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InvisibleXlea321
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US running scared of Iraq elections
    #2251755 - 01/19/04 01:52 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Why the US is running scared of elections in Iraq

Washington's plan to transfer power without a direct vote is a fraud

Jonathan Steele
Monday January 19, 2004
The Guardian

The occupation of Iraq continues to get worse for George Bush and Tony Blair. The deaths of at least 20 people in a suicide bomb attack outside the coalition headquarters in Baghdad yesterday morning underlines the spiralling unrest in the country. The toll of US casualties since Saddam Hussein's capture is higher than in the same period before it. Angry protests over unemployment and petrol shortages have erupted in several cities in the south, in areas under British control.
Above all, Washington's plans for handing power to an unelected group of Iraqis is being strongly challenged by Iraq's majority Shia community. The occupiers who invaded Iraq in the name (partly) of bringing democracy are being accused of flouting democracy themselves.

Oh yes, and then there's the small matter of the weapons of mass destruction on which Saddam increasingly appears to be the man who had truth on his side. When he said he had destroyed them years ago, he, rather than Bush and Blair, was the man not lying.

While the Hutton inquiry looms as the main Iraq worry for the prime minister, the primary problem for Bush is the chaos in Iraq. His plans for minimising Iraq as an election issue are in tatters. They relied on three things: the capture of Saddam; a reduction in the toll of US dead and maimed; and the start of a process of handing power to Iraqis.

The first was accomplished in December when the former dictator's successful eight-month evasion of massive hunting parties came to an end. But instead of it leading to a collapse of resistance, US casualties have gone on growing. Bush's always dubious argument that Saddam was running the insurgency from various well-hidden quarters has fallen apart.

Baathists who did not want to be seen as defending a hated leader were freed from that image. Other branches of the resistance were never Saddam supporters. It also transpires that Saddam rejected part of the resistance. Although he called for jihad against the occupiers in the tapes slipped out to al-Jazeera and other Arab media, he was writing more careful private notes to his friends. He urged them to beware of the fundamentalists - an ironic sign that even in his months of beleaguered clandestinity, he remained faithful to the secular principles which had made him attractive to western governments in the 1980s, when the main enemy was seen as Iran.

With casualties stubbornly continuing to remain high, the US is now banking on its project for transferring power to Iraqis this summer. This is an acceleration of Washington's earlier plans. The UN security council resolution it pushed through unanimously last October called on Iraq's governing council to draw up a timetable for drafting a constitution and holding elections. It also called for the UN "to strengthen its vital role in Iraq".

But the White House has a habit of ignoring the UN resolutions it sponsors. Just as it went to war without a second resolution, after getting unanimity on one which most member states did not feel contained a trigger, the October 2003 resolution was also ignored. A month after it was passed, the US came up with a plan which made no mention of any role for the UN and cobbled together an extraordinary process of "caucuses" to pick a government.

At least in Iowa, the Democratic party caucuses involve elections. Not in the US plan for Iraq. The US is proposing that "notables" in each province attend these caucuses to appoint an assembly which would select a government. Not surprisingly, the Shia leadership smells a rat. After generations of being excluded from power, first by the British occupiers in 1920, and then by successive Sunni governments up to the one led by Saddam, they are angry.

Their spiritual head, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, has repeatedly denounced the plan. He wants direct elections. His legitimate fear is that the US wants to control the selection of a government because it thinks the wrong people will win, in particular the Shia. Washington is also worried that Sunni fundamentalists and even some Baathists might do well in the poll.

The other new element in the US plan was that power would be transferred to the new government at the end of June. This would allow Bush to claim mission accomplished. Barely a year after the invasion, Iraqis would have a legitimate government at last. It would invite US troops to stay, but these could gradually be reduced in number or pulled back to bases in Iraq, as new Iraqi security forces were built up. US casualties would fall, the invasion would have been legitimised, and Messrs Dean and Clark would have to shut up.

