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View Full Version : A follow-up to "if the anti-war protesters succeed": What If we Pulled Out?


GeeYouEye
Mar 27, 2003, 12:24 AM
source (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/436lyaww.asp)
What If We Pulled Out?
If the antiwar protesters had their way, things wouldn't be better. They'd be much, much worse.
by Fred Barnes
03/26/2003 6:40:00 PM

A HIGH SCHOOL basketball coach I know has a special approach to those who oppose the war in Iraq. "Oh," he says, "you're on the side of rape, torture, and child abuse." Naturally the antiwar people are offended and angrily insist they're for peace and protecting civilian lives and other noble things besides. Still, there's a point behind the coach's rough characterization of the antiwar crowd. And it shouldn't be forgotten as the war in Iraq enters its second week.

Yes, many of the opponents are wonderful, moral people. And many believe that while Saddam Hussein is an evil tyrant, a war to remove him will make things worse in the Middle East and the world, creating more terrorism, instability, civilian deaths, and anti-Americanism. They may turn out to be right, but I doubt it.

But what if President Bush suddenly accepted the advice of opponents of the war, stopped the American invasion, pulled most but not all of U.S. and British forces out of the region, and went back to the United Nations for a renewal of arms inspections. As best I can tell, that's what the protesters in the United States and around the world would like. And so would the French and their allies and maybe even Howard Dean.

Result number one: Saddam would win. He would be the king of the Middle East and free to slaughter the tens of thousands of Iraqis who didn't come to his defense. He would have forced the superpower to retreat. Countries that aided the United States in the war would have to come meekly to terms with Saddam. Hopes for an Israeli-Palestinian peace settlement would be dashed again, this time by the strengthening of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, whose power has been ebbing, and various terrorist groups such as Hamas and Islamic Jihad. The possibility of democracy being planted in Arab states would also be gone.

Bad as all that is, it's not the worst part. The worst is what would happen inside Iraq--continuation of Saddam's regime in form a more brutal than ever. The mainstream press has done a poor job in laying out the nature of Saddam's regime. But torture and rape and maiming are its defining characteristics.

Dissenters? Their tongues are cut out. Women in influential families that might be a threat to Saddam are raped so their families will be dishonored. A cabinet member who mildly criticized the conduct of the Iraq-Iran war was immediately assassinated and his body was chopped into pieces and sent to his family in a box. Children are tortured to induce confessions from their parents. Merchants accused of "profiteering"--that is, making a profit--are hung on lampposts, dead, in front of their shops.

Sports Illustrated added a new dimension to the cruelty this week in a piece on Iraq's Olympic team, which is run by Uday Hussein, Saddam's son. Instead of trying to generate pride in athletes, Uday uses torture. If athletes lose, they are beaten by Uday and then more systematically tortured by specialists. As you might guess, few Iraqis now want to play on teams internationally. A few years ago, the Iraqi Olympians were 150-strong. Now it's a team of four.

Foes of the war don't want to accept any responsibility for what happens if the war were to cease today. Saddam could have been dealt with diplomatically, they say. But that failed for 12 years. He's not a threat to his neighbors. But the neighbors think otherwise, privately if not publicly, or they wouldn't be assisting the American coalition. He's not in bed with al Qaeda. But he's in contact with them.

But forget all that. Like it or not, there's already a war going on. Would it really make sense now for the United States to negotiate a pullout? Would anybody be better off except Saddam and his subordinates? Would Saddam even consider allowing arms inspectors again? Would he disarm? Would he be chastened and act benignly? The answers are no, no, no, no, and no. Does anyone doubt that, as the coach says, rape, torture, and child abuse would continue? The answer is no to that question, too.

Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard.

Stop the dissent. You might have had a chance, or perhaps even some semblance of the moral high ground before the war started, but not now.

groovebuster
Mar 27, 2003, 09:30 AM
I always loved that kind of logic...

For me it sounds like being raped and now you have to deal with the pregnancy.

groovebuster

lmalave
Mar 27, 2003, 09:42 AM
Screw all this talk about "moral high ground". I was against this war before it started because it was stupid: the effects will be the exact opposite of what we had hoped, because our leaders were too blinded by arrogance to comprehend how we are actually viewed in the world.

That being said, now that the war has started, the most pragmatic course of action is to hope that the coalition deposes Saddam ASAP with as low a loss of civilian life as possible. Not because they have the "moral high ground," but rather because to leave Saddam in power and make a hero out of him is possiby the only thing that would be worse than what we are doing now.

