i would like to kill him myself if he dared to assassinate my father. He is most definately another hitler. just like hitler, he has murdered people, and got away with it in the beginning, which led to WWII. It's better to stop a mistake b4 anything happens...we did not go after him b4, and we cannot make that mistake again, before he kills any more of his people. I cannot stand how the media asks civilians if we should go to war...most chances it will not affect them, it will affect the soldiers...the media needs to stop acting like our soldiers do not exist, and ask them what THEY think. yes, i am a civilian at the moment, but i leave for airborne infantry training soon, and my stance stays the same. The US gov't needs to inform the people about the things that iraq has done, it's just pure common sense that this guy does not belong as a "leader", although he not a leader...he is a butcher.....a butcher that has killed too many. thank you, if u want to reply, feel free to e-mail me.
~bryan

Alexxander lujan said at January 17, 2003 9:14 AM:

Tell me america why do we have to fight this war let everyone have there own way of doing thing they have other ways of doing things than us they have torchering way of punishing the people that do this to they'"re people the do bad thing. But we give them life or fast deth we do the same thing we should be punished to good bye.

Jackie said at January 19, 2003 7:50 AM:

Bush wants war. Admit it, it's the only thing he knows how to do. It's the one thing that his popularity rides on. Sure let them fight if they want to, but I'm not letting him draft me.

Jackie said at January 19, 2003 7:50 AM:

Bush wants war. Admit it, it's the only thing he knows how to do. It's the one thing that his popularity rides on. Sure let them fight if they want to, but I'm not letting him draft me.

LEGALIZE FREEDOM! said at February 3, 2003 4:12 PM:

Down with BUSH!!!!!!!!!
Down with POWELL!!!!!!!
Down with your greedy oil hungry A$$e$
I will shoot both trigger fingers off before I go to fight for this currupt GOVERNMENT. No draft for me with no trigger finger.

Melanie said at February 6, 2003 2:01 PM:

Saddam isn't making these weapons for no reason. He is tyrant. Can't you see what he's doing to his own people? As a human you can't stand by and let him continue the atrocities against a fellow human. They rape women and kill whole villages. Its not information that I just got from listening to Bush but from newsmagazines, televesion and newspapers. Its because you don't know them that you don't care but you should because they are your fellow man. Its more horrible to turn a blind eye and try not to stop Saddam.

Paul said at February 12, 2003 8:42 PM:

Uh, Melanie... Got news for ya. Most of the reports about Hussein (such as "he gassed his own people"), have been unfounded. (Rememeber the "slaughter of incubator babies" in Gulf War I? Lies fabricated by a member of the Saudi family- a Bush I shill). This is not to say he's not a bad man, of course he is but do we need to murder thousands of innocent Iraqi women and children just to "remove him."
And as for Hussein killing "his own people."
Bush's stormtroopers are planning a little "howdy do" for Baghdad called "shock and awe." Heard of it? It's where we rain down on the city "up to 800 cruise missiles in the first two days of the war."
http://www.commondreams.org/views03/0127-08.htm
So don't worry your pretty little head. Bush will kill tons more Iraqi women and children than Saddam. His record won't stand a chance next to our "great and powerful" leader!

Dave R Spohn said at February 15, 2003 10:38 AM:

Look people this Saddam is a Monster, and yet lots of people stand bye and say its a war of oil. Look he has need a severe ass wooping for decades and yet nothing. He's killed his own people with biological weapons and yet when there talked to on the streets they say we love him. Come on there clearly scared for there lives and the lives of there family members. Than his son "Udi Hussein rapes and tortures people just for fun".. were the words that I seen last night on 20/20 from a former close associate to Udi who defected cause he said he could not take it any more. He was also put in charge of the Iraq Olympic Games by his father and he did more of the same. He would torture, and even cut off hands arms , or feet if they did not do well. He also beat our pilots when he captured them during Dessert Storm they didn't say what he wanted them to say.Like "Why are you attacking the peaceful people of Iraq" .... These dictators are horrible monsters father and sons alike. Then you have celerities steping up to say just to leave him alone, the why can't we all get along theme, you know why. Cause Saddam will not be happy until all nations except his own are overthrown and dead. I like everyone in the world would like for there to be peace,... but sometimes you need to kick a little ass to keep the peace. Then today Febuary 15th 2003 there are peace rallies all over the world to do everything but go to war. Look you HIPPY SHIT HEADS heres an idea, lets wait a few more years until you look upward into our American blue skies just to see missles overhead with Iraq flags on them seconds before were all going to die, and have those sissy hippys say.." O.K thats the evidence we were looking for, O.K. Bush.. O.K. Powell save our sorry butts know.... you know what too late boys nad girls. Than maybe you can thank the actors like M.A.S.H s' Mike Farrell,Susan Sarandon, Jessica Lange and Alfre Woodard, rock star Michael Stipe and actors David Duchovny and Matt Damon. And everyone's favorite actor who is probably the word even being in the dictionary, yours truely Actor Martin Sheen who I feel doesn't even deserve to play the President of the United States of America. Yes these are still Americans but just barely. Hugh Jackman is also another one of the actors that I like and will never pay one single American Dollar to see any movie he plays in again. Also Sean Penn is pathetic in his ploy to get another job, god knows he hasn't done anything in forever. Well I could go on and on naming actors,musicians, and the like that oppose war on Iraq but I think that is mainly because when war is on the mind of consumers, they SPEND NO MONEY ON THESE RICH BABIES AND THEY MIGHT NEED TO MAKE A NEW MOVIE OR WRITE NEW SONGS TO PAY THERE HOUSE PAYMENT!!!!!


THE END

give me peace said at February 15, 2003 2:24 PM:

Look people- The issue in Iraq does not have a clear cut, black or white solution. In the past, when we've rushed into conflicts that we thought were going to be quick and easy (vietnam, korea) we were bogged down into violence that lasted for years. An Iraqi invasion will result in street warfare throughout the major cities; this is something the United States has admitted will obviously result in many more civilian casualties than expected. Saddaam is a survivor. He has proven in the past that he will do anything (i.e. allow his own people to be slaughtered)to stay alive. It is most important to remember that the US has always stood AGAINST premptive strikes. Since when did the US have more of an authority than Iraq to attack "rogue" nations? To Iraq and much of the Middle East, WE are the "rogue" nation. Obviously we have done SOMETHING to piss these people off. Through people like Bush, whose only strategy is to nke em all and let God sort em out, we have lost our image of a peace-making country. Do we really want to be remembered as the first post-cold war nation in the UN to make a preemptive strike?

