catallaxy files

catallaxy in technical exile

slate – where its at

with 150 comments

slate consistently has the best analysis of international affairs. In this article, Weisberg argues against economic sanctions as a tool of international affairs, especially regime change.

I have recently thought this as well, we should just continue to trade and ban long range and large weapons technology and the middle class will eventually overthrow their despotic rulers.

Think about east europe. The problem over the 50 year cold war period was that it was closed off. If it would have been open to the west change would have occured much sooner. We are creating little iron curtains in iran, in north korea, in cuba and used to in iraq.

Hitchens also has a nice piece on iraq. (The nice slate feature, “related in slate”, is how i came across the Weisberg piece) Everytime my faith in the Iraq war wavers slightly, i am reminded of Saddam and the evil sanctions. And we couldn’t have Saddam and sanctions forever, and we couldn’t have an unsanctioned Saddam as that involved iran/iraq war and invasions of kuwait, and various other massacres and oppression of the general public. Wars resolve underlying problems in the long term.

No-one since the war or before has outlined a viable alternative solution to Iraq. Attack the US all you want for using certain reasons for going to war, but truth is rarely the most important casualty in international politics – think of the children. (The number of iraqi children dieing under sanctions was the banner cause of the left pre-invasion, now not a peep) You think the allies didn’t exaggerate the Nazis a bit in the Second World War.

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Written by Admin

October 24, 2006 at 2:00 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

150 Responses

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  1. a way to displace Saddam without an illegal invasion.

    Have a think of why the Berlin wall came down meanwhile the millions starving in Zimbabwe or North Korea or the hundreds of thousands dying in Sudan are waiting to hear from you IF you are to be consistent!

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 24, 2006 at 2:35 pm

  2. “Wars resolve underlying problems in the long term.”

    How profound.

    “…think of the children”

    Poppycock. If the latest Lancet study is correct, then the children aren’t faring that well at all. Lambert has been into bat for the Lancet study since it was released and I think he has done a good job of it. http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/ The children most at risk pre-invasion were probably the Kurds, however the American flight exclusion effectively protected them.

    I supported the concept of going to war to oust Saddam but there is no longer even the slighest shred of doubt that the CoW has botched it big time.

    melaleuca

    October 24, 2006 at 2:46 pm

  3. My opinion on the Hitchens piece differs considerably.

    TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 3:23 pm

  4. What a surprise.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 3:28 pm

  5. This Lancet thing will go on and on and on…one thing Tim, you say “And also from non war-torn provinces. Provinces were sampled proportional to their population, so this would not inflate the figures.”

    In Lancet #2 here were two provinces not sampled, they deemed them to be low violence so of not considerable import. This is a clear example of bias and subjective analysis by the interviewers which was recognised but not factored into the overall allowance for bias.

    rog

    October 24, 2006 at 3:40 pm

  6. Tim:
    Most of us aren’t stats experts and I know we shouldn’t use intuition when stats do a far better job.

    But I truly have a hard time coming to terms with the survey. It’s not because I still support the war 100%. I also don’t think it is nearly as botched as some people want us to think. Wars are messy and always have been. People die in wars lots of them and I count myself lucky I wasn’t born in a war zone.

    However I have a real problem with the survey. The main reason is this.

    Lancet is telling us that there have been 665,000 extra deaths since the war began. In 2004 their survey said there had been 100,000 extra since to that point in time. I will ignore the fact that the survey was published just before the US prez election and also ignore that the new one only a few months before the mid terms. I will also ignore the fact that the guy running the survey for Johns Hopkins was a Democrat candidate in 04.

    I will ignore all this. However the new survey implies there have been 665,000-100,000= 565,000 extra deaths since the middle of 04. Working this out on a daily basis, it means there have been approx. 780 extra deaths (on a daily basis) in Iraq since 04. I know that the survey counts more than people dying of gun shot wounds and getting blown up. It also counts people dying of disease and not having the possibility of getting to a hospital etc…. all those things I believe. But 780 extra deaths per day is an extraordinary number to be credible. I have not heard one day in the entire war when the casualty was more than 200 odd. That’s the entire war?

    As I said, I am not a stats major but do understand numbers reasonably well. Could you please come down a few notches, put your teacher hat on and explain where I am wrong?

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 3:56 pm

  7. rog, their estimate assumes that there were no excess deaths in those two provinces. So, yes, their estimate was biased, but it was biased downwards.

    Thanks for letting us know that the number is likely too low.

    CL, I imagine you found this study even funnier that the first one. Some of us find a vast death toll distressing, rather than amusing.

    TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 3:57 pm

  8. I also want to remind the lefties that prior to the war they were telling us that there was anything from 500,000 to 1,000,000 deaths extra deaths of children as a result of the sanctions. Something that seems to be convennetly forgetten these days as you attack the Bush administration.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 4:00 pm

  9. Just to reinforce what Tim has said they deliberately did not sample the two provinces with the highest death rates.
    mind you that is in the article.

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 24, 2006 at 4:00 pm

  10. I think a lot of the people who continually cite all these studies about the loss of life in Iraq post-liberation are more interested in beating up the US and Bush than having any real concern for the Iraqi people. I cannot remember any of them saying anything about the horrific suffering Iraqi’s were enduring while Saddam was there.They did not take to the streets when Saddam launched the Iran-Iraq War that killed a million or when he gassed the Kurds in the 80’s or slaughtered the Shiites in the south after Gulf War 1. Consistency gives you credibility, selective outrage does not.

    Matt

    October 24, 2006 at 4:09 pm

  11. Joe, the media is not able to report all, or even most of the deaths. Right, now, just in Baghdad there are about 100 bodies a die showing up in the morgue. And not all bodies make it to the morgue. And Baghdad isn’t the worst place for violence.

    This survey only cost $50,000. The coalition has spent much more than this conducting regular surveys of Iraqi attitudes. They could have added some questions about mortality to any of them and come up with their own number. Probably we have cost $5,000 extra. But they didn’t. If they felt that Lancet1 was wrong they could have disproved it. But they didn’t.

    And remember these estimates are rough ones. Maybe it’s only 400,000. This isn’t much comfort.

    TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 4:14 pm

  12. TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 4:20 pm

  13. “a way to displace Saddam without an illegal invasion.
    Have a think of why the Berlin wall came down meanwhile the millions starving in Zimbabwe or North Korea or the hundreds of thousands dying in Sudan are waiting to hear from you IF you are to be consistent!”

    Oh Lord How Long…..

    So we have to be CONSISTENT now?

    Consistent.

    Consistent in war-fighting.

    Not daring. Not unpredictable. Not inscrutable. Not able to win. The consistency of total predictability in war.

    Thats MANDATORY now is it?

    (dumb shit)

    You don’t want us to WIN do you EP?

    But the more obvious logical nitwitery here is that EP imagines that if we can’t solve ALL problems at the same time we must not solve ANY problems ever.

    We just have to sit there like bunnies in the headlights.

    We know how to win this war. Couldn’t be easier. But it starts with all the allies cutting 10% of GDP off their non-defense spending.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>

    “My opinion on the Hitchens piece differs considerably.”

    Who gives a fuck Lambert. If I wanted a holocaust-deniers opinion I’ll beat it out of you.

    But don’t refer us back to your propaganda site. Make your argument here you sissy. So we can go after it here (big…fat…. fucking…..fairy.)
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    “Most of us aren’t stats experts and I know we shouldn’t use intuition when stats do a far better job.”

    Chris Mooney hasn’t convinced you that LAMBERT is Mr STATS-MAN has he?

    Lambert ought not be allowed NEAR any stats. He is THE STATS IDIOT.

    He couldn’t interpret stats honestly to save himself.

    He’s not fit to so much interpret other peoples stats let alone do any of this own.

    This shows how inadequate Mooney was to critique the work of a first-class mind like Tom Bethel.

    People have to be a bit more understanding about peoples religion. I can’t find any better science critiques then Bethels. And when he gets to evolution I just let it slide.

    And even there there is no lack of logic.

    He just raises the PROOF BAR up to what I would say is a ridiculously high level. And he puts the BURDEN OF PROOF on the evolutionists.

    Given that his logic is stil good.

    I really must get his book.

    I don’t SEE all that much stuff worth reading any more. But Bethell is always worth reading.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 4:25 pm

  14. Thanks Tim.

    I actually thought about it and it could be right. I think people only think about the people dying as a result of gun shot wounds and getting blown up etc. That could actually be a small number in a war such as this.

    Extra deaths means just that. Hospitals could be stressed, medications are harder to come by, sanitary conditions are worse. So yes if the extra deaths are defined like that I could very well believe the number has some veracity.

    I guess what the extra deaths means in a fashion is that the mortality age/ rate has dropped/ compressed so the death rate would accelerate.

    Is this what you are implying happened? Am I on the right track? Becasue if oloked at in this way the extra deaths figure is most probably correct…. or rather an ok estimation.

    I think those who support the war are making a big mistake to attack this survey because they don’t like hearing the bad news. There can be nor war on this scale on this scale with a small number of extra deaths. Can’t happen. it’s also wrong to shirk reponsibility by denying stat sampling and scientific method.

    Lambert is on the side of science in this and I disagree with lots of things he does.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 4:29 pm

  15. Where BBEP? They only say that 2 governates were not sampled and these were known as low violence governorates.

    rog

    October 24, 2006 at 4:31 pm

  16. “Yes, where were they during the Iran-Iraq war?”

    Well what was wrong with that dumbass?

    Thats the way you do it.

    When two monstrous regimes go to war you help the weaker side.

    OR DO YOU HAVE A BETTER PLAN SHIT FOR BRAINS?

