The State of the Union: Is there reason to watch any more?

I remembered reading a TNR article about school choice that talked about the church/state separation, and I actually managed to find it. Here’s a quote that’s relevant to the treatment center voucher issue (at least as it impacts church/state separation):

while school choice raises many difficult policy questions, its constitutionality should be clear. The best way to read the Establishment Clause is that it requires neutrality with respect to religion, not exclusion of religion from even-handed government benefits, which is in fact a form of discrimination against religion. We usually take this principle for granted when it comes to such public services as police protection, garbage collection, and the G.I. Bill. After all, we’d be appalled if the fire department refused to take calls from churches on the theory that ‘There’s a wall of separation around your church, and we can’t cross it to help you.’ Government shouldn’t give preference to churches, but it shouldn’t discriminate against them, either. This is quite consistent with the separation of church and state–government maintains its separation by treating institutions equally, without regard to whether they are secular or religious. On this logic, religion-neutral school voucher programs would be clearly constitutional.

i just don’t see the facts to back up the idea that Iraq has a viable nuclear program. can you direct me to your sources for such?

Would Khidir Hazma do? He was a lead scientist in Iraq’s nuclear program since 1994 who has since defected. He says Iraq has a nuclear program that will have enough enriched uranium to build nuclear weapons by 2005. In fact, he thinks they might have a small nuke now. This was reported by CNN.

Or how about Hussein Kamel, Iraq’s ex-Vice-President, who defected and spilled huge amounts of detail about the existence of Iraq’s nuclear program way past UN’s disarm resolution? He said Iraq has a working nuclear device in 1991. All it was missing was the enriched uranium. Here’s the first summary of that I came across, but it was again all over all the newspapers when it happened:

By the way, Kamel returned to Iraq and was killed.

am reading the front page of the WSJ today and it appears that Hans Blix has found ZERO nuclear threats in Iraq. they have found a lot of chemical & biological weapons

I love these rapidly-shifting feints from the pacifist shadowboxers. First it was that there was no proof that Saddam Hussein hadn’t disarmed (although there was loads even then, including all of the previous UN Inspectors saying that Saddam hadn’t disarmed).

The UN inspectors go in, find numerous chemical and biological warheads that hadn’t been announced in Iraq’s 11,000 page “we’ve disarmed” memo.

So now, all of a sudden, we’ve been looking for nuclear weapons all along.

And yes, they have found lots of chemical and biological weapons, which Iraq told us they didn’t have. Iraq has also told us they don’t have a nuclear program. What kind of sucker are you? Does Saddam have to slingshot a phosphorescent lump of enriched uranium right into your face, like Dennis the Menace of the Baghdad set?

I am reading the front page of the WSJ today and it appears that Hans Blix has found ZERO nuclear threats in Iraq. they have found a lot of chemical & biological weapons

Ignoring the fact that you just switched your tactic from asking me to prove the existence of Iraq’s nuclear weapons program to asking me to prove an opinion (which I never voiced) about America moving against Iraq unilaterally (for the record, why we shouldn’t wait: because the UN is ineffectual, half of the security council has been bribed by Iraqi oil, and we’ve already been waiting for 11 years for the international community to show some backbone).

Wait, that was too long, so I’d better quote you again.

I am reading the front page of the WSJ today and it appears that Hans Blix has found ZERO nuclear threats in Iraq. they have found a lot of chemical & biological weapons

Why is it that the same people who insist on having the international community on board for an invasion of Iraq are the same ones who seem to be so content with Saddam’s flagrant disregard of the international resolutions made against his weapons of mass destruction program?

Basically, you are arguing that it is okay for Saddam Hussein to develop weapons of mass destruction while breaking numerous UN resolutions to which he agreed. On the other hand, you claim that it is unacceptable for America to fulfill the military consequences dictated by those broken UN resolutions.

But you don’t understand. The UN Resolutions against Iraq already give America permission to remove Saddam from power if he doesn’t disarm. We don’t need their permission - we already have it. The only thing going on now is seeing what other countries are going to fulfill their international obligations. So far, only America and a few others are answering the call.

