I've been avoiding making a direct post about my opinion on the upcoming Iraq war because I've felt it's been so muddled and unclear. I've been spending a tremendous amount of time thinking about it, and reading as much as I can. Since megnut serves not only as a space for me to share my thoughts but also as a repository for them for my future reference, I'm going to attempt to organize everything I've been thinking into some sort of post for my own sake. (Hi Meg from the future, checking in to see what Meg of 2003 thought about the Iraq situation!)
Of this I am certain:
- Saddam Hussein is a dictator.
- He has invaded his neighbors twice in the past 20 years.
- He has brutally repressed his people and executed those who oppose him.
- He agreed to disarm as part of the terms of surrender of the Gulf War.
He kicked out UN arms inspectors who were ensuring his adherence to that agreement. I was wrong, The inspectors left of their own accord.
- He has destroyed some of his weapons.
Of this I am also certain:
- The United States not only faces enemy nations, as it did in 20th century, but also terrorists whose allegiance is to a religion or idea rather than a state.
- A new approach is required in how we defend ourselves against this threat, and how we defeat them.
And so where do I stand? I am in support of enforcing the UN resolution to disarm Saddam Hussein, and I support a UN-authorized military action, if that is what is required, though I'd prefer a peaceful inspections process. I would like to see a regime change in Iraq. I would be very happy if some kind of representative government could develop after Hussein is removed from power. But I'm uncomfortable with the idea of America unilaterally removing someone from power. And I am very disturbed by the approach the American government has taken to achieve its goals.
Last night President Bush once again invoked the Al Queda/Iraq connection, for which we have seen no evidence. So either a) the evidence exists but the US refuses to share it even with the Security Council of the United Nations or b) President Bush went on television last night and lied to the American people.
I am disgusted by the flip-flop reasoning of the Bush administration, by their refusal to provide sufficient evidence for their actions, by their continued polarization of the situation, and their blatant disrespect for the intelligence of the American population, and the world.
I feel lucky to have lived in the brief time of incredible prosperity and relative peace prior to September 11, 2001. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union, and cease fires in global hot spots like Northern Ireland and Israel, I thought we might have moved into humanity's post-war period (sort of like Star Trek's Federation of Planets). Boy was I naïve. But I'd still like to believe that there are other ways of dealing with conflicts, and that we're slowly moving towards alternative methods of doing so (in this case diplomacy, international coalitions, and inspections), with war as the last resort.
But the American government is determined to forge another course. Their justifications for an imminent attack of Iraq are hypocritical and unsubstantiated, and only enforce the impression that America is a bullying hyperpower bent on running the world how it sees fit. This war is not the last resort, it is a failure of diplomacy. Mr. Bush, you could have convinced me to support you, but you didn't. Instead, you lied and smirked and condescended. Your actions make me ashamed to be American.
Also, I suppose now we should change the name of the Lafayette Project to the Freedom Project to demonstrate our support for the USA and our utter distain for all things French.