Sunday, January 23, 2005

Why don't we understand?

The Art of the Blog: Terror Against Freedom

>When will the Left understand that the terrorists are fighting against freedom itself and not just
>the U.S.?

The reason why we cannot fully understand or accept this statement is because it is at least partially erroneous. It is based, at least to a degree, on an emotive oversimplification of the situation in Iraq.

(From Merriam-Webster's)
Main Entry: free┬Ědom
Pronunciation: 'frE-d&m
Function: noun
1 : the quality or state of being free: as a : the absence of necessity, coercion, or constraint in choice or action b : liberation from slavery or restraint or from the power of another : INDEPENDENCE c : the quality or state of being exempt or released usually from something onerous <freedom from care> d : EASE, FACILITY freedom> e : the quality of being frank, open, or outspoken freedom> f : improper familiarity g : boldness of conception or execution h : unrestricted use freedom of their home>
(End quote)

Please give me concrete examples...even one would suffice...of how exactly the US military's presence in Iraq has increased the freedom of that country's population according to the definition above. I am not being sarcastic or making a rhetorical statement here, either...I would genuinely like to know, if someone can tell me, how it is that the invasion of Iraq has improved the standard of living for Iraq's population...if this has indeed happened, as many people seem to maintain. I also understand that a likely argument here would be the removal of Sadaam Hussein. If Abu Ghraib, the destruction of Fallujah, and several other attrocities had not occurred, I would be able to agree with the concept that Sadaam's removal has been a blessing for the country. However, it does Iraq no good to remove a murderous dictator if those who remove him themselves begin to behave just as badly as he did.

I would be as happy as the next person if freedom by this definition genuinely had been established in Iraq...however, from everything I've seen, the opposite is in fact true. Iraqi people do not in many cases have access to basic utilities...many of them are not free to leave their homes for fear of being bombed or shot, and so they are thus unable to engage in their livelihoods or perform tasks which for most other people are part of daily life. To me, this is not freedom. Freedom should include things like the freedom to work...the freedom to go outside one's home without fear of getting one's head blown off.

To answer another of your points however, that the "terrorists" are now attacking "Muslims"; There are at least two major groups currently engaged in geurilla/insurgent activity in Iraq at this time, as most of us know...Iraqi citizens themselves, who are engaged in an insurgency based on nationalistic motivations, and foreigners (who would be much closer to the definition of your use of the word "terrorists" I suspect) from Syria, Saudi Arabia and elsewhere, who are using the invasion of Iraq as an excuse/opportunity to further their own violent agendas, whatever they may be...they appear to have several motivations for being in Iraq, and as you say, assisting the genuine Iraqi national resistance (which I believe does exist) does not appear to be one of them for the most part.

If you could define more concretely what you mean by terrorists being "against freedom itself," we could talk about that...Indeed, I would like to. I can only assume that what you mean is that you believe that these people desire an anarchic, neofeudal/warlord oriented society such as the one currently existing in Afghanistan and Somalia, among other places. It is very possible that to a degree anyway, this could perhaps be true...and I would also agree with the concept that such a society would, at least in theory, be more conducive to the creation/breeding of armed individuals, who would then definitely have the *potential* to become terrorists. The problem with invading such countries however is that in order to pacify them, the occupying army is then forced to behave in ways similar to the dictator/terrorists themselves...as has happened in Iraq.