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Offlinephi1618
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Registered: 02/14/04
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Why the war in Iraq was a mistake
    #2451365 - 03/19/04 01:31 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

First, to handle some possible objections:

Was Saddam Hussain a bad guy?
Yup. No question. Kurds, Marsh Arabs... he was a thug and a villain.

Are the Iraqi people better off now than before?
Right now, maybe, maybe not. Most are probably quite happy that Saddam is gone, but there are still problems with basic services and security. These are improving with time, and, from the news, things seem to be getting better.
Although there are inherent (ethnic) problems with Iraq as a nation, there seems to be a chance that Iraq will get a good, stable, not too hostile to the US, and legitamite government. This would be a good thing, and make the world a better place. Time will tell on this front.

So, what's the problem?

1)
The "Bush doctrine" of premptive self-defense.

The primary justification for this war was not that it would prevent future atrocities in Iraq. There are far more atrocities in Africa and many other nations around the world that we pretty much ignore. Helping the Iraqi people was just a bonus.

The primary justification for this war, as publicly stated by administration officials, was that Iraq posed a significant threat to the United States and our intrests.

In order to justify an attack on Iraq under Article 51 of the UN Charter (an international agreement in which the United States is a partner), the reason for the attack had to be self-defense. The Bush administration, in the aftermath of September 11th, and in an age of nuclear weapons, decided that the fact that a nation poses a future threat is enough to call an attack on them self-defense.

This may seem like a good thing. Couldn't we have prevented the massacres at Pearl Harbor and on Sept. 11th just by being more proactive in our wars? Maybe.
However, I think it is a dangerous precedent because it is not always clear who poses a direct threat to the US when we are not actually under attack. The War in the Phillipines and the Vietnam war were both fought to surpress potential threats. Due to the nature of politics, and the fact that most people who become president are power-hungry egomaniacs, I do not trust the present or any future administration to decide who is an iminent threat to America without the prima facia evidence provided by an actual attack.

2)
Iraq was not an iminent threat to the United States.

The proof that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States was twofold:
First, Iraq posessed and was hiding possesion of Weapons of Mass Destruction.
Second, Iraq had links to al Qaeda and was could be expected to supply the terrorist net with weapons, particularly WMDs.

On the first point, Saddam was not cooperating with UN weapons inspectors, and there was intelligence from Iraqi dissidents that such weapons existed and were being hidden from inspectors. However, the total failure to find any such weapons indicates an intelligence failure in this case.
Further, I suspect (I cannot prove) that the evidence was selectively presented and dressed up to make a case for war, rather than impartially delivered to the public. This may be a case where the administration used the evidence to manipulate public oppinion rather than to form policy. This speaks to the trustworthiness of this, or any, administration to determine when is a good time to strike premtively.

On the second point, there were no links between al Qaeda and Iraq, other than a common hatred of the US. al Qaeda is a religious organization dedicated to creating theocracies in the Middle East. Iraq was a secular thugocracy, hated by al Qaeda. Links, such as these: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/09/25/us.iraq.alqaeda/
did not exist: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3027234.stm or http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-07-13-bush-alqaeda_x.htm

Without links to al Qaeda, no weapons program is sufficient justification for an attack. Pakistan has the bomb; North Korea either has it or will soon get it; Isreal and China both have substantial nuclear arsenals and the means to deliver.
So, Iraq posed no threat to the US.

3)
High economic cost

It was, and continues to be, an expensive operation that pulled resources away from improving/rebuilding Afganistan, and other things we, as a nation, should be more concerned about.

The Taliban supported al Qaeda, and needed to be removed. However, the chaos, lack of order, and destroyed infrastructure in Afganistan that existed before the Taliban came to power and facilitated their rise still exists. It is a major, just, necessary, and long term undertaking to rebuild Afganistan as a nation. If we don't do this, Afganistan will remain a potential breeding ground for heroin production and fundamentalist terrorists. In the intrests of national security, that is where we need to be focusing our efforts. It is thought that bin Laden is still in Afganistan. With more resources in the area, we might have captured him by now, and done great damage to the al Qaeda network.

