Iran wins Arab Elections. “Mission Accomplished!”


by Rohin
21st December, 2005 at 3:28 pm    

It wasn’t that long ago that PP was discussing Iran. As many have been predicting since The War on Terrorâ„¢ started to go astray, Iran is now frequently uttered in the same breath as Iraq.

The Iraqi election results should be available at the start of January, but already early returns (which represent 95% of the ballots cast) demonstrate what many had hoped against; the big winners are the Shia and Sunni religious parties, including good ol’ Muqtada al-Sadr, who aren’t all that interested in ‘bringing democracy to the Middle East’. At least not the democracy America has promised Iraq and the world.

The Asia Times Online says:

“the Shi’ite religious coalition [and] the United Iraqi Alliance (UIA), not only held together, but also can be expected to dominate the new 275-member National Assembly for the next four years.

More importantly, the “secular” candidates who were believed to enjoy links with the US security agencies would seem to have been routed. Former premier Iyad Allawi’s prospects of leading the new government seem virtually nil. And Ahmad Chalabi’s Iraqi National Accord suffered a shattering defeat.” [Link]

There is a reason why Chalabi and Allawi didn’t fare well. They have grown unpopular in Iraq due to both possessing an incessant and poorly-disguised desire to become Iraq’s ‘father’. To lead this shiny new country from its inception. Or then again, maybe the main reason is simply because both have enjoyed such close ties with the US, who you might have realised aren’t too popular in Iraq. Whether either would have delivered a fair democracy, a secular state and peace is open to speculation. But secularity isn’t high on the agenda of the eventual winners.

Indeed, secular groups have protested that the elections were rigged and have demanded a new vote. They were joined by members of the Sunni minority, when it became clear that despite hopes that a high Sunni turnout would negate a vast majority for the Shiites, the Sunnis were headed for a heavier-than-expected defeat. The Iraqi Accord Front threatened to block the formation of a new government unless the result changed.

Old Pauline (hooray!) and former student rag editor (hooray!) John Simpson has a great breakdown of some Iraqi Election FAQs. Do take a look, the pros and cons of the election are very fairly presented, with less anti-Bush rhetoric than I’m likely to churn out.

“The only successful wars which the First World has fought in the Third World have been short and decisive, like the Falklands campaign and the first Gulf War. Once public opinion turns decisively against a war, it never seems to turn back.

The Iraqi election was a big success for the Iraqi people. Whether it will be a success for President Bush is a great deal less certain.” [Link]

So what was the title of this post all about? It’s about the neocon’s wet dream of an American Arab ally in the Middle East never materialising. Bush’s high hopes have been replaced by a country that may well follow in the footsteps of Axis-of-Evil-Iran. Iran is now able to wield far greater power over oil throughout the region. Lebanese pundit Rami Khouri recently said

“Starting the American military retreat from Iraq is important because American troops will continue to be a divisive and destabilizing force, just as the American military presence in Saudi Arabia after the 1991 war was a major provocation leading to Osama bin Laden-type resistance and terror.”

Everyone agrees, the American soldiers have to leave soon. More good news for Iran. Hamas doing well in Palestinian elections, excellent stuff! Especially when the leader of Hamas promised help if Israel attacks Iran. The Muslim Brotherhood surprising all in Egypt’s elections, oh goody!

The BBC has more today about The War on Terrorâ„¢. I’ll finish with a long but superb quote from Robert Scheer of The Huffington Post:

“Unfortunately, it is hardly an advertisement for our democratic way of life that the American people were so easily deceived as to the reasons for this war. Or that our president resists the condemnation of torture, renders captured prisoners to be interrogated in the savage prisons of Uzbekistan and Syria, and claims an unrestrained right to spy on U.S. citizens.

Nor does it help that this president is so publicly bent on intruding government-imposed religious values into American civil life, while urging secular tolerance upon the Islamic world. Or that he remains so blind to the reality of life in that world that he still does not grasp that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were on opposite sides of the enormous struggle over the primacy of religion in the Arab world. Iraq, for all of its massive deficiencies, was not a center of religious fanaticism before the U.S. invasion, and the Islamic fanatics that are the president’s sworn enemy in the so-called “war on terror” did not have a foothold in the country. Now, primitive religious fundamentalism forms the dominant political culture in Iraq and the best outcome for U.S. policy is the hope that Shiite and Sunni fanatics can check each other long enough for the United States to beat a credible retreat and call it a victory, albeit a pyrrhic one.” [Link]


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  1. Siddharth — on 21st December, 2005 at 3:40 pm  

    Yes lovely isn’t it. How to turn a Arab country run by secular Arab tyrant into an Arab country run by an Iran facing Theocracy in 3 easy years. Now sit back and wait for it to decompose into 3 proto banana republics with one of them being a potential Talibanist ‘”stan”.

    Job done!

    Congratulations to the Right and the Pro-War Left for all your encouragement. Pat yourselves on the back and give your scrotums a fond stroke.

  2. FOB — on 21st December, 2005 at 4:18 pm  

    How can you blame the Americans for this?

    They did their best and held a free and fair election.
    After that it was upto the Iraqis and they unfortunately have chosen the path of fundamentalism. However, that is their right and they will get the government they deserve.

    The Iraqi constitution basically recognizes the primacy of Islam and Sharia. Without separation of mosque and state, the model that invariably evolves is a mullahcracy not a liberal democracy.

