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Free Citizen

This writer espouses individual liberty, free markets, and limited government.

Location: Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Friday, March 30, 2007

"The Light at the End of the Tunnel"

I suppose it was inevitable that I should eventually write something about the Iraq War.

Such luminaries as George H. W. Bush, Brent Scowcroft (the elder Bush's national security advisor), and William F. Buckley Jr. consider this war to be a bad idea. My own opposition was not so clear-cut at the outset, though I had strong doubts about it– as I also had about the 1991 Kuwait incursion.

Once the war started (”Mission Accomplished”?), I tended to switch channels when news of it came on– as though that might magically make it just go away. I have a good friend who is a Vietnam War veteran and who opposes all wars; he’s had an influence on me concerning Iraq. He even says the U. S. should have stayed out of the two world wars; I agree with him on WWI, but I’m still working on No. 2. (Richard M. Weaver [1910-1963], who opposed the nuking of Japan, wrote in Ideas Have Consequences of “the marvelous confusion of values attendant upon the second World War.” He noted the "lady marine and the female armaments worker," the latter reminding me of the movie character, Rosie the Riveter. It's easy to imagine what Weaver would say about sending our mothers, our daughters, and our sisters to participate in a war in the Middle Eastern desert.)

I’ve lately been reading Albert Jay Nock (1870-1945), the great libertarian essayist, so my opinion of war in general has sunk even lower.

If the U. S.'s ultimate goal is to leave Iraq, why is our military building 'permanent' bases there? Makes sense, doesn’t it? 60-plus years after the end of World War II, we’ve still got bases in Germany and Japan. (Have you seen anything in the media about these 'permanent' bases in Iraq? I haven't.)

Another president from Texas used to tell us about “the light at the end of the tunnel.” At least we’re not hearing that from this president-- yet.


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