T Nation

To Hell with UN?

Yeah, to hell with the U.N.

Isn’t that what the Bush administration basically said, when they invaded Iraq without the support of the UN security council? Anyone remember how the U.S. administration skipped taking a last-minute security council vote on getting the UN’s blessing to invade, when they realized it would get rejected, and instead Bush just gave Hussein the ultimatum (“give up your WMDs or get invaded”)?

Actually, a bunch of the folks here said the same thing at the time… “screw the UN”, “We don’t need anyone’s help”, “We don’t need NATO or Europe” etc etc.

Now it is finally obvious to the White House that the US military is over-extended and we can’t sustain this level of spending for much longer, and we are dangerously unprepared to finish the job Bush started. So Colin Powell will be sent with his hat in his hand, to ask for support for this war, from the same people Bush spurned, just a few months ago. We are headed back to the UN on bended knees.

Tonight Bush announced he will ask Congress for another 86 BILLION dollars for military spending in Iraq and nation-building there, to rebuild the infrastructure we just finished destroying. And that money is just for THIS YEAR. Next year, who knows how much.

What is the game plan? There is no exit strategy, just “stay until it’s finished”. Gee, could it be any more vague and half-baked than that? The headline is "Bush calls for ‘whatever is necessary’ in Iraq. Gee, sounds like a really good plan. Lets just throw a shitload of taxpayer’s money at this, and hope not too many of our guys get killed.

Last year, as the rush to war unfolded, I (and a bunch of other people here) posted that this RUSH TO WAR by Bush was a bad idea, and was a big mistake. Of course, the party line was that we needed to invade immediately, without our allies (“Fuck NATO” and Fuck the UN, right guys?) because we needed to prevent Saddam from using all those WMDs. (When is Rumsefeld gonna finally tell us where they are?) Anybody who thought that was a stupid plan was labeled “unpatriotic”.

Well, I hate to tell you “I told you so” nah fuck that. I TOLD YOU THIS UNILATERAL ATTACK WAS A HUGE CLUSTERFUCK. And unfortunately, all of us (US taxpayers and our children, and THEIR children) are going to be paying for it.

Can I just take a second to give a hearty FUCK YOU to all the people who accused the dissenters of being “unpatriotic” during that time? Yes, FUCK YOU.

The fat cats at Halliburton and the Carlyle group will make a shitload of money on this war, and that’s what counts, right “good guys”?

Hey, why don’t we spend that 86 BILLION on the crumbling US infrastructure? How about doing some nation-building at home?

And if you are looking for work, I hear the military is hiring. All you “good guys”, you are being paged down at the recruiting office.

Not again. Lumpy, for the love of God get a clue.

We can be arguing ad nauseum, ad infinitum, ad libitum about this (ok, I have no idea what that one means, but it sounds good).

Cant…help…self…
…Must…answer…

Lumpy, all services saw a very steep rise in the number of recruits since the war started. The quota the Air Force has to meet? Pffft, it was already filled by May, 4 months before the end of the fiscal year. They have so many recruits they dont know what to do with them. Just look at me, Im still here waiting to be shipped off to Boot in MARCH 04.

Believe me when I say they’re not paging anybody.

hey you know what!
Need a way to stop international terrorism? Try shutting Israel off. that’ll do it! These racist pigs did nothing for the past 30 years but inflate this crisis by killing the childrens in the streets who where throwing rocks at them tanks. Lemme ask you what a fucking rock can do to a fucking armored vehicule such as a tank! Israel must be put down. Israel is the cause for International terrorism, and if I were palestinian you can bet your ass off I would blow myself up just to kill some of those SOBs!!!

It’ll be interesting to see how much control the White House ends up conceding to the UN, seeing as quite a few members of the Security Council are resisting the notion of throwing troops and cash into the black hole known as the US occupation.

The best move politically Bush Co. could make would be to give more control to the UN and extricate themselves slowly from the situation and do some damage control.

