December 11, 2004

NUMBER REQUESTED

Phillip Adams thinks he's being clever:

There has to be a day of reckoning on this wretched war. And in that reckoning we need more information than a rollcall of dead Americans. After all the disinformation on Iraq, the surviving defence for the invasion has been on moral grounds. The Coalition of the Willing was saving Iraq from despotism. If thatís the case, how many dead and devastated Iraqis are too many?

If we are to cling to the belief - I think the illusion - that this was a just war, then give us a number.

Okay, Phil, I'll play. My number is 252, 943. Happy? Now, how about you give us the number of Iraqis who would have had to be tortured and murdered before you'd think an invasion was justified. Or the number of times the US should have been attacked by terrorists before it reacted.

For that matter, I'd be interested to learn how many claimed asylum seekers you believe should be permitted to enter Australia without documentation before you'd consider restrictions. Come on, Phil; give us some numbers.

(Of course, Phillip has borrowed his demand-for-numbers tactic from fellow ABC identity Kerry O'Brien. How many elderly commie ABC presenters are too many?)

Posted by Tim Blair at December 11, 2004 02:20 AM
Comments

Adams says today that "400,000 deaths may be a gross understatement" of the price Iraq has paid at America's hands for what he contemptuously calls "the joys of democracy."

The unbelievable irony is that this exact figure - 400,000 - was scoffed at by Adams in July as a possible estimate of the number killed in Saddam's wars, torture-chambers and other miscellaneous atrocities.

Where were the bodies, Adams callously asked. The man is a moral imbecile.

Posted by: C.L. at December 11, 2004 at 02:30 AM

I've always wanted to ask turds like this how many Americans and Australians he thinks should rightly have to die to purge our respective countries of their many Anglospheric sins.

You know he'd have a number at the ready, too.

Posted by: Gringo at December 11, 2004 at 02:51 AM

C. L., Could you explain your position? Are you saying that any estimate of the number of deaths Saddam caused cannot be questioned?

How does that fit in with your willingness to accept innumerate criticism of the Lancet study?

Posted by: Tim Lambert at December 11, 2004 at 03:48 AM

Oh, you with your Lancet! Moveon.org already, Tim!

Posted by: tim at December 11, 2004 at 03:53 AM

I have no idea where Adams is fantasizing this number of 400,000, no one, not even the Lancet or Marc Herold, puts it anywhere near there. The Iraqi Ministry of Health estimates about 3-4000; the Lancet study put the number between 8000 and 192,000 "with 90% confidence," which strikes me as only slightly better an answer than "No frickin' clue, mate."

But in any case, it's not how many dead. It's the differential.

Depending on how you calculate it, the number of people murdered by Saddam's regime per day was either 23 or 187. 23 if you just count the state apparatus of terror. 187 if you take the dead from all Saddam's wars of conquests on both sides, though needless to say those were not as regular as the 23 murdered by the state, day after day, for 30 years, a steady and reliable figure.

So: it's about 600 days since Saddam's regime was ended. At 23 per day, that's 13,800 lives saved. At 187 per day-- and there's every reason to think that sooner or later, Saddam would have gone to war again, at a cost of hundreds of thousands of lives-- that averages to 112,000. (Though again, that figure doesn't really average, it spiked when he went to war.)

That really compares very favorably even to the middle range of the Lancet study, doesn't it? You really have to give Saddam the benefit of every doubt and the US the benefit of none to construct a case in which fewer deaths would have resulted, long term, from leaving him in power. (And you still have the 2 or 3 million deaths he was already responsible for, over his long career-- does he get a pass for those now, too?) Making a case that the Iraqis are worse off is like looking at the few bombings perpetrated by the Baader-Meinhof Group in Germany in the 70s and saying D-Day was a bad idea.

Posted by: Mike G at December 11, 2004 at 03:57 AM

It doesn't matter how many Saddam killed; as far as the anti-war Left are concerned, those people were his property, and he was entitled to dispose of them as he wished.

It doesn't matter how few the US has killed; the death of a single person when the US is in the vicinity is proof, to the Left, of the moral depravity and base nature of the United States.

