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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATT: jms Why do you oppose a war agaist Iraq?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 1/21/2003 12:53:00 AM  

Message 1 in thread 

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>Why do most people don't see Saddam as a threat?

There's threats and there's threats. To his own people? Sure, same as any
tyrant in any country around the world. To the US? Again, no more than
anybody else, and probably less, given that his military is in a shambles, his
economy is a mess, there hasn't been one shred of evidence to support the
thesis that he can hurt anybody outside his own borders...on and on and on.

>He has violated every
>resolution the UN gave him.

As others have pointed out, the US has violated UN rules, ditto for Israel and
any number of other countries. In addition, the US has removed itself from the
World Court, broken the Arms Limitation Pact with Russia, has announced it
plans to start testing nukes again in violation of the Test Ban Treaty, I could
go on and on. Should we invade ourselves?

>He is a threat to Israel.

Lots of governments are. So why are we taking on this one? Is that the reason
for the invasion? Because he's a threat to Isreal? That hasn't been said by
our government. If that were the reason, then we should be invading Palistine,
Lebanon, Iran and so on. Why is Iraq being singled out?

>He does not like the US government.

I didn't know that was a requirement for not being invaded. Are we therefore
free to invade anybody who doesn't like us? Because that would entail most of
the world as matters stand right now, which is ironic since after 9/11 a lot of
the world was was standing *with* us until we squandered that good will and
antagonized countries that would normally be our friends. But again, we're not
invading all or any of them, why Iraq?

>Yesterday the UN inspectors found 12 chemical
>warheads in great condition.

No, they found 12 *empty* warheads, that could be used for chemical charges, in
a box covered with dust and rat droppings that had been sitting in a corner for
god knows how long. Shall we go to war for 12 empty shell casings? Other
nations have shell casings, some empty, some full of chemical or biological
agents, numbering in the hundreds. Why Iraq and not them?

>That's in violation of the new resolution
>because he was to destroy them or list them on the 12,000-page
>declaration last month.

There's some debate apparently as to whether or not these were in a previously
declared document. Bear in mind also that most of the weaponry, chemical and
missile, was sold to Iraq by the US.

>He almost once killed an ex-president.

That's been alleged but never substantiated. Nor has a shred of evidence EVER
been presented tying Iraq to 9/11. Not one. Powell and Bush both came forth
saying that such proof would be forthcoming, but to date not one bit has been
supplied. Instead, we have Rumsfeld saying things like "the absence of proof
is not the proof of absence." This is the same Rumsfeld who was quoted talking
to one of his staff as saying "can we tie this to Saddam?" within hours of
9/11. They were looking for a reason to go after him.

When Kennedy was prepared to go to the wall over Cuba, he declassified high
resolution photos of the missile sites under construction in Cuba. The moment
he did that, there was no longer any argument over the rightness of the cause.
If Bush has the evidence, he should produce it. Instead, he says, as he does
in the new Woodward book, that the president doesn't have to prove or explain
himself to anybody.

>We
>don't want Saddam to be the next North Korea.

Except, of course, we *do* have North Korea being belligerent, threatening
nuclear war, which *does* have nukes or the potential to make them, which *has*
been exporting missiles to Yemen...and that seemingly much greater menace is
being treated with diplomatic kid-gloves by the Bush administration. Why the
double standard? Are they afraid to make trouble because they know that North
Korea really *is* a threat, but Iraq *isn't*? If so, then again, I ask, why
single out Iraq?

>Also note most of the
>Middle East is ruled by tyrant rulers.

Okay, so do we now invade all of them too? It's also worth noting that most of
them don't like Saddam. Further, most of the Moslem leaders aren't big on
Saddam because he's kept a secular rule in place despite religious
pressure...which makes any thought of an alliance with Bin Laden even more
suspect, since he's dead against a secular state.

>They considered a threat for
>having a democracy in Iraq.

This sentence doesn't parse. Try again.

Point is, is it the business of the United States to initiate first-strikes to
topple other governments, however much we don't like them, through invasion and
warfare? Do we start knocking over governments just because we *can*?

Even the CIA stated that they didn't think Saddam would or could be a menace to
the US unless invaded and pressed into a corner. So again, why invade?

Real simple. Because the supply of oil is shrinking, because they control one
of the largest supplies of oil on the planet, and Bush and his oil-company
buddies want control of that, and the right to re-draw the map of the Middle
East in ways they prefer.

And I don't think that's a valid reason for one sovereign nation to go to war
with another.

If there were even a single piece of proof that there was any tie between Iraq
and 9/11, if there were any direct attack on US soil by Iraq, I'd be right
there saying let's get 'em. But there's not.

We abhor the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, intended to disable our military
so that we would not be a threat to their interests in the Pacific. They say
they gave us plenty of warning, even a letter saying that was that and they
were moving. But the act stands as one of the most shameful events in military
history.

We should know better than to go down roads trod so often to shameful places by
others before us. We should be better than that. We should learn from
history.

Saddam is a thug. He deserves to go down, and he will, but it should be
through the actions of his own people, not through an invasion and a puppet
government.