Fuk you Crypt you fukin fagot…

Maybe Bush should bomb that sorry country you call Ireland you fukin fagot. Yea… I would love to come over and take a piss on your lawn right in front of you. Im an American and I could do what ever I want and if I wanted to tell you to go fuck yourself, what would you do? Nothing!! thought so, fuk face.


right. so they have more worth than this guy?

However, the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, did ask for a few more months, saying, “They could help us avoid a war.” Mr. ElBaradei’s report was far more positive: He said that his teams had inspected every site in Iraq where suspected nuclear work might be going on and had uncovered no evidence that Baghdad had revived its past nuclear program.

i mean, i don’t know any of these people personally, but i would assume when the U.N.'s chief nuclear inspector, Mohamed ElBaradei, says he hasn’t seen any nuclear weapons programs and that they have been searching for them…well, i would assume that they are hidden or don’t exist. either way, i would like to see some more proof prior to blowing $100 billion of my tax money. 1994 is not recent enough to convince me.

first off, you are pretty poor at your attempts at a public dialogue, but go ahead and use charged terms like “pacifist shadowboxers” if it makes you think you are winning something. secondly, i am only talking nuclear weapons b/c that is what Bush has been preaching from day one. i readily agree that checmical/biological weapons pose the bigger threat, so i am confused as to why Bush wants to make this about nukes. although i read that tonight we are going to get some sort of new attempt to link Iraq to Al Qaeda and i would welcome that information too.

i dunno - what kinda fuck-pipe are you? name calling is always so neat. right, dickhole?

i assume there is a U.N. for some reason? if we aren’t going to use it, then why did we help found it? you’re right, we should disregard the international community’s input in any issues that are international in scope. novel concept.

no, basically i am arguing that we have U.N. inspectors and a U.N. council to mitigate issues such as these and the rhetoic of our President from day one has been war, war, war. i would like to see an attempt at a somewhat less hostile resolution, since historically we haven’t been real successful in our attempts to stop Iraq and their policies. if we are going to spend my hard-earned tax dollars, then i would like to see some quantifiable reasons and some agreement from the international community…maybe even some sharing of the cost. i don’t think that is too much to ask.

man, i enjoyed that a lot. hope i ‘won’ this little thread. did i win? i am sure you will tell me…

The State of the Union: Is there reason to watch any more?



It kills me that “anti-war” has become a slur here.

Okay, perhaps this foray into Iraq is necessary. A buddy of mine who’s an ex-Marine was called up and pulled away from his family to risk his life to do this, and with is access to military info and his experience there last time, he thinks it’s justified. So I’m not denying there may be a good reason to do this.

But that’s still no reason to be enthusiastic to know that thousands of Iraquis – not evil people, but pawns for Saddam’s power structure – are going to die from this. And that hundreds of Americans are likely to die as well.

I think that war can be justified – and probably is, this time around – but that doesn’t make me “pro war.” There’s just enough of the idealist that mostly died when I got to college left in me to hope that someday we can get past killing thousands of innocents as a solution.

People are too distant from war. Yes, Saddam is evil, but we’ve also essentially caused a good portion of Iraq to go hungry for over a decade with our sanctions. Yes, those slowed Saddam and his cronies from gaining more power. But they also caused daily hardship for millions of Iraquis who have as much to do with this upcoming war as the typical American does – almost nothing. And these are the people they’ll be under the bombs.

At this point, I say go in and force a change in government. In the long run, that will be better for the Iraqui people (well, the ones who don’t die), because the sanctions can be put behind them and the country can rebuild its economy. It seems the necessary thing – but that doesn’t mean I’m excited about it.

I ended up with a Yugoslavian pen pal during that operation (he was a CGW reader who wrote us to tell his view of what was going on), and getting to know someone who’s seeing buildings bombed a few blocks away puts a human perspective on all of this.

man, i enjoyed that a lot. hope i ‘won’ this little thread. did i win? i am sure you will tell me…

Why did you enjoy it? Between missing clearly made points left, right and center…

(such as me pointing out that you expected America not to act without international approval, but Saddam could develop in impunity as many weapons of mass destruction as he wants without international supprt, as far as you were concerned, which you bizarrely interpreted as some sort of unilateral flag-waving on my part)

… throwing a shrill hissy-fit and screaming swear words Tourette’s-style when I called you a sucker…