Posted by: Robert Crawford at December 11, 2004 at 04:14 AM

"If thatís the case, how many dead and devastated Iraqis are too many?"

Ask the Iraqis. There are several good Iraqi bloggers on the net. Ask them if they feel they have paid too high a price to rid themselves of decades more of torture and murder.

I love people who write this way, pretending to care about all the 'dead and devastated Iraqis' when these same people don't seem to care at all how many died because of Saddam. Do Iraqis only get sympathy if they died AFTER Saddam was deposed?

How many 'dead and devastated Iraqis' would there be if Saddam were in power 20 more years? Followed, of course, by those lovely sons of his who would surely carry on the family tradition of murdering and torturing their citizens.

I trust, of course, that people like Mr. Adams are doing all they can this Christmas and have contributed to one of the many groups helping out the 'devastated Iraqis'. Can't help the dead ones, but he can help out their families.

Posted by: Chris Josephson at December 11, 2004 at 04:34 AM

"any estimate" suported by Tim Lambert is suspect.

Posted by: Gary at December 11, 2004 at 05:06 AM

To paraphrase Stalin [these folks' wank hero]:
The death of a million is a statistic.
The death of single brown person by Isreal or the US is a 50 pt banner headline and a call for war crimes trials.

Posted by: LB at December 11, 2004 at 05:06 AM

Phillip Adams is a pompous dickhead.

Posted by: Jonny at December 11, 2004 at 05:25 AM

Uhhh... what Jonny said.

Posted by: Nash Kato at December 11, 2004 at 05:47 AM

"If we're asking questions, Mr. Adams, how many Iraqis would have to die in the inevitable chaos that would follow a quick American pullout before you consider it too many?"

Posted by: Peter Caress at December 11, 2004 at 05:56 AM

Uhhh...what Jonny said, double.

I remember the 'body count' news every night during Vietnam. I'm not being fooled by such nonsense again.

As Chris said, ask the Iraqis. Two of them, Mohammed and Omar, of Iraq the Model, are in my area now stating their views, including their dismay at the poor coverage of Iraq, by the MSM.

Posted by: Retread at December 11, 2004 at 05:59 AM

Hey Tim, did you get my e-mail?

Posted by: Jim Treacher at December 11, 2004 at 06:27 AM

>as far as the anti-war Left are concerned, those
>people were his property, and he was entitled to
>dispose of them as he wished.

Ah, in that case the US anti-lefts are Bush's property and he can dispose of them as he likes. I wish!

Posted by: jorgen at December 11, 2004 at 06:44 AM

Arghh. "anti-lefts" should of course be "anti-war lefties"

Posted by: jorgen at December 11, 2004 at 06:46 AM

Phatty's a traitor, this war's equivalent of Lord Haw-Haw, or Tokyo Rose. It beggars belief that he can broadcast the enemy's talking points from a taxpayer-funded studio. Unless... the pompous blowhard is such a caricature of the Old Left, he's doing their cause more harm than good?

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at December 11, 2004 at 07:45 AM

I'd be willing to sacrifice at least one life for democracy in the Middle East.

Phillip Adams.

Posted by: Kofi Annan at December 11, 2004 at 07:48 AM

Oops I was still posting as Kofi...

Posted by: Quentin George at December 11, 2004 at 07:49 AM

Have to ask the behaviourists, but I'll wager that idealogues are not good number crunchers(read: disinterested)

... how many plastic turkeys does it take to make a banquet ...?

Posted by: Egg at December 11, 2004 at 08:40 AM

I wonder if Tim Lambert also believes exit polls are accurate, because they comply with established statistical methodology?

Posted by: Wilbur at December 11, 2004 at 08:50 AM

The Coalition of the Willing was saving Iraq from despotism. If that’s the case, how many dead and devastated Iraqis are too many?

Saving Iraq from despotism was just a bonus.

The reason for going was to ensure the survival of Western Civilization.

In that pursuit, the acceptable number of dead and devastated Iraqis (or peoples of any other high-risk nation for that matter) is, all of them.

Happily, that scenario isn't neccesary.

Remember the ten to thirty thousand dead allied troops we were to expect?

