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Iraq war ‘largely about oil’

Posted By Sunny On 16th September, 2007 @ 6:40 pm In Current affairs, United States, Middle East | Comments Disabled

Whatever their publicized angst over Saddam Hussein’s ‘weapons of mass destruction,’ American and British authorities were also concerned about violence in an area that harbors a resource indispensable for the functioning of the world economy.

I’m saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: The Iraq war is largely about oil.

So says some left-wing conspiracy theorist. Oh no, wait….. it was said this weekend by life-long Republican and former chairman of the US Federal Reserve - [1] Alan Greenspan. Clearly Greenspan has become anti-American in recent years. Damn him and the left-wing propaganda machine!

Postscript: I think it’s worth acknowledging that many people did genuinely support the war on humanitarian grounds rather than oil/WMD reasons. Clearly people had their own reasons for supporting or opposing the invasion of Iraq / Afghanistan. For example, I supported the removal of the Taliban in Afghanistan but believed, like Dick Cheney [2] acknowledged a while back, that going into Iraq would not only make things worse. Plus, the media / political narrative in support of the Iraqi invasion had so many holes that there was this overwhelming feeling that other reasons were at play. So my point is, what Greenspan belatedly acknowledges reflects more on the Bush administration rather than all Iraq war supporters.

Further update: More on the [3] Wall Street Journal (cheers Riz!)

Tell me about your views on the importance of deposing Saddam.
My view of the second Gulf War was that getting Saddam out of there was very important, but had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it had to do with oil. My view of Saddam over the 20 years … was that he was very critically moving towards control of the Strait of Hormuz and as a consequence of that, control of the oil market. His purpose would be very much similar to [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez’s actions and I think it would be very dangerous for us. So getting him out to me seemed a very important priority.

Did you share this view with Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld?
Oh yeah.

Do you think it influenced the Administration’s decision to invade Iraq?
Their decision had been made prior to my discussions with them. My recollection is that someone said, ‘We can’t deal with oil because it’s a major political problem’ [because both Bush and Cheney came from the oil industry]. But it was not Cheney or Rumsfeld.


Comments Disabled To "Iraq war ‘largely about oil’"

#1 Comment By Leon On 16th September, 2007 @ 7:13 pm

As the saying goes, the truth will out. I wonder what contortions the Eustonite/Neo Con/warmongering lobby will have to do to spin this one?

#2 Comment By El Cid On 16th September, 2007 @ 7:23 pm

You took your time Sunny!
Greenspan’s credibility is clearly huge.
I still don’t believe Blair saw it that way, but I’m not sure we’ll ever know for sure.

#3 Comment By Random Guy On 16th September, 2007 @ 9:26 pm

Oh Dear. And here I was about to give up on convincing people who should know better that this was about the dollar bill right from the start…

#4 Comment By soru On 16th September, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

Looks to me like retroactive spin. There were no significant wmd, there is not going to be a nice liberal democracy any time soon, and Iraq is certainly not making america directly safer from al qaeda and co.

However, it does have oil, so if you say you supported the war for that reason, you look like less of an idiot. Just steer the topic away from ‘why didn’t we buy the oil from saddam, then?’

War for oil doesn’t actually make any rational sense, but it is a sellable line: supporting it make you sound like a hard ass. Certainly, it seems to have been what most americans were actually voting for when they supported the war: the decline in public supprt for the war (from 75%) doesn’t track casualties or failures or atrocities, it tracks the rise in the oil price, almost exactly.

#5 Comment By Sid On 16th September, 2007 @ 9:52 pm

Alan Greenspan is God. And God is right.

#6 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:42 am

Soru,

War for oil makes some sort of rational sense if you assume that Iraq intended to sell oil to everyone except the USA, denominated in Euros. If what you say here is true;

doesn’t track casualties or failures or atrocities, it tracks the rise in the oil price, almost exactly

it is so sad for all our futures.

#7 Comment By tfi On 17th September, 2007 @ 8:01 am

Hardly breaking news from Alan. You don’t need to spend long looking at peak oil theory to see that over the next 50 years we are going to have a big oil problem and the smart move is to act sooner rather than later. An army needs oil to move.

As for buying the oil from Saddam, I don’t really think that deserves an answer.

TFI

#8 Comment By tfi On 17th September, 2007 @ 8:01 am

Hardly breaking news from Alan. You don’t need to spend long looking at peak oil theory to see that over the next 50 years we are going to have a big oil problem and the smart move is to act sooner rather than later. An army needs oil to move.

As for buying the oil from Saddam, I don’t really think that deserves an answer.

TFI

#9 Comment By tfi On 17th September, 2007 @ 8:02 am

stupid phone.

#10 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 8:23 am

“As for buying the oil from Saddam, I don’t really think that deserves an answer.”

I think it does. The USA seemed to go into action roughly when SH thought selling oil in Euros might be tickety boo. Explain, please.

On another note, why is the blessed Leons’ explanation of capturing text, in red, no longer working? I cannot understand why it: , doesn’t work anymore.

The bookmark, anti bookmark isn’t showing in this text. What is going on? Leon? (Fuck me, now it is. Honest, it wasn’t a moment ago.)

Clearly, Leons educational sessions have fallen on deaf ears. Err mine.

Leon, please help.

#11 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 8:26 am

Leon,

The anti bookmark didn’t appear in the above. As you are very intelligent, I’ll assume you’ll understand what I’m talking about, even if it doesn’t appear here. What the hell is going on?

#12 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 9:30 am

W.r.t the update by Sunny, I don’t see how the hell anyone can support a war for ‘humanitarian’ reasons. Is that an oxymoron or what? Deal with the reality please. These wars were initiated for oil (both Afghanistan and Iraq) without a doubt. To turn around and point to any humanitarian reasons is to justify the murder of all the innocents and destruction of the infrastructure.

Anyone misguided enough to have supported either of these conflicts need only look at the situation now, on the ground, in either place. Is it better? I don’t think so.

#13 Comment By The Common Humanist On 17th September, 2007 @ 9:33 am

It has to be recognised that an awful lot of people simply thought the Iraqis had suffered enough and deserved the Worlds help.

Calling such people ‘warmongers’ is more then a tad myopic and seems to have more to do with the accusers sense of self then any reasonable justification.

I wouldn’t call the many many good people on the anti war demos baathists or totalitareans.

Which brings us to the truly baffling point - how did a supposedly educated, sophisticated group of decision makers come to the conclusion that if they invaded a country, deposed the dictator everything else would just fall into place? Democracy would bloom, ethnic / religious hatreds would whither etc.

I had my first ‘oh fuck’ moment at the end of March 2003…a retired US General was on News 24 decrying the small number of troops and how impossible it would be to provide security for Iraqis and the UN to organise elections etc. Boy did that turn out to be prescient. Where the mainstream media completely failed to do was pick up on that pre-war. Perhaps this is not suprising after we learn that the US Govt hid its lack of post war plans from the UK GOvt till after the initial war fighting stage. Nice one Dick and George.

#14 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 9:59 am

Random Guy,

Dunno. I think the war against the idiots in Afghanistan was completely justified. I’ll go into detail later, if you want. Where the West, and it was most of us, failed completely in Afghanistan, was in following through.

