Loren from In a Dark Time is off to my favorite place in the entire world, Cannon Beach:
There is something both inspirational and moving about the ocean. As it turns out, I spent my first honeymoon at the beach, but I also drove down to the beach to clear my mind the night I decided to leave my first wife. Perhaps it is the sense of timelessness you sense at the beach that makes it such a good backdrop to make important decisions.
He also leaves a gentle admonishment to me:
…I really don’t need to get dragged into someone else’s battle now do, I Bb?”
Loren is referring to my posting yesterday where I used both his weblog and a posting by Glenn Reynolds as examples of intelligence and intelligentsia, respectively. The interesting thing about this post is that I wasn’t thinking of Glenn Reynolds or the warbloggers when I wrote it; it was actually directed elsewhere. However, in the midst of my war debates, and using Professor Reynolds’ quote, I could see why the assumption was made that I was pointing it at the the warbloggers and Professor Reynolds.
Regardless, good point and well taken Loren, but no worries–I’ve realized how wrong it is to drag another into my battles.
Speaking of Professor Reynolds, he did write something yesterday that I felt was both honest and sincere:
I don’t pretend to offer guarantees that American intervention in the region will make life better for the people who live there. I think it will, I hope it will, and I think we should do our best to make that so. But those are secondary objectives. The primary objective is to make clear to leaders that if their country threatens America, they, the rulers, will be out of power at best, and dead along with all their family and friends at worst. Is that “nice?” No. I don’t care.
There is no pretense in this statement, and I can respect that, as I can respect Andrew Sullivan’s statement (pointed to by Doc) along similar lines:
The far-left notion that this is a cynical war for “protecting American interests in the Middle East” is absurd. Such a war might indeed make the Middle East a safer place, but the war is about protecting America and the West, as well as liberating the Iraqi people from one of the most evil tyrants in history.
I imagine that Sullivan would concur with Reynolds in that freeing the Iraqi people is secondary to ensuring the safety of the West. If I disagree with both on the direction the US should take, I can respect their honesty.
One can talk, really talk, when all sides strip away rhetoric and side issues and focus on true opinions, concerns, and realities.
Speaking of battles and discussions, Jonathon suggests that I focus on debating Steven Den Beste rather than Eric Olsen and Glenn Reynolds. After reading the posts he references I agree with Jonathon. ( Though I think the link to the legal post is inaccurate; should it be this one instead?).
In particular, I appreciate Den Beste’s multi-part Ground war in Iraq as a point of beginning discussions. With such a careful and detailed analysis, there is much to respond to.
However, for a discussion on the legality of a unilaterial US invasion of Iraq, I would prefer to focus more on John Chipman’s America’s Right to Fight Iraq in the Financial Times (through Glenn Reynolds).
I’ll work on both posts as I wash all my clothes and vacuum in a vain attempt to rid myself of the Missouri buglife that has decided that I look like MacDonald’s Golden Arches. However, from readings on the subject of chiggers that Ben was kind enough to provide, it would seem it was my last foray into the wild that’s responsible for my current suffering and that only time will provide me a cure. Unfortunate as there are so many bites on my legs I look like I have the measles.
I have found Dante’s missing hell: it’s full of chiggers.
(And I’m still trying to figure out what caused the huge bite that’s so inflamed–a mosquito couldn’t have caused this, could it? What kind of mosquitos live in Missouri–reincarnated fighter pilots?)