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pudge (1)

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I run this joint, see?

Journal of pudge (1)

Tuesday October 09, 2001
12:24 PM

Withdrawing from the Middle East

[ #932 ]
We cannot do it for three reasons.
  1. We do not give terrorists what they want. If we were going to withdraw, we are less likely to do it now than ever. We are not doing anything wrong with our presence in the Middle East, and have no reason to back out.
  2. We do not abandon our friends, and shall never abandon our allies. Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are our friends. We protect them. Israel is our ally. We will do anything for them. Shall we question is Israel should be our ally? I don't think there's room here. :-) But the point is that they are, and we will not abandon them.
  3. We use our alliances to further our own vital interests. So while we are not doing anything wrong, we also are doing what is right for our friends and allies, and what is right for us.

So we have no reason to withdraw, and we will not do it. We will not sacrifice the interests of ourselves and our friends and our allies for the sake of people in other countries who don't happen to like it, and even if we were so inclined, we would not do it at gunpoint, because that just rewards their behavior.

As to attacking another nation, I don't see how you can say it is not justified merely because they are not attacking us. If that were the case, then any nation could simply protect and support private citizens in their borders to attack other nations, and no nation would be justified in using military force to fight back. I can't see how that logically follows.

And yes, more people will certainly take their place. This is not a reason to not act, but a challenge for the future to be overcome. I don't pretend that we can kill them all, that we can stop them from trying again, that we can stop them if they do try again, that military force will be solely effective. Military force is the least important act of what needs to be done, but it is, in my estimation, necessary. What will be more important are having our allies and our friends and the other members of this "coalition" doing what they can in their own countries to fight the battle. That is the key. Without it, we're kinda screwed.

And the reason the "Western press" has not said how many have died is because there is no way for them to know! Not even our military knows, probably.

A nation is not an artificial construct. I won't explain it to you, though, because I figure you would know what I say but merely disagree. And unfortunately, you can't buy me a beer, because I don't drink -- one more thing we disagree on! -- but the events of the last month have more than once tempted me to start. But I will gladly accept a root beer, either before or after my team beats yours in the next Quiz Show.

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