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Who would you like to see as the next president of the United States? watch

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  • View Poll Results: Who would you like to see as the next president of the United States?
    Joe Biden
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    Dennis Kucinich
    1.09%
    Bill Richardson
    2.17%
    Hilary Clinton
    25.00%
    Sam Brownback
    0
    0%
    Jim Gilmore
    0
    0%
    Christopher Dodd
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    Rudy Giuliani
    10.87%
    Duncan Hunter
    0
    0%
    John McCain
    4.35%
    Mike Gravel
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    Barrack Obama
    29.35%
    Fred Thompson
    1.09%
    John Edwards
    5.43%
    Ron Paul
    15.22%
    Other
    5.43%

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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    And re-elected on a...?
    Of course. I'm not challenging his democratic mandate. I'm challenging the fact that he is a traditional Republican, with any precedent. Up to 9/11, Bush was largely non-interventionist. Thereafter, he became a moral crusader - a distinctly un-Republican stance.
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    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Yes it is.
    No it isn't. Either a President is interventionist or not. There are always threats, always engagements abroad that could be undertaken, the thing that defines whether a President is itnerventionist or not is whether he undertakes those engagements - and Reagan did. Bush has done too, but trying to compare doesn't make Reagan LESS interventionist.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    One was to protect US interests. The other to create a democratic nation.
    The theory being that a democratic Iraq IS in the US interest...
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    No it isn't. Either a President is interventionist or not. There are always threats, always engagements abroad that could be undertaken, the thing that defines whether a President is itnerventionist or not is whether he undertakes those engagements - and Reagan did. Bush has done too, but trying to compare doesn't make Reagan LESS interventionist.
    The point I'm trying to make is that Iraq wasn't a threat and the Iraq War simply cannot be justified along those lines. All Presidents respond to threats to the US in self-defence. But choosing to intervene in the affairs of a nation that poses no threat is qualitatively different. Wouldn't you agree that Republicans traditionally, if not in the last 5 years, have been opposed to fighting unnecessary wars. They opposed both the First and Second World Wars, and were called in to end the wars started by the Democrats, as I pointed out.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    The theory being that a democratic Iraq IS in the US interest...
    Pre-2003, a democratic Iraq is of no more value to the US than a democratic Egypt. Or a democratic Libya. Or a democratic Saudi Arabia.

    The US interest has historically been served by compromising and dealing with tyrants and dictators, as long as they stay within their own borders. Cf the Shah of Iran.

    Do you really think, for example, that if eastern european nations post-Cold War had democratically elected a communist government then the US would have supported them? There's nothing implicit in democracy that makes it in the US interest. Cf Grenada.
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    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The point I'm trying to make is that Iraq wasn't a threat and the Iraq War simply cannot be justified along those lines.
    It was considered to be a threat. Whether it actually was or not, if we're analysing motivations, that can still be counted.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Wouldn't you agree that Republicans traditionally, if not in the last 5 years, have been opposed to fighting unnecessary wars.
    That very much depends on what you call necessary. It's very hard to classify a war as objectively necessary or unnecessary. Was it NECESSARY to invade Grenada?

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Pre-2003, a democratic Iraq is of no more value to the US than a democratic Egypt. Or a democratic Libya. Or a democratic Saudi Arabia.
    Indeed - the aim being to spread democracy. Have to start somewhere, may as well be with a country you perceive as a threat under the current leader.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The US interest has historically been served by compromising and dealing with tyrants and dictators, as long as they stay within their own borders.
    Saddam didn't stay withint his own borders. He invaded Kuwait, attacked Iran, fired scuds at Israel and Saudi, sponsored palestinian terrorism, etc.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    There's nothing implicit in democracy that makes it in the US interest.
    Indeed not, but the theory is that spreading democracy in the ME would be.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    It was considered to be a threat. Whether it actually was or not, if we're analysing motivations, that can still be counted.
    Weak argument. The US was well aware of Iraq's strength and deliberately misrepresented it - Colin Powell has testified on many occassions to this. Saddam could have cooperated better with UN inspections, but he posed no aggressive external threat to the US or its allies.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    That very much depends on what you call necessary. It's very hard to classify a war as objectively necessary or unnecessary. Was it NECESSARY to invade Grenada?
    I accept that point. The Republican Party, then, is opposed to altruistic interventions. Which, in my opinion, installing a democratic regime is, because democracy does not necessarily lead to a government friendly to the US or its allies - see Palestine.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Indeed - the aim being to spread democracy. Have to start somewhere, may as well be with a country you perceive as a threat under the current leader.
    ...
    Indeed not, but the theory is that spreading democracy in the ME would be.
    Whose theory? Certainly not traditional conservatives. That's the point. Bush's interventionism is not like Reagan's.

