So I finally got to the gym this week. Damn, cold weather makes me lazy!
So I've been giving more (sober) thought to the whole "war" thing. I'm still fairly undecided as to what the right thing to do is, so, since this is my journal, I'm going to think out loud here about the arguments I've heard and what might sway me.
Although it is en vogue right now to be anti-war, this is a serious matter that requires more than peer pressure or media sound bytes to decide properly. But let's start there. There are a variety of reasons people seem to be against the war, so I first want to throw out those which I don't buy into.
First, there are some people who are pacifists at all costs, (i.e., war is bad, no matter what). Well, no shit! War is disgusting. Only the most depraved human being would think wars are fun (and I'm sure those people exist as well). But we don't live on Star Trek where sticking to your principles at all costs (a la the "Prime Directive" or whatever) leads to happy endings. That's FantasyLand. This is not a TV show; this is reality. I would love it if the world worked where we could all hold hands singing "Kumbaya" and make war go away. But this isn't Utopia, and there are bad people out there. Don't get me wrong; I respect these people for standing up and sticking to their principles. But I reject their argument since I'm as much a realist as I am an idealist. Dismissed.
Next are those who are just anti-whatever-we-do. God bless their cynicism, but guess what? We're not perfect, but that doesn't mean whatever we do is wrong. I'm not sure where this utter disdain comes from. This argument goes so far as to begin to suggest and portray Saddam as a poor victim of Bush's aggression. I consider myself a fairly cynical person (to say the least), but let's not get ridiculous. Saddam Hussein is a murderous fuck-head. I've heard several interviews with fairly level-headed individuals; I've seen a couple of documentaries on the man. Some might say, "war propaganda"... perhaps. But I've also heard some fairly well-respected, liberal journalists who also agree. One in particular I remember was an interview with Tom Brokaw (hardly the war monger), where he admitted that Saddam is a dangerous, unpredictable man. He went so far as to say that, having been to Iraq and having spoken with some Iraqi citizens that it is true that they live in such fear under Hussein that many are waiting for us to go in and oust him... not that they love the U.S., but they're living in dire tyranny.
So on this fact, I am confident: Hussein is a murderous fuck-head, and removing him from power will ultimately not be a bad thing.
That having been said, this of course does not mean we need to be the ones to go in... and it doesn't necessarily mean now. "W" seems far too willing to go in. It does make me question his motives.
"No blood for oil". This sound byte has been played ad nauseum. I don't buy it. First of all, if our supply of oil were truly threatened, it would probably be a viable reason to go in. As gross as that may sound, the simple fact remains that we are currently dependent upon oil for our way of life. It fuels the trucks that deliver our food; it powers our entire transportation system; it powers our homes. You may not like that, but when you trade in your SUV for a hybrid, and replace all your lightbulbs with fluorescents, then come talk to me. Oil is vital to our economy and arguably our national security. Regardless, we're neither under an oil embargo nor really in danger of being in one. There would seem to be no reason to invade Iraq for its oil. The most cynical of us might argue Bush is doing it for his oil buddies, and while he could try to take advantage of it, I doubt he'd risk his career over it.
"He's doing it to take people's minds off the economy." Well, this war hasn't done a whole lot for his popularity nor the economy. Try again.
I need to pause for a moment, because I don't want to seem as if I'm in favor of this war. I kinda don't know. But I've yet to hear one argument against it that is compelling enough. But, on the other hand, I've yet to hear one compelling enough to sway me in favor of... which leaves me back at undecided. But here's where I get stuck....
It's true: I don't trust George W. I think he is a disaster for the economy. I think he's hardly a friend of civil rights. He's certainly no friend of gay rights, and he'll probably nominate some redneck jackasses to the Supreme Court. I also think he comes across as buffoon. But I do think he (and most of our Presidents), and Colin Powell, and other leaders, ultimately have the best interest of our country in their minds when it comes to national security. I do. Maybe that's naive of me (and I'm willing to concede that it might very well be). I can't help but think that just maybe they truly do believe that Iraq represents a threat to us and/or they feel an American occupation in that country will better place them in a position to thwart a threat they believe is imminent. I don't know. I do know this: they're hell bent on getting in there for some reason. Both Bush and Tony Blair are risking their futures in their respective offices to do this. I'm also sure they know things that we don't and can't know. I also don't think that someone who has been in the trenches like Colin Powell goes off half cocked in endangering his men.
So it may sound as if I've made up my mind... I haven't. I feel a little less bad about this war, but it scares me. I want a good reason to oppose it, but the anti-war faction has failed miserably to convince me. Your self-loathing, anti-American drivel doesn't persuade. Your Hussein-sympathy drivel makes me even less convinced in what you have to say. Give me something tangible. I'm looking, and trying hard. But the truth is, when it comes to being undecided on this, I'm probably going to give a little trust to those who are elected to protect us (or not elected ::cough:: Florida ::cough::). I'm not going to compromise my rights for the sake of national security, but as much as I dislike Bush, he is our Commander-in-Chief. And while he might be an incompetent oaf at domestic affairs, that doesn't necessarily mean that he, with our military strategists, don't know what they're doing. So to those of you opposed to this, give me something better to go on other than war is an atrocity that will kill people. I know war sucks... I know it's disgusting... but I also know that sometimes it's a necessary evil. Prove to me that it isn't that here. Prove to me that Hussein is just a misunderstood, benevolent leader. Please, because I'd love to jump on board.