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B Nice war - here's the bill



 
 
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  #2  
Old September 11th 03, 10:09 PM
Stephen Harding
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Peter Kemp wrote:

On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 14:35:34 GMT, Stephen Harding
wrote:

"Paul J. Adam" wrote:

In message , Stephen Harding
writes
"Paul J. Adam" wrote:
He can run and hide, being animate. Weapons can't, being dead metal.


No, but people can't be stashed underground for years on end, or cut up into
components and reassembled later either.


Yet all these "thousands of tons" (SecState Powell's words to the UN)
of WMD are gone without a trace of digging found, despite having been
a real threat (remember the 45 minutes to deployment?) right up until
the war ended?


I think the 45 minute thing was a Brit claim, no?

No matter really, since the US seemed to accept the claim. Could be honest
misinterpretation of situation rather than Machiavellian plot.

I have no doubt there were sources that said such things. This particular
claim was clearly wrong. I still believe WMD will show up.

How often, and with what result?

As I understand it, terrorist types were only lightly tolerated by Saddam's
Iraq. Ansar al-Islam in the north were Sunnis who liked to blow up Shiite
Kurds, so were OK. Those wanting to go farther afield for American prey
were probably persona non grata...at the time.

So why invade Iraq as a "terrorist sponsor", then?


To be rid of Saddam, a looming threat IMHO.


Why was he suddenly looming? What made him so dangerous in 2003 that
wasn't there in 2001/2000/1999/1998/1997/1996? Nasty man, no doubt,
but looming threat?


Because he was about to be freed of UN restriction.

From a cold logical perspective, Saddam was locked in his box with
little capability to do more than rattle the lid when US and allied
aircraft flew over air-defence sites.


Hardly. The box was about to open. French/Germans/Russians have been
chaffing at the bit to end sanctions. Not until the US/UK were "very serious"
about invasion did continued sanctions suddenly seem a good idea.


Err, sanctions can't be lifted without the UNSC agreeing, and look who
has veto rights? That's right, the US and UK. Of course you could try
to overrule the UNSC by getting a 2/3 majority in the General
Assembly, but that hasn't been done since the Korean war!


There's been plenty of trading with Iraq on the side, irrespective of any
UN resolutions. Iraq had been selling plenty of oil out from under UN
"Food for Peace" oversight.

The resolution itself doesn't create a favorable outcome in dealing with
Saddam as far as US interests go. The *US* (UK too I think) was largely
flying no-fly patrols. Easy for France to say "continue doing that" for
another 10 years while we quietly do business and work for lifting of
sanctions.

Just how long are we supposed to enforce the no fly zones, with increasing
AA activity towards overflights?


At the very least until Afghanistan is stable, and the WOT is rather
further along. Instead of which the US is hamstrung, being
realistically unable to deploy any more troops anywhere.


The no-fly zone was a political ham-stringing waiting to happen! The fact
that no planes were lost...even to mechanical failures, over the past 12
years I find somewhat astonishingly lucky. Add to it the increase in SAM
firings and this is simply not tenable.

You are advocating a policy of allowing US pilots to provide Iraqi AAA units
target practice for absolutely no political gain. Only loss is possible
over the long run.

He wasn't going to take the steps to get the sanctions lifted - he was
getting hugely rich and his position secured by them so they probably
suited him very nicely.


Doubt it. He wanted control of his country back! That means no "no fly" zones.
That means crushing the semi-autonomous Kurds (who've been doing quite well on
their own no thanks to Saddam).


On the contrary, the Kurds have been doing well *because* of Saddam.
Most of the Kurdish revenue was from the oil being smuggled over the
border into Turkey, through the Kurdish areas.


Economically oil helps. But oil doesn't create democratic institutions, and
the Kurds actually have a reasonably well functioning democracy complete with
talk shows with broad political/economic opinion. No help from Saddam was necessary!

Why? Is his army going to be better trained and re-equipped by then? Are
his people going to love him any more?


His army will have WMD for all to see (if he doesn't already have them...for all
not to see).


But, I thought the army already had WMD, and never got rid of it all
post 1991? Or so Blair and Bush told me. So that one's a fallacious
argument.


Had them or not, he'd have them by 2010 if sanctions were lifted!

