November 08, 2005

Why I am against the Iraq War

At the risk of ... irritating my right-of-center friends, I've had this post coming for some time, but I just couldn't find the best way to express it. No, I'm most assuredly NOT turning into a Garrett-esque pseudo-intellectual and hater of everything conservative. But I, like many other right-leaning folk, have had misgivings about the Iraq engagement since its inception.

First of all, was Iraq under Saddam Hussein really that much of a threat? Sure, as long as he remained in power he could be a nuisance and a potential menace, but to what degree? The coalition from the first Iraq War had Iraq "boxed in," so to speak, primarily via the "no-fly zone." And, yes, Saddam had defied the UN upwards of over fifteen times since the Gulf War's end in 1991. The US tried to make its case to the UN for military action against Saddam in '02 and '03, but Kofi and the gang wouldn't go for it. So as a result, why does this mean that WE -- the US -- must do it alone? Why must US forces risk their lives because the weak-kneed, yellow-bellied and milksop UN refuses to act to enforce its own sanctions and edicts?

And this brings me to my primary reason why I am against the Iraq War: Removing a dictator and instituting democracy to a country that's never had it is NOT -- NOT -- a job for the US military. Not a single US soldier's life is worth it. It's "nation-building," after all. Aren't conservatives supposed to be against "nation-building"? Representative Ron Paul makes a good case conservatives should consider here. Furthermore, James L. Payne demonstrates that "nation-building" has been effective only 27% of the time since 1850, and he argues that these sucesses were not the products of military intervention. In addition, he notes

One group of countries that seem especially resistant to democracy-building efforts are the Arab lands. There have been are nine interventions in Arab countries in the past century. In no case did stable democracy follow the military occupation.
George W. Bush himself declared that "We're not into nation building. We're focused on justice" shortly after the 9/11 attacks. And Claudia Rosett, in the conservative Wall Street Journal opinion pages said about W's claim (my emphasis)
That's a crucial distinction. Nation building entails America trying to construct an entire way of life for others. And though building a free and democratic world would be a wondrous thing, experience suggests that for any nation it is a vastly complex project that must come mainly from within. America can serve as an example and an ally. But we cannot reliably reengineer other societies, and we risk enormous resentment when we try. No amount of social or political engineering can produce a paradise in which evil urges will never intrude, and though a more widely free and benign world order would produce fewer monsters, we can hardly arrange that within the week. But if we cannot quickly fix all creation, we can at least minimize the opportunities and maximize the penalties for evil actions--something we have not done for a decade now.

Of course, not too soon after, President Bush did a 180 on his above claim regarding Iraq. And, predictably, many -- most? -- conservatives fell in line behind him. This is understandable, certainly -- the need to put up a "united front" -- but it's very intellectually and philosophically dishonest for conservatives. After all, didn't conservatives flame Bill Clinton for his efforts in Haiti? Somalia? Kosovo? They sure did.

At least I believe I'm consistent. I'm against all instances of "nation-building," whether they be attempted under a liberal administration or a conservative one. The only exceptions would be examples such as Japan and Germany which were utterly destroyed after total war and, frankly, needed a major degree of "nation-[re]building."

US soldiers are there to FIGHT, not to police foreign lands or to engage in "building" democracy. Removing Saddam was a good thing, yes, but consider the long-term consequences.

You may say, "Well, the long-term consequences could have been that Saddam could acquire nuclear weapons and continue to support/finance terrorism." That's true. But in addition to "nation-building," the US implemented a dangerous doctrine of "pre-emptive" war in Iraq. Besides the reason of Saddam violating numerous UN sanctions and that of being one nasty sonuvabitch, we invaded so that he "would not be able to use his weapons" against us or others in some unglimpsed future. What does this say to other countries? If THEY feel threatened that THEY can attack another country so that THEY can prevent the future war-making ability of that other nation? Wouldn't this then somehow give retroactive justification to Japan for December 7, 1941?

