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War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

-John Stuart Mill

I'm not against fighting for a valid and just cause. I think there are things that are important enough to fight a war over after you have exhausted all efforts at achieving peace.

That being said and after having read weeks of other people's posts and reading news articles and seeing it on CNN and watching Mr.Powell's tirade yesterday, I'm still not convinced that the possible threat by Saddam Hussein is worth committing American soldiers to military action in Iraq.

I said this to people during the Gulf War and I'll say it again now. If our objective is to remove Saddam Hussein and we agree we are done trying to reason with him, then why not just assasinate him? I know, it's a dirty word and not something we as a country really want to be known for sanctioning, but I'm quite sure it wouldn't be the first time we arranged for it to be done. I mean he's not like bin Ladden and we don't know where he is. He shows himself all the time. He seems agreeable at times to granting interviews or making public appearances if he thinks it will be in his best interest, so why not set up a reporter to do an interview in a given location, send in some snipers and take him out. Or if we don't want it to seem like a government sanctioned action, I'm sure there are any number of mercenaries around the world who would do it for a price with few questions asked. There are a bunch of ways to kill someone if you want them dead without putting thousands of ground forces in harms way from chemical, biological and possibly nuclear attacks.

I guess that's the part that gets me. We are not trying to punish a country or really even a government (other than Mr. Hussein). We are trying to remove one man from office so we can have someone in power whom we and the rest of the world can deal with on a rational basis. So why then are we acting like we are going to war against a whole nation? Just kill the guy and get on with life. Why does that take thousands of troops?

Then the other thing that gets under my skin is people calling him Saddam all the time. I know some people do it because they don't know any better but government officials and the media should know better. Saddam is the guy's first name. It would be like calling the Prime Minister of the UK, Tony or the President of the US, George or the President of Russia, Vladimir. I know it's probably meant to be insulting but it's also really, really incorrect. Wouldn't it sound strange if a news anchor came on the nightly news tonight and said "Today, George called on the American people to stand behind the War effort?"

So if we even want to suggest to the world that we are trying to carry out peaceful diplomatic relations with the leader of Iraq, do we hear government officials including our President, all the time calling him Saddam? And especially when either of the George Bushes call him that, it sounds like they are saying Sodom as in Sodomite.

I'm not at all worried that we would win in any conflict with Iraq. I think it's pretty much a foregone conclusion we would win and probably pretty quickly too. I just think an all out military campaign is real overkill when there appear to be much simpler solutions.

Wander

Comments

( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
whatevah
Feb. 6th, 2003 01:06 pm (UTC)
I think the Saddam thing is a little like us calling President Bush "Dubya". It's a passive sign of disrespect. It's not an accident, I don't think. George Bush (Sr) purposefully used the mispronunciation of Saddam as Saddam, because it has an insulting meaning in Hussein's native language. It was a passive sign of disrespect.

I hope to post about Iraq issue a little more this evening.
wander
Feb. 6th, 2003 01:17 pm (UTC)
Re:
Oh I don't think it's accidental either. I think it's purposeful. I just don't like the fact that we say in one instance we are still trying to deal with him diplomatically and yet we disrespectfully refer to him by his first name, rather than by his political title like we would other world leaders. And I agree the Sr. Bush didn't mispronounce it in insult. He can't help it because of his accent. I just hate to hear him say it because I always think he's either going to follow Saddam with "and Gamorah" or some other biblical reference or start talking about anal sex. I guess it just seems odd to me that we don't refer to other despised political figures by their first names like Fidel or Adolf or even Ossama. We usually refer to Ossama bin Ladden either by his whole name or his last name.

W
whatevah
Feb. 6th, 2003 03:09 pm (UTC)
Re:
I've heard him referred to as just Osama before. It usually only happens when we're in a really critical situation, hot like this one.

I agree. You can't say we're using diplomacy on the one hand, and then go around being insulting in the way you refer to a person on the other. And it's not just calling him Saddam, but the whole Axis of Evil BS, all of the epithets and slanted talk from our own government (not that this isn't a part of their every day operations, but it's gotten way off track to be called anything close to diplomacy.)
wander
Feb. 6th, 2003 03:14 pm (UTC)
Re:
I think if it wasn't for the UN not being completely sure war is the answer, we'd have been at war already. Like if the US were not part of the UN, we'd have just gone ahead and done it by now. Seems like the admin is just trying to save face at the moment. Sort of hesitating on the brink. That's what I got from Powell's speech yesterday.

