Iran...Deal with it now or later

Mo the Ethio

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Tom S`post on this got sidetracked a bit so I am going to post anew on this topic.
I`ve been thinking about the situation in Iran for a long time and it seems to me the only option Israel has is to eliminate Irans` nuclear aspirations. There is no doubt in my mind that Iran would use a nuclear weapon against Israel given the chance. Does anyone have illusions about the United States` responce would be if that unthinkable event were to transpire? And the Chinese responce to our responce..etc...?
 The only option is an air strike with bunker piercing bombs. Give them twelve hours notice to vacate then go to town.
Now,before all of my liberal friends jump my a#$, I want to say that I am in full agreement that this sucks. It would be wonderful if we could suddenly eliminate all nuclear weapons from the face of the earth. But , you know what? Surprise! IT AIN`T GONNA HAPPEN!! Life is full of hard choices and this is one of them. Trying to hold the hand of the President of Iran and get him to change his mind will only give them more time to finish their bomb.
 
The options are : a smaller amount of pain now or a LOT of pain later.


  As someone on this forum once pointed out, Christianity is a religion of peace not passivity. Where does one draw the line between
turning the other cheek/ praying for our enemies and defending our families?
  For myself, this is a no-brainier. If my family is threatened then it is my obligation to defend them to the death. Indeed, it would be a grave sin for me to do otherwise, right? (Seminarians chime in here with cannon law, please).
  Defending my family, in my book includes, ALL threatening actions whether from a person breaking into my house or some maniac drawing us in to World War Three. The world cannot afford to stand by and hope that "diplomatic" solutions will succeed.
Now is the time to act.
                         Moses
 

Fr. George

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My political views out of the picture, the scripture says "turn the other cheek," not "turn your wife's cheek."  Defending others is seen as noble.  As far as "if Iran attacks Israel," I think the point was brought up that the US has a treaty that requires us to go to war - with anyone who attacks Israel with Nuclear Weapons - by using our nuclear arsenal.  I don't want to get into all the possible iterations of who would attack whom, and who wouldn't (because of economics, fear, or alliances).  And since I don't have the full picture of who has what and what is ready and targeted, I couldn't comment if a pre-emptive strike would be appropriate.
 

greekischristian

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Anastasios said:
This is a political thread. Is there any reason we shouldn't close this?
Perhaps the thread could be construed to be about international politics rather than American politics? Mind you it can be difficult to discuss international politics without including American politics, but I'm sure you know the details and nuances of your American politics ban, and what it does and does not entail, better than I.
 

Mo the Ethio

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I thought I might get called on that. However, the rules of the forum state " No American Political Discussion" .

 Although I briefly touched on some implications involving the U.S. , this topic of this thread is middle-eastern politics.
I don`t believe I am breaking the rules of the forum by posting this as politics outside of the U.S. are not prohibited.
If I am in error please let me know.
 I would like to point out however, the rule against American political discussion has been bent if not out right broken under the guise of "non" political topics.


               Moses
 

Fr. George

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Really, the only two ways I would see not to close the thread for politics would be A: GiC/Mo's suggestion of how to construe it (since it really isn't Am-Pol, technically, yet), or B: create an Am-Pol/World-Pol private no-holds-barred section.  Otherwise it treads the thin line.
 

greekischristian

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Mo the Ethio said:
I would like to point out however, the rule against American political discussion has been bent if not out right broken under the guise of "non" political topics.
And the rules against Ad Hominems have been bent if not out right broken under the guise of 'addressing the issues'...which is one of the great uses of rhetoric, the ability to insult someone to their face and make it come off as a complement or addressing something that is expressly forbidden without ever violating the rules...it's a real shame that they dont teach this most valuable of skills in our schools today. ;)
 

Mo the Ethio

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greekischristian said:
And the rules against Ad Hominems have been bent if not out right broken under the guise of 'addressing the issues'...which is one of the great uses of rhetoric, the ability to insult someone to their face and make it come off as a complement or addressing something that is expressly forbidden without ever violating the rules...it's a real shame that they dont teach this most valuable of skills in our schools today. ;)
And you my brother are the KING of this fine art!  ( Said with complete respect).
 

