Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Matter of Iraq

As most of you I am sure are aware, I was from the beginning against this war in Iraq. I found the pretenses upon which we were supposed to be going in there as questionable and further am hesitant when one nation imposes a system on another. The foundation of any Democracy rests within its people. And Democracy is no easy process, I feel it must be wanted and built by those who will maintain it. And so to impose democracy on Iraq to me was questionable, I would have favored a support role in a Iraqi led insurgency. Alas, Bush didn't ask me, and in 96' when the people did rise we failed them and so here we are. Its 2005 in Iraq with a rising trend of terrorism and support for the war failing on the domestic scene. What now?

Do we leave? No. We went into Iraq for better or worse and took over their government. As a result we have a responsibility and obligation to the people of Iraq to restore order and maintain sensibility over there until either we are asked to leave or a stable and competent government is established by the Iraqis themselves. Nation building and citizenship are not easy and I worry that the people of Iraq were not yet ready or perhaps lack the leadership to tackle the problem, and yet they must. There is no other alternative, we cannot leave--Iraq would only degenerate until another despot took control or would remain a place of endless strife for years to come, further complicating the Mideast. War is not to be played around with and even more so is nation building. It took the United States from 1776 until 1791 to form the basis of the government we have today and even then, we were not able to achieve recognition internationally until 1812, and not until after a Civil War did we come to a unified understanding of Federalism. All issues the public seems to be expecting Iraq to iron out in the matter of months. I repeat: politics and governing are advanced and complex issues, complicated by Democracy which requires some form of efficacy on the sort of the people. It may be the most noble form of Government, but it also is the most frustrating and lengthy. We must be in for the long haul--there is no other responsible alternative.


At 10:32 PM, Blogger bombasticbeats said...

I agree, and yet I also have a hard time continuing, after over a year, to hear about the daily death tolls of American soldiers and Iraqi civilians each day on NPR. It seems as though things are going nowhere at times, eventhough what has been started must be finished.

Another thing that perplexes me in my limited understanding of economics is where are all these billions of dollars are coming from to fund things like the Iraq War and the rebuilding of New Orleans? Is the government paying interest on all this money? As I wrestle with stepping into my own financial responsibility I can't help but wonder what in the world the current administration is doing.

At 1:04 PM, Blogger Bryan said...

I agree with you Brandon, its very frustrating indeed. I really see no other alternative though, and to leave the country in the present state would possibly be a bigger mistake than going there in the first place. Also as for money, especially in regards to New Orleans, I propose senators and congressmen search present bills for pork going to thier own state and reallocate it to relief funding. On senator for Illinois has already begun doing that, by postponing a highway project.

At 4:32 PM, Blogger That one guy said...

While I would have to say that I don't share your view about the pretenses for the situation in Iraq, I think what we must dwell on, now, is the situation for our exit. At what point do we exit?

You mentioned an either-or scenario. If a or b then we leave.

a. They ask us to leave
b. They have a stable government set up

I would ask you to further define this. If they have no "legitimate" government set up (i.e. a government that the people have chosen--and I will grant that ifthe people wanted to choose a dictatorship, that is their perrogative) how can "they" really ask us to leave. Under any other circumstances, we have no idea what their will is.

Additionally, how can we, responsibly, leave a part of the world that we know will be destabalized by our withdrawal? I would argue that we cannot. Therefore, we must work with the Iraqis to secure their country until our withdrawal will not destabalize the region. That means a sl - o - w withdrawal. It will not be an overnight, one day our troops are not here, the next day they are, movement. Rather, it will be a coordinated--coordinated with the Iraqis and the region--transfer of power (by "power," here, I mean governence and military).

Finally, on the topic of costs, taking Katrina into account, we cannot not fund either the military or the Katrina relief efforts. Do we agree on that? That being said, our goal should be to a. cut funding in as many areas as we responsibly can, and b. find the best way to finance both endeavors. I would point to Congress' recent efforts to cut the budget for next year, as a way to offset the costs of Katrina and Iraq. Several small-government conservatives are going nuts over costs, and Congress is acting.

peace out.

At 1:24 PM, Blogger Bryan said...

Tom!!!!!!! You don't know how happy it makes me to see your comments and to know that you are alive and kick'n. Send me an email at bdale@ku.edu, I would love to hear from you. So anyhow, back to your comments. First to your second point, that we cannont leave Iraq until we can do so without distabalizing the region. I whole-heartedly agree 100% with everything you have said. On the topic of costs, I am glad the small-government conservatives are getting upset. Its about time conservatives start acting like conservatives instead of imitating liberals, our job is to spend right....hahaha but then we tax the poop out of you to pay for it, I mean.... Dont let our secrets out Tom. And finally to the issue of legitimate government. I agree that if the Iraq's choose the course of dictatorship we will have no sound understanding of their wish, however it looks highly probable that they will choose and pass the constitution, and yet I have my reservations about that. I really feel that it is being pushed forward too fast by the Bush administration and will not be powerful enough. I worry about its resulting strength and ability to combat factions as our dear friend Madison was so prude to warn our early fathers. I deeply am concerned about a civil war. And so Tom, we may have disagreed about the pretense's of why we went in and if it were appropriate. But we are now probably remarkable simalar in why we must remain until the job is finished. Peace Out.


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