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 4:34 pm

  17. Some doubts have been raised by scientists, these doubters have been told that there is more detail to the study which has yet to be published.

    rog

    October 24, 2006 at 4:36 pm

  18. “Lambert is on the side of science in this and I disagree with lots of things he does.”

    What are you talking about.

    Lamberts NEVER on the side of science.

    This is a fellow who reckons you fight Malaria without killing bugger all mosquitoes.

    He still takes Silent Spring seriously.

    He’s the biggest anti-science propagandist the net has.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 4:37 pm

  19. I’m shocked to say I agree with GMB on that business about past support of Iraq. Iran was a bigger threat then.

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 4:42 pm

  20. What I find amusing is your vaudevillian attempt to care about war casualties in Iraq before US elections, Tim. That and the way leftist frauds like Les “Hide In A Hotel Room” Roberts and George Galloway offsider Richard “Oops, I Screwed Up On This Autism Article” Horton have no interest in death tolls for theatres not involving America.

    Thanks too for the link to an old picture. Here’s another one that highlights a more sickening indifference to mass murder.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 4:53 pm

  21. Jason, I think Tim was responding to this from Matt:

    “I think a lot of the people who continually cite all these studies about the loss of life in Iraq post-liberation are more interested in beating up the US and Bush than having any real concern for the Iraqi people. I cannot remember any of them saying anything about the horrific suffering Iraqi’s were enduring while Saddam was there.They did not take to the streets when Saddam launched the Iran-Iraq War that killed a million or when he gassed the Kurds in the 80’s or slaughtered the Shiites in the south after Gulf War 1. Consistency gives you credibility, selective outrage does not.”

    Rumsfeld is being inconsistent.

    And Matt – I don’t think you know me, so I’d be surprised if you knew anything about my attitudes (or Tim’s) to the events you mention. It is not inconsistent to be anti-Saddam AS WELL AS anti-this war and the way it is being fought. The fact that you see a contradiction exposes your uncritical support of whatever ‘the West’ does.

    FDB

    October 24, 2006 at 4:55 pm

  22. More sickening why, CL? Because it’s Albright?

    Or are you saying that Sammad’s not all that bad?

    Well at least you’re admitting that Rummy’s pandering was sickening.

    Confused aren’t you?

    p.s. Labor is worse.

    FDB

    October 24, 2006 at 4:58 pm

  23. ahem.

    ‘Saddam’.

    FDB

    October 24, 2006 at 4:58 pm

  24. They did not take to the streets when Saddam launched the Iran-Iraq War that killed a million or when he gassed the Kurds in the 80’s or slaughtered the Shiites in the south after Gulf War 1. Consistency gives you credibility, selective outrage does not.

    I’m not a fan of his analysis, but one of Saddam’s most vocal critics during this period was John Pilger.

    Ken Miles

    October 24, 2006 at 5:09 pm

  25. CL
    Even if I think the motivations of the peopoledoing this survey is suspect, I tend to think the extra deaths thing is plausible for the reasons i explained. The mortality rate could actually begin to compress during a time of war.

    Even such things as the time doctors can provide to say a heart patient is endangered when say a dozen people come in who have had their limbs destroyed as a result of a suicde bombers attack. The heart patient who dies as a result of lack of medical care like the exmaple should be counted as an extra death.

    I think this is plausible.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 5:12 pm

  26. Ken miles

    Please don’t ruin a perfectly good theard by bring Piltcher in the picture. He is a liar and and fraud.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 5:14 pm

  27. No, you’re confused FDB – as usual. The West backed Joseph Stalin when it was expedient and ceased doing so when the strategic realities changed. Rumsfeld and the US once backed Iraq rather than Iran and that was the right call at that time. The world changes, however incapable leftist imbeciles are of changing with it. I’m amused that the Albright/Kim picture has you seething with spellcheck-defying rage and there you were pretending to care about the misdeeds of tyrants.

    The Clinton modus operandi regarding North Korea was worse because the administration was not backing an expediently useful power over a more dangerous enemy with which it was at war. Clinton simply tried to appease Kim with backslapping bullshit and bribes. End result: NoKo goes nuclear while the Kim regime starves hundreds of thousands of its own people to death.

    Well done, Bill.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 5:15 pm

  28. This is all fucking ridiculous.

    The economy has grown MASSIVELY.

    And the hurtful sanctions that were only supposed to have been on for a few months but that were there for years have been ended.

    When you are twice as rich your life expectancy increases.

    They have to find actual dead people or they are pissing in the wind.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 5:30 pm

  29. “spellcheck-defying rage”

    Heh. Yeah, I was really worked up, wasn’t I? Look, I’ve got no problem with admitting the faults of past ‘left-wing’ governments, and having them pointed out to me doesn’t make me respond with 2 dozen knee-jerk and largely irrelevant counter-claims, like *someone* I could mention. So quit projecting.

    “pretending to care about the misdeeds of tyrants.”

    Fuck you, CL.

    As much as I’m sure this sickens you, I actually have a long and consistent history of vocal protest against human rights abuses AND bad foreign policy, regardless of the political traditions under which they occur.

    How about you?

    FDB

    October 24, 2006 at 5:37 pm

  30. GB
    I think the economy has done better…. yes I agree, but only in parts like the Kurdish area and certain areas of the south. The rest is messy. I think it could also be the tyranny of aggregates that don’t actually show what is going on, on a strcit regional basis. I can’t imagine that the captial is doing very well for instance.

    Oil production hasn’t increased all that much as yet. I am 100% for the war, but i still think here have been lots more deaths than those simply reported as dying through violence.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 5:37 pm

  31. Jc, I don’t know what the number is. The Lancet says 660 billion, Kevin Rudd says 50,000. Nobody knows and no solid, dependable examination is probably do-able at this time. Both Lancet “surveys” have been timed to run during US election campaigns and this latest contribution has attracted widespread scepticism and ridicule – from people on both sides of the Iraq War debate. The larger moral truth is that probably close to a million people were killed by – or died as a consequence of the misrule of – Saddam Hussein. Those doing most of the killing – and causing that social chaos and those reconstructive blockages that contribute to excess deaths from diverse causes – are the terrorists. Their cause is not just. The removal of Saddam Hussein WAS just. No amount of statistics can alter timelines or sway these moral realities.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 5:46 pm

  32. Yeah but its not the indirect stuff as this implies.

    Indirectly lives will be being saved. Just because of the wealth increase.

    We have been putting up with jihadists just killing Iraqis for no reason because we don’t want to knock over the other three jihadist countries.

    So its the jihadists that have been murdering all these people.

    But indirect deaths?

    Not credible.

    They have all the medicines now and they are much richer then they were.

    Someone ought to find the GDP growth.

    100% in the first year wasn’t it. Its been big coming off such a low base.

    The thing is I’ve been mortified that our side has been unwilling to violate the neighbours territory to track down the bad bastards and to make punitive attacks on the regime leadership to stop all these murders.

    But its not 600 000 and the killings are direct not indirect.

    But then again I’ll look into it further and perhaps I’ll be surprised.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 5:49 pm

  33. GMB says ” We know how to win this war. Couldn’t be easier. But it starts with all the allies cutting 10% of GDP off their non-defense spending.”

    “We have been putting up with jihadists just killing Iraqis for no reason because we don’t want to knock over the other three jihadist countries.”

    Last week the Catallaxians were lamenting that funding the ABC, when it was only used by a minority, is anti-libertarian and a theft of honest folks’ hard-earned.

    Now it’s OK to take 10% of GDP (taxation I presume) of the CoW, against the majority opinion of their constituents, and use it to bomb the crap out of three jihadist (and presumably sovereign) countries while serendipitously making some US military manufacturing corporations very wealthy indeed. Sounds like a plan – that’ll work!

    Consistency? I must have missed something – like coherence and logic of argument. Where does all this fit in libertarianism? Or is it just a case of my liberty and how I define it is more than important than another’s?

    ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone,’ it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.’

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 6:37 pm

  34. Bird: run along back to the open thread. Grown-ups are discussing things here.

    CL sez: “That and the way leftist frauds like Les “Hide In A Hotel Room” Roberts and George Galloway offsider Richard “Oops, I Screwed Up On This Autism Article” Horton have no interest in death tolls for theatres not involving America.”

    You can read about Les Roberts experiences in surveying the death toll in the Congo here. And Richard Horton published this research in the Lancet.

    And it’s pretty funny to have a coward who hides behind a pseudonym attempt to impugn the bravery of Les Roberts, who has been to several war zones to count the death toll.

    TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 7:13 pm

  35. Oh, and c8to? I thought you were a libertarian? How can you support the ultimately big government solution of the Iraq war? Is big government OK if it’s blowing things up?

    TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 7:20 pm

  36. SHUT THE FUCK UP HOLOCAUST-DENIER.

    You aren’t an adult.

    You’re facist filth.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 7:21 pm

  37. Lambert.

    Do tell us your theory of libertarian national defense.

    My God you are a stupid individual.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 7:22 pm

  38. Slim shady
    Let’s have none of your slimy rhetorical tricks here. What c8to or GMB think about the war isn’t what every other libertarian on catallaxy thinks about the war. There is a lot more diversity of opinion here than among you lemmings on the left.

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 7:22 pm

  39. Whats YOUR theory of libertarian national defense then Jason???

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 7:23 pm

  40. ‘Whats YOUR theory of libertarian national defense then Jason??? ”

    1) Australia first.

    2) use defence money efficiently

    3) sanctions were enough to do the job. It’s up to the Iraqis to overthrow their governments.

