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Major Strike on Iraq Underway 2574

The major news sources are reporting that much larger scale attacks are now underway in Iraq. Here is CNNs story. Pentagon officials have confirmed that this is "A-day" for war, presumably the so called "Shock & Awe" mentioned by the White House earlier. In other words, it starts now. Update: 18:01 GMT by CT : Iraq has apparently ordered CNN out of Baghdad. Updates as events warrant.
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Major Strike on Iraq Underway

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  • by Geekenstein ( 199041 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:48PM (#5566332)
    I think I've heard enough of the words "shock and awe". How about "big bombs and stuff blowing up?"

    Or maybe "puttin' the smack down on Saddam" for the WWE fans.
    • Re:Oh brother... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by outsider007 ( 115534 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:00PM (#5566533)
      Or maybe "puttin' the smack down on Saddam" for the WWE fans.

      except that this is really the WWE equivalent of The Rock beating on a retarded 11 year old kid. If it has to be done, get it over with but please don't brag about it, and don't hype it up as if the outcome were in question.
      • Re:Oh brother... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by the gnat ( 153162 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:14PM (#5566782)
        Agreed, but there is some reason to cheer the overwhelming might of US military. If this works out well, there will be very few casualties, military or civilian. That's what I'm rooting for - the sooner allied troops take Baghdad, the fewer innocents (or soldiers) get killed, and the less damage will be done to the country's infrastructure. It would be inexcusable if this got fucked up.
      • Re:Oh brother... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Rinikusu ( 28164 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:28PM (#5566994)
        So what's the solution? We have the most highly effective/advanced military force in the world. Bar NONE. Hearing all the whiners scream and yell about how "unfair" it is, you'd think they'd be happiest to have American soldiers go into battle on foot, armed only with a blunt stick in a leather thong.

        Yes, the war needs to be won quickly and decisively. No, we don't need to brag about it, but at the same time it's not anything to be ashamed of.

        Also, if you replace "retarded 11 year old kid" with "neighborhood bully", then it might be more accurate. When I was growing up, we had a bully, too. One day he was in the midst of beating the crap out of my brother when the bully's older brother came out and beat the crap out of HIM. "How's it feel to get beat up? How's it feel to have someone bigger than YOU beat you up?" He didn't bully us for a good long while after that. (And ever notice that the people who scream and yell about the US being a big bully are the people that.. well.. we don't allow to bully their own people either? See Serbia, etc).

    • Re:Oh brother... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Punto ( 100573 ) <puntob AT gmail DOT com> on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:30PM (#5567924) Homepage
      I think I've heard enough of the words "shock and awe".

      I agree.. It sounds like a name for a japanese product with en english name to sound 'hip'. They might as weel have named it "the super terrific 100% bombing ocurrence!".

      It's a fucking war, and CNN sounds like they're about to show the good part of the movie.

      (and I have a new signature ;)

  • funny... (Score:5, Informative)

    by jeffy124 ( 453342 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:50PM (#5566345) Homepage Journal
    I'm watching ABC and they arent saying anything like that. They're actually saying "Shock & Awe" might be delayed because of possible successes in the strikes the other night.
    • Re:funny... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by wiggys ( 621350 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:53PM (#5566401)
      There's so much propaganda on both sides. I think information is deliberately unreliable otherwise Saddam would know precisely what's going to happen and when.
      • Re:funny... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by (trb001) ( 224998 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:31PM (#5567043) Homepage
        cracked me up...i get back from a hockey game last night and here "We're 150 miles across the border coming from camp ". Now, I'm no genius, but given a map and knowing their source and destination, I can figure out their position. I don't think we're hiding anything in this war; in fact, I think we're purposely being pretty obvious where our troops are massed so that the Iraqis aren't surprised and can surrender accordingly.

        Remember...the anticipation of an event is often enough to get you completely worked up. Try being told a 20mile carravan of tanks is coming at you, and they're 50 miles away. I'd be thinking 'surrender', wouldn't you?

      • Re:funny... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by lucasw ( 303536 ) <lucasw.icculus@org> on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:46PM (#5567288) Homepage Journal
        There's so much propaganda on both sides.

        It's more exciting to see everything as the events unfold, but you'd have to be stupid to think you're going to get anything near a complete or accurate picture of what's going on.

        It takes years until documents are unclassifed, interviews can be done, military personnel retire, etc. and then a few more years for a good writer to digest it and put it into a good book.

