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Five Years of Occupation -- What a Disaster!

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As for U.S. planes and rangers, perhaps they would not have been in harm’s way had they been patrolling actual U.S. territory.

I believe they were enforcing the terms of the surrender agreement signed by the Iraqis after the first Gulf War. As AisA noted earlier, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was a threat to our nations interests.

How vital is Somalia to you or me personally?

Not paticularly vital--unless of course, those who would seek to harm our country take advantage of the anarchy there. Somalia becoming another base a la Afganistan might make even you view it as vital.

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The Clinton administration launched a missile attack against Iraq because it was convinced of the validity of the assassination claim.

Apparently there was valid evidence that the Iraqis were involved with the plot.

More recent reports suggest that it was less an assassination plot than a propaganda ploy. See the link I provided in Post #9.

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I believe they were enforcing the terms of the surrender agreement signed by the Iraqis after the first Gulf War. As AisA noted earlier, the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait was a threat to our nations interests.

And as I responded there is nothing to suggest that any less oil would have been available on the world market or to U.S. consumers.

Not paticularly vital--unless of course, those who would seek to harm our country take advantage of the anarchy there. Somalia becoming another base a la Afganistan might make even you view it as vital.

Must the U.S. invade anytime there's a weak government in the world? In that case, the Marines should prepare for landings in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Sudan, the Republic of Colombia and many other areas around the globe.

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As for U.S. planes and rangers, perhaps they would not have been in harm’s way had they been patrolling actual U.S. territory.

This is an example of blaming the victim eg. "she wouldn't have gotten raped if she wasn't in that neighborhood." Who cares where the heck they are or why? Murdering Americans is murdering Americans.

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And as I responded there is nothing to suggest that any less oil would have been available on the world market or to U.S. consumers.

That is not the only standard one uses when determining whether the invasion was in our interest or not. If the fall of Kuwait was not worthy of our attention, would a subsequent Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia done it for you? Or are you willing to wait for an actual interruption of the oil flow before you sound the alarm?

Must the U.S. invade anytime there's a weak government in the world? In that case, the Marines should prepare for landings in the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Republic of Sudan, the Republic of Colombia and many other areas around the globe.

I dont think anyone here is making that argument. Do you have a particular point you wish to make, or are you just nit-picking what others have to say? I get the impression you are of the Ron Paul school of foreign policy. If not, I would be interested to hear what conditions--short of an enemy attack--you think need be present before the US launches an attack.

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That is not the only standard one uses when determining whether the invasion was in our interest or not. If the fall of Kuwait was not worthy of our attention, would a subsequent Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia done it for you? Or are you willing to wait for an actual interruption of the oil flow before you sound the alarm?

The world has more than a few oil-producing nations with tyrannical rulers. On what basis would we conclude that the unelected Saddam is less willing to export oil than the unelected Saudi princes? If the safest, surest, leave-nothing-to-chance option is what we want, why not invade all oil fiefdoms?

I dont think anyone here is making that argument.

I’ll put it another way: if the basis for invading Somalia is that it was an anarchy that might host those who intended to do the U.S. harm, on what basis do we not invade the Sudan or other chaotic nations?

Do you have a particular point you wish to make, or are you just nit-picking what others have to say?

When someone comes up with a reasonable defense of the statement that Saddam was threatening the West, I’ll stop nit-picking it.

I get the impression you are of the Ron Paul school of foreign policy. If not, I would be interested to hear what conditions--short of an enemy attack--you think need be present before the US launches an attack.

Pretty much the same conditions you would need before you would invade someone’s home.

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More recent reports suggest that it was less an assassination plot than a propaganda ploy. See the link I provided in Post #9.

I'm sorry, but the report you linked to simply said that the plot wasn't mentioned in papers reviewed by the US after Hussein's fall. It didn't deal with any of the actual evidence that established the connection between Iraq and the attempt to kill Bush Sr. Furthermore, the Clinton Administration, not the current one, did the investigation that tied Iraq to the plot.

