Bush In Jerusalem

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Here's a slight surprise: Benjamin B. Ferencz, one of the prosecutors at the Nuremberg trials, calls the invasion of Iraq a "clear breach of law" and claims that President George W. Bush acted in full knowledge that he did not have a United Nations mandate for the war. In this interview (accompanied by a disturbingly mesmerizing photoshop of Bush in what looks like a leather Cruising vest), Ferencz says a "prima facie case can be made that the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity, that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation."

For an idea of Ferencz' ideas about war crimes, check out his speech to the Library of Congress last year, in which he reminisces about putting Nazis in the dock. Before dismissing him as a Bushitler KoolAid drinker, dig his suggestions for prosecuting Saddam Hussein.

I'm a war crimes skeptic: Anybody who says yes to war and pretends he isn't saying yes to rape, torture, and mass murder is worse than a fool. Interestingly though, Ferencz reaches his conclusion for the same reason, that the ultimate war crime is starting a war: "There's no such thing as a war without atrocities, but war-making is the biggest atrocity of all." His extended argument against Bush:

The United Nations charter has a provision which was agreed to by the United States, formulated by the United States in fact, after World War II. Its says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council. They can use force in connection with self-defense, but a country can't use force in anticipation of self-defense. Regarding Iraq, the last Security Council resolution essentially said, 'Look, send the weapons inspectors out to Iraq, have them come back and tell us what they've found—then we'll figure out what we're going to do. The U.S. was impatient, and decided to invade Iraq—which was all pre-arranged of course. So, the United States went to war, in violation of the charter.

Kerry Howley eyeballed the judicial circus of Slobodan Milosevic when it was failing and after it failed.

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  1. The problem is Tim that there was the original gulf war I ceasefire and accompanying Security Council Resolution which authorized the United States to use force if Iraq did not abide by the terms of the ceasefire, which is did not. The legal argument for the invasion goes back to that security council resolution and the numorous ones that followed which Iraq ignored. The U.S. position is that it did not need another Security Council authorization for force because it had one going back to the first Gulf War.

    Are there good counter arguments to that position? Absolutely. Is that position so irrational as to rise to the level of being without any rational justification making the Iraq war an act of aggression in violation of the U.N. Charter? Only if you are Bushhitler, kool-aide drinking Kosite.

  2. At some point, the incongruity of what we expect of others and of ourselves will render the UN for what it is and always has been…a largely symbolic institution of what might be, not what is…trying to negotiate a language of action for political ends is a fool’s errand…and now we get to watch fool’s disagree over the definition of the word ‘is’. The US is…

  3. What was it again that made Iraq a sovereign nation? Did they have some kind of mandate from the people living there? Noooo…. Did Saddam and the Ba’athists have some kind of enlightened, freedom-loving government? Nooo…

    Oh, I get it now, if you have the most soldiers and the biggest amount of guns, you too can be a “sovereign” nation.

    Get bent, Nuremberg-dude…what’s super-de-duper suspicious is that if somebody had stepped up and bombed the “mustachioed little Austrian feller” (as someone down-blog called him), you know, pre-emptively and “illegally”, then you would be a nobody right now, Ferencz.

    oh, and a war crime? Get serious, doodles, last I checked breaking a treaty (in case you didn’t know, the UN isn’t some superlegal entity, it’s just a building full of treaties) isn’t a war crime, it may be unconstitutional, but not a war crime.

  4. What was it again that made Iraq a sovereign nation? Did they have some kind of mandate from the people living there? Noooo…. Did Saddam and the Ba’athists have some kind of enlightened, freedom-loving government? Nooo…

    Oh, I get it now, if you have the most soldiers and the biggest amount of guns, you too can be a “sovereign” nation.

    Get bent, Nuremberg-dude…what’s super-de-duper suspicious is that if somebody had stepped up and bombed the “mustachioed little Austrian feller” (as someone down-blog called him), you know, pre-emptively and “illegally”, then you would be a nobody right now, Ferencz.

    oh, and a war crime? Get serious, doodles, last I checked breaking a treaty (in case you didn’t know, the UN isn’t some superlegal entity, it’s just a building full of treaties) isn’t a war crime, it may be unconstitutional, but not a war crime.

  5. This is the world-stage equivalent of Horschak in the back of the class with his hand up screaming OH! Oh! Oh!

    Simply put, it’s a use of legal technicality to justify personal politics. And in that respect, there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between this justification and GWB’s pretense at having a world mandate for the Iraqi affair. It’s all posturing and crap to support an agenda and to garner fifteen minutes in the Warholian spotlight.

