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Buffalo Tom Buffalo Tom is offline
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 12:13 PM        A War Begun in Failure
A War Begun in Failure

by John Nichols, The Nation

It appears that George W. Bush will get his war. But it will be a war begun in failure. Even as Republican and Democratic Congressional leaders in the United States dutifully signed up with promises of support or silence regarding a war many of them know to be unnecessary, the blunt reality is that this American president has failed to convince the world of the need for a war with Iraq.

The president's dramatic defeat in the court of international public opinion was acknowledged Monday, when the administration abandoned its doomed effort to win a go-ahead from the United Nations Security Council for warmaking.

That rejection of diplomacy was met with a diplomatic response from UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who telegraphed his frustration with a read-between-the-lines statement to the effect that, "If the action is to take place without the support of the Council, its legitimacy will be questioned and the support for it will be diminished." Others were not so gentle in their assessment.

Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair abandoned their attempt to get a new UN resolution, said Jean-Marc de La Sabliere, the French ambassador to the UN, because the argument for war was unconvincing. "It (the resolution) did not get the votes because the majority of the UN and, I would say the majority of people in the world, do not think it would be right to have the Council authorize the use of force," he explained.

It was not just the French who noted the collapse of the Bush Administration's diplomatic initiative.

The leader of the British House of Commons, Robin Cook, who quit Blair's Cabinet to protest the Prime Minister's commitment of British troops to the US cause, articulated the reasoned view of that failure when he argued on Tuesday that: "The harsh reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading member. Not Nato. Not the EU. And now not the security council. To end up in such diplomatic isolation is a serious reverse. Only a year ago we and the US were part of a coalition against terrorism which was wider and more diverse than I would previously have thought possible. History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations that led so quickly to the disintegration of that powerful coalition."

In the United States, Congressional Progressive Caucus co-chair Dennis Kucinich, who may be the closest thing the current Congress has to an opposition leader, said, "The President's decision to push our nation, and the world, to the brink of war, in the face of intense international opposition, and without UN approval is a failure by this Administration to exercise world leadership and a grave mistake. The Administration's decision to withdraw its resolution from the United Nations Security Council is a dramatic admission of its failure to convince the world of its case against Iraq."

Despite months of cajoling, conniving and, when all else failed, behind-the-scenes offers of economic aid and political consideration, the Bush Administration could not convince the chief target audience -- Security Council members -- that there was sufficient legal or moral justification for war at this time. To wit:

* The president and his aides built their case for war on a "foundation" of discredited data, including reports of supposed Iraqi "threats" that turned out to have been misread, falsified or, in the case of a key British document, reliant upon out-of-date information culled from the Internet.

* The president and his aides repeatedly attempted to establish a connection between Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein and the al-Qaida terrorist network, yet they never succeeded in doing so. The unrelenting focus on finding such a linkage undermined the Administration's broader argument for war. It became clear to the international community that if there was the slightest shred of evidence, the administration would have produced it. And they were never able to do so.

* The president refused to perform basic diplomatic duties. In particular, he failed to maintain personal contact with leaders of countries that questioned his stance - especially French President Jacques Chirac and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder. Neither the president nor Secretary of State Colin Powell engaged in the sort of international travel and one-on-one communication that former President George Bush and former Secretary of State James Baker used to build coalition support for the 1991 Persian Gulf War.

The mumbles, stumbles and bumbles that characterized the Bush Administration's approach to the question of how best to disarm Iraq served to isolate the White House from leaders with whom Bush thought he had built solid personal relationships, such as Russia's Vladimir Putin and Mexico's Vicente Fox. And it has severely strained relations with historic US allies such as Germany and China. The veteran French journalist Gérard Dupuy used a physical metaphor to explain the diplomatic reality. "In the end, Mr. Bush finds himself backed up by the only two leaders who have stuck by him from the beginning - Mr Blair and (Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria) Aznar," noted Dupuy, as he described the one-hour "summit" on an island in the Azores at which the determination was made to reject diplomacy. "Their meeting on an American base lost in the immensity of the Atlantic neatly symbolises the isolation of a president who has fallen victim to his own mediocrity."

Nothing that the president said in Monday night's televised address to the nation, and the world, changed the fact that George W. Bush has entered the international arena and stumbled. Badly. His ultimatum to Iraq's Saddam - leave the country or face the "serious consequences" mentioned in U.N. Resolution 1441 - made war seem inevitable.

If war comes, however, it will not be the war that any thoughtful American president could have wanted. Rather, it will be a misguided mission pursued by a troublingly small "coalition of the willing" - with most coalition "partners" there against the will of the people in their countries.

