Who Is More Dangerous: Iran or U.S.?


Polls show that many people in Europe think the U.S. is a greater threat than Iran. What should we make of this?

Posted by Amar C. Bakshi on February 14, 2007 2:24 PM

Readers’ Responses to Our Question (536)

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott @March 13, 2007 12:24 AM:

Yes. And it is an interesting initiative. Both the Israeli and Palestinian, and the US administration for that matter, are 'wounded' right now. Hopefully they will ALL (unfortunately that all must cooperate) take a risk in facor of a resolution.

But I am not too hopeful: (1) I have no confidence in the Bush administration; (2) The Israelis like to think they are dictating terms rather than negotiating and compromising; (3) The Palestinian factions are, both, both rigid and brittle.

I hope that we, and Israel, do not insist on Abbas as the 'true' representative of the Palestinians -he has no standing with them, and both we and Israel ignored him before Hammas won the election. I also hope that we and Israel realize that recognition of Israel will be a byproduct of discussions rather than an a priori condition. Lastly, I hope that the Palestinians will make the painful compromises that 'non-violence' (peace will take a while) will require.

In conclusion, I want to repewat that compromise by the weak breeds resentment and more violence; but compromise by the powerful breeds resolution.

Peace, Shalom, Salaam

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonnacott (3/9): Indeed, terrorism, resistance, revolution, state oppression are different sides of the same coin. Very often the choice of term reflects the opinion of the 'speaker' since the acts are actually the same.

PS: 'state oppression' is there intentionally. Whether the state is Stalin's Soviet Union, or Turkey on the Kurds now, or Israel on any of the occupied or any of its neighbors, or the Pol Pot regime.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

Did you read in the New York Times (3/12) about the renewed Israeli interest in the 2002 Saudi peace initiative?

The time is right as the Bush administration would like to leave office having accomplished one thing positive in the Middle East, and, I believe, will pressure Israel to, at least, look seriously at the initiative.

The Arab league is pushing the initiative again. From two stories reported in the New York Times over the last couple of days, the the Palestinian people are living in suffocating conditions because of Israel anti terrorism tactics, and the loss of funding.

This is where I agree with you. Israel must take the initiative to seriously engage the Arabs (who took the first step by offering this package), and Iran and Syria must be brought to the table. Syria, of course, wants to recover some land, so I believe, in their interest, they will negotiate.

Here's to hoping that the process moves in the right direction.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

"...(That by the way would be terrorism since we are not actively engaged against them, but what they do within Turkey and Kurdistan is not)..."

That you are a resistance organization within your own country does not mean that you are not a terrorist. Your actions are what make you a terrorist, but I admit, it is really difficult to pin down. An example:

"...Rule No. 24 forbids anyone to work as a teacher "under the current puppet regime, because this strengthens the system of the infidels." One rule later, No. 25, says teachers who ignore Taliban warnings will be killed.
Taliban militants early Saturday broke into a house in the eastern province of Kunar, killing a family of five, including two sisters who were teachers..."

That is a classic case of the use of terror on a population for political gain, even though the Taliban is a resistance organization. The KKK operated within the US and I would certainly classify them as a terrorist organization. They terrorized certain people in America and were motivated by the subjugation of those people. Terrorism is terrorism whether its politically, religiously or ethnically (etc.) motivated.

In today's world, I define terrorism as the targeting of civilians, or subjugating civilians by the use of terror, for political gain. This is, by no means, all inclusive.

Tom Wonacott :

James Danley

I didn't realize that the West Bank sits physically above Israel, so it does provide a military vantage point. It makes sense that Israel occupies that land for military reasons, but not for building Jewish settlements! That's using a military excuse to expand the boundaries of Israel.

In my opinion, Israel should NEVER unilaterally withdraw from the West Bank. The withdrawal of Israel from Gaza and Lebanon gained them nothing. Those territories have been used to attack Israel. The main point is that terrorism cannot be perceived to have been the driving force behind the move to the internationally recognized boundary.

Only when all the countries and/or organizations involved meet and hash out an agreement should Israel agree to move back to the 1967 border (if, in fact, they intend to(?)). Lasting peace means give and take by everyone.


James Danley :

AM:
First, apology accepted! I do respect, even if I don't agree, with all of your opinions. You do bring up some very interesting points. And you hit it right on the nail regarding the Palestinians use of terrorism being a politcal disaster. Unfortunately, with countries like Syria, Iran and the previous Iraqi regime supporting the terrorist acts (either by rewarding the families of suicide bombers after the fact, or by directly supplying arms) it has become a business machine, rather than just a tool of protest.

It is important to point out that the Jews didn't just share the land, they actually RULED the land for approximately 765 years over two periods (see timeline). The rest of the time could certainly be considered shared.

For those readers who are unaware of the history, here is a very brief timeline (the years are approximate due to slight differences between various sources): From about 1250 BC to 1050 BC the Israelites ruled the land with judges. From 1050 BC to 922 BC kings ruled a united Israel. From 922 BC to 722 BC the kings ruled a divided Israel (northern half is Kingdom of Israel and southern half is Kingdom of Judah). Then about 722 BC the Assyrians conquered the northern Kingdom of Israel; and the 10 northern tribes are exiled to Assyria (later conquered by the Babylonians). In 586 BC the Babylonians conquered the southern Kingdom of Judah; and the people are exiled to Babylon. About 539 BC Persia conquered Babylon and some Jews begin to return to Judea. By about 450 BC, Jerusalem is rebuilt. In 332 BC Alexander the Great defeated Persia and conquered Israel (although the Jews retained their practices). From about 164 BC to 63 BC (when the Romans began their occupation) the old southern Kingdom of Judah was an autonomous Jewish state known as the Hasmonean Kingdom. This kingdom was the last independent Jewish state to exist until the modern state of Israel was created in 1947.

Now as for the "Promised Land" itself, the original boundaries as laid out in the Torah (the first 5 books of the Bible) are:
1. The western border is obviously the Mediterranean Sea.
2. The southern border is the "River of Egypt." While some scholars believe this the be the Nile River, others believe this to be the Wadi el Arish -- just west of the current Israeli-Egyptian border on the Sinai Peninsula.
3. The northern border is the Euphrates River -- extends from the northern region of Lebanon at the Mediterranean Sea, to a region just east of Damascus, Syria.
4. The eastern border is just east of Damascus to the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and follows the Jordan River ending at the Dead Sea.

As evidenced by the above timeline, God allowed others to conquer the land. I would never advocate that Israel now try to reclaim the land. If God intends for them to have it back, it will happen.

The security issue regarding the West Bank is a valid issue as long as the militant groups continue to deny Israel's right to exist. The West Bank sits above the center of Israel -- a very strong military advantage point. Obviously there are some Israelis who do not want to ever give up the West Bank. But much of Israel's leadership recognizes peace will never be achieved without giving up the land. That is the conundrum! As long as there are terrorist attacks, Israel will continue to occupy. As long as Israel continues to occupy, there will be terrorist attacks. While the solution -- to we outsiders -- may appear simple, the fact that both sides mistrust and even hate the other only exasperates the situation.

Now one final thought, you mentioned that you do not accept that God advocated genocide, does that mean that you do not accept the story of the Flood -- that God destroyed everyone and all land animals, except for Noah's family and the animals placed on the ark? Or even His destruction of the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah? Just asking!

AMviennaVA :

Tom: You make valid points. however, Israel began the settlements of the occupied territories long before there was 'terrorism', with US acceptance. Our acquiescence is that there are too many here who think the the land was 'promised', therefore anything Israel does is correct. Except for the terrorism/resistance, we would have gratefully forgotten the entire problem. As I posted previously, who cares about the Kurds? Unfortunately, if they drove home the point, in other words (and I am NOT advocating that it would be good) if they blow up the Statue of Liberty, we will take a fresh look at the issue. (That by the way would be terrorism since we are not actively engaged against them, but what they do within Turkey and Kurdistan is not).

Tom Wonacott :

AM

"...Oh, Tom: One last comment: We would not be aware of the Palestinian issue if they were not engaged in 'terrorist activities'..."

What Americans have learned from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict (mostly from our newspapers and newscast) has DAMAGED the Palestinian cause. Most Americans equate the conflict with terrorism, and most Americans do not view the targeting of civilians as a "resistance" (although I certainly see your point). Your typical man on the street in America probably is unaware of the complexities of the Palestinian conflict, but knows full well of the terrorist targeting of civilians through the multitudes of pictures from TV.

As an indication of the failure of targeting civilians, Israel has literally settled on Palestinian land with no repercussions. If the original excuse used by Israel for occupying part of the West Bank was "security", then by building Jewish settlements on the land, Israel created MORE security problems. It is flat out, in my opinion, a land grab. How has Israel gotten away with this? The US has done nothing to stop it, and I don't believe that is strictly because Israel is a US ally. In my opinion, public opinion has remained strongly pro Israel in large part due to the targeting of Israeli civilians (while new or expanding Jewish settlements remain largely under the radar), and nothing gets prime time news coverage like a suicide bombing whether its in Israel or Iraq. Targeting civilians only reinforces American support for Israel.

If terrorism was used as a way to bring attention to the Palestinian conflict, then, at least in the US, it has been an unmitigated disaster and in the Middle East, it has been a political disaster with nothing to show for it in FORTY YEARS.

The largest support for Israel in the world is the US, and the US is probably the only country in the world that can (possibly) pressure Israel back to the '67 borders. How do you turn US public opinion against Israel (for the peace that everyone wants)? A more effective policy would highlight Israel's West Bank policy (instead of terrorism), and the plight of the Palestinians. A more peaceful resistance could (possibly) erode US support.

I'm not sure I got across what I was trying to say, but good luck figuring it out!


AMviennaVA :

James Danley: I am sorry I misunderstood you. However I stand by my statement about Germany and Austria.

As to the rest: "Give us, a people without a land, a land without a people". The problem is that Palestinainas were and are people. Human beings even. I have studied history, and the read the Bible too. That the Jews SHARED the land 2,000 years ago is irrelevant as a justification. And as I stated, I do not consider God a realtor. For that matter, I do not accept that God advocated genocide, and the Old Testament is filled with it. Reason indicate that the 'pro,mised land' and the 'smite them' lines are a rationalization for a land grab. That is past.

What was done to the Palestinians was wrong. What we continue to insist on is also wrong; and it makes a mockery of our beloved ideals. I am glad you pointed out that the 20% of the Israeli population has less tha 10% of the seats in Parliament. You also did not mention that they do not enjoy full citizenship status. But I dd believe that the better solution is the ONE STATE solution: one person, one vote, without special terms and conditions, except 1: The Christians, whose lot under the Israeli occupation has become horrible, must be protected.

I have asked this before, but have never received a response: What happened to the Christian community of the Holy Lands since 1948? The fact is that it was evicted form Israel, and its lot under the 1967 occupation became worse than it was under most Muslim rule. We (the US, under our current 'Christian' President) kept wuiet when in 2001 Israeli troops opened fire on churches!

James Danley :

AM:
Actually you mistook my point. I was not advocating that a part of Germany should have been used to form the Jewish state. I was just saying that IF the forming of the Jewish state had been out of guilt for being inactive against Hitler, THEN it would have been reasonable. The location chosen was an obvious and natural site. May I suggest taking a closer look into the history of ancient Israel. The various captivities and exiles of the Israelites are enlightening. Even if you don't want to consider the Bible as a source (it is an excellent source), there are plenty of history books and tons of information on the Internet.

Finally, you wrote: "We would not be aware of the Palestinian issue if they were not engaged in 'terrorist activities.'" You could also say that there would not have been a Palestinian issue if the Arabs had accepted the 1947 UN Resolution. While there were some Jews that wanted a strictly Jewish state, the Jewish leaders urged the Arabs to stay and become citizens of Israel. While the overwhelming majority did leave, some did stay. Today there are over 1 million Arab-Israelis living in Israel. With 11 of the 120 members of the Knesset being Arabs.

AMviennaVA :

Oh, Tom: One last comment: We would not be aware of the Palestinian issue if they were not engaged in 'terrorist activities'. Afterall, who cares that there are Serb refugees from the 90's, or Kurds from Turkey, or that Cypriots cannot return to their homes?

Obviously, terrorism/resistance is effective. If we want to drive home the point that terrorism is not productive, then we MUST emphasize, and follow through on, the JUST solution of all events that create refugees (from man-made events, let me add). The idea is that if we eliminate the symptom, we eliminate the cause (kind of the way malaria was first cured).

AMviennaVA :

Sorry. I am the 'anonymous'

Anonymous :

Tom Wonnacott & James Danley:

It is not for the 'Arabs' to solve the Palestinian problem. The 'Arabs' are not a nation, it is a concept. The solution is incumbent on those who created the problem, in the first place. (I can best illustrate the difference by example: when the Serbs were evicted from Croatia and Kossovo in the early '90's, at least there was a Serbia for them to go to. Even though more than 1 million of them are still classified as refugees, they are still among their own people. But when the Palestinians were evicted from Palestine, there was no Palestine for them to go to; that was also not helped by those who propose to turn Jordan into Palestine. If I was a Jordanian I would resent the insinuation, especially since it comes from those who evicted the Palestinians in the first place).

I do agree that the correct solution (in the 40's) would have been to take a part of Germany & Austria, and create Israel there. unfortunately we cannot make eggs out of omelette. (As an aside, I view the 'Promised Land' bit as a cop-out; it only serves to cover the anti-semitism of those who did not want 'The Jews' around; I also do not view God as a realtor).

All that said, I find myself largely in agreement with Tom's final paragraphs. And I consider that if we (the US) put support behind the 2002 proposal, we will gain considerably because the US will become a constructive participant, and that will help to alleviate much of the suspicion that this administration has created in the Muslim world.

Tom Wonacott :

James Danley

“The Arab States do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore…and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.”

I think there is some truth to that statement, but you can also make the case that Israel avoided peace so they could annex more of the West Bank i.e., has used terrorism as an excuse to incorporate more territory.


I don't know much about the "promised land", but under international law, Israel has illegally incorporated parts of the West Bank. The best (only?) way to peace is by Israel returning to the internationally recognized boundary. Giving money and arms to the PA is no way to get to a peaceful solution, although this may help their short term strategy of keeping the PA in power. Negotiations must also include Hamas (the elected government), Hezbollah (Lebanon), Syria and Iran as part of a regional settlement, at least, in my opinion.

The Palestinians need to figure out that terrorism has not worked, and short of a nuclear bomb, Israel is there to stay. The Saudis (2002(?)) made a fair proposal to Israel. Iran, Syria, Hezbollah and Hamas need to look at this offer of regional peace and act on the behalf of the Palestinian people instead of to their detriment. This may actually involve recognizing Israel's right to exist.

This all seems so simple, but we probably won't see it in our life time.


James Danley :

AM:
This may be overly simplistic, but so often victims continue to consider themselves as victims and they dwell on the circumstances. That just festers resentment and anger towards the perpetrator. And then they are never able to break loose from that identity. Occasionally the situation is further complicated when it is exploited by a third person or entity for that person's or entity's gain (monetary and/or political power). This is sad enough on an individual basis. But when it involves a large population of people it is very tragic.

Over the last century, nearly 140 million refugees have been created for various reasons (i.e. war, famine, natural disasters, etc.). Yet only the Palestinians have retained their refugee status? Back in 1958, the former director of United Nations Relief and Works Agency, Ralph Garroway, explained: “The Arab States do not want to solve the refugee problem. They want to keep it as an open sore…and as a weapon against Israel. Arab leaders don’t give a damn whether the refugees live or die.” If you notice, that was long before the 1967 Six-Days War in which Israel took control of the territories.

As long as Hamas and the other militant groups continue to deny Israel's right to exist, the only show of magnanimity or compromise that Israel can extend to the Palestinians is mass suicide. So until these groups recognize Israel's right to exist, true peace -- including the two-state solution -- will never happen.

Now as for your opinion that Israel was founded "as an expression of guilt for our inactivity against Hitler," I, personally, don't agree with you. If that had been the case, I would think it would have been more reasonable to have had a patch of German land set aside for a Jewish state. But as I have written previously, the land in which Israel now exists is the Promised Land. So I believe that had everything to do with the founding of Israel, not out of any sense of guilt.

AMviennaVA :

James Danley : I can accept 'collateral damage' as a one time event. A regular pattern, makes it terrorism. Call me cynical or naive, my observation is that if we support the aggressor, it is 'collateral damage'; if we do not, it is 'terrorism'. Silly me, I see the same mayhem regardless of the label we attach.

About the Palestinians, let me point out first and foremost that the 'terrorism' began in earnest after the 1967 occupation. I hate to put it this way, but that makes it resistance. 'Resistance' by the way is ALWAYS called terrorism by the occupier. The moral is very simple: End the Occupation.

Oh, another lesson from history: When the powerful show magnanimity and make compromises, we get peace. When the weak make compromises, it breeds more resistance, or terrorism if it makes you happy. In other words, the second moral is that magnanimity starts by a compromise from the powerful.

By the way, I note with interest that noone objected to the way I put the founding of Israel as an expression of guilt for our inactivity against Hitler. Let me emphasize again, that we asked someone ELSE to pay the price; and we are now upset that they have not acquiesced. What I am saying with this is that any Palestinian act in Israel proper also qualifies as resistance. However, they must be given the incentive (in the form of compensation and a viable state) to stop engaging in resistance, or terrorism if it pleases you.

James Danley :

AM:
"Terrorism" is an act of violence whose purpose is to terrorize, threaten, intimidate and demoralize innocent civilians -- innocent civilians are the target. On the other hand, "collateral damage," is the inadvertent loss of innocent civilian life during an operation against a specific target, where the target is not innocent civilians but rather enemy combatants.

Now as for the Palestinian issue, much of the misery in which they live is self-imposed and perpetuated by most of their Arab neighbors. An official PLO document from back in 2000 states: "In order to keep the refugee issue alive and prevent Israel from evading responsibility for their plight, Arab countries -- with the notable exception of Jordan -- have usually sought to preserve a Palestinian identity by maintaining the Palestinians’ status as refugees." (The Palestinian Refugee Factfiles, PLO, Ramallah, 2000, p.22)

Even when past agreements have been made between Israel and the Palestinian leaders, road blocks by the militant groups Hamas and al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades have always stood in the way. And now with Hamas in power there will never be a two-state solution unless, and until, Hamas recognizes Israel's right to exist. The Palestinian leaders know that renouncing their militant ways and recognizing Israel's right to exist will open the door for billions of dollars to flow their way from Europe and the United States. The Palestinians could thrive in the new world economy. But they have to choose to do this. The only thing holding them back is their hatred towards Israel.

Earl Name :

I think that it will be the fault of this administration if any time in the future,that we are attacked with nuclear weapons..

Now more than ever,more smaller countries know that if they have nuclear weapons and the threat to use them that this administration will not invade them..

PNAC people..Google PNAC and look it up,and look at the names that are on the list as supporters..

One I."Scooter"Libby is....

Read...Put the pieces of the puzzle together..

Tom Wonacott :

AM

You are right. Selection B from your response is the only way to true peace in the Middle East, in my opinion, which (I think) is similar to the Saudi proposal. I am not sure how you get there given the situation today. Terrorism (or fighting the occupation) will not get Israel to move back, though. So how do you accomplish this?

A single state solution might work in, say, 100 or 500 years, but not now.

Beshir is just a brutal dictator. If the US had the arrangement that China does today (including supplying military equipment despite an arms embargo), then most liberals would be up in arms. The US could have looked the other way, but in this case, it would seem, without looking into all the details, that the US has taken the right path (with the loss of potential oil) by supporting sanctions. Intervention (peace keeping force) by a multi national force could help the people of Darfur, but who has the will?


AMviennaVA :

Wonnacott & Digdeeper:

Interventions always make me nervous. But if we really, truly, sincerely want to intervene and show how to improve some corner of the human misery, let me suggest one where the US is traditionally very active and annually invests billions: The Palestinians. They live in misery; we authored the UN resolution that cost them their land, to make up for our guilt in not resisting Hitler; we refuse to enforce UN resolutions 242& 338; we have yet to object when Israel builds or expands settlements in occupied land; we insist that the Palestinians accept these settlements as a fact and surrender the land to the Israelis; we frankly don't give a damn that the lot of Christians, not Muslim fanatics, has worsened under Israeli occupation; we have yet to complain about the 'collateral damage' when Israel assassinates or tries to assassinate someone it does not like - by the way, what is the difference between terrorism and collateral damage? I am a bit hazy on that one. Of course we voice our objection when an act is taken against an Israeli target. Lastly, we give Israel 3 billions every year, as well as share military technology - recently apparently 'bunker busting nuclear weapons', how does one spell I-R-A-N. And Israel is not even a participant in the NPT.


So, let us lead the way and show that we do not just like to throw our weight around, on those too small to react. Only a bully does that. Let us do something constructive with our 3 billions to Israel and 2 billions to Egypt. What is your proposal?


Mine by the way is to give a choice:


A. Single state; one person one vote; no preferential treatment to either. But guarantee the rights of Christians.


B. Two state solution where:
b1. All occupied territories (starting with 1967) are returned;

b2. Viable Palestinian state - that means that Gaza communicates freely with the West Bank;

b3. Compensation to the refugees from 1948 - what was done to them was wrong;

b4. If Israel wants to build a wall, it may of course do so on the Israeli side of the border.

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonnacott: On The Sudan: I grew up in The Sudan, though I am not Sudanese by nationality. The situation is not as clear-cut as it has been presented. For example, the revolt by the South started on 2 January 1956, the day after independence from England. And frankly the leaders of the main camps were reminiscent of politicians from the US south: they were around for ever, never relinquishing their hold on power, and constantly fighting for personal issues. In Darfur, the Janjaweed (rebel movement) violated the last agreement that was reached, not the government. Of course the price is paid by the innocents. It is not paid by the combatants, nor their foreign supporters. I am always curious to know what involvement and concern there woul be if oil was not involved.

Tom Wonacott :

Digdeeper

"...I think there should be a world wide effort to stop mass killing and starvation and not stand by and just watch and debate. If these depraved dictators understood that there was a military from every nation coming to rescue the people and give them back their country then maybe there wouldnt be vicious dictators..."

In the worst instances such as the Sudan, the world does need to intervene. Before Darfur, Beshir led a genocidal campaign against South Sudan which resulted in the deaths of 2,000,000 (+) people. Clinton's biggest regret was that he didn't do enough in Darfur.

The US cannot always go it alone, and European countries and other countries such as India need to get involved.

I agree with your statement, although, we might disagree on which dictators deserved military intervention versus just sanctions, for example.

Tom Wonacott :

AM


I posted this in the Russian discussion, and have added a few paragraphs as well. The most important point is that similar conditions ALSO apply to Iran. Failed negotiations, ignored UN resolutions, Europe showing little resolve, Russian and China undermining sanctions, President of Iran threatening to "wipe Israel off the map".

The conditions are present for war either by the US or by Israel. You do not have to support the US invasion of Iraq to notice that similar conditions are present. What is necessary to avoid a conflict?

The conditions that led to war in Iraq:

Iraq was unwilling to conform to a UN mandate (res. 687-Saddam to disarm). Saddam played hide and seek with the inspectors, and did not take the mandate seriously. Seventeen UN resolutions were passed in all to get Saddam to conform to the ceasefire that he signed. Sanctions resulted in 1,500,000 deaths, 567,000 of which were children. That, all in itself, was a humanitarian crisis, and the fault lies entirely on the shoulders of Saddam, who, because he refused to disarm and cooperate with the inspectors, allowed the deaths of so many people. He was a power hungry, brutal mass murderer deserving to be hung (without a fair trial).


In 1998, Clinton bombed Iraq for Saddam's lack of cooperation and then, INEXPLICABLY, allowed Saddam to keep out inspectors for the last two years of his Presidency.


The humanitarian oil for food program came in to existence in 1996(?) because the world recognized that Saddam was doing fine, only the Iraqi people (mostly Shia) were suffering. The oil for food program deteriorated to the "oil for food scandal" which, in a few years time, had canceled the affect of the sanctions. So when Bush took office, there were no inspections, probably no resolve to have inspections and rampant scandals associated with the UN oil for food program.


Saddam was given the impression (rightly) that the West (especially the US under Clinton) and the UN did not have the resolve to enforce their own mandate. After 10 years, no one knew, for sure, what the state of Saddam’s weapons program was. Clinton did a good job from 1993-1998 containing Iraq, but totally screwed up his last two years. So, in effect, he passed the whole mess to President Bush to solve.

Between the UN scandal, and the West’s lack of resolve, and, thus a failure of peaceful (diplomatic) means to disarm Saddam, the conditions for a war were put in place. That is the price of diplomatic failure. Saddam would, inevitably, be a threat to his neighbors (i.e., reconstitute his WMD program), and a threat to regional stability had we allowed him to continue unwatched. He also attempted to assassinate Bush senor and had given millions to terrorist groups, so he could have been a threat to US security in the future.

After 911 occurred, everything changed, in my view. Iraq is located in the Middle East which is the world-wide leader in terrorism, recruitment of terrorist, funding of terrorist, and harboring of terrorist. Saddam funded and supported terrorist organizations and, in addition, Iraq invaded two countries. What distinguished Saddam, however, is that he sought and USED WMDs.


About 70% of the American people were behind the invasion of Iraq. Even after discovering there were no WMD's, Bush was re-elected in 2004. Most Americans believed that the installation of Democracy in the heart of the birthplace of modern terrorism, and the overthrow of a brutal, non cooperative dictator was the right course of action.


I fully believe that the decision to invade was moral and right, however, even supporters of the war have seen a strategic (regional) nightmare unfold, thus one of the main reasons, I believe, as do most sane people, that we cannot just up and leave, is the regional problems that the war could cause.

digdeeper :

amviennava,
You are right, I didnt think you would answer,no one does when I ask it.The question can bring a lively conversation about Iraq to an errie quiet. There seems to only be two choices and you are against one of them, so the other is to live and let live. However, you are not correct about the other "obvious". I think there should be a world wide effort to stop mass killing and starvation and not stand by and just watch and debate. If these depraved dictators understood that there was a military from every nation coming to rescue the people and give them back their country then maybe there wouldnt be vicious dictators. Right now we should be sending in troops from every country to save Darfur. Yea, call me naive, I think it could work but I know I'll never live to see it.
Have you heard the term gawker? When there is a traffic accident and people slow down to gawk. I was involved in an accident and some wonderful person stopped and helped, covered my friend with a blanket,looked after us until help came, but what I couldnt get over was the number of people who actually stopped and got out of their cars to stare.
Amviennava, please dont think that I'm attacking you directly. I just dont see a third answer. Do you?

AMviennaVA :

Digdeeper: It is obvious that you did not expect an answer. It is equally obvious that you do not have one either.

What is that line about a football team?

digdeeper :

amviennava
I thought you wouldnt answer my question or maybe you did. I gather from your comments that humanity should do nothing when there is rape murder and torture going on.
You say our soldiers are making it worse. I hope not one soldier reads any of this. I know from talking to many of these young men that they believe they are and will make a difference in Iraq. The goal of freedom and democracy is a right of all humanity. I dont know why so many want this goal to fail. Yes there are people killed everyday and it saddens me every time I hear about it, but it horrified me when I read of the hundreds of thousands that were killed by one man with no hope in sight. If the US hadnt stepped in for Desert Storm, think of how many millions that would have been killed.(should we have stayed out then?) There are a large number of Iraqis in the city I live in. Many would love to go home.They wish we had stayed the last time we were in Iraq for Desert Storm. Others (believe it or not) love this country and want to stay.

It seems like so many who voice their thoughts on this subject are political. They go to great lenghts to show how well read they are on what others write and then pick and choose to put forth what defends their "football team". Maybe one day I too will take the view of live and let live. (hear that DARFUR)

Anne :

The greatest danger facing the world today is not a country. It is islam.

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott: granted, many assumed that Saddam Hussein had chemical weapons. Logic indicated that they were old, given the embargo on Iraq since 1991, and therefore almost inert. What has yet to be explained, is the justification for an attack.

Iraq was impotent. It could not even defend its airspace. There was absolutely no justification for a war, other than the whatever dreams bush and the rest of the neo-cons have/had. They waged war for the sake of waging war. And they have been using the same language against Iran as they did against Iraq.

Ergo, since they lied then (and Cheney still is), they represent a major threat. This is aggravated by that Bush speaks for all sides of his mouth at the same time, and the administration goes in random directions. Since Bush is the President, that makes the US the major threat.

AMviennaVA :

Digdeeper: My answer is that obviously you do not make it worse. Which is exactly what we have done. So, since you like to pose such broad impressive questions, without regard to the damage they cause to actual people, what is your solution to the carnage and mayhem that we have loosened?

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicore

Your friend and mine, George Tenet, was the director of the CIA in 1998, so I doubt that Clinton was lying, only regurgitating bad intelligence (from the same source as Bush).

Clinton did absolutely nothing after he bombed Iraq, and allowed Saddam to keep the inspectors out for the remaining two years of his Presidency. In affect, he passed the problem along to President Bush. The three years that there were no inspectors in Iraq roughly correlates to the amount of time from when North Korea kicked the inspectors out of North Korea until they detonated their nuclear bomb. Three years is a long time.

Bombing Iraq in 1998 was not the problem, it was the negligence after the bombing. Why, in God's name, do you bomb someone because they are not cooperating with inspectors, and then allow them to keep inspectors out after the bombing? This along with the "oil for food" scandal showed to Saddam our lack of resolve in enforcing the conditions of the cease fire.

"...Madeline Albright is a JEW, and we know what concerns HER: ISRAEL..."

Madeline Albright is a Jew? So what. That doesn't amount to much of a rebuttal. Maybe the government can only hire Jews if they are anti-Israel(?)

"...As for her second comment, we know he HAD SPENT money on building WMD, but he destroyed them in 1991. So this comment is totally irrelevant..."


Although Saddam destroyed most of his weapons in 1991-92, he never abandoned the idea of reviving them when the opportunity arose. The Biological facilities destroyed in the mid 90's were illegal and undeclared. See below.

"...ISG judges that Iraq�s actions between 1991 and 1996 demonstrate that the state intended to preserve its BW capability and return to a steady, methodical progress toward a mature BW program when and if the opportunity arose.

* ISG assesses that in 1991, Iraq clung to the objective of gaining war-winning weapons with the strategic intention of achieving the ability to project its power over much of the Middle East and beyond. Biological weapons were part of that plan. With an eye to the future and aiming to preserve some measure of its BW capability, Baghdad in the years immediately after Desert Storm sought to save what it could of its BW infrastructure and covertly continue BW research, hide evidence of that and earlier efforts, and dispose of its existing weapons stocks.
* From 1992 to 1994, Iraq greatly expanded the capability of its Al Hakam facility. Indigenously produced 5 cubic meter fermentors were installed, electrical and water utilities were expanded, and massive new construction to house its desired 50 cubic meter fermentors were completed.
* With the economy at rock bottom in late 1995, ISG judges that Baghdad abandoned its existing BW program in the belief that it constituted a potential embarrassment, whose discovery would undercut Baghdad�s ability to reach its overarching goal of obtaining relief from UN sanctions..."

All this kind of evidence builds doubts.

Saddam must have been braindead because if he had fully cooperated, he could be in the process of reconstituting his WMD program today or committing genocide. His sons would be in a position to takeover Iraq in the event of an unfortunate accident.

John Peddicord :

Mr. Danley,

As to your comments about the Democrats strategy in 2008. Are you giving us a lesson in Presidential succession? Save your patronizing breath.

An alternative strategy might be to put both Bush and Cheney behind bars, thus thoroughly discrediting this miscreant Republican regime.

You are living in a dream world if you think the Republicans stand a chance in 2008. This regime's corruptions and deceptions have already discredited the Republican Party.

As for Iraq. You apparently don't understand that we have LOST in Iraq. We have LOST the oil.

Under the just approved hydrocarbon law the profits from Iraqi oil will be distributed equitably to all factions in Iraq (as they were before the invasion). Iraq's oil WILL NOT BE PRIVATIZED. It will be run by the state, as it was before the invasion.

Bush's invasion threatens to destabilize the region, he has NOT brought peace and stability to Iraq.

Bush's invasion has succeeded in INCREASING terrorism in Iraq, and throughout the World.

Bush's invasion has increased, not diminished, the threat against Israel.

Bush's invasion has set all of the rest of the World against America, even Israel. Don't you know what's happening to the Ohlmert regime in Israel. They are all under indictment for various corruptions. They are history.

Bush has lost and lost and lost and lost.

As for the "robust" US economy. History. How do we know? Because Greenspan told us so. Remember, he of the "irrational exuberance" correctly predicting the dot com bust.

Soon Bush and Cheney will be history too. The sooner the better.

All that Bush is trying to do is save his ass.


John Peddicord :

Mr. Danley,

I first saw this collection of quotes at least two years ago they have been bouncing around the blogosphere probably even longer. Undoubtedly, bloggers on the Republican payroll are responsible.

Collectively, they have absolutely no bearing upon the premeditated and systematic deceptions of the Bush administration that resulted in the invasion, occupation, and destruction of Iraq, and the concomitant loss of human life.

Let's take the quote from Clinton:

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
PRESIDENT CLINTON, Feb. 17, 1998.


Wingnuts never tire of pointing out that Clinton was a proven liar, I don't dispute it. So he lied about the threat posed by Saddam's WMD. Isn't that what you would expect from a proven liar? It's HISTORY. So how does it excuse or explain Bush's lies. BUSH LIED, THOUSANDS DIED.

Clinton lied about an affair. SO WHAT! Clinton lied about the threat from Saddam, and we sent in an airstrike that blew up some buildings. SO WHAT!

You've said over and over again that Clinton was a liar. WHO CARES, HE'S NOT PRESIDENT ANYMORE AND HE IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS AND IRAQIS THAT HAVE DIED AND ARE STILL DYING.

I shall deal with the other quotes one at a time:

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
MADELINE ALBRIGHT, Clinton's Secretary of State, Feb 18, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
MADELINE ALBRIGHT, Clinton's Secretary of State,

Madeline Albright is a JEW, and we know what concerns HER: ISRAEL. Clinton made a huge mistake appointing her, As for her second comment, we know he HAD SPENT money on building WMD, but he destroyed them in 1991. So this comment is totally irrelevant.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
SANDY BERGER, Clinton's National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

Sandy Berger only stated the obvious, that Saddam had used WMD in the Iran/Iraq war. He also knew that Saddam would NEVER use them against us or our allies. Saddam would have been insane to do that, because he would have been instantly annihilated. Besides, Berger wasn't trying to justify an invasion of Iraq. Only a fool or a lying madman would invade Iraq under the circumstances. You know, someone like George Bush or Adolf Hitler.

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by SENS. CARL LEVIN, THOM DASCHLE, JOHN KERRY and others Oct. 9, 1998.

These comments, as I have already said, were used to justify air and missile strikes. Notice that they said NOTHING ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF WMD, but of PROGRAMS. There was no lie. Saddam did have WMD programs in the sense that the scientists and knowledge base existed in Iraq to revive WMD development. Substantiated facts to support responsible and appropriate actions. I have no problem with that. Do you?

Unlike Bush's LIES to support the greatest strategic BLUNDER in US military history. Or maybe it wasn't a blunder at all, maybe it was LIES to support the wildy successfull operation to TOTALLY DESTROY SADDAM AND IRAQ? Hmmmmmm.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), Dec. 16, 1998.
Nov. 10, 1999.

NO LIES HERE! Everyone KNEW Saddam HAD BEEN engaged in developing WMD, and that they WERE a threat. Past history. However, I do disagree with Nancy Pelosi. The UN weapons inspection program was a wild success. Saddam DID destroy all his WMD in 1991! So there were none in 2003. So why did Bush/Cheney insist there were? Maybe because they are both liars?

"There is no doubt that Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by SEN BOB GRAHAM (D-FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

This quote and the folowing ones can be directly attributed to the premeditated and systematic deceptions of the illegitimate Bush regime that siezed power in this country on January 20, 2001. A DAY THAT SHALL LIVE IN INFAMY!

I am saving this response so that the next time a Bush sycophant like you tries to defend the indefensible I shall be ready and waiting.

DIGDEEPER :

AMVIENNAVA,

IF YOU ANSWER MY QUESTION I WILL ANSWER YOURS

AMviennaVA :

Digdeeper: I agree with your sentiments.

As these horrible things are happening NOW in Iraq, with ours troops there, please do explain what YOU INTEND TO DO ABOUT IT.

DIGDEEPER :

If you are against the Iraq war than please, someone suggest what the world should do when people are being tortured, raped and murdered and buried in mass graves. I assure you that debating it to death does nothing.

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord, do I understand you correctly? It was NOT A LIE for these Democrats to say Saddam Hussein has "EMBARKED ON A CRASH COURSE TO BUILD UP HIS CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL WARFARE CAPABILITIES...HE IS SEEKING NUCLEAR WEAPONS" and that he "IS THE GREATEST SECURITY THREAT WE FACE" because these Democrats were only talking about supporting airstrikes against Iraq? Yet it IS A LIE when President Bush says the same thing to support sending troops into Iraq to physically remove Saddam Hussein?

And do I also understand you correctly, that the intelligence on which the Democrats based their statements PRIOR to Jan 20, 2001 (you actually said "subsequent to 2000," but I knew what you meant) was somehow just flawed? Yet when the Democrats made similar statements AFTER Jan 20, 2001 it was because President Bush misrepresented and fabricated the intelligence in a premeditated and systematic way?

Now as for the "saving grace that no one was killed," correct me if I am wrong, but I believe you meant to say no AMERICANS were killed. I wonder how many Iraqis were tortured, raped and murdered under the orders of Saddam Hussein between October 1998 and March 2003?

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord, you ask why President Bush is still in office, that is really very simple. That's because, even if everything you claim is true (which I don't accept), the Democrats' don't want to have to run against a sitting president or vice president in the 2008 election. If President Bush were impeached and convicted, then Dick Cheney would become president. President Cheney would then nominate someone, subject to Senate confirmation, to replace him as vice president. The new vice president would, no doubt, immediately become the front runner to be the Republican nominee in the 2008 presidential election, as Cheney has already declared he will not run for president. 2008 will be the first time since 1952 that a sitting president or vice president has not run for president. And the Democrats feel that gives them their best chance to win back the White House.

John Peddicord :

Mr. Danley:

I have seen everyone of those quotes before: All of the quotes from Clinton and his cabinet, and Democratic Congressmen were to support a precision-guided missile attack on Iraq military infrastructure, which was considered by everyone in the US at the time justified and appropriate, based upon percieved non-cooperation with UNSCOM inspectors.

We now know that even that proscribed action was unjustified. The only saving grace was that NO ONE WAS KILLED!

Clinton, quite rightly, rejected suggestions of an invasion, which he knew would involve massive loss of life and destablisation of the region.

The quotes subsequent to 2000 were made by those who were decieved by the Bush regimes misrepresentation and fabrication of intelligence, as was most of the American and British public.

We know now that the deception was premeditated and systematic, that has been amply demonstrated.

So why is this war criminal still President?

Anonymous :

I believe I have already posted this once, these are the KEY Findings of the Iraq Survey Group, the last word on WMD in Iraq, I cannot post the entire report of 400 pages:

Key Findings"

While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991.

There are no credible indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered..
The scale of the Iraqi conventional munitions stockpile, among other factors, precluded an examination of the entire stockpile; however, ISG inspected sites judged most likely associated with possible storage or deployment of chemical weapons.


Iraq’s CW program was crippled by the Gulf war and the legitimate chemical industry, which suffered under sanctions, only began to recover in the mid-1990s. Subsequent changes in the management of key military and civilian organizations, followed by an influx of funding and resources, provided Iraq with the ability to reinvigorate its industrial base.

Poor policies and management in the early 1990s left the Military Industrial Commission (MIC) financially unsound and in a state of almost complete disarray.
Saddam implemented a number of changes to the Regime’s organizational and programmatic structures after the departure of Husayn Kamil.
Iraq’s acceptance of the Oil-for-Food (OFF) program was the foundation of Iraq’s economic recovery and sparked a flow of illicitly diverted funds that could be applied to projects for Iraq’s chemical industry.

The way Iraq organized its chemical industry after the mid-1990s allowed it to conserve the knowledge-base needed to restart a CW program, conduct a modest amount of dual-use research, and partially recover from the decline of its production capability caused by the effects of the Gulf war and UN-sponsored destruction and sanctions. Iraq implemented a rigorous and formalized system of nationwide research and production of chemicals, but ISG will not be able to resolve whether Iraq intended the system to underpin any CW-related efforts.

The Regime employed a cadre of trained and experienced researchers, production managers, and weaponization experts from the former CW program.


Iraq began implementing a range of indigenous chemical production projects in 1995 and 1996. Many of these projects, while not weapons-related, were designed to improve Iraq’s infrastructure, which would have enhanced Iraq’s ability to produce CW agents if the scaled-up production processes were implemented.
Iraq had an effective system for the procurement of items that Iraq was not allowed to acquire due to sanctions. ISG found no evidence that this system was used to acquire precursor chemicals in bulk; however documents indicate that dual-use laboratory equipment and chemicals were acquired through this system.

Iraq constructed a number of new plants starting in the mid-1990s that enhanced its chemical infrastructure, although its overall industry had not fully recovered from the effects of sanctions, and had not regained pre-1991 technical sophistication or production capabilities prior to Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF).

ISG did not discover chemical process or production units configured to produce key precursors or CW agents. However, site visits and debriefs revealed that Iraq maintained its ability for reconfiguring and ‘making-do’ with available equipment as substitutes for sanctioned items.
ISG judges, based on available chemicals, infrastructure, and scientist debriefings, that Iraq at OIF probably had a capability to produce large quantities of sulfur mustard within three to six months.
A former nerve agent expert indicated that Iraq retained the capability to produce nerve agent in significant quantities within two years, given the import of required phosphorous precursors. However, we have no credible indications that Iraq acquired or attempted to acquire large quantities of these chemicals through its existing procurement networks for sanctioned items.

In addition to new investment in its industry, Iraq was able to monitor the location and use of all existing dual-use process equipment. This provided Iraq the ability to rapidly reallocate key equipment for proscribed activities, if required by the Regime.
One effect of UN monitoring was to implement a national level control system for important dual-use process plants.

Iraq’s historical ability to implement simple solutions to weaponization challenges allowed Iraq to retain the capability to weaponize CW agent when the need arose. Because of the risk of discovery and consequences for ending UN sanctions, Iraq would have significantly jeopardized its chances of having sanctions lifted or no longer enforced if the UN or foreign entity had discovered that Iraq had undertaken any weaponization activities.

ISG has uncovered hardware at a few military depots, which suggests that Iraq may have prototyped experimental CW rounds. The available evidence is insufficient to determine the nature of the effort or the timeframe of activities.
Iraq could indigenously produce a range of conventional munitions, throughout the 1990s, many of which had previously been adapted for filling with CW agent. However, ISG has found ambiguous evidence of weaponization activities.

Saddam’s Leadership Defense Plan consisted of a tactical doctrine taught to all Iraqi officers and included the concept of a “red-line” or last line of defense.

However, ISG has no information that the plan ever included a trigger for CW use.
Despite reported high-level discussions about the use of chemical weapons in the defense of Iraq, information acquired after OIF does not confirm the inclusion of CW in Iraq’s tactical planning for OIF. We believe these were mostly theoretical discussions and do not imply the existence of undiscovered CW munitions.

Discussions concerning WMD, particularly leading up to OIF, would have been highly compartmentalized within the Regime. ISG found no credible evidence that any field elements knew about plans for CW use during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Uday—head of the Fedayeen Saddam—attempted to obtain chemical weapons for use during OIF, according to reporting, but ISG found no evidence that Iraq ever came into possession of any CW weapons.

ISG uncovered information that the Iraqi Intelligence Service (IIS) maintained throughout 1991 to 2003 a set of undeclared covert laboratories to research and test various chemicals and poisons, primarily for intelligence operations.

The network of laboratories could have provided an ideal, compartmented platform from which to continue CW agent R&D or small-scale production efforts, but we have no indications this was planned. (See Annex A.)

ISG has no evidence that IIS Directorate of Criminology (M16) scientists were producing CW or BW agents in these laboratories. However, sources indicate that M16 was planning to produce several CW agents including sulfur mustard, nitrogen mustard, and Sarin.
Exploitations of IIS laboratories, safe houses, and disposal sites revealed no evidence of CW-related research or production, however many of these sites were either sanitized by the Regime or looted prior to OIF. Interviews with key IIS officials within and outside of M16 yielded very little information about the IIS’ activities in this area.
The existence, function, and purpose of the laboratories were never declared to the UN.
The IIS program included the use of human subjects for testing purposes.


ISG investigated a series of key pre-OIF indicators involving the possible movement and storage of chemical weapons, focusing on 11 major depots assessed to have possible links to CW. A review of documents, interviews, available reporting, and site exploitations revealed alternate, plausible explanations for activities noted prior to OIF which, at the time, were believed to be CW-related.

ISG investigated pre-OIF activities at Musayyib Ammunition Storage Depot—the storage site that was judged to have the strongest link to CW. An extensive investigation of the facility revealed that there was no CW activity, unlike previously assessed.


Saddam never abandoned his intentions to resume a CW effort when sanctions were lifted and conditions were judged favorable:
Saddam and many Iraqis regarded CW as a proven weapon against an enemy’s superior numerical strength, a weapon that had saved the nation at least once already—during the Iran-Iraq war—and contributed to deterring the Coalition in 1991 from advancing to Baghdad.

James Danley :

Now that you have read the above quotes, I got your attention. While the words WERE said or written -- in full disclosure -- some of these quotes do have a context that somewhat smooths out their content. And some of the quotes were actually condensed. But if you go back to the 1998 House and Senate debates of the Iraq Liberation Act, you will find very similar statements.

James Danley :

Fate, President Bush NEVER SAID that Saddam Hussein or Iraq was an "imment threat." He always said "before it (Iraq) becomes an imminent threat." In fact, in his 2003 State of the Union address, Bush said: "Some have said we must not act until the threat is imminent. Since when have terrorists and tyrants announced their intentions, politely putting us on notice before they strike?"

BUT, here are some interesting quotes:

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear. We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass destruction program."
PRESIDENT CLINTON, Feb. 17, 1998.

"Iraq is a long way from [here], but what happens there matters a great deal here. For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear, chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest security threat we face."
MADELINE ALBRIGHT, Clinton's Secretary of State, Feb 18, 1998.

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times since 1983."
SANDY BERGER, Clinton's National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S. Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate, air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction programs."
Letter to President Clinton, signed by SENS. CARL LEVIN, THOM DASCHLE, JOHN KERRY and others Oct. 9, 1998.

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
REP. NANCY PELOSI (D-CA), Dec. 16, 1998.

"Hussein has ... chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass destruction and palaces for his cronies."
MADELINE ALBRIGHT, Clinton's Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999.

"There is no doubt that . Saddam Hussein has reinvigorated his weapons programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten the United States and our allies."
Letter to President Bush, Signed by SEN BOB GRAHAM (D-FL,) and others, Dec, 5, 2001.

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the mandate of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction and the means of delivering them."
SEN. CARL LEVIN (D-MI), Sept. 19, 2002.

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical weapons throughout his country."
AL GORE, Sept. 23, 2002.

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seing and developing weapons of mass destruction."
SEN. TED KENNEDY (D-MA), Sept. 27, 2002.

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October 1998. We are confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
SEN ROBERT BYRD (D-WV), Oct. 3, 2002.

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the next five years . We also should remember we have alway s underestimated the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
SEN JAY ROCKEFELLER (D-WV), Oct 10, 2002,

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare, and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
SEN HILLARY CLINTON (D-NY), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has refused to do."
REP HENRY WAXMAN (D-CA), Oct. 10, 2002.

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction. "[W]ithout question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal, murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime ... He presents a particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to miscalculation. And now he has continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction ... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real ..."
SEN JOHN F. KERRY (D-MA), Jan. 23. 2003.

Fate :

James Danley wrote:
---Then the Bush Administration received British intelligence that, back in 1999, Iraq sent a delegation to Niger in an effort to expand commerical relations -- a country whose leading export is uranium. Are these dots really that difficult to connect?---

Wrong dots. Bush did not go to war because Saddam was looking to buy uranium from Niger. Saddam already had 500 tons of the stuff. What he did not have were the centrifuges to separate it into bomb grade material. But Bush used this information not because it was correct but because it fit nicely into his belief or scheme, whichever you believe. Bush called Saddam an "imminent" threat. That was a lie, a pure lie, a lie that cannot be explained even by Bush today. He cannot say that he KNEW Saddam was making a bomb. He cannot even say he had faulty intelligence since no intelligence said he was making a bomb. Condi's mushroom cloud statement was just talk to scare people, which it did. Cheney saying that we "KNEW" where the WMD were was another lie.

Now you can get all mad about lies, I know how many people were ready to impeach Clinton because of his little lie that hurt no one but the first lady. Why do you not get even a little mad about Bush's lies that have cost many American lives and treasure? And while you're thinking about it, why did't Bush connect those dots before 911? Maybe because, as Richard Clarke points out, Bush and company could have cared less about Al Qaida's threats. They were instead focusing on Iraq, even after Al Qaida was confirmed to have carried out the 911 attack. I have no clue how any thinking person can look at the evidence we have and say Bush was not at fault. He was not duped by bad intelligence, he cherry picked intel and he had his own little intel creation department headed by Doug Feith to make sure intel was what he wanted. What really bothers me is that after Nixon Congress put in place a lot of laws to prevent the president from using the powers he misused. Today Congress is doing little to prevent a future BushCo from ruining this country for vengence and profit.


PROUDAMERICAN :

ustink(nice)
I dont think all the people flocking to the usa are desparate. Many came here for a good education and a peaceful and good life. Many of our doctors, professors and other professional people are foreigners. This country was founded on people fleeing here for a better life. We are a great nation and when i say we, that means people of every nationallity that make up this country. If people could stop looking at borders, relgions, political parties and look at each other as human beings we might get somewhere. I suppose i'm naive to think we went into Iraq to start the process of freedom there. I believe there should be a universal military that goes in and rescues a country when there is slaughtering of its people going on. We should not stand for murderous Dicators to rule, but we do. The USA is condemned if we help or when we dont help. The only way we can do anything about Darfur is to send in the Military, throwing money at it will not work. Should we stay out?
Im appalled that the world is allowing this to go on. How fortunate we are that its not us being killed, or seeing our children starve to death.
This whole site of chit chat back and forth is about who is right and pride.

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord: You wrote: "You failed to respond to the the most damning evidence: that the documents used as a basis for Bush's claims were FORGED!"

Actually in CIA Director's George Tenet's statement (an excerpt I previously posted) he wrote: "The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. The former officials also offered details regarding Niger's processes for monitoring and transporting uranium that suggested it would be very unlikely that material could be illicitly diverted. THERE WAS NO MENTION OF THE REPORT OF FORGED DOCUMENTS -- OR ANY SUGGESTION OF THE EXISTENCE OF DOCUMENTS AT ALL." (Caps are mine.)

The forged documents were purported to have been proof that Iraq actually ATTEMPED to purchase uranium from Niger. Those documents had NOTHING to do with the information that the Iraq delegation was sent in 1999 to expand commercial relations with Niger -- which lead to the intelligence that Iraq SOUGHT to purchase.

FactCheck.Org posted the following on July 26, 2004 (excerpt):

"A British intelligence review released July 14 [2004] calls Bush’s 16 words 'well founded.'

"A separate report by the US Senate Intelligence Committee said July 7 [2004] that the US also had similar information from 'a number of intelligence reports,' a fact that was classified at the time Bush spoke.

"Ironically, former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, who later called Bush’s 16 words a 'lie', supplied information that the Central Intelligence Agency took as confirmation that Iraq may indeed have been seeking uranium from Niger.

"Both the US and British investigations make clear that some forged Italian documents, exposed as fakes soon after Bush spoke, were not the basis for the British intelligence Bush cited, or the CIA's conclusion that Iraq was trying to get uranium."

James Danley :

Here's a different perspective! Most Americans were puzzled, frustrated or even down right angry, when they learned that the FBI sat on the information that Middle Eastern men were in flight schools across the country; AND that their specific interest was learning to fly but showing no interest in learning how to take off or land the planes. Questions were raised as to how was it that our government couldn't put THOSE dots together? And we wonder if pursuing this information might have thwarted the attacks of 9/11!

Then the Bush Administration received British intelligence that, back in 1999, Iraq sent a delegation to Niger in an effort to expand commerical relations -- a country whose leading export is uranium. Are these dots really that difficult to connect?

John Peddicord :

I see no alternative but to post this lengthy excerpt from the Introduction to the Duelfler Report. It is definitive and conclusive.

Evidence. The problem of discerning WMD in Iraq is highlighted by the prewar misapprehensions of weapons, which were not there. Distant technical analysts mistakenly identified evidence and drew incorrect conclusions. There is also the potential of the obverse problem. Observers may have evidence before them and not recognize it because of unfamiliarity with the subject. Often ISG found no evidence of one thing or another. It may be that a more accurate formulation might be we recognized no evidence. This is a fundamental conundrum in assessing alien circumstances.
It is vital to understand that in such an environment—an environment alien to those accustomed to Western democracies—implicit guidance from the leader can be as compelling and real as explicit guidance. Indeed, in the security-conscious world of Saddam, it would be surprising to find explicit direction related to sensitive topics like WMD. This would especially be the case for programs of presidential interest or direction. It is important to understand what one should expect to see and what one should not expect to see.
Related to this is a further important factor that greatly affects how evidence is viewed. The key Regime figures in the WMD area had a much better understanding of how the West viewed their programs than the other way around. Consider how many Western technocrats studied in Baghdad compared with how many key WMD figures studied in the West (many, if not most, speak English).
Likewise, many years of inspections taught the Iraqi WMD counterparts how their country was being examined. It might well be expected that they would seek to elude such examination as a result.
Two examples from interactions in the 1990s may be illustrative. An Iraqi minister in 1994 asked, “Why do you Americans always attack buildings?” Iraq, of course had been subject to several bombing attacks, and the question seems simple on the surface. However, it reveals something about American assumptions. Intelligence analysts look at overhead imagery and identify buildings with some function. Digital Imagery is also used for targeting weapons such as cruise missiles. Implicit in this process is an assumption that destroying a building will destroy the capability. Discussions and observations of the Iraqis showed that they reacted to this understanding of the American process by effectively dissolving the images we were focusing on. They disassociated capability from the buildings we were able to image. To wit, they would simply take key equipment and move it out of buildings and disperse it in ways that we could not resolve into our targeting and intelligence-operating system. This was shrewd but obvious. It affected the data we were examining.
A second example of Iraq learning the signatures inspectors sought occurred while UNSCOM was attempting to investigate the governmental apparatus the Regime used to conceal material from UN inspectors. The inspectors assumed that only Saddam would give instructions on such sensitive matters. Hence, inspectors investigated those governmental arms directly connected to the Presidency, e.g., the Diwan, the Special Security Organization, the Special Republican Guard, etc. In effect, the inspectors were modeling an organization chart that branched out from the President. These organs became high-priority targets for the UN inspectors. This was perfectly logical from their perspective.
Of course, one effect of this investigation was to teach the Iraqis how we investigated and what we looked for. And, like the previous case where Iraq reacted by dissolving the image that we looked for, it should be expected that Iraq would avoid using entities that would show up on organization charts or that would follow the types of order we had earlier tried to picture.
The Regime, drawing on the experience of the 1990s with the UN and given the priorities to which it subscribed, scrambled the types of signatures they knew we would be searching for. This contributed to the difficulty in verifying what happened to Iraq’s WMD.
The Timeline Tool. The role and use of WMD and how it played in Saddam’s calculations varied over the last 30 years. This analysis includes an examination of a few key inflection points when Saddam made clear decisions regarding WMD. ISG analysts studied individual programs bearing in mind contemporaneous events. A timeline annotated with the events that would have filled the vision of Saddam is used as a device to continuously relate WMD to other changing factors.
Through this methodology an attempt is made to understand the overall intentions of the Regime, i.e., Saddam. With this perspective a better understanding of the evidence of the elements of the WMD programs can be made. This is like having the picture on the box cover of a jigsaw puzzle to guide the assembly of the component puzzle pieces.
Throughout this report, timeline sections are repeated to remind continuously the reader of the events going on that impinge on Saddam’s field of vision.
Key Inflection Points. A few unique points in time shaped Saddam’s perspectives regarding WMD after the 1991 Gulf war. However, it must be stated that Saddam’s experience with WMD previously had been very positive. Senior Iraqis have said that it was their firm conviction that the use of ballistic missiles and chemical munitions saved them in the war against Iran. Missiles allowed them to hit Iranian cities, and chemical munitions (101,000 were used) countered the Iranian “human wave” attacks.
In addition, the Iraqis believed that their possession and willingness to use WMD (CW and BW) contributed substantially to deterring the United States from going to Baghdad in 1991. WMD demonstrated its worth to Saddam. Moreover, senior Iraqis have observed that, if Saddam had waited until he finished his nuclear weapon before invading Kuwait, the outcome would have been much different.
Therefore, it was a tough decision he faced when confronted by the UN resolution linking lifting the of sanctions with WMD disarmament. Ultimately, his top priority (after survival) was to get out of the UN constraints. That priority underlies the actions of the Regime during the past 13 years. This may seem obvious but is easily forgotten. The spring and summer of 1991 were defining moments for Baghdad on this point.
During the first few inspections (June-July 1991), it became clear that the inspectors were more serious and intrusive than Baghdad expected of the United Nations. Baghdad was still surrounded by a huge array of military force that was fully capable of invading. Baghdad nevertheless initially chose to conceal WMD capabilities with a goal of preserving future WMD options. Indeed, Iraq used CW against Shia within its own borders just two months earlier.
Baghdad was found blatantly cheating. The immediate consequence during this period was that the UN Security Council, including the United States, did not restart the recently ended conflict but did pass a new resolution on 15 August 1991 (UNSCR 707) demanding more access and more intrusive rights for UN inspectors. The message was thus mixed. The UN Security Council could agree on demands but not on enforcement. What was the impression received by Saddam? He was clearly refusing cooperation with the UN resolutions. Saddam crushed internal dissent, including the use of chemical weapons, just as he did in the late 1980s. Yet, military force was not used against him. However, more intrusive legal strictures were imposed. Saddam identified the envelope of limits around him.
The Regime continued to mix compliance with defiance. It now appears clear that Saddam, despite internal reluctance, particularly on the part of the head of Iraq’s military industries, Husayn Kamil, resolved to eliminate the existing stocks of WMD weapons during the course of the summer of 1991 in support of the prime objective of getting rid of sanctions. The goal was to do enough to be able to argue that they had complied with UN requirements. Some production capacity that Baghdad thought could be passed off as serving a civilian function was retained, and no admission of biological weapons was made at all. But the clear prime theme of Saddam was to defeat the UN constraints. Dispensing with WMD was a tactical retreat in his ongoing struggle.
From the evidence available through the actions and statements of a range of Iraqis, it seems clear that the guiding theme for WMD was to sustain the intellectual capacity achieved over so many years at such a great cost and to be in a position to produce again with as short a lead time as possible—within the vital constraint that no action should threaten the prime objective of ending international sanctions and constraints.
Saddam continued to see the utility of WMD. He explained that he purposely gave an ambiguous impression about possession as a deterrent to Iran. He gave explicit direction to maintain the intellectual capabilities. As UN sanctions eroded there was a concomitant expansion of activities that could support full WMD reactivation. He directed that ballistic missile work continue that would support long-range missile development. Virtually no senior Iraq; believed that Saddam had forsaken WMD forever. Evidence suggests that, as resources became available and the constraints of sanctions decayed, there was a direct expansion of activity that would have the effect of supporting future WMD reconstitution.
Yet, Saddam was not willing to give up sovereignty and security in an immediate gamble that the UN Security Council would lift sanctions. Bearing in mind that at this very time, Saddam was in a hugely weakened state domestically, still acting with defiance by retaining some capacity and, at that time, refusing to accept certain UN resolutions, most notably UNSCR 707 and 715, which demanded that Iraq accept a system of monitoring to detect a reconstitution of Iraqi WMD programs. This Saddam flat out refused as an invasion of his sovereignty that would be permanent, not temporary.
1996 Beginning of Oil-for-Food. Another example of a key inflection point was the 1996 decision to accept the Oil-for-Food (OFF) program. Internally, Iraq was in trouble. The economy was in tatters. The middle class was decimated by the collapse of the dinar and the impact of sanctions. The hobbling of Saddam by the 1991 cease-fire resolution, UNSCR 687, was still persisting despite vocal support of some members of the Security Council. Saddam had long refused to accept the option of exporting oil with constraints on revenues. He was concerned that, once started, the pressure on the Security Council to lift sanctions—his real goal—would be lifted. It was clear he was using the pain endured by his people and the concern by some members of the Security Council that sustaining civil destruction as pressure to get the Security Council to remove the sanctions. However, by 1996, it became apparent that the United States had a lock in the Security Council on lifting the sanctions and Saddam accepted UN Security Council Resolution 986 initiating the OFF program.
The onset of the OFF program began what became a burgeoning source of real disposable income. The revenues Iraq garnered grew incredibly from an estimated $250 million in 1996 to $2.76 billion in 2001. The process of oil exports offered leverage in the international oil markets. The UN system for controlling Iraqi oil exports had the unintended consequence of allowing ample opportunities for corruption. Corruption of this process suited the objectives of Saddam of escaping the fetters of the sanctions controlled by the UN Security Council.
As experience grew with the process of the Oil for Food program, Iraq found that the allocation of oil liftings was also a splendid opportunity to develop influence. Iraqi oil liftings were priced below market substantially; hence, obtaining the right to lift a tanker full of Iraqi oil was worth a considerable amount of money. While Iraq, due to the constraints imposed upon it by the UN system, could not legally receive cash, the price differentials could be pocketed by whatever trader designated to lift Iraqi oil. Saddam, again demonstrating his style of influence, distributed these allocations to those he deemed helpful in eroding support for sanctions.
Saddam applied a dual approach to this objective. On the one hand he emphasized the suffering of the innocent Iraqi civilian population and argued that the sanctions were immoral. At the same time he gave prominent vocal Iraq supporters and willing influential UN-officials lucrative oil allocations. He gave individuals a moral rationalization for their support and friendship to the Regime. This worked with individuals as well as countries.
The Regime’s strategy was successful to the point where sitting members of the Security Council were actively violating the resolutions passed by the Security Council.
1998—End of Inspections. The patience and utility of cooperating with the Security Council and the UN inspectors were diminishing in the view of Baghdad during the course of 1998. The potential of the inspection process leading to a formal lifting of sanctions by the Security Council was seen as diminishing. The approach of eroding the constraints of sanctions until they collapsed appeared more promising. Certainly the flow of imports and revenues was growing. The divisions in the Security Council were greater between the United States and the United Kingdom on one side and France and Russia on the other. (Iraq encouraged competition between France and Russia to do more to support Baghdad.)
At the same time, Baghdad viewed the domestic controversies in the United States as indicating, if not weakness, certainly a distraction to the White House. During the summer of 1998, when UNSCOM surfaced its concern over the evidence it found that Iraq had, contrary to its declarations, weaponized VX in missile warheads, Baghdad appears to have concluded that there was no prospect of satisfying the inspection teams. Cooperation with UNSCOM was seen as a trap, not a path to ending sanctions.
Baghdad ended full cooperation in August and began a series of confrontations with the UN that aimed at bringing its dialogue to the Secretary General and Security Council directly, and marginalizing UNSCOM. Baghdad was largely successful in drawing the Secretary General into the controversy and causing France and Russia to take firmer positions on its behalf. Ultimately, Iraq did not fully cooperate with UNSCOM in a test period of renewed inspection activity during December 1998. The United States and United Kingdom reacted militarily with a circumscribed bombing campaign that took place between the time President Clinton completed a previously scheduled visit to Israel and the beginning of Ramadan, about four days later.
The Security Council was left deeply divided. UNSCOM and IAEA inspectors departed Iraq just before the bombing and never returned. The Iraqis were satisfied with the outcome. They said, given a choice of sanctions with inspections or sanctions without inspections, they would prefer without.
The UN Security Council struggled for a year to find a new consensus on Iraq. Finally, after much debate they passed a new resolution in December 1999 (UNSCR 1284). It included (largely at Russian insistence) language about the suspension and ultimate lifting of sanctions. Nevertheless, Iraq ignored its demands and also paid no further consequences. Clearly their strategy was to erode sanctions, and they saw no need to accept a new set of inspectors.
2000—The End is in Sight. By 2000, the erosion of sanctions accelerated. The semi-annual debates over the renewal of sanctions in the Security Council became the forum for Iraqi proponents to argue the case for relaxing sanctions further. Out of concern that this pillar of containment policy was about to collapse, the United States (under a new administration) proposed “Smart Sanctions” in early 2001. This was an attempt to bolster support for sanctions within the Security Council by narrowing the targeted items subject to scrutiny. There was a reversal of a presumption of denial to a presumption of approval of items to be acquired under the Oil-For-Food program.
Syria had recently signed an oil export protocol that provided for reopening of the Iraq-Syria pipeline. Initially, the United States tried to curtail this program, but failed. Baghdad could read this turn of events only as growing momentum of its strategy to undermine sanctions with the goal of an ultimate collapse.
The new administration in Washington gave no evidence of changing the approach toward Iraq. The sanctions debate in the Security Council in June 2001 was indicative with the Russians demanding further relaxation and a concrete signal from the Council that sanctions would be lifted if Iraq satisfied the elements of UNSCR 1284. Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz and the new Foreign Minister, Naji Sabri, were making progress internationally. France, Russia, and Syria (then a member of the Security Council) were all quite vocally supporting Iraq in sanctions debates in the Security Council.
Prohibited goods and weapons were being shipped into Iraq with virtually no problem. The only notable items stopped in this flow were some aluminum tubes, which became the center of debate over the existence of a nuclear enrichment effort in Iraq. Major items had no trouble getting across the border, including 380 liquid-fuel rocket engines. Indeed, Iraq was designing missile systems with the assumption that sanctioned material would be readily available.
Politically, the Iraqis were losing their stigma. The Baghdad International Fair in November 2001 was attended by hundreds of companies. The Rasheed Hotel was filled with businessmen from all over the world. The Arab summit in Beirut in March 2002 offered the headline photo of Taha Yasin Ramadan embracing his Saudi counterpart. Funding filled the coffers of various ministries. The Iraqi OPEC delegations were treated with as much or greater interest than the Saudis. The Oil Minister was treated like a rock star. The oil markets were extremely sensitive to the prospects for Iraqi oil on the market. In fact, the very uncertainty about Iraqi oil gave Baghdad even greater leverage over the international community since, by its whims, energy prices would vary significantly and have corresponding effects on the world economy.
In international politics, Saddam capitalized on his position as the only Arab leader willing to stand up to the Americans. This position undermined the positions of the leadership in neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Their populations, being sympathetic to the Palestinians, saw Saddam as bolder than their own leaders. By this stance, Saddam created a powerful lever against these governments at virtually no cost.
From Baghdad the long struggle to outlast the containment policy of the United States imposed through the UN sanctions seemed tantalizingly close. There was considerable commitment and involvement on the part of states like Russia and Syria, who had developed economic and political stakes in the success of the Regime. From Baghdad’s perspective, they had firm allies, and it appeared the United States was in retreat. The United Nations mechanism to implement the Oil For Food program was being corrupted and undermined. The collapse or removal of sanctions was foreseeable. This goal, always foremost in Saddam’s eyes, was within reach.
11 September 2001 The progress Baghdad had made toward escaping sanctions changed following 11 September 2001. Saddam did not immediately understand this.
Reflecting Saddam’s ill-formed understanding of the United States, Baghdad fully grasped neither the effect of the attacks on the United States nor their implications for Iraq’s position in the United Nations. The seriousness of the change in the international atmosphere and Iraq’s diplomatic position became clear to Saddam only after President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union speech. He saw a seriousness he had not earlier recognized. Still, he tried to bargain with the Security Council rather than outright accept new inspections. The dithering cost him.
Washington was building a huge and expensive military force around Iraq. Efforts to secure access and support for potential military action were pursued. In the Security Council a new, tougher resolution was passed (UNSCR 1441). Momentum was building that would be increasingly hard to deflect. Belatedly, following the speech by President Bush at the UN General Assembly in September 2002, Saddam finally agreed to unconditional acceptance of the UNMOVIC weapons inspectors.
The work of UNMOVIC inspectors on the ground was pursued energetically and in a charged political environment. Iraq was surrounded by a large and expensive, military force. Sustaining such a force for any length of time would be impossible. It was not a stable situation, and Saddam realized his position far too late.
Readers of this report can weigh for themselves the actions taken by all governments in response to Saddam and his WMD ambitions. It is a complicated story over a long period of time. Hopefully, this report will illuminate some of the important dynamics and the trends.
Charles Duelfer
Special Advisor to the Director of Central Intelligence
Baghdad, September 2004

John Peddicord :

To address in general how Bush manipulated intelligence, this from PAUL PILLAR published in the respected journal FOREIGN AFFAIRS:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - A former CIA official who oversaw US intelligence on the Middle East accused the US administration of "cherry-picking" intelligence on Iraq to justify a decision it had already reached to go to war.

