awkwardly

Friday

A few days ago I noticed one of those typical war-endorsing slogans on the back of a semi. Something about "Support our troops, support our country, don't give comfort to the enemy."

In the past I would have argued that these people are ridiculous when they claim anti-war = comforting the enemy. But a whole different angle occurred to me.

Yes, I want to give comfort to some of your enemies, because some of the people you choose as your enemies have done nothing wrong and don't deserve to be attacked. Forget Saddam and Osama and Al Qaeda for a moment, because we all basically agree that those people need to be stopped and justice must be served.

But when you kill thousands of Afghans and Iraqis because of their corrupt leaders, your list of enemies has gone way too wide. It's like a farmer applying fertilizer to his plants. Why spend the time and money to direct fertilizer just on your plants, when you can spray cheap fertilizer all over stuff? It won't matter to you when the fertilizer runs off into streams, out to the ocean causing blooms of algae that kill fish. It might matter to your grandchildren who will be paying for the cleanup or living with the consequences, but as long as the immediate thing is cheap for you, then go for it.

They do the same thing with bombs. We know that there are some bad dudes in this area, so we spread the bombs over the general territory, get a little "collateral damage" which is only an appropriate term when we use it, but not appropriate when Timothy McVeigh uses the term similarly.

That's why the enemies in this war are not fairly targeted. That's why it is appropriate for people who disagree with the methods of the war to give comfort to some of the enemies. Because some of the people that we need to comfort and protect are old ladies, grandparents, children, pregnant women, and maybe some grown up men and women who did nothing wrong, just walked through the wrong neighborhood at the wrong time.

If you're going to be that sloppy when picking your "enemies," then don't expect everyone to stick on your side.

It's the same way with "winning or losing" the war. Everyone remembers Bush's demand that you're either with him or you're with the terrorists. Victory to him is the same way. He only considers it a "win" if it happens on his terms, and any other conditions are a loss as far as he's concerned. So if we withdrew troops right now, that would seem like a loss to him, no matter how many people around the world benefitted, no matter how much it would harm the recruiting efforts of terrorists who love our "crusade" (sic) against them.

Do I want the United States to lose the war? Given the twisted, inhumane conditions of victory that Bush and the Coalition demand, yes, I want them to feel they've lost. This does not mean lots of American troops killed and terrorists in power over there. It means for justice to be served, for democracy to be increased in Iraq and in America, it would require a situation that would not fulfill Bush's conditions of victory, therefore they would consider it a loss.

It makes me sound "anti-American" to wish for Bush to feel like he has lost, but if justice can not fit in with their plans, then we need their plans to be blocked in order to have justice.

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