An American replies

An American replies

My friend Ben has been reading my various rants on the war and has sent me a long note pointing out how I am not presenting the argument in a well balanced way. He is probably the best person I know (best, as in to be a good man) so I value his opinion. He is also naturally good at managing conflict and is not afraid of confrontation should it be necessary (yours truly will tend to shy away from pain unless really prodded). Here is what he had to say:

I looked at your donkey edge site. You’re really writing up a storm. The war bit was interesting; a bit too easy, but still interesting. You should at least acknowledge the uniqueness of the situation which certainly has no parallel in the world wars. Back then strong countries were strong, and a few innocent deaths were nothing to worry about, what with millions being slaughtered. I haven’t had any desire to defend the bushy one lately, but I guess I have to now.

A nuclear bomb exploding in the US was only a tired hollywood script until 9/11, then it seemed ridiculously possible. So you are the leader of the most powerful country by far, and the possibility of a nucular explosion suddenly snaps 20/20 into focus, and you are literally the only dude in the world with the ability to do anything about it. It doesn’t seem so far-fetched that you would try to prevent a nutcase who will eventually make a bomb from finishing it. I think you’ve got it wrong that the US wants to show severed heads to prevent an attack. The two motivations are Bush finishing his father’s legacy (sadly) and prevention of Iraq getting nukes.

Nevermind that there are another dozen or so potentially equal or worse threats out there than Iraq; there is at least a pretext and ability to go after Iraq. Britain’s fun with the IRA, and Israel’s continuing fun should be some indication that you can’t do a hell of a lot to stop terrorists. We can only hope to prevent terrorists from having a nuclear device. The worst negative that I can think of (besides enfeebling the UN) is provoking animosity in arab countries.

Most americans would like to go to war only if the sentiment is shared by a reasonable majority of our allies, but Bush is not really helping with his heavy handed rhetoric. Unfortunately I think Bush feels he needs to talk that way to the american people (and maybe he’s right), but it creates a backlash with the allies and makes them want to be the counterweight.

btw, there are no ministers in US govt., and also, the US is not the axis of evil together with Israel.

There you go. Am considering my reply:-)