Government History

Peaceblog no more

I have removed the Peaceblog logo from the sidebar. I’m not sure at this point exactly what a peaceblog is. After three difficult days of thinking, I’m not sure what ‘peace’ is.

Before the invasion, ‘peace’ meant to me working to prevent my country from invading Iraq without good and decent cause and world support. By world, I mean UN support.

I never at any time considered Iraq an imminent threat. We are not justified attacking the country for this reason. We’re not justified attacking the country for 9/11. The only justification we could have for an armed conflict is to remove Saddam Hussein because of his oppression of the people of the country, but talk about Weapons of Mass Destruction is not concern about the Iraqi people. Too late the people of Iraq entered our regard.

Once we entered the country, once we dropped the bombs, we started something and to leave now will just result in a stalemate that will result in yet more death in a country that’s seen too much of it. The same type of death that resulted when we encouraged the Iraqi people to revolt 12 years ago and then didn’t stay around to help them. I bitterly regret that we started this war, but we can’t just leave now.

However, acknowledgment of finishing what we’ve started is not support. I do not support Bush and his administration. I do not support their short-sighted arrogance or their frightening long-term view for the Middle East.

The Sydney Morning Herald had a story today about disagreement within the Bush Administration about post-war strategy. It notes that the State Department (Colin Powell), as well as Britain’s Blair, believe in turning over the administration of Iraq to the UN after the war, though Powell has shown he won’t publicly refute the President’s and the Pentagon’s interest in maintaining US control.

I agree with turning the temporary administration of Iraq to UN control, as the country goes through what will be an extraordinarily difficult time. Replacing US control of Iraq with UN control is my push and my focus now, and that’s what I’m working for. The US presence will still be there, including our money and aid — we did start this after all — but under UN supervision as part of the UN forces.

And I do not agree with American corporate profiting from this war. Period.

The US staying in control of Iraq makes this a war of imperialism, regardless of how we want to wrap it. Not only will this inspire more terrorism, it will further destabilize the Middle Eastern region with fear of what the US will do next. I won’t soon forget the discussion about Syria and Iran last week. I won’t forget the implications of those words, and neither will Syria or Iran. Or, most likely, North Korea.

I also support direct Arab League involvement in the administration of Iraq. We have to start getting over our distrust of each other — Western world and the Arab world. Being the enemy without is not going to stop the spread of Muslim fanaticism or any form of fanaticism for that matter.

A most vivid image in my mind is that Iraqi driver the morning of the first bombing of Baghdad. The country was under war and the city had just been bombed, but the driver still signaled to turn, still stopped at a red light. Of all the images of destruction and violence and death from Iraq, this is the image that haunts me the most.

What the people of Iraq, and the Middle East, want is what we want — normalcy. Nobody wants war but the fanatical and the ambitious.

Archived with comments at the Wayback Machine

RDF Writing


Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

Practical RDF is heading into the production process and when next I see her, it will be as proofs. Talking with Simon, it sounds like the book will hit the streets in July.

July is a good time to release a book. Better than now.

The tech book industry has been taking some severe hits lately. The book publisher WROX went into bankruptcy leaving authors unpaid. In fact, many authors only found about the closure of the company through online lists and weblogs, though it sounds like the WROX staff made efforts to notify them the day before the doors closed.

O’Reilly itself has had to do some downsizing recently in some of its divisions. This is particularly difficult for O’Reilly because the people that work there are a very close knit group.

Anyway, I thought I would publish the dedication section of my acknowledgement because several of you are mentioned. Hopefully you’ll all be pleased. And Tim Tams and Godiva Chocolates would be a suitable thank you.

(Just joking.)

Books don’t get written in a vacuum and this book is no exception. I’d like to thank some special friends for their support and encouragement during the long, long period this book was in development. This includes my best friend, Robert Porter, as well as ++AKM and Margaret Adams, +Jonathon Delacour, Simon St. Laurent, Allan Moult, Chris Kovacks, *Loren Webster, Jeneane Sessum, Chris Locke, **Dorothea Salo, and others I’ve met in the threaded void known as the Internet. Thanks friends. It’s finally done.

*Who doesn’t like all this sappy, mushy stuff. Heh.
+Who likes cherries.
**Who should houseboat the Mississippi!
++ Who has neat new digs – but what’s with the chicken logo?

Political Weblogging

Long haul

Sheila Lennon sent a note and posted that she’s dropping out of the war:

War plus anti-war does not equal peace.

Pro-war and anti-war blogs are two sides of the same coin. War and anti-war fight each other with hearts and minds and furious typing.

On the streets, anger fuels protest, and is met with anger.

The potential for tearing our country apart again is already shaping up: “Support the war, support the troops” vs. “Support the troops – Bring them home.”

I’m dropping out of the war. I don’t want war in my living room any more. I don’t want to give it my attention. I can’t stop it, can’t change it, won’t fight it. All I can do is live as peacefully as I can, without sucking in its virtual fumes.

I can understand where Sheila’s coming from, except that none of us can drop out of the war. Especially the Iraqis. Especially the soldiers. But Sheila isn’t talking about dropping out of the war – she’s talking about not feeding the frenzy of pro- and anti-war rhetoric.

How does it support the troops to accuse others of being traitors, to make fun of people who disagree, to feed a constant anger? What’s peaceful about a peace movement populated by people screaming “I hate you!” and throwing rocks?

I agree with Sheila, I want no part of the war she describes. However, dropping out of the rhetoric war and not writing about the real one are two different things. Our writing, or not writing, about the war isn’t going to make it go any faster or prevent any people from being killed. However, writing about the war can help us resolve our anger, frustrations, and fears. It can also help us understand how we got here – to come to terms with the war and our own involvement and responsibilities. With a little respect and patience, it can also help us understand others’ viewpoint as well.