Sunday, December 28, 2003[posted by jaed at 9:31 AM]
MS found in the dead-blogs list
While combing my dead-blogs bookmarks to see whether any of them have come back to life, I found this prediction from Memento Mori, last February:
There's a nice objectivist "fuck 'em, I've got mine" argument about the war which says: Iraqi civilians will suffer heavily if we don't go to war, and I don't give a rat's ass, because I don't want to make the effort. The argument is economically and politically childish about the likely results of the US backing down now, but at least the guy who makes it is pretty much covered if the war goes well. The war is going to cost money and American lives; he is guaranteed to be vindicated.It makes sense. It's logical. It certainly seemed reasonable at the time.
Not so the folks who are trying to make an argument that everyone will somehow be better off without the war than with any of the currently likely outcomes of doing so.[...]
But the odds are very, very high that any sort of argument like this is going to be totally impossible to make after the war. I know, y'all have said "I admit that Saddaam is a really bad guy -- you'll get no argument from me on that one." But honey, you aren't listening to yourself. He's a really, really bad guy. He's running one of the three nastiest regimes on the planet -- and this is a planet that has Kim Jong Il, the PRC, and any number of really fucked up African dictators on it. You're trying to cover your ass by saying, in that peevish tone, "Well I know he's nasty," but that ain't going to fly with the masses when the pictures of the torture chambers and the mass graves and the secret labs and all the government paperwork that documents totalitarian horror start flowing out. When the civilian casualties turn out to be lower than the number of people killed by dysentary in an average Iraqi week, and the kids are going back to school and eating chocolate bars out of the soldiers MRE's and the power goes back on to ordinary people's houses for the first time in ten years, everyone who staked their political credibility on the idea that allowing Saddaam Hussein to continue his atrocities would be much better than this is going to look like a flaming fool. And the next time you want to open your yap on foriegn policy, the rest of us are going to remember that you were so stupid, or so blindly partisan, that you advocated letting whatever horrors we uncover go on. Just like the folks claiming that Afghanistan was going to be Vietnam Lite ensured that the American public is largely turning a deaf ear to the wild casualty estimates the left is making now, y'all won't be able to walk away from the claims you're making the way you did in Serbia and Kosovo. Everyone's paying attention. All the marching made sure of that. And they're going to remember what you say. So you might want to ratchet it down a little if you don't want to end up with the same political relevance as the American Bund.
But it seems we do not live in a logical time.