Thursday, August 05, 2004

Response to Mecandes -- Is America safer?

For those of you who haven't had the pleasure, read the post (Repeat After Me: "I Am Getting Safer And Safer") at Mere Catholics.

Due to Israel, oil, and the Cold War, we already had several mortal enemies in the Middle East. The recent War on Terror has only exasperated an existing problem. Instead of asking if we are safer now, it is better to ask how much safer America would be without having taken the actions that we have.

Would we be safer from terrorists? Not by very much, if at all. The events of 9/11/2001 and the recently reported threat to financial institutions were planned years before our War on Terror. Had we not acted they would still hate us to death (literally) and they could more easily act on that hate in catastrophic ways. By disrupting their financial networks and organizational structure (it’s loose, but it does exist), we have hampered their ability to act. More people may hate us now, true, but if our nation is safer then I can live with their hate.

Mecandes prophesies that he, along with the U.N. (who is incapable of enforcing even their own rulings), will tell us “We told you so.” What exactly did you tell us? That people would hate us more? Some of us, maybe, but those of us with brains and even a little knowledge had few illusions about that. That Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction? He used them during the Iran/Iraq war and even on Iraqi Kurds, so we know he had them.

I also take issue with Steve:

Comment: “We need to (stop) and say: ‘time out, time out guys.....Now what exactly do you want from us?’" There are two primary answers. First, we would need to repent of our evil ways and convert to Islam. If you are not a devout Muslim, you are an infidel and should be killed. Second, we should withdraw all support for Israel and let it be turned into a holocaust. This would be the start of appeasing the militant Muslims.

Steve also commented that “We don’t see that anything we do is in any way an affront to other countries, we only see how we’ve been slighted by others.” Have you considered the possibility that, when faced between insulting someone else and making sure we don’t allow others to bomb us, that we have chosen to live and insult rather than politely get hurt? I don't deny that Americans have been rude (unintentionally and otherwise), but that doesn't justify killing people over it.

And, finally, “They’re gone, and how have we chose to honour their memory? By creating more death and hatred?” That’s one way to look at it. The other way is, By making it much harder for the lunatic organization(s) who did this to do it again.

You may be a social conservative, Steve, but your idea of foreign policy is right up there with hawks like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton. Foreign policy should be the top issue in the November election. Assuming you actually are an American (“honour their memory”?), if you are honest with yourself you'll vote for Kerry (and more's the pity for it).

Back to you, Mecandes.
I assume Kalanna was not searching for the present against the will of the United Nations, after telling her people she had conclusive proof of the present's existence, then invading with the full might of her military and having all her foremost experts searching with a fine-tooth comb for over a year for it.

Conclusive proof” – We claimed to have conclusive proof because we trusted our British allies, who actually originated the claim, and thus far that claim has not been disproved. Hans Blix and company not only were useless as inspectors, but they actually helped Hussein first by going only where allowed, and second by moving along so slowly that Hussein had plenty of time to move the WMD where they were unlikely to be found (a useful skill Hussein developed after the first Gulf War).

Full might of her military” – We invaded Iraq with considerably less than the “full might” of our military. We’re not going to yank all our personnel out of the 60+ different countries and haul them all to Iraq so they can search the full 167,924 square miles of Iraq (about 270,247 sq. km. – that’s roughly 63% of the size of Texas). It just isn’t feasible. If anything, we under-invaded Iraq. As it was, it was almost pure luck that we discovered 30+ fighter aircraft buried in the Iraqi desert while looking for WMD.

Against the will of the United Nations” – I, as an American, don’t really give a damn if the U.N. doesn’t want my country to take measures to ensure the safety of not only our own people, but also the people of the Middle East. I have no confidence in an organization that, among several other problems, appoints despot leaders to enforce laws that concern crimes against humanity. If they can’t find weapons that a tyrannical dictator has already used and will likely use again both domestically and internationally, then let’s send in someone who has a better chance of finding them before the dictator hides them for good in, say, Syria.

Finally: “But if America works towards healing all the hatred towards it, you will be safer.” I do agree with this, but too many people are ready to strap bombs around themselves and their children and send them along to blow up civilians (even their own people!). Change will have to be made slowly. If every American were to suddenly become a devout Christian there is still no guarantee that God would convert all terrorists to Really Nice Guys. His Will for us, at least the fine details, remain hidden. In the meantime, if we pray all day but take no action to protect ourselves and imprison or kill those who pose vital threats to us, we risk becoming a nation of martyrs. For the sake of my wife and child, that is an unacceptable risk.


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