If I was G.W. Bush, I would have issued an edict akin to that of John Kennedy during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I would have declared -- quite publicly -- that any nation to have been determined to support and/or assist terrorists in an attack on the United States would suffer grave [military] consequences. (Recall in Kennedy's case it was "any attack launched by Cuba against the US or elsewhere in the western hemisphere would be considered by as an attack by the Soviet Union against the US.") If Saddam had supported al Qaeda in another US attack, we'd quite simply blow the living shit out of his entire infrastructure. If Syria's Assad supported terrorists, the same thing. Iran? Same thing.

Again, overt "pre-emption" sets a horrible precedent. Leave the pre-emption to the covert agents and Delta Forces.

I hope I've expressed my sentiments adequately. I want our soldiers to defend the US and to bring retribution to the enemy. That's what they're trained for. Leave the nation-building to the nations themselves and/or let the UN have a hand in it. That's why it exists.

Posted by Hube at November 8, 2005 06:34 PM | TrackBack

Comments  (We reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments. If your comment is blocked or won't post, e-mail us and we'll post it for you.)

Nation building? This is not the main reason going into Iraq....In effect, by going it 'alone'? (I don't think the Brits would like this as well as most of eastern Europe),we have tried to strengthen the UN by saying that we (you know, the only world leader out there) will not allow rogue nations to disregard UN sanctions even if the UN itself can't see the picture clearly due to fraud (Oil for Food comes to mind).
This is a pretty big 'may' when you are trying to predict the future, 'sadam may get weapons of mass destruction' and we will deal with him then (I still believe that a majority of these so called unfound weapons are in Syria). Also, from what I have heard, the so called report that Joe Wilson wrote actually makes the case for the Iraqis making contacts in order to get uranium. In a post 9/11 world, pre emptive makes sense when 'good intelligence' that is not handstrung leads to the belief that danger lurks (and not just immediate-what is that?- but potential danger. I agree that this is messy and american heros are dying...but to run now when things seem to be slowly getting better would be a huge mistake....Trying democracy in a place that never had it may work if properly fed.....remember, our own democracy took years to work (articles of confederation) and overcame tremendous obstacles....give it a chance, but in the meantime, get more Iraqi soldiers and police trained to take over from our combat troops so we can serve as advisors or support only!

Posted by: schmitt at November 8, 2005 09:48 PM

Stop the Presses! Hube makes sense.

Even if we had an outside shot at reengineering Iraqi society, (which we didn't) that was not the orgiginal plan. We went into Iraq as a rogue nation that claimed to be in search of WMD that we knew did not exist.

Worse yet, we hung our troops out to dry with this underplanned, undermanned effort. This had debacle written all over it from the outset. I'm glad that at least some wingnuts are begining to wake up to that fact.

Posted by: Jason at November 8, 2005 10:49 PM

Well hell, Hube. As long as you are consistent, then you are welcome to state your beliefs and who can argue with you? I will say, however, that a principled position of no military interference (Is that a fair characterization?) in the affairs of other nations is not a principled position for the most powerful demopcracy in the world. You are arguing a very selfish position as a principled stand.
I doubt that there are many conservatives today, certainly not me, that did not understand and state before the Iraq invasion that Bush was going to 'infect' the ME with a bit of democracy, using Saddam's multiple attacks on neighbors and his past use of WMDs combined with his refusal to allow competent inspections as an excuse to throw his cruel totalitarian butt out of office.
You are way too comfortable, from a US point of view, with the nightmare that has been the ME and Israel's 'hanging on the edge of destruction' existence. We live under the threat of Islamic terrorism in the US and other countries and there are few people paying attention who do not see the lack of democracy among Muslim countries as the root of the problem. People who have an investment in their governments do not generally go around trying to kill millions and bring on anarchy.
I am surprised that you have such a
1)Narrow view of world affairs OR
2) Such a selfish, head in the sand, view of US responsibilities.
While we may not be obliged to expend lives and treasure to make the world a more humane place, with the fall of the Soviet Empire we finally have a realistic chance to do so without a world ending nuclear exchange always a risk.
Lastly, while it is true that conservatives once proudly proclaimed a head in the sand US posture as Republican policy, Bush and Reagan changed that, for the better. It is one of the reasons I vote Republican now.

