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OfflineSnobrdr311
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I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
    #1412512 - 03/26/03 06:58 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

This is a very interesting article, surreal. Everyone should check it out.

http://www.portal.telegraph.co.uk/opinion/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fopinion%2F2003%2F03%2F23%2Fdo2305.xml


I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam
By Daniel Pepper
(Filed: 23/03/2003)


I wanted to join the human shields in Baghdad because it was direct action which had a chance of bringing the anti-war movement to the forefront of world attention. It was inspiring: the human shield volunteers were making a sacrifice for their political views - much more of a personal investment than going to a demonstration in Washington or London. It was simple - you get on the bus and you represent yourself.

So that is exactly what I did on the morning of Saturday, January 25. I am a 23-year-old Jewish-American photographer living in Islington, north London. I had travelled in the Middle East before: as a student, I went to the Palestinian West Bank during the intifada. I also went to Afghanistan as a photographer for Newsweek.

The human shields appealed to my anti-war stance, but by the time I had left Baghdad five weeks later my views had changed drastically. I wouldn't say that I was exactly pro-war - no, I am ambivalent - but I have a strong desire to see Saddam removed.

We on the bus felt that we were sympathetic to the views of the Iraqi civilians, even though we didn't actually know any. The group was less interested in standing up for their rights than protesting against the US and UK governments.

I was shocked when I first met a pro-war Iraqi in Baghdad - a taxi driver taking me back to my hotel late at night. I explained that I was American and said, as we shields always did, "Bush bad, war bad, Iraq good". He looked at me with an expression of incredulity.

As he realised I was serious, he slowed down and started to speak in broken English about the evils of Saddam's regime. Until then I had only heard the President spoken of with respect, but now this guy was telling me how all of Iraq's oil money went into Saddam's pocket and that if you opposed him politically he would kill your whole family.

It scared the hell out of me. First I was thinking that maybe it was the secret police trying to trick me but later I got the impression that he wanted me to help him escape. I felt so bad. I told him: "Listen, I am just a schmuck from the United States, I am not with the UN, I'm not with the CIA - I just can't help you."

Of course I had read reports that Iraqis hated Saddam Hussein, but this was the real thing. Someone had explained it to me face to face. I told a few journalists who I knew. They said that this sort of thing often happened - spontaneous, emotional, and secretive outbursts imploring visitors to free them from Saddam's tyrannical Iraq.

I became increasingly concerned about the way the Iraqi regime was restricting the movement of the shields, so a few days later I left Baghdad for Jordan by taxi with five others. Once over the border we felt comfortable enough to ask our driver what he felt about the regime and the threat of an aerial bombardment.

"Don't you listen to Powell on Voice of America radio?" he said. "Of course the Americans don't want to bomb civilians. They want to bomb government and Saddam's palaces. We want America to bomb Saddam."

We just sat, listening, our mouths open wide. Jake, one of the others, just kept saying, "Oh my God" as the driver described the horrors of the regime. Jake was so shocked at how naive he had been. We all were. It hadn't occurred to anyone that the Iraqis might actually be pro-war.

The driver's most emphatic statement was: "All Iraqi people want this war." He seemed convinced that civilian casualties would be small; he had such enormous faith in the American war machine to follow through on its promises. Certainly more faith than any of us had.

Perhaps the most crushing thing we learned was that most ordinary Iraqis thought Saddam Hussein had paid us to come to protest in Iraq. Although we explained that this was categorically not the case, I don't think he believed us. Later he asked me: "Really, how much did Saddam pay you to come?"

It hit me on visceral and emotional levels: this was a real portrayal of Iraq life. After the first conversation, I completely rethought my view of the Iraqi situation. My understanding changed on intellectual, emotional, psychological levels. I remembered the experience of seeing Saddam's egomaniacal portraits everywhere for the past two weeks and tried to place myself in the shoes of someone who had been subjected to seeing them every day for the last 20 or so years.

Last Thursday night I went to photograph the anti-war rally in Parliament Square. Thousands of people were shouting "No war" but without thinking about the implications for Iraqis. Some of them were drinking, dancing to Samba music and sparring with the police. It was as if the protesters were talking about a different country where the ruling government is perfectly acceptable. It really upset me.

Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out. It is extraordinarily ironic that the anti-war protesters are marching to defend a government which stops its people exercising that freedom.















? Copyright of Telegraph Group Limited 2003. Terms & Conditions of reading.
Commercial information. Privacy Policy.





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Invisiblecarbonhoots
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Registered: 09/11/01
Posts: 1,351
Loc: BC Canada
Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1412679 - 03/26/03 07:59 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Will the cure be worse than the sickness?

Stay tuned.


Quote:

Anyone with half a brain must see that Saddam has to be taken out.




That's what the whole-brained people keep saying.

Seriously...what's happening in Iraq right now is a lot more than just taking out Saddam. What will the dead and wounded Iraqi civilians think? How 'bout those who have no more homes or businesses, and are toatally ruined? I don't think they'll like this method of regime change.

Nobody supports Saddam. Some people support launching 100's or 1000's of bombs into cities to take him out. It can't be done cleanly. It just can't.





