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May 04, 2005

Comments

Zap

If it's pork then the operation should be called "Hide The Salami."

But, I don't think it's pork. Beef Salami is popular over there. I linked some time ago to an excellent "care package" effort that explained the military prohibited pork products from carefully screened packages.

I read an interesting exchange between a soldier on the ground and a homespun military strategist from Kos. Not pertinent to their conversation, the man in Iraq, suggested they do not need anymore food items. They're getting fat.

kimtq

Who cares if there against pork or if it affects their religious concvictions.

Torridjoe

Kimtg, we should. If we're going to do nation building, we're not going to get anywhere by trying to build another US. It won't happen. Insular thinking and disrespect for native culture was one of the things that cost us Vietnam. I'd rather we not make the same mistake.

Ronald Rutherford

We can have respect for native cultures but still be true to our culture. Should we appologize for having women in our military? Or positions of authority? Should US women in or out of the military be required to wear 100% black attire including covering thier faces?
If we are to ban pork to our troops in the ME, then we will need to ban all meat products when visiting India? But eat dogs in China?
Let us not appologize for our culture but show the world our true culture when visiting foreign lands.
And of course you ranted and raved for half a page before realizing it was beef and not pork!!!! HA,HA,HA!

Torridjoe

It's not "apologizing" for our culture to avoid antagonizing and alienating an occupied culture through our own clumsiness. It certainly doesn't help when we are there thoroughly uninvited.

Generally, when people rant and rave they don't use phrases like "I don't want to make too much of this."

Ronald Rutherford

What clumsiness are talking about? And again we are drifting from the topic of the piece that we are sending pork to the ME by saying that we were uninvited. As a matter of fact most Iraqis want us to stay for at least the time being where only 12% want immediate withdrawal.
And yes I can say ranting and raving when that phrase ("I don't want to make too much of this.") was used in the last paragraph as more of a footnote. If he had started out with that phrase then maybe he was just hopethesizing...

Torrid

I'm not sure what staying for the time being has to do with whether they were invited there in the first place. Thanks for commenting.

Ronald Rutherford

Unfortunately I have not come accross any poll that asked the Iraqis whether they would invite us to topple Saddam Hussein. But the 500,000 Iraqi children we killed in our air campaign can't be polled. And another 600,000 here:
The Documental Centre for Human Rights in Iraq has compiled documentation on over 600,000 civilian executions in Iraq. Human Rights Watch reports that in one operation alone, the Anfal, Saddam killed 100,000 Kurdish Iraqis. Another 500,000 are estimated to have died in Saddam's needless war with Iran. Coldly taken as a daily average for the 24 years of Saddam's reign, these numbers give us a horrifying picture of between 70 and 125 civilian deaths per day for every one of Saddam's 8,000-odd days in power"
At: http://wais.stanford.edu/Iraq/iraq_deathsundersaddamhussein42503.html
Then again Saddam was a tyrant and he did not allow democracy of any kind.

Torrid

Not sure I understand your point. Saddam was a bad man. And?

Zap

Clearly torrid, Saddam was a bad man and let them eat pork!

Ronald Rutherford

I am sorry that you did not get my point. "Saddam was a bad man. And..." There was no way for us to determine if a majority of Iraqis wanted the US to change regimes. Thusly to answer the question of "whether they were invited there in the first place".

Torridjoe

To which I would aver, if we didn't know whether we were wanted, the smart thing to do would have been to not go.

Ronald Rutherford

I assume you would not have gone to Germany in WW2 or Kosovo or Korea... How many people need to die in a genocide before we should take action? Or should we be an isolationist country at any cost?

Torridjoe

There was no active genocide in Iraq; I'm not sure what you're talking about. No amount of firepower or troops were going to bring back the gassed Kurds, and casualties of the war with Iran can hardly be called genocidal.

Ronald Rutherford

That's funny!
As long there is no "active" genocide we should not be involved. But you still didn't answer my questions.
Thank you for such an interesting conversation.

Torrid

I'm happy to answer the questions; I assumed they were rhetorically extraneous to your point. There is no set level of genocidal deaths that by nature necessitates a response. The primary criterion is if there is actually one happening or not. Numbers are less important than players.

