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Oops! We Attacked And Decimated The Wrong Middle Eastern Country!
Iran, Iraq, they sound pretty much the same. Unfortunately, it's Iran with the WMDs says a Reuters story:

Iran has begun testing a cascade of 20 centrifuges at its Natanz pilot uranium-enrichment plant, pressing ahead with efforts to purify nuclear fuel in defiance of world pressure, a nuclear watchdog report said on Monday.

The confidential report by International Atomic Energy Agency chief Mohamed ElBaradei said Iran had also begun substantial renovations of Natanz's system handling UF6 gas, which is converted by centrifuges into enriched atomic fuel.

It said the cascade of 20 centrifuge machines began to undergo vacuum testing on February 22.

Hey, we'd be right over...really we would...but we're a bit busy inciting endless civil war in Iraq, at a cost of over a trillion dollars for our citizens.

Posted by aalkon at February 28, 2006 10:49 AM

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"Decimated"?

Posted by: Crid at February 28, 2006 3:11 AM

I think the problem liberals and leftists like yourself have is that you're full of snark and nothing else. Conservatives, even though they may have miscalcuated in Iraq, offer noble goals (democratizing the Middle East) and leadership. People enjoy a laugh but ultimately won't vote for snarkiness.

If we had attacked Iran first, we'd still have a problem with Iraq. We could have just bombed the shit out of both countries, but that would have been a short term solution. It doesn't deal with the larger problem of Islamic fundamentalist hate, which can only be cured by either putting them to the sword or converting them to principles of democracy and liberty. Essentially you'd be treating the symptom, not the disease.

Did you read how the French government recently opposed putting any sanctions on Iran through the U.N.? How can you say that the French are not the enemy?

Posted by: nash at February 28, 2006 3:43 AM

Dude, relax, she's toying with us. "bombing the shit out of both countries" was in no one's interest. The French aren't the "enemy," they're just wickedly corrupt.

Posted by: Crid at February 28, 2006 3:59 AM

If we had attacked Iran first, we'd still have a problem with Iraq. We could have just bombed the shit out of both countries, but that would have been a short term solution. It doesn't deal with the larger problem of Islamic fundamentalist hate, which can only be cured by either putting them to the sword or converting them to principles of democracy and liberty.

What "problem with Iraq"? There was no problem until Duh invented one.
Why should we have attacked anyone, especially IRAN? They're a DEMOCRACY already. If things are hotter there now, that's our own fault for destabilizing the region. Iraq was NOT an "Islamic fundamentalist" country when we blew it up, it was a secular dictatorship.
Like the old Yugoslasvia, it seems the only way to control tribalism is to have an iron hand at the helm.

Posted by: Deirdre B. at February 28, 2006 4:47 AM

Nash, I'm neither a liberal nor a leftist, although I wish many so-called conservatives were so-called liberals and leftists. I'm actually an actual conservative, if anything (and a libertarian), which means I'm not for running around bombing anybody unless they attack us first. But, really what I am is a common-sense moderate. I don't vote with a particular side. I vote for the side that is the least stupid and corrupt at the moment. Which can be hard, considering who's been running lately.

In brief, see Crid above. And because I like going to France, FYI, doesn't mean I agree with them on everything...although it does turn out that they were sorta smart on not joining in and attacking Iraq, huh?

Quite frankly, Saddam was horrible, but kept Iraq from descending into civil war. There are a lot of horrible dictators and horrible situations in the world, and we're not attacking. Yet, I saw PDFs somewhere of a Rumsfeld meeting where he reportedly suggested roping in Iraq after 9/11, involved or not.

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2006 5:16 AM

Decimated? Reduced by one tenth??

Yes yes, I know Merriam-Webster allows the modern usage meaning "annihilated" (as a third choice) but I maintain it's sloppy as all get out.

However I'm in full agreement that US middle east policy is utterly wrong, and that the french have a lot to teach us.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at February 28, 2006 6:09 AM

I meant decimated as in damaging or destroying. See "decimation."

Posted by: Amy Alkon at February 28, 2006 6:19 AM

I'm actually an actual conservative, if anything (and a libertarian), which means I'm not for running around bombing anybody unless they attack us first.

That's not really a definition of an "actual conservative", as I am one and disagree. Technology has antiquated that view in its basic.

...although it does turn out that they were sorta smart on not joining in and attacking Iraq, huh?

That would depend on if you wish to avoid mentioning the urban riots and hate crimes that are still exploding there. Like Spain, it didn't do them any good.

Quite frankly, Saddam was horrible, but kept Iraq from descending into civil war.

But, at a cost in human life and economics greater than what is currently happening.

Posted by: Oligonicella at February 28, 2006 8:41 AM

Doesn't ABC's recent discovery of Saddam's taped revelations about his efforts to hide his WMD programs from UN inspectors kind of put the kibosh on the whole "Bush Lied" lobby?

Posted by: snakeman99 at February 28, 2006 10:03 AM

That would depend on if you wish to avoid mentioning the urban riots and hate crimes that are still exploding [in France]. Like Spain, it didn't do them any good.


Oh please! Exploding? There's been ONE hate crime lately. And the USA is not exactly free of urban riots. As for not doing them any good -- how about saving the lives of 1,000 or so soldiers? Plus gawd knows how many euros???

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at February 28, 2006 2:51 PM

I used to think that Bush was completely clueless, but now that the Sunnis and Shiites are blowing up each others' mosques, I see his true genius. He's getting these people to kill each other! Just think, the fighting will probably spread to the other Islamic countries as well. Suddenly, the world's most violent and backwards religion will consume itself. Why carpet bomb these people and draw international outrage when you can get them to self-destruct?

