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The 7 - Current Events & Politics - The difference between Iraq and North Korea
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#21 Posted on 31.1.03 2158.30
Reposted on: 31.1.10 2159.02
On the original topic about the Iraq situation vs. the North Korea situation it is very simple. Iraq made a treaty to not make or possess WOMD. Yes it was pretty much at the point of a gun but Hussein did not have to invade Quwait.
North Korea "treaty" made was is essentially an agreement. The US agreed to give them oil, food, and other items for NK to stop their nuke programs. NK was starting to make nukes so the US quit giving tribute whups I mean trade goods to NK.
Basicly I don't think that the US has any legal reason to force NK, Iran, or Belize to quit making and time of WOMD. But they do have the legal right to force Iraq.
I do have to agree that the US appears to be putting Irag in a tough position. It looks like Iraq has no way to avoid war to the regular person. I believe that there is certain info the Bush, Blair, and other leaders have that people watching CNN don't.
But I think one point needs to be made. The US wants Hussein out but it wants Iraq fairly strong. Iran has 3 times the population of Iraq. If the Western nightmare of a new technical Jihad was ever to take place Iran is the most likely country to start it. That is unlikely but all the theories of Irag conquering Quwait, Ssudi Arabia, and the other Gulf countries and suddenly cutting of or at least jacking up the oil price is far more likely with Iran in power than Iraq. Why do you think the US supported Iraq after the Shah got kicked out? To serve as a counter to Iran.
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#22 Posted on 1.2.03 1233.32
Reposted on: 1.2.10 1237.35
In 10 years Iran is going to be our ally, if we don't fuck it up.

Theocratic fascist regimes don't work. People hate them. The Iranian people have learned that (and other Islamic countries will also, eventually). There are mass demonstrations against the gov't. They elected a reformer president (who doesn't have much power, but it says something about the electorate). The population is extrodinarily young, and doesn't remember the reasons why they have have this government in the first place. That country's current government is hanging onto power by a thread. Sooner or later, they dimply won't be able to hang on anymore.

Now, what replaces it probably won't be a secular republican form of government complete with three branches of government, etc. It will be a democratic reflection of Iranian culture, and will probably have some Islamic elements and otherwise be very different than our form of government. That's OK.

Why will they be our ally? Becuase unlike Theocratic fascist regimes we DO support (like Saudi Arabia), an uprising against the Iranian government isn't also, by proxy, an uprising against America. If anything, it's the opposite. Are we going to be best buddies? Probably not. But if we play our cards right, we can definitely have a working relationship. This is unlike what will happen when there is an uprising against Saudi Arabia. There, the new government is going to be virulently anti-American, somewhat like Iran's government in the 80s, and I don't blame them. It'll take them another 30 years to figure out what Iran is figuring out now, except they'll have all the weapons we sold them and a shitload of oil we need.

Democracy is good. Development and progress are good. Freedom is good. People figure this out eventually, which is what is happening in Iran. What we can do it try and make sure they don't have to go through too many steps to get it.

What the U.S. needs to do is make sure that they actually are on the side of Freedom and Democracy, not on the side of Theocratic fascists or (as in the 80's) Military Dictatorships. It's a necessary long-term stratagy, even if it might be at the expense of some short-term goals.

We can talk a great game about the values of the U.S. and what-not, but really, you expect people to think that's anything but lip service when in reality we support governments like Saudi Arabia and (in the 80s) Iraq?

Think about why former Communist countries all became capitalist democracies instead of a million other forms of government they could have followed. Because they saw how the United States stood against there oppresive governments, and decided to emulate us. Now, there are certainly problems in these countries, but none of them are, or really have the potential to be, real National Security threats to the U.S. And remember, these countries include a few with Nukes.

Oppresive governments eventually fall. What they get replaced with, at this point in history, is really up to us.

(edited by MoeGates on 1.2.03 1344)
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#23 Posted on 1.2.03 1657.26
Reposted on: 1.2.10 1657.36
I see what you are saying, Moe, but I am not convinced that all oppressive governments will fall, or, at least, that some day we will naturally rrach a point where there are none. They have existed all throughout history, and they exist now.

