Saturday, August 09, 2003

This blog is not only about the criminal justice system. Us Public Defenders tend to be anti-establishment and have strong views on a variety of subjects, most of these views would be at odds with much of the rest of society, but they would tend to be very logical and well thought out views.

Which leads me to talk a little about the war and its aftermath.

I actually supported the war. My view was that, based on what my government said and history, Hussein was a dangerous meglomaniac who, with the right weapons, could wreak destruction on the rest of the world. In his position, I felt that the world would have to deal with him sooner or later, and sooner certainly beat later if it meant that later he would have the power of Kim Jong Il (which, in my mind, meant that even though Kim had worse weapons, Hussein's possession of some of those weapons, and attempts to get more, meant that he was proper fodder for attack since we did not want to to get to be like Kim).

I began to have some disquiet as the war continued. Essentially, I wondered, if Hussein was as dangerous as our government had told us (the reason I favored the war), and if he was really willing to do all of the evil things he had done in the past, why didn't he do them now? He was fighting his battle to the death, he had nothing left to wait for, nothing to hold out for, why not use all of the weapons at his disposal.

I have come to believe that he did use all of the weapons at his disposal, and they did not include WMD, scuds, nukes, or anything else that our government told us they included. Later we find out that Paul Wolfowitz (one of the architects of the war, and a proponant of this war since 1998) said that WMD were merely a pretext that people could agree on.

Yes, Paul, the reason people could agree on that is because it was the only valid basis for an unprovoked, non-defensive war that ripped apart all of our long-held alliances and caused long-term, perhaps permenant, damage to our international prestige and goodwill. Evidentally those hawks in the administration followed Bush's other big plan when running for office: faith based initiatives. Obviously, this war and it's aftermath are examples of foreign policy by faith based initiative. Just hope that there are WMD, lie to our friends, alienate our allies, and have faith that all will turn out ok. Don't have a plan for occupation, just give all of your friends at Bechtel and Halliburtan a blank check and have faith that all will turn out ok.

Clearly the world is a better place with Hussein living in fear and hiding while his people live with hope. The question is whether we are better off with Freedom fries instead of French fries, Russia and Poland as our biggest allies, crooks like Silvio Burlesconi given invitations to the Crawford ranch, while decades long allies (and true democrats) like Chirac and Schroeder are treated like Josef Stalin?

This administration supposedly runs foreign policy with a religious zeal, promoting values like freedom and democracy. Well, can you count on 2 hands any countries that embody that ideal more than France and Germany, 2 truly pluralistic democratic and free nations that allow their people most of the same choices that our nation allows our people? Shouldn't these nations be held up as an ideal to aspire to, and not be threatened with punishment while quasi-dictatorships like Russia, nascent democracies (and hardly the shining idea of a nation we should all aspire to - yet) like Poland, erstwhile democracies with a history of unstable governments and a crook as its president (read this article by the Economist, no leftist publication, if you don't believe me) like Italy are treated like royalty?

All I'm saying is I wish that the US hadn't set a standard which said, to nations like China, Russia, and even worse places, screw the world community, we're right, they're wrong, and we have the weapons to prove it, so deal with it. I also wish that instead of our troops trying to play tinpot colonialists out there (I say tinpot because we don't have the evil streak to be true colonialists, what with the kill a hundred of their civilians for every one of our soldier's killed, huge detention camps for anyone who speaks out against us, in other words, ruling by fear) I would much prefer to see the blue hats (UN) running the show, with Russian, French, British, Chinese, and other soldiers lives on the line in addition to ours. I think the mission would have far more credibility, there would be less allegations that we are doing this to line the pockets of all of the president's cabinet's old co-workers, and we may still be able to eat French Fries in the Capital cafeteria.

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