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Thursday, September 29, 2005

Missed the party - the debate about the War in Iraq

Looks like I missed the Iraq War "debate".

If anyone wishes to continue said debate here, feel free.

Here's my position on the war:

Saddam was toppled by force, as every violent dictator should be. The United States had an 'Iraq regime change" law on its books since the last years of the Clinton Administration. The justification for the invasion cited by the United States and the United Kingdom before the UN Security Council was indeed the theory that Iraq was well on its way to building working WMD's. But Bush stated in his speech at the time that the invasion was to prevent Iraq attaining the weapons in the first instance, not that Saddam had nuke-tipped SCUD's lining the streets of Baghdad. That's a strategy I agree with: remove dictators before they get their toys. Saddam had a long record of attacking his own people, his neighbours and playing host to various terrorists. Allow him nukes and I have no doubt he would use them against neighbouring countries or to blackmail the international community. As the final report into the Iraqi WMD programme concluded, while no working WMD's were found, Saddam's strategy had been to preserve the ability to manufacture WMD's until such a time as the heat went away. Fortunately that time will never come and Saddam will be executed for crimes against his own citizens. Iraq now has a chance at building a democratic society, a chance predictably opposed by internal enemies and anti-democratic neighbours such as Iran and Syria.

So which side are the lefties on again?

If you consider yourself a 'social democrat' but you aren't supporting the Iraqi people and United States Government in creating a democratic Iraq then you are a traitor to your movement and you are effectively siding with the theocrats of Iran, the fascists of Syria, and the various anti-democracy groups within Iraq itself. I also detect an element of racism amongst these leftists - as if they consider Arabs somehow inadequate as a people to create a democratic society.

Posted by Antarctic Lemur | 9/29/2005 01:03:00 PM

17 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

My view is that there was undeniable proof the Saddam had broken every clause of the UN Resolution passed at the end of the first Gulf War. Among them:

* Stop supporting terrorism
* Provide proof of all WMD held
* Provide verifiable proof of destruction of WMD
* Not begin any WMD programmes
* Return all stolen property to Kuwait
* Account for all missing persons from the Gulf War
* Not have missiles with a range over 150km

(I can't remember all the rest of the clauses, but there was proof he broke all of them except the developing of new WMD.)

The UN Resolution was backed up by economic sanctions that turned a country with living standards equal to Greece to Third World. There is evidence that 3 million Iraqis died (mainly children) as a result of these sanctions.

Saddam continued to pay US$10,000 to familes of suicide bombers in Israel. Since his toppling, Suicide attacks in Israel have all but stopped. Increased security helped, but when you're the main breadwinner for a family it's harder to volunteer as a bomber when you know you'll starve your family.

9/29/2005 02:22:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Re: your last point. I thought the bombers are still paid off by Saudis and other rich foreigners.

9/29/2005 02:24:00 PM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

AL you may be right but they don't seem to be exploding in Israel.

9/29/2005 02:54:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

There have been attacks, they're just harder to launch now the wall cuts off easy movement into Israel. And lets not forget the death of Arafat and the infighting between Hamas and the PA-oriented groups. There's been many developments over the last couple of years.

9/29/2005 02:56:00 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

There is a fantastic article on Arafat in this month's Atlantic Monthly.

9/29/2005 04:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Sam Vilain said...

Does it have to be so black and white?

Why not take an integral perspective on the matter.

9/29/2005 05:22:00 PM  
Blogger Psycho Milt said...

That wasn't a debate over at DPF - Shawn was in it, so it was more of a comedy.

Why assume a right-wing monopoly on virtue? The current leftist enthusiasm for Baath-era Iraq reminds me of the right's support of Pol Pot after the Vietnamese had kicked him out of Cambodia. Enemy's enemy is your friend - both sides do it.

As far as Gulf War 2 is concerned, I'm with the soldiers who say that you can't give other people freedom, they have to win it for themselves. This invasion was 12 years too late - if George HW had sent troops into Iraq in support of Shia and Kurdish uprisings back in '91, they really might have been met with enthusiasm. As it is, they're now just a foreign occupation force.

9/29/2005 06:48:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And if you liked that 'debate' than you'll love the one about the SkyHawks on DBFs site...

PM: Me I'm alway's perplexed as to why lefties always try to seize the moral high ground...


EXOCET

9/29/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Blogger Rob O'Neill said...

