Talkback: "Amy H." offers up the first response of the "Not in My Name" survey. Let's see what she has to say...
"I wish the Iraqi people well! Which doesn't mean
that I think the US did the right thing-- if it
is justice at all it is vigilante justice, and
most of us outside of Texas prefer the rule of
law. Yes, the Iraqis that weren't killed, maimed,
or traumatized by the war may be better off now
than they were under Saddam, who was a thug and our thug
if you don't mind reading a little bit of history."
A reasonable response, if not slightly naive as far as international politics are concerned. United Nations or no, any realist political science scholar will tell you that the international system is one of anarchy or self-help. Therefore all justice can be characterized as "vigilante justice". There is no real supra-national government, military, or court system. Participation is voluntary. At best, the UN system acts as a catalyst to propel nations into action. The Korean War was a good example of this. At worst, it is a forum where dictators and thugs can stand on the same platform as free democracies. Most of the time, it functions as a bureaucratic debate club where little of value is actually accomplished.
As far as the rest of the letter goes, I would have to agree but to a very less degree. Were Iraqis killed during the war? Certainly. I'm willing to wager, however, that far more innocent Iraqis would have met far worse fates in the same amount of time under the continued rule of Saddam. The measures our forces have taken to prevent excess damage and hardship to Iraq have been amazing, and will be remembered as a centerpiece of the war effort. Thanks for your feedback, Amy H.