Unjust war: are passive Americans responsible?

Feeling guilty forever

“A policy of overthrowing or destabilizing every regime our government dislikes is no strategy at all, unless our goal is international chaos and domestic impoverishment.” – Ron Paul

I received a good question about a post in which I asserted, “those who henceforth perpetuate the lie that the surge is working are war criminals, and perpetrate crimes against humanity, by extending an illegal, unjust, and murderous war through known falsities.” Bold, I know. When I said it, I was thinking of government officials, but a layperson would also take it personally.

The thought-provoking question was essentially this: how can a person be called a war criminal if they have only claimed that “the surge is working”? The following is my attempt to answer that question.

You are not a war criminal in the legal sense, and should certainly not be held accountable as such. But there have certainly been what natural law would consider crimes perpetrated in the war with Iraq. Let us say, hypothetically, that time proves me correct in my belief that this war is unjust. I suggest that we do not have to be prosecuted for a crime to feel guilt for having aided in it. I also suggest that those who support the Iraq war (even passively), may in the future feel some guilt for having done so, assuming they have the capacity for honest reflection. Did passive German citizens not feel guilt after WWII, even though they accepted the Nazi claim that they were fighting to save Western civilization prior to the war’s end? Even some of the finest philosophers and scientists in the world fell for, and sometimes even contributed to, the aggrandizement of Nazi empire. The same could be said of British imperialism. Are not all empires (even unacknowledged ones–in our era no one calls oneself a fascist or imperialist) eventually humiliated, and forced by nature to admit their arrogances and poor judgments?

“We are fighting for freedom against a dangerous enemy”, “the surge is working”, “support our troops”, “let the generals decide”, “it’s a complex region”, “there would be chaos if we leave”, “we are winning”, “let the troops win”, “we are at war with Islamo-fascism”, “be patriotic”, “don’t blame America”–all are comforting phrases intended to stifle dissent against the Executive and destroy critical thinking in America, but when we research them, we find that few of them are backed by substance. Because the war is impossible to justify, the President has bombarded the people with mystery, nationalism, irrationality and fear, because reason cannot argue in favor of falsehood. The American people, starved for leaders and clarity, have been subjected to rulers and ambiguity. They deserve better than the empty slogans that lead this stanza, and, appallingly, no one in the media seems to be taking responsibility for providing them with the truth.

As far as my philosophy on this war is concerned, I agree with what Gandhi wrote: “What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy?”

I believe the threat posed to our security by Iraq was certainly overstated, if not fabricated. I am opposed to war without just cause. I consider the acceptance of aggressive war to be an assertion that murder and plunder are legal if a legitimate government commits them. The reality is, any government that engages in aggressive, unjust war becomes illegitimate in doing so. Moreover, I see our presence in the Middle East as only adding to the grievances that terrorists use against us to convince suicide bombers that their mission is worthy. Take away the U.S. presence in the Middle East, and terrorists would likely turn their efforts against the dictators that are the true cause of their wretchedness.

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8 Responses

  1. If we leave the mid-east the terrorists would leave us alone? You have got to be kidding. Don’t you pay attention to the news? If the islamists are only concerned about our being in the middle east, how do you explain their attacks on the Philippines? The Philippines aren’t in the middle east, unless you count the filipinas that go there to work as nurses and maids. But the Philippines have been fighting to keep 10% of the population, the muslim extremists, from taking over the country and forcing islam on the entire nation. How about Europe? England, France, Denmark, Spain, all have allowed way too many muslims, who refuse to accept the ways of their adopted homelands, then had problems and terrorist attacks because of it. We have had attacks in this country, along with a concerted effort to islamatize this country. You people against the war think that leaving the middle east will end the war, no, it will only change the battlefield. Try listening to what the enemy tells us, this war is not about us being in the middle east, it is, however, about us not being muslim. We can fight to win, convert to islam or just die. I don’t want to convert to islam or die, that only leaves one option. Fight to win, no matter where we have to fight

  2. It is frustrating when people who have no understanding of history, politics, or human nature decide they know everything about war. Let me begin by telling you that a commitment to free enterprise and civil liberties makes a nation so insurmountably powerful that no other ideology can hope to gain a foothold against it. Fifty people living freely are much more powerful than a thousand living in chains. I would rather face the terrorists here than lose my civil liberties. Anyone at all connected to reality has to admit that there is no way Muslims are taking over the U.S. if the U.S. sticks to its classically liberal Constitutional principles (no redistribution of wealth, no undeclared wars, no abandonment of civil liberties).

