A Menagerie of Outspoken Opinions on Science, World Politics, and Geek Culture

Thursday, May 06, 2004

Let Me Be Perfectly Clear

I support the occupation of Iraq completely, and its eventual liberation even more so. I supported the war that led to the occupation, too, and the one before it that crippled Al Quaeda. I support these things because I know - not think, but know - that the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington DC in 2001 were only symptoms of a deeper problem. A problem that many Americans are either unwilling or unable to understand: We are at war with a culture that hates us because of who we are and what we represent.

Islamic Fundamentalists and Arabic Traditionalists despise us for many reasons. They hate us for practicing sexual equality, and for our religious pluralism, and for our ethnic pluralism. They hate us for helping to prevent them from pushing Israel into the sea, which they have longed to do more than anything else these past 50 years. They hate us because we are - according to their doctrines and traditions - a wicked secular culture that they should have subjugated long ago. They hate us for our prosperity and power because it reminds them so bitterly of their failure and weakness. They hate us because everything that we are clearly and plainly shows that western secular democracy is a vastly, wildly superior system to their own. They hate us because we've set the bar so high they're afraid they might never be able to reach it.

So when I say that I'm disappointed in - no, hugely angry with - a certain group of soldiers and their commanding officers I'm not "bashing the military". Not by a fucking long shot, bucko. I support our military passionately. I know that the vast majority are excellent people with amazing skills and dedication. I respect them for their sense of duty and I'm humbled by their willingness to sacrifice. The loss of soldiers sickens me every day, and I hope for many safe returns every night.

The reason I'm so angry is because there are now going to be more losses and less safe returns.

But it has been brought to my attention that I'm perhaps harping on this a bit too much. It's been over a week now, and we all know what's up and (more or less) who is responsible. Perhaps it's time to let military justice do it's job and move on. Many countries and organizations will undoubtedly drag this out for a month or longer, but those of us who understand that this was an isolated incident perpetrated by a very few people should probably stop beating this nearly dead horse.

It's advice I'm ready to take.