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Carol Off
This season counterSpin welcomes the return of Carol Off as the host of CBC Newsworld's flagship debate show.
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Host
Carol Off

Guest Host
Adrian Harewood

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Paul Jay

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Pedro Sanchez

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Colman Jones

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Audrey Huntley

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Joe Keenan

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Program Archive
IRAQ - ONE YEAR LATER
Wednesday, March 17, 2004.
When the U.S. invaded Iraq a year ago this week, despite worldwide protests from at least 30 million people, Washington declared it had two objectives. The first, long since discredited, was to remove the threat posed by Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. The second involved bringing democracy and liberation - not only to Iraq - but to the entire region. This month, the Iraqi Governing Council agreed on an interim constitution. This has bolstered the sovereignty case for some, but has equally emboldened others who label the whole process as collaboration with a foreign occupation. But with little over three months before the US is set to hand power over to Iraqis, can the promised transition to democracy take place? Also this month - in one of the bloodiest days yet since the demise of Saddam Hussein’s regime - suicide attacks against Shiite Muslim pilgrims in Baghdad and Karbala left at least 181 people dead. Who is behind these bombings? Some say that external forces, with possible ties to al-Qaeda, are involved. Is there a real possibility of civil war in Iraq? Is the US-led occupation to blame? And to what extent are the upcoming US elections shaping Washington’s policy? At a time of continuing violence, and the possible resurgence of al-Qaeda with the recent bombings in Madrid, counterSpin debates the uncertain future of Iraq.

Watch this episode Online! Part One, Two, Three, Four, in rm format.

 

 
IRAQ - ONE YEAR LATER
Wednesday, March 17, 2004.
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Uncertainty of whose future?
by MottySpin on Saturday March 13, @10:55PM (#4925)
User #1615 Info
The uncertainty of Iraq's future should be of concern to Iraqi people and the leaders they recognize, whether elected or otherwise. We, the Western World, should be concerned with the uncertainty of OUR future first and foremost. Then, if it can be done without compromising our interests, and especially when our interests jibe with the interests of foreigners -- Iraq included -- then we may consider providing help to others.

Our friends and opponents understand this kind of selfish attitude and perceive it as sincere. They will not hold a grudge against us for it. This is how people operate and cooperate.

The pretense of the Bush Administration of going on Iraq because of WMD and stating a goal to free the Iraqis from tyranny only revealed Bush as a phony hypocrite. And now, when WMD are yet to be found and Iraqis' expectations are shattered, American policy backfires.

I said it before the invasion and I say it now: American interests were supposed to be sincerely and openly stated as follows:
- We are going to protect the Western World from the terrorists starting with protection of our country and our citizens. In this endeavour, we cannot be and will not be concerned with safety and wellbeing of those who live in the neighbourhood of the terrorists because safety of our soldiers is safety of our citizens.
- Oil revenues of Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Iran are the prime source of support for the terrorists. Therefore, we are going to take over the control over this resource in these countries. Such move is even more justified by the fact that the oil installations were nationalized (stolen) by corresponding governments after the oil has been found and developed by the scientific effort and at the expense of Western corporations. Any interference with taking over oil-producing installations on part a government will turn this government into a war target.

And then the American military were supposed to start materializing the statements one country at a time.

Other countries would take sides. Demonstrations would oppose policy. But the Administration would be seen as sincere and strong. There would be animosity, but not disrespect.

Terrorists would lose financial support without which they cannot operate.

That did not happen. Now we have to be concerned with the uncertainty of OUR future.
Forget the Iraqis!
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Silly Spanish!
by Crammed on Monday March 15, @06:57PM (#4938)
User #349 Info
As usual the genii as The Daily Show got it bang-on. It went something like this:

Steven Colbert: Now that Al-Qaida has convinced the Spanish to get out of Iraq, there's only one more place that they want the Spanish to leave...SPAIN!
If only the Spanish people and all the other silly leftists understood that fact. Now that terrorists have learned that they can affect democratic elections by murdering innocent civillians, what's stopping them from doing the same in Italy, Britain, Germany? It makes me think that the outcome of the next big bomb that goes off in Europe rests on the shoulders of the Spanish electorate.
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
US against Spain or "Silly Spain"
by Nicky on Tuesday March 16, @01:41PM (#4951)
User #1919 Info
How classic is the US campaign, through Steven Colbert and his likes, on the new government in Spain! The so called Al-Qaida commits a terror act, and the US provides the propaganda machine for the act, in favor of the terrorists! (as far as I'm concerned the bombings could have done by any terrorist sect/group within Political Islam, al-qaida included - To learn more on Political Islam please check

http://www.geocities.com/agoya

Don't you think that the false statement saying the bombing in Madrid had such an impact in Spain that brought the so called "socialists" into the power, would just benefit the terrorists? Isn't the US giving a lot, I mean a looooot of credit to "al-qaida"? Isn't the US sending a message to terrorist groups that your terrorism actually work? Ya, as a matter of fact the US does exactly this favor to the terrorists. Why? The US knows very well about the impact of its new campaign against the "socialists" in Spain because the US is against the socialists too. Tries to tie them together. It is simply because the US alien party, conservative party in Spain, lost the election; because the US tries to push the new government in Spain not to withdraw its troops from Iraq. Would US have come up w/ this propaganda if Conservative won the election? Now, don't be silly, really... think about it?

