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Should the U.S. invade Iraq?

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Still holding up the german flag of preventing a war! It was not the best idea of our reelected chancellor to declare in an election campaign: Germany will never participate in a war against Iraq. In my opinion he had better said: Without an unique UN-votum we won't participate in a war. In my opinion it is intolerable to make a war without the agreement of the big majority of all peoples of the world. A war is for me the ultimate solution! OK, I know that Saddam Hussein is evidently a mixture of Stalin, Hitler and Ceaucescu. He terrorizes the Iraq people and has killed his own relatives. And I'm sure that he tries to accumulate all kinds of ABC-weapons. But .... Aren't the United States the biggest owners of atomic, biological and chemical weapons in the world? Where are the proves for 30000 chemical missiles, as G.W. Bush maintained lately in his speech? Wouldn't the normal people (instead of Saddam Hussein's corrupt clan) the major victims of a war against Iraq? My parents have experienced the allied bombardments of german cities. People running burning desperately through the firestorm in the streets caused by phosphorous bombs. Im not furious about this war crime, because I have to remember the preceding german crimes (especially the jews genocide in german concentration camps). And everyone knows the pictures of Vietnam: By Napalm inflamed burning people, even children. Sorry, but for me is a war the absolute ultimate solution and I hope that we Germans have learned our lession! Still a sarcastic question: What's about your love for high heels if you are an "proud owner" of an amputated leg? Accepting your attitude, but full of doubts micha

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There is an unfortunate problem in this situation. Saddam must be removed from power, the threat he poses is too great. It would be best for him to just step down, no blood shed would occur then. That won't happen. If he is willing to kill his own relative you can bet he won't think twice about putting his entire military force in the line of fire. Once he does this then ... you guessed it ... they call that war. Nobody ever "wins" a war, one side just fails to continue any further. Saddam has had 10 years to disarm. I doubt a "few more months" will help. Lets just hope they get him fast and put an end to things there. Maybe then the Iraqi people can get on with greater things they have been held back from by Saddam. Chris

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if Bush so badly wants a puppet to control in Iraq, why not send a small team of special forces in? my standpoint is: no, I don't like Saddam, and I think he should be removed from power. a war to do so might be necessary. but only as a last resort. what I don't like is the USA doing what they please all over the world. if we don't watch out, we'll soon all be americans.

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Trolldeg wrote: "if we don't watch out, we'll soon all be americans." Never fear. That won't happen. There are a few that post on this board that would never take the loyalty oath.

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Still holding up the german flag of preventing a war.

It was not the best idea of our reelected chancellor to declare in an election campaign: Germany will never participate in a war against Iraq. In my opinion he had better said: Without an unique UN-votum we won't participate in a war.

In my opinion it is intolerable to make a war without the agreement of the big majority of all peoples of the world. A war is for me the ultimate solution!

How true.

OK, I know that Saddam Hussein is evidently a mixture of Stalin, Hitler and Ceaucescu. He terrorizes the Iraq people and has killed his own relatives. And I'm sure that he tries to accumulate all kinds of ABC-weapons.

But ....

Aren't the United States the biggest owners of atomic, biological and chemical weapons in the world?

Yes they are.

Where are the proves for 30000 chemical missiles, as G.W. Bush maintained lately in his speech?

They were there in 1998 and Iraq was told to dispose of them, now they are gone.

Wouldn't the normal people (instead of Saddam Hussein's corrupt clan) the major victims of a war against Iraq?

Yes. They would just flee into exile leaving the people to face the full horror of a US led assault.

My parents have experienced the allied bombardments of german cities. People running burning desperately through the firestorm in the streets caused by phosphorous bombs. Im not furious about this war crime, because I have to remember the preceding german crimes (especially the jews genocide in german concentration camps).

And the incendary bombs that rained on London, Hull, Bristol and Coventry- but that's war isn't it?

And everyone knows the pictures of Vietnam: By Napalm inflamed burning people, even children.

Another war "we" should have stayed out of.

Sorry, but for me is a war the absolute ultimate solution and I hope that we Germans have learned our lession!

I wish everyone would

Still a sarcastic question: What's about your love for high heels if you are an "proud owner" of an amputated leg?

Ask Heather Mills, she wears some gorgeous shoes and walks without a trace of a limp.

Accepting your attitude, but full of doubts

micha

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For a long time I have been posting on this board my opposition to a war with Iraq.

