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CDMA vs. GSM in Post-war Iraq 1439

Posted by timothy
from the nothing-like-a-free-market dept.
An anonymous reader submits: "Congressman Darrell Issa (R-CA) is pressing congress to favor CDMA over GSM for mobile phone service in U.S.-funded reconstruction plans. One reason for pushing this is that a CDMA system would benefit American companies, such as California-based Qualcomm, while GSM would favor European companies. Currently, GSM is the most widely used mobile standard in surrounding countries."
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CDMA vs. GSM in Post-war Iraq

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  • My thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by mpost4 (115369) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:46PM (#5612387) Homepage Journal
    I think for the benefit of the Iraq people it would be best to either, us the existing standard and what the surrounding countries use. But if they want some of the benefits of the CSMA as they say in the article, they should at lest do a dual implantation of it. Why? Well so the Iraq people can chose what standard they want, the one they don't go for will by default die away, I am sure they probably will not go for CDMA since it would not be useful outside for the boarders of Iraq. Can CDMA and GSM phones exist in the same area? That is the big question that could stand in the way of my idea. But this is all thinking and we should be consternating more on the war that is going on now then rebuilding, yes we also have to look at humanitarian aid now, but that is still different from rebuilding.
  • by Tax Boy (75507) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:50PM (#5612412)
    Before they're hatched. Can I be on the occupied Iraq new currency designing committee? More importantly, will occupied Iraq choose Direct TV or Dish Network as its standard?

    I can tell this esteemed Rep. has his priorities straight.
  • hah! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lingqi (577227) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:51PM (#5612420) Journal
    I really hope this lays to rest any argument about the US going there to "save the civilians from Saddam's evil."

    Come on people, war hasn't even finished, and all they can think about is US cellphone company's benefits? what about FOOD, WATER, MEDICINE?

    sheesh...
  • by mosch (204) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:52PM (#5612436) Homepage
    Seriously, this has to be a joke right? People aren't actually getting pissed about which cell phone technology may be used after we're done conquering Iraq are they?

    Seriously folks, in percentage of population, the US Military has already killed more Iraqi civilians than 9/11 killed Americans. Let's not worry about what cell phones the Iraqis will use after we win, and worry instead about whether or not it's possible for us to win.

    Peace. As salaam alaikum.

  • public good (Score:5, Insightful)

    by naoursla (99850) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:53PM (#5612440) Homepage Journal
    Which is better for the common good?
    1. Financial benefits for US companies
    or
    2. The ability for US citizens to use their cell phones internationally and foriegn visitors to use their cell phones here.

    Would the financial impact to US companies be short term? Would they benefit more from visitors paying for international roaming charges if they took the hit now?

    Is Congressman Issa trying to improve the local economy of his constituents or does he believe this is the best course of action for the country?

    Honestly, I have no idea.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:54PM (#5612450)
    I'd just like to remind you that the U.S is NOT the boss of the world, for lack of a better phrase.
    Any country should be able to FREELY make their decision on participating in a conflict, and not be expected to march to Start Spangled Banner.
    You may label the Frech as, 'Surrender monkeys', but maybe the U.S could be labelled as a, 'Government Sanctioned Terrorist Unit'
    As an Australian, I support our troops, but that does not mean I support the actions of our Government.
  • by Azureflare (645778) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:55PM (#5612458)
    Who didn't see this coming?

    Honestly, the opportunists will take anything they can get. Especially when they have the ear of our unpresident. I can't believe that corporate hounddog got into office...But I guess we have to live with it. Even if you don't care about the other countries, you have to admit that they have every reason to hate us. We would hate us if we were in their position. Truly, if you were being shoved out of every economic situation and opportunity by the world heavyweight, wouldn't you start to get a little frustrated too?

    Right, right, they're all our slaves...They must bow down to the master if they want treats! =P

    Anyone want to bet if this economic opportunism will increase the odds of terrorism?

  • GSM Phones (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mike300zx (523956) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:55PM (#5612461)
    I hafta say I love my Sony-Ericsson T68i GSM phone. You can just get alot more features with them than with other networks with the ability to do high-speed transfers. And when you combine it with the fact that the countries around there all use it and countries all over Europe do as well then for the people would have a more versatile phone. I'm all for Qualcomm with them being based here in my city and that I know many people who work for them. However, I think that perhaps this would be a good opportunity for them to break into the GSM phone market as they could get deals with the cell service providers there in Iraq. If we are behind on the times as far as GSM goes then that is too bad, but we shouldn't try to force the same on them. GSM is taking over, it's only a matter of time. All the providers are starting to support it and all the cool new phones require GSM. So if the US has switched over for a large part in 6 months to a year, the Iraqis with anything else will be truly behind and won't have the American $$$ flowing in to upgrade their networks to GSM if they just put in another technology.
  • Competition or GSM (Score:4, Insightful)

    by shylock0 (561559) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:57PM (#5612477)
    Generally speaking, it would probably make the most sense to allow something resembling competition. Barring that, I would vote for GSM. It has nothing to do with which is a better standard. The point is, the middle east is a relatively small region. Cell-phone interoperability would be a huge boon -- so it would be great if the whole region used one standard. Iraq is about the size of a mid-sized state. Imagine if you couldn't use your New York cell phone in Connecticut because of standards problems.
  • CDMA Bias by Issa (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davidu (18) on Thursday March 27, 2003 @11:58PM (#5612485) Homepage Journal

    Is it a coincidence that
    Darrell Issa [house.gov] is the rep from the 49th district in California which is home to CDMA developer Qualcomm [qualcomm.com]?
    I THINK NOT.

    This is just another example of politics being influenced by corporate desires and lobbying.

    -davidu
  • Greedy Fingers (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cdjfelton (569462) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:03AM (#5612533) Homepage
    I would feel much better if the US made the commitment to not have any economic interest in Iraq. There should be no US based company getting contracts for oil. Same goes for cell phone standards. KEEP YOUR GREEDY LITTLE HANDS OFF OF IRAQ! We are going to war with Iraq for the freedom of the people, not the plunder. Right?
  • Re:Uhhh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:06AM (#5612552)
    Here's a hint: Just because the President says something, DOESN'T MEAN IT'S TRUE!

    The proof is in the pudding, and right now I see too many "liberated Iraqis" without food, water and who are getting sicker every day.

    Why is it that we spend drop a $100-million dollars fucking cruise missles on a single point in Iraq in the space of 15 minutes, but we can't ship the fucking food fast enough.

    WHO PLANNED THIS FUCKING CIRCUS???
  • Re:My thoughts (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:10AM (#5612574)
    Not sure what your comment means.

    This is about a Republican congress-person doing what Republican congress-people do best: fucking over the people (in this case of another country) in the favor of his corporate backers.

    Well, the U.S.-ians are already bombing the shit out of them and ruining what little infrastructure their country has. Why not fuck them over some more?
  • by mosch (204) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:12AM (#5612586) Homepage
    The Iraq Body Count [iraqbodycount.com] counts high and low numbers of confirmed civilian deaths, the idea being that the truth is probably somewhere in between those sets of numbers. Right now the civilian body count is between 232 and 302 in a country of 24 million, whereas the 9/11 body count is approximately 2800, in a country of 280 million.

    I'm not talking about the people who starved during sanctions, as I'm aware that Saddam didn't spend all his oil for food money, and he stole as much of it as he could. I'm referring only to people who were killed by the current invasion.

    Next time you're watching the bombs explode on CNN, remember how you felt on 9/11, and realize that the same thing is happening in Iraq, right now.

  • Re:Uhhh (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:18AM (#5612635)
    So you go around the mines, land in a Kuwait harbor, and DRIVE the food up to Iraq.

    Somehow we can get a hundred thousand soldiers and tanks and guns and bombs into Iraq, but we can't ship some food.