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Gary, if you want to make progress here you are going to have to start answering questions directly. I am particularly interested in seeing a clarification of the principle that deterines when a nation invades another. Here are two parallel scenarios that mimic your answer to this problem.

1) A person invades another's home, then as part of his probation the convict is not allowed to have guns. Subsequently, the probation officer gets word that the convict is violating this part of his probation (among others). The cops enter the convict's home to search for suspected weapons and force compliance.

2) A nation invades another nation, then as part of the terms of the surrender the invader is not allowed to have WMDs. Subsequently, the victor nation gets word that the invader has violated this term of the surrender (among others). The victor enters the invader nation to search for WMDs and force compliance.

It seems to me that if the conditions for entering a nation are, "Pretty much the same conditions you would need before you would invade someone’s home," that you should be satisfied with the invasion of Iraq. Thus, a direct, answer (not in the form of a tangent-leading question) is needed for me, and possibly for others, to understand your position.

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A nation is not a private citizen living under a society of laws, so a home-invasion analogy is invalid. Are we discussing when does a nation have a right to invade another nation, or when should a nation invade another nation?

As I've mentioned before, because a dictatorship is the inversion of the proper purpose of government (to protect individual rights) a dictatorship has no rights. Anyone could invade a dictatorship. If I wanted to load up my AR-15, go over to North Korea, and topple the government I would have a right to do so. The fact that it is a dictatorship is sufficient justification because a totalitarian state has no right to exist.

Now, when should a nation invade another nation? Only when it is in it's self-interest to do so. So, for example, invading the realitively petty dictatorship of Iraq at the cost of being able to invade the larger threat of Iran was not something we should have done. However, we had an uncontestable right to do so.

Edited by SkyTrooper
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I'm sorry, but the report you linked to simply said that the plot wasn't mentioned in papers reviewed by the US after Hussein's fall. It didn't deal with any of the actual evidence that established the connection between Iraq and the attempt to kill Bush Sr. Furthermore, the Clinton Administration, not the current one, did the investigation that tied Iraq to the plot.

Actual evidence, you say? Very well. Let's take a look at it.

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Gary, if you want to make progress here you are going to have to start answering questions directly. I am particularly interested in seeing a clarification of the principle that deterines when a nation invades another. Here are two parallel scenarios that mimic your answer to this problem.

1) A person invades another's home, then as part of his probation the convict is not allowed to have guns. Subsequently, the probation officer gets word that the convict is violating this part of his probation (among others). The cops enter the convict's home to search for suspected weapons and force compliance.

2) A nation invades another nation, then as part of the terms of the surrender the invader is not allowed to have WMDs. Subsequently, the victor nation gets word that the invader has violated this term of the surrender (among others). The victor enters the invader nation to search for WMDs and force compliance.

It seems to me that if the conditions for entering a nation are, "Pretty much the same conditions you would need before you would invade someone’s home," that you should be satisfied with the invasion of Iraq. Thus, a direct, answer (not in the form of a tangent-leading question) is needed for me, and possibly for others, to understand your position.

Okay, let's continue with 1): "the probation officer gets word that the convict is violating this part of his probation (among others). The cops enter the convict's home to search for suspected weapons and force compliance." The convict says, "I ain't got no weapons." The cops say, "You're lying." Thereupon they begin firing rockets at the house and reduce it to rubble. Weeks later after sifting through the debris, they find no evidence of weapons. At that point they say the invasion was really about spreading "democracy."

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Anyone could invade a dictatorship. If I wanted to load up my AR-15, go over to North Korea, and topple the government I would have a right to do so. The fact that it is a dictatorship is sufficient justification because a totalitarian state has no right to exist.

Now, when should a nation invade another nation? Only when it is in it's self-interest to do so. So, for example, invading the realitively petty dictatorship of Iraq at the cost of being able to invade the larger threat of Iran was not something we should have done. However, we had an uncontestable right to do so.

