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i love the smell of putin in the morning

Putin calls for the war to be stopped.

Can you smell what the US is cooking?

That would be Putin's ass in that frying pan, sauteed with a couple of WMDs stamped "Made in Russia."

I can't believe I just used the phrase "what the U.S. is cooking."

Someone slap me.

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Putin demands that we stop the war. Yeah, whatever, ass.... [Read More]

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Poor old Vlad, rattling the tired ol' Russian chains. oh and slap that's for your use of "can you smell what the US is cookin'". He wants us to call off the war? I think he should be looking for all those missing nuclear weapons. "Well, uh, you see, when our country went to shit, we just couldn't keep track of those little things anymore"

Wait a second; don't we all know that Russia is a great defender of human rights and pacifism? cough cough Chechyna That it stands firmly against proliferation of WMD? cough cough Iranian nukes

Pot, kettle, black.

(channeling Dwyane "the Rock" Johnson):

Finally.... the Rock has come back to Baghdad!

I doubt there are as many WMD's in Iraq with Russia's stamp as there are ones made in the good ol' US of A. We sold him all kinds of horrible stuff in the 80's. Stuff he used to kill his own people and jumpstart his own chemical weapons program. There are a lot of reasons to be unhappy with the Russians. Using the hypothesis that the Russians selling Iraq chemical weapons as one of them is hypocritical.

Kevin, this is a base canard. We DIDN'T sell them weapons, the figure I saw was ~$500,000 of stuff over 20 years. That doesn't buy a lot of stuff. The thing about the Russian stuff is that it's been sold to them in the last YEAR.

Russia: $billions.

US: $hundreds of thousands.

Na-na!

Kevin,

Go to StrategyPage.
Read the article.
Pay close attention to item number 4.
Commit this to memmory and avoid looking like a jackass because you're parroting Hesiod/Atrios/Rainmondo propaganda.

I have no problem looking like a jackass. I've practiced for many years to get it down. If I was incorrect about the actual dollar amount for chemical weapons, I don't think I'm wrong about our government and the US Industrial complex supplying them some pretty dire stuff, including materials to create SCUDs, and the infrastructure to create nuclear weapons. Yes, the Russians screwed up, but it's partly our government's strategy of supporting the lesser of two evils (the war between Iran and Iraq) that helps to create these problems.

My point isn't that Russia is blameless. They broke rules by selling Iraq the radar jammers, and I'm sure, other fun toys. But, our government no less culpable. Personally, I think it's time for our government to stop supporting the lesser evil and think about the consequences of propping up dictators before it does it. Of the times we've gone to war in the past few decades, how many of those folks were governments we either put in place or supported? We gave money to Osama bin Laden. We supported Noriega in Panama. We helped out Saddam (no matter what the dollar amount). I'm sure there are others. In each case, they ended up hurting us or those around them, and we had to send the military into take care of it. Sorry this ended up being so long, but us jackasses have to explain ourselves.

Sources:
- Progressive Magazine
- Common Dreams

Sorry to keep this going, but where does StrategyPage get their info? There's no source listed, and from the other articles I've read (with sources, like Senate committee transcripts), the claim made in number 4 is at least arguable if not patently false, as it's just a statement not backed up by supported documentation.

Let's assume for a moment that we are culpable (an assertion I dispute) then we are required to remove the threat. And a a tenthousand fold difference DOES make us less culpable.

That's all I was saying. We are culpable. That's enough reason for me to not use the "Hey, Russia, you sold chemical weapons to Saddam" argument. Feel free to if you want, but it still smacks of hypocrisy to me.

Such vitriol spewing forth here. It makes surfing for pornography seem somehow "dirty."

geeze, vitriol? I didn't think so. I think I can concede Kevin's point. We haven't lapsed into name calling, simply arguing a point. If you think this is vitriol, you live in a fairly sheltered enviroment

Well, not sheltered enough to not recognize a non-serious comment when I read one. I was being silly, not serious.

Yeah, other than being called a jackass, I think we played rather nice. We stuck to the facts as we see them and didn't resort to name calling or hyperbole. Compared to some other the other rhetoric out there, we were like an old ladies' tea party (thanks for the debate, Bill).