        The truth will come out sooner or later, and eventually some one will put it into a coherent package. Don't look for it on live television...
  • Are you sure? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by darkov ( 261309 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:51PM (#5566364)
    I think the US dosn't actually want to pummel Bagdad. It's just a threat to encourage the Iraqi military to come to it's senses. It's a good strategy if it works.

    On the TV Bagdad looks pretty quiet...
    • by iiioxx ( 610652 ) <iiioxx@gmail.com> on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:08PM (#5566681)
      I think the US dosn't actually want to pummel Bagdad.

      Unless the US military hired one hell of a special effects crew, I'd say they are currently pummeling the crap out of Bagdad.
      • Re:Are you sure? (Score:4, Insightful)

        by darkov ( 261309 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:26PM (#5566961)
        Yes, the fireworks did start a few minutes after my post. But it's still not very awe inspiring. Maybe it's just been said so much it's lost it's meaning. But I get the feeling that given world opinion and the potential cost to the US of rebuilding Bagdad after flattening it, that the shock and awe is being delivered piecemeal. It doesn't really make sense to actually deliver on such a threat unless you really do want to destroy the place. I think the US will slowly crank up the pressure until there's some sort of revolt. This attack may be to prep the city for the armoured column coming up from the desert.
    • Re:Are you sure? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by GweeDo ( 127172 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:17PM (#5566817) Homepage
      the US definitly doesn't want to destory Bagdad, that would just make the reconstruction take even longer. The US only wants to make the military there open their eyes and rid themself of Saddam.
    • by Idou ( 572394 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:29PM (#5567015) Journal
      That is because, out of consideration for viewing American audience, the stealth bombers have now been outfitted with stealth bombs.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:51PM (#5566369)
    Let's see... OH, the War is on, that looks good... I think it's a remake tho. I think I've seen this one before.
  • by berniecase ( 20853 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:52PM (#5566389) Homepage Journal
    Dear Raed [blogspot.com]
  • by Noksagt ( 69097 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:53PM (#5566399) Homepage

    In other words, it starts now.

    Then can someone please tell me what all that bombing we did on Weds. was for? Was that like the pregame show?

  • by iiioxx ( 610652 ) <iiioxx@gmail.com> on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:54PM (#5566415)
    the Combat News Network. Is it just me, or are these journalists reporting on this war with absolutely ghoulish zeal? Or is this just the logical extension of reality TV? Coming soon, "Survivor: Iraq".
    • by elsegundo ( 316028 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:03PM (#5566585) Journal
      I think P.J. O'Rourke said it best when decscribing ABC's Charles Glass's coverage of the airstrikes against Libya in 1986:

      "'It would appear that the United States has launched a military acion against Libya,' shouted Glass, trying to sound grave. But you could hear the boyish enthusiasm creeping into his voice the way it always does when a reporter manages to get himself right smack-dab in the middle of something god-awful."
    • Something scary (Score:5, Interesting)

      by radon28 ( 593565 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:15PM (#5566791)
      Want to see a really scary and insightful look into American media's true priorities during this "war"? Yahoo's business report [yahoo.com] hits it right on the head. Sick shit. Really makes me proud to be an american.
  • by baffle ( 144921 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:54PM (#5566418) Homepage
    I'm really starting to hate that phrase.

    CNN should implement a karma system for their reporters:

    - Overused phrases (-1 Troll)
    - Actual real new info (+1 Informative)

    Be free to come up with better ideas. :-)
  • by H0NGK0NGPH00EY ( 210370 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:54PM (#5566423) Homepage
    3 types of comments on this thread:
    1. People who support the war -- "Liberate Iraq!"
    2. People who oppose the war -- "No blood for oil!"
    3. People who just oppose any news about the war being on /.

    To the third group: Why are you reading this, then? Nobody forced you to click on the story. Unless there's some sort of reverse-censorship software out there now. In which case, that would definitely be a good Slashdot story.

    That is all.
  • by sisukapalli1 ( 471175 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @01:55PM (#5566436)
    I wonder why the media is not covering the news of Iraqi deaths. Is it some sort of a PG-13[*] coverage of the war? Or is it to make the american public believe that this is actually a sports game instead of real people getting killed?


    [*] for non US ppl, PG-13 is a movie rating covering content appropriate for ages 13 and up.
  • I've run across this little tidbit of history a couple times now. I figure those who haven't should read it now. I didn't write this, and I'm not claiming credit. Reading on BBC (a couple hours ago) that the US was using a "Shock and Awe" technique is especially disturbing.


