Linux, politics, and other interesting things
The first bogus claim is that Saddam had WMD and war was required because he was a despot. The fact is that the Iraqi government was always repressive, there are many factions in Iraq that don’t like each other and a repressive government is the only way to keep such groups in a united country. The current civil war in Iraq and the effective secession of Kurdistan (which currently seems to be involved in an undeclared border war with Turkey) demonstrates this. Saddam was always a despot, but he did improve the living conditions of most Iraqis – the best way to avoid a revolution is to convince the majority of the population that things will get worse if there is change. I suggest reading the Wikipedia page about Saddam Hussein .
The best information on Fourth Generation Warfare (4GW) seems to be on the conservative military analysis site Defense and the National Interest . It covers all the issues related to invading other countries from a conservative point of view. Note that Neo-Conservatives are not Conservatives, the real Conservatives hate the Neo-Cons more than anyone else does.
The amusing statement is made that “apologists claim it was one of the most advanced Arab nations” and then a link is provided to information on Saudi Arabian censorship. It’s worth reading the wikipedia page about the history of Saudi Arabia , among other interesting facts “the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers built the country’s television and broadcast facilities and oversaw the development of its defense industry” (does the US army share responsibility for the censorship?). It’s widely regarded that if the US military support was removed then the Saudi government would be overthrown. Referring to Saudi Arabia hardly seems like something you want to do if trying to justify occupying other middle-eastern states.
An unsubstantiated claim is made that under-developed countries produce excess pollution due to inefficient technology. Unlike some people I try to get some facts before posting so I looked up the wikipedia page on CO2 emissions per capita . It seems that the highest ranking first-world country is Luxembourg at #4, the next is the US at #10. The countries on the list that rank higher than the US have a combined population of about 11,000,000 while the US population is 302,000,000 – some quite mental arithmetic suggests that the US produces about 20 times more CO2 than the top 9 countries on the list combined! It doesn’t seem that having the highest technology is helping the US protect the environment, I guess that they just use it to build bigger cars. The next thing I noticed is the countries that are at the bottom of the list – they are the world’s poorest countries. It seems that countries without much money just can’t afford to burn lots of oil, while countries with lots of money can. No real surprises there.
The lowest ranking on the list for a country that is unlikely to be regarded as being in abject poverty is India at position #133. The next lowest is Turkey at position #98 followed by China at #91.
As a final point of reference Switzerland is at position #69 a produces just under 27% the CO2 that the US does (on a per-capita basis). According to the CIA World Fact Book Switzerland has an infant mortality rate of 4.28/1000 and a life expectancy of 80.62 , while the US has an infant mortality rate of 6.37/1000 and a life expectancy of 78 . I believe that the infant mortality rate and the life expectancy are the two factors that are most representative of quality of life as they are the easiest factors for measuring the overall health of the population. Being healthy is one of the most important factors in quality of life. It seems to me that by all objective measures the Swiss are doing better than the people of the US, yet they produce less pollution and never invade other countries.
Probably the most ridiculous statement in the post is “see rapidly dwindling resources wasted on jihad and revolution“. A revolution (locals using force to create a new government) takes little resources and most actions that a more simple-minded analysis might call “jihad” takes almost none. Sending an invasion force to the other side of the world and supporting an occupying army for years does however use significant resources, consider that the Hummvee is the least fuel-efficient vehicle on American roads in terms of work done (trucks and buses use more fuel but carry large amounts of cargo or many people), but it’s also the most fuel-efficient vehicle used by the US army in Iraq.
There is the possibility that Jaldhar was attempting satire. If so then I suggest that satire be kept separate from serious web content to avoid confusion about where the satire ends. But if you want some satire about oil then I suggest consulting theonion.com.
Before someone accuses me of being impolite, over a year ago the best estimate for the death toll from the occupation of Iraq was 655,000 . Current extrapolations from the previous medical research suggest that the death toll has now exceeded 1,000,000. Regardless of whether the original post was intended as satire or not, I’m not laughing and I don’t feel the need to be polite to someone who makes excuses for such loss of life.
Finally as a positive suggestion towards the environment (and any other issue that you may want to discuss), I suggest analysing the issues before writing about them and not blindly trusting other people. When you write a post make objective claims with references to back them up. When you read a post consider the points that are made and the references that are cited. Do the references support the claims? Are there other interpretations of the evidence? Are the reference sites reputable?
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