Disappointed with the combat fatalities to date, (about 1000), the defeatists have switched their numerical b.s. to the Iraqis.

These people are too transparent.

I'm embarassed for them.

Posted by: Thomas at December 11, 2004 at 09:17 AM

"Australia is particularly generous in resettlement (of refugees)"

Neill Wright, United Nations Commissioner for Refugees Regional Representative.

An interesting interview with Mr Wright, Phillip Adams did not want to hear anything positive about Australia. Mr Wright also pointed out that not all asylum seekers are genuine refugees, which Phillip always ignores and screams refugee at everyone. Mr Wright also said, that the United Nations Commissioner for Refugees recognizes it may be necessary to detain asylum seekers in some circumstances.

Thursday 9 December 2004

Refugees Human Rights
Summary
An conversation with the newly appointed UN Commissioner for Refugees, Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific about his 20 year career with the British Army and his work with refugees from Bosnia to Sri Lanka since the early 90's.

Guests on this program
Neill Wright
United Nations Commissioner for Refugees Regional Representative
Story Producer and Researcher:
Jo Upham

http://www.abc.net.au/rn/talks/lnl/

Posted by: Gary at December 11, 2004 at 09:29 AM

In a way, Adams raises a point that he doesn't even realise.

Yes, Iraqis have made great sacrifices and suffered great losses in the pursuit of democracy.

But as Tim's previous post points out, they still are optimistic on the future and of democracy.

Yet Adams sneers at democracy - particularly our own - as it delivers the "wrong" result, both here and in the US. But what has Adams ever sacrificed for democracy or for anything?

It just seems to me that the Left really don't care about Iraq, its people, democracy or any of that. They just enjoy obtaining useful ideological cudgels to bash their political opponents with.

Sad.

Posted by: Quentin George at December 11, 2004 at 09:44 AM

How many disinterred truffles, butchered animals, screaming vegetables ripped from the womb of mother Gaiea and peaceloving, harmless bottles of Veuve Cliquiot are enough for Phatty?
(Not to mention the countless humans buried under rubble that result from every one of Phil's tectonic bowel movements).

Posted by: Habib at December 11, 2004 at 09:52 AM

Phil has missed a far more lucrative career as a "creative accountant' for a large corporation.
However, his "figure work " is appalling and shows the left wing's talent for mathemetics and statistitics.
As someone once said
"anyone who is not left wing at age twenty has not gor a heart and anyone who is left wing at fifty has not got a brain".
was Phil right wing at age twenty?

Posted by: davo at December 11, 2004 at 09:54 AM

Phillip Adams wants to play number games. Saddam's daily "score" of 23, cited by Mike G, is a good starting point. However you don't simply count the 13800 Saddam has been unable to kill in the 600 days since the liberation. You must also count the future that has been prevented from taking place. Falling back on a rather repugnant financial analogy, you need to calculate the present value of a future flow of deaths. If the average life in Iraq is 70 years long, then a population of 588,000 will die off at an average rate of 23 per day. Thus, I'd say the "present value" of those future deaths is 588,000. Of course that requires you to equate the value of a life lived under tyranny with a life lived with, at least, the hope of freedom. It also equates the value of lives of murderers with the lives of their victims. If we kill a pair of merders to save the life of one victim, I suppose Mr. Aams would complain about the waste. Liberals used to be able to draw such distinctions.

Posted by: John R at December 11, 2004 at 10:18 AM

"Or the number of times the US should have been attacked by terrorists before it reacted."

I don't think there are many saying there should not have been a reaction, more what the reaction included (if you are including Iraq as part of the reaction.

Posted by: David at December 11, 2004 at 10:39 AM

I've always wanted to ask turds like this how many Americans and Australians he thinks should rightly have to die to purge our respective countries of their many Anglospheric sins.

You know he'd have a number at the ready, too.

Probably. I'd guess the number he'd pick would be roundabout 155 million.

Posted by: rosignol at December 11, 2004 at 11:22 AM

Everyone stop picking on Phil the Dill,

He reminds me of the 60s, mini skirts, free love and.............. venereal disease

(aw shit rag the crap out of the fat bastard).

The lancet study was based on skewed sampling.

