freedom, schmeedom.
April 8, 2003 09:30 AM

I've been thinking about a comment I made on Rev's war humor yesterday or so. [Yes, I'm actually thinking about a comment I made on someone else's blog. It's not self-involved; it's reflective.]

I said, basically, that the notion of freeing the Iraqi people is obviously not the root cause of this war, so it seems silly to me to argue over whether it's worth it to Iraqis to die in the cause of their freedom. It's silly to speculate about the feelings of others in any case. But it's just so clear to me that we're only fighting a war on behalf of the Iraqi people because that sounds better than what we're actually doing. Let's look at the chronology of reasons to go to war (as told by me):

  1. Saddam is just plain bad. Bad bad bad. Um, bad for business, that is.

  2. We think Saddam has chemical weapons. He should be disarmed.

  3. More importantly, he's really no good for the rest of the Middle East. He's clearly down with building coalitions against the west, and that could turn out very badly for all of us.

  4. We're pretty sure he doesn't like us. What if he really does have chemical weapons? And then there's that thing with North Korea, you know, where we called them evil? What if he buys their nuclear weapons and uses them to distribute chemical weapons which he points at the US and and and...

  5. You know, come to think of it, he's clearly buddies with that Bin Laden guy. Saddam is a terrorist. We think he was behind 9/11.

  6. Actually, he was behind everything. See previous statement about badness. Clearly a threat to American national security. We're just defending ourselves, yo.

  7. Wait! Did we mention he's a mean old dictator?

  8. Yeah, that's right! This war is about freeing the suffering Iraqi people! Also, Shi'ite Muslims (the ones we said were bad in the 1980's) are now good, and the Sunnis are bad.

The real logic behind this war, what we're really doing, falls somewhere between numbers 1 and 3. And the thing is, I don't disagree with what we're really doing. I do take issue with wrapping it in the guise of freeing Iraqis, though; even if that's a much welcomed side effect, the truth is we're trying to find a way to make the Middle East less threatening (and, apparently, we suck at diplomacy).

Please, though - I wish the Bush administration would stop the babbling about freedom and evil. We, the listening public, are not that gullible.

Er, or maybe we are.

[For additional reference, good reading, and the shocking assessment that 42% of Americans think number 5 is true, see Arundhati Roy's Guardian piece from last week. Bring on the spanners, indeed.]

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your wicked thoughts

That's one of the things that bothers me about the rhetoric surrounding this war--that the American government isn't being upfront about their motives. We may or may not agree with #1 and 3 on your list, but at least we should be talking about #1 and 3, not stuff like liberation and freedom, which clearly aren't the motives for the US war. And, we should be talking about the rebuilding process in productive ways. Same goes for Afghanistan--whatever happened to "rebuilding" there?

these are the thoughts of Jordynn on April 8, 2003 09:36 AM

Afghanistan isn't trendy anymore. Why are we talking about Afghanistan? We liberated those people, now they'd better shut up and sit quietly!

Ahem. That's a good point. Ironically, there are efforts still going on to rebuild Afghanistan, but you'll only hear about them in non-US press. I'm not clear on how much the US is involved as a result.

these are the thoughts of april on April 8, 2003 11:53 AM

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