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War Thoughts

Tuesday, 25th March 2003

My first impression was that President Bush is a moron, and he wants to declare war on a country that isn't doing anything to us for political and/or personal reasons. I then became aware that there are some really legitimate reasons for going to war against Iraq (whether those reasons actually justify doing it or not is another issue). It looked like the United States was going to get approval from the United Nations before doing anything, so we'd be part of an international coalition, rather than just starting a war ourselves. I began to think that maybe Bush had simply messed up on the PR when he announced his intentions (it's not like he's really adept at that sort of thing), and that he was actually making the right decision.

And then Bush announced that we would pursue our own agenda regardless of what the UN Security Council decided, because we don't need their permission. That made it clear that my first impression had been correct, and going to the UN was just a ploy for PR and financial support (everyone involved has to help with the costs of rebuilding Iraq after we tear it down). Oh well. Maybe it was the right thing to do - I didn't find France's argument to be particularly convincing - but we weren't going into it with the right reasons.

So, here we are. About 75% of Americans support the war, and support has gone up from 35% to roughly 55% among the British. We've been emphasising that civilians are not being targeted, and using smart bombs to ensure that only military targets are hit, but this isn't as comforting as it sounds to the people living there - every window is broken within a half mile of our targets, and nobody can sleep at night.

Here's an interesting thought. Compare the number of coalition casualties due to A) enemy fire, B) friendly fire, and C) helicopter accidents. And have you noticed that most friendly fire incidents seem to be caused by the US?

I've been listening to commentary on the war on the BBC (I love the Internet). I think the weirdest thing is when they take breaks from the war coverage to give the latest status of cricket and soccer matches around the world (Australia beat India the other day). It's not that we don't have sports coverage in the US, but it's not those sports and it's never outside our own country. Anyway, I wouldn't say the BBC is completely unbiased and impartial - but neither would they, which is why I'm more impressed with them than with American media.

I think this war is about to get bloody. I also think that when it's over, Iraq will be left in ruins, and little will be done to rebuild. Of course there will be humanitarian aid, but there was humanitarian aid before the war began, and it won't be increased by as much as will be needed. I hope I'm proven wrong.


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