I don't really know how much money has been spent on the war in Iraq, or how much will be spent all told. Here is a recent AP article about the potential cost: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/8153668.htm?1c
In any case, this is hundreds of billions of dollars.
The baby boomers are set to retire in the near future, calling in their social security benefits. Even reduced, this will be a tereble strain on the federal budget. This is not a good time to be incurring debt to finance a war (unless absolutely necessary).

Sorry about the length of the post, and I'm sure alot of it is just rehashing old material. Besides which, it is too late to get out now.

However, I saw Krishna's post about protests, and some of the responses, and figured I'd put my view out there.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: phi1618]
    #2451538 - 03/19/04 02:33 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

:thumbup: Excellent point-by-point analysis.  Couldn't have said it better myself.  This should turn out to be an interesting debate.


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


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


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InvisibleGijith
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: phi1618]
    #2451560 - 03/19/04 02:40 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Agreed 100 percent, phi. Well done. I can't imagine a strong argument against your logic.


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Invisibleafoaf
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: silversoul7]
    #2451561 - 03/19/04 02:41 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

no, it won't.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: afoaf]
    #2451565 - 03/19/04 02:43 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

afoaf said:
no, it won't.



Ok, it'll be an interesting debate if pinksharkmark plays a bigger part in it than TOYK.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: phi1618]
    #2451640 - 03/19/04 03:19 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

and legitamite government

Not too sure about this. Chalabi is after all a CIA-backed stooge and convicted embezzler. With 31 convictions for embezzlement, theft, misuse of depositor funds and currency speculation to his name he's a guy who absconded with $70 to $200 million of other people's money. (It's hard to say exactly how much Chalabi left with, but Jordan's central bank was forced to pump $164 million into Chalabi's Petra bank to keep it afloat.)

With a guy like that in charge, it's hard to see there being anything legitimate about it. The Americans havn't chosen him as their puppet because he's going to "free" the Iraqi people that's for sure.

Be interesting to see if he makes any state visits to Jordan - he's got 22 years hard labour to serve the moment he steps foot there.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: Xlea321]
    #2451683 - 03/19/04 03:31 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

You're probably right, but when I say "a chance that Iraq will get a good, stable, not too hostile to the US, and legitamite government", I'm thinking in an eventual sense. In 5 or 10 years, when Iraq has an elected government independent of the American occupation, it could be a tolerable one. Maybe not, but I ceartainly hope it works out for the better, and I seriously doubt that the government will be quite as bad as Hussain.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: phi1618]
    #2451713 - 03/19/04 03:41 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

We can only hope.

One peice of news that will surely comfort the Iraqi people...Chalabi is going to be "advisor" to the Ministry of Finance  :eyemouth:


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: Xlea321]
    #2453035 - 03/19/04 11:55 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Herein lies the problem. The "new" government being set-up will be of a type and run by those who are pleasing to Washington, else it will not be permitted. Fuck the "will of the Iraqi" people. Of course, the factions left with no voice will become terrorists. And the cycle can repeat ad infinitum...

Swami will wager that civil war and occupation will continue for five years minimum. This fiasco is going to haunt us for decades in monetary loss, lives lost and international ill-will.


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



The proof is in the pudding.


Edited by Swami (03/20/04 05:20 AM)


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: Swami]
    #2453051 - 03/20/04 12:06 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Swami will wager that civil war will and occupation will continue for five years minimum.



Is this another official Swami wager? How much are you wagering?


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InvisibleSwami
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: silversoul7]
    #2453083 - 03/20/04 12:22 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

As this is not metaphysical, I will wager dinner & a movie.  :tongue2:


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



The proof is in the pudding.


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Offlinem0rb
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: phi1618]
    #2453156 - 03/20/04 01:04 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

nicely done!
...bravo!



-m0rb -


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Offlinevalour
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: Swami]
    #2453282 - 03/20/04 02:34 AM (12 years, 8 months ago)

I've disagreed with lots I've seen Swami say before in the past, but not this time.
I'd not bet against that. :P

Well stated, phi. Well stated.


