Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Children Freed in Iraq

Agence France-Press reports that over 100 children, some in jail for years, were freed as the Marines rolled into Northeast Baghdad. Apparently, they were jailed because they wouldn’t join the youth branch of the Ba’ath Party. A couple of weeks ago when I went up to some peace demonstrators at Ashland University (there were twelve of them, all but one were professors) to say hello--I know them all--one of them, a professor in the school of education, said to me, "Peter, war is bad for children," and held up a sign saying the same. To which I said, "So is tyranny." Leaving the silliness of this "bad for children issue" aside for a moment, I am betting that these children are grateful for the war, and showed their gratitude to the Marines. May they live long.

Discussions - 13 Comments

Which leads me to ask--when will we begin to hear the apologies from those who opposed this war on the grounds that it will be bad for the Iraqis? How many celebrations in Baghdad to they need to see?

Few people are opposed to the war solely on the grounds that "it will be bad for the Iraqis," as Mr. Moser would suggest. His smug remark glosses over the fact that many people oppose the war because it is unjust, illegal and unecessary. And funny... I seem to recall something about disarming Saddam of his huge stockpiles of WMD, yet, by all accounts, no actual chemical or biological weapons have yet to be identified. Buy hey, since the Bush administration has apparently made the liberation of oppressed peoples the "excuse du jour," for attacking a foreign nation, why aren’t we invading North Korea or the Congo right now???

Incidentally, if you can tear yourself away from the tv long enough, you might want to check out the stats on Iraqi civilian casualties. Better yet, dial up the 12 year-old Iraqi kid (I think his name is Ali) who is now orphaned and without arms, and explain just how GOOD this war is for him.

Mr Moser, comment number 2 proves the case closed.

Yes, that’s about the response I expected to see when I posted my question. Never mind all those people celebrating, focus on those (to quote James Lileks) "babies thrown out with the Ba’ath water." While we’re at it, let’s have a moment of silence for those two poor boys , Quday and Usay.

And for the record, I learned in Philosophy 101 that having a moral right to do something is not the same as having a moral obligation to do it. The fact that we are not at war with North Korea and Congo does not make the invasion of Iraq unjust.

Bravo to Mr. Moser. He conveniently eludes every single question/point I raised. I haven’t seen evasiveness on that level since our President was asked if he’d ever done coke. ;-) A few points for Mr. Moser:

Never mind all those people celebrating

Can we at least agree to wait and see how long the celebration lasts? You and I know both know that the celebratory atmosphere is only going to last a couple of days, and certainly can’t be used as a long-term gauge or US/Iraqi relations. As I suggested in another post, only time is going to tell whether that jubilation we saw yesterday turns to anger and resentment or hope and prosperity. Recent history suggests that it will be the former.

While we’re at it, let’s have a moment of silence for those two poor boys , Quday and Usay.

Who said ANYTHING about Quday and Usay??? What, you can’t make a legitimate argument, so you have to resort to the ridiculous? I guess I shouldn’t complain though. Most semi-intelligent people will read your comment and see right through it.

...having a moral right to do something is not the same as having a moral obligation to do it...

I never disputed this, and Mr. Moser knows it. But since many in the pro-war crowd (including a number of folks who post to this site) turned to the "moral obligation" argument when their arguments regarding WMD and regime change fell-through, it seems to me that they should back it up. The fact that they aren’t is just more evidence that the "moral obligation" argument was never anything more than a convenient excuse, one which becomes more painfully transparent each day.

Well, here we go again....

If no WMD are found in Iraq, it simply means that the regime was able to destroy them in time. In any case, the regime showed that it possessed illegal weapons (illegal according to the 1991 peace agreement) when it launched those SCUD missiles that Saddam Hussein claimed that he didn’t have.

To be honest, right now I don’t care if there never turns out to be a "smoking gun." So what if he never had them in the first place (which I don’t believe for a moment)? So what if all the paranoid fantasies of the ANSWER crowd are right? If it all turns out to have been one big oil-grabbing fraud perpetrated by the Bush administration, should we then give the country back to the Ba’ath party?

Remember, for all their fine rhetoric about "just war" and "American imperialism," the argument of the anti-war crowd boils down to this: it would be better at this moment if those 100 children were still in an Iraqi prison, and that big ol’ Stalinist statue in Baghdad were still sitting on its pedestal.

"Here we go again" is right... Once again, in an effort to demonize the anti-war crowd, Mr. Moser makes absurd and obscene claims: "the argument of the anti-war crowd boils down to this: it would be better at this moment if those 100 children were still in an Iraqi prison, and that big ol’ Stalinist statue in Baghdad were still sitting on its pedestal."

