Thursday, June 22, 2006

Support for the war VS Support for the troops

This is an interesting idea. As I read Lieutenant Barnett's blog (Midnight in Iraq) archives I find some interesting things. At one point he got an email from a journalism student at the UW Madison. She asked him about how war protestors affected him and other soldiers (technically he's a Marine rather than a soldier - soldiers are Army) there. It caused me to examine what I think about the war, those executing it and those responsible for starting it.

And so here, of no particular importance and in no particular order, is what I think.

  • Do I think the war was "necessary"?: No, not particularily. There was, as it turns out, little or no valid evidence that Saddamm had weapons of mass distruction. He was, no doubt, an Evil Man and shouldn't have been the leader of his country but that was a situation which had existed for more than 30 years so why the sudden desire to "fix" this particular problem? (I have an idea on that as well) There was no burning, immediate threat to American security that I can see (or could then) which had to be addresses by invasion.

  • Do I think we should pull out as soon as possible?: No. Right or wrong we did what we did. We "broke" Iraq and since we broke it, I believe it's our responsibility to fix it such as is feasible and such as the Iraqi people will let us (or accept our help). Can we fix it by the schedules which seem to keep popping up in congress and the media (this year? next year? next July?)? I serously doubt it but I'm not really on the inside track and posses sufficient information to render an informed opinion.

  • Does that mean we should pull out early and leave things unfinished?: No, I don't think we should. Being ex-military I have a certain desire, likely instilled in me by my parents as well as the Army, to see the job done. All the way. My nature is such that I'm something of a perfectionist but that is mostly infeasible in this sort of situation. "Close enough for Government work" isn't just a joke. Really.

  • Does that mean you are willing to let the Administration not announce a pull-out date?: No. I don't trust them any longer. There have been way too many instances of the Administration lying to us (the American people) to allow me to take their word for anything as anything other than what you should scoop up after you walk your dog. Now granted they are all politicians (which means that anything come from their mouth can generally be used as fertilizer), but they seem to want to become the new definition of "politican" and formalize the link between that term and "bald-faced liar".

  • So if he didn't need to invade Iraq, why did he?: I believe he started the whole thing because it neatly folded into his reelection bid. The whole "don't change horses in mid-stream" war president thing. I believe he had no idea how to address the other significant (domestic) problems we faced so he waved his hand and said "look over there". And people bought it. (which is a shame on us rather than a condemnation of him, after all, snake oil salesman are an American tradition) But we let him get away with it at the time and now we can't just bail on his stupidity. He still doesn't seem to have any feasible plans to fix any of our problems, and it's becoming less of a side line issue after all.

  • But what about the "War on Terror"?: From my perspective we've been involved in the "war on terror" since the mid 70s when terrorists started using airline hijacking as a common means to their ends. I was nearly blown up one Saturday afternoon when I went to wash my jeep at the PX. Soldiers in Germany were killed for ID cards which were then used to plant bombs on our bases. The only difference between the 80s and 90s and now is that they got the brass balls to attack us on our own soil. Possibly because we seldom put the smack down on them in their ballparks before then. Or at least not often enough (the late 80s air raid on Libya springs to mind an instance when we did smack pretty hard).

  • Why should we listen to you and why are your opinions any more important than mine?: You shouldn't and they aren't. I spent 13 years of my life defending your right to be an idiot and to express that in public. In some cases it might have been a mistake but I will trust to Darwin to strike you dead when you fail to look both ways crossing the street. In fact my opinions are of no importance to anyone but me but this is my blog so I can post any damn thing I want so. So bleh! [sticks out tongue]

Well I may have more to post on this sort of thing later but that should be enough for now. I hope I've been slightly amusing.


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