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View Diary: Declaration of Thingamajig (155 comments)

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  •  ? (9+ / 0-)

    So you didn't oppose Saddam, I guess. It's a scary proposition, that the only way to oppose a regime is to support war against it.

     I'll quote one of the best pieces on this:

    The call from Libyan rebels for a no-fly zone matters. Those who are resisting Qaddafi deserve our support. But they don’t single-handedly determine the nature of it. Solidarity is not a process by which you unquestioningly forfeit responsibility for your own actions to another; it involves an assessment of what is prudent and what is possible. The left should not be in denial that nonintervention could have meant defeat for the Libyan revolution. If the balance of forces on the ground could not sustain the resistance on their own, this may well have been a consequence. The spontaneous, organic nature of these uprisings over the past few months has shown that democratic revolutions are a messy, unpredictable and complex process whereby shifts in collective popular confidence can translate into rifts between political, military and state establishments.

    But neither should we be browbeaten with accusations that by opposing military intervention, we are in effect supporting Qaddafi—particularly not by supporters of states who were until recently arming him. Because arguments against Qaddafi are not the same as arguments for bombing. Since the allied forces insist that neither regime change nor occupation is the goal, it is difficult to fathom what the goal is. If Qaddafi remains, the country will be split. If the bombing stops, Qaddafi, all the more dangerous for being depleted, will likely finish the job. If Qaddafi goes, we have no idea what ethnic and regional rifts will emerge. What victory looks like under these circumstances is anybody’s guess.

    Far from being a knee-jerk response to Western military action, opposition to the bombing marks a considered reflection on the West’s knee-jerk impulse to mistake war for foreign policy. This impulse follows a well-worn circular logic in three parts: (1) Something must be done now. (2) This is something. (3) So we must do it. And that something invariably involves bombing.

    Such sophistry treats “now” as its own abstract point in time: a moment that bears no legacy and carries no consequences. Amnesia and ignorance are the privileges of the powerful. But the powerless, who live with the ramifications, do not have the luxury of forgetting. They do not forget Shatila, Falluja, Abu Ghraib or Jenin—to name but a few horrific war crimes in which the West was complicit.

    •  If Saddam had had his forces (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      bearing down on Kurdistan after a successful liberation struggle, able and intending to massacre the populations of Kirkuk and Mosul within a day, Iraq would have been an entirely different matter, wouldn't you say?

      But, he didn't.  I could therefore oppose Saddam on human rights grounds without calling for immediate military action.  He was neutralized.  Qaddafi -- not so much.

      To protect the Latino "community of interest" in redistricting Orange County, Santa Ana, eastern Garden Grove, and central Anaheim must be in the same legislative districts.

      by Seneca Doane on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 10:12:27 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Um, what? (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dgil, Johnny Q, willibro, PhilJD

        As if Saddam didn't put down a rebellion from the Kurds and the Shiites after Desert Storm.  So...what's your point?  That we should only step in and 'save people from brutal dictators' if the rebels are successfully making life difficult for said dictator?  So if Gaddafi had simply crushed opposition from the outset, you'd then agree that we shouldn't have gone to war?

        Ask not what Obama can do for you, but what you can do for Obama!

        by Uberbah on Thu Jun 23, 2011 at 11:32:42 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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