    Reagan funded dictators in South America. Reagan toppled democratic governments. Therefore Reagan was not trying to 'spread democracy', but to protect US interests and capitalist nations, regardless of their democratic status. Eg. Chile, Argentina, Saudi Arabia &c.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Saddam didn't stay withint his own borders. He invaded Kuwait, attacked Iran, fired scuds at Israel and Saudi, sponsored palestinian terrorism, etc.
    Come on. The Iraq War had nothing to do with any of these things. If it had been, he would have been deposed after 1991. That Bush 41 left him in office demonstrates that Republicans can coexist with tyrants.
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    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Weak argument. The US was well aware of Iraq's strength and deliberately misrepresented it - Colin Powell has testified on many occassions to this.
    It's not a weak argument because the fact is that not only were UK and US intelligence services reporting a threat, but so were French intelligence and France opposed the war. Whilst the threat may have been "sexed up", the fact is that there was still considered to be a threat - and thus it played a role in the decision.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The Republican Party, then, is opposed to altruistic interventions.
    Not sure that it necessarily is, but I don't think it's as keen as the Dems.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Which, in my opinion, installing a democratic regime is,
    Maybe not in practice, but if you look at what PNAC etc. believe, they do think it's of benefit.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Whose theory?
    Noeconservatives.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Therefore Reagan was not trying to 'spread democracy', but to protect US interests and capitalist nations
    Reagan was trying to protect US interests, as is Bush. Iraq was not essentially altruistic, as say, Kosovo. Whether he actually is advancing US interests is another question.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    That Bush 41 left him in office demonstrates that Republicans can coexist with tyrants.
    Didn't say they couldn't co-exist, but years of Saddam's belligerence and destabilising the region were a factor in remocing him. Tyrants can be dealt with as long as they're not screwing up beyond their own borders, he was.
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    Hilary because I want Bill.
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    (Original post by -1984-)
    Her consecutive landslide election victories in New York mean nothing to you?
    George Bush had consecutive landslide victories in Texas. The surprising thing is that she never lived in the state before.

    The only reason she won that election was
    a) She had a name. Hilary Clinton attracts attention and has far more prominence that Johnny What-is-his-name-again?
    b) She was William J Clinton's wife.

    She is completely unqualified to hold office, and has got where she has by riding her adulterous husbands coatails.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    It's not a weak argument because the fact is that not only were UK and US intelligence services reporting a threat, but so were French intelligence and France opposed the war. Whilst the threat may have been "sexed up", the fact is that there was still considered to be a threat - and thus it played a role in the decision.
    Iraq - a Middle Eastern country without nuclear weapons and gradually disarming its entire stock of biological and chemical weapons - presented a threat to the United Kingdom, 2500 miles away, and the United States, 6000 miles away? Seriously?

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Maybe not in practice, but if you look at what PNAC etc. believe, they do think it's of benefit.

    Whose theory?
    Noeconservatives.
    Freudian slip there - the type is because you meant to write 'no conservatives' - or no traditional conservatives, in any sense.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Reagan was trying to protect US interests, as is Bush. Iraq was not essentially altruistic, as say, Kosovo. Whether he actually is advancing US interests is another question.
    Could you explain precisely what US interest there was in toppling Saddam? The Reagan examples I've given are clearly substantiated as part of a policy to undermine Soviet power and thus to protect capitalism.

    I could understand a Republican waging war for oil, so if that's the secret US interest, I'll stop disputing it. But as I have repeatedly emphasised, democracy does not imply support for US. Establishing puppet regimes - Shah of Iran - does, as does making deals with established regional powers - the Saudis.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Didn't say they couldn't co-exist, but years of Saddam's belligerence and destabilising the region were a factor in remocing him. Tyrants can be dealt with as long as they're not screwing up beyond their own borders, he was.
    As you said earlier, the scale of Saddam's destablisation of the region - firing scuds at Israel, gassing Kurds, fighting with Iran in the war, sponsoring Palestinian terrorists - could be considered a reasonable cassus belli. But the vast majority of that occured in the 1980s and early 90s. After the Gulf War and certainly by the start of the twenty-first century, Saddam Hussein was tame and internationally non-belligerent.