UNSCR isn't binding and vital. Never have been. They are an annoyance and
hindrance, about to be removed by friends in the SC. They're useful tools to
whomever gets one passed.

If you're Arab, they're great when the say Israel needs to withdraw from whatever
town, or that Zionism = Racism.


Well, no. Because someone has vetoed almost every single resolution
critical of Israel for decades - the US.


Sort of like France with the US over Iraq, right?

If it weren't for US vetos, the UN would probably have voted a resolution
calling for the "disbandment" of the Israeli state!

Their irrelevant if they address Syrian occupation
of Lebanon (does such a resolution even exist?).


Not to my knowledge, in which case yes, a non-existent resolution is
irrelevant.


That's the problem. Too many non-existent (and therefor irrelevant) UNSC
resolutions against Palestinian terror or Arab occupations and political
infringements on citizens. How can one think the UN is balanced, and therefor
credible, in such a conflict?

If one looks at the number of UNSCRs against Israel, versus the numbers
against Arabs of all persuasion, you'd have to conclude it's a one-way violence
in the Holy Land. It most certainly is NOT!

Hence the Security Council.


And deadlock.


Quite. Noting of course that the only reason there is deadlock is due
to the existence of the veto. But I don't see any of the big 5
volunteering to give it up any time soon.


The veto should be eliminated, and in its place, some sort of mechanism for
forcing compromise. Something like, but not necessarily identical, to the
US House/Senate (British Lords/Commons???) with rules that force compromise
to get things done.

But of course, that implies giving up national sovereignty, which I think
nations in addition to the US, would be loath to do.

*Real* leadership isn't sitting back to let a majority decide how you should
act. Valid national interests can't be overruled by a majority that does not
share those interests, nor will pay a consequence if dangers or interests are
not engaged.

*Real* leadership also involves concepts like "finish what you started"
and "you hooked him, you land him".


Angling expedition currently underway.


True, but while the fish is still in the water you're asking the rest
of the world to get the nets so your fishermen can go home.


I haven't heard that! Quite the contrary. I think the US is willing (somewhat
reluctantly of course) to be in Iraq for several more years. That should have
been the plan all along.

NK and Iran are much nearer WME than Iraq, and Syria is widely alleged
to have chemical warheads on over a hundred Scud copies. Sounds like a
threat to me - when do we go in?


Syria might very well be a viable target. I think one war at a time is a
good rule though, especially when it is not yet clear if the outcome will be
favorable.


Well the US is currently on 2 wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), and
posturing mightily on the Korean peninsular.


Which seems to have paid off. This administration wasn't panicked into
appeasement mode by the whacky NKs. They threw the course rhetoric right back
at them. I think we'll get something accomplished now that China finally sees
NK as a problem in their national interest as well!

As always, my position on Iraq, is not "why invade", but "why invade
now, when we're still busy with AQ?"


I just think the cost of invasion was going to be greater later than now.
But I guess we'll never know. It's certainly going to cost a bundle though.


SMH
  #3  
Old September 12th 03, 01:05 AM
David Henderson
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Posts: n/a
Default

In article , Stephen Harding wrote:
If you're Arab, they're great when the say Israel needs to withdraw from whatever
town, or that Zionism = Racism.

Well, no. Because someone has vetoed almost every single resolution
critical of Israel for decades - the US.

Sort of like France with the US over Iraq, right?
If it weren't for US vetos, the UN would probably have voted a resolution
calling for the "disbandment" of the Israeli state!


Like you wanted them to do for Iraq?

Pot. Kettle. You do the introductions.


--
I give confidential press briefings.
You leak.
He's been charged under section 2a of the Official Secrets act.
-- Irregular verbs, Yes Prime Minister.
  #4  
Old September 12th 03, 03:24 PM
Stephen Harding
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

David Henderson wrote:

In article , Stephen Harding wrote:
If you're Arab, they're great when the say Israel needs to withdraw from whatever
town, or that Zionism = Racism.
Well, no. Because someone has vetoed almost every single resolution
critical of Israel for decades - the US.

Sort of like France with the US over Iraq, right?
If it weren't for US vetos, the UN would probably have voted a resolution
calling for the "disbandment" of the Israeli state!


