Nov 11, 2005

Pacifying Fallujah, examples of failures

I have the impression that Liberals might think I like to have people killed. I don't. My thinking is that the chaos in Fallujah was killing everybody -- American soldiers, American contractors, coalition folks, Iraqi soldiers, Iraqi policemen, fighters and civilians, foreign terrorists, everybody. The situation was so chaotic that non-partisans cannot conduct their lives. That's why I wanted that place pacified.

The locals apparently can't do it. 25 years of victimization by Saddam made sure they had no weapons, no leadership, no organization and maybe not even the idea that they are responsible for themselves, nor the confidence that they can do something to control their lives. So who's left to stop the chaos other than our troops?

The Left often says that the UN should mediate conflicts, not the US. I think our armed forces would LOVE for the UN to spend its gold and its lives instead of ours, but the UN has been ineffective.

Look at Somalia for an alternative policy and outcome. The civil war has completely destroyed the infrastructure so that it is extremely hard to maintain even a subsistence economy. The UN tried to disarm the entire population and failed. So we tried in a half hearted way. We were thrown out. We lost lives and didn't help the people. Now, 10 years after we withdrew, the Somali people are still suffering and no one is helping them. Was that a better outcome?

Bosnia is another example. We intervened after a YEAR of blatent ethnic cleansing while the Europeans did nothing and the UN wrung its hands. Clinton said our troops would be there for a year. That was 1992.

And the Nazis during WWII. Who defeated them? How long are we in Germany and Japan? The strongest must help the weak; it's our duty.

Whether or not US intervention in all these cases was just or legal, the fact is we must try to affect a good outcome. War creates an environment that causes people to be crazy, fearful, depressed... and prevents people from running their lives. My parents, an example of young people just starting a family in the 1940s, had bright futures until the Japanese invaded and the Chinese Communist Revolution exacerbated an already bad situation. My parents lost everything, twice.

If the US decided to withdraw our troops worldwide tomorrow, will the lives of the Japanese, Taiwanese, South Koreans, Bosnians, Iraqis, Afghanis... be better? Our lives would be better because we'd get another post-war bonus. All that money we're spending on helping those foreign countries can now be spent at home.

I would like to experience world peace. I believe that all people, whatever their political allegiences, all want the best outcome. The disagreement among the ideologies is on how to achieve the best outcome, not whether or not to achieve a good outcome. I don't think people who disagree with me are evil. They might be mis-informed or think differently, but they don't want people to have worse lives. I hope people with whom I disagree also give me credit for not being evil.

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