Moral Contradictions

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Straight to the heart

I read this article last night before bed in this past week's Newsweek. I thought about certain quotes I wanted to post here, but after reading through it, I'd recommend you to read the entire thing.

This is the reality - the reality that not only are our men and women dying overseas, but the toll their deployment takes on the families left at home. The military is stretched - we've invaded two countries and now in the end of 2006 neither one can be considered stable.

This article makes me ashamed of the government that led us to war. Justified war is fine and necessary, but why have the justifications changed so often?

Further, why does it seem the leaders that haven't served in the miliary are the war's biggest backers while those who have served are the most critical? With John McCain, the former POW in the Hanoi Hilton, having to stand up to the President on torture instead of assuming everyone knows his story and would agree not to treat our prisoners that way. Secretary Colin Powell, a highly decorated veteran who clearly loves his country, having to stand up to the hot air coming out of DC and defend himself, instead of being listened to.

And to top it off, the Administration is eyeing Iran? How are we going to accomplish this?

When you get a chance, read Jonathan Alter's "An Alternate 9/11 History". In a time that called for statesmanship, I think we are lacking.


  • "Dream on Dreamer" could be a second title for the article. We might as well wish for time to go back to when we knew where Osama was, but were reluctant to attack because we might also kill some family members. How can we call families supporting terrorists civilians and terrorists themselves combatants? We hesitated to violate the "civil rights" of possible terrorists and enabled them to fulfill their plans to fly planes into the World Trade Center Towers and the Pentagon. Luckly a group of Americans took charge and stopped the fourth plance from reaching its target. So far our military has been able to divert any further attacks on American soil, due in part to intelligence gathering tatics that are a far cry from the torture inflicted by our terrorist enemies. The West must realize that as much as we would like to, we can not negotiate with terrorists, now or ever. Negotiation requites a mind set that is completely rejected by terrorists.

    By Blogger Mac McFatter, at Sunday, September 17, 2006 4:11:00 PM  

  • I don't mean to spoil the mood or anything, but what do you suggest as an alternative to the invasion of both Iraq? This is more that just payback for September 11th. From a legal point Saddam Hussein was clearly not following the UN's wishes. Was the whole world going to stand by? What could have the UN done otherwise? Sanctions? Better diplomacy? Whether Saddam Hussein had weapons or not may be a mystery but he certainly acted very mysteriously. Personally I don't know what I would have done in Bush's shoes. I don't know what my plan would have been.

    Bush is no saint and he's handled the war very badly, but what was the alternative to invasion of Iraq? I think the UN had a chance to stand up and put some teeth into its policies, and it failed miserably in the Security Council. I think the main issue about the war in Iraq is the sovereingty question and not how badly Bush has handled things. I think the world gets angry because the US has imposed itself on other government without the UN's permission. That to me is the biggest issue.

    By Blogger Jillian, at Monday, September 18, 2006 9:35:00 PM  

  • Jillian, you raise a good point. I think the war in Iraq would have been more palatable if

    A. one clear and obvious reason was presented (instead of 36 with the latest one being high gas prices, nevermind the fact that the invasion excaberated oil's price spike) and

    B. there was a plan post-Saddam.

    The reasons you bring up are all debatable and fair, but all that was heard was "WMDs" (where are they?), Al-Qaida links (um... the President didn't understand the difference between Sunnis and Shia until 3 months before he invaded... that's a problem), and all the other reasons trotted out.

    Anyways, the point is not exactly what the President did, but how he went about it. Whatever goodwill engendered by 9/11, whatever moral authority we have on human rights issues, and whatever relevancy we have in the world have all been jeopardized. Nothing happens because it has to happen.

    Anyways... long time no talk! You should call

    By Blogger Nathan, at Monday, September 18, 2006 10:20:00 PM  

  • I read your blog on a near-daily basis. I'm not a Christian by any sense of the word but it's people like you that give me hope that people of differing ideologies can accept each other.

    That aside, I have a couple points to make:

    1. When questions about Iraq's link to 9/11, Snow said "we never said that." However, everyone who has supported the war and continues to support the deaths of our fellow Americans is not only disheartening but tragic. If there wasn't any association then why do people keep associating it? I can come up with a lot of "what ifs" but it's not going to solve every conceivable social ill and the fact that people ignorantly justify the deaths of our fellow Americans dumbfounds me. Who really supports the troops, the people who want our family back or the people that have some anger in there hearts towards an unknown entity and would sacrifice everyone else's loved one for their hatred?

    2. Regardless of what people think, there will be more terrorist attacks. While we have to send our troops and National Guard oversees, and recall active reserve personnel, who is guarding our borders? Everyone is so wrapped up in airport security that we focus on what officials do and not on the stories of citizens taking action into their own hands. There have been some news articles about regular people protecting the plane. Do I think we should leave it up to passengers? No. But I also don't think our tax dollars should pay for security in a private industry. That's like having a guard outside my house because I'm too scared to get in my own vehicle. I think this quote sums it up best: "If we had mandatory anal cavity searches for every person that enters the United States, we'd find a lot more cocaine."

    3. I keep hearing the "moral" tag thrown around and I agree with your views that we have, or are about to lose, the moral foundation we have set in the past. From spying on our own people to holding people without cause and nitpicking over torture, who are we to say anything? Yes, Saddam was a bad man, but so is Kim Jong Il, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and a handful of African tribal leaders, to include the corrupt leaders of Nigeria, which is the source of the information we used to invade Iraq. However, in the pursuit of getting 1 person that really wasn't any threat to us, we killed many family members in another country. I know if Putin invaded our country over his issues with Bush and he killed my family trying to do it, I won't sit around like a lot of people expect. I think it's beyond realistic to kill many people and have them shower us with positive reenforcement because we took out 1 leader. Were the lives of our families and foreign families really worth supporting a president and an illegal war for 1 man?

    4. I don't see why Iran is a major issue? North Korea is doing the same thing and testing missles in the Sea of Japan (further along than Iran) and we're doing nothing. We won't invade Iran for 2 reasons: 1. because our politicians have what they want in Iraq and they know that if they at least look tough then they will keep the supporters they do have, 2. Iran won't do anything blatantly without sacrificing their world "status." I'm not talking the "raghead" status common in uneducated circles, I mean outside the view our politicians project in the media. To other people following the news, we are perceived as the aggressor because Iran is supposedly working on non-combatant nuclear technology. If Bush was consistent with the image he portrays, we would be in there right now...but we're not. However, all this tough talk only infuriates the innocent Iranians who are pro-U.S., because they can look at Iraq and see what will possibly come of our actions. It isn't at all surprising that Al Qaeda's numbers have grown. However, it takes the ability to remove the guise of lies and misguided anger to see where the problem really lies.

    I remember 9/11. I remember the strength when we pulled together and united for a common cause. I now remember it for being the political platform that has nothing to do with the mastermind of this heinous act (who is still at large and not on Bush's "RADAR"), is being used as a "bait-and-switch" platform garnering support for Iraq and as the current divider causing hatred among our brothers. I never would've thought Liberal and Conservative would end up as the new millenia's f-word.

    By Blogger tayker, at Tuesday, September 19, 2006 11:24:00 AM  

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