Effect Measure

Revenge killings

2006, like other years, was a year of revenge killings. Iraq is the poster child for the cycle of violence and counter-violence that seems to have no end but exhaustion of the combatants. But it isn’t the only one. The death sentences in the notorious case of the Tripoli 6 and the execution of Saddam Hussein are two more.

We have dealt here depressingly often with the Tripoli 6 case, the health workers from Bulgaria and Palestine convicted in a Libyan court of intentionally infecting over 400 children with HIV. The exclusion of vital scientific evidence that the virus was almost certainly a result of poor hospital hygiene, present there before the foreign workers arrived, led to worldwide condemnation of the Libyan judicial system, a condemnation which has been met with defiance by Libyan strongman Moammar Gaddafi:

Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi on Friday defended a court’s decision to sentence five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor to death for infecting more than 400 children with HIV, but said mystery surrounded the case.

“It is unimportant that the medics are sentenced to death or not — if they committed a crime and are sentenced to death, that is the court’s decision,” Gaddafi told a gathering of officials, religious leaders and reporters in Tripoli.

“The important thing is why the medical team injected the children with AIDS. Who ordered you — was it Libyan intelligence, American intelligence, Israeli intelligence or Bulgarian intelligence? This is what we have to find out.” (The Scotsman)

The politics of the Libyan case are complicated, but an important element is the rage of the parents, who want to see someone punished for the tragedy that has overcome their children. The fairness of the Libyan trial is highly questionable, but the death sentence is also important to note. If the sentences are carried out, these will be revenge killings, pure and simple.

Which brings us to the execution of Saddam Hussein. Hussein himself had no compunction about ordering the summary execution of political rivals and others. This penchant was well known. It never prevented the US and many European countries from having cordial relations with him, that is, until he committed the cardinal sin of invading oil-rich Kuwait in 1990. It is also undeniable that his hanging was a revenge killing by Iraqi Shiia. Many might see it as justified, but of course revenge killings are always justified — by the motive of revenge. There can be no justification on other grounds. It will not deter other despots from bloodthirsty acts. Indeed it is likely to make them even more willing to kill rivals they see as threats so they don’t meet the same fate as Hussein. It will bring no “closure,” as the continued cycle of violence in Iraq shows. It will likely lead to more revenge killings, these to avenge Hussein’s death. It brought honor to no party, certainly not the US, who aided and abetted a “show trial” and handed the prisoner over to those they knew would kill him speedily.

Saddam Hussein was a psychopath who needed to be walled off from the world. But executing him was an act of judicial murder with the prospect of more violence and in any event no potential to promote peace. Saddam was almost as certainly guilty as the Tripoli 6 are innocent. In one respect, however, they are in the same category, along with the 100 or so Iraqis killed daily in that cursed country.

They bear the evil marks of murder for the sake of revenge.


  1. #1 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 3, 2007

    So Revere what you are saying that the Tikrit Tyrant should have just been isolated? Sorry but like the Jews he was swacking the locals at an estimated 3000 per week and we know he ordered the nerve gassing of the Kurds.The Jews sure know about genocide. I am sure that they would have something different from your opinion on this. I dont think it was a revenge killing. It was more like what we would have done to Hitler had we got our hands on him. We hanged Tojo, Keitel, Jodl on a lot less. The last two I would have acquitted as a military man. I would have also done my dead level best to kill the writer of Mein Kampf as a madman if I had the control that Jodl did.

    Saddam was responsible for a known 523,000 deaths now and still counting. He attempted to build a nuke and the Israelis took care of that. When we had a huge army, no little country would have thought about doing what they are doing nowadays. We went into Iraq on either trumped up or inaccurate evidence of WMD’s. There was VX and he had aircraft modified to spray it all over troop formations. Minutes to live. He attacked a neighboring Islamic state-Iran. That endeared him to our hearts because of the deal with Carter trying to get the hostages out. Me I am only a diplomat to the point that they start to try to be obstructionist. To make the supposition that we should just “leave them kids alone” when they are building WWIV in their chemistry sets is ludicrous. Norko has proven that fact and now all they need is a nuke that can ride down in the warhead shield and Honolulu, Tokyo, Anchorage and everythng for sure from Denver west is on the block. What I guess we should just wall them off too. Oh, thats worked so well for us.

    It was not an act of judicial murder but of the laws of the country that reconstituted itself. Murder in any country gets you one of two things. Life or death in some manner. It is the first step in a democracy that had until the war suppressed the majority of the people. They can pop guns and rockets all they want but to assert that we should have just hands offed him is nuts. We all knew at the close of the first war that we were going to have to go back in. If we had hit him with a thousand pounder under our laws and the ROE’s then it would have saved the Iraqi’s the cost of a trial. Shock and awe. I was aw gee is that all we are going to do?

    You speak in the same blurb of the Tripoli 6 and cateogorize them as being sort of in the same boat and that this is just a breaking of the law. Nope, The law has spoken. Now Mo G. is talking about them. Thats good, chances of them being executed just went down by 50%. He is talking now about intelligence operatives of foreign countries. So now the set up noise starts. If they are looking for compensation its not going to happen, but it does allow him to step in and take control and the spotlight.

    As for Saddam and if I were an Iraqi civilian I would have simply walked up and shot the son of a bitch. He wouldnt have been missed. I on the other hand might be.