Anastasios

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OK, have fun guys, we'll see how this goes and I'll check back in tomorrow on this thread and see if it stayed away from American political discussion.
 

greekischristian

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Mo the Ethio said:
And you my brother are the KING of this fine art!  ( Said with complete respect).
I'll take it as a complement, however it was intended ;D
 

TomS

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My standard opin on Nuclear Weapons --

The US should have NEVER EVER allowed any other country to develop Nuclear Weapons. We should have obliterated all the Soviet Union's military sites as soon as they performed their first test.

Let's not beat around the bush (no pun intended) about it - the US form of government is far superior to any other. We should have done mankind a favor (favour for you left wing speakers) and used our nuclear arsenal to impose it. We imposed it on the Germans and the Japanese after we destryed them in WWII and it is the best thing we ever did.

Peace will only reign when all people are free - both economically and politically.
 

greekischristian

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TomS said:
My standard opin on Nuclear Weapons --
Well, this is a continuation of a topic that is likely to get the thread closed, but as it relates to America's role in the International scene, it should technically be allowed to continue, so on my somewhat legalistic assumption (I am a strict constructionist and student of Roman law ;) ) I shall comment.

The US should have NEVER EVER allowed any other country to develop Nuclear Weapons.
Agreed, America in particular and the world in general would be much better off today if we had forbidden the development of nuclear weapons under threat of war.

We should have obliterated all the Soviet Union's military sites as soon as they performed their first test.
Here I disagree, I personally believe that the Third Army should have crossed into East Germany on their way to Moscow as soon as we had stockpiled a few Atomic Bombs to support the invasion after the surrender of Japan...Spring of '46 would have probably been good...constantly producing more bombs, of course, and in doing so bring about the destruction of Communism world wide...no need to wait for such clearly hostile countries to actually develop the bomb.

Let's not beat around the bush (no pun intended) about it - the US form of government is far superior to any other. We should have done mankind a favor (favour for you left wing speakers) and used our nuclear arsenal to impose it. We imposed it on the Germans and the Japanese after we destryed them in WWII and it is the best thing we ever did.
Well, I dont know that I would speak to the superiority of our government, but I would agree with the sentiment Better Dead than Red.

Peace will only reign when all people are free - both economically and politically.
'qui desiderat pacem praeparet bellum' -- Vegetius
 

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Well who is responsible who should have nuclear weapons and who should not.Personally i dont feel comfortable with Iran to posses nuclear weapons but i don't also feel comfortable either with Pakistan( they  are also  fanatic Muslims and with an oppressive government) or with other countries which also are posesing nuclear weapons.I also  don't believe that us had to strike or to invent USSR at 1946 no one should forget the contribution of Russian people during the world war ii any use of nuclear weapon would be not only against the soviet government but also against the Russian people itself.so i think that the US government act wisely at that time and did not strike soviet targets.After all lets not Forget that with out any kind of war the oppressive soviet regime collapsed by it self.  ;) Lets also not forget that none government is in any case the protector of the church of freedom or of justice.Any government have its own goals which in most cases is far away from ethics or from bible
 

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TomS said:
My standard opin on Nuclear Weapons --

The US should have NEVER EVER allowed any other country to develop Nuclear Weapons. We should have obliterated all the Soviet Union's military sites as soon as they performed their first test.

Let's not beat around the bush (no pun intended) about it - the US form of government is far superior to any other. We should have done mankind a favor (favour for you left wing speakers) and used our nuclear arsenal to impose it. We imposed it on the Germans and the Japanese after we destryed them in WWII and it is the best thing we ever did.

Peace will only reign when all people are free - both economically and politically.
I agree with GiC- Better Dead Than Red. As for the bombings of Dresden, Hiroshima and Nakasaki, that's a different story and one we've covered here before. Bombing innocents in Dresden only provided propaganda fuel for Hitler while killing tens of thousands of undeserving Germans. Japan...well, they had already lost but the emporer refused to step down. Some posit that those bombings were used for display purposes- to show Russia(with whom we knew trouble would develop after the war) that we meant business if the time ever came to do business. Is that justified?

