Friday, April 25, 2003

Kanan Makiya is a thoughtful analyst affiliated with the Iraqi National Congress. His assessment of post-war Iraq is well worth reading.

Thursday, April 24, 2003

When critics state that the U.S.-led military intervention in Iraq will advance U.S. interests in the region, they are absolutely right. They are wrong about what those interests are.

Millions of people around the world think that the United States invaded Iraq in order to steal Iraq's oil. I admire the State Department because American diplomats have got to have a lot more patience than I do.

Others think that the United States invaded Iraq in order to encourage Israel to extend dominion over the region. Indeed, it is possible to imagine an Israeli empire, from Tehran to Tripoli. It is possible to imagine a lot of things.

The U.S. has 3 main objectives in Iraq: disarming the Saddam Hussein regime, ending the Saddam Hussein regime's support for terrorists, and liberating the Iraqi people.

All of these objectives are consistent with U.S. interests.

The first 2 objectives are essentially achieved with the demise of the Saddam Hussein regime, although important work in these areas remains to be done (tracking down ancien regime leaders, investigating the ancien regime's weapons development programs, and delineating links to terrorist syndicates). The third objective, as Peter Bienart astutely observes in the New Republic, is a long way off.

IF we succeed in liberating Iraq we will thereby encourage freedom and democracy throughout the region, and by extension, throughout the world. (This is allegedly a "neoconservative" sentiment, although I fail to see anything "conservative" about it.) Freedom and democracy might allow the peoples of the region to reclaim the richness of their cultures, and the appeal of extremism might be replaced by the appeal of excellence.

To modify something President Clinton once said, instead of telling the people of the world to "just say no" to anti-American extremism, we should give them something to say "yes" to.

Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Yesterday Newt Gingrich criticized the State Department for failures in diplomacy. This is a case of the crackpot calling the kettle cracked.

Monday, April 21, 2003

I'm not sure why the links in my previous posting don't work.

Shall I try again?

As I said before, if you can, please, please, please help emergency relief efforts in Iraq. There are many organizations participating in relief for Iraq, but I will try to provide links to 3 of them.

International Committee of the Red Cross:

UNICEF:

Mercy Corps International:

Thank you for your time and noble generosity.
Is Iraq better off today than it was 5 weeks ago?

Commentators have pointed to bomb damage, civilian deaths, widespread looting, the theft of priceless antiquities, scattered mob violence, lack of water and electricity, public health crises, and surging radical fundamentalism. Many of these commentators have argued that the U.S.-led intervention in Iraq has harmed the Iraqi people.

These problems are real. However, to modify an anti-war slogan, "Tyranny is NOT the Answer". The Iraqi people suffered because of the war, and are suffering today in the aftermath of war, but they were suffering for years under the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. Dissent was punished with torture and "disappearance". Thousands of Iraqi children suffered and died from the effects of malnutrition while the ruling elite stole Iraq's oil revenue to build lavish palaces, to finance illicit weapons programs, and to send cash payments abroad in support of terrorism. War was regrettably the answer, the only possible means to end the brutalization of the Iraqi people.

Now, in the aftermath of war, Iraqi freedom is possible, but a huge effort must be made to help the Iraqi people quickly establish security, restore public services, restaff and resupply hospitals, and repair damaged facilities. The Iraqi people deserve better than chaos and disease, just as they deserved better than Saddam.

If you can, please visit one or more of the following websites and consider making a donation to help emergency relief efforts in Iraq.

UNICEF


Mercy Corps International


International Committee of the Red Cross


Thank you.
Shame on me!

As you can tell, I gave up on this weblog long ago (in early February) when I got busy with some locum tenens work. I didn't feel that bad about stopping because I didn't think anyone was reading.

I still don't think anyone's reading, but I noticed today that I'm listed as one of Glenn Reynold's numerous blogchildren. In theory, someone might click on my name, so I really should get this weblog going again!

If anyone out there did click on my name, I am very sorry for the lack of recent posts.

I'll be joining a busy practice at the beginning of next month, so I won't be able to post every day, but I'll post as often as I can.

My prolonged hiatus has at least one advantage for me: I can look at my old posts and laugh at the inaccuracy of my predictions. For example, I predicted that Dennis Kucinich would be a strong candidate for the Democratic nomination for President. He is in fact a candidate, but I was wrong about "strong".