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    I sat down and started reading..., 2003-03-17 00:00:00 | Main | Since I'm stuck mulling over ..., 2003-03-19 00:00:00

    From my armchair this is the reason Raimondo's concerns about direct action have some merit. Something like it, a relatively quiet invasion, isn't an impossibility, and a quick military defeat for Saddam is almost assured regardless. If the invasion goes as such the soft dissent in the anti-war movement will break up, and will be busy with the "hem and haw", as Hogan says, and the occasional establishment figures that defended the anti-war movement will seek to discredit those who are more militant in their opposition. Ie. in the off chance it goes well the direct actions will be drawn up to make those who remain opposed look like chumps - not by any logical argument but by pure association. Thusly the logical fallacy of discrediting anti-war voices because some choose to engage in illegal resistance is the meritous argument, as the political reality dictates that Bill O'Reilly will have a field day launching such salvos at the disembodied figment of an anti-war "movement". The fact is that an aquiessent, conformist anti-war movement will no doubt be treated exactly the same way (I should say, it already has been), and if the war goes badly those carrying out civil disobedience to prevent the war will, really, be on the right side of the argument - the people engaging in direct action are rolling in the same crap game as the people engaging in the forthcoming war.

    The other side of this is that after the war the hard left will in all likelihood get back to global justice organizing, which is, for some, a significant reason they oppose this war - because it will lead to one of those "co-prosperity" trade agreements that ignore, if not contribute to, the plight of the poor and disenfranchized everywhere they're established. It's hard to imagine how one could make things in the middle east any worse than they already are, but the international trade organizations have surprised us before.

    Nobody is, at present, talking about carrying out actions that will incur draconian police state measures anymore draconian than what is already in common practice - sit-ins and similiar light disruptions are par for the course, and in the past haven't generated much antipathy from those not already antipathic, except for folks who think repeatedly marching in dwindling but peaceful numbers is the way to put an issue on the table.

    In either case atrocity committed by Saddam's forces will be the fault of the US, as will any use of chemical or biological attacks, since they wouldn't have occurred without the threat to Saddam's regime. The future dependency of Iraq on the US and independent policy of the new regime that coincidentally falls in line with US interests will provide the charade of "democracy" that so encourages liberal hawks who consider Panama and Grenada to have been "successes". Anyone already on the fence about supporting a benevolent American hegemony will likely be swayed by the PR blitz that follows, and the crimes and miscreance and inactions will stack up slowly and quietly as they did after the first Gulf War, and as they are now stacking up in Afghanistan - at least until the next fiasco in the same region brings them out in the daylight for a viewing by the public.

    The only way such a scenario is likely is if the administration a) gets lucky and b) feels, due to anti-war pressures here and abroad, that it has to conduct itself in such a non-bombastic fashion as to discredit opposition. They need to prove the case, and if this leads to more intervention in the future, anti-war forces need to be around to keep making interventionists prove the case. The remoteness of the possibility of such a 'bloodless' invasion is one reason such widespread anti-war sentiment exists in the first place, making that possibility less remote by pressuring governments away from openly engaging in criminal military action is the other - and the primary reasons concern long-term deleterious effects that won't become apparent until long after US soldiers are welcomed into Southern Iraq: increased terrorist threats, greater worldwide disregard for international law, increased weapons proliferation because nukes become the only clear deterrent to US hegemony - which abroad is now seen as virulent and dangerous, greater regional instability when the US turns it's attention elsewhere if Iraqi liberation is inauthentic, the difficulties of political stability in Iraq to begin with, Turkish oppression of the Kurds, and all the other, numerous concerns that have been raised in the past months. There's a lot riding on the crapshoot, and with the war an inevitability the anti-war movement, to matter, has to focus on winning the peace - Raimondo, in that regard, is probably right to say direct actions still focusing on preventing a clearly inevitable war aren't contributing to a focus on the aftermath - nevertheless they are contributing to a focus on the issues that matter.

    Even in such a 'best-case' scenario thousands of civillian casualties would be a likely possibility, but unless direct hits reach five figures it's unlikely an American public will be overly concerned, if they even hear about it. Short of no war at all, one involving minimal suffering is what everybody is hoping for. One expects, likewise, everybody to take credit for its having gone well, if it actually does. I don't expect it to, but I'm sure the Amerian press will give bragging rights to the Great Leader regardless.

    Yee haw.


:: posted by buermann @ 2003-03-18 00:00:00 CST | link





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