I've been rather tightlipped around here about my war position. Actually, I'm rather tightlipped everywhere about my position, even among my closest acquaintances. I've started to feel a need to declare myself.
Let it be known that I am a pacifist. Specifically, my pacifist beliefs come from my belief in the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His standard of priorities for my fellow man. I think in practice a similar position could be derived on philosophical grounds alone, but my beliefs are colored extraordinarily with religious overtones. I've never considered all the particulars, but in general I do not believe in personally taking lethal action against another human being. I do believe in non-lethal force where necessary for defense, and I cannot say what I might do if subjected to immediate danger to myself or my family.
Oh, and I recognize that my belief does not work. If an entire
country converted to my way of thinking, they would be overrun in a
minute. Not fighting back against those who want to hurt you often
results in your death. It did for my Religious Leader. This is not a
practical belief; it's solely ideological. But as everyone here
knows, I'm quite the ideological type.
I'm familiar with all the arguments from the Jewish and Christian Bibles. None seems to be conclusive. Talk radio hosts around here vilify everyone who stands against war on religious grounds, and that still hasn't dissuaded me, so if someone thinks they'd like to change my mind in that way, they'll probably meet with a resounding silence. Nevertheless, I am quite familiar with the reasons why people hold to the opposing view, and I have respect for their viewpoint.
Most people agree that certain types of war are sometimes
justified. I agree, too. I am not a pacifist because I believe war
is never justified; I am a pacifist because I believe one must hold to
a selfless standard when it comes to the lives of others. World War
II is the classic example of a just war; practically everyone would
agree on it. Every war since, though, seems to be hotly debated.
The issues in this war are quite clouded. I think basically, those who think war is just and necessary here follow this reasoning: Saddam Houssein has demonstrated his desire and capability to create weapons that could seriously threaten the United States with catastrophic loss of life, he has demonstrated a complete disregard for human life, an irrationality that would make a cold-war style balance of power standoff unstable, and the attacks on September 11 demonstated the possible catastrophic loss of life that can occur again if such powers go unchecked. Therefore, such people feel disarming Saddam Houssein (taking away all of his weapons, including physical weapons, the country and army he leads, and likely his very life) is the moral equivalent of taking away the weapons of someone who wants to kill you in an alley. There are side issues that pop up and cloud things, some good and some bad. The liberation of Iraq from a mad dictator and the price of oil are both side issues. While I personally would not participate in the war, while I cannot support it, I cannot say that this reasoning is illogical or immoral.
So here's the whole point of my posting this: most of what I've heard from the anti-war crowd is bunk. There may be some who have intelligent reasons for opposing the war, but by banding together (the enemy of my enemy is my friend?) only the lowest common denominator message is coming through: this war is wrong because America is a bunch of imperialists bent on taking over the world, and because George W. Bush is an idiot. That's just about all I'm hearing from the anti-war crowd, and neither of those assertions have any basis in fact. America's not threatening France, for crying out loud! America's threating people who want to destroy it. George Bush may not be able to say "nuclear" (Yes, that bothers me, too, and I love the man), but he is a very capable and intelligent leader, and he is interested in the safety of his country.
To sum up, all I can tell from the anti-war crowd is that France hates us. And many people from Britain and the rest of Europe, and, in fact, many people from my own country. It may not be what you're trying to say, but all I'm hearing is that you don't like us. If I didn't know better, and if I liked to make outlandish hyperbolic statements, I'd speculate as to whether some didn't think it'd be better if Saddam did succeed in causing catastrophic loss of American life.
There's plenty of intelligent reasons for opposing the war. I'm certain plenty of them are held in the anti-war crowd, too, and probably particularly on this site. But they're not coming through. Any intelligent argument is going to have to start with an intelligent understanding of the other side, though. The people who are pushing for war don't want war for it's own sake, and they are not idiots. They have intelligent reasons for their position that need to be addressed.
If preemptive strikes are wrong, say so clearly. Say this war would be wrong because it is a preemptive strike, and we have never done that before. If some war is just but this one is not, state your standards and how they apply to this situtation. When, specifically, would action against Iraq be appropriate? It becomes clear listening to many people that they want to make people happy by saying military action is appropriate in some circumstances, but they would never agree that those circumstances have arrived.
Quit saying America is imperialist, and quit saying Bush is stupid, and quit letting yourself be bunched in with the masses who do. Get your real message out. America may want to force their copyright laws on the world, but they aren't looking for conquest. You know it. Don't dilute your message by screaming such irrational falsehoods at the top of your lungs.
I dunno; I'm not sure why I'm saying this. I may delete this whole entry.