coping skills

Today we’re going to war with Iraq.

Outside my window, the sun shines in a sky of insolent blue. The birds in my backyard are trying to outdo each other with their trills. I wish that, like them, I could be Zen about everything. But it’s impossible. Soon, bombs will start raining on Baghdad and some 200,000 American troops and half a million Baghdadis will be put in harm’s way.

I rarely think in absolutes, so I won’t say that every war is wrong. But this one is very wrong, and very reckless.

Those who support the war say that Saddam has weapons of mass destruction. Yet there has been no smoking gun. Whatever intelligence the U.S. says it has never made it into the hands of the inspectors, and when it did, it never led to any finds. Even more embarrassing is the fact that part of the evidence presented to the U.N. by Colin Powell (and provided to him by Tony Blair) was plagiarized from a student paper (typos and all).

They say we must go to war to provide the people of Iraq with freedom. That is a lofty ideal, and I wholeheartedly support it. But the fact remains that 12 years ago we said the same thing about Kuwait. And yet, despite our intervention, Kuwaiti women still do not have the right to vote.

They say Iraq represents a threat to the American people. Yet even the much talked about Al-Samoud missiles had a range of only 93 miles. We are 6,000 miles away.

They say Saddam and Al-Qaeda are linked. And yet Osama Bin Laden has called Saddam and his Ba’ath party ‘infidels’, a term he usually reserved for Americans.

They say Saddam has used his weapons against his own people. They are talking about the Halabjah massacre, which happened in 1988. At the time, the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency asserted that it was Iranian gas that killed the Kurds, not Iraqi gas. But regardless of who was responsible for the massacre of the Kurds, why is it we’re having a moral problem with it, 15 years later?

I could go on, but the point is that the rationale for the war has not been consistent over the last six months, a fact which makes it abundantly clear that the decision to take over Iraq was made long before a justification had to be found for it. And despite the overwhelming opposition of the world to this, despite the President’s own father’s warnings, war is happening.

There’s no doubt that Saddam’s Republican Guard will be crushed and that the dictator’s days in Baghdad are finished. Beyond the war, however, the outlook is quite bleak. The Administration’s track record in Afghanistan demonstrates that it has no commitment to rebuilding (beyond what will be necessary to produce and export oil). It’s unlikely that a president who has shown such disregard for the UN will allow it to organize free and fair elections. Therefore, the most likely course will be the choice of a pro-US leader. The people will continue to struggle with poverty, as well as their anger over their country being taken over. And we all know what poverty and anger lead to. Soon a Khomeini-like figure will emerge and Iraq, one of the last bastions of secularism in the region, will fall to the fundamentalists. An entire generation of terrorists will be bred, and Bush will have succeeded in making us even less safe than before September 11.

I hope I am wrong.

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12 Responses to “coping skills”

  1. David Foster Says:

    The fact that Iraqi missiles have a range of only 93 miles and the U.S. is 6000 miles away doesn’t really matter all that much in an era of terrorism. There are many other ways to deliver weapons. Imagine what could be packed into a typical 40 foot long sea container…and hundreds of thousands of such containers flow through the seaports every month.

    I’m sure that the regime in Kuwait leaves much to be desired. But do you think the people there would be better off if Saddam were still in control of that country? Have you read about the machines designed for shredding plastic into which political prisoners are being fed?

  2. Big John Says:

    No one who is sane wants war. But, game theory teaches us that the agressor sets the rules, and Saddam is nothing if not aggressive. Ask the conservatively estimated 500,000 dead, murdered by his order. Not to mention his policy of having the mothers, wives and sisters of ‘troublemekers’ raped, as object lessons to his countrymen. Not to mention the CHILDREN he has had tortured before their parents eyes. These are not rare events, but have occured many times.

    You say the only massacre was 15 years ago. What about the slaughter of the delta She’ites after the gulf war, as mentioned in the blog you just linked to? True, GB-I should never have stopped the war at the border, allowing Saddam to crush those people, who were rebelling based on our promises. I say better late than never.

    You fail to understand the lessons of history. Gangsters must either be confronted, or submitted to. There is no other course. Sorry, I know you would rather that the world not be this way. So would I. But it isn’t. Get used to it.

    Ultimately, democracies and dictatorships CANNOT co-exist on one small world with high-speed travel and the bomb. One has got to go. Guess which one I prefer?

