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How much is too much?

Today on Fox News Channel, I caught a brief interview with retired general Alexander Haig where he was deriding the Congressional naysayers and media pundits who chatter on about the ‘terrible cost’ of this war, as if were some high-tech peacetime procurement program. I certainly do not idolize Haig, we have had plenty of differences in the past. But, in this case, he was ‘right on the money.’

Rather than spending too much, our penny-pinching approach to the prosecution of this war to date has gone beyond simply detracting from its swift completion; it has actually served to give aid and comfort to the enemy by indicating that we lack resolve to persevere. Just look at the numbers (as percentage of US GDP):

Cost of Iraqi campaign – 0.5 (his figure)
Total defense spending – 3 (my figure)
Reagan era defense spending – 8 (mine)
Korean conflict – 15 (his)
WWII – 135 (both)

The fact is, the US can pay the estimated $100bn over the next five years ourselves without breaking a sweat. And it would be worth it to avoid getting the likes of the UN and the EU involved. At the same time, we should be staging invasion forces in Iraq ready to march into Iran and Syria, as well as a couple of carrier battle groups off the Korean peninsula.

This is war… it is time we started treating it as such.

47 comments to How much is too much?

  • Julian Morrison

    Yes, pay up, tax slaves! Your money is our money; you’ll be drafted to work to pay for this war, whether you wanted it or not!

    Blech.

    No such thing as a neocon libertarian. You’re either for big government, or you aren’t. Pick and choose, people.

  • Kodiak

    Kevin,

    Your bizarre speculation over the Iraqi quagmire starts funnily with a mention of… guess what? FoxNews !!! Thanx for that, really: what you’re losing in terms of credibility is easily made up by unbeatable risibility. Now, in which dusty closet did you find Alexander Haig’s skeleton? Are you looking for Leonid Brejnev’s tomb too?

    I nonetheless give you one single accurate thing: (…) we lack resolve to persevere. That’s something everybody knew from day one. So the good news is this “information” is of no help to Iraqi resistance & islamofascist terrorists.

    Even more outlandish: (…) we should be staging invasion forces in Iraq ready to march into Iran and Syria (…). Dreams dreams dreams. Perhaps you should first stop the march of IT jobs lost by the US & sucked up by (re-arming) India…

    More eccentricity: And it would be worth it to avoid getting the likes of the UN and the EU involved. You know, even George The Appointed got the picture that his pointless army needed UN & EU expertise to have the slightest chance of a “face-saving” retreat. Jojo the Unelected is like the Bourgeois Gentilhomme by Molière: he’s multilateralising like a mad without his knowing & is so delighted to see that it works.

    This is war… it is time we started treating it as such. Oh! This was a war then? How stupid of me: I always thought this was a short, successful liberation campaign in no way related to oil razzia…

  • Charles Copeland

    Julian,
    You have hit the nail on the head. A neocon libertarian is a contradiction in terms.

    BTW, readers interested in the case AGAINST the Iraq war should consult Antiwar.com.
    Of course, there are many intelligent reasons in favour of US intervention. There are also many intelligent reasons for opposing it.
    In particular, I think that intellectual honesty makes it mandatory for the pro-war side to read what the anti-war side has to say. Just as, vice versa, the anti-war brigade should read what the pro-war side has to say.

    I’m still on the fence myself.

  • Charles Copeland

    Kevin writes:

    “At the same time, we should be staging invasion forces in Iraq ready to march into Iran and Syria …”

    By the looks of things, at the moment the US can just about control Bagdad airport. Here’s what Samizdata’s favourite columnist has to say:

    YOU need to take a military escort to reach Baghdad airport these days. Yes, things are getting better in Iraq, according to President Bush — remember that each hour that goes by — but the guerrillas are getting so close to the runways that the Americans have chopped down every tree, every palm bush, every scrap of undergrowth on the way.“.

    Read more =”http://fairuse.1accesshost.com/news1/fisk2.html” target=”new”>here.

  • Alfred E. Neuman

    Kevin, keep referencing Fox, since it seems to drive Kodiak nuts. That can only be a good thing.

  • Charles Copeland

    Sorry, should have been:

    Read more here.

  • R. C. Dean

    I think Kevin got this one about right. We can afford it.

    As to whether it is possible to be a neocon libertarian, since I don’t have the faintest idea what a neocon is (“neocon” being the new term of approbation for anyone whose foreign policy involves more than learning in which direction to bow 5 times a day), I won’t comment on that.

    I do believe that support for the current war is consistent with a libertarian approach to reality, starting with the premise that national defense is one of the legitimate functions of the state. Pacifism is not a necessary corollary of libertarian thought; quite the opposite, in my view, but that is a post for another day.

    Once you begin seriously trying to figure out how to stop the Islamonutters from committing mass murder in the US (a legitimate goal for even a libertarian state), you quickly realize that they cannot be stopped purely by playing defense within the borders of the US. Doing so is the quick road to a police state in any event. That means that success in pursuing this legitimate goal will only be found in overseas engagement with the nutters.

    Stopping the nutters overseas, you have basically two options. The multilateral “speak endlessly and carry a small stick” approach was tried throughout the ’90s, and pretty conclusively failed. That leaves war, in my book, as the best of a bad lot of options. Really, this is no more than a recognition that organizations, many with state backing, have been at war with us for quite awhile, so we aren’t really going to war, we are just starting to participate in one that started awhile back.

  • Kevin L. Connors

    Anytime I read the word ‘neocon’, my eyes glaze over, as I know I’m reading the work of someone in thrall to organizations such as A.N.S.W.E.R., CAIR, AND THE WWP.

  • snide

    Kodiak: How stupid of me

    Finally he writes something I agree with completely!

  • rkb

    What R C Dean said.

    To add one note: we are waging war back on those who have declared war on us, in many ways and places. This is what my military colleagues call an assymetric war and the work in Iraq, while important, is only a small part of what we are already doing.

    Assymetrical attacks on traditional powers try to use the state’s very strength against itself. A classic way to do that is to get a large armed forces bogged down in trying to exert complete control over the territory of another country. Rumsfeld knows that, which is why from the start he has insisted on committing marginally-sufficient traditional forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The strategy is working, as Iraqis themselves begin to lose patience with attackers and are starting to accept active responsibility for their country’s security. Only baby steps so far, but their ability and resolve to do so will continue to grow.

    In the meanwhile, much of the real fighting is going on quietly in less traditional venues: interdicting money flows, extensive use of small special forces teams for reconnaisance and special ops and accelerating deployment of advanced surveillance, reconnaisance and even weapons systems technologies at arm’s length. These campaigns have already had significant impact on the Islamofascist groups and their government sponsors, judging by the flying spittle coming out of their spokesmen recently.

    Sorry, Kodiak — there’s far more success happening than you would like.

  • Kodiak

    rkb: you should see a shrink ASAP.

    The unilateral aggression against the State of Iraq -a member of the UN- and against its innocent Nation, is not only an ill-prepared, mismanaged, failing asymmetric war. It’s also, & above all, a blatant violation of International Law and the USA is now paying the price -still too cheap- of its demented behaviour.

    Should the impotent Rumsfeld have anything vaguely resembling a strategy (he obviously hasn’t), he would have failed anyway. The USA has proven weak & has lacked fighting spirit.

    Bush’s folly is this: he has demultiplicated the devasting effect of 9/11. Iraq’s Vietnamisation is like New York being hit by 250 planes…

    You can’t handle North Korea. You haven’t punished Saudi Arabia (the ones who killed your fellow citizens). You haven’t touched Pakistan. All you’ve done is massacre Iraqi children & bark at the French. Rather meagre, innit?

