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I shot forward that much of what you wrote makes sense to me (even more so as I'm myself a humanitarian interventionist, if it is done right - tough I wouldn't classify many in actual history as such), but I will pick on the NSDs over these:

Why did these people support the war - 3 sometimes overlapping reasons.

   1. They bought the WMD PR
   2. They share the neocon utopia of domino democratization
   3. They're humanitarian intervention hawks who felt that anything has got to be better than Saddam. (my category, oops)

As for the first, that is a very serious thing. A voter might appeal to gullibility as excuse. But if a politician is this gullible and lacking of critical thinking, s/he isn't fit to make responsible decisions.

The second is a fair point, however, if one incudes that, one should also include what they mean by democracy - and things like the issue of Venezuela would come up.

The third I guess would again be a fair point, even if I disagreed with it already before the war. But the article doesn't just, in fact doesn't primarily concern itself with the run-up to the Iraq war - now there is the mess after Saddam to evaluate, so they could have wisened up.

What are the formative influences on the hawks

   1. they're ex-Cold War hawks
   2. the fight for intervention in Bosnia and Rwanda

The first was mentioned in the article, tough I didn't quote that part. I'm not sure any NSDs fought for a Rwandan intervention (you may know that better if you worked for your Dem rep at that time), at any rate, Clinton and his foreign ministry was later denounced for suppressing reports of genocide when it happened just because they didn't want to be pushed to intervene there. (I'll look for a source if required.)

Bosnia is a more complex issue, here I disagree with those on the hard left who think it was all about the US's geopolitical advantages, but I will claim that the way the NSDs conducted that war (or series of wars and negotiated settlements) was a very bad way that gave birth to long-term problems - that is, again not a recommendation for this group. (As an example, I wrote about the Croatian Reconquista a month ago here.)

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Aug 17th, 2005 at 06:21:32 AM EST
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I supplement this with the following horrible quote from Thomas Friedman, which involves and explains a big part of what went wrong with the last chapter of those Balkan interventions:

"Every week you ravage Kosovo is another decade we will set your country back by pulverizing you. You want 1950? We can do 1950. You want 1389? We can do 1389 too."


*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.
by DoDo on Wed Aug 17th, 2005 at 07:20:31 AM EST
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DoDo - I worked for a think tank, for an ex-NSA, not in Congress.  The pressure for intervention in Rwanda was less due to the extreme rapidity of the genocide. It takes a little time to build a movement. On Bosnia it was much stronger. Clinton was despised by the lib hawks for his lack of intervention on both matters. Christopher was absolutely hated. Some people even voted for Dole in protest.  (Dole was one of the most vigorous supporters of intervention in the ex-Yugo conflict - both parties were split on the notion of humanitarian intervention and nation building.)

As to your criticisms of how the war was conducted. Only partly agree with you there. In an ideal world you would be right, but you have to remember the constraints they were operating under. The Croation operation in particular was complicated by the US inability to simply do the job itself, so it had to ally itself with Tudjman's war criminals who at the time were the lesser evil.  

And Friedman - I think there will always be idiots in every ideological group one finds oneself in.  Once upon a time he was an excellent foreign correspondent. Now, ick.

by MarekNYC on Thu Aug 18th, 2005 at 02:14:11 AM EST
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