Dwight said at February 17, 2003 2:46 AM:

It is amazing to me how quickly people forget about history and what has happened in the past. I am not afraid that Iraq will grow so strong over time that they will be able to wage a successful war against the US, that is just not reality. However they could easily develop chemical or nuclear weapons and then sell it to terrorist cells which would not hesitate to use it against us. Some people say they want to wait for a smoking gun, well in my mind that is just stupid. The easiest way to solve a problem is to cut it off and solve it before it becomes a big problem. We shouldn't wait for a disaster to happen within our borders before we do something about it. France learned that lesson in 1940, well actually I guess they didn't learn anything by the way they are carrying on now. I really don't want to depend on France's foresight, or lack there of, to determine the outcome of the wellbeing of this country. We need to take care of Iraq and for that matter North Korea as soon as possible. By doing this not only will we difuse a dangerous situation but we will improve, in the long run, the lives of thousands of people who live in constant fear of their own leader and government. I hope all the war protestors realise that if they lived in Iraq they would all be dead by now, I don't think Saddam would take kindly to having his likeness burned. Of course there will always be a loss of life when a war takes place but I believe that by getting rid of Saddam we will actually save lives. He is a big player in world wide terrorism, there is no denying that, why else would he create chemical weapons if he didn't want to use them on his enemies. He has already killed thousands of Kurds, (his own people), with chemical weapons, I don't think he would hesitate for a second to sell a weapon of mass destruction to a group that would use it against the US. So I guess the question is should we invade Iraq and disarm them totally and at the same time get rid of a murderous dictator or should we wait and see what will happen? Heck maybe the first chemical attack will only kill 10,000 Americans or so, I guess that wouldn't be that bad, right? I'll go with option #1 thankyou. The French can go with option #2, it will go along with the hundreds of bad decisions they have made in the past.

Dwight said at February 17, 2003 1:49 PM:

What the anti-war protestors and other Hussein dupes fail to
understand is that Saddam signed a binding agreement in 1991 as a precondition to the cessation of hostilities at that time.
He stipulated that any violation of the terms of that 1991
agreement would, in effect, make the cease fire null and void and would serve as a justification for the coalition to resume military actions against Iraq. Case closed!

Alan said at February 17, 2003 2:02 PM:

As an American I feel a need to say that me and the majority of my friends and aquaintences I have discussed the Iraq War question are firmly against it. Simply stated, this war will not achieve the administrations ends. It will not make the world safer for America, but will make the world much more dangerous for America. Already our administration has succeeded in making our mutual enemy's start to become friends and have alienated many of our friends by labelling them as unimportant. I think if we continue in this manner, eventually the world will decide to stand up to US imperialism. And if this happens I really won't blame the nations that do, my country's aggression, and our leaders small mindedness is sickening.

Tommy Milligan said at February 18, 2003 4:19 PM:

Saddam Is a tyrant who tortures his own people. Supplies money to terrorest. The atiwar crowd does not care about anything but themselves. lots of lives would be saved if we invade Iraq now. god bless Goerge Bush and shame on all the cowards who want to do nothing because they are afraid that their way of life will change.This is not about Oil and they know it. It is a bunch of anti bush democrats that would do anything to to make Bush look bad. At least he has a backbone, thats more than I can say about the spineless Hippi Cowards who wants to do nothing.

Rana said at February 23, 2003 4:37 PM:

Tommy you might as well put on your knee-pads and get under Bush's desk ..you ill-informed redneck.Last time I checked Bush in his Governership didnt mind killing his own people either...texas does have the highest execution rate in the US. And by the way...the mainstream media lies and most Americian are mis-informed when it come to US forien policy. America supports brutal behavior ....ie Iran then Iraq,Columbia,El Salvador,Niguragua,Panama. So before all of you Bush fans re-iterate NBC ..get you fact strait and look at the big picture...if we go into Iraq hundreds of thousands of civilians will DIE FOR SPECIAL INTEREST AND OIL.

Randall Parker said at February 23, 2003 5:59 PM:

Rana, suppose when (it is way past "if") US goes into Iraq and hundreds of thousands of civilians do not die. Will you change your mind? I recall the claims that hundreds of thousands and even millions of Afghans would die during the US war against the Taliban turned out to be exaggerations that were a few orders of magnitude too high.

Currently a large portion of Iraq's oil goes to funding the construction of Saddam's palaces and WMD development programs. Once Iraq is conquered that won't happen any more. To get a sense of what Iraq will be like post-invasion look at the Kurdish region that Saddam's forces are not allowed into. Part of Iraq's oil revenue currently goes there via a UN fund. Not coincidentally, the Kurdish infant mortality rate is a small fraction of the infant mortality rate in the rest of Iraq. Why? Because the oil money goes to help the Kurds rather than to pay for Saddam's pleasures and terrors.

As for "the mainstream media lies". There's a HUGE internet Rana. You can read thousands of news web sites in the US. They are not all part of one big conspiracy. You can also read many web sites in other countries. You can also buy books that have all sorts of insights and background information that will make you far better equipped to judge the credibility of what you read in the news.

If you want to insult everyone and tell them they are ill-informed rednecks that's your prerogative (at least it is if you are in a country with freedom of speech). But I find most people who simply assert that people who disagree with them are ignorant are themselves ignorant. Also, I find that most people who think the media is in a conspiracy to lie to us are a bunch of irrational nutcases.

Bob Hewitt said at February 24, 2003 9:19 AM:

I read them all. I read all of the comments and I am left with a sad, sinking feeling. We have been a privilaged nation/generation, watching flawless Gulf-War operations on the nightly news and reading about our newest, James Bond war toys. We do not take War seriously.
This War will change all that.

James Preston said at February 25, 2003 11:50 PM:

You believe in Democracy? Good for you. You believe your system of government would be beneficial to the entire world? Good for you. You think you are free? Think again. You embark on new age crusades to free the world from tyranny? You have no right to Imho. Whos next? In line with your thinking, the whole world meets the category to some extent. So are we next? I watch and wait for your arrogance to spark WW III WELL DONE.

Randall Parker said at February 26, 2003 12:04 AM:

James, if WWIII doesn't start will you admit that you are wrong?

