View Full Version : You know the Left is really coming around when...


tweedyburd
09-26-2002, 03:02 AM
... Nation columnist Christopher Hitchens supports regime change in Iraq.

HITCHENS: WE MUST FIGHT IRAQ

By Christopher Hitchens


IT is almost certainly a mistake to assume anybody's position on Iraq is determined by evidence alone.

After all, last year there was overwhelming evidence of the connection between the World Trade Center aggression, al-Qaeda and the Taliban - and a decisive UN mandate for action - but many on the left opposed military action in Afghanistan, and still do.

I have the feeling that Tony Blair would feel happier making the moral case that Saddam must go.

He could then lay more stress on the atrocious character of his regime, the plight of the Iraqi people, the aspirations of the Kurds and - perhaps most importantly - the opportunity to turn the tide against despotism in the wider Middle East.

But as Prime Minister of a nation which has a permanent seat on the Security Council of the United Nations, he is obliged to be somewhat legalistic.

It must be obvious to anyone who can think at all that the charges against the Hussein regime are, as concerns arsenals of genocidal weaponry, true.

Saddam has been willing to risk his whole system and his own life rather than relinquish this goal.

And the resolutions of the UN are neither recent nor ambivalent.

I doubt that even if this evidence could be upgraded to 100 per cent it would persuade the sort of people who go on self-appointed missions of mediation to Baghdad.

These people further fail to see that governments now have a further responsibility to their citizens - namely to see that something is done to prevent future assaults on civilisation.

President Bush calls this the doctrine of pre-emption, which obviously has its perils and could be used to justify very rash actions.

Nonetheless, anybody with any sense must confess that there can be no return to the security posture adopted before September 11, 2001.

A leader who was not trying to take the war to the enemy would be delinquent in the extreme.

However, in the end the moral case for action is the strongest one.

WE have inherited, along with the right to destroy an illegal system of aggressive weaponry, a responsibility for the Iraqi and Kurdish peoples.

They are compelled to live with scarcity and fear in their daily existence, as a result of the policies of a homicidal megalomaniac.

One day, this man's rule will be at an end. On that day, we want to be able to look these people in the eye and tell them that we cared about them, too.

And a friendly Iraq, free again to trade and to make contact with the outside world, could transform the atmosphere of the Middle East.

To take one small example, Iraq would no longer be supplying the more thuggish elements around Yasser Arafat, or offering subsidies to suicide bombers.

And it might be noticed democratic forces among the Palestinians have begun to insist on a mini regime change of their own. I am a political opponent of President Bush and at best a lukewarm supporter of the British Labour Party.

But I think it is inaccurate and unfair of the opponents of regime change in Iraq to refer to the Prime Minister as "Bush's poodle".

This glib expression has become a substitute for thought, among people who were never conspicuous for originality in the first place.

It overlooks the fact Mr Blair pushed a wavering Clinton into taking action in Kosovo, and that he also decided to act on his own to prevent another Rwanda-type bloodbath in Sierra Leone.

A British government that thought Afghanistan was only America's problem would have been a shameful and stupid one. There's nothing to apologise about in being an American ally at this moment: it belongs in the better tradition of the Labour Party's internationalism.

ISOLATIONISM also overlooks the fact that Britain has friends and interests of its own in the region, as well as a long and deep connection with Iraq, and a correspondingly large stake in the outcome.

Just on the material aspect - I love it when people darkly describe the coming intervention as "blood for oil", or equivalent gibberish.

Does this mean what it appears to mean, namely that oil is not worth fighting over?

Or that it's no cause for alarm that the oil resources of the region are permanently menaced by a crazy sadist who has already invaded two of his neighbours? There is another base rumour in circulation, to the effect that Bush is doing all this for electoral reasons.

It's hard to imagine a sillier or nastier suggestion: the American public does not want a war and, as usual, prefers a quiet life.

Every newspaper in the country reflects this mood, and prints a huge daily output of misgivings.

But one proof of the worthwhileness of this enterprise is its riskiness. Nobody can guarantee a successful outcome, and both Bush and Blair know they could face great reproach for failure.

But the long period of unwise vacillation and moral neutrality seems to be drawing to a close, and this is a good thing in itself.

Undone
09-26-2002, 03:26 AM
<font color="CC33CC">Not to generalize as you did with your topic heading http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/wink.gif, but I'd say a lot of people are more hesitant about how a 'regime change' will be approached combined with being concerned about the legality of actions/how much power a president has than the actual goal of getting Saddam out. Or at least that's where my own hesitation is placed.

DeviousJ
09-26-2002, 06:09 AM
I don't know who that guy is, but he hardly sounds 'left'.

Injektilo
09-26-2002, 08:56 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
we want to be able to look these people in the eye and tell them that we cared about them, too.

</font>


I LOLed at that.

BlueStar
09-26-2002, 09:14 AM
<font color=#ADD8E6>Like father, like son...

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2"> On December 20, 1989, the United States broke both international law and its own government policies by invading Panama in order to bring its President Manuel Noriega to justice for drug trafficking.</font>

Granted, there are many differences, but it is an example of precedent for the U.S. acting alone to achieve a regime change. (In other words, the president does have the power to invade Iraq.) Let's just hope that Iraq isn't as much of a screw up.

------------------
~*~Samantha~*~

http://homepages.nyu.edu/~sag249/sigankle.jpg

Mr. Rhinoceros
09-26-2002, 11:00 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by DeviousJ:
I don't know who that guy is, but he hardly sounds 'left'. </font>

<font color=#007AAA>Hitchens delights in being contrary.


------------------
Sometimes I think I'd be better off dead. No, wait, not me, you.

The Omega Concern
09-26-2002, 02:10 PM
He just resigned from The Nation this week as well.

He is something of a contrarian, but I think he's a little too sophisticated to go against the grain on the issue of Iraq just to get some publicity or whatever.

He's challenging the thought process of those in England against a regime change, i.e., the religious Left who think their compassion is an enlightment unto itself.

Three cheers to Hitchens who can see right through that bullshit.

sawdust restaurants
09-26-2002, 02:48 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Saddam has been willing to risk his whole system and his own life rather than relinquish this goal.</font>

This, to me, is the best, perhaps the only, valid argument right now for invasion of Iraq. Maybe what Rice said today as well if it turns out to be true, but I'm skeptical.
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Does this mean what it appears to mean, namely that oil is not worth fighting over?

