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There is a rather pointed cartoon about the possible
aftermath of an invasion at http://www.idleworm.com/

A question.  _If_ it is discovered that Iraq has indeed got WeaponsOfMassDestruction? and/or links with the AlQaeda? is war still unacceptable?

Gut spur-of-the-moment reaction: if nukes had been found in Iraq, I would probably not have marched on the 15th; although I would still be opposed to war in general, I would not have thought of the one currently being proposed as being a pointless, avoidable waste of human life and resources that I could personally do something to help prevent. This would not so much be because there is something inherently bad about Iraq having nukes (after all, the US has lots and [is making more], and they're the ones preaching war at the moment), but because in the resulting situation there would be a good chance of the cornered Saddam actually using the things. I would probably also be looking to move away from Cambridge, given its convenient situation near Stansted airport and the Wyton and Lakenheath military bases. As for AlQaeda?, I don't see that AlQaeda? links justify war any more than the humanitarian reasons do - there are [traditional] [ways] of dealing with both that don't involve [destroying Baghdad]. The only thing that could possibly even come close to justifying military action on the scale being proposed, IMNSHO, is a direct and apparent threat of action against us on the same scale if action is not taken by us (where "us" can be a set of allied countries rather than a single country). - MoonShadow
Vitenka There are a whole host of stances on this issue that I would find acceptable.  First there is the stance that will attack anyone holding such weapons - meaning America, England, China, Russia...  Second is the stance "No - you may never attack anyone", which is the stance I mostly try to hold.  Unfortunately, such a stance comes apart at the seams somewhat when someone else decides to fight.  How can you stop someone fighting without fighting?  It's probably easier to reconcile if you have any faith in human nature.  Thirdly, and most repugnant and seemingly most accurate is "We don't like you, and we are powerful, so you die now"  Which is, at least, internally consistent.

On a whole host of issues, things are quite hard to find a stance on - but this is not one of them for me.  War is wrong.  Period.  I see no reason to retract me stance http://freespace.morat.net/Vitenka/?page=editorial&__MORAT_newsItemId=5789
MoonShadow agrees and has a similar stance, but wonders what Vitenka would do if he found himself in the middle of a war that someone else had already started.
Die.  --Vitenka

Agreed with all the above points, but take this to its logical extreem. France is currently opposing the US on some issues, and so is having a trade embargo of sorts placed on it. Next it might be us for not doing exactly what they want. Aren't we becoming mini americas, with just mouths that repeat what whoever is in charge of the US is saying? Should we really go and interfere with other people's lives based on their want of self-protection, and to have the same weapons as we ourselves do. MutuallyAssuredDestruction is a good thing, and unfair to deprive other states off, till people stop manufacturing nukes. - Delph
I'd disagree that MutuallyAssuredDestruction is a GOOD thing.  Better than the alternative, perhaps.  The problem I guess is that no system of governance yet discovered works without someone standing at the top threatening everyone into compliance.  Some kind of global UNDO-key perhaps.  I'll get back on topic now.  --Vitenka

Another question. Does anyone really seriously believe that Iraq does not still have the chemical and biological weapons that it obtained during the eighties and nineties and has shown no proof of destroying, or that Saddam has not been making efforts to build a nuclear bomb?

Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence; Saddam is not the sort of person to get rid of weapons if he can possibly avoid doing so; Iraq is a very big country and full of underground bunkers handy for hding things in. Join the dots.

MoonShadow doesn't believe the question is relevant to the issue of whether the US should start a war or not. Nevertheless, MoonShadow doesn't see how anyone can believe that Saddam posesses powerful weapons that he might just use some of, and yet not believe that starting a war against Iraq will guarantee the immediate use of all of them. It is therefore MoonShadow's current gut feeling that it is precisely because Saddam doesn't have anything powerful enough to hurt us that Bush and Blair feel safe enough to threaten war.
See [North Korea] for what happens when we're not quite so confident.  --Vitenka

Iraq has bombs.  So do other people.  The existence of bombs is not germane to any issue.  Saying 'but they might use those bombs, or sell them to terrorists' is hypocritical.  Also, to be pedantic - it is impossible to prove the non-existence of something.  When 'our leader' has outright said that "No amount of protest will prevent this war" I begin to turn against them on principle and say "No amount of proof should start a war"  --Vitenka

Surely the question is completely relevant? If he is left alone with such weapons then, going on his past record, he will start an unprovoked war of agression and use them in it. He will also attempt to develop and procure more and more devestating weapons.

The argument that he must not have any such weapons falls down when one considers that perhaps the reason they wish to take action now is that, while he has such weapons already and may well use them, the longer it is left the more and worse weapons he will have.

I will grant a right of self defence.  I will not grant a right of pre-emptive self defence.  Even though such a right would be the most 'obvious' effective solution.  Unless you are going to suggest genociding H. --Vitenka

To sum up, then, "Let's kill all the Iraqis before they come and kill us", yes?

