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Author Topic: Justice for Iraq
Bryan Peeler
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3193

posted 25 February 2003 03:38 PM      Profile for Bryan Peeler        Edit/Delete Post
Fiat Titia – Ruat Caelum. This is a saying from ancient Rome: Do justice and let the skies fall. It is supposed to be an axiom of Western civilization that the “individual” or “truth” is not to be sacrificed to such hypothetical benefits as order. Unfortunately the opposite is all too common. Happily, the result of at least some such altercations is the triumph of the individual against the collective instinct for a quite life.

The situation in Iraq is one such altercation. On one side we have the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of people languishing in secret prisons, the untold numbers murdered in order to preserve the one party state. On the other side we have the so-called peace movement that believes an American led force to liberate the Iraqi people would inflame Muslim passions so much that the West would be in a permanent state of war with the Muslim world.

We have seen this sort of argument before. Do you remember Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and most recently Afghanistan? Remember when you were told that if the United States invaded Afghanistan the Muslim world would be up in arms. Well that did not happen. Remember when you were told there would be a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan. Again, it did not happen. Today the people of that country are finally recovering from the rule of the fanatical Taliban. But let us assume the anti-war protesters had got their way in each of these instances. What would the results have been? Kuwait would be the nineteenth province of Iraq, Bosnia would be an ethnicly cleansed province of Greater Serbia, Kosovo would be empty of its inhabitants and Afghanistan would still be under the rule of the Taliban.

It is no mistake that Saddam Hussein protested against the removal of Slobodan Milosovic, the murderer of Sunni Muslims and of the Taliban, the murderers of Shi’a Muslims. These sorts of tyrants like to stick together. And yet the peace movement has wanted to spare each and every one of them. This is because they secretly, and some quite openly, view Saddam and the others as anti-imperialists.

This issue as brought to the fore a schism on the left: the anti-imperialists vs. the internationalists. The anti-imperialists believe any and all American foreign is tainted due to its past actions in Southeast Asia, Central America and other parts of the Middle East. This is a very comfortable position to hold since one no longer needs to think about particular issues. It is an American action therefore we know, a priori, it is wrong. There are those, of whom I count myself, that do not believe things are all that easy.

The internationalist left sees no necessary reason why American power can not be used in the fight for human rights and democracy. Being the only remaining superpower, who is it that you think is capable of and always called on to enforce United Nations resolutions? What seems to anger these people the most is who is now calling for such intervention.

Recall when George Bush cited Amnesty International’s own record on Saddam’s history of torture and genocide? Amnesty’s Kamal Samari responded with the following:
"There’s no question that the regime has an appalling human rights record. But what we don’t want to see for Iraq or any other country is that the human rights record is used selectively in order to achieve political goals."
I for one would have thought Amnesty International, if it cared at all for those in Iraqi jails, would have been pleased that its work was being cited by the U.S. I guess not. George Orwell was right when he wrote “The truth, it is felt, becomes untruth when your enemy utters it.”

The left must come to realize that the fight against Molosovic, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Saddam are the real revolutionary struggles of our time. We need to be ready to fight Islamic-Fascism and brutal dictators wherever we find them. And this must be done regardless of what our governments have done in the past. It is not better to do nothing and not anger those who do not value such things individual rights, the rights of women, freedom of speech and multi-party democracies. Heaven forbid we fight for what we believe in.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Black Dog
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2776

posted 25 February 2003 04:21 PM      Profile for Black Dog   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
We have seen this sort of argument before. Do you remember Kuwait, Bosnia, Kosovo and most recently Afghanistan? Remember when you were told that if the United States invaded Afghanistan the Muslim world would be up in arms. Well that did not happen. Remember when you were told there would be a humanitarian disaster in Afghanistan. Again, it did not happen. Today the people of that country are finally recovering from the rule of the fanatical Taliban.

In case you hadn't noticed, but large pats of the Muslim world are up in arms. And the situation in Afghanistan is deteriorating rapidly, wih the former Taliban making huge gains throughout the rural regions.

quote:
The internationalist left sees no necessary reason why American power can not be used in the fight for human rights and democracy. Being the only remaining superpower, who is it that you think is capable of and always called on to enforce United Nations resolutions? What seems to anger these people the most is who is now calling for such intervention.

