Tuesday, June 26, 2007

"...the true greatness of a nation is founded on principles of humanity." -Thomas Paine

"The Constitution expressly and exclusively vests in the Legislature the power of declaring a state of war. The separation of the power of declaring war from that of conducting it is wisely contrived to exclude the danger of its being declared for the sake of its being conducted." -James Madison

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Wow, you guys. That was an excellent debate and I learned a ton and it’s an example of how some fundamentals of things American can go right sometimes in spite of all the wrong. Dialog, that provokes real thinking, and the First Ammendment, aided by this 21st century thing called blogging is always a good thing. I wish some of the lurkers would have chimed in. I have to plead an inconsistent and FUBAR internet access for my lack of moderating that whole debate. Thanks for being respectful of each other in my living room and Jen, saying that my blog was a safe place for discussion was a huge compliment. Thanks for that!

So, after reading through all the comments from this weekend, just a few notes. I don’t necessarily want to open the whole thread again, just want you all to realize I heard what you were saying. Or in Greg’s case, SHOUTING, complete with throbbing, purple forehead vein I could see from here. ;) (love you piano man!)

I didn’t keep track of who said what but here goes:

One theme seemed to be trusting the media. I do not on the whole trust the local or even national news. But I’m blessed with a pretty logical brain (despite all evidence to the contrary based on what comes out of my pie hole) and can usually see both sides of a biased story. But it’s hard when you can’t trust the facts. I submit the photos. Photos do not lie. But context and preconceived ideas play a part. Because we are human. Just like our President. And our soldiers.

So, Bush as a monster. That assumes he had absolute power and was making decisions that would knowingly lead to a disastrous result. He may be a puppet, and a dope but I can’t carry it as far as calling him a monster. I believe he feels he was acting in the best interests of the country at the time with the information he had. Naive? Maybe. But I also have to believe that our leaders and their information sources know more than they are were/able to say and there are times when lying can save lives. I have to believe that not all of this mess was deliberate. And Greg, what you said rang very true for me...I SHOULD HAVE EXPECTED BETTER. Americans deserve better leadership and so do the countries that trust us. THAT is worth fighting for. Everything else sounds to me like placing blame and pointing fingers while chaos reigns. Unfortunately, politics will probably get in the way.

I have to object to Saddam being labeled as a good leader. He ruled out of fear. That is never effective. It may appear to be effective but it’s not. For leadership to be truly effective the leader must be trustworthy. And we stooped right down to his level, made decisions based on fear and I think Nick was right. Saddam had been playing his own little game for years and enjoyed making the US look foolish. I don’t know about you guys, but when they pulled him out of the hole in the dirt I felt like I was covered in the same mud. I felt like the US was just being dragged out right behind him. I had expected things to get better. I had hoped things would be better for the people he terrorized. Not so. The plan did not work.

Now what? Sadly, I dunno. Do we need new leadership? Maybe. Is it reasonable to expect that something new will be available in 2008 when it’s time to vote? And if we vote, will it matter? So I think maybe we did the one thing we could do. We talked about it. Hopefully made someone scratch their cranium and think, “Huh. That never occurred to me.”. I know I did.

You are a smart bunch of folks. Your parents and some of your teachers ought to give themselves a pat on the back.

Labels:

5 Comments:

Blogger Greg said...

First off, 100 points for the Thomas Paine quote. He's one of my heroes! (Collin's middle name is Thomas)

Secondly, I certainly have always enjoyed seeing your mind at work. You're wicked smart, and you rule. If this is the end of the road for political debate here, come on over to the Cat's Cradle. Feel free to use THE CAPS LOCK KEY!!!

10:01 PM  
Blogger Paula said...

The book "The Greatest Story Ever Sold" says that Bush planned on going to war with Iraq long before 9-11 ever happened. Granted, this book is totally not slanted in Bush's favor, but an interesting read on his background, presidency dealing with 9-11 and Katrina.

My other "hot under the collar" issue is all of the amnesty legislation. We have rules and regulations in place to deal with illigal immigration, we are a generous in our acceptance of new citizens...so where is the problem? We have no problem putting our border patrol agents in the slammer for doing their job.

I have to confess...Lou Dobbs is a major source of my polical info...his book "War on the Middle Class" is also an interesting read.

I haven't chimed in in a while because my login and password were messed up/forgotten...hopefully all is well now.

6:50 PM  
Blogger GMAFB said...

"So, Bush as a monster. That assumes he had absolute power and was making decisions that would knowingly lead to a disastrous result. He may be a puppet, and a dope but I can’t carry it as far as calling him a monster. I believe he feels he was acting in the best interests of the country at the time with the information he had. Naive? Maybe. But I also have to believe that our leaders and their information sources know more than they are were/able to say and there are times when lying can save lives. I have to believe that not all of this mess was deliberate."

Monster would be going too far and it's probably obvious to say that the mess we are now in was not deliberate. This is what happens when you make up your mind to do something (or maybe you had some of the wrong help in doing that) and then you surround yourself with people and information supporting that decision instead of honest debate and no real credible devil's advocate. You can't debate it forever, but you can't surround yourself with a bunch of "yes" people and expect to make a proper decision. I've been one of those "yes men" before and as a result, I didn't do everything I could to try to prevent something tragic (not saying I would have prevented it, but I didn't try as hard as I should have). People are really good at helping other people make decisions, decisions that they themselves could never make.

You have to see the other side. You have to look at the the consequences 1 yr, 2 yrs, 5 yrs, 10 yrs, 20 yrs, etc. down the line, the positives and the negatives. No one has a crystal ball, but if you are following some sort of script, you don't get to look at the other point of view.

There's no Easy button. Unfortunately when people make up their mind to do something and are bound and determined to do it, they are blind to the consequences. Sure, they pretend that they've looked at them and have "factored" that in to their decision but that's usually BS. The heart has already taken over and has instructed the head to do whatever is necessary to make it happen. It's not a game. There's no do over. You made "your" decision without seeking all of the facts. You chose not to try to work it out another way. Now you have to live with the mistake (as do we all). More importantly, you need to make it right by everyone and saving face is not an option.

If only that was how people would hold themselves accountable.

8:56 AM  
Blogger jennifer said...

I believe that bush is a monster. the deliberate torture going on at guantanamo is in my mind "monsterlike" behavior. i believe that the "halliburton's" of this country have monsterlike behavior, i believe that paying $80,000 for one blade on a blackhawk helicoptor is monsterlike behavior. i believe that imprisoning us soldiers who don't want to use weapons anymore monsterlike behavior. just some examples that are coming to mind right now....

when asked about the war, HH the dalai lama believes that we can get out of this because we got ourselves into it. this is where i get my peace.

4:57 PM  
Blogger bstrouf said...

I'm cautious to leave a comment regarding this discussion...simply because my viewpoint is very different than most. I'm so very proud of our soldiers and am equally proud of our involvement in this war against terrorism.

I have had the honor of spending time with both Iragi and Afghani veterans of war (both arenas, police officers with my department) and they are proud, and deservedly so, of their actions in this struggle.

I don't neccesarily disagree with all of the opinions expressed in this site (and various other sites), but let's not forget that the young men fighting these incredible battles are doing so of their own free-will and volition.

Some really bad things happened to us on 9-11 and we have some very brave, albeit young, souls attempting to right the wrongs.

Say what you want about George W. Bush. He might be the idiot you wish him to be. But, he was put in a situation and position that no other president has ever had to deal with...seriously.

No defenses...really. Just wanted to give my perspective...

12:53 AM  

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home