Perhaps you've heard of closing the barn door after the horse has left. (A notion that is, similar to yours, rhetorical.)

Ronald Rutherford

What "players" would constitute us to make a decision?
Is some players forced to not contribute since they are big (or small)?
I will assume that as long as Saddam did not have a knife in his hand with blood on the knife he was not commiting genocide at the time. The last number I found was 270 mass graves with up to 300,000 buried. I sounds to me that it was still going on or did he repent when we were not listening?
Hitler used propaganda to convince the west that no genocide was used against the Jews and others. Should we have believed him every time he sent out news reals that showed the Jews having a comfortable life in relocation camps?
Even in Hitler's case the horse had not left the barn or here also.

Torridjoe

Ronald, your estimates, like those of Tony Blair, are wildly overstated. Blair himself admitted last year that they were. I'm sure more have been uncovered since then, but at the rate they were discovered last July, we're talking about 25,000, not 300,000 (or 400,000 as Blair originally averred). And of course there's the question of who's buried there, and from what cause. Many of the sites are so old, they could legitimately be filled with Iraqis killed during the first Gulf War.

If you'd like to document what mass killings were going on at the time we invaded in '03, I'm here to listen.

Ronald Rutherford

Again Torrid you assume that since no "active" campaign of genocide was taking place it was incorrect for the US to invade. I will assume that is what you believe.
Since our history is replete with bad men that acted nice when it suited them and when they had the chance went back to their evil ways.
A Downing Street spokesman said: 'While experts may disagree on the exact figures, human rights groups, governments and politicians across the world have no doubt that Saddam killed hundreds of thousands of his own people and their remains are buried in sites throughout Iraq.'

Torrid

You'd expect Downing to say that, but they also say they only found 5,000 as of last July. There have been no major (100+) uncoverings that I know of since then.

Yes, because there was no active genocide going on, it was incorrect to invade. The last genocidal act was well over a decade ago, same as their last terrorist act.

Ronald Rutherford

Dear Torrid:
You have placed yourself in the most unenviable position of defending a negative. While I would only have to prove one dealth. As you stated "There is no set level of genocidal deaths that by nature necessitates a response." After the first gulf war: the United Nations, seeing the brutal repression of the rebellion as a threat to security throughout the region, adopted Resolution 688, calling for Iraq to end its military action against Kurds and Shias.
I don't believe you have heard of the Fedayin. This leads to an interesting article: http://inatoday.com/saddamsss.htm
"Founded in 1995, the Fedayin answer to no authority except Uday. The Fedayin is independent of the regular military chain of command, and of the Baath political party, which dominates Iraq's political life."
But then again this was an issue of pork???

Torrid

Sorry, Ronald, you lost me. I'm well aware of the fedayeen, but I'm not sure what information you've provided that suggests genocide. There wasn't one, is why.

I think you might be confusing political repression that includes law and order executions, or even death squad raids--with a full-scale ethnic, class or racial elimination plan.

Genocide--Rwanda
Genocide--Cambodia
Genocide--Kosovo
Genocide--Germany 30s-40s

Genocide--Iraq early 90s

beyond that, nope.

Zap

Genocide Sudan current.

Torrid

yes, an errant omission on my part. Sudan definitely qualifies.

Ronald Rutherford

Just some minor points on your short list of Genocides: by your very definition you should exclude Cambodia since it was political repression. Even though many but not all call Cambodia a genocide that only shows laziness in language. It would be more percise to cosider it ethnic cleansing or a democide while not particularly targeting any specific ethnic group. While you did not include American Indians or Indian-Pakistan in 1947, Armenian genocide in Turkey during 1915-1916 and Japanese against the Chinese1939-1945. Now you seem to be backing away from any set level of dealth to constitute a genocide to "a full-scale ethnic, class or racial elimination plan".
Do you honestly think that Saddam repented and did not use the Fedayin to put extra pressure on other ethic groups? They would only need to kill one with the purpose and intent to destroy a race to constitute a genocide.
Maybe we have drifted too much into semantics...
But let me go back to Cambodia, since it was not a Genocide you would not have intervened? As long as it is only "political repression that includes law and order executions, or even death squad raids". So if you don't call it genocide you would not have intervened in Iraq even if it was political repression leading to many dealths.

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