[SPORK] Something I REALLY want John Hall to Try To Understand

Elias Sinderson fork@xent.com
Wed, 26 Mar 2003 09:31:47 -0800


--------------050103060101020902090508
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=us-ascii; format=flowed
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

Gordon Mohr wrote:

> I've asked this before of people who say "Saddam must go but military 
> action isn't the way to do it," but I haven't received an answer.
>  
> If we have an "obligation" to end his atrocities, but you reject 
> military action, what's the alternative, non-military plan for us to 
> meet our obligation?
>  
> (Sanctions have been tried, leaving Saddam as comfortable as ever but 
> the Iraqi people in misery.)

As JB pointed out, this is not what I said. Your question, however, is 
valid. As has been shown in many situations, sometimes military action 
is the only feasible way to end atrocities committed by foreign 
governments. Unfortunately, unilateral military action primarily serves 
to alienate those taking the action from those who would favor 
alternatives. In a situation which absolutely demands military 
intervention, it should be straightforward to build a strong case in 
support of said actions; one which has the international backing 
necessary to avoid potentially making a bad problem worse. It is this 
way in which the bush administration has failed miserably, not only in 
my eyes, but in the eyes of most of the world. If we truly want to call 
ourselves 'civilized' then violence should be considered, if at all, to 
be a last resort.

As for alternatives, I don't believe that the inspections process was 
fully allowed to run it's course, recently or ten years ago for that 
matter. The number of inspectors was too small, and the time allotted 
too short. The US led sanctions never had the full backing of the 
international community and, as you pointed out, primarily served to 
harm the Iraqi civilian population. At any rate, with the oil reserves 
that Iraq is sitting on and the dependance upon those resources, 
international sanctions would be a very difficult thing to enforce 
without subsidizing other countries so they can get their oil elsewhere.

What I find criminal is that for many years the US has been in the 
business of propping up malevolent dictatorships and governments, 
training terrorist cells, financing revolutions, and cetera when and 
where it serves our own interests and then having to go in ten years or 
so down the road to clean up the mess we made of things. For example, in 
case anyone missed the news, it was the US who sold Iraq the majority of 
their chem/bio stockpiles in the first place and Rumsfeld (as secretary 
of state) who approved the deal under the Reagan administration. Chew on 
that for a minute. . . Variations of the same story can be told over and 
over with the bit players swapped.


Elias

--------------050103060101020902090508
Content-Type: text/html; charset=us-ascii
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
  <title></title>
</head>
<body>
Gordon Mohr wrote:
<blockquote type="cite" cite="mid056001c2f3ad$bb2ff7d0$0a0a000a@golden">
  <title></title>
  
  <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; ">
 
  <meta content="MSHTML 6.00.2800.1141" name="GENERATOR">
 
  <style></style>   
  <div><font size="2">I've asked this before of people who say "Saddam  must
go but military action isn't the way to do it," but I haven't  received an</font><font
 size="2"> answer.</font></div>
  
  <div>&nbsp;</div>
 
  <div><font size="2">If we have an "obligation" to end his atrocities, but
you  reject</font><font size="2"> military action, what's the alternative,
non-military plan for  us </font><font size="2">to meet our obligation?</font></div>
   
  <div>&nbsp;</div>
 
  <div><font size="2">(Sanctions have been tried, leaving Saddam as comfortable
as  ever but</font><font size="2"> the </font><font size="2">Iraqi people
in misery.)</font></div>
 </blockquote>
As JB pointed out, this is not what I said. Your question, however, is valid.
As has been shown in many situations, sometimes military action is the only
feasible way to end atrocities committed by foreign governments. Unfortunately,
unilateral military action primarily serves to alienate those taking the
action from those who would favor alternatives. In a situation which absolutely
demands military intervention, it should be straightforward to build a strong
case in support of said actions; one which has the international backing
necessary to avoid potentially making a bad problem worse. It is this way
in which the bush administration has failed miserably, not only in my eyes,
but in the eyes of most of the world. If we truly want to call ourselves
'civilized' then violence should be considered, if at all, to be a last resort.<br>
<br>
As for alternatives, I don't believe that the inspections process was fully
allowed to run it's course, recently or ten years ago for that matter. The
number of inspectors was too small, and the time allotted too short. The
US led sanctions never had the full backing of the international community
and, as you pointed out, primarily served to harm the Iraqi civilian population.
At any rate, with the oil reserves that Iraq is sitting on and the dependance
upon those resources, international sanctions would be a very difficult thing
to enforce without subsidizing other countries so they can get their oil
elsewhere.<br>
<br>
What I find criminal is that for many years the US has been in the business
of propping up malevolent dictatorships and governments, training terrorist
cells, financing revolutions, and cetera when and where it serves our own
interests and then having to go in ten years or so down the road to clean
up the mess we made of things. For example, in case anyone missed the news,
it was the US who sold Iraq the majority of their chem/bio stockpiles in
the first place and Rumsfeld (as secretary of state) who approved the deal
under the Reagan administration. Chew on that for a minute. . . Variations
of the same story can be told over and over with the bit players swapped.<br>
<br>
<br>
Elias<br>
</body>
</html>

--------------050103060101020902090508--