Thursday, September 29, 2005

Principles of War

War is wrong.

Sadly, however, war and military action are sometimes nescesary.

In order to resort to war and military action only when absolutely nescesary, here are some principles that should be followed.

1. War and Military Action is permissible :

a) if you have been attacked directly, either via a terrorist attack (9\11) or the armed forces, regular or irregular, of another country;

b) if you are facing an armed insurgency within your own country;

c) if you are facing and armed insurgency in your country supported and financed by another country;

d) if there is a provable immediate threat of genocide or "ethnic cleansing" violence in your own or another country (Rwanda, Bosnia);

e) if your country is in provable immediate danger or threat of attack from another country or group;

f) to conduct rescue and extraction missions from foriegn nations in civil war, from terrorists, insurgents or organized crime gangs;

2. The above war or military action must:

a) be proportional to the act or threat against you - no nuking a country for a "9\11". Use only as much force as reasonably nescessary to remove the threat. This could range from covert actions, supporting guerrillas, to raids and then to all out war, with allies;

b) be directed at the actual parties that attacked you or provably are an immediate threat to you or another country, or are harbouring those that attacked you or are an immediate threat;

c) be the last resort, used only after diplomacy, sanctions or negotiations in the regular diplomatic channels (these do not need to be public) have failed and with the support of the international community. Alternatives such as supporting internal opposition should be the first course of action;

d) be undertaken without international support only if the threat is provably immediate and real;

e) be done in conjunction with and in support of other international bodies and tribunals such as the International Criminal Court or the UN War Crimes Tribunals;

3. War and Military action can range from supporting pre-existing internal rebels or guerrillas, to commando raids (to arrest indicted war criminals and dictators), no-fly zones all the way to full war. It does not mean rushing directly to military invasion and occupation of another country.

4. It is not acceptable to use war and military action to aquire resources, spread an ideology or impose from the outside a particular system of government;

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."
-Sun Tzu, the Art of War



Any questions?

41 Comments:

At 4:49 PM, Blogger KevinG said...

"War is wrong.

Sadly, however, war and military action are sometimes necessary."

So, it is necessary to be wrong?

 
At 5:12 PM, Blogger Mike said...

KevinG,

War represents a failure. It should be avoided, but, sometimes we fail. Sometimes it is important to use just enough force to stop an immediate threat, and then try to fix things.

I look at these rules the same way as I do network and software security - if you are going to fail, fail gracefully and inot a state of keast damage.

Most of the time, we should follow these guidrlines when we have a choice. Occasionally we do not have a choice.

I tried to lift these directly from the "Art of War" by Sun Tzu and "The Art of Peace" by Morihei Ueshiba (the founder of Aikido).

So in a strange zen way, the answer is 'yes'.

 
At 9:45 PM, Blogger jeff said...

So it was right to go to war with Iraq. Ok, I'm on the right track with my thinking........

 
At 8:33 AM, Blogger Mike said...

jeff,

Not by a long shot and not by these principles.

These can certainly justify going into Afghanistan, but not Iraq.

Iraq did not directly attack the US.

Iraq did not support or aid those that attacked the US.

There was no "resuce" involved.

There was no genocide going on.

The much ballyhooed imminent threat posed by Saddam was NOT proved and turned out to be dead wrong. David kay and Scott Ritter were right all along.

In Iraq, the Bush regime went straight to invasion and occupation. They did not even try less instrusive methods like formenting an "Orange Revolution" toppling of Saddam.

And since they did not even meet the basic criteria of #1, I won't get into how the didn't meet the other criteria either.

Not only that, I'll write a nice post in a week or so showing how the conduct of the war in Iraq did not follow Sun Tzu's tenents and doomed it from the very beginning.

Sorry, but you are wrong. There is no justification for war in Iraq here.

 
At 9:24 AM, Blogger labby22 said...

"There was no genocide going on"

The Kurds might disagree about that one!!

 
At 9:34 AM, Blogger Mike said...

labby22,

The genocide against the Kurds had stopped after the first Gulf War.

