Thursday, September 12, 2002
There seem to be many different views of what Bush actually said. Drudge linked to it with the words "We'll go it alone." USS Clueless summarized it as "If the UN acts, the US will work with the UN. If the UN demonstrates that it's just a forum for empty threats and bluster, the US will bypass the UN and do what needs to be done anyway.... The US has made a decision: there will be a war in Iraq. Saddam will be deposed. The decision facing the UN now is not whether there will be a war, but whether the UN will be on the right side of it, or whether it will prove its complete irrelevance." That's what I got out of it. But I heard people on MPR talking about how relieved they were that the US was going to work through the UN. Only if the UN does the right thing and lives up to its own words. I really liked the enumeration of all the sixteen legally binding UN Security Council Resolutions that Iraq has violated. I think he made his case. (I wish he had revealed some new evidence but... publicizing intelligence is not always a luxury we can afford.) Basically he said 'We've tried sanctions and inspections and bombing for 10 years. He's already violated all of these resolutions. He's a menace. What more do you want?'
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The text of Bush's speech to the UN.
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A USS clueless comment in reaction to something some really out-there guy wrote:
"He's got that right, at least. Ain't no one gonna remake the US in Europe's image. If Europe could somehow defeat the Navy and cross the Atlantic, and then fight against the Air Force and Army and Marines and beat all of them, they still have the problem of tens of millions of American civilians who would spontaneously form "well armed militias" and would use pistols and hunting rifles (and a lot of other interesting things) to resist any attempt at foreign occupation. There are legitimate reasons why no one has even considered an invasion of the US for the last 185 years.
Before Treanor starts worrying about how he's going to divide the US into a series of smaller and less dangerous nations, or otherwise make it cease to be a danger to the world, I recommend that he first work out just how he's actually going to get Europe to unite, and what Europe would have to do to actually defeat the US militarily, not to mention occupy it afterwards. And he'd do well to include in those plans some consideration about how Europe would rule the US when all of the major cities in Europe have been transformed into glowing radioactive craters."
I've heard a lot of talk lately about the US as an empire. How we have historically unprecedented economic and military power. What we should do about it... Be more like an empire. Be less like an empire. blah blah.
The Kolkata Libertarian put it this way:
"I have a news flash for you. You really, really do not want the worlds only hyperpower engaging itself across the world in the fashion it already has in Afghanistan. The only thing keeping Pax Americana from your doorstep, the only thing standing between the US 7th fleet and your flea-infested beachheads is a disinterested, self-centered, semi-isolationist American public. If you know what's good for you, you will let us get back to our malls, hot dogs, beer bellies, baseball games and pop idols. If you know what's good for you, you will tiptoe away from our borders, and let us grunt into our malt liquors while we watch late night tv.
But, you didn't. You couldn't leave well enough alone. You woke up a self-engrossed, bemused and generally harmless giant, thinking you could scream and yell loud enough, and that would be enough to control us, and use our economic and military might for your political ends. You have forced Americans to look at the outside world with renewed interest, thinking that we would then look at ourselves the way you do. But as the days go by, the tinny shrilling of your smugness, your lack of moral clarity, your purposeless blame-America game has forced us to acknowledge what we secretly believed all along but were too polite to admit - the rest of the world is comprised of wussies, bullies, or both. You have inadvertantly given Americans a taste of power, and have allowed into the equation the possibility that they might actually like it. The very availability of this power is an incitement to abuse, and Americans are no different than the rest of the world in this respect. All you have done is convinced a reluctant American public that it must now impose it's will even where it may not be needed, or wanted.
Well, now that you have gone and done it, you might as well sit back and enjoy the show. It's going to be Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Syria and then perhaps Europe all over again. Pax Americana is coming, there is probably very little you can do to influence the course of events, and when you rue the day you will have only yourselves to blame for it."
Something to think about. The only effective way to wage war on the US is through terrorism. There isn't a country on earth that could conquer us. Maybe if they all ganged up. Even that wouldn't be a sure bet. So they're fighting us in the most strategically sound method available. Not morally or ethically sound, and the implementation leaves a lot to be desired. (Hello? Kill and harrass our soldiers and we will eventually lose heart and go home. Kill civillians? That pisses us off.)
Nonetheless... just because their approach makes sense from their point of view does not mean that we shouldn't respond. We as a country may act in our own self-interest. There is nothing unethical in that.
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You want jingoism? I'll give you jingoism!
(Image stolen from Lileks. Per usual a fantastic Bleat.)
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