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March 21, 2003

Michael Tomasky, in The American Prospect:
It seems likely—and we should all hope, for humanity’s sake and our country’s—that we’ll win this war, that Saddam Hussein will be retired from active duty, that hard evidence of the existence of weapons of mass destruction in his Iraq will turn up (and hopefully be destroyed before they find their way to the black market), and that the Iraqi people will probably, to one degree or another, be better off under whatever comes next. Bush will benefit from these developments, a fact that brings me no joy. But we must admit that these are all very good things, and liberal opponents of the war need to acknowledge them—along with the fact that, let’s face it, the United Nations was not enforcing its resolutions against Iraq, and only the pressure applied by this administration made it begin to do so.

But the following is true as well, and it is not a very good thing at all. Most Americans aren’t thinking this far ahead, and the administration’s rah-rah corner is not very interested in the subject, but: History will not end the day the white standard is run up the flag poles of Hussein’s palaces. People and societies have memories, and they will remember the staggering number of distortions and pieces of misinformation that helped set this war in motion. They’ll remember the administration saying that it would seek the imprimatur of a second UN resolution, and they’ll remember the “no lunch, please, we’ve only got an hour” summit at which that pledge was tossed out the window. They’ll remember Colin Powell’s “hard evidence” presented at his Security Council briefing in February, and they’ll remember just how much of that evidence didn’t hold up to tough scrutiny. In France and Mexico and Turkey, they will remember the arm-twisting and bullying and childish caterwauling—and even if you don’t care about those countries, you can bet that Tony Blair will remember just how far he stuck his neck out for an administration that was willing to hang him out to dry, too, and he won’t be likely to do it again.

The day this war starts, the world enters a new era of global Darwinism in which a structure of covenants and norms—admittedly far from perfect, but at least the result of an ongoing dialogue of nations—that has developed over the last half-century will be pushed aside. It’s no contradiction at all to hope for the best for our troops but remain dead set against the rules of world order being rewritten overnight by the jungle’s biggest lion.

[01:12 PM]
Welcome to Electrolite's comments section.
Hard-Hitting Moderator: Teresa Nielsen Hayden.

Comments on Michael Tomasky,:

George ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 05:56 PM:

(see above)
there are even better counter-arguments to the current White Houses' policies; the chest-beating patriots need to see that their economic welfare is in the wrong hands; the petrodollar diplomacy paradigm is finished; nations with smarter policies will survive the eventual meltdown of the greenback;
make Perle's day - expel the US from the UN; let the White House understand how not to manipulate others;

aun_respiro ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 10:50 PM:

What a joke. Is this an argument that we should let the political realities of 1945 govern us today? This is sour grapes; the war is going better than anyone had hoped, Iraqi civilians are dancing in the streets while their troops surrender, and Saddam may already be dead. You antiwar people just can't handle the fact that you might have been wrong.

Avram ::: (view all by) ::: March 21, 2003, 11:07 PM:

Might have been wrong about what?

I don't know what arguments you've been listening to, but I don't think many people doubted that we'd easily overwhelm the Iraqi forces. I mean, we beat them pretty easy last time, and they were stronger then. What I'm worried about is:

1) How will the next ten years in Iraq go?
2) Will this actually make the US safer in the long run?
3) Is this a first step on the road to global American hegemony?
4) Will the Bush regime be able to use the war to distract attention from its considerable domestic failures?
5) How much good will have we lost in the international community?

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2003, 01:30 AM:

But they're DANCING IN THE STREETS Avram! What more do you want? The good guys won, the Iraqis can hear Rock n' Roll on their radios again, and FOR CRIPES SAKE they're *DANCING IN THE STREETS!*

That's the signal that everything will be OK, just like it was in Afghanistan. Go back to sleep. Sleeeep. Sleeeeeeep.

Waider ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2003, 03:29 AM:

The problem, I think, is that people /won't/ remember. History teaches us nothing except that history teaches us nothing.

Also, I hope nobody was dancing in the streets of Baghdad last night. It might have been a bit dangerous.

George ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2003, 09:55 AM:

You don't have a clue what power does to people, do you? It was the same arrogance that led the US to veto hundreds of "anti-Israel" UN resolutions that now fuels the US strategy. Might is right.
Now y'all live in a concentration camp (first the racial profiling and indeterminate detention, now the anti-war round-ups).
Western powers have tried to rule over the indigenous peoples of the Middle East in both ancient and modern times. Ousama (Trademark symbol) is the winner here, sad to say.
The next few weeks are still critical. Declare victory, get a third party administration and get out. You will never guarantee a 'friendly' regime anyway, but a third party is the best bet.

George ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2003, 11:35 AM:

Please, read this:

God help us!

Mary Kay ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2003, 11:37 AM:

And of course, there's always the worry of having established the precedent for a pre-emptive war against someone who might threaten you five years from now.


charlie b. ::: (view all by) ::: March 22, 2003, 05:48 PM:

The US has not vetoed "hundreds" of resolutions about Israel. But it has, thank God, tried to defend that profoundly good, deeply wronged and maligned country against unceasing efforts to destroy it by war, and through the UN, by Arabs and the likes of George. Make Israel absolutely secure against any hostile force, and fully and permanently deter all neighbouring countries from even thinking about lifting a finger against Israel, or helping anyone to do so, and you will be able to solve the Palestinian "problem". I am aware that the internationally preferred method is to destroy Israel, and that has prevailed now for a long time. But perhaps we are seeing the start of a new strategy. I hope so. (Please forgive my parody of the style I so often read in these comments!)

Commnet Spam here too ::: (view all by) ::: January 12, 2004, 08:07 PM:

here we go again . . .