For 15 years, the Kurds had lived in relative peace and prosperity in the North. They had a de facto democratic state of their own. They were actually more likely to have trouble with Turkey than Saddam. They were quite well protected by the no-fly zone.

The genocide of which you speak took place in the 80's and was supported by Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz and Donald Rumsfeld while they were members of the Reagan and Bush I administrations. They sold Saddam the weapons and the gas and then they vetoed a UN censure against Iraq for the attack. Remember, Saddam was a US friend back then.

Funny how the exact same guys that thought it was OK in 1988 thought it was so evil in 2003 that they needed to launch a war.

In March of 2003, there was no active genocide going on against the Kurds.

Try again.

 
At 11:49 AM, Blogger Nastyboy said...

"They sold Saddam the weapons and the gas and then they vetoed a UN censure against Iraq for the attack."

Nobody sold Iraq any gas. The mistake made by the west (not just the US) was that they didn't restrict the kind of trade that allowed Saddam to develop his own.

Kind of like how Canada sold India the reactor and technology to develop their own nuke.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger labby22 said...

"In March of 2003, there was no active genocide going on against the Kurds."

alright fair enough, whats in the past is in the past i guess hey. Im wondering though, why did we bother hunting down ex-concentration camp guards for the past 50 or sixty years. Shouldnt we have just let bygones be bygones Mike.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger labby22 said...

"In March of 2003, there was no active genocide going on against the Kurds."

alright fair enough, whats in the past is in the past i guess hey. Im wondering though, why did we bother hunting down ex-concentration camp guards for the past 50 or sixty years. Shouldnt we have just let bygones be bygones Mike.

 
At 1:20 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Nasty,

That may well be true, but the continuously sold Saddam other arms for his war with Iran. And that still doesn't explain why these same guys refused a UN censure. If it was a mistake and they thought he was going to use the gas against Iran (which also was a contravention of international law, but I digress), then they should have been happy to have him censured by the UN.

Sorry, that still doesn't make it ok.

labby22,

"Im wondering though, why did we bother hunting down ex-concentration camp guards for the past 50 or sixty years."

You can hunt down war criminals without starting a war. We did it lots of times. Hell, some of them were given jobs by the US government. Given your logic, there should be Marines on the ground in Darfur. Or in Zimbabwe. By your logic Isreal would have been justified in invading, occupying and destroying Argentina in order to apprehend Eichmann. The US is currently allied with Turkmenbashi, the absolute, cult-of-personality dictator of Turkmenistan, who is just as vicious and brutal as Saddam ever was. Why aren't we removing him?

Saddam was a vicious thug and I am glad he's gone. But a war, based on lies and miss-managed since the day Baghdad fell is the wrong way to unseat him. It has needlessly cost thousands of lives and destroyed a country.

None of that justifies a pre-emptive war against a country that posed no threat at all to your own and did not attack you. Just like Darfu or Zimbabwe. Now what is different about Darfur and Zimbabwe that makes them NOT worthy of the same treament as Iraq, by your logic?

 
At 3:42 PM, Blogger KevinG said...

Mike-

I was just messing with your words. I think, in the context of what you were saying, "unpleasant", or "nasty" or "horrible" might have been a more appropriate word than "wrong".

It's probably not worth pointing out but I will anyways, Buddhists are non-violent so, while the answer might be yes, it's not yes in a zen kind of way.

 
At 3:56 PM, Blogger Mike said...

KevinG dually noted.

Your words are a bit better. And you might be surprised how zen that yes is...

 
At 6:03 PM, Blogger jeff said...

"None of that justifies a pre-emptive war against a country that posed no threat at all to your own and did not attack you. Just like Darfu or Zimbabwe. Now what is different about Darfur and Zimbabwe that makes them NOT worthy of the same treament as Iraq, by your logic?"

For starters, they haven't attacked a democratic and strong ally of the US (Israel). Nor are they hell bent on Israel and the West's destruction.
Not a threat? Time to come up for air Mike. That patchouli oil can start to make you think that freedom is free.....

 
At 6:11 PM, Blogger jeff said...