Posted by: mikem at November 8, 2005 11:16 PM

PS Congrats on finding yourself on the same side of the battle as Jason.

Posted by: mikem at November 8, 2005 11:18 PM

"I doubt that there are many conservatives today, certainly not me, that did not understand and state before the Iraq invasion that Bush was going to 'infect' the ME with a bit of democracy."

Revising history is fun! Wait. I'll be charitable and allow that it is possible that you were privy to some secret intelligence briefing in which Bush laid out his REAL reason for attacking Iraq.

Well he infected it with a bit of something. Mission accomplished ! I guess ?

Posted by: Jason at November 8, 2005 11:56 PM

Revising history? I am stating what conservatives understood and stated. You, and to their shame Democrats, are now stating that Saddam did not have WMDs, even though he actually (in the 'revised' history) used them repeatedly and all the "No WMDs" people warned us he would use 'that which he didn't have' against Coalition troops.
Democrats are good at lying, and confusing the less intelligent. Jason is a prime example of how well that works.

Posted by: mikem at November 9, 2005 12:23 AM

And mission accomplished? A resounding yes. Notice who is power now in Iraq? It aint your hero, Saddam.
And for all the Jasons who cheerlead every dead Iraqi and American in Iraq, a special place in history.

Posted by: mikem at November 9, 2005 12:26 AM

"Heavy as they are, the costs of action must be weighed against the price of inaction. If Saddam defies the world and we fail to respond, we will face a far greater threat in the future. Saddam will strike again at his neighbors; he will make war against his own people. And mark my words, he will develop weapons of mass destruction. He will deploy them, and he will use them."

President Bill Clinton, that lying bastard.

Posted by: mikem at November 9, 2005 03:59 AM


Good thing I hated Clinton ALMOST as much as I hate Bush.

Posted by: Mike M. at November 9, 2005 06:24 AM


I don't take any pleasure in being right. The country is not well served by a weak and incompetent President. I wish he was a better President for all of our sakes.

But when you continue to support Bush in the face of the evidence that Iraq was an avoidable disaster you are not doing the country, or "conservatism" for that matter, any favors.

No WMD's found is a fact, no number of angry bog posts can change that fact. Trashing the Powell doctrine and going into Iraq with no plan for the occupation (unless you consider throwing piles of tax money at well connected insiders a plan) doomed this mission.

And you call yourself a conservative....

Now for the good news. Bush has proven that Republicans can not be trusted. The current incompetent administration of the country's affairs is being paid for by Republican politicians across the country. In about 364 days we will see the end of the Republican majority, hopefully forever.

Posted by: Jason at November 9, 2005 07:40 AM

Hube, I'm actually with you as a conservative who opposes the war. I'm not too vocal about it, because my feelings against it aren't that strong. (If I had to guess, I'm about 55% in support of it, which falls below whatever number I'd need to support it. Kind of like over-riding a veto; going to war requires a higher percentage.)

It's not going as badly as Jason thinks it is in his blind Bush hatred. There's still a good chance The Plan will succeed, but there's also a good chance that it won't. Discussing this with liberal acquaintances last summer, I argued it could succeed, it just might take 40 years. Examples: it took South Korea and Japan about 40 years to get comfortable with democracy as a nation. I read somewhere once that it takes about two generations to remake a country, which makes sense. It won't be an overnight success, which unfortunately the American people expect in a land of half-hour sitcoms.

Is that worth it? Opinions can vary. It's why I haven't gotten that worked up about it, except in response to those who clearly oppose solely because it was America or Bush who did it. Those who oppose it out of hatred for either aren't part of a rational conversation about this.

I do disagree with Hube on one point: I'm not sure that our armed forces shouldn't be part of nation-building, simply because how much of the success of the "recreation" of Japan and Germany was due to the presence/involvement of our troops. I honestly don't know enough about the periods to answer that, but it would seem at first glance that our presence was essential.

Posted by: Paul Smith at November 9, 2005 11:05 AM

I will say this. Hube, I respect your opinion.