To sidetrack back to Israel...what other claim do they have to the land other than an outdated scriptural reference and the support of Western powers? While we're giving land back to "rightful owners" why not give most of Europe back to the Celts. Istanbul is formerly Christian land...why isn't the world working to secure a settlement in Turkey?
 

greekischristian

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nikolaos said:
After all lets not Forget that with out any kind of war the oppressive soviet regime collapsed by it self. ;) Lets also not forget that none government is in any case the protector of the church of freedom or of justice.Any government have its own goals which in most cases is far away from ethics or from bible
We got lucky and communism fell, but both countries had to spend trillions of dollars in preparation for WWIII and the world was almost destroyed on more than one occasion, in the end we got lucky and did the best we could for not invading, but the initial decision to not invade Russia was foolish at best.

Bogoliubtsy said:
To sidetrack back to Israel...what other claim do they have to the land other than an outdated scriptural reference and the support of Western powers? While we're giving land back to "rightful owners" why not give most of Europe back to the Celts. Istanbul is formerly Christian land...why isn't the world working to secure a settlement in Turkey?
I'm not a big fan of Israel, but we do have a mutual protection pact with them, so what I think about their country or how it was formed really isn't relevant, what is relevant is that we have a responsibility to our allies to, if nothing else, retaliate if they are subject to a nuclear attack. Furthermore, as we are the primary ally that has prevented Israel's development of nuclear weapons, promising to offer protection on such matters, we have a moral responsibility to retaliate with the fullness of our nuclear capabilities instantly and without hesitation if Israel is attacked with nuclear weapons...if we are unwilling to do that then MAD is pointless and this world will become a much more dangerous place.
 

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TEHRAN: Iran struck back Tuesday at the decision of major powers earlier in the day to refer the country's nuclear program to the UN Security Council, saying the move has no legal justification and would be "the end of diplomacy," as a senior official here put it.

Cool! Load up the Stealth's with a couple nukes. Let's get it on.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2006/01/31/news/iran.php
 

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First it was poor Russian and now it's Iran.  China who executes political dissidents goes unchallenged. I think we are looking in the wrong direction.  BTW Russia was and is protected by its saints - I don't know about Iran - may be there is someone praying behind the scenes (in a Church, not a mosque).
 

greekischristian

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observer said:
First it was poor Russian and now it's Iran. China who executes political dissidents goes unchallenged. I think we are looking in the wrong direction. BTW Russia was and is protected by its saints - I don't know about Iran - may be there is someone praying behind the scenes (in a Church, not a mosque).
China was a mistake, we failed to support Chiang Kai-Shek when we had the opportunity and now not only are we, but the citizens of China and the rest of the world as well are paying for our past mistakes today...it is, unfortunately, no longer practical to put an end to the Chinese regime. But the fact that we failed in China, just as we failed in Russia after WWII, is no excuse for us to fail in Iran today, leaving future generations with a major problem that we could have solved with one minor military operation.
 

Mo the Ethio

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TomS said:
  A bit over the top, Tom.The use of nuclear weapons in this case should be avoided. The objective could be achieved with a few M.O.A.B.s. ....Bada boom , bada bing. A surgical strike with minimal after effects.
 

Mo the Ethio

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TomS said:
Girl ! :D
 Umm....ok, whatever  ::)  So...does anyone else have an opinion on the issue at hand?
 

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observer said:
First it was poor Russian and now it's Iran. China who executes political dissidents goes unchallenged. I think we are looking in the wrong direction. BTW Russia was and is protected by its saints - I don't know about Iran - may be there is someone praying behind the scenes (in a Church, not a mosque).
I'm sure that there are saints praying for Iran also. My patron, St. James the Persian, as his name suggests was a native of Persia, now known as Iran. I don't know how many other saints and martyrs the region has produced but that's at least one.

James
 

ozgeorge

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Mo the Ethio said:
does anyone else have an opinion on the issue at hand?
We just never learn, do we? We seem to have the memory spans of fruitflies.
Does anyone even remember the "reason" we invaded Iraq? Remember how everyone was convinced that there were weapons of mass destruction? Remember those sattelite images of them we were shown on TV? We had "concrete evidence" of Iraq's WMD's, including "documented" uranium purchases.......Well guess what?......
So excuse me if I don't start shaking in my boots when the same news media starts telling me that yet another ("coincidentally" oil-rich) nation is planning to use nuclear weapons against the West.
I have no doubt another futile and unnecessary war will eventuate: those who don't learn from history are bound to repeat it, and people are reluctant to change horsemen in the middle of a perceived apocalypse.
 

