At all of the protests I have been to, some of the most common expressions protesters have written on their signs were, “The war on Iraq cannot be won by the inferior U.S. military,” and “There are no chemical weapons in Iraq,” and “It’a all a lie–Saddam is a really nice guy.”
Well, I guess we can’t write these sentiments on our signs any more. Turns out the U.S. military is strong, and it may turn out that Saddam did have chemical weapons and that there are even more horrible stories about his totalitarian regime than we previously heard. Oops.
For those who only watch Fox News, and thus believe the common caricature of war protesters is accurate, let me fill you in–the preceding two paragraphs are riddled with sarcasm. The anti-war camp’s arguments have never depended on the following:
1. The U.S. can’t win this war.
2. Iraq has no chemical or biological weapons.
3. Saddam isn’t as bad as they say.
Still, we can expect triumphalist pro-warriors to act as if this was the case. They will point their victorious fingers in our faces and say, “See? Told ya we could do it!” and “See? He had frickin’ sarin!”
As if this is the same as saying, “Therefore a hasty unilateral invasion and military occupation of Iraq is the most sensible solution to the problem and justifies the history-changing doctrine of U.S. preventive war.” As if the anti-war camp ever disagreed about the superior power of the U.S. military, Iraq’s likely possession of chemical weapons or the villainy of Saddam.
Ah, well, we’ll just have to grin and bear it. Reason has a difficult time penetrating emotion, and victory parties are pretty emotional.
For the record, though: I’m glad it looks like the war is not going to be a dragged-out affair, I believe it is likely Saddam has chemical weapons stashes in Iraq (the inspections, after all, found some, and they weren’t done yet), and I think it is more than just probable that horror stories about this totalitarian regime–both during the years that the U.S. gave ally Saddam money and weapons and chemicals, and during the years when the U.S. did not–will be even more horrifying than we have yet heard (in other words, I think those reports from lefty human-rights orgs that right-wingers had been ignoring for decades are probably accurate).
I know this doesn’t matter. The rationale from much of the pro-war camp will be, If we won, how could we have been wrong? And this will help the Bush Doctrine of preventive war (i.e., The Rationale For Empire In All Of The Entire History Of The World) gain more popular support. The requirements: We win easily, we find (or “find,” if necessary in the future) weapons of mass destruction, and horror stories of government abuse must come out in the aftermath. As long as these conditions are met, the war was justified.
(Oh, and an update: Again, I am red-faced about my previous criticism of George W. Bush’s extremist religious views. When I made these comments I was unaware that he was personally “called by God.” The BBC offers further evidence of his divine mission.)