    Since imbeciles typically have so many questions and no answers, I am obliged to educate extensively. For those of you who are educated and have the ability to think critically, you may stop reading here. dcbarton, continue reading, although it will do you no good. I can tell from your shallow reflection you are, like the terrorists, hopelessly attached to murder and the denial of human rights. Perhaps you belong in a secret prison as well (of course I’m kidding, because unlike you, i believe individuals deserve public trials). Yes, your morals–or lack thereof–are that predictable. Your support of murder is a subject you may take up with God, and I will leave the two of you to that subject, and go on to answering some of your childlike questions (if you are under the age of twelve, which I am inclined to suspect, I apologize, and suggest you ask your daddy about these questions before surfing the web).

    “If we leave the mid-east the terrorists would leave us alone?” We’re fighting in Iraq, and nearly all of the terrorists come from Saudi Arabia, yet Saudi Arabia is never connected to terrorism on “the news” you hold in such high esteem. Does that not make you raise an eyebrow? You should come to learn the differences between cause and effect, as well as those that separate religion and politics. Terrorism is rooted in specific political grievances. Religion is a way of recruiting people, but without the grievances, the terrorism becomes negligible. It is true that “few people are moved to leave behind their worldly possessions and their families to carry out violence on behalf of a disembodied ideology; it is practical grievances, perhaps combined with an underlying ideology, that motivate large numbers to action.” You can deny this all you want, but in doing so, you are following an unnatural, sinful belief you have instilled in yourself.

    “Don’t you pay attention to the news?” No. I prefer to base my opinions on the whole truth, not gerrymandered bits of it, accompanied by pundits who relish in stifling critical thinking. Did you see on “the news” that Oklahoma declared sovereignty this week? Nope, because that would force “the news” to pay attention to the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, a law to which that industry is averse. “The news” exists to make a profit and maintain the status quo. Get real. Read something. Think a little. “Advertisements contain the only truths to be relied on in a newspaper.” – Thomas Jefferson (much wiser than dcbarton)

    The Phillipines: I don’t live there, and I don’t want to fund their police force. Did you know that U.S. liabilities/debt are already greater than total U.S. household worth? This means the U.S. is, by definition, bankrupt, and can only continue to survive economically by discontinuing its little “war on terror”, as well as a lot of other discretionary spending, or by taking over countries and stealing their resources.

    Europe is easy to explain: welfare state. Read “While Europe Slept” or “Infidel” if you want to understand how the welfare state in Europe, as well as their never-ending support for “refugees”, have bred angry, young Muslim men, who hate the spoon that feeds them and are completely dysfunctional members of society. Muslims are humans, and act like humans. They’re actually very predictable, if you apply psychology to your understanding of them.

    “Islamatize” is not a word, but I understand what you’re trying to say. If we can reduce the welfare state, we can avoid Europe’s fate. However, in order to keep the needless war going, Republicans have compromised to allow the progressive nut-jobs in Washington to increase welfare benefits. Think of it this way: when everyone works for a living, is allowed to keep the fruits of their labors, and given fair opportunity to pursue property, there is a common interest that is formed between people of all different backgrounds; because of this, they don’t want to kill each other, even though their religions vary. “A general association takes place, and common interest produces common security.” This is the “melting pot” reality that was unique to America, and it is the reason we have been able to go on for so long without warring disruptions between our various religious communities. “Freedom is destroyed by dependence, and the safety of the state endangered thereby.” – Thomas Paine. (You may notice that a lot of my influences are long-dead guys. They were all very well educated, and a lot smarter than the television-watching, mind-numbed robots like yourself, who litter our once-great continent today.)