    It would be far more productive to just simply say I believe that the US invasion of Iraq was wrong because starting a war is worse than putting up with a dictator like Hussein regardless of whether he funds suicide bombers, dismembers political opponents, or has nukes. Anything less is dishonest.

  6. I’m amazed no one has called Ferencz “senile” yet (or otherwise made a disparaging reference to his age).

  7. …the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity, that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.

    Funny, I always thought the supreme crime against humanity would be committing megacide in a time of international peace. The killing and atrocities don’t really start until one overarching power controls an area. Most people who died of poltical violence in the 20th century died at the hands of their own peacetime governments.

    In fact, an international war, when one sovereign country attacks another is the least destructive and most humane form of armed conflict. The actual order of destructiveness runs (1) Democide by an unopposed government (2) Multi-sided civil war, anarchy and warlordism (3) two sided civil war with competing governments (4) international wars.

    Its easy to see how the world went through such bloody times when faux intellectuals spread the idea that an international war is the worse fate to befall anyone. Personally, I think the idea originates in the experience of Western Europeans who have only really experienced international wars. Even the killings during holocaust actually occurred in Eastern Europe. As is typical for them, they project their experiences on the rest of humanity. International wars is the worse thing that ever happened to them so it follows that international wars are the worse thing that ever happened to anyone.

  8. Post of the day Shannon Love. You couldn’t be more right.

  9. All bets are off when a gangster nation (Iraq) starts a war with one neighbor (Iran) then, after a few million deaths, invades and loots another neighbor (Kuwait), murders and tortures all internal political opposition, masses its troops on the border and threatens a third nation (Saudi Arabia). Oh, and tosses a few Scuds into Israel just for kicks. Leaders of such a gangster nation forfeit all rights to “govern.”

  10. Well said Commonsewer. Though I think Ferencz’s argument fails precisely thanks to the wishy-washy wording the UN resolvers LOVE to write. Seriously, UN 1441, which is binding on all parties, warns of “serious consequences” for the affirmed material breach by Iraq — what exactly does “serious consequences” entail? Is it defined somewhere in a UN manual that says it can mean “lots more negotiating and letter-writing, but not military action”?

  11. So what’s your point, Shannon?

  12. If the UN determined the terms of the cease-fire, then the UN would be the one to determine if that cease-fire is violated or not. Which resolution determined there was in fact a violation and war should resume?

    I’m not judging a right or wrong per se. It is my understanding that Bush could not get the UN votes he needed to pass a resolution to acknowledge a cease-fire violation and return to war. Is that incorrect? I do remember Bush not getting the votes to pass something that was consider an obsticle to war, so he skipped the vote and did his own thing.

  13. Thoreau,

    If I could speak for Shannan. What I took from her post is that the Europeans are horribly self loathing and guilty over their past of genocide. The way they deal with this is to project their past on everyone else, particularly the U.S. and Israel (Israel is a double bonus since if the Jews are guilty of lots of bad stuff there is less need to feel guilty about the Holocost.) This guilt and self loathing caused otherwise reasonable people to make statements of monumental moral equivelence like “the United States is guilty of the supreme crime against humanity, that being an illegal war of aggression against a sovereign nation.” Ferencz is saying that invading another country is an even greater crime than say, Stalin murdering entire classes of people or the Nazis murdering entire races of people.

  14. They should call this the Cirque De Soleil thread with all the contortionist Bush supporters trying to justify an act of aggression against a sovereign nation by the US.

    So let me get this straight…the only sovereign nations are ones that are freedom loving, not ruled by tyrants, and have no “gangsters” in “government”?

    Why don’t you folks just say what you really mean….
    a soverign nation only sovereign until the US decides otherwise.

    And no — “serious consequences” != “war” — and anyone who thinks those must be synonymous and there is no other way to read that is delusional.

  15. Yes Tom,

    Serious consiquences just means we talk to you some more and threat more “serious consiquences”. Of course with your love of soverighnty, I am sure you were in the streets about the Kosovo war. A war conducted without so much of a shread of UN authorization. Why don’t you just say what you really mean; wars started by Dems good, wars started by Repubicans, horrible acts of imperial agression.

  16. Its says that from now on, no nation can use armed force without the permission of the U.N. Security Council.

    Right. And we got that permission back in Gulf War I days. It never expired, but was suspended pending Iraqi compliance with the cease-fire terms. Iraq didn’t comply, so the permission was valid.

    If the UN determined the terms of the cease-fire, then the UN would be the one to determine if that cease-fire is violated or not.

    Or not. Which resolution said that the UN and only the UN could determine whether a violation occurred?

    So let me get this straight…the only sovereign nations are ones that are freedom loving, not ruled by tyrants, and have no “gangsters” in “government”?