    It's about the oil. Those poor Iraqi's can starve to death as far as our president is concerned...
  • Re:hah! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by uradu (10768) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:20AM (#5612648)
    > why the hell shouldn't American companies make some money

    Uh, because American companies ARE making money already, you knob! You still don't see how things work, do you? The US is not one single big pocket. It consists of one very large pocket called the government, and many smaller pockets called companies. The objective of the game is to shovel as much money as possible from the parge pocket into as few as possible of the small pockets. Let's call some of the small pockets Raytheon, Lockheed Martin, Westinghouse, GE, maybe even Halliburton. As you can see, you really don't care how empty the large pocket gets, because after four years (or sometimes eight), that's someone else's problem. Just last night I talked to one of my friends at Raytheon who used to work on the Tomahawk, and he says the hundreds of units they're shooting in Iraq at the moment are depleting the inventory of previous generation units quite nicely. At $1.4M a unit, they're quite the gold mine. So if the war costs $100B, who cares, you just tack it onto the deficit. These guys are making money no matter who ends up footing the bill--provided there IS a war.
  • by aswang (92825) <aswang@NoSPaM.fatoprofugus.net> on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:26AM (#5612683) Homepage
    That's probably a really bad analogy you got there. Otherwise, it completely feeds into what the parent post is saying--the U.S. is only in it for the money, not unlike some pharmaceutical companies.

    No one ever died from a cold, but a cure for the common cold would be far more lucrative than a cure for cancer by the sheer fact that people get colds more often than they get cancer. But if you're actually interested in saving people's lives, we really should pursue the cure for cancer instead of the cure for the common cold. In the same vein, I think making sure people get food and water is a hell of a lot more important than determining what their cel phone standard is going to be.

    In summary, I don't think dead people or people dying of starvation and thirst really need cel phones. And I don't think people with terminal cancer will feel all that much better even if you manage to stop their nose from running.

  • by Mobster75 (234793) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:35AM (#5612738) Homepage
    Yes, bombs are going off all over Iraq now. BUT that is where the similarity to 9/11 ends.

    On 9/11, there were no bombs, just commercial jets used as missiles. The invasion of Iraq and the attacks on 9/11 are not similar at all, even from the civilian perspective.

    9/11 was a secret attack inflicted by a rogue group mainly to cause maximum deaths of civilians. (I'm not including the Pentagon attack because that was a valid military target)

    Our invasion of Iraq is a pre-planned, well-announced attack on the regime running Iraq (and its figurehead, Saddam) by national military forces against military targets. The coalition forces are not purposely targetting civilians, however, as war is ugly, collateral deaths are inevitable. I truly believe the coalition forces are doing everything possible to avoid killing civilians. The Iraqi regime has gone out of their way to put its own citizens in harms way by embedding SAMs (surface-to-air missiles) in residential neighborhoods, even hiding a tank inside a hospital (which is against the internationally accepted rules of warfare; the Geneva Convention, which Iraq is a signatory to).

    The Iraqi are also launching a moderately successful political game based on complete lies. Seems thats the regular mode of business for them. How about those chemical weapons they said they don't have but have warned us they will use if we try to take over Baghdad? Or the Iraqi POWs telling debriefers that their superiors told them to fight hard because the Americans would inject poison in their veins if they were caught.

    So simply comparing numbers based on population size has no merit unless you also look at the overall situational factors, including history.

    - mobster1975!
  • by rob morris (662184) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:38AM (#5612756)
    Well, of course a US congressman would choose something other than GSM...to benefit US companies and their regime that contols them...or is it vice-versa? Why do you think the we invaded Iraq to begin with? It was not to liberate anything, but to serve a select few in the US hierarchy. Go murder a bunch of folks we have no business telling what and how to live their lives, do this based on fear and misinformation, lie to the US public, and then have the regime here in the US sell stuff to the new regime in Iraq that is not like anything used in surrounding countries, geesh...it makes total sense huh? Of course...all for the benfit of the Bushies and their crew, and those ignorant US citizens that buy into it all. What fools...and what crap. I just figure that by the time the US gets through there will not be any civilians left to use phones anyway.
  • Who's war is this? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lpret (570480) <lpret42@hNETBSDotmail.com minus bsd> on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:48AM (#5612826) Homepage Journal
    Wait, who's war is this? Isn't this a liberation? Then why should we force some fscked up standard upon them? Let them decide. Besides, the British are doing their part as well, and they use GSM. Why shouldn't anyone else have a say in it?

    </RANT>
  • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:50AM (#5612839)
    Nevermind what is best for Iraq, it's what's best for American Companies that's important.

    If we weren't thinking about what's best for Iraq, we wouldn't be bothering to plan for a postwar reconstruction at all. We'd just pack out our troops and leave the country in ruins. Instead, we're planning on spending up to more than a hundred billion dollars to rebuild the country's infrastructure and to help them establish their own government. That's a hundred billion dollars plus of American taxpayer money, friend. Money that we could spend on ourselves, but that we're spending on Iraq instead for no other reason than because it's the right thing to do.

    So, in other words, yes. I call that having our priorities straight.
  • by oldwolf13 (321189) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:53AM (#5612860) Journal
    So because Germany had a bad tyrant ruler, and did some bad things, which they've been trying to atone for since (and the people that actually did these things are mostly dead as well), the whole of Europe is doesn't deserve respect?

    Does that include your hero Dubya's pal Blair?

    That's it america... keep alienating your allies. You don't need anyone. The universe revolves around you.

    --
    "The Greatest Nation in the World" can't even feed it's poor.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:54AM (#5612863)
    Yep... so let's go and convict Reagan, Kissinger, Bush Sr, Bush Jr, Cheney, Rumsfeld, et. al. of war crimes.
  • by Xeger (20906) <slashdot.tracker@xeger@net> on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:55AM (#5612866) Homepage
    GSM is an aging standard. Code division multiplexing is the way of the future, and the engineers know this. It offers better reception, better capacity, and makes for a much better 3G infrastructure with mixed high-speed data/voice traffic.

    China is rolling out a WCDMA network, folks. Qualcomm isn't necessarily the flagbearer for the technology or the platform; it's no longer a US-only phenomenon.

    GSM will be phased out over the next decade, cohabitating with WCDMA, as peoples' handsets are replaced by shiny new models with ridiculous multimedia features they won't use for years. Check the market for dual-band WCDMA/GSM mobile phones and notice how many of the major manufacturers are producing them.

    Regretably, none of that matters to our friend, Mr. Issa. He and his backers are interested solely in making a quick buck. It's obvious to me that Iraq would be better served by allowing a privatized Iraq Telecom corporation to arise from the ashes of the old state-run telecom. Iraq Telecom should make its own decision about what kind of cellular technology to deploy, perhaps with the help of a US bank loan. That would be a minor boon for the US and a blissful telecommunications future for Iraq.

    But, honestly...what'd you expect, from a politician?
  • Re:In other news (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:55AM (#5612868)
    What about interest in Halliburton owned by family members, golfing buddies and other fellow back-scratchers?

    What neither quote makes clear is that Cheney didn't think that maintaining stock options was a conflict of interest - he said words to this effect in public. It was only after a relatively large hoohaw in the press that he finally acquiesced. It is doubtful that he has changed his mind, divestiture was purely a face-saving political move. Given that, you can be pretty sure he (or rather his accountants) will have worked every angle and loophole to indirectly keep him "on the payroll" with Haliburton and who knows how many other companies.

    For another example of this kind of mindset, look at Richard Perle who, after a couple of weeks of denial-tactics finally became too much of a liability, just like the stock options, to keep around. This guy, former Bush Sr top-dog and until today a Bush Jr top-dog too, was given $700K to convince the DoD that it would be ok for Global Crossing to self off to the Chinese. Why? Because his official top-dog title was "Chairman of the Defense Policy Board," an advisory panel to the Pentagon - making close to, if not the civilian with the most influence over the DoD. Not to mention the even larger issue of his ties to arab-owned corporations. Conflict of interest? Not in any dictionary of his.

    This crony capitalism mindset is endemic in the current administration and as far as I am concerned is 100x more of a moral defect than boffing an intern or two, or even ten. Because instead of just screwing a few people, it screws most of the country for the benefit of just a few people. These guys (and democrats too, but they at least know enough to be embarrassed about it) have taken the term, "spoils system" to a whole new level.
  • by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:55AM (#5612869)
    Let them decide.

