[thechat] war phase 2

Erika Meyer emeyer at lclark.edu
Tue Nov 27 12:29:04 CST 2001

Hugh Blair wrote:

>  > Is Iraq being forced to follow rules other countries don't have to follow?
>Yep.  Question for your thoughts.
>You have 2 children and one is a constant problem. Let's say
>that the problem one always horded cookies under her bed. Wouldn't
>you treat that one child differently (because of her history)
>and search her room more often than the other (sweet) child?

I find it really uncomfortable when people explain their view of 
international politics to me using the US as a "parent" country and 
other nations as "children."

It shows a paternalistic view of the world.

& anyway,  policing and punishment doesn't address the root issues of 
anything.  It is simply a reaction to the immediate situation.  Okay 
in the short term, not effective (even counter-productive) in the 
long term.

In fact, I don't even think punishment should be used on children. 
(another discussion.)

Not that I think the US really concerned about Iraq outside of how 
Iraq affects US business interests.

>  What about here?
>  > http://www.deoxy.org/wc/wc-consp.htm
>Just another opinion.  Just because it's published on the web
>doesn't make it real.  But of course you knew that.

Right. OTOH, the piece is factually dense and provides references.

One could refute certain conclusions, put the information together 
differently, or go back to the primary sources and try to find holes 
or inaccuracies.  I find this document pretty interesting actually.

I'd love to see a good refutation... and if not, I'd like to see 
something done to prevent these crimes from occurring again and again.

>  > >  Only controversial decisions that have to be made, like wether to
>>  >risk the lives of American soldiers to confront threats that are at
>>  >the moment only perceived as "potential" threats.  Or do we wait
>>  >until Saddam has full-on nuclear capability before we confront him?
>>  What about Pakistan, India, Israel...
>Stay on subject.  Answer the direct "Saddam" question.  Deflecting
>a question with another doesn't reduce the value of the original
>issue - "do we wait...".

I'm just having issues with what seems to me to be logical 
relativism.  Nukes are either okay or not.  There's no, "they're good 
for us but not for you."

Paternalism, again.

>  > If it wasn't okay for Hitler, or for Saddam, why is it okay for us?
>>  Why do we so easily accept this relativistic thinking?
>Again with the "Hitler" & "Saddam" comparisons - yet with no answer
>to the question.  IMHO I think the scope & details of the problem(s)
>mentioned are different.

The Saddam question?  I don't know.  I'd like to hear Iraq's side of 
the story.  But I have not heard it.  But there's a lot I haven't 
heard about the Iraq situation.

In any case, if Iraq is to be handled with force, is that not a 
decision for the UN?  Or is the UN just obsolete?

And regarding my comparisons of the US with other past and present 
"rogue states," we may well be in a different situation.  But I don't 
know, because I've not seen a single in-depth analysis of the 
situation in major media that does not take a "rah rah USA" point of 

I've not seen an in-depth asking of hard questions about our own 
motives and actions.

I think that after Hitler was dead and gone, a lot of Germans sat 
around in the rubble asking themselves how exactly they managed to 
vote this guy into office and then allow him to do what he did.

Well, sometimes I feel like I'm watching it all happen in front of my 
eyes: how a democratic nation begins a gradual march toward 

It starts with an averting of the eyes when the atrocities occur.

America is a different kind of place and culture than pre-war 
Germany... but when you look at who wields power... those people are 
not reflective of the population at large.

I do not feel comfortable with my government's activities at home or abroad.

In fact, I feel so uncomfortable, that even "publicly" criticizing my 
government now gives me a twinge of fear.   For the first time in my 


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