But noting their rather megalomaniac dispositions, it comes down to with desire for power now or a chance at reelection

Whoa. What happened? I thought we all got over this already. The pro-Invade Iraq will still want to invade the country no matter how right or how wrong it is. The anti-Invade Iraq will choose the exact opposite position.

But to shut off Israel? For killing kids in the street? I’m thinking that they aren’t trying to kill the kids per see. I’m thinking that they are trying to kill the leaders of the PLO factions who instigate suicide bombings. It just so happends that kids are casualities of war…

…but then again, isn’t that always the case?

Lumpy, you post with the maturity of a high school sophomore in his first debate class. Grow up.

Still, I believe people are normally not 100% right or 100% wrong, and an area that you touched on that you may be right about, even partially, gives fire to your overall position, even if it is one of shortsightedness.

As you pointed out, an exit plan of “whatever it takes,” doesn’t build a lot of confidence with the public that there is a clear exit strategy. However, for the time being, I’ll argue that unwavering commitment is a good thing, Saddam has yet to be found and neither have the WMD’s. If the president would have said, “we?re out in two months,” you and I both would have been crying about the unfinished job and a country left in decimation.

As far as going to the UN now, you take the attitude of “Fuck you, I told you so.” Told us so what? If you remember back to the time of pre-invasion, the UN was divided, there would not have been a decision to remove Saddam, and he and his sons would be in power to this day. I know you’re not going to argue in favor of keeping that regime in place after the countless torture and atrocities that have surfaced upon his arrival, so I conclude that your argument is not with the end result, but with the matter the invasion was done. I agree, in an ideal world, we would have all stood together and forced Saddam to comply with the resolutions the world had agreed upon. As it was, the individual interests of all countries, not just the United States took place, and the UN could agree to do nothing. And as we both agree, doing nothing and keeping Saddam in power was not a satisfactory outcome.

Further, you mention the “fat cats” at Halliburton and Carlyle, but perhaps you will recall that the reason the dissenting nations of the UN (France, Russian and Germany) did not wish to topple Saddam was their own “fat cat” contracts with Iraq. Further, I?d argue that immediately after the war, the rest of the world acted with the outrage of an abusive street bum, upset that we would not spend our money on their contractors, in essence giving them a free hand out. At the time, I believe we were more than justified to be a little shy over embracing our “allies,” especially when there was indication that some of them were directly or indirectly aiding the former Iraqi regime.

Your “Fuck You” approach is a shortsighted knee jerk approach that misses the point. Think big picture.

I know attention spans are short these days, but come on now. Troops first went in to Iraq, if memory serves, in April of this year. It is now September of this same year. In the interim, these things have happened: Saddam has been removed from power, thus deposing a regime whose brutality, cruetly and expansionist policies were patterned on the worst of what could be emulated from the Stalinists and National Socialists (Read: Nazis), the details of which were posted ad nauseum previously; the surrounding region has been stabilized relatively compared to what it was previously, and the U.S. position has been strengthened; dangerous terrorists have been drawn to the region to fight against the U.S., and are being exterminated and captured (read the most recent piece by Christopher Hitchens on the make-up of the opposition forces in Iraq); and much progress has been made in terms of creating an Iraqi government and rebuilding the Iraqi infrastructure and economy.

Compare that, historically, to the time frame for other conflicts. Examine WWII, where it was necessary to keep a very “overextended” U.S. military presence in Germany and Japan for years after the cessation of hostilities, never mind the fact that those countries infrastructures had been destroyed by carpet-bombing campaigns, and, in Germany’s case, extensive ground fighting. Or to go a little further back but a little closer to home, how long was the Union occupation of the Confederacy after the Civil War, and how much time was necessary before the occupying troops went home? One could argue the troops Ike sent in to end segregation were actually closely related to continual problems in the South dating to the end of the Civil War.

The headlines might look bleak, but they’re selling newspapers and drawing viewers. A little historical perspective would suggest you’re a touch early coming in with the “I told you so” statements. From many perspectives, most notably that of the average Iraqi citizen, and also that of the American citizenry, it has been a successful effort thus far. More efforts are needed, but it was hardly unexpected that Baghdad would be re-built in a day.

