Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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June 14, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

INTERVENTION....Jon Chait today:

Must I really explain why it's OK to favor some wars but oppose others?

Apparently so. In particular, Chait wants to explain why liberals who supported intervention in Bosnia and Kosovo might not support continued intervention in Iraq:

The key fact in Bosnia is that people were not, for the most part, "slaughtering one another." Serbs were slaughtering Bosnian Muslims (and later Kosovars). That's a situation in which American military force could clearly solve the problem. All we had to do was inflict enough punishment upon the aggressors to make them stop.

In Iraq, on the other hand, you really do have ethnic groups slaughtering one another. One of those groups, the Shiites, is mainly using the machinery of the state. The other group, the Sunnis, is using insurgent tactics. But the point is, we can't kill our way out of the problem, because success would entail not just persuading one side to stop its aggression but persuading both sides to make peace. And the Shiite-dominated Iraqi government shows no signs of wanting to make the concessions it needs to make for peace.

There's actually an even stronger case to be made here. Consider the Kosovo war. We came in at the end of nearly a decade of fighting in the former Yugoslavia, when the ethnic violence in the region was finally showing signs of burning itself out. We had the undivided support of NATO. The postwar occupation was conducted with plenty of troops. And since the end of the war there's been very little fighting and almost no casualties among the occupying forces.

In other words, it's about the best case you could ask for. Compared to Iraq it's a rose garden. And even at that, after eight years Kosovo is still far from stable. It's only barely a success story.

The lesson here is simple: Sometimes military intervention is a feasible way of getting what you want. Sometimes it isn't. Sometimes it depends on whether you're willing (and able) to bring enough force to bear. That's why most of us who aren't named Bill Kristol support some wars but not others. In Darfur, for example, my hesitance about military intervention is related to the rosy scenarios I've seen bandied about too often: an awful lot of people seem to think that two or three combat brigades and some close air support is all it would take to fix things up. And maybe that's right. But I wouldn't count on it, and unless the West is prepared up front to commit two or three divisions plus some serious air power for an extended period of time, then I think we're just kidding ourselves.

The Powell Doctrine may be honored more in the breach than in the observance, but in principle everyone agrees that military intervention is a good idea only if (1) there's a military solution available and (2) we're clear-eyed about committing the forces necessary to do the job right. In Darfur, we probably have #1 but I've seen little sign of #2. In Iraq, we have neither. Regardless of whether there was ever a military solution available in Iraq in the first place, there certainly isn't now. And even if there was, President Bush has never displayed the political courage it would have taken to do it right. He wanted a quick and dirty war that could be fought without risking his political capital, and in the end he only got half of what he wanted. It hasn't been quick, but it sure has been dirty.

Kevin Drum 2:52 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (91)

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Comments

War good. War bad. Nuance make head hurt.

Posted by: wingnut on June 14, 2007 at 3:06 PM | PERMALINK

Of course there was a military solution in Iraq.

I have no idea what the problem was in 2003, but the fact that the much bigger problems they have now are a result of our violence doesn't mean that whatever problem we committed it to solve hasn't been solved.

It's only been 4 years - maybe in another 10 we'll know why we destroyed the country.

Posted by: Downpuppy on June 14, 2007 at 3:16 PM | PERMALINK

War bad. Especially against an enemy who neither has the will nor the means to fight.

Posted by: gregor on June 14, 2007 at 3:21 PM | PERMALINK

Remember that Chait's arguments are too subtle (I mean, in the legitimate sense) for simple-minded conservatives to appreciate. The ones that do appreciate it intellectually, don't want to admit the implications.

Downpuppy: I do agree that there could in principle have been a successful outcome in Iraq, and someday we likely would have needed to kick out Saddam (but not in Spring '03), but the wrong people were running the operation.

Posted by: Neil B. on June 14, 2007 at 3:29 PM | PERMALINK

I have a feeling if somehow Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Barack Hussein Obama had led the charge to overthrow Saddam Hussein, you guys would have ended up with a different conclusion on whether this was a good war or bad war.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom Fighter, your right, but of course, all our troops would be home by now.

Posted by: CT on June 14, 2007 at 3:36 PM | PERMALINK

I have a feeling if somehow Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Barack Hussein Obama had led the charge to overthrow Saddam Hussein, you guys would have ended up with a different conclusion on whether this was a good war or bad war.
Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 3:30 PM | PERMALINK

If there had been real, substantive debate on exactly HOW this would be done (ie. with 500k+ troops; enough to WIN) - with a time frame, an exit strategy, and no WMD lies, then sure, I probably would have supported it.

In fact, I supported Bush's proposed war up until Powell's presentation at the UN. I've had used-car salesmen try to scam me before, so I recognized the spiel.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

Following what CT said ...

and it would have been a vastly different war.

Posted by: Jeff Davis on June 14, 2007 at 3:40 PM | PERMALINK

I have a feeling if somehow Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Barack Hussein Obama had led the charge to overthrow Saddam Hussein, you guys would have ended up with a different conclusion on whether this was a good war or bad war.

Funny, I have the feeling you would have ended up with a different conclusion on whether this was a good war or bad war if that was the case -- just like all those Republicans in the 1990s who staunchly opposed military intervention and nation-building when Bill Clinton did it.

Posted by: Stefan on June 14, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

Et tu, Phreedom Phucker? I suppose you supported Clinton's actions in Kosovo? I thought not.

Posted by: MeLoseBrain? on June 14, 2007 at 3:42 PM | PERMALINK

The invasion of Iraq, as well as the bombing of Serbia (Kosovo intervention) were based on false information. Rumsfeld told us he knew where the WMD were. Cohen told us the Serbs had massacred 100,000 Kosovars. There was no WMD, and there was no genocide in Kosovo. (Many people seem to confuse Bosnia, where the Bosnian Serbs committed genocide, with Kosovo, where the local Serbs were a weak and persecuted minority).

Whether Rumsfeld and Cohen knew that what they were saying was false is an interesting question. But we should not forget that these two wars were fought on false pretenses.

And what about previous wars? Remember Vietnam and the Domino Theory?


Posted by: JS on June 14, 2007 at 3:43 PM | PERMALINK

um, neil, how can you agree with me when I haven't got a clue what a "successful outcome" means?

