May 19, 2004

Presidential Politics

I've held off on commenting on the War in Iraq at any length for quite some time due to a general personal conflict as to the nature and necessity. The fact of the matter is this: I don't believe that the war was justified nor do I believe that our haste in initiating the conflict to invade a sovereign nation was proper or wise.

There are two typical justifications for the war by those who advocated it:
1) Human Rights
2) WMD's

As to the first argument, I find this to be largely inconsistent and hypocritical. Who are we to dictate Human Rights policy to the world and then selectively enforce it? If we are going to dictate policy or even enforce policy, it must be done thoroughly, honestly, and consistently. That means that we don't invade Iraq and wag our fingers at China and just wink at Russia. In short, I find this rationale to be reactionary and inconsistent.

As to the argument of weapons of mass destruction, I will allow that this could have been a justified reason to invade Iraq. That said, I am puzzled and disturbed by our haste to rush into Iraq. Here was a situation that had sat at a virtual stand-still for 11 years... and all of a sudden there was a pressing need to invade? I honestly hope for intelligence information some day to justify this sudden press into Iraq... but truth be told, I'm not holding my breath.

Aside from looking into the reasoning for invading Iraq, there is now the problem of enforcing peace in Iraq. The fact of the matter is that we are using a military force whose training lies in confronting problems with lethal force as a police brigade. While this doesn't justify or condone the resulting dilemmas that have cropped up in Iraq, it also goes to show that in the headlong rush into Iraq, someone should have been thinking harder about the peacekeeping to follow and the military isn't totally to blame.

As to those who say that the United States has unfairly and unjustly offended its allies, I must generally disagree. Granted, while US policy in Iraq has tended to alienate some allies, I would suggest that this conflict simply serves to highlight the tensions of modern global politics. The United States has not seen eye-to-eye with most of Europe in quite some time, and any allegations of financial opportunism leveled against the US by EU member-states are hypocritical and tinged in jealousy. In short, the relationship between the US and EU members is being re-defined and there is considerable penis envy on the part of EU members and a noticeable lack of consideration for the EU on the part of the US.

Finally, to those whose only comment on the conflict in Iraq is that John Kerry would make a better choice for President, I find your reasoning questionable at best. While I am the first to admit that George W. Bush is a second-rate president who has made some poor choices, I will also point out that his domestic solutions have been effective and his leadership in crisis has been decisive. I would also note that voting against the current president and opting to replace him with a silent political spin-doctor seems foolish. Kerry has used his Congressional tenure to prove his tendency to waffle on just about any issue available and prove himself to be principled only in a lack of solid principles. While I dislike Bush much of the time, at least he's reliable.

So... in a mad attempt to conclude this mess, I guess I'll say this: I don't like Bush a lot of the time, but he has principles that I tend to agree with that he can be trusted to follow. Kerry is anything but principled and his main platform is anti-Bush, and I really would rather pick a president who can be relied upon to stick up for something. If I lived in a non-crucial state, I would vote for the Libertarian or Constitutional candidates... but I am a resident of Ohio and will be voting for Bush because it beats the alternative.

Posted by Vengeful Cynic at May 19, 2004 11:41 PM | TrackBack