Like you wanted them to do for Iraq?

Pot. Kettle. You do the introductions.


Not at all.

The UN is tool useful to everyone at varying times, and a PITA at others.

Too many people ascribe high democratic ideals to UN resolutions. The UN
is not democratic, and its resolutions carry no weight of rule of law.

They should be seen as nothing more than they really are.


SMH
  #5  
Old September 12th 03, 05:02 PM
Jeffrey Smidt
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Posts: n/a
Default

David Henderson wrote in message ...
In article , Stephen Harding wrote:
If you're Arab, they're great when the say Israel needs to withdraw from whatever
town, or that Zionism = Racism.
Well, no. Because someone has vetoed almost every single resolution
critical of Israel for decades - the US.

Sort of like France with the US over Iraq, right?
If it weren't for US vetos, the UN would probably have voted a resolution
calling for the "disbandment" of the Israeli state!


Like you wanted them to do for Iraq?

Pot. Kettle. You do the introductions.


To: Mr Pot
Iraq

US never has wanted to disband Iraq. We stopped in 1991 to prevent
the collapse of Iraq due to fragmentation. We then and now recognised
the Iraqi state and people right to self determination. We objected
to the Regime in charge and after 13 years of resistence, offense and
obfuscation, decided to take action. The US doesnt need another
desert, we got Texas.

Cordially
Mr Kettle
  #6  
Old September 12th 03, 05:32 PM
B2431
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Posts: n/a
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US never has wanted to disband Iraq. We stopped in 1991 to prevent
the collapse of Iraq due to fragmentation.
desert, we got Texas.


snip

Cordially
Mr Kettle

Actually we stopped because the coalition would have fragmented had we gone
further into Iraq. The Syrians, Saudis etc would have changed sides. Besides
the Coalition was only assembled and mandated by the UN to eject the Iraqis
from Kuwait.

Dan, U. S. Air Force, retired

  #7  
Old September 12th 03, 07:23 PM
Peter Kemp
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Default

On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 17:09:14 -0400, Stephen Harding
wrote:

Peter Kemp wrote:

On Thu, 11 Sep 2003 14:35:34 GMT, Stephen Harding
wrote:

To be rid of Saddam, a looming threat IMHO.


Why was he suddenly looming? What made him so dangerous in 2003 that
wasn't there in 2001/2000/1999/1998/1997/1996? Nasty man, no doubt,
but looming threat?


Because he was about to be freed of UN restriction.


No, he wasn't. The US had explicitly said (and the UK too IIRC) that
they would veto any attempt to lift sanctions until Iraq was given a
clean bill of health by UNMOVIC.

Hardly. The box was about to open. French/Germans/Russians have been
chaffing at the bit to end sanctions. Not until the US/UK were "very serious"
about invasion did continued sanctions suddenly seem a good idea.


Err, sanctions can't be lifted without the UNSC agreeing, and look who
has veto rights? That's right, the US and UK. Of course you could try
to overrule the UNSC by getting a 2/3 majority in the General
Assembly, but that hasn't been done since the Korean war!


There's been plenty of trading with Iraq on the side, irrespective of any
UN resolutions. Iraq had been selling plenty of oil out from under UN
"Food for Peace" oversight.


In breach of sanctions. Quite a lot of it as I've said being oil
through the Turkish border. Yet despite the knowledge of this no
attempt was made by the UN (or suggested by the US) to halt this flow.
Down in the gulf was another matter, and the maritime interdiction was
fairly successful.

The resolution itself doesn't create a favorable outcome in dealing with
Saddam as far as US interests go. The *US* (UK too I think) was largely
flying no-fly patrols. Easy for France to say "continue doing that" for
another 10 years while we quietly do business and work for lifting of
sanctions.


Yup the RAF was also flying ONW & OSW missions. At one time the French
were also flying OSW missions.

Just how long are we supposed to enforce the no fly zones, with increasing
AA activity towards overflights?


At the very least until Afghanistan is stable, and the WOT is rather
further along. Instead of which the US is hamstrung, being
realistically unable to deploy any more troops anywhere.


The no-fly zone was a political ham-stringing waiting to happen! The fact
that no planes were lost...even to mechanical failures, over the past 12
years I find somewhat astonishingly lucky. Add to it the increase in SAM
firings and this is simply not tenable.


