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Another war on it's way.

Discussion in 'Seasoned Tokers' started by Bud Head, Jan 13, 2003.


    Jan. 12 - The Pentagon ordered 62,000 troops to the Persian Gulf over the weekend, part of a rapidly growing buildup for possible war with Iraq that aims to have more than 100,000 soldiers in place by the end of the month. Defense officials said the United States could be ready for war by mid- to late-February with a force exceeding 150,000 soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen.

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    • American and allied forces massing in the Persian Gulf

    THE DEPLOYMENTS went ahead, despite reluctance to military action in Europe and increasing pressure from allies for Washington to allow U.N. weapons inspectors to complete their work in Iraq. The resistance has raised speculation in recent days about whether U.S. war plans might yet be slowed.
    On Sunday, four of the seven Virginia-based ships that received deployment orders in the past week pulled away from a Navy pier in Norfolk, Va. Three of the ships left port Friday. Together, they can carry a landing force of more than 8,000 Marines. The Navy declined to say where the ships were headed.
    The latest deployment order, ordering the activation of 27,000 troops, was signed overnight by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, and includes thousands of Marines, an Army airborne infantry brigade, a squadron of Air Force F-117 Nighthawk stealth fighters and two squadrons of F-16CJ radar-jamming fighters, The New York Times reported.
    A Pentagon spokesman would not comment.

    The massive infusion of new personnel nearly doubles a military deployment campaign that has accelerated in the past week as a Jan. 27 deadline approaches for chief U.N. weapons inspector Hans Blix to report to the Security Council on the progress of U.N. teams that have been in Iraq since late November searching for evidence of weapons of mass destruction.
    Rumsfeld had already signed orders earlier Friday to deploy nearly 35,000 troops, including plans to send 7,000 Marines from Camp Lejeune, N.C., and 7,000 more from Camp Pendleton, Calif., as well as troops from other services, NBC News reported.
    That deployment will also include about 1,000 troops from the the Army's largest fighting organization, the XVIII Airborne Corps at Fort Bragg, N.C., defense officials told NBC News, as well as an undisclosed number of Patriot anti-missile batteries.

    MSNBC Coverage:
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    • Full MSNBC coverage
    Other Iraq coverage:
    • Latest from WashPost
    • Newsweek: War under way?

    Friday's order was the biggest since the Pentagon began a very public surge of forces in recent weeks to more than double the 60,000 U.S. troops now in the gulf region while President Bush decides whether to order an invasion of Iraq over weapons of mass destruction.
    Defense sources said no decision on whether the United States would go to war with Iraq would be made before Jan. 27.
    The ground forces approved so far are short of the more than 250,000 U.S. troops sent to the region for the 1991 Gulf War.

    Latest on the Iraq crisis

    In Norfolk, as the Ashland pulled away, a couple dozen family members waved from a cold, wind-swept parking lot near the pier.

    • Iraq: Order of the battle

    Kerri Rodriguez wiped away tears as she said goodbye to her husband, Petty Officer 2nd Class Edgar Rodriguez. She doesn't know when she and their three small children will see him next.
    “It's their job. If they've got to go, they've got to go,” she said. “I'm just very proud of him that he has the opportunity to serve his country and bring a lot of pride and honor to his family.”
    The Ashland hadn't been scheduled to deploy until this summer. Leaving six months early is tough on the sailors and their families, said Cmdr. Sam Howard, the ship's commanding officer.
    “I have a seven-month old son and I was expecting to see him walk before I deployed,” Howard said.
    “There's the emotional aspect of it,” he said. “But that's also balanced with the emotional aspect of doing something so important.”

    Defense officials said this week that U.S. Central Command, which would run any military operation, was moving senior war planners from headquarters in Tampa, Fla., to a base in the Persian Gulf nation Qatar.
    “The bulk of those that would need to be in place to make the [Qatar] headquarters operational will be there by the end of the month,” a U.S. defense official said as the head of Central Command, Army Gen. Tommy Franks, briefed President Bush on war preparations Wednesday. “I'm not telling you it will be operational.”
    The Qatar base is known as Camp As Sayliyah, a desert encampment with newly designed command posts hidden inside enormous warehouses near the capital, Doha.
    If there is a war, Franks would run it from As Sayliyah, but he is not returning immediately, officials said.
  2. U.S. envoy arrives in Seoul for talks

    Assistant U.S. Secretary of State James Kelly arrives in Seoul on Sunday.

    Jan. 12 -- The nuclear crisis cultivated by North Korea's Kim Jong Il brings Assistant Secretary of State James Kelly to Asia for talks aimed at defusing the situation. NBC's Donna Fratangelo reports.

