Thursday, March 18, 2004
The Reason [UPDATED]

Steven Den Beste gets it:

If we refuse to face the real root cause of this war and refuse to work on correcting it, then eventually we'll face the stark choice of either committing genocide or being victims of it.

The problem won't go away simply because we ignore it or refuse to admit that it exists.

And that is why the invasion of Iraq was necessary. The invasion had very little to do with WMDs, even though that was the core of the public debate in the UN. The real reason we needed to invade Iraq was because we needed to take control of one core Arab nation so we could establish something like a western liberal government and society there, with equal rights for the women, with a truly free press, with the right of free speech and free assembly and free exercise of religion, and a government which served the people rather than trying to rule them. If we are even partially successful in doing that, it will seed those ideas into the entire region, and bring about reforms elsewhere more indirectly.
Den Beste's back in form (ie. long), but needs to be read. Reading this, strangely enough, was a comfort to me - it is reassuring that other people see this, too.

Noting an important side point, TMLutas responds:
Steven Den Beste's recent post on whether Iraq was a distraction featured a single sentence that I believe is very important to provide amplification [of:] "The invasion had very little to do with WMDs, even though that was the core of the public debate in the UN." The question naturally arises why didn't we debate the real questions and instead created some sort of shadow puppet debate that created confusion where there should, ideally, be clarity.
His answer needs to be read by everyone, but particularly, I found this quote quite enjoyable:
The UN, crys out much of Western Europe, is largely a US created institution. Why doesn't the US just work within the UN framework? The answer is simple. If you're going to blow up bedrock, one thing you absolutely must do is before you hit the detonator switch is to stop standing on it.
Overarching idea? 'The UN is a big part of the problem.'

So why did we spend so much time on those infuriating WMDs?
We chose to act first, in part as a method of forcing the UN to confront how untenable its baseline assumptions are, in part because we couldn't sit around and argue out the paperwork before we acted. But we also chose not to completely break the system and humiliate the world but leave everybody a figleaf.

And that's why the UN discussed WMDs so much.
Answer: to allow the UN to save face.
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