Tuesday, February 22, 2005

War Path

I found this today (thanks to George Ure).

Scott Ritter was the weapons inspector who repeatedly said that Iraq did not have WMDs. He now says that Bush has already Ok'd plans for a June attack on Iran. We won't have to wait long to see if he is right.

On another note I would like to observe what I have never seen published elsewhere: If we agree that Iraq had no WMDs (at least not when the US invaded, and it is reasonable to suppose that they did not have them for some time before the invasion) then I am forced to wonder at the UN. For years it said Iraq had weapons and put sanctions on it. Leave alone the fact that the US had no grounds to invade, sanctions should have been lifted years early. What would the middle east look like now if that had taken place? What would the US and the world look like? It's 10:00 o'clock, do you know where your government is?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

What would the middle east look like?

It certainly wouldn't be rippling with widespread desires for democracy.

Read the report of the Iraq Survey Group. Saddam was working actvely (by bribing member states of the UN security council) to have sanctions lifted so thhat he could resume his weapon production programs.

12:10 PM  
Blogger Steven A Bristol said...

I assume you think that the Middle East should be widespread with desires for democracy? I'm not sure I agree with that premise. To paraphrase Joe Sobran "Democracy is the greatest form of rule by managed consent every thought up," (sorry if I butchered that). Don’t mistake me, I love this country, I love my freedoms, I love our constitution (I’m not a big fan of our government), I’m just not sure if it is right (read righteous) to forcibly spread democracy.

To your second point, that Saddam would have restarted his weapons program. I don’t really care if he would have or not, until he did. I think it is American to wait until someone commits a crime, even a repeat offender, before punishment. I expect to be treated that way. I expect this country to treat others that way. (I do not expect our government to show such justice).

8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I apologize in advance if this seems nitpicky.

I agree that it is not right to forcibly spread democracy. But I also think that's an oxymoron. And since your comment implies you think the US military efforts in Iraq were forcibly spreading democracy, I'll register my slight disagreement. Although we have a stake and preference, I don't think the military effort forcibly spread democracy. It used for to clear the way for the governed people to choose their own means of goverment. Technically, I think the newly elected council could choose to create a constitution and government that was a theocracy or monarchy or any other thing it wants.

But if you're going to say that the mere involvement of force means you are forcibly spreading democracy, then I would argue that rarely is there any other way to spread democracy. No dictator will willingly or peacefully give up power. Even if it's an internal revolution that overthrows a dictatorial government, that's still forcibly removing system 1 to make room for system 2.

I do agree with you (mostly) that we should wait for someone to commit a crime before punishing them. But I think the severity and surety of the impending act could change my mind in some cases. And there were plenty of non-weapons-program-related crimes that Saddam did and was committing.

I'm looking forward to reading more of your insights. They're always thought provoking and usually well thought out. Thanks for including me on the blog announcement.

10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re your comment on democracy, I was going to reply with Churchill's famous quote about it being the worst form of government, except for all the others.

A quick web search to verify the wording led me to this page, which I thought made brief, interesting reading.

PS: I put my name in when I posted my previous comment (begins with "nitpicky"), but they are showing up as "anonymous said..."

- Jeff Lyons

10:22 PM  
Blogger Steven A Bristol said...


Thanks for the comments. I've decided to answer them in this post.

12:08 PM  

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