Tell it like it is Psycho Milt. Freedom like everything else has to be earned or you don't value it - pure Milton Freidman (sp?). The Iraqis have yet to write their own liberation story.

For that reason I'm supporting the Iraqi people, not the US government, in creating democracy in Iraq. You don't have to support both, AL.

I blogged on this last year:

http://www.publicaddress.net/default,1156.sm#post1156

9/29/2005 08:08:00 PM  
Blogger Ackers1 said...

A lovely concept isn't it - "The Iraqi people and the United States government". Walking hand in hand no doubt the watchful wise counsel of the United States Government gently guiding these poor misgotten people towards the democracy that they so surely deserve but without our helping hand are incapable of embracing. And you call the left racist!

What a pile of patronising crap you write. Do you ever bother to actually look at what's happening in Iraq?

If your idiotic theories were in any way true don't you think there might be just a few grateful Iraqis around swatting down those nasty terrorists and embracing the Americans with open arms.

I see an occupation that is hated and totally mistrusted. I see a people far wiser than the warmongers and their supporters in the west are capable of giving them credit for.

Do you really think they are so stupid that they can't for a moment see what the true aims of this war and occupation are about.

9/29/2005 09:20:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

I've posted my response to the Skyhawk thread:
http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/archives/012077.html

I must have missed the country you lefties would support in an invasion to topple a dictator like Saddam and put down the violent types who would pop up later. Would it be Putin's Russia? France? Oh wait - those countries were busy signing up oil prospecting and exploitation deals before the Iraq invasion. And various prominent Russians and Frenchmen were later implicated in the oil-for-food scam. Can probably cross them off the list.

So what country is pure enough in its socialist ideals for you guys? Communist Party-controlled China with its pseudo-capitalism and dirt-poor countryside peasants? The Theocracy of Iran? The People's Utopia of Cuba?

9/29/2005 10:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please don't stop there Ackers, you were doing so well. Tell us more about those "true aims" in your inimitable and completely non patronising style.

9/29/2005 10:06:00 PM  
Blogger Antarctic Lemur said...

Ackers, you are attempting to misrepresent my opinion to other readers. Fortunately they are capable of comparing my post to your pathetic attempt at twisting my opinion for your own ends.

Saddam and his buddies were removed by external force - the United States in this instance. The last several times Iraqis tried to do it themselves they were massacred. Fortunately the present US Adminstration believes in sticking around and encouraging democratic government, despite negative poll ratings at home, and people like Ackers trying to portray any Iraqis who believe in self-government as lackeys of Bushco.

9/29/2005 10:35:00 PM  
Blogger Psycho Milt said...

Ackers, there are now about 90,000 Iraqis in the police force and at least 70,000 in the army helping swat down those nasty terrorists. Things have changed quite a bit since the disappearing police force and army of last November. The fact that the terrorists have switched the focus of their attacks to Iraqi civilians is an indicator of just how badly things are going for them, not how badly things are going for the Americans.

I've yet to see any useful argument from other Leftists about what the Americans ought to be doing instead of what they are doing. Basically, having started the war, they have to see to it that Iraq gets a good result. The other options are all a lot worse. 1. Pull out now? Sure, why not wreck the country's infrastructure, create a power vacuum, stir up a hornet's nest of fighting and then leave? "Glad to be of service, folks". How deranged would you have to be to consider that a good idea? 2. Never start the war in the first place? Sure, just hand them your time machine and they can get right to it. 3. Ask the UN to take over? Well, isn't the UN reply going to be, "You started it, you finish it"? Who's going to front up and offer to take over from the Yanks in Tal Afar? Certainly not Helen Clark, or any other politician not planning to lose the next election they fight.

9/30/2005 12:06:00 AM  
Blogger Chefen said...

Well (1) seems like a going option now that Juan Cole has endorsed it, at least according to the literati who hand on his words and are getting angry and speaking truth-to-power. Seems you're approaching the right-wing blog fantasy, Pyscho Milt.

9/30/2005 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger Psycho Milt said...

Yes, horrifying isn't it. My street cred is plummeting. I think RB is much more realistic with his "just don't know" than Mr Cole imagining that the US throwing up its hands and deciding they broke it but they're not gonna fix it would be good for Iraq and the US. Plunging Iraq into civil war doesn't fit on any scale of "good" I can come up with. I still rate it as "deranged".

9/30/2005 05:46:00 AM  
Blogger Chefen said...

I think deranged is quite a good summary actually.

9/30/2005 05:53:00 AM  

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