Common Dreams, that goldmine of general silliness, showcases this piece, The Folly of Pre-emptive War, by three fellows that hail from Global Exchange. You know who I’m talking about. The folks that want to “build an alternative economy.” I suppose that’s better PR than saying they want to impose a grab bag full of sociialistic silliness to make the first world poor and make sure the third world stays that way.

But it’s not really fair to denigrate someone’s ideas just because they themselves come from an organization riddled with economic stupidity, especially when their ideas would do such a better job of it by themselves. Case in point:

According to the president, “we cannot wait for the final proof” that Saddam Hussein’s government is planning an imminent attack against the United States. Even though President Bush acknowledged in his speech that Iraq does not currently threaten the United States, he said we must “assume the worst.” Essentially, the White House is proposing that the United States invade a distant country without any evidence of impending aggression.

Yes, well I suppose you’re suggesting that we would be well-served to wait for this “final proof,” then? Very well. I’ll let you know when there’s a mushroom cloud over New York, because that’s the only “final proof” that seems to be able to satisfy you. I’d be much more amendable to the idea however if you were willing to be a personal eye-witness to this vaunted proof of yours. Then you could be really sure .

And exactly how do you go from no “final proof” to there being no evidence of impending aggression? The very fact that Saddam is so hot to get his grubby hands on nukes is enough evidence of aggression. What’s he going to do with them once they’re done, hang them on his wall next to the framed heads of Iraqi dissidents and say to himself, “Well, I can check that off my list of things to do. Now, on to learning how to square-dance.”

Saddam will use these nukes when he gets them, whether that use takes the form of vaporizing a city or merely being hung over the heads of the world’s nations as threat so that he can act willy-nilly in whatever new adventure captures his psychopathic fancy without fear of retribution.

Bush also spoke of an “international coalition” that would disarm Hussein. Bush knows the American public is loathe to go it alone. What he failed to do was tell us who the members of his war coalition are. Why? Because there is no coalition . Quite the contrary, Bush’s aggressive rhetoric, disregard for international law, and his lack of any vision other than war without end is causing traditional friends of the United States to join the majority of the world’s nations in distancing themselves from Washington in a fashion not seen since the Vietnam War.

Don’t you people ever get tired of just pulling shit out of your asses? 

Already, even if the UN thumbs its irrelevant nose at the idea of going after Iraq (and if it actually does, then they’ll only be revealed as more useless than it already seems), there is right now a coalition prepared to go into Iraq with the US: Italy, Australia, Poland, Spain, Qatar, Kuwait and, of course, Britain. I know it’s hard to find out this kind of information with your heads crammed so far up your asses, so I’ll give you a pass.

But anyway, right there you’ve got yourself eight nations total in the coalition, hailing from North America, both western and eastern Europe, Australia and the middle east . Is that not multilateralism?

I suppose you mean that it’s not “multilateralist” unless France says so?

The Muslim world — whose support is vital to any real effort to end the causes of terrorism — is adamantly opposed.

Do you mean the Muslim world that celebrated 9/11, saying the US deserved it all along? Or perhaps you mean the Muslim world that continues to characterize the US as the Great Satan and preach jihad against all things Western? Oh I know, the Muslim world that even today harbors and offers succor to the same groups that piloted the 9/11 planes, right?

Heaven forfend them not being on board with us!

Many in the global community also distrust the Bush administration’s expanding war aims. It is not easy for our friends around the world to stomach the imperial scent of our newly enunciated military doctrine that proposes pre- emption of any powerful rivals.

Replace “powerful” with “crazy and armed with nukes” and you’d be right. Otherwise, your statement is nonsense.

One of the great advances of the modern era has been the spread of the rule of law. This is the now common idea that democratically decided laws – – not the capriciousness of individual rulers — should govern human affairs.

I simply love it when my case is made for me.

So seeing as how we’ve got massive approval from the House of Representatives and similar support in the senate is likely, looks like a green light, no?

During the last half of the 20th century, this principle was expanded internationally through the United Nations. The U.N. weapons inspections in Iraq represent a good example of how the rule of law has been used, and can be used again, to avert conflict .

I guess not. The fact that the UN is anything but democratic since the vast majority of countries represented there do not have democratically elected rulers I’m sure doesn’t throw any flies into your ointment.

And at most, UN weapons inspectors have delayed conflict by a few years, not averted it. In actualyity, I think they have really just put Saddam in a better situation than he was before because the presence of inspectors invites complacency and assures everyone that “Don’t worry, the problem is being taking care of by the inspectors .”

Hey, didn’t there used to be a city where this smoking crater is?

“I said it’s being taken care of, dammit. Mind your own business.”

By tossing out any reasonable standards of evidence as a prerequisite for military action, the White House puts us in a state of constant uncertainty and increased insecurity where almost anything could lead to war.

Please. I can’t swing around a dead Saddam on a rope without hitting this argument these days. At bottom, it’s a slippery slope proposition, claiming that because we go after Saddam, we’ll suddenly be all aggro-ed up to obliterate any country that has the temerity to look at us cock-eyed.

Sorry folks, but slippery slope arguments don’t hold water by themselves. We’re going after Saddam because he 1) has shown he is willing to act aggressively and recklessly and cannot be reasonably deterred and 2) is working to get and use nukes so that he will be better equipped to fulfill point 1) . Show me another nation that’s like that today. If and when you find one, that means that I’ll be perfectly willing to advocate an attack against them as well.

What it does not mean however, is that this suddenly signals that we are going to be going after China, Saudi Arabia, Cuba or any other simply crappy country in the world, because none of them satisfy both those propositions.

President Bush says he wants to avoid “a future of fear.” It’s an admirable goal, but one hardly served by this new doctrine. In fact, the idea of pre- emptive attack depends on fear. It presupposes insecurity and assumes we will always be threatened. Whereas the Cold War doctrine of deterrence and containment rested on strength, the new idea of pre-emption insists on U.S. vulnerability.

You must be triple jointed to be able to twist words like that.

Containment and deterrence were responses to US weakness, you silly-headed dunderpate . It was obvious that using direct military action to counter the Soviet threat was not possible, because of their equal capacity to destroy us through nuclear weapons. Containment was born out of a realization that we were effectively restrained by our lack of strategic superiority. You try to make it seem as if the Joint Chiefs were lying around on a Sunday afternoon and said to themselves, “Yeah sure, we could go and stop the Soviets and all their expansionist hijinks, but then we’d like, have to go all the way over to Russia and shit. Besides, it’s just the Russians. Why don’t we just contain them or something? Hey, who’s up for some hacky-sack?”

Meanwhile, the fact that we are able to use pre-emptive action when deemed necessary is a fact of our strength, not weakness, and the decisions to do so would based on (as in this case) measured calculations of the relative benefits and costs, not just “fear,” as if we’re going to indiscriminantly nuke the floor under our beds because monsters might be hiding there.

last update : 26-5-2018
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