So Many Questions (going into Iraq)

(Written March 22, 2003) I’ve been writing this message in my head for a couple of weeks now - maybe by finally writing it will help me sort some things out in my own mind, or not.

The only thing I feel fairly certain of is that Saddam would never disarm, regardless of how many inspectors were sent in there. They would find this, he would build that, and on it would go until the world/UN just gave up.

But, the question is - is Saddam with his weapons better or worse than war? I’m really stuck on that one. There are a *lots* of piss-ant dictators in the world. Why is it suddenly so necessary to go after this one? I’ve heard the “it’s all about oil” line - but that is too simplistic. It probably figures into it, but I can’t see it as the major motivation. The Bushman is spending a hell of a lot of political capital to make this happen - when he could be spending it on things like tax cuts, etc. I have yet to see him make a believable case for why he thinks this is so important.

Right now I’m not either for or against the war - fortunately I don’t have to make that decision - and I guess how it turns out in the end will tell the story. There are two possible equations as I see it, in terms of number of people that will die:

X=(# years Saddam remains in power without a war)*(average # people per year that die because he is in power)

Y=(# people killed in the war) + (# people killed in the political unrest afterwards).

These numbers are, of course, unknowable (we’ll know one, but never the other). But if it could be shown that Y would be less than X, would those who are against the war still oppose it? And if so, why? And why are all the protests against removing Saddam from power? Why aren’t there any protests saying he should disarm?

What really scares me is the Bushman’s rhetoric. All of this evil and ‘God is on our side’ stuff really gives me the willies, like we’ve got our own Mullah Omar in the White House. The problem with fundamentalist versions of any religion is that they seem to be all about killing and vengeance “for God”. And the Christian versions really like this Apocalypse thing - it’s their big revenge fantasy that they can’t wait for. Given that sort of mind set it scares the shit out of me that Bush is so eager to go stirring things up in the Middle East - where the Big End is all supposed to come from…

I was in the infantry in Viet Nam. Later I protested against that war. In recent years I’m thinking our bigger mistake was pulling out of Viet Nam when we did. I guess we didn’t have much choice in terms of keeping our own country together, but when you look at what happened to those poor people in the South when the Communists came in - they *really* got screwed far worse by the Commies than they ever did by us. Of course the government in the South was for shit and not worth defending, but what the South needed was a real government, not just letting them ‘unify’ under the Communists. So none of the answers were really right - but you can see why I am having such a hard time seeing this war as either Right or Wrong…

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