    How? Do you propose to take a door-to-door survey of 25 million people? Remember, Iraq is under the rule of a totalitarian dictatorship. They have no representative legislative bodies that could make this decision for them. They will have, but not for months at least and possibly years, and the US and US-based companies and organizations that carry out the reconstruction will need a mobile phone system long before then.

    So it's a case of either letting the US do it however we damn well please, or not getting done at all.

    Besides, the British are doing their part as well, and they use GSM. Why shouldn't anyone else have a say in it?

    If they want to pay for it, they can put in a GSM system if they'd prefer. But if the US pays for the system, as is currently the plan, the US will get to choose.

    But lest we lose sight of the real situation here: a GSM phone system would directly benefit France and Germany, either through contracts with French and German companies or through patent license fees paid to them by other contractors. Unless you've been living under a rock lo these past six months, you should know full well that the United States has no intention of letting either France or Germany benefit from any opportunities that arise subsequent and consequent to this war.
  • Re:My thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Twirlip of the Mists (615030) <twirlipofthemists@yahoo.com> on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:07AM (#5612936)
    Just forget for a moment that cell phones are probably the last thing on the Iraqi peoples minds for the next little while.

    Quite the contrary. Mobile phones will be critically important for everyone from Red Cross workers to those distributing food aid to Doctors Without Borders to the firefighters who are already trying to cap the burning oil wells. Without this piece of infrastructure in place, the relief and reconstruction effort will be severely hampered.
  • Re:My thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by plalonde2 (527372) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:19AM (#5613014)
    And only 8 billion of that 75 is tagged for reconstruction. Of the 8, 6 billion is already tagged for US companies. As I count it the US is spending 67 BILLION dollars beating someone up and then handing him 2 billion for compensation.

    Bush needs a war to be re-elected.

  • by tres (151637) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:24AM (#5613035) Homepage
    God, what a perfect representation of what is important to the bush administration. I thought Slashdot may actually avoid this type of propaganda called "reporting."

    Women and children are being killed. Our friends, neighbors, brothers and sisters are killing them/being killed, and what is the US media reporting? What do we hear about?

    Who makes the bucks from war.

    Never mind that has already taken a heavy toll on any US legitimacy (the founding principles of the nation itself are threatened to be as illegitimate as its current "president"). Never mind that it's at a cost of billions in tax dollars (that our children, and their children will be paying for). Never mind that it will cost thousands of lives before it is finished (and possibly hundreds of thousands of lives as the ranks of Al Qaeda grow). Never mind that it's barely even begun!

    Have you no decency? If you want to report on Iraq, report on something legitimate. Report on what's happening rather than the propaganda puff-pieces.

    Report on the 28 year old plumber who drowned after being ordered to cross a canal in full battle dress. Or the 20 year old lifeguard who drowned trying to save him.

    Report on the seven year old girl lying in a pool of her own blood, her intestines laying beside her.

    Report on the fact that the people of Iraq don't want to be "liberated." And that our friends and families will be the ones to pay the highest price of all because of the dreadful mismanagement and miscalculation of the bush administration.

    Fuck rebuilding. Fuck Saddam. There's an unjust war being wrought upon the innocent civilians of Iraq, as well as the innocent soldiers of the United States. This is not their war, this is the war of a few greedy people who don't even legitimately hold the positions they currently abuse.

    The bush administration has shown time and again that it has no care for legitimacy, or truth. From the moment the first Florida recount started, they have shown that they care only for protecting their own interests. They have never had the interests of the US in mind. They have never cared about those men and women who are suffering and dying right now.

    With a smug smile they say, "We will liberate you from your God, your money, and your dignity."
  • Re:My thoughts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Blkdeath (530393) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:29AM (#5613081) Homepage
    The U.S. is going to spend upwards of $75 Billion dollars on the war alone, with who knows how many more Billions rebuilding Iraq, and when all is said and done we probably won't even get a thank you card. Even if half of the aid was in loans it would still be a good deal. This is especially true considering that the loans are likely to be given at ridiculously low rates. Loans at below market rates is still basically free money.

    Yeah, when somebody kicks my ass, I'm ever so greatful when they throw me a fiver afterwards. And hey, if I only have to pay back six bucks by Friday, all the better! I actually feel GOOD about being bruised and battered!

    Considering the vested interests of America's Big Oil El Presidente going after a country with such large oil reserves, once again 'accidentally' lobbing some of the most high-tech, modern, "smart" guided weaponry into markets et al. and terrorizing the very citizenry he claims to be helping, I don't think you should be patting yourselves on the back for your proposed rebuilding efforts.

  • Re:Bull... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by critter_hunter (568942) <critter_hunterNO@SPAMhotmail.com> on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:39AM (#5613140)

    Ah, yes, there's the funny thing. "We're not in it for the oil, see, because this war is costing so much, the profit that will be made from Iraqi oil is very small compared to not going to war and just buying the oil". But you have to consider that the government is paying for the war. The government gets his money through taxes, big corps, small corps, inviduals, they all pay the taxes. Government money is taxpayers money. It's not like Bush is spending for the war from his pocket. It's not his money.

    So, the whole American people is paying for this war. Who will benefit? To an extent, the whole american people, from a revitalised economy. Whether that'll balance the cost of the war we shall see. But a few corporations will get a FUCKLOAD of money from this. They'll have invested a part of their taxes - which they would have paid anyway - and some money in politics and will get loads and loads of money. Their balance is on the plus side. A lot. Mucho money they're getting,and the best part is that THEY reap in the benefits, but the whole population financed the whole thing.

    And really, Bush is only there for a few years. Taxpayer's money isn't his money. But - is Bush by any chance into the Oil business? Yes? And tell me, is there a chance that with all that oil money that will be moving around after Iraq has been conquered, is there a chance some of that money *might* find its way into his pockets? There IS?!? Well, shit, there I was thinking he was doing it all cuz he's such a nice guy, y'know.

    Of course, it's not just Bush. There are lots of people who will benefit from this war - and probably not just on the Republican side. What do you think, that the White House is full of people who have the American people's best interest at heart? Shit man, you're dreaming. It takes a lot of money to get into the White House. And the people who have enough money to play politician usually didn't come into all this money by giving it away - they invested, they invest all the time, and politics is just another investment.

  • by FrankDrebin (238464) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:45AM (#5613187) Homepage

    September 11 killed about 3,000 Americans, out of a population of about 280 million.

    We might be reminded that nationals of dozens of other countries were killed on 9/11. Look it up if you don't believe. Like a couple of hundred "non-Americans". It was the WORLD TRADE CENTER for Crissake. Sixteen bloody Jamaicans died! What the hell did they do to anyone? Do the math on the % harm to Jamaica. It was crime against humanity to be sure. The massacre in Rwanda doesn't make two lines in the newspaper, buried between half-page on OJ Simpson's gloves and a Super Size Big Mac coupon. But for some reason "this time it's personal" seems to ring louder than the bombs in Baghdad.

  • by be-fan (61476) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:46AM (#5613193)
    If I here this "right/wrong" bullshit anymore I'm going to scream. I can understand people who say this war is necessary: but right?

    1) The US is amoral (note to the clueless: this is different from 'immoral') . So is pretty much every other country out there. Our actions are decided not by "right" and "wrong" but by our interests. In the '70s, the US fought a war against a country when their people chose a government the US did not agree with. Throughout the late 20th century, the US propped up oppressive dictatorships because it benifeted them. US sanctions on Iraq have not only resulted in the death of tens of thousands of Iraqis (not counting the 75,000 that died as a result of the Gulf War) but made Saddam into a hero in many Arab circles. Were any of these actions "right?" Hell no. Were they good for the US? Certainly.