--------------------
  -I'd rather have a frontal lobotomy than a bottle in front of me

CANADIAN CENTER FOR POLICY ALTERNATIVES

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OfflineGazzBut
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1412733 - 03/26/03 08:20 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

This from the blog of Raed living in Iraq:

"No one inside Iraq is for war (note I said war not a change of regime), no human being in his right mind will ask you to give him the beating of his life, unless you are a member of fight club that is, and if you do hear Iraqi (in Iraq, not expat) saying ?come on bomb us? it is the exasperation and 10 years of sanctions and hardship talking. There is no person inside Iraq (and this is a bold, blinking and underlined inside) who will be jumping up and down asking for the bombs to drop. We are not suicidal you know, not all of us in any case.
I think that the coming war is not justified (and it is very near now, we hear the war drums loud and clear if you don?t then take those earplugs off!). The excuses for it have been stretched to their limits they will almost snap. A decision has been made sometime ago that ?regime change? in Baghdad is needed and excuses for the forceful change have to be made. I do think war could have been avoided, not by running back and forth the last two months, that?s silly. But the whole issue of Iraq should have been dealt with differently since the first day after GW I.
The entities that call themselves ?the international community? should have assumed their responsibilities a long time ago, should have thought about what the sanctions they have imposed really meant, should have looked at reports about weapons and human rights abuses a long time before having them thrown in their faces as excuses for war five minutes before midnight.
What is bringing on this rant is the question that has been bugging for days now: how could ?support democracy in Iraq? become to mean ?bomb the hell out of Iraq?? why did it end up that democracy won?t happen unless we go thru war? Nobody minded an un-democratic Iraq for a very long time, now people have decided to bomb us to democracy? Well, thank you! how thoughtful.
The situation in Iraq could have been solved in other ways than what the world will be going thru the next couple of weeks. It can?t have been that impossible. Look at the northern parts of Iraq, that is a model that has worked quite well, why wasn?t anybody interested in doing that in the south. Just like the US/UK UN created a protected area there why couldn?t the model be tried in the south. It would have cut off the regimes arms and legs. And once the people see what they have been deprived off they will not be willing to go back, just ask any Iraqi from the Kurdish areas. Instead the world watched while after the war the Shias were crushed by Saddam?s army in a manner that really didn?t happen before the Gulf War. Does anyone else see the words (Iran/not in the US interest) floating or is it me hallucinating?
And there is the matter of Sanctions. Now that Iraq has been thru a decade of these sanctions I can only hope that their effects are clear enough for them not to be tried upon another nation. Sanctions which allegedly should have kept a potentially dangerous situation in Iraq in check brought a whole nation to its knees instead. And who ultimately benefited from the sanctions? Neither the international community nor the Iraqi people, he who was in power and control still is. These sanctions made the Iraqi people hostages in the hands of this regime, tightened an already tight noose around our necks. A whole nation, a proud and learned nation, was devastated not by the war but by sanctions. Our brightest and most creative minds fled the country not because of oppression alone but because no one inside Iraq could make a living, survive. And can anyone tell me what the sanctions really did about weapons? Get real, there are always willing nations who will help, there are always organizations which will find his money sweet. Oil-for-Food? Smart Sanctions? Get a clue. Who do you think is getting all those contracts to supply the people with ?food?? who do you think is heaping money in bank accounts abroad? It is his people, his family and the people who play his game. Abroad and in Iraq, Iraqis and non-Iraqis.
What I mean to say is that things could have been different; I can?t help look at the Northern parts of Iraq with envy and wonder why.
Do support democracy in Iraq. But don?t equate it with war. What will happen is something that could/should have been avoided. Don?t expect me to wear a [I heart bush] t-shirt. Support democracy in Iraq not by bombing us to hell and then trying to build it up again (well that is going to happen any way) not by sending human shields (let?s be real the war is going to happen and Saddam will use you as hostages), but by keeping an eye on what will happen after the war. "

http://dearraed.blogspot.com


--------------------
Always Smi2le

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OfflineSkikid16
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: carbonhoots]
    #1412754 - 03/26/03 08:28 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

What will the dead..... Iraqi civilians think?


Probably not toom much at all?


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Re-Defeat Bush in '04

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Offlinerhizo
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1412817 - 03/26/03 09:19 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Iraqis Will Not Be Pawns
By Kamil Mahd
Guardian
February 20, 2003

Having failed to convince the British people that war is justified, Tony Blair is now invoking the suffering of the Iraqi people to justify bombing them. He tells us there will be innocent civilian casualties, but that more will die if he and Bush do not go to war. Which dossier is he reading from?

The present Iraqi regime's repressive practices have long been known, and its worst excesses took place 12 years ago, under the gaze of General Colin Powell's troops; 15 years ago, when Saddam was an Anglo-American ally; and almost 30 years ago, when Henry Kissinger cynically used Kurdish nationalism to further US power in the region at the expense of both Kurdish and Iraqi democratic aspirations.

Killing and torture in Iraq is not random, but has long been directly linked to politics - and international politics at that. Some of the gravest political repression was in 1978-80, at the time of the Iranian revolution and Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. But the Iraqi people's greatest suffering has been during periods of war and under the sanctions of the 1990s. There are political issues that require political solutions and a war under any pretext is not what Iraqis need or want.

In government comment about Iraq, the Iraqi people are treated as a collection of hapless victims without hope or dignity. At best, Iraqis are said to have parochial allegiances that render them incapable of political action without tutelage. This is utterly at variance with the history and reality of Iraq. Iraqis are proud of their diversity, the intricacies of their society and its deeply rooted urban culture.

