Two weeks ago, the Scene published short essays from its editorial staff about the war in Iraq.
Especially given that the Scene is generallyand incorrectlyviewed as a liberal mouthpiece, the opinions offered proof that the nation is badly divided over the war. But on top of thatif we might make a sweeping and simple generalization culled collectively from those writingsthe war isn't going so well.
Only two Scene writers stuck to their original and unequivocal support for the war. Many others indicated that their initial wholehearted support had waned and become something far more circumspect. Some of the war's opponents went from mildly opposing it a year ago to now overwhelming opposing it. And at least one visceral hawk had been transformed before our very eyes into a lovely, peaceful dove.
We believe that most Americans are like us: more wary and skeptical of this violent enterprise and less certain and absolute about its prospects. When we see photographs of American soldiers torturing Iraqi prisoners, it becomes that much more clear that we should get our soldiers home.
Our plan: Declare victory, then leave.
The minimalist view of Iraq, as shared by former Secretary of State James Baker and former President Bush, who waged the first Iraq war, was that it was in the United States' best interest to wage war for one reason: to keep the oil pipelines open. Iraq had invaded Kuwait, and, with our energy supplies in jeopardy, we did only what was necessary to turn back the Iraqis and open the spigots back up, thereby keeping our economy intact.
The contrasting view is that Bush Sr. should have done more, that he should have kept the tanks rolling to Baghdad, eliminated Saddam Hussein, undone the reign of torture and opened up a nation to democracy. This is the path Bush's son has taken. Increasingly, the charge appears overwhelming, maybe even futile.
At the root of the debate over our role is whether, in fact, this nation can change the behavior of another nation. As the benefactor of the Enlightenment and the inheritor of Anglo-Saxon notions of law and government, we now struggle to imprint our systems, beliefs and philosophies on a warring, Muslim theocracy that has confounded Western imperialists for centuries. That we should expect democracy to flower in the desert now appears quite hopeless.
People have been killing one another in the Middle East for a long while. In large measure, the insanity of the region can be chalked up to the brutal imperialism of Western European countries that have sought to plunder these nations for years. But it is also fair to say that a toxic mix of national pride, dictatorial excess, religious fundamentalism, ethnic squabbling and the subjugation of approximately half these nations' people (women) have conspired to keep these countries in their own kind of Dark Ages. The question is whether, at the point of a gun, we have the power to change all this. With each passing day, the prospects for this arrogant, if well-intentioned, notion of saving a nation from itself seem more and more remote.
What we have done is rid the world of a very bad guy, Saddam Hussein. It's now time that we cut our losses, restore as much infrastructure and stability as possible and get the hell out of there.
Eric A. Patton : Consistent underfunding and politicizing the system for the sake of commercial…
The little zimmerman pig fits the "little man with a big gun" syndrome perfectly. It's…
@Jim Collins: Since you seem obsessed with Zimmerman's freedom you must have knowledge or evidence…
Subsequent acts by Zimmerman indicate there may be more to his culpability in the Martin…
This is exactly why we have juries.