    Published on Sunday, March 16, 2003 by CommonDreams.org
    When Democracy Failed: The Warnings of History
    by Thom Hartmann

    The 70th anniversary wasn't noticed in the United States, and was barely reported in the corporate media. But the Germans remembered well that fateful day seventy years ago - February 27, 1933. They commemorated the anniversary by joining in demonstrations for peace that mobilized citizens all across the world.

    It started when the government, in the midst of a worldwide economic crisis, received reports of an imminent terrorist attack. A foreign ideologue had launched feeble attacks on a few famous buildings, but the media largely ignored his relatively small efforts. The intelligence services knew, however, that the odds were he would eventually succeed. (Historians are still arguing whether or not rogue elements in the intelligence service helped the terrorist; the most recent research implies they did not.)

    But the warnings of investigators were ignored at the highest levels, in part because the government was distracted; the man who claimed to be the nation's leader had not been elected by a majority vote and the majority of citizens claimed he had no right to the powers he coveted. He was a simpleton, some said, a cartoon character of a man who saw things in black-and-white terms and didn't have the intellect to understand the subtleties of running a nation in a complex and internationalist world. His coarse use of language - reflecting his political roots in a southernmost state - and his simplistic and often-inflammatory nationalistic rhetoric
    offended the aristocrats, foreign leaders, and the well-educated elite in the government and media. And, as a young man, he'd joined a secret society with an occult-sounding name and bizarre initiation rituals that involved skulls and human bones.

    Nonetheless, he knew the terrorist was going to strike (although he didn't know where or when), and he had already considered his response. When an aide brought him word that the nation's most prestigious building was ablaze, he verified it was the terrorist who had struck and then rushed to the scene and called a press conference.

    "You are now witnessing the beginning of a great epoch in history," he proclaimed, standing in front of the burned-out building, surrounded by national media. "This fire," he said, his voice trembling with emotion, "is the beginning." He used the occasion - "a sign from God," he called it - to declare an all-out war on terrorism and its ideological sponsors, a people, he said, who traced their origins to the Middle East and found motivation for their evil deeds in their religion.

    Two weeks later, the first detention center for terrorists was built in Oranianberg to hold the first suspected allies of the infamous terrorist. In a national outburst of patriotism, the leader's flag was everywhere, even printed large in newspapers suitable for window display.

    Within four weeks of the terrorist attack, the nation's now-popular leader had pushed through legislation - in the name of combating terrorism and fighting the philosophy he said spawned it - that suspended constitutional guarantees of free speech, privacy, and habeas corpus. Police could now intercept mail and wiretap phones; suspected terrorists could be imprisoned without specific charges and without access to their lawyers; police could sneak into people's homes without warrants if the cases involved terrorism.

    To get his patriotic "Decree on the Protection of People and State" passed over the objections of concerned legislators and civil libertarians, he agreed to put a 4-year sunset provision on it: if the national emergency provoked by the terrorist attack was over
  • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:04PM (#5566616)
    The more I think about it, the more I'm beginning to appreciate that "Shock and Awe" do not mean what the media want them to mean.

    In the practical art of war, the best thing of all is to take the enemy's country whole and intact; to shatter and destroy it is not so good. So, too, it is better to recapture an army entire than to destroy it, to capture a regiment, a detachment or a company entire than to destroy them.

    Hence to fight and conquer in all your battles is not supreme excellence; supreme excellence consists in breaking the enemy's resistance without fighting."

    Sun Tzu, Art of War

    And going to the paper that seems to be the source of the Shock and Awe [dodccrp.org] terminology:

    Rapid Dominance will strive to achieve a dominance that is so complete and victory is so swift, that an adversary's losses in both manpower and material could be relatively light, and yet the message is so unmistakable that resistance would be seen as futile.

    Key words here: adversary's losses in both manpower and material could be relatively light

    The paper is a long read, but it's extremely insightful.

    The paper describes many ways of inflicting Shock and Awe on an opposing force, and they do not necessarily require the complete and utter (military) devastation of the opposing force.

    (Then again, just as I was about to click "Submit", I saw most of the government buildings in Baghdad get the absolute shit blown out of 'em. Consider me shocked and awed either way. :)

  • Overated (Score:4, Interesting)

    by I_am_God_Here ( 413090 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:07PM (#5566671) Homepage
    As far as I can tell this war is only slightly bigger then Kosovo. Why is it recieving so much attention? The protests were non existent. The media attention wasn't 1/100th this size in Kosovo or when Clinton bombed Iraq. What am I missing?

