RE: state of memes

From: Lawrence DeBivort (
Date: Sun Sep 30 2001 - 19:25:32 BST

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    Subject: RE: state of memes
    Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2001 14:25:32 -0400
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    Thanks Ted.

    I don't remember the specifics around that time, but assuming Chomsky is
    reporting this accurately, I would not characterize Saddam's Aug 12 offer as
    legitimate, given that they involve issues (Syria/Lebabon and Palestine)
    that have nothing to do with Iraq's invasion of Kuwait. Perhaps Saddam
    thought he could hold Kuwait hostage to force others (the US, Syria, and
    Israel to name only those that come first to mind) to do what he wishes.

    The offer of the 19th, of course, would have been greatly welcomed but would
    have been something he could do without reference to the US. All he had to
    do was sit down with the government of Kuwait and then withdraw. Could have
    been done in a couple of hours.

    The December 4th offer, if it is accurately reported, might from the US
    point of view been a real offer, but the question that remains open and
    critical is whether Saddam in fact proposed discussions about this with the
    government of Kuwait. And if the Kuwaitis declined to discuss the status of
    any or all of their territory, then there was nothing left to discuss and
    the Iraqi seizure invasion, prolongued any further would have been doubly
    illegal. Please remember that the initial invasion itself was fully illegal.
    Thus the real and only obligation was for Iraq to leave Kuwait, and pay
    reparations for the damage they created. There is no obligation on those
    invaded -- or their allies -- to negotiate with the invader. Invasion
    creates no rights or benefits under international law. There cannot really
    be a 'reasonable' offer when only unconditional withdrawal is required. The
    US was under no obligation (nor were any of the other allies of Kuwait) to
    delay at all to give Iraq additional time. All Iraq had to do was withdraw
    and pay damages. Sometimes, life IS simple.

    I'm surprised that Chomsky would suggest anything else.

    Having said all of that, I do believe that it would have been possible to
    influence Saddam so that he would withdraw from Kuwait without the necessity
    of war, but I think that the required level and type of influence was beyond
    the capabilities or knowledge of the governments involved. But that's
    another story, as they say....

    Thanks again for the citations -- very helpful.


    > -----Original Message-----
    > From: []On Behalf Of
    > Dace
    > Sent: Sunday, September 30, 2001 2:14 PM
    > To:
    > Subject: Re: state of memes
    > Chomsky, Deterring Democracy, 1992, South End Press, Chapter 6: Nefarious
    > Aggression.
    > On August 12, 1990, Iraq offered to withdraw from Kuwait if Syria would
    > withdraw from Lebanon and Israel gave up the Occupied Territories. On the
    > 19th, Iraq suggested that disputes between Arab states should be decided
    > among Arabs themselves, in the absence of outside intervention. This is
    > akin to the US view that disputes in the Americas should be handled
    > exclusively by American nations. On December 4, Iraq offered to
    > withdraw on
    > the sole condition that Kuwait discuss the status of a couple of
    > islands in
    > the Gulf. This offer was so reasonable that there was widespread
    > fear that
    > war would be averted. Stock prices plummeted. But the US stuck to its
    > insistence on unconditional surrender, and the "nightmare scenario" of a
    > negotiated resolution never came to pass.
    > > Interesting. Do you have a source for this? Thanks.
    > >
    > > >Yet Hussein
    > > > was perfectly willing to relinquish Kuwait through negotiations. No
    > > > military buildup was necessary.
    > >
    > >
    > ===============================================================
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