However, you are thinking a little to much like an isolationist. That would be great, but with the logistical size of the world this small, and a terrorist organization based in foreign lands can launch an attack on us from our own soil, it is not the time for isolationism.

I have been in support of the war from the begining, and to me the WMDs were not the reason. We went to overthrow a tyrant who time and time again, tourtured, killed, gassed, bombed, and otherwise hurt his own people.

Longterm stability in the region (which I think we would all agree is a good thing) begins with the first step. I had no preconcieved notions that this was not going to be a long and difficult process. I am in this for the long haul.

Posted by: Ryan S. at November 9, 2005 11:44 AM

mikem: First off, I never said I am for "military non-interference." For example, even if Bush the Father wasn't able to garner the coalition that he did in 1991 when Saddam invaded Kuwait, I'd still be in favor of utilizing force to oust him -- because he invaded another sovereign country who pleaded for our (anyone's) assistance.

As for being "selfish," well, if it is "selfish" to not want to send American boys to try and "nation build" in a land where it's going to be next to impossible, so be it. The Founders agree with me, at least.

"Infect" the ME with democracy? Sorry, but that just isn't going to happen with a huge portion of the Arab world watching us occupying one of their countries trying to "nation build." There may be glimmers here and there (Lebanon, for instance) but whether our actions in Iraq are the cause is highly debatable.

You certainly do jump to other conclusions based on my position, mike. Do other (conservatives, in particular) have a "narrow" view of world affairs? Are they "selfish" regarding America's responsibilities? For instance, what makes you think my support for Israel is any less than it was before? What makes you believe I wouldn't favor a military response if Israel is attacked, especially considering I fervently believe that Israel has EVERY right to retaliate against ANY terror attack -- however "small"?

Why is it the United States' responsibility to play world policeman -- especially if the body that is SUPPOSED to do it (the UN) shirks its responsibility? Do you realize the quantity of resentment around the world that's been generated b/c of this view? And not just in the ME (as in Lebanon, for example, in the early 80s), but in Latin America in particular?

You mentioned the Soviet Union, mike. During the Cold War, I didn't have many qualms about "battling" Soviet influence in theatre countries where appropriate. Like Afghanistan. Like Nicaragua and El Salvador. But these were done clandestinely/covertly and/or via support of native forces. It didn't involve American troops, usually. Where it did, unfortunately, it was pretty much a disaster (Vietnam).

"Pre-emption" sets a terrible precedent. It means we can't bitch if China decides Taiwan becomes a "threat," right? Or if Russia decides one its former [predominately Muslim] republics is "acting up." Not only that, but how can the US legitimately complain about "violating UN mandates" or "international law" when we can break such at a whim? And then say "screw you" to anyone who questions us? You talk about responsibilities -- what about our responsibilities in THIS realm?

schmitt: Unfortunately for us, history is dead-set against us in nation-building, especially in Arab areas. Do you want American troops in Iraq for the length of time it'll take for Iraq to get even a semblance of democracy?

Lastly, the ONLY way I find myself in agreement with idiot Jason is in the general disagreement about the war. I in no way share his moonbat beliefs about the admin. lying about WMDs, how they purposely "outed" Plame to make their case, and all the other such nonsense. mike, you appear to mock my consistency; this is fine. However, which is worth more mockery -- being consistently against nation-building, or doing a complete 180 degree turn on the matter ... when a president of YOUR party suddenly vouches for it? The latter is completely dishonest -- intellectually and philosophically. (And I'm not saying that YOU have been inconsistent. I don't know your views on our previous attempts at n-b. But if your were against our actions in Haiti, Somalia and Kosovo, then ...?) I vote on political philosophy, not party. This happens to lead to Republicans much more often, of course, and I certainly hope the Rep. candidate in '08 is a TRUE conservative.