That being said, good point about Iran. I will say, however, that the US acts, and should act, in its own interests. That has led us, in the past, to support less than desirable regimes, because it seemed necessary at the time. Yes, playing the tyrant Hussein off of the tyrant Ayatollah has had some negative effects, but it didn't seem all bad at the time.

Anyway, what would you do? I'm inclined to think of isolationism as a solution, but do you think we should be more positively involved in these gov'ts?
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#24 Posted on 1.2.03 1836.18
Reposted on: 1.2.10 1838.08
I don't think anyone is debating the U.S acting in it's own interests. What I take issue with why the need to do so arose. By the 80s the threat of retaliation against the US as a nation was dwindling, and really was not going to happen. Obviously hindsight is 20/20 and all that, but don't you find it a tad selfish that the US acted "in it's own interests" to protect themselves from a not-all-that-menacing threat and, in the process, installed several vicious regimes that tore their respective countries apart? I honestly cannot see how it is excusable to install a dictatorship for another country's "best interests"-it was basically a way of getting another country to do the dirty work. And I'm sure it may have paid off for the US in the long-run; it doesn't change the fact that it resulted in pain and suffering to millions of middle-eastern residents.

But then, I guess they're not Us citizens, so it wasn't in the US's best interests to protect them from the military regime.
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#25 Posted on 1.2.03 2044.23
Reposted on: 1.2.10 2047.35
Of course the U.S. should act in its best interests.

What I'm saying is that the U.S.'s long-term and short-term interests are often very different. And this country needs to learn how to sacrifice short-term interests for long-term ones.

In the long-term, creating stable, prosperous Democracies that are our allies is far and away in the best interests of the U.S. This really dwarfs anything else. Mostly from a National Security perspective, but also from an economic and humanitarian perspective.

This is eventually going to mean a diminished world role for the U.S. This is OK. We don't need to run shit forever, as it's really more trouble than it's worth. We just need to run it long enough to get the UN into a functioning entity where Libya doesn't chair the human rights panel, and resoltions about something other than how much we hate Israel get proposed.

Now, when you're dealing with National Security issues, I can see an argument for short-term interests needing to be taken care of first. While I certainly disagree with, say, installing a right-wing dictatorship in Chile because the the current government dared to talk to the Commies, I understand the rationale. But when you're dealing with short-term economic and political consequences, not National Security consequences, there's really no excuse. It's simply putting greed above the interests of the United States.

Isolationism is an interesting idea, but I think it's simply not realistic in this day and age. What should we do? I think #1 we should, as a matter of national policy, refuse to support or trade with any country who's government is not reflective of the will of it's people.

I also think that the old colonial boundries of countries (which usually have absolutely no rational reason for being the way they are) need to be changed, and based on something rational (geography and tribes really), rather then where the French and British happen to run into each other, and the United States (and UN) should be willing to help with this.

(edited by MoeGates on 1.2.03 2157)
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#26 Posted on 1.2.03 2141.38
Reposted on: 1.2.10 2146.06
To agree with Moe, look at the countries in Europe that are supporting the US (outside of Britain). These countries were either under the control of Soviet puppet governments (Eastern Europe), or Fascists (Spain, Portugal, and Italy). This is why Iran is more likely to be dealt with in about 7-8 years when the theocracy fails and why Saudi Arabia will be difficult to deal with when theocracy becomes firmly entreched for 1-2 generations.
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#27 Posted on 1.2.03 2154.35
Reposted on: 1.2.10 2158.12
redsox: Don't forget that a bunch of the European US supporters are economically dependent on us. And I wouldn't discount anyone's standing in NATO, either.
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#28 Posted on 2.2.03 0218.43
Reposted on: 2.2.10 0221.48
I'm against the idea of isolationism. Call me afraid of repeating history if you wish, but we tried that about 70 years ago and it arguably resulted in WWII (but that's another issue for another time). What it boils down to is this: at this point in history, the US is, for either good or bad, embroiled in world affairs. To pull out now and say "Hey, we're going to just mind our own business over here. Have a nice day!" would alienate the entire world (make your own joke) against the US.

