« just drop me off at MSU | Main | it takes so little to amuse me »

12 years

So you want to wait. You say we should be patient, give him more time to disarm. You say inspections work, that we need to relax and let this happen.

How long have we been waiting? Twelve years. Yes, that's right. Twelve years. For some, that isn't long enough. Just a few more days, weeks, months is all they want.

Perhaps they need a little perspective to see what twelve years really is, how much can happen and change in all that time we have been waiting for a relatively small country to disarm.

nat1yr.jpgnat13yr.jpg

Natalie at one - Natalie twelve years later


On the day the Gulf War started in 1991, Natalie took her first, hesitant steps while I watched the events unfold on CNN. Natalie was barely one. She is now thirteen. That's twelve years.

In those twelve years, she has gone from infant to middle schooler.

She has learned to walk, talk, ride a bike, roller skate, do long division, have a conversation in sign language, program a VCR, do her own laundry and negotiate a good grade.

She has gone through the television phases of Sesame Street, Barney and Power Rangers to American Idol, 24 and MTV.

In those twelve years, she went from wearing Baby Gap infant sized sweatshirts to stealing clothes out of my closet.

She grew a full set of baby teeth, lost them and grew a set of adult teeth in all that time.

Twelve years. A lot can happen.

Except, obviously, disarmament.

How many of his own citizens has Saddam Hussein killed in the time it took Natalie to go from her wobbly infant walk to doing tricks on a skateboard?

How much nerve gas and anthrax has he hidden or shipped out to another country in the time it took Natalie to go from recognizing the letter "A" to writing books full of poetry?

How many children were starved, prisoners tortured, families separated in the time it took for her to go from helpless baby to mother's helper?

How much more harm can one man do before my daughter starts high school? Before she goes to college?

How long do we wait? Until the weapons he is harboring are pointed in our direction and I never live to see Natalie's wedding day?

Twelve years. And you want to wait more.

TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 12 years:

» Time from On The Third Hand
Michele shows everyone exactly how long 12 years is. Perhaps this post will at least give the "give them more [Read More]

» Bloggin' around from Cold Fury
So much good stuff out there to link to I decided to do a Katzman-style all-purpose link post today: So... [Read More]

Comments

On an even more sobering note:

Nth.Korea has now started not just its nuclear reactor but also its re-processing facilities. This is unacceptable, estimates say that in 4 weeks Kim can make a bomb a month using this facility.

The US or UK have but 3 weeks to decide whether to destroy this facility with cruise attacks prior to the introduction of nuclear material to this site (because of fallout). A positive decision to destroy the plant, would will go hard against the US in the current world opinion climate, therefore the UK or another proxy should be tasked with this.

Tasked? I beg your pardon? What are we, your bitch or something?

Get the French to do it, everyone hates them anyway.

12 years ago, my son was just starting into puberty...and I cried when the Gulf war started, afraid it would trigger a long world war and he would be drafted as soon as he turned 18.

Now he has a son of his own, and volunteered for the service almost 2 yrs. ago. At least I was wrong about the draft.

NK is still within the diplomatic range. To me, it appears they're simply throwing a rather dangerous tantrum. They want direct talks with the US instead of going through the UN.

Human rights are an abomination there too. It's too bad I see more "Free Tibet" bumperstickers than I do "Free NK" or "Free Iraq".

I wonder though. Is the 12 years really relevent when it comes to talking about Iraq? 12 years or 12 days, the agreement was to disarm immediately. Not over 12 years. If we would have kicked his ass the next month when he hadn't complied, none of this would have been an issue.

F*&@ing UN......

Rita, quit listening to the leftists and appeasers and look forward to watching your grandson turn into a man.

12 years ago I was a freshman in high school.

I went through the years of Pres. Clinton's administration ignoring what was going on in the world, thinking it wasn't my place to care.

I woke up after 9-11.

Once the Bush administration takes action to oust Saddam, the entire world will be a better place, no matter what the French, Germans, Russians, Chinese or left-wingers say.

Michele - thanks for adding that very unique perspective of what can happen over 12 years. I believe that more people in this country should use that thought pattern...

