Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Brad DeLong got it really wrong on Iraq:

June 18, 2002

A Declaration of the Rights of Thugs: The American Left Loses Its Way Even More Completely
This is weird. Not, "we believe that all people everywhere have the right to free speech." Not, "we believe that all people everywhere have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness." Not, "we believe that all nations have the right to a republican form of government." Not, "we believe that governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed."

Instead, we seem to have a hunting license for thugs: "we believe... peoples and nations have the right to determine their own destiny, free from military coercion by great powers." Does this mean that U.S. intervention in World War II was criminal? After all, we did use "military coercion" to keep the Asian and European peoples from "determin[ing] their own destiny."

Well, there is the small difference that the Axis powers attacked the United States during WWII, whereas Iraq did not, nor was there any indication that it was planning to attack us or our allies.

Now, Mr. DeLong's tone seems to have changed somewhat...

I was fairly pessimistic about our chances in Iraq. One of the big reasons I'm pessimistic is because of our lack of a victory strategy in Iraq. We seem to be making it up as we go along, and while no plan ever survives contact with the enemy, at least it's good to have a plan.

Did it occur to you, Brad, when you were busy bashing the left in the run-up to the Iraq war, that perhaps one of the reasons that it isn't a good idea to militarily impose a form of government considered just by one country upon another country is that it's nearly impossible to devise an effective plan by which to do so in and of itself, because:

1.) The recipients of the generosity of the conqueror (the conquerees) may actually not want foreigners to come in and impose a new government upon them.


2.) Lack of knowledge and appreciation by the conquerors of the history and culture of the conquerees will lead to serious miscommunications and misteps which will hamper the efforts.

I'm guessing no.


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