Wednesday, December 27, 2006
For my first post here on IBC, I thought it might be interesting to review my own experience with the war on
I may as well start in 2000, not that this was the beginning, but because I have to start somewhere. I was discussing who to vote for in the Presidential Election with a friend of mine. I said that if Bush was elected, there would be a war. It was (mostly) a joke, but he was not doing well in discussing issues of foreign policy. On the other hand, I couldn’t vote for Al Gore. He wanted to be another John Muir. He’s no John Muir. To begin with John Muir never invented the internet. I ended up voting for an extremely obscure, thirteenth-party candidate from a party that sounded kinda cool and whose platform might work in a perfect world even if it smelled just a little bit like bong water.
On September 11, the war came to us, and it shocked me as much as it shocked many of us. Maybe like most people I thought the first plane was a horrible accident, but by the second… then the third… then the fourth it was quite clear what was happening.
I don’t remember when Bush gave his speech from the wreckage of the WTC*. I do remember watching it live. Bush was stumbling, mumbling a bit, at a loss for words. Then those
As the run-up to war began for
That was the point that the war seemed “imminent” to me, and that it became real. Since then, I have family, friends, and friends’ family who have gone and come back or are there now. It’s definitely real.
I don’t think I supported the invasion at first, until it happened, at least. I knew Saddam was done, there was no doubt about that. Even South Park had picked up on him, portraying him as Satan's boyfriend (Saddam wore the pants). Still, I was hoping he would take the last minute exile deal he was offered. As troops rolled in I shelved my misgivings and wished for a quick success, for us and for the Iraqis. The invasion ended quickly, and the Iraqis seemed pretty happy with Saddam ousted. My anxiety ebbed a bit.
As the insurgency picked up steam, and was joined by domestic and international critics of
1) was the invasion justified?
3) is it “worth it”?
I began to take a particular interest in the opinions of “average” people, how they were coping and so on. For example, I found the BBC’s “Have Your Say” section to be very interesting. By the by I found the
I posted quite a bit there over the next few years (almost 1200 times as of today, not counting dozens that the mods deleted). Along the way, I had a number of level-headed debates with antiwar, anti-US, and anti what-have-yous. This helped me discover how I felt about the war, and why. I also threw a few barbs at people who deserved it. Lately, the board has been so heavily moderated that actual discussions are rare and it’s been left to endless calls for Bush’s impeachment and so on. Yawn.
Somehow I found my first Iraqi blog, which was Sam @ Hammorabi’s. It was fascinating to read his views on the day to day of life in a war zone. Eventually I found my way over here, and ran through most of the Iraqi blogs on the blogroll. My favorites, and the ones I regularly comment on, are Baghdad Treasure and 24 Steps to
By the way, according to the Christian Science Monitor’s Neocon quiz, I’m a “realist”, not a neocon. I was perfectly OK with this until the Iraq Study Group released their report. "Realist" should not equal "Surrender Monkey".
So there you have it. I am still an observer to this war. My answers to the three questions so far? 1) yes 2) I don’t know 3) It depends on #2!
I’ll try my best to add something meaningful to IBC. I’m hoping to find some blogs from Iraqi soldiers and police (does anybody know of any?) since that’s a perspective I haven’t seen yet in the blogosphere. I’m also thinking about getting some Arabic & English translation software to see what the Iraqis are saying on Arabic blogs.
* OK, I looked it up to get the quote right. The speech was Sept. 14.