This just leaps out, really. "Naive". That's like saying Germany invading Austria and Poland for more living space was "misguided" (Hell, you started the WWII comparisons). Next thing you'll be telling us Dick Cheney is an altruist at heart.
It's nothing like that of course. The policy of 'lebensraum' has, or had, nothing at all to commend it. It was an exterminationist doctrine. The project of bringing democracy to Iraq is different. It is not essentially evil in itself - unless you believe that democracy is a dreadful system of government - but in the circumstances of 2003 it was naive. "Hopelessly naive" I think I said. There's nothing at all controversial in that.
What is controversial I suppose is the idea that the American administration decided to invade Iraq for that reason, or partly for that reason. I think they did. There were multiple causes but an important one was the belief that ordinary Iraqis had such an appetite for democracy after living for years under a brutal tyranny that an invasion by the Coalition would quickly turn into a liberation struggle. Paul Wolfowitz sincerely believed this I think. He was the most ardent believer but he wasn't the only one.
This is what was 'hopelessly naive'. 'Criminally naive' if you prefer. It was as if Wolfowitz had read Graham Greene's 'The Quiet American' and missed the irony. The idea that democracy could be established at the point of a sword was delusional and probably betrayed the old simplistic and mechanistic assumptions about social change that many American neocons had from their previous lives as marxists. Frances Fitzgerald once wrote an amazing book about the fuck-up in Vietnam called 'Fire in the Lake'. It was a work of anthropology and it showed why all the American military and political plans for south-east Asia were bound to fail. They were written by men who knew nothing about the complex cultures they were dealing with. It had commonly been supposed that no American administration would ever again engage in an overseas war while being so anthropologically innocent. But then Wolfowitz and the neo-cons came along.
'Altruism' you ask? Yes, partly. Which just goes to show that altruism when married with ignorance (and a sense of divine mission) can be a very dangerous thing.
Yorky, you must be hungover because that's the biggest straw man I've seen in a while.....
Well you rather asked for it by wondering what was 'simplistic' about the brazenly simplistic video. Anyway my purpose was to help you understand that the phrase about fighting in the "interests of the American people" (or British people or Irish people etc) is probably not as imperious as you think. Notwithstanding what I said about the delusions of the neo-cons there is still something admirable in principle about your country fighting a war to overturn slavery, even though it wouldn't benefit Yorky or Corky.
I wish, for example, the United Nations had intervened to stop the genocide in Rwanda, even though it wasn't in my "interests". I was pleased that NATO did so in Kosovo even though it wasn't in my "interests". It was a good thing that India intervened in East Pakistan, Tanzania in Uganda, christ even Vietnam in Cambodia, even though no Indian, Tanzanian or Vietnamese "interest" was served. All those wars were illegal. All eliminated brutal genocidal governments. The American soldier in the video, presumably, would not have supported any of them.
It's time for sensible people like you Corky to get over the easy Michael Moore mantras and to think about some of the difficult issues thrown up by Iraq (leave the dishonest sloganeering to the dullards). We, including the UN, are bound to face similar calls in future to intervene in countries where innocent people are being massacred by their governments. It would be a pity if the difficult debate about what to do was terminated by someone shouting "Cheney!"