    Today only, there have been 5 terrorist attacks in Bagdad alone !!!

    Good luck…

  • Kodiak

    rkb: BTW, where are the WMD ? Where is Saddam ? Where is Oussama Ben Laden ? Where are the thousands of manipulated Floridian votes that helped George II to be appointed by the Supreme Joke ?

  • Abby

    “The US has proven weak & has lacked fighting spirit”

    Ouch. That really hurts coming from a French.

    “the impotent Rumsfeld”

    Rumsfeld is impotent? Well, that must have been a great disappointment for you Kodiak. But the man is 70 years old after all, I’m sure it wasn’t just you.

  • Moira

    “Where is Saddam?”
    Why he is reported to be in Belaurus.
    The neocons made a deal with him beore the invasion.
    As for the American taxpayers picking up the tab for the Bankers and their Corporate minions, we’ve already mortgaged our children’s future, for their imperial resource and power grabs.
    Enough is enough.

  • Abby

    Moira,

    As one of America’s “children” whose future has been “mortgaged” I can tell you that defense spending is not what we are worried about.

    The cloud hanging over our future looks very much like a bunch of fat, greedy baby boomers who want us to pay for their facelifts and hair transplants.

    Your hang-wringing would be better employed protesting the parasitic welfare state you people have constructed. Enough is enough indeed.

  • Eric the .5b

    Wait a moment, Kodiak!

    You called the previous Iraqi regime a “state”. Hadn’t you protested long and hard that, by definition (if one existing only in your mind), the word “state” referred only to democratic governments?

    Did you change your mind at some point, or were you just impressed by the 100% support Saddam got last time?

  • Harry

    Great Kodiak and now Moira,

    With terrorism and totalitarian socialism we have proof that evil never sleeps, and with nutty conspiracy theories and Kodiak’s continued reliving of past life experiences, we now realize that stupidity doesn’t either.

    Hey Kodiak where’s Adolf Hitler? We never found him or his body you know. Could it be he went to live in Belarus too.

  • R. C. Dean

    Abby is right. Anyone seriously concerned about the tax burden should address their concerns to the welfare state. The new prescription drug benefit alone bids fair to cost us more in one year than the entire Iraqi intervention, and those welfare state entitlements never . . . stop . . . growing.

    At least a coherent argument can be made that the Iraq war is consistent with a legitimate purpose of givernment – the defense of the nation. The welfare state enjoys no such philosophical grounding.

  • Kevin L. Connors

    I deal in rational thought, not emotion. As such, I have very little time for those that spout such Bizarro World mantras as “Bush stole the election” as some sort of emotional salve for the fact that their fondest wishes have not come to pass.

    Those that spout such things as “UN” and “International Law” are just a single step ahead of the former group. But, as they generally are within the threshold of rationality, they must be addressed.

    Within the libertarian meta-context, something such as UN recognition of a nation-state should carry little water, as it is questionable to most libertarians if the UN itself is even a legitimate organization. What does carry a great amount of water is the first principle that governments are legitimate only inasmuch as the rule by consent of the governed.

    As such, any libertarian argument premised upon concepts like ‘agression against a soverign state’. crumble. Indeed, Ba’athist Iraq, Iran, and (arguably) Syria are not soverign nation-states, but rather, captive territories.

  • Kodiak

    Abby,
    I’m disappointed to see you too indulge in gross Francophobia. Well after all, it’s just a hint about how much you’re brainwashed. Just one thing: the day the USA is courageous & strong enough to lose as many people as the French did during WW1 & WW2 you can come back to me with your US redneck pizza slice in your mouth & your strawberry milkshake in your hand and try to lecture us about fight. You obviously have no clue about what fighting means.
    Rumsfeld doesn’t seem impotent to you? Fair enough. Stick to your dreams…

    Eric the .5b,
    You love sophisms but I don’t. If you read carefully what I wrote, you’ll see that the State of Iraq was indeed a parody of State. It was nonetheless acknowledged by the World Community such as are numerous more travesties of democracy like the USA. And since you like logics, here is a question for you: notwithstanding typical logorrhea about popular vote vs electoral vote, could you please explain to me why:
    Wilson 1916 (49,2 %)
    Truman 1948 (49,5 %)
    Kennedy 1960 (49,7 %)
    Nixon 1968 (43,4 %)
    Clinton 1992 (43,0 %)

    Clinton 1996 (49,0 %)
    George The Second 2000 (47,9 %)
    and accessorily Adolf Schwarzenegger (who got less than 48 % in Kalifornia)
    are considered “elected” ?

    Harry,
    I’m was taught that Hitler’s dead body was found in his Berlin bunker. But this could have been false. One thing’s for sure though: Hitler was helped by Prescott Bush.

  • Kevin L. Connors

    The US is not a democracy, it is a republic. The Founding Fathers, in their wisdom, understood that democracy is no guarantor of liberty. It is, in fact, one of it’s greatest enemies.

  • Abby

    Kodiak,

    I am very far from a Fancophobe. My grandfather was a pilot in WWII and he maintained a lifelong fondness for France. He always said many French fought bravely in that war.

    But we are both patriots. When you begin spouting your poisonous anti-American venom you earn only my disgust.

    As for strawberry milkshakes, mmm … I have not had one since I was very young. But you make me want one.

  • Jacob

    Kodiak,
    ” The USA has proven weak & has lacked fighting spirit.”

    We’ll see about that, it is not yet proven.

    But here is a question for you: which outcome do you prefer:
    1. The US indeed proves weak of will, leaves Iraq, and another tyrant (or the old one) installs himself in power there after a bloody civil war. or
    2. The US stays, and manages, after several years, to help install a peaceful, more or less liberal and democratic regime in Iraq.

    Is the weakeness of the US that you speak about something you lament or something you are happy about ?

    BTW, about Korea, seeing how the US indeed hesistates to tackle the problem militarily, maybe France could help in some way, military or other ?

  • Ain’t Kodiak predictable ? The same old lines. Bush Is Evil. All Bushes Are Evil. They Even Helped Hitler. I mean, everybody knows WW2 would not have happened if old Prescott hadn’t helped Adolf, right ?

    And he still hasn’t figured out how the electoral system works, or what absentee votes are. Not that I’m holding my breath…

    The guy is right on one thing though. If the US was to need to retreat, it ought to call the EU and the UN for help. After all, if you’re going to turn around and run away, you might as well ask for assistance from the experts in the Large-Scale Retreats & Defeats Department. Europe and the UN have been in the business of institutional retreating for decades now.

    Hence Old Europe’s view of the U.N.’s purpose. Retreat being the standard, approved approach to dealing with rabid murderous fanatics, both at home and abroad, attacks must be sanctioned and voted.

    It sort of makes sense, in a pathetic sort of way.

    As for ‘neocon’, most of the people who use the term don’t even know what it means or where it comes from (never mind the group of people referred to and their ideas have been around since the 1960s…since the Left just started paying attention to them, they must be ‘neo’). It’s just standard labelling. It’s much easier to dismiss any opinion that doesn’t agree with your own if you can give it a name that means “bad”, “wrong” or “wicked” in your own political tribe. Everybody in their neat little compartment. Got to keep things tidy, we don’t want to get ourselves dirty by actually supporting our arguments, do we ? I mean, yuck.