Some people think that because of this that I am some kind of bleeding heart liberal, this is not true.

In 1991, I was totally behind the gulf war (in fact I volunteered to be actively involved). This is because the UN security council voted unanimously for action. If there were to be another war with Iraq with the full support of the UN I would back that campaign too.

My main opposition comes from the fact that there is precious little support for this action in the world as a whole and I don't wonder why.

Iraq has had 12 years to "disarm" so why didn't we go to war in 1998?

What gives the US or any other country the right to topple a regime they don't like and replace it with one they do? If that happened to the US there would be outrage, and quite rightly too. As much as we hate tyranny, we cannot interfere with the leadership of another country. If everything I hear and suspect about Saddam Hussein is true then he should go to the firing squad- but it must be the Iraqi people that do it and not the US marines. If the Iraqi people decide to elect someone the US doesn't like then we should try and live with it- you must remember that Stan got to where he is because he was elected and elections are held in Iraq every 4-5 years- of course it's rigged but they go through the motions nevertheless. One wag said that in Iraq if you vote for the opposition, you have to put your name and address on the ballot paper, I think there is a grain of truth in that.

The UN inspectors found no evidence of biological and chemical weapons and even these warheads that Iraq was supposed to have forgotten about have been found never to have contained any agents at all. The IAEA have found no evidence that Iraq is still developing a nuclear weapon- that project ended in 1982 when the Israeli Airforce dramatically "neutralised" Iraq's only reactor.

George W Bush and Tony Blair are still claiming that there are weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Moreover, they have both suggested that Iraq might be hiding Al Qaida terrorists, neither have said that that is definitely the case nor have they demanded that Stan hands them over like they did with Afghanistan (a war I did support BTW). This is because this is a lie to try and win over the majority of people who are opposed to a war without total UN support but still feel strongly about Al Qaida.

Now consider a scenario. Someone makes an allegation to the police that a neighbour has a large quantity of illegal firearms in their house so of course the police conduct a search and find nothing. Next the person says that he must have weapons because he saw them 5 years ago so the police go back- nothing. Next the man says that his neighbour "might" be dealing drugs and harbouring a known criminal thus sending the police back again- they find nothing. IMHO this is the same as the situation with regard to Iraq. The UN inspectors are like the police and the US and UK coalition are like the neighbour- who would be charged for wasting police time in the above scenario. Giving the UN more time won't make a difference, they won't find a thing but that doesn't mean to say that Stan has it hidden somewhere.

That is why I believe a pre-emptive war is wrong and that we should wait until he does something silly then hit him- hard!

I don't mean to upset anyone with my opinions but they are molded by what I read and what I hear. I only have access to what the mainstream news providers want me to hear so I have to use what little intelligence I have to look behind the words of politicians and state mouthpieces like the BBC and draw my own conclusions

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Not that I agree with your position on Iraq, Dr.Shoe, but the irony of your little scenario is a little too close to home to those of us in the US who know what REALLY happened (and what the actual "haul" of "illegal weapons" actually was) at both Ruby Ridge (in Idaho), and the "Branch Davidian cult" compound in Waco, Texas:

Now consider a scenario. Someone makes an allegation to the police that a neighbour has a large quantity of illegal firearms in their house so of course the police conduct a search and find nothing. Next the person says that he must have weapons because he saw them 5 years ago so the police go back- nothing. Next the man says that his neighbour "might" be dealing drugs and harbouring a known criminal thus sending the police back again- they find nothing. IMHO this is the same as the situation with regard to Iraq. The UN inspectors are like the police [or ATF, in the cases of Ruby Ridge & Waco] and the US and UK coalition are like the neighbour- who would be charged for wasting police time in the above scenario. Giving the UN more time won't make a difference, they won't find a thing but that doesn't mean to say that Stan has it hidden somewhere.