The increased SAM firings were virtually all ballistic (i.e.
unguided), and did not provide a significant threat to Allied
Aircraft. Far larger a risk was engine failure, and I agree it's
astonishing that it had not happened in 12 years.

You are advocating a policy of allowing US pilots to provide Iraqi AAA units
target practice for absolutely no political gain. Only loss is possible
over the long run.


So 12 years isn't a long run? I was merely pointing out that looking
for trouble (i.e. invading Iraq) was foolish as there was no suddenly
increased threat, and we were supposed to be busy with the WoT.

Doubt it. He wanted control of his country back! That means no "no fly" zones.
That means crushing the semi-autonomous Kurds (who've been doing quite well on
their own no thanks to Saddam).


On the contrary, the Kurds have been doing well *because* of Saddam.
Most of the Kurdish revenue was from the oil being smuggled over the
border into Turkey, through the Kurdish areas.


Economically oil helps. But oil doesn't create democratic institutions, and
the Kurds actually have a reasonably well functioning democracy complete with
talk shows with broad political/economic opinion. No help from Saddam was necessary!


SO without the oil where does the money for all the institutions set
up come from ? The Kurdish area have no significant industrial output.

Why? Is his army going to be better trained and re-equipped by then? Are
his people going to love him any more?

His army will have WMD for all to see (if he doesn't already have them...for all
not to see).


But, I thought the army already had WMD, and never got rid of it all
post 1991? Or so Blair and Bush told me. So that one's a fallacious
argument.


Had them or not, he'd have them by 2010 if sanctions were lifted!


But contrary to what you appear to believe the sanctions were not
about to be lifted

UNSCR isn't binding and vital. Never have been. They are an annoyance and
hindrance, about to be removed by friends in the SC. They're useful tools to
whomever gets one passed.

If you're Arab, they're great when the say Israel needs to withdraw from whatever
town, or that Zionism = Racism.


Well, no. Because someone has vetoed almost every single resolution
critical of Israel for decades - the US.


Sort of like France with the US over Iraq, right?


Exactly. And look how popular the French were with the US for doing it
for about 4 years. Now look at how long the US has been doing it and
*some* of the hatred shown by the muslim world becomes explainable.

If it weren't for US vetos, the UN would probably have voted a resolution
calling for the "disbandment" of the Israeli state!


Err, you do recall that Israel was set up by the UN don't you? And
that under the UN charter they cannot disband a Sovereign State?

Their irrelevant if they address Syrian occupation
of Lebanon (does such a resolution even exist?).


Not to my knowledge, in which case yes, a non-existent resolution is
irrelevant.


That's the problem. Too many non-existent (and therefor irrelevant) UNSC
resolutions against Palestinian terror or Arab occupations and political
infringements on citizens. How can one think the UN is balanced, and therefor
credible, in such a conflict?
If one looks at the number of UNSCRs against Israel, versus the numbers
against Arabs of all persuasion, you'd have to conclude it's a one-way violence
in the Holy Land. It most certainly is NOT!


Having just checked the UN site for a dozen random years (I'm
buggered if I'm going to check 50 years for a USENET reply), all of
the UNSCRs were generally Egypt-Israel, Syria-Israel or such, calling
on *both* parties to exercise restraint, make peace, kiss and make up
and so forth. No doubt there are some against Israel alone (perhaps
for their various invasions of neighbouring countries), and against
their neighbours alone (for their various invasions of Israeli
territory). Of course what's not on record (at least online) are all
the vetoed resolutions by the US in Israel's favour, and the USSR in
it's client's favours.

*Real* leadership isn't sitting back to let a majority decide how you should
act. Valid national interests can't be overruled by a majority that does not
share those interests, nor will pay a consequence if dangers or interests are
not engaged.

*Real* leadership also involves concepts like "finish what you started"
and "you hooked him, you land him".

Angling expedition currently underway.


True, but while the fish is still in the water you're asking the rest
of the world to get the nets so your fishermen can go home.


I haven't heard that! Quite the contrary. I think the US is willing (somewhat
reluctantly of course) to be in Iraq for several more years. That should have
been the plan all along.


