What He Wrote

I was asked to post the message I received from a reader that led to this entry. Here it is:

Recently I’ve discovered the world of Blogs and yours is one of my daily reads. I’ve been running around the idea of a journal on our website (I used to always keep a journal when I traveled after high school) but obviously the blog is the way to go.

Anyway, I got an email link from a friend in NY (worked across the street from the WTC, all his buddies worked at Cantor-Fitzgerald) that was obviously written by what you call a chickenwarblogger. I whipped out a response (I had a tee time approaching) and sent it without much thought. I think it really got to him. He wants me to be running for office now [laughable]. When I reread today what I had written yesterday morning I couldn’t believe I had written it. Reading blogs like yours has definitly sharpened my knife.

I’m still a ways off from starting my own blog (gotta blow a lot of glass for the coming holiday season) but I wanted to pass on what you helped inspire. (Feel free to use any of it)

[my friend] > I liked what this guy had to say [link any typical chickenwarblogger rant], just wanted your take on it.

[my response]

I feel like a mosquito at a nudist camp, I don’t even know where to begin. I’ll try and avoid going into it point by excruciating point and instead give my general reaction.

First, the fact that the writer continues to frame this as a “Lefty” issue ignores the reality that a lot of conservatives have serious misgivings about staging this war and instead it comes across as little more than a heavy handed diatribe against the left. I refer you to a recent speech by General Zinni http://www.mideasti.org/html/zinnispeech.htm . I don’t think anyone, including the writer, could mistake this person for a Lefty. For my own part, though I come across as left-center to most, if not all, of my right-center friends, I have in reality voted for more GOP candidates than DFL in my lifetime and still morn the loss McCain suffered in SC. If you could remove all the republicans with a gun in one hand and a bible in the other I would be comfortable back in the ‘Big Tent”.

If it helps, I was just making the case for going to war with Iraq to someone yesterday (I really can play both sides of the isle). My rational was that because the US in essence created Saddam in the first place we owed it to the world to go in and clean up after ourselves, followed by a big apology and a promise to stop installing brutal regimes just because they suit some short term geopolitical purpose. They always seem to end up embarrassing us or somehow coming back to bit us on the butt. I believe in democracy but too often it seems that our government is more concerned with spreading capitalism than democracy, confusing the two and pissing off a lot of people who get left out.

I’ve never heard a lefty advocate assassinating Saddam, but I did hear Ari go there (is Ari a closet lefty?).

For more reasons than I care to delve into, comparing Saddam to Hitler is a gross disservice to history. For one thing, Hitler never asked our position on attacking Poland whereas Saddam checked with our envoy as to the position of the US regarding Kuwait. The day after we responded that we had no official position on middle east boarders Saddam attacked. I have a whole group of in-laws that survived Nazi Germany (concentration camps and all) and I see firsthand how that effects the next two, three generations. Nobody who has any idea what really happened during WWII would seriously put forth such an insulting comparison. That the world joined forces and repelled Saddam out of Kuwait shortly after his invasion shows that we have indeed learned the lesson that ignoring the takeover of Poland taught us.

Likewise, the example of postwar Japan to Iraq is another put forward by people ignorant of history. Again, for more reasons than I care to delve into, Tommy Franks is no MacArthur, and the Iraqis of today are nothing like the Japanese of the 1930s – 1950s.

We’re talking about a battle between Judeo/Christian-fascism (Jerry Falwell, Ann Coulter anyone?) and Islamo-fascism that’s been going on for over 1500 years. To think that by simply going in and installing a pro-western government we can make everything better (as in Panama, Grenada? Please) displays ignorance of recent history. We tried that in Iran in the 50’s when their newly elected – democratically elected I might add – government wanted to nationalize their oil industry. The US helped stage an overthrow and installed the Shaw of Iran. This radicalized their religious leaders which lead directly to their takeover in the 70’s, which in turn lead to our creation of Saddam (and now we’ve gone full circle). Now anti-Americanism is again fueling insurgencies in simi-stable regimes otherwise friendly to the US (see Pakistan, see Brazil).

If dropping bombs doesn’t create terrorists, why is it that the US (and immediate allies) are the only countries to suffer terrorists? There are a lot of flourishing democracies around the world who don’t worry about terrorists.

Near the beginning of this I said that I was making a case for war with Iraq yesterday. My other reason for going to war was that too many people have obviously forgotten what war is really like. In some religions it’s said that you have to be ‘reborn’ to be saved. Well, if we’re really going to ever have true world peace we’ll have to have that final big battle. Hawks are quick to point out that if the pacifists are wrong the worst case outcome is a nuke in NY or Washington. I’d like to point out that if we go to war and the Hawks are wrong, the worst case outcome is Armageddon.

How many US lives are you willing to forfeit? How many foreign lives? How many is too many? If this really was a viable route to peace we wouldn’t still be trying this same approach for the last 2-3,000 years. But what the hell, let’s give it another try. It’s not like it’s you or me or our children that will have to give their lives in this battle.

Oh yeah, and the Subject line of his message was, “If I had a blog.”