It's not the point that you've waited for 12 years to take the weapons away, the USA gave Saddam years before, (or what do you think where he got the anthrax and all the other stuff from?). The point is that it's not up to the US to decide. You can't run around and hit people you don't like (For however good reason you might have), just because you're the strongest guy on the schoolyard. If you do you are not the slightest way better than any other second-hand-rambo you prevent to want to fight. Personally, I wish, the troops would have finished their work 12 years ago and I see no reason why the whole world should suffer now for a wrong decision from 12 years before. Okay - the USA feels threatened. But why do they so? Because they are blamed for everything bad on the world, started by Bill Gates and ended with the weather and the ocone-problem. They have of course their share on it, as any other industrial country has, but there are surely not the only reason for all evil on earth. As isn't Islam! Islamic extremists are totally dangerous - no doubt. But so are christian extremists, too, all you have to think about is the crusades. If the US wants to go after Saddam for "personal" reasons, they should call them so. They will do it anyway, whatever the UN says and whatever other countries say, but they should be honest about all the reasons, which is what I miss.
From here I see the people in the US being manipulated on a very high level, and for me, when someone tries to manipulate me into something, I get at least a bit careful if there might be other reasons than I am told How about you?

"what do you think where he got the anthrax and all the other stuff from?"

Germany and France for starters. Russia. China. North Korea. Miscelaneous ex-Soviet -stans. Why do you ask?

And the manhatten project took only 3 years.

On December 28, 1942, President Roosevelt approved the establishment of what ultimately became a government investment in excess of $2 billion....(the manhatten project)
On July 16, 1945, the world entered the nuclear age with the detonation of the first atomic bomb.

Now THAT's perspective. Saddam's had 4 times as much time as it took the USA to develop nukes (and that time included building time to build nuclear plants to get the material for the bombs)

You can't run around and hit people you don't like (For however good reason you might have), just because you're the strongest guy on the schoolyard.

Is your foreign policy outlook really that infantile? Congradulations, it took you 3 sentences to descend from primate to invertebrate. But thanks for playing!

Lilli, I shake my head in sorrow (no, actually I don't) when I read garbage like what you said.
Blame America for the the rest of world hating us! We gave Saddam Hussein WMD's! All that garbage talk that left wing groups spread to make psychiatric patients all across the U.S. hate themselves even more.
You are being just as manipulated by anti-American rhetoric as we "war-mongers" are being manipulated by right-wing conspiracies. You have to take the facts as they are laid out to you.
The facts are that Islamnic extremists want to kill innocent Americans, and they and they enablers have got to be stopped.

Lilli, when was the last time you saw a christian homicide-bomber? The crusades took place just a bit too long ago to compare to today's issues.

Because they are blamed for everything bad on the world, started by Bill Gates and ended with the weather

heheh... is anyone else having visions of Pres. Bush in a Dr. Evil outifit? No! Wait! Does anyone remember the Ice Princess from General Hospital???

Lili - Christian extremists are a concern, but unlike Muslim extremists, they havenít been responsible for the murder and enslavement of millions in the Sudan, the deaths of thousands in New York and Washington, the deaths of hundreds in Kenya..the list goes on and on. There really is no comparison.

Muslim extremists keep adding to the numbers, committing more murders every day. Today, they killed 21 people in the Philippines.

Countries like Iraq and Saudi Arabia provide the funds for these murderers. This is information that is available through most international news sources, not Ďmanipulation on a high levelí Itís not just the USA thatís threatened, itís people around the world. Youíre so busy trying to squeeze Bush into a Dr. Evil suit, to make Americans look like bullies, that you havenít even bothered to notice the very real threat out there.

"The point is that it's not up to the US to decide."

Well - the UN made the decision, and the US is carrying it out.

Who else can?

Germany? France? Anyone else want to step up to the plate?

(Crickets chirping)

Thought so.

"Personally, I wish, the troops would have finished their work 12 years ago and I see no reason why the whole world should suffer now for a wrong decision from 12 years before."

That WRONG DECISION was by the UN. The US did EXACTLY what we were supposed to - get Iraq out of Kuwait. Don't gripe 12 years later that it wasn't the right decision at the time - there were a lot of folks saying we should ignore the UN Mandate and finish the job. But we ABIDED BY THE UN DECISION, and look what it got us.

