Monday, January 02, 2006

Getting Ready For Elections

Via Andrew Sullivan, the Bush administration drops the Iraqi people like a hot potato.

It's so frustrating how unsurprising this is. I'm going to go over this, just to make sure I have it all straight.

9/11, 2001: World Trade Center and Pentagon attacks
9/12, 2001: International politics become not a way to secure peace and economic comfort through alliances and occasional wars, but a tool to get Republicans elected.

I had a very hard time deciding how I felt about the idea of invading Iraq before it occurred. I was amongst the few that didn't think Saddam had WMDs, though I think I was just lucky on that one instead of prescient. The amount of corruption, the amount of debt, and the amount of carnage that would result from the war were not something I questioned. War sucks, after all. Still, there's no way around the fact that Saddam is an evil man who terrorized his country and had no legitimacy as a leader - Iraq is better off without him. This doesn't mean things in Iraq will necessarily be good enough just because Saddam is out of power, but it is great to know he's been stripped of his power.

I finally came out against the invasion because of the ridiculous, bungled attempts to catch Osama and secure peace in Afghanistan. Toppling the Taliban, catching Osama bin Laden, and beginning a thorough dismantling of Al-Qaeda from the starting point of Afghanistan - these were the obvious first steps in waging a global war on terrorism. To make Iraq the centerpeice of the war on terror was truly reckless. We've spent billions of dollars, killed tens of thousands of Iraqis, killed thousands of American troops, added no "stability" to the Middle East, and made a lot of defense contractors richer. This is not to mention dragging the reputation of the US military through the mud by allowing or even encouraging torture.

I do begin to understand why people would just want to give up and move to Canada (Vancouver is a really gorgeous city). Then I consider the fact that by leaving, there would be one less vote for sanity in this country. Would I leave the world's largest economic and military power in the hands of people who voted for this war to begin with?

No way in Hell.

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