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Posted by on Dec 10, 2006 in At TMV | 3 comments

On The Iraq “Catastrophe” And The “Etiquette Of Blogging”

Oxblog’s Patrick Porter:

Its legitimate to hold someone to account for arguments they make in the public sphere. Though if everyone was accountable for views we had four years ago, who would ‘scape whipping?’

Read how a host of issues come together HERE.

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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • Elrod

    Ironically, one of the things I worry about going forward is a retreat into total isolationism. I’ve always been a liberal interventionist, meaning that I believe America can and should intervene on the world stage to advance the cause of human rights, democracy and justice. But I only favored this within the very limited auspices of permanent international organizations like NATO and the UN. Yes, those organizations (especially the UN) have self-interested reasons to oppose reform. But they also hold legitimacy and make possible long term changes that would not be available without the imprimatur of third party bodies. My biggest beefs with the Iraq war from the beginning were: A) I don’t trust the Bushes on anything – period. B) Iraq wasn’t a real threat; I never thought they were a real threat. And A) made that feeling more acute. C) the arguments about preemptive war and ad hoc coalitions were a prescription for global anarchy much worse than that which produced Al Qaeda. D) I so no serious discussion of the post-war period. Admittedly, there wasn’t much to evaluate but the infamous Shinseki dis was a sign that a gang of street children had control over US foreign policy.

    The problem, though, is that both ends of the US spectrum will no longer support any sort of intervention. We cried wolf. As I suspected in 2003, the Iraq war would result in disaster, and would weaken America over the long haul. Forget Darfur. Forget the next Rwanda. America won’t touch it ever again. That’s too bad because it sets us up for a Harding-like isolationist era of retraction.

  • Mikkel

    Elrod, while I would have to describe myself in your camp, the current situation has really made me reevaluate that. Actually, to be more accurate, the current Kosovo situation is what clenches it.

    The fact is that in recent genocidal situations, the victims tend to just be victims because they are on the losing side. It seems like our concepts are built around atrocities against jews, gypsies or even the Inquisition; situations where there was complete senseless violence against a pacifist minority.

    However in Darfur, Rwanda and Kosovo, the genocides were preceeded by civil war structured around ethnic divisions. In this case, it seems like it is more of a function of total war rather than anything else.

    Obviously we shouldn’t sit by and do nothing while hundreds of thousands of innocent people are slaughtered, but we need a new framework for how to intervene. In Kosovo we merely changed the calculus so the Albanians have the upper hand, and if NATO were to leave we would be likely to see cleansing of the Serbs. It’s the ethnic hate that isn’t addressed under the current concepts, because we operate under the implicit assumption that only one side contains that hate.

    How do you forgive a group that has killed your family and hundreds of thousands simply because of your ethnic group? Jews seem to be able to but let’s face it, that’s probably just because they’ve been experiencing it for thousands of years and it’s built into the culture and religion.

  • Andrew

    Krugman just wrote an entire column on people who were absolutely right about Iraq four years ago — Gore, Webb, Wes Clark, etc. It’s ridiculous that we’re still paying attention to those that were fundamentally wrong and incompetent instead of those that were absolutely prescient.

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