Originally posted by Yevgeny (not exactly in this order)
As for this being "much, much less of a chance than it could have been" for democracy and freedom, what are you talking about???
I wasn't talking about war vs. no war in the above context. I was talking about a well-planned war vs. Bush's incompetently planned war, a war where neocon wishful thinking and chickenhawk armchair generals lead the way, disregarding professional, pragmatic and experienced military advice.
And here we see that your argument is based on the percieved notion that we are inconsistent to free Iraq when we aren't fighting ten other wars at the same time.
Iraq was the right choice to try to free because they were in violaiton of UN security council resolutions (by firing missiles at our planes that were enforcing the no fly zones, by not fully disclosing their weapons programs)
The fact that Iraq was in violation of UN resolutions seemed to me, before the war started, one of the best reasons for going to war with Iraq. It did indeed bother me that the UN seemed to be acting very toothlessly. Iraq's violations weren't enough in-and-of-themselves to convince me that going to full-scale war was a good idea, but with the so-called evidence for WMD added in, there seemed to be a more compelling case.
I still leaned against the war before it started, but it was such a close balance of pros and cons for me that the benefits of ousting Saddam and the hopes for Iraqi democracy made it easier to swallow Bush's decision at the time.
I now realize, however, that it was too easy to blame UN corruption, blame German and French business ties to Iraq and plays for more EU power, etc., as the reasons we couldn't get more international support for this war. In retrospect, those other countries who opposed us seem to have gotten it right and understood the situation better than we did.
The fact that you could find, or at least imagine, less-than-honorable reasons for some countries' opposition to the war against Iraq didn't make that opposition wrong. Certainly none of our reasons for going to war, honorable or not, made us right.
Between Bush's obsession with finding any reason he could to go after Iraq, and Democrats afraid of being branded "soft on defense" and "soft on terrorism" (which is
exactly how they would have been treated by Republicans, and often were anyway) for challenging Bush's so-called intelligence on WMD, it was harder to see then what we can see now.
That said, it doesn't get Bush off the hook. He's supposedly all for "personal responsibility" -- well, where do you see him taking responsibility for the massive failures in Iraq? All he does is try to shift blame or shift rationales for the war.
Also, the way Bush tried to insinuate connections between Al Qaeda and Iraq -- so much so that many people were convinced that Saddam was the main force behind 9/11 -- not just through endless talk of "ties", but by constantly mentioning 9/11, terrorism, and Iraq within a few breaths of each other in speech after speech -- was shameless and dishonest manipulation of the public, the kind of deceitful propaganda that shouldn't have ever come out of the mouth of a President of the United States.
because we could achieve regime change through force without undue casualties (unlike the DPRK),
The casualties in Iraq don't seem very "undue" (in your sense of lower than one could hope for) to me. Over one thousand US soldiers dead so far, many thousands injured, some quite horribly and permanently, and tens of thousands of Iraqi casualties -- I'm not sure of any solid numbers on the Iraqi side because Iraqi deaths don't seem to matter very much to the US media telling this story.
Add on $200 billion -- think of how much good that much money could do spend on something other than war! -- and then do you still want to describe Bush's venture in Iraq a low-cost regime change?
because 12 years of UN approved sanctions killed more people than the war,
I wonder how true that is if you don't forget Iraqi casualties in the war, and especially if you consider all of the lives quite likely to be lost in an upcoming Iraqi civil war, and all of the lives we might lose both in Iraq and at home due to the wonderful breeding ground for Al Qaeda terrorists which we've turned Iraq into.
Yes, we do have responsibility to make Iraq a better place. Yes, it does fall on our shoulders.
And Bush has already failed this responsibility miserably. Even if we somehow manage to pull Iraq out of the chaos that it's in now -- something that's looking less and less likely -- the odds are very, very good that if Bush hadn't ignored plenty of good advice about using more troops and making better preparations for securing the peace, we wouldn't have lost so many lives, lost so much Iraqi and world good will, and squandered so much money.
Much less of a chance than when Saddam, Uday and Qusay were around to terrorize Iraqis? There was NO chance before, and now there is a chance. I hope it works out.
The way things look right now a fractured Iraq and the birth of a truly
and massively Al Qaeda-supporting Islamist theocracy replacing Saddam's regime seems more likely than any Iraqi Beacon of Democracy coming into being. The way things are headed now is worse
than Saddam having stayed in power.
Can Kerry make things any better? I don't know. Maybe the mess is too big to fix. But just showing the world that we've renounced Bush's leadership will do us a lot of good in getting international help I think. At any rate, it seems appalling to me that anyone is even thinking of rewarding Bush with another four years for having created this fiasco.