# anti-war blackout

## Posted 13 Mar 2003 at 00:20 UTC by proclus

In the event that war breaks out with Iraq, GNU-Darwin will observe the anti-war moratorium by replacing our home page with the following message; Stop the war now!

If you see this message, then I advise you to stop what you are doing and join the demonstrators in the street.

If you have any suggestions on how to respond to the madness of Mr. Bush and his administration, please feel free to pass them along.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Anti-war == pro-murder, pro-torture, pro-oppression, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 06:47 UTC by Zaitcev»(Master)

In leftist language, helping victims of brutal dictator is called "madness". I thought hijacking technical websites for shady purposes was madness, but perhaps I'm behind times and the newspeak.

#### Pro-war == pro-murder, pro-torture, pro-oppression, disgusting, sadistic etc., posted 13 Mar 2003 at 11:54 UTC by Penix»(Apprentice)

You're a hypocritical moron.

Since when does helping someone involve killing them and many others?

#### Webmasters on strike..., posted 13 Mar 2003 at 12:07 UTC by Denny»(Journeyer)

Nice idea. Wonder how many websites would have to join in before it started to impact on 'the average person'?

As geeks (I speak for myself, obviously, but possibly others here too?), I suspect we tend to assign more importance to a functioning Internet than the rest of the world might do.

Still, it's a neat way to state your principles. Before you go out and join that demo in the street...

#### Who's next?, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 13:43 UTC by gerv»(Master)

helping victims of brutal dictator is called "madness".

By this logic, when the US has finished bombing Iraq, it should move on to North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Zimbabwe and Libya.

The question is: who appointed the USA as global policeman? The UN was set up precisely so that countries would not invade, attack or bomb other countries unilaterally. The UN Charter preamble:

"WE THE PEOPLES OF THE UNITED NATIONS DETERMINED

to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war, which twice in our lifetime has brought untold sorrow to mankind, and

to reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small, and

to establish conditions under which justice and respect for the obligations arising from treaties and other sources of international law can be maintained, and

to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom,..."

What's that bit about "respect for the obligations arising from international law"? This section can't apply to Iraq but not the US.

Gerv

#### The question is: who appointed the USA as global policeman?, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 15:33 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

A beginning of an answer here :

Project for a New American Century (look who's the chairman).

In particular : Rebuilding America's Defense.

which seems to show that the current events were being planned back in 2000.

(obvious disclaimer : yes, I'm french - yes, I'm against war in Iraq, yes, like the vast majority of europeans I'm much more afraid of the US than of Iraq right now).

#### Uncool :-(, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 15:37 UTC by tk»(Observer)

How effective will a blackout be, I wonder? The average guy may simply see the whole exercise as just a way for disgruntled webmasters to let off steam. The anti-war guy will already be anti-war anyway, and will likely be irritated by the blackout, since he can't do the things he wants to do (e.g. know more about GNU-Darwin).

I say, let's continue to use our freedom to do constructive things, instead of wasting our freedom on fighting for more freedom...

#### Uncool :-(, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 15:38 UTC by tk»(Observer)

How effective will a blackout be, I wonder? The average guy may simply see the whole exercise as just a way for disgruntled webmasters to let off steam. The anti-war guy will already be anti-war anyway, and will likely be irritated by the blackout, since he can't do the things he wants to do (e.g. know more about GNU-Darwin).

I say, let's continue to use our freedom to do constructive things, instead of wasting our freedom on fighting for more freedom, then using the newly-acquired freedom to fight for even more freedom, etc.........

#### Sick, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 16:21 UTC by neil»(Master)

So what's wrong with the GNU Darwin people, that they wish to protest the brining of freedom, instead of more genocide, to the Iraqi people?

Apple should be proud that they're being criticized by these losers.

GNU Darwin: The OS Charles Lindbergh would have used.

#### Diversity of opinions is important here, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 16:50 UTC by nymia»(Master)

It think it would be good to get some information on other's opinion. Especially the ones who live in a third world country where freedom is nothing but a dream and dictatorship and chaos are the orders of the day.

I bet most of these posters here have no idea what it is to be invaded and occupied.

#### Re: Diversity, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 18:29 UTC by Capzilla»(Master)

I live in freedom, although I'm not content with our monarchy, but I disagree with your post.

I have no idea what it is to be occupied. But that's irrelevant: it is probably worse than I can imagine, which is all the more reason to act. If you ment the war itself and truly believe Iraq will be attacked so it can be occupied, well, that's such utter nonsense I can't even begin to debate it.

And don't forget that you won't get replies from people who live in occupied countries. They probably don't have the freedom or resources to post here.

#### Diversity, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 18:37 UTC by nymia»(Master)

Why is war not the solution?

Note that I have no stand on this issue yet since I'm still gathering information why I would support a war or not.

#### some upshot, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 21:12 UTC by proclus»(Master)

Predictably, I've been taking a little heat via email for this move. Here are some nuggets, which might help to clarify the position.

GNU-Darwin is an activist software distribution, and the message in question is a part of that activism. Sorry to hear that you think it is irrelevant or spam, but as the founder and lead developer of The GNU-Darwin Distribution, I can assure that it is not. Neither will it be the last such message. There can be no free software without freedom.

Of course, I cannot speak for all of the users, but if you are correct that they agree with the anti-war sentiment, then they will welcome the small inconvenience of by-passing the home page, in order to make a prominent statement against an unjust war.

The war is unjust and the US is wrong to pursue it. Our troops are bound under the UCMJ at this unfortunate time, and they will do what is required of them. (I was in the reserve myself years ago, so I understand and empathize.) The best way to support the troops is to bring them home now.

No war for oil. I cannot in good conscience support killing for the benefit of US hegemony. Saddam is certainly a bad governor, but if the US preempts, then we will be invaders and aggressors in an unjust war, just like Germany in WWII. GNU-Darwin support for the anti-war protestors is a foregone conclusion, and it is right to do so.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Diversity, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 22:23 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

If you're still gathering information, I strongly suggest you take a look at the URLs I've posted above, which fairly clearly proves that the given reason of liberating Iraq or fighting terrorism is fake.

Here are a couple more :

Bin Laden timeline, and Did the U.S. military presence in Saudi Arabia cause the September 11 attacks? (answer is yes, so arguably the 1st Gulf War triggered 9/11).

The bottom line is simply that the eternal "you hit me, I hit you back" cycle still works, no matter how powerful either side are. And for each blow one side gives, it fantasize that it will be so powerful that the other side will be crushed once and for all, and, realising how strong its opponent is, beg for mercy and stop fighting. But the opposite happens, it just fuels the hatred of the adversary, justifying it to hit back more violently, etc... ad nauseam.

Try reading The Violence and the Sacred" by René Girard (french - sorry - professor living in Stanford) for a good description of this process.

See the current Israel vs. Palestinian conflict. Palestinian blows himself up, Israeli army invades occupied territories, leading more palestinians to hate them and blow themselves up because they'd much rather die killing israelis than live in these conditions.

More closely, just look at how 9/11 turned mglazer into an extremist, just like the terrorists piloting the planes. The irony is that, not only is he absolutely convinced of his good right, he enjoys his hatred, as we would all do in such a case. Revenge is sweet, isn't it ? So he's ripe to become the same kind of monster he claims to fight. One could say he already is, for all purposes and intent, except he hasn't actually done anything yet. But it won't require much to push him.

One thing which has changed since the beginning of the world though, is that technology provided us with weapons powerful enough to kill us all. As dear old Joshua put it, "the only winning move is not to play" (btw, raph, Sympathy for the Devil is indeed a thought-provoking view, but I disagree with it. If John Barlow had been in charge, the USSR would still have crumbled, perhaps even faster, and Cheney's way of handling things wouldn't have worked either. The policy described in the text just doesn't fit with basic human nature IMHO).

In that case, Iraq won't nuke the US anytime soon of course, but there's no telling how far it can escalate. Not even considering the reaction of other arab countries, the Iraqis themselves have every reason to hate the US, because of the embargo (the "Oil for food" agreement doesn't even begin to cover their needs, probably because Hussein's regime isn't helping at all, but also because requests for medications are systematically blocked by UN bureaucracy), the contamination of their soil with depleted uranium (something which even US military were victim of), and well, people who will die under american bombs. So to expect them to welcome the US army with open arms as their saviors is IMHO quite unrealistic, especially because all information sources are controlled by Hussein's regime.

More stuff on these matters here : The Fire This Time, and Hidden Wars of the Desert Storm

although these sites are clearly far from being objective.

Another ironic side of all this is that G. W. Bush is a "Born Again Christian", and it is generally agreed that the core of the christian message is "love your neighbour" (or "love your ennemy", or "turn the other cheek", you get the idea), which carries a fairly strong quality : it breaks that famous everlasting cycle of violence. René Girard argues that this is one the reasons why christianity is such a successful religion (other disclaimer : I'm an atheist).

So to sum up : what this war is most likely to bring is more Bin Ladens, and more mglazers (not that there's more than a purely academic distinction between them anyway).

The expected question would then be : but how to save the Iraqis living under a violent regime ? Frankly I have no idea. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up being sacrificed until Hussein peacefully dies in his bed in his Bagdad palace, they wouldn't be the first people to suffer this fate. Lifting the embargo would probably help, but at this stage of events it's unthinkable.

Well, hope that helps :-).

#### Got it, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 22:56 UTC by neil»(Master)

So GNU Darwin opposes the multilateral, US-led plan to take town a genocidal dictator. It understand.

Can you describe GNU Darwin's position on previous US liberations?

Afghanistan from Taleban Yugoslavia from Milosevic Kuwait from Hussein Europe from Hitler

thanks

#### Re: Got it, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 23:41 UTC by proclus»(Master)

Was that a troll? Ah well, here goes.

> So GNU Darwin opposes the multilateral,

At this time, it appears that the war will be unilateral, but it is fine to oppose multilateral wars which are wrong. This war is wrong.

> US-led plan

Are you trying to convince me? I have not been impressed with many US-led plans of late.

> to take town a genocidal > dictator.

Ah, that would be a dictator which was established, propped up, and deliberately genocide-enabled by the US. It only recently appears that he has lost favor with the oilygarchy, who has taken it out on the people of Iraq, a tradgedy all around for sure, and a US instigated downward spiral of misery.

> It understand.

\end mode sarcasm

> Can you describe GNU Darwin's position on previous US liberations?

Whatever the supposed benefits of previous wars, that does not justify the current one.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### How Queer are &quoLiberals&quo, posted 13 Mar 2003 at 23:47 UTC by mglazer»(Journeyer)

How Queer are the "liberal" anti-Liberation front who support genocidal mass-murder in Rwanda, Kosovo, North Korea and now Iraq.

Truly pathetic anti-freedom losers.

IN MY NAME LIBERATE OPPRESSED PEOPLE and DO NOT SUPPORT DICTATORS!

Thank GOD America is NOT EUROPE!

#### Cycle of violence, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 03:00 UTC by Zaitcev»(Master)

One important thing about violence is that bare, unsupported violence does not solve problems. However, it does help to solve problems, and sometimes it is indispensible tool for building the solution. Nothing but violence solved the problem of Hitler, and same violence solved the problem of imperial Japan. That, and the American occupation. The essential part is not to turn back on the defeated.

In case of Israel, the second part is missing. Israel doggedly refuses to occupy Arab territories, and provide any replacement for the corrupt band of thugs which governs them now. The problem is not with violence, but with the refusal to take responsibility for the results of the violence. By the same token, if U.S. does not establish strict military occupation of Iraq, the result is going to be the same.

P.S. Thanks G. for talking about issues and not persona.

#### Surety, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 03:34 UTC by djm»(Master)

It must be conforting to be so utterly convienced of the rightness of one's own views, and not have to agonise and muck around in moral ambiguity.