I was just making fun of Kevin for talking about a solution without defining a problem. It's always necessary when discussing Iraq to remember that terms like Victory, Mission, & Solution are meaningless.

Posted by: Downpuppy on June 14, 2007 at 3:44 PM | PERMALINK

What would happen if there was a serious ban on international arms trading? I know that there can still be atrocities with machetes but the ability to roll into town with a couple of jeeps and some machine guns make the atrocities easier.

Posted by: Clint on June 14, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

This would be a wonderful occasion to revisit Donald Rumsfeld's Washington Post opinion piece contrasting the, in his mind, bungled international Kosovo intervention with the modern Garden of Babylon we would be administering in Iraq. Look it up! Sorry I don't have a link.

Posted by: anatomist on June 14, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

In Albania this weekend, President Bush learned that there is at least one place on earth where he is still welcome. Massive crowds and adoring throngs in the primarily Muslim nation came out to greet the President in Tirana to thank Bush for his support of independence for their ethnic brethren in Kosovo. But in this as in so many other areas, George W. Bush is only to happy to accept applause intended for Bill Clinton.

For the history, see:
"Bush Steals Clinton's Applause in Albania."

Posted by: Angry One on June 14, 2007 at 3:48 PM | PERMALINK

What would happen if there was a serious ban on international arms trading? ...
Posted by: Clint on June 14, 2007 at 3:47 PM | PERMALINK

If international arms trading is outlawed only outlaws will trade arms internationally.

I know that there can still be atrocities with machetes . . .

Ban the machetes. Folks will kill eachother with their bare hands.

but the ability to roll into town with a couple of jeeps and some machine guns make the atrocities easier.

And cluster bombs, depleted uranium, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons makes it even easier!

And a Corporate Media makes it easiest of all.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 3:51 PM | PERMALINK

You give Mr. Bush far too much credit. He, more particularly Mr. Cheney, wanted a war that would be under the radar, fairly private, and without input from the broad American public through their representatives in Congress, the bureaucracy, including the military, and the justice system. They wanted to run their private war, just like their support of the Contras in the 1980's, using the power of the American state. These men have such little real support that they had to rely on deceit, secrecy, subterfuge and bullying.

They are a gang of thugs who sold their private interest - pacification of a post-Cold War Middle East using military power, as an American national concern by conflating their project with the perceived, but exaggerated, threat presented by the perpetrators of 9/11. They have always wanted to keep this war as far from the politics-and therefore the institutions of democracy- of the American state as possible. They sell it as America's New War of the Age of Danger, but it is nothing but a private project built on a fancied emergency.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 14, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Clint on June 14, 2007 at 3:47 PM:

What would happen if there was a serious ban on international arms trading?

Prices would go up.

Posted by: grape_crush on June 14, 2007 at 3:54 PM | PERMALINK

You need to check out the accuracy of the May 15th Prophecy in regards to what is happing in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria and the return of the Hidden Imam

lastdaywatchers.blogspot.com

Posted by: leon on June 14, 2007 at 3:56 PM | PERMALINK

And cluster bombs, depleted uranium, chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons makes it even easier!

And a Corporate Media makes it easiest of all.

Don't be hatin.'

Posted by: Rupert Murdoch on June 14, 2007 at 4:01 PM | PERMALINK

These men have such little real support that they had to rely on deceit, secrecy, subterfuge and bullying.. . .
Posted by: bellumregio on June 14, 2007 at 3:53 PM | PERMALINK

Honestly, I don't think that's really the case. I tend to be of the "you can't handle the truth!" school of thought.

I think that most Americans would rather not KNOW that their tax dollars go to support torture, or blowing up children with cluster munitions and mines, or poisoning vast swaths of countryside with depleted uranium.

But they sure as hell expect to have their Way Of Life (TM) protected for their money. They hire other people to do it, and they don't want to know how it's done. They're shocked by the Abu Ghraib photos - but when presented with the FALSE DILEMMA of either THAT, or $5/gal gas, they'll happily head to the country club, play a few rounds, and ask "aw jeez, hasn't that investigation of those bad politicians gone anywhere? Isn't anyone in jail yet? Oh well."

They don't know the truth, and they don't WANT to know the truth. (If they did, then For Profit media would find the truth to be more profitable than what they're showing now). We're an entire culture that willingly lives in a bubble. We've been watching TV so long, even 9/11 didn't really seem real to us, watching it on CNN that morning.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 4:03 PM | PERMALINK

The Powell Doctrine [...] is a good idea only if (1) there's a military solution available and (2) we're clear-eyed about committing the forces necessary to do the job right.

You forgot the bit about actually having a legal basis on which to conduct the war. I.e., launcing an aggressive war against a country and blowing the shit out of its population having made up a cover story to hide your real intentions is something we used to fucking hang people for. Why aren't Bush, Powell, Cheney, and the lot of them dangling from a fucking gibbet?

Posted by: Mike on June 14, 2007 at 4:06 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, we succeeded in Iraq about two weeks into the war. Unfortunately, we stayed in Iraq for another four years.

Posted by: FS on June 14, 2007 at 4:09 PM | PERMALINK

"Funny, I have the feeling you would have ended up with a different conclusion on whether this was a good war or bad war if that was the case -- just like all those Republicans in the 1990s who staunchly opposed military intervention and nation-building when Bill Clinton did it."

I think Kevin Drum mentioned a few weeks ago, you liberals should just be honest about why you are against the war, and drop all the dishonesty pretending to care about the troops or whether the UN approved it or not.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 4:15 PM | PERMALINK

I have a feeling if somehow Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Barack Hussein Obama had led the charge to overthrow Saddam Hussein, you guys would have ended up with a different conclusion on whether this was a good war or bad war.

If that were true, then you'd have had the pleasure of being on the right side of history while we resorted to alternate universes to excuse our lack of strategic and moral judgment.

Posted by: Boronx on June 14, 2007 at 4:19 PM | PERMALINK

"If there had been real, substantive debate on exactly HOW this would be done (ie. with 500k+ troops; enough to WIN) - with a time frame, an exit strategy, and no WMD lies, then sure, I probably would have supported it."