    There should be no place for religion in politics. It’s no coincidence that the most stable democracy in the Muslim world is Turkey whcih is militantly secular.

  3. Rohin — on 21st December, 2005 at 4:30 pm  

    FOB I and countless others blame the Americans for the situation in Iraq…because it’s their fault!

    I entirely agree with you last two paras, I’m a pretty anti-religious person especially when it comes to state politics. Which is why I find it odd you question blaming the US – you applaud Turkey for being secular, yet that’s what Iraq was, but with a tyrannical rule.

    America’s invasion and moreover its subsequent complete mismanagement of the situation has created what is likely to become a fundamentalist country or 3. I’m not one of the people that was rabidly against the war. I was rabidly against going to war on bullshit intelligence. GOING TO WAR, I can’t believe people aren’t more outraged by something so fucking major being based on what has turned out to be poppycock.

    Re-read that quote from Scheer:
    Or that he remains so blind to the reality of life in that world that he still does not grasp that Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden were on opposite sides of the enormous struggle over the primacy of religion in the Arab world.

    Iraq was ruled by a despot, a dictator. But it posed no Islamic terrorist threat. Now it does. Yup I blame America. Who else should I blame? The Iraqis? Most Iraqis welcomed in the coalition forces, to liberate them from Saddam. But these troops then went on to torture/kill, cause unnecessary offence, consistently fail to improve things and just wouldn’t leave. It is surprising that anti-American sentiments have been stirred? Ripe pickings for Islamist scum to recruit.

  4. Siddharth — on 21st December, 2005 at 4:47 pm  

    And yet no matter how dismal the prospect of another rigid ethno-religious Majlis in power of Iraq, no matter how contradictory the results will be to pretexts and subtexts for the reasons for Regime Change/War/Installing democracy in the region, you can be sure that Pro-War Johnny’s rallying call will be “At least its better than Saddam”.

    Except nowadays that resounding Rally Call is sounding more and more like a whoopi cushion fart.

  5. El Cid — on 21st December, 2005 at 5:18 pm  

    Sigh

  6. Don — on 21st December, 2005 at 6:47 pm  

    So much for hoping for the least worst option …

  7. FOB — on 21st December, 2005 at 7:56 pm  

    I agree that a fundamentalist mullahcracy is not a great improvement on a secular dictatorship.
    However laying the balme for this solely at the feet of the Americans is not quite correct in my opinion.

    As I understand it ,most of the militant anti Americanism in Iraq as expressed via the insurgency ,is in the Sunni triangle.The Shiites have benefitted most from the American invasion, yet it was the Shiites who voted for the mullahs, not so much due to anti Americansim ,but more as an expression of sectarian loyalty and probably to consolidate their position in the new Iraq vis a vis the Kurds and Sunnis.

    IMHO anti Americansim , while playing a role in the elections, was not the dominant factor ,and in fact Iraq’s fractious sectarian demography probably played a greater role in the eventual result of the elections.

  8. Bikhair — on 21st December, 2005 at 7:57 pm  

    Dont these people know that Muslims and Arabs hate democracy, Western civilization, modernity, free of speech, though, and religion similar to those Muslims and Arabs in Europe. Gosh, when will the missionaries learn.

  9. Craig — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:19 am  

    How did the the mess in Iraq suddenly get to be Americas fault? Speaking for myself and a whole lot of other people; we weren’t the ones who put the Right Wing religious fanatics in charge of the House, the Senate, The White House and soon the Supreme Court. A lot of people saw the danger of changing the construct of our political system from one with checks and balances to a system with one party rule. What I want to know is when are we going to start having free and fair elections in this country rather that the store bought ones we’ve all become so accustomed to. Until that happens I’m not interested in sharing in the collective guilt.

  10. Rohin — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:22 am  

    Craig, you’re right. When I, and many people, say ‘America’ they refer to the government. I’m not anti-American, just anti-neocon. But then again a country is defined by its government. My tax money paid for the British invasion of Iraq.

    I was more trying to highlight America’s the Republicans’ gleeful showing off about the elections and contrast it with what the result actually means for America. I wasn’t really intending to re-open allocating blame for Iraq in 2005/6.

  11. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:40 am  

    But if you’re anti-NeoCon you’ll be accused of being an unhinged anti-semitic conspiracy theorising nutcase. And if you’re “America” you’re accused of being,er, anti-American.

  12. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:41 am  

    Rohin (3): Yup I blame America. Who else should I blame? The Iraqis?

    Rohin (10): I wasn’t really intending to re-open allocating blame for Iraq in 2005/6.

    Now I’m really confused.

  13. Rohin — on 22nd December, 2005 at 3:24 am  

    With the post Sid, not my comments. I didn’t aportion blame in the post I wrote, but I was responding to FOB. I’m perfectly happy to discuss blame if people want, I just thought there’s not much new ground to cover with that.

    I’ve been reading Michelle Malkin’s blog. She’s mental.

  14. jasonr — on 22nd December, 2005 at 4:09 am  

    Face reality. The most moderate and modern muslim nations are still cesspools. The people are poor, rights are limited, etc.. This was true long before Bush, and terrorism was around long before Bush. And clinton. And Bush Sr.. And the first gulf war….. It’s always America or the evil Jews, ineqaulity, western greed, blah blah blah. At what point will you stop making excuses for terrorists and demand that the arab world – and africa for that matter – pull its collective head out of its ass and join the civilized world?

