Sunday, 23 January 2005

Facing Contradiction

The original name of this blog was "Well, Duh!" I ultimately found that too smug, but I kept the tag line, "Permitting Ourselves to State the Obvious", because the premise still stands. Folks often start being attached to ideologies, parties, or causes, and lose sight of the important stuff that mattered causing them to become active in the first place.

Liberal bloggers frequently ignore this obvious truth:

Saddam Hussein was a tyrannical monster whose removal from power is a wonderful development.

Yes, the following truths are also obvious:

It is wrong to lie to justify going to war.
It is wrong to kill innocents in war.
It is wrong to use depleted uranium in bombs to create bunker busters when the long term effects of its use will poison innocents.
It is wrong to justify a culture which resulted in the abuses at Abu Ghraib.

I find the behavior of the Bush administration repugnant on so many levels, that I will continue to speak out against it, and yet the overthrow of Saddam is such an extraordinarily good thing, that I cannot be dismissively certain that it doesn't outweigh all of the outrages perpetrated toward that end. Now given that the incompetent way in which it was handled is creating all manner of other problems, from the loss of respect for America in the world, to the rise of recruitment of anti-American jihadists, and the potential for Iraq's future to continue to look very bleak and Iran to become a threat we can no longer credibly handle, then the balance of what the future holds may indeed be worse than simply leaving Saddam in power. But I am not certain of that.

I am certain that there was a better way to depose him. But I'm extremely skeptical that Gore, for instance, would have started a course of action that would have seen Saddam out of power by 2008. That doesn't mean that I am not quite confident that the world as a whole would be better off had Gore been elected in 2000, but on average, the people of Iraq, may actually be indebted to our bungling cowboy. That's why in the end, in spite of my outrage at Bush's lies and handling of the Iraq war, it was actually more the domestic front than the international one which cemented my commitment to voting for Kerry last year.

1 comment:

-epm said...

"the overthrow of Saddam is such an extraordinarily good thing"

Why? Not why is Saddam not ruling Iraq a good thing, but why is the military invasion and overthrow of Saddam by a foreign power "an extraordinarily good thing"?

You say Saddam was a tyrannical monster, but based on what? The testimony of Ahmed Chalabi and other's with a financial or political stake in the game? And do we then apply this same yardstick to every nation on the planet and pick off the ones we don't think measure up?

Whatever tyranny Saddam exercised (and I grant you he was a tyrant, but his sons even more so) he exercised against his own people in his own sovereign country. As cold as it sounds, our military is not a global liberation force to be used at the discretion and judgment of a single man. We have other means at our disposal to shape the course of world peace other than crusading into the Muslim world.

Americans, for generations to come, will bear the stain and burden of this invasion of Iraq, as we slide deeper into debt both financially and morally. On September 11, 2001 the course of America's future as changed, though horribly, with the possibility of becoming an even greater, stronger and more respected leader of the free word. On March 20, 2003 the beacon of that possibility was snuffed out.