    4) Don’t give an advantage to a far more dangerous enemy (i.e. Iran)

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 7:26 pm

  41. Slim shady just got dusty.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 7:26 pm

  42. Jason, I appreciate that there is diversity of opinion here but would humbly suggest that “There is a lot more diversity of opinion here than among you lemmings on the left.” is nothing more than slimy rhetoric, and a cheap and unsubstantiated assertion at that.

    But I’m with GMB here. What IS your theory of libertarian national defense?

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 7:29 pm

  43. I’ve already answered. FTR I don’t think there is a canonical theory of libertarian national defence.

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 7:30 pm

  44. Having said that, mine is a lot more libertarian than GMB’s invade the world bullshit

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 7:33 pm

  45. Tim
    Libertarians aren’t necessarily peace niks. And Lot’s of libertarians think government does have a strong role to play such as policing and defence being about two. Others think the courts should be included. I think about 2 1/2 with mots of the court system privatized with judges elected rather than appointed.

    Hey, I recall about a year or two ago you ran some sort of politcal quiz and you owned up to being ranked as a libertarian.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 7:33 pm

  46. “but would humbly suggest that ?There is a lot more diversity of opinion here than among you lemmings on the left.? is nothing more than slimy rhetoric”

    Really? All the lefties that come out in support of the war get blackballed and expelled from the movement and personally vilified as drunks and cowards and worse (e.g. Hitchens).

    On the right the opinion ranges from the neo-isolationism of the Mises Institute, to the moderate scepticism of the Cato Institute to the realism of the Bush Senior advisers (which is where I am) to the Bush Jr neocons. There isn’t any comparable pariah treatment dished out to dissenters of the kind that has befallen Hitchens

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 7:36 pm

  47. “But I’m with GMB here. What IS your theory of libertarian national defense? ”

    US is about right. 3% GDP in peace time and 5% when there’s tension. Their military theory is also about right, which is the ability to fight to major regional wars at the same time without resorting to nukes.

    Anyway the aircraft carriers look fantastic when docked in New York Harbor. If you are lucky enough to see the monsters come to port, that alone is worth the money… watching a 5 storey high monster of destruction in a closely confined area of water.

    F22’s also look terrific. It’s a nasty world out there. growling and showing your teeth is a good way to scare off the evil ones.

    Pretty gals also like guys in uniform, another very good reason to have a military.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 7:41 pm

  48. Look normally I don’t like to make too many generalisations about the Left because you don’t want to end up with Birdy’s intellectual habits. But the Left’s treatment of their former hero Hitchens has been absolutely disgraceful. That’s what provoked my ‘lemmings’ comment.

    (And FTR I’ll say I’m not actually a fan of his foreign policy writings)

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 7:46 pm

  49. A sample of ‘one’ does not ‘all’ make.

    I take your point about generalisations, especially when prefaced with ‘all’, ‘every’. Generally unhelpful in productive discussion (generalisation intended).

    I am still perplexed as to how a non-defensive military invasion of a sovereign nation can be justified from a libertarian perspective. I think that is a fair question, not a rhetorical one.

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 7:51 pm

  50. “3) sanctions were enough to do the job. It’s up to the Iraqis to overthrow their governments.”

    How many kids were the sanctions killing per month?

    Lambert would know.

    You happy with that? Or was that all bullshit? Are you saying the Americans would have to maintain the no-fly-zones… Or were you willing to sacrifice the Kurds?

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 7:52 pm

  51. Jase
    Why the fuck be apologetic when you’re right and they’re wrong. Practice the JC/Birdy theory of engaging the enemy. Never ever apologise for being right and never ever let the other side forget they were wrong.
    FM, i know i shoulda been a philosopher. Coulda sold millions of books expanding on these two point alone. And the world would been a saner place.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 7:52 pm

  52. “I am still perplexed as to how a non-defensive military invasion of a sovereign nation can be justified from a libertarian perspective”

    What’s this SOVEREIGN NATION BULLSHIT?

    Are you according slavery rights to Saddam?

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 7:53 pm

  53. “I am still perplexed as to how a non-defensive military invasion of a sovereign nation can be justified from a libertarian perspective”

    I agree that at the minimum a libertarian invasion has to be defensive. The question is precisely how to characterise the Iraqi invasion. IF (and this is purely a hypothetical) there was strong compelling evidence that Saddam was behind 9/11 and was planning more such attacks and did have the WMD that everyone was talking about, then the invasion could have been classfied as PREEMPTIVE BUT DEFENSIVE.

    Obviously there is some point at which you want to launch military action that is well before the enemy’s troops are 100 m from your borders.

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 7:57 pm

  54. OK – what about:

    ” am still perplexed as to how a non-defensive military invasion of a internationally recognised nation can be justified from a libertarian perspective”

    Better?

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 7:59 pm

  55. “Now it’s OK to take 10% of GDP (taxation I presume) of the CoW, against the majority opinion of their constituents, and use it to bomb the crap out of three jihadist (and presumably sovereign) countries while serendipitously making some US military manufacturing corporations very wealthy indeed. Sounds like a plan – that’ll work!”

    Thats not what I had in mind.

    I was thinking of cutting 10% of GDP off national defense and letting the taxpayer keep nearly all of it.

    What I said was this:

    “But it starts with all the allies cutting 10% of GDP off their non-defense spending.”

    Thats what I said. And I didn’t say what you said.

    In fact our key performance indicator for survival this century is cuts to non-defense spending.

    If I thought it was increases to defense spending by 10% of GDP I would have said that instead. If I was trying to say that the first step was cutting non-defense spending by 10% and then increasing defense spending by 10% I would have said that.

    But instead what I said was this:

    “But it starts with all the allies cutting 10% of GDP off their non-defense spending.

    Does everyone understand that side of it yet?

    We need to start off with a massive financial advantage. That is not the same thing as blowing all your money on materiel.

    We need advantage in all areas including in financial matters.

    How can any of you claim that cutting non-defense spending by 10% and lobbying your allies to do so also is not libertarian?

    You guys must be tripping.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 8:04 pm

  56. .”Look normally I don’t like to make too many generalizations about the Left because you don’t want to end up with Birdy’s intellectual habits.”

    You mean superior intellectual curiosity don’t you. You know the trouble with that view. I used to be like that….. one the hand/ on the other hand bullshit… it gets you nowhere. Don’t do nuance once you’re right, as it fucks up your thinking.
    We all know free markets are the best. So whenever possible … 90% of the time let the market rule… let people make their own decisions free of hindrance. Whereas if you listen to that leftist voice in your ear, you will end up making concessions against this fine, almost god given rule of the universe. And we all know the road to hell is paved with lots of good intentions.

    I am not saying one doesn’t think about things. But when someone comes up with some idea that they will be able to spend tax dollars better than the others because teir thought of a better way to redistribute, don’t even think about it as you’re wasting your time. Use you time wisely to punch holes into redistributionist thinking. Look at the fine mess the Libs are getting themselves into in Victoria. They are almost to the left of Bracks ion certain ways. Never ever left your commitment to knowing what’s the right thing get polluted by side issues and wrong headedness. My wife, a notable leftist knows never to raise any issue like this with me because her opinion will get shot down in flames. Admittedly I have had more practice than you as a result of my co-habitation circumstances.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 8:05 pm

  57. You can read all about how Les Roberts hid in a hotel room during his “survey” here. You can read all about how socialist quack Richard Horton facilitated the infamous Lancet MMR-autism fraud here. You can read all about how cowardly computer “scientist” Tim Lambert treats people who disagree with him here.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 8:10 pm

  58. Comment in moderation.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 8:11 pm

  59. Jason said: “I agree that at the minimum a libertarian invasion has to be defensive.”

    I agree with your explanation as it happens. A nation should be able to defend itself, and indeed that is one of the main responsibility of its leaders.

    To me it was obvious that Bush Jr was going to try to finish off what Daddy started. I said as much to my kids in New Orleans in December 2000, when the legal challenge was still under way. All he had to do was find a politically palatable premise under which to do it.

    The unfortunate thing is that the conditions of your hypothetical have been shown to not be the case and further undermined US credibility and its ability to deal with whatever legitimate concerns it may have in foreign policy and its national interest.

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 8:12 pm

  60. “I agree that at the minimum a libertarian invasion has to be defensive”

    That’s how you get sucker punched. We had essesntially 10 years of that shit under clinton and it ended up in 911 and the Norks going full nuke after lying their head off.

    Bush was right to remind people that they would pre-empt. The pricks have to know that if a dirty bomb goes off in down town NYC someone is going to get hit big time. Failure to do this would cause that “big time” to happen anyway.

    This is why i have no time for most of the left. They turned pre-emption which is actually a defensive and safer policy into some sort of Hilter/ Bush strategy.

    You can never appear defensive in our world.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 8:12 pm

  61. Lambert reckons I’m the only person on this planet banned from his site.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 8:12 pm

  62. Jason and slim have basically given carte blanche for State sponsorship of terror.

    Because you define attacking a terrorist sponsor nation as an aggressive move.

    So that would mean NEVER being quits with Jihadism.

    Back to the drawing board for you two.

    What is your REVISED theory of libertarian national defense.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 8:16 pm

  63. “Because you define attacking a terrorist sponsor nation as an aggressive move”

    Read carefully SUPER GENIUS because that’s not the implication of what Slim or I said.

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 8:21 pm

  64. The Bush administration inherited from its predecessor an astonishingly bellicose attitude to Iraq, the formal concept of regime change for Iraq, the notion that Iraq was a threat to the region, the US and the world and the idea that Saddam was connected to Al Qaeda. Critics of the administration would have you believe that after 9/11 and with UN resolutions about Iraq’s WMD piling up in Turtle Bay, and with everyone talking about the possibility of WMD attacks against the US mainland, and in light of the feasibility of a state-to-terrorist WMD transfer, and with Iraq having already used WMD, and with Clinton administration warnings having been made that Saddam was linked to Al Qaeda, and with just about every senior Democrat in America (including the President and the Vice President and the Defence Secretary and the Secretary of State) having condemned Iraq for possessing WMD… they would have you believe that the decision of George Bush to act against Saddam Hussein was “reckless”. This argument is – and always has been – resentment-driven partisan rubbish.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 8:22 pm

  65. “Jason said: “I agree that at the minimum a libertarian invasion has to be defensive.”