Anyway, Afghanistan was justifiable on the simple grounds that they refused to give up OBL. Which was why most folk thought they were mad lunatics and provided troops to deal with this insanity. That the lunatic regeime in power in Afghanistan, were protecing another lunatic, OBL, is perhaps, undeniable.

Which justifies the war, but obviously not the peace. The total lack of post war planning that we are all to happy to accuse the Yanks of in Iraq has its precursor in Afghanistan. Rather than sort out the mess that was post invasion Afghanisan, the genius that is American judgement decided to lie and create a war against Iraq as well. Which multiplies their obility to fail, squared.

I hope you see what I mean. Afghanistan was argueably justifiable. The consequences are not.

#15 Comment By Rumbold On 17th September, 2007 @ 10:01 am

Douglas:

“Dunno. I think the war against the idiots in Afghanistan was completely justified. I’ll go into detail later, if you want. Where the West, and it was most of us, failed completely in Afghanistan, was in following through.”

I agree; most commanders are saying that the Afghan war is winnable, so we should concentrate on that. Winning will also help prop up Pakistan, the only power in the Muslim world with nuclear weapons (for the moment), and which is under threat from Islamists.

#16 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 10:24 am

Rumbold,

Thanks, but that is not exactly what I am saying. Sure, we should concentrate out resources on Afghanistan. We should do our best to turn it into a democracy, where women have the vote, etc. What I am trying to say is that Iraq was a huge mistake.

We needed to sort out Afghanistan first before we went anywhere else. We had to prove we could manage the peace as well as the war. I am delighted to read your comment that it is still winnable. It would have been winnable from day one if politicians had backed up their rhetoric with money. I think.

I am quite angry about the switch, or extension, of targets from Afghanistan to Iraq and potentially Iran. There are certain nutcases out there that would see the attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki as justification for a first strike. This, sadly, is the nutcase world you and I live in. What can be done about it?

#17 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 10:31 am

War for oil makes some sort of rational sense if you assume that Iraq intended to sell oil to everyone except the USA, denominated in Euros.

No, really, that doesn’t make any sense: in a market, supplying most of the demand of one customer has the same effect on price as supplying part of the demand of all customers. And transaction costs to change dollars to euros are minute.

There are some issues around seignorage’, but those are pretty minor (a few billion a year).

The only serious economic issues are related to arms sales: as long as Iraq has a US/UK trained army, it will predominantly be buying US and UK arms. That would actually change if the war were to end up with it having a jihadist or Iranian-trained army. Arms are not sold according to market rules, but on long term exclusive contracts. Arms megaprofits don’t come from innovation or cost cutting, but the successful use of bribery and politics. Arms companies are the ones who actually do have the government contacts oil companies can only dream of.

I can see why that obvious fact was never mentioned by war supporters: many people will support a war for oil, especially if it is subtly hinted at, not presented openly. The best trick is to prominently deny it, so people assume you are lying.

Noone will support a war for the sake of selling weapons, but everyone who fills up their tank moans when the price goes up.

I’ve never quite understood why apparent war opponents are so bent on persuading people that a war would be in their interest.

Now that mistake looks to be coming back to bite them. Greenspan [4] says:


From a rational point of view, I cannot understand why we don’t name what is evident and indeed a wholly defensible pre-emptive position

Feel free to agree with him, if you think it is a good idea to help the Republicans persuade the american public that an ongoing occupation is in their best interests.

#18 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 10:51 am

The writing was on the wall by March 2003, that’s certainly true. That’s when we saw reports that civil institutions such as the police force, the military, the judiciary, ministries etc had been disbanded and left open for looting. However the only pre-War institutions that had US army protection were the Ministery of Oil in Baghdad and the oil refineries in the south and the north.

Oil also underpinned the creation of the Development Fund for Iraq. Which means that the financing of the destruction and “rebuilding” of Iraq would be financed by Iraqi Oil. If there no no exit-plan for the US military Invasion, there were certainly detailed plans on the financial execution of the Occupation. In other words, had there been no oil there would have been no [cue awkward noise of long suppressed fart] “Humanitarian Intervention”.

#19 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 10:53 am

Which brings us to the truly baffling point - how did a supposedly educated, sophisticated group of decision makers come to the conclusion that if they invaded a country, deposed the dictator everything else would just fall into place? Democracy would bloom, ethnic / religious hatreds would whither etc.

precisely!that’s what i find interesting about all this.

#20 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 10:57 am

the fact that people had well-meaning intentions is a bit of an aside now really, (unfortunate though that is)

the question is - we know the cycle or some variation of it will happen again - what can we learn from this? given the war rumblings, i foresee soon there will be talk of “liberating” the Iranians, and expecting them to welcome US bombs with open arms and flinging of abayahs to the wind.

#21 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:01 am

Dear Douglas,

To be honest, my opposition and anger at what has happened in these wars is based completely on the destruction and murder perpetrated by the UK and US governments. I am sure you have many valid points about the regimes etc., and my comments should not in any way be interpreted as being supportive of them. In fact it has nothing to with them at all. Just like the wars which were initiated on the behalf of the Afghan population had nothing to do with them per se, but rather had a lot to do with public opinion in the U.S. post 9/11, and the Caspian oil pipeline.

And can you honestly say that OBL not being “given up” by the population (I am sure the thousands and thousands who died actually had a say in that) was cause enough to go to war?

Anyway, I am just playing the same old tune. Someone has to. The world today is much worse thanks to these 2 wars. And the 2 countries in particular, are in a very abysmal situation.

#22 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:07 am

i think douglas’s point about the potential trading of oil in euros is too often overlooked. it provides a crucial dimension - explains the timing etc. and most people know jack about how the monetary system, (including myself) but i know its significant -much more relevant - than it seems.

#23 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:09 am

intriguingly, the iranians have been shifting their currency reserves into euros.

#24 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:24 am

i foresee soon there will be talk of “liberating” the Iranians, and expecting them to welcome US bombs with open arms

That’s nonsense, I doubt there is a roomfull of people in the US to whom you could make that claim in a speech and not get laughed at.

Justification of any Iran war will have to be different. If they are going to be successful in persuading sufficient people another war is necessary, then will have to come up with some argument that you and I would find at least a little bit persuasive.

If I was in charge of coming up with that justification, I would pick ‘No bullshit: this is a war for oil’ as a tagline. Follow it up with ‘we are not here to liberate; we are here to kill the enemy, take what they have, and make it ours’. Andrew Jackson probably said something similar, and he won at least two elections.

I think you could probably get 40% or more approval in key demographics with a campaign along those lines. Which is a hell of a lot more than the 0.1% a ‘liberate Iran’ slogan would be bought by.

#25 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:34 am

intriguingly, the iranians have been shifting their currency reserves into euros.

Doesn’t that make more sense as an incentive for the europeans to oppose sanctions than as an iranian attempt to persuade the US to invade them?

#26 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:36 am

I think you’re starting to get tangled by your own wordplay.

#27 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:37 am

well i don’t know what it means soru - but it has a lot of implications.

i was suggesting a link between why the Americans have again been stepping u p pressure on the Iranians. i don’t know that the iranians are looking to be invaded ( though of course the American govt is largely self-centred & thinks its the centre of the world and everyone does things only in relation to them) im sure they had their fill of war in the bloody iraq-iran war.