    THE WHOLE FUCKING WORLD thought iraq had WMD’s. The same people who are now blasting Bush are ON RECORD and ON TAPE saying the SAME things Bush said. Bill clinton, john kerry, teddy kennedy, all of them. The government of Iraq attempted to assasinate the first Bush, and was a sworn enemy of the USA. After 9/11 America was not going to wait and hope that the nutcase in iraq wouldn’t give al quaida biological weapons. What part don’t you understand? I’ll answer that for you. You don’t understand 9/11. We didn’t have a couple assholes blow up a bus and kill 50 people. We had animals who planned for years, took flight training, attacked the center of commerce and our defense structure, and they killed 3000 fucking people. So sorry if America no longer gives a flying fuck what Europe thinks. You think we’re right wing now? Wait until it happens again while a democrat is in office.

  15. Rohin — on 22nd December, 2005 at 4:43 am  

    Jasonr, I was going to write a proper reply, until I read your pathetic sentence:

    “You don’t understand 9/11. We didn’t have a couple assholes blow up a bus and kill 50 people.”

    How fucking lame, you’re now comparing death tolls. Why don’t you go and tell the families of the 52 victims that the attacks were pretty minor compared to 9/11, that’ll be comforting. Better still, tell the thousands of war widows and mothers that their loved ones died IN IRAQ because of 15 Saudis?

    The problem with people who think along similar lines to you is that you see things that aren’t there. The ‘WHOLE FUCKING WORLD’ did NOT think Saddam had weapons of mass destruction. Even if they did THINK it, they wanted to wait until there was proof. Your defence of going to war on faulty evidence is “Well we THOUGHT it was true, so how can you criticise us?” If, as you say, America invaded Iraq to bring peace (somewhat ironic, no?) and Westernisation to the Middle East, why don’t they pull their finger out and attack the most corrupt and powerful country of the lot, Saudi Arabia?

    I’m not apologising or making excuses for terrorists. I hate the fucking scum as much as anyone else does. I also agree that the Arab world has become a breeding ground for terrorism, most countries have appalling human rights records and poor freedom of speech. However, where we disagree is that you have bought into the belief that Iraq and al Qaeda were in cahoots. They weren’t. That dangerous breeding ground for terrorism we’ve both agreed is the Middle East has now become MORE dangerous thanks to the war, not less.

    We, you and me as people who live in the UK and US, face MORE danger of attacks. In fact, the 7/7 ‘coupla assholes who blew up a bus’ (get your facts right) went on record saying that Britain’s involvement in the war in Iraq was a direct motive for them.

    “So sorry if America no longer gives a flying fuck what Europe thinks.”

    Ah, why can’t all Americans be as erudite and cosmopolitan as you?

  16. Sunny — on 22nd December, 2005 at 6:57 am  

    The whole world thought Iraq had WMDs? You are joking aren’t you jasonr??

    I think most of the world knew the WMDs were a smokescreen for GW Bush jnr to try and finish what his dad failed to do (or was reluctant to).

    Whether the American neo-cons really believed in their mission to bring democracy, or whether they wanted the oil is now irrelevant. My feeling was always that the Iraqis welcomed the Americans for getting rid of Saddam, but did not want one dictatorship to be replaced by another.

    The fact that the religious parties have done well should come as no surprise to anyone, and Rohin you’ve done a great job in bringing together a multitude of opinion.

    In times of uncertainty, these people are going to vote along religious lines, specially when the choice is between a secularist and a religious dude (Hussain was a secular, that never helped).

    My feeling is now even the Shiite Iraqis will start agitating for the Americans to leave once they start assuming control. The danger is that unless there is some representation of the Sunnis, the country may start collapsing into competing factions. The Kurds have complete control of the north and will want to retain that rather that give authority to Shiites in their area.

    America can still salvage the situation if they find a way to make the religious parties happy and work with each other in a democratic framework. Then hopefully the Shiites will rid themselves or Iran’s influence and work for their own people.

  17. Peter — on 22nd December, 2005 at 8:33 am  

    Good post, Rohin.

  18. FaceReality — on 22nd December, 2005 at 9:39 am  

    Iraq didn’t do 911, Bush did.

    http://www.reopen911.org.

    Wanna show me some photos of the alleged Leeds bombers in London? You can’t because they weren’t in London 7/7.

    America is finished.

  19. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 10:08 am  

    This “The ‘WHOLE FUCKING WORLD’ did NOT think Saddam had weapons of mass destruction”

    Nicely qualified with this

    “Even if they did THINK it, they wanted to wait until there was proof”

    Hindsight eh?

