Thursday, February 28, 2008

"Ending" the War

Cracks me up to hear people say that they're going to "end" the war in Iraq, that "we" need to end the war in Iraq. Does anyone with half a brain truly believe that our pulling out of Iraq would end the war there? It's our presence there, I submit, that is actually preventing war.

I guess this is where we as philosophers need to define our terms. There was a war in Iraq. But it only lasted about a week. Since then it's been bombings and mayhem--not what I would call a war. A war is between folks in uniforms, between nation states, between actors who would be recognized as soldiers by the Geneva Convention.

Since then it's really, for us Americans, only been a police action. And that's what's so frustrating. Why do we have to be over there policing them? Why won't they police themselves? Simple. If they had to police themselves, it would become war. Dennis Miller had it spot on when he said on his radio show about a week or so ago that we don't need to get to a point where they like each other, we only need to a point where they stop shooting each other.

They're not there yet. So it's on us to stand in between 'em. Until they can hug it out. We're the teacher on the playground at recess. And like it or not, we're the only super power so it's on us. (Breaking news: the UN can't do it, NATO won't do it.) A terrible sacrifice to pay.

But to say we can "end" the war? How naive. How conceitedly Ameri-centric. As if we have the power to end it. Pull out now and they'll fight it out. And that will be on us. And in the end, that will come back to bite us in the butt.



  1. I'm an adult female and my definition of war is when thousands of United States men and women in the military, National Guard, and reserves are told to go die or be maimed in a military action - without follow through plans to take care of their physical injuries or psychological needs, without the most careful attention to their battle needs.
    Without regard for biological truth of the necessity of human beings for periodic rest.
    Yes, the U.S. does need to be extremely careful about how and when to get out of Iraq. Much responsibility falls to us. When will anyone in the Bush administration take responsibility for the truth of what has happened in Iraq in the last five years at the hands of the United States of America, to ourselves and to the Iraqi people?

  2. When I was in the military there was a saying I heard from the CG of my base during the retirement parade of one of our senior enlisted who was a Vietnam era Marine.

    I imagine it's probably a quote that can be originally attributed to someone else but he said something to the effect of, "to have peace, we must prepare for war."

    One can wax philosophical about their own definitions of war and how our government is sending our sons and daughters to a far off land to go die. Maybe so, maybe not.

    But I can tell you from personal experience, that when countries who feel the need to get ugly with each other find out the U.S. military is sending troops off their shores, things quiet down quite a bit from where it could have gone.

    My opinion... this is not full out war. I don't think it is... not yet. It could be if we weren't there policing the area. Just wish it wasn't my brother and sister Marines out there doing the policing alone and without more help from other nations in the world.

  3. Can I agree and disagree? You're right on the definition of war (which so many Libs & Dems have missed), but I disagree with you and Miller about "leaving when they stop shooting at each other."

    Those morons have been killing each other ruthlessly, often for no actual reason, for the last 1500 years. To have the audacity to think that our military presence will end those long, useless, pointless tribal fueds in even a 50 year occupation is pretty laughable. These idiots truly believe that their religious salvation is attached to whether they can die for their tribal affiliation. No number of American soldiers can un-learn that.

    Forgetting (for a moment) the argument of whether we should or should not have invaded....we did.

    And now, we are permanently entrenched, in my opinion. Obviously....well, hopefully....this means a "Korea-like" occupation for the long term. Both Obama and McCain have absolutely and totally failed to capture this salient point!

    McCain envisions a large force, easy to mobilize during tense times (NO), and Obama envisions leaving a skeleton crew at what is now the world's largest US embassy (Double NO).