Iraq Body Count site has numbers that may be close.

Philip Adams was a communist but is now nothing but a pathetic whiner (that's why his nose is so red from all of the plonk).

Posted by: john at December 11, 2004 at 11:53 AM

Are you dissing Radio National and/or our national broadcaster in general again?

Oh, like, it's totally not fair, stop being such a big meanie.

Accurate statistics are never easy to gather in such circumstances. At any rate, horrendous dictatorships can kill none or millions, the latter will be worse than the former, but the former still sux.

Of course, civilian casualties are a dreadful thing, but don't necessarily point to the wrongness or rightness of a war.

Posted by: Darlene Taylor at December 11, 2004 at 12:07 PM

LB says: "To paraphrase Stalin [these folks' wank hero]: The death of a million is a statistic. The death of single brown person by Isreal or the US is a 50 pt banner headline and a call for war crimes trials."

Actually, you just made Adams' point. If you had read the rest of the article that Tim neglected to quote you would have seen that Phil was making a point that if a single American dentist had been killed in Fallujah, we'd never hear the end of it from the media. But thousands of Iraqis killed? Ho hum - just another day at the office.

This is the blatant hypocrisy that characterises the right-wing at the moment. They simply cannot feel the Iraqis pain. And it is downright insane to jump from "The left doesn't support Bush" to "The left supports Saddam".

The right continues to characterise this a single question: "Do you support Bush or the terrorists/Saddam?". But really, there are three questions: "Do you support the terrorists/Saddam?" No. "Do you support Bush's current strategy?" No. "OK, so what would you do differently?".

I think Phil is asking the third question, or at least asking when you will finally admit "No" to the second, but you lot keep missing it.

Posted by: Rhys at December 11, 2004 at 12:39 PM

Why is this man crying for dead Jihadis?

Anyone that still doesn't "get" why we went to Iraq quite plainly still believes in the existence of plastic turkeys on Presidential platters at Thanksgiving for his troops in the battlefield.

It's being confirmed that hordes of enemy combatants escaped from Afghanistan and went straight to Iraq and Syria. Once in Iraq they systematically terrorised real Iraqi civilians into opposing the liberation of their country from Saddam Hussein. Remember him Mr Philcher, the man who invaded Kuwait, who funded Palestinian terrorism, who gassed Kurds and shelled Shiites? The guy who will nonetheless will get a hearing, but may never face true justice for his crimes in Iraq? Unlike his victims.

Really Mr Philcher, on the basis of this, can anyone continue to deny the obvious and multiple valences (a word I'm sure you understand in all its nuance..) between the situation in Afghanistan and the situation in Iraq?

Why do you need to keep harping on about it?

We can undertand you got confused over the fact that they had slightly different "narratives" and "postures" and "alliances", a different way of lying (religion sanctioned disinformation to infidels) to the decadent West. Or by the fact that that one was masquerading as a "secular state" (and hence is forever and totally "sacred" to you) while repressing its religious majority, while the other was openly and brazenly Islamofascist and a clear throwback to the stone age.

There are truly none so blind as those that will not see patterns growing under their noses. Until you return from your parallel universe, Babylon, Mr Adams, Babylon.

Oh, and Merry Christmas to you.

Posted by: Astext at December 11, 2004 at 01:14 PM

"tim lambert,"
"rhys,"

how do you find your way home every night?

Posted by: guinsPen at December 11, 2004 at 01:23 PM

Eleventy-zillion!

Posted by: mojo at December 11, 2004 at 01:31 PM

"The right continues to characterise this a single question: "Do you support Bush or the terrorists/Saddam?". But really, there are three questions: "Do you support the terrorists/Saddam?" No. "Do you support Bush's current strategy?" No. "OK, so what would you do differently?".

Rhys/Tim inadvertantly nails the problem the lefties have with their stated position on the war. He, like so many others fails to see that the third question has no viable answer. He fails to see that while saying "no" to questions one and two, is of course possible, in the real world all it means is that nothing would have been done for the Iraqi's. There would quite possibly have been decades more of the misery that they suffered.

