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Thursday, February 06, 2003

Chirac-"We Refuse To Think..."-Oops, I should add "... that that war is inevitable." Bush went beyond saber-rattling and pulled it out and sounded the charge today-"The game is over. The danger Saddam Hussein poses reaches across the world[.]" I can think of seven reason why someone would oppose this upcoming action. How many fit the "Euroweenies?"
(1) A misplaced trust in diplomacy
The Europeans seem to have this disease; the Vatican is susceptible to it as well. This ties in with #6 below, optimism about human nature; people can be negotiated with if only we knew which carrots to bring out. I don't see any carrots that will get Saddam off of his WMD programs. Well, not quite; getting him declared Emperor Saddam I of the Milky Way, Autocrat of the Solar System, Dictator of All Earth might do it, but the US would veto the UN resolution and be declared unilateralist for doing so.
(2) Moral equivalence
Many people don't see the Iraqi government as evil, or if they do, they see their own governments as just as bad and unworthy of enforcing their will. Such people have their minds in an alternative universe than the one I'm living in. Even if the US isn't a worker's paradise, we're not gassing our own people and Dubya didn't execute Jim Jeffords for leaving the GOP.
(3) An aversion to war
The French can't plead this; they're willing to bang heads in the Ivory Coast. Some people could plead this; the German government, with its Green coalition partners and an one-time anti-war activist as Chancellor, might fit.
(4) Economic connections to Iraq
If you said "Yes, that's the French," stay on the line so our secretary can get your address for your prize. The Russians are on a similar vibe as well.
(5) Anti-Americanism
Hold your cards, we have another winner for the French. They don't like the Anglosphere and are content to disrupt it; the Germans and Russians can fit nicely here as well.
(6) Optimism of human nature
That might not fit the French, but there are quite a few people who assume that Saddam will play nice if treated properly-see #1 above. Many people don't get the concept of evil, that people aren't naturally good and that there are some monsters out there who do not respond to reason and can't be negotiated with.
(7) Underestimation of the risks of inaction
We're dealing with leader who has started two wars and has gassed his own people; to assume that he wouldn't use all available weapons to expand his power is flirting with disaster. Yes, there are risks of attacking now, but the risks get greater by the day as Iraq had more time to develop WMDs. If you look at these, you see most, if not all, of these coming into play with European (and their American soulmates) disinterest in prosecuting a war. There are enough biases against action that many of the foes won't concider the evidence at hand; they are essentially refusing to think. [Update 2-7 6:50AM-Breakfast Conversation Eileen-"But then, they cease to be." Me-"That's putting Descarte before the horse."]

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