Monday, January 30, 2006


a very nice opinion piece in the boston globe

are we in a state of war?

some snippets from the article:

There can be no question that Iraq is in a state of war....

But, regarding the Iraq conflict as it involves the United States, something essential is lacking that would make it a war -- and that is an enemy.

at first, i thought this article was going to go into how the american mindset is not that of a nation in war--which is an important point, but this article exceeded my expectations.

it is directly addressing the fact that iraq was no threat to the US. the people there simply want the same things "americans", or any people want. the right to a self-described freedom, the right to self determination. Freedom cannot be imposed on you by another nation--then it is inherently NOT freedom. Freedom is working on your own terms, living with and for and by your own agenda and not someone elses'.

Americans who bother to imagine the situation from the Iraqi point of view -- a massive foreign invasion, launched on false pretenses; a brutal occupation, with control of local oil reserves surely part of the motivation; the heartbreaking deaths of brothers, cousins, children, parents -- naturally understand that an ''insurgency" is the appropriate response.

the Iraqi people are not stupid, or naive. they understand why americans are occupying their nation--and no matter what motive you think this might be i don't think anyone is brash enough to suggest we are there simply out of concern for the iraqi people. we don't understand what life was like for them before the occupation, and we don't understand what life is like for them now. most of us have never lived in a country under war, living in enemy occupied territory. but we do know that whatever they are suffering now they are suffering, at least in part, because we are there. every innocent civilian killed, tortured, or jailed is at our hands. and, unfortunately, there has been a lot of those things going on.

Bin Laden was a self-mythologized figure of no historic standing until George W. Bush designated him America's equal by defining 9/11 as an act of war to be met with war, instead of a crime to be met with criminal justice. But this over-reaction, so satisfying at the time to the wounded American psyche, turned into the war for which the other party simply did not show up. Which is, of course, why we are blasting a substitute Iraq to smithereens.

emphasis mine. because this is the thing that has always bothered me most about the whole post-9/11 thing.


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