Paul Pillar, who was the national intelligence officer for the Near East and South Asia from 2000 to 2005, delivered the scathing criticism in a lengthy article in the latest issue of the journal Foreign Affairs.

"The administration used intelligence not to inform decision-making, but to justify a decision already made," he wrote.

Pillar alleged the administration of President George W. Bush had ignored warnings that Iraq could easily fall into violence after an invasion to overthrow Saddam Hussein. And the White House asserted that Saddam and Al-Qaeda had forged an alliance without reliable evidence from intelligence agencies.

"Official intelligence on Iraqi weapons programs was flawed, but even with its flaws, it was not what led to the war," Pillar wrote.

Instead, he asserted, the administration "went to war without requesting -- and evidently without being influenced by -- any strategic-level intelligence assessments on any aspect of Iraq."

Pillar said US intelligence agencies' mistakes in assessing whether the Hussein government possessed weapons of mass destruction (WMD) had not driven the administration's decision to invade.

"It has become clear that official intelligence was not relied on in making even the most significant national security decisions, that intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made, that damaging ill will developed between policymakers and intelligence officers, and that the intelligence community's own work was politicized," Pillar wrote.

Considered a leading counter-terrorism analyst, Pillar said the clear message from official intelligence analysis was "to avoid war" because the threat posed by Saddam had been largely contained.

Intelligence agencies had warned that occupying Iraq could trigger attacks on US forces and sectarian conflict and play into the hands of Islamic militants in the region, he wrote.

US analysts had predicted that it was likely "war and occupation would boost political Islam and increase sympathy for terrorists' objectives -- and Iraq would become a magnet for extremists from elsewhere in the Middle East."

Pillar was responsible for coordinating assessments on Iraq from all 15 agencies in the intelligence community. He is now a professor in security studies at Georgetown University.

In his article, he said he believes that the "politicization" of intelligence on Iraq had occurred "subtly" and in many forms, but almost never resulted from a policymaker directly asking an analyst to reshape his or her results.

Instead, Pillar describes a process in which the White House helped frame intelligence results by repeatedly posing questions aimed at bolstering its arguments about Iraq.

The Bush administration, Pillar wrote, "repeatedly called on the intelligence community to uncover more material that would contribute to the case for war," including information on the "supposed connection" between Hussein and Al-Qaeda, which analysts had discounted.

"The greatest discrepancy between the administration's public statements and the intelligence community's judgments concerned not WMD ... but the relationship between Saddam and Al-Qaeda," he wrote.

"The intelligence community never offered any analysis that supported the notion of an alliance between Saddam and Al-Qaeda.

"Yet it was drawn into a public effort to support that notion."

John Peddicord :

As for Blair's manipulation of British Intelligence, and thei complicity, thiss from the London Times".

SECRET AND STRICTLY PERSONAL - UK EYES ONLY
DAVID MANNING
From: Matthew Rycroft
Date: 23 July 2002
S 195 /02

cc: Defence Secretary, Foreign Secretary, Attorney-General, Sir Richard Wilson, John Scarlett, Francis Richards, CDS, C, Jonathan Powell, Sally Morgan, Alastair Campbell

IRAQ: PRIME MINISTER'S MEETING, 23 JULY

Copy addressees and you met the Prime Minister on 23 July to discuss Iraq.

This record is extremely sensitive. No further copies should be made. It should be shown only to those with a genuine need to know its contents.

John Scarlett summarised the intelligence and latest JIC assessment. Saddam's regime was tough and based on extreme fear. The only way to overthrow it was likely to be by massive military action. Saddam was worried and expected an attack, probably by air and land, but he was not convinced that it would be immediate or overwhelming. His regime expected their neighbours to line up with the US. Saddam knew that regular army morale was poor. Real support for Saddam among the public was probably narrowly based.

C reported on his recent talks in Washington. There was a perceptible shift in attitude. Military action was now seen as inevitable. Bush wanted to remove Saddam, through military action, justified by the conjunction of terrorism and WMD. But the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy. The NSC had no patience with the UN route, and no enthusiasm for publishing material on the Iraqi regime's record. There was little discussion in Washington of the aftermath after military action.

CDS said that military planners would brief CENTCOM on 1-2 August, Rumsfeld on 3 August and Bush on 4 August.

The two broad US options were:

(a) Generated Start. A slow build-up of 250,000 US troops, a short (72 hour) air campaign, then a move up to Baghdad from the south. Lead time of 90 days (30 days preparation plus 60 days deployment to Kuwait).

(b) Running Start. Use forces already in theatre (3 x 6,000), continuous air campaign, initiated by an Iraqi casus belli. Total lead time of 60 days with the air campaign beginning even earlier. A hazardous option.

The US saw the UK (and Kuwait) as essential, with basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus critical for either option. Turkey and other Gulf states were also important, but less vital. The three main options for UK involvement were:

(i) Basing in Diego Garcia and Cyprus, plus three SF squadrons.

(ii) As above, with maritime and air assets in addition.

(iii) As above, plus a land contribution of up to 40,000, perhaps with a discrete role in Northern Iraq entering from Turkey, tying down two Iraqi divisions.

The Defence Secretary said that the US had already begun "spikes of activity" to put pressure on the regime. No decisions had been taken, but he thought the most likely timing in US minds for military action to begin was January, with the timeline beginning 30 days before the US Congressional elections.

The Foreign Secretary said he would discuss this with Colin Powell this week. It seemed clear that Bush had made up his mind to take military action, even if the timing was not yet decided. But the case was thin. Saddam was not threatening his neighbours, and his WMD capability was less than that of Libya, North Korea or Iran. We should work up a plan for an ultimatum to Saddam to allow back in the UN weapons inspectors. This would also help with the legal justification for the use of force.

The Attorney-General said that the desire for regime change was not a legal base for military action. There were three possible legal bases: self-defence, humanitarian intervention, or UNSC authorisation. The first and second could not be the base in this case. Relying on UNSCR 1205 of three years ago would be difficult. The situation might of course change.

The Prime Minister said that it would make a big difference politically and legally if Saddam refused to allow in the UN inspectors. Regime change and WMD were linked in the sense that it was the regime that was producing the WMD. There were different strategies for dealing with Libya and Iran. If the political context were right, people would support regime change. The two key issues were whether the military plan worked and whether we had the political strategy to give the military plan the space to work.

On the first, CDS said that we did not know yet if the US battleplan was workable. The military were continuing to ask lots of questions.

For instance, what were the consequences, if Saddam used WMD on day one, or if Baghdad did not collapse and urban warfighting began? You said that Saddam could also use his WMD on Kuwait. Or on Israel, added the Defence Secretary.

The Foreign Secretary thought the US would not go ahead with a military plan unless convinced that it was a winning strategy. On this, US and UK interests converged. But on the political strategy, there could be US/UK differences. Despite US resistance, we should explore discreetly the ultimatum. Saddam would continue to play hard-ball with the UN.

John Scarlett assessed that Saddam would allow the inspectors back in only when he thought the threat of military action was real.

The Defence Secretary said that if the Prime Minister wanted UK military involvement, he would need to decide this early. He cautioned that many in the US did not think it worth going down the ultimatum route. It would be important for the Prime Minister to set out the political context to Bush.

Conclusions:

(a) We should work on the assumption that the UK would take part in any military action. But we needed a fuller picture of US planning before we could take any firm decisions. CDS should tell the US military that we were considering a range of options.

(b) The Prime Minister would revert on the question of whether funds could be spent in preparation for this operation.

(c) CDS would send the Prime Minister full details of the proposed military campaign and possible UK contributions by the end of the week.

(d) The Foreign Secretary would send the Prime Minister the background on the UN inspectors, and discreetly work up the ultimatum to Saddam.

He would also send the Prime Minister advice on the positions of countries in the region especially Turkey, and of the key EU member states.

(e) John Scarlett would send the Prime Minister a full intelligence update.

(f) We must not ignore the legal issues: the Attorney-General would consider legal advice with FCO/MOD legal advisers.

(I have written separately to commission this follow-up work.)

MATTHEW RYCROFT

(Rycroft was a Downing Street foreign policy aide)

John Peddicord :

To Mr. Danley:

Your post just proves my point that neither the CIA or the Bush regime had any substantial evidence of Saddam's intent. You failed to respond to the the most damning evidence: that the documents used as a basis for Bush's claims were FORGED!

The following extract from the bipartisan Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report on Pre-War Intelligence is definitive and conclusive:

"By the time American troops had been deployed overseas and were poised to attack Iraq, the Administration had skillfully manipulated and cowed the Intelligence Community into approving public statements that conveyed a level of conviction and certainty that was not supported by an objective reading of the underlying intelligence reporting. THE CHARGE LEVIED IN THE PRESIDENT'S STATE OF THE UNION ADDRESS IN LATE JANUARY 2003 THAT IRAQ WAS SEEKING URANIUM FROM AFRICA IS THE MOST NOTABLE EXAMPLE of how the Intelligence Community's agreed to let the Administration be a fact witness to an intelligence report the CIA considered "weak" and "not credible." "

(Caps are mine).

In Britain the manipulation of intelligence by Blair has also been amply proven. British Intelligence DOES NOT NOW BELIEVE THAT THERE WAS ANY CREDIBLE EVIDENCE OF TO SUPPORT BUSH'S CONTENTION.

James Danley :

Fate, Niger's leading exports are: uranium, livestock, cowpeas, and onions. If Iraq wanted to expand commercial relations -- in other words, EXPAND TRADE -- with Niger, which of these resources do you think Saddam Hussein was seeking in exchange for oil?

Here's a hint: The oil-for-food program was all ready bringing in food resources (even if the people of Iraq weren't seeing the benefits).


Fate :

James Danley wrote:
---The fact is that President Bush said, "...the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." British Intelligence continues to stand by their assessment TO THIS DAY!---

and you also wrote:

---Joseph Wilson said that the former prime minister of Niger told him that in 1999 Saddam Hussein had sent a delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" with Niger. Niger is the 6th leading country in mining uranium (behind Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Namibia). And with some of the world's largest uranium deposits, uranium is Niger's leading export. If Iraq was seeking to expand commerical relations with Niger, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that Saddam Hussein wanted uranium.---

So the president says, in the SOTU speach no less, that Iraq is seeking to "purchase significant quantities of uranium" and your defense of that is that Iraq was seeking "expanding commercial relations". There is a HUGE difference! Add to this exageration the facts that are coming out of the Libby trial. Cheney's office, instead of being upset that the president made a false statement that maybe he believed to be true, decided to go after Wilson and his wife. What is becoming more and more clear is that truth and the realities of Iraq were not of any concern in the lead up to the war. What was of concern was that anything that would put a stop to the support for the war had to be suppressed. So you have exagerations of possible WMD and you have suppression of anything that disagrees with the exagerations. That is not how a leader should take any country into harms way. That is the hallmark of someone who lies for a living to get what they want.

Instead of protecting America Bush has sent over 3000 of our best men and women to their deaths and many more maimed for life, not to mention the destruction if Iraq, thousands of its people and allowing Iran and Al Qaida to gain power in the region. He continues to lie and obfuscate even in the face of mounting evidence. He continues to call the insurgency "terrorists" who will eventually attack America, which is a lie but it help gain some support for his failure. Bush is a failure as a leader, as president, and as a human being. Congress needs to impeach him on incompetence and bring Cheney and others to trial for lying about "facts" in the run up to the war. If you want to see those lies and obfuscations here's a site with a list:
http://www.counterpunch.org/wmd05292003.html

I haven't seen such a sorry group of men and women since Nixon and his men decided to cover up his crime. The American people put them in power. Shame on them for doing such a bad job of picking a leader.

AMviennaVA :

Digdeeper: There are indeed many smart, and intelligent even, people in the world. Many also make spelling errors. However a plethora of spelling errors always raises the question as to exactly what is being said.

As to support for the troops and the mission: It is indeed possible to support the troops but not the mission. The mission in Iraq is a FAILURE. It has been from the beginning, and continues to this day. The troops need the equipment necessary to survive and return. The sooner the return the better. They must also be fully trained, and have the necessary R&R between tours of duty.

I personally am (either amused or puzzled) that those who 'SUPPORT THE TROOPS' object when anyone wants to require that troops receive full training, be fully equipped, and receive the mandated rest period between tours of duty in Iraq. Anyone who advocates that is accused of not supporting the troops. By extension, if I advocated that we should send 1 million men over, unarmed and untrained, I should be hailed a pure patriot (that is sarcasm).

Lastly, my empirical observation is that whenever the 'powers that be' claim that they are privy to information noone else has, it turns out that the ONLY information they have is that they are guessing, and don't want us to know that. That is how we got in Vietnam, and it is also how we got in Iraq. (According to this week's news, it is also how we encouraged N.Korea to develop nuclear weapons - but that conclusion may be premature).

I am personally very suspicious of those who constantly interject religion in their speeches. Especially when it is used to justify war, of all things. It is especially hypocritical of any 'Christian' to offer support to a policy that has resulted in the destruction of Iraq's Christian community, which used to number almost 10% of Iraq's pre-'liberation' population. Yet none of such 'Christians' ever mentions them. Our current 'Christian' President is not even considering giving them any protections in Iraq's new arrangement. Yet, Iran's constitution guarantees Iran's Christian (and Jewish) communities representation in the Parliament.

U stink :

Proud American: just because hordes of desperate people want to live in your country doesn't mean that your country is so wonderful, it just means that their country is worse and they are not in a position to choose. Please deflate a bit of your ego: you are(or at least used to be) one of the greatest countries in the world but your attitude about having done it all for the world stinks.
A little humility would do you a lot of good.

proudamerican :

Iran or the USA?
What a stupid question.
Do you see Americans flocking to Iran to live or anywhere else? Millions of people come to this country from all over. We have over a million illegals in this country and millions desparately wanting to get in. Now why is that?
Shame on any American who would answer the USA.

DIGDEEPER :

MR.PEDDICORD...you really believe in polls?
if 70 percent really supported Clinton after learning of his affair, what a sad statement about peoples views of marriage and of the 10 commandments. To continue to support a man who actually thought a 22 years old would not run out and tell someone she did the "wild thing" with the President, well just how intelligent of a man is he. Do you think his mind was really on the problems of the country or enjoying his position of power?
As for people like
Hanity,Combs,Limbald,Mathews,Obermann etc. they just stir the pot and keep the rah rah my team is the best going instead of getting people to look at both sides. It seems people are so one sided. I know it sounds so simplistic but there are good and bad about everything, countries, politicians, businesses, religions, people. Why all the negativity out there. We are victims of the media. We can choose to believe what they write but are they right?

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord, I do, in fact, understand what "unsubstantiated" means. The fact is that President Bush said, "...the British government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa." British Intelligence continues to stand by their assessment TO THIS DAY!

Joseph Wilson said that the former prime minister of Niger told him that in 1999 Saddam Hussein had sent a delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" with Niger. Niger is the 6th leading country in mining uranium (behind Canada, Australia, Kazakhstan, Russia and Namibia). And with some of the world's largest uranium deposits, uranium is Niger's leading export. If Iraq was seeking to expand commerical relations with Niger, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to understand that Saddam Hussein wanted uranium. It wasn't President Bush and it wasn't Vice President Cheney who said that Saddam Hussein was trying to expand commercial relations with Niger -- it was Joseph Wilson who reported this. THAT is why some CIA Intelligence analysts believed that Joseph Wilson's report to the CIA bolstered the notion that Saddam Hussein was seeking to purchase uranium.

Now as far as Joseph Wilson informing the Administration of his finding -- THAT DID NOT HAPPEN. CIA Director George Tenet posted a statement dated July 11, 2003. Here are excerpts from that statement:

"There was fragmentary intelligence gathered in late 2001 and early 2002 on the allegations of Saddam's efforts to obtain additional raw uranium from Africa, beyond the 550 metric tons already in Iraq. In an effort to inquire about certain reports involving Niger, CIA's counter-proliferation experts, on their own initiative, asked an individual with ties to the region to make a visit to see what he could learn. He reported back to us that one of the former Nigerien officials he met stated that he was unaware of any contract being signed between Niger and rogue states for the sale of uranium during his tenure in office. The same former official also said that in June 1999 a businessman approached him and insisted that the former official meet with an Iraqi delegation to discuss "expanding commercial relations" between Iraq and Niger. The former official interpreted the overture as an attempt to discuss uranium sales. The former officials also offered details regarding Niger's processes for monitoring and transporting uranium that suggested it would be very unlikely that material could be illicitly diverted. There was no mention in the report of forged documents -- or any suggestion of the existence of documents at all.

"Because this report, in our view, did not resolve whether Iraq was or was not seeking uranium from abroad, it was given a normal and wide distribution, but we did not brief it to the President, Vice-President or other senior Administration officials. We also had to consider that the former Nigerien officials knew that what they were saying would reach the U.S. government and that this might have influenced what they said."

Finally, The Washington Post concluded an article dated April 18, 2004 with the following:

"What is to be learned from these findings? Not necessarily that Mr. Bush and his top aides are innocent of distorting the facts on Iraq. As we have said, we believe the record shows that they sometimes exaggerated intelligence reports that were themselves flawed. A case against Saddam Hussein could have been made without such hyperbole; by indulging in it, the Bush administration damaged its credibility and undermined support for the Iraq mission. But, as both the new reports underlined, no evidence has been presented that intelligence on Iraq was deliberately falsified for political purposes. In the intelligence community, analysts struggled to make sense of fragmentary and inconclusive reports, sometimes drawing varied and shifting conclusions. In the case of Niger, some chose to emphasize the evidence that Iraq explored the possibility of purchasing uranium. Others focused on the seemingly low probability that such a deal had been concluded or could have been carried out without detection.

"Mr. Wilson chose to emphasize the latter point, that no deal was likely -- but that does not negate the one Mr. Bush made in his speech, which was that Iraq was looking for bomb material. This suggests another caution: Some of those who now fairly condemn the administration's "slam-dunk" approach to judging the intelligence about Iraq risk making the same error themselves. The failure to find significant stockpiles of chemical or biological weapons or an active nuclear program in Iraq has caused some war opponents to claim that Iraq was never much to worry about. The Niger story indicates otherwise. Like the reporting of postwar weapons investigator David Kay, it suggests that Saddam Hussein never gave up his intention to develop weapons of mass destruction and continued clandestine programs he would have accelerated when U.N. sanctions were lifted. No, the evidence is not conclusive. But neither did President Bush invent it."

While there may not have been substantial evidence, to say that it was UNSUBSTANTIAL is inaccurate.

I am a Christian. Webster's dictionary defines "Zionism" as: "a movement formerly for reestablishing, now supporting, the Jewish national state of Israel." I am not a member of any movement. Nor have I ever supported any movement. So I would not call myself a Zionist. I do support Israel's right to exist. I also support the goal of a sovereign Palestinian state.

I also support President Bush but not "uncritically and unconditionally." He signed the McCain-Feingold Campaign Reform Act instead of vetoing it. Non-defense spending is still out of control. And President Bush was too slow in addressing the Katrina fiasco. While I place the overwhelming majority of the blame on the local authorities, the moment that it became known that people were stranded at the Superdome and the New Orleans Covention Center without food and water (the absolute fault of the local authorities) President Bush should have immediately spoken to the nation instead of waiting 2 weeks. Now I understand that it was too soon to announce plans that were only in the process of being laid out. But he still should have had more of an active role since this was THE worst natural disaster in U. S. history.

And when it comes to the war in Iraq, I wish President Bush had done some things different. For one, while I certainly understand the Administration's desire to fight a war AND rebuild AND to run a public relations game all at the same time, we should have fought a traditional war and worried about rebuilding afterwards. And we shouldn't have worried about public relations. Much of the Middle East hated us before and we shouldn't have worried about what they thought. We should have just gone in and taken care of business. Then helped the Iraqis rebuilt. And once Iraq was fully rebuilt then try to build up public relations.

One final thought! To say that you have correctly "predicted the outcome in Iraq" is premature. While I know this is not a game, it certainly helps to use a game analogy: We are only in the 3rd quarter. The American Revolutionary War took 8 years to complete. At any given moment during that time, the American Army appeared defeated. Had we ended that war even with "2 minutes to go in the fourth quarter," the outcome would have been a victory for King George III. But wars do not have time limits. If your goal is to win, you stay until victory is achieved. In this case "victory" is when Iraq is able to govern, sustain and defend herself. Leaving before that is accomplished will be considered a defeat. A defeat that the Islamic extremists will certainly hype to help promote their efforts in turning the world into their Caliphate.


ED USA :

and if I remember right, wasn't the entire country of France set on fire by....."youths," as you call them?

(psst. here in America, we called them (gasp) "muslims")

Europe, get ready for dhimmitude.

Plus, I almost get the impression that it's cool or fashionable in Europe to bash the US. You know you can do so and get away with it because our people aren't going to go riot and chop peoples' heads off, unlike the real threat I pointed out to you in my previous post.

Joe USA :

Iraq is certainly more dangerous, with leadership that openly speaks of another country's destruction (Israel). With all their oil, why would Iraq want nuclear tech for energy reasons? Surely it's for more treacherous things. And to those who think the US invasion of Iraq was wrong......... S. Hussein's Iraq indeed had WMDs!!! It wasn't a matter of bad intelligence communicated to Bush or Blair. The intelligence was accurate...WMD's were there and in fact are STILL there. Most were shipped to Syria in the weeks preceeding the US invasion. The remaining are buried in the desert. Invading Iraq and overthrowing the leadership was absolutely neccessary.

Ed :

To the Europeans whining about the US.....

We've bailed you out twice.

After seeing how you sit on the fence, playing both sides because your polices of are appeasement, my country will never (i hope not) bail you out again.

In the coming decades, bands of islamic immigrants that are unwilling to assimilate because they don't have to, thanks to the leftist, multi-culti quacks in your countries, will destroy your culture. Europe will be full of dhimmis. It's happening day by day, week by week, person by person.

And hopefully, the US will stand by and laugh at your sorry, self-loathing, cowardly continent as you end up being held captive under the islamic sword. Even more pathetic, you're allowing it to happen because you jump through hoops every time one of your future masters cries "racism!"

America is no threat to you. That's just stupid. Wake up and see the real threat, which isn't just Iran, but the ideology behind the madman in control. His system of beliefs reach far beyond the borders of his country, and Europeans are going to have a huge problem in the future. For god's sake, these nutjobs literally set France on fire....twice. Honor killings in Germany, rampant political correctness eating away at British culture, and riots, murders and death threats over cartoons.

Every time in the face of this real threat, you tuck tail, apologize, run, hide, whine, blame america, bla bla bla.

Get over your self-loathing multi-culti complex, or Europe is doomed. Go buy your korans right now.

Thinking the US is your enemy or as dangerous as nuts like Ahmadinejad is the perfect example of your cowardly appeasing. You people can't even be honest or courageous on an anomyous blog.

Pathetic.

allahu akbar.

dcnaf72 :

Neither. These two countries have more in common than are willing to admit. Both countries are headed by governments that are none to popular with the people. Both societies embrace western culture.

Even if Iran is meddling into the political/social affairs of Iraq who is the US to complain. We are guilty of the same thing except on a much larger scale.

The long list of governments we've over thrown and/or propped up. Turn about is fair play.

John Peddicord :

To Mr. Danley:

From your previous posts about "the Promised Land" I would guess that you are either a Christian Zionist or Jewish Zionist.

If Jewish I have a warning for you. I know why you support Bush uncritically and unconditionally. It is because Bush supports the radical Zionist regime in Israel, collectively known as "Likudniks", unconditionally and uncritically.

Bush's position does not stem from his faith, but from political expediency. His position garnered him the votes of many rich, liberal Democratic Jews in this country (same for Blair in Britain).

The majority of Jews do not support Bush because they don't believe his Middle East policy will promote the security of Israel. It should be obvious to everyone now that his policies are an existential threat to Israel. He has strengthend the hand of all of the "enemies" of Israel: Syria, Iran and Saudi Arabia, and alienated former "friends": Turkey, Jordan, Lebanon, and Egypt.

The Palestinian cause now has more supporters than ever, and Hezbollah is more powerful in Lebanon than ever before. As far as Israel's self-interest goes, the only positive outcome has been the destruction of Iraq as a powerful force in the region.

Christian Evangelicals in this country are just beginning to realize that Bush has deceived them.
Bizarrely, they have bought in to the idea that Bush was "protecting Israel" and fulfilling Christian prophecy. What are they going to do when they understand that their sons and daughters have given their lives for a lie?

You may not believe what I'm saying, but read my previous post about the US "talking" to Syria and Iran, and note the date and time. Also, in September 2002 I, and many others, predicted, correctly, the outcome in Iraq.

As for hysterical claims of anti-semitism: I do not blame all Jews for what has happened (although it is very easy to do so). Liberal Democrats have been "stabbed in the back" by radical Zionists like Joe Lieberman. Every single Jew in this country knows that liberal Democrats have always supported them and their cause, even before the Holocaust. But they should understand too that the support is not unconditional. As long as there are Jews like Levin and Feingold, there will be support amongst liberal Democrats. Absent that, I don't know.

John Peddicord :

To Digdeeper and others:

I never criticized anyones' spelling, and, yes, there is always someone smarter then oneself (except if you were Albert Einstein). Advanced study makes you humble. Spelling and vocabulary is no predictor of how intelligent a person is, but it is, most certainly, an indicator of how well read they are.

Clinton lied, no doubt about it. Unlike you, I am not going to deny the obvious. Ken Star's team spent $44 million to prove it. All they could come up with was a "white lie" about a sordid affair, unbecoming to the Office of the President of the United States. He didn't have to resign because he had the support of 70% of the American people at the time. Only a 30% minority now support Bush.

Besides, I didn't support everything Clinton did.

Yes, I have read hundreds of books, that's how I form my opinions. I have even read books by Sean Hannity, John O'Neil, Ann Coulter, et al and know that they are scam artists, and not even particularly good at it. But good enough.

Chris: A lot can happen in 21 months.

J :

I don't think Iran is a model for nations everywhere, but who decided that we are the model for nations everywhere? Oh, that's right. We did.

Kevin :

In 1979 - Iran invaded U.S. territory without warning and (in my opinion) without provocation - the Shah notwithstanding.
Under international law the U.S. was at war and an aggrieved party - the world opinion did not assist the U.S. - and the U.S. nobly and regretfully withheld its might in defending its internationally sanctioned rights.

Now Iran advocates and works toward the elimination and murder of a sovreign state - Israel - and the world looks away.

The fools who claim the U.S. is more dangerous than Iran are either lying advocates of murderous Islamism, fellow-travelers of Russia's desire to return to dictatorship and a reanimated (like Frankenstein) Soviet Union, or they simply react like lost sheep in bleating what they think will get them the most knowing nods of acknowledgement from the self-annointed intelligensia"

Screw the advocates of dictatorship - Freedom must win and it will.

All thinking people know the U.S. is a force for good.

Digdeeper :

It's interesting the way amviennava and John Peddicord like to correct others spelling,lack of word understanding etc.Just remember, there is always someone smarter than you and can take you down.However, the truly bright people do not need to put others down, just to object or disagree is sufficient.
You read books and other peoples words and commentaries and form your opinions to what suits your political "football team". I would have more respect for someones opinions if you heard the pros and cons for each side. Everything I hear or read anymore is one sided, in order to support your team I suppose.
Im not for or against our President. I do belive he has access to alot more information than any news media in order to form his opinions. I do not have personal information to disagree or worse yet, hate him.(not very christian like )
I support our troops and i believe the soldiers in Iraq are helping a nation to build a democracy and the ones who have died have done so for a noble cause.Many in this country take our freedoms for granite.If I were being slaughtered, gased and put in mass graves I would be praying for someone to come and save my people.Unfortunately,the media only talks about no WMD'S and no mention of the good that is being done. It takes time, the formation of our democracy took alot of time, and yes bloodshed.
I get angry when people say they support the troops but not the mission.They must thinks the soldiers are just puppets and too stupid to know what they are fighting for. I know personally that this does not show them support and they are aware of it.It angers them also. And yes, there are some military soldiers that the media seek our who will say they oppose the war, but this is not the majority.
And Mr Peddicord, I hope you were upset when President Clinton didnt resign. Talk about a liar!!! To his wife, family and the nation, not to mention humiliating his daughter in front of the whole world. (Hilary was use to it).

Chris :

John Peddicord:

"So is Bush a liar or simply incompetent? Either way he must go."

Is it me, or does 21 months seem like an eternity? I am counting the days to the next general election!

Dangerous U.S.? :

I can see that the U.S. is seen a threat to some people because we interfere in other countries, however if I had to choose who was potentially more dangerous I would choose Iran or Iraq. Maybe I am a naive brainwashed American..but it scares me to think of nuclear weapons in the hands of people whose countries have the potential to be taken over by fanatics. It is no secret that there are people in these countries who use whatever weapons available to terrorize and retaliate against innocent people to make a statement about thier political and religious beliefs.
I don't agree we should be in Iraq,never have.But that doesn't mean I think they are ready to have nuclear weapons.

Chris :

I think the most dangerous thing about my country is the hipocracy of it's leaders. Recent facts have come to light to give me this impression. In Lebanon today, the US government is indirectly supporting elements of Al Qaida in efforts to draw Hezbollah into open warfare. How could this be? Is this the same government who declared terrorism public enemy number one?

The other dangerous thing is that my government refuses to talk with anyone. I think it is time we sit down with Iran and Syria and work out the differences. It worked with the former public enemy number one, Libya, and it is working with North Korea. When has violence and aggression (ie. WAR) ever solved a dispute?

John Peddicord :

Mr. Danley:

I have read the "Daily Howler" you cited. It is pure sophistry. You probably don't even know what I'm talking about. So for sure, you wouldn't recognise sophistry when you saw it.

The citation rambles on about the exact nature, and who was present at "the meeting", but that's all entirely irrelevant.

Bush did indeed say that Saddam "SOUGHT" the yellow-cake rather than actually purchased it. So what? The claim that he "SOUGHT" yellow-cake was supported by evidence later proven to be a forgery (by the IAEA). Bush's claim was supported by forged documents, therefore it was UNSUBSTANTIATED.

Dan Rather resigned from CBS in an exactly similar situation.

So, why doesn't Bush do the right thing and resign? Bush should have known the claim was unsubstantiated because Wilson had informed the Administration of what he knew, and I'm sure the CIA had too.

So is Bush a liar or simply incompetent? Either way he must go.

By the way, the dictionary definition of liar includes those who repeat a lie inadvertently. A lie is a lie, regardless of whether the person who repeats it knows, or not.

If Bush simply repeated a lie, without knowing it, then he is not fit to lead this nation, or any nation for that matter.

As if that weren't ABUNDANTLY clear!

John Peddicord :

Mr. Danley: If you would read Wilson's book, rather than only right-wing polemicists, you would not be so deluded.

Here's what happened: Cheney learned that Saddam MIGHT have bought yellow-cake from Niger, so he requested the CIA to check into it. Plame learned of the request at a regular meeting, and suggested to her boss that her husband could help.
Wilson (a Republican at the time, decorated by Bush Senior for his handling of the situation regarding US citizens held in protective custody in Iraq in 1991) was indeed the perfect candidate for the job, because he had been Ambassador to neighboring Gabon (and Ambassador to Iraq too).
Wilson also had high level contacts in Niger and was familiar with the (tightly controlled) uranium mining industry there.

Wilson reported to the CIA that the then current US Ambassador to Niger (remember, every US Embassy has it's intelligence staff)discounted the story of Saddam's supposed purchase. So did the Niger authorities, and those in the uranium mining industry, and so did a high-ranking US General familiar with the situation in Niger.

Wilson never claimed that he "debunked" anything, he simply reported what he found.

However, he did get upset when Bush used the "yellow-cake" purchase claim in his SOTU address. WHEN HE KNEW THAT IT WAS UNSUBSTANTIATED.

Do you understand what UNSUBSTANTIATED means?

Further, do you understand what it means when a President of these United States of America makes UNSUBSTANTIATED claims to the nation, and the World?

AMviennaVA :

tommy t on February 28, 2007 11:56 PM:

"...it will be a decade after president bush leaves office before the world sees how great he is."

Perhaps by then you will have learned to spell, and your posts will not require as much interpretation.

tommy t :

the usa is the greatest country in the world. the world knows this and that is why there are so many jealous people in other countries. i wish countries like france would not be such cowards and step up to the plate and help out with the problems in the world. everybody loves to bash the great usa. I guess it comes down to the old lozers attitude. a loser thinks the way you go up the totum pole is to drag down whoever appears to be above you. the truth is the usa is doing all the hard work in the world and unfortunitely we have to pay for it wioth all this defence spending. countries like france sit back and pay for all the communist oh i mean socialist programs so there people can have 30 paid sick days a year. in my opinion they are just cowards and are afraid to stand up for what is right. good job president bush!!! unfortunately it will be a decade after president bush leaves office before the world sees how great he is.

Indeed! :

Now you're talking! Yankee go home, stay there, take care of your own business on your own soil. The universe will unfold as it should. It does not need your kind interventions.

USA teen :

Who is more dangerous? That's a stupid question. We are! It is not something to be proud of, but I'm an honest person. And the Good Ol' USofA isn't so good anymore. Lying, cheating, misuse of taxes, little to none morals or values, currupt government and powerful people who are are just as corrupt. The government is so focused on keeping themselves rich, that they don't realize or don't care what is right!

We keep on trying to play big brother to all the countries. But you know, we could use some big brother on our own soil. Stop trying to help other countries. If they are going to be overrun let them be overrun, it's the natural cycle of nations. If the people are going to die from bad conditions, let them die. We don't have to like it. But our own people have trouble affording health care and could use that education the other countries are being given. We ARE paying for it.

AND FOR GOODNESS SAKES DO SOMETHING ABOUT OUR LEGAL SYSTEM!

DIGDEEPER :

WHY SHOULD THE USA CARE IF PEOPLE ARE KILLED AND PUT IN MASS GRAVES UNDER EVIL DICTATORS, OR PEOPLE WHO DONT HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS AND FREEDOMS AS WE HAVE. WE SHOULD ONLY CARE ABOUT OURSELVES AND FORGET THE REST OF THE WORLD. THIS WAY EVERYONE WILL LOVE AND RESPECT US IF WE KEEP OUR NOSES OUT OF OTHER PEOPLES SUFFERING.
DONT YOU AGREE.

AMviennaVA :

James Danley: You are interested in polemics, and i am not. I have also seen bloggers like you before. Constant denial does not change facts. you might as well change to 'Dick Cheney' and declare that we are having great success and it's all the media's fault. (But forget about the NIE, etc.).

It is interesting watching your posts.

James Danley :

Who lied? Maybe you should check out "The Daily Howler" posting of July 20, 2004 ( http://www.dailyhowler.com/dh072004.shtml ) which exposes, in great detail, Joseph Wilson's inaccurate statements before the Senate Intelligence Committee; and also in the letter he wrote to the Committee. Where, incidentally, he actually states: "I never claimed to have 'debunked' the allegation that Iraq was seeking uranium from Africa."

Here are a couple of excerpts from their conclusion:

"Democrats should be quite upset with their blowhard hero, Joe Wilson. Those 'rebuttals' he’s been sending out are largely overblown, misleading junk, like so much of his past year’s work. Sorry, but Wilson’s wife did play some role in his selection for the trip (not that there’s anything wrong with it). And Wilson did keep saying that Cheney must have been briefed, a thundering judgment he now says was wrong. The Committee did judge that most analysts felt his report strengthened the case about Iraq’s pursuit of uranium."

"Simply put, Wilson never had any way of knowing whether Iraq sought uranium in Africa. (Don’t even ask about the Congo and Somalia.) And now, at last, after one solid year, he finally says what we said all along: He had no way to debunk this allegation."

AMviennaVA :

James Danley: A correction: Joe Wilson stated that because the office of the VP was concerned that Iraq had contacted Niger, he was sent to Niger to investigate. The claim that he stated or implied that the office of the VP sent him is a recent creation. Part of the campaign to discredit him without addressing the essence that the administration lied.

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicore

All the CIA spying occurred under Clinton which used the information to target him (regime change), but, regardless, Saddam did not cooperate from 1991-1996 which led to the CIA episode.

Hans Blix:

"...While Iraq claims, with little evidence, that it destroyed all biological weapons unilaterally in 1991, it is certain that UNSCOM destroyed large biological weapons production facilities in 1996..."

Saddam had only himself to blame. By the way, it was, clearly, another intelligence failure because he survived the bombing.

James Danley :

Joe Wilson vindicated? Joe Wilson implied that it was VP Cheney who sent him to Niger; and adamantly denied that his wife had anything to do with sending him to Niger. Of course we now know that it WAS his wife who recommended him for the mission. Joe Wilson claimed in his original column (and in subsequent interviews) that he debunked the notion that Saddam Hussein had attempted to purchase yellow-cake uranium from Niger. Yet, CIA intelligent analysts say that his verbal report actually bolstered the claim. And as for the actual leaking of his wife's name, nobody seems to care that before he wrote his column (which preceded Robert Novak's column), Joe Wilson's own biography in "Who's Who in America" stated, "...married the former Valerie Plame."

James Buchanan :

Who's more dangerous? Heh, from a European perspective, its less a matter of "is or is not" than "how much so?" Costa Rica is dangerous compared to Europe, and it doesn't field a military at all.

To the question at hand, the US, right now, is pretty nonlethal outside of Iraq. Its a nice theory that we could engage somewhere else, but the practical truth is, we're fighting a war on two fronts. Classical blunder, ultimately hamstringing. Iran isn't that dangerous, either. They won't even be that dangerous if they manage to get a nuclear weapon. Why? Hehe, because Israel is still there. Oh, they bungled a bit in their recent foray north, but y'all do realize that was a pulled punch, right? If Iran goes nuclear, and the US is in no position to grapple with Iran militarily, the Israelis can always go completely off the hook and deal with Iran on their own, along with any potentially hostile nation between the two. Middle eastern Arabs/Persians and other assorted Islamic types seem to have forgotten the outcome of the last SEVEN invasions of Israel. Yahweh's Kidz will hurt them in ways Dick Cheney can only daydream about.

John Peddicord :

To Tom Wonacott:

Don't forget that the Butler Report was succeeded by the ISG. Butler had an agenda. Read what Scott Ritter (UNSCOM) had to say on these issues.
As for "games" played by Saddam: the US infiltrated UNSCOM with CIA agents that scouted Iraq for targeting purposes and bugged every location they were given access to. You may be able then to understand why Saddam was not entirely cooperative.

Ritter was mercilessly attacked and marginalised by the US media to the point that the only way he could be heard in the US was to write for al-Jazeera! We now know that, like Ramsey Clark, he was telling the truth about Iraq.

As for the "yellow-cake from Niger" issue read former Ambassador to Iraq (and Gabon) Joe Wilson's book "The Politics of Truth".

Needless to say, Wilson too has been vindicated by events.

John Peddicord :

To JD70:

I appreciate your response. Your views are a carbon-copy of my own. As another blogger said the contentions over US vs Europe have become petty (it is all to easy to descend into pettiness, I am certainly not immune).

I love the South of France, and have considered moving there too, but overall the rural French are too conservative for my likeing, besides, just like the American south, It is way too hot in summer. To me, Global Warming has given southern England the best climate in the world.

I am not nearly as sanguine about the US economy as you, especially with respect to the housing market, which underpins consumer spending (which account for 66% of GDP). If the housing market in the US continues to slump (so far the local market here is robust), then the economy will too.

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicore

I looked at Murray Waas’s report on the Bush administration misrepresenting pre-war intelligence:

1. There is good evidence, from what I see, that the information establishing an Al Qaeda -Iraq connection was misrepresented, and is what I would classify as an extreme case of cherry picking the evidence (i.e., what I would consider a lie) since it was based on a covert intelligence unit established by Cheney which ignored obvious evidence put forth by the CIA.

2. On the question of establishing an Iraq-Niger connection, the Bush Administration cherry picked their source of information, but clearly did not lie about their conclusion. This is because the British still, to this day, believe that Iraq did try to buy “yellow cake” from Niger.

From Wikipedia on the Butler report:

"...The report indicated that there was enough intelligence to make a “well-founded” judgment that Saddam Hussein was seeking, perhaps as late as 2002, to obtain uranium illegally from Niger and the Democratic Republic of Congo (6.4 para. 499). In particular, referring to a 1999 visit of Iraqi officials to Niger, the report states (6.4 para. 503): “The British government had intelligence from several different sources indicating that this visit was for the purpose of acquiring uranium. Since uranium constitutes almost three-quarters of Niger's exports, the intelligence was credible.”..."

Their evidence, according to the British Intelligence agency, was not based on the forged documents that indicated Iraq had attempted to buy yellow cake uranium ore. The Financial Times reported this in 2004 which was left out (conveniently) by Mr. Waas in his story. Bush, however, cherry picked the intelligence since the CIA thought the British intelligence was dubious.

3. As I stated before, pre-war intelligence was wrong concerning chemical and biological weapons (which Tenet admitted in 2004), and correct concerning Iraqi development of missile systems in violation of UN resolution 687.

An interesting report.

Sanjeev Singal :

“Americans have known wars -- but for the past 136 years, they have been wars on foreign soil, except for one Sunday ... “

This is not Vladimir Putin cautioning rest of the world that America is very dangerous. This is George W. Bush reminding Americans on September 20, 2001, what they have been doing since last one and half centuries.

America has fought its wars half way away across the world.

James Danley :

Sunny:

1. As I posted previously, the land that is now the country of Israel, is the Promised Land that God gave to the Israelites. The Jews have continuously lived on that land since the conquest by Joshua more than 3,200 years ago, even though they have not always been in control or even in the majority.

2. The threat is not just al Qaeda (which is known to have cells in over 60 countries; and supporters in nearly every country)! Also in the Middle East are Hamas, Hezbollah, Palestine Islamic Jihad, Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade and Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), to name a few. But there are other Islamic extremist groups and supporters throughout the world. And yes even here in the United States. The Washington Times reported back in 2005: "Hezbollah is believed to have cells in at least 10 U.S. cities. Although the organization has yet to launch an attack on U.S. soil, its U.S. activities are far from benign. Its work in this country has two major purposes: One is to raise money and smuggle arms to Hezbollah fighters, often by criminal activities ranging from credit-card fraud to cigarette smuggling; and the other is to conduct surveillance behind enemy lines, with a possible eye toward launching attacks on U.S. targets in the event of an armed conflict between the United States and Tehran." And there are many supporters of some of these groups within the United States.

The terrorists don't have to attack the United States with missles or even continue using planes as missles. The more likely scenarios are IEDs, car bombings, suicide bombings and possibly firing hand-held rocket launchers at commerical airlines. What you currently see in Iraq (including the combined Chlorine & explosives attacks), will likely occur some day, not only in the United States, but throughout the world. And if the terrorists ever get their hands on chemical, biological or nuclear weapons, instead of dozens to hundreds dead the death toll will be in the thousands to hundreds of thousands per attack.

3. What happens after President Bush leaves office depends on the decisions and actions of the new president as well as Congress. If the new president and Congress revert back to a pre-9/11 mindset, the United States will be doomed. But EVEN IF the new president continues the current course of action, that doesn't guarantee that we won't see the attacks (referred to above) here in the United States. So it is far better to fight the Islamic extremist overseas NOW, then here at home later (and probably not that far in the future).

sunny :

dear james danley,
my questions to u are was it isreal first to establish itself as nation in Arab or not.
the second question is that is alqeada realy capable of hitting U.S or it just use as a tool to interfere in national affairs of other countries,to lauch a war with countries like aghanistan and to bomb somalia.Smart people understand that wats alqaeda all about.A group of few extremists,having no modern capabalities to lauch an attack,having no grand image among most of the muslims so that they can bring them under the palatform of caliphate.The third question is as u have praised bush that what if when bush will go.......at the end who will suffer more americans,alqaeda or bush&co.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

John Peddicord,

Thanks for your response; you asked about my beliefs, I am a classical liberal, I believe in freedom from oppression, from communism, fascism, socialism, corporatism and organized religion. Like Winston Churchill I don't particularily like democracy but believe the alternatives to be much, much worse. I believe abortion should be legal and recreational drugs should not be illegal; why I had good parents and don't need the state to tell me what and what not to do. I want a state (any state) to maintain the rule of law and stay out of areas where its presence can only be patronizing. Repressive societies breed discontent and rebellion. When I was young I was a marxist; to share and maintain equality freely seems so simple when you're young. Considering your background you probably read a bit of Orwell; some are more equal than others. I believe that democracy and capitalism are the only viable ways to maintain freedom and that without freedom equality is impossible.

I lived in Arkansas for a short while, but I didn't live in the poor areas. I lived in upstate NY in a poor area near Ithaca and I also lived in Scottsdale AZ in a gated community, so I am aware of the social contrasts in the US. I wasn't trying to make the US sound better than Europe, I was trying to establish that both have their advantages and disadvanates. In many ways the US and Europe are a cultural and political unity; we share the belief that freedom, equality in law and democracy are good for everyone, indeed the alternatives seem much, much worse.

About moving back to the old world; perhaps you should, Cornwall is lovely. A friend of mine from the Thames valley is moving to southern France though and that perhaps also is something to consider; even though the protectionism and unilateralism of its politicians doesn't appeal to me the French by and large are a nice people and the outdoorsy lifestyle in the south is very, very appealing. Nice hiking to be had there too! I don't think economics should be your reason to move; there is much to be said for both Europe and the US and in terms of economic viability still I think the US is stronger (birthrate, population density, integration of minorities, self sufficiency of its people). Still if you have a choice where to live then go live where your heart tells you to.

What the post needs is a more informal chat area!

James Danley :

"As a powerfull state U.S can change the present warlike environment and give the rights to other countries to exercise their will. Then their is no harm to U.S and its citizens."

Sorry, Sunny, but that is a very naive statement. First of all al Qaeda -- specifically Usama bin Laden -- declared war against the United States in August 1996. The ultimate goal of al Qaeda, and other Islamic extremist groups, HAS ALWAYS BEEN to drive out Americans and eradicate western influences from the Middle East; elminate Israel; and uniting all Muslims, throughout the world, to form a worldwide Caliphate -- one world under Allah -- by force if necessary. So short of defeating the Islamic extremists on the battlefield and eliminating the continued teaching of hatred against all things non-Muslim in Muslim schools, the warlike environment will never go away. And finally, what if the will of a country is the destruction of its neighbors? Do we give them the right to destroy their neighbors? Of couse not! That is precisely what is going on now! Israel's neighbors want to destroy Israel.

President Bush's overall plan is really quite simple (implementing it, on the other hand, will be very difficult and require much sacrifice and take possibly decades): Spread freedom and democracy throughout the Middle East. When the people of the Middle East see, hear, smell, taste AND feel freedom, they will not want to go back to the old ways!

Tom Wonacott :

AM

"...We even supported him AFTER the 1991 war: we sat on the sidelines while he decimated first the Shia uprising in the south and then the Kurd uprising in the north. It would be honest of ourselves to admit that we are not that much more moral than all the others..."

We didn't really support Saddam after the Kuwait invasion, however, we encouraged a Shia and Kurd uprising to overthrow Saddam which led to the killing of thousands (hundreds of thousands?) of Shia and Kurds. Bush senior stuck to the UN mandate which was to remove Saddam from Kuwait(only).

Bush senior would have taken huge criticism to help remove Saddam from power even to prevent the slaughter of so many people (as with Bush Jr.).

Tom Wonacott :

"...Do YOU acknowledge that the vast proportion of civilian deaths in Iraq were intentional?...

For certain, all sectarian violence is intentional and willful killing of innocent civilians to intimidate the population. This is the hallmark of modern day terrorism. I don't know the percentage of civilian deaths attributed to sectarian violence.

Civilians that were killed by the US either during the invasion or occupation were not targeted by the US (in most cases) and therefore are NOT intentional.

However, each action by terrorist (insurgents) and the US needs to be evaluated separately to determine the circumstances of civilian deaths.

"...Because he was conveniently muzzled before he could enlighten us..."

As in the case of Bin Laden (which you have alluded to in a previous post) , if he is alive there must be a conspiracy, yet if we kill him, it was to muzzle him, and there must be a conspiracy...I, for one, am happy to see Saddam die, so, yes, I am ethically and morally challenged.

"...Many percieve Bush as doing the right thing. I'm telling you he is operating within the wrong paradigm. His paradigm is obvious to any right minded person: "GREED AND POWER"..."

I'm not quite sure what you mean by paradigm, but I believe that George Bush is basically a good person, and attacked Iraq primarily as a response (not excuse) to 911. I don't believe he did it for "daddy", or for Halliburton, or for Exxon. In my estimation, he wanted to send a strong message to terrorist harboring Middle Eastern regimes.

Although I've read your (Bush lied...) post with interest, and am still evaluating it, Bush evaluated Iraq's refusal to cooperate with the UN inspectors, the UN's oil for food scandal which, effectively, negated the sanctions, realized that Saddam would build up his WMD stockpile to pre-Kuwait levels (or more) given the opportunity (and use them again), and put together the best information to invade. Saddam gave Bush the opportunity by his actions.

Questions for you:

War in Afghanistan justified?

Who are the terrorist in Afghanistan?

War in Kuwait justified?

War in Bosnia justified?

Do you believe in the death penalty?

Michael in the USA :

You want a simplistic argument, I have one.

Imagine one day you are watching the news in whatever country you live in. Let's pretend you are Iranian.

So, myself, the radical US terrorist decide I am going to go into town and find an Iranian journalist. I have decided that I hate Iranians much as a lot of these Arabic nations have decided they hate us. I go, kidnap him, make movies having him on his knees making concepts that are breaking down his simplest levels of dignity. Then after I make him do this on film, I blow his freaking head right off. Then e-mail it to your media outlets.

You will all call me a barbarian. How could the US allow this to happen. Outrage for my capture and probable subsequent death.

Here is the good news, I still get arrested for this in the US. I get convicted and sentenced and held accountable for my blind racial hatred.

But in these backwards Arabic nations in the Middle East, this happens all the time. It isn't hypothetical. Most of these people get away with it and only the US is outraged it seems. And we are the bigger threat?

Alright whatever, if I had my way, we would be allowed to create extremist groups of our own. Let you handle your own problems over there. However, let it be known, if terrorism gets too out of hand, I have no problem grabbing the shotgun and blowing you clean off my front porch in defense. We can sort out the details after that.

Be outraged at that.

sunny :

well,the topic is who is more dangerous Iran or U.S.i think this topic is totally contraversial in nature and has no truth at all in it self.However if we look back history tells me and all of you that who actually is dangerous.The hiroshima and nagasaki bombings,guatonamo bay,aghan and iraq invasion.And now making the world more deadly by creating ground to invade iran.wat next..........?where we have to stop and live in peace and secutity in our world.why dont we understand world is not going to be a better place if we continously live in war and terror like conditions.if today america attacks iran wat about its post war effect and will china and russai remain silent,no they will strengthen and their aim will be only the destruction.As a powerfull state U.S can change the present warlike environment and give the rights to other countries to exercise their will.Then their is no harm to U.S and its citizens.

George Stewart :

Greetings.

I tend to see that people look at things in binary solution sets (or black & white) a lot more than they think they do. (IE Bush is evil, Iran has ambitions of empire, etc.) Also, that the dominant mode of thinking for most people is irrational thinking. Even people who are supposedly educated tend to read and believe sources that support their bias.

Moral and ethical choices are all too often dilemmas. The reason why people use Hitler as an analogy re Saddam and the favorite 'dictator-threatening-the world' of the moment is simply that Hitler could have been stopped by England or France legally in the early 30's by use of force before he became strong enough to cause all the damage of World War 2. Nobody had the will to stand up to him until it was too late... but how can you be sure of who will become a threat on the scale of a Hitler?

People can argue about the legitimacy of the second US invasion of Iraq all they want... the fact is that it happened and the situation in the world is now worse, not better. The Bush team failed to plan or think about what would happen after the conventional war was over, and there has been a massive price to pay, which will probably get worse.

In order to prevent terrorist attacks the US needs the help and cooperation of other countries with intelligence gathering and sharing... help that will be much harder to get now.

I do not believe that a total withdrawal of the Western powers from the Middle East will end the terrorist attacks... too much of this is a culture clash between fundamentalist Islam and the visible parts of the culture of the West. Real peace will not be possible until that clash is resolved. I just wish we knew how to do that.

As far as Iran goes... if I were in the Iranian Government's shoes I know I would be seeking nuclear weapons for deterrent as well. The problem is, the world needs a way to provide nations with security against rapacious neighbors w/o relying on the USA to provide the muscle. The current situation clearly does not work.

AMviennaVA :

James Danley: I, for one, recognize and accept that countries will cooperate with unsavory countries and characters. However there are those who love to moralize (sadly the US & the UK excel at it) and ignore that we, also do that. So, since we NOW consider Hussein despicable, we are upset that anyone remembers that we supported him. We even supported him AFTER the 1991 war: we sat on the sidelines while he decimated first the Shia uprising in the south and then the Kurd uprising in the north. It would be honest of ourselves to admit that we are not that much more moral than all the others.

As for Carter, he did do the right thing, even though it was also the difficult thing to do. Any criticism must take into account that all the hostages returned alive. As for our military, at least at that time, it was NOT in a position to take action. I still remember the helicopters in the desert. The military was geared to fight against huge Soviet armored columns in Western Europe, not engage in the heat and sand of the desert. So much through it may insult some people's sense of manhood, he did both the correct and necessary thing.

James Danley :

"President Carter was not a knee-jerk war monger. No indeed, he was a well-informed, intelligent, GENUINE Christian. So he evaluated the situation within that paradigm, and despite the obviuos political cost to him (do you think he didn't KNOW that?), he DID THE RIGHT THING."

Going back to my "20-20 hindsight" examination, it is quite possible that had President Carter invaded Iran back in 1979, that the Lebanon attacks in 1983 would never have occurred. And possibly Usama bin Laden may not have begun his war against the United States. (NOTE: Usama bin Laden declared that it was President Reagan's lack of response and his subsequent pulling the Marines out of Lebanon that encouraged him.) BUT having said that, it is just as possible that the USSR might have relaliated against us and the cold war might have instantly turned hot. We will never know.

As for my cherry-picking, I only wanted to point out that the Duelfer Report wasn't as "settled" and "end of story" as you claimed. It IS possible that Saddam Hussein did destroy all of his WMDs, but he didn't want to acknowledge it because he wanted to keep his neighbors thinking that he had the WMDs. Furthermore, France and Germany had him convinced that the UN would never follow through on its threats. So why not keep his neighbors fearing him?

France and Germany made their decisions. Saddam Hussein made his decision. And President Bush made his decision. If France and Germany had convinced Saddam Hussein that the UN would authorize military action, maybe Saddam Hussein would have come clean and verified the destruction of his WMDs. And then President Bush probably wouldn't have invaded. And that makes my point! There are consequences for every decision.

James Danley :

The adage, "The enemy of my enemy is my friend," has been practiced since the beginning of time. It is extremely problematic when countries -- of which most have from their inception -- incorporate this in their foreign policy. Often the "friend" is also an enemy (or later becomes one). Throughout American history, the "friend" has frequently bitten us on the behind, later, down the road. American backing helped Fidel Castro overthrow Fulgencio Batist's government in Cuba back in 1959. And yes, we did assist Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran War. Likewise, the United States had a hand in elevating Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (the Shaw of Iran) into power. And even, later, underminded him which culminated in the Iranian Revolution.

Every decision and action that countries (and even individuals) make and take affects the future. Frequently situations arise where doing nothing IS NOT an option, but the alternatives also have serious pitfalls. So we just have to deal with the results of the decisions and actions. The history books are filled with "20-20 hindsight" examinations.

John Peddicord :

Tom:

You are right, it was someone else to whom I was responding re "intentional civilian deaths". Do YOU acknowledge that the vast proportion of civilian deaths in Iraq were intentional?

Q1: The taking of the US Embassy in Tehran was indeed an Act of War, fortunately for the Iranians, and us, President Carter was not a knee-jerk war monger. No indeed, he was a well-informed, intelligent, GENUINE Christian. So he evaluated the situation within that paradigm, and despite the obviuos political cost to him (do you think he didn't KNOW that?), he DID THE RIGHT THING. Killing the hostages would have been stupid, man, why do you even feel you have to SAY that?

Q2: PULEEEESE! I am not supporting SADDAM. I am saying again and again, he should have been tried in an International Court. Moot point now. Do you not understand the basic principle of LAW: INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. My God, are you ethically and morally challenged or do you deny basic civilized principles. The worst aspect of Saddam's treatement is that we will have difficulty recognising it when the next one like him appears on the international stage. Because he was conveniently muzzled before he could enlighten us.

When you DO THE RIGHT THING and you operate within THE RIGHT PARADIGM the outcome will be RIGHT. If I didn't believe this I don't think I could live with myself. How about you?

Many percieve Bush as doing the right thing. I'm telling you he is operating within the wrong paradigm. His paradigm is obvious to any right minded person: "GREED AND POWER".

Do you believe Bush operates within a Christian (humble, compassionate, forgiving) paradigm? Compassionate Conservative? What does that mean? It is simply a cover to attract aging liberals and socialists to the fold. I'm talking about neo-liberals, ones like Paul Wolfowitz.

What is neo-liberalism? Greed without conscience.

AMVIENNAVA: Right on!

Danley: Of course I know taht Davd Kay headed the ISG, and left in disgust. That's why Duelfler presented the Final report. So you went to Wikipedia to find out about the Duelfler Report. Why not the ACTUAL REPORT, don't you have it? Worse, you then carefully "cherry-picked" (you know like Bush/Cheney on pre-war intelligence) from Wikipedia those passages that SEEMED to support your prejudice. This is not objectivity. I don't know why I bother but, here goes: The "WMD progam" elements referred to throughout the document, some of which still exist and others of which are now in Syria, are PEOPLE. Iraqi WMD scientists that are still alive. Should SADDAM have killed every scientist that wotked on the program to satisfy UN Resolutions. I don't think so.

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicore

As for your post that ask questions, I was writing a post at the time so I didn't have time to answer you.


"...Did you ever read anything about the 1979 hostage taking? Every one of our people were returned unharmed, some with a greater respect and understanding of the Iranian people.

Didn't you know that Saddam held over one thousand US citizens in protective custody after his invasion of Kuwait? Every one returned unharmed.

Bushies demonisation of Iraqis and Iranians is perverse and stems either from ignorance or dishonesty. Which is it Tom?

As I said before our fate is in their hands, that's the unavoidable truth. We could have been in an entirely different place now if it hadn't been for Bush's megalomania. But this is reality. How much longer are you going to deny it?..."

Question number one: The taking of the American embassy was an act of War. To kill the hostages could have been a quick end to the Iranian revolution.