    I think the argument is a little more nuanced, namely, that there is no obligation to respect the sovereignty of a state that is not legitimate, and that totalitarian thugocracies like Hussein’s regime are not legitimate in any meaningful sense of the term.

    Unless you are willing to say that there is no reason to draw any distinction between, say, Switzerland’s government and Hussein’s? That Saddam is entitled to just as much respect and deference on the world stage as the Canadian government?

  17. What was it again that made Iraq a sovereign nation? Did they have some kind of mandate from the people living there? Noooo…. Did Saddam and the Ba’athists have some kind of enlightened, freedom-loving government? Nooo…

    By this standard, Japan, Canada, Australia and most parts of Europe would qualify as sovereign nations, but isn’t pretty much everyone else on the planet fair game for us to invade?

    What makes China a sovereign nation? Does the government have a mandate from the people living there? Does it have some kind of enlightened, freedom-loving government? Nooooo. . . .

  18. What was it again that made Iraq a sovereign nation? Did they have some kind of mandate from the people living there? Noooo…. Did Saddam and the Ba’athists have some kind of enlightened, freedom-loving government? Nooo…

    By this standard, Japan, Canada, Australia and most parts of Europe would qualify as sovereign nations, but isn’t pretty much everyone else on the planet fair game for us to invade?

    What makes China a sovereign nation? Does the government have a mandate from the people living there? Does it have some kind of enlightened, freedom-loving government? Nooooo. . . .

  19. Yes Tom,

    Serious consiquences just means we talk to you some more and threat more “serious consiquences”. Of course with your love of soverighnty, I am sure you were in the streets about the Kosovo war. A war conducted without so much of a shread of UN authorization. Why don’t you just say what you really mean; wars started by Dems good, wars started by Repubicans, horrible acts of imperial agression.

  20. Was Iraq a “soveriegn nation” when vile scumbags like Rumsfield, Cheney, Reagan, Bush Sr, etc, etc, etc, etc, handed him billions in cash, and to this day “classified” amounts of US weapons, hardware, gear, stuff, & more damning, political cover?
    Was Iraq a “soveriegn nation” when the loathesome Jean Kirkpatrick cast the veto on the UN SC when it moved to place economic penalties for gassing the Kurds? Just wondering if you “deep thinking realists” can enlighten me here.
    Clue: Turn off the radio. Regurgitating the chickenhawks dont work here, it seems (thankfully)

  21. What do Dr. Asaf Durakovic (former head of Nuclear Medicine at Georgetown & Founder of The Uranium Medical Research Center); Dr. Jawad Al-Ali, British trained, Iraq’s top oncologist; Dr. Ahmad Hardan, W.H.O. expert; & a group of Japanese radiation experts have in common? All are experts in their field, and all of them, after extensive research in Iraq and Afghanistan, have used the word “WAR CRIMES” to describe the use of Depleted Uranium Weapons by Bush.

    Dr. Al-Ali recounts that in Basra, nine members of his wife’s family have cancer simultaneously.

    In one group of 250 soldiers from MI, 60% had children with severe birth defects, after Gulf War I, although all had healthy children prior to deployment.

    One Japanses expert said the situation will bed desperate 5-10 years from now.

    Convicting Bush of WAR CRIMES, apart from the moral and ethical aspects, would be a brilliant move strategically. It would convince the Arab world that our system works, and would be a good way to promote freedom and democracy in the region.

    As far as killing innocent people within a short period of time, Saddam wasn’t nearly as bad as recent Sudanese regime. Why are they not on trial?

    A number of Iraqi expatriates have told me the same thing. Although Saddam was a ruthless thug, his dictatorship was not the kind that consistently and thoroughly infiltrated all aspects of life. A lot of things worked fine; the public utilities, the educational system, etc. So, yes, I agree with the above, starting a war was worse.

    Things are far worse in Iraq now than they were, except in the Kurdish North where things are great; there are virtually no U.S. troops in the entire province, as the Kurds do a great job on their own. Having U.S. troops being a police force in a foreign country? Totally insane.

  22. MUTT, this is going to be a severly illogical post for me, but it’s clear that you’re nothing more than a paleo-conservatarian with nothing better to do but to hate the “brown hordes”, cite weird conspiracy theories and probably worship the troglodytes at LewRockwell. Nothing you say has any credibility, at least not with me. None.

    Oooh, look, MUTT’s so smart and sassy that he can say witty shenanigans like “turn off the radio”, as if we’re all just a bunch of mindless droneheads, too stupid to understand the mighty MUTT, too zombie-like to grasp his Promethean abilities to bring knowledge to us ignorant hordes.