  • Hmm… interesting anti-spambot technology. I used a different trick on MT and it worked too.

    Anyway…

    Why the heck does anyone bother to respond to Kodiak? Such idiotarians infest any popular conservative or libertarian board, and they all say the same boring, predictable stuff. Groupthink is their thing.

    Why don’t we just ignore this guy. He doesn’t pass the Turing test!

  • Oh, and yes, millions of Californians did not get out and drive to vote to recall Gray Davis. One single rich evil Republican did it. All by himself.

    Yawn.

    More seriously. I agree with Kevin. The US can, and should go it alone. Unfortunately, election year politics are going to gett in the way, regardless of the situation on the ground.

    And given the current Administration’s PR deficiencies, it is unlikely it will convince Congress, and the country, that it can anytime soon. If it couldn’t do it up to now, it won’t happen in 2004.

  • Kevin L. Connors

    I don’t necessary believe the US should “go it alone.” even though we certainly have the resources.

    My prefered course is similar to an idea I believe Perry put forth some months ago, wherein the US, Britain, and Australia form the core of ad hoc coalitions formed to address specific campaigns.

  • Eric the .5b

    Kodiac:

    I do indeed love logic. Your fondness for it seems deeply in doubt, since a sensible person would admit that a “parody of state” is implicitly not a state. Or even simply admit that you did not say “Parody of State Iraq”, but “State of Iraq”. (I suppose it’s a matter of being good enough to sell weapons to during an embargo…)

    As for the vote totals you cite, those have to do with the term “plurality”. I’m sure that’s a term you can look up.

  • Kevin, for all practical purpose, that is pretty much the same as going it alone. Let’s face it, no matter what, the U.S will provide 90% of the funding, personnel, logistics and 99% of the planning.

    It’s a little bit like those people who claim the first Gulf War was a coalition effort while the more recent one isn’t. Sure, there were more countries involved on paper. In practice, it was still an American war. Led, planned and mostly staffed by Americans. The only coalition bit happened when it came to signing the checks. Hence the current debates in Congress about footing the bill. That was not an issue the first time around.

  • Kodiak

    Kevin: The US is not a democracy, it is a republic. Thanx for your candour. Indeed the US isn’t & never was a democracy. This federation of administrative constituencies –pompously called “states” (none of which ever enjoyed international status as all of them were either stolen from exterminated Amerindians or bought from European nations), likes to regard itself as a “nation”. Strange “nation” as a matter of fact. The US “nation” has so far systematically & cautiously been avoiding the supreme act of sovereignty: voting on a one-man-one-vote basis to elect its provisional leader.
    Look around yourself : France is a Republic and a democracy, the UK is a monarchy and a democracy, Germany is a federal Republic and a democracy. In those 3 countries, the majority isn’t ruled by the minority.
    You should also understand that the lack of democracy is certainly not a guarantor of liberty either: the 50.996.039 voting US citizens who chose President Gore were denied their basic liberty to do so by a corrupt “court” & the electoral manipulations performed by the brother of the defeated candidate (nepotism as usual…), that is the Texan usurper who lack 539.898 votes to just match President Gore’s score.
    Well, there’s some justice anyway. Defeated by ballots & defeated by Iraqis.
    And this one: (…) the US, Britain, and Australia form the core of ad hoc coalitions formed to address specific campaigns. Well, the core of ad-hoc coalitions has proved a gigantic failure.

    Jacob: glad you now seem to be a bit more sceptical about the outcome of the Bushist illegal war for oil. To answer your question, I prefer none of both. My preference would be: the US beats it at once & the UN take over & restore Iraqi self-ownership. The US would be well inspired to sweep & clean its own insurgent ghettos and to modify its constitution to grant elementary voting rights to its citizens before it feels self-entitled to salivate its incompetence & arrogance to independent countries.
    French increasingly hypothetical support to the USA: your country is isolated on the diplomatic scene like it never was before. Friends are scarce. Former allies are distrustful. Enemies are proliferating. Your influence is now reduced to a couple of Anglo-Saxon countries, not even all of them.

    Sylvain: And he still hasn’t figured out how the electoral system works, or what absentee votes are. Please correct me if the following figures are wrong. President Gore: 50.996.039 – George The Appointed: 50.456.141 – Nader: 2.882.807 – Others: 1.069.559 – Total: 105.404.546.
    If “neocons” is a problem for you, may I use “rightards” ?

  • Kodiak

    Oh Kevin, in passing, tell Dale to update his superb chart titled We are winning ! (no kidding, I swear !) to add the 43 new dead killed by 5 different attacks today in Bagdad. But wait ! Most of those 43 unfortunate aren’t eligible to maccabre accountancy: non-US people don’t count, you know.

    What do you think of George II’s latest grotesque bit of spin? “We are attacked because we are successful”. Reformulated: tout va bien car tout va mal. That’s what we call la méthode Coué in France.

    Bush’s wishful “thinking” rings all the more pathetic as the US isn’t even able to cope with the braze that’s setting South California in flames… Maybe he should call Terminator at his succour.

  • Hasn’t felt much like a war to me too.

    And I’m not at all sure that ‘the legions’ have gotten enough of their pound of flesh yet either.

    We’ve still got over 20% GDP of idle industrial capacity folks. So the dial is nowhere near 11, as they say.

    Operational tempo can still go way up. Weapon systems design to production cycles are getting shorter (weeks to months instead of years recently in special situations).

    The attitude of the Army vis a vis Korea seems to be ‘bring it on’. God hope the Chicoms stay out if THAT goes down!

  • Kodiak, here is a hint for you so you finally – maybe – understand these other numbers you never mention, and what they mean for your little litany. Find out about absentee ballots, what they are, and how many are involved in 2000.

    Then maybe you’ll understand why your repeating the mantra of Gore-won-the-popular-vote makes you look like yet another ignorant European who has no idea what he’s talking about and goes around giving lectures without ever listening or learning anything that diverges from the well-learned little mantras he’s comfortable with.

    I am not holding my breath. In case you’d worry about that.

    Thanks for confirming you don’t know what neocon means, nor even care since you only want to label people and call them names. How sophisticated. You are such a great ambassador for the superiority and subtlety of French thinking. Thankfully for the rest of the world, it is a cultural exception. Pfew.

    Restore Iraqi “self-ownership” ? And how would you have done that without removing the man who stole it from the Iraqi people for decades ? Just so we know. After all, the brilliant UN had been at it for 12 years and even more resolutions with no results whatsoever. In terms of restoring Iraqi “self-ownership”, that is. Giving Iraq to the one institution that not only was unable to do anything for its people, and whose majority of members postponed its justified liberation for more than a decade sounds brilliant indeed. As usual.

    After all, the U.N. can barely handle East Timor, it couldn’t do tiny Lebanon, fix even smaller Somalia, deal with Bosnia or even acknowledge warnings from its men on the ground in Rwanda that a genocide was coming. Surely, this qualifies it to handle Iraq. And to bring security to its people, given how competent it was at securing its own headquarters for the few weeks it existed there.

    And by the way, since the U.N. recently voted to ‘legitimize’ the intervention that was supposedly “illegal” and “immoral” six months ago, I suggest you reset your clock and finally figure out what kind of institution you’re really dealing with here, and how relevant it actually is…Granted, if I had fallen for Chirac’s hypocritical posturing and claims of “principles”, I’d be upset too.