I've read several threads on this forum about the voluntary funding of government. Now it seems to me that if the ideal government is funded by donations, then that same method could be employed to finance projects that government is not currently undertaking.

If the U.S. is not invading N. Korea or Iran at this moment, is there any reason you, SkyTrooper, could not volunteer your own life and fortune to that purpose? Remember, "Anyone could invade a dictatorship."

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Okay, let's continue with 1): "the probation officer gets word that the convict is violating this part of his probation (among others). The cops enter the convict's home to search for suspected weapons and force compliance." The convict says, "I ain't got no weapons." The cops say, "You're lying." Thereupon they begin firing rockets at the house and reduce it to rubble. Weeks later after sifting through the debris, they find no evidence of weapons. At that point they say the invasion was really about spreading "democracy."

This is exactly the kind of response you have to avoid if you want people to take you seriously.

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I’ve seen no evidence that Saddam was interested in stopping the sale of Middle Eastern oil on the world market – which is just what he would have had to do in order to cause any decline in the amount of oil available to U.S. buyers.
Saddam was willing to gas thousands of his own civilians to teach them a lesson. Saddam was willing to send thousands of his own soldiers to futile deaths in an 8 year war with Iran. Saddam was willing to invade Kuwait, then set his soldiers loose to pillage and plunder at will. Saddam was willing to rain down ballistic missiles into Tel Aviv suburbs in an effort to provoke the Israelis into getting involved in Desert Storm. Saddam was willing to set fire to virtually every oil well in Kuwait just to spite the U.S. After all that, you're still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, by demanding that we prove his evil intentions?

If you can look at Saddam's record, and not believe that allowing him to gain control over a significant portion of the world's oil supply was a significant risk, then you are beyond convincing.

Not true.

"We have seen intelligence over many months that they have chemical and biological weapons, and that they have dispersed them and that they're weaponized and that, in one case at least, the command and control arrangements have been established." -- President Bush, Feb. 8, 2003, in a national radio address.

"Our conservative estimate is that Iraq today has a stockpile of between 100 and 500 tons of chemical weapons agent. That is enough to fill 16,000 battlefield rockets." -- Secretary of State Colin Powell, Feb. 5, 2003, in remarks to the UN Security Council.

"We know where [iraq's WMD] are. They're in the area around Tikrit and Baghdad and east, west, south, and north somewhat." -- Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, March 30, 2003, in statements to the press.

You are dropping context here. I said that Bush didn't know for sure that Saddam had WMD's, especially ones that he could use against us, and that this was reflected in the fact that he described Iraq as a "gathering" threat, not an imminent one. The fact that he quotes intelligence reports indicating that Saddam had WMDs does not contradict this.

What does that mean? Allow no government at all to take seat in Baghdad?

It means you destroy the threatening regime and tell the survivors that if another threatening regime emerges, we will come back and destroy it as well.

So if the U.S. had been less “civilian-friendly” it could have destroyed more of the non-existent weapons?

No, it means that if we'd been less "civilian-friendly", we could have destroyed the threatening regime with far fewer casualties to our side.

We didn’t shoot him on the spot. We had the Iraqis put on a trial and then execute him. Does that mean the U.S. can’t come home now?
I made no such argument and neither did Dr. Binswanger.
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If the U.S. is not invading N. Korea or Iran at this moment, is there any reason you, SkyTrooper, could not volunteer your own life and fortune to that purpose? Remember, "Anyone could invade a dictatorship."

As I said, morally, it would be within my rights if I wanted to. Unforunately me personally toppling North Korea or Iran is not a realistic undertaking.

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Actual evidence, you say? Very well. Let's take a look at it.

Gary, I posted a passage that discussed similarities in the device(s) that were part of the plot and other Iraqi explosive devices, as well as interviews with the suspects. Do you know something about the explosive devices that the FBI missed?