    Get bent, brotha.

  23. thoreau,

    So what’s your point, Shannon?

    My point is that an international war is so far down on the list of horrible things that governments do that calling it “the supreme crime against humanity” is giggling funny.

    As an aside, I noted that I thought that the extraordinary aversion that Europeans have to international wars (but not other types of political violence) springs from their provincial belief that their experiences are the experiences of the entire world. Western Europe has experienced devastating international wars in the last 200 years but no major civil wars, no states of anarchy and the only democide occurred inside a international war. International war is actually the worse thing that has ever happened to Western Europe but that doesn’t mean it is the worst thing that happens to human beings in general.

    The supreme crime against humanity is the democide, the killing of a countries people by its own government. Europeans have a great deal of trouble recognizing that. Look at the history of the lands of the former Yugoslavia. The European debate over the conflict usually centered around the question of whether Serbia, Croatia or Kosovo were sovereign and whether the other Europeans could justify starting an international war just to stop the democide. Europeans let years of mass murder go by in their own backyard while they agonized over fictional legalities.

    I have often poised a question to people asking: “if you and your love ones had been ordinary Iraqi, would you have preferred to suffer invasion and protracted war for the chance, and only the chance, of a freer life or would you have preferred to remain in Saddam’s terror state?”

    I have noted that Americans and other peoples usually choose the war in theory even if they oppose it in reality. Europeans by contrast claim to prefer the terror state. I think this reflects nearly a century of cultural conditioning in Europe that causes them to believe that a clash of armies between countries is the worst possible fate for anyone.

    For an American, peace without freedom is not peace at all. For Europeans, peace just means armies aren’t shooting at each other. Living life hunched and afraid of the knock on the door in the middle of the night is preferable. Its a largely unconscious cultural difference that drives much conflict between America and Europe on matters of war and peace.

  24. “I’m sovereign. Now what do I do?”

    Tuesday marks Iraq’s first year as a sovereign nation. (June 28, 2005)

    There is a scene in Auntie Mame in which Miss Gooch is standing on the staircaise, heavily pregnant. She says: “I’ve lived. Now what do I do?”

    I hope Miss Gooch enjoyed it more than Iraq.

  25. I have often poised a question to people asking: “if you and your love ones had been ordinary Iraqi, would you have preferred to suffer invasion and protracted war for the chance, and only the chance, of a freer life or would you have preferred to remain in Saddam’s terror state?”

    I’m not convinced we have the right to make such choices for other people, but any Iraqi who made that choice has lost and lost spectacularly. We’ve succeeded in making that country worse than it was under Saddam.

    Libertarian disclaimer: that statement in no way suggests that I think Saddam was a nice guy or that Iraq under Saddam was a paradise, just as Ayn Rand’s dislike of Stalinism doesn’t mean she was a royalist who thought Russia was just spiffy when the Czar controlled it.

  26. For an American, peace without freedom is not peace at all. For Europeans, peace just means armies aren’t shooting at each other. Living life hunched and afraid of the knock on the door in the middle of the night is preferable. Its a largely unconscious cultural difference that drives much conflict between America and Europe on matters of war and peace.

    It’s the middle of the night in Europe.

    If I’m hunched, I’m hunched over my computer.

    If I’m afraid of a knock on the door, it’s because I’m dressed in my underpants and I don’t really want visitors right now.

    If I differ with your Mr. Bush, it’s because I do not believe that the end justifies the means.

  27. I have often poised a question to people asking: “if you and your love ones had been ordinary Iraqi, would you have preferred to suffer invasion and protracted war for the chance, and only the chance, of a freer life or would you have preferred to remain in Saddam’s terror state?”

    False dichotomy.

  28. raymond,

    If I differ with your Mr. Bush, it’s because I do not believe that the end justifies the means.

    I know. You demonstrated as much during the 90’s in the former Yugoslavia.

  29. highnumber,

    Its not a false dichotomy, its a thought experiment that reveals an individuals preferences.

  30. This is a great thread. Two people are arguing that Bush shouldn’t face any legal trouble over this war; one person does so by criticizing those who supported the Kosovo war, while the other criticizes those who didn’t.

    Arguing that the Iraqis wanted us to invade, though, or would have wanted us to invade had we asked them. . . . that’s brilliant.

  31. Shannon,

    I believe the answers to that question are useless, because you would hear many different responses if you asked “if you lived under Saddam Hussein’s rule what would you prefer the US gov’t do for you?” Most responses, I’d wager, would not be either “invade” or “leave us alone.” The results of your thought experiment really tell you very little. Europeans and Americans might give similar answers to an open question, they might not. Given a choice of war or no war, it is not surprising that the people from a continent that has hosted total war within the last hundred years would choose no war, and United Statesians would choose a war for freedom.
    Bringing logic into your thought experiment would increase its utility.