(and what other word could describe someone who believes that Saddam Hussein was lying about the existence of chemical weapons in his country, but not lying about the nuclear weapons his defectors say he is building?)…

… arguing that a UN inspector who has been in a country less than two months is more familiar with the truth about Iraq’s nuclear weapons programme than its own vice-president…

(or, for that matter, a nuclear engineer who is claiming that Iraq will have nuclear capabilities in the next two years)

… your assertion that Bush has always claimed this was about nukes, and that chemical and biological weapons are a bigger deal than nukes …

(which, for the latter, they aren’t, because unlike nukes they won’t allow Iraq to seize control of the entire Middle East oil fields and personally dictate prices to the rest of the world, putting us all under the thumb of a man who dips prisoners in vats of acid alive. And, as for the former, the term as far back as I have ever heard it was “weapons of mass destruction”, which includes chemical and biological weapons, not nukes exclusively)

… and summing it all up with a speech about how we need to solve this peacefully …

(when America has spent the last 11 years handling the Iraq situation peacefully, how during that time containment has eroded, millions of Iraqis have suffered, and Saddam gets stronger and creeps closer to having nuclear weapons every day) …

… and with the support of the UN …

(when the UN already gave us permission in its resolutions to get rid of Saddam if he didn’t comply with eliminating his weapons of mass destruction)

… I can’t really see anything that would make you particularly proud of your post. You are obviously just another person who just keeps on raising the bar of the proof you want presented for you (without ever presenting proof of your own) to believe war is necessary against Iraq, with callous disregard to the peril of allowing Saddam to stay in power, both to the world and the millions of Iraqis who have been executed, starved, tortured, gang-raped and crippled under his regime. You mask your own personal cowardice of making an unpleasant but necessary decision behind an ever-escalating demand for proof. When America ignores a humanitarian disaster and is chastised for it, you are the type who gloats about it, but when America wants to perform an act that will make the lives of millions of people better and end unspeakable atrocities against innocents, you drag your feet. If publically broadcasting that sort of patriotic self-loathing, that paralysis of action based upon the fear of ever making a moral decision that goes against the grain, makes you feel pleased with yourself, fair enough, but I can’t say I think it makes you look very impressive.

By the by, and I’m sorry Tyjenks, I realize this wasn’t the gyst of the thread. If this has to be continued, I suggest it be taken to the Iraq thread.

Who will think of the children?

It looks like Bush is going to talk a little about evidence against Iraq on Tuesday. Since I won’t be able to watch it over here, I hope someone will sum up what he says. It also looks like America is going to make its case shortly to both the American public and Europe, and has some good Colin Powell quotes about the Iraq -> Al Qaeda terrorist links (in which he specifically says that there is no September 11th connection). Also a great quote where Iraq says they’ve been free of chemical weapons since the Gulf War, despite the fact that they just found some.

Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what is presented.

Me, too.

I think it’s more a case of a vocal minority, some of whom get incredibly belligerent when any opposing views are expressed. And then if they even bother to excuse themselves, the anti-social behavior is blamed on being “tired” of hearing poorly reasoned arguments. The best defense is ignoring, hoping they don’t invade every EE thread.

FWIW, I do not think anti-war is a slur and I am in NO WAY “pro-war”. There is never a good time for war, but I would say removing a man hell-bent on the secret development of WoMD (Weapons of Mass Destruction*) and guilty of the murdering of innocents who look at him funny is as close as we are going to get to a good reason to go to war. And to bring this full circle to my original post, the prez needs to lay all those good reasons out with the evidence we have gained thus far and even with stories of Saddam’s atrocities throughout his reign.

And to Crypt for messing up my thread I will quote one of our fellow Qt3 members who clandestinely quoted under the chickenshit pseudonym bill, “Fuk you you fukin fagot!” :wink: and I will add a j/k to the wink since I said fuk twice.

[size=2]*how long until some lame rap/metal band grabs this as their name?[/size]

The text should be up at by tomorrow. I find that presidential speeches, especially the state of the union address, make much better reading than listening. You can read in five minutes what’ll take Bush an hour to get through tonight, with pauses for standing ovations after every sentence.

First of all, props to Tim for kinda, sorta putting me in my place. Unlike the usual definition of sarcasm employed by forum goers - say the opposite of what you mean - that was probably one of the better ways of taking wind out of my sails.