Or that it's no cause for alarm that the oil resources of the region are permanently menaced by a crazy sadist who has already invaded two of his neighbours?</font>

The fact that a resource supply that will deplete itself within the next few generations is controlled by Saddam is indeed alarming, but equally disconcerting is the fact that the president administration is doing little to nothing to ensure that eventually, we may not have to worry about who controls the oil.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">It's hard to imagine a sillier or nastier suggestion: the American public does not want a war and, as usual, prefers a quiet life.</font>

The administration has quietly been drumming up support for war for the last few months now. Thanks to news reports that are at best tenuous and propaganda reminding us that anybody who is NOT for war may very well not fly the American flag, the last time I checked, support was back up around the two-thirds mark. Maybe the American public doesn't WANT a war, but they would support one.

In addition, even if the American public didn't want a war, striking Iraq takes the minds of Americans off the very shaky recovery of the economy, with many signs poining downwards instead of back up. In that sense, a war does help the Bush administration politically. War isn't palatable for everybody, but a poor economy isn't palatable for anybody.

Still, I do agree that there is a very good moral case for regime change, and international law should not get in the way of that. But as Rhonda has said: right now the plans and the support are shaky at best. Furthermore, the issues of presidential power ... well, fuck, just thinking about Bush having that kind of power makes me shudder. And furthermore, the justifications the administration is giving us for their goal of regime change (al-Qaeda involvement, weapons stockpiling, etc.) are based on evidence that, quite frankly, doesn't make me believe a damn thing. And even if Iraq did have weapons, I don't think it'd make me change my mind.

[This message has been edited by sawdust restaurants (edited 09-26-2002).]

sawdust restaurants
09-26-2002, 02:50 PM
Fucking hell. I am one cynical bastard.

DeviousJ
09-26-2002, 03:11 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sawdust restaurants:
Fucking hell. I am one cynical bastard.</font>

Not really. You're just wading through the bullshit

Homerpalooza
09-26-2002, 05:36 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sawdust restaurants:

Still, I do agree that there is a very good moral case for regime change, and international law should not get in the way of that.
</font>

That really is the only justifiable reason in my opinion. However, Thomas Friedman (NY Times columnist) came to my school last night and explained how the US alone does not have the ability to change Iraq's regime and maintain it until it gets back on its feet. We break it, we buy it. And we can't afford to "buy" it alone.

Speaking of The Nation, an open letter to Congress was recently posted:

http://www.thenation.com/doc.mhtml?i=20021014&s=editors

Undone
09-26-2002, 06:31 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by DeviousJ:
Not really. You're just wading through the bullshit</font>

<font color="CC33CC">Exactly. I'd be more inclined to support action if I knew 1. what such action would be and if it were sensible and 2. that the reasons to do so were verifiable. And not just as politically oriented as it seems to be. The New York Post had a purely speculative sensational article in the guise of fact --what if Iraq can put biological weapons in BRIEFCASES?! All right. We seem to be swinging from Al Quaida to Iraq to Saddam being a bad humper to nuclear weapons to biological weapons, and we haven't had much to back up any connections. Let's see what Ms. Rice has to back her shit up.

People like Omega Concern don't realize that this isn't a game to any of us; "Left" "Right" or simply individual outlook. It's just retarded to do something drastic ie use first strike and start a war without much support from other nations while not having a clear cut reason to do so.

sleeper
09-26-2002, 06:36 PM
i thought this was hilarious

http://www.salon.com/comics/boll/2002/09/26/boll/story.gif

tweedyburd
09-26-2002, 07:16 PM
Without support from other nations? You guys must have been awol during the past week and a half.

After Bush's speech to the UN, at present time, the only major country in the UN that doesn't support all this is Germany, and that's only for political reasons since Schroeder had to play the anti-war angle in order to get elected. So much for owing a big reparation to Israel, the US, and the UK for WWII.

Spain, Italy, and many others have changed their tunes, and even France is coming around. Saudi Arabia has pretty much said we can use their air bases.

As more nations come around, the US will no longer be able to be pigeon-holed as the bully nation, the unilateralist, or the imperialist state it's so often characterized as.



[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 09-26-2002).]

Undone
09-26-2002, 07:19 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Without support from other nations? You guys must have been awol during the past week and a half.

After Bush's speech to the UN, at present time, the only major country in the UN that doesn't support all this is Germany, and that's only for political reasons since Schroeder had to play the anti-war angle in order to get elected. So much for owing a big reparation to Israel, the US, and the UK for WWII.

Spain, Italy, and many others have changed their tunes, and even France is coming around. Saudi Arabia has pretty much said we can use their air bases.

As more nations come around, the US will no longer be able to be pigeon-holed as the bully nation, the unilateralist, or the imperialist state it's so often characterized as.
(edited 09-26-2002).]</font>


<font color="CC33CC">So like, what if I was AWOL?

tweedyburd
09-26-2002, 07:20 PM
Here's a great article, in my opinion, just released in The Weekly Standard. Read it if you like--I don't mean to pull a Suze here.

The Fog of Peace
The evasions, distractions, and miasma of the anti-war left.
by David Brooks
09/30/2002, Volume 008, Issue 03


EITHER SADDAM HUSSEIN will remain in power or he will be deposed. President Bush has suggested deposing him, but as the debate over that proposal has evolved, an interesting pattern has emerged. The people in the peace camp attack President Bush's plan, but they are unwilling to face the implications of their own. Almost nobody in the peace camp will stand up and say that Saddam Hussein is not a fundamental problem for the world. Almost nobody in that camp is willing even to describe what the world will look like if the peace camp's advice is taken and Saddam is permitted to remain in power in Baghdad, working away on his biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons programs, still tyrannizing his own people, fomenting radicalism, and perpetuating the current political climate in the Arab world. And because almost nobody in the peace camp is willing to face the realities that a peace policy would preserve, the peace proponents really cannot address the fundamental calculation we confront: Are the risks of killing Saddam greater or less than the risks of tolerating him? Instead of facing the real options, they fill the air with evasions, distractions, and gestures--a miasma of insults and verbiage that distract from the core issue. They are living in the fog of peace.

When you read through the vast literature of the peace camp, you get the impression that Saddam Hussein is some distant, off-stage figure not immediately germane to matters at hand.