Their turbulent recent history is not something that simply happened to Iraqis, but one in which they have been actors. Iraqis have a rich modern political tradition borne out of their struggle for independence from Britain and for political and social emancipation. A major explanation for the violence of recent Iraqi political history lies in the determination of people to challenge tyranny and bring about political change. Iraqis have not gone like lambs to the slaughter, but have fought political battles in which they suffered grievously. To assert that an American invasion is the only way to bring about political change in Iraq might suit Blair's propaganda fightback, but it is ignorant and disingenuous.

It is now the vogue to talk down Iraqi politics under Saddam Hussain as nothing but the whim of a dictator. The fact is that leaders cannot kill politics in the minds of people, nor can they crush their aspirations. The massacres of leftists when the Ba'athists first came to power in 1963 did not prevent the emergence of a new mass movement in the mid-1960s. The second Ba'ath regime attempted to buy time from the Kurdish movement in 1970 only to trigger a united mobilisation of Kurdish nationalism. Saddam co-opted the Communist party in the early 1970s only to see that party's organisation grow under a very narrow margin of legality before he moved against it. In the 1970s, the regime tried to control private economic activity by extending the state to every corner of the economy, only to face an explosion of small business activity.

The regime's strict secularism produced a clerical opposition with a mass following. When the regime pressurised Iraqis to join the Ba'ath party, independent opinion emerged within that party and Saddam found it necessary to crush it and destroy the party in the process. In the 1980s, the army was beginning to emerge as a threat, and the 1991 uprising showed the extent of discontent. In the 1990s, Saddam fostered the religious leadership of Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, only to see the latter emerge as a focal point for opposition. Even within Saddam's family and close circle, there has been opposition.

Of course Saddam Hussain crushed all these challenges, but in every case the regional and international environment has supported the dictator against the people of Iraq. It is cynical and deceitful of Tony Blair to pretend that he understands Iraqi politics and has a meaningful programme for the country. Iraq's history is one of popular struggle and also of imperial greed, superpower rivalries and regional conflict. To reduce the whole of Iraqi politics and social life to the whims of Saddam Hussain is banal and insulting.

Over the past 12 years of vicious economic blockade, the US and Britain have ignored the political situation inside Iraq and concentrated on weapons as a justification for their policy of containment. UN resolution 688 of April 1991, calling for an end to repression and an open dialogue to ensure Iraqi human and political rights, was set aside or used only for propaganda and to justify the no-fly zones.

Instead of generating a real political dynamic backed by international strength and moral authority, Iraqis were prevented from reconstructing their devastated country. Generations of Iraqis will continue to pay the price of the policy of sanctions and containment, designed for an oil glut period in the international market.

Now that the US has a new policy, it intends to implement it rapidly and with all its military might. Despite what Blair claims, this has nothing to do with the interests and rights of the Iraqi people. The regime in Iraq is not invincible, but the objective of the US is to have regime change without the people of Iraq. The use of Iraqi auxiliaries is designed to minimise US and British casualties, and the result may be higher Iraqi casualties and prolonged conflict with predictably disastrous humanitarian consequences.

The Bush administration has enlisted a number of Iraqi exiles to provide an excuse for invasion and a political cover for the control of Iraq. People like Ahmad Chalabi and Kanan Makiya have little credibility among Iraqis and they have a career interest in a US invasion. At the same time, the main forces of Kurdish nationalism, by disengaging from Iraqi politics and engaging in internecine conflict, have become highly dependent upon US protection and are not in a position to object to a US military onslaught. The US may enlist domestic and regional partners with varying degrees of pressure.

This in no way bestows legitimacy on its objectives and methods, and its policies are rejected by most Iraqis and others in the region. Indeed, the main historical opposition to the Ba'ath regime - including various strands of the left, the Arab nationalist parties, the Communist party, the Islamic Da'wa party, the Islamic party (the Muslim Brotherhood) and others - has rejected war and US patronage over Iraqi politics. The prevalent Iraqi opinion is that a US attack on Iraq would be a disaster, not a liberation, and Blair's belated concern for Iraqis is unwelcome.

About the Author: Kamil Mahdi is an Iraqi political exile and lecturer in Middle East economics at the University of Exeter


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An optimist is never pleasantly surprised.

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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: rhizo]
    #1412836 - 03/26/03 09:56 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

THe recently enlightened human shields should form a pro-liberation organization, and set the casual protest party goers straight.

Tell them "Hey we went there, saw what was going on, and pulled our heads out of our asses. You people are only still against this because you're having a good time with your street parties. Think about somebody else for once in your lives."


--------------------
This space for rent

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InvisibleCracka_X
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1412929 - 03/26/03 11:47 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Thank you, maybe the people of the shroomery will have a better understanding now.


--------------------
The best way to live
is to be like water
For water benefits all things
and goes against none of them
It provides for all people
and even cleanses those places
a man is loath to go
In this way it is just like Tao        ~Daodejing

Edited by Rono (03/27/03 02:12 AM)

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Offlinerhizo
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #1412954 - 03/27/03 12:21 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

do you think the bush administration really cares about the iraqi people? even a little tiny bit? i just happen to agree with the iraqi who wrote the article i posted above. i'm sure that the jewish-american author of the first article has absolutely no reason to be biased. but it's great he was "suddenly enlightened" by an iraqi taxi cab driver. now he can sneer at anti-war protesters because they just don't understand the situation like he does because he learned everything there is to know from a cab driver. here's an excerpt i think illustrates the complexity of the situation.

