[ExI] The Death Toll Imbalance in the Mideast War

John Grigg possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com
Thu Jun 11 08:09:22 UTC 2009

On Wed, Jun 10, 2009 at 11:59 PM, Stathis Papaioannou <stathisp at gmail.com>wrote:

> 2009/6/11 John Grigg <possiblepaths2050 at gmail.com>:
> > But are we to be stuck on a sea of moral relativity?  No...  You make it
> > seem like every government and people have an equal right to retaliate,
> and
> > this is simply not the case.  Should the U.S. have not attacked Nazi
> Germany
> > during WWII?  And would you not agree that the defeat of the Nazi
> government
> > was in fact a *liberation* for the people of Germany?  Or would you
> > disagree?
> Germany was attacking the rest of the world; Iraq was not. If Germany
> had not invaded other countries then invading Germany would not have
> been as easily justifiable, and it would not have been at all
> justifiable if it were not for the extermination of the Jews. Simply
> having a government that abuses human rights (as defined by a
> consensus of world opinion) is not reason enough to invade.

This is where you and I really part ways.  A people can be *held hostage* by
their own government and utterly terrorized.  And in such cases they need
to be freed!  If not for the cost in lives and money, I would be very much
for an invasion of North Korea.  As the world scratches their head in trying
to appease the dictator there, so many of his subjects starve or
are imprisoned and killed.

> > Well, the people of Iraq needed to be liberated from the raping and
> > murdering Saddam Hussein.  Yes, we stirred up a hornet's nest that he
> kept
> > in place, but the evil bastard and his government is now gone.  Do you
> > feel the U.S. should have not invaded and let him stay in power?  Don't
> you
> > care about all the people he had tortured, raped and murdered?  I do.
> And
> > is sickens me that the U.S. gov't supported a thug like him until he grew
> > uncontrollable.
> The US has installed and supported *many* dictatorial thugs in the
> past century. They should not have done this. Should all the countries
> with these dictatorial thugs have been invaded? Should the US have
> been invaded to prevent this malicious interference in other
> countries' affairs?

We sadly cannot invade everyone, everywhere.  ;  )  And as for the U.S.
being invaded to stop us from invading others, well..., as
Euro-Sino-Australian military power grows, you may just have to
seriously consider it...  But then, I don't see Europeans or Australians
having the resolve to do such a thing (oh, and were also allies...).

An extremely disturbing scenario would be where a Bush/Nixon type
administration results in the president using executive orders to make
himself a de facto dictator ("until the emergency is over").  And then if
the military supports him he gets to stay in office indefinitely as he runs
over American civil rights and carries out a supercharged neocon-style

> > When the citizens of a nation are compelled by their
> tyrannical government
> > (that has very little or no respect for human civil liberties- think
> > Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan, Saddam's Iraq) to defend it from a foreign
> > power that wishes to liberate them through regime change, should this be
> > considered just the same as a nation like the United States being
> attacked
> > by Japan?  Stathis, you either just don't grok this subject, or you are
> > having fun baiting me.

> Did the US conduct a poll to see if the citizens of Iraq wanted to be
> invaded? There is a difference between hating your government and
> wanting your country to be taken over by a foreign power, your economy
> destroyed and millions of your countrymen killed. I have spoken to
> Iraqi refugees who say that life was actually pretty good under
> Saddam: freedom of religion, freedom for women, universal education
> and health care, no discrimination against Christians, and a booming
> economy with relatively equitable distribution of oil wealth. It
> wasn't all good because you could lose your job or be imprisoned if
> you criticised the regime, but things did not really get difficult
> until the the sanctions following the Kuwait invasion. This was from
> people who, in order to gain refugee status, had to argue that they
> feared persecution if the returned to Iraq, so they had no reason to
> present a rosy picture of the country they had left.

In some ways it sounds like life was very good in Iraq, but at what cost?
The people there did not have proper representation, instead they had a
murderous regime ("gotta just stay out of the government's way and not get
arrested/raped/murdered!") that kept the trains running on time.  Sadly, to
bring down a tyranny by war, there will be many lives lost and things will
not turn around overnight.

As an Australian, you live in a comfortable, but relatively minor first
world power.  You do not bear the huge burden of having to dominate the
world (I mean be the world's policeman!) for both our and *your* own good.

Be grateful.  As empire's go, The United States is the best one the world
has ever seen.  And I mean that in terms of our constitution, our
principles, the good we have done in the world, and a capacity/potential to
at least at times live up to our high ideals.  Russia and China don't even
come close...

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