  2. #2 kiwi
    January 3, 2007

    I don’t know where to post this really but I’m totally hacked off.Reuters reports today…”No food crisis in Nth.Korea today despite floods”;a pro-Pyunxgyan newspaper said on wednesday….Well mate,if you believe that,you also believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.The same goes for reporting facts about bird flu.Who the heck knows the truth behind the ineptitude and /or propaganda of third world dictatorships on any matter whatsoever,never mind global pandemics.Ah sigh..good night.

  3. #3 kiwi
    January 3, 2007

    I don’t know where to post this really but I’m totally hacked off.Reuters reports today…”No food crisis in Nth.Korea today despite floods”;a pro-Pyunxgyan newspaper said on wednesday….Well mate,if you believe that,you also believe in Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.The same goes for reporting facts about bird flu.Who the heck knows the truth behind the ineptitude and /or propaganda of third world dictatorships on any matter whatsoever,never mind global pandemics.Ah sigh..good night.

  4. #4 mary in hawaii
    January 3, 2007

    Re: Saddam’s trial and hanging as a war criminal. Because of his mandates and orders a hundred thousand or so kurds died, granted. And lots of his enemies, which he stomped on through the years, in part to keep a lid on the sectarian violence that is now ripping the country apart.

    MRK: I don’t know where you get the “523,000 and still counting”? Are you blaming him for the ongoing deaths in Iraq, even though he’s been imprisoned for over a year? And is now dead. I think we need to look for another bully to blame that on.

    GWB, who invaded Iraq for no justifiable reason whatsoever, used known fabricated “intelligence” re WMD and Iraq’s purported connection with 9-11 – allegations that were disproven before he ever acted on them – to convince the congress and the American people that we had to blow their infrastructure to smithereens, “shock and awe” them into submission – that’s whose hands the blood of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi men, women and children now stains. If Saddam is a war criminal so is GWB, and if Saddam should go to trial so should GWB.

    As regards the nature of the hanging itself, the “quick texas justice”, the revenge flavor, here’s a worthy article. http://www.alternet.org/waroniraq/46197/

  5. #5 Kristine
    January 3, 2007

    I remember when Saddam Hussein was our ally. Because he had an abysmal record on human rights I wrote letters to President Reagan protesting our funding of him. Unfortunately, we had taken his side against our former allies, the Iranians. (Anyone see a pattern here?) After Saddam gassed the Kurds, Senator Jesse Helms put his foot down and tried to yank our funding of him. The Reagan Administration squashed that effort. Then along came GHW Bush, the invastion of Kuwait, and the big old We Have Always Been At War With Saddam (except when, I guess, Donald Rumsfeld was shaking the guy’s hand).

    So what are the conditions of “peace” that lead to war, and wouldn’t an ounce of sense in our foreign policy make up for tons of bombs? Now this lynching is sparking anti-American sentiment. Great.

  6. #6 Lea
    January 3, 2007

    Kiwi: Good point, just dont be too frustrated. For as long as I can remember society has had to always piece together information.
    When you step on or squash a spider is that not a revenge killing… .
    Two observations here: Nearly every story or issue we see in the world has to do with finding the scapegoat, a lecherous person, a person forced to take the blame or punishment for others. Every society demands an answer to who did it, who did what, and where is the perpetrator. If no one to blame can be found then we manifest one to satiate the masses. Truth be told, someone screwed up along the way. The attitude of; we must answer the questions of our people prevails.
    One small reason Saddam was allowed to continue was because he allowed Christianity in Iraq. Saddam in the end was the scapegoat for Iraq.
    Current President Bush is the scapegoat in America now. He hasnt got that much power when you really think about it, he is at the mercy of others, and only a few I might add, that are manipulating and controlling his sorry ass.
    Second thought: Repeatedly, throughout this blog and others, Ive observed that at a young age many people are influenced by something that happened to them, so much so that it influences the rest of their life.
    Saddam had a horrible childhood, no excuse for his despicable actions, but never-the-less a horrible childhood. His mindset was set into action and there was no father figure to guide him.
    Now, the previous President Bush Sr., he made the ridiculous mistake of telling the Iraqi people to revolt against Saddam and that we would come in and back them up. Well, we didnt back the citizens up and additional horrible things resulted from this for the Iraqi people. Heres my theory, present President Bush is also motivated by a early childhood traumatic situation and/or the above mentioned Sr. Bush snafu. Perhaps Bush Jr. wanted to show his dad that he could get the job done in Iraq, or even finish the job that his inept father could not do in order to please his father.

  7. #7 Ana
    January 4, 2007

    I would not really equate the two.

    As Revere says, The politics of the Libyan case are complicated, but an important element is the rage of the parents. Ostensibly, the 6 are scapegoats for mismanagement, lies, just tragedy, and the past. The long history is all about dead children, not just those in the hospitals, attacks on Lybia, Lockerbie, and more (discussed here previous.) These health workers were in the wrong place at the wrong time, and have become helpless pawns. Hostages, of a kind. They aren’t dead yet.

