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My current views of the war in Iraq

Hi, it's me, pelsmith. On Feb 3, 2003 I wrote The United States should go to war with Iraq.

Since then, I have received numerous messages from E2'ers asking me what I think about the whole situation now. Before I tell you, let me explain why I am telling you here.

  1. The editors tell me that Everything is NOT a BBS, and they don't want to see a series of point/counter-point additions to a node. They have daylogs for that type of banter.
  2. What the heck, if Paul Bremer can hand over sovereignty of Iraq to interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi in a backroom, then why can't I revisit the Iraq situation on the daylogs? What do you guys want, a giant Mission Accomplished banner?

Anyway, on with The World According to Pelsmith!

First things first, I will admit to you I had an ulterior motive in creating The United States should go to war with Iraq. More than my having any strong conservative beliefs about the whole thing, I wrote that node to test the limits of the E2 crowd.

I gravitate towards the controversial argument, just to see how people will react to it (translation, I am an asshole). At the time, there were dozens of nodes stating opposition to the war. I wanted to see how E2 would react to someone posting the other side of the story.

It wasn't easy. I have learned the hard way that nodes are like sea turtles - the first few seconds of their life are the most perilous. Editors try hard, but they are people too. If you state a position that one of them completely disagrees with, your new node is in immediate danger. The amount of thought or research you put into the topic really doesn't matter. That's why The United States should go to war with Iraq wanders off topic so much, with all that talk about making babies and loving one another. I knew that if I simply posted the alternative viewpoint in brief, the node would not survive 30 seconds.

Beyond my ulterior motives, I still believe invading Iraq was a good idea. The simple reality, that so very many people try so very hard to ignore, is that some rulers within the Middle-East have allowed anti-semitism to flourish within their borders. I don't mean there are armed militias out there who dislike Jews. I mean there are armed killers out there who have committed their lives toward murdering each and every Jew in Israel. For them there is no negotiation. These militias were moving freely within Iraq, Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, recruiting new martyrs along the way, killing anyone who stood in their way as they worked toward genocide.

When, on September 11, 2001, we watched the orchestrated aerial attacks against the United States, each of us (who did not have a loved one inside the buildings) had the same two thoughts in our minds:

  1. Oh my God, this is a very terrible thing.

    and close on the heels of that thought...

  2. The shit is really going to hit the fan now.

We all knew it, and we knew it early. The shit was going to hit the fan. Heads were going to roll. It was as inevitable as the sunrise. Each and every one of us knew that there was nothing on the planet that could stop war and violence at that point. Not a goddamn thing. Argue for war - argue against war - march in protest until your feet blister - doesn't fucking matter.

If I had any good reason for believing we should invade Iraq, it can be found in The United States is already at war with Iraq. It comes far closer to describing my viewpoint than I was able to do. I am career Air Force. Iraq had been firing surface to air missles at friends of mine for the past decade. I wanted something to change.

Unfortunately, our president and his cabinet have made some terrifying mistakes. He started out by telling American diplomats that they didn't know how to do their job. Then he told the American intelligence agencies they didn't know how to do their job, and handed the task over to the Department of Defense. Then he told the rulers of other nations they didn't know how to do their job. Then he told the American military generals they didn't know how to do their job, and handed the task of war planning over to Donald Rumsfeld. The Red Cross, the United Nations, the State Department - he told them all that they were just plain incompetent, and they needed to shut up, sit down and color while he handled things. Somewhere in there, the protections within the Geneva Convention were rolled back. In the end, the presidency was left friendless and alone - that's what you call a Self-fulfilling prophecy

So, what do I think about The United States should go to war with Iraq now? I am glad I wrote it, because it deserves as much shelf space as Americans: Terrorist bullies?. I am glad I wrote it because it helped inspire e-hadj to write the far superior The United States is already at war with Iraq.

And how do I feel the war in Iraq is going? Not so great, boys and girls. Not so great at all. However, despite the poor leadership up to this point, it's still entirely possible that some future Iraqi might go home to bitch about Americans on E2. I would consider that a success worth the effort. The Everything People Registry : Iraq should not be empty.

- pelsmith

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