Yesterday I watched Kofi Annan, on Sky, answer questions about the whole Iraq situation. One thing that stood out more than ever, to me, was that this was a guy who actually did want so see a true United Nations. To quote; "The council acts best when it is united."
It's right, but not the case we are seeing right now. It is, as you all know, divided into pro, anti, and "what do we get if we support you" groups of nations. America is essentially threatening the withdrawal and denial of aid to several nations if they do not get in line with the US stance. To me that is plain wrong because aid is aid, it is something you give to those who need it, and yes, you expect friendship in return maybe, but not an automatic over-ride on a nation's stance on an issue. What happened to political sovereignty ?
To add to this, General Meyes, speaking from the Pentagon, in response to a question about Turkey's refusal to let the US use military bases, said this; "We will open a second front in Northern Iraq with or without Turkey's help."
Excuse me ? What on earth is the point in saying that ? It is simply fuelling the belief that the USA will do whatever it wants and steam roller over everything in its way to do so.
Think back to New Years Eve 1999, the Millennium, the year 2000, a new century, was near. Conflict, on the level we are seeing now, and may well see, was not happening. Iraq was contained, terrorism was a rare occurence outside of the Middle East, Israel and the Palestinians were at a somewhat uneasy halt, there was much talk of alleviating third world debt, in other words the outlook was positive. I, and no doubt many others, thought this was the start of some of the better chapters in history. It wasn't a perfect world by far, but many were giving it a damn good go.
A year and half later it fell apart, around 20 men, and a bunch of guys in a cave, ended the illusion. At the time the response, Operation Enduring Freedom, seemed the right thing to do, in my opinion. Now ? well many Afghani's have a better life for sure, but the root of the problem, the hardcore terrorists and leaders, were long gone. We killed many many fighters who in all realism would never have left Afghanistan. The objective was to get those behind 9/11, and disassemble the infrastructure of Al Queda, and their Taliban supporters, in Afghanistan. To a degree it worked, but many spread around the world.
The USA, UK, and the West in general, have hardened security to counter terrorists, so the terrorists are hitting people outside of those areas. Kenya, Bali, Phillipines, Indonesia - easy targets. We're not really winning, we're displacing.
Originally I believed that George Bush was a good man in the wrong place at the wrong time. But his policies are destroying most hope for any kind of better future for us, the people of Iraq, and anyone else his policies effect. That US ambassador's letter was right, in a way. Everything that America and successive administrations have worked for, the alliances and trusts, is being destroyed overnight.
For what ? The world, and international politics, is ripping itself apart because of a small oil rich nation which has largely been ignored for over ten years. Iraq is, in the face of overwhelming odds, making some slow concessions.
I beleived at one point that concessions like these were always stalling tactics, ploys to spin out time. But, what if this is a case of two different kinds of culture, politics, governments, clashing and not understanding each other ? Do we really want to do this because of misunderstanding ?
The announced strategy today, is another reason for my change of heart. More ordinance than was used in the entire Gulf War, will hit Baghdad in one night on the first day of war. That is, to anyone who knows what kind of weapons will be used, insane. I don't know about shock and awe but it's going to do little to win over Iraqi civilians, even I will admit that that amount of weaponry will kill more innocents than it will targets.
Bush is, I fear, losing sight of the objective - the weapons of mass destruction and Saddam. We know full well that anyone in the Iraqi military who opposes Saddam is dead, along with his family, and anyone else who supports him. We know that the scientists we question cannot give us what we want, and that they endanger themselves and their families if they do. A full on invasion is overkill, because whilst Iraqi soliders are dying, Saddam will be safe, and more than likely flee or hide.
What needs to happen, is for people to back down and admit they are wrong, like I'm doing now. You can carry on saying something for so long that to go back on it seems impossible, a loss of face, but when the stakes are potentially thousands of lives, it has to be done.
Bush needs to back down, and the other countries need to give him the space and support so he can do so and retain some credibility. You may think Bush does not deserve such support, but is is the only way America could back down now. Saddam also needs to back down, give the UN more time and access, and in a perfect world, Saddam would step back, allow free elections - like Iran is suggesting - and let a semblance of democracy begin. Again, America needs to give Iraq space. 250 000 troops is overkill, they'll wipe out the entire Iraqi army but not Saddam. The threat of force has obtained co operation, but it is a a somewhat hard handed way of doing it.
Maybe we don't need war, but neither is containment an option again. It's killing the Iraqi's and doing nothing for the UN's image in the Iraq.
You may have noticed a deviation from my normal tone here, slightly.