    Ok fair enough. So it seems you are incorporating pre-emption. Fair enough.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 8:23 pm

  66. There was evidence he was involved.

    You are being insincere because you actively ignore it.

    Then there is the fact of the futility of tracing a SPECIFIC attack when you know who the GENERAL sponsors are.

    Back to the drawing board.

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 8:24 pm

  67. jc: We know we’re right and they’re wrong so let’s defeat them with argument or bombs, whatever it takes.

    Sounds like any regular fanaticism to me. I admire your unquestioning faith in your almost god-given rule of the universe.

    “The pricks have to know that if a dirty bomb goes off in down town NYC someone is going to get hit big time.”

    I would have thought it was judicious to make sure you got the right pricks. Or doesn’t that matter? They’re all the same anyway. As long as it’s them, not us.

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 8:25 pm

  68. “We know we’re right and they’re wrong so let’s defeat them with argument or bombs, whatever it takes.”

    WHAT?

    Are you taking a nuanced position on the moral standing of Saddams regime?

    GMB

    October 24, 2006 at 8:28 pm

  69. No, it was a fairly un-nuanced reflection of the some of the attitudes adopted by various commenters here.

    I guess we all come here for various reasons. Seeking understanding, intellectual discourse, maybe just letting off some intellectual steam. Or perhaps because we seek to share our understanding of the big picture, confident in what we have learned from a lifetime of experience according to our natural cognitive gifts.

    I had more than a decade of professional experience in selling our big picture to the unwashed masses. The following conditions are required for success.

    You need to be able to give voice to your big picture in an enlivening way. You have to make people feel that they want to be like you and think like you. It’s natural for humans to behave that way to someone they admire.

    You need to be able to logically deconstruct a sceptic’s probing questions and then defeat them with superior logic. Bu the superior logic also has to be presented in a pleasing manner to win the heart as well as the mind of the convert and thus by degrees transform him to a true believer.

    A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still.

    A teaspoon of honey is worth more than a bucket of vinegar.

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 9:10 pm

  70. And often more effective than bombing raids.

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 9:28 pm

  71. What are you saying, Slim? That the UN should have deployed Julie Anthony to the White House before the war to sing a Spoonful of Sugar?

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 9:29 pm

  72. The heasline in the comments was “Slate, Where it’s at 69” A gem we should all savour.

    It is sad that the comment that led to such a gorgeous collocation of terms should come from the meealy mouthed slim. Note to Slim: only half-educated, adolescent twats use the words “nuance” and “deconstruct” seriously.

    The phrase you must repeat to yourself over and over again is “Gordian knot.” The you must remember that the ‘stability’ so favoured by the cowardly in the West has been the thing that led to September 11.

    And, if you want to be jagged with sophistication, you must learn to exercise Occam’s razor.

    Rococo Liberal

    October 24, 2006 at 9:35 pm

  73. I’ll take that as a compliment then!

    As I just said to the eldest of my offspring, when you put two or three points together, it’s always the least important point that draws response.

    My affliction, which perhaps I share in common with many here, is that I’m doubly-educated and speaking for myself, long removed from adolescence.

    I can’t ‘remember that the ’stability’ so favoured by the cowardly in the West has been the thing that led to September 11.’

    I just thought the murderous chaos seemingly favoured by the CoW was an act of foolishness by the West. I could never see how it would solve the problem, let alone understand it.

    The latest reports that the US have met with key Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders to organise a fall-back coup I find encouraging. The deal would be to hand over Iraq to them in return for establishing order to facilitate a rapid withdrawal. At least there may be some peace and civil order for the ordinary citizens, even it is not democratic.

    The first duty of government should be to provide peace for its citizens, so let them do that in the way the Iraqi dissident leaders want. What choice is there other than a war of attrition?

    Now the Bush administration is trying to say this is what they had in mind all along – an Iraq freed from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein, with its own style of government, even if it’s theocratic rather than democratic.

    But they could have done that by leaving as soon as they captured Saddam and have achieved the same end result, give or take a few trillion dollars and 40,000 – 660.000 Iraqi deaths.

    I don’t think they get points for effort or wisdom.

    slim

    October 24, 2006 at 10:09 pm

  74. CL said: “That and the way leftist frauds like Les “Hide In A Hotel Room” Roberts and George Galloway offsider Richard “Oops, I Screwed Up On This Autism Article” Horton have no interest in death tolls for theatres not involving America.”

    Faced with proof that they were interested in death tolls in other theatres, what does CL do?

    A. Admit he was wrong.
    B. Try to change the subject.

    TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 10:24 pm

  75. Faced with proof that both gentlemen are politically motivated partisans, and that one already has a record of facilitating research fraud, what does Lambert do?

    A. Admit he was wrong.
    B. Try to change the subject.
    C. Steal Catallaxy’s template for a mirror site.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 10:42 pm

  76. Yep, that’s B

    TimLambert

    October 24, 2006 at 10:48 pm

  77. Good news, Jason. He chose B. Your template’s safe.

    C.L.

    October 24, 2006 at 11:02 pm

  78. Tch tch
    I’m disappointed. Currency.

    Of all people, I didn’t expect you and Mr Mossie Nets to get into petty sniping of the JC v Munn variety. 🙂

    Jason Soon

    October 24, 2006 at 11:05 pm

  79. c8to, you’re being an absolute git. You know perfectly well you can’t win this argument mano-a-mano, so you write absolute gibberish in the hope I’m not going to hit you over the back of the head. Well — I now owe you a bitch-slap, bi-atch.

    There were plenty of good options to war. Both doing nothing and removing sanctiosn would have worked better. Saddam wasn’t goig to live forever and he was never going to get away with going into another country. There was no realistic threat. The fact that all his neighbours opposed the Iraq war should show that they didn’t fear him. Nor should they. His military capacity was at 10% of it’s 1991 level.

    And could you intellectually malnutritioned warnicks stop going on about foreign aid. I can understand why a lefty might think you should spend over $1 trillion to improve the welfare of some Iraqi children (even if it failed miserably), but if you don’t believe in foreign aid, then you don’t believe in foreign aid. And even if you do — then there are infinitely better ways to do it.

    As for all the harping about sanctions. The Lancet study showed additional deaths over the pre-war period. The fact that lots of people died before is irrelevant to whether more are dying now.

    Reality is that the war failed a BCA. The govenrment shouldn’t spend trillions of dollars on a program that fails a BCA. All you war-gits sound like global warming fear-mongers… screeming “we’re all going to die — quick, spend a trillion of taxpayers money” and meanwhile all rational evaluation benefits and costs is sacrificed at the alter of big government, irrational fear and stupid public policy.

    John Humphreys

    October 24, 2006 at 11:32 pm

  80. Jason
    Not the same surely. This is just a boring well-mannered stoush by our standards of excellence at the cat. . These two are frankly amateurs in the art of stoushing having a friggin long way to go.

    I would hasten to add that I was a victim of a premeditated, unprecedented racist attack by Fyador’s “Munny” that quite frankly even left John shivering on a warm night. No sir, no dancing today, it doesn’t look remotely similar.

    It’s actually enjoyable to see others practicing the fine art of stoushing while I put up the feet and enjoy a well earned beer after a hard day.
    Meanwhile where’s the flying creature. he’s been unusally quiet this eve…. posssibly strtching the wings and gettiing ready for tomorrows stoush with the wreckless, thread destroying make believe Russian.

    jc

    October 24, 2006 at 11:47 pm

  81. “c8to, you’re being an absolute git”
    That’s the Cat spirit. The sucker punch right from the start. In the debate nature vs nurture I am starting to think nuture wins hands down.

    “You know perfectly well you can’t win this argument mano-a-mano, so you write absolute gibberish in the hope I’m not going to hit you over the back of the head.”
    Everyone posting at the Cat assume they’re going to get a hammer to the head, Humpheys, don’t oversell yourself.
    “Well — I now owe you a bitch-slap, bi-atch.”
    Bitch slapping is for gals. Use fists, knives and feet. This this an ultimate Fight site anyway. Grow some body hair.
    “There were plenty of good options to war.”
    Yawn. Let’s hear them,

    “Both doing nothing and removing sanctiosn would have worked better.”
    That’s it. Yea that would surely have gone down well at the the 2002 State of the Union Address. “My fellow Americans, we need to get tough with Saddam especially after 3000 of our citizens were cut down in such a barbarous attack.We’re going to show that neighbourhood where those evil doers came from that we mean business. Today I have sent a bill to Congress requesting that we immediately remove all Iraqi sanctions to show Saddam we really mean business. I also propose we do absolutely nothing to pretect ourselves”
    House rises to rauscous applause.

    “Saddam wasn’t goig to live forever and he was never going to get away with going into another country.”
    Did you like the kids? Which one did you think was the nicest, well mannered.

    “There was no realistic threat.”
    Johnny hindsight.

    “ The fact that all his neighbours opposed the Iraq war should show that they didn’t fear him.”
    Or they were acting like typical treachouers Arab thugs who were frightened of another thug in the neigborhood and didn’t want to get blown up at the next opportunity he had.

    “ His military capacity was at 10% of it’s 1991 level.”
    So, why didn’t you tell us he didn’t have WMD before we went to war. Thanks for telling us.
    “And could you intellectually malnutritioned warnicks stop going on about foreign aid.”