This is just the old "white man's burden" line recast for the 21st century. But that aside, what many on the left find troubling is not the use of U.S. power for human rights and democracy, but, as stated by Amnesty International, the selective application of U.S. power in cases where its own geo-political/economic interests are furthered, often at the expens of democracy, etc. (see past examples like Chile and current ones such as Venzuala). Wher eis the similar pressure on the many U.S. client states with similarily appalling human rights records?

quote:
The left must come to realize that the fight against Molosovic, the Taliban, Al-Qaeda and Saddam are the real revolutionary struggles of our time. We need to be ready to fight Islamic-Fascism and brutal dictators wherever we find them. And this must be done regardless of what our governments have done in the past. It is not better to do nothing and not anger those who do not value such things individual rights, the rights of women, freedom of speech and multi-party democracies. Heaven forbid we fight for what we believe in.

I guess it boils down to the matter of whether one believes the Bushevick's "peace and democracy" rhetoric or sees it as mere lip service to these concepts, put forth by a cynical, money and power hungry regime eager to expand their own influence and line the pockets of the corporations that played such a big role in its ascension.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hawkins
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3306

posted 25 February 2003 06:31 PM      Profile for Hawkins     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
They didn't fly 2 planes into the WTC towers just to have a little party... There is a reason why people hate others, and it is not justified. You would have to be stark mad not to see that a majority of muslims in the middle east and around (I am not versed enough to say anything on the African and South East Asian countries) harbour resentment/anger towards the US. (I am not Justifying actions only pointing towards a reason).

And where in this twisted world are Saddam and Bin Laden bed fellows?

Out of all things, prove that there has ever been anything even close to "mutual respect" between these two. OBL hated the Iraq regime because they supported American interests in the 80s, and are surprisingly not very Islamic fundementalist. And Mr. Hussien has had his difficulties with AQ in his country, wonder why the terrorists were in Afghanistan and not Iraq? Because an enemy of an enemy does not make friends in the real political world.

aside "a priori" "judgments are based upon reason alone, independently of all sensory experience, and therefore apply with strict universality."

See, I don't know but intro to philosophy should have taught you that one
.

And no one here will you ever hear say "we support Saddam Hussain" because we know of the autrocities he has commited, more so I would say then the majority of pro war supporters, even before this war fever hit. Saddam is an evil man, but removing evil through evil and replacing it with evil just seems a tad more evil to me, if you get my drift.

The Americans will not create democracy, Venezuala has proved that that does not work for American interests, for their puppet administration. Look at Saudi Arabia, do I see elections running there? Why not I ask you, if the Americans are all about this democracy thing. How about human rights violations? Do you think you are free being a Saudi? Not with unelected officials, you are the at the whim of there commands to do what they tell you to do, and if you don't to prison with you!

One final thing, do you know how dibilitating it would be to imprison 1 million people in a third world country like Iraq? Hyberbole's are nice and all but really, I think this one could have used a bit of thought... *cough*


From: Burlington Ont | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 25 February 2003 09:45 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
The internationalist left sees no necessary reason why American power can not be used in the fight for human rights and democracy.

This "left" seems not to be concerned about equality, since it is a certainty that the "democracy" the US imposes will rarely be anything other than minimally-democratic governments committed to "free trade" and "economic freedom."

Just as the need to provide democracy in Kuwait faded once the oil wells were secure, the US commitment to democracy in Iraq will fade as soon
as Iraqis try to control their own oil reserves.

As for the Iraqi prisoners, why has it never been a US demand that Saddam free his political prisoners?


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
radiorahim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2777

posted 25 February 2003 10:40 PM      Profile for radiorahim     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
No matter how much pseudo-intellectuals want to dress this thing up, this planned war has nothing to do with weapons of mass destruction, democracy or human rights.

This is about the U.S. controlling the world's oil supply ... period.

In fact its a two-pronged attack...witness the goings-on in Venezuela where the U.S. and its local puppets are attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government.

Everyone knows that Saddam Hussein is a brutal fascist dictator... he's simply a brutal fascist dictator that no longer does what he's told and therefore the Bushites want to overthrow him.

Fortunately, this time world public opinion is seeing through this whole charade given the enormous turnouts at demonstrations on February 15th.


