clinton runs for president of ...,
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Mr. Big Bad, spokesperson for...,
the hitch in my pants:
continues battling valiantly against no liberal leftist pseudo-radical ABBer in particular, leaving to our imaginations which liberal leftist pseudo-radical ABBers would take Muqtada al-Sadr over Bush, but apparently Hitchens talks to them "quite often". He goes on then about "our embattled brothers and sisters in Afghanistan and Iraq" who recieved "zero support" from the anti-war movement. This is at least partly true - it would at least describe those who wanted to persist with the existing status quo without reforming the sanctions regime, but most of those people supported the war until the last minute.
The anti-sanctions movement was the heart of the anti-war movement, at least at first in the US, and probably remained so in Europe. I think they were on the right side of this conflict, still are, and that they were making the most progress on behalf our embattled brothers and sisters in Iraq prior to 9/11: for instance Powell was talking about the necessary reforms the Spring prior, due to pressure from the public and allies: "we are going to work with the United Nations and our Arab friends to revise the sanctions policy, so that it is directed exclusively at preventing Iraq from a military buildup and developing weapons of mass destruction, and to do it in a way that does not hurt the people of Iraq, but just the regime in Baghdad".
I found this quote - which counter to the context Powell places it in is really an admission that the sanctions regime was designed in a way to hurt the Iraqi people and not the regime in Baghdad - quoted by Will Hawkins, who attempts to attack it on false grounds that we don't really need to argue about any longer. We know Saddam wasn't continuing "to pursue his WMD program in the same wily fashion" because he had no WMD programs to pursue. The inspections would have, really in fact did, reveal that, and would have continued to prevent any further development.
Powell's admission here is simply an undeniable factoid about the design of the sanctions regime: "conditions
are favorable for communicable disease outbreaks, particularly in major urban areas affected by coalition bombing, "FULL DEGRADATION OF
THE WATER TREATMENT SYSTEM PROBABLY WILL TAKE AT LEAST ANOTHER 6 MONTHS". Meanwhile Saddam's black market exports of Iraqi oil to Turkey/Jordan/Syria were all tolerated, without action on our part. Little was altered or reformed through the decade with the exception of the creation of the oil for food program in 1995, and food doesn't repair the sewer system.
Do you still have Saddam in power? Sure, he's still mayor of Baghdad. Repairing the economic destruction while containing him militarily would have empowered Iraqis to destroy him themselves. If not we certainly have demonstrated that we could only make matters worse by taking the project upon ourselves.
But people who think that way don't register on the radar, least of all in Hitchens' psycho ranting about Saddam-loving leftist liberal psuedo-radical ABBers. Everybody is too busy rewriting this false dichotomy into history and inventing straw men to attack (who opposed the Afghanistan invasion who doesn't continue to oppose handing the country over to drug trafficking warlords? How could these same people not admire how quickly US forces were able to win air superiority in that war? Stuff made of legends, really), and the rest of Hitchen's straw men are soaking wet.
Couple idiotic things:
"which corporation, aside from Halliburton, should after all have got the contract to reconstruct Iraq's oil industry":
The same companies your ilk accused the French and Germans and Russians of cowtowing to in their opposition to the war, the ones that "made war necessary" because they were rebuilding Iraq's oil industry, evidence your ilk used that sanctions were "falling apart" and that war was therefore necessary, even though the oil revenue was sent to New York, and that which went to Saddam via the "black market" was implicitly condoned.
"Zarqawi's existence is a product of jihadism plus Saddamism"
Who knows what this means. A Jordanian terrorist, at odds with Al Qaeda prior to the war and now resolved of its differences and self-describing as Al Qaeda, organized with Islamist Kurds sequestered in an enclave in Northern Iraq outside Saddam's control which the Pentagon neglected to wipe out because Bush preferred to invade and throw the country into such chaos that they now roam about between insurgent-controlled Sunni towns with relative impunity. Clearly the product of Saddamism.