    2) Money is not a big issue for the US. We have tons of it, and if we need more, we can always make the deficit a little larger. What he don't have is a stable energy supply, something which Iraq does. And anyone who says oil isn't the issue here is flat out misinformed. Even several ministers within Great Britain agree that a stable energy supply is the #1 reason for a way. Look at it this way: Iraq is a country with only about 25 million people. The US plans to spend over a hundred billion dollars on it. In comparison, the total population of the developing countries is in the billions. To relieve the entire developing world of their foreign debt would cost only $65 billion (much less if you don't count Indonesia). Developing countries suffer heavily under the interest payments due to foreign debt. In some countries, up to 25% of the budget could be freed up with debt relief. Now, what makes more sense: taking a country of 25 million people, that already has well-established infrastructure, blowing everything up, and rebuilding it at a cost of over a hundred billion dollars, or allowing a much larger number of countries to get their budget on track by relieving their debt? If "right" and "wrong" were our only concerns, we would certainly be doing the latter.

    3) The whole "democracy for everyone!" idea is bunk. What makes you think that a system of government that works well for a rich, industrialized nation will work equally well for a decentralized nomad country (Afghanistan) and a very conservative religious society (Iran). Take Iran as a test case. The current government was put into place by a revolution of the people. That's the government they chose. If given the option, right now, they'd choose it again. Is it "right" to remake their country in our own image?

    All this has no bearing on whether the war is necessary. I have my own opinions about that, but I won't try to convince you of them. But the truth of the matter is that the US is going to war to protect its own interests. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, one can make a strong arguement that the purpose of a government (much like a lawyer) is not to necessarly do what's morally right, but what's in the best interest of its people. It also doesn't mean that democracy is wrong. I'm very fond of the idea myself. I strongly believe that the ultimate direction of all governments should be towards democracy, and the international community should pressure all governments in that direction. But I also realize that history works at a scale much larger than the 4-year term of a President, and further, I believe that prostelyzing our system of government is against our fundemental values.

    A parting thought: In the 10 minutes it took me to write this post, 240 children died of hunger. What did you do about it? What did I do about it? Everytime anyone starts to get to full of themselves, or too proud of their accomplishments, think about that. Realize that while our country may very well be the greatest in the world, that's not saying much, and it's nothing to be proud of. Humility is a part of every religion. There is a fundemental reason for this...
  • by posdnous (469992) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:48AM (#5613204)
    you see, giving saddam chemical weapons was cleaning up our own mistake, that mistake of course being the Shah in Iran, who was overthrown by islamic fundamentalists.

    See it's like debugging messy code, every time you fix something, something else gets broken.
  • by Froomb (100183) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:54AM (#5613230)
    September 11 killed about 3,000 Americans . . .

    Like most commentators you portray the 9/11 tragedy solely in American terms. Somehow we in the U.S. have sadly forgotten that many foreigners also died that day.

    "All told, nearly 500 foreigners from 91 countries lost their lives in the Sept. 11 attack." [cbsnews.com]

    This was an attack on the World Trade Center, not just against the U.S.

    Rather than recognize the significance of this crucial fact, we treat the matter as if it had been a strike against 3000 Americans in Omaha.

  • Re:My thoughts (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:06AM (#5613306)
    If you invade a country, international law requires that YOU provide food, healthcare and all other support necessary for the citizens. A US commander can _not_ take out a 'loan' in the name of another people. Unless a democratically elected Iraqi leader signs for it, it's not a loan.

    Second, the US intends to finance this by using seized Iraqi assets and oil sales. Even if you think we are liberating them, we have no right whatsoever to use their money/oil to pay for it. Sorry, but if you don't like that you shouldn't go around and invade other countries.

    Taking their money to pay your own companies for investments that would not happen otherwise is even worse - most of us would call it THEFT.

    So much for 'liberating' other people.
  • KurdTel (Score:2, Insightful)

    by GoldSkin (239335) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:09AM (#5613318)
    There already is a GSM network in Iraq - KurdTel. CDMA would be utterly insane; GSM is the world standard; in use on every contient and nearly every country. CDMA is only in a handful of countries, and you cannot travel with a CDMA phone.
  • by Qrlx (258924) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:12AM (#5613331) Homepage Journal
    That's a hundred billion dollars plus of American taxpayer money, friend. Money that we could spend on ourselves, but that we're spending on Iraq instead for no other reason than because it's the right thing to do

    Have you ever heard of Corporate Welfare?

    Taxpayer money will be given to American companies to rebuild Iraq. It's the "right thing to do," indeed, if you happen to be an elected official whose campaign contributions come from those very same companies who will be getting the handouts to do the rebuilding.

    Do you even live in America, Twirlip? You seem to have a very idealistic notion of what America is all about; you remind me of the sort of person who would confuse Emma Lazarus' poem on the Statue of Liberty with our actual immigration policy.
  • Re:Bull... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Aceticon (140883) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:14AM (#5613341)
    Let me ask you a question, though. This war, including the postwar reconstruction, is probably going to cost us around 200 billion dollars, and that doesn't count the cost of the munitions we're using. We've used over a billion and a half dollars' worth of cruise missiles alone so far, and the war's only a week old. Two hundred billion dollars plus would have bought us practically all the Iraqi oil we could have hauled off. Why didn't we just buy it, and save everybody a lot of time, money, and trouble?

    It's not quite that simple.

    Most of the money that's spent on the war is actually spent paying US companies for products and services (those cruise missiles were actually bought from someone) + salaries for servicemen.

    That money is thus transfered from the US government to other sectors of the US economy.

    From the point of view of the global US economy, most of the money spent on the war stays in the US.

    Now, if we assume that after the reconstruction the entities that will benefict the most from the new status quo in Iraq will be US oil companies, then what this war ammounts to is:
    - Having the US government spend taxpayer's money in the Defense industry to subsidize the US oil industry.

    -------------

    Please note that i'm only touching the economical side here. There's the whole human side (lives lost in both sides, the future of the surviving Iraqui people); political side (Bush's approval rates); and geopolitical side (will the rest of the world still trust the US?).
  • by superyooser (100462) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:54AM (#5613513) Homepage Journal
    You start off by saying "If I here this "right/wrong" bullshit anymore I'm going to scream."

    That statement itself implies that it's wrong (ahem) to say that something is right or wrong. Then you proceed with a long-winded rant on what's right and wrong. I think this is what they call in psychology "cognitive dissonance."

  • Re:My thoughts (Score:4, Insightful)

    by atlantis_tin (552099) on Friday March 28, 2003 @03:08AM (#5613568)

    You said it so yourself, "autonomy is the keystone of responsible self-government." If I am paying for the system with my money, then I want a say in how that money is spent. If the Iraquis have a problem with that, then they can build their own cell phone infrastructure.

    That would be fair if you did not break their existing phone system. What you are actually doing is - breaking their phone system and now you think you will be doing them a favor by fixing it.

    I would not be surprised if it was me and you, but it's sad that people in high positions - CEOs and Ministers - should be so selfish and narrow minded.

  • Re:In other news (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @03:16AM (#5613600)
    Who is getting screwed? Could you be less clued in to the world around you? I mean, come-the-fuck-on, "red"? "Red?" Are you serious? This isn't the 1950's. Shit man! It isn't even the 20th fucking century anymore. What a fucking anachronism you are.

    The whole damn country is getting screwed because our piss-poor foreign policy is breeding more terrorists. Fucking idiots that think Al Capone is a role model (I'm sure you can use the net to find Rumsfield with his favorite quote) and that democracy and freedom have its place the world, as long as it doesn't get in the way of US business interests.

    It is all about power being used to garner more power with no more thought given to long-term consequences than is required to tell the big lie enough times to dupe the stuck-in-the-20th century red-scare sheeple like yourself into passively going along. Hell, more terrorists might even be the desired result because with the USSR gone we need a new dark and sinister, baby-eating enemy to rally against and distract the population from the declining standard of living and how increasingly fascist the US government is behaving.

    Forcing CDMA down the throats of a literally captive market when the next nearest CDMA country is at least 1,000 miles away, if not across the atlantic DOES NOT MAKE THE USA ANY FRIENDS IN THE WORLD. And if you think this utterly transparent attempt by qualcomm to get a little of that corporate welfare is typical, you're wrong - they were just so clumsy they got caught out by an otherwise lazy reporter.

