Questions for those in favor -or- opposed -or- ambivalent regarding military action in Iraq
(Top Posts - Social/Legal - 032203)

I'll give it a try, my own self, and will try to use "empathy" to
cross-over and express my views of alternative positions ...

> For folks who, for reasons of morality / philosophy / politics,
> are in favor -or- opposed -or- ambivalent regarding U.S. and
> coalition partners using military action in Iraq, excerpts from
> a Donald Rumsfeld news conference today, presented in the
> form of questions ...
>
> ... In response to these questions, assess the goals (whether
> they are moral/worthwhile or not moral/not worthwhile) and
> how reasonable people might differ, in no uncertain terms,
> on the best ways to achieve said goals.
>
> In other words, offer your own views as well as your perspec-
> tive on how alternative views might be arrived at (put another
> way, view this as both an opportunity to support your own
> views, as well as an opportunity to try to empathize with alter-
> natives).
>
> Also, it would be helpful, in assessing the responses, if inform-
> ation regarding your political philosophy (e.g. Republican,
> Democrat, Independent, etc.) and nationality (e.g., American,
>
British, Iraqi-American, etc.) was presented:
>
> - - -
>
> Political philosophy:

Independent

>
> Nationality:

American

>
> - - -
>
> ---
> http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Mar2003/n03212003_200303219.html
> ---
>
> 1) "Defense of the American people is primary among the
> goals and objectives of U.S. actions in Iraq?"
>
> In favor:

Yes.

>
> Opposed:

Of those opposed, suspicions are that the war is for oil, the
war is to carry through on George's dad's war, the war is
personal, the war is an invalid use of the U.S. status as the
world's sole remaining superpower.

>
> Ambivalent:

I suppose there are many who couldn't care less if America
is or is not around ... certainly, that does *not* include those
of the Islamic extremist camp, those of the European-first
camp, those of the America sucks camp, but in a large part
of the world, simply having water, sanitation, medicine, food,
and shelter are the primary concerns, along with mating and
having fun, far removed from world power politics ...

>
> - - -
>
> 2) "End the regime of Saddam Hussein by striking with force
> on a scope and scale that makes clear to Iraqis that he and
> his regime are finished?"
>
> In favor:

Yes.

Just in --- Saddam was seen being put on a stretcher after the
Wednesday night bombing, being placed in an ambulance ...
bodies being removed from the bunker --- top military and
leadership being seen leaving from Baghdad --- control of
Iraq by Saddam's regime is fading (quote from US official:
"the erosion from Baghdad has begun").

>
> Opposed:

Some are swayed by Saddam's propagandistic efforts, just as
some were swayed by Hitler's or Stalin's propaganda (and some
still are swayed by that -- shows the difficulty that many humans
have in determining the difference between claims and truth, be-
tween what one wants to be true, and what is actually true).

Others simply don't want the U.S. to act against a country, no
matter what, unless said country has done something (like attack
a ship or some other country or some military base or some
American city).

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 3) "Identify, isolate and eliminate Iraq's weapons of mass
> destruction?"
>
> In favor:

WMD -- whatever, Bush will be in a load of trouble if he (the US
military and WMD 'finders') doesn't find 'em -- I suspect he/they
will find 'em, and he/they will find plenty of scientists and techni-
cians willing to speak openly about the WMD programs, but we
just won't know for sure -until- we know for sure.

>
> Opposed:

Some don't care if Iraq has WMD, seeing WMD as something
any country should have if any country has them. Some think
that *all* should not have them, including the U.S. Some think
UN resolutions are a farce, and there shouldn't have been any
UN resolutions against Iraq in the first place. Some blame the
U.S. for any WMD Saddam has, and as such, place the blame
on the U.S. for any WMD programs Saddam engaged in.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 4) "Eliminate Iraq's missiles and other delivery systems, the
> production capabilities and distribution networks?"
>
> In favor:

Hmmmm, seems they would need missiles and delivery systems
to protect against Iran, at least, if not to protect against Turkey,
assuming that the Kurds become an integral part of a united
Kurdish-Sunni-Shiite Iraq. I still haven't figured out why there is
a Kurdish-Sunni-Shiite Iraq, rather than a Kurdishland, Sunniland,
and Shiiteland ... but whatever, such has been the flow 'til now,
something to do with a supposed buffer between the Arab world
and the Persian world of Iran ...

