My colleague at 18 Doughty Street, Tim Montgomerie, is a self confessed hawk when it comes to Iraq. He never ceases to extoll the courage and bravery of Sen. Joe Lieberman, who nearly lost his Senate seat over his opposition to the Democratic opposition to the War in Iraq. So when he sent me an email urging me to read THIS interview with Lieberman in the Washington Post today I admit I sighed a little, and thought to myself, 'later'.
But I have now read it, and found it to be quite a revelation. If, like me, you supported the war 100% but have had a few doubts about the wisdom of it in recent months, you should read it HERE. It explains in blunt terms why we have to stick with it and what the rewards are, but more importantly what the downside is if we don't.
Iain that is exactly the way I have felt about it ,and try to rationalise it though one may one cannot expect the US to get everything right.Opposition to the war was not on the basis that Iraqis would be better off being kiiled in an orderly way by people with uniforms .The same people who now feel Saddaam was the "least bad thing " for the region , scan US policy for moral indiscretions enitirely unrealistically as they have now accepted.
I do hope they remember this uncharacteristic outburst of reapolitik.
BTW if you are still not moderating ..ulp , this subject does attract an unsavoury element
USA foreign policy is all about securing its oil supply. Everything else is so low on the list of priorities as to be invisible. The y will say and do anything thay have to feed their national addiction. All the rubbish coming out of the US about the war on terror and democracy for the iraqis is just hot air. Thay don't give a damn about anything except being able to preserve their position as the major contributor to keeping themselves rich and the rest of the planet poor. The USA is the biggest threat to world peace NOW. Wake up, smell the coffee and consider just what their reaction is going to be when they can't fill up their gas guzzling pickups with cheaper than cheap gasoline... Be afraid!
Iain, i have not yet read the article, but would agree we have to stick with it and get it right. The alternatives are too dire to contemplate.
I have as you know written many essays on the subject on my own blog.
However we will have to see if the current American executive is up to the job of making up for it's past mistakes.
typo - title - why WE have to stick with Iraq.
The spelling pedant.
It's so supercilious. Did Lieberman pay for the article!? He loves to ride the moral high horse.
The US will devastate most of the planet if current policies of unfettered oil consumption at low prices continue. More and more wars to keep the SUVs and the fat rich midwestern gutbuckets rolling. Ignorance at home and terror abroad. More and more Arab street resistance to the corrupt fat cats installed in their own countries and more and more extremism as a response. Lieberman is just a big irrelevance.
Casual Observer says: BE AFRAID.
I am! You came out with a long stream of naive Americanisms in your anti-American diatribe.
'just hot air'. An Americanism.
'wake up and smell the coffee'. An Americanism.
'gas guzzling'. An Americanism.
'pick-ups'. An Americanism.
'gasoline'. An Americanism.
'Keeping the rest of the planet poor'? Do you think the EU is poor? Australia? New Zealand? Singapore? Hong Kong (with the highest per capita ownership of Rollers in the world)? Canada? Singapore, where you can't buy a small apartment for love nor money under US1m?
Do you think maybe poor countries have kept themselves poor through sheer ineptitude?
You've never been to the United States. Just a wild guess.
First of all ,I want our troops out fullstop , if Iraq is going to go into a civil war, why oh why arn't the UN involved , why are all the other countries sitting on the sidelines ,do they know something we dont
'Yes, America's my friend. Or is it? Suddenly I'm not sure'
Excellent Matthew Parris article.
PS - Lieberman's quite nice looking.
anonymous 2:47 - You have a touching faith in the biggest boondoggle in the history of the human race: the UN.
Dear God, don't these neo-con/zionist fanatics ever give up. How much more chaos, death, and destruction do they want?
Thankfully the majority of the American people have now seen through the lies and reject the neo-cons and their warmongering on behalf of Big Oil and Israel.
So the Iraq War is all about oil, thank God for that, at least its about something worth having!
I couldn't more thoroughly disagree with you on Lieberman and his worldview. The intense destabilisation and destruction of the region and of Iraq will take a long time to recover. It has done untold damage to the democratic urges it was supposedly meant to promote, though I agree with one poster that an awful lot of it had to do with oil. Otherwise North Korea would now be occupied by the Coalition of Those Who Don't Want to Glow in The Dark.
Iain, Lieberman has a very particular reason for taking the view that he does, along with the same camp of true believers who want to flatten Iran just as the country evidences signs of turning against Ahmed Dinerjad. Salon.com has done some excellent analyses of his position that I recommend as stongly as you were recommended this piece.
