Hmmm, last update was delayed by inexplicable, well, delays on the part of Pyra. Of course, having been purchased by the now omnipresent Google, I suppose a few things were bound to be fsked up.
"Size of protest - it's like deciding, well, I'm going to decide policy based upon a focus group. The role of a leader is to decide policy based upon the security, in this case, the security of the people."
"Yesterday, Bush referred scornfully to giving Saddam 'another, 'nother, 'nother last chance' to comply with prior U.N. resolutions demanding that Iraq disarm." - The New York Times
Thank you, Mr. Bush, for clearing that up. Those lines should speak for themselves. What is most irritating about this entire debate is that both sides - the peacenicks and the warmongers - are ignoring history. We'd better start getting used to the word occupation, because that's what this will be. To be brutally honest, Afghanistan wasn't really a country the way we think of them, so our "war" against the Taliban was more of a police action than a state-vs-state slugfest. But with Iraq, we're talking about waging a real war against a soverign nation with the intention of rebuilding their infrastructure and introducing a new system of government. The only previous examples we have of this that are really applicable are Germany and Japan. Following WWII, the U.S. and allies proceeded to invest an incredible amount of time and money into creating democracy where various forms of dictatorship had once existed. And now look at them! Two of the most powerful industrial economies in the world, shining examples of freedom and democratic governance, our investment has paid off one thousand fold in wealth and in humanity.
Our war will no doubt increase the risk of terrorism in the short term. But in the long term, which only economists and liberal wonks seem to be interested in, a free and democratic Iraq will prove that governments that work through fear and religious opression are what have been keeping the Arab world from joining the 21st century. Germany and Japan prove that it can be done, but what scares me is that no one in the current Administration seems to have even begun to formulate a Marshall Plan for the middle east, a definite blueprint for what comes after the bombs are done falling. American occupation does not have to be a disaster.
What'd be really neat is if the Opposition were to draft just such a document. Then it could be subject to rigorous public scrutiny and debate, and if a final version were to be approved by Congress and presented to the U.N., it would go an awful long way towards assuring our allies that we really do mean well.