Happy New Year! More Freedom Exists

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by Annie, Dec 31, 2003.

  1. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    http://www.command-post.org/gwot/2_archives/009290.html

    Check out the link, it has embedded info

    December 31, 2003
    2003: A GOOD YEAR FOR FREEDOM
    Ralph Peters sounds a particularly cheery note in a New York Post editorial which begins with the rather bold statement,

    EVEN if terrorists attack our homeland before the stroke of midnight, 2003 will still have been a year of remarkable progress on every front in the global War on Terror - and the greatest year for freedom since the Soviet Union's collapse.
    While one could quibble about the further erosion of freedom domestically, it's certainly true that removing Saddam made the world a better place. Whether Iraq will be "free" in a Western sense five or ten years ago is not something I'd want to bet on, but it's almost inconceivable that its people won't be far better off than they were a year ago. And, as Peters notes, the effects are being felt outside Iraq as well:
    * Our president's courageous decision to target Saddam himself while sparing innocent Iraqis upset the traditional rules of warfare, according to which the draftees die while the ruler survives by signing a peace treaty.

    Even though our attempted "decapitation strikes" failed, the message sent to the world's dictators and sponsors of terror had far more force than Western pundits yet realize. And our ultimate, humiliating capture of Saddam left every remaining tyrant worried that he might topple next.

    * As a result, Libya has opened its nuclear facilities for inspection, while Iran hastened to strike a no-nukes deal with European governments anxious to save face after their support of Saddam backfired disastrously. North Korea has grown remarkably subdued. Syria treads cautiously. No tyrant wants G.I. Joe as his houseguest.

    * Even Saudi Arabia, the great incubator of terror, has become newly cooperative, both because the terrorists - predictably - bit the many hands that fed them and because Riyadh's relative importance has declined precipitously with G.I. Jane in Baghdad.

    * We've continued to kill and capture terrorists by the thousands, dismantling their networks, seizing their assets and destroying their bases. Terrorism won't disappear in our lifetimes, but its reach and capabilities have been powerfully reduced.

    I largely agree with this assessment, although I'm less sanguine that terrorism as a political tool has been seriously hampered. As Peters notes, this war proved once again that the United States is simply unstoppable in traditional combat operations. Thus, terrorism or other asymmetric means are the only options for those who want to fight back. But Peters' larger point is right: by attacking the infrastructure of the large terrorist networks, we render them less potent. And by demonstrating our resolve by fighting back as aggressively as we have (although I believe much less aggressively than we should have) we have proven that our enemies will not achieve their goals with terrorism.

    And this is worth noting as well:

    Whether facing down Taliban remnants in Afghanistan or shaming the rest of the world into providing more assistance to Africa's struggle against AIDS, we've made an epochal break with the tradition of wealthy states embracing easy short-term solutions instead of engaging long-term problems. Future historians will regard 2003 as one of the dates when history made a great turn, as a global 1776.
    I'm not going to predict how historians will view this from a distance; my guess is September 11, 2001 will be seen as the turning point if indeed it looks like a sea change actually occured. It's not like the United States hasn't given humanitarian assistance in the past, but it may well be that the AIDS fund is the most emblematic harbinger of a new era. This is a problem that we've largely ignored for two decades. That we've suddenly gotten involved in a massive way at a time when it would have been easy not to--given huge budget deficits, a weak economy, and a multi-front war--does seem to indicate a reassessment of our global priorities.

    Cross-post from OTB

    Posted by James at December 31, 2003
     
  2. DKSuddeth
    Offline

    DKSuddeth Senior Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2003
    Messages:
    5,175
    Thanks Received:
    61
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Texas
    Ratings:
    +62
    I'd say its rather presumptive on his part. We haven't had alot of success in nation building in our history.
     
  3. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    For once we agree on something, we HAVEN'T had a lot of success at nation building, with the exceptions of Japan and Germany, in which case, I think to some extent we are mimicking in Iraq. Nevertheless, Peters point is that they are better off than they were, you would disagree?
     
  4. acludem
    Offline

    acludem VIP Member

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2003
    Messages:
    1,500
    Thanks Received:
    49
    Trophy Points:
    71
    Location:
    Missouri
    Ratings:
    +69
    Japan and Germany were very different from Iraq. Japan and Germany weren't so divided by religion. Oh yeah...and we had plans when we rebuilt those two countries and also international cooperation, two things we don't currently have in Iraq.
     
