Nuclear-armed Iran risks 'World War III,' Bush says


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One of the main sources of funding and fighters for the insurgency is Saudi Arabia, recipient of huge amounts of American military aid. So the US is actually indirectly funding the insurgency. The US is also now directly funding Sunni fighters in Iraq, now that it is feeling threatened by the rise of the Shia brought about by the US invasion of Iraq.

Though the situation is more complex than that, I generally agree with you and certainly dont think we should be so blindly supportive of Saudi Arabia especially while good evidence exists that they are directly funding wahabists schools in the US.

By many estimates Saddam Hussien killed 2 million people over his reign, which comes out to some 5,500 deaths per month, the deaths from this war have totalled some 80,000 according to IraqBodycount.org, which over 4.5 years amounts to 1,500 deaths per month, and so the coalition forces could be said to have saved the lives of roughly 4,000 people PER MONTH in Iraq. And if Iraq had nuclear weapons, they would have immediately used them in Israel first, and Iran second, killing many millions of people.
About one million of the people killed by Hussein were Iranians killed during the eight year Iran - Iraq war, a war in which the US supported Hussein, providing the Iraqi military with logistical support. So complaining about Hussein's brutality during the war when he was supported by the US rings just a little hollow.

Even trying to shuck culpability like you are, that still leaves 1 million domestic murders during the course of his regime, and still leaves the monthly average death toll thousands higher than the current rates (of which the vast majority are caused by terrorist groups seeking to impose yet another murderous tyranny) never mind the notoriously brutal track record of his sons who would have likely followed him.

Trying to shuck culpability? It should be obvious to anyone reading my post that I am not in any way arguing that Saddam was not responsible for the acts of brutality that he committed. Rather, I am responding to the hypocrisy of people who scream about the horrible crimes commited by the Hussein regime and use this as justification for the war, invasion, and occupation of Iraq, while simultaneously ignoring the horrible crimes committed by the US government. Insofar as the US government contributed to the slaughter of Iranians by supporting Iraq in its war against Iran, or by enforcing sanctions which killed huge numbers of Iraqis, arguing that the US government has the right to go to war against Iraq based on the Hussein regime's killing of large numbers of Iraqis rings rather hollow.

The US government also supported Hussein during some of the attrocities that he committed within Iraq. In 1991, the US government encouraged the Kurds and Shiites to launch a rebellion against Hussein, then forgot to support them, leaving them to be slaughtered, in a situation reminiscent of the Bay of Pigs.

A disgusting a monumental failure of the US.

One of a long list of momumental failures and war crimes commited by the US government going all the way back to the Spanish American war and beyond. Should objectivists really be surprised by this?

US imposed sanctions after the first gulf war led to the estimated deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. But when Hussein slaughters Iraqis or Iranians, he is a mass murderer. When the US government does the same thing, it is just carrying out our foreign policy business as usual.

I dont agree with sanctions, I favor war, since sanctions often lead to more suffering and penalize the people instead of whatever shitty dictator is oppressing them, furthermore it makes the people pissed off at the sanctions and not their dictators. Regardless of that though, the kurdish north, which was not under control of Hussien, yet had the same sanctions, did not experience the alleged childhood death rate that Iraq propagandists blamed on the sanctions.

There is nothing alleged about the deaths caused by the sanctions, although people can argue about the exact numbers, since these can never be known. The sanctions almost certainly killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. That Hussein contributed to this carnage does not relieve the US government of responsibility. To kill innocent people based on the sins of their dictator is reprehensible.

Your calculation of 5,500 deaths per months is particularly absurd.

The numbers are right from the Iraqibodycount site. If you think their numbers are absurd, take it up with them.

You are completely wrong about this. From the IraqBodyCount site,

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/beyond/lancet100000/

"Finally, we reject any attempt, by pro-war governments and others, to minimise the seriousness of deaths so far recorded by comparing them to higher figures, be they of deaths under Saddam's regime, or in other much larger-scale wars. Amnesty International, which criticized and drew attention to the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime long before the governments which launched the 2003 attack on Iraq, estimated that violent deaths attributable to Saddam's government numbered at most in the hundreds during the years immediately leading up to 2003. Those wishing to make the "more lives ultimately saved" argument will need to make their comparisons with the number of civilians likely to have been killed had Saddam Hussein's reign continued into 2003-2004, not in comparison to the number of deaths for which he was responsible in the 1980s and early 1990s, or to casualty figures during WWII."

This is exactly the point I made in my previous post, which you ignored. The 5,500 deaths per month figure was bullshit, because it was based on averages of numbers killed years earlier, not the much smaller number than were being killed at the time of the US invasion. This nonsensical figure was used as a rationalization to justify the invasion, under the ridiculous theory that more lives would be saved by the invasion than would be killed should the US not invade. Government leaders who wish to start a war will typically tell any lie in order to justify a decision they have already made.

Most of the people killed by Hussein were killed during the 80s and early 90s, not in 2003,

Im sure that would provide a lot of solace to the thousands murdered after the 90's

The statement was not intended to provide solace to anyone. It was merely a recognition that the huge number of Iraqis supposedly rescued from the Hussein regime by the US invasion was a lie.

I'm sure that your conjecture that Iraq will eventually become a free, democratic society will provide a lot of solace to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and maimed from the war, or from the millions of Iraqis who have become refugees.

The IraqBodyCount uses a methodology guaranteed to grossly undercount the actual number of Iraqi casualties. The only peer reviewed study, done in the Lancet, estimated about 600,000 Iraqi casualties.

In perhaps the most attrocious piece of science ever 'published' The journal was explicitly stated as anti-war and published something which would never make it through standard peer reviewed publication. There is plenty of criticisms surrounding this paper, and while those who oppose the war think its a great piece of science, and those who favor it discredit, those in the middle also criticise it, such as Slate.com and even the IraqBodyCount site itself,

From the wikipedia entry on this

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lancet_survey...nvasion_of_Iraq

The Iraq Body Count project (IBC), who compiles a database of reported civilian deaths, has criticised the Lancet's estimate of 601,000 violent deaths[30] out of the Lancet estimate of 654,965 total excess deaths related to the war. The IBC argues that the Lancet estimate is suspect "because of a very different conclusion reached by another random household survey, the Iraq Living Conditions Survey 2004 (ILCS), using a comparable method but a considerably better-distributed and much larger sample." IBC also enumerates several "shocking implications" which would be true if the Lancet report were accurate, e.g. "Half a million death certificates were received by families which were never officially recorded as having been issued" and claims that these "extreme and improbable implications" and "utter failure of local or external agencies to notice and respond to a decimation of the adult male population in key urban areas" are some of several reasons why they doubt the study's estimates. IBC states that these consequences would constitute "extreme notions".[31]

Additionally R.J. Rummel, pretty much the worlds leading expert on democide, author of the most cited history text "Power Kills" and nominee for the Nobel Peace Prize, and professor of statistics says of the study:

The study, which gives a figure of 655,000 dead, on which this is based and the manner of making the estimate is a travesty on the scientific method. It's agenda is obvious from the timing of its publication and the anti-Iraq war comments of the editor of the journal that published it.

