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friends of saddam

CNN Breaking News: France, Russia and Germany say they will not allow U.N. resolution that clears path for war with Iraq. Details soon.

I hear Bono in my head:

With or without you
With or without you
We will go
With or without you

And ten dollars says that when we do go, they'll all evenutally tag along like good little doggies.


Do these guys still think we need their piece of paper? We're going to go into Iraq anyway and they're going to get kicked off the East Side.

No, this is good. This could be the final nail in the coffin of the UN.

If they tag along, the odds are very good they will run round in circles, dragging their leashes around everyone's ankles, thus gumming things up even worse!!

I heard that the French were backing down from using their veto because they didn't see the point when the US is going to attack Iraq regardless of what happens at the UN. I guess they're backing down from seeming totally irrelevant.

On a slightly unrelated note, some of the "human shields" have decided to return home early before any of that nasty, dangerous bombing starts.


The French will line up at the trough for a share of the spoils...after the shooting stops.

Everyone with any sense knew the Euro-hoes would do this. They have too many interests with Saddam.

It doesn't matter anyway because by the end of March Iraq will be a new country without a dictator anymore.

Man, I wish the U.S. would just pull out of the bullshit U.N. let them stay in N.Y. as a reminder of what assholes they are and how the U.S. isn't a jerk off like France, Russia, China, Germany, etc. etc. etc.

Why with the constant stream of insults against the countries that disagree with the US position? I'm just waiting for the gif of the Pope's head mounted on a 'cheese eating surrender monkey'.Probably from the Sun again...
I can understand the rants against France; they seem to be opposing because they can, not because of principle or for any real gain (except maybe a few oil options). Germany, on the other hand, is becomming a pacifist nation; this is not necessarily a bad thing, and not deserving the title of 'jerk off'. IMO. Russia, too, has some reasons: it wants cast iron guarantees about repayment of debts, and probably on its behaviour in Chechnya as well (which is part of the War on Terror). China is in the middle of a huge leadership change (always stressful in a nation like that), so may very well change it's mind in the next day or two.
I'm just wondering what will happen when one of the 'coalition of the willing' disagrees with US policy. Say, the UK or Australia disagreed with the US vision of post-Saddam Iraq. Would US public opinion then turn against their recent allies? Those who had been willing to fight and die alongside them? In my reading of US news services, and of many blogs (of course, if it's Tony Blair, Michele might protect him a bit ;-p) I'd have to say that they would. The cartoons of ditching the dozy British and their colonial ways would appear over night.
Anyway, enough of this. I'm a supporter of the upcomming war in Iraq; I'd rather Blair spent a bit more time sorting out things closer to home. Selfish of me, I know... it's just that I live there and am fed up of people giving up on the Peace Process, and Winston Blair being too busy internationally to sort out a domestic terrorism problem.

Well, I think Russia is just negotiating and they will end up the coalition with the rest of the "Old Europe" when the price will be okay. I'm also not sure, how the french will act, when it really comes to acting. And yes, I still am not sure, when the german position will change, but I assume it might. At the end we will all together march in (germans sure behin the US), but that doesn't make it right.

From Germany With Love.

All who believe that France, Germany, and Russia (read: their governments) are opposing a US-led war in Iraq "because they favour Saddam" are making a rather simplistic argument.

Sure Russia fears they won't get their money back once Saddam is gone - but seriously, do you think that $8bn in debts is really worth all that trouble in the UN if you see the amounts the US are shelling out to bribe the Turkish government. Not really. So what Oil fields? It's all pre-exploitation contracts only valuable once the UN sanctions are lifted and the investment is sufficiently secure. Do you really believe that the US would redistribute all those wells to US companies in order to make their stand in the region even more difficult and allow the opposition in the US to argue that the oil-affiliated Bush admin is pursuing private rather than public interests? I guess not.

The (well articulated European) opposition is not opposition to ANY war. It is opposition to the war the Bush admin is about to embark on without a real plan of what's going to happen, without a real assessment of the costs - did anyone read the University of Chicago's William Nordhaus' assessment of the economic costs - without even thinking about the cost of life, without a real argument concerning the "why now". Even Conservative think tanks are extremely wary (CATO).

Sure, Saddam has been mocking the UN for a decade. And sure, there is some risk that he is still trying to get hold of WMDs. But during the 1990s everybody was just happy with the status quo in the middle east. Noone thought that Saddam's crimes actually justified a war. It needed teh tragedy of 9/11 to change that. But what happened to the post 1991 Middle East peace process? Whichever side you want to blame for its collapse, the fact remains that the "Pax Americana" spirit of the 1991 madrid conference and the ensuing Oslo process did not carry the day, not even in during the Clinton years. Can anyone name a single reason why things should turn out better this time?

Europe has experienced terrorism in multiple varieties for a long time. Not on WTC scale, of course, but terror is not about scale (except for the newsmedia) it is about fear. And fighting Iraq is not about self-defence in European eyes (and I know I am guilty of overgenerealisation here, but there's some truth to it), it is about ill-judged hegemonial intentions of a neo-conservative foreign policy elite that has hijacked the American administration and has been able to use the fear sawn by Osama bin Laden for their own purposes.

Europeans have learnt to live with the calculated, low residual risk of some extremist wanting to blow them up for Communism, Religion, or irredentism. We have also learnt that there is no short cut to Democacy and Modernity. So we don't really believe the common example of Japanese or German democratisation after WW2 are actually useful examples in the case of the ongoing Islamic Reformation.

