War Already?


The Washington Post runs with sketchy sources who say that U.S. special ops teams are already inside Iraq, gathering intel and looking to turn Iraqis against Saddam.

If true, that wouldn't be a particular surprise. But it would make U.S. case-building at the UN look even more absurd. Why go thru the exercise if we really don't care if the rest of the world concurs?

Actually, the most interesting info in the piece is speculation that this Iraq war would unfold very differently than the Gulf War of 1991. In sum, a single massive airstrike won't herald the start of hostilities and U.S. ground forces will not just swoop in at the end.

NEXT: Revolt of the Spooks

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  1. We have to go through the futile exercise to give the UN one last chance to show that it isn’t completely irrelevant. That in itself is probably a futile exercise, though.

  2. I don’t think there’s anything anyone can do to show the UN is not irrelevant.

  3. While I agree that Bush is mainly going through the UN to protect the Security Council from its own ineptitude, the mere presence of these troops doesn’t mean that war is inevitable as we could certainly pull them out if Saddam complied. However, since it’s pretty obvious that Saddam isn’t going to take this last shot to give up his weapons, there is no reason we shouldn’t be preparing in every way possible for war.

  4. We REALLY don’t care if the rest of the world concurs. We just play the game as long as we can, then do it anyway. But this is a good thing.

  5. “**Returns** to pursuing its perceived self interest in international relations?”

    Rather foolish to believe that they are not now.

    It is an irrefutable fact that the physically or militarily strong can take whatever they want from the weak. The only reason this doesn’t always happen is that the strong sometimes choose not to do so. The UN has no fairy dust which can reverse this fact.

    Any analysis that does not take this into account is pointless.

    I’ll leave aside that the last 60 years have not been peacful for the tens of millions who have died, and the billions who have wasted their lives under communist or otherwise oppressive governments. The extent to which it has been peaceful is the extent to which the powerful do not have enough of an advantage over the weak, or have decided not to use their advantage.

    The only thing new about the “New World Order” is that the US is practically unopposed and can work its will however it chooses. How it should choose to use its advantage is another matter.

  6. The weak nations of the world are taking notes on our courageous actions in the Mideast.

    Conclusion: if you have a big military (and especially if you have a nuke), Uncle Sam won’t fuck with you.

    The UN never promised to make the world a paradise. Rather, it’s a nonviolent way for the world to talk to try and enforce contracts, settle border disputes and regulate scary weapons. If the weak nations, regardless of their politics and personal habits (remember, democracy is relatively new in the world) have no forum to settle things, they would be dumb not to nuke up.

  7. “if you have a big military (and especially if you have a nuke), Uncle Sam won’t fuck with you.”

    This is almost true. The US is less likely to invade a nuclear armed power.

    What is not true is that this or similar lessons about the role of power in international relations need to be learned by any government in the world. These lessons have been well learned for at thousands of years.

    Part of what has kept certain countries (like S. Korea and Japan) from “nuking up” for the past 50 years is inclusion under the US nuclear and military umbrella.

    Enemies of the free world are already “nuking up.” If the US does not deter them their neighbors are more likely to have to respond in kind.

    This isn’t to say that the US should take on the role of defender of the free world (though it is an argument for it,) but arguing that US action against totalitarian nations accelerates nuclear proliferation is not really reasonable.

  8. You guys are kidding, right? Our economy, our way of life has become increasingly dependent on the rest of the world. There is half a trillion dollars invested here from overseas. More than half of our electronics are manufactured overseas. International businessmen are coming back here shaking their heads, afraid to go back and wondering what the fuck is going on.

    We can probably make the rest of the world irrelevant, militarily, for awhile but what goes around, always comes around.

  9. So, Lefty. When WOULD it be ok to start shootin’?

  10. Saddam is so isolated because of the well-founded fear of assassination, it would be funny if we had already killed him and replaced him with a double.

  11. When the UN gets on board. i.e. when everybody (France and Germany) gets assured of their cut of the action afterward.

  12. Of course.
    What was I thinking. National interest has no play in this. Or any other war, I suppose.

    The UN is an impotent, self-important body that’s never had anything to do but be a forum on US soil for anti-US sentiment. The BEST thing that can happen out of this is a rift so large, it can’t be repaired and the UN goes the way of the League of Nations.

  13. The UN was formed and, however imperfectly, the world has managed to avoid killing itself for the last 60 years or so

    Post hoc, ergo propter hoc? The world managed to avoid killing itself because two superpowers loaded to the gills with nuclear weapons the economically and strategically important parts of it up into two spheres of influence. The UN’s role in this was to pass a vote condemning Israel every 3d6 months. I think somehow we’ll muddle through without it. 🙂

    As for why we’re going through the UN charade — my guess is that we’re not ready to attack yet, so we might as well pass the time trying to get as many people on board with us as possible.

  14. Holy Engles Batman! I am in agreement with Lefty. Shouldn’t be all that surprised I guess – fiscally conservative, socially liberal and all that. I am not a fan of the U.N., but this war is so wrong and the fact that our closest allies are saying so is not to be cavalierly dismissed.

  15. Okay, let’s follow that logic.

    First, following the bloodiest and most foolish war in history, WWI, the League of Nations was formed at the US’s behest (Woodie Wilson wrote the charter). However, the US never became a member. Congress never signed on. Thus emasculated, the L of N became a debating society and 20 years later the world tried to kill itself again.

    The UN was formed and, however imperfectly, the world has managed to avoid killing itself for the last 60 years or so.

    As I understand your New World Order, the US (and presumably every other nation, although this isn’t clear) returns to pursuing its perceived self interest in international relations. Any nation that objects (or if we object to another nation’s actions) we settle it personally – best man wins. There’s no objective forum to air differences or settle disputes. It’s simply whoever is strongest gets their way. About 200 nations sign on to the program, 100 of which hate each other.

    Now, this looks like a great atmosphere for arms dealers but otherwise I don’t see this situation being in our best interest. My guess is the US would once again try to form some international body to resolve disputes.

  16. Which of our “closest allies” are saying this war is soooo wrong? Germany? France? Libya? Cuba? This war is only wrong in that it should have taken place ten years ago. Saddam murdered people and stole their property (he is NOT a Libertarian!) because he didn’t like the prices of their merchandise (Kuwaiti oil). That’s like one barber shop owner killing the barber across the street for offering hair cuts for 50 cents cheaper. A person like that should meet the worst fate a society is willing to dish out. (Can ya tell I don’t like to pay a lot for a hair cut?)

    In the next few months we may be discovering trade violations between some of our “allies” and Saddam. Some of our troops may be killed by the weapons Saddam doesn’t have.

  17. Funny you should say that, Joe. Seems a few years ago there was evidence the Germans and the French were selling tech to Iraq that could be used for WMD. could that be the reason they object?

  18. Actually, the nuclear cat’s already out of the bag. Over 20 countries already have them and a half dozen more are working on it. Some are friendly at the moment, many aren’t. Our time to dictate terms to other countries (besides South America) at the point of a sword is running out. Like it or not the UN, or something like it, is absolutely necessary.

    I’m a public school product. Whatthefuck does Post hoc, ergo propter hoc mean?

  19. I didn’t even manage to pull off public school, however…

    Coincidental Correlation ( post hoc ergo prompter hoc )

    Definition: The name in Latin means “after this therefore because of this”.

    We commit the fallacy when it is assumed that because one thing follows another that the one thing was caused by the other.

  20. EMAIL: nospam@nospampreteen-sex.info
    URL: http://preteen-sex.info
    DATE: 05/20/2004 09:20:52
    It’s never right to say always, and always wrong to say never.

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