    If his destablisation of the region were an adequate reason to depose him, it should have happened in 1991 or earlier. After then, his behaviour improved significantly.

    One final point: the Republican Party has always (until recently) eschewed any responsibility to fight other people's wars - ie. to get involved in conflicts (eg. India-Pakistan wars) in which there was no threat to the US by the expansion of one power or another. I brought up the examples of WWI and WWII earlier. The idea of 'policing' the world to avoid destablisation of a region is precisely the kind of big government commitment that traditional Republicans oppose.
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    (Original post by Sidhe)
    I voted for Barrack Obama, that or Hillary Clinton, not just for the tokenism, hard line Republicans absolutely loathe Clinton, so by the logic of reverse idiocy she must be perfect for the job. And Barrack seems to be the loudest voice so far, plus his policies sound alright from what I've heard. To be frank though we don't hear all that much over here, so it's hard to chose as most people have no idea who 50% of that list are, including me although it's more like 80% in my case
    That is the biggest bunch of rubbish I have ever heard. That lying rat voted for the war when it was popular, and is now happy to leave those boys she condemned in the desert without funding or support when it suits her political agenda. Hilary should be exposed for who she is, a criminal fraud who could make Cheney and Rumsfeld look good.
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    (Original post by Greyhound02)
    Firstly, I know Bush has been a big government guy, I wouldn't dream of defending him for that. What's your point?
    Point is, anyone can pretend to be something when they are not. A lot of people probably thought Bush was conservative.

    I can't see Gulliani reducing the size of the government.

    (Original post by Greyhound02)
    Secondly, as far as I'm concerned, the argument that the US or western society is in some way responsible for the attacks and attempted attacks on their soil is absurd nonsense.
    Hehe. That's exactly the argument Giuliani trys to pull almost verbatim. He's just twisting the meaning to evoke an emotional response. He is building a strawman which says implies that the US as a whole were responsible. Nobody suggests this. What the 9/11 commission report and the CIA say is that recent foreign policy had encouraged antaganism towards America. completely different from saying that 'oh, America was responsible for 9/11.

    (Original post by Greyhound02)
    Thirdly, have you got any substantial evidence for the that claim?
    It's mainstream news and completely obvious. How many of the victims remains were recovered from the debris before it was dumped and put under armed guard?

    But in relation to this Giulianin is also hated by firefighters for his handling of the 9/11 aftermath and disregard (aka 'incompetence' if you like) for the health and safety of the clean up workers. Most of the firefighters are now i'll from what they inhaled during the cleanup when Giulianin said it was safe.
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    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Iraq - a Middle Eastern country without nuclear weapons and gradually disarming its entire stock of biological and chemical weapons - presented a threat to the United Kingdom, 2500 miles away, and the United States, 6000 miles away? Seriously?
    Except for the fact they had a nuclear programme that it was possible to reactivate, and were being incredibly cagey and refusing to co-operate regarding other disarmament. And it's not necessarily a threat to the US and UK themselves, more to their interests and forces in the area.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Freudian slip there - the type is because you meant to write 'no conservatives' - or no traditional conservatives, in any sense.
    I meant to write Neoconservatives, I typoed unfortunately.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Could you explain precisely what US interest there was in toppling Saddam?
    Removing a perceived threat to US interests in the region? Removing a thread to US allies? Spreading democracy as both a warning and incentive to other countries?

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    But as I have repeatedly emphasised, democracy does not imply support for US.
    I accept that it does not always imply that. But the fact is that there were those who were influential in the war that believe that democracy in the region is in US interest. Look at how PNAC and the Neocons view the issue, you'll see that that's what they believe.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    After the Gulf War and certainly by the start of the twenty-first century, Saddam Hussein was tame and internationally non-belligerent.
    But still a destabilising influence and entirely unpredictable. We're agreed on his belligerent, destabilising record, so why leave someone with such a record to get on with more such actions?