Now we've got to go do what we should have done in the first place. Isn't hindsight wonderful?

J.

Oh, god. I shouldn't have done it, but I read the rest of Lilli's babbling. Its difficult to believe that this isn't some kind of prank, but apparently she has a zzz-rated blog of her very own, so I guess there must actually be someone out there with a brain rotting from non-use.

Well, Lilly. You state on your blog that "I should know better than to expect anything but unreflected flame", so I'm going to suprise you. I'm going to actually answer your little bag of flames, innuendo and smears. And I'm going to do it rationally... not that it will do any good.

I want you to imagine yourself as a flower: The petals are opening, opening, opening... Good. Now your mind is totally open and can recieve new input... That's very good lilly, keep it up.

First, I want you to understand that the "U.S. gave Iraq weapons" is mostly propaganda. The U.S. did indeed give Saddam conventional weapons during his war with Iraq... At a time in history when the USSR-backed Iranians were a bigger threat to the world. What we did NOT do is give him WMD material suitable for weapons. France sold him a nuke plant, and Germany sold him some of the chemcial weapons. The rest he developed himself or got from other terrorist-leaning countries. Do you understand now?

I find it curious that you agree that the job should have been finished 12 years ago yet claim it should not be finished today. Did the resolutions have a expiration date, like milk? If so, 1441 soured VERY, very quickly.

You say the whole world should not suffer for a wrong decision from 12 years before. Tell me, exactly what whole-world-suffering do you mean? If the descision was wrong, than why not let the U.S. fix the problem? Or is the big bad U.S. forcing France to threaten a veto?

The next paragraph (I assume, since you don't use paragraph breaks) is completely hosed, and difficult to understand. As nearly as I can make out, you are trying to excuse the violence of Islam by pointing to Bill Gates and the ozone layer. With your experience in playground politics, I assume you can understand that "I know you are, but what am I?" doesn't contribute much to debate. Osama listed his greivences, and Kyoto just wasn't one of them. Sorry.

And pointing to the crusades is exactly the same sort of error. I hate to break this to you, but the pope is on IRAQ's side of this debate. This should indicate to you that your comparison is so out of date as to be useless. Christian fundementalists are NOT the same as Islamic ones, nor is Christianity relevant in any way, shape or form to the debate.

And to conclude, your insinuation that I and my fellow citizens are being "manipulated" is just plain batty. Heck, Dan Rather just finished interviewing Saddam Hussain under conditions that NO ETHICAL JOUNALIST would ever use: for example he let Saddam's ministry of information cronies edit out anything they didn't like. Does this indicate anything at all to you? Or is it part of the conspiracy?

If you don't learn anythign else from this missive, understand this: It is quite possible for educated, informed people to disagree with your esteemed opinion. And if you EVER expect a intelligent response, then put more effort into your writing and your reasoning.

Else don't be suprised when you get "flamed"... because it will be simply return fire.

Bill OH, you misunderstood. I don't listen to the leftists & appeaseniks. I strongly support the war & I'm very proud of my son...but that doesn't keep me from worrying about him.

I plan on watching them both grow older.

Be proud of your son, Rita. He's a credit to his parents and his country.

On another note, isn't Natalie just the spitting image of her mom! :-)

Same nose...

" If you do you are not the slightest way better than any other second-hand-rambo you prevent to want to fight"

I think this is the basic problem. She wants to feel better, and assumes this is also our goal. In fact, we want to be safe.

There's really not much to say to someone like this. She doesn't understand that her playground operates in the manner it does because adults are available to enfore rules of behavior. Between nations, there is no adult enforcement and so different rules are required. She's obviously led a pretty sheltered life to never have considered the limits of societal rule enforcement.

I flamed Lilli too, but I get flamed everyday when I voice support for the war and President Bush. I swear I am the only person in my entire work place who supports taking Saddam Hussein out and supports Pres. Bush.

I've also been ridiculed on a liberal blog, who cares?

It's exciting to make people angry at your views!

Has anyone here ever played Taboo? You have to get your team to guess a word without using a list on the card you have. It's a riot.

