Midnight Oil

[Powderworks] Oils Fit

Mike Blackwood mikeb@cs.mun.ca
Thu, 20 Mar 2003 09:27:40 -0330 (NST)

On Wed, 19 Mar 2003 jccuneo@mail.bellsouth.net wrote:

> For the Iraqi people "Bring on Change".  Hopefully once this is over there 
> will be no more gassing of citizens, or mass murder of political 
> dissidents, etc.
> For the US "Short Memory".  Those who do not learn from history are doomed 
> to repeat it.  It seems we have finally learned and are doing the right thing.
> Jacques

I have to say that, though I find war and violence of any kind to be 
hateful, I agree with Jaques.  The policy of appeasement went horribly 
wrong in Europe 70 years ago, and that's not something we can afford to 
ever have a "short memory" about...

As a Canadian I'm ashamed that we haven't "stood up to be counted" with 
our long-time allies and cultural cousins the Aussis, Limeys and Yanks, 
who are making the tough decisions and actions needed for the benefit of 
the free world.

Yes, we in the west have our faults (many of them, some of which are 
scandalous, like the fact such a thing as poverty exists in our opulent 
societies), and some of our foriegn policies have directly and indirectly 
led to the problems we now face. However, no-one ever had to be morally 
perfect to use their right to self-defence, and we shouldn't expect that 
on an international level we can only react to threats when we are utterly 
blameless in their creation, and have been struck first in an open manner.

Am I a war-monger?  NO, but I'm sure some people here will think so.  But 
for all the faults of the west in general, and the Bush government in 
specific, and all the less-than-honourable factors that probably 
influenced Bush's decision, I can see the (eventually) positive outcomes 
if this conflict.  The overall goal of liberating the Iraqi's from a 
genocidal man who automatically supports anything that he feels could 
hurt the West (just because they always start with America doesn't mean 
we aren't all on their hit-list as western democracies) is not something I 
can find fault with.  

When a parent sees a dangerous animal in the distance, they dispose of it 
before it reaches their children.  You don't wait until the snake has 
struck before you take action.  We in the "west" are in the unfortunate 
position of having to take that (crudely-phrased) analogy into the real 
world, with all the suffering that will entail, but in the end we know it 
was necessary.

I know most here will disagree with my views, but that's part of why I'm 
so fervent about doing what it takes to defend my society from outside 
threats... I'm blessed to live in a world where protesters can get within 
spitting-distance of decision-makers, and turf them out on their asses 
every 4 years.  Our system may not be perfect, but with it we all have a 
chance to be heard, and with time make our nation what we want it to be.  
Remember, before you flame me, that in Iraq you'd be executed if you ever 
expressed a position contrary to that of the government.

So, as much as it rips me up emotionally to think of the human 
devestation that war brings, I have to say I wish the U.S.-led campaign 
well. My thoughts and prayers are with all our troops and forces, and also 
with the civilian population of Iraq.

Michael Blackwood