TRIPE (was: Poem)

johnhall johnhall at
Sun Apr 20 18:42:22 PDT 2003

Not everything is black and white.

But some things are.

France took the side of our enemy.  They did everything possible to keep
Saddam in power.  Saddam was deeply grateful and the Iraqi people will
not be amused about that for a long time.  Nor will America.

"During the Security Council debate on Iraq, the French were candid
about their objective. The goal was never to disarm Iraq. Instead, "the
main and constant objective for France throughout the negotiations,"
according to its UN ambassador, was to "strengthen the role and
authority of the Security Council" (and, he might have added, of
France). France's interest lay in forcing the United States to back
down, thus appearing to capitulate in the face of French diplomacy."

Now, we can debate all the reasons France chose to side with our enemy.
Some of them are simply venial (TotalFinaElf).  Some are merely
traditional international forces (most of that Foreign Affairs article).
There are in fact many multifaceted deep issues involved which mean this
split between America and France isn't going to go away.  I'd be happy
to talk about them if you'd like.

France disagreeing with the US did not make them an enemy.  Disagreeing
is one thing.  Active opposition to a country when they have declared
the issue of paramount national interest to them is taking the role of
'enemy' not 'ally'.

France wants to live in a multi-polar world and they have nominated
themselves as America's opposition.  That makes them a self-declared
enemy state.  Worse, for them, their dicks aren't long enough for the
part.  That makes them foolish.

The practical consequence of all those who opposed our intervention was
to be pro-Saddam.  If we had listened to them, not only would he still
be there but he would be stronger than ever.  I'm well aware that these
people were not pro-Saddam because they liked the guy.  But that
distinction is simply not relevant.

I use the term 'pro-Saddam' because it is both accurate and descriptive.
It clarifies the distinctive choices they have made and the implications
of those choices.

Removing Saddam had real costs.  I gladly assume the moral burden of
supporting the actions which led to those costs from the deaths of our
servicemen, to Iraqi casualties, to the destruction (as opposed to
theft) of valuable antiquities.  

I use the term 'pro-Saddam' to remind those who opposed his removal in
the only way it could have been accomplished that their choice has moral
burdens, too.

I realize that diplomats and self styled sophisticates aren't supposed
to point out that the emperor has no clothes.  But I choose clarity and
accuracy over sophisticated obfuscation.

France took the side of our enemy.

> From: fork-bounces at [mailto:fork-bounces at] On Behalf
> Elias Sinderson

> johnhall wrote:
> >[...] France took the side of our enemy. [...]
> >
> John,
> You've been parroting inflamatory bits like this (pro-saddam, etc.)
> a while, and it really does the discussion (and your intellect) a
> disservice. Seeing the world in such black and white terms neglects to
> appreciate the mirad of influences and multidimensionality of the
> at hand. Case in point, simply because someone is opposed to current
> policy in the middle east doesn't mean that they are pro-saddam, or
> taking the side of our enemy, or that they don't support the efforts,
> and respect the lives of the troops deployed there. If you can't see
> this, then I encourage you to look at the issue a little deeper.
> in vogue it may be to rally around the flag like some nationalistic
> poster boy, doing so only serves to degrade the quality of discussion.
> respect the fact that you have oppinions, even if I don't agree with
> them. However, it would be nice if I felt like I was talkking to a
> thinking human being instead of some jingoistic lacky mouthpiece of
> cause du jour. Please don't take this as an attack on your beliefs;
> think of it as a friendly challenge for you to raise the methods of
> dialectic up a notch or two.
> Think, Learn, Grow,
> Elias

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