Let me make this clear; I believe in America, and the idea of the American dream, and that given the right person America can be an agent of true democracy, freedom and all that entails. In fact given the right people in charge of many countries, and I can offer no idea of who these people would be, except to say they would be "Good" people - however you define them - , this could be a different world.
George Bush is not one of these good men, neither is Saddam, neither is Yassir Arafat, neither is Ariel Sharon. Between them, these four men are destroying any hope of a finer world for all of us, and not just for us - as in the West - but for everyone. War isn't going to make that world because the peace it creates is just an absence of war, not true peace.
Apologies to all who I have belittled, and argued with, but it was what I believed then. I still believe in America - whatever you think that is - but not Bush. In many ways he is changing what America is and stands for, and I am thinking that the UN is now the only organisation, along with people in the US administration, who can stop this before it is too late.
More and more I think that if we attack Iraq, in this way, at this time, we wave goodbye to peace for our, and our childrens, lifetimes, and maybe beyond.
If you read this far, thanks for reading.
~watches as my ego swells to gargantuan proportions...~
> Heh. Nah, seriously, go for it if you want. Passes the time of day,
Okay, I'll play along.
In the style of a quasi-fortune teller, this is how I perceive you:
You're intelligent, perhaps outstandingly so [in academic terms], and you are very logical. You have almost every subject and concept neatly worked-out and filed in your brain. If someone is discussing a certain subject, you can instantly access your well-thought-out opinion[s] on that subject and join in. People around you admire you for this, but at the same time, many find it intimidating because depth of thought comes easy to you. Some may even suggest and accuse you of being a "cocky know-all".
If you hear/read someone expressing what you think is a flawed point-of-view, you will go on the attack. You're a bit of an intellectual gladiator. You like to argue - no, you love to argue - in fact, sometimes you'll go on and on and on and on like a stubborn dwarf in a staring contest.
But there's another side to your character: the artistic side. This part of you wants to throw off the chains of "over-logic" and take risks. I'd say you're sometimes tempted by danger, by the unpredictible, even though your better judgement may say "no", you'll still go ahead. So every now and then you do things which are seen by those who know you as being totally out of character.
You also like being the centre of attention, but not just for the hell of it - more for the reasons of respect and ability.
In a nutshell: intellectual discussion/argument stimulates your mind - this is what you're good at - thinking clearly on the spot; it's what comes naturally, it's what others know you most for, but the artistic side is bursting to get out and express itself [e.g. the acting ambition]. You see it as a challenge, because to express yourself artistically requires less logic and more emotion.
Oh, and you'll meet a dark stranger at a crossroads beneath the light of the full moon..... ;)
*polishes crystal ball*
I'm only being light-hearted, just passing the time of day.....
> Is that a trip-wire I see?
> I'll refrain from the analysis, I'd only jump to conclusions....
Heh. Nah, seriously, go for it if you want. Passes the time of day, non?
> Actually Im damned if I can be bothered to trawl through posts looking
> what people put, that takes time and effort, something I don't use
> much on here...
Ah yes; more of your intellectual cowardice; whenever faced with points you can't refute...."I can't be bothered".
Your gutlessness knows no bounds.
> Go for the analysis by the way; I'm always interested in learning more
> about myself. How I'm perceived by others (albeit over a webboard and
> in cold hard print) is a valuable part of that.
Is that a trip-wire I see?
I'll refrain from the analysis, I'd only jump to conclusions....
> ...neatly ignoring and dismissing any and all comments.
Actually Im damned if I can be bothered to trawl through posts looking what people put, that takes time and effort, something I don't use much on here...
> Stop it.
> *cracks whip*
Hmm...it hurts, and yet...I like it!
> People can say what they like, but labelling someone an
> "intellectual coward, an emotionally immature coward, a moral
> coward, and gutless" when they don't even know them, seems to me
> to be over the top.
I have nothing else to go on but what I see here. It wouldn't be right of me to cast judgement on someone based on anything other than what I know of him. And from what I know of him, he is indeed everything that I have described. OTT? Mm, maybe it is. But based on his posts? No, I don't think it is.
> And I notice that it was Light who popped this thread recently. He
> can't let go of it for some reason. Maybe I should analyse the reasons
> why and come to a damning judgement.
You're right; I popped it in response to Bell's lie about why he stopped coming to the board. I felt it would be useful to confront him ith the truth.
Go for the analysis by the way; I'm always interested in learning more about myself. How I'm perceived by others (albeit over a webboard and in cold hard print) is a valuable part of that.
> Maybe you should, I figure no one listens to Light in real life hence
> why he persists on here...
Figure all you like; that doesn't change the simple fact that, based on what I see here, you are a coward in every way I've described.
Are you going to attempt to rebut what has been said, or are you happy to avoid it in a cowardly manner?