|added Thu November 16 2006 at 12:14 AM
|This is in reply to a series of emails with a friend of mine. I won't publish his side without his permission (which I won't be asking for, because you can probably tell pretty much what he's saying based on my reply):
You say that Iraqis voted to keep us in the country, but I do not recall any such vote being made. They voted (and turned out in huge numbers to do so) to ratify their constitution (an interesting discussion of which can be found here ), but have we ever asked if they want us there? If we have, please send me information on that vote, I would love to see it one way or the other.
If anybody has limitted our military's fighting capabilities, it has been Rumsfeld's insistance that we keep the army smaller in spite of the war. However, whether you think we should have a larger or smaller military, you cannot win in urban guerilla warfare simply by dropping more bombs - you have to win the propoganda war instead.
As for my being crazy for thinking that maybe we're sinking as low as the radical muslims, let's start by looking at the death score. We have lost 3,000 civilians on 9-11 and almost as many soldiers in the Iraq War. On the other hand, we have killed about 50,000 Iraqi civilians (some studies say 600,000, but those are largely discredited) in the name of liberating them. We invaded their country on what turned out to be a false premise (they did not have weapons of mass destruction after all). Then you add in situations like Gitmo, Abu Ghraib and even recent occurances like this.
While we obviously feel that these actions are justified or only the actions of a few, if you look from the opposition's perspective (yes, they're people, too and have the ability to form opinions that are contrary to our own), we are about as bad as we say that the radical Muslims are.
There's more to read. Read the extended entry.