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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
OK, I know we have the "bash Bush" thread going. And we have one or more Iraq War threads going. But I read an article yesterday and it absolutely floored me. This article was written in 1991, but its words ring frighteningly true today. Here's an excerpt, talking about the senior Bush and our first Iraq war (emphasis mine):

Two days after the November election, the president announced a doubling of the military deployment to provide an "offensive option." Faith in the blockade was abandoned. On Thanksgiving Day 1990 Bush added a new justification of the possible need for war: Saddam's apparent effort to develop nuclear weapons, which, Bush implied, would endanger the American people. The speech followed by days the publication of a New York Times opinion poll in which a majority of respondents had said that a nuclear threat was the one reason they would be willing to support military action against Iraq...
OMG, the junior Bush did exactly what his Daddy did!
...The hollowness of the Bush administration's reasons, particularly the highly selective stand against aggression, indicates that the president sees the Middle East as his predecessors saw it, as a U.S. sphere of influence in which rival interests may not compete. Saddam's offense did not lie in occupying a neighbor (partners Turkey, Syria, China, and the Soviet Union, as well as Israel, had done that), or in murdering "his own people" (China's leaders and Syria's Hafez Assad had done that), or in having nuclear weapons (several unsavory states have them and more are in the process of acquiring arsenals). Rather, his offense lay in upsetting the status quo in an area where the United States had vowed repeatedly to go to war, if necessary, to prevent adverse change. Bush's policy was a reaffirmation of U.S. claims in the Middle East, in case anyone thought that the end of the cold war made them obsolete. As he put it, the lesson of the war against Iraq is that "what we say goes."(218) Related reasons for the policy include the need for a new mission for a defense establishment threatened by the public's demands for a peace dividend; the desire to test new weapons; and the need to distract the public from troubling domestic issues, such as the exploding budget deficit and higher taxes.
The rest of the article is damning, as it traces the history of US meddling in the Middle East starting with WWII, and how each stage of our involvement there has led to failure which has led to even more involvement which has led to more failure. The old saying (attributed to Einstein?) "Insanity is trying the same thing over and over again expecting different results" comes readily to mind.

Here's another excerpt from the same article (again, emphasis mine):

Whether the United States was trying to keep the shah of Iran in power or trying to prevent the rise of Arab nationalism and nonalignment, its policy was a blunt instrument applied presumptuously to subtle and complicated prob lems. One journalist has likened it to playing pool with a 20-foot cue stick. It would have been a miracle had the result not been chronic turmoil. The impracticality of the policy would have been a stumbling block even if the United States had not been on the side of injustice. Unfortunately, critics of U.S. policy usually believe that U.S. power, influence, and money have merely been put to the wrong use. Critics of the pro-Israel policy, for example, often think that U.S. diplomacy should have been more evenhanded or should have tilted toward the Palestinians. Such critics fall short in their analyses. The real question is, what business do American elected officials have determining the fate of people in the Middle East? Those people do not exist for our convenience or for our energy security. The oil is not ours. Nor is it America's place to ensure justice in the region. Government in the United States was to be strictly limited by the Constitution. Its purpose was to guard the peace and security of the American people at home, not to extend American power hither and yon for grandiose schemes. John Quincy Adams expressed that distinction in his address of July 4, 1821: "America goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own."

Reshaping the world was to be achieved only by example. As Sen. Robert A. Taft put it in 1951:

If we confine our activities to the field of moral leadership we shall be successful if our philosophy is sound and appeals to the people of the world. The trouble with those who advocate this [interventionist] policy is that they really do not confine themselves to moral leadership. They are inspired with the same kind of New Deal planned-control ideas abroad as recent Administrations have desired to endorse at home. In their hearts they want to force on these foreign peoples through the use of American money and even, perhaps, American arms the policies which moral leadership is able to advance only through the sound strength of its principles and the force of its persuasion. I do not think this moral leadership ideal justifies our engaging in any preventive war, or going to the defense of one country against another, or getting ourselves into a vulnerable fiscal and economic position at home which may invite war. I do not believe any policy which has behind it the threat of military force is justified as part of the basic foreign policy of the United States except to defend the liberty of our own people.
It's not a trivial article - I lost track of time, but I think it took me over an hour to read the whole thing: "Ancient History": U.S. Conduct in the Middle East Since World War II and the Folly Of Intervention by Sheldon L. Richman, Cato Institute.