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Gary, I posted a passage that discussed similarities in the device(s) that were part of the plot and other Iraqi explosive devices, as well as interviews with the suspects.

I make a distinction between hearsay and evidence.

Do you know something about the explosive devices that the FBI missed?

You seen these devices and the evidence that links them to Saddam?

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A nation is not a private citizen living under a society of laws, so a home-invasion analogy is invalid. Are we discussing when does a nation have a right to invade another nation, or when should a nation invade another nation?

As I've mentioned before, because a dictatorship is the inversion of the proper purpose of government (to protect individual rights) a dictatorship has no rights. Anyone could invade a dictatorship. If I wanted to load up my AR-15, go over to North Korea, and topple the government I would have a right to do so. The fact that it is a dictatorship is sufficient justification because a totalitarian state has no right to exist.

Now, when should a nation invade another nation? Only when it is in it's self-interest to do so. So, for example, invading the realitively petty dictatorship of Iraq at the cost of being able to invade the larger threat of Iran was not something we should have done. However, we had an uncontestable right to do so.

I'd like to quickly expand on my previous post, since I believe the crux of the issue here for Mr. Brenner is not the validity of any specific evidence showing Saddam was a threat but his calculation of "does this evidence override the intrinsic right of Iraq to exist?" Modern political science would have us believe that nations have a fundamental right to exist intrinsically (ala United Nations), and does not discuss the source of a Nation's rights. Correct me if I am mistaken Mr. Brenner, but this seems like your fundamental error as well.

Contrary to what the UN might lead you to believe, Nations actually don't gain rights simply by having their name drawn on a map, but actually by consent of their governed citizens. In order for individuals to secure their rights to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness, it is necessary to constitute a government which retains the right to wield force. Without an objective government to wield force, it would come to subjective individuals to enforce their rights on others. Essentially anarchy. Therefore, a proper government is merely a guardian of fundamental rights of its citizens. As such, the government takes on rights to establish a judicial system to ensure justice, establish a police force to prevent anarchy, establish an army to provide for the common defense, and to deal with other free countries just as two individuals might deal with each other.

A dictatorship, on the other hand, is an entity which systematically violates the rights of its citizens. Instead of existing to serve its citizens, the citizens exist to serve the government. This is the complete inversion of a proper government. As such, a dictatorship is a rightless entity and therefore has no right to exist. It is the responsibility of anyone living under such a system to either fight the government or flee elsewhere. No "justification" is needed for a free country to invade a dictatorship if the free country sees it as in it's interests to do so.

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I make a distinction between hearsay and evidence.
Oh really. So what exactly is your standard of proof when it comes to foreign policy actions? Apparently the US government needs to to show up at your door with a pile of physical evidence before you can be convinced of anything.

You seen these devices and the evidence that links them to Saddam?
Have you seen any credible evidence that disproves the government's account? How about putting up or shutting up.
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When someone comes up with a reasonable defense of the statement that Saddam was threatening the West, I’ll stop nit-picking it.

He has come up with reasonable answers. Saddam Hussein was a threat both by word and deed. I'm not sure what more SkyTrooper can say to support his position. He listed several things. You argued against those things, but the fact is Hussein was a thug and an anti-American. In fact, his pro-911 statements right after 911 coupled with his secretive manner concerning WMD gave us probable cause to blow him and his regime off the face of the earth, not to mention all of his other actions. We don't have to tolerate that kind of behavior at a time of high concern for our safety against a deadly outside enemy, an enemy that came from Hussein's region of the world.

To be sure, the Iraq war was not fought properly and Iraq should never have been one of the main targets (most here know Iran is the major threat in that region), but it certainly was a worthy target.

pvtmorriscsa's did a good job of assessing the situation here: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...st&p=174293

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I'm sorry that you don't take a bloody, costly war based on false premises seriously.
Care to point out where anyone made that statement in this thread?

You’ve been asked repeatedly to explain your position on when it is appropriate for the US Government to take action against a foreign nation that threatens our interests.

