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January 18, 2007

I Am In Love With Avedon Carol

Is it wrong for me to be in love with a woman whom I've never met, and who lives in another country, and who (I believe) is married? If so, being wrong never felt so right, because Avedon Carol has produced the clearest presentation ever of the anti-war case re Iraq. She did this by ignoring all the pointless side issues people often get ensnared by and going right for the jugular:

Any reasonably sane person over the age of 15 knows that war is dangerous, expensive, and terrible. You know that it kills lots and lots of people, leaves many others damaged, and makes new enemies with new grudges. It is profoundly destabilizing and carries with it the threat of wider, more devastating unrest. So you don't do it unless you absolutely have to.

In the run up to the invasion of Iraq, no one provided a credible justification for the war. It was obvious that we did not have to invade Iraq. This is the overriding fact: Invading a nation without cause (you can call it "preemptive", but that just means you don't have cause) is breathtakingly immoral and equally stupid and you do not do it...

A sane person starts from the position of not making war. The question of why not support starting a war should never even be raised—the reasons not to are always obvious...

Yes, we'd all like to be Superman, able to fly into countries and create freedom and justice for all. If I wake up tomorrow morning and discover I have become God, believe me, everyone will be hearing from me. But no number of weapons, and no army of whatever size, can compensate for the fact that human beings are not God and we can't just make everyone behave the way we want them to.

And there is more.

HOWEVER: Because I am so damn honest, I must point out that if I understand her correctly, Avedon is incorrect when she writes this:

[In 1998] Clinton decided to pull the inspectors out and bomb Iraq instead, destroying the hidden weapons...

[In 2002] Congress passed the Iraq resolution, which permitted Bush to use force if Saddam refused entry of the weapons inspectors into Iraq, or failed to cooperate with them. Fortunately, the use of force became moot, because Saddam did fully cooperate with the weapons inspectors, who found that Clinton had already destroyed Saddam's weapons.

In fact, all of Iraq's banned weapons had been turned over to UNSCOM or secretly destroyed more than a year before Clinton took office in January, 1993. True, Iraq was still hiding something then: voluminous records of their WMD programs, which they hoped to use to restart them later. But these records were surrendered to UNSCOM in 1995 after Hussein Kamel's defection. The 1998 Desert Fox bombing accomplished nothing in terms of Iraqi disarmament; moreover, disarmament probably wasn't even Clinton's goal. (More details here.)

But that is a small side issue, and has no effect on the fact that My Heart Will Go On.

Posted at January 18, 2007 05:39 AM | TrackBack

"we can't just make everyone behave the way we want them to."

It is touching, isn't it, to see such faith in what 'we' wanted in starting this war -- you know, our noble goal, out of reach, alas.

Posted by: Tom Tom at January 18, 2007 07:50 AM

Ok, I will admit to posting that before reading the article.

But I still see so much openness to the idea of war here, even in her 'condemnation' -- I get the idea she's just waiting for Mr. Right War to come along.

Posted by: Tom Tom at January 18, 2007 07:57 AM

disarmament probably wasn't even Clinton's goal

Scott Ritter wrote a book about this. He gives some fairly precise details about what was really going on and his slow realization that disarmament was not the point of UNSCOM.

Posted by: Justin at January 18, 2007 08:20 AM

this is how I remember 1998: Saddam kicked the inspectors out, but nobody in the west made much of a fuss about it until 2002, when Bush and Blair demanded the inspectors be allowed back in, which Saddam accepted. I also remember some pundits in the fall of 2002 saying that dubya didn't want to bother with the inspectors at all and just start bombing, but so-called centrist senate dems told him that he couldn't get his war resolution without allowing inspectors back in first. This got cleaned up for public consumption a bit as "the president has to allow the inspection process to work", which sounds a lot more statesmanly and a lot less like deal-making and political muscle-flexing.

In retrospect, I suppose nobody made a big fuss over Saddam kicking the inspectors out because there was an (unspoken) consensus that he no longer had WMDs, but the sanctions stayed in place for political reasons. Just as Iraq continued to occasionally receive bombardments for political reasons.

Sorry I don't have any links, this is just what my possibly faulty noggin recalls.

Posted by: Jonathan Versen at January 18, 2007 10:52 AM

I am truly glad that Your Heart Will Go On. Mine is refusing somewhat, and I will sometime next month experience my very first angioplastic procedure, purportedly to see if the ol' rib cage needs cracking, or if a defibrilator and/or stent or stents (take that, Cheney, us peasants can have them too!) will suffice.

Now, I've never been a physical coward, but that stent stuff do give me pause:

"And, by the way--there may be a political solution to all this pain and suffering, both stent-related and otherwise: If enough so-called 'bleeding heart' (and today's current stent usage gives that phrase a whole new meaning, doesn't it?) DEMOCRATS are elected to both Houses, to form a MEANINGFUL MAJORITY, and then a Democrat president is elected, this country will be able to implement its own rules and bring itself back to where it's serving us again, instead of its now-corporate bosses. Because the last time that Democrats were all in the majority, the FDA was fully funded and animal testing was the Phase IV of the FDA approval ladder--not, us!

I mean, whatever happened to the first line of the Oath of Medicine: "First, Do No Harm"?????

People should also know that Canada's a good option. Recently (probably in fear because of the approaching election) the House voted to resume letting low-priced Canadian drug imports into America resume, so people could maybe get their Plavix (generic--clopidrogel) and not have to choose between risking clots and/or feeding their kids. It took me a long time to vote Democrat because I've always voted Republican before, but I realize that these are the people who let this horror happen and I don't think they should ever be allowed to have any kind of political life at all. In fact, anyone who had a hand in cutting FDA funding I believe should be in jail for a good long time, for endangering the public like they did. But that's just me. Sorry for the harangue/diatribe. But I've been horrified now for four months, and am trying to shepherd my husband around his risks. Luckily I know a couple of ways that might help--MIGHT, cause I can't really know, can I? Nevertheless, in the absence of all actual help, one has to try what one can...."

Val Fitzgerald, Spouse of Cypher stent-implanted person, Grand Prairie, TX, USA, December 27, 2006

Val overstates the problem somewhat and that is understandable, but if she is now voting for the Dems and doing a little apostolic work, there may yet be hope for Texas. But I do wish she would learn the difference between Democrat and Democratic.

Posted by: Jesus B. Ochoa at January 18, 2007 11:15 AM

Jonathan V--Jon S will come along any minute and straighten out your noggin, but it's not surprising that you remember Saddam kicking the inspectors out. That lie has been repeated over and over and over again. It's one of those successful lies that's been told so often it wouldn't surprise me if it makes it into the history books, though there will surely be some that get the story straight.

Posted by: Donald Johnson at January 18, 2007 12:27 PM

tom tom, try reading Avedon's weblog before you read amazing things into some paragraphs she wrote. She's not shy about speaking her mind, so there's no need to go the tea-leaves route to try and divine her beliefs.

(Hint: They're not what you seem to think they are.)

Posted by: Kip W at January 18, 2007 04:31 PM

Apologies: I should have typed "Tom Tom." I wasn't trying to belittle you with the lower case, it was just an error on my part.

Posted by: Kip W at January 18, 2007 04:32 PM

Fuck off, Schwarz. She's mine!!

Posted by: Simbaud at January 19, 2007 05:48 PM