No one has suggested killing 'all the Iraqis'. 'Let's remove Saddam Heussain from power before he launches another unprovoked war on a neighbouring country useing chemical, biological and, ifhe can get his hands on them, nuclear, weapons,' yes.

Hey, look what happened last time we 'stepped in' and replaced a government with a pro-US one. Looks pretty much like the Iraq of today looks now, doesn't it? Again its not up to us to decide another countries political system. - Delph
{For sake of paragraph, Saddam is considered insane and liable to wipe out the human race if given the chance}  Saddam is just one man.  He has a limited lifespan.  There is no need to shorten it - plenty of other methods, short of a war, exist to change his mind or to prevent him from carrying out his desires.  Find what he really wants - and heck, give it to him.  Find what his subordinates want, and give it to them.  Cultural war has always been more successful on a longer term than physical war.  --Vitenka

Well, those 'last times' would be Afganistan and Kosovo and no, neither of them looks much like the Iraq of today. Kosovo is certainly in a much better state than it was, and with Afganistan it's a bit early to tell but the provisional government appears to be struggling on.
*sigh* Ok, not the last time.  A few times back.  Israel for example.  (Although that's an example that hasn't gone quite so disaterously wrong as Afghanistan before the most recent intervention, or Iran.)

That will unfortunately involve civilian casualties, yes. But hardly 'all the Iraqis'; the war plans I have seen suggested, for example, would do nowhere near the tiniest fraction of the damage of the bombing raids on England and Germany in the second world war.
Because I destroyed three countries last year, I can destroy just one now?  One really big and fairly unrelated wrong and another wrong make a what now?  Since the whole of this situation is supposed to revolve around preventing (friendly) casualties, then even one human death is too meany.  --Vitenka

Not meaning to argue one way or the other but that last assurance means practically nothing.  Given the technology today, if they caused anything like that amount of damage somebody would have _really__ screwed up.

Damage done does not equal casualties caused. The aim of the bombing is to kill scary bearded terrorists who might use big nasty bombs against us. If some of the evil bad people survive the bombing, then the job hasn't been done well enough. Unfortunately, whether or not you can normally tell bad people from good people, you certainly can't do it when you're up in a bomber a couple of thousand feet overhead. Terrorists, grandmothers, little children - they all look the same. So you have to settle for killing everyone. Because, by the logic behind going starting the bombing run in the first place, if we leave anyone alive it might well be a bearded terrorist who will then most definitely push the big red button on all his weapons before flying over and personally causing September 11 2003, to avenge his granny and his cat killed in the bombing, whether or not he would have done so beforehand. After the bombing, when the ground troops move in to liberate the survivers, the local residents will see them as a force of occupation, the way that a number of the ex-Soviet republics are just beginning to discover how the USSR had "opressively" "occupied" them all these years after walking through their territories on the way to chase the Germans back to Berlin. This means resistance and guerilla warfare; once we start, we'll end up killing the bulk of the Iraqis whether we want to or not. Or do you seriously believe that the natives will see a foreign invasion as a good thing? Also, if we're going to go for a war on the "weapons of mass destruction" grounds, why not go after a country that already has nukes and is (allegedly) likely to use them, rather than going after one that (allegedly) would use weapons if it had some but can't be shown to in fact have any? - MoonShadow

The [Iraq thread] on cam.misc has probably already covered anything likely to be said here for a while. [this] is quite a good post by someone whose general sentiment MoonShadow shares.

Time to bring out the 'How many people dead does it take for a war to be bad' argument again? - Delph

More like time to weigh up all the alternative courses of action. Doing nothing has quite a high chance of leaving a lot of people dead if Heussain launches another attack on a neighbouring country, as is his wont.

Of course, how silly of me. Countries launching attacks on other countries without provocation is bad. Which is why the US is proposing launching one on Iraq without any evidence..

On a slightly seperate note - a decapitation strike on Iraq seems to me MORE likely to cause global holocaust than leaving the area alone.  (Well, than sensibly interacting with it, anyway)
Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow... But I want to live to see 2020.  --Vitenka

As a Utilitarian? I believe that going to war and killing people can sometimes be justified.  In the case of Britain and the USA going to war with Iraq, I did not think this to be a good action, on the grounds that I thought the likely outcome of their doing so would cause more harm than their not doing so, having failed to get UN agreement.  I also thought it utterly inevitable once they'd spent many billion dollars in 2002 piling up troops in the area.

Having said that, I don't buy into the prevailing UN theory of "don't invade someone just because they are being nasty to their own citizens".  That theory prevails because several large and powerful countries (such as China) would object if it were changed. --Pallando

...and several large and powerful countries (i.e. America and I would say GreatBritain if we where a powerful country) can't be bothered and wouldn't always find it in their best interests.--King DJ

see also WarDeclared, [What I Heard about Iraq]
CategorySerious, PoliticalMatters, CategoryWar

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