Josh Marshall wrote a great bit on the problems with the term regime change and what George Orwell would think about it. I also want to point out that Talking Points Memo is a must read if you’re really interested in our coming war in Iraq. All of his entries recently have been outstanding, and in an earlier entry, he really captures my fears perfectly:
There’s also an issue people don’t like to talk about, but which is an undeniable reality for many. Military action is easier to contemplate if it’s being planned by political leaders who you support and whose values you share. One might say this is mere partisanship, agreeing with what politician X wants to do because he’s a member of your party or vice versa. And there’s always some of that. But it runs deeper. Following political leaders into war requires a deep measure of trust on a variety of levels: trust in their judgment, trust in their analysis of factual information that can never be shared with the public, and so forth. If your general sense of an administration is that they’re not trustworthy or that they don’t share your values it’s difficult not let that color your opinions. Of course, to some degree it should color your opinions. But it’s important to evaluate these questions as much as possible simply on the merits.
That’s my problem in a nutshell. I know for a fact that Saddam Hussein is a dangerous man, and that he poses a threat (to some degree) to me, and a much greater threat to every one of his neighbors and to all of the citizens of his own country. This man really should be behind the walls of a prison somewhere, or dead. Certainly he shouldn’t be the totalitarian ruler of a country with the fate of millions in his hands. At the same time, I don’t trust George Bush. I don’t trust Dick Cheney. I don’t trust Donald Rumsfeld, and I certainly don’t trust Paul Wolfowitz and Richard Perle. They hold the lives of millions in their hands as well. Not only the lives of every Iraqi, but the lives of every American soldier as well. And to be frank, I feel like this is a group that feels the need to have an enemy with a return address. They’re a bunch of nonreconstructed cold warriors who aren’t comfortable with the challenges that the war on terrorism really poses. Iraq is important, and something has to give in our current relationship with Iraq, but is it the most important thing right now? I don’t know. But more importantly, I don’t trust the powers that be to figure that out, or to tell me the truth even if they do figure it out. These are trying times.