Sunday, December 10, 2006

War (Continued)

Having grown up in the Viet Nam era and, as cannon fodder, survived (see past post), I think the war in Iraq is a hideous mistake and have thought so from the start. You don't go to war unless somebody attacks you (or threatens to).* And then you go after those guys, not somebody else. (Whatever happened to "Speak softly and carry a big stick" anyway?)

I think this administration has given democracy a black eye. You don't try to impose democracy on other countries. Rather, you set a good example and others will follow. Lately, we've set a very bad example. And with the way this administration has curtailed our own freedoms and resorted to torture, what really is there to emulate? We've become less of a democracy than we were before. Now we've become the devil.

From Poputonian at Hullaballoo (speech made to the UN Security Council by French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin before the invasion of Iraq), with Poputonian's comments:

Therefore, I would like solemnly to address a question to this body, and it's the very same question being asked by people all over the world. Why should we now engage in war with Iraq? And I would also like to ask, why smash the instruments that have just proven their effectiveness? Why choose division when our unity and our resolve are leading Iraq to get rid of its weapons of mass destruction? Why should we wish to proceed by force at any price when we can succeed peacefully?

War is always an acknowledgment of failure. Let us not resign ourselves to the irreparable. Before making our choice, let us weigh the consequences. Let us measure the effects of our decision. And it's clear to all in Iraq, we are resolutely moving toward completely eliminating programs of weapons of mass destruction. The method that we have chosen worked.
De Villepin then detailed the positive results coming in from the inspection reports and talked of the success of other pressures being brought to bear on Iraq. He continued:

What conclusions can we draw? That Iraq, according to the very terms used by the inspectors, represents less of a danger to the world than it did in 1991, that we can achieve our objective of effectively disarming that country. Let us keep the pressure on Baghdad.

The adoption of Resolution 1441, the assumption of converging positions by the vast majority of the world's nations, diplomatic action by the Organization of African Unity, the League of Arab States, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the non-aligned movement, all of these common efforts are bearing fruit.
Let us be clear-sighted. We are defining a method to resolve crisis. We are choosing how to define the world we want our children to live in.

These crises have many roots. They are political, religious, economic. Their origins lie deep in the turmoil of history.

There may be some who believe that these problems can be resolved by force, thereby creating a new order. But this is not what [we] believe. On the contrary, we believe that the use of force can arouse resentment and hatred, fuel a clash of identities and of cultures, something that our generation has a prime responsibility to avoid.

To those who believe that war would be the quickest way of disarming Iraq, I can reply that it will drive wedges and create wounds that will be long in healing. And how many victims will it cause? How many families will grieve?

We do not subscribe to what may be the other objectives of a war. Is it a matter of regime change in Baghdad? No one underestimates the cruelty of this dictatorship or the need to do everything possible to promote human rights. But this is not the objective of Resolution 1441. And force is certainly not the best way of bringing about democracy. Here and elsewhere it would encourage dangerous instability.

Is it a matter of fighting terrorism? War would only increase it and we would then be faced with a new wave of violence.

Is it finally a matter of recasting the political landscape of the Middle East? In that case, we run the risk of exacerbating tensions in a region already marked by great instability. Not to mention that in Iraq itself, the large number of communities and religions already represents a danger of a potential break-up.

We all have the same demands. We want more security and more democracy. But there is another logic other than the logic of force. There is another path. There are other solutions. We understand the profound sense of insecurity with which the American people have been living since the tragedy of September 11, 2001. The entire world shared the sorrow of New York and of America struck in the heart. And I say this in the name of our friendship for the American people, in the name of our common values: freedom; justice; tolerance.

But there is nothing today to indicate a link between the Iraqi regime and al Qaeda. And will the world be a safer place after a military intervention in Iraq? I want to tell you what my country's conviction is: It will not.

We all know that when it comes to foreign policy George Bush is dumber than a box of hammers, so where did the ideological idea come from that led to this war, and who is the architect of the public relations fraud that sold it to the American sheeple? The answer is that it came from the Republican party, and the PR architect was none other than Karl Rove. Less than one year ago, he was gloating about the the success of the grandiose scheme . . . .

* People who start wars are bad. That's "morally clear" to me.

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