Although there were obviously people who really had no idea of the scale of the horror that was Husseins Iraq, and therefore truly did believe that a war to liberate the Iraq's was not wanted or worthwhile, there is little doubt that many (such as Adams) knew perfectly well what the situation was, therefore making it a logical assumption that their opposition to the liberation is more about being opposed to conservatives than it is about compassion for Iraqi's.

Rhys/Tim can spin it anyway they want, but the bottom line is their "stategy" offered only more of the horrors that the Iraqi people suffered for decades.

History will not look kindly on Phil Adams, Tim Lambert, Ryhs and so many others that appear to be willing to sacrifice the Iraqi's one hope of freedom and democracy for the cause of anti-Bush/Howard/Blair/Westernism. They really need to stick to the "Iraq never had any nasty weapons and would never use them or give them to any nasty people if they did" line, because their credentials to argue Iraq's liberation on "compassionate" grounds are non existant.

Posted by: Michael at December 11, 2004 at 02:24 PM

Tim Lamert is alwas fast to attack global warming skeptics etc for bad methodology. Yet he stands up for the Lancet fraud.

On Planet Lambert, its not the lies, but who tells them that counts.

Scientist John Brignell has demolished the Lancet study:

http://www.numberwatch.co.uk/2004%20November.htm

Posted by: Niobe at December 11, 2004 at 03:01 PM

I think this thread illustrates why I didn't do Computer Science at Sydney Uni...

Posted by: Quentin George at December 11, 2004 at 03:16 PM

Michael says: Rhys/Tim inadvertantly nails the problem the lefties have with their stated position on the war. He, like so many others fails to see that the third question has no viable answer.

Bombing a country back to the stone age and installing Western puppets is the only way to remove a dictator from power? There's no other viable option? Ha ha ha!

The Soviet Union died through slow attrition, and the final nail, Peristroika, only gave Russians a taste of freedom. They then demanded the real thing.

Communist Poland fell to a ragtag bunch of unionists from the Soladarity movement. Leftie unionists felled a communist regime? Perish the thought!

Eastern Europe, the former Yugoslavia, and the ex-Soviet republics are turning into true democracies one by one because of people power in their "Rose Revolutions".

Robert Mugabe is being resisted by a strong opposition which will probably see him ousted sometime in the next few years.

China is industrialising heavily, which is creating a large middle class. Tianemen Square might have gone badly, but I fully expect that a repeat of it will happen before 2020 and actually succeed this time.

What is the defining characteristic of all these? The people in the countries took the initiative, and fought for their own freedom, with help from the West behind the scenes over the decades. Many of them happened without a shot being fired.

But I suppose such solutions are just too slow for you Michael. In the real world, democracy is not something that happens before the next ad break.

During the sanctions on Iraq, I was very annoyed. Ordinary people were suffering, the majority in the West didn't care, and anyone who yelled out "This must end!" was shouted down as a leftie communist in bed with Saddam.

A healthy, economically stable Iraq would have led to the middle class eventually getting fed up with Saddam. Without them dying from malnutrion and treatable diseases in the meantime.

Where were you when Iraqis were dying from the West's indifference?

Posted by: Rhys at December 11, 2004 at 04:47 PM

It was Philly that said "give me a number" to justify the war, implying that justice can be mneasured by a quantity.

Judging by his girth he must be very just.

Posted by: rog at December 11, 2004 at 05:11 PM

And what will Philly say when Iraq has its elections in January, the beheaders are on trial, Sunni triangle subdued...that the peace cannot be justified?

Posted by: rog at December 11, 2004 at 05:37 PM

Bombing a country back to the stone age and installing Western puppets is the only way to remove a dictator from power? There's no other viable option? Ha ha ha!

No such thing has happened, but I take it that facts aren't important to you.

The Soviet Union died through slow attrition, and the final nail, Peristroika, only gave Russians a taste of freedom. They then demanded the real thing.

Pity about the tens of millions of people they killed who never got to enjoy this freedom.

China is industrialising heavily, which is creating a large middle class. Tianemen Square might have gone badly, but I fully expect that a repeat of it will happen before 2020 and actually succeed this time.

Pity about the tens of millions of people they killed who will never get to see that day.