Look, the Bush administration has misled the public and Congress about this war.

First, by overestimating the “Imminent” threat to our safety. And second, by underestimating the resources (troops and costs) needed to reconstruct Iraq after we destroyed their infrastructure.

I’m still waiting for ONE “good guy” to admit that “gee, the government really shouldn’t mislead people”. However, you all seem to think the ends (getting rid of Saddam) justify any means (lying to the public).

The 86 BILLION that the Bush administration announced last night is roughly DOUBLE their last estimate. And some people speculate that even that number is low.

By going back to the UN now, it shows how badly the Bush administration has bungled this war. They have easily won the conflict (although the week they were stretched out with no movement could have been deadly). However they have totally bungled the post-war conflict. What was the name of the guy who was running the show before Bremmer, who they had to fire after three weeks? Anyone remember? The fact that Bush now returns to the UN just underscores my impression that Bush is not a strong leader, just a puppet for the forces who put him into the White House: Karl Rove, Dick Cheney, Paul Wolfowitz, etc. Bush is President because nobody would ever elect Dick Cheney, they need to use him as a figurehead. Now there is a clear split between the real diplomats (Powell) and the war hawks (Cheney, Wolfowitz etc) while Bush is in the middle as they play tug of war with foriegn policy.

To the person who said it was okay that the miltary-industrial complex (Halliburton, Carlyle Group) was running our foriegn policy show, because they are “our” military-industrial complex (and not France’s) I can only LOL. You are even more cynical than I am.

I’m sorry Lumpy, but this is silly. I’ve pointed out before how often government estimates of costs are incorrect. Please go look up the original announced costs of the Big Dig in Boston, the S&L Bailout in the 80s, or, if you like, the projected costs of medicare and welfare when announced as part of the Great Society Program by Lyndon Johnson, and then look at the immediate discrepencies and re-evaluations. Governments (and everyone else actually) are simply bad at estimating costs.

As to the whole “Bush lied” drum you are continually trying to beat, let me remind you that an intelligence failure, while embarassing, is a mistake, not a lie. Look back at the debates at the time – it wasn’t about whether Saddam had the WMD, it was how we should respond to his having them. The French, Germans, Russians, et al, and the Clinton Administration, all agreed Saddam had them.

The arguments about the imminent nature of the threat had more to do with the unstable nature of the regime and its previous tendencies to use the WMD than anything.

And please do not try to trot out that silly argument about the Nigerian uranium – as I explained before, citing a British intelligence report that Saddam had tried to purchase uranium in Niger, a report which the British to this day claim is accurate, is not lying (especially when the “disproving” of the report involved sending down one operative with an ideological ax to grind to investigate, who, by his own admission, “investigated” by drinking tea with a few people and then concluding the report had no merit).

Should there turn out to have never been any WMD, that will highlight the intelligence failure, but it will not jeopardize the soundness of the decision to act. The Bush administration was not wrong in calling Saddam’s bluff, if that was all it turned out to be, after 12 years and countless chances.

i think we should send bush a BIG bottle birth control… ANYTHING to kill his large amount of T. just a thought.

beef

Hey Lumpy. Once again your absolute hate is clouding any intelligent thought.

So far you have put words into the Presidents mouth that have never been uttered. Apparently adding the words “basically said” is your way of putting words into people’s mouths. I am sure you would get upset if I did the same thing with your statements.

Also as far as what a “bunch of folks here said ?” I think I have read people take every side, and have said everything possible. America had something like 60 countries helping with this in some way shape or form. And this includes Europe, unless you don’t conceder England to be part of Europe. Although I don’t remember anyone saying we don’t need NATO.

Now Bush say’s a little more help would speed up the rebuilding of Iraq, and free up troops to get rid of the remaining terrorists and have a chance to actually find those WMD which they are being slowed down because all the resources are all being used to fight terrorists in Iraq. Suddenly you, and others, are suddenly gloating. How mature of you.