    Gadaffi predictably makes the institutional argument: if they committed a crime and are sentenced to death, that is the court’s decision as does Bush (and between the lines Ban Ki Moon, the new UN DG) – the Iraqis taking their own decisions is a sign of independence and political vibrancy, even national renewal! (Maliki is the worst kind of puppet though apparently he is scared enough not to want a second term.)

    Iraq is a country under occupation. The previous now-deposed dictator being officially murdered was a necessity, mostly for the US public and military, after all, getting rid of Saddam has always been a main talking point, the only one that remains really, after WMD, links with Al Q, etc. So it is necessary closure in a moral media play. Besides that, Saddam could not be allowed to speak about his ties to the US etc.; he passed from valiant secular ally who murdered a lot of communists and insurgents to green clawed dictator…though he did the US’s bidding again and again. Killing Saddam is not revenge – it is calculated lynching to appease public opinion (US) and possibly to inflame public opinion (Iraq). It is a poster triumph, a scripted political necessity. The Tripoli 6 case is more complicated.

  8. #8 revere
    January 4, 2007

    Ana: You make perfectly valid points about how these cases differ, which they indisputably do. I was trying to make a different one: that they also have a common element. Whatever ther eason for Saddam’s excecution, the public reason given is the equivalent of revenge. Seeing it in this light raises other questions, which was my intention. Of course there are other things going on, as there always is.

  9. #9 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 4, 2007

    MIH-523,000 and still digging them up! For the record and by High Command orders the US is not to engage any militias without the orders of their officers and upon consultatin with the Iraqi PM. For some reason everyone keeps tryig to count the people killed in road side bombings and car bombs as US kills. If that were the case then we would need a shitload more Iraqi’s because we kill on about a 6-8 rato. We stopped bombing them a couple of years ago so the big kills are no longer there. Its man to man and even with helicopter support we probably are only getting 3 or so for every casualty we suffer. Most of ours are minor casualties now anyway.

    We also have only lost 3000 in a protracted war that has gone politically correct. If the militias shoot at you, do you bomb their villages or do you sit back and take the hit? I think the latter is what is happening and if you have to ask the question… Its politically correctness making the decisions. As for Saddam and the Amnesty Intl types, I wonder if you would have executed Hitler? I wonder what number of people, maybe your own people getting killed that it would have taken to get someone up off their tails and shoot the asshole.

    They got Jodl and Keitel in Germany in WWII for war crimes even though there was no real evidence that they ever knew or participated in the Jewish massacre’s. They provided logistical support as mandated by the Furhrer but there was never any real documentation that they knew. Even the Jewish government acknowledged that afterwards. But they did know of the camps, but not apparently what was going on so they were caught up in the heat of the moment when they were hanging people. . Not revisionist, they were busy fighting a war and a private in the SS carried as much weight as a full Colonel in the army. Those guys were true soldiers as far as I was concerned. Even Doenitz escaped the noose because he stayed true to the cause of a warrior, not the little Corporal. He was a naval officer to the end. But we did Tojo because he was in full knowledge of what was going on and the rape of Nanking. He also ordered the use of bioweapons on our troops in captivity. Yeah, so where do you draw the line folks on when YOU do something about it. Do you wait around until he kicks your door in? Would your rather have really big wars or little ones. You decide. The answer is generally accepted as being “both ways” in todays society. We have had to modify ourselves to the current events. Remember, Billy Boy Clinton got five embassies onto the ground and an attempt at taking down the WTC’s and he got a pass. Why is everyone so upset at GWB? We havent been attacked here since 9/11. Wonder why about that one folks?

    Lea, Christianity in Iraq? There have been Christians and Jews there since they invented it. What is that statement? I also wouldnt try to say that Saddam was a product of his early childhood environment. either. IMO I thnk he wasnt a psycho. Thats a term you use for people you lock up. No I think that he was a cold blooded killer and that he enjoyed it. Some people are plumbers, but if you know of his 20’s then you can see what his bent was. Not a nut case, just swatting the flies that annoyed him. He wanted power, he got it by killing people. Like Stalin who was his idol, he just killed people.

    MIH was the info cooked about Iraq or just silenced? Was there really MORE to the story? The investigation really lasted only long enough to make it look like they did something and they all headed to cover. Why? The information had a lot to do with Clinton and the ineptitude there, then there was a follow on ineptitude by the career Intel people under Bush. We couldnt prove a link to Saddam AFTER 9/11 that couldnt be proven without a law to basically swack the rights of everyone here in the name of intelligence. They cant spill all of their beans kind of thing, but you do have to follow the law and you have to have a law that says its okay to spy on people. Did they blow it? Sure, but it was FBI people not paying attention to the field officers. Thats not GWB’s particular problem but he was in charge at the time.

    You have to read between the lines on everything the media says. The UN said he had WMD’s, just not what we though he had. VX, Ricin, SARIN were all verified in his facilities. Al Baradei confirmed that he had enriched uranium and he is a Saudi. So what really went on? To be honest the full picture wont be known ever. There was no viable reason to go after Saddam other than the crossroads of the Middle East is Baghdad. If he obtained a delivery system for air bursting uranium or plutonium over the oil fields then he would like Iran today control the Middle East. The attacks on our ships were carried out by people that were funded via charities originating in Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran. Without the enabling law we couldnt cut the funding stream.