But I suppose such solutions are just too slow for you Michael.

And for tens of millions of people in the Soviet Union, and China, and Vietnam, and Cambodia, and all throughout Africa who were killed by their own governments.

In the real world, democracy is not something that happens before the next ad break.

No! Sometimes it can take two years - or even three. If we do the right thing and ignore leftist wankers like you.

During the sanctions on Iraq, I was very annoyed.

Diddums!

Ordinary people were suffering, the majority in the West didn't care, and anyone who yelled out "This must end!" was shouted down as a leftie communist in bed with Saddam.

The only reason anyone in Iraq suffered from the sanctions is that Saddam and the U.N. were busy stealing most of the money.

A healthy, economically stable Iraq would have led to the middle class eventually getting fed up with Saddam. Without them dying from malnutrion and treatable diseases in the meantime.

Yes, they'd just have been tortured, raped, maimed, shot in the back of the head and dumped in mass graves. Malnutrition and treatable diseases wouldn't be required.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 11, 2004 at 07:28 PM

The failure to continue to exploit the rolling intiative of the first Gulf War and change the regime then and there, was an example of the US President bowing to the fact that the UN had only sanctioned the expulsion of the Iraqis from Kuwait.
It was apparent to everyone then that Saddam was bad news, and it would have been good if George Senior had a bit more bad boy in him then, and had continued to kick all the way to Baghdad. Without UN imprimateur.
We are now living with the consequences of abbreviated action, or inaction at that time.
The UN is a talking shop run partly by the types of figure who should be run out of town tarred and feathered on a rail - or dealt with summarily, as was Ceaucescu.
More equivocation, more fake concern, more deliberate obfuscation, will lead to more innocent deaths caused by more doomed regimes which in their long road to dusty demise drag down the common people.

Posted by: geoff at December 11, 2004 at 08:16 PM

Good God, Rhys, you really do believe that Saddam should have been left in place!! My apologies, I thought you were just another "Bush is bad so the war is bad" type, I didn't think anyone was still hawking up the "natural attrition" idea - knowing as we do now the strangle-hold the Hussein family and the Baathists had over the country.
I guess you could be asked a similar question as Adams posed - how many dead Iraqi's, how many ruined Iraqi families, how many moe Iraqi generations with no hope would been acceptable in your opinion, before external force was used?
Or is soverienty simply the ultimate waver to human rights?

"But I suppose such solutions are just too slow for you Michael.

When the ratio of death and misery caused by inaction so heavily outweighs that caused by action, yes absolutely. And probably too slow for the countless Iraqi's killed as a direct result of Saddams reign (but I forget, if they really didn't like dying under Hussein they would have risen up against him, right?)

"During the sanctions on Iraq, I was very annoyed. Ordinary people were suffering, the majority in the West didn't care, and anyone who yelled out "This must end!" was shouted down as a leftie communist in bed with Saddam.
A healthy, economically stable Iraq would have led to the middle class eventually getting fed up with Saddam. Without them dying from malnutrion and treatable diseases in the meantime."

Those two paragraphs are just so stunning in their naivety. You can't seriously believe that removing the sanctions would have resulted in a "A healthy, economically stable Iraq" Do you honestly think their was any hope of a "healthy" Iraq under Hussein.
And are you choosing to ignore the fact that the main cause of deaths from malutrition and treatable diseases was because of the rorting of the oil for food program done by Hussein and the UN?
And finally in relation to those two paragraphs is the question of why you think that the middle class would have been more likely to revolt under a dictator emboldened by the power and glory of having stared down the UN and the US.
A ruthless dictator who with the money flowing in from the oil reserves again, would most certainly have rebuilt his army, and as we now know from the Kay and Deufer reports, would have rebuilt his WMD programs. Under this all powerful dictator, you think the middle class would stand up and fight when they wouldn't when he was at his weakest?
Even if you go down the "Saddam really wasn't such a bad guy" track, why would the middle class act when they were living in a economically stable situation if they wouldn't act when they were living in economic nightmare?

"Where were you when Iraqis were dying from the West's indifference?

