iraq I‘ve lost enthusiasm for writing about Iraq, but others that write better than I do have not. So here are three provocative recent essays from three different countries on the reconstruction of Iraq and “what comes next”:

  • In Hold Your Applause in the NYT, Thomas Friedman, writing from Umm Qasr, chastizes America for celebrating prematurely and excessively the ‘success’ in Iraq (thanks to Rebecca at Suddenly Routine for catching this, and to Kriselda for pointing us to Rebecca’s great blog):

America broke Iraq; now America owns Iraq, and it owns the primary responsibility for normalizing it. If the water doesn’t flow, if the food doesn’t arrive, if the rains don’t come and if the sun doesn’t shine, it’s now America’s fault. We’d better get used to it, we’d better make things right, we’d better do it soon, and we’d better get all the help we can get.

This war is unjust by any measure considered valid in the long tradition of philosophical and legal argument that stretches from Saint Augustine, through Pufendorf and Grotius, to the Geneva Convention and the Nuremberg trials. It is an act of aggression, not defence; it is not being waged to restore peace; it was not the last resort. Whether it is about oil, imperial muscle-flexing or testing client-state loyalty in the New American Century — or all of these — matters less than the fact that it lacks basic ethical justification…If the admirable young are engaged, for whatever reason, in a cause which is not just, they are doing wrong. And our blind approval of their actions is equally wrong.

  • In Iraqis Have Paid the Blood Price for a Fraudulent War in the Guardian, Seumas Milne laments the abandonment of Western promises to rebuild Afghanistan, reminds us that the WMD threat to the U.S. that was the pretext for the war has been shown to be fraudulent, and gives us a glimpse of what we can expect next:

The wider global impact of this war was spelled out by North Korea’s foreign ministry this week. “The Iraqi war shows,” it declared, with unerring logic, “that to allow disarmament through inspections does not help avert a war, but rather sparks it”, concluding that “only a tremendous military deterrent force” can prevent attacks on states the US dislikes.

So now the Pandora’s box of power politics and pre-emptive aggression is open. Every one of the eighty-one totalitarian regimes that may be on Bush’s hit list will be scrambling to acquire sufficient weaponry to discourage America from attacking it next. And now India has announced that it is pondering a pre-emptive strike against Pakistan, arguing that their “justification for a pre-emptive strike on Pakistan is more compelling than America’s justification for invading Iraq”. Eighteen months to regime change in the U.S. and an end to this nightmare.

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  1. I think you’re absolutely right, Dave. I am continously speaking to my conservative (mostly) congregations about such things and find it mostly falling on deaf ears. They really think we’re right and the rest of the world better watch out. It is a concept I just can’t get ahold of, nor do I want to try. I find myself in the position of supporting the troops from an I-care-about-you-because-you have-been-put-in-harm’s-way place, even though I know that many are really glad to be there kickin’ ass…to hoping that ultimately this comes back to bite Bush and his cronies in the ass. Either position brings with it pain for all of us. What a shitty place to be…Pandora’s Box? you bet…

  2. Marie Foster says:

    Regime change will not correct the damage done by Bush and his cronies. It must be done, but we also must figure a better way to deal with the arguments made in the PNAC documents and come up with alternatives.Pushing “ohhhhh pleezzz don’t kill me” simpering George out with no credible plan will only result in our trying to pick up a ton of garbage with a teaspoon.

  3. I live in Canada. And this morning on the radio on my way to the University I heard that the US Government says Canada constitution is too free and easy a target for terrorists to exploit. Isn’t that the pot calling the kettle black. I mean in Canada I don’t even have the right to true free speech (bad I know)I also don’t have the right to carry a gun for no reason (this is a good thing I am thinking). now the second example is just a say that we have better gun control here it si harder for someone (be it a terrorist or a person wanting nothing more than to protect their home) to buy a gun.Jsut my mornign rant before my first cup of coffee.

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