#28 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:39 am

i dont mind getting laughed at soru, i would have thought the focus would be more on what the US can say or do without getting laughed at. i would have thought the US wouldn’t be able to make rumblings of war after its recent debacles without getting laughed at, but hey.

#29 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:41 am

of course i hope it never gets to that stage precisely because people will turn around and cackle - (and i’m hoping senior military commanders will be doing most of the giggling.

“iran - what? who are we goign to send in? we haven’t got anyone left.”

#30 Comment By sonia On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:47 am

and i hope Soru’s right, if that argument is used, its much easier to criticise without having to debunk the honeyed codswallop of alleged democracy boosting and human-rights protection facade.

#31 Comment By justforfun On 17th September, 2007 @ 11:55 am

Are there any books on the way war has been funded down the ages?

Britain defeated the the French in the first global war by inventing the national debt and by having the political stability to borrow against its future. In so doing it had ooooodles of treasure to buy the co-operation of allies to fight the French on continental Europe.

Skip forward 200 years and now the US has taken this a step forward and is now funding its wars with others people’s future earnings. This is a neat trick.

There is now a serious disconnect in the modern Anglo-Saxon method of war. We (those of us who have no relatives killed or wounded) have suffered no cost for this war, and when there is no cost there is no critical analysis. We need to get back to “making war” a decision of last resort, which in all its horror it really must be.

What suggestions would people have to make the “re-connect” with the cost of war. £1000 up front from every citizen for every month that soldiers are on active service? Would that be an incentive to politians to make sure the war was quick and not drawn out and focus their minds on what is really required.

Ideas welcome.

Like Green taxes are meant to influence our behaviour and are to be used to mitigate the results of our decisions - do we need to have War Taxes for the same purpose?

Justforfun

#32 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

Random Guy,

Hi. I do not condone war. I think war is the last resort. I think that the government in Afghanistan was naive, if not actaually culpabile. Whatever you think about 9/11, it was an act of war.

And an act of war is inevitably going to reap revenge.

Consequently, harbouring Osama Bin Laden was going to wreak such revenge. It is at this point that I that split from the consensus narrative. Sure, we had to take out a state that believed itself immune to harbouring a terrorist.

What we ought to have done, and there were western politicians standing up, saying it, we ought to have rebuilt that country. We did not do that. Repeat, we did not do it.

That might have taken five years or ten, or even twenty. We should have taken the time. We should have sorted it. That is what I am saying.

Why the hell we subsequently attacked Iraq is completely beyond my understanding.

Fix one issue, that I can agree with. Kill circa 650,000 Iraqis, WTF?

What is the narrative? What are we being told to believe?

#33 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 12:49 pm

Sid @ 18,

Well, now you know why I hate, repeat hate, some Americans. They are blind to the evil that they do.

#34 Comment By Rumbold On 17th September, 2007 @ 12:56 pm

Attacking Iran would be a mistake.

#35 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

Rumbold,

What would be even more of a mistake would be to use nuclear weapons against them. Some folk might, after the event, see it as justified. Some folk would be clearly mad:

[5] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2142253,00.html

This is our Dr Strangelove.

#36 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

Oliver Kamm is the author of Anti-Totalitarianism: the Left-Wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy

hahahahahaha!
ahhahhahahaahahaha!
hahahahahaha!
ahahhahahahahahahahha!

#37 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:18 pm

hahahahahhahahahaha!

#38 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:25 pm

Sid,

Yes. He is a compelte and utter idiot. A Madeleine Bunting de nos jours. And they get paid?

Fortunately, no-one takes them seriously.

#39 Comment By Rumbold On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

Douglas:

There is quite strong evidence to suggest that the US weas justified in dropping the atomic bombs, since it was the option that would probably result in the least deaths. Had the Americans opted for an invasion the Japanese might well have fought to the death, causing the deaths of millions more and allowing Stalin to gain a foothold in that region. The decision should never be celebrated, but it can be rationally explained.

I do not think that the same conditions apply to Iran, which is why it would not be justified.

Sid:

?

#40 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:31 pm

Douglas, nothing and I repeat, nothing, was worth killing those many people over. Time and again, the U.S. has shown that they reap what they sow. Bombing Afghanistan was a huge mistake and it will constantly be an almighty thorn in the UK/US’s backside.

You do not bring peace by invading a different country and killing innocent people.

You say “an act of war is inevitably going to reap revenge”. The U.S. has been committing acts of war around the world for so long, did they not experience revenge? What act of war did the Afghan governement perpetrate? Give me a break.

#41 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:45 pm

Skip forward 200 years and now the US has taken this a step forward and is now funding its wars with others people’s future earnings. This is a neat trick.

Actually, the US funds it’s wars as a nationalised part of it’s entertainment industry. Sort of like a live-action BBC.

There is, as I said above, a bit of cross-subsidy from the arms industry, but public subscription is by far the main money source. People vote for politicians who deliver entertaining and morally educational wars, vote out politicians who spend money on less interesting things.

Which is why, when those wars go overbudget and the audience loses track of the plot, they get cancelled.

Depending on who you listen to, the Iraq war is 1% or 2% of US gdp, either way small compared to Hollywood in general, if off the charts for a single film series, even Harry Potter. The key phrase is [6] theatrical micromilitarism.

#42 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 1:53 pm

Rumbold,

I absolutely hate apologists for nuclear bombs.

Especially those that think that what happened in 1945 was OK.

I think that nuclear weapons systems move the battlefield away from armys to civillians, much like the Second World War did.

The reach that ‘Bomber Harris’ and his ilk achieved was to see civilians as the enemy. And to blow them up. V1’s and V2’s anybody?

The point being that Sid is probably right on a practical perspecive, whilst losing any sort of moral viewpoint.

#43 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:01 pm

There is a theory that if you get all the movies and plays about the vietam war and played them back to back it would last longer than the period of the vietam war.

TFI

#44 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:07 pm

No no Douglas! I’m with you totally on this. I was having a laugh at the title “Left-Wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy”. Even reading it makes me laugh. It might have looked sexy in 2004 but that title looks utterly foolish and lacking of any credibility now. The man’s a complete fuckwit.

#45 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

The man’s a complete fuckwit.

How easily you identify them Sid, its like you have inside knowledge or something.

TFI

#46 Comment By Sunny On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:14 pm

Random Guy, it is my belief that unless America took out the Taliban, sooner or later their activities would lead to a war between India and Pakistan. That was my bigger worry.

Anyway, I think you’re pre-supposing many things about those on the left who supported the war, in similar ways to how many neo-cons make assumptions about Muslims. A bad idea in both cases, no?

#47 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

Sid,

How right you are, post 44. Thank God. We agree! Must be a first time?

The man is indeed mental.

#48 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

#45 - I’m not a X-man mutant TFI, no special powers. Like you, I have a brain, the power of discernment and I can read. I leave the ambiguous punditry to the fuckwits.

#49 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:29 pm

Sid,

You do not need to pretend you aren’t a hero. You bloody well are. Probably the Japanese guy…

#50 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:30 pm

Douglas, please. D’ya know how long it’s taken me to build my cover?

#51 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:39 pm

If you used you brain a little harder you might notice I was implying that you are a fuckwit.