The last of the arguments the US admin has been making is "Liberation of the Iraqi people". It's actually quite interesting how pro-war suddenly became pro-liberation follwoing Tony Blair's attempt to reframe the discourse with his Glasgow speech.

But don't get me wrong here. I believe that any argument that could possibly justify a war (which IS NOT self defence in any meaningful concept of the word) would have to go along the lines of liberation and democratization. And here I get the biggest problems of all. One is fundamental: Do I believe that tanks and troops will actually further the ongoing Islamic reformation? I doubt it. But I think it is very much possible to come to a different conclusion on this point. The other one is specific - do I believe that this Bush administration can actually lead the way? Certainly not. The American messianic rethoric is certainly to a good deal political marketing. But to another good deal, they're probably srerious. To secular European ears, this is scary as it is very reminiscent of the religions and ideolgies that led the people on this continent to fight each other for centuries. We have finally grown out of this, partly thanks to the US and so we fear that the US is on its way to no longer be "The Land Of The Free" whose liberal American Dream did indeed inspire the hearts and minds of so many after the gruesome days of Nazism and Communism.

We're not friends of Saddam. But we probably will be perceived as such if having an opinion of our own is perceived as treason. If the American psyche is actually as hurt post 911 that disagreement among friends is perceived as treason, then, well, then we will probably have to bear that label, however much it hurts. We have to do so, because we're afraid our American friends don't get it right this time. And it's too important for all of us to just nod and say 'go'. Who would need friends who just nod and say go? What about all those anti-drug ads you have seen? If somebody tells you to jump into the river and you believe both of you would drown - would you just jump along so you can drown together?

I don't believe that.

And I doubt Europe will happily tag along like little doggies. The "rift" is about lack of mutual respect, about weasel and doggie rethoric, it's all about policy by speechwriting. And it's also a bit about the missing case.


Careful, Tobias. Talk like that will get your IP address published out here.

Well considered and well spoken.

Someone need to explain to me why we care about France, Germany, Russia, or the UN in general. If Iraq is a direct threat to us, then why do we need permission to defend ourselves? Just bomb them already. Then maybe we start focusing on the situation in North Korea, or better yet, the economy.

Those Muslim kooks should go after France right now. We won't help France. Russia doesn't want anymore Jihad. Germany ... whatever. France surrenders.


If we don't deal with North Korea pretty soon, there may not BE any economy.

Methinks the main problem affecting the US at the moment is the economy. States can't pay teachers to educate the children of today. The government can't find the money to ensure our parents can get proper health services in their old age. In many states, roads, bridges and basic infrastructure is in a critically dangerous condition.

So we spent hundreds of billions on someone else's problem. And the adminstration can also cut taxes to the "big end of town", as a payback for their money and support.

And what of a greater international threat, North Korea? How about at least trying to solve that diplomatically?

Nope, GW is "looking for the man who shot ma pa." Meanwhile, the rest of the country goes down the toilet. Thanks guys.

It's funny. All the pro-war guys eat up mostly everything that Bush and Blair say at face value: sure it's about weapons of mass destruction, now it's about them posing a threat to us, now it's a moral crusade, now we're liberating the Iraqi people... and all the anti-war kids are completely cynical.

Suddenly France et al oppose the war and the warmongers are the biggest sceptics south of the North Pole.

And now I for one do buy into the fact that these countries just aren't willing to support a war on moral / economic / political grounds.

Yeah, we're just simplistic, moralistic, easily-swayed, bloodthirsty morons. You guys on the other hand are geniuses who Care About Children™ and Old People. Well, since you're all so smart, why don't you come up with a solution? One that isn't more bloody, stupid, waste-of-time, Iraqi-economy-stifling-and-child-starving sanctions and weapons 'inspections.' Because those haven't worked for the past twelve years -- unless your goal was to destroy the economy of Iraq while assuring that Saddam Hussein would remain in power, then the United-Nations-imposed sanctions and weapons-inspection folderol has worked like a charm.

Andrea: so bloody, stupid, waste-of-time, Iraqi-infrastructure-destroying-and-child-killing war is better?

t:a quick devastating liberation of Iraqis including those in jail being raped/tortured/crippled/murdered works for me.

From t: "Andrea: so bloody, stupid, waste-of-time, Iraqi-infrastructure-destroying-and-child-killing war is better?"

Answer: Yes.

First, it will not happen that way - it will be relatively short and bloodless (except for the Iraqi soldiers that refuse to surrender).

Second: Even if it happens as you seem to think, it will have an end, unlike the sanctions and inspections which would go on forever (already 12 years and counting).

I wasn't criticising the pro-war lobby per se (apart from the fact I disagree with them but that wasn't my point here) but simply observing how the two factions swing from outright cynicism to fluffy-cloud idealism depending on who's doing the talking.

Ken & u: Haven't you heard the saying that modern wars never stop, they just lay dormant?

Note that Gen. Myers has said that victory would be defined by disarmament, not the capture or removal of Saddam, so there's no guarantee that liberation of the tortured etc will happen. Are we still kidding ourselves that this war is for humanitarian reasons?

Bloodless war and devastating liberation sound awfully oxymoronic to me...

t:do you honestly think that if we go in and forcibly disarm Saddam that he will stay in power? C'mon. I don't think anyone thinks War is bloodless. I don't think Peace at all costs is bloodless either.

also t:is it more important to you that the Iraqis are liberated from Saddam's torture OR that we must have a proper and dignified reason before doing so?