gRegorLove little g big R

Mistakes acknowledged; hubris maintained

I was invited to be a member of INtake Weekly's blogsquad. INtake is a newspaper published here in Indianapolis that focuses on lifestyle, entertainment, and news issues for the twenty and thirty-something demographic. It's a pretty cool paper and I'm glad to have the opportunity to be one of the bloggers. They have a weekly prompt for us to write about and I plan to cross-post them here (tagged: blogsquad). Here's the first one:

Mistakes acknowledged; hubris maintained

The Iraq War... nothing like a nice, easy topic to settle into a new weblog with.

So hello everyone, my name is Gregor and I have been opposed to the Iraq War since before it began. My reasons are varied and to discuss them fully would take up far too much time and be far too boring for most. Plus I'm tired of discussing it online. I have blogged and forumed enough about it already. Suffice it to say my reasons can be summarized as:

  • I do not believe in or support nation-building. I wholeheartedly embrace the Jeffersonian principle of “peace, commerce, and honest friendship with all nations – entangling alliances with none.”
  • I do not believe Iraq ever posed a legitimate – much less imminent – threat to America. I believe the Iraq War falls quite short of justification by the “Just War Theory”.
  • I do not believe in “wars” on tactics or things (e.g. “War on Terror”, “War on Drugs”, or “War on Poverty”). They are impossible to win and only result in more centralized power.

Today's topic is Bush's new vision for Iraq, which includes sending about 20,000 more troops. I believe this is the wrong direction for the troops to be going. I do not buy the “whether the decision was right or not, we're there now so we need to fix it” line of argument. A lot of the problems in the Middle East have arisen because of other nations sticking their nose where it does not belong, trying to “fix” things. Perhaps thinking they can “fix” things in the first place is their biggest problem. I believe it's called hubris.

The different religious sects in Iraq are not very likely to “play nice” with each other. If they want to split into a few different nations, then let them. Sure, if you want to control the entire country in a totalitarian fashion, maybe they could all get along. That goes against this alleged notion of Iraq being a “free” country, though, and looks a lot more like life was under Saddam Hussein.

I have no illusions that withdrawal from Iraq will make the situation there all rosy. I'm not convinced we're making the situation better, though, and since I do not believe we should have been there to begin with, do not support furthering the mistake by staying longer. Bush took responsibility for “where mistakes have been made”. Good. I wonder if that includes all the lies that led up to the war. Either way, if he himself wants to fix the mistakes, he's welcome to try.

...just not with other people's money – or troops who signed up to defend this nation – thank you.

This article was originally published on INtake Blogsquad.

View responses or leave your own response


Kevin Schmidt Kevin Schmidt
It says you're a web application developer, what do you develop in?

PHP/MySQL predominantly, but I am also familiar with Cold Fusion.

Jonny Boy Jonny Boy
So... Cut 'N Run?

Just kidding

Well proven, what do we do now? It's one nicety to point out mistakes that have been made (and yeah this whole thing is just full of them) but another to develop a course of action that will end the situation.

Do you think separate nations for each religious sect (of Islam mind you, you'd think they'd be able to “get along”) is the best way?

I understand your position that since we shouldn't be there to begin with we shouldn't be there anymore than we already are, but apparently the best course of action now is to get in even more. Now again we aren't privy to all the information and are relying upon someone to pursue the correct course of action for us. And (specifically in foreign affairs) the current administration hasn't proven very trustworthy.

So just wanting to see if you had any ideas on how to reconcile the situation. Simply because I already know your stance on standing armies.

Oh oh... also, how would you eliminate a standing army in the Middle East? I.E. Israel Should they just kinda concede their little parchment of land and move on or just continuously keep getting attacked and not fighting back? Oh they should probably just rely upon God. He has promised them that they will inherit the “Promised Land.” And according to eschatology the land still needs to remain fallow for a few more years (7 from my understanding). Maybe there is all this violence there simply because they didn’t wait another 7 more years before occupying the region. They should probably give it up, come back in a decade (just to make sure) and then they’ll live happily ever after in the Promised Land.

Yea that’s kinda of a rant, and I’m being a dick, but just wanted to get a rise outta you.

If you think I’ve over stepped the bounds of friendly neighborhood comments then say so. And since I don’t exactly have an answer either, a “I don’t really know Jon, maybe being less of a dick next time would be better” is a very acceptable answer.


p.s. - I still can't do math.

How is it “apparent” that the best course of action is to get in even more? I believe the Iraq Study Group suggested a phased withdrawal.

There is a civil war going on in Iraq right now, and I believe pretty firmly that America will not be able to “solve” that problem whatsoever, and will only exacerbate it.

I think letting them split the nation up might be one of the best solutions, yes. Iraq is essentially a nation that's been made up over the years by other nations drawing the lines on the map, forcing different people under the same rule. Naturally, strife arises.

My suggestion would be withdrawal. Phased withdrawal, if need be. I don't see a problem with saying “we're phasing out X troops a month, we're totally out in one year.” Peacekeeping organizations can move in during that time - undoubtedly the UN, but also private organizations and charities - and really begin helping Iraqis rebuild some semblance of normalcy.

Standing armies in Israel? That's up to the Israelis, not Americans. Generally speaking, though, lack of a standing army does not mean there would be no defense whatsoever. I wholeheartedly support the right to defend oneself with weapons, and in such a violent region as the Middle East I'm sure private alternatives to a state-run military would be supplied, as the demand for such is high (people like to live).

Attempted rise failed, by the way. :-]

Side note on Israel: I don't buy into the “the nation state of Israel is Chosen by God and therefore other nations should side with it, politically” ideology, if that's what you were referring to with that example.

Jonny Boy Jonny Boy
So I write too much. I have a post dedicated entirely to you. Just you did for me.

Jon Jon
No my next objection is that of imminent domain. American's really like Iragi Oil. So the American government annexed their country and decided to build there.

Jon Jon
I do agree with #2. Taxation is theft and I think it's done backwards.

The state should tax more. Then from the states the Federal Government is “granted” money to operate. In essence the Fed is only alive because of the states not vice versa.

Then your money is staying much more local and you are able to see the benefits or being taxed.

Again just thoughts, would be neat. Personally I'd prefer the government to be a business. That way they don't have to “tax” but maybe charge for their services. If you don't care to use a particular service then you don't pay for it. So... less taxing, more charging. Fun stuff...

Jonny Boy Jonny Boy
Hey thanks, I thought it had something to do with trees but I couldn't remember and I was unable to find the quote online.

Brandon Brandon
Yo holmes! Quick question, do you do side jobs? I know you do PHP work (if I'm not mistaken) and I've been approached by a principle of a design firm who has a friend who needs some patch work done to a PHP database application. I told him I'm not the best with PHP but knew someone who was good with it so I thought I'd ask if you'd be interested. =)

Take care man!

Nathanael JOhnson Nathanael JOhnson
Gregor. Good to hear from you. .long time. Respond to article: It might be a good idea to look at history and find a time that doing what “we” are doing now ever worked...nope? Anyway, I don't exactly dig the whole “warrior class” grunt idea where most of the people in the armed forces are there for economic reasons. Grrr.

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