I was sitting back thinking that I must have been a true lefty because I was agreeing with so many of them that I personally knew who were saying that it was time to take some real action to end the suffering.
I hasten to add that most of them now sound an awful lot like Jeff Jarvis or Andrew Sullivan - gleefully taking pot shots at Bush and Howard (well not so gleefully since the elections) but still firmly in support of the liberation.

One question I would like to see answered directly, but nearly always have answered with an equivocation or another question is, would you, if you had the power and knowing what we know now, go back in time and return Iraq to the exact state it was in on March 18 2003?

Posted by: Michael at December 11, 2004 at 09:17 PM

"400,000 deaths may be a gross understatement..." Note the elegegant weasel wording of this. If pressed, Adams can say that he never actually said 400,000 people had died, but that that statement may be wrong. He doesn't even say it is a gross understatement. In fact, he makes no concrete claim about the number of deaths at all.

This is the kind of man who writes all that footnote crap at the bottom of car adverts explaining why you really can't get zero-percent financing no matter what the captions says... and he's about as trustworthy.

Posted by: richard mcenroe at December 12, 2004 at 02:18 AM

Rhys, don't talk about things that are clearly beyond your limited intellect. It just makes you look pathetic.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2004 at 04:16 AM

Andrea says, "Rhys, don't talk about things that are clearly beyond your limited intellect. It just makes you look pathetic."

Hmmm ... I propose looking beyond Bush's current strategy for more creative solutions, and *I'm* the one with the limited intellect?

Michael says: "Good God, Rhys, you really do believe that Saddam should have been left in place!!"

I listed several historical examples of dictators being removed, or in the process of being removed, by non-military means. How does proposing the removal of dictators imply that I therefore want them to stay in place? Seriously, how does that logically follow?

I don't know who this Straw Man Rhys is you've constructed to shoot down. I never met him.

Posted by: Rhys at December 12, 2004 at 07:54 AM

Rhys, you're right, I bow to your superior morals and intellect. We should have removed Saddam Hussein using a trail of delicious candy.

Come to think of it, you do remind me of a man made of straw. This one.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at December 12, 2004 at 11:33 AM

Yes, Rhys, in the end we didn't have to go to war against the Soviet Union. But the communists were in power for seventy years and killed - I'll say it again - tens of millions of people. And Russia still pretty much sucks.

People don't want to wait seventy years to be freed from whatever murderous totalitarian regime they happen to be oppressed by. They don't give a shit how you feel about it, they just want the slimeball dictators dead and gone.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 12, 2004 at 11:36 AM

"I listed several historical examples of dictators being removed, or in the process of being removed, by non-military means. How does proposing the removal of dictators imply that I therefore want them to stay in place? Seriously, how does that logically follow?"

I didn't say "stay" in place, I said you really believe that he should have been "left" in place.
And seriously, that is the logical follow on from your "alternative".

Just so there is no more misunderstandings about this, lets be clear, your alternative would have been to leave Saddam in place in the hope that Iraqi people would rise up and remove him themselves. You would have removed the sanctions in the hope that in an economically stable Iraq, the middle class would be the ones to rise up against the baathist party, correct?

Now these are the problems I have with your "alternative"
To facilitate this "alternative" the UN and the US would have to have backed down on the terms of surrender imposed on Hussein. This would have been seen throughout the Middle East as a stunning victory for Hussein, he would have become the man who took on the world and won and it would have made him virtually invunerable.

That, as I see it is the most obvious flaw in your plan. But there are other reasons that virtually no-one else has been seriously promoting removal of sanctions and natural attrition as a solution. For a start, the Kay and Duefer reports (so prized by the anti-war crowd) clearly state that Hussein had WMD programs that he fully intended to ramp up the minute sanctions were removed.
Now at the very least we know he was paying terrorists to attack Israel (or at least paying their families) so there can be little doubt that sometime over the next decade there would have been a Palistinian attack on Israel using a WMD made in Iraq.
And of course then we have the humanitarian side.
Put aside his support for terrorists, and the deaths caused by an likely Iraqi suppied WMD attack, lets just look at the Iraqi people. Even taking away the God like status a victory over the UN and US would give him, the strength of the Baathist party meant that either Hussein, one of his sons, or someone from the same mould would have had power over Iraq for at least a decade, probably several decades. The death and misery caused by the Coalition is horrible but doesn't even come close to the death and misery that would have happened just in the same period if Hussein was still in power, let alone if you calculate it over a decade. And the flip side to the destruction caused by the Coalition is the freedom and hope that the vast majority of Iraqi's now have. Under Hussein there was no flip side to the death and misery, there was just more death and misery.

