Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Question Someone Asked Me

Q: Can people win the war?

A: Yes, people can win the war (that is if we are talking about the war in Iraq). My caveat to that is that people from the United States (in particular our military) can not win the war. The people who can are the Iraqis, and that will happen only if they decide they want freedom.

Think about it like this, when you were 16 years old, if your daddy gave you a car you were happy, but it really didn't mean anything to you. If you wrecked it you are back where you started, so you drive it hard and don't really take care of it, however, if you bought your car on your own. You paid for it with your own hard work, and you earned it for yourself then you have a vested interest in that car and you will take the best damn care of it as you can.

The same goes for freedom. You can not give freedom to someone or to a group of someones without them taking it for granted (I am speaking about people who haven't really had it; it is different for a country to be liberated because they are just returning back to the freedom they had before). Look at our revolutionary war, if we had someone else fight it for us and kick out the British we wouldn't be where we are today, there is no way we would have appreciated our given freedom and we would not have been ready to stand on our own legs. The same goes for Iraq. If they really wanted to be free they would have been ready to fight for their own freedom.

That is why I believe that we have the problems with the "insurgency" there. The Iraqis aren't ready to get rid of them themselves because they don't appreciate what our idea of freedom is, and they weren't ready to sacrifice to get their own version of freedom.


Anonymous said...

You seriously believe your country is ready to stand on it's own legs? In historical terms it's just left home, and still needs support from the motherland for it to be validated in doing anything. Immature teenage country throwing it's weight around.

I support your troops, and the others who have been sent in harms way on behalf of your govt, but as a country you need to reign your leaders in. That can only happen from within.

It's up to your country to take it's freedom for itself. How ironic.

Mike Crichton said...

Zack, plenty of Iraqi's _did_ fight for their own freedom. They ended up turtured to death or buried alive.

Anonymous said...

Zach, what you say is true and you gave a great analogy using a teen's car priveleges to prove your point.
But there is a fact that you are missing. Iraq is not a "true" country. It was slapped together for convienence sake by the British after WWI. The three very seperate and distinct communities of the Shites, the Sunnis and the Kurds, are again being forced to be one country.
There is so much history of discord and hatred between these peoples and yet they have again been given no choice about their statehood. This isn't America where people moved to to escape persecution or to live free. This is a region as diverse in faith and views as can be possible. Yet they are lumped into on heap of smoldering anger and bitterness.
When the Soviet Union broke up we saw the remergence of seperate and diverse countries, like Czechslovakia again became two seperate countries, and all the new little countries ending with stan, so why can't the people of the forced country of Iraq do the same? Kurdistan to the north, Sunnistan near the center,or become part of Iran, and Shiastan to the west. (just examples)
Other than the First Nations people, North America didnot have centuries old divisions and peoples. For that matter, look at all the different tribes of first nations people that warred against each other until conquered by the Europeans.
Expecting the citizens of the region to forget about their centuries old divisions and borders is unrealistic and demeaning to them. They have a right to be seperate nations, just like Belarus, just like Serbia, just like Croatia, and what your country is doing is the same if not worse than what the British did 80 some years ago.

Kate M.

Kira said...

I have always believed that everyone had a basic human right to freedom, pie-in-the-sky as that may be... but I've also come to realize that it has to be something that as a people, you desire above all else. The purchase price is not cheap - and it cannot be bought at the expense of others.

Unfortunately for all involved, the Iraqis do not appear to be at that stage in their societal development.

I don't see any easy answers. We may not be able to cut and run, but mediating sure isn't helping either. Unless a strong Iraqi leader emerges, they may have to be remanded to the care of their fellow Muslim nations.

p.s. - your children are *gorgeous*


Anonymous said...

I hope the Republicans lose their majority this fall and end this war!!!!

Jake said...

I think that it is interesting to note that the only thing that has ever held Iraq together was the opressive rule of a tyrant. once we "freed" the country, it fell apart. does freedom work for this country? Perhaps "anonymous" was right when he/she said that the country needs to be broken down into smaller countries that will be united by a common religion. the two questions are wether this could be done peacefully, and also, if it was accomplished, how would the resulting countries interact with one another?
P.S. I'm a highschool student from NYC who is keeping a blog for a journalism class and we are encouraged to start conversations with people who we think are interesting. please respond. I would love to know more about what is going on over there.

banana said...

Great post. Great analogy, but my question is "just where are we today?"

I'll tell you where we are; we are one step closer to a dictatorship than we were yesterday.

This is what bugs me. Everyone touts "freedom!" and "america is the best place on earth!"

but are we really; and if we are for how much longer?

when a country transcends from "somewhat democracy" to a "dictatorship" it can be a slow process.

it's like a fat woman who goes on a diet. She doesn't notice that she is losing weight herself but then one day people come up to her and say "wow! I hardly recognized you! you look like a different person!! you've lost so much weight!"

well, that is what's happening to american "freedom." we are losing it bit by bit each day; so gradual is this process of losing our freedom we don't notice it.

until you look back to a few years ago before Bush, and then November 2000, and then 9-11, and then the Patriot Act, and then the "spying on American telephone conversations is as necessary as locking people up without Due Process when we find them on the battlefields in Afghanistan," quote from alberto Gonzalez; then we get to the fact that federal prosecutors (the justice departments) are breaking into defense attorneys' offices and spying on them, and getting privileged information -- information protected by attorney-client privilege.

so what freedoms do we have really?

Theresa Hernandez said...

Awesome post! I think the last paragraph summed it up for me. The Iraqi's don't understand true freedom, because none who are living today have ever had it. They have to want freedom for their loved ones more than they want to live. And until that happens, we cannot hand them freedom on a platter.