Fr. George

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George,
While you're making a completely valid point, what would you say to those who bring up the point that, unlike Iraq in recent years, Iran has made threats to Israel, has definitely threatened to break off any and all negotiations if they don't "get their way," and has actively and not-so-privately been circumventing the IAEA rules?
Even while the point about being doomed to repeat history is one we can't overlook, what about the charge that this situation bears more resemblance to 1930's Germany than 2000's Iraq?
 

ozgeorge

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Cleveland,
While it is true that Iran is circumventing IAEA rules, the belief that this is to develop nuclear weapons is not based on any evidence. Only the West believes this is Iran's goal. Neither Russia nor China believe this- interestingly, the two countries who also did not believe there were WMD's in Iraq and refused to support the invasion....and they were right, and we were wrong. And as for the comparison with Hitler, remember the constant linking of Iraq with 9/11 which the media bombarded us with prior to the invasion? Egypt has threatened (and been at war with) Israel, Lebanon has threatened (and regularly attacked) Israel...why aren't they compared to Hitler in the 1930's by our media
What is happening is straight out of Machiavelli's "The Prince". The best way to keep a population under control is through fear- when people are scared, they will do whatever their leaders tell them to do. Tell me, how often has the "Terror Alert Color" issued by the Homeland Security ever been green or blue? I'll tell you: never. Because scared people are easier to control. And scared people can more easily be made to do crazy things or agree to them and scared people can be made to act contrary to love, even the natural love common to all human beings, so they can inflict torture, kill, and terrorize. And it doesn't matter who is in government, the same tactic of fear is always used, because it is so effective: The Cold War, the Macarthy years of "Reds under the bed", where people wouild betray their neighbours out of fear.....it works, no wonder governments use it. The only wonder is that the people never cotton on to it.

EDIT:
And everyone else,
please spare me the rhetoric about "sticking my head in the sand"....when tens of thousands have needlessly died in Iraq because we struck pre-emptively, based on similar (and even more "evidence based") beliefs about Iraq.
 

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George,

    You and I often fall on the same side of every issue.  I also appreciate that you tend to be the voice of compassion in all debates.  I think there is a great deal of sincerity in that which you write.  However, in this case I disagree with your assessment on one basis and one basis alone;  radical Islam.

    I have stated here before, I hated the labels we put on each other when talking politics (liberal vs. conservative), because if I state that I am either or, does that mean I have to follow blindly in the path of either?  Like you, I agree the Iraq war was error, on many grounds.  I am not one of those people who changed their opinion as the war progressed, I was always firmly against it, although my reasons were/are different than yours.  Let me explain...

    While I never bought the WMD argument, I also totally rejected the "terrorist links" argument.  However, for me, the single biggest reason why I thought Saddam was better than any alternative, is because he is a "secular dictator".  That is, Saddam never used the cry of jihad to rally his cause.  Was he brutal?  Yes.  Did he committ crimes against his own people?  Yes, but he didn't do anything even close to the scale of crimes going on in *several* African nations.

      So why was it better to have him in power?  Well, here is where we differ.  The middle east has proven, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that democracy is incompatible with the will of the people.  Iraq and now the Palestinians are case in point.  When given the opportunity to have free elections, they voted for "Islamic parties" that generally support oppressive Islamic regimes which preach the destruction of Israel and support dhimmitude, as well as general jihad against infidels.

    Lets say, we are able to stop "the insurgency" in Iraq 100%.  How long after things have "settled down" do you think it will take before they democratically elect and Islamic regime?  Obviously, nobody can say for certain, but it is my belief that if left "truly free", Iraq will be a radical Islamic state in 15 years.  Under Saddam, that would have never happened.  Maybe a simple case of the lesser of two evils.

    So, how does this tie into Iran.  Well, its radical Islam.  The current crop of leaders in Iran are radical Shea clerics.  Even Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is of the radical clerical ilk (although he's not a cleric).  He was "democratically elected", as Iranians chose him over a more "moderate" alternative.  So what's the big deal?

