Obama and Guantanamo. Why is the new order still pleading national security?

How does disclosing evidence of torture harm the national security of the United States? A question wholly distinct from providing evidence of the US’s exposed position in national and international law. The judges in the English High Court who have read the papers are quite clear.

Given [the documents’] source and detail, they would … amount to powerful evidence. None of the contents at issue could possibly be described as sensitive US intelligence….

Moreover, in the light of the long history of the common law and democracy which we share with the United States, it was, in our view, very difficult to conceive that a democratically elected and accountable government could possibly have any rational objection to placing into the public domain such a summary of what its own officials reported as to how a detainee was treated by them and which made no disclosure of sensitive intelligence matters.

This may dismay eager civil rights lawyers in the US Justice Department which has just assumed responsibility for Guantanamo from the Pentagon where it had been placed by Cheney and Rumsfeld. For, according to the New York Times, the Obama administration were preparing to abandon the “national security” defence in these cases.
The case dealing with the state secrets doctrine, which allows the government to rebuff lawsuits by invoking national security concerns, involves al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. A federal trial judge in San Francisco ruled that the government could not invoke the doctrine to block a lawsuit by al-Haramain, which has asserted that the government illegally listened in on its conversations.

The Bush administration used the doctrine to block more than two dozen lawsuits. In timing that was a bit of a surprise, the Justice Department lawyers who have handled the lawsuit filed a motion with the court an hour before Inauguration Day that held to the same position.

Some Obama administration figures regarded the filing before midnight on Jan. 19 as a rear-guard action to make it more difficult to reverse course.

Is it one law for Americans, another for the British? Or is it so difficult that they’re giving up trying?

The Attorney General Baroness Scotland is examining the “British” Guantanamo cases to see if MI5 or MI6 broke any law. I don’t hold out much hope for this one. “National security” again?

Just in case the thought entered your head, no, this does not negate the Special Relationship. This is the Special Relationship. The British government were never going to let their own blanket concept of national security be imperilled either. This one was a red line for both governments.

Next question: is this posture just a Bush hangover which Obama will sweep away with a stroke of the pen? Downing St and British embassy in Washington say they “haven’t engaged” with the Obama administration on the issue – I doubt if they want a straight answer published, just like those questions about extraordinary rendition. But although it’s not up in text yet, the BBC reports the White House as issuing the old mantra, that the administration upholds secrecy over national security. Which on this one, is exactly the same position as Dubya’s. Obama may be planning to close Guantanamo but in his own way and in his own time. The response casts doubt as to how hotly this administration will pursue the Guantanamo overseers of the Bush administration. The dispute takes some of the shine off Obamamania and brings us back to business as usual, with a few changes from the new management. It’s how Presidents of the United States operate. Always, when the chips are down. So it’s down to earth with a bump. A good thing, but chastening, and a bit sad.

  • 6cp

    a bit sad.

    What did you think he was going to do, let them all out?!?

    It is easy for commentators and budding politicians to snipe from the sidelines and promise all sorts of things that some people want to hear, but Obama is now primarily responsible for the safety of 300 million Americans. He is only now beginning to come to the realisation that keeping the US safe is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business.” “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”

  • Harry Flashman

    I’m glad you put inverted commas around the word ‘British’ Brian, these were foreign nationals captured by foreign troops in a foreign country.

    Nothing remotely to do with Britain except in the usual self flagellatory way.

  • heck

    and where are all the usual comments regarding “the rule of law”, or “criminals” or “law breakers”.

    the purpose of the law is to limit the powers of the state. it seems that in britain the law is to protect the state.

  • McGrath

    Sorry Brian:

    Long post, lots of intelligent remarks and comments etc , but this is like sticking the same pair of knickers into a different washing machine to see do the same skid marks come out.

    Greg

  • Vladimir Lenihan

    US out of Guantanamo!!

  • Jimmy

    Re: 6cp, Post 1

    I agree entirely with you,and would add that the slogans, ‘time for change’ and ‘Yes we can’ sound somewhat hollow now. Although Obama has yet to be proved on other issues.

    However Realpolitik has a nasty habit of jumping up and biting the backside of Alturism and unrealistic slogans of hope.

