Jeff Flom | May 29, 2003
I know everybody just wants to have fun on Tragic Comedy, I don't mean to bring anyone down but... Most of you, from your comments seemed very concerned about our involvement in Iraq. Well, if you watch the news you will see that we are being set on a collision course with Iran. A word of advice to you all -- If you have a problem with this course of action then you need to act NOW. Protesting a week or a month before the war is completely pointless as these decisions are made at least a year in advance if at all possible. For example there is absolutely no doubt that Bush made the decision to invade Iraq around September 11th, 2001... at most a day or two after. The invasion, of course, came about a year and a half later after a massive media campaign.
There are three possible explanations for Iran being in the news so much lately: 1. The Bush administration is trying to scare them by smearing them in the media -- I highly discount this theory as it is very easy for Washington to call up Tehran and explain that we are not happy with them and our nations are moving towards conflict. The only reason to broadcast it in the media is for our consumption.
2. The Bush administration has already decided on a regime change in Iran. This is very possibly the case. If so, there is very little we can do to change this except to put pressure on our representatives in Congress and the Senate who can then put pressure on the Bush administration. The sooner we do this the better, don't wait!
3. The Bush administration is throwing up a test balloon to check the weather. Send out a few news stories about Iran and if no one much notices or gets upset you're probably o.k. Send it up the flag pole and see if anyone salutes it. This is also very possibly the case and it gives 'we the people' the best chance of stopping it. If we scream and shout bloody murder we can shoot the weather balloon down. But we must act now! Don't wait because then it will be too late.

Jackie Mason | May 29, 2003
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Anna Gregoline | May 29, 2003
Possible, but there is something about the barely contained glee on W's face that makes me think otherwise...

Scott Hardie | May 30, 2003
I agree completely, Jeff. The truth is probably a combination of 2 and 3. So how does this fit into Junior's re-election strategy, since that is every politician's ultimate priority? Convince us for the next 18 months that Iran is a dangerous threat so that we can elect him again to save us from it?

Anna Gregoline | May 30, 2003
His approval ratings were never higher than when we were in conflict, right? The downside of a nation where so many people are, or have been in the brainwashing cult, oh I mean our military.I'm glad we have them, but it doesn't help in times like these.

Jeff Flom | May 30, 2003
You are absolutely right Anna, we are all glad for the people who risk their lives to defend ours and you are right that we must be careful that, as a society, we do not allow militarism to become too powerful a force.

Scott, as I state in my profile my specialty is foreign affairs, however, I can try to put myself in the mind of President Bush. If I were him I would look at Iran as backup. The poor economy killed Bush senior's re-election bid (along with the fact that he did not give the impression of caring). Oddly enough we have a poor economy right now as Bush jr. is thinking about re-election. Now, current President Bush has tried very hard to show people that he does care about the economic troubles and their troubles so he has avoided that sin of the father. However, no one can say for certain that the economic troubles will not continue up to the election. Which, if they did would almost certainly doom Bush's re-election bid. Now, if he has a crisis / war going on... that would possibly cancel out the poor economy, giving him a fair chance at re-election. Further, Bush barely won the last election against a competitor who is generally regarded in the political community as incompetent (at least as far as running a campaign). He will, more than likely, face much stiffer competition this time around. So, Bush is probably thinking that the economy will pick up before the election and he will have a crisis to boost his poll numbers and fight off a worth-while challenger. Either way it cannot hurt him to have a crisis around the time of the election. Or so the theory goes. It can, of course, backfire, but, without it his political goose is probably cooked anyway.

This is, of course, a very cynical view; I'm not sure that I'm willing to go that far. Although, I will say that this is playing some role in his decision making process. How much? No one knows but him.

To be fair to President Bush his thoughts and actions are prejudiced by 9 / 11 and I can't say I blame him. Yes, everyone's thoughts and actions are prejudiced by 9 / 11 but absolutely none more than the man who was sitting President on that fateful day.

Anna Gregoline | May 31, 2003
The problem still becomes that right after 9/11, he decided to go after IRAQ. I mean, I hate the man for a million other reasons, but that one alone is unforgivable. Let's make up another war, why not.I hope that history will remember George Jr. as a truely evil man.