That's funny, I thought the reasons the left often cites as opposition to the war was that it was: illegal, immoral, to profit Halliburton, etc... and now you are saying, if we had put more muscle into the effort, ie: had the war been more illegal, more immoral, and more profits for Halliburton, you'd be all for it?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

a small note on construction in Iraq and Afghanistan:

http://www.grd.usace.army.mil/news/releases/GWOT-June2007.pdf

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 4:23 PM | PERMALINK

I have a feeling if somehow Hillary Rodham Clinton, or Barack Hussein Obama had led the charge to overthrow Saddam Hussein, you guys would have ended up with a different conclusion on whether this was a good war or bad war.

I, for one, would not support an overthrow of Saddam no matter who was president. You can't just take over a country because you don't like the leader.

Posted by: D. on June 14, 2007 at 4:24 PM | PERMALINK

According to a 2003 Army manual for the 101st Airborne, Arabs are "reluctant to accept responsibility" and aren't so good with time constraints. So much for timetables.

Hmmmmm.

"Arabs" must be code for "Bushies."

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 4:27 PM | PERMALINK

Drum to Darfur: Drop Dead.

OK. We got that one. So the new neoliberal doctrine is, you wait until a war gets started and so many people have been killed that the warring parties are exhausted. Provided no one objects (or, as during the 1990s in the Balkans the people who would have objected -- the Russians -- are for some reason out of the picture) you flex a little muscle, drop a few bombs from 35,000 feet, and congratulate yourself on your sophistication about the place of military force in foreign affairs.

And if no easy military option is available, you do what Bill Clinton did about Rwanda: nothing. You apologize a few years later.

Look, the last six years have proven that there are lots of ways to screw up foreign policy. But if the idea here is merely to fix things by returning to the way the Clinton administration operated we're really aren't going to be much better off. The foundation for a lot of the things working against American foreign policy now -- the crippled institutional condition of the State Department relative to the Pentagon, the disintegration of American foreign aid and public diplomacy, and of course the terrorist problem that Clinton did nothing about for eight years while al Qaeda grew and prospered -- was laid, but good, between 1993 and 2000. There's nothing to be smug about with respect to this record; there is, in fact, little reason to look at it as a model at all.

Well, there is one reason, consisting of three words: Bill. Clinton's. Wife. Another Democratic candidate would have the option of advancing a different approach to foreign relations and national security affairs, but not this one. Could the next President after Bush do better than what McCain aptly called the "feckless, photo-op foreign policy" of the 1990s? That depends on who the next President is. If it's the Democratic front runner we know the answer will be "no."

Posted by: Zathras on June 14, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

"I think that most Americans would rather not KNOW that their tax dollars go to support torture, or blowing up children with cluster munitions and mines, or poisoning vast swaths of countryside with depleted uranium."

Why not? Earlier you said you'd support an even bigger American prescence in Iraq... wouldn't that mean more depleted uranium poisoning, more kids getting blown up by mines and cluster bombs, and more opportunities for American service personnel to engage in torture of the local populace?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK

In Darfur, for example, my hesitance about military intervention is related to the rosy scenarios I've seen bandied about too often: an awful lot of people seem to think that two or three combat brigades and some close air support is all it would take to fix things up. And maybe that's right. But I wouldn't count on it, and unless the West is prepared up front to commit two or three divisions plus some serious air power for an extended period of time, then I think we're just kidding ourselves.

Not to mention that the Chinese are investing heavily in the Sudanese economy, equipping the Sudanese army, and buying large amounts of Sudanese oil.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

"That's funny, I thought..."

Then it must be true!

Posted by: Boronx on June 14, 2007 at 4:30 PM | PERMALINK

That's funny, I thought the reasons the left often cites as opposition to the war . . .
Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 4:22 PM | PERMALINK

I'm not "the left" - in fact, I seriously doubt that there's anyone on this message board that fits the caricature you're thinking of. . .

was that it was: illegal, immoral,. . .

It was only illegal, and immoral, because Bush had to LIE to get the war.

Before the war, when the WMD story was floating around; no, it would not have been immoral nor illegal to deter a real threat.

But as it turned out - there WAS no real threat. It was made up. A LIE. That is what was so immoral about it.


...to profit Halliburton, etc...

Some, on the "left" (notably Kerry) - supported the war, even the Halliburton contract. But simply wanted more accounting oversight to the money. And the "right" used that as a tool to attack peoples' patriotism. When, in fact, this Halliburton contract is the most corrupt and fraught with fraud in US history. And that was WITHOUT the accounting oversight. I wonder how much corruption we would have seen had we not put blindfolds on the DoD and GAO Autidors.

...and now you are saying, if we had put more muscle into the effort, ie: had the war been more illegal, more immoral, and more profits for Halliburton, you'd be all for it?

Um - your "ie" is just wrong and stupid.

More muscle; would mean that we could have secured the weapons sites, and provided order and protection for the recently conquered nation, and we wouldn't be seeing all this violence we have today. It has nothing at all to do with Halliburton, and everything to do with doing the right thing. It was irresponsible of us to go in with so few troops - and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis are dead now, because of it.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 4:35 PM | PERMALINK

...you liberals should just be honest about why you are against the war...

How about this: it was unnecessary.

Posted by: JM on June 14, 2007 at 4:39 PM | PERMALINK

Downpuppy: It's always necessary when discussing Iraq to remember that terms like Victory, Mission, & Solution are meaningless.

I understand the arguments that victory is unlikely or impossible in Iraq, but why the continued assertion that victory is undefined or meaningless? Sen. Kerry gave a definition in 2004: a free, democratic and secure Iraq. I think he included "economically sound" or some such.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 4:40 PM | PERMALINK

Why not? Earlier you said you'd support an even bigger American prescence in Iraq... wouldn't that mean more depleted uranium poisoning, more kids getting blown up by mines and cluster bombs, and more opportunities for American service personnel to engage in torture of the local populace?
Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 4:29 PM | PERMALINK


I know you think you're cute, misrepresenting my argument, but I think you'd be better off if you'd consider sticking your head in a chipper-shredder.

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 4:41 PM | PERMALINK

"More muscle; would mean that we could have secured the weapons sites, and provided order and protection for the recently conquered nation, and we wouldn't be seeing all this violence we have today."

