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March 21, 2003

US Fighting Convening of General Assembly

The US is fighting the convening of the UN General Assembly called for by countries like Indonesia:

"The United States is putting pressure on many countries to resist," said General Assembly President Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic.

Despite U.S. efforts, Kavan said he thought it "very likely" although "not a certainty" that a special session would be called as early as next week.

Posted by Nathan at March 21, 2003 02:03 PM

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Dammit! Don't these people listen to Richard Perle! Don't they understand that they are now irrelevent?

Posted by: Chris Andersen at March 21, 2003 02:21 PM

Yes. Even Barbados is being pressured by the US to stay away from this discussion.

Posted by: The Tooth at March 21, 2003 02:30 PM

Odd to have the Czech guy say that, I thought they were our ally. Open dissent from the US is in fashion, it looks like. Bush is indeed a uniter, not a divider.
I think the UNSC is one thing, the General Assembly another. This meeting is going to happen and US efforts to stop it will look stupid and maybe backfire.
And I think the WH knows that but sense that this could get quite ugly for the USA. And our non-elected leader.
Would a motion of censure actually be good for this country? Maybe so. But it could do real damage to the world. This seems really messy.

Posted by: John Isbell at March 21, 2003 06:05 PM

Actually, Jan Kavan is philosophically very progressive and has declared that the US war with Iraq is a violation of international law.

He is not ambassador from Czechoslovia but an elected leader of the General Assembly, responsible to them not his own country.

Posted by: Nathan Newman at March 21, 2003 06:12 PM

Chirac is coming out with some strong statements on the U.S and G.B. not being in charge of Iraq post-war. This is going to be very ugly. Bush is tearing up decades of cooperation between Europe and the U.S. It's amazing how the stategy seems to divide Europe from within setting countries at each other's throats. I wonder if this has something to do with the Euro possibly replacing the dollar in international oil transactions?

Posted by: Tin Soldier at March 21, 2003 06:34 PM

The General Assembly is pointless anyway. We might as well call it the Leauge of Nations instead of the United Nations (at least the security council). -Respectfully
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 21, 2003 10:24 PM

"The General Assembly is pointless anyway. We might as well call it the Leauge of Nations instead of the United Nations (at least the security council)."

Then why are we "enforcing" UN resolutions at gunpoint? If the UN means nothing, then its resolutions are nothing -- which is good news for Israel, given the number of resolutions it continues to ignore.

Posted by: Dennis Perrin at March 22, 2003 06:14 PM

If the UN is as "irrelevant" as Bush & Perle attest, then why would the Bush administration want to bribe Colombia with more funds for drug interdiction in order to squash a WMD report by Blix in Dec 2002? http://www.colombiareport.org/colombia144.htm More proof that it is only relevant when it suits our "national interest".

Posted by: kilroy at March 22, 2003 09:10 PM

The reason we are enforcing U.N. resolution 1441 is because it is in our national intrest. Many U.N. resolutions are being violated around the world, but we as a nation must look out for ourselves. Iraq is a direct threat to our national security; that is why we taking down Saddam Hussain. THe U.N. has shown time and time that it is not out for world peace and security, if it was it would be leading the march into Baghdad. -Respectfully
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 23, 2003 06:09 PM

Topic change. Anyone see Bush return to the WH today. Couldn't answer one question without ers, ums, pregnant pauses, (where is my teleprompter?)
This guy amazes me each time I hear him. No one can be this inept. I know that Cheney and Rumsfield do not let this guy in the war room. Go play with your soldiers Georgie, that's a good boy. Blech!!!!

Posted by: Tin Soldier at March 23, 2003 08:55 PM

Anyone have any intelligent criticsm?

I know President Bush is not the best public speaker to be elected, but come on people, can we keep the criticsms at least on topic?

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 24, 2003 07:06 PM

Anyone have any intelligent criticsm?

I know President Bush is not the best public speaker to be elected, but come on people, can we keep the criticsms at least on topic?

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 24, 2003 07:07 PM

Here is some intelligent criticism. We are not enforcing 1441 because it does not allow us to go to war. Please read this. It is a little dated, but relevant as all hell. (Sorry I don't know how to provide a direct link by attaching it to a blue word like some of you, but you can cut and paste.)


Posted by: Eric Bruce at March 25, 2003 11:36 AM

Excellent discussion in the linked article above.

This is an illegal war; there is no legal justification for invading and occupying Iraq. No two ways about that. This is purely 'might makes right.'

If Iraq were truly a direct, imminent threat to the U.S. that would be self-defense and a different situation, but such is clearly not the case here.

The U.S. is clearly acting as the aggressor nation. Any claim of self-defense is very, very hollow, and any claim that it has to be the aggressor in order to enfore a U.N. resolution is also quite specious.

