A Fine Line Between Stupid And Clever

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What Is A War?

Posted by bmac on October 13, 2007

 Maybe I’m an idiot, but why do we continue to call the Iraq conflict a war? It’s my understanding that basically, this was an enforcement of U.N resolutions, imposed after the cease-fire of the Gulf War, that Saddam thumbed his nose at for 12 years. We are not “at war” with Iraq. We did not declare war on Iraq. Yet even George Bush refers to “The Iraq War,” or “The War In Iraq.” Does every military action automatically qualify as a war? Is this an attempt to incorporate Iraq into the vague “War on Terror?”

Calling this a war when it is not, inherently sets us up to fail. War is all about absolutes. There is no middle ground in war, you win or you lose. That’s about it.

 When the President and his cabinet constantly define this as the”War”, the (justified) knee-jerk reaction is “Why can’t we win? Kill people and break stuff, what’s the problem?”

Most people perceive war in absolutes, so constantly referring to this as a war creates expectations that in this situation, can never be met. As far as I can tell, there is no absolute black and white win in this conflict. If I’m wrong, please enlighten me. I want us to win, and I think most Americans want us to win, but like me, most people don’t know what winning actually entails, and Bush has certainly not told me.

I think a lot of heartache could have been avoided if Bush and his cabinet simply did not call this a war. The public can’t get behind nuance, if this is indeed a war, what’s gotta happen to win? More ammo, more troops, what? That’s what Americans want answers to.

Bush gets unfairly mocked for the “Mission Accomplished” banner, when in fact, militarily, the mission was accomplished. End of “war.” We’ve spent the last three or four years providing security and helping rebuild that country, as well as encouraging democracy. That doesn’t fit my or most Americans definition of war. But alas, it’s too late, as this is, and will continue to be, “The War In Iraq,” and defined as such, can lead only to disapointment.

I believe we were 100% justified in removing Saddam Hussein. While there were many valid reasons to go in, I belive Bush hedged his bets that military action alone would scare the shit out of the entire region, kind of a “We awoke the sleeping giant” type of thing. I think that Iran, Syria, and Pakistan were affraid of what we might do, that we were going to firebomb the entire region into oblivian, which we may have, had we gone to war. But we didn’t go to war, we deposed a dictator, and got to the business of rebuilding a country. I believe they saw this as weakness, as they were expecting a fiery revenge for 9/11, and at that point, Al Queda began streaming in, and Iran saw it’s chance to dominate the region. The polar opposite of what Bush intended.

6 Responses to “What Is A War?”

  1. kruzer said

    Dude, ya got it right on the nose.

    This is NOT a war with Iraq.
    Further more, no one said as far as I know that we declared war or went to war for WMD as many people keep saying it.

    There was never a single reference to congress about WMD as the cause of Iraq invasion. Congress agreed the action in Iraq.

    It was a UN resolution.

  2. Anonymous said

    Ummm, sorry Kruzer, there was indeed mention of WMD to congress, as well as about 22 other completely valid reasons to go into Iraq, none of which however constitute what could be defined as “going to war.”
    Military action? Yes. War? Not as I define it.

  3. bmac said

    Anonymous was me.

  4. bmac said

    Comment one is a perfect example of how I feared someone might mis-understand this post.
    This post is in no way anti-war, or suggests we shouldn’t be there, or that our reasons for going in were not legally or moraly justified. My point is that the default reference to Iraq as a “war,” when it’s not a war, makes it easier for the press and others to lower morale.

  5. kruzer said

    OK…. Congress got a ‘reference’ about WMD, but it was NOT the cause of action for war.
    There is a hell of a difference. The declaration of war to Saddam did not say we’re declaring war with you for WMD.
    It was the enforcement of a UN resolution(s). I read the transcript and still could not find anywhere that we specifically went to war for WMD.

    BTW, they DID find WMD, but the media was not interested to publish it.
    500 units of chemical rounds…. and more. It was published on FOX news only.
    No other media had interest in it. There were pictures as well.
    Does action with the Kurds and gassing them ring a bell?
    Yeah, it is considered a WMD.

    The war was over when da prez said so on the aircraft carrier.
    What we have now is not a war.
    It’s over.
    After WW-2 stopped, the German had their insurgents for quite a while like in Iraq today. The American generals dealt with that firmly by executing and hanging them without a trial and all that democratic mockery that’s going on nowdays. You get caught as an insurgent, it was against the wall and shot. Something to be said for the old-ways. That was the language they understood.

    We could split hair on any issues and it’s really not worth the space and time.
    Ya know?
    ‘am gone —

  6. kruzer said

    OK, I have one interesting link here about the Iraq war:

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