For example, on September 19, a group of peaceniks took out a full-page ad in the New York Times opposing the campaign in Afghanistan and a possible campaign in Iraq. Signatories included all the usual suspects: Jane Fonda, Edward Said, Barbara Ehrenreich, Tom Hayden, Gore Vidal, Ed Asner, and on and on. In the text of the ad, which runs to 15 paragraphs, Saddam Hussein is not mentioned. Weapons of mass destruction are not mentioned. The risks posed by terrorists and terror organizations are not mentioned. Instead there are vague sentiments, ethereally removed from the tensions before us today: "Nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers. . . . In our name, the government has brought down a pall of repression over society. . . . We refuse to be party to these wars and we repudiate any inference that they are being waged in our name." The entire exercise is a picture perfect example of moral exhibitionism, by a group of people decadently refusing even to acknowledge the difficulties and tradeoffs that confront those who actually have to make decisions about policy.

Frances FitzGerald recently wrote a long essay in the New York Review of Books headlined on the cover "Bush and War." In the piece FitzGerald portrays the Bush foreign policy team as a coterie of superhawks driven by a fierce ideological desire to act unilaterally. This unilateralism leads the Bush advisers, FitzGerald asserts, to see or invent enemies, such as Saddam Hussein. "If one decides to go it alone without allies or reliance on the rule of law, it is natural to see danger abroad."

If you are a writer setting out to evaluate the Bush foreign policy team and its longstanding worries about Saddam, it would seem reasonable to measure whether or not those fears are justified or exaggerated. This is Journalism, or Scholarship, 101. But this is the question FitzGerald cannot ask, because that would require her to enter the forbidden territory of Saddam himself. FitzGerald raises the possibility that war against Saddam might lead to a Palestinian revolt in Jordan, oil shortages, and terrorist attacks. She mentions the daunting cost and scope of an American occupation of Iraq. She approvingly quotes Brent Scowcroft's warning that taking action against Saddam would inflame the Arab world and destroy the coalition that we need to wage war on al Qaeda. But what of the risks of doing nothing? This issue she does not touch. This is the issue that must remain shrouded in the fog of peace.

Reviewing Noam Chomsky, legal scholar Richard Falk, a member of the editorial board of the Nation, observes that while he agrees with much of what Chomsky writes, he is troubled by the fact that Chomsky is "so preoccupied with the evils of U.S. imperialism that it completely occupies all the political and moral space."

That is exactly what you see in the writings of the peace camp generally--not only in Chomsky's work but also in the writings of people who are actually tethered to reality. Their supposed demons--Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, Doug Feith, Donald Rumsfeld, and company--occupy their entire field of vision, so that there is no room for analysis of anything beyond, such as what is happening in the world. For the peace camp, all foreign affairs is local; contempt for and opposition to Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, et al. is the driving passion. When they write about these figures it is with a burning zeal. But on the rare occasions when they write about Saddam, suddenly all passion drains away. Saddam is boring, but Wolfowitz tears at their soul.

You begin to realize that they are not arguing about Iraq. They are not arguing at all. They are just repeating the hatreds they cultivated in the 1960s, and during the Reagan years, and during the Florida imbroglio after the last presidential election. They are playing culture war, and they are disguising their eruptions as position-taking on Iraq, a country about which they haven't even taken the trouble to inform themselves.

THE NOTED HISTORIAN and Columbia University professor Simon Schama wrote a long essay for the Guardian that was published September 11. He begins by defending President Bush's use of the term "evil." But as he starts to talk about the war on terror and the possible war in Iraq, suddenly all logic is overtaken by his disgust for the Bush crowd:

"The United States Inc. is currently being run by an oligarchy, conducting its affairs with a plutocratic effrontery which in comparison makes the age of the robber barons in the late 19th century seem a model of capitalist rectitude. The dominant managerial style of the oligarchy is golf club chumminess; its messages exchanged along with hot stock tips by the mutual scratching and slapping of backs."

Schama goes on to attack Dick Cheney for Halliburton, Bush for Harken Energy, Secretary of the Army Thomas White for Enron, the proposal to eliminate the death tax, the banality of the architectural proposals for ground zero, Bush's faith-based initiatives, and so on and so on. It all adds up to one long rolling gas cloud of antipathy, which smothers Schama's ability to think about what the United States ought to do next.

This is the dictionary definition of parochialism--the inability to consider the larger global threats because one is consumed by one's immediate domestic hatreds. This parochialism takes many forms, but all the branches of the opposition to the war in Iraq have one thing in common: Iraq is never the issue. Something else is always the issue.

For Schama and many others, the Bush crowd is the issue. They stole the election. They serve corporate America. They have bad manners. This is the prism through which Maureen Dowd, Molly Ivins, and many others view the war. Writing in the Boston Globe, Northwestern University's Karen J. Alter psychoanalyzes the groupthink mentality that she says explains the Bush crowd's strange obsession with Iraq. The real problem, you see, is in their psyches.

Among some Democrats in Washington, a second form of parochialism has emerged. They see the Iraq conflict as a subplot within the midterm election campaigns. "It's hard not to notice that the sudden urgency of war with Iraq has coincided precisely with the emergence of the corporate scandal story, with the flip in congressional [poll] numbers and with the decline in the Republicans' prospects for retaking the Senate majority," Jim Jordan, the director of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, told the Washington Post. "It's absolutely clear that the administration has timed the Iraq public relations campaign to influence the midterm elections."

What's fascinating about this wag-the-dog theory is what it reveals about the mentality of the people who float it. These are politicians (far from all of them Democrats) who have never cared about foreign affairs, have no history with the Cold War, have no interest in America's superpower role. One sometimes gets the sense that these people can't imagine how anybody could genuinely be more interested in matters of war and peace than in such issues as prescription drugs, Social Security, and Enron. If the president does pretend to care more about nuclear weapons and such, surely it must be a political tactic. For them, the important task is to get the discussion back to the subjects they care about, and which they think are politically advantageous.

This explains the strange passivity that has marked much of the Democratic response to Iraq. The president must "make the case," many Democrats say, as if they are incapable of informing themselves about what is potentially one of the greatest threats to the United States. Tom Daschle's entire approach to the Iraq issue has been governed by midterm considerations.