I will defer to his judgement before I defer to yours.

The Lancet study used a statistical method known as cluster sampling. Such methodology is not unreasonable when attempting to gather data in the middle of a war zone, where there has been massive destruction of infrastructure. bombing of hospitals and medical facilities, and the near total elimination of civil order. The sample size was rather small, and the margin of error was quite high due to the small sample size and possible sampling errors. Even if the Lancet researchers were anti-war and had an agenda to try to influence public opinion against it, this does not prove that they fabricated data or used invalid methodology. IraqBodyCount is also very anti-war, yet this does not mean that their count is wrong.

The IraqBodyCount figure is based strictly on deaths that have been unequivocally confirmed. Thus, it is inevitable that their figure is lower than the actual death toll, since many deaths will not be reported during the chaos of an occupation and civil war. Also, the IraqBodyCount figure does not include combatant deaths, only confirmed deaths of non-combatants.

The just completed ORB poll estimated 1.2 million Iraqi casualties. But even in your figures were absolutely correct (and they're not even close to correct), this would not justify what the US government has done in Iraq.

Rummel says it partly well:

In any case, the total killed in three years of warfare has to be morally and pragmatically judged against (1) the creation of a democracy in Iraq, (2) the freeing of 26,000,000 people from virtual enslavement, and (3) the 2,000,000 or more dead for which Saddam Hussein is responsible (about 1,000,000 in his invasion of Iran and takeover of Kuwait, and about 1,000,000 in democide

How nice of Rummel to pragmatically decide how many Iraqis should be maimed and slaughtered and how many driven from their homes in order to turn Iraq into his idea of a democracy, a democracy from which two million Iraqis have fled. Kind of reminiscent of the enlightened Madeline Albright. Lesley Stahl, discussing the effect of U.S. sanctions against Iraq, asked: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? Albright answered, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."

Osama bin Ladin also thought that the price of killing thousands of Americans was worth it.

Additionally, these body count reports make absolutely no effort to distinguish between terrorists being killed by coalition forces, terrorists dressed as civilians being killed by coalition forces, civilians killed in cross fire between coalition forces and terrorists (often using civilians as human shields), civilians deliberately killing civilians (the overwhelming majority of violent deaths in Iraq), and coalition forces deliberately or accidently killing civilians (the overwhelming minority). To blame any of these except the last on anyone but terrorists who are striving to setup their own murderous tyranny is a travesty of justice.

The US government is responsible for all of these deaths and all of the carnage that has happened in Iraq, since this was a criminal war of aggression against a country that in no way threatened it. The occupying power is responsible for everything that happens in a country that it invades for any reason other than absolute self-defense. And self-defense had nothing whatever to do with the US government decision to launch the invasion.

There is no moral justification for an action (other than self defense) which leads to the deaths of thousands of innocent people, even if it saves the lives of thousands of others. Human lives are not interchangeable. Or, to paraphrase Ayn Rand from her essay "Collectivized Ethics", "men's lives are not yours to dispose of". Nor are they the US government's to dispose of.

You embrace a naively limited interpretation of moral justification for violent action, Rand also stated that it is within the right of a free nation to attack and depose the leaders of a non free one, though they are never morally 'required' to do as such, it is not morally unjust. But beyond that 'self defense' includes defending the lives of your neighbors as well as your own, if you desire to stop a murderous rapist from attacking your neighbor, even if he poses no immediate threat to you, you are morally justified in stopping them. I should think this obvious to anyone who attatches a meaningfull definition to 'self defense' Beyond that, no murderous tyranny has any right to exist, and no right to self defense. Furthermore, it is not in the *long term rational self interest* of any rational life loving human being, especially in the modern era of globally interconnected economies and politics, to ignore and promulgate through depraved indifference the growth of murderous fundamentalism or murderous tyrannical oppression as these nations are the source of all famines, major disease outbreaks and deaths, genocides, democides, and wars the world sees, and ultimately man made existential threats to all of civilization.

Rand's proviso turned out to be a loophole big enough to drive a truck through, much like the commerce clause loophole being used by the federal government to justify regulating just about everything as "interstate commerce". When the US went to war against Iraq, it didn't just depose the leaders of a dictatorship. It also bombed major sections of the country into rubble, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent people and destroying the lives of millions. This slaughter of innocents is never mentioned in Rand's moral justification for going to war, which pretends that only the dictatorial regime will suffer. Analogies comparing going to war against a country to attacking an individual aggressor always fail, because the country being attacked consists of millions of innocent individuals who are not responsible for the crimes committed by their government, unlike the individual aggressor who clearly is responsible. But since you think that self-defense includes attacking a country that is not directly threatening you but is instead attacking your neighbors, I assume you would consider it justifiable self-defense if Russia were to launch preemptive nuclear attacks against the United States, which has just murderously attacked its neighbor Iraq and is now threatening to attack its neighbor Iran.

If you believe that defending the lives of its innocent neighbors has anything whatever to do with US foreign policy, you are living deep in fantasy. The US government has supported dictatorships around the world and killed untold numbers of innocent people throughout the world in pursuit of its imperial objectives. The US did not invade Iraq to liberate the Iraqis, to bring democracy to Iraq, or any of the other lies told to justify the war. The invasion was done with the objective of establishing a permanent military presence in the middle east, for the ultimate purpose of controlling the oil supply through the Persian Gulf. A large number of permanent military bases are now under construction in Iraq, with the probable intention of using these as forward staging areas for attacks against Iran, in order to cement US hegemony over the entire region. The Bush administration does not intend for the US to ever leave Iraq. The plan is to occupy it permanently. Welcome to the American empire!

Martin

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The Bush administration does not intend for the US to ever leave Iraq. The plan is to occupy it permanently. Welcome to the American empire!

