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To: Cary Salsberg who wrote (70584)9/15/2003 8:34:46 AM
From: Fred Levine
   of 70976
 
Hey hey guys--no politics here.
fred

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To: Fred Levine who wrote (70585)9/15/2003 8:40:16 AM
From: Fred Levine
   of 70976
 
AMAT raised to BUY at Merrill. Target 27--fred

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To: Fred Levine who wrote (70585)9/15/2003 8:54:08 AM
From: Fred Levine
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Sorry- I'm disoriented with threads. I did not expect Brian here.
Moreover, I, of course, have political opinions. The Dalai Lhama may support the invasion of Iraq if it leads to reduced suffering. He condemned the Saddam regime.

Having said that, I'm appalled at the lack of a coherent victory plan by the Bushies. They admitted they were prepared for humanitarian aid, but not for getting rules enforced. So far, there has been no event that was not predicted on this thread. Time, if not used for active intervention, will lead to the opposition getting organized and matters will get far worse.

This week's C-Span had both Republican and Democratic ex-diplomats evaluate the UN (and foreign policy) and Bush was criticized for not using diplomacy effectively to gain an alliance. Richard Holbrooke was especially frank and informative. We're screwed with increasing opposition in Iraq, alienation of the world, and a deficit, caused by "Welfare for the Wealthy," that will be a major burden to our children. I'm glad Bush is against "Nation Building".

fred

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To: Fred Levine who wrote (70587)9/16/2003 12:13:51 PM
From: runes
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<<We're screwed with increasing opposition in Iraq, alienation of the world, and a deficit, caused by "Welfare for the Wealthy," that will be a major burden to our children. I'm glad Bush is against "Nation Building".>>
...Gee, Fred, it almost sounds like you regret supporting the war ;-)

Interestingly, a friend of mine who was staunchly pro-Bush through the election and 9-11/Afghanistan just recently came to the conclusion that Bush is an idiot. Seems as though the morning after in Iraq is spawning many regrets.

And, for a bit of irony, I am starting to find myself making the case that the situation in Iraq is not as bad as it appears.
...Consider that we took over Iraq amid a litany of sins - no international support, deep distrust of our motives, no plan for replacing the government that we were chasing out, and only soldiers to do "policing". That we ended up with a mess on our hands was inevitable.
...But, despite our ham-handedness - the general population has stayed pacified, the rate of casualties form the guerilla resistance has stayed pretty constant - despite a call to arms from Al Qaida and raspberries from several of the prominent clerics. The spate of sabotage of the infrastructure seems to have abated. The opposition has started going to high profile bombings ( a sign that the grass roots resistance is not gaining momentum).
...Add to that the fact that Bremmer is pretty much able to stay out of the news (i.e. no gaffs and staying focused on teh work). And the admin is making almost humble overtures to the international community. And the French/German/Russian opposition is bypassing the easy snubs.

So what you have in Iraq is a mess that is not getting worse and is probably getting better. And a bumbling administration that is now looking past the politics in an effort to get much needed help.
...If Iraq were a beaten down stock then I'd be taking a risk position right about now!

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To: runes who wrote (70588)9/16/2003 12:38:53 PM
From: zonder
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Gee, Fred, it almost sounds like you regret supporting the war ;-)

Yes, it does, doesn't it? Do you think we will get a mea culpa soon? :-)

Consider that we took over Iraq amid a litany of sins - no international support, deep distrust of our motives, no plan for replacing the government that we were chasing out, and only soldiers to do "policing".

Those were the incompetencies. The real sins, imho, were the lies, arrogant destruction of pretty much all that stands for international law and order, etc.

If Iraq were a beaten down stock then I'd be taking a risk position right about now!

... which is hopefully why UN will eventually put a hand under the stone.

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To: zonder who wrote (70589)9/16/2003 1:35:52 PM
From: runes
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<<Do you think we will get a mea culpa soon?>>
...Looking for an apology seems a bit much. Maybe at some point you could look for an admission that the war was a mistake. But we are not at that point yet and hopefully things don't get that bad.
...I am content to know that Fred (and the American public at large) are starting to appreciate the risks and consequences of reckless interventionism.