    MIH you are pissed off that we are in Iraq. So am I. I want them to kill every SOB thats shooting at us because there is no such thing as a limited war or a police action in a combat zone. I want the troops home but not until they get that country stabilized. We should have gone after Iran more than Iraq, but now we have Iraq on the left, the US Navy on the South and Aghanistan on the East. They are contained or are available at our leisure to be knocked off.

    I cant believe that anyone in the face of a confirmed one half million and now likely 1.5 million dead would defend Saddam as a revenge killing. Those people lying in the grave would llikely call it justice.

  10. #10 mary in hawaii
    January 4, 2007

    MRK: You say (and quite correctly):

    MIH you are pissed off that we are in Iraq. So am I. I want them to kill every SOB thats shooting at us because there is no such thing as a limited war or a police action in a combat zone.I want the troops home but not until they get that country stabilized. We should have gone after Iran more than Iraq, but now we have Iraq on the left, the US Navy on the South and Aghanistan on the East. They are contained or are available at our leisure to be knocked off. ”

    Exactly. As a matter of fact I am still pissed off about the Vietnam war, and for the very same reasons. It is another big unsolvable political and moral quagmire. It will end up the same way the Vietnam fiasco did, a waste of time, money and lives and a situation we not only failed to improve, but worsened considerably. Why? Because our reasons for waging war were never clearly justfied in the first place. It was a muggy grey area, a decision based on what ifs and maybes and gee, just in cases. The public was behind it when they believed that Iraq was behind 9-11. When they discovered that lie, it all went downhill from there. WE are a country that still believes in our moral superiority. It’s a joke, but we believe it. So when faced with evidence of our dark side, (or even our grey) we collapse in despair, pull out and slither home in shame. Call it political correctness, but that is really all it is. And it’s kind of endearing in a sad, pathethic sort of way, that we still do care that we are good or not.

  11. #11 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 4, 2007

    Well one thing is sure Mary, at least YOU do care. I hear people who want us out of Iraq for no damned good reason. They want to reinstitute the draft and that highly decorated I wont call him racist who says that Iraq is nothing but another black mans war Rangel is pushing it. His thought? Institute the draft and it will make sure we pull back on every war. This idiot is now the Chair of the House Ways and Means committee. With that kind of logic, we will be done in under 10 years. Revere wont get research grants because they’ll want bird flu to come in and kill all of our enemies. Same kind of sad logic.

    Vietnam? Trickie Dick saved me from that one. My mom was packing my bags for Canada, I was packing them for basic training. I wouldnt shirk my duty and you can bet there were a lot of arguments about my country right or wrong. But they kept voting Democrat for some reason. The Great Society that Revere wanted went in Vietnam and the bills are still out there from that. Maybe not UHC but at least care for the people who are in wheelchairs with no legs and the like. Might have found a cure for cancer…. This is my example of how to lose a war. Make it politically correct as it was then, as it was under Carter, as it was under Clinton and both the Bushes.

    My response to a war is simple. Bomb, burn, maim, destroy your enemies completely or they will be back. NO LIMITED WARS. All out fuck them up and make them think twice about doing anything that smacks of screwing with us. The field commanders in Iraq requested a stand down of the attacks on large formations of Iraqi troops because it was a slaughter. Yeah so? The Republican Guards and Iranians are who we are fighting now because they were getting the good life to be repressionists as bad if not worse than the Waffen SS. Take a couple of villages off the map entirely in Iran and they will stop the insurgency or we will get into a cheaper fur ball sooner, rather than a big one later.

    We will be knocking Iran off soon and you better hope its George that does it Mary. We can blame him for everything that happens afterwards. If Hillary gets in there and I assume it will be Hillary on the Dem side, they will use the situation to develop a nuke either in Iran or Norko and that puts you square on the targeting maps. They will negotiate right up until they do a verifiable test. We have fucked up across the board Dem and Rep ever since Korea and now we are paper tigers that WILL have to resort to a nuke response if anything happens. Just dont have the manpower for a protracted limited war. It has been proven in Iraq that we cant fight an insurgency war without decaptiating the head of the chicken. The chicken is in Syria, Iran and Norko. If the Chinese start supplying them and with the state of readiness for the military and NATO we could be in over our heads very, very quickly.

    Kind of makes me want to go out and watch sunsets and sing Combayah until I turn on the tube and hear that the Norkos are heading south in great strength. I’ll call Charlie and ask for more troops.

  12. #12 Victoria
    January 5, 2007

    Randolph, could not agree with you more. You don’t go to war to loose. The new Nelson Demille (well – new in Australia) “Wild Fire” is written with the same sentiments that you have expressed above. A very good read indeed.

  13. #13 Victoria
    January 5, 2007

    Sorry. The word in lose not loose. Forgot the Spell Check.

  14. #14 Lea
    January 5, 2007

    Stinking power failures where we live, three in one day.
    MRK: The Christianity in Iraq thing. Asked a relative by marriage 10 years ago why Saddam was allowed to carry on. The Christianity response was what I got. The relative used to work at the Pentagon. Dont much care for the person so perhaps it was a lie to answer my question so I wouldnt ask again.
    Saddam’s childhood did have a great deal to do with how he turned out but, its no excuse for his actions. And, there isnt one ounce of compassion in anything I say about him. He, and the other power hungry wacko idiots on this globe should be dealt with severely.
    Youre right on about how a war should be approached however, not in this lifetime will it ever been seen.
    Hillary, gag, gag, gag. Billy boy back in the White House. Really funny. Heard a new name for her: Chillary.