    What the enemy tells us: it is funny you should mention this, because the reality defeats your argument. At the heart of what the enemy tells us are their grievances against us, and an appeal to natural law, which for them comes in the form of God (as it did for America’s “Christo-fascist” founders, to apply our own term to our noble ancestors, who were considered terrorists by the British Crown). Anytime you hear a Muslim radical talk about God, remember Thomas Jefferson’s words: “that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights.” Their appeal to God is similar to Jefferson’s, which claimed that no authority (i.e., the American government or the British King), except for God, has a right to exert force over people it does not legitimately represent. Even Thomas Paine appealed to Christian sentiments in Common Sense, which rallied support for the Revolution, only to admit later that he was never really a Christian. It would not surprise me to learn that some of Osama Bin Laden’s most loyal supporters do not actually care much for Islam.

    The enemy tells us this (you’ll notice political grievances–not unwarranted, random hatred for non-Muslims):

    “Our nation has been tasting this humiliation and contempt for more than 80 years. Its sons are being killed, its blood is being shed, its holy places are being attacked, and it is not being ruled according to what God has decreed.” – Osama Bin Laden, 2001

    “One million Iraqi children have thus far died in Iraq although they did not do anything wrong.” – Bin Laden, 2001

    “They bombed Iraq and considered that a debatable issue.” – Bin Laden, 2001

    “The ordinary man knows that [Saudi Arabia] is the largest oil producer in the world, yet at the same time he is suffering from taxes and bad services. Now the people understand the speeches of the ulemas in the mosques–that our country has become an American colony. They act decisively with every action to kick the Americans out of Saudi Arabia. What happened in Riyadh and [Dhahran] when 24 Americans were killed in two bombings is clear evidence of the huge anger of Saudi people against America. The Saudis now know their real enemy is America.” – Bin Laden, 1996

    “For its own good, America should leave [Saudi Arabia.] … There is no more important duty than pushing the American enemy out of the holy land. … The presence of the USA Crusader military forces on land, sea and air of the states of the Islamic Gulf is the greatest danger threatening the largest oil reserve in the world. The existence of these forces in the area will provoke the people of the country and induces aggression on their religion, feelings and prides and pushes them to take up armed struggle against the invaders occupying the land.” – Bin Laden, 1996. Unfortunately America did not listen to its enemies then, and apparently people like you still refuse to listen.

    “The evidence overwhelmingly shows America and Israel killing the weaker men, women and children in the Muslim world and elsewhere. A few examples of this are seen in the recent Qana massacre in Lebanon, and the death of more than 600,000 Iraqi children because of the shortage of food and medicine which resulted from the boycotts and sanctions against the Muslim Iraqi people, also their withholding of arms from the Muslims of Bosnia-Herzegovina leaving them prey to the Christian Serbians who massacred and raped in a manner not seen in contemporary history. Not to forget the dropping of the H-bombs on cities with their entire populations of children, elderly, and women, on purpose, and in a premeditated manner as was the case with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” – Bin Laden, 1996

    “We declared jihad against the US government, because the US government is unjust, criminal and tyrannical.” – Bin Laden, 1997, didn’t say “because America is free, secular and prosperous” did he? That’s got to be a surprise to you.

    “As for what you asked whether jihad is directed against US soldiers, the civilians in the land of the Two Holy Places (Saudi Arabia, Mecca and Medina) or against the civilians in America, we have focused our declaration on striking at the soldiers in the country of The Two Holy Places.” – Bin Laden, 1997, prefers to attack U.S. military installations in Muslim Holy Lands rather than American children? Who would have thought? Oh yeah, anyone who hasn’t been brainwashed by corporate news and the President.