Question number two. So what? Are you arguing that Saddam was a great guy? What about the 3,000,000(+) deaths he is responsible for?

The problem with Iran stems from their nuclear weapons program and, from the news reports, they are in violation once again. They are also responsible for their proxys Hezbollah and Hamas who started the war in Lebanon recently.

Question number four: This is a much more difficult question to answer. That we disposed of a ruthless dictator was the right course of action, in my opinion. Had he cooperated with the inspectors, he could be merrily killing Iraqi Shia and Kurds even as we discuss world issues on the WP Forum.

My problem with the invasion is strategically it has upset the regional balance (empowering Iran, ironically), and could lead to a regional war pitting Sunni against Shia (Saudis against Iranians), especially if we pull out early.


That is a quick answer to your questions. Got to go (work you know).

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicore

"...Notice I said "IF". No one will ever know for certain now because he was tried by a kangaroo court of his sworn enemies, and summarily executed. Not in an International Court because he would have testified to US complicity. Tom, do you think it mere coincidence that Bush withdrew America from the ICC during his first six months? Come on. Your not being honest.

As for the US not causing intentional deaths: When you carpet bomb a civilian population you KNOW there will be deaths. And what about the "Highway of Death" (Kuwait City to Basra). Are you ignorant of that too?

More US bombs were dropped on N. Vietnam than in all of WWII. Were those not intentional deaths?..."

You might be confusing me with someone else. I do not recall mentioning anything about civilian deaths, but the mind does seem to go south as I age. Maybe you can quote me.

AMviennaVA :

Peddicord: It is true that by 2003 Iraq did not have the famous WMD. But Saddam Hussein WAS guilty. Fortunately for the US, he was not tried for the crimes when we were supplying him.

As an aside: One of Iran's legitimate complaints with the US is that when Iraq was using, extensively I might add, chemical weapons against them, we not only kept silent, but supplied Iraq with the materiel needed.

It is also rather stupid to argue that the country that engages in carpet bombing is not targeting civilians. Where do you think the term 'collateral damage' came from? If you don't want to target civilians, send in single executioners. If you bomb, however careful you may be, you target everyone who happens to be around at the time.

laura, michigan :

John, It amazes me that with such intellectual potential in Europe, everybody should be using the crude computer programs created by Gates. I can't comment on programs for I know nothing about them and I limit myself to make a point about what I do know, but my reaction is: Are these Europenas fools or lazy? I just gave an example of a recent experience, I could go on, but then you would color it petty.

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord, regarding the Duelfer Report, are you aware of the following?

Source: Wikipedia (Emphasis is mine.)

1. David Kay was the head of the Iraq Survey Group. Following his resignation on Jan 23, 2004, he told the SASC the following: "'Based on the intelligence that existed, I think IT WAS REASONABLE TO REACH THE CONCLUSION THAT IRAQ POSED AN IMMINENT THREAT. Now that you know reality on the ground as opposed to what you estimated before, you may reach a different conclusion-—although I must say I actually think what we learned during the inspection MADE IRAQ A MORE DANGEROUS PLACE, POTENTIALLY, THAN IN FACT, WE THOUGHT IT WAS EVEN BEFORE THE WAR.'"

2. "Kay also BELIEVED some components of the former Iraqi regime's WMD program HAD BEEN MOVED TO SYRIA shortly before the 2003 invasion, though the Duelfer Report Addenda (see below) later reported there was no evidence of this."

3. In March 2005, an addenda was added to the original Duelfer Report. One of the topics is: Prewar Movement of WMD Material Out of Iraq. It states: "'ISG judged that it was unlikely that an official transfer of WMD material from Iraq to Syria took place' but also acknowledging that 'ISG was unable to complete its investigation and is UNABLE TO RULE OUT THE POSSIBILITY that WMD was evacuated to Syria before the war.'"

So much for the issue of WMDs being "SETTLED." And so much for the "end of story."

Johm Peddicord :

The issue of Iraq WMD existence is SETTLED, there is no dispute. Only by those who deny reality. The US appointed ISG consisted of over 1000 inspectors and cost the US one billion dollars. Read the Duelfler Report it's all right there. How can it be denied again and again? And they did not go to Syria! The report says that too. End of story.

As for Halabjah. Don'r forget the US supported Saddam at the time, so IF Saddam is guilty then Reagan suffers guilt by association.

Notice I said "IF". No one will ever know for certain now because he was tried by a kangaroo court of his sworn enemies, and summarily executed. Not in an International Court because he would have testified to US complicity. Tom, do you think it mere coincidence that Bush withdrew America from the ICC during his first six months? Come on. Your not being honest.

As for the US not causing intentional deaths: When you carpet bomb a civilian population you KNOW there will be deaths. And what about the "Highway of Death" (Kuwait City to Basra). Are you ignorant of that too?

More US bombs were dropped on N. Vietnam than in all of WWII. Were those not intentional deaths?

JD70: Wouldn't you best describe yourself as a neo-liberal? I know where you are coming from, neo-liberalism was born in America.
I bet you read The Economist, as do many of my English friends. Last fall, October I think, The Economist had to make a public apology to its readers for erroneously supporting the war in Iraq. A mea culpa much like the New York Times and The Washington Post. But in the same issue they told us how we should be prepared to take military acion against Iran! They should stick to what they know best, economics, NOT politics.

Neo-liberalism is OUT when reality sets IN.

European squalor, couldn't agree more. You never said whether you had seen the US south brand of squalor first-hand. Until you do, you do not know what squalor can be. Here, it is MOSTLY black squalor. Did you know that the average black household in this country has ZERO asset value? In the South, despite MANY wealthy black families, I suspect the average is negative. My attribution is the 2000 US Census (which I worked on), at the next Census in 2010 I'm sure the number will be worse.

Of course Bush could be doing for neo-liberalism what Stalin did for Communism. Discrediting it by his incompetence, or paranoia in Uncle Joe's case.

Remember the "Roaring Twenties" and the robber barons. They nearly destroyed capitalism in this country. The CPUSA and SWP were at their strongest after the Great Depression. By the way, I never said that those parties were banned, I said they were "not allowed". Surely you understand.

JD70: you are safely ensconced in one of my favorite cities in the World. It seems you have some interest in economic issues. My wife and I are seriously considerig moving to the UK (Cornwall actually, my favorite seaside and country environment - we are long-distance walkers)and shifting our dollar assets to sterling. I am afraid of an economic meltdown here following the political denoument. What do you think?



jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

Zoltan I'm not a neocon I am a European liberal, in the US I would be a libertarian. I believe in freedom, especially freedom from ideologies such as fascism, communism and socialism that seek a strong state to give everyone an 'equal opportunity', with some being more equal than others.

I believe that private initiative is the fundamental engine behind our evolution and progress as a species because people emulate the behaviour of the successful. In terms of economy the successful are the ones that have profitable ideas and manage to convince others (employ) to help with the idea.

Every time an ideology or movement sought to replace the initiateve of the individual with the dogma of the group things have gone sour.

What do you believe? If you do not like capitalism then how do you think you can motivate people to do things?

Dave! :

John Peddicord,
"America, so "proud" of it's "free speech" doesn't even allow the Communist Party or the Socialist Worker's Party to exist. Both parties existed prior to the Macarthy purges of the fifties, now they don't, why not? What are Americans afraid of? That someone might destroy them with an idea?"
There is a Communist Party of the United States of America (CPUSA). They last ran for President in 1984 - (due to the great expense of running, the difficulty in meeting the strenuous and different election-law provisions in each state, and the difficulty in getting media coverage, it was decided that the CPUSA would suspend running national campaigns, while continuing to run candidates at the local level).

"I don't think I need to say more. By the way it's most likely that the OS on the computer was programmed by Microsoft. You know, the American marketing genius Bill Gates? I am a Computer Scientist with a post grad degree from London U. and I could have programmed a better OS than DOS with my eyes closed!" Wellllll, why didn't you? Or is it that you just don't have the marketing expertise?

"If America is so great how come there is so much CRIME? Is it natural bloodlust? Defective genes, Guns, prisons, bad law enforement?" I have lived in the US for 42 years and never been robbed. I have visited Europe a couple times - been robbed! Go figure.

Anonymous :

Doesn't anybody read Vonnegut anymore? In mother night he said:

"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith. I consider the capacity for it terrifying and vile!"

The threat is not the US and not Iran. I don't believe either civilian population wants a war with the other. The threat is the hard nosed, faith based extremists in both countries. Unfortunately Iran elected one of these as president. He is ransacking all opposition in universities and in the public arena.

The US has one, and he has done a lot of damage to so many things. But due to our freedom he cannot quiet the voices of dissent. The fact that he was re-elected goes to show how naive the American public is. But what do you expect from a people where more of the population votes for american idol than the presidential election? They obviously realized their mistake, which is evident from the democratic backlash in the last elections. The USA is the classic example of the saying 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. The politicians with hidden agendas sugarcoat humanitarian and other reasons for going to war and feed it to a naive but sympathetic, not to mention paranoid, public. The result is before us.

But however naive, they will not stand the use of nuclear weapons. No US leader would dare unless attacked in kind first. The US is a military threat when under certain command, but not a nuclear one.

Would Iran use nuclear weapons? Its a question, but the fact that it is a question is too scary to comprehend. So, should they have them? NO! They are not a threat yet, and it should be kept that way. The true threat on both sides is again, extremists.

AMviennaVA :

JVD70: My fault is that I must not have made it very clear that I consider Bush and his administration to be the major threat.

To many of the other posters, do we need to engage in this discussion of who is better, EU or US? They both have points for and against them, and are natural friends and allies. We have disagreements, but they are more family squabbles. Those tend to become rather petty.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

AmviennaVA; I'm not uncritical of the Bush administration; in not ratifying the Kyoto accords the Bush administration has failed everyone.
Then, by unilaterally invading Iraq the Bush admininstration seriously undercut the traditional role of the US as world diplomat. But the US is behind the foundation of the league of nations, of the UN, of the world bank, the G8, NATO, GATT and other organisations that are critical to peace and prosperity the world over. So when you write "That is why until we learn to TALK, we will be very dangerous." I have to reply that the US is the nation that taught the world how to talk, how to let talk prevail over conflict. I do and did consider the unilateralism apparent in the Iraqi invasion to be dangerous but I don't see it as a great danger because I believe it to be strongly ethically tempered. I do not see any such ethical restraint coming out of Teheran.

Fundamentally, oil is what pumps water to my tap and is what powers the trucks that brings food to where I buy my groceries. What will maintain pressure on my water mains and what will deliver food to my grocer if the flow of oil is disrupted? In a country the size of MD 16m people can't survive without fuel from oil. Oil is the foundation of the economy that keeps me alive and well. Iran has threatened that when they threaten their 'global arrogances'; they seek a "world without the United States" and they have said so repeatedly. Their ambition is a threat to my life. That is my perspective and from that perspective the US is an ally who understands my security needs, the US is a friend who also respects and helps to uphold my freedoms. The US is not a threat.

Zoltan :

jvd70, you seem to be a European neo-con. We have them too.

"Social welfare programs are according to many economists a decisive factor in what keeps the inequality in Europe alive.": You wouldn't expect anything else from economists.

According to many "leftists" inequality between people in europe is rising, and is more due to outsourcing of jobs, financial speculation, destroying of borders, competition among countries. Even nice accomplishments like Airbus are being brought down since the EADS monster has been created.

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord, you wrote: "HE DID DESTROY ALL OF HIS WMD."

Actually Saddam Hussein never verified the destruction of his WMDs, which was required by UN Resolution 1441:
From Wikipedia:
Resolution 1441 specifically stated:

1) That Iraq was in material breach of the ceasefire terms presented under the terms of Resolution 687. Iraq's breaches related not only to Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs), but also the known construction of prohibited types of missiles, the purchase and import of prohibited armaments, and the continuing refusal of Iraq to compensate Kuwait for the widespread looting conducted by its troops in 1991.

2) That 1441, and its deadline, represented Iraq's final opportunity to comply with disarmament requirements. In accordance with the previous Resolutions, this meant Iraq not only had to verify the existence or destruction of its remaining unaccounted-for WMD stockpiles, but also had to ensure that all equipment, plans, and materials useful for the resumption of WMD programs was likewise turned over or verified as destroyed.

3) That "...false statements or omissions in the declarations submitted by Iraq pursuant to this resolution and failure by Iraq at any time to comply with, and cooperate fully in the implementation of, this resolution shall constitute a further material breach of Iraq’s obligations".

The following is an excerpt from President Bush's speech at the signing ceremony of Public Law 107-243 -- The Joint Resolution to authorize the use of United States Armed Forces against Iraq (Oct. 16, 2002):

"With this resolution, Congress has now authorized the use of force. I have not ordered the use of force. I hope the use of force will not become necessary. Yet, confronting the threat posed by Iraq is necessary, by whatever means that requires. Either the Iraqi regime will give up its weapons of mass destruction, or, for the sake of peace, the United States will lead a global coalition to disarm that regime. If any doubt our nation's resolve, our determination, they would be unwise to test it."

Now to emphasize, UN Resolution 1441 stated this was "Iraq's FINAL opportunity to comply." When it appeared that the UN's 12 years of unwillingness to punish Saddam Hussein would continue, President Bush, Prime Minister Tony Blair and a number of other courageous leaders took it upon themselves to act.

It is a fact that no WMDs have been found in Iraq. But there is NO PROOF that they were destroyed. There is evidence of numerous large shipments from Iraq to Syria just prior to the invasion. No one has determined what these were. While some believe them to be the missing WMDs, there is no proof that is the case. But the bottom line is, had Saddam Hussein verified the destruction of his WMDs, and complied with the remaining portions of UN Resolution 1441, war could have been averted.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

John Peddicord,

You believe Europe is superior ("European Dream" vs "American Nightmare") to the US and you believe the US intentionally kills people in Iraq. Without evidence neither is a rational position to hold. Mr. Ramsey Clark uses phraseology such as "U.S. domination and exploitation under its New World Order"; you wouldn't write like that if you were trying to write a neutral article. You quote his writing because you believe as he does, not because he is an independent source of information. It doesn't compel me at all. Independent sources of information such as Amnesty International do not support your beliefs. As a computer programmer and statistician perhaps you owe it to yourself to reexamine your beliefs and discard that for which you have no rational foundation. If at this point you feel challenged perhaps I have touched upon something.

you wrote:

"And you can only mention Poland!"; "I have never been to Poland. Remember I was talking about the EU."

Poland is in the EU. Poland is not the only poor EU member country I can mention; Portugal is another. Rich EU countries have squalor, crime and poverty in cities like Rotterdam, Antwerp, Manchester and Paris. The US and Europe are alike there; there is no "European Dream" vs "American Nightmare".

Social welfare programs are according to many economists a decisive factor in what keeps the inequality in Europe alive. Generous social welfare keeps people from taking initiative, restrictive job market policies are preventing companies from hiring and firing seemingly unqualified people. Thus we're created an underclass of millions of unemployable people in Europe; a less generous welfare system and a more open jobmarket would compel people to take initiative. Meanwhile unemployment in the US continues to be low and anyone can much more easily pack their things and move to a state with better job prospects and much more effectively escape poverty; hence the job market is more competitive and unemployment is lower. Social welfare really isn't all that beneficial.

Barack Obama's candidacy and popularity would be a qualitative measure of both racial and social justice in Europe where de facto racist discrimination is a reality; Americans can be proud of their accomplishments since Dr. King called for things to change. You won't find that kind of opportunity for minorities in Europe. It cannot be quantified but it is evident in comparison all the same. And yes it isn't social justice in the US but it would be in Europe where race and social mobility are more strongly linked.

Your rosy view of Europe is rosy only because you elect to see it from the bright side only. If you do that how can your view of the US be any less biased?

John Peddicord :

Oh, I almost forgot.

In our brief discussion on the relative merits of US and European society I forgot the Europeans trump card: CRIME.

If America is so great how come there is so much CRIME? Is it natural bloodlust? Defective genes, Guns, prisons, bad law enforement?

Please explain.

John Peddicord :

Laura:

I am sitting here biting my tongue, God it hurts!
OK, let me get this straight: you trash a whole continent because you have difficulty accessing a homeowners computer records?

I don't think I need to say more. By the way it's most likely that the OS on the computer was programmed by Microsoft. You know, the American marketing genius Bill Gates? I am a Computer Scientist with a post grad degree from London U. and I could have programmed a better OS than DOS with my eyes closed!

But because Americans are so technologically deficient they bought Gates' POS by the millions because most couldn't tell a good OS, like MAC, from a POS.

In America marketing is EVERYTHING, form over substance that is America through and through.

For Bush, "spin" is EVERYTHING there's nothing else there.

John Peddicord :

Tom you are unbelievable. You didn't answer ONE of my questions. I can state here and now that I AM HONEST.

Your Wikipedia reference is OLD, OLD news. There is much, much more to the Kurdish separatist movement than can possibly be expressed in a paragraph. GOD, I've read BOOKS about it.

If that's all you know, then you know NOTHING, NOTHING. I have already posted info about the Anfal campaign, which you have refused to acknowledge.

Here two quick factoids:

1) The Kurdistan Autonomous Region was created DECADES ago by agreement with Saddam.

2) At one point in the campaign the PUK allied itself with Saddam against it's rival faction KDP.

Get the picture? Conflicts like this cannot be summarised in a single paragraph. Would you try to summarise the Civil War by saying "Lincoln Freed the blacks from slavery"?

Your doing the same thing with Iraq, Iran, Muslims, on and on. I would say you are a simplistic person ,wouldn't you?

laura, michigan :

Just for general information and addressed to all those Europe admirers. I forgot to mention that in one of those 'European countries of technological wonders' it took a week, with many temptatives, to get into the computer system of a homeowners insurance program; and in several of those so called advanced technological countries, with spectacular airports, I went up and down stairs attached to planes to catch different shuttle buses to take me from gate to gate.
So much for modernism!!

Dave! :

BobL-VA
"Plain and simple. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE SADDAM HUSSEIN HAD COMMITTED AN ACT OF WAR AGAINST THE UNITED STATES NOR WAS THERE ANY EVIDENCE HE WAS ABOUT TO NOR WAS THERE ANY EVIDENCE HE EVEN HAD THE MEANS TO IF HE WANTED TO."
OK - a small ragtag band of twentysomething nuts unleashed the biggest attack on US soil since Pearl Harbor. To think that a relatively wealthy country like Iraq, who had an irrational, brutal, sadistic, deluded dictator, had WMDs, had used WMDs, had already battled with the US previously and had tried to assassinate the first Bush, could be considered non-threating is true only if you are an ostrich.

Anonymous :

Mikeb,
I'm always surprised by the attack of big mouths like you, when in lack of arguments insult the opponent. I have lived here longer than in Europe, the reason is because I admire and love this country. My comments are my personal interpretation of the facts through my experiences and trips to Europe. I am well informed since I follow their policies intenseively and I have first hand information, I have family there. I didn't make any comments about the policy of Republicans or Democratas. Get your facts clear and your vitriol absent.
Laura

Frank :

Iran is one of the good guys eh

Explain their documented support of Hezbollah and Hamas.

Explain their support to extremists in Iraq whoo blow-up innocent civilians and Iraqis

Explain why they are constantly trying to weasel their way out of UN "demands" and IAEA requests.

Explain their refusal to admit the holocaust and intention of wiping Israel off the face of the Earth

To be fair the Iranian people are much more reasonable, diverse.

That is why I believe going to war would be stupid. (There is still no indication that this is even remotely likely) The best course of action is to continue down the path of isolation. The next step is tighter sanctions.

AMviennaVA :

John Peddicord: You posted "... the economic blockade of Japan by Roosevelt was 'an act of war'". By international law, an economic blockade IS an act of war. Countries usually resolve it peacefully, however. But it is an act of war.

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicord

This is part of the reason that Saddam was executed (Wikepedia):

"...In 1988, the Hussein regime began a campaign of extermination against the Kurdish people living in Northern Iraq. This is known as the Anfal campaign. The attacks resulted in the death of at least 50,000 (some reports estimate as many as 100,000 people), many of them women and children. A team of Human Rights Watch investigators determined, after analyzing eighteen tons of captured Iraqi documents, testing soil samples and carrying out interviews with more than 350 witnesses, that the attacks on the Kurdish people were characterized by gross violations of human rights, including mass executions and disappearances of many tens of thousands of noncombatants, widespread use of chemical weapons including Sarin, mustard gas and nerve agents that killed thousands, the arbitrary imprisoning of tens of thousands of women, children, and elderly people for months in conditions of extreme deprivation, forced displacement of hundreds of thousands of villagers after the demolition of their homes, and the wholesale destruction of nearly two thousand villages along with their schools, mosques, farms, and power stations.

* In April 1991, after Saddam lost control of Kuwait in the Gulf War, he cracked down ruthlessly against uprisings in the Kurdish north and the Shia south. His forces committed wholesale massacres and other gross human rights violations against both groups similar to the violations mentioned before. Estimates of deaths during that time range from 20,000 to 100,000 for Kurds, and 60,000 to 130,000 for Shi'ites..."

John Peddicord :

In rereading your last post I see that you continue to prove my points for me!

You said that Saddam deserved to die because he invaded two countries, Iran and Kuwait, in which over one million died. Bush invaded one country and killed hundreds of thousands, so he has some catch up to do, he better get moving!

Let me say something here of general applicabilty. Whenever a government makes a case to it's people to go to war, it's always the same:

They are an existential threat, or we must liberate them from a brutal dictator, or they're persecuting or killing our kind, their barbarian hordes are going to overrun us, and so on, and so on.

They all have their reasons. Saddam did (do you know what they were?). Japan did (we need to liberate the Chinese from the Bolsheviks and later, the economic blockade of Japan by Roosevelt was "an act of war"). Germany did (we must liberate our German volk from oppression, and the "Reds are coming!".)

Although I routinely trash our media (except for the WP, I luv u!) for not warning us more forcefully, the truth about Bush and the Iraq war has always been there for anyone who chose to look for it. I have been reading and researching this for six years.

For this reason, and many others I give Thanks day after day for the freedoms we have in this country. I don't know whether you have noticed but I have. I am a keen observer of the media and a dedicated newshound with a 40 mb database, and I know that we have gotten MORE free since last November.

And with the Democrats in control at last I am hoping that our freedom marches on and on and on.
We won't be completely free until Bush and Cheney and his crew are gone. I hope we don't have to wait until 2008.

The writing is on the wall. Bush's bone-headed foreign policies are in shambles. We are talkig to North Korea and Syria, we will soon start talking to Iran. Our fate in Iraq is in their hands, we must make nice to them. I have read extensively about the ME, Iran, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia in particular. I'm telling you Iran are the "good guys", probably the best in the region.

Did you ever read anything about the 1979 hostage taking? Every one of our people were returned unharmed, some with a greater respect and understanding of the Iranian people.

Didn't you know that Saddam held over one thousand US citizens in protective custody after his invasion of Kuwait? Every one returned unharmed.

Bushies demonisation of Iraqis and Iranians is perverse and stems either from ignorance or dishonesty. Which is it Tom?

As I said before our fate is in their hands, that's the unavoidable truth. We could have been in an entirely different place now if it hadn't been for Bush's megalomania. But this is reality. How much longer are you going to deny it?

PS We owe Iraq huge reparations, when are we going to live up to our responsibilies?

BobL-VA :

So what if Saddam was a bad man? There's lots of bad leaders on this planet. What was so unique about Saddam that deserved the US response? So what if he thumbed his nose at UN inspectors, the United States thumbs it's nose at the UN all the time.

All you ever had here was a petty despot who was bottled up so tight he couldn't sneeze without everyone knowing about it.

Plain and simple. THERE WAS NO EVIDENCE SADDAM HUSSEIN HAD COMMITTED AN ACT OF WAR AGAINST THE UNITED STATES NOR WAS THERE ANY EVIDENCE HE WAS ABOUT TO NOR WAS THERE ANY EVIDENCE HE EVEN HAD THE MEANS TO IF HE WANTED TO.

Whether Saddam thumbed his nose at the UN the US response was disproportional to the Saddam's actions. No rational human being invades a country, destablizes it, turns it into a civil war and is responsible for the deaths of what is approaching 1 million people because some whacko gives the UN the finger. To say the US response to Saddam was overkill would be the understatement of the 21st century.

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicord

"...You declared that Saddam did not allow the inspectors to return. WRONG. They returned in November 2002 and stayed until just before the invasion. YOU KNOW THAT'S TRUE. Stop playing silly games...."

I said "Saddam was allowed to keep the inspectors out for the remaining two years of his Presidency...". I am well aware of the pre-invasion inspections.

"...We will never know whether Saddam deserved to die, Bush's illegal kangaroo court and gruesome execution saw to that. What is ironic about his demise is that he was executed for doing exactly what Bush's proxies did to him: executing those he charged with a failed assasination attempt, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW..."

He was executed by the revenge-minded Iraqi Shia who were brutally oppressed, tortured and murdered by Saddam for over twenty years.

"...As for your comment about Clinton's attack in 1998. I can't believe how many times I have heard that. One more time. I didn't support his attack. I don't slavishly support everything every Democrat has done, that's stupid. But how many Iraqi's died? None as far as I know..."

I supported Clinton's bombing but I think I read where a couple of hundred Iraqis were killed(?). As I stated, Clinton did a good job up until AFTER the bombing.

AMviennaVA :

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

I will repeat my last post to you: As for why is the US more dangerous than Iran, the answer is very simple actually: We (the US) have the means to cause great damage, and under this President have done so. But the real danger comes from our current President and those who share his outlook: He acts out of fear, and he is not sufficiently mature or stable, or both, to admit to a mistake. It is this irrationality that makes us more dangerous than Iran.

I am not 'selectively quoting' you. I am merely emphasizing that we (the US) have both the capacity and will to inflict great damage. That is lacking in Iran. We compound that with this President's and administration's arrogance and immaturity. They have elevated to state policy the concept that if we (the US) fear or suspect something, then we are justified to wage war. If you do not consider that dangerous, then we are obviously at an impasse.

To aggravate the situation, we have proven ourselves (repeatedly I might add) incompetent in the aftermath. We can smash armies, but war has a second component, winning the peace. (Granted, we won the peace with Germany & Japan; that was a long time ago, and were not arrogant by all accounts). We excel at smashing armies, but we cannot win the peace. That is where most of the destruction and mayhem take place. We need to appreciate that to put it bluntly, the local bastard is better than the foreign bastard. We failed to impose our will on Vietnam (that was waged on fake pretenses as well), and we failed again in Iraq. For that matter, we were not terribly successful in Haiti, nor in Panama, to mention a couple of other examples (at least there we were satisfied with only replacing the ruler, one democratically elected and the other not).

In the case of Iraq, we actually aggravated the 'War On Terror'. That is why until we learn to TALK, we will be very dangerous.

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicord

"...The simple response which I should have made immediately is that Ahmadinejad is simply turning Bush's rhetoric back at him in calling for "regime change" in Israel. So if you condemn Ahmadiejad then you must condemn Bush. But there is a vast difference in their potential for fulfilling those threats..."

Threatening to "wipe Israel off the map" is NOT "regime change", and of course the US has vastly superior resources to carry out a threat, but calling North Korea, Iraq and Iran the "axis of evil" is not the same as Iran threatening to "annihilate" Israel. For example, calling George Bush a "fascist dictator" doesn't mean you are trying to "annihilate" him.

Clinton originally called for "regime change" in Iraq because Saddam was not cooperating with the inspectors.

John Peddicord :


Tom Wonacott:

From what you said you have not read my posts. I have already answered you on every point.

As for the length of the post you know it is nothing like the length of MIKE J's post, and it appeared ONLY ONCE.

I agree with most everything you say about the inspections regime which you have trotted out yet again. How long are you going to keep ignoring that I have fully responded to your false claims?. Saddam certainly did play "cat and mouse", but the fact remains, HE DID DESTROY ALL OF HIS WMD. What can you not understand about that statement? How many times do I have to repeat it? Is this discussion by attrition?

You declared that Saddam did not allow the inspectors to return. WRONG. They returned in November 2002 and stayed until just before the invasion. YOU KNOW THAT'S TRUE. Stop playing silly games.

As for your comment about Clinton's attack in 1998. I can't believe how many times I have heard that. One more time. I didn't support his attack. I don't slavishly support everything every Democrat has done, that's stupid. But how many Iraqi's died? None as far as I know.

As for your statements concerning Saddam, you sound like a parrot of Bush. Do you understand nothing about the law? We will never know whether Saddam deserved to die, Bush's illegal kangaroo court and gruesome execution saw to that. What is ironic about his demise is that he was executed for doing exactly what Bush's proxies did to him: executing those he charged with a failed assasination attempt, WITHOUT DUE PROCESS OF LAW.

Read Ramsey Clarke.

By the way haven't you noticed Bush is retreating on every front, with his tail between his legs.

I mispoke when I said earlir tht Bush was above the Law, he's one step ahead of the Law. If it hadn't been for the last minute passage of the Military Commision Act by the Republican controlled Congress, your man would be on his way to the gallows.

Tom Wonacott :

John

"...The simple response which I should have made immediately is that Ahmadinejad is simply turning Bush's rhetoric back at him in calling for "regime change" in Israel. So if you condemn Ahmadiejad then you must condemn Bush. But there is a vast difference in their potential for fulfilling those threats..."

"Wiping Israel off the map" is NOT "regime change", and, of course there is a vast difference in "potential", but, calling North Korea, Iran and Iraq the "axis of evil" is not the same as threatening to "annihilate" Israel.

Clinton called for "regime change" in Iraq originally because of Iraq's continued lack of cooperation in inspections.


Tom Wonacott :

BobL

"...The classic example of this is our belief we won the cold war. First, there was no war. I know you're not going to like this, but look up the definition of war. We were never at war. We did have an arms race going on and we were vying for spheres of influence, but we never came to blows. We came close over Cuba, but it never happened..."

No, actually, I like that, and that was (part of)the point of my post. The US was a deterrent to Soviet aggression. The problem in WWII was there was no deterrent to Germany (and Japan).

Thanks for the post.

dr I :

The vast majority of the self-proclaimed "Americamn Patriot" right wing neocons criticize a European society that they know little about. I constantly hear of Americans who travel to Europe, and who return home complaining because the hotel manager did'nt speak english, or because the food clerk would'nt supersize their order, or simply because they lacked the comforts of their spoiled lifestyle in the USA. It's funny to think that only 60 years ago, we had a greatful Europe eating out of our hands. That ended after President Kennedy. The post WWII European generations now only see an arrogant society that feels the world should cater to their gluttonous demands as the greatest consumer of energy, the highest contributor to the world's environmental disorders, and the biggest producer of unrecycable garbage. Those who think the so called "euro-weanies" are jeolous, and therefore resentful of the U.S., are just fooling themseves. More like wishful thinking on their part. If they don't agree with Europe's opinion on this issue, that's fine. But contrary to the narrow-minded neocons who live in an isolated cave, wrapped in the american flag, most Europeans are more in tune with the world than their U.S. couterparts. I'm sure some right-wing extremist will respond with the typical "America, love it or leave it" nonsense. But that won't keep this American patriot from continuing to speak out against our disasterous current foreign policy and tactics of world intimidation. The goal of the so called "Bush-bashers" is to change our country's direction by democratic means, and hopefully return some respect and dignity to this nation. "Leaving it" would only be a cop out.

Tom Wonacott :

Peddicord

Regarding Mike J's post, you said:

"...Finally this site is a discussion group not an archive. I'm sure most of the participants could unload Gigabytes of info here, I know I could. But it's inappropriate.

Never mind about unnecessary..."

So its ok to clutter as long as we post materials that agree with your left wing arguments, but thanks for the (long) post(s). I'll read them.

I would like to comment on Ramsey Clarke's impassioned defense of Saddam Hussein (first).

Let me start by saying that Saddam was a brutal dictator, something everyone agrees on.

1. He invaded two countries, Iran and Kuwait which resulted in the deaths of over one million people.

2. He gassed the Kurds and the Iranians, i. e., he used weapons of mass destruction (WMD's). Before you accuse the US (and others) of supplying the weapons). From Clinton, 1998:

"...Other countries possess weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles. With Saddam, there is one big difference: He has used them. Not once, but repeatedly..."

3. He brutally massacred and oppressed the Iraqi Shia and Kurds. In all, he killed 1,500,000 to 2,000,000 people.

4. He signed UN resolution 687 which required him to declare and destroy all chemical and biological WMDs. According to Hans Blix:

"...Resolution 687 in 1991, like the subsequent resolutions I shall refer to, required cooperation by Iraq, but such was often withheld or given grudgingly.

Unlike South Africa, which decided on its own to eliminate its nuclear weapons and welcomed the inspection as a means of creating confidence in its disarmament, Iraq appears not to have come to a genuine acceptance, not even today, of the disarmament which was demanded of it and which it needs to carry out to win the confidence of the world and to live in peace.

As we know, the twin operation declare and verify, which was prescribed in Resolution 687, too often turned into a game of hide and seek. Rather than just verify in declarations and supporting evidence, the two inspecting organizations found themselves engaged in efforts to map the weapons programs and to search for evidence through inspections, interviews, seminars, inquiries with suppliers and intelligence organizations.

As a result, the disarmament phase was not completed in the short time expected. Sanctions remained and took a severe toll until Iraq accepted the oil-for-food program, and the gradual development of that program mitigated the affects of the sanctions...

...Large quantities of chemical weapons were destroyed under UNSCOM supervision before 1994.

While Iraq claims, with little evidence, that it destroyed all biological weapons unilaterally in 1991, it is certain that UNSCOM destroyed large biological weapons production facilities in 1996. The large nuclear infrastructure was destroyed and the fissionable material was removed from Iraq by the IAEA..."

His cat and mouse games indicated a lack of regard for the very cease fire that he signed. The deaths of the 1,500,000 people (including 567,000 children) that Clark refers to is Saddam's blame, and Saddam's blame only. The grand total is 3,000,000 to 3,500,000 dead as a result of Saddam's reckless and brutal leadership.

I will state this again for you, John. Saddam deserved to die and the world is a much better place because he is gone.

Saddam's games with the UN inspectors resulted in the 1998 bombing by Clinton, who, until that time did a good job containing him and applying the necessary pressure to get Saddam to disarm. From the Clinton speech, 1998:

"...First, without a strong inspection system, Iraq would be free to retain and begin to rebuild its chemical, biological and nuclear weapons programs in months, not years.

Second, if Saddam can crippled the weapons inspection system and get away with it, he would conclude that the international community -- led by the United States -- has simply lost its will. He will surmise that he has free rein to rebuild his arsenal of destruction, and someday -- make no mistake -- he will use it again as he has in the past..."

In one of the worst decisions that I can remember, Saddam was allowed to keep the inspectors out for the remaining two years of his Presidency. So why did Clinton bomb Iraq in the first place? No wonder Saddam didn't take the west seriously.

Finally, the oil for food scandal showed the corruption and, basically, lack of will for the UN to disarm Iraq.

The blame for the invasion of Iraq can be directly attributed to Saddam Hussein who refused to fully cooperate over 12 years with the UN inspectors. In addition, he was responsible for the deaths of an additional 1,500,000 people, including 567,000 children, because of his refusal to fully cooperate with the UN inspectors. In all Saddam was responsible for over three million deaths. He is no Hitler, but not bad totals for a madman.

The West and the UN, itself, share in the blame by allowing Saddam to believe, by Clinton's own words, that the West did not have the will to disarm him. The fact that he WAS disarmed is irrelevant. No one new for sure, and again, that was Saddam's fault.

sagnew :

This is the kind of statement that does not seem to make any sense. What threat? Threat to freedom? Threat to property? Threat to property? Or threat to radical islamism?

John Peddicord :

To JVD 70:

I am not a foreigner but hold dual nationality, Anglo-American. I am also a retired Computer Scientist and Statistician.

I am well aware of pockets of unemployment in the EU. The same can be found in any number of "rust-belt" cities in the US. But surely you will admit that social welfare programs: income, housing, and medical care are far more humanitarian than in the US. Consider that 47 million Americans don't have health care coverage.

As for housing: have you lived in the Southern states of America and witnessed the devastating poverty in Texas, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Georgia, West Virginia and the Carolinas? I have. And you can only mention Poland! Proves my point doesn't it?

I must admit I can only speak authoritatively for the US, Britain, France, and Turkey (not yet in the EU remember), countries in which I haved LIVED, not just visited. I have never been to Poland. Remember I was talking about the EU.

Whether Barack Obama gets elected, or not is irrelevant to a quaintitative measure of social mobility, which does not account for race or ethnicity.

If you want numbers concerning intentional deaths in Iraq at US hands, simply go back to my previous post from Ramsey Clark.

Comparing the US atrocity in Iraq with Darfur is EXACTLY what I mean by "damning with faint praise". Iraq was nothing to do with "ethnic cleansing", I never even THOUGHT that. The Iraqi casualities were due to intense aerial bombing of a civilian population. Does that excuse it, just because it's death at a distance? Is massive "collateral damage" acceptable?

Tell me how do you measure the "subtle elitism of class"? You know America is not a classless society. But there is still the remnants of nobility in Europe, that's for sure. But the numbers are so small as to be insignificant.

Laura, what you ascribe to an "entitlement mentality" does exist but it stems from expecting Government to do it's best to provide a safety net. This is the kind of government that most Europeans demand. Americans subjected to Ronald Reagan's "welfare queen's" propaganda do tend to take a dim view of welfare programs. But the cost to the government pales in comparisan to corporate and middle class welfare. For example, you are probably a homeowner who gets a tax deduction on your mortgage. Isn't that a kind of welfare?

Maybe I was too hard on you, my apologies. But after the vile and unjustified assaults on Europeans in earlier posts I was in no mood to be generous.


Mike J :

JVD70,

Well done.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

John Peddicord,

Laura doesn't owe Europeans an apology, at least not to this one. Your (in my view) naive and romantic view of Europe doesn't accord with my experience, I am an aboriginal European so my perspective isn't entirely without merit.

For example; over 20% of French youths are unemployed and amongst youths of North African descent (the ones that rioted in 2005) unemployment is anything between 30% to 60% depending on where they live. Unemployment amongst minorities is not just widespread in France, it is endemic in most of Europe.

Europe has better public infrastructure in certain areas but the subway system in NYC or Boston would be the pride of any European city. A country like the Netherlands has great public transport systems in and between urban areas but with 16 million people living in an area the size of Maryland you'd expect no less. The European standard of living is better on some indicators and worse on others, the GDP per capita in the Netherlands for example was EUR 26k in 2004 while in the US it was EUR 33.5k; that's a vast difference and the Netherlands is one of the wealthiest nations in Europe in terms of GDP per capita.

According to the Economist, a European publication, of the world's top 20 universities, all but three - Cambridge, Oxford and Tokyo - are in the United States.

You wont see many "Europeans living in the squalid wooden hovels ubiquitous throughout the US South" in northern Europe (unless you go to Poland) for the same reason that you wont find many such squalid hovels in the northern US; the climate in the south typically is more agreeable and winters aren't that long. If you go to southern Europe (for example to Spain or Portugal) you will be able to find your hearts fill of squalid hovels; the climate simply is more agreeable.

Social mobility: in 2008 you might be able to choose between Barack Obama and Condi Rice. I don't think Americans will consider voting for either of them to be affirmative action. Minorities in Europe rarely if ever achieve such elevated positions as those two already at this time occupy. In fact with a population of 10% mostly Turkish and Moroccan Muslims the Netherlands has yet to appoint a Muslim minister or mayor of a city. I also am fairly sure that you as a foreigner are blind to the relatively subtle elitism of class which continues to be a very substantial hindrance to social mobility in Europe.

You also write: "By comparing the greatest atrocities of the past and the death toll of countless terrorist attacks with occurrences in Iraq the Wingnuts make a devastating admission: That Bush takes his place in the annals of man’s inhumanity to man."

You make numerous assumptions about Europe that were terribly naive. And what you wrote there doesn't compute either; I've brought up Darfur to contrast US foreign policy to the policxies of a regime engaged in ethnic cleansing. In Darfur at least 450.000 people have been killed in an orchestrated campaign of genocide. Can you actually present statistics indicating that non combattants have been intentionally killed by US forces as a consequence of US policy? Give it a good effort please, don't you owe us that? You can start by trying your luck on the website of Amnesty International, but I am afraid you won't do it because you already know that unlike us wingnuts you can not substantiate your views with statistics and that the evidence you will find on amnesty.org will invalidate your world view.

AM from Vienna VA: I don't think you appreciate the threat Iran represents; I hoped to have made clearer how it appears from my perspective. I seem to have failed because you selectively quote me but you don't challenge what I wrote. I hope you can continue to think that your own nation is a greater threat because as long as you do my fears over Iran's intentions won't have materialized.


John Peddicord :

Many previous bloggers, those of a right-wing persuasion and Bush supporters every one, have documented at great length some of the most heinous and despicable of man’s inhumanity to man. Enumerating the millions of innocents that suffered at the hands of Stalin and Hitler.

But these bloggers have done more to indict Bush and his minions than the most vituperative “Bush-Hater”.

Bush unwittingly (in both senses of the word) has indicted himself when he declares that Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator, and that, at the end of the day, it was a GOOD thing that he is gone.

When I mention the following aphorism you will understand immediately:

“Damning with faint praise.”

The “faint praise” that issues, even from the mouth of the “Decider” himself, has got to be the faintest praise one could imagine. To paraphrase:

“Bush could have killed more people than Stalin or Hitler, but he didn’t, so he must be a “good guy”.

By comparing the greatest atrocities of the past and the death toll of countless terrorist attacks with occurrences in Iraq the Wingnuts make a devastating admission:

That Bush takes his place in the annals of man’s inhumanity to man.


John Peddicord :

When will you people get it through your heads, we are not calling America evil, that's as absurd as calling China evil, or Russia evil, or Iran. Get the picture? We live in America, we know that there's as much evil here as anywhere else in the World, someything that you fail to understand.

As Solzhenitsyn wrote of his own experiences:

‘Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either - but right through every human heart - and through all human hearts.’

Our ire is directed at this evil regime. Make no mistake they are evil, not incompetent.

Bush was appointed by a Supreme Court packed with Republicans. Then by premeditated and systematic deception took the country to war to maintain his grip on power.

The sooner you understand the better, or you will soon find yourself in the unenviable position that many Germans did in April 1945. That is having publicly expressed your support for an evil regime.

The times they are a 'changin.

MikeB :

S. Primavera, Laura, Michigan - So pointing out that the leaders of this country are involved in dangerous, misguided, and illegal foreign adventures is now "unamerican"? Or, pointing out that the jackels running our corporations are selling defense secrets and weapons to our enemies? Or pointing out that these same people plus political hacks like Bush and the Clinton's have been steadily permitting the offshoring of U.S. jobs and technology is "portraying America as evil". Give us all break! This country was hijacked by evil men and women of the right and those in the pay of gigantic corporations that fund these parasites. I know that many of the new right wing nutjobs posting over the past few days are professional, paid bloggers. As for Ms. Primavera, you aren't even an American. You're here with your spouse, here on an H1B visa at that! Go back to India. Here you are nothing more than indentured servants.

S. Primavera :

laura, Michigan :

Completely agree. Best comment so far.

This forum is hijacked by people like Mike B. and others who love to portray America as evil. Just go and live in Europe if you like them so much.


S. Primavera :

laura, michigan :

Completely agree. Best comment so far on this forum.

BobL-VA :

Laura in Michigan,

If you honestly feel what you said in your post was true you don't owe anyone an apology.

Whether someone agrees with your posts or not you certainly have the right to voice your opinion. What you didn't deserve was the cheap shot over being able to afford to live there.

JRLR :

"Britain and Iraq: You surge, we’re off... Instead, America’s government would finish the mission in Iraq so soldiers could “return with honour”."
(From Economist.com, Feb 21st 2007)

Still the more dangerous.

AMviennaVA :

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

"We're not talking to Iran" sounds strange from someone from Amsterdam.

That said, we (the US) had best talk to Iran, and Syria, and everyone else. The discussion may not be pleasant or easy, but it is better than shooting and killing, or getting killed or maimed for that matter. Afterall, we did manage to reach some kind of agreement with North Korea. And they are reputed to be particularly difficult to talk to.

As for why is the US more dangerous than Iran, the answer is very simple actually: We (the US) have the means to cause great damage, and under this President have done so. But the real danger comes from our current President and those who share his outlook: He acts out of fear, and he is not sufficiently mature or stable, or both, to admit to a mistake. It is this irrationality that makes us more dangerous than Iran.

MikeB :

laura, michigan - You try to portray the U.S. as some sort of saint. From the European point of view, American corporations have been buying up European companies and firing European workers, offshoring the jobs to India and China. Our corporations are an out of control government unto themselves. You have internet companies like Google and Yahoo that turn over records of users to the government, invading European privacy and leading to identity theft and a whole host of problems. Those same companies helped the Chinese government to identify critics, whom they jailed! You can Microsoft and it's predatory business practices running afoul of European monopoly and anti-competition laws and able to hide behind the U.S. government. You have CIA and military cowboys kidnapping citizens of European countries and torturing them, sometimes murdering them, as "terrorist suspects", many of whom were found later to be completely innocent. For that and for a lot more, European's are starting to hate us. You call us a "Super Power"? That sounds amazingly like we are some sort of action hero. We are nothing more than school yard bullies, led by sociopaths and corrupt self serving monsters. Your corporate and political hero's have been steadily undermining this country, selling off our jobs and technology and security to the rest of the world under their "globalization" schemes and placing all of us under an ever increasing debt from which we don't have a prayer of ever paying off. Europe, heck the rest of the world, knows this and are doing everything in their power to distance themselves from us. I don't blame them one bit.

John Peddicord :

Laura, a visit to Europe and childhood there does not make you an expert.

I have lived there as an adult, still follow current events there, and have friends and family there. I disagree with everything you said.

If you think Europeans are emasculated, you are wrong. The EU is an economic powerhouse which affords it's 300 million citizens a superior standard of living, health and welfare than the US, while being streaks ahead of the US in energy efficiency.

It's public transport systems, healthcare systems, public education systems, farming and technology is far ahead of the US, and the gap is widening.

As for housing, I am only familiar with Northern Europe, but I have NEVER EVER seen Europeans living in the squalid wooden hovels ubiquitous throughout the US South.

As for measures of social mobility, again the reality is the European Dream and the American Nightmare.

If America stopped spending all of it's wealth on a useless war machine to assuage it's paranoid delusions, the entire World would be better off!

What is your problem, you can't afford to live there?

You owe Europeans an apology.

The originial Bob now know as Frank :
laura, michigan :

I just came back from a trip to Europe. There is always there the tendency to blame USA for everything which is wrong in the world. Even though the idea is not a novelty. I grew there and I remember the 'Yankee go Home' 'The Ugy American' and the resentment in the 60's . The difference now is that the USA is the only superpower in the world, and the Europeans are emasculated, ineficient, shrinking 'nationals', without any value system. They work little and have large entitlements; it's obvious that after losing colonies and influence in the world, they resent this country and are jealous of anybody who wouldn't kowtow to their 'history' and past glory.
No, the Americans are not the danger, the European policy of laissez-faire and anything goes are!!!!!!!

James Danley :

Mr. Masters, the White House has occasionally said the right words. Unfortunately not often enough and certainly not forceful enough. Part of the problem is actually due to a very positive trait. President Bush does not base his decisions on polls. He prefers to lead rather than follow.

But the main problem is the left leaning media that totally hates Bush. Over the past four years the media has been obsessed with the negatives in Iraq. Prior to the bombing of the Gold Dome Mosque (tomorrow, Feb. 22, will be the one-year anniversary) there were a lot of positive stories that were being ignored. But al Qaeda in Iraq was finally able to drive the wedge between the Sunnis and the Shia with that one single incident, resulting in a huge wave of sectarian violence. It was no coincidence that all that occurred just as the 2006 election campaigns were heating up with the anti-war rhetoric.

Governing by public opinion -- which can change on a dime -- instead of by what is in the nation's best interest can be very costly. Just sit back and watch as the Democrats self-destruct. Not just in Congress but even more importantly in their bid to determine their 2008 presidental nominee. That race is already heating up! Many of the Democrats are already denouncing previously held "convictions" (i.e. their vote to authorize the Iraq invasion) based on the current perceived mood of the country. If there is a change in the polls next year, these candidates will be at a total loss to explain any re-conversion. It has been these flip-flops that have hurt the Democratic party in the past and will likely do so in 2008. (Take note that flip-flops are already hurting a couple of the Republican leading candidates.)

John Peddicord :

Key Bush Intelligence Briefing Kept From Hill Panel

By Murray Waas, special to National Journal
© National Journal Group Inc.
Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2005

Ten days after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, President Bush was told in a highly classified briefing that the U.S. intelligence community had no evidence linking the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein to the attacks and that there was scant credible evidence that Iraq had any significant collaborative ties with Al Qaeda, according to government records and current and former officials with firsthand knowledge of the matter.

The administration has refused to provide the Sept. 21 President's Daily Brief, even on a classified basis, and won't say anything more about it other than to acknowledge that it exists.

The information was provided to Bush on September 21, 2001 during the "President's Daily Brief," a 30- to 45-minute early-morning national security briefing. Information for PDBs has routinely been derived from electronic intercepts, human agents, and reports from foreign intelligence services, as well as more mundane sources such as news reports and public statements by foreign leaders.

One of the more intriguing things that Bush was told during the briefing was that the few credible reports of contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda involved attempts by Saddam Hussein to monitor the terrorist group. Saddam viewed Al Qaeda as well as other theocratic radical Islamist organizations as a potential threat to his secular regime. At one point, analysts believed, Saddam considered infiltrating the ranks of Al Qaeda with Iraqi nationals or even Iraqi intelligence operatives to learn more about its inner workings, according to records and sources.

The September 21, 2001, briefing was prepared at the request of the president, who was eager in the days following the terrorist attacks to learn all that he could about any possible connection between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

Much of the contents of the September 21 PDB were later incorporated, albeit in a slightly different form, into a lengthier CIA analysis examining not only Al Qaeda's contacts with Iraq, but also Iraq's support for international terrorism. Although the CIA found scant evidence of collaboration between Iraq and Al Qaeda, the agency reported that it had long since established that Iraq had previously supported the notorious Abu Nidal terrorist organization, and had provided tens of millions of dollars and logistical support to Palestinian groups, including payments to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers.

The highly classified CIA assessment was distributed to President Bush, Vice President Cheney, the president's national security adviser and deputy national security adviser, the secretaries and undersecretaries of State and Defense, and various other senior Bush administration policy makers, according to government records.

The Senate Intelligence Committee has asked the White House for the CIA assessment, the PDB of September 21, 2001, and dozens of other PDBs as part of the committee's ongoing investigation into whether the Bush administration misrepresented intelligence information in the run-up to war with Iraq. The Bush administration has refused to turn over these documents.

Indeed, the existence of the September 21 PDB was not disclosed to the Intelligence Committee until the summer of 2004, according to congressional sources. Both Republicans and Democrats requested then that it be turned over. The administration has refused to provide it, even on a classified basis, and won't say anything more about it other than to acknowledge that it exists.

On November 18, Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass., said he planned to attach an amendment to the fiscal 2006 intelligence authorization bill that would require the Bush administration to give the Senate and House intelligence committees copies of PDBs for a three-year period. After Democrats and Republicans were unable to agree on language for the amendment, Kennedy said he would delay final action on the matter until Congress returns in December.

The conclusions drawn in the lengthier CIA assessment-which has also been denied to the committee-were strikingly similar to those provided to President Bush in the September 21 PDB, according to records and sources. In the four years since Bush received the briefing, according to highly placed government officials, little evidence has come to light to contradict the CIA's original conclusion that no collaborative relationship existed between Iraq and Al Qaeda.

"What the President was told on September 21," said one former high-level official, "was consistent with everything he has been told since-that the evidence was just not there."

In arguing their case for war with Iraq, the president and vice president said after the September 11 attacks that Al Qaeda and Iraq had significant ties, and they cited the possibility that Iraq might share chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons with Al Qaeda for a terrorist attack against the United States.

Democrats in Congress, as well as other critics of the Bush administration, charge that Bush and Cheney misrepresented and distorted intelligence information to bolster their case for war with Iraq. The president and vice president have insisted that they unknowingly relied on faulty and erroneous intelligence, provided mostly by the CIA.

The new information on the September 21 PDB and the subsequent CIA analysis bears on the question of what the CIA told the president and how the administration used that information as it made its case for war with Iraq.

The central rationale for going to war against Iraq, of course, was that Saddam Hussein had biological and chemical weapons, and that he was pursuing an aggressive program to build nuclear weapons. Despite those claims, no weapons were ever discovered after the war, either by United Nations inspectors or by U.S. military authorities.

Much of the blame for the incorrect information in statements made by the president and other senior administration officials regarding the weapons-of-mass-destruction issue has fallen on the CIA and other U.S. intelligence agencies.

In April 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in a bipartisan report that the CIA's prewar assertion that Saddam's regime was "reconstituting its nuclear weapons program" and "has chemical and biological weapons" were "overstated, or were not supported by the underlying intelligence provided to the Committee."

The Bush administration has cited that report and similar findings by a presidential commission as evidence of massive CIA intelligence failures in assessing Iraq's unconventional-weapons capability.

Bush and Cheney have also recently answered their critics by ascribing partisan motivations to them and saying their criticism has the effect of undermining the war effort. In a speech on November 11, the president made his strongest comments to date on the subject: "Baseless attacks send the wrong signal to our troops and to an enemy that is questioning America's will." Since then, he has adopted a different tone, and he said on his way home from Asia on November 21, "This is not an issue of who is a patriot or not."

In his own speech to the American Enterprise Institute yesterday, Cheney also changed tone, saying that "disagreement, argument, and debate are the essence of democracy" and the "sign of a healthy political system." He then added: "Any suggestion that prewar information was distorted, hyped, or fabricated by the leader of the nation is utterly false."

Although the Senate Intelligence Committee and the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, commonly known as the 9/11 commission, pointed to incorrect CIA assessments on the WMD issue, they both also said that, for the most part, the CIA and other agencies did indeed provide policy makers with accurate information regarding the lack of evidence of ties between Al Qaeda and Iraq.

But a comparison of public statements by the president, the vice president, and Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld show that in the days just before a congressional vote authorizing war, they professed to have been given information from U.S. intelligence assessments showing evidence of an Iraq-Al Qaeda link.

"You can't distinguish between Al Qaeda and Saddam when you talk about the war on terror," President Bush said on September 25, 2002.

The next day, Rumsfeld said, "We have what we consider to be credible evidence that Al Qaeda leaders have sought contacts with Iraq who could help them acquire … weapons-of-mass-destruction capabilities."

The most explosive of allegations came from Cheney, who said that September 11 hijacker Mohammed Atta, the pilot of the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center, had met in Prague, in the Czech Republic, with a senior Iraqi intelligence agent, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, five months before the attacks. On December 9, 2001, Cheney said on NBC's Meet the Press: "[I]t's pretty well confirmed that [Atta] did go to Prague and he did meet with a senior official of the Iraqi intelligence service in [the Czech Republic] last April, several months before the attack."

Cheney continued to make the charge, even after he was briefed, according to government records and officials, that both the CIA and the FBI discounted the possibility of such a meeting.

Credit card and phone records appear to demonstrate that Atta was in Virginia Beach, Va., at the time of the alleged meeting, according to law enforcement and intelligence officials. Al-Ani, the Iraqi intelligence official with whom Atta was said to have met in Prague, was later taken into custody by U.S. authorities. He not only denied the report of the meeting with Atta, but said that he was not in Prague at the time of the supposed meeting, according to published reports.

In June 2004, the 9/11 commission concluded: "There have been reports that contacts between Iraq and Al Qaeda also occurred after bin Laden had returned to Afghanistan, but they do not appear to have resulted in a collaborative relationship. Two senior bin Laden associates have adamantly denied that any ties existed between Al Qaeda and Iraq. We have no credible evidence that Iraq and Al Qaeda cooperated on attacks against the United States."

Regarding the alleged meeting in Prague, the commission concluded: "We do not believe that such a meeting occurred."

Still, Cheney did not concede the point. "We have never been able to prove that there was a connection to 9/11," Cheney said after the commission announced it could not find significant links between Al Qaeda and Iraq. But the vice president again pointed out the existence of a Czech intelligence service report that Atta and the Iraqi agent had met in Prague. "That's never been proved. But it's never been disproved," Cheney said.

The following month, July 2004, the Senate Intelligence Committee concluded in its review of the CIA's prewar intelligence: "Despite four decades of intelligence reporting on Iraq, there was little useful intelligence collected that helped analysts determine the Iraqi regime's possible links to al-Qaeda."

One reason that Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld made statements that contradicted what they were told in CIA briefings might have been that they were receiving information from another source that purported to have evidence of Al Qaeda-Iraq ties. The information came from a covert intelligence unit set up shortly after the September 11 attacks by then-Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Douglas J. Feith.

Feith was a protégé of, and intensely loyal to, Cheney, Rumsfeld, then-Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz, and Cheney's then-chief of staff and national security adviser, I. Lewis (Scooter) Libby. The secretive unit was set up because Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Libby did not believe the CIA would be able to get to the bottom of the matter of Iraq-Al Qaeda ties. The four men shared a long-standing distrust of the CIA from their earlier positions in government, and felt that the agency had failed massively by not predicting the September 11 attacks.

At first, the Feith-directed unit primarily consisted of two men, former journalist Michael Maloof and David Wurmser, a veteran of neoconservative think tanks. They liked to refer to themselves as the "Iraqi intelligence cell" of the Pentagon. And they took pride in the fact that their office was in an out-of-the-way cipher-locked room, with "charts that rung the room from one end to the other" showing the "interconnections of various terrorist groups" with one another and, most important, with Iraq, Maloof recalled in an interview.

They also had the heady experience of briefing Rumsfeld twice, and Feith more frequently, Maloof said. The vice president's office also showed great interest in their work. On at least three occasions, Maloof said, Samantha Ravich, then-national security adviser for terrorism to Cheney, visited their windowless offices for a briefing.

But neither Maloof nor Wurmser had any experience or formal training in intelligence analysis. Maloof later lost his security clearance, for allegedly failing to disclose a relationship with a woman who is a foreigner, and after allegations that he leaked classified information to the press. Maloof said in the interview that he has done nothing wrong and was simply being punished for his controversial theories. Wurmser has since been named as Cheney's Middle East adviser.

In January 2002, Maloof and Wurmser were succeeded at the intelligence unit by two Naval Reserve officers. Intelligence analysis from the covert unit later served as the basis for many of the erroneous public statements made by Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and others regarding the alleged ties between Iraq and Al Qaeda, according to former and current government officials. Intense debates still rage among longtime intelligence and foreign policy professionals as to whether those who cited the information believed it, or used it as propaganda. The unit has since been disbanded.

Earlier this month, on November 14, the Pentagon's inspector general announced an investigation into whether Feith and others associated with the covert intelligence unit engaged in "unauthorized, unlawful, or inappropriate intelligence activities." In a statement, Feith said he is "confident" that investigators will conclude that his "office worked properly and in fact improved the intelligence product by asking good questions."

The Senate Intelligence Committee has also been conducting its own probe of the Pentagon unit. But as was first disclosed by The American Prospect in an article by reporter Laura Rozen, that probe had been hampered by a lack of cooperation from Feith and the Pentagon.

Internal Pentagon records show not only that the small Pentagon unit had the ear of the highest officials in the government, but also that Rumsfeld and others considered the unit as a virtual alternative to intelligence analyses provided by the CIA.

On July 22, 2002, as the run-up to war with Iraq was underway, one of the Naval Reserve officers detailed to the unit sent Feith an e-mail saying that he had just heard that then-Deputy Defense Secretary Wolfowitz wanted "the Iraqi intelligence cell … to prepare an intel briefing on Iraq and links to al-Qaida for the SecDef" and that he was not to tell anyone about it.

After that briefing was delivered, Wolfowitz sent Feith and other officials a note saying: "This was an excellent briefing. The Secretary was very impressed. He asked us to think about possible next steps to see if we can illuminate the differences between us and CIA. The goal was not to produce a consensus product, but rather to scrub one another's arguments."

On September 16, 2002, two days before the CIA produced a major assessment of Iraq's ties to terrorism, the Naval Reserve officers conducted a briefing for Libby and Stephen J. Hadley, then the deputy national security adviser to President Bush.

In a memorandum to Wolfowitz, Feith wrote: "The briefing went very well and generated further interest from Mr. Hadley and Mr. Libby." Both men, the memo went on, requested follow-up material, most notably a "chronology of Atta's travels," a reference to the discredited allegation of an Atta-Iraqi meeting in Prague.

In their presentation, the naval reserve briefers excluded the fact that the FBI and CIA had developed evidence that the alleged meeting had never taken place, and that even the Czechs had disavowed it.

The Pentagon unit also routinely second-guessed the CIA's highly classified assessments. Regarding one report titled "Iraq and al-Qaeda: Interpreting a Murky Relationship," one of the Naval Reserve officers wrote: "The report provides evidence from numerous intelligence sources over the course of a decade on interactions between Iraq and al-Qaida. In this regard, the report is excellent. Then in its interpretation of this information, CIA attempts to discredit, dismiss, or downgrade much of this reporting, resulting in inconsistent conclusions in many instances. Therefore, the CIA report should be read for content only-and CIA's interpretation ought to be ignored."

This same antipathy toward the CIA led to the events that are the basis of Special Prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's investigation of the leak of CIA officer Valerie Plame's identity, according to several former and current senior officials.

Ironically, the Plame affair's origins had its roots in Cheney and Libby's interest in reports that Saddam Hussein had tried to purchase uranium yellowcake from Niger to build a nuclear weapon. After reading a Pentagon report on the matter in early February 2002, Cheney asked the CIA officer who provided him with a national security briefing each morning if he could find out about it.

Without Cheney's knowledge, his query led to the CIA-sanctioned trip to Niger by former Ambassador Joseph Wilson, Plame's husband, to investigate the allegations. Wilson reported back to the CIA that the allegations were most likely not true.

Despite that conclusion, President Bush, in his State of the Union address in 2003, included the Niger allegation in making the case to go to war with Iraq. In July 2003, after the war had begun, Wilson publicly charged that the Bush administration had "twisted" the intelligence information to make the case to go to war.

Libby and Deputy White House Chief of Staff Karl Rove told reporters that Wilson's had been sent to Niger on the recommendation of his wife, Plame. In the process, the leaks led to the unmasking of Plame, the appointment of Fitzgerald, the jailing of a New York Times reporter for 85 days, and a federal grand jury indictment of Libby for perjury and obstruction of justice for allegedly attempting to conceal his role in leaking Plame's name to the press.

The Plame affair was not so much a reflection of any personal animus toward Wilson or Plame, says one former senior administration official who knows most of the principals involved, but rather the direct result of long-standing antipathy toward the CIA by Cheney, Libby, and others involved. They viewed Wilson's outspoken criticism of the Bush administration as an indirect attack by the spy agency.

Those grievances were also perhaps illustrated by comments that Vice President Cheney himself wrote on one of Feith's reports detailing purported evidence of links between Al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein. In barely legible handwriting, Cheney wrote in the margin of the report:

"This is very good indeed … Encouraging … Not like the crap we are all so used to getting out of CIA."

-- Murray Waas is a Washington-based writer and frequent contributor to National Journal. Several of his previous stories are also available online.

BobL-VA :

John Peddicord,

Being a big believer in responsibility I don't give the Taliban a pass on OBL. They knowingly harbored and supported OBL and his not so merry band of spedunklers for years.

Whether they actually had knowledge of 9/11 isn't even the point. I won't let Bush/Cheney off the hook for their invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq any more then I'll let OBL and the Taliban off the hook for 9/11. (I live 4 miles away from the Pentagon and heard the explosion and shortly thereafter witnessed the smoke) It was a dispicable act and OBL was aided by the Taliban. I do hold them responsible. They at least knew OBL wasn't a diplomat and was looking to invoke his will via violence. That makes them culpable. Bush has actually been nicer to Afghanistan then I would have been. I would have given the Taliban a chance to turn OBL over to us and if they didn't I would have gone after him and them with a vengance. We have a right and a duty to protect our borders.