A Reply to an Iraqi Dissident Urging Invasion.

"If I had been approached, say in the year 1975, when General Pinochet was at the height of his murderous spree in Chile, by an emissary of the American government proposing that the US, the very country that had put our strongman in power, use military force to overthrow the dictatorship, I believe my answer would have been, I hope it would have been: "No, thank you." We must deal with this monster by ourselves. I was never given that chance, of course; the Americans would never have wanted to rid themselves, in the midst of the Cold War, of such an obsequious client. Just as they did not try to eject the even more murderous Saddam Hussein 20 years ago, supporting his genocidal activities as long as he was a bulwark against militant Iran.

Heaven help me, I am saying that if I had been given a chance years ago to spare the lives of so many of my dearest friends, given the chance to end my exile and alleviate the grief of millions of my fellow countrymen, I would have rejected it if the price we would have had to pay was clusters of bombs killing the innocent, if the price was years of foreign occupation, if the price was the loss of control over our own destiny. Heaven help me, I am saying that I care more about the future of this sad world than about the future of your unprotected children."


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An optimist is never pleasantly surprised.

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InvisibleCracka_X
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: rhizo]
    #1412962 - 03/27/03 12:36 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Notice how it's a Jewish-AMERICAN. If you ask any of the Jews in Israel, they wouldn't be STUPID ENOUGH to deny that war, fuck the war can only do good for them.

FUCK SADDAM and HIS EXISTANCE
FUCK THE PEACENICS!


--------------------
The best way to live
is to be like water
For water benefits all things
and goes against none of them
It provides for all people
and even cleanses those places
a man is loath to go
In this way it is just like Tao        ~Daodejing

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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Cracka_X]
    #1413009 - 03/27/03 01:36 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Thank you, maybe the idiots of shroomery will have a better understanding now.



I never said Saddam was a nice guy. I just don't think it's worth the time, effort, lives, or money to wage a war to remove him.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire

Edited by silversoul7 (03/27/03 01:40 AM)

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Offlinezeronio
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Cracka_X]
    #1413022 - 03/27/03 01:49 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

If you ask any of the Jews in Israel, they wouldn't be STUPID ENOUGH to deny that war, fuck the war can only do good for them.




Yea, they're fighting a "successful" war against terrorism for the last 50 years.  :grin: 

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InvisibleRipple
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1413118 - 03/27/03 02:42 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Thanks for that information although it will not change anyones closed mind about what were doing I'm sure.


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The bus came by and I got on that's when it all began!


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OfflinePhluck
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: zeronio]
    #1413120 - 03/27/03 02:43 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

I have said many times that Saddam is a horrible man, and should not be in power. All of the people that I know personally who oppose the war believe this as well. How someone who considers himself well informed on the situation in Iraq, working abroad for Newsweek, could not have had this information is beyond me. That's why I'm finding this article a little hard to believe. He claims to have been a major player in the protest movement, who held a naive viewpoint that is often projected onto the peace movement by pro-war pundits, but is not actually held by any (as far as I can see) of it's members.

Should Saddam be removed and the regime changed? Yes, somehow. Should it be done in such a way that the middle east, and possibly the rest of the world be thrown into massive turmoil?

Should it be done in a pre-emtive attack? Iraq has not threatened the US. The US is throwing the first punch here.


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us

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Anonymous

Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1413167 - 03/27/03 03:21 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

if a country wants to overthrow its leader, then why not let them do it? it happens ALL over the world. how do you think the u.s won its independence? there is a coup in south america every month or so. if saddam has such a weak grip over his people, then why don't they revolt and overthrow him? it seems like he doesn't even have countrol of his army, and thats something dictators rely heavily on. if the army is against him, hes done. its time for the iraqi people to rise up and fight for themselves. come on people, how come this argument wasn't used in deciding to go to war? this world has a lot of oppressed people out there, are we going to "liberate" them all?

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InvisibleCracka_X
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: ]
    #1413246 - 03/27/03 04:04 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Because when ppl of Iraq tried to, they got KILLED!!


--------------------
The best way to live
is to be like water
For water benefits all things
and goes against none of them
It provides for all people
and even cleanses those places
a man is loath to go
In this way it is just like Tao        ~Daodejing

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InvisibleCracka_X
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: silversoul7]
    #1413254 - 03/27/03 04:10 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

I just don't think it's worth the time, effort, lives, or money to wage a war to remove him.




So if he's not removed then one of his sons will be leader after him and it'll go on n on with the family of sickos.

There's things in life you can't just sit back and let happen. A lot of tragic events have occured over sitting back n doing nothing.


--------------------
The best way to live
is to be like water
For water benefits all things
and goes against none of them
It provides for all people
and even cleanses those places
a man is loath to go
In this way it is just like Tao        ~Daodejing

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Anonymous

Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Cracka_X]
    #1413259 - 03/27/03 04:12 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

"There's things in life you can't just sit back and let happen. A lot of tragic events have occured over sitting back n doing nothing."

exactly, thats why this war must be stopped.

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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phluck]
    #1413261 - 03/27/03 04:13 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Should Saddam be removed and the regime changed? Yes, somehow.




