Thursday, April 29, 2004

Looting and US Troops' policing (tank crushing taxi video)

So this man had no problems taking other people's livlihoods from them by looting, but complains when his livlihood is taken from him. I understand that the punishment seems, and probably is, disproportionate; but….

One can't, on one hand, criticize the US forces for not doing enough to stop looting while at the same time criticizing them doing what they can to deter it. There are 25,000,000 Iraqis, and what, 140,000 soldiers -- mostly kids -- some, who, unfortunately can be brash in their decision-making. In a situation like this one can't excactly set up a court of law. I can easily imagine Saddam crushing the taxi with the man in it. Islamic law would have his hand cut off. This man walked away with life and limb intact.

I'm no cart blanc Bush supporter (I did not vote for him, nor did I vote for Gore), but I do not believe he is an evil man in any way. I don't belive the US is completely off base in what it's doing. There is certainly a lot of tragedy that I'm very glad is not my own, but then again there was a lot of tragedy before as well. The US certainly makes mistakes, but it's very easy for the rest of the world to sit back and criticize what the US is doing while they would do nothing. As a matter of fact, the US even gets criticized when it does nothing. It was roundly criticized for not removing Saddam in 1991, just as it would have been roundly criticized for doing just that, even then. Now that it has done just that, it's getting criticized anyway. We're pretty much damned if we do and damned if we don't.

In general, you won't find me siding exclusively with the left or with the right on most issues. I do recognize propaganda from both sides when I see it. The right would have us belive that we know what's going on and everything's under control. The left would have us believe that there is an evil conspiriacy whose goals range from genocide or war on a particular religion to lust for the control of oil. I don't believe either one of them. I do believe that the real situation is much more complicated than either side is willing to make it. Liberals call me conservative. Conservatives call me liberal. That's probably because I refuse to be polarized. I see where the administration is going with this (it's not what most uneducated Bush supporters think -- it has very little directy to do with Bin Laden), and I also recognize the dangers and the pitfalls. I think people who believe Bush administration does not also understand the dangers and pitfalls generally have more of an axe to grind with its party than its policy. Ultimately, I believe more in the good side of human nature than the bad side, and I hope that the plan works because really, there's no going back now.

Because if the US pulled out of Iraq tomorrow (or even on July 1), it would be roundly criticized.