  • cut the bull

    Sorry Brian:

    Long post, lots of intelligent remarks and comments etc , but this is like sticking the same pair of knickers into a different washing machine to see do the same skid marks come out.

    Greg

    Posted by McGrath on Feb 05, 2009 @ 05:04 AM

    A brilliant and descriptive anology

  • Damian O’Loan

    More than “a bit sad.” Binyam Mohamed was a British resident, but we have no reason to believe that his treatment would have differed had he gained citizenship by the time of his arrest. He is now on hunger strike, while this chimera plays out. We know there is evidence that could very well lead to prosecutions related to his torture. The world’s conviction is that the UK and the US torture – and that is what endangers our national security.

    This measure is a mutual agreement that those responsible for that torture should escape prosecution – that is in the interest of nobody I would care to assist.

    It is good to begin a process of ‘managing’ expectations from the Obama administration. If it holds this line, though, it makes hollow everything he has said about closing Guantanamo and black sites, and ending extraordinary rendition. For why would he wish to protect the individuals and practices unless he wished to call on them at some point in the future?

    You are quite right to say that this is the special relationship. One that, predictably, puts the lives of a tiny elite before the electorates.

  • Pete Baker

    Brian

    ON the warrantless wire-tapping case – a related post.

    The Obama administration fell in line with the Bush administration Thursday when it urged a federal judge to set aside a ruling in a closely watched spy case weighing whether a U.S. president may bypass Congress and establish a program of eavesdropping on Americans without warrants.

    The filing is dated January 23rd 22nd [pdf file]

    Not, as the report states, “before midnight on Jan. 19”.

  • This post just shows an incredible ignorance about the origin, reasons, extent, etc. of the whole rendition program by the Clinton and Bush administrations.

    It was not just a simple case of getting alleged terrorists under control, seeing to their prosecution and imprisonment. It was also part of a plan to cover up why the 9/11 suicide bombings occurred – what the US government, not only the CIA but also the State Department, especially its Bureau of Diplomatic Security (BDS), was willing to do in order to keep other countries’ intelligence agencies in tow.

    Here is Sweden, the BDS blackmailed Anna Lindh’s Foreign Department with the threats of EU sanctions into the rendering of two Egyptian asylum seekers on the concocted grounds that they were about to attack the American Embassy in Stockholm – what Swedish covert agents were willing to go along with in the hope that they would be rewarded by its justice program for capturing such suspects.

    When Lindh discovered the fraud, and countered it by a foreign policy which did not suit the counterterrorism program of America, Britain, and Israel, she was assassinated.

    Now there is a dispute here about how she was scapegoated into taking responsibility for what she did when the whole Cabinet of Göran Persson agreed to it.

    And then Brits should not forget what happened to Mike Todd when he was similarly snookered, and vowed to get back at those in the FO, intelligence services, and police who had lied to him about what they had done.

    Obama, in sum, is just trying to keep some lid on the whole disgraceful process by acting as if it still has some legitimacy.

  • Harry Flashman

    “Binyam Mohamed was a British resident”

    “Was” in the sense of “had been”, he wasn’t resident in Britain when he was scooped was he?

    Nothing to do with Britain, let the foreigners involved sort it out. Britain has enough problems of its own to solve without getting involved in disputes between various groups of foreigners in foreign lands.

    Binyam, you made your own bed old son, now lie in it. Get your own government to fix your problems, please leave the British out of it, you clearly weren’t that bothered about your “Britishness” when you got nabbed by the Yanks were you?

  • I find you narrowing down the problems to just what happened to Brits despicable, Harry Flashman.

    It was the same with asylum seekers rendered from Sweden, etc., and they were all denied basic human rights when they were taken to various secret prisons, most notable of which was in Gitmo where the American treated them as stateless tools.

    And in being an apologist for Britain’s viciousness in the process, you overlook what happened to Hajii, Hicks, and former Chief Constable Mike Todd on its soil.

    For more on this vast scandal, see this link:

    http://codshit.blogspot.com/2008/03/chief-constable-miketodds-killing.html

  • Earnan

    I say keep them in Gauntanamo.

