Has anyone an opinion on the US/British forces bombing Iraq the other night? Is it Bush flexing his political muscles? Why did we(the British) have to get involved? Is it because we are having a general election soon? What about the UN, and our lack of permission from them to do this?

The ONLY thing different about this air strike was that Bush is president. The U.S. and Britain have been shooting missles into Iraqi buildings and aircraft pretty regularly since the Gulf War. It isn’t anything new.

Well there must be something different about it because the media and Labour MP’s both condemn Tony Blair for it

Bush didn’t make the UK join in anymore than the Brits made us help them. It was a joint exercise. I imagine that the brits got just as tired of being shot at as we did and came to a mutual decision to shoot back (finally). And IMHO, who gives a shit what the UN says? Since when is war decided in international commitee? Or should we and the brits have taken a world poll to decide if shooting at us was universally accepted as a bad thing? To me, the UN is like a large city. If crime is only affecting one subdivision of the city, then there’s no problem and it should milk-fed at worst. Its only viewed as a problem when the crime starts happening in the “nice” neighborhoods. In other words, nobody see’s “nipping it at the bud” as a solution anymore, they like to wait until things get out of control. (someone got shot… oh too bad. A dozen people got shot… Wow, sucks to be them. A small empty warehouse was bombed… Holy shit! We may want to think about doing something. A big public building was bombed today… Well, now I’m pissed! Form a commitee to discuss this, we may have a problem on our hands!)

I can’t claim to be an expert of British politics, but I would guess that the upcoming election had more to do with the media and Labour Party condemnations than with the bombing.

Since Bush was inaugurated, the Iraqis have increased the number and types of anti-air-patrol activity: firing a few more missiles, using “general” radar to locate allied fly-overs, launching anti-aircraft missliles, then feeding the coordinates from the general radar to tracking radar so that the recently fired missiles have targets while the air patrols have shorter opportunity to take evasive action.

The timing seems designed to “test” Bush’s resolve; the reaction is to prove that the resolve is there. I would guess that the British joined the attack because their planes are jeopardized by the radar/missile games, just as U.S. planes are.

According to some of the British media there is no UN approval for attacks such as this. I don’t know if they are right but if they are, it does raise the spectre of different countries taking it upon themselves to police the world according to how they themselves view it.
Unfortunately it seems to be the Iraqi people rather than the military are suffering and if 10 years of sanctions and no fly zones haven’t worked against Saddam they are hardly likely to do so now.
One can’t but wonder if Bush has the urge to finish his fathers unfinished business.

I’m moving this one to Great Debates.

Depends on what you mean. Did the UN approve these particular attacks? No.
Did the UN approve the establishment of the no-fly zones? Yes and no. IIRC, the UN approved the establishment of the southern no-fly zone, but has never approved or disapproved of the northern.
Is acting in self-defense justified if the UN doesn’t approve it? Of course it is. That’s how the US and GB portray the attacks - taking out the radar stations that are guiding Iraqi missiles attacking allied airplanes. Whether that is true or not is up to you to decide.

And what’s wrong with that? The UN (which I support) is not a perfect creature. The UN refused to authorize troops to intervene in Rwanda. If Great Britain, for example, said “Screw that. We’re not gonna sit idly by and let genocide happen,” and went in with their guns blazing, would they have been “taking it upon themselves to police the world according to how they themselves view it”, or would they have been doing the Right Thing?

You are probably right about this, but “didn’t work” is different than “bad”.


The whole Iraq thing at present strikes me as little more than puffery on the part of the US and the UK. It’s been a decade, people! What’s the point of this stupid exercise in one-upmanship, other than (a) Allied planes fly in the two zones over Iraqi airspace; (b) the Iraqis target the planes with radar and/or missiles; © the Allies get a chance to make things go boom.

Great for the arnaments manufacturers – a sustained market in peacetime. Lovely.

Great for posturing politicos on both side of the Atlantic – gee, we sure taught that Saddam something, eh? (Repeat umpteen times over the last ten years)

Lousy for those in Iraq stuck between the devil they know (and are rapidly getting to admire) and the devils up in their sky-toys.

Stupidity, plus money, knows no bounds.

It’s not just puffery or posturing. Iraq is developing more and more sophisticated surface to air missle technology, and they always give the inspectors the runaround. It is in our national interest to take out the command/control and the weapons development centers. And of course, it is hard to pin this policy on Bush. It is the same one the Clinton White House used.

Okay, and they’re testing it on the conveniently close targets of allied warplanes, which the US and UK keep sending over for target practice. It’s a nutty situation! Don’t you see the common denominator here – money is being made by arms manufacturers and developers, with a handy-dandy testing ground over Iraq!

I think we did the right thing. In fact, I wouldn’t mind declaring war on them again if they shoot at our planes again. Start with military bases and other strikes, then send the ground troops in and finish what we started 10 years ago.

Too bad about all those innocent people, eh?



*Originally posted by fatherjohn *

I guess the alternative is to let Saddam do as he pleases to his own innocent civilians again and invade another country and do as he pleases to those innocent people… and another country… and another… It’s none of our business, right?

Yeah. Right.

Y’know, one of the most used phrases in military-speak is “Let’s Bomb {insert vile enemy state’s name here} Back To The Stone Age”.

With comments like the above, I see America’s heading for the Stone Age at warp speed. At least some parts.

Take a look at this site:

Has a really interesting bit in it:

Ain’t international dipolmacy wonderful?

For one thing, his father’s “unfinished business” was, in fact, finished. Our mission was to liberate Kuwait NOT invade Iraq and kill Sadam.

From the newspaper today:

“Go for the money”? Has this travesty turned into some kind of game show?

I typed my earlier comment with my tongue firmly in my cheek, however, I’m not sure I made that clear. Remind me to use smilies next time.

Oops, I didn’t mean to submit my last reply before I was done. The sad fact of the matter is that something needs to be done about Saddam. He is not only a menace to his own subjects but to neighboring nations. The questions is how do you go about containing/neutralizing him while adhering to international law (which I find a goofy concept because of its impossibility to enforce) and also making sure that the populace doesn’t starve to death. Clearly, the sanctions are failing in this last regard. The question, then, is what is the alternative that satisfies these necessities?

Okay, Neurotik, my “Stone Age” comment now officially excludes you. :slight_smile:

With regard to your next post – damned if I know. But he wouldn’t have become so powerful if it weren’t for the greed of Western merchants and the support of Western governments. I guess, step 1 would be to stop everyone in politic from being a hypocrite.

Ha, ha. ::very weak ironic laughter::