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Killing In The Name Of

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Dear Congo,

We regret to inform you that we cannot help you with your tribal warfare. There is really little at stake for our country and as you are so far away and pose so little threat to our own safety, we’re going to let France take the lead on this one. If only you had oil: we’d be more than willing to lend a hand.

As you may recall from Rwanda back in 1994, we prefer to wait until your casualties number in the hundreds of thousands. Quite frankly, five hundred casualties are little more than a common cold. Let’s wait until your situation resembles an epidemic.

Maybe during your next mass genocide? Let’s talk then.

Signed,

The United States of America
Land of the Free
or
If It Ain’t Attached To A Tank, We Don’t Want It

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About Rebecca

  • NC

    Right. And if we turned around tomorrow and did what you say, all we’d hear from the left are shrieks about how Bush is a warmongering Nazi. Nice racket you’ve got going there.

  • http://lucky7seven.blogspot.com rebecca

    I’m not sure what it is you think I am saying. I’m not sure of which racket you are speaking. I’m fairly sure I meant not to imply that Bush is a Nazi of any sort. All I meant to imply was that we will fight in the name of freedom and liberation as long as there’s a bottom line. Go us.

  • NC

    What I’m saying is that the left–of which I assume you’re a part, judging from your snide remark about oil–hollered for months before the war about how Bush is too much of a warmonger. And then, once the war ended, the hollering switched over to how Bush isn’t enough of a warmonger because he’s not out trying to free all the oppressed peoples of the earth. I mean, are you proposing that we go ahead and invade every country where tribal warfare is going on? Because that’s gonna be a pretty big operation. *A lot* of American troops will be lost. And call me crazy, but I’m not particularly keen on asking U.S. troops to risk death unless it’s somehow for the greater good of America. As I understand it, a lot of people who protested the Vietnam War felt the same way.

  • NC

    P.S. “The racket” I referred to is the practice of blaming Bush no matter what he does. Invading Iraq and freeing Iraqis from decades of torture and murder? Imperalist warmongering. NOT invading Congo and resolving the tribal warfare that’s going on there? Rank selfishness and moral cowardice. Lose-lose for the evil Republican.

  • http://lucky7seven.blogspot.com rebecca

    I never fingered George Bush as the immediate culprit of our apathetic foreign policy toward the current situation in Congo. It’s always been U.S. policy to overlook genocide. Just because I disagree with a history of ignoring mass genocide doesn’t mean I am blaming one person. Are you familiar with Rwanda? That was Clinton’s shameful orchestration.

    You admit that the War On Iraq was for the ‘greater good’ of America. How so? If you truly believe that the war was about weapons of mass destruction–oh wait, it wasn’t. I mean–about liberating the Iraqi people from a brutal dictator that we once supported–then you must be a casualty of mass media. At the national level, every political decision our country makes or reports is a result of big business coercion and compulsion.

    It goes without saying that if the United States were to jump in right now and help France in combatting the genocide, the rest of the world would be stunned. I defy anyone to challenge the validity of U.S. intervention in Congo today.

    I once identified with Republicans, before that party decided to advocate school vouchers and loss of local control in schools in the name of education reform, in addition to increased government surveillance and loss of personal privacy in the name of anti-terrorism.

  • Doctor Slack

    “What I’m saying is that the left–of which I assume you’re a part, judging from your snide remark about oil–hollered for months before the war about how Bush is too much of a warmonger. And then, once the war ended, the hollering switched over to how Bush isn’t enough of a warmonger because he’s not out trying to free all the oppressed peoples of the earth.”

    Golly, I just love watching people carry on arguments with imaginary strawman-leftists in their heads.

    What’s the difference between Iraq and the Congo? A little summary:

    IRAQ –
    The “evil Republican” had alternatives to war in Iraq. Lifting the sanctions — which strengthened Saddam by rendering the Iraqi populace totally dependent on him as a food source — was one of them.

    The only way the War Party could make people think there were no alternatives was to build up Iraq as a threat — an obvious, shabby fraud which is now being definitively exposed as such, to choruses of mock outrage from politicians and liberal hawks who allowed themselves to be “fooled.” (I’m not impressed by those folks — if the forged documents, repeated lies, and huffing and puffing over pathetic trivia didn’t clue them in, then AFAIC they wanted to be fooled.)

    Hussein’s regime was nasty, but it was no more an urgent humnitarian crisis than about a dozen other such regimes worldwide — some members of the “coalition of the willing” included. The US long ago missed the chance to intervene in genuine large-scale humanitarian crises in Iraq — like the Anfal genocides and the 1991 uprising, which together produced all those mass graves you’ve been hearing about — and you don’t get to show up years after the fact and claim your invasion is “atoning” for those earlier failures. It’s bullshit, and Iraqis are not stupid.

    The military solution wasn’t, therefore, necessarily the way to address the sorry state of many Iraqi lives. Leaving aside the as-yet-uncounted thousands of people who were killed by Operation: Iraqi Freedom, removing Saddam did not guarantee — in several significant ways — a better life for Iraqis who remained. That’s the reason thousands of them now flood the streets daily demanding that the US leave.

    Going into Iraq was, therefore, stupid. It was a recipe for a no-win situation, with a populace that would resent Bush if he stayed as an occupier and tried to rebuild, and resent him if he took the likelier road and did some minimal building before leaving the situation to slide into chaos (as he did in Afghanistan). And burning the US’ international credibility and a 50-year-old alliance system that bolstered American power around the world was none too bright either.

    Now that US troops are there, though, there are some (on both the left and the right — and why is it that so many ‘mongers find it so hard to admit that the antiwar movement and “the left” aren’t one and the same?) who feel the best needs to be made of a bad situation, and the US occupation should at least be effective in nation-building. I agree with them — in fact, things in Iraq appear to have gone a lot worse than I expected, and I’m a pessimist — but I’m not holding my breath.

    CONGO –
    There is a complicated, destructive war already in progress which involves immediate and present humanitarian catastrophes. Remember those horrible genocides and slaughters that the world stood by an watched in Rwanda, or in Saddam’s Iraq, and did nothing? This is one of those times.

    Of course, Bush was on record as supporting Clinton’s decision to stay out of Rwanda — until he discovered the joys of “humanitarian” intervention, or rather came to need “humanitarianism” as an excuse when the other lines of crap didn’t seem to be working. And now, of course, there’s nothing like “humanitarianism” to flush those embarrassing phantom WMD’s down the memory hole.

    Except that it’s bullshit. Bush is openly contemptuous of the lives of his own people; 9/11 was “hitting the trifecta” for him, a joke to be told at fundraiser, rather than a tragedy. He could, it’s fair to suspect, care less about the people of Iraq or Afghanistan — or the Congo, where a real crisis is shaping up and the US is conspicuously absent from the forefront of the charge.

    Hope that makes it a little clearer, NC.

  • mike

    Let’s see: Saddam had no discernible weapons of mass destruction, no connection to 9/11 or bin laden, and a beaten down military that posed no threat to any of its neighbors, and we’re supposed to believe the invasion was “for the greater good of America”?

    I feel less safe for this act of unilateral folly that took out one of bin laden’s top secular enemies in the Arab world while simultaneously enraging his followers. It also facilitated the emergence of an oligarchic state at home, so thanks for that as well.

    It’s obvious from the postwar debacle in Baghdad and Basra, and the Bush Administration’s ho hum response to it, that “human rights” had nothing to do with our invasion. We secured the Oil Ministry while the rest of Baghad burned. That proves my argument.

    To the extent the U.S. feels it necessary to intervene overseas for humanitarian reasons (a dubious idea in any case), it should do so only after consultation with its allies and under strict multilateral supervision. That’s not warmongering, it’s common sense. Although I can’t speak for her, this is the lesson I took away from rebecca’s very funny post.

  • http://lucky7seven.blogspot.com rebecca

    Exactly, Mike. Here is our country’s opportunity to be welcomed, to be supported, and to fight for someone else’s security in the unquestionable name of human rights.

    If we see no greater good in that then our perception of foreign policy truly is doomed.

  • NC

    It’s always been U.S. policy to overlook genocide.

    Right. Simple as that, is it? Once again, Rebecca, you’re being awfully cavalier about sending U.S. troops in to fight and die when it’s not going to earn us anything strategically or economically. And please don’t tell me that fighting in the Congo would earn us goodwill from the international community. If anything, deploying American soldiers in an area of the world where we haven’t had a presence historically and where there’s no national interest at stake would only encourage louder shrieking about imperialism and neo-colonialism. For that reason alone, I’m almost tempted to change my position and agree with you–just to see your good intentions end up getting spit back in your face by the rest of the moderate, altruistic community of nations that’s always having to put up with the evil American aggressors.

    I also don’t see the limit to your policy. One of the big criticisms of the war on Iraq was that a preemptive strike on an enemy nation sets a dangerous precedent; if that’s so, what kind of a precedent would intervening in the Congo set? Are we going to intervene every time there’s a humanitarian crisis in the world? Imagine the criticism we’d draw if we intervened in Congo and then didn’t intervene later in, say, a civil war in one of the Arab nations in the Middle East. Even if our motives were pure in not doing so, we’d be charged–by the noble international community–with not caring about Arabs, etc etc etc. So if you want to go into Congo, you’d better be ready to go into a lot of other places as well.

    As for Iraq, the anti-war side was all for giving UN inspectors months and months to look around. Our military’s been there for seven weeks. I’ll give them another few before I pronounce judgment once and for all. Nevertheless, for purposes of our argument, I’m happy to concede that there’s no WMD in Iraq (and never was) because that was never my main reason for going to war. My reason was that ousting Saddam gives us a presence smack dab in the middle of the Middle East from which to pressure terrorist regimes in the neighborhood into being a little more careful about who they give money and weapons to. It also means no more funds from Saddam to Hamas & co., which is obviously important to any peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, which in turn is obviously important to reducing international terrorism. And that’s how the Iraq war was for the greater good of America.