A wiser president might have refused to go ahead without having convinced more of the world. Then again, a wiser president would not have pursued this path in the first place.

After all, the point of diplomacy is not to wage an unrelenting campaign for an unpopular result. The point of diplomacy is to propose action, open a dialogue about the plan and then to refine and improve the approach until the theoretical becomes the possible. It is about winning the faith of others.

George W. Bush leads the world's remaining superpower. That position places great responsibilities on his shoulders. The greatest of these is to engage seriously and sincerely in the diplomatic process that allows for the collective wisdom of many nations to inform the actions of the United States.

President Bush has failed to meet that responsibility. He has let his country down. He has let his world down. The Spanish newspaper El Pais said it best in an editorial that read, "Diplomacy has ended because the US president has had enough of negotiating..."
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 12:14 PM       
Iraq has fired SCUD missles. This constitutes breach of 1441, as these weapons were banned. The President was correct in his accusations. Period.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 12:17 PM       
Sorry Tom.

Maybe you should delete this post and save face.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 12:24 PM       
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Originally Posted by HNICPantitude
Iraq has fired SCUD missles. This constitutes breach of 1441, as these weapons were banned. The President was correct in his accusations. Period.
That's kind of like getting lucky when picking a murderer out of a line-up.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 12:26 PM       
If Iraq has such banned armaments, why wasn't your President able to make a convincing case to the international body politic and build a global consensus backing his administrations position? Where were the concrete, unequivocal, 'smoking-gun' intelligence reports that proved Iraq was housing such weapons? Why didn't we see for this administration an Adlai Stevenson-like moment at the UN in 1962, when the then Secretary of State presented satellite photos clearly showing Soviet forces installing missile batteries in Cuba?

This administration clearly lacks the diplomatic saavy and experience to accomplish even what Bush Senior accomplished in 1991 when his administration was able to build the coalition for Desert Storm. Dubya couldn't even meet what was expected of a mediocre leader of the most powerful country in the world. This administration has alienated three members of the UN Security Council. Global public opinion is against this administration and its foreign policy aims. Its imperious posturing are adding fuel to the fire of radical, anti-Western forces who will no doubt have a new bevy of recruits from those people who are opposed to this war.

Let's face it: your President is a divider, not a uniter.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 12:57 PM       
As stated, the President was hesitant to release US Intelligence in the interest of security. He also has no obligation to do so. He acts in the United States' best interest.
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VinceZeb VinceZeb is offline
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 01:28 PM       
I guess when we get ANY information on the war or terror, we should make sure to plaster it all lover FNC, CNN, MSNBC, and all other news outlets to make sure that Buffalo Tom knows 100% about what is happening. But, since that may endanger our troops and our people, it shouldn’t matter, because BUFFALO TOM must know everything, as should the entire world. If we get Osama trapped within 30 feet of his home, we should make sure to tell THE WORLD because that one person in bumblefuck, MO that doesn’t know is a modern-day Greek tragedy.

Hey Buffalo, I guess having one less country, Germany, than we did when Bush 41 went to war with Saddam the first time isn’t an “international coalition”.

Oh yeah, who is “your” president? Saying to people that “Bush” is your president doesn’t make him lose his position as the President of the U.S. no more than an atheist telling someone that he doesn’t believe in “your” God.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 01:40 PM       
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He also has no obligation to do so.
resolution 1441 clause 10

10. Requests all Member States to give full support to UNMOVIC and the IAEA in the discharge of their mandates, including by providing any information related to prohibited programmes or other aspects of their mandates, including on Iraqi attempts since 1998 to acquire prohibited items, and by recommending sites to be inspected, persons to be interviewed, conditions of such interviews, and data to be collected, the results of which shall be reported to the Council by UNMOVIC and the IAEA;
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 01:46 PM       
resolution 1441 clause 10

10. Requests all Member States to give full support to UNMOVIC and the IAEA in the discharge of their mandates, including by providing any information related to prohibited programmes or other aspects of their mandates, including on Iraqi attempts since 1998 to acquire prohibited items, and by recommending sites to be inspected, persons to be interviewed, conditions of such interviews, and data to be collected, the results of which shall be reported to the Council by UNMOVIC and the IAEA;[/quote]
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 02:03 PM       
from a paper i wrote on the current conflict...