How?


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America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: ]
    #1413266 - 03/27/03 04:14 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

exactly, thats why this war must be stopped.




this statement made absolutly no sense.


--------------------

America....FUCK YEAH!!!

Words of Wisdom: Individual Rights BEFORE Collective Rights

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants." -- Thomas Jefferson

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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1413277 - 03/27/03 04:20 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

So did he have to go all the way to Baghdad and hear a taxi driver to realise Saddam wasn't a nice guy?

I could've told him that 20 years ago when Donald Rumsfield was shaking Saddams hand and Bush and Reagan were praising him.


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Don't worry, B. Caapi

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OfflinePhred
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1413452 - 03/27/03 05:44 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Hmmm... lots of contradictory information presented in this thread. It seems that just as in the world outside Iraq, there is a split in opinion amongst Iraqis on the merits of military action to remove Hussein.

On the one hand, there are working-class Iraqis saying, "Of course the Americans don't want to bomb civilians. They want to bomb government and Saddam's palaces. We want America to bomb Saddam,"

while an Iraqi student says, "There is no person inside Iraq (and this is a bold, blinking and underlined inside) who will be jumping up and down asking for the bombs to drop."

Which Iraqi are we to believe?

Then, there are the Iraqis who say, more or less (not a direct quote of any of the above Iraqis, just a paraphrase) "Yes, of course we want Saddam gone, but we want to remove him by ourselves... we neither wish nor require the assistance of the American military."

Interestingly enough, these same Iraqis then go on to say, "The situation in Iraq could have been solved in other ways than what the world will be going thru the next couple of weeks. It can?t have been that impossible. Look at the northern parts of Iraq, that is a model that has worked quite well, why wasn?t anybody interested in doing that in the south."

Good question. Why haven't those in southern Iraq been interested in doing that? As it turns out, some were -- but they were slaughtered in 1991 by Hussein.

"Just like the US/UK UN created a protected area there why couldn?t the model be tried in the south."

And Hussein is going to let the UN/UK wander in unopposed and set this up in the South? Uh huh.

Kamil Mahd writes:

"At best, Iraqis are said to have parochial allegiances that render them incapable of political action without tutelage."

Political action such as voting Hussein out of office, for example?

"A major explanation for the violence of recent Iraqi political history lies in the determination of people to challenge tyranny and bring about political change. Iraqis have not gone like lambs to the slaughter, but have fought political battles in which they suffered grievously."

Well, yes, they have fought such battles. And yet Hussein is still in charge, while Iraqis who took action against him, political or otherwise, have in fact been slaughtered like lambs. No, that's not quite accurate -- lambs are slaughtered quickly and humanely.

"To assert that an American invasion is the only way to bring about political change in Iraq might suit Blair's propaganda fightback, but it is ignorant and disingenuous."

It may not be the only way to bring about political change, but the ways that have been tried so far have accomplished exactly zero.

"It is now the vogue to talk down Iraqi politics under Saddam Hussain as nothing but the whim of a dictator. The fact is that leaders cannot kill politics in the minds of people, nor can they crush their aspirations."

Having aspirations doesn't do you a whole lot of good if there is no way to act upon those aspirations.

"When the regime pressurised Iraqis to join the Ba'ath party, independent opinion emerged within that party and Saddam found it necessary to crush it and destroy the party in the process."

What's the point of having an independent opinion if every time you try to express that opinion you get crushed and destroyed?

"...the 1991 uprising showed the extent of discontent."

It sure did; imagine how shocked Hussein must have been to discover that people opposed his rule. Of course, this shock didn't stop him from executing tens of thousands involved (and many who had no involvement at all, just to be on the safe side) in the uprising. What a surprise.

Now we get to the real point. Mahd himself admits:

"Of course Saddam Hussain crushed all these challenges..."

Of course.

"The regime in Iraq is not invincible..."

No? By your own words, sir, it certainly appears to be. At least when that regime is confronted solely by the oppressed people of Iraq unaided by outside forces.

"Indeed, the main historical opposition to the Ba'ath regime - "

The historical opposition who has been so clearly successful in controlling Hussein's excesses, you mean?

"... including various strands of the left, the Arab nationalist parties, the Communist party, the Islamic Da'wa party, the Islamic party (the Muslim Brotherhood) and others - has rejected war and US patronage over Iraqi politics."

So that they can continue to plot failed coup after failed coup, presumably.

So who do we believe? A taxi driver trying to survive from day to day in Hussein's Iraq, or an Iraqi political exile and lecturer in Middle East economics at the University of Exeter, who no longer need live his life under Hussein's regime?

pinky


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Edited by pinksharkmark (03/27/03 05:47 AM)

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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Cracka_X]
    #1413573 - 03/27/03 06:26 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

Quote:

I just don't think it's worth the time, effort, lives, or money to wage a war to remove him.




So if he's not removed then one of his sons will be leader after him and it'll go on n on with the family of sickos.

There's things in life you can't just sit back and let happen. A lot of tragic events have occured over sitting back n doing nothing.