#### Uh huh, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 04:02 UTC by neil»(Master)

proclus: So GNU Darwin has no position on the US action in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Kuwait, and Europe? It's a simple question. You've sided with the genocidal dictator this time, did you support him in Kuwait? Did you support Milosevic? Did you support Hitler? IF not, what makes Hussein's crimes lesser? That his don't come against Europeans? Please advise.

Hint on the word unilateral: More European countries have signed on to support the US than have expressed opposition. It is France, Russia, Germany who are in the minority. It is the veto-threateners who have declared that they will thwart the UN community. It is they who refuse to enforce the unanimously (even Syria voted for it) passed UNSCR 1441.

I guess if English isn't your first language or something, and you have trouble with a word like unilateral, I understand. But you really shouldn't make political statements in a language you have trouble with.

#### Complicated situation, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 04:30 UTC by davidw»(Master)

Ok, so this is all totally off topic, but in some way, I actually enjoy discussing these issues - at least with people who are not "so utterly convinced of the rightness of their own views", as djm says. I think it's a complex, multi-faceted situation with shades of gray.

First of all, I'm against immediate military action for the following reasons:

1) Bush is really giving the impression that he just wants a war. That doesn't sit right with me. If he has right on his side, waiting a little bit longer isn't going to hurt.

2) Bush doesn't seem to have very good ideas for "after", although the "material" he has to work with doesn't look very promising. It seems as if Hussein is the only thing "holding Iraq together" in some ways. While it would be good to get rid of him, having a well thought out plan for what to do seems like a necessary idea.

3) A "preemptive strike" type of war is a bad precedent. It's not the sort of thing should be undertaken without some support from the rest of the world.

4) Evidence. Sure, there is some, but this ties in with the points above - the US government needs to be very convincing, and so far they have failed in this.

5) The inspectors are there not to see what they can find, but to verify that Iraq has indeed disarmed. This point seems to have escaped many people. But, given that they are there, and are getting things done, why not keep going with that approach as long as possible? Better than a war.

I think rushing off gung-ho to invade Iraq is a very bad idea, but having said that, some of the anti-war crowd don't convince me much either.

1) Saddam seems to only respond to threats of force - then he gives up just enough to get some people to want to back off, thus dividing his 'opposition'. It's pretty obvious he's playing a game. While I don't like that, playing along is better than launching a war. However... he'll stop playing if the french start out and out defending him.

2) The French aren't opposed to war - they've been popping off nuke tests, and sending their troops around the world too. They just want to grab their share of the power. Fair enough, but don't try and foist that off as "moral opposition" to war. Germany's position seems to be more honest, to me.

3) There is a certain percentage of the anti-war movement which is pretty much convinced that anything the US does is bad, and ought to be opposed. I think that they are definitely a minority, given how much anti-war support there is, but seeing things like communist flags or "bush as hitler" definitely turn me off.

4) Say what you will, but in terms of political direction and money spent, Europe has not stepped up to the plate as far as the "global policeman" role. That has, by default, fallen to the US. I don't think that's a good thing - they need to do their part too.

In any case, I don't like Bush, didn't vote for him, won't vote for him, am opposed to a hasty, ill-thought out war, but certainly find the issues far from clear-cut and certain, and think that intelligent people may find points to disagree with me on.

#### US in Saudi Arabia, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 04:39 UTC by davidw»(Master)

Guillaume - your comments with regards to the US military in S.A. do not make sense. They did not "cause" September 11th. Bin Laden and company caused September 11th. Many South Koreans appear to be unhappy with the US military presence there, but that doesn't provoke them into killing thousands of innocent people. They manifest their discontent by civil means, such as voting and protesting.

#### This war is not about Iraq or anything Sadam has ever done, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 06:09 UTC by Omnifarious»(Journeyer)

If this war is really to help the Iraqi people, then why didn't we help them a long time ago, before so many of them were murdered? Why did we help him get where he is in the first place? It's quite clear that this war is to serve some end of the people in power that has little or nothing to do with whether or not the Iraqi people are free.

My vote for a purpose is that the war will be used as justification for the further opression of the American people. The official request that anti-war protesting be halted after the war starts is further evidence of this, and it deserves precisely the response the GNU Darwin project intends to give.

#### more nuggets, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 06:36 UTC by proclus»(Master)

Here are some more email clippings, which are certainly germaine here.

Before US intervention, Iraq was a secular modern state and friends of the US, not terrorists. Clearly, they would be crazy to attack the US, and it will never happen.

For what it is worth, I will be glad to see the monster Saddam brought before the world court and judged for his crimes, but I feel that the war will only add to the injury of the people of Iraq and further trouble. Ah well, later then.

For those who are offering support, many thanks, and hopefully this blackout action will spread across the whole internet space.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Cycle of violence, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 11:24 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

Zaitcev : yes, sometimes violence is the last resort, but that doesn't make it less of a failure. Hitler would never had taken over Germany if it hadn't been in such a desperate economical state brought by the Versailles treatee from 1918. The WW-I "winners" who had purposely decided to humiliate Germany are also the cause of WW-II.

davidw : yes, not all people resort to violence, but then what ? What is more likely to produce the best results overall, to declare that people who do retaliate are guilty because some don't, or not to trigger retaliation at all ? Responding to violence with more violence is at the core of humanity as a whole, merely absolving yourself of triggering this because "it's wrong to retaliate" doesn't work.

Your approach to this problem just doesn't scale, if I may say so. It's like saying that we don't need memory protection for multitasking, programmers should just make bug free programs instead. Won't work, because you can't go around the fact that programmers make mistakes. Just like you can't go around the fact that man has a violent nature.

In fact considering them guilty without looking at yourself is just another way to fuel the violence cycle again. I'm not saying Bin Laden is not guilty or shouldn't be punished (on the contrary, it's necessary that he is), but if the US doesn't realize that they also have a responsibility in what happened, then it will go on. And given the current US policy, it will indeed go on.

One key thing to consider is, what would you do if you were in the same situation ? Most people will answer "no, I would never behave like that, I would never kill innocent people". mglazer, neil or Capzilla are the archetypical example. Utterly convinced that they are right, totally unable to think that they could be monsters as well under different circumstances, which, history shows, makes them prime candidates to be just that. Acknowledging that, at the very least, you have no idea how you would react if you were a palestinian or a saudi is the first step (that thing about he who's never sinned casts the first stone, works rather well too).

Again, I'm certainly not saying that killers such as Bin Laden shouldn't be punished. I'm also aware that you can't hope to live without ever being hated by someone, and that you should never defend yourself. I'm just saying that if you want to keep the number of Bin Ladens at a minimum, you'll have to acknowledge your own responsibility in their deeds. Blindly declaring "I'm right, you're wrong, I'll destroy you" is behaving just like them.

#### Reasons Right-Wing Lobbyists Don't Want the War, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 12:03 UTC by scrottie»(Journeyer)

Most businesses are lobbying not for the war, but against.

Why would a perfectly sensiable member of the right ever oppose war?

Bush is an energy president, elected from energy money. Enron was a scandle. Economic stimulus is a right-wing concept, but proping up failed monopolies and gutting the economy in favor of a military complex isn't. Most wars have been tax dollars in exchange for control of natural resources - this war is different. The the rights to the oil are being auctioned off and included in the 2004 budget plan - businesses aren't getting a free handout, here.

Auto manufacturers don't want to dependent on petrol forever - over the last 10 years, a might clash, spearheaded by the Japanese, has emerged. Hydrogen cells have 1/10th the number of moving parts, are cheaper to make, introducing higher profit margins, and open up more global markets that couldn't afford autos before. Improvements in technology - better things that people want to buy - have always harolded economic booms. Smog is becoming a serious public relations problem for auto companies, and America is pining for public transit - like Europe has. This is a threat to automanufacturers. Propping up outdated monopolies stagments the market. Let me be clear - this isn't an environmental thing - this is purely a business thing.

There isn't enough popular support to carry out a war - free speech has to be squelched to even start the war. This war couldn't happen without the Patriot act, which allows suspected of terrorist links to be detained indefinately and face a millitary trial with secret evidence. Just like those nasty communist states that we hate so much, our own government now has the legal ability to disappear people - atleast 1200 were disappeared after 9/11.

World War II is too fresh in our heads. Most of us (not all, apparently) still remember, or have heard stories, of the hatred felt for the Japanese. Now, most of us technical folks have friends and coworkers of Japanese descent. All of the lies about how they were inhuman pigs were, well, lies. We did this to Koreans, Russians and dozens of other races. Most of us have learned that people are all basically the same, and no humans are "animals". Geonocide because a people are "evil" is never justified or true. Being the Germany in another World War would be a PR nightmare for American companies unable to export products. Remember that Germany was the clear victor until so many stood united against them, the war was started at a time of economic termoil, race was brought into it, the military silenced Germans opposed to the war, and it was ultimate a grab for control of natural resources.

In short, both Bushes have caused serious economic damage, do not necessarily have the support of the business world, and aren't acting on behalf of their people nor the UN. Bush II has failed in the past, and dispite his gung-ho attitude, can fail again.

#### Now let me just use my freedom to irritate a lot of people..., posted 14 Mar 2003 at 14:00 UTC by tk»(Observer)

There can be no free software without freedom.

More correctly, there can be no free software without code.

There are numerous "software freedom" movements out there, each with its own notion of what "freedom" is. Yet except for RMS's movement, they have achieved just about zero effect. Why is this? Because out of all these movements, only RMS's movement is backed with real code.

And to add to the mess, I doubt the free software movement can go very far if it weren't for Linus Torvalds, even though RMS has often blasted him for not "talking about freedom" (though actually he's only using a different notion of "freedom" from what RMS wants to shove down everyone's throats). In the end, code's what's important.

(By the way, ESR keeps talking about the importance of gun ownership in keeping the government in rein. Where are the guns now, when we need them most?)

#### ...and..., posted 14 Mar 2003 at 15:38 UTC by tk»(Observer)

GNU-Darwin is an activist software distribution ...

... but if you are correct that they agree with the anti-war sentiment, then they will welcome the small inconvenience of by-passing the home page, in order to make a prominent statement against an unjust war.

Strange that so many people like to use the word "activism" to justify all sorts of funny actions. Well, I suppose webmasters have the right to go on blackout, but I hope they'll not grumble about the world when they don't achieve the effect they think they rightly deserve (when they've not even used their freedom to find out how effective the blackout action will be).

I'm against the war, but I still prefer to download free software and go to sleep like I normally do, than to engage in some anti-war demonstration.

I have no idea what it is to be occupied. But that's irrelevant: it is probably worse than I can imagine, which is all the more reason to act...

And don't forget that you won't get replies from people who live in occupied countries. They probably don't have the freedom or resources to post here.

"It is probably worse than I can imagine..." "They probably don't have the freedom..." So we just need to imagine that a bunch of people we know nothing about are feeling really bad, and that's enough justification to bomb their country. I'm surprised that someone can actually spew out such utter nonsense.

I imagine that the people living around Capzilla are feeling really oppressed at the moment. But obviously, they can't voice their fears here due to the oppression! Capzilla, your Day of Reckoning is come!

#### Behaving just like them, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 17:21 UTC by neil»(Master)

Guillaume: An army that takes town brutal despots is equivalent calculated, deliberate attacks on civilians?

I suppose you think that the US invading France on D-Day was equivalent to Germany's invasion of France a few years earlier, right?

#### RE: Behaving just like them, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 19:47 UTC by mglazer»(Journeyer)

Neil,

Don't bother with these nonsensical types.

The idiot logic of the supporters of dictators is in itself illogic.

They favor moral equivalency over responsibility and basic moral demands on humanity i.e. such as terrorism is not a good thing ever. You can already imagine their switcharoo asnwer to that.