"To fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

Great quote. I wonder what the Jews that survived the Holocaust think about this? I wonder if they are mad that the US joined in the war to stop Hitler, or if they wish America had thought up a better tactic instead. I wonder if people like Hitler, Saddam, Kim Jong Il, etc can be won over with diplomacy.
Nah, actually I already know the answer as do most rational beings with half a brain, and a bit of knowledge of history. The answer is: They cannot.

 
At 6:41 PM, Blogger jeff said...

"The United States and its allies must act to stop Iran's nuclear programs -- by force if necessary -- because conventional diplomacy will not work, three senior Israeli lawmakers from across the political spectrum warned yesterday."
http://www.washtimes.com/world/20050929-114709-2065r.htm

I agree.

 
At 6:44 PM, Blogger jeff said...

"Despite all the different circumstances, we see similarities to what happened in the 1930s, when people underestimated the real problem or focused on other dangers. For us, either the world will tackle Iran in advance or all of us will face the consequences."

 
At 7:37 PM, Blogger Question Period said...

In many ways, the American military action in Korea was as "necessary" as any war that's been fought since and yet it doesn't seem to fulfill any of your requirements for point 1 from a to f. It was the war that kept the Cold War cold, it was the war that established that nuclear weapons should be kept out of warfare, it was the war that said to the Soviets that the United States was not going to sit idly by and watch the spread of communism. Any thoughts?

 
At 10:54 PM, Blogger Nastyboy said...

Sorry, that still doesn't make it ok.

i never said it was Ok i just take exception when people say that the US government sold Iraq weapons of mass distruction, because it's not true, or at least not proven by any credible source I have seen. But it's acheived urban legend status.

 
At 11:13 PM, Blogger Mike said...

"For starters, they haven't attacked a democratic and strong ally of the US (Israel). Nor are they hell bent on Israel and the West's destruction.
Not a threat?"

The last time Iraq attacked Isreal was in Gulf War I, in 1991. And it did that as a strategic move to try to break up the coalition of nations against it. It didn't work because Isreal showed remarkable restrain. Since that time, except for giving token support to suicide bombers (again strategic, in order to make himself look good to Muslims and to cover his own weakness at home), Iraq has not been a serious threat to Isreal for 15 years. Lest we forget, Isreal has the Bomb - they hardly need the help of the US to deter Iraq.

"Great quote. I wonder what the Jews that survived the Holocaust think about this? I wonder if they are mad that the US joined in the war to stop Hitler, or if they wish America had thought up a better tactic instead. I wonder if people like Hitler, Saddam, Kim Jong Il, etc can be won over with diplomacy.
Nah, actually I already know the answer as do most rational beings with half a brain, and a bit of knowledge of history. The answer is: They cannot."

Great little non-sequitor, but totally irrelevant. Germany has actually invaded most of Europe and attakced the US shipping with submarines. The US still didn't declare war until they were hit by the Japanese. And the Holocaust did not start until 1941 and did not become known outside of occupied Europe until 1942, after the US had already declared war. BTW, GWB's grandfather Preston Bush was Hitler's banker in the US. Irony abounds...

As for Saddam and Kim Ill Jong, they are not the same as Hitler. If that's the case, why did Bush Sr. not finish the job 15 years ago and why is Kim still in charge and being actively negotiated with by the US right now? So I guess the CAN be won over with diplomacy - at least George W Bush seems to think so. Both are bad, but there is no justification to go to war.

"The United States and its allies must act to stop Iran's nuclear programs -- by force if necessary -- because conventional diplomacy will not work, three senior Israeli lawmakers from across the political spectrum warned yesterday...."Despite all the different circumstances, we see similarities to what happened in the 1930s, when people underestimated the real problem or focused on other dangers. For us, either the world will tackle Iran in advance or all of us will face the consequences."

Pure hyperbole. You know what Iran learned from the war in Iraq? Hurry up and get the bomb so you get treated like North Korea (has bomb, no invasion, lots of negotiations) instead of like Iraq (invaded and occupied).


Hey, how come you are allowed to use all these WWII allusions but if I mention that the quagmire in Iraq is EXACTLY like the one in Viet Nam, guys like you tell me to stop making silly comaprisons?

jeff, you have utterly failed to show that Iraq was justified in anyway. There is no freedom in Iraq right now, and for all your bleating about Iran, its a bit ironic that Iraq will likely become an Islamic Replublic like Iran because of the invasion.