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The idea of 'policing' the world to avoid destablisation of a region is precisely the kind of big government commitment that traditional Republicans oppose.
    Well, perhaps a factor is that the world has globalised and changed. US interests are not now blocking Soviet expansion or fighting Communism in central America - important strategic areas are now in the ME. The fight is not the same - traditional Republicans have changed with that change.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Except for the fact they had a nuclear programme that it was possible to reactivate, and were being incredibly cagey and refusing to co-operate regarding other disarmament.
    Without segueing into other area of discussion, so is Israel. It has a nuclear programme it can activate; demonstrates that it is 'cagey' by intermittent incursions into Palestinian territories and the Lebanese operations last year; and there is unconfirmed speculation that it has both biological and chemical weapons - according to the gold standard you've applied earlier, US intelligence.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    And it's not necessarily a threat to the US and UK themselves, more to their interests and forces in the area.
    ...
    Removing a perceived threat to US interests in the region? Removing a thread to US allies? Spreading democracy as both a warning and incentive to other countries?
    What interest - oil (in what country), access to ME markets, safety of US troops - please be specific. I want to know what interest was being defended.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    But still a destabilising influence and entirely unpredictable. We're agreed on his belligerent, destabilising record, so why leave someone with such a record to get on with more such actions?
    Why not just jail for life all serious criminals who've ever committed a crime in the past and completed their term? Plus, I can think of occasions when the US has refrained from deposing - or indeed even supported- 'destabilising influences,' such as Nasser during the Suez Crisis.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Well, perhaps a factor is that the world has globalised and changed. US interests are not now blocking Soviet expansion or fighting Communism in central America - important strategic areas are now in the ME. The fight is not the same - traditional Republicans have changed with that change.
    The world was gloablised 100 years ago, if not earlier. I don't buy this crap that since 1990 a phenomenon called 'globalisation' has radically changed anything. It's another topic, but what features does this new 'globalisation' have the imperial globalisation didn't have 100 years ago?

    And again: could you specifically delineate what 'US interests' are served by installing democratic regimes?
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    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Without segueing into other area of discussion, so is Israel.
    The difference being it doesn't pose a threat to US interests and European interests in the area, and isn't going to start using such weapons unpredictably. We've done this before many times, it comes down to: stable Westernised liberal democracy v. unpredictable dictatorship.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    What interest - oil (in what country), access to ME markets, safety of US troops - please be specific. I want to know what interest was being defended.
    Obviously there isn't one in particular, it's a combination.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Why not just jail for life all serious criminals who've ever committed a crime in the past and completed their term?
    Because they've been given what has been determined to be an appropriate sentence and are released when they're deemed to be ready. No such thing happened with Iraq.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Plus, I can think of occasions when the US has refrained from deposing - or indeed even supported- 'destabilising influences,' such as Nasser during the Suez Crisis.
    And at the time one assumes that the US figured that was the thing that best served their interests. Remember, it was over a decade later that Nasser went to war with Israel...

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The world was gloablised 100 years ago, if not earlier.
    Nothing like it is today.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    I don't buy this crap that since 1990 a phenomenon called 'globalisation' has radically changed anything. It's another topic, but what features does this new 'globalisation' have the imperial globalisation didn't have 100 years ago?
    Are you being serious? You really can't see how today's strategic environment is radicalyl different to a century ago?

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    And again: could you specifically delineate what 'US interests' are served by installing democratic regimes?
    I'm not going to list them all, you can read the documents yourself, search PNAC.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    The difference being it doesn't pose a threat to US interests and European interests in the area, and isn't going to start using such weapons unpredictably.
    Hmm. The nature of 'unpredictably' means you can't predict it - so why are you confident that Israel would not, for example, nuke Iranian development sites if somebody like Netinyahu were in government?

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    We've done this before many times, it comes down to: stable Westernised liberal democracy v. unpredictable dictatorship.
    If I've understood that, you're saying we should only deal with liberal democracies and should depose "unpredictable" dictatorial regimes. Can we really be that absolute - into which category, for example, do Saudi Arabia, Egypt & Libya come?

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Because they've been given what has been determined to be an appropriate sentence and are released when they're deemed to be ready. No such thing happened with Iraq.
    I disagree. The US fought the Republican Guard out of Kuwait and then the international community imposed sanctions. The 2003 invasion increased the severity of the punishment despite 'good behaviour'.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    And at the time one assumes that the US figured that was the thing that best served their interests. Remember, it was over a decade later that Nasser went to war with Israel...
    Are you saying that the instabilty of the region (which, you have emphasised, it is in the US interest to stabilise) was exacerbated by the Suez Crisis? If so, its initiators - Israel, Britain and France - were destablising forces, contrasting with your earlier conclusion that Israel was predictable and stable.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    The world was gloablised 100 years ago, if not earlier.
    Nothing like it is today.

    Are you being serious? You really can't see how today's strategic environment is radicalyl different to a century ago?
    Of course there are minor differences. But, as I pointed out in another thread, the three primary motives (so far as I can understand) for US military intervention are:
    1. Spread our values to 'less developed' cultures.
    2. In our economic interest.
    3. To avoid other powers (China) acquiring hegemony in a region.
    All of which, for my money, are the same things as were said by Great Britain, France, Germany, Ottomans &c in acquiring colonial territories. That they're now said by different people and with application to slightly different regions doesn't change the "strategic environment." The strategy is the same.

