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Bubblehead

As you might guess, I disagree strongly with you regarding whether or not we're currently at war. Maybe "War on Terror" doesn't make linguistic sense to you -- how about "War Against Those Who Seek To Re-establish The Caliphate By Force"? I really don't see the logic in refusing to change your way of thinking from the 20th century norms regarding the lexicon of international conflict -- how very conservative of you.

Luckily, we each have our right to publish our own opinions. It's refreshing to see someone such as yourself with such an idealistic opinion of human nature. For myself, I've traveled the world enough, and in enough different circles, to know that there are people out there -- not everyone, but enough of them -- who want nothing more than to kill Americans. My opinion is that we should stop them before they do, not "check their bank accounts", or some other method of Kumbaya-singing at them. Remember, we treated the attack on the USS Cole as a "criminal matter" and look where that got us.

Oh, and you should talk to the pilots who were patrolling the no-fly zones, getting shot at, before you decide the Iraqis weren't attacking us -- I assume you consider American military personnel to be part of "us".

Jessica

Not that this is an excuse to shoot at people/planes, but weren't the no-fly zones illegal?

Julie in Boise

I heard Bush say tonight that this "war" will not be over until our enemies surrender. But the problem I and many others have with this notion is that there will always be terrorists. We will never defeat them all. So will we always be at war?

And at what sacrifice? Clearly, our military personnel and their families are paying very high prices indeed. But from the time shortly after 9/11 that Bush urged us all to go shopping, I haven't been able to buy the idea that we are really at war, because - other than some inconvenience at the airport - few of us outside the military have been asked to sacrifice a damn thing, except perhaps our right to question our nation's policies.

Much as I wish I could be, I am not a "Kumbayah" liberal who believes the world will eventually evolve to a point where war will never happen and a military will be unnecessary. But I absolutely believe what we've done in Iraq is overkill of the worst sort - literally, especially when we take Iraqi civilians into account. We could have taken out Saddam with special forces, saving billions in our national treasure and tens of thousands of Iraqi and coalition lives.

That's what I believe we ought to be doing with other terrorists, too. Most American citizens know the Bush Doctrine of preemptive war is unsustainable, not to mention unjust.

Bubblehead

Jessica -- I suppose it all depends on how you interpret Section 8 of UN Resolution 1441 (http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/15016.htm)
The no-fly zones were initially established unilaterally by the victorious parties as a punitive action in response to the Iraqi slaughter of Kurds and Shi'ites in the aftermath of the 1991 war. We could have declared the Iraqis in violation of the cease-fire agreement, and marched back in -- instead, we established the no-fly zones as the "punishment" for Iraqi violations; this was all in accordance with the Law of Armed Conflict, so the zones were legal from that perspective. In any event, the Iraqis shooting at our aircraft was a continued violation of the cease-fire agreement they (the Iraqis) had agreed to in 1991.

Now, whether one believes that expanding the war to Iraq was right or not, I think the country is coming to a consensus that the Administration's directions to the military on what forces and ROE they could use was pretty bad.

And Julie -- I really don't think your right to question the nation's policies is really in danger, as this post illustrates nicely.

Bubblehead

Julie -- your commenting software remains Idaho's current biggest threat to open political discourse. The hyperlink I put in above picked up the end parenthesis I put in; here's another attempt at putting in the URL to UN Resolution 1441:
http://www.state.gov/p/nea/rls/15016.htm

Julie in Boise

Hey, blame TypePad if the URLs get clipped. I have the same problem with Blogger, frankly. I just blog here; I didn't write the code!

And I'm not saying I no longer have the right to question my government - only that Cheney et al say I'm a terrorist appeaser when I do. So in that sense, yes, he does expect me to sacrifice my free speech or be branded a traitor.

Julie in Boise

Seriously, Joel, don't you think Adam's hidden log-in link at the bottom of the world's longest blogroll is actually a greater threat to open political discourse?

Or Clayton Cramer's edict that you have to email him if you want to post a comment?

Bubblehead

Yes, Julie, you have two most excellent points there regarding Adam's and Clayton's blogs.

Re: your other point, though, people on the anti-Cheney side call him all sorts of bad names, too, when he defends the war (murderer, etc. -- not exactly helpful in civilized discourse, much like calling people traitors); part of Free Speech means that people who have a different opinion are allowed to state that they disagree with your opinion, and why.

Jessica

Though the UN never authorized the no-fly zones.

mtnbkrid

I have to say that the "No fly zones" were working. That Saddam was in a box and not a threat to the USA. Sure the Iraqis were taking pot shots at our jet jockeys. How many were shot down? ZERO. How many Iraqi missile/radar sites were blown to bits? Every one that launched at an American jet were taken out. Sorry, but those did not rise to the level of invading Iraq in retaliation.

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