    As for California, don’t worry about them. They’ve had fires before and they’re still coping with them better than France did with its storms in 1999. In fact, France can’t even cope with a heatwave when most of the US – including California – deals with them every single summer without having to fill meat-packing rooms with piles of dead bodies that don’t fit in the local morgue.

    Stop obsessing about Bush, about America and what you think are their problems. Your anachronistic, chauvinistic need to rationalize France’s geopolitical and social decay by believing everybody else is sinking faster than you won’t fool anyone. Your self-inflicted delusions, myths and superstitions don’t affect anyone but those like yourself who choose self-delusion over reality. Get used to it.

    Now, I can understand how an isolated North Korean brainwashed since birth can believe the rest of the world to be a worse place than his own home. I can even understand why the few who do know the truth still need to ignore it, for their own sanity. But when you see someone believing the same kind of nonsense in a free, open, western country, it’s rather sad. Specially when they have such an addiction to these beliefs that it extends to preaching and writing the same reams of irrelevant drivel on all kinds of web sites, again and again, no matter the place, time and topic.

    It looks like some kind of obsessive-compulsive behavior. Sort of like those guys who stand on a bucket on a sidewalk and scream about the Bible and God’s will for hours on end while the world goes by them. They vent, they preach, they so want to convert the rest of us mortal minions. Entertaining and quite quixotic, in a way.

    Oh well.

    Stay on that bucket, Kodiak. Explain it to ‘em infidels of the True Faith.

    I’m going back to the real world now. Good luck to you.

  • Kodiak

    Sylvain: thanx very much for your august, edifying, disinterested contribution to my education, but I nonetheless feel very happy we didn’t meet in France during WW2 >>> you probably would have reported my opinions to the local Kommandantur. That said, allow this non-collaborating Frog to rectify the endless list of enormous lies which are the backbone of your bombastic logorrhoea.

    IGNORANT EUROPEANS
    Well your superbly ignore the biggest number of non-European US citizens who chose Gore for president, 50.996.039 people that is. I know facts & figures hold absolutely no currency to you as they just won’t comply to your little neocon / rightard / imperialist / unilateralist / ideological (to be chosen from – you may tick all) world.

    NEOCON TERMINOLOGY
    Sorry that I hurt your sectarian beliefs & totemic phraseology. I indeed don’t waste my time abiding by Chicagoboyz linguistic orthodoxy to make myself understood.

    THE MARTYRDOM OF THE IRAQI NATION
    Once again people lives are of no interest to you, desperate as you are to postvindicate Anglo-Saxon greediness & rapacity. It took more than 10 years & a presidential election theft for the tribal Bush family to assuage its unquenchable thirst for revenge, oil profits & Iraqi blood. The fact that –as far as Iraq & Palestine, two courageous, martyr Nations, are concerned- the USA has systematically sought to bypass, backstab, asphyxiate & trample underfoot any UN move towards peace & stability doesn’t even rise to the surface of your concerns. The fact that Rumsfeld & Co have actually provided Saddam with all weaponry needed (including WMD) to fight Iranians, Kurds, Shiites & political opponents is of course to be dismissed as irrelevant.

    US CRIMES IN EAST TIMOR
    General Sharto – a great democrat installed in Indonesia by the USA in 1965, may undoubtedly compete in the Hitler / Stalin / Mao championship. Shall I remind you that until 1998 the USA has approved of the invasion of East Timor by Suharto in 1975 ? The UN issued a resolution against Indonesia. The USA sabotaged it. The courageous Australia acknowledged the annexation of East Timor. In 1998 the USA feigned to stop its support as Suharto appeared to be incapable of implementing IMF fatwas, ie: ransack the Indonesians & fatten up the US-manipulated “élite”. It must be said that the IMF ayatollah of the time was a despicable Frenchman: Michel Camdessus, a proxy for Clinton & Albright.
    The Indonesian army has been trained & equipped by the USA, although it’s now peace-loving Australia that’s taking over authority on the mass-murdering Indonesian army (no wonder why: Australia is desirous to postpone its invasion by cohorts of Indonesian neighbours, that’s 215 million hungry people surviving in overpopulated areas vs 19 millions living in a huge desert). I shouldn’t forget to mention the UK –another member of the ad-hoc coalition worshipped by Kevin, that too supplied the Indonesian army with heavy weaponry.
    Yes, the East Timorans know damn well whom by they were slaughtered & whom by the murderers were supplied.

    UN AS SOLE SOURCE OF INTERNATIONAL LAW
    The UN never “legitimised” anything. Even Syria voted for resolution n° 1483. The ruthless, outrageous occupation of Iraq remains illegal & immoral but is de facto acknowledged out of realpolitik, ie: late multilateralisation of civil rebuilding vs recognition of fait accompli. All Security Council members –wrongly ?- agreed to help the USA in its desperate & late attempt to multilateralise operations as ultimate expedient before “face-saving” retreat. Don’t forget the unstoppable reality: the US “liberation” army and its undignified stooges are bogged down in a guerrilla war waged simultaneously –perhaps jointly- by genuine high-spirited Iraqi resistants & opportunistic islamofascists. US occupation troops can’t even disengage from this martyr country as no UN-abiding Nation is willing to vindicate Bush’s folly by sending occupation troops –except perhaps the bribed Turkish government that accepted to betray its own people to get $ 8 billion dollars. Rumsfeld has no plan B. Rice didn’t plan any exit strategy. Military morale –already extremely low from the very start of the terrorising of the Iraqi Nation- is continuously declining.

    Have a nice trip in your “real” world. Too bad you don’t want to see the world you brought to the Iraqis: death, poverty, humiliation, fear, shame, dispair & hate.

  • Kodiak

    Sorry Sylvain. I’ve missed that one: As for California, don’t worry about them. They’ve had fires before and they’re still coping with them better than France did with its storms in 1999.

    I suppose we agree that a fire may be extinguished with water supplied by firemen.

    How do you stop a storm ? By putting up a DDR-wall like Sharon ?

  • Kevin L. Connors

    Along with wildfiresand earthquakes, California is also beset with frequent mudslides and floods. Our well-trained, well-equiped, and quite passionate disaster response forces handle those just as deftly as the former.

  • LOL. Yes, Kodiak. America is the Third Reich. And those who agree with America are collaborators.

    Right.

    You’re putting yourself in quite in a strong position to call others simplistic here.

    And yeah, America is responsible for every single problem on the planet. Even East Timor. Even your pea brain, no doubt the consequence of evil US pharmaceutical products.

    Do you really believe you can impress or convince anyone with these pseudo-religious cultish stories ? Stop preaching, man, nobody wants to be converted.

    As for figures, you know and repeat only those that fit your view of the day. And when it comes to facts, you will ignore anything that would make those same figures a lot less relevant than you want them to be. I repeat : research what absentee ballots are, how many there were, how many were counted, and figure out what that means. Of course, it’s much easier to call people names than even thinking you might have something to learn. You know so much, you are so omniscient, how could a being so far beneath you as myself possibly know something you don’t ?

    And since we’re talking about numbers being ignored, yours is 2.4 million absentee ballots. That’s what you refuse to acknowledge, and what makes claims of popular vote victory rather silly. That’s right. That’s enough clues now. Let’s see if you can figure it out. Not that I think you can since it implies a little bit of curiosity, and maybe a willingness to admit one doesn’t know something. Or that something new can be learned. In other words, it requires an open mind. Well, actually, it requires a mind, mostly, and you seem a bit short in that department. But hey, miracles happen.

