Friday, March 02, 2007

It's offensive

About a week ago, Barak Obama said in a speech that lives had been wasted in Iraq. Immediately he was attacked by some folk on the right and some parents who had lost children in Iraq. Barak back-pedaled. Then two days ago, John McCain made a similar remark and while the right wing media did not attack him, the Democratic leadership did, saying that his remark was offensive.

It seems to me that "offensive" is an accurate term but the context was wrong. Something is offensive here but it wasn't either remark. What is offensive is that the lives of young men and women have been given for nothing - wasted. Bush's war is not making the world more secure. It did not make life better for the Iraqi people. And there was no connection to Al Qaida in the Iraqi government nor were there weapons of mass destruction threatening anyone. Obama should not have back-pedaled. He should have stood up and condemned the war, thanked those young people who were and are willing to sacrifice, offered sympathy to those who have lost loved ones, and continued to say that the war is unnecessary and wrong├é… therefore, any lives lost are wasted. Any sacrifice made was in vain. The Democrats should not have attacked McCain, they should have used it as an opportunity to solidify a position against the war when even a hawk like McCain is saying that it is not working.

I understand why parents and spouses of those who gave their lives would be upset. How can they face the possibility that their loved ones died for nothing? Those of us who are against this war must be sensitive to their losses. Still, we must not allow that sensitivity to stop us from standing up against the possibility of even more young men and women giving their lives for this debacle. More deaths do not make those losses meaningful, that only increases the waste.

4 comments:

Jared Williams said...

You are so blind that your rants border on idiotic. You writings have the appearance of intelligent thought, but your thoughts are so obviously dependent on what the main stream media feeds you that any ounce of truth that your statements may have are lost. Maybe you have never taken the time to listen to first hand reports of US soldiers who do believe they are making a difference. Maybe you have never taken the time to read, listen to, or watch the stories of Iraqi people who are thanking the US for freeing them from the terrible rule of Sadaam. Well, then again, maybe you have heard these things but are chosing to ignore them because they wouldn't agree with your "The US is evil" philosophy.

Are things going well in Iraq? I would not say that they are. But to be so arrogant and blind to other factors is ridiculous. Speak your mind, but don't be stupid when you do. Here's a shocker: You don't know all the information on any of the stuff you claim to know. You are not there. There is actually information that you are not privy to, although I'm sure you feel you are gleaning all you need to know from the media in order to make a fair and accurate assessment on what's going on in world affairs. Wow...I wish I had your insight. I wonder what you think of Iran? Would it make you feel better if we just leave them alone and let them continue with their nuclear program? Even your boy Obama doesn't think that.

You'll probably write me off as a ultra-conservative right wing hawk in order to justify your lack of intelligent blogging. Just FYI, I'm not...I'm a registered independant and probably have some of the same feelings you do. But your know-it-all attitude is disheartening. Open your eyes.

roy said...

Boy Jared, there is so much to respond to it's hard to know where to begin...
Let me start here - You condemn my "'the US is evil' philosophy..." where in the world did I say that the US is evil? All you have done with that state ment is to show your true colors - you have not read a word of what I have written with an open mind.

Do I know all of the details, but I do know what the current adminstration has said. I know that a number of them said that "we know where the WMDs are." Well, evidently they did... and it wasn't in Iraq. I know what the released portions of the US intellegence estimates have said regarding Al Qaida etc. in Iraq and none of it squares with the party line.

Are there Iraqi's who have thanked the US for getting rid of Saddam? Yes, but what does that have to do with whether we were justified in going there? And what about the families of the 100,000 to over 600,000 (depending on who's numbers you read) Iraqi citizens killed in this conflict? Do you think they're thanking us? And what about the millions of refugees who have fled their homes to escape the violence leaving Iraq a nation without a middle class? And the soldiers... I know that a poll reported in The Military Times said that the majority of US service people think we shouldn't be there. And of those who do, again, how else can you justify risking your own life and watching your friends killed or maimed unless you make yourself believe what you are doing has a purpose.
Should we ignore Iran? Absolutely not. But military intervention would only serve to strengthen the radicals' hands and weaken the moderates. So what do we do? Talk! What a novel idea for this administration.

Ben said...

Having read both comments, I can see valid points to each. I understand Jared's frustration but think his post was a bit harsh. I also can understand Roy's frustration, but believe that your belief that "talking" will diffuse these types of situations is a bit naive. You can't talk effectively with countries and governments that do not value logic and reason. The countries and governments in question here act more on emotion and religious persuasion than anything else. Why has there been war in the MIddle East for centuries? Has it been because nobody ever thought or tried to "talk" things through? Of course not. Talking only gets you so far. The ideologies that these governments have do not respond to talking...to logic and reason. So the whole notion of just talking things through is unrealistic, although desireable.

I know you won't like to hear it Roy, but war is a "necessary evil" sometimes...you can find that in the pages of your own Bible. And in wars, people die...not just the soldiers, but innocent people as well. Yes it is terrible, but at times it is necessary. Whether you believe it or not, Sadaam was a threat...he has been for decades, if not to us then at the very least, to his own people.

Bush is not an evil man and believed he was doing what was right for that country and for the world. Yes, he has made mistakes, but I believe it is too early to view this as a complete waste.

roy said...

Ben,

thanks for trying to make some peace here... but...

As for talking, it seems to me that talking is our only hope. I have no illusions about Abedinejad. At the same time, he is a political animal concerned about power and position and even if he doesn't care so much about his country, he still has his best interests at heart. His position is shaky in is own country. A good negotiator works to make compromises that bring both sides closer to their self-interests.

As for war as a necessary evil, maybe at best. Bottom line as I see it is that war, at least as it is currently practiced, doesn't work. Nobody wins. When was the last time the US "won" a war? WW2. Not Korea. Not Viet Namm. Not Iraq. Even Israel is learning that wars can't be won anymore. They couldn't even defeat Hezbollah. The best that armies can do is contain violence, while diplomatic solutions are being negotiated.

Saddam was an evil man. no argument there. Where things worse under his rule than they are now? Don't think so. Might they be better at some point? I hope so, but there had to have been better and less costly ways to do it.

Did you realize that we are spending $350K a minute in Iraq! Seriously, think what would have happened had we used those funds to build schools, hospitals, train teachers, build infrastructure all through the middle east, dig wells, provide agricultural help, start micro-businesses... Al Qaida and Hezbollah would be so marginalized they would have no power at all.