[SPORK] Holy Shiite! US pulling out of Saudi Arabia

Russell Turpin deafbox at hotmail.com
Wed Apr 30 05:40:37 PDT 2003

Gordon Mohr:
>What was the alternative? Honestly saying to the UN and its club, "even if 
>Iraq's WMD program is now in shards and remnants, the fact that they lust 
>for regional dominance and WMDs, and are holding their own citizenry 
>hostage until they again have a chance to grab at those prizes, means we 
>won't be safe until the Baathists are ousted"?

Sometimes people ask me, in a hot political
meeting, what they should say about some
issue. My constant response is: start with
the truth.

>No matter how right that case would be, it's not within the UN's nature to 
>even consider such a rationale. ..

Which means we'd have to go to war without
the UN or its approval. Which we did anyway.

>If the UN got an incomplete and somewhat
>misleading case, it's because that's the only sort of case they'd accept. 

Are we getting some news stream unknown to
me? In all the versions I saw, the UN did
NOT accept the case we made.

>If that's the only prelude you saw..

No, I saw several conflicting preludes, mixed
with a lot of spin, and leaving me guessing as
to what our intentions and goals actually were.
I try to be optimistic about this. I'm glad the
war was quickly won. I hope it provides a lever
for lasting improvement in the region. But I'm
left with no trust for Bush, and a suspicion
that he is playing imperial politics no better
than the British.

>.. you were paying too much attention to the UN's false narrative ..

I was more concerned with OUR narrative.

John Hall:
>Bush mentioned regime change.  And every single time people squealed like a 
>stuck pig.  Even *mentioning* that was a goal was regarded as a diplomatic 
>gaffe.  So we emphasized the one with the most traction: WMDs.

Which still leaves me asking .. why? My sense
is that when you're going to do something that
people don't like, there's not much sense in
pretending you're up to something else. Once
the deed is done, it doesn't make them like it
any better. It just convinces them that you're
also sneaky. Indeed, if they might have liked
it anyway, in retrospect, this is a certain way
to guarantee that they won't.

>Can you imagine Jordan helping if we hadn't
>made that case?

We didn't make that case. We went through the
motions of making it. I don't know enough about
Jordanian politics to know how much difference
that made to Assaz, nor enough about the military
strategy to know that Jordanian support was
critical to the war, but that seems a pretty
tenuous reason for the charade. I can't help but
think that there were other ways to obtain
Jordanian support, or ways to make do without it.

This isn't a small thing, John. Our nation
behaved dishonorably to most of the nations of
the world. Since I'm an American, that bothers me
more than France behaving dishonorably, and is in
no way excused by it. You have explained how it
was convenient, but not why it was necessary.

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