Now the whole thing is in ruins. Ayatollah Sistani refuses to drop his opposition, and people were out on the street in Basra last week to support his line. Protests may spread to other Shia cities. The latest allegations of US and British torture of detainees will only inflame passions. Worst of all for Washington, Sistani has made it clear that no government which is undemocratically appointed will have the right to ask American troops to stay.

Washington is trying to argue that if there are to be direct elections, the transfer of power will have to be delayed. Sistani rejects that. His supporters say the oil-for-food ration-card lists which covered the whole Iraqi population can easily be used in place of the poll cards which Washington says would take at least a year to prepare. Unlike Afghanistan, with its remote villages and months of snow which make polling stations hard to deploy and staff, Iraq's geography is no obstacle to quick elections.

The moment of truth for the administration is also one for the United Nations. Having snubbed the UN for so long, the White House is turning to Kofi Annan at a meeting in New York today to bail it out. Like his Shia forebears who refused to meet the British after 1920 for fear of being denounced as stooges and sell-outs, Sistani refuses to talk to Paul Bremer, the top US envoy, or his British colleagues. He meets Iraqis who bring messages from the coalition authorities, and he meets the UN. So Washington is pressing the UN either to go and persuade Sistani that elections are impossible, or to monitor the caucuses and give them its seal of approval.

Annan should resist the poisoned chalice. He should support the concept of direct elections. It need not mean a delay in sovereignty for Iraq. Five months are not too long to prepare a vote. Alternatively, the UN should offer to take over responsibility for the entire transition to Iraqi rule, as many member governments originally hoped.

Washington's plan for a transfer of power is a facade. The real intent is to get Bush re-elected and continue the occupation by indirect means. The UN should have no part of it.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,2763,1126178,00.html


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OfflineTheOneYouKnow
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Xlea321]
    #2253481 - 01/19/04 06:39 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:
Why the US is running scared of elections in Iraq





Iraq has no right to have elections. We are their occupiors now, and we make the law. They violated a cease fire agreement which lead to us re-initializing the hostilities against them and their leader, and we won (by a gigantic margin). We owe them nothing. If we decide to allow them to vote, that is our good grace, if we don't, that is our decision. It's not like these people had democracies before we liberated them. Take it or leave it. We won.
Quote:


Washington's plan to transfer power without a direct vote is a fraud
Washington's plan for a transfer of power is a facade. The real intent is to get Bush re-elected and continue the occupation by indirect means. The UN should have no part of it.




With a closing argument like this, the objectivity of this story is very apparent.


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2253632 - 01/19/04 07:33 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

exactly what cease-fire terms did the iraqis violate?? no banned weapons have been found in iraq.. nor is there any other evidence that such a violation occurred...paul o'neill has confirmed that the war was all about oil...one could argue that there are no such things as "rights" as far as oil in the middle east is concerned.. but thats beside the point...get the facts straight first.. and pls spare us all the self-righteous neocon braggadocio (nytimes)...


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


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2253642 - 01/19/04 07:36 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

exactly what cease-fire terms did the iraqis violate?? no banned weapons have been found in iraq.. nor is there any other evidence that such a violation occurred...

July 1994 - Iraq destroys 480,000 liters of chemical agents in accordance to demands of the UNSCOM. (Oldaker 1996, 2)

14 June 1996 - UNSCOM inspectors begin dismantling a biological weapons facility in central Iraq, despite pleas from Baghdad to salvage some dual-use items. (Reuters, 14 June 1996)

End October 1997 - Iraq refuses entry to three Americans on a team of UN arms inspectors, and warns Iraqi anti-aircraft guns might fire upon US U-2 spy planes if surveillance flights continue. The UN sends a high-level diplomatic mission to resolve the budding crisis and Iraq delays the expulsion order against the American inspectors. (Washington Post, 3 November 1997, A1; Financial Times, 5 November 1997, 6)