    Perhaps you could enlighten me on specific points where neoconservatism differs from this schema for the Westernisation of the middle east?

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    I'm not going to list them all, you can read the documents yourself, search PNAC.
    PNAC do the same thing as you've done so far - present your conclusions as faits accomplis without showing your working - the reasoning that you used to get there. They just assert, for example:

    "Of course, the United States must be prudent in how it exercises its power. But we cannot safely avoid the responsibilities of global leadership or the costs that are associated with its exercise. America has a vital role in maintaining peace and security in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. If we shirk our responsibilities, we invite challenges to our fundamental interests."

    without ever defining clearly these "fundamental interests" or how promoting democracy correlates with them. I prefer an argument I can scrutinise, rather than a vague dogma of platitudinous revelations (eg. "it is necessary if the United States is to build on the successes of this past century and to ensure our security and our greatness in the next.")
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    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    so why are you confident that Israel would not, for example, nuke Iranian development sites if somebody like Netinyahu were in government?
    I'm not confident Israel won't attack Iran as a last resort, but you can't deny that there is a fundamental difference between the actions of an oppressive, aggressive dictatorship and a liberal democracy in terms of what they do and why. If Israel went for Iran, there would be rational, logical reasons for doing so - they'd feel it was their only way to ensure security. No such considerations hampered Saddam as he went off to war with Iran and invaded Kuwait and attacked Saudi and Israel.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    If I've understood that, you're saying we should only deal with liberal democracies and should depose "unpredictable" dictatorial regimes.
    Not immediately depose, but work towards democratising.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Can we really be that absolute - into which category, for example, do Saudi Arabia, Egypt & Libya come?
    I'm not a fan of any of them, and obviously they're not liberal democracies. However, they're also not enemies (ostensibly some are even allies), so the approach is different, obviously.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The 2003 invasion increased the severity of the punishment despite 'good behaviour'.
    The legal reason given was breach of Security Council resolutions - which, whatever else one thinks, was a fair point - Iraq were in breach of resolutions that threatened further action if they were breached. So I'm not sure where this "good behaviour" comes from, their behaviour wasn't up to the standards set by the SC. Unless by "good behaviour" you mean they didn't try to exterminate the the Kurds or invade anyone for a few years.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Are you saying that the instabilty of the region (which, you have emphasised, it is in the US interest to stabilise) was exacerbated by the Suez Crisis? If so, its initiators - Israel, Britain and France - were destablising forces, contrasting with your earlier conclusion that Israel was predictable and stable.
    From the British and French perspective, it was necessary to secure Suez. Clearly not from the US perspective. And when I talked about Israel being stable before, I was talking about an internally stable country today - not about an action they undertook with Britain and France half-a-century ago.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    That they're now said by different people and with application to slightly different regions doesn't change the "strategic environment." The strategy is the same.
    The strategy is the same in as much as countries still want power and influence. The way that that is acquired and the way that countries secure that is clearly different. Indeed, the goals to satisfy it are different.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Perhaps you could enlighten me on specific points where neoconservatism differs from this schema for the Westernisation of the middle east?
    Why don't you read up on neoconservatism and see?

