Saturday, March 18, 2006
  Bring our Troops Home
I suppose it is fairly obvious that I would be against continued US military presence in Iraq.

For one, the war was based on lies, deception and manipulation -- there were no weapons of mass destruction (and most of us realized that well in advance of the war); Iraq was not on the verge of attacking anyone, especially not America or any of its allies; Iraq had nothing to do with 9-11 and did not encourage terrorism.

This alone merits an end to the war - we had no business starting it, we have no busines continuing it. What was wrong in the beginning, is wrong in the end.

But there are far more reasons to oppose continued military operations in Iraq.

1) People are dying. Innnocent people. 2300+ American service men and women who were lied to by their government have died. But worse, an immense number of Iraqis -- the government places the estimate at 33,000, others estimate the casualties as high as 250,000. Even taking the lowest number, that's 10 times the number of people who died on 9-11. That's 33,000 people who had nothing to do with 9-11; whose government had nothing to do with 9-11. It makes one stop and ask -- who's the biggest killer? who is terrorizing whom? Iraqis are people just like any other people. Their lives are just as valuable as American lives. It breaks my heart to hear of 2300 fellow Americans who have died in this war -- my neighbors, the sons and daughters, brothers and sisters of my friends and neighbors. And it breaks my heart to hear of the tens of thousands of Iraqis who have died -- they also are my neighbors, my global neighbors, and my brothers in sisters in humanity, as well as in faith.

We live in a small world. A world which is increasingly interdependent, and where violence in one part of the world affects people everywhere. Islam is not going to magically disappear as much as some people might like it to. Christians and Jews are not going to convert enmasse, even though some folks would like that too. We have to learn to get along together, or we are going to die together. Plain and simple. Diversity is, and we've got to deal with it.

2) History has shown that "insurgencies" (or, opposition to occupation as the insurgencies tend to see themselves) do not fade away under assault, that military pressure and/or punishment does not convince these fighters that the price is too high, but rather strengthens their determination precisely because the price they have paid has been so high already. The US military presence in Iraq only adds fuel to the insurgency. It exacerbates the conflicts which are creeping ever closer to civil war. It undermines the authority of the Iraqi government, as more and more people see it as an American stooge, as propped up by the Americans rather than a representation of the Iraqi people's will. Until we leave, things will continue to get worse.

3) We made a mess for the Iraqi people, but they are capable of solving their own problems by themselves. They are not children, they are not backward neanderthals who cannot fathom how to build a civil society. We propped up Saddam -- helped ensure that a brutal dictator survived. We starved the Iraqi citizens with ten years of sanctions (even though it was quite clear that Saddam and the ruling party were not being affected, only the Iraqi people). We invaded and destroyed much of the Iraqi infrastructure (power plants, hospitals, etc). Yes, we owe a LOT to the Iraqi people. We should invest heavily in reconstruction -- with the profits of reconstruction projects remaining in the country and helping to fuel it's economy. But we should also stop patronizing the Iraqis. They can handle their problems. We don't have to solve it for them.

4) We can't afford to stay. Our schools are desperately underfunded. Social programs for the poor, for the elderly, for the disabled, for college education, are being slashed right and left. Our national debt is so high most of us cannot even comprehend the number. But we can spend 6 billion dollars a month in Iraq. That's 20 millions dollars every day. There are so many better ways to spend this money.

Anyway, it's late, I'm tired and depressed because it looks like Bush is intent on attacking Iran, which would be an even worse debacle than Iraq. When will sanity and love reign, rather than greed, power grabbing, and self-aggrandizement?
Can't imagine that Bush thinks the American people will stand for our meddling yet again in another middle eastern country's affairs -- it's one thing to use diplomacy and world politics to influence another country's leaders, quite another to "go to war" again!
I hope you're right. There seems to be an awful lot of rhetoric about reining in Iran right now. When the tone gets so feverish, I worry. We know Bush has had his eyes on Iran for a long time, and an election is coming up, nothing like a way to give support to the party in power...

Anyway, for those who are interested photos of the Indianapolis peace rally can be found here:

I'm in red.
Bush's approval ratings are dropping and some Rebulicans are getting very worried about the next election. I hear reports that they are distancing themselves from Bush and his "war" tactics. Will they take a chance that a US war on Iran will turn into another huge drain on our resources, an impossible mess to straighten out without long term committment, and be perceived as another "shoot from the hip" blunder by our trigger happer Commander-in-Chief!!
Wow! I am in agreement with you, but this is the best analysis of why we need to get out that I have ever read.
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, United States

Progressive Muslim, feminist, mom, writer, mystic, lover of the universe and Doug Schmidt, cellist, theologian and imam.

What I'm reading now

Cane River
An interesting exploration of the gradual whiting of a family through slavery to modern days.

To see an archive of all the books I've read (well the ones I've read and review since I started the blog) with comments, please click here

Causes Worth Supporting

This is just a short list -- a few of my favorites.

English Language Islamic Fiction. We need more of it. Lots more.
Pay a Teacher's Salary in Afghanistan. The Hunger site actually has a lot of worthwhile programs. You can find them all here .
Muslims for Progressive Values. My organization. We can always use donations, of time or money!
Human Rights Campaign for the glbt community
National Religious Campaign Against Torture
The ACLU I'm a card carrying member. Hope you'll become one too. The organization that has done the most, as far as I can tell, to pull the countries progressive side together.
Network of Spiritual Progressives. Working to reclaim religion and morality for the religious left.

Blogs Worth Reading

Wanda Campbell also known as Nochipa A very gifted poet and a gentle, compassionate soul. Nochipa and I are on the same page on sooooo many things
Writeous Sister Aminah Hernandez, she's got some excellent latino pieces and always has good writing info on her blog.
Sister Scorpion aka Leila Montour - Leila is a fount of energy, quirky humor, and bad attitude. She's also a talented poet.
Muhajabah Very interesting commentary here. I don't always agree with her, but her pieces are always thought-provoking.
Georgie Dowdell Georgie is a great writer and a good friend.
Louise Marley Another great writer. I think Louise is one of the best sf writers exploring faith themes.
Ink in My Coffee Devon Ellington (who has numerous aliases) who is also the editor of Circadian Poems. A truly inspiring woman with a seemingly endless supply of energy.
Ethnically Incorrect With a name like that, isn't a given I'm going to enjoy this writer?
Freedom from the Mundane Colin Galbraith, another excellent writer, from Scotland.
The Scruffy Dog Review This is a new e-zine with an ecclectic mix of fiction, poetry, and non-fic, some really enjoyable pieces here.
Ramblings of a Suburban Soccer Mom Lara, another gentle soul, very thoughtful.
Circadian Poems A journal of poetry, new stuff up all the time.
Ye Olde Inkwell Michelle writes romance and is one of my writing buddies.
Muhammad Michael Knight The original punk Muslim writer. Like him or love him, Mike is always coming up with the unexpected.

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