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Oct. 19 2009 - 1:41 pm | 8 views | 2 recommendations | 2 comments

Actually I rather stressed the immorality of unprovoked invasions

Christopher Hitchens is hardly worth mentioning these days on the subject of foreign policy, but for some reason they still let him write columns on the subject, so here’s mentioning:

Go look this up, and you will discover that those who didn’t want to confront Slobodan Milosevic or Saddam Hussein would always stress the awesome power of violence that they had at their command.

Yeah, no, that’s actually not true. As I recall it was sort of the people who wanted us to invade Iraq who kept talking about Saddam Hussein’s awesome power of violence, viz., the WMDs that turned out not to exist. Those of us who didn’t want to invade Iraq tended to focus on the fact that invading a country that hasn’t attacked you, or really even done anything that would constitute a legitimate provocation, is illegal, because it’s illegal, and immoral, because it entails killing a lot of people (including children) for no good reason, and foolish, because it leads to consequences that may spiral horrifically out of control in unpredictable ways. I for one didn’t really have a smidgen of doubt, watching the tanks roll in on March 21, 2003, that they’d be in Baghdad pretty soon; but the fact that your enemy is weak isn’t usually considered sufficient justification for waging war upon him.


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    About Me

    I've reported from Vietnam since 2003. I'm now the Hanoi correspondent for the German-based, English-language wire service Deutsche Presse-Agentur, and was previously a Hanoi-based stringer for the Boston Globe and for Voice of America. Before that I reported from West Africa, and before that from the Netherlands; my articles have appeared in the Washington Post, the Nation, the New York Times Magazine and the New York Times. I've got a thing for languages, and have picked up Russian, French, Dutch and Vietnamese. I used to write scripts for the children's cartoon shows "Arthur", "Doug", and a few others. I got a degree in interactive telecommunications back when most people had never sent an email. In April 1991 I predicted the USSR would collapse into its constituent republics and that Boris Yeltsin would become president of Russia. Since then most of my predictions have been rather less accurate, so it was probably a fluke.

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