Look, I live daily with the prospect being a victim of a subway sarin gas attack on my way to work, or a dirty bomb attack that further decimates my city (at least economically). My main concern is really just that our government takes appropriate steps to reduce terrorism. And as far as I can see, we're just creating future generations of terrorists through our aggressive actions.

pseudobrit
Mar 27, 2003, 09:54 AM
Originally posted by GeeYouEye
source (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/002/436lyaww.asp)


Stop the dissent. You might have had a chance, or perhaps even some semblance of the moral high ground before the war started, but not now.

Don't dare tell me to shut up. How dare you.

How dare you portray yourself as American and then tell me to silence myself. How dare you!

No one is telling the US to pull out now and retreat in loss. We want an end to hostilities, a negotiated peace maybe. We don't want Saddam to win, we don't want anyone to die. We want peace.

Go be a speech Nazi in some other world. This one's had its share.

leprechaunG4
Mar 27, 2003, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Don't dare tell me to shut up. How dare you.

How dare you portray yourself as American and then tell me to silence myself. How dare you!

No one is telling the US to pull out now and retreat in loss. We want an end to hostilities, a negotiated peace maybe. We don't want Saddam to win, we don't want anyone to die. We want peace.

Go be a speech Nazi in some other world. This one's had its share.
He didn't say shut up, but you took offense. However, you then proceed to tell him not to make a speech in this world, so you are in turn telling him to shut up. You throw around we a lot as well. Can you honestly say that all anti-war people have the same exact view, I wouldn't say that. I sure wouldn't say all supporters have the same view. You want negotiated peace? One problem. Negotiations require two way communication and cooperation from both sides. I think it is pretty obvious at this point there is no way Saddam is going to cooperate unless forced to cooperate. I hate to have to bring it up again but you seem to keep forgetting the 12 years of lack of cooperation, what makes you think he is going to change his mind now. The most you would get from Saddam is fake cooperation in order to get us out of the country, once we were gone he would go right back to his old ways. He would then claim victory and how America was not strong enough to remove him, and how America was forced into leaving his country.

pseudobrit
Mar 27, 2003, 10:19 AM
Originally posted by leprechaunG4
He didn't say shut up, but you took offense. However, you then proceed to tell him not to make a speech in this world, so you are in turn telling him to shut up.

And you completely fail to comprehend yet again... :rolleyes:


Negotiations require two way communication and cooperation from both sides. I think it is pretty obvious at this point there is no way Saddam is going to cooperate unless forced to cooperate. I hate to have to bring it up again but you seem to keep forgetting the 12 years of lack of cooperation, what makes you think he is going to change his mind now. The most you would get from Saddam is fake cooperation in order to get us out of the country, once we were gone he would go right back to his old ways. He would then claim victory and how America was not strong enough to remove him, and how America was forced into leaving his country.

And you seem to keep forgetting that this administration seems hellbent on not communicating with any foreign entity who's not willing to do exactly as we say. We don't want peace, we don't want surrender.

leprechaunG4
Mar 27, 2003, 10:28 AM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
And you completely fail to comprehend yet again... :rolleyes:


Please xplain it to me then oh wise one, since my intelligence obviously drowns next to your vast knowledge. So please enlighten me. He says you shouldn't dissent, you say he shouldn't make speeches. Did I say either of you were right? Or was I possibly pointing out both were telling the other they shouldn't be able to use their free speech as they liked?




And you seem to keep forgetting that this administration seems hellbent on not communicating with any foreign entity who's not willing to do exactly as we say. We don't want peace, we don't want surrender.
This administration won't communicate with foreign entities? Why this administration is communicating currently with Iran. Iran spent a long time out of communication with the US. To make such a blanket statement that this administration doesn't communicate with foreign entities shows some blind hatred for the administration. France, Germany, Russia they didn't agree completely with America, we still communicated with them. We tried to get them to join with us. Do you honestly think that America will all of a sudden stop all communication with any country that doesn't do exactly what we say? There would be a lot of countries we wouldn't be talking to.

pseudobrit
Mar 27, 2003, 10:35 AM
Originally posted by leprechaunG4
Please xplain it to me then oh wise one, since my intelligence obviously drowns next to your vast knowledge. So please enlighten me. He says you shouldn't dissent, you say he shouldn't make speeches. Did I say either of you were right? Or was I possibly pointing out both were telling the other they shouldn't be able to use their free speech as they liked?

I said we don't need speech Nazis -- ie someone who resricts speech.


I never said you intelligence or knowledge was less than mine, but half of my responses are spent cleaning up the fact that you can't comprehend what I've written.

I'd say your reading comprehension skills leave something to be desired, and coupled with the fact that you can't seem to be civil in a dispute OVER THE INTERNET (Geez :rolleyes: ), I'm not going to argue with you anymore. :)

GeeYouEye
Mar 27, 2003, 12:25 PM
Originally posted by pseudobrit
Don't dare tell me to shut up. How dare you.1. Hypocrite. 2. Very easily. I type the 's' key, then the 't', then 'o', then 'p', ' ', 't', 'h', 'e', ' ', 'd', 'i', 's', 's', 'e', 'n', 't'...



