Thursday, April 20, 2006

Last Train from Euston

These are my last comments on the Euston Manifesto. On Normblog (see Links, but note Norm does not allow comment on his blog) it is stated that the Manifesto is not a pro-war document. The Manifesto says that the signatories, “took different views on the military intervention in Iraq, both for and against”. However, looking though the list of signatories, the ones I recognize are all well known for their pro-war position. It would be interesting to know which ones were anti-war (none of the “leading lights” seems to have been). Secondly, the document certainly seems to support the continuing occupation of Iraq. The argument is something like this: there were “compelling reasons” for and against the “intervention” and we may have disagreed over this; but here we are now, and there is no point “picking over the rubble” of these arguments; from where we are now, we must support the occupying forces. I think it is reasonable to describe this as a pro-war standpoint. The occupation is really an ongoing war and the signatories support this war. Those – whoever they are - who opposed the intervention/invasion in 2003 but who now support the occupation are effectively saying: “we were against the war, but now we are for it”. But as Iraq descends into mayhem it is increasingly obvious that invasion and occupation is a poor strategy for promoting democracy. There will be no good end to this hubristic adventure, but ending the occupation is the least worse option.


Blogger skipper said...

Good post Politiaholic and the one before this too. I've been struck by the leftie support for the Iraq disaster too. Norm is something of a guru for them and is a persuasive maker of the case. Nick Cohen and David Aaronovitch are fellow enthusiasts. But I agree that what is happening in Iraq and the apalling incompetence of the US occupation- I daresay ours is not that much better- makes any successful transplant of democracy virtually impossible. I wonder how long it took supporters of the Vietnam War to reach this same conclusion? Eventually they had to and, like Macnamara, eat their words in their dotage.
Yes, it was worth a try and Saddam had to be stopped but it's gone wrong and is getting worse and has to be remedied somehow. Whether this is by withdrawing or staying until withdrawal is possible is the key question- not so different from our military position in Ulster really is it? And we chose to stay there. But this is much more dangerous. Yet withdrawing might precipitate an even worse scenario of Middle-eastwide war threatening to spread even further. Oh what a dreadful mess George and Tony have caused...They should have listened to their publics and with-held the invasion.

8:29 pm  

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