Until the past year or so, I have largely been ignorant of the history of our involvement in the Middle East. Everything I have read to try and "catch myself up" has resulted in a damning assessment of our involvement there. This information is freely available to our elected leaders - in fact, it is their damn JOB to know this stuff. The fact that our involvement has gone ahead in spite of this knowledge, that the junior Bush and Congress have gone ahead and done it yet AGAIN, with the most disastrous consequences yet, is Inexcusable. Period.
 

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...Inexcusable. Period.
:thumbup:
Thanks for posting this.

....Until the past year or so, I have largely been ignorant of the history of our involvement in the Middle East. Everything I have read to try and "catch myself up" has resulted in a damning assessment of our involvement there.
That's exactly what happened to me in 1990, Rusty. Exactly. It was one of my more fundamental political educational experiences. It really altered my understanding of the U.S. and the Middle East. Since then, it's been nearly 17 years of confirmation. Bring the troops home now!
:) :cool:
 

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Result of Politic>Business ties and executing what benefits these 2.

Until THAT changes, nothing will.

Doesn't matter who is in the office, or what party rules etc.....
Now this I can agree with. It's not just business/political ties, but part of the role of our government is to use their influence to protect/grow our economic interests. When that influence involves use of military force and not just giving speeches and having meetings, decisions get uncomfortable.

I think where many of us disagree is how we view U.S. involvement outside our borders. I see it as a natural extension of our position in the global economy and our tremendous resources. Others see any involvement as intrusive, self serving, etc. Well, I guess it is. No country can survive on it's own. Due to our size and the extent of our economic involvement in many countries around the world, we do what we think is necessary to protect those relationships. This isn't missionary work.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
... part of the role of our government is to use their influence to protect/grow our economic interests. When that influence involves use of military force and not just giving speeches and having meetings, decisions get uncomfortable.

...I see it as a natural extension of our position in the global economy and our tremendous resources.

...we do what we think is necessary to protect those relationships. This isn't missionary work.
That's scary talk, Pat. Do I understand that you approve of using military force to impose our economic values on other cultures? To ensure our economic comfort? Even if it was to ensure our economic survival, it would not be right. Please tell me your comments have to do with the unfortunate reality of the way things are, not the way you believe they should be...?
 

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I think that Bush thinks that militants will travel to Iraq to fight Americans instead of comming to the United States and that's why he supports building up American troops there so the insurgents do the same instead in Iraq of more sleeper cells in America.

I am in no way supporting his methods but this is one possible excuse of why he continues to support a war that has very little support at home.
 

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That's scary talk, Pat. Do I understand that you approve of using military force to impose our economic values on other cultures? To ensure our economic comfort? Even if it was to ensure our economic survival, it would not be right. Please tell me your comments have to do with the unfortunate reality of the way things are, not the way you believe they should be...?
I do! Let me give you a senario. Let's say that country A is a powerful economic force in the world. Let's say that the current world economy is extremely dependent on oil for its energy needs. Let's say the without that oil, the global economy and country A's economy would be in danger. Let's also say that economic security is part of country A's national security. Now, let's talk about country B. Country B sits at the mouth of a gulf where 50% of the oil for the world economy travels. Let's say the country B decides to blockade that mouth and refuse to allow the oil to move from its export destination to its import destination. Let's say country A will be severely hurt by this and risk possible disruption of its economy.

Is country A justified in attacking country B for the threat that it created to country A's economy? My opinion....yes.

Is country A justified in protecting and supporting its investments (other countries) and security of its people around the world? My opinion.....yes.

Do I think country A should overthrow country B based on what we would like to happen economically in country B.? My opinion.....no.

JMO, though.:lol:
 

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I do! Let me give you a senario. Let's say that country A is a powerful economic force in the world. Let's say that the current world economy is extremely dependent on oil for its energy needs. Let's say the without that oil, the global economy and country A's economy would be in danger. Let's also say that economic security is part of country A's national security. Now, let's talk about country B. Country B sits at the mouth of a gulf where 50% of the oil for the world economy travels. Let's say the country B decides to blockade that mouth and refuse to allow the oil to move from its export destination to its import destination. Let's say country A will be severely hurt by this and risk possible disruption of its economy.

Is country A justified in attacking country B for the threat that it created to country A's economy? My opinion....yes.

Is country A justified in protecting and supporting its investments (other countries) and security of its people around the world? My opinion.....yes.