Dave Spohn said at February 27, 2003 6:13 AM:

How about this idea, I'm sure I can work all of you coward bleeding hearts a deal with our great government. Gather every last one of you Saddam loving babies and relocate thr group of you to live in sunny Iraq, I'm sure you would all be invited over for Sunday Dinner your new gratious President.Also why do we give a rats ass about civilians of Iraq, this is a WAR!!!! Look when Iraq fought with Iran did they try to only kill military personnel.....Hell No!!
Its War ladies no make believe,does anybody out think Saddam would spot pick only military if he invaded America?
Probably not , considering he gased his own people,we wouldn't be given a second thought. Did we worry about civilians when we droped teo bombs on Japan...NO!
The only reason we are trying to do it know is because all those @#$%^&* hippys from the 1960's are people of influence and in a ploy to try to keep the peace we try to only kill the bad guys,impossable. Hey maybe we can get all the bad guys to were red shirts so we know who to kill , I'm sure they'll go for that idea.....

Dave Spohn said at February 27, 2003 6:13 AM:

How about this idea, I'm sure I can work all of you coward bleeding hearts a deal with our great government. Gather every last one of you Saddam loving babies and relocate thr group of you to live in sunny Iraq, I'm sure you would all be invited over for Sunday Dinner your new gratious President.Also why do we give a rats ass about civilians of Iraq, this is a WAR!!!! Look when Iraq fought with Iran did they try to only kill military personnel.....Hell No!!
Its War ladies no make believe,does anybody out think Saddam would spot pick only military if he invaded America?
Probably not , considering he gased his own people,we wouldn't be given a second thought. Did we worry about civilians when we droped teo bombs on Japan...NO!
The only reason we are trying to do it know is because all those @#$%^&* hippys from the 1960's are people of influence and in a ploy to try to keep the peace we try to only kill the bad guys,impossable. Hey maybe we can get all the bad guys to were red shirts so we know who to kill , I'm sure they'll go for that idea.....

Waterman said at March 2, 2003 9:03 PM:

You people on the left drive me crazzzy. You cry "FREEDOM" but you never fought for it. You are pro choice.. but you would die for a tree instead of an embryo. You claim animal rights while you wear your furs and leather shoes(tennis shoes included). You say this war is about oil, as you drive your car everywhere you can, and never really try to do without. You say this war isn't necessary, without any "inside" information that would grant you wisdom. You supported President Clinton when he lied to you, cheated you, and is precisely the cause as to why we have the foriegn policy problems we have. You are glad former President Carter was granted the Nobel Peace Prize, when him and Clinton are why Korea is the power it is. And when we finally get a President with a backbone to stand up for your very freedoms and rights that you continually use and abuse you don't support him..soley because of the party he stands for. Not because of your true beliefs...none of you are really Anti-War... just Anti-Bush. If you were...then you would have stood up against the war in Bosnia... or the bombing of Bagdad by Clinton when Hussein threw out the last inspectors. None of us is for war...but sometimes it is necesary and history has proven that. Almost every peace treaty written has been broken or violated. Where do you come from..?? Where have you been..?? My guess is that you haven't lived outside the US for any substantial period of time...so you take things for granted. You have not and will not fight for freedom no matter what, even though thousands have died for your right to protest. If you think this war is about oil...you are partially right...the French..German...Korean...and Russian oil rights granted in their trade with Iraq...breaking UN resolutions and previous embargos. Another piece of paper that didn't work..!! You..sir/ma'am are a hypocrit..you preach without practice and others die for your ability to do so. You don't have the courage to do anything but blame others instead of yourself and you almost always speak without facts. Utilize your first ammendment right...but be a true American and back the best President this country has seen in years and just maybe 9/11 will be a thing of the past and not the future. If you truly depsise this government, then practice your other God given right and go live in Iraq..or somewhere more desirable.....if you have the courage.!

Susie said at March 2, 2003 11:37 PM:

Hello everybody. It's hard work to stay informed. It takes more than watching tv. I found this article written by a senior CIA analyst, who was also a professor at the US ARMY WAR COLLEGE. He was in charge of the investigation at the time over Iraq's "gassing of the Kurds." Read his Jan 31 article he wrote for the New York Times explaining in his view what did and didn't happen. After that, I have an article about how our ally -- Turkey -- treats its Kurds.

NEW YORK TIMES Jan 31 2003
A War Crime or an Act of War?
By STEPHEN C. PELLETIERE

MECHANICSBURG, Pa. -- It was no surprise that President Bush, lacking smoking-gun evidence of Iraq's weapons programs, used his State of the Union address to re-emphasize the moral case for an invasion: "The dictator who is assembling the world's most dangerous weapons has already used them on whole villages, leaving thousands of his own citizens dead, blind or disfigured."

The accusation that Iraq has used chemical weapons against its citizens is a familiar part of the debate. The piece of hard evidence most frequently brought up concerns the gassing of Iraqi Kurds at the town of Halabja in March 1988, near the end of the eight-year Iran-Iraq war. President Bush himself has cited Iraq's "gassing its own people," specifically at Halabja, as a reason to topple Saddam Hussein.

But the truth is, all we know for certain is that Kurds were bombarded with poison gas that day at Halabja. We cannot say with any certainty that Iraqi chemical weapons killed the Kurds. This is not the only distortion in the Halabja story.

I am in a position to know because, as the Central Intelligence Agency's senior political analyst on Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, and as a professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000, I was privy to much of the classified material that flowed through Washington having to do with the Persian Gulf. In addition, I headed a 1991 Army investigation into how the Iraqis would fight a war against the United States; the classified version of the report went into great detail on the Halabja affair.

This much about the gassing at Halabja we undoubtedly know: it came about in the course of a battle between Iraqis and Iranians. Iraq used chemical weapons to try to kill Iranians who had seized the town, which is in northern Iraq not far from the Iranian border. The Kurdish civilians who died had the misfortune to be caught up in that exchange. But they were not Iraq's main target.

And the story gets murkier: immediately after the battle the United States Defense Intelligence Agency investigated and produced a classified report, which it circulated within the intelligence community on a need-to-know basis. That study asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas.

The agency did find that each side used gas against the other in the battle around Halabja. The condition of the dead Kurds' bodies, however, indicated they had been killed with a blood agent — that is, a cyanide-based gas — which Iran was known to use. The Iraqis, who are thought to have used mustard gas in the battle, are not known to have possessed blood agents at the time.

These facts have long been in the public domain but, extraordinarily, as often as the Halabja affair is cited, they are rarely mentioned. A much-discussed article in The New Yorker last March did not make reference to the Defense Intelligence Agency report or consider that Iranian gas might have killed the Kurds. On the rare occasions the report is brought up, there is usually speculation, with no proof, that it was skewed out of American political favoritism toward Iraq in its war against Iran.

