one minute to midnight

17 March 2003

For the most part, I try to stay away from political topics in this journal, because politics give me a headache. People screaming at each other on Crossfire gives me a headache. Watching Dubya mumble his way through another State of the Union address? Headache. Listening to liberals and conservatives snipe at each other in the newspaper editorials? Headache. Warbloggers? Instant headache.

However.

We are definitely going to war with Iraq now, not that there was ever a doubt in my mind since noon on 9/11/01, and I want to say this publically before the bombing starts. When the time comes, I do not want to look back and realize that I never spoke up because of fear of disagreement or reprisal.

I am a veteran of the US Air Force, and I am opposed to this war. Absolutely, unequivocally opposed to it.

Please, do not start with the anti-American comments, okay? Being anti-war, pro-peace, whatever, is not the same thing as being against this country. I love my country. I wouldn't have joined the military if I didn't. If I didn't love this country, I wouldn't be speaking up against the war now, convinced that we are making a horrible, terrible mistake. If I didn't love this country, I would just move quietly to France and let everything here go to hell while I drank wine and ate cheese.

But I am a damn American, which the last time I checked means it is not only my right to speak up when I disagree with what our government is doing, it's my duty. So all you people who are getting ready to tell me to shut up and sit down can go to hell.

I'm against this war because I remain completely unconvinced, despite listening carefully to both sides of the argument, that it is necessary in any way.

I'm against this war because it is going to kill a whole lot of people who shouldn't have to die... people who have more hatred for their so-called leader than any of us can possibly fathom.

I'm against this war because I don't believe for one second that this administration cares a whit for the oppressed people of Iraq. This is not about them. This is about... well, I don't really know what it's about, other than power and control. Revenge, maybe?

I'm against this war because goddammit, we're the United fucking States and we don't hit first. I am not completely opposed to war; I'm a realist. I know there are times when you have little choice but to fight. But that's supposed to be the last resort, not the first choice.

I am against this war because we simply cannot afford it. We've managed to alienate almost all our major allies and the UN is not going give us any approval for the war resolution. Needless to say, this also means we get no financial support from them. Our economy is already in the shitter. Where is the cost of this war going to come from?

I am against this war because in the long run, this kind of "we can do what we want and fuck the rest of you" attitude is going to destroy goodwill with the rest of the world and will seriously damage long-standing alliances.

I am against this war because in the long run, wielding our mighty dick sword will create a new generation of poverty-stricken, angry, America-hating, young male Islamic fundamentalists who will consider it their holy duty to bring about the downfall of the West. Violence really does breed violence.

I am against this war because this time, there will be more attacks on American soil, more of our people will die, and in turn more Iraqi civilians will die, and for what? Not a thing in the world.

Most importantly, I am against this war because we are about to devastate an entire country to pick off one insane dictator, his family, and his cabinet. This is not only really fucking bad strategy, it is just wrong.

Saddam Hussein is a right bastard and he needs to go, but to be brutally honest, that's what the SEALs and the Army Rangers are for. If we're really concerned with regime change in Iraq, we should be looking for a way to surgically remove the Hussein family and then help install a democratic government. Carpet-bombing Baghdad is going to accomplish what, exactly? Does anyone really think this is the most effective way to catch this little cockroach and his lackeys? Does anyone really believe the son of a bitch doesn't have fifteen zillion places to go to ground and wait out the bombing?

We are going to war without the support of our allies, except Britain and Spain. There have been peace demonstrations erupting world-wide for months against this invasion. In eighteen months, we have managed to destroy the sympathy and compassion the rest of the world extended the United States after 9/11, because our cowboy of a president can't be bothered to even act like the rest of the world should have a say in the matter. Newflash, buddy: When "nucular" weapons are involved, there are no longer any boundaries.

There has to be a better way to remove Saddam Hussein and improve life for the Iraqi people than destroying Iraq's civilian infrastructure and killing everyone. There has to be. There must be a better way to gain support from our allies than by calling them old-Europe pussies and thumbing our noses at the UN.

I do believe there can be a just war, but this is not it. This is not it.

So just for the record:

Mr. Bush, you are not my president. You do not represent me (not that I thought the Bush administration ever would give a shit about representing a gay, female, liberal, non-churchgoer anyway -- after all, I'm not really a full citizen). You are not doing this in my name, nor in the names of millions of Americans and most of the international community. Already you have the blood of innocents on your hands because of your casual attitude toward applying the death penalty as governor of Texas. Now you and your staff are going to be responsible for the deaths of innumerable Iraqis when you clearly have not exhausted all possible alternatives to war. You will also be responsible for the death of American military members, many of whom are my friends and who are even more opposed to this war than I am. When the time comes that you have to answer for your actions, may God have mercy on your soul, because I'm not sure any of the rest of us will be willing.