Do I think country A should overthrow country B based on what we would like to happen economically in country B.? My opinion.....no.

JMO, though.:lol:
War is NOT the answer for that.

How about cut off business with offenders, start relying on yourself......rather then others.

IMO it has a LOT to do with Powerhunger.....then actualy Economy threat/investments.

From the looks of things anyways

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That's scary talk, Pat. Do I understand that you approve of using military force to impose our economic values on other cultures? To ensure our economic comfort? Even if it was to ensure our economic survival, it would not be right. Please tell me your comments have to do with the unfortunate reality of the way things are, not the way you believe they should be...?
I'm not sure there's a clear answer since the reason for our involvement in conflicts can't be reduced to single reasons. Saddam invaded Kuwait, we helped Kuwait. In the Serbian/Croat conflicts, we took a much lesser role, along with other NATO forces, but still had involvement. In other conflicts, we have little or no role at all and just let the two sides beat the crap out of each other.

I guess I'm saying the more we have at stake, including economically, the greater probability we're going to step in. Kuwait had a clear economic tangent, Serbian/Croat much less, but probably still some. In both cases, we probably helped people too, but our involvement was definitely not altruistic. Collateral benefits you could say.

My comments have to do with the way things are and, more than likely, the way things will be for a long time to come. It's the reality that I and my children will be living with for our lifetimes, so I guess I prefer to try to make sense of things the best I can. The way I believe things should be is probably not possible for our species.
 

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I'm not sure there's a clear answer since the reason for our involvement in conflicts can't be reduced to single reasons. Saddam invaded Kuwait, we helped Kuwait. In the Serbian/Croat conflicts, we took a much lesser role, along with other NATO forces, but still had involvement. In other conflicts, we have little or no role at all and just let the two sides beat the crap out of each other.

I guess I'm saying the more we have at stake, including economically, the greater probability we're going to step in. Kuwait had a clear economic tangent, Serbian/Croat much less, but probably still some. In both cases, we probably helped people too, but our involvement was definitely not altruistic. Collateral benefits you could say.

My comments have to do with the way things are and, more than likely, the way things will be for a long time to come. It's the reality that I and my children will be living with for our lifetimes, so I guess I prefer to try to make sense of things the best I can. The way I believe things should be is probably not possible for our species.
That's understandable, but the problem is, when we do go in we make things worst then make them better.

IMO it shouldn't be about what benefits US or our economy, but what's RIGHT THING TO DO.

Which goes back to whole thing about Business/Politics ties. As long as that exists it will be what it is PERIOD.

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That's understandable, but the problem is, when we do go in we make things worst then make them better.

IMO it shouldn't be about what benefits US or our economy, but what's RIGHT THING TO DO.

Which goes back to whole thing about Business/Politics ties. As long as that exists it will be what it is PERIOD.
So give us some current examples of when is it the RIGHT THING TO DO, and have a military intervention.
 

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So give us some current examples of when is it the RIGHT THING TO DO, and have a military intervention.
First off Economic interast should NOT involve military.

WHOLE another subject.

What is the right thing to do? With Iraq? Or world? Cause there is SO many things to take care of around the world that Iraq would be VERY VERY VERY low on the priority list.

:)

I said this before and I will say it again. Terrorism is WAY to hyped up. Before I would even start with terrorism, DMV dept overhaul would take place first. We have 9/11 happening on our highways every month.......but government doesn't seem to think that making tougher tests/more driver education etc will help.

There is WAY to many problems HERE to even start thinking about other countries to be honest. Focus on HOME > other countries.

Now as for other countries #1 would be to start drilling at home and simply cut ties with ALL middle east countries, no more handing over cash or any of that BS. Let them see what it's like without those scumbag Americans.

As far as Economic relations, I would simply outlaw ANY kind of business with ANY country that has affiliation/harbors terrorists or does illegal sheeet all over the place (China is a good example).

But you see for our government/business' all that doesn't matter, money talks. :)

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First off Economic interast should NOT involve military.

WHOLE another subject.

What is the right thing to do? With Iraq? Or world? Cause there is SO many things to take care of around the world that Iraq would be VERY VERY VERY low on the priority list.

:)

I said this before and I will say it again. Terrorism is WAY to hyped up. Before I would even start with terrorism, DMV dept overhaul would take place first. We have 9/11 happening on our highways every month.......but government doesn't seem to think that making tougher tests/more driver education etc will help.

