March 05, 2003

About That War: How many of...

About That War: How many of you are still undecided, conflicted, Gollum-like, etc.? Seems a large portion of my group of thirty-something I'm looking for a simple, short-winded straw poll among the thousand or so of you who frequent this site: Yea, Nay, or Still-can't-say? If you want to include a blog-link in your answer, obviously, go crazy. UPDATE: After a quick read of the first 73 comments, we're roughly at 37 Yes'ms and 13 Nu-uhs, with 12 Gollums. Many of the yeas and nays were extremely conditional, however. UPDATE II: After 113 comments, I figure the yes-no-maybe count to be 63-19-12. I'm guessing the vote was stronger pro-war, and weaker pro-maybe, than that of the readership.

Posted by at March 5, 2003 08:57 PM
Comments

Nay.

Posted by: Andrew at March 5, 2003 09:13 PM

Yea.

Posted by: vlad at March 5, 2003 09:22 PM

Let's roll

Posted by: Ed P. at March 5, 2003 09:35 PM

Against the war

Posted by: Dylan Suher at March 5, 2003 09:53 PM


Conflicted but leaning toward 'no'.

Posted by: Michael Farris at March 5, 2003 09:57 PM

2-2-1! I wonder how long the relative parity will hold....

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 5, 2003 10:07 PM

Nay.

Posted by: Oliver at March 5, 2003 10:39 PM

Yea, Yea, and Yea [can I vote three times??]

Posted by: Robert Light at March 5, 2003 10:59 PM

You already know my answer, Matt, but I'll go on record again as Yea!

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 5, 2003 11:05 PM

No, for the time being.

Posted by: Steve Smith at March 5, 2003 11:17 PM

Yes.

Posted by: Linda Williams at March 5, 2003 11:29 PM

Yea.

Posted by: Patrick Phillips at March 6, 2003 12:05 AM

yea

Posted by: gek at March 6, 2003 12:11 AM

Let's roll.

Posted by: In San Fran at March 6, 2003 12:36 AM

Yea. Tho, I'm nearly 50, and live in the reddest part of a blue state.

Posted by: Ray Eckhart at March 6, 2003 12:52 AM

Ray -- You don't have to be a star, baby, to be in my show!

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 6, 2003 12:56 AM

Still can't say, leaning toward nay, may change my mind.
Via Ken Layne : this .
(I liked, ahem, Alterman's answer...)

Posted by: philippe at March 6, 2003 12:57 AM

Where are all my confused friends? Bonnie, you can post under a clever pseudonym, like "Bunny." Brandy, you can be "the first weird guy who bicycled into your back yard yesterday from Burbank," etc.

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 6, 2003 01:11 AM

Yeah, c'mon all you wishy-washy Charlie Browns - speak up!

Posted by: Oliver at March 6, 2003 01:15 AM

Willis -- Dude, it's 4:20 in the morning, Bean-eating time. The hell?

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 6, 2003 01:21 AM

I can certainly see reason for action against Iraq, but don't like the lack of a really simple, cohesive argument from the admiration.
I hate the fence but I'm squarely on it.

Posted by: dong at March 6, 2003 01:23 AM

Administration, damnit.

Posted by: dong at March 6, 2003 01:25 AM

Hell if I know.

Posted by: Jim Treacher at March 6, 2003 01:59 AM

YES---

I think a nation that says in their Constitution and Bill of Rights what we say in ours HAS to to this. We should have done this in Rawanda, but the black politicians in this country are gutless.

Sitting by is not new to us. Nothing Saddam has done is worse than The Rape of Nanking, which was shown to all America in theatrical newsreels for a week, and we did nothing

Posted by: Howard Veit at March 6, 2003 02:48 AM

The facile "no blood for oil" chants annoy me. Better to say "no blood for civilization," because gals, oil is our civilization's blood.

But the "free Iraq" bumper stickers strike me as equally niave. Yes, that would be nice, but toppling Saddam probably won't do this and trying will be incredibly expensive. Most importantly, America is not now fighting (and has never fought) to civilize or save other nations.

But on the third hand, and speaking from high atop the fence: absent a smoking cannon -- and we haven't produced one yet -- I'm inclined to wait and bomb Saddam into dust only if he mobilizes. Yes, there's a chance more people in the Middle East could die with this wait-and-see approach, but there's a greater chance nothing happens for 5 years and Saddam expires semi-naturally.