So are you then prepared to send in the military to oust all the bloodthirsty dictators in the world?(Trust me--there's lots of them, and some of them have nukes)

If so, would you be willing to reinstate the draft in order to do so?(In order to wage war on all these dictators, we would have to)


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire

Edited by silversoul7 (03/27/03 06:30 AM)

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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1413840 - 03/27/03 08:13 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Exept war is not the only way to remove saddam....
The guy in the article sounds like an ignorant dick, who finally sees saddam should be removed, but cant think of no alternative other than war. :mad:


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "

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Invisiblez@z.com
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Azmodeus]
    #1413851 - 03/27/03 08:17 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Can you?


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson

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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: z@z.com]
    #1413884 - 03/27/03 08:29 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Sure, firt off saddam has to prove his "danger of WMD", by taking some sort of action. He wouldn't, cus his country is strangled by UN sanctions. Assuming one day many years down the road he used them to try and conquer (the country would have to be in much better shape than now) then US military action might be in order. Iraqis MUST be the ones to liberate themselves, no one else can liberate a people for them, they must have the will to fight....and die for thier beliefs. But lets not forget that the only thing holding a country like iraq together from rebelious power hungry factions is a brutal dictatorship. And while the working man, may suffer, he at least is not engaged in civil war. Things have been that way in iraq for hundreds of years, and just because america no longer "likes" saddam, is no reason to invade the country. Once saddam is overthrown, we'll see how many "loyalists" remain...plus all the other anit-american rebels.


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "

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InvisibleCracka_X
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: ]
    #1414080 - 03/27/03 09:39 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

"There's things in life you can't just sit back and let happen. A lot of tragic events have occured over sitting back n doing nothing."

exactly, thats why this war must be stopped.




Uhhh, that's not what I meant.


--------------------
The best way to live
is to be like water
For water benefits all things
and goes against none of them
It provides for all people
and even cleanses those places
a man is loath to go
In this way it is just like Tao        ~Daodejing

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Offlinerhizo
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phred]
    #1414498 - 03/27/03 12:54 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

pinky, you really seem to have been sold on this being a war of liberation. so you think bush cares what happens to the people of iraq? heh, that's a hoot. did his father care? maybe that's why kurds don't trust presidents named bush. What did the US do when Saddam committed his most brutal acts? We looked the other way, helped him build up his army, gave him more money, and probably sold him some more gas so he wouldn't run out. why did we do this? because it suited our interests. well it suits our interests now to "liberate" the iraqi people. i guess if you buy into bush's orwellian propaganda then you might believe Occupation is Liberation. Do you think maybe the control of iraqi oil flows and the assurance of israel?s regional military superiority lurk behind arguments of removing weapons of mass destruction & "liberating" the iraqi people?


--------------------
An optimist is never pleasantly surprised.

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OfflineMurex
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phluck]
    #1414544 - 03/27/03 01:16 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Should it be done in a pre-emtive attack? Iraq has not threatened the US. The US is throwing the first punch here.

Yes it should. We know enough about Saddam to know that he can be a threat to Amerika. Smeone's gotta throw the first punch, and if a terrorist does it, it could be a lot harder to know who exactly was responsable.

Do you believe the government when they said Osama was the one behind Sept 11? I did. Am I a fool for believing Osama was the one? Maybe, but I will never have hard evidence unless I have it right in front of me. Sometimes it's obvious without having solid evidense- terrorists are good at leaving no tracks.


--------------------
What if everything around you
Isn't quite as it seems?
What if all the world you think you know,
Is an elaborate dream?
And if you look at your reflection,
Is it all you want it to be?


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Murex]
    #1415150 - 03/27/03 05:34 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

We know enough about Saddam to know that he can be a threat to Amerika

Where did you get this knowledge? In what way does Saddam pose a threat to the US?

Do you believe the government when they said Osama was the one behind Sept 11?

So who was behind it?


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi

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OfflinePhluck
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Murex]
    #1415237 - 03/27/03 06:07 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

"Do you believe the government when they said Osama was the one behind Sept 11? I did."

No shit. First off, he admitted to it, secondly, HE ATTACKED THE UNITED STATES.

Iraq has done no such thing. It has not claimed that it will attack the United States. It seems very unlikely that Iraq has the means, or the stupidity to attack the United States.

On top of that, it's now been shown that the United States has forged at least some of the "evidence" prooving Iraq has the intent to create weapons of mass destruction. How can we possibly trust the rest of the evidence to be reliable?


--------------------
"I have no valid complaint against hustlers. No rational bitch. But the act of selling is repulsive to me. I harbor a secret urge to whack a salesman in the face, crack his teeth and put red bumps around his eyes." -Hunter S Thompson
http://phluck.is-after.us

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Offlinejohnnyfive
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Snobrdr311]
    #1415280 - 03/27/03 06:21 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

saddam is apart of the secert society


--------------------
And the gameshow host rings the buzzer (brrnnntt) oh and now you get a face full of face!

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InvisibleEvolving
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: johnnyfive]
    #1415810 - 03/28/03 08:34 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

He's a Shriner.

Their seal:


The fez:


--------------------
To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.

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OfflinePhred
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: rhizo]
    #1415820 - 03/28/03 08:45 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

rhizo writes:

pinky, you really seem to have been sold on this being a war of liberation.

Nope. As I have stated over and over and over again in this forum, I remain unconvinced that it was correct for the US to go to war with Hussein at this time. There are excellent arguments pro and con.

so you think bush cares what happens to the people of iraq?