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Sorry folks but I've got to open my mouth a put in my 2cents worth about this subject. I do not believe that the US should be going into Iraq until they have done something directly against us. If and when this happens then as far as I'm concerned a small ADM, say 250kt in size, would take care of the present leadership with a minimum loss of life. If a man shoots a weapon at me I do not need the permission on my next door neighbor to shoot back. If you think that Saddam would not use a Nuke on someone, then you have not been paying enough attention to what he has done in the past. He has used chemical weapons on Iranians and his own people As far as the United Nations goes, I would personally drop out of it in about in 5 seconds if I could. The only time the UN is ever going to do something is when the voting member nations have something to gain for it. It could be that gaining something could be someone else losing face and in many cases that would be more than enough. The amount of money the USA is required to add to support the UN is stupid. One of you mentioned a single reactor being destroyed, as indeed it was. I might also and that it was not a research reactor or a power production type reactor, but a type referred to as a breeder – reactor. This type of reactor has but one purpose in life and that is the enhancement of fissionable materials. Enrichment enhanced nuclear materials, now I wonder what someone could do with that. Let me give you a little clue they were not trying to build a better mouse trap. That material is useful for only one propose and that is to make weapons of mass destruction. Has he given up trying to acquire this material or the technology NOPE ! His agent have been caught a couple of times trying to purchase these weapons for Ex-Soviet sources on the black market. A real quick question here and this is coming from a person that realizes that America is one of the world’s largest arms merchants, who would be so stupid as to sell a breeder – reactor to a madman to begin with? Now onto the personal attack against Bush. I do not know what his IQ is and really do not care. The American public did elect him and for us that is all that counts. If the majority of Americans were totally against war with IRAQ enough stink would be made on capital hill that it would not happen. As far as sad sack leaders go we have all had them, if GWB is one, and that remains to be seen. I seem to recall a man by the name of Neville Chamberlain, didn’t he give a free hand and a blind eye to Herr Hitler in exchange for a little peace, now there were a couple of losers. I’m not trying to start a fight either I think the US has had some piss poor leaders in the last 50 years and probably more bad ones than either Germany or the UK has had. I mean we are still trying to live down to legacy of William Jefferson Clinton and that will take a lot of doing. A long time ago when chemical development was banned in the US anybody want to guess when the work was continued on at? Would you believe the UK? Next point the governments listen in on communications both internal and abroad, No kidding, I mean like what a big surprise, Try this put yourself in as the leader of a large country and tell me that you would not ever do something like that. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, just that it is and always will be PERIOD! Did I read somewhere in the posts that Saudi Arabia was our friend, that is a bunch of offal if ever there was. We are as much friends with them as a cobra and a mongoose trapped in the same small box together. The Saudis have been supporting these terrorist the whole time, they just do it in the background and then try to look real innocent. Well enough of this for now.

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I do not believe that the US should be going into Iraq until they have done something directly against us. If and when this happens then as far as I'm concerned a small ADM, say 250kt in size, would take care of the present leadership with a minimum loss of life.

Are you mad??? Arent you the evil you are trying to destroy? This sure would start the 3th world war. If you think an appointed (by judge) president can start a war against anybody just because they have mass destruction weapons and have used it in the past, then we all should be entitled to ask the USA to disarm because they already used nuclear (against Japan) and biological (agent orange stuff) weapons in the past. Their agressiveness also has been proven by attacks against Cuba, Grenada etc. The United Nations just have been created to prevent nations that think they are right in what they do (Germany in the 30's), to overpower others and rule the world. Maybe if the USA would have paid its dues to the UN a little better they could have done a better job. Lots of sound decissions were vetoed away by the US not to interfere with their economic disadvantages. In this global economy we cannot have one nation dictating the rest of the world what to do. The rules of the Far West don't count anymore, all neighbors throughout the world are involved in all kind of matters (like the Kioto agreements the USA refuses to underwrite). Let's all be civilised and govern the world sensibly instead of threatening to use 250kt madness.

Attacking Iraq 10 years ago was correct because they had invaded Koeweit and had to be expulsed. In order to attack now you need a better reason and clear proof. Your intelligence agencies have been fooling us for decades overestimating enemy capabilities (former soviet union) in order to keep your war machine going and your forces deployed abroad. This time we want to see prove, and not just pictures of outdated rusty misiles that never had any chemicals ever fitted.

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The saying of "an accident looking for a place to happen" is how I feel about Blair and Bush only in their case it's like warmongers looking for a place to start one. I find the whole political thing scary and we, our families and Mr and Mrs ordinary with their families in these other countries, as always are and will be the pawns that will suffer in this political point scoring exercise.