    I agree. Their idiots.
    “ I can understand why a lefty might think you should spend over $1 trillion to improve the welfare of some Iraqi children (even if it failed miserably), but if you don’t believe in foreign aid, then you don’t believe in foreign aid.”
    Ok. But what’s this all about.
    “And even if you do — then there are infinitely better ways to do it.”

    We know
    “As for all the harping about sanctions. The Lancet study showed additional deaths over the pre-war period. The fact that lots of people died before is irrelevant to whether more are dying now.”
    You may want to cross check that with Tim Lambert as he’s the resident Numbers wiz here.
    “Reality is that the war failed a BCA.”
    Yea.
    “The govenrment shouldn’t spend trillions of dollars on a program that fails a BCA.”
    What’s a BCA?

    “All you war-gits sound like global warming fear-mongers… screeming “we’re all going to die — quick, spend a trillion of taxpayers money” and meanwhile all rational evaluation benefits and costs is sacrificed at the alter of big government, irrational fear and stupid public policy.”

    And your strategy would have been what exactly? ….. To immediately undo the sacntions and do nothing. Ok,

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 12:12 am

  82. CL, I’m also really disappointed; petty sniping is my job, especially when Tim Lambert’s the target.

    The 600,000+ excess deaths estimate wasn’t enough for over-100-posts-on-Lancet-Iraq-Tim, he had to make up some nonsense about the WaPo burying the story on page A12. Then when he gets caught out what does he do? He insists the story is buried despite the emotive front page photo of a grieving Iraqi mother drawing attention to a referral to the complete survey story on A12. The photo was the best possible teaser to suck readers in to read the story on A12.

    Later Lambert attacks physicists who think they’ve found a flaw in the Lancet survey, failing to see the irony in a computer scientist attacking physicists for attacking epidemiologists. (Numbers guys don’t seem able to play together unsupervised.)

    No matter, both of the Lancet studies are nothing more than estimates. It’s a complete waste of time arguing them.

    If Lambert wants to do something constructive for mankind he should correct the garbage he’s cranked out about DDT and malaria. He and his anti-DDT lefty mates have contributed to the deaths of millions.

    Becky

    October 25, 2006 at 12:13 am

  83. Becky and JFB sre coming off the same site. Just sayin (‘ve been getting their posts out of moderation).

    skepticlawyer

    October 25, 2006 at 12:59 am

  84. “The latest reports that the US have met with key Sunni, Shiite, and Kurdish leaders to organise a fall-back coup I find encouraging. The deal would be to hand over Iraq to them in return for establishing order to facilitate a rapid withdrawal.”

    This sounds like the most ridiculous thing I ever heard.

    You are talking about betraying our democratically elected allies to the jihadists right?

    This proposition contains two crazy items:

    1. That such a plan is being contemplated.

    2. That it is a good idea.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 3:18 am

  85. JC — your post comes through as strangely edited on my computer which makes it hard to read.

    Your reference to S11 shows how desperate you are. Iraq wasn’t behind S11. But that doesn’t matter anyway…

    The government should only steal huge amounts of my hard earned money if they have a bloody good reason… and that reason has to be that their action will make people better off.

    The Iraq war failed a benefit-cost analysis (ie made people worse off). For a anti-government person, that’s the end of the story. For government-worshipers, you go and find new and pathetic excuses to justify your beloved government and multi multi billion spending spree.

    No hindsight. I said there was no realistic threat at the time. Everybody worth listening to did. Some silly warnicks were squarking some weird jiggerish about us all about to die, but those government-lovers have never been worth listening to. Much like global warming fear mongers really.

    Your reason for arab countries opposing the war (scared of Saddam) makes no sense. If Saddam was overthrown, then they would have had nothing to fear. You’re not even trying now.

    I didn’t have to tell people about Saddam’s low preparedness for war. It was common knowledge. I never said he didn’t have WMDs. Please don’t misquote me.

    My foreign aid references was for people who justify the war because it supposedly makes Iraqis better off.

    I don’t have to check anything with Lambert. I still haven’t forgiven that git for misrepresenting me on the global warming debate. I am statistically-literate enough to understand this issues on my own.

    Sorry — BCA is benefit-cost analysis. It’s a rational analysis of the consequences of the action of a government policy. In my opinion, if a government policy gives more costs than benefits to taxpayers, then there is absolutely no justification for that government spending.

    You ask what my alternative strategy is, but that is a socialist question. Just because I disagree with one huge government spending project doesn’t mean I have to support another huge government spending project. If they are all bad — don’t do any of them.

    John Humphreys

    October 25, 2006 at 3:53 am

  86. Well said, John H.

    Isn’t it amazing that someone who (rightly) doesn’t trust the government to run a phone company trusts that same government to invade another country, depose and try its leaders, rebuild most of the infrastructure (including phone system) and create entirely new democratic instituations and civil society from the ground up.

    Any government capable of that is more than welcome to take 80% of my income and rule me like a king. Their managerial skills are clearly so advanced that a mere mortal like me couldn’t possibly do better.

    JohnZ

    October 25, 2006 at 5:05 am

  87. It has to be remembered that pre 9/11 the world was pressuring the US to ease up on enforcing UN sanctions with some discussion as to bringing in the “smart sanctions” to alleviate the ongoing humanitarian crisis, in particular the high child mortatlity rates.

    The US continued to enforce the sanctions whilst Iraq continued to frustrate weapons inspection. Had Iraq allowed full access to inspectors the sanctions could have been lifted years prior.

    Under Saddam and his wars Iraq had lost much of their infrastructure, the country was suffering under the burden of military defeat. At no point did Saddam indicate that he was committed to following a path of peace, he continued to frustrate the process of rebuilding his country.

    Had the US bent to world opinion and lifted sanctions and left Iraq Saddam would have been free to pursue his mothballed military programs, of that there is no doubt.

    http://www.fas.org/news/iraq/2000/02/iraq99.htm

    rog

    October 25, 2006 at 6:12 am

  88. libertarianism is an ideal position…i dream of the day where every man sits under his own olive tree, with a shotgun locked up somewhere safe, and minds his own business and his own family…

    but the world just isn’t like that is it?

    (and probably never will be)

    if i was in power i probably wouldn’t have been as fast to invade iraq as the CoW was… i probably would have bombed the crap out of every saddam palace and military installation, and enforced no fly zone over the entire country, lifted sanctions on everything but weapons and hopefully let someone rise up, but this would have been costly at any rate…

    the main point is getting rid of sanctions and assassinating saddam and demilitarising iraq…

    everyone else (esp the left) now thinks containment and sanctions is the way to go…but sanctions are the worst possible outcome in the long term…

    c8to

    October 25, 2006 at 7:26 am

  89. i don’t trust the government to do anything right…

    but two governments are going to war, you back the winning side, and the lesser of two evils…

    first and foremost i’m a realist, and libertarianism is a much more viable option as a domestic policy rather than an international one, so theres no inconsistency between supporting libertarian policies domestically and wanting a stable non-nuclear proliferated international arena.

    anyone who thinks so is too concerned with being foolishly “consistent”, the real world isn’t like that. smart people just pick the strategy that fits the facts and their goals.

    the worst possible scenario is nuclear exchange between two powers. to that end we should fight conventional wars to prevent non-liberal democracies from gaining nuclear weapons, even though they are horrible and nasty. i really don’t mean to belittle any war – like some inconsiderate armchair commenter – but its really a lesser of two evils thing. when you read eyewitness account after account of hiroshima and nagasaki you realise hell on earth was created that day. saddam directly caused 100,000s of deaths in the iran/iraq war, halabja, kuwait invasion and oppression of kurds and shiites…

    the baathists are as bad as the taliban, stalinists, fascists and yes even the nazis, just less powerful.

    so we should be willing to fight conventional wars against non liberal democratic countries who are trying to go nuclear and have proven a threat. for the sole reason of avoiding an even worse war later…and war is pretty inevitable (at least until every power is liberal democratic and tightly integrated into world economy)

    c8to

    October 25, 2006 at 8:27 am

  90. The iraqi Ba’ath Party is a National Socialist party and has or had branches in many troubled Arab countries and belongs to the PLO.

    Saddam was a sponsor of terrorism.

    Unfortunately the enthusiasm by some has been diminished;

    http://www.thetablet.co.uk/articles/3493/

    rog

    October 25, 2006 at 9:07 am

  91. To be fair I think c8to’s position has to be distinguished from Birdy’s bullshit and bluster. c8to’s position is an arguable one and is still based on the principle of preemptive defence though I agree with John that it fails a cost-benefit analysis.

    In a sense c8to is right – if you were prepared to use sanctions against Iraq then you were no longer in a situation where Iraq was just another country minding its own business and which we had no business interefering with. People who are now making this claim should to be consistent also have been against sanctions. Sanctions are of course a far cry from military action but they lie on a spectrum of tools which presuppose some cause for intervention because the object of sanctions is regarded as some sort of military threat in the medium to long term. So the question becomes one of whether it was justified to substitute direct military action for the sanctions.

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 9:12 am

  92. rog, unfortunately for you Iraq couldn’t threaten anyone.

    Do some homework if you want to wage war.

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 25, 2006 at 9:39 am

  93. So you didn’t support the sanctions, Homer?

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 10:04 am

  94. what has sanctions to do with rog’s theory that Iraq threatened nations Jase?

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 25, 2006 at 10:09 am

  95. Apropos the Tony Judt on Marxism article of Jason’s, here’s a related piece (in Slate, too) on Judt, written by Hitchens.

    skepticlawyer

    October 25, 2006 at 12:48 pm

  96. are you sure he isn’t a Judtas?

