Q: Was British rule bad or good for India? (was: The rhetoric of liberation...)

Bill Stoddard bill@wstoddard.com
Fri, 21 Mar 2003 11:42:31 -0500

>  - though Paula Zahn IS more attractive than Goebbels.
At least we agree on something :-)

> Although certainly I'm sure in the above case we'd have Bill O'Reilly 
> and company lining up to defend Saddam and the rights of a sovereign 
> nation. (and probably a "once-loyal and valuable" US ally and a bulwark 
> against Islamic fundamentalism as well). See the current treatment of 
> Pakistan as an example.
>> http://www.arabnews.com/Article.asp?ID=23981
>> and this gets right to the point that this is anti bush 100%.
>> First folks -feared- the number of civ casualties would be huge, this 
>> would spark WWIII, blah blah blah. While it's not over till its over, 
>> the author of this article believes that the liberation of Iraq with 
>> low civ casualties is a distinct possibility.  If it happens, then it 
>> is irrefutable that the Iraqi people will suffer fewer deaths at the 
>> hands of the liberators than had they continued to be ruled by Saddam 
>> and embargoed. But wait, the author is still afraid...
> I am sure - given the attention given to the "low civilian casualty" PR 
> in Afghanistan - that equal attention will be given here. 
I hope so.

> The facts - 
> well - they only come out when the military is put on trial - see the 
> trial of the pilots who killed Canadians - the propaganda line was that 
> it was self-defense - only when it came to trial did it come out that 
> they flew way off course just to attack their so-called allies.
You don't quite say it but I gather from your tone that you believe the 
pilots knew all along that they were dropping bombs on Canadians.  I 
don't have any comment that is not personally insulting.

IMHO, the pilots should get a dishonorable discharge from the military 
and they should be grounded from flying airplanes (even commercial 
airplanes) for life.  They've demonstrated that they don't have 
sufficient good judgement to have responsibility for the lives of 
others.  They do not belong in jail.

>> "Our fear is that the Bush administration, given its intentions, 
>> cannot be trusted to get Iraq’s future right."
>> This comment has its roots in marxist, anti-capitalist, class warfare 
>> partisian hogwash.  And the terrible thing about it is the author is 
>> probably not even aware that he has been brainwashed.
> You must be applying the Bush doctrine - repeat the lie over and over 
> until its true. 

Wow, I've not heard that one before... Let's try something new with meat 
on it :-)

> Just for the record the Bushs are ramming through their 
> tax cut this week - obviously that was the reason for the rush to war. 
'rush to war'?  I don't think 12 years is a 'rush', at least not by 
human time reckoning.  If the UN really did not want to commit to 
disarming Saddam, then they should not have started down that path 12 
years ago.  Who has poor planning and foresite here?

> But of course to suggest so is class warfare.
>> Most thinking folks in the USA see intrinsic value in one more country 
>> becoming a democracy.  It's a win-win scenario for everyone but the 
>> dictator class.  Will Iraq be ready for democracy in 2 years? 20 
>> years? I have no idea but it is an honorable goal.  And it is unlikely 
>> that the dictator (or the committee acting as a dictator) that 
>> replaces Saddam will not be nearly as nasty and oppressive.
> And much more pliable - sort of like Saddam when he was first installed 
> and blessed by the US. 20 years? Thats less then the time since 
> Rumsfield was last in Iraq, looking the other way as Saddam did his 
> gassing.

This is a classic reasoning by folks fearful of the future.  Things 
don't always go as planned despite good intentions (present situation 
included). To sit in moral judgement of things that happend in the past 
from your vantage point in the present can obscure what good intentions 
there may (or may not) have been.  S**t happens.

FWIW, I doubt any Arab country is ready for democracy. Democracy is 
successful only when you have an educated citizenry committed to a 
secular government. I am also (as some of the other folks on this list) 
concerned about religion weeding its way into our government.  I really 
don't think the danger with GWB in this regard is significant.