Meanwhile, we can fight North Korea and that MRSA superbug.

Posted by: Frank List at March 6, 2003 04:21 AM

Nay

Posted by: micah holmquist at March 6, 2003 05:16 AM

Nice massster, but we wantss precious, but...

Posted by: copans at March 6, 2003 05:16 AM

No War

Posted by: John K. at March 6, 2003 05:49 AM

FOR war. See my War Views.

Posted by: Chris Howell at March 6, 2003 05:59 AM

Not at this time. But...

1. Creation of a Middle East, anti-terrorism security organization, fashioned vaguely on Nato and including Israel as a permanent member.

2. Containment, containment, containment.

3. Recognition that we're in a new protracted war which, like the Cold War, may take decades to peter out.

Posted by: Jumbo at March 6, 2003 06:28 AM

No.

Posted by: Jen at March 6, 2003 06:29 AM

What do you mean yea or nay? The war started 18 months ago. I'm in favor of fighting back. Why wa, Turkey, Belgium, Canada, and Mexico.

Never forget, and never get over it.

Posted by: Paul A'Barge at March 6, 2003 09:02 AM

undecided, and if you are undecided about something so massive, it ought to be "nay". And if someone like Paul D'barge supports it then double-nay.

But the bottom line to me is that I don't trust the government to remake the world, which is their goal.

Posted by: Undecided at March 6, 2003 09:25 AM

Kick their ass and steal their gas. :-)

Posted by: Robert Nephew at March 6, 2003 09:28 AM

Yes. Some reasons here (as you mentioned a few days ago, thanks).

Posted by: Thomas Nephew at March 6, 2003 09:37 AM

...and the answer to that is "yes" as well. Hey Robert!

Posted by: Thomas Nephew at March 6, 2003 09:38 AM

Yea, with U.N. approval, nay without.

This world is safest with a strong, enforced international law. If the U.N. refuses to enforce its resolutions, they have no meaning, and the world is less secure. If the U.S. "preventatively" attacks without U.N. approval, *WE* are trashing international law, and making the world less secure.

So I am currently pissed at France and Russia for blocking U.N. approval, and I am pissed at Bush for being willing to go alone.

Posted by: Timothy Roscoe Carter at March 6, 2003 09:44 AM

yes.

Posted by: Dave K at March 6, 2003 09:58 AM

Yes, war. However, I could be persuaded to change my mind. What convinces me that the "No War" crowd is wrong is it's clear NOTHING will change their mind. Also, their smug smiles when they talk about "peace vigils" are nauseating. Where were they when people were being slaughtered in Bosnia and Rwanda? Why don't they picket the Saudi Arabian embassy if they're so concerned about human rights? Answer (or, actually, A.N.S.W.E.R.): they're not. They're concerned about feeling good about themselves.

Posted by: Cathy Seipp at March 6, 2003 09:59 AM

Cathy -- I'm guessing quite a few of the non-"yes" people here supported intervention in Yugoslavia....

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 6, 2003 10:18 AM

Wobble, wobble, wobble. . . ah, nope.

Posted by: Paul MacDonald at March 6, 2003 10:40 AM

Yup
Sooner the better.

Posted by: David D at March 6, 2003 10:58 AM

still-can't-say. that is, i don't trust bush's motives and (more importantly) i don't trust bush to do it right. but i want to believe. i really do, i want to believe. and i want hussein out of there...

Posted by: dan reines at March 6, 2003 10:59 AM

Yea More time? Are you nuts?

UNSCR 687 - April 3, 1991

* Iraq must "unconditionally accept" the destruction, removal or rendering harmless "under international supervision" of all "chemical and biological weapons and all stocks of agents and all related subsystems and components and all research, development, support and manufacturing facilities."

* Iraq must "unconditionally agree not to acquire or develop nuclear weapons or nuclear-weapons-usable material" or any research, development or manufacturing facilities.

* Iraq must "unconditionally accept" the destruction, removal or rendering harmless "under international supervision" of all "ballistic missiles with a range greater than 150 KM and related major parts and repair and production facilities."

* Iraq must not "use, develop, construct or acquire" any weapons of mass destruction.

* Iraq must reaffirm its obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

* Creates the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) to verify the elimination of Iraq's chemical and biological weapons programs and mandated that the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) verify elimination of Iraq's nuclear weapons program.

