"and wasn't Tariq Aziz the vice president of Iraq before the war?"
My error; I muddled him with Tariq Ali.
"I feel sorrow for Saddams removal because he killed a lot less people per year than the situation caused by his removal. I wouldn't want to live in Saddams Iraq, but I delight in blaming American fundies for the alternative we have now. It makes me nostalgic for Saddam."
My response to this is stated in an earlier quote; any grievances I have is related to the haphazard handling of the fledgling Iraqi state. I will not mourn for the murderer of hundreds of thousands, even if he may be less bad, especially when the despot helped the conditions for ISIS to ingrain itself into the Iraqi state. A choice between Saddam Hussein and ISIS is like choosing between a kick in the gonads and a punch to the belly. If I was to base it entirely on death toll I could argue that ISIS are preferable to Bashar al-Assad in Syria, because they are killing less people than his regime.
"But if you hold them to a higher standard you can't work with them. The attitudes of the people they have to control, as well as the attitudes of the moderates themselves, make a higher standard impossible. You would have to lower your standards, or give up on the whole operation."
The problem I have with holding them to a lower standard is that cultural relativism kicks in and starts treating all cultures as equal in all aspects. Therefore, countries with appalling women's rights records are treated as if they are no more problematic than the UK for this. It cultivates a mindset where the sexism, racism or homophobia present within other cultures is excused through an attitude of "they can't help it," thus treating people from other cultures as if they're inferior, but can be excused. There is little difference between the right wing, racist bigots quoted on this site who use arguments like this to say why they hate those from other cultures and the cultural relativists who treat people from other backgrounds with a lower set of standards. And, of course, the reformers will be abused for being 'native informants' due to them daring to break away from the stereotype.
However, we should work with those who are more moderate, even when they have some questionable views, as I've explicitly stated before. Any change is likely to be gradual.
"The problem is not do we accept them, the problem is they exist and will manifest violently if we just prohibit them. The only way to keep them under control quickly is the Saddam solution - killing thousands at a clip until they understand they must obey."
Any change will have to be evolutionary and spearheaded by those from within the culture, I realise that. I admit that change is going to be hard given the circumstances, but anyone who tries to reform Islam in any way is labelled as a porch monkey or some other bigoted term without getting any solidarity. Whilst the reformers, no matter how small in number, are shunned any progress is harder than it already is. People who are not Islamists, but oppose such dictators, but would expect support from western leftists are finding themselves shunned as a result of their stance. My reaction to the second sentence here can be found in every other statement, where I state how Saddam utilised Islamism from his own ends, and helped cultivate the rise of ISIS during his government, and now several of his former aides are within such groups.
"A less murderous solution would be a massive generations long occupation, which isn't going to happen.
So the options are
1 kill the dictator and make the situation worse.
2 let the dictator kill thousands because the alternative is worse.
I don't consider it being an apologist for a dictator, although I understand how a brainwashed fundie could think so."
To clarify, I do not hold favourable views of the Iraqi intervention in 2003, but once we'd intervened the coalition needed to do our best to ensure that the country could thrive in the future. It failed. Of course we couldn't stay there for hundreds of years, but when Islamism was still surfacing and the Iraqi military and police force were inexperienced and US led presence could have helped in the short term and helped develop the country further to deal with the issues better in the long term. However this is the fault of Bush, not Obama as often claimed. It was Bush who pulled the troops out, not Obama, as many of the Republicans and other wingnuts like to claim.
When the dictator has killed hundreds of thousands and destabilised his own country, such as in Syria I struggle to cheer when one side beats the other and care for one side more because the alternative is worse. Islamism is poison, as is Baathism.
I understand that any progress in the Middle East will be evolutionary and that not every dictator can be deposed by western 'saviours', however this doesn't lead me to regretting the loss of tyrants and excusing their worst atrocities because they can keep the Muslims in check.