  15. #15 mary in hawaii
    January 5, 2007

    Victoria: You say “you don’t go to war to lose.” Actually, you do. It’s a lose/lose proposition no matter what: you lose your children, your lovers and husbands, a good deal of the country’s wealth…and that’s even if you are absolutely in the right and you end up “winning”. If you do “win,” then you spend another fortune rebuilding the destroyed enemy, rather than taking his spoils like in the “good old days.” Pretty soon he owns half your country. And that’s when you are forced to go to war because you are directly attacked, as in WWII.

    Win? Doesn’t fall under my definition of what a win should be. So don’t do it unless you absolutely positively have to, don’t do it unless there is no other way in the world that you can protect your homeland and loved ones and way of life. Was that the case in Iraq? Oh hell no.

    What happened was that the American public was not only sold a bill of goods as to why we should attack Iraq, we were also sold an even bigger bill of goods about the outcome. Essentially we would squash them like bugs in the first 3 days of “shock and awe”, and they would belly up, lick our boots, praise our god-fearing holy name as their saviours and redeemers and “liberators”, and all without us losing a single man.


  16. #16 revere
    January 5, 2007

    MiH: I’ve with you all the way on this. Thanks.

  17. #17 M.Randolph Kruger
    January 6, 2007

    Call it the peace dividend Mary. We have for years cut back to “task capable packages” . We didnt send enough troops in. Quite frankly we didnt kill enough of them. We simply just quit killing the people that were shooting at us. If one guy ran into a village, we didnt pursue. What do you do when a hundred do? We should have bee out there literally levelling Tikrit and Fallujah.

    As for absolutely positively? I for one am glad Saddam is gone. We were going to have to go back anyway. Were we sold a bill of goods? Maybe. Maybe we weren’t… A lot of things dont add up to kosher, I’ll give you that. I would have taken them out simply because Al Baradei said he had enriched uranium. Contaminate the oil fields with it in SaudI Arabia. No, I think we just went politically correct and it was based upon McArthurs Post WWII Japan.

    Time to simply send the bombers and cruise missiles in. Quit using small bore weapons and go for the big boys and then you might see the boot licking. For me its the only way now to get out. I dont want to see another Vietnam where we are pushing helicopters off of aircraft carriers. Innocents? Yep and a lot of them will go, but if you reduce the general population of them by say 1/2, they are going to be pissed off but they wont have a cognitive force either.

    Its negotiations with terrorists all over again. Thanks Jimmy C. you opened that can of worms when we should have just flattened Iran in an all out B52 strike and gotten our people out.

    Absolutely, positively is relative Mary to the day and time you are doing it. It was costing 1 million a day to maintain a no fly zone. Its costing us 2 million a day to be politically correct and about 750 millon of that was money already budgeted for. I hope Pelosi and Reid try to push this no addtional troops thing and threaten to cut the funding for the war there. It will ensure that the government falls there, and here. There by civil war and here when they get thrown back out in two years.

  18. #18 Victoria
    January 6, 2007

    Ask the armament industry if they are losing any money at the moment.

  19. #19 revere
    January 6, 2007

    Randy: Hmmm. Sounds a like like the Nazis in WWI. If one of their soldires got shot by a partisan in a vllage they just shot the men in the village. Or Curtis Lemay, which, if he had been on the losing side instead of the winning side would have been hung as war criminal. Yes, we could have lost all of our people in a B52 strike. That would have been lovely.

    Airstrikes in WWII didn’t seem to work in breaking the population or their armies. It took an A bomb to do that. I suppose that’s your next recommendation? Oh, I forgot. You already recommended that.

  20. #20 Victoria
    January 6, 2007

    Anyway you look at it, the Iraq invasion was unnecessary. It smacks of unfinished Bush family business and to date no decent explanation for the invasion has been given. The invasion exemplifies the US government’s ignorance in regard to historical military precedence in this region. Not even the Romans or Alexander the Great were able to exert any kind of permanent dominance over these peoples.

    For all his faults, Saddam was the cork that plugged the hole in the volcano. When Saddam was removed there was no way anyone could predict the ensuing instability.

    War is a brutal, nasty business. War should not be entered into lightly, but having done so, one must allocate the necessary resources, and soldiers and one must smite with all ones might. Half measures lead to the situation that we now find ourselves in. Extracting the US and her allies from Iraq is going to be bloody difficult.

  21. #21 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 6, 2007

    Revere, exactly my point. If you go to war, you kill everyone that you should and that is all of those that would raise their hand in opposition to you. Victoria is right, no half assed programs. I am perfectly willing to kill until they surrender because thats what soldiers do. We went out of our way to take out the leadership but not the middle management and that is who we are fighting.