How dare you portray yourself as American and then tell me to silence myself. How dare you!
Struck a nerve, have I? And while I can't make you shut up (much as I'd like to), I can tell you you should shut yourself up. That's the difference. I say you should stop the dissent, you say I must not tell you to shut up. You can keep dissenting, but should you succeed, know that the blood of the Iraqi populace executed by Saddam after the war will be on your hands.

No one is telling the US to pull out now and retreat in loss. We want an end to hostilities, a negotiated peace maybe. We don't want Saddam to win, we don't want anyone to die. We want peace.
An end to hostilities will leave Saddam in power. A negotiated peace will leave Saddam in power. The US will get out only under one of two circumstances - by some miracle the anti-war movement succeeds, or when Saddam is dead. The two are mutually exclusive.
Go be a speech Nazi in some other world. This one's had its share.
Look who's talking :rolleyes:

Dont Hurt Me
Mar 27, 2003, 12:56 PM
This thread smells of pacifism, No we are not pulling out, Yes great progress is being made and Saddam and his thugs will be gone soon, and Yes the people of Iraq will soon be free'd of another Tyrant Dictator.

DavisBAnimal
Mar 27, 2003, 04:51 PM
First of all, this thread has gotten a bit out of hand. I think its best if people stop asking others to be quiet or to leave the country - it seems very unpatriotic (and it has been happening on both sides of the debate).

Second of all, this is how I see things.: I don't think there is anything inherently wrong with pacifism (such that it could possibly give off any sort of unpleasant odor). I would like to think that all people, everywhere, would hope for a day when we indeed don't need violence to solve conflicts - if Sadaam was a pacifist, we wouldn?t need this war, would we?

Are we at that state right now? I think that's what is being debated right now, and I personally am teetering on the fence. I'd like to think, however, and correct me if I'm way off base, that everyone engaged in this debate would hope that a pacifist society is an eventual destination of human evolution. I'd like to think that a nonviolent world is one all people would hope for, whether or not they see this as possible right now.

Furthermore, and in response to the original editorial - I think it's correct in many ways - if we stopped this war dead in its tracks, right now, worse things would happen. I don't, however, think this is a reason for the dissenters to shut-up. If anything, they should keep expressing their dissent. The administration will not back out of this war. There is a chance, however, that given the amount of noise these protesters have made so far, that they will hope to finalize this conflict in accordance to the ideals chanted on these streets - peace, and safety for civilian people everywhere. This was not the case with our involvement in the Iraq-Iran conflict, in which our lack of foresight helped strengthen Sadaam's regime, nor our involvement in the Afghan-Soviet conflict, in which we trained Osama Bin Laden, bestowing him with skills he would eventually use against us (bear in mind there was little to no dissenting voice during either of these conflicts, at least within American streets). If anything, hopefully this very vocal group of people will influence the policies instituted in Iraq following this war, and will call for its swift end, in which our troops return home safely, and in which no civilian casualties occur (something I think all sides are hoping for).

Davis

GeneR
Mar 27, 2003, 05:18 PM
Personally, I really doubt that POTUS is going to do anything the public says. Why? Because if he DOES do that, it sends a message to the rest of the world that the US government can be swayed by the public sentiment regarding war... or for any other major issue.

So, that opens a can of worms: if POTUS can be swayed by the public, special interest groups from foreign countries will see it as an opportunity and will take every opportunity to shape the public sentiment in an attempt to control the United States.

And I think it may be a wee bit naive to think that they don't have such groups in our country even as we speak.

Am I being a conspiracy theory advocate? No. I don't think so. Just pick up any book on espionage dealing with the last several millenia...

It's just business-as-usual for every country to try to influence its allies and enemies. Any nation that doesn't do this is bound to be rather limited in its role in world politics.

Well, that's my opinion, anyway...


;)

wwworry
Mar 27, 2003, 05:51 PM
I have said this before. Even though I am very anti-war, go to protest marches, blabber on endlessly against this war and this administration in this forum to people who will never change their positions, etc. Now that it has started I hope Bush is right. I am pretty sure he in not right, however. Also, without dissent any government will do whatever it wants to.

Another way of looking at the question might be:
What if the administration is completely wrong? What if no weapons of mass destruction are used? What if there are no strong links to terrorist organizations? What if a lot of civilians die and soldiers die and the new democratic government of Iraq turns out to be one even less fovorably disposed to the US? What if this war causes even more terrorism?

What if all that happened but no one complained or said a word about it because we need to support or troops and stand behind the president? What's to stop him from starting another stupid war because it keeps him in power and enriches the companies that pay for his election?

There you have it. We can not know.