This is the precise point Bush screwed up so bad. He basically gave the perpetrators of 9/11 a pass and used our resources to go after a petty dictator who had nothing to do with 9/11.

I know, I know. What makes Bush's senseless violence any different then OBL's. Unfortunaely with Iraq, the answer is nothing. If anything Bush is more guilty then OBL. However, since Bush is the duly (I hate saying this) elected President of the United States he can hide behind legalities. (which is what the wingnuts bring up over and over again ad nauseum)

John Peddicord :

Setting the Record Straight RE Bush's Negligence and the TV Media's Complicity:

By the way, I think that since November has redeemed itself. As for Fox...........

September 27,2006

This morning on ABC morning news my wife and I witnessed yet another example of the nihilism of the Bush regime and the complicity of the mainstream media (MSM). At issue is whether the Clinton or Bush administrations were negligent in dealing with the threat from Osama bin Laden (OBL).

Excerpts from the Fox News Sunday report by Chris Wallace were shown where Clinton angrily defended his anti-terrorism program. The Fox report was scheduled to be an interview with Clinton to discuss his “Global Initiative” in which he has raised $7.3 billion for world poverty , but Clinton was blind-sided by Wallace into an impromptu debate concerning Clinton’s alleged failure to confront al-Qaeda.

The most egregious lies presented in this one-sided ABC fabrication were at the end where Newt Gingrich was given a lengthy segment in which he had the audacity to claim that Clinton angry response was “premeditated” and faked.

Putting aside the fact that ABC framed the issue as a “war of words”, a slugfest between Bill and Hillary in one corner and George and Condi in the opposing corner, thereby demeaning this important issue to the level of another sordid episode of the soap opera “Democrats vs. Republicans”, where ABC exposes the latest “exaggerations” of both camps.

ABC, in their usual fashion of “objective” reporting, quoted Condi Rice as saying that the Bush regime had never been given a comprehensive plan to fight terrorism, then showed a CIA memo to President Bush, dated January 21, 2001 titled ’…al Qaeda to Strike the in US.’ which refuted Condi Rice’s contention. Fair enough, although they could have done far more to expose the lies perpetrated by the Bush regime to cover-up their gross negligence in ignoring the threat posed by OBL.

The ABC presenter then tried to characterize as an “exaggeration” the contention that the Bush regime never had a meeting of the principals (members of the cabinet like the Defense Secretary, and the National Security chief etc) to discuss the terrorist threat until it was too late. After more than nine months of frantic and forceful urging by Richard Clarke the meeting of principals did finally take place one week before September 11, 2001.

The ABC news report was based upon last Sunday’s Chris Wallace interview with Clinton, giving the impression that they were quoting Clinton on this issue of the “meetings of the principals”. In fact, Clinton never even mentioned it in that forum. Richard Clarke, who ought to know, is the person who raised the issue in his book, and in his testimony to the 9/11 Commission.

In a misleading attempt to support ABC’s claim that Clinton “exaggerated” when he supposedly claimed that there had never been any meetings of the principals to discuss the terrorist threat, they listed the dates of four meetings that had taken place during 2001, the last being the meeting of the principals that indisputably did take place on September 4. As for the other three meetings, the 9/11 Report provides no evidence that they brought together the CSG chief (Richard Clarke) and President Bush, VP Cheney and the other principals. The 9/11 Report only mentions “top officials” without being explicit.

Clearly ABC was leaving the false impression that all four meetings included the principals,. The fact that a meeting of the principals did not take pace until September 4, 2001, despite Richard Clarke’s efforts, supports the claim that the Bush regime did not take the terrorist threat seriously enough.

John Peddicord :

Excuse me for the length of this posting from Ramsey Clark (former President Johnson's Attorney General). Clark represented Saddam at his trial in an attempt to see justice done. Since 1991 Clark has written the truth about Saddam Hussein and Iraq. If his opinions had seen the light of day then, we may have avoided the mess we're in now. Everything he said about Iraq then, is applicable to Iran now, as you will see. I think it is about time that he was heard.

Demonize to Colonize
Ramsey Clark
August 2004

"In the determination of any criminal charge ... everyone shall be entitled to a fair and public hearing by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal established by law."

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights – Article 14(1)

The complete demonization of Saddam Hussein threatens to determine every decision and action affecting not only his future but that of Iraq as well. With U.S. mass media and U.S. government propaganda stripping Saddam Hussein of every redeeming human quality, any act against him or Iraq is ipso facto justified.

This successful demonization made the U.S. unilateral war of aggression against Iraq politically possible. It now makes a fair trial for Saddam Hussein impossible.

The debate about intelligence failures is itself a cover-up of the obvious. Saddam Hussein was demonized to justify regime change in Iraq. It rendered him an evil madman threatening the civilized world. He possessed weapons of mass destruction. He supported 9/11. He aided al-Qaeda. WMDs could be launched within minutes of his order. That Saddam Hussein would use them was clear. He used them "against his own people." Ignored were the facts that under devastating attacks by the U.S. in 1991 and 2003, Iraq did not use any illegal weapons. In 1991, Iraq was the victim of 88,500 tons of explosives (almost seven Hiroshimas) delivered by the Pentagon in 42 days that destroyed its infrastructure: water systems, power, transportation, communications, manufacturing, commercial properties, housing, mosques, churches, synagogues. Food production, processing, storage, distribution, fertilizer and insecticide production, were targeted for destruction. Nearly 150,000 defenseless people were killed outright in Iraq. The U.S. claimed its casualties to be 156 — 1/3 from friendly fire, the remainder accidents.

Sanctions against Iraq from August 6, 1990, into 2003 took over 1,500,000 lives, the majority children under age five. By October 1986, 567,000 children under five were dead from sanctions according to a U.N. FAO report that month. One-fourth of the infants born alive in Iraq in 2002 weighed less than four pounds, a dangerously low and crippling birth weight — symbolic of the condition of the entire country.

During the high-tech terrorism of "Shock and Awe" in March and April 2003, Iraq never used any WMDs or other illegal weapon as some 25,000 of its defenseless people were killed.

At least 35 nations have WMDs in their military stockpiles, the U.S. more than all others combined. The U.S. is planning a new generation of nuclear weapons, tactical weapons that would have been used against Iraq if the U.S. had possessed them in 2003. The U.S. used 4,000 tons, or more, of depleted uranium, super bombs in attempts to assassinate Saddam Hussein and cluster bombs to savage anyone within a large area, usually urban, where they were dropped.

Saddam Hussein was demonized because he refused to surrender the sovereignty and independence of Iraq and its people to demands and plans for U.S. domination and exploitation under its New World Order.

At the very time the Bush administration claims Saddam Hussein committed his most serious atrocities, "gassing his own people," Kurds at Halabja, in March 1988, near the end of the Iran-Iraq war, U.S. support for the government of Saddam Hussein was at its height. Donald Rumsfeld was a principal player. Stephen C. Pelletiere, the CIA’s senior political analyst of Iraq during the Iran-Iraq war, professor at the Army War College from 1988 to 2000 and head of a 1991 U.S. Army investigation into how Iraq would fight a war against the U.S., has repeatedly and publicly absolved Iraq from targeting Kurds at Halabja. See, e.g., New York Times, Jan. 31, 2003, p. A29.

A Defense Intelligence Agency investigation and report made immediately after the Halabja incident absolved Iraq. The U.S. continued its support of Iraq with full knowledge of the facts.

The "rogue states" condemned by President Bush are "rogue" because they do not submit to U.S. authority. They include, among others, Cuba, Aristide’s Haiti, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Syria, until recently Liberia and Libya, Brazil, Ecuador and Venezuela more recently. Some members of the European Union, most notably France and Germany, timorously, have offered some opposition to the U.S., on the question of Iraq. While they are not called rogues, they have paid a price for this impudence. For those who believe both peace and economic justice require "sovereign equality" among nations, a principle on which the U.N. Charter is based, the "rogue states" deserve our gratitude for resisting, often at a terrible cost, U.S. demands for submission. Nearly all the more than 80 U.S. military interventions in the Western Hemisphere in the past century are evidence that the U.S. intervenes in countries that defy its will and resist its exploitation.

"Our SOBs" — the Somozas of the world — who govern for the benefit of the U.S. and their own selfish interests, have caused many more wars, far greater violations of human rights and most deadly, deeper impoverishment of hundreds of millions of people than all the rogue states which most often are struggling for liberation or self-preservation.

If the U.S. can successfully use the demonization of Saddam Hussein to justify his illegal detention and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment and consolidate its control over Iraq through the corruption of law and government, the consequences will be more violence against the U.S., more aggression by the U.S. and more misery for the world.

The brazen humiliation of Saddam Hussein after his capture, the former Iraqi President disoriented, disheveled, mouth probed wide open, a helpless prisoner, was shown repeatedly on TV internationally and viewed by more than one billion people. American Indians understood immediately and were angered again: That is the way they treated our captured Chiefs: Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Geronimo and many others. Filipinos still wince as they remembered the treatment accorded their President Aquinaldo, captured by U.S. treachery in his hideout in northern Luzon a century ago. The Bush administration appears to prefer a fate for Saddam Hussein more like that of the slave rebellion leader Nat Turner nearly two centuries ago — his head on a post.

Later photos showed Saddam Hussein, humiliated before a rich U.S. Iraqi puppet leader and avowed enemy, who was sitting free and comfortable above Saddam Hussein in his cell, a large picture of President George W. Bush hung on the wall. This conduct advertises to the whole world that the U.S. has no respect for the Geneva Conventions, or mere simple decency.

It must be observed that all the rogue states, the victims of the many U.S. interventions and the U.S. captives mutilated, or humiliated as Saddam Hussein has been, are members of the great majority of the world’s population that has beautiful darker skin. They are the poor of the planet, being made poorer, dominated and exploited by the foreign policies of the U.S. and its rich allies designed for domination, exploitation and triage.

The devastating destruction of life and life-supporting infrastructure by the massive aerial assaults of 1991 and 2003, the regular bee-sting bombing of Iraq in between, the vicious armed raids against Iraqis, averaging 25 per day now and constant since May 1, 2003, when Bush claimed the war was over and, above all, the genocidal sanctions strangling the whole society for more than twelve years with virtually no protest in the U.S. mass media, government and political leadership required race-based saturation and demonization to be accepted. Attention must be paid.

Can we remember President Bush’s outrage when Iraqi TV. in March 2003 showed several captured U.S. soldiers being escorted by Iraqis in poor light and at a distance that made identification impossible? We might wonder how U.S. soldiers captured in the future, or other U.S. hostages, will be treated.

The most chilling conduct of the U.S. is the total isolation, complete silence about his location and treatment, and denial of all visitation for Saddam Hussein. The spectre created by Guantanamo says anything goes. But the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights provides that:

No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest or detention. No one shall be deprived of his liberty except on such grounds and in accordance with such procedure as are established by law.

Anyone who is arrested shall be informed, at the time of arrest, of the reasons for his arrest and shall be promptly informed of any charges against him.

Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. Article 9(1-3).

It further requires: All persons deprived of their liberty shall be treated with humanity and with respect for the inherent dignity of the human person.

Tariq Aziz, Iraq’s former Deputy Prime Minister, a major figure in international diplomacy for twenty years, has been held in secret without reports on his health, or treatment for eight months now. Unnamed prisoners at Guantanamo have been held for two years with only glimpses of unconscious prisoners being carried on stretchers, and semi-conscious prisoners stumbling with leg chains supported by U.S. soldiers as they leave interrogation.

The U.S. cannot use its criminal war of aggression, or its belated designation of Saddam Hussein as a prisoner of war to escape the international standards of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

The very detention of Saddam Hussein is illegal. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was a war of aggression, an offense called "the supreme international crime" in the Nuremberg Judgment. Prisoners held by the U.S. as a result of this war of aggression must be released, or turned over to the United Nations, or the International Criminal Court, and not a jurisdiction of its choice.

The U.N. and the ICC are legal, independent, impartial, competent and have jurisdiction to act, all conditions required by international law. The U.N., or the ICC, can make a preliminary determination as to whether there is sufficient evidence of criminal conduct to support criminal charges, the necessity and nature of further detention and whether a legal, independent, impartial and competent court exists with jurisdiction to try the charges.

There is no court in Iraq and no existing domestic law. The U.S. war of aggression and occupation have destroyed both. The present U.S. puppet council in Iraq has no legitimacy and is comprised of sworn enemies of Saddam Hussein, the first qualification for the job. It cannot be foreseen when a new sovereign government capable of creating a legal, independent, impartial and competent court might be formed, but any new criminal code it might enact would be ex post facto for any act committed prior to its enactment.

The Security Council does not have power under the U.N. Charter to create a criminal court and its creation of courts for Yugoslavia, Rwanda, Sierra Leone and participation in a court for Cambodia, all under coercion from the U.S. in pursuit of its enemies, cannot create power to do that which its Charter denies it.

Nor are the Security Council’s hands clean concerning Iraq. It authorized sanctions, albeit under U.S. coercion, against Iraq that were genocidal, inflicting infinitely greater injury on the people of Iraq than the worst demonization of Saddam Hussein proclaims he did.

The International Criminal Court is legal and presumptively independent, impartial and competent. Its jurisdiction reaches major international crimes against peace, war crimes and crimes against humanity, but only for acts alleged to have been committed after June 30, 2002.

Most important of all, any court that might consider charges against Saddam Hussein must also weigh charges against the United States, its officials and others acting in concert with them. If equal justice under law is to have any meaning, and equality is the mother of justice, power cannot confer impunity for commission of wars of aggression, the supreme international crime, or the plethora of other offenses the U.S. has committed against the people of Iraq.

For there to be peace, the days of victors’ justice must end.

August 2004

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

AM from Vienna,

We're not talking to Iran because Iran doesn't want to talk, let me explain my reasoning: the European nations have talked to Iran for several years and offered Iran a package deal, in return for Iran halting uranium enrichment we'd help them set up a civilian nuclear program and make certain they would have fuel for the foreseeable future. It was a good deal and if they had wanted just nuclear energy it would have been a godsent; a low cost and very secure (for nuclear) source of energy. Iran's response was to call the offer 'very insulting and humiliating'. The US, through backing these efforts of its European allies, has had extensive conversations with Iran. What Iran does is to say that we (in the west) don't want to talk seriously to them but then once the conversation does get going they start to stonewall it; They're out to buy time. Why? Well the consensus is that they need to buy time so they can enrich more uranium and produce enough of it to build a couple of bombs. That's the consensus amongst those who supported the UN resolution against Iran.

We're not officially talking to Syria because Syria refuses to cooperate in the Hariri assassination investigation. Talking to Syria about Iraq without having their cooperation in Lebanon would deal them a free hand there, Lebanon is very vulnerable at the moment and legitimization of Syria's methods there could bring down the Lebanese government and plunge the country into the kind of chaos that only intervention from a powerful neighbour (Syria) could prevent; they have been playing that game for decades because of the notion that Lebanon is a part of the geography that Damascus must have influence over.

I agree it would be nice to have an open discussion with all parties but I've not seen a format in and terms under which that could be successful; most countries will use such a conference as a forum to further their own agenda, to blame someone else for problems they can actually help fix (Lebanon, Iraq, the Palestinian/Israeli conflict) or to refuse to appear at because such and so is there or is not there (ie some countries won't show up if Israel is represented and others won't agree on who is representative of Lebanon or Iraq etc etc). It'll simply blow up before it can even get started especially now that the US leadership role has been so undermined by the Iraqi quagmire.

Lots of politicians talk about talking to Iran and Syria and organizing such a greater regional security conference but as far as they are jaded by experience it's just talk; perhaps there are some green politicians from the sticks who actually believe it's possible but other than that it's mainly populist advocacy of a pointless course of action that the Bush administration simply can't practically follow.

You're entitled to your opinion and I am glad we can have this exchange; but I still don't see compelling reasons why the US would be more dangerous than Iran. If Iran acquires nuclear capability it has control over most of the very oil that runs the engine of our economy; this threat isn't imagined because the Iranian leadership has a religous agenda and has repeatedly said it is out to defeat the 'global arrogances' (me and you included). You might think the US presence in Iraq is illegal and immoral but while from your perspective the Bush administration then is a loose cannon it doesn't therefore make them more dangerous than Iran.

John Peddicord :

To AMVIENNAVA:

Really this is a "red herring" but I think that OBL could have been apprehended or eliminated without an invasion of Afghanistan. The destruction of the Taliban was probably not necessary, although I would be the first to condemn them for any number of reasons. But there are sovereignty issues.

The fact that OBL was not dealt with, that is the mission was a failure (if you believe the stated objective), makes one wonder, given OBL's previous connections to the CIA and Saudi Arabian GID, what the objective of the mission really was.

There is a lot of controversy surrounding this issue.

BobL-VA :

John Peddicord,

No doubt about it. Bush's first year was his best. He has managed to take a dismal start and steadily go down hill each and every year since. I'm proud to have such an abject failure for a president. Next time around maybe we can dig up Taft and vote for him again.

John Peddicord :

Bush’s First Year Foreign Policy Achievements

Here is a brief summary of George W. Bush’s first year in office (2001) and his many remarkable changes in direction with regards to US foreign policy. When I wrote this in April 2004 I also knew that Bush had planned to invade Iraq long before September 11, 2001, and that his claims that Iraq is "the front-line in the war on terrorism" is a part of a systematic and premeditated deception of which I have abubdant documentation.

Kyoto Protocol

In March Bush withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol . This was devastating to any progress on addressing the effects of emissions on global climate change because, with only 5% of the worlds population, the US is responsible for 30% of the world emissions of greenhouse gases.

The Bush administration denies there is any problem despite the world consensus of concerned scientists to the contrary. The goals of the protocol were modest, but, regardless ,“Bushies” felt that Americans’ lifestyle would be compromised. Of course, the Americans citizens they were protecting were in the oil and energy business: Bush (Arbusto, Spectrum 7, Harken), Cheney (Halliburton Oil Field Services), Condoleeza-Rice (Exxon/ Mobil), Ken Lay (Enron) et al. Later that year 178 nations signed the Treaty.


UN Commission on Human Rights and the International Criminal Court

Delegates sent to represent the US at the Commission so outraged other members that they voted to refuse to renew America’s membership. This country is the only Western nation that still executes minors and mentally retarded persons, imprisons a greater proportion of its population than any other country besides he former Soviet Union, and refuses to recognize the human rights of POW’s as guaranteed by the Geneva Convention.

Bush has also refused to sign on to an international agreement concerning war criminals, contending that US troops serving peacekeeping missions abroad must be given immunity from prosecution.


World Health Organization

In July Bush replaced the normal contingent of public health professionals at the WHO World Health Assembly with representatives from anti-abortion groups and a former chief negotiator for the Vatican. None of them had any public health experience.


ABM Treaty and START II

The administration decided to scrap the international treaty designed to prevent the development of anti-missile defense systems. The deployment of such systems would obviously affect the concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) which has prevented the nuclear powers from obliterating themselves since the end of WW II. Amerika wants to develop its Nuclear Missile Defense (NMD) system, formerly called “Star Wars“. despite the protestations of its allies and enemies alike. Many weapons experts do not believe this is even possible, and after Reagan spent millions in development, there never was a successful test of the concept. Well, the military-industrial complex gotta make a living too you know!

Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty

Bush also backed out of the treaty to ban all nuclear testing. He did this because the US wants to develop the “Robust Nuclear Earth Borer”, a new tactical nuclear device that purportedly will destroy deep bunkers. Nevadans are scared about the resumption of nuclear testing in their state, and are organizing right now to protest.


Biological Weapons Convention

In August 2001 Bush backed out of the 1995 Draft Accord to rid the world of biological weapons . Bush really is an advocate of free trade and wouldn’t want to sacrifice the huge profits to be made in the international market for biological weapons, As a member of Congress recently said “If you want to know what biological weapons Saddam has acquired, look at your receipts!”

After 9/11 the Bush administration finally began to take seriously the threat of international terrorism and in November reversed its position on the biological weapons treaty


Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development


That same summer the Bushies dropped an initiative of Clintons and the OECD to crack down on international money laundering. This is the means by which drug lords, terrorists, and individual and corporate tax evaders use the offshore banking systems to move and hide money from law enforcement and the IRS. Clinton pushed through a tough bill to give law enforcement the power to go after these banks, but Senator Phil Gramm of Texas killed it. Do you suppose the Bush Administration and Republicans are on the side of tax evaders, drug lords and terrorists, or maybe they viewed this as a restriction of free trade?

After 9/11 the Clinton plan was re-introduced as part of the PATRIOT Act. If law enforcement had been given this power earlier they might have followed the money trail to uncover the 9/11 hijackers.

AMviennaVA :

C.Mo : I take exception: The attack on Afghanistan was necessary and a response to an attack against the US.

C.Mo :

Well, America, the morphine drip has been slipped into our arms, and we are being 'sleep walked' into a third front in Mr. Bush's vanity war.

Could there be a better tactic to beat down the calls for withdrawal from Iraq than to become engaged in a new action in Iran?

To me, Bush and Ahmadinejad are two loose lug nuts rattling around in the same hubcap; sooner or later they are bound to collide, then critical mass will be achieved.

By the way, has anyone else noticed their similar physical appearance? They even seem to wear the same smug smirk as they issue their threats. I'm tellin' you, put a 4 day growth on Mr. Bush and you have Ahmad'.

Gary Masters :

I would like to blame the State Department because I know of many faults and people who are far short of what we want in that agency. But we are responsible for our State Department and its resources. The USA has never been that good in explaining itself to the world. Look at South America during WWII.

But we can not afford that sort of indifference. The fault of the White House has been in not explaining Iraq and its other policies in a manner to gain support. In the absence of official explanations that people believe, all sorts of conspiracies have grown up. Europe loves speculation. So we suffer, they will suffer and the world will loose.

Zoltan :

jvd70: "Marshall aid in most cases was never returned to the US, so how they were cashing in from the 'clever investment' you think they made really is a thing you ought to explain."

Oh yes it was, thousandfolds. I'll give a short list:

- the modern radar, which would give later the micro-wave oven (and now a new weapon) was transferred by the british over to the US because they feared German invasion, and didn't want that to fall into Nazi hands

- the jet reactor for airplanes was a German invention (Messerschmidt Me-262) and the plans were taken by the americans at the end of the war.

- the Saturn V rocket, that sent americans to the moon for the Apollo missions, was made by Werner Von Brown, inventor of the V2 (the first cruise-missile).

The Marshall plan was an investment in that it gave the USA a tremendous intellectual credit, thousands or millions of cultivated people went there seeking a better life, and really believing in what they were doing. It also gave all american factories a huge client base. And what did the USA do with that ?

As for not being paid back, you're joking right? In the newspapers I read they "borrow" 2 billion dollars a day from the rest of the world. And, since the end of the Bretton-Woods accords 15 august 1971, it is a fact that they will not be paid back. How much did they invest in the Marshall plan ?


BobL-VA :

MikeJ,

Thank you for the compliment, "You turn my stomach you left-wing piece of trash." I sincerely hope reason, logic and comapassion of people triumph over the blood curdling policies you advocate. If being called trash by someone like you is the price I pay to express my views it's a very small price indeed.


Tom,

Yes, you are right about the US doing something very very good in WWII. The industrial complex output of the United States combined with 5 million soldiers, sailors and airmen certainly turned the tide in the War and was instrumental in liberating Europe and defeating the Nazi's. After the war we were also instrumental in helping Europe to rebuild. This is the history and it was the shining light in US military involvment around the globe.

What distresses me about WWII is it has been used as justification for all conflicts since then. Even though a Vietnam and a Iraq have absolutely nothing in common with Germany/Hitler one side always wants to equate the two no matter who we want to blow up. The logic goes like this. The US did a good thing in WWII hence whatever they do in the future should also be good. I don't buy the logic. Each act the US commits should be based on the merit of that act and should have little to nothing to do with it's previous acts.

America is obessed with winning and losing. It's almost like a disease here. It clouds almost everything we do. It also drives our economy so it has positive benefits as well. The classic example of this is our belief we won the cold war. First, there was no war. I know you're not going to like this, but look up the definition of war. We were never at war. We did have an arms race going on and we were vying for spheres of influence, but we never came to blows. We came close over Cuba, but it never happened. The collapse of the Soviet Union was an economic/political collapse. We certainly hastened this collapse via our out spending them on weapons and systems, but the Soviet collective system was horribly inefficient to start with and as Marx was found of saying, "the seeds of destruction," were already in place for the eventual collapse. Nikita was dead wrong when he slammed his shoe on the table at the UN and said, "We shall bury you economically and politically." (that was the actual quote) The world won when the Soviet Union reformed. The result was tensions lessened on the globe and that was a good thing. Second, while Bush promised victory in Iraq (and a lot of us were wondering what that was) when he failed to deliver in a timely fashion that's when the majority of Americans pulled their support of the war. The same thing happened in Vietnam. As the conflicts drag on the majority of Americans preceive they aren't winning and want out.

As a left wing piece of trash this disturbs me. I'd much rather have America stop and think about who they are blowing up and why. Instead I have to wait for the inevitable loss of American appetite for conflicts that become no win situations. Once this happens then I can crow the majority is on my side and has seen the light. Alas, I know it isn't true, but I'll take what I can get.

Joyce :

I think the world was astonished when Bush was re-elected. They must wonder about us and how seriously we take our own precious "democracy" -- that we are peddling around the globe -- when half the people here don't even vote!

In my opinion, it's time we stopped being terrorized by this administration. When we are told by radical right-wing fear-mongers that a vote for a Democrat is a vote for terrorism, I'd call that terrorism. When the cold war ended, it also removed opportunities for war profiteers. Think about it.

Sec. Rice, refuses to talk with Iran or Syria, saying "they know what they need to do." I suggest congress put together a panel of real diplomats and get down to some genuine conflict resolution. Or, would that be bad for business?

AMviennaVA :

Yes indeed. Apparently Iraq has become a shining example of stability!

Anonymous :

"And in Lithuania, a government spokeswoman said the government there is strongly considering a withdrawal."

Contagious disease, no doubt! Stability is obviously a major source of instability, in Iraq. Middle East, paradoxical world!

Robert Rose :

And now Denmark!

"Denmark has announced that it will pull all of its troops out of Iraq in August, as Britain unveiled a plan to scale down its forces in the country." (english.aljazeera.net)

SPIN (orwellian): "Gordon Johndroe, a spokesman for the Bush's administration's National Security Council... suggested that Blair's move was a signal of increasing stability in Iraq." So must be the Danish move! So much stability in Iraq, and increasing by the day, one would hardly believe. Orwellian!

NON-SPIN: It's all over, and "time is running out." (British Commander General Dannatt)

Will the Brits, the Danes, etc. now all be called "cowards", "girlie men" who only know how to "cut and run"? Including prince Harry, from Basra?

Will a conflict with Iran (how about a new Gulf of Tonkin incident, in the straight of Ormuz, something CNN was already contemplating, last night ?) be needed to draw attention away from that awesome victory in Iraq?

In this unstable, humiliating situation, where are the greater threats likely to come from?

Just asking.


pappy :

What should we make of this? Nothing. The modern history of European opinion is dubious. Remember the appeasment of Nazi Germany? European opinion is like a soap opera, a lot of yacking with little substance.

pappy :

What should we make of this? Nothing. The modern history of European opinion is dubious. Remember the appeasment of Nazi Germany? European opinion is like a soap opera, a lot of yacking with little substance.

John Peddicord :

To put Iran's nuclear aspirations in perspective I would like to post this comment from former President Jimmy Carter published in the International Herald Tribune on Monday May 2, 2005.

I know that, despite Carter's piety, honesty, and extraordinary abilities, which garnered him the Nobel Prize for Peace, that he will be mercilessly attacked by the right-wing. I will say this first: by attacking him you will only expose and further marginalize yourselves.

So, go ahead and MAKE MY DAY!

Remember, the World KNOWS who Jimmy Carter is, and recognises him as one of the greatest Americans ever.

"The United States is the major culprit in this erosion of the NPT. While claiming to be protecting the world from proliferation threats in Iraq, Libya, Iran and North Korea, American leaders not only have abandoned existing treaty restraints but also have asserted plans to test and develop new weapons, including antiballistic missiles, the earth-penetrating "bunker buster" and perhaps some new "small" bombs. They also have abandoned past pledges and now threaten first use of nuclear weapons against non-nuclear states."

John Peddicord :

As for Mr. Danley's point about Ahmadinejad's threats to wipe the Zionist regime off the map:

The simple response which I should have made immediately is that Ahmadinejad is simply turning Bush's rhetoric back at him in calling for "regime change" in Israel. So if you condemn Ahmadiejad then you must condemn Bush. But there is a vast difference in their potential for fulfilling those threats.

Ahmadinejad's threats are empty threats, simply political rhetoric aimed primarily to energize his domestic supporters. Bush's invasion of Iraq has enabled him (Ahmadinejad) in this.

Are you really so ill-informed about Iran that you don't know that Bush's actions have "pulled the rug out from underneath" the previously flourishing Western leaning, moderate, democrats in Iran?

Iran is not monolithic in any sense of the word. There are religious extremists to be sure but there are moderates too, many of them, who advocate a less theocratic, more democratic form of government for Iran.

Wingnuts always accept, without thought, the simplistic "party line". No country is monolithic. Not Britain, France, Israel or the US, no one. Even in a dictatorship like Syria there are broad differences of opinion that are voiced openly.

Iran is NOT a dictatorship, despite Bush's claims. Ahmadinejad was elected by the Iranian people in a process that appears to be vastly superior to our own. After all, look at the end result!

Iran is a complex blend of theocracy and democracy which seems to work very well for them.

So, what is the problem?

John Peddicord :

Many previous bloggers, those of a right wing persuasion and Bush supporters every one (I call them Wingnuts, more a term of endearments than a pejorative), have documented at GREAT length some of the most heinous and despicable of man’s inhumanity to man. They have enumerated the millions of humanity that suffered at the hands of Stalin and Hitler. This is all common knowledge.

But these bloggers have done more to indict Bush and his minions then any of his detractors.

Bush , unwittingly (in both meanings of the word), has indicted himself again and again when he declares that Saddam Hussein was an evil dictator and, at the end of the day, it must be a GOOD thing that we deposed him and “brought him to justice”.

When I mention the following common aphorism you will understand instantly what I mean:

DAMNING WITH FAINT PRAISE

The “faint praise” that issues, even from the mouth of the “the Decider (Dictator) ” himself, and all of his sycophants , has got to be the faintest praise that one could imagine. To paraphrase them:

“Bush could have killed more people than Hitler or Stalin, but he didn’t, so you see he must be a good man.”

By comparing the greatest atrocities of the past, and the death toll of countless terrorist attacks against innocent victims, with what has occurred in Iraq the Wingnuts unwittingly make a devastating admission.

THAT BUSH TAKES HIS PLACE IN THE ANNALS OF MAN’S INHUMANITY TO MAN.

And that is how they damn him.

AMviennaVA :

Salamon February 20, 2007 7:04 PM:

What is "If you submit that IRan is dangerous without a Nuclear Bomb [even the USA admits that it does not have N-bomb, and will not have for 3-4 years] while the USA is benign with 20 000 + nuclear weapons [ and has Nuclear armed navy off shore of IRan] then I hope that the white coated medical personel with a straight jacket are on the way to collect you, ere you cause some irrevocable damage to yourself or others." this in response to?

AMviennaVA :

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL February 20, 2007 5:40 PM:

Well, the first item to clarify is whether Bush has the right to 'warn' anyone about activities in Iraq. I consider our (US) presence in Iraq to be illegal and immoral, and Bush's conduct vis-a-vis Iraq and the Middle East to be criminal. We (the US) are outsiders who now demand that the locals better behave the way WE want them to. I hope that you forgive me, or at least understand me, but I consider Bush's actions the greater threat. If our troops are in harm's way, i consider it more prudent to (1) negotiate with he countries of the region; (2) negotiate with ALL Iraqis; and (3) get out.

sam :

READY:

you should visit london, there is a place called hyde park corner for people like you.

Ready :

Liberal conspiracy alert!

"Americans are just Jealous of Europeans because they have better dressed and prettier women..."

wait, not that one (we import them from canada).

"Oh, one reason Iran hates the USA. The USS vincennes shot a Iranian passenger jet out of the sky in 1988 while illegally in iranian waters,"

Now come on, we were the great satan long before that. You know, that whole CIA ninja thing over the shah.

However, as soon as the Iranians have a nuke, they will suddenly test a missle capable of hitting London. And then Irans demands will really start. And then a chechnyan faction will detonate a small nuclear device in europe or russia, and then a nuclear device in long beach, and then.....


sam :

mike j

"Read this sort of thing day after day and then imagine Iran with nuclear weapons."

suicide bomb in shi'ite district... and so.

I get your point, but...

it is likely a sunni insurgent attack in shi'ite area, that is why the news agency identified the area as such. Do u know the difference?

I think your argument is simplistic.

Imagine the employers of the slaughterers in Haditha with a nuclear bomb?

Equally simplistic, but a similar argument.

Anonymous :

to steel resolve

"I wonder if some of these posters opinions would change if it was their son or daughter's face blown off by an Iranian EFP, or their head shredded by a sniper rifle purchased by Iran and smuggled into Iraq by the Quods force."

Then dont be a soldier if you think you are not going to be shot at. The origins of these weapons are as dubious as the reasons for sending them to the war.

Your graphic descriptions are moving but dont even start about the supply/origins of weapons for revolutionary/resistance groups. Not to mention governments.

Maybe you would change your tune if you had Iranian family, and one their faces was taken off by american supplied weaponry in the iran-iraq war?

steel resolve - stupid name.

Tom Wonacott :

To PG

Is there any way to number the post for reference?

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

"...I have no doubt the US has the worst record on the planet since WWII..."

We have been responsible for a lot of deaths, Bob, but what you ignore is how many lives we have saved. Just by a military deterrent alone, we probably saved millions of South Korean and Taiwanese lives.

Had the US be absent during the cold war, do you believe the USSR just might have been a little more militaristic? As it is, fifteen countries gained independence when the USSR collapsed and four more became democratic. My guess is that we might have saved (potentially) millions more lives. It is so easy to look in hindsight at what we did wrong, but try to take into account the positive contributions of US foreign policy or what the world might have looked like if we were a totally isolationist country. Was the cold war (like many believe about the war on terror) a fabrication?


Finally Bob, why limit your discussion to POST WWII? If you are discussing US history, that should be at the top of the discussion list and WWII, clearly, has been a part of the forum discussion.

Maybe, we could revise your statement to "... the US has liberated and saved more people than any other country since 1940 while also accumulating the worst record on the planet..."


jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

I appreciate your post and your perspective.

Mike J :

Read this sort of thing day after day and then imagine Iran with nuclear weapons.

How long before we see mushromm clouds over Tel Aviv and New York City?

This kind of cowardly slaughter is beneath the animals. At least animals have instincts and a reason when they kill.

This wanton murder of humans by another human, for political reasons, is beneath civilization. It is absolute and unjustifiable savagery.

"Suicide bomber attacks funeral procession, killing 7 persons"

By Bushra Juhi
ASSOCIATED PRESS
February 20, 2007

3:18 p.m.
BAGHDAD -- A suicide bomber struck a funeral in Baghdad today, killing at least seven people as militants show increasing defiance to a major security operation in the capital.

The attacker, wearing a belt packed with explosives, followed a funeral procession into a tent before detonating the blast in a mostly Shi'ite district of eastern Baghdad, police said. At least 15 people were injured.

Divine Strake :

Why can't a republican or an American point out the fact that the U.S. with its military might and current nuclear inventory could deal with any real or potential threats now or in the future without being labeled as a liberal?

Why do we have to act like a paranoid superpower worrying if Iran will soon have a capability to develop nuclear weapons? Even if they possess a single warhead, so what? We only have to use less than 10% of our nuclear warheads to completely destroy all 133 cities and wipe out 67 million inhabitants should Iran poses a grave danger to our national security. Do we need another reason beside national security for a preemptive strike? You bet. If we don't have one, we will invent one. Besides our Israel friends can always come up with one.

How do we know with certainty that Iran or its supporters will be more likely to use a nuclear bomb against the US if they know that the entire Iranian population will see Allah in blinding flashes from our W76 warheads (SLBMs) in the very next hour after their initial strike? Where is the self-preservation concept factored in this equation? Everyone has one and the Japaneses demonstrated that at the end of WWII.

Ready,
The reason for Russia to have more nukes than the US is because their weapons are inaccurate (5 mile radius) and low yield. We also tend to count every weapon dating back to the begining of their nuclear program to exaggerate the threat for defense contracting purposes. Ours are highly accurate within 100 yards and are high yield. Quality first and quantity second is our nuclear inventory philosophy.

sam :

Americans are just Jealous of Europeans because they have better dressed and prettier women, who dont have to try hard to look good or stay healthy.

USA is more dangerous.

Hey READY:

Feb 20 2007 onward it is more likely that Iran or one of their KNOWN terrorist tentacles will be more likely to use a nuclear bomb rather than the US.

Iran can not wait to get nukes and use them.
-----------------------------------------------
And how is it that you know this?? Some of that good old American shoot from the hip opinion.

I dont want anyone to have nuclear weapons but how is it that one country can keep weapons and produce nuclear fuel and another cannot? yeah some non - proliferation treaty, fair enough but...

It is totally illogical.

Oh, one reason Iran hates the USA. The USS vincennes shot a Iranian passenger jet out of the sky in 1988 while illegally in iranian waters,

And nobody said sorry, and the ships captain got a medal, and detroit is like a third world slum.

Oh, there was some hostage crisis too in Tehran, as far as i know none of them where killed.

So The USA is more dangerous to the world, their own citizens and soldiers.

Peace.

Robert Rose :

MikeB to BOBL_VA : Where did all of the right wingnuts come from?... They have a tendency to polarize everyone's opinions and lead any debate down a series of rabbit trails to nowhere. February 20, 2007 4:30 PM

Indeed, TO NOWHERE!

That is the purpose of this "surge", of this flood, particularly obvious this time around. Called "Psychological warfare". Includes accountants of death, even logorhea specialists. Whence the surge? Your guess is as good as mine!...

allajoke :

I tend to agree

Ready :

US has many nukes and has used them as many liberals like to point out. The fact is that from this day Feb 20 2007 onward it is more likely that Iran or one of their KNOWN terrorist tentacles will be more likely to use a nuclear bomb rather than the US. The US has had them for 60+ years and only used them twice in war against a foe that would not quit. Since then, 0 used in war. Iran can not wait to get nukes and use them.

The number of nukes argument is ridiculous. Russia has more nukes than the US. Also England would be a greater threat to themselves than Iran. duh

Mike J :

This is for Bobl-VA,

You say:

"Let's get to the heart of the matter. The US uses it's military to kill millions of people around the globe (just add up the deaths in Iraq and Vietnam)...The US's hands are soaked in blood. So go back to your list and add up all the deaths in Iraq and Vietnam. Once done, compare that list to what any other nation on this planet has done to other nations. I have no doubt the US has the worst record on the planet since WWII."

You, sir, are insane and/or ignorant. You really need to find a history book. You really need to calm down and face reality.

Once again:

MEGAMURDERERS
61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese
20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
10,214,000 Murdered: The Nationalist Regime

LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
5,964,000 Murdered: Japan's Savage Military
2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey's Genocidal Purges
1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
1,585,000 Murdered: Poland's Ethnic Cleansing
1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
1,072,000 Murdered: Tito's Slaughterhouse

SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia

The United States of America saved the world from these monsters and these monsters are what you defend.

The US has the most transparent government on the planet and yet it is accused of every kind of conspiracy and evil intent.

Real evil as embodied by the leadership of Iran and North Korea are given a free pass.

What kind of idiot are you?

How does anyone in their right mind even attempt to equate America's defense of Vietnam from the communists with the slaughter the communists perpetrated after idiots like you made us give up the fight?

It is the same idiotic, ignorant, blind hatred of America that is leading the attempt to pull us out of Iraq.

Another bloodbath, perpetrated by fascists instead of communists (two sides of the same coin), will surely ensue.

And, like the slaughters in Vietnam and Cambodia, it will be ignored by the monstrous and murderous ignorance you embody.

You turn my stomach you left-wing piece of trash.


Robert Rose :

MikeB

"So, don't go sliming the U.K. on that one, we are a worse. A lot worse."

Did I express myself that badly? I really meant to praise the British for both 1. their withdrawal from Iraq (the vast majority of the population was against sending troops to Iraq from the outset) and 2. their making Mandarin accessible (and recommended) to more and more schoolchildren, as a second language. I once lived in England for four years and (although I am not an "anglo-saxon"...) I have a lot of respect and admiration for the British people, their language, their tradition, their culture, etc.

I apologize to all who could have been misled by my note.

MikeB :

Robert Rose - What the British are doing is a lot less than we. They, at least, haven't given up their culture. They are trying to hold onto it. On the BBC today, there is a front page story about government proposals to *require* all immigrants (including spouses and family members of U.S. citizens) to speak and read and write fluent English - http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/6380867.stm

The British, along with every other European country, have passed laws that forbid companies from using cheap foreign labor to replace native workers. They place strict limits on work visa's and it is crime to terminate (say) a British engineer and hire a 26 year old Indian to replace them. Furthermore, if they do hire that Indian worker, they require basic humane working conditions. There is no 70 hour work week, at least without a heck of a lot of overtime pay, and basic health care is provided, taxes collected to support that worker, etc. The U.S. we create English-As-A-Second-Language classes, print signs and newspapers in Spanish, and permit businesses to hire these people at sub-minimum wages. We permit of corporations to fire at will engineers and scientists and replace them with Indian and Chinese "guest workers" at about half salary...or less. And we allow the companies to work them 70 and 80 hour work weeks (the norm is 70 plus!). Often these guest workers have no benefits, no medical insurance, and they often don't even pay U.S. taxes. The *average* cost of these workers on the U.S. taxpayer is something on the order of $30,000 to $50,000 a year. That's for each of them. In fact, the estimated cost of all immigrants, legal and illegal, in terms of federal and state and local taxes, is something like 1.6 TRILLION dollars a year. That's a little too much corporate welfare for my blood. So, don't go sliming the U.K. on that one, we are a worse. A lot worse.

Robert Rose :

TIME OUT! TIME OUT!

"British soldier; Tony Blair set to announce 3,000 troops coming home from Iraq. British troop numbers in Iraq to be halved Tony Blair to announce 3,000 of the 7,000 troops deployed will return in months." (www.telegraph.co.uk/) "Iraq: the British endgame...(www.guardian.co.uk/)All British troops will be pulled out of Iraq by the end of 2008."

Well folks, US winning in Iraq... Victory! Brits are about to leave Basra after "handing it over to the Iraqis"... Left-wing CNN was reporting "first cracks" in the "coalition" (had not been listening, earlier on).

In the meantime, more and more British schoolchildren are learning Chinese as a second language. The Chinese aim at teaching 300 million non-Chinese to speak Mandarin by 2010 (that's tomorrow!).

So while the focus, here, is on Iran... the world is "moving forward", shall we say?

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

MikeB

I don't want you to think I'd flippantly dismiss your perspective. You and I approach this very differently. Europe has to make choices and determine who its friends are; for example we have a choice between the US and Russia every day. For me that choice is no contest, but some Europeans think a closer alliance with Russia is preferable. I wonder if they know what happened in Chechnya.

No matter how corrupt you think the US is it really is no more or less corrupt than your average European democracy. South of me is a fine country called France which supports a number of notoriously undemocratic regimes in some of its former African colonies (such as Chad and Algeria). This is the same France which in its moral superiority thinks it's justified in condemning the US for what it does in Iraq and at Guantanamo bay. When it comes to making sure their arms industry has a fat orders portfolio the French have a less than stellar track record, they first helped Israel develop nuclear weapons and then only a few years later started helping Saddam Hussein himself. They're eager to help arm the Chinese as well which shows how much they care about democracy, human rights and self determination in places such as Tibet and Taiwan. Meanwhile people in the UK wonder if their country is more corrupt than France because France occasionally convicts politicians for corruption.

The Netherlands is a small European country; 16m people living in an areas the size of the US state of Maryland. Until 1945 the Netherlands would be slapped around by the major European powers (twice invaded by the French since independence) whenever they saw fit, but ever since your country liberated it, the Netherlands have been free and secure. We are free to demonize you all we like, and like those folks to my south, we could actually betray your trust and you'd still keep us as an ally. We can build world class companies and compete your workers out of a job and we can and will build protectionist walls around our economy to give us an unfair advantage. So at times does the US, but it's the US that created a postwar world in which we now rely on arbitrage not conflict to resolve our issues.

When you talk about how the early Americans hunted and killed the Native people of the Americas I can't help but think that most of those folks were either immigrants from Europe or were first or second generation immigrants; they brought their prejudice with them. And compare the situation in the US today to the situation in southern and middle America where the Native people still are mostly subject to a neocolonial racist elite. Martin Luther King only 40 years ago had a dream and it's possible that in 2 years time Barack Obama could be the first black President; if Colin Powell had decided to run in 2000 or 2004 he probably would have been your President now. I bring it up because it goes to show how fast you guys adapt to changing realities because you truly are free and the best amongst you can simply succeed on merit. Dr. Kings dream and the American dream really are no different.

Perhaps you feel compelled to respond with another list of wrongs that the US has unleashed upon the world, but I think it's your bitterness and disappointment speaking. It is always good to be critical of ones own politicians and policies. I wish the French did that as much as you do.

Salamon :

Amniennava:

If you submit that IRan is dangerous without a Nuclear Bomb [even the USA admits that it does not have N-bomb, and will not have for 3-4 years] while the USA is benign with 20 000 + nuclear weapons [ and has Nuclear armed navy off shore of IRan] then I hope that the white coated medical personel with a straight jacket are on the way to collect you, ere you cause some irrevocable damage to yourself or others.

BOBL> VA:

It appears for our sanity that we should disregard all the postings of Tom W, Amniev.... and others, who define the world's political/economic benefit based on the most narrow interpretation of what is good for ZIONIST ISRAEL. The benefit/harm, if any, to others is negligable commodity, as long as the USA takes the proper steps to anhilliate one and all according to ZIONIST DIRECTIONS. Historical facts are to be revised, international law to be discarded [and to hell with anyone who oppose their viewpoint].
Enjoyed your postings. Gl

BobL-VA :

James Danley,

Thank you for clearing that up for me. Now I know I can always put, "unless it seems appropriate" at the end of all 10 Commandments. Kind of makes them pretty meaningless, but what the hell Christians never lived by them anyway.

BobL-VA :

To all the wingnuts: PEACEFUL DEMOCRACY? OK, I want what you guys have been smoking. Since when was the United States ever a peaceful democracy? Have any of you actually read a history book? Stupid question, of course not.

If history has taught us anything it is a US style democracy can certainly bring prosperity, but it has never brought peace. Our history from inception has been one military conflict after another. When we didn't have anyone else to fight, we fought ourselves (Civil War).

Oh, silly me, I'm sorry. I forgot. All of these military conflicts we've been engaged in since the Revolution were the result of an enemy compelling us into action.

(example: those nasty Vietnamese were infiltrating US sewer systems and clogging them up. This was a threat to our way of life so we blew up their country?)

Hence, our actions were right and their's were always wrong and God stands right above the American Flag urging our troops to do His work and kill?

A PEACEFUL DEMOCRACY LIKE THE UNITED STATES HAS HAD????? YOU BETTER FIND A BETTER EXAMPLE IF PEACE IS WHAT YOU WANT TO BRING TO IRAQ.

James Danley :

AMViennava, my point was that evidence points towards Iran already fighting American troops in Iraq. If they continue, following President Bush's warning, the United States will have the right to defend and take the war to Iran. As for whether we fight there or here, it is certainly in the best interest of the United States to fight there. At least we are able to maintain a strong economy and continue to provide business and aid around the world. BUT if the fight does come here, the world economy will collapse along with ours. (For evidence of that, one only needs to look at the world markets following 9/11.) Of course based on some of the comments by others, that may be what the anti-capitalism crowd is hoping for.

BOBL-VA, you actually take the commandment, "Thou shalt not kill," well beyond it's meaning. Many Hebrew language scholars agree that it is more correctly translated from the original Hebrew to, "Thou shalt not murder." And a growing number agree that this meaning does not refer to the type of killing that takes place in a war. That while killing one's enemy during a war is okay, intentionally killing a comrade, even on the battlefield would still be murder.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

AMVIENNAVA,

Iran is a great threat;
We have to stop the Iranian leadership from aquiring nukes to protect the global (oil-based) economy, so that it doesn't suddenly collapse under an oil shock. You can google the worryingly apocalyptic statements of Ahmadinejad and his compadre Khamenei for yourself to realize that the risk that the Iranians might actually use or threaten to use a nuclear device isn't entirely hypothetical. They might just bomb or threaten to bomb the Saudi oil fields to cause that oil shock and bring about an end to the 'global arrogances' (that's us and our diabolical world economy) which is their stated intent. Nowadays billions of people depend on oil for their daily supply of water and food; you perhaps can imagine the scale of suffering such an oil shock could bring. Not entirely hypothetical is it? I often think many people hate President Bush with such a passion that they can't actually see beyond it; that the planet is full of reasonable people except for Bush and Cheney; but we Europeans already spent 3 years talking to Iran and offered a great civilian nuclear package to them if only they would stop enriching Uranium themselves, if only they would step back from the brink. They haven't. Meanwhile the UN has a resolution in place vs Iran (not vs the US) so people in European capitals, in Moskow and Beijing think different geopolitical thoughts than you do.

Zoltan,

The UK survived WW2 because of US support, the UK could not have survived on its own against the Germans if it hadn't been for lend lease and lateron active US involvement. The UK fought for their own self preservation while the Americans had to convince themselves that fighting and dying to free colonial powers such as the UK, France and the Netherlands would be worth it. Many Americans who hear this crap about some Europeans thinking the US is more dangerous than Iran may think it wasn't worth it. And that also the problem with the tendentious way Mr. Zakaria phrased the question. How many is many, and can they get a refund on what they spent on their education?

Marshall aid in most cases was never returned to the US, so how they were cashing in from the 'clever investment' you think they made really is a thing you ought to explain. Do you realize that the US helped build economies in Germany and Japan that now field companies such as Toyota, Thyssen, Krupp and Sony that are in direct competition to US companies? If anything the US shot itself in the foot by helping the economies of the vanquished, but those Americans I talk to are actually proud of it. All the more credit to them, it's the sound of freedom. The Eastern European countries such as Hungary refused (under Soviet duress) Marshall aid and in fact had to pay reparations to the Soviet Union. The US considered getting involved in 1956 but considering the overwhelming numerical superiority of Soviet forces and the soviet nuclear capability that was ill advised. If I was a Hungarian I would be bitter and resentful too, but certainly not westwards.

And Zoltan we Europeans don't think the US is the problem, that's what you think, not what a majority thinks, otherwise we wouldn't be in NATO and we wouldn't support the US in Afghanistan, Bosnia, Iraq and at the UN.

MikeB,

You're bitter; you said "We, the United States, are reeponsible for more heartache and pain and bloodshed than anyone else on the face of the earth at this moment in time." I asked "Have you heard of Chechnya or Darfur? Do you realize that what you wrote doesn't stand up to scrutiny?"

Your bitterness perhaps doesn't allow you to see that the grief the US causes is insignificant when compared to what is happening and what happened in Darfur and Chechnya. The shadow of death that is upon Iraq is not being cast by Americans; it is being cast by Iraqis themselves and by the folly of their religiously inspired neighbours who send their young men and veterans alike there to kill and die. And you know what, a peaceful democratic Iraq would give the GOP the ascendancy they hoped for, a peaceful democratic Iraq would almost guarantee a Republican President and congress in 2008 and the years ahead. Anyone who believes that this is what the Republicans planned for lives in a far different reality than I do.

MikeB :

BOBL_VA : Where did all of the right wingnuts come from? Did someone leave a trail of breadcrumbs that they followed? I noticed one of them left a barely literate eleven page listing of "justifications" for incinerating the rest of the world. Then, they appear all over the place, like so many cockroaches in the cupboard where we store paper bags. I get really tired of trying to be a moderate when these lunatics appear. They have a tendency to polarize everyone's opinions and lead any debate down a series of rabbit trails to nowhere.

BobL-VA :

MikeB,

Good post. However, trying a logical argument on a neocon is useless. It's all faith based with them. Forget history, forget facts, just believe. I'm not a Christian, but I act a whole lot more like one then most of these self-proclaimed right wingnuts. They look at the world as a perpetual crusade and are more then willing to butcher anyone who gets in their way. Now you know why we're so much more dangerous then Iran could ever hope of being.

AMviennaVA :

James Danley February 20, 2007 2:52 PM:

"Seriously, Iran is providing weapons to the Shia in Iraq. And may even be providing intelligence." I hope that you remember that SO ARE WE:

1. The government we installed is hia dominated, and owes its majority to Sadr's party. Most of its ministers spent the Hussein years in Iran.

2. The army and police we are equipping are Shia dominated. By all accounts the 'police' also serve as militia facilitators.

To be sure our troops are now in harm's way. My way of supporting them is to take them out of harm's way. In my opinion, if you want them killed, have them killed over here. At least they can guard our porous borders. They may even be available to defend the HOMELAND in the event the Homeland is attacked again.

In short, I find the lamentations about Iran to be akin to discovering that there is gambling going on in a casino! They are reminiscent of the 'concern' expressed about WMD in Iraq.

Lastly, on Truman dropping the atomic weapons. It is all water under the bridge by now, but those weapons were only necessary to secure an UNCONDITIONAL surrender. Japan had already sued for peace.

BobL-VA :

MikeJ,

You wrote, "MikeB, with all due respect. Once again, you ignore facts and speak emotion.

Saddam used weapons of mass destruction against Iran and against his own people, the Kurds.

The United Nations passed seventeen resolutions against Saddam's violations of agreements from the first Gulf War.

The intelligence communities of multiple countries, not just the US, believed Iraq had WMD. After all, he had used them to kill real, live, honest to God people.

After the atrocities of 9/11, President Bush could not ignore any threat. Iraq was a proven threat as demonstrated by its continued attacks on flights in the no-fly zones and refusal to cooperate with UN inspectors.

The great majority of the the US Congress voted to use force to enforce the UN resolutions. The American President acted prudently. There have been no more attacks on American soil since 9/11.

Those are facts."


Having previously stated I thought your orignal post was garbage and you needed to go back and do some work on it this is the best you can come up with? These are only the neocons talking points.

Not one of these points addresses where the US was in danger by an attack from Iraq. Not one.

Let's get to the heart of the matter. The US uses it's military to kill millions of people around the globe (just add up the deaths in Iraq and Vietnam) and it was done for just causes? Hence, our killing is acceptable? Other groups who oppose us and don't have the mega-military complex we have and are forced to use the tactics they have available to them are all "Terrorists?"

The US's hands are soaked in blood. Buckets and buckets of blood. I don't care they thought they had a good reason or not the end result is blood everywhere. So go back to your list and add up all the deaths in Iraq and Vietnam. All of them. Once done, compare that list to what any other nation on this planet has done to other nations. Leave out internal strife. We can't count what people do to themselves. We're only talking about what one country does to another. I have no doubt the US has the worst record on the planet since WWII.

James Danley,

You wrote:

"Finally, Israel exists because that is the Promised Land given to them by God! Jews have continuously lived on this land since the conquest by Joshua more than 3,200 years ago, even though they have not always been in control or even in the majority."

I find it odd someone so religous, as evidenced by the quote, never learned the 10 Commandments. Let me give you a refresher, "THOU SHALL NOT KILL."

So, the next time you want to post keep that commandment in mind while your advocating the deaths of millions of people.

John Peddicord :

The question posed for this blog should have been: is Bush dangerous to the World?

This would avoid having to dredge up past US foreign policy which has been "inconsistent" at best, but has never before been an existential threat to the World.

Mike B brings up a very good point, but I would like to generalize.

All of the Wingnuts try to glorify America's past, which amounts to outrageous "intentional ignorance" (Chomsky coined the phrase). The fact is that America was founded on the genocide of the indigenous Indian population and built on the backs of the slave labor of Africans, Chinese, Irish and many others. Not a very auspicious beginning.

Myth has it that Colonists revolted against crippling taxes. The truth is that, at the persistent insistence of the Colonies King George committed to drive the French out of the Mississippi valley. This cost the English taxpayer four million pounds! The most expensive war that England had ever waged. When Parliament passed new taxes to recoup their costs, incurred for the benefit of the Colonists, Benjamin Franklin went to the parliament in London and refused point-blank to pay!

Bizarrely, all Wingnut bloggers smear and ridicule Europeans, neglecting that (unless they are American Indian or African-American) they are denigrating their own ancestors. Really smart guys.

Further into America's deliberately murky past consider this: Right-Wing Americans suffer from a huge inferiority complex with respect to Europeans and American Europhiles. Call it Europhobia. How so? Simple, they know that their ancestors were the dregs of English society. The criminals, the religious fanatics, the social misfits who denied the Enlghtenment, the fortune-hunters and the losers who wanted another chance in life. We see all these represented amongst the Europhobes who are in denial about ther ancestry.

It is clear why Bush and his supporters are dangerous to the World.

James Danley :

AMViennava, please don't attribute your thoughts as my words ("...by your admission, the US is."). Besides "dangerous" is in the eye of the beholder. To a despot or dictator the threat of freedom and democracy is extremely dangerous. Seriously, Iran is providing weapons to the Shia in Iraq. And may even be providing intelligence. And there is circumstantial evidence that Iranians may actually be involved in fighting Americans. Now that was before President Bush's warning. If they stop then that could ease the tension. But if they continue, that could lead to a war with Iran. The United States has the right and obligation to protect and defend its military personnel.

Mr. Peddicord, based on the words (I do stand corrected) "intepreted" regarding the Zionist regime -- i.e. "vanish" and "elimination...will be smooth and simple" -- it is difficult to imagine President Ahmadinejad meant just the Israeli Knesset and the president and prime minister. But even if he did, that is still a threat against Israel. As for the phrase, "wiped off the map," in his interview with President Ahmadinejad back on Aug. 8, 2006, Mike Wallace asked Ahmadinejad -- point blank -- "Israel, you have said time and again, Israel must be wiped off the map. Please explain why. And what is Iran doing about that?" Ahmadinejad could have denied making the statement, but he chose not to even address the question. Even when Mike Wallace a little later asked, "You still have not answered the question. You still have not answered the question. Israel must be wiped off the map. Why?" Ahmadinejad said he would get to that, but never did. He never denied having said it. Therefore having not denied it, it must be true!

MikeB, the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima was an agonizing decision for President Truman. But he decided to authorize the dropping of the bombs in order to save the 1,000,000 American deaths estimated to incur during a planned invasion of Japan. And that doesn't include the million or so Japanese who might have died. Having said that, I wonder if maybe dropping one bomb a couple of miles off the coast of Tokyo might have been sufficient. We will never know. Many of your other comments (the worn out mantras from the Left) are not even worth a response!

Mary :

I meant to say that the reason why Ahmadinejad is systematically misquoted an demonized is to make the world believe that Iran is preparing to attack Israel, then the US or Israel can claim justification in attacking Iran first.


MJ :

In Europe, there is no diversity of opinion, there is no Fox News Channel, no conservative media. Just like the good old days of the soviet union, a free press is only free to publish stories the elites want published.

If the euro-weenies think we are a danger, we should quit NATO and let the French armee keep Iranian Nukes and Putin out of western Europe.

Europe is become a new Europa-stan anyway, their love and infatuation of those who hate America and Israel will ultimately doom them. No one deserves it more!

MikeB :

vd70, Amsterdam, NL :
You wrote: "...have you heard of Chechnya or Darfur?" And, I would ask you, have YOU heard of the Trail of Tears, of Native American children rounded up and placed in orphanages (my grandmother was), of the "buffalo soldiers" who, after the Civil War, were promised 40 acres and a mule for exterminating my people? Have you heard of the prison camps where Japanese American's were rounded up and imprisoned, their land and homes and businesses stolen? Have you heard of Nagasaki or Hiroshima where over 100,000 *civilians*( were incinerated? Have you even paid attention to the fact that Dick Cheney *personally* interfered with intelligence reports, falsifying them, and THAT is why we sent thousands of young American's off to utterly destroy a country and kill thousands of people and in turn loose thousands of our own precious youth? (Including, I might add, two of my own sons!) And, what about the democratically elected government of Chile where our CIA murdered Allende and his entire family because they were afraid that he was too friendly with the Russians? And what of the innocent people kidnapped and tortured by our CIA (a mistake that will likely lead to our bases in Italy and Germany being closed down). And what about the election fraud that took place in Florida in 2000? One that enabled your Commander In Thief to literally steal and election? We, in this country, have dirty hands, too. We are not a nation of boy scouts. We permit our corporations to wreck havoc upon the entire world, selling arms, buying up businesses for the name and offshoring the jobs to cheap labor markets, displacing hundreds of thousands of European people from jobs. We permit businesses to lay off older employees for no reason, replacing them with young foreign workers. We permit them to take basic medical care from the sick and injured. We have a government with ties to private industry where *all* of the personal information gathered by "Homeland Security" ends up in the hands of insurance companies, banks, and is even shared out overseas. Please excuse me, but you faith in the American democracy is a sick joke. The Republican Party is a criminal enterprise and it is led by criminals. Corporate America is nothing less than a cartel of gangsters that prop up the rotten house that the likes of George Bush and right wing nuts like Rush Limbaugh live in.

AMviennaVA :

Mary: It is not "the world" that believes that Iran is preparing to attack Israel, it is the Bush crowd who have caught war fever and are whipping themselves into a frenzy. But it IS déjà vu all over again.

AMviennaVA :

James Danley February 20, 2007 10:30 AM

You are absolutely correct: Iraq in 1990 attacked Kuwait. And the whole world, through the UN, inspired by us, drove them out. (By the way, the whole no-fly-zone thing afterwards was a US idea, not a UN creation. but that is beside the point as far as this discussion is concerned).

All that is irrelevant to 2003, when everyone said (demonstrably) that there is no justification to attack Iraq, and certainly irrelevant to 2007 about Iran.

"President Bush said enough is enough." that is exactly what makes him (and by extension the US) a threat: acting out of fear, and refusing to accept facts, especially those that do not confirm and reinforce the fear.

Relating back to the topic of the board (Who is the more dangerous?), by your admission, the US is. Because it acts out of fear, without regard to realities, or accountability, or consequences, as Iraq's present condition shows.

Mary :

Obviously, if the world believes that Iran is preparing to attack Israel, then the US or Israel can claim justification in attacking Iran first. Déjà vu all over again.

John Peddicord :

OK. No problem, found my post re NSS.

Now, Mr. Danley. You made a huge mistake in your rebuttal, one made often in the Western media.

You enclosed Ahmadinejad's "quotes" in quotation marks. He speaks Farsi not English. The attributions, to be valid, would have to be sourced to a translator. Who translated?

Secondly, every one of your "quotes", except the first, supports my contention that he spoke of eliminating the "Zionist regime". Regardless, as others have pointed out, threats are qualitatively different from actions.

"Actions speak louder than words".

The orginial Bob whose new name will be Fred :

John don't get your hopes up I have had several posts not posted around the 14th-15th that basically layed out from unclassified sources what Iran is currently doing.

I agree we need a new topic

John Peddicord :

Last night I talked about Bush's National Security Strategy which advocates first-strike capability with nuclear devices and preventive war. It wasn't there this morning. Hopefully, I messed up. Waiting with bated breath to see if this gets posted.

James Danley :

AMViennava, you wrote: "My position is that it is stupid to attack a country because it THREATENS another." "...the US should attack a country only if the US has been attacked from there."