    A few select qoutes for you…

    “What is at stake is how to answer the potential threat Iraq represents with the risk of proliferation of WMD. Baghdad’s regime did use such weapons in the past. Today, a number of evidences may lead to think that, over the past four years, in the absence of international inspectors, this country has continued armament programs.” — Jacques Chirac, October 16, 2002

    “The community of nations may see more and more of the very kind of threat Iraq poses now: a rogue state with weapons of mass destruction, ready to use them or provide them to terrorists. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow.” — Bill Clinton in 1998

    “In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including Al Qaeda members, though there is apparently no evidence of his involvement in the terrible events of September 11, 2001. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons. Should he succeed in that endeavor, he could alter the political and security landscape of the Middle East, which as we know all too well affects American security.” — Hillary Clinton, October 10, 2002

    “I am absolutely convinced that there are weapons…I saw evidence back in 1998 when we would see the inspectors being barred from gaining entry into a warehouse for three hours with trucks rolling up and then moving those trucks out.” — Clinton’s Secretary of Defense William Cohen in April of 2003

    “Iraq is not the only nation in the world to possess weapons of mass destruction, but it is the only nation with a leader who has used them against his own people.” — Tom Daschle in 1998

    “Saddam Hussein’s regime represents a grave threat to America and our allies, including our vital ally, Israel. For more than two decades, Saddam Hussein has sought weapons of mass destruction through every available means. We know that he has chemical and biological weapons. He has already used them against his neighbors and his own people, and is trying to build more. We know that he is doing everything he can to build nuclear weapons, and we know that each day he gets closer to achieving that goal.” — John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

    “The debate over Iraq is not about politics. It is about national security. It should be clear that our national security requires Congress to send a clear message to Iraq and the world: America is united in its determination to eliminate forever the threat of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction.” — John Edwards, Oct 10, 2002

    “I share the administration’s goals in dealing with Iraq and its weapons of mass destruction.” — Dick Gephardt in September of 2002

    “Iraq does pose a serious threat to the stability of the Persian Gulf and we should organize an international coalition to eliminate his access to weapons of mass destruction. Iraq’s search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power.” — Al Gore, 2002

    Now you can carry on deluding yourself if you want about AQ too, but there is plenty of evidence to suggest that they had been in contact with Iraqi intelligence.

    “* In 1999 the Guardian, a British newspaper, reported that Farouk Hijazi, a senior officer in Iraq’s mukhabarat, had journeyed deep into the icy mountains near Kandahar, Afghanistan, in December 1998 to meet with al Qaeda men. Mr. Hijazi is “thought to have offered bin Laden asylum in Iraq,” the Guardian reported.

    * In October 2000, another Iraqi intelligence operative, Salah Suleiman, was arrested near the Afghan border by Pakistani authorities, according to Jane’s Foreign Report, a respected international newsletter. Jane’s reported that Suleiman was shuttling between Iraqi intelligence and Ayman al Zawahiri, now al Qaeda’s No. 2 man. ”

    Both the jihadis and Saddam were/are quite capable of using other parties to acheive their own ends….you can do the math yourself i’m sure. 10 years of sanctions and no fly zones. 1 million children starved to death and the prospect of another mass casualty event if nothing was done. So tell me again why were wrong to invade Iraq?

  20. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 10:28 am  

    So tell me again why were wrong to invade Iraq?

    Well if you don’t know by now, you’ll never know.
    You’re better off directing your energies towards what all “intelligent” Pro-War Johnnies do now: Character Assassination. Start with the usual low-lying fruit, namely attacking the so called anti-war “figureheads” George Galloway and Noam Chomsky.

    Gwaaan, you can do it!

  21. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 10:53 am  

    America is finished.

    Stop bogarding the spliff dooood.

  22. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:07 am  

    Ah, i see as usual Sid that you have no wish to engage in debate when you come up against points you can’t rebut. Do what the rest of the ‘sensitive’ anti war johnnies do. Start with the ‘knowing’ comments and snide remarks….You know you already are doing it :p

  23. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:18 am  

    Homes:
    I’m just saying that your arguments are all yesterday’s Pro-War goalposts, and they have long since been moved. The present pro-war ideologues are arguing on these lines:
    1) The ink-doused index fingers were what the war was all about
    2) No matter how bad it gets, its still better than Saddam

    You don’t want to be reminded of the WMDs do you? I’ll let you in on a secret, they were never there!

  24. FaceReality — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:31 am  

    Is this web site run by the Feds? Most of the contributers seem intellectually bankrupt and anytime someone tries to talk about anything serious they are censored yet the pro war morons get to run amok.

  25. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:33 am  

    Sorry Sid, but an argument isn’t invalid just because you say so. You can remind me of the WMD’s all you like…i know they weren’t there (now)….better? Doesn’t mean that rest of the world didn’t think they were at the time. Like i said, hindsight eh? If we hadn’t removed Saddam, there would still be sanctions, no fly zones and the prospect of a another million children starving to death. You might be have been happy with status quo, but i wasn’t. And i still think we were right to invade.

  26. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:36 am  

    LOL Yes we are the feds! Now run away before i start wiretapping your phone.

    PS LOL at ‘serious’ pfffttt.. time to change tinfoil!

  27. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:40 am  

    Homey: I think you’re being disingenuous. Pro-war Johnnies also like to trot out the “sanctions, no fly zones and the prospect of a another million children starving to death” line – but that too is hindsight. Remember that they were US led no-fly zones and US-led sanctions. If they were so concerned about them then, why didn’t they raise a toot? Oh yes, that would have been “Anti-American”. And we wouldn’t want that would we.

  28. Rohin — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:44 am  

    FaceReality, you can say what you like as long as you don’t get offensive. So if you wish to say Bush was behind 9/11, then go right ahead. But don’t be surprised when we laugh at you. I wouldn’t say anyone ‘runs amok’ here, but of course we want the pro and anti war people so that we can have a discussion, n’est pas?