* Iraq must declare fully its weapons of mass destruction programs.

* Iraq must not commit or support terrorism, or allow terrorist organizations to operate in Iraq.

* Iraq must cooperate in accounting for the missing and dead Kuwaitis and others.

* Iraq must return Kuwaiti property seized during the Gulf War.

Posted by: et at March 6, 2003 11:34 AM

Yea on Iraq.
North Korea soon.

Posted by: Greg at March 6, 2003 11:38 AM

Who, precisely, objects to removing a murderous tyrant?

The sooner, the better.

Posted by: Ian at March 6, 2003 11:55 AM

Yes to the opening of the Iraqi theatre in the ongoing war against those who actively plot our destruction.

Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech at March 6, 2003 11:58 AM

Matt,
This "non-yes" vote was OK with intervention in Bosnia but not in Kosovo.

Cathy,
Few people protest the actions of another country unless they are citizens of that country or a victim of that country's depredations. I can only think of a couple instances: South African divestiture when Reagan was in office and supporting Tibetan autonomy. I think most protesters disagree with GW Bush and are concerned that their own country is preparing to make a colossal mistake.

Posted by: John K. at March 6, 2003 12:04 PM

Yes on Iraq. Saddam has never held to the terms of the cease-fire he signed 12 years ago. "One last chance" has to mean what it says or we embolden our enemies anew.

As to nuking NK, well, that's just crazy talk. Thanksfully, Bush, et al, are not that crazy. Not that there are any other attractive options there. We may have no choice but to negotiate with them which will only prop up Kim Jong Il a bit longer. Regrettable, that, but preferable to breaking the nuclear taboo.

Posted by: Dodd at March 6, 2003 12:10 PM

John K.,

Lots of people in America and Europe right to wonder why no one protests the crimes of Middle Eastern dictatorships.

It is an interesting double-standard. Maybe it's because Americans and Israelis have a conscience and will listen to protests. And maybe it's something else, too...

Posted by: Michael J. Totten at March 6, 2003 12:15 PM

Yes.

When Blogcritics comes back up (damn site is down at the moment) you can find a post under et cetra alled "war. what is it good for?" that links to 17 pro-war posts I have made on my blog.

The last five or six are quiet good, I think.

If I may be so boldly ego-driven, I recommend my post "War is Inevitable" ...

My final comment: Yes, you violate the terms of a ceasefire, you get bombed. That's the way the world works.

Posted by: Howard Owens at March 6, 2003 12:27 PM

The certainty fairy has touched me - you might say it flew into my twin towers of scepticism and unthinking liberalism.

Posted by: Rob at March 6, 2003 01:17 PM

Yea, I think we must and I don't trust Saddam. But I'm really scared of the implications of Bush's lack of diplomacy. So we do it but destroy NATO, and flout the UN in the process? I fear not for the military outcome of this war, but for the years of bad blood that is developing between us and the rest of the world. Now, more than ever, when I travel, I'm gonna totally fake being Canadian.

Posted by: Debbie McUrlik at March 6, 2003 01:41 PM

I was for Bosnia and Kosovo, but against Iraq - because there's a world of difference between deposing a dictator and saving people from ethnic cleansing versus the occupation of a nation by foreign soldiers (ours).

I also think its pathetic that the same people who support Bush on this are super silent about his subservience to the Saudis - check this latest pile out.

And yes, nuking North Korea is on the extreme side of insipid. Although I'm sure Paul Wolfowitz sees an upside.

Posted by: Oliver at March 6, 2003 01:50 PM

Yea

Posted by: John at March 6, 2003 02:49 PM

Yea, and yay.

Posted by: 33-year-old white male in detroit at March 6, 2003 02:49 PM

Yes, reluctantly.

For a number of reasons...

1) There's no question Saddam Hussein continues to seek nuclear weapons. And he's made absolutely no secret of the fact he wants to build a new Arab empire with himself as its head (http://www.benadorassociates.com/article/131).

2) Containment is at best risky and doesn't work very well when some of the parties responsible for the containment have incentives to cheat.

3) Inspections don't solve the containment issue. Iraq has a lot of square miles and a lot of ways to impede inspections. Even if the inspection teams are not compromised by the mukhabarat (an optimistic assumption), the odds of finding all the nasty stuff are slight.