Jeff Flom | May 31, 2003
Anna,
I agree that President Bush did an unforgiveable thing in regards to Iraq and 9/11. I have to part ways with you (only very slightly) on what that unforgiveable thing was. I was and am still in favor of the war in Iraq, so there is where we disagree... I think. I agree with you that President Bush should not have made the decision to invade Iraq so soon after 9/11 and he should not have sold the war with Iraq as a package deal with the war on terror -- "Come to Kray-Z Bush's War Emporium, buy the war on terror and I'll throw in the Iraq war for free!!!" There were, in my opinion, legitimate reasons for Invading Iraq, 9/11 was not one of them. However, this is precisely what Mr. Bush has done, his (almost) exact words were, "After 9/11 we cannot allow terrorist regimes to possess weapons of mass destruction for they would surely give them to terrorists who would use them on us without mercy." AND ANOTHER HIT SONG FROM KRAY-Z BUSH's WAR EMPORIUM "We know that Saddam Hussein has or has the ability to produce Botulinum Toxin, VX Nerve Gas, etc. etc. etc. We also know that Saddam Hussein has contacts with Al-Qaeda." And there you go, he just made the connection between invading Iraq and 9/11. The only problem is, that connection was not real, there was no reason why Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda attacking the United States should in any way involve Iraq because it didn't; President Bush new this, he new this so he went in the back door by concocting this mysterious and dreaded combination of WMD, unscrupulous heads of state, and International Terrorists while the fear from 9/11 is still fresh in everyone's mind. 9/11 concerned us, Bin Laden's Al-Qaeda terror network and Afghanistan, that's all, it ends there. Mr. Bush shamelessly linked Iraq to 9/11. Now, he is doing the exact same thing with Iran...hey if it worked once.
The only difference for me this time around is that Iran has not committed any wrongs that is worthy of us going to war for, or for that matter attempting to covertly topple their government. Which is, by the way, a legally recognized Act of War. In other words, if we make an effort to topple their government then Iran has legal standing in the international community to declare war on us. The concept of the United States of America, my United States of America performing actions that give another country a perfectly legitimate reason to start a war with us is not what America stands for.
P.S. I don't mind any direction that this thread takes, feel free to make any comments you want. I would just like to re-iterate the reason I started this thread: If you feel strongly that we should not overthrow the government of Iran either through open warfare or by covert action than you need to act quickly, you need to act now. Sadly, for those of you who believed that we should not have done what we did to Iraq, the opportunity to stop the war with Iraq has passed but you can stop action against Iran. You must simply act now.

Anna Gregoline | May 31, 2003
I think we agree, Jeff. You said it all more eloquently, but yes. I think that if the war on Iraq was justified now, it should have been justified long ago. It IS the "connection" between Iraq and 9-11 that is wrong.And yes, let's take off our "NO WAR IN IRAQ"buttons or at least change that "Q" to an "N," shall we? Do something!

Jeff Flom | June 1, 2003
HOUSE
SENATE

Use the above links to find Email and postal addresses for the Senators and Representatives from your state. Write them and let them know you expect them to tell President Bush, "No to Iran!"

If people are interested and it makes things easier I could write a brief form letter in which all that needed to be done was to insert the name of your Senator or Representative as well as your name and mail it off. If anyone is interested just post here and I will post the letter here so everyone can just cut and paste.

Dave Stoppenhagen | June 12, 2003
I am prior military, and never have agreed with GW's policies. I agree with both Jeff and Anna that the war was justifiable for different reasons than what GW gave us. Back in 92 Old man Bush promissed the Iraqis that we would protect them and liberate them, which we never followed through on. Instead we spent the following decade screwing around with stupid "resolutions" that were never enforced. But a war with Iran would be a political killer, he has no justification.

Jackie Mason | June 12, 2003
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Lori Lancaster | June 12, 2003
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Scott Hardie | June 12, 2003
On Iraq: I have been meaning to post something on this subject, but I discussed it in person with so many people that I kind of lost interest. What I started out wondering was whether anybody else was as pissed off as me about the recent leaks from exiting Pentagon officials that said the Bush administration went ahead with the war when they knew damn well that intelligence didn't support their assertions about Hussein's WMDs. What I discovered is three groups: A) liberals who already suspected it, B) conservatives who are still convinced that Hussein had WMDs and in the quantity that Bush implied all along, and C) conservatives who aren't about to change their whole political ideology or anything but are pretty damn pissed at Bush all the same. As a member of the vilified anti-this-war minority, I feel some relief that at least some of Bush's supporters are feeling as lied-to and hoodwinked as the rest of us.

On Iran: Don't take this the wrong way, but I just laugh when I read the war rhetoric about Iran. What's so funny about it? That Bush used Iraq as a smokescreen for the failing economy, and damn if he isn't using Iran as a smokescreen for Iraq! The other day I saw the top headline "New probe into pre-war intelligence recommended" replaced within hours by "Rumsfeld: Iran developing nuclear weapons."

Lori: What about the alternative explanation, that Hussein didn't have WMDs to begin with? Even Bush usually insisted that he was just "developing" them. (I don't dispute that Hussein was indeed developing WMDs; I just use the quotation marks because, well, shit, every non-nuclear nation is "developing" nukes with at least a little effort.)

Lori Lancaster | June 13, 2003
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Scott Hardie | June 14, 2003
I'm arguing that there's a possibility that Hussein didn't have any WMDs. If that's true, then there was no drama or secrecy on his part; he was telling the truth when he said he didn't have any. Unlikely, sure, but possible.

When I discuss this subject of missing WMDs with a certain pro-this-war friend of mine, he says that we were right to go in anyway because of all the mass graves that we discovered; they justified taking Hussein out of power. While I do agree that Hussein should have been removed, such a giant error in logic gives me spasms.

Jackie Mason | June 15, 2003
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Anna Gregoline | June 15, 2003
I just hope, that when the next "9/11" happens, the terrorists say "THIS IS WHY WE ARE DOING THIS," i.e. the war.


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