    The real sharks don't have to get congress to vote on their welfare directly, it gets submitted in committee, behind closed doors or gets dealt with at the far more easy to obscure procurement stage rather than the legislative level.

    Oh yeah, almost forgot - you know why the internet ain't much good at digging up the hidden web of finacial connections? Same reason it is just as hard in meatspace - any individual or organization that owns less than 5% of a company has NO requirement to report that holding to the SEC or any other public agency. None, zip, nada, zilch. The only way that kind of web gets found is if a good-old-boys brokerage like Merril-Lynch slips-up big time and is unable to intimidate/bribe the right people to forget all about it. Doesn't happen too often.
  • by ablair (318858) on Friday March 28, 2003 @03:20AM (#5613607)

    "Have you no decency? If you want to report on Iraq, report on something legitimate."

    You are correct in that there are more important things going on with Iraq right now than what cell-phone system they get. However, as ludicrous as this all might sound, it is still important: the cell phone system Iraq eventually chooses or has chosen for them will indicate not only the real motiations behind their 'liberation', but also what choices they have on any number of aspects of their future. They can expect similar 'choices' when it comes to who benefits from their oil, their supplies of vehicles and equipment, infrastructure systems, economy as a whole, and ultimately -through economic freedom (or lack of it)- their future. The reason it's getting so much attention here is not necessarily because it's about some damn cell-phone system or other, but because it's the thin edge of the wedge.
  • Right now ... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by effad (131158) <effad@gmx . a t> on Friday March 28, 2003 @03:59AM (#5613722) Homepage
    ... people are dying in Iraq. Soldiers and Civilians. The latter die of hunger, precision bombs lack of water, stray bullets and other such things.

    So here comes a US senator whose only concern is what mobile phone system one should install when it's all over. Quite frankly, this is so cynical. Not only against the iraq people but also against US soldiers. As a soldier, I'd really like to get the message: 'Go soldier, risk your life, so we can open up some market for mobile phones.'

    If some European politician made any such proposal or in fact any attempt to "secure a market" at this point in time he'd be thrown out of office.

    That is what makes people turn away from the US. The lack of tactfullness. Double standards (Yes, we respect the Geneva Convention - whenever it is useful to us). Turning one or two blind eyes (Who gave Saddam weapons of mass destruction when he was the bulwark against Iran?). The will to break international law whenever it serves the purpose.

    The rest of the world may be afraid of the US. But there is no respect.

    "Terrorism is the war of the poor and war is the terrorism of the rich. I can't see any difference between them."
    Sir Peter Ustinov, UNICEF
  • by Otis_INF (130595) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:05AM (#5613735) Homepage
    All this talk about electronical gadgets... millions of people in Iraq suffer every damn day because there is no water or too less water or only dirty water and not enough food.

    And the US of A can only talk about cellphones. I don't know but then you really are out of touch with reality. Give the iraqi people food and water and let them rebuild basic infrastructure first. This will cost a few years. After that the debates about the unnecessary gadgets can begin.
  • Re:CDMA rocks! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ADRA (37398) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:10AM (#5613752)
    With the US "rebuilding the iraqi infrastructure", and effectively stating monopoly rights or the entire country despite their claims, this is another example of unilateral american thinking. I am sorry to be biased about you guys, but time after time you as a people prove me right.

    1. As for GSM vs. CDMA, no self respecting idiot would bring a CDMA phone to Europe, so only self serving people would choose CDMA over GSM.

    2. GSM may or may not be a better channel today, but GSM is the upgrade path to GPRS and UMTS, not CDMA.

    3. Having America as the monopoly, will other providers enter the country, and who soon after the reconstruction? In a fair playing field CDMA would die out very fast in Iraq. Having the US dictate a (wrong, selfserving) decision for CDMA would cause nobody but downturned American companies grief.
  • by AftanGustur (7715) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:12AM (#5613757) Homepage


    If we weren't thinking about what's best for Iraq, we wouldn't be bothering to plan for a postwar reconstruction at all.

    Uhh ???? The 'reconstruction' will be paid for by Iraqian Oil to (presumably) US companies.

    we're planning on spending up to more than a hundred billion dollars to rebuild the country's infrastructure and to help them establish their own government.

    Wrong, again, "*the* reconstruction will cost more than hundred billion dollars", but it's the Iraqi oil that will pay for it all.

    The biggest reason for this war is Oil, the US wants a "US thankful" governament that it can order to pump the t oil a little harder whenever then world oil prices go a little up, thereby controlling the world's oil price.

  • Re:My thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ADRA (37398) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:19AM (#5613780)
    You are under the impression that everyone wanted this war. Obviously, Sadam would have been dead years ago if that was so.

    If you compare this to English colonilism in America, you are justifying any abuses the England played on you. Isn't that ironic. I am sure there will be some unimportant or ad-hominim statement following, so lets cut to the bull.

    America is occupying Iraq. That is undeniable. If you follow UN laws as stupid as you think they may be, then you would have at least done it with the might of the world as an occupying force. The only thing I see is a thug country forcing others to conform to their dictum, then making them pay for their 'liberation' from tirany.
  • by broter (72865) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:28AM (#5613816) Homepage Journal
    IANAIL (I am not an international lawyer), but I couldn't pass these:

    Those interests include protecting its people and providing a safe, free environment for them to live and work in. (emphisis added)

    With the NY Times publishing a blacklist and the old "if you don't like it, get out" line making a come back, I'm waiting for the free environment to make an appearance here. If we can't protect freedom here, we don't have a chance to export it. ...the government of Iraq has effectively ignored the spirit of the UN resolutions and inspections over the last several years (12)

    It has been argued before that that's exctly what we're doing (the US). No UN resolution gives us the authority to determine the compliance of Iraq. We went to war under the UN banner, and passed a cease fire resolution in the UN. None of this puts us into control. You can say it's self defence, but that's a different story.

    But, I support the President and the rest of the coalition, which have more knowledge and information about the true happenings within the government and organizations that I do...

    Since the shit hit the fan, it's good that you're behind them. It's worth noting that France, Germany, and Russia have world class intelligence services as well. They didn't seem to think Iraq was a big enough threat to override their national interests. ...to take action to stop the acts of that government which will soon threaten the safety and freedom we enjoy in this country.

    That has never been proven. It has never been shown to be a probability. They have no means of delivery to our territories except via terrorist; and why would a terrorist go to a heavily watched country like Iraq. Iraq has been secular for the whole history of the Baath party. Why not go to Pakistan for nuclear material? Why not N. Korea? CB weaponry? Why not go to the domestic sources that supposedly manufactured it in US labs? It would seem that Iraq is the least of our problems.

    You're entitled to your opinion, and this is mine.

    I'm glad to read this. It seems the least common view in America today. Keep up your support. Keep your eyes open.
  • Re:Well... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by horza (87255) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:33AM (#5613837) Homepage
    GSM was pushed through as a standard by the UK (under the guise of ETSI). I think we've earned the right to poke our nose in :-P

    GSM is standard in every country but the USA. I can SMS anyone anywhere in the world without any problem. GPRS can be tacked on at little cost to provide 2.5G services. The correct choice is clear. However, the US seems particularly vulnerable to lobby groups.

    Phillip.
  • Re:My thoughts (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Fulcrum of Evil (560260) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:44AM (#5613875)

    The U.S. is going to spend upwards of $75 Billion dollars on the war alone, with who knows how many more Billions rebuilding Iraq, and when all is said and done we probably won't even get a thank you card. Even if half of the aid was in loans it would still be a good deal. This is especially true considering that the loans are likely to be given at ridiculously low rates. Loans at below market rates is still basically free money. Study up on the time value of money if you don't belive me. Sure there will be strings attached to some of the money (for example, we will get to pick the cell phone system), but if you honestly think that the U.S. is doing this for the money then you are insane. Iraq doesn't have money, and they are going to need their oil to pay for food. You can't squeeze blood from a stone.