I hope we do better than the Romans. We,. too, shall make a Desolation and call it Peace (Delenda Islama est). The Romans ruled a good hunk of the world from the fall of Carthage till nearly the fourth century c.e. when they began to disintegrate. If they knew about lead poisoning and how to avoid it they might have lasted a thousand years in good shape. If you go by the body count and years in charge, the Romans did alright. Compared to other empires, the Romans actually improved the world. The Pax Romana was one of the best things ever to happen to Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia. A hell of a lot better than Joe Stalin's empire.

May I venture a guess. It is only a guess, so I could very well be wrong. I will guess that you think Goodness and Justice will prevail in the world. Tell me if I am wrong, would you?

Ba'al Chatzaf

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May I venture a guess. It is only a guess, so I could very well be wrong. I will guess that you think Goodness and Justice will prevail in the world. Tell me if I am wrong, would you?

No, not Goodness and Justice, Sanity. Something you wouldn't know anything about.

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May I venture a guess. It is only a guess, so I could very well be wrong. I will guess that you think Goodness and Justice will prevail in the world. Tell me if I am wrong, would you?

No, not Goodness and Justice, Sanity. Something you wouldn't know anything about.

I do know about it. As a theoretical possibility. If you study history very carefully you will learn that the human race was up to the Same Old Shit two thousand years ago as today. If I had a time machine I would expect to find the Same Old Shit two thousand years from now. As a species we are incorrigible.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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As a species we are incorrigible.

Well, if you believe that then no wonder you don't give a damn about waging war.

War is what humans do best. War brings out the best and the worst in us. That is why so many heroes are military heroes.

Humans have been making war for the past ten thousand years (since agriculture made the maintaining of armies possible). There is no time that war will go away any time soon.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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One of the most interesting things I recently found out about Iran and Iraq from a documentary on TV is that when the USA was getting rid of Saddam Hussein, the ENTIRE rebel government of Iraq, the one that eventually took over with the blessing of the USA, was holed up in Tehran, Iran.

(jaw drop...)

Is there a lesson there or what?

Like one of the USA officials interviewed (I didn't catch his name) said, the USA has never been accused of incompetence in the Middle East before, but this is a word that has increasingly been used recently by both local inhabitants and other countries throughout the world.

This is something serious to think about.

Michael

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The Bush administration does not intend for the US to ever leave Iraq. The plan is to occupy it permanently. Welcome to the American empire!

I hope we do better than the Romans. We,. too, shall make a Desolation and call it Peace (Delenda Islama est). The Romans ruled a good hunk of the world from the fall of Carthage till nearly the fourth century c.e. when they began to disintegrate. If they knew about lead poisoning and how to avoid it they might have lasted a thousand years in good shape. If you go by the body count and years in charge, the Romans did alright. Compared to other empires, the Romans actually improved the world. The Pax Romana was one of the best things ever to happen to Europe, North Africa and parts of Asia. A hell of a lot better than Joe Stalin's empire.

May I venture a guess. It is only a guess, so I could very well be wrong. I will guess that you think Goodness and Justice will prevail in the world. Tell me if I am wrong, would you?

Ba'al Chatzaf

I am a libertarian. I believe that the best society is one that maximizes human liberty, where the ideal of every individual having the right to live as he/she pleases as long as he/she does not violate the equal liberty of others is realized as closely as possible. Perhaps some day in the distant future, such a society will emerge. I'm not holding my breath waiting for it. I have always lived in the United States. The US used to be just about the most free society in the entire world. I no longer think that it is. The US has long since degenerated from a relatively limited government republic into a worldwide empire slowly collapsing into a police state. I'd like to believe that this slide is reversible, but I no longer have much confidence that it is. Unfortunately, I sometimes feel that, in the words of the old song "San Francisco", "there's no place left to go".

Martin

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I can certainly see why you are not concerned about the US using nuclear weapons; you will not be the target of them.

Yes, for some strange reason I am more concerned about people who wish to kill me posessing nukes than people who do not wish to kill me. I would be the target of those created in Iran. Never mind the nature and types of governments you are comparing here (or not comparing, as is the case)

Your statement that "even if they did, it would be in a controlled, limited, tactical use" is truly repulsive. Controlled, limited, tactical nuking? How would you like to live in the vicinity of an area that was going to experience controlled, limited, tactical nuking?

Even in WWII, the US was extremely reluctant to use nuclear weapons, that reluctance has been perpetually pervasive and if anything growing since then. Nukes can be small, or they can be big, big ones have no use except to destroy entire cities, counties, etc. Micro tactical 'nukes' for instance, while nuclear, are nothing like the 60MT bombs Russia made. You can see the relative difference of nuclear blasts clearly here http://www.leihai.com/bomb.jpg note that the nagasaki and hiroshima blasts are barely visible here. Bunker buster nukes would yeild less than 1kt and micro tactical nukes would be 10 tons - 100 tons, properly suited for a controlled urban conflict where one desires only to strike the government targets. As you can see from this chart http://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/...10-7/tab2-1.gif the effects of small yeild blasts are minimized significantly.

During the initial segments of the Iraq war of tactical strikes, they population felt relatively safe as the high precision weapons would strike only explicitly government buildings. The subsequent terrorist attacks by rival groups seeking to setup their own murderous dictatorships, funded by neighboring murderous dictatorships, are the ones responsible for the problems now. You ought to assign the blame to where it deserves to go; the shitty murderous scumbags who are trying to setup their own totalitarian state.

The same US government that gives such assurances of a controlled, limited, tactical attack also promised that the invasion and occupation of Iraq would be a cake walk and that the Iraqis would view our invading soldiers as liberators.

You are comparing what one entity would choose to do with what they thought a different entity might do, irrelevant. I can tell you exactly what I will do, but I can only guess at what you will do.

Again, I never said anyone was throwing rave parties in the streets celebrating freedom. The 'idea' you are arguing against is never one I expressed, perhaps you should try responding to what I actually said, and not what you think I meant, which is obviously wrong.

You said, "The mullahs of Iran and the president hold the people of Iran hostage, as is the same case with every majority Arab or Islamic nation, with the notable exceptions *now* of Iraq and Afghnastan thanks *only* to the western coalation". The clear implication here is that Iraqis and Afghanis are not held hostage by their governments and, presumably, enjoy a high degree of political freedom.

You inferred what was not implied, I said exactly what I said. No murderous dictatorship holds the people of Iraq hostage, they have the potential now to enjoy a high degree of political freedom. No one in Iran, Syria, or Suadi Arabia has even the remote possibility of enjoying a high degree of political freedom. Under Saddam, they could not have even left. Now there is the possiblity of a better nation for them in the future, which there was no reasonable expectation of under Saddam's children.