12 November 1997 - The UN Security Council unanimously approves a travel ban for senior Iraqi officials and demands that Iraq stop interfering with UN weapons inspectors. Iraq insists that the weapons teams have fewer Americans. When Iraq refuses to comply with UN demands, the weapons inspectors leave the country. Fears mount that Iraq could revive chemical and biological weapons programs without the oversight of the international community. Russia and France push for a diplomatic solution to the crisis, while Washington does not rule out a resort to the use of force. The United States increases its military presence in the Gulf. (Washington Post, 13 November 1997, A1; Washington Post, 18 November 1997, A22)

21 November 1997 - After intense diplomacy by Security Council members, particularly Russia, Iraq agrees to allow UN weapon inspectors back into the country. Russia agrees to push for concessions, such as the easing of the UN sanctions, in return. The Security Council rebuffs a Russian request to declare Iraq free of nuclear weapons and nearly free of prohibited missiles. (Washington Post, 21 November 1997, A1; New York Times, 22 November 1997, A1)

16 January 1998 - A weapons inspection team leaves Iraq after being barred for three days from conducting an inspection. The UN Security Council deplores Iraq's decision, which constitutes a clear violation of UN resolutions. (CRS, 6 March 1998, 3)

17 January 1998 - Saddam Hussein announces that Iraq will expel all weapons inspectors if sanctions against Iraq are not removed within six months. (CRS, 6 March 1998, 3)

3 February 1998 - US Secretary of Defense Cohen warns that if diplomacy fails, the United States will wage a "significant" military campaign against Iraq, "far more than what has been experienced in the past." (CRS, 6 March 1998, 5)

29 April 1998 - UNSCOM chief arms inspector Richard Butler reveals that experts discovered mustard gas in Iraqi artillery shells found at an ammunitions depot in 1996. The discovery raises new questions about similar shells that remain unaccounted for. (New York Times, 29 April 1998, A10)

24 June 1998 - Contradicting claims it never weaponized the substance, UNSCOM chief Butler says tests at Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland show Iraq loaded deadly VX gas onto a missile. Iraq claims bias in the test of warhead pieces; similar weapons fragments are tested in Switzerland and France to see whether the finding can be confirmed. (USIS, 24 June 1998; New York Times, 25 June 1998, A10)

23 July 1998 - Iraqi authorities refuse to give UNSCOM documents that list weapons used by the Iraqi Air Force during the war with Iran. (Washington Post, 24 July 1998, A28)

5 August 1998 - Iraq restricts activities of IAEA and orders an end to all UNSCOM inspections, except for those specifically approved by the Iraqi government. It allows long distance monitoring with video camera, as well as air, water and soil sampling, to continue. President Hussein demands that UNSCOM be restructured, Butler replaced, and that UNSCOM move its headquarters out of the United States. (Financial Times, 6 August 1998, 1; USIS, 6 August 1998; New York Times, 15 September 1998, A3; Wall Street Journal, 2 October 1998, A16)

3 September 1998 - In a letter to Congress, President Clinton denounces Iraq's failure to allow weapons inspections, warns that, "If the Council fails to persuade the Iraqi regime to resume cooperation, all other options are on the table ." (USIS, 3 September 1998)

14 September 1998 - Iraq's National Assembly threatens to end all cooperation with inspectors unless the Security Council resumes regular reviews of the sanctions. (New York Times, 15 September 1998, A3)

31 October 1998 - Iraq stops all cooperation with weapons inspectors, banning arms inspectors from visiting sites that have already been inspected and were being monitored by UNSCOM. Baghdad says sensors and monitors placed in sites can continued operating and also exempt the IAEA from its latest decision. (Financial Times, 2 November 1998, 1; Wall Street Journal, 2 November 1998, A4)

20 November 1998 - Shortly after UNSCOM inspectors resume their duties in Iraq, the Iraqi government refuses to provide 12 documents relating to weapons inventories. Iraqi Deputy Foreign Minister Riyadh al-Qaysi accuses the inspectors of "unjustifiably" prolonging their work, thereby extending the embargo. (Washington Post, 24 November 1998, A25; 18 November 1998, A33; Financial Times, 24 November 1998, 6)