    61 released have already gone back to fighting and murdering, including one Saudi who is now the Al Queda Chief in Yemen and responsible for several suicide bombing attacks in public places.

  • And I say, Earnan, if you treat people in such atrocious ways for merely convenient suspicions, little wonder that they really become terrorists, wanting to get back at their arbitrary tormentors.

    If I had been one of them, I can assure you that I would have been after my torturers after any kind of release, and if you could have been connected to them, I would be seeking your demise.

  • NCM

    Earnan & Trowbridge: Well, we can’t release these guys now — if they weren’t terrorists before, they’ll be so ticked off having been held without trial or charge and tortured for 7 years that they’re bound to be pretty angry at us now! [sarcasm]

  • Earnan

    How many of them were actually tortured????
    there were 3 instances of waterboarding. 2 to the same person. That is all that has been proven.

    Also, I hope if I was mistreated at G Bay and then released, i wouldn’t direct suicide bombing campaigns, often at targets who have no connection to the US.

  • 6cp

    And here I was, all along, thinking that BDS meant Bush Derangement Syndrome. I know THF suffers from an acute case of said disease.

    Some of you guys are having problems with your, Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Muslim terrorists attacked America before Afghanistan or Iraq or the War on Terror. gitmo is a consequence of islamic terrorism not the cause.

    Obama is the American president, and, as such, is now responsible to protect the American people. He has become well aware of the clear and present danger which is islamic terrorism, and a major security lapse on US soil will severely undermine and possibly destroy his presidency. He cannot afford to take any chances.

    He is starting to look a little Carteresque and is already perceived by many as being weak and inexperienced. Iran has launched a satellite on an ICBM to show they could go ballistic once they have nuclear weapons; North Korea has set up another ICBM for a test to threaten Seoul; Russia has poached an Asian US ally thereby denying access to Afghanistan by the US military; Europe is forcing Obama to change his ‘Buy American’ proposal and China has prompted a reversal of Obama’s treasury secretary assessment of China’s policy.

    At least give the guy a little latitude in dealing with a bunch of murderous fanatics and in the process establishing his credentials.

  • latcheeco

    Pot, kettle……ma lud

  • Damian O’Loan

    6cp,

    “Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Muslim terrorists attacked America before Afghanistan or Iraq or the War on Terror. gitmo is a consequence of islamic terrorism not the cause.”

    The ‘war on terror’ has been underway since Reagan declared it in 1981.

    The British drew the boundaries the modern state of Iraq, after its empire had invaded under colonialisation. Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq was subsequently used (funded and armed) to try to destabilise Iran. That is because Iran had gained independence from the UK, under the revolution whose thirty-year anniversary we are now marking. Imperial presence in both countries goes back over a century.

    Israel was created by the US against the will of the British (note it did not vote for its creation at the UN in ’48), in Palestine. Its opposition is explained by the fact that it had previously colonised Palestine, and did not wish to cede territory. Among those first to escape the Nazi concentration camps, many were sent directly to other concentration camps run by the British in Cyprus. They were similar to those run at the time in Kenya and Somalia (note the US Embassy attack in Nairobi in 1998 was the first major strike of modern al-Qaeda.)

    I’m the last person to give you a history lesson, but I suggest you could make more effort. Perhaps if you tried to understand your ‘enemy’s’ motivation, you would better understand how to bring an end to the hostility that imperils you.

    To get back to topic a little, it is that historical sense of injustice and hypocrisy (around in particular the UNDHR, and which undermines attempts to support women living under oppressive Islamic regimes) which allows Islamicist groups to continue to be a threat. Obama promised a break with those policies and he is now disappointing some people by maintaining that hypocrisy and injustice.