From: a Micro$oft-free computer | Registered: Jun 2002  |  IP: Logged
Bryan Peeler
recent-rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3193

posted 26 February 2003 02:22 PM      Profile for Bryan Peeler        Edit/Delete Post
Thank you for the replies. Lets deal with the oil issue.

In the early nineties, former President Bush waged a war against Iraq after it had invaded the nation of Kuwait. Just as today, appeasers among us suggested that the Gulf War was a tool to be used to capture Middle Eastern oil. While it might have been a way to ensure the flow of oil, it was not, in any case, an attempt to bring foreign oil under United States control.

Why? Because the United States didn’t do it. Yes, that’s right, they didn’t seize control of oil fields in Kuwait nor Iraq, both of which they could have done with ease. For those so inclined to believe that George W Bush is operating under the pretense of his and his father’s oil cronies – the same oil companies that were said to have control over the earlier Bush administration – they had better explain why, with such a clear opportunity to do so, the previous Bush administration passed up seizing oil fields a decade ago.

One need look no further than to 1990 once again as prep for current arguments against a war that were so thoroughly refuted by the Gulf War. Just as they are now, some were accusing the previous Bush administration of marching lock-step with big oil. Regardless of whether the Americans would seize the oil fields, the guise of fighting for peace would be used to inflate oil prices when an unsure market raised oil prices because of war. They reasoned that this would simultaneously inflate the oil portfolios of Bush administration friends.

The logic was that if the Americans went to war with Iraq, the oil exporting nations in the Middle East would cut back on production, raising the price of oil to astronomical heights. Hence, anyone privileged enough to have their hands in the American oil business would make a killing.

There was only one problem: Oil prices plummeted as oil producers thanked us for maintaining order. And those who were supposedly in bed with the Bush administration lost a good deal of money. What the conspiracy theorists failed to recognize was that as the Americans secured peace in the region, production was free to rise, not fall, which caused a drop in the price according to the simple logic of supply and demand.

Now, lets look at a few countries who oppose war. Russia is a country with a developed oil industry that has exploration and development contracts with Iraq, not to mention also being Iraq's largest creditor. China also has contracts with the existing Iraqi regime to develop Iraqi fields, and with such a large population and no domestic oil deposits, they are probably a bit concerned about securing energy supplies. There is your blood for oil.

BTW. Don't worry about what I learned in intro philosophy (or my graduate work for that matter.) There may be analytic or synthetic truths (judgments) but you know someting a priori or a posteriori. My point was that some on the left believe they know with certainty, just like they know 2+2=4, that anything America does must be wrong and there is no need to question such knowledge.


From: Edmonton | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 26 February 2003 02:32 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
. For those so inclined to believe that George W Bush is operating under the pretense of his and his father’s oil cronies – the same oil companies that were said to have control over the earlier Bush administration – they had better explain why, with such a clear opportunity to do so, the previous Bush administration passed up seizing oil fields a decade ago.

There are thousands of US troops in Kuwait today. Many have been there since 1991. Kuwait is the country most likely to undercut OPEC guidelines on oil production, thereby leading to cheaper crude in the West. As well, many US and European companies hold contracts to extract, refine and ship the oil.

Bush would have to personally drink it to have more control over it.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
sheep
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2119

posted 26 February 2003 03:06 PM      Profile for sheep     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Cheaper crude in the West would lead to lower profits for American oil companies wouldn't it? I've can never quite grasp the blood for oil argument. You have one camp saying that it's all about more profits for the oil companies, and another camp saying it's all about cheap gas for American SUV owners.

So is it cheap oil the US is fighting for, or expensive oil and more profit for oil companies?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
jeff house
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 518

posted 26 February 2003 03:40 PM      Profile for jeff house     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
So is it cheap oil the US is fighting for, or expensive oil and more profit for oil companies?

The US wants to insure a steady supply of oil. That is the most important point. Second, they wish it to be relatively cheap for the oil companies to obtain. The oil companies are then free to mark up the price to account for costs and a healthy profit.

Obviously, oil is not a unicausal factor. But it is an important one; otherwise we would be more worried about North Korean, or Pakistani, or Indian weapons of mass destruction.


From: toronto | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged

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