Wednesday, May 19, 2004

The dangers ahead

I'd like to add a second to the points Liberal Oasis makes in this post:

The fundamental line that separates the Bushie neocons from everybody else is:

Should Iraq policy be based on desire for US military, political and economic control of the Gulf region (which fosters resentment that harms our national security)?

Or desire for peace, stability and true self-determination for the Iraqi people (which fundamentally enhances our long-term national security)?

The fact is, most everyone in both the Withdraw Now and the Withdraw Later camps also falls into the latter "self-determination" camp, and not the imperialist Pax Americana camp (which uses self-determination rhetoric as a smokescreen).

The debate between Withdraw Now and Withdraw Later is mainly over how to get there with the least amount of bloodshed, and the least risk of long-term security problems.

There is a danger, as things become increasingly heated, that people in both camps will start to smear the other side as being all of a kind ideologically. In my case, I have been (until recently) solidly in the Withdraw Later camp because I thought that just pulling out would be irresponsible, despite the fact that I thought going in was irresponsible to begin with. Of late I am starting to lean more towards the Withdraw Now side because I have come to realize that continued U.S. "control" in Iraq has become part of the problem, not the solution. In either case, my position on this issue has as its fundamental desire the wish to see a stable, self-determining Iraq (and a stable Middle-East) and not the neo-imperialism of the PNAC crowd.

As LO points out, the majority of the people in this debate are on the same page as far as what they desire (peace, stability and true self-determination). The main sticking points are over how to achieve those goals. And, as LO also points out, there is a real danger that those with differing ideas about how to achieve those goals will begin to view those in the other camp as being of a kind with the worst elements of each group ("Pax Americana Neo-Imperalists" and "Peacnik Terrorist Appeasers" to give them stereotypical labels).

We have to be careful not to fall into that trap.


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