Brilliant. You can't even show that Iraq was justifiable or admit that even if it ws (and I still maintain it wasn't) that the US screwed up the occupation, and now your changing the subject and gunning for Iran?

Do ya think jeff that maybe, just maybe, this was really about oil and money for a select few companies - or worse, an ideological move to create and American empire and show how strong America was (at least that's what the PNAC folks said they wanted to do in 1998)?

Sorry jeffy, for all your rhetoric, you still have not shown any justification for Iraq, let alone Iran.

QP,

Correct me if I'm wrong, but didn;t the government of South Korea ask for help from the US and the UN? It was, after all a UN operation. There is the argument to be made that it made the codl war hotter because the Chinese became involved later on...

Can you suggest an addendum that would cover Korea?

 
At 11:23 PM, Blogger Question Period said...

I believe that the cold war would have been much hotter later on if the US didn't show the Soviets that they were willing to intervene early as they did in Korea. If they'd waited, this likely would have turned into WWIII. Perhaps that could be 1g -- if there is a likelihood that a military action in another country will escalate into World War without immediate intervention.

 
At 12:33 AM, Blogger jeff said...

"Since that time, except for giving token support to suicide bombers (again strategic, in order to make himself look good to Muslims and to cover his own weakness at home), Iraq has not been a serious threat to Isreal for 15 years."

So just a minor little "Scud storm or two and some "token" support for Palestinian suicide bombers payable to the family once the evil has been committed. Yeah, what was I thinking. Saddam was no threat whatsoever to Israel...
Geez Mike, you actually sound like you are defending this scumbag's actions?! You do realize that this makes you an apologist for tyranny and evil, right? Just so you know....

"If that's the case, why did Bush Sr. not finish the job 15 years ago and why is Kim still in charge and being actively negotiated with by the US right now?"

Um...so you're saying that because Bush Sr. didn't finish the job, that we shouldn't finish the job now? That makes no sense.
Second, Kim is being negotiated with because he already has nuclear capabilities and tremendous military strength aka bunkers,footsoldiers,chemical weaponry, and most importantly *China* on it's side. You think riling up China at this stage in the game is a good idea?

So, you differentiate between Saddam, Kim Jong Il and Hitler.

"Pure hyperbole. You know what Iran learned from the war in Iraq? Hurry up and get the bomb so you get treated like North Korea (has bomb, no invasion, lots of negotiations) instead of like Iraq (invaded and occupied)."

You think that all bets are off on N.Korea? That is a very naive statement, Mike. What makes you think the US has ruled out military force?

"Hey, how come you are allowed to use all these WWII allusions but if I mention that the quagmire in Iraq is EXACTLY like the one in Viet Nam, guys like you tell me to stop making silly comaprisons?"

Make Viet Nam comparisons. Then I'll shoot those down on their own merits.

"jeff, you have utterly failed to show that Iraq was justified in anyway. There is no freedom in Iraq right now, and for all your bleating about Iran, its a bit ironic that Iraq will likely become an Islamic Replublic like Iran because of the invasion."

I have shown why Iraq was justified. You have just chosen to ignore the evidence. Not my problem.
Second, I'd like to know something and please be honest: Doesn't it feel just a little bit slimy to continually rail against the war effort in Iraq. A war effort,btw, that is aimed at creating a democratic country with freedom for *all* citizens, not just the minority Sunnis?

"Sorry jeffy, for all your rhetoric, you still have not shown any justification for Iraq, let alone Iran."

Sure I have...

 
At 10:39 AM, Anonymous stageleft said...

Second, I'd like to know something and please be honest: Doesn't it feel just a little bit slimy to continually rail against the war effort in Iraq. A war effort,btw, that is aimed at creating a democratic country with freedom for *all* citizens, not just the minority Sunnis?

The "you don't want democracy in the Middle East" meme is getting pretty weak just about everywhere Jeff, even folks like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have basically dropped it now - it failed, give it up.

