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« An Iraqi baby named Election | Main | ‘Freedom Count’ in Bush’s fifth State of the Union address: A fairly high 36 »

February 03, 2005

Comments

Carl

And, if you recall, even after all that, representatives from countries kept asking for more and/or better reasons that Saddam was a threat. After that point is when the incessant discussion of WMDs went on. No one disputed the existence of WMDs and documents even showed quantities of certain toxins as unaccounted for. Saddam had at least some of these WMDs and he wouldn't comply as he said he would in getting rid of the materials and the threat that his having them posed.

And a delay lengthened as the U.N. security council talked on and on and tried to figure out whether or not they were with the U.S. on all this. Tony Blair specifically wanted more of a case to convince his countrymen. The extra information seemed to help him get over the hump, but not other countries who were in bed with Saddam despite resolutions, sanctions, and embargoes.

And the delay in getting to a consensus allowed Saddam to train his loose cannons who now are a thorn in not only the coalition forces' side, but in the citizens of Iraq who want to move on and far away from the cruelty Saddam dished out to all of them.

The sad part of all of this is that just the case that Bush made from the beginning was enough. And shame on the U.N. for not enforcing their resolutions and babysitting a tyrant for well over a decade. Enough is enough, yet to them nothing was enough. It was clear the UN would do nothing to end the charade. And it is even clearer two years later that the UN needs major reforms to carry out its charter. Evidently, when Bush talked at the U.N., his speech fell on deaf ears as though who could do the right thing were bound and determined to treat everything as business as usual.

But, the threat of Saddam using WMDs is gone now that he is out of power. That is a good thing. As far as whether any still exist and who has them or where they are if they do exist, no one who would talk is talking.

Frank Warner

Right. Saddam never did explain what happened to the WMDs he had. And because he had shown himself to be an especially irresponsible tyrant, he was required by international law to tell us where they went.

As far as that six-month delay -- when the U.S. worked through the U.N. from September 2002 to March 2003 -- that was completely counterproductive. Not only did it allow Saddam time to hide whatever WMDs he might have had left, it allowed him to order the insurgency training you mentioned.

And worse, it allowed the world's conspiracy theorists to whip up a "No Blood for Oil" hysteria that helped convince many Iraqis we really were coming to steal their oil.

They already were sure we wanted to place them under Israel's control. Add to that paranoia the idea, widely reported as fact in the West, that we would run off with their petroleum, and no wonder some Iraqis are still shooting at us.

I recall how, in February 2003, Saddam broadcast the international "anti-war" demonstrations on Iraqi TV. Under the TV pictures, a caption read: "World Says Yes to Saddam."

That kind of "information" made a difference to how the U.S.-led coaltion was greeted in Iraq in March 2003. Had we invaded in September 2002 (or even September 1992), the reception might have been a lot more pleasant.

Red Star

Listen to yourself...
Do you understand what you are typing? If what you say about tyrant Saddam and his weapons of mass destr. then what the hell is the USA stopping there for? Why not take on Iran/Pakistan/China/N.Korea and most of the 3world countries on tyranny alone? What the *&^% bs are you typing, FW n JJ. AND wasn't it a younger Def.Sec. Rummy shake hands with the devil (Saddam) in the early 80's?
Don't be fooled by your gov't on Morality plays, my little feeble minded American compatriot. Every evil deed by a powerful nation such as the US, needs a rightous angle/spin. Get it?!

jj

RS, Your arguments are difficult to parse, but I will try. Contrary to popular opinion, even the US has practical limits to its power. Iran and N.Korea are worse than other places because they are more irresponsible and would use nuclear weapons. Pakistan is our ally and has been for many years. China shows promise of evolving into a free nation. It has had nuclear weapons for years and never abused that power. China cares about the life and death of its people. Not very much, mind you, but more than some places.

If the US prefers other countries to be democratic and peaceful, we nevertheless do not have a preference for war. We can make progress in many other ways.

Frank Warner

Freeing the world doesn't happen in a straight line, Red.

I know you want every nation liberated at once, but that is not possible. Even in World War II, the United States had to make a temporary alliance with the Communist tyrant Stalin in order to defeat the more dangerous tyrants in Germany and Japan.

So the democrats pick off the dictarships one at a time. You use peaceful diplomacy and economic leverage when you can. You use armed forces when you must.

Sometimes the liberation is delayed for various reasons. It might seem likely that, in the chaos of regime change, some worse form of tyrant will manipulate the hysteria to seize power. It might seem likely that the native people can liberate themselves without outside help.

And no nation has to commit suicide too rescue another. You can't just invade nations like China and North Korea and pretend they have no nuclear weapons (or a good chance of having them). So there, the democracies have no choice but to apply diplomacy, even as human rights violations pile up every day.

In the case of Iran, its theocracy is not a totalitarian police state like China's or North Korea's. Unlike the repressive regimes in China and North Korea, Iran's dictatorship allows just enough free expression that it probably can be defeated in the not-too-distant future by the Iranian people themselves.

Free people do find a benefit in freeing oppressed people. First, we know it's the right thing to do. But second, we know that no two democracies went to war with each other in the 20th century. That fact tells us that the sooner all nations are free, the sooner we no longer will have to worry about the secretive and unpredictable dangers of dictators.

jj

Frank,

I think you misunderstand RS. He doesn't want every place liberated overnight, or ever. He just wants us to accept that the US is evil and acts always on evil motivations. He holds a cynical view. He is pointing out the apparent inconsistency of what we say, hoping to open our eyes. In his mind, we are just digging ourselves deeper into misconception. (Maybe I'm giving him too much credit.)

I agree with him in one way. Wickedness is always lurking. You have to be vigilant to keep it under control.

Frank Warner

I understand the Red man. I was daring him to disagree.

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