Thursday, September 15, 2005

Recently, I came to President Bush's defense on hurricane Katrina. However, It has come to my attention that if you're going to defend Bush on one subject, you might just have to defend him on other topics. This also gives me a good excuse to show you exactly how I think.

The following articles are lessons in "historiography"-- basically, seeing the history of history being written, examining the text as well as the subtext. Basically, welcome to my mind... be sure to bring a flashlight.

The following articles were written two years ago before the Iraq war. Keep in mind, I have not changed my mind on most of these subjects, and Weapons of Mass Destruction are a topic for another day [however, I'm fairly certain they're in Syria, and they've been used in Iraq on our troops over the course of this "insurgency"]

Never Start a Fight, but Always Finish It.
(or simply: Always Finish it)

War is never necessary, inevitable, or anything of the sort. Attacking Iraq would be a preventative measure; it worked for Elizabeth I in 1578 against the Spanish Armada, in 1758 for Prussia, and Israel’s Six Day War of 1967 and in 1981 (when they took out the French supplied nuclear facility in Iraq).
When it comes to Saddam Hussein, he can avoid any conflict with amazing ease. Saddam could decide that life would be easier if he gave up his bioweapons and chemical weapons, then let the UN inspectors come in free and clear and have a look at EVERYTHING. Then he could stop killing his own subjects, stuff the rebellious ones into a corner of the country, give them their own state and tell them to do something obscene with it. War avoided, case closed.
Who knows? Maybe the threat of an all-out US attack will even make roll over and play dead, stop pulling a Milosevic on his own people, and stop gathering enough gasses to make new epidemics of plague, etc. But the odds of that happening are…?
There is no one on the planet who wants to blow away Saddam just for the fun of it. But honestly, who thinks that—after ten years and God knows how much cash Saddam has blown on his weapons programs—he’s just going to let it all go? That after so much effort wiping out Kurds that he’s just going to take the easy way out? One major problem I find with the current attitude is it’s too much of the Hollywood Wild West ethic of “the good guys don’t draw first.” Since when did American foreign policy involve a shootout at high noon, mixed with a little touch of poker-style bluffing?
This isn’t the nineteenth century anymore. When the Congress of Vienna tried to carve up a post-Napoleonic world, the world fell apart in about fifty-to-sixty years. After World War I, Europe created Yugoslavia, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, etc. Nineteenth century rules barely worked in the 19th century, and when we applied them to the Middle East, we got burned; OPEC in the 70s, Iran in the 80s, then Iraq and Afghanistan. Europe played 19th century politics waiting for Hitler to strike first; the US waited for Bin Laden to give us an “actual” attack (as though blowing up US barracks wasn’t enough).
Welcome to the 21st century. We’re in a war now; it’s just that the rules have changed. We didn’t start it, but we should definitely finish it.
No one wants a war simply for the sake of having one. No one wants our soldiers to die. There were ninety-eight civilians on board Flight 93 didn’t want a fight either, and they didn’t want to die. But a war came to them, and they didn’t wait for a suicide dive. Their response was “Let’s roll.”
Let’s hope that, when the time comes, our response won’t be any less.

Let's Roll.