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    PNAC do the same thing as you've done so far - present your conclusions as faits accomplis without showing your working - the reasoning that you used to get there.
    Have you read all 75 pages of "Rebuilding America's Defences"? As well as the numerous other available documents? I can assure you there is working.
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    (Original post by annsmith)
    Hilary because I want Bill.
    Oh god no. I wish the Clinton dynasty would bugger off.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    I'm not confident Israel won't attack Iran as a last resort, but you can't deny that there is a fundamental difference between the actions of an oppressive, aggressive dictatorship and a liberal democracy in terms of what they do and why. If Israel went for Iran, there would be rational, logical reasons for doing so - they'd feel it was their only way to ensure security. No such considerations hampered Saddam as he went off to war with Iran and invaded Kuwait and attacked Saudi and Israel.
    Of course I agree that Israel's actions are guided by some sense of self-defence, as opposed to Saddam's megalomaniacal expansion into Kuwait. The 3 reasons that you gave initially for Saddam as a destabilising force, I wanted to emphasise, could be arbitrarily applied to another nation - even a democracy - and thus are inadequate as a reason for war.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    I'm not a fan of any of them, and obviously they're not liberal democracies. However, they're also not enemies (ostensibly some are even allies), so the approach is different, obviously.
    Saddam Hussein wasn't our enemy. He didn't threaten us, directly or (in my opinion) indirectly. But they satisfy PNAC's criteria for governmental deposition.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    The strategy is the same in as much as countries still want power and influence. The way that that is acquired and the way that countries secure that is clearly different. Indeed, the goals to satisfy it are different.
    You've conveniently ignored my argument. The justification for American interventionism is precisely the same as that for European imperialism (I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing). Hence when I said: "Perhaps you could enlighten me on specific points where neoconservatism differs from this schema for the Westernisation of the middle east?" and your response was
    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Why don't you read up on neoconservatism and see?
    you missed the point. The goals are the same - 1. Cultural hegemony. 2. Economic hegemony. 3. Weaken rivals.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Have you read all 75 pages of "Rebuilding America's Defences"? As well as the numerous other available documents? I can assure you there is working.
    Of course I haven't. Just saying - read this, and you'll find the answer - isn't really debate. Since you're so familiar with the arguments could you summarise what specific interests the United States must protect in the middle east and why democratisation will help in this process?
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    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The 3 reasons that you gave initially for Saddam as a destabilising force, I wanted to emphasise, could be arbitrarily applied to another nation - even a democracy - and thus are inadequate as a reason for war.
    Sorry, randomly invading and attacking other countries for reasons other than self-defence is not a good reason? Genocide of your own population is not a good reason? What other countries is it applicable to? Which democracies?

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Saddam Hussein wasn't our enemy. He didn't threaten us, directly or (in my opinion) indirectly.
    In the opinion of numerous governments (including the US and UK) he was.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    The justification for American interventionism is precisely the same as that for European imperialism (I'm not saying it's necessarily a bad thing).
    In as far as it's working towards their country's and they believe the world's best interests, yes it's the same. But that's reducing everything down to it's basic motivation that drive most things - self-interest.

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    . Just saying - read this, and you'll find the answer - isn't really debate.
    Well you can't say that PNAC "haven't shown any working" when you haven't actually READ any of the working. That's not really debate is it. The fact is, the working and answers you want are there - why should I have to re-read and precis 75 pages for you?

    (Original post by thermoregulatio)
    Since you're so familiar with the arguments could you summarise what specific interests the United States must protect in the middle east and why democratisation will help in this process?
    Can I put hundreds of pages in to a convenient soundbite for you? Probably not.
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    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Sorry, randomly invading and attacking other countries for reasons other than self-defence is not a good reason?
    Let me be clear. I said Iraq wasn't a threat to Britain or the US - too far away and without the technology. You responded;

    "Except for the fact they had a nuclear programme that it was possible to reactivate, and were being incredibly cagey and refusing to co-operate regarding other disarmament."

    I showed that Israel satisfied all these 3 criteria - nuke programme, 'cagey' and covert chemical/biological systems. If the satisfaction of these criteria are the reason why Britain and the US went to war with Iraq then, to be consistent, war should also be waged with Israel. You don't think war should be raised with Israel. Ergo, these aren't the criteria.

    If you disagree, please explain which of the three criteria Israel does not meet (I appreciate the second one is ambiguous - it was your term).

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Genocide of your own population is not a good reason?
    Be honest. The Iraq War had nothing whatsoever to do with the gassing of the Kurds or the use of biological weapons on the Iranians. If he was morally outraged, Bush should've gone to war as soon as he became president, not wait for 3 years. He should also have told the American people when he ran for President in 2000 that he intended to right this wrong, instead of pretending to have a humble, no-nation building foreign policy.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    In the opinion of numerous governments (including the US and UK) he was [their enemy]
    Why? He didn't directly threaten them. He didn't seek to expand outside his borders after 1991. He didn't continue to develop nuclear, chemical or biological weapons. He was a domestic tyrant - like Pinochet, for example - but not one who posed a threat.

    (Original post by JonathanH)
    Well you can't say that PNAC "haven't shown any working" when you haven't actually READ any of the working. That's not really debate is it. The fact is, the working and answers you want are there - why should I have to re-read and precis 75 pages for you?
    You don't "have to." I'm just not convinced by the presentation of the arguments as faits accomplis without the working. If you're trying to convince people that neoconservatism is a good thing, surely you should want to set out the arguments as thoroughly as possible. If not, why are you discussing things on a forum?
 
 
 
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