I was all for the war in Afghanistan, regardless of what my fellow liberals had to say. But the war in Iraq is bad news. Still, it's got some good points to it, like getting rid of Saddam. Here's hoping we can make the best of it. To no particular point, here are some thoughts.
Turn the Other Cheek?
The war in Iraq (like the war in Afghanistan) is proof positive that the US is not a genuinely Christian nation. Christ said you should love your enemies and do good to those who hurt you. That's clearly not what we're about. Why not? Because we're not a Christian nation. We're not even a nation made up mostly of genuine Christians. We're Westerners, carrying on Western traditions, two of which are using military might with great skill and imagining ourselves to be Christians (though that last tradition is falling into disuse).
Flaunting the UN
We must look like a bunch of hypocrites. Israel flaunts UN resolutions and we back them up. Iraq flaunts UN resolution and we threaten war. In making the case to bomb Iraq, Bush could at least have had the decency not to say that you should bomb people that won't comply with UN resolutions.
Supporting the Troops
As in the first Gulf War, those who want to send troops into combat, where some of them are bound to be wounded, captured, or killed, see themselves as "supporting" those troops. Meanwhile, they accuse those who want the troops not to stay out of combat of "not supporting" them. It's funny.
Counting Our Blessings
How bad is attacking Iraq, anyway? Here we are, a zealous, bigoted, violent nation with unprecedented military superiority. Think how we could be acting in response to 9-11. We could be nuking Tehran. We could be occupying Palestine. But we're not. Instead, when people who hate us kill thousands of us in the worst terrorist attack ever, we take out the thugs running Afghanistan and depose one of the worst dictators in the world. Do we set the standard for Christian charity? Not by a mile. Are our actions legal under international law? No, as if that mattered. Is it as bad as backing the Shah of Iran? No. Are we lucky it's not worse? Quite.
For years, the US aggressively persecuted the embargo on Iraq. The embargo killed over a hundred thousand civilians, half of them children. This policy was aimed at coercing political change. Normally, you'd call it terrorism when you massacre civilians to undermine a government. But it wasn't terrorism at all. Know why not? By the US government's definition, terrorism is something undertaken by "substate" entities. Thus, the US, a state, can never commit a terrorist act. Such as mining harbors. Such as training soldiers how to torture leftists. Those crimes are only terrorist acts when a substate entity commits them.
Three Nations for Three Peoples
When Iraq is conquered, we should help the Iraqis split their nation up into three new nations: a Shi'ite nation in the south, a Kurd homeland in the north (sorry, Turkey), and a Sunni nation in the middle. As it is, Iraq isn't really a coherent nation. It's merely a geographic and political category. Its borders are a legacy of Western domination, not a reflection of the inhabitants' sense of identity. Why make the Kurds and Shi'ites live in the same country with the Sunnis that have been persecuting them?
Pulling Out: Let's get while the getting is good.