Hmm, Looks Like A Good Day For News

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Annie, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    http://www.washtimes.com/op-ed/20031229-091558-2992r.htm

    The Washington Times
    www.washingtontimes.com

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    A policy of prevention
    By Tod Lindberg
    Published December 30, 2003

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    The pre-Christmas announcementthat Libya's ruler, Moammar Gadhafi, has decided to end his development programs for and destroy his stocks of weapons of mass destruction(WMD) marks a watershed moment in the new Bush administration strategyof prevention. Make no mistakeabout what has happened, thanks to deft diplomacy by the administration and Tony Blair's governmentin Britain: Col. Gadhafi has concluded that heissafer withoutsuch weapons.
    Some are trying mightily, but it is very difficult to understand Col. Gadhafi's decision without reference to the regime change in Iraq. At the time U.S. and British forces entered Iraq, Saddam Hussein was widely believed to possess substantial stocks of chemical and biological weapons, to be working on delivery systems and to have nuclear ambitions. Where are the weapons, critics have asked, and it's an important question with regard to Western intelligence capabilities. It also misses an important point.
    If Saddam had really meant to give up on WMDs once and for all, he could easily have demonstrated it by cooperating fully with inspectors (long before matters reached a head in the U.N. Security Council a year ago), producing documentation that all his stocks had been eliminated and inviting an ongoing inspections/verification process involving the United Nations and the International Atomic Energy Agency.
    Instead, he behaved furtively. The reports coming from senior regime scientists and military figures reveal massive confusion within Iraq about the state of play on WMD. As for forward deployment in Iraqi military units, no one had chemicals, but most seemed to think that others did. Saddam repeatedly asked his officials how long it would take to develop certain chemical and biological weapons, creating the impression within his government that he had every intention of beginning new programs when he felt he could safely do so. And defectors delivered messages about ongoing weapons programs, apparently in a disinformation campaign designed to discredit, over time, Western intelligence reports on Iraq (a ruse that one must concede was rather effective, albeit not with the result Saddam presumably intended, namely, getting out from under the U.N. sanctions).
    The reason he behaved furtively is also becoming increasingly clear from former regime officials: He wanted certain people within Iraq and outside to think that he had these weapons. Creating this impression was valuable to him. It should perhaps not come as a surprise that a ruler who has maintained himself in power through the brutality of terror and repression should find it useful to his reputation for ruthlessness to be thought to possess the world's worst weapons (along with a track record of using them against his own people). Indeed, according to the statements of some former regime officials, Saddam thought the belief that he possessed such weapons would itself deter the United States from trying to topple him.
    This is exactly the problem. The more that unsavory rulers around the world get the impression that possession of nuclear or chemical or biological weapons deters the United States, the more ambitious they may become in pursuit of such weapons. They will see these weapons as a net contribution to their own safety.
    Now, the United States is unwilling to sit back idly while such a world comes into being, not only on the grounds that nuclear and other WMD proliferation by states is inherently bad, but also because of the possible nexus between states' development of such weapons and terrorist organizations' acquisition of them. So, the Bush administration announced a policy of preemption (more precisely, "prevention") meant not only to deter the use of WMD but also to deter the acquisition and possession of WMD.
    Hence, the action against Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq. The most important implication of that action outside Iraq was to be the creation of the impression that a determination to have WMD capabilities was, in turn, precisely the sort of impression that dictators would not want to give the United States. Rather than enhancing their security, the pursuit of such weapons would put them at grave risk, and even in the end, their possession would offer no guarantee of security and safety: There could be no certainty that the United States would be deterred from taking action even then, and the risk that the United States would take action to prevent the acquisition of a WMD capability by regime change would not be negligible.
    Saddam Hussein does not get his government back because we have found no stocks of chemicalandbiological weapons. Instead, he has to live with the consequences of the impression he created.
    When the Bush and Blair governments secretly confronted Libya with evidence of its WMD programs, Col. Gadhafi -- who knew perfectly well that in his case, the intelligence was accurate -- had a choice to make. He could either disarm conspicuously. Or he could face highly uncertain consequences.
    He chose to disarm. That is exactly the point of a policy of prevention. It is designed to make the costs of pursuing WMD prohibitive, perhaps existentially so. And it's working.