19 December 1998 - After four consecutive nights of bombing, the US and Britain end the attack on Iraq. President Clinton declares Operation Desert Fox a success at degrading Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction program and his conventional military capacity. In all, there were about 600 bombs and 415 cruise missiles fired at approximately 100 targets. (Washington Post, 20 December 1998, A1; New York Times, 20 December 1998, 24; Wall Street Journal, 21 December 1998, A3; 22 December 1998, A20)

15 December 1999 - Iraq refuses to allow IAEA inspectors to check Iraq's uranium stockpile as required under the 1968 nuclear nonproliferation treaty. (New York Times, 15 December 1999, A13; 16 December 1999, A5)

19 December 1999 - Iraq officially rejects resolution 1284 and demands unconditional lifting of sanctions. (Washington Post, 19 December 1999, A54)

(emphasis mine)

complete timeline here.


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OfflineTheOneYouKnow
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2253661 - 01/19/04 07:45 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Annapurna1 said:
exactly what cease-fire terms did the iraqis violate?? no banned weapons have been found in iraq.. nor is there any other evidence that such a violation occurred...paul o'neill has confirmed that the war was all about oil...one could argue that there are no such things as "rights" as far as oil in the middle east is concerned.. but thats beside the point...get the facts straight first.. and pls spare us all the self-righteous neocon braggadocio



Their is no need to be harsh or condecending, it won't make me accept or respect your position anymore. After the first Gulf War, the one where we liberated Kuwait, Saddam Hussein signed a conditional cease fire to end hostilities. One of those agreements was that he allow UN Inspectors full and total access to inspect for banned weapons. The second that he kicked them out, he violated the conditions of the cessation of hostilities and thus, we would be within our rights to have attacked and overthrown him at that time.

If you and I are in a fight of some sorts, then you surrender and ask me to stop beating you up and state that you will agree to the terms of my cessation of hostilities, then you break your promise, the cease fire is off, and the fight is back on.


"mushmaster"s post from the UN Website more clearly details this, good post yet again!


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2253706 - 01/19/04 08:06 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

i may be mistaken..but from what i understand..the inspectors were booted in 1998 after it was discovered that CIA moles had been planted amongst the UNMOVIC units to gather information for a series of bombing raids that were staged a month later...and that could also be construed as a violation of the cease-fire on our part...

but irregardless of whether or not the iraqis were in violation.. o'neill's statements strongly suggest that was not the reason the war was launched...and the "violation" used as a pretext to launch the war..that being the WMDs..has been proven false...


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


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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InvisibleInnvertigo
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2253755 - 01/19/04 08:28 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

*irregardless is not a word. :crazy:


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

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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OfflineTheOneYouKnow
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2253760 - 01/19/04 08:30 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

Annapurna1 said:
i may be mistaken..but from what i understand..the inspectors were booted in 1998 after it was discovered that CIA moles had been planted amongst the UNMOVIC units to gather information for a series of bombing raids that were staged a month later...and that could also be construed as a violation of the cease-fire on our part...




The instant that any offical of the Iraqi government or military prohibited any UN inspectors from doing anything, the cease fire was null and the war was back on
Quote:


but irregardless of whether or not the iraqis were in violation.. o'neill's statements strongly suggest that was not the reason the war was launched...and the "violation" used as a pretext to launch the war..that being the WMDs..has been proven false...



What about the post that "luvdemshrooms" put up that talked about how the war was being planned post Bush administration era? I think that more people in here need to have an understanding of what "proof" is, and what "lies" are so that the statements will be more correct.

If we had two reasons, but the first one (that being the violation of the cease fire agreement) was valid, then it doesn't matter what our other motives were, really, because the primary motive was valid.


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Xlea321]
    #2254164 - 01/19/04 10:25 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

We still have a vew more undesireable voters to blow up.  :evil:


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2254746 - 01/20/04 01:40 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

IMAO..we deliberately put the iraqis in a double bind in this case...if thats so..then pushing aside the legal technicalities..the primary motive was still oil...


