Chadwicke weighs in on Colin Powell's presentation yestiddy:
"I only caught the last 20 minutes or so of Colin Powell's presentation to the UN. So I'm basing my opinion on that, and what I've been able to piece together from reading transcript excerpts on the network and BBC sites. So let's assume that every piece of evidence that he presented was correct in content and in context. I'm still not of the opinion that an invasion of Iraq will provide any additional security for America, or peace in Iraq and the surrounding states. I am not convinced that there is any more immediate or pressing need to disarm Saddam Hussein than there has been for the last 10 years. I am also not convinced that the link between Iraq and al Qaeda has been sufficiently explained. (So there was an al Qaeda lieutenant in Iraq. Big Deal. There was a terrorist cell operating out of Buffalo, NY. Does that mean that Gov. Pataki works for Osama?) While it disturbs me to know that there are mobile laboratories producing chemical and biological agents, I am more frightened by the actions of our own government. That's all I have to say on Powell's presentation. The rest is a rant...and not particularly new or original.
While I not convinced of the need for military intervention in Iraq, I am convinced that such action would contribute to further anti-American sentiment in the region which would lead to many more USS Cole's and 9/11's. It's really a different world than it was back in Hitler's day, and our methods and processes for dealing with situations like this need to evolve. War has changed. Where once there were wars where armies lined up like pieces on a game board, today there are wars with truck bombs, sleeper cells...box cutters. This kind of war cannot be won by defeating an army or ousting a general. If the goal is to make America safe and secure, it cannot be accomplished by military might. Any military action should be a last resort, coordinated by the UN, when all other options have failed. We are not yet in that position.
America has tremendous strength militarily, tremendous resources in technology and tremendous influence in economy and ideology. We are in a position to create a better world, and that is what GWB would have us think he's doing when he goes around calling out "Axis of Evil!" and making war. He'd like us to believe that he's making the world safe for peace. I don't buy it. His motivations have been exposed and documented and amount to nothing more than simple greed and power lust. He doesn't really give two shits about peace as long as he's top dawg. We should take a couple of tablespoonfuls of humility and spend some of those defense dollars on programs that would make the world a more livable place for everyone. We can either have "peace" that results from weakening all of our enemies so that they can no longer hit us, or we can work on becoming a nation that no one has reason to hate. There will always be extremists, but I believe we could do more to deplete their ranks with cooperative actions than systematic extermination. It's not our freedom and democracy that make us targets; it's our imperialism and belligerence.
There will definitely be a massive body count if we launch an offensive, will this number be multiplied if we keep pressing diplomatic solutions? I doubt it. I'm not saying we should stick our heads in the sand while some dictator seizes nation after nation in a military campaign, but we should try some actual diplomacy. Not just the saber rattling, zero tolerance and tough talk that gets passed off as diplomacy, but actual understanding between parties and negotiation. If that makes me utopian or an "appeaser" then so be it. It's not utopian to think that peace through non-violent means is attainable, but it is defeatist to think that it's impossible. What kind of world do we want this to be? If not now, then when?
We've been around and around on this before, before the invasion of Afghanistan. I really have tried to examine the case for military action, but I keep coming back to the question above. What kind of world...and when? I like to think that as humans we're capable of being more than a pack of jackals scrambling in the dust for a scrap of meat.
[Whew. I may put a version of this on my blog, but I wrote it in response to your email...so if you see it there, it's not that I cut and paste it from my blog.]
Personally, I think Bush has not handled this well at all. We already know we can kick ass...so why didn't we gather some bulletproof evidence? If containment isn't working, then why? Who's to blame? Why aren't they being called out? Why are we so quick to turn on each other, when it's various multinational interests trying to make a quick buck that are the ones undermining the UN's resolve. It's like the Drug War. The rich folks with airplanes, money and influence don't get busted at all compared to the street pusher and his customer/victim. I am annoyed by the arguments that there is some moral reason for invasion. "He gassed the Kurds" Well, so what? Turkey kills Kurds and Armenians too, but you don't see us massing troops for a "regime change" in Ankora.
Lately, I fear I am becoming more hawkish as we move forward on this. You see, as I examine this thing from all sides, I conclude that not going to war at this time would be prudent, but same argument could be made for doing so as well. The Administration has basically painted the Iraqis and themselves into a corner. And at my most cynical and depressed, I kinda of wish this thing was over already so we could move on from here.
You see, I think Hussien does have something to hide. Whether it's secret WMD facilities in the western desert in Iraq or a operative with a briefcase nuke in Chicago, time will tell.