  • Brian Walker

    I started this particular hare running, but come on guys, give the guy a break! Fine to be vigilant but perverse to fall into a bad bout of blogger’s blues.(I quite like that – just thought of it). The outlook for changes in the “war on terror” agenda is still confused but the signs are reasonably hopeful that the catch-all of national security will be moderated. Is Obama really doing so badly? Just consider two days’headlines:

    In Curbing Pay, Obama Seeks to Alter Corporate Culture
    Iran Launches Satellite in a Challenge for Obama

    Obama Woos G.O.P. With Attention, and Cookies

    Obama and the Firestorm Over Ethics

    High Stakes for Obama at Weekend Security Conference ( on Russia)

    OK he’s got some help (and lost some, too), but as Truman said: ” the buck stops here”

    Just two of the tremendous challenges Obama faces are over how far to modify the whole Homeland Security system and whether to go for prosecutions over torture. How far up the chain does he go? Does he go for the monkeys and exempt the organ grinders Cheney and Rumsfeld? This story is only at the “Watergate phase one; the plumber’s trial” stage. There’s a long way to go.

    Cheney’s denunciation of the early Obama moves is a good sign that Obamahe hasn’t started off too badly.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/02/05/us/politics/05cheney.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Cheney&st=Search

    Cheney quotes
    Mr. Cheney singled out Mr. Obama’s decision to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and to ban coercive interrogation methods as changes in course that could make the country more vulnerable.

    He also sought to justify the Bush terrorist surveillance program and the antiterrorism legislation called the USA Patriot Act.

    “Those policies we put in place, in my opinion, were absolutely crucial to getting us through the last seven-plus years without a major-casualty attack on the U.S.,”

    With a critic like that, Obama must be doing something right

  • Damian O’Loan

    Brian,

    There have been very contradictory messages being sent out by the Obama administration since he began making appointments. One could wonder if the criticisms from Cheney aren’t similar to those he launches at the ‘liberal’ US media. But if you can’t ask for much more than closing Guantanamo etc and pledging to stop torture, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be vigilant to early signs of hypocrisy. Look at the Clinton record abroad…

    I take your point though, and would say that he has already done much good. He was bound to disappoint, so to say that he has, in some senses, isn’t a globally negative critique. This thread is on torture, and if it were on his economy plan I’m sure it would have a different tone.

  • 6cp

    Thanks Damien.

    My understanding of the ‘enemy’s’ motivation is that they want:
    1. the establishment of a worldwide Islamic caliphate;
    2. the destruction of Israel and anyone who supports her.

    All Muslims in the world want the first, but most are not overly concerned about the second. (at least, that’s the impression I get from my Muslim acquaintances)

    The ‘enemy’ needs to understand that neither of these objectives will be accomplished by force. All the actions and reactions of Islamic jihadists and the rest of the world are merely the strategies and tactics in this enormous struggle.

    AQ’s sense of grievance goes the whole way back to the halting of the Muslim/Moorish advance into Europe and the ultimate expulsion of Muslims warriors from Spain in 1492. AQ considers this to be a stain on the honour of Islam that needs to be rectified. Recent events are only propaganda points which help raise funds and recruits for the overall strategic mission.

    People get caught up in the minutiae of current activity and, like Brian, do not seem to consider or understand the historical context, and consequently fail to grasp the big picture.

  • Damian O’Loan

    6cp,

    I won’t reply to your points because they’re too far removed from the topic. Another time, or bring it back to the subject at hand.

  • 6cp

    Hey Damien,

    I was only answering your insinuation that I hadn’t thought through what motivates the enemies of freedom and democracy!

    It’s kinda hard to refute AQ’s stated objectives, isn’t it?.

    Obama is more of a realist than a lot of people took him for. He may not come up to weak-kneed, wishy-washy liberal standards in his handling of the gitmo guests, but he has a job to do: protecting the American people.

  • Wilde Rover

    6pc,

    My understanding of the ‘enemy’s’ motivation”

    Sorry for any foul language below, but I couldn’t help thinking about something Bill Hicks once said.

    “I’m so sick of arming the world, then sending troops over to destroy the fucking arms, you know what I mean? We keep arming these little countries, then we go and blow the shit out of them. We’re like the bullies of the world, y’know. We’re like Jack Palance in the movie Shane, throwing the pistol at the sheepherder’s feet.

    “Pick it up.”

    “I don’t wanna pick it up, Mister, you’ll shoot me.”

    “Pick up the gun.”

