Forum for you to have your say on issues affecting Sheffield and district. All subjects are fair game but please keep it friendly and be respectful. You are responsible for all that you post.
I did write a reply to someone on the Sheffield ex-pat list, but that list wants to remain untainted by controversy (which is fair enough) so I thought I'd bring my opinions here.
I am still really surprised by the size of objection to the war in Iraq. It seems to me that there is a huge amount of anti-Americanism and anti-Israelism which blinds people to the necessity of this war.
To me, regardless of the reasons for America's involvement (and I think they are many and complicated and I don't belive that Oil is as high as many poeple think) and regardless of America's record in International affairs (which I freely acknowledge is terrible - politics is the preserve of hypocracy, international politics is the preserve of humungous hypocracy. If this surprises anyone, then they haven't read enough about the subject.)
My only question would be - Will the benefit outweight the cost.
If the answer is yes - then the coalition was justified.
The answer won't be clear for years to come.
It doesn't matter if America takes all the oil contracts and Americans make huge profits from the war (and I'm not saying they will.) if in 10 years time Iraq is a democracy and the Iraqi's are becoming more prosperous.
If Iraq is ruled by a US backed authoratarian regime and the Iraqi's are living in poverity, then the war will have been a travesty.
Perhaps this war will accelerate the peace process in Israel - that would be a good thing.
Perhaps some of the arab nations will begin to move towards democracy - that would be a good thing.
Perhaps nations of the world will be more circumspect about supporting terrorism - that would be a good thing.
This is a passage that someone on the ex-pats list wrote
I think that I can articulate my
objections to American foreign policies and I believe that the haste to
wage war was unseemly if the causus belli was the presence of weapons of
mass destruction, for which there seems to be have been scant evidence when
the UN inspectors were in Iraq, and little evidence since weapons of mass
destruction were introduced into Iraq on a massive scale by the United
States and their British partners. The real issue was to remove the
government of Iraq which however disagreeable and unpleasant was
nonetheless a sovereign government.
The United States has chosen to dislodge it by brute force, causing
enormous civilian casualties in the process, and running roughshod over the
canons of civilized behaviour which it was hoped might be established by
international bodies and international agreements --- which, as Mike
Moore's list of questions indicates, the United States has consistently
ignored, undercut and violated in the modern period. There are some, not
least the Prime Minister of Canada, who have wondered where the process
will end -- which governments are in the line of fire -- North Korea?
Syria? Libya? Canada -- and not necessarily in that order. Might does not
always (perhaps even rarely) mean right. It was British and French and
Dutch and Belgian imperialism that created many many of the problems of the
post-second world war world. Iraq, in its present form, was a British
creation. Some have argued that the United States is now engaged in its own
set of imperialist adventures, which make many of us very nervous.
I can't agree with the sentiment expressed here.
It suggests that it was wrong to topple the Iraq regime because it was a sovereign regime.
This logic suggests that if in 1939 Hitler had not invaded Poland, but kept in the limits of his empire, Britain should have stood and watched as the Jews and other that Hitler disapproved of, were gassed.
I think the UN is very good at some things - like writing documents about how the world should be - but sometimes people rely on it too much to actually change the world.
Where was the UN in Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Rwanda, Chile, Northern Ireland, Chechnya, Afghanistan (Russian Invasion) , Afghanistan (Taliban regime), China under Mao, Russia under Stalin.
Has the UN managed to stop famine in Africa, child labour in the far east, the drug trade in South America.
America is big, very very powerful and sometimes it does the wrong thing (the list of their errors is very very long.) but the war in Iraq - so long as the final outcome is posative, is justified.
The Iraqi's will go through a few years of rebuilding which will be hard, but Germany did it after WWII. In fact having to rebuild the economic infrastructure from the ground up probably helped Germany to become the power it did.
What it comes down to finally is - if I were an Iraqi living in Bagdhad, would I rather live under Hussein - with no hope, or live in a post Hussein nation where at least there is the hope of something better.
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If someone or an organization is going to hijack a plane and fly it into a building or perpetrate any other terrorist act it more likely to be from our so called allies in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Egypt or even Pakistan and not from Iraq. I do not believe that Iraq is a serious threat. The US can take Iraq out any time. It seems to me that the priorities are wrong.
They should be going after Asama Bin Laden, the Taliban and Alqaida, or trying to resolve the Israili / Palestine conflict before going after Sadam Hussain, or even North Korea.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
What do Sheffielders really think about the prospect of war in Iraq?
Balanced opinions welcome on this forum.
Here's an extract from our Expat List :-
The United States is taking unilateral action against Iraq!
-->So far, it's a 90-member worldwide "unilateral" coalition.
We are in a rush to war.
-->An 11-year rush?
Tough inspections can disarm Saddam Hussein without invading Iraq.
-->11 years of inspections have done wonders so far.
We should let the inspectors finish their job.
--> We did. They didn't. We will.
Why fight? The Iraqi military is weaker than in 1991.
--> But their biological weapons and chemical weapons are
much more dangerous.
