Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Iraq, London, Madrid, 9/11

We are engaged in a war against terror, and insofar as terror is a state of mind, not a nation, we are bound to experience difficulty in the nuts and bolts of coming to grips with an enemy that exists across national borders and across nations that are friendly, antagonistic, and indifferent to the interests of the United States. These difficulties don't mean that we shouldn't prosecute the war.

My friend on the Left, and I are closer to each other than we understand. They think that many of us on the right are not concerned with civilian casualties in Iraq, or in Britian, or Madrid, that might come from our prosecution of that war. They are mistaken. Many of us on the Right are concerned about the death and injury of the innocent. Moreso, we are also concerned about the death and injury of those who are not necessarily innocent, but who may have been straddling the fence, waiting to see which side will prevail. Each and every battlefield death is a tragedy of a personal proportion.

Over at TIA, they ask:
Is it within our right as a nation to designate Country X as an acceptable staging ground for such a conflict - regardless of the enormous toll in human lives such a prolonged engagement will take on the indigenous population? Does this willingness somehow display a profound respect for the denizens of Country X?
That is a very good question. The devil is in the details, and in the logical extension to that question.

The logical extension to that question would be where? Which country would be an acceptable staging ground for a war on terror? Which indigenous population would be more acceptable? Let's set a few definitions:

War is armed conflict. The use of bombs, small arms, artillery and tracked weapons are included, along with Air Forces and Naval elements. As an old soldier, I know what War is. It is a dirty, nasty, despicable activity that causes casualties of the most horrific type. I abhor war, as all soldiers do, but realize that sometimes we must settle confict by force of arms.

A Country is a geographical element. It is generally defined by borders and has a population of varying density characterised by a central government.

We must admit that in any war, the civilian population that lives on the geography will suffer. From loss of civil liberties to loss of life, the people in a war zone suffer. It is lamentable, but inevitable. What happens after the war; the consolidation and rebuilding phase, is for the civil governments.

SO, given that we are embroiled in a war on terror, which country should be designated to recieve civilian casualties? It's inevitable when you put divisions in the field. We try to limit the civilian casualties, but we can't eliminate them.

Where would you prosecute the war?

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