Posted by: Richard P. at March 25, 2003 01:40 PM

How can anyone see weopons of mass destruction in the hands of a mad man not a threat to America?
Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 29, 2003 09:51 PM

In the case of North Korea, there's a situation that comes closer to being 'weapons of mass destruction in the hands of a madman' than the situation in Iraq does.

How can anyone see Iraq as an imminent threat to America when Iraq doesn't possess a navy, doesn't possess any missiles that can travel beyond the immediate region, has an air force that's apparently in such disrepair that they're forced to use ultra-light aircraft and when the Iraqi army is much less of a force now than it was in 1991 when the allies pushed Iraq out of Kuwait in weeks?

How can anyone see Iraq as an imminent threat to America just from Iraq merely possessing bio and chemical weapons, regardless of the fact that Iraq lacks the means to deliver such weapons?

How is Iraq such a threat to America when its own neighoring countries weren't very alarmed?

Saddam Hussein has made some miscalculations but the claim that he's somehow a total madman is something I find difficult to believe. It's more accurate to say that Hussein has been a clever survivor; unlike Osama bin Laden Saddam is not suicidal or a religious fanatic.

Hence, the claim that containment and deterrence were ultimately bound to fail is something I find hard to swallow, just as I find the claim of Iraq being connected to the 9/11 attacks.

Money and lives (don't conservatives understand that money doesn't grow on trees?) could have been saved by continuing with the containment policy and precious resources kept with the military effort in Afghanistan, which clearly has not been completed, and elsewhere as part of the actual effort to deal with al-qaeda and bin Laden.

Posted by: Richard P. at March 31, 2003 09:41 AM

Mr. Richard P., if Bill Clinton had actually gone into Afghanistan instead of the firing a bunch of cruise missles after the embassy bombings, maybe we might have never had September 11th.

Dosn't anyone realize that these governments don't need missles or a navy to deliver there death. All they need is terrorist groups like Al Queda and Hamas. If the recent days of the war have shown us, Saddam Hussain is no stranger to terrorism. We are still at war with terrorism, so why is this fight any different than Afghanistan. Don't try to kid me by telling me that Saddam Hussain has no dirrect links to terrorism. We arn't at war with just Al Queda; we are at war with all terrorism that threatens the U.S.

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at March 31, 2003 08:39 PM

I have yet to see that al-qaeda has ever depended on Iraq for anything or that Iraq has ever turned to al-qaeda to "out-source" a mission. If there has ever been any kind of relationship between Saddam's secular government and al-qaeda, I'd have to think that the senior partner is bin Laden. Remember Osama? The leader of the entity who actually has attacked the U.S.? The party on whom all U.S. efforts should be focused rather than all right now on Saddam?

In any case, the video in which bin Laden referred to Saddam's people as infidels should address that situation, as well as the stories of the CIA having been pressured to produce evidence of a link. There's been ample time to find evidence of a connection between Saddam and 9/11 and they still haven't come up with anything. Last I saw on CBS Face the Nation Condi Rice was denying that the administration was saying or had ever said that there was a connection between Saddam and 9/11.

No, we're not in Iraq to go after the terrorists.

The terrorists are elsewhere and everywhere, anyway -- and can get the WMD from other places beside Iraq (see Pakistan), if they want. There's probably actually a higher likelihood of some Timothy McVeigh type getting his paws on some WMD here in the U.S. -- where WMD are more widely available than anywhere else --- than there is of Saddam and bin Laden working together and successfully moving a nuke all the way to the U.S.

BTW where are all the bio and chem weapons? Have they found any at all yet?

We're not in Iraq because Saddam is serious imminent threat to the U.S. He's not.

We're not in Iraq to enforce U.N. resolutions. Bush et al. obviously don't care what the U.N. thinks.

Are we in Iraq because Saddam is an evil dictator? Well, how about the leader of Uzbekistan, who's just about as bad, but somehow one of the "coalition of the willing?" Where's the U.S.' standard?

I simply cannot buy into that Bush et al. have been telling the whole truth here. No whole truth=no war, in my book.

Maybe, in the words from A Few Good Men, Bush et al. just can't handle the truth, part of which is that when you invade someone's country you'd better not be expecting them not to put up a fight.

Posted by: Richard P. at April 1, 2003 12:32 AM

When did Al-Queda become the only radical Muslim terrorist cell. There are dozen's if not hundreds of groups out there in numorous different countries that are supporting anti-american reoteric with threats of terrorism. Just this week, spec-ops and kurdish rebels destroyed a terrorist training camp in northern Iraq. Inside we found much of the same stuff you'd find in an Al-Queda camp. There terrorists, pure and simple, and they want to kill us. -Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 8, 2003 10:35 PM

The fact remains that there has yet been no hard evidence uncovered to substantiate a link between Iraq and al-qaeda, in spite of administration rhetoric continually suggesting that there is/was one.