    The U.N. didn't approve either action, so it doesn't seem likely. Both Saddam and Milosevic are very evil men who commited "ethnic cleansings." Why is everyone getting so angry and childish? "Bush is an evil oilman/warmonger" "I'll never buy anything from France again"

    • Re:Overated (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Bobman1235 ( 191138 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:47PM (#5567307) Homepage
      You said the answer to your question in your question. CLINTON bombed Kosovo. Clinton was a liberal. Liberals are protesting the war. THe only reason 99% of the protests are happening is because a Republican is in charge. Clinton had five separate military attacks without UN approval during his presidency. Not once did we hear anything like this in the media.

      Sorry folks, I know you hate to hear it, but the truth speaks for itself.
      • Re:Overated (Score:5, Insightful)

        by geekoid ( 135745 ) <dadinportland@NOSpAm.yahoo.com> on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:10PM (#5567635) Homepage Journal
        thats why I know many republicans who are also protesting the war.. oh wait.

        To imply the media is 'liberal' is absurd.
        how much air time was devoted to Clinton getting a blow job? weeks, if not months

        how much time was devoted to the connection between bush, and enron? hours, maybe days.

        clinton cheated on his wife, then enron scandal cost many many people any hope of retiring, ever. Destroyed peoplels lives.

        Where were all the protest when we liberated kawait from an aggressor(Saddam)? there were very little protesting, yet there wasn't a liberal in office.

        maybe, just maybe, these people feel this offensive in unjust and thats why there protesting?

        Not everybody lets there party beliefs infect there thinking.
  • by Adam_Weishaupt ( 636032 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:12PM (#5566740) Journal

    It is interesting the US Army has choosen to liberate the oil wells [cnn.com] before liberating any people. Okay neocons and dittoheads step up and let the flames begin.

    • oil (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Ender Ryan ( 79406 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:14PM (#5567700) Journal
      There are quite a few reasons to protect the oil.

      1. burning oil is bad for the enviornment. very, very, very bad. the U.S. takes shit for the Exxon Valdez, but that was nothing compared to the burning oil fields of the first Gulf war.

      2. oil is/will be the Iraqi peoples' bread n` butter.

      3. Why the fuck should we let Saddam's regime successfully institue a scorched earth policy?

      4. burning oil fields creates lots of smoke, enough smoke to cause confusion on a battlefield, enough smoke to kill people, etc.

      Furthermore, the U.S. won't get any of that oil unless the new government chooses to sell it to us. The U.S. isn't going to "unilaterally" install a new government in Iraq. It will be a process with all the civilized nations of the world.

      Speaking of "unilateral", this action is definately not unilateral, despite what the French, German, and Russian governments would have you believe. The U.S. has the support of over 40 other nations, including England. You want to see unilateral action, look up what France has done militarily in Africa this century. France can hold its own in setting up puppet governments. What we have these days is a case of the pot calling the U.S. black, and a bunch of blind people who won't even Google to find out what France, Germany and Russia's ulterior motives are.

      I'll lay them out for you...

      France: France has illegally been doing business with Iraq, against the U.N. sanctions, for years now.

      Russia: Russia, with it's pathetic GDP, is owed roughly 8 billion dollars by Iraq, and has also illegally done business with Iraq against U.N. sanctions.

      Germany: Germany gets a lot of cheap oil from Iraq through the food for oil program.

      So, in short, if they just let them burn the oil fields, ignorant dicks like yourself would be complaining about the harm to the enviornment, taking away the Iraqi peoples' natural resources, etc.

      FWIW, I support this war solely for giving the Iraqi people a chance to create a prosperous country, and so Iraqi refugees can go back to their own country, as they wish to do.

  • by ggambett ( 611421 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:15PM (#5566787) Homepage
    The bad english seems to be due to the automated translation :

    In A.D. 2003
    War was beginning

    BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- A series of large explosions rocked Iraq's capital sending plumes of smoke and fire into the skies over Baghdad as the intense coalition air assault got underway.

    Saddam: What happen?
    Mechanic: Somebody set up us the bomb.
    Operator: We get signal.
    Saddam: What!
    Operator: Main screen turn on.
    Saddam: It's You!!
    Bush: How are you gentlemen!!
    Bush: All your oil are belong to us.
    Bush: You are on the way to destruction.
    Saddam: What you say!!
    Bush: You have no chance to survive make your time.
    Bush: Ha Ha Ha Ha ....
    Saddam: Take off every 'Scud'!!
    Operator: You know what you doing.
    Saddam: Move 'Scud'.
    Saddam: For great justice.
  • by WankersRevenge ( 452399 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:22PM (#5566896)
    Love of and devotion to one's country.