#### to tk on effectiveness, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 19:50 UTC by proclus»(Master)

No one could really believe that the GNU-Darwin anti-war blackout could end the war by itself. Rather it is a statement and demonstration against the war. It is a signal to let people know that it is important to stop the war. If GNU-Darwin were joined by many other websites, then it could possibly have a major impact, with coverage in the media, and an example of the anti-democratic nature of the Bush administration. This is only one action, such as it is. If you feel strongly against the war, then you should do something about it now, even if the impact is low, because it adds to what others are doing. If everyone does everything that they can, then we can stop the war.

Don't worry if anyone tells you it is spam or off-topic. They are wrong, because this war will affect everyone and everything. The process has already started with an attack on the US Constitution, which would undermine the nexus of freedom from which free software sprang; an attack on the humanitarian principles of the UN Charter, which would undermine the altruistic impulse which is the basis of software freedom. Let us do whatever we can to stop this war now.

I said that I was taking heat for this decision, but that is mostly from strangers. All of the email that I have been getting from our core usership has been encouraging, and many have told me that they are doing something similar in their own websites. Apparently, GNU-Darwinists welcome this as another opportunity to participate in action against the war. This is probably true of the majority of free software projects. Please consider joining us in this action and help to stop the war.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Liberals support of mass-murder, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 20:00 UTC by mglazer»(Journeyer)

Besides the "liberals" support of the recent mass-murder in Rwanda, Kosovo, North Korea, and now Iraq let us not forget Vietnam.

I'm sure they didn't teach all these school-age kids here that when the US left Vietnam due to "liberals" Pol Pot slaughtered 2 million Cambodians.

So who do the "liberals" cozy up with? They cozy up to mass-murdering dictators from Stalin to Kim Il Jong, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, Yasser Arfart, Mugabe, Milosevic et al. Anyone who is not into freedom or democracy anything but what they enjoy.

The "liberals" who support murdering dictators are what Stalin called "Usefull Idiots." After Stalin Murdered 100 million people American Stalinists still supported him, he viewed them as usefull to his ends but utterly devoid of any sense. Even Stalin was more honest to the abject idiocy of "liberals" than those who blindly support mass-murdering tyrants.

I suppose releasing the NutJobs from the Nuthouses into Colleges in the late 70s and 80s was bound to have an effect.

What's funny is that the younger generation is actually more Conservative than their parents, I love that! I guess the younger people, mostly, can see through their transparent lies and their goal of devaluing human life from pro-terrorism to anti-death penalty and anti-liberation there is clear thread of a commonal goal.

#### brilliant idea!, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 20:08 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer)

It is a great idea, but do you think the war will stop after it has already begun? This is not a Vietnam, look at how fast the U.S took over Afghanistan. Iraq is in a sorry state, surely this war will not last long if it commences. It is estimated a half a million Iraqis will be killed or maimed[1]. All measures must be taken to ensure this war never takes place. Perhaps a form of blackout is needed leading up to actual decision.

[1] Of course by right-wing logic this is the liberation of the Iraqi people not the genocide of the Iraqi people!

#### Behaving just like them, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 22:18 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

neil : no to both questions. Please try to understand what I'm saying, instead of focusing on the US participation in WW-II (of course what the US did was right, nobody is saying otherwise). You also can't hold the thesis that the purpose of this war is to liberate the Iraqi people, again this document proves otherwise.

mglazer : you're overstating the number of people Stalin killed by one order of magnitude. Aside of that, I'm afraid you're way beyond the reach of reason and rational discussion.

#### RE: brilliant idea!, posted 14 Mar 2003 at 22:48 UTC by proclus»(Master)

Thanks! I'm arguing that this blackout action will not accomplish very much unless it is joined by many other sites. Nonetheless, blackout is precisely what must be done. Unfortunately for us all, time is now growing short, and I consider the blackout threat as a kind of ultimatum, because the threat of war appears to be immanent.

For those who are actually joining us, I am leaving the exit strategy open. We could leave the blackout in place for 1-3 days, over the course of the heavy bombing strike over Iraq, or until the end of the fighting, as the situation dictates. Blackout is how we will make the internet work for us, and do its intended job. Considering the priorities and the lives at stake, blackout is fixing the net, not breaking it.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### How do you fight terrorism?, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 01:14 UTC by Nelson»(Journeyer)

There seems to be 2 schools of thought. The first is that you attack any country and sponsors, conducts, or allows terrorism. Like Libya, it seemed to work. Israel sacked the Palestinian refugee camps and the suicide bombings slowed way down; ironically they were remarkably non-violent in that act, they could have done far more.

The other school of thought is that you should avoid pissing them off and then there won't be any terrorism. Yet you want to "contain them" some how. Are there any realistic results that show this working? Ireland maybe? Others?

Or is terrorism not a threat to society or personal safty? It's always possible that you can just dismiss it as a problem.

Iraq is a country that may not have ties to Al Qaeda but is most certainly connected with terrorism. As a state it has committed acts of terrorism on the Kurds and Iranians. By the same logic, Syria, Iran, so called Palestine, and several other countries in that region should be on our hit list as well as parts of Indonesia and some African nations and nationstates, just like Afganistan.

I'm just curious if you're out to stop terrorism, then what do you do? That is what the Bush administration claims this is about. If it was about oil why didn't we take it in 1990 when we needed it more. Even Kuwati oil wasn't appropriated by any coalition forces, it was all sold on the open market. What's the alternative? How do we protect ourselves? We need to solve this problem now before they have the technology to do real damage.

I also think the black-out is silly. It's far more effective to speak with your senator and congressmen, write letters to the editor, etc.. It takes the focus off of your software, which is where it should be if you're doing software, particularly if you want it to be taken seriously.

#### Hitler and effectiveness, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 01:21 UTC by tk»(Observer)

mglazer:
They cozy up to mass-murdering dictators from Stalin to Kim Il Jong... Yasser Arfart...
Some bloke can't even spell Kim Jong Il and Yasser Arafat properly. Sad.

And what about Hitler? Of course, he wasn't a mass-murderer, just a... well, never mind.

If GNU-Darwin were joined by many other websites, then it could possibly have a major impact, with coverage in the media, and an example of the anti-democratic nature of the Bush administration.
But so what if there is coverage? It'll just be another news item. There are already lots of anti-war news items out there. One more won't hurt.

If everyone does everything that they can, then we can stop the war.
Agreed, but a blackout is not "everything". Perhaps the war can be stopped, but from what I see, this'll only be if there's something to undermine the foundations of the Bush administration itself: e.g. a sizeable fraction of the military suddenly decides to reprogram its own mind, or someone uncovers incontrovertible evidence that Bush is actually a criminal.

If you feel strongly against the war, then you should do something about it now, even if the impact is low......
The problem is not that a blackout has low impact, the problem is that it has exactly zero impact.

#### Re: effectiveness, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 01:40 UTC by proclus»(Master)

> particularly if you want it to be taken seriously.

If you had taken the time to look at the Distribution, or even do a Google search, the you would know that GNU-Darwin is credible and taken seriously. That is part of the point, of course. We are a widely watched free software distribution, but we are willing to put in on the line against the war. It is a big statement, IMHO, and certainly not futile.

> problem is that it has exactly zero impact.

Please don't be discouraging. Everyone should do what they can, as they are able, then we can put a stop to this war. The blackout action will continue because it will encourage people to do just that.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Schools of thought, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 01:48 UTC by tk»(Observer)

There seems to be 2 schools of thought. The first is that you attack any country and sponsors, conducts, or allows terrorism...

The other school of thought is that you should avoid pissing them off and then there won't be any terrorism...

Actually there seems to be a 3rd school of thought, which is that governments and families should start tidying up their "moral systems", so that the thought of terrorism itself will be marginalized. Think about it: many of the so-called "moral systems" out there are so chock full of hidden exceptions, contradictions and other quantum weirdness, that even rubbish dumps are starting to look better.

Alas, this seems to work only in the long haul. Maybe there's a way to speed up the process though...

Iraq is a country that may not have ties to Al Qaeda but is most certainly connected with terrorism. As a state it has committed acts of terrorism on the Kurds and Iranians.
What about the atomic bombing of Hiroshima? It's well known that it was meant to instil terror in the government and civilian population of Japan; by that logic alone, it's very definitely terrorism. One can "justify" this terrorist act, but it doesn't change the fact that it is terrorism. Yet nobody will say that the US shouldn't be punished...

(Did I just say that so-called moral systems are disgusting?)

#### errata, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 01:50 UTC by tk»(Observer)

s/shouldn't/should/

#### Re: effectiveness, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 02:00 UTC by Nelson»(Journeyer)

If you had taken the time to look at the Distribution, or even do a Google search, the you would know that GNU-Darwin is credible and taken seriously. That is part of the point, of course. We are a widely watched free software distribution, but we are willing to put in on the line against the war. It is a big statement, IMHO, and certainly not futile.

I have taken time to look at GNU Darwin, I'm quite familiar with it and it's heritage. It will be serious until you turn it off because of some politics and you alienate the large number of people that actually support some sort of action in Iraq.

Think I'd buy in to something like that? Regardless of what happens there, the odds are I'm still going to conduct business and need to conduct business after the fighting starts. If I can't count on you then you won't be part of my solution.

It's not futile but it's pretty close. Like I said, speak your mind, write people, even put something on your website if it makes you feel better. Hell, change the default MOTD or shell prompt, add fortunes to your fortune file. Threaten to black out and I can't take you seriously as a developer, if that's what you do best and I can't take you seriously at that then I'm probably not going to take your opinion seriously. Nothing personal but if I rely on your code to make my stuff work and you're getting flakey for whatever reasons then I'll find something else.

Feels like we're almost talking about free software again. Again, nothing personal, we're just debating. I know GNU-Darwin is a serious project.

#### Re: effectiveness, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 02:12 UTC by proclus»(Master)

Good. It is important to note that our users will be unaffected by this change, beyond a possible minor inconvenience of bypassing the front page. Of course, part of the argument is that the users will actually welcome that minor inconvenience in order to support our prominent statement against the war.

In fact, our users are quite well taken care of, and we could black out the entire website in future actions, which would have very little impact on our users. It is something that we are ready to do, and we have made this threat in the past to great effect. It would be a powerful statement from our Distro, and I am confident that it would be supported by the users under the proper circumstances.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Terrorism, posted 15 Mar 2003 at 10:20 UTC by djm»(Master)

tk: The standard response to what you suggest is that "states act in their own interest" - a slimy excuse trotted out to justify the indefensible when one's own state is doing it, but it can also be used as a criticism - e.g. of France, Germany and Russia.

#### Iraqi Tells the Truth to Chirping Nickelodeon &quoLiberal&quo, posted 17 Mar 2003 at 23:02 UTC by mglazer»(Journeyer)

Iraqi Tells "Liberal" Truth

We've had an unbelievable flood of traffic today, and it has maxed out our server space. Comments are temporarily disabled while I iron it out.

In the meantime, don't miss this audio clip of a peace activist'' on a radio talk show being absolutely eviscerated by an Iraqi caller. A classic.

via (LGF)

#### There's still a bit of hope with mankind..., posted 18 Mar 2003 at 00:08 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

Just stumbled upon this :

Last time I heard about them, it was a few month ago, only 200 had signed. Now there are 527.

Some personal statements by the soldiers who signed the pledge.

The last question from the FAQ sums it up pretty nicely :

Question: The Palestinians are trying to destroy us. They are slaughtering us in the streets and have vowed to annihilate us. There is no possibility of peace with such people. We have no choice but to fight.