In his report to the U.N., Blix stated that inspectors had been harassed, followed, spied upon, and disturbed in their duties on a daily basis. It was also noted that most of the 12,000 page document submitted by the Iraqi government consisted of pages that had been reprinted from earlier and could not provide solid evidence as to the location, condition, or quantity of weapons of mass destruction and their facilities. There was even proof that the overseers had lied to the inspection teams stating that no new VX nerve gases, the same gas used to exterminate the Kurds in the 80’s, had been produced since the Persian Gulf War and that research had not been done into improving the potency of the lethal nerve agent. This was called into question when inspectors discovered a document noting the “purity of the agent…in laboratory production, was higher than declared.”
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 02:16 PM       
The leader of the British House of Commons, Robin Cook, who quit Blair's Cabinet to protest the Prime Minister's commitment of British troops to the US cause, articulated the reasoned view of that failure when he argued on Tuesday that: "The harsh reality is that Britain is being asked to embark on a war without agreement in any of the international bodies of which we are a leading member. Not Nato. Not the EU. And now not the security council. To end up in such diplomatic isolation is a serious reverse. Only a year ago we and the US were part of a coalition against terrorism which was wider and more diverse than I would previously have thought possible. History will be astonished at the diplomatic miscalculations that led so quickly to the disintegration of that powerful coalition."

That pretty much sums up the diplomatic failure of this whole ass-backwards affair.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 02:19 PM       
suppose we decide to go after iran, north korea, syria, or libya, do you think that there will be no coalition then?
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 02:29 PM       
I'd like to give my 2 cents on those countries:

Iran: Seems that Iran may just reform itself without our help. Militarily, that is. We will probably help support it via propaganda campaign. Iran is a small threat to us, but not one that is war-worth at the time.

N. Korea: Korea is like the little kid with a new toy. Korea wants us to pay attention to him. So it flashes it and plays with it and wants attention. Korea just may be a military strike from the U.S. and our fellow countries. Of any country that I would love to see free, it’s this one. The plight of the N. Koreans is absolutely sickening. If anyone ever tells you Communism can work, just have him speak to someone from there. Watch the madness occur.

Syria and Libya: These are countries that talk big but won’t do anything. This war with Iraq will show other countries that after many years of the U.S. getting kicked in the nuts and asking the other countries if we hurt their foot, we finally got fed up and beat ass.

But that’s just my uninformed opinion....
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 02:30 PM       
What if a year from now China decides an independent Taiwan is a threat to its security, and masses an invasion fleet off its coastline? What if it demands a change from a pro-West regime? More immediately, what if North Korea decides to invade South Korea, to pre-empt any sort of attacks by America and its allies in that country? Would the United States and its 'coalition of the willing' have any legal and moral ground from which to mount an opposition?

This whole stupid affair has opened up a can of worms that the current and future American administration will find unpalatable.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 02:35 PM       
if any of that actually happened then there would be armed conflict, what did you think would happen? whether or not we have a coalition really depends on whether or not the rest of the world is practicing appeasement.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 03:01 PM       
The 2002 Supplemental Appropriations Act places Taiwan at an equal level af alliance as NATO Allies. An attack on Taiwan would be punished severely, most likely with very high support internationally.

__________________________________________

Additionally:

http://www.taiwanheadlines.gov.tw/20...0010821o1.html

US rallying allies for joint Taiwan defense

Published: August 21, 2001
Source: The China Post

he Taiwan Strait appears to be a place where war could break out at any time, at least in the minds of American strategic planners.

The U.S. is legally bound to help defend the island according to the 1979 Taiwan Relations Act and morally obligated to protect the democracy against communist intimidation. This was the rationale of President George W. Bush's famous pledge of doing "whatever it takes" to defend Taiwan.

Washington has been busy convincing its allies in the region to help it fulfill that pledge. Consultations have been conducted by U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and the Pacific Jim Kelly with their counterparts in Seoul, Tokyo and Canberra.

That Taiwan defense was a dominant subject in their discussions is evidenced by Deputy Secretary of State Armitage's remarks made in Sydney last week.

Answering media questions, Armitage said the U.S. expects Australian troops to die alongside American servicemen in any future conflict with mainland China over Taiwan and that Australia is obliged to commit troops to any military conflict in the Taiwan Strait.

"I am not sure all of our friends here in Australia understand the significance of the alliance with America ... It is not a matter of political convenience or of economic interaction ... for us an alliance is an obligation, if necessary, to fight and die for each other.

"We are talking on the U.S. side (of) our sons and daughters fighting and dying if Australia comes under attack and, by the way, we are talking about Australian sons and daughters who would be willing to sacrifice their lives to help the United States.

"That is what an alliance means and when you think about it in those terms ... you realize this is a very special and indeed potent confidence building measure."

Armitage, visiting Australia just weeks after the departure of Powell and Rumsfeld, also issued a blunt warning to Canberra, saying it was in Australia's interests to join the U.S. in defending Taiwan in the event of a Chinese communist invasion.