    Homer, irrespective of hindsight, most of the world did not want to go to war on the INKLING that Saddam had WMD. Churchill THOUGHT Hitler was a jackass for years, but nobody went to war against him until he stepped over the line, literally. You can’t propose spending BILLIONS and killing thousands of Americans, Brits etc because people THOUGHT there were weapons there.

    As I’ve said before, I’m not firmly in any camp. I accept the fact it’s good to have got Saddam on trial and out of power. But if THAT’S the reason given, why isn’t America invading Zimbabwe/North Korea and so forth?

    I’ve never been called intellectually bankrupt, it’s quite exciting!

  29. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:47 am  

    FaceReality: PickledPolitics uses the Feds as a front for what we really do here. Planting al-Qaeda sleeper cells in major European cities to indocrinate drones to enter Iraq and make contact with al Zarqawi. Don’t tell anyone.

  30. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:51 am  

    Actually, i think you’ll find that they were ‘UN’ led sanctions (i expect FaceReality will be here in a minute telling us it amounts to the same thing). There were plenty of people ‘raising a toot’ about the sanctions as i’m sure you know. However, the UN could not drop them without Iraq complying with the various resolutions set out against it. Something it did not do for 12 years. You can’t have it both ways…drop the sanctions with Saddam in power, WMD programs back to full strength and the UN even more toothless than it was before. Leave them in place, 1 million children starve to death. I would honestly like to know what you would suggest was done instead?

  31. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 11:55 am  

    Homes: One word – Containment.
    Something the Bush Administration hanker for now, no doubt. Hindsight, eh?

  32. FaceReality — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:04 pm  

    If someone wants to go die in Iraq more fool them.

    Why was there motlen steel in the basement of the WTC FIVE MONTHS after it fell down?
    http://georgewashington.blogspot.com/2005/12/why-was-there-molten-metal-under.html

    Answer – it was demolished by high powered explosives.

    Papahomer – you have the gey.

  33. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:15 pm  

    We seem to be arguing in circles here Sid, containment was what you got for 12 years and it killed 1+ million Iraqis. The only thing i can infer from that is you were happy for Iraqis to continue dying as long as it was for the right reasons. LOL At FaceReality…..are you 12? Did i get pwned? What a maroon.

  34. Rohin — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:19 pm  

    Pwned Homer! Pwned!

    I learnt that word from PP (Vikrant). Ah, how nice.

  35. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:23 pm  

    And the only thing I can infer from your argument Homey is that you don’t care how many innocent Iraqis get killed (by Military action), or how much money gets embezzled, or how much Security Contractor on Civilians abuses occur, or how many banana republics the country disintigrates into, or how many terrorists have entered the country thanks to a power vacuum in the south, or indeed how bad the situation is, or how unpleasant will be a hard core Shia Theocacy as long as you think you have the moral trump card of “deposing Saddam and installing democracy”. Circular? Yes. Secular? No.

  36. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:45 pm  

    No wars are faught without casualties. Im sorry that innocent people die, but that doesn’t make removing saddam wrong. At least with Saddam gone there is a chance for the people of Iraq to determine their own future. If they choose theocracy so be it. The same applies if they choose to break iraq into ‘banana republics’. At least the future of Iraq lies in the hands of it’s people and not a single megalomaniac, who was a threat to every one of his neighbours and if left to rule unchecked, the rest of the world.

  37. FaceReality — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:51 pm  

    The only people Saddam was a threat to was Israel hence they got the US to do their dirty work.

    http://www.jewishvoiceforpeace.org/publish/article_237.shtml

    Every other excuse is just Zionist bile.

  38. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 12:54 pm  

    At least the future of Iraq lies in the hands of it’s people and not a single megalomaniac, who was a threat to every one of his neighbours and if left to rule unchecked, the rest of the world.

    Yeah, I glanced at those Daily Mail editorials as well. Vry encouraging. Love those detachable goalposts.

  39. FaceReality — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:00 pm  

    ROHIN-”FaceReality, you can say what you like as long as you don’t get offensive. So if you wish to say Bush was behind 9/11, then go right ahead. But don’t be surprised when we laugh at you. ”

    Report: Israel Was Warned Ahead of First Blast
    10:43 Jul 08, ’05 / 1 Tammuz 5765

    (IsraelNN.com) Army Radio quoting unconfirmed reliable sources reported a short time ago that Scotland Yard had intelligence warnings of the attacks a short time before they occurred.

    The Israeli Embassy in London was notified in advance, resulting in Finance Minister Binyamin Netanyahu remaining in his hotel room rather than make his way to the hotel adjacent to the site of the first explosion, a Liverpool Street train station, where he was to address an economic summit.

    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/news.php3?id=85346

    Show me the proof those Leeds lads were in London on 7/7.

  40. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:01 pm  

    oh for the love of g-d

  41. El Cid — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:22 pm  

    FaceReality (I’m gonna regret this).
    Have you ever thought that getting CCTV coverage at Kings Cross during the morning rush-hour might be a little tricky? The CCTV station coverage at Luton, the car with the explosives, the documentation found on the site, the dummy run, the al-Qaeda video, the al-Qaeda admission, the phone calls from the bus bomber… daah!
    Now I’m off, to do some work.

  42. El Cid — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:23 pm  

    P.S. I think there is middle ground between PapaHomer and Siddarth (*cue incredulous looks*). The problem is that this war has been so divisive for so long and so badly handled that people are super sure about which side they fall on and are unwilling to yield a millimeter. I shall try to elaborate later …. that’s assuming I’m not shouted down.