Answer: It's important to understand that our criticism of the way our army is behaving in no way implies support for the actions of the other side. We can't allow their crimes to legitimize our foolishness. I feel responsible only for the actions of my country, and I can only protest against them, regardless of whether the other side is guilty or innocent. Furthermore, one mustn't use the same moral criteria to compare the terrorist acts of the Hamas with the military acts of a sovereign state such as Israel. The I.D.F. is not a terrorist organization. The I.D.F. is not an underground movement struggling against its conquerors. The I.D.F. is not meant to carry out acts of vengeance but to implement pragmatic political policy. We are asking Arafat to risk civil war, without giving him any political rationale for doing so. Even Ben-Gurion didn't disband the underground movements before he had a state in hand. The Palestinians' burning hatred towards us stems, in large part, from the very policies that we are protesting against. Extreme statements are being made daily by extremists on both sides. They must not be allowed to dictate policy while those who seek peace and choose life stand by and pay the terrible price.

#### RE: There's still a bit of hope with mankind..., posted 18 Mar 2003 at 02:59 UTC by mglazer»(Journeyer)

But definetely no hope at all for a retard like you!

#### mglazer: Least useful comments I've ever seen on here, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 06:14 UTC by Omnifarious»(Journeyer)

It's not that I disagree with your opinions. I just expect that if people are going to express their opinions, they do so in some way that enlightens or informs me. Not a single one of your comments has succeeded in being the least bit enlightening or informative. They've been a mass of poorly thought out vitriol. You do better at convincing people that you're wrong than convincing them you're right.

If you have some rational reason I should be listening to you that refutes an argument presented here, please tell me what it is. I'd like to know.

#### Bad taste, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 10:26 UTC by chalst»(Master)

mglkazer: You are very successful at attracting eyeballs, but your rhetorical style only does your `causes' harm. Why don't you learn some manners?

#### mglazer: That was not an Iraqi caller., posted 18 Mar 2003 at 12:17 UTC by dark»(Journeyer)

That prank has already been dissected on Kuro5hin.

#### Supporting a genocidal dictator, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 17:06 UTC by aminorex»(Journeyer)

Over the last 12 years the U.S. and U.K. have conducted a blockade and bombing campaign against the nation of Iraq (not it's government), resulting in the death of over 800,000 Iraqi people, by U.N. estimates. The majority of the Iraqi people are under the age of 15.

The current President of the U.S. has claimed (and exercised) the right to designate any person in the world to be an enemy combatant and then to torture and/or kill them. He was not elected democratically, but assumed power by the appointment of a group of 5 unelected jurists.

I ask you, who is the genocidal dictator?

#### Democracy?, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 18:36 UTC by helcio»(Journeyer)

How mr. Blair dares to override the opinion of nearly 85% of British people and send 45,000 soldiers to Iraq? Is that democracy? It doesn't look likely, yet he claims that Saddam is a dictator... Interesting, isn't it?

#### Minions of Evil, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 19:24 UTC by mglazer»(Journeyer)

Look at all these minioms of evil.

Look at all these orcs rush to support the dark side and blame the good.

If nothing else I can see why evil exists and why Europeans have done and do what they do.

At least we can all know how to end evil by not being like you.

#### scraping the bottom of the barrel, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 19:56 UTC by davidw»(Master)

I had hopes that this forum might provide some interesting exchanges of comments and ideas. I'm sorry I wasted my time. What with mglazer's "minions of evil europeans" and "bush is really a dictator like saddam" style comments, I haven't seen anything here that I consider worthwhile reading.

#### What are you expecting?, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 21:13 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer)

There isn't a point of moderation here. There is absolutely no justification for this war based on principles of freedom, democracy, or neutralizing a perceived threat.

The reality of the situation is truly sickening. The absolute apprehension of facing this reality is most vividly displayed by mglazer. Look at how fast this type of person abandons all logic or reason in favor of downright racism, hatred, and lies.

It is a simple fact, that in the U.S., there is little or no democracy. The 2000 election should have dispelled the myth of democracy once and for all. Bush came to power not through wide spread support but through the suppression of votes, the suppression of democracy. The electoral college is a further check on popular will. When you consider how many people actually vote, you will realize how the truly small political base Bush caters to. In this base you'll find most backwards elements, the fascistic (mglazer), fundamentalist. In another setting, these might the very supporters of Osama Bin Laden.

What main stream support there is for this war has been generated by constant media propaganda, enforcing a single view point on the mass of United States citizens.

The motives for war can only be understood from economic and strategic interests. It is no coincidence that Bush, Cheney are former oil executives and that Iraq contains massive oil reserves.

#### Let's keeping things in perspective, please, posted 18 Mar 2003 at 23:30 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

helcio, aminorex : Your comments equating Blair and Bush to dictators really are somewhat distasteful and out of proportions.

Tonight the french/german TV channel Arte spent the whole evening talking about the current crisis. At some point a german reporter who was just about to leave Baghdad was interviewed (the interview had actually taken place last night). In brief :

• the Iraqi people is utterly convinced the US is here for the oil
• many (most ?) say "let the americans come, it can't be any worse than what we're going through already"
• others say "we don't want the US to liberate us, we want to gain our freedom ourselves and remain independant".

Other highlights :

• Saddam Hussein had always been hell-bent on being the first Arab country to have the nuclear bomb, and was helped in this by France which sold him his first nuclear "research" reactor (and many other weapons).

• When he was about to lose the war against Iran (which he started), the US gave him chemical/biological weapons and the means to produce more.

• The embargo and the "food for oil" program doesn't work on several levels :
• it's entangled in the UN bureaucracy, every request they make for things like medicine is systematically blocked for fear of military usage, so it can't sustain the needs of the Iraqi people by far
• Iraq routinely smuggles oil out and sells it for cash

• the oil industry is bracing itself in prevision of the worst. A terrorist attack on Saudi Arabia would have worldwide economical repercussions.

#### Wow, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 00:40 UTC by djm»(Master)

mglazer: Look at all these orcs rush to support the dark side and blame the good

A friend and I were discussing the comic-book morality of LoTR, specifically how it portays pure evil and pure good. (Compare with the moral motivation of characters in films by Kurosawa or Leone.) Our discussion continued to the analogous representations of terrorists and the countries who fight against them, but I expressed some doubt to my friend that anyone's moral universe could be so simplistic in real life.

I guess I was wrong.

#### Murdered a million but we don't care if he lives in exile smoking cigars, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 05:54 UTC by zenalot»(Journeyer)

The argument I hear time and time again is that Saddam Hussein gased his own people, attacked his neigbors and is responsible for one million deaths. Let's hold that this is true. Anyone that is responsible for this many deaths must be brought to the war crimes tribunal. Instead, President Bush is offering Saddam Hussein and his family an avenue to live safely in exile without facing any war crimes charges. This is indeed a slap in the face to the victims families and to humanity.

#### GNU Darwin vs Freedom, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 06:45 UTC by neil»(Master)

The world is just lucky that the US, UK, Australia, Spain, and others have elected leaders willing to do the right thing. History will forget GNU Darwin's anti-freedom chirping. Only the fall of Saddam Hussein will be remembered.

In the short run, though, freedom-minded individuals can permanently protest GNU Darwin: Never recommend it, Never support it in our own software, Never even acknowledge its existance. If we cut them off from the greater community, then the anti-freedom cancer will be limited in its ability to grow.

I never thought I'd see a more hurtful free OS than Red Hat Linux, but I guess I never could have predicted GNU Darwin.

#### Not equating, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 14:35 UTC by helcio»(Journeyer)

Guillaume: I am not equating Blair to a dictator. I am saying that ignoring people's will is not 100% democratic; I did not say Blair's behavior was equal to Saddam's. Actually, Blair is far different than Saddam, but not taking popular opinion into account also hurts democracy, yet Saddam's crimes are far worse than Blair's attitude. No question about that. In short, if Saddam is 0% democracy, Blair is not very close to 100% either, just that.

#### Think Thoughts!, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 16:35 UTC by tk»(Observer)

I had hopes that this forum might provide some interesting exchanges of comments and ideas. I'm sorry I wasted my time.

Well, indeed sometimes I wonder what's the great deal about this thing called "free speech". It seems that "free speech" just means that you are free to talk and whine and troll all you want, as long as you don't interfere with His Majesty's Grand Plans. Very useful indeed!

And... "Bush's madness"? I say the whole world is mad. Liberals and Libertarians, let's fight!(*)

(*) for the politically challenged, "Liberals" are on the Left, "Libertarians" on the right... go figure :-\

#### Re: Not equating, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 16:41 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

helcio : uh, it's fairly common that a state leader, even democratically elected, will do something his people disagrees with (like raising taxes for instance :-). He's supposed to be competent and know what's best. You can't submit every decision to a national vote.

#### Re: Re: Not equating, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 20:15 UTC by helcio»(Journeyer)

Guillaume: You are right when you say we can't submit every decision to a national vote (the decisions taken within days would take years otherwise) and that's why we select some people to represent us. That's what Blair and Bush are (well, at least in theory in case anybody disagrees).

Some of such decisions simply can't be understood by ordinary citizens because they would require knowledge about several issues (e.g. deciding if we should raise taxes demands knowledge about Economy) yet the rulers of our countries attempt to give people a suitable abstraction to justify what they are doing (imagine how it would be if a ruler said "Lets raises some taxes" without giving a clue to what made him/her do so). I agree with you until this point.

Other problem related to this issue is that polling people would possibly cost much and take some time too.

The two paragraphs above are (at best) <q>acceptable</q> reasons not to hear the citizens at a given time, but note than in England the manifestations against this war (along with the clear results of the popular polls) make a national voting unnecessary, so the second argument does not apply. Moreover, the americans' pro-war arguments do not require any degree from any university to be understood. I guess the average citizen from most countries is able to perform an adequate reasoning about the issue, so the first argument for not hearing people does not sound reasonable either.

Another reason for not ingoring the popular opinion is that most soldiers are likely to have a family. If they die in battle what are you going to say to their relatives (who opposed to the war since the very beginning)? That Blair is a competent leader who knows what he is doing and thus should ignore popular will altogether? I don't think they will accept that very well, but there would be a chance to if they understood (better: agreed with) the reasons for the war.

Blair had several months to convince his people about the need for this war and he has failed. Some ministers have already abandonned him and he faces a strong oposition inside the Parlament and among the people (which is likely to grow even further when the first victims of the war arrive at England).

If that's the case there are basically two possibilities: we either have an extremely wise person as a Prime Minister (whose motivations can't be understood by humble folks) or the arguments given so far do not justify this war. Sending 45,000 soldiers to fight in Iraq under such circumstances does not sound OK.

#### Re: Re: Not equating, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 20:20 UTC by helcio»(Journeyer)

Guillaume: You are right when you say we can't submit every decision to a national vote (the decisions taken within days would take years otherwise) and that's why we select some people to represent us. That's what Blair and Bush are (well, at least in theory in case somebody disagrees).

Some of such decisions simply can't be understood by ordinary citizens because they would require knowledge about several issues (e.g. deciding if we should raise taxes demands knowledge about Economy) yet the rulers of our countries attempt to give people a suitable abstraction to justify what they are doing (imagine how it would be if a ruler said "Lets raises some taxes" without giving a clue to what made him/her do so). I agree with you until this point.

Other problem related to this issue is that polling people would possibly cost much and take some time too.

The two paragraphs above are (at best) "acceptable" reasons not to hear the citizens at a given time, but note than in England the manifestations against this war (along with the clear results of the popular polls) make a national voting unnecessary, so the second argument does not apply. Moreover, the americans' pro-war arguments do not require any degree from any university to be understood. I guess the average citizen from most countries is able to perform an adequate reasoning about the issue, so the first argument for not hearing people does not sound reasonable either.

Another reason for not ingoring the popular opinion is that most soldiers are likely to have a family. If they die in battle what are you going to say to their relatives (who opposed to the war since the very beginning)? That Blair is a competent leader who knows what he is doing and thus ignored popular will altogether? I don't think they will accept that very well, but there would be a chance to if they understood (better: agreed with) the reasons for the war.

