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JoI Ito on Iraq

Joi Ito has posted an entry on warblogging. He has decided not to get involved at this time, with good reasons:

The War with Iraq is very important, but I have many things that are important to me and committing to taking a strong position and defending it would undermind my ability to cause a revolution in Japan, think about North Korea, run my business and try to understand democracy.
While Joi understandably lacks the time to fully engage in an Iraq debate -- which, on account of his position, would be a far more consuming task than it was for me to post my thoughts on the subject -- he does briefly summarize his position:
I have decided to be against the war after listening to a variety of people who I trust and who have thought about this a lot... My feeling after hearing all of the arguments is that there is no obvious position. So, when in doubt, my position is, don't kill people. Also, I believe that the US one of the best democracies in the world and that we should all push the US to hold the link and maintain its integrity. Judges face cases where they KNOW the defendant is guilty, but throw it out due to technicalities. Rules are rules. First-strike, torture are bad no matter what the reason. Due process should be protected no matter what the reason. If you let these principles slip, you're losing what you're fighting for. I'm not going to go into any more specifics in this entry because for every argument, there is a counter-argument.

So my fear in taking the anti-war position is that we may be allowing another Hitler to happen. Having said that, Sadaam does not have nearly the support or the power the Hitler had so we still have time. We are allowing the bin Laden to unite the Arab/Islam world against the US with this war and strange bedfellows are united. This is dangerous. We are also pushing Sadaam to strike first. The cost of a long war on the global economy and the difficulty of "running Iraq" is immense and I dread the thought of a drawn out US occupation of Iraq. That's what's on my mind.

So my humble position is to let the inspectors continue, work through the UN, get the rest of the world on board with a "smoking gun" and talk to the rest of the Arab nations more for ideas about hot to unseat Sadaam.

As I said in a comment on Joi's entry, while we have agreed to disagree, I have the utmost respect for his position, and for that of others opposed to the war. Let no one again suggest that anti-war protesters are anything other than patriots expressing their legitimate and heartfelt opinions on a matter of the utmost gravity.

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