Finn d'Abuzz wrote:
Thousands of people were "dying horrible deaths" in Iraq. Therefore one must assume that you supported US intervention in Iraq.
I'm with those who argue that the US should intervene militarily in the Sudan, just as we should have intervened in Rwanda.
It would be much appreciated if some of you folks would remain consistent in your expressed views. [..]
If humanitarianism compels our intervention in the Sudan that so did it compel our intervention in Iraq.
Well, I applaud your consistency, it's definitely better than the couldnt-care-less burping of the other conservatives here.
As for your point re: those of us who opposed the war in Iraq. Fair enough question, not so easy to answer. I cant speak for the others, but I do keep to a consistent line, myself.
First though, lets get some side issues out of the way. Up until it started, any humanitarian motive for the war was granted a highly marginal role at best by Bush and his administration. It was, no matter how much some now retroactively want to make it otherwise, all about the WMD. (See this past post of mine
Now, we already warned back then that the WMD case was dubious at best and lacked convincing evidence. We turned out to be right about that. We also warned that the Saddam/Al-Qaeda link was dubious at best, and to any extent it existed would be outshadowed by the Al-Qaeda recruitment ground the invasion would provide. We turned out to be right about that too. In the light of those main arguments, any marginal note of the Bush admin about humanitarian motives seemed to lack credibility.
Should we have embraced that marginal motivation anyway? Said that hey, we dont trust Bush for a second, but if he's going to help get Saddam out, then why not use him? That was the logic of some Iraqi exiles (see thread here
). Point is, the notion of Iraqi democrats or humanitarian idealists using the US, rather than the other way round, seemed more than a bit naive.
In any case. My own line of principle here. I think of war as an evil. I believe war will almost always break more than it can repair. Wars escalate, and the more people killed and lives destroyed, the more bitterness and hatred gets rooted that will then create new wars, over time (see Yugoslavia).
So war is strictly a last resort. Only in the most extreme of emergencies can war, IMO, be justified. I would not deny countries the right to defend themselves when invaded, or call in allies' help when they are (eg Kuwait). But when it comes to invading a country, only one excuse could possibly count: to stop an ongoing genocide. To save people from a genocide thats happening right now. That's what we thought we were doing in Kosovo.
Now in 1988, when Saddam was gassing the Kurds, I would therefore have supported military action against Iraq. Unfortunately, when Donald Rumsfeld did go to Baghdad shortly after, it was to shake Saddam's hand, in order to ease the way for billions of US $ in support for his regime, courtesy of President Bush Sr.
In 1991, when Saddam was bombing the marsh Arabs in the aftermath of the Gulf War, there would also have been a rationale for military intervention.
In 2003, however, Saddam was as weak as he had ever been. The Kurds, remember, were safely ensconced in their own autonomous area, out of reach of Saddam's soldiers. A no-fly-zone prevented Saddam from bombing anyone.
Of course his regime was still a dictatorship, of course there was still torture. But - however harsh this might sound - not more than in a dozen other countries around the world. Compared to Saddam's emasculated regime, there were other dictatorships worse in the world. Not just North-Korea, ccountries like Turkmenistan as well.
In short, there was a humanitarian argument for invading Iraq that would meet my "ongoing genocide" criterium, but it did not apply anymore in 2003.
The massacres in Darfur, on the other hand, are a different question. In no place in the world today is a whole people being slaughtered like in Sudan. This is
genocide. And there's the difference.