Yes, I have to agree with Newmania, this is not a good post for unmoderated comment. Iraq = Middle East = Israel = Jews.
I feel sorry for Liberman, the hatred and bile of the "progressive" (for everyone but the people of Iraq) left in America knows no bounds.
If we're for democracy and freedom everywhere then we're for democracy and freedom everywhere.
We may have lost the war in vietnam, (again Iraq = vietnam = unwinnable slaughter) but where do all the Nike trainers come from? Also, in terms of the conflict with commmunism, how did we do on that in the end?
The issues in the Middle East which are now so threatening are ones which we have ignored for too long. President Bush dragged America out of its deep ignorance and made it face up to its responsibilities to the people of the region. Nobody in the race in 2008 can get by without having some plan for the future, not just to cut and run.
anonymous 2:47 - You have a touching faith in the biggest boondoggle in the history of the human race: the UN
I've no faith in the UN, cant even think of any are but!.
but I still want our troops out of Iraq
How can anyone believe that Joe Lieberman is wrong about the Iraq war. He is a religious man, with the highest of morals and integrity. Iraq has always been an enemy of Israel, a true threat to their egsistance. Paul Wolfowitz, Douglas Feith, David Wurmser, Scooter Libby, Joe Lieberman and many other chosen people, are doing, and have done, Gods work here on earth. If they must lie about WMDs, so be it. If they have to connect Iraq with al-Qaida, let it be done. To be true or false with the goyim - what difference does it make! The goal – to make the American military take up arms aganist Israel’s enemies. This is the zionist dream. And by their actions, and with the help of their media, they have suceeded in making Israel’s enemies our own. Thousands if not millions of Americans will have to die, but to the Joe Lieberman’s of the world, that’s a risk they’re willing to take.
Ah yes the UN ;recent child rape activities pretty much sum up what we can expect. I have never understood it . You look around the world and see it is full of unaccountable war lords cheats and developmental retards. You imagine if you group them together something good will come if it.It is hardly likely .
This myth of validity confers the same status on power grabbing tribal leader as it does on elected representatives and it is then used by all those in the West who detest democracy.
Democracy has always been a means to an end for the left and so it often suits their purpose.Furthermore quasi treaties are signed and to the delight of a further group of charlatans ,without anyone having been asked ,the further myth of inernational law syphons sovereignty away from perfectly functioning democracies.
Have there ever been more chiling words than Jaqe Chirac`s,"We are creating world government"
God are they still parroting that crapulous guff about "Its all about the oil". Its about security. Without Western capitalsim the oil was disregarded sludge miles beneath a motley collection of nomads.
From his knee jerk antisemitism we can assume anon is one of the lobotomised left of the SWP or some similiar adolescent hobby. Cheer up my Jewish friends there us country they hate even more than they hate you , its called the UK and especially England .
The only reason Iraq appeared relatively peaceful before the allied intervention was that any opposing tribal or political grouopm was either gassed , tortured ar disappeared on a weekly basis. At least one in every family in Iraq. That is not, however ,our the major concern. The US backed by this country were acting to preserve our security. If we stuck to that agenda and forgot sham do gooding we would appear more to advantage.The Conservative Party have quite rightly admitted on moe than one occasion that WMDs were not essential to their support
The UN is nothing,NATO guarantees our security and vile fleshy hot house plants like anon live under its wing as much as anyone else.Nasty when you get to close though.
Lieberman is becoming a pariah even within the Democrat Party so why the hell should we support this closet-zionist cheerleader for more war?
Wise up Iain FFS. These people will make a mug of you.
"We can still win" is a tragic triumph of some combination of stupidity, hubris, pride and mindless optimism over the facts on the ground. I am amazed you are silly enough to follow it, Iain.
Plenty of decent people like yourself supported the war originally for entirely commendable reasons. It would have been nice to see an Iraq freed from tyranny and shining as a beacon of tolerance and stability throughout that troubled reason. But it didn't happen. In my view it was never on the cards - but even if it ever was, it isn't now so let's face the world as it is rather than as we would prefer it to be.
"We may have lost the war in vietnam, (again Iraq = vietnam = unwinnable slaughter) but where do all the Nike trainers come from? Also, in terms of the conflict with commmunism, how did we do on that in the end?"
Goodness, yes, Henry. I'd forgotten about the cheap footwear. When you think about it, it really puts the widescale slaughter into perspective.
Your argument really is one of the most facile I have ever seen. Communism was defeated but the idea that Vietnam somehow contributed in any serious way to that is bizarre. I would accept that US financial support for certain groups overseas - many of them more than dodgy - was a necessary part of stemming the spread of Communism. But in the end it was a question of making time before the cracks in a flawed economic system widened and the dam burst.