    And yes. If the UN is the sole source of international law and legitimacy, the intervention has been made legal and legitimate by those same people who called it immoral and illegal. Get used to it. Or call it principles one day, realpolitik the next, whatever fits your current need for convenient rationalization. Silly me for expecting a little bit of consistency. Or for thinking morality and principles are not things that change 180 degrees every six months. I’ve left France years ago, so I’m not so familiar with that process anymore. That cultural exception thing again.

    Genuine high-spirited Iraqi resistance ? Cool, I can’t wait to see the incontrovertible proof you have of that one. It should be quite entertaining. As for being “bogged down”, may I remind you Baghdad and its surroundings are not a country. And that France, and America, lost more soldiers in a single bombing in Beirut than the US have lost in 7 months, half of them in three weeks of open conflict.

    Too bad you don’t want to see the world you brought to the Iraqis: death, poverty, humiliation, fear, shame, dispair & hateWell, since I never even set foot there, I don’t see how “I” could have brought it to them. And you’re right. There was no death, no poverty, no shame, no humiliation, no despair and hatred under Saddam. None at all. It all started in March 2003.

    And no fear of course. There was no fear at all under Saddam. People were so happy. Ask the Kurds. Ask the Shias. Ask the families of the hundreds of thousands who ended up in mass graves all over the place.

    No fear there.

    It all started in March 2003.

    Repeat. It all started in March 2003. Al Gore won the popular vote. It all started in March…

    PS: what does Sharon have to do with Californian fires and the French authorities’ answer to storms ? Or their inability to deal with a few days of heat despite massive spending on health care ? Can you ever talk about anything without bringing up one of your favorite scapegoats ?…..

    Oh, I get it. Ariel Sharon’s wall is responsible for the heatwave in France.

    But of course.

  • Cydonia

    R.C.Dean:

    “you quickly realize that they cannot be stopped purely by playing defense within the borders of the US. Doing so is the quick road to a police state in any event”

    I see no sign that fighting a war in Iraq is helping to prevent a Police State developing in the U.S. The Dept of Homeland Security and the Patriot Act seem to be doing a pretty good job in that direction.

  • Kodiak

    Sylvain: your acrobatics in manipulating facts & figures forces respect. Your clownishness too is second to none, except perhaps to your intellectual dishonesty.

    Your technique is simple, yet inefficient. Since you won’t put up with bothering facts (like the criminal attitude of the US army regarding East Timor), you bluntly state those facts are false without of course taking the pain to discuss the topic any further or at least backing up your wanton assertions with a germination of practicality. Then, so happy as you are with your little “argument”, you extrapolate with a tedious, empty generalisation, the sole effect of which is getting the audience yawning.

    America is the Third Reich. And those who agree with America are collaborators. Good instance of what was shown previously. The USA & the Bushist régime are two distinct things, hopefully. The main feature of Bush’s foreign policy is the disrespect for UN law & the treading on independent nations (preferably weak ones like Iraq & Palestine, not Pakistan, not North Korea). This is a common point with Hitler’s pre-1939 foreign policy. You’re so pretentious that you claim the privilege (for yourself) to agree with America, no less !!! It goes without saying that the more than 50 millions US citizens who voted for President Gore were just a bunch of stupid creatures as they foolishly disagree with the Master of Verity, the distinguished, eminent, prodigious, breathtaking Sylvain of Chicagoboyz, that is… In passing, I beseech you to forgive the miserable insect that I am and this tremendous arrogance of mine as I solicit from Your Highness more explanations about the electoral figures that I durst advance to the sharp-sighted sagacity of your Worshipful Sublimity.

    You mentioned morality and principles to denigrate the UN & anything that doesn’t fit to your mental construction. You also omit to add that it’s precisely the lack of morality and principles that characterises the impertinence of the Bushist rationale for oil war: “Saddam was such a monster, you know… We were so horrified that we decided to get rid of him to destroy the WMD –oh wait! to liberate the poor Iraqis that we also saved from so many times previously from this evil financed & armed by the French”. Your mentioning the families of the hundreds of thousands who ended up in mass graves all over the place makes me puke out of contempt as it is full of hypocrisy & of selective mawkishness. Who do you think you’re going to dupe ? All you do is adding up to confirm your credentials in brainwash handling.

    No Sylvain. I didn’t all start in March 2003. It probably started during the Reagan government, when George The First was vice-president, when Rumsfeld was selling weapons & when Cheney was negotiating oil contracts.

  • Sure Kodiak. Sure. Stir up your blind, sadistic little hatred in public. And please project your issues on others while you’re at it…Anything if it helps ease your considerable pain. So young and carrying the pain of the whole world on his shoulders….sigh…

    And you may of course puke over the mass graves of Iraq as much as you want. Nobody expects any better from you around here, anyway.

    By the way, Saddam had been in power since the 70s. That would be way before Reagan. In fact, he got in control back when Chirac and other French worthies were busy selling him a nuclear reactor, remember that ? I’m sure you have some legend to connect that one to the US too ? With Watergate maybe ? I mean, in your little mythology, America is responsible for EVERYTHING that’s bad in the world, so there has to be a connection there right ? Come on, tell us another bedtime story, Uncle Kodiak.

    Speaking of which, remember the international condemnation when Israel flattened that piece of engineering ? So immoral. So illegal. What an outrage. Except today everybody is thankful.

    Except you, of course. But that’s par for the course. And that’s your only useful purpose, as far as I can tell. As long as people like you scream bloody murder and froth at the mouth with hysterical nonsense, the rest of us know the right course is being followed.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Kodiak

    Sylvain, excuse me! I forgot to mention that George II was appointed by the Supreme Joke exactly the way Hitler was by Hindenburg in 1933 (with the support of Korporate Governanz -Prescott Bush included just in Hitler’s case).

    And please, be decent enough not to distort what I wrote (mass graves of Iraq) >>> you just look pathetic.

    Good night. See you tomorrow.

  • Looking pathetic in your eyes is my goal, Kodiak. Coming from a dweeb like you, it is one of the highest compliments. Thank you kindly.

    Sure, George W. Bush is Hitler. Right. And Hitler could not have done it without Prescott Bush. How many tall tales, lies and superficial analogies do you need to support your lies, beliefs and prejudices exactly ? Ten ? A hundred ? More ? Do you still keep track ?

    By the way, how did the Republicans win the Congressional elections in 2002, exactly ? Oh wait, W. is Hitler so he’s dissolved Congress – er, I mean the Reichstag – by now. There were no free elections for Congress last year. It was just a TV rerun. My mistake. And the Capitol should be burning right about…now.

    And as we speak, Jews and communists are being rounded up across America…

    Right. You like those kinds of movies, don’t you ? It’s a bit sick, don’t you think ?

    Godwin’s Law : once people are called Nazis or fascists, all intelligent debate has ceased.

    Interestingly with Kodiak, it’s almost always his very first argument.

  • Kodiak

    Isn’t it captivating to watch Sylvain –our much cold-blooded pundit in Planet Earth affairs- wallowing in gross slander & showing off his hysteria anytime he comes across something spheroid he’s unable to square down to a cube…

    Sylvain, nobody said the George The Second was Hitler. Still George II’s appointment by an unelected judicial body was totally analogous to the appointment of Hitler to chancellery by Hidenburg (a twice-elected president of Germany’s Republic of Weimar). Not to mention that President Gore’s voters were 539.898 more numerous than those who chose the son of a former vice-president turned president & the brother of the governor of Florida where he perpetrated a massive voter-cleansing programme in total impunity (but that wasn’t enough to annihilate the more than 1 % eventual, union-wide margin in favour of President Gore). Jeb The First of Florida happily purged 65.000 names (& the voting rights attached to them!!!) from voter lists as those people were conveniently labelled “felons” (a Florida law prohibits real felons from voting). Needless to say that 95 % of the removed voters weren’t felons. One of the “felons” was Wallace McDonald (64 yo) who was stolen his right to vote because he broke the law in 1959: this local Oussama Ben Laden simply fell asleep on a bus-stop bench 44 years ago… But what’s even more funny is that 50 % of the “felons” removed by Jeb The First were black people, and most of the rest Hispanics. Funny, innit? Or maybe still too superficial.

