Blog Iraq Debate: The Questionsthis is still in process. i'll remove this note when it's completed.
To begin with this is not about Iraq. It is about Osama Bin Laden. The fucker is still out there and his organization, not Saddam's is the primary source of our affliction.
It may be the fact that Mr. Saddam is in bed with Bin Laden and his cohorts. It may be the fact that the state of Iraq is in material collusion with Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. It would not surprise me at all to see this. In fact, I believe it is the case. None of this changes the issue as it relates to our primary enemy. Al Qaeda is not a local phenomena. Iraq is. In spite of all the evidence that can and will be shown about Saddam's culpability and intentions the primary goal is defeating Al Qaeda.
If the primary goal is not Al Qaeda then we open ourselves to the logical conclusion that we must follow the Bush Doctrine to its T and we must fight and destroy all terrorists everywhere and all states everywhere which support them. This is not reasonable nor efficient and by choosing this path we further endanger the nation.
Many have said that Bush reaches for what is only attainable by stretching, perhaps even becoming a better more moral nation as a result. They say this is about liberating the Iraqi people. Bush, and his brood, maintain that by taming Iraq we will be one step closer to taking down Al Qaeda. These people are fools. Bush doesn't care about liberating the Iraqis.
Liberating the Iraqis is a good tactic. But it is not a motivation. Anyone who says so is silly.
Bush is playing right into Al Quaeda's hands. Destroying Iraq will both take out Saddam and ignite Islamist sentiment in some portion of the population in most every country around the world. This can only be to the benefit of the Al Qaeda organization.
1) If you were President of the United States, what would be your policy toward Iraq over the next year? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in your proposed policies versus the current path being pursued by the Bush administration?
2) Is there any circumstance that you can conceive of where the United States would be justified in using military force without the support of the UN Security Council --- or does the UN always have a veto against US military action for whatever reason?
3) American and British military force has allowed Northern Iraq to develop a society which, while imperfect, is clearly a freer and more open society than existed under Saddam Hussein's direct rule. Do you agree that the no-fly zones have been beneficial to Northern Iraq --- and if so, why should this concept not be extended to remove Hussein's regime entirely and spread those freedoms to all Iraqis?
4) Do you believe an inspection and sanctions regime is sufficient and capable of keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of the Hussein regime --- and should this be a goal of U.S. policy? In what way is an inspection/containment/sanctions regime preferable to invasion? Civilian casualties? Expense? Geopolitical outcome?
5) What, in your opinion, is the source of national sovereignty? If you believe it to be the consent of the governed, should liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein's regime be U.S. policy? If so, how do you propose to accomplish this goal absent military action? (And if in your view the sovereignty of a state does not derive from the consent of the governed, then what is the source of sovereignty?)
2/12/03:10:16:22 PM PST
It was a time of great and exalting excitement. The country was up in
arms; the war was on, in every breast burned the holy fire of patriotism; the
drums were beating, the bands playing, the toy pistols popping, the
firecrackers hissing and spluttering; on every hand and far down the
receding and fading spread of roofs and balconies a fluttering
flags flashed in the sun; daily the young volunteers marched down the
avenue gay and fine in their new uniforms, the proud fathers and mothers
sisters and sweethearts cheering them with voices choked with happy
as they swung by; nightly the packed mass meetings listened, panting, to patriot oratory which stirred the deepest deeps of their hearts, and
they interrupted at briefest intervals with cyclones of applause, the
running down their cheeks the while; in the churches the pastors
devotion to flag and country, and invoked the God of Battles, beseeching
aid in our good cause in outpouring of fervid eloquence which moved
It was indeed a glad and gracious time, and the half dozen
spirits that ventured to disapprove of the war and cast a doubt upon its righteousness straightway got such a stern and angry warning that for
personal safety's sake they quickly shrank out of sight and offended no
in that way.
Sunday morning came - next day the battalions would leave for the front;
church was filled; the volunteers were there, their young faces alight
martial dreams - visions of the stern advance, the gathering momentum,
rushing charge, the flashing sabers, the flight of the foe, the tumult,
enveloping smoke, the fierce pursuit, the surrender - then home from the war, bronzed heroes, welcomed, adored, submerged in golden seas of
With the volunteers sat their dear ones, proud, happy, and envied by the neighbors and friends who had no sons and brothers to send forth to the
field of honor, there to win for the flag, or, failing, die the noblest
noble deaths. The service proceeded; a war chapter from the Old
was read; the first prayer was said; it was followed by an organ burst
shook the building, and with one impulse the house rose, with glowing
and beating hearts, and poured out that tremendous invocation -
"God the all-terrible! Thou who ordainest, Thunder thy clarion and
Then came the "long" prayer. None could remember the like of it for
passionate pleading and moving and beautiful language. The burden of
supplication was, that an ever-merciful and benignant Father of us all
watch over our noble young soldiers, and aid, comfort, and encourage
their patriotic work; bless them, shield them in the day of battle and
hour of peril, bear them in His mighty hand, make them strong and
invincible in the bloody onset; help them to crush the foe, grant to
and to their flag and country imperishable honor and glory -
An aged stranger entered and moved with slow and noiseless step up the
aisle, his eyes fixed upon the minister, his long body clothed in a robe that reached to his feet, his head bare, his white hair descending in a
frothy cataract to his shoulders, his seamy face unnaturally pale, pale
to ghastliness. With all eyes following him and wondering, he made his
silent way; without pausing, he ascended to the preacher's side and
With shut lids the preacher, unconscious of his
continued his moving prayer, and at last finished it with the words,
in fervent appeal, "Bless our arms, grant us the victory, O Lord our
Father and Protector of our land and flag!"
The stranger touched his arm, motioned him to step aside - which the
startled minister did - and took his place. During some moments he
the spellbound audience with solemn eyes, in which burned an uncanny
then in a deep voice he said:
"I come from the Throne - bearing a message from Almighty God!" The words smote the house with a shock; if the stranger perceived it he gave no attention. "He has heard the prayer of His servant your shepherd, and will grant it if such be your desire after I, His messenger, shall have explained to you its import - that is to say, its full import. For it is like unto many of the prayers of men, in that it asks for more than he who utters it is aware of - except he pause and think.
"God's servant and yours has prayed his prayer. Has he paused and taken thought? Is it one prayer? No, it is two - one uttered, the other not. Both have reached the ear of Him Who heareth all supplications, the spoken and the unspoken. Ponder this - keep it in mind. If you would beseech a blessing upon yourself, beware! lest without intent you invoke a curse upon a neighbor at the same time. If you pray for the blessing of rain upon your crop which needs it, by that act you are possibly praying for a curse upon some neighbor's crop which may not need rain and can be injured by it.
"You have heard your servant's prayer - the uttered part of it. I am commissioned of God to put into words the other part of it - that part which the pastor - and also you in your hearts - fervently prayed silently. And ignorantly and unthinkingly? God grant that it was so! You heard these words: 'Grant us victory, O Lord our God!' That is sufficient. The whole of the uttered prayer is compact into those pregnant words. Elaborations were not necessary. When you have prayed for victory you have prayed for many unmentioned results which follow victory - must follow it, cannot help but follow it. Upon the listening spirit of God the Father fell also the unspoken part of the prayer. He commandeth me to put it into words. Listen!
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle - be Thou near them! With them - in spirit - we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it - for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen."
[After a pause.] "Ye have prayed it; if ye still desire it, speak! The messenger of the Most High waits."
It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said
2/12/03:9:48:24 PM PST