Well, here i am again. Will i write for long? Who knows... but here goes.
First off, like everyone else, i have to talk about this war that our american neighbors just started. First, i'm a pacifist. I feel that circumstances never exist that allow someone to hit someone else over the head with a stick. That said, i have one sticky exception to my rule that i haven't reconciled: genocide. I say sticky because genocide is a rather loose term, in that it works well in hindsight. We hear about survivors of the holocaust all the time. We hear less of other massacres. The one that bothers me most is Rwanda.
In 100 days in 1994, 700,000 Tutsis were slaughtered by the Hutu militia. The only people on the ground were a small UN peacekeeping force lead by a Canadian (whom i've met; he's a personal hero of mine) named Romeo Dallaire. Dallaire was literally the only person standing up to the slaughter. Despite phone calls by Dallaire to the Canadian Govt, the UN, and US govt, no one answers his plees. The US specifically rewwrites a security council resolution, removing the word "genocide" so they don't have to get involved. They feel that american lives aren't worth risking after 14 americans died in Etheopia the previous year. By the time it's all over, 700,000 people are dead.
Rwanda is a perfect example of where i feel that no matter what the cost, western powers must intervene, with the immediate prioroty of stopping the killing. Hussein is thought to be responsible for upwards of 1million iraqui deaths over the past 25 years. That's why my position is sticky: down the road, what he's done may be called genocide. Now, it's hard to say.
I suppose it comes down to motives. On the one hand, as Georgy said, the americans are liberating iraq from it's cruel regime. I talked with an iraqui living here, who said that people just disappear after saying the wrong thing. That daily survival from the regime is a challenge. And if doing another germany or japan is the objective, then i applaud it. The reason i'm skeptical is three fold:
1) US motives include oil. There is no use lying about it. The "hawks" in the bush admin all have stakes in energy companies. The US needs cheap oil to support its economy. Just no 2 ways about it. And as a quasi-environmentalist, i just have to say that blood and oil don't mix.
2) The US admin has equated iraq with al queda. Apparently half of americans belive that saddam was responsible for sept 11. A brillian piece of propoganda, but do dictator would ever allow islamic fundamentalists into his country: they'd undermine him. It it were about terror and evil-axi, the US should be going after Iran and North Korea. Why aren't they? Probably because iraq is an easily-winnable example for everyone else. That, and the brainwashed fundamentalists in those two countries would exact heavy tolls on american troops. The US public won't stand for another vietnam so soon.
3) Aftermath. The US abandoned afganistan after they toppled the taliban. Granted, that's what they said they'd do, it still isn't right. The US has to realize that they can't go around bullying people. The troubles they face now grew from seeds sown 20 years ago in the Kissenger/Nixon era. When you play regimes one against another, with the people of these countries being ignored, people start to hate you. The US will have to spend trillions on iraq alone to rebuild, and regain the confidence of the people there.
Anyways, that's about as much as i can write. I have to go and finish studying (yeah, at 4am) for my math midterm tomorrow, even though i'm gonna fail. But that's a story for next time.