I understand where you are coming from, Nightowl. The Kurds and other Iraqis wasn't the reason Bliar gave to Britain for our involvement - instead, he told us that Saddam had WMD which could be deployed against UK assets within 45 minutes. It was a lie, and many people have a problem with that. If humanity was at the bottom of it all, why not just say so? It's hardly as if the US and UK weren't aware of the problems suffered by the Kurds and Iraqis - in 1991 we had the opportunity to help them, but let them down, and Saddam's revenge upon them was merciless. Was anything done about it even then? No. Was it about ridding the world of a dangerous and repressive regime? Possibly, but there are plenty of regimes around the world that continue to repress their people with impunity. We are even friends with some of them - Saudi Arabia, for example. The 'you had an empire so why are you criticising us now' argument is one that many Americans use when Brits are critical. Countries that had empires in the past have generally learnt the lessons; this may be why they are so cautious of expeditionary adventures now. You say that 'we as a country have never invaded and occupied a country and called its borders home.' - the Native Americans might disagree. I do not doubt that the US learned from the past too, and did not hesitate to criticise the Serbs when they killed ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and deprived them of their land. Whatever the rights and wrongs, however, the lack of an exit strategy and failure to properly appreciate local culture has led to the Iraq adventure becoming a mess by any standard - unless you are a shareholder in Halliburton. Even after the introduction of democracy, I dare say that in 20 years time the tribal nature of Arab culture will lead to Iraq being dominated by one side or the other. I don't think anyone is foolish enough to believe that America turns its head to the world's problems in anything other than a (entirely sensible) selective and self-interested way - otherwise it would have signed up to the Kyoto agreement, for example - so it would be unreasonable to expect other countries not to be critical of policy occassionally. Don't get me wrong, my problem is with Bliar, not the US.
post #16 of 21
2/20/05 at 4:49am