March 25, 2003

What am I Thinking?

This was going to be a rant about Canada and Canadians. While that's still coming, I felt I had to stop and reassess my position yet again.

I've been doing a lot of that:

I can't believe I'm thinking/writing/saying this.

Me, pro-war?
What am I thinking?

I didn't have much of an opinion on the first Gulf War even though Canada was a part of that.
I watched Viet Nam from the sidelines and I'm too young to remember anything about Korea.

World War II was history.
It was before my birth, therefore irrelevant.
Still, the shadows invaded my consciousness.

I took for granted that it was a "good" war. A war that had to be fought. I don't really think that can be reasonably argued, even now.

I took for granted that Viet Nam was a "bad" war. An unnecessary war.
But now I can see where the spread of Communism and the brutal regimes that came along with it would have inspired some to resist.
But all of Viet Nam eventually became Communist, and the world did not come to an end.

So why Iraq?

Even though there is at present no solid link between Iraq and Al Quaeda (and that remains to be seen!) the attacks of 9/11 changed things.
They showed that war could happen in North America, not just in Europe and Asia and maybe Hawaii which is almost like Asia anyway.

They showed that these people are serious about their hatred of things Western to the point of suicide missions and elaborate schemes that hadn't even been dreamt of in the worst Bruce Willis movie.

No longer can we say, "Naahhhh... they wouldn't..."
Because they did.
No longer is any paranoid fantasy too outlandish because all we have to think about is the planning and work and coordination that must have gone into those hijackings, and anything we can dream up pales in comparison.

So, what am I thinking?
I'm thinking that too many of us have learned nothing from history.
That too many of us have some sort of disconnect from reality when it comes to perceiving the enemy.

I am thinking that our society has NO CHOICE but to offer a show of strength.
It shouldn't be like this.
We should all sit down and have coffee and work out our differences.
If it were only that easy.

I waited a day to post the above, in hopes that I'd calm down and perhaps be able to achieve some balance in my outlook.
No such luck.
Just a glance at the letters to the editor in today's paper took care of that.

One of them began.

Are the peace protests anti-war or just anti-American?  There has never been a single mass demonstration directed at the tyrannical regime in Baghdad to demand compliance with UN resolutions. There have been no protests directed at the regime that has murdered tens if not hundreds of thousands of its own citizens, some through nerve and mustard gas.

and as counterpoint, this:

Canada took a righteous stand against an unjust, immoral and illegal war waged by a superpower against a poor country and its civilian population.

Unjust immoral and illegal?

There is so much to say about that that it renders me speechless.
For now.
Stay tuned.

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