  5. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    by acludem

    The Marshall plan was the book used for Iraq, very similar. Just because you say 'no plan' doesn't make it so.

    'International cooperation' after WWII is more of a joke than the coalition of the willing, there really were no other countries able to do more than say, "Go forth and do what you will."
     
  6. bamthin
    Online

    bamthin Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Aren't we in Code Orange right now? Are you in complete denial? Do you feel safer now than before the Iraq occupation? I don't know about you, but when I see Code Orange and the FBI warning local law enforcement to watch out for people with almanacs, I am not getting a warm fuzzy feeling.

    The bottom line is that America has gained more enemies, the kind who have no qualms about blowing themselves up in the name of Allah, then we would have had we not invaded Iraq. They stopped estimating civilian casualties in Iraq at around 9,000. Do you know how many enraged survivors that leaves? Do you ever think about the young boys who lost their Dads and what revenge they dream of?

    The best way to make the US safer was to treat the Israelis and the Palestinians equally and working hard for a fair and reasonable solution there. The best way to protect the American citizens was to keep our noses out of Middle East affairs to save profits for US big oil interests. Your selective memory has caused you to forget that Saddam was our bug chum in the 80's. We had no business arming him with WMD and going against the UN in investigating his human rights violations right after they occured.

    Do you have any idea how dirty and crooked and materialistic that makes the US look over there? Have you also forgotten the support we promised the Shia after Desert Storm only to back out at the last minute because we were afraid the Shia may be Iranian sympathizers? Do you know how many Shia were slaughtered when we allowed Saddam to fly his helicopters into the "no fly" zone to exact his revenge and put down the rebellion?

    These people have so many reasons to not trust the US. I guess you just don't get it.....

    -Bam
     
  7. Annie
    Offline

    Annie Diamond Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2003
    Messages:
    50,847
    Thanks Received:
    4,644
    Trophy Points:
    1,790
    Ratings:
    +4,770
    All of the quotes by Bam. Kind of hard to know where to start here. I do not think we have 'gained more enemies' due to Iraq war. On the contrary, we have lost many and weakened many of those that remain.

    Also, I disagree with you about Israel and Palestinians. Our support of Israel has not one thing to do with the broader WOT, though some would like us to think so. IF we stopped supporting Israel, which isn't going to happen, the Islophamists would still hate us.

    They, meaning the terrorists would try to hit us over and over again, regardless of Iraq or Israel. You are the one that is delusional or perhaps afraid.

    The US had much less to do with arming Saddam than our European 'allies', that's a fact and you can check by googling or dogpile or whatever.

    Now the following has some merit. I don't think many thoughtful people forget this setup, and it was a disgrace. Funny thing is, they are just grateful that we finally moved in, not loving us, but glad that Saddam is gone. That was a dark spot on us.
     
  8. r3volut!on
    Online

    r3volut!on Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    http://monkeyfist.com/ChomskyArchive/essays/selective_html

    Selective memory and a dishonest doctrine
    December 21, 2003
    by Noam Chomsky

    All people who have any concern for human rights, justice and integrity should be overjoyed by the capture of Saddam Hussein, and should be awaiting a fair trial for him by an international tribunal.

    An indictment of Saddam's atrocities would include not only his slaughter and gassing of Kurds in 1988 but also, rather crucially, his massacre of the Shiite rebels who might have overthrown him in 1991. At the time, Washington and its allies held the "strikingly unanimous view (that) whatever the sins of the Iraqi leader, he offered the West and the region a better hope for his country's stability than did those who have suffered his repression," reported Alan Cowell in the New York Times. Last December, Jack Straw, Britain's foreign secretary, released a dossier of Saddam's crimes drawn almost entirely from the period of firm U.S.-British support of Saddam. With the usual display of moral integrity, Straw's report and Washington's reaction overlooked that support.

    Such practices reflect a trap deeply rooted in the intellectual culture generally -- a trap sometimes called the doctrine of "change of course," invoked in the United States every two or three years. The content of the doctrine is: "Yes, in the past we did some wrong things because of innocence or inadvertence. But now that's all over, so let's not waste any more time on this boring, stale stuff."

