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Bloviating Zeppelin: Iraqi Sovereignty: Two Disparate Views

Bloviating Zeppelin

(in-ep-toc'-ra-cy) - a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.

Saturday, July 03, 2004

Iraqi Sovereignty: Two Disparate Views

The United States turned over sovereignty to Iraq two days prior to the officially acknowledged day.

My father, who is 84, and I have had numerous discussions about this very same topic and we, to this day, agree to disagree. I believe there are many factors shadowing our respective views.

Whereas I prefer to research and predicate my views and writings upon facts and reality, I am temporarily abandoning my research tendencies for the nagging and twisted feelings (how I dislike writing that word!) I am experiencing regarding Iraq and its interlinked future with the United States.

First: my father clearly thinks we made a horrible mistake by even considering moving into Iraq. He's never given me an alternative action, but believes we shouldn't be spending millions and millions of dollars and the lives of soldiers for this action.

I tend to think in these terms (because it is my current job to manage people, parts, tools and assets): Okay. Then what's your suggestion? What is your alternate course of action? What would you have done? What would you do now?

I suppose what I'm saying is this: it's easy to criticize. But unless you propose solutions to the questions raised, you have nothing for me. What matters is not the criticism. What matters are the solutions and answers proposed. And from these, a logical and systematic sifting of these ideas.

Don't just tell me you don't like something. Give me some options. Provide proposals, alterate thoughts, logical arguments based in facts, history, precedent and, moreover, concise thinking directed at the specific problems at hand. For lack of a better phrase (Ucko! Hok! Ptui!): "thinking out of the box."

I see very little of this from the "liberal" or "left wing" side of things. Any 4th grader can criticize. Do more: "give me solutions or shut the hell up."

A "conservative" radio talk show host recently went to a showing of Michael Moore's "Fahrenheit 9/11" and made an observation that the greater bulk of the audience consisted of persons over 60+ years of age -- which tends to indicate that this age group is buying into Mr. Moore's propagandic exposition, running quite artistically and profitably, thank you, to hundreds and hundreds of theatres nationwide.

I believe I have an explanation for this phenomenon and the fact that my very own father finds our response to Iraq overboard and beyond logic. I chalk it up to the fact that he and many others of his time represent, in truth, "The Greatest Generation."

And that, truly, may be their greatest downfall.

It is why their generation of elderly make the easiest targets for half-baked solicitations, advertisements, door-to-door criminals, gypsies, transients and the like.

Despite what they've seen and experienced, they still believe in the Inherent Goodness of Man. It was true for their time and many wish to believe it still.

I believe that, in their hearts and guts, they cannot understand nor stomach anything even remotely resembling a pre-emptive response to threats made upon their country (I'm still not convinced the country itself realizes Militant Islam is a threat).

In their day, in their schools, in their society, there was logic and common sense and a systematic progression to life that is not present today. Very little makes sense anymore. Society is nothing like what they experienced growing up.

STANDBY, PERIPHERAL RANT APPROACHING, CAUTION, CAUTION:

And this perception ranges from our music to our movies to our television (which they find themselves almost prisoners of) to our newspapers, to our magazines, to our children and our grandchildren (many of whom are cared-for by Grandparents on behalf of their brain-dead, stupid or loser children -- which they cannot acknowledge because, after all, they believe in the best in us all).

It's as I've said before to many of my friends: Life will get better when my generation, the Baby Boomers, die out. It can't happen too soon. We took our parents' ethos, codes, sense of duty, honor, loyalty, responsibility and turned them upside down because we could -- because we took advantage of our parents' inherent and innate goodness.

And then we took things further because we could: we wanted it all because we thought we deserved it -- but at the expense of our children. We thought Quality Time meant just that: a few minutes every day expended just for our children when, in fact, children demand minute-by-minute monitoring.

After all, we took our children to T-ball, to Soccer practice, to after-school activities. Weren't we good parents? Couldn't we prove it? We raised them in nice secular homes in good neighborhoods with day care, in good schools with computers and games and transported them in leather-clad vans and SUVs. White guilt certainly over-rode our sense of Life. Hey: if we managed our children well, just like our DayMinder, all would be fine.

Wouldn't it?

OFFICIAL END OF PERIPHERAL RANT:

Ramp back up to today:

My dad can't understand my response to Iraq and terrorism. My visceral, emotional, unfettered, improper, horrible response is this: we need to make a stand and a statement because no other President, including Reagan, up to this point has drawn a line in the Middle Eastern sand. Militant Islam understands nought but power. Reagan didn't understand because the concept was relatively new (let us not forget Lebanon). Bush Senior didn't understand because he didn't take things far enough. Clinton didn't understand because he was hampered by his mindset and philosophy from the onset.

Collectively, WE didn't understand because Militant Islam was something someone else experienced -- some other "Third World dirtball nation;" although, now we can see the signs for what they were -- but only because we learned, grudgingly, to read said signs aloud.

It cost us roughly 3,600 lives to read those signs.

Pre-emptive strikes to save the union are, in my opinion, warranted.

Pre-emptive strikes, in the eyes of the Greatest Generation, are forbidden, cheating, an admission of inadequacy, poor form, unwarranted. Because there is almost always something MORE that we could or should do to avoid confrontation.

Logic, common sense, decorum and propriety would dictate this.

Except that Militant Islam doesn't care to sit down at a nice ebon table, pour some tea, make some conciliatory statements, play some new age music, sign some documents, "mean well," and promise to understand our way of thinking.

Their view is this: either you convert to Islam or we'll kill you.

I think they'd rather just kill us anyway, and be rid of us.

BACK TO IRAQI SOVEREIGNTY:

I do not believe in the Inherent Goodness of Man. I'm not a believer in Altruism. I am a believer in history, in patterns, in closely examining the past in order to discern the future. I believe in substance over form, in deeds and not words. The closest thing to a democracy in the Middle East, save for Israel, is Jordan -- ruled by a king.

I wish I could believe that, in a few weeks or months, maybe a year, all will be well. I wish I could believe that the Common Man and Woman in Iraq will rise up against their inner oppressors and acquire that sensitive balance of accommodation for each form of Islam, to the satisfaction of all.

Unfortunately I tend to think this: absent iron-fisted, unbending rule, Iraq will degenerate back into tribal and ethnic divisions irrespective of and spanning boundaries, borders and regions.

Knowing this, my father says: so, you acknowledge we shouldn't have gone into Iraq. We shouldn't be wasting our time there, spending our billions there. Letting our boys die there.

And my response is: no. Wrong. Militant Islam was at work there, and we need to do what we can when we can. And like a bully, they will push and push until stopped. If we don't react, if we don't push back then, like any bully, it will only get worse.

If we don't want to see one kiloton backpack tactical nukes (SADMs) exploding on continental US soil, if we don't want to see chemical and biologic weapons pierce our borders and strike at the very beating heart of our society, then we need to change our mindset and deal with what IS rather than what we WANT.

Dad believes he is right. I believe I am right. Only time will tell.

And that time will become known as our history. . .

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