I think we should play "Iraqi Taboo". Here's the rules - Describe why we should not attack Iraq. Here are the words / phrases you cannot use -

Hegemony
Empire
Bush
Blood For Oil
Right-Wingers
More Sanctions
Peace Vibrations

Feel free to throw in your Reason-Du-Jour

Re: Lilli
This really struck me as absurd: "From here I see the people in the US being manipulated on a very high level, and for me, when someone tries to manipulate me into something, I get at least a bit careful if there might be other reasons than I am told How about you?"

Lilli, wake up! Exactly who in manipulating us from up on high? Do you think Americans are so ignorant we let our leaders lead us around by the nose like grinning monkeys. We have a thriving "free" press in this country, and Americans are free to get as much or as little of it, information that is, as they deem necessary. President Bush has the majority of American's supporting him because he is a LEADER who has made his case to the people of our great nation. There's no conspiracy of hidden reasons Lilli, only the empty and paranoid minds of the depraved anti-American Left.

Greg and others - if I couldn't stand the fire, I wouldn't post my opinion at a place like here. So don't worry about flaming, my english is well enough to see the difference between an thought-through answer and just garbage-smashing because of different opinion. 1) The Bill Gates and weather was ironic. Sorry it didn't come over, I'll try harder next time.
2) I assume we are being manipulated, too. No question, but so are the US citizens. And I don't buy that all the US folks are following it - there are enough who protest. There seem to be many, especially at Gregs work. Here is hardly somene to find who would support Bush, even my parents who are really conservative (I always thought they inventet the word), don't like what he's doing. 3) Kamil jr.: You ask who is manipulating you? Ah - that's an easy one - the same people who are telling you, that Saddam himself or at least someone he personally instructed(attention - irony alert) was flying the planes. It was your government who didn't stop setting a connection betweeen 9-11 and Saddam. Here in our papers this is called one of the greatest manipulations ever happened.
4) mj wants to be safe - I guess you'd have to nuke the rest of the world before you could feel safe (aren't the most US citizens killed by other US citizens? So youmight nuke anyone else, too). And no - I don't count the pope into my "extremist christian" league.

Just a note to some of you who may not know -
While I don;t agree with anything Lilli has to say, I think it's only fair to point out at this time that English is not her first language.

thank you michele. I know I should wear a blinking light on my head because of that ;-)

Michele/Lilli,
I would never attack a non-native speaker on their ill use of english, that's certainly unfair. What I do take issue with, though, is the idea that we are blindly following our President into war. There may have been many thousands out on the streets protesting the war, and thank God we live in a country that affords that right on its' citezens, but there were many millions in their homes, in their cars, etc. who support and stand by the President's decision to wage this war against Saddam. Believe me, I've lived in the Middle East, traveled to over ten Arab countries, studied arabic at Jordan University in Amman, Jordan, come from a politically active lebanese american family (Zogby,) and I read at least 20-50 magazines, newspapers, weblogs a day. No one is leading me around by y the nose. Lilli, if you want to blog on my site, give me an e-mail. We mostly have conservative bloggers but we appreciate and will post any viewpoints.

While not being totally familiar with english makes certain awkward phasing more understandable, logic and clear thought patterns are hardly an english monopoly. It doesn't excuse putting ancient crusaders in the same bag as Osama.

Poor grasp of english just makes the fallacies easier to spot, and turns attempted literary decetptions into gibberish. You certainly picked up the left's literary vices quickly enough (playground analogies, accusing opponents of being "rambo", moral equivalance formulations).

It doesn't take a great command of english to tell the truth. It is COMPLEX english that is capable of obscuring the truth, not the reverse.

I'm not sorry that you don't have a Chomsky's tongue, able to make the outrageous seem reasonable unless you think about what he actually said. The question is: why do YOU want one?

Lilli, it would help if you would use paragraphs.

It was your government who didn't stop setting a connection betweeen 9-11 and Saddam.

OK, who heard anyone in the government say this? Anyone here?

I've heard that Czech intelligence said that an Iraqi intelligence official met with Mohammed Atta in Prague. Another faction of Czech intelligence denies this. The CIA isn't buying it. Who in the government has said this?