Besides Rumbolds has a point. The two A bombs bought an abrupt end to the second world war at a terrible cost. Since then they have been largely responsible for long periods of peace. If you compare the deaths by small arms and compare that to deaths via WMD, you’d see that nukes are lagging well behind. Mark Thomas has a good book discussing this fact.

Of course if you read Freakonomics you’d know that more children get killed by swiming pools than playing with hand guns. The author theorises that

Public outcry = (likehood of event) * (shock)

I’m no CND member and I’d much rather that the genocidal dictor in Iran didn’t get hold them - how about you?

TFI

#52 Comment By Leon On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

Whatever you think about 9/11, it was an act of war.

By whom? Exactly what nation was behind it?

I opposed the Afghan invasion as much as I opposed the Iraq one.

It’s not about [international] criminal justice, it’s not about humanitarian intervention, it’s not about revenge it’s about full spectrum domination (and note this isn’t an ‘Anti US’ position; any nation that becomes a hyper power would aim for the same).

#53 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

OMG, how cool is this:

[7] Google search directly in Freakonomics!

TFI

#54 Comment By justforfun On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

Soru - has this war actually gone over budget? Isn’t the money being spent just going straight back to the USA.

Taking your movie theme, the war could of course be just a clever method of generating in a new set ’story lines’ for Hollywood to use as plots in future block busters. I hope they are better than Syriana though - now that was rubbish.

It was vetoeing of spending real ‘wince’ making money on re-contructing Iraq that has caused the real failure in Iraq.

The US as a population has not known the true cost of war since its Civil War. The UK pysche is in a similar, but not exactly the same position.

Without actually suffering the consequances of war in this land, how can we really reconnect our elected leaders with the consequences of their actions?

Sunny - Why the fear of an Indo_Pak war due to the Taliban?

Justforfun

#55 Comment By Sunny On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

that the genocidal dictor in Iran

TFI, we know you’re a bit slow, but I’d like to point out that the Iranian Prez hasn’t actually carried out any genocide. If he has, enlighten us.

JFF - The rise of the Taliban meant that their people were increasingly going to start trouble in India… there had been tons of brazen attempts to launch terrorist attacks in India, including the one on the Indian parliament. At least this way the Taliban and their Mujahadeen brothers are otherwise busy blowing themselves up in Afghanistan than India. India has a shorter fuse, it would start a war with Pakistan much more easily for failing to secure its borders and letting terrorists over.

#56 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

By whom? Exactly what nation was behind it?

Why the apparent “hero” of the Islamic world, the humble, the wealth rejecting, the using diggers as tanks, the sandle wearing, cave dwelling infidel hating OSAMA BIN LADEN!!!

*crowd goes wild*

Surely you must have heard of him Leon? He wrote a piece in Al Quds Al Arabi where he declared war on the West for a litany of reasons.

This was a London based newspaper and pundits like Melanie Philips think that letting him and his mates set up in London was a bit silly.

TFI

#57 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 3:35 pm

Leon,

Whatever you think about 9/11, it was an act of war.

Well, wasn’t it? I’d agree with you that it was not the nation state of Afghanistan that did it, but, if your honest, you have to admit they protected OBL.

Well?

Anyway, I’ve lost the ability to quote stuff. The stuff you taught me doesn’t seem to work no more.

What the hell am I doin’ wrong?

#58 Comment By justforfun On 17th September, 2007 @ 3:37 pm

Sunny - The US is following a similar stategy in Iraq - keep the nutters interested in a fight in a nice open desert location well away from the US. Has a certain logic to it.

It is depressing that the peace between India and Pakistan relies on a stalemate in Afghanistan, but I fear you are correct. You have cited the one side of the coin where the Taliban are in the ascendency.

The otherside of the coin is where a western backed Afghanistan is in the acendancy. India backed the Northern Alliance and is backing the current Governement. If this pulls through and the Taliban are driven back to Pakistan, they and their ‘brothers’ will, if given the chance, try and widen the conflict again by dragging India into a direct chaotic war by terrorist actions in India, because as you say India is slowly developing a shorter and shorter fuse.

What happens in Pakistan is key to how the whole area transitions in years to come. It could be argued that until it becomes clear as to what will happen in Pakistan, it is in the interests of the US/UK/India and Iran to keep Afghanistan is some sort of stalemate and low key battleground as this ensures that a wider conflict is postponed untill it is clear as what that real conflict will be. A very depressing analysis indeed.

Justforfun

#59 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 3:37 pm

Sunny we know you are a bit woolly, but calling for Israel to be removed from the pages of time and the continuous saber rattling I think that it is fair to say that he appears to have genocidal ambitions.

Do you have wait for someone to commit their first murder to before they can be considered to be psychotic? For a journalist I’d expect you to have a better grasp of the English language.

Maybe his life and regime will come to end without him without him realizing this goal. In this instance I will happily stand corrected.

BTW I like your condoning of the invasion of Afghanistan, very selfish! You should considering becoming a Neo Con ;-)

TFI

#60 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 3:43 pm

Sunny, w.r.t. #46 can you please show me where I am “pre-supposing many things about those on the left who supported the war in similar ways to how many neo-cons make assumptions about Muslims”…

I cannae see it! Which assumptions am I making that are even remotely similar to right-wing/neo-con assumptions about Muslims??? Did I abuse their belief system, look down on them from some imaginary high-horse, snidely insult their way of life, imply that leftists are evil and seek the destruction of humanity, call for a reform for anyone who has ever had a leftist thought, ask for the formation of a new ‘moderate’ left-wing that I can engage in discussion with because the old one does not agree with my myopic view???

My point is simple and thus: To support the war in any form is to support all the consequences of war (murder, death and refugees). Forget about the regime. We had a discussion similar to this recently about disassociating foreign policy and terrorism to criticise each separately. How can you not do the same here?

#61 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 3:47 pm

Totally with Leon #52

#62 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 3:54 pm

TFI,

How can you argue against invading Afghansistan? Spell it out for me. These were the boyos that didn’t give OBL up. These were the boys that were well and truly warned. Explain youself.

#63 Comment By Sunny On 17th September, 2007 @ 3:58 pm

My point is simple and thus: To support the war in any form is to support all the consequences of war (murder, death and refugees). Forget about the regime.

I’m afraid it’s not as simple as that. I oppose attack on innocent civilians full stop. But not all war against govt forces is bad. Would you have opposed intervention in Bosnia? Sierra Leone? Congo? Rwanda? What about Darfur, even if you knew lives would be saved?

TFI - Labelling someone genocidal infers they’ve already done it, not make grand claims that are not worth the paper.

#64 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

Do you have wait for someone to commit their first murder to before they can be considered to be psychotic?

Has the level of debate gone up the U-bend since “Anti-Totalitarianism: the Left-Wing Case for a Neoconservative Foreign Policy” by Oliver Kamm was mentioned on this thread? I think so.

hahahahahhahahahah!
ahahahaha!
hahahahaha!

#65 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

By whom? Exactly what nation was behind it?

Careful with that logic, or the US will privatise their military, and Bush IV will be saying ‘invade Turkmenistan? Nothing to do with me. Ok, there is a multinational corporation doing location filming for a war epic there, but all the directors live outside US jurisdiction’.

#66 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:07 pm

I was all for the invasion simply because I think that it was a moral necessity, even before the 9/11 incident.