Huh? I though you said American tax payers don't want to know their money is spent on torture, blowing up children and poisoning the countryside. That doesn't seem to jive with securing weapons sites, or providing proetction and order.

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 4:42 PM | PERMALINK

Going to war should be reserved for vital national interests. Iraq does not qualify. Neither does Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, or Darfur.

Unfortunately, only a very small minority of Americans feel this way.

Posted by: Yancey Ward on June 14, 2007 at 4:43 PM | PERMALINK

Please don't feed the trolls. This is a site for grown-ups.

Posted by: MaxGowan on June 14, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

a possibly more hopeful sounding note on Darfur:

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1181570267706&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 4:44 PM | PERMALINK

[A definition of 'victory']: a free, democratic and secure Iraq.

Do the Iraqis get a say in the matter? Do they get to define what 'free,' 'democratic,' and 'secure' mean to them?

Posted by: JM on June 14, 2007 at 4:46 PM | PERMALINK

"It was only illegal, and immoral, because Bush had to LIE to get the war.

Before the war, when the WMD story was floating around; no, it would not have been immoral nor illegal to deter a real threat.

But as it turned out - there WAS no real threat. It was made up. A LIE. That is what was so immoral about it."

The WMD "lie" has been floating around long before Bush got to the WH. Didn't Clinton make regime change in Iraq, American policy? And the "lie" came from the Dems, not Bush?

Posted by: Freedom Fighter on June 14, 2007 at 4:48 PM | PERMALINK

Didn't Clinton make regime change in Iraq, American policy?

I'd like to see regime change in Zimbabwe. Doesn't mean that I'd actually invade the place.

Posted by: JM on June 14, 2007 at 4:52 PM | PERMALINK

For Iraq to be free & democratic, they first have to get rid of the foreign occupiers. Since we're the foreign occupiers, you've defined victory as something we can't have because we're there, not something that could happen as a result of our being there.

Likewise "Secure" & "Occupied" are contradictory (only x100).

In any event, I'd prefer definitions that (1) came from the people responsible for the war (2) were conceivable as a result of war & (3) have some relation to what was said before the invasion. (A bonus would be if they didn't constitute aggressive war that should get the perpetrators hung by any sane jury)

Posted by: Downpuppy on June 14, 2007 at 4:54 PM | PERMALINK

Actually, we succeeded in Iraq about two weeks into the war. Unfortunately, we stayed in Iraq for another four years.

Sure, the same way the Soviets succeeded two weeks into their invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, or that Germany succeeded two weeks into its invasion of Poland in 1939....

Posted by: Stefan on June 14, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

Freedom F*cker: The WMD "lie" has been floating around long before Bush got to the WH.

Once upon a time, Saddam had WMDs.

Once upon a time, intelligence and the UN had not verified that the WMDs were no longer present.

During those times, it wasn't a lie.

Then, Saddam got rid of his WMDs.

This was suggested by the intelligence community and verified by the UN inspectors.

This knowledge was known to the Bush administration when it made its statements that Saddam had WMDs, when he didn't.

It was thus a lie when the Bush administration said he had them, but not a lie when Clinton said he had them.

Savvy?

-------------

Hope that was simple enough for your small brain to follow, F*cker.

Posted by: anonymous on June 14, 2007 at 4:56 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with FS. We were told that Saddam had (or soon would have) WMD's aimed at America. The solution was a pre-emptive, unilateral invasion.

After 3 weeks, Saddam's ability to attack us with WMDs was gone. Problem identified (falsely) --> solution applied (quickly). Continued Iraqi occupation was all for oil.

As osama_bin_forgotten states: once we saw Powell's U.N. case, many of us said "we gots nuthin".

Posted by: wishIwuz2 on June 14, 2007 at 5:03 PM | PERMALINK

The real measure of success in Iraq is access- access to markets and resources for profit making. If it comes under the auspices of an economic-liberal democracy (as opposed to a theocratic democracy intent upon national use of resources), than that is golden, but if it must be a dictator- or a dictatorial regime like in Saudi Arabia- than that will do. The transformation of the Middle East was supposed to be a fulfillment of the End of History where the consensus of free markets is universal and democracies make peace and not war. The model was Eastern Europe after the collapse of the Soviet Union. That history is not inevitable is no doubt a surprise to some in Dick Cheney’s circle. Sounds great, but the world is quite a complicated place, particularly the Middle East, for such naive views.

Posted by: bellumregio on June 14, 2007 at 5:04 PM | PERMALINK

This is a very bizarre thread, because almost everyone, Kevin included, seems to have forgotten why the U.S. military is in Iraq (or rather, the reason that was initially given for sending troops into Iraq). It didn't have a goddamn thing to do with one group of Iraqis killing another, and it didn't have a goddamn thing to who Saddam was killing or torturing. It was all about WMDs. Period. Full stop. Did everyone forget that?

The real reason I think has more to do with Bush's unresolved Oedipal resentment of his father and his generally f*cked up ego and the dysfunctional Bush family, but I won't go there right now. So, all this blather about committing enough troops to "do the job" (whatever that means), misses the point entirely. I guess the neocon propaganda about "spreading democracy" has really worked - even on liberals and moderates.

Whew! Maybe I need to find a more reality-based forum to post on...

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 14, 2007 at 5:11 PM | PERMALINK

Why not just cut through the dreck and say that one's a Democratic war and the other's a Republican one, and that's really the only criteria that counts when deciding if something is a "good" war or not.

When the Iraq war started, there were more NATO members in the Iraq Coalition than there were in Bosnia, and the latter operation didn't have U.N. approval either.

Posted by: monkeybone on June 14, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Just to point out there is NO ethnic difference between Shias and Sunnis which is why some carry 2 IDs and take a guess at the checkpoint, and why captured groups are quizzed individually to find out which religious sect they belong too. Kurds are ethnically separate.

Just saying!

Meanwhile US policies have led to Hamas becoming the sole power in Gaza. Good going on cutting off all funds, trade, contacts, etc. Another foreign policy success.

Now Palestinians are truly divided for the first time in 40 years, are killing each other in greater numbers, and Israel can continue their land, water and Jerusalem grab unimpeded.