    I disagree re: bombing in WWII. The Dresden raid was a good example. They killed 100,000 in just a single night and that 100% firebombed a city. That assuredly kept 100,000 people from attacking, supporting willingly or unwilingly the Nazi cause and that achieved the miiltiary goals. The type of weapons used were as smart bombed as they got back then. There was no direct targeting of schools and hospitals. USAF records make the following case:

    1. The raid had legitimate military ends, brought about by exigent military circumstances.
    2. Military units and anti-aircraft defenses were sufficiently close that it was valid not to consider the city “undefended”.
    3. The raid did not use extraordinary means, but was comparable to other raids used against comparable targets.
    4. The raid was carried out through the normal chain of command, pursuant to directives and agreements then in force.
    5. The raid achieved the military objective, without “excessive” loss of civilian life.

    Depends on what you call excessive. Is a human that operates a lathe that turns out the casings for a nuke a target in his home? If he willingly puts on a uniform each day because he is conscripted or a volunteer, does that make his family a target in the home? To me it does even if he has 15 kids, along with those kids. 100,000 was about the same number as Hiroshima with one bomb. Should we have done it? Sure, because it is the same way that it is viewed by THEM. Fast forward 60 years and here we are again. Arguing wether Saddam was a legitimate target. Shit, as far as I am concerned they all are. Take Tikrit off the map along with Fallujah.

    The decision to reenter Iraq was the product of reconstitution of the cease fire under the UN resolution granting power to attack in the first place. It allowed for the no fly zones to begin with. The state of war never ended. Saddam knew we would be back but he continued to do the things he was doing and doing them more often. He attacked two of his neighbors, we supported him because he was attacking Iraq back then. Bad move? Perhaps not at the time. We always think we control our puppets until the strings break. Then he falls down. We can move on to the next problem in a year or two because we will be out and Iraq will never be the same. They also know that we will be back again and again and again if things dont return to a more acceptable case. No president wants to go to war. Can the case be made for not going here? Sure, but a bigger one lies dead in Tikrit FOR going to war. AMF

    As for losing the people in Teheran Revere, we lost them anyway. Most of them are so screwed up from the captivity it reminds me of the Hanoi Hilton. I would have shot every Iranian going over that wall and that IS the order now when it happens by standing order for any embassy. The Iranians knew it was an act of war and Peanuts and his boys stood by and negotiated with a two-bit country, then paid cash to get them back. Simple statement that there would be two divisions of Marines landing in the South along with air support and a declaration of war would have done it. Why didnt we? Because he had gutted the military for all of his social programs. At one point in time there were only six rounds per man in the military. What, start a war, let them kick our ass and then apply for foreign aid? Yeah somehow I dont think that would work out. Mo. G. has to understand that if those doctors and nurses are put to death or not released then its another check mark on the list for going after him again. He isnt stupid or crazy…. He is just in power and he can use that power locally to either do good or bad. Either one is acceptable and produces a response from this side. One thing is sure, first one to pop a nuke over there is going to get a Kodak moment of his facilities. The balloon is going up on that one.

    This Koffi Annan political crap is based on really one thing. The UN exists because of the US. If we withdraw from it as I think we should, the house of cards falls down and we get to start all over. Either the UN reforms and the resolutions actually bring peace or it serves to create yet another situation. We stand at a crossroads and two of those paths lead to large scale war, one might not but does lead to smaller wars. Only one path will lead to the US remaining the top dog on this planet. We though are hell bent on making sure that we take care of internal problems when its the external problems that are about to eat our asses. Bring home the troops? Prepare for the next big “Weekend at Bernies” if we do. The Iranians will occupy Iraq within two years if that happens….Question is whether a political or miltary goal will be met by us to allow it. Hope that we will be driving hydrogen cars by then else the upheaval that it causes will shut down the economy yet again. Even that bumbling idiot Hillary will be able to see that.

    Maybe its a good idea to just TELL Mo. G. to give them back. Then its at a time and place of our choosing rather than on the world stage and with yet another loss of political capital. NATO is rumbling about those people.

  22. #22 revere
    January 6, 2007

    Randy: You are the mirror image of them. That’s the problem. You and them.

  23. #23 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 6, 2007

    Does that make you the mirror image of the ones that did nothing while Hitler and Saddam rose to power. Where is Neville Chamberlain when you need him? After all both were growing in power during the lib shifts. Saddam absolutely loved Jimmy C., so did Mo. G., both really admired that “humanitarianism” thing.

    Again, at what level does something have to get to before one does something? Not a slam Revere, its just my entire point. I would rather go out having done something about it rather than just being the latest sacrifice on the altar of religion, war, politics, and personal responsibility. We all sit here and blog away. Try writing the things you want right now in Iran or Libya. Balance of terror…. They have their toys, I have mine. Deciding when to use them is the real problem now isnt it.?

    They dont give research grants in Norko except to develop bioweapons and nukes. Which field do you want. We have a military and many fields in which to participate. You dont have to participate though. You dont have the option in Iran. Its mandatory. Again my point. Do you sit back and do nothing except pray that they dont attack us, or our allies? What do you use? Jimmy Carter used harsh language…That got him a lot of nowhere fast. Please deliver me the out here and I would take it in a heartbeat., else drop the big ones and make sure they dont get the technology to use them. You surely dont buy that the Iranians are making nukes for peaceful purposes do you?

  24. #24 revere
    January 6, 2007

    I am the counterpart for those in Iraq and Iran and Palestine and Israel and the US who don’t believe killing is the answer. There are many of us. You want to talk about Hitler. I want to talk about today. It is your position that once “someone” makes the decision to go to war, there are no longer any rules. It is kill or be killed. But there have always been rules of warfare and they are to protect the warriors more than the civilians. It is mainly since WWII that civilians have been the main victims of war and that is thanks to warriors deciding on new rules. We need to decide on new warriors.

