Monday, May 10, 2004

Allow Them To Be Damned By Their Own Words

comment from joe schmoe at the washington monthly. i don't think there's any commentary needed:

I've had my ups and downs with respect to the Iraq war. The Falujah incident really shook me. I hadn't realized just how primitive the Middle East is, nor the level of savagery to which our enemies are used to resorting. It made me wonder whether the place really can be democratizd.

I mean, if the place has deterorated into a state where the mutilation of corpses is a political statement, maybe a leader like Sadaam really is the best that can be hoped for. Maybe the views attribted to the State Department Arabists, and those expressed by old-school conservatives like Scowcroft, were right after all.

Actaully, to be a little more precise, I am still sure that the Middle East can be democratized. I just don't know whether I want to do it any more. I mean, we've done a lot for the Iraqis. A whole lot. And, contrary to the beliefs expressed in the leftist press, we haven't hurt too many Iraqis. Yet they still flock to disgusting "leaders" like Sadr. The good people of Fallujah are still willing to fight and die for a cause which, befrit of ideology, basically amounts to "let's murder and torture our way to the top, and exploit those below."

Do I want American soldiers to die in order to bring democracy to the people of Fallujah? No. I'd rather nuke the fucking place. It's sometimes hard not to extend this sort of thinking to all of Iraq. I know that my views are wrong, but man, it's hard to stay the course when our eneimes are dancing around mutilated corpses. On a side note, the funny thing is, they think it will frighten us. It makes me want to kill them all, collteral damage be damned. If only they knew, we might see them reciting the Pledge of Allegance.

I have also had my doubts about the conduct of the war. Do we need more troops? Maybe, I really don't know. And I am really getting sick and tired of our weak responses to various events. When Sadr and his millita were hiding in that mosque, we should have bombed the damned thing into dust. I don't care if it's a holy site or not. If the Muslims will be angry, screw them. It's time for them to start acting like civilzed people, and we need to stop catering to their paranoia. Again, I know that this is an emotional response. We must keep the final objective -- a free and democratic Iraq -- in mind, and everything must be subordinated to that goal. If this means staying our hand in the short term, I understand. But it's hard.

So yes, I have had my misgivings. But then I realize two things:

First, we couldn't just leave Iraq, or any of those countries, alone. The nations of of the Middle East are deteriorating. They are getting worse. This is something that both leftists and paleocons never seem to grasp. Sadaam wasn't going to reform anything. The Saudis, bad as they are, will only be replaced by something worse. GDP is falling, infant mortaility is rising, literacy rates are declining. Hatred is growing. Weapons inspectors and the like change none of this. We can't leave the region alone. And yes, these nations will acquire WMD eventually. They've certainly been trying to do so. And we don't need that.

Second, the leftists aren't offering any viable alternatives. The UN is not an answer. Nor is more money for homeland security. Maybe these things will help, but it really is crazy to place all of our reliance in them.

For these reasons, I am sticking with Bush. I hope that the Democrats do produce a viable alternative strategy. I haven't seen one from Kerry, or anyone, and don't expect to see one during election season. But I hope I do, really. This is a serious issue, and all of our best people should be devoted to finding a solution to it.

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