Dover Bitch

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Prevent this

DB had a work crunch and missed all the fireworks kicked up by Jonathan Chait and Kevin Drum. But I'm still getting in on this action.


However, I also made a specific comment about preventive war: namely that the failure in Iraq doesn't especially vindicate the argument that preventive war is almost always wrong. It is almost always wrong, and the fact that Iraq was a preventive war was a good reason to oppose it. But the specific quagmire that we find ourselves in now has very little to do with the fact that the Iraq war was preventive.

First up, this argument is ridiculous because it completely eliminates the context. If a person got drunk, put on a blindfold and drove his or her car during an ice storm, it would be insane to ask if going to the store was a bad idea since there might have been a sale.

The biggest reason that the current predicament is a result of our undertaking of preventative war is that the rest of the world thought it was a bullshit reason to invade. Bush gave the world the finger when he kicked out Hans Blix and he continued to flip the world off when he said "Our people risked their lives. Friendly coalition folks risked their lives, and therefore the contracting is going to reflect that."

When the entire world thinks you are full of crap and unwilling to listen or cooperate, you're committing our fine troops to fight alone. That's what Bush did and he did it so that "the contracting" could go entirely to Halliburton and Bush's other family friends. To him, that seems "reflective" of our troops' sacrifices.

Not only are we bearing the costs and sacrifices alone, but we are missing the expertise other nations might have brought to the table. For example, we might have more than six fluent Arabic speakers in Baghdad. We might have involved at least one foreign leader who understood the difference between Shi'a Muslims and Sunnis. That might have been helpful.

With a real multinational force and the support of the world community, Iraq would not be a meat grinder and money pit for America. But then again, if Bush worked well with others, we wouldn't even be there. We'd be putting the finishing touches on a totally rebuilt Afghanistan while U.N. weapons inspectors were monitoring a WMD-free Iraq.

And hundreds of thousands of people would still be alive to see it.

Labels: ,