Wednesday, April 13, 2005
This is the first installment of what I intend to be semi-frequent postings on politics etc in Black White and Grey.
There is so much absolutism in this country today, and I believe that is one of our biggest problems. Liberals are always evil; Conservatives always hate the environment; Democrats/Republicans are always correct, the other side is always wrong. Etc. You get the idea.
Now I’m not saying that there is no room for absolutes in the world. Absolutes and seeing things in perfect Black and White certainly have their place in society. But all too often they simply congest political discourse like a cancer.
For tonight, we will ponder the issue of Pro-War or Anti-War (re: Iraq) and the assumed “facts” about one if he admits to being one or the other. If you’ve not been asked the question of “Pro or anti war?”. I would imagine that you’ve still heard or seen it posed. The question in itself presents an obvious problem. It asserts that one HAS to be completely FOR or AGAINST the war. Is there no middle ground? Well, let’s see.
I will use my personal stance as our example. I was strongly against the sending of troops into Iraq. There was no direct threat and no other reason for us to preemptively strike. When I say no other reason, yes I know that there were many reasons stated: WMD, Saddam was evil, etc. To elaborate, there were no other reasons cited that, to my knowledge, had been used by the US previously to enter a war. I could be wrong here, but that is what I understood and understand to be true.
So we invade Iraq. Ok. Like I said, I was not in favor of attacking Iraq. Further, since we’ve invaded, there are many, many things that were either done horribly in the execution of this war or were not done at all. Troop strength, tactics, infrastructure planning (the whole reconstruction attempt in general actually), strategy and planning missteps, ad absurdum.
Now, having said all that, let’s get to my other side. I am 100% in support of our troops. Now that we’re there, I want nothing but the best for them. I want them to fully complete their mission in safety, and I want them to come home when possible. I have sent letters telling our soldiers that we fully behind them here and that we’re thinking about them. I’ve sent care packages as well. I don’t say these things to brag, only to show that I am sincere in my support. I don’t believe they are war criminals. I don’t believe that they’re violating laws as a matter of course (but it is war, so things happen sometimes). I also think that they get paid crap. Their families death benefits are pitiful compared to what the 9-11 families got (many became instant millionaires) or what the families of the “heroes” who died when the space shuttle disintegrated. Aparently just being in a war, getting shot at everyday, and trying to do your part for your country doesn't make you a hero anymore. But I digress...
So then, I ask you, am I Pro-war or Anti-war? Am I a treasonous, traitorous Liberal commie?
Or is it possible, that maybe, just maybe, there is some middle ground?
Think about this sort of thing next time you watch the idiots on TV yelling their talking points at one another. Black vs. White. Left vs. Right. All or nothing. Is that REALLY the way things are?