I asked:

So what exactly is your standard of proof when it comes to foreign policy actions?

Fletch asked:

That is not the only standard one uses when determining whether the invasion was in our interest or not. If the fall of Kuwait was not worthy of our attention, would a subsequent Iraqi invasion of Saudi Arabia done it for you? Or are you willing to wait for an actual interruption of the oil flow before you sound the alarm?

…..If not, I would be interested to hear what conditions--short of an enemy attack--you think need be present before the US launches an attack.

FeatherFall asked:

Gary, if you want to make progress here you are going to have to start answering questions directly. I am particularly interested in seeing a clarification of the principle that deterines when a nation invades another….

It seems to me that if the conditions for entering a nation are, "Pretty much the same conditions you would need before you would invade someone’s home," that you should be satisfied with the invasion of Iraq. Thus, a direct, answer (not in the form of a tangent-leading question) is needed for me, and possibly for others, to understand your position.

SkyTrooper asked:

A nation is not a private citizen living under a society of laws, so a home-invasion analogy is invalid. Are we discussing when does a nation have a right to invade another nation, or when should a nation invade another nation?

You continue to ignore the questions and/or provide non-answers. One last time: What is your position on when the government should take action against a foreign nation that threatens our interests?

Edited by gags
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I'm sorry that you don't take a bloody, costly war based on false premises seriously.

This is an emotional straw man. If you are trying to shame me into supporting your position, you must first provide me with a position and reasons for supporting it. I am not a telepath.

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Saddam was willing to gas thousands of his own civilians to teach them a lesson. Saddam was willing to send thousands of his own soldiers to futile deaths in an 8 year war with Iran. Saddam was willing to invade Kuwait, then set his soldiers loose to pillage and plunder at will. Saddam was willing to rain down ballistic missiles into Tel Aviv suburbs in an effort to provoke the Israelis into getting involved in Desert Storm. Saddam was willing to set fire to virtually every oil well in Kuwait just to spite the U.S. After all that, you're still willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, by demanding that we prove his evil intentions?

I’ve never asked you to prove Saddam’s evil intentions. Re-read the thread. My request was for some proof that Saddam “threatened the West.” All sorts of grisly murders are committed around the globe a thousand times a day without disrupting the lives of average Americans. The gassing of Halabja, horrible as it was, didn’t make a dent in my ability to conduct my business or live my life.

(Footnote: “The provision of chemical precursors from United States companies to Iraq was enabled by a Ronald Reagan administration policy that removed Iraq from the State Department's list State Sponsors of Terrorism.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halabja_poison_gas_attack )

If you can look at Saddam's record, and not believe that allowing him to gain control over a significant portion of the world's oil supply was a significant risk, then you are beyond convincing.

If you can offer no proof that Saddam wanted to sell the world less oil than any other petro-dictator, then you’re not very convincing.

You are dropping context here. I said that Bush didn't know for sure that Saddam had WMD's, especially ones that he could use against us, and that this was reflected in the fact that he described Iraq as a "gathering" threat, not an imminent one. The fact that he quotes intelligence reports indicating that Saddam had WMDs does not contradict this.

First of all, Rumsfeld didn’t say, “We don’t know for sure where Saddam’s WMDs are.” He said, “We know where [iraq's WMD] are.” Secondly, if we don’t know for sure that X is a threat to the West, then we have no business claiming, “X is a threat to the West.”

It means you destroy the threatening regime and tell the survivors that if another threatening regime emerges, we will come back and destroy it as well.

No, it means that if we'd been less "civilian-friendly", we could have destroyed the threatening regime with far fewer casualties to our side.

What threat?

I made no such argument and neither did Dr. Binswanger.

Okay, then why shouldn’t the U.S. come home now that Saddam is dead? What difference does it make whether he was shot by U.S. soldiers at his hiding place or hanged by Iraq’s finest at Camp Justice?

Edited by Gary Brenner
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