For instance did you know that 8 in 10 women died during child birth? Because no woman could be a doctor and no doctor could treat a woman? The Taliban successfully made a medieval society.

Of course there are some people that think that if people want to treat their citizens like that, it is their business, but as a humanist I try not be a hypocrite and think that the benefits of liberal society should be available to everyone. Where things start going really wrong (for instance Zimbabwe), we have an obligation to step in and help where we can, even if we mess up sometimes.

As for the Iraq war was agonistic and remain so; I simply don’t care that much.

TFI

#67 Comment By Rumbold On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

Douglas:

“I absolutely hate apologists for nuclear bombs.

Especially those that think that what happened in 1945 was OK.

I think that nuclear weapons systems move the battlefield away from armys to civillians, much like the Second World War did.”

Nuclear bombs are just normal bombs on a larger scale. As soon as you accept that armies can use bombs then you can have no ideological objection to bombs. I would disagree that war was ever purely fought on the battlefield, as civilians always found themselves caught in the middle, whether through requisitioning, billeting or a scorched earth policy.

If you had been Truman, what would you have done, knowing that an invasion would cost hundreds of thousands of American lives, and millions of Japanese ones?

For quoting, use the diagonal brackets, with blockquote in the middle, then add the text, then use the diagonal brackets, with a / and blockquote in the middle.

#68 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:10 pm

When was the last time we went to war with ireland for not giving up their terrorists?

#69 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:11 pm

Labelling someone genocidal infers they’ve already done it, not make grand claims that are not worth the paper.

No Sunny, it infers that they are capable of it. I’m glad that you know him so well that you are able to call his bluff.

I really, really hope that you are right, but this is the country that used human beings to clear landmines during the Iran Iraq war.

Forgive me if I think that he might be sincere.

TFI

#70 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

Rumbold…it may not be a moral question on having bombs, but where those bombs are used, with what justification and on who.

#71 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

When was the last time we went to war with ireland for not giving up their terrorists?

I dunno Sofia, if you ask an Irish nationist you will find that believe that we have had our troops sitting on Irish land for a very very long time.

TFI

#72 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:18 pm

Sunny, #63, Why is the humanitarian reason being trotted out when everyone KNOWS that the reason for the war was 9/11 and the helpful fact that the Caspian pipeline passed through Afghanistan. Link is here: [8] http://www.newhumanist.com/oil.html

Sunny, I would oppose intervention on the grounds that what I was doing would be motivated by profit and greed and in my own self-interest. You know why? Because I would clearly not give a ____ about any humanitarian reasons and therefore not bother with a post-war plan to sort the country out, or repair and beg (on my knees) forgiveness for the innocent lives I had taken.

#73 Comment By Rumbold On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

Sofia:

“Rumbold…it may not be a moral question on having bombs, but where those bombs are used, with what justification and on who.”

I agree- my point was that unless one is a pacifist, there will be a few extreme situations where a nuclear bomb is permissable, and I believe that Japan 1945 was one of those. I doubt that I would have dropped both bombs however, as one would have probably been enough.

#74 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:19 pm

I’m not talking about N.I. and the same could be said of Indians in Kashmir, if you asked Pakistanis..so it highlights whose points of view we’re looking at.

#75 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

Rumbold, I cannot ever bring myself to accept that use of indiscrimate bombing could ever be justifiable. I’m not a pacifist by any means, as I do think there are times when armies need to get involved.

#76 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

Sunny, I’m not sure I understand your point about the Taliban being responsible for a future war between India and Pakistan. The Taliban was supported by Pakistan in order to have ’strategic depth’ vis a vis India. In and of itself, the Taliban couldn’t care much for what happened in India. It was entirely the strategic intention of the Pakistan miltary / ISI establishment to support terrorism in India as part of its ‘bleed india with a thousand small cuts’ ideology, both explicitly and tacitly, by letting those organisations flourish, covering them, and giving them establishment support. That was part of the rounded policy of Pakistan (a policy that included nuclear proliferation), and it would have ended in a war with India for sure at some stage if 9/11 had not happened and Musharaff received a telephone call from Washington telling him to change his ways or else…..ever since then Mushy behaved like a frightened, nervous pussy cat and the entire policy of Pakistan collapsed in on itself, and tragically (for them as well as global insecurity), the monster it created has begun to eat its master. Sectarian terrorism, suicide bombings in Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Karachi.

Pakistan created a Frankenstein’s monster and it’s out of control! Even the Taliban which it thought it could make a pliant client decided to do its own thing, give refuge to Al Qaeda and launch 9/11 from the safety of its back garden. It’s an incredible mess, but its all there for everyone to see.

#77 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

was it supported or created by pakistan? I assumed it was born out of the war with Russia…

#78 Comment By douglas clark On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

Rumbold,

Thanks for the explanation of quoting. You seem to be a civilised chap. And not too young to have forgotten the Cold War? That, frankly is what I fear. Nuclear Armaggedon. That was what we were offered in the ’50’s ,and 60’s. The pathetic twit that allows that Genie out of the box, is, in fact an idiot. Still, Oliver Kamm is published and I am not. Tells you something about the human race, don’t it?

#79 Comment By Sid On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:27 pm

I think you’re wrong about Pakistan’s role Jagdeep. Pakistan created nothing. Pakistan is nothing but a proxy for US intervention in Afghanistan, which it has been since 1979 when USSR invaded Afghanistan.

#80 Comment By Rumbold On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:28 pm

Sofia:

I suppose it is the ultimate utilitarian question; is it right to kill some in order to save many more?

#81 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:29 pm

EDIT: previous post implies the Caspian pipeline is already built. It is not, but some major US consortiums are in the running to build a trans-Afghan pipeline:

[9] http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C08%5C21%5Cstory_21-8-2007_pg3_1

#82 Comment By Arif On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:30 pm

My memory at the time was that the Taliban wanted a face-saving way of handing over OBL, and that they wanted to discuss setting up a method of legal extradition (as no extradition treaty existed at the time between the two countries).

At the time, I thought the US Government really was interested in finding out who did this and was just too unhinged with grief (and power) to have the patience to do it diplomatically.

I don’t think this kind of might is right mentality is particularly exceptional. In the western imagination post World War 2, appeasement is morally unacceptable, so the war was an easy sell. But there is also some awareness that all wars of aggression (including the aggressors in World War 2) are waged under a moral pretext. A few people thought OBL was merely a pretext at the time, but maybe more do now given that OBL is still free, and in some ways more influential than ever.

If I were a US President, I would have been happy to get a back-door extradition and trial at an international tribunal. But if I were US President, OBL would probably not have attacked in the first place, he’d have focused atrocities on Russia, China Saudi Arabia or Iran. However, in the meantime, the White House would have been blown up by Mossad and I’d have made messy humanitarian interventions in Burma and Sudan, which would then be suspected as being based on oil-interests and starting a proxy cold war with China in a clash of civilisations which would provide more hollywood blockbusters.

#83 Comment By Rumbold On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:34 pm

Douglas:

“Thanks for the explanation of quoting. You seem to be a civilised chap. And not too young to have forgotten the Cold War? That, frankly is what I fear. Nuclear Armaggedon. That was what we were offered in the ’50’s ,and 60’s. The pathetic twit that allows that Genie out of the box, is, in fact an idiot.”

