Shamanic at Simianbrain notes that the left mostly supported war in Afghanistan and earlier in the splintered fragments of the former Yugoslavia and John notes that the left doesn't seem to believe in the doctrine of pre-emptive warfare. He ends by saying
And typical of many on the Left, she posits the same "Then why not Iran or North Korea, since they are a greater threat?"
How many believe if we were to invade Iran next month that she (or at least a great majority of the "Why Not Iran" crowd) would be against that war also?
I am not sure John realises the rhetorical nature of the question about Iran or North Korea. It is designed to point out the paucity of reasons for invading Iraq, since no-one is really suggesting the US invade the far more dangerous North Korea. Then again, maybe it's me that is missing the point - it often depresses me how often Americans (whether left or right) having bought into the "US is bigger, biggest, best" notion at an almost cellulur level, believe that just because America has the military power to dictate a Pax Americana, it therefore should.
However, working on the assumption that "why not invade Iran or North Korea?" is a rhetorical question, maybe the mental block on the right is that both belong to the "Axis of Evil" and deserve to be invaded! Let's see if I can help Shamanic make her point. Let's change the question a bit by out-Adaming Yoshuda...
Then why not invade Pakistan, since they are a greater threat?
Let's look at the reasons for pre-emptive invasion:
Since the US swept the Taliban movement from power in Operation 'Enduring Freedom' in 2002, it is more often than not in Pakistan's cities, rather than its barren frontier provinces, that many of the most important Al-Qaeda suspects have been located and detained. The restive port city of Karachi, in particular, has found itself the destination of several key operatives, including Ramzi Binalshibh, who is suspected of involvement in the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US and is currently being detained at a secret location...When the Taliban took power in Afghanistan, and established training camps along with a multitude of other jihadist groups, thousands more volunteers crossed the border to train and fight. Security officials estimate that nearly 25,000 men from Karachi alone attended over the years, learning a wide range of skills from small arms handling to surveillance techniques and bomb-making.
Perhaps we should be a little more suspicious of Pakistan's assertion today that it has "lost" the trail of Osama binLaden - a very tall man who requires dialysis regularly.
The Pakistani authorities are still refusing to permit investigators to interrogate Khan, who despite his televised 'confession', is still considered to be a hero by many Pakistanis and has been pardoned by President Pervez Musharraf. Since the US administration needs to keep Musharraf on board for the global war against terrorism, Washington has been oddly quiescent about being barred access to the disgraced scientist.
All of this should put Pakistan firmly in the category of "rogue state", a danger to world peace and stability. It doesn't. General Musharraf has been warmly welcomed by both Blair and Bush as an "ally" in the war on terror and no-one wants to rock the boat as long as the General makes the right noises even if some facts say otherwise.
It's worth asking the right here: are your reasons for "pre-emptive" warfare going to be based on consistent morals, or are they to be cheapened by expediency? If the latter, kindly admit it and get off your high horse about fighting terrorism and nuclear proliferation.
So, Shamanic...next time it may be better to ask "why not invade Pakistan, since they are a greater threat?" That way those the question is directed at won't get misled by knee-jerk reactions and false morals.