Spot! If we leave Iraq, we'll create a humanitarian crisis!
Who told you that, grasshopper?
Well, Aaron Landry, for one:
It has been disturbing to me that Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer has been labeled and touted by the “peace community” as the “peace candidate” even though his plan to me is extremely dangerous and unnerving. Al Franken’s position on heading towards peace in the Middle East is rooted in getting our troops home as fast as possible without making Iraq worse than it is. He has stated repeatedly that he’d work with experts, the military and intelligence to properly get our armed forces home as soon and effectively as possible while working for stability in the region. Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer’s position on foreign policy boils down to a six month immediate timetable on withdrawing from Iraq regardless of the stability of the Middle East.
This position is frightening. You cannot be a “peace candidate” if your Iraq exit strategy is to disregard what our troops are doing to prevent a civil war, to almost intentionally create the largest power vacuum in the Middle East and then give $25 billion handouts to factions that say they’ll help reconstruct the country on good will. I’m a staunch anti-war liberal and this doesn’t fly with me but more importantly it certainly won’t fly with most voters in Minnesota.
And Aaron even uses the video of Jack's appearance at DL that you posted!
Well, grasshopper, Spot is sorry that Aaron alarmed you. You know, of course, that we created the situation that is the source of all of Aaron's hand wringing.
We did? How?
By invading Iraq in the first place.
Why did we do that?
That's a great question, grasshopper. The Administration said it was because Iraq possessed weppenza mass derstruction. But that was pretty obviously a ruse, and that became even more evident when George Bush told the teams of weapons inspectors to leave because he wanted to start the bombing.
As of October of last year, the Congressional Research Service estimated 4.2 million refugees and internally-displaced persons in Iraq. And as of October 2006, the British Medical Journal Lancet estimated 600,000 Iraqi deaths attributable to the war. A follow up study, that Spot cannot find right now, places that figure over a million.
Iraq's population estimates vary, but the CIA thinks it is about 27,000,000. The death and displaced numbers are huge and are even more so when you consider the relatively modest population of the place to begin with. And we haven't even talked about the injured or detained yet.
Wow, Spot, that's a huge mess! If we didn't do it because of weapons of mass destruction, why did we do it?
A lot of people, Spot, er, included, think it was because of the influence of a cabal known as the neo-cons. Jack talks about them in the video above. Now, these guys thought that if we "changed regimes in Iraq," which makes it sound like changing a diaper rather than toppling a government, which it is, that the Iraqis would become Jeffersonian democrats. They would embrace an economic system even more cut-throat capitalistic than our own, and the shining example of the New Iraq would be a beacon to other countries in the Middle East which would follow suit, and everyone would live happily ever after.
Perhaps especially the Israelis, who the Arabs and other Muslim ethnic groups in the Middle East would embrace as brother democrats.
That sounds like a fairy tale, Spot.
Spot would use the term utopian dream, but yes, grasshopper, you're right. And the utopian dream has gone so badly that guys like Al Franken, and Spot suspects Aaron Landry, too, who bought the utopian dream are frantic to dig their way out of it.
We were lied to! they say. Undoubtedly lies were told, but some people didn't buy the lies, including the person whose name Al Franken invokes so often, Paul Wellstone. Wellstone took some council from Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer in making up his mind to oppose the war, by the way. Mark Dayton didn't buy the bull, either.
But now if we leave, all hell will break loose! they say. As the statistics above show, we've done an admirable job of creating hell in Iraq as it is. Now, we're paying and arming the Sunnis to stop shooting at us, and we supporting the largely Shi'ite national army, too. We're probably just making an eventual civil war bigger. Our presence is not helping displaced Iraqis go home. Much better to take some of the twelve billion dollars a month we spend on the occupation and channel it for reconstruction and resettlement through the UN, NGOs, and neighboring countries.
[after a pause] You're kind of anti-Semitic, aren't you Spot?
No, grasshopper, I'm not. What makes you say that?
Well, if the fairy tale, or the utopian dream as you call it, was about protecting Israel, isn't our presence in Iraq at least partly about protecting Israel from the Muslim hordes? After all, there are groups, and people like that I'm a Dinner Jacket guy who want to destroy Israel. That's what Aaron is talking about when he mentions "stability of the Middle East." *
On the other hand, grasshopper, Israel has not said it wants to destroy the Palestinians, but they're actually doing a pretty good job of it. Building settlements, cutting down Arab olive trees, balkanizing the ever diminishing Palestinian land in the West Bank, and turning Gaza into a macabre Warsaw ghetto theme park.
In Palestine, the formerly oppressed Jews of Europe have become the oppressors, of the Palestinians. That's not a popular thing to say in some quarters, but it is true. Spot talked about it as length in Dumb ol' Jimmy Carter.
And until we have an intervention with out friends the Israelis, to get them out of the West Bank, among other things, there isn't going to be peace between Israel and Palestine. Even Tom Friedman seems to understand that.
Since Israel is seen as the U.S. proxy in the Middle East, until that peace comes, we cannot be at peace ourselves.
*Update: This is an example of "dog-whistle politics." Spotty knows from dog whistles.