Well, most of the senior folks such as Mr Powell who are asking for
troops from others are also (in different statements) saying they want
to ramp down US troop levels. So I was perhaps badly stating my
comment in that the US isn't suggesting ALL US troops should come
home, but merely some of them, to be replaced by other nationals.

Syria might very well be a viable target. I think one war at a time is a
good rule though, especially when it is not yet clear if the outcome will be
favorable.


Well the US is currently on 2 wars (Afghanistan and Iraq), and
posturing mightily on the Korean peninsular.


Which seems to have paid off.


Well, I guess that's a matter of opinion since last week's meetings
only had 2 outcomes. 1. They'd meet again at some point. 2. the DPRK
said they'd conduct nuclear testing.

Peter Kemp
  #8  
Old September 12th 03, 08:55 PM
Stephen Harding
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Peter Kemp wrote:

Because he was about to be freed of UN restriction.


No, he wasn't. The US had explicitly said (and the UK too IIRC) that
they would veto any attempt to lift sanctions until Iraq was given a
clean bill of health by UNMOVIC.


I think he was, either by official UN lifting of sanctions, or by increasingly
ignoring them by more and more parties.

The sanctions have been increasingly unpopular around here (granted, a very
liberal, almost downright communist local). They were seen to be killing
Iraqi children and nothing more, which to some extent, was true.

France and Russia, and to lesser degree Germany I believe, were increasingly
pushing to remove them [sanctions] and move on.

So whether officially removed, or de facto removed via ignoring them, I really
believe they were about to go. Saddam was getting closer to being out of his
box.

There's been plenty of trading with Iraq on the side, irrespective of any
UN resolutions. Iraq had been selling plenty of oil out from under UN
"Food for Peace" oversight.


In breach of sanctions. Quite a lot of it as I've said being oil
through the Turkish border. Yet despite the knowledge of this no
attempt was made by the UN (or suggested by the US) to halt this flow.
Down in the gulf was another matter, and the maritime interdiction was
fairly successful.


Yeah don't know why the pipeline wasn't taken out. Maritime interdiction wasn't
that effective from what I've read. Some "large fish" captures of smugglers,
but schools of dhows hugging the coastlines hauling oil (and other goods) all
through the Gulf was pretty much the situation. Smuggling is apparently a way
of life in the region.

The no-fly zone was a political ham-stringing waiting to happen! The fact
that no planes were lost...even to mechanical failures, over the past 12
years I find somewhat astonishingly lucky. Add to it the increase in SAM
firings and this is simply not tenable.


The increased SAM firings were virtually all ballistic (i.e.
unguided), and did not provide a significant threat to Allied
Aircraft. Far larger a risk was engine failure, and I agree it's
astonishing that it had not happened in 12 years.


Still seems a disaster waiting to happen with not much political gain for the
effort.

You are advocating a policy of allowing US pilots to provide Iraqi AAA units
target practice for absolutely no political gain. Only loss is possible
over the long run.


So 12 years isn't a long run? I was merely pointing out that looking
for trouble (i.e. invading Iraq) was foolish as there was no suddenly
increased threat, and we were supposed to be busy with the WoT.


I think going 12 years without a shootdown was quite remarkable. I've been
expecting a US/UK pilot to be on Al-Jazeera being paraded through the streets
of Baghdad for some time. The fact that it didn't happen in 12 years is no
guarantee it wouldn't happen tomorrow.

SO without the oil where does the money for all the institutions set
up come from ? The Kurdish area have no significant industrial output.


I understand they've done pretty well as "middlemen" in the trade between neighboring
countries. Can't quite place the borders in my mind but presume that would be Turkey,
Jordan, Syria, Iran. Not just oil passing these borders although oil would be the
big ticket item.

Well, no. Because someone has vetoed almost every single resolution
critical of Israel for decades - the US.


Sort of like France with the US over Iraq, right?


Exactly. And look how popular the French were with the US for doing it
for about 4 years. Now look at how long the US has been doing it and
*some* of the hatred shown by the muslim world becomes explainable.


The hatred of the Muslim world is explainable in "passing the buck" psychology more
than anything. Arab governments never gave two damns about Palestinians. A couple
of these governments even massacred them at a higher rate than Israelis ever have.

