Says Mr. Reynolds: “This is also why I prefer a Mussolini-style ending in which Saddam is lynched by his own people to exile, or even a trial. I think that would provide a valuable lesson.”
Yes, that’s what I always think about lynchings. They’ll provide a valuable lesson. Precisely. People get uppity, you know?
But you know, I think Den Beste is right when he says the world political order is about to change. He’s wrong about a bunch of other things; he clearly doesn’t understand the concept that international legitimacy may be important for any other reason than the immediately practical. I’ve written before about the sheer folly of assuming that the United States will always be in the privileged power position we currently enjoy, and I’ve discussed why enlightened self-interest leads us to the conclusion that we must not encourage a world in preemptively securing one’s own position by invading other countries is wise. Ah well.
He’s still right. Germany’s a bigger US trade partner than England. Germany and France together are a bigger trade partner than China. To say, as Den Beste does, that the US needs nobody by its side other than the UK and Australia (poor Canadians; they’ve been altogether left out) is blind arrogance.
It saddens me that so many have lost track of the meaning of the word “ally.” On a mailing list I’m on, someone recently said “why are they allies if they aren’t supporting us?” Apparently he confused the word “ally” with the word “subordinate.” It’s easier to assume that Europe has gone mad than it is to consider why they’re objecting. And you know, thinking about why they’re objecting doesn’t even mean you have to agree with them. It just means it might be useful to think about it, in case there’s something you can do about it. But no; easier to write them off as insane.
It’s not the defeat of Saddam that bugs people. It’s the US occupation of Iraq, and the use of Iraq as a base to force regime change throughout the region.
Anyway. Yes, the world is going to change, and here’s one important way it’s changing:
For the first time, the United States will invade another country not because that country attacked it, or because it attacked one of our allies, but because we think it might pose a threat in the future.
If you don’t think that’s a big deal, even if you think the attack is a good idea, you’re nuts. And your children will have no right to complain if, in a hundred years, Brazil invades the United States “because we just don’t know what they might do with those old nukes.” That’s the precedent we’re about to set.