Am I Being Naive or Just Ignorant?

Beckie's post from Friday sparked a thought, which expanded into an idea, which became a whole cluster of mental creations (one of which, apparently, wasn't a synonym for "thought" or "idea").

How do I feel about what's continuing in Iraq? That's a good question.

From the beginning, I have supported American policy (overall) concerning the war in Iraq. was it the right thing to do? Yes, I believed it was and still believe it was.

Is America safe because of it? Loaded question, but yes, I think I America is safer without Saddam Hussein in power and with the beginnings of a democratic system in place. Despite what Senator Obama has said in the past, I believe that toppling what Hussein had made out of his regime was a great idea, and has since helped keep those who would attack America on their toes and unable to get the stability they need to repeat 9/11. They've struck elsewhere and many times, and why not? Even if they weren't thinking it, it's a brilliant propaganda tool: attack other people and say it's because America attacked you, so that everyone blames America. Even better, attack the Iraqi people themselves, and throw out a line like: "You have attacked us, and because you have attacked us the Iraqi people will suffer." Then Iraqis get pissed at America and blame them.

The number of people who are dying and have died because of the post-invasion violence is abhorable and deplorable, but to fault America alone is stupid. Some people toss out an entire line of argument about "America invaded when it wasn't their business and lied about WMDs and stuck their noses in other people's business just to preserve oil interests and if they had just left it alone, all those people wouldn't be dead." I don't buy it. I personally trust our government and many of the choices they've made. Maybe the Iraq invasion and war could have been better. But D-Day was far from perfect, and I have yet to find someone who says that was a bad idea.

Okay, I'm not going where I wanted with this. Summing up- I still proudly support America's efforts in Iraq, and think the world is overall better- any worsening came because of stupid and petty bickering and finger-pointing here at ahome and abroad.

What Beckie's post made me think is what will Iraq look like when all is said and done. I wonder if American forces are doing what they can to minimize their outside presence- what Beckie said seems to indicate they aren't. Okay, clearly thousands of American troops aren't going to blend in, even if their camo matches the sand and scorpions. But I'm sure there are ways to preserve as much as they can so that when they leave, there isn't this big nightmare of a mess for the Iraqis to have to clean up and put back together (I'm talking literally, not politically, for all those "Hell"-ary and Obama lovers out there). I think there was a lot of that in past wars, and it's sad to see that some people don't care enough to try and keep what they can intact.

So that really wasn't at all how I imagined this to turn out. But maybe some of you can glean at least part of what I think I was trying to say.

Now to you: I'm very interested to see or learn what your feelings/thoughts/views/ideas are about Iraq and the situation there. Do you supprt it or not? Why or why not? Feel free to express in a comment or your own blog entry or a phone call or e-mail or whatever.


Tamara said…
I agree with going over there, but I really don't agree with STILL BEING OVER THERE!!!! I think there is a time for everything, and everything has it's time. It's time to start the process of coming home. If not, I feel it will be MUCH LONGER, and haven't we done enough already for them?
Beckie said…
I'm kinda with Tamara on the still being over here. I know I just said that I'm undecided on my blog, but I do think we need to slowly start withdrawing.

You've brought up some great points and I love that you are thinking about it. I will say, the Iraqi police force still needs a lot of work, but their military is doing really well. That and the "Sons of Iraq" I think are big reasons for why this war is going better than it has in months/years. And the U.S. military oversees all of that.

There are a lot more discussion points, and I can't wait to sit down at dinner and talk with you about it in October.
Julina said…
I just (OK, last night) watched the 60 minutes segment on Christians in Iraq (if you missed it, they're being purged/destroyed/"exterminated", to use a word from our own religious history...), and that throws another interesting twist into the discussion... in October... sigh.

What are the dates Beckie's back in the US again? I'm going to be counting down the days.

Meanwhile - I'm still not working (most of July), so I'm available for chats over the phone whenever...

Have a good week -
Peeser said…
To be honest, I'm not entirely sure yet where I stand, mostly because I can see validity on both sides of the coin. I am leaning toward the stance that the rest of you are expressing, that initially it was a good idea- even necessary- even if only to get Saddam Hussein out of power.
I'm a little more uncertain about the continued presence there, mostly because, as Beckie notes, there does not really seem to be any attempts at really understanding or connecting with the Iraqi culture. That, I think, is what is causing most of the trouble (and I think it may have been a large contributing factor to the ultimate stalemate/failure of Vietnam). Rather than "Americanizing" everyone else with our ideas of democracy, perhaps we should try to understand their culture, their traditions, their background, and use that to find the best way to incorporate those ideas of freedom and democracy.
It's like what they suggest for missionaries- try to find some common ground and work from there, rather than just forcing your own way of thinking and believing onto others who most likely will not respond to such an approach...

(okay, lots of ramblings here- i hope at least some of them make sense.)

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