    Don't be simple; invaders rarely get any sort of sympathy, and whining about the cost of the war that the US instigated in the first place isn't going to win you any points. As far as rebuilding goes, that's the obligation of the invading country - i.e., the US. Rebuild with GSM and pay the damn bill, the senate be damned.

  • by horza (87255) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:46AM (#5613882) Homepage
    GSM? WHICH GSM? Africa, US or European frequency? GSM not as universal as most think.

    It's very universal. Changing frequency doesn't mean having to change chipset design, infrastructure, etc.

    CDMA is head and shoulders above - look at where the highspeed wireless is going - CDMA, not GSM.

    They have different roots. GSM was specifically designed for voice data.

    Plus CDMA is more efficient in its bandwidth usage than GSM. Remember GSM is still TDMA at its roots. So CDMA has better spectral efficiency.

    TDMA vs CDMA was examined in depth in deciding the GSM standard. The committee decided that the TDMA system was superior (easier to build more accurate and reliable base stations was one of the factors IIRC).

    Plus you should take into account the terrain and desnity - Iraq probably is not all that population dense outside of Baghdad and Basra. CDMA really comes into its element when you are out in the countryside with few sites covering large expanses of land. Under these conditions CDMA provides extremely stable audio with few frame errors to mess things up. This is because Channel Pollution is almost non-existent in these situations. Under similar conditions TDMA suffers too readily from interference and it will often blank the audio. Many people who use CDMA systems in sparsely populated areas have given this technology extremely high marks.

    GSM is a compromise, which allows it to work well under both conditions. It had to satisfy all the members of ETSI, including Switzerland (sparse, all mountains) and Holland (totally flat, with large cities).

    So despite the obvious political motivations behind this decision, technologically speaking, it s actually a good decision to favor CDMA.

    It's not, because you restrict the technology (handsets, base stations, etc) to a couple of US companies. With GSM you can invite tenders from every company in the world, with an already mature market providing a lot of CHOICE for both handsets and infrastructure.

    Phillip.
  • "most widely used" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Jens (85040) <jens-slashdot AT spamfreemail DOT de> on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:19AM (#5613996) Homepage
    "CDMA system would benefit American companies, such as California-based Qualcomm, while GSM would favor European companies. Currently, GSM is the most widely used mobile standard in surrounding countries."

    Don't you love half-truths when you see 'em? GSM is not only the most widely used standard "in surrounding countries", it's the most widely used standard, period.

    GSM: 330 million world wide users
    CDMA: 67 million world wide users

    But, it seems more important to purchase national patriotic technology than good technology. (That must be why Americans still use Windows. After all, Linux originates in Europe and must so be inferior, by definition. ;)
    Let's buy steel from US companies, even if it's more expensive because they neglected to modernize their factories (in Europe, just about everything was rebuilt after WW2 - and the debts for foreign help, also from the US, have long since been paid. It was a very painful process, but it paid off). And because foreign steel is now cheaper and better, phone George to introduce some nice import taxes.

    Forget that the white "paint" which is used for most national buildings (eg. white house) is made in Germany. Forget that most of the cars that run the US are produced in Germany or by German companies. (BMW, Mercedes, Volkswagen, anyone?). Forget that under the hood of most cars made in the US you see European labels like Bosch, Siemens, Philips, etc.

    While you're at it, ban not only french fries, french toast, and french kissing, but also french red wine (which might be considered a merciful fate for the wine, considering that Americans mix it with Coke!). And all that just for the fact that - understandably - most of Europe has a problem with war, for any reason whatsoever. It's even in the German constitution: Germany is not allowed to participate in non-defensive warfare. The constitution which was written by the US after WW2.

    I'm waiting for the USA to ban Hamburgers, which originate from Hamburg (the 'ham' story is a myth!), Franfurters, Schnitzel, Mortadella, etc.

    I remember a quote from a demonstrant in the US: "If we had invested the money now spent in war in proper education soon enough, the war wouldn't even have started."

    Right.

  • by redhog (15207) on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:27AM (#5614016) Homepage
    Hm, I'l bite. Even though most US people seems not too see anything but their own perfectness and victory.

    There has been shown war crimes on the Bittish and US sides, aswell, e.g. bombing of civilians, shooting at soldiers who has given up (white flag), etc.

    In addition, I think you underestimate the power of the belief that you, your country and you familly are under attack, and must be protected from the evil forces who will reap your wife and your doughter and kill you and your son _afterwards_.

    People are much much better at fighting if beleiving such a thing, than if just fighting in an alien place against some evil dictator terrorising his own people, or for getting more oil, or whatever.

    This article, by the way, just shows perfectly what's wrong with this war, and the reasons of the US. Saddam is an evil dictator, and it would be a good deed to remove him from power. But the reasons to do so this time are not for any good goal. And the side-effects stemming from the real goals might be a real problem.
  • by cushty (565359) on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:41AM (#5614060)

    Yet a Congressman is worrying about the cell phone industry in postwar Iraq. That's sick.

    To a very large degree I agree, it is disgusting that someone, more over a politician, is worrying about this. But, after being in the protests against the war here in London and realising that neither Government is going to change its mind now the war has started, I think it's right that people start demanding for certain things to happen after the war. The cell / mobile phone network is laughable and shows that this individual isn't thinking about humanitarian reasons, just their pocket:

    • What about getting the supply of humanitarian aid?
    • What about putting the UN in as the governing body for the reconstruction?
    • What about proving the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction?
    • What about dealing with Israel-Palestine?

    All of these things, and more, should be demanded from our respective Governments. We all voted for them so they have a duty to respect the wishes of the population.

    And whilst we're on this subject I think you should remember that it is US and UK and Australian troops involved in this conflict. At the moment it seems to me that the US is focused on claiming the "victory prize" and is leaving the "lesser" problems behind it for the UK army. It is leaving itself and, for me, the UK troops open to just some of those problems you list.

    Biasing the situation after the war is typical of a politician, and I can't understand why these people aren't focusing on the more important issue of helping a nation that is going to be in disarray.

    And yes, I'm still anti-war, but I do back our forces. Call me two-faced or whatever, but I have friends there and when they need my support they don't have to ask.

  • by mpe (36238) on Friday March 28, 2003 @05:52AM (#5614098)
    Before they're hatched. Can I be on the occupied Iraq new currency designing committee? More importantly, will occupied Iraq choose Direct TV or Dish Network as its standard?

    Given that the US has made so much fuss about bringing "democracy" to Iraq shouldn't it be the Iraqis who make decisions on how to rebuild their infrastructure?
    Of course left to their own devices they'd probably pick a system used by most of the planet. Rather than be stuck with something US specific. That's just from a practical position.
  • Re:My thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DeBaas (470886) on Friday March 28, 2003 @06:16AM (#5614178) Homepage
    One question to ask would be: What was used in the reconstruction in Afghanistan?


    Ehm, no oil there...... ehm, reconstruction?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @06:34AM (#5614231)
    That is all true, but still we use VHS instead of
    Betamax or Video2000, and we use Windows instead of Unix.

    Morale: the better technology doesn't necessarily win. In fact, it often loses because the company rolling out the inferior technology somehow makes it good on better marketing or better cooperation with other companies and governments.
  • by Cally (10873) on Friday March 28, 2003 @06:37AM (#5614238) Homepage
    > US is going to war to protect its own interests. There is nothing
    > wrong with that.

    Up to a point, Lord Copper. The US is being completely thrashed in the propaganda war, not just in the Arab and Muslim countries (not the same thing of course) where they obviously have an uphill battle from the get-go, but in the rest of the world as well. The Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft/Perle/Wolfowitz regieme are really playing into the hands of the extremists who have been trying to depict this as a neo-colonial war of aggression and conquest - a 'crusade' (and Bush actually USED that word! What a schmuck!) In the last couple of days in the UK media there have been hints that the US wants to *run the country* after the war (which will no doubt be over by Christmas...) I cannot imagine anything they could do, short of rounding up and executing Muslims, more calculated to inculcate suspicion and hatred of the USA and by extension the UK, Australia, and, as far as the Al Qaeda types are concerned, all infidels.

