Dave Matthews, the music of choice for college freshman (who quickly outgrow him…) feels the need to opine about Iraq. With most celebrities, his comments display a breathtaking ignorance worth of a few whacks on the head from the Clue Bat. So, without further ado, let the Fisking begin!
I hope this letter finds you all well and that in these uncertain times you find moments to be joyful.
I hope you have something even remotely intelligent to say.
I want to speak my mind about this war with Iraq, or I will choke on my conscience.
Guess not. (Actual meaning of above statement: I want some free publicity.)
What is the motivation? Regime change? Shouldn’t that be up to the people of the region and the people of Iraq? The only real threat from Saddam Hussein is to his neighbors and none of them support a U.S. invasion. Is it to stabilize the Middle-East? Wouldn’t it only do the opposite by causing further death and suffering in a country that has had more than its share?
Yes, because all the Iraqi people have to do is vote Saddam Hussein out of office. Oh, wait, the election monitors have AK-47s and know where your family lives. So much for that vibrant Iraqi democracy.
Luckily, Saddam Hussein is no threat to us, other than being a madman in pursuit of a nuclear weapon. It’s not like he could mail some anthrax to Washington D.C. or anything. And he’d certainly never even think of invading any of his neighbors, nah, he’d never do anything like that!
Is it to weaken Al Qaeda? Saddam Hussein is a genocidal maniac but he is not Al Qaeda. He is certainly more visible though. Is he our target because he is easier to identify than the illusive terrorist network? Surely it is more likely that an attack on Iraq would only strengthen Al Qaeda by feeding Anti-American sentiment. Putting out the fire with gasoline, so to speak. It is certainly not to liberate the people of Iraq who suffer under Hussein’s rule, unless we call killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis liberation.
Sure, it’s not like Saddam Hussein doesn’t fund terrorism from Hamas and Hezbollah. But then again, Dave Matthew’s years of foreign policy experience reminds us that the only terrorist group that possibly could threaten the US or her allies is al-Qaeda.
"Surely it is more likely that an attack on (Afghanistan/Iraq) would only strengthen Al Qaeda by feeding Anti-American sentiment. Putting out the fire with gasoline, so to speak. It is certainly not to liberate the people of (Afghanistan/Iraq) who suffer under (Mullah Omar’s/Hussein’s) rule, unless we call killing hundreds of thousands of (Afghanis/Iraqis) liberation."
Hmmm… where have I heard those arguments before? Remember how invading Afghanistan would lead to thousands of dead Afghanis and a wave of terrorism that would make September 11 look like a cakewalk? Instead, we quickly saw all the pro-bin Laden protests in Pakistan dwindle and a grateful Afghani people welcome the Americans as liberators.
Oh, it never happened. It was a bullshit argument than, and it hasn’t gotten any pretty or any more accurate since. Then again, to people like Dave Matthews, all those funny brown-skinned people like to live in totalitarian hellholes and hate the idea of having things like personal freedom and enough food to feed their families. Why, if we liberate these people they’ll hate us just like the Japanese did after World War II!
Saddam Hussein is a barbaric murderous dictator. I wish the world were free of him. But the answer is not to bomb this great culture of Iraq out of existence to stop him. Why must the children of Iraq die by the thousands to stop a tyrant? It is not justice. And if we kill him what will we achieve? We will have taken the most unpopular leader in the Middle East and turned him into the greatest martyr radical Islam has ever had. The U.N. weapons inspectors must be allowed to do their job thoroughly and any military action should be internationally agreed upon. We must not allow our government to turn us into a rogue nation.
Saddam Hussein?! Barbaric?! Murderous?! Really?! You’re shittin’ me, right?!
Oh yeah, and by necessity we’d have to "bomb Iraq out of existence" in order to remove him. We couldn’t just remove his military capability using precision weapons. Nope, we’d have to wipe every single Iraqi off the face of the planet. It’s not like by removing Saddam Hussein we could actually lift the sanctions and see to it that the Iraqi people don’t starve to death. Just look at all the millions of dead Afghans who died in that "silent genocide" last year. At least that’s what Noam Chomsky says, and he’s a smart guy, right?
And we certainly wouldn’t want to create any more martyrs for radical Islam. Much better to have live dictators who can continue to kill their people and develop ever more powerful weapons of mass destruction. Instead, we should let that Hans Mueslix guy continue to poke around the country just so we don’t piss off the French. Because man, those French really matter in today’s world, and we sure wouldn’t want to act all unicellular, dude.
I fear that our true motivation is about oil and our own flailing economy; about the failure to destroy Al Qaeda and about revenge. It is criminal to put our servicemen and women in harm’s way and to put the lives of so many civilians on the line for the misguided frustrations of the Bush administration.
Yes, the only motivations for Iraq is so that Bush can look good and make people ignore the economy. (Never mind the fact that the economy would likely do better if we backed off Iraq.) It’s all about oil, man. There just aren’t any other arguments for why invading Iraq is such a good idea.
Bottom line: this war is wrong and this war is un-American.
Bottom line: I’m ignorant, but I want to sound socially conscious and my record label PR dude said that going against Iraq would be a totally brave thing to do.
ADDENDUM: It looks like this post has gotten the attention of a number of DMB fans. I’ll admit that Mr. Matthews may be making this stand based strictly on matters of his own conscience rather than a desire for publicity. However, that does not mean that his arguments are accurate or sound. Mr. Matthews is still arguing points that are based on a fundamentally flawed set of assumptions. For those who are interested in what the real case for invading Iraq is all about, I strongly urge reading Kenneth Pollack’s book on the subject. (The Amazon link is above.)