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 25, 2006 at 12:52 pm

  97. Think about east europe. The problem over the 50 year cold war period was that it was closed off. If it would have been open to the west change would have occured much sooner.

    Eh? Australian farm exports to the USSR and Warsaw Pact countries were enormous. As for other stuff it was they who did not want to trade with us.

    We are creating little iron curtains in iran, in north korea, in cuba and used to in iraq.

    How many videos of Iranian-backed jihadists have you seen wearing NY Yankees caps and Nike T-shirts while taking action against US interests? Sure you can accuse them of ideological inconsistency, but I’d want more effective anti-jihadist measures than that. You weaken yourself when you arm your enemy (though I do agree about Cuba. Coca-Cola could dissolve Castro in about a month).

    It’s time for Iraq to stand up. If the people there want a peaceful society they’ll have to enforce it themselves. 35% of trained Iraqi army personnel are actually turning up to work. The continued allied presence is having the same effect on the Iraqi government that drug use has to an addict: it may feel good initially but it will kill them in the end. Let us have no nonsense about cutting and running here.

    Andrew Elder

    October 25, 2006 at 2:04 pm

  98. homer, i don’t normally make ad hominem attacks, but you clearly have no idea…

    “what has sanctions to do with rog’s theory that Iraq threatened nations Jase?”

    hmmm lets see, what happened when saddam was free to pursue foreign policy iran/iraq war, kurdish gassing, invade kuwait on his way to saudi arabia…

    no, he never threatened anyone…

    as anyone who cared to read me (and others) pre-war, because of sanctions iraq was at its weakest ever, and had no current threatening WMD programs…but go read an IAEA report about its nuclear program discovered in the 90s…you think we had those inspectors there because they thought iraq was a nice place to holiday?

    anyhoo, i reckon sanctions and containment is the absolute worst policy for everyone concerned…it would mean saddam in power ad infinitum, would continue to cripple the populace, cement saddam’s supreme power, continue to incite hatred in the arab world against the west, allow saddam to be the hero of lunatics by sending money to palestinian suicide bombers’ families…

    furthermore it would cost us in constantly policing the sanctions, stationing carrier groups in the persian gulf, continuing to enforce the no fly zones, have less access to oil than we would otherwise have, prevent a major middle eastern country from ever developing, liberalising and entereng the international arena, and finally wouldn’t achieve the stated goal of preventing weapons proliferation in the long term as the 90s discovery of the nuclear programme showed. plus how easy is it to sneak weapons across the border from any number of neighbouring middle eastern states…

    anyone with a minute understanding knows iraq was on the chopping blocks for the ironically named neo-cons from the start and in a democracy you have to seize a moment to wage war – post afghanistan and post 9/11 was that moment for america…

    the truth is most people who oppose the iraq war oppose all american policies, or oppose all wars, or don’t fully appreciate the costs (to everyone) of sanctions and saddam…

    the remaining few are the ones like jason and john who don’t think it was worth it on cost benefit analysis, and this is really the only debate in town…

    however as kirchner once suggested, they probably don’t fully appreciate the impact on commodoties prices of a nuke going off in downtown new york…or even more realistically iran/iraq second round, this time with nukes…

    i wonder what the costs of that would be? destabilise the entire middle east without the possibilty of entering, or entering and drawing russia and china into some sort of pan nuclear hot war, saudi arabia being pretty close as well, could probably cost trillions of dollars…

    the mid east is just too important in strategic terms to leave it to the ayatollahs and saddam…

    finally, most commenters while thinking themselves supremely intelligent think that the strategic analysts in america are completely dumb and evil…

    the correct approach is to assume that they are extremely intelligent and think they are doing the right thing, but like everyone are prone to error…as we see in every war ever…

    its pretty much the same thing over and over again – the left assumes some completely unrealistic view of human nature and then builds their entire weltanschauung on it…

    c8to

    October 25, 2006 at 2:18 pm

  99. hey boyo, we are talking about well after that.

    Take a cold cup of tea and then:
    find out how old and slow the aircraft were in the Iraqi air force,
    how many time the Iraqi army won a battle,
    how many decent generals they had,
    How old and slow their tanks were and whether they could service them properly,
    Whether the Army had the cpapbility to fight at nighttime,
    what was the state of the radar system?

    when you do the research then come back and apologise

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 25, 2006 at 2:25 pm

  100. “We have to defend our future from these predators of the 21st century. They feed on the free flow of information and technology. They actually take advantage of the freer movement of people, information and ideas.

    “And they will be all the more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. We simply cannot allow that to happen.

    There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. His regime threatens the safety of his people, the stability of his region and the security of all the rest of us…

    “What if he fails to comply and we fail to act, or we take some ambiguous third route, which gives him yet more opportunities to develop this program of weapons of mass destruction? Well, he will conclude that the international community has lost his will – its will. He will then conclude that he can go right on and do more to rebuild an arsenal of devastating destruction. And someday, some way, I guarantee you, he’ll use the arsenal.”

    – President Bill Clinton – address to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

    C.L.

    October 25, 2006 at 2:33 pm

  101. if you read my comment, you will see that i know they we’re pitiful and weak when we invaded, thats why the invasion was a cakewalk…

    i said as much two weeks before the invasion…in writing on my own blog (which catallaxy killed)

    anyhoo, so i hope you don’t take offense that i’m not apologising…

    the problem is they we’re a potential threat – never really to US in the west, but to the region, and if they we’re nuclear, cleaning up the mess they would inevitably create would be a whole lot worse than the worst case now, which is basically iraq falls into three pieces…(which is the preferable option anyway)

    briefly, we should allign ourselves with a rich shiite oil producing south, who we make western friendly…we neet to address iran so they don’t interfere with our new client state, continue to protect the kurds, and let the sunnis have their due in the sunni triangle…

    so i’ve done the research and i’m sure you have to some extent, but if you actually follow my argument you see we are not in disagreement about their pre war capabilities…

    but you made a flippant comment that they didn’t threaten anyone, when they did, and certainly had the potential to do so, and certainly would if we lifted sanctions…

    so you can justifiably support sanctions and a pathetic iraq forever, if you are happy with a real quagmire in the middle east forever, or until the iranians got nukes, in which case any reshaping of power would be a whole lot worse…

    c8to

    October 25, 2006 at 2:48 pm

  102. when you find a cancer, you don’t say, oh lets contain it – you cut it out…

    c8to

    October 25, 2006 at 2:48 pm

  103. Let us assume he has a chemical weapon of sorts.

    WMDS are defensive weapons.
    Used only as a last resort and better as a threat against another who may threaten them.

    You need a modern defence force to use them as an attacking weapon
    ie he launches WMDs against Iran. He needs to follow this up by using Army, Air-force and the like.

    Pray show how in the world he could have done so?

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 25, 2006 at 2:48 pm

  104. So you’re saying Saddam used WMD defensively on the Kurds, Homer?

    C.L.

    October 25, 2006 at 2:56 pm

  105. when you find a cancer, you don’t say, oh lets contain it – you cut it out…

    Worked with the cancer of Soviet Communism. Next time your heart bleeds for little Iraqi children, consider that little Zimbabwean children suffer too and examine why that toerag Mugabe isn’t in pokey.

    Andrew Elder

    October 25, 2006 at 3:06 pm

  106. Saddam=cancer?? He was going to spread copies of himslef all over the Midlle East? Is it possible to come up with a less appropriate analogy?

    Oh, and most Americans oppose the Iraq war. Is that because they reflexively oppose US policies?

    Looks to me like you’re one of those big government libertarians, c8to.

    TimLambert

    October 25, 2006 at 3:24 pm

  107. c8to:

    My point was not that your ideology is inconsistent but rather that your facts are.

    i.e. When justifying domestic libertarian policies, you claim it is a fact that the government is incapable of running things properly.
    When justifying big government nation building, suddenly the same government is capable of rebuilding an entire country, institutions and civil society.

    I think the incompetence demonstrated in Iraq proves that your domestic analysis is the correct one.

    JohnZ

    October 25, 2006 at 3:35 pm

  108. no i’m a realist…

    incorrect john, i never claimed they are capable of it…

    in fact i claimed the exact opposite, explicitly…

    governments are relatively good at destabilisng and wreaking havoc in other countries…which has the effect of weakening them…which is how you defeat them militarily…

    i never thought you could build a democracy in iraq or anywhere…i just said the current situation is better in the long term…even if iraq splits into three states…

    c8to

    October 25, 2006 at 3:42 pm

  109. C8to,
    it was bleeding obvious:
    1) I was referring to threats to other countries
    2) referring to Iraq after the Gulf War

    CL, name one country in the vicinity who would be threatened by chical laced cannisters being shot out of aging helicopters

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 25, 2006 at 3:51 pm

  110. If Saddam were seen as “winning” his struggle, his attitude and actions would have spread throughout that region.

    There is nothing at all inconsistent with destroying a regime/ then trying to put everything together to create a nation with a chance at respecting human rights./ libertarian Principles. There was success after WW2 and no one would suggest that action wasn’t a decent humanitarian act. Don’t believe the crap that the Marshal Plan was what turned things round then either. The Bretton Woods and the US reducing trade barriers is what did it.

    Kurds were buried alive by the Saddamites! Read the evidence presented in the court case against Saddam. This shit had to stop.

    It is a perfectly plausible, consistent philosophical position that you can run a nation on libertarian principles while projecting power and being a nasty piece of work to your enemies. Libertarians aren’t peaceniks… not all.

    Let’s look at what you guys say is a big government exercise that the Bush Administration is doing in Iraq at the moment.

