Wednesday, November 13, 2002

There's a funny argument going around that the United States should fight the war against Iraq because Saddam is a really bad guy and the removal of Saddam will be something that progressively-minded people should applaud. Thus, even if the Bush junta's motives are highly questionable, the results of the war will be good. A variation on this is that Saddam is going to be forced out anyway, and therefore it is better to force him out in an orderly manner, protecting various minority groups from what might be a messy situation. I have a few comments:

  1. This is really just a version of the old excuse for British colonialism, the 'white man's burden', to forcefully improve the lot of the various benighted races who lack the benefit of having a certain form of genes.

  2. Has American military intervention ever benefitted the invaded country. Cuba? No. Colombia? No. Grenada? Maybe a wash, though the invasion was completely unnecessary. Panama? Perhaps thousands killed (all hushed up), but perhaps an improvement only because the Americans removed their own evil stooge, Noriega. Haiti? No. Any of the other numerous places in Central and South America? No. Vietnam? Vietnam doesn't really count as the U. S. lost that war, but they were well on the way to destroying the villages in order to save the villages. Kosovo? No - a complete disaster. Afghanistan? No - a complete disaster and rapidly getting worse. The promises of reconstruction aid were lies. So if every other major effort by the U. S. at saving countries by attacking them has been an utter humanitarian disaster, why is Iraq going to be any different?

  3. There is no reason to suppose that Saddam's regime is in any way threatened by internal attacks. All manner of U. S. tricks over the years to destabilize Iraq by supporting enemies of Saddam have failed miserably. If the Iraqi people want to be truly rid of the Saddam legacy the only way is for them to remove him themselves.

  4. Pym Fortuyn, before he was so rudely interrupted, was making the rather bold argument that Islamic immigration into the Netherlands should be stopped because the fundamentalist views of many of the immigrants were not in accordance with traditional Dutch liberalism and tolerance. Some progressives are taking the view that the evil fundamentalist regimes in the Middle East should be replaced by Western military might, thus bringing these poor souls into the Enlightenment which they haven't had the good fortune to experience. One of the Crusaders marching on Jerusalem would have completely understood this type of argument. You can even add to it by suggesting that the problems of the Middle East have been caused by the effects of Western colonialism, and therefore an American war is only undoing the bad done by the Western colonial powers. This type of thinking is utterly arrogant and disrespectful of the lives of the victims of these 'humanitarian' wars.

  5. I makes me mad when I read columnists who I know haven't given Iraq a second thought in ten years suddenly jumping to the tune of the Bush junta in becoming insistent that Iraq's weapons of mass destruction suddenly pose an imminent threat to the United States. Have these people no shame? No, they have none.

  6. Whatever you think of Saddam, this war will set a precedent destroying the last hundred years of international law that will be used in the future by the United States and other countries to excuse whatever wars they want to fight. All the laws and international understandings created as a result of two world wars will be destroyed.

  7. Could anyone possibly think that a war destroying Iraq will encourage other repressive states in the region to suddenly become models of liberal and democratic virtue? It is much more likely that the Iraq example will put an end to any experiments in tolerance. In order for people to feel tolerant they need peace and security.

  8. It is probable that at least tens of thousands of innocent people are going to die, and the toadies of the Hegemon are perfectly content to cook up rationalizations for what is essentially the theft of the oil fields. Hitchens the Orwellian doesn't see the irony of the fact that he appears to be a clever propagandist for a bunch of warmongers.

Everyone knows what is going to happen. The United States is going to kill as many Iraqis as it needs to remove Saddam. It is then going to defend the oil fields, taking as much as it dares as 'reparations' for the costs of the war, and parcelling the control of the oil to American and British oil companies (and perhaps the oil comapnies of other countries who the Americans had to buy off to get Security Council votes). It will then completely abandon all the people of Iraq, there will be terrible civil wars, and much more death and suffering.