    The belief that nations will benefit from acting independently rather than collectively, emphasizing national rather than international goals.

    I love my country which is why I oppose this war and the people who fight it - yes, that means the troops. And before you froth at the mouth and label me a troll, Check this out [capwiz.com].

    I will be happy to support the wounded on both sides when the fighting stops - but I will not support the systematic murder of thousands of people whether they be Iraqi or American. Murder is still murder whether it be on battlefield or at bus stop.
  • Iraqi Information Minister Mohammed Saeed al-Sahaf said earlier today:

    "There is not one American soldier on Iraqi soil."

    "We will not allow them to get out of this quagmire which we trapped them in. They will see their end there."

    Diagnosis: Schizophrenic Pathological Liar with Grand Delusions

    Perscription: 300 Cruise Missles - 10 B2 Bombers - 3 Marine Divisions and call me in the morning.
  • The Case for the War (Score:5, Interesting)

    by el_gregorio ( 579986 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:30PM (#5567021)
    I certainly can't refute the apparent hypocrisy of many American policies. but let's face it, we're really not doing anything all that different than we always have. doesn't make it right, of course, but at least it follows precedent. it's just that this administration is less diplomatically persuasive and more "rough around the edges". Dubya is widely perceived as a six-shootin' cowboy, and while that's probably a pretty accurate description, it doesn't necessarily mean that he's going off half-cocked this time.

    This administration has some of finest strategic minds in country. Bush may be unreliable, but Colin Powell's integrity is unquestioned. even as a general, he was extremely conservative and patient. he refused to make hasty decisions on unreliable or unconfirmed information, and I can't imagine that his nature has changed since then. I think we have to have some amount of faith that the US is in possession of still-classified information that Saddam definitely has something up his sleeve.

    we already know for a fact that Hussein offers large cash rewards to the families of Palestinians that act as suicide bombers in Israel. that crime alone damns the Iraqi government nearly as much as the Taliban. we demolished Afghanistan simply because they let terrorists set up training camps. if Saddam places a bounty on Israeli casualties, that's almost as bad. so that right there is a pretty strong reason to attack, and one which Bush doesn't seem to have placed enough emphasis on.

    does that mean our intentions are entirely honorable? no, not at all. I'm sure Bush would love to drive oil prices back down ( and for my part, I hope he does it quickly; filling up my SUV every 2 weeks with $1.65/gal gasoline isn't cheap ). and protecting Israel always helps grease the wheels when it comes time to solicit campaign contributions. cleaning up dad's mess is a nice bonus, too. I'm sure all those factors weigh in to the equation. but even in post-9/11 america, the system still has enough checks and balances to prevent a war based SOLELY on those reasons.

    let's talk about democracy's role in all this. is ignoring war protests tantamount to ignoring democracy? no, i say, democracy is still winning. current polls place opposition to the war at around 30%, maybe 40% at most. that means the majority of Americans still support getting rid of Saddam. Congress voted overwhelmingly to give Bush the power to invoke military action. that same Congress received a significant message from the people who elected a Republican majority just a few short months ago. all that adds up to representative democracy, folks.

    right now it seems like we're pissing off a lot of the world, and yes, we probably are. the muslim terrorist groups are going to be especially irate, and they're going to come back swinging. very true, but frankly, they would have attacked us anyways sooner or later. unless we suddenly pulled all of our forces out of the Middle East, AND dissolved the Israeli state, Muslim fanatics are always going to hate us. the question is, do we want them to hate us with the support of a chemical- and biological-weapon producing madman, or without him? I'd say, "without him", definitely.

    some people may be troubled by the way the US is so blatantly calling for a regime change in Iraq. it seems really wrong to hear that kind of talk out of an administration that won its own power in a very dubious manner. but of course the big difference is we know that our tyrant will be held accountable by the voting public in 2 years; Hussein will not. and the fact is, we've forced regime changes before. sometimes covertly with the CIA, sometimes very obviously, like the capture of Manuel Noriega in Panama. that one was just as economically motivated as this: you really think anyone wanted a madman in control of something as vital as the Panama Canal? Saddam Hussein is probably a convenient boogeyman now that Bin Laden has disappeared. but don't kid yourself, Hussein DOES deserve to b

    • by fermion ( 181285 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @04:10PM (#5568436) Homepage Journal
      though this parent comment is more of a troll, there is one point that needs to be addressed

      let's talk about democracy's role in all this. is ignoring war protests tantamount to ignoring democracy? no, i say, democracy is still winning. current polls place opposition to the war at around 30%, maybe 40% at most. that means the majority of Americans still support getting rid of Saddam.