This might be your idea of freedom, but it is certainly not mine.

Please elaborate on what your idea of freedom is, and whether all people ought to enjoy it, and how you would go about promulgating it.

It's pretty damned obvious that Iranians, Jordanians, and Syrians all have a much better quality of life than Iraqis. Two million Iraqis have voted with their feet by fleeing Iraq, mostly to Jordan and Syria. How many people have fled Iran? People can actually freely travel to and from Iran. Who in their right mind would travel to Iraq now?

For starters, they are not generally allowed to leave, except perhaps to a neighboring murderous dictatorship. The route of emmigration from Iran is through illegal transportation and then asylum requests in westernized nations, primarily Germany, which recieves 10's of thousands of asylum applications each year. The idea that people can come and go freely in Iran is laughable, you are like a useful idiot of Stalin's talking about how great the Soviet Union was.

Iran has a young, highly educated population that is actually very pro American. The US government has followed a policy against Iran designed to make the Iranian government as repressive as possible. Ahmadinejad is generally held in contempt by most Iranians. There is no better way to make the Iranian people supportive of their government than to have the US government threaten bombing attacks against Iran.

Incorrect, the people of Iran hate their government, and their government hates the US, so they reasonably like us. Conversely, the people of Saudi Arabia hate thier government, and their government is friendly with ours, and so they hate us.

The people of Iran know their government is a shitty one, and would not hate the US if it acted with the same targeted military strikes used in the early phases of the Iraq war. If you hate your government, why would you hate someone trying to take out your government?

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How much money has the US spent in war in the Middle East? 100's and 100's of billions of dollars eh? Imagine if that money had of been spent on energy self sufficiency like bio-diesel production and conversion of vehicles to diesel engines running bio-diesel. The US could tell OPEC to go screw itself then. War is something to be avoided at all costs.

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How much money has the US spent in war in the Middle East? 100's and 100's of billions of dollars eh? Imagine if that money had of been spent on energy self sufficiency like bio-diesel production and conversion of vehicles to diesel engines running bio-diesel. The US could tell OPEC to go screw itself then. War is something to be avoided at all costs.

We could have destroyed Iran, Iraq and North Korea for two cents on the dollar.

As to telling OPEC to screw itself, it would still take at least ten years of a crash program to get the United States off from the Filthy Oil Habit. In the meantime OPEC would drop its prices to discourage the change over. The only way the U.S. is going to get away from the Filthy Oil Habit is by a -real shortage-, i.e. we actually run out of petroleum or at gunpoint.

No private firm has the clout or the capital to make the transition happen.

Here is a history lesson. Commercial aviation did not take off (sic!) in the U.S. until there were lucrative postal subsidies offered to flying companies to carry the U.S. mail. Automobiles did not displace railroads until the U.S. subsidized the building of auto-friendly highways out of tax revenue. Bottom line: It will take government intervention to make the transition from petroleum to some other energy source happen. Why? Because we have zillion of $$$$$ invested in petroleum infrastructure. And right now there is no other reasonable alternative to petroleum than coal or nuclear generated electricity. The only area in which petroleum cannot be replaced is as a chemical feed stock for various polymers.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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As to telling OPEC to screw itself, it would still take at least ten years of a crash program to get the United States off from the Filthy Oil Habit. In the meantime OPEC would drop its prices to discourage the change over. The only way the U.S. is going to get away from the Filthy Oil Habit is by a -real shortage-, i.e. we actually run out of petroleum or at gunpoint.

No private firm has the clout or the capital to make the transition happen.

Here is a history lesson. Commercial aviation did not take off (sic!) in the U.S. until there were lucrative postal subsidies offered to flying companies to carry the U.S. mail. Automobiles did not displace railroads until the U.S. subsidized the building of auto-friendly highways out of tax revenue. Bottom line: It will take government intervention to make the transition from petroleum to some other energy source happen. Why? Because we have zillion of $$$$$ invested in petroleum infrastructure. And right now there is no other reasonable alternative to petroleum than coal or nuclear generated electricity. The only area in which petroleum cannot be replaced is as a chemical feed stock for various polymers.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Well if it will take 10 years the sooner we start the better. When was Desert Storm, 1993, it could have been done by now? Of course it will take government intervention, duh! What do you call what the governments are doing now waging war in the Middle East if it isn't 'intervention'?

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Well if it will take 10 years the sooner we start the better. When was Desert Storm, 1993, it could have been done by now? Of course it will take government intervention, duh! What do you call what the governments are doing now waging war in the Middle East if it isn't 'intervention'?

O.K. But the government will be running the transition and we all know how efficient, straight-forward, honest and corruption free governments are, don't we? We might be trading a headache for an upset stomach.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Trying to shuck culpability? It should be obvious to anyone reading my post that I am not in any way arguing that Saddam was not responsible for the acts of brutality that he committed. Rather, I am responding to the hypocrisy of people who scream about the horrible crimes commited by the Hussein regime and use this as justification for the war, invasion, and occupation of Iraq, while simultaneously ignoring the horrible crimes committed by the US government. Insofar as the US government contributed to the slaughter of Iranians by supporting Iraq in its war against Iran, or by enforcing sanctions which killed huge numbers of Iraqis, arguing that the US government has the right to go to war against Iraq based on the Hussein regime's killing of large numbers of Iraqis rings rather hollow.

Like a typical libertarian, you are ignoring the geopolitical context of the era. Iran was a soviet backed socialist dictatorship, the soviet union sought to gain control of the worlds oil supply (you know, that whole invasion of afghanstan thing?) and the soviet union's explicitly goal was turning every nation into a communist 'utopia' controlling the worlds oil supply was a major step in that direction, and no self respecting nation would sit idly by while letting it's throat get cut. The worst enemy at the time was the Soviet Union and the threat it posed, and so it was right for the US to act to oppose it's expansion and accumulation of power. Once that threat was removed then it is reasonable for the US to move to the next highest threats, so yapping about how the US 'backed' Saddam then turned around and had him removed is silly, it was the right thing to do. If libertarians had their way, with their policy of naive isolationism and blindness to threats we would today be living in a Soviet America. So your complaints ring hollow.

Furthermore, the sanctions did not affect Kurd's even though they were under the same sanctions, so clearly it was Saddam's socialist totalitarian rule that killed the Iraqi's NOT the sanctions (not that I agree with sanctions necessarily anyway)

The US government also supported Hussein during some of the attrocities that he committed within Iraq. In 1991, the US government encouraged the Kurds and Shiites to launch a rebellion against Hussein, then forgot to support them, leaving them to be slaughtered, in a situation reminiscent of the Bay of Pigs.