Wander
whatevah
Feb. 6th, 2003 03:27 pm (UTC)
Teetering is right...like we were moving fullspeed toward a cliff and then hesitated at the edge...

Probably too much moment to stop now, though I really wish someone would just yank 'em back, smack 'em around and tell them to get their heads out of dark places.
i
Feb. 6th, 2003 01:39 pm (UTC)
israel could take him out for us. he's more of a danger to them anyway.
wander
Feb. 6th, 2003 01:45 pm (UTC)
Re:
Exactly. I said that after the Gulf War too. I'm surprised they haven't done it by now given what a pain in the ass he's been to them. I think you said something similar a while back in one of your comments. Assasination is not a nice word but neither is war.

Wander
mrlapage
Feb. 6th, 2003 02:26 pm (UTC)
The second Hussein crossed Kuwait's border I knew we were going to war with Iraq.

The second Dubya was confirmed as President I knew we were going to war with Iraq.

The motives for his offensive are so transparent, especially in light of all that's going on in No. Korea. I heard the other day that the Christian right as personified by Bush scares Europeans. That's the only rationale I can find for their going along with him.

It should also be noted that this administration is exploring the use of tacticle nulear weapons.
wander
Feb. 6th, 2003 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re:
I don't think it will be much of a war but yeah, it's probably a foregone conclusion. By the way, what are gas prices in Cali like? Here as on the east coast it's around $1.64 for the cheap stuff. I noted the sharp rise last week and wondered if we'd already gone to war.

Wander
ryl
Feb. 6th, 2003 02:42 pm (UTC)
This is what's been bothering me about the whole deal, but I couldn't articulate it. That and the difference in the way we're dealing with N.K. and Iraq. So we try diplomacy with Kim Jong Il and overbearing arrogance with Saddam Hussein? Okay. The inmates are running the asylum.
wander
Feb. 6th, 2003 02:45 pm (UTC)
Re:
They have been for awhile my friend. though I'm not sure the Democrats would have done much better in this particular conflict.

Wander
ryl
Feb. 6th, 2003 03:49 pm (UTC)
No, I don't think they would have been any better either. Something like this should have been corrected twelve years ago. Now they're coming up with anything they can to justify this craziness.
wander
Feb. 6th, 2003 04:02 pm (UTC)
Re:
I was always amazed they couldn't kill Saddam Hussein 12 years ago as were several military people I know. Almost seemed like they were not really trying to find him.

Wander
green_noise
Feb. 6th, 2003 06:26 pm (UTC)
Hi there... fantastic journal you've got here, I'm glad you stumbled across mine so I'd have the pleasure of doing the same.

Anyhow, a quick comment on the "Saddam" thing. This is, in fact, part of Muslim culture, whereby it would actually be considered disrespectful to use a term like "Mr." to prefix the last name. Such prefixes are part of Western culture, yes, but not Muslim culture. This is why we hear Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Mohammed Khatami, and so forth. There is a greater emphasis on the first name, it seems. Another example is King Hussein (who, as you may recall, was the founder of modern Jordan, and died a few years ago -- a well-loved man to many Muslims, and apparently a direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad); you may hear this and go "Ah, Hussein would be his last name?"... not the case, his name was in fact Hussein bin Talal.

A lot of the respectable world press has taken it upon itself to use the Muslim method of referring to Muslims, even if the target audience is not Muslim. It's just a small part of being respectful towards those cultures.

I wish I could find the news article where I'd read up on this from, but I can't even remember what source I got it from.

See you around. :)
wander
Feb. 7th, 2003 07:37 am (UTC)
Re:
Wow, that was very enlightening. Thanks. I never really thought of that. But now that you mention it, my Mom used to work for an Iranian doctor when we lived near DC and we used t orefere to him as Doctor Sedehigh which was his first name.

Oh and I saw one of your comments on the whole LJ post limit debacle yesterday and thought it was very well thought out and lucid (and gramatically correct as opposed to many others) so I checked out your journal and decided to add you. In case you were wondering where I came from.