This may sound counter-intuitive, but I would argue that America’s dropping of the nuclear bomb actually reduced the chances of a nuclear war. This was because everybody saw the awesome power of the bomb, and so the public would never countenance a nuclear war because they knew its effects. The arms race would have happened anyway, because the bomb had already been tested.

I do agree with you though that it would be a bad idea now- there simply is not the justification for it.

As for remembering the Cold War- I only came in at the tail end.

#84 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

Sid — the Pakistani military establishment supported the Taliban all as part of its strategy for strategic depth against India. It dovetailed perfectly with the policy of encouraging and supporting Jihadi groups to transform the Kashmir situation into a war by proxy with India. This spilled over, as it does when you hatch those eggs, into a situation that spiralled quickly out of control. For the gestation and support for the Taliban by Pakistan, read this book by [10] Ahmed Rashid.

Sure, the Soviet invasion brought the dynamics into place. But after they had left, Pakistan supported them and integrated them into their broad strategy and policy regarding India.

#85 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:38 pm

Rumbold, I cannot ever bring myself to accept that use of indiscrimate bombing could ever be justifiable.

What about indiscrimate sucide bombing in Israel? is that justifiable?

I’m not a pacifist by any means, as I do think there are times when armies need to get involved.

So you prefer a good clean fight, hand to hand, none of this remote bombing Hezabolla and Hamas from the sky or flying airplanes into buildings stuff as it is all cheating?

TFI

#86 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:39 pm

My memory at the time was that the Taliban wanted a face-saving way of handing over OBL, and that they wanted to discuss setting up a method of legal extradition (as no extradition treaty existed at the time between the two countries)

What gave you that impression at the time?

#87 Comment By Sunny On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:40 pm

TFI: I really, really hope that you are right, but this is the country that used human beings to clear landmines during the Iran Iraq war.

But TFI, who keeps planting and using Cluster bombs? One hint, it’s certainly not Iran. It’s Israel, during its bombing of Lebanon. Nice try and deflection though.

Random Guy: Sunny, I would oppose intervention on the grounds that what I was doing would be motivated by profit and greed and in my own self-interest.

So you would oppose military intervention even if some genocidal government was exterminating innocent civilians with wild abandon? I’m afraid I don’t share that view.

Jagdeep: In and of itself, the Taliban couldn’t care much for what happened in India.

I’m using ‘Taliban’ loosely here. They were supported by a whole bunch of mujahadeen who were intent of “helping Muslims” around the world. The Taliban and OBL had already declared India as a state that was oppressing Muslims and was next on their list. If the Taliban had complete control of Afghanistan and their Mujahadeen friends had nothing better to do, they were increasingly likely to try their hand at “recovering” Kashmir. That was my worry.

Arif - Umm… that didn’t make much sense?

#88 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

When was the last time we went to war with ireland for not giving up their terrorists?

It came pretty close in [11] 1970.

#89 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

What about indiscrimate sucide bombing in Israel? is that justifiable?

TFI, I can safely say that Sofia doesn’t think that indiscriminate suicide bombing is justifiable, just from reading her interactions and postings here, so it makes me wonder why you ask such a strawman question of her.

#90 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:50 pm

TFI no I don’t agree with indiscrimate suicide bombing in Israel or anywhere else, but then nor do I agree with armed Israeli soldiers using bullets on palestinian children; and no I don’t agree with the tactics the Israeli govn have been using with regards to hamas. I find it hypocritical however of the UK to condemn them as a terrorist organisation when they talk to the likes of Sinn Fein and Gerry Adams.
That does not make me pro hamas just in case the thought entered your mind.

#91 Comment By Sofia On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

Thank you Jagdeep…People like to make assumptions based on names.

#92 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

But TFI, who keeps planting and using Cluster bombs? One hint, it’s certainly not Iran. It’s Israel, during its bombing of Lebanon. Nice try and deflection though.

Is this one of those weird moments like on CIF when reality shivers and you think that you’ve made a incisive point and won an argument Sunny?

For instance how does Israeli’s use of cluster bombs mean that Mr Dinner Jacket isn’t sincere about his genocidal claims? Surely if anything it is evidence to say that he is more likely to be sincere? Or is it an argument that says that if he does “wipe Israel from the passages of time” they deserved it?

I didn’t understand Arif’s post either.

TFI

#93 Comment By Arif On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:51 pm

Jagdeep - mainstream reporting gave me that impression, not that much was given of the Taliban’s response, I recall they called for an extradition process, which the US rejected. That they offered through diplomatic channels to negotiate handing OBL to a third party. And I recall commentators often talked about a face-saving formula as an option (while others dismissed that as unrealistic).

Sunny - I’m trying and failing to say that we don’t really know what this war is all about. We can be suspicious or sympathetic of others’ motives according to our prejudices. That being sympathetic has dangers as does being suspicious.

My next step would be the usual one where I say have a consistent framework for humanitarian intervention so it is not selective, and I might be for it, let any State pick and choose, then I’m against it in principle, but in practice might be desperate enough to support it in some circumstances (then feel a fool afterwards if it turns out the way Iraq has).

#94 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:52 pm

Sunny said: So you would oppose military intervention even if some genocidal government was exterminating innocent civilians with wild abandon? I’m afraid I don’t share that view.

Ummm, no thats not my point of view at all Sunny. You misinterpret my point:

If said genocidal government happened to NOT posess huge quantities of oil/natural gas would I still intervene? The US/UK would not. So for you or anyone else to turn around and trot out the humanitarian argument in my opinion is hypocritical. You can’t see the forest for the trees. Its like you are trying to make the most of a horrible crime by pointing out the positive externalities of the crime.

#95 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:54 pm

they were increasingly likely to try their hand at “recovering” Kashmir. That was my worry

But that was being done already, directed by Islamabad.

#96 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

OK Arif, I didn’t get that impression myself. I thought you may have read something subsequently about it and that’s why you mentioned it.

#97 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:00 pm

Jagdeep, sometimes I don’t understand what makes a “straw man” argument. I’ve not read that many of Sofia’s posts so I don’t know her stance on some tenous subjects.

Sofia, good thank you for a straight and a very acceptable answer. I agree with you 100% about targeting civilians (although I’ll reserve judgement where they are being used as human shields).

However as an ardent player of war games I’d much rather bomb my enemy from a defensive position when ever possible to preserve my own forces - that’s war.

TFI

#98 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:04 pm

Well TFI, when someone says she gets upset about indiscriminate bombing, and it causes you to ask her querolously what she thinks about indiscriminate suicide bombing, as if you’re about to catch her out in a crafty and clever rhetorical pincer movement, it says more about your assumptions about her than anything else. But you do use that style of ‘debate’ a lot I’ve noticed.

#99 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:07 pm

The US/UK would not.

I bet if you do a google, you can find references to not only the pipelines of afghanistan, but the oilfields of bosnia, the offshore oil in Sierra leone and liberia, the wildcat fields of darfur and the Congo.

Strangely, nothing much ever seems to come of those finds or plans. 30 years ago, with the falklands war, lots of people tapped their noses and said ‘oil’

If that was so, shouldn’t the drilling have started by now?

#100 Comment By Sunny On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:10 pm

Random Guy: If said genocidal government happened to NOT posess huge quantities of oil/natural gas would I still intervene? The US/UK would not.

