S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

For or Against the War in Iraq

3 years of war
How I feel about war in general is a moral and spiritual issue. In a S/SW post from last year - Peacemakers - I included a poem I wrote entitled, "Make War No More." It is only when we see no other alternatives, that we turn to war.
The smarter tactics of diplomacy, pressure, carrots and sticks, alliances, sanctions, etc. should always be the starting points. It is time for people of good will to find other ways besides preemptive war to settle differences.
Aggression rather than defense, unfortunately is a U.S. policy still in good standing, our current president recently reiterated. That view does not have standing with many of us. It never did, as a matter of fact. How I feel now about the war in Iraq today is not quite simple, because it is us who "made the mess there." I feel it was wrong to mount the attack, but I believe it would be wrong to get out immediately, leaving the mess behind. However we must leave as soon as possible for the insurgency to begin to diminish.
We left Afghanistan too soon, well before the so-called "war on terror" had been properly prosecuted. Iraq had almost nothing to do with 9/11; now the argument of a connection has, unfortunately, been joined for us. Making that wrong turn towards Iraq shows how very ignorant and short-sighted we were. We were still at the beginning of the new millennium. For our nation to be so bankrupt of ideas that war was seen as the only answer to conflict is just absurd. How much the rest of the world feels about the war in Iraq is similar to what I have argued.
War protests happened across the globe. The start of the war in Iraq was three years ago yesterday. To mark the anniversary there were protests against the war in a number of different countries. The BBC News carried a story headlined,
Thousands join anti-war protest - Estimates of the numbers attending varied between 15,000 and 100,000Thousands of anti-war protesters turned out for a demonstration in central London calling for British troops to leave Iraq. Police put the number attending at 15,000, but organisers said between 80,000 and 100,000 were at the rally.
It marked three years since the start of the conflict and was organised by CND, Stop The War Coalition, and the Muslim Association of Britain.
Protests were also held in other cities across the world. They included Baghdad, Basra, New York, Madrid, Rome, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto and Dublin. Organisers said it was the first time there have been co-ordinated demonstrations in the US, Britain and Iraq.

We do not approve - Our current president's approval ratings are at an all time low, because of the war in Iraq. I am not alone. Yahoo News carried this story headlined,
Bush battered by US pessimism, leadership doubts - As Bush launched a series of speeches to drum up support for the war, a new round of opinion polls found growing skepticism about Iraq and distrust of Bush. His image declined sharply, with one poll finding "incompetent" to be the most frequent description of his leadership.
Bush's approval rating dipped as low as 33 percent in one recent poll after a string of bad news for the White House, including uproars over a now-dead Arab port deal, a secret eavesdropping program, a series of ethics scandals involving high-profile Republicans and a bungled response to Hurricane Katrina.
The political storm has left Bush's second-term legislative agenda in tatters, threatened Republican control of the U.S. Congress in November's elections and shredded his personal image as an effective leader. . .
In a CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, 61 percent said the Iraq war would be a very important or the most important issue in deciding their vote for Congress. As the third anniversary of the invasion approaches, they preferred Democrats over Republicans in handling Iraq by 48 to 40 percent.
"I think it is a big issue," House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said. "When the country is at war there is a certain unsettling that occurs with people around the country, as you might expect.". . . Views on Iraq and the war on terrorism were equally pessimistic, with 67 percent of respondents in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll saying Bush did not have a clear plan for handling Iraq.
My "creative post" today at Southwest Blogger is about a Spring malady.

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