A disgusting a monumental failure of the US.

One of a long list of momumental failures and war crimes commited by the US government going all the way back to the Spanish American war and beyond. Should objectivists really be surprised by this?

So, Mr. Non-interventionist libertarian, am I to take this to mean you think the US SHOULD have supported the Shia led uprising post gulf war I? AND that it should have supported the Cuban anti-communists at the Bay of PIgs? or is this just another example of the typical libertarian mantra of everything the US has ever done is bad.

I dont agree with sanctions, I favor war, since sanctions often lead to more suffering and penalize the people instead of whatever shitty dictator is oppressing them, furthermore it makes the people pissed off at the sanctions and not their dictators. Regardless of that though, the kurdish north, which was not under control of Hussien, yet had the same sanctions, did not experience the alleged childhood death rate that Iraq propagandists blamed on the sanctions.

There is nothing alleged about the deaths caused by the sanctions, although people can argue about the exact numbers, since these can never be known. The sanctions almost certainly killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. That Hussein contributed to this carnage does not relieve the US government of responsibility. To kill innocent people based on the sins of their dictator is reprehensible.

The sanctions DID NOT kill Kurds. Why is that? Any deaths caused by sanctions lay solely on the hands of Saddam, who could still recieving any medical and food aide he desired, instead he chose (not surprisingly) to try to solidify his dictatorial control and smuggled more weapons and military equpment and not food and medical aide.

Even so, I don't agree with sanctions, as I have all ready said.

The numbers are right from the Iraqibodycount site. If you think their numbers are absurd, take it up with them.

You are completely wrong about this. From the IraqBodyCount site,

http://www.iraqbodycount.org/analysis/beyond/lancet100000/

"Finally, we reject any attempt, by pro-war governments and others, to minimise the seriousness of deaths so far recorded by comparing them to higher figures, be they of deaths under Saddam's regime, or in other much larger-scale wars. Amnesty International, which criticized and drew attention to the brutality of the Saddam Hussein regime long before the governments which launched the 2003 attack on Iraq, estimated that violent deaths attributable to Saddam's government numbered at most in the hundreds during the years immediately leading up to 2003. Those wishing to make the "more lives ultimately saved" argument will need to make their comparisons with the number of civilians likely to have been killed had Saddam Hussein's reign continued into 2003-2004, not in comparison to the number of deaths for which he was responsible in the 1980s and early 1990s, or to casualty figures during WWII."

This is exactly the point I made in my previous post, which you ignored. The 5,500 deaths per month figure was bullshit, because it was based on averages of numbers killed years earlier, not the much smaller number than were being killed at the time of the US invasion.

The 'numbers' are not wrong, nor am I. You dont get to averge the murder rate of a 30 year dictatorial reign with the last *two years* what statistics class did you take? If you want to argue how to extrapolate trends of the past into the future, thats one thing, but the 30 year monthly death rate under Saddam was still over 5,000 per month, even if he had an 'off' year. His sons, by every reasonable account, would have turned out to be even more murderous in their rule. Dictators have never historically suddenly become nice rulers. Please name one who ever has.

Government leaders who wish to start a war will typically tell any lie in order to justify a decision they have already made.

True, and they'll also tell idiotic naive self loathing short sighted morons lies in order to get them to support things which will ultimately be in their long term self interest.

Most of the people killed by Hussein were killed during the 80s and early 90s, not in 2003,

Im sure that would provide a lot of solace to the thousands murdered after the 90's

The statement was not intended to provide solace to anyone. It was merely a recognition that the huge number of Iraqis supposedly rescued from the Hussein regime by the US invasion was a lie.

I do not consider 'rescuing' the Iraqi people as the sole reason why this was a justifiable course of action. You must weigh the threat of future hostilities, regime changes, etc into your assement. The people in Iraq are living through an extremely difficult time and situtation, but your assessment that 'suddenly' Saddam and his regime would stop killing people is completely rediculous. To say that fewer people were getting killed in the year or two preceeding the invasion is mind numbingly naive, a slave camp can be a pretty peaceful place, but peace without freedom and justice means nothing. The fact that Oil plays a major role in the worlds economy (and Saddam was using it, not surprisingly, for more murder and tyranny) and that the promulgation of dictatorial tyrannical regimes which breed terrorism and brutalize their own people now pose the greatest threat to humanity and civilization and is the primary reason why the western world must act.

I'm sure that your conjecture that Iraq will eventually become a free, democratic society will provide a lot of solace to the hundreds of thousands of Iraqis killed and maimed from the war, or from the millions of Iraqis who have become refugees.

I read many blogs from Iraqis and this is the exact sentiment they express. Life 'during' the revolutionary war in america was much worse than before and after. Life 'during' advance on Berlin by the allies for the captors in slave camps was much worse than it was before they had to worry about being accidently hit by allied bombs, life 'during' any military effort is almost always *worse* than it was before the effort, but ideally it makes a better place afterward.

Do you let the principle that nothing bad must ever happen to you guide your life, nothing that causes pain or suffering? If so, I suppose you will never get a surgery, never work out to make your body stronger or mind quicker, never take medicines which might have side effects, etc etc etc. The principle by which you judge a temporary condition worse than its previous state is ignorantly short sighted and ignores the concept of working in the long term toward goals.

Additionally, it's disingenous to ask if these provide solace to those killed, because no one knows who will get killed. The only judgement Iraqi people can make is to compare the likely hood of death before, during, and after, against the likelyhood of a better life after and if a stable democratic regime in Iraq is achieved, something that would happen much faster if the rest of the moral relativistic west got off it's panzy asses and did something.

The study, which gives a figure of 655,000 dead, on which this is based and the manner of making the estimate is a travesty on the scientific method. It's agenda is obvious from the timing of its publication and the anti-Iraq war comments of the editor of the journal that published it.

I will defer to his judgement before I defer to yours.

The Lancet study used a statistical method known as cluster sampling. Such methodology is not unreasonable when attempting to gather data in the middle of a war zone, where there has been massive destruction of infrastructure. bombing of hospitals and medical facilities, and the near total elimination of civil order. The sample size was rather small, and the margin of error was quite high due to the small sample size and possible sampling errors. Even if the Lancet researchers were anti-war and had an agenda to try to influence public opinion against it, this does not prove that they fabricated data or used invalid methodology. IraqBodyCount is also very anti-war, yet this does not mean that their count is wrong.