  32. Jennifer,

    I’m not convinced we have the right to make such choices for other people,

    I find it interesting that you don’t feel we can make decisions for others based on our own preferences but you feel confident in speaking for Iraqi people otherwise. As revealed in their voting they don’t seem to hold us horribly to task for the invasion. If they wanted us to leave they could easily compel us to do so.

    We’ve succeeded in making that country worse than it was under Saddam.

    Depends on what you value which is rather my point. The Kurds love us because we have given them security and freedom from ethnic oppression. The Shia have gained a real say in their own governance for the first time in centuries. They have gone from despised serfs to the political majority. They control their own religious sites and can go on their pilgrimages for the first time in 20 years. How would you feel if your own life was so effected? Would it be worth the risk of the war?

    People aren’t cattle. Just caring for their physical well being doesn’t make the happy. They need freedom,hope and control over their own fates. People will sacrifice physical safety and material security for non-material benefits.

    Compare Iraq to South Africa. The security situation for the average person in South Africa is significantly worse now than under Apartheid. Neither has the economy improved for most and for many it has worsened. Do we therefore conclude that campaign to destroy Apartheid was a failure? Should we strive to bring it back to improve the physical conditions of the people’s lives?

  33. Jennifer,

    Arguing that the Iraqis wanted us to invade, though, or would have wanted us to invade had we asked them.

    Well, prior to the invasion the Iraqi expatiate community world wide wanted us to invade. The expatiate community was large and diverse and most still had extensive family within the country. They were the best proxies we were ever going to get for the actual opinion of the Iraqi people.

    Since the liberation, the Iraqi people have consistently voted for politicians that advocate the continued presence of coalition forces. Had they wished it, the Iraqi could have driven us from the country in a matter of weeks using non-violent means. They did not. All such evidence suggest that the majority of Iraqi don’t resent us to much for the actions we took.

  34. Of course with your love of soverighnty, I am sure you were in the streets about the Kosovo war.

    John,

    The one thing I can be sure of is that you are going to present irrelevant, fact-free “arguments”.

    Since you don’t know my position on Kosovo, maybe you should shut the fuck up and not attribute one to me. Then you could try addressing my post instead of attacking the beliefs you think I have.

    Furthermore, “serious consequences” could be more sanctions, it could be a multi-national force, it could be more invasive weapons inspections …it could be a lot of things…and to pretend that serious consequences meant war is just wishful thinking on your part.

    Of course war could be part of the serious consequences — but the wording doesn’t seem to imply that it MUST MEAN war and that is the only thing “serious consequences” can mean. If the only consequence as an option was an invasion, I imagine it would have said so explicitly.

    But coming from someone who doesn’t seem to know the meaning of basic words, I shouldn’t be surprised that you don’t get the distinction.

  35. They need freedom,hope and control over their own fates.

    And a pony!!

    You think freedom and hope come from having no jobs, no electricity, lots of suicide bombers (who were never there before) and a risk of being shot at checkpoints by foreigners occupying your land and treating all the locals like criminals??

    Wow what a warped sense of freedom and hope.

    History must be filled with examples of occupying forces that bring freedom and hope to the occupied persons.

    People will sacrifice physical safety and material security for non-material benefits

    I hope you use this exact quote while attacking the NSA spying and explaining why we need warrants even in a post 9/11 world.

    Sorry Shannon, but if anything what we have witnessed post 9/11 in the USA proves exactly the opposite of your assertion….PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO SACRAFICE NON-MATERIAL BENEFITS FOR PHYSICAL AND MATERIAL SAFETY (Sadly)

    Compare Iraq to South Africa. The security situation for the average person in South Africa is significantly worse now than under Apartheid. Neither has the economy improved for most and for many it has worsened. Do we therefore conclude that campaign to destroy Apartheid was a failure? Should we strive to bring it back to improve the physical conditions of the people’s lives?

    Perfectly apt comparison…..remember when we first and occupied South Africa and forced an end to aparthied by toppling the regime in power and setting up checkpoints and roadblocks.
    Iraq is so similar to South Africa.

  36. ChicagoTom,

    …but the wording doesn’t seem to imply that it MUST MEAN war and that is the only thing “serious consequences” can mean.

    In isolation the phrase “serious consequences” doesn’t mean war but in the context of resolution and debate surrounding it, the phrase meant just that. Its not sacred writ from the dawn of time. We know what everyone was thinking and talking about when they voted on it. They wrote it all down. Like all UN-speak you have to know the immediate context to understand exactly what was being said. It is the debate history of each resolution that conveys its real meaning.

