The Mudville Gazette
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Wednesday, March 19, 2003



You addressed a post to me on ScrappleFace. I choose to answer here rather then take up space there. I reproduce your post below, and enter my comments.

Again we engage in civil discourse. (To others who may read this: Yaksun and I have "spoken" before.) First a minor rebuke to you sir, for exposing your anger in replies to others who replied to this post. You lost ground. I know, you're a Texan! I respect that. Angry Texans are what make our military great. I mean it.

A second rebuke: you called me by name at the start of your post. But then you made me into a straw man by inventing positions to argue against. I don't think that's what you intended to do, none the less you did. We agree on many fundamental things. We diverge on the details.

Because I respect you ,
I answer you.

Your paragraphs are bold, mine are not.

Yaksun writes:
"I support the US troops and wish for their safety.
"It is my right as a free, thinking citizen to conclude that the Bush administration has not shown evidence justifying the making of war on Iraq at this time, as opposed to, say, North Korea. Every reason he has given has so far paled when exposed to the light of day."

Greyhawk reply:
I will stand with you against any who would deny you your right.
You are right in the NK comparison. Here is what I would say to NK: "Practice falling down, We'll be there in a minute" ; )
We were committed to Iraq first. You know that. You (or anyone) attacking Bush for not switching in mid-stride is unwarranted. I mean really, think that through, okay?
And think back to the "axis" speech.
I pray we "solve" Korea diplomatically.
And I pray the NK "leaders" are not as insane as I fear they are.
The "paled in light of day" is your opinion. You are welcome to it.

"Enforcing the UN resolutions following Gulf War I: Why now? One could argue that 100,000 UN troops on the ground in Iraq would keep the peace just as effectively. Can anyone deny that Saddam has been peaceful AND compliant by the simple presence of hostile troops nearby?"

Hypotheticals. We'll never know what a united world could have achieved. But the UN could not agree on anything, the situation degenerated, and here we are. Status quo was not working. The French were too desperate for oil and trade at any cost. Well-intentioned Americans were led into the streets by Communists (and others) with an agenda. The media distorted the split. Many in America and abroad thought they could manipulate the situation to their personal gain. They miscalculated. The fire is lit.

"Terrorism - 9/11: How many Iraqis flew planes into US targets? There is NO evidence tying Iraq to al quaeda. Apparently, Bin Laden despises Saddam for the degenerate he really is."

Okay, so Bin Laden can help us on this one then...right? But you are correct. Personally I pray for the collective lives of the Iraqi people. Many of them (not all) look to us as their hope for the future. As I stated clearly in previous posts: those who brought this war upon us have blood on their hands. A united world could have ended Saddam's reign of terror. (Please don't give me comparisons to other dictators we've supported in the 70's or haven’t gotten to yet. See my Korea comments above.)

"Freedom for Iraqis: Freedom apparently means constitutional democracy, American style. Well you heard it here first, American style democracy is not a one size fits all concept. It requires, for one thing, a stable economy. It also requires as a corollary, a working class. A person who's main thought for each day is getting food for his kid's belly doesn't give a rat's arse about the nuances between one party and another. And what about the Afghans? Aren't they entitled to freedom, too. Or shall they be relegated to the pages of history like a jilted lover?"

This is not a "liberal attitude" as some have said. It is neither liberal nor conservative. It does, however, sound elitist. The average citizen of the world does indeed consider a day successful when he or she has fed his or her family or self. But Iraq is an oil-rich nation that has been trading with the world uninterrupted for years. Indeed they should have a middle class and a stable economy. Like Qatar, or Kuwait. What then is the difference in Iraq? You and I both know it's not America's fault, and it's not anyone named "Bush" or "Clinton".
Afghanistan: We are still there. We have not abandoning them. If you have forgotten them, I assure you I have not. Who is helping us? We did not destroy that nation - it was rubble before the first bomb fell.
The people who rush to be human shields in Baghdad could have rushed to help "post war" Afghans instead. Still can, now that they've fled (or been kicked out of) Iraq. Why haven't they? Has it never occurred to these world- minded people?

(I deleted a paragraph here. I'll reinsert it and comment if you want but I think on re-reading you may agree. I got the impression you were speaking in anger. Your call, you know where to find me.)

"What troubles me now is that Bush, by default, has found the best reason to galvanize the public in suppert for this adventure - France is opposed to it. Rather than having one clearly identifiable positive reason, he will rely on the public's resentment at feeling betrayed by our "ally" - stabbed in the back as it were. Okay, by God, we'll show them who the No. 1 Superpower is. We don't need anybody!!! Is that really the best reason to go to war with Iraq at this time?"

Greyhawk replies:
I thought about deleting this paragraph for you too. I believe you spoke in haste. You have insulted your fellow Americans here, Yaksun. Let's be realistic, do you really believe any American anywhere is willing to go to war (or send their sons to war) to spite France? The French, in their Gallic pride, may believe that Yaksun. Do you really want to go on the record with this? Again I think you spoke in haste, and I hereby give you the opportunity to recant...

Yaksun concludes
"Now you know a good clean debate is great fun. But you yourself said it best. Somebody's mom, wife or kids are going to be receiving flags when this is over instead of their loved one. And that's just on our side."

"We will win. Saddam will be out, and that's good from a relative standpoint. Maybe we'll even find that reason for being there in the first place. I hope it happens and quickly. Cuz just wait till Al-Jazeera starts rolling that film of all those mutilated, asphyxiated, blistered women and children..."

Greyhawk concludes:
God bless you sir. They may indeed roll that video, then, there will also be video of celebrations, then exposure of war crimes, then accusations and counter accusations, ad infinitum, and more wars will be fought and people will die, and the world will continue to turn.

Yaksun closes:
"Call me still unconvinced. It's my right."

"Posted by yaksun at March 18, 2003 04:52 PM"

Greyhawk closes:
It's your right as an American Yaksun. And I'll defend it proudly. And I'll say no more.