Iraq was not invaded to create a free state in the Middle East, it was invaded so that the US would have a [very] strategic military base of operations in the region for a [very] long time to come. It was necessary for a number of American [fear based] interests including Russia starting to get back on its' feet and their potential influence in the area, the growing influence and power of China [both in the military and economic arenas], the preceived need to send the world a "don't f**ck with us" message, and yes, among other factors, even oil played its part.

American, at least short term, interests have been satisfied but that only makes the war "necessary" from their point of view - I believe that ultimately, and as has happened in the past, the practice of satisfying short term interests without full consideration of long term consequences will once again turn around and bite them hard on the arse.

If history proves me wrong feel free to stop by the bunker and I'll stand you a beer and let ya gloat :-)

 
At 11:15 AM, Blogger jeff said...

"The "you don't want democracy in the Middle East" meme is getting pretty weak just about everywhere Jeff, even folks like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh have basically dropped it now - it failed, give it up."

It failed? I must have missed the memo. Please, do advise?

 
At 3:18 PM, Blogger labby22 said...

"You can hunt down war criminals without starting a war."

Im afraid that getting Saddam into custody might not be as simple as the Mossad being able to knock on Eichmann's door and drag him to a EL AL plane.

 
At 6:59 PM, Blogger jeff said...

You are, of course, correct, Labby.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger Mike said...

jeff,

Why are you continually using the things Saddam did during the last war (the "Scud Storm") to somehow justify this war?

Sorry but it makes no sense. Also, I would reccomend you go to a few of the Iraqi blogs and read what they have to say about the new consitution - http://riverbendblog.blogspot.com/, for instance.

Instead of a democracy and a free state, as you imagine the war will create, Iraq will likely get an Iranian-style Islamic Republic, if it doesn't disintegrate into civil war.

Oh yes, freedom marches on in Iraq.

So what terrible evil has Saddam done since 1991 that warrant invasion and war? I mean real, provable stuff, not that "yellow cake " uranium crap that has been proven false. What did he do that was more exceptional than other tin-pot dictator, including US friends and allies like Turkmenbashi, or Mubarak, Pervais Mushariff, which the US did not, and has no plans to, invade? If he was so evil, why couldn't the US make a truthful, compelling argument to the UN and the world?

StageLeft has it nailed down. And its exactly what the memebers of PNAC said the wanted to do and way back in 1998. These PNAC guys include Cheney, Worlfowitz, Rumsfeld, Perle and many other Administration people and apologists like William Kristol.

Sorry, but none of the so called "justification" you have presented here and elsewhere is reason enough to go to war. It is just recyling the rationalization and actions from the last war, with no proof of any other allegations. Yet when PNAC lays out exactly what its going to do and then gets in power and does it, you still but the "democracy in Iraq" hogwash.

Labby,

I never said it would be. But I suppose we will never know since the descision to go to war against Iraq was made on Sept. 12 2001 (if not before, according to Richard Clarke in "Against All Enemies") and nothing else was ever tried.

 
At 11:26 PM, Blogger jeff said...

When you least expect it......*evil snicker*....

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Oh jeff, how will I survive you mature wit and wisdom....

I'll be waiting sweetie. Whenever you are ready.

 
At 7:14 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

While I must admit I grow weary of the smoke and mirrors and lack of credible sources for your 'claims', I still must say, " Mike, you make this wayyyy to easy". Stay tuned to the Cannuckistan for a thorough vetting of the flimsy conspiratorial tinfoil headgear PNAC myth.....

 
At 8:26 AM, Blogger Mike said...

Blah blah blah, jeff. Credible sources like Hans Blix, David Kay, Scott Ritter. What are your sources, tired right-wing news organizations and the propganda wing of the neo-conservative movement? I also have history on my side - there were and are no WMD. WMD were THE stated reason that we needed to go to war, remember? All that other stuff was post-hoc justification.

As of yet you have not provided one iota of proof that Saddam or Iraq were an imminent threat to anyone. You have not provided any evidence he had or was developing WMD (which indeed, he didn't have and wasn't developing)

You are just regugitating the same stuff that has been shown to be wrong - WMD that weren't there, ties to Al Queda that didn't exist and are evidenced by 8 meetings in 15 years, and hog wash about bringing democracy to the Middle East on the eve of Iraq becoming an Iranian-style Islamic republic ruled by the sharia.