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Maybe we could all sing this appropriate song together Sung to the tune of "If you're happy and you know it" If you cannot find Osama, bomb Iraq. If the markets are a drama, bomb Iraq. If the terrorists are frisky, Pakistan is looking shifty, North Korea is too risky, Bomb Iraq. If we have no allies with us, bomb Iraq. If we think someone has dissed us, bomb Iraq. So to hell with the inspections, Let's look tough for the elections, Close your mind and take directions, Bomb Iraq. It's "pre-emptive non-aggression", bomb Iraq. Let's prevent this mass destruction, bomb Iraq. They've got weapons we can't see, And that's good enough for me 'Cos it'all the proof I need Bomb Iraq. If you never were elected, bomb Iraq. If your mood is quite dejected, bomb Iraq. If you think Saddam's gone mad, With the weapons that he had, (And he tried to kill your dad), Bomb Iraq. If your corporate fraud is growin', bomb Iraq. If your ties to it are showin', bomb Iraq. If your politics are sleazy, And hiding that ain't easy, And your manhood's getting queasy, Bomb Iraq. Fall in line and follow orders, bomb Iraq. For our might knows not our borders, bomb Iraq. Disagree? We'll call it treason, Let's make war not love this season, Even if we have no reason, Bomb Iraq.

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Highluc wrote:

If you think an appointed (by judge) president can start a war against anybody just because they have mass destruction weapons and have used it in the past, then we all should be entitled to ask the USA to disarm because they already used nuclear (against Japan) and biological (agent orange stuff) weapons in the past. Their agressiveness also has been proven by attacks against Cuba, Grenada etc.

Let's see, the PM of the UK is chosen by Parliament, if my memory of government is correct. How is that different from being chosen by some supreme court justices?

Every time someone brings up the fact that the US has used nukes (on Japan) I bristle. Many studies have been done to estimate the number of casualties on both sides that would have resulted had the US chosen to invade Japan using only conventional weapons. All have concluded that the loss of human life, both civilian and military would have been far greater than resulted from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Onward and upward. Agent orange consists of 2,4-D, an herbicide that has been in constant use since WW-II and is one of the safest known, and 2,4,5-T, a more modern herbicide, but only marginally more injurious to animal life than 2,4-D. The mixture was used on the TREES IN THE VIETNAM JUNGLE!!! The only injurious ingredient was dioxin, which was a manufacturing by-product of 2,4,5-T, which was present in very small quantities, and is normally removed in the commercial grade. The removal process costs (in 1980 $) about $5/gallon. Since the cost of 2,4,5-T was around $60/gallon, an additional $5 isn't all that much, but the US Army chose to be cheap, since they weren't going to intentionally use it on personnel, and ordered the non-purified product, and that decision eventually bit them in the ass. The point is that we didn't use it with the intention of causing human casualties--we used it to be able to detect shipments of supplies to, and infiltration of, Viet Cong soldiers thru a semi-denuded jungle.

Then we have accusations of aggressiveness towards Cuba (!) and Grenada.

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Then we have accusations of aggressiveness towards Cuba (!) and Grenada.

Are you going to deny trying invading Cuba by the unsuccessfull landing of mercenary troops in Pigs Bay in the 60's? (and still maintaining an economic embargo on that country that never attacked you).

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It never attacked us, no, but it did have nuclear missiles aimed at us in 1962, Cuban refugees have been fleeing to our shores by the thousands every year since Castro took over in 1959, "Bay of Pigs" might have been successful, had not the newly ensconced Kennedy administration pulled out the promised air cover at the last minute, and neglected to tell the refugee army about it resulting in slaughter and torture of thousands. Are you going to intimate that the Cuban people have been better off since Castro took power?? You could compare Castro quite favorably to Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin...you get the idea. I believe God put us on this earth to do what good we can do--do we sit idly by watching fellow human beings suffer needlessly, or do we try to do something about it besides chaining ourselves between a couple of trees to stop traffic in the name of "Give Peace a Chance"? Which has about the same net effect as straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic as it is capsizing.

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Not that I agree with your position on Iraq, Dr.Shoe, but the irony of your little scenario is a little too close to home to those of us in the US who know what REALLY happened (and what the actual "haul" of "illegal weapons" actually was) at both Ruby Ridge (in Idaho), and the "Branch Davidian cult" compound in Waco, Texas:

Actually, I wasn't quoting any actual situation, the scenario was totally hypothetical :lol:.

I don't know what happened at these places other than the filtered, sterilised and official accounts that were breifly mentioned on the news here in the UK.

