However, my opinion on antiwar-protesters boils down to this: Dissent = good; Uninformed dissent = stupid and counterproductive.
Perhaps it’s my 18 years in DC, but my enthusiasm for protest is very, very low, mostly because I’ve repeatedly seen how ineffective it is. Then again, I’m also so cynical that unless the government does something that really pisses me off, I pretty much ignore it.
The antiwar protesters say that people are less concerned and informed about Iraq than they should be, which is true, but one must remember that a huge chunk of these protesters are college students.
College students tend to have far more free time than the vast majority of people to find out more about things, since most have little responsibility (not all, I know. I know many people working multiple jobs to pay for college).
The problem is that a lot of the antiwar protesters are protesting based on opposition to all war and not this specific war, and the rest are simply shouting “No Blood For Oil!” when the matters in this war are not quite that simple.
I do believe that there is a genuine danger in allowing Saddam to continue his weapons program, but I also do believe that the desire to remove him permanently is not unrelated to the enormous amount of oil sitting directly under Iraq.
There are times when war is necessary, but, like I suspect many Americans are, I’m somewhat conflicted on whether this is really one of them or not. The thing that really gets me is the different treatment that North Korea and Iraq are getting.
North Korea is really far more of a danger to either shoot a nuke-tipped missile at Japan, China, or South Korea and/or sell some of their nukes and missile technology to groups like Al-Qaeda. So why go after Saddam first?
I think it’s pretty much universally agreed that the U.S. Army is no longer equipped to fight a two-front war. Fine, whatever. But take this example (and yes, I realize this is not exactly the same circumstance, but this is for illustrative purposes only):
You’re walking down the street and you see a guy with a knife about two blocks away. You turn and start running, only to have a guy pull a gun right in front of your face. You know you’re going to have to fight them both. Why in the world wouldn’t you try and disarm the guy with the gun first?
A lot of people think negotiations with North Korea need to go first. Okay, I agree.
But when the U.S. offered to restart most of the aid to North Korea in exchange for them giving up their nuke problem and the North Koreans told the U.S. to stick it where the sun don’t shine, to me, that’s an indication that you’re not dealing with rational people.
And that, to me, is a much better case for regime change than, “Oooh, Saddam might have weapons.”
And in case anyone wants to break out the “Saddam’s hurting his people” argument, I give you last week’s Newsweek article about how Kim Jong Il lives like a king while the vast majority of his people starve to death.
So in short, I’m not really sure we need to be raising hell about Getting Saddam Right Fucking Now when Kim Jong Il has turned down some fairly reasonable requests and seems (to me, at least) to pose a much greater danger.
End Politics. Back to Silly Shit next post.