Voice from the Commonwealth Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts
"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams
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"A smart fellow...I do like, recommend and learn from Barbera's blog." -Roger L. Simon
"Your blog is bullshit"- anonymous angry French reader.
This has a familiar ring to it. The only thing it is missing is an allusion to the 'brutal Iraqi [fill in the blank]'.
U.S. invasion of Iraq would play into bin Laden's hands
Wonder if the good professor had the same thing to say about US war on Afghanistan?
Despite the horrendous carnage of the Sept. 11 attacks, bin Laden's primary goal has never been to destroy the United States. Rather, he has attacked American targets as a means of provoking Muslim fundamentalist revolutions throughout the Middle East. In The Encyclopedia of the Afghan Jihad, a terrorist guide published in 1992, bin Laden's followers called for "the establishment of a castle of the Muslims, a (new) Caliphate" -- a pan-Islamic empire purged of Western influences.
So, how does the professor maintain bin Laden will believe he has a secure Caliphate without first destroying the US? Not to mention he ignores everything bin Laden has personally said. He uses the wisdom of one line out of The Encyclopedia of the Afghan Jihad while ignoring the tapes, interviews and fatwas of bin Laden and his followers.
In calling for military action against Iraq in a speech in Nashville recently, Vice President Dick Cheney predicted that "after liberation the streets in Basra and Baghdad are sure to erupt in joy in the same way throngs in Kabul greeted the Americans."
This scenario is overly optimistic. Although most Iraqis would probably welcome the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, many would also experience humiliation and resentment over the subsequent occupation of Iraq by American soldiers, which would be essential for preserving political stability in the region.
So rather than free them and give them an opportunity for a representative government. We should leave them under the murderous heel of Saddam. Got it? Better fearful and oppressed than having to deal with feelings of inferiority while US troops occupy their nation, innoculate them, give them health care, help build infrastructure and teach them how to achieve a good government.
The Gulf War of 1991 provides a cautionary precedent. Despite Iraq's defeat, American troops have remained stationed in Saudi Arabia for the past 12 years. They have been the targets of repeated terrorist attacks and have become a focal point for the hostility of political extremists. In 1998, bin Laden published his infamous "Fatwah Urging Jihad against Americans."
The terrorist leader raged against the American "crusader armies now spreading in (the Arabian Peninsula) like locusts, consuming its riches and destroying its plantations." He denounced the Americans' "eagerness to destroy Iraq . . . and their endeavor to fragment all the states of the region such as Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Sudan into paper statelets and through their disunion and weakness to guarantee Israel's survival and the continuation of the brutal crusade occupation of the Peninsula."
Although bin Laden's views may not have been widely shared in Saudi Arabia, they resonated profoundly with an angry minority. It is no coincidence that 15 of the 19 hijackers in the Sept. 11 attacks were Saudi citizens.
Could it have been the same hate filled and untrue rants that call Jews pigs and dogs and urges all Muslims to kill the Jews and take their wealth and enslave their wives? No matter what we or our allies do, they will find reasons to hate us even if they have to make stuff up.
The occupation of Iraq by U.S. troops would provide an ideal recruiting platform for al-Qaida and other extremist organizations. Many people of the region would become convinced that America's goal is global domination, not dignity for Muslim people.
No. Cheering masses of Iraqis instituting their own government and growing rich off of their oil wealth and rebuilding their nation as a peaceful and prosperous and free place will only force the other Arab nations to face their own inadequecies.
If President Bush launches a military campaign without the support of the United Nations, the perceptions will be even worse. Rather than upholding the rule of law, America will appear to be acting arbitrarily in its own interest. Despite our leaders' rhetoric about securing freedom and democracy, many will conclude that the United States cares only about preserving its own power.
Or they will see the truth, that the UN is good for talking but when it comes to threats and oppressed people they lock themselves into inaction marked by very concerned resolutions being passed.
If freedom and democracy are so important in Iraq, why does the administration show so little interest in promoting these values in Egypt or Saudi Arabia?
Now you know even his own arguments soud hollow to the Professor. He turns to diversionary tactics. Is he suggesting that our forces should be massing around these nations and the US should be pressing harsh UN Resolutions calling for democratization from these governments or face military action? Yes Egypt and Saudi Arabia need to be dealt with too but not right now. A free Iraq will go a long way in dealing with them.
The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace has developed a model of coercive inspections, backed by a multinational military force, which provides one possible means of enforcing the U.N. resolutions.
And this, apparently, will be less humiliating and more uplifting for the oppressed Iraqi masses.
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