OK, so I try hard not to insult JB this time ... RE: [SPORK] Something I REALLY want John Hall to Try To Understand

Russell Turpin deafbox@hotmail.com
Sat, 22 Mar 2003 21:07:00 +0000

John Hall:
>The diplomacy was not inept ..

The letter you quote shows how the diplomacy
was inept:

>"Any serious criticism of the war must rely on one or both of two claims: 
>First, that it is not in the security interests of the United
>States forcibly to remove Saddam from power; or, second, that a war to rid 
>the Iraqi people of a psychopathic dictator."

This overlooks the major diplomatic argument
against the war, that it wasn't necessary to
secure a reasonable degree of disarmament as
demanded by the UN. You don't like that argument?
It directly addresses what the Bush administration
eventually made the centerpiece of his diplomacy
ante belli. It is HIS diplomacy that generates
this response. If you don't like the response,
then you should find Bush's diplomacy a failure.
If arms inspection and control wasn't the goal,
then Bush's diplomacy should not have made it the
goal. A large part of the world, including our
allies, suspects that the whole dance around
disarmament was a pretext, and that Bush had
already decided to depose Hussein. I suspect they
are right. But for what reasons? And why weren't
THOSE made the center of his diplomatic moves
prior to the war?

I would like to believe that the reasoning is
largely what this letter writer suggests, to wit,
that Hussein is not just a dictator but a
psychopathic tyrant, that he brutalizes Iraq's
populace, that he has turned his sons into equal
psychopaths to continue this kind of reign, and
that this continued reign threatens both
neighboring states and western states, not just
because Saddam might have or develop CNB weapons,
but because his goals are expansive and illiberal
and he is willing to work with anyone and to use
any means to achieve them. But that wasn't the
basis of Bush's diplomacy and it seemed almost
tangential to his rhetoric, which vacillated from
seeking vendetta for the attack on his father to
trying to implicate Saddam in the WTC attacks.
More failed diplomacy.

Well, maybe Bush will develop better diplomacy
after the war. All he has to do is foster a
stable government that holds together the Kurds,
Shi'ites, and other groups, one that doesn't
devolve into civil war or that gives birth to
some new Saddam. You think that will take much
diplomacy? From a guy who decries nation building?

I'm going to say it again: war is the easy part.
It's winning the peace that is hard. That's easy
to forget when the news is full of battles and
bombings, the people are full of nationalism, and
the stock market is making ground as fast as the

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