      This is troubling on so many levels. Democracy cannot be just about the majority and winning. Hitler was elected by a majority and no one had a problem with his attempted genocide. Slavery was considered ok by a majority people in the US for a very long time, and those who even thought about protesting or abolishing slavery, like Lincoln, were killed.

      People risk their lives trying to bring unpopular issues to the frontline of political debates. In 1965 it was a demonstration in Selma, that results in the cold blooded murder of the minister James Reeb, presumable by a person intent on keeping black from achieving equal rights. Should Reeb have ignored Dr. Martin Luther King's plea for help in his effort to liberate the black population from oppression? Should the goverment have lables them terrorists??

      In Dogma, right before Bartebly exacts holy vengeance on the boardroom of sinners, he has a speech in which he says
      Fear. And therein lies the problem. None of you has anything left to fear anymore. You rest comfortably in seats of inscrutable power, hiding behind your false idol, far from judgment, lives shrouded in secrecy even from one another. But not from God.
      And I think this is the issue. There are people so powerful, so spoiled, so in need of clue, that they respect and fear almost nothing. The exception are the few things demonstrable equally powerful. People this powerful feel that the world is there to service their needs. Furthermore, even if they claim to believe in God, that belief is not reflected in their actions. They do not have maturity or self control to realize that just because you can take something, doesn't mean you have to. In words from the original Star Trek, we can choose not to kill today.

      As I mentioned such people will fear things or people that are equally powerful. For example, a few years ago Texas was in the midst of passing a hate crime bill. Dubya was governor. The impetus for this bill was the lynching and dragging of James Byrd, Jr in Jasper. The bill was not great, but it was needed. It was eventually supported by Dubya, after a bit of embarrassing publicity, and would have had very little trouble becoming law except for one problem. It not only wanted to protect minorities, but also homosexuals. There was a basis for this, as about 1/3 of all hate crimes are directed to homosexuals. Dubya could not afford to offend the religious right, so he fought to remove the protection for homosexuals, which killed the bill. From this we can see that those without power, homosexuals can be sacrificed, while there is genuine fear of the fundamentalist Christian right.

  • by Shamashmuddamiq ( 588220 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:38PM (#5567165)

    I think it's interesting to note that people have a hard time differentiating between American people and the American government. It's funny when I hear someone's surprise when they realize that some Americans might actually be against the war.

    Believe it or not, there is just as much dissention and discussion (if not more) among the American people about the war as there is between Americans and those of other nations. Indeed, America is a free country, and they're allowed to speak up against their government. And they do.

    I'm quite divided myself, and I think those that are either against or completely in bed with this war aren't looking at all sides of the issue. Strangely enough, many of those who claim that Bush is simplistic and biased don't seem to have any problems with Chirac. Additionally, "the quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools," in which case the silent majority seems to be saying a lot to me about what the real feelings of the people are. Unfortunately, the "silent majority" is not as newsworthy as the destructive protesters ("stop this war or we'll kill the ambassador!").

    Please don't use these forums as a medium for bashing the US Americans.