2) Don't you think that the US, is insulting millions of people in Spain in general(through Steven Colbert and his likes) and the Spanish people's intelligence in particular because they voted for a "socialist" party, out of fear and not because they wanted to, choosing a party that happens to be in US's "no, no" list?

3) Isn't this an obvious propaganda by the US, probably will be followed by others, to hide a little fact? The fact that the only major party in Spain that tried to politically take advantage of the situation, minutes after the terrorist act, was actually the defeated conservative party. They tried hard to put the blame, and later the suspicious on ETA(not that I have any sympathy whatsoever w/ ETA). But the fact that they meant to abuse the situation in their favor. It doesn't require an "Einstein"-like brain. I believe everybody in the world was intelligent enough to see that. Maybe, that was another reason as to why the people in Spain, also saw that. Don't you "think"?

Some will choose the US propaganda because they want to. There is nothing on earth that could say or write to convince them. Some seek the truth. It is up to you.
[ Reply to This | Parent ]
Two sides of Terroism, one side of humanitarian
by Nicky on Wednesday March 17, @01:36PM (#4981)
User #1919 Info
Unfortunately the world is too complicated and its issues, including the terrorist act in Spain, have no “snappy” answer. Whoever claims to have a one-line snappy answer to this issue or other problems we have, s/he is either naïve or lying for some reason; and shouldn't be taken serious.

Let’s change the terms in the statement by "Wishing for a better" where it says “Violent will follow violent” to “Terrorism will follow terrorism”. I think there are two sides in the horrific terrorist scene: one is played by the political Islam and the other led by the US government. One promotes the other. One feeds the other. One gets excited over the other one’s acts, prepares itself for the next round of “actions”.

That’s my stand; call it my assumption, analyzed in detail in this article Political Islam in a nut shell [geocities.com]. Now, let’s separate the issues following the bombing in Spain:

1) 2.3 million people demonstrate on Friday March 12, the day after the bombing, in the streets of Madrid and elsewhere in Spain expressing:

"I feel outrage at the death of innocent people and this is a way of showing those who use violence that they will not be able to defeat the whole population," said Hector Grafales Gurdian [guardian.co.uk]

2) A pre-scheduled election is supposed to take place on Sunday March 14. The election is not postponed. Why?

“Aznar supported the war in Iraq which was opposed by 80% of the Spanish population. The Populist Party has also been running on a get tough on ETA theme.
So, politically for the Populist Party, they want this terrorist attack to be ETA's fault. It lends credence to their policies of getting tough on ETA.”March 13, 2004 ETA or Al Qaeda? [damnforeigner.com]

3) Election takes place. The Populist Party’s last attempt, i.e. blaming ETA for bombing, turns out to be not effective to get them stay in power because the Populist Party underestimated the people’s intelligence. The outcome? Spanish who are against terrorism in any form and who were against the war in Iraq, elected a very possible candidate, the Socialist Party.
           
Is election somehow influenced by the bombing? Maybe. In favor of Socalist Party? Maybe. Now, we must make a distinction between “influenced” and “intimidated”. They were not intimidated by terrorist act-(Crammy, remember point one?); but some may have been influenced in the sense that they got more determined to elect a party that in its election campaign has expressed itself against the war w/ Iraq. So, is that a good thing or a bad thing? I don’t expect Crammy (he already called anybody who favored peace, “idiots”.) nor Colbert, or the US establishment to see any good in that. It seems that they already had made up their mind long before the election.

In any case, once the election result comes out, all of a sudden, Socialist Party’s consistent stand on the issue of Spain evolvement in the US-led war with Iraq becomes a matter of “concern” for the US government-the US stand definitely influenced Crammy- US stand was first expressed by a comedian, Colbert, on March 15 – the day after the election- and then expressed directly by Crammy’s “Rummy” on March 16:

"it seems to me that history is replete with instances where believing that you can feed the alligator, hoping it eats you last, doesn't work."
--U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld (Tuesday, March 16, 2004)(Thanks for the quote Crammy)

4) Who is benefiting the terrorist acts? In a nut shell, since the core political issues which could put the political Islam into a rat hole keeps bouncing - issues like Iraq’s stability, Israel-Palestinian issue, Kurd’s issue, Islamic Republic of Iran- atrocities of political Islam just grows. The US is not promoting a secular, progressive approach in the middle east. It promotes faction of political Is

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