    This is shaping up to be the worst foreign policy blunder by the USA since... well, I can't remember a bigger screw-up. It's a disaster. And there's nothing to do but press on with the war.
  • GSM is not French (Score:5, Insightful)

    by lga (172042) on Friday March 28, 2003 @06:52AM (#5614278) Homepage Journal

    GSM may be an an abbreviation for French words, but GSM is a global standard originally designed by a group of European companies and organisations. Loads of countries were involved, not just France.

    This argument that French products shouldn't be used is racist. I know Americans like their country, but this is racism and xenephobia on a huge scale. Shame on you all.

    Finally, who gave the USA permission to build this stuff? Privatising the services in Iraq doesn't benefit them, and definately isn't democracy - it's THEFT. The services and infrastructure belongs to Iraq and after they have a democratic elected government the choice of how to run public services belongs to them.

    Please note that I am not against Americans in any way, but your government really pisses me off.

  • Re:Yay (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cm4rx (586068) on Friday March 28, 2003 @07:29AM (#5614361) Journal

    and apparently you havent noticed the american government doesnt give a shit about iraqi people, their just in for the money.

    because if they did give a shit, they would realize that GSM is better for them, because every other nation around them uses it!!!.

    but no, they'll force them (because thats what the US government is used to do) to use CDMA in the interest of a couple of greedy corporations.

    and btw, who the fuck is the US congress to decide which mobile phone service protocols is the iraqi people going to use ???

    operation iraqi freedom indeed...
  • by IXI (586504) on Friday March 28, 2003 @07:52AM (#5614429)
    If the French hadn't helpt out your puny revolution, US would still be a British colony.

    Dude, that was two hundred years ago. Get over it.


    The liberation of Old Europe was two generations ago and we *are* currently getting over it thanks to the current US administration.
  • Re:CDMA rocks! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 1010011010 (53039) on Friday March 28, 2003 @08:30AM (#5614525) Homepage

    The "upgrade path" of GSM is... CDMA. Specifically, TD-CDMA and W-CDMA.
  • Re:Yay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by cm4rx (586068) on Friday March 28, 2003 @09:40AM (#5614774) Journal

    and now im getting sick of you.
    didnt you read the post ? i already made my point by noting that if the US congressmen were really thinking about iraqi peoples future they would have chosen GSM over CDMA, but instead they take their decisions based on profit.

    so yes, the american government (or 1/3 of it as you naively put it) is in for the money.

    look, if you cant see that the actions of your government through history have nothing to do with "liberation" and everything to do with profiting then you must be really blind.

    or really patriotic (orwellian style).

    i come from south america and ive seen lots of this things happening. and i know from experience what im talking about. whenever the US government gets into "helping out" some south american country it means fucking the people there and getting away with as much as they can in their wallets
    of course its not like they get into that countries national reserve and start filling their pockets... its more like setting up a friendly "representative democracy" [coha.org] - or if that fails, a "moderately repressive regime" [gwu.edu] - and tell them to start signing out contracts for US corporations to start exploiting its oil, gold, silver, etc. etc.

    and that of course with very low to none at all taxes.

    here [truman.edu] is a list if you care to see of _some_ of the things US government has done "in the name of freedom".
    yeah, in the name of their freedom to profit
  • asshole (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Ender Ryan (79406) on Friday March 28, 2003 @09:42AM (#5614784) Journal
    You criticize Americans as a whole, then go on and say one technology should be used over another, without even talking about the technical merits of each one, and in fact, actually ignoring the apparent technical merits of CDMA.

    Personally, I don't give a rats ass either way, it's fucking phones for Christ's sake. I say build whatever would be best for the Iraqi people, screw everything else, because it's the right thing to do. But assholes from both sides of the pond will lobby for what they personally want.

    Furthermore, unilateral my ass! America + Great Britain + 40 other countries != unilateral. I could go on and criticize you Europeans as a whole, but I won't stoop down to your level.

  • by wytcld (179112) on Friday March 28, 2003 @10:03AM (#5614917) Homepage
    There's an implicit belief behind most of the anti-American, anti-war comments here that only pure motives are good - that if you have more than one motivation for an action, and some of those motivations are of economic benefit to you, then the entire action is tainted.

    But consider what's at play here: 9/11 demonstrated that American cities are vulnerable to catastrophic attack by terrorists. At that point it was prudent to ask what nations are in the position of being (1) run by sociopaths with a record of mass killings which (2) have or can afford to acquire catastrophic weapons and (3) are in ideological or religious proximity to those with demonstrated terrorist abilities. The whole claim of the Bush administration is that it is legitimate self-defense to remove such threats to our cities.

    Saddam is a sociopath who has killed many hundreds of thousands. It is extremely unlikely this war will kill more Iraqis than Saddam's own forces would have killed this year anyway ... and each year after that he had stayed in power. He has worked to acquire vicious weapons in the past, and has the wealth to buy nukes from elsewhere (impoverished North Korea, for example). If he were to plant a few of those nukes in US cities, then set off one as an example while, say, invading Saudi Arabia, would we be willing to sacrifice more cities to stop him? Or do you think he's too nice a guy to enter into such a scenario?

    Given the overwhelming historical logic that requires that we act against him now - not in a couple of years after he's got things set up to his best advantage - is there something evil about our being concerned that in return for the vast cost of this action to us in lives and treasure that we receive some small economic opportunities afterwards? If the US finances a new phone system after the war, should we do it to French specs? This level of "purity" would be absurd, IMHO.
  • Re:My thoughts (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Alan Partridge (516639) on Friday March 28, 2003 @10:07AM (#5614943) Journal
    congress-people are responsible to the electorate, not to their REAL paymasters, and it'd be nice to see that at least SOME of them understand this distinction.

    This fucker should be locked up for corruption.
  • by roard (661272) on Friday March 28, 2003 @10:08AM (#5614949) Homepage
    before he flew planes into our buildings Excuse me ? I missed something ? it was IRAQIAN PLANES ? it was IRAQIAN TERRORISTS ? damn, thoses 9/11 terrorists were from Saudi Arabi ! Saddam is a dictator, and you could say many things for or against the war. But frankly, the connection between Iraq and Terrorism is particularly weak.
  • by Hangtime (19526) on Friday March 28, 2003 @10:37AM (#5615164) Homepage
    Legitmacy is not something you gain by going with the crowd.


    Report on the 28 year old plumber who drowned after being ordered to cross a canal in full battle dress. Or the 20 year old lifeguard who drowned trying to save him.

    Report on the seven year old girl lying in a pool of her own blood, her intestines laying beside her.

    Report on the man who kissed the Americans and asked them why they didn't come sooner. His son had made disparging remarks about Saddam so he was taken beaten, tortured, and finally executed because he was doing something your doing right now, attempting to resist the government.

    Since I see the Europe.com Tres, I will assume you are somewhere in Europe for the moment. You and I are very unique is this world. There is probably in the neighborhood of 20% - 30% of us that occupy the world. We are the only individuals in this world who don't have to fear government reprisal for our views. If we want to go march, we can march. If want to burn our countries flags in protest, we can do that and not fear having our tongues cut out.

    WSJ yesterday talked about Marine patrols that found a supposed sheepherder carrying $30,000 in US Cash, hundreds of thousands in Dinar?sp (Iraqi currency, a GPS locater, a book on US troop movement, and list of sympathizers within the Iraqi ranks. When you fear for your own families safety that if you don't fight your family will die...you fight.

    CNN maybe pro-American, but don't think Al-Jazeera is an independent news source. Personally, I believe the truth is somewhere in between. Each side has its own point of view and they should both be respected and questioned because the same Iraqi monitors that follow the US people camera crews are the same who follow Al-Jazeera.

