Tuesday, March 11, 2003

Register for Peace

For my own mental and physical wellbeing, I suppose I should stop allowing myself to feel shock and disgust at the editorial stance of the Register regarding the upcoming liberation of Iraq. It should not surprise me that they doubt the intelligence and integrity of the Bush Administration. It should not surprise me that the Register editors cling to policies that promote an illusion of “stability” because of their shallow, postmodern understanding of history. It should not shock me that the editorial staff at the Register really believes that the United Nations has a sort of international federal power over the United States and that we need their permission to use force in the best interest of our country.

But, I am a sentimentalist and a romantic at heart and want to believe the best about people. I want to think that the managers and editors at the Des Moines Register are not simply looking at the New York Times for their editorial position and acting as a sock puppet for NYT Managing Editor Howell Raines. I want to believe that these are independent, thoughtful individuals that take in data, perform analysis by applying historical perspective. But, alas, that is not the case.

Witness today’s editorial:

“The United Nations Security Council is expected to vote this week on a resolution that would authorize a U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. If the resolution fails to pass, the United States should think twice about going to war virtually alone.”

Think twice… no, I’m sure that no one in the current administration has given it a second thought. We’re just a bunch of cowboys shooting up a law abiding, peaceful village, we don’t think… we just do. Virtually alone…, it’s just us and: England, Australia, Spain, Italy, Poland, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Portugal, Estonia, Lithuania, Lavtia.

Yep, the US sure is acting unilaterally.

And who is the broad, multilateral coalition resisting military action in Iraq?

France, who for 40 years has done everything in it’s power to block US influence in international affairs… who, while claiming to be our ally, is in reality a de facto ally of Iraq… who has been selling military equipment to the Iraqis as recently as a month ago… who has a lot to lose financially if there is regime change in Iraq with pending oil contracts… who, before pressure from the US opposed sanctions and weapons inspections in Iraq… who in 1991 initially opposed military action to liberate Kuwait.

Germany, an economic basket case who’s President, to deflect public opinion from troubles at home, ran on a strident anti-American platform.

Russia, a long time Iraq backer that is owed over $9 billion in back payment for weapons sold to Saddam and, like France has pending sweet deal oil contracts with the Iraqis.

Islamic and Arab countries that fear, not that a post-Saddam Iraq would be a disaster, but rather that it would be a success and therefore a threat to their own corrupt regimes. The ruling mullahs in Iran for example, with growing student liberalism already brewing at home, are terrified by the idea of a liberal, democratic Iraq.

This is the fuel for the anti-US shenanigans at the UNSC. If you think it is a high-minded, utopian philosophy that motivates these nations, you are too naïve to control the editorial content of the only daily newspaper in the largest metropolitan center in Iowa. The only thing that could be worse than stupidity and naivety would be if you are just as cynical as the French and are using the Register as an organ of Transnational Progressivism… but that couldn’t be possible.

“A war conducted without U.N. approval would not be in America's long-term interests. It would not have the full support of the American people and certainly not of world opinion. It would leave the Western alliance seriously split. It could legitimize guerrilla attacks on American troops occupying Iraq. The United States might find it impossible to achieve its objectives of building democracy and stability in the Middle East if it undertakes what would be seen as an illegal occupation of Iraq.”

The UN is a morally bankrupt, sham of an institution that has nothing to do with America’s long-term interests and from which we should withdraw from post haste.

No war, even World War II, has EVER had the full support of the American people. Support for the war and against the UN is growing and this is what frightens the Register Editorialists. As for world opinion… yeah, let’s go into some soul searching about “Why they hate us…”.

The “Western alliance”… allied against WHAT?! Hey kids, the Soviet Union is defunct. The remnants of the Soviet Empire are now allied with France and Germany AGAINST US and with IRAQ. Hello… McFly!

As for building democracy and stability in the Muslim world, this is precisely what we are going to do. Is it going to be easy? Decidedly not… but Iraq is the logical place to start and now is the time. If you really believe that the great majority of the Iraqi people are not going to see as liberators… well, that could explain your meat-headed tolerance and veiled support of Saddam Hussein.

"That's why the U.N. vote is crucial. If President Bush succeeds in rounding up enough votes to authorize war, most of those objections will be neutralized. Bush will have clear legal authority to invade Iraq, and he will probably gain the support of an American public that has not been convinced a war with Iraq is immediately necessary.”

Yes, crucial for blocking the United States. Considering we are lobbying for the approval of Guinea, which has been under a brutal dictatorship since 1984… let alone Syria as legal authority for war is just one of the grotesque jokes that the United Nations has become.

So… let me get this straight… if the UNSC authorizes the use of force, then all of the “arguments” dredged up by the Register against war are moot. What a convenient and spineless stand given the probable outcome with France and Russia both threatening a veto.

