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Anonymous

From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq?
    #1465073 - 04/16/03 09:33 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

What have we really won in Iraq?

By Geoffrey Neale

Iraqis have been freed from the clutches of a ruthless dictator, and
that certainly is worth celebrating.

But what else has been gained from the speedy victory over Saddam
Hussein's regime?

Thus far the main justification for the invasion -- to protect the
United States from weapons of mass destruction -- remains unfulfilled,
since no such weapons have been found.

A secondary goal of the invasion -- to bring genuine democracy to Iraq
-- appears to be a long shot at best, according to most foreign policy
analysts.

Over 100 coalition soldiers were killed, wounded or taken captive.

An uncounted, and perhaps uncountable, number of innocent Iraqi men,
women, and children were killed or maimed, and a nation of 23 million
people lies in smoldering ruins as looters pick through the rubble.

The graphic TV images of the U.S. bombing campaign broadcast on Arab
networks may yet spawn "a thousand bin Ladens," warn terrorism experts,
while no evidence suggests that the region is now more favorably
inclined toward the United States.

U.S. taxpayers will soon fork over $80 billion for a "down payment" on
the war, and the ensuing occupation and reconstruction could cost
hundreds of billions of dollars.

An expanded war -- perhaps targeting Syria or Iran -- remains a
distinct possibility.

So even as President Bush prepares to declare victory over Iraq, it
seems fair to ask: What, specifically, has the United States won?

Only one tangible benefit springs to mind: the satisfaction of knowing
that millions of repressed people can now breathe the fresh air of
freedom.

But most Americans tacitly agree that toppling a dictator is an
insufficient reason to invade another nation. Otherwise, they would be
demanding that the U.S. government overthrow equally dictatorial
regimes in Burma, North Korea, Cuba, China, Libya, Sudan, and Saudi
Arabia.

Another potential benefit -- achieving democracy -- is considered at
least five years away by most foreign policy experts, who point out
that the Middle East has no tradition of democracy and no active
democratic movements.

James Dobbins, a U.S. diplomat who helped oversee nation-building
efforts in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan, says, "It
isn't like the first day of Genesis, where the secretary of defense
passes his hand over Iraq and says, 'Let there be democracy.' "

In the short term, any leader who appears to be handpicked by the
United States, as President Hamid Karzai was in Afghanistan, will be
seen as illegitimate.

Even if genuinely free elections were to occur soon, Americans might
not like the results. Christopher Preble, director of foreign policy
studies at the Cato Institute, points out that Shi'a Muslims, who
comprise over 60 percent of the Iraqi population, could elect a leader
with close ties to Iran's religious mullahs.

A second possibility, Preble notes, is that Kurds could choose leaders
demanding full-fledged independence from Iraq.

A third, chilling possibility is that the newly liberated Iraqis could
end up electing another Saddam Hussein. That scenario could unfold if
several candidates were to split the votes of Shiites and Kurds,
allowing the Sunni Muslim minority to unite behind a former Baath Party
official.

As the war draws to a close, it appears that the U.S. government has
invaded a sovereign nation to confiscate weapons that may not exist and
create a Western-style democracy that may never exist.

But it gets worse: This "victory" could end up making the entire world
a more dangerous place, thanks to Bush's shocking proclamation that a
U.S. president has a right to launch a pre-emptive strike against any
nation that he deems a potential threat.

"If" a foreign leader has weapons of mass destruction, the argument
goes, he "might" give them to terrorists. Therefore the United States
has the right to launch an offensive attack, destroy that regime and
kill thousands of innocent people in the process.

But why should such a "right" extend only to the United States? Nearly
every nation faces a threat, real or contrived, at some point.

Imagine what would happen if other nations adopted Bush's kill-first,
ask-questions-later policy.

Might nuclear-armed India launch a pre-emptive strike against its
bitter rival Pakistan, or vice versa? What if belligerent North Korean
leader Kim Jong-il, or an Iranian government that is reportedly close
to acquiring nuclear weapons, suddenly sense a threat to their national
security?

Unfortunately, the argument isn't just theoretical. On Monday,
Australian Prime Minister John Howard sparked outrage throughout
Southeast Asia when he asserted the right to launch pre-emptive anti-
terror strikes against other nations in the region.

Malaysian leaders immediately denounced Howard, and said such an attack
would be considered an act of war.

Nonetheless, the precedent has been set. The doctrine of pre-emptive
strike may soon pose a greater threat to world peace than Saddam
Hussein ever did.

As the war winds down it's clear what its legacy will include: the
death of thousands of innocent people; more embittered, anti-American
Arabs in search of revenge; another frustrating foray into nation-
building; massive economic costs for the American people; and a
framework for expanded, global war.

Is that really worth celebrating?


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq? [Re: ]
    #1465137 - 04/16/03 09:56 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Excellent article! :laugh:


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineEchoVortex
(hard) member
Registered: 02/06/02
Posts: 859
Last seen: 8 years, 2 months
Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq? [Re: ]
    #1465192 - 04/16/03 10:23 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Excellent. Common sense, actually. Something rather in short supply among Americans these days.

BTW, do you have a link for that?


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Anonymous

Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq? [Re: EchoVortex]
    #1465226 - 04/16/03 10:33 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

no, it was an email i got.


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InvisibleGabbaDj
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Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq? [Re: ]
    #1465230 - 04/16/03 10:34 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Dont forget... Bushes approval rateing went up to 80% recently.. Now theirs something to be proud about...


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OfflineI_Fart_Blue
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Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq? [Re: ]
    #1465367 - 04/16/03 11:13 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Very good article indeed.


--------------------
"A study of the history of opinion is a necessary preliminary to the emancipation of the mind. I do not know which makes a man more conservative-to know nothing but the present, or nothing but the past." -John Maynard Keynes


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Offlinepattern
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Registered: 07/19/02
Posts: 2,183
Loc: Canada
Last seen: 1 year, 8 months
Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq? [Re: I_Fart_Blue]
    #1465772 - 04/17/03 01:01 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Yeah! I wish I could go to America and cast a vote for the Libertarians.


--------------------
man = monkey + mushroom


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Invisiblez@z.com
Libertarian
Registered: 10/13/02
Posts: 2,876
Loc: ATL
Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in I [Re: pattern]
    #1465799 - 04/17/03 01:06 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

I feel I must tell you that if libertarians were elected they would try and end welfare, cut all social services, and reduce taxes for the "rich" (and everyone else for that matter).


--------------------
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." - C.S. Lewis

"I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." - Thomas Jefferson


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Anonymous

Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in Iraq? [Re: pattern]
    #1465823 - 04/17/03 01:11 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

yeah, i don't think you'd like them.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Registered: 10/10/02
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Re: From the Libertarian Party: What have we really won in I [Re: z@z.com]
    #1465840 - 04/17/03 01:15 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Quote:

I feel I must tell you that if libertarians were elected they would try and end welfare, cut all social services, and reduce taxes for the "rich" (and everyone else for that matter).



I wouldn't mind if there were a few libertarians in Congress, just as long as there's enough liberals to keep them from doing the things you just mentioned.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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