    You say its an unjust war and that is your opinion. Personally, I don't carry about the weapons of mass destruction. I carry about the fact that based upon where your born in this world equates to how many freedoms and rights you are granted. If you are lucky and born in Miami or Paris, you are granted the right to free speech, the right to assemble, the right to defy what your government says and not feel the least bit worried about it. If you are born in the Mideast outside of two or three pockets or just to the south of Miami in Cuba, you have no rights. You have no rights, if the government feels you are getting to strong politically they execute you. If the government feels one of your family members is a sympathizer you can be held hostage. If the government feels you are a threat to them, they can beat, torture, mame, ostrasize, rape, execute you and the list goes on. Three quarters of the World including Iraqis wake up to that reality every day!

    A question for you, where do you stand on Chinese human rights abuses. Do you believe the Chinese should be held accountable for them. Do you believe the individuals who took part in the Tinamennen Square massacre should be brought to justice? I do as I do in Iraq. They both parallel. These regimes are bent on keeping itself in power and not worrying about little things such as human life, pride, God, dignity, legitmacy which you say you uphold.

    So in conclusion, I applaud you. You are making the most of democracy and what the original framers of the US consitution were envisioning (if you are a US citizen), but most importantly the ideological thinkers in Western Europe were thinking 200+ years ago when they came up with this silly idea called democracy. I want to give Iraqis those same rights. I want to give Iraqis the right to protest the US all they want, to walk down the main throughfares of Baghdad and chant anti-American slogans, burn American flags and feel no fear of being executed, tortured, or their families killed by the state. However, I also want to give Iraqis the right to protest for the US all they want, to walk down the main throughfares of Baghdad and chant anti-Saddam slogans, and stand face to face with the anti-Americans and argu
  • Re:asshole (Score:2, Insightful)

    by mrmeval (662166) <mrmeval@gmail.cGINSBERGom minus poet> on Friday March 28, 2003 @10:37AM (#5615168) Journal
    I cannot speak for others in this country but I personally have given up on trying to get a good name after getting insulted so often by obnoxious people, foreign or not. And the British DID out produce the germans while getting the crap bombed out of them. They exceeded the production capacity of the germans by a large margin. Heck they were sinking U-Boats faster than the germans could build them. Though they are no slouch currently, it's a crying shame they could get back to that productive industrial competence again. It probably would take a good war. And who said I was an American? Eh?
  • by MAXOMENOS (9802) <maxomai@g[ ]l.com ['mai' in gap]> on Friday March 28, 2003 @11:55AM (#5615814) Homepage
    Bogged down by WHAT? Hit squads of fedayeen saddam goons armed with RPGs and AKMs? I repeat, get real.

    Totally. The commies tried that in Vietnam and it didn't work then either.

  • by tres (151637) on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:02PM (#5615874) Homepage
    Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

    Legitimacy makes all the difference.

    If the bush administration was actually working through the UN then I would be right there cheering this on. I am in no way a Saddam supporter, but I don't think that the US has any right to do this without the support of the United Nations and a real, legitimate coallition.

    Unless it is attacked first, the UN is the only organization which has legitimacy in addressing any problems that the US may have with another country. The bush administration can't simply decide when and where it's going to do things.

    The US was neither being attacked, nor was under the threat of attack, but the UN charter specifically states that no country can invade another without either being attacked first.

    This is the point. It is an unjust war.

    The scary thing is, if men like bush had control during the cold war, there wouldn't be a US. If any of us were still around, we'd be eating radioactive grubs in the cold of a nuclear winter.

    There's a history of diplomacy and regard for other nations that has brought the US to where it is now. The bush administration began by reversing everything Clinton did while in power, now they've decided to turn back the clock sixty years, and they won't stop until the world is as unstable as it was in 1943.

    As for China, I think its our right to lodge a formal complaint, and do what we can right now through sanctions (but of course we won't because it would be devastating to the pocketbooks of those in control, not to mention the economy at large). But there's two forms of diplomacy, the carrot and the stick. The US has been successfully using carrot diplomacy for sixty years. It has worked quite well (and by carrot diplomacy, I don't mean the bribes that the bush administration is paying its illegitimate "coalition").

    Carrot diplomacy is slow--it takes longer than an election cycle to work, so it really wouldn't be in the interest of the bush administration to use it.

    Finally, I think it's just plain wrong to try pushing our own ideals on other peoples. It's a haughty, self-important smugness that caused the attacks of September 11. I think Saddam is as illegitimate as the bush administration.

    Sorry, I have to go to work now.

    Thanks again for your thoughtful comment.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 28, 2003 @12:53PM (#5616355)
    A whole new approach to getting market share in foreign countries: destroy the infrastructure (on the taxpayers dime)and then rebuild it, without any worries about competitive building or conflicts of interest. No complaints about congressional pork barrel politics, because they abdicated their responsibility and handed it over to the CEO of America. No dang disclosure to shareholders, hell Cheney and Rumsfeld don't even have to disclose their dirty little secrets from Nixon-Reagan days, because 30 years isn't long enough to figure out whats protected under "national security".
  • by MachineShedFred (621896) on Friday March 28, 2003 @01:09PM (#5616532) Journal
    ... that this Congressman is from San Diego, the home of Qualcomm. He is doing his job, fighting for his constituency, just like I'm sure the senators and represenatives from the home states and jurisdictions for Lucent and Motorola will be saying much the same things.

    BTW: MOT and LU both make GSM equipment, so the argument that GSM = EU manufacturers is completely invalid. This congressman is just saying that because his constituent (Qualcomm) only makes CDMA stuff.
  • Re:Yay (Score:2, Insightful)

    by wljones (79862) on Friday March 28, 2003 @02:45PM (#5617457)
    The only thing that will save the Americans here is the latest mobile phones are small enough to fit when the Iraqis give them back. Saddam Hussein is not a nice person, and cleaning out his political machine is a good idea. Replacing it with a worse one is not, because we will need to clean out the replacement, also. Governing any country in the Middle East ourselves is guaranteed disaster. Muslims do not take kindly or gently to infidels telling them how they will live and behave. We have opened a can of poisonous worms. These people do not and will not live by our rules, customs, or mores. Any attempt to force our system on them is doomed. The best we can hope for is modest reform and a government that is not openly hostile. So far, we have Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey as allies and examples. With friends like this, we do not need another enemy.
  • SQUAAAAKKK (Score:2, Insightful)

    by McLae (606725) on Friday March 28, 2003 @04:23PM (#5618318) Homepage
    The sound of the vultures starting to circle a little lower...
  • Re:ok I'll bite (Score:2, Insightful)

    by utd-blaze (654032) on Friday March 28, 2003 @07:58PM (#5619885)
    If the US didn't care at all, I would imagine that they would bomb all of Iraq to utter destruction kill every citizen they saw and only secure the oil wells and create military compounds around them. That would be easiest, cheapest, and the greatest return on the investment.
    Please rememeber this part of your post 1-2 years from now. In Afganistan, the U.S. installed government only controls the capital. The rest of the country has fallen in to civil war. Fortunately Iraq has a very lucrative black substance peppering its land, so we can expect a bit more stability there. But the same priorities.

    This forcing of a cellular standard that the rest of the region doesn't use demonstrates our concern about the Iraqi people. What do you say about a government that forces an impovrished people to buy 2 cellphones if they want to travel outside of iraq so that U.S. companies can make more money?
  • Re:asshole (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Doomdark (136619) on Saturday March 29, 2003 @12:01AM (#5620902) Homepage Journal
    Furthermore, unilateral my ass! America + Great Britain + 40 other countries != unilateral. I could go on and criticize you Europeans as a whole, but I won't stoop down to your level.

    I agree in that criticizing americans as whole is unfair, but claiming that "coalition" is much more than just US is ignoring the facts. Only UK is sending significant amount of troops (Australia some), and rest are either good-weather friends that think it's beneficial (ie. they need US favours), or have right-wing leaders that are just pushing their ideologic solutions in direct opposition of majority opinion (as is the case for, say, Spain).

    Calling it "master and 41 puppets" may be bit exaggerating, but not much more so than calling it a real global coalition (heh, "Ali Baba and 41 bandits" would be an alternative?)

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