None of it is true and none of it is reason to go to war in Iraq.

So feel free to vett the PNAC assertions. That's what debate is all about.

 
At 11:34 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

There's Your Smoking Gun: Can even the anti-war crowd be delusional enough to believe that Iraq doesn't have weapons of mass destruction after this?


"U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq on Thursday found empty warheads designed to carry chemical warfare agents, a U.N. spokesman said in Baghdad.

Hiro Ueki did not elaborate on the possible significance of the find during an inspection of the Ukhaider Ammunition Storage Area. He said an inspection team had gone there to inspect a large group of bunkers constructed in the late 1990s.

"During the course of their inspection, the team discovered 11 empty 122 mm chemical warheads and one warhead that requires further evaluation," Ueki said in a statement.

"The warheads were in excellent condition and were similar to ones imported by Iraq during the late 1980s. The team used portable X-ray equipment to conduct preliminary analysis of one of the warheads and collected samples for chemical testing."

Come on, why else would you have rockets designed to carry, "chemical warfare agents" unless you actually have chemical weapons? Combine this with the artillery shells full of mustard gas that have already been found and no reasonable person could believe anything other than the fact that Iraq has WMD and is lying about it.


http://www.rightwingnews.com/archives/week_2003_01_12.PHP#000558

 
At 11:38 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

'They're Not Warheads, They're Peaceheads' By Scott Ott: (2003-01-16) -- Saddam Hussein reacted to news that UN weapons inspectors had found 11 chemical warheads today by saying, "They're not warheads. They're peaceheads."

The Iraqi president said he was intending to launch the missiles, tipped with a "mild, mountain spring fragrance" at countries with whom Iraq would like to be at peace--like Israel.

"It was going to be a surprise," said Mr. Hussein, "But the UN ruined it. Perhaps we have other surprises for our international friends. No peeking."

 
At 12:34 PM, Blogger Mike said...

Too easy:

"U.N. weapons inspectors in Iraq on Thursday found empty warheads designed to carry chemical warfare agents, a U.N. spokesman said in Baghdad.

Hiro Ueki did not elaborate on the possible significance of the find during an inspection of the Ukhaider Ammunition Storage Area. He said an inspection team had gone there to inspect a large group of bunkers constructed in the late 1990s.

"During the course of their inspection, the team discovered 11 empty 122 mm chemical warheads and one warhead that requires further evaluation," Ueki said in a statement.

"The warheads were in excellent condition and were similar to ones imported by Iraq during the late 1980s. The team used portable X-ray equipment to conduct preliminary analysis of one of the warheads and collected samples for chemical testing."

Well jeff, if you cared to actually follow up on this, you will see that these were 11 artillary rockets with a range of 20 miles, left over from the Iran-Iraq war designed to deliver Mustard gas. Mustard gas was used extensively during the Iran-Iraq war on both sides, and was what was used to gas the Kurds in 1988. 11 shells with a range of 20 mile hardly constitutes WMD or a WMD programme.

According to this, Hiro Ueki, the UN spokesperson you refer to, said:
'It is probably not a smoking gun.'(Financial Times, 17 January 2003, p. 1)

At the time, a "smoking gun" would have been finding an armed weapon or one of these shells with chemicals in them. The editor of Janes World Armies stated that it was completely credible that these warheads were simply forgotten of over looked by both Baghdad and the UN inspectors.

CentCom themselves later found more of these, identical and from the same period, but in worse shape:

http://www.centcom.mil/CENTCOMNews/News_Release.asp?NewsRelease=20040705.txt

Their conclusion was that they were old forgotten leftovers from the Iran-Iraq war.

A pulitzer-prize winning Journalist fisked Colin Powell on his UN speech also mentions it:

http://www.independent-media.tv/item.cfm?fmedia_id=2388&fcategory_desc=Information%20Related%20to%20Iraq

It turns out the 11 you refer to were still crated and were in good condition because they had never been prepared for use. There was no traces of chemicals found on them. See http://traprockpeace.org/weapons.html for more details.

