Re: Stability


That's just disgusting. Also compare a single day's carnage in Iraq as a percentage of the population to the 49 dying in London. Why doesn't this mess bother us more?

Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 2:21 PM
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I think low support for the war does show that the carnage is bothering Americans, and Bush's low approval rating is certainly tied to this. I thought about the comparison to London, but I don't think it's fair b/c there's a recognized difference between a war zone and not.

One wants to say that the deceased Iraqis are no less deserving of life and therefore no less deserving of our empathies than the Londoners, but it seems that we have already in some fashion discounted the lives of those in Iraq. I don't mean that we perceive that their lives are worth less, but that their survival is already in question. The movement of an Iraqi from alive to dead from terrorism is less startling, is in some sense less of a movement, than the movement of an Londoner from living to dead by terrorism.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 4:24 PM
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I regretfully disagree, Michael. I don't think that declining support for the war shows that Americans are bothered by the Iraqis who are getting killed in the carnage. At the moment I (with much trepidation) favor getting US troops out of Iraq--I don't think they're serving much purpose--but I don't think that's going to stop the carnage.

One of the morals we should've drawn from the Italian intelligence agent who was killed driving a released hostage back is that this must happen all the time to Iraqis, but that's certainly not how the story played out in most sources I saw. Ditto the journalist who was killed off-duty.

You're right, though, that we've already discounted the lives of those in Iraq. We did that when we decided to invade their country on false pretexts--because it's an inevitable result of such an invasion that the country will become a war zone, in which life is cheap. Well, maybe there were those who supported the invasion out of concern for the Iraqis. But then, when we discovered that the Administration had done no planning for the occupation beyond "Hand it to Chalabi," anyone who supported invasion and did not turn the white-hot hatred of a thousand suns on Bush and his people has already discounted Iraqi lives. That's the majority of Americans.

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 4:32 PM
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Now for something completely different -- Maybe I'm missing something, as usual. But why aren't more people/more media all over the memo showing Rove leaked the CIA agent . . . and, naturally, lied about it? What is wrong with our country?

Posted by: Judy | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 5:12 PM
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Judy: It's not clear he lied about it. He has maintained he did not name Valerie Plame, which is literally in keeping with the Cooper e-mail. What is really of interest to me is that the Newsweek did not take a stance on whether Rove's claim that Wison was sent to Niger on his wife's orders was true or not. A post at TPM cafe says that Rove was lying/incorrect about that.

Matt: Point taken about American resistance to war being more a product of American than Iraqi casulties. As an optomist, I don't think Iraqi casulties are completely ignored, but people seriously concerned about such things are probably far from a majority. Which lends much credence to the claim that we weren't that interested in Iraqi before the war, either. The funny thing is, I do remember reading sympathetic acounts of Iraqi suffering, but always by leftists and mostly by opponents to war.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 7:04 PM
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I sort of remember sympathetic accounts of Iraqi suffering as coming from opponents of the sanctions--who also tended to oppose the war--and to take a position that in retrospect looks not so hot, since the sanctions seem to have been successful in eliminating Saddam's WMD programs (though then again most WMD didn't matter). In fact, I think the best retrospective justification for the war via WMD (but this only shows that they've got a very advanced version of the Reason program from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency) is that the sanctions were so inhumane that they would've broken down eventually, and then Saddam would've got bombs. The counter being that, as far as counterproliferation efforts go, putting Saddam at priority one in 2002 was drop-dead stupid.

Um, I guess the intent here is to compress every post in one of Those Threads into a single comment. If you want to thank me, it's not hard to find an address you can mail a check to.

(I'd also add that a lot of liberal-hawk types probably did express sincere concern for the plight of Iraqis before the war; I might add some conservative-hawk types, but I can't think of any specific examples and I won't say anything nice about them if I can help it.)

Anyway, the shining exception here is Daniel Davies, who thought the sanctions policy was inhumane (though he revised that view somewhat in the end), and eventually came around to this position:

The official policy of D-Squared Digest with respect to Iraq is now that we support a policy of containment until after the 2004 Presidential elections, and after that, we will support immediate war with Iraq if and only if someone other than George W Bush is elected.... Basically, the idea is that I'll support a war just so long as that idiot currently in charge has nothing whatever to do with it.

I think he wins the hindsight derby.

The Good News I really bring you is: he has More New Posts up!!!11!!!

Posted by: Matt Weiner | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 7:28 PM
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I sort of remember sympathetic accounts of Iraqi suffering as coming from opponents of the sanctions

Yes, this is what I'm meant, though somehow forgot to say. Anyway, I'm drunk now, on $$ wine after a delicious dinner, and mostly here for your entertainment. Just let me know what you want me to misspell.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 8:38 PM
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Funny anecodate: back in gradeschool, I made it to the spelling bee for once but lost when I misspelled "mileage." The next year I didn't make qualifying, having misspelled "cat".

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 8:40 PM
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"anecodate", heehee.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 8:41 PM
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That is in what, sixth, seventh grade?

Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 8:55 PM
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4th. I was quite embarassed.

Posted by: Michael | Link to this comment | 07-10-05 8:59 PM
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In the 5th grade, I was my school's representative to the county spelling bee, but lost on ventricle, which is not spelled ventrical.

Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 07-11-05 1:02 AM
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