    It is using its military to ensure the new government is stable enough to take things over. It also provided the framework for Iraqis to vote in their own government. In addition it is attempting to provide some basic infrastructure to get the place off the ground.

    There is government involvement of course, which shouldn’t surprise why the action has experienced lots of little fuck ups. I would hardly call this a huge socialist type undertaking that you’re presenting.

    My preference was the Clinton plan… the plan the lazy prick never implemented because he never had the balls to follow his own convictions. His plan was to go righ in there and take the fucker out.

    Most libertarians would be more than happy if we reached Milton Friedman’s nirvana anyway. He is pro war by the way and I really think there isn’t anyone here who would accuse Milt of not being a libertarian.

    His idea has always been that you maintain a strong defence…… The rate of tax at 10% that would support a super strong military and policing.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 4:09 pm

  111. JC, Saddam couldn’t do anything to Kurds after the Gulf war because of the no-go zone implemented by the Allied command.

    you can’t invade another country simply because you think they should have done that in a previous war

    Bring Back EP at LP

    October 25, 2006 at 4:12 pm

  112. Frances Fukuyama argues that the collapse of the USSR and the Berlin Wall has left the US without a global power check which led to the invasion of Iraq.

    rog

    October 25, 2006 at 4:14 pm

  113. Give me Milts idea of a state even if you wish not to call it libertarian anytime. If you gave me that structure I couldn’t give a shit what you called me

    I’ll tell you a story. We once had Maggie Thatcher do a talk at a dinner for our clients….. about 1998. I was in my pre-911 open borders, over the top libertarian clothes in those days.. I actually thought you simply could demolish all government and give policing back to the local communities. I also believed in no military.

    After dinner I got to talk to the gal and suggested we could just as easily do away with nation states.

    “Little boy”, she said, “you don’t understand anything. It was the nation states, the liberal democracies that destroyed the totalitarian regimes. Never ever think you would be safe if it wasn’t for the liberal democracies taking it up to the face of Hitler in ww2. You will need nation states for as long as there are evil totalitarians”.

    I walked away, humiliated but not believing her and then 911 happened.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 4:23 pm

  114. Most libertarians would be more than happy if we reached Milton Friedman’s nirvana anyway. He is pro war by the way and I really think there isn’t anyone here who would accuse Milt of not being a libertarian.

    Actually Milton’s against it JC although Rose was a supporter,

    Mr. Friedman here shifted focus. “What’s really killed the Republican Party isn’t spending, it’s Iraq. As it happens, I was opposed to going into Iraq from the beginning. I think it was a mistake, for the simple reason that I do not believe the United States of America ought to be involved in aggression.” Mrs. Friedman–listening to her husband with an ear cocked–was now muttering darkly.

    Steve Edney

    October 25, 2006 at 4:39 pm

  115. Continuing on from there:

    Milton: “Huh? What?” Rose: “This was not aggression!” Milton (exasperatedly): “It was aggression. Of course it was!” Rose: “You count it as aggression if it’s against the people, not against the monster who’s ruling them. We don’t agree. This is the first thing to come along in our lives, of the deep things, that we don’t agree on. We have disagreed on little things, obviously–such as, I don’t want to go out to dinner, he wants to go out–but big issues, this is the first one!” Milton: “But, having said that, once we went in to Iraq, it seems to me very important that we make a success of it.” Rose: “And we will!”

    Mrs. Friedman, you will note, had the last word.

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 4:41 pm

  116. Thanks Steve….

    I recall that but I couldn’t remember which of the the two said it. I’ll take Rose.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 4:41 pm

  117. note I did say I preferred Clinton’s plan, which is essentially Milt’s also.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 4:44 pm

  118. Rog

    good point for raising it but not the point itself.

    I reckon we ought to thank out lucky stars there was no rival around at the time, as the US could have taken it to be the sovs proxies in some way and led to a nuke exchange.

    The US perception is that a lot of this terror was started and fanned by the sovs… with good reason too.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 5:08 pm

  119. “The Iraq war failed a benefit-cost analysis (ie made people worse off). For a anti-government person, that’s the end of the story. For government-worshipers, you go and find new and pathetic excuses to justify your beloved government and multi multi billion spending spree.”

    Humphreys you are being an idiot in your persistent cost/benefit JIVE!!!!!!

    One side cannot choose whether the war is on or not if its a negotiated settlement.

    They didn’t destroy Saddam and that countries extended regime.

    So that therefore the peace rested on one thing. And that was the forceful and total enforcement of the peace settlement.

    Saddam broke the peace deal in about three weeks and the Americans didn’t remobilise.

    So the war was still on!

    THE WAR WAS STILL ON AND OBVIOUSLY SO.

    And Saddams actions and his words were always in consanonce with the idea that the war never ended.

    The war consisted of

    1. Sanctions.

    2. No-Fly zones.

    3. Relentless terrorism on Saddams part.

    4. Relentless hate sponsorship (put over with massive regional aid programs).

    5. Massive Bombings by the Clintons.

    6. Ganging up on Iraq in the UN.

    7. Relentless assasination attemps on Saddams life.

    8. Relentless sponsorship of Jihad.

    9. Constant violations of sovereignty on the ground with all these UN guys snooping around acting like detectives when they were supposed to just confirm Saddams compliance.

    And so forth.

    You are mindlessly adding up the costs of what is happening now and not comparing them with shit that would have happened had the war not been finished finally after dragging on for a dozen years.

    And like Jason and all the others you have mindlessly alibied Saddam from 9/11.

    Something that your ESP powers simply do not have the capacity to do.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 5:23 pm

  120. “JC, Saddam couldn’t do anything to Kurds after the Gulf war because of the no-go zone implemented by the Allied command.
    you can’t invade another country simply because you think they should have done that in a previous war”

    1. What right have YOU got to expect that the Amercans and British must maintain a no-fly-zone forever.

    2. The peace treaty was violated. This was the same war. The war never ended. That is just so fucking obvious that anyone who says otherwise is an idiot. If you try and assasinate me you are at war with me.

    There wasn’t a day that went by in those twelve years that there wasn’t something going on that confirmed the Iraqis state of war with America.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 5:34 pm

  121. Kinda OT but Leftwrites celebrates the victory of the Iraqi resistance
    http://www.leftwrites.net/2006/10/20/iraqi-resistance-within-sight-of-victory-over-us-imperialism

    If I may point out to Jill and Ed, what has brought this victory within sight has not been any appeal to the regional working class nor the effectiveness of the anti-war movements in the imperialist countries but rather the ability of the Iraqi resistance to project military force and to inflict casualties on US personnel

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 6:27 pm

  122. Jason,
    Interesting to see them celebrating (hopefully too early) the ‘victory’ of various brands of fascism. Not so surprising really – socialism and national socialism are not really that different.

    Andrew Reynolds

    October 25, 2006 at 6:32 pm

  123. Don’t you feel like getting that sparrow by the the friggin neck and not letting go.

    I reckon our flying creature. should be let loose on the Sparrow. He’d eat him in one gulp along with the measely little bones in one bite

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 6:38 pm

  124. “Kinda OT but Leftwrites celebrates the victory of the Iraqi resistance”

    Well I haven’t been watchiing the news Jason.

    But somehow I think losing this war would have caught my radar. No-ones talking about it at work. Perhaps they are staying their distance and figure they don’t want to be around when I find out.

    Just what are they talking about?

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 7:01 pm

  125. It’s called WISHFUL THINKING

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 7:18 pm

  126. Jason

    you’re a legal eagle. How close would these people be to breaking the treason law? They would have been goners talking like that in WW2. A state of war exists between ourselves and terrorists. I reckon they’re close when they are wishing for the other side to win.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 7:23 pm

  127. I don’t practice and haven’t been near a law book in years unless it’s Trade Practices. skeptic may have a better idea.

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 7:25 pm

  128. FTR it’s disgusting but not worthy of criminalisation. It’s certainly not aiding and abetting. These guys don’t have any influence and never will.

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 7:28 pm

  129. We ought to get some sort of gradation of treason together and get some short prison sentences and fines and things happening.

    Because we have this ridiculous situation in the States where assholes in the Times are giving the enemy state secrets and of the type that their countries closest allies (ie us) are involved with.

    Leftists in the States are practising treason-lite to a shocking degree.

    This gloating might not really be serious enough even for a slap on the wrist.

    But in the states things are really getting out of hand on the left.

    And the only way to do things in this situation is to look at very light but growing penalties and put the resources out to get an absolute shitload of convictions.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 7:37 pm

  130. I am not suggesting they get thrown in the slammer, only because you wouldn’t the fucking end of it for the next 200 years about how persecuted they were all that shit the left likes to pull.

    It’s an academic question more than anything else.However the law is the law. You break it. Your problem. Don’t like it? change it.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 7:38 pm

  131. Look these guys would be a net negative for any cause. If anyone from leftwrites started saying that the moon WASN’T made of green cheese, I’d want to send a manned space craft up there with all the Nobel laureates in chemistry just to make sure.

    Jason Soon

    October 25, 2006 at 7:41 pm

  132. Yeah but when we’ve lost this sense of what treason is in the west and we need to re-establish it we do want some convictions.

    Yet on the other hand the traditional penalties for treason are too harsh for them to be applied.

    I think we need some reworking of the laws here.

    Some of their mates get fined the crap out of or hauled into court for offences just a tad worse then this fascist gloating over murdered Iraqis, then the others will tend to start finding a bit of respect and they’ll tend to take a more reasonable point of view.

    The failure of the Americans to throw a few people in jail for the really serious shit thats gone on there is causing us all trouble.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 7:44 pm

  133. Gbs right it doesn’t have to be years in the slammer , but conviction does carry a cost even if it’s shame.

    Years later…. “what did you do in the war daddy?”