“So far, polls have shown the American people would support the war only if the United Nations gave approval. But as of Monday, the nine necessary Security Council votes weren't secured. Both France and Russia were still threatening to exercise their veto power even if the resolution passed.”

You haven’t been keeping up on the polls… Even the NY Times is reporting an increase support for war WITHOUT UN approval.

“Bush dismissed the need for U.N. approval during last Thursday's press conference when he said, "We don't need anybody's permission to proceed."Hey you Tranzies, President Bush is right.

The UN has been a blatant anti-US forum for years and, in this situation, is irrelevant. This war, with a swift victory, the liberation of the Iraqi people and the probable discovery of French collusion, collaboration and skullduggery, will render the UN even more irrelevant. The UN is a club where the US is kicked off of the UN Human Rights Commission, and where Libya is its chair. “Hello, this is George W. Bush. I’d like to cancel my membership.”

“America certainly has the power to proceed without anybody's permission, but should also have the wisdom not to. As one U.N. Security Council diplomat commented, "To be a superpower is to be a leader, not a dictator."”

Please give one reason, other than perpetuating the farcical posturing at the UN, why would it be wise not to liberate Iraq? Yes, to be a superpower is to be a leader… and we are leading the way into Iraq. We will liberate that country from 30 years fascist tyranny. We will lead the battle against Islamofascism. We are not compelling any country to fight along side us. We are just making it clear that they must join us in leading the defense of Western liberalism, follow us into battle, or get the hell out of the way.

And… I’m just guessing that the UNSC “diplomat” quoted above is from… France?

“Proceeding to war without a U.N. resolution stands to damage the greater U.S. cause: fighting terrorism throughout the world. As demonstrated by the capture of al-Qaida leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammad in Pakistan, it's necessary to have the active cooperation of many countries to end terrorism.”

Hello… the battle of Iraq is the current lynchpin of the war on Islamic terrorism. Do you think that the Pakistanis cooperated to secure Khalid Shaikh Mohammad or any other al Qaeda terrorist because they LIKE us? They assisted us because it was in their best interest to do so. I’m just going to guess that a quick victory in Iraq will not change their mind and may even serve to prompt greater “cooperation”… at least from the government. The Islamist crazies in Pakistan are our enemies in any event.

“If Iraq posed a clear and immediate threat to the security of the United States, a war would be justified without waiting for U.N. approval. But the president has not made a case that the United States is in imminent danger from Iraq. A pre-emptive war - on the supposition that Iraq might someday be a threat - would break with 227 years of American tradition of not striking first.”

First, define “clear and immediate”. The idea here is to strike now before Saddam or his terrorist proxies do. By the time the threat is clear and immediate… whoops there goes New York. 227 years of “not striking first”? You must be reading the revisionist textbooks that my kids use. What about Tripoli, Mexico, the Spanish American War… or… Kosovo? The Register folks sure have a very selective memory of the US using preemptive force.

“Bush also has failed to make the case that Iraq has any link to al-Qaida and the 9/11 attacks. Therefore, launching a strike against Iraq would not be retaliatory. Attacking a country unprovoked would set a new precedent for U.S. military action while sending a dangerous message to the world about what constitutes a justified war. Bush appears unwavering in his determination to go to war, even if he doesn't have the blessing of the American public or the world. That would be a tragic mistake.”

Okay, what is your idea of provocation? Does it require more Americans dead? Does it require 12 more years of defiance and subterfuge? The message we are sending is one that, in the post 9/11 world is indeed dangerous, but only to our enemies… including France, Germany and Russia if they choose to be counted among them… don’t fuck with us. If you think that we are going to abandon self defense in depth to appease Saddam Hussein, Islamofacists or the postmodern nitwits at the UN, forget about it.

“It should not be seen as a loss of face for the president if he accedes to a United Nations timetable in dealing with Iraq. Already, he has achieved much. The president's call to action has caused Saddam Hussein to reopen Iraq to U.N. inspectors. The president's marshaling of troops conveys the required pressure to see disarmament through.”

Yeah, what the heck, another 12 years and 18 more resolutions ought to do it…

“Should the U.N. Security Council vote against immediate hostilities, a little more patience can still achieve the goal of disarming Iraq without the ugly, unintended consequences of an unauthorized war. The president would deserve the world's thanks for having brought about a great victory for peace without bloodshed. “

Here is the fundamental problem with the Register’s world view in this matter. They see peace as the absence of war. Sorry guys, there can be no true peace without bloodshed. Human beings have not fundamentally changed over the last 55 years since the establishment of the UN. And the United Nations is not a magic talisman that can end war, promote justice and equality through Security Council Resolutions. There are people out there (including some on the esteemed Security Council) would like nothing better than to see the US and everything we stand for neutered if not destroyed. Fortunately for us, President Bush is having none of that.

Our President understands that peace, unless that peace includes freedom, security, dignity and self determination is not victory, it is surrender.


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