Exactly, which is why it's crap. And the IRaqBodyCount site attacks the Lancet data as unreasonable. Nuff said on this topic, we'll leave it to history to determine the real figure.

How nice of Rummel to pragmatically decide how many Iraqis should be maimed and slaughtered and how many driven from their homes in order to turn Iraq into his idea of a democracy, a democracy from which two million Iraqis have fled.

What you are doing is no different, how nice of Martin Radwin to absolve his culpability from depraved indifference and sabatouging of the future of humanity by letting millions of people be killed by murderous dictatorhips, letting said non-free nations promulgate and grow in power, all so he can hide his head in the sand and pretend like nothing is going on in the world so he won't have to make difficult decisions. You are like a childish hippy screaming "please stop the killing" ignoring the fact that one person is fighting for their lives and the other is fighting to enslave.

Kind of reminiscent of the enlightened Madeline Albright. Lesley Stahl, discussing the effect of U.S. sanctions against Iraq, asked: We have heard that a half million children have died.

Libertarians love to pull this card out, but I don't care what Albright said, she was an idiot, she was first of all misinformed and basing that number of propoganda figures provided by the Iraqi Ministry of Health (surely a bastion of honesty) second those sanctions did not kill kurds, third Saddam had access to all the medical and food aide he wanted. Any deaths from those sanctions lie squarely on the murderous dictator who perpetuated those sanctions to further his rule.

I mean, that's more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it? Albright answered, "I think this is a very hard choice, but the price--we think the price is worth it."

If you cared about Iraqi children, would you be condemning them to live for another generation or more in a well run slave camp? Please stop the charade, the only thing you care about is the expediency of the immediate moment, about not having to make difficult decisions and not have the price of your latte go to high.

Osama bin Ladin also thought that the price of killing thousands of Americans was worth it.

And their goals, to secure freedom and liberty for the world, vs setting up a global islamic totalitarian state, are surely comparable. Glad to see libertarians are now gobbling up moral relativism as well.

Additionally, these body count reports make absolutely no effort to distinguish between terrorists being killed by coalition forces, terrorists dressed as civilians being killed by coalition forces, civilians killed in cross fire between coalition forces and terrorists (often using civilians as human shields), civilians deliberately killing civilians (the overwhelming majority of violent deaths in Iraq), and coalition forces deliberately or accidently killing civilians (the overwhelming minority). To blame any of these except the last on anyone but terrorists who are striving to setup their own murderous tyranny is a travesty of justice.

The US government is responsible for all of these deaths and all of the carnage that has happened in Iraq, since this was a criminal war of aggression against a country that in no way threatened it.

To blame any of these except the last on anyone but terrorists who are striving to setup their own murderous tyranny is a travesty of justice

Iraq was not 'a country' it was a prison camp. Please provide us without a meaningfull definition of a 'nation' and what makes a nation just or unjust. Iraq, and nations like it threaten all civilization and humanity. Please provide us with a definition of 'threat' as well, or do I need to wait for an Iraqi Battlecruiser steaming up the hudson before I consider them a 'threat' The US Government is also responsible for all the deaths and carnage that would have occured in Iraq had they done nothing, and has ever occured, since it should be acting in it's own long term best interest, which includes stopping the spread of murderous dictatorships and promulgating market based liberal democracies.

Your ostrich like libertarian mantra of as long as nobody lands on my shores I dont care what happens is iditioc and would have led to the defeat and communization of the US had any significant portion of the US embraced that idea.

The occupying power is responsible for everything that happens in a country that it invades for any reason other than absolute self-defense. And self-defense had nothing whatever to do with the US government decision to launch the invasion.

Please provide a meaningfull definition of 'self defense'

You embrace a naively limited interpretation of moral justification for violent action, Rand also stated that it is within the right of a free nation to attack and depose the leaders of a non free one, though they are never morally 'required' to do as such, it is not morally unjust. But beyond that 'self defense' includes defending the lives of your neighbors as well as your own, if you desire to stop a murderous rapist from attacking your neighbor, even if he poses no immediate threat to you, you are morally justified in stopping them. I should think this obvious to anyone who attatches a meaningfull definition to 'self defense' Beyond that, no murderous tyranny has any right to exist, and no right to self defense. Furthermore, it is not in the *long term rational self interest* of any rational life loving human being, especially in the modern era of globally interconnected economies and politics, to ignore and promulgate through depraved indifference the growth of murderous fundamentalism or murderous tyrannical oppression as these nations are the source of all famines, major disease outbreaks and deaths, genocides, democides, and wars the world sees, and ultimately man made existential threats to all of civilization.

Rand's proviso turned out to be a loophole big enough to drive a truck through, much like the commerce clause loophole being used by the federal government to justify regulating just about everything as "interstate commerce". When the US went to war against Iraq, it didn't just depose the leaders of a dictatorship. It also bombed major sections of the country into rubble, killing and maiming hundreds of thousands of innocent people and destroying the lives of millions. This slaughter of innocents is never mentioned in Rand's moral justification for going to war, which pretends that only the dictatorial regime will suffer.

She does address this, you havent read enough Rand. Even so, I don't say it because Rand said it, I say it because it is the only rational long term course of action for the survival of humanity and free civilization.

Analogies comparing going to war against a country to attacking an individual aggressor always fail, because the country being attacked consists of millions of innocent individuals who are not responsible for the crimes committed by their government,

No, but they contribute to the existence and promulgation of that nation, and unless they are pulling a John Galt like strike, they are partly culpable. If they are supporters of the regime, they deserve their fate, if they oppose it, they will understand when a military action is undertaken. If you were held hostage, would you not support the efforts of the people trying to kill those who hold you hostage? As long as a reasonable effort within the context of existing technology was undertaken, you would, and so would those people.

unlike the individual aggressor who clearly is responsible. But since you think that self-defense includes attacking a country that is not directly threatening you but is instead attacking your neighbors, I assume you would consider it justifiable self-defense if Russia were to launch preemptive nuclear attacks against the United States, which has just murderously attacked its neighbor Iraq and is now threatening to attack its neighbor Iran.

You ignore the context, in typical libertarian fashion, of what makes a nation just. Is it just for North Korea to attack the US? Why? As I said, any assault on freedom and propery is an assault on all freedom and property. The actions of North Korea or Iran in self defense are actions with the intentions of promulgating dictatorial rule and have no justification. No 'nation' which does not respect the right to life (which must necessarily include property) of it's people, and the right to self defense of it's people, can make a legitimate claim of it's own to a right to 'exist' (which is meaningless when applied to nations, cultures, languages, etc, anything other than real sentient living individuals) or a right to self defense. Russia is not a free nation, nor is Iran or North Korea, and so they can not justifiably act in self defense.