Posted by: Hube at November 9, 2005 03:32 PM

Hube: I take offense. I specifically pointed out that it is true Republicans once had a head in the sand view of foreign affairs. I pointed out that this has changed, and that is one of the reasons I can now vote Republican. So save the hypocrisy type charges. And lay off citing the foreign policy of our Founding Fathers. I hate to keep sounding snarky, but Hello? Things have changed since we were a tiny power fighting to be born. Two World Wars, the Cold War, our economic, cultural and military ascendancy. Elephants and mice. And you are worried about what the mice now think of us. They hate us. They will always hate us. Get over it. Do what is right, regardless. It leaves a better feeling. It is what keeps me from hating black Americans who want to marginalize my grandchildren's existence and opportunities. Stop worrying about what other's think.
Your view that the ME people cannot handle or even wish for democracy is absolutely pathetic. I will not take the easy route and call you racist for such a view, as a leftist would if they didn't despise Israel, because I think it is a bit less than racism. It is more of that Old Conservative view that some people just can't aspire to our heights. It's common enough, but still not praiseworthy.
In case you did not notice :) 9/11 has changed some Americans views of just how well a hands off policy works in the ME and elsewhere. As for your lamentations that the rest of the world will not like us for exercising our military power, I suggest that you study juvenile behavior so that you understand the feelings involved. I am Irish (read white), and therefore hated and resented for my perceived privileges. The US is hugely seen as, and actually powerful (unlike me), and likewise resented. You surprise me with your concerns about that and your comparison of the leaders of Taiwan with Saddam's Iraq. Do you have any sense of proportion at all? If our liberating Iraq excuses China invading Taiwan, then there is never a point of comparison to be made. All actions are of one rationale and all or no military actions, except defense of homeground, are justifiable.
I am always flabbergasted at the attitude of people who otherwise support protecting Israel, as I do, and then whine about how much we are hated for freeing Iraq from Saddam. Wake up. The best possible move we could ever make, the most sure way to bring peace to the ME and win the hearts and minds of others would be to throw Israel to the wolves. That we would win praise from the majority of the world is without question true. And the problem would be over, just as Hitler almost achieved in Europe, but it would be wrong and against our interests as proud people as I am sure you agree. An alternative is to nation build in the ME. To make it not so willing to strike out at the 'other' successful democracies. That is common sense, but it takes sacrifice and courage and although you and others may think that wasted, the ones who sacrifice, and I, do not.
I'll just add, redundantly, that the China/Taiwan reference just floors me. You normally have a pretty good measure of common sense in your comments. Sometimes too much for my tastes, when I am angry over an issue. Your attitude would leave helpless every nation and peoples to the bullying of more powerful forces. If you see the US as world bullies, then I understand, but I have not gotten that impression of you in the past.
Bush saw the writing on the wall and made a visionary choice. I am proud of him and disgusted that so many Democrats (not you Hube) are cheerleading every terrorsist bomb in Iraq and crying quagmire while the Iraq people bravely try to win their freedom from the usual ME totalitarian reality. The Democrats have shown themselves to be politicians of the worse sort and I will never forgive them. I bet many others feel the same way.

Posted by: mikem at November 9, 2005 05:19 PM

mike: Your initial reply was a bit snarky, but now it's I who take offense, dude. You can read into my post what you want and draw stupid conclusions. This is your right. But don't think I won't call you on your BS.

Your simplistic "they will always hate us" is childish, infantile prattle. Pure and simple. I'm NOT a pseudo-Kerry who believes in a "world audit" by any means. But it is a highly legitimate point to claim that if we tout international law and the need to follow UN sanctions, etc. we must SET A FRIGGIN' EXAMPLE. To believe that us merely giving lip service to these -- and then expecting others to live by them -- won't cause incredible resentment is stupefying. Would you expect your boss at work to lay down rules, flaunt them -- and then do what the f*** he wants? It's downright scary, man. Here, let ME read into YOUR view, mike: you believe, simply, that "might makes right." There. And that's sorry shit, man. And this leads to China. It believes it has a quite legit claim to Taiwan. If it believes the island is making further moves to remain apart forever, and is arming itself to keep itself that way, "pre-emptively" they could invade. Sure, we may think it's wrong. But to hundreds of millions of Chinese they'd believe it's RIGHT. And they can use US as an example. And not just in Iraq.