The UK/USA may not sometimes do that, you’re right. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t people who want them to intervene for humanitarian reasons. Please try and differentiate between govt action and people’s opinions.

Incidentally, we did intervene in Sierra Leone and Bosnia. And India intervened in Bangladesh in 1971 and saved thousands of Bangladeshi lives.
But that aside, my point is many people may have supported the invasions on other reasons than simply you are pre-supposing. I don’t know how else to make such a simple point.

TFI: For instance how does Israeli’s use of cluster bombs mean that Mr Dinner Jacket isn’t sincere about his genocidal claims?

No, but the difference is that one has the capability to cause tons of damage now, and does so, the other uses a lot of rhetoric but has a failing economy and no real army to speak of. Of course, Israel hasn’t declared it will wipe out a country and thus it does not compare to the Iranian Prez. My point is that you’re quite forthright in condemning a lunatic full of hot air, but less reticent to condemn countries you identify with, who continally commit crimes that go against international law.

#101 Comment By justforfun On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:39 pm

If that was so, shouldn’t the drilling have started by now?

Not yet - the price is not high enough.

Keep it safe under all that fish.

Same in Iraq - keep it safe under all that war. Total-Elf can’t get at it until the war stops, and then who knows where it will be.

Justforfun

#102 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:45 pm

My point is that you’re quite forthright in condemning a lunatic full of hot air, but less reticent to condemn countries you identify with, who continally commit crimes that go against international law.

Absolutely Sunny, that is because I’m forthright and have strong opinions. I made up my mind about the IP issues a long time ago, and I really don’t identify with the P bit.

The thing is HuT and Osama have convinced a lot of Muslims that there is a Muslim, non-Muslim divide in this world. It appears a lot of Muslims have bought into this, because they have I have to acknowledge that many feel this way and have hence come to see many conflicts through that prism as well.

Of course that’s not to say that I see all Muslims like this, I work with them, I have friends that are Muslim, I buy my newspapers from them and brush shoulder with them on a daily basis.

I refuse to judge people on how they look but I will on what they think. If someone believes that the world is 4000 years old I treat them with the same scorn those that believe that Allahs fighters are rewarded with 72 virgins.

But when it comes to the IP issue, one is a democracy however flawed and the other wishes to install another screwed up non-secular government that will blame all future failings on the West and will most likely stone women to death. No competition.

The great thing about this site is that I can get cross about the whole idiocy of the entire thing that is ripping the world apart without taking it out on my friends and family.

TFI

#103 Comment By Riz On 17th September, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

More from an interview between the WSJ and Greenspan:

WSJ - Tell me about your views on the importance of deposing Saddam.
AG - My view of the second Gulf War was that getting Saddam out of there was very important, but had nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, it had to do with oil. My view of Saddam over the 20 years … was that he was very critically moving towards control of the Strait of Hormuz and as a consequence of that, control of the oil market. His purpose would be very much similar to [Venezuelan President Hugo] Chavez’s actions and I think it would be very dangerous for us. So getting him out to me seemed a very important priority.

WSJ - Did you share this view with Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld?
AG - Oh yeah.

[12] http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2007/09/17/qa-greenspan-on-bubbles-saddam-cheney-and-bernanke/#more-478

#104 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 6:02 pm

The great thing about this site is that I can get cross about the whole idiocy of the entire thing that is ripping the world apart without taking it out on my friends and family

So you take out your personal problems, issues and frustrations on us instead? Dude, it’s best not to tell us about your personal abyss and just stick to the issues, and also try not to breathe the fires of your righteous rage onto individuals here.

#105 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 6:08 pm

But when it comes to the IP issue, one is a democracy however flawed and the other wishes to install another screwed up non-secular government that will blame all future failings on the West and will most likely stone women to death. No competition.

The locus of the issue is land. The descent into a Hamas administration is a by-product of that — fuelled by outside actors with their own agendas as much as internal failings, and the injustice of the Palestinian’s situation. Even someone as indifferent to the Israel - Palestine issue, and groans whenever it arises on this blog, can see that.

#106 Comment By tfi On 17th September, 2007 @ 6:19 pm

Jagdeep you are absolutely right. in your comment in your posts, think i might need some sugar and a lie down, I’m not normally this bad. However when Sofia states something along the lines “great another Muslim defector just because a man condems HuT I do seeth with rage …

TFI

#107 Comment By Sunny On 17th September, 2007 @ 6:21 pm

I made up my mind about the IP issues a long time ago, and I really don’t identify with the P bit.

So what you’re saying is, rather like many other Muslims (on other blogs, not this one) all you want to do is something to reinforce your opinion rather than have a constructive discussion about where the problems may lie. This is why so many here find it difficult to take you seriously. All you want is validation of your own worldview rather than accepting there’s some fuzziness there in what is ‘the truth’.

#108 Comment By Jagdeep On 17th September, 2007 @ 6:23 pm

TFI, don’t seethe with rage. Just ask her what she means and try to persuade her (or anyone else) why you think she’s wrong. You might even make them see things differently if you do it well. You seethe and them and you won’t change a thing.

There used to be a dude here who had a meltdown and his psycho-drama being played out here was not pretty to watch because it all got so personal.

#109 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 17th September, 2007 @ 7:12 pm

Jagdeep, of all the posters on this site I admire your contribution the most. My other favorite poster is Sonia. You are right in your assessment but get frustrated when arguments go around in circles and some uncomfortable truths are air brushed over or just completely ignored.

Sunny, further to what you say, I’m prone to use personal attacks and bullying when making posts which is counter productive to a useful debate.

I don’t believe that there is much fuzziness in “truth”, but I believe that there is huge fuzziness in “facts”. There are multiple interpretations to the “facts” depending on what narrative that you follow, following to multiple “truths”. Therefore what is “fuzzy” is which logical system you apply to get the truth. I personally don’t believe that you can switch between arguments and narratives without being guilty of double thinking and hypocrisy. I believe that you need to pick a logically consistent way to view the world, once that view becomes untenable due to the introduction of “facts”, you need to change your world view. Hence why it may appear that All you want is validation of your own worldview rather than accepting there’s some fuzziness there in what is ‘the truth’ in fact I want rejection of my worldview, not confirmation of it, so that my perception of the ‘the truth’ is changed without resorting on ‘fuzzy logic’ and applying different rule sets to different circumstances.

I’ll try and be more balanced and less impassioned when I make future posts.

Cheers,

TFI

#110 Comment By Leon On 17th September, 2007 @ 7:27 pm

US jurisdiction

See this is a critical term, where does it end and is it determined by law or say how many killing machines the US has stationed all over the world?

International law is a concept lost on us in this conversation…think I’ll join Sid in laughing hysterically at the Leftwing case for Neocon wars…

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA!!

*rocks gently in his straight jacket*

#111 Comment By soru On 17th September, 2007 @ 7:53 pm

Two interestingly similar numbers:

[13] Saudis Pay 4.43 Billion Pounds for 72 Eurofighters

the cost of the Iraq war is seen to have risen to nearly £4 billion pounds

That’s the real money, not an extra few percent margin on an oil deal.