And you then exemplified your maturity, and showed your great debate skills with your “FUCK YOU” statements. I probably shouldn?t even respond to your foolish thread.

I like having intelligent discussions, but every time I try to discuss anything with you, you ignore my statements, twist my words, and quote your brainwashing master who tells you how to think.

Oh yeah, the only real place I noticed these “unpatriotic” statements were from the people who said they were being called unpatriotic. And from you twisting my words, giving you an excuse to avoid intelligent discourse.

Also the only lying I see is coming from the people trying to destroy Bush.

Retard-

A fitting screen name you have. Your name is not Jason Baran is it? He was Jew-hating piece of crap like you. Why don't you do everyone a favor and not post here again. If you do however, please read up on some history of the middle-east so you can make a more educated response.

Dustin

Israel ROCKS. All Israelis I know are awesome guys and gorgeous chicks. They’re incredibly smart as well.

Retard, can you PLEASE blow yourself up at once? Please?

The Mage
Thanks for mentioning the 60 countries in the “Coaltion” including Bora Bora, Guam, and other powerhouses LOL. Most of those countries are providing “moral support” and many of them are doing it because of financial ties to the US (we send them aid, etc).

BB said “it wasn’t about whether Saddam had the WMD, it was how we should respond to his having them.”

Wrong, the lie was that this war was about WMD in the first place. It was not about WMD, that was just a convenient excuse. Notice how nobody talks about WMD anymore? Why not, if that was the mission?

The war was a result of pre-election planning by the Neo-Conservatives who advocate establishing an “american empire”. We all know what happens to empires. Since it’s hard to get people fired up for war over ideological reasons, you have to scare them with talk of an imminent threat, which is what Bush did (I should say that I think that Bush is just a figurehead).

As far as “government is always bad at estimating the cost of things” the administration deliberately underestimated the costs, in order to sell the war to Congress. Now that we are committed, they disclose that it is actually costing DOUBLE their original pricetag. That’s not an accounting error, that is either TOTAL INCOMPETENCE or BLATANT DECEPTION (sorry for the caps).

You “Bush Apologists” will defend Bush’s actions no matter how bad he screws up. It’s never Bush’s responsibility, is it? This president can’t take responsibility for anything, he is a total shirker. The shitty economy? Bush inherited it, it’s not his fault. No matter that Bush is at fault for letting corporations move overseas, put their holdings in non-taxable offshore accounts, not punishing corporate crooks like his pals at Enron (which erodes confidence in Wall Street) etc. No, the bad economy is not his fault.

It’s always somebody elses’ fault, with Bush. “Bad intelligence” made Bush lie (oh, I mean mis-state the truth) during the state of the union address. Bad intelligence reports being quoted as fact are not his responsibility. Now I hear that the attack on 9-11 was Clinton’s fault, according to a new book (LOL) even though Bush was already in office for a year and a half, and there is evidence that the White House was warned in advance that some type of an attack was imminent. But of course, it’s not Bush’s fault, he’s only the leader of this nation, so lets not assign him responsibilty for anything. Rumsfeld is the one who is bungling this war, not Bush, right? The lowballing of the pricetag on this war is an accounting error at the Pentagon (and so on). The buck always stops with someone else, with Bush. The guy is a mouse.

As far as WMDs go, Scott Ritter, former UN weapons inspector in Iraq for 8yrs and Marine intelligence officer before that says that 90-95% of Iraqs weapons hade been accounted for and disposed of by 1998, including the “tons” of chemical agents Powell listed in his UN speech.

Ritter among others have said the Bush junta had the information but just ignored anything that conflicted with their plans to invade.

He was there, in the weapons factories, in the field. I’ll go with his word over some politician anyday.

Ritter quit UNSCOM in '98 out of frustration at the UN inspections being thwarted, not by Iraq but by the US, who were bent on making it look like Iraq was not complying.

Patrick Wintour, chief political correspondent
Wednesday September 10, 2003
The Guardian

France and Germany will back the new UN resolution on Iraq sought by President George Bush only if the proposal gives the UN full political rule over the country.