OTOH there is much that's well known about links between Saudi Arabia and terrorist groups and yet there's still no rush to topple the Saudi regime, which BTW is hardly known for an exemplary human rights record, and that's not saying anything about Pakistan, our 'ally,' who was the only nation to have recognized the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, whose intelligence service has been said to be much infiltrated by al-qaeda and whose links to terrorist groups in the Kashmir region have been thoroughly discussed in the news.

The continual obfuscation of the goals on the part of the administration for invading Iraq and toppling the regime stand in marked contrast to the singular clear legitimate goal that the coalition had in the war in 1991.

The Iraq-terrorist connection. Very tenuous and shadowy, to say the least.

Weapons? No nuclear program and no chemical weapons discovered yet, even as the invading force has spread well across Iraq and the regime has apparently given up.

That Iraq's military could possibly have been considered as a threat to the U.S. is utterly ludicrous.

If U.S. policy is now to go around and topple regimes there are all sorts of questions about such a strategy. First, there are practical considerations of spreading U.S. armed forces. Second, what gives the U.S. the special moral authority to do that? Even if regimes such as Iraq's are obvious bad actors, doesn't it matter what the rest of the world thinks of U.S. arrogance and heavy-handedness? Even if the desired end result is legitimate, it certainly behooves the U.S. to be humble with how it goes about achieving its goals and to conduct diplomacy so as to ensure the active cooperation of the world community and make the case that America is truly acting for the world's best interests as opposed to purely for its own self-interests in such cases. That the administration did not even try to do.

Posted by: Richard P. at April 14, 2003 11:03 AM

"When did Al-Queda become the only radical Muslim terrorist cell"- (previously stated by me)

Read the post, Richard. The fact remains that there are many terrorist organizations out there; not just Al-Queda. The terrorist link to Iraq has been confirmed. Wake up and smell the flowers. -Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 14, 2003 05:22 PM

The terrorists who attacked this country were presumed to be part of al-qaeda. Was that not true?

Were any of the attackers from Iraq?

What was the connection between Iraq and the people who conducted that attack??

To this day, no one has proven how Iraq was involved with the attacks, although many Americans seem to believe that Iraq was indeed involved, even though not many Americans can actually find Iraq on a map.

So there's some non-descript 'camp' somewhere in Iraq where some non-descript Muslim terrorists who were apparently not part of al-qaeda were possibly operating? That's a casus belli?

Such a claim epitomizes the vague and obfuscatory nature of the administration's rationale for this war, an issue that the success of the initial, purely military phase of this endeavor does not resolve.

In 1991, by contrast, there was a singular, clear military and political goal for the operation and the administration at the time didn't have to dance around to illustrate it.

Posted by: Richard P. at April 15, 2003 12:08 AM

President Bush's oath of office includes "to defend the constitution of the United States, not "Protect the constitution only from one threat(Al-Qaeda). After sept. 11th, we must take threats from terrorist groups and the countries who support them seriously as threats to the U.S. government. -Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 15, 2003 12:38 AM

Going in after every single non-descript terrorist cell or possible terrorist cell everywhere around the world with the military, and especially invading sovereign nations and toppling regimes left and right in the process of doing so is a ridiculous and very wasteful idea.

The experience of the Israeli's should be quite enough proof as to the effectiveness of such an approach, also.

The way to deal with terrorists is through international cooperation at the law enforcement level, like the Europeans have been doing for many years -- except that we think we're too good to listen to them -- and through working to address the social and economic conditions that tend to breed terrorists.

The fact is that there are possible terrorist camps in many, many places.

Iraq was hardly the nexus of international terrorism that people seem to think. Saudi Arabia OTOH is a different story (most of the Sept. 11th attackers came from there as did bin Laden), yet there's zero talk of invasion and regime change for Saudi Arabia. Why?

Also, this question related to terrorism: if the President is so strongly committed to fulfilling his oath to protect the country, then why does the special commission to investigate the intelligence failures prior to the Sept. 11th attacks have to go begging for funds? Why did the administration play hardball the way they did in negotiations to set up the committee?

Also, where is bin Laden? Why has he apparently fallen off the priority list while the Taliban may be re-emerging in Afghanistan? If we can't get Afghanistan straightened out, the Taliban comes back, bin Laden moves back in and reaps the harvest of angry Arabs motivated to get back at the U.S. for invading their territory and willing to listen to what bin Laden is saying and do his bidding, then where are we?

Posted by: Richard P. at April 15, 2003 11:04 AM


****THIS JUST IN*****

Abul Abass has been captured, where....IN BAHGDAD. No connection with anti-american terrorists and Iraq, eh Rick. If you don't remember, Abass was part of PLF(palistinian liberation front) and took part in the Achille Lauro incident in 1985 where his group of terrorists took control of a cruise ship and then murdured an elderly Jewish-American. Read more at AOL news.

