Monday, June 04, 2007

New Internationalists

[posted by Callimachus]

It's sad to have to pick on the responsible ones, but the rest of the anti-Iraq set never even bother to get specific about realistic scenarios for post-withdrawal U.S. policies.

When people who have advocated a retreat from Iraq give a glimpse of how they think the world will function after that happens, the results belie the notion that their philosophy somehow is based on a liberal ideal of a world order ruled by international law, or a renewed American respect for principles of diplomacy and multilateralism.

Rather, it's red in tooth and claw:

If there's a need to blow up some al-Qaeda installation in Anbar Province (frankly, I doubt that'll be the case, but this seems to be the main practical worry) that can be done by people who are stationed outside of Iraq and who leave Iraq really, really quickly once the blowing up is done.

Easy! Zip in, kill them all, zip out again. Can you imagine the howl about sovereignty violation if that had been a Bush policy? Can you imagine the U.N.'s reaction to this? It either presumes Iraq will be a non-state that anyone can barge into at will, to bust up whatever hornet's nest we take a dislike to, or else a presumptive U.S. right to do that anytime, anywhere, to anyone. Look out, Belgium!

It reminds me of the know-it-all's assured version of "the way it should have been done" in Iraq. Which now tends toward seeing as a dreadful mistake the gift of free elections and relatively unfettered democracy that resulted in religious parties dominating the government. When it envisions an alternative, it sees a Chalabi type installed for the long term, by the U.S., with a limited-powers elected Iraqi council from a selected list of parties. A long period of "tutoring" the Iraqis in how to run their own country.

The hay they would have made of that if Bush had proposed it! The snarky skewering about a new "imperialism" would have choked the Internet to its gills.

It reminds me of the Israeli dilemma in a world that condemns with equal vigor the targeted assassination of militant leaders and the wholesale disruption and inevitable civilian deaths of an invasion.