4) The status quo therefore means it's *when* Iraq gets a nuclear device, not *if*.

5) With a nuclear device, Iraq becomes the regional hegemon. Hussein has already demonstrated that he'll attack neighboring countries. I suspect the lesson Hussein drew from these adventures was not that the adventurism was bad, but that he simply needs better weapons in order to win. Knowledge that Iraq has such weapons and the willingness to use them will keep Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the smaller Gulf states in line (or encourage them to develop their own nukes, which is even riskier: Hussein control of a lot of the Gulf oil is bad enough, but a nuclear exchange and oilfields contaminated for a few hundred years is worse).

6) With definitive influence over the Gulf, Hussein would control oil prices. Were I in his shoes, I'd use that to hammer the Western economies as hard as possible - countries in a depression tend to be isolationist and even if not it's pretty hard to dispatch an army halfway around the world when your economy is tanked.

7) If Iraq builds one nuke, it'll build several. That gives him enough room for Hussein to 'loan' one or two to whichever group of terrorists he's bankrolling. I've heard the secular vs. fundamentalist idea about why this will never happen: that strikes me as blindly optimistic given the number of times in history opposing groups have worked together against a common enemy. As far as it being too risky for Hussein to provide the terrorists with a bomb or two, keep in mind that this guy has a history of bad calls and a habit of literally shooting the messengers who bring bad news. If he's convinced he can keep the things from blowing back on him - and he does run a police state that's pretty good at keeping tabs on what's going on - this might look pretty good. You don't need an Al Samoud if you have a half-dozen suicide bombers as your delivery mechanism.

8) Deterrence doesn't work for this situation. MAD worked because the only way to deliver enough warheads to the U.S. was to load them onto rockets and shoot 'em over. That pretty clearly identifies the originator. Terrorist groups don't need a lot of bombs - one or two is enough - and they wouldn't arrive by missile but more likely by Ford Econoline.

This is a sketchy scenario and admittedly there's lots of places where it could fork into something else. On the other hand, the potential costs of optimism where Saddam Hussein is concerned are awfully high. Back in B-school, they taught us about 'risk-adjusted returns' - the value (or cost) of an action was its return times the probability of the event.

Since the cost in this instance might be the center of L.A. or Manhattan vanishing in a big flash of light, we need to make the probability of this happening as low as we humanly can. Any scenario I can see from the status quo results in very risky options and far fewer of them than we have at present. From where I sit, that means the status quo has to change.

So, reluctantly, I'm on the 'yes' side of the fence.

But I will be watching what happens after. We betrayed these people once back in 1991; we've made similar promises in 2003 that the Iraqis will not be a colony and they'll have a chance to decide for themselves how their country gets run. I want those promises kept this time. I do not think I am alone in that desire.

Sorry for the length of this. I had to sit and think it through.

Posted by: DT at March 6, 2003 03:24 PM

Can non-bloggers vote here? What if you live in a red state?

For the record, I vote Yea.

And Oliver:

On the foreign occupation aspect, exactly what is Camp Bondesteel (sp?) about? Is that occupation?

And does attacking Shi'a and Kurds count as ethnic cleansing? Or just run-of-the-mill kill-your-own, which is apparently not condemned, based on your comment?

And, no, that doesn't mean that EVERY case of injustice presumably leads to US intervention. Politics=Art of the Possible, and all that.

Posted by: Dean at March 6, 2003 03:30 PM

Severely conflicted, but feeling worse about it every day.

Posted by: Ted Barlow at March 6, 2003 04:08 PM

Bombs away.

Posted by: Rick at March 6, 2003 04:17 PM

Dean -- Non-bloggers *especially* are encouraged to place their votes.

33-year-old-white-guy-in-Detroit -- That you, Eminem?

Posted by: Matt Welch at March 6, 2003 05:00 PM

Yea.

And you have no idea how much I frighten myself by saying that.

Posted by: Matt McIrvin at March 6, 2003 05:23 PM

As a 56-year-old Boomer Vietnam Era vet (honorably, physically discharged) I reluctantly vote yea, basically because I do not see how we can continue to live in a world with two (at least) sets of rules. One for deomocracies and one for dictators. It is way, way too dangerous.

So . . . until the UN or some successor body decides to negotiate and _enforce_ one set of rules for all, we must do what is necessary to protect ourselves and our friends, and, where we can, help those less fortunate become more free to choose freely whatever stupid thing they may wish to choose.