In a perfect world that would fine. The United States could have avoided WWI, WWII (except against Japan), the Korean Conflict, Vietnam, the First Gulf War and of course our current war in Iraq. BUT Germany would have been in control of Europe since before WWI. Of course without a victory over Germany back then, there might not have been a reason for Hitler to rise to power. But who knows, maybe someone else would have come along and expanded the German Continent to include Eastern Europe, Asia Minor and the Middle East. In fact, back then, once Germany had taken Russia, there would have been little to stop the march through Asia. And that would have made our war against Japan easier. Interesting!

But back to reality! Sovereign nations have always signed agreements with other countries that promised to defend each other if one or the other is attacked. Now before you say, "Yes, but Iraq didn't attack anyone." They actually did! They invaded Kuwait in August 1990. The first Gulf War was never declared over. There was a cease fire based on a number of conditions set forth by the Coalition and the United Nations. But Saddam Hussein failed to comply with these conditions. And he frequently fired missles at our planes. So after 12 years of Saddam Hussein ignoring multiple UN resolutions; and the UN's failure to act (of course we now know why -- the Oil-for-Food bribes); along with the US Congress having already passed the Iraq Liberation act of 1998; President Bush said enough is enough. In the post-9/11 world, Bush wasn't about to wait for another attack. Especially since he believed the various intelligence reports (from several international sources in addition to the CIA) that Iraq had WMDs.

While the war in Iraq was not originally tied to 9/11, al Qaeda has since declared it their primary battleground. And because of that, the United States must not leave Iraq until Iraq is able to govern, sustain and defend itself.

Solange :

Often overlooked in the aftermath of Hitler's evil, destruction and genocide was Naziism's impact on the global psyche, especially Europe's, that renders even the smallest cultural suspicion now as "xenophobia."

Islam is rotting Europe from within, and massing in the east, preparing for the glorious total destruction its internal logic demands. But the Holocaust's ghosts preclude any critical approach to the ideology's clear and present danger.

Hitler's final, most damaging, legacy may be the total destruction of Western civilization...while we stand by and wring our hands over "profiling."

Tom Wonacott :

AM

Sorry, I missed your analogy post (excellent job, by he way). Sorry, got to go.


Thor :

" Dan Friedman :

Who Is More Dangerous: Iran or U.S.?

Neither. It's the people who ask the question."

I beg to differ. The people who ask the stupid question are, BY FAR, the STUPIDEST, but I do not consider these clueless clowns DANGEROUS to even my cat.

Sivuyile [South Africa] :

It is sad to see that a significant number of Americans believe the propaganda they are being fed by their media and Bush. An interesting fact I realised a long time ago is that MOST IF NOT ALL atrocities committed by the USA were/are torwards Non-Caucasians.

Tom Wonacott :

Zoltan

My point was that appeasement is not always the best strategy. Thats all. The USSR collapsed economically, not because they suddenly saw the light about democracy.

Dan Friedman :

Who Is More Dangerous: Iran or U.S.?

Neither. It's the people who ask the question.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

Always good to hear from you.

"...We refused to talk to Iraq, and look at what we created..."

Are you kidding? We talked to Iraq for twelve years. We passed, God only knows, how many resolutions? Diplomacy was not the problem in Iraq.

The "Early withdrawal" consequences were not meant for Iran, and you are right, none justifies attacking Iran.

Once again, the problem is with the nuclear weapons program. The world needs to address that problem, and only that problem if the world wants to avoid a potential war in Iran. Without the resolve to solve problems diplomatically, then wars result. The oil for food scandel comes to mind, or Chirac's casual statements about Iranian nuclear weapons are examples of weak resolve.

I agree with you that the attack of Iraq was mostly a response to 911. My personal feeling is that Bush wanted to send a message to terrorist harboring regimes (like Pakistan today), and install a democracy in Iraq.

I do not believe, however, we attacked on behalf of Israel. I don't believe most anti war (Iraq) people are anti-semitic, however, people who think Israel controls our foreign policy are wrong. That is like the tail wagging the dog.

Zoltan :

Tom Wonacott: "So what is your solution on Iran's nuclear weapons program?"

What is exactly your problem with Iran ? You say the Europeans have got no solution, but the point is, and you don't seem to want to understand, we disagree about the problem.

As is said clearly in the question of this blog, we - europeans - think that YOU - the USA - are the problem. And true, we don't have any solution to that. Except demonstrating in the streets by hundreds of thousands (like in Italy yesterday).

As for the end of the cold war, the history in Hungary is that at that time, Austria was not part of the European Community and the NATO, and because of the historical ties between Hungary and Austria, the borders were more relaxed between our 2 countries. At the same time, east-europeans could travel easily between east-european countries, and in summer 1989, 200 000 east-germans were in Hungary and asked to go over to austria. After much hesitation, the hungarian government let them through, and they ended up in west-germany. Which led, end of 1989, to the collapse of the Berlin Wall. No american "Star-Wars" involved. Earlier, there was already Lech Walesa and Solidarnosc in Poland, and a Polish Pope in the Vatican. Again, no Americans involved.

I know many americans like to see themselves as the saviors of the world, and are surprised that many in the rest of the world don't see things that way.


AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott: I agree that saber rattling is different than attacking. But if I was watching the gang that took over the house next door bringing in more of their friends in the house and the street, and constantly pointing at me and threatening me, then I would be very worried.

Unfortunately here we seem to have two idiots who want to rattle their sabers. Eventually someone will get stabbed. Last time we rattled our sabers at Iran we shot down a civilian airliner with about 300 people on board. If that happened on our coast we would be screaming bloody murder and demanding revenge. heck, some of our beloved posters would want to 'nuke them all'.

So all in all, I think the outsiders to the neighborhood should pull sheath their swords, and stop rattling them.

(How is that for carrying an analogy far?) ;)

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott February 20, 2007 12:26 AM:

Good to 'see' you on the boards by the way.

I take issue with calling Hizballah and Hammas anyone's proxies. One is fighting for objectives in Lebanon, the other in Palestine. They take the support they find, on the principle that my enemy's enemy is my friend. We call that 'real politique'.

If I may be allow to summarize the bulk of the post, as well as what seems to be the consensus of many, we (the US) must attack Iran because it threatens Israel. I hate to say it, but that is also a reason given for attacking Iraq, but anyone opposed to the attack, who implied that the US attacked for the sake of Israel, has been attacked as 'anti-semitic'. There are many countries that threaten others. My position is that it is stupid to attack a country because it THREATENS another. My position is also that the US should attack a country only if the US has been attacked from there. In other words, defense not insecurity is a justification for war.

As for other countries in the Middle East that do not trust Iran, or others for that matter, they manage to talk and do many other things without actually going to war. It may be 'Byzantine', but it prevents hundreds of thousands of deaths. We refused to talk to Iraq, and look at what we created. And now the same crew are refusing to talk to Iran and are amassing a tremendous force in that region.

You listed a number of legitimate concerns for the consequences of an 'early' withdrawal from Iraq. Please note that none of them justifies an attack against Iran. Also note that our very presence in Iraq is part of the problem.

So, returning to the subject of the blog, right no who is the greater threat? Unfortunately it is the US.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

Saber rattling is a lot different than attacking. The problem is a nuclear Iran which you seem to want to avoid discussing.

So far, weak support of sanctions by the Europeans (lead negotiators) has gained nothing. So what is your solution on Iran's nuclear weapons program?

John :

Hot Dog. Now THIS is something all good liberal Americans can sink their teeth into. Of course they agree with Abu from Iran that America is the worstest thing around. So predictable.

Tom Wonacott :

Dr I

No, I am not advocating attacking Pakistan, but Musharraf will have to act to "clean up" the terrorism that is obviously bringing much trouble to the region. He is walking a tightrope by trying to keep his population from further radicalization and keeping the US (NATO) happy.

One successful terrorist attack (by a rejuvenated Al Qaeda) in which hundreds or thousands are killed could bring another war to that region.

AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott February 20, 2007 1:00 AM

Would I support an attack against Pakistan NOW? Of course NOT. In 2001, ABSOLUTELY. The situation we are in now is indicative of Bush's incompetence. He wanted war against Iraq, and used an attack against the Homeland as an excuse. In the process he let those who attacked us to escape. Following the same excuses he gave to attack Iraq, he is now preparing to attack Iran. That is what makes the US, under Bush, extremely dangerous.

Tom Wonacott :

Zoltan

Well Zoltan, thats the first time I've heard that US accomplishments in WWII were overrated. The British have backbone. No question.

So you would have appreciated the US liberating Hungary (probably with a couple of million dead, at least)? You mean like the people of Afghanistan or maybe even Iraq?

I do have a question for you, though. If the US had provided a huge aid package to the USSR as a part of an agreement to end the arms race (a la North Korea in the last week), would the Soviet Union have collapsed and Hungary be democratic today?


Zoltan :

JVD70: "As a citizen of one of the countries liberated from nazi rule I can't and won't forget."

But you seem to forget that the English are as much - I think more - responsible for that liberation, as they didn't give in to the Nazis during the battle of Britain. Hail to the Spitfire. They could have, it would have been the easiest choice, but they didn't, and fought bitterly for 2 years against an entire hostile continent before the USA stepped in.

I for one am citizen of a country - Hungary - "liberated" from the Nazis by the Soviets and I'm not at all thankful to them, as they have then occupied my country for half a century, occasionally overrunning with 2000 panzers a resistance movement. Nowhere were the americans "protecting" or "liberating" Europe at that time. Except cashing-in on the clever investment that was the Marchall-plan.


jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

Mikeb you wrote:

"We, the United States, are reeponsible for more heartache and pain and bloodshed than anyone else on the face of the earth at this moment in time."

Have you heard of Chechnya or Darfur? Do you realize that what you wrote doesn't stand up to scrutiny? That a stable, democratic and peaceful Iraq would guarantee a GOP victory in 2008? That when US soldiers are involved in violence against civilians they are convicted and go to jail? That the US supreme court ruled in favor of guantanamo detainees?

Billions of people the world over owe their freedom to the efforts of the US against fascism, imperialism and communism. As a citizen of one of the countries liberated from nazi rule I can't and won't forget. So with all due respect for the freedom of expression that your ancestors died the world over to protect: you are incorrect.

Dr I :

And of course Tom, all this bloodshed will soon come to an end with our increased military presence in the region. Think again.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

"...After the attrocities of 9/11, Bush should have gone into Afghanistan, and perhaps border regions of Pakistan, with a vengeance. That would be a war against terror..."

Would you support an attack on Eastern Pakistan NOW? We all know that Pakistan is supporting terrorism against Afghanistan and India (today, in fact, unless the terrorist were homegrown, e.g. from Kashmir). Al Qaeda is rebuilding according to recent reports.

Dr. I :

Mike J and Ready

The fact that I don't agree with your rightwing viewpoints doesn't mean I resent America. I only resent the arrogance and greed of those who run it. Sorry to burst your bubble, but its not only us "misconceived liberals" who feel that the U.S. is a greater threat than Iran. The U.S. has enough nukes to bomb the world into oblivian. Iran does not. the U.S. has tested these nukes. Iran has not. The U.S has actually used these nukes on innocent civilians; and yes, under a Democratic leader. (I'm not too "misconceived" to deny that). Iran has or has not? I'll let anyone of you answer that. Argue the rhetorical points of the rightwing agenda if you wish. Because the issue is not whether we have the better rationale for using our nuclear weapans. Rather, the issue is whether we are more likely to use them. And Mr. Ready, please read the posts before you criticize them. I never said bush has abolished HB. I said he has threatened to abolish it. Unlike Iran, Bush's threats are much more threatening to the American public. Afterall, he's the decider, and God has spoken to him. Strange; I thought we were fighting against the religious fanatics in the middle east.

Tom Wonacott :

AM

I don't think that I have stated one way or the other who is more dangerous, Iran or the US. I was just answering a question by Dr I (give evidence that Iran poses a threat to any country in the West...) by stating that Iran really poses little threat to the West but is a threat to Israel as well as potentially starting a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

1. Hezbollah and Hamas (proxys of Iran and Syria) started the war in Lebanon, so it seems to me that you should question those countries (Iran and Syria) before the US, i.e., how can you blame the US? Put the blame where it belongs.

2. In a interview with Mike Wallace, Mike ask Ahmadinejad point blank about the interpretation ("wipe Israel off the map"). He avoided an answer. He could clear up the discrepancy in the interpretation if he wanted but he won't, thus he, himself, is letting the interpretation stand-as is the Supreme Leader of Iran.

3. The Middle East is the most important area in the world in terms of supply of energy. If that is significantly interrupted, clearly the whole world is affected and literally millions of people could be thrown into poverty or starve.

Ahmadinejad has threatened "to wipe Israel off the map" and has shown extreme disdain for the plight of the Jews in the twentieth century by holding the Holocaust Denial conference. Iran, in itself, probably is no threat to Israel but a nuclear Iran presents a significant danger.

In addition, I am sure you are familiar with Saudi Arabia's distrust of Iran's regional intentions and the Saudis have threatened to begin their own nuclear program which could lead to an arm's race in the Middle East.

The only way the US is more dangerous than Iran in the Middle East (Iran is no danger anywhere else except through their proxy, Hezbollah, which has conducted some international terrorism) is if we pull out of Iraq early. I have stated the reasons before but I will re-list them.

1. A possible bloodbath from an Iraqi civil war, and yes, worse than today.

2. A possible regional conflict, which could be a world disaster. Shia and Sunni hate is on display in Iraq, and we already know that Saudi Arabia and Iran are enemies. Saudi Arabia has stated they will not let the minority Sunnis be massacred if the US pulls out.

3. Iran's strong influence on southern Iraq, and possible creation of another Iranian proxy in the mold of Hezbollah (Sadr's Mahdi Army). In addition, possible control of Iraqi oil reserves. In my opinion, this would undercut recent stabilization of oil prices by the Saudi government at levels to undercut Iranian oil profits i.e., to undercut the Iranians financially.

4. Embolden our enemies. Specifically Pakistani terrorist working with and supporting the Taliban in eastern Pakistan and Afghanistan, but other terrorist as well.

Reason number two presents a scenario that is dangerous to say the least. Although I have always supported the war, it could turn out to be a strategic disaster and that is a real danger to the Middle East.

Its kind of ridiculous to compare Iran and America. The US role in the world has been much different than Iran's role. Much of the world depended on the US during the cold war and we have enough nuclear weapons to restart evolution. Recently, the UN used US power to evict Saddam from Kuwait (approved by the Arab League), and stop the massacre of the Bosnians. We might be a bully, but we are the bully of choice when someone needs us.

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord,

1) On October 26, 2005, speaking at a conference of the Society for the Defense of the Palestinian Nation, President Ahmadinejad stated:

"Very soon this stain of disgrace (i.e. Israel) will vanish from the center of the Islamic world -- and this is attainable…"
"The Islamic people cannot allow this historic enemy to exist in the heart of the Islamic world…"
"...the process of the elimination of the Zionist regime will be smooth and simple…"
"Our dear Imam [Khomeini] ordered that the occupying regime in Jerusalem be wiped off the face of the earth. This was a very wise statement."

2) On April 15, 2006, during the opening of a conference on supporting the Palestinians he stated: "Like it or not, the Zionist regime is heading toward annihilation."

3) On April 27, 2006, he stated in a speech in the western Iranian town of Zanjan: "This regime (Israel) will one day vanish."

4) On July 8, 2006, speaking to regional officials at the opening of a two-day conference in Tehran on security in Iraq, he said: "The basic problem in the Islamic world is the existence of the Zionist regime, and the Islamic world and the region must mobilize to remove this problem."

5) On July 29, 2006, during an emergency meeting with Muslim leaders, he said: "The real cure for the (Lebanon) conflict is elimination of the Zionist regime..."

6) On October 19, 2006, speaking to crowds of people in Islamshahr, southwest of Tehran, he said: "This regime will be gone, definitely. You should know that any government that stands by the Zionist regime from now on will not see any result but the hatred of the people."

[Source: Compilation of various quotes by President Ahmadinejad by the Congressional Research Service on behalf of Rep. Mark Kirk, R-IL.]

Now as for suicide bombers, what is beyond the pale is brainwashing individuals into believing they will go to heaven (and receive 72 virgins) by blowing themselves up along with dozens of INNOCENT men, women and children.

Finally, Israel exists because that is the Promised Land given to them by God! Jews have continuously lived on this land since the conquest by Joshua more than 3,200 years ago, even though they have not always been in control or even in the majority.

John Peddicord :

The American "Far Left" doesn't even exist in this country.

America, so "proud" of it's "free speech" doesn't even allow the Communist Party or the Socialist Worker's Party to exist. Both parties existed prior to the Macarthy purges of the fifties, now they don't, why not? What are Americans afraid of? That someone might destroy them with an idea?

By the way, some three million Americans were brought before "Loyalty Boards" during that period of time and not one was charged with spying. However many lost their jobs. HUAC was a sham that Clark Clifford dreampt up to immunize Truman against Republican charges of being "soft on Communism". While the Macarthy charade was going on Klaus Fuchs stole our A-Bomb secrets for Russia. A year after Macarthy was exposed he died of alcoholism.

Italy and France manage to tolerate true left-wing parties, why can't America? Anyone who truly believed in American Democracy would never be threatened by Socialism or Communism. But of course, the people who purged left-wing ideas from American thought did NOT believe in democracy.

America gets blamed for the violence it creates, no more, no less.

I don't know who was behind 9/11 do you? The CIA (under Reagan) and the Saudi's financed, equipped, and trained the Afghan Mujahadin and al-Qaeda to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan. If it was al-Qaeda that attacked the US then surely the country that created and empowered them was responsible.

Do Americans have a death-wish? Certainly all those Evangelicals do. You know the wackos that believe in the "End Times". Does Bush believe in Armageddon? When asked he was flummoxed and never answered the question. I hope for America's sake that he doesn't, but I wish he wouldn't keep us guessing.

The American Dream is a myth, anyone who has travelled to Europe and Scandinavia knows this.

Norwegians are the richest people in the World. Do you know why? I doubt it. Even Jolly olde England is richer (per capita) then the US. The AVERAGE UK house sells for a cool $500,000. An Englishman's house is truly his Castle!

America is rapidly becoming a Third World country with a First World war machine. Too bad for Americans. Feeling paranoid? Take another Prozac.

So you are probably thinking "Well if America is so bad why don't you leave?"

I am.


John Peddicord :

The RW war mongers in the US repeatedly refer to the terrorist tactic of suicide bombing as if it were "beyond the pale" and any group that employs it is crazy and evil and we don't talk to evil people. Grow up, terrorist tactics are the only ones available to the dispossesed. The Brits and French were dealing with terrorists before you were born. Americans go ballistic when they are attacked. HOW DARE THEY! Well, they do dare, get used to it. They have their reasons, of which you are apparently ignorant.

The state of Israel would not exist today if the Jews had not used terrorist tactics against the British in Palestine. Google "Irgun", "Lehi", and "Haganah". Menachem Begin, one the first Prime Ministers of Israel was a terrorist.

Don't let your love affair with Bush blind YOU to reality. You are the one that is deluded.

Dan Friedman :

Who Is More Dangerous: Iran or U.S.?

Stupid question.

John Peddicord :

Mr. Danley,

I will respond to each of the points you made so please read carefully:

"How can anyone not know the difference between a nuclear US and a nuclear IRAN"

Prior to the Bush regime I would have agreed with you: that the US would never use a nuclear device, except to defend itself. Didn't you know that in the first National Security Strategy document produced by Bush he stated, as no previous President has ever done, that America WOULD use a nuclear device for first-strike capability and that he advocated the strategy of preventive war.

If you believe Ahmadinejad has stated his intent to wipe Israel off the map then where is your attribution? Even if he had, there is no way he could do it. Now, I have read that he said that Israel's Zionist regime should be wiped out, and I couldn't agree more. If only he could do the same for the US!

Even if IRAN did posess a nuclear weapon (which it does not) the MAD principle applies. However, with Bush's finger on the trigger the World is not safe anymore. He has declared it official US policy to use first-strike nuclear capability!

If any nation is going to nuke the ME oil fields it would be Israel. The Ohlmert regime is crazy enough to do it. Radical Zionist elements in his regime have stated publicy that that would sooner see the World destroyed in a nuclear Armageddon that give up ANY PART OF ZION. Go to the site of the Jerusalem based Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies (IASPS)if you don't believe me.

Ready :

Dr I is truly a misconceived liberal. Habeus Corpus is alive and well - unless you have been reading from the learned scholar Keith Olbermann of sportscenter fame. And those H1B Indian immigrants that stole the stealth technology, CIA ninjas stopped them in Italy, who do you think was on those flights. I have proof but i will not show since you are not providing any either.

If GW and his crew are as corrupt and evil as you say then there would be planted proof of WMD's in Iraq. Nobody would have known differently. Since GW is working in a transparent government, we all know what a numbskull he is.

Mike J :

Dr. I and everyone else who seems to resent America,

Here is to your freedom to believe as you wish.

I am sure many of you would be great fun to meet and engage in political discussions.

To those of you who imbibe, I drink to you.

To those of you who do not, I salute you.

Now, I must return to my life as an American corporate officer. I have things to build, jobs to create, money to make, and life to live.

Good luck and good health to all of you.

James Danley :

A sample of the "everybody" who knew that Iraq had WMDs is as follows:

On Feb. 18, 1998 -- PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON STATED: "What if Saddam Hussein fails to comply, and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route which gives him yet more opportunities to develop his program of WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION. If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow. The stakes could not be higher. Some day, some way, I guarantee you, HE'LL USE THE ARSENAL."

On 12 Oct 1998 -- KOFI ANNAN, United Nations Secretary General, STATED: "We know, too, that chemical weapons have been used extensively [by Iraq], notably against Iran, and against civilians in northern Iraq in 1988. There, too, the people of Halabja are still suffering the effects 10 years later, in the form of debilitating disease, deformed births and aborted pregnancies."

On Oct. 31, 1998 PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON SIGNED into law the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998. Saddam Hussein was considered enough of a THREAT that Congress authorized regime change. The House passed the bill by a vote of 360-38; and the Senate passed the bill by unanimous consent. (Check the debates. NUMEROUS Democrats called Saddam Hussein an "imminent threat.")

On March 11, 1991 -- HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH wrote: "Halabja was not the first time Iraq had turned its chemical arsenal on the Kurds. Thousands -- and most likely tens of thousands -- of civilians were killed during chemical and conventional bombardments stretching from the spring of 1987 through the fall of 1988. The attacks were part of a long-standing campaign that destroyed almost every Kurdish village in Iraq -- along with a centuries-old way of life -- and displaced at least a million of the country's estimated 3.5 million Kurdish population."

In December 2002 -- HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH wrote: "Commencing in the spring of 1987, thousands of Iraqi Kurds were killed during chemical and conventional bombardments [by the Iraqi government]. The use of chemical weapons reached a peak in March, 1998; in the town of Halabja alone, where a documented 3,200 people are believed to have died from chemical gas attacks, and the actual number may be more than 5,000."

On June 29, 2003 (Washington Post) -- ROLF EKEUS, former United Nations Weapons Inspector, stated: "...Iraq made use of chemical bombs in air raids against the Kurdish civilian population in northern Iraq. Nerve gases, such as sarin, and mustard gas immediately and painfully killed many thousands of civilians. More than 100,000 later died or were crippled by the after-effects."


Dr I :

Mike J

Who are you to cite "Constitutional Duty" to defend YOUR president's actions? Since the day he took office, he has deliberately abused the constitutional limits of his powers, disregarded the legislative branch and judicial branch, whom he's often criticized for standing firm on constitutional precedent. Bush has refused to recognize the constitutional protections afforded to all U.S. citizens in his illegal wiretapping campaign. Now he's trying to abolish Habeas Corpus. He has even joked that things would be easier for him were he a dictator. Real class. This president has been anything but constitutional. More like constipated. I guess that's why he's still full of S---.

Dr I :

Mike J

The I stands for "before J", so step back. So where are these WMDs anyway???? Truth is, it was pure speculation. Nobody knew. And those who questioned the president's WMD claims were quickly silenced. Even Hans Blix, UN weapons inspector, was not convinced of their existance. Oh yeah, Iraq did at one time have them; we supplied them to Hussein during their conflict with Iraq. But to suggest that they had them in 2003, or even worse, planned to use them, was pure fiction. It was simply a pretext, along with the phony 911 theories, that allowed this belligerent president to carry out hs diabolical campaign for profit. Truth is, we screwed up at the expence of 3,100 american lives, and half a million Iraqis. But whose counting? Certainly not like you, who speak out against mass killings. Rest assured YOUR decider is happy. His billion dollar investment plan worked to perfection.

Mike J :

Dr. I,
Nasty, nasty...

Such personal vitriol. Are you really that invested in defending the indefensible?

Your David Duke reference is really beneath you.

Life, liberty,and the pursuit of happiness are available to everyone.

All it takes is emulating the American model of government. Our Constitution recognizes that each individual is born with inalienable rights.

The power of the government is granted by the individual; not vice versa.

That recognition of individual rights frees Americans, who make up only 5% of the world's population, to produce over one quarter of the world's goods and services.

Each person, man or woman, is free to maximize his or her potential.

That is the American ideal and, I would argue, is far superior to anything else we have seen through history.

That is what President Bush is defending; as is his sworn duty.

Does anyone doubt, that there will be a new American President in 2009? Once again, a peaceful transfer of power will mark an American election.

What will you left-wing and fascist nut-jobs do without George W. Bush to villify?

Mike J :

Dear Dr. I,
Your handle reveals you. It is all about "I" with you.

You care nothing about the mass murder and terror described in my posts. You call them "pompous lies" which is quite amusing, to say the least.

I have not made any anti-Islam statements. It is you that connects savage islamist terror to Islam.

Again, the UN passed seventeen resolutions condemning Saddam's Iraq for his violations.

US government analysts were not alone in believing Iraq had WMD.

The United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM)believed.

The German Federal Intelligence Service argued in 2003 that Iraq might be able to build a nuclear weapon within three years.

Israel, Russia, Britain, China, and even France held positions similar to that of the United States.

France's President Jacques Chirac, no friend of the US, said: "There is a problem—the probable possession of weapons of mass destruction by an uncontrollable country, Iraq. The international community is right ... in having decided Iraq should be disarmed."

In sum, no one doubted that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. I, facts are inconvenient things.

Dr. I :

Mike J
The terrorist savagery that you refer to resides in the White house. Your rightwing talking points are frivilous fabrications at best. There was no 911-Iraq connection. Your own Republican bush worshippers admit that. Your WMD theory is just that, a theory, with no evidence to support it. I'm curious who "everybody" is, who knew of these WMDs. As far as I can tell, "NOBODY" seems to think so now. Fact is, you have no leg to stand on. You're just upset because YOUR self-proclaimed "decider" has been exposed as the greedy tyrant you foolishly voted for. My bad; I forgot you voted for David Duke.

AMviennaVA :

'Mike J', you remind me of something I read (in The Guardian (?)): "A man with a conviction is a hard man to change, Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts and figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point."

After the attrocities of 9/11, Bush should have gone into Afghanistan, and perhaps border regions of Pakistan, with a vengeance. That would be a war against terror. Iraq has been a colossal mistake, where by now we have no options other than let the violence run its course. The price in American lives is in the thousands, and in Iraqi lives in the hundreds of thousands. All for an ideology!

We had everyone's support for action in Afghanistan. Iraq was without justification. Apparently you have forgotten that we were offering $500 million for a vote in the Security Council favoring war. We could not BUY enough votes to pass the resolution, even of bankrupt countries. That is how LOW Bush has dragged this country.

And to add insult to injury, he has been as incompetent in managing a war as he was at managing a hurricane.

MikeB :

...and Mike J., I admit Saddam was a bad man, a sociopath, but the world is full of sociopaths, many of them right in this country. Most of them are CEO's and politician's of one stripe or another. What do you have to say about your President ordering and your CIA "doing" - kidnapping and torturing several completely innocent people from European countries. Sorry? What your government and corporations trading with the dictators of Burma? These people are attempting to exterminate the Karin people. Christian's, the Karin lives in constant fear and move their tiny villages constantly. The Burmese army, using American provided equipment, surrounds villages and plants land mines in the night. Then, for sport, they shoot the people trying to escape the maze. The RNC buys their campaign buttons from these people. American companies are bidding and buying mineral and other rights. *WE*, the U.S.A. supplies **MOST** of the weapons, the land mines, guns, and other weapons used by the world. Iran? They fly American fighters and buy spare parts from American companies. Ditto for North Korea. The Chinese ICBM couldn't hit with 100 miles of a target. They hired an AMERICAN firm to help them redesign their guidance system. They can now hit your home...or completely destroy every American base and ship in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. And how come you're the last person left who doesn't understand that all of that Iraqi "intelligence" was invented? The CIA report stated that Iraq had no WMD's. It was a small group in the Pentagon, under pressure from Dick Cheney's office, that came up with the "intelligence" that Iraq had WMD's. The Canadian's have said repeatedly that they had exactly the same intelligence that we had and they never believed Saddam had any WMD's, much less presented any kind of danger to his neighbors or the U.S. As for 9-11, flat out nothing was done to prevent it, even though UNDER PRESIDENT CLINTON, at least two terrorist attacks where twarted (one was partially successful). Guilliani and Bush's reaction was to put the emergency response teams and their communications headquarters.....in the World Trade Center. Oh, and they opened up a nursery, too. Sound to me like they were either incompitent and utterly clueless fools or the expected 9-11 and expected to be able to use it as an excuse for their neocon cowboy acts. You choose, but either way, the Bush team are awful and only a fool would trust them.

Dr. I :

Mike J.

I'll dare question your pompous lies.Your so called "facts" are nothing more than frivilous talking points from the extreme right, who wish to continue our presence in the middle east for eternity. There is no Iraq-911 connection; you're own belligerent republican party has admitted that. As far as WMDs are concerned, who is this "everybody" you're referring to, that apparantly knew of these WMDs. Not even CIA operatives fell for that nonsense.Until you have some actual evidence of their existance, you don't have a leg to stand on. Talk all the anti-muslim rhetoric you want. YOUR, self-proclaimed decider's influence is dwindling fast.

Dr. I :

Mike J.

I'll dare question your pompous lies.Your so called "facts" are nothing more than frivilous talking points from the extreme right, who wish to continue our presence in the middle east for eternity. There is no Iraq-911 connection; you're own belligerent republican party has admitted that. As far as WMDs are concerned, who is this "everybody" you're referring to, that apparantly knew of these WMDs. Not even CIA operatives fell for that nonsense.Until you have some actual evidence of their existance, you don't have a leg to stand on. Talk all the anti-muslim rhetoric you want. YOUR, self-proclaimed decider's influence is dwindling fast.

Mike J :

MikeB, with all due respect. Once again, you ignore facts and speak emotion.

Saddam used weapons of mass destruction against Iran and against his own people, the Kurds.

The United Nations passed seventeen resolutions against Saddam's violations of agreements from the first Gulf War.

The intelligence communities of multiple countries, not just the US, believed Iraq had WMD. After all, he had used them to kill real, live, honest to God people.

After the atrocities of 9/11, President Bush could not ignore any threat. Iraq was a proven threat as demonstrated by its continued attacks on flights in the no-fly zones and refusal to cooperate with UN inspectors.

The great majority of the the US Congress voted to use force to enforce the UN resolutions. The American President acted prudently. There have been no more attacks on American soil since 9/11.

Those are facts.

Once again, how dare you ignore the mass murder and terrorist savagery listed in my posts.

MikeB :

Mike J, are a blind or are you just plain ignorant? We, the United States, are reeponsible for more heartache and pain and bloodshed than anyone else on the face of the earth at this moment in time. Our idiot President lewt loose a bunch of CIA cowboys who kidnapped and murdered innocent *citizens* of our Euopean allies. The consequence of that is that they are going to close our bases in Italy and Germany and elsewhere. We invaded a sovereign nation based on an ever changing collection of excuses, buut the result of that has been the deaths of hundreds of thousands of epople and the destablization of the entire Middle East. The "patriotic" right that you so proudly support have steadily replaced U.S. citizens working in technology and sciences, even for top secret miliatary contracts. Did you know that a gang of Indian H1B workers stole and *sold* our plans for the B2 Bomber and stealth technology. They sold that to the Russian who have incorporated it into their missile systems. If your idiot President is insane enought to attack Iran, sending slow and low flying stealth fighters or B2 bombers, it is going to be a turkey shoot and those planes are going to get shot down and the pilots captured or killed en mass. Given this Administration's tendancy to over react I would expect Bush to order an all out assault on Iran, the, and that *will* spark World War III. So, please realize, this isn't one of your stupid football games where you choose side and chear on "our team" - you, your wife and children, your friends, will DIE if Bush sparks this war and you will all die for nothing, because your country, everything you hold dear, will die right along with you.

Mike J :

My listings of the mass murder committed by authoritarian and totalitarian governments along with the ridiculously long list (they happened) of terror attacks the last half of the last century seem to have gotten under some people's skin. Good, it was meant to.

The negative responses of some of you prove the US is held to an insane double standard. It is Orwhellian to condemn the US, and Israel, for defending themselves from such monsterous attacks.

The US makes mistakes, certainly. But not to the level where one can rationally compare those well-meant and relatively minor mistakes to the savagery of slaughter-by-government of millions upon millions of people during the 20th century or to organized terror attacks that target innocent men, women, and children.

The well-meant and relatively minor mistakes of the US cannot be used to justify, or ignore, the millions of people who, right now, are living under tyrannical governments around the world.

Without Americans, none of you on this forum would have the freedom you have. Without Americans, you clowns could be subjects of the the Soviets, the Chicoms, the Nazis, or the Japanese; or, you could be dead.

Those of you who have access to this forum but live in oppressive societies, I hope you someday live in freedom. The Afghans and Iraqis America liberated from the Taliban and Saddam are pulling for you, I am sure.

Based on what I read here, it seems to me, many of you would not mind being subjects of the islamist savages. Are you really that stupid or are you simply blinded by hatred of George W. Bush?

The US is defending itself and the world from hateful, ignorant, intolerant, and savage forces that want to force everyone to succumb to their medieval vision.

We Americans, and this Texan, ain't gonna let it happen.

By the way, be sure and watch "24" tonight. It is an American television show about the War on Terror for you who do not have access.

MikeB :

The whole debate about who is more dangerous is about to become moot. Right this minute, in Italy and German the governments are about the give pour military the boot. In Italy, we not only let loose a whole bunch of CIA lunatics that illegally kidnapped and tortured people, some of them late found to be completely inncocent, but we our CIA ran illegal prison flights, and we use Italian airspace to supply our Iraq war fiasco.The overwhelming majority of Italian voters want us out and out completely and immediately. Almsot exactly the same thing is now true in Germany. So, in the end, what Bush has accomplished is to isolate us and make us less secure, to deny us the use of European bases of operations. In the end, Dear Conservativez, it wont be European's that suffer, it will be us. Who is the more dangerous? A super power has been on the decline, one controlled by corporate traitors to sell and outsource the very technology that keeps us alive? Or vibrant and ascendent, democratic Iran? We dont have a chance. Th neocons have already so ruined this country that every right you hold dear is about to disappear to appease some special interest group. A President Hillary can just as easily sign an Executive Order to confiscate your guns or outlaw spanking as Geroge Bush can start a war. Bush and Cheney have already plowed the ground for this and much much worse. Thank him for it.

James Danley :

BOBL-VA: I thank God every day for the courage that President Bush has demonstrated throughout his presidency. Unlike his predecessors, who were only interested in keeping the status quo in the Middle East -- in spite of the building powder keg and frequent suicide bombings -- President Bush has a vision of a free and democratic Middle East. But this is a lengthy, expensive and very painful process. It requires not only defeating the Islamic extremists on the battlefield, but ending the spreading of their ideology of hatred towards western civilization within the Muslim school systems throughout the world.

And domestically, there have been no new terrorist attacks. Employment is at an all-time high. The unemployment rate of 4.6% is still considered quite low historically. Income is up. And in spite of the war, 7.4 million new payroll jobs have been created since August 2003 and our economy has run a SURPLUS for the past 6 months.

If President Bush were a Democrat his approval numbers would be above 80%. That's because the media would by hyping all of the good that is going on in Iraq instead of obsessing on only the negative.

Salamon :

It is interesting with respect to the topic who is more dangerous USA or Iraq? - that DOD [of the USA] is surpassed by only 35 Sovereign states out of 210 in use of oil. This makes DOD the largest single fuel user in the world.. NO DOUBT all this oil is used within the USA for HOMELAND SECURITY - never mind the 400+ bases in 130+ Countries and 2-3 cvurrent wars.

for details see: http://www.energybulletin.net/26194.html

BobL-VA :

James Danley,

Isn't being pro Bush like being pro abortion?
Most people are either pro life or pro choice, but almost nobody anymore is pro abortion.

I certainly can understand someone being pro republican, but I thought everyone was anti-bush.

OK, now I'm intrigued. What do you like about Bush?

BobL-VA :

MikeJ,

I wish to thank you for your selective view of history and leaving the United States and it's actions out of your post. It's good to know you feel the United States hasn't done anything to anyone around the world and is just a victim of crazy people hurting us.

Now I understand that no matter what we do (which you conviently left out) is OK because we're the good guys and anything we do can't be considered terrorist in nature. Che may be rolling over in his grave as the CIA went down to Boliva to catch him. There's a number of extraordinary renditions that have taken place on foreign soil by the CIA which of course wouldn't make your list. Although, the Italian courts are taking a dim view of our actions.

Violence against us almost always comes from radical extremists and our violence against other peoples is always justifiable actions.

Go back and work on your list, because as it stands now it is garbage.

Joey M... :

Hey Dr. I:

How many of our fringe lunatic hate groups have strapped on a bomb in Mecca, Jerusalem or any other Muslim holy city and blown themselves up?

I trust you know the difference between hot air and reality???

THOR :

"Who Is More Dangerous: Iran or U.S.?

Polls show that many people in Europe think the U.S. is a greater threat than Iran. What should we make of this?"

More than half our undergrads in this top (number one!) Research University nation-wide (as measured objectively, by the $ of sponsored research generated) misspell "receive" as "recieve (SIC)"! Jack W, one of my colleagues, then once announced that the spelling of the word should be officially changed to the wrong version, since the clear majority of the illiiterate and clueless students insists in misspelling it. SO MUCH FOR STUPID POLLS. YOU CAN ROLL THEM AND STICK THEM YOU KNOW WHERE, IDIOT FAREED AND the other dude. AND while you are at it, how about a poll to repeal Newton's law of gravity? Will we have to do that too, if the majority iof illiterates are against his theory?

James Danley :

Mr. Peddicord, you obviously have not seen some of the other Newseek blogs, which require logging in! Often times pro-Bush blogs are not published (so much for free speech). I, personally, have gotten some in. But a large number of my comments (especially responses to others as follow ups) were never printed. And if that isn't enough, some very vicious and vile attacks are occasionally published -- some are, in fact, very personal attacks.

John Peddicord :

MIKE J's post was much more than clutter, it reveals what we should all recognise and acknowledge. This is a person who feels he is not bound by commonly accepted rules of behaviour that most people innately accept and abide by.

Who does that remind you of?

He apparently doesn't even have the courage of his convictions, otherwise he wouldn't hide behind anonymity. Mike, we do live in a country which protects the right of free speech, and laws which protect against harassment. Don't worry, no one is going to assault you for what you say.

Of course, maybe YOU don't feel that way.

Finally this site is a discussion group not an archive. I'm sure most of the participants could unload Gigabytes of info here, I know I could. But it's inappropriate.

Never mind about unnecessary.


John Peddicord :

There is a very easy way do completely undermine the Wingnuts paranoid delusions about the perceived threat from Iran:

Let's look at Iraq in 1991 after ii invaded and occupied Kuwait.

As an aside: the coalition's actions, led by the US and Britain, in liberating Kuwait, were a perfect example of how such a dangerous situation should be handled, employing diplomacy, UN sanction, and multilateral armed force. Remember who our allies were? France, Germany, Russia, Israel, Syria and Saudi Arabia. Iran I believe remained neutral. Iran's non-involvement was not because they approved of Saddam Hussein, but their genuine commitment to peace.

Sorry Wingnuts!

Anyhow, getting back to Iraq in 1991. Everyone knows now that Saddam Hussein posesssed significant WMD at the time. Saddam's forces had been routed from Kuwait, and Iraq itself was under attack by coalition forces. Did the madman Saddam employ his WMD to strike back?

NO!

Why not? Because he was not a madman at all. He knew the consequences of his use of WMD would mean instant and massive retaliation, destroying him and his country.

Still, despite the lessons of recent history and simple common sense, the Wingnuts now tell us that Ahmadinejad is a drooling Muslim madman who will stop at nothing until the "Caliphate is restored" and all the infidels killed. In addition Iran is ruled by a "mad Mullahs", who inflict a draconian dictatorship upon their people. All stuff and infantile nonsense.

Why do otherwise rational people even listen to these maniacs? They know nothing. They are as dumb as posts and glib as well.

The real evil that must be eradicated is the actions of the Wingnuts themselves.

Please excuse my lapse into "Wingnuttism" when I say:

Nuke the Wingnuts!

Zoltan :

Salamon: "what is the URL of the english Al Jazeera:
would like to find it."

http://english.aljazeera.com/

z.


AMviennaVA :

Tom Wonacott: Considering the mayhem we have caused in Iraq, and the mayhem we encouraged against Gaza and also Lebanon, not to forget our position vis-a-vis Cuba, it is irrational to claim that Iran is the bigger threat because they have threatened Israel. (Please note that there is disagreement on exactly what Ahmadinejad threatened; given the state of knowledge of the languages of the area I have very little confidence in our 'official' translations).

I find our demands that Iran submit to fullinternational controls to be hypocritical since we do not demand them of Israel, Pakistan, India, or the US for that matter.

But what makes us the greater threat, besides capacity, is the fact that we have waged war without cause, the governement refuses to acknowledge it, our government threatens every country it disagrees with, we have amassed a trememndous force in the Persian Gulf, and apparently we have given to Israel nuclear devices that are expected to be used against Iran's facilities.

For 'the only superpower', we are extremely insecure.

AMviennaVA :

Mike J: Your long post was clutter. Not to mention that you forgot what has been done to the Palestinians, so that US/British/French/German guilt can be smoothed over.

That said, the comment that if we are threatened we attack is very childish and immature. It is also what makes us dangerous. Defense, that is repelling an actual attack is indeed cause for war. Insecurity is not.

James Danley :

How can anyone NOT know the difference between a nuclear United States and a nuclear Iran? Iran's president has vowed to wipe Israel off the map. With a nuclear weapon, he would have the means to do so. And he could then blackmail and extort not only his neighbors into submission, but also the rest of the civilized world by threatening to destroy the world economy by nuking the Middle East oil fields. The followers of the Islamic extremists are willing to strap on belts of explosives laced with nails and blow themselves up along with dozens of others. Imagine if they could strap on a nuclear device?

Open your eyes people! Don't let your hatred for President Bush blind you from what is really happening. The American far Left is only interested in spreading their own idealogy: Socialism. For decades they have tried to destroy our military and weaken the CIA's capability to gather intelligence. They say they support our troops. But how can you support something that you despise and loathe. They want America on its knees. They blame America for all of the violence around the world. They are spreading the lies about President Bush being behind 9/11. Yet while the American far Left systematically tries to erode the American dream, we also have the Islamic extremists who want to destroy the civilized world and establish their Caliphate -- one nation under Allah. The irony is the American far Left doesn't realize that the Islamic extremists want them dead as well!

John Peddicord :

As for the references to UN Resolutions:

I DID reread your post. Not one of the UN Resolutions sanctioned an INVASION OF IRAQ. International lawyers universally recognize that the invasion was illegal. I'm sure Alberto Gonzalez would disagree. He of the "quaint and obsolescent" Geneva Conventions.

John Peddicord :

Dear Tom,

I don't know how I can state this more plainly, but I will try again.

You say: "How cold Bush have known" (about the non-existence of WMD).

That is the whole point.

He didn't KNOW FOR CERTAIN, but Cheney and he spoke as if they were CERTAIN. That's why it's premeditated and systematic deception. The word "lie" is a perfectly good substitute, don't you agree. Or are you gonug to argue disingenuously about semantics. You know there comes a point where you simply have to accept reality, and stop deceiving YOURSELF.

Raza ur Rahman :

To Me every person is a threat for other, who tries to impose his will on other people ignoring the course of legality and doing it by a short-cut, if he has sufficent means; every nation for the nationas and every country for other countries. I am lost to understand why a nuclear Iran is a greater threat than a Nucler US. Why those who disregard the most basic rights of human beings under custoday "habeas corpus" with their unjust tactics and technicalities, are not threat for the world. I certaily and most certaily belive that NOT US, BUT THE BULLY AND AGGRESSIVE ATTITUDE WHICH SHE HAS is a threat for world peace more than all the nuclear warheads. Arms alone are less dangerous if not combined with the kind of attitude US holds today. US policies and tactics are the single biggest threat to world peace, internationl norms, geographical Sanctity of the nations as well as basic human rights of indivduals.

Tom Wonacott :

To Dr I

'...I read your earlier post, and I'm aware of the Iranian president's tough talk. However, Iran is not the only middle eastern country that refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. So what else is new?..."

The statements by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad have been translated to "wipe Israel off the map". What's new (or will be) is a NUCLEAR Iran which is a threat to Israel's existence. In addition, which I stated before, it threatens a nuclear arms race in the Middle East.

As far as Halliburton goes, they will always be a rallying cry for the left. Few realize (or want to realize) Halliburton worked for the Clinton administration throughout the 90's with excellent reports. Exxon and Halliburton are old and tiring, leftist arguments.

"...Unfortunately, YOUR president screwed things up in Iraq, releasing chaos that will continue for a long time..."

That is a much better argument, and, at least, honest. The Bush administration entered Iraq with no plan for the occupation. They screwed it up. Period.

"...But our continued presence will accomplish what? Peace?? That's like saying we should pour more kerosene on an a burning stack of logs...."

Maybe, but for the reasons I stated before, in my opinion, there is much to lose by just pulling out.

Dr I :

Sorry for the misprint if'n you caught it from my previous post. Mr. Joey was asserted that no Americans harbour hatred towards Iran, a claim that is totally false; not that there are Americans do not hate Iran; which of course, would have been a correct statement had he said it. But he did'nt.

Dr. I :

Joey M.

You're right about one thing. We wont be sending troops to Iran. For two reasons: first, even if the weasel president disregarded the will of Congress and the majority of Americans, who would never approve such action, he lacks the manpower. Recruitment is at an all time low. Why do you think the military is now allowing felons to enlist? Secondly, the plan is not to invade with troops, but rather to bomb Iran into submission, a tactic that historically, has never worked. Finally, your assertion that there are Americans who lack hatred towards any Muslim society is soooo naive. I read the "nuke iran" comments everyday from your side of the debate. In fact, CBS has just reported that hate groups in this country are at an all time high. American Muslims are constantly under attack in this country. You betcha, there are americans who would love nothing better than see Iran or Iraq wiped off the face of the earth. Kind of tells ya something bout the sick mentality of our dark side.

Dr I :

Tom W.

I read your earlier post, and I'm aware of the Iranian president's tough talk. However, Iran is not the only middle eastern country that refuses to recognize Israel's right to exist. So what else is new?
The overwelming disapproval of the president is not based on the direction of the war. If American citizen's truly believed that Iraq was somehow responsible for the 911 attacks, or that it possessed WMDs, or that it somehow posed a real threat to our borders, Bush's approval ratings would still exceed 50%. Fortunately, the vast majority have finally come to the realization that YOUR president is not to be trusted, and that the rationale for invading Iraq was solely prompted by economic ambitions,ie. Halliburton and Exxon. Yes, we should leave. Unfortunately, YOUR president screwed things up in Iraq, releasing chaos that will continue for a long time. But our continued presence will accomplish what? Peace?? That's like saying we should pour more kerosene on an a burning stack of logs. Those who propose our continued presence for the reasons you stated are truly grasping straws. The only reason YOUR president wants to stay in Iraq has nothing to do with the welfare of the Iraqi people; but rather to appease his oil corp. constituents. The oil reserves are in complete control of the American's now. That's why he'll never agree to leave.

Joey M... :

To Divine Strake :

U.S. has over 10,000 nuclear warheads and Iran has none. Who is a greater threat?

The answer is in the number.

Really, and how many will we be sending to Iran for no reason other than hatred? Answer, NONE!

How many will Iran send our way, Israel's way, and Europe's way if given the opportunity to "smite the unbelievers?" Answer, as many as possible.

Just because we have the weapons does not mean we will just use them for any reason. If that was the case, Vietnam would not have fallen to the Communists, Cuba would not be run by Castro, etc.

I'm not afraid of the country that has many nukes, I'm afraid of the country that just wants any nukes.

Besides, how many Americans are out chanting and demonstrating their desire to murder every person who does not believe what they believe? Answer, NONE!

The only danger is those that think like you. Keep your head buried in the sand and when the radicals come calling keep pretending that they do not want to murder you.

Tom Wonacott :

Dr I

You never answered my previous post.

Even knowing that WMD's didn't exist, Bush was still elected for a second term so your assertion is not quite correct. Most Americans believed bringing Democracy to Iraq and disposing of a murderous dictator was the right thing to do even in the absence of WMD's.

Today 70% or more are against the war in Iraq, not because we didn't find WMD's, but because there seems to be no end in sight.

Pulling out of Iraq without stabilizing the government is a bad idea for several reasons (at least in my opinion):

1. A possible bloodbath from an Iraqi civil war, and yes, worse than today.

2. A possible regional conflict, which could be a world disaster. Shia and Sunni hate is on display in Iraq, and we already know that Saudi Arabia and Iran are enemies. Saudi Arabia has stated they will not let the minority Sunnis be massacred if the US pulls out.

3. Iran's strong influence on southern Iraq, and possible creation of another Iranian proxy in the mold of Hezbollah (Sadr's Mahdi Army). In addition, possible control of Iraqi oil reserves. In my opinion, this would undercut recent stabilization of oil prices by the Saudi government at levels to undercut Iranian oil profits i.e., to undercut the Iranians financially.

4. Embolden our enemies. Specifically Pakistani terrorist working with and supporting the Taliban in eastern Pakistan and Afghanistan, but other terrorist as well.

George Tenet was the head of the CIA that spanned the Clinton and Bush administrations, so its fairly obvious that it was an intelligence failure, but you believe as you wish.

Since this question comes up all the time, every human being lies, so is Bush capable? Certainly, however, I prefer to give him the benefit of the doubt until shown otherwise. George Tenet is writing a book so maybe we'll find out something different....

ready :

Since 9/11 the us has invaded Afganistan since that is where UBL was located and Iraq. I dont know why GW was so intent on invading Iraq since it is obvious muslims do not want our assistance. They are quite happy with their brutal and oppressive governments. The Iraqis were given a golden opportunity to live peacefully in a democratic country with equal rights for all minorities and religions. That does not compute according to the koran but also among each other (shias and sunnis). The current ME governments may have been installed by the CIA as some say, but now is the time to establish democratic governments but not islamic theocracies. The Iraninan mullahs are by far more dangerous than the US.

Dr. I :

Tom W.

George Tenet's assertion that it was slam dunk that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction does not absolve the presidents criminal liability in this matter. By now, it is common knowledge that Bush's self-proclamation as the "decider" extends to his selective choices for intelligence that justifies his long term goal in controlling the world'd second largest oil reserves in Iraq. The decider has continually rejected, presecuted and blackballed military and intelligence officials who have disagreed with his assessment of the war since its inception, while embracing those whose opinions coincide with his own. Moreover,to combine Hans Blix' remarks as corraboration of Tenet's claims are totally ludicrious. Though Hans Blix suspected that WMDs existed, he was far short of confirming what the decider wanted to hear. Of course, we know why he could'nt confirm the WMD myth- because they did'nt exist! Which leads 70%+ of the American public asking why the Iraq war continued when it was obvious that WMDs did not exist. Afterall, was'nt this Bush's rationale, the main selling point for securing the support he needed to invade Iraq?
The answer to that question is sadistically clear; the neocons repeat it every day-"because they fear we'll lose creditability and respect from the world if we pull out". Well, judging from the European opinion polls, we've already crossed that bridge. Problem is, we're too proud and arrogant to admit it. Its time to cut our losses. Let' bring the troops home now, and salvage whatever creditability we have left by prosecuting Bush, Cheney, Tenet, Rumsfeld, and all those who participated in this inhumane campaign.

Tariq :

Thanks to the wisdom of our founding fathers.
The ability of a Liar-in-chief to do further damage to our reputation in the world is limited to only 2 terms in office.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

You are a NEOCON on "families". That has got to really scare you!

Tom Wonacott :

John

Read my previous post (near the top- addressed to you) which said UN resolutions 678, 687 and 1441 provided the legal basis for the invasion of Iraq, not just 1441.

Let me quote (again) Hans Blix (the same exact quote from before):

"...Chief weapons inspector, Hans Blix, reported in 2003 that “…Another matter - and one of great significance - is that many proscribed weapons and items are not accounted for. To take an example, a document, which Iraq provided, suggested to us that some 1,000 tonnes of chemical agent were "unaccounted for". One must not jump to the conclusion that they exist. However, that possibility is also not excluded. If they exist, they should be presented for destruction. If they do not exist, credible evidence to that effect should be presented..."

Now if you read the whole quote this time it mentions exactly what you say, so I don't believe I'm twisting words, but the point is, if Hans Blix couldn't say for certain there were no WMD's, how could Bush have known?

From George Tenet, 2004 on prewar intelligence:

"Let me now turn to chemical weapons.

We said in the estimate with high confidence that Iraq had them. We also believed, though with less certainty, that Saddam had stocked at least 100 metric tons of agent....

...Let me turn to biological weapons.

The estimates said Baghdad had them and that all key aspects of an offensive program -- research and development, production and weaponization -- were still active and most elements were larger and more advanced than before the Gulf War...

...Let's start with missile and other delivery systems for weapons of mass destruction.

Our community said with high confidence that Saddam was continuing and expanding his missile programs, contrary to U.N. resolutions. He had missiles and other systems with ranges in excess of U.N. restrictions and he was seeking missiles with even longer ranges.

What do we know today? Since the war we have found an aggressive Iraqi missile program concealed from the international community..."

Once again, when the chief intelligence officer of the CIA says there are WMD's before the war, then how can you assume Bush was lying? If Bush flat out lied, then I agree with you, he should be hung.

Mike J :

There are a lot of comments in this thread that contend the US is a big mean bully that goes around liberating oppressed countries for no apparent reason other than that we can; oh, and for the oil.

Well, let me remind you of a few "incidents" that might have contributed to America's, shall we say, "distrust" of aggressors and oppressors.

MEGAMURDERERS
61,911,000 Murdered: The Soviet Gulag State
35,236,000 Murdered: The Communist Chinese
20,946,000 Murdered: The Nazi Genocide State
10,214,000 Murdered: The Nationalist Regime

LESSER MEGA-MURDERERS
5,964,000 Murdered: Japan's Savage Military
2,035,000 Murdered: The Khmer Rouge Hell State
1,883,000 Murdered: Turkey's Genocidal Purges
1,670,000 Murdered: The Vietnamese War State
1,585,000 Murdered: Poland's Ethnic Cleansing
1,503,000 Murdered: The Pakistani Cutthroat State
1,072,000 Murdered: Tito's Slaughterhouse

SUSPECTED MEGAMURDERERS
1,663,000 Murdered? Orwellian North Korea
1,417,000 Murdered? Barbarous Mexico
1,066,000 Murdered? Feudal Russia

Next, let's look at terror attacks perpetrated by our loving, tolerant, and peace-loving islamofascist friends along with their allies the loving, tolerant,and peace-loving socialist/communists.

First U.S. Aircraft Hijacked, May 1, 1961: Puerto Rican born Antuilo Ramierez Ortiz forced at gunpoint a National Airlines plane to fly to Havana, Cuba, where he was given asylum.

Ambassador to Guatemala Assassinated, August 28, 1968: U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala John Gordon Mein was murdered by a rebel faction when gunmen forced his official car off the road in Guatemala City and raked the vehicle with gunfire.

Ambassador to Japan Attacked, July 30, 1969: U.S. Ambassador to Japan A.H. Meyer was attacked by a knife-wielding Japanese citizen.

Ambassador to Brazil Kidnapped, September 3, 1969: U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Charles Burke Elbrick was kidnapped by the Marxist revolutionary group MR-8.

Attack on the Munich Airport, February 10, 1970: Three terrorists attacked El Al passengers in a bus at the Munich Airport with guns and grenades. One passenger was killed and 11 were injured. All three terrorists were captured by airport police. The Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.

U.S. Agency for International Development Adviser Kidnapped, July 31, 1970: In Montevideo, Uruguay, the Tupamaros terrorist group kidnapped AID Police adviser Dan Mitrione; his body was found on August 10.

"Bloody Friday," July 21, 1972: An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attacks killed eleven people and injure 130 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ten days later, three IRA car bomb attacks in the village of Claudy left six dead.

Munich Olympic Massacre, September 5, 1972: Eight Palestinian "Black September" terrorists seized eleven Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village in Munich, West Germany. In a bungled rescue attempt by West German authorities, nine of the hostages and five terrorists were killed.


Ambassador to Sudan Assassinated, March 2, 1973: U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo A. Noel and other diplomats were assassinated at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum by members of the Black September organization.

Consul General in Mexico Kidnapped, May 4, 1973: U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara Terrence Leonhardy was kidnapped by members of the People’s Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Attack and Hijacking at the Rome Airport, December 17, 1973: Five terrorists pulled weapons from their luggage in the terminal lounge at the Rome airport, killing two persons. They then attacked a Pan American 707 bound for Beirut and Tehran, destroying it with incendiary grenades and killing 29 persons, including 4 senior Moroccan officials and 14 American employees of ARAMCO. They then herded 5 Italian hostages into a Lufthansa airliner and killed an Italian customs agent as he tried to escape, after which they forced the pilot to fly to Beirut. After Lebanese authorities refused to let the plane land, it landed in Athens, where the terrorists demanded the release of 2 Arab terrorists. In order to make Greek authorities comply with their demands, the terrorists killed a hostage and threw his body onto the tarmac. The plane then flew to Damascus, where it stopped for two hours to obtain fuel and food. It then flew to Kuwait, where the terrorists released their hostages in return for passage to an unknown destination. The Palestine Liberation Organization disavowed the attack, and no group claimed responsibility for it.

Ambassador to Cyprus Assassinated, August 19, 1974: U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Rodger P. Davies and his Greek Cypriot secretary were shot and killed by snipers during a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia.

Domestic Terrorism, January 27-29, 1975: Puerto Rican nationalists bombed a Wall Street bar, killing four and injuring 60; two days later, the Weather Underground claims responsibility for an explosion in a bathroom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington.

June 16, 1976: Ambassador Francis E. Meloy, Jr. and Economic Counselor Robert O. Waring were kidnapped in Beirut while on their way to meet with President-elect Sarkis. Meloy, Waring, and their Lebanese chauffeur were found dead near a beach several hours alter. No demands were made, and the assassins remain unknown.

Entebbe Hostage Crisis, June 27, 1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized an Air France airliner and its 258 passengers. They forced the plane to land in Uganda. On July 3 Israeli commandos successfully rescued the passengers.

Assassination of Former Chilean Diplomat, September 21, 1976: Exiled Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier was killed by a car-bomb in Washington.

Kidnapping of Italian Prime Minister, March 16, 1978: Premier Aldo Moro was seized by the Red Brigade and assassinated 55 days later.

Ambassador to Afghanistan Assassinated, February 14, 1979: Four Afghans kidnapped U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs in Kabul and demanded the release of various "religious figures." Dubs was killed, along with four alleged terrorists, when Afghan police stormed the hotel room where he was being held.

Iran Hostage Crisis, November 4, 1979: After President Carter agreed to admit the Shah of Iran into the US, Iranian radicals seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 66 American diplomats hostage. Thirteen hostages were soon released, but the remaining 53 were held until their release on January 20, 1981.

Grand Mosque Seizure, November 20, 1979: 200 Islamic terrorists seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundreds of pilgrims hostage. Saudi and French security forces retook the shrine after an intense battle in which some 250 people were killed and 600 wounded.

August 27, 1980: Unknown assailants in Beirut fired on Ambassador John Gunther Dean's car. He and his party escaped unharmed.

U.S. Installation Bombing, August 31, 1981: The Red Army exploded a bomb at the U.S. Air Force Base at Ramstein, West Germany.

Assassination of Egyptian President, October 6, 1981: Soldiers who were secretly members of the Takfir Wal-Hajira sect attacked and killed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during a troop review.

Murder of Missionaries, December 4, 1981: Three American nuns and one lay missionary were found murdered outside San Salvador, El Salvador. They were killed by members of the National Guard, and the killers are currently in prison.

Assassination of Lebanese President, September 14, 1982: President Bashir Gemayel was assassinated by a car bomb parked outside his party’s Beirut headquarters.

1983

Colombian Hostage-taking, April 8, 1983: A U.S. citizen was seized by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and held for ransom.

Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Beirut, April 18, 1983: Sixty-three people, including the CIA’s Middle East director, were killed and 120 were injured in a 400-pound suicide truck-bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Naval Officer Assassinated in El Salvador, May 25, 1983: A U.S. Navy officer was assassinated by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

North Korean Hit Squad, October 9, 1983: North Korean agents blew up a delegation from South Korea in Rangoon, Burma, killing 21 persons and injuring 48.

Bombing of Marine Barracks, Beirut, October 23, 1983: Simultaneous suicide truck-bomb attacks were made on American and French compounds in Beirut, Lebanon. A 12,000-pound bomb destroyed the U.S. compound, killing 242 Americans, while 58 French troops were killed when a 400-pound device destroyed a French base. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Naval Officer Assassinated in Greece, November 15, 1983: A U.S. Navy officer was shot by the November 17 terrorist group in Athens, Greece, while his car was stopped at a traffic light.

1984

Kidnapping of Embassy Official, March 16, 1984: The Islamic Jihad kidnapped and later murdered Political Officer William Buckley in Beirut, Lebanon. Other U.S. citizens not connected to the U.S. government were seized over a succeeding two-year period.

Restaurant Bombing in Spain, April 12, 1984: Eighteen U.S. servicemen were killed and 83 people were injured in a bomb attack on a restaurant near a U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain.

Temple Seizure, June 5, 1984: Sikh terrorists seized the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. One hundred people died when Indian security forces retook the Sikh holy shrine.

Assassination of Indian Prime Minister, October 31, 1984: Premier Indira Gandhi was shot to death by members of her security force.

1985

Kidnapping of U.S. Officials in Mexico, February 7, 1985: Under the orders of narcotrafficker Rafael Caro Quintero, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena Salazar and his pilot were kidnapped, tortured and executed.

TWA Hijacking, June 14, 1985: A Trans-World Airlines flight was hijacked en route to Rome from Athens by two Lebanese Hizballah terrorists and forced to fly to Beirut. The eight crew members and 145 passengers were held for seventeen days, during which one American hostage, a U.S. Navy sailor, was murdered. After being flown twice to Algiers, the aircraft was returned to Beirut after Israel released 435 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

Attack on a Restaurant in El Salvador, June 19, 1985: Members of the FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) fired on a restaurant in the Zona Rosa district of San Salvador, killing four Marine Security Guards assigned to the U.S. Embassy and nine Salvadorean civilians.

Air India Bombing, June 23, 1985: A bomb destroyed an Air India Boeing 747 over the Atlantic, killing all 329 people aboard. Both Sikh and Kashmiri terrorists were blamed for the attack. Two cargo handlers were killed at Tokyo airport, Japan, when another Sikh bomb exploded in an Air Canada aircraft en route to India.

Soviet Diplomats Kidnapped, September 30, 1985: In Beirut, Lebanon, Sunni terrorists kidnapped four Soviet diplomats. One was killed but three were later released.

Achille Lauro Hijacking, October 7, 1985: Four Palestinian Liberation Front terrorists seized the Italian cruise liner in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, taking more than 700 hostages. One U.S. passenger was murdered before the Egyptian government offered the terrorists safe haven in return for the hostages’ freedom.