Not that Kevin or many of you all seem to give a flying !@#%.

Posted by: notthere on June 14, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

...one's a Democratic war and the other's a Republican one, and that's really the only criteria that counts when deciding if something is a "good" war or not.

Exactly. Which is why WW II was a good war (run by Democrats). Vietnam started out good, but ended up bad (switched horses in the middle of the stream).

Now my head hurts. Logic is hard.

Posted by: JM on June 14, 2007 at 5:24 PM | PERMALINK

Why not just cut through the dreck and say that one's a Democratic war and the other's a Republican one, and that's really the only criteria that counts when deciding if something is a "good" war or not.

Because that would be a lie. I know that won't stop you from saying it though.

Posted by: ckelly on June 14, 2007 at 5:25 PM | PERMALINK

Why not just cut through the dreck and say that one's a Democratic war and the other's a Republican one, and that's really the only criteria that counts when deciding if something is a "good" war or not.
Posted by: monkeybone on June 14, 2007 at 5:20 PM | PERMALINK

Because that assertion is dreck.

...When the Iraq war started, there were more NATO members in the Iraq Coalition than there were in Bosnia, and the latter operation didn't have U.N. approval either.

So?

Posted by: osama_been_forgotten on June 14, 2007 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK
When the Iraq war started, there were more NATO members in the Iraq Coalition than there were in Bosnia, and the latter operation didn't have U.N. approval either.

Incorrect. Operation Deliberate Force was carried out in coordination with UNPROFOR under the authority of UN Security Council Resolution 816, explicitly authorizing member states to use air power to protect "safe areas" in Bosnia and Hercegovina.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 14, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

And you being a Republican, monkeybone, must therefore support the Iraq invasion and its stunning outcome. Much better outcome than that bad war, right?

Elaborate if you're so inclined.

Posted by: skeg on June 14, 2007 at 5:46 PM | PERMALINK

If Al Gore had been president...

...he would have paid attention to Richard Clarke and put the nation on hair-on-fire alert.

...9/11 would have happened anyway, but the second plane would have been shot down. Hundreds of people would have died--the worst terrorist attack in history--but an order of magnitude less than what did.

...The Republicans would have screamed for Gore's impeachment for shooting down the planes.

...Gore would have attacked Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. Either they would have caught Bin Laden there, or in Pakistan.

...The Republicns would be screaming for Gore's impeachment for destabilizing the area by upsetting the Taliban and our Good Friend Musharraf.

...The only people talking about Iraq would be liberals lamenting that sanctions weren't working and the Iraqi people were suffering.

If the Republicans had been the opposition party the War on Iraq would never have come up. No Republican would have brought it up--and once Bin Laden had been caught, most Republicans would be rallying around Pat Buchanan, stomping for abn end to Democratid interventionism, and saying, as of old,'we can't be the World's policeman!"

Posted by: pbg on June 14, 2007 at 5:50 PM | PERMALINK

"The postwar occupation was conducted with plenty of troops. And since the end of the war there's been very little fighting and almost no casualties among the occupying forces."

I did three tours in Bosnia (Brcko, Bijeljina, and one with the Russians ouch my liver) and one in Kosovo(Gnjilane). The above statement is completely false. That was one of the biggest problems we had, lack of troops. My team had an average patrol area of over 400 square miles, a complete impossibility. We reacted to problems, we didn't prevent them. Contrast that to my tours in Iraq were we only patrolled a few square miles. Interesting factoid, my unit suffered more KIAs in Bosnia/Kosovo than we've had in Iraq.

Posted by: 1SG on June 14, 2007 at 6:06 PM | PERMALINK

Thank-you, 1SG, for interjecting some informed comments in this thread.

Posted by: MaxGowan on June 14, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

"I understand the arguments that victory is unlikely or impossible in Iraq, but why the continued assertion that victory is undefined or meaningless?"

Primarily because the Bush administration keeps moving the goalposts and has never adequately defined what "victory" means or what our exit strategy is.

"a free, democratic and secure Iraq"

The Soviet Union was technically free, democratic, and secure. Pakistan, today, is technically free, democratic, and secure. The U.S. is tecnnically free, democratic, and secure. And yet, the three societies are wildly different. Which definition of "free, democratic, and secure" do you, or more accurately, the Bush administration, want in Iraq? Defining a weasel phrase with more weasel phrases doesn't really help.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 6:18 PM | PERMALINK

"The above statement is completely false"

Which statement was false? You included two statements but only contradicted one. And you didn't even really contradict that one, since all you really said was that you had an enormous amount of terrain to cover.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK
... Didn't Clinton make regime change in Iraq, American policy? ....Freedom Fighter at 4:48 PM
As has been noted many times, the Iraq Liberation Act precluded military action.

...The Act authorized the President to assist all such groups with: broadcasting assistance (for radio and television broadcasting), military assistance (education and training of an army),and humanitarian assistance (for individuals fleeing Saddam Hussein). The Act specifically refused to grant the President authority to use U.S. Military force to achieve its stated goals and purposes...

You can repeat the same spin ad nauseam , but it won't become true.

Posted by: Mike on June 14, 2007 at 6:24 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely and mike, thanks for shooting down the usual errata.

Maybe I haven't found the right page, but there are people that post here that make the conversation interesting and forward looking. So that is why I find so disappointing that the present Israeli political debate, the troubles in Gaza, with West Bank tomorrow, and Lebanon/Palestinian/al Qaeda NEXUS is slipping below the radar of this company.

Come on! Anyone else think so?

Posted by: notthere on June 14, 2007 at 6:34 PM | PERMALINK

PaulB: Defining a weasel phrase with more weasel phrases doesn't really help.

That's why I always quote Sen. Kerry's definition. I love to read repudiations of his language. On this topic, however, he was right.

If the USSR was "technically" free and democratic, then you have a useless "technical" definition of "free" and "democratic". It's no wonder you think such concepts are "meaningless" in a discussion of goals for Iraq.

for "free" we have at least a diversity of newspapers and political parties, and the right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances. There is no absolute, but Iraqis have a lot more of than before, at least in the areas not dominated by al Qaeda.

for "democratic" we have regularly scheduled (i.e. scheduled by law) contested elections, including candidates who complain about the government without being killed by the government. Iraq has more of that than before.