Peace

W
green_noise
Feb. 7th, 2003 06:04 pm (UTC)
A priority for me when debating is to always aim for solid grammar and spelling and punctuation. Even if you're "wrong", it still promotes a higher level of quality. I don't apply this all the time though, often when I write comments in friends' journals I don't give it the same sort of grammatic oomph that you'll see in my journal. It's good to be fun and relaxed, too, and looser grammar is good for that.

As for the bit on Muslim names, yeah, it is interesting, isn't it? Cultural etiquette is an interesting thing, and anyone can be forgiven for just not knowing all the little details, but I think the more you do know, and the more you're able to show an understanding of those details, the better and more respectful human being you can be. So it's a bit of a thing for me, I guess.

An example for me is going to a Catholic church; I'm not a Christian, but if I do find myself at mass, I will participate (save for receiving Communion) as everyone else does, not because I believe in it, but because at the it's the least I can do to show respect for someone else's customs.

wander
Feb. 7th, 2003 06:30 pm (UTC)
Re:
I agree wholeheartedly. I don't participate in the sacraments anymore either even though I'm a confirmed Catholic in the eyes of the church anyway. I'm a shamanist now but I go to Midnight Mass on Xmas eve every year with my Mom and I do everything but Communion, Confession and those things. Just out of respect.

Wander
namaste21
Feb. 7th, 2003 01:27 pm (UTC)
This was very well thought out and written.

Now, given that this relative is a bit off-kilter, I can't take everything he said as a grain of truth, but one of Sam's uncles, who took part in the Gulf War, said that Saddam Hussein actually had assassin guns trained on him many times, but that soldiers were never allowed to fire on him. As explained to me by this soldier, if we were to assassinate Saddam (which I guess is culturally correct to say, now that I've read through these posts), then it would actually create more rioting and hatred for the US in that country and in the Middle Eastern region than we experience now. If we want him assassinated, we have to let it be done by one of his own people. And even if he was assassinated, he has sons/loyalists within his government that would carry out the same attitudes/policies.

I think the best approach to this is international pressure on Saddam. He could be effectively forced out if we and other countries put pressure on him, and if we changed some of our policies regarding Israel/Palestine and got more support from other Muslim countries. However, I don't know how to convince this administration of that.
wander
Feb. 7th, 2003 01:37 pm (UTC)
Re:
I think what our administration is really looking for (other than a reason to start up the war machine again) is to oust Saddam Hussein and put a puppet government in place in the guise of creating a democratic state so we or the UN can essentially control it. i'd heard the assasin thing too from several Gulf War vets. But honestly I don't see how we could be more hated than we already are. i had a good point that we should just let Isreal do it for us and I agree that would be a good plan. Also I'm sure there are plenty of Iranians or other Middle Eastern mercenaries who would do it for a price. and if we really do start bombing, I would think, killing Hussein would be a top priotity before he can get hunkered down in his undeerground bunkers.

Wander
namaste21
Feb. 7th, 2003 02:19 pm (UTC)
eh, I really don't think we can depend on Israel...they risk a huge religious war by pissing off every other Muslim nation if they did that (of course, they are already hated, but if the other countries do have nukes they'd probably use them at that point).

As for mercenaries, there are a ton of people who want to kill Saddam Hussein, but if that link is ever placed between the mercenary and the US...well, it would end disasterously. I think the international community should put Saddam on trial for his crimes against his people much like they do other dictators. But then, before they do that the country usually crumbles in civil war.

As for Saddam Hussein and hiding -- I think he's already hidden. He has dozens of look alikes who can take his place.
lady_ayana
Feb. 12th, 2003 04:02 pm (UTC)
I hear so many things you don't know what is true. I am scared now with all this "be ready" buy suits. gas masks and the such. I feel that our leader wants a war and may do anything to get one. (Please remember this is only my opinion and how I feel) Even if it means dropping a dirty bomb on his own land to blame them.... IMHO

Anyways, I am in your stonebear community and I wanted to ask you. If you think having a time for everyone to take a few minutes and use the his/her power of through to give good vibes to have this come to a end with no war. Maybe something like you did last week for the families of the space shuttle. I never did anything like this before. If you know if it should be done at a certain moon phase or the such. Thank You
wander
Feb. 14th, 2003 10:09 am (UTC)
Re:
My opinion on that is it can never hurt and it's a good idea. I've always felt like full moons and new moons were better but doing it as a collective, I'm not sure it would matter. I'll post something to this effect and see what we can get going.

Wander
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )