Bill Maher's Kool-Aid Stand

Don't get me wrong. I think Bill is spot on about 99% of the time but his recent opinion that, despite the reasons that were force fed to us, Iraq may come out smelling like a rose and it will all be worth it in the long run. BULLSHIT! It's obvious that this guy has been drinking from the same pitcher of Kool-Aid as Bill.
As a longtime critic of the Iraqi war, I've been having some second thoughts.

The administration's recent change of emphasis from preventing something (WMD, terrorist attacks, etc.) to promoting something (worldwide democracy and freedom) may warrant a new look at our invasion of Iraq. If toppling one oppressive middle eastern country can give heart and hope to other oppressed peoples in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Palestine, Iran and Lebanon, then invading Iraq might not have been a bad idea.

My lingering concern is with how we went about it -- this business of "pre-emptive war." To achieve a noble goal like the spread of regional democracy abroad, is it acceptable to attack another nation, destroy its infrastructure, cause the death of innocent civilians, break international treaties, risk misleading our own nation, even allow torture?

The administration's current position seems to be that all this 'bad stuff' may turn out to have been worth it in the end. There is a case to be made for this view. Years from now we may look back to see that our attack of Iraq was the precipitating factor in improving the political and social life of the Middle East (or we may see it as a tragic mistake that further promoted world-wide terrorism).

The question is, does the end ever justify the means? Does liberating oppressed peoples make it alright that we attacked and crippled one country to do it? Are these `means' morally justified in light of our hope for a good outcome?

Ancient wisdom, the experience of nations and the moral codes of most great religions would answer "No." Good ends never justify questionable means. But could the U.S. be an exception?

It was Chairman Mao who said that his ideal society (communism) grew out of the barrel of a gun. Is it possible that our ideal society (democracy) can also grow out of the barrel of a gun?

David C. Duncombe
White Salmon
Doing what the Busheviks did to get their war ball rolling was reprehensible and, no matter what the end result is, it will never be worth the toll in lives and having the world view us as invaders. This occupation should have never happened. We should have kept our sites firmly on Bin Laden until he was either captured or killed. It is now quite obvious that 9-11 gave them the opportunity to do what they had planned all along. It makes me wonder what justification they would have manufactured if 9-11 had never happened.

1 comment:

Tom said...

I suppose it's valid to ask the question of ends justifying means. Still, it's very premature to even consider asking that question.

That doesn't stop a lot of people from asking it. Now that all the justifications have been proven false, and the downing street memo proves that the Iraq war was not about WMD's or 9/11, one must ask if "lying" your way into a war is ever justified by the outcome.

A lot of the right wing crowd likes to shift the discussion to "freedom" and all that good stuff. The funny thing is, nobody asked the 1700 dead if they wanted to die for an Iraqi's freedom. They were told they were fighting for their country, not the Iraqi's.

A lot of that right wing crowd wants to "transform" the middle east, but they don't want to die for it themselves. They want other people to fight and die.

I know I go on about that quite a bit, but it disgusts me. They are the ultimate cowards.

While I'm quite sympathetic to the desire of freedom for many people around the world, I'm not going to die for them. I'm sorry North Koreans are suffering, but I'm simply not going to die for them either. Therefore, it would be hugely hypocritical for me to support sending someone else to die instead.

That's a very simple concept that seems so left out of the discussion. That's why I despise freepers. That's why I despise talking heads like Jonah Goldberg.