Sunday, October 23, 2005

The Worldwide Standard

If you're not reading the Worldwide Standard, you should be because of posts such as this one. Dan McKivergan gives the full rundown on Hans Blix and Saddam's WMD's.


kwAwk said...

All of that is very nice. But the problem with it is that Bill Clinton and William Cohen weren't the ones who felt that Iraq posed such a threat to the US that it required immeidate action.

The principle of pre-emptive war can be a valid justification for action, but if you are going to use it, you had better damned well make sure that you are right. France, Germany, Russia and much of the rest of the world weren't sure they were right so they resisted a the war. Bush was the one who decided that he, almost alone, had the right information and justification.

Well, Bush wasn't right, and we know now that he ignored much evidence that should had led him down a more cautious path.

Bill Baar said...

You never know if your right or wrong if preempt anything. That's the whole idea about preemption.

If we had preempted Hitler after Czechoslovakia there would still be some American Firsters saying Hitler would have faded away... the war was unnecssary... soldiers died in vain.

Here is another guy with WMDs though and probably the guy who has Saddam's stockpile, and Assad is not creating the confidence Blix called for, by assassinating politicans in Lebanon, or supporting Bin Ladinists and Baathists in Iraq.

If the UN fails to deal with him, he should be prempted next (somehow I think Balton going to prod more out of the UN too) and the people of Syria liberated. It would be a much more peaceful middle east without the butcher Assad and the mafia around him.

kwAwk said...

Hitler and Saddam were two different beasts. Any attempt to pre-emp Hitler would have been based upon the notion that he would continue to invade his neighbors.

The case for pre-empting Saddam was one stating that he had WMD and would be willing to use them against other states or pass them to terrorists. After the war we found out that the whole notion was false and that the case for war had been hyped up. Bush even went so far as to villify two of our biggest allies, Germany and France for having the audacity to suggest that the threat was overstated and possibly completely false.

Americans were misled into believing that the threat was greater than it was. Without the hype it would have been very difficult to convince Americans that the cost of war would be worth what was gained. Without the WMD hype there was no threat Saddam Hussein posed to us.

Anonymous said...

But Kwawk, we still do not know what happened to the wmd which everyone knew to exist at one time. Iraq, in responding to the final Un resolution, did not explain what heppened to them, and did not act like someone with nothing to hide. Just because we didn't find the wmd doesn't mean they never existed, or that they weren't removed to Syria or Russia or god knows where in the long run up to the war. I will concede that even in the run-up to the war there was a division between those who thought we needed to demonstrate proof of actual weapons vs. those who felt the burden was on Saddam to prove he didn't have them. The actual UN resolutions placed the burden on Saddam, a burden he indisputably did not carry. I understand someone arguing that morally we must always have demonstrable proof before we go to war. I disagree with that notion, but I understand it as a moral exercise. But the bottom line is that was not the standard set forth by the UN itself, and that was not the standard we were forced to make a decision on in 2003. At that time there was no dispute that Iraq had previously had wmd that they had refused or failed to account for. In the face of *that* reality, we were given a choice to enforce the resolution or to allow Saddam to wriggle away once again and continue to grow in stature and financially, except now with the assurance from the UN and the "international community" that no actions would be taken against him unless we came up with proof of his programs and/or possession of wmd. Again, no doubt, some people are comfortable with that atrrangement, but I think it is sheer lunacy. And it is incorrect to say thatthe policy we chose was "wrong", because we do not know where the other policy would have led us. We made a very defensible choice at the time, and the long view may prove that we made the wisest choice. it may prove we made the wrong choice. But the choice must be weighed against our other choices at the time. Caution seems to be the moderate move, but we do not know where it would have led. It is doubtful that caution would have led to an Iraqi constitution, Syria leaving lebanon, elections in SA, Eygpt etc... and the uncovering of AQ Khan's nuke home shopping network.

Bizarro Jack said...

"preempted Hitler after Czechoslovakia"

no, but we did pre-empt Hitler after 1940 . . . I mean, post-empt.


Bill Baar said...

We should have declared war on Hitler after he invaded Czechoslovakia.

Think of it that way.

As for the arguements for invading Iraq, Clinton persauded me in 1998 with this speech,

If we fail to respond today, Saddam and all those who would follow in his footsteps will be emboldened tomorrow by the knowledge that they can act with impunity, even in the face of a clear message from the United Nations Security Council and clear evidence of a weapons of mass destruction program.

But if we act as one, we can safeguard our interests and send a clear message to every would-be tyrant and terrorist that the international community does have the wisdom and the will and the way to protect peace and security in a new era. That is the future I ask you all to imagine. That is the future I ask our allies to imagine.

If we look at the past and imagine that future, we will act as one together. And we still have, God willing, a chance to find a diplomatic resolution to this, and if not, God willing, the chance to do the right thing for our children and grandchildren.

I voted for Gore over Bush in 2000 because I feared the way Bush made fun of his smarts. I feared how that would be perceived by people like Saddam and Bin Laden. I hoped Gore would fufill Clintons committed on Iraq.

Bush's AEI speech convinced me otherwise and after voting for Democrats from McGoven to Gore, I doubt I'll vote for one again because I believe no Democrat can speak like Bush did at AEI. He laid out a case for war that was much more than WMDs but few were listening to him. That's a huge mistake with Bush because he means just what he says.

The world has a clear interest in the spread of democratic values, because stable and free nations do not breed the ideologies of murder. They encourage the peaceful pursuit of a better life. And there are hopeful signs of a desire for freedom in the Middle East. Arab intellectuals have called on Arab governments to address the "freedom gap" so their peoples can fully share in the progress of our times. Leaders in the region speak of a new Arab charter that champions internal reform, greater politics participation, economic openness, and free trade. And from Morocco to Bahrain and beyond, nations are taking genuine steps toward politics reform. A new regime in Iraq would serve as a dramatic and inspiring example of freedom for other nations in the region.