On September 18, as the U.N. was consumed by debate over Iraq, as the White House was drafting a war resolution on Iraq, Daschle delivered a major policy address. The subject? The tax cut Congress passed over a year ago. The speech, the New York Times reported, was "the beginning of a party-wide effort to turn attention away from Iraq and back to the domestic agenda." The United States is possibly on the verge of war, and Tom Daschle is trying to turn attention away from it. He's running around Capitol Hill looking for some sand to bury his head in. This is parochialism on stilts.

For a third branch of the parochialists, Iraq is not the issue, America is the issue. The historian Gabriel Kolko recently declared, "Everyone--Americans and those people who are the objects of their efforts--would be far better off if the United States did nothing, closed its bases overseas, withdrew its fleets everywhere and allowed the rest of the world to find its own way without American weapons and troops." For peaceniks in this school, the conditions of the world don't matter. Whether it is Korea, Germany, the Balkans, or the Middle East, America shouldn't be there because America is the problem. This is reverse isolationism: Whereas the earlier isolationists thought America should withdraw because the rest of the world was too corrupt, these isolationists believe that America should withdraw because the United States is too corrupt.

"I Hear America Sinking" is the title of James Ridgeway's recent piece in the Village Voice: America is too corrupt and troubled to attempt any action in Iraq. "American foreign policy is like their television," writes John O'Farrell in the Guardian. "It has to keep jumping from one thing to another because the president has the remote control in his hand and his attention span is very limited." Writers in this school derive an almost sensuous pleasure from recounting how much people in the rest of the world dislike America; whether those anti-Americans also, by the way, kill homosexuals, oppress women, and crush pluralism is relegated to the **********. For these parochials, the immediate priority is hating America.

A fourth form of parochialism is what might be called modern multilateral gentility. For people in this school Iraq is not the issue--the U.N. is the issue. Now, it should be said that there are substantive reasons to care about whether or not the United States has allies. We need friends to help transform the Middle East. But for many of its supporters, multilateralism is purely a procedural matter. They seem to care less whether an action is undertaken than whether it is undertaken according to all the correct and genteel multilateral forms.

Like all forms of American gentility, this multilateralism is greatly concerned with refined manners. There can be no raw bullying around the earth, no passionate declarations of war, no ungentlemanly crusades. Instead, the conflict must be resolved through the framework of the United Nations (which for some reason is seen as a high-toned and civilized center of conflict resolution). Like all forms of American gentility, multilateralism carries a strong aroma of cultural inferiority. We Americans are sadly crude and uncultured. The Europeans are really much more sophisticated and subtle than we are about the affairs of the world. Their ways and manners are more mature.

Multilateral obsessives tend to be more centrist than other people in the peace camp. They are more respectable and more establishmentarian. But like many other members of the peace camp, they simply do not tackle the question of what Saddam might do or what the future might look like. Preferring process over substance, they hold to a multilateralism descended from previous genteel causes, such as civil service reform and campaign finance reform. In their quiet and sober way, they too contribute to the fog of peace.

NOW it should be said that within the peace camp, there are honorable exceptions to this pattern. Adam Shatz recently wrote a long piece in the Nation surveying left-wing thought on the war. The left is wrapped around its own axle, Shatz noted, because it can't come to terms with American power.

Richard Falk, the left-wing legal scholar, himself has argued that in deciding whether to go into places like Afghanistan and Iraq, "we should look with as much care as possible at the case where the interventionary claim is being made, and consider the effects of intervening and not intervening." This hardly seems like a radical notion, but of course it is precisely this approach that the peace camp, by and large, refuses to take. As Shatz observed in his piece, "Falk has been widely chastised for his vacillations."

Moreover, there are some in the peace camp who are willing to grapple head-on with the risks of preserving the status quo. Madeleine Albright, Bill Clinton's secretary of state, has argued that there is no need to take on Saddam right now because the efforts to thwart him have worked. "Since the administration of former President George H.W. Bush, each time Mr. Hussein has pushed, we have pushed back," she wrote in a recent Times op-ed. Furthermore, she argued, "Saddam Hussein's military is far weaker than it was a decade ago. And he must surely be aware that if he ever again tries to attack another country he will be obliterated. All that is grounds for calm, but not complacency."

When you come across the Groundhog Day predictions of what will happen if the United States invades Iraq--the Arab Street will explode, we will create a thousand new bin Ladens, we will become stuck in a quagmire--you're actually relieved. Here are writers who are at least willing to compare the risks of action with those of inaction. Stephen Zunes argues in the Nation that Iraq is not a center of anti-American terrorism, international inspectors can insure that Saddam will not obtain weapons of mass destruction, and the Iraqi people would not welcome a U.S. effort to topple the current regime. Writing in the New York Times, author Milton Viorst predicts that if the United States goes into Iraq, Islamists in Pakistan will overthrow the government there and launch a nuclear attack on India. These assertions and predictions may be wrong and far-fetched, but at least Zunes and Viorst are willing to think about the world and about the future.

They are still the exceptions. For most in the peace camp, there is only the fog. The debate is dominated by people who don't seem to know about Iraq and don't care. Their positions are not influenced by the facts of world affairs.

When you get deep enough into the peace camp you find fog about the fog. You find a generation of academic and literary intellectuals who have so devoted themselves to questioning meanings, deconstructing texts, decoding signifiers, and unmasking perspectives, they can't even make an argument anymore. Susan Sontag wrote a New York Times op-ed about ****phors and interpretations and about the meaning and categories of war. It filled up space on the page, but it didn't go anywhere.

Tony Kushner, the fashionably engage playwright and most recently the author of "Homebody/Kabul," contributed to a symposium, also in the Times. Here is the complete text of his essay:

"Change is not the substitution of one static state for another. The meanings of Sept. 11 continue to be fought over, and the prevailing interpretations will direct future action. Colossal tragedy has made available to America the possibility of a new understanding of our place in the world.

"Tragedy's paradox is that it has a creative aspect: new meaning flows to fill the emptiness hollowed out by devastation. Are we dedicated to democratic, egalitarian principles applicable to our own people as well as to the people of the world? And do we understand that "our own people" and "the people of the world" are interdependent? Will we respond with imagination, compassion and courageous intelligence, refusing imperial projects and infinite war?

"The path we will take is not available for prediction. We ought not to believe columnists, think-tank determinists or the cowboy bromides of our president and his dangerous handlers and advisers. We, the citizenry, are still interpreting.