  43. El Cid — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:29 pm  

    Since I’m not American, that of course should be “millimetre”

  44. FaceReality — on 22nd December, 2005 at 1:41 pm  

    At least you’ve an open mind El Cid to investigate things for yourself.

    This story proves the police story is a pack of lies, the train from Luton the Leeds guys supposedly used WASN’T EVEN RUNNING! As proved by Thameslink.

    http://www.financialoutrage.org.uk/thameslink_database.htm

  45. Col. Mustafa — on 22nd December, 2005 at 2:09 pm  

    LMAOOOOOOO.

  46. El Cid — on 22nd December, 2005 at 2:22 pm  

    There are people looking at me in my office, wondering why I’m pissing myself. I’ve learnt my lesson now.

  47. FaceReality — on 22nd December, 2005 at 2:35 pm  
  48. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 2:40 pm  

    The happy middle ground, ElCid, is that we should all be happy that Iraqis have a vibrant democracy and are free to elect whoever they want to govern them. However, the flipside of that is Bush and Blair are still guilty of executing an illegal war of occupation.

    Now please excuse me while I work off this Anti-American wedgie.

  49. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 2:44 pm  

    The only goalposts are in your head Sid…i never moved anything. My reasons for backing the war are the same as when it started. Do i think it’s been an unqualified success? Not by any means. But, i still think it was the right thing to do and no amount of snide ‘daily mail reader’ remarks are going to change my mind. I appreciate your point of view, but your suggestion of ‘containment’ was tried, and it failed.

  50. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 2:48 pm  

    Hirohito: “The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan’s advantage”

    PapaHomer: “Do i think it’s been an unqualified success? Not by any means”

  51. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 3:25 pm  

    Siddharth: “One word – Containment.”

    Chamberlain: “I have in my hand a piece of paper”

    ;-)

  52. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 3:31 pm  

    Homesy:
    Yeah, well done. You won the war. And what a glorious tribute it is to Western Secular Capitalism your victory is. Not a hollow metaphor in sight. Job well done. Now go celebrate.

  53. PapaHomer — on 22nd December, 2005 at 3:35 pm  

    Oooooh get her!….Try and say it with a smile Sid, i like the way it makes your eyes sparkle xxx Homer

  54. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 3:35 pm  

    I’m not afraid of the black man running
    He’s got it right he’s got a better life coming
    I don’t care what the captain said
    I fold it right at the top of my head
    I lost my sight and the state packs in
    I follow my heart and it leads me right to Jackson

    –Sufjan Stevens, Jacksonville
    (Come on feel the Illinoise)

  55. Siddharth — on 22nd December, 2005 at 3:36 pm  

    Graffitti spotted on a wall in Threadneedle Street:

    Oliver Kamm is a cocksucker

    Is that defamation of character?

  56. Iain — on 22nd December, 2005 at 4:23 pm  

    Saddam was the one playing brinkmanship and wanted the world- or rather his neighbours- to think he had WMDs. You know Big boys toys like the mad genocidal bastard in Iran wants now. To finish what their creature Hizb Allah will never be able to.

    So it really was Saddams’ fault.

    Even up to three days before the invasion he was given an opportunity to piss off and save his compatriots the grief, but noooo…too stupid, too arrogant for that.

    Saddams fault again.

    If the Bush Admin had ousting Saddam on its agenda before the War against the new fascism, again what could possibly motivate them? Perhaps defending their allies, correcting the heinous and immoral/illegal prevarication and corruption of the UN pretence at ‘containment’ laughed at by the Saddam regime and its lickspittles.

    Still all Saddams fault then.

  57. Don — on 22nd December, 2005 at 5:59 pm  

    Of course it was Saddam’s fault. He forgot rule #1 in the brutal dictator handbook; be as big a bastard as you want as long as you bend over and spread ‘em when Uncle Sam comes calling.

    I still don’t see why the legality issue was such a big deal. Get France on board, buy or bully a few more UN votes and somehow the same act turns from illegal (horror) to legal (hooray). What matters is motives and consequences, not legalistic minutiae.

    I opposed the war prior to the outbreak because I never for one moment believed that Bush was motivated by concern for the Iraqi people, although I still kind of hope Blair was, to some extent at least. Of course any decent person wanted to see Saddam’s regime fall, but that was not a sufficient end in itself to justify the massive bloodshed.

    Once it started I switched to hoping for a quick and relatively bloodless result with a well thought out, properly resourced aftermath. Didn’t happen.

    Now it seems like a competition between the insurgency and the Americans as to who can be the most stupid, vicious, brutal and loathsome. So far the insurgents have a strong lead, but America has given it their best shot.

    By the way, if that makes me anti-american check out this well known anti-american;

    http://xroads.virginia.edu/~DRBR/sitting.html

    Still, at least Iraqi’s seem to have taken to democracy, however raw.

  58. jasonr — on 22nd December, 2005 at 6:32 pm  

    Saddhith, I think your opinions are somewhat tainted. The media in America is heavily biased, and what I’ve seen of European media is far worse.