I am not trying to rehabilitate the character of Saddam Hussein. He has much to answer for in the area of human rights abuses. But accusing him of gassing his own people at Halabja as an act of genocide is not correct, because as far as the information we have goes, all of the cases where gas was used involved battles. These were tragedies of war. There may be justifications for invading Iraq, but Halabja is not one of them.


In fact, those who really feel that the disaster at Halabja has bearing on today might want to consider a different question: Why was Iran so keen on taking the town? A closer look may shed light on America's impetus to invade Iraq.

We are constantly reminded that Iraq has perhaps the world's largest reserves of oil. But in a regional and perhaps even geopolitical sense, it may be more important that Iraq has the most extensive river system in the Middle East. In addition to the Tigris and Euphrates, there are the Greater Zab and Lesser Zab rivers in the north of the country. Iraq was covered with irrigation works by the sixth century A.D., and was a granary for the region.

Before the Persian Gulf war, Iraq had built an impressive system of dams and river control projects, the largest being the Darbandikhan dam in the Kurdish area. And it was this dam the Iranians were aiming to take control of when they seized Halabja. In the 1990's there was much discussion over the construction of a so-called Peace Pipeline that would bring the waters of the Tigris and Euphrates south to the parched Gulf states and, by extension, Israel. No progress has been made on this, largely because of Iraqi intransigence. With Iraq in American hands, of course, all that could change.

Thus America could alter the destiny of the Middle East in a way that probably could not be challenged for decades — not solely by controlling Iraq's oil, but by controlling its water. Even if America didn't occupy the country, once Mr. Hussein's Baath Party is driven from power, many lucrative opportunities would open up for American companies.

All that is needed to get us into war is one clear reason for acting, one that would be generally persuasive. But efforts to link the Iraqis directly to Osama bin Laden have proved inconclusive. Assertions that Iraq threatens its neighbors have also failed to create much resolve; in its present debilitated condition — thanks to United Nations sanctions — Iraq's conventional forces threaten no one.

Perhaps the strongest argument left for taking us to war quickly is that Saddam Hussein has committed human rights atrocities against his people. And the most dramatic case are the accusations about Halabja.

Before we go to war over Halabja, the administration owes the American people the full facts. And if it has other examples of Saddam Hussein gassing Kurds, it must show that they were not pro-Iranian Kurdish guerrillas who died fighting alongside Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Until Washington gives us proof of Saddam Hussein's supposed atrocities, why are we picking on Iraq on human rights grounds, particularly when there are so many other repressive regimes Washington supports?

*****************
So listen, it sure isn't easy to stay informed. There are plenty of lies out there and they aren't all coming from the left. Just because some people on the left are hypocrites doesn't make people on the right saints. You know? We all probably know less than we think we do.
Good luck. I wish you all. And remember, loving your country isn't just about wrapping yourself in the flag and getting all worked up. Sometimes it means putting on your thinking cap, and thinking until it hurts. Also, loving your country does not require that you worship the president. He isn't a God. He's just a man.

Here's the other article, about what our preferred ally in the war, Turkey, has done to its Kurds recently, including killing about 37,000 of them since 1984:

'In August, Turkey approved constitutional changes legalizing private Kurdish-language education and Kurdish-language broadcasts [because it was required] to qualify for membership in the European Union. Radio broadcasts in Kurdish or other regional languages can not exceed 45 minutes per day and a total of four hours a week. Television broadcasts in Kurdish cannot exceed 30 minutes a day and a total of two hours a week. It is not clear when the broadcasts will start. Turkey fought a 15-year civil war against the Kurdistan Workers' Party and generations of Turkish leaders have sought to force the Kurds' assimilation into the larger Turkish population. For decades, speaking Kurdish was outlawed. An estimated 30,000-37,000 people died in the fighting that erupted in 1984. Even today, travelers are stopped and checked by soldiers about every 10 miles, and many towns remain off limits to outsiders. A former farmer whose village was burned down eight years ago said soldiers dragged the body of a 25-year-old man through the streets as a warning to others after the man was caught giving bread to two Kurdish fighters, who were also killed. "The government is a criminal gang," said one man. To some extent, the denial of cultural rights is routine. One man went to record his son's birth at the local registrar nine months ago, but the office refused to accept the name he had chosen, Hejar Pola, which in Kurdish means "valuable steel." The authorities regularly reject Kurdish names. This year, the European Union put the Kurdistan Workers' Party on its list of terrorist organizations. In the past, the group assassinated officials and killed entire families for collaborating with the government.'
This is from 2 articles: The New York Times--Turkey Fears Spillover of Kurds & Turkey Allows Broadcasts of Kurdish Shows--Oct 3 & Nov 21, 2002
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/10/03/international/middleeast/03KURD.html
and
http://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/21/international/middleeast/21KURD.html

You should really know what you're doing before you advocate the murder of so many people. Iraq never attacked us. Why would it? Why would a country the size of California, with the second largest oil fields in the world attack its biggest customer and get wiped off the map in retaliation?
WHY?


Randall Parker said at March 3, 2003 1:20 AM:

Hey Susie, Iraq used chemial weapons against the Kurds after the Iran-Iraq war ended. Go back and read the response by Edward Mortimer in the NY Review Of Books of November 22, 1990.

BTW, the main reason the US is going to attack Iraq is not how Saddam teated the Kurds. Though Saddam has treated them very badly and has treated many other Iraqis very badly and killed and tortured many. The preemption strategy is the chief motive for attacking Iraq and it is about preventing Saddam from developing nuclear weapons. Whether you think the preemption strategy is wise or necessary can be debated. If you look at my Premption, Deterrence, and Containment archive you can see my own vews on the matter.

waterman said at March 3, 2003 5:01 AM:

Susie,

Randall is exactly right. Preemption is the key. On a simpler comparison...I wonder your views on drunk driving. This country has taken on the challenge of possibly altering citizens lives (severely) because they choose to drink and drive, before any harm is done to anyone, Hence preemption. I in no way advocate drunk driving...but Saddam Hussein is much more of a problem on a larger scale, hence preemption. How can you agree with one and not the other..?