For examples of actual democracy against which a future democracy of Iraq might be compared, I have included the Philipines, Taiwan, S. Korea, Greece in the 50s, New Orleans, and Washington, D.C. It hasn't surpassed those standards, but Minnesota isn't the only democratic standard against which Iraqi democracy should be judged. By most standards, Iraqi Kurdistan is pretty good now, and it would be a shame to throw them to the wolves.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 6:46 PM | PERMALINK

Uh . . . it's called the doctrine of just wars. I know, I know, wingnuts like Al, et al., would denounce me as a week-kneed moral relativist -- but of course this particular concept hasn't changed much since it was articulated in the Council of Nicea (5th Century) and before that by Aristotle. . . It's why the American Council of Catholic Bishops -- those pinko-lefty-liberal types who hate traditional values -- called on BushCo to reverse course. In November 2002. Well before the war. The war was deemed unjust (with the implication that every death caused is defined as murder) because they knew full well, as we all did, that there was not imminent threat justifying a casus belli.

In the case of Kosovo, there were about 800,000 Kosovars heading over the mountains if I recall correctly. My family supported some refugees. There was a real crisis unfolding, which Clinton didn't lie to us about.

Oh, yeah, that too -- Bush lied to get us into this mess. Clinton didn't.

Posted by: onomasticator on June 14, 2007 at 7:17 PM | PERMALINK

OK, notthere. The disaster in Gaza was No. 1 with a bullet on NPR's news today. (I don't watch any TV news so can't say otherwise; I assume Paris Hilton ranked higher.) So that would tend to refute the notion that this is under the radar. This is big. Where to begin? I saw a post earlier here blaming Israel and the U.S. Might there be any Palestinian responsibility? What did Abba Eban say? A people who never missed a chance to lose an opportunity. Even the Palestinian intellectuals on NPR were calling it self immolation. Andrew Sullivan has some nicely snarky reposts to the right, noting, why not now invade Gaza? One just needs to apply the same logic the Neocons did with Iraq. Glen Reynolds doesn't like it one bit, poor guy.

Posted by: MaxGowan on June 14, 2007 at 7:29 PM | PERMALINK

MarrhewRmarler:

There are almost no areas in Iraq "dominated by al Qaeda," and few dominated by that different group, al Qaeda in Iraq.

Since you (rightly) take issue with meaningless technical definitions, I think you'll agree that as a practical matter there is little right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances, and to do so safely in many parts of Iraq. A right that is little used because it cannot be secured or safely practiced isn't much of a right at all. And then there's the little issue of freedoms for women, which are among the rights we promised to bring to Afghanistan, but which we seem not to care so much about in Iraq...

Posted by: keith on June 14, 2007 at 7:55 PM | PERMALINK

The Conservative Deflator wrote:

"It didn't have a goddamn thing to do with one group of Iraqis killing another, and it didn't have a goddamn thing to who Saddam was killing or torturing. It was all about WMDs. Period. Full stop. Did everyone forget that?"
___________________

Nope, CD, they haven't forgotten. Not because it was true - there were several other reasons for war - but because it's the reason that failed to materialize. If the President had been half as nefarious as some claim he is, we'd have found tons of the stuff lying around. Not that it matters much now, for the people in harm's way.

Long wars often develop different and additional causes as they progress.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 8:11 PM | PERMALINK

In the case of Kosovo, there were about 800,000 Kosovars heading over the mountains if I recall correctly... There was a real crisis unfolding, which Clinton didn't lie to us about.

Those 800,000 headed over the mountains after the NATO bombing started, not before.

Before the bombing, Clinton had said that 100,000 (and possibly as many as 500,000) Kosovar men were missing and may have been killed by the Serbs.

The information Clinton -- and most of the media -- were using was coming from the KLA, the Albanian revolutionary group that was formed to bring about the independence of Kosovo. Its veracity was similar to that of another similar group -- Chalabi's Iraqi National Congress. Both of these outfits produced self-serving, false information which our press largely accepted with no independent verification.

Posted by: JS on June 14, 2007 at 8:15 PM | PERMALINK

excellent as always but I would rewrite "That's why most of us who aren't named Bill Kristol support some wars but not others" to "That's why most of us who are named neither Bill Kristol nor Mohandas Gandhi support some wars but not others." There are absolute pacifists you know.

Posted by: Robert Waldmann on June 14, 2007 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

MaxCowan, case proven. You're the only response. There's never been a discussion here. Kevin Drum delilberately ignores the Middle East, most particularly Palestine/Israel and he never gives a reason why.

This actually is a center of unease/revolution but we refuse to address it. Here, or at the national level.

Any replies?

Posted by: notthere on June 14, 2007 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Interesting factoid, my unit suffered more KIAs in Bosnia/Kosovo than we've had in Iraq.

Interesting factoid indeed, since there were a grand total of 2 -- yes, 2 -- US combat deaths during the Kosovo campaign. Compare that to the 3,400 and rising in Iraq. That must mean your unit suffered every single death -- all two of them -- there was on the US side in that war....

Posted by: Stefan on June 14, 2007 at 8:52 PM | PERMALINK

Mike wrote:

"You forgot the bit about actually having a legal basis on which to conduct the war. I.e., launcing an aggressive war against a country and blowing the shit out of its population having made up a cover story to hide your real intentions is something we used to fucking hang people for. Why aren't Bush, Powell, Cheney, and the lot of them dangling from a fucking gibbet?"
_________________________

Well, gee, Mike, first off, because you lack the power to kill them. Second, because most people don't seem to agree that they deserve death for what they've done. Third, because what they've done hasn't ever been proven to be a crime.

There are probably other reasons, but I'm sure you at least feel better for having said it.

Posted by: Trashhauler on June 14, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

If the President had been half as nefarious as some claim he is, we'd have found tons of the stuff lying around.

Well no, because he's incompetent. That doesn't prove he's not nefarious, it just proves (if more was needed) that he's a fuck-up.

Posted by: Stefan on June 14, 2007 at 8:54 PM | PERMALINK

Long wars often develop different and additional causes as they progress.