    Every negative is magnified, and the positives are simply not reported. It’s a war, and people die. That includes civilians. Always, in every war. But when you cut through all the shit, this has been a fairly successful venture. Saddam is being tried in an Iraqi court, elections have been held, terrorists still desperately bomb anything they can, but they’re clearly losing, and great strides have been made in preparing Iraqi forces.

    The real problem lies in arab culture. Division among different groups is not unique to the middle east. America is split almost down the middle on lots of huge issues. The difference is that 99.9% of Americans have the same core values. We have a foundation that is ingrained and imbued with basic liberty and personal freedom. The arab world has no foundation, only the natural human desire for freedom. Now it’s up to them to build a foundation and set an example.

  59. Col. Mustafa — on 22nd December, 2005 at 7:16 pm  

    “Saddhith, I think your opinions are somewhat tainted. The media in America is heavily biased, and what I’ve seen of European media is far worse.”

    This guy’s actually a joke.

    “The arab world has no foundation, only the natural human desire for freedom. Now it’s up to them to build a foundation and set an example.”

    The natural human desire for freedom, LMAOOOO.
    I think you should goto Saudi Arabia dude.
    They share this sort of simplistic view of the world as you do, you might have alot to talk agree on.

  60. Rohin — on 22nd December, 2005 at 7:38 pm  

    Of course they share a lot, that’s why Saudi Arabia and America are best pals. Bosom buddies.

    Hmm…European news outlets are more biased than American. Riiight.

    FOX.
    BBC.

    I rest my case.

  61. jasonr — on 22nd December, 2005 at 8:03 pm  

    Yes mustafa, the gaurdian amounts to little more than ant-Bush propaganda. The NYT attempted to undermine the elections legitimacy with a fake story about a truck load of counterfiet ballots, and on and on. The media had a frigging countdown to the 2000th soldier killed.

    And yes, humans have an innate desire for freedom. They stand in front of tanks in China, risk execution in Iran, they are assasinited in Lebenon, they cross oceans in wooden rafts to know freedom.

    By the way, our policy regarding Saudi Arabia is not a popular one in America. Few Americans like the saudi’s or consider them an ally. What are you going to do? Our nations share diplomatic ties and that’s the way it is. Saudi is the lesser of 2 evils.

  62. jasonr — on 22nd December, 2005 at 8:05 pm  

    I’m sorry robin, was it Fox or the BBC who had a reporter resign because he claimed he was pressured to report the war negatively?

  63. Col. Mustafa — on 22nd December, 2005 at 8:19 pm  

    “I’m sorry robin, was it Fox or the BBC who had a reporter resign because he claimed he was pressured to report the war negatively?”

    Still doesn’t take the fact away that Fox is a complete joke.
    The BBC is renowned worldwide as ahhh who cares your too clueless to get it anyway.

    “And yes, humans have an innate desire for freedom. They stand in front of tanks in China, risk execution in Iran, they are assasinited in Lebenon, they cross oceans in wooden rafts to know freedom.”

    hehehehe, ok.
    Guess what the insurgency or Freedom fighters in iraq as they would like to be known are fighting for?
    hmmmm i would say freedom, and freedom from what?

    errrrrrrrrrrr, errrrrmmmm America.

    So exactly what was that freedom speech all about, were you infact commending the freedom fighters that bomb innocent people around iraq along with the odd US/UK soldier?

    I know your referring to Saddam being ousted, but you forget that Iraqi people themselves didn’t actually get rid of Saddam.
    The US did.
    So again why are talking about freedom?

  64. Bikhair — on 22nd December, 2005 at 9:36 pm  

    Jasonr,

    “And yes, humans have an innate desire for freedom. They stand in front of tanks in China, risk execution in Iran, they are assasinited in Lebenon, they cross oceans in wooden rafts to know freedom.”

    That isnt true Jason. The Muslims in Europe dont like freedom, which is why they find it so hard to assimilate into free societies all across Europe.

  65. FOB — on 22nd December, 2005 at 9:50 pm  

    “The Muslims in Europe dont like freedom, which is why they find it so hard to assimilate into free societies all across Europe.”

    ROTFL :)

  66. Bikhair — on 23rd December, 2005 at 6:04 am  

    FOB,

    I gotta ask, how did you take my comments to Jasonr, seriously. Did I make my point about his political sort, or did I sound like typical Bikhair?

  67. WTC7 — on 23rd December, 2005 at 7:17 am  

    http://www.newsgateway.ca/America_The_Fourth_Reich.htm

    It should not be denied any longer: America is hurtling along the road to full-fledged fascism. To recognize this is the necessary first step in deflecting the juggernaut and creating the possibility of more peaceful tomorrows. It is legitimate and also necessary to correctly employ the power of naming.

    This makes pivotal the parallel between the Reichstag fire of 1933, on the one hand, and the events of 9/11, on the other.

    The Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933 was in its day as iconic as were the events of September 11, 2001 in ours. The Reichstag fire was blamed on a Dutch communist, who was subsequently decapitated. And by extension, the fire was blamed on all Communists. The historical evidence is that the Nazis arranged the conflagration. In the Rise and Fall, Shirer writes: “… beyond reasonable doubt it was the Nazis who planned the arson an carried it out for their own political ends.”

    “Hitler lost no time,” Shirer writes, “in exploiting the Reichstag fire to the limit.” The very next day he prevailed on the President to sign a decree “for the Protection of the People and the State,” suspending the seven sections of the constitution, which had guaranteed individual and civil liberties. It was described as a “defensive measure against Communist acts of violence against the state.”

