First, READ THIS (especially the last segment, entitled First Person).

Now, sit right back and listen to my rant of the day.

Yesterday, I was at work at the firehouse, and I got into a debate with one of my colleagues over the war in Iraq. My argument was that the ‘war’ is not only illegal and unnecessary, but that it is being waged for a set of reasons which bear little or no resemblance to the advertised goals. My colleague’s view was that the war is being fought to ‘disarm’ the tyrant Hussein, who repeatedly refused to fully comply with U.N. weapons inspectors. According to my colleague, this proves that Saddam Hussein is either in possession of, or attempting to possess the ubiquitous and usually vague WMD’s, and is intending to use them against the U.S. Of course, my view was that if the U.S. was so worried about WMD’s, they wouldn’t have stormed into Iraq in the first place. You don’t see the Imperial Stormtroopers of the Red, White, and Blue charging into North Korea, now, do you? Of course not. Love ’em, hate ’em, or be indifferent to ’em, you have to know that, unlike Iraq, the North Koreans are capable of defending themselves well enough to inflict serious damage on any invading force (even if they decide not to go nuclear). Also, the Korean Peninsula, given its lack of oil, is not in any way nearly as strategically placed as Iraq, which is also prime real estate for constructing a new military stronghold to replace the one currently in possession of those two-timing, unreliable, uppity ‘sand-niggers’ the Saudis (note: when I use a term like this, rest assured I am doing so within the strictest guidelines of caustic sarcasm).

I went on to elaborate how the U.S. was one of Saddam Hussein’s biggest supporters, and that during the few times when he is known (or at least reasonably believed) to have used chemical or biological weapons, he was not only using material purchased right here in the U.S., he was using it with the blessing of our leaders (in the Reagan/Bush White House). The current smirking bloodletter, Rumsfeld, was there to shake Hussein’s hand and give him an ‘attaboy’ for his fine work killing those other pesky, Allah-loving camel-jockeys, the Iranians. Here’s the photographic proof, and here’s the story. I should say right here that its my opinion that Saddam Hussein’s belligerent, recalcitrant attitude towards the U.S. may stem from the sense of betrayal he must have felt when he discovered that the U.S. was backing Iran at the same time it claimed to be backing him in the war (between Iran and Iraq) that deeply devastated both countries.

I must confess here that I sometimes utilize a very obnoxious, self-righteous strategy when I have these sort of debates. Its not that I’m being consciously manipulative, its just that I tend to be extremely self-righteous about these things. The problem arises when I turn the debate into a spotlight of my ‘opponent’s’ personal moral values. I usually avoid slipping into this with friends and people with whom I am amicably acquainted, but this whole phony-baloney war thing had gotten my goat at last, and I couldn’t resist. I asked the fellow if he thought that all of the U.S.’s satanic foreign policy, including this latest unprovoked invasion of a sovereign state, was acceptable to him, since he had reminded me that I have it so good where I live, and that I should consider moving to a place like Iraq if I wasn’t happy. He replied that its that type of foreign policy which gives us the freedom that we have (now, to me, this line of reasoning seems like a nonsensical fusion of the old ‘breaking a few eggs to make an omelet’ saw and Adolf Hitler’s ‘breathing space’ rationale for conquering Europe). I, of course, retorted that freedom was hardly the goal of such international machinations, unless he was referring to the freedom to be fat, lazy, and have loads of cheap petroleum to consume.

Not surprisingly, his argument quickly turned to 9/11, following the Fox News logic of sand-nigger fly plane into WTC > sand-nigger in Eye-rack not do what White Man want > bomb Eye-rack. In the interests of moving the debate along, I justified this transparent silliness with a response. I asked him if he found it the least bit suspicious that all but three or so of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, not Iraq, and that much of their funding, training, and indoctrination could be tied, directly or otherwise, to Saudi Arabia. Why haven’t we bombed the Saudis, or insisted on harsh sanctions for them? I asked. Not important, he said.

Well, what does it take? I asked. How much evidence of our government’s complicity in the suffering and strife of the Middle East do you need before you believe that something is wrong enough to need changing? If I may paraphrase his response, and the attitude that seemed to carry it, “That’s just the way it is, and you should be glad you’re on the right end of it.”

I wonder if such thoughts were among the last that passed through the minds of any of the victims of 9/11.

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