Is This CowBoy So Lonesome That Wars are His Therapeutic Distraction?

13 Oct
Foreign Policy. The Lonesome Cowboy. Sept-Oct 2008.

Foreign Policy. The Lonesome Cowboy. Sept-Oct 2008.

I seem to be outraged quite often by the state of politics, and political discussions as the Bush regime readies for change.

I read this article by David Frum in Foreign Policy last night – and yes, that familiar outrage started raising its ugly head again.

The article “Think Again: Bush’s Legacy” examines some highly criticized Bush policies that David Frum says are not entirely grounded, using data to support that the Bush Legacy is not as terrible as the liberals make it out to be. I don’t like to be on on either end of the spectrum, but I thoroughly disagree with Frum.

Unfortunately, I don’t have the experience or the time right now, to examine the selectiveness of his data, which I highly suspect it is. It is not uncommon to select suitable statistics to support an argument, which is why peer reviewed journals play such an important role in scientific arguments.

“It’s now likely that the war will stagger to an inconclusive ending. The insurgency will shrink but not disappear. The government will function but will be divided. The U.S. military presence will be reduced but not entirely withdrawn. And Iraq’s neighbors will be bruised but their geopolitical policies will stay intact. Yet, by overthrowing Saddam Hussein and replacing him with a non-aggressive, albeit weak, elected regime, the United States will have achieved a real improvement in the region. It will have come at a high cost in money and lives. But it will also falsify the worst predictions of the war’s opponents.”

I can’t help but thoroughly disagree with this statement:

First of all, given that the world is plagued by plenty of unnatural deaths – chockful of natural disasters, abominably high rates of hunger, disease and infant/maternal mortality in many poor nations – even one more death – Afghan, American, or Iraqi (and God forbid Iranian) in the guise of “Deliverance”, is a death too many.

Second, let me first clarify that I am not an unwavering anti-war “peacenik” – there are plenty of “Just” reasons to go to war, where we, the more affluent nations, need to respond, under various well meaning, but poorly executed UN doctrines – the latest being our “Responsibility to Protect“.

So how about we actually do justice to the time and resources and reasons for going to war. How about we take a more pro-active role in stopping the atrocities in Darfur, but that would undoubtedly irk the emerging power and the key manufacturer of our daily goods, and sustainer of our economy, China? How about stopping the use of child soldiers and bush wives, but what do we care about nations that are not rich in resources we wholly rely on, or those that have close ties with our allies? How about human rights violations in China, North Korea, but do we dare to mess around with those whose military and political might far exceed those of Iraq and Afghanistan combined? In the English language this is called “Bullying”.

bul·ly [bool-ee] plural -lies, verb, -lied, -ly·ing, adjective, interjection –noun

1. a blustering, quarrelsome, overbearing person who habitually badgers and intimidates smaller or weaker people.

2. Archaic. a man hired to do violence.

May be the next UN doctrine should be titled “The Responsibility to not Bully”

Third, for purely selfish reasons, did we need to divert triillions of US dollars, to a war, that was based on un unfounded reason, – the hunt for Osama Bin Laden, and weapons of mass destruction, when the economy at home has been steadily tanking since 2001, leading up to what some call a depression?

There are many more reasons on why I disagree with David Frum’s article in the FP – but this is enough, unless my readers have access to the full article.


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