We know Saddam Hussein has a serious dislike for the United States, and in fact is the ONLY world leader that applauded the 9/11 attacks. It seems you are willing to guess whether or not Sadam Hussein is involved in terrorism and linked to Al-Queda, but I am one American who is glad that George W. Bush is NOT. Is he an emminent danger....no not by himself, but what he can supply to others to harm us is immeasurable. Your entire argument above may be valid during the Iran-Iraq war...but as Randall states, gassing of the Kurds took place after that war in a testing mode of certain mustard gasses. But the NY TImes article also has a lot of imbiguities (ie; thought, think, etc..) No real basis of fact.

N one suggest you revere the president...just support him and the troops in a time of need. We have a right to disagree...but we have a responsibility to be United. The US could have taken the oil and the water 12 years ago. But unlike most other nations...we have the resolve to be honest and stick to the plan...which was to evict Saddam Hussein from Kuwait. He could have been (and was) detained, or killed...but the UN resolutions were to evict..not kill. As with "W" the left bashes his father for not completing the job....but the job was completed. As you state...FACTS are the key....and they are continually missing from the left.

Sam said at March 3, 2003 4:48 PM:

Think about the future, if left in power he will weild a power that can hurt millions. A lot of iraqi citizens support war! They even tried to say so at the anit-war protests but were denied after they expressed their pro-war feelings. This war is not only for the protection of the American future, but it is one step closer in helping the iraq people become free of the strife that the saddam regime has put upon them. It is one step in the right direction.

Bacchus25 said at March 6, 2003 10:15 PM:

1. We know Hussein has chemical and biological weapons. (see 1991 UN Report)
2. We know he is willing to use them against human beings. (see 8 year war)
3. We know he hates America. (see no-fly zone, 12 years of economic sanctions)
4. We know that he is still - right this minute - attempting to increase his Weapons of Mass Destructions. (see Feb 2002 NYT Article: Chec Rep. reports Iraqi attempted recruitment of Russian scientests)
5. We know he's a despot.
6. And this is the most frighting one, we know that terrorists are supported by his regime (see payment to the families of suicide bombers, also known terrorists have use Iraq as a safe haven)

If you break your arm and the doctor sets it wrong, it has to get re-broken in order to heal correctly. It's painful, but only momentarily so in the grand scheme of things. Sadly, it's time allow this broken state the opportunity to heal correctly. I assure you that it will be less painful in the long run, certainly compared to the suffering experienced when chemicals are released on people.

Heather Freitas said at March 9, 2003 10:42 AM:

Being categorized, I would be considered a hippie, but that doesn't mean I don't support this war, because I do support this war. I find that there is good reason to go to war, obviously Saddam and his intentions, and we should definitely go to war as soon as possible. War frightens me, of course the thought of it, but instead of killing more people than what would happen if more time passed, we would only need to kill less. I understand that it can be hard for some people to allow someone believing that people's deaths can be decreased if we kill now, but if you do feel that way, then maybe you should think of what Saddam is capable of doing, what he's doing, and how it really does affect you. Saddam is worse than Hitler because he would go into a corner, and blow up all other existence if he could. Of course, there is always more to the story, but obviously some people have thought about that in previous comments.

Wes Ulm said at March 10, 2003 11:12 PM:

For all this bluster about Saddam being the most evil being to grace American TV screens since Simon Cowell, and the fearmongering claim that he'll wind up "endangering the world" with his potential WMD's, why is Bush just giving North Korea a free pass, get-out-of-jail-and-do-whatever-the-hell-you-want card? Bush and Powell keep bitching about the danger posed by Saddam, a thug whose country has been kneecapped by sanctions and is under constant international scrutiny, while they turn a blind eye to a country that ALREADY HAS vast stocks of WMD's, including several nuclear weapons and a processing facility that is just a couple months away from churning out new nukes like fruitcakes at Christmastime. Kim Jong-Il despises the US and is desperate for cash, and the Pyongyang regime would love to get some by holding a suitcase-nuke bake sale for al-Qaeda. N. Korea is far more advanced than Iraq could ever dream of being in the scary weapons department. So how do Powell, Rice, Wolfowitz, and the others respond? "No, no really, it's not a crisis, honest." In other words, they're too chickens--t to actually focus on a *real threat*, so they pick on an easy target in Baghdad.

I was actually a hawk myself for a while and sympathized more with the pro-war side than the antiwar camp. But as top American diplomats resign claiming Administration manipulation of information (http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/03/10/sprj.irq.diplomat.resignation.reut/index.html); as the barbaric "shock and awe" strategy is propounded, with the inevitability of thousands of Iraqi civilian casualties early in the war that will be duly recorded on al-Jazeera; and as the Administration proceeds to bribe and threaten countries that question its invasion plans, subverting the essence of democracy, I can't support this invasion any longer. I'm particularly disturbed that nearly half of all Americans seem confused about Iraq's role in the Sept. 11 attacks, believing that some or most of the hijackers were Iraqi when none of them were (15 out of 19 were Saudi!). This doesn't mean that Saddam is *not* a terrorism threat; but above all else, he's a secular survivalist, not a religious fundamentalist fanatic, and it's doubtful that he'd initiate a first strike or dole out WMD's to terrorists since he knows he'd be greeted by a little B-52 surprise the next day. Moreover, since one of al-Qaeda's main objectives is the overthrow of Middle Eastern secular leaders, Saddam is high on the list; it's ridiculous to think he'd have made common cause with al-Qaeda in the past, and there's no evidence for it. (Abu Musab Zarqawi operates in the northern no-fly zone which is pointedly *not* under Saddam's purview.) Saddam has been kept on an awfully tight leash since the Gulf War and hasn't been able to do jack; by initiating an Iraq invasion, the US would be playing right into the hands of Osama bin Laden, with Bush casting the country as a crusading a**hole bent on subjugation of the Muslim world.

FYI, this doesn't stem from a generalized antiwar sentiment or a partisan inclination. I actually supported Bush's war in Afghanistan as well as his aggressive measures against al-Qaeda. Conversely, I had problems with Clinton's Kosovo bombing, and I'm infuriated at the wishy-washy bandwagon-hopping of top Democrats like Richard Gephardt, John Edwards, and Hillary Clinton, who prefer to either slavishly and unquestioningly back an Iraq war or go hush-hush rather than fulfilling their Constitutional duty to act as a check-and-balance toward the executive branch. And contrary to many anti-warriors, I *don't* believe that the war is about oil, and I sincerely believe that Bush really does perceive of Saddam as a threat. But I find the pro-war arguments to break down on closer examination, and the Bush Administration's penchant to play who-in-the-world-should-we-piss-off-today to be deplorable. It's causing long-term damage to our great nation.

