Tuesday, March 18, 2003

Random Acts of Blogging

Not much time to blog until the weekend, so just some random thoughts:
  • I saw Arab League Ambassador Yahya Mahmassani on Fox News and couldn't believe my ears. He denied that Resolution 1441 set a deadline and he stated that the point of 1441 was to enhance inspections à la a policy of containment. In fact, 1441 offers Iraq "a final opportunity to comply with its disarmament obligations under relevant resolutions of the Council" and sets a deadline "not later than 30 days from the date of this resolution." That makes Chirac's call for another 30 day inspection period all the more pointless; since 1441's deadline didn't mean anything to France--not to mention to Iraq--why is another one going to make any difference? At the end of it, we'd just go through another round of "let's wait some more."

  • Why is it that the U.S. cannot go to war without a U.N. mandate, but Saddam can ignore 17 resolutions over 12 years with impunity? Especially considering that the U.N. is responsible for issuing an ultimatum to Iraq in 1441?

  • Would Rachel Corrie have stepped in front of a Palestinian suicide bomber? Was this "light of inspiration in an unjust world" being a peace activist when she burned an American flag? According to her friends: "She was helping farmers harvest crops, escorting kids to school, keeping roads clear for ambulances and taking part in peaceful protests ..." Oh yeah, she was also burning American flags.

  • The reason there shouldn't be any sympathy for the Dixie Chicks is that Natalie Maines didn't merely say that she was against the war or had reservations about the death of Iraqi citizens; she pandered to a European audience and tried to show solidarity with anti-American sentiment: "Just so you know, we're ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas." I suspect that the audience applauded to her delight. U2 once did the opposite, i.e., pandered to an American audience by chanting "U-S-A" when after 9/11 it was trendy to be pro-American for about three minutes.

  • Not only am I no longer a pacifist (yes, I used to be a pacifist--and not that long ago), I don't even subscribe to Just War theories that hold war to be a last resort. I think it is rational to go to war when not going to war yields more evil than going to war. Obviously this is a controversial criterion that needs refinement and qualification, but it has the advantage of not allowing dictators to paralyze the rest of the world with faux appeals to human rights and cynical notions of peace. It's a sad spectacle when the world cries out for peace, justice, and humanity on behalf of a man who is bellicose, unjust, and inhumane.

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