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mso at oz.net
Sat Sep 3 09:33:25 MSD 2005
Benjamin A. Okopnik wrote:
>On Thu, Sep 01, 2005 at 07:07:18PM -0500, John Karns wrote:
>>On Wed, 31 Aug 2005, mso at oz.net wrote:
>>>But we seem to have evolved to the point where "Stay the course!" and
>>>"Bring the troops home now!" are the only alternatives capable of
>>>galvanizing sufficient people to make it happen. Perhaps that's another
>>I stumbled across an article just the other day - no doubt just one of
>>many such to be found on the 'net these days:
>>... not to say that it's representative of popular opinion.
>>But if I had to choose from one of the two alternatives you mention, I'd
>>definitely go with the latter one.
>Yeah; strong ditto. I volunteered and went into the Army during the Iran
>hostage crisis because I felt that America needed defending; I'm not
>alone  now in saying that this war is nothing more than mass murder -
>of our people and of Iraqi civilans - that will cost us, big, in the
>short and the long term.
I'm not saying they *should* stay longer, although I worry about the
likely civil war when they leave. (And it bears repeating that the real
villains are al-Q & Co, whose ultimate goal is to forcibly talibanize
Iraq and the entire middle east, whether the residents want it or not.
I don't think imposed elections or exploitation by Halliburton is any
more evil than that.) I'm just saying troop withdrawl should be part of
a comprehensive strategy, not just done blindly and piecemeal. That's
the "middle road" I'm hoping will emerge. And a strategy that also
prevents this kind of thing from happening again, otherwise it will.
We really need to take the gag off the troops so they can speak freely
for or against the policy, as the rest of the citizenry does. People
say without loyalty you don't have an army, and that's true to an
extent, but in this case loyalty to commander-in-chief is working
against loyalty to society, a society which desperately needs to know
what's really going on in Iraq and what their ideas are to fix it.
That's been the missing factor in this debate, the people with the best
knowledge aren't allowed to speak, except when their opinion happens to
coincide with the policy. So the public is left to guess what would
have been said, and how many would say it. At least, the portion of the
public that notices that something's missing. (Note that this portion
is larger than just the "anti-war liberals".)
But the current gag situation is so convenient for those in power that
it's a difficult change.
Pie-in-the-sky idea for the "comprehensive strategy": give the military
a veto vote -- a majority of all members -- for any future large-scale
foreign operations. Not including the Secretary of Defense (Rumsfeld),
since he's a presidential appointee. That would likely have prevented
the Iraq war, since large sections of the Pentagon didn't think it was a
good idea. Of course the vote would be skewed upward due to some people
voting as their commander would like, but it would be one more check and
Mike Orr <mso at oz.net>
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