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


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2254766 - 01/20/04 01:47 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Uh-huh. How exactly?

Did this war somehow create more oil?


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2254848 - 01/20/04 02:28 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

not created more oil..just stole it...


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


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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OfflineBaby_Hitler
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2254859 - 01/20/04 02:35 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

You mean we don't have to pay for oil anymore?


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InvisibleAnnapurna1
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2254894 - 01/20/04 02:51 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

troll!!..in the dungeon!!...troll in the dungeon!!...thought you ought to know...


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


"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Annapurna1]
    #2254896 - 01/20/04 02:53 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

So we still have to pay for the oil then?

Doesn't sound stolen to me.


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Baby_Hitler]
    #2255524 - 01/20/04 11:13 AM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Of course we still have to pay for the oil. What matters is WHO is (or will be) making a profit off of oil production in Iraq that wouldn't have, had the U.S. not gone into Iraq. There is also the very important issue of what currency is mandated for purchases of Iraqi oil. It is my understanding that Iraq had decided to accept purchases in currencies OTHER than the U.S. dollar. This of course was changed after the U.S. invasion.


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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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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Evolving]
    #2255834 - 01/20/04 01:08 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

read the article by george soros...


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"anchor blocks counteract the process of pontiprobation..while omalean globes regulize the pressure"...


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2255861 - 01/20/04 01:22 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

Quote:

TheOneYouKnow said:
Iraq has no right to have elections. We are their occupiors now, and we make the law.  They violated a cease fire agreement which lead to us re-initializing the hostilities against them and their leader, and we won (by a gigantic margin).  We owe them nothing. If we decide to allow them to vote, that is our good grace, if we don't, that is our decision.  It's not like these people had democracies before we liberated them. Take it or leave it. We won.





:smirk: damn, im getting psycic now...i remeber saying how americas statement of liberation was bullshit, and if the above rant is any reflection of americas true feelings, your in for another viet nam, because the other arabs won't back down...

Again i am amazed by the stupidity of ppl, and thier ignorance and the way they justify thier actions.  No wonder noone likes americans.


--------------------
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Lest we forget. "


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InvisibleEdame
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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2255957 - 01/20/04 01:57 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)

The instant that any offical of the Iraqi government or military prohibited any UN inspectors from doing anything, the cease fire was null and the war was back on

If that were truly the case, then why did Powell, Bush and Blair spend so much time trying (unsuccessfully) to get another resolution through the UN authorising force? Why spend all that time and effort and create all of the animosity with Germany, France and Russia if it was as simple as just starting the old war again? If this was such a clear-cut case, why didn't the UN vote go through? Why the 'dirty tricks' campaign of bugging UN officials in an attempt to swing crucial votes? Why the deception over WMDs?

The Bush administration may have argued that this technicality legitimised the war, but that doesn't instantly make it so.


--------------------
The above is an extract from my fictional novel, "The random postings of Edame".
:tongue:

In the beginning was the word. And man could not handle the word, and the hearing of the word, and he asked God to take away his ears so that he might live in peace without having to hear words which might upset his equinamity or corrupt the unblemished purity of his conscience.

And God, hearing this desperate plea from His creation, wrinkled His mighty brow for a moment and then leaned down toward man, beckoning that he should come close so as to hear all that was about to be revealed to him.

"Fuck you," He whispered, and frowned upon the pathetic supplicant before retreating to His heavens.


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Re: US running scared of Iraq elections [Re: Edame]
    #2256197 - 01/20/04 03:35 PM (12 years, 10 months ago)


If that were truly the case, then why did Powell, Bush and Blair spend so much time trying (unsuccessfully) to get another resolution through the UN authorising force? Why spend all that time and effort and create all of the animosity with Germany, France and Russia if it was as simple as just starting the old war again? If this was such a clear-cut case, why didn't the UN vote go through?


look into the financial ties between these countries and hussein's iraq and it should become clear to you.


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