Why is it that when I'm sitting at school reading about OSHA an Workers' Comp I can fall asleep sitting up, but as soon as I get home to my warm bed and extra-cuddly wife I am wide awake? Well, my late-night blog readers are the benficiaries (though I'm fairly sure I don't have any late-night blog readers). You will be treated to some ramblings. Of course, they will remain on my blog so there is no real benefit to reading them now. But I digress.
Democrats and election-nearing Republicans have recently launched a new offensive against the war in Iraq. Some are even demanding the immediate withdrawal of American troops. As some people may know (particularly my undergrad roommates), I opposed the war during the lead-up period. I even went so far as to man a table in the student commons at CU-Boulder during lunch. I was sitting next to a large cardboard sign I had made with my roommate Greg and his then-girlfriend (I can't remember her name) the previous night. I had come up with the theme for the sign. In bold letters across the top of the cardboard read, "IRAQ HAS NO WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION!!!" At the time, I meant it as a joke. Kind of flying in the face of everything we were hearing. It turns out the phrase was true.
Interestingly enough, by the time we had found out that Iraq really didn't have WMDs, I had changed my tune on the war. By the time we invaded, I was (somewhat) solidly behind the war. I include the parenthetical because I'm never entirely sure about any position I have at any given time. The given reasons for war did not interest me. I don't care if they had WMDs (which they didn't), if they were somehow working with Al Quaeda (which no one thought or thinks they were), or if they gassed the Kurds (which they did). I don't care.
The reason I support the war is somewhat hard to articulate. I just had/have this feeling that the middle east is a bad place and in need of something drastic. The region is controlled by dictators, theocrats, and warlords. The massive amounts of wealth diverted to the region by virtue of its position above massive oil reserves have not catapulted the various countries to the pinnacle of technological developement. Instead the money has flown into the pockets of the dictators, theocrats, and warlords to fund their personal consumption. This corruptive effect is fueled by the presence of Islamic extremists, who have no desire to enter the 21st century (or even the 19th century). Instead, the prevalent religion has placated the population. As long as the government stones those who question the religious dogma and sanctions the gang rape of adulterors the masses consent to the rule of the corrupt overlords.
Islamic fundamentalism (and all religious fundamentalism for that matter) endangers every being on the planet that considers survival on this plane of existence a good thing. When you have massive populations who believe in their hearts that the only thing standing in the way of eternal happiness is their mortal shackles, we are all in danger of being forced to take the journey to the afterlife (or nothingness) with them (via some sort of bomb, no doubt).
I support the Iraq war because it is a first step in the long road to end religious fundamentalism. We have many more steps to take, and some of the most difficult will be against extremists in our home country. It doesn't matter whether extremism is cloaked in the auspices of religion or in economics (those who support unrestrained free markets on the one hand and communists on the other). Battling extremism is a cause I support, and inasmuch as I see the Iraq war as furthering my personal agenda on this front, I whole-heartedly support it and oppose any troop withdrawal or reduction until we squelch the causes of extremism there.
Clearly I have said some things to which many people will object. As always, I am willing for my mind to be changed. Even though I am posting this on Sunday, please consider it the Morality Monday topic. I welcome disagreement. Goodnight.