Comments this week touched on stories about intelligence leading up to the Iraq War, biofuels versus food and a Nazi Red Baron.
How reliable was the pre-war intelligence on Iraq?
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"Curveball" and Iraq War intelligence
As Sun Tzu made clear in "The Art of War" about 2,000 years ago, military intelligence is a vital component for security and makes the avoidance of war possible. However, when military intelligence becomes a vital component vis-a-vis political policy, catastrophe is too often the result. As for "Curveball" and the intelligence provided by him, had America's choices been limited by its Congress, the Iraq War would not have happened. Some have justified the Iraq War on the grounds that Iraq was in violation of UN resolutions. However, America, as a nation-state, is not constitutionally bound to defend the rulings of supra-national organizations such as the UN. In short, the Iraq War is illegal because it is in violation of America's own constitutional principles and not simply because it is considered to be in breach of international law. This was all foreseen in principle by the "Founding Fathers" who drafted the American Constitution. Thus, all blame falls fair and square upon the US Congress. "Curveball" is just a distraction. -- Charles Smyth, Great Britain
Food versus biofuels
Living in the countryside of Thailand, I can clearly see the harmful impact of rising food prices on people. One of the major reasons for the rising food prices is biofuel, and therefore its production needs to be stopped immediately in order to prevent millions of people from starving. It is not dangerous to leave the car in the garage, but starving is painful and life-threatening and must be prevented under all circumstances. For people in rich countries who simply having everything, it is not easy to understand what it means to stay hungry all the time. But try eating just once a day, as is done by millions of poor people worldwide, in order to feel their pain. -- Hans Haider, Thailand
The Red Baron
If the Red Baron became the most successful German pilot of World War I by shooting down 80 Allied planes, what do we make of Erich Hartmann, who shot down a staggering 352. He is, to date, the most successful war-time pilot ever in the history of mankind. I guess the world is yet not quite ready to break that politically correct taboo. -- Richard Clements, Spain