Egyptian Airliner Hijacking, November 23, 1985: An EgyptAir airplane bound from Athens to Malta and carrying several U.S. citizens was hijacked by the Abu Nidal Group.

Airport Attacks in Rome and Vienna, December 27, 1985: Four gunmen belonging to the Abu Nidal Organization attacked the El Al and Trans World Airlines ticket counters at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport with grenades and automatic rifles. Thirteen persons were killed and 75 were wounded before Italian police and Israeli security guards killed three of the gunmen and captured the fourth. Three more Abu Nidal gunmen attacked the El Al ticket counter at Vienna’s Schwechat Airport, killing three persons and wounding 30. Austrian police killed one of the gunmen and captured the others.

1986

Aircraft Bombing in Greece, March 30, 1986: A Palestinian splinter group detonated a bomb as TWA Flight 840 approached Athens airport, killing four U.S. citizens.

Berlin Discothèque Bombing, April 5, 1986: Two U.S. soldiers were killed and 79 American servicemen were injured in a Libyan bomb attack on a nightclub in West Berlin, West Germany. In retaliation U.S. military jets bombed targets in and around Tripoli and Benghazi.

Kimpo Airport Bombing, September 14, 1986: North Korean agents detonated an explosive device at Seoul’s Kimpo airport, killing 5 persons and injuring 29 others.

1987

Bus Attack, April 24, 1987: Sixteen U.S. servicemen riding in a Greek Air Force bus near Athens were injured in an apparent bombing attack, carried out by the revolutionary organization known as November 17.

Downing of Airliner, November 29, 1987: North Korean agents planted a bomb aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 858, which subsequently crashed into the Indian Ocean.

Servicemen’s Bar Attack, December 26, 1987: Catalan separatists bombed a Barcelona bar frequented by U.S. servicemen, resulting in the death of one U.S. citizen.

1988

Kidnapping of William Higgins, February 17, 1988: U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel W. Higgins was kidnapped and murdered by the Iranian-backed Hizballah group while serving with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) in southern Lebanon.

Naples USO Attack, April 14, 1988: The Organization of Jihad Brigades exploded a car-bomb outside a USO Club in Naples, Italy, killing one U.S. sailor.

Attack on U.S. Diplomat in Greece, June 28, 1988: The Defense Attaché of the U.S. Embassy in Greece was killed when a car-bomb was detonated outside his home in Athens.

Pan Am 103 Bombing, December 21, 1988: Pan American Airlines Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, by a bomb believed to have been placed on the aircraft by Libyan terrorists in Frankfurt, West Germany. All 259 people on board were killed.

1989


Assassination of U.S. Army Officer, April 21, 1989: The New People’s Army (NPA) assassinated Colonel James Rowe in Manila. The NPA also assassinated two U.S. government defense contractors in September.

Bombing of UTA Flight 772, September 19, 1989: A bomb explosion destroyed UTA Flight 772 over the Sahara Desert in southern Niger during a flight from Brazzaville to Paris. All 170 persons aboard were killed. Six Libyans were later found guilty in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Assassination of German Bank Chairman, November 30, 1989: The Red Army Faction assassinated Deutsche Bank Chairman Alfred Herrhausen in Frankfurt.

1990

U.S. Embassy Bombed in Peru, January 15, 1990: The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement bombed the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru.

U.S. Soldiers Assassinated in the Philippines, May 13, 1990: The New People’s Army (NPA) killed two U.S. Air Force personnel near Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.

1991

Attempted Iraqi Attacks on U.S. Posts, January 18-19, 1991: Iraqi agents planted bombs at the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia’s home residence and at the USIS library in Manila.

Sniper Attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, February 13, 1991: Three Red Army Faction members fired automatic rifles from across the Rhine River at the U.S. Embassy Chancery. No one was hurt.

Assassination of former Indian Prime Minister, May 21, 1991: A female member of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) killed herself, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and 16 others by detonating an explosive vest after presenting a garland of flowers to the former Prime Minister during an election rally in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

1992

Kidnapping of U.S. Businessmen in the Philippines, January 17-21, 1992: A senior official of the corporation Philippine Geothermal was kidnapped in Manila by the Red Scorpion Group, and two U.S. businessmen were seized independently by the National Liberation Army and by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, March 17, 1992: Hizballah claimed responsibility for a blast that leveled the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, causing the deaths of 29 and wounding 242.

1993

Kidnappings of U.S. Citizens in Colombia, January 31, 1993: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorists kidnapped three U.S. missionaries.

World Trade Center Bombing, February 26, 1993: The World Trade Center in New York City was badly damaged when a car bomb planted by Islamic terrorists exploded in an underground garage. The bomb left 6 people dead and 1,000 injured. The men carrying out the attack were followers of Umar Abd al-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric who preached in the New York City area.

Attempted Assassination of President Bush by Iraqi Agents, April 14, 1993: The Iraqi intelligence service attempted to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during a visit to Kuwait. In retaliation, the U.S. launched a cruise missile attack 2 months later on the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

1994

Hebron Massacre, February 25, 1994: Jewish right-wing extremist and U.S. citizen Baruch Goldstein machine-gunned Moslem worshippers at a mosque in West Bank town of Hebron, killing 29 and wounding about 150.

FARC Hostage-taking, September 23, 1994: FARC rebels kidnapped U.S. citizen Thomas Hargrove in Colombia.

Air France Hijacking, December 24, 1994: Members of the Armed Islamic Group seized an Air France Flight to Algeria. The four terrorists were killed during a rescue effort.

1995

Attack on U.S. Diplomats in Pakistan, March 8, 1995: Two unidentified gunmen killed two U.S. diplomats and wounded a third in Karachi, Pakistan.

Tokyo Subway Station Attack, March 20, 1995: Twelve persons were killed and 5,700 were injured in a Sarin nerve gas attack on a crowded subway station in the center of Tokyo, Japan. A similar attack occurred nearly simultaneously in the Yokohama subway system. The Aum Shinri-kyo cult was blamed for the attacks.

Bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995: Right-wing extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a massive truck bomb that killed 166 and injured hundreds more in what was up to then the largest terrorist attack on American soil.

Kashmiri Hostage-taking, July 4, 1995: In India six foreigners, including two U.S. citizens, were taken hostage by Al-Faran, a Kashmiri separatist group. One non-U.S. hostage was later found beheaded.

Jerusalem Bus Attack, August 21, 1995: HAMAS claimed responsibility for the detonation of a bomb that killed 6 and injured over 100 persons, including several U.S. citizens.

Attack on U.S. Embassy in Moscow, September 13, 1995: A rocket-propelled grenade was fired through the window of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, ostensibly in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Serb positions in Bosnia.

Saudi Military Installation Attack, November 13, 1995: The Islamic Movement of Change planted a bomb in a Riyadh military compound that killed one U.S. citizen, several foreign national employees of the U.S. government, and over 40 others.

Egyptian Embassy Attack, November 19, 1995: A suicide bomber drove a vehicle into the Egyptian Embassy compound in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 16 and injuring 60 persons. Three militant Islamic groups claimed responsibility.

1996

Papuan Hostage Abduction, January 8, 1996: In Indonesia, 200 Free Papua Movement (OPM) guerrillas abducted 26 individuals in the Lorenta nature preserve, Irian Jaya Province. Indonesian Special Forces members rescued the remaining nine hostages on May 15.

Kidnapping in Colombia, January 19, 1996: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas kidnapped a US citizen and demanded a $1 million ransom. The hostage was released on May 22.

Tamil Tigers Attack, January 31, 1996: Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed an explosives-laden truck into the Central Bank in the heart of downtown Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 90 civilians and injuring more than 1,400 others, including 2 US citizens.

IRA Bombing, February 9, 1996: An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb detonated in London, killing 2 persons and wounding more than 100 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.

Athens Embassy Attack, February 15, 1996: Unidentified assailants fired a rocket at the U.S. Embassy compound in Athens, causing minor damage to three diplomatic vehicles and some surrounding buildings. Circumstances of the attack suggested it was an operation carried out by the 17 November group.

ELN Kidnapping, February 16, 1996: Six alleged National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Colombia. After 9 months, the hostage was released.

HAMAS Bus Attack, February 26, 1996: In Jerusalem, a suicide bomber blew up a bus, killing 26 persons, including three U.S. citizens, and injuring some 80 persons, including three other US citizens.

Dizengoff Center Bombing, March 4, 1996: HAMAS and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) both claimed responsibility for a bombing outside of Tel Aviv's largest shopping mall that killed 20 persons and injured 75 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.

West Bank Attack, May 13, 1996: Arab gunmen opened fire on a bus and a group of Yeshiva students near the Bet El settlement, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and wounding three Israelis. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but HAMAS was suspected.

AID Worker Abduction, May 31, 1996: A gang of former Contra guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. employee of the Agency for International Development (AID) who was assisting with election preparations in rural northern Nicaragua. She was released unharmed the next day after members of the international commission overseeing the preparations intervened.

Zekharya Attack, June 9, 1996: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car near Zekharya, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and an Israeli. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was suspected.

Manchester Truck Bombing, June 15, 1996: An IRA truck bomb detonated at a Manchester shopping center, wounding 206 persons, including two German tourists, and caused extensive property damage.

Khobar Towers Bombing, June 25, 1996: A fuel truck carrying a bomb exploded outside the US military's Khobar Towers housing facility in Dhahran, killing 19 U.S. military personnel and wounding 515 persons, including 240 U.S. personnel. Several groups claimed responsibility for the attack.

ETA Bombing, July 20, 1996: A bomb exploded at Tarragona International Airport in Reus, Spain, wounding 35 persons, including British and Irish tourists. The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) organization was suspected.

Bombing of Archbishop of Oran, August 1, 1996: A bomb exploded at the home of the French Archbishop of Oran, killing him and his chauffeur. The attack occurred after the Archbishop's meeting with the French Foreign Minister. The Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is suspected.

Sudanese Rebel Kidnapping, August 17, 1996: Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels kidnapped six missionaries in Mapourdit, including a U.S. citizen, an Italian, three Australians, and a Sudanese. The SPLA released the hostages 11 days later.

PUK Kidnapping, September 13, 1996: In Iraq, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) militants kidnapped four French workers for Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres, a Canadian United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official, and two Iraqis.

Assassination of South Korean Consul, October 1, 1996: In Vladivostok, Russia, assailants attacked and killed a South Korean consul near his home. No one claimed responsibility, but South Korean authorities believed that the attack was carried out by professionals and that the assailants were North Koreans. North Korean officials denied the country's involvement in the attack.

Red Cross Worker Kidnappings, November 1, 1996: In Sudan a breakaway group from the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) kidnapped three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers, including a U.S. citizen, an Australian, and a Kenyan. On 9 December the rebels released the hostages in exchange for ICRC supplies and a health survey for their camp.

Paris Subway Explosion, December 3, 1996: A bomb exploded aboard a Paris subway train as it arrived at the Port Royal station, killing two French nationals, a Moroccan, and a Canadian, and injuring 86 persons. Among those injured were one U.S. citizen and a Canadian. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Algerian extremists are suspected.

Abduction of US. Citizen by FARC, December 11, 1996: Five armed men claiming to be members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) kidnapped and later killed a U.S. geologist at a methane gas exploration site in La Guajira Department.

Tupac Amaru Seizure of Diplomats, December 17, 1996: Twenty-three members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) took several hundred people hostage at a party given at the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru. Among the hostages were several US officials, foreign ambassadors and other diplomats, Peruvian Government officials, and Japanese businessmen. The group demanded the release of all MRTA members in prison and safe passage for them and the hostage takers. The terrorists released most of the hostages in December but held 81 Peruvians and Japanese citizens for several months.

1997

Egyptian Letter Bombs, January 2-13, 1997: A series of letter bombs with Alexandria, Egypt, postmarks were discovered at Al-Hayat newspaper bureaus in Washington, New York City, London, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Three similar devices, also postmarked in Egypt, were found at a prison facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. Bomb disposal experts defused all the devices, but one detonated at the Al-Hayat office in London, injuring two security guards and causing minor damage.

Tajik Hostage Abductions, February 4-17, 1997: Near Komsomolabad, Tajikistan, a paramilitary group led by Bakhrom Sodirov abducted four United Nations (UN) military observers. The victims included two Swiss, one Austrian, one Ukrainian, and their Tajik interpreter. The kidnappers demanded safe passage for their supporters from Afghanistan to Tajikistan. In four separate incidents occurring between Dushanbe and Garm, Bakhrom Sodirov and his group kidnapped two International Committee for the Red Cross members, four Russian journalists and their Tajik driver, four UNHCR members, and the Tajik Security Minister, Saidamir Zukhurov.

Venezuelan Abduction, February 14, 1997: Six armed Colombian guerrillas kidnapped a US oil engineer and his Venezuelan pilot in Apure, Venezuela. The kidnappers released the Venezuelan pilot on 22 February. According to authorities, the FARC is responsible for the kidnapping.

Empire State Building Sniper Attack, February 23, 1997: A Palestinian gunman opened fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building in New York City, killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland, and France before turning the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claimed this was a punishment attack against the "enemies of Palestine."

ELN Kidnapping, February 24, 1997: National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen employed by a Las Vegas gold corporation who was scouting a gold mining operation in Colombia. The ELN demanded a ransom of $2.5 million.

FARC Kidnapping, March 7, 1997: FARC guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. mining employee and his Colombian colleague who were searching for gold in Colombia. On November 16, the rebels released the two hostages after receiving a $50,000 ransom.

Hotel Nacional Bombing, July 12, 1997: A bomb exploded at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, injuring three persons and causing minor damage. A previously unknown group calling itself the Military Liberation Union claimed responsibility.

Israeli Shopping Mall Bombing, September 4, 1997: Three suicide bombers of HAMAS detonated bombs in the Ben Yehuda shopping mall in Jerusalem, killing eight persons, including the bombers, and wounding nearly 200 others. A dual U.S./Israeli citizen was among the dead, and 7 U.S. citizens were wounded.

OAS Abductions, October 23, 1997: In Colombia ELN rebels kidnapped two foreign members of the Organization of American States (OAS) and a Colombian human rights official at a roadblock. The ELN claimed that the kidnapping was intended "to show the international community that the elections in Colombia are a farce."

Yemeni Kidnappings, October 30, 1997: Al-Sha'if tribesmen kidnapped a U.S. businessman near Sanaa. The tribesmen sought the release of two fellow tribesmen who were arrested on smuggling charges and several public works projects they claim the government promised them. They released the hostage on November 27.

Murder of U.S. Businessmen in Pakistan, November 12, 1997: Two unidentified gunmen shot to death four U.S. auditors from Union Texas Petroleum Corporation and their Pakistani driver after they drove away from the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi. The Islami Inqilabi Council, or Islamic Revolutionary Council, claimed responsibility in a call to the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. In a letter to Pakistani newspapers, the Aimal Khufia Action Committee also claimed responsibility.

Tourist Killings in Egypt, November 17, 1997: Al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya (IG) gunmen shot and killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians and wounded 26 others at the Hatshepsut Temple in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Thirty-four Swiss, eight Japanese, five Germans, four Britons, one French, one Colombian, a dual Bulgarian/British citizen, and four unidentified persons were among the dead. Twelve Swiss, two Japanese, two Germans, one French, and nine Egyptians were among the wounded.

1998

UN Observer Abductions, February 19, 1998: Armed supporters of late Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia abducted four UN military observers from Sweden, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic.

FARC Abduction, March 21-23, 1998: FARC rebels kidnapped a US citizen in Sabaneta, Colombia. FARC members also killed three persons, wounded 14, and kidnapped at least 27 others at a roadblock near Bogota. Four U.S. citizens and one Italian were among those kidnapped, as well as the acting president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) and his wife.

Somali Hostage-takings, April 15, 1998: Somali militiamen abducted nine Red Cross and Red Crescent workers at an airstrip north of Mogadishu. The hostages included a U.S. citizen, a German, a Belgian, a French, a Norwegian, two Swiss, and one Somali. The gunmen were members of a sub-clan loyal to Ali Mahdi Mohammed, who controlled the northern section of the capital.

IRA Bombing, Banbridge, August 1, 1998: A 500-pound car bomb planted by the Real IRA exploded outside a shoe store in Banbridge, North Ireland, injuring 35 persons and damaging at least 200 homes.

U.S. Embassy Bombings in East Africa, August 7, 1998: A bomb exploded at the rear entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 12 U.S. citizens, 32 Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and 247 Kenyan citizens. Approximately 5,000 Kenyans, 6 U.S. citizens, and 13 FSNs were injured. The U.S. Embassy building sustained extensive structural damage. Almost simultaneously, a bomb detonated outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 7 FSNs and 3 Tanzanian citizens, and injuring 1 U.S. citizen and 76 Tanzanians. The explosion caused major structural damage to the U.S. Embassy facility. The U.S. Government held Usama Bin Laden responsible.

IRA Bombing, Omagh, August 15, 1998: A 500-pound car bomb planted by the Real IRA exploded outside a local courthouse in the central shopping district of Omagh, Northern Ireland, killing 29 persons and injuring over 330.

Colombian Pipeline Bombing, October 18, 1998: A National Liberation Army (ELN) planted bomb exploded on the Ocensa pipeline in Antioquia Department, killing approximately 71 persons and injuring at least 100 others. The pipeline is jointly owned by the Colombia State Oil Company Ecopetrol and a consortium including U.S., French, British, and Canadian companies.

Armed Kidnapping in Colombia, November 15, 1998: Armed assailants followed a U.S. businessman and his family home in Cundinamarca Department and kidnapped his 11-year-old son after stealing money, jewelry, one automobile, and two cell phones. The kidnappers demanded $1 million in ransom. On January 21, 1999, the kidnappers released the boy.

1999

Angolan Aircraft Downing, January 2, 1999: A UN plane carrying one U.S. citizen, four Angolans, two Philippine nationals and one Namibian was shot down, according to a UN official. No deaths or injuries were reported. Angolan authorities blamed the attack on National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels. UNITA officials denied shooting down the plane.

Ugandan Rebel Attack, February 14, 1999: A pipe bomb exploded inside a bar, killing five persons and injuring 35 others. One Ethiopian and four Ugandan nationals died in the blast, and one U.S. citizen working for USAID, two Swiss nationals, one Pakistani, one Ethiopian, and 27 Ugandans were injured. Ugandan authorities blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Greek Embassy Seizure, February 16, 1999: Kurdish protesters stormed and occupied the Greek Embassy in Vienna, taking the Greek Ambassador and six other persons hostage. Several hours later the protesters released the hostages and left the Embassy. The attack followed the Turkish Government's announcement of the successful capture of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. Kurds also occupied Kenyan, Israeli, and other Greek diplomatic facilities in France, Holland, Switzerland, Britain, and Germany over the following days.

FARC Kidnappings, February 25, 1999: FARC kidnapped three U.S. citizens working for the Hawaii-based Pacific Cultural Conservancy International. On March 4, the bodies of the three victims were found in Venezuela.

Hutu Abductions, March 1, 1999: 150 armed Hutu rebels attacked three tourist camps in Uganda, killed four Ugandans, and abducted three U.S. citizens, six Britons, three New Zealanders, two Danish citizens, one Australian, and one Canadian national. Two of the U.S. citizens and six of the other hostages were subsequently killed by their abductors.

ELN Hostage-taking, March 23, 1999: Armed guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Boyaca, Colombia. The National Liberation Army (ELN) claimed responsibility and demanded $400,000 ransom. On 20 July, ELN rebels released the hostage unharmed following a ransom payment of $48,000.

ELN Hostage-taking, May 30, 1999: In Cali, Colombia, armed ELN militants attacked a church in the neighborhood of Ciudad Jardin, kidnapping 160 persons, including six U.S. citizens and one French national. The rebels released approximately 80 persons, including three U.S. citizens, later that day.

Shell Platform Bombing, June 27, 1999: In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, armed youths stormed a Shell oil platform, kidnapping one U.S. citizen, one Nigerian national, and one Australian citizen, and causing undetermined damage. A group calling itself "Enough is Enough in the Niger River" claimed responsibility. Further seizures of oil facilities followed.

AFRC Kidnappings, August 4, 1999: An Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) faction kidnapped 33 UN representatives near Occra Hills, Sierra Leone. The hostages included one U.S. citizen, five British soldiers, one Canadian citizen, one representative from Ghana, one military officer from Russia, one officer from Kyrgystan, one officer from Zambia, one officer from Malaysia, a local Bishop, two UN officials, two local journalists, and 16 Sierra Leonean nationals.

Burmese Embassy Seizure, October 1, 1999: Burmese dissidents seized the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, taking 89 persons hostage, including one U.S. citizen.

PLA Kidnapping, December 23, 1999: Colombian People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces kidnapped a U.S. citizen in an unsuccessful ransoming effort.

Indian Airlines Airbus Hijacking, December 24, 1999: Five militants hijacked a flight bound from Katmandu to New Delhi carrying 189 people. The plane and its passengers were released unharmed on December 31.

2000

Car bombing in Spain, January 27, 2000: Police officials reported unidentified individuals set fire to a Citroen car dealership in Iturreta, causing extensive damage to the building and destroying 12 vehicles. The attack bore the hallmark of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA).

RUF Attacks on U.N. Mission Personnel, May 1, 2000: On 1 May in Makeni, Sierra Leone, Revolutionary United Front (RUF) militants kidnapped at least 20 members of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and surrounded and opened fire on a UNAMSIL facility, according to press reports. The militants killed five UN soldiers in the attack. RUF militants kidnapped 300 UNAMSIL peacekeepers throughout the country, according to press reports. On 15 May in Foya, Liberia, the kidnappers released 139 hostages. On 28 May, on the Liberia and Sierra Leone border, armed militants released unharmed the last of the UN peacekeepers. In Freetown, according to press reports, armed militants ambushed two military vehicles carrying four journalists. A Spaniard and one U.S. citizen were killed in a May 25 car bombing in Freetown for which the RUF was probably responsible. Suspected RUF rebels also kidnapped 21 Indian UN peacekeepers in Freetown on June 6. Additional attacks by RUF on foreign personnel followed.

Diplomatic Assassination in Greece, June 8, 2000: In Athens, Greece, two unidentified gunmen killed British Defense Attaché Stephen Saunders in an ambush. The Revolutionary Organization 17 November claimed responsibility.

ELN Kidnapping, June 27, 2000: In Bogota, Colombia, ELN militants kidnapped a 5-year-old U.S. citizen and his Colombian mother, demanding an undisclosed ransom.

Kidnappings in Kyrgyzstan, August 12, 2000: In the Kara-Su Valley, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan took four U.S. citizens hostage. The Americans escaped on August 12.

Church Bombing in Tajikistan, October 1, 2000: Unidentified militants detonated two bombs in a Christian church in Dushanbe, killing seven persons and injuring 70 others. The church was founded by a Korean-born U.S. citizen, and most of those killed and wounded were Korean. No one claimed responsibility.

Helicopter Hijacking, October 12, 2000: In Sucumbios Province, Ecuador, a group of armed kidnappers led by former members of defunct Colombian terrorist organization the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), took hostage 10 employees of Spanish energy consortium REPSOL. Those kidnapped included five U.S. citizens, one Argentine, one Chilean, one New Zealander, and two French pilots who escaped four days later. On January 30, 2001, the kidnappers murdered American hostage Ronald Sander. The remaining hostages were released on February 23 following the payment of $13 million in ransom by the oil companies.

Attack on U.S.S. Cole, October 12, 2000: In Aden, Yemen, a small dingy carrying explosives rammed the destroyer U.S.S. Cole, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 others. Supporters of Usama Bin Laden were suspected.

Manila Bombing, December 30, 2000: A bomb exploded in a plaza across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Manila, injuring nine persons. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front was likely responsible.

2001

Srinagar Airport Attack and Assassination Attempt, January 17, 2001: In India, six members of the Lashkar-e-Tayyba militant group were killed when they attempted to seize a local airport. Members of Hizbul Mujaheddin fired two rifle grenades at Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister for Jammu and Kashmir. Two persons were wounded in the unsuccessful assassination attempt.

BBC Studios Bombing, March 4, 2001: A car bomb exploded at midnight outside of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s main production studios in London. One person was injured. British authorities suspected the Real IRA had planted the bomb.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, March 4, 2001: A suicide bomb attack in Netanya killed 3 persons and wounded 65. HAMAS later claimed responsibility.

ETA Bombing, March 9, 2001: Two policemen were killed by the explosion of a car bomb in Hernani, Spain.

Airliner Hijacking in Istanbul, March 15, 2001: Three Chechens hijacked a Russian airliner during a flight from Istanbul to Moscow and forced it to fly to Medina, Saudi Arabia. The plane carried 162 passengers and a crew of 12. After a 22-hour siege during which more than 40 passengers were released, Saudi security forces stormed the plane, killing a hijacker, a passenger, and a flight attendant.

Bus Stop Bombing, April 22, 2001: A member of HAMAS detonated a bomb he was carrying near a bus stop in Kfar Siva, Israel, killing one person and injuring 60.

Philippines Hostage Incident, May 27, 2001: Muslim Abu Sayyaf guerrillas seized 13 tourists and 3 staff members at a resort on Palawan Island and took their captives to Basilan Island. The captives included three U.S. citizens: Guellermo Sobero and missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham. Philippine troops fought a series of battles with the guerrillas between June 1 and June 3 during which 9 hostages escaped and two were found dead. The guerrillas took additional hostages when they seized the hospital in the town of Lamitan. On June 12, Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Sabaya claimed that Sobero had been killed and beheaded; his body was found in October. The Burnhams remained in captivity until June 2002.

Tel-Aviv Nightclub Bombing, June 1, 2001: HAMAS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a popular Israeli nightclub that caused over 140 casualties.

HAMAS Restaurant Bombing, August 9, 2001: A HAMAS-planted bomb detonated in a Jerusalem pizza restaurant, killing 15 people and wounding more than 90. The Israeli response included occupation of Orient House, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political headquarters in East Jerusalem.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, September 9, 2001: The first suicide bombing carried out by an Israeli Arab killed 3 persons in Nahariya. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Death of "the Lion of the Panjshir", September 9, 2001: Two suicide bombers fatally wounded Ahmed Shah Massoud, a leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, which had opposed both the Soviet occupation and the post-Soviet Taliban government. The bombers posed as journalists and were apparently linked to al-Qaida. The Northern Alliance did not confirm Massoud’s death until September 15.

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Homeland, September 11, 2001: Two hijacked airliners crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Soon thereafter, the Pentagon was struck by a third hijacked plane. A fourth hijacked plane, suspected to be bound for a high-profile target in Washington, crashed into a field in southern Pennsylvania. The attacks killed 3,025 U.S. citizens and other nationals. President Bush and Cabinet officials indicated that Usama Bin Laden was the prime suspect and that they considered the United States in a state of war with international terrorism. In the aftermath of the attacks, the United States formed the Global Coalition Against Terrorism.

Attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature, October 1, 2001: After a suicide car bomber forced the gate of the state legislature in Srinagar, two gunmen entered the building and held off police for seven hours before being killed. Forty persons died in the incident. Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility.

Anthrax Attacks, October-November 2001: On October 7 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that investigators had detected evidence that the deadly anthrax bacterium was present in the building where a Florida man who died of anthrax on October 5 had worked. Discovery of a second anthrax case triggered a major investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The two anthrax cases were the first to appear in the United States in 25 years. Anthrax subsequently appeared in mail received by television networks in New York and by the offices in Washington of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and other members of Congress. Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a briefing on October 16, "When people send anthrax through the mail to hurt people and invoke terror, it’s a terrorist act."

Assassination of an Israeli Cabinet Minister, October 17, 2001: A Palestinian gunman assassinated Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi in the Jerusalem hotel where he was staying. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed to have avenged the death of PFLP Mustafa Zubari.

Attack on a Church in Pakistan, October 28, 2001: Six masked gunmen shot up a church in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, killing 15 Pakistani Christians. No group claimed responsibility, although various militant Muslim groups were suspected.

Suicide Bombings in Jerusalem, December 1, 2001: Two suicide bombers attacked a Jerusalem shopping mall, killing 10 persons and wounding 170.

Suicide Bombing in Haifa, December 2, 2001: A suicide bomb attack aboard a bus in Haifa, Israel, killed 15 persons and wounded 40. HAMAS claimed responsibility for both this attack and those on December 1 to avenge the death of a HAMAS member at the hands of Israeli forces a week earlier.

Attack on the Indian Parliament, December 13, 2001: Five gunmen attacked the Indian Parliament in New Delhi shortly after it had adjourned. Before security forces killed them, the attackers killed 6 security personnel and a gardener. Indian officials blamed Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and demanded that Pakistan crack down on it and on other Muslim separatist groups in Kashmir.

2002

Ambush on the West Bank, January 15, 2002: Palestinian militants fired on a vehicle in Beit Sahur, killing one passenger and wounding the other. The dead passenger claimed U.S. and Israeli citizenship. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Battalion claimed responsibility.

Shooting Incident in Israel, January 17, 2002: A Palestinian gunman killed 6 persons and wounded 25 in Hadera, Israel, before being killed by Israeli police. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility as revenge for Israel’s killing of a leading member of the group.

Drive-By Shooting at a U.S. Consulate, January 22, 2002: Armed militants on motorcycles fired on the U.S. Consulate in Calcutta, India, killing 5 Indian security personnel and wounding 13 others. The Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami and the Asif Raza Commandoes claimed responsibility. Indian police later killed two suspects, one of whom confessed to belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as he died.

Bomb Explosion in Kashmir, January 22, 2002: A bomb exploded in a crowded retail district in Jammu, Kashmir, killing one person and injuring nine. No group claimed responsibility.

Kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, January 23, 2002: Armed militants kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities received a videotape on February 20 depicting Pearl’s murder. His grave was found near Karachi on May 16. Pakistani authorities arrested four suspects. Ringleader Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh claimed to have organized Pearl’s kidnapping to protest Pakistan’s subservience to the United States, and had belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad, an Islamic separatist group in Kashmir. All four suspects were convicted on July 15. Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death, the others to life imprisonment.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, January 27, 2002: A suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem killed one other person and wounded 100. The incident was the first suicide bombing made by a Palestinian woman.

Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, February 16, 2002: A suicide bombing in an outdoor food court in Karmei Shomron killed 4 persons and wounded 27. Two of the dead and two of the wounded were U.S. citizens. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, March 7, 2002: A suicide bombing in a supermarket in the settlement of Ariel wounded 10 persons, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. The PFLP claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, March 9, 2002: A suicide bombing in a Jerusalem restaurant killed 11 persons and wounded 52, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Drive-By Shooting in Colombia, March 14, 2002: Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed two U.S. citizens who had come to Cali, Colombia, to negotiate the release of their father, who was a captive of the FARC. No group claimed responsibility.

Grenade Attack on a Church in Pakistan, March 17, 2002: Militants threw grenades into the Protestant International Church in Islamabad, Pakistan, during a service attended by diplomatic and local personnel. Five persons, two of them U.S. citizens, were killed and 46 were wounded. The dead Americans were State Department employee Barbara Green and her daughter Kristen Wormsley. Thirteen U.S. citizens were among the wounded. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba group was suspected.

Car Bomb Explosion in Peru, March 20, 2002: A car bomb exploded at a shopping center near the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. Nine persons were killed and 32 wounded. The dead included two police officers and a teenager. Peruvian authorities suspected either the Shining Path rebels or the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. The attack occurred 3 days before President George W. Bush visited Peru.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, March 21, 2002: A suicide bombing in Jerusalem killed 3 persons and wounded 86 more, including 2 U.S. citizens. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, March 27, 2002: A suicide bombing in a noted restaurant in Netanya, Israel, killed 22 persons and wounded 140. One of the dead was a U.S. citizen. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) claimed responsibility.

Temple Bombing in Kashmir, March 30, 2002: A bomb explosion at a Hindu temple in Jammu, Kashmir, killed 10 persons. The Islamic Front claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, March 31, 2002: A suicide bombing near an ambulance station in Efrat wounded four persons, including a U.S. citizen. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Armed attack on Kashmir, April 10, 2002: Armed militants attacked a residence in Gando, Kashmir, killing five persons and wounding four. No group claimed responsibility.

Synagogue Bombing in Tunisia, April 11, 2002: A suicide bomber detonated a truck loaded with propane gas outside a historic synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The 16 dead included 11 Germans, one French citizen, and three Tunisians. Twenty-six German tourists were injured. The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Sites claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, April 12, 2002: A female suicide bomber killed 6 persons in Jerusalem and wounded 90 others. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Car Bombing in Pakistan, May 8, 2002: A car bomb exploded near a Pakistani navy shuttle bus in Karachi, killing 12 persons and wounding 19. Eleven of the dead and 11 of the wounded were French nationals. Al-Qaida was suspected of the attack.

Parade Bombing in Russia, May 9, 2002: A remotely-controlled bomb exploded near a May Day parade in Kaspiisk, Dagestan, killing 42 persons and wounding 150. Fourteen of the dead and 50 of the wounded were soldiers. Islamists linked to al-Qaida were suspected.

Attack on a Bus in India, May 14, 2002: Militants fired on a passenger bus in Kaluchak, Jammu, killing 7 persons. They then entered a military housing complex and killed 3 soldiers and 7 military dependents before they were killed. The al-Mansooran and Jamiat ul-Mujahedin claimed responsibility.

Bomb Attacks in Kashmir, May 17, 2002: A bomb explosion near a civil secretariat area in Srinagar, Kashmir, wounded 6 persons. In Jammu, a bomb exploded at a fire services headquarters, killing two and wounding 16. No group claimed responsibility for either attack.

Hostage Rescue Attempt in the Philippines, June 7, 2002: Philippine Army troops attacked Abu Sayyaf terrorists on Mindanao Island in an attempt to rescue U.S. citizen Martin Burnham and his wife Gracia, who had been kidnapped more than a year ago. Burnham was killed but his wife, though wounded, was freed. A Filipino hostage was killed, as were four of the guerrillas. Seven soldiers were wounded.

Car Bombing in Pakistan, June 14, 2002: A car bomb exploded near the U.S. Consulate and the Marriott Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan. Eleven persons were killed and 51 were sounded, including one U.S. and one Japanese citizen. Al Qaida and al-Qanin were suspected.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, June 19, 2002: A suicide bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem killed 6 persons and wounded 43, including 2 U.S. citizens. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Tel Aviv, July 17, 2002: Two suicide bombers attacked the old bus station in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 5 persons and wounding 38. The dead included one Romanian and two Chinese; another Romanian was wounded. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Bombing at the Hebrew University, July 31, 2002: A bomb hidden in a bag in the Frank Sinatra International Student Center of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University killed 9 persons and wounded 87. The dead included 5 U.S. citizens and 4 Israelis. The wounded included 4 U.S. citizens, 2 Japanese, and 3 South Koreans. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, August 4, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Safed, Israel, killed 9 persons and wounded 50. Two of the dead were Philippine citizens; many of the wounded were soldiers returning from leave. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Attack on a School in Pakistan, August 5, 2002: Gunmen attacked a Christian school attended by children of missionaries from around the world. Six persons (two security guards, a cook, a carpenter, a receptionist, and a private citizen) were killed and a Philippine citizen was wounded. A group called al-Intigami al-Pakistani claimed responsibility.

Attack on Pilgrims in Kashmir, August 6, 2002: Armed militants attacked a group of Hindu pilgrims with guns and grenades in Pahalgam, Kashmir. Nine persons were killed and 32 were wounded. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba claimed responsibility.

Assassination in Kashmir, September 11, 2002: Gunmen killed Kashmir’s Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone and six security guards in Tikipora. Lashkar-e-Tayyiga, Jamiat ul-Mujahedin, and Hizb ul-Mujahedin all claimed responsibility. Other militants attacked the residence of the Minister of Tourism with grenades, injuring four persons. No group claimed responsibility.

Ambush on the West Bank, September 18, 2002: Gunmen ambushed a vehicle on a road near Yahad, killing an Israeli and wounding a Romanian worker. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bomb Attack in Israel, September 19, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv killed 6 persons and wounded 52. One of the dead was a British subject. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Attack on a French Tanker, October 6, 2002: An explosive-laden boat rammed the French oil tanker Limburg, which was anchored about 5 miles off al-Dhabbah, Yemen. One person was killed and 4 were wounded. Al-Qaida was suspected.

Car Bomb Explosion in Bali, October 12, 2002: A car bomb exploded outside the Sari Club Discotheque in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, killing 202 persons and wounding 300 more. Most of the casualties, including 88 of the dead, were Australian tourists. Seven Americans were among the dead. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility. Two suspects were later arrested and convicted. Iman Samudra, who had trained in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda and was suspected of belonging to Jemaah Islamiya, was sentenced to death on September 10, 2003.

Chechen Rebels Seize a Moscow Theater, October 23-26, 2002: Fifty Chechen rebels led by Movsar Barayev seized the Palace of Culture Theater in Moscow, Russia, to demand an end to the war in Chechnya. They seized more than 800 hostages from 13 countries and threatened to blow up the theater. During a three-day siege, they killed a Russian policeman and five Russian hostages. On October 26, Russian Special Forces pumped an anesthetic gas through the ventilation system and then stormed the theater. All of the rebels were killed, but 94 hostages (including one American) also died, many from the effects of the gas. A group led by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.

Assassination of an AID Official, October 28, 2002: Gunmen in Amman assassinated Laurence Foley, Executive Officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Jordan. The Honest People of Jordan claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, November 21, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus on Mexico Street in Jerusalem killed 11 persons and wounded 50 more. One of the dead was a Romanian. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Attack on Temples in Kashmir, November 24, 2002: Armed militants attacked the Reghunath and Shiv temples in Jammu, Kashmir, killing 13 persons and wounding 50. The Lashkare-e-Tayyiba claimed responsibility.

Attacks on Israeli Tourists in Kenya, November 28, 2002: A three-person suicide car bomb attack on the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 15 persons and wounded 40. Three of the dead and 18 of the wounded were Israeli tourists; the others were Kenyans. Near Mombasa’s airport, two SA-7 shoulder-fired missiles were fired as an Arkia Airlines Boeing 757 that was carrying 261 passengers back to Israel. Both missiles missed. Al-Qaida, the Government of Universal Palestine in Exile, and the Army of Palestine claimed responsibility for both attacks. Al-Ittihad al-Islami was also suspected of involvement.

Attack on a Bus in the Philippines, December 26, 2002: Armed militants ambushed a bus carrying Filipino workers employed by the Canadian Toronto Ventures Inc. Pacific mining company in Zamboanga del Norte. Thirteen persons were killed and 10 wounded. Philippine authorities suspected the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which had been extorting money from Toronto Ventures. The Catholic charity Caritas-Philippines said that Toronto Ventures had harassed tribesmen who opposed mining on their ancestral lands.

Bombing of a Government Building in Chechnya, December 27, 2002: A suicide bomb attack involving two explosives-laden trucks destroyed the offices of the pro-Russian Chechen government in Grozny. The attack killed over 80 people and wounded 210. According to a Chechen website run by the Kavkaz Center, Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.

2003

Suicide Bombings in Tel Aviv, January 5, 2003: Two suicide bomb attacks killed 22 and wounded at least 100 persons in Tel Aviv, Israel. Six of the victims were foreign workers. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Night Club Bombing in Colombia, February 7, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside a night club in Bogota, Colombia, killing 32 persons and wounding 160. No group claimed responsibility, but Colombian officials suspected the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) of committing the worst terrorist attack in the country in a decade.

Assasination of a Kurdish Leader, February 8, 2003: Members of Ansar al-Islam assassinated Kurdish legislator Shawkat Haji Mushir and captured two other Kurdish officials in Qamash Tapa in northern Iraq.

Suicide Bombing in Haifa, March 5, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Haifa, Israel, killed 15 persons and wounded at least 40. One of the dead claimed U.S. as well as Israeli citizenship. The bomber’s affiliation was not immediately known.

Suicide Bombing in Netanya, March 30, 2003: A suicide bombing in a cafe in Netanya, Israel, wounded 38 persons. Only the bomber was killed. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility and called the attack a "gift" to the people of Iraq.

Unsuccessful Hostage Rescue Attempt in Colombia, May 5, 2003: The FARC killed 10 hostages when Colombian special forces tried to rescue them from a jungle hideout near Urrao, in Colombia’s Antioquia State. The dead included Governor Guillermo Gavira and former Defense Minister Gilberto Echeverri Mejia, who had been kidnapped in April 2002.

Truck Bomb Attacks in Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2003: Suicide bombers attacked three residential compounds for foreign workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 34 dead included 9 attackers, 7 other Saudis, 9 U.S. citizens, and one citizen each from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Philippines. Another American died on June 1. It was the first major attack on U.S. targets in Saudi Arabia since the end of the war in Iraq. Saudi authorities arrested 11 al-Qaida suspects on May 28.

Truck Bombing in Chechnya, May 12, 2003: A truck bomb explosion demolished a government compound in Znamenskoye, Chechnya, killing 54 persons. Russian authorities blamed followers of a Saudi-born Islamist named Abu Walid. President Vladimir Putin said that he suspected that there was an al-Qaida connection.

Attempted Assassination in Chechnya, May 12, 2003: Two female suicide bombers attacked Chechen Administrator Mufti Akhmed Kadyrov during a religious festival in Iliskhan Yurt. Kadyrov escaped injury, but 14 other persons were killed and 43 were wounded. Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bomb Attacks in Morocco, May 16, 2003: A team of 12 suicide bombers attacked five targets in Casablanca, Morocco, killing 43 persons and wounding 100. The targets were a Spanish restaurant, a Jewish community, a Jewish cemetery, a hotel, and the Belgian Consulate. The Moroccan Government blamed the Islamist al-Assirat al-Moustaquim (The Righteous Path), but foreign commentators suspected an al-Qaida connection.

Suicide Bomb Attack in Jerusalem, May 18, 2003: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Jerusalem’s French Hill district killed 7 persons and wounded 20. The bomber was disguised as a religious Jew. HAMAS claimed responsibility

Suicide Bombing in Afula, May 19, 2003: A suicide bomb attack by a female Palestinian student killed 3 persons and wounded 52 at a shopping mall in Afula, Israel. Both Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, June 11, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Jerusalem killed 16 persons and wounded at least 70, one of whom died later. HAMAS claimed responsibility, calling it revenge for an Israeli helicopter attack on HAMAS leader Abdelaziz al-Rantisi in Gaza City the day before.

Truck Bombing in Northern Ossetia, August 1, 2003: A suicide truck bomb attack destroyed a Russian military hospital in Mozdok, North Ossetia and killed 50 persons. Russian authorities attributed the attack to followers of Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev.

Hotel Bombing in Indonesia, August 5, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 10 persons and wounding 150. One of the dead was a Dutch citizen. The wounded included an American, a Canadian, an Australian, and two Chinese. Indonesian authorities suspected the Jemaah Islamiah, which had carried out the October 12, 2002 bombing in Bali.

Bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, August 7, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 19 persons and wounding 65. Most of the victims were apparently Iraqis, including 5 police officers. No group claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombings in Israel and the West Bank, August 12, 2003: The first suicide bombings since the June 29 Israeli-Palestinian truce took place. The first, in a supermarket at Rosh Haayin, Israel, killed one person and wounded 14. The second, at a bus stop near the Ariel settlement in the West Bank, killed one person and wounded 3. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility for the first; HAMAS claimed responsibility for the second.

Bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, August 19, 2003: A truck loaded with surplus Iraqi ordnance exploded outside the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad’s Canal Hotel. A hospital across the street was also heavily damaged. The 23 dead included UN Special Representative Sergio Viera de Mello. More than 100 persons were wounded. It was not clear whether the bomber was a Baath Party loyalist or a foreign Islamic militant. An al-Qaeda branch called the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri later claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, August 19, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Jerusalem killed 20 persons and injured at least 100, one of whom died later. Five of the dead were American citizens. HAMAS and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, although HAMAS leader al-Rantisi said that his organization remained committed to the truce while reserving the right to respond to Israeli military actions.

Car Bomb Kills Shi’ite Leader in Najaf, August 29, 2003: A car bomb explosion outside the Shrine of the Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq killed at least 81 persons and wounded at least 140. The dead included the Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim, one of four leading Shi’ite clerics in Iraq. Al-Hakim had been the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) since its establishment in 1982, and SCIRI had recently agreed to work with the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi Governing Council. It was not known whether the perpetrators were Baath Party loyalists, rival Shi’ites, or foreign Islamists.

Suicide Bombings in Israel, September 9, 2003: Two suicide bombings took place in Israel. The first, at a bus stop near the Tsrifin army base southeast of Tel Aviv, killed 7 soldiers and wounded 14 soldiers and a civilian. The second, at a café in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood, killed 6 persons and wounded 40. HAMAS did not claim responsibility until the next day, although a spokesman called the first attack" a response to Israeli aggression."

Assassination of an Iraqi Governing Council Member, September 20, 2003: Gunmen shot and seriously wounded Akila Hashimi, one of three female members of the Iraqi Governing Council, near her home in Baghdad. She died September 25.

A Second Attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, September 22, 2003: A suicide car bomb attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad killed a security guard and wounded 19 other persons.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, October 4, 2003: A Palestinian woman made a suicide bomb attack on a restaurant in Haifa, killing 19 persons and wounding at least 55. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. The next day, Israel bombed a terrorist training camp in Syria.

Attacks in Iraq, October 9, 2003: Gunmen assassinated a Spanish military attaché in Baghdad. A suicide car bomb attack on an Iraqi police station killed 8 persons and wounded 40.

Car Bombings in Baghdad, October 12, 2003: Two suicide car bombs exploded outside the Baghdad Hotel, which housed U.S. officials. Six persons were killed and 32 wounded. Iraqi and U.S. security personnel apparently kept the cars from actually reaching the hotel.

Bomb Attack on U.S. Diplomats in the Gaza Strip, October 15, 2003: A remote-controlled bomb exploded under a car in a U.S. diplomatic convoy passing through the northern Gaza Strip. Three security guards, all employees of DynCorp, were killed. A fourth was wounded. The diplomats were on their way to interview Palestinian candidates for Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States. Palestinian President Arafat and Prime Minister Qurei condemned the attack, while the major Palestinian militant groups denied responsibility. The next day, Palestinian security forces arrested several suspects, some of whom belonged to the Popular Resistance Committees.

Rocket Attack on the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, October 26, 2003: Iraqis using an improvised rocket launcher bombarded the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, killing one U.S. Army officer and wounding 17 persons. The wounded included 4 U.S. military personnel and seven American civilians. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz, who was staying at the hotel, was not injured. After visiting the wounded, he said, "They’re not going to scare us away; we’re not giving up on this job."

Assassination of a Deputy Mayor in Baghdad, October 26, 2003: Two gunmen believed to be Baath Party loyalists assassinated Faris Abdul Razaq al-Assam, one of three deputy mayors of Baghdad. U.S. officials did not announce al-Assam’s death until October 28.

Wave of Car Bombings in Baghdad, October 27, 2003: A series of suicide car bombings in Baghdad killed at least 35 persons and wounded at least 230. Four attacks were directed at Iraqi police stations, the fifth and most destructive was directed at the International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters, where at least 12 persons were killed. A sixth attack failed when a car bomb failed to explode and the bomber was wounded and captured by Iraqi police. U.S. and Iraqi officials suspected that foreign terrorists were involved; the unsuccessful bomber said he was a Syrian national and carried a Syrian passport. After a meeting with Administrator L. Paul Bremer, President Bush said, "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react."

Suicide Bombing in Riyadh, November 8, 2003: In Riyadh, a suicide car bombing took place in the Muhaya residential compound, which was occupied mainly by nationals of other Arab countries. Seventeen persons were killed and 122 were wounded. The latter included 4 Americans. The next day, Deputy Secretary of State Armitage said al-Qaeda was probably responsible.

Truck Bombing in Nasiriyah, November 12, 2003: A suicide truck bomb destroyed the headquarters of the Italian military police in Nasiriyah, Iraq, killing 18 Italians and 11 Iraqis and wounding at least 100 persons.

Synagogue Bombings in Istanbul, November 15, 2003: Two suicide truck bombs exploded outside the Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues in Istanbul, killing 25 persons and wounding at least 300 more. The initial claim of responsibility came from a Turkish militant group, the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front, but Turkish authorities suspected an al-Qaeda connection. The next day, the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi received an e-mail in which an al-Qaeda branch called the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri claimed responsibility for the Istanbul synagogue bombings.

Grenade Attacks in Bogota, November 15, 2003: Grenade attacks on two bars frequented by Americans in Bogota killed one person and wounded 72, including 4 Americans. Colombian authorities suspected FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The U.S. Embassy suspected that the attacks had targeted Americans and warned against visiting commercial centers and places of entertainment.

More Suicide Truck Bombings in Istanbul, November 20, 2003: Two more suicide truck bombings devastated the British HSBC Bank and the British Consulate General in Istanbul, killing 27 persons and wounding at least 450. The dead included Consul General Roger Short. U.S., British, and Turkish officials suspected that al-Qaeda had struck again. The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul was closed, and the Embassy in Ankara advised American citizens in Istanbul to stay home.

Car Bombing in Kirkuk, November 20, 2003: A suicide car bombing in Kirkuk killed 5 persons. The target appeared to be the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. PUK officials suspected the Ansar al-Islam group, which was said to have sheltered fugitive Taliban and al-Qaeda members after the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan.

Attacks on Other Coalition Personnel in Iraq, November 29-30, 2003: Iraqi insurgents stepped up attacks on nationals of other members of the Coalition. On November 29, an ambush in Mahmudiyah killed 7 out of a party of 8 Spanish intelligence officers. Iraqi insurgents also killed two Japanese diplomats near Tikrit. On November 30, another ambush near Tikrit killed two South Korean electrical workers and wounded two more. A Colombian employee of Kellogg Brown & Root was killed and two were wounded in an ambush near Balad.

Train Bombing in Southern Russia, December 5, 2003: A suicide bomb attack killed 42 persons and wounded 150 aboard a Russian commuter train in the south Russian town of Yessentuki. Russian officials suspected Chechen rebels; President Putin said the attack was meant to disrupt legislative elections. Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov denied any involvement.

Suicide Bombing in Moscow, December 9, 2003: A female suicide bomber killed 5 other persons and wounded 14 outside Moscow’s National Hotel. She was said to be looking for the State Duma.

Suicide Car Bombings in Iraq, December 15, 2003: Two days after the capture of Saddam Hussein, there were two suicide car bomb attacks on Iraqi police stations. One at Husainiyah killed 8 persons and wounded 20. The other, at Ameriyah, wounded 7 Iraqi police. Guards repelled a second vehicle.

Office Bombing in Baghdad, December 19, 2003: A bomb destroyed the Baghdad office of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, killing a woman and wounding at least 7 other persons.

Suicide Car Bombing in Irbil, December 24, 2003: A suicide car bomb attack on the Kurdish Interior Ministry in Irbil, Iraq, killed 5 persons and wounded 101.

Attempted Assassination in Rawalpindi, December 25, 2003: Two suicide truck bombers killed 14 persons as President Musharraf’s motorcade passed through Rawalpindi, Pakistan. An earlier attempt on December 14 caused no casualties. Pakistani officials suspected Afghan and Kashmiri militants. On January 6, 2004, Pakistani authorities announced the arrest of 6 suspects who were said to be members of Jaish-e-Muhammad.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, December 25, 2003: A Palestinian suicide bomber killed 4 persons at a bus stop near Petah Tikva, Israel. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack in retaliation for Israeli military operations in Nablus that had begun two days earlier.

Restaurant Bombing in Baghdad, December 31, 2003: A car bomb explosion outside Baghdad’s Nabil Restaurant killed 8 persons and wounded 35. The wounded included 3 Los Angeles Times reporters and 3 local employees.

First U.S. Aircraft Hijacked, May 1, 1961: Puerto Rican born Antuilo Ramierez Ortiz forced at gunpoint a National Airlines plane to fly to Havana, Cuba, where he was given asylum.

Ambassador to Guatemala Assassinated, August 28, 1968: U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala John Gordon Mein was murdered by a rebel faction when gunmen forced his official car off the road in Guatemala City and raked the vehicle with gunfire.

Ambassador to Japan Attacked, July 30, 1969: U.S. Ambassador to Japan A.H. Meyer was attacked by a knife-wielding Japanese citizen.

Ambassador to Brazil Kidnapped, September 3, 1969: U.S. Ambassador to Brazil Charles Burke Elbrick was kidnapped by the Marxist revolutionary group MR-8.

Attack on the Munich Airport, February 10, 1970: Three terrorists attacked El Al passengers in a bus at the Munich Airport with guns and grenades. One passenger was killed and 11 were injured. All three terrorists were captured by airport police. The Action Organization for the Liberation of Palestine and the Popular Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack.

U.S. Agency for International Development Adviser Kidnapped, July 31, 1970: In Montevideo, Uruguay, the Tupamaros terrorist group kidnapped AID Police adviser Dan Mitrione; his body was found on August 10.

"Bloody Friday," July 21, 1972: An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb attacks killed eleven people and injure 130 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Ten days later, three IRA car bomb attacks in the village of Claudy left six dead.

Munich Olympic Massacre, September 5, 1972: Eight Palestinian "Black September" terrorists seized eleven Israeli athletes in the Olympic Village in Munich, West Germany. In a bungled rescue attempt by West German authorities, nine of the hostages and five terrorists were killed.

Ambassador to Sudan Assassinated, March 2, 1973: U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo A. Noel and other diplomats were assassinated at the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Khartoum by members of the Black September organization.

Consul General in Mexico Kidnapped, May 4, 1973: U.S. Consul General in Guadalajara Terrence Leonhardy was kidnapped by members of the People’s Revolutionary Armed Forces.

Attack and Hijacking at the Rome Airport, December 17, 1973: Five terrorists pulled weapons from their luggage in the terminal lounge at the Rome airport, killing two persons. They then attacked a Pan American 707 bound for Beirut and Tehran, destroying it with incendiary grenades and killing 29 persons, including 4 senior Moroccan officials and 14 American employees of ARAMCO. They then herded 5 Italian hostages into a Lufthansa airliner and killed an Italian customs agent as he tried to escape, after which they forced the pilot to fly to Beirut. After Lebanese authorities refused to let the plane land, it landed in Athens, where the terrorists demanded the release of 2 Arab terrorists. In order to make Greek authorities comply with their demands, the terrorists killed a hostage and threw his body onto the tarmac. The plane then flew to Damascus, where it stopped for two hours to obtain fuel and food. It then flew to Kuwait, where the terrorists released their hostages in return for passage to an unknown destination. The Palestine Liberation Organization disavowed the attack, and no group claimed responsibility for it.

Ambassador to Cyprus Assassinated, August 19, 1974: U.S. Ambassador to Cyprus Rodger P. Davies and his Greek Cypriot secretary were shot and killed by snipers during a demonstration outside the U.S. Embassy in Nicosia.

Domestic Terrorism, January 27-29, 1975: Puerto Rican nationalists bombed a Wall Street bar, killing four and injuring 60; two days later, the Weather Underground claims responsibility for an explosion in a bathroom at the U.S. Department of State in Washington.

June 16, 1976: Ambassador Francis E. Meloy, Jr. and Economic Counselor Robert O. Waring were kidnapped in Beirut while on their way to meet with President-elect Sarkis. Meloy, Waring, and their Lebanese chauffeur were found dead near a beach several hours alter. No demands were made, and the assassins remain unknown.

Entebbe Hostage Crisis, June 27, 1976: Members of the Baader-Meinhof Group and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) seized an Air France airliner and its 258 passengers. They forced the plane to land in Uganda. On July 3 Israeli commandos successfully rescued the passengers.

Assassination of Former Chilean Diplomat, September 21, 1976: Exiled Chilean Foreign Minister Orlando Letelier was killed by a car-bomb in Washington.

Kidnapping of Italian Prime Minister, March 16, 1978: Premier Aldo Moro was seized by the Red Brigade and assassinated 55 days later.

Ambassador to Afghanistan Assassinated, February 14, 1979: Four Afghans kidnapped U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubs in Kabul and demanded the release of various "religious figures." Dubs was killed, along with four alleged terrorists, when Afghan police stormed the hotel room where he was being held.

Iran Hostage Crisis, November 4, 1979: After President Carter agreed to admit the Shah of Iran into the US, Iranian radicals seized the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and took 66 American diplomats hostage. Thirteen hostages were soon released, but the remaining 53 were held until their release on January 20, 1981.

Grand Mosque Seizure, November 20, 1979: 200 Islamic terrorists seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, taking hundreds of pilgrims hostage. Saudi and French security forces retook the shrine after an intense battle in which some 250 people were killed and 600 wounded.

August 27, 1980: Unknown assailants in Beirut fired on Ambassador John Gunther Dean's car. He and his party escaped unharmed.

U.S. Installation Bombing, August 31, 1981: The Red Army exploded a bomb at the U.S. Air Force Base at Ramstein, West Germany.

Assassination of Egyptian President, October 6, 1981: Soldiers who were secretly members of the Takfir Wal-Hajira sect attacked and killed Egyptian President Anwar Sadat during a troop review.

Murder of Missionaries, December 4, 1981: Three American nuns and one lay missionary were found murdered outside San Salvador, El Salvador. They were killed by members of the National Guard, and the killers are currently in prison.

Assassination of Lebanese President, September 14, 1982: President Bashir Gemayel was assassinated by a car bomb parked outside his party’s Beirut headquarters.

1983

Colombian Hostage-taking, April 8, 1983: A U.S. citizen was seized by the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) and held for ransom.

Bombing of U.S. Embassy in Beirut, April 18, 1983: Sixty-three people, including the CIA’s Middle East director, were killed and 120 were injured in a 400-pound suicide truck-bomb attack on the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Lebanon. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Naval Officer Assassinated in El Salvador, May 25, 1983: A U.S. Navy officer was assassinated by the Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front.

North Korean Hit Squad, October 9, 1983: North Korean agents blew up a delegation from South Korea in Rangoon, Burma, killing 21 persons and injuring 48.

Bombing of Marine Barracks, Beirut, October 23, 1983: Simultaneous suicide truck-bomb attacks were made on American and French compounds in Beirut, Lebanon. A 12,000-pound bomb destroyed the U.S. compound, killing 242 Americans, while 58 French troops were killed when a 400-pound device destroyed a French base. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Naval Officer Assassinated in Greece, November 15, 1983: A U.S. Navy officer was shot by the November 17 terrorist group in Athens, Greece, while his car was stopped at a traffic light.

1984

Kidnapping of Embassy Official, March 16, 1984: The Islamic Jihad kidnapped and later murdered Political Officer William Buckley in Beirut, Lebanon. Other U.S. citizens not connected to the U.S. government were seized over a succeeding two-year period.

Restaurant Bombing in Spain, April 12, 1984: Eighteen U.S. servicemen were killed and 83 people were injured in a bomb attack on a restaurant near a U.S. Air Force Base in Torrejon, Spain.

Temple Seizure, June 5, 1984: Sikh terrorists seized the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India. One hundred people died when Indian security forces retook the Sikh holy shrine.

Assassination of Indian Prime Minister, October 31, 1984: Premier Indira Gandhi was shot to death by members of her security force.

1985

Kidnapping of U.S. Officials in Mexico, February 7, 1985: Under the orders of narcotrafficker Rafael Caro Quintero, Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena Salazar and his pilot were kidnapped, tortured and executed.

TWA Hijacking, June 14, 1985: A Trans-World Airlines flight was hijacked en route to Rome from Athens by two Lebanese Hizballah terrorists and forced to fly to Beirut. The eight crew members and 145 passengers were held for seventeen days, during which one American hostage, a U.S. Navy sailor, was murdered. After being flown twice to Algiers, the aircraft was returned to Beirut after Israel released 435 Lebanese and Palestinian prisoners.

Attack on a Restaurant in El Salvador, June 19, 1985: Members of the FMLN (Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front) fired on a restaurant in the Zona Rosa district of San Salvador, killing four Marine Security Guards assigned to the U.S. Embassy and nine Salvadorean civilians.

Air India Bombing, June 23, 1985: A bomb destroyed an Air India Boeing 747 over the Atlantic, killing all 329 people aboard. Both Sikh and Kashmiri terrorists were blamed for the attack. Two cargo handlers were killed at Tokyo airport, Japan, when another Sikh bomb exploded in an Air Canada aircraft en route to India.

Soviet Diplomats Kidnapped, September 30, 1985: In Beirut, Lebanon, Sunni terrorists kidnapped four Soviet diplomats. One was killed but three were later released.

Achille Lauro Hijacking, October 7, 1985: Four Palestinian Liberation Front terrorists seized the Italian cruise liner in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, taking more than 700 hostages. One U.S. passenger was murdered before the Egyptian government offered the terrorists safe haven in return for the hostages’ freedom.

Egyptian Airliner Hijacking, November 23, 1985: An EgyptAir airplane bound from Athens to Malta and carrying several U.S. citizens was hijacked by the Abu Nidal Group.

Airport Attacks in Rome and Vienna, December 27, 1985: Four gunmen belonging to the Abu Nidal Organization attacked the El Al and Trans World Airlines ticket counters at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport with grenades and automatic rifles. Thirteen persons were killed and 75 were wounded before Italian police and Israeli security guards killed three of the gunmen and captured the fourth. Three more Abu Nidal gunmen attacked the El Al ticket counter at Vienna’s Schwechat Airport, killing three persons and wounding 30. Austrian police killed one of the gunmen and captured the others.

1986

Aircraft Bombing in Greece, March 30, 1986: A Palestinian splinter group detonated a bomb as TWA Flight 840 approached Athens airport, killing four U.S. citizens.

Berlin Discothèque Bombing, April 5, 1986: Two U.S. soldiers were killed and 79 American servicemen were injured in a Libyan bomb attack on a nightclub in West Berlin, West Germany. In retaliation U.S. military jets bombed targets in and around Tripoli and Benghazi.

Kimpo Airport Bombing, September 14, 1986: North Korean agents detonated an explosive device at Seoul’s Kimpo airport, killing 5 persons and injuring 29 others.

1987

Bus Attack, April 24, 1987: Sixteen U.S. servicemen riding in a Greek Air Force bus near Athens were injured in an apparent bombing attack, carried out by the revolutionary organization known as November 17.

Downing of Airliner, November 29, 1987: North Korean agents planted a bomb aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 858, which subsequently crashed into the Indian Ocean.

Servicemen’s Bar Attack, December 26, 1987: Catalan separatists bombed a Barcelona bar frequented by U.S. servicemen, resulting in the death of one U.S. citizen.

1988

Kidnapping of William Higgins, February 17, 1988: U.S. Marine Corps Lieutenant Colonel W. Higgins was kidnapped and murdered by the Iranian-backed Hizballah group while serving with the United Nations Truce Supervisory Organization (UNTSO) in southern Lebanon.

Naples USO Attack, April 14, 1988: The Organization of Jihad Brigades exploded a car-bomb outside a USO Club in Naples, Italy, killing one U.S. sailor.

Attack on U.S. Diplomat in Greece, June 28, 1988: The Defense Attaché of the U.S. Embassy in Greece was killed when a car-bomb was detonated outside his home in Athens.

Pan Am 103 Bombing, December 21, 1988: Pan American Airlines Flight 103 was blown up over Lockerbie, Scotland, by a bomb believed to have been placed on the aircraft by Libyan terrorists in Frankfurt, West Germany. All 259 people on board were killed.

1989


Assassination of U.S. Army Officer, April 21, 1989: The New People’s Army (NPA) assassinated Colonel James Rowe in Manila. The NPA also assassinated two U.S. government defense contractors in September.

Bombing of UTA Flight 772, September 19, 1989: A bomb explosion destroyed UTA Flight 772 over the Sahara Desert in southern Niger during a flight from Brazzaville to Paris. All 170 persons aboard were killed. Six Libyans were later found guilty in absentia and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Assassination of German Bank Chairman, November 30, 1989: The Red Army Faction assassinated Deutsche Bank Chairman Alfred Herrhausen in Frankfurt.