If you believe that defending the lives of its innocent neighbors has anything whatever to do with US foreign policy, you are living deep in fantasy. The US government has supported dictatorships around the world and killed untold numbers of innocent people throughout the world in pursuit of its imperial objectives.

You are the one living in a fantasy sir, a typical libertarian one which pretends there was never a threat of soviet communism, that the soviet union did not actively invade near 1/3rd of all the nations on the planet, that the bolsheviek revolution did not have the explicit goal of converting the world to communism, that ignores the fact that libertarians and similiarly minded people would have been, and always have been, the first to be killed in communist revolutions, that every single one of the tyrants and dictators the US 'supported' was done so in opposition to the spread of global communism, and that in every case where a US supported a dictator and was victorious the nation turned out much better than ever case where the Soviet Union supported a dictator and was victorious, and that the WORST US backed dictator was less bad, by orders of magnitude, than the least bed Soviet backed dictator. The fact that you think these actions of the US were in pursuit of it's "imperial objectives" indicates your profound lack of knowledge of the geopolitical context of the US actions during the cold war. Go ahead and name any US intervention in the Cold War and I will tell you its justification in that context, I am familiar with them all since I was a naive isolationist libertarian for a long time and spouted the same arguments you have used here.

The US did not invade Iraq to liberate the Iraqis, to bring democracy to Iraq, or any of the other lies told to justify the war. The invasion was done with the objective of establishing a permanent military presence in the middle east, for the ultimate purpose of controlling the oil supply through the Persian Gulf. A large number of permanent military bases are now under construction in Iraq, with the probable intention of using these as forward staging areas for attacks against Iran, in order to cement US hegemony over the entire region. The Bush administration does not intend for the US to ever leave Iraq. The plan is to occupy it permanently. Welcome to the American empire!

Well, thats a new one, a libertarian spouting leftist nonsense. The US did not invade Iraq for any ONE particular reason. There was, and always has been, a multitude of reasons, each of which is justified (pick your own order of priority)

1) to establish a starting point for democratic reform in the middle east

2) to gain control of a major worldwide oil supply

3) to undermine the promulgation of murderous terrorism

4) to free the Iraqi people from the noose of a murderous dictator

5) to act on a UN resolution calling for 'serious consequences' to not opening Iraq to UN inspectors

etc

To suggest that the primary reason is for oil is absurd, the US could have just helped prop up Saddam and buy oil from him if that was the case. Of course, that would help fund murderous totalitarianism, hence the other options.

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How much money has the US spent in war in the Middle East? 100's and 100's of billions of dollars eh? Imagine if that money had of been spent on energy self sufficiency like bio-diesel production and conversion of vehicles to diesel engines running bio-diesel. The US could tell OPEC to go screw itself then. War is something to be avoided at all costs.

Unless it was spent on developing nuclear reactors, than it would have been a monumental waste to spend it on 'bio-diesel' and other nonsense environmentalist pipe dreams. War is NOT something to be avoided at ALL costs, THAT is ignorant and naive, it SHOULD be avoided when and where it is reasonable, but in many cases by choosing to avoid war we make problems much greater than they otherwise would have been. Peace without context means nothing. A prison is peaceful, a global totalitarian hell hole could be 'peaceful' but without Justice and Freadom, peace just means you have a well run slave camp.

Edited by Matus1976
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1) to establish a starting point for democratic reform in the middle east

2) to gain control of a major worldwide oil supply

3) to undermine the promulgation of murderous terrorism

4) to free the Iraqi people from the noose of a murderous dictator

5) to act on a UN resolution calling for 'serious consequences' to not opening Iraq to UN inspectors

etc

To suggest that the primary reason is for oil is absurd, the US could have just helped prop up Saddam and buy oil from him if that was the case. Of course, that would help fund murderous totalitarianism, hence the other options.

1. not our job

2. "gain control"? How? By force?

3. Our job. Except that Saddam was not behind the terrorism that plagues us. Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia should be the targets.

4. not our job

5. our job

Ba'al Chatzaf

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War is something to be avoided at all costs.

Another great advocate of peace (the kind of peace I think you are talking about) Ghandi, once wrote an open letter to the people of Britain, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Even later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife," he said. "They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs." "Collective suicide," he told his biographer, "would have been heroism."

Is this the kind of 'peace' you are referring to? Absolute pacifism, which Ghandi promoted, was the embracing of peace without context, peace which comes from not fighting back against an oppresor or murderer. Sure, it's 'peaceful', but only because those who opposed oppression are now all dead.

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1) to establish a starting point for democratic reform in the middle east

2) to gain control of a major worldwide oil supply

3) to undermine the promulgation of murderous terrorism

4) to free the Iraqi people from the noose of a murderous dictator

5) to act on a UN resolution calling for 'serious consequences' to not opening Iraq to UN inspectors

etc

To suggest that the primary reason is for oil is absurd, the US could have just helped prop up Saddam and buy oil from him if that was the case. Of course, that would help fund murderous totalitarianism, hence the other options.

1. not our job

2. "gain control"? How? By force?

3. Our job. Except that Saddam was not behind the terrorism that plagues us. Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia should be the targets.

4. not our job

5. our job

Ba'al Chatzaf

1: the job of any life loving rational society with long term interests in mind. Constitutional liberal democracies are not just only proper free societies, but they the most conducive to long term freedom and stability. Dicatorships and tyrannies are the source of all the worlds strife, wars, famines, pandemics (the only nations seriously hit by major outbreaks are these kind) and furthermore breed fundamentalist terrorism which threatens the well being of all humans on the planet.

2: In this case, since 1,3,4,5 were being done anyway, might as well gain control by force.

3: it is socialist totalitarianism that creates the conditions for terrorism; brutal poverty, no chance of growth, xenophobia, controlled indoctrination, etc. No Saddam's Iraq was not a major place of this, but *all* fundmanetalist islamic groups want to end western civilization, not *just* al quaida, and *all* majority arab / islamic nations are these same kinds of shit holes, so we must start somewhere, and though Iran or Saudi Arabia might have been better choices, the current geo-political context did not allow that, becuse of 1,2,4,5 Iraq was the best (only?) place to start.

4: nobodies job or duty, just an intelligent thing to do and moral thing to do in the long run. Any assault on human rights and property in the world to anyone is an assault on those to everyone. Allowing murderous totalitarianism to entrench itself and grow in power will just make things worse in the long run.