    Unlike Iraq, Ahmadinejad truly believes, his, is a mission from God.  Thus, if he gets a bomb, why not use it on the Israeli's, if it be God's will?  If it means that he martyrs his entire nation by sending a few nuclear bombs to Israel, so be it, because "God will be well pleased".  Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's goal is not Territorial expansion.  It's not about a better life for his people.  He has a mission, which was commanded by Mohamed.  Defeat the infidel at any cost, so that you will be with God.  For this reason and this reason alone, Iran is very different than Iraq.

    While I agree that Iraq was a grave error, I do not believe it is the yardstick, by which Iran must be measured.
 

ozgeorge

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SouthSerb,
Dear friend, I never expected my opinion on this to be popular. But you know,40 years ago, I could have taken everything you've just written and substituted "Communists" for "Islamic Fundamentalists" and "Soviet" and "Glorious Five Year Plan" for "Islamic Regime", and "Kruschev" for "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad"......the same ka-ka, different day.
"The Soviets want the bomb"->"the Soviet's have the bomb"->, the "Soviets want to use it against us"-> Cuban missile crisis...... Remember the hatred of the Cold War? Yet we never had to invade the Soviet Union to manage the situation. Why do we feel we have to invade Iran to manage that situation?....There can only be one answer-> Oil.
Like I said, I know another invasion is coming, so tell you what, let's see what happens in 10 years time-> We'll look back and see how history judges this one, OK? ;) If you go to http://www.futureme.org/ you can send an email to yourself which you can program to be sent any time in the future. Send an email to yourself in 2016 saying "Who was right about Iran, me or George?" ....I've already programmed one to be sent to you in 2016 saying "told ya so!" :D
 

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ozgeorge said:
SouthSerb,
Dear friend, I never expected my opinion on this to be popular. But you know,40 years ago, I could have taken everything you've just written and substituted "Communists" for "Islamic Fundamentalists" and "Soviet" and "Glorious Five Year Plan" for "Islamic Regime", and "Kruschev" for "Mahmoud Ahmadinejad"......the same ka-ka, different day.
"The Soviets want the bomb"->"the Soviet's have the bomb"->, the "Soviets want to use it against us"-> Cuban missile crisis...... Remember the hatred of the Cold War? Yet we never had to invade the Soviet Union to manage the situation. Why do we feel we have to invade Iran to manage that situation?....There can only be one answer-> Oil.
Like I said, I know another invasion is coming, so tell you what, let's see what happens in 10 years time-> We'll we look back and see how history judges this one, OK? ;) If you go to http://www.futureme.org/ you can send an email to yourself which you can program to be sent any time in the future. Send an email to yourself in 2016 saying "Who was right about Iran, me or George?" ....I've already programmed one to be sent to you in 2016 saying "told ya so!" :D
I love the site! It woudn't be the first time I was proven wrong (as my wife would tell you in a hurry). LOL

I've actually had this debate with some of my "comrades" at the office.  Here is the difference, the way I see it.  I think most people, long for the days of the big bad commies.  Other than the Cuban missile crisis, the commies never acted specifically against "us", so to speak.  Sure they had certain expansionist ambitions, but they never flew planes into buildings, took grade school children hostage or bombed subways and trains.

Do you remember the song by Sting, "Russians"?  How did the line go... "Do the Russians love their Children to".  The premise was, if the Russians loved their children, as we do, than they could never attack us, because it would be the end of the world.

I think the answer was "Yes" the Russians do love their children.  The question now is, do radical Islamic Clerics, love their children?  I think the answer is no, at least not in my understanding of love.

As former Israeli Prime Minister once said, "We will have peace with the Arabs. when they will love their children. more than they hate us."
 

ozgeorge

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SouthSerb99 said:
Sure they had certain expansionist ambitions, but they never flew planes into buildings, took grade school children hostage or bombed subways and trains.
And have the Iranians done these things? 15 of the 18 hijackers involved in 9/11 were Saudi's. Strange how we never once thought of invading Saudi Arabia in all this....perhaps the fact that the Saudi's own 6% of the US economy has something to do with it.