    As for the near Hitlerish foreign policy conducted by the Korporate Petrol Kartel epitomised on TV by the Bush family, I think that even you may understand at once that Iraq has nothing to do with Ben Laden or the “War on Terrorism”. I assume you exactly how Iraq has been enslaved & ransacked by Anglo-Saxon countries for at least 80 years.

    Well, there was a proof debate may continue, Godwin’s law notwithstanding. Can an exception-free rule be one at all?

  • wallowing in gross slander & showing off his hysteria
    Look who’s talking. Next thing you know, Bill Gates will complain about people who are motivated by money. What’s with you and the constant projections of your problems on others ? You got to do something about that, man. Stop blaming the world for your issues all the time. I know individual responsibility is a foreign concept where you live – literally – but you can’t go on like that. It’s bad for your health, you know.

    Now, if W. has nothing to do with Hitler, why do you keep bringing up the latter in the same sentence every time you mention him ? You’re right, nobody said it, except you in the bone-headed correlation you bring up again and again, as if repeating it made it more true or relevant.

    It reminds me of the late President – and former Vichy official – Mitterand calling De Gaulle the “caudillo”. Until he sat into the chair himself and suddenly decided playing the monarch and flying about with two Concordes suited his socialist leanings quite well. Funny how that works.

    Gore won by half a million vote with…about 2.4 million uncounted absentee ballots, my friend. That’s the one you and Michael Moore never mention because anything that makes your assertions a lot less conclusive must be conveniently omitted. You’ll keep repeating the same incomplete assertion and I’ll keep reminding you about the absentee ballots every time. Sorry. The truth can be annoying sometimes.

    These uncounted ballots are, effectively, the margin of error. What is so obviously legitimate about “winning” by 500,000 with a margin of error of more than two million ? If you’re going to quote numbers, please quote them all instead of chopping off the bit of the truth that bothers you. And if you don’t know about absentee ballots, research it and try and understand what you’re talking about for a change, instead of pulling yet another ignorant, condescending brain fart out of your ass.

    Speaking of Michael Moore, your standard litany of myths and superstitions about the Florida election sounds disturbingly like his ‘Stupid White Men’. (Nice of him to name his book after his readers, I must admit…) If you like political fiction, I grant you he can be one entertaining fellow. If you want facts, there are better places. Actually, any place is better than Michael Moore when it comes to facts; even the former Iraqi minister of information was more reliable.

    But then you’d have to learn about the Dixiecrats and the electoral shenanigans of the Democrats in the American South for the past dozen decades or so (yes, that long…). If you think Florida 2000 was criminal, I suggest you fasten your seat belt before you dive into this ocean of shifting mud. But of course, the Republicans are the Evil Ones and everything they do is a potential crime against humanity. Everybody else is a saint. Or, like Laurent Fabius, the Democrats are “responsible, but not guilty”. While anybody on the right is just plain guilty by mere virtue of standing there and taking a breath.

    the Korporate Petrol Kartel epitomised on TV by the Bush family
    Maybe if you didn’t let TV “epitomise” the world for you, you’d know the big petrol cartel in the real world is called OPEC and the evil Bush family is way too small and insignificant to even register on its radar screen; I mean, the comfortable Bush fortune is a rounding error next to Aramco’s balance sheet. Besides, Texas has not exactly been an oil producer with much influence on the world scene for about…oh…40 years at least. But we can’t let mere facts disturb your daydreaming about vast evil right-wing conspiracies to enslave the planet. (BWA HA HA HA HA).

    Iraq has nothing to do with Ben Laden or the “War on Terrorism”. Of course not. Iraq never supported nor rewarded terrorists. Those $25,000 received by each suicide bomber family fell from the sky, courtesy of Allah. Former PLO bombers were given asylum there for humanitarian reasons. And the Iraqi ambassy handler who welcomed, chauffeured and took care of the two al-Qaeda men who crashed flight 77 in the Pentagon in Kuala Lumpur in Januray 2001 was just showing them the sights. Everybody does that. If two terrorist came to town, you’d take them to the Eiffel tower, right ? Nothing odd about that.

    And so what, if there is no connection ? Taking down a dictator who grabbed power and rapes, slaughters, starves and tortures his own people is always morally justified. People who need a reason to do it have neither brains nor pulse. The central motive for the action, whether real or perceived, is secondary. Removing murderous regimes by force is always justfied, whether it is the goal, or a side effect. In fact, if it is a side-effect, it can even justify the main motive. Not that I expect you to understand any of this. People can rot and die; as long as your own little safety and moral comfort are not compromised, and Koffi Annan can sit at his desk and ignore another genocide warning from Rwanda or who knows where else, all is well with the world.

    Since when do people have to be connected to Bin Laden to justify their removal or arrest, anyway ? Is that the only criteria there is ? Open the prisons then, since nobody there is connected to Bin Laden. Never mind that Saddam has killed at least 5,000 times more than Bin Laden in his extensive and busy career. And never mind we bombed Milosevic into submission for a lot less than that. An inconsequential and quite immaterial detail, of course. We’re way too sophisticated too lower ourselves to using arithmetics or historical precedents around here.

    I assume you exactly how Iraq has been enslaved & ransacked by Anglo-Saxon countries for at least 80 years.
    Of course, everybody knows that. I mean, with a name like Saddam Hussein, he can’t really hide his American citizenship, can he ? The guy was obviously from Brooklyn. (Just so you know, calling people ‘anglo-saxon’ makes you look silly outside France, and makes it even more difficult to take you seriously, which is hard enough as it is)

    By the way, Iraqi oil was discovered by the Compagnie Francaise des Petroles in Kirkouk in 1927. CFP was to be come Total (see the company history on their web site). Funny how some ransacking can be omitted when it can’t be attributed to your favorite usual suspects. Pure coincidence, of course.

    Nah, you’re proving Godwin’s Law every single time, Kodiak. At this point, it should be extended to : When people are called Nazis or fascists, or if Kodiak says something, all intelligent debate has ceased.

    Out and over. This has officially become totally boring. Yawn.

  • Kodiak

    Sylvain,

    First let me tell you I’ve got no particular liking for Michael Moore: I haven’t even bought nor read any of his books (I don’t read Le Monde or Télérama either…).

    Mitterrand, Fabius: these are people I loathe from every bit of my skin. I couldn’t agree with you Moore –oops!- more, sorry. The former was indeed a piece of crap and the latter is the most repulsive instance of mediocrity & irresponsibility: his place should be in jail. Really believe me: I hate Mitterrand; hearing or reading his name alone makes me shivering out of anger. This awful character is indeed the worst disaster that happened to France since WW2: hypocrisy, lies, treachery, incompetence, indignity, servility, vileness, corruption, vulgarity, ugliness, pomposity, stupidity, spinelessness, criminality, brainwashing, total lack of principles… The list is endless. He was such an abomination that at his funerals even the wind removed the French flag from the coffin without any officials moved their little finger to put it back on it.