Turns out, if you tuned into CNN on January 19, 2003, you would have found this out:

"BLIX: Well, we talked to the Iraqis today, and they said that they had been surprised themselves. These things were laying in boxes. They had never been opened. They were covered by bird droppings, so they'd been there for some time. But they had never been opened, actually, and they were in excellent conditions.

They were from pre-1990, so at the time when they were able to have these things legally. But of course, they should have been properly declared and, in fact, destroyed."
[emphasis mine]

Sorry jeff, these were neither a smoking gun then nor are they now. They did not and still do not constitute a "WMD" when the have a range of 12 miles, were still in boxes and contained not traces of chemical weapons. This was known 3 days after they were found. Perhaps if you stopped reading the propoganda at "Right wing News" and actually researched this, you would have known. It only took me 15 minutes to find all this out.

Hans Blix was right then. So was David Kay and so was Scott Ritter. History has bourne them out - no WMD has ever been found. Ever. Period. The US inspected 60 ships per day in the 3 month run up to the war and found some guns and illegal drugs, but no WMD leaving the country. Because they did not exist.

Therefore, this is not proof of a WMD program and not justification for war.

Next.

 
At 9:12 AM, Anonymous Jeff said...

These were specifically meant to be used for carrying biological or chemical agents. That constitutes as a wmd. Deny all you want. The smoking gun has been found.

 
At 9:22 AM, Blogger Mike said...

No jeff, you are absolutely wrong.

Yes they were designed to carry "chemical weapons" (though not biologics - in those shells any virus or bateriological agent would have been killed) - for 12 miles. That hardly constitutes WMD and certain does not constitute a threat to the US. They were also crated, covered in bird crap and, as it turns out, not found in a new bunker as had been first reported but and old bunker from pre-1990 days. They were left over from the Iran-Iraq war when it was perfectly legal for Iraq to own them. They contained no traces of chemical agents. They hadn't been touched since before the first Gulf War.

That means that in 2003, when they were found, that Iraq had no chemical weapons program and no smoking gun. As a matter of fact, that these shells were found in the condition they were indicated that the UNSCOM program from 1991 to 1998 was actually pretty sucessful in disarming Saddam.

Old shells do not constitute WMD or a WMD program. Sorry but you are chasing smoke on this one. This little bit of "evidence" was disporved even before the war, and since the end of "Major Combat" (ha ha!) it has been shown to be absolutely true.

Suck it up sunshine, this is proof that Iraqis can lose things.

 
At 1:32 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

Ok, I'll grant you this one. You have provided a fairly reasonable argument. Still, one must wonder what else was "missed" if this one was. Also, what about Ritter's statement that 5-10% of biological/chemical weaponry was unaccounted for? I realize he said this approx 6 months prior to the Iraq war but were they able to find the 5-10% of unaccounted agents?

Also, one must take into account the possibility, nay, the probability of Saddam converting civilian structures into chemical/biological labs. The inspectors couldn't have found these? What about the theory that these agents were smuggled into Syria right before the war started? Difficult to prove or disprove.....

 
At 1:44 PM, Blogger Mike said...

jeff,

That's awfully big of you to admit. Thanks for actually looking at this and coming to a conclusion I'm sure you didn't like.

"Also, one must take into account the possibility, nay, the probability of Saddam converting civilian structures into chemical/biological labs. The inspectors couldn't have found these? What about the theory that these agents were smuggled into Syria right before the war started? Difficult to prove or disprove....."

That is entirely possible, although Blix and his team were searhcing civillian pesticide factories and tanneries and such. Except you don't go to war on a hunch on a 'possibility' or even a 'probability'. You go to war based on real, verifiable facts, that you CAN prove or disprove. I suspect the CIA, or MI5 or a number of other foriegn intelligence services can determine if any of this weaponry, if it existed, was smuggled into Syria. All it will take is a little palm grease ($$$). And a lot less than $1 billion per month.

You have to admit that it is just as possible, nay probable, that the weapons never existed.