  3. eric g richter Says:

    You boys at the DOD better not fuck this up.
    These people are going to need food, shelter, and running water ASAP. You blow this opportunity, and you better goddamned believe that grouped factions of Al-Qaeda will infiltrate and activate in our country.
    REMEMBER The entire world has the wrong idea of this mission,..it’s not about sending back CNN reports of Iraqis with American flags in their hands, (this ain’t fucking Normandy) it’s about providing the PEOPLE of Iraq with another chance at a peacefull co-existance with the rest of the arab world,.and rebuilding their infrastructure so they can compete and diversify eventually without your help,..
    And just in case yall ain’t quite got it figured out yet,..An Iraq quickly released from the influence of our help,..is a success story EVERYONE can get behind.
    You fucks are reading everyone elses mail,..
    ya better read this one,…got it?

  4. JeremyJ Says:

    I am the goverment and I say good ideas eric g richter (thumbs up).

    We’ll get right on that!

  5. Josh Says:

    You make some interestingly useless points and then spice them up with more than a tinge of falseties. Not that I’m trying to be rude.

    First off, you posted this entry aproximately 12 hours previous to the end mark of the 48 hour deadline President Bush gave Saddam and his thugs to leave Iraq. As you may well know now, the war didn’t start. No one went screaming across the southern borders (though that may very well happen). No bombs have (and I quote) “rained down on Baghdad.” Nor do I believe they will. Our President may be a Cowboy, but he’s not a moron. As you may well know now (6:51AM CT), he ordered a surgical strike via tomahawk and F117 jets on specific and isolated targets in southern Baghdad. I would not call this “raining down,” and neither would anyone else.

    Furthermore, you are incorect in your assesment of the Al-Samoud missiles. They SHOULD HAVE a range NO MORE than 93 miles. They HAD a range much greater than that. There is a big difference there.

    You make absolutely stunning predictions of the future of our world and the war in Iraq. Are you in fact omniscient?

    Here, let me be so blunt and raw that I verge on disgusting. Why don’t you do this. Go to Iraq and take some counts. Try and tally all the little tiny helpless girls that have been fucked until they were dead in front of their parents and siblings… ’till the blood ran down there legs. Tally all the women that had the same treatment. Tally those women who were hung upside down by there ankles while they were menstruating, tally the little boys, men and women who were tortured, raped beaten and then brutaly murdered, and then raped again by Saddam and his thugs. Do you want to vomit now? I should hope so.

    Tally THAT. Then come tell me that our President, a man of God, a man of morals, a man of wisdom, a man of integrity, a man of sympathy, a man with dignity and intestinal fortitude is going for the oil, or for his father’s sake or for whatever other damn reason you think he is doing this.

    Stop believing what the liberals are trying to shove down your throat.

    And as far as the UN is concerned, it deserves nothing more than disregard, though President Bush has been patient for months now. The UN (with the help of the cowardly French) have now displayed they’re weekness for the whole world to see.

    And I sure hope that there is a “Pro-US” leader in Iraq after Saddam is gone. Why in the hell would we want an “Anti-US” leader in there? You make some dangerous blanket statements and predictions of the future.

    President Bush and all of our boys in the Armed Forces are out there right now, around the world in harms way, and always have been. They are the reason you can write this blog, and say what you feel like saying. Remember that.

  6. moorishgirl Says:

    Wow, so many comments. I have to get to work, but I’ll try and respond quickly.

    David,
    -While it’s true that “there are many other ways to deliver weapons,” this applies equally well to a host of other countries, like Syria, North Korea, Lybia, etc. As long as there are people willing to die to kill us, we won’t be safe.
    -I certainly didn’t suggest that the Kuwaitis would have been better off under Saddam. That’s a leap that you (not I) made. What I was suggesting was that our grand claims of bringing “liberation” to people have not panned out in the past. And one would hope that we would do a better job this time around.

    Big John,
    -I agree with what you say about war. In fact, my post says “I won’t say that war is wrong.” For example, to the extent that there had been a clear case of aggression against Kuwait, Desert Storm was justified. Same with Kosovo, etc.
    -I never said “the only massacre was 15 years ago.” Please read my post again. I was talking about the fact that the Halabja incident is brought up constantly, and I linked to some interesting information about that particular incident. This is not a condonement of Saddam.

    Eric & Jeremy,
    Er… Okay….

