Saturday, November 12, 2005

What Would You Do?

Stageleft poses a very interesting scenario for discussion:
Your land/country has been invaded by a foreign entity with different customs, traditions, religion, and laws that they expect you to adapt to; they speak a different language, the majority have no interest in learning your language however they do expect you to learn theirs. They posess superior military capabilities and technology which they have shown they will turn against you in a number lethal manners that they consider legal if you do not adapt peacefully and quietly to the new way of living.
Head over there and have a look and add your thoughts to the debate.

Me? I thought I’d want to ensure that my family was safe, which may mean being forced to adapt. If I could be sure that they were safe, I’d probably physically resist for as long as was necessary to get rid of them.

I'd suppose, in this case, we don't know the conditions of my "pre-invasion" society, but I think I'd resist on the basis that some other nation was forcing their culture and beliefs on me.



Lord Kitchener's Own said...

Look, I'm no big fan of the war in Iraq, but I did think the question was a little biased. There should be at least a token mention of the fact that this hypotheical army that has invaded your hypothetical country removed a hypothetical brutal dictator whom almost everyone hypothetically hated (even if this was not the sole, or even primary reason for the invasion).

In the scenario described, most people would be much LESS likely to support, or even understand the position of the invaders, than is the case in Iraq. Again, don't get me wrong... Iraq war bad... but still, even if it was just by accident (which it wasn't of course, but even if it were) it is still true that the Americans took out Saddam, and that that is good. Whether or not it is a greater good than the harm caused by the war is a completely different question. But even if you think it's not, it still seems unfair to remove the scenario from the debate entirely.

Jim said...

Interesting point, LKO.

I was thinking along those lines too in the back of my mind. In this hypothetical scenario, we don't know what the conditions were before being invaded, nor are we able to necessarily say with all certainty that all conditions coming out of the invasion are negative.

Suppose, you're a Kurd living in pre-war Iraq. You're arguably a part of a conquered people, forced to largely do what Hussein dictates, then along come the Americans - are you better, worse, indifferent?

Socialist Swine said...


If I was a Kurd or a Marsh Arab then I would likely think that I was better off. However, if I was a Sunni or a Shia living in one of the urban areas then I would likely think that I was worse off. While Saddam Hussein undoubtly brutalized some portions of his populace, his brutality was by no means universal. At least not from what I've read. While political dissidents and some ethnic groups got very badly mistreated (to say the least) under his regime, many people lived their lives without much fear of immediate violence. Moreover, while conditions were in no means terrific prior to arrival of the US led expedition, there does seem to be an increase in the general lawlessness in the urban areas. Moreover, the insurgency that arouse after the US led forces landed also has made the country a rather dangerous place for everybody (now while the insurgency shouldn't be construed as the fault of the US, it quite clearly has resulted in a general decrease in quality of life for Iraqis and it also was something that came about after the ouster of Hussein).

-Socialist Swine

Dirk Buchholz said...

What about Canada's Indigenous nations.That is exactly what they had/ have to put up.
I understand the post was probably in reference to Iraq.But before we judge the US as wrong(and rightly so)lets not forget Canada's injustices.In- justices that are still very much alive and well.
The proggressive left and all Canadians in general have a duty to speak out ,and engage with First Nations