Did Bush and co. "have their head in the sand"
even as recently as immediate post-9/11, mike? See my original post again.

There is quite legitimate resentment of us out there, mike. I CAN distinguish between the BS resentment and the legit. Have you any idea of our actions throughout Latin America the last century? We espoused "democracy" and all that but more than a few times TOPPLED legitimate democratically-elected governments. How's THAT for proportion?

And no, I WON'T lay off the Founding Fathers b/c their advice continues to be wise despite time. I suppose you'd like me to tell you this same advice when it comes to arguing about the dangers of a "living constitution," eh? After all, if the Founders' establishments aren't worthy anymore, than the "living constitutionalists" have the right idea. You'd make a good judge on the 9th Circuit, mike.

Where did I say that the ME cannot handle democracy? I said (quoted, actually) that nation-building hasn't been successful at ALL there. And (I stated), it isn't worth American lives to try to establish such. This is far cry from claiming the ME "can't handle" democracy. It HAS to be homegrown. This BS of putting words in my mouth has to stop, mikey.

I could go on and on, but I just don't feel the need to restate my positions at this point -- and correct your mischaracterizations of my positions -- any further.

Posted by: Hube at November 9, 2005 05:59 PM

I will thank Ryan and Paul for their civilized disagreements. I thought this is what distinguished conservatives from liberals, mike. I really just don't get your hostility for my difference of opinion.

Posted by: Hube at November 9, 2005 06:03 PM

Hube: Sorry if you didn't expect an energetic response to a rather unexpected, and well timed, stance against the war. My problem with people opposed to the Iraqi War is that once they s l i d e by the fact that Saddam was a brutal dictator, a facilitator of terrorists and terrorism, a user of WMDs against his own people and neighboring nations, a recidivist invader etc, they fall back on the international law argument, which doesn't hold water unless you consider the UN to be the judge. These are your own words:
" Sure, as long as he remained in power he could be a nuisance and a potential menace, {He also shot at American pilots} but to what degree? The coalition from the first Iraq War had Iraq "boxed in," so to speak, primarily via the "no-fly zone." And, yes, Saddam had defied the UN upwards of over fifteen times since the Gulf War's end in 1991. The US tried to make its case to the UN for military action against Saddam in '02 and '03, but Kofi and the gang wouldn't go for it. So as a result, why does this mean that WE -- the US -- must do it alone? {Alone?? Oh, OK.}
How many different ways can you admit that Iraq invited military action, breaking 'surrender' agreements, attacking US forces and overall giving the world the finger and STILL argue that the US broke international law by responding. That is why I argue that you are too worried about what others think, because the "legal" reasonings behind the invasion are there. You even listed some of them. The international arbiters and the UN were taking bribes hand over fist from Saddam. You say you are not an international audit guy like Kerry and I'm willing to believe that if you will explain what international law exists that Saddam did not break and that Bush and the US did.
And your anger at my response is overwrought. You "out" yourself as an anti-war conservative 'from the get go' just as public opinion is firming up against the war as a result of a constant drumbeat of DISASTER, QUAGMIRE from Democrats and liberals who supported the war authorization. Meanwhile Americans and Iraqis are dying to bring about a democratic dream in the ME. And you declare the war illegal and the US in violation of "international law", which law apparently only the UN "audit group" may approve the applicability of.
You are entitled to your opinion, but others are entitled to aggressively point out the inconsistencies. I haven't been reading your blog from day one so I missed the earlier anti-war postings. Regardless, you are objectively wrong in citing an international law that allows the Saddams of the world to break them with impunity. He broke them, the US did not in responding and 'coincidently' he started a democratic revolution in the ME, your apprehensions notwithstanding. It is called vision.
And thanks to Paul and Ryan for their more reasoned tone. No "childish infantile prattle" responses from them.

