RE: MD Understanding Quality And Power

From: Mark Steven Heyman (
Date: Wed Dec 22 2004 - 17:22:21 GMT

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    I think if we start with the premise that toppling Hussein was
    morally desirable then it's unlikely that the UN policy would have
    lead to that outcome.

    msh says:
    Ah, but, see, starting with this premise frames the discussion in a
    way that favors the Godfather's position, and tacitly recognizes his
    moral authority. Sure, toppling Hussein was morally desirable, but
    was he really the apex of evil? There is plenty of reason to believe
    that most of the world sees the Godfather as a far, far greater
    threat. Why should the energies of the UN be dedicated to toppling
    one of the GF's out-of-favor hit men.

    It seemed to me that the policy of the UN was one of containment
    rather than regime change. The UN policy seemed more concerned with
    Saddam's threat to the rest of 'us' rather than the people of Iraq.

    msh says:
    Again, there are plenty of bad guys in the world, plenty of nation's
    that need a regime change. By focusing on Hussein, our attention is
    being directed away from more serious threats to world stability.
    That is, by focusing on Hussein (or Iran, or NK. or Cuba) we are
    being manipulated by the Godfather.

    I'd like to suggest some alternative strategies. Do you think any of
    them would have led to a better outcome?

    msh says:
    Well, I'll play along here, for the academic exercise. But I really
    believe our mental energies would be better spent focusing further up
    the food chain.

    * * * * begin keith * * * * * * *
    1) Diplomacy:
    Kiss and make up. Set out a series of steps that lead to Iraq
    rejoining the international community, probably including some public
    apologies and some reparation payments to Kuwait, the Kurds, lifting
    of sanctions etc.

    Example: Libya?

    2) Commerce:
    Just forget the principles. Trade freely with Iraq, buying their oil
    and selling them anything (including Arms?). As the standard of
    living improves the people of Iraq will themselves demand greater

    Example: Saudia Arabia?

    3) UN Lead Invasion:
    Military intervention, under the banner of international law.

    Example: Bosnia?

    4) Assasination:
    Shoot Hussein, and keep on shooting until you get someone you want in

    Example: ? I'm sure we've tried this, but my history's not good
    enough to give a concrete example

    5) Support internal uprising:
    Pick a powerful group inside Iraq and arm and finance them.

    Example: ? Ditto above.

    1 & 2 seem to be intellectually driven stratagies, and as such would
    seem like the better options according to the MOQ, however they would
    require Saddam to play nicely.

    3 - I guess would have been MSH's choice. However, I don't think
    anyone was offering this were they?

    4 & 5 seem unlikely to actually improve the situation.

    Were there other options?
    * * * * * * end keith * * * * *

    msh says:
    Again, assuming the toppling of Hussein was of the utmost moral
    necessity, and that it was not possible to achieve an Iraqi regime
    change by assisting internal democratic forces, I would opt for 3, or
    at least for an SC Resolution authorizing unilateral action to remove
    Hussein "by any means necessary." The removal would then be followed
    by UN engendered policies to restore the country's infrastructure,
    and begin building a political environment that would result in a
    form of government that was truly representative of the Iraqi people.

    As a side note I'd like to just point out that I think the real
    reason we're in Iraq has nothing to do with high principles like
    freedom and democracy, nor to do with proactive retaliation against
    WMD. I think that's all smoke and mirrors concocted to keep the
    chattering classes quiet. The Middle East is strategically important
    for all Oil consuming nations and the 'west' doesn't want to be held
    over that particular barrel as the oil begins to run out.

    msh says:
    This is exactly right, but the control of petro resources is only
    part of it. Gaining a larger military foothold in the region is also
    important in order to force the neo-con brand of economic hegemony on
    the Middle East, and eventually the rest of the world. The Godfather
    needs markets, and free resources, and cheap or slave labor to keep
    the profits flowing.

    Mark Steven Heyman (msh)

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