By definition, something cannot develop a cause after it has begun.

Wars may in fact develop tortured, self-justifying ex post facto rationalizations by deluded supporters who are clinging to any thin reed they can find, but that's not the same thing as a cause....

Posted by: Stefan on June 14, 2007 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

keith: I think you'll agree that as a practical matter there is little right to assemble peaceably and petition the government for redress of grievances, and to do so safely in many parts of Iraq.

there is no perfect safety, but they have more right to do this safely than under Saddam Hussein.

My phrase "dominated by al Qaeda" is not such a good phrase, as you point out. In some parts of Iraq, such as Iraqi Kurdistan, these rights are substantial; in other parts, hardly existent at all. There is no really simple phrase to aggregate the areas where the violence is most rampant. However, it is not generally the government that prevents the exercise of the rights, which is a considerable contrast to the Baathist regime.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 8:59 PM | PERMALINK

The "bait and switch" is complete. Everyone thinks we are in Iraq to spread democracy.

We.Are.Truly.Fucked.

Posted by: The Conservative Deflator on June 14, 2007 at 9:38 PM | PERMALINK

"That's why I always quote Sen. Kerry's definition. I love to read repudiations of his language."

Why? Are you really so wedded to partisanship? I have absolutely no problem criticizing Democrats when they say something stupid.

"On this topic, however, he was right."

Not even remotely, but thanks for playing. We have some lovely consolation prizes for you. I'll add Lebanon, Kuwait, and pre-Civil War Palestine to my list of countries. And I can find quite a few other examples, as well.

The words you cite have no universal definitions when applied to nations, political parties, war outcomes, etc., which is why using them to define "victory" is meaningless, since Bush could have another Lebanon on his hands and declare "victory."

Frankly, your response was just mental masturbation, not worth fisking or replying to.

Posted by: PaulB on June 14, 2007 at 9:43 PM | PERMALINK

Thank-you, 1SG, for interjecting some informed comments in this thread.

Posted by: MaxGowan on June 14, 2007 at 6:16 PM | PERMALINK

Thank you, MaxGowan, for proving you have no knowledge about what you speak. Congrats.

Anybody, anybody want to pitch for talking about the Palestinians?

Posted by: notthere on June 14, 2007 at 10:49 PM | PERMALINK

The words you cite have no universal definitions when applied to nations, political parties, war outcomes,

All words are mush. We turn now to discussions of the sound of one hand clapping.

Posted by: MatthewRmarler on June 14, 2007 at 11:36 PM | PERMALINK

I did a CTRL-F on "oil" in these 81 comments and got 2, one on point. "Democracy", "terrorism", "victory", "civil war", are all meaningless diversions. The Korean analogy was closer, but what Cheney & Co. will be more than satisfied with, after thousands of deaths & years of occupation, is something like an Angolan or Nigerian analogy - just enough civil order (with oil co. exec's pulling strings from safe havens) to keep the crude pumping. It's about oil, not people. Everybody knows it, but everybody keeps forgetting it.

Posted by: rhodebud on June 15, 2007 at 5:55 AM | PERMALINK

Could the next President after Bush do better than what McCain aptly called the "feckless, photo-op foreign policy" of the 1990s?

Yes, damn him for those eight years of international popularity, peacemaking in the Middle East, the Balkans and Northern Ireland, a couple of short, victorious wars, and, key point here, A COMPLETE ABSENCE OF MAJOR LANDMARKS BEING FLATTENED BY TERRORISTS.

Interesting factoid, my unit suffered more KIAs in Bosnia/Kosovo than we've had in Iraq.

Yeah, right. The US hasn't taken any Killed In Action in Bosnia.

http://www.iht.com/articles/2001/05/25/edgareth_ed2_.php

It took none in Kosovo: the two dead were killed when their AH-64 crashed by accident during a training exercise.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/335709.stm

US forces have suffered several dead from other causes - accidents, crashes, etc - but no KIA.

We won't be seeing 1SG again. Driveby troll.

Posted by: ajay on June 15, 2007 at 6:25 AM | PERMALINK

You all understand that 1SG is Max Gowan, right? Pretty transparent.

Posted by: agent zero on June 15, 2007 at 9:33 AM | PERMALINK

What the Kosovo/Serbia proves is that the social-demcoratic left (i.e. Clinton Administration)and their allies in Europe can lie/spin/make up stories/smear opponents/cover-up details just as easily and readily as the social-democratic right (i.e. Bush Administration/neocons) can about Iraq. You're all the same BS artists.

The Rambouiliett Accord was not a peace treaty but an ultimatum akin to the Austro-Hungarian Empire's ultimatum to the Serbs in 1914 after the death Archduke Franz Ferdinand The mass exodus of Albanians from Kosovo started after the bombing not before. There was no mass ethnic cleansing by the Serbs, only a low-level insurgency. The KLA was on the State Department's own list of terrorist organizations and yet we supported their irrendist claims on sovereign Serbian territory. NATO was created for defensive purposes only and now became an offensive military force and Christiane Amanpour of CNN was married to State Department spokesperson Jamie Rubin in one of the biggest conflict of interests ever seen in wartime.

I think Bill Maher summed up the Kosovo War rather nicely when he said "Bombing someone from 15,000 feet, now that's cowardly!" before being fired by ABC for telling the truth.

Oh yes, Bill Kristol said at the time "We need to crack Serbian skulls."

Enjoy your bedroom partner. You know him quite. He's only shadowy reflection your Beltway selves.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 15, 2007 at 10:30 AM | PERMALINK
By definition, something cannot develop a cause after it has begun.

I think there may be some equivocation going on in the claim about new causes: "cause" can be used in the sense of causality, to refer to something that produces an effect; it can also be used to refer to a goal that is served by an action. Long wars do develop additional causes in the second sense, but clearly logically cannot in the first sense.

