oldschool CxC

Thursday, April 17, 2003

So there's this conspiracy theory that the Saddam reached a deal with the U.S. to secretly bug out of Iraq thus allowing the U.S. to pretty much walk into Baghdad. I think we can all agree that the "evidence" presented is not particularly compelling, but I'm more interested in the ethical question than the factual issue. So my question for you all is - Assuming the claim were true, would this be less ethical than going to war without said deal in place? I don't know the answer, but it seems somehow worse on it's face. The White House would basically making a deal with the outcome known and agreed to by both parties, and part of the deal is going through a "war" that will result in a fairly predictable number of casualties, plus cash. Isn't that bartering lives? Or is it essentially the same or better than spending cash on a greater war effort, with greater volatility in terms of casualties, costs, and geopolitical risks?

[E: I think this is just a lot of "twaddle and claptrap" from people who were so very wrong in their pre-war predicitons that they need some sort of face-saving conspiracy theory to explain what would otherwise be seen an historic, overwhelming miltary victory. That being said, if this were true then it would be unethical, immoral, and disturbingly French.] -- Right, but the part I don't get is why is it so unethical? It seems so wrong, but if full-on war, with all it's costs, deaths, and uncertainties, is morally OK, then why isn't this? I mean, if we assume that the next best alternative is war without such an agreement, then isn't this, in fact, the less destructive way to go? [E: I think the purpose of a war gives it its moral weight. If the choice was between giving Saddam $10B to voluntarily step down or going to war to obligate him, I'd say there's an argument either way. Bribing him to allow us to put on a show war (to scare our enemies? to sell arms?) while he slips away to exile is a whole nother thing.] -- Agreed that the latter is wrong, but its the former that interests me. You know, if Saddam says, "I want cash, but I also want to save face so there has to be a war in which I'm 'killed'." SH The rumor I heard is that his cousin sold him out, he ordered the RG around Bagdad to stand down. The other RG divsions had been stupidly based to far away and could not retreat back into the city b/c teh US forces flanked em and cut them off. The LA times Embed was in one of the flanking battalions. I think the easy fall is attributable to really stupid Iraqi planning (supplied by the Russians, allegedly) exploited by bad-ass US strategy and implementation and a couple of turncoats in Bagdolicious, Mosul, etc. Ultimately,the story will come out. I have no opinion on the hypothetical situation offered above. [All that text for a "no opinion"? - RM]{SH- Right, I'll stick to a simple explanation of what happened instead of hypothesizing a backhanded deal in one sentence, a minimum concession in the next, and then on to disguising accusatory opinions as questions, including smearing the whitehouse with accusations of bartering lies. So, yeah, I'll devote all my text to the simplest explanation which is also the the best explanation, and forgo the knee jerk anti-administration opinions.} ["Blah, blah, blah, accusatory opinions, blah, blah, blah": 1, Intellectual curiosity: 0]

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