True freedom is the freedom to choose unwisely and pay the price and be given a second chance.

Currently there _is_ no international law as such, since there is no actual enforcement mechanism which is actually, routinely implemented. So, we get NK, Iraq, Saudia Arabia, etc. For anyone who believes differently, I encourage you to emigrate for a decade or so to one of the above or the like and then return to enlighten us.

Anyway, no war means the status quo plus deterioration while war means change and the possibility of improvement. How can one not choose war as opposed to the alternative _in this case_?
Like a second marriage, anti-war views appear to be the victory of hope over experience. No, thanks

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at March 6, 2003 09:13 PM

Yea

Posted by: D Frades at March 6, 2003 09:26 PM

Yea.

Posted by: Floyd McWilliams at March 6, 2003 10:00 PM

Do we have a choice? Every ten years we need to get rid of their bombs - we can't do this forever. An Iraqi attack on anyone (we went in over Kuwait) will get us in a war we have less ability to control than this one. Israel is vulnerable and one of those allies. Exactly from what position will we be able to negotiate with Korea if we have let this farce of an inspection regieme stand? Apparently no one cares, but if the UN's resolutions aren't enforced, what do they mean and how does that noninforcement make the UN a creditable body? and please, do not speak about the farce of Kyoto or the farce of an international court - the last weeks at the UN have shown those treaties for what they are. By the way this is from a 57-year-old woman who is worried about the future for her three daughters.

Posted by: Ginny at March 6, 2003 11:33 PM

For the war, but not for the WMD argument. It is the first step to bringing many 2nd world, 3rd world, and 4th world countries into the 21st Century. Years ago, I would have started with Africa, but Sept 11 changed the priority. I want all countries to be free and prosperous and not shackled under despotism/communisim/anarchy. I am not for empire. I am only for giving these people a chance at liberty.

Posted by: JoBu at March 6, 2003 11:36 PM

yeay

Posted by: brandon adamson at March 7, 2003 12:38 AM

I'm guessing quite a few of the non-"yes" people here supported intervention in Yugoslavia....

Definitely.

Posted by: philippe at March 7, 2003 03:21 AM

No.

Posted by: Royce at March 7, 2003 03:53 AM


Enough people have done more than quick yes or no's so I'll expand a bit.

My own problem with intervention in the former Jugoslavia is that it was about six or seven years too late. Western Europe was caught on the shitter with it's collective thumb up its ass while thousands and thousands died unnecessarily.

I would have also welcomed intervention in Rwanda and would support pretty strong action now against Mugabe.

I would support pretty drastic action against the Saudi government.

I was against the first Gulf war for reasons that I don't feel need going into now (time hasn't changed my mind).

I'm at least 80 per cent against the latest for the following reasons:
1. I don't buy the wmd's argument
2. I don't buy the Saddam/Qaida connection (which even the Bush administration has backed off of lately) and action against Iraq seems to drain energy away from the real threats.

Why am I not 100% against it then?
I really, really want a Saddam-free secular/democratic Iraq. I really want any Arab state to have a shot at a secular democratic government that could serve as a successful model for other Arab states (just as Poland's resistance served as a model for Central and Eastern Europe in 1989). I want that so bad I'm wavering even though I have absolutely not the slightest degree of confidence that the Bush administration would be able, or even really wants, to carry it off (remember Afghanistan?).
If the invasion goes ahead and they try to rebuild Iraq and screw it up in any of a dozen predictable ways I'll be even more disappointed and disillusioned, and the US will be in even greater danger.
That's my particular fence.

Posted by: Michael Farris at March 7, 2003 05:40 AM

Liberate Iraq!

Posted by: Greg at March 7, 2003 07:19 AM

Conditionaly, No

Posted by: Dan at March 7, 2003 08:29 AM

Yes, because I think it's either war now or war later - after he gets nukes. That's the short answer. There's a long one, but Neal Pollack said it much better than I would, at book length.

Posted by: Sebastian at March 7, 2003 08:36 AM

I want the murders of my family to be solved, but I don't trust the mayor of my city to do it right. Please burp me, mommy!

Posted by: Jim Treacher at March 7, 2003 08:37 AM

Yea, because I think we'll have to sooner or later and should do it on our own terms.

Posted by: Mac Thomason at March 7, 2003 09:09 AM

Yes, but in a very Gollum-ish way.

