Tuesday, September 24, 2002

REQUIRED READING

Thanks to the good professor, I was able to read this piece by David Brooks.

The Fog of Peace is bloody good reading. Tight, well-argued, and focussed on the goal of debate.
For the peace camp, all foreign affairs is local; contempt for and opposition to Wolfowitz, Perle, Rumsfeld, et al. is the driving passion. When they write about these figures it is with a burning zeal. But on the rare occasions when they write about Saddam, suddenly all passion drains away. Saddam is boring, but Wolfowitz tears at their soul.

Brooks points out the almost total absence of forward-looking analysis by the anti-war movement. This is a feature of the Australian debate as well. In the same way as every “blame America” article included the obligatory paragraph about how terrible September 11 was, every anti-war article includes an acknowledgement that Saddam is a bad dude. But it stops there. The justifications seems to end at “Saddam is a butcher and a dictator, but Bush is from Texas. Texas!”

Take this piece from Robert Corr, who has raised motivation over action, and has a poor opinion of the Iraqi people’s ability to organise themselves a democracy.
No matter how much Bush rabbits on about pre-emptive self-defence or human rights or WMD, the end result will be more of the same for the people of Iraq. Sure, there'll be a new leader with a new moustache, but he'll have the same hand up his backside.
Go ahead: take out Saddam. But do it for the right reasons.

The lessons of Japan, Germany, Korea and Afghanistan have passed Robert by. The only possible outcome for this occupied country, one that even Corr will admit the USA has an extreme strategic interest in maintaining as a stable oil exporter, will be to suffer under the yoke of another “moustache” (spot of profiling, mebbe?) that will start the dictatorship again. They have neither the wit nor the will displayed by some of the most militaristic countries in the world, and institute the foundations of a liberal state.

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