Thursday, June 23, 2005

Polish Guy #2

The second question from the Polish guy was whether I supported the War in Iraq. I said yes, but for reasons other than the official one.

I said that we could dismiss the idea that the War in Iraq was about oil for two reasons: first, it's entirely illogical, "Hey, we could get more oil by destabilizing one of the least stable regions in the world that also happens to be sitting on most of our oil! Brilliant!" Second, from just war theory, the resources of a state do not necessarily play a role in the moral calculus of war, for the simple reason that every state has something of value--if there were nothing of value, there would be no population, and, as such, no state. Since one cannot know the motivations of another (and to judge another without such information is morally questionable), one must only judge their actions. Since the United States actions have been ineffective at best at resuming the oil flow, we can determine that oil is not the primary motivator.

Anyway, my opinion on the War in Iraq is that we should have blasted our way through Iraq, as we did, hit Baghdad and keep on going, creating a protectorate of Kurdistan. We have a moral obligation to the Kurds, as they supported us in the last war, and then we left them to fend for themselves. Of course, had I my pick of countries that could use a good invasion, I would pick Sudan.

2 Comments:

Blogger Hamlette said...

Second, from just war theory,

Should you maybe capiltalize "Just War Theory" so people know that 'just' is part of the name of the theory too?

9:42 PM  
Blogger Noumenon said...

first, it's entirely illogical, "Hey, we could get more oil by destabilizing one of the least stable regions in the world that also happens to be sitting on most of our oil! Brilliant!"

Hey, here's a region that's already unstable, so if we invade it we might actually make it more stable and we would control the oil! Let's go!

Second, from just war theory, the resources of a state do not necessarily play a role in the moral calculus of war,

If you think "just war theory" and "the moral calculus of war" had the least little bit of influence on our invasion planning, I have a bridge to sell you (at a price which, in accordance with microeconomic supply theory, is surely close to its fair value).

Since one cannot know the motivations of another (and to judge another without such information is morally questionable), one must only judge their actions.

But knowing someone's motivations is fundamental to understanding their actions. Is someone making random turns east, south, east, or is he trying to drive to work? Judging strictly by his actions you won't know until he gets there. Judging by the effectiveness of his actions, as you go on to do, you'll never know where he was trying to go if he gets lost.

Since the United States actions have been ineffective at best at resuming the oil flow, we can determine that oil is not the primary motivator.

We've also been ineffective at restoring electricity, so the welfare of Iraqis must not be our primary motivator... we've been ineffective at restoring order, so a stable Middle East must not be our primary motivator... see, judging by actions alone you can't tell whether a project failed or was intended to fail. You need to infer the leader's motivation.

9:03 AM  

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