"Our conclusions will then force our reinterpretation. Urgency is appropriate but not an excuse for stupidity or brutality. Our despair over our own powerlessness is simply a lie we are telling ourselves. We are all engaged in shaping the interpretation, and in the ensuing actions, we are all implicated."

Tony! We can hear you but we can't see you! You are lost somewhere in the fog of peace.


David Brooks is a senior editor of The Weekly Standard.

sleeper
09-26-2002, 07:39 PM
that was bullshit.

the "peaceniks" are way more right than that fucking idiot. the point people are missing is that, if change is TRULY needed, then fine, change, but without resorting to war. that should be the last of the last options, but not surprisingly it was suggested first and foremost before any diplomatic action. there are two arguements here: why the US is doing this and if its right. if their claims are truly valid, then diplomatic and peaceful action is justified. but, theyre are bigger reasons WHY this is being pushed for. reasons big enough to almost almost discredit theyre more "pure" intentions. dont be fooled for a second that they give a flying shit about the oppressed minorities or the huge human rights issue going on. theres bigger reasons why this is happening than the headlines are telling us.

tweedyburd
09-26-2002, 07:49 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sleeper:
that should be the last of the last options, but not surprisingly it was suggested first and foremost before any diplomatic action. </font>

Exactly how many years has the US and its allies tried to deal 'diplomatically' with Saddam? "Containment," they call it. The Clinton-esque buisness-as-usual philosophy is for the doves, man. Saying the US should have thought diplomatically before suggesting military intervention in this case is like saying Lenny should have tried to reason with the rabid dog after it already bit him and his friends, instead of going ahead and figuring out a way to shoot it. In other words, it's been proven time and again that diplomacy with Saddam has failed, and is an indirect way of appeasing him and letting him bide his time.

sleeper
09-26-2002, 08:26 PM
i agree partly. dealing with a country like iraq does make things harder, but still worthwile. its almost always possible to deal with things diplomatically, and if they put as much effort into a peaceful resolution as they did a violent one, this would be resolved much sooner. if they absolutely have to go the military route, tey shoudl without a doubt do it with complete UN approval and coalition forces. by no means act unilaterally on this. i read a nice quote today in the paper:

"The way to deal with Saddam Hussein is not by killing thousands of Iraqi civilians, any more than the way to deal with American foreign policy was by killing thousands of American civilians on September 11th,"

but this is still IF this level of extreme action is truly even justified. which from where im standing now, i sincerely doubt so.

the guy you quoted always goes onto to say that the peace camp fails to see the possible repercussions of not going to war, but he fails to see the possible repercussions of going to war. im a firm believer of this, and ill go on the record now as saying that this will be so so very ugly and will cause way more problems and issues than saddam would ever be capable of causing.

people still have to question why war is being pushed for so radically. i think thats very very important to know.

tweedyburd
09-26-2002, 08:37 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sleeper:
the guy you quoted always goes onto to say that the peace camp fails to see the possible repercussions of not going to war, but he fails to see the possible repercussions of going to war. </font>

You must have skipped the part where he outlines actual arguments dealing with the possible repercussions of war. He basically says those who actually look forward are commendable in comparison to those who just want to create a 'fog,' as he says.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by sleeper:
ill go on the record now as saying that this will be so so very ugly and will cause way more problems and issues than saddam would ever be capable of causing.
</font>

Saddam has already proven that he can cause much more damage than any possible repercussion of the war.

Just wait. If the US invades Baghdad, as it surely will, it's a matter of a few weeks before Saddam is taken out.

The repercussion that is more likely based in a possible reality is the problems we might encounter rebuilding Iraq, and the money that will cost us in the mean time.

Irrelevant
09-26-2002, 08:40 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Without support from other nations? You guys must have been awol during the past week and a half.

After Bush's speech to the UN, at present time, the only major country in the UN that doesn't support all this is Germany, and that's only for political reasons since Schroeder had to play the anti-war angle in order to get elected. So much for owing a big reparation to Israel, the US, and the UK for WWII.

Spain, Italy, and many others have changed their tunes, and even France is coming around. Saudi Arabia has pretty much said we can use their air bases.

As more nations come around, the US will no longer be able to be pigeon-holed as the bully nation, the unilateralist, or the imperialist state it's so often characterized as.</font>

http://www.netphoria.org/wwwboard/rolleyes.gif

tweedyburd
09-26-2002, 08:58 PM
Good one.

Homerpalooza
09-26-2002, 09:14 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Without support from other nations? You guys must have been awol during the past week and a half.

After Bush's speech to the UN, at present time, the only major country in the UN that doesn't support all this is Germany, and that's only for political reasons since Schroeder had to play the anti-war angle in order to get elected. So much for owing a big reparation to Israel, the US, and the UK for WWII.

Spain, Italy, and many others have changed their tunes, and even France is coming around. Saudi Arabia has pretty much said we can use their air bases.

As more nations come around, the US will no longer be able to be pigeon-holed as the bully nation, the unilateralist, or the imperialist state it's so often characterized as.

[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 09-26-2002).]</font>

Really? I haven't heard about all those countries throwing support behind the US. Could you provide some links? I really do have to claim ignorance here, I've been busy this last week.

Undone
09-26-2002, 09:41 PM
<font color="CC33CC">I'm in love with sleeper. Seriously. <3

tweedyburd
09-26-2002, 10:45 PM
Are you surprised you haven't heard much of the newly gathered compliance from the pages of the mainstream press?

Allies, After All?
Except in Germany, European support for the president grows.
by Christopher Caldwell
09/23/2002, Volume 008, Issue 02


IN HIS ADDRESS to the United Nations General Assembly last Thursday, President Bush, perhaps without meaning to, used a word that always jolts Europeans like a burst of electroshock. The word--which came up towards the end of his case against Saddam Hussein's weapons buildup--is "irrelevance." That afternoon, at a European "constitutional convention" in Brussels, the Spanish eurodeputy I igo Mendez de Vigo lamented: "The president of the United States never speaks of the European Union. Only of Spain, the United Kingdom, France, and so on." In other words, "Europe" and "European opinion" and "the European leadership" suddenly looked like fictional terms for airy entities.

