A Cautious Man
June 29, 2005
 
War
What is it Good For ...

There's no really original commentary in favor of the President's speech last night (wonder why?) and some interesting insights by those who disagree with some of its premises. For myself, it seems that despite the fact that it was a mistake to invade, the very act of invading has now created the place in which we have to fight. Apparently (according to the President), Iraq is now the place where potential terrorists go to learn their stuff - and if they are there, then we have to be there, too. I am not so well-versed in literature that I can come up with the appropriate analogy, to describe where we are - basically, in a hell of our own making.

That does make me consider the wisdom of some statements made by others. I keep being reminded of a lyric by Steve Earle, in the song "Warrior" on his "The Revolution Starts Now" album. The narrator is an unidentified and unexplained presence, who may be a warrior or who may be War itself. Although is point may be extreme, it is a reminder that we should demand more substance and justification than the simple calls to war we are still being provided by the Administration -
Take heed for I am weary, ancient
And decrepit now and my time grows short
There are no honorable frays to join
Only mean death dealt out in dibs and dabs
Or horror unleashed from across oceans

Assail me not with noble policy
For I care not at all for platitude
And surrender such tedious detail
To greater minds than mine and nimbler tongues
Singular in their purpose and resolve
And presuming to speak for everyman
And, while you are free to disagree, I find no difference between the above sentiment, and the simple statement of the man now known as Pope Benedict XVI -
There were not sufficient reasons to unleash a war against Iraq. To say nothing of the fact that, given the new weapons that make possible destructions that go beyond the combatant groups, today we should be asking ourselves if it is still licit to admit the very existence of a "just war."
(From a May 2, 2003 interview)(Yes, that's the quote that headed the sidebar here for a while). Sending our troops off to fight should be the last resort, and the Iraq war clearly was not the last resort. The war was not necessary to defend our nation (it wasn't even the best way to deal with Saddam Hussein). The decision to send them was not respectful of their readiness to defend our nation. So, I guess the response to the President is found in Mr. Earle's song - "Assail me not with noble policy/For I care not not at all for platitude".

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