I watch a lot of government press conferences, and read about a lot more of them. I don't believe I've ever heard them explicitly tie Saddam to 9/11.

Perhaps I've missed something. Can anyone fill me in?

I'll fill you in.

The basis of the "americans being manipulated" charge is two-fold:

First, the Czech meeting is not only portrayed as an outright lie, its portrayed as an AMERCIAN one.

Second, there was a poll that claimed to have 'proven' that pro-war people were ignorant. One of the questions asked the responsandants if they believed one or more of the 9/11 hijackers was Iraqi. More pro-war people believed this than anti-war people did.

Of course, the idea that people believe what they want to, never occured to the people using this poll (or more likely, it did and they took advantage).

Put it this way: if an anti-war person didn't know a damn thing about what countries the hijackers came from, then what do YOU think they'd put as an answer?

Lilly,
One of the reasons for the Battle of Iraq has to do with the long-term "roots of terrorism." These are not economic, contrary to the economic determinists. They have to do with the dysfunctional nature of the Arab political culture. If you want to find out more about that read David Pryce-Jones' book "The Closed Circle." Briefly, if this political culture continues terrorism will rise and continue. If it is reformed into something more consensual, this change will put a brake on terrorism due to more peaceful and promising ways of political change that will then exist in the Arab world.

Iraq is the place to start. Arabists have long held Iraq as a sort of favorite locale for modernization of this sort. They think it is the best place to try to do a change in the Arab polical culture.

This year and the next will be the turning point of the coming cnetury. If the US can beat down terrorism and introduce reformed political culutre to the Arab world to prevent terrorism coming back, and if we can do something about North Korea and its insanity so as to discourage nuclear proliferation, the world will have a chance to avoid a descent into another Dark Valley such as made the 20th century into a century of horrors. If we fail, the 21st century will be worse, with insane megalomaniacs spewing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons onto other countries and enabling hardly less insane terrorists to use such weappons as well. That nightmare scenario is what we are trying to prevent. Lilly, France and others are trying to prevent us from stopping that trip into the Dark Valley. They are enabling the descent into Hell. Do you really think you people in the Old Europe can escape the chaos that will be unleashed if we fail?

The U.S. did indeed give Saddam conventional weapons during his war with Iraq

Ryan, do you have a cite for this? The US did provide agriculture credits, and some intelligence data, to Iraq during the Iraq/Iran war, but the only "conventional weapons" I'm aware of the US selling to Iraq are about fifty civilian helicopters that were later converted to military use.

I do remember reading it but I'm not really sure its worth the effort to go look for it. Weather or not the U.S. supplied Iraq with CW, doesn't make enough of a difference to the debate to be worth arguing over.

If I spot it, I'll post it. K?

Official documents suggest that America may also have secretly arranged for tanks and other military hardware to be shipped to Iraq in a swap deal--American tanks to Egypt, Egyptian tanks to Iraq.

This is from a newsweek article. I don't have the link to the article, because its from a secondary source (fas.org)

Ryan:

Excellent perspective (that the Manhattan Project took only three years).

I'd only add that we did it in three years without anyone ever having done it before. We didn't have stolen or black market plans to go by.

It was reported years ago that Saddam had a working plan for a nuke.

Lilli,

"mj wants to be safe - I guess you'd have to nuke the rest of the world before you could feel safe(aren't the most US citizens killed by other US citizens? So youmight nuke anyone else, too). And no - I don't count the pope into my "extremist christian" league."

If you must eliminate all possibilities other than global nuclear war and regime change in Iraq in order to advocate the positions you support I think that speaks for itself. Next time, try to at least argue some point.

It's funny, when I read posts like Lilli's and the replies, I really want to make a good point about why we should go to war, why the main arguments of the left are crap, and so on (at least, one that hasn't been made already--you guys RULE!).

But the truth is that any point I could make in logic tends to get swallowed up in emotion. At the heart of it, yes, Lilli, I want to be safe. I want Michele to dance at her daughter's wedding. I want to fix it so that I don't have panic attacks when I leave the house, so that my friends don't hold their infant children too tightly and wonder: are these the end times? I want to hear a jet plane overhead and not jump a mile.