>
> Opposed:

I'm opposed, as the "new free Iraq" needs missiles for defense
purposes. Of note, the "new free Iraq" would, hopefully, have
joint security agreements with the U.S.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 5) "Search for, capture or drive out terrorists who have found
> refuge in Saddam Hussein's Iraq?"
>
> In favor:

Absolutely, in terms of capturing or killing ... in terms of "driving
out", bad idea, as a terrorist "driven out" is a terrorist who might
invoke terror elsewhere, like in the U.S., for example.

>
> Opposed:

See above. Some claim there are no terrorists in Iraq, and as
such, if the military finds no terrorists or evidence of terrorism
support in Iraq, once again, Bush will be in trouble on that.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 6) "Collect intelligence related to terrorist networks in Iraq and
> beyond and will collect intelligence on the global network of
> illicit weapons of mass destruction activity?"
>
> In favor:

Hmmm - see above answer to '5'.

>
> Opposed:

See above answer to '5'.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 7) "End sanctions and immediately deliver humanitarian relief to
> the displaced and the many needy Iraqi citizens?"
>
> In favor:

Absolutely, and the egalitarian economics of a world invested
in rational distribution of the world's resources would go a long
way towards solving many of the world's problems ... of note,
totalitarianism is the antithesis of egalitarianism -- for example,
it's been said (and I haven't cross-checked this) that Saddam
has a net worth of 7 billion dollars (of course, whatever his net
worth, much of that is collapsing around him, so all he will have
left, assuming he's still alive, is in the likes of Swiss bank ac-
counts).

>
> Opposed:

Who can be opposed to ending sanctions and helping Iraqis?
Maybe, some who would think along the lines of Darwinism,
only the strong survive -- scary thought, that, but I think most
would be in favor of a "new free Iraq" having assistance to get
back on their feet after the end of hostilities.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 8) "Secure oil fields and resources, which belong to the Iraqi
> people and which they will need to develop their country after
> decades of neglect?"
>
> In favor:

Absolutely, Iraqi oil is key to the recovery of Iraq.

>
> Opposed:

I suppose those wanting Saddam to blow up the oil fields and
leave Iraq in ruin would be opposed.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 9) "Create the conditions for Iraq's rapid transition to
> a representative government that is not a threat to its
> neighbors?"
>
> In favor:

It has been said that Iraq has live under 3,000 years of tyranny
and cannot become a democracy ... that's beyond my area of
expertise, and it's difficult to comprehend how a country might
be unable to become a democracy, so I'll have to say I'm in
favor of the democratization of Iraq, but unsure if it can be pulled
off -- however, that having been said, it must be noted that the
U.S. (and allies) were able to pull off democratization of formerly
militaristic Germany and Emperor-worshipping Japan, so ... per-
haps there are lessons, there, that are applicable in this instance ...

>
> Opposed:

See above -- many think it cannot be done, that any Arab regime
is bound to become dictatorial.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.

>
> - - -
>
> 10) In reference to soldiers killed in operation Iraqi Freedom:
> "We are grateful for their lives, their courage and sacrifice, and
> our hearts go out to their families -- the world will be a safer
> place because of their dedicated service?"
>
> In favor:

Absolutely -- tears and sympathy to the families and friends of the
dead and injured, and lots of hugging and thanks to those soldiers
who are risking their lives in the defense of freedom and liberty.
Likewise, to all noble acts by those on the Iraqi side, tears and
sympathy to the families and friends of those dead and injured
soldiers, and it goes without saying, tears and sympathy to the
families and friends of all dead and injured innocents.

>
> Opposed:

Some see the action as unjust, and oppose any admiration for
those in the military.

>
> Ambivalent:

See ambivalent response to '1'.