Hey, can anyone think of a way to pit Christian fundamentalists and Scientologists against each other?

Posted by: Jason Ginsburg at February 28, 2006 4:06 PM

> at a cost in human life and economics
> greater than what is currently
> happening.

Exactly. The mass graves are closed for business. Everybody OK with that? Amy? Everyone?

> the USA is not exactly free
> of urban riots

They don't last for weeks across the nation.

> He's getting these people to
> kill each other!

DO you think these hatreds wouldn't have been at work without the invasion? Do you really believe, as Michael Moore suggested, that before the Invasion Iraqi life was all about flying kites?

Posted by: Crid at February 28, 2006 7:17 PM

How come I agree with Crid. That's not supposed to happen.

Posted by: Norman at March 1, 2006 1:00 AM

>> the USA is not exactly free

>> of urban riots

> They don't last for weeks across the nation.

Well, this is a red herring because it has absolutely nothing to do with US imperialism in the Middle East -- but just for fun, here's the box score:

French urban unrest, oct-nov 2005

=======================

Duration: 20 nights

Cost: 200M €

Deaths: 2

Arrests: 2,888

Fires (vehicles): 9,000

Rodney King riots, Los Angeles 1992

=========================

Duration: 6 days

Cost: possibly $1 billion

Deaths: 60

Arrests: 10,000

Fires: 3,600

Buildings destroyed: 1,100

[thanks, wikipedia]

I must just add that the citadelles, far from "exploding," are now calm.

Posted by: Stu "El Inglés" Harris at March 1, 2006 7:58 AM

Don't worry - in his slow, methodical way, W will just keep decimating countries until he gets the "right" one...

Posted by: Russputin at March 1, 2006 11:06 AM

> this is a red herring because
> it has absolutely nothing to
> do with US imperialism in the
> Middle East

Four fundamental confusions in one sentence. That's a new record for Amy's comments! We're gonna ask her to send you out a windbreaker.

> I must just add that the citadelles,
> far from "exploding," are now calm.

Is that a metaphor or something? Look forward five, ten or twenty years and tell me what you see for South Central and for the entirety of France. "Calm" would translate as 'they're keeping the lid on this month,' which is not the same as 'tensions have been proactively relieved.'

America has never connected with its broken, former slave families with any innovative assistance. But as a social and political force they're being overwhelmed by latino influence, which despite its problems is globally renowned for industriousness and family connectedness.

When America does violence, we do it to your face using firearms. That's a hard thing to admire. But I'm not sure I don't... It presents a special and distinct slope to tolerable intimidations. Across the world there are routine submissions and ongoing corruptions that just don't happen here. In America people are packing ALL the time. Everybody knows this, so EVEN THOSE (of us) WHO DON'T are less likely to suffer intrusions and assault.

In the '92 riots, I had friends who spent Thursday bragging that they had refrigerators full of beer and footlockers full of ammo: "Come and get it, you little bastards!" (That from a guy in SANTA MONICA!) It was soon obvious that the police were incompetent at fundamental peacemaking. But my friends -- and their children -- were safe because they would defend themselves.

I digress. Steyn says within a generation and certainly within two, most of what we now call Europe will have vanished and there isn't a goddam thing anyone can do about it. The people moving to France don't want to be energetically French, they want France to be lethargically Arab, and the French response to their arrival encourages the worst and most bitter Islamist extremism.

The latinos (and others) in America want to enjoy the nature of America freedom, and they're eager to earn it by selling elbow grease at competitive prices.

This isn't meant to sound like "If you love France so much, why don't you live there?" But which demon would you rather face? Make mine Californian.

PS- Nice punch, though. The riots taught three lessons: A) I'm not as liberal as I'd thought. B) TV is useless, and I haven't owned one since. C) There's no point in making friends with those handsome young National Guard men and women bivouacked at the VA complex; shortly they'll pack up their M-14 and cammo uniforms and go back to their homes Appalachia and the Great Lakes; by the time of the next riot or earthquake, their little brothers and sisters will be serving, and they won't recognize you.

Posted by: Crid at March 1, 2006 11:35 AM

nash writes:

I think the problem liberals and leftists like yourself have is that you're full of snark and nothing else.

Nash, you're a bore. Vapid and about 5 years behind the curve. The tactic of demonizing those who don't agree unequivocally with your position on everything as "leftists and liberals" (although I'm not sure what you think the difference between the two terms is) has been beaten to death and bludgeoned to pulp even after its death. Why don't you just plainly admit you don't have a cogent argument? To anyone who's been bored to torpor by the likes of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity with this tried (and tried, and tried, and tried), you've already made it plain.

Learn to handle dissent, Nash. Not with name calling but with respectful challenges. Stop cowering from people who don't agree with you. This is America, and people are allowed to hold and voice whatever opinions they want. And you, of course, would have to agree with this. (Unless, of course, you hate America.)

Posted by: Patrick at March 1, 2006 5:22 PM

Well, here's a "respectful challenge": Read about Iraq's nuclear programs at this site to find the minimum involvement of Hussein's people:

http://nuclearweaponarchive.org/Iraq/index.html

Posted by: Radwaste at March 2, 2006 7:02 PM

Patrick: Your comment to me was just plain stupid. Telling Amy her post was snarky is not "demonizing" her. Perhaps you just need to toughen up a bit and learn to handle dissent yourself. If I was "cowering from people who don't agree" with me then I wouldn't be here.

Posted by: nash at March 4, 2006 9:22 AM

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