    “Any thief or criminal or robber who enters another country in order to steal should expect to be exposed to murder at any time. For the American forces to expect anything from me personally reflects a very narrow perception. Thousands of millions of Muslims are angry. The Americans should expect reactions from the Muslim world that are proportionate to the injustice they inflict.” – Bin Laden, 1998

    The injustices that Bin Laden speaks of are not imagined. The U.S. has done some very regrettable things in the Middle East, beginning when we overthrew Mossadegh’s secular democratic government in Iran in 1953 and replaced him with the Shah, who ruled by force with our help. The response to this by the Iranian people was the Islamic Revolution, and the beginning of Islamic terrorism as we know it today. Since then, we have been stirring up the hornet’s nest non-stop, hoping not to get stung. It’s time to adopt a sane foreign policy in the Middle East, and stop propping up dictators who demoralize and impoverish their people, and then blame us for it.

    I have presented you with the answers you requested and the facts and commentary necessary to make an informed and rational judgment. If you still think the war in Iraq is just, God have mercy on your sinful soul.

  3. “I would rather face the terrorists here than lose my civil liberties.” 3,000 people were killed on 9/11, they had all of their civil liberties, right up until those planes ran into the world trade center and the pentagon. If we fight the terrorists here, how many more will die, and at what point do the weak kneed know-it-alls, that think there isn’t a serious threat, decide to just surrender?
    “Since embiciles typically have so many questions and no answers, I am obliged to educate extensively.” Sorry, name calling does not change the facts, so now maybe I should educate you. “Your morals-or lack there of-are that predictable.” My morals include the willingness to kill before being killed. As far as my age, considerably more than 12, and life experiences are a life long involvement with the military, as a dependent until I was 17, then in the Marines, now as a father of a soldier, who did serve in Iraq and happens to know alot more of what we are facing than you ever will.
    “We are fighting in Iraq and nearly all of the terrorists come from Saudi,” no. Youa re thingking of the 9/11 attacks. 19 of the 20 hijackers were Saudi nationalists, the people we are fighting in Iraq come from Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Palestinian Territories, and else where in the middle east. They are all muslim extremeists that want the entire world converted to islam. Al-Qaeda leaders, Ahmedinejad and Qadaffi of Lybia have all said that we need to convert to islam to gain peace. Again, I’ll bring up the Philippines, you are short sighted and not as smart as you think if you don’t see the connection between what is happening there and what we are fighting in Iraq. We have Iran training, equipping and arming terrorists in the Palestinian territories, Lebanon and Iraq. We have islamic problems in Europe, not because of a welfare system, rather because their religion dictates that when more than 10% of the population is islamic, they are required to bring about an islamic conversion and islamic form of government.

    You quote Thomas Jefferson. Nice, but you forget some things about Jefferson. When Kieth Ellison, Democrat from Minnesota was sworn into office in the Congress he was sworn in on a copy of the qu’ran that belonged to Jefferson. Jefferson had that qu’ran to learn about muslims who were attacking our trading vessals near Lybia. What they told us was that it was nothing personal, it was just that we are infadels and they were required by their religion to attack us. Maybe you should learn some of that history that you claim others don’t know.
    “Dropping the H-bombs on cities with their entire populations of children, elderly, and women, on purpose and in a premeditated manneras was the case with Hiroshima and Nagasaki.” Bin Laden, 1996. What we did at Hiroshima and Nagasaki don’t apply in this argument, we were not the aggressors in that war, and we are not the aggressors in this war. I know those on the left like to think this is all our doing, but no. For Bin Laden to point at that as justification for the murder of 3,000 pewople in New York and Virginia is disingenuous. Japan attacked us, not the other way around, we just fought to win. We did not attack Bin Laden, In fact we helped him defeat the Russians when they were in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, we didn’t realize until it was too late that he had bigger fish to fry. His goal was to convert the entire world to an islamic caliphate. You do seem to quote the enemy alot, as though you don’t understand his need to use whatever lies he needs to use to justify his actions and to recruit fighters.
    As far as Iran, I was there in the summer and fall of ’78. We did not install the Shah, we re-installed the Shah. While the Shah did have his secret police, every nation in the middle east has a secret police force, he did not rule by force. Undre the Shah, Iran had one of the fastest growing economies in the world, people lived, worked and had good and peaceful lives. The President Carter insisted that the Shah allow the Ayatollah to come back from his exile in, of all places, France. After that, when the revolution started to break out, Carter turned his back on the Shah and allowed Iran to sink into the dismal state it is now in. In case you fail to understand about the kind of people we are fighting, in ’78 there was a place we used to go in Tehran, it had a swimming pool, restaurant, game room and movie theater. In November of ’78, the Peaceful revolutionaries in Iran, chained the gate closed on the movie theater and threw molotov cocktails into the theater, murdering their own country men just because they didn’t follow the right version of islam.
    You presented answers, yes. But not one “fact.” I gave you some facts, maybe you, and all the others who think like you do, will wake up and face reality while there is still a chance for this country, and the world at large. If you want to learn some of what we are up against, I would suggest you read “Because They Hate” by Bridget Gabriel. I know you will call it biased propaganda, but the fact is, she was a victim of islamists in Lebanon in the ’70s.
    I have the facts, you are the one that needs to make informed and rational judgements.