  25. #25 Victoria
    January 6, 2007

    Revere, in your belief that the new soldier is different let me pose these questions.

    How civilised do you think you would be when facing the murderers of your wife and children?

    How civilised would you be when those around you are being killed by militants with similar dispositions?

    Let me assure you that the beast lies within all of us and civility is merely a veneer that is skin deep.

  26. #26 revere
    January 6, 2007

    Victoria: That’s why we don’t have vigilante law and why most civilized countries don’t have capital punishmnet.

  27. #27 Victoria
    January 6, 2007

    Revere, as I have said before you cannot hope to change the human condition.

    I take it that you don’t think that America is civilized?

  28. #28 revere
    January 6, 2007

    Victoria: That’s why we have laws and social institutions. I don’t know what you mean by “the human condition.” Why even bother with laws if there is nothing to be done?

    With regard to our penal system, we are not civilized. We lock up more people than almost any nation on earth. We didn’t start to do that until the 1980s (thank you Ronald Reagan). Most countries don’t incarcerate to the extent the US does. Not even close. And then there’s capital punishment. Judicial murder. Remember that when Saddam did it it was also lawful. He, too, was uncivilized.

  29. #29 Victoria
    January 6, 2007

    The rule of law is fine and a meaningful way of maintaining law, order and harmony. But one of the essential problems that the globe faces is that countries that should be leading by example have torn up the rule book by doing it their way. It is therefore, not surprising that lesser states eg. The Solomon Islands, Fiji, a multitude of African nations and other failed states/countries have chosen the same cynical approach to the conventions of law and order. there are consequences for all actions; perhaps the allies are now realising this.
    Just in case anyone thinks that this is America Bashing I am highly critical of my own country’s involvement.

  30. #30 revere
    January 6, 2007

    Victoria: It appears, then, that we are in agreement.

  31. #31 Victoria
    January 6, 2007

    Yes Revere, it appears we are in agreement on the macro view of the world.

  32. #32 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 6, 2007

    Well its all about applying law to the times when humanity is the most unlawful. You cant have it both ways and thats whats getting our asses kicked everytime we go out into the world playground to take out the builles. Oh sure, they will say we are the bullies. Shoot folks I can tell you its not by choice. Remember we would rather be in our kazerns drinking beer and chasing girs. On the other hand, you give a highly mechanized force a mission they should be able to fulfill it and without regards for civilian casualties if they run their asses into a village or town. Not one guy, but dozens. Slaughtering innocents? Yep the get the majority tagging. Why? Because of proximity. Quit trying to use the law because just like on our streets where the criminals have all the rights and we have none, all the libs keep on trying to get into Saddams head, or Hitlers or some other gomer we dont even know yet. I hear bullshit about his childhood etc and it makes me sick. So Hitler was the way he was because he had no father during his upbrining? Arnie S of California’s dad was in the SS and he seemed to have turned out okay. You there Adolph, you need a shrink. Hows Saturday after taking the Sudetenland sound to you? No? Thats out because you have to take the Low Countries on Thursday? mmm…. Okay Sunday after Checholslovakia it is then.

    This conversation though is really at an end now and once again, we are going to march to the beat of a war drum. Latest from Fox News:

    Report: Israel Planning Nuke Raid on Iran Uranium Enrichment Sites

    Saturday, January 06, 2007

    Israel has drawn up secret plans to destroy Iran’s uranium enrichment facilities with tactical nuclear weapons. Two Israeli air force squadrons are training to blow up an Iranian facility using low-yield nuclear “bunker-busters”, according to several Israeli military sources.

    The attack would be the first with nuclear weapons since 1945, when the United States dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The Israeli weapons would each have a force equivalent to one-fifteenth of the Hiroshima bomb.”

    Two things that this does for sure. First is that this acknowledges that they have them and secondly is the will to use them.

    MIH-Better hope that we go into Iran very quickly now. Those Russians are gettng mightly atsy lately. They wont sit back and let a nuclar exchange happen without doing somthing about it it. Moot point.

  33. #33 revere
    January 6, 2007

    Randy: You seem to have an inflated idea of the efficacy of military power. Consider the tens of thousands of tons of ordinance dropped on the Ho Chi Minh trail, to no effect, the 5 tons of bombs for every NVA/VC soldier dropped around Khe Sanh before Tet, the shock and awe of this war, on and on. It doesn’t work, which is why everyone (but you) is saying that this isn’t a military problem but a political one. Do yo think that you are gong to bomb Iran into submission when it couldn’t be done to German or Japan or Vietnam or . . . you name it … is going to work? It will only get us into a worse pickle than your military friends have gotten is in already, a situation where we are dmaned if we do and damned if we don’t. Southeast asia didn’t turn communist when we lost in Vietnam, no matter what we were told. It was a bloody waste of lives, money and american prestige. What the military adventure in Iraq has proved is the tiny reach of
    american military power. It can’t even bring the city of Bagdad under control. And you think we are going to succeed in Iran? With what? We’ve shot our wad and it didn’t go far.

