July 31, 2003
Tough to keep up with it all
Wow, it would be hugely time consuming to keep up with the daily avalanche of revelations over Iraqiville - I haven't had time to keep up to date in a way that would enable me to write. But, suffice to say, packs of cards are tumbling all around the edifice that justified the war. Sadly, it took the death of a UK government scientist to prompt any sort of 'coherent' deconstruction by the media of government lies. This is hugely problematical because it focuses the criticism on a small subset of the lies. The death of one man by suicide should not occlude the REAL issue of the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqis in a war which was rammed through the Senate and Parliament based on premeditated lies. This is a scandal of enormous proportions. The UN weapon inspectors, let us not forget them, asked for mere months to work to determine the situation in Iraq. The deafening chorus from the hawks was that it was a program doomed, yet after the war, "scientists are still giving the same answers they gave the UN":http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A5497-2003Jul30.html - there was no aggressively pursued weapons program. Maybe it wasn't the 'minders' of Saddam Hussein's regime after all, but fact - and therefore that the UN was close to the mark in its reports. In this light, Iraq was complying with the UN resolution passed against it, there was **NO** clear non-compliance by the Iraq government. There was belligerence no doubt, which I think is to be expected by most nations subjected to such long term 'intrusion' (justified or not). In that respect, there is a nice opinion piece in the new york times, "asking whether sanctions had been right?":http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/27/magazine/27SANCTIONS.html?pagewanted=print&position=
Of course, the security situation in Iraq is a mess, and little coherent information is coming out about reestablishing electricity and water supplies. There were many many reports that the US was wholly unprepared for governance of Iraq - a point that the anti-war groups repeatedly suggested, and unsurprisingly turned out to be the case. American soldiers are dying daily, I feel some sympathy (mostly for the family), but if I had been a soldier I would have chosen to be conscientious objector - those still in Iraq are responsible for their position. I have a natural tendency to be hugely critical of 'soldiers' - the blind assertions that soldiers are there to defend our liberty (like some glowing neutral angels) HUGELY distorts the fact that most military situations are offensive. Were the Vietnamese really planning invasion of Chicago? The geopolitical implications were far more complex than that, and thus the blanket justification of those who are willing to kill in the name of flag is paper thin.
Yes, the Baathist regime was a bitter and cruel one, and the chorus of the hawks has magically changed to: we did it for those oppressed by the Baathists. Wonderful to have such tangible concern for innocent lives - although it is a shame such a chorus is applied so selectively. There are many 'regimes' backed by those very hawks so 'immaculate' in its concern for the then opponents of the Baathist regime.
Looks like the heat is sure to go up this summer...
Posted by Ian at July 31, 2003 09:22 AM