  4. Dear dcbarton –

    My mother begs me never to resort to name-calling, but when my head is particularly hot (as it was when last I wrote you), the temper occasionally travels to my fingertips before her good judgment appeals to my conscience. I apologize for my earlier remarks, and acknowledge that it is only a person who is in a child-like, intemperate state of mind, that possesses the nerve to unwisely accuse another of being that way. I know that, though we differ in our opinions, our hearts and minds are committed to the welfare of our fellow Americans in these trying times.

    Our government now acts as if it were afraid to awaken a single reflection in us.

    I beg your honest reflection in answering this question: If we had a weak military force, and China, in an effort to fix what it deemed our backward lifestyle, started installing troops in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., would you try to stop them, or would you cooperate with them peacefully? Personally, I would join (or start) an anti-Chinese militia, and I would therefore be considered a “terrorist” by the Chinese government. I would die to protect America’s sovereignty from invasive forces. I would protect our sovereignty by any means that I thought would help. If China sent forces to Canada or Mexico, I would feel compelled to help our neighbors as well. How is this patriotism–this yearning for national sovereignty that I would feel–different from what the Iraqis, Syrians, Iranians, Afghanis, Pakistanis, etc., who decide to oppose U.S. forces in Iraq feel?

    It is clear we are not going to agree about the merits of this war any time soon. Whether or not we should be at war with Iraq, we are there, and we are looking toward a war with Iran. We would be wise to look at our current situation as a nation before we start another war. The United States is nearing the point of imperial collapse, which will be an economic one, almost certain to involve hyperinflation and a credit drought (although the government can choose an alternative mode of impoverishment). Whether or not we would like to keep fighting in the Middle East will be irrelevant, because we will not be able to afford it. Ignoring economic laws to focus on these squabbles, however entertaining we may find them, will not allow us to cheat science. The currency will collapse while we’re busy arguing the merits of an endless war, which suddenly will seem trivial to the average American who can no longer find a job, afford his home, his car, or in some cases his food. When this happens, we will only have our own arrogance to blame, for overspending our revenues and overextending our rule. This will be made more regrettable when we realize that many economists saw the collapse coming (history and science reveal that all empires end this way), but could not get the people to stop watching “the news” or “American Idol” long enough to vote to limit government for their own future prosperity. It is tempting to believe that the United States is great enough to escape the fates of past empires like Britain and Rome, but this is simply not true, and you better believe Britain and Rome thought their greatnesses were to last until the end of time. Every empire ends in financial collapse, and their vast military forces coincidentally disappear.

    You and I have our arguments; mine are primarily based on science, history and philosophy, while yours are primarily based on experience, current events, and attachments to specific peoples and places. The more we study history, science, and philosophy, the more we will learn that nature, principles, science, and God do not hold time, place, or person in any regard. Principles of good government (many of which appear in the U.S. Constitution) are static forces that have no connection to time, neither can they be altered by traumatic events. Good principles stand forever on their merits; we should take care that the American people never abandon them.

