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[Watch this space for: Pentagon and Petroleum, The Media is only as Liberal as the Corporations Who Own Them, Wash Down With, and Recalcify]


Tuesday, July 22, 2003


Friends don't let Friends have their politics driven by this guy...

First up, Celebrity Warblogger Watch. Steven Den Beste wrote a long, and I mean a long piece about why he supports the war (I don't remember any of it mentioning 10000 dead Iraqi civilians or 1000 dead and wounded American soldiers, but that's our Steven.) I believe Hesiod has the best rebuttal:

"OK, Steve...I'll formally say it: I care LESS about the people of Iraq, than the people of the United States. I also, its fair to say, care at least as much about the people of Iraq as you do. Since, you didn't give a shit about them until after 9/11. At which point, you used their suffering [which has been going on for 30 years...even when you probably supported Saddam in his fight against the Iranian Mullahs], as a false pretense under which to invade Iraq [against all international law principles] and to support the disingenuous aims of the Bush administration.

Moreover, because President Bush's credibility with the international community is nil, and our armed forces are overstretched...the United States has little or no a bility to alleviate the suffering of any OTHER peoples on the Planet.

We are so overextended, militarily, that we can't even afford send more than a few dozen marines to guard the U.S. Embassy in Monrovia, Liberia.[UPDATE: We have just positioned 4,500 troops near Liberia for possible depolyment].

Troop morale in Iraq is probably the lowest its been since Vietnam.

The opposition to our occupation in Iraq grows in strength, breadth and intensity on a daily basis.

Do I think the Iraq people are better off now that before we invaded? Yes. How much better off remains to be seen. [If the Shi'ite radicals impose an Islamic state there, it will be "not much"].

But...that's not why we invaded. That's not why President Bush CLAIMS we invaded.

It's certainly not why the American people signed on to this enterprise.

It's nothing more than an after-the-fact rationalization for most people who want to believe that the mission had some meaning.

"At least the Iraq people are free," they say. they are. They are free to want us the hell out of their country.

So...every day we continue to be there, and our troops die, and the Iraqi people are deprived of food, water, electricity, and another day that radical anti-American elements get stronger.

So...we either bite the bullet, and go to the UN to internationalize peacekeeping and reconstruction operations [as we did after the Kosovo conflict], or things wind up WORSE for our security than before the invasion.

Steve's pet "remake the middle east" theory has been proven a sham. It may work, if a country moves toward free market liberalism ON ITS OWN...but it will not work if its imposed from outside.

Finally...whether President Bush lied to the American people to justify going to war against Iraq IS the issue. The "ends justify the means" rationalization being put forward by the Bush apologists is disgusting. They have NO answer for the serious constitutional and democratic problems this raises. It's a very bad precedent, and while THIS TIME we picked a deserving target for invasion and overthrow [the post-war period of which we are bungling badly], the precedent is there for another President at another time to do the same thing against a "less deserving" adversary.

That's not how great, constitutional republics that want to spread the rule of law and Democracy should behave. Countries that have nascent constitutional systems and democratic institutions will learn from our example, and discard with the "niceties" of constitutional and republican government for the sake of convenience.

How can we expect countries in the Middle East to become more democratic and liberalized, if we flout the rule of law and lie to our own people about the justifications for war?

If the humanitarian justification for war so facetiously advocated by Den Beste and his ilk were so powerful, than it made no sense for the Bush administration to NOT make the case for removing Saddam on that basis the CENTRAL reason behind the invasion.

As it was, it was thrown in as an afterthought. And, as Bush's behavior toward other despotic and human-rights abusing regimes proves [some of whom, such as Uzbekistan, are receiving "security" funding from the United States, and are counted as ALLIES], he doesn't give any more of a shit about those issues [or, I believe, the Iraqi people] than Den Beste does, despite his claims to the contrary.

They are nothing but pawns to be manipulated on a chessboard.

The ONLY people on the planet who benefitted, rather than lost, from the invasion of Iraq, were the Iraqi people. And how long their improved situation lasts, is a matter of conjecture.

You would think that an administration that claims it only wanted to "liberate" theIraqi people from the despotic rule of Saddam Hussein, and allow those same people to build a more prosperous, Democratic and free Iraq...would do more than half-assed, post-war planning for the country, and would devote adequate resources to helping those same people once the war was over.

The old saying "watch what we do, not what we say" comes to mind, and proves that the Bush administration had absolutley no concern about the fate of the Iraq people. They didn't care about them before the war, and don't care about them now.

UPDATE: My arguments also apply to Steve's discredited claim that we invaded Iraq for "security reasons." Arguably our security is worse now than before the Iraq invasion.

In addition, Steve is dissembling when he claims that the "Uranium from Niger" issue is the ONLY one on which Bush lied. Nope. It's just one of MANY issues he lied about. For example, that so-called "Al Qaeda connection".

Senator Hagel agrees, although he's much to politic to say that the President lied.

Bottom line, Steve is very good at attacking the "weakest" argument of his opponents, while totally ignoring, minimizing, or distorting the strongest arguments that make him look really bad."

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