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Sorry folks but I've got to open my mouth a put in my 2cents worth about this subject. I do not believe that the US should be going into Iraq until they have done something directly against us. If and when this happens then as far as I'm concerned a small ADM, say 250kt in size, would take care of the present leadership with a minimum loss of life. If a man shoots a weapon at me I do not need the permission on my next door neighbor to shoot back.

If you think that Saddam would not use a Nuke on someone, then you have not been paying enough attention to what he has done in the past. He has used chemical weapons on Iranians and his own people

As far as the United Nations goes, I would personally drop out of it in about in 5 seconds if I could. The only time the UN is ever going to do something is when the voting member nations have something to gain for it. It could be that gaining something could be someone else losing face and in many cases that would be more than enough. The amount of money the USA is required to add to support the UN is stupid.

One of you mentioned a single reactor being destroyed, as indeed it was. I might also and that it was not a research reactor or a power production type reactor, but a type referred to as a breeder – reactor. This type of reactor has but one purpose in life and that is the enhancement of fissionable materials. Enrichment enhanced nuclear materials, now I wonder what someone could do with that. Let me give you a little clue they were not trying to build a better mouse trap. That material is useful for only one propose and that is to make weapons of mass destruction. Has he given up trying to acquire this material or the technology NOPE ! His agent have been caught a couple of times trying to purchase these weapons for Ex-Soviet sources on the black market.

A real quick question here and this is coming from a person that realizes that America is one of the world’s largest arms merchants, who would be so stupid as to sell a breeder – reactor to a madman to begin with?

Now onto the personal attack against Bush. I do not know what his IQ is and really do not care. The American public did elect him and for us that is all that counts. If the majority of Americans were totally against war with IRAQ enough stink would be made on capital hill that it would not happen. As far as sad sack leaders go we have all had them, if GWB is one, and that remains to be seen. I seem to recall a man by the name of Neville Chamberlain, didn’t he give a free hand and a blind eye to Herr Hitler in exchange for a little peace, now there were a couple of losers. I’m not trying to start a fight either I think the US has had some piss poor leaders in the last 50 years and probably more bad ones than either Germany or the UK has had. I mean we are still trying to live down to legacy of William Jefferson Clinton and that will take a lot of doing.

A long time ago when chemical development was banned in the US anybody want to guess when the work was continued on at? Would you believe the UK?

Next point the governments listen in on communications both internal and abroad, No kidding, I mean like what a big surprise, Try this put yourself in as the leader of a large country and tell me that you would not ever do something like that. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, just that it is and always will be PERIOD!

Did I read somewhere in the posts that Saudi Arabia was our friend, that is a bunch of offal if ever there was. We are as much friends with them as a cobra and a mongoose trapped in the same small box together. The Saudis have been supporting these terrorist the whole time, they just do it in the background and then try to look real innocent.

Well enough of this for now.

Oh I agree with most of what you said. I would like to add that the whole purpose of the Treaty Of Munich was to buy a little time because at the time, Britain was not ready for war. In fact, we were only ready only to defend ourselves in 1939 and Chamberlain ws hoping that Hitler was going to postpone the invasion of Poland until the spring thus giving us more time to prepare.

In 1939, the US was even less prepared than us, the artillery had been out of date in 1917, and the pay was so bad that only desperate men joined. By the time they entered the war in 1941, the US had had time to massively increase spending and build the military machine that helped win the war.

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Let's see, the PM of the UK is chosen by Parliament, if my memory of government is correct. How is that different from being chosen by some supreme court justices?

No he is not. Every constituency in the UK returns a member of parliament who will almost certainly be a member of a political party; Labour, Conservative (Tory), Liberal Democrat, Green, etc. There are a few Independents like Martin Bell. The party that gains the overall majority of seats in the House Of Commons will find that their leader becomes Prime Minister and the leader of the second strongest party will become Leader Of The Opposition (Iain Duncan-Smith), thus (in theory) the Prime Minister is chosen by the people. However, it is actually an irony that more people voted Conservative in the last election than Labour but because the bulk of Tory votes were cast in a few constituencies where they have a very strong showing then they only returned a few Tory MPs. In most Labour seats they were returned with narrow majorities. Also only 48% of the electorate voted and Tony B Liar's party (New Labour) polled 45% of the total vote so only around 21% of the electorate actually voted for him!