The countries have also demanded a clear programme for returning power to Iraqis.

The high price sought by the French suggests that Mr Bush is going to struggle to win UN agreement ahead of his planned speech to the security council on September 24. Foreign ministers of the five permanent members are due to meet the UN secretary general, Kofi Annan, in Geneva this weekend to try to find common ground.

Paris wants the UN to run Iraq temporarily on the model of Afghanistan, but insists its proposals do not represent an attempt to settle scores over the unilateral action by the US and Britain in Iraq.

France and Germany will accept the authority of the 25-strong governing council of Iraq, even though its membership was largely handpicked by the Anglo-US provisional authority. France believes the handover needs to be quick since many Iraqis fail to distinguish between US and UN control of the country.

Mr Bush has already tabled a draft resolution to leave US in full control of the coalition military, and give the UN only limited authority.

French sources insist they will approach the talks constructively, and not attempt to humiliate the US over its inability to restore order after the invasion.

The French remain surprised at the lack of planning for postwar reconstruction, and of any apparent serious thought about the prospect of conflict between the Shia and Sunni groups. France doubts a solution lies in extra troops, but says the governing council needs to be given a clear impression of a timetable leading to democratic elections and a constitutional assembly.

Both Britain and the US have suggested elections are held within a year, but they have failed to put this timetable into the draft. France is not insisting on a specific timetable, since such dates might not be met, which could lead to a more general loss of momentum.

It remains sceptical of the idea that Britain is wielding significant influence over the new conservative mood in Washington. It has been suggested that No 10 saw the draft US resolution only a couple of days before it was circulated to security council members.

France is also seeking greater UN control of Iraqi oil revenues.

? Mr Bush’s national security adviser, Condoleezza Rice, appeared to admit yesterday that the US government had failed to appreciate the scale of the reconstruction job in Iraq. She blamed a lack of information under the rule of Saddam Hussein, which meant any underestimate of the size of the task “was not at all surprising”.

However, according to the Washington Post, violent resistance to US forces in Iraq was predicted by intelligence agencies, whose warnings may have been ignored by the White House. An unnamed senior administration official told the paper: “Intelligence reports told them at some length about possibilities for unpleasantness.”

"I do think that this administration did a miserable job of planning in a post-Saddam Iraq."

Senator Chuck Hagel (Republican, Nebraska)
[Seattle Times, 9/6/03]

As an Active Duty Serviceman, especially on a day like today, I look at Lumpy’s last blurb in his original post and fight back the urge to puke.

Lumpy call your congressman and complain. Stop wasting your time picking fights on a muscle building website. Your stance is both abbrasive and offensive.

I’m not saying you’re not entitled to your opinion, hell in a strange way I put on a uniform to ensure you’re able to maintain and publicise your twisted view. Just direct it toward the people who can listen and act accordingly to your crusade.

B.

The official line from the White House now is that Saddam tricked the west into thinking Iraq had WMD. This stuff about WMD is kind of funny. If they really wanted to “liberate” (read: replace Saddam with a more US-friendly dictator), then why did they lie about WMD until the last second? If they really did want to liberate Iraq, why didn’t they just say so right away? Saddam couldn’t have been a threat because in the 80s Iraq was at the height of its power when it was openly supported by the USA & couldn’t take over Iran which was next door. How could Iraq have been a threat to the USA when they their armed forces are 40% of what they were when they couldn’t take over Iran & are 1000s of miles away & barely even have the capacity to fly over their no-fly zones?

“The headlines might look bleak, but they’re selling newspapers and drawing viewers” - BB
HAHAHAHA that’s what it’s all about in the USA, & it’s heading that direction in Canada too unfortunately. You can’t print anything that’ll upset the shareholders. Is it any coincidence that the BBC is one of the best stations in the world since it’s tax-based rather than individually funded & that the Guardian is one of the best newspapers in the world & it’s owned by a non-profit organisation? LOL you said it.