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(839 previous messages)
- 09:01pm Mar 26, 2002 EST (#840
In the case of Iraq, as I understand it, they agreed , in
an armistance, to not have weapons of mass destruction. The Iraqis
have done a lot of fancy threatening, first and last. A pure
argument of "nation-state sovereignty" moves me only so much with
respect to Saddam - and I beleive the argument has limited appeal in
most of the world.
In the case of N. Korea, we are dealing with a mess, where an
ugly war was never ended. We're still at war with North Korea - and
that ought to be changed. But for now, if they're threatening us
and our allies with weapons of mass destruction, crazy as they are,
we have a right, not only to be concerned, but to act if that is
reasonable considering the whole situation.
My sense of reasonable scorekeeping matches Kristof's in A
merciful war http://www.nytimes.com/2002/02/01/opinion/01KRIS.html
. . . What's wanted is a mix of reasonable self interest, and a
reasonable concern for "the greatest good for the greatest number.
By that standard there is a lot that the US ought to be sorry
for -- and a lot it ought to repair.
But that's another question.
With respect to Saddam's Iraq, or Pol Pot's Cambodia, "the
sanctity of sovereignty" is one issue - but not the only one.
Personally, I wish Saddam would open his country up to inspectors
- UN inspectors - or Russians under very clear UN command - - who
would make sure that Saddam is not preparing or stockpiling
weapons of mass destruction. That would be a lot better than
military action against him. Kristof suggested another alternative
today in Try Suing Saddam http://www.nytimes.com/2002/03/26/opinion/26KRIS.html
- - - an alternative that might be well used to discipline the
United States, on some other issues.
As for North Korea, diplomacy is making some limited progress.
How wonderful it would be if the N. Korea agreed to make peace with
the South, and as part of the agreement the US withdrew its troops.
Withdrew the troops, and took the money it now spends stationing
troops there, and spent it on the peace. Spent that money on a mix
of aid and inspections. Inspections insuring that N. Korea did
not threaten us or our neighbors, with the balance, if any, spent on
aid that met the human needs of that ravanged and unfortunate
country. Russian or Chinese inspectors, supervised by the UN, might
do the inspecting. The mix of aid to inspections might be determined
by treaty - in a way that insured the safety of all concerned, and
made everybody better off, for no more money than the US is spending
Maybe that's pie in the sky - -but I'm not sure why, just now.
Almarst , we don't have to agree on all
fundamentals to agree on enough for the world to be a whole lot
better than it is.
It seems to me that we have to learn how to make peace better
than we have in the past. You're right that nobody should start
wars. But fights start. It seems to me that we need to control
the damage, and keep fights from happening whenever we can.
Almarst , we don't agree on everything, but I bet we agree
that there's plenty of room for improvement.
What would you think about peacekeeping troops in the Middle East
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