8/27/2005

8-27-05 [politics] - 1

8-27-05 [politics]

I just watched Jon Stewart get humiliated by the smart Christopher Hitchens about the righteousness of the Iraq war and whether it's creating terrorists, etc. A reasonable position is very simple.

First, fighting abroad to stop terrorists is a perfectly reasonable thing to do. Our fight in Afghanistan was called for, though we are failing horribly at the followup. Taliban-sponsored guerillas still control large portions of the countries, and the warlords have taken up their old roles running the Opium poppy trade which has resurged.

Second, regime change to depose evil states is perfectly reasonable. We should have been in Rwanda for the genocide, we should now be in Sudan, and I'm sure there's a lot of other African crap we should get into. North Korea is a horrible nation that starves millions of its people every year and should be dealt with. Regime change in Iraq is debatable but perhaps was warranted.

What was absolutely rotten and what the President should be impeached for is lying about the case for war, lying to Congress, the UN, and the American people. Suggesting that Iraq had WMD's (and was trying to buy uranium), suggesting any connection to 9/11, suggesting that attacking Iraq would make us safer from terrorism - those are crimes.

Furthermore, the conduct of the war has been reprehensible. Ignoring the army commanders requests for more troups and a better plan to secure the peace, and then firing or silencing any who speak out. Rumsfeld encouraging torture, the policy of extradition of captives to questionable states, the memos about the Geneva convention not applying, etc. And allowing the nation to be divided into the three ethnic factions. Even if you support the war you must be ashamed of these things.

And, the truth is that the Iraq war has created many more terrorists. Yes, it is islamic extremism and poverty and powerlessness which create the brew for terrorism, and those ingredients were already there. But it is violence and occupation which stirs the stew and motivates people en masse to give their lives for terrorism. We have supplied that catalyst in Iraq, as well as creating a massive lawless zone where fighters and materiel from many terrorist states can come together.

As much as Saddam was a bad guy, he controlled his country with an iron fist. Now, stability in Iraq seems far away, and when the Shiites and Sunnis are killing each other over control of the oil in Iraq, the families of the dead will blame the U.S. This is the very reason why the U.S. installed Saddam and dictators like him across the globe - for stability. That was Kissinger's realpolitik - would you rather have a democratic nation that might vote communist, or a ruthless dictator that keeps the restless populace under heel - he'd choose the latter. Of course the new news on this topic is that the Shiites & Kurds might pass a cons

In the mean time of course, we are largely ignoring Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Pakistan which are the greatest terrorism fomenters in the world.

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