    You still didn’t contradict the inescapable figures that featured so well your travesty of “democracy”, or your banana republic to be more precise: President Gore: 50.996.039 – George The Appointed: 50.456.141 – Nader: 2.882.807 – Others: 1.069.559 – Total: 105.404.546. You also didn’t justify why the minority in each “state” is reduced to zero as the majority is attributed ALL the delegates. You didn’t explain why the “beacon of democracy” is incapable of voting as a nation to elect their president.
    You still didn’t substantiate anything about the massive voter-cleansing operation conducted by Jeb The First & his acolytes.

    OPEC is one thing. The Korporatklatura behind it is another one. Don’t you know their feats in Venezuela, Nigeria, Koweit, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Angola, Saudi Arabia & in Texas of course?

    Again, everyone is against Saddam. But Bush’s pretending being suddenly heartbroken by the Saddamite atrocities that he & his Korporate Kartel nonetheless supported as long as WMD-dealing meant inexhaustible cash inflows, is simply revolting. Who’s gonna buy this kind of children stories? Bush = Mother Teresa? Bravo! But I’m not too sure this kind of spin will last longer than the ready-in-45-minute nuclear missiles -courtesy of Phony Bliar, or the anthrax or variolic tubes that Powell brought to the UN. So of course, since they found no WMD, since Bush’s sacrifice for the well-being of the Middle East is curiously not fully acknowledged yet, there must surely be some connections between Oussama & Saddam. And why not the pope too?

    The best for the end: the Elf-mantra. Yes Elf is surely a huge monster about to eat up all of its US competitors… And now Elf in 1927! Sylvain, for aught we know, Iraq was never a French colony, was it? I think you should ask the Iraqis themselves about the nationality of the Anglo-Saxons who slaughtered them as they were rebelling & fighting for their independence in the first half of the XXth century.

  • OK, I’ll bite one last time. Well, you’ll be happy to note you sound just like Michael Moore. Should give you food for thought. Trust me, it’s not a compliment. For either one of you.

    You just can’t listen and try and learn something, can you ? Your “inescapable” figures are half the truth. You omit the half that makes them inconclusive. You omit 2.4 million absentee ballots, my friend. These were cast. When the margin of error is almost five times larger than the result, you can’t repeat this result ad nauseam as if it meant something. Keep repeating it, I’ll keep reminding you. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, look it up. I quite honestly do not have the patience to write about this one again. (Should you want to argue further about this particular topic, email me at the address above. I might answer. Or not. We have wasted enough space talking stale electoral results here. This post was about Iraq. Could you stick to the topic at hand once in a while ? It would help.)

    You didn’t explain why the “beacon of democracy” is incapable of voting as a nation to elect their president.
    Just so you know, it’s been voting as a nation for a couple of centuries. Longer than most. And in a stable and orderly manner : with one single civil war against slavery, compared to Europe’s bloody revolutions, monarchs, emperors, murderous colonial wars, two world wars, famine and mass emigration (Ireland), not even mentioning its fall into fascism, nazism or communism, all over the same period (as an aside, why is it stupid America has proven incapable of falling for those while the sophisticated people that we are fell for them head first and repeatedly ?). Or without rewriting its consitution every now and then. The system is a bit archaic and anachronistic in some respects (how else could you organize a national vote in such a big, widespread place back in the old days : you tell me), but as they say over here, you don’t f** with the formula when it works. Given the record, I can only agree.

    And since we didn’t grant women the right to vote until 1945, I don’t think we’re in a position to lecture others on how to “vote as a nation”, when they did so decades earlier….ahem…

    What’s your point anyway ? Should America emulate the obviously superior French system ? What for ? So they can get Le Pen in the run-off ? No thanks.

    And please, let’s stop talking about the 2000 elections as if it was representative of the record of the American electoral system. That’s nonsense.

    Interesting tidbit I heard the other day : the other three Presidents who did get their job with a lower popular vote were all sons of a former President. And they never were reelected. So much for your stupid Hindenburg/Hitler analogies. It’s happened before and both the country and the democracy is alive and well, thank you very much. This time will be no different.

    Anyway.

    I am aware of the tall tales and legends about their oil feats, Kodiak. It makes for fine reading and entertains the kids for Halloween. The reality is a lot more mundane and boring. Interesting that in almost all the countries you mention, the local government is in charge of oil production. But surely, they were all chosen by Prescott, George Sr., or W. back when he was in high-school. And he’s responsible for them being corrupt too. W. is the Absolute Evil. As such, all the wrong of the world must be laid at his crooked feet. Amen.

    But Bush’s pretending being suddenly heartbroken by the Saddamite atrocities
    Suddenly ? It’s been an argument to get him out for years. And he’s a lot less revolting than Chirac’s pretense at grand warm and fuzzy principles. At least the former forgave billions of loans to the country. The latter didn’t even bother to offer a dime at a donor’s conference, or to even show up there, nor did he forgive a cent on the loans made to the former regime for our arm sales. But he cares about “the sovereignty and the future of the Iraqi people”. My ass. All he’s argued about lately is the right of French companies to bid for contracts. In fact, that has been the question recurring most often from the French government and the press since the end of the conflict. Given our obviously selfless sense of priorities, our criticizing others for watching after their own dough is ridiculously hypocritical. As usual. France has no monopoly on morality or legality (ask the folks in Senegal, the Ivory Coast, Gabon, Algeria, Morocco, former Central Africa, Rwanda, the Comores, New Caledonia…that should get you started). So let’s stop talking and walking around as if we did. I understand why we want to, given our abysmal record. But at least, let’s stop insulting others for doing the same.

    Iraq is to France what Saudi Arabia is to the U.S. At best. So I don’t see why we’re in such a position to dish out condescending lectures of ‘principles’ and ‘morality’. Watching De Villepin getting applause from a U.N gallery mostly composed of 3rd world dictators and other corrupt unelected ‘leaders’ does not make me feel proud. And watching the same guy run obsequiously to Syria and Moscow to beg support against two of our allies was certainly not our finest hour. The fact that so many back home seem to think it was makes me feel like rushing to the US Ambassy and scream for asylum.

    Bush = Mother Teresa?
    Who said that ? Not me. And if he was, I’d be the first to make fun of him. But comparing him to Hitler and linking him to every possible or perceived conspiracy theory is every bit as stupid as assuming he is a disinterested Mother Theresa.

    And by the way, maybe you should read David Kay’s report for yourself, instead of trusting the media. After visiting only 10 sites out of 130, he has already found enough to prove material breaches of Resolution 1441 by Iraq after it was voted. Including anthrax and many undeclared weaponization activities. You’re a bit behind on this one, I’m afraid. Facts are so nagging, this way. They keep popping when and where you don’t want them.

    And what if Saddam didn’t have anything left and only pretended ? Given his ghastly record, including using those weapons against civilians, having no WMDs ready for use certainly didn’t mean he had no intention of producing new ones if sanctions were lifted, did it ? And given his awful humanitarian record, and the threat he has posed to the region for decades – including two costly, murderous wars against neighboring countries – why not call his bluff by taking his pretense seriously as a motive to take him out ?