  37. Yes, Tom resort to obsenities and tell people to shut the fuck up when they point out your gross hypocrisy. If didn’t agree the Kosovo you would have said so. The fact that you don’t have anything to say other than obscenitites says that you did and you are a hypocrite. Thanks for confirming what was already obvious.

  38. Don’t you understand Shannon, if you disagree with Tom, you are supossed to “shut the fuck up”. Don’t confuse him with facts and arguments.

  39. “Well, prior to the invasion the Iraqi expatiate community world wide wanted us to invade. The expatiate community was large and diverse and most still had extensive family within the country.” Yeah, that Chalabi sure spoke for ordinary Iranians. I mean Iraqis. No, wait, I was right the first time.

    “Since the liberation, the Iraqi people have consistently voted for politicians that advocate the continued presence of coalition forces.” Big Lie. With the exception of the Kurdish Union, every party that won a seat in the constitutional convention ran on ending the occupation.

  40. Somebody please tell me that we didn’t just get duped by an Iranian agent into overthrowing Saddam and handing the country over to a Shiite government that is backed by Tehran.

    Can anybody say that that definitely didn’t happen?

  41. First, Shannon, I’d love to hear if you’d be willing to sacrifice the safety benefits of drinking from the fire hose in exchange for the non-material benefits of greater privacy and an executive branch that has to get warrants to spy on US soil. As ChicagoTom pointed out, this is in reference to the NSA.

    Second, in regard to your false dichotomy:
    I have often poised a question to people asking: “if you and your love ones had been ordinary Iraqi, would you have preferred to suffer invasion and protracted war for the chance, and only the chance, of a freer life or would you have preferred to remain in Saddam’s terror state?”

    I’d do like Captain Kirk and change the terms of the scenario. I’d get the hell out of Iraq.

    And, speaking as an American, I think that my proposed solution is a reflection of our national character. With the exception of most blacks and the Native Americans, we’re descended from the people who said “Fuck it! I’m out of here!” Sure, not all of our ancestors were from situations that were perfectly analogous to Iraq, but the fact remains that we’re (for the most part) descended from the malcontents who decided that it was time to pack up and leave.

    Here’s my proposed solution to mass-murdering dictators: The US military will establish airstrips where refugees can go to escape to the US. We will establish no-fly zones and shoot down any military or police helicopters that enter those zones. We will send helicopters to escort refugee convoys seeking escape. We will bomb any military bases, police stations, or other government facilities used as part of efforts to thwart escape.

    Given that immigrants tend to be hard-working and entrepreneurial, given that they tend to force their children to study hard in school, and given the historic pattern of American churches and charities providing assistance to refugees, I think my plan would be a net benefit to America. And it would certainly be easier than trying to topple an illiberal regime. Carving out a small territory for a specified period of time, controlling airspace with fighter jets, and bombing government buildings is much easier than invading and occupying.

  42. LOFL, “ayn randian”–
    “MUTT, this is going to be a severly illogical post for me, but it’s clear that you’re nothing more than a paleo-conservatarian with nothing better to do but to hate the “brown hordes”, cite weird conspiracy theories and probably worship the troglodytes at LewRockwell. Nothing you say has any credibility, at least not with me. None.”

    So, the question I posed is too complicated, or what?
    Glad I popped your pompous cork…..

  43. thoreau, “The US military will establish airstrips where refugees can go to escape to the US…Given that immigrants tend to be hard-working and entrepreneurial, given that they tend to force their children to study hard in school.”

    Given that we are moving jobs out of our borders and already have a large and controversial influx of immigrants from the south, I doubt many Americans will support paying for outsiders to be brought in and compete for jobs. Yes, conflicts cost also.

    Not sure we could lift people out of Darfur or Somolia and have the expectations you suggest.

    Seems that most people that immigrate here are from stable countries and have some trade, education and similiar social skills.

    Besides, people have roots/homes/relatives in their homelands and deserve to live there with hope.

  44. Don-

    All I’m saying is that my plan beats the hell out of an expensive and bloody war. Whatever one thinks of immigration, it’s better than stirring up a hornet’s nest in an unstable region, losing a few thousand soldiers, and pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the war.

  45. thoreau, Agree. We, the enlightened ones, should have/offer better solutions.

  46. The Shia have gained a real say in their own governance for the first time in centuries. They have gone from despised serfs to the political majority. They control their own religious sites and can go on their pilgrimages for the first time in 20 years. How would you feel if your own life was so effected? Would it be worth the risk of the war?