"kevin you ignorant slut!" damn, couldn't keep the vitriol down!

peace out!

Well, the fact that we're doing something about a possible mistake as opposed to Russia opposing us doing anything about it, gives us the moral high ground, don't you think?

Besides, one of the reasons Russia doesn't want us in there is because they're going to have a helluva time selling any of those old T-55 tanks after they get pounded to scrap by the Abrams and the Challenger 2.

Kevin, you raise a valid question as to sources, StrategyPage Sources:

Reuters, AP, UPI Agence France Press (AFP), the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), Radio Free Europe (RFE), The Economist, Janes, Parameters, Armed Forces Journal, Aviation Week, The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, The Sunday London Times, and the list goes on quite extensively.

Unfortunately that's about the only valid thing you say in the entire post.

First, sighting left-loony rags that print old soviet propaganda and conspiracy theories that would cause a Freeper forget to look for the black helicopters, well that isn't exactly what I call solid sourcing.

»The Iraqi's got their scuds first from NorK, then China - they never got them from the U.S. or parts to make them because a)they're a crap weapon and b) they aren't built here.

»Nuclear Proliferation I - through out the 70's, 80's and 90's the U.S. tried to limit if not eliminate nuclear programs in other countries because they were seen as a strategic threat to the U.S. and its interests - so why did we try to help Iraq (a soviet client state) build its nuclear program again?

»Nuclear Proliferation II - On June 7, 1981, Israeli jets flew over Jordanian, Saudi, and Iraqi airspace to attack Iraqi nuclear reactor "Osiraq". The Osirs-Iraq (Osiraq) reactor, a breeder reactor capable of making weapons grade plutonium, was built for Iraq by France.

»Speaking of the Iran-Iraq war, how did we help the Iraqi's out again? "In 1985 the United States began clandestine direct and indirect negotiations with Iranian officials that resulted in several arms shipments to Iran. (toward the bottom.)

»Also, up into the 80's the Soviet Union gave Iraq $1bn USD in military aide per year and approximately 5,000 Iraqi military personnel trained in the Soviet Union annually.

See Kev, there's a lot of blame to go around, but in this case, not so much. The fact is the Russkies, Grench and Fermans have had a vested financial and military interest in Iraq for decades and they were selling them this stuff up until a few months ago. Claimng that the U.S. is equally culpable? Sorry Kev, that's moral relativism and just plain dumb - that's THEM talking.

Once you start down the path of moral relativism you abandon all pretext of rationalality. The hard truth is there are varying degrees of culpability, and right now whatever blame that may have been lain at our door, we're balancing the scales. The others? The blood of our men and women, that of our allies and that of the Iraqi people has stained their hands. So no Kev, the Russians aren't any more to blame than America, they're a helluva a lot more to blame than we are, but then they're enemies of old and old habits die hard.

The French are another matter. They are even more to blame than the Russians because they've been jerkin' us around and they're supposed to have been our allies. For the French I have no pity and what befalls France, no remorse, they have been measured, measured, weighed and found wanting.

The sad part about all this, is that they haven't found any of the WMD that Russian, the US, or anyone else sold to Iraq. But let's not pay attention to that, it's only the basis of the entire conflict.
So what happens if they don't find WMD? Does Bush just shrug and say "My bad." Do they apologize to all the Iraqis? I guess time will tell, I for one am hoping that they do find WMD, because otherwise Bush is gonna have some 'splainin' to do.

Well, chip since we're speculating wildly, what does the UN say when they find the cache of nuclear weapons that Saddam has, shrug their shoulders and condemn US arrongance?

Since you brought out "moral relativism"... from Mirriam Webster (I think this is the definition you're applying to me): relatvism (noun): a view that ethical truths depend on the individuals and groups holding them.

I think I'm being an absolutist about this. Russia is guilty and so are we. I'm not measuring guilt in relation to how much material or money changed hands or the reason for doing so. Our government and many others have supported Saddam over the years. You're saying that Russia is more guilty than we are using the relation of the amount of material to the measure of guilt (correct me if I'm wrong on that). I used the sources I did because they cited their's (Senate committee transcripts). I found them through a search on Google that provided many more documents from all over the politcal map providing much more damning information than provided in those two documents.