Irrelevant. If the people of Iraq are able to actually choose their leaders for the first time in two dozen years, who cares whether or not Bush loves them or is indifferent to them? If I were an Iraqi voter, I wouldn't give a damn what the motives were of the man who made it possible for me to vote.

did his father care?

Irrelevant. Do you care about everything your father cares about?

What did the US do when Saddam committed his most brutal acts?

What did every country in the world] do when Saddam committed his most brutal acts? It is hypocritical in the extreme to single out the US for criticism on this point, and you know it.

Need I remind you that some of Hussein's most brutal acts were inflicted on Kuwaitis? And who was it who cajoled the rest of the world into supporting the expulsion of Iraq from Kuwait? That's right -- the US.

well it suits our interests now to "liberate" the iraqi people.

Does it not also suit the interests of the Iraqi people?

i guess if you buy into bush's orwellian propaganda then you might believe Occupation is Liberation.

Occupation is a temporary thing. Hussein's rule is permanent.

Do you think maybe the control of iraqi oil flows and the assurance of israel?s regional military superiority lurk behind arguments of removing weapons of mass destruction & "liberating" the iraqi people?

Iraq's oil flow has been virtually nonexistent for the last twelve years. If there had been no invasion, it would have remained that way indefinitely.

pinky


--------------------

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Offlinerhizo
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phred]
    #1416090 - 03/28/03 06:33 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

r: i guess if you buy into bush's orwellian propaganda then you might believe Occupation is Liberation.

p: Occupation is a temporary thing. Hussein's rule is permanent.




the demoralizing effects of occupation will last much longer than Hussein's rule. do you think this might be the reason why so many iraqis are fighting the "invaders"? death before dishonor.

Quote:

r: so you think bush cares what happens to the people of iraq?

p: Irrelevant. If the people of Iraq are able to actually choose their leaders for the first time in two dozen years, who cares whether or not Bush loves them or is indifferent to them? If I were an Iraqi voter, I wouldn't give a damn what the motives were of the man who made it possible for me to vote.




irrelevant? i disagree. if bush cared about the people he would have an exit plan. if the regime is toppled do you think iraq will avoid breaking up and avoid a postwar bloodbath? i don't. you think democracy would or could stick?

"Saddam is gone. Infidels out, we're running our country again. Now, someone get me a woman driver and a homosexual to stone. Thanks much."


--------------------
An optimist is never pleasantly surprised.

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Offlinemntlfngrs
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: rhizo]
    #1416262 - 03/28/03 09:39 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

"the demoralizing effects of occupation will last much longer than Hussein's rule. do you think this might be the reason why so many iraqis are fighting the "invaders"? death before dishonor."

Their families being held hostage might be a reason too. And you are not qualified to issue oppinions on the affects of occupation.


--------------------
Be all and you'll be to end all

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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phred]
    #1416385 - 03/29/03 12:21 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

If the people of Iraq are able to actually choose their leaders for the first time in two dozen years, who cares whether or not Bush loves them or is indifferent to them?

That's a helluva big if. My guess is the country will be an administered US dictatorship for many years before being handed over to some savage puppet dictator when no-one cares anymore. Look at Afghanistan for an example of how quickly the idea of "humanitarian aid" and "democracy" fall off the map. It is now in the hands of the warlords and has been utterly abandoned.

What did every country in the world] do when Saddam committed his most brutal acts?

This has nothing to do with it. Just because there are several countries doing something wrong doesn't excuse you.

Need I remind you that some of Hussein's most brutal acts were inflicted on Kuwaitis?

Some of the most brutal acts committed on Kuwaitis were done by the cruel dictators the US returned to power in Kuwait.

Does it not also suit the interests of the Iraqi people?

Looks like the iraqi's are wise to Bush's bullshit. They don't believe he's coming to liberate them. And looking at Afghanistan you can understand why.

Iraq's oil flow has been virtually nonexistent for the last twelve years. If there had been no invasion, it would have remained that way indefinitely.

There's an awful lot of money to be made by US oil corporations in exploiting Iraqs oil.

Oh, i forgot...all profits will of course be handed over to the Iraqi people... :grin: :grin:


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi

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OfflinePhred
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Xlea321]
    #1416672 - 03/29/03 09:23 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Alex123 writes:

My guess is the country will be an administered US dictatorship for many years before being handed over to some savage puppet dictator when no-one cares anymore.

That is your guess, with nothing to substantiate it.

Look at Afghanistan for an example of how quickly the idea of "humanitarian aid" and "democracy" fall off the map.

Yes, let's look at Afghanistan. The leader of the provisional government was selected by Afghanistans, not Americans, and is no savage dictator.

It is now in the hands of the warlords...

Afghanistan remains factionalized today, but it had been for decades previously. The Taliban certainly never had a firm grasp on the entire country either. parts of it were in the hands of the warlords during Taliban reign as well.

... and has been utterly abandoned.

Bullshit.

Just because there are several countries doing something wrong doesn't excuse you.

Of course it doesn't. The point here is that the constant mantra in this forum is "the US did this" and "the US did that", always ignoring that in every case we could more accurately say "a dozen countries did this" or "a dozen countries did that". In the particular case I referred to, every freaking country in the entire world did nothing... yet no one finds it the least bit hypocritical to single out the US and only the US for criticism.

Some of the most brutal acts committed on Kuwaitis were done by the cruel dictators the US returned to power in Kuwait.