Every time someone brings up the fact that the US has used nukes (on Japan) I bristle. Many studies have been done to estimate the number of casualties on both sides that would have resulted had the US chosen to invade Japan using only conventional weapons. All have concluded that the loss of human life, both civilian and military would have been far greater than resulted from the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

Do you suppose your government is going to tell you that the casualties would have been lower? I'm not going to say that these studies are neccessarily wrong, but how could they know?

Agent orange consists of 2,4-D, an herbicide that has been in constant use since WW-II and is one of the safest known, and 2,4,5-T, a more modern herbicide, but only marginally more injurious to animal life than 2,4-D. The mixture was used on the TREES IN THE VIETNAM JUNGLE!!! The only injurious ingredient was dioxin, which was a manufacturing by-product of 2,4,5-T, which was present in very small quantities, and is normally removed in the commercial grade. The removal process costs (in 1980 $) about $5/gallon. Since the cost of 2,4,5-T was around $60/gallon, an additional $5 isn't all that much, but the US Army chose to be cheap, since they weren't going to intentionally use it on personnel, and ordered the non-purified product, and that decision eventually bit them in the ass. The point is that we didn't use it with the intention of causing human casualties--we used it to be able to detect shipments of supplies to, and infiltration of, Viet Cong soldiers thru a semi-denuded jungle.

If you say so! :lol:

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azraelle wrote

It never attacked us, no, but it did have nuclear missiles aimed at us in 1962

I remember the US having thousands of nuclear vectors pointing at the USSR and stationned in other neigbouring counties. Again this is a case of the USA being allowed what is unacceptable to them if they are at the receiving end.

Are you going to intimate that the Cuban people have been better off since Castro took power?? You could compare Castro quite favorably to Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin...you get the idea.

I spent a 2 week holiday in Cuba a few months ago and talked freely to the population throughout the island, not only in the tourist centres and while they don't make much money, they were quite happy. Instead of having a few people get very rich by working from dusk to dawn without a family life, everybody worked a little at a relaxed rhytm and they happily chatted all day. Without the economic bloccade they could have had better hospital services but at least it was designed for the whole population. I'm not advocating the communist system is the best, but who are we to impose our capitalist system and friendly leaders to a sovereign nation with sufficient freedom to organise themselves to overthrow their leader for another one.

I believe God put us on this earth to do what good we can do--do we sit idly by watching fellow human beings suffer needlessly, or do we try to do something about it besides chaining ourselves between a couple of trees to stop traffic in the name of "Give Peace a Chance"? Which has about the same net effect as straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic as it is capsizing

Please leave God out of the equation, we don't all have the same god to start with and the Crusades have done nothing for peace in the past. For the sake of peace let's replace God by the United Nations council. It sure is far from perfect but presently the only available forum to protect mankind from unnecessary violance.

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It never attacked us, no, but it did have nuclear missiles aimed at us in 1962, Cuban refugees have been fleeing to our shores by the thousands every year since Castro took over in 1959, "Bay of Pigs" might have been successful, had not the newly ensconced Kennedy administration pulled out the promised air cover at the last minute, and neglected to tell the refugee army about it resulting in slaughter and torture of thousands. Are you going to intimate that the Cuban people have been better off since Castro took power?? You could compare Castro quite favorably to Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin...you get the idea. I believe God put us on this earth to do what good we can do--do we sit idly by watching fellow human beings suffer needlessly, or do we try to do something about it besides chaining ourselves between a couple of trees to stop traffic in the name of "Give Peace a Chance"? Which has about the same net effect as straightening the deck chairs on the Titanic as it is capsizing.

Actually, according to a very interesting documentary the whole thing about the Cuban missiles was a bluff by Nikita Kruschev, whether that's right or not I don't know.

The only reasons you get so many Cubans coming over is because the US sanctions are keeping these people in grinding poverty (as sanctions always do) so they paddle across to Miami where even the poorest people are far better off than they ever could be. They are not refugees they are economic migrants just like our so called asylum seekers. Of course they are not better off under Castro, the sanctions see to that.

You could compare Castro quite favorably to Saddam Hussein, Idi Amin, Pol Pot, Josef Stalin...you get the idea.

Is he trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction? Has he purged 20 million people? Has he discriminated against any of his people solely on the grounds of skin colour? As for Pol Pot, come on you cannot seriously compare the two. That would be like me comparing Tony B Liar with Hitler, it would be just as absurd.