Posted by: cmdicely on June 15, 2007 at 11:52 AM | PERMALINK

JS, sorry for the deferred response: you're post contains various inaccuracies but, more important, it obfuscates. The point I was making is the difference between "just" and "unjust" wars: there was an element of imminent harm to human life in the case of Kosovo that is undeniable. Here's a timeline for your reference:

http://www.ess.uwe.ac.uk/kosovo/Kosovo-chronology3.htm

The reality is that before and during the course of the air strikes, hundreds of thousands of Kosovars abandoned their homes — some forced by Serb troops, others by fear. The result was a massive refugee crisis that primarily affected neighboring countries Albania and Macedonia. Western countries helped ease the burden by offering refuge to some of the 860,000 ethnic Albanians who left Kosovo between March and June.

Meanwhile, Sean, having known personally people who worked in the rape-crisis camps, I can attest you are the one who is full of BS. I am not suggesting the KLA were nice people, nor am I suggesting the Serbs were the only ones who did terrible things. I am only saying is this was a conflict that cried out for intervention, and when Europe failed to act, the U.S. had no choice but to lead.

Fundamental difference from the Iraq war, a crime justified on transparent lies from top to bottom.

Posted by: Onomasticator on June 15, 2007 at 6:09 PM | PERMALINK

The Kosovo War only ended up as nicely as it did because the Serbs and Russians allowed it to end so nicely.

And in Bosnia, people were most certainly "slaughtering each other". How can Kevin forget the crimes of the Croatian militias in Bosnia and the Krajina so easily? Just because one side (the Serbs) clearly committed more slaughters than the other side does not mean that there weren't monstrous crimes on all sides in the long Serb-Croat-Bosnian conflict. In these wars, we basically decided to back one side over the other, pretty unequivocally. One side won and the other side lost and the losers then recognized that they lost more or less. I think that is the real difference with the Iraq war, not some false wishful thinking about clear heroes and villains in Bosnia. When you think of Iraq, it was never clear that we had some clear ally (other than the Kurds, who we had already helped as much as we could and who did not need our invasion) that we were going to back in the quite predictable aftermath of the war. Instead there was the bullshit about "democracy" and "regime change". Sorry but that doesn't make any sense.

The two situations are so different it is ridiculous to even make any comparison between the two wars. Our goal in Yugoslavia was never directly "regime change". If we had tried that, we would probably find ourselves in the kind of mess we had in Iraq. Think of it this way--we took away some small amount of territory and pride from the Serbian nation. This angered them but in the end they saw that they had a lot to lose by resisting our military might and they allowed us our limited objectives. They weren't going to die to save Kosovo or Bosnia for themselves or their relatively few compatriots living in those areas (though they probably would have to save Belgrade if we had been so foolish to try direct regime change). Many countries have lost portions of territory and have sucked it up, more or less. (very few countries have been completely colonized and conquered and sucked it up, however, only post-war Japan and Germany who had been completely ravaged by years of fighting and were totally worn-down as well as frightened of a greater enemy--the USSR--ever behaved in this manner) They just told those Serbs living in those areas that they may have to suck it up and move into Serbia proper or at least stop causing such trouble. In Iraq, we took EVERYTHING from the Sunnis. They ended up with NOTHING to lose, so of course they struck back and hard. And they struck back against the Shi'a eventually, who also began to feel like EVERYTHING was being taken from them. It's an obvious difference.

Darfur is different from both Bosnia and Iraq. Obviously intervening in Darfur would not take away everything from Khartoum, so they could be made to bargain like in Bosnia/Kosovo. On the other hand, the ethnic situation in the provinces of Darfur themselves are more like Iraq because there are broad local groups of more or less equally numerous people who do not have any other place to go really (where would the nomadic tribes that compose the janjaweed go to in the case of a US invasion?) and so both would have a lot of incentive to keep fighting as they have little to lose and no exit strategy. We may end up supporting the Fur in a long-drawn out civil war against their nomadic enemies. This would not be as bad as the situation in Iraq by any means (because we at least would have clear allies), but nor would it be nearly as tidy as Bosnia/Kosovo.

Invading Sudan to save Darfur would also have serious repurcussions for the rest of the country, which has struggled to end 25 years of civil war between north and south. I was just in Southern Sudan and as much as people there do not like the Khartoum government (and they hate it, of course) they are not cheering the prospect of an invasion by US or NATO troops, which would almost certainly destroy all the progress that has been made in the Southern region with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005.

Posted by: kokblok on June 15, 2007 at 6:29 PM | PERMALINK

Kokblok:

Generally, I agree with you -- I think Kevin's analysis is comically superficial and dangerously incomplete. I think you are correct it is ridiculous to compare Kosovo with Iraq: when wingnuts do that it really sticks in my craw.

The reality is that there are very few wars where truly "good" guys oppose "bad" guys. But there are wars that are just, wars that are "legal" and wars that are morally defensible. Kosovo was at least just and morally defensible. Iraq was not.

The only party on trial in this thread is the U.S.: when any country decides to kill a lot of people, it should expect to be held to account by its citizens and others. That's what this is about. To say that Iraq is no different from Kosovo is just another lie the wingnuts are trying to get out into the media ether . . . I'll call 'em on it every time.

Posted by: onomasticator on June 15, 2007 at 6:45 PM | PERMALINK

People's standard of war crimes that requires the U.S. to act seem to me to be a moving target. I'm sure Saddam Hussein's secruity forces raped people too along with torture and murder. But apparently such actions aren't worthy enough your social-democratic left minds for U.S. to intervene in that situation. So why single out the Serbs for bad behavior? I don't see anyone here crying for them when their churches and monistaries in Kosovo are burned by Albanian thugs and criminals?

So when does the invasion of Zimbabwe take place? Hmm? I hear Robert Mugabe's security forcfes are doing bad things too.

You see what I'm getting at? You can't multi standards of intervention. Either U.S. territory of soverignty have to be at stake or its not worth it in the long run.

Posted by: Sean Scallon on June 16, 2007 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK


freedom fighter: I though you said American tax payers don't want to know their money is spent on torture, blowing up children and poisoning the countryside. That doesn't seem to jive with securing weapons sites, or providing proetction and order.


Unsecured Munitions Responsible for Half of U.S. Casualties in Iraq - GAO 3/23/07

"We never had enough troops on the ground to keep order in Iraq, and both George Bush and Donald Rumsfeld knew it." - Paul Bremer 1/8/06

Posted by: mr. irony on June 16, 2007 at 1:15 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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