I have seen too much death. I just want it to stop. I know there is a price to pay for this. I would pay it gladly.

Beca

So what makes you think that 12 years on, the Iraqi's do have weapons of mass destruction? Why does everyone talk about this as if it's a given fact? Did I somehow miss the bit where we discovered his huge stocks of nerve gas and weaponised plutonium?

Why didn't we monitor the whole disarmament process while Saddam said he was doing it. so you wouldn't have to work out if it really happened now? And why did the UN put the burden of proof on Saddam - innocent until proven guilty, anyone?

Guy:

1) yes, actually, we have every reason to believe Iraq has VX nerve gas, weaponized anthrax, and the missiles needed to deliver them.
(http://www.efreedomnews.com/News%20Archive/Iraq/SpecialReportWaronIraq/W37CIA_ReportIraqWMD.htm)
2) "Innocent until proven guilty" is a unique condition of the US justice system. It has no place in international courts--and the UN is most certainly not operating like the US!

cheers,
B

Guy,

Come on, is this the best you can do?

"So what makes you think that 12 years on, the Iraqi's do have weapons of mass destruction."

We found much of it after the Gulf war. Why do silly leftists insist on pretending he doesn't have them? What exactly do you think he used on the Kurds?

"Did I somehow miss the bit where we discovered his huge stocks of nerve gas and weaponised plutonium?"

Obviously. If you show up with your eyes closed it isn't that surprising you don't see anything.

"Why didn't we monitor the whole disarmament process while Saddam said he was doing it. so you wouldn't have to work out if it really happened now?"

We were there, and every time we found something hundreds of Iraqi security guards showed up and surrounded the inspectors. Then SH refused to allow the inspectors to leave their compound. Maybe you should be asking Saddam why he violated the ceasefire agreement.

And why did the UN put the burden of proof on Saddam - innocent until proven guilty, anyone?

a. Innocent until proven guilty doesn't apply, since it is a legal concept.

b. The violation occurred when SH refused to comply with his ceasefire agreements, including allowing free access to inspectors. In order to make your claim you must believe SH has allowed unrestricted access continually from 1991 to present. Do you really believe this?

Try to find at least one argument that makes the slightest sense. These kinds of irrelevant, illogical side-bars only work with people who don't question the litany. You should leave them under the rock.

All you're doing is providing further proof that anti-war types are only interested in obstructionism for political reasons. There are many honest anti-war protesters who are praying you will shut up: you're undermining their cause.

1. According to UN Resolution 687, Iraq had 15 days from the ratification of that resolution to hand over a complete inventory of weapons.

2. Iraq then had 120 days to begin complete compliance in the destruction of all UN banned weapons.

3. Compliance with this UN Resolution ensured that we would not completely destroy Saddams little sadistic Disneyland.

4. Non-compliance--read failure to meet any of the obligations set out in the Resolution (687)--would mean "serious" consequences. This does not mean that France doesn't send you a Christmas card.

5. Members of Iraqi secret police have met with Al-Qaeda personnel, including Mohammed Atta, on several occasions in Czechoslovakia (sp). The Czech police stand by that information and I believe them.

There is nothing to waffle over, discuss, vote on, debate, or resubmit: it was done in April 1991. He is in material breach of the resolution(s) that ended the Gulf War.

We don't have to have the permission of cowardly European despots who have nothing better to do than line their pockets with blood money.

If the wanna-be Stalins of Europe don't have the "resolve" to back up the sophomoric "resolutions" that they seem so good at cranking out at the UN, then we will have the resolve to do it for them.

If the world is so taken in by propoganda, then they can be led like sheep to the slaughter.

Lilli, we will not.
We will stand by while you and your kind call us vile, undeserved names, spit on our ideals and beliefs, and cook up mindless theories on why America is the cause of all the evil in the world, but we will not sit idly by while thousands of our people are murdered.
NEVER AGAIN.

By the way, if we had wanted Iraq's oil, we would have taken it in 1991.
If we wanted to be Imperialists, we would turn liberated countries into colonies or principalities.

Buy a history book.
Read it.