I have a lot of time for Joe Lieberman but would his Jewish lobby backers really allow him to say anything very different ?
I have a lot of time for Joe Lieberman but would his Jewish lobby backers really allow him to say anything very different ?
You do realise that Lieberman is a Jew? Its amazing whenever Lieberman is discussed some arse has to come along and act all paranoid about the "Jewish lobby" as if some monolithic group.
Discuss Lieberman and Jew-haters come out of the woodwork.
If the case for this invasion was compelling and sound, then there would have been no need for the infamous lies about WMDs.
The mere fact that Blair and Bush needed those lies to prop up their case for the strikes against Iraq undermines the alleged ethical grounds for it.
Far from making UK more secure, British Security services have admitted that the invasion of Iraq has made our country a target for terrorists.
Lieberman's alleged enhanced security and ethical principles collapse into heightened insecurity, heightened destabilisation of the Middle East and the zero ethics of lies.
Thanks but no thanks, Lieberman, this anti-war protestor wants our troops out and Bush and Blair brought to justice for this illegal invasion.
And as the arm chair politicians sit and debate, yet more soldiers die as we see another too little too late strategy being implemented.
He never ceases to extoll the courage and bravery of Sen. Joe Lieberman, who nearly lost his Senate seat
Rubbish, Lieberman consistently polled above Lamont and ended up winning by a ten point margin.
....Discuss Lieberman and Jew-haters come out of the woodwork.
Does mentioning the fact that Lieberman is a jew make one a "Jew-hater"?
Perhaps you're one of these unthinking people who screams anti-semitism whenever someone criticises the actions of Israel?
Your foolishness and knee-jerk excitability does jews no favours.
The reason the UN wasn't involved, despite innumerable "or else" resolutions, is that France and Russia were in bed with Saddam, particularly Chirac. That meant nothing would ever be done, oil-for-food was enriching many individuals, including senior UN staffers and the future looked as tho' everyone would let up on sanctions i.e. Saddam would "win".
Appeasement didn't work in 1938 and didn't work post-1991. The antiwar crowd both within the US and elsewhere want to see the Iraq mission fail and to hell with the effect on Iraqis - just like 1975 when the Democrats voted to cut off aid to South Vietnam, leading to millions of deaths there and Cambodia etc.
There's an interesting piece in the Observer today about the left letting their anti American feelings get in the way of seeing the truth. Plenty of examples will also result from this thread I'm sure!
Yak40, Chirac is the only major world leader left who has seen combat service (wounded and decorated, in fact), and that might colour his view of being led into war at all, never mind by a draft-dodger like Bush.
France and Russia had economic interests in Iraq, so the French and Russian governments acted to defend those interests. Can you, or anyone else who supported the war, explain to me what is conservative about the dictum, "Someone's else's country, right or wrong"? You don't even seem able to decide whether that country is America or Israel. Indeed, you don't even seem able to distinguish between the two (not a problem that the Bush Administration has, to its credit).
Nick Cohen's latest effusion says far more about him than about anybody or anything else. When not banging the neocon drum abroad, his articles have usually been rather good. But now he says that he cannot imagine a society more left-wing than this one, an admission in the light of which his every subsequent article now needs to be read.
Also, he is still defending the neocons' dismemberment of Yugoslavia while they were still Democrats (which several of them have never ceased to be in the registered sense - they changed voting patterns because not even Bill Clinton was bomber enough for them). That dismemberment was in the same Wahhabi interest that the neocons had previously promoted in Afghanistan, and which they promote to this day in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
In Iraq, meanwhile, the neocons have removed one of the two principal Arab bulwarks both against Wahhabism and against its Shi'ite twin, handing him over to the latter to be lynched. They are now planning to take out the other such bulwark, in Syria.
And in Sufi Chechnya, the neocons' support for "militant Islam" (the only kind that there can ever be) gives the lie to the fantasy that Sufism is a "moderating" influence within Islam.
But Cohen doesn't mention any of this. Nor, despite rightly having denounced in the past the takeover of the Labour Party's central apparatus by born-again neoliberals with Communist or Totskysist background who have carried over the sectarian Left's hatred of the Labour Movement, does he mention that neoconservatism is itself an outgrowth and expression of Trotskyism, whose adherents effected an entryist takeover of the Democratic Party, then moved over to the Republicans, and are now preparing to move back if their old stooge Hillary Clinton becomes President. That last would prove once and for all that they were a junta which mere elections could not remove.
All of this ought to be classic grist to Cohen's mill. Why isn't it?
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