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View Diary: Joementum in Iraq (144 comments)

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  •  the problem with air power... (4.00)
    As the Pentagon has pointed out, who calls in the air strikes?  It's one thing to do our own spotting, but are we going to have American bombs falling on targets chosen by Iraqi militias?  We could easily find ourselves providing air support for one side (probably Shia) in a civil war.

    "we have to work... the dark side, if you will"
    -Vice President Cheney, as quoted in Newsweek

    by Leggy Starlitz on Tue Nov 29, 2005 at 08:44:24 AM PST

    •  The Real Politik in me (none)
      is suddenly asking "would that be so bad?"  The US simply picking a winner in the inevitable (IMHO) civil war in Iraq might actually save lives, as it'll convince the other side to surrender that much faster.  Especially if we did it explicit- help in winning the civil war fast, in exchange for no ethnic cleansing afterwards (with the or-else being we turn the bombs on them).

      Of course, this is the same side of me that thinks that maybe a nuclear war between India and Pakistan wouldn't be that bad of an idea as well.  Yes,  hundreds of millions would die, and the humanitarian catastrophe would be unprecedented.  But such a war would be unlikely to spread much beyond the theater, I doubt that they have enough nukes to seriously threaten either human civilization or ecocollapse (nuclear winter), unlike the US/USSR, and it'd be an object lesson in why building and using those weapons is a bad idea.  I think some world leaders (GWB, for one), having never personally witnessed nuclear weapons being used and their destruction, and not being capable of learning from history, have started viewing nuclear weapons as simply bigger bangs.  A limited nuclear war that doesn't threaten either humanity or civilization as a whole might be a valuable object lesson, and would certainly be cheaper than a larger, more general, nuclear war (US v. China, say).

      In both cases, it's not that the choice is good in some absolute sense, it's that the choice isn't as sucky as the alternative- the alternative in Iraq being a long, bloody, close-fought civil war followed by ethnic cleansing and genocide.

      "History does not always repeat itself. Sometimes it just yells, 'Can't you remember anything I told you?' and lets fly with a club." --John W. Campbell

      by bhurt on Wed Nov 30, 2005 at 08:40:02 AM PST

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