Bullshit. There is no comparison between what the Iraqi occupation force did and the kind of oppression the Kuwaiti government (and every Arab government) practices.

Looks like the iraqi's are wise to Bush's bullshit. They don't believe he's coming to liberate them.

Bullshit. Read the quotes from Iraqis in the thread about the naivete of the human shields. Do all Iraqis feel the same way? Of course not. Do some? Of course.

There's an awful lot of money to be made by US oil corporations in exploiting Iraqs oil.

There's an awful lot of money to be made by French and Russian oil corporations in exploiting Iraqs oil.

Oh, i forgot...all profits will of course be handed over to the Iraqi people...

Better that than ending up in Hussein's offshore bank accounts.

pinky


--------------------

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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phred]
    #1416743 - 03/29/03 10:47 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

That is your guess, with nothing to substantiate it.

Ok. Lets wait and see if your fabled democracy appears.

The leader of the provisional government was selected by Afghanistans

Who exactly? Certainly not the people of Afghanistan.

not Americans

Lets wait and see how long he lasts once the american troops pull out. My guess is a couple of months. The Northern Alliance warlords control the vast bulk of the country.

Bullshit.

"To the Afghan people we make this commitment," Blair pledged during the same speech in October 2001. "The conflict will not be the end. We will not walk away, as the outside world has done so many times before." Three months later, the UN estimated that Afghanistan would need at least $10bn for reconstruction over the following five years. The US, which had just spent $4.5bn on bombing the country, offered $300m for the first year and refused to make any commitment for subsequent years. This year, George Bush "forgot" to produce an aid budget for Afghanistan, until he was forced to provide another $300m by Congress.

The Afghan government, which has an annual budget of just $460m - or around half of what the US still spends every month on chasing the remnants of al-Qaida through the mountains - is effectively bankrupt. At the beginning of this month the Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, flew to Washington to beg George Bush for more money. He was given $50m, $35m of which the US insists is spent on the construction of a five-star hotel in Kabul. Karzai, in other words, has discovered what the people of Iraq will soon find out: generosity dries up when you are yesterday's news.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,3604,916234,00.html

There is no comparison between what the Iraqi occupation force did and the kind of oppression the Kuwaiti government (and every Arab government) practices.

Bullshit. It doesn't matter whether it's a Kuwaiti secret policeman applying electric shocks to your testicles or an Iraqi.

Do all Iraqis feel the same way? Of course not.

Bullshit. Where are the fabled Iraqis "dancing in the street" we were promised? If there were any you can be assured we would have seen endless footage of it.

Better that than ending up in Hussein's offshore bank accounts.

I was being ironic. You don't really believe the money is going to be held in trust for the iraqi people do you?

Incidentally Saddam used oil money to vastly improve the living standards of most iraqis early in his reign.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi

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InvisibleCracka_X
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Xlea321]
    #1416773 - 03/29/03 11:16 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

I fell into a burning ring of fire
I went down down down and the flames went higher
and it burns burns burns the ring of fire


--------------------
The best way to live
is to be like water
For water benefits all things
and goes against none of them
It provides for all people
and even cleanses those places
a man is loath to go
In this way it is just like Tao        ~Daodejing

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OfflinePhred
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Xlea321]
    #1416774 - 03/29/03 11:17 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Alex, Afghanistan is receiving aid from the US, just not as much and as rapidly as you would like to see it. They have so far provided 600 million.

The UN estimate for $2 billion a year for five years in "reconstruction" costs -- reconstruction of what?

Is Afghanistan lacking in infrastructure? Sure. Did the UN coalition forces destroy 10 billion bucks worth of infrastructure? Nope. It's not like they were carpet-bombing downtown Kabul.

Where are the fabled Iraqis "dancing in the street" we were promised? If there were any you can be assured we would have seen endless footage of it.

You missed those shots, did you?

pinky


--------------------

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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phred]
    #1416777 - 03/29/03 11:20 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Alex, Afghanistan is receiving aid from the US

Come off it. Look at the figures. Look at Bush's "committment" to it. Without congress forcing him to do it it would have been completly forgotten.

You missed those shots, did you?

I don't think it would be possible if there had been any. I've seen one guy in a red turban dancing so far. And it wasn't a very convincing dance at that. Less of a dance of liberation and more a dance of "Here's a bit of food".


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi

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Anonymous

Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phred]
    #1419706 - 03/31/03 11:23 AM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Interesting comments from one and all. Some were very predictable, like the voice of reason pitted against the shrill cry of emotionalism.

I still find it very interesting that a member of Big Media changed their mind about anything.

That was my point in posting the same article.
Sorry for the redundancy.

Cheers,

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OfflineAzmodeus
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Re: I was a naive fool to be a human shield for Saddam [Re: Phred]
    #1420073 - 03/31/03 03:29 PM (21 years, 2 months ago)

Quote:

In the particular case I referred to, every freaking country in the entire world did nothing... yet no one finds it the least bit hypocritical to single out the US and only the US for criticism. 




We single the US out, because you take the iraqis freedom and liberation so seriously.  No other country in the world feels saddam is a threat, or that the iraqis should be liberated, if you care so much now, whats changed? :smirk:

Or is there more behind this war than: "the liberation of the iraqi people".


--------------------
"Know your Body - Know your Mind - Know your Substance - Know your Source.

Lest we forget. "

Edited by Azmodeus (03/31/03 03:37 PM)

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