I wrote this earlier today, and for the fourth time in the last couple of months saved it without publishing. Every time I try to get my thoughts on the war down in written form, I just end up feeling dumb. As it should be, I guess. I guess since you're directly asking for it, I'll go ahead and publish...

Posted by: Ryan Olson at March 7, 2003 10:40 AM

Give War a chance.

Posted by: Rachel Lillienthal at March 7, 2003 10:53 AM

Gollum, gollum. Mmmm, fresh fishes.

Posted by: Brian Emmett at March 7, 2003 11:06 AM

Michael,

Please expound on:


1. I don't buy the wmd's argument
2. I don't buy the Saddam/Qaida connection...and action against Iraq seems to drain energy away from the real threats."

Posted by: vlad at March 7, 2003 11:09 AM

An unconditional yes to war. We're wasting time, letting the Iraqi's build up their defenses.

Posted by: Tim at March 7, 2003 11:23 AM

Matt,

Not sure how much it matters I am one of the "non-'yes' people" and I didn't support intervention in Yugoslavia. And I was against Clinton's regular bombings of Iraq.

Posted by: micah holmquist at March 7, 2003 12:07 PM

Vlad asked me:
"Please expound on:
1. I don't buy the wmd's argument
2. I don't buy the Saddam/Qaida connection...and action against Iraq seems to drain energy away from the real threats."

There's not that much to expound on. In the first place, I don't think it's really about wmd's, those are just a convenient cover. In the second, in terms of Iraq's capabilities, I think containment is realistic, I don't think Iraq can build anything that threatening that inspections and the occasional surgical airstrike can't handle.
The biggest threat to the US comes from a group of dedicated, vigorous religious fanatics from a variety of countries (saudi arabia, egypt and pakistan stand out) but notably not Iraq. Iraq is your basic secular thugocracy. Tying up Saddam in a campaign against religious-based fanaticism seems wrongheaded and plays into stereotypes that the US government can't tell different groups of Arabs or Moslems apart from each other and makes us look like we're indiscriminately targeting Arabs and Moslems which is great propoganda for those dedicated religious fanatics.
As much as I would like to see a Saddam-free and rehabilitated Iraq, I don't think the present crew is up to that job. I have no faith in their ability to do things right and I have a great fear of their capability of screwing them up.

Posted by: Michael Farris at March 7, 2003 12:34 PM

No. It's a waste of time and money, and we would be better served using it for other things. We can control Saddam. Maybe I am heartless but he will die eventually, as Stalin did, as Mao did, etc. We need to encourage democracy and human rights in places where we can get it done without war, further isolating Iraq from the rest of the world. We can protect ourselves without going to war.

Posted by: White Republican at March 7, 2003 12:52 PM

51% Yes. Although, I think we could do this in a much more intelligent way. We should try to do this with as much OPM as possible, we should avoid building an empire, and we should make damn sure we've got good PR, which is the reverse of what we're getting right now.

Posted by: Lonewacko at March 7, 2003 01:17 PM

Just a clarification, when I wrote:
"As much as I would like to see a Saddam-free and rehabilitated Iraq, I don't think the present crew is up to that job. I have no faith in their ability to do things right and I have a great fear of their capability of screwing them up."

I was referring to the post-invasion period. I'm sure the military phase would go very smoothly. It's when they have to start dealing with people rather than military installations that they (the Bush admin.) will screw it up.

Posted by: Michael Farris at March 7, 2003 01:22 PM

Oui.

Posted by: Dylan at March 7, 2003 02:00 PM

Yea, of course. And give Bush, and inadvertently Powell, bonus points for bringing down the UN once France & friends veto the 18th proclamation, if in fact they really do. Time to move on. Ironically, the one real area for concern was the possible entanglement in N Iraq between us, the Kurds, & the Turks. With the Turks now out of the picture, presumably, we will have a somewhat tougher job militarily, but a substantially easier one in the cleanup phase. Still, another black mark on our State dept.

Posted by: Lloyd Albano at March 7, 2003 02:13 PM

Nay.

Posted by: Mat at March 7, 2003 02:38 PM

Yes, and it's about time.

Posted by: Susan at March 7, 2003 03:09 PM

yea, baby, yea

Posted by: Martin B. at March 7, 2003 04:06 PM

Hi Michael,


There's not that much to expound on. In the first place, I don't think it's really about wmd's, those are just a convenient cover.