    Josh,
    -Yes, I posted this entry at 8 am, but I said “Soon.” I didn’t say at 12:08 or 5:07 or anything like that. I wish the bombs don’t rain down on people, but that’s what the much talked about “shock and awe” is about. We all would prefer it wouldn’t happen.
    -I misspoke about the Al-Samoud. Yes, they had a range of greater than 93 miles, but not by much (the tests said somewhere around 100 miles.)
    -Feel free to make your own predictions about the war if you don’t like mine.
    -As for Saddam being a brutal dictator, that’s a fact that needs no elaborating. I was born in a country that has perfected torture, so I could tell you stories just as shocking as the ones you talk about. Yes, Saddam should go, but I’m questioning the timing and the rationale for a war to oust him. You don’t have to agree.
    -As for our men and women in uniform, let’s please not play a game of “more patriotic than thou.”

  7. JeremyJ Says:

    On a side note, since a fair amount of Muslims believe it’s in the Koran that women should not be allowed to vote, I don’t think it’s our place to tell their country what do do.

    If enough Muslims weren’t angry at us already, I don’t think it would be in our interest (at this point in time) to start flexing more muscle in dar al Islam.

  8. mark Says:

    Saddam Hussein is an violent rotten bastard. Is he worse than Pinochet? Worse than Suhuarto that had a few HUNDRED THOUSAND killed- a bunch straight of lists our CIA supplied? Worse than Somoza(all of the Somozas)? They were our dictators too.
    The thousands and thousands “soft targets” our mercenery Contras killed because they couldn’t do well against targets who could fight back, including US citizens, Nuns at that- that were funded by our White House, oh yes, and money from selling cocaine in LA, we didn’t call for a regime change at home for their namesake- you know they called themselves the “Sons of Reagan”?
    You can’t bomb folks into liberation cuz they usually die as a result of your efforts.
    But the lure of oil, of the power it will hold in the world economy before oo long. Not to mention keeping folks from noticing the economy is in the crapper, jobs are moving offshore quick, even high tech (whats left).

    Turn off Fox.
    Think. It is the whole basis of Democracy.
    In the counsels of Government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the Military Industrial Complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes.”
    – President Dwight Eisenhower, January 1961.

    Whenever the people are well-informed, they can be trusted with their own government.”
    -Thomas Jefferson

    The first truth is that the liberty
    of a democracy is not safe
    if the people tolerate the growth
    of private power to a point
    where it becomes stronger
    than their democratic state
    itself.
    That, in essence,is fascism
    – ownership of government
    by an individual,
    by a group,
    or by any other
    controlling power.
    Among us today a concentration
    of private power without equal in history
    is growing.”

    -Franklin Delano Roosevelt

    The Ra Ra, the knee jerk stuff is to keep us from thinking cuz the powers that be know we love our Country. Standing by America means standing by her values, dissenting when they’re being hijacked.
    Think. Our country depends on it.
    We are the “Land of the Free”

  9. JeremyJ Says:

    You make some good points.

    If we did what we’re doing in Iraq to every single country that is doing something “wrong” we wouldn’t be a super power for very much longer.

    Our country looks out for it’s best interests (as any sovereign nation would do), and I’m sad that we weren’t more active in preventing attrocities.

    I’m not condoning what the US has done IN THE PAST. Please remember that the same goverment in the US isn’t in power for 50 years at a time like some places so we can’t point to one man and say “it’s all his fault!”

    I’m babbling.

  10. moorishgirl Says:

    JeremyJ:
    I’d love to see your evidence from the Koran on suffrage. FYI, Dar al-Islam has elected more women leaders than this nation of ours.

  11. Sean Says:

    A note for Josh and others

    I think it’s worth taking a brief look at the history of Iraqi-US relations – particularly during previous republican administrations.

    Visit

    http://www.casi.org.uk/info/usdocs/usiraq80s90s.html

    and “find” for the paragraph containing the phrase “non-binding Presidential”. Then ask yourself some questions about what you are told and what you are not told. Also remember that at the outset of the first gulf war we were told that Iraqi soldiers were throwing babies outof incubators in kuwait – this was later exposed as a lie.

    Also, before 11th september 2001 is used as justification for the application of the bush doctrine to Iraq it’s worth reading

    http://www.newamericancentury.org/iraqclintonletter.htm

    In this document the architects of the current action set out their stall a full 3 years before that terrible event.

  12. shrubtrimmedon21503 Says:

    moorishgirl,

    You my dear are telling it like it is. Good to see a lady with a brain use it, keep up the good work and continue to expose the PNAC/Bush agenda for what it is. It is quickly unravelling thread-by-thread, and soon the hoods of the current leaders will fall to the ground, the faces unmasked for the nation and the entire world to see.

    Chin up, fingers on the keyboard and keep writing my dear.

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