I actually wrote this before the president’s speech, but didn’t get it posted until after. Timing is everything.
One should never discuss politics or religion unless prepared to have a battle of wills. I suppose sexuality could be added to that old axiom, but that tends to be either political or religious depending on your point of view.
The USA certainly is embroiled in a real battle royale between peace-loving hippies out of touch with reality and the gun-toting neanderthal warmongers. That should offend just about everyone.
I spent 12 years in the US Army; I am proud of the time I served and feel that my contribution helped to improve our national defense just a bit. I’m also a strong proponent of civil liberties, which always led to amusing conversations when I was in the Army.
One of the things which bothers me about many of the debates in which I find myself online lately is the inability of most people to concede a point. The unwavering ability to believe oneself perfectly informed about every issue is rampant, it seems. I don’t know everything, and I’m occasionally wrong (not as often as some people, but enough to keep me humble). Here are a few random thoughts on the current imbroglio.
Iraq’s threat to the US – There really isn’t one, is there? I firmly believe that Saddam Hussein is a bad person; he indiscriminately kills his own people and is an ardent expansionist with delusions of grandeur. Iraq would probably be better off with one of his rivals in power. He’s also no threat to the US or its citizens. He has shown no missile ability which can even reliably hit Israel, much less the United States or its territories. If he’s so much of a threat to this great nation, why did we have to forge documents to that effect? If he’s such a terror now, why wasn’t he a terror in August 2001? Why do we have to take him out now , and why without international support?
Afghanistan – Why are we not finishing the job we promised we’d do there? President Karzai needs help with his nascent government. We pledged to assist him in the rather arduous task of creating an entire free society out of whole cloth. But we have basically thrown the Afghan people to the wolves, in the persons of various warlords we neglected to remove from positions of power.
Hussein is a bad guy – Yes, he is.Ⴕt to justify our actions in Iraq based on some human rights issue is disingenuous. If we were worried about human rights violations, why not check out our friends in Turkey or Saudi
Arabia or Egypt?
Al Qaeda – There is no credible evidence of Bin Laden and Hussein cooperating, and many reasons to believe they dislike each other and each others’ methods. Besides that, shouldn’t we be hunting down Bin Laden, who we know is a terrorist?
DPRK – North Korea to most of you, the DPRK is known to have ballistic missiles (Iraq almost certainly has none). The DPRK is known to have chem and bio stockpiles of enormous size (Iraq probably has some but less). The DPRK is run by an unpredictable lunatic who has been a sheltered hermit his entire life (need I say we supported Iraq 15 years ago?). The DPRK is suspected of having one or two nuclear warheads, and has recently restarted the nuclear reactor at Yongbyon to produce more plutonium (Iraq has no credible nuke program). And we are ignoring Kim Jong Il why?
I can go on for pages, but this is the basic crux of things. Much more would be mere dissembling. The shorter arguments, while easier to understand, are also harder to refute.