I am going to indulge you. What are the WMDs a 'conveniant cover' for precisely?


In the second, in terms of Iraq's capabilities, I think containment is realistic, I don't think Iraq can build anything that threatening that inspections and the occasional surgical airstrike can't handle.

Why else are they bogging down inspections? If they had nothing to hide, why not play ball with the inspectors and have a great laugh at that silly old US of A? (Here is the best bit BTW --SH has cleverly turned the foolish and naive UN on its head by making it appear that the burden of proof is upon the UN. It ain't. The resolutions are worded as such that Iraq must prove it has no WMD not the converse propostion that anti-war crowd continues to falsely trumpet: that the UN must prove Iraq has WMDs.) In other words: SH 1, UN 0


The biggest threat to the US comes from a group of dedicated, vigorous religious fanatics from a variety of countries (saudi arabia, egypt and pakistan stand out) but notably not Iraq.

I would almost agree. Like you say, these uneducated religious fanatics are a paramount danger to US -- however, SH only compounds their
threat...


Iraq is your basic secular thugocracy. Tying up Saddam in a campaign against religious-based fanaticism seems wrongheaded...

...b/c one doesn't have to tie them together in a holy alliance against the US --- and this is the crux of why we must crush our so secular buddy SH --- he has the resources of a nation-state to focus on the relatively high investment of manufacturing WMDs. Al-Quaeda does not. --- Al-Quaeda does however have an ad-hoc flexible distribution and communication network as well loyal employees who would be happy to die for its cause. Combine the two and you get an old fashioned marriage of conveniance, not a holy alliance of lovers.

While they have their religious differences ---- it is clear that they have more issue with the US than each other.

For an example, let's look no further then at how the US and USSR joined forces against Germany in WW II. They certainly had significant ideological differences that they managed to ignore for a while.


and plays into stereotypes that the US government can't tell different groups of Arabs or Moslems apart from each other and makes us look like we're indiscriminately targeting Arabs and Moslems which is great propoganda for those dedicated religious fanatics.

Whatever the US does, the 'dedicated religious' psychos will have issue with our actions and propagandize them. Look at Kuwait, you'd think we'd have high levels of public support --- but in fact, Kuwait is unduly un-American. In no way should we pander our foreign policy to appease a bunch of fanatical murderers.

Thoughts?

Posted by: vlad at March 7, 2003 04:08 PM

I mean really, I go with the "war is not healthy for children and other human beings" "give peace a chance crowd" --but then I mean Nasty McMustache is akin to Hitler--what if we had taken him out before he killed millions of people?? What if we did nothing? Oh...we didn't.
We can't repeat that. This guy needs to be taken out.

Posted by: Trin at March 7, 2003 05:07 PM

Yea, with misgivings (and my fingers crossed).

Either choice is a gamble.

Tails...the civilian casualties, casualties among the "coalition of the willing", shit, I even feel sorry for the Iraqi conscripts who have no real choice in their pathetic path.

Heads...a free and democratic Iraq, a trickle down democracy theory, less likelihood that Sadamn Insane will pass a vile vial into the hands of another madman.

And the booming message to those who handwringlingly call for appeasement...ad nauseum.

Funny how the appeasers, who, for years have damned the sanctions as inhumane, now don't seem so worried about the starving Iraqi women and children today.

I only hope that the administration doesn't lose focus on the follow-up after the dust settles on that coin we're tossing.

CBK - I don't know the color of my state...South East

Posted by: CBK at March 7, 2003 05:43 PM

Nope.

[Urban Mid-Atlantic, thirty-something]

Posted by: Maguzza at March 7, 2003 08:36 PM

Do it to it.