Frankly, I would rather have left Iraq alone and had the number of troops that are there, deployed to Afghanistan. The country would be stable, probaly truly democratic AND we would be enjoying the trial of Osama bin Laden on CNN every night (becasue killing him would make him a martyr; capture and trial make him look weak and cowardly). the world would certainly be a safer, more stable place and Bush may actually be liked.

 
At 6:24 PM, Anonymous Jeff said...

"Frankly, I would rather have left Iraq alone and had the number of troops that are there, deployed to Afghanistan."

Perhaps, but then we'd still have Saddam to deal with down the road, and I believe he would eventually need to be 'dealt' with. The UN sanctions weren't an effective nor sustainable way to contain him because they resulted in too many civilian deaths. An internal coup had already been tried and squashed. Besides, even if Saddam had been assassinated, his Baath party was so corrupt and complicit that the new leader probably wouldn't have been much better.

Also, getting back to the wmd issue, as I noted previously at MY BLAG, many Democrats including Hillary and Bill Clinton believed Saddam posed a serious threat and that he infact had wmd. Saddam was obviously a threat not only to the Bush administration. Should Bush have let the inpectors stay longer? Probably. But let's look at this from the US government's position and with a strong Israeli lobby influencing their mandate.
Leaving Saddam in power would have been like asking for future retributions. It would have been a huge risk to the region and the world at large. Simply put, it was a necessary war whether he had wmd or not....

 
At 8:53 AM, Blogger Mike said...

jeff,

We'll have to agree to disagree on the need for war. I think that a strong united showing by all the allies in Afghanistan, which was the hub of the radical Islamist movement (a long with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia) would have sent a very strong message. This would have been a model of the middle east. Capturing OBL would have taken the wind out of the sails of a great many terrorists.

Instead of spending $1 Billion per month in Iraq, the US and its allies could have spent a fraction of that on supporting reform and pro-democracy movements in Iran, Lebannon and even in Iraq on gotten better results (the pro-west reform movement was poised to kick the mullahs out in Iran until they were put on the list of the "Axis of Evil"). this is what they did in Georgia and the Ukraine and it worked.

So, surrounded by burgeoning democracies and pro-western governments, more isolated than before, with his army in shambles (as it was before and even during the war), Saddam would not have lasted too long. Perhaps the Iraqi people would have risen up like the people of Lebanon did, or the people of Romania did againts Ceuacescu.

As it stands, Bush has played right into the hands of OBL and Al Queda by doing exactly what they wanted - attack and occupy a muslim country, act barbaric and drive people into the arms of Al Queda.

Perhaps its just me but doing exactly what your enemy wants is not a good strategy in a war, especially a "War on Terror". I think going to Iraq has made the world much more dangerous and the West less safe, not more.

And it didn't have to be that way. It's not like the administration wasn't warned by most of its major allies and a lot of secruity experts within its own country (Gwynne Dyer, Bruce Shneier etc) that the situation they now found themselves in would happen (and what Hilary Clinton and John Kerry said mean jack - they are just as big idiots for supporting this as Bush, perhaps more so since as the opposition in the US they didn't do their job)

 
At 1:28 PM, Blogger jeff said...

"As it stands, Bush has played right into the hands of OBL and Al Queda by doing exactly what they wanted - attack and occupy a muslim country, act barbaric and drive people into the arms of Al Queda."

Isn't this what happened in Afghanistan?

 
At 5:05 PM, Blogger Mike said...

No actually. OBL WANTED that to happen in Afghanistan, but as it turned out the country was ready to be rid of the Taliban anyway and they had (and still only have) very little support. And the war was over quite quickly with few civillian casualties. It is realtively stable and getting more so, despite a few upsurges in violence. Afghanistan is not a quagmire, but a long engagemnt with an end in sight (although admittedly a long way off). Afghanistan has a much more well-laid out plan, Iraq does not.

The rush to fight the infidel in Afghanistan did not materialize because the Taliban was not well regarded in the Muslim world.

In other words, the US did it right in Afghanistan.

Gwynne Dyer had a great article on this a few months back. I'll try to dig it up or you can google it.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home