Posted by: mikem at November 9, 2005 07:36 PM

mike: I haven't argued that the Iraq War is necessarily "illegal" or "breaking international law." Where I said but how can the US legitimately complain about "violating UN mandates" or "international law" when we can break such at a whim? I may not have been absolutely clear, but I'm not just referring to [possible] instances during the Iraq campaign. There's a gaggle of past examples to go around. I'm sure the case can be made that the war is illegal. I'm sure the case can be made that it's not. But the UN sanctions against Saddam were just that -- UN sanctions. And if the UN didn't want to use military force -- yet -- to get Saddam to comply, even if it was patently ridiculous in its dawdling, I am still unwilling to act unilaterally and send only American boys in a venture that is not in retribution for an attack on us or is a direct and immediate threat to us. You have in no way convinced me that doing so -- and engaging in "nation-building" -- is a conservative philosophy, which is the main tenet of my original post. Indeed, George Bush's own words bear me out, especially on the latter.

Yes -- Saddam DID invite military action based on his actions throughout the 90s. But they were UN sanctions and edicts he violated. If THAT body -- of which we're a part -- refuses to sanction military action, then why must we take it upon ourselves? Why must American soldiers bear the burden when the vast majority of the rest of the world will not? *I* want American soldiers to protect US citizens, NOT playing world policeman and nation builders. Further, I'm not an international lawyer, and again I believe a case can be made that US actions were in this case, in fact, legal. (Clinton's actions in Kosovo were not sanctioned by the UN, but they were by NATO. Who's right?) My point about int'l law and in particular pre-emptive war is that AS a superpower, other nations look to us to SET the example. Understand -- even though *I* wouldn't do it, I can certainly understand Bush and co.'s reasons. You've mistakenly placed me in the same category as the Democrat whiners. But we're part of the UN, like it or not, and if they refuse to take action against Iraq I just fail to see why WE must. And yes, alone. (Spare me the minimal compliments of other nations, OK?) Iraq was only a POTENTIAL threat to us -- like that which exist myriad others.

I resent the implication that I am being "swayed" by current public opinion regarding the war. I have indeed been against it since day one, and although (like Paul) I haven't been vocal about it (again, b/c I CAN understand many reasons for the war, even though I don't entirely agree) why I decide to post about it now is essentially immaterial. I also don't appreciate your implication that I am somehow "hurting" our soldiers ("Meanwhile Americans and Iraqis are dying to bring about a democratic dream in the ME"). How "eloquent." Although the action of war itself may not be violating int'l law, it certainly may be by looking to "OK" torture and/or establishing "torture prisons," which if accurate only further diminish our credibility internationally.) I support the soldiers as much as the next guy (one of the ushers in my wedding is over there) and your insinuations are just more -- you got it -- prattle.

So much for mike and his Republican "big tent." Sorry dude, it's looking to me like the proverbial groupthink for which the Dems and liberals are notorious.

Posted by: Hube at November 9, 2005 09:04 PM

I'm just drained by this. For the record, I apologize for the personal tone and the overly snarky remarks and inferences. Hube has made the point that he is very respectful of other's opinion and that I have not returned the courtesy and he is absolutely correct in this. The war and anti-religious bigotry are passionate subjects for me. And these are frustrating times for those of us disgusted with the quagmire talk of Democrats and the MSM.
I disagree with Hube in the same manner that I disagree with the normal leftist and Democratic anti-war commenters and that is not fair.
The problem is, Hube, that you use some of the same arguments that they use even if your motivations are not the same (esp. regarding Democrats, who I think are less principled than leftists in this area). I think most conservatives and pro-war people would agree that they, we, feel that Iraq would be much further along if the terrorists and insurgents were faced with a united front against their tactics and goals from the majority democratic nations. That Americans (Democrats) themselves argue that they (the terrorists) are legitimate, freedom fighting defenders of Iraq and that this is an immoral, illegitimate war must give them hope for an eventual Vietnam ending and also moral support. I will not address the concerns of other major democratic powers because their hands are filthy with Saddam's graft and they are anti-American to begin with. If we, conservatives and pro-war, felt there were legitimate arguments in Saddam's favor, it would be one thing, but we don't. So for us delegitimizing the American war effort is counter productive in a myriad of areas, most importantly for the Iraqi people.
The conservative position on matters of war has always, I would like to think, been that the time for arguing over the legitimacy is over once the enemy is engaged and troops under fire. This is sickenly patriotic to Democrats and that is one of the reasons I cannot support a Democrat today. Sad indeed.
I'm sure you support the troops, Hube, and not in the same way that Senators Durbin and Kennedy do. I'm also sure that the nations that you are concerned about getting support in the future from are the same nations that reveled in 9/11 and our 'just desserts' for our continuing, never ending no matter what we do arrogance. I just don't care what they think the nations, like China and Iran, N.Korea etc, that we need to worry about could care less how properly we exercise our power. They will do whatever they feel they can get away with regardless. As long as we are doing 'good', and I'll give you enough credit to assume you think our goals in Iraq are well intentioned, then we should not shy from doing so. Or care what France, Canada, Germany and Russia think. There will always be someone to pay them off and they will always be happy to side with anyone against