    “I got convicted of treason, son”.

    The US fucked up when it didn’t go after Jane Fonda, which whether you agreed with Vietnam or not, she was treasonous.. She still cops shit for it now. People shun her on the street. Good.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 7:50 pm

  134. c8to:
    >Wars resolve underlying problems in the long term.

    I suppose that’s one way of putting it!

    c8to, now that the US has effectively lost in Iraq – and has no discernable strategy to reverse the situation – do you think the problem has been ‘resolved’ in a way favourable to the West?

    I do not. I think our three strongest cards in the ongoing struggle for peace and freedom were 1) a reasonable degree Western political unity 2) superior moral stature in waging war and 3) the threat of American military superiority.

    All 3 have been recklessly squandered in this vainglorious blunder.

    Daniel Barnes

    October 25, 2006 at 7:54 pm

  135. For those who want to argue against intervention, Trotsky is credited with observing that (from memory) “you might not be interested in war, but war is interested in you.”

    Leaving that aside the theory that the US will invade the world and turn it into a huge concrete carpark selling Maccas and Wendys has proven to be a fantasy. Lefties who continue to engage with criminal organisations with the sole purpose of bringing down the US should be tried and jailed.

    rog

    October 25, 2006 at 8:02 pm

  136. in his younger days Barnes taught military strategy at the US Army War College. So he’s speaking as an expert here. Let’s listen.

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 8:03 pm

  137. “c8to, now that the US has effectively lost in Iraq – and has no discernable strategy to reverse the situation – do you think the problem has been ‘resolved’ in a way favourable to the West?”

    Well of course not. Because neither side…..Jihadist-Utopianism or The Open Society has won.

    Since no side has won decisively beyond the daydreams of the defeated and since a plan to consolidate the victory in a firm, resilient and totally locked-in treaty………

    Then the war goes on.

    And it will continue until we decide to win or they do.

    This is where Humphreys cost/benefit allegations aren’t making it.

    We either decide we are going to do what it takes to end this thing. Or it will drag on.

    Jeepers Daniel.

    I had enough time to.

    And I quite forgot.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 8:11 pm

  138. We are nowhere near the killer punch to finish this.

    And yet at the same time our homelands can be made virtually unassaileable………

    For this reason $4 in cuts to non-defense spending can within certain bounds give us a greater strategic boost then a $1 increase in defense spending.

    Well of course we need to keep gearing up our defense.

    But over the long haul its cuts to non-defense spending that ought to be our key performance metric.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 8:16 pm

  139. Why is that GB?
    Where do you put the cuts?

    jc

    October 25, 2006 at 8:18 pm

  140. >Jeepers Daniel. I had enough time to.
    And I quite forgot.

    No pressure. When you get a moment will be fine.

    Daniel Barnes

    October 25, 2006 at 8:22 pm

  141. Well you wind up the whole government spending deal.

    You go headlong for Capitalism.

    Then you have got a lot of blue sky financial power above you when you need to suddenly take advantage of a strategic move or deliver the killer blow.

    We need more defense spending.

    But what we need as much is just a lot less of the non-defense stuff.

    Supposing if after 9/11 the US had slashed 1 trillion off non-defense spending at the Federal level and the States also cut another 1 trillion.

    And then the feds maybe beefed up defense by 300 billion.

    That would have made the terrorist states fair shit themselves. Big gleaming surplus and no way to wear these guys down.

    In such a situation knocking out all the dictators with air and proxy war doesn’t even come close to over-reach.

    And the US can get a clean straight ahead of China on reserve financial power.

    GMB

    October 25, 2006 at 8:38 pm

  142. GMB — do you oppose rational analysis of the consequences of government action (ie benefit-cost analysis) before spending many many billions of taxpayers money?

    You seem to think that rational analysis JIVE makes somebody an idiot. The only alternative to rational analysis is religion. In this case a strange sort of government-loving religion.

    I don’t care about past UN peace treaties or resolutions. I don’t much like the UN. I find it amuzing the warnicks now seem to defend their huge govenrment spending project on the basis of foreign aid and UN resolutions!

    You shout that the war is still on, but the clear (and obvious) reality is that the US didn’t have to invade Iraq. They didn’t have to do anything. Saddam was never going to be a threat to the west.

    Saddam didn’t direct his supposed “terrorist” activities against the west. The only real involvement Iraq had was supporting families of palestinian terrorists. Yawn.

    But even if he did — so what? Government tax’n’spending can never be justified unless that spending will create a net benefit. Your constant harping on gross benefits is irrelevant. Doing a benefit-benefit analysis is for fools and people who love government.

    You say I didn’t consider what would have happened without the invasion. Not true. Unlike you, I did a COST and BENEFIT analysis. For the simple out there — that involves both the costs and the benefits. Perhaps re-stating it will help. I looked and the benefits. And I looked at the costs. I’ll re-state it again. I did an analysis of the consequences by looking at the costs and benefits. Not missing either one. Including both. Both benefits and costs. Both costs and benefits.

    Sometimes repititions helps people learn… helps people learn… helps people learn…

    I assumed that without the war or sanctions or no-fly zone that Saddam would have WMDs and pass them straight to terrorists who would use them freely and successfully against the west. i assumed that Iraq was the only source of WMDs ever and that no other anti-terror policy could work. I assumed that attacks would get more common and more deadly.

    Then I assumed that invading Iraq would (on it’s own) remove 90% of the costs of terrorism. All attacks would dry up. Terrorists would never get WMDs from anybody. Ever.

    And if you’re going to say that Saddam did 9/11 then we may as well seariously consider whether it was Israel, or a combined plot of the pope, queen mother and elvis. Or you.

    John Humphreys

    October 26, 2006 at 10:06 pm

  143. People who harp about this on-going “war” (sic) need to get some perspective. The danger from terrorism is small. The costs from terrorism are small. You have more chance of dying from pesticide poisoning.

    The costs of removing all terrorism (if possible) is huge.

    There is an efficient amount of everything in the world that is non-zero and non-infinite. This includes terrorism. At some point, the government spending just isnt’ worth it.

    If you government-lovers want to go around chasing terrorists, please do. But pay for it yourselves you commie bastards and stop stealing my money for your idiotic crusades.

    John Humphreys

    October 26, 2006 at 10:13 pm

  144. Humphreys
    How do you know the danger from terrorism is small when you have western governments placing their security apparatus basically on a war footing.
    You don’t friggin well know how large or small it is unless you can figure out the odds properaly. show me the numbers beofre you dpout off like that.

    Sure it isn’t a high risk, but it’s bigger than what you make out potentially.

    jc

    October 26, 2006 at 10:45 pm

  145. Terrorism is growing, it is the foreign policy of weak governments who can influence public opinion in strong countries. Look at Israel and Hamas/Hezbollah, the long war has been hard to win and every defensive move by Israel is condemned by the world.

    rog

    October 26, 2006 at 11:38 pm

  146. Rog

    Humphreys must think Israelis are over reacting to the threats as well.

    Thousand of cars burned in paris by savages. thousands of police attacked tring to quell the violence by muslims youfs. I guess that doesn’t figue in his cost benefit analysis.

    jc

    October 26, 2006 at 11:42 pm

  147. youre naive if you think we lost in iraq…saddam is gone…

    if iraq has a civil war its less threatening to our security than saddam…

    short of nukes with terrorists nations states with nukes are the biggest threat…

    like john humphreys says…terrorists with conventional weapons is a small problem…relatively speaking…

    c8to

    October 27, 2006 at 7:45 am

  148. sanctions were government spending bullshit…

    my assumption about unrestrained saddam is going nuclear before iran, invading kuwait and saudi arabia (and possibly attacking iran again) and controlling most of the world’s oil supply…

    this would cost us more than the 300 billion for iraq war. because we would either have to fight a bigger war to repel him from kuwait and saudi, or we have to buy oil off him which would be stable for a while, but then he would get a bit bigger and bit more powerful, and probably keep extending his empire until we war eventually…

    or he might be overthrown and the countriy moderates in which case you do nothing…but its hard to tell what will happen…

    c8to

    October 27, 2006 at 7:51 am

  149. c8to:
    >my assumption about unrestrained saddam is going nuclear before iran, invading kuwait and saudi arabia (and possibly attacking iran again) and controlling most of the world’s oil supply…

    Actually the nuclear-Saddam issue was the reason I initially supported the war. (My support was cautious, as while I support strong international action against the spread of nukes, I agree with Daniel Davies* famous assessment of the Bush Administration’s competence) Once it became perfectly obvious prior to the invasion that the inspectors were right – that the US adminstration was hyping a non-existent nuke program – I was against it. Fool me once, and all that.

    *http://d-squareddigest.blogspot.com/2003_02_23_d-squareddigest_archive.html#89796111

    Daniel Barnes

    October 27, 2006 at 8:37 am

  150. jc — I know the threat of terrorism by looking at how many people die, how often they die, and the trends in the death rate. This is the same way we assess the threat from anything that might kill us.

    When I said that we have more chance of dying from pesticide poisoning, that wasn’t a guess. It’s true. And death by lightening strike is more likely than both of those. And death from smoking much much higher than both. I certainly hope we’re not going to have a multi-trillion dollar government program to defend us from pesticides, lightening and cigarettes.

    It’s impossible to assess the odds of dying a certain way through emotion. Far better to let the facts speak for themselves instead of letting fear justify huge government spending (and therefore tax).

    The situation in Israel is very different… and I have a lot more sympathy with their war against Hez than the wests war against a verb or Iraq.

    I agree islamic socialism (like all socialism) is something to be opposed, but that doesn’t mean we should do things that make us worse off.

    John Humphreys

    October 27, 2006 at 8:04 pm


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