Posted by: dc at March 8, 2003 12:29 AM

Yes

Posted by: Liz Feizkhah at March 8, 2003 01:40 AM

This is crazy - I've even fallen out with my mother on this one, and we hardly ever disagree. For one of the rare times in my life, I think I find myself in the yes camp - the last time was with Kosovo: I was a reporter in Bosnia in 93, and saw how European inaction (and especially British intransigence, under the bastard Tories) had lead to genocide in Bosnia; I think the bombing campaign in Kosovo was one of the few altruistic wars in recent memory. Iraq is not Kosovo, but there are parallels, and I can't bring myself to hate this war just because I dislike the guys blowing the bugles. I don't trust the motives, but I support the goal - the removal of a tyrant whose people have neither the power nor the tools to do the job themselves. A quarter of the Iraqi population is in exile. Is that normal? Though there will be casualties, will the future of Iraq be better, and safer in the long run? I don't think anyone knows the answers to those questions, but i think the risks are worth taking. The so called divide between Europe and the US/Britain has nothing to do with conscience, and everything to do with power games, which is sick considering what's at stake. Disarmament seems really simple to me: it was the penalty for Iraq's invasion of Kuwait - 12 years on, the UN is simply reinforcing its reputation for uselessness (a la Rwanda and Bosnia) by not reinforcoing its resolutions with force when necessary. Does anyone seriously think Saddam is co-operating with inspections because he's been asked to? Or because there are 200,000 troops on his doorstep.

Posted by: Aaron Hicklin at March 8, 2003 12:56 PM

It's not just my mother; *everyone* in my family whose opinion I know on the subject is anti-war, my in-laws particularly. Not just slightly anti-war, but angrily, frothingly anti-war.

I'm not inclined to speak up to them about my actual opinions any more, because (1) I'll get an earful of lectures I've already heard without convincing anybody, (2) to tell the truth, I'm not *that* pro-war, for reasons well-explained elsewhere, and (3) hey, they're talking bad stuff about Bush, how can that be bad? It's not like they're actually going to stop the war; the way things are going we'll end up deposing Saddam Hussein *and* George W. Bush, and that sounds like a sweet, sweet deal to me.

The only danger is that this sentiment in the Democratic Party will lead to the nomination of a shrilly anti-war candidate who will then get crushed in the general election. Which is another reason for me to hope fervently for swift victory and as good an aftermath as we can manage to eke out.

Posted by: Matt McIrvin at March 8, 2003 07:02 PM

Yea...and I want first dibs on those Dom Perrignon bottles Saddam has stashed away.

Posted by: Eric at March 8, 2003 07:42 PM

Nay.

Posted by: Jeff at March 9, 2003 03:24 PM

You got any better ideas for preventing another 9/11? Let's go get Iraq and support freedom in Iran and North Korea and a few other places too. You got a problem with freedom? You got any doubts that Saddam is a genocidal monster who will get nukes and give them to AlQaeda if he gets a chance?

http://conundrum.blogspot.com

Posted by: Robert Speirs at March 9, 2003 04:48 PM

Yea; reasons for war are self-evident; all who disagree with me are collectively morons.

Where's that /irony HTML tag?

Posted by: David Perron at March 11, 2003 12:15 PM
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div>

It's not just my mother; *everyone* in my family whose opinion I know on the subject is anti-war, my in-laws particularly. Not just slightly anti-war, but angrily, frothingly anti-war.

I'm not inclined to speak up to them about my actual opinions any more, because (1) I'll get an earful of lectures I've already heard without convincing anybody, (2) to tell the truth, I'm not *that* pro-war, for reasons well-explained elsewhere, and (3) hey, they're talking bad stuff about Bush, how can that be bad? It's not like they're actually going to stop the war; the way things are going we'll end up deposing Saddam Hussein *and* George W. Bush, and that sounds like a sweet, sweet deal to me.

The only danger is that this sentiment in the Democratic Party will lead to the nomination of a shrilly anti-war candidate who will then get crushed in the general election. Which is another reason for me to hope fervently for swift victory and as good an aftermath as we can manage to eke out.

Posted by: Matt McIrvin at March 8, 2003 07:02 PM

Yea...and I want first dibs on those Dom Perrignon bottles Saddam has stashed away.

Posted by: Eric at March 8, 2003 07:42 PM

Nay.

Posted by: Jeff at March 9, 2003 03:24 PM

You got any better ideas for preventing another 9/11? Let's go get Iraq and support freedom in Iran and North Korea and a few other places too. You got a problem with freedom? You got any doubts that Saddam is a genocidal monster who will get nukes and give them to AlQaeda if he gets a chance?

http://conundrum.blogspot.com

Posted by: Robert Speirs at March 9, 2003 04:48 PM

Yea; reasons for war are self-evident; all who disagree with me are collectively morons.

Where's that /irony HTML tag?

Posted by: David Perron at March 11, 2003 12:15 PM
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Remember personal info?






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