#112 Comment By Random Guy On 17th September, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

Sunny, w.r.t #100, you said “my point is many people may have supported the invasions on other reasons than simply you are pre-supposing. ”

Sorry if I gave you the impression that I think everyone went to war for the same reason. The governments lied to the public and hoodwinked most into believing that it was a humanitarian issue (and I am not saying there was no humanitarian argument to involve oneself - not necessarily milatarily - in places like this) when it was a greed/power issue. What I am saying is that even if you support this war on humanitarian grounds, you must accept all the death and suffering it caused and say that as a human, you are willing for all this horiffic death to be caused to others in order to forward your “humanitarian” cause. That is all. And if you do….then you better take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror.

#113 Comment By Sunny On 18th September, 2007 @ 2:26 am

Random Guy: What I am saying is that even if you support this war on humanitarian grounds, you must accept all the death and suffering it caused and say that as a human, you are willing for all this horiffic death to be caused to others in order to forward your “humanitarian” cause. That is all. And if you do….then you better take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror.

I agree. But then many have changed their minds (Johann Hari, I suspect even David Aaranovitch) and most (in the UK) acknowledge that the US administration completely screwed up everything. So there is plenty of humanity still out there.

TFI: There are multiple interpretations to the “facts” depending on what narrative that you follow, following to multiple “truths”. Therefore what is “fuzzy” is which logical system you apply to get the truth.

No I think the logical system most people follow, including yourself, is broadly similar. That is - my side may do some wrong but it’s right and their side is mostly wrong. It’s group think. It’s bias towards your own side without acknowledging there may be equivalence and similar concerns on both sides.

I try and stay away from that because I don’t take a side in most discussions. That would only inhibit me making a rational decision on the facts presented to me. You, like most others, jump on the “facts” that support your view point and explain away the “facts” that don’t. That is the logic most people use. You’re not unique I’m afraid, and neither do you have a logical framework for everything.

#114 Comment By Sofia On 18th September, 2007 @ 10:28 am

First of all I would like to say that I don’t give a hoot whether or not people find my views “acceptable” or not. I would also like to note that when people read what I have to say, or rather misread what I have to say, it really makes me mad. What I have been trying to point out with HT “defectors” (i’m not exactly sure what they’re defecting to), is that they want some kind of validation about who they are and then trawl the tv channels and are held up as examples for the rest of us. Us “normal” law abiding, peaceful, socially functional Muslims are largely ignored because we don’t fit some pathetic media or political spin. People like Maajid and Ed, had issues with their identity at an age where most teenagers want to rebel against something. They decided to choose to be brainwashed. There are many unlike them who did not want to be brainwashed. If they are being now courted by television and print media to tell their side of the story then I have every goddamn right to question it, as a British Muslim woman who has had to listen to the rubbish that is spouted by people who think Islam is HT’s version of it. And frankly TFI I did find your question on suicide bombings insiduous. I found it offensive and I found it sad. You would not have asked me that if you did not have some sort of warped assumption of who I am. How enlightened!

#115 Comment By Sid On 18th September, 2007 @ 10:43 am

Well said Sofia. But you’re giving in to the pressure of received wisdom that somehow Maajid and Ed are spokesmen for “tolerant” Muslims. They’re spokesmen for themselves, and people who’s personality types are attracted to regimental, all-engrossing cults.

But lets not dismiss them. Ex-culters like Maajid and Hossain are also representative of people most susceptible to hypnosis, placebo, Stockholm syndrome etc. And, most importantly they are an insight into why young people are so easily radicalised and conditioned.

The fact their particular cults are Islamist is why they’re projected as representatives of “young tolerant Muslims” by the right-wing press and muscular liberals. But they’re as barking as Bunting as well. It’s a fucking media circus. Sit back and enjoy.

#116 Comment By Sofia On 18th September, 2007 @ 11:19 am

Sid, if only they were spokesmen for themselves…alas, they are only now realising the damage they have done and their own legacies. How sincere are they now they have seen the “light”?? It concerns me that men like this who found it so easy to not only agree with HT ideology but to propogate their “utopian vision” are now finding it equally as easy to turn their back on it. I have this debate countless times with people in HT, who aggressively see the world in black and white. They have no compassion for people who do not see things from their point of view. If Maajid and Ed are being used as some sort of psychological analysis then that is fine, but I don’t think that is what they are being used for.

#117 Comment By TheFriendlyInfidel On 18th September, 2007 @ 4:02 pm

Well Sofia, I don’t see Ed or Maajid as typical Muslims but as a useful antidote to the poison that HuT and the like have spread across the Muslim community. They both talk about ideas that HuT have that have gone main stream. If what they say helps pull people out of HuT and into the mainstream of moderate Muslims, isn’t this a good thing? It would seem to me the major objection to them is that they are washing the dirty laundry in public. It makes me feel me much better to see a representative on TV taking Islamists to task about the nonsense they spout from a position of knowledge. These people do more to combat Islamaphobia by acknowledging there is an issue and addressing it than any amount of hand waving from the MCB or poisonous preachers like what’s his face from the Birmingham Mosque when he claims the 7/7 bombers are innocient. They aren’t traitors to Muslims, they should be heroes. They risking alienation and possibility murder when they speak the truth about Islamism and they show how it is separate from Islam. Brave men be appauled and admired.

Sunny: I try and stay away from that because I don’t take a side in most discussions. You cannot take the moral high ground by sitting on the fence, paradoxally you seem to think that you can.

You’re not unique I’m afraid, and neither do you have a logical framework for everything. I am unique, just like everyone else, and I do have a logical framework for everything but it may be misapplied where I’m misinformed.

TFI


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1375

URLs in this post:
[1] Alan Greenspan: http://www.cnn.com/2007/POLITICS/09/16/greenspan.book/
[2] acknowledged: http://blog.washingtonpost.com/sleuth/2007/08/the_untold_story_of_the_cheney.html
[3] Wall Street Journal: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2007/09/17/qa-greenspan-on-bubbles-saddam-cheney-and-bernanke/
[4] says: http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,,2170602,00.html
[5] http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2142253,00.html: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/story/0,,2142253,00.html
[6] theatrical micromilitarism: http://www.amazon.com/After-Empire-Breakdown-Perspectives-Criticism/dp/023113102X
[7] Google search directly in Freakonomics!: http://books.google.com/books?id=LkQPOSXMUscC&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=freakonomics+swimmin
g+pools+outrage&source=web&ots=4nUfz3oqH_&sig=2brJGLcoqw7zJeTdID8N9iUrBYY#PPA152,M1

[8] http://www.newhumanist.com/oil.html: http://www.newhumanist.com/oil.html
[9] http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C08%5C21%5Cstory_21-8-2007_pg3_1: http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=2007%5C08%5C21%5Cstory_21-8-2007_pg3_1
[10] Ahmed Rashid: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Taliban-Islam-Great-Game-Central/dp/1860648304/ref=sr_1_5/202-4732531-625981
9?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1190043019&sr=1-5

[11] 1970: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arms_Crisis
[12] http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2007/09/17/qa-greenspan-on-bubbles-saddam-cheney-and-bernanke/#more-478: http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2007/09/17/qa-greenspan-on-bubbles-saddam-cheney-and-bernanke/#more-4
78

[13] Saudis Pay 4.43 Billion Pounds for 72 Eurofighters : http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601085&sid=a9nevNLUfxOs&refer=europe