There's no proof of weapons.
--> We know they have 'em, we know they hide 'em, and we have tape recordings and photographs. What more is needed? An Iraqi rocket in Martin Sheen's shorts?
If we invade, Saddam Hussein might use those weapons of mass destruction against us.
--> I thought you said Iraq didn't have them?
But terrorists might attack if we invade Iraq.
-->Oh?so if we don't attack Iraq, terrorists will never strike again?
We shouldn't go to war without a UN resolution.
--> ANOTHER resolution? What about the last 16 resolutions? Shall we use them as wallpaper? Or shall we use the same resolutions Bill Clinton used in Bosnia?
We don't have a real declaration for war.
-->It's called "Joint Congressional Resolution #114."
We are giving 20 billion to Turkey. We could use that money at home.
-->OK, we'll use that money to strengthen our Iraqi border with Wyoming.
If North Korea has nuclear weapons, why aren't we invading them first?
--> Uh?hello?isn't that the point?
European leaders are against the war.
--> The Reichstag wasn't attacked. The Grande Place wasn't attacked. The Kremlin wasn't attacked. And the Jerry Lewis Lifetime Achievement Museum wasn't attacked. America was attacked. And besides, except for the tantrums of France, Belgium and Germany, only three European nations aren't willing to defend freedom. The entire rest of Europe is with America.
The French don't support the war.
--> Oh?did they surrender already?
Germany objects to this war.
--> Germany objected to Reagan's "attitude" towards the Soviet Union. Of course, they objected to our presence in 1943 as well.
Belgians are against the war.
--> I can live without Waffles and ice cream.
USSR doesn't support the war.
--> They are still angry over Reagan's brilliant Cold War victory.
Polls show Europeans are against this war.
--> Polls show Europeans believe their freedom was achieved by endlessly debating in marvelous dining halls, conveniently forgetting their right to be pompous blowhards was granted with American blood, not fabulous wine and brie?
We should build a coalition with our friends.
--> With friends like these, who needs enemies?
What happens if we can't build a United Nations coalition?
--> Who cares?
But the UN is the world's most respected governing body.
--> Not as respected as the US military.
America has always waited until enemies attacked.
-->Now that oceans can't hold back enemies, pre-emptive war is forever a necessity.
War will cost billions!
--> So?how much is YOUR city worth?
President Bush says he's willing to violating the 1976 executive order forbidding assassinations of foreign leaders.
--> As soon as the ink is dry on rescinding that idiotic order, will someone please pull the trigger? The line forms to the right?
Many Senators don't support Bush
--> Are you speaking of the Senators from Bordeaux?
Tom Daschle says George Bush has a "credibility gap"
--> When was the last time we came to Tom Daschle for the truth???
These problems didn't happen under Clinton.
--> Actually, they happened. But Clinton ignored them. Now,
Bush will clean up his mess.
But Clinton didn't start a war.
--> Unless his girlfriend was testifying before congress?
Bush 1st should have taken out Hussein in '91.
--> That 1991 UN resolution forbade a march on Baghdad. Remember?
Millions of peace activists are demanding we stop the war.
-->Millions of Iraqi's are begging for us to start the war.
Thousands of innocents will be killed or injured.
--> That's a lot less than Hussein is killing right now.
(Of course, there's only one man that needs to be killed?)
Young Americans will die in battle.
--> Would you prefer they die in skyscrapers?
Protesters have genuine objections to war
--> Just like they did in Somalia? Bosnia?
People are coming from all over the world to act as "human shields".
--> Quick, hurry, before the bombs start dropping?
This is about American Imperialism.
--> So which country do we own? What nation sends us their tax dollars? If America was imperialist, we'd already own the entire world. Who could stand in our way?
This is Blood for Oil
--> The only blood is the Iraqi people tortured, starved and killed while Hussein builds massive palaces to hide nuclear weapons? all financed with Iraqi oil.
This is a racist war.
--> America happily endorses a multi-cultural attitude towards anyone who dares to take away our freedom. Regardless of race, color or creed, we hunt them down and kill them.
A U.S.-led invasion of Iraq is a great recruiting tool for terrorists.
--> Have fun recruiting people into oppressive misery as they enjoy their first taste of freedom.
An attack on Iraq could seriously undermine and destabilize Arabnations.
--> Destabilize the region? The sooner we topple these oppressive 14th century terrorist regimes the better.
Are we prepared for a multi-billion dollar occupation?
--> Were we prepared to liberate Europe and Japan in 1945? South Korea in 1953? Grenada? El Salvador? Kuwait? The Eastern Bloc? Afghanistan? Nations always love Americans when we rescue them from tyranny. The price of freedom is never free.
Polls show Americans are more concerned about the threat from al Qaeda than from Iraq.
--> It's not a war against Al Qaeda. It's not a war against
Iraq. It's a war against terrorism. Anywhere we find it.
One nation at a time.
American opinion is against the war.
--> No, it's not. A majority of Americans want to fight now,