Randall Parker said at March 11, 2003 12:05 AM:

Wes, Bush has already threatened to use military force against North Korea. He just can't fight two wars at a time because the US military isn't big enough for that. Also, an attack on North Korea would kill about a million South Koreans and Americans. The US has a few big problems with dangerous regimes developing nukes. It can solve one of the problems. It shouldn't hold back on it just because the other problems are harder to solve.

The "shock and awe" strategy is not barbaric. By the standards of historical US war fighting its quite humane by comparison. You ought to read about how the US Army took Aachen or how many people died from incendiary bombing of Japan. The "shock and awe" will cause the Iraqis to give up after experiencing a very small fraction of that number of casualties.

True American said at March 15, 2003 12:41 PM:

Are we so naive to think that if we attack Iraq, Sadaam Hussein will be killed? Rich and powerful politicians have an uncanny way of disappearing when the battles begin leaving innocent people to die. Come on people...open your eyes! Don't you see how the administration tells you what it needs to in order to play on your emotions? Question motivations...question politicians...they are people, like you and me, flawed!! We must see beyond the words.

And why are we making France the bad guy? We should be ashamed of ourselves, as humans, let alone Americans, when we put down people who are trying to save innocent lives by doing the unpopular thing...speaking rationally and with heart. Have you heard them speak? They don't sound like they're even speaking from a speech, like Bush, they sound like actual human beings. I find that refreshing. I applaud the French and all who stand up against this ridiculous farce.

Be a true American and speak out!!!

Hákon Helgi Leifsson (Iceland) said at March 15, 2003 1:27 PM:

I heard on the BBC worldwide radio channel to day that one of or the most respected muslim universites announced today that if America and it´s allies attack Iraq, they will support all muslims rights to wage Jihad on America and it´s allies. Maybe not so surprising coming from a muslim university other than the fact that when the 911 attacks took place they were against the whole thing.
If America attacks Iraq you will create thousands of terrorists that will not hesitate to use all kinds of wepons on western civilitations, chemical, biological or nuclear. Take a step back for a minute and try to see the french and the russian and probably the majority of the european and 1/3 at least of your own people have to say..

Why didn´t America finish the job the first time.....????

Even Bush senior has spoken against his son publicly about the need to go to war.

Randall Parker said at March 15, 2003 6:39 PM:

Hey "True American", Within about 2 months after the end of the Afghan war the death rate had fallen so far that there were more people alive in Afghanistan than there would have been if the US hadn't overthrown the Taliban. The number of people who died in the war was less than the number that the Taliban either killed or caused to die due to hunger in about 3 months.

When Saddam is overthrown the war will cause a spike in the death rate in Iraq but after the war is over the death rate will fall so far that in several months after the was is finished the same thing will happen in Iraq as happened in Afghanistan.

I find the morality of the anti-war crowd to be thoroughly bankrupt. They are for the containment policy instead of preemption even though the containment policy and the way Saddam responds to it causes a much higher death rate of babies and of children and adults. The free Kurdish zone that the US and Britain protect has about half the infant mortality rate of the rest of Iraq.

Hákon, the US didn't finish it the first time because there was so little support for the war that the only way Bush Sr could get enough support was by assuring all the other Arab states and other countries (e.g. Russia and France) that the US would not drive all the way to Baghdad. This time around we have more domestic support and even though the Saudis won't let us station ground troops in Saudi Arabia and all the other Arab regimes are saying publically that they are opposed we are going to go all the way to Baghdad.

The problem with opposing any position is that to be responsible about it one has to offer an alternative that will produce a better outcome in reality. Not in fantasy land. But here on planet Earth given the way real people and real regimes act and given the reasons why they act that way. You can't negotiate a better outcome with sadistic killers. You can only kill them before they kill still more.

Val A Lindsay II said at March 16, 2003 1:47 PM:

The problem with opposing any position is that to be responsible about it one has to offer an alternative that will produce a better outcome in reality. Not in fantasy land. But here on planet Earth given the way real people and real regimes act and given the reasons why they act that way. You can't negotiate a better outcome with sadistic killers. You can only kill them before they kill still more.

---quoteth Randall Parker

Interesting point, Randall. When are you going over there? Or better still, why aren't you over there now, making the world a better and safer place?
Oh. You're over here. Never mind :P

True American said at March 16, 2003 7:59 PM:

"The problem with opposing any position is that to be responsible about it one has to offer an alternative that will produce a better outcome in reality." - Randall Parker

hmmm...that's very interesting. So, no one should ever disagree with anything unless they can immediately and solely offer a better outcome? One isn't "responsible" just by bringing another point of view to the table? Oh well, there goes democracy. Not everyone has the time or type of mind to devote to solving such complex political/social problems but most people can tell when something just isn't right. Do you realize how many freedoms we enjoy today that would not have been possible if it weren't for people speaking out against injustice just because they knew it was wrong? Amazing how many pro-Bush/war people think they're patriotic by blindly following their leader when there have been plenty of elected politicians who have shown they're not worthy of leading their people. And yet, people just follow and give power to these people without question. Wow. Scary and truly Un-American.

"You can't negotiate a better outcome with sadistic killers." - Randall Parker

Yeah, you're right...Bush just won't listen to reason. I know , that sounds so unAmerican. Well, I didn't vote for him so he's not my president by choice. I respect people when they earn it, not by virtue of a title. His aggressive, macho "we are the only country in the world that matters" message doesn't sit well with many Americans and reminds some of us of a childish, little boy, certainly not a great leader.

Hey, what about the idea that we will have a good deal of the world despising us, in particular, terrorists who perhaps don't reside in Iraq currently? Wow, I'll feel so much safer then! Maybe the govt. will curtail more of our civil rights in order to "protect us" when that happens.

Randall Parker said at March 16, 2003 8:20 PM:

"True American", you can do what you want to do. I'm telling you what I believe. Just because I tell you that people who argue some point are not being responsible doesn't mean that I'm advocating a policy that will undermine democracy. You are putting up a strawman and attacking the strawman. How typical.

Blindly following their leader? I was mad at Bush Sr when he didn't order the troops to go all the way to Baghdad in Gulf War I. I knew a lot of others at the time who shared my views. We weren't following a leader then. Most of us have been ready for many years to see Saddam taken out by our military. It is a rather unfair misrepresentation of the views of many to say that those views are the result of blindly following a leader. But if you want to put up a strawman and claim that people who support this coming war are blindly following their leader you are of course free to misrepresent the views of many. Again, its not responsible but I think you should be free to say it.