There is WAY to many problems HERE to even start thinking about other countries to be honest. Focus on HOME > other countries.

Now as for other countries #1 would be to start drilling at home and simply cut ties with ALL middle east countries, no more handing over cash or any of that BS. Let them see what it's like without those scumbag Americans.

As far as Economic relations, I would simply outlaw ANY kind of business with ANY country that has affiliation/harbors terrorists or does illegal sheeet all over the place (China is a good example).

But you see for our government/business' all that doesn't matter, money talks. :)
What about when some other country is attacking our economic intrests in other countries with military action?

Would you go into Rwanda, Darfur, or Bosnia?
 

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What about when some other country is attacking our economic intrests in other countries with military action?

Would you go into Rwanda, Darfur, or Bosnia?
Sure, IMO holocaust should NEVER happen EVER again in ANY part of the world. (especially since WW2). The truth is, it's happening till this very day.....:(

THAT comes first TO ME.

If we didn't have "economic" interasts with the wrong coutries to begin with it wouldn't be a problem. :)

Now as for going into Kuwait, if we are taking care of everything that NEEDS to be taken care of around the world (priorities) then fine, help a friend out. But at the same time kick the SHIT out of Iraq.

What we did to begin with was SAD. We bombed them......then left the Ahole in power......then watched Saddam shot down his own people while we sat back and watched.

VERY smart.

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Sure, IMO holocaust should NEVER happen EVER again in ANY part of the world. (especially since WW2). The truth is, it's happening till this very day.....:(

THAT comes first TO ME.

If we didn't have "economic" interasts with the wrong coutries to begin with it wouldn't be a problem. :)

Now as for going into Kuwait, if we are taking care of everything that NEEDS to be taken care of around the world (priorities) then fine, help a friend out. But at the same time kick the SHIT out of Iraq.

What we did to begin with was SAD. We bombed them......then left the Ahole in power......then watched Saddam shot down his own people while we sat back and watched.

VERY smart.

Well, if you made me choose when to use military force, it would be for national security before humanitarian causes. I would like them to be available for both, but if you make me choose.....

As for the rest of you post, it sounds like you have a problem with every possibility. According to you, we are damned if we do, damned if we don't. Let me see, we are aholes is we go to war to help an friend, we are aholes if we don't and leave the aggressor in power. Is there a way we aren't an ahole?
 

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Sure, IMO holocaust should NEVER happen EVER again in ANY part of the world. (especially since WW2). The truth is, it's happening till this very day.....:(

THAT comes first TO ME.

If we didn't have "economic" interasts with the wrong coutries to begin with it wouldn't be a problem. :)

Now as for going into Kuwait, if we are taking care of everything that NEEDS to be taken care of around the world (priorities) then fine, help a friend out. But at the same time kick the SHIT out of Iraq.

What we did to begin with was SAD. We bombed them......then left the Ahole in power......then watched Saddam shot down his own people while we sat back and watched.

VERY smart.
You have no scope of reality.

It is only human nature for one more powerful to dominate. You, have to realise as a nation it's not our job to save the world. People like you tend to think it is. Governments (people in general) don't do anything unless they get something in return. That is why there were no troops sent to Rwanda. Personally, I think it was racial but that's another argument.

President Bush senior was smart, he knew that taking Saddam out would lead to all this choas.
 

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You have no scope of reality.

It is only human nature for one more powerful to dominate. You, have to realise as a nation it's not our job to save the world. People like you tend to think it is. Governments (people in general) don't do anything unless they get something in return. That is why there were no troops sent to Rwanda. Personally, I think it was racial but that's another argument.

President Bush senior was smart, he knew that taking Saddam out would lead to all this choas.
So why didn't he take him out then? IMO he was a bigger idiot then his son (ok maybe not that bad).

I never said that its our job to save the world.

The right way to solve Kuwait/Iraq conflict would've been to get then the hell out of Kuwait, and take Iraq over. I would think that would be THE best for our economic interast.

Make it new Texas or something. THat would send a message to the whole world. YOu try to take over another country, be prepared to lose yours.

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Discussion Starter #20
...The right way to solve Kuwait/Iraq conflict would've been to get then the hell out of Kuwait, and take Iraq over. I would think that would be THE best for our economic interast.

Make it new Texas or something. THat would send a message to the whole world. YOu try to take over another country, be prepared to lose yours.
OMG Jacob, that's Inexcusable.
 
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