    “Mister, I don’t want no trouble. I just came downtown here to get some hard rock candy for my kids, some gingham for my wife. I don’t even know what gingham is, but she goes through about ten rolls a week of that stuff. I ain’t looking for no trouble, Mister.”

    “Pick up the gun.”

    (He picks it up. Three shots ring out.)

    “You all saw him – he had a gun.”

  • 6cp

    WR,
    22 myths that seem to have you a little confused.

    He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!

  • “it was, in our view, very difficult to conceive that a democratically elected and accountable government could possibly have any rational objection to placing into the public domain such a summary of what its own officials reported as to how a detainee was treated by them and which made no disclosure of sensitive intelligence matters.”

    Firstly, even though Cheney is undoubtedly busy off filling someone’s face full of birdshot for the foreseeable future, we still retain the prerogative to tell any tosser to fuck off.

    Now with affairs of state settled, I know just exactly where the requested information resides. It is gathered in that public archive which was released in late 1971 which fully documented the planning for, execution of, methods used and results of the internment of that year.

  • Comrade Stalin

    6cp:

    He is only now beginning to come to the realisation that keeping the US safe is “a tough, mean, dirty, nasty business.” “These are evil people. And we’re not going to win this fight by turning the other cheek.”

    The fallicy in this is the idea that putting people in concentration camps and torturing them is necessary to keep the US safe. The idea that a class of people exist who do not deserve a fair trial under due process is anathema to what are supposed to be American ideals.

    Hypocrisy is the other real problem. There’s a Bush speech where he listed all the bad things Saddam Hussein did to his prisoners, and he used this as a basis to justify invading the country. How can you justify toppling governments for using torture when you’re doing it yourself ?

    heck:

    the purpose of the law is to limit the powers of the state.

    Rubbish. How does the law that forbids me to drive without insurance limiting the powers of the state ? Or the law that forbids me to murder my neighbours ?

  • 6cp

    Comrade, you are, of course, comparing apples with oranges. You say: How can you justify toppling governments for using torture when you’re doing it yourself? I can’t believe you said that. I think you are just trying to wind me up.

    Do you honestly reckon that the 3-400,000 victim, decades-long horror of Saddam’s reign equates with 3 instances of the waterboarding of dangerous Islamic terrorists? Like most (American) liberals, Obama lived in the realm of the theoretical. Now that he has responsibilities, he has quickly learned that, in the real world, more appropriate action than speech codes need to be implemented. He may publicly state that he is against strenuous interrogation, but do you honestly believe he will hinder CIA/FBI/DHS etc from obtaining information that will protect the US. Dream on.

    The systematic carnage inflicted by AQ, IJ, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and all their cronies around the world is played down, but when a western country like the US or Israel responds to these monsters in self defence they are portrayed as the worst in the world.

    Your logic reminds me of an article I read in the NRO, although it relates more specifically to Israel.

    Bottom line: Terrorists know that images are more effective than armies, and westerners, especially liberals, are a bunch of suckers.

  • Since administrators, most pointedly Brian Walker, have allowed 6cp to rant on as if he is the embodiment of Harry Flashman, I feel obliged to respond, especially since he claimed that I suffer, not the former President, from Bush Derangement Syndrome when I talked about the role of the State Department’s Bureau of Diplomatic Security (BDS) in inventing the rendition program to get as many possible intelligence services behind its war on terror.

    Here is Sweden, the BDS coerced the Foreign Department’s Anna Lindh into going along with CIA rendering of two asylum seekers to Egypt for interrogations where torture was used under the false claims that they were about to commit serious attacks on the American Embassy in Stockholm – what led to her serious confrontation in foreign policy with the people responsible for the hoax, ultimately ending in her assassination.

    This in no joke, as I shall be posting an article about it on the internet in the next few days.

    It is to cover up this whole disgusting process around the world which had led to the new administration in Washington hedging all its commitments to ending the use of torture and renditions.

    As for who started the process, posters should be interested in this link, though to take it seriously may result in trouble from various sources:

    http;//jta.org/news/article/2009/02/05/1002806/australian-paper-suspends-columnist-for-anti-semitism

    Finally, Brian, how about policing your threads when posters engage in baseless personal attacks, especially when they go along your interests???