Its not even like we really have to just imagine the result of the "let them do it themselves" plan, we've already seen the results, because its basically what George Bush Snr did. At best another 10 or 20 years of an Iraq under the same situation as from 92 to 03.
At worst - well, thanks to the Coalition that really does have to be left to the imagination.

I'm not a terribly religious person but I thank God every day that there were people not willing to spend their days trying to justify looking the other way, who instead said enough is enough and took a stand.

Posted by: Michael at December 12, 2004 at 01:23 PM

Rhys wrote Robert Mugabe is being resisted by a strong opposition which will probably see him ousted sometime in the next few years.And how many people will have starved to death or been murdered by Big Bad Bob's goons in those few years? Or don't they matter, as they're only darkies and white nazi farmers. Rhys, your stupidity is astounding.

Posted by: Habib at December 12, 2004 at 02:16 PM

Michael says, "I'm not a terribly religious person but I thank God every day that there were people not willing to spend their days trying to justify looking the other way, who instead said enough is enough and took a stand."

These people who are taking a stand being the same ones (Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al) who armed Saddam and Bin Laden in the first place, right?

I applaud your efforts to clean up your own mess. And I admire your chutzpah to try to blame it all on the Left in the process.

To all those yelling about the number of people who would still be killed with a more considered approach, I suggest that you join the Army, deploy to Baghdad, and see what the Iraqis think of your "oust dictators quick" solution. Right now they seem to be saying "Thanks for getting rid of Saddam - now sod off!".

Posted by: Rhys at December 12, 2004 at 03:03 PM

These people who are taking a stand being the same ones (Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al) who armed Saddam and Bin Laden in the first place, right?

Wrong. Saddam's armory was largely Russian, Chinese, and French-built. Almost none of it came from America.

The Americans did help arm the Afghans against the Russian invaders. Bin Laden is a Saudi.

Right now they seem to be saying "Thanks for getting rid of Saddam - now sod off!".

I know people who are serving in Iraq right now, and they tell me a completely different story. Since you have been wrong on every other factual point, why should I listen to your opinion now?

Posted by: Pixy Misa at December 12, 2004 at 06:25 PM

"These people who are taking a stand being the same ones (Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al) who armed Saddam and Bin Laden in the first place, right?"

It took a little longer than I expected but nevertheless there it is. Its all America's fault isn't it Rhys. I guess Saddam was just such a warm and fuzzy guy until the US corrupted him.


Posted by: Michael at December 12, 2004 at 06:34 PM

Where's the anti fat-bastard cream?

Posted by: crash at December 12, 2004 at 11:59 PM

Where's the anti fat-bastard cream?

Posted by: crash at December 13, 2004 at 12:01 AM

Michael says, "Its all America's fault isn't it Rhys."

Please re-read what I said: "These people who are taking a stand being the same ones (Rumsfeld, Cheney, et al) who armed Saddam and Bin Laden in the first place, right?"

I did not point the finger at "America". I pointed the finger at the usual neo-conservative suspects who started this mess during the Reagon administration and are now supposedly our saviours.

You've just committed the Standard Right-Wing Logical Fallacy: assuming that being against Bush and the neo-cons is the same as being against America.

The America as described in the US Constitution and Bill of Rights, is an amazing place, and I'm all for that. That does not mean that I need to blindly obey the person in charge.

The 48% of US voters that voted for Kerry know the truth: you can be for America, but against the policies of the person in charge. Or were all those Republicans in Clinton's time against America when they opposed him? I guess it's only "for Amercia" when conservatives do it, huh?

This is all you lot have to offer to refute my "lets discuss alternatives"? Transparently obvious logical fallacies?

Posted by: Rhys at December 13, 2004 at 12:31 AM