    Copyright © 2003 News World Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.

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  2. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    an opinion piece is a good day for news?

    it was a nice article though, but I wonder if people realize that by holding nations in check through a strong military presence we are, in effect, placing them under our 'pseudo-rulership'?
     
  3. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    I was referring to the number of articles I've been finding of interest to me this morning.

    posted by DK

    I disagree with your presumption. Libya is but an example of why there may well be less conflict now that it's believed that the US will not allow WMD to proliferate unchallenged. That is not pseudo or real military control, but a choice each country makes for itself.
     
  4. DKSuddeth
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    DKSuddeth Senior Member

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    Maybe you read into my statement that I'm saying countries are now bowing down in fealty to the US. Thats not what I was saying nor was I strictly talking about WMD proliferation. I'm a strong proponent of non-proliferation.

    What this means is that, now, not only Libya but other nations around the globe will soon have to consider how any action or course, be it political, economical, or militarily they decide to embark upon, and what response the united states may have in the result of that action.

    Its something similar to how an adolescent decides upon a course of action within the home. How will the parents react and what will their response be.
     
  5. bamthin
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    Libya: From "mad dog of the Middle East" to foreign oil/investment bonanza
    Lucrative dance with West and world many years in making

    By Larry Chin
    Online Journal Associate Editor

    December 23, 2003—Last Friday, according to news reports, Libya and Colonel Muammar Qaddafi "pledged to reject terror," agreed to "disclose and dismantle long-range missiles and weapons of mass destruction programs in exchange for Libya's status as an international pariah," and open itself up to international inspections, in the hopes for full restoration of US-Libyan relations after two decades. Lurking in the billowing Bush administration "world supercop" propaganda smoke, the true strategic agenda driving Qaddafi's actions has been unfolding for years.

    Although the Libyan announcement was another well-timed propaganda coup benefiting the struggling Bush and Blair administrations, it was neither a shocking nor sudden "historic change" caused by the alleged capture of Saddam Hussein.

    It was, in actuality, the culmination of many years of open Libyan courting of foreign investment and rapprochement with the US and Britain, inspired not so much by outside political pressure, but by (1) increasingly ambitious Libyan economic aspirations, (2) deliberate and public disputes with Middle Eastern nations (see "Gaddafi Announces Separation from the Arabs"), and (3) an older Qaddafi, who for a variety of reasons, is comfortable with the idea of a relationship with the United States—even after more than 30 years of US pressure and assassination attempts (the most significant of which was the Reagan administration air strike in 1986 that murdered his 1½ year old daughter and severely wounded other members of his family).

    As is the case with all major world events today, it is critical to view recent events against the backdrop of Peak Oil (the battle among nations and elite coalitions to secure and control all remaining world energy reserves, under the pretext of the "war on terrorism"), and other "globalization" imperatives.

    As noted by Franz Schurmann in "'Rogue' No MoreラUS Eyes Oil in Libya, Sudan" (Pacific News, June 18, 2002), "oil isn't getting any more plentiful in the world, Libya is sitting on a lot of what's left," and the Bush administration could not afford to be left out:

    "The Bush administration is looking for oil in former 'rogue' nations Libya and Sudan. The reason for this policy shift is that most of the world's major oil regions—the Middle East, Central Asia and the Andean nations—are now riddled by violent conflicts.

    Libyan oil production already ranks second to Nigeria, and the Sudan, when fully explored by oil geologists, could eventually rival oil behemoth Saudi Arabia . . . the African continent has 7 percent of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, with five countries (Nigeria, Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Angola) leading production, while Chad and Sudan are coveted for exploration.

    American oil companies are clearly envisaging an African substitute for their lost Central Asia. That region would begin in the Persian Gulf and extend through a vast African expanse, deep into Nigeria."

    Adding further urgency to the Bush administration's predatory goals in Libya are continuing crises in Iraq and the Middle East, still-undeliverable Iraqi oil, and tragically disappointing Central Asian energy yields.