SouthSerb99 said:
I think the answer was "Yes" the Russians do love their children.  The question now is, do radical Islamic Clerics, love their children?  I think the answer is no, at least not in my understanding of love.
True, but what has that to do with Iran? You see, the same mental link between terrorism and Iran is being made as was made between Iraq and 9/11 to justify the invasion. A nation is demonized and dehumanised in Western minds to the point where any action is justified, and we then send our kids to "fight for freedom" there, only to end up with yet more tragic death, destruction, torture.....and for what? To prevent something that we consider "might possibly maybe" happen in the future if we don't.......We have no evidence, but we extrapolate future predictions of how things may go, and send young men and women to war on the basis of this. I used to work in psychiatric hospitals with people who behaved out of the same motives as this. We called them "Violently Paranoid Delusional".

 

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ozgeorge said:
And have the Iranians have done these things? 15 of the 18 hijackers involved in 9/11 were Saudi's. Strange how we never once thought of invading Saudi Arabia in all this....perhaps the fact that the Saudi's own 6% of the US economy has something to do with it.
Very true and I might be unfair, but the link is "radical Islam".  There was very little of it in Iraq, and if it existed, it was sufficiently subdued, so that it did not present a problem.

I don't see it as a link between "nations", as much as link between radical Islam.  Furthermore, I think Saudi Arabia represent a HUGE problem for the West and is a country that should be dealt with.  They have been given a free pass (on account of a cozy oil relationship). That being said, it doesn't excuse what is going on in Iran and our need to act.

True, but what has that to do with Iran? You see, the same mental link between terrorism and Iran is being made as was made between Iraq and 9/11 to justify the invasion. A nation is demonized and dehumanised in Western minds to the point where any action is justified, and we then send our kids to "fight for freedom" there, only to end up with yet more tragic death, destruction, torture.....and for what? To prevent something that we consider "might possibly maybe" happen in the future if we don't.......We have no evidence, but we extrapolate future predictions of how things may go, and send young men and women to war on the basis of this. I used to work in psychiatric hospitals with people who behaved out of the same motives as this. We called them "Violently Paranoid Delusional".
  Again a valid point and given the backdrop of what occurred in Iraq, it carries even more weight, however, with a radical Islamic regime in power in Tehran, can we afford not to be presumptive?


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ozgeorge

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SouthSerb99 said:
with a radical Islamic regime in power in Tehran, can we afford not to be presumptive?
Yes, we can.
If we exert violence on others because we "think" they "may" harm us in the future, then what have we become? And what sort of a society and way of life would we be defending if that is  the case?
 

Fr. George

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I think SS has made an excellent point, that the fact of Iran's religious government makes the situation with them more dangerous, and certainly very different, than that of Iraq and its largely secular government.
 

greekischristian

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ozgeorge said:
Yes, we can.
If we exert violence on others because we "think" they "may" harm us in the future, then what have we become? And what sort of a society and way of life would we be defending if that is the case?
Perhaps the question we should ask ourselves is, 'If they had the capability of invading us or undermining our state or causing us substantial harm, would they?' And I from the rhetoric we hear comming out of Tehran I believe it is reasonable to answer that question in the affirmative. They are not saying that they simply wish to live and let live, if that was all they desired then I may agree with you. But instead I hear from their top officials that they believe Israel should be destroyed, that western civilization should be undermined, and that widespread destruction should be brought to the shores of these United States. They have taken an agressive stance and we are more than justified in responding accordingly.
 

greekischristian

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cleveland said:
I think SS has made an excellent point, that the fact of Iran's religious government makes the situation with them more dangerous, and certainly very different, than that of Iraq and its largely secular government.
Good point, Saddam may have been a ruthless dictator, but in the long run we may see that he is the best leader Iraq has had since the Brits left. Middle Eastern countries arn't like normal countries, they have a tendency towards radical islam, which will make a far worse government than even the cruelest of secular dictators.
 

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I think with the spooky communist/jihadist parallels, we could all stand to dust off our copies of Red Dawn.

George, let me know if there's a site to receive emails now from myself in the future.
 