Meanwhile, Saddam is really a sadistic killer. 17% of the Iraqi people are currently in exile. Many others are dead or imprisoned because of him. Look at him. See what he has done.

Randall Parker said at March 16, 2003 8:32 PM:

Val, are you saying that only military people should decide whether we should attack Iraq? Well, lets take a poll of the overwhelmingly conservative folks in uniform and see what they think. You ready abide by their decision?

Anti said at March 20, 2003 5:15 PM:

The war is very wrong!blood for oil?is that what its about?what a joke!

C. Clouse said at March 21, 2003 6:26 AM:

People will die if Iraqi regime does not change. Life will get better for Iraqis if regime does change. War outways the cost of no war. For those of you who think that it is for the oil, it is not. The oil would be there still if the regime was there. Saddam would be willing to sale it to us as well to build up his evil forces. Oil is not a factor in this war neither was it twelve years ago. The States receives its' oil from OPEC, not Iraq. Understand the process of oil trade a little better before assuming yourself an idiot.

Pam said at March 21, 2003 2:09 PM:

to all of you who have posted....you elect people to serve you.... if you cannot trust in our government maybe you should move to another country... perhaps Iraq? Does any one truly know what the fight is about? How many times have you heard thru the media stories only to find out later that they were only telling you bits and pieces of a story? WE do not know the story. You people vote so why don't you trust in our government? Do you really think all the troops who are over there would just do something so horrilbe because the President says so? I think some would but I don't think all of them would. So until you are over there fighting for what is right maybe you should just shut up and support your troops.. after all they are American people, our people. and I am not afraid to say that I cannot do what they are doing. I do not have the courage to stand on a battlefield and risk my life as so many have. instead of sitting here and complaining... so something constructive....write a thank you to someone in our troops. help lift their spirit a little.

im not left said at March 22, 2003 10:11 PM:

Couple of things-
1) Bush is not our elected representative- he was GIVEN the presidentcy by the help of freinds and family in florida, and daddies friends in the suppreme court. He does not represent a majority of americans
2) Randell Parker: you have WAY too much free time on your hands to have as many posts as you do on this page-
that's it
peace- stop the war!!

combat marine vet said at March 23, 2003 4:19 PM:

you whinning little boys, at this moment america doesnt need your crying little boy fits to defend her, there are real men fighting for her and what you should do is go to a country where you can hide in saftey, how about Canada? they take all those who run for war in the usa.
Keep on spending mommys and daddy's money at school and when the real world jumps up and bites your niave self, you will learn.

AVERAGE WORKING PERSON said at March 25, 2003 9:54 AM:

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!! TO ALL OF THOSE SMALL NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO FUCKEN WHINE ABOUT EVERYTHING,WHY DON'T U LAZY MUTHA F***AS GET A JOB AND STOP LIVING OFF OF DADIES MONEY!! IF YOU DON'T LIKE THE IDEA THAT WERE AT WAR THEN TOUGH SHIT,....LEAVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

hogtyed said at March 30, 2003 11:15 AM:

"The "shock and awe" will cause the Iraqis to give up after experiencing a very small fraction of that number of casualties."---Randall Parker

Randall,

Are you still willing to stand by your words?

Gregory Cross said at March 30, 2003 2:40 PM:

If you dont like the US then leave it , if you feel we are wrong then kiss my ass, you would be the very ones in 10 years putting bush down if something happend and we did nothing about it so i say to all you good for nothings move over and let the men do it so you can have your freedom

Erin said at April 1, 2003 11:26 AM:

I do not support bush! I think that Saddam is one crazy man and that what he is doing should be stopped but not by killing everyone around him. Bush says that the people of Iraq hate Saddam, this is not true a lot of them like him(this could because they fear him i dont know). I dont think its right that Saddam has nuclear weapons but we still have no rpoven where they are or if they even exist. What if they dont? Or what if they do and they end up blowing them up while bombing on Iraq? Or what if they get Saddam so mad that they use them agianst the U.S.? No one can say what will happen but I do not think that War is truly the answer. Couldn't they try harder to focus on the real issues. U.S troops are going into Iraq and killing women and children, this is not fair! War is not the answer it never is!

Waterman said at April 1, 2003 7:24 PM:

Okay...lefties... what say you now..?? This is the finest military movement ever conducted in history. WMD's have been found..... Saddam IS using civilians as always, Iraqui's are starting to help...and guess what..Saddam is deader than a doornail..Just like Osama. Wake up and smell the roses. George W. Bush will single handidly (with his cabinet)... throw the knock-out punch to the democratic party whaich has slipped from believing in freedom and rights...to abusing power and deception.

And for the idiotic thinkers that say...this will cause more problems...just wait. These arab countries will relish the freedom Iraq is granted from tyranny and desire a "normal" life as well... terrorism is on its way out. FASTER THAN SHIT. How could anyone with a brain even the size of a bb...think these actions are not only honorable...but our entire duty as the True FREE world power. If it is not the job of the USA to defend herself and any other country that desires freedom from such an evil regime (And of course...others will follow after this)...then who are we to punish drivers who choose to be drunk, and pedophiles who choose to rape children...why not just turn a blind eye on everything and wake up colder than hell one morning.

And to show true partisan... the democrats are trying to now thwart the "tax-cut" which would stimulate the economy..Which has proven itself EVERYTIME in existence... A quick question... to all LEFT side democrats.... If George W. Bush's ideas are so radical..and will hurts us so bad..? Then why not let him hang himself, so your pathetic party can regain power and put us rught in this shithole we're in from the last 10 years again..?? Wouldn't that just prove your point..??

Tough choice though... because if you're wrong...Then there won't even be a party to vote for anymore....LOL

God Bless our military and anyone that would risk their life for us to even have this discussion. What and who would YOU die for...??

give me liberty and give them death??? said at April 1, 2003 8:46 PM:

When is all of this going to end? Neither Bush nor any other member of our government has any plans to end the war. Even our president has said that this war is going to take longer to resolve than he anticipated. For crying out loud, if we don't when we're going to stop, does that mean this could go on for a few more weeks? months? years? Needless to say, one of our governments 3 main objectives is to get rid of (a.k.a. kill) Hussein; however, the Iraqi government has it's own agenda: don't let the U.S. find out if Hussein ever dies, hence the Saddaam "mini-me's" that he has floating around. Now, back to my prior point, if WE don't end this war, which it obviously does not look like the case shall be, someone, or a compilation of others, will. Oddly enough I get the feeling that if we do not stop this war, whoever does will not end it in such a way that is appealing to the people of the United States. What I mean by that is, in my opinion, we are upsetting and we will over time come to upset many many people in such a way that they will be not only compelled but forced by the natural instinct of retaliation to come after those that are doing them wrong. When I say they, I refer to Arabs and any other citizens of the Earth who feels wronged by "those that are doing them wrong"; more commonly known as the United States of America.

