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    "Anti-Europeanism" on rise in ..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00 | Main | The "anti-American Left" appar..., 2002-11-20 02:00:00

    Which ball are we swinging at, and can we maybe keep our eyes on one? Preferably the one that actually poses some sort of threat? And here is a neat summary of everything boneheaded about past and present hot air and Iraq-babble.

    One thing, to clarify: I'm all for war on Iraq if a) we can protect ourselves in the process without destroying democracy at home, which is sort of a moot point as Ashcroft doesn't seem to think that's an option, and anyone but the congenitally braindead would be aware that the drain of resources for a full-scale invasion of Iraq would obviously cripple anti-terrorism security efforts; b) contribute to the Afghan reconstruction effort what is due them considering the US role in the country's problems, not the paltry $500M we've spent so far buying the affections of warlords and saving our nominally good face among the ignorant (estimated cost of Afghan recovery: $20 billion. Present efforts are riddled with problems and focus primarily on urban centers and attempts to construct a strong central government, a project perhaps doomed to no small degree of failure). While this might appear irrevelant to discussion on Iraq, I think it's fair to demand evidence that there has been a fundemental shift in how the West wages its wars, and this obviously provided an opportunity to provide that evidence, and thus far the "effort", if it could be called so much, has failed; and c) we carry through on the lights and bubbles rhetoric of the Bush administration and engage in an actual rebuilding effort after we wipe Saddam & Co. off the face of the planet, and not starting by disregarding the plight of Iraqi rural poor (as we have in Afghanistan) and supporting a small cooperative section of the present elite (as occurred during Japanese reconstruction, and, if we're helping anybody in Afghanistan it probably looks similar). Maybe that's not practical, but aggressive warfare isn't practical either, given our Noble Purpose. Before the Gulf War Iraq was one of the most modern countries in the middle-east, despite the paranoid facist, and I tend to believe that we could make up for the horror of war afterwards considering the horror of the present - if we actually wanted to - but then the motives of the present administration remain suspect.

    Nevermind that Saddam poses little or no actual threat to the US; that "revenge has such a negative tone to it"; that the threat he does pose to his neighbors are in no way comparable now to the threat he posed when he was backed by the US and UK; that "pre-emptive" means "aggressive"; that "peace" means "war"; that we don't have UN support and could easily acquire it if weapons inspections were pursued first and in good faith; that so far as I recall he's been making offers to allow inspectors back in for the past year or so, if not longer; that we withdrew the inspectors in 1998 as a prelude to an increase in the intensity of ongoing bombing campaign and were using inspectors as spies to track and threaten Saddam; that we abandoned to their fates the Kurds and Shi'ite Muslims who attempted Saddam's overthrow after the Gulf War - after encouraging them to do so; that there's still no direct link between Iraq and Al-Qaeda and that Bush policy has stood in direct contradiction to advice offered from the intelligence community - particularly with respect to root causes, which are outlined by the Council on Foreign Relations and have been pretty much completely ignored; that there will likely be no democracy for Iraq unless Iraqis bring it; that a real democracy in Iraq is the last thing in the world anybody working in oil wants and is thus the last thing likely to ever happen; that it's all about oil; and that most everything used as justification to oust Saddam is based on what is apparently speculation, outright fabrication, or applies equally well to our allies in the region - namely his history of ruthlessness and US backed reign of terror. The only further purpose war might serve is to end the continuing horror of the sanctions regime, Saddam's repression of southern Iraq, and the past decade of almost daily bombing runs on Iraq, none of which require a war to resolve. None of this, I suppose, is very relevant.

    Further clarification: Do I believe there's a chance in a bogey-man's hat that any of the above conditions will be met? Etc. etc. etc..

:: posted by buermann @ 2002-11-20 02:00:00 CST | link

    go ahead, express that vague notion

    your turing test:

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