5: should have been the job of the west and all the major players at the UN, failing to act on that will be the downfall of the UN, much like the League of nations when Italy invaded ethiopia.

Edited by Matus1976
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Another great advocate of peace (the kind of peace I think you are talking about) Ghandi, once wrote an open letter to the people of Britain, urging them to surrender to the Nazis. Even later, when the extent of the holocaust was known, he criticized Jews who had tried to escape or fight for their lives "The Jews should have offered themselves to the butcher’s knife," he said. "They should have thrown themselves into the sea from cliffs." "Collective suicide," he told his biographer, "would have been heroism."

Is this the kind of 'peace' you are referring to? Absolute pacifism, which Ghandi promoted, was the embracing of peace without context, peace which comes from not fighting back against an oppresor or murderer. Sure, it's 'peaceful', but only because those who opposed oppression are now all dead.

Hey, take it easy pal, I never said a word about what kind of 'peace' I imagined.

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Is this the kind of 'peace' you are referring to? Absolute pacifism, which Ghandi promoted, was the embracing of peace without context, peace which comes from not fighting back against an oppresor or murderer. Sure, it's 'peaceful', but only because those who opposed oppression are now all dead.

Ghandi was a basket case. His self chosen life of poverty caused him to be fragile, a condition that worsened with age. He never wore shoes so his feet were greatly calloused. And his frequent hunger strikes caused him to have foul smelling breath. At the time he was assassinated he was a super fragile calloused mystic plagued with halitosis, a super fragile calloused mystic plagued with halitosis.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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At the time he was assassinated he was a super fragile calloused mystic plagued with halitosis, a super fragile calloused mystic plagued with halitosis.

You know, for a blood-thirsty Jewish warrior you've got a good sense of humour. :)

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Unless it was spent on developing nuclear reactors, than it would have been a monumental waste to spend it on 'bio-diesel' and other nonsense environmentalist pipe dreams.

You think so do you? I can't wait to see you drive around in your nuclear powered vehicle. Bio-diesel could be produced right now for almost the same price as fossil-fuel diesel and with more research into algae production and economies of scale it could easily be done. Hardly a pipe dream.

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Unless it was spent on developing nuclear reactors, than it would have been a monumental waste to spend it on 'bio-diesel' and other nonsense environmentalist pipe dreams.

You think so do you? I can't wait to see you drive around in your nuclear powered vehicle. Bio-diesel could be produced right now for almost the same price as fossil-fuel diesel and with more research into algae production and economies of scale it could easily be done. Hardly a pipe dream.

Biofuels have a shitty energy to mass ratio.

One of the reasons why petroleum based fuels are so desirable is their energy to mass ratio. Sugars do not have such a desirable character.

The best energy to mass ratio is found with radioactive minerals. That is because the source of the energy is not chemical, it is the conversion of mass to energy according to Einstein's equation. Just a few kilograms of uranium can by gradual fusion produce enough energy to light and heat a small city for a year.

And we will not drive around in a nuclear powered vehicles. We will drive around in clean electric cars and the electricity will be generated by nuclear means. The other form of nuclear fusion energy is geothermal heat. Right now the technology for extracting heat from great depths is not yet ripe. But the earth is heated within and will be so heated for billions of years by the fissioning of radioactive minerals in the core.

Unfortunately the chances of enjoying control nuclear fusion are rather slim. Controlled nuclear fusion has been 30 years in the future for the last 60 years and will be 30 years in the future a hundred years from now. The only energy we are able to glean from nuclear fusion is the energy of sunlight which is cheap but is diffuse. If we planted every arable foot of North America with switch grass, a much better source of bio-fuel than corn or sugar, we could not produce even thirty percent of our energy needs. And converting corn to alcohol is economically perverse. It will drive the cost of food up and not produce and very energy concentrated form of fuel. The energy to mass ratio for alcohol is poor compared to petroleum. If we do not go the fission root, our best bet is to use coal. There now exists technology to burn coal cleanly and we have enough coal in north America to meet our energy needs for the next five hundred years.

Our best alternatives in decreasing order are conservation, nuclear fission, coal, sub-terrainian heat, sugar, methane, photo voltaic and wind. Hydroelectric power is limited only to places which have a good high drop for the water or swift flowing river currents. It is not something we can do everywhere. Where we have it we should use it, but it is not widespread enough to be a general means of meeting our energy needs. Ditto for getting heat from the earth's core. Right now the only places where it can be gotten cheaply enough is where there are fissures in the earth, as in Iceland. They are fortunately situated and can make use of underground heat.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Biofuels have a shitty energy to mass ratio.

One of the reasons why petroleum based fuels are so desirable is their energy to mass ratio. Sugars do not have such a desirable character.

I am not familiar with this term "energy to mass ratio", do you have any references? AFAIK bio-diesel is pretty much the same as regular diesel and what does 'sugars' have to do with it? Also, It will take much more investment in changing infrastructure to convert vehicles to electric propulsion than to diesel motors and generating and distributing electricity to power vehicles will be way more inefficient and expensive than using diesel fuel.

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Biofuels have a shitty energy to mass ratio.

One of the reasons why petroleum based fuels are so desirable is their energy to mass ratio. Sugars do not have such a desirable character.

I am not familiar with this term "energy to mass ratio", do you have any references? AFAIK bio-diesel is pretty much the same as regular diesel and what does 'sugars' have to do with it? Also, It will take much more investment in changing infrastructure to convert vehicles to electric propulsion than to diesel motors and generating and distributing electricity to power vehicles will be way more inefficient and expensive than using diesel fuel.

Energy to mass ratio or energy density. The number of joules of usable energy (net) per kilo of the substance.

Sugar and alcohol is what is made from sugar cane ( in Brazil ) and corn (in the U.S.). The ultimate product is ethanol which has a shitty energy to mass ratio. Using corn is a bad idea because we will have to choose between feeding our cars ethanol from corn or feeding corn to our cattle. Switch grass is much better. No one eats it and it is more productive of ethanol kilogram for kilogram. Farmers like ethanol from corn because it is a farm subsidy ( surprise, surprise )

Differentiate between short term expense and long term expense and reckon the cost/benefit ratios. Any alternative we choose will have a price tag attached to it. We have to write off the current infrastructure and invest in new infrastructure. Then there is the cost of waste management and environmental side effects to consider as well. Nothing is free. There ain't no such thing as a free lunch.

See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Energy_density. Wiki is your friend. Learn how to use it.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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