Now, I'm not backing Saddaam in any way, shape or form. However, I do feel there are more diplomatic ways of going about things than saying 'get out of your country in 48 hours or else' (a paraphrase of what Bush told the nation just before he deployed troops into Iraq). Someone else on this opinion page wrote that Saddaam is killing innocent people. I agree. However, along with what this person has said, by bombing Iraq, we are killing more innocent people in a way just as inhumane as what Hussein is doing. How do we justify ourselves? our nation? our government? Consider, if you will, that our own government cannot adequately justify themselves in what they are doing. They have given us reasons for war; all logical but none sufficient enough. As I have said, the government wants to get rid of Saddaam Hussein. Ask yourself this question: "Does our government want this war on terrorism to end or do they desire to light flames to keep it burning hot?" This is one question that will probably never fade away. All the government has to do is scream "war on terrorism, if you don't back us, you're a rebel and not worthy to be an American". Pretty convincing argument, no? Last, but certainly not least, a concern over weapons of mass destruction ... if we have them, if Russia has them, if China, North Korea, and probably many others to some extent or another, is Iraq going to simply be the first country we go after because we disagree with what they have in their back sheds? What makes China, Russia or any other country similar to these as far as “weapons of mass destruction” go any different than Iraq. Once again, I do not back what is happening to the Iraqi people; rather, I am concerned at when our "Blow-'em-up then be Big-Brother" action is going to cease.

I leave you with this thought. Germany was a democracy, at least to a much greater extent than it was in, say, the mid-40's, before Mr. Hitler came into power. We have a democracy now but it is far from what the founders had ever fathomed that it would become. Could our government be looking for world domination? Could democracy turn from a beloved term to a hated term, much like communism thanks to Stalin? Think about it...

Waterman said at April 2, 2003 5:22 AM:

Liberty or death,...

How in the world could anyone think that todays democracy is FAR from what the founding fathers fathomed..??? That is an absurdity in itself. This nation is FREER and more diverse than ever would have been believed. Fairness strectches to every nook and corner you can find. Equality abounds like never before. Anyone from anywhere can become successful and life with freedom here..and be defended from others even if they don't agree in pricipal..? Where else can you find that..?? There will always be some predjudice in any society, but the USA will never be equalled by any other nation on the panet, and that is prcicely why these actions must take place as they unfold. Someonme, somewhere, must stand up for what is humanely right and block the road that others contiune to thwart. There will be and always has been people who will hate our religious/social rights...but that is just life.

The amount of innocent people killed in this rejection of an extremely evil regime will be so insignificant compared to the people dying hourly in Iraq...just fromthe abuses of the oil fo food raping by Saddam Hussien. Histroy will show this the most masteful military action with minimal loss of life and expediency that will be unheard of in the future. Open your eyes... there will be some world dissent...and it will fade away into memory. We are finding out vitally important information about so caled "allies", that is imperative to the security of our future later.

Russia, China, Korea, Germany, and France will be handled in due time. They currently show no imminent threat the way Saddaam could have provided to Al-Queda and other terrorists. This has been proven by what has been uncovered so far....and what is yet to be found. be patient and watch the best governemnt in the world attempts to solve difficult issues.

As for sparking more terrorist attacks..??? Where are they...?? We had more threats/attacks before the war...than during..?? Hiding in fear never solved anything.... confronting the enemy has always created a winner. And FREEDOM shall win

Wes Ulm said at April 14, 2003 5:36 AM:

Well, looks as if the war (the military-on-military part of it at least) has almost drawn to a close, and I concur that by historical standards, the casualty figures on both sides are fairly light. But I think this also makes hash out of all those dire warnings from the Administration about Iraq being such a "massive threat"-- the vaunted Republican Guard could hardly invade one of their own palaces, let alone a neighboring nation. And where are those damn weapons of mass destruction? The Iraqis were practically retaliating with pea shooters against the invading armies.

This is precisely my concern-- it's beginning to appear as if Iraq really did lack the WMD's, yet the US invaded anyway. So what message will this convey to other would-be rogue states? It's not going to persuade them that forsaking WMD's is in their interest-- just the opposite since, again, Iraq was attacked *in spite of* the lack of WMD's. Instead, it's going to convince antagonistic nations that they'd better acquire WMD's ASAP to possess a credible deterrent against a US invasion, since they might be overrun if they don't. If anything, the kid-gloves approach to North Korea seems to be reaffirming this-- the Pyongyang regime, unlike Iraq, does appear to indeed possess nukes and who-knows-what-else, and they're being left alone. I'm concerned that this is only going to exacerbate WMD proliferation (particularly if the occupation of Iraq turns ugly) since, as Matthew Parris wrote recently in The Times of London, nukes have now become effectively the "guarantors of sovereignty" for nations that can't afford to upgrade their militaries by $100 billion each fiscal year.

World Traveler said at December 13, 2004 10:45 AM:

Does anyone know who Ken Lay is, or who he was friends with? Thats right G.W.S.O.B. How american is it to screw people out of their life savings and jobs, while the guilty roam about in Bentleys. Alls fair in war and politics. As long as you voted for Bush.

Carrie L Robinson said at February 28, 2006 5:00 AM:

I carrie L robinson told on a male for trying to kill President G. Bush. I never got a award of nothing. president Bush in a cheap bitch that is poor and is A ugly old Man. I belive in God . But I hope all the American people should Die and be murdered by the iraq Army. I will murder American White Women . And I will not be happy until all the North American Kids and mental health Are murderd by the Iraq. Pay back is a Bitch but sorry I hate White Americans!

Carrie L Robinson said at February 28, 2006 5:00 AM:

I carrie L robinson told on a male for trying to kill President G. Bush. I never got a award of nothing. president Bush in a cheap bitch that is poor and is A ugly old Man. I belive in God . But I hope all the American people should Die and be murdered by the iraq Army. I will murder American White Women . And I will not be happy until all the North American Kids and mental health Are murderd by the Iraq. Pay back is a Bitch but sorry I hate White Americans!


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