Blair had several months to convince his people about the need for this war and he has failed. Some ministers have already abandonned him and he faces a strong oposition inside the Parlament and among the people (which is likely to grow even further when the first victims of the war arrive at England).

If that's the case there are basically two possibilities: we either have an extremely wise person as a Prime Minister (whose motivations can't be understood by humble folks) or the arguments given so far do not justify this war. Sending 45,000 soldiers to fight in Iraq under such circumstances does not sound OK, does it?

#### the action goes on, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 22:18 UTC by proclus»(Master)

No surprise, I've read nothing hear to dissuade me from the blackout, because this war is indefensible. Some you will be suprised when invasion increases the level of dissent instead of decreasing it, and rightly so. Here is my message to the US. Withdraw from Iraq now!

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Re: the action goes on, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 22:33 UTC by proclus»(Master)

Ack! my spelling was frighening in that last message, sorry.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Re: Not equating, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 23:01 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

helcio : things are probably still more complex than just understanding the US arguments for a war. There are certainly many economical stakes and one can assume that Blair either was forced into following the US, or felt that it was in Britain's best interest, or estimated at first that the US would eventually win world support and had no choice to pursue in this direction afterwards. One can hardly imagining him doing an about-face and saying "Weeelll, Georges, on 2nd thought..."

#### The end of Debating, posted 19 Mar 2003 at 23:04 UTC by Capzilla»(Master)

tk: the fact that the situation might be worse than I can imagine does not at all lead to a conclusion that my view of point is based on imagination.

Guillaume: of course I have no idea how I would react as Saudi or Palestinian. How is that related, though? This war will be fought to overthrow Saddam Hussein. You try to make people who have a firm opinion on overthrowing him look evil, and of course, wrong. Fine. We think that people who actively support Saddam are wrong.

I guess that rules out any further discussion. You will not convince me that keeping Saddam Hussein in power will bring peace and justice to the Iraqi people. I will not convince you that dictators like him in pursuit and posession of WMD should be cleaned up.

You're an archetypical example of another great danger: too much trust. The peace argument has been solely based on the trust of disarmament: but in fact, full cooperation was still not accomplished after months. You trust Saddam would no longer opress his people, but all the evidence points to a dictator who has killed more of his own people in the past decade during peace than civilians were harmed in the first Gulf War. And while economical problems in Iraq are blamed on sanctions, Mr Hussein keeps building palaces and sending checks to families of Palestinian suicide terrorists.

War pains me. But based on what I know, it's the only logical step. Life is full of unpleasant things. Small things, like when you didn't want to clean up your room as a kid but your mother made you. And big things, like choosing the last resort in a conflict: war. Sometimes you just have to do something you don't like, because it is the right thing to do in your heart or mind.

#### The end of Debating, posted 20 Mar 2003 at 00:54 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

Capzilla : you totally, utterly missed my point.

• This war is not about freeing the Iraqi people, read the PNAC memos if you don't believe me.
• I'm not trying to make people who want to overthrow him look evil.
• I'm not trying to convince you that keeping him in power will bring peace and justice to the Iraqi people, nobody believes that (not even any of the people against war)
• You don't need to convince me that dictators like him should be "cleaned up", I already am, like everyone in the world (yes, even the "anti-war" people).
• I, nor anyone else (including, again, the "anti-war" people), certainly don't "trust" him to stop oppressing his people or rebuilding his army.

You say "based on what I know, war is the only logical step". Indeed, your simplistic, almost childish approach of this problem is almost scary. You can't seem to grasp the fact that people who disapprove this war aren't Hussein supporters either, or don't "trust him" in any way.

#### The twenty lies of George W. Bush, posted 20 Mar 2003 at 06:47 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer)

A good refutation of the lies given by Bush as a justification for the war:

#### Full Cooperation, posted 20 Mar 2003 at 07:41 UTC by neil»(Master)

Capzilla: You understate the bankruptcy of the diplomatic and inspections scheme championed by the "anti-war" people. You mention "months," but Field Marshal Hussein has failed to cooperate in over 10 years.

It's important to continually bring up the whole story becuase in the best case, the "anti-war" people are just too ignorant to be argued with. Someone who doesn't know the history of the Baath regime in Iraq won't see the failure of the UN.

Of course, it may be pointless to bring it up. In the worst case, the "anti-war" people are willfully ignorant of the Field Marshal's evil, and just choose to put anti-Americanism (or sometimes anti-Judaism) over humanity.

Guillaume hints at this when he admits his position in reply to Capzilla. He admits that as long as the Field Marshal is in power, peace and justice won't come to Iraq. So if peace won't come, as "everyone" knows, then obviously violence will continue. So Guillaume puts his anti-American paranoia at such a high priority, that to further it he will advocate continued violence against the Iraqi people.

#### Re: Full Cooperation, posted 20 Mar 2003 at 09:44 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

neil: A couple of days ago, I heard on the radio a US soldier wondering "these Iraqi soldiers we're gonna kill, won't their children end up hating the US ? When will this ever stop ?"

Is this soldier an anti-American paranoid ?

I know the basics of the Baath regime in Iraq. The North Korean regime is even worse, and doesn't even try to hide the fact is has nuclear weapons. There are dozens of similarly brutal regimes all over the world, more or less well equipped in weaponry. Do you think the US are going to attack North Korea next ?

#### Facts, posted 20 Mar 2003 at 10:54 UTC by tk»(Observer)

Capzilla:

the fact that the situation might be worse than I can imagine does not at all lead to a conclusion that my view of point is based on imagination.

Pray, what sort of "fact" is that?

Capzilla, it is a fact that the situation of the folks around you might be worse than I can imagine. However, my point of view that you, Capzilla, are a cruel dictator is definitely not based on imagination -- it's obvious that you are a cruel dictator, and those people who speak in defence of you are outright liars. Citizens of the world, it's time we see through the veil created by Capzilla and his cronies, and know him as the cruel dictator he really is! And it's time we get rid of him, and bring balance back to the world!

The peace argument has been solely based on the trust of disarmament: but in fact, full cooperation was still not accomplished after months.

I have also trusted Capzilla to voluntarily disarm, however I've not got a single bit of cooperation from him.

neil:

Capzilla: You understate the bankruptcy of the diplomatic and inspections scheme championed by the "anti-war" people. ...

He admits that as long as the Field Marshal is in power, peace and justice won't come to Iraq. So if peace won't come, as "everyone" knows, then obviously violence will continue. So Guillaume puts his anti-American paranoia at such a high priority, that to further it he will advocate continued violence against the Iraqi people.

And yes, you. Clearly you have been either brainwashed or coerced by Capzilla into speaking in his defence. If you know what's good for you, you'll leave Field Marshal Capzilla and help in the effort to overthrow him -- instead of putting up a show with your anti-Iraqi paranoia, and advocating continued violence against the people around Capzilla.

If you insist on defending Capzilla, do not blame us on being ruthless on you.

#### War is good :-), posted 20 Mar 2003 at 19:05 UTC by sulaiman»(Journeyer)

Sadam and his regime MUST be erased from earth :--)

#### Sign says?, posted 20 Mar 2003 at 21:41 UTC by nymia»(Master)

I think it would be better to set up some kind of page explaining the reasons why the site is blacked-out. This kind of action, which IMO, having no rhetoric behind is simply the same as the ones fighting the war. There is really no difference, except that this site is against it.

#### Violence, posted 20 Mar 2003 at 23:51 UTC by neil»(Master)

You call for violence against Capzilla and those around him?

I'm not sure, but I think I would qualify as one of those around him. I do write on his webpage after all. So do you wish me dead, or just crippled?

#### Gasp, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 00:19 UTC by Capzilla»(Master)

Guillaume: Could you point me to the part in this discussion where I said all peace protestors are pro-Saddam? I must have missed that.

tk:

Capzilla, it is a fact that the situation of the folks around you might be worse than I can imagine. However, my point of view that you, Capzilla, are a cruel dictator is definitely not based on imagination -- it's obvious that you are a cruel dictator, and those people who speak in defence of you are outright liars. Citizens of the world, it's time we see through the veil created by Capzilla and his cronies, and know him as the cruel dictator he really is! And it's time we get rid of him, and bring balance back to the world!

So come and get me. I know you're just teasing anyway. Let's call Capzilla a dictator, that's a constructive addition to the discussion!

#### getting one is better than none, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 00:46 UTC by davidw»(Master)

Guillaume - leaving other parts of this debate aside, just because the US doesn't get rid of all dictators, isn't removing one of them possibly a good thing? I am worried that Bush does not have good plans for afterwards, but that's another issue.

#### Replies, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 01:08 UTC by Guillaume»(Master)

Capzilla : you said We think that people who actively support Saddam are wrong. It seems I misinterpreted that and, given the surrounding text, thought you were saying that peace protestors are supporting Hussein.

davidw : yes, removing a dictator is a good thing. But if by doing so you draw to yourself the hatred of many others, in the end you get an even bloodier situation. And given the first reports one can read on the opinion of the average man in the street over the Middle East, the outlook is rather bleak (added to the fact that both Bush and Blair's minister of defense have already hinted in their recent speeches that this may take longer than expected).

Then there's also the possibility that this war may justify others on a similar model, be it involving the US or not : a country declares that it feels threatened by another and "attacks preemptively".

#### Is it not for Iraqi people to decide?, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 01:51 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer)

davidw, For the Iraqi people it is the replacement of one U.S. backed dictator for another. The issue is not who is the head of state, but who is control. The U.S. will only accept a regime which it can control. Who are you to say which is preferable for the Iraqi people? If we want to support freedom and democracy, why not support an Iraqi revolution from within? The answer is the U.S elite doesn't care about freedom or democracy for anyone. History shows the United States has constantly squelched democracy wherever it has arisen. The entire cold war was one of counter-revolution and instalation of pro-U.S dictatorships. What kind of democracy can be expected in Iraq when we look at the methods employed in 2000 election by Bush and Co? What kind of democracy can be expected when the U.S. is caught bribing and wire-tapping members of the UN security council? What kind of democracy can expected when the U.S. shows total disregaurd not only for the UN but for world wide opinion, and the millions of prosters united against the war? Americans should increasingly question what democratic rights they will have in the future, with rights being taken away in measures said to be suporting the "war of terrorism".

#### More comments, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 02:41 UTC by nymia»(Master)

I was expecting Sulaiman to write something about what's going on in Kuwait. Perhaps he is not there at moment though.

I wonder what's really going on there?

I spent two years (93-95) working around that area (KSA) and it looks like this US incursion into the Arab soil will definitely bring ill-will.

#### Re: Is it not for Iraqi people to decide?, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 07:14 UTC by Omnifarious»(Journeyer)

mslicker, You have stated all of my reasons very succinctly and clearly. Our history in foreign policy is largely one of rampant imperialism dressed up as "supporting democracy". I have no trust that this policy will not continue full steam ahead under Bush.

#### Re: getting one is better than none, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 14:26 UTC by helcio»(Journeyer)

davidw: I agree with you but I guess the point is that many people who are against this war (like me) think that there is something else behind Bush's motivation. Basically the questions are: if Saddam is a dictator why is he the only one to be overthrown? Several countries out there are ruled by dictators, why not overthrow them all? If we are to overthrow just one (or a few) of them, isn't it a suspicious coincidence that:

1. Iraq has an oil ocean below it
2. USA imports a great part of the oil it needs
3. Oil is so important that it is a national security issue.

If someone can convincingly answer those questions (and I highly doubt someone will ever do it) we will have one anti-war argument less.

#### Now _these_ are facts, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 17:04 UTC by tk»(Observer)

Tales of the Tyrant.

"...The Iraqis are a divided and ruthless people. It is one of the most difficult nations in the world to govern..."