I heard an interesting saying a couple of years ago: military buildup destroyed the Soviet Union (with competition from the US), but only time will tell if it does the same to the US.

Also, getting countries to change their boundaries? We have enough problems with the boundaries some countries already have... although I do appreciate the thought behind it, Moe.
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#29 Posted on 2.2.03 1728.32
Reposted on: 2.2.10 1729.02

    Originally posted by TheCow
    I heard an interesting saying a couple of years ago: military buildup destroyed the Soviet Union (with competition from the US), but only time will tell if it does the same to the US.

The thing is we wont have the same problems the Soviets had, because the Soviets built a huge military and couldnt even feed their own people.

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#30 Posted on 27.11.10 1043.27
    Originally posted by Pool-Boy
    I have heard many people call Bush a hypocrite, because he is willing to go to war with Iraq because of THEIR Weapons of Mass Distruction, but we are not threatening that with North Korea, who has declared a nuclear weapon. In addition, we have massive amounts of our own, and if we can have them, why can't everyone else?
    Well, I think there is a big difference in all three situations (well beyond the 12 years of diplomacy that Iraq got vs. North Korea being a relatively new problem).
    I, for one, am not worried about North Korea using their nukes, just like I am not worried about us using OURS. There are three ways you can handle the development of nuclear weapons (and other WOMD)- the first two involve declaring them.
    1- Deterrant. The strategy of Mutually Assured Destruction is a very scary one indeed, but there can be no denying its effectiveness. The United States practices this use of nukes. We tell the world that we are armed with these weapons so that if anyone even thinks about using such weapons on us, we will retaliate in kind. No one wants nuked, so no one attacks us. India and Pakistan, as loud and angry as they are, will likely never nuke each other because of this very principle. This is a time tested defensive use of these weapons, and not a true threat to World Peace.
    2- Negotiating Leverage. This strategy is also peaceful in nature, and is what North Korea is using now. They declared to the world their nuclear capabilities in an effort to gain attention to their problems, and leverage in negotiations. They are a "nuclear power" and will be respected by the world. It may sound agressive, but in reality, it is mostly huff and puff. These nations are well aware of M.A.D. and are not willing to attack using their weapons because not only will it result in their own demise, they cannot possibly have enough weapons to cause equivalent damage to the nation that evenually wiped them out. North Korea is in dire straights right now, but has a bad case of pride. Yes, it requires a very delicate diplomatic game, but no- there is very little danger that they will use their nuclear capability in an offensive fashion.

    The third WOMD strategy is, by far, the most dangerous. A nation which keeps their weapon capability secret is, by far, the most dangerous kind. The only possible reason to keep such weapons programs secret (in light of the docterine of M.A.D.) is the fact that you plan to use them in an offensive manner.
    Iraq is not threatened by M.A.D. Even if Iraq used Nuclear Weapons against one of his neighbors, it is highly unlikely that a third-party nuclear power will launch against him. And the more time that passes, the more likely Saddaam will get away with his agression.
    Hussein has already proved that he is willing to use WOMD, in using them against his own people. He has been far less than forthcoming to UN weapons inspectors, and if Bush's claims of proof that he still has these weapons pan out (Febuary 5th is a key date for that), it is would be clear that we have a dictator who has WOMD, who is developing Nukes, and who has a history of hostility against his neighbors (see Kuwait).
    Americans would be less than open to taking a Nuclearly armed Iraq (or any other nation, for that matter), yet that is what the "anti-war" requirement for an attack is - Saddaam does not actually have nukes so we should not attack him for it.
    I guess my point in all of this is not to say that you cannot argue against war, but rather if you are, to attack Bush for hypocricy because of our own WOMD or for not taking the same hard line against North Korea is not valid in any way. Saddaam is a proven thread with his weapons, the United States, North Korea, or even China is not.
    Arguments based on facts in support of your ideals is a far more effective than venomous, grandiouse, speculative delcarations against a leader you do not particularily like...

    (edited by Pool-Boy on 30.1.03 1232)

Given what we know now, I'm wondering if Pool-Boy, with the benefit of hindsight, still thinks Iraq was more deserving of US aggression than North Korea was.
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