  • by Dolly_Llama ( 267016 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:44PM (#5567246) Homepage
    Greetings:This is the Secretary of War at the State Department
    of the United States
    We have a problem.
    The companies want something done about this sluggish
    world economic situation
    Profits have been running a little thin lately
    and we need to stimulate some growth
    Now we know
    there's an alarmingly high number of young people roaming
    around in your country with nothing to do but stir up trouble
    for the police and damage private property.
    It doesn't look like they'll ever get a job
    It's about time we did something constructive with these people
    We've got thousands of 'em here too. They're crawling all over
    The companies think it's time we all sit down, have a serious get-together-
    And start another war
    The President?
    He loves the idea! All those missiles streaming overhead to and fro
    People running down the road, skin on fire
    The Soviets seem up for it:
    The Kremlin's been itching for the real thing for years.
    Hell, Afghanistan's no fun
    So whadya say?
    We don't even have to win this war.
    We just want to cut down on some of this excess population
    Now look. Just start up a draft; draft as many of those people as you can.
    We'll call up every last youngster we can get our hands on,
    hand 'em some speed, give 'em an hour or two to learn how to use
    an automatic rifle and send 'em on their way
    Libya? El Salvador? How 'bout Northern Ireland?
    Or a "moderately repressive regime" in South America?
    We'll just cook up a good Soviet threat story
    in the Middle East-we need that oil
    We had Libya all ready to go and Colonel Khadafy's hit squad
    didn't even show up. I tell ya
    That man is unreliable.
    The Kremlin had their fingers on the button just like we did for that one
    Now just think for a minute-We can make this war so big-so BIG
    The more people we kill in this war, the more the economy will prosper
    We can get rid of practically everybody on your dole queue if we plan this right.
    Take every loafer on welfare right off our computer rolls
    Now don't worry about demonstrations-just pump up your drug supply.
    So many people have hooked themselves on heroin
    and amphetamines since we took over, it's just like Vietnam.
    We had everybody so busy with LSD they never got too strong.
    Kept the war functioning just fine
    It's easy.
    We've got our college kids so interested in beer
    they don't even care if we start manufacturing germ bombs again.
    Put a nuclear stockpile in their back yard,
    they wouldn't even know what it looked like
    So how 'bout it? Look-War is money.
    The arms manufacturers tell me unless
    we get our bomb factories up to full production
    the whole economy is going to collapse
    The Soviets are in the same boat.
    We all agree the time has come for the big one, so whadya say?!?
    That's excellent. We knew you'd agree
    The companies will be very pleased.

  • by Skyshadow ( 508 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @02:50PM (#5567342) Homepage
    http://www.madison.com/captimes/news/stories/450 69.php

    The Feingold amendment is taking $100b from Bush's tax cuts over the next ten years to pay for the war.

    Thank God someone in Washinton is still sane -- maybe we'll have an economic rebound in the next ten years after all...

  • Troop ratio's. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sbaker ( 47485 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:05PM (#5567564) Homepage
    I was annoyed by someone at work today telling me that whilst the British
    are helping the US, the Americans have made the greater sacrifice.

    I wanted to set the record straight.

    100,000 US ground troops fighting - from a total of 250,000 people out there. 40,000 British ground troops fighting (I don't know the total number of Brit's out there).

    So, when you look at the guys who *might* get killed - that's 0.04% of the US population and 0.06% of the British population. By that measure (and of course there are ways to look at this), the British commitment is 50% larger than the US.

    Against a background where 80% of Brits are against the war and only 40% of Americans are - I sure hope the US appreciates that!
  • by guacamolefoo ( 577448 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:18PM (#5567766) Homepage Journal
    Scene from the next South Park movie:
    GW: Hey Saddam! Let's fuck!
    SH: C'mon, W., don't you care about my feelings?
    GW: Shut up, bitch! Roll over! Who's your Bagh-Daddy?

  • by Embedded Geek ( 532893 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:19PM (#5567775) Homepage
    The Atlantic had a fantastic piece [theatlantic.com] called "Tales of the Tyrant" about Sadaam Hussein's daily routine, his background, and his motivation. It dispels a lot of the myths about him, but leaves a chilling impression about what he's really like.

    A long read, but well worth it if you can spare the time. And, heck, it's Friday. You're not going to get any work done anyway.

  • by YrWrstNtmr ( 564987 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:31PM (#5567941)
    Civilians...smiling, dancing, shaking hands, tearing down posters of Saddam.

    It would seem they want him gone too.
  • by The American Revolut ( 605222 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @03:56PM (#5568249)
    I was wondering what has convinced fellow Slahshdoters to take the stance they have now on the state of affairs with Iraq?

    For me it was the Frontline documentaries on PBS which focused on the history of Saddam. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/long road/

    Some things that caught my attention:

    1. Saddam started out as a hitman for the radical Ba'ath Party and he participated in the failed assassination attempt on the country's strong man, Gen. Kassem, in 1959.

    2. The Ba'ath Party killed Gen. Kassem and staff and seized the country in a coup. Saddam became an interrogator in the Fellaheen and Muthaqafeen detention camps. In interrogating people in those camps, he used torture, and undoubtedly like everybody else involved in this activity, eliminated people to the amount of 700 documented deaths.

    3. Two weeks after they took over power on the 17th of July 1968, there was what they call "the correction movement." That meant getting rid of the non-Ba'ath elements in the coup, and Saddam was prominent in that. As a matter of fact he held a gun to the head of the prime minister and said, "You're going with me to the airport because you're leaving this country." And the guy pleaded with him, said, "I have family, I have a wife and kids." And Saddam said, "Well as long as you behave, they'll be fine." He took him to the airport, he put him in a plane, he deported him, and of course years after, he assassinated him in front of the Intercontinental Hotel in London. The man couldn't escape him in the long run.