    Of all history’s political and religious ideologies that have been called “good”, the only one that has never forsaken humankind is the ideology of individualism, because it is the only one that seeks to ally itself totally with nature. Christianity gave us tyrants, Inquisitors, and witch hunters; Islam gave us pirates and murderers; monarchy made humankind wretched; communism brought us gulags and misery; nationalism has been accompanied by genocide; democracy has given us Hamas and Ahmedinejad; imperialism has given us countless bloody revolts; but individualism has guaranteed the protection of our lives, liberties, and labors, and humbly brought us peace and prosperity. It has helped us understand that good laws are pointed out by nature–not propagated by a ruler or a delegation of rulers.

    Our economic and foreign policies have abandoned natural law and reason. Adam Smith was not wrong; neither was John Quincy Adams, nor George Washington. No one evens suggests these men were incorrect in their respective fields; we simply ignore their valid teachings and believe we can get away with it, but we are wrong. Natural law cannot be long circumvented by any nation, no matter how benevolent that nation may appear to the majority of its citizens; nature always exerts its force, destroying those who have tried in vain to cheat it. We cannot change nature, but we can reverse our policies that oppose it. Economically, that requires gradually phasing out the welfare state, and restoring sound money and free markets; internationally, that requires protecting our shores and borders, abiding by the Christian Just War doctrine, trade and diplomacy with all nations (including Iran), and alliance with none.

    Thanks for the book suggestion. I like little more than reading honest, relevant, eloquent non-fiction. I have a lot of reading on my plate right now, but I will add Gabriel’s book to the shopping list. Actually, one of the one’s I mentioned to you, Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s “Infidel” is probably similar. It is her biography, which tells of how she was victimized by radical Islam in Africa.

    I am an equal opportunity offender, and I have done my share of Muslim extremism-bashing as well. I will leave you with some things I have written in the past that might surprise you:

    “Wake up, Abus, Abduls and Achmeds. Look at the world. Look at yourselves. Submission is for dogs and cowards. Freedom, knowledge, individuality—these are for your women, and also for you.”

    “Europe must foster integration between Muslim immigrants and native Europeans. There are two cultures in Europe today, and they are separate and relatively peaceful now, but they will not remain this way, for Muhammad is an example for the Muslim, and he was a prophet of violence, rape, pedophilia, intolerance and war.”

    “Muslims with endless natural wealth are living in poverty because they are ruled by tyrannical princes, and they continue to blame all of their problems on the Jews—a billion cases of misplaced rage, all too reminiscent of Nazi sentiment.”

    “The scheme of your prophet is one of many. It too will rise and fall, as others before it have. It is–like all others–useless in the grand scheme. This is why your relation with God should be personal and interpersonal. Listen to God yourself. God is not in a book, but in your life…If you need a perspective on two sides, here is mine: It is not right for the West to exert military force on sovereign Islamic nations. It is also not right for Islam to view Western non-Muslims as non-human, which it does. ” – excerpts from my letter to a radical Muslim

    Regards.

