Has the left lost their compass?

In today’s Salon.com piece: See no evil Edward W. Lempinen makes a case for a War with Iraq that those of us to the left of center can live with.

Whether George Bush or his father or Al Gore or Bill Clinton is president — in one basic sense, that is immaterial. Conditions in Iraq are what they are. With war now upon us, the deeper issue is about the relationship of American and European leftists to the people of Iraq, about our obligations to aid them in enormously difficult circumstances, and about the best means for doing so.

The article related how Saddam’s regime is responsible for the deaths of what could be as many as a million people and points to this Amnesty International report on the methods and scope of torture, as used by Saddam. I fear however that the case made on Salon today may be a little too welcoming to those opposed to the war. It seems like a nice “out”. In my case, perhaps I have let my disdain for the current Bush administration cloud my opinion on the matter – an as a result I have felt pretty conflicted. After all wouldn’t life be better without Saddam in charge of his own country? It certainly would almost have to be for the 25 million Iraqi people. Where does it end then? Does it ever end? Can the U.S. systematically replace oppression and intolerance with hope and freedom? At least that would be a movement I could get behind.


5 responses to this post.

  1. I watched the Tony Blair speach to the British Parlament that took place yesterday on C-SPAN2 (watched it via the web), and it really cleared up a lot of things in my mind about why we’re taking action. I learned more in the hour I listed to that debate than I did in the 6 months listening to Bush.
    I think it’s easy to harp on Bush because he’s such a bonehead, and couldn’t talk his way out of a paper bag. But after trying to listen to both sides objectively, I can definitely see where both are coming from (and the pros and cons of each). Up until that point I just didn’t understand the need for war. Not that I want to see it now either, but I can see how some people could think it’s a neccesary evil.

  2. I’m with Robin Cook on this one. If this war is really about enforcing UN resolutions, and preventing oppression, then why not be consistent, and demand that Israel immediately get out of the Occupied Territories? After all, that would go much further than this war toward defusing the threat of terrorism. Or, for that matter, why not give a rat’s ass about the other 70 countries on Human Rights Watch’s list (starting with the US)? And while we’re at it, owning up to the fact that we put Saddam where he is in the first place, gave him the weapons he has, and continue propping up men like him when and where it suits us, setting the stage for tomorrow’s crises?

  3. I am all for consistency – unfortunately I feel that the Bush administration isn’t being entirely up front with their motives. There seems to be an arrogance – a mindset that they need only tell us (its citizens) what little they feel we need to know. I would be far more comfortable with our administration decision to go to war had it been presented like it was in the Salon article.

  4. Posted by kelake on March 20, 2003 at 7:44 am

    First off, this war has nothing to do with bringing liberty to the Iraqi people — or does it? The reasoning coming from the American government has been so inconsistant and shallow that it’s hard to know where they stand. I thought that it was to enforce UN sanctions but since when did the American government care about the UN? The real reasoning behind the invasion eludes me.
    One thing I have come to understand is that most people do not thoroughly understand the concept of war. No matter what intentions people have towards this action, we sitting in our comfortable homes have no idea the horror that will be unleased on the ordinary Iraqi civilian. Unleasing this kind of power on a nations people should not be treated with such irreverance as I see all over the media and in online communities. I mean my God these are real people who are going to be terrorized and die. Real people.
    There may be times when sacrifces to our humanity like this may be warranted but this isn’t one of them.

  5. Posted by Lovekindness on June 5, 2003 at 6:50 pm

    I would like to thank Prim-Minn,Tony Blair the reprasentaves in the Parlament and all God fearing,peace loveing people of England for there support and help they gave our President George W Bush and the American people on the subject of the war.Meny people will down our leaders and the action they took.You still have just as meny people who think our leaders made the correct dission and did the right thing.So i would just like to say thanks again.

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