--------------------
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I didn't sell out-
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OfflineTheOneYouKnow
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: phi1618]
    #2453962 - 03/20/04 12:32 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

phi1618 said:
Are the Iraqi people better off now than before?
Right now, maybe, maybe not. Most are probably quite happy that Saddam is gone, but there are still problems with basic services and security. These are improving with time, and, from the news, things seem to be getting better.




Seems to me that all of the hospitals are open, the schools are open, the power is on, the water is running, etc. Plus, noone is getting gassed en masse anymore.
Quote:


Although there are inherent (ethnic) problems with Iraq as a nation, there seems to be a chance that Iraq will get a good, stable, not too hostile to the US, and legitamite government. This would be a good thing, and make the world a better place. Time will tell on this front.




Agreed.
Quote:


So, what's the problem?




Whiny liberals that support Semen Splatterer bombing Iraq for the same reasons that bush did, but hate the fact that bush did it? That sounds like a problem to me, at the least, a gigantic incongruity.
Quote:


In order to justify an attack on Iraq under Article 51 of the UN Charter (an international agreement in which the United States is a partner), the reason for the attack had to be self-defense. The Bush administration, in the aftermath of September 11th, and in an age of nuclear weapons, decided that the fact that a nation poses a future threat is enough to call an attack on them self-defense.




Iraq was also a "member" (not a partner) of the UN. The UN is a voluntary organization, we can do as we please. The UN was given how many years to ensure that Iraq had no WMD's, and they failed. We did it in a year. Why do you keep referring to the Bush administration and their failed intelligence, but not referrring to past administraions failed intelligence? When you take in to account that the same intelligence agencies that told Bush about WMD programs that lead to war also gave information to Semen Splatterer(have you guessed who that is, yet), it really takes away from the bush/cheney/oil issue. Not that you mentioned that, I'm just saying, bad intelligence is just that, bad intelligence. It's not a "lie" and it's not coercion.
Quote:


However, I think it is a dangerous precedent because it is not always clear who poses a direct threat to the US when we are not actually under attack. The War in the Phillipines and the Vietnam war were both fought to surpress potential threats. Due to the nature of politics, and the fact that most people who become president are power-hungry egomaniacs, I do not trust the present or any future administration to decide who is an iminent threat to America without the prima facia evidence provided by an actual attack.




So we should always be reactive, rather than proactive? Personally I'd rather see 50 shithole third world dictatorships get bombed out of existance than see one American get murdered by a savage Muslim.
Quote:


The proof that Iraq posed an imminent threat to the United States was twofold:
First, Iraq posessed and was hiding possesion of Weapons of Mass Destruction.




When you give someone an item, and they use that item, then they tell you they destroyed that item, but won't le you verify it's destruction, it's really really hard to belive them. Especially when the "them" in question has gigantic palaces built for him and his pedophillic sons while the populace starves.
Quote:


Second, Iraq had links to al Qaeda and was could be expected to supply the terrorist net with weapons, particularly WMDs.




I'm sketchy on this one. I don't really know what was said by teh administration as Saddam and AlQ were related, so I can't answer this without the possibility o fputting my foot in my mouth.
Quote:


On the first point, Saddam was not cooperating with UN weapons inspectors, and there was intelligence from Iraqi dissidents that such weapons existed and were being hidden from inspectors. However, the total failure to find any such weapons indicates an intelligence failure in this case.




And in previous cases, such as the semen splatterer administration's bombing of Iraq.
Quote:


Further, I suspect (I cannot prove) that the evidence was selectively presented and dressed up to make a case for war, rather than impartially delivered to the public. This may be a case where the administration used the evidence to manipulate public oppinion rather than to form policy. This speaks to the trustworthiness of this, or any, administration to determine when is a good time to strike premtively.