You point out from the FAS article that we stopped supplying Iraq and started supplying Iran? How does that help your case? It does nothing to support your argument that the government's not to blame for any of this and opens up a whole new can of worms in that we supported yet another country in the "Axis of Evil".

I try to be reasonable about this stuff. I get my news from more than one source (and by saying this, I'm not insinuating you don't - I don't know you). I'm not rationalizing anyone's actions. I'm looking at consequences and trying to keep my political beliefs out of it. A bunch of nations, including us, are guilty of supporting various brutal dictators over the years. That we're doing something about one dictator now does not make up for the original action. The two are unrelated. That we took the action in the first place is what our government is guilty of. That other countries don't feel that our solution to this mutually created problem is "right" does not make them any more or less guilty of the initial offense: giving Saddam the means to use and produce Weapons of Mass Distruction.

And to Bill's point about what happens when we find them, France has said already that it would change its position (although that may have been if Iraq used them, I can go find the quote if someone really needs it). I think if France flipped, so would Russia and Germany. Mr. Blix himself has said that if Iraq used them (and I would assume since we're speculating wildly in this paragraph) that even if we found a large cache of them, the world would come around in a hurry.

Perhaps equivalence would have been the better term Kev? You seem overwrought with the fact that we acknowledge the guilt or sin of American foreign policy, why is that? The fallacy of your logic seems to be that since none are pure, all actions are tainted. And if the actions are tainted then the outcome cannot be deemed pure. That's a nice untenable view of the world to have but it doesn't get much done at the end of the day.

The fact is that Iraq was a Soviet client state, we never supported them in any meaningful way and what support they did get from us took a rather circuitous route via the UN. How does ignoring the fact that Iraq spent 40+ years sucking on the Soviet teat help bolster your case that we were supposedly supporting them when we were actively defying the Soviet Union? Does that make any sense at all?

Besides which I fail to see any relevance to this at all. Say we gave them $10bn dollars in military aide in the 80's, would it not be our responsibility to correct that mistake in an attempt to make amends? It seems that using your logic all answers arrive at NON.

A bunch of nations, including us, are guilty of supporting various brutal dictators over the years. That we're doing something about one dictator now does not make up for the original action. The two are unrelated. That we took the action in the first place is what our government is guilty of. That other countries don't feel that our solution to this mutually created problem is "right" does not make them any more or less guilty of the initial offense: giving Saddam the means to use and produce Weapons of Mass Destruction.

Two things: First, the two are not unrelated. If I give a willful child a gun and a box of bullets that is wrong. The child shoots someone. If I now attempt to take them away from the child and that is the right thing to do. It is directly related to my previous action. My present action does not absolve me of my guilt nor does it alleviate my responsibility to redress the wrong committed but it does correct my initial wrong. Actions have consequences as does inaction.

That other countries do not feel our solution is right does not make them wrong. That other countries have actively impeded us, provided material assistance to our enemy and are actively cheering our failure makes them tacit supporters of our enemy. That makes them wrong. Hussein is vile, there is no defense of him or his regime. Are our motives pure? Are our hands clean? Are we free from guilt that we can shame others and call for a reckoning? Will we be the better for this endeavor? Perhaps not by your standards Kevin, but by most other measures yes, yes we are and will be.

In response to the comment saying what will the UN do if the US does find WMD. Well they'll probably says something like; "Why didn't you give us the proper intelligence when we were inspecting?" and of course they'll be wrong to say something like that. But what will the popular response, I'm sure it will be something along the lines of mistrust, most people will believe the WMD was planted by the US. But if Iraq uses WMD rather than the US just finding WMD then there will be a global feeling of "Christ USA, why didn't you do something about it before?" So, it's a no win situation for the US. But if they don't find anything, atleast the rest of the world can go about their days knowing they were right, and the US can claim that the whole point was to oust an evil dictator and start the Peace process in the Middle east. No matter what, people died, good people, good American people, my neighbors to the south whom I respect, maybe I don't like their leaders, but I don't like mine much either. So let's hope that there aren't too many more to die.