I haven't got time to comment on them in any depth now, so I'm putting this up as much as a reminder to myself to do so later.
The second piece points something out that I missed. The press, even the liberal press - heck, even me - didn't think twice about the dignity of Iraqi prisoners when they showed photos from Abu Ghraib. Considering the fuss over Iraqi TV showing reasonably clean and dignified images of American POWs, this does seem a touch on the racist side, even if somewhat unconscious.
The first piece covers precisely the reason why I don't take the position against the war but for the troops. I come from a genuinely pacificist religious tradition and even though I've largely rejected it, I still have serious problems not with having a cause worth dying for, but with causes worth killing the innocent for. There may be causes worth it - things so important that they merit killing people who are not any more evil than I am. But if so, it's a cause worth not only running the risk of being killed for but of being despised for. There are causes worth killing for, but I won't allow honour or tradition to substitute for actually deciding whether your cause is worth someone else's blood before you take it.
Lastly, I seem to be gettng a reputation as an anti-liberal. It's true in the sense intended by Mrs. T, but not on most of the actual issues she's highlighting. My problems with liberalism are far more about liberal political philosophy and about the real actions taken under that name rather than the largely uninteresting matter of trade and regulatory policy.
If a state has to impoverish itself to be competitive, I don't see why folks should support it. It seems to me that free trade doesn't need to impoverish people, but I agree with the folks who claim that government intervention is may be necessary to keep it from becoming a justification for destitution.