Tuesday, 4 March 2003
|1117 - The Triumph of Cowardice|
I spotted this article in nonethewiser's journal, which she found in yakkette's. I tried to read it. I really did. Even after the first paragraph, which claimed that "most Americans were so sickened by war-making that they chose to abandon the ill-conceived war in Vietnam". This wasn't the case; most Americans weren't sickened by war-making (if we were, we wouldn't have gone to war since then, and we have - quite successfully), but rather the specific war in Vietnam. When one reasons from false premises, one cannot help but reach false conclusions.
I got as far as "the ultra-right wing and human rights-insensitive proclivities of the Bush administration" before I couldn't take any more. The Bush administration is "ultra-right wing" only to those on the left of the political spectrum.
The whole anti-war argument boils down to one of cowardice: it's easier and safer to let Saddam Hussein stay in power and threaten the world than it is to go in and root him out. Bah. Cowardice never, ever results in the desired end. One need only consider the lessons of 1939 to understand that. Why is it the left is incapable of learning from history?
current mood: determined
I did manage to slog through the whole thing after a couple tries and it made no sense. It sounds like the advice I got as a kid - the advice that didn't work at all on that small scale, and hasn't worked at all at any larger scale either. What is missing is the realization that (and so help me, this phrase is actually used seriously) "utopian realism" isn't.
Alternate solutions would be nice, but they have to workable. What is mentioned in that article is not workable. Petting a rattlesnack won't get you a friendly rattler, it'll put one at risk of being bit.
I'm not disputing that Saddam has to go. It's the people who will die in the process -- the innocent ones who have nothing to do with any of it -- that upset me.
Take Saddam out any damned way you want, but once you kill one mother, child, father, brother, *one* person who has nothing to do with establishing him in power, or maintaining him there, and you are wrong. Dead wrong. Period.
And are we not also guilty of complicity if, by our failure to act, we allow death to occur?
At some point there is the case that by acting, less damage is done than by not acting. This does not dipsute that war is a mean nasty evil horrible thing - but it realizes that that sometimes it is not the meanest nastiest evilest most horrible thing, sad as such situations may be. The results are almost all at once in a conflict rather than spread through years, but can in cases be smaller than letting those cases build through the years.
Unfortunately, there is *no* way to get Saddam out without a war. Diplomacy only works when the other side has a conscience, and a sensitivity to what the rest of the world thinks. Saddam has been giving the rest of the world the finger for 12 years.
It is an unfortunate fact that people die in wars - and yes, even noncombatants. The responsibility for any deaths of noncombatants in Iraq rests squarely on Saddam's shoulders. If he had complied with the terms of his surrender in 1991, which he agreed to voluntarily, we wouldn't be in this position today.
Ooo what if we armed the Iraqi citizenry and let them overthrow Saddam?
I like that somewhat better. But really... I don't know. I think Iraq had been entirely under people's radars again, until the axe-grinding started.
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I have no patience for reading left-wing tripe that is blatantly slanted and disregards history in order to make his arguments. I said, in my post, why I couldn't read the whole thing.
If it's agreed that Saddam should go, how, exactly, is that to be accomplished if not by war? He's not going to give up power voluntarily.
While it was an indirect link (I was acknowledging the source of Rhia's posting), I'll do so...as long as you're not the same stripe of coward as wbwolf and don't block me from posting there.