I believe God put us on this earth to do what good we can do--do we sit idly by watching fellow human beings suffer needlessly, or do we try to do something about it?

Quite right too, but I hope you don't mean we put them out of their misery by dropping bombs on them.

Give Peace a Chance, there has never been any such thing as a good war or a bad peace.

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Hi Dr. Shoe! I still owe you my answer to one point of your reply. You are right: The air battle against England was a cruel idea of Adolf Hitler and Hermann Goering. That was the first attempt to win a war by a systematical bombing of civilians. Not against industrial or military targets. As you mentioned: London, Coventry, .... The aim was obviously the demoralization of the population by bombing terror. This was definitely a war crime! Unfortunately the allied forces made the same mistake. And even much more effective. The culmination was the atomic bomb attack against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Simply erasing a big town. But as you already said: That's war. Still an answer to your discussion with Azraelle: I agree with you (and HighLuc), Fidel Castro should not be compared with Hitler, Pol Pot, Stalin or Idi Amin. But otherwise he should not be idealized. I remember to a campaign against homosexuals in Cuba some dececenniums ago. A very "popular" method for an endangered dictator in a hispanic country. BTW: I never liked these silly fashionable macho-style-Che-Guevara-Posters. micha (gay) Post Scriptum: How do you create your citations with a rectangle around the text? A challenge, I have to deal with! Using the "quotes-button"?!

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Dr. Shoe, I forgot to answer to your posting about Neville Chamberlain. Even in Germany he is portrayed as the man, who had not the guts to resist Hitler. Primarily because of the agreement of Munich. In my opinion you said with good reasons that Chamberlain should avoid a war with Germany. Regarding the military superiority of national socialist Germany it was rational to keep peace at this moment. For gaining time for arming and exhausting the ultimate chance for peace in Europe. In my opinion is Chamberlain an underestimated politician (compared to Winston Churchill). I cannot accept that he was a coward, selling Europe to Hitler. micha

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Hi Micha, to post a text in the box, just select the portion of the text in a previous mail, copy that part, open a new reply, push the quote button, paste the text, push the same quote button (which now is the unquote) et voilà, good luck

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No he is not. Every constituency in the UK returns a member of parliament who will almost certainly be a member of a political party; Labour, Conservative (Tory), Liberal Democrat, Green, etc. There are a few Independents like Martin Bell. The party that gains the overall majority of seats in the House Of Commons will find that their leader becomes Prime Minister and the leader of the second strongest party will become Leader Of The Opposition (Iain Duncan-Smith), thus (in theory) the Prime Minister is chosen by the people. However, it is actually an irony that more people voted Conservative in the last election than Labour but because the bulk of Tory votes were cast in a few constituencies where they have a very strong showing then they only returned a few Tory MPs. In most Labour seats they were returned with narrow majorities. Also only 48% of the electorate voted and Tony B Liar's party (New Labour) polled 45% of the total vote so only around 21% of the electorate actually voted for him!

Very true! However, technically speaking, there are no free elections in the UK! Why? Well, technically speaking the true Chief of State in the UK is Queen ELIZABETH II (since 6 February 1952) - Heir Apparent Prince CHARLES (son of the queen, born 14 November 1948). And if memory serves me correctly the Chief of State position that is held in the UK is a hereditary position. The British people are not free to choose who holds this position (of being Chief of State, that is). Yes, the prime minister is the Head of Government and the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons (assuming there is no majority party, a prime minister would have a majority coalition or at least a coalition that was not rejected by the majority).

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In Belgium we also have a King, but his power has been limited in practice to ceremonial and representative duties except after elections where he appoints an informer to form a new governemnt, not a sinecure with more than 10 parties in 3 semi autonomous regions with different official languages. In Belgium voting is no choice, you get a fine or go to jail if you had no valid reason not to show up. As from this year we have new rules and parties have to get at least 5% of the votes to be able to contend. Our lists are quite huge and allow to bring out either party votes or name votes. While the ministers are still appointed from within the parties, for the first time we will be able to choose our local mairs directly as a person, without interference of the parties sharing the available seats in the town councils. With so many parties, we almost always end up with coalitions which makes it a little more difficult to conduct sound and steady policies and much negotiations have to be done to find acceptable compromises. In Belgium everybody is used to sit around a table and add lots of water to their wine instead of loadly proclaiming their personal convictions.

