Wednesday, January 31, 2007

My opposition to “positions on the Iraqi occupation/war”

In line with me being a devil’s advocate by nature, let me say that “this isn’t your moms’ blogged opinion about the ‘war’.” I’m not actually debating whether American forces ‘should’ or ‘shouldn’t’ be in Iraq. Rather I’m talking about how ‘sane’ it is or isn’t for people in America to have an opinion about the war. Then at the end, or in the next of my blog entries I’ll explain part of my opinion about the war with use of a metaphor.

I think that what’s in Iraq is more accurately described as an occupation than ‘war’

I think it ludicrous for the American public to have an opinion about whether the war is going ‘well’ or not. I think it’s ludicrous because the American public has very little, if any, unfiltered information about the actual state of the war.

So I’m only 29. But in talking to my father, he mentioned that during the Vietnam War, when over 500,000 troops were in that country, that everyday people got a real sense of the war. He says that you not only knew somebody, but you knew a couple people who were in the war . . . you couldn’t not know anyone who was over there. If you wanted to know about the war, you didn’t have to look at tv, you walked down the street and talked to a vet. But today, that’s not the case.

We as an American people are not getting (enough or quality) information about what’s going on in the war. During the Vietnam War, there was lots of film footage by journalists about what was happening during the war. Today, with more communication capacity (youtube, google video, etc) there is actually less video of what’s happening in Iraq (why do you think?) than happened in Vietnam [and why are the only footages of the first and only Iraqi war of one smartbomb?). With the advent of the worldideweb and so forth why isn’t there more information about the war than daily body-counts? How come we don’t see graphics of Iraqi/US and enemy-held territory? Why don’t we have blogs of Iraqi citizens?

Also, there is not a lot of reporting of the day-to-day living conditions of the ‘common man’ in Iraq, i.e. how violence affects her/his life and her/his daily routine. What’s happening with the ‘reconstruction’ of Iraq? What’s happening in the economic sphere? Is the country being developed? Is infrastructure being laid, if so what kind of infrastructure (roads, schools, electric, etc)? What’s going on with the Iraqi government: what are they voting on, what are they fighting about?

With so little information about what’s happening on the ground, why would anyone venture to make a judgment of whether American soldiers and material ‘should’ be in or be withdrawn from Iraqi? Any position is baseless and unfounded.

My problem with people making pronouncements for or against the occupation/war is that they’re doing so based on their values, not based on reality. I mean, do you trust the veracity of information coming from the same government that fought the war based on a less-than-reliable powerpoint presentation?

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