[extropy-chat] urban sprawl as defense

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at gmail.com
Fri Aug 27 07:04:49 UTC 2004

On Thu, 26 Aug 2004 10:38:04 +1000, Brett Paatsch
<bpaatsch at bigpond.net.au> wrote:
> Stephen J. Van Sickle wrote:
> >
> > > When Bush bungled the handling of the UN after getting resolution
> > > 1441 agreed to unanimously and invaded Iraq on a timetable that he
> > > alone was setting and against resolution 1441 and against the UN
> > > Charter he squandered an opportunity to strengthen civilization
> > > (a more capable President could have handled the UN situation
> > > better and made the UN a better institution in the interests of the
> > > US and of the rest of the world) instead, working to a timetable
> > > and/or an agenda of his own, he decided to just go ahead and
> > > invade.
> >
> > How would a more capable President have handled the situation?
> He'd have threatened to revoke the Charter and withdraw the US
> from the UN in the media if Chirac of France did not come up
> with a general standard for determining when the UN Security Council
> should go to war. The security council has to be willing to go to war
> sometimes or their can be no peace. At a critical point Chirac
> of France was saying that France would "never, never" go to war.

Nonsense! Hypocrisy! One nation's head must come up with when to go to
war and if he doesn't we simply withdraw altogether?   Isn't this
ignoring the 60-odd very strong resolutions against the behavior of
Israel whom we support nearly without reservation and never call for a
war against?   There was no good evidence for war worthy breaking of
UN weapsons resolution in Iraq.  So France and other countries quite
rightly held back.  We went ahead anyway and made fools of ourselves
to say the least.
> Had Saddam had weapons of mass destruction Chiracs position would
> have given him confidence that the UN would not and could not invade
> because the French President would not make the necessary call and
> as a permanent security council member could veto and resolution that
> would have required force.

You mean like we have vetoed any action against Israel for all these
many long years?   Besides you are setting up a hypothetical that is
pure supposition.
> If Iraq didn't have weapons of mass destruction it would not have been
> invaded but the UN would have had a standard to use for go-to-war
> don't-go-to-war decisions in the future.

A standard is a reasonable thing but I don't see it was Chirac who was
principally in the way of one or that we should have withdrawn if
Chirac did not come up with one.
> In a world where terrorists could have weapons of mass distruction
> it is not unreasonable that the sovereignty of countries be put aside
> provided that it is done in the right way. There is not currently a
> workable right way. Bush could have made it so that there was
> - but instead he chose a wrong way.

In a world where the down-trodden may use terrorism I would advise
being damn careful about invading people's homeland on suspicion.    I
would also advise being careful about bullying various peoples. 
Impunity is harder to come by.   Of course this advice will be
considered being "soft on terrorism".  More "realistic" folks will
instead turn the world into an armed camp and throw away their
freedoms to stop those insane terrorists who "hate us because we are

> > The only alternative I can see was standing down the troops and
> > letting the sanctions collapse.

The sanctions had been outrageous for a long time.  Largely they
should have been dropped long ago.

> The charter makes it unlawful to invade sovereign countries (except
> in self defence - eg Afghanistan) or with security council approval
> which would come in the form of a resolution.

Afghanistan was not self-defense.  
> 1441 was the unanimous resolution that threaten "serious consequence"
> on Iraq if it did not comply with previous resolutions and did not show
> that it did not posses weapons of mass destruction.

It seems to me it did its best to prove a negative.   We didn't really
give a shit about WMD to start with of course.  We were bound and
determined to go in.

> Because the security council gave Iraq one "final opportunity" and
> because it was "seized of the matter" only the security council
> could determine when the "final opportunity" was over.
> The security council never made such a determination because
> Bush was not willing to go back to it to loose his legalistic pretext.
> To have done so would have made it clear to the whole world
> (if it wasn't already) that the UN security council did not think
> the use of force at that time was warranted - inspections were
> still going on etc.

> The UK, Spain and the US had prepared another resolution
> that effectively said only that the "final opportunity" granted
> Iraq under 1441 was up. But they never tabled the resolution
> to be voted on because it was clear that it would not have
> gotten up and in failing to get up the PR battle would be
> lost.
> So Bush and the coalition of the willing invaded before
> the security council had deemed Iraq's final opportunity
> over. That was clear cut illegal. And as it turned out
> Iraq didn't have the weapons.
> The tradgedy is that the concerns over weapons were
> not unreasonable and the criticisms made of the UN
> were not unreasonable - there can be no peace under
> the United Nations if the United Nations Security Council
> would not enforce it - but it was within the range of
> Bush's possible diplomatic moves to make the UN
> security council live up to its mandate - he either just
> didn't see the move (to challenge Chirac to produce a
> standard or he would deem the UN Charter revoked)
> - or he didn't want to see it - he wanted to invade Iraq
> whether it had weapons or not.

Using this would have made us look very foolish after all the times we
have backed down regarding Israel.

- samantha

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