Liberty & War
April 1/03 'You didn't fire a warning shot soon enough!'
"The invasion forces suffered another self-inflicted disaster in the battle for hearts and minds yesterday when soldiers from the US 3rd infantry division shot dead Iraqi seven women and children." (1)
April 2/03 If This Be Treason by Justin Raimondo
"The uniformly propagandistic tone of American television coverage resembles a Soviet propaganda film, circa 1936."
"...The Enemy must never be presented as anything but murderous – never mind courteous! This interferes with the demonization process..."(2)
April 1/03 Strange Insistence that No Miscalculations Were Made by Alan Bock
"If there is any hope to be garnered from the war so far, one may hope that it discredits the war whoopers of the future... War is about death and destruction, about snuffing out the lives of young people who should have promising futures in front of them, who have wives, husbands and children." (3)
April 2/03 What Is The Real Cost? by Charley Reese
"...We should be alarmed because this indicates a willingness to fight and die that, quite clearly, the Pentagon had not anticipated...
"...The best thing to do would be, after Saddam's government has been defeated, to say within 24 hours: "Goodbye, folks. We have destroyed your tyrant. Now you're on your own. We're going home." " (4)
Iraq Body Count
"The worldwide update of reported civilian deaths in the war on Iraq"(5)
Mar 31/03 Is the U.S.’s “Rosy Scenario” in Iraq Holding?
Discusses strategic and tactical errors. "... the Bush administration should have thought twice about the costs of invading a nation and forcing its people and regime to fight for their lives and homeland."(6)
Dehumanizing the enemy: they're all "goons", "thugs", "war criminals" and "terrorist death squads"
April 2/03 We don't understand Iraqis
"The officer also appeared to distance himself from the increasingly critical vocabulary used by generals giving the daily briefings at Central Command, who have begun to label Iraqi paramilitaries as "terrorist death squads"." (7)
March 20/03 Jack Layton's Speech to the Ontario Bar association: The illegality of War
Speech by Canadian New Democratic Party Leader:
"UN Charter Article 51 gives states a sovereign right to start military action in self-defence only if it has suffered armed attack and only until the Security Council has taken measures necessary to maintain international peace and security.
"Even then, the right of self-defence exists only where an attack has already been made, or is plainly imminent ...
"...International law is clear, there is no legal basis for use of force as a preventive measure when there has been no actual or imminent attack by the offending State."
I like half of what he has to say. And I believe Jack Layton has said he would oppose the war even if the U.N. approved it, which is good. But in my view the United Nations is just another institution of global sovereignty that seeks to override the self-determination of nations and local cultures. Those on the left rightly protest trade-regulating sovereignty-undermining organizations such as the WTO, GATT and NAFTA, but they somehow think that the U.N. is the ultimate authority and has the right to make all of our decisions.
As far as diplomacy and voluntary compliance, the U.N. is probably a good thing. In practice, the U.N. seems to be serving as a useful brake on U.S. ambitions. On the other hand, it is a real danger, as demonstrated by the years of U.N. sanctions against Iraq and by the U.N. arms inspection process in Iraq - in itself a very potent unjustified violation of Iraq's sovereignty.
I believe sanctions weakened the Iraqi people and made the rebel groups less capable of overthrowing Saddam Hussein's regime. Open trade and a strengthened economy would have empowered the Iraqi people and weakened the tyrant's position. The same argument applies to Cuba.
Mar 21/03 NDP Demands Canadian Ships Be Withdrawn "Either Canada is involved in Bush's war or we are not": Layton (9)