"Patriotism is the willingness to kill and be killed for trivial reasons." Bertrand Russell

Thursday, October 14, 2004

another, what's her point?

"For many die-hard opponents of the war, this furore must seem like winning the lottery. It enables them to redouble the odious charge that George Bush is as bad as Saddam Hussein. And with the ignominious US retreat in Fallujah and the continuing struggle in Najaf, it lets them claim that the war in Iraq is all but lost and the coalition should now pull out.

Yet this would mean civil war in Iraq, the likely return of tyranny and a renewed threat to the west — quite apart from the enormous encouragement to rogue states and the terror factories they sponsor to redouble their murderous activities."

I'll think you'll find melanie, this is the exact opposite of winning the lottery. This is one of many inflictions (and possibly the least, taking account of death, burns, bullet wounds, loss of family, loss of freedom etc.) the anti-war movement considered.

"No, the gravest peril lies in the possible collapse of nerve in the west itself. The scandal has handed a potent weapon to those gunning for both President Bush and Tony Blair and who have every interest in milking the crisis, however destructive this might prove in Iraq itself.

This faction, dominant among the British and European establishment and now making headway in the US, already has blood on its hands for preaching defeatism and appeasement at every turn, thus encouraging the insurgents in Iraq who know how to turn the screw and divide the coalition still further."

I think you'll find melanie, that the 'gravest peril' lies not within those of us in the west that think maybe (not really maybe) Bush and Blair are greedy, pseudo regnant war criminals who don't deserve to run democratic countries, but in the fact that in all probability the culprits of these crimes will get away scot free. Therefore allowing these horrific acts to continue in US/UK 'detention centres' across the world.

"The result is that an already hostile or queasy public may finally turn against the war and destroy the political will to continue down the long and difficult path to peace. If the scandal destroys popular belief in the justice of what we are doing, defeatism will gain an unstoppable momentum."

I think you'll find melanie, that the only queasiness the public (is this the millions that marched aganist the war, or the 'millions' who got out and marched for the war) may feel is in seeing dead iraqi children in the news each day or iraqi prisoners of war tortured by their 'saviours'.

"Personally, I never believed the war was justified on the grounds of bringing superior moral values to Iraq, but simply to defend the west against the lethal confluence — exemplified by Saddam’s regime — of rogue states, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. And I still believe that to be true."

I think you'll find melanie, your head is buried in the sand. Purposely.

Thank you for your time. Yours sincerely,


Thank you very much indeed for your remarks, which I have read with great interest. I am sorry you disagreed with what I wrote. However, your message was most illuminating, and I am grateful to you for taking the trouble to write.

Melanie Phillips

Thank you for your swift and open minded reply.

Considering your recent 'illumination' I was wondering if you could explain a few things in reference to your assertion "....defend the west against the lethal confluence — exemplified by Saddam’s regime — of rogue states, terrorism and weapons of mass destruction.":

1) United Nations weapons inspector Scott Ritter "We know we had no information that suggested it was still in existence."

"I, for one, believe that a.) Iraq represents a threat to no one, and b.) Iraq will not represent a threat to anyone if we can get weapons inspectors back in. Iraq will accept these inspectors if we agree to the immediate lifting of economic sanctions. The Security Council should re-evaluate Iraq's disarmament obligation from a qualitative standpoint and not quantitative standpoint."

Edward Herman (Professor Emeritus of Finance at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania)

"....the United States is well able to defend itself and has overwhelming retaliatory capability, and even Israel would threaten a level of retaliation that precludes Saddam's using those weapons offensively against it even if he had them.

What is more, he has no delivery systems that would allow him to reach U.S. targets. He has used WMD in the past, but only when the United States supplied him with and protected his use of such weapons (against Iran, a U.S. enemy), the United States even going so far as to prevent condemnation of Saddam's methods in the Security Council (for details see the Labour Party "counter- dossier," Sept. 21, 2002: http://www.traprockpeace.org)."

In reference to WMD.

2) President Bush "Intelligence gathered by this and other governments leaves no doubt that the Iraq regime continues to possess and conceal some of the most lethal weapons ever devised."

President Bush “Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be here somewhere,”
“No, no weapons over there”
“Maybe under here?”

3) Noam Chomsky "Has Saddam ever posed a threat to the US? The idea verges on absurdity. Up to 1990, when he was committed by far his worst crimes, he was a friend and ally of those running the show in Washington today. Far from seeing him as a threat, they even provided him with means to develop weapons of mass destruction."

4) CDISS "Most biological agents also degrade rapidly, although dry agents such as anthrax spores and some toxins, are persistent. Such agents could also pose long-lasting hazards, (anthrax spores may persist in the soil in deadly form for decades), meaning that areas an attacker wishes to move across or occupy may remain contaminated, necessitating the use of protective equipment and / or decontamination for attacking forces. The weaponisation (storage and delivery) of biological agents also poses technical hurdles."

These facts only make it simpler for biologicals agents to be found. Also due to their natural degradation any weapons that may be found in the near future must have been produced in the recent past.

5) "Bin Laden always loathed Saddam Hussein. He hated the Iraqi leader's un-Islamic behaviour, his secularism, his use of religion to encourage loyalty to a Baath party that was co-founded by a Christian. America's attempt to link al-Qa'ida to the Baghdad regime has always been one of the most preposterous of Washington's claims." Has He Taken Refuge In Saudi Arabia by Robert Fisk The Independent

President Bush "We've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th."

"We've never been able to develop any more of that yet, either in terms of confirming it or discrediting it," Dick Cheney

In reference to an allegation - doubted by many in the intelligence community - that Mohamed Atta, the lead Sept. 11 attacker, met a senior Iraqi intelligence official in Prague five months before Sept. 11.

In other words, if not to remove an evil dictator, why?

Thanks again for your time,

Yours sincerely,