1990

U.S. Embassy Bombed in Peru, January 15, 1990: The Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement bombed the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru.

U.S. Soldiers Assassinated in the Philippines, May 13, 1990: The New People’s Army (NPA) killed two U.S. Air Force personnel near Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines.

1991

Attempted Iraqi Attacks on U.S. Posts, January 18-19, 1991: Iraqi agents planted bombs at the U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia’s home residence and at the USIS library in Manila.

Sniper Attack on the U.S. Embassy in Bonn, February 13, 1991: Three Red Army Faction members fired automatic rifles from across the Rhine River at the U.S. Embassy Chancery. No one was hurt.

Assassination of former Indian Prime Minister, May 21, 1991: A female member of the LTTE (Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam) killed herself, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, and 16 others by detonating an explosive vest after presenting a garland of flowers to the former Prime Minister during an election rally in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu.

1992

Kidnapping of U.S. Businessmen in the Philippines, January 17-21, 1992: A senior official of the corporation Philippine Geothermal was kidnapped in Manila by the Red Scorpion Group, and two U.S. businessmen were seized independently by the National Liberation Army and by Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC).

Bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Argentina, March 17, 1992: Hizballah claimed responsibility for a blast that leveled the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires, Argentina, causing the deaths of 29 and wounding 242.

1993

Kidnappings of U.S. Citizens in Colombia, January 31, 1993: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) terrorists kidnapped three U.S. missionaries.

World Trade Center Bombing, February 26, 1993: The World Trade Center in New York City was badly damaged when a car bomb planted by Islamic terrorists exploded in an underground garage. The bomb left 6 people dead and 1,000 injured. The men carrying out the attack were followers of Umar Abd al-Rahman, an Egyptian cleric who preached in the New York City area.

Attempted Assassination of President Bush by Iraqi Agents, April 14, 1993: The Iraqi intelligence service attempted to assassinate former U.S. President George Bush during a visit to Kuwait. In retaliation, the U.S. launched a cruise missile attack 2 months later on the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

1994

Hebron Massacre, February 25, 1994: Jewish right-wing extremist and U.S. citizen Baruch Goldstein machine-gunned Moslem worshippers at a mosque in West Bank town of Hebron, killing 29 and wounding about 150.

FARC Hostage-taking, September 23, 1994: FARC rebels kidnapped U.S. citizen Thomas Hargrove in Colombia.

Air France Hijacking, December 24, 1994: Members of the Armed Islamic Group seized an Air France Flight to Algeria. The four terrorists were killed during a rescue effort.

1995

Attack on U.S. Diplomats in Pakistan, March 8, 1995: Two unidentified gunmen killed two U.S. diplomats and wounded a third in Karachi, Pakistan.

Tokyo Subway Station Attack, March 20, 1995: Twelve persons were killed and 5,700 were injured in a Sarin nerve gas attack on a crowded subway station in the center of Tokyo, Japan. A similar attack occurred nearly simultaneously in the Yokohama subway system. The Aum Shinri-kyo cult was blamed for the attacks.

Bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, April 19, 1995: Right-wing extremists Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols destroyed the Federal Building in Oklahoma City with a massive truck bomb that killed 166 and injured hundreds more in what was up to then the largest terrorist attack on American soil.

Kashmiri Hostage-taking, July 4, 1995: In India six foreigners, including two U.S. citizens, were taken hostage by Al-Faran, a Kashmiri separatist group. One non-U.S. hostage was later found beheaded.

Jerusalem Bus Attack, August 21, 1995: HAMAS claimed responsibility for the detonation of a bomb that killed 6 and injured over 100 persons, including several U.S. citizens.

Attack on U.S. Embassy in Moscow, September 13, 1995: A rocket-propelled grenade was fired through the window of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, ostensibly in retaliation for U.S. strikes on Serb positions in Bosnia.

Saudi Military Installation Attack, November 13, 1995: The Islamic Movement of Change planted a bomb in a Riyadh military compound that killed one U.S. citizen, several foreign national employees of the U.S. government, and over 40 others.

Egyptian Embassy Attack, November 19, 1995: A suicide bomber drove a vehicle into the Egyptian Embassy compound in Islamabad, Pakistan, killing at least 16 and injuring 60 persons. Three militant Islamic groups claimed responsibility.

1996


Papuan Hostage Abduction, January 8, 1996: In Indonesia, 200 Free Papua Movement (OPM) guerrillas abducted 26 individuals in the Lorenta nature preserve, Irian Jaya Province. Indonesian Special Forces members rescued the remaining nine hostages on May 15.

Kidnapping in Colombia, January 19, 1996: Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas kidnapped a US citizen and demanded a $1 million ransom. The hostage was released on May 22.

Tamil Tigers Attack, January 31, 1996: Members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) rammed an explosives-laden truck into the Central Bank in the heart of downtown Colombo, Sri Lanka, killing 90 civilians and injuring more than 1,400 others, including 2 US citizens.

IRA Bombing, February 9, 1996: An Irish Republican Army (IRA) bomb detonated in London, killing 2 persons and wounding more than 100 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.

Athens Embassy Attack, February 15, 1996: Unidentified assailants fired a rocket at the U.S. Embassy compound in Athens, causing minor damage to three diplomatic vehicles and some surrounding buildings. Circumstances of the attack suggested it was an operation carried out by the 17 November group.

ELN Kidnapping, February 16, 1996: Six alleged National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Colombia. After 9 months, the hostage was released.

HAMAS Bus Attack, February 26, 1996: In Jerusalem, a suicide bomber blew up a bus, killing 26 persons, including three U.S. citizens, and injuring some 80 persons, including three other US citizens.

Dizengoff Center Bombing, March 4, 1996: HAMAS and the Palestine Islamic Jihad (PIJ) both claimed responsibility for a bombing outside of Tel Aviv's largest shopping mall that killed 20 persons and injured 75 others, including 2 U.S. citizens.

West Bank Attack, May 13, 1996: Arab gunmen opened fire on a bus and a group of Yeshiva students near the Bet El settlement, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and wounding three Israelis. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but HAMAS was suspected.

AID Worker Abduction, May 31, 1996: A gang of former Contra guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. employee of the Agency for International Development (AID) who was assisting with election preparations in rural northern Nicaragua. She was released unharmed the next day after members of the international commission overseeing the preparations intervened.

Zekharya Attack, June 9, 1996: Unidentified gunmen opened fire on a car near Zekharya, killing a dual U.S./Israeli citizen and an Israeli. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) was suspected.

Manchester Truck Bombing, June 15, 1996: An IRA truck bomb detonated at a Manchester shopping center, wounding 206 persons, including two German tourists, and caused extensive property damage.

Khobar Towers Bombing, June 25, 1996: A fuel truck carrying a bomb exploded outside the US military's Khobar Towers housing facility in Dhahran, killing 19 U.S. military personnel and wounding 515 persons, including 240 U.S. personnel. Several groups claimed responsibility for the attack.

ETA Bombing, July 20, 1996: A bomb exploded at Tarragona International Airport in Reus, Spain, wounding 35 persons, including British and Irish tourists. The Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) organization was suspected.

Bombing of Archbishop of Oran, August 1, 1996: A bomb exploded at the home of the French Archbishop of Oran, killing him and his chauffeur. The attack occurred after the Archbishop's meeting with the French Foreign Minister. The Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA) is suspected.

Sudanese Rebel Kidnapping, August 17, 1996: Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) rebels kidnapped six missionaries in Mapourdit, including a U.S. citizen, an Italian, three Australians, and a Sudanese. The SPLA released the hostages 11 days later.

PUK Kidnapping, September 13, 1996: In Iraq, Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) militants kidnapped four French workers for Pharmaciens Sans Frontieres, a Canadian United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) official, and two Iraqis.

Assassination of South Korean Consul, October 1, 1996: In Vladivostok, Russia, assailants attacked and killed a South Korean consul near his home. No one claimed responsibility, but South Korean authorities believed that the attack was carried out by professionals and that the assailants were North Koreans. North Korean officials denied the country's involvement in the attack.

Red Cross Worker Kidnappings, November 1, 1996: In Sudan a breakaway group from the Sudanese People's Liberation Army (SPLA) kidnapped three International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) workers, including a U.S. citizen, an Australian, and a Kenyan. On 9 December the rebels released the hostages in exchange for ICRC supplies and a health survey for their camp.

Paris Subway Explosion, December 3, 1996: A bomb exploded aboard a Paris subway train as it arrived at the Port Royal station, killing two French nationals, a Moroccan, and a Canadian, and injuring 86 persons. Among those injured were one U.S. citizen and a Canadian. No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but Algerian extremists are suspected.

Abduction of US. Citizen by FARC, December 11, 1996: Five armed men claiming to be members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) kidnapped and later killed a U.S. geologist at a methane gas exploration site in La Guajira Department.

Tupac Amaru Seizure of Diplomats, December 17, 1996: Twenty-three members of the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) took several hundred people hostage at a party given at the Japanese Ambassador's residence in Lima, Peru. Among the hostages were several US officials, foreign ambassadors and other diplomats, Peruvian Government officials, and Japanese businessmen. The group demanded the release of all MRTA members in prison and safe passage for them and the hostage takers. The terrorists released most of the hostages in December but held 81 Peruvians and Japanese citizens for several months.

1997


Egyptian Letter Bombs, January 2-13, 1997: A series of letter bombs with Alexandria, Egypt, postmarks were discovered at Al-Hayat newspaper bureaus in Washington, New York City, London, and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Three similar devices, also postmarked in Egypt, were found at a prison facility in Leavenworth, Kansas. Bomb disposal experts defused all the devices, but one detonated at the Al-Hayat office in London, injuring two security guards and causing minor damage.

Tajik Hostage Abductions, February 4-17, 1997: Near Komsomolabad, Tajikistan, a paramilitary group led by Bakhrom Sodirov abducted four United Nations (UN) military observers. The victims included two Swiss, one Austrian, one Ukrainian, and their Tajik interpreter. The kidnappers demanded safe passage for their supporters from Afghanistan to Tajikistan. In four separate incidents occurring between Dushanbe and Garm, Bakhrom Sodirov and his group kidnapped two International Committee for the Red Cross members, four Russian journalists and their Tajik driver, four UNHCR members, and the Tajik Security Minister, Saidamir Zukhurov.

Venezuelan Abduction, February 14, 1997: Six armed Colombian guerrillas kidnapped a US oil engineer and his Venezuelan pilot in Apure, Venezuela. The kidnappers released the Venezuelan pilot on 22 February. According to authorities, the FARC is responsible for the kidnapping.

Empire State Building Sniper Attack, February 23, 1997: A Palestinian gunman opened fire on tourists at an observation deck atop the Empire State Building in New York City, killing a Danish national and wounding visitors from the United States, Argentina, Switzerland, and France before turning the gun on himself. A handwritten note carried by the gunman claimed this was a punishment attack against the "enemies of Palestine."

ELN Kidnapping, February 24, 1997: National Liberation Army (ELN) guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen employed by a Las Vegas gold corporation who was scouting a gold mining operation in Colombia. The ELN demanded a ransom of $2.5 million.

FARC Kidnapping, March 7, 1997: FARC guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. mining employee and his Colombian colleague who were searching for gold in Colombia. On November 16, the rebels released the two hostages after receiving a $50,000 ransom.

Hotel Nacional Bombing, July 12, 1997: A bomb exploded at the Hotel Nacional in Havana, injuring three persons and causing minor damage. A previously unknown group calling itself the Military Liberation Union claimed responsibility.

Israeli Shopping Mall Bombing, September 4, 1997: Three suicide bombers of HAMAS detonated bombs in the Ben Yehuda shopping mall in Jerusalem, killing eight persons, including the bombers, and wounding nearly 200 others. A dual U.S./Israeli citizen was among the dead, and 7 U.S. citizens were wounded.

OAS Abductions, October 23, 1997: In Colombia ELN rebels kidnapped two foreign members of the Organization of American States (OAS) and a Colombian human rights official at a roadblock. The ELN claimed that the kidnapping was intended "to show the international community that the elections in Colombia are a farce."

Yemeni Kidnappings, October 30, 1997: Al-Sha'if tribesmen kidnapped a U.S. businessman near Sanaa. The tribesmen sought the release of two fellow tribesmen who were arrested on smuggling charges and several public works projects they claim the government promised them. They released the hostage on November 27.

Murder of U.S. Businessmen in Pakistan, November 12, 1997: Two unidentified gunmen shot to death four U.S. auditors from Union Texas Petroleum Corporation and their Pakistani driver after they drove away from the Sheraton Hotel in Karachi. The Islami Inqilabi Council, or Islamic Revolutionary Council, claimed responsibility in a call to the U.S. Consulate in Karachi. In a letter to Pakistani newspapers, the Aimal Khufia Action Committee also claimed responsibility.

Tourist Killings in Egypt, November 17, 1997: Al-Gama'at al-Islamiyya (IG) gunmen shot and killed 58 tourists and four Egyptians and wounded 26 others at the Hatshepsut Temple in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor. Thirty-four Swiss, eight Japanese, five Germans, four Britons, one French, one Colombian, a dual Bulgarian/British citizen, and four unidentified persons were among the dead. Twelve Swiss, two Japanese, two Germans, one French, and nine Egyptians were among the wounded.

1998

UN Observer Abductions, February 19, 1998: Armed supporters of late Georgian president Zviad Gamsakhurdia abducted four UN military observers from Sweden, Uruguay, and the Czech Republic.

FARC Abduction, March 21-23, 1998: FARC rebels kidnapped a US citizen in Sabaneta, Colombia. FARC members also killed three persons, wounded 14, and kidnapped at least 27 others at a roadblock near Bogota. Four U.S. citizens and one Italian were among those kidnapped, as well as the acting president of the National Electoral Council (CNE) and his wife.

Somali Hostage-takings, April 15, 1998: Somali militiamen abducted nine Red Cross and Red Crescent workers at an airstrip north of Mogadishu. The hostages included a U.S. citizen, a German, a Belgian, a French, a Norwegian, two Swiss, and one Somali. The gunmen were members of a sub-clan loyal to Ali Mahdi Mohammed, who controlled the northern section of the capital.

IRA Bombing, Banbridge, August 1, 1998: A 500-pound car bomb planted by the Real IRA exploded outside a shoe store in Banbridge, North Ireland, injuring 35 persons and damaging at least 200 homes.

U.S. Embassy Bombings in East Africa, August 7, 1998: A bomb exploded at the rear entrance of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, killing 12 U.S. citizens, 32 Foreign Service Nationals (FSNs), and 247 Kenyan citizens. Approximately 5,000 Kenyans, 6 U.S. citizens, and 13 FSNs were injured. The U.S. Embassy building sustained extensive structural damage. Almost simultaneously, a bomb detonated outside the U.S. Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 7 FSNs and 3 Tanzanian citizens, and injuring 1 U.S. citizen and 76 Tanzanians. The explosion caused major structural damage to the U.S. Embassy facility. The U.S. Government held Usama Bin Laden responsible.

IRA Bombing, Omagh, August 15, 1998: A 500-pound car bomb planted by the Real IRA exploded outside a local courthouse in the central shopping district of Omagh, Northern Ireland, killing 29 persons and injuring over 330.

Colombian Pipeline Bombing, October 18, 1998: A National Liberation Army (ELN) planted bomb exploded on the Ocensa pipeline in Antioquia Department, killing approximately 71 persons and injuring at least 100 others. The pipeline is jointly owned by the Colombia State Oil Company Ecopetrol and a consortium including U.S., French, British, and Canadian companies.

Armed Kidnapping in Colombia, November 15, 1998: Armed assailants followed a U.S. businessman and his family home in Cundinamarca Department and kidnapped his 11-year-old son after stealing money, jewelry, one automobile, and two cell phones. The kidnappers demanded $1 million in ransom. On January 21, 1999, the kidnappers released the boy.

1999


Angolan Aircraft Downing, January 2, 1999: A UN plane carrying one U.S. citizen, four Angolans, two Philippine nationals and one Namibian was shot down, according to a UN official. No deaths or injuries were reported. Angolan authorities blamed the attack on National Union for the Total Independence of Angola (UNITA) rebels. UNITA officials denied shooting down the plane.

Ugandan Rebel Attack, February 14, 1999: A pipe bomb exploded inside a bar, killing five persons and injuring 35 others. One Ethiopian and four Ugandan nationals died in the blast, and one U.S. citizen working for USAID, two Swiss nationals, one Pakistani, one Ethiopian, and 27 Ugandans were injured. Ugandan authorities blamed the attack on the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF).

Greek Embassy Seizure, February 16, 1999: Kurdish protesters stormed and occupied the Greek Embassy in Vienna, taking the Greek Ambassador and six other persons hostage. Several hours later the protesters released the hostages and left the Embassy. The attack followed the Turkish Government's announcement of the successful capture of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Ocalan. Kurds also occupied Kenyan, Israeli, and other Greek diplomatic facilities in France, Holland, Switzerland, Britain, and Germany over the following days.

FARC Kidnappings, February 25, 1999: FARC kidnapped three U.S. citizens working for the Hawaii-based Pacific Cultural Conservancy International. On March 4, the bodies of the three victims were found in Venezuela.

Hutu Abductions, March 1, 1999: 150 armed Hutu rebels attacked three tourist camps in Uganda, killed four Ugandans, and abducted three U.S. citizens, six Britons, three New Zealanders, two Danish citizens, one Australian, and one Canadian national. Two of the U.S. citizens and six of the other hostages were subsequently killed by their abductors.

ELN Hostage-taking, March 23, 1999: Armed guerrillas kidnapped a U.S. citizen in Boyaca, Colombia. The National Liberation Army (ELN) claimed responsibility and demanded $400,000 ransom. On 20 July, ELN rebels released the hostage unharmed following a ransom payment of $48,000.

ELN Hostage-taking, May 30, 1999: In Cali, Colombia, armed ELN militants attacked a church in the neighborhood of Ciudad Jardin, kidnapping 160 persons, including six U.S. citizens and one French national. The rebels released approximately 80 persons, including three U.S. citizens, later that day.

Shell Platform Bombing, June 27, 1999: In Port Harcourt, Nigeria, armed youths stormed a Shell oil platform, kidnapping one U.S. citizen, one Nigerian national, and one Australian citizen, and causing undetermined damage. A group calling itself "Enough is Enough in the Niger River" claimed responsibility. Further seizures of oil facilities followed.

AFRC Kidnappings, August 4, 1999: An Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) faction kidnapped 33 UN representatives near Occra Hills, Sierra Leone. The hostages included one U.S. citizen, five British soldiers, one Canadian citizen, one representative from Ghana, one military officer from Russia, one officer from Kyrgystan, one officer from Zambia, one officer from Malaysia, a local Bishop, two UN officials, two local journalists, and 16 Sierra Leonean nationals.

Burmese Embassy Seizure, October 1, 1999: Burmese dissidents seized the Burmese Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand, taking 89 persons hostage, including one U.S. citizen.

PLA Kidnapping, December 23, 1999: Colombian People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forces kidnapped a U.S. citizen in an unsuccessful ransoming effort.

Indian Airlines Airbus Hijacking, December 24, 1999: Five militants hijacked a flight bound from Katmandu to New Delhi carrying 189 people. The plane and its passengers were released unharmed on December 31.

2000


Car bombing in Spain, January 27, 2000: Police officials reported unidentified individuals set fire to a Citroen car dealership in Iturreta, causing extensive damage to the building and destroying 12 vehicles. The attack bore the hallmark of the Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA).

RUF Attacks on U.N. Mission Personnel, May 1, 2000: On 1 May in Makeni, Sierra Leone, Revolutionary United Front (RUF) militants kidnapped at least 20 members of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) and surrounded and opened fire on a UNAMSIL facility, according to press reports. The militants killed five UN soldiers in the attack. RUF militants kidnapped 300 UNAMSIL peacekeepers throughout the country, according to press reports. On 15 May in Foya, Liberia, the kidnappers released 139 hostages. On 28 May, on the Liberia and Sierra Leone border, armed militants released unharmed the last of the UN peacekeepers. In Freetown, according to press reports, armed militants ambushed two military vehicles carrying four journalists. A Spaniard and one U.S. citizen were killed in a May 25 car bombing in Freetown for which the RUF was probably responsible. Suspected RUF rebels also kidnapped 21 Indian UN peacekeepers in Freetown on June 6. Additional attacks by RUF on foreign personnel followed.

Diplomatic Assassination in Greece, June 8, 2000: In Athens, Greece, two unidentified gunmen killed British Defense Attaché Stephen Saunders in an ambush. The Revolutionary Organization 17 November claimed responsibility.

ELN Kidnapping, June 27, 2000: In Bogota, Colombia, ELN militants kidnapped a 5-year-old U.S. citizen and his Colombian mother, demanding an undisclosed ransom.

Kidnappings in Kyrgyzstan, August 12, 2000: In the Kara-Su Valley, the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan took four U.S. citizens hostage. The Americans escaped on August 12.

Church Bombing in Tajikistan, October 1, 2000: Unidentified militants detonated two bombs in a Christian church in Dushanbe, killing seven persons and injuring 70 others. The church was founded by a Korean-born U.S. citizen, and most of those killed and wounded were Korean. No one claimed responsibility.

Helicopter Hijacking, October 12, 2000: In Sucumbios Province, Ecuador, a group of armed kidnappers led by former members of defunct Colombian terrorist organization the Popular Liberation Army (EPL), took hostage 10 employees of Spanish energy consortium REPSOL. Those kidnapped included five U.S. citizens, one Argentine, one Chilean, one New Zealander, and two French pilots who escaped four days later. On January 30, 2001, the kidnappers murdered American hostage Ronald Sander. The remaining hostages were released on February 23 following the payment of $13 million in ransom by the oil companies.

Attack on U.S.S. Cole, October 12, 2000: In Aden, Yemen, a small dingy carrying explosives rammed the destroyer U.S.S. Cole, killing 17 sailors and injuring 39 others. Supporters of Usama Bin Laden were suspected.

Manila Bombing, December 30, 2000: A bomb exploded in a plaza across the street from the U.S. Embassy in Manila, injuring nine persons. The Moro Islamic Liberation Front was likely responsible.

2001

Srinagar Airport Attack and Assassination Attempt, January 17, 2001: In India, six members of the Lashkar-e-Tayyba militant group were killed when they attempted to seize a local airport. Members of Hizbul Mujaheddin fired two rifle grenades at Farooq Abdullah, Chief Minister for Jammu and Kashmir. Two persons were wounded in the unsuccessful assassination attempt.

BBC Studios Bombing, March 4, 2001: A car bomb exploded at midnight outside of the British Broadcasting Corporation’s main production studios in London. One person was injured. British authorities suspected the Real IRA had planted the bomb.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, March 4, 2001: A suicide bomb attack in Netanya killed 3 persons and wounded 65. HAMAS later claimed responsibility.

ETA Bombing, March 9, 2001: Two policemen were killed by the explosion of a car bomb in Hernani, Spain.

Airliner Hijacking in Istanbul, March 15, 2001: Three Chechens hijacked a Russian airliner during a flight from Istanbul to Moscow and forced it to fly to Medina, Saudi Arabia. The plane carried 162 passengers and a crew of 12. After a 22-hour siege during which more than 40 passengers were released, Saudi security forces stormed the plane, killing a hijacker, a passenger, and a flight attendant.

Bus Stop Bombing, April 22, 2001: A member of HAMAS detonated a bomb he was carrying near a bus stop in Kfar Siva, Israel, killing one person and injuring 60.

Philippines Hostage Incident, May 27, 2001: Muslim Abu Sayyaf guerrillas seized 13 tourists and 3 staff members at a resort on Palawan Island and took their captives to Basilan Island. The captives included three U.S. citizens: Guellermo Sobero and missionaries Martin and Gracia Burnham. Philippine troops fought a series of battles with the guerrillas between June 1 and June 3 during which 9 hostages escaped and two were found dead. The guerrillas took additional hostages when they seized the hospital in the town of Lamitan. On June 12, Abu Sayyaf spokesman Abu Sabaya claimed that Sobero had been killed and beheaded; his body was found in October. The Burnhams remained in captivity until June 2002.

Tel-Aviv Nightclub Bombing, June 1, 2001: HAMAS claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a popular Israeli nightclub that caused over 140 casualties.

HAMAS Restaurant Bombing, August 9, 2001: A HAMAS-planted bomb detonated in a Jerusalem pizza restaurant, killing 15 people and wounding more than 90. The Israeli response included occupation of Orient House, the Palestine Liberation Organization’s political headquarters in East Jerusalem.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, September 9, 2001: The first suicide bombing carried out by an Israeli Arab killed 3 persons in Nahariya. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Death of "the Lion of the Panjshir", September 9, 2001: Two suicide bombers fatally wounded Ahmed Shah Massoud, a leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, which had opposed both the Soviet occupation and the post-Soviet Taliban government. The bombers posed as journalists and were apparently linked to al-Qaida. The Northern Alliance did not confirm Massoud’s death until September 15.

Terrorist Attacks on U.S. Homeland, September 11, 2001: Two hijacked airliners crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Soon thereafter, the Pentagon was struck by a third hijacked plane. A fourth hijacked plane, suspected to be bound for a high-profile target in Washington, crashed into a field in southern Pennsylvania. The attacks killed 3,025 U.S. citizens and other nationals. President Bush and Cabinet officials indicated that Usama Bin Laden was the prime suspect and that they considered the United States in a state of war with international terrorism. In the aftermath of the attacks, the United States formed the Global Coalition Against Terrorism.

Attack on the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature, October 1, 2001: After a suicide car bomber forced the gate of the state legislature in Srinagar, two gunmen entered the building and held off police for seven hours before being killed. Forty persons died in the incident. Jaish-e-Muhammad claimed responsibility.

Anthrax Attacks, October-November 2001: On October 7 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that investigators had detected evidence that the deadly anthrax bacterium was present in the building where a Florida man who died of anthrax on October 5 had worked. Discovery of a second anthrax case triggered a major investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The two anthrax cases were the first to appear in the United States in 25 years. Anthrax subsequently appeared in mail received by television networks in New York and by the offices in Washington of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and other members of Congress. Attorney General John Ashcroft said in a briefing on October 16, "When people send anthrax through the mail to hurt people and invoke terror, it’s a terrorist act."

Assassination of an Israeli Cabinet Minister, October 17, 2001: A Palestinian gunman assassinated Israeli Minister of Tourism Rehavam Zeevi in the Jerusalem hotel where he was staying. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed to have avenged the death of PFLP Mustafa Zubari.

Attack on a Church in Pakistan, October 28, 2001: Six masked gunmen shot up a church in Bahawalpur, Pakistan, killing 15 Pakistani Christians. No group claimed responsibility, although various militant Muslim groups were suspected.

Suicide Bombings in Jerusalem, December 1, 2001: Two suicide bombers attacked a Jerusalem shopping mall, killing 10 persons and wounding 170.

Suicide Bombing in Haifa, December 2, 2001: A suicide bomb attack aboard a bus in Haifa, Israel, killed 15 persons and wounded 40. HAMAS claimed responsibility for both this attack and those on December 1 to avenge the death of a HAMAS member at the hands of Israeli forces a week earlier.

Attack on the Indian Parliament, December 13, 2001: Five gunmen attacked the Indian Parliament in New Delhi shortly after it had adjourned. Before security forces killed them, the attackers killed 6 security personnel and a gardener. Indian officials blamed Lashkar-e-Tayyiba and demanded that Pakistan crack down on it and on other Muslim separatist groups in Kashmir.

2002


Ambush on the West Bank, January 15, 2002: Palestinian militants fired on a vehicle in Beit Sahur, killing one passenger and wounding the other. The dead passenger claimed U.S. and Israeli citizenship. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Battalion claimed responsibility.

Shooting Incident in Israel, January 17, 2002: A Palestinian gunman killed 6 persons and wounded 25 in Hadera, Israel, before being killed by Israeli police. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility as revenge for Israel’s killing of a leading member of the group.

Drive-By Shooting at a U.S. Consulate, January 22, 2002: Armed militants on motorcycles fired on the U.S. Consulate in Calcutta, India, killing 5 Indian security personnel and wounding 13 others. The Harakat ul-Jihad-I-Islami and the Asif Raza Commandoes claimed responsibility. Indian police later killed two suspects, one of whom confessed to belonging to Lashkar-e-Tayyiba as he died.

Bomb Explosion in Kashmir, January 22, 2002: A bomb exploded in a crowded retail district in Jammu, Kashmir, killing one person and injuring nine. No group claimed responsibility.

Kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, January 23, 2002: Armed militants kidnapped Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Karachi, Pakistan. Pakistani authorities received a videotape on February 20 depicting Pearl’s murder. His grave was found near Karachi on May 16. Pakistani authorities arrested four suspects. Ringleader Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh claimed to have organized Pearl’s kidnapping to protest Pakistan’s subservience to the United States, and had belonged to Jaish-e-Muhammad, an Islamic separatist group in Kashmir. All four suspects were convicted on July 15. Saeed Sheikh was sentenced to death, the others to life imprisonment.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, January 27, 2002: A suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem killed one other person and wounded 100. The incident was the first suicide bombing made by a Palestinian woman.

Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, February 16, 2002: A suicide bombing in an outdoor food court in Karmei Shomron killed 4 persons and wounded 27. Two of the dead and two of the wounded were U.S. citizens. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, March 7, 2002: A suicide bombing in a supermarket in the settlement of Ariel wounded 10 persons, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. The PFLP claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, March 9, 2002: A suicide bombing in a Jerusalem restaurant killed 11 persons and wounded 52, one of whom was a U.S. citizen. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Drive-By Shooting in Colombia, March 14, 2002: Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed two U.S. citizens who had come to Cali, Colombia, to negotiate the release of their father, who was a captive of the FARC. No group claimed responsibility.

Grenade Attack on a Church in Pakistan, March 17, 2002: Militants threw grenades into the Protestant International Church in Islamabad, Pakistan, during a service attended by diplomatic and local personnel. Five persons, two of them U.S. citizens, were killed and 46 were wounded. The dead Americans were State Department employee Barbara Green and her daughter Kristen Wormsley. Thirteen U.S. citizens were among the wounded. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba group was suspected.

Car Bomb Explosion in Peru, March 20, 2002: A car bomb exploded at a shopping center near the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. Nine persons were killed and 32 wounded. The dead included two police officers and a teenager. Peruvian authorities suspected either the Shining Path rebels or the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement. The attack occurred 3 days before President George W. Bush visited Peru.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, March 21, 2002: A suicide bombing in Jerusalem killed 3 persons and wounded 86 more, including 2 U.S. citizens. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, March 27, 2002: A suicide bombing in a noted restaurant in Netanya, Israel, killed 22 persons and wounded 140. One of the dead was a U.S. citizen. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) claimed responsibility.

Temple Bombing in Kashmir, March 30, 2002: A bomb explosion at a Hindu temple in Jammu, Kashmir, killed 10 persons. The Islamic Front claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in the West Bank, March 31, 2002: A suicide bombing near an ambulance station in Efrat wounded four persons, including a U.S. citizen. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Armed attack on Kashmir, April 10, 2002: Armed militants attacked a residence in Gando, Kashmir, killing five persons and wounding four. No group claimed responsibility.

Synagogue Bombing in Tunisia, April 11, 2002: A suicide bomber detonated a truck loaded with propane gas outside a historic synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. The 16 dead included 11 Germans, one French citizen, and three Tunisians. Twenty-six German tourists were injured. The Islamic Army for the Liberation of the Holy Sites claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, April 12, 2002: A female suicide bomber killed 6 persons in Jerusalem and wounded 90 others. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Car Bombing in Pakistan, May 8, 2002: A car bomb exploded near a Pakistani navy shuttle bus in Karachi, killing 12 persons and wounding 19. Eleven of the dead and 11 of the wounded were French nationals. Al-Qaida was suspected of the attack.

Parade Bombing in Russia, May 9, 2002: A remotely-controlled bomb exploded near a May Day parade in Kaspiisk, Dagestan, killing 42 persons and wounding 150. Fourteen of the dead and 50 of the wounded were soldiers. Islamists linked to al-Qaida were suspected.

Attack on a Bus in India, May 14, 2002: Militants fired on a passenger bus in Kaluchak, Jammu, killing 7 persons. They then entered a military housing complex and killed 3 soldiers and 7 military dependents before they were killed. The al-Mansooran and Jamiat ul-Mujahedin claimed responsibility.

Bomb Attacks in Kashmir, May 17, 2002: A bomb explosion near a civil secretariat area in Srinagar, Kashmir, wounded 6 persons. In Jammu, a bomb exploded at a fire services headquarters, killing two and wounding 16. No group claimed responsibility for either attack.

Hostage Rescue Attempt in the Philippines, June 7, 2002: Philippine Army troops attacked Abu Sayyaf terrorists on Mindanao Island in an attempt to rescue U.S. citizen Martin Burnham and his wife Gracia, who had been kidnapped more than a year ago. Burnham was killed but his wife, though wounded, was freed. A Filipino hostage was killed, as were four of the guerrillas. Seven soldiers were wounded.

Car Bombing in Pakistan, June 14, 2002: A car bomb exploded near the U.S. Consulate and the Marriott Hotel in Karachi, Pakistan. Eleven persons were killed and 51 were sounded, including one U.S. and one Japanese citizen. Al Qaida and al-Qanin were suspected.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, June 19, 2002: A suicide bombing at a bus stop in Jerusalem killed 6 persons and wounded 43, including 2 U.S. citizens. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Tel Aviv, July 17, 2002: Two suicide bombers attacked the old bus station in Tel Aviv, Israel, killing 5 persons and wounding 38. The dead included one Romanian and two Chinese; another Romanian was wounded. The Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

Bombing at the Hebrew University, July 31, 2002: A bomb hidden in a bag in the Frank Sinatra International Student Center of Jerusalem’s Hebrew University killed 9 persons and wounded 87. The dead included 5 U.S. citizens and 4 Israelis. The wounded included 4 U.S. citizens, 2 Japanese, and 3 South Koreans. The Islamic Resistance Movement (HAMAS) claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, August 4, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Safed, Israel, killed 9 persons and wounded 50. Two of the dead were Philippine citizens; many of the wounded were soldiers returning from leave. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Attack on a School in Pakistan, August 5, 2002: Gunmen attacked a Christian school attended by children of missionaries from around the world. Six persons (two security guards, a cook, a carpenter, a receptionist, and a private citizen) were killed and a Philippine citizen was wounded. A group called al-Intigami al-Pakistani claimed responsibility.

Attack on Pilgrims in Kashmir, August 6, 2002: Armed militants attacked a group of Hindu pilgrims with guns and grenades in Pahalgam, Kashmir. Nine persons were killed and 32 were wounded. The Lashkar-e-Tayyiba claimed responsibility.

Assassination in Kashmir, September 11, 2002: Gunmen killed Kashmir’s Law Minister Mushtaq Ahmed Lone and six security guards in Tikipora. Lashkar-e-Tayyiga, Jamiat ul-Mujahedin, and Hizb ul-Mujahedin all claimed responsibility. Other militants attacked the residence of the Minister of Tourism with grenades, injuring four persons. No group claimed responsibility.

Ambush on the West Bank, September 18, 2002: Gunmen ambushed a vehicle on a road near Yahad, killing an Israeli and wounding a Romanian worker. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bomb Attack in Israel, September 19, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Tel Aviv killed 6 persons and wounded 52. One of the dead was a British subject. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Attack on a French Tanker, October 6, 2002: An explosive-laden boat rammed the French oil tanker Limburg, which was anchored about 5 miles off al-Dhabbah, Yemen. One person was killed and 4 were wounded. Al-Qaida was suspected.

Car Bomb Explosion in Bali, October 12, 2002: A car bomb exploded outside the Sari Club Discotheque in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia, killing 202 persons and wounding 300 more. Most of the casualties, including 88 of the dead, were Australian tourists. Seven Americans were among the dead. Al-Qaida claimed responsibility. Two suspects were later arrested and convicted. Iman Samudra, who had trained in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda and was suspected of belonging to Jemaah Islamiya, was sentenced to death on September 10, 2003.

Chechen Rebels Seize a Moscow Theater, October 23-26, 2002: Fifty Chechen rebels led by Movsar Barayev seized the Palace of Culture Theater in Moscow, Russia, to demand an end to the war in Chechnya. They seized more than 800 hostages from 13 countries and threatened to blow up the theater. During a three-day siege, they killed a Russian policeman and five Russian hostages. On October 26, Russian Special Forces pumped an anesthetic gas through the ventilation system and then stormed the theater. All of the rebels were killed, but 94 hostages (including one American) also died, many from the effects of the gas. A group led by Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.

Assassination of an AID Official, October 28, 2002: Gunmen in Amman assassinated Laurence Foley, Executive Officer of the U.S. Agency for International Development Mission in Jordan. The Honest People of Jordan claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, November 21, 2002: A suicide bomb attack on a bus on Mexico Street in Jerusalem killed 11 persons and wounded 50 more. One of the dead was a Romanian. HAMAS claimed responsibility.

Attack on Temples in Kashmir, November 24, 2002: Armed militants attacked the Reghunath and Shiv temples in Jammu, Kashmir, killing 13 persons and wounding 50. The Lashkare-e-Tayyiba claimed responsibility.

Attacks on Israeli Tourists in Kenya, November 28, 2002: A three-person suicide car bomb attack on the Paradise Hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, killed 15 persons and wounded 40. Three of the dead and 18 of the wounded were Israeli tourists; the others were Kenyans. Near Mombasa’s airport, two SA-7 shoulder-fired missiles were fired as an Arkia Airlines Boeing 757 that was carrying 261 passengers back to Israel. Both missiles missed. Al-Qaida, the Government of Universal Palestine in Exile, and the Army of Palestine claimed responsibility for both attacks. Al-Ittihad al-Islami was also suspected of involvement.

Attack on a Bus in the Philippines, December 26, 2002: Armed militants ambushed a bus carrying Filipino workers employed by the Canadian Toronto Ventures Inc. Pacific mining company in Zamboanga del Norte. Thirteen persons were killed and 10 wounded. Philippine authorities suspected the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which had been extorting money from Toronto Ventures. The Catholic charity Caritas-Philippines said that Toronto Ventures had harassed tribesmen who opposed mining on their ancestral lands.

Bombing of a Government Building in Chechnya, December 27, 2002: A suicide bomb attack involving two explosives-laden trucks destroyed the offices of the pro-Russian Chechen government in Grozny. The attack killed over 80 people and wounded 210. According to a Chechen website run by the Kavkaz Center, Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.

2003


Suicide Bombings in Tel Aviv, January 5, 2003: Two suicide bomb attacks killed 22 and wounded at least 100 persons in Tel Aviv, Israel. Six of the victims were foreign workers. The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Night Club Bombing in Colombia, February 7, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside a night club in Bogota, Colombia, killing 32 persons and wounding 160. No group claimed responsibility, but Colombian officials suspected the Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces (FARC) of committing the worst terrorist attack in the country in a decade.

Assasination of a Kurdish Leader, February 8, 2003: Members of Ansar al-Islam assassinated Kurdish legislator Shawkat Haji Mushir and captured two other Kurdish officials in Qamash Tapa in northern Iraq.

Suicide Bombing in Haifa, March 5, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Haifa, Israel, killed 15 persons and wounded at least 40. One of the dead claimed U.S. as well as Israeli citizenship. The bomber’s affiliation was not immediately known.

Suicide Bombing in Netanya, March 30, 2003: A suicide bombing in a cafe in Netanya, Israel, wounded 38 persons. Only the bomber was killed. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility and called the attack a "gift" to the people of Iraq.

Unsuccessful Hostage Rescue Attempt in Colombia, May 5, 2003: The FARC killed 10 hostages when Colombian special forces tried to rescue them from a jungle hideout near Urrao, in Colombia’s Antioquia State. The dead included Governor Guillermo Gavira and former Defense Minister Gilberto Echeverri Mejia, who had been kidnapped in April 2002.

Truck Bomb Attacks in Saudi Arabia, May 12, 2003: Suicide bombers attacked three residential compounds for foreign workers in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. The 34 dead included 9 attackers, 7 other Saudis, 9 U.S. citizens, and one citizen each from the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Philippines. Another American died on June 1. It was the first major attack on U.S. targets in Saudi Arabia since the end of the war in Iraq. Saudi authorities arrested 11 al-Qaida suspects on May 28.

Truck Bombing in Chechnya, May 12, 2003: A truck bomb explosion demolished a government compound in Znamenskoye, Chechnya, killing 54 persons. Russian authorities blamed followers of a Saudi-born Islamist named Abu Walid. President Vladimir Putin said that he suspected that there was an al-Qaida connection.

Attempted Assassination in Chechnya, May 12, 2003: Two female suicide bombers attacked Chechen Administrator Mufti Akhmed Kadyrov during a religious festival in Iliskhan Yurt. Kadyrov escaped injury, but 14 other persons were killed and 43 were wounded. Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bomb Attacks in Morocco, May 16, 2003: A team of 12 suicide bombers attacked five targets in Casablanca, Morocco, killing 43 persons and wounding 100. The targets were a Spanish restaurant, a Jewish community, a Jewish cemetery, a hotel, and the Belgian Consulate. The Moroccan Government blamed the Islamist al-Assirat al-Moustaquim (The Righteous Path), but foreign commentators suspected an al-Qaida connection.

Suicide Bomb Attack in Jerusalem, May 18, 2003: A suicide bomb attack on a bus in Jerusalem’s French Hill district killed 7 persons and wounded 20. The bomber was disguised as a religious Jew. HAMAS claimed responsibility

Suicide Bombing in Afula, May 19, 2003: A suicide bomb attack by a female Palestinian student killed 3 persons and wounded 52 at a shopping mall in Afula, Israel. Both Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, June 11, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Jerusalem killed 16 persons and wounded at least 70, one of whom died later. HAMAS claimed responsibility, calling it revenge for an Israeli helicopter attack on HAMAS leader Abdelaziz al-Rantisi in Gaza City the day before.

Truck Bombing in Northern Ossetia, August 1, 2003: A suicide truck bomb attack destroyed a Russian military hospital in Mozdok, North Ossetia and killed 50 persons. Russian authorities attributed the attack to followers of Chechen rebel leader Shamil Basayev.

Hotel Bombing in Indonesia, August 5, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing 10 persons and wounding 150. One of the dead was a Dutch citizen. The wounded included an American, a Canadian, an Australian, and two Chinese. Indonesian authorities suspected the Jemaah Islamiah, which had carried out the October 12, 2002 bombing in Bali.

Bombing of the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, August 7, 2003: A car bomb exploded outside the Jordanian Embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, killing 19 persons and wounding 65. Most of the victims were apparently Iraqis, including 5 police officers. No group claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombings in Israel and the West Bank, August 12, 2003: The first suicide bombings since the June 29 Israeli-Palestinian truce took place. The first, in a supermarket at Rosh Haayin, Israel, killed one person and wounded 14. The second, at a bus stop near the Ariel settlement in the West Bank, killed one person and wounded 3. The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed responsibility for the first; HAMAS claimed responsibility for the second.

Bombing of the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, August 19, 2003: A truck loaded with surplus Iraqi ordnance exploded outside the United Nations Headquarters in Baghdad’s Canal Hotel. A hospital across the street was also heavily damaged. The 23 dead included UN Special Representative Sergio Viera de Mello. More than 100 persons were wounded. It was not clear whether the bomber was a Baath Party loyalist or a foreign Islamic militant. An al-Qaeda branch called the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri later claimed responsibility.

Suicide Bombing in Jerusalem, August 19, 2003: A suicide bombing aboard a bus in Jerusalem killed 20 persons and injured at least 100, one of whom died later. Five of the dead were American citizens. HAMAS and Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, although HAMAS leader al-Rantisi said that his organization remained committed to the truce while reserving the right to respond to Israeli military actions.

Car Bomb Kills Shi’ite Leader in Najaf, August 29, 2003: A car bomb explosion outside the Shrine of the Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq killed at least 81 persons and wounded at least 140. The dead included the Ayatollah Mohammed Bakir al-Hakim, one of four leading Shi’ite clerics in Iraq. Al-Hakim had been the leader of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI) since its establishment in 1982, and SCIRI had recently agreed to work with the U.S.-sponsored Iraqi Governing Council. It was not known whether the perpetrators were Baath Party loyalists, rival Shi’ites, or foreign Islamists.

Suicide Bombings in Israel, September 9, 2003: Two suicide bombings took place in Israel. The first, at a bus stop near the Tsrifin army base southeast of Tel Aviv, killed 7 soldiers and wounded 14 soldiers and a civilian. The second, at a café in Jerusalem’s German Colony neighborhood, killed 6 persons and wounded 40. HAMAS did not claim responsibility until the next day, although a spokesman called the first attack" a response to Israeli aggression."

Assassination of an Iraqi Governing Council Member, September 20, 2003: Gunmen shot and seriously wounded Akila Hashimi, one of three female members of the Iraqi Governing Council, near her home in Baghdad. She died September 25.

A Second Attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad, September 22, 2003: A suicide car bomb attack on the UN Headquarters in Baghdad killed a security guard and wounded 19 other persons.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, October 4, 2003: A Palestinian woman made a suicide bomb attack on a restaurant in Haifa, killing 19 persons and wounding at least 55. Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. The next day, Israel bombed a terrorist training camp in Syria.

Attacks in Iraq, October 9, 2003: Gunmen assassinated a Spanish military attaché in Baghdad. A suicide car bomb attack on an Iraqi police station killed 8 persons and wounded 40.

Car Bombings in Baghdad, October 12, 2003: Two suicide car bombs exploded outside the Baghdad Hotel, which housed U.S. officials. Six persons were killed and 32 wounded. Iraqi and U.S. security personnel apparently kept the cars from actually reaching the hotel.

Bomb Attack on U.S. Diplomats in the Gaza Strip, October 15, 2003: A remote-controlled bomb exploded under a car in a U.S. diplomatic convoy passing through the northern Gaza Strip. Three security guards, all employees of DynCorp, were killed. A fourth was wounded. The diplomats were on their way to interview Palestinian candidates for Fulbright scholarships to study in the United States. Palestinian President Arafat and Prime Minister Qurei condemned the attack, while the major Palestinian militant groups denied responsibility. The next day, Palestinian security forces arrested several suspects, some of whom belonged to the Popular Resistance Committees.

Rocket Attack on the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, October 26, 2003: Iraqis using an improvised rocket launcher bombarded the al-Rashid Hotel in Baghdad, killing one U.S. Army officer and wounding 17 persons. The wounded included 4 U.S. military personnel and seven American civilians. Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul D. Wolfowitz, who was staying at the hotel, was not injured. After visiting the wounded, he said, "They’re not going to scare us away; we’re not giving up on this job."

Assassination of a Deputy Mayor in Baghdad, October 26, 2003: Two gunmen believed to be Baath Party loyalists assassinated Faris Abdul Razaq al-Assam, one of three deputy mayors of Baghdad. U.S. officials did not announce al-Assam’s death until October 28.

Wave of Car Bombings in Baghdad, October 27, 2003: A series of suicide car bombings in Baghdad killed at least 35 persons and wounded at least 230. Four attacks were directed at Iraqi police stations, the fifth and most destructive was directed at the International Committee of the Red Cross headquarters, where at least 12 persons were killed. A sixth attack failed when a car bomb failed to explode and the bomber was wounded and captured by Iraqi police. U.S. and Iraqi officials suspected that foreign terrorists were involved; the unsuccessful bomber said he was a Syrian national and carried a Syrian passport. After a meeting with Administrator L. Paul Bremer, President Bush said, "The more successful we are on the ground, the more these killers will react."

Suicide Bombing in Riyadh, November 8, 2003: In Riyadh, a suicide car bombing took place in the Muhaya residential compound, which was occupied mainly by nationals of other Arab countries. Seventeen persons were killed and 122 were wounded. The latter included 4 Americans. The next day, Deputy Secretary of State Armitage said al-Qaeda was probably responsible.

Truck Bombing in Nasiriyah, November 12, 2003: A suicide truck bomb destroyed the headquarters of the Italian military police in Nasiriyah, Iraq, killing 18 Italians and 11 Iraqis and wounding at least 100 persons.

Synagogue Bombings in Istanbul, November 15, 2003: Two suicide truck bombs exploded outside the Neve Shalom and Beth Israel synagogues in Istanbul, killing 25 persons and wounding at least 300 more. The initial claim of responsibility came from a Turkish militant group, the Great Eastern Islamic Raiders’ Front, but Turkish authorities suspected an al-Qaeda connection. The next day, the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi received an e-mail in which an al-Qaeda branch called the Brigades of the Martyr Abu Hafz al-Masri claimed responsibility for the Istanbul synagogue bombings.

Grenade Attacks in Bogota, November 15, 2003: Grenade attacks on two bars frequented by Americans in Bogota killed one person and wounded 72, including 4 Americans. Colombian authorities suspected FARC (the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia). The U.S. Embassy suspected that the attacks had targeted Americans and warned against visiting commercial centers and places of entertainment.

More Suicide Truck Bombings in Istanbul, November 20, 2003: Two more suicide truck bombings devastated the British HSBC Bank and the British Consulate General in Istanbul, killing 27 persons and wounding at least 450. The dead included Consul General Roger Short. U.S., British, and Turkish officials suspected that al-Qaeda had struck again. The U.S. Consulate in Istanbul was closed, and the Embassy in Ankara advised American citizens in Istanbul to stay home.

Car Bombing in Kirkuk, November 20, 2003: A suicide car bombing in Kirkuk killed 5 persons. The target appeared to be the headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan. PUK officials suspected the Ansar al-Islam group, which was said to have sheltered fugitive Taliban and al-Qaeda members after the U.S. campaign in Afghanistan.

Attacks on Other Coalition Personnel in Iraq, November 29-30, 2003: Iraqi insurgents stepped up attacks on nationals of other members of the Coalition. On November 29, an ambush in Mahmudiyah killed 7 out of a party of 8 Spanish intelligence officers. Iraqi insurgents also killed two Japanese diplomats near Tikrit. On November 30, another ambush near Tikrit killed two South Korean electrical workers and wounded two more. A Colombian employee of Kellogg Brown & Root was killed and two were wounded in an ambush near Balad.

Train Bombing in Southern Russia, December 5, 2003: A suicide bomb attack killed 42 persons and wounded 150 aboard a Russian commuter train in the south Russian town of Yessentuki. Russian officials suspected Chechen rebels; President Putin said the attack was meant to disrupt legislative elections. Chechen rebel leader Aslan Maskhadov denied any involvement.

Suicide Bombing in Moscow, December 9, 2003: A female suicide bomber killed 5 other persons and wounded 14 outside Moscow’s National Hotel. She was said to be looking for the State Duma.

Suicide Car Bombings in Iraq, December 15, 2003: Two days after the capture of Saddam Hussein, there were two suicide car bomb attacks on Iraqi police stations. One at Husainiyah killed 8 persons and wounded 20. The other, at Ameriyah, wounded 7 Iraqi police. Guards repelled a second vehicle.

Office Bombing in Baghdad, December 19, 2003: A bomb destroyed the Baghdad office of the Supreme Council of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, killing a woman and wounding at least 7 other persons.

Suicide Car Bombing in Irbil, December 24, 2003: A suicide car bomb attack on the Kurdish Interior Ministry in Irbil, Iraq, killed 5 persons and wounded 101.

Attempted Assassination in Rawalpindi, December 25, 2003: Two suicide truck bombers killed 14 persons as President Musharraf’s motorcade passed through Rawalpindi, Pakistan. An earlier attempt on December 14 caused no casualties. Pakistani officials suspected Afghan and Kashmiri militants. On January 6, 2004, Pakistani authorities announced the arrest of 6 suspects who were said to be members of Jaish-e-Muhammad.

Suicide Bombing in Israel, December 25, 2003: A Palestinian suicide bomber killed 4 persons at a bus stop near Petah Tikva, Israel. The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine claimed responsibility for the attack in retaliation for Israeli military operations in Nablus that had begun two days earlier.

Restaurant Bombing in Baghdad, December 31, 2003: A car bomb explosion outside Baghdad’s Nabil Restaurant killed 8 persons and wounded 35. The wounded included 3 Los Angeles Times reporters and 3 local employees.

There you have it. This is all the evidence I need to understand there is a global war. It is between the forces of individual liberty as epitomized by the United States, and the forces of tyranny as epitomized by the islamist suicide bomber.

By the way, George W. Bush, duly elected President of the US, will retire in less than 2 years. Power will be transferred peacefully to his duly elected successor, and that new President will still have to defend the world against the forces that wish to conquer it. What will you deranged idiots do without George Bush?

I choose life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness as offered by the United States of America. You can side with the forces of darkness if you wish but if you threaten me, I will defend myself. That is the American way.

John Peddicord, Atlanta :

Dear Tom,

The evidence is not MINE but the government's official report's. Have you read them?

George Tenet also said "I NEVER said Iraq was an imminent threat". The "slam dunk" quote oft repeated is HERESAY (from Woodward's book).

Hans Blix report was equivocal at best. He merely said that certain WMD "Were unaccounted for", NOT that they existed. Hardly a justification for war.

How much support for the war would have existed if Bush said "Well, we THINK Saddam is hiding WMD, but we can't PROVE it, because, after 1991 we haven't found any".

You twist words again and again, just like Bush and Cheney.


Salamon :

Tom W

Sorry misremebered who was arguing with me on thoose issues.

Lol w e ahve one thig in common- opne wife three daughters [30,28 27 respectively].

You should make a rule at home : ONE MALE VOTE = 3+ female votes, I tried mostly unsuccessfully.

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

Mark Cunningham:

I also live in Europe not far from a place where thousands of allied soldiers lost their lives in trying to liberate my country from nazi occupation. The US didn't only liberate occupied Europe, they liberated all of Europe up to the border with Soviet occupied Europe, and held hope for freedom there alive through NATO and by actively containing the spread of the Soviets. While containing the spread of Soviet influence wasn't a clean affair (Vietnam, Iran, Korea, Central America) it seemed justifiable then and now in retrospect considering the brutality with which the Soviets maintained order in their part of the world.

The Bush govt has been crass in how it acted on the world stage and the Iraq invasion turns out to be very destabilizing but the US has not fundamentally changed for the worse. If you really, as you claim, believe that the US is a greater threat than Iran after what I wrote about the role of the US since ww2 (or perhaps since ww1) in this and the previous post then I don't understand your line of thinking at all. Don't you agree that the US actively fought and ended fascism, communism and European imperialism both through the force of arms when necessary and through diplomacy when possible and that now we live in a world in which millions of people in countries such as India, Kenya, China and Brazil have a chance to become materially independent and all of Europe is democratic, free and wealthy; and that all of that is a good thing?

If you do not weigh in those historical factors then aren't you either ignorant (ie unaware of them) or biased (ie not giving them proper weight)? Perhaps I put my argument bluntly but it certainly isn't ad hominem. Whenever I bring up the very positive role of the US in this world it gets thoroughly ignored. Also I was not discussing the radicalization of indigenous Muslims in Europe; I was asking what polls Mr. Zakaria had seen and if he could quote them so we could have some substance. The number will always be too high because ignorance about the positive role of the US in the world over the last century appears to be running rampant in Europe.

When you say that "The neoconservative's reckless, feckless invasion and occupation of Iraq has brought suicide bombers into the very heart of London and Madrid." you are blaming the police for the murder they failed to stop. The invasion of Iraq did not motivate the killing of Mr. van Gogh, the murder of hundreds in Madrid and London was enacted by North African and English born youths, not by neoconservatives; they didn't plant the bombs. Haven't you asked yourself what's wrong with our schools and our society that we have disenfranchised kids in our countries who hate our liberator, who believe that murder will send them to heaven, who believe civilians are a legitimate target in their jihad?

Perhaps you are disappointed in the US; you cannot seriously consider it a greater threat than Iran, I would urge you to read the amnesty international casefile on Iran, the evidence there is showing how Iran is supporting Hezbollah and other terrorist organisations, how over the last few years it has killed over a hundred of its own citizens in repression, etc etc ad infinutum... It really is no contest.

Tom Wonacott :

Salamon

On same sex marriage, I stayed out of the forum question so I'm not quite sure what you are referring to????????

As far as women's rights maybe you can quote me because, again, I am not sure what you are referring to?????????

"...For your information it does not take a Muslim, to see that there is conflict when woman's right takes precedence over the well-being of the child. There is 200 000 year long history on evolutionary constriction for the reproduction of the race. Further, you could read the Encyclicals of various Popes on family issues, on social issues against wooley eyed chasing the almighty BUCK - at the expense of spending time with your children..."

In fact, I agree with your statement and its one of the reasons my wife (by her choice) doesn't work. I must admit, though, since I have three teenagers, I do whatever it takes to avoid spending too much time with them.

Mark USA :

Dr I

You need to stop looking at the Iranian situation from an emotional and political (right wing or left wing) view. You need to look at the situation from a miltary and tatical view. If you do you'll see that while my solution would have terrible results for the Iranians, It would be better than having Iran detonate a nuclear weapon in America, Isreal or Europe. If someone tells you that they are going to kill you and than starts trying to build a weapon to kill you with it would be prudent to kill him first. No emotion or political views involved. Just simple and logical reasoning.

Salamon :

Tom Wonacott:

It appears that my thoughts on Women's rights, same sex marriages etc was more correct in its conclusions than what you have defended.

The UNICEF report on DEVELOPED ECONOMIES' child welfare came to the conclusion that the two greatest defenders of SAME SEX MARRIAGE, WOMEN'S RIGHT [both issues based on some idea that Rights must always override responsibility] has created the worst social moral etc situation for the children of these countries: THE USA AND UK, are vying for the most regressive standing as far as children are concerned.

Of course, as an advocate of USA First [right or wrong] you will no doubt rejoice that collectively the children of the USA are the least well adapted to constructive life.

For your information it does not take a Muslim, to see that there is conflict when woman's right takes precedence over the well-being of the child. There is 200 000 year long history on evolutionary constriction for the reproduction of the race. Further, you could read the Encyclicals of various Popes on family issues, on social issues against wooley eyed chasing the almighty BUCK - at the expense of spending time with your children.

Similarly perhaps if you would read some philosophy [ general ethics, not woman's issues] and indulge for a week or so in reading the Federalist Papers [as opposed to the Junk present in the Jerusalem Post] you might find venues to make your thought processes and conclusions more rational.

Saddam Hussein :

From my point of view, this is a very difficult question to answer ........it has always been!

Satyakama :

"Why do people throughout the world want to leave their country of birth and move and live in the united states. Why do Muslims want to live in Europe and the united States."

The vast majority of people in the world live in their country of birth and have a smile on their face one does not see in the US. The vast majority of Muslims live in the Muslim world and have a smile on their face one almost never sees in the US. The vast majority of people in the world would not want to live anywhere else than the country in which they live, more particularly not in the US, a country many of them know very well. They just wish to keep that unique smile on their face... and that bright light in their eyes.

The extreme narcissism expressed in the above quote is also part of what makes the US so dangerous. Extreme narcissism can lead to anything inhuman. It has, and more often than not, in the past.

Tom Wonacott :

John Peddicord, Atlanta

"...Here, as usual, they are either ignorant or lying. I think they are lying. Both the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report on Pre-War Intelligence and the recent Pentagon Inspector General's Report on the Office of Special Plans show conclusively how intelligence was manipulated. While not using the word "lie" the reports use terms like "inappropriate" and "inconsistent" with the Intelligence Communities findings. Lies by any other name..."

The evidence you present is at the very best weak. When the head of the CIA tells the President weeks before the invasion of Iraq that he is certain that Iraq has WMD's and Hans Blix in his report indicates there are stockpiles of chemical weapons that are unaccounted for then that is strong evidence of an intelligence failure, not a lie.

Did Bush lie? Evidence may come out in the future that he, in fact, did lie, but so far that's not the case.

Just as in your previous post, the rest of your post is garbage.

Tom Wonacott :

Dr I

"...you're evidence is weak..."

I said, and let me repeat this for you so you'll get it this time. Ahmadinejad has threatened to "wipe Israel off the map" (don't give me Juan Cole's interpretation) so that is very strong evidence for someone's "intentions" (and they are not peaceful).

From Washington Times, December 12, 2006:

"...Israeli officials yesterday quietly welcomed a decision by several Persian Gulf states to consider a nuclear energy program as evidence the region's Sunni Arab governments are becoming more open in their opposition to a common enemy -- Iran.
While historically hostile to any step that could lead to an "Islamic" nuclear bomb, Israelis are weighing that risk against the possibility of an implicit alliance with neighboring Sunni Arab states that share their concerns about the prospect of a nuclear-armed Shi'ite Iran..."

You never addressed the "regional arms race" issue. The threat is not only to Israel. Do you think it is in the world's best interest to have a nuclear arms race in the Middle East?

John P. Atlanta :

Now let's deal with the Wingnuts' claim of "faulty intelligence".

Here, as usual, they are either ignorant or lying. I think they are lying. Both the bipartisan Senate Intelligence Report on Pre-War Intelligence and the recent Pentagon Inspector General's Report on the Office of Special Plans show conclusively how intelligence was manipulated. While not using the word "lie" the reports use terms like "inappropriate" and "inconsistent" with the Intelligence Communities findings. Lies by any other name.

Unfortunately for four thousand Americans (3200 troops and 800 contractors) and 650,000 Iraqis, lying to justify war is not illegal.

This fascist regime has created it's very own holocaust in the name of "Peace and Democracy".

Interestingly, when one points out to a Wingnut that democratic principles have been violated by the Bush regime they always reply (like the brainwashed automata they are): "America is not a Democracy, but a Republic". I say to them "If we don't have a democracy here then how can we export one?"

It was NEVER the intention of the Bush regime to bring democracy to Iraq, but to set up a weak "puppet" regime which relied on the presence of US troops (and the 14 foot high concrete walls of the "Green Zone") to protect it. If they had wanted too, they could have. The first clue as to their intentions was the deliberate anarchy and chaos that reigned after the fall of Baghdad. When US Commanders on the ground protested the state of affairs they were sacked and replaced with loyal "yes men".

The present calm in Baghdad after the "surge" is proof that, even at this late date, order can be restored. So why wasn't that done immediately?

The strategy is textbook: "Divide and Rule".

Robert Rose :

They don't think like us? Well then, "nobody really cares"... "... they don't matter...".

Declaring people, others (why not the whole world but US?), "irrelevant", as was done with Yasser Arafat, Saddam Hussein, etc., that is the latest recipe of the impotents for permanent conflict and perpetual war.

And they keep wishing the community of nations be thankful to them for that, would consider them courageous and love them... Difficult to remain civil!

John P. Atlanta :

I would just like to clear up a point raised much earlire concerning Iraq's WMD and UN Resolution 1441. As usual the RW is disengenuous concerning these critical factors which bear on the legality of the Iraq invasion. The RW continues to inaccurately contend that Iraq was in violation and that 1441 sanctioned war. Both are untrue. 1441 only specified "serious consequences". France, Russia and China contended, rightly, that another Resolution was necessary to go to war. There was NEVER any Resolution passed to sanction an invasion, therefore it was illegal under International Law.

The Wingnuts also deliberately lie when they contend, as they do time and time again hoping people will believe it if repeated often enough that UN inspectors were not allowed back in. In fact they were, on November 27, 2002, leaving just before the invasion (they were not "kicked out")

As for the existence of WMD, the following is from the final report of the Iraq Survey Group (Courtesy of Wikipedia):


"While a small number of old, abandoned chemical munitions have been discovered, ISG judges that Iraq unilaterally destroyed its undeclared chemical weapons stockpile in 1991. There are no credible Indications that Baghdad resumed production of chemical munitions thereafter, a policy ISG attributes to Baghdad’s desire to see sanctions lifted, or rendered ineffectual, or its fear of force against it should WMD be discovered."

The review was conducted by Charles Duelfer and the Iraq Survey Group.

In October 2004, Bush said of Duelfer’s analysis: "The chief weapons inspector, Charles Duelfer, has now issued a comprehensive report that confirms the earlier conclusion of David Kay that Iraq did not have the weapons that our intelligence believed were there."