    The doctrine is dishonest and cowardly, but it does have advantages: It protects us from the danger of understanding what is happening before our eyes. For example, the Bush administration's original reason for going to war in Iraq was to save the world from a tyrant developing weapons of mass destruction and cultivating links to terror. Nobody believes that now, not even Bush's speechwriters. The new reason is that we invaded Iraq to establish a democracy there and, in fact, to democratize the whole Middle East.

    Sometimes, the repetition of this democracy-building posture reaches the level of rapturous acclaim. Last month, for example, David Ignatius, the Washington Post commentator, described the invasion of Iraq as "the most idealistic war in modern times" -- fought solely to bring democracy to Iraq and the region. Ignatius was particularly impressed with Paul Wolfowitz, "the Bush administration's idealist in chief," whom he described as a genuine intellectual who "bleeds for (the Arab world's) oppression and dreams of liberating it."

    Maybe that helps explain Wolfowitz's career -- like his strong support for Suharto in Indonesia, one of the last century's worst mass murderers and aggressors, when Wolfowitz was ambassador to that country under Ronald Reagan. As the State Department official responsible for Asian affairs under Reagan, Wolfowitz oversaw support for the murderous dictators Chun of South Korea and Marcos of the Philippines.

    All this is irrelevant because of the convenient doctrine of "change of course." So, yes, Wolfowitz's heart bleeds for the victims of oppression -- and if the record shows the opposite, it's just that boring old stuff that we want to forget about.

    One might recall another recent illustration of Wolfowitz's love of democracy. The Turkish parliament, heeding its population's near-unanimous opposition to war in Iraq, refused to let U.S. forces deploy fully from Turkey. This caused absolute fury in Washington. Wolfowitz denounced the Turkish military for failing to intervene to overturn the decision. Turkey was listening to its people, not taking orders from Crawford, Texas, or Washington, D.C.

    The most recent chapter is Wolfowitz's "Determination and Findings" on bidding for lavish reconstruction contracts in Iraq. Excluded are countries where the government dared to take the same position as the vast majority of the population. Wolfowitz's alleged grounds are "security interests," which are non-existent, though the visceral hatred of democracy is hard to miss -- along with the fact that Halliburton and Bechtel corporations will be free to "compete" with the vibrant democracy of Uzbekistan and the Solomon Islands, but not with leading industrial societies.

    What's revealing and important to the future is that Washington's display of contempt for democracy went side by side with a chorus of adulation about its yearning for democracy. To be able to carry that off is an impressive achievement, hard to mimic even in a totalitarian state.

    Iraqis have some insight into this process of conquerors and conquered. The British created Iraq for their own interests. When they ran that part of the world, they discussed how to set up what they called "Arab facades" -- weak, pliable governments, parliamentary if possible, so long as the British effectively ruled. Who would expect that the United States would ever permit an independent Iraqi government to exist? Especially now that Washington has reserved the right to set up permanent military bases there, in the heart of the world's greatest oil-producing region, and has imposed an economic regime that no sovereign country would accept, putting the country's fate in the hands of Western corporations.

    Throughout history, even the harshest and most shameful measures are regularly accompanied by professions of noble intent -- and rhetoric about bestowing freedom and independence. An honest look would only generalize Thomas Jefferson's observation on the world situation of his day: "We believe no more in Bonaparte's fighting merely for the liberties of the seas than in Great Britain's fighting for the liberties of mankind. The object is the same, to draw to themselves the power, the wealth and the resources of other nations."
     
  9. r3volut!on
    Online

    r3volut!on Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    Kathianne wrote:
    I beg to differ. It is my opinion that one of the most significant reasons the United States is a target of terrorism from Muslim extremists IS the fact that we, alone, support Israel.

    I know there are other reasons, but for now, I'm mainly interested in hearing what you think those reasons are, and how you think those reasons would stand up if the US were to take a fair stance in the Israel/Palestine conflict.

    By the way, Kathianne, you're one of my favorite people to discuss with, just so you know :D
     
  10. eric
    Online

    eric Guest

    Ratings:
    +0
    What would you consider a fair stance ?
     

Share This Page