  • Since Michael Backman’s article in The Age has apparently disappeared since I linked a thread to it, even from his own site, because of the barrage of anti-semitism charges which have arisen from it, I feel obliged to make some summary of it.

    Backman charged that Israel’s unwillingness to make any real concessions to the Palestinians had been the root cause of growing Muslim opposition to the West – what had brought the most disorganized and leaderless Muslims together on this one issue.

    I particularly recall his stating why Malaysia did not recognize Israel, and why its subjects could neither go there or hold dual citizenship with it – i. e., the Malaysians agree with such policies as long as Israel does nothing to improve the condition of the Palestinians.

    And so it went with other Islamic societies.

    Instead of talking about what he wrote, the Israelis and their supporters are going wild in personal attacks.

    So much for speaking the truth in this age of coerced consensus.

  • Comrade Stalin

    6cp:

    Do you honestly reckon that the 3-400,000 victim, decades-long horror of Saddam’s reign equates with 3 instances of the waterboarding of dangerous Islamic terrorists?

    There are two or three different strawmen in that paragraph alone. I’ll sum it up :

    – torture is wrong and we shouldn’t be doing it;
    – there should be a fair trial, preferably an international one. If there’s evidence that these people are “dangerous Islamic terrorists” then it will become obvious there;
    – are you sure there has only been 3 cases of waterboarding ?

    Like most (American) liberals, Obama lived in the realm of the theoretical.

    If you believe that having a set of ethics that precludes torture and requires a fair trial is purely theoretical, then you’re already most of the way to being a fascist. Where do you draw the line ? Why bother with trials for any offence in the first place ?

    Now that he has responsibilities, he has quickly learned that, in the real world, more appropriate action than speech codes need to be implemented. He may publicly state that he is against strenuous interrogation, but do you honestly believe he will hinder CIA/FBI/DHS etc from obtaining information that will protect the US. Dream on.

    The other fallicy is that torture actually yields useful information. If I put a blowtorch on your arm and ask you to confess that you’re a UDA leader, how much pain do you think you could take before admitting it ?

    The systematic carnage inflicted by AQ, IJ, Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and all their cronies around the world is played down, but when a western country like the US or Israel responds to these monsters in self defence they are portrayed as the worst in the world.

    In the case of the USA, the reason should be pretty obvious; they regard themselves as a vanguard of democracy, equality and fair treatment. And of course the Israelis are being portrayed as monsters; they’re killing thousands of people. There may be underplaying of the organizations you named going on, but you can’t deny that you’re doing a fair bit of it yourself. And of course, by the very act of focussing on Islamic terrorism and injustice within their own countries, you’re deliberately ignoring it in other places – China, North Korea, and all those other Islamic countries in the Middle East which are US allies, starting with Pakistan. The only reason why the US won’t get involved with those conflicts is because they would get their ass kicked if they tried; so they focus on the ones who won’t fight back. All that tells these people is that they need to arm themselves.

  • 6cp

    THW:

    Since administrators, most pointedly Brian Walker, have allowed 6cp to rant on; …finally, Brian, how about policing your threads when posters engage in baseless personal attacks, especially when they go along your interests???

    Hey Mr T, I was joking about, but now that I am aware of your obsession with Israel, and that your speciality is political murder and assassination, I understand that you don’t cod around much.

    I know it must be extremely frustrating for you to hear another side of the argument (did the NRO link above set you off?), but that is what Slugger is all about. Censoring opposing views may be what you prefer and are used to, but Slugger is a melting pot of ideas and differing views, and as a result, it attracts quite a wide range of readers. I personally read very little extreme or political fantasy web sites, preferring the more middle-of-the-road sites like Slugger.

    I apologise if I offended you when I implied that your extreme dislike of GW Bush affects your objectivity. It’s just an impression I perceived after reading some of your posts. Maybe I’m wrong.

  • 6cp

    Comrade Stalin: And of course the Israelis are being portrayed as monsters; they’re killing thousands of people.

    Comrade, obviously you didn’t get the memo. As usual, the numbers were inflated. But of course you didn’t. The news was buried by the media, but not by Daily Kos, above all people!

