My stance on Bush’s war.

Joel over at Pax Nortona appears to have misinterpreted my last entry. I’ve decided to respond to it here so I can make some things clear.

Steve Jenkins quotes Scott Rosenberg, apparently appreciatively, about the impending doom that is one day going to catch up with the United States, maybe in Gulf War 2.

I am not as impressed.

Those who support peace have to think about what they’re saying. For many years, a favorite taunt of the left was that the Gulf War achieved nothing: Saddam Hussein remains in power. We got our answer to that one and it is called Gulf War 2.

When we win this one that some think we’re going to lose, what will we be able to say but “duh”?

First, my name is Les, not Steve, but nitpicks aside…

I don’t think Scott was predicting anything in the way of impending doom catching up with us in Gulf War 2, I think he was simply stating many of the concerns a lot of us have about the whys, whens, and hows about this war. He also cautioned against over-confidence.

Whether we’ll win this particular war or not is not anything I’ve given much thought to. I don’t hold any illusions that our armed forces won’t prevail at some point. My questions have more to do with at what cost that victory will come and what are the true motivations behind it. I am pro-peace at this point in time not because I fancy myself as some kind of pacifist, but because I honestly have not seen anything presented to the public that totals up to a justification for this action and there’s a pretty good percentage of the rest of the world that seems to agree with me. If the rumors of Saddam equipping his soldiers with chemical weapons turns out to be true and they actually try to use them then, much like France, my opposition to this war will reverse pretty quickly. Based on what’s been presented as “evidence” to date, however, I haven’t seen anything that justifies the actions our President is taking at this point in time.

I’ve never bitched about the fact that Bush I didn’t take the fight all the way to Baghdad. Unlike most folks, I understand why he didn’t. “The Madrid conference would never have happened if the international coalition that fought together in Desert Storm had exceeded the UN mandate and gone on its own into Baghdad after Saddam and his forces.”—Bush Sr.

It’s somewhat ironic to me that having Bush Jr in the White House now has actually made me appreciate his Father’s term in office much more than I used to. I’d much rather Bush Sr. were back at the helm at this point than his son as even he has publicly stated that going to war without international unity is the wrong thing to do.

War has its time and place and many good arguments can be made for it being a necessary evil. The arguments presented so far have been specious at best.

6 thoughts on “My stance on Bush’s war.

  1. Blink blink.  How did the name “Steve” get in there?  Can I blame it on the computer crash I had last night?  (I really did have one, operating system restoration and all!)

    For clarification, I just don’t think we should be raising the concern that we might lose or that war is going to be tough.  It is irrelevant to the larger moral argument.  If we raise these issues even obliquely, we set ourselves up for “har har har” by the bomb-em-all-to-hell crowd.  Or we run the risk of promoting the Black Hawk Down syndrome, where we gasp in horror because eighteen Americans died in a battle that also killed 1000 Somalis who get mentioned as a footnote to what is perceived as “the greater horror”.  It takes away from the focus of the immorality of setting ourselves up as world policeman without the approval of other nations.

    Finally, sorry if it seemed that I was implying that you were among the kvetchers about “Saddam Hussein is still there”.  I meant to draw upon it as a parallel to the kind of thinking that seems to be driving Rosenberg’s article and use it to point out the consequences thereof.

  2. Not a problem. I can see your point and I accept it as a valid one. As an aside I’d like to mention to anyone else who’s reading this that Black Hawk Down was much better in book form as I felt it did at least a decent job of presenting things from both sides of the conflict and brought a little understanding to the reader as to why the Somalis did what they did.

    I’m not the sort of person who determines how worthy someone else is to live or die by what nationality, race, creed, religion, gender, or political group they happen to be a part of. My determination of a person’s worth is based on their actions and intentions and I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt before drawing conclusions. I don’t consider the lives of all Americans as being more important than the lives of anyone who isn’t simply because I happen to be an American myself. You won’t find me falling into line with the group that pledges “My Country! Right or wrong!”

    While I don’t think I hold all life quite as sacrosanct as you do, Joel, I do feel that we should be damned sure before we, as a nation, undertake actions with the potential for major loss of life regardless of whether we’re talking about a war or capitol punishment here at home. I also think it’s foolish not to take into account considerations above and beyond just the potential loss of life and whether or not it’s justified or moral.

    Even if it turns out Bush was right and they find huge caches of WMD all over Iraq (and I’ll be the first to admit he was right if they do) his methods of getting to that point may end up doing more harm to our relationships with the rest of the world that such a revelation may not overcome the damage. If anything it could become worse if they administration takes a “See! I told you so!” approach to pointing it out.

    Not sure if this is making any sense. I’m feeling a little muddleheaded this morning.

  3. Reminds me of what Alfred North Whitehead once said to Bertrand Russell, Steve Les:  “There are two kinds of people in the world, Bertie:  The simpleminded and the muddleheaded.  You, Bertie are simpleminded.  I am muddleheaded.”

    I’ve been thinking of Black Hawk Down as a myth (chari’ll tell you that I do that a lot with things).  Maybe I will blog on it if I can get the thing to take a recognizable form.

  4. My view on life:  I think we should respect our own species and preserve the diversity of the planet as best we can.  I eat meat and don’t attend any church though my wife, Lynn, affects me somewhat with her Quaker views.  I think a lot about what we need and what we don’t need.  I keep an open mind, but not to the point that my brain falls out. 

    If there’s going to be a revolution, there better be a place to dance.

    Check out the bit that Madame Fabulous posted about the conversation between a peace activist and a conservative on why we’re going to Iraq.  It’s a kicker:

    (Note:  The name “Steve” in the previous post should have been struck out!)


    Hollywood CA

      The FX’ers are very proud of their latest work.  They say that “The Invisible Man II”, starring Veep Dick Cheney, is in early production
    & looks like a sure winner.  Maybe even an Oscar nomination for the Veep, if they can find him…

      And did you see Fearless Leader last night as he gave his stirring, rally-round-the-barbecue speech?  No you didn’t—it was an ANDROID! That’s right, an honest-to-goodness android.  You thought that Dubya looked a bit stiff when talking and that his lips didn’t move very much?
      You were right!  Notice the freckle on his right ear lobe—that’s there so that the White House staff can know whether they’re dealing with Numero Uno or his robot twin.  What fun!!
      Bush, of course, is trying to kill the ongoing production of “Iraqula, the Undead”, currently starring Saddam Hussein (so damn insane?), his and his Pappy’s favorite nemesis (enemy, to the reading-challenged).  “He trahd ta git ma Paw” is the commonest reason he gives for his actions.
      “Bah tha way, where is that dam’ Cheney?” he remarked in parting. 

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