The French at least still have a cultural memory of the horror of War. The last time American Culture has been exposed to the horror of War was in the 1860s with the civil war. That is the last time war happened in sight of the civilian populace on American soil.
People give the French crap about their surrender track record. They fell in World War One after most of their adult male population was killed, and that was mostly because they didn't have tanks, but the Germans did. In fact, where they did have tanks, they held out much longer. They were however, undermatched. In World War Two, the nation was controlled by the survivors of World War One. The survivors with metal in their skulls, missing eyes, arms, legs, etc. who all thought war was a pretty bad idea. Funny that. They keep some of the ruins from these wars intact, and do not rebuild so that they dont forget.
The