  34. #34 Lea
    January 6, 2007

    And we dare to wonder why and how the Congress and Senate never come to any middle road agreements.

    MRK: Youll hear no excuses from me about demented behavior attributed to childhood experiences, just the facts. There are untold number of people who have had ugly childhoods and have turned out beautifully. Some people never adjust to what a human being is supposed to be like; and a sidenote, like any of us really understand that. There is always a choice, some are capable of making the jump into sanity and others are not. Saddam, Hilter, they couldnt make the jump.

    revere: The military didnt get us into this pickle it was Rumsfeld. Again, the military knows how to do its job, its the meddling of the Rummy types that muck up the works.

    Utopia? Not on this globe.

  35. #35 Ground Zero Homeboy
    January 7, 2007

    There is no war in Iraq or Afghanistan. The US occupies these failed states. The wars were over quickly, remember “Mission Accomplished”. It was true, the other side (the word enemy would be deceitful) folded.

    An occupation cannot be won. The US sits in these territory for various reasons: geopolitical advantage (big yes), resource extraction (big no), and various others such as warning the world about switching to the euro.

    When the US was chased out of Vietnam, 1 out of 10 South Vietnamese was Viet Cong. One out of 4 US employees was VC. When “them” IS “us”, it’s over. This has already happened with the Shia in Iraq. It’s over. Our major problem now is that our supply lines are so long and thin and vulnerable that retreating will be profoundly hard to achieve without a total slaughter.

    As to Nazi Germany: Godwin’s Law.

  36. #36 M. Randolph Kruger
    January 7, 2007

    I disagree totally Revere. Its a poker game. You dont play a deuce when you know the other guy has an ace. We were bombing the HCM trail daily and nightly, but we killed very, very few. NOW if we had tagged the living shit out of party headquarters in Hanoi and bombed the supply ships or even enforced a blockade things might have been different. You as a doc just fail to understand the situation we are about to go into here. We have too many people in the game with too few cards to play. We hold all the aces and we can trump say, 2 or 3 max players. Then they get to play theirs. They are not big cards that they hold but big enough. Iran holds a 6, Israel a flat on 10 and they have some 8 and 9’s but cant play them except in secondary hands. They too will be able to trump some of the other players. BUT there are players outside the game that want to get in. China and Russia for starts, France is another. They bring a lot of money to the table if they get in. Once in, you will not be able to get out. Then the game is like a poker tournament, last guy standing wins.

    Its a simplistic portrait I will grant you. The non-announcement announcement by the Israelis yesterday of what constitutes a frag order for the pounding of Irans nuke sites is an upping of the ante. THIS DIRECTLY, I SAY AGAIN DIRECTLY STATES THEIR INTENTIONS TO REMOVE THAT THREAT. I have said more than once the missing plutonium from Savannah River from the 70’s ended up in the Israeli arsenal. Now they are talking about about their own nuclear reactors…breeders at that. So if Iran continues doing what they are, they will be obliterated off the face of the map if necessary. The Israelis are also working on missiles because their only delivery system are aircraft and that means they will have to fly low level and either eject afterwards or hit a tanker on the way back. They will also have to violate about five countries airspace. Me, I would thru channels make a deal to violate Saudi airspace because they want those guys gone too. Iran covets the entire region Revere.

    Two things you have to think about. The US is bogged down in Iraq, but not Afghanistan. Putting planes there would make Teheran a VERY easy target statistically for us to do them. Their missile batteries are good but not good enough. We would lose a few but I dont think that the US wants a nuclear tipped Iran. Saudi Arabia sure as shit doesnt. Kuwait same, Qatar same. Syria okay just as long as we get to tag along. Pakistan probably helping, India-no way. It gets into a “do what we say or else” scenario and suddenly everyone is in the nuke business.

    So you have the players with their cards Revere and someone has to stand up and say we will smoke you all if you launch one. India and Pakistan started up on each other a few years back and quiet diplomacy (We are going to kick your asses) by the US and Russians, with the accord of the Chinese put that one down. Both Bomb programs were for those two hushed up and then suddenly they popped one. Welcome to the club. But with membership comes responsibilities.

    Problem is with nukes is that they are paper tiger weapons. You can threaten to use one all day long, but if you do you KNOW you are going to be killed yourselves about 30 minutes later as the X and Y coordinates=Latitutude and longitude are redialed in from either a sub or someplace in Nebraska. Once that ball starts rolling it will continue to roll for a LONG time. All of these players could start it off. War College teachings say that you have to periodically USE a WMD to remind people of what they will do. Even a tactical nuke will cause immense and immediate problems with the Russians. Would they target the Israelis? Now theres the big question of the day. There are rumors of a silo that the Israelis built that might contain a single warhead with the name MOSCOW BUSTER on it if they retaliated for an Iranian hit. There would be nothing the Russians could do about it either and the Israelis know they would get slaughtered. So anyone got any bright ideas that dont go poof. Its escalating behind the scenes now at an incredible rate. My contention….pull the gloves off now and assert control before we get to this moment thats coming. We all see it, we have no control to stop it unless we act and soon.

  37. #37 Health Wizard
    March 8, 2007

    We take for granted the incredible health facilities in this country. People in need understand compassion and respond in kind with peaceful solutions. WBR LeoP