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Thursday, April 03, 2003

War-What It Is Good For-It’s interesting that as the US troops close in on Baghdad, old R&B singer Edwin Starr died of a heart attack. This conflict puts the lie to his big ditty War. What is it good for? Getting rid of tyrants, sing it again. War. UMMH. What is it good for? Getting rid of despots, yeah, yeah, yeah. If you have one corrupt regime fighting another, which seemed to be the case to many in Vietnam when Starr’s song went up the charts in 1970, war’s not good for much. I remember the brief China-Vietnam war of 1978, where Howard Baker emoted that he didn’t have a dog in that fight; such wars only add to the bottom lines of the arms dealers and the undertaking industry. Or the florists. My mom works at a flower shop, and funeral work is a big chunk of their business. A big page of obits in the Midland Daily Mistake News will get the Digger O’Dell “Business is look-ing up” shtick going from me. However, sometimes you have good and bad guys and that it’s helpful to be able to resort to violence if that is the only way to improve things. If you’ve got someone holding people captive, you send in a SWAT team. If you’ve got someone holding a people captive, you send in an army. War only makes sense if the good done by going to war overwhelms the damage done by it. So far, the damage to non-military buildings seems to be minimal, as this piece from Den Beste points out; either that or we’ve gotten one heck of a snow job out of Doha. Yusef Sixpack seems to like having Saddam out of his hair. The next step will be rebuilding Iraq. The UN should be kept as far away from running Iraq as possible. A UN presence will make the country less free, less open to Christianity and more statist. I don’t think that democracy will create another Iran; Iraq seems a bit less devout in their Islam than some other places. The US might not build any churches (other than a chapel or two on any bases we have) but we should see the growth of the small Iraqi Christian community as well as new, less traditional churches planted by outside missionaries. A free Iraqi will be free to go to mosque and free not to. Since the Baathists are secular socialists, the transition to a secular government will be easier. Will there be jihadists in a new Iraq? Probably. There are jihadists in the US and we have to keep a discreet lid on them. I think that Iraq is capable of becoming a democracy in fairly short order, giving the rest of the Arab world an alternative to the sheiks and strongmen that they’re used to.

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