Posted by Ev (18.104.22.168) on March 14, 2003 at 15:56:49:
In Reply to: Nope, this war makes no damn sense! posted by apperception (22.214.171.124) on March 14, 2003 at 09:53:49:
You said: “If the resolution was passed by the UN, then it's for the UN to decide what methods should be used to enforce it. Not just the United States.”
This is true up to a point. But here’s something you may have overlooked. The UN charter allows member nations the right to self -defense by any and all means. At least 2 of the permanent Security Council members have declared that the enforcement of this Resolution IS necessary to assure their nation’s safety. Should the UN deny them this right? Maybe you’d suggest that the UN be the final arbiter of whether or not a member nation’s security is in jeopardy. How well do you think that’d work?
And while we’re on the subject of the UN deciding what methods are appropriate, I’d ask you to define precisely—since precision is what you demand of the US and its allies—what the UN roadmap for disarming Iraq looks like? Now there’s a plan I’ve failed to see! And appercepton, I, too, have read a lot. :)
You said: “Eh, I'm not a pacifist. I just don't think any of this is a big enough deal to overthrow a country. There's no proof that they have anything beyond the barest shell of a WMD program. It's not a big enough threat to sacrifice American or Iraqi lives, let alone do damage to the UN.”
The last time I checked it was the duty of the President and the Congress to safeguard the security of the United States. I fail to find any mention of whether or not you “think any of this is a big enough deal to overthrow a country”. And don’t you think it’s possible—just possible--they may be privy to information you know nothing of?
Apperception, there’s actually quite a bit of proof that the Iraqis possess much more than, “the barest shell of a WMD program”. If the former UN inspections team—UNSCOM—is to be believed, the Iraqis should have large amounts of both chemical and biological agents at their disposal. And if the last UN inspections team isn’t to be believed, then why are we subjecting ourselves to another farce? I guess the only way you’ll be satisfied that this ‘is’ the case is by seeing advancing troops hit with these WMD as they go in. And even then, curiously enough, there will still be a great many who’ll not admit it happened. Conspiracy theories will be popping up faster than baby rabbits. Just wait and see!
You said: “So what? And the United States doesn't have interests? Heh. Welcome to politics. :) There are no "disinterested" or "altruistic" actors here. It's a question of power.
If it's so important to liberate the Iraqi people, why not also liberate the Saudi people? Their regime is just as repressive, but they're an ally.”
Well, duh! Of course the US has interests in the region. But the US interests go much, much deeper than just oil contracts. Strangely enough, I seem to recall a great many placards hoisted high in the midst of ‘peace rallies’ stating that this was a US, ‘war for oil’. Do you recall any of those placards pointing out the French, German, or Russian interest in the very same thing? I also don’t recall any mention of the illicit weapons the French, Germans, Russians, and yes campers, the Chinese have been supplying in contradiction of UN mandate. What’s ‘that’ all about? Do you think those marchers were just ignorant of the facts or do you think they just don’t care? Btw, William Safire of the New York Times wrote an interesting article titled, “The Iraqi Missiles and the French Connection”, I think you might find interesting. Hmmm, now why would they need this advanced rocket fuel if they possess no advanced rockets?
Also, to answer your second point:
The American position from the outset has been that Iraq ‘will’ divest itself of WMD. In the beginning, had Saddam lived up to his obligations under the cease-fire agreement, regime change would not have been necessary. I’d even go so far as to say that support for removal of a regime that honored its obligation to disarm would have been non-existent. But that’s not the case. We’ve since come to understand, with more than ample proof, that Saddam would only reconstitute his WMD program the moment hostilities ceased. Right now, depending on how you ask the question, a very large percentage of the American public are of the opinion that Saddam must go. So, regime change will be the necessary by-product of a disarmed Iraq. Also, the liberation of the Iraqi people will be a by-product of a disarmed Iraq. And as to the matter of Saudi Arabia, I don’t remember the US stating, or the UN resolving, their intention to disarm Saudi Arabia. Did I miss something?
You said: “But the problem is that it IS going to involve a prolonged occupation, and there's no sign that the US has any definite plan of what they're going to replace Saddam with. I mean ... how do you propose they do it? What can they replace Saddam with such that there won't be a prolonged occupation? I haven't heard any answer to this.”
OK, lets accept the hypothetical that we have a long occupation to deal with. We’ve had troops stationed in faraway places for almost 60 years. What say we move some of them from their present bases and reposition them in Iraq? How would that work for ya? Foreign nations, and believe me when I say there will be plenty and that the UN will ‘not’ want to be excluded, can pitch in manpower and assets as they see fit. At that point even the French will be amongst the forefront of those groveling for scraps. Hey, it’ll be almost like having them as an ally once again!
Apperception, there has been much discussion of what a ‘liberated Iraq’ will look like. It’ll probably be necessary to establish some transitional military oversight comparable to what happened in Japan. This will eventually give way to some form of representative government, not necessarily one resembling the US or British system, that is made up of all the various factions represented in the population. The exact specifics are impossible to know ahead of time but I’d imagine that something along these lines is what you’ll see. All things must not be knowable prior to proceeding. Btw, do you reckon your parents knew what your college entrance exam scores would be before they decided to have a child? Should not knowing have caused them to remain childless? Well?
You said: “Well of COURSE the inspectors are there because of the threat of force. Do you think any country -- hey, let's take the US for example! -- would open their doors to an inspection of their topic secret weapons program? "Oh, c'mon right in guys. Let me show you our national security secrets. Don't miss the 2 o'clock bus out to Area 51 now."
That's not even the point. The point is that the inspectors are there now, and the inspections by most estimates seem to work.”
You still haven’t addressed my concerns about leaving US and allied troops in harm’s way for an indefinite period of time. How long should we be willing to leave them subject to a WMD attack? How about your countrymen? Are they over there now? If so, how long should we be willing to leave them to satisfy the Cameroon’s dislike of military action or the Chilean's penchant for inaction? Well, how about giving me a hard date? That’d be more than the opposing UN members have deigned to do!
Also, there has been at least one country that has done exactly what you say no country would do. Check out the South African disarmament for an example of how it can be done if a nation so desires.
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