Meanwhile, the political landscape of the real Europe--the Europe of countries--has been transformed by the president's speech. One after another, the countries fell into line. Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik called the speech "multilateral," which is Norwegian for "Count us in." Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the prime minister of Denmark (which holds the rotating E.U. presidency), had already expressed his (and Bush's) view that Iraq's violation of the U.N. resolutions passed during the Gulf War was sufficient casus belli, and that no new resolution was necessary. Spanish prime minister Jose Mar a Aznar went further, saying, "Spain does not want the U.N. to become an obstacle to military intervention if that is decided on." Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi described military action as the "logical consequence" of Saddam's deeds. (Causing Milan's pro-Berlusconi newspaper La Stampa to write, without irony: "The Washington-London-Rome triangle is functioning marvelously.")

France had appeared for weeks to be the toughest diplomatic nut to crack. The French snickered privately at the suivisme ("follower-ism") of Tony Blair, and insisted that Washington produce a link between Saddam Hussein's Iraq and al Qaeda before they would support an invasion. What's more, polls indicated growing antipathy to the United States. A survey taken for Le Monde in early September showed not only that the French opposed a U.S. incursion into Iraq by 67 percent to 24 percent, but also that French voters ranked the United States and Israel as two of the top five "threats to world peace."

But France has moved from sniping skepticism to heartfelt (if ad hoc) support. On Thursday, the Ministry of Defense announced that its own evaluation of Iraq's biological and chemical weapons capabilities was "very convergent" with those of Washington and London. The next day, Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told an interviewer on Europe 1 television that, even should the U.N. Security Council vote against an American invasion, "Nothing is ruled out."

What France gets out of this shift is relevance. Following much-publicized consultations between Bush and Chirac, the speech allowed Chirac to take credit for rescuing Bush for multilateralism. France also gets an economically crucial say in how any post-Saddam regime would be run. And the Chirac government may even reap a political benefit, for the same polls that show an impatience with the United States also show a steadily growing panic in France over Islamic extremism.

By contrast, the president's speech has thrown Germany into a foreign policy crisis. Two months ago, lagging badly in the polls, Socialist chancellor Gerhard Schroder began to attack the United States for war-mongering. The problem is, his electoral libido got the better of him. Like Bill Clinton, Schroder is most alive when he's on the campaign trail, and his rhetoric quickly spun out of control. Having been more forward than any Western leader after the September 11 attacks in declaring his "unconditional solidarity" (uneingeschrankte Solidaritat) with the United States, he now threw at the United States what the conservative Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung called an uneingeschranktes Nein.

Schroder quickly made up a 10-point deficit in the polls, pulling ahead of his conservative Bavarian rival Edmund Stoiber. It was tough to tell if his Nein on Iraq deserved the credit. A recent poll by ZDF television showed 50 percent of Germans opposed to an American invasion of Iraq and 49 percent in favor. Schroder's Iraq demarche coincided with devastating floods on eastern Germany's rivers, which washed away tens of billions of dollars in newly redeveloped property, most of which had been underwritten by the German taxpayer. Schroder was omnipresent, consoling the washed-out locals with Clintonesque assurance.

Schroder spoke of Iraq at every appearance, and his team insisted it was his statesmanship, not his hugging prowess, that had boosted him. Stoiber's people behaved as if they believed it, too. Stoiber, like Bill Clinton in 1992 or George W. Bush in 2000, is short on foreign policy experience. He reacted to Schroder's Iraq challenge by trying to duck it. Germany had too few troops to send to Iraq anyway, he said, so who cares what we think?

Within hours after Bush's U.N. appearance, this entire dynamic had shifted. Stoiber praised the speech as a strengthening of the U.N. But at an election rally in Regensburg, Schroder did not mention it. Interior minister of Brandenburg Jorg Schonbohm, a Stoiber ally, attacked Schroder by invoking the past in a way that is almost unheard of in German politics: "If the United States had behaved towards Hitler the way this government wants to behave towards Iraq, the Germans would never have been liberated from National Socialism."

By the time Friday morning's papers came out, it appeared the mood of the country was shifting Stoiber-wards. Predictably, the Frankfurter Allgemeine sneered: "The leaders in London and Paris are working to win back America for the United Nations and to win back the United Nations for America. The leaders in Berlin are working to stay in office." But the center-left Suddeutsche Zeitung took the same tone: "With his thoughtless remarks, chancellor Gerhard Schroder has mired the Federal Republic even deeper in geopolitical irrelevance. The decisions will be made by others, and the only countries consulted will be those ready for dialogue. Germany may find it has isolated itself--from Europe and from the world. . . . If we're to take the chancellor at his word, while the world community fights to avert a 'grave and gathering danger,' Germany will be the only country that sits it out."

In the Bundestag on Friday, during the last parliamentary debate before the elections, Schroder said he stood by the anti-terror coalition. He mocked Stoiber, saying he was unfit to be chancellor. But his uneingeschranktes Nein was suddenly nowhere to be heard. Stoiber, meanwhile, went on the offensive. Schroder's Green party foreign minister Joschka Fischer had said Bush's speech "reinforced [his] profound worries" that a war against Iraq would link fundamentalists and Arab nationalists in a coalition against the West. Stoiber accused the pair of them of "campaigning for anti-American votes."

Schroder's is now the only important dissent from the American ultimatum on Iraq. Given that he fought a pitched battle for weeks last winter to get his own party to commit troops to Afghanistan, it is the consensus of German political observers that he wishes to retreat from his position should he be reelected on September22. The problem is that he has stated his position with such inebriated vehemence that it will now be difficult to climb down from it. That may explain the timing of Tony Blair's September 24 presentation to Parliament, where he will release his "proofs" of Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction capacity. Perhaps they will suffice to bring Schroder on board. If only I had known!, he will say. French, British, and Americans will refrain from mentioning that much of the evidence concerning Saddam's production of chemical and biological weapons over the years has come from German sources.




[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 09-26-2002).]

Homerpalooza
09-26-2002, 11:36 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Are you surprised you haven't heard much of the newly gathered compliance from the pages of the mainstream press?
</font>

Dude, The Weekly Standard isn't exactly a balanced, mainstream news site. It's blatantly conservative.

The title of this article describes how "European support for America grows". It doesn't even mention Spain or Italy, two countries you happily cited in your other post.

And France's big quote? "Nothing is ruled out". I can already see them waving American flags as they cheer us on. Norway's prime minister called Bush's speech "multilateral", which could mean basically anything. But the author is quick to point out that this means Norway has fallen in line to join us. Give me a break.