    Kelly says energy aid
    to N. Korea a possibility


    Jan. 13 - Assistant U.S. Secretary of State James Kelly, in Seoul for talks on the North Korean nuclear standoff, said Monday that the United States is willing to consider energy aid to the north if it ends nuclear weapons development. “Once we get beyond nuclear weapons, there may be opportunities with the U.S., with private investors, with other countries to help North Korea in the energy area,” Kelly said at a news conference.

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    • Timeline of a divided Korea

    KELLY WAS to meet Monday with the South's President-elect Roh Moo-hyun, who espouses diplomacy as the only solution to the crisis, and some of Roh's top advisers. Kelly also will visit China, Singapore, Indonesia and Japan.
    As Kelly arrived in Seoul to try to defuse the region's escalating crisis - “We are going to talk positively,” he told reporters - North Korea denied admitting to U.S. officials that it had a secret nuclear weapons program, and said it would unleash a “sea of fire” if the United States challenges the communist country.
    Meanwhile, a day after meeting with a North Korean official, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said Pyongyang is ready to negotiate directly with the United States about its nuclear weapons programs, even despite the country's bellicose rhetoric.

    North Korea on Sunday accused the United States of “sinister intentions,” backing away from what the United States had described as an admission in October that it was running a covert program to enrich uranium for nuclear arms in violation of a 1994 agreement.
    “The claim that we admitted developing nuclear weapons is an invention fabricated by the U.S. with sinister intentions,” the news service Yonhap quoted the official Rodong Sinmun newspaper as saying.
    The nuclear tension could be discussed at Cabinet-level talks between the two Koreas; the talks are scheduled for Jan. 21-24 in Seoul. However, North Korea has said the issue is strictly a matter between it and the United States.

    In the past few days, North Korea has sent sharply mixed messages. Pyongyang withdrew from the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty and threatened on Saturday to resume long-range missile tests, vowing to “smash U.S. nuclear maniacs” in a “holy war.” At the same time, its diplomats in the United States told Gov. Richardson their country had no intention of building nuclear bombs.
    On Sunday, the newspaper blamed the United States for the current crisis and warned: “If the United States evades its responsibility and challenges us, we'll turn the citadel of imperialists into a sea of fire.”

    On Saturday, the United States warned that North Korea's insults to Washington and threats to end its self-imposed moratorium on ballistic missile tests were “steps in the wrong direction” that would only increase tensions and Pyongyang's isolation. North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador Han Song Ryol insisted that his country had no plans to build nuclear weapons, but the Bush administration said the regime continued failing address “issues of concern” to the international community.

    The administration issued the statement after Richardson ended three days of talks in New Mexico with a senior North Korean official.
    “In New Mexico, North Korea stated its willingness to have a dialogue,” a senior administration official said. “Unfortunately, North Korean delegates did not address the issues of concern to the international community.”
    While the delegates were in New Mexico, North Korea “continued to take steps in the wrong direction” by announcing its withdrawal from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty and threatening to end a moratorium on missile testing, the official said.
    “The U.S. has made it clear that we are prepared to talk to North Korea about how it would meet its obligations to the international community. ... The usual channels of communications remain open for the U.S. and North Korea,” the official said.

    Mohamed ElBaradei, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told North Korea that its decision would be taken up by the U.N. Security Council if it did not change course.

    North Korea, which has not tested long-range missiles in four years, threatened to do so Saturday unless the United States took steps to improve relations. In 1998 the regime test-fired one that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean. Still, U.S. intelligence officials believe North Korea has been working on missiles that could reach Alaska and Hawaii, and they believe Pyongyang has already developed missiles that could hit anywhere in South Korea and much of Japan.
    The North announced its withdrawal from the global nuclear arms control treaty Friday. Mohamed ElBaradei, the director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, told North Korea that its decision would be taken up by the U.N. Security Council in a matter of weeks if it did not change course. “This is not an open-ended invitation for cooperation,” he said.
    North Korea is a signatory to the nonproliferation treaty, under which only the five major nuclear powers are allowed to maintain a nuclear arsenal while gradually disarming. Under the treaty, other states agree not to develop or acquire nuclear weapons.

    Massive North Korean rally
    Jan. 11 - In a government-controlled rally, an estimated 1 million people gathered to support what North Korea calls a life-and-death battle against its enemies. NBC's Dawn Fratangelo reports from Seoul.