I also want to correct the perception that I think “anti-war” is a slur. I just think it is a naive position to hold irregardless of circumstance. It is like being universally anti-abortion: hey, I hear you, abortion sucks and is never a pleasant thought, but at some point or another we just have to admit that there are a huge number of legitimate reasons why a woman might need to have an abortion and not be an inhuman, child murdering monster.

Anti-war is the same: the implicit assumption when one is completely anti-war is that all people can be reasoned with and common ground can be found. But, with Saddam, where is the point when we admit that Saddam’s genocide of the Kurds or gang-raping of children or plans to nuke Tel Aviv (as in 1991) if his power is threatened in Iraq is not some huge hyuk-hyuk misunderstanding between two compatible moral codes, but a completely evil and alien logic structure upon which he will not compromise, and we can not compromise?

Like a woman who has a pregnancy that threatens her life, nurturing the threat of Saddam Hussein within the world community is a pregnancy that can not be allowed to gestate further. He needs to be aborted, and America wanting to do it for the good of the world doesn’t make us monsters.

i hope you think it is “a naive position to hold regardless”…b/c if you are using “irregardless”, then you are as ignorant as the rest of this thread makes you appear.

i hope you think it is “a naive position to hold regardless”…b/c if you are using “irregardless”, then you are as ignorant as the rest of this thread makes you appear.

Woops, that’s embarassing. As much as being called ignorant for a simple grammar mistake by someone who hasn’t even mastered capitalization or punctuation can be, I mean. Yeah, I meant regardless. Thanks, anonymouse.

You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t believe that the US motivation for removing Saddam from power is because it would be good for the world.

If the US wanted to do something for the good for the world my suggestion would be to stop supporting dictatorships worldwide. That is essentially one of the reasons why this whole mess began in the first place. I’m not saying that the US is the only guilty party, far from it, and Saddam could probably have managed on his own without US support. But the fact remains that US support played a part in getting him where he is today.

Now I am not as well versed in the U.S.'s checkered history as I should be and I am more than sure I will be quickly reprimanded if I am in error.

That said, if you are speaking of our support for Saddam against Iran, I believe we simply had to make a judgement call and Iran was the bigger threat at the time. Maybe we shouldn’t be policing the entire globe at all. But since we are aiding countries around the globe, we need to make sure we get some sort of ROI and protect those investments. Ridding the Middle East of Saddam serves that purpose as well, IMO.

I don’t see how Iran was much of a threat to you back then, they were not directly allied with the Soviets to my knowledge. They did however have an intense hatred for the nation that helped overthrow their elected government and installed the Schah. Want to guess which nation I’m talking about?

When Saddam used gas against the Kurds, killing some 5,000 people, the US government did not in any way speak out against it.

Yes, Saddam the bloody murderer has gassed his own people. And back when he did it 20 years ago the US government watched it from the sidelines without saying a word. Gutless, spineless motherfucking bastards that they were.

You protect your “investments”, as you so nicely phrased it, by supporting dictators. And when they backfire on you, you get try to get rid of them and install new dictators.

Bush’s Church/State stuff is just pork for his constituents. I don’t think any of it will hold up under constitutional challenege. For example, he published a change in the Federal Register last week: now churches can declare a percentage of their building to be for “secular purposes” if they are doing the church welfare thing with federal funds, and use federal funds to build or renovate their churches. In other words, it’s a complete mockery of the principle.

But that’s still no reason to be enthusiastic to know that thousands of Iraquis – not evil people, but pawns for Saddam’s power structure – are going to die from this. And that hundreds of Americans are likely to die as well.

Is “freeing millions from a Stalinist police state” something to get enthusiastic about? I mean, I won’t be throwing a war party, but I can’t say I’m going to be sad over the deaths if it turns out well; freedom is expensive.

Just because the United States helped fund and set up Osama bin - Oh, shit, wait. damn. :wink:

I would watch it there though, you peace-nik, tree-hugging, hippie. Just because you are in Sweden, don’t think Crypt won’t come back and slap down your comment too. Fucking liberal pantywaist.

The only true solution is war - Get that into your head. If you have any other position, well then you must be some ignorant fool.