The War

The hardest thing that our elected representatives have to do is to chose between evils. They never talk to us about the horrible gray areas like choosing between losing a hundred lives and losing a thousand. But those choices have to be made. If there was an airliner full of Americans flying at the pentagon, we would now shoot it out of the sky, but on September 10, 2001, that would be unthinkable.

The way Iraq is right now, if Saddam lives another ten years, the millions of people who will die is, in my mind, so much higher than the number of people who will die in a short war. The problem is that the people dying in Iraq without the war are Iraqis, with the war it will be much less Iraqis plus hundreds, maybe a thousand, Americans. And for me, that is complicated.

I hate organized religion and nationalism more than maybe anything else in the world, which makes dealing with my pro-Israel friends and relatives difficult. But I believe in America as an idea, I believe that being an American is not something you are born in to or that you are brainwashed to accept. It is something you choose, like millions and millions of people who took ships and planes to this country did, like the people risking their lives to cross the borders and stringing together dingies do every day.

And the loss of American lives to protect Iraqi lives has to be a large exchange rate, it has to be times ten. I will trade a hundred American lives for a thousand Iraqi. I will trade an economic dip in the US to liberate and allow American ideals to flourish in a country that is currently oppressed.


— Saddam is not in the business of killing Americans. He is in the business of being an oil despot.

— Bush is the wrong man to lead this war. Aside from Colin Powell, the number of hideous mis-speakings in this administration is insane. He can’t build a coalition.

— We aren’t stopping Saddam from taking over the Middle East. He hasn’t shown that he has the ability to do damage to anyone.

— I am not convinced that Saddam has any ties to Al Qaeda and even if he does, I am not convinced that he has anything to give them. He wants to be rich and to sell oil to stay rich, and the only way he would support our enemies is if we attack him and he is going to die.

— Going to war against Iraq does not insure that when the war is over we will have the infrastructure in place to actually save lives in Iraq.

— Bush is fighting this war because he wants to avenge his Dad, because he has limited imagination for how conflicts can be resolved, because it will give the US a puppet government in the middle east that he believes will calm down tensions, because he can offer the oil contracts to rich American businessmen who have been promised them, and to remain as presidential as possible in order to keep Republicans and himself firmly ensconced in power. And because he believes that, in the long run, it is necessary and will save lives.

So, I can’t support this war. I am not convinced that the exchange rate is high enough. People don’t become farmers because they realize the advantage in calorie/acre, people don’t make writing systems that will give them advantage over illiterates, people don’t play basketball to lose weight. But we need leaders in our government who see the big picture, the larger picture and the world-wide-influence picture and make the difficult decisions for reasons that may be too complicated for normal people to fully grasp. And I don’t think we have the minds in the white house now to do it.

When I think of other areas of ethnic cleansing around the globe, I feel like a hypocrite, but I also believe that if you, or your grandmother or great grandfather came to this country (like mine did) in search of being an American, in search of the freedom and ideals that out country seems to embody, then you deserve to have your representatives do what they can to keep you alive so you can pursue happiness. It is more important to me that Americans live than anyone in the middle east does.

My mind is not locked into this. If there are WMDs, if it is shown that Saddam can destroy our country and wants to, if it can be shown that the exchange rate is really high, then I would support it.