During their visit in late July, Powell and Rumsfeld talked with their Australian hosts on closer strategic coordination between Washington and its three main Asia-Pacific allies ¡V Australia, Japan and South Korea.

But America's four-nation security alliance proposal has not been well received in the capitals of the three Asian countries. Officials of both Japan and South Korea have refrained from discussing it in public. Canberra has played down the proposal, describing it as just an idea "to informally bring together officials, not necessarily ministers, for a little bit more dialogue into the relationship." And the head of U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region, Admiral Denis Blair, said that such regional security talks were not aimed at hemming in mainland China.

However, with Armitage's remarks, it would be naive to expect Beijing to believe this was not a containment conspiracy against it.

Washington has also demonstrated its determination to defend Taiwan by other means.

Last Friday, two U.S. aircraft carriers staged a rare show of force in the South China sea in what was seen as a response to the People's Liberation Army's intimidating exercises in the Taiwan Strait.

The one-day exercise, carried out by the USS Carl Vinson, the USS Constellation and their battle groups, involved the launching of fighter jets and joint operations between the two battle groups.

While the U.S. Navy officially sought to play down its significance, the display of American military might was clearly designed to send a message to Beijing that America has an interest in the future of Taiwan.

The PLA war games, dubbed "Liberation 1," are reportedly the largest ever and have been in progress since June on and around Dongshan Island, off the coast of Fujian and Guangdong provinces facing Taiwan. They simulated an assault on one of Taiwan's outlying islands and an engagement with a U.S. aircraft carrier battle group.

The last time an exercise involving two U.S. aircraft carriers took place in the region was in August 1999 when tensions were high between Taipei and Beijing over former President Lee Teng-hui's proposal that cross-strait relations be conducted on a "state-to-state" basis.

Beijing responded to the U.S. military exercises by refusing to allow an American reconnaissance plane to land in Hong Kong on a training mission. However, the USS Constellation and its support ships were allowed to dock in Hong Kong Monday.

Indeed, it is gratifying to see the Bush administration's commitment to defending freedom and democracy.

But it is ironic that Washington continues to acknowledge the Chinese communist dictatorship's sovereignty claim over Taiwan and collaborate with it in isolating the island diplomatically.

Strategic containment of the communist dictatorship does not warrant diplomatic containment of democratic Taiwan.

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Saddam Hussein is in violation of UN Resolution 1441
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 05:20 PM       
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Originally Posted by VinceZeb
Oh yeah, who is “your” president? Saying to people that “Bush” is your president doesn’t make him lose his position as the President of the U.S. no more than an atheist telling someone that he doesn’t believe in “your” God.
HE'S CANADIAN, YOU DUMB FUCK
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 10:45 PM        YEAH
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A wiser president might have refused to go ahead without having convinced more of the world. Then again, a wiser president would not have pursued this path in the first place.
Hot Damn! Thats so hard to explain to Bush supporters!

what a tremendous blunder making so many americans part of warcrimes is worse than criminal .. i dunno what it is but all i as is that america signs up to IMPEACH BUSH!
www.votetoimpeach.org
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 10:57 PM       
I would, but I'd really rather not let our administration have my personal information in conjunction with what I think of them.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 11:18 PM        gogo vote!
noway, i didnt think twice about it, well, i cant even find the list of signers so it seems they keep it private.. but now that i look, i can't tell who's behind the site.. hmm. a washington office: 1901 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Suite 607, Washington, D.C. anyone know who's there?

freespeech is protected so many ways and so many have signed i think we're safe adding our names to a protest petition..
i don't think the people can actually impeach though, this is more a statement of numbers to give polititions an idea of how many are supporting impeachment proceedings.

do you vote? do you keep yer candidate a secret?
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 11:20 PM       
I don't want to impeach Bush, but I would love to see your head explode while Cheney takes the oath.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 11:24 PM       
Electronics Boutique, the petition is for the impeachment of most (if not all) of the Bush administration.

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freespeech is protected so many ways...do you vote? do you keep yer candidate a secret?
Haha, shyeah...And I haven't been able to vote until last year, but voting for the opposing party is worlds apart from voting against the defending one.
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Old Mar 20th, 2003, 11:29 PM       
i would love to see his explode period, which isnt an impossibility if he would ever read one of his own posts.
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 12:53 AM       
Oh yes, I am a dumb fuck because I didn't know someone was from Canada. I guess that would make you a dumb fuck for being a short-sighted idiot with a lame insult.
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Old Mar 21st, 2003, 06:25 AM       
No, you're a dumbfuck for not considering it.
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