Going with the singular evidence that I have, we know that Iraq had them, we know that they used them, and we know that, even when faced with economic sanctions and war, they didn't allow us to verify their claim that they destroyed them. Going JUST from that series fo facts, I find it hard to believe that Saddam doesn't have WMD's. Before the war, people was asking for "more time" (I guess 12 years isn't quite enough), noone was saying that he DIDNT have them.
Quote:


On the second point, there were no links between al Qaeda and Iraq, other than a common hatred of the US. al Qaeda is a religious organization dedicated to creating theocracies in the Middle East. Iraq was a secular thugocracy, hated by al Qaeda. Links, such as these: http://www.cnn.com/2002/US/09/25/us.iraq.alqaeda/
did not exist: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/3027234.stm or http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-07-13-bush-alqaeda_x.htm




I'd rather be safe than sorry. If ONE person working at a place where Ebola Zaire was being weaponized was an Al-Q supporter, they could have had it.
Quote:


Without links to al Qaeda, no weapons program is sufficient justification for an attack. Pakistan has the bomb; North Korea either has it or will soon get it; Isreal and China both have substantial nuclear arsenals and the means to deliver.
So, Iraq posed no threat to the US.




Now that we have had unhindered access to Iraq, the statment that you made is quite easy to make. Since we didn't have that access before, and since 3,000 peopel died and countless people have suffered because of it, I think it's better to err on the side of caution.
Quote:


It was, and continues to be, an expensive operation that pulled resources away from improving/rebuilding Afganistan, and other things we, as a nation, should be more concerned about.




I'm sure that once we get the oil pumping, we can recoup our losses. Plus, what do you mean by "Cost"? We are paying companies to build weapons, to build bombs, to have the troops fed, clothed, etc. They are American companies doing that, thus making jobs and such.
Quote:


The Taliban supported al Qaeda, and needed to be removed. However, the chaos, lack of order, and destroyed infrastructure in Afganistan that existed before the Taliban came to power and facilitated their rise still exists. It is a major, just, necessary, and long term undertaking to rebuild Afganistan as a nation. If we don't do this, Afganistan will remain a potential breeding ground for heroin production and fundamentalist terrorists. In the intrests of national security, that is where we need to be focusing our efforts. It is thought that bin Laden is still in Afganistan. With more resources in the area, we might have captured him by now, and done great damage to the al Qaeda network.




I don't think that we are taking resources away from Afg to put into Iraq. Can you demonstrate that we are removing resources from Afg to put them into Iraq? A friends fatherj ust got hs guard unit activated and hes going to Afg.
Quote:


I don't really know how much money has been spent on the war in Iraq, or how much will be spent all told. Here is a recent AP article about the potential cost: http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/8153668.htm?1c
In any case, this is hundreds of billions of dollars.




Yea, it's sad really how much money we have to spend. But I don't think that it's really an issue, if we didn't spend money on this, we'd be spending it somewhere else, possibly on *ugh* "social programs".



All in all, a well written article. It's a hard issue to have a "real truth" on. I think it's sad that our troops are dying in Iraq. However, the true goal of this war was to do what years of UN pussyfooting did't do, that was to ENSURE without a doubt that Iraq was disarmed of their weapons of mass destruction. We did that. Mission Accomplished. Now, if we "westernize" those primative beasts, maybe their neighbors might see that being in a western society is a bit better than being shit poor, and want to join in on the boat for the big win. Maybe not.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2454136 - 03/20/04 01:54 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Now, if we "westernize" those primative beasts

So they become more like you?  :rolleyes:


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OfflineTheOneYouKnow
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: Xlea321]
    #2454167 - 03/20/04 02:05 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:
Now, if we "westernize" those primative beasts

So they become more like you?  :rolleyes:




I'd be happy if they were given the right to become what ever they wanted, even if they become like you.


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Offlinephi1618
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2454380 - 03/20/04 03:07 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

TOYK said:
"I'm sure that once we get the oil pumping, we can recoup our losses. Plus, what do you mean by "Cost"? We are paying companies to build weapons, to build bombs, to have the troops fed, clothed, etc. They are American companies doing that, thus making jobs and such."

Most of our expenditures in the war on Iraq were payed to American servicemen or American or allied companies, which produced jobs.
However, the products made by these people did not beneifit the American people.

