September 3, 2006


I've noticed a lot of Australians these days don't seem to much like America. Mostly this doesn't come out when I'm around, but I can eaves-drop as much as anybody. Lots of it seems to be discontent with the war in Iraq (I heard a poet today going on and on about the evils of the war), but it seeps out into attitudes towards Americans themselves.

I think it's odd that the world doesn't seem as keen about freeing up the various countries in the middle east as we are. The various arguments against it all seem economic (i.e. we're in it "for oil" ... as if, oil prices have only gone up since we started the war, a fact I'm quite sure even Bush figured out before he charged back into the middle east), but there's the occasional rant about bringing our soldiers home because we're needlessly sacrificing life (because none of the soldiers volunteered to be in the army, and of course couldn't bother to quit).

I'm also puzzled by the anti-Bush propoganda. The worst people seem to be able to come up with is that he's not as eloquent as Bill Clinton. That's nice: Clinton screwed his secretary, and we liked him. Bush wants to free some people from tyrany, and we don't like him. And another thing - it's not like Bush could possibly act alone. The US government is set up in such a way that if the majority of the country wanted to back out, it could happen. It's called checks and balances; we learned about it in sixth grade. It's so that one part of the government can't take control over another, and more importantly, so the power remains in the hands of the people. Bush can't be held 100% responsible - he's got an entire congress and senate and judiciary council that are all just as equally responsible as he is; not to mention the 55% of America that voted him into office, and the other 45% that voted in the congress and senate.

But then I read

"News is out there, but only the bad stuff is interesting enough to broadcast because happy stuff won't keep us watching. American soldiers have distributed nearly a million dollars of clothes and food -- this year alone -- that was sent to them by their hometowns and families. They clothed Iraqis, gave them school supplies, fixed their homes and plumbing, etc. but that doesn't make the news. What makes the news are things like bombs, fear, pessimism, hurt, anger... that is what we have to see and talk about ad nauseum. That is why Cindy Sheehan is on our TVs but the parents of those Marines who died with him are not. They are at peace with their sons' service and Cindy is not. Anger and unrest leads... especially if it bleeds."

Nobody ever mentions that America far surpasses any other country in the relief aid it sends to middle eastern countries, including Iraq and Afghanistan (a fact Israel doesn't like much). Nobody wants to know that stuff. It's easier to hate the government than support a war where our loved ones might die.

Don't believe everything on the news; they twist and distort the truth all the time simply by reporting or not reporting something as they see fit. Stop and think before you blame everything on one person. Stop and think before you don't blame it on others. Better yet, stop trying to put the blame on somebody; the war is on, and so why not make the best of it and free people who want to stop living in fear? Yes, crooked people do screw things up for the rest of us sometimes - it's called "life." But not everybody is crooked, even if they're involved with the Iraqi war. Compensate for the crooks by trying to make the world better to live in for those around you.

[end rant]


Priscilla said...

Good post. I say "Amen." I also saw another rueters photo series where they showed a "dead" man being pulled from the rubble (without dust or debris on his body or clothing). The only trouble was that a few photos later this "dead" man was up and around and looking very healthy. Other photos showed toys in the rubble...that looked strangely clean and new compared to the rubble they were supposedly a part of.

The author said...

I justwanted to say ...

I found your post to be very thought provoking. Thank you for posting it.

I ran across your blog by accident, I suppose - I was actually looking for a different Chris Logan. It was a good mistake to make.

Anonymous said...

I think you have forgotten that America went to war in Iraq under a false pretense - that Sadam was manufacturing weapons of mass destruction - of which they are yet to find any.

Americans went into Afganistan looking for terrorist organisations but all they have achieved to date is to push these organisations further underground - they do not even know where Bin Laden is. What it has done is further isolate Muslims from western society and give them more cause to join these terrorist organisations all around the world. Consequently most Western countries are now at greater risk of a terrorist attack than ever before.

America went into Iraq and Afganistan with guns ablazing with little thought to the consequences this action would have on the communities that live in the area. The consequence has been to totally destablise the whole of the Middle East - the recent conflict in Lebanon testiment to this.

Yes America has donated plenty of money to the people in the Middle East but lets contrast this to amount of money that it has spent waging war in the area. Also lets not forget that in many cases people living in Iraq and Afganistan were actually better off before the War commenced as America has failed to put in place protection for their basic infastructure, which has slowly been deteriorating or destroyed in the war.

The war is still going on because America is still trying to clean up the mess it created. There is nothing generous in America providing relief aid to these countries - it is the least it owes them.

Anonymous said...

The previous post addressed the more serious problems with the war. Bush, as commander in Chief, is responsible for 2600 (and counting) dead servicemen. But the economic problems are not trivial either. We've spent nearly half a trillion dollars over there and still Bush insists on pushing through tax cuts like halloween candy for everybody. Who do you know who racks up millions of dollars in credit card debt and then gives their employer money back from their paycheck? And the Republicans are supposed to be the party of fiscal responsibility? How many more billions are we prepared to spend to "free people from tyrants?" --And if we're going to get into that business, why didn't we go after North Korea first? They actually have nuclear bombs. The Bush administration's dithering and refusal to negotiate has only bought the North Koreans time to hide their weapons who- knows where. And what about the Sudan? We are so bogged down in Iraq that we cannot help in any meaningful way to stop the genocide there.
What will happen when the Chinese stop buying our Treasury bonds? Not Americans. Most are in personal debt up to their ears. The Soviet Union did not fall because Reagan made a speech about tearing down the Berlin Wall. The Soviet Union collapsed because they went bankrupt. Are we heading that way? If we don't go bankrupt, it will take several generations to pay for this tragic mess.

Chris said...

Anonymous - thanks for the comments. I think you raise some good points, and please remember that I'm not trying to forget about the other side of the story (it was an emotional rant about the side that everyone else forgets).

Having said that: I think that the North Koreans aren't a problem because they're not likely to go nuke somebody. They're smart enough to know that their economic interests are at stake if they go and attack anybody, and that a nuclear retaliation will be swift and decisive if they attack anyone else.

The muslim countries in the middle east, particularly Iraq and Iran, are not so restrained. MAD - Mutually Assured Destruction - was a policy that kept Russia and the US in check during the Cold War, just as it will North Korea. However, the muslim fanatics we're seeing in the middle east - representative of their religion or not, it makes no difference - are not so picky. They willingly martyr themselves and anybody that happens to be within the blast radius.

I think it's fair to say that if we thought they had nukes, however remote the possibility, then it was worth the entire campaign to find out they didn't have them. It's nice to know we're not getting nuked anytime soon.

Also, I'd like to point to the second part of my rant - where I mention that Bush is not himself solely responsible for all those servicemen dying. I know you'll hate this, but other people are to blame as well; the servicemen themselves, every one of whom voluntarily signed up for the armed forces, knowing they might get deployed into combat. That we're sad for their deaths is an understatement, but we also can't just go assigning blame to one person for these things; it's never, EVER that simple.

Whether we owe the middle east the aid we give them is irrelevant; we give it, and we don't have to. I was talking to a mate of mine in Cairns this week, and he said that he was rather impressed by the restraint that the US showed after 9/11. We didn't just nuke the middle east, we didn't send the entire US battle force into combat - we stopped, thought about it, and tryed to figure out the best course of action at the time. There are a lot of things we'd do differently now if we'd have known then what we do now. However, we didn't, and so we have to do the best we can with what we've got.

Chris said...

the author - thanks :)