Posted by: mikem at November 9, 2005 11:05 PM

mike: I appreciate your passion on this, and other, subjects. Passion is good in many instances. All I ask -- especially of my conservative/libertarian brethren -- is that we respect each others' opinions, most especially when we disagree.

*I* want to make clear that I respect *your* views on the war, and indeed understand them. As I mentioned, this is why I *haven't* been outspoken against the war, most especially like the liberal moonbats. And this directly ties into your point about putting up a "united front" against the insurgents, et. al.

But, alas, I am drained too. We'll just have to disagree on this one.

Posted by: Hube at November 11, 2005 07:01 AM

No WMD's found is a fact, no number of angry bog posts can change that fact.

It is a fact that Saddam shifted to developing WMDs that could be surged produced and focused on the underground prison/laboratories in which human testing was done. Both the laboratories and vials of such biological weapons capable of being surge produced were found, that is a fact. These were found by Kay. Yet the hundreds of headlines were: "Kay says that no stockpiles of WMD found!!!" The Old Press uses language to shape the views of people like you who can hardly seem to see the text which has some distinction or nuance in it.

It's been a long time since I've bothered to debate the war, so who knows what else you are wrong about. There were no "stockpiles of WMDs" or robotic-planes all ready for take off, etc. That is the type of intelligence that was wrong yet which shaped the decisions of Congress and the President. The notion that Bush could just go on down to the CIA or other intelligence agencies to manufacture himself some disinformation is a conspiracy theory on the level of Michael Moore, yet typical to the Democratic leadership. (It's hard to believe, the actual national leadership!). Their reliance on conspiracy theory, paranoia and so on is growing. Fortunately, they have a harder time shaping national opinion based on conspiracy theories than the Nazis did as their allies in the Old Press are being deconstructed on a daily basis.

"The Press created National Socialism." --Karl Kraus

I haven't debated the war because I feel ambivalent about it. The simple fact is that the Democrats are all about turning it into "another Vietnam" just as they already believe it is. When reading blogs written by Iraqis like IraqistheModel you see who is going to get killed if they are allowed to re-live the mental retardation and arrested development of their youth. If Democratic leaders like Ted Kennedy were not mental incompetents, we'd actually all be a lot better off as the dialectic between Left and Right would be stronger. In many ways, the fall of the Democrats into actually treating conspiracy theories as if they ought to shape public policy and so on is harming us all. They're one step from the old Bush and Osama teamed up on 9/11 in a vast conspiracy typical to the fevered imaginations of the Michael Moore or types.

Read the Iraqi blogs and so on, even conservatives are having their opinions shaped by the Old Press. Given the necessity of trying to win the war, I do not believe that now is the time for posts like Hube's. All that type of conservatism is going to do now is to wind up accomplishing the same thing that Bush's father did: "Rebel against tyrrany now, we'll help!" and then later, "Well, we've done enough now. Saddam if you want to fly your helicopters around that's okay too. Yes, our fighter pilots can see you mowing down the rebels after we gave you permision to fly your helicopters around...but we're done." Etc.

Posted by: mynym at November 11, 2005 09:15 PM

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