    4. In 1970 Saddam was head of the Peasants Department and the Department of General Relations (security), the military, and several other departments. And of course soon enough, like all people who are dictators, who are jealous of the army, he appointed himself general and eventually like Stalin he became field marshal.

    5. In 1979 he removed Bakr (the President he helped instate) rather unceremoniously and made himself president. And he reshaped the Ba'ath Party in no time at all by executing half of the command of the party.

    6. During the 7 month occupation of Kuwait, Saddam ruled there as head had for years, with oppression and death. Some Kuwaitis were tortured and murdered, others lined up and shot.

    6. After the Persian Gulf War Iraq had uprisings in the North and South. This is where Saddam used chemical weapons and killed over a thousand Iraqi men, women, and children. This was the second time he had used chemical weapons, the first time was in the war against Iran. Uses of chemical weapons are forbidden by UN treaties.

    7. At the end of the initial round of inspections by the UN weapons teams, Saddam's brother-in-law and cousin defected to Jordan and announced that they had documents that would indicate that the inspectors had not seen all the weapons Saddam had. Saddam told his sons-in-law that, if they came back to Iraq, they would be completely safe. They foolishly believed Saddam. So, as military officers, they donned their uniforms, and they went back to Iraq. The moment they entered Iraq, they were separated from their families. Their families were taken to Baghdad, and they were taken out of the city. Like Saddam, they are very tribal, so they surrounded themselves with bodyguards, not trusting him completely. Two days later, there was an attack on the house by members of the family, to avenge the family honor. So Saddam claimed that he kept his word, as the chief of the armed forces, as the president of Iraq, that he would do nothing to them. So, when it was finally done, the attack succeeded and they were captured and killed. Saddam said, "I didn't go back on my word. This happened according to tribal tradition. The family had to avenge itself. The family had to recover its honor." That's how he explained what he did to them.

    After watching this I felt awful that the people of Iraq have who have had to endure fear for so long and I felt I was fortunate to be an American.
  • Human Nature... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by chipwich ( 131556 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @04:03PM (#5568328)
    In some sad way, I'm comforted by the fact that this war confirms that human nature is very consistent. Power corrupts humans, regardless of what religion, ethnicity, gender, nationality, or political leaning.

    The whole situation leading up to the war is obviously complex, with all parties (eg, Iraq, US, UN, UK, France, Turkey, etc.) pushing their own agenda while claiming that they do what they do in the name of [choose one] humanity, religion, security, etc. Ultimately, though, we do what we do because it is human nature:

    Despite knowing right from wrong, we will usually choose what feels good. Mostly that means the one with the biggest stick wins.

    Sucks to be human sometimes...
  • by prell ( 584580 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @04:19PM (#5568543) Homepage
    Check out this book [amazon.com] titled "Shock and Awe: Achieving Rapid Dominance," published in 1996, about Hitler's Blitzkreig. Sort of an unsettling set of circumstances (as if it weren't already)

    Also, check out this article [indymedia.org], which compares the rise of Hitler to the current U.S. administration. For example, Hitler used the attack on the Reichstag as an excuse for a pre-emptive strike on Austria.
  • by HardCase ( 14757 ) on Friday March 21, 2003 @06:31PM (#5570021)
    Given the level of competence that most Slashdot posters exhibit regarding just about anything else of import, I'm not too surprised at the level of ignorance that seems to be spewing forth regarding war in Iraq.

    I'm talking both sides, mind you, pro-war and anti-war. Having spent my share of time up close and personal with the "shock and awe" of combat, I can say from first hand experience that war is extraordinarily serious business, business that requires extremely careful consideration before action.

    And having seen, again first hand, the results of a tyrannical maniac, I have a very good understanding of the necessity of fighting from time to time.

    However, I'm not going to weigh in on the pros or cons of this war in this forum simply because there are an appalling number of blithering idiots who don't seem to have a basic understanding of international (or national) political and military relationships and necessities.

    Instead, I'd suggest that just about every person participating in Slashdot discussions do some studying on the real-world political and social situations that exist around us. Instead of spouting off the typical line of what we should do, perhaps it's better to consider what we can do. There is a significant difference, particularly when viewed in a global context.

    Perhaps, then, a few pro-war activists will find that there is less of a need to fight and a few anti-war activists will find that sometimes it's necessary to shoot now and then.


Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.