#### GNU-Darwin: blackout upshot, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 20:03 UTC by proclus»(Master)

It appears that the blackout has been beneficial to the Distribution. We have paradoxically experienced a surge upward of subscription proceeds and CDR sales since the blackout began, with which we have been able to commission a new server for our internet service users.

Many thanks to all of those who continue to support us at this crucial time. It is nice be able to make a prominent statement about the war, while providing these services back to the community. The people are voting with their dollars, and hopefully we will be able to sustain GNU-Darwin in this manner for a long time to come.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Re: helcio, posted 21 Mar 2003 at 23:11 UTC by ftobin»(Journeyer)

In response to helcio's questions:

Saddam is a dictator why is he the only one to be overthrown? Several countries out there are ruled by dictators, why not overthrow them all?

The reason why Saddam must be removed from power is not solely because he is a ruthless dictator, but that he has also pursued the development of WMD's, has repeatedly over the past 12 years sworn that he had no WMD's, and repeatedly shown to have been lying (they destroy what the inspectors find, say that they don't have any more, and then 2 years later, inspectors find more, or are kicked out of the country). Furthermore, he has used WMD's against his own citizenry.

It is not smart to try to remove all ruthless dictators. But the combination of ruthless dictatorship, the pursuit and acquisition of WMD's, and a history of using them makes the case for invading Iraq. I highly recommend reading "The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq" by Kenneth Pollack. It is important to learn the history of Iraq over the last 12 years and before to grasp the necessity of arriving at the situation we find ourselves in.

With respect to the questions of oil, the US imports 58% (numbers I'm quoting are for 2001, from the Department of Energy) of its oil from abroad. Roughly 41% of our imports comes from OPEC nations (Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Iraq, in that order). 7% came from Iraq. Now, first, realize that we don't need Iraq's oil, given these numbers. But the question arises, "Does the US want cheaper oil by invading Iraq?". Current (weak) estimates are that the US will spend $20 billion a year rebuilding Iraq, and, while I unfortunately cannot find the reference I'm remembering (from a NYT article), we'd only maybe save about$10 billion in oil. So it'd be costing the US more than it'd be making.

If you're goign to argue that the Iraq situation is about oil, please at least back up your argument, rather than pointing out that the US uses oil and Iraq has oil. You need to legitimize your argument by at least trying to connect the two in a more sustainable way.

But you are right in that the debate about Iraq is about oil. France has major interests in certain large oil fields in northern Iraq, granted for their helping to ease sanctions against Iraq. Hence, France has a major interest in keeping its interests intact. There is a a good phrase for the French position: arguing high morals for low reasons.

#### economic interests, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 01:58 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer)

First, I should preface my reply, that I'm not an economist. It is interest of of mine, but I don't have knowledge nor time to work out what the profits of the U.S oil industry will be with the occupation of Iraq and seizure of Iraqi oil fields. I suspect all this has already been worked out in advance of our attack on Iraq. And it is quite obvious if this is the true objective or at least the primary one, they wouldn't tell us anyway. It would of course blow apart every other justification given, all of which have already been refuted.

I think the document Privatization and the Oil Industry: A Strategy for Postwar Iraqi Reconstruction does give insight into the thinking of the ruling class. One of the authors is from the Cato Institute, a well known conservative think tank. Here is a relevant quote:

The way out of the economic morass for the Iraqi economy lies through privatization of its abundant oil assets, not bureaucratic mismanagement, as some have advocated. If successful, Iraq's privatization of its oil sector, refining capacity, and pipeline infrastructure, could serve as a model for privatizations by other OPEC members, thereby weakening the cartel's domination of the energy markets.

Further, and perhaps this a short term measure, the U.S has already begun seizing Iraqi assets to help pay to rebuild Iraq. In effect the Iraqi people are paying for their own destruction.

In absense of a credible humanitarian and national security argument for going to Iraq, the ecomonic argument makes a strong case. And yes, surely the French opposition is in great part from its own economic interests, but why do you ftobin exclude the U.S. from having similar economic interests in the region?

Also I would like you to back up the claim that Saddam "has used WMD's against his own citizenry.".

#### Why not North Korea then?, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 02:00 UTC by tk»(Observer)

The reason why Saddam must be removed from power is not solely because he is a ruthless dictator, but that he has also pursued the development of WMD's, has repeatedly over the past 12 years sworn that he had no WMD's, and repeatedly shown to have been lying (they destroy what the inspectors find, say that they don't have any more, and then 2 years later, inspectors find more, or are kicked out of the country). Furthermore, he has used WMD's against his own citizenry.

Won't these arguments apply better to North Korea?

#### Re: mslicker, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 02:49 UTC by ftobin»(Journeyer)

mslicker: First, I'll address your last statement. I'll even provide an anti-war reference (second para, and who's arguments don't address all the real issues, but still acknowledge Husseins gassing of his own citizens.)

Second, concerning the Cato institute, they are well known to be a very conservative group. You can get papers from think tanks going back to support practically any course of action. And to be perfectly honest, I don't think the quote you provided sheds negatively on anybody. It just argues that a capitalist system, where private individuals and not the state hold the oil fields, would be able to help the Iraq economy, which I'd probably agree with. Second, it thinks that eliminating the OPEC system and promoting a more Laissez faire oil economy would probably help the US also (I'd agree that it probably would.)

Regarding the US seizing Iraqi assets, I can't comment too much on that, since it hasn't been specified who's assets are being seized. I could speculate weakly, though, that it's the assets of the ruling class in Iraq. Which I wouldn't have a problem with, if that's whos assets were being seized.

Let me state the oil situation this way. We learned after WWII that you can't just leave a country decimated after a war. You've got to rebuild it. We in the US believe that the most productive way to rebuild it is to promote a democratic government and a thriving capitalistic economy. Iraq's major economic asset is oil. If you want Iraq's enonomy to flourish, you are going to have to see that it is properly tapped, and that's why our oil companies have interest, of course. So in that sense, the US certainly has economic interests. But what I've read suggests that those interests don't add up to $20 billion/year over the next 10 yeras, as is (currently, weakly) estimated to rebuild. The majority of people in the US raised the issue of oil during the 1991 Gulf War, too. The difference between UN consensus and US public opinion was even flip-flopped from now, and I don't think that the people of Kuwait are angry at us for going in just to recover their oil or the like... #### Re: tk, concernign NK, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 03:06 UTC by ftobin»(Journeyer) tk: First of all, concerning North Korea, just because the same arguments might apply more strongly to North Korea, it doesn't preclude moving on with Iraq. Also, the last argument I gave for invading Iraq doesn't apply to North Korea; North Korea has not used WMD's against its own citizenry, though it does starve them :( Second, we can't take the same avenue of approach with North Korea, because of nearby China, and the fact that North Korea wields a much bigger axe, capable of wiping out millions of South Koreans within minutes. We all know that it's a much more dangerous situation. And I'm sure the administration is looking very hard at the situation. If North Korea can be handled peacefully, the whole world would love it. I'm sure the the North Korea situation frightens the bejeezus out of everyone investigating it. North Korea is more dangerous, but Iraq is more handleable. The fear is that Iraq would eventually become a North Korea. And you don't want two nutty leaders with WMD's around. #### Citizens?, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 03:23 UTC by tk»(Observer) In 1988 Saddam massacred 5,000 Kurds (an ethnic group in Northern Iraq) in Halabja with mustard and nerve gas, and he used chemical weapons in the 1980-88 Iraq-Iran war. It's debatable whether one would consider the Kurds and the Iranians as the "own citizenry" of Iraq, or as rebel groups and an enemy state respectively. I mean, doesn't every country (including the US) deal harshly with rebel groups and enemy states? Look at what the US government did to Waco. And Cuba. In absence of any solid humanitarian arguments to attack Iraq, it's not even necessary to discuss the economic arguments. #### ftobin, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 03:54 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer) Reguarding the claim, this has never been proven, I sugest you take a look at the document:A War Crime or an Act of War?. You already agree with me that U.S. oil corporations have interest in the Iraqi oil fields. Corporations only justify actions based on profit. And of course there can only be profit if costs are met. This is the direct exploitation of Iraq by the U.S.! This stands in direct opposition to the democratic control of the oil reserves by the Iraqi people. You obviously have no moral qualms about this, neither does the Bush adminstration (criminals that they are!). Yet the common theme of the anti-war movement is "No war for oil". This is a just contention given that the official justifications do not hold up to reality. tk is absolutely right there shouldn't be any need to go further, yet when searching for the real justification there is only the economic and strategic control of Iraq. #### re: mslicker, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 06:08 UTC by ftobin»(Journeyer) mslicker, you misconstrue what I said. I said that US oil interests have interest in Iraqi oil. You then jump to the conclusion that because US corporations have an interest in Iraqi oil, that we are exploiting Iraq. You skip entirely that I did did not argue, nor will I state, that that is the reason for going to war. I merely said that during the rebuilding that there is interest. One doesn't go to war to rebuild a country. And it's not economically favorable, as I've stated before (and you've ignored). It will probably cost$20 billion/year to rebuild. Cheaper oil from Iraq, which only provides 4% of our oil (7% of 58% imported), would only provide about $10 billion/year dollars. That's a net loss of$10/billion/year.

Second, concerning the gassing, even if, as the article you provide states, that the 5,000 Kurds that died from chemical attacks were casualties of war, it does not contradict the combination of 3 factors I stated in the case for invading Iraq. Hussein still has a history of using chemical WMDs in warfare, either against his own people, or against a nation he invaded.

BTW, the article you state also starts off pretty stupidly by implying that the US or Britain needed to present a 'smoking gun'. Remember, inspectors had found WMD's in the 1990's. It took UNSCOM 3 years to find them after they started work. Resolution 1441 re-asserted that the onus was on Iraq to prove it didn't have the weapons. If they had destroyed them, they would assuredly have evidence. Funny how they didn't provide any; they had had 5 years of no inspectors to hide the weapons and research. And people think that the inspectors were supposed to find them in 3 months. But the inspectors are not detectives; the government they are monitoring is supposed to be willing to disarm. Iraq showed no credible attempts to disarm, rather, a trail of deceit over the last 12 years. Also, the last I heard, some of the missiles fired at Kuwait recently were Scud-B missiles, which Iraq denied having and are not allowed to have under the terms of the peacefire. Guess they just forgot that they had those.

I'm still somewhat bemused that you and tk think that there is also no humanitarian reasons for going to war with Iraq. Just tonight on ABC I saw Barbara Walters interviewing four Iraqi women now living in America. One spoke of how one time she visited a prison, and they showed her the human grinder that they had. They ground people up. Alive. It's currently an unsubstantiated claim, but gives one pause. You're going to hear more of this from people living in Iraq once they feel free from the regime.