Why bomb Saddam?
Why not?
Slobodan Milosevic killed how many people before the US (UN Peacekeepers came in later) wiped the floor with him? It was enough to describe Milosevic as a Hitler prototype. But Saddam Hussein's killed tens of thousands of his own people, and we let him get away with it…why? September of 2001, the Torch “school” opinion had seven of eight students saying we shouldn't wipe out the Taliban, because we would kill so many innocent people and have so many soldiers die. With limited causalities and a few weeks later, say goodbye to the Taliban. In the first Persian Gulf War, it was argued that we'd lose thousands of soldiers. Aside from car accidents, helicopter mishaps and the like, we barely broke double digits (12 people).
The U.S. gave Saddam bioweapons to fight Iran. Don't we have the responsibility to clean up our messes? What's that I hear you say? The UN inspectors? After ten years and nothing done, how many people think that anything will get done NOW? What has the UN done to Saddam but put sanctions on Iraq, sanctions that do nothing but hurt the Iraqi people and leave Hussein unhurt? We went to war in the Gulf to wipe out his weapons of mass destruction (see: Caleb Carr, "The Lessons of Terror."), why not now? Besides, when SJU went to a Nike factory in Mexico, everyone tore them to shreds because Nike directed what they saw; Saddam Hussein isn't crafty enough to imitate Nike?
What about our allies, like the French? The French gave Saddam parts for nuclear weapons in the early eighties, and they've been helping Iraq despite the sanctions. Who wants to place money on what the French have given to Iraq lately?
I hear cries of "wait for the UN and our allies!" And if Saddam's six months away from getting nukes, it takes six months to assemble the UN, and what then? We pray that he won't wake up in a fit of peak and nuke Iran or Israel, perhaps?
"But the Middle East isn't worried!" Why should they be? We came running to their aid last time, so why should they help us get rid of what is only a potential problem?
Why don't we go after Iran or North Korea instead? They already have nuclear weapons. Next question?
Why don't we deal with terrorism? According to Bill Safire of the New York Times, the head of Iraqi intelligence met with someone in Al Qaeda's chain of command before 9-11-02. Must I draw you a flow chart?
This is our next step on the war on terror, please make no mistake about it. The Taliban crumbled, odds are that Bin Laden is buried in the sands of Tora Bora, and we haven't had a terrorist attack in one year; that was step one. Step three might be wiping out the French…or at least having a very long talk with Mr. Chirac; maybe we can even talk with the House of Faud in Saudi Arabia about fifteen hijackers.
CNN logic is nice, but never assume that a gut reaction is wrong because it's merely a gut reaction. Logic's good, but logic is a tool, and like all human tools, it can be faulty.
Last point: Once upon a time was a place called Ethiopia. It was invaded by a man named Mussolini. The League of Nations told him to back off. He didn't. The League of Nations did nothing and it died.
Once upon a time was a man named Saddam, and he wanted weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations imposed restrictions. He didn't follow them. The UN… well, let's wait and see….

And a fun time was had by all.

All vacation long, I listened to Democrats whine about North Korea; we should wipe them out for breaking a 1994 agreement that it stop its nuclear program for aid. I hear we’re not going after N. Korea with the same pressure on Iraq.
“Bush mislead us so he could go into Iraq!” the cry echoed, despite two and a half pages of intelligence briefings offered to Congress on the subject (Colin Powell, This Week, 10/20/02). We’ve been in peaceful diplomatic negotiations with N. Korea and their nuclear supplier (Pakistan, not Clinton or Jimmy Carter), and we’re even continuing UN deals on Iraq.
What’s the problem? Why do I hear Democrats demand to invade N. Korea, but do little or nothing to Saddam? Even Amnesty International suggests that Bush and Blair are “too selective,” when talking about the human rights abuses in Iraq, even though AI has reported Iraqi horrors for years.
All I can think is “Why not have an Amnesty International hit list? Let’s deal with every tribal war in Africa; why not the shifta murder gangs of the Sudan who’ve enslaved whites and Christians of all ethnic groups for decades (no, can’t do that; Sudan’s on the UN human rights commission…you see something wrong here?).
“Why don’t we go after China, which persecutes, beats and jails Christians for fun, and drops baby girls down wells? Clinton’s state department let US businesses perfect China’s ICBM program like we gave weapons to Iraq, so why not clean up the mess?
“Why don’t we go after North Korea, free Tibet, and provide peacekeepers in Northern Ireland, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Palestine?”
For those of you who missed the sarcasm, you can’t complain about NOT declaring war on North Korea while at the same time treating Saddam with diplomacy. The US is trying to talk with North Korea like we’re STILL talking with Saddam.
But still, each time Iraq is mentioned…
“Bush is a warmonger.” Who have we bombed since the Taliban?
“Bush is ignoring terrorism.” After all, look at the bombed American buildings, the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and…oh, yeah, that’s been it for sixteen months and counting. It took fifteen months for Al-Qaeda to get back in shape again, thousands of prisoners at Guantanamo and we’ve had no progress with the war on terror?
While I personally wouldn’t mind regime change in China, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan and Northern Ireland, I’m not holding my breath, since China and England are on the UN Security Council (China holds sway over the area once known as Tibet. England set up Saudi Arabia’s House of Faud, and holds the leash on the British Army in Northern Ireland).
So the next time you hear talk about “conflict resolution,” think a little bit about the new Global order in which we live. Remember that everything is connected to almost everything else. Then stop, think, do a Lexus Nexus search, and ask, “what’s their connection?”
Remember that governments deal in compromises and convenience, and it’s up to the rest of us to make up the difference.

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