    Hey, did you hear that those nasty UN monsters are denying desperately needed food aid to the Palestinians? What horrible people, those UN folks.

    What do you think of Obama concentrating power in the NSC? Megalomaniacal tendency, or what? Just imagine the outcry if Bush had tried to do this. The devil you know…

  • Comrade Stalin

    6cp, get back to me when you can put together a better argument than a conspiracy by the Evil Librrul Media.

  • Comrade Stalin

    BTW 6cp, Trowbridge is a Bolshevik who justifies the Stalinist purges; getting people to ban things he doesn’t agree with by characterizing almost everything as a personal slur is a way of life.

  • Wilde Rover

    6cp,

    “WR,

    22 myths that seem to have you a little confused.

    He that hath ears to hear, let him hear!”

    What’s your point?

    The Taliban was given weapons by the US in the 1980s, Saddam was a good buddy when he was fighting against Iran in the 1980s.

    The US went to war with both regimes after initially supporting them.

  • Well, it explains the intricacies of both people in power and people without power and the rest is for the results to show

  • 6cp

    Wilde rover, I’m not trying to be a smart alec, but the Taliban didn’t even exist in the 80’s! I can remember, while living in the bush in Africa in the mid-90’s, following the rise of the Taliban on BBC World Service.

    France and the USSR were, of course, Saddam’s main arms suppliers during the Iran-Iraq war, not the US. The US and UK played a part, but in more indirect roles.

    The US went to war with Saddam because of the rape and pillage of Kuwait, and with the Taliban because of their support for AQ. Pretty good reasons, don’t you think?

  • 6cp

    The dispute takes some of the shine off Obamamania and brings us back to business as usual, with a few changes from the new management. It’s how Presidents of the United States operate. Always, when the chips are down. So it’s down to earth with a bump.

    Talking about bumps, first the guy tries to walk through a window, then he bangs his head while getting into Marina 1.

    Hey, George, you got some serious competition with this dude!

  • Wilde Rover

    6cp,

    “Wilde rover, I’m not trying to be a smart alec, but the Taliban didn’t even exist in the 80’s!”

    Fair point.

    I should have said that initial Taliban membership came from individuals from various groups that had been funded by the US in the 80s.

    “France and the USSR were, of course, Saddam’s main arms suppliers during the Iran-Iraq war, not the US. The US and UK played a part, but in more indirect roles.”

    And by indirect, do you mean that the US provided money to purchase said weapons?

    “The US went to war with Saddam because of the rape and pillage of Kuwait,”

    And this led to permanent US military bases in Saudi Arabia, the main reason offered by Osama bin Laden for his desire to attack the US.

    “and with the Taliban because of their support for AQ. Pretty good reasons, don’t you think?”

    If you say so.

    People of a cynical disposition might conclude that control of Arabian oil reserves and the desire for a pipeline from the oilfields of central Asia through Afghanistan could have played as much a role as the sudden concern for the well being of the natives of these lands.

  • 6cp

    Wilde Rover, good points.

    Aat the time of the rise of the Taliban I remember thinking that it might be a good thing for a new generation to take over in Afghanistan, after the Russian invasion and all the Afghan infighting. They were untainted by involvement in that sordid episode. They seemed young and fresh and appeared like they would help the country. They were religious and enthusiastic and wanted rid of corruption and the warlords, etc.

    But I was wrong! They turned out to be a most intolerant bunch, motivated only by their desire to impose their particular brand of Islam on Afghanistan. I`m not one for statues or idols but I quite shocked when they destroyed the Buddha statues.

    I humbly suggest that very few of the Taliban, who after all, were basically religious students, were directly involved in the struggle against the USSR, and the US had very little to do with their creation.

    We’re way base on the thread topic, but good chatting, anyhow.

  • At the risk to reviving my alleged Stalinist past, I offer this link to get the thread back on topic:

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?=10185

  • Sorry, got the link wrong:

    http://www.thetruthseeker.co.uk/article.asp?ID=10185

    And this reminds me of changes the site might consider making – permitting the scrubbing of useless posts, and of correcting errors in ones worth keeping.