    -SNIP-

    Read the rest here, very interesting..

    So now that Qaddafi can become a "good world citizen" and rebuild his country ravaged by sanctions, are you neocons going to trust him? Also, have you conveniently forgotten about North Korea?

    My first post. Hello all!

    -Bam
     
  6. eric
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    eric Guest

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    Welcome to the board, bamthin !:)
     
  7. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Welcome bamthin... glad to have another bleeding heart on here to debate with! :D :beer:
     
  8. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    posted by Bam

    Distrust and verify.

    posted by Bam

    Nope, not forgotten: have you conveniently forgotten about North Korea?

    NK not getting what they wanted, http://abcnews.go.com/wire/World/ap20031129_380.html

    But hope for multilateral talks, including Japan still possible:

    http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?page=story_28-12-2003_pg4_1
     
  9. bamthin
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    I haven't forgotten that, as we post right here, the North Koreans are building more bombs and have thumbed their collective noses at the US and rest of the international community. It seems you are willing to forget though. Must be convenient for you....

    Pyongyang builds up nuclear arsenal
    By Shane Green
    Tokyo
    October 3, 2003

    North Korea yesterday strongly suggested it was building more nuclear weapons, dramatically raising the stakes in the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.

    In an alarming statement carried by its official news agency, North Korea's Foreign Ministry said Pyongyang had "successfully finished the reprocessing of some 8000 spent fuel rods" - producing enough plutonium to make about six nuclear weapons.

    The communist state then indicated production of those weapons had begun. It claimed it had "made a switchover in the use of plutonium churned out by reprocessing spent fuel rods in the direction increasing its nuclear deterrent force".

    The US believes North Korea already has one or two crude nuclear weapons. If the North Korean claims are correct, that arsenal is now expanding rapidly.

    Pyongyang promised to produce an "unbroken chain" of nuclear fuel from its Yongbyon reactor that could be used to make nuclear weapons "when we deem it necessary".

    The statement coincided with similar comments by North Korea's Vice-Foreign Minister Choe Su-hon, at the country's mission at the United Nations in New York.

    Mr Choe said North Korea had finished the reprocessing and had "changed the purpose of these fuel rods".

    He did not reveal the extent of his country's nuclear arsenal, but said: "One thing we can tell you is that we are in possession of a nuclear deterrence and we're continuing to strengthen that deterrence."

    Pyongyang has previously claimed to have finished reprocessing the rods, but this latest statement is the first indication that nuclear weapons are actually being produced.

    Such claims are almost impossible to verify.

    Typically, North Korea also tries to increase the stakes as a negotiating tactic to obtain more concessions.

    The US believes North Korea already has one or two crude nuclear weapons.

    The 8000 rods were stored at the Yongbyon nuclear facility, which was closed after a 1994 deal brokered by the US, under which Pyongyang agreed to give up its nuclear ambitions in return for energy aid.

    That deal collapsed a year ago when North Korea admitted to having a clandestine nuclear weapons program.

    Mr Choe also maintained that while his country was developing more nuclear weapons, it would not proliferate them.

    "We have no intention of transferring any means of that nuclear deterrence to other countries," he said.

    Last month the US, Australia, Japan and France staged an interdiction training exercise in the Coral Sea - a precursor to possible action against any attempt by North Korea to export nuclear technology.

    The claim about the rods coincides with attempts by the US, South Korea and Japan to convene a second round of six-country talks on the nuclear crisis, as early as next month.

    But North Korea's participation remains in doubt, with Mr Choe denying his country had promised to participate.

    "Certain mass media is circulating rumours as though we have just made promises to participate in the next round of six-party talks," he said. "Unfortunately, this is not true."

    North Korea is under intense pressure from China - its mentor and main source of aid - to participate in the talks.

    South Korea said yesterday it still expected Pyongyang to take part.

    "North Korea is prepared to respond to six-way talks, and they are not in a position to oppose talks," Vice-Unification Minister Cho Kun-shik said.



    This story was found at: http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/10/02/1064988342517.html
     
  10. Annie
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    Annie Diamond Member

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    guess you didn't notice that what I posted was more recent than yours?
     

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