Sunday, June 05, 2005

Another voice for the loonies

Ah, the Editorial page. No matter crazy of uninformed an opinion might be, you can always find someone expressing it there. Once again, I answer the loonie-lefties who write in to the Belleville News-Democrat.

One writer opines:

The vast majority of Americans abhor war and the inevitable killing. So, why is it that when wars occur, Americans are there at the forefront? All too often, we claim to fight for other people's freedom, but they scorn our efforts. We moved to rid one country of its leader because he killed his own people. If this is a yardstick by which to gauge, Abe Lincoln was worse than all others. In our Civil War, thousands of Americans in the South were killed.

In Iraq, we build buildings one day then blow them up a short time later. This doesn't make sense to civilized people. With more than 1500 of our military dead, now is the time to strategically withdraw, with or without honor. Honor is an admirable trait, but it is not worth the sacrifice of our young people's lives. Failure to withdraw will result in more of our sons and daughters dying in vain in a conflict we initiated.

The writer here misses out on several parts. Yes, Americans abhor war, but would much rather go to war rather than simply stand by and watch horrible atrocities take place in the world. Evil only succeeds when good men do nothing. And who is scorning our efforts? Only those who scorn the things we have accomplished; those who do not want to see democracy and freedom in the Middle East, those who want to see radical Islam rooted in power. Additionally, his tangent about Abe Lincoln is not only another issue, but it is completly unrelated. The American Civil War was a war between two organized armies. Where we go to war, we remove brutal dictatorships whose targets are unarmed civilians. Difference = Extreme.

I'd love to see an example of the US military building a structure in Iraq, only to blow it up a short time later. That would be a new one on me. And withdrawal at this point would only come with dishonor, particularly since the democratically elected government of Iraq has requested that the US military presence remain for a while, at least until they are able to handle security in their country alone. People already complain about how the world dislikes us so; leaving Iraq in dishonor would not help that. I don't applaud the deaths of our military personnel over there, but these people knew the risks when they signed on for military service. Besides, there are worse things that could happen than the deaths of several thousand US servicemen and women; for example, the subjugation of a country of millions of people.

Another person writes:

Yes or no:

Do you seriously think we can change the Muslims' way of life to a democracy?
Did you imagine this war would last as long as it has?
Did you think there would be this many causualties?
Did you have any idea the terrorists could use our system against us as they have been doing?
Did you ever feel we would be so reliant on other countries?
Did you ever think of the possibility of losing benefits, assistance, aid, insurance,
and pensions at the rate this is occurring?
Do you think our economy will turn around soon?
Can you honestly blame the government for all our problems?
Do you feel more secure today?
Are we as smart as we thought we were?
Answers: All no.

Hm . . . my own answers:

1) This is a common refrain, that the people of the Middle East are either "incapable" of democracy, or just "undeserving." The real truth is that there are millions over there who want to be in charge of their own destinies and desire a liberal democracy; the tides of history have simply put the power in the hands of a minority of religious radicals.

2) Yes, actually. We had no illusions that troops would be in and out of Iraq in 6 months. We knew that rebuilding and stabilizing Iraq would be a long process. It hasn't been perfect, but it certainly could have been worse.

3) Okay, you know what? Many groups were estimating thousands of American dead during the major fighting over there. The fact that only about 1500 are dead this far in, and the insurgency suffering death throes, should be counted as a miraculous blessing.

4) "Use our own systems against us?" I have no idea what he's talking about.

5) Unless he's referring to oil and economics, I have no idea what he's talking about. If it is economics, he's just ignorant of how the economy has changed in the last 100+ years.

6) Not that I enjoy such things, but I think the companies responsible for rolling back such things are more at fault than the government. But that's about the best answer I can give; I'll never make any claim to being especially knowledgable about economic issues.

7) Turn around soon? Buddy, the indications are that the economy is doing quite well. You don't hear about that too often because the media prefers to hype news about the economy's decline, while tucking positive info off in unnoticeable corners of their publications.

8) Well, no, I can't. I'm not sure what this has to do with anything.

9) Yes and no. There's much ground to make in terms of national security, but I'm happier that the government is actually attempting to fight the radical Islamic elements that are the threat to our safety, as compared to waiting for it to commit crimes (pre-9/11 policies).

10) Again, no idea what he's referring to. This is why I call them liberal loonies.

So, there you have it. There's no letting bad ideas go unanswered.

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