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Dr. Shoe wrote:

azraelle wrote:

Let's see, the PM of the UK is chosen by Parliament, if my memory of government is correct. How is that different from being chosen by some supreme court justices?

No he is not. Every constituency in the UK returns a member of parliament who will almost certainly be a member of a political party; Labour, Conservative (Tory), Liberal Democrat, Green, etc. There are a few Independents like Martin Bell. The party that gains the overall majority of seats in the House Of Commons will find that their leader becomes Prime Minister and the leader of the second strongest party will become Leader Of The Opposition (Iain Duncan-Smith), thus (in theory) the Prime Minister is chosen by the people. However, it is actually an irony that more people voted Conservative in the last election than Labour but because the bulk of Tory votes were cast in a few constituencies where they have a very strong showing then they only returned a few Tory MPs. In most Labour seats they were returned with narrow majorities. Also only 48% of the electorate voted and Tony B Liar's party (New Labour) polled 45% of the total vote so only around 21% of the electorate actually voted for him!

I said, that the PM is chosen by parliament. You said, that the leader of whichever party in parliament ends up becoming the majority party, is chosen as PM. What's the difference?? My point was that the PEOPLE do not choose your PM by popular vote ONLY (without one or more insulating or buffering layers in between). Technically speaking, the President of the US is NEVER chosen by the people only either--the constitution specifies that a group of people, known as the electoral college, chosen by the Governors of the respective states, shall choose the President. There is no mention whatsoever that they have to follow the wishes of the people in the last popular election. Traditionally most of them have, but some don't. So, technically speaking the Supreme Court verdict on the popular election was irrelevent--the people could have elected MICKEY MOUSE (on second thought, maybe they did!:lol: )--what matters, technically is that the electoral college voted George W. Bush in as President.

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I think, azrelle, you pretty much hit the nail on the head. With all this talk about us being "the free world", isn't it an irony that the very people talking about regime change in Iraq to free the Iraqi people only represent about a fifth of the UK population!

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In Belgium we also have a King, but his power has been limited in practice to ceremonial and representative duties except after elections where he appoints an informer to form a new governemnt, not a sinecure with more than 10 parties in 3 semi autonomous regions with different official languages.

I am confused about how you use the word informer. Are you talking about the Prime Minister (Head of Government) who is appointed by your hereditary/non-elected monarch (King ALBERT II) who then upon appointment has to be approved by Parliament ?

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I said, that the PM is chosen by parliament. You said, that the leader of whichever party in parliament ends up becoming the majority party, is chosen as PM. What's the difference?? My point was that the PEOPLE do not choose your PM by popular vote ONLY (without one or more insulating or buffering layers in between).

Yes, this is technically true, however, in practice the popularity of a given political party determines the voter's choice. Given the fact that the leader of that political party is deemed by the masses to be responsible for that popularity many people vote for the party rather than the candidate. For example, you hear comments like: "I voted for Labour but I won't next time", or "I've voted tory all my life". I think this is how it works in the US too. Many people are motivated to vote for a political party because they would like to see the leader of that party as PM. They say things like: "I'm voting for Tony" or "I think IDS will make a good prime minister". Again, this is how it works in the US as well, I lived in Arizona when Barry Goldwater ran for the presidency and everyone I knew queued for hours for the chance to vote for him just as people do in the home constituencies of Tony Blair, Iain Duncan-Smith or Charles Kennedy. The good people of Yeovil always voted for Paddy Ashdown which made it a strong Liberal Democrat stronghold but now that he is no longer leader of that party it is now a maginal labour seat- a swing of 34% (if memory serves) which was one of the largest swings in history.

Most people who vote for the "winning" party probably cannot even name their MP because they put their tick in a box next to the representative of the party (and hence that party's leader) of their choice.

Technically speaking, the President of the US is NEVER chosen by the people only either--the constitution specifies that a group of people, known as the electoral college, chosen by the Governors of the respective states, shall choose the President. There is no mention whatsoever that they have to follow the wishes of the people in the last popular election. Traditionally most of them have, but some don't. So, technically speaking the Supreme Court verdict on the popular election was irrelevent--the people could have elected MICKEY MOUSE (on second thought, maybe they did!:lol: )--what matters, technically is that the electoral college voted George W. Bush in as President.

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