    And on this pilgrimage they can meet Allah personally when a bomber blows up their car en route to the religious site or a soldier shoots them at a checkpoint. As a woman, by the way, I’d be pretty upset about the upswing in religious extremism and the fact that I don’t dare venture outside without hijab and a male family member to escort me. I’d be pretty goddamned pissed off if my life were so affected.

    As revealed in their voting they don’t seem to hold us horribly to task for the invasion. If they wanted us to leave they could easily compel us to do so.

    They’ve said they want us gone and yet we’re still there. Judging by the billions of dollars we’re spending on permanent military bases there, I don’t see us leaving anytime soon.

  47. Thoreau,

    If you reall believe in open borders, you idea makes sense. I would just love to see the look on some the reasonites faces who claim that the U.S. has no right to control its own borders, after you told them, “fine, that is great, we are moving the entire Shia population of Iraq to the United States. We will then let the Kurds and the Sunis divide the country and solve both the problem of Iranian influence and sectarian violence in one fell swoop.” It is absolute genius. I suspect they wouldn’t be too happy with that idea but it I would love to see the contortions they would go through to say how it wasn’t the right thing to do.

  48. John-

    I’m angling for a professorship in the sciences. When I look at millions of Arabs, and then I look at their kids, one word flashes through my mind: Customers…um, I mean, students.

  49. Oh, one other thing:

    HOW MANY FRICKING TIMES DO WE HAVE TO TELL YOU THAT MOST OF US DON’T BELIEVE IN TOTALLY OPEN BORDERS?!?!?!?!?

    I’d insist on background checks and a fee (which a willing charity could opt to pay) for any aspiring immigrant. That’s always been my stance, and it is not a totally open border. The nice thing about background checks is that anybody who tries to get around the background check is clearly a bad guy that we don’t want. So you immediately pare down the illegal crossing problem from a few bad apples hiding in a sea of eager workers to just the bad apples. And now you can focus all of your border enforcement resources on those bad apples. Plus, with less demand to drive innovation, the smugglers probably won’t be as competent.

    Anyway, we’ve explained this to you EVERY FRICKIN TIME THAT IMMIGRATION COMES UP and you still accuse us of favoring totally open borders, even though most of us don’t take that tack.

  50. thoreau, although most don’t, I do, because it’s the only principled position to take. you’d have to tell me some exceptions that would fly in the face of that position?

    — No criminals? well, since you can be a criminal for criticizing the government in a lot of these banana republics, I don’t accept that as a standard. I have heard of a lot of people in the US being branded the most horrible things, unjustly, and I am sure it’s much worse in these hellholes from which our immigrants come.

    — No diseases? Are you going to tell me that you won’t let me cross the Indiana border with Hep or TB? No? Then why is a Mexican any different?

    I don’t get it; it’s opened or closed folks.

    Jennifer — as I said before, granting moral or legal legitmacy to a nation just because some strong man with more big boys and big boy toys takes over is patently stupid. A truly sovereign nation requires the consent of the governned, something most nations don’t have. So, no, in AR-atopia, I wouldn’t recognize their legitimacy until they became more classically liberal. I am not saying they would have to mirror AR-atopia, but granting legitmacy to places that still execute homosexuals is granting them status with which I am profoundly uncomfortable. And yes, with no ruling sovereignty, that makes them candidates for becoming the next State in the Union, although I don’t think this would be a wise move.

  51. I know you don’t believe in truly open open borders Throreau. I was just being a smart ass. I actually believe in immigration if not open borders. My objection is to having immigration consist entirely of low skilled workers who speak one language. If you could have a better mix of cultures, languages and skills, I wouldn’t object to immigration.

  52. “”PEOPLE ARE MORE THAN WILLING TO SACRAFICE NON-MATERIAL BENEFITS FOR PHYSICAL AND MATERIAL SAFETY (Sadly)”””

    I disagree Tom.

    People are willing to sacrafice non-material benefits for the APPEREANCE of physical and material safety. Sadly indeed.

  53. “”If the UN determined the terms of the cease-fire, then the UN would be the one to determine if that cease-fire is violated or not.

    Or not. Which resolution said that the UN and only the UN could determine whether a violation occurred? “”””

    Dean, So let me get this straight. You think that a resolution should say or a seperate resolution should be passed, that states no one in the group can act unilaterally? What would be the purpose of the group?

    You don’t think that members of a group should respect the group process?

  54. “My objection is to having immigration consist entirely of low skilled workers who speak one language.”

