Political RDF Writing

Debate at the eye of the needle

As noted yesterday, Jonathon had suggested that if I was interested in a debate about Iraq, I should focus on Steven Den Beste:

Although I don’t have any interest in discussing an invasion of Iraq on my weblog, it occurs to me Bb—if you’ll excuse the gratuitous advice—that your time might be more constructively spent debating the issues with Den Beste, who writes well, is not patronising, listens carefully, and links to opposing viewpoints.

He specifically mentions a couple of Den Beste’s postings such as one about an invasion and international lawAlan Cook suggests before I do, though, I should review the posts by Demosthenes, suggesting as a starting point this post.

First let me say that not only is my headache of yesterday not gone, it’s worse. To the point where I can’t even read Demosthenes’ white on black weblog postings. In addition, trying to follow this debate thread as it wound it’s way through several posts (with references to side material as support for specific debate points), would be nearly impossible if I was well, much less sick.

Which returns me to what is most likely a better use of my time at this point — working on my RDF book and finishing ThreadNeedle.


What kind of war do you think we’ll be fighting?

I just couldn’t leave Steven Den Beste’s postings about a ground war in Iraq. While I can assume that he has a good understanding of tactics and strategy and troop movements, there was something about his postings that jarred me. Something that didn’t feel right.

I finally realized what it is. Seven Den Beste talks about a war with Iraq in terms of the amount of water needed and flow of troops and preferred routes as if he assumes that the only battles will occur within Iraq, soldier to soldier. He’s approaching this as a ‘traditional’ war, and this led me to a question: exactly what kind of war do you think we’ll be fighting if we invade Iraq?

If you think this is going to be similar to the last Gulf War, think again. That war had general support even among the Arab states because Iraq proved itself to be an aggressor. It’s actions were uncontestable–it invaded a relatively defenseless country, Kuwait.

Today all we have is a nebulous general threat that Hussein is a bad man and is developing terrible weapons, which he’ll use against us. This is in addition to the general opinion that Hussein is supporting terrorists, which he’ll again use against us.

At the same time we’re discussing the dangers of Iraq our newspapers and web sites online–including our weblogs–are beginning to discuss how Iraq isn’t the only country with this type of activity. After all, look at Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran. These countries also support terrorists, are developing weapons of mass destruction, and so on. If I were a member of one of these countries, in fact of of any Arab country, I would be wary of any presence of the United States in the region, much less a military one.

After all, the only countries showing themselves to be aggressors at this time are the United States and Israel. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the papers and see for yourselves–which are the countries rolling out tanks, dropping bombs, and talking about invasion? Just because we all consider that we’re the good guys doesn’t make our actions less aggressive.

Returning to the Gulf War, our position at that time was to turn Iraqi military back to its own borders; not to pursue the Iraqi into their own cities and homes. Bombing military trucks out in the desert is relatively simple–what happens when the military is threaded in and throughout schools and hospitals and homes? Drop the bombs, shoot the guns and to hell with the consequences?

With each civilian death we will weaken our own position and strengthen the resolve of the Arab people. A people that, for the most part, share a common language, heritage, and religion. And a people that can see for themselves from our publications that we in the West don’t think much of them. That we don’t like them. That we don’t trust them. That perhaps a regime change in the different Arab countries is necessary for true democracy to flourish in the Middle East, and for peace to truly reign.

And for the United States to truly be safe.

I don’t know about you but I don’t hold my hand out in friendship to people who spit in my face. Do you? And I sure as hell don’t hold my hand out to someone who’s thinking of kicking my butt and telling me how I should manage my own country.

I said previously that if the US invaded Iraq we would be surrounded by enemies. By this I didn’t mean that we would be facing hostile actions from the military of Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran and so on. I meant that we would be surrounded by a people who consider us a threat, a danger, and an aggressor. We would be their enemy, but an enemy with a superior military force.

When a people are faced with an opponent possessing superiour military strength they’re not going to grab a gun and go get blown away by a tank. They’re not going to shoot a 22 at a B52 bomber.

