Saturday, August 06, 2005

Making good


My offline pledger asked me for a favor. He wants me to debunk "libertarian" arguments in favor of the war on Iraq promulgated by "esr" at the Armed and Dangerous blog. He didn't require me to do it during the Blogathon, but I decided it would be neat to see if I could keep my political chops under stress ... as in 14 hours into this thing. So, let's get started (it may take several posts).

The first article in question is here, and deals with arguments about whether or not President George W. Bush was truthful in the runup to the invasion. Quotes from "esr" are in italics, my responses in plain text.

I long ago concluded that I would not care if he had lied.

Okay, fine. So what "esr" is saying here is that he doesn't really care whether the information upon which our government operates (and tells the people it's operating upon) is accurate or not. I don't know about you, but I'm leery of government even when I know what it's up to. If we encourage a culture of untruth, the results won't be (and haven't been) pretty.

ESR then quotes another blog, Belgravia Dispatch, to explain why he doesn't care:

Imagine you are the President of the United States in 2002. You know that the country with the world’s fourth-largest army ...

Why would I want to imagine something that doesn't accord with the facts? Iraq had the world's fourth largest army ... in 1990. Then the US destroyed the vast majority of his tanks. And after he flew most of his Air Farce to Iran for safekeeping, they kept it. And then the US decimated the ranks of his infantry. And then the US dismantled his chemical and biological weapons, first in the field at war and then through UNSCOM afterward.

... is sitting within theater-missile range of every oilfield in the Mideast ...

Saddam still had some missiles, but not as many, or as good, as he did in the 1991 war. How many oilfields was he able to destroy with missiles in the 1991 war? I'll wait while "esr" looks it up. Okay, done waiting. The answer is "zero." The only oil fields he destroyed (if he did -- at least one US Army Special Forces NCO has since stepped forward to say that we did it), he destroyed from the ground by affixing explosives charges to them (I got close enough to some of the burning wells to get first-degree burns, btw).

I see I'm out of time, so I'll continue this on the next post.

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