    The parallel with the events of 9/11 is stunning. The official narrative, introduced with Goring-like speed, emerged within two hours: the “attack on America” was portrayed as the work of ‘terrorists,’ namely one evil man, Osama bin Laden, and a small group of co-conspirators – the 2001 equivalents of the 1933 Communists.

    The number and magnitude of anomalies surrounding 9/11 can point to only one conclusion: 9/11 was a completely made-in-the-USA inside job, a manufactured incident planned and run by some among the top leadership.

    To term 9/11 ‘Reichstag 2001,’ then, seems to me highly legitimate.

  68. Igor — on 23rd December, 2005 at 7:57 am  

    Israel has developed, produced and deployed weapons of mass destruction. Iraq was bombed because Bush claimed that it had such weapons. This Iraq vs Israel, double standard, is absolutely disgusting. Israel should be put on notice that it will be bombed if it does not give up all its weapons of mass destruction.

  69. PapaHomer — on 23rd December, 2005 at 8:57 am  

    dearie me…lol

  70. El Cid — on 23rd December, 2005 at 9:37 am  

    I’ve postponed my earlier mission to stand up for the middle ground on the Iraq War. It would tie me down to the computer for too long, not necessarily win me friends, and tax my fragile head after three nights of revelry.
    May I just say that that was a very lucid and entertaining debate of attrition between Siddharth and PapaHomer. We all know the arguments and neither of you yielded an inch, but it was a good read nonetheless.

  71. El Cid — on 23rd December, 2005 at 9:39 am  

    P.S. I had to ask a colleague what a “wedgie” was. For those not in the know, it’s apparently a public school tradition where one is yanked up by one’s boxer shorts so that the material goes up the crack of one’s bum. Am I right?

  72. Igor — on 23rd December, 2005 at 10:13 am  
  73. Siddharth — on 23rd December, 2005 at 10:33 am  

    El Cid

    The whole war was built on lies. And those who support it don’t admit to themselves that they are advocating lies. The large majority of supporter will tell you that they have Iraqi people’s welfare at heart. Why don’t they just say that it was always Saddam that was the target rather than the bleeding heart “we are the world, we are the chilkdren and we care for the welfare of Arab people” bollocks?

    I thought a wedgie was an angry trouser snake…

  74. El Cid — on 23rd December, 2005 at 11:00 am  

    “angry trouser snake”? matron!!

  75. Igor — on 23rd December, 2005 at 11:18 am  

    Ain’t a wedgie a Scottish chav?

  76. Siddharth — on 23rd December, 2005 at 11:38 am  

    I thought we agreed on this blog that we’ll only THAT WORD when referring to LGF readers and Scott Burgess.

  77. El Cid — on 23rd December, 2005 at 12:00 pm  

    The whole war was built on lies.
    I think you are right, to an extent, but I didn’t think that 2 years ago, and neither did the vast majority of Brits. What’s clear to me is that the invasion was a foreign policy gamble drawn up by the U.S. right-wing to address nagging long-term worries that were brought into sharp focus by 9/11 about the proliferation of nuclear weaponry. These are genuine worries but I didn’t, for one second, believe in the al-Qaeda-Hussein link.
    My main criticism is that it was a reckless, misdirected and ill-thought out plan that was rushed through too quickly by an incompetent, cowboyish, arrogant and obnoxious U.S. administration.
    I could elaborate here but I’m sure you can all fill in the blanks. Please try and resist the urge though — these are well-worn tracks. We need to move on and I would rather accentuate the positive.
    And those who support it don’t admit to themselves that they are advocating lies.
    I think I have just shown that that is not the case.
    It also depends on what you mean by “support”. I don’t have a problem with war per se. Inaction kills more people than action. In fact, I sometimes can’t stand being in the same room as a pacifist, which is not very christian I know – not that people like Mount Lebanon and George Bush would be honest enough to admit that. Ideally, countries should be free to run their own affairs but sometimes outside intervention is necessary. If that sounds colonial, I dont give a fuck. We should have intervened in Rwanda and got involved in Bosnia sooner. I’m glad we bombed Serbia to stop the killings in Kosovo and intervened in Sierra Leone to stop a civil war.
    However, it is important to have UN backing, a semblance of international authority. That wasn’t the case vis a vis Iraq. In the end, if the polls are to be believed, support for the war in Britain rose to around 55 percent from 40 percent as some people, rightly or wrongly, felt compelled to close ranks and support our troops (it was always a majority, so long as U.N. backing could be secured). I was in that marginal group “bounced” into a decision. And in making my decision I weighed up a number of factors, especially the fact that containment had failed and was killing hundred of thousands of innocent Iraqis.
    So I think you are wrong, or at least, being unfair when you say: The large majority of supporter will tell you that they have Iraqi people’s welfare at heart. Why don’t they just say that it was always Saddam that was the target rather than the bleeding heart “we are the world, we are the chilkdren and we care for the welfare of Arab people” bollocks?

  78. PapaHomer — on 23rd December, 2005 at 4:27 pm  

    what he said.

  79. j0nz — on 23rd December, 2005 at 6:32 pm  

    Igor, I can’t stand the Independent either.

  80. Sajn — on 24th December, 2005 at 10:54 pm  

    Siddharth are you saure it didn’t say Oliver Kahn?

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