Help Or Hindrance?

It appears as though the US is looking to get more UN help in Iraq.

I’m of two minds on this. However, the most important thing is the success of the mission. If international troops under the UN umbrella can help buy time to keep things stable while Iraqi replacements are being trained, then so be it. The only thing that matters is stabilizing Iraq, and politics has to come second.

However, I’m also worried that international peacekeepers may be more of a hindrance than a help. As Jack Kelly pointed out a few days ago, international troops bring their own problems from logistics to communications. Furthermore, it is already plainly evident that nations like France simply cannot be trusted. They have every interest in sabotaging the recovery process for their own political game. Furthermore, given the record of UN peacekeeping in places like Srebrenica, it’s not at all assured that UN peacekeepers would be any better at keeping stability than coalition forces.

Even if Europe wants to help, they cannot offer more than a few thousand troops. They also have no ability to bring those forces into the theatre with the help of US logistical supplies and airlift. For the political price that would be paid, the results may simply not worth it in the end.

I also worry that if the Europeans will try to export their socialism to Iraq. That style of government is the antithesis of what Iraq needs. Iraq has already been beaten badly by government gone out of control. In order for Iraq to remain democratic for any length of time it must have a system of absolute limited government. The government must have a set amount of power along clearly delineated lines that cannot be crossed. In other words, Iraq needs the kind of government that the United States had in its infancy – as that is the kind of government that best weathers the storms of attempted tyranny. A system of European state socialism would quickly be used to create yet another dictatorship that would erase all gains made in this war. The people of Iraq deserve better than to replace one tyrant with another.

The only solution is to allow the Iraqis to take control of their own country. More forces either US or foreign are only a way of buying time until that end can be achieved. Unless we are willing to restore sovereignty to Iraq, we cannot fufill our mission of democratization. If we fail in Iraq, we fail the entire Middle East, and the consequences will be bloody. If we need foreign troops, fine, then we should do what we can within reason to get them. However, we cannot compromise the mission in order to placate those who would have left the Iraqis to die under the bootheel of Saddam Hussein’s tyranny.

6 thoughts on “Help Or Hindrance?

  1. Russia was never the second-most powerful nation on Earth economically. It was a basket-case from beginning to end, a system that barely held by because anyone who complained would be shot.

    Considering that the Russians now have a small but growing middle class, they’re not starving to death, and thanks to Putin’s wise tax policies they’re reversing the massive outward flow of revenues that occurred when Russia was still in transition. In fact, using Russia as an example of neoliberal market reforms is a bad one as it didn’t have what could be considered a free market for years, and to this day still has a level of regulation well beyond even the socialist states of Europe.

    As for the issue of Iraq and socialism, a socialist style of government is incompatible with the needs of a government recovering from totalitarianism. If one were to institude European-style state socialism in Iraq, it would be virtually guarantee that such a government would become tyrannical in a matter of years.

    You have to create a system with a strong judiciary, a limited system of government, and strong checks-and-balances between all branches of government. Hell, even Marx argued that jumping straight from feudalism to socialism would be exceptionally destructive.

    As for European state socialism being some kind of utopian system, well, as Europe’s economy fails due to its ossified labor system, unelected unions control government policy, birth rates plummet, crime rises, and France tells the EU to va t’faire foutre and pulls out of the Maastricht Treaty, it’s looking like your "dream" is rapidly turning into a nightmare.

  2. I must admit that in europe, and especially in France, we have very high level of state deficit. But it’s nothing in comparison to our master in economy, the U.S!!

  3. “APRÈS LA PLUIE, LE BEAU TEMPS” (French saying).

    WHAT A REMARKABLE CHANGE in tone at the White House. George The Second’s lashing defeat is widely heralded and Mrs Clinton’s plausible return for 2008 is an immense source of hope. Phony Bliar is slowly –and surely- disappearing into the meanders of irrelevance. Berlusconi, the elegantissimo, honestissimo & efficientissimo sick rightist joke -that is the vainly symbolic proxy for Bush & Murdoch, has been gobbled up by his own ignominy, vulgarity & stupidity.

    THE ABYSMAL US DEFEAT IN IRAQ (not only the stupefying peace losing, but also the dishonourable, mordacious, unconditional surrender from the USA to the French-led majority further to the diplomatic war about UN being the sole & legitimate World authority), is certainly a decisive hurdle for Bush’s first election due in 2004. Even so, Iraq is just a part of the US blatant decline. For the World now knows who’s cheating, who’s arm-twisting, who’s greedy, who’s lacking basic principles, who’s inconsistent, who’s incompetent &, above all, who’s losing. Bush’s lack of honour and integrity as applied to foreign policy is also completely valid with regards to domestic policy.
    Now I understand you all feel disappointed as Bush II’s appointancy comes to an end. Ironically, he has rehabilitated the French ideal: State authority & involvement. Not even 11 September can save Bush from historical oubliettes of contempt: the territorial sanctuary is a soft concept of the past. Some people interested in national security may perhaps vote republican today. Tomorrow, as minds grow a bit colder once the chauvinistic hysteria vanishes, they will certainly rate Bush as a very poor performer as for military management.

    EISENHOWER -A SUCCESSFUL PRESIDENT OF THE USA, may be deemed the very first New Deal republican. Bush II -appointed “Head” of State, isn’t even the second New Deal republican. He feigns to be the “Bourgeois Gentilhomme”, bedazzled as was the character by Molière. Indeed Monsieur Jourdain suddenly discovered he had always been –yet unknowingly, so far, conversing in prose, not verse. Remove “prose” for “State”, that’s the idea. Roosevelt & Eisenhower nurtured sensible aspirations. Bush is merely driven by contingency.

  4. Russia’s economy isn’t socialist, it’s simply dysfunctional. There is an emerging middle class, but that is in spite of the frequent economic problems that Putin is only beginning to get under control. (Although Putin too frequently veers into authoritarianism himself.) Russia has a weak system of property protection that is only now beginning to develop far enough to support a true middle class.

    Instead of trying to play simple games of gotcha with reductio ad absurdam versions of my arguments how about actually doing a little research next time?

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