October 24, 2004

Instructions to copy desk inadverently not removed before publication? Or frustrated antiwar typesetter making a statement?

The web version of the New York Times article on the ghastly execution of 50 Iraqis concludes with the words, "END IT."


Posted by Daniel Radosh


Funny, I never heard comments like that when the NYT was reporting on the "ghastly execution" of thousands of Iraqis under Saddam. I mean, I notice that those who express outrage against the war-- especially in response to stories of bloodshed-- were for all intents and purposes, utterly silent about getting rid of Saddam when he was the one perpetrating atrocities against the Iraqis. For decades.

It's funny because it's... um, not true. I haven't had this blog "for decades" (decades when the US government was more or less complicit in Saddam's atrocities and didn't much want to hear protests about him), but since I have, I've been pretty clear that my opposition to the war in no way trumped my opposition to Saddam's regime. I'll concede that posting on a blog does little to accomplish purposes, but my intents couldn't have been more clear. Among my utterly silent calls for getting rid of Saddam:





(When I said "I never heard comments like this" I meant in the NYT and places like that--not on your blog, sorry, I wasn't clear about that.) I'm not at all surprised that you posted things unequivocally against Saddam. but this:

"it would surely make an impression on Saddam Hussein if even a fraction of the people who marched on Feb. 15 showed up outside the Iraqi embassy on March 8, the following Saturday."

is kind of my point... where were the protests? There's no question that the vast majority of people just couldn't be bothered to be outraged against Saddam as lustily and often as they are today about the war. Where were the marches? the yard signs? the bumper stickers? I know people who complain every time I talk to them about Bush and the war--and I'm not saying there aren't plenty of good reasons to complain. But I just can't take their passion seriously when they don't seem to care or even know about what Saddam did, or what other atrocities have happened and happen under the UN's watch.

And I TOTALLY agree with you that for those decades the US was complicit in letting Saddam get away with his atrocities. But you know, it's not our reason for existence to police the world (and we do it too much for sure.) But it IS the UN's purpose for existence! and they don't do it! Iraq is the most perfect example of this.

lexine - So you are equating outrage over the actions of foreign bodies with outrage over the actions of one's own country? Because we do not want our own country, for which we are responsible, to commit atrocities, we ought also to rise up against atrocities wherever they are committed, all over the world? There seems to be a central flaw in your logic.

"we ought also to rise up against atrocities wherever they are committed, all over the world?" You make a good point; I can understand that people do take a more active interest in the actions of their own country than in others.

My answer to your question is: Yes! We most definitely "ought to rise up against atrocities wherever they are committed"...and so should the UN! And every other country on the planet! It's just that, the UN doesn't really ever do it, see, and neither does anyone else. So we do it, and the UN, and everyone else is all outraged.

As a result, I can't help but feel that virulent anti-war sentiment stems more from disapproval/distaste of American power than for any regard or sympathy for the Iraqi people.

If you consider the war in Iraq even close to an "atrocity" on the level with Somalia, Rwanda, Bosnia, the Sudan, East Timor, Kosovo, Cambodia or even, say, the actions of Saddam... simply because it's your country...then I'd say you have a central flaw in logic too.

Personally I feel that attacking another country without provocation is an atrocity. Is it on the level with Somalia? No, it's not really comparable. Nor is it relevant.

"nor is it relevant"... well, see, that's what I meant by flaw in logic.

I would say that qualifying the war as "attacking another country without provocation" (on the heels of 17 UN resolutions) a flaw in logic too. Again, where was the outrage when Saddam flauted these resolutions again and again? Sorry, I know I sound like a broken record...

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