    Any excuse to take a monster out is fine, as far as I’m concerned. I wish we did it more often instead of debating the retirement benefits of a bunch of useless government employees, the protection of the Roquefort brand name by the EU, or what Koffi Annan’s job description is about. Speaking of the latter, he received reports warning him about the coming Rwandan genocide. And did nothing. And he’s still at his job. What a great institution, with clear rules of accountability. But such details can’t possibly undermine the moral authority and credibility of the U.N. Of course not. America is solely responsible for that and everything else, as usual.

    there must surely be some connections between Oussama & Saddam
    Who cares if there aren’t ? And why would it be so incredible if there were ? There is already plenty of proof Iraqi agents had contacts with al-Qaeda, including the men who crashed flight 77 into the Pentagon. It’s not clear, however, whether that was ordered from the top, or at the initiative of the field. It doesn’t matter one bit to me. I think people who need to establish a connection with Bin Laden to justify removing a Saddam Hussein are heartless, spineless, braindead and ignorant, at a minimum. “Well, we can’t attack Hitler, he’s not a relative of the Emperor of Japan…” Give me a break.

    Finally, I wish Elf was a “mantra”. The British and the Americans were definitevely kicked out of Iraq in 1967, for the benefits of French and Russian oil companies. (After the old Charles left Israel hanging in its hour of need; France is always so great to its allies; but hey, we got Iraqi oil contracts as a reward so screw Israel). And yes, since you obviously don’t know anything relevant about the oil industry, Elf is one of the worldwide majors, bigger than several American oil corporations.

    But of course, a company of this size and importance in such a sensitive industry cannot possibly have any influence on the government of a country five times smaller than the US. Only Americans are twisted and evil and can be influenced with money. No money-related scandals in France. We are above money. And as we know, there are no massive corruption scandals involving Elf. It is squeaky- clean and none of our officials was ever caught taking money for them or looking the other way while it dealt with dictators. In Africa, say. So Total influencing the government regarding Iraq, its biggest field in the world ? Not a chance. It can only be a “mantra” invented by evil people with foul intentions. How unfair of them.

    So Iraq was an American colony ? That’s news.
    And what was the name of this dreaded “Anglo-Saxon” who “slaughtered” so many Iraqis ? And if he “slaughtered” them, what word are we going to use for Saddam ?

    I know Iraqis, Kodiak. Just so you know, they never bring this up, as a reason to dislike the US or the UK, and certainly not as a reason to somehow lower the scale or importance of Saddam’s crimes. Only idiots with a rabid, biased agenda make connections like this. You see, Saddam has been around for the last three decades and that’s what they know and care about. The number of people he has killed in pointless wars and political repression far outweighs anyone else in Iraqi history, even all the colonial powers taken together. But of course, we can’t let that get in the way of your congenital need to link and blame everything and anything to the Evil “Anglo-Saxon” Empire. Anything they do is worse, by definition.

    If they support a dictator, it’s evil. If they remove a dictator, it’s evil. They’re evil by mere virtue of being there.

    And by the way, since Syria was a French protectorate, I take it we are responsible for all the evil and suffering there as well ? Or does this subtle rule of yours apply only to the “Anglo-Saxons” ? (stop using that word…really…it looks silly and you can’t afford looking sillier…trust me on that…)

    France is such an honest Saintly place, how come it doesn’t rule the world ? Oh yeah, Prescott Bush set his lapdog Hitler on us to cut us down to size. I keep forgetting that one.

    Right…

    I was fun, as usual (yeah right). Have a good one.

  • Kodiak

    Sylvain,

    You’re totally right in pointing out Frenchwomen were granted electoral rights very lately (1945), which isn’t just unfair, but also a shame. Just as is the ridiculous low feminine representation in the Parliament, the Senate & all democratic bodies or business corporations. France is indeed a very macho & retarded country to that extent at least.

    Still what difference does it make in that South Carolinians & Rhode Islanders don’t actually vote as a single nation when presidential seat is to be attributed? What Frenchwomen have to do with the fact that -speculative hypothesis for the instance- 5 or say 10 million Californian votes for Republicans may be reduced to zero just because the Democrats got 50,01 % (or perhaps even 47 % only, but getting more votes than the other ones did) of overall votes in California? Why resort to “state”-agency (delegates) to choose a president for a nation as a whole? Where’s the democracy? Clinton’s elections were just as unfair as George II’s, weren’t it nonetheless for the absolute minority votes attached to the Republican candidate (less than the US nation credited President Gore)?

    But Bush’s pretending being suddenly heartbroken by the Saddamite atrocities
    Suddenly ?
    And he’s a lot less revolting than Chirac’s pretense at grand warm and fuzzy principles.

    Yep, skip Bush once more & gnaw your Chiraquian bone as usual… The question still remains unanswered.

    The latter (Chirac) didn’t even bother to offer a dime at a donor’s conference, or to even show up there, nor did he forgive a cent on the loans made to the former regime for our arm sales.
    France does indeed not have to pay one single eurocentime to repair the destructions caused by the rogue State she’s always been noisily & firmly opposed to! Sylvain: you’re unbeatable. Next you’re gonna rip off an old granny & ask me to give her money back at your place!!!
    Contrary to the legendary generous USA, France regularly gives up enormous debt that many developing countries owes her (like Niger two weeks ago). But please, why should she renounce her money that the coalition of the willing has endorsed to pay back as they unilaterally & wilfully decided to take over self-ownership (including Iraqi business signature) from Iraqis? It is very fair indeed that a portion of the additional 87-billion-dollar tax (how conservative…) Bush is forcing you to pay comes back in French creditors’ pockets.

    Iraq is to France what Saudi Arabia is to the U.S.
    Is it? Funny no Iraqi Oussama hasn’t plotted a 9/11 attack against France then… Of course the USA & the UK have never been interfering with Iraq since Iraq & Koweit’s independence…

    a U.N gallery mostly composed of 3rd world dictators >>> including Bush when one thinks about the proverbial election theft & the 50 million US poors.

    America is solely responsible for that and everything else, as usual.
    Oh poor Sylvain. I’ve been so cruel & unfair to your little, peaceful, romantic USA. Don’t be ridiculous. Hyperpowers make hypermistakes. And hyperlists of hypernumerous dead people.

    there must surely be some connections between Oussama & Saddam
    Who cares if there aren’t ?

    I do, sorry. As many billions others do.

    Elf is one of the worldwide majors, bigger than several American oil corporations.
    But yes, of course! This socialist, State-owned, bureaucratic, Froggish McDonald’s in oil industry is also backed by the most powerful army in the World… Elf has also conquered Texas & the North Sea, didn’t you know?

    And what was the name of this dreaded “Anglo-Saxon” who “slaughtered” so many Iraqis ?
    And the name iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiz… (shhhhh)……..the……..Bri-tish !!! For instance Soulimanya in 1922 where the 20.000 inhabitants were gassed by would-be Saddams straight from Perfidious Albion.
    The US –much oil-inspired as the then declining Brits- replaced the UK as the primary user (abuser would be more accurate) of the Kurds. They used the Kurds to counterbalance other peoples of the region (unilaterally deemed enemies to the US) & systematically abandoned them to their own fate, like Kleenexes. So yes Iraq was not a US formal colony; just a US satrapy.

    the Evil “Anglo-Saxon” Empire
    Hilarious Sylvain charges me with conspiracy theories as he’s fastidiously webbing his little Francophobic, nightmarish paranoia with vociferous –yet hollow- bits of self-hate…
    On top of that the US isn’t an empire. Far from it. You may have your Texan Caligula, but your empire is still to be won.
    America is the only country that went from barbarism to decadence without a civilization in between. ~ Oscar Wilde.