Some people think that watching a war 'live' will cause them to start to be against it...I think if you had had the capability to watch Hussein's government in action there would be a whole lot more people advocating invading.

mslicker, you misconstrue what I said. I said that US oil interests have interest in Iraqi oil. You then jump to the conclusion that because US corporations have an interest in Iraqi oil, that we are exploiting Iraq. You skip entirely that I did did not argue, nor will I state, that that is the reason for going to war. I merely said that during the rebuilding that there is interest. One doesn't go to war to rebuild a country. And it's not economically favorable, as I've stated before (and you've ignored). It will probably cost $20 billion/year to rebuild. Cheaper oil from Iraq, which only provides 4% of our oil (7% of 58% imported), would only provide about$10 billion/year dollars. That's a net loss of $10/billion/year. Second, concerning the gassing, even if, as the article you provide states, that the 5,000 Kurds that died from chemical attacks were casualties of war, it does not contradict the combination of 3 factors I stated in the case for invading Iraq. Hussein still has a history of using chemical WMDs in warfare, either against his own people, or against a nation he invaded. BTW, the article you state also starts off pretty stupidly by implying that the US or Britain needed to present a 'smoking gun'. Remember, inspectors had found WMD's in the 1990's. It took UNSCOM 3 years to find them after they started work. Resolution 1441 re-asserted that the onus was on Iraq to prove it didn't have the weapons. If they had destroyed them, they would assuredly have evidence. Funny how they didn't provide any; they had had 5 years of no inspectors to hide the weapons and research. And people think that the inspectors were supposed to find them in 3 months. But the inspectors are not detectives; the government they are monitoring is supposed to be willing to disarm. Iraq showed no credible attempts to disarm, rather, a trail of deceit over the last 12 years. Also, the last I heard, some of the missiles fired at Kuwait recently were Scud-B missiles, which Iraq denied having and are not allowed to have under the terms of the peacefire. Guess they just forgot that they had those. I'm still somewhat bemused that you and tk think that there is also no humanitarian reasons for going to war with Iraq. Just tonight on ABC I saw Barbara Walters interviewing four Iraqi women now living in America. One spoke of how one time she visited a prison, and they showed her the human grinder that they had. They ground people up. Alive. It's currently an unsubstantiated claim, but gives one pause. You're going to hear more of this from people living in Iraq once they feel free from the regime. Some people think that watching a war 'live' will cause them to start to be against it...I think if you had had the capability to watch Hussein's government in action there would be a whole lot more people advocating invading. #### re: mslicker, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 06:52 UTC by tk»(Observer) And it's not economically favorable, as I've stated before (and you've ignored). (Regarding the economic argument, we need to differentiate between the profits and losses of the US government, and the profits and losses of Bush the individual. While much of the profits from oil will go to oil companies -- which Bush allegedly has connections with -- we can reasonably expect that the cost of rebuilding will fall squarely on the US treasury. In other words, it may be that Bush gets all the profit, then hands over a bankrupt nation to the next President.) Hussein still has a history of using chemical WMDs in warfare, either against his own people, or against a nation he invaded. So you're saying that the real issue is not WMDs, but chemical WMDs. Resolution 1441 re-asserted that the onus was on Iraq to prove it didn't have the weapons. Is this part of the resolution, or just the US's convenient interpretation? I'm still somewhat bemused that you and tk think that there is also no humanitarian reasons for going to war with Iraq. Just tonight on ABC I saw Barbara Walters interviewing four Iraqi women now living in America. One spoke of how one time she visited a prison, and they showed her the human grinder that they had. They ground people up. Alive. It's currently an unsubstantiated claim, but gives one pause. You're going to hear more of this from people living in Iraq once they feel free from the regime. So the expectation is that Good Things will happen to Iraq once Saddam is toppled? That all the human grinders will vanish from the face of the nation? To reiterate a previous quote, "[Iraq] is one of the most difficult nations in the world to govern." Yet the PNAC statement on post-war Iraq makes no mention at all of the complex political situation in Iraq -- evidently they're selling the idea that one can "democratize Iraq" just like that and everyone'll live happily ever after. Therefore, either there's really no humanitarian reason behind the invasion of Iraq, or there is one but the whole affair's poorly thought out. Second, we can't take the same avenue of approach with North Korea, because of nearby China, and the fact that North Korea wields a much bigger axe, capable of wiping out millions of South Koreans within minutes. In that case, does it mean that the US policy is to fear the strong, and bully the weak? It sounds like a good pragmatic argument, but it sure does take the oomph out of all the moral posturing... #### ftobin, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 07:22 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer) If the costs exceed the benefit, why is it in the interest of U.S. oil corporations to set up shop? If developing oil in the region is such a loosing proposition, why no let the Iraqis handle it? If oil corporations do stand to gain, it is obvious the present regime (being replaced) was an impediment to exploiting the resources of the region. Keep in mind the U.S is not the only oil market in the world. Next I asked you back up your claim, your reference fails to do that. And since when do weapons have morality attached to them? Which weapons are more moral to kill with? It should not be forgotten the United States is only nation to use nuclear weapons against another, and has a history far worse than Iraq in using WMD's against other nations. It is blindly obvious the double standard being applied. Iraq poses virtually no threat to any nations national security, the U.S. is going against all precedent and international law in violating another nations sovereignty. I have no requrd for Saddam's regime, criticism of one government does not imply support for their current enemy. I think it is up to the Iraqi people alone to decide the future of Iraq. The U.S. has no history of supporting democracy, even basic rights have required a constant uphill battle, and as the Supreme Court has shown even the right to have ones vote counted can be taken away. #### Re: tk and mslicker, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 08:18 UTC by ftobin»(Journeyer) tk: your first para is so conspiracy thick, I'm not even going to bother with it. So you're saying that the real issue is not WMDs, but chemical WMDs. Chemical WMDs are WMDs. He has used chemical WMDs. He developed biological agents for use in WMDs (e.g., anthrax). And inspectors had found efforts to develop nuclear weapons in the mid 1990's. tk, please read resolution 1441. With regard to Iraq's obligations: [The Security Council] accordingly decides to set up an enhanced inspection regime with the aim of bringing to full and verified completion the disarmament process established by resolution 687 (1991) and subsequent resolutions of the Council; The inspectors cannot verify disarmament without the Iraqis providing proof. In that case, does it mean that the US policy is to fear the strong, and bully the weak? It sounds like a good pragmatic argument, but it sure does take the oomph out of all the moral posturing... Really? I would think that choosing paths that produce the least casualties are moral issues. mslicker: your first q makes no sense whatsoever. Furthermore, you're getting off on a tangent. Economics are not part of the justification for war. Certain weapons have morality attached to them the same way certain execution methods have morality attached to them. Furthermore, Iraq has obligations on it due to the peacefire conditions of the Gulf War. Furthermore, certain types of weapons are banned from use by the UN, including all chemical and biological weapons. To say that the US has no history of supporting democracy, you're not speaking truthfully. While the record may not be perfect, we certainly have supported democracy in the past, notably Japan, Germany, South Korea, and Afghanistan. Lastly, to even suggest that the Iraqi people had a decision in their government under Hussein is absurd. #### Re: ftobin, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 18:50 UTC by Guillaume»(Master) I agree with you that this war is not (or at least not only) about oil. I know the number you quoted regarding US oil imports, and added to the PNAC memos (HTML version here, though at the moment the access is forbidden - try the Google cache) they make a pretty convincing case. I also agree that there are certainly economical interests behind France's position (and as I said, France did provide Iraq with a nuclear reactor). Note though that it would be foolish for Chirac to try to protect Hussein's regime in hope of protecting any economical ties with them since it was pretty obvious that the regime wasn't going to last much longer, one way or another. So I don't think France is tring to protect its oil interests there, probably something else, I don't know. It could simply be trying to protect itself from more terrorist attacks. That said, the main problem still remains : what next ? What will happen once Hussein's regime is over ? You already have Turkish troops crossing the Iraqi border, apparently to "protect Turkey from terrorist attacks", and to stop Iraqi refugees. Thankfully this was later denied by the turkish army, but can we reasonably expect no other events will ever occur ? You named Afghanistan among the country where the US promoted democracy. I'm sorry to inform you that Afghanistan is still not a safe place to be. According to Amnesty International, "Afghanistan is far from stable - fighting continues, crime and banditry are rife, women and ethnic groups have been targetted for abuse, and there are thousands of unexploded landmines," the organization said. "While the situation remains fluid, governments should not encourage voluntary repatriation." The other post-WW II examples you gave were not the least bit comparable, as they were all democracies prior the war (except Japan perhaps, I don't know), not suffering from the same kind of internal dissentions that most Middle-East countries have, and very much wanting to return to democracy. The situation with Iraq is totally different, everything indicates that installing democracy there will be very hard. And again, this issue is just one of the many others this war will trigger. #### ftobin, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 19:37 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer) I present only the most basic economic logic. If you can't understand basic logic or refuse to understand basic logic there is no point in discussion with you. You have already made up your mind, this exercise is only so you rationalize the decisions of your governement. Yet when these decisions don't have any logic you dismiss any argument counter. You wanted to know the economic case, when this case does suit your governments logic you reject it. Governments are inseperable from the economic conditions which create them. This is no more true than in the United States, much of presidential cabinent and Bush and Cheney are former CEO's and executives. The connections to oil industry and energy speculation are undeniable, this is no conspiracy, the facts are there for every one to see. On the morality of weapons, who gets to decide? You? the pope? Bush? The US is just as guilty of producing and using chemical weapons. The US is a known producer of Anthrax, and we have used a substance Agent Orange in the Vietnam war. Of course the US has already rejected UN authority, why should it accept the same standard it tries to force on other countries? Again there is a double a standard which is impossible for you to accept in your mind. You and mglazer are one and alike, you both cannot accept reality. Any confrontation and you decide to change the subject. The rulers are always a minority, it is a fact. Democracy is always possible for the majority. Of course there are obstacles, especially for the Iraqi people. However democracy can not be expected from an imperlialist power, there is simply no interest in it. You list several examples of the U.S. suporting "freedom". I don't want to enter in an argument of every conflict the U.S. has enganged in in the 20th century. However, in consideration of history, the fact of the U.S. being an imperialist power cannot be ignored. In each case humanitarian considerations are always second. To look at one example, before the U.S. saw Germany as a threat there were close ties between and American capitalism and German capitalism, Henry Ford was a known suporter of the fascist regime, IBM made the Holocaust the efficient machine it was. There are known connections between the Bush family and Nazi banks, W's grandfather got his forture from the dissolution of a Nazi Bank. Only when the fascist regime was seen as a serious threat to our world wide interests did we enter the war. #### good points, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 19:50 UTC by davidw»(Master) ftobin has some well-reasoned commentary, which is nice to see. I still maintain that Bush's 'march' to war was an example of very poor diplomacy. He failed badly in his attempts to make the case for war, and for a war that had to be started in a hurry, to the rest of the world, leaving a lot of people - not just the French - feeling as if their opinions don't matter. This doesn't matter in the short term, but I fear the long term consequences. Bush has also done little to convince me that he has a good plan for after the war, which is really the critical phase, if the US is truly to help foster democracy and just government in Iraq - things that can't be accomplished with force alone. As far as facts are concerned, South Korea did not become a democracy until the war had been over for decades. Concering Afghanistan, is anyone surprised that it's not a safe place to be? Those kinds of transitions don't happen overnight after more than 20 years of being a war zone. A further note about US politicians - during Rumsfeld's press conference yesterday (March 21), he talked about the "care and humanity" with which bombs were being dropped. Watchin him made me want to take a shower. I firmly believe the US military is doing its best to avoid civilian deaths - it's in their own interests both in Iraq and abroad to not botch this campaign - but those terms are just not decent for violence. #### Morality is out of scope, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 20:39 UTC by nymia»(Master) I think it should be clear to note that arguing the moralist view is definitely out scope, simply because there isn't one at the Nation State level. There is no such thing as moral relations between two states. Also, claims of what is right and wrong doesn't mean a thing at this level because most nation states have no definition of it among themselves. This is why all Nation States are imperialist by nature. #### Re: davidw, Guillaume, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 21:16 UTC by ftobin»(Journeyer) davidw, I make no defense of the Bush administration's handling of the affair. I have absolutely despised listening to it. I much prefer listening to the British administration (MPs and their diplomats), particularly Sir Jeremy Greenstock (who has appeared on the Charlie Rose show a couple times recently), or analysts such as Kenneth Pollack (also on the same show a couple times recently). Certainly, Afghanistan is not safe to be currently, but I didn't try to assert that were had fully succeeded in establishing democracy there yet, only that we were promoting it (backed with a significant chunk of change). Noone expected Afghanistan to turn and flourish on a dime, or even a quarter. Guillaume: Japan was ruled by the emperor before the US came in. Germany is an iffy; it certainly started out that way, and probably could have stayed sane if treaties didn't thrash it so after WWI. Concerning the "what next", Iraq is a much more developed country than Afghanistan, with a much stronger infrastructure, and economy, so establishing a stable government will be that much easier. nymia, I wouldn't argue that morality is out of scope, since I don't think you can just think of nations as ammoralistic, unified block entities, without them being a collection of individual, morally-aware humans. It does about the same amount of disservice to the discussion as talking about corporations as unaccountable entities. #### Stop the conquest of Iraq!, posted 22 Mar 2003 at 23:52 UTC by proclus»(Master) I'll reiterate that this action has now proven as highly successful, impactful, and recommended to webmasters and projects who are opposed to this war of aggression. Blackout now. Regards, proclus http://www.gnu-darwin.org/ #### Installing democracy, posted 23 Mar 2003 at 01:24 UTC by Guillaume»(Master) ftobin: about Japan, it seems the situation was a bit more complex. Apparently prior to WW-II Japan was under a military government. Germany would very probably have remained a democracy if the Versailles treaty had been better thought out, we agree. My comment on Afghanistan was in reply to your naming it as a country where the US had promoted democracy. I was just underlining that this task is far from being finished. About Iraq, I suppose that a democratic government is likely to be easier to install than in Afghanistan, but I think that "somewhat less difficult" better describes the situation. And that's not accounting the surrounding countries. mslicker: I think you're exagerating when linking ftobin to mglazer. Also, AFAIK the generally admitted reason why the US engaged in WW-II is that they knew Stalin would eventually win, and where frightened that all Europe would fall into his hands. #### Re: ftobin, posted 23 Mar 2003 at 13:08 UTC by helcio»(Journeyer) In response to ftobin statements: It is not smart to try to remove all ruthless dictators. (...) Indeed, and there is a good reason not to: Bush needs local support in the Middle East for his next military actions (Iran and Syria, for example). Two interesting articles about this: [1] and [2]. As you all know USA attack force is spread over several countries. If they withdrew their support the invasion would be more difficult (as an example, american troops could not invade Iraq from Turkey). Fighting a single country at a time is easier than declaring war to them all at once, and even if you overthrew one dictator at a time, you would likely lose allies and make enemies in the region (see how this conflict divided the world). (...) realize that we don't need Iraq's oil, given these numbers (...) Given the desired oil quality and maximum price requirements are met, the country which the oil comes from is not so important. USA does not need Iraq's oil today because americans can get it somewhere else. What about tomorrow? Saddam Hussein and Bin Laden were americans' allies yesterday, remember? But the question arises, "Does the US want cheaper oil by invading Iraq?". Current (weak) estimates are that the US will spend$20 billion a year rebuilding Iraq, and, while I unfortunately cannot find the reference I'm remembering (from a NYT article), we'd only maybe save about $10 billion in oil. So it'd be costing the US more than it'd be making. We all know that without foreign oil USA would nearly "freeze". That's an inconvenient situation for the USA and you probably underestimated the importance of the third statement of my last comment (about national security). Cheaper oil is not the point here; actually the point is that relying on international oil sources is dangerous to USA because in theory the OPEC (and/or other oil sources) could "hold USA for ransom" (in an extremely serious scenario, of course). Spending US$ 10 billions might not be very much for the top economic superpower in exchange for a comfortable situation concerning oil.