JoeS

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greekischristian said:
Good point, Saddam may have been a ruthless dictator, but in the long run we may see that he is the best leader Iraq has had since the Brits left. Middle Eastern countries aren't like normal countries, they have a tendency towards radical islam, which will make a far worse government than even the cruelest of secular dictators.
I invite you to ask the Kurds of northern Iraq of whom Saddam murdered some 400,000 by gassing them. Oh and lets not forget the second class status of the Shi'ite population.  If by best you mean is he any better than Hitler or Stalin, maybe. I hope this democratic experiment in Iraq succeeds for it will provide a buffer in the middle east and an example that democracy albeit imperfect can be accepted and held onto by the majority.
 

greekischristian

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JoeS said:
I invite you to ask the Kurds of northern Iraq of whom Saddam murdered some 400,000 by gassing them. Oh and lets not forget the second class status of the Shi'ite population.¦nbsp; If by best you mean is he any better than Hitler or Stalin, maybe. I hope this democratic experiment in Iraq succeeds for it will provide a buffer in the middle east and an example that democracy albeit imperfect can be accepted and held onto by the majority.
The real threat in this day and age is Islam. Saddam was unable to project his terror beyond his borders, so while it might not have been too much fun living under him his actual Threat to the world outside the middle east was nominal. After the first gulf war his threat to his neighbours was even nominal. Furthermore, when compared with some of their neighbours, Iraqis, espeically women, had far more rights and freedoms. Thus, it makes sense since the only real threat of Saddam is within Iraq's borders (and perhaps still less of a threat than the alternative, an Islamic government), the issue should have been regarded as an internal one. Islam is not an internal issue, on multiple occasions they have taken their violence to the western world, Islam is clearly a threat to all humanity and all civilization, a threat that the rest of the world should unite to eradicate at all costs. And I'm sorry, but establishing democracies in Islamic countries is not the most efficient means to accomplish this task.
 

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Sadly Iran, Iraq, Turkey, and Syria  were probably the most successful secular societies in the middle east for many years.  The key to their success was suppresion of the opposition, the development of the secular to the undermining of Religious  values and morals. Under the Shah, Iran ran a secular society in which the minority Farsi, Bahai, and Christian Communities were well represented in government and governmental jobs. In the two Baathist countries of Syria and Iraq, the Christian minority was/is generally well protected, was/is represented in the government and governmental jobs. Turkey focused on the value of being Turkish over all other areas, eventually resulting in the ethnic minorities Kurds, Hellenes, Armenians, etc being encouraged to immigrate out of Turkey as they would not play the secular role and just be absorbed into the Turkish population. They thrived because all four governments suppressed any religion who sought to place religion into society but especially in the majority religion of Islam, they feared the radical Islamic parties to the point many of their leaders were sent into exile (the Imam Khomeini for example to France). Our Western governments offered them shelter where they began schools of radical Islam in the West  couple that with the Radical branch of Islam in Saudi Arabia that has funded most of the mosques in the West to create the militant brand of Islam we are suffering from at present.

Once the flood gate was opened with the fall of the Shah and the rise of militant Islam in Iran, the militant Muslim was able to see that the use of Islamic  foundations could effectively use :democratic voting" to secure their base, just as secularism had done in the twentieth century. It should be no surprise that when the US wants a democratic middle east that we are faced with the surfacing of Radical Islam and anti-Christian behavior rising. Secularism failed, and the Christians of the Middle east who joined with it for greater freedoms are now paying the price.  By the encouragement of Free voting, we have  paved the road for militant Islam to come to the forefront.

Thomas
 

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I invite you to ask the Kurds of northern Iraq of whom Saddam murdered some 400,000 by gassing them. Oh and lets not forget the second class status of the Shi'ite population.�  If by best you mean is he any better than Hitler or Stalin, maybe. I hope this democratic experiment in Iraq succeeds for it will provide a buffer in the middle east and an example that democracy albeit imperfect can be accepted and held onto by the majority.
Lest we get too caught up in our own propaganda, America supported and sold arms to Hussien.  And while talking of his war crimes it is interesting how little the current American government mentions gassing Iranians - unless of course you forget that is precisely what America wanted Saddam to do at the time.  America really likes to set up brutal  dictators and then remove them a few years later.  It's kind of strange. 
 
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