    In discussions on Saturday with Richardson, who was President Clinton's ambassador to the United Nations, Han, North Korea's deputy U.N. ambassador, insisted that his country had no plans to build nuclear weapons.
    Richardson said Han told him that the North wanted better relations with the United States.
    “He told me that in a dialogue with the United States, North Korea would discuss America's concerns over verifying its nuclear program. I think that's positive,” Richardson said, ending three days of meetings with two North Korean envoys in Sante Fe, N.M.
    Richardson, who was a surprise intermediary in the dispute, said he briefed Secretary of State Colin Powell on the talks but emphasized that he was not an official representative of the Bush administration.
    On Sunday on ABC's “This Week,” Richardson suggested a bilateral nonaggression binding pact that says the United States will not attack North Korea, in exchange for steps such as freezing its nuclear program and allowing international inspectors back into the country.
    “The North Koreans said they're ready to do that, but only after a negotiation,” Richardson said.

    fact file
    Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty

    • Member states • Treaty articles • The IAEA

    The Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty was established in 1970 with the purpose of stopping the spread of nuclear weapons. Under the treaty, the five nuclear weapons states -- the United States, Russia, China, France and the United Kingdom -- agree to pursue general disarmament. Signatories from non-nuclear weapons states agree to forgo nuclear weapons acquisition or development.
    With 187 signatories, the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty is the largest nuclear weapons treaty in the world. But the NPT is not universal. In January 2003 North Korea pulled out of the treaty, saying that the IAEA was “a tool for executing the U.S. hostile policy.”
    In addition, three nuclear powers – India, Israel and Pakistan – have never signed the treaty. Joining today would require them to sign up as a non-nuclear weapons state and dismantle their nuclear weapons. The treaty restricts nuclear weapons state status to those nations in possession of nuclear explosives prior to Jan. 1, 1967. In 1991 South Africa dismantled its nuclear weapons program after signing the treaty.

    For more information about nuclear arsenals: The nuclear-armed planet

    The nuclear powers agree not to help non-nuclear weapons states to develop or acquire an arsenal. In turn non-nuclear weapons states agree not to pursue nuclear weapons development. To verify compliance, the treaty assigns the International Atomic Energy Agency with the task of inspecting non-nuclear weapon states' nuclear facilities.
    Nuclear energy
    All states have the right to produce nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. States can exchange nuclear-related information, technology and fissionable materials provided they -- and related research facilities and other sites -- are subject to IAEA safeguards.

    North Korea
    Given the guarantee of nuclear energy research and production, North Korea's decision to reject the treaty while maintaining its line that it will not pursue nuclear weapons, has puzzled the United Nations.

    Created in 1957 as United Nations agency, the IAEA describes itself as an international forum for scientific and technical cooperation in the use of nuclear technology. The tasks of the Vienna-based body include developing nuclear safety standards, maintaining safeguards associated with membership in the Nuclear Proliferation Treaty and protecting humans and the environment from nuclear radiation.
    The IAEA has faced difficulties. Weapons inspections in Iraq has put a strain on agency manpower. North Korea, meanwhile, has refused to comply with IAEA safeguards since 1993. In January 2003, North Korea expelled the agency's two inspectors after breaking the seals and cameras that monitored its nuclear facilities.

    The IAEA relies on its 134 member states for financial and political support as well as nuclear intelligence including satellite photos.

    Source: IAEA; Arms Control Association
    Printable version

    Meantime, Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi, fresh from talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, met in eastern Russia with Konstantin Pulikovsky, a Russian point man on North Korea who is believed to have close ties to its reclusive leader, Kim Jong Il.
    “It is important that North Korea be steadfastly worked upon to gain a peaceful solution,” Koizumi told Pulikovsky, Putin's prefect for the far east.
    Pulikovsky said his knowledge of North Korea's leader suggested a soft approach was likely to be more effective. “He will not permit being pressured from outside,” Pulikovsky was quoted as saying. “He will only be repelled by this.”


    The North warned the United States not to take military action as it announced it would withdraw from the treaty. Pyongyang said that a “new Korean War will finally lead to the Third World War” and that the North could hold its own in a “fire-to-fire standoff.” The comment was distributed by the official North Korean news agency in English.
    The treaty requires a withdrawing nation to give three months' notice. North Korea, however, said it was withdrawing as of Saturday.

    The Korean Peninsula

    MSNBC Interactive

    • The arms balance in the world's most militarized region.

    Britain, Germany, Australia, Japan, the Philippines and Russia were among countries that expressed deep concern. Britain condemned the North Korean move as “a wrong decision.”
    The outgoing South Korean President, Kim Dae-jung, said dialogue was the only way to resolve the crisis, which he called a matter of “life and death.” The Foreign Ministry said the North's withdrawal was a “serious threat to peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula” and urged it to retract its decision.
  3. ha... we want their oil. i read an article in this magazine written by powel saying that a defeat of iraq would help out our economy drastically by reducing gas prices and such... but he still insisted that that's not the reason we want to go to war so badly.

    i find it funny... we have no hard evidence of there being weapons of mass destruction over in Iraq, but yet we swear up and down there is. i find it funny that they kicked the weapons inspectors out 4 years ago, and now all of a sudden we care about W.O.M.D. when our economy is at it's worse in years...

    isn't it ironic... don't ya think?

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