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View Diary: Pro-war people were wrong (309 comments)

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  •  No no no no no no no no no no no no (none)
    In 2002, the anti war people seemed to hate Bush more than Hussein.

    This is absolutely offensive to me. Excuse me, but it is impossible for me to interpret this in any other way than a direct insult. Even if it did "seem" that way to you, I assure you it was not.

    This is simply right-wing propaganda repeated (they call it "talking points" now).

    I am a pacifist and I don't feel the need to apologize for it. Yes, opposing a WAR OF AGGRESSION meant that Hussein would have remained in power.

    1. The USA installed and armed Hussein, and was in fact allied with him for the better part of the 80s. Just because I'm an American and I love my country doesn't make this not true.
    2. Instigating a war (which is, point of fact, what we did) does not mean that life will be better off under the glorious righteous free Provisional Authority. Frankly, we have made life worse. Was it possible to acheive the things Bush claimed we could? I doubt it. "Iraq does not need democracy brought on the wings of Tomahawks."--Igor Ivanov, Russian Foreign Minister, 3/03
    3. We have now destabilized the entire region. Even moderate Muslims around the world are going to be very very very concerned as we start raiding mosques. This is called asymmetrical warfare, and it's exactly what the anti-war left--generally pacifist or otherwise--predicted. This type of conflict is NOT WINNABLE except through extreme force, which is politically incompatible with the idea of throwing off the shackles of the evil Hussein.
    4. I've been making this point a lot lately, but reread 1984, paying especial attention to the figure of Emmanuel Goldstein. We've been getting a new target for the Two Minutes' Hate every month or so under Bush.
    5. I hate Bush. I hate Saddam. End of story. I don't want to hear any more pscyhobabble about who I hated more or less or for whatever made up bullshit reason.
    6. If there are people you saw at protests that offended you, I don't care. People at protests have a tendency to be overly didactic. It's part of the whole idea of protesting. Protests are not where you go to find the intellectual heavyweights (although they may in fact be there, you're more likely to run into some yahoo).
    This is what I recommended prior to 2003: End the no-fly zones and sanctions. Continue the inspections regime, in perpetuity if need be. (Small price to pay.) Engage Iraq's neighbors in some sort of alliance with each other  (not with the US, which would be difficult for those countries to sign), a sort of regional NATO-type organization designed to a) punish Sadddam for aggression by isolating him diplomatically and b) reward him economically with American investment in infrastructure (NOT OIL) for behaving. Eventually, given enough good behavior, he could join this umbrella organization.

    We did not invade because of his human rights record (China, anyone?!?). That was never the case. Wars are not fought out of the concern for the other nation's citizenry, and never have been to the best of my knowledge. Continuing to embrace this line of thinking is indefensible. Sorry for the long angry post but here I was upthread thinking that I didn't have to listen to that kind of talk anymore.

    (P.S. Yes we did have inspectors there after 1998. No, they were not kicked out by Hussein.)

    •  that kind of talk (none)
      I was not expecting position papers from protesters, but ending the no fly zones like you suggest would have resulted in Hussein murdering thousands of Kurds.  

      Are you OK with that?

      •  Look (none)
        Enough with the loaded questions and straw men. Of course I'm not okay with Saddam murdering Kurds.

        If political leadership in a country decides to start murdering parts of their populace, what does the world typically  do? 1) Ignore it. 2) Start some sort of diplomacy. 3) Resort to military solutions.

        The no-fly zones were frankly military. They have no basis or precedent under international law, as far as I know (sound familiar?). Saddam didn't have much of an air force anyway. What we did with the no-fly zones was bomb stuff. If it got civilians, well, I remember some sort of saying about destroying a village to save it.

        It also gave us a potential pretext, which we never actually used--Iraq shoots down pilots, captures/tortures pilots, boom, we invade. Didn't work. They tried it with somebody, I can't remember the pilot's name, but nobody bought it. (That brings to mind the pretext Hitler used to invade Poland.)

        I believe (although I am not a politician or diplomat or expert or anything) that there had to have been some sort of political solution. (No, I don't know in detail what that would be, but I'm not running for office either.) By the way, our allies in Turkey have been itching to murder some Kurds for a while now. If there is a civil war in Iraq, I imagine both Turkey and Iran will make some sort of land grab. Turkey will kill a whole bunch of Kurds.

        Getting a whole bunch of people to not kill each other is not aided by killing a bunch of people.

        As you mentioned above, I have indeed thought about whether or not removing SH by force was our best option. I have said since 2002 that that was our worst option. The reasons why are well-known; they have been the headlines for a month or so now. Again, I refuse to apologize for my positions any more and feel very strange that I am still defending them, even after events have more or less proven me correct.

        •  Its not a straw man (none)
          Our 'bombing stuff' via the no fly zones was what allowed the northern Kurdish portion of the country to avoid Hussein and start up 'Iraqi Kurdistan' in direct defience of Hussein.  Based on his past experiences witht he Kurds and the Shia, he would have punished there insubordination with death the second we gave him access to that part of the country.  You are correct that if there is a civil war, which is looking depressingly likely, even more Kurds and others will die.

          Look, I don't know what the point of all this really is.  We both agree that the war was the wrong thing to do.  I found this a tough call to make becuase the situation in Iraq before the war was so horrible.  You think that this was an easy call to make because you find the application of violence to be fundamentally wrong.  We can argue about this again when some tribe of people starts a program of Ethnic cleansing in some other hell hole and we have to decide whether or not to invade and stop it.  In the mean time, lets just hope that we can get a half competant leader to clean up the mess in Iraq.

          •  Sorry (none)
            I have to go, otherwise I'd continue this....Sorry if I jumped down your throat, I've been tense the last two weeks over the headlines. I think I'm getting your point a little better now. Absent the genocide vs. the Kurds, we wouldn't have anything to disagree on. The no-fly zones helped form "Iraqi Kurdistan," you're right. I think there may have been better ways to bring this about; however, I might be wrong about that. We'll never know now.

            No, I didn't think it was an easy call, even given my pacifist stance. There is the notion of the "just war," with WWII being the most obvious example. Was this a just war? I doubt it. Could it have been? Maybe. But it would have begun with UN approval, which is the only body in human history that even approaches having the authority to give suchh an imprimatur.

            Stopping ethnic cleansing, I believe, does not constitute "invasion," and we would also be assisted (instead of resisted) by the locals. I also think it would not have required extended occupation. (Rwanda possibly being an example--if I'm not mistaken, Rwanda would have been quickly pacified had 30,000 US Marines + additional international blue helmets entered the country.)

            I agree whole-heartedly with your final sentiment.

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