too much typing—since 2003


The Poppies Are In the Fields

On this Veterans Day, I salute those who, whether I agree with their reasons or not, choose to serve in our nation's military. And on this Veterans Day, to those in good health under thirty or so who have not served in the military, but who support Bush's immoral, illegal, ill-planned and ill-executed war in Iraq, I quote our Vice President's words to Sen. Patrick Leahy. I think you know which ones.

Read this (scroll down to "The Costs of War") - and, if you're in that second group, know just what you so selfishly support at no cost to yourself.


Trickish Knave said...

Emotional story to say the least. Nothing like the "lioness protecting her cub" cliché to bring sympathy to the anti-war effort.

We (I say “we” because as a military member who has trained people to go fight in Iraq I associate myself with them) have suffered a lot of casualties because of these “lies” by the administration but I do not think anyone roaming their blog list is searching for the positives of this war or what entering into this war has done for the people of Iraq.

Collateral damage. It is ironic that people obsessed with this “wrong war at the wrong time” barely gave a shit when Hussein was putting 12x the bodies (we have unfortunately taken as collateral damage) into mass graves all over the country. Where are these people now on Sudan’s behalf? Or will they give a shit only when we finally intercede and something goes wrong?

Lies. Botched Intelligence.There are so many sources and so much finger pointing over intelligence reports that I cannot make an informed decision on the politics of this war. I don’t think anyone can, really. The best I can do is look at the accusations and bunch them off of other sources that say the contrary and hope that something resembling reality falls in the middle. Believe me, I search the message boards everyday for some bit of truth.

I do believe we jumped into Iraq too soon; there was still much to do in Afghanistan. I do not think we were not aggressive enough in taking Iraq. I do believe we have made some mistakes in the planning and execution of this occupation.

I do think it was in the best interests of the Iraqi’s we took Hussein out of power. I do think the people are better off without him. I do think we gave Hussein enough opportunity to stop his bullshit.

It is terrible people caught in the middle become casualties. A part of me thinks that maybe in some demented way, if given the choice, Iraqi civilians would rather be killed by a shell intended to take out an insurgent who is torturing or blackmailing their family than by one of Hussein’s henchmen in a dungeon or torture chamber after they were through raping the women. I just don’t know which way the scales tip on that one.

2fs said...

I think it's certainly in the best interest of the Iraqi people that Saddam Hussein is gone. The truly sad thing is - as an article I linked to in this entry points out - things have gotten so messed up that many Iraqis actually prefer Saddam's regime. The thing that seems so difficult for the US to accept is that there is evil in the world (take that term however you will) and we cannot always defeat it: not practically, not even in terms of power or strength. The principles of international sovereignty in part are intended to secure nations against such hopeless missionary behaviors, by establishing that nations have the right to determine their own fate. The twentieth century severely tested this notion, and of course issues of human rights arise in terms of how far a nation can go without violating essential human rights and provoking intervention. However, that intervention should not be unilateral (or effectively so) and should have as its goal solely the restoration of whatever forces within that nation that can prevent further violations of human rights. The US invasion of Iraq fails to meet the usual criterion of entering a war (i.e., we were not under attack), fails to meet the "human rights" criterion by acting essentially alone (Poland notwithstanding), and fails the final criterion in innumerable ways - symbolically, for example, giving priority to protecting oil production facility over weapons bunkers, and selling off (contrary to international law) assets that belong to Iraq to US contractors. Even if it had met these standards, before acting it would still have had to have determined whether its goals were feasible and achievable, or whether they'd ultimately make Iraq more unstable and dangerous to its population. Having bombed the nation several times over the last decade, and having led a brutally crushing embargo that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, the US not only was not in any moral position to lead the invasion on any sort of humanitarian grounds, strictly in practical terms it should have known that it would not be welcomed as a friend. US troops cannot restore order in Iraq, because their presence their is like a lit match in a room full of gasoline. Furthermore, Iraqis who associate with the US (who otherwise might be able to lead the nation and restore its sovereignty, sans the egregious violation of rights typical under Saddam) are regarded as guilty by association. Again, our presence is only capable of making things worse. It is not always possible to remain and make things better; sometimes the only possible outcome of staying is to make things worse.

2fs said...

Damn - I forgot I can't edit these things once I post them. (I don't like the composing window - it's easier to see the text on the page itself; so often I post a rough version and then edit and repost it.) One or two sentences go off the rails, and I'm tired enough that I actually used "their" for "there" (something I just don't do...): I blame "their presence" immediately preceding for inducing a massive brain fart.