Concern over the Palestinian people is simply a useful tool to continue the fight
against Israel. Sometimes the UN is useful for this purpose too. The US as a supporter
of Israel (far too strongly IMHO) gets the fallout. This isn't going to change unless
the Palestinian "problem" goes away, and no current Arab government has any interest
in that happening.

If it weren't for US vetos, the UN would probably have voted a resolution
calling for the "disbandment" of the Israeli state!


Err, you do recall that Israel was set up by the UN don't you? And
that under the UN charter they cannot disband a Sovereign State?


Certainly. I didn't mean an actual UNSCR calling for the extinction of Israel, merely
an examply of what they would try if they could...and they might even get significantly
close to a majority vote on it [if it were possible]!

Having just checked the UN site for a dozen random years (I'm
buggered if I'm going to check 50 years for a USENET reply), all of
the UNSCRs were generally Egypt-Israel, Syria-Israel or such, calling
on *both* parties to exercise restraint, make peace, kiss and make up
and so forth. No doubt there are some against Israel alone (perhaps
for their various invasions of neighbouring countries), and against
their neighbours alone (for their various invasions of Israeli
territory). Of course what's not on record (at least online) are all
the vetoed resolutions by the US in Israel's favour, and the USSR in
it's client's favours.


I saw a listing of a bunch of them and they were almost always calling on Israel to
withdrow from somewhere (Lebanon or some West Bank/Gaza town). Certainly fair enough
but the occupation of these towns has to be taken in the current context of suicide
bombers. I didn't see any resolution calling for the end of suicide bombing or Palestinian
authority to respect the borders of Israel. Most seemed to be very generic "kiss and
make up" as you say, resolutions.

I haven't heard that! Quite the contrary. I think the US is willing (somewhat
reluctantly of course) to be in Iraq for several more years. That should have
been the plan all along.


Well, most of the senior folks such as Mr Powell who are asking for
troops from others are also (in different statements) saying they want
to ramp down US troop levels. So I was perhaps badly stating my
comment in that the US isn't suggesting ALL US troops should come
home, but merely some of them, to be replaced by other nationals.


Yes that's the way I understand it...after inital, WRONG implications that forces
would only be there a few months. All my readings suggest this is a multi-year
project, possibly extending into decades!

I'll be happy to have an announced withdrawl timetable of not more than a couple
years. If the Iraqis knew the schedule, they'd perhaps be less anxious about the
occupation [maybe not].


SMH
  #9  
Old September 13th 03, 03:42 PM
Fred J. McCall
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

David Henderson wrote:

:In article , Stephen Harding wrote:
: If you're Arab, they're great when the say Israel needs to withdraw from whatever
: town, or that Zionism = Racism.
: Well, no. Because someone has vetoed almost every single resolution
: critical of Israel for decades - the US.
: Sort of like France with the US over Iraq, right?
: If it weren't for US vetos, the UN would probably have voted a resolution
: calling for the "disbandment" of the Israeli state!
:
:Like you wanted them to do for Iraq?

If this is your understanding of the reality, please ask the nice man
to modify your meds. Last I looked, a lot of better men than you are
remaining at risk in an effort to prevent that very thing from
happening. Otherwise we could just say 'screw it' and go home,
bombing them any time they do something we don't like.

--
You are
What you do
When it counts.
  #10  
Old September 13th 03, 05:59 PM
Alan Minyard
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

On Fri, 12 Sep 2003 21:24:38 +0100, "Paul J. Adam"
wrote:



I'd figure another six months. Go for an autumn invasion with full UN
support and more planning. The UN weapons inspectors get the runaround,
Hussein continues to rattle his sabre, the French case for delay is
aired and disproven.


The UN is a useless debating society, bent on doing nothing.

One problem is, the US has locked itself into a retrospective
Francophobia. The French will go with their perceived interests... one
tactic of diplomacy is to find a way to align that with what you want to
do. Recall, after all, they had troops on the ground fighting alongside
in 1991.

I do not consider that a problem, more like an awakening. France has
been an enemy of the US for many years now. The fact that this is now
"out in the open" should clarify our foreign policy in relation to
France.

Al Minyard
 




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