    Doctor–You’re right. Where did I get the crazy fucking idea that it was primarily the left who was anti-war? I mean, there’s Pat Buchanan, and Bob Novak, and, uh . . . it’ll come to me. Give me a few hours. I think I’m just disoriented at the moment remembering all those “Bush = Hitler” signs at the Stalinist-sponsored anti-war rallies. As for this,

    Hussein’s regime was nasty, but it was no more an urgent humnitarian crisis than about a dozen other such regimes worldwide — some members of the “coalition of the willing” included.

    Really? Who do you have in mind? North Korea? China? If so, fair point–now what do you propose we do about it? Go to war with one or both of those two? Hussein killed hundreds of thousands of his countrymen; the batshit Hussein boys who would have been taking over for him in a few years were reportedly even crazier than he is; and he was in a position militarily where we suspected we could go in and get rid of him with relatively little loss of life. And we did it. And now the killing has stopped. Sounds like a victory to me.

    And as for this,

    [Bush] could, it’s fair to suspect, care less about the people of Iraq or Afghanistan

    Right. It’s almost–Hitleresque, wouldn’t you say? Hey, Doc? HE COULD HAVE CARPET-BOMBED THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY and instead we were using pinpoint weapons in order to minimize casualties. In fact, there’s no doubt that in some cases the care taken by U.S. troops not to hurt civilians led to their own deaths. But then I guess that would prove your point about Bush not caring about American lives, huh? You got me.

    mike–Baghdad didn’t burn, buddy. Believe it or not, it’s still there. Also, I grant you that it’s troubling that utopia hasn’t come to Iraq yet after 40 days or so, but I think we need to give it a bit more time. I’m toying with the idea of linking here to a few people who have been in Iraq and find it to be not nearly as much of a wasteland as you suggest, but I realize that you wouldn’t lend any more credence to my sources than I would to yours. C’est la vie. Will you acknowledge this much for me, though: that you believe any course of action taken by America that ends up angering terrorists is, by that very fact, a provocation and (dare I say it?) a justification for any terrorist attack that might follow? I don’t mean to put words in your mouth, mind you. It’s just that I draw these crazy inferences sometimes.

  • mike

    Thanks for the news that Baghdad is still there; given the lack of attention from the U.S. media, I’d assumed it had just disappeared off the map. Phew! No doubt the Oil Ministry is looking particularly spiffy.

    As for your view that since any action might lead to terrorism, we are justified in taking any action, even that action was sold to the public as a way to stop terrorism, since by not taking the action, whatever it is, we might be giving rise to terrorism, from wherever it comes, which would make us look weak to some terrorists somewhere, which means we should go ahead and take such action so that we can fight terrorism–well, that is some interesting logic. Uncle!

  • Doctor Slack

    “s for Iraq, the anti-war side was all for giving UN inspectors months and months to look around. Our military”

    Which claimed to have SPECIFIC, ACCURATE DATA ON LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF SITES WHERE AN IRAQI ARSENAL WAS BEING HIDDEN…

    “[has] been there for seven weeks.”

    More than enough time to find sweet f*ck all at those sites — the likeliest ones — and start changing the excuse, errr, rationale for invasion.

    Of course, the UN inspectors had the same experience. E.g. being sent hither and yon to look for “weapons of mass destruction” in caves, trailers and tin huts.

    But I suppose there’s no limit to the amount of garbage you’ll swallow to keep rationalizing the party line, hmmm?

    “I mean, there’s Pat Buchanan, and Bob Novak, and, uh . . . it’ll come to me.”

    You’re right, NC — the rest were all a bunch of eeeevil Stalinists! You run along and go tell them that. I’ll wait.

    “Really? Who do you have in mind?”

    Last I checked, China and North Korea weren’t part of the coalition of the willing. (Although maybe they were — fer Chrissakes, they were signing up the damn Solomon Islands at one point.) But Uzbekistan, say, where the security forces have been known to boil people alive — you might want to start there.

    “If so, fair point–now what do you propose we do about it?”

    War, baby! War! It solves everything, and it makes my dick feel bigger just talking about it!

    Or, here’s an idea. Maybe there’s a limit to what intervention can accomplish without making things worse. Maybe that’s why, say, human rights groups set the bar very high for genuinely humanitarian “intervention.”

    Ooops. There I go bringin’ them complicated “idea” thingies into it. And actually listening to people who work in the field. Sorry, won’t happen again. War, baby, war! You’ve converted me.

    “Right. It’s almost–Hitleresque, wouldn’t you say? Hey, Doc?”

    Whack that strawman! Whack it! I just love that sound it makes.

    And hey, if it’s not as bad as Hitler, it must be good! Nice moral compass you have there!

    “HE COULD HAVE CARPET-BOMBED THE WHOLE FUCKING COUNTRY and instead we were using pinpoint weapons in order to minimize casualties. ”

    Sure thing. Of course, Ted Bundy could have killed a lot more people if he’d used an Uzi. He didn’t, therefore we should thank him, right? Let me be the first to say it: Ted, you’re a swell guy. Don’t believe all them things them crazy libruls is sayin’ about ya.

    Seriously, I’m pleased political pressure forced them to be more discriminating about their use of weapons that they were in ’91. Guess that wacky “left” is good for something, after all, hey?

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