<<The real sins, imho, were the lies, arrogant destruction of pretty much all that stands for international law and order, etc.>>
...So many sins to choose from! But please change "destruction" to "disregard". International law isn't dead and, in fact, may end up being stronger because of Bush's folly. I bet that GWB will think twice before snubbing the security council again.

<<... which is hopefully why UN will eventually put a hand under the stone.>>
...Actually I suspect that that is why France, Germany, and Russia are willing to be so diplomatic at this point. They see an opportunity to get involved in Iraq post-mess. And, with a little bit of luck, they could end up getting the credit for turning Iraq around.
...And before anybody starts bashing them let me point out that Bush called the game. All they did was to hang around and wait for the end game to develop.

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To: runes who wrote (70590)9/17/2003 4:48:30 AM
From: zonder
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Looking for an apology seems a bit much.

"Mea Culpa" = "My fault", as in, "I was wrong to support this war". I didn't expect an apology (I suspect that will come some generations later from a future US administration) but an acknowledgement of having been wrong to support the invasion of Iraq.

I am content to know that Fred (and the American public at large) are starting to appreciate the risks and consequences of reckless interventionism.

Yeah. After the act. And after they killed 6,100 Iraqi civilians (not to mention who knows how many Iraqis fighting the invasion).

Do you think Johnny Depp was right in saying the US is like a baby with large teeth who can hurt (without thinking about it)?

But please change "destruction" to "disregard". International law isn't dead and, in fact, may end up being stronger because of Bush's folly.

I hope you are right. However, Bush legitimized a war of aggression. Now who is to stop India from nuking Pakistan on grounds that they could do it to them at some distant future?

I bet that GWB will think twice before snubbing the security council again.

Assuming he can actually think, or if he does, it actually leads to a rational thought instead of some evangelist crap a la "I have to fight evil!". Sorry but he didn't inspire me with much confidence in his intellectual abilities up until this point.

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To: zonder who wrote (70591)9/17/2003 10:20:56 AM
From: Fred Levine
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My position remains entirely intact. I am against genocide and believe that the appropriate venue for dealing with crimes against humanity is the UN. Saddam Hussein is a weapon of mass destruction and should be eliminated. The UN, because of french venal interests, failed. Given Saddam's history of murder and torture, I am willing to pay a price in order to discourage other such criminals.

Moreover, I have consistently criticized Bush's economic and foreign policies. Read every post on this, and you'll will see the consistency. Your culpa, not my culpa.

fred

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To: Fred Levine who wrote (70592)9/17/2003 11:24:41 AM
From: zonder
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Fred, you make me want to hold your shoulders and shake you to consciousness :-)

I am against genocide and believe that the appropriate venue for dealing with crimes against humanity is the UN

WHAT GENOCIDE??? (for the umpteenth time... for crying out loud, Fred...)

Are you under the impression that there was some genocide going on in Iraq that somebody needed to interfere with as soon as possible? WHAT genocide are you talking about, Fred?

The UN, because of french venal interests, failed

No. It was because the proposed invasion was based on lies and half-truths and complete fallacies, and was COMPLETELY against the UN Charter which clearly says it is NOT for a war of aggression no matter what. And no amount of schizophrenic paranoia against the French or any other country (remember Germany and Russia?) is changing that any time soon.

I am willing to pay a price in order to discourage other such criminals

You think I care YOU paying the price, if that were the case?

As it is, it is the 6,100 civilians massacred by your country's army in Iraq who "paid the price". And their families and loved ones. And the American kids being popped every day in Iraq and their loved ones.

If YOU were getting off your bum and going to Iraq to fight, I would have felt a bit more sympathetic to your bravado re "paying the price".

Moreover, I have consistently criticized Bush's economic and foreign policies

Sorry, that doesn't clear you of supporting the invasion of Iraq.

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To: zonder who wrote (70593)9/17/2003 11:59:00 AM
From: thames_sider
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One other minor point...
I believe that the appropriate venue for dealing with crimes against humanity is the UN

Sadly, not the position of the US, which has stood against the formation of an International Criminal Court and now will not participate unless US citizens are exempt.

Admittedly if I were Bush or Cheney, I'd be none too keen to see much investigation into wars of aggression (and started for imperial or corporate gain), which I think might qualify as war crime or at least criminal war...

As for French venal interests, whatever reasons underlay the French stance they were at least in the right <g>

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