Sunday, April 18, 2004

Should We Stay or Should We Go?

The whole point of having a blog is to vent your opinion, so it's hard to know what to say when you are unsure of something. Last year, of course, I was opposed to the invasion of Iraq and even demonstrated against it a couple times, although I was well aware of how little good that would do. But as the bloodbath continues, it's hard to know what position to take. Hard core hippies, of course, demand an immediate withdrawal. But I have not been a pacifist since Srebrenicza and Rwanda - anyone who thinks we did the right thing by not invading Rwanda is a contemptible fool and probably an idiot as well. With 800,000 dead, probably any course of action was better than nothing. If we had any troops left after sending virtually the entire active duty Army to Iraq, I would say we should intervene in Sudan today. So while I opposed the invasion, I fear genocidal religious war (not to mention the construction of new Quaeda training camps etc) if we pull out now. So part of me sides with Colin Powell in the "You break it, you bought it" camp. But this stuff haunts me as well; while everyone in the US seems to be debating whether or not Iraq is "Vietnam," we are ignoring the real history of Iraq, which seems to be repeating itself. The Brits lost 3000 people before they cut and ran. Mr. Ferguson, in the NY Times, argues that it is necessary to defeat the insurgents to stave off civil war and theocracy; but after an illegal invasion, I don't think we have the right to use the kind of lethal force which would be necessary to quell the revolt. And anyway, by my count we have killed maybe 8,000-10,000 civilians, roughly 7,000 Iraqi troops in the invasion, 800 coalition troops dead, over a thousand civilians and Iraqi police killed in the suicide bombing campaign (can't find links for numbers anymore - some people work hard to keep the body count under wraps!). How many people does Ferguson think we should kill? If 200,000 makes Saddam Hussein a monster, should we stay until 50,000? 100,000? Is half a monster better than a whole one? Not if the monster is us, is how I see it. If civil war is inevitable, or at least inevitable without mass murder on the part of American troops, then I guess we should pull out an let them fight it out on their own . . . although I'm afraid we'd just have to invade again, if al Quaeda were to attack the US from a new base in Falluja . . . Christ, I just don't know!

One thing I'm pretty sure I do know, and I may be the first American to put this obvious heresy in print -
You bet your sweet ass we were better off with Saddam Hussein running Iraq!!!

There, I said it and I feel much better for it.
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