I was tempted to not even defend this attack on the anti-war crowd, as it lends merit to a claim (Mr. Moser’s)which is without merit, but I will make one statement and hope that it sinks in with Mr. Moser either now or in the future. The argument of the anti-war crowd is that the war is UNJUST, ILLEGAL and UNWARRANTED. What’s more, this unjust war has set a dangerous precedent for "preventative" wars in the future, has sent anti-American sentiment (and indirectly, the threat of terrorism) among the world’s Muslim population to an all-time high and is the cause of death of hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent Iraqi civilians. He can stick his head in the sand and hide behind those 100 children released from prison all he wants, but the facts speak for themselves.

As for WMD, I should have known this was coming. Since we cannot find WMD in Iraq, Saddam MUST have destroyed them. Reminds me of perverse the logic used during the Salem Witch Trials in the 1690’s: Tie a suspected witch to a large rock. If she floats, she’s a witch. If she sinks and dies, she wasn’t a witch after all. Oh, how far we’ve come in 300 years...

This is straight off the news wire:

Around 20 bodies and burnt-out cars littered the streets of the southwestern Baghdad neighbourhood of Al-Dora, an AFP photographer reported.

Bodies, including those of children, were still strewn over the road between Al-Dora and the international airport, which is under the control of US forces.

The putrid, fly-covered corpses were being buried in a mass grave along the side of the road by volunteers whose noses were covered with scarves agaisnt the stench, according to the photographer.

Some of the corpses were in or under the charred vehicles. Dead children lay on the side of the road, covered in sheets.

One family, two of whose members were completely incinerated, died in the back of a pick-up truck.

"If the price of freedom is this, we don’t want it," said one Iraqi helping at the scene.

So much for Mr. Moser’s "jubilation"...

One last note... For those interested in BOTH sides of the picture and a look at a more realistic future for Iraq, check out the excellent article "The Last Place We Liberated" on Salon.com. Of course, for those who’d prefer to just swallow the dumbed-down, sanitized rubbish that Conservatives serve up in an effort to justify the war, feel free to stick with Fox news.

My phrasing:


"the argument of the anti-war crowd boils down to this: it would be better at this moment if those 100 children were still in an Iraqi prison, and that big ol’ Stalinist statue in Baghdad were still sitting on its pedestal."


Mr. Little’s phrasing:

"The argument of the anti-war crowd is that the war is UNJUST, ILLEGAL and UNWARRANTED."

To which I respond, "You say po-tay-to, I say po-tah-to." A war to overthrow a regime is only [let’s hit the "CAPS LOCK" key for added emphasis!]"UNJUST, ILLEGAL and UNWARRANTED" if the regime to be overthrown is just, legal, and warranted.

I know, I know. Given enough time, Hans Blix would’ve released those kids from prison. He would’ve pulled down that statue of Saddam hailing a cab as well. Can you imagine the massive crowds that would have turned out to cheer for Hans Blix (who recently said he was more concerned about global warming than Iraqi weapons anyway)? All we had to do was "let the inspections work."

If only we’d listened to the French....

P.S.--I liked the bit about the "putrid, fly-covered corpses."

Strange... When Mr. Moser and I debated this issue last month, I don’t remember him citing the liberation of Iraqi children from prison as a reason for why we should fight this war. Instead, I seem to recall him saying, "the ultimate purpose of American foreign policy is to protect Americans, not Iraqis."

It’s funny how the rules change when they don’t suit Conservatives, isn’t it?

Oops, sorry. That last one was by me.

Who told you life was fair? Yes war is a horrible affair, people die, often innocent ones. I would ask this of the antiwar crowd seated comfortably in front of their computer, connected to the internet and able to freely express their opinion to anyone. Would you rather live under a government that would not allow you to own a computer much less connect to the internet? I suppose you would think it alright for your friends or family to be killed or jailed for your expression of opinions that were opposed to such a government. Of those that have much, much is required. We in this country are blessed. That is not to say we should force our way of life on others, but to use that as an excuse to do nothing in the face of EVIL is plainly wrong. I don’t pretend that the war was altruisticly motivated, but you can’t deny that justice is being dispensed to Sadaam and his cronies - thus it IS a just war, as to unwarranted the notion is laughable it IS warranted. Would you agree that the government of Iraq is obviously opposed to our (open society) values and way of life, and that it has proved itself capable and willing to use poison gas against its enemies? That it supports Jihad against the
west? If so what makes you think that allowing such a government to go about it’s business unopposed will make those problems go away? Illegal? Ha war is never legal - sue me.

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