I've been doing a lot of reading for the past couple hours and I feel like doing some talking. So here are some fairly unformed thoughts, I haven't worked through them but here they are anyway.
reading things like this make me start to feel a bit uneasy. Before we irrevocably turn an entire region/population against us we need to be sure we're doing things the right way. As I think I mentioned before I was marginally in support of taking Saddam out, if only to show we mean business. We can't make resolutions and rules and have them broken without consequence. So we need to be careful about what sort of demands we make on the outside world. Lots of rhetoric coming out of Washington regarding other nations like Syria and Iran. I have an underlying feeling that we are treading on very dangerous ground but many people don't realize it. For so long we have been sitting on top of the world, so to speak, we can't imagine anything different. Well, if we successfully piss off most of the Arab world, and China, and Russia, there may be some issues. What issues? Not entirely sure. I do know that we should start paying more attention to North Korea though. If I were in the Middle East and the US went after Syria or Iran before dealing with North Korea I think I'd start to feel they had it in for me.
The fragrance of victory might become intoxicating for the administration or politicians making decision, to where they feel like the US needs to keep stomping its big feet all over every perceived threat. Who knows - maybe some of these places really are serious threats. Maybe there are terrorists hiding out in Syria right now planning the release of a nerve agent or horrific biological weapon in some major US city. In fact there probably are. Do we stop that by laying waste to Syria? Is it possible to stem the tide of terrorism by knocking over regimes that support it? Possibly. Maybe we stopped another 9-11 by taking out Saddam. Maybe we've cemented three more. Maybe we've sent a message to states that support terrorism that we mean business, and made them reconsider doing so. Maybe we've steeled the resolve of those who hate the U.S. and created more orphans that will grow up to become Bin-Ladens. There are so many unknowns, time can only tell what the repercussions will be.
Part of me starts to wonder if it's worth it. Is it worth it for us to start a crusade against the "Axis of Evil" or states in the Middle East that support terrorism? Is it worth us to take out the governments? Not everyone in the world sees things the same way we do, obviously, and while we can't be beholden to everyone else's opinion, we have to pay attention. If half the world hates what we're doing but half loves it, what happens? Does a large-scale war break out? Do Russia, China, France, and Germany lead a 'coalition' against U.S. 'paranoid aggression?' Is that price worth paying if it means we prevent more terrorist attacks? Or is it better to take it on the chin and try to find other ways to make the world a safer place? Are there other ways to make the world a safer place? If there are, is it even a possibility for us to pursue them?
What if the US were to change its tune? What if we were to become humble and take our lumps while we honestly strive to improve the world around us in non-violent ways? Is that easy for me to say when I'm not the chin that's being hit? I mean, I know Hitler would never have capitulated if we simply let him eradicate the Jews. We can't adopt a destructive policy of appeasement. Maybe I'm just saying that the use of force has to be intensely conservative. Let's say for argument's sake we decided to wait and not go in after Saddam. Then in six months 4000 people die in a dirty nuke explosion in NYC, and the evidence all points in his direction. Everybody in the world can acknowledge and see that it was him. Should we wait for something like that before we actually go in and hit people? Our international support would certainly be broadened if that were our policy. But maybe the evidence is sketchy and we can't figure out who did it. And there will of course always be people blinded by hate of the US so much that they wouldn't admit it were Hussen if he were claming credit. So is pre-emptive self-defense a good idea or not?
I could probably ask questions all day long. In fact I probably have more question marks than periods in this entry. For some reason today I was just struck with the feeling that we could be entering into a very profound period of time for the US and the world; without paying attention we may be chasing a criminal into a minefield. We may get him, but is the price we pay worth it?