Monday, November 14, 2005

My Spin on War

The debate from the Republican spinners would have us believe that because one might have been swayed by the arguments for war, that no one should have the ability to criticize our President for the way the war was mounted. I was never swayed by his arguments, personally, and I lost respect for people who represented me yet who voted for this war. I do, now, support our troops and hope they are brought home as soon as possible without leaving Iraq in a lurch and without further harm to American soldiers. We owe our troops a debt of gratitude, but the people who put them in harm’s way should really delve into their souls for the truth. Attempts to change the debate about finding the truth behind this war are antithetical to the democratic process.

I was angered and frustrated that my point of view about the war was ignored as we barreled our way toward it. I was disgusted, though, by two telling statements by our President that I think point to a fundamental difference between him and me.

“I am a war President,” he said, with that smirk on his face that seems to show his pleasure at the title.

“This is the first war of the Twenty-First Century,” he announced after our bombs started falling in Iraq, as if war is inevitable and as if he were looking forward to seeing more of them.

I no longer remember the exact context of these quotes, whether they were uttered in the State of the Union Address, or in an Address before a Joint Session of Congress, or simply in response to a question from a reporter. The point is that there seems to be glee in the concept of war. That is appalling to me. It is as if there is insecurity that one might not be seen in retrospect as a great man unless one has conquered a foreign nation.

I believe that our Creator will hold anyone responsible for actions of aggression with intent to kill. Bush seems to have sent us off to a war of his own invention, for whatever reason. Perhaps he wanted to write his passage in the History of the World. As he has done, I will say that I can not abide a man who chooses to fight before he exhausts all possible alternatives to violence. It sends the wrong message to our children and to the rest of the world.



Anonymous Jonathan said...

The first time I heard “I am a war President” I was really shocked. The face and the infelction in his voice reeked of some cross between high school bullyism and a pre-game interview with an NFL star linebacker. I would almost say that I was really sad to be American at that point. I'm not a flaming liberal, I don't want to be down on where I live, and I try to understand the cosmic roles I despise, wheather it be a birmingham police officer with a firehose or a war president using religion as a tool for control and conquest (novel concept, right?). What really makes me think twice about standing for soldiers at parades, and weather or not I truly live in the wrong place is the fact that at least 51% of these people will stand up, cheer, and exude blind faith in a man who when elected could barely locate the deserts where he now sends thousands of angry, racist young men and women to take their chances in hovercrafts designed for water, with no flack jackets so that big corporations can save a buck and a we can feel better about being caught with our pants down. On the one hand, I wonder what the world would be like if the US and its allies had not stood in opposition to Hitler, and I would like to believe that no one loves peace more than a serviceman. But on the other, I sincerely hope that the last election was rigged, because I don't want to live in a culture that values bigger guns than brains and that at large, prefer the use of the former over the latter- and I really think that is whats happening here.

The trick is, people are very quick to point the finger at other people, other types of government, other social systems. And unlike nationalism, introspection seems to be a seldom learned trait rather than a cultural value. I understand making a mistake, even a big one. I won't pretend to know what its like to have lost a family because a terrorist flew a plane into a building. But I don't understand how someone can honstely support this president thinking that they are defending their life and culture rather than fostering a culture of war.

11/14/2005 10:41:00 PM  

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