Daily Archives: Wednesday, 12-Mar-2003

Feet of Clay

I was born in the South in the mid-50s. I spent my formative years going through the turmoil of the civil rights movement and the peace movement of the 60s in the South. Many of the men (and women) who were portrayed to me as heros during that time turned out to be no more than racist and bigots or opportunists riding the segragationalist bandwagon of the time. I’ve come to expect my leaders to have feet of clay.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that I excuse my leader’s failings, I just know that regardless of how good of a job they are doing as a leader at any time a skeleton could pop out of their closet. They will be held accountable for whatever that skeleton represents to the extent that they should be held accountable but I’m going to recognize that the good they have done is going to stand on its own just as the bad.

What am I rambling on about? Well, some folks lately have been pointing out how much they dislike America because of the evil that we have done when all along America was suppose to be the good guy in the white hat riding in to save the day. They hate America because of their disappointment in it. I can understand this, when someone disappoints me it is hard for me to remember what accomplishments they made that makes their shortcomings a dissappointment.

Anger toward my country has always made me feel uneasy, especially when it becomes as venemous as it is becoming on some weblogs these days. The cynicism directed towards the US and its leaders, though perhaps deserved, is especially disheartening because I’m not in complete disagreement with what my leaders are doing. So I’m stuck feeling a need to defend a leader who has done things that I find indefensible but who is also doing things that I believe are necessary in order for the US to meet its obligations to the world.

I guess what I’m really hoping for is for some of the folks who have becomes so disenchanted with the US to stop and try to think of one world leader, current or past, who didn’t prove out to have feet of clay at some point in their life. I can’t think of a one.

End of the War Predictions.

Shelley has posted here predictions of the way things will be in Iraq after the war and Dan has put out a request for predictions. I’m not much on making predictions because they can make one look soooo stupid after the fact. However, I can’t resist taking on Dan’s list.

  • The Kurds.
  • While the word coming out of Washington is that their desire is for Iraq to remain a monolithic country I can’t help but see an Iraq without Sadam resulting the northern section of Iraq becoming Kurdistan. Regardless of the form the new government will take it isn’t going to be strong enough to keep the Kurds as a part of the nation.

  • The liberalization movement in Iran.
  • This could be interesting. I don’t see the fall of the current Iraqi regime strengthening the liberalization of Iran but I don’t necessarily see it weakening it.

  • Jordan’s position as sometime peacemaker in that region, especially with
    respect to attitudes of Jordan around the Iraq invasion of Kuwait..
  • I don’t see attitudes regarding Jordan changing substantially.

  • The government of Saudi Arabia.
  • Our next bad guy in the Middle East? The royal family in SA may be friendly toward us but their loyal subjects don’t like the US at all. Look at the nationalities of the 9/11 terrorist and the captured members of al Qaada. I don’t see the US maintaining airbases in SA once Hussein is gone.

  • The new government of Iraq, possibly in several parts.
  • Aside from Kurdistan forming in the north I expect to see the Shi’ites in the south to want autonomy and their own country. It is possible that they will attempt to align themselves with Iran since most of them see themselves as Persian rather than Arab.

  • Evidence of Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction, and revelations
    about who really used gas in Halabja.
  • I have no doubt that weapons will be found, most likely as residue on our troops. As far as the gassing of the Kurd’s in Halabja, I do not doubt that it was Iraq that used the gas. I also have no doubt that it was the Iranians that were Iraq’s primary target, not their Kurdish citizens. I also believe that that does not matter in the claim that “Iraq gassed their own people” because the Iraqi military knew that by using gas on the Iranians they would also be using gas on their own people and they did not care, they used it anyway.

  • Israel’s moral credibilility (and if I hear one more “the ragheads
    are your enemy too” ad from the American Jewish whatever I’m gonna
    scream).
  • This is one of those opinions that will get one marked as a zionist or an anti-semite, regardless of what one says. In my opinion, neither the Israeli government nor any of the half-dozen Palestinian organizations that claim to represent the Palestinian people have any moral credibility with me now and I don’t see how things in Iraq is going to change that.

  • The Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • See above. It won’t change a thing.

  • The price of oil, Halliburton stock, and whatever other economic
    cynicism you want to play with.
  • Anyone who believes that anything will affect the price of oil other than the worldwide supply hasn’t watched things very closely. This damn war on Iraq has diverted our eyes from what is happening in Venezuala and that is where our current oil shortage is stemming from.

    Now, if Hussein blows up his oilfields then we are going to see a drop in supply of Iraqi oil. How much of the world’s supply of oil is currently coming from Iraq? Not much. I can’t find any current stats on this right now but Iraq’s oil potential is tremendous, they just haven’t ever done much with it. War and sanctions does that to a nation’s oil productivity.

    Haliburton stock? I don’t see a change.

I doubt these predictions will prove very accurate but that’s the way I see things play out as far as Dan’s list goes. One thing he didn’t ask that I’d like to comment on is that I don’t believe we will see a very long drawn out occupation of Iraq and I don’t see the US taking control of Iraq’s oil fields past the time of putting out fires and removing booby-traps. That is why I don’t see a change in Haliburton stock, unless people have bid up the stock thinking Haliburton is going to take personal control of Iraq.