    John,
    I can’t think of a nice way to say this.
    This is a racist position. It doesn’t matter what the “skills” of the people are if they are providing essential services to the economy. And it doesn’t matter what language they speak. These kinds of racist arguments were used to delay New Mexico’s statehood for decades in the late 1800’s… the wording hasn’t even changed much. If you don’t like the dirty Mexicans, grow some balls and wear your racism on your sleeve. Otherwise, don’t try and use mental contortions to justify your racist stance.

    Pinche pendejo

  55. Interesting piece of news on the immigration issue.

    Mexican chile farmers (that’s in Mexico) are having a hard time finding workers to pick their crops. They are having to pay more for workers than they have traditionally (and even then can’t find enough pickers), and this makes it hard for them to compete with the inexpensive chile flooding in from Peru, where workers are paid less.

  56. Since the liberation, the Iraqi people have consistently voted for politicians that advocate the continued presence of coalition forces. Had they wished it, the Iraqi could have driven us from the country in a matter of weeks using non-violent means. They did not. All such evidence suggest that the majority of Iraqi don’t resent us to much for the actions we took.

    Ah, but the count is skewed, since, unlike in our elections, the dead don’t vote. I suspect they might have a different perpective.

    But I will agree that life may be better for some of the surviving Iraqis. It is also true that life is better for many of today’s Native Americans than it was for their ancestors. Of course, neither fact has anything to do with whether or not our actions were morally or legally justifiable (not that you are saying that).

    In the chaos that followed our invasion, do you really think that the Iraqis could have produced any sort of believable consensus that would convince Bush to leave the country? Anyway, we weren’t there to make things better for the Iraqis; the neocons have bigger ideas than that (give them SOME credit). Bush is there to stay, at least until we need the troops in Iran. Then we’re out the door. (It’s so handy, it’s genius–the troops will be right there. They can just hop in jeeps and head east.)

  57. If you could have a better mix of cultures, languages and skills, I wouldn’t object to immigration.

    by “better mix” do you mean “more like me”?

  58. “”(It’s so handy, it’s genius–the troops will be right there. They can just hop in jeeps and head east.) “”

    It sounds good on paper. If we move into Iran I suspect that we will upset the Shia in Iraq that is pro-Iranian. That means we will have to fight in Iran and Iraq at the same time. We will not be able to leave one for the other.

    Call up the draft!!

  59. So, Neu Mej………you would rather corrupt, rapacious, incompetant , ‘invisible hand of the market” club wielding oligarchs & their heavily armed bosses/tools make it impossible for honest working folks to exist in thier own countries- now oligarchic satrapies, & be pushed North to feed thier families? Wow- thats really gettin at the root of it. you show your great love of folks S of the Rio G.
    And you dont think these feudal states shouldnt be in the trash like last weeks El Diario Nuevo why, exactly?
    Meet them at the border with rifles. Give them the rifles, & send them home. End all military/police aid to these
    States…….they are hardly ruled with consent of the governed. Lucky for them, in some such states- not Mexico- a lot of peasants have rifles…

  60. MUTT,

    I seriously don’t know what you’re talking about here. Your summary of my position is so off the mark I worry about what kinds of drugs you are on.

  61. quote:”This is a racist position. …”
    in reguards to questioning the logic of millions of political & economic refugees fleeing the satrapies of the South.
    We have vast numbers of low & unskilled people here in the US already. And artisans (my class)who cant/wont compete w/ the bargain sub basement wages these refugees will work for.
    Honest working people fleeing corrupt , failing oligarchies. Correct, or no?
    You dont seem to think what causes them to flee is worth confronting, only confronting those who object as “racist”. Is that any clearer.? Refugees:Symptom. Oligarchies/police states:Cause.
    Decent grade weed, by the way, & good ol cheap vodka…..

  62. Given that immigrants tend to be hard-working and entrepreneurial, given that they tend to force their children to study hard in school, and given the historic pattern of American churches and charities providing assistance to refugees, I think my plan would be a net benefit to America. And it would certainly be easier than trying to topple an illiberal regime. Carving out a small territory for a specified period of time, controlling airspace with fighter jets, and bombing government buildings is much easier than invading and occupying.

    Yah, if all those Shia in Sadr city set up shop in say, Detroit then America would’ve been a much better place. Perhaps we could’ve had our own Mahdi milita to be great allies in the war on drugs and vice.

  63. well, if they have the drive of Lebanons Hezbollah, theyd have the bombed out sections of Detroit cleaned up, housing built, power & water & sewage up & running, &streets repaired. Unlike the most powerful;, wealthy government on earth.
    Whats that tell you?
    And whats really funny, Bush league religeous thugs cant even pull that off.
    Smartest People In the Room:Zero. Third world fundies CA 850- 1.
    And these guys do it for fraction of a cent on the US dolla.
    “and if my thoughtdreams, could be seen…..”

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