Richard...how long will it take you to get over your left-wing bias and admit that Iraq has long standing ties to Anti-American terrorist groups.

The reason were not invading Saudi Arabia is because Bush has been successful in diplomaticaly persuading the Saud's to help them in the war against terror. Nice try, Rick.

If you think Bin Laden could come back to Afghanistan and lead a "popular uprising" against the American "invaders" is ignorant. A popular uprising requires the support of the public in Afghanistan. When the general public in Afghanistan do not support the Taliban, or Al-Queda, I think he'd have a hard time(not to mention the 82nd Airborne and 10th Mountain divisions stationed there at the moment)

I'll have to address your other points later, this ones gotten a bit large already.
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at April 15, 2003 09:31 PM

If the war on Iraq was all about fighting terrorism and Saudi Arabia has been doing so much to cooperate with the U.S. lately in that fight, I have to ask why Saudi Arabia refused to participate at all or even allow U.S. forces to use its territory as a base. After all, Saudi Arabia was a key ally in 1991.

Also, the Cato Institute has said this about Saudi Arabia:

Saudi Arabia enlisted in the fight against terrorism only in response to intense pressure from the United States following the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Even then, its cooperation has been minimal and grudging. For example, Riyadh has resisted Washington's requests to use its bases in Saudi Arabia for military operations against Osama bin Laden's terrorist facilities in Afghanistan.

Even that belated, tepid participation is an improvement on Saudi Arabia's previous conduct. The U.S. government has warned that it will treat regimes that harbor or assist terrorist organizations the same way that it treats the organizations themselves. Yet if Washington is serious about that policy, it ought to regard Saudi Arabia as a prime sponsor of international terrorism. Indeed, that country should have been included for years on the U.S. State Department's annual list of governments guilty of sponsoring terrorism.

The Saudi government has been the principal financial backer of Afghanistan' s odious Taliban movement since at least 1996. It has also channeled funds to Hamas and other groups that have committed terrorist acts in Israel and other portions of the Middle East.

Worst of all, the Saudi monarchy has funded dubious schools and "charities" throughout the Islamic world. Those organizations have been hotbeds of anti-Western, and especially, anti-American, indoctrination. The schools, for example, not only indoctrinate students in a virulent and extreme form of Islam, but also teach them to hate secular Western values.

They are also taught that the United States is the center of infidel power in the world and is the enemy of Islam. Graduates of those schools are frequently recruits for Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda terror network as well as other extremist groups.


Let's remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 attacks came from Saudi Arabia but not one from Iraq.

So they've found an actual living terrorist in Iraq. Super. They found someone for whom there is currently no outstanding warrant in the U.S. and whose major crime was more than 15 years ago, and who had a point of condemning the 9/11 attacks.

As for Afghanistan, reports of the re-emergence of the Taliban have been numerous lately. U.S. forces hold the capital but outside of it the whole situation has greatly deteriorated although the Bush administration had allocated absolutely nothing in its recent budget submitted to Congress for the rebuilding of Afghanistan.

George W. Bush who disdained nation-building as a candidate now has two very serious nation-building projects on his hands.

Having the backing of a genuine international coalition, like there was in 1991, to help pay for everything and help ensure the success of these efforts would be most appropriate and useful but instead we have an administration determined to go it alone in every way.

Posted by: Richard P. at April 15, 2003 11:22 PM

"I have to ask why Saudi Arabia refused to participate at all or even allow U.S. forces to use its territory as a base."-Richard P.
Get with the facts, Richard. They have been! Where do you think all of our aircraft are flying out of? -Respectfully
-Robert S. Morgan

Posted by: Robert S. Morgan at May 2, 2003 10:09 PM

The Saudi's very quietly and secretively did allow for use of the Prince Sultan base, claiming such operations as only being part of the enforcement of the Iraq "no-fly" zones, while maintaining an official government line opposing the war. However, let's note that as of now there's talk of accomodating the Saudi's and Osama in moving U.S. troops out of the kingdom. A deal?

Nevertheless the facts of Saudi Arabia's ties to terrorists have never been in any dispute.

Also, since the fact of the matter is that so far we're still waiting to see any substantial finds of chemical or bio weapons, the administration is either being shown to have been lying about its justification to go to war or else, if all of the weapons did exist, there's a major problem with unaccounted-for weapons somewhere on the loose. The U.S. military is apparently no more competent to the task of finding such weapons than the vilified U.N. inspectors were. Bringing the inspectors back to Iraq to help out would be an excellent idea, especially in helping to ensure some legitimacy behind the U.S.' current de facto military occupation.

Posted by: Richard P. at May 4, 2003 02:02 PM

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