Our government borrowed money, much of it from the Chinese, to pay Americans to make weapons, blow them up overseas, and the reconstruct what we blew up.
This money had other potential uses.

In the realm of security, money spent reconstrucing Afghanistan (fixing things we didn't break) is a more beneficial expenditure, because it has the potential to seriously disrupt Al Qaeda's network and eliminate Afghanistan as a future breeding ground for terrorism, and reduce its economic dependence on heroin production.
More significantly, there is a major governmental expense in the near future as baby boomers start to retire and draw on their social security. Now is not a good time to be going into debt.

We will not recoup our losses. We're still going to have to pay Iraq for the oil mined there, and they are still going to be members of OPEC.

Additionally, much of the money is lost to governmental inefficiency and private sector overcharges.



Here is a good article on the Iraq-al Qaeda connection:
http://www.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/meast/03/11/Iraq.Qaeda.link/



"Now, if we "westernize" those primative beasts, maybe their neighbors might see that being in a western society is a bit better than being shit poor, and want to join in on the boat for the big win."

There has been progress on that front in neighboring countries, particularly Iran, indpendant of our military action in the area. However, internal reformers face entrenched regimes that are well financed by oil money, so change is likely to be slow.

Although I find the instability, rampant Muslim fundamentalism, and dictatorial regimes (such as Saudi Arabias) in the Middle East distressing, I object to the use of the term "primative beasts", which implies that the difference between our society and theirs is genetically driven.
It is important to realize that (assuming you're a WASP, more or less), our ansestors did not build the culture we benefit from single handedly.
At some other time, I will be happy to discuss some history with you, particulary the contributions of Arabs to Western mathematics and art, and the history of the various Muslim empires. It was not until well into the Enlightenment (and corresponding decline in the power of the Church in Western Europe), that European culture established a clear scientific, political, and military edge over the Middle East.
Are you aware that the Ottoman empire didn't peak until the sixteenth or seventeeth century?
Our present strength is an (almost ceartainly temporary) accident of history, not to be confused with inherant superiority.



Regardless, I believe that our differences here stem largely from a difference in values and allegiance than in logic.

"So we should always be reactive, rather than proactive? Personally I'd rather see 50 shithole third world dictatorships get bombed out of existance than see one American get murdered by a savage Muslim."

The fact is, I have met several Muslims (sand-niggers, if you'd prefer) I would trust further than I trust Bush, or Clinton for that matter.


Logic requires premises. If we begin from different premises, we can reach different conclusions based on equally sound reasoning.


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InvisibleGijith
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: TheOneYouKnow]
    #2454712 - 03/20/04 04:38 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Quote:

TheOneYouKnow said:
So we should always be reactive, rather than proactive? Personally I'd rather see 50 shithole third world dictatorships get bombed out of existance than see one American get murdered by a savage Muslim.





Let's really think about what you're saying here. You seem to be proposing that in order to protect American lives, we need to bomb the fuck out of other countries. "Third World Dictatorships." I can only assume that under your plan, our commander in chief would be solely responsible for deciding which world governmants fit this definition and in what order they'll be destroyed.
So what we would have is a single man who is able to do the following:
1. Wake up one morning and decide he finds a country to be a threat.
2. Without any hard evidence to back this assumption up, decide that this country needs to be bombed and its government overthrown.
3. Give the order.
These are the powers I assume you are alocating to the President of the United States. In your world view, would the US be the only country on Earth that has the right to do this? If so, why?
If not, what countries should have the right to behave like this? What critera must they meet and who would regulate who gets to preemptively bomb who (I'm gonna assume you're not a big fan of the UN)?
Write back.  :heart:

PS: You're Racist.


Edited by Gijith (03/20/04 10:28 PM)


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Offlinevalour
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Re: Why the war in Iraq was a mistake [Re: Gijith]
    #2455525 - 03/20/04 10:12 PM (12 years, 8 months ago)

Heh, good luck.
Out of ther outspoken people on that side of the issue, many can argue points and look at things without devolving into utter hyperbole, bigotry and ad hominem.
This one is apparently their court jester.


--------------------
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I didn't sell out-
I bought in."


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