They’re going to develop weapons that exploit the weakness of their foe. They will find their foe’s vulnerability and seek to target it with weapons designed to exploit this vulnerability most efficiently. And they won’t be hindered by ubsurd concepts such as ‘honor in war’ and ‘fair play’ and only harming combatants. This is a war–anything goes.

Didn’t we learn that one in Vietnam?

Almost a year ago we showed the world our vulnerable spot. We, who have fought the majority of our wars on foreign soil, literally collapsed when someone brought the war to the mainland, to our home. Less than 100 men came close to bringing our country to a complete standstill. We couldn’t have demonstrated a more effective target, or a more efficient weapon.

So I ask the question again: If we invade Iraq, what kind of war do you think we’ll be fighting? Something to think about when you pull out your maps and push your little toy soldiers around and talk about water supply.

(And suddenly I have lost any and all interest in debating an invasion of Iraq with the warbloggers. Wonder why.)



Sudsy stuff

Good Evening. Spotted Woman, here.

What is it with men and their toys to do housework? Now Eric has joined the Sudsy Men of Weblogging (look for the calendar, soon, at supermarkets everywhere) and posted a photograph of his favorite washing utensil–no, not another Dishmatique. At least, I don’t think it’s a Dishmatique. How can I tell? All of these dishwashing toys look alike.

Wanna know what I use for dishes? A dishwasher.

Eric did point to a new toy I would like to have — a Toshiba PDR-3300. I like my Nikon, but would really like to have more pixels under my belt. But instead of the Toshiba, I’ll take the Cannon EOS 1D.

(The Dishmatique link goes to a Google lookup on ‘Dishmatique’. I got a chuckle when I saw how much we’ve screwed around with the listings for this poor little product. Think we’ll get sued like Davezilla?)










We are not at war

This is one that all bloggers, be they peace, war, anti-war, green, blue, techno, porno, whatever, should get angry about.

First up: Camps for Citizens. Ashcroft wants to create camps for US citizens that are determined to be “enemy combatants”. There, people will be held indefinitely, as ‘guests’ of the US government without any recourse to their constitutional rights. As the LA Times writes:

We are only now getting a full vision of Ashcroft’s America. Some of his predecessors dreamed of creating a great society or a nation unfettered by racism. Ashcroft seems to dream of a country secured from itself, neatly contained and controlled by his judgment of loyalty.

Who would be detained? People like Jose Padilla, who has now been determined not to be associated with al Qaeda. Lately, information is leaking out that Padilla wasn’t associated with any plot to create a dirty bomb, either. However, he’s still being held as an enemy combatant, without access to the rights supposedly guaranteed to all Americans.

(Can’t let him go–that would be admitting we made a mistake, wouldn’t it?)

Why all of this? It’s the War, you know. What war? Why, the war on terror.

News for you folks — no war has ever been declared. There is no war. The president did not go to Congress and inform Congress that we’re now in a state of war. What we have here is two stupid, paranoid, out of control men in office: one President, the other Attorney General. Hey warbloggers: these are the men you trust to lead an invasion of Iraq?

Time to return to discussions about the Dishmatique and soap–I suddenly feel dirty.

(Thanks to b!x for pointing out both of these pieces of Americana crap.)


Nuff war

Enough war stuff. The topic is important and there’s a whole lot of stuff going on in the country that deserves discussion, but we also want to have fun. We need to have fun.

For instance, I’m extremely curious as to see what Dorothea’s cookin up for the new weblog home. I have a bit of an idea (no telling though), but I am really looking forward to seeing the end result. And not just cuz Dorothea thinks I’m a cool person.

I’ve been reading quite a bit more recently, but haven’t been overjoyed with all the books I’ve checked out from the library. I love “Let us Now Praise Famous Men” for the rich imagery, but the others have been less than interesting. I’ll post the titles when I’m finished. (I usually read multiple books at once, trading off every night. I’m weird that way.)

It would be nice if all of the webloggers in my neighborhood listed their favorite books (favorites, not only the ones they talk about in public), so I could look for recommendations.

Hint. Hint.