Mary Cunningham :

To JVD70:

To respond to legitimate concerns about the radicalization of indigenous Muslims in Europe by calling those with such concerns "ignorant" and "influenced by media bias" is merely an avoidance of those concern by rhetorical tricks: in this case an *ad hominem* parry. The results of Pew attitude surveys show a strong & continuous bias against American actions since about 2002. Charging media bias is merely blaming the messenger.

I am well educated, live in London, & have an excellent grasp of American and European history. If--more like when--America bombs Iran I am certain I will see more sniffer dogs on the tubes, more shut downs in transport, and possibly, just possibly, the bringing down of a civilian airplane. These are legitimate concerns & unresponsive to charges of 'ignorance' and susceptibility to media bias.

Mary Cunningham :

Mr Zakaria asks about the 'many' in Europe who think the US is more dangerous than Iran.

But those 'many' are completely accurate--"The Wisdom of Crowds" & all that...

The neoconservative's reckless, feckless invasion and occupation of Iraq has brought suicide bombers into the very heart of London and Madrid. The US acted (invaded)first & thought about the consequences later. That European civilians in the developed world and Muslim civilians in the developing world are bearing the consequences of American action in Iraq seems to bother neither US politicians--of either stripe--nor the Bush administration.

I'm not sure what Americans should *make* of it. I doubt very much if US policy in the ME will swerve from it's Israel-centric objectives. Right now it seems America's answer to legitimate European concerns about European jihadis is to call Europeans 'appeasers' at best and 'anti-Semites' at worst. Many EU countries have acted against the worst of jihadi excesses, still, it would help us if the US could be a little more circumspect in its ME actions.

Since that is extremely (!) unlikely to happen, the EU must further disassociate itself from US foreign policy. This will buy us time to deal with/dampen down the worst of our European Muslim radicalism.

America can make of it what America will make of it...

jvd70, Amsterdam, NL :

Mr. Zakaria, how many is many in "many people in Europe think the U.S. is a greater threat than Iran."? Wouldn't it have been easy for you to link to some of these polls so we can have objective data instead of a subjective 'many'.

As for the question, I'd surmise that people who believe the US is a significant threat are mostly ignorant and are influenced by media bias.

A strong dislike of Mr. Bush and Mr. Cheney is palpable in many newsmedia; the dislike has has an element of schadenfreude to it as well. People lacking historical awareness may think that the US is a threat considering both the intensity and harshness of the reporting being done.

Media bias is for example apparent in the amount of time the newsmedia spent on Abu Graib and Guantanamo bay compared to the time spent on human rights violations committed by for example the Iranian, Russian or Sudanese governments; one only has to read through the numerous cases detailed on the amnesty.org website to realize that the US violations pale to insignificance when compared to what is happening in Iran, Sudan, Russia and numerous other places. And yet in the minds of people the US violations loom larger simply because of the inordinate amount of time the newsmedia has spent on them.

Anyone who thinks the US is a threat lacks a degree of historical awareness of how the world was prior to 1945 and during the cold war; US hegemony is a stunning positive success in world history especially in terms of the growth of wealth and in terms of people liberated from fascism, imperialism and communism. After the 2nd world war, the US gave the German and Japanese people their freedom and created the foundations for the growth of two of the strongest democracies and economies. After the fall of the Berlin wall, all of Eastern Europe and even nations once part of the Soviet Union itself became western democracies and voted for NATO membership, and virtually all anti communist dictatorships in Asia and South America have become democracies. So, the USA very obviously cherishes and encourages democracy and freedom for everyone, and it is only a threat to those who oppose freedom and democracy. Unfortunately the latter are many and bolstered both by the US quagmire in Iraq and the price of oil.

Muhammad Azeem Akhter :

The USA after losing its global propaganda war has started to lose its proxy wars in the Middle East while its Deputy Sheriff, with all of its military might, has failed to muster its will on Hezbollah. This leaves limited options available to Americans to counter their demise in the region, as their dream of “the new Middle East” has collapsed spectacularly. This dream has turned into a nightmare and it has been buried beside the infamous “New World Order”.

This conflict has changed the dynamics of the region. It will force Americans to think hard before dealing with Iran. However, history shows that Americans have failed to learn lessons form their debacles. What would be effects of this conflict on the American strategy to deal with Iran?

Iran has emerged as a stronger player after Israel’s defeat meanwhile Iran has also increased its influence in Lebanon, Iraq, and Syria. Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki also criticised Israel for its actions in Lebanon, which is a clear sign of his pro- Hezbollah stance. He cannot afford to annoy Iraqi Shias by supporting Israel. Americans are trapped in a quagmire of “the new Middle East”. If they try to attack Iran then they will face strong opposition in Iraq because of radical pro-Iranian elements.

Read More ...

http://pakistan1947.blogspot.com/2006/08/iran-in-new-middle-east.html

D. Carelli :

Amazing, Incredible. That Europe of all places should think that the U.S. is a greater threat than Iran. How blind. Spain, France, and Holland have already bowed to the Muslim hoards, and Germany will follow, all out of cowardice. If Europe thinks that the Muslims will live in their countries peacefully they are dead wrong. Islam and the Muslims are warring locusts who have sworn to dominate the world for Islam by the "sword". The U.S. and Britain are the only countries who have had the resolve to stand up to these bearded Mullahs, and Muslim fanatics. How incredibly foolish to believe that the country that saved Europe twice, and has hundreds of acres of U.S. graves there to prove it should be feared more than the president of a country that beheads people and worse. In the last one hundred years acts of savage terrorism from the Phillipines to Europe have been committed by "Muslims, not Americans. In the next 100 years terrorism will be synonymous with "Islam". By the way, no one really cares anything about Russia or Putin, they don't matter. David

Dr. I :

What's amazing is how these racist remarks against Muslims show their ugly head in the wee hours of the morning. You neocons are just upset that Europe doesn't praise you as they did to your parents generation. They represented the good in Ameica, not the paranoid "hate all foreigners" America.

Mary Cunningham :

Europe has millions of young, unassimilated, (soon to be, in not already?) radicalized Muslim males. The United States in their eyes—and in the eyes of world public opinion—has as the protection and interests of Israel as its overriding objective in the Middle East. Iran has not murdered Palestinian civilians, destroyed much of southern Lebanon and invaded Iraq. The US & Israel have done all of these---and more! Every time these things happen, more Muslims are recruited to the jihadist cause. So, Putin is absolutely right. The United States, as currently configured, is far more dangerous to European cities, civilians, aircraft, trains….

Civilised Voter :

Let's put the question of this round of debate (Who is more dangerous, Iran or USA) to a vote at the UN General Assembly. And there should be a yes-or-no secret ballot. Simple!

That is why we have a forum such as UN (at least in theory), is it not? And the media should report it, not spin and twist the event.

D. Carelli :

Amazing, Incredible. That Europe of all places should think that the U.S. is a greater threat than Iran. How blind. Spain, France, and Holland have already cowtowed to the Muslim hoards, and Germany will follow, all out of cowardice. If Europe thinks that the Muslims will live in their countries peacefully they are dead wrong, the Muslims are warring locusts. The U.S. and Britain are the only countries who have had the resolve to stand up to these bearded Mullahs. How incredibly foolish to believe that the country that saved Europe twice, and has hundreds of acres of U.S. graves there should be feared more than the president of a country that beheads people, and did Europe forget the hostage crisis of 1979 conducted by these Islamic fanatics. Most Americans will never forget. Europe should grow a pair of balls.

Dr. I :

We've already been replaced by a government that we have no say about. That's why we're complaining.

Doc :

If the people of the United States keeps on their path of complaining about the U. S. Government, then they will allow the congress and senate and president to be replaced by a different form of government that they will have no say about. Read your History Books people. Divide and conquer. Weaken your emeny from within before attacking.
To Bad that our own people find it easier to complaint about what others think about us, and not about what they are wanting to do to us.
TIME TO WAKE UP AMERICA BEFORE IT'S TO LATE...

Dr. I :

Michael T.
So wrong you are on all counts.
Why do you flagwrappers insist that Europe is jealous of the U.S.A. You wish!! Arrogance becomes you. If anything the Europeans pity our ignorance and narrowminded leaders. They surpass us in education, language ability (most are bilingual)and knowledge of world affairs. As for your baseless claim that the U.S. returns sovereinty to all nations they have defeated, where did you get such nonsense? From this month's issue of "Rhetoric for Right Wing Dummy's?
In the first place, we've violated the sovereign rights of more nations since Hitler's Germany, in Latin America, Asia, and now, in the middle east. In the second place, since WWII, we really haven't defeated any country of considerable size, other than Iraq. And even then, we controlled their airspace and restricted their trade. The only sovereinty we gave them was the right to exist. And if you want to go back prior to WWII, we had a better idea than returning sovereignty; we took their land! We confiscated Cuba from Spain, half of Mexico; without provocation from either country I might add, and then we built and controlled the Panama canal after starting a civil war between Panama and Colombia for our own benefit. Its time to stop kidding ourselves. We are not known as an imperialist nation for nothing.

Sam :

Isn't ironic that America, Israel, India, and Pakistan have never signed the NPT treaty and never allow IAEA to inspect their atomic sites and yet America is pushing other countries to follow the UN and IAEA.

The fact is America is all about American corporations and oil cartels and they are the biggest threat to peace, environment, and security!!

Michael Troup :

While it really is too pathetic to deserve comment, the fact that Europeans see the USA as a bigger threat than Iran says more about Europe than the USA...while the rest of the world may be more jealous than afraid of the USA, who do you think they will call when Iran lobs a nuke into one of their cities? The same country they ALWAYS call when they are attacked or suffer some natural disaster- and the same country they often find is already at their door with an offer of aid.
Every country that the USA has ever defeated in battle has been given their sovereignty back- do you think Europe will be able to say that of the invading Muslims?

Sanjeev Singal :

"This film is dedicated to the gallant people of Afghanistan". These famous words from the closing frame of the Hollywood action movie Rambo III summarize American role during Soviet Era Afghanistan. History has come round full circle. America consistently fears someone will conduct “Operation Cyclone” and will be funding and arming Iraqi and Afghan resistance forces. Erstwhile Soviet Union and Iran have set an example of ethical values in international politics by not doing what America did during eighties in Afghanistan. Can America disclose how many Stinger Missiles were donated to the people whom he now calls Al Qaeda and Taliban?

Dr. I :

Mark says " My opinion is that we should drop a nuclear weapon on Iran before they do it to us"

These are the type of hate-filled eggheaded views that have transformed our nation into the most dangerous threat in the history of the world. Mark needs to have his puny brain examined before he hurts himself or one of his friends in the insane asylum.

Alex Dumas :

If they really think the USA is a bigger threat than Iran than they are really stupid. They should worry about nukes in the hands of fruitcakes who hate Jews.

Dr. I :

Lou:
Bush Bashing? You bet!
Diabolical? Without a doubt!
Wreckless disregard for human life? Undeniable!

Yes Lou. I do have evidence. That's because I don't listen to your heroes Bill O'Reilly or Sean Hannity. Apparently, you deny the death toll of 3,100 american soilders. Or was it the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis you disagree with. Oh well, maybe I'm off by a few tens of thousands. But hey, whose counting, right. After all, there all expendible. At least your illegitimate president thinks so.
As far as his diabolical plan, its public record that your idol and his neo-cronies were on record as seeking another "pearl harbour" to
justify an invasion in the middle east. Why do you think so many senators were advised by the Bush Administration against flying on the morning of September 11, 2001. Coincidence? I don't think so. And let's not forget Mr. Bush's assault on CIA operative Joe Wilson, who was persecuted because he refused to validate his trumpted up theories of WMDs. In fact, every general who has disagreed with Bush's assessment of the Iraq war policy has been replaced. With respect to his wreckless disregard for human life, just last Wednesday, your misguided hero Bush uttered this immortal phrase, "sometimes money...uh..trumps.....peace, heh,heh." What a total idiot! Obviously, you must subscribe to this sick agenda. I tell you what Lou, if you really want evidence, why don't you join our dwindling military like a good little neocon (cause apparently your repub. senetors wont send their own), get your butt shipped to Iraq, and give us the real scoop.

Mark, USA :

Iran has vowed to destroy America and Isreal. The next logical continent for Iran to attack would be Europe. Iran is working on getting nuclear weapons. Anyone who thinks that an oil rich country such as Iran wants nuclear power for energy is being unrealistic. Anything Bush, Isreal or Europe would do to protect themselves from Iran would be justified and logical. My personal opinion is that we should drop a nuclear weapon on Iran before they do it to us.

Tony, Doha, Qatar :

I believe the poll is a reflection of the failed policies of Bush/Chaney. "Old Europe", as Rumsfeld called them, is taking exception to the arrogance of this Administration.
I believe, however, this is short-lived and the next Administration will have much better relations with "old" and "new" Europe based on trust and mutual respect. Hard work for the next Administration, but they will do it.

David :

I agree %100 with Salamon from Canada.

I have we gone mad..... We are the big bully of the would and everyone knows this..

Lou :

Jonny: (((Let say two "dumb", egotastic and stubborn people one is USA and one in Iran becomes the top political leader.
In this senario US is more dangerous then any country on this planet.)))

That scenario may have come true in 2004 if Kerry would have won. ;-)

Lou :

Dr I: my last post is missing half, let me try again.

(((our current president has sacrificed over 3,100 American lives and countless hundreds of thousands of Iraqis just to satisfy his egotistical blueprint for economic profit)))
This is pure hyperbole that you have no valid proof for backing.

(((wreckless power of an illegitamate president))) Beyond hyperbole, simply childish Bush Bashing.

(((wreckless power of an illegitamate president, who has no regard for international viewpoints, nor reason, sits poised to bomb Iran))) Same as above. Give some evidence please. I suspect foolish Bush Bashing again.

Diabolical plan???? Needs no further explanation, other than laughter.

Lou :

DR I: >>

This is pure hyperbole that you have no valid proof for backing.

>> Beyond hyperbole into the realm of foolishness and Bush Bashing.

>> Same as above, you have nothing but foolish hatred of the man to back up your statements. You have no valid basis for that conclusion.

>>
Diabolical??? Oh for crying out loud.

Dr I :

Lou:
Never denied the Iranian President's threats. I simply maintain that it's nothing new among Muslim leaders. Never has been. But that does not constitute a valid threat. On the other hand, our current president has sacrificed over 3,100 American lives and countless hundreds of thousands of Iraqis just to satisfy his egotistical blueprint for economic profit. There's nothing invalid about that. Fact is, the United states, under the wreckless power of an illegitamate president, who has no regard for international viewpoints, nor reason, sits poised to bomb Iran. He's just desparately looking for a pretext to carry out his diabolical plan.

keith b. :

workin for haliburtin, over 3000 of us troops killed, and what? Some 650,000 Iraqis killed. Saddam was hung over a lot less then that. Maybe we need to charge the Bush/Cheney team with treason and murder.

Jonny :

Let say two "dumb", egotastic and stubborn people one is USA and one in Iran becomes the top political leader.
In this senario US is more dangerous then any country on this planet.

Dr. I :

60 years ago, Europe had every reason to praise the democratic virtues of the U.S.A.. But our recent policies of unilateral aggression without provocation have changed their impression of us. And rightly so. Our past accomplishments in WWII, for which Europe was greatful, does not now grant us the right to dictate world policy, or strong-arm other nations into siding with our unjustified wars. O.K., we saved Europe from Nazi domination. But 60 years later, we are anything but the world's leader of freedom and protecters of human dignity. Just ask Chile, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Vietnam, and of course, Iraq.

Lou :

Dr I: >>>


TEHRAN (Fars News Agency)- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in a meeting with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Mualem here on Tuesday assured that the United States and the Zionist regime of Israel will soon come to the end of their lives.
http://english.farsnews.com/newstext.php?nn=8511030486

Your statement is no longer valid.

German Voice :

I'm a Kraut and I stand with the United States of America - the greatest Nation ever! If someone is against America, then he is against me too!

Here in Germany, and also in Europe, the NAZIS and Commmunists are still alive, therefore, it's no wonder, that anti-Americanism is wide spreaded across Europe. The reason is, is that the news-media are censored, so the people do not know, what's really going on. All news they get are one-sided.

However, Americans should give a big nothing about what the European hardheads are talking, because it's part of the NAZI-Propaganda here in Europe, especially here in Germany. In addition, Europe is a safe haven for terrorists.

America is doing great and there's nothing wrong with it! Iran is a dictatorship and the people over there cannot wait to get liberated. So what?

Thanks to the finest and brightest men and women of the United States - Our Troops!

Support the Troops at www.AmericaSupportsYou.mil

God bless America, Our Troops and their Families!

Yousuf Hashmi :

The polls itself only reflects the anger against present US policies .

US being sole super power looking all problems with its own parameters.

Neither Iran nor US by any means are threat for europe. The bond between US and Europe at least for this century remains un breakable. And Iran neither have a capability nor any intention to harm a community which is its main source of trade and economic growth.

If Iran can be threat then it will only be for the regional countries who can be afraid that Iran can export its theology.

Is Iran able to invade any country, the answer will be negative, even if they have a will then they do not have a capability. The Iran Iraq war and continous US embargo crushed their milatary power.

Presently we are watching the words like threat and war more commonly. we should understand that no problem so far has been solved with the war or violence or terrorism. the basic solution for each and every problem lies with the pursation,negotiation, diplomacy and respecting each others thoughts.

Europe presently sole source of human rights activation and practices. I am sure that on the road of peace and stability in the world the intellectual contribution and voices from the masses of Europe will be the main asset.

MarkB :

The US is a greater threat to the world, not so much because of its goals but because of the unintended consequences resulting from the actions undertaken to achieve them.

Just the fact that we do more makes us a bigger problem.

I have done a lot of large project management in my consulting career and I can tell you that it is often very difficult for executives to recognise serious consequences even when they made aware of them if the findings suggest that commitments they have already made should not be acted upon.

What to do about it? You have to limit the power of any individual, especially the President, so that their decisions are subject to review.

In an extreme emergency where prompt action is required you cannot do this, but these are relatively rare. A war that has been running for years should not qualify simply because it is a war.

Divine Strake :

U.S. has over 10,000 nuclear warheads and Iran has none. Who is a greater threat?

The answer is in the number.

DL :

As a US History professor, I wanted to remind everyone (both American and otherwise) that the US record on colonialism/imperialism is far from clean. Though most Americans (including my students) seem to be unaware of it, America invaded and colonized (either directly or by proxy, i.e. US sponsored revolution): Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Cuba, the Philippines, Grenada, Panama, and Iraq. All of this has happened just since 1890. This is to say nothing of the American Government starting a fraudelent war with Mexico to illegaly seize California, New Mexico, Arizona.

However, the US has done some great things for many countries around the world (intervening in two world wars that were unlikely to directly affect us, counterbalancing Russian expansionism, the Marshall Plan, defending Kuwait). But always remember that any country that gets involved in foreign affairs always does so mainly for its own self-interest; that is the point of nations. Iran has a terrible human rights record and seems to be sponsoring terrorist organizations (Hezbollah at least, and maybe Hamas), but has yet to show the inclination/ability to actively invade or colonize other nations. That may change though. I think that, more than anything, this poll reflects a general European ambivalence about Israel's right to exist.

Dr I :

Dear Cliff:
As far as I know, no Iranian has threatened my family, though I can think of over 100,00 Iraqi families who were destroyed by foreign invaders in the past 3 years. My suggestion is this: Why dont we all put down our guns? Fair enough?

Cliff Hipsher :

The more things change, the more they remain the same.

Suppoosedly the US and its policies are the root cause of all of the world's ills, and yet people by the thousands come here every year. Why is that?

Is it because they want to work as slaves, follow some draconian religious dogma, and have their children carried off in the dead of night? I think not.

There is an old proverb that says, "When you are pointing your finger at someone, there are at least three fingers pointing back at you."

So blame the US if it makes you feel better, but just remember that if it wasn't for the US, millions upon millions of you would not even be alive, and those that would be alive would all be slaves in a world ruled by "The Master Race."

So now we have the question about whether or not the US is more of a danger to world peace than Iran is. You gotta be kidding me.

When was the last time a US president told the world that this planet would be better off if another country and it's people were "wipped off the map"?

Yeah, we're the biggest dog in the yard, so what? If you don't want to get your tail whipped, then leave us alone.

You want peace? Fine. Put down your guns, shake hands, and live in peace. Really, it's that easy.

Who really cares if you are Muslim, Christian, Jew, or what ever? I sure don't. I'll respect your beliefs, and I will ask that you respect mine. On the other hand, point a gun at me, or threaten my family, and you'll be dead before you hit the ground. Fair enough?

So what's it gonna be?

Winston Dodson :

Having read your commentators remarks I am struck by their lack of historical knowledge. They should read Kagan's book "Dangerous Nation".

Dr I :

Sorry Tom W., but you're evidence is weak. Threats against Israel by Muslim leaders is nothing new. Heck, even many of your own neocon comrades have denied the halocaust. That does'nt make them a threat.....or does it? hmmmm. As far as any concerns you have of an unstable leader with potential nuclear capabilities, I guess it's O.K. that our tried and tested nuclear WMDs are under the control of a madman who fabricates phony pretexts to justify invading other nations, to satisfy his personal vendetta, and quest for domination of the world's oil reserves.

Sandy :


I got fired, need a job. Have rent, car payment and bills to pay. Help....

Anonymous :

E. Morales : In 1991, the Hezbollah (Iranian Revolutionary Guard) was responsible for 52 attacks, as compared to 19 attacks the organization carried out in 1990. In 1992, the Hezbollah launched 63 attacks and in 1993, 158 attacks, when during the course of 'Operation Accountability' they fired hundreds of Katyusha rockets into the Security Zone and Israeli territory. In 1994 a total of 187 attacks against Israeli troops and positions by Hezbollah were recorded. There were 119 instances of artillery fire, 31 detonations of explosive charges and two frontal assaults on IDF positions. In 1995 a total of 344 attacks against Israeli troops and positions by were recorded. There were 270 instances of artillery fire, 64 detonations of explosive charges and 2 frontal assaults on IDF positions.

Clearly, the answer to your question is IRAN!

Michael in the USA :

Bill Bailey pay attention to what the options are. All options are on the table. Nuclear strike is not on the table and our long standing policy on nuclear strikes is for defensive purposes in the face of another nuclear strike.

How can you be so assanine as to think that a blanket statement such as that indicates it as an option and a likely one? This to me smells of uneducated response based on conspiracy theories. People please attempt to practice due care in what you say.

Oh man, the speak of pseudo-intellects can really cripple faith in humanity.

Dr.I :

There's no doubt that America is a great place to live. Maybe the greatest in many respects. Even under the current regime, we still enjoy freedoms that I never take for granted. However, being an American does'nt mean that I'm obligated to believe the lies and deception of our corrupt leaders. Rather, it means I have a right to criticize them, just like the majority of U.S. citizens who disapprove of our president and his policies. There's nothing anti-american about that. If the right wing neocons and pro-Bush folk cant handle this, maybe they're the one's who should leave. I'm sure there are plenty of totalitarian societies that are receptive to their close minded viewpoints. So my answer is clearly yes, the U.S. is the world'd biggest threat. Period. Not the people, not even the military; but the diabolical President and his band of international outlaws who have changed the image of this nation in the eyes of the world. I love America, and I'll stay here until or unless I decide otherwise. But, I'm ashamed of our president, and support all of those who oppose him. That's the American way.

ron west :

the usa and bush are the most dangerous peopkle
on this earth.bush is from a different galaxy.the day after 911,he used the term
'crusade'. he is surrounded by syncophants and
willing generals. just like Hitler.Why do we need three carrier battle groups in the area?
Bush is a flat out liar

CORPSMAN1 :

To Quis Custodiet:
Sadaam was bluffing. Maybe to keep Iran cowed; maybe to tweak the U.S. Regardless, Bush bit (with MANY ulterior motives, not just WMD, none of which were honorable). The point is, as Davy Crockett said, "Be sure you're right, then go ahead." MY point is: You don't dick around with people's lives, especially our troops, many of whom are now our honored dead because of cowboy macho. Our troops will die for us; all they ask in return is that when our leaders must send them out to perhaps make the ultimate sacrifice is that our leaders are truthful with them and are sure it is for immanent threat or after we were attacked -- or as a brother-in-arms fellow Vietnam medic put it so eloquently in a poem:
"The nobility of the soldier willing to give a life for country and God lies silent and still amidst the broken promises of leaders.
Send them not to futile sacrifice on shores so far from home.
But keep your word to all that serve that none shall die in vain."
~ a poem by Rich Raitano, a brother Vietnam War medic

Michael in the USA :

I fail to see how just pointing out that the USA has been in more wars is justifiable as the sole reason we are more dangerous. In fact that feels an awful lot like a smokescreen response that someone can fall back on when they lack the insite of true politics. It is virtually impossible to take away a defense based on that statement, but yet, you have no enlightened responses to the hard questions.

The questions are simple, while diplomacy is the answer, they still need to be answered.

1. Why does Iran want to harness nuclear energy.

2. Is there an ulterior motive provided they respond in an acceptable manner?

3. What is the assurance this power will not be used for selfish and destructive purposes.

4. If Iran is "allowed" to pursue nuclear power and/or armament, would they be opposed to NATO and UN sanctions and inspections?

5. If so then why?

Then we have to look into the area where these countries reside, it is so unstable, so extreme and so faction based, that we cannot guarantee the people who handle the country are to be trusted with such power.

Everyone has an agenda, what the true worry is, what is your agenda, America wears theirs on their sleave. At least you know our motives.

Bill Bailey :

To Mike in the USA:

Sorry, Mike but is going to happen, by the end of the summer, I predict. The US is not considering using nuclear weapons?!? What the heck to you think Bush means when he says "all options are on the table"?

Bush has control of the most nuclear weapons, so he thinks me can win. Besides, if it brings the end of the world instead, he is only doing god's will.

Remember you read it here first.

Ready :

Let's make the argument simple. Count the humanitarian dollars the US has doled out since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and compare them to the amount of dollars Iran has doled out. That ought to give us an idea about which of the two countries presents a greater contributor to world peace.

ready :

oil, oil, oil. What is it with the liberal fixation with oil! the US, like everybody else, buys oil on the international markets. The US concern is stability so the oil producing countries continue sending our purchased oil. This allows the WORLD economy to continue and liberals can buy computers and complain about the oil corporations. Saddam provided a stable government to sell oil so why take him out? Maybe the following sentence makes sense to your conspiracy filled minds "what is our oil doing under your sand"

Hey, lets let the islamofacists and hugo take over. Oil will cost $300 a gallon and the world economy will collapse. Will you be happy then? We will all be equally poor. better buy an AK

Gavin, Hawaii :

The Europeans who participated in this poll were not thinking straight when they gave their answers. America just gave a marine 8 years in a military prison (along with dishonorable discharge) for being an accessory to the murder of an Iraqi civilian. If you think for a minute that an elite Iranian soldier would be convicted in the killing of of a foreign civilian (or even charged, for that mater), you are deluded. And if you believe for a minute that those in charge in Iran would not enjoy nuking most of Europe off the face of the planet, had they the capability and the free reign to do so, you would be wrong.

E. Morales :

Let's make the argument simple. Count the wars the US has been involved since the Iranian Revolution in 1979 and compare them to the amount of wars Iran has engaged in. That ought to give us an idea about which of the two countries presents a greater danger to world peace.

Tom Wonacott :

Dr I

"...Is there anyone who can provide even the slightest evidence that Iran is a threat to any Western nation? Last I heard, even the top U.S. generals are in serious doubt as to Iran's capabilities, much less their existance as a world threat. Anti-semetic remarks by Iran's leaders hardly serve as any indication of muscle flexing..."

Iran presents no military threat to the West; however, why limit your question to Western nations? Most definitely, a nuclear Iran presents a threat to Israel. As I have mentioned previously, the President of Iran has been his own worst enemy on this issue. His threats against Israel together with the Holocaust denial conference are not reassuring anyone of Iran's peaceful intentions.

In addition, from a regional point of view, the Saudis distrust Iranian ambitions, and this could set off a regional arms race which is not in anyone's best interest. The Saudis have said as much.

Pete :

Joey,

You and I agreed on enough things that further argument is needless. The man in question has caused the murder of thousands because of his illegal overthrow of Hussein. He deliberately ignored the advice of his advisors because he WANTED to overthrow Hussein. As far as being responsible for other deaths - we really don't know how many died in his secret jails in Europe, or in Iraqi jails. Yes, he didn't pull the trigger, but the whole fiasco in Iraq is his responsibility. Chasing binLaden was supposed to be the intent on the War on Terror, and it did start that way. Who did Hussein terrorize? Not us. His own people were terrorized. Since when did anybody here ever care what happened in Iraq? All our government has EVER been concerned with when dealing with Iraq has been control of oil. As far as being a thief; he stole our honor and good will toward others. I do not speak from hatred or cowardice. You seem to think that I have a problem with America. Of course not. I love it here. I don't like the concept that being President bestows unlimited power to the person in that position. Please do more research by reading the numerous accounts in print concerning the Bush Administration. After that you may be more inclined to view Bush as a little spoiled child that has never been told no to, and that the position he was given is not something he has the intellect or strength of character to do right.

Malwin :

There are only two reasons to kill: (1) to take or keep what you need and (2) to take or keep more than you need. The first is necessity the second is murder. The US takes much more than it needs. It is the world's most bloated, dangerous binge bomber.

CORPSMAN1 :

To SCRAPE: Your question is flawed. Your premise is derived from our notorious American arrogance that so frequently gets us in trouble outside the U.S.; it is not based on a valid perspective of how all others around the world see us and presumptuously value 'the American experience.' This is a great place to have been born; We are blessed. That is true. But others around the world feel the same way about their place of origin. It is home -- with their traditions, their history, their customs, their art. We see them and they see us: not clearly, but through a filter. We need dialogue/diplomacy in order to help others see us more clearly, and vice versa. I can't remember the Scottish quote exactly that goes something like (paraphrasing) "Oh, to have the gift You could give us, to see ourselves as others see us." We Americans are largely devoid of this gene enabling us to see ourselves through another's eyes. It is a flaw in our DNA or something. Forgive us world and work with us...

Quis Custodiet :

Of course the US is more dangerous than Iran - because we are stronger and have more influence. The statement is a red herring. What is the average American's desire for all countries of the world? That they are prosperous, free and pose no threat to our prosperity or freedom. The cold fact is that if our enemies had access to our weaponry they would have attempted to annihilate us long ago. The fact that we have not destroyed those who clearly claim to desire our downfall demonstrates one of two things - moral cowardace because we fail to use the elements of power accessible to us, or moral restraint. When was the last time anyone saw a demonstration of thousands of Americans screaming, "Death to Iran?" It doesn't happen. Since 9/11 we have actually started taking those rabid mobs seriously. If they really do wish our destruction, maybe we should be more on our guard. For years we treated UBL as a minor annoyance. We learned the hard way that we should have paid attention.

I find it amazing how so many people out there throw out pejorative terms meant to be verbal WMDs - such as "intolerant" or "religious right" - and apparently think that by using the words they immediately put an end to the discussion. Of course, calling me a "right-wing nut" is much easier than having a honest, open-minded exchange of ideas, but I've found that liberals are open-minded about everything that they agree with, but hate to actually listen to the reasoning offered by those whose opinions differ from their own.

In October 2002, it had been the conventional wisdom of two previous US administrations, the UN Security Council and the EU that Iraq was trying to hide something in regard to WMDs. We were only 13 months post the 9/11 attacks. The national mood was still reeling from the fear and economic impacts of those events. We were pretty well convinced that the next major attack was going to happen any day. Saddam had been playing "cat & mouse" with us for almost 12 years. Since he continued to refuse to let the UN inspectors do their jobs, we began to build up an invasion force in Kuwait. At any time between Oct 2002 and Feb 2003, Saddam could have thrown open the country to the UN inspectors and derailed the invasion. Had he done so, and proven to have no WMD, he could have demanded that all sanctions be lifted and been the super-hero of the Arab world, probably usurping UBL's position for having humiliated the US yet again. So, instead of accusing the Bush adminstration of trumping up phony resons for the invasion, why don't we ask why Saddam didn't take the opportunity to shine, keep his power and make the US military return home having accomplished nothing? He could have had it all, yet he threw it away....he apparantly had nothing to hide. Where's the logic in that? In hindsight, many of us right now would change decisions we made in 2002, but we can't. We can only hope that we made the best decision possible with the information we had at the time. I have yet to hear anyone stand up and say, "If I had been President of the US through the 9/11 attacks and had dealt with all the aftermath, there is no way I would have chosen to remove Saddam and his government." Having the benefit of hindsight, Saddam would have done things differently, too.

Tom Wonacott :

BobL

Man, your first post was bone jarring.

If I ever even think you're anti American, let alone post it, then report me on the "report offensive comments", please. The same goes for all American posters. It would be the height of arrogance (and hypocracy) to suggest other Americans cannot criticize American foreign (or domestic) policy.

Bob, have you really stepped back and read the comments on this site? Many assertions made by posters are patently false, and/or unfair. I am surprised that you (and others) allow the most blatant ones to go unchallenged. My goal is simply to provide the other side of the story which, in my opinion, is badly needed on the Washington PostGlobal site. Trust me, I wish there were many more conservative posters to counter the the constant barrage of America bashing.


"...For 4 years the world has watched America blow up Iraq..."

In my opinion, your statement should read, "...for four years, the world has watched Iraqi Sunni insurgents and Iraqi Shiites death squads TARGET and kill innocent civilians in their never ending quest to destroy each other....". Yes, the US opened this centuries old wound which was exacerbated by Saddam's oppressive dictatorship, but the US had good intentions (unfortunately, just a lousy/no plan).


Ready :

Tired M - As i pointed out before, the only nuclear fallout landing on Europes head is going to be from irans nuclear reactors. if the russians had a "incident" do you really think the Iranians, too proud to ask for assistance and under nuclear sanctions, wont have one? it would only be a matter of time. I mean, look at their cars! they suck and pollute heavily. Importing cars would take care of their pollution and help preserve their oil, which they are apparently running out of if they need nuclear reactors.

Scrape :

Everyone:

Quit using fancy language and answer this one question. Why do people throughout the world want to leave their country of birth and move and live in the united states. Why do Muslims want to live in Europe and the united States. Would not a Muslim person be happier in Mecca, or Terhan?

Joey M... :

To Pete:

Criticism without suggestions is nothing more than an insult. I for one do not think that Bush is perfect and yes, I do believe that he has damaged our "image" before the court of world opinion. However, He will be gone in less than 2 years and someone else will attempt to do what he thinks is right for our nation. Not all of us will agree with him (or her), but so be it, that is life.

As for calling Bush a murderer and a thief, I ask you how can you come to that conclusion? Has he caused the death of Americans needlessly? Yes, he did to some extent, in his (mistaken) belief that we are going after those (at least in Iraq) that caused countless more and are still trying to exceed their's and our wildest imaginations. But how many non military deaths within the US has he "caused?" How many Americans has he secretly slaughtered, interred, executed or how many foreigners has he done this too? The answer is really none.

Yes, he has created this concept of enemy combatant, but what answer do you have for terrorists? I also do not agree with incarceration without trial, but I do not believe that they deserve the protections afforded by our Constitution either!

As for thief, what has he stolen? Has the US seized oil fields and secretly shipped oil here? Have we plundered the national treasury of Iraq, or its national treasures of antiquities? The answer again is NO.

The majority of deaths caused in Iraq since the second Iraq war is internal violence fueled by religious extremism and foreign intervention to insure that we fail at "forcing" democracy down another nations throats. I guess many are right, that we should not want democracy for others, let them kill themselves to achieve it.

hey, if you think Bush is so bad try living in Cuba, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran or any other place where freedom is not so free but can be purchased.

You are of course entitled to your opinion and I will not criticize you for that, but I do not agree with you on all your points. I also ask you to look closely at this country versus so many others and decide where you would choose to live and under who's leadership.

A bad Bush is better than a good _______. Fill in the blank, the list is long and disturbing.

Also, World Opinion really does not matter for as long as we are not trying to take over the world or commit terrorist acts throughout it I feel that the good that we do through out is what these people should remember... I for one can hold my head up knowing that many generations before me and many after me will do great things for this nation and this planet that no other nations can claim in their histories that are centuries older than ours.

Tired M. :

Polls are very vulnerable to the structure of the questioners. They are helpful to generate news, too, in the form of a pop quiz about the latest headlines. If a thoughtful European actually considered history and the realistic likelihood of threats posed by Iran under the current leadership, and the US's recent actions post 9/11, the question is absurdly one-sided. But the Europeans do like to feel superior without consequences, and for this they can reliably turn to the New World. The Old World to the East will kill them in the street over cartoons...so it's better not to criticize in that direction. Hooray for Old World nobility and courage!

Yes indeed, the US is a great threat. Iran offers a view of history in which Europe need not hang its head in shame, and a present day in which pacifism can blame the simple defenders instead of the complex aggressors without disturbing the flow of cafe conversation. Bravo, Iran. We are dunces and cowards, and nationalism cloaked in Islam makes such better propaganda than the US's befuddled cliches. It's not that you won't blow up Israel the first chance you get, it's just that we'll be so SURPRISED when it actually happens, we'll still be trying to blame ourselves or the US before the radiation lands on our heads...but your own populace will know then what we should already know.

Mike in the USA :

[Quote]

President Bush is being pushed by his advisors and conservative think tanks to use NUCLEAR MISSILES in an attack on Iran. This is a far more dangerous and destabilizing threat than mere words from Iran, who has no nuclear missiles to use. Think about that. A NUCLEAR ATTACK. We might as well mail out membership cards for Al-Qaeda to the population of Iran, timed for when they are attacked. The United States has the ability to carry out such a horror and that's what makes the US a more "dangerous" power than Iran. The people of Europe aren't stupid.

[/EndQuote]

I am sorry I didn't even get past this post when I had to point this out.

You sir/mam/it/subhuman creature/parasite, whatever, are a complete and utter waste of oxygen and a moron to boot.

The USA is not going or even considering a nuclear strike and you would have to be completely mentally challenged to believe they would. Every country in the whole world knows what will happen the moment one nuke from anywhere is fired. Complete nuclear annihilation. The USA would certainly not be the first shot, you may be an extremist, but that still does not make us morons, unlike you.

James Kennedy :

Do NOT be suckered into a predetermined blog in which Fareed Zakaria has solicited, scripted, and falsely structured his hate for the United States of America. This seditionist has a long and fetid history of wanting to destroy the USA, and as such, has no basis for fomenting his contumelious filth.

Tom Martin :

The US is dangerous simply because we have the power to inflict the most damage. Iran is also dangerous because it would inflict nuclear war on Israel and the US out of pure hatred. Israel is also dangerous because it will not die quietly. When Iran finally gets nukes that are controlled by the Ayatollahs, someone will get nuked. Then you can ask the Europeans the question again. Do they really think that sucking up to the Muslims will protect them?

Zorro :

Of course the US is more dangerous than Iran. Why, because we have an incompetent president who is not only a proven liar but who has delusions of grander. A swaggering stupid man who gets his orders from a bunch of nut job conservatives, like invading Iraq, (BASED ON A PACK OF LIES) a move that will be remembered as the biggest, American, military, strategic blunder in history. This man has put us in a no win situation and the consequences of our inevitable defeat just will be more disastrous and bigger than Vietnam. All Bush and his conservative puppet masters did were to give Iraq to Iran on a silver platter. What a fool!

CORPSMAN1 :

Mike J does have me seething, as READY mentioned. Fools abound, however. I ain't never been one of these guys that shouts "my-president-right-or-wrong" or "my-country-right-or-wrong," and those like Mike J that wave the flag and yell are the ones who will wake up too late to find themselves enslaved -- either that or they will be the ones locking the death-camp gates from the outside, and later pleading, "I was just following orders" when they are finally brought to justice. They are the ones claiming to follow "my God," as Mike J says. They are the ones that spout holy virtue while practicing absolutism and intolerance and, given a chance, genocide against the "different ones."

America's Founding Fathers knew that a strong American democracy, and religious freedom for all, required building a stout wall between church and state. Despite this, religious right leaders such as James Dobson, Beverly LaHaye, Jerry Falwell, Pat Robertson and others have waged war both on this central American principle and the freedoms it allows.

Recently, Beverly LaHaye of Concerned Women for America stated, "Christian values should dominate our government... Politicians who do not use the Bible to guide their public and private lives do not belong in office." This dangerous campaign of such religious leaders hopes to revise and rewrite American history, ignoring our commitment to the separation of church and state and replacing it with a government based on narrow ideology.

Fortunately, our founders made clear their opposition to the mixing of government and religion. Leaders like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison frequently commented on the importance of separating church and state. Madison said, "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries." (You know, like we are witnessing in the Middle East, and like has been going on there ad infinitum.) We see evidence still today of the wisdom in this simple revolutionary concept.

And in the 1797 Treaty of Tripoli, George Washington's administration emphatically stated, "...the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion."

I would humbly ask, instead of rewriting history and arrogantly promoting favoritism in any form, both here and abroad, that we rekindle our dedication and resolve to embrace tolerance and openness for all, regardless of religion, race, gender, sexual orientation, or national origin –- all the things which set us apart from one another. Let us eschew satan's agenda and listen instead again to the voices of our better angels in dealing with our fellows.

We have a big enough challenge to do that here in America (in our own homes and own towns) without trying to force it down the throats of other countries by force of arms, as Bush and the neocons are doing in the ME.

Bob :

Which country of the two still stones women to death? Right, that would be Iran.

Otto H :

The WP is a commie rag that should be shut down under RICO. All you non-US panzies that pile on the US now will be begging for US help soon or in the near future. To everyone that thinks the US is a bully....Hah, if we were there is nothing that would stop us from owning the entire world. It is only due to our good nature and constitution that we stay in our borders and DO NOT dominate the world. Every one of you should be glad that I am not the POTUS because there would be mushroom clouds all over the place, starting with France and Mecca. If anything the US is too kind and wimpy when it comes to the use of force. Stand up America and destroy your enemys instad of trying to appease them! Other wise, the Religon of Peace will strike again and more Americans will die.

Scrape :

Socialism belongs in a museum. I feel that most countries in europe could not defend themselves from an attack if they had to. I have lived in Europe (various countries) for over 10 years, and understand their mindset. How many of the people that have responded to this question have lived outside of the United States? How many have lived outside the states that they have grown up in? All of the ultra Lefts that have responded to this question, and put all the balame on the U.S. should move out of this country, to a Socialist country (i.e. Canada, all of Europe, and three quarters of the countries in the rest of the world) or a Muslim country and live the rest of their lives out in harmony. Save this country for those willing to defend it. Don't enjoy the fruites of democracy and not be willing to defend it.

Pete :

to Joey M.

You miss the point of the criticism. It is not criticism aimed toward the US; it's Bush and his cabal that are being ostracized. We are all proud of our country and its rich history. We just don't like all the honor, respect and integrity that this country has always represented being destroyed by the insane actions of its current leader. So what if the Europeans don't trust us? The French should just be ignored for the harping little babies they have always been. Others, like Germany and England, are too dependent on us to be given any credibility. What the Europeans think is not important; what the entire world thinks of us is more important. Please forgive us, Joey, if we sound like we're anti-American. We are not. We just don't like liars, thieves and murderers running the country. That is the intent of the criticism. We love our country as much as anyone. We love it so much that we MUST speak out; we must force change; we must return to a country that people admire, not fear.

ready :

Mike J - Nice post, the liberals will be seething. They will reply "the corporations will be in their corporation buildings being all corporationy" But what you post is the truth - corporations bring jobs, investment, and capital for further expansion. The nations that emulate us such as japan, south korea, and taiwan are relatively well off and happy. Countries that dont are considered 3rd or 4th world. There are 1.2 billion muslims but what is their economic output equal to? California? The Chinese are beginning to get it and India may also.

Joey M... :

To all you enlightened folks who think that the US is the biggest threat in the world I ask you all:

How many World Wars have we started? NONE! How many have we saved you from? BOTH! What language would most of Europe/the world speak if we did not intervene? BIG HINT, IT ONLY WOULD HAVE BEEN GERMAN FOR A LITTLE WHILE HAD THE COMMUNISTS SUCCEEDED. How many Americans fought and died for YOUR freedom on YOUR soil? How many of you did this for us? NONE! When we ended WWII with the bomb in Japan, we were (and still are) criticized because we chose not to let 1 million more of our men die in a foreign land and used Nuclear weapons against a DICTATORSHIP that held human life of anyone other that themselves as lower than a dog (hmm, sounds like the extremists of the world). I wonder, how many of your nations made best friends with the countries that you just defeated? We did, just ask Japan or Germany. When the USSR broke apart, who put out the hand of friendship? We did for we knew that the world would be a better place if we did so. Which of your countries spent more than any of us can imagine to rebuild these countries that inflicted more horror and damage to the world and also helped your countries to rebuild as well? Our thanks, spit in our faces but we know how to turn our cheeks and remain friends none the less.

Yes, the Iraq conflict (this time around) was ill conceived, but now we are a Dictatorship? What ignorance brings this leap of foolishness? We elect our leadership and should we be dissatisfied we can vote them out of office, should they break the law they are answerable to it. Can you all say the same? DOUBTFUL!

We have no freedom? Funny, we do not need identity cards, can travel throughout our country without ever being stopped by law enforcement (unless we break the law), have every opportunity to make the most of our lives as long as we're willing to work hard, can own houses, cars, boats, planes, guns, whatever. We have lower rater of taxes, greater wealth, have lower rates of poverty, mortality, higher rates of education, etc. We do not put our hands out to the rest of the world asking for handout, no, the rest of the world seems to put their hands in our pockets and then tell us that we owe them. We have true freedom of Religion here, as well as speech amongst other things. Freedom is not just a bunch of words to us, we protect those of all that seek it, even when the majority deems it offensive or objectionable in some manner, if anything we defend freedom for the minority even more. Yes, the Gov't want to perform secret wiretaps, but at least we can debate that issue here, reveal that in most any other country in the world and your secret police will visit you and all your family will know is that you are gone, but then again in some countries, the whole family will be gone. That just cannot happen here. We have true freedom, protection and opportunity.

When disaster strikes, we are first to offer a helping hand, even to that "enemy" Iran. Who offered help when disaster struck in California all those years ago? Only Israel! When disaster struck again in the south (Hurricane Katrina) only Mexico offered assistance.

I'm curious, if we are so terrible, why do so many risk their lives (and many more who die) to reach this nation? If you do not like the US, then stay in your own country and create the changes that you wish for and if you must sacrifice your life to do so then so be it. We did!

I agree with some folks who say we should pull out of all these places that are not the least bit grateful for our help and let them annihilate themselves (and no, I do not believe that the entire world will melt down without our "guidance"). Personally, I think we should make use of our resources and keep them for ourselves. We should develop those resources that we need so that we can leave you all alone. That way we are not viewed as war mongers and threats to world peace. But when you all figure out that it takes more than your own myopic views of the world to keep war from breaking out I hope that it is not too late for you to stop the end results.

The real threats to peace are those that sit by and do nothing but bury their heads in the sand for they see no evil, hear no evil and certainly do no evil! Those that use religion as their excuse to wage terror against those who usually cannot or will not fight back as also the main threat to world peace.

It is probably good that an average Joe like me can never be elected President because I would pull out of every country, every treaty, not provide one bit of assistance, tariff every product you ship here the same way you tariff our goods and when you need our help again leave you to solve it on your own. And should you bring your problems here to our soil I would show you that we do not need nuclear weapons to send you back to the stone age. You are right to think that we are way ahead militarily and be thankful that we are! I do not believe that one American life is worth helping anyone who thinks so little of us.

Do I think that our country is perfect? Not even close. I'm sure that there are many countries where some things are much better, be it education, mortality, morality, etc. But I doubt that any one of them can have so many of what you all are willing to die for in one place as we do.

For all of you who will be so quick to point out all the wars we started just remember, We did not start the Korean war, but we helped end it. We did not start the Vietnam war, but we were left holding the bag at the end. We did not start the first Iraq conflict, but we sure put a stop to that maniacs ideas. Too bad we acted so soon, we should have let him take over Saudi Arabia and all the other free Republics, eliminate the Royalty, then wipe out Iran once and for all (do you not think he would not have nuked them if allowed the opportunity to develop those weapons?) and then we could have wiped him out and left the remains to send themselves to the stone age, which unfortunately some of them are still living it. Oh by the way, how did the Mujahdeen defeat the Communists? With plenty of help from us, but they will never admit that!

So hate my country if that makes you feel good, hate me because I'm an American, I for one do not give a dam about your lousy opinion of me. I for one know that I have an opportunity that many of you will never have and I am grateful to my country, gov't and elected leaders that I have it and most of all to my God that I was born here and no where else in this WONDERFUL world.

Mike J :

America is the greatest force for the good of humanity the world has ever known. Each human being is born with inalienable rights. The US is one of the few countries where power is granted to the government by its people and not vice versa. That is the big secret, by the way, and is how the US with only 5% of the world's populaton can produce more than 25% of its goods and services. Those who believe corporations are evil are know-nothings. It is corporations, businesses owned by people, that innovate, create, and build. It is governments that oppress, destroy, and murder. The 20th century saw governments murder upwards of 200 million people. Governments led by Stalin, Mao, Hitler, Tojo, Minh, Pol Pot, Castro, and Hussein. It was, of course, the hated US that saved the world from those monsters. I own a corporation and I create things and employ people. I am proud to be an American and will fight to the death to defend my country from all threats; read Iran. The US fought and won the Cold War just as it is fighting and will win the War on Terror. As during the Cold War, the US is virtually alone in its fight because of the efforts of the very same cowards and naysayers who refuse to learn from history. The same blowhards who hated President Reagan then, hate President Bush now. They were wrong then and they are, of course, wrong now. The US is the world's protector of individual liberty. It is the world's protector period. Those of you who resent us and our power would do well to figure out how to emulate us rather than attack us. All it takes, you pathetic clowns, is a form of government that respects individual rights and allows each person to maximize his or her potential. That is why America is the lone superpower. That is why America's corporations are the leaders and innovators in the world. Who among you knows the the US now leads Europe in the effort to decrease CO2 emissions; and without signing the ridiculous and anti-capitalist Kyoto Accords? That is why America's lower tax rates and regulation have spurred an economic boom that started under Reagan and continues under Bush despite the best efforts of the islamist savages and their atrocities of 9/11. That is why many of us are proud to have liberated the millions of Afghans and Iraqis from their oppressors. We know the fight is not over and we intend to win. That is why no matter how many lies are told about America, and how much hate is spewed at America, even by Americans as seen here, we will always lead the world. We have actual beliefs and actual standards we are willing to defend no matter who might be offended. To put it simply, we are better than you and you know it.

Do the right thing! :

If American efforts around the globe are viewed as a threat to our global partners, then American representatives need to act. This is a simple process to resolve, and it comes under diplomacy 101.

If the American global efforts are just and fair then along with the applied global efforts we need American representatives applying the appropriate diplomatic spin to each effort. Regardless of the effort, whether it is a war effort in Iraq or a disaster relief effort, the U. S. must spend the time and money to insure that the appropriate global understanding of each effort is correct. When fighting a war we need to constantly remind the global community why the war started, what the war will accomplish, and how we plan to leave the embattled area able to survive in the existing global community. All of this is common sense, but sham on those who do not apply this simple common sense.

If the American global efforts are not just and fair, then those unjust efforts need to be corrected so that they are just and fair, then apply the process in the above paragraph.

America is allowed to protect itself, both economically and from a military standpoint. This means that business objectives that impact the global community also need the correct diplomacy. It is okay to admit that American business will financially benefit by establishing a business in other countries; but we also have to explain the benefits to the countries that we are investing in. Again, this is common sense, diplomacy 101. America was attacked in 2001 and we absolutely have the right (and need) to see that we are not attacked again. We must remind the rest of the world that we are acting to protect ourselves, and that we will continue to ensure that we are not attacked again. This effort must include the combined global efforts of all of our allies. Also, we should use this opportunity to work with our past enemies to diplomatically work together toward the common goal of controlling terrorism. It will be a great day in history when we find common ground with our past enemies to diplomatically work together to defeat a common threat.

Everyone looks favorably upon the man with the positive attitude who seeks the obviously correct solution to a dilemma, and America will be looked upon favorably too, once we diplomatically explain the reasons behind our global efforts. Even though America should proceed on this path with caution, it is the only path to take.

America has proven that it can market anything; it is time to market our global efforts and clean up this negative global opinion of America.

Samuel :

What should we make of this? That ignorance and misinformation abounds in Europe. Of course, the same people that claim to view the U.S. as a bigger "threat" (more likely an expression of ideological disagreement than a sincerely-held view) will not hesitate to call on U.S. aid - whether financial or military - at the slightest sign of trouble.

xPeriment :

I agree, America is the best place to live - ask anyone who has (and would) risk their lives crossing an ocean when they could have easily picked anywhere closer in Europe.

BUT, I think we're at the point, with all this European whining, that we need to leave them alone, allies or not, and let whatever happens to them happen. They obvioulsly don't need our help. If something happens that they can't handle, tough - they got what they wanted. If someone attacks us, then we deliver the pain.

headstrong :

Got a news flash for ya' folks - it's not just Europe.
The whole world has had it with your b.s.
One of these days real soon we're all gonna band together, and kick the yankee butt so hard you'll crawl back under whatever collective rock spawned you, and stay there evermore.
Won't be minute too soon either.

Ready :

9/11 is one of those moments that burn into your mind and you know exactly where and what you were doing at that moment. Afterwards nations and people stood beside us and mourned with us. Some that didn't were palestinians who were doing their lalalalalaing and pakistanians students who said we needed it to keep us humble, a punch in the nose. Afterwards many americans wanted revenge or someone to pay. Afganistan was a good start. We had international support and a clearly defined and attainable goal; Afganistan can still be won. GW was told the iraq war would be short, and it was, and by 2006 only 5000 us troops would still be there; obviously wrong. Iraq is obviously a disaster and GW's approval ratings have tanked. War with Iran is very doubtful since even Iran knows where the line in the sand with the weakened Bush presidency lies. In two years bush will be gone, in 10 years bush maybe in jail or at least disgraced if there is evidence of wrongdoings. The us is not the evil empire many liberals want it to be, there is no darth here, there is always the opposite side of the coin concerning all us policies. The North Vietnamese were not cute, forgiving bunny rabbits you know.

Anonymous :

"Yuo people are clueless.If you dont like this country LEAVE,we dont need any more mindless idiots having any say about what goes on in the greatest nation ever known to man,AMERICA!!!!!!!!!"

Ah, the intellect of the RW know-nothings, repeating endless cliches as though the proof comes from re-iteration.

But I admit that the mindless idiot Bush is helping to destroy our country and reputation. And you're right, we don't need any more like him.

Luis Villanueva :

I aggree with jacob Field.
If America is not in every country that has a potential of breaking loose because of people like
fanatic muslims, you and your kids would not have tasted freedom. America is the big guy that balance the world stability, wether you aggree or not, that is the fact.

Everything that is going on right now is plain politics, pride and revenge.
I aggree with some of you that Bush went way overboard with this war, i myself was in iraq for nine months and this war supposed to be in afganistan where UBL is hiding the very first few months after we invaded the country. Bush could have cotinue fighting those holy warriors in afganistan and fight with UBL all he wants instead of ruining so many lives in iraq. All these because of his pride and wrong information that was fed to him by his top generals and of course Rummy Boy.

My heart bleeds everytime i read or hear a news that our service member or innoscent iraqi people
have died in vain. God Bless Us ALL!!!

Stand Back :

Yo, SLAYER, are you really Cheney in disguise?

slayer :

Yuo people are clueless.If you dont like this country LEAVE,we dont need any more mindless idiots having any say about what goes on in the greatest nation ever known to man,AMERICA!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous :

"they act like thay are FOR democracy but the Senate won't even vote to have a DEBATE about the Iraq war!!"

I have to giggle when I read comments like the aforementioned. Today's vote was TO END DEBATE, for all the uneducated, and that precisely means that debate will continue.

Yes, America is becoming a danger to the world, but it's because too many people hear and believe sound bites rather than read and understand what is really happening.

Let me re-iterate this. The U.S. Senate has been debating Iraq and the troop surge for weeks. Today that very senate voted for cloture on that debate.

clo·ture
–noun 1. a method of closing a debate and causing an immediate vote to be taken on the question.
–verb (used with object), verb (used without object) 2. to close (a debate) by cloture.

Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1)
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
American Heritage Dictionary - Cite This Source clo·ture (klō'chər) Pronunciation Key
n. A parliamentary procedure by which debate is ended and an immediate vote is taken on the matter under discussion. Also called closure.

tr.v. clo·tured, clo·tur·ing, clo·tures
To apply cloture to (a parliamentary debate).


Pull your head out of Senator Reid's sound-bites.

HariSelden :

Step back and think about the fact that a thoughtful, educated person like Fareed Zakaria can even ask this question in a serious way. How far have we come from the days of the "Greatest Generation" that saved the world in WWII and then funded the Marshall Plan to speed the recovery. Now a great many people, rightly or wrongly, see us as the threat that we once rescued people from. The past six years will become the saddest in American history since the Civil War.

HariSelden :

Step back and think about the fact that a thoughtful, educated person like Fareed Zakaria can even ask this question in a serious way. How far have we come from the days of the "Greatest Generation" that saved the world in WWII and then funded the Marshall Plan to speed the recovery. Now a great many people, rightly or wrongly, see us as the threat that we once rescued people from. The past six years will become the saddest in American history since the Civil War.

AMviennaVA :

Ready,

Your memory fails you. After 9/11 the world stood with us against the barbarity that befell us. It is the arrogance that Bush and his minions exhibited in insisting on war against Iraq that turned the tide so strongly against us. For all the ranting by many, NATO is active in Afghanistan, were those attacks originated.

Unfortunately, it was 'we the people' who put them in power. And in a democracy that makes us all, even those of us who did NOT vote for Bush, responsible, even though in 2000 he lost the popular vote, and in 2004 he won by a small margin. Last November, he lost by a wide margin. So the question is, to what extent will those Senators & Congressmen who still stick to his policies be held accountable. It still falls on 'we the people'.

Claye :

Unfortunately, the Europeans may be right. Bush and Cheney, et al, seem determined to force "democracy" down people's throat at the point of a gun, and that is not democracy. The only thing we, as Americans, can do to convince the rest of the world that we are truly a nation of laws, is to impeach the Commander in Chief and to look at violations of international laws. Good Lord, what more does he need to do to merit legal action? If he thinks God talks to him, and that mission in Iraq is divinely guided, as he has said, then he's obviously slipped out of a sane frame of mind. That's too bad; it makes the restoration of our international respect less likely because the sustem is so broken that the wimps in Congress don't want to cross him. No wonder the rest of the world say we're so untrustworthy. The Iranian president seems more like a wretched little shrew that needs comforting. He blows off steam because it's popular in the world now to criticize us. As far as he being a bigger threat to the world than us, the whole idea is ludicrous. His power is limited; we have a much larger capacity to wage war. The current CIC is not very good at military thinking, but he certainly seems to enjoy causing many deaths in war. He's proud to be a war president, more so than the previous presidents enduring a major conflict. He doesn't feel the people's pain; he sees profit for his buddies. That alone makes him more of a threat than Iran. Add greed to delusions of divine guidance, and you have the ingredients for madness and destruction. God save us.

CORPSMAN1 :

"READY". Answer: Americans were duped, and maybe cheated in getting Bush. This is why it is so important to know the candidates. Even then one can make a "bad" decision. But one has to research, read, watch, listen, get active (I just did the Peace March in D.C. eventhough I'm a 100% disabled vet -- took my wheeled walker) and also lobbied Congress on Jan 29th. I flew from Oregon despite being on fixed income to do this. We will only make change if we sacrifice. I have had about 40-50 letters-to-the-editor published since before the 2000 election, where I tried to warn folks about Bush. Having been reared in Texas, I know more about the Bushs than I care to. For example, the Texas governorship is a weak position, not comparable to the governorship of New York or other states, and certainly does not well prepare a person to be president, as we are witnessing. Read now: "Fiasco," "Conservatives Without Consciense," "Cobra II," "American Theocracy," State of Denial," "Static," and many others out there, many by conservatives fearful of what they are witnessing transpire and put in motion by one of their own. Study or be inslaved.

Dr. I :

Is there anyone who can provide even the slightest evidence that Iran is a threat to any Western nation? Last I heard, even the top U.S. generals are in serious doubt as to Iran's capabilities, much less their existance as a world threat. Anti-semetic remarks by Iran's leaders hardly serve as any indication of muscle flexing. I suppose if it were, we should consider invading every country in the Muslim world, where similar rhetoric has been lashed out. Our current regime is again fabricating lies about Iran, just as it did in fooling Congress and the American people to drum up support for the unjustified invasion of Iraq. The "decider" won't rest until he finds a pretext for a new invasion. If he can't find or provoke one, he'll make one up, even at the expense of American lives. And when we don't buy his fictitious propoganda, he'll accuse us of being unpatriotic. Personally, I'd rather be accused of being unpatriotic than blindly follow the axis of hate and greed. And just because the U.S. has been a leader in solving world problems in the past, it does not give us a license to bully nations because we disapprove of its leaders. No doubt, the U.S. is the real threat in the 21st century. They've proven to the world that despite its more respectable past, the current political, economic and environmental policies pose a greater threat to world security than any nation since Hitler's Germany.

ready :

Thomas, read billy-bobs post above

Thomas :

If "DAN" actually believes that Iran has the capability to successfully invade any major country in western europe, then he obviously knows nothing about relative military capabilities and strengths in the modern world. Iran produces no significant, modern military weaponry or electronics of any kind. While England, Italy, France, Germany, Sweden and especially Russia all design and produce a wide range of superb high-tech weapons, aircraft and long-range missiles (some of which the USA even buys for its own use). They all have a much, much stronger and deeper military tradition than Iran, or in some ways even the USA. And the Europeans were fighting off Middle Eastern invaders for over 1,000 years before America was even discovered (by its current rulers anyway).
Besides, what countries has Iran invaded recently? Can you name even one? Yes, the Iranians fought Iraq in 1980's, partly on Iraqi soil. But, this was in defense AGAINST invaders, while the USA acted as the INVADERS in attacking Iraq (twice), Vietnam, Cambodia, Panama, Grenada, Serbia/Kossovo, the Phillipines, Cuba, Laos and Afghanistan. And I'm not even counting WWII or Korea, since we were mostly the "good guys" in those two (I think), or the aborted rescue mission to Iran in 1980, since we were attempting to defend and evacuate our overrun Embassy in Tehran. And, it's now generally considered by most experts to be historical fact that the American CIA engineered Coup d'Etats to overthrow elected governments in at least Iran (1953) and Chile (1973), probably others. The CIA also had assassinated (directly or by contract) a number of left-wing Labor Union leaders in France, Italy and Greece, in the late 1940's and early 50's. And, the brazen kidnapping of unindicted (often innocent) terrorism "suspects" right off of the streets of Europe (for interrogation under threat of torture in secret prisons) still continues right up to this very day!
Yes, the Europeans now fear the USA with very good reason - not least of which is its current, agressively pro-War, pro-Torture Administration (who might even admit to as much off-the-record).

Ready :

Corpsman1 - who put the arrogant, bigoted, aggressive, tyranical dolts in the white house and how did they get their excuses to use said power (even the democrats went along)? Bill Clinton was our leader of humility and humbleness. He tried to create peace and respect for the US. what did we get for it? 9/11 and half the planet saying we deserved it for being a bully. Maybe we wanted another ronald reagan but ended up with GW. He will be done in 2 years (legal regime change) but the peaceloving aytollahs will still be there cursing the great satan.

CORPSMAN1 :

Thanks Salmon. Here's more particularly poignant quotes for our times, for you and those posting. I need to reread these occasionally to remind myself Americans are capable of greatness. We just need to recapture our eseence and listen again to our better angels. The first item below, I sadly feel a need to end all my emails/postings with:


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