I think you should be asking yourself the same question you posed to me. Because this, my friend, isn't "mainstream press". I couldn't find anything like this article from a main news site that wasn't a self-admitted conservative/liberal organization.

Then again, I only searched for a couple minutes, so please, try again.

As a side note: I liked how you didn't actually give any link, or where the article was from.

tweedyburd
09-27-2002, 02:42 AM
Well, as my own side note, I like how you missed this...

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Spanish prime minister Jose Mar a Aznar went further, saying, "Spain does not want the U.N. to become an obstacle to military intervention if that is decided on." Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi described military action as the "logical consequence" of Saddam's deeds. (Causing Milan's pro-Berlusconi newspaper La Stampa to write, without irony: "The Washington-London-Rome triangle is functioning marvelously.")

</font>

... after saying this:

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Homerpalooza:
It doesn't even mention Spain or Italy, two countries you happily cited in your other post.
</font>

Reading carefully today, aren't we?

I never said The Weekly Standard was mainstream press, nor did I say the countries mentioned were Gung Ho America!. I cited the article to provide an alternative perspective to what we're constantly fed by the "hard news" stories we see every day in The New York Times that constantly tell us that America has absolutely no compliance from Europe aside from the UK. Oh, and why would I provide a link when you already knew that's where it was from? It's not like I tried to disguise the fact--it's fairly obvious that it has a conservative point of view.

And the point of the article is not to convince anyone that France is 'waving American flags' but rather to provide some evidence you won't find in mainstream press that France and a slew of other UN countries have become progressively supportive (or at least compliant) with the US's stance on this, which is due in large part to Bush's speech at the UN recently. It's only going to grow from where it's at now.

Furthermore, I recall you citing several liberal sites to make your points, so there's no need to call me out on what you yourself do regularly.




[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 09-27-2002).]

tweedyburd
09-27-2002, 02:49 AM
Even stranger than Hitchens...

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/entertainment/2282774.stm

Homerpalooza
09-27-2002, 03:14 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Reading carefully today, aren't we?

</font>

I apologize, I guess I was reading too fast. It was only Italy you failed to reference. Only slight exaggeration, I guess.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">

I never said The Weekly Standard was mainstream press, nor did I say the countries mentioned were Gung Ho America!. I cited the article to provide an alternative perspective to what we're constantly fed by the "hard news" stories we see every day in The New York Times that constantly tell us that America has absolutely no compliance from Europe aside from the UK. Oh, and why would I provide a link when you already knew that's where it was from? It's not like I tried to disguise the fact--it's fairly obvious that it has a conservative point of view.

</font>

Alright, easy there. Just seemed odd, I always remember you providing links to articles in past discussions. You can at least understand how it appeared as though you were passing this article off as a story from a more balanced source though, can't you?

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">
And the point of the article is not to convince anyone that France is 'waving American flags' but rather to provide some evidence you won't find in mainstream press that France and a slew of other UN countries have become progressively supportive (or at least compliant) with the US's stance on this, which is due in large part to Bush's speech at the UN recently. It's only going to grow from where it's at now.

</font>
Well, I was under the assumption that the article was to back your prior statements about Europe's change of heart. In actuality, this article is not convincing or interesting. A couple of ambiguous soundbytes from world leaders doesn't warrant mainstream press coverage. Call me crazy, but that's why we won't see it from any major news source.

Like I said before, try again. This article didn't prove any points you were hoping to make. If anything, it shows how much you exaggerated in your earlier posts about how countries were falling in line with the US.

tweedyburd
09-27-2002, 04:00 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Homerpalooza:
It was only Italy you failed to reference. Only slight exaggeration, I guess.
</font>

Well, you still can't read apparently. Let me try this one more time.


<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
Italian premier Silvio Berlusconi described military action as the "logical consequence" of Saddam's deeds. </font>

That may not be fairly labeled as being 'supportive' of the entire US policy, but it's a long way from what most major news sources would have you believe Italy's thoughts on the situation are.

That was my point in posting the article. You're right, you cannot conclude that Italy and France are 'supportive' of action by the statements referenced, but you cannot conclude that their against it, either, which is all you get from major US newspaper soundbytes--the source you keep asking for. Anyone that says military action is a 'logical consequence' of Saddam's actions isn't exactly making the case for NOT taking action. That's obvious. Never mind the statements from Denmark and Norway.

<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by Homerpalooza:
You can at least understand how it appeared as though you were passing this article off as a story from a more balanced source though, can't you?</font>

Nah, I just figured it was beyond obvious, by the tone, that it wasn't from a mainstream news source. You'd have to think I was an idiot to try and pass that off as a hard news story.

My main point stands that there is plenty of evidence in the quotes that suggests Europe isn't as reluctant as the mainstream press here would have you believe. If they were, they wouldn't be saying anything remotely close to what Spain, Denmark, Norway, etc have said. Neither would Saudia Arabia be allowing us to use their air bases. And though my original statement that they were completely 'supportive' may have been a little too early, it's only a matter of time. Consider it a segue into the inevitable.

[This message has been edited by tweedyburd (edited 09-27-2002).]

Homerpalooza
09-27-2002, 04:35 AM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by tweedyburd:
My main point stands that there is plenty of evidence in the quotes that suggests Europe isn't as reluctant as the mainstream press here would have you believe. If they were, they wouldn't be saying anything remotely close to what Spain, Denmark, Norway, etc have said. Neither would Saudia Arabia be allowing us to use their air bases. And though my original statement that they were completely 'supportive' may have been a little too early, it's only a matter of time. Consider it a segue into the inevitable.</font>

Possibly. Or, these leaders were paying lip service to American reporters. Plus, the residents of the countries we've mentioned, in general, do not possess favorable attitudes of Americans. Whether justified or not, we don't make good impressions on them. And we're asking them to help us in war?

Maybe your predictions will prove correct. Hopefully they are based on more than a single slanted news story peppered with ambiguous phrases. But whatever, this issue's been beaten to death, and it's pretty obvious that I'm tired (Reading always was my worst subject in school).

DeviousJ
09-27-2002, 06:16 AM
Half of this is pointless. For every article decrying anti-domestic sentiment as a way of distracting people from Iraq, you'll find another explaining how Iraq is being used to draw attention away from domestic matters. The fog of war is way more prevalent than the fog of peace - I think people are just surprised how much anti-war sentiment is springing up everywhere. Even in the UK, probably America's biggest ringer, there is so much conflict over the issue that Cabinet members are threatening to resign if the US is joined in war. A sure way to gain support for a movement is to convince people that everyone else is doing it. But it just isn't that clear cut.