  5. Rideronthet,
    Debate is as American as it gets, but too many people in this country want to shut down the opposition while screaming that the opposition is trying to stop them from having their say. An apology isn’t really necessary, but I do enjoy good debates, a hazard of growing up in a time before cable and when many people didn’t even have tv’s yet.
    That said, if China started installing troops anywhere in the US I would fight them. But it doesn’t really apply ti the US in Iraq. We aren’t fighting many Iraqis, who we are fighting is Iran, Syria, Lebonese and others who aare Islamic extremists. I know the media doesn’t cover it much, but try talking to some of the vets who are coming home from Iraq. I could tell stories all day that my son told me when he got home that would illistrate that the average Iraqi wants us there for now. Do they want us there for ever? No. But they also don’t want us to leave until they can defend themslevs. And they are getting closer everyday. We have found more insurgents and weapons caches so far thids year than all of 2007. That is because the Iraqi people are feeling more secure and more willing to report the insurgents, but they are reporting them more to us, they are reporting them to the Iraqi police and army. Iran, we are involved in a war by proxy against Iran right now in Iraq. That is by Iran’s choice. But Iran has been at war with us since Carter screwed Iran by forcing the Shah to allow the Ayatollah back from exile, then abandoning the Shah when he needed help to put down the rebellions. I happened to be in Tehran when that happened, I saw what these people are capable of and it isn’t good. I have alot of anti-islamic resentment, that doesn’t make me anti-muslim, just anti-extremist. I would point out that in New York, just this past Christmas, it was a mulim that defended an older jewish couple from some “good” christians.” But it was also islamic extremists that chained a gate closed in a movie theater in Tehran in ’78 and threw molotov cocktails into the theater, mudering innocent Iranians just for going to see “Dog Day Afternoon”. About China in Mexico, sorry, they are already there. The Chinese army is working out of two military bases in Mexico, and along the Mesxican side of the border. They are part of a UN peacekeeping force that is concerned about our mistreating Mexicans by protecting or attempting to protect our borders. I have heard reports of Chinese soldiers crossing into the US along the Mexican border, but can’t confirm it, I only have annecdotal evidence, not enough to arm the citizenry along the border.
    The US’s economic problems are many right now, I’ll agree to that, but I would question why. I have a tendancy to believe it is more to do with our insistance on sending aid to every remote part of the world, even those who we know don’t like us. The sad fact is that the American Government attempts to “buy” friends, that never works. We have also placed ourselves, again Carter’s doing, in a position to rely on OPEC for our oil. We refuse to allow drilling the continental shelf, ANWR, or almost anyplace in the US. We whine about oil prices form OPEC but we have possivly the largest oil reserves in the world just in shale oil in Utah, Wyoming and Montana. The Government, in my opinion, is just trying to buy “friends” in OPEC. It will never happen, but we try. NAFTA started as a good idea, Reagan and the first Bush both wanted it, but both Presidents refused to sign it because it had loopholes that were obviously bad for America. President Clinton signed it regardless, and immediately companies began closing in the US and moving to Mexico. The problem with that was that Mexico wouldn’t let them pay what we consider a decent wage, so the Mexican people failed to benift from NAFTA and we lost from NAFTA. That is what has caused the job loss in the US, not the war in Iraq. The credit problems in this country stem from the people expecting to have what they want now and worrying about paying later, People over use credit, then over extend themselves until they can’t pay their bills.
    I will agree to the nature of our differences of opinion, but let me ask you a question. How do we fix our problems after we are dead? If we lose this war, we lose our lives or way of life. Then we can fix nothing. If we win, we still have our lives, and we aren’t hampered by a religious ideology that forbids us from changing anything. As I see it, to get from where we are, to where we should be, we have to do it through violence against those who would deny us the opportunity to get to a place where the world can live as you think it should. A perfect world doesn’t just happen, it has to be built. And a perfect world caqn’t be built as long as imperfect people are fighting to to lock the world into their perverted ideology.
    I am glad to see that you don’t give the extremists a free ride, you do hold them responsible for their short-comings. And I am more than willing to admit that we have gotten away from what our Founding Fathers intended. We can fix our shortcomings, but only if we survive long enough to address those problems.

  6. This sounds like a fair deal. You make sure we stay alive, and I’ll make sure we remain free. With any luck, Iraq will become strong enough to again serve as a buffer against Iranian influence in the region.

  7. I agree that the threat to our security was overstated, and that the U.S. shouldn’t have invaded Iraq to begin with. So put me in the “unjust war camp” although I certainly understand (but disagree with) the motivation for invading. But I’m not so sure that the “there would be chaos if we leave” claim is just an empty phrase intended to stifle dissent. And by most accounts it does seem that the surge is working, with respect to curbing the insurgency. So if I was against the war from the beginning, but recognize that it could be bad to leave now, and think the insurgency is working, does that make me a war criminal?

  8. War criminal? No. But maybe well on your way to a conservative. The biggest concern would be the “there would be chaos” argument. My belief is that if we take the pressure off the terrorists in Iraq, it would give them the opportunity to move here. As far as going into Iraq in the first place, I think the choice was simple, we chose a battlefield before they could. Iraq was a logical choice since it was situated right in the middle of Islam, which is the source of the enemy.

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