IMHO, saying that americans don't need Iraq's oil based on the numbers you supplied us would be incorrect and misleading. From a different page within the same source (the Department of Energy) we can see that Iraq has the second greatest oil reserves of the whole world (and USA doesn't even appear among the top 10). It is clear the oil is there, just waiting to be exploited. If americans seize the whole Iraq production it will represent 2.45 / 10.8 = 22,69% of the total amount USA imports. Quite significant values, eh? (btw, the info USA imports 10.8 million barrels per day I took from EIA - Energy Information Administration).

I'd say even more: the value 22,69% I calculated above is based on Iraq's current production, which means the actual ratio USA can get from Iraq may be far greater, given two facts:

• Each OPEC associated country production cannot exceed a fixed quota, even if the country in question could produce much more. Thus the allowed production could be seen as but a lower bound of the actual production potential;
• The production of Iraq is likely to be increased even further if new investments are made. I would not be surprised if Bush did exactly that: he could claim the increase in Iraq's production would be used to give food to poor people, rebuild the country, buy medicines, etc.

If you're goign to argue that the Iraq situation is about oil, please at least back up your argument, rather than pointing out that the US uses oil and Iraq has oil. You need to legitimize your argument by at least trying to connect the two in a more sustainable way.

Please note my comment did not point oil as the issue behind the war, but an issue. More preciselly, one of the possible "tie-breaker" criteria for invading Iraq not NK, for example. Also, everybody knows "USA needs oil and Iraq has oil", even if many people don't bother whether USA imports 50%, 58% or 60% of its oil needs (accuracy is good but not so important here); I just raised the issue and stated I doubted somebody would convincingly argue otherwise. The numbers you mentioned seem to be of secondary importance and I still lack of a good reason to believe oil is not one of the main issues behind the war.

#### Indisputable proof that oil is a consideration, posted 23 Mar 2003 at 15:46 UTC by tk»(Observer)

ftobin:

In this letter by Rumsfeld and others, it's stated,

... if Saddam does acquire the capability to deliver weapons of mass destruction, ... a significant portion of the world's supply of oil will all be put at hazard.
Even if the issue isn't about specifically Iraqi oil, or the interests of the US/Bush/Rumsfeld in oil, definitely the issue of "oil in general" figures somewhere inside there. So there you go...

Also, a literal reading of the Resolution 1441 clause which you quoted only says what the Security Council aims to do, not what Iraq is required to do.

On the subject of chemical WMDs vs. general WMDs, I highlighted this distinction because I understand there are some international rules which apply only to chemical/biological weapons but not to e.g. nuclear weapons. Though as far as I know, the US hasn't used this argument with regards to this war (there may or may not be a reason behind this).

Finally:

... I don't think you can just think of nations as ammoralistic, unified block entities, without them being a collection of individual, morally-aware humans. It does about the same amount of disservice to the discussion as talking about corporations as unaccountable entities.
Not "unaccountable", but rather "unaccounting". In fact, even "morally-aware" humans are often only engaging in elevating personal choices to moral imperatives. As I pointed out earlier, so-called "moral systems" we have are mostly hash.

proclus: looks like I have to take back what I said regarding the blackout. :-\ It seems though the final aim of the whole exercise -- stopping the war -- remains to be achieved.

(I'd like to rant more, but I prefer coding...)

#### Points of further debate, posted 23 Mar 2003 at 21:12 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer)

Guillaume, After doing some research, it apears you are right about WWII and the motives of the U.S.

I only liken ftobin to mglazer to the extent they are unwilling to face reality. ftobin has far better skills of reasoning that is for certain.

You can consider this war for what it is only when you drop all moral pretensions. The crimes of Saddam, if they are indeed true, are indefensible. However in hands of U.S. progandists they only serve to obscure reality, to obscure the real motives of the U.S. invasion. People in support of war use the crimes of one regime to justify the crimes of another. In the previous Gulf War there was an estimimated 200,000 casluaties. In this war we may never get a true estimate. Or if we do, the casulties will be blamed on Saddam, in effect the human sheild argument, that Saddam puts his people in harms way. The media and the pentagon can say these things, because they don't have to answer to anyone. In effect they control the truth, for what ever attrocities are commited we can always hold Saddam Hussein responsible, after all, he's evil!

At this point, I don't think it can be denied oil is a primary interest. Further, I conjecture that we wouldn't even be going to war were the U.S. economy not in such terrible shape. The Bush adminsitration is in crisis, it wasn't elected, it did not come to power on wide spread support, the economy is in shambles, war appears the only avenue of survival. Iran and North Korea are the next targets, it apears the U.S. is on the path to an era of neo-colonialism. American capitalism can't be satisfied with existing markets, and must move to open up previously closed off resources.

A question for the anti-war movement is one effectiveness. Do protests acomplish anything? It seems the media can spin this in whatever way it likes. I've heard the argument that prostests are a sign of a democracy and healthy debate, and a further justification for war against regimes not in our favor. Yet the media only presents one view, and Bush adminstration moves ahead with plans regaurdless of world opinion or the number of protesters. In a sense, I think this war goes to the root of our economic foundations, and any serious opposition needs challenge these foundations. And with this I don't mean anti-globalisation protest. Globalisation is progress, above all in eliminating national borders, uniting the world in economic activity. A serious challenge needs to be politically independent and can't apeal to reforms of one kind or another.

#### Morality doesn't exist above the Nation State level, posted 24 Mar 2003 at 00:27 UTC by nymia»(Master)

I wouldn't argue that morality is out of scope, since I don't think you can just think of nations as ammoralistic, unified block entities, without them being a collection of individual, morally-aware humans. It does about the same amount of disservice to the discussion as talking about corporations as unaccountable entities. </blockquote></blockquote> There is a good reference to the arguments presented above. Plato's The Republic clearly supports the premise that States (The Polis) must have the necessary virtues (wisdom, courage, temperance, and justice) for it to properly function. And it is true that the soul of the Polis has great similarities to an individual. To that, I have no counter-arguments to present since Plato itself has established the nature most Polis and then now, Nation States were patterned upon,
Suppose, I answered, that a just and good man in the course of a narration comes on some saying or action of another good man, --I should imagine that he will like to personate him, and will not be ashamed of this sort of imitation: he will be most ready to play the part of the good man when he is acting firmly and wisely; in a less degree when he is overtaken by illness or love or drink, or has met with any other disaster. But when he comes to a character which is unworthy of him, he will not make a study of that; he will disdain such a person, and will assume his likeness, if at all, for a moment only when he is performing some good action; at other times he will be ashamed to play a part which he has never practised, nor will he like to fashion and frame himself after the baser models; he feels the employment of such an art, unless in jest, to be beneath him, and his mind revolts at it. [ 1 ]

However, these virtues Plato speak doesn't translate very well at the Nation State level because not all States have the same characteristics. The virtues found in one State (Cosmo-polis) may not be present in the other, though. This inequalilty of virtues causes friction among them causing confusion and misunderstanding which eventually lead to conflict.

Now, fitting moral constructs between these Polises is more than likely a Kabuki show, perhaps.

#### tk: effectiveness reminder, posted 24 Mar 2003 at 00:45 UTC by proclus»(Master)

Yes, of course the effectiveness of the GNU-Darwin action is weak in isolation, but if everyone who is opposed to the conquest of Iraq does whatever they can, then the sum of the actions will definitely have an effect. By taking this prominent action, and putting the Distro on the line, GNU-Darwin is giving an example of what can be done, which will inspire people to further action.

I'm just reiterating here. If you would like to review a summary of the key points of rationale, I have posted them at GNU-Darwin.

Regards,
proclus
http://www.gnu-darwin.org/

#### Installing democracy, posted 26 Mar 2003 at 18:01 UTC by mslicker»(Journeyer)

Looking through this thread, and also a certain tendency of thinking, I can't believe more have not objected to this concept of "installing democracy". Thinking about what democracy is suposed to mean, how can it be installed by an alien force? The terminology of "installing democracy" is indictative of operation in Iraq. It is reported there is popular resistance to US led invasion of Iraq. The people we are suposedly "liberating", do not take kindly to this form of liberation. They can hardly be blamed. Imagine for a moment, you are a member of a country which is being bombarded daily, crucial resoures such as water and power are disabled, your freinds and family are being attacked and killed, your nations most valuable resources are being siezed. This is done by a country vastly more wealthy, and with 300 times the military might. Under such conditions the invaders are rightly seen just as that, unprovoked adversaries come to plunder a nation of great natural resources. It must be admited, that democracy is not what is intended to be installed but a new dictatorial rule.