There is way too much hypocrisy involved here for people to take any of the reasons for action seriously.

tweedyburd
09-27-2002, 08:29 PM
<font face="Arial, Verdana" size="2">Originally posted by DeviousJ:
For every article decrying anti-domestic sentiment as a way of distracting people from Iraq, you'll find another explaining how Iraq is being used to draw attention away from domestic matters. The fog of war is way more prevalent than the fog of peace</font>

Actually, if you could find an equal ratio of the first in comparison to the latter, I'd love to see it. We're getting next to nothing like the above article in the op-ed's of the most prominent news sources (i.e. Times, Washington Post.) And since basically no one here reads what they don't want to hear on this issue in their own time, I thought the article would bring a different perspective. Clearly, it has.

Also, I'd say that if you see a more prevailing 'fog of war' than you misunderstood the article. The only real 'fog' the author talks about is that which is created by those who simply want to distract rather than deal with reality. There is no 'fog' of war, because the reality is that Saddam has to go, for reasons that are becoming more and more obvious. For all the peace crowd have to blow air at, they have rarely ever dealt directly with a reality of continuing to let Saddam operate as he has in the past, and as he continues to bring in uranium (he's not exactly making aluminum foil). That's fog, in the context we're talking about. There is definitely a fog in the relativst culture that is championed by the 'peace' crowd.

opel
09-28-2002, 02:39 AM
Christopher Hitchens is a very interesting, but not at all unique case. He's the gold mine for any pro-war or 'conservative' individual or institution. To them, he's a "converted leftarian," a leftist who has 'seen the light' and bulletted back to the ground of realism. Bravo to Hitchens, they say, welcome to our world, the real world.

And so Hitchens, that celebrity with pretensions of sophistication, reacts and attacks his former comrades and followers, his former views and stands. In return? A comfortable spot on the couch, a nice glass of wine, and a TV Guide to the next CNN war or prime-time Bush. He'll find his new couch most rewarding, one figures, as he sits next to those wonderful plutocrats and autocrats who just love to lavish their money and influence on the new converts.

That's fine and well for you, Mr. Hitchens, but the next time a roof falls on your skull, or a cluster bomb splits your child to pieces, or your body outline is incinerated into a shelter wall, come back and tell us, those who you once stood with and now attack, tell us how it was. The next time you have no control over when your body will be smashed to the ground, or you watch your local businesses and neighbors weeded out in favor of the golden arches, or your brothers and mother and friends are "disappeared," their existence annulled, write us back and tell us how it was.

Because when we talk about Vietnam and the Balfour Declaration and Nicaragua, we're not bringing back "demons" from our archives. We're not diverting from the discussion. We're not trying to delegitimize the topic. We're providing an understanding, a tree from which the leaves and branches can be reasonably analyzed. We're setting that foundation that many don't want to set or just ignore entirely. To analyze and form conclusions about ideas and actions on a given matter, you've got to understand it first and work from a framework based on facts. That's elementary to the rational.

So when we ask if Washington should be bombed "pre-emptively" because it has (absolutely and unequivocally known as fact, unlike the "probably"s and "maybe"s thrown about when talking about Iraq's weapons of mass destruction), because it has not only a weapons of mass destruction arsenal, but the largest ever assembled, and furthermore has even formulated a "first-strike plan" with them, and even more, has adamantly denied any U.N. weapons inspectors inside the country, when we ask if Washington should be bombed for this, we're not diverting. We're suggesting, through basic logic and fact, an understanding of how the world works. We're not just crying hypocrisy from the hilltops and ivory towers, we're showing you, and asking you to your face, what right you have to even be discussing this. And when this is understood, and we then ask why Washington (and London, and Paris, and Berlin, etc.), why you were you so supportive of Saddam when he was infinitely more dangerous than he is now, when he was gassing Kurds and Iranians and slaughtering an entire culture in the north of his country and torturing and raping the rest, and now using that to condemn the monster, we're not dredging up past misdeeds or rhetoric; we're asking you why and how something like this, so illogical and so contradictory, could even take place.

And when this is understood, we ask you why Andy Card (White House Chief-of-Staff) has just recently said, when asked why the Iraq topic wasn't brought up sooner, he said, "From a marketing point of view, you don't release new products in August.", how he could say that and Bush can talk about freedom and liberty and sleeping at night in peace at the same time. And how Albright could say that "the price is worth it" when told that 500,000 Iraqi children had died because of the sanctions (this in 1998, that number being much larger now).

Why did Lyndon Johnson lie about the Gulf of Tonkin? Why did Teddy Roosevelt use the Panamanians and Blacks as slave- and forced-labor to build a canal and how did he obtain it ("I took it," in his own words, actually)? Why are prisons being privatized? Why has the CIA backed coups in Chile and Iran, etc.? Why did the CIA help kill Zairean leader Francois Lamumba? These aren't abstract questions; these aren't diversionary tactics. If you want to talk about the real world, then here it is. This is what happens in the "real world," the world you created and the world you admire and protect from criticism so slyly and cunningly, from behind your wine glasses, the world you got a horrific whiff off last September. This real world is poverty and flames and rape and unspeakable pain and misery and mass slaughter and, above all, the rule of force. Might is right. This is that "real world" that you scoffingly tell us to take our heads from the clouds and contemplate. Believe it or not, we've been talking about the real world from the beginning, not some utopia you like to think we're yelping about. Take a look at your suit and tie and slickly combed-back hair and take a nice, hard look at peasants' decapitated heads in El Salvador, or the mountains of Kurdish bodies in Turkey, or the deformed and malnutrioned children in that Iraq to which you so love to pontificate and admonish, take a look at that before you tell us about the real world.

This real world of ours.

Some people like to understand it and form conclusions, and others just like to bomb it. Thank you, Mr. Hitchens, for making clear on which side you now rest.

sleeper
09-28-2002, 11:14 AM
*roaring applause*

and thats just the tip of the iceberg. one day it'll all change. im not sure how, but one day.

Elvis The Fat Years
09-28-2002, 11:20 AM
2page2 http://smilies.uniquehardware.co.uk/contrib/legionxs/crucified.gif