He's a creep.

But that doesn't make what's happening right.

War should be the last resort of people of conscience, not the first resort.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATT: jms Why do you oppose a war agaist Iraq?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 1/22/2003 10:53:00 AM  

Message 2 in thread 

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>THouse protesters last Saturday were Socialist
>Anti-Americans.

This will be my last word to you, because as far as I'm concerned, you have
just disqualified yourself in this discussion with that remark.

This is the same kind of bullshit red baiting we saw in the McCarthy period.
There are those who support the Administration on one side, traitors or spies
on the other, nothing in between.

There is such a thing as the loyal opposition. We are *supposed* to be able to
dissent, that's how a democracy (or a republic in this case) is supposed to
work. If disagreement = being branded a traitor, then we are no longer what we
were fighting for in the first place.

Your statement is a disgrace to what the founding fathers intended, and a
dishonor to the country. You should be ashamed of yourself.

Mark this as my last reply to you.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATT: jms Why do you oppose a war agaist Iraq?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 1/22/2003 10:57:00 AM  

Message 3 in thread 

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>I recommend that you study the subject further, if you read the chart on the
>bottom you can clearly see that the US nuclear force has decreased over the
>years.

The study you cite was in 1998, talking about where things will be in 1999. So
it's WAY out of date.

Also, the Bush administration has stated publicly that it intends to awaken and
expand its work on nuclear devices in warfare. The statement included more
work on tactical nukes, the development of bunker-buster nukes designed to
irradiate areas deep underground, and other niceties. And it may return to a
more rigorous schedule of underground nuclear testing.


jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATT: jms Why do you oppose a war agaist Iraq?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 1/23/2003 9:18:00 PM  

Message 4 in thread 

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>As a Quaker, I stand completely against war, especially this one. I have to
>agree with all of your reasons (and pretty much felt the same way even
>before I read your post.
>
>But, after reading it, I have one question (actually two).
>
>People are showing disapproval of the war by marching on Washington and
>other cities. There are protests and letters to our representives in
>congress. However, Bush doesn't seem to care about anyone's opinion but
>his own.

I don't know if it's that he doesn't care about anyone's opionion but his own,
as much as he cares about catering to the extreme right wing of the party.
(How else to explain such things as nominating to the Presidential Advisory
Commissoin on HIV and AIDS Jerry Thacker, a Pennsylvanian marketing consultant
who has characterized aids as "the gay plague" and called such alternate
lifestyles "deathstyles" while saying they could be cured by faith and that
condoms do nothing to stop the spread of HIV. He's done similar things to
commissions on the rights of women and other areas.

(But I digress.)

>So -- What are you doing (if anything) to take a stand against the war?

Well, this is part of it. I think that democracy works best when all sides are
free to talk openly about their concerns. It's only in open discourse that the
truth wriggles free. Raise questions. Pursue the news past the gloss of CNN.
Read the USA Patriot Act, don't just go from the synopses.

>And
>do you have suggestions for actions that are not run-of-the-mill that could
>actually have an effect on whether or not Bush orders an attack on Iraq?

In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, there is nothing that can be done
at this point to stop an attack on Iraq. You don't move nearly 200,000 troops
halfway around the globe and not use them; it would be a huge loss of face for
Bush.

That boat has, literally and metaphorically, left the docks.

What we can do is to remain an informed and quarrelsome electorate, and when
the time comes to exercise our rights as citizens to vote, to side with the
president if our conscience dictates we do so, based on the evidence, or vote
for the opposition, based on the same evidence.

For me, thus far, the truth of this current situation is this: Iraq is a target
of opportunity, not a target of conscience. We're hitting there because we can
find Iraq on a map, whereas we can't find Bin Laden (of whom Bush Company
haven't uttered a word of late) on any extant maps.

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATT: jms Why do you oppose a war agaist Iraq?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 1/26/2003 11:43:00 PM  

Message 5 in thread 

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>You "ain't just whistling Dixie." The primary reason I voted against
>Gore was that I wanted a vacation from the previous 8 years of worrying
>about my Second Amendment rights.

Too bad they're not being as sancrosanct about the remaining amendments in the
Bill of Rights...

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: ATT: jms Why do you oppose a war agaist Iraq?
      To: rec.arts.sf.tv.babylon5.moderated  
    Date: 1/28/2003 10:53:00 AM  

Message 6 in thread 

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Of course, the whole irony of this discussion, in light of recent events -- and
when the topic turns to guns the whole thing basically devolves from that point
on -- is that the current administration, for the alleged sake of combatting
terrorism, has surveyed libraries to find out who's been checking out what (16%
of the National Librarian's Association report having been contacted and
provided information), who's taken pilot courses, who's taken scuba courses
(with one school refusing to turn over its records), but not one inquiry into
who's buying what guns, even though guns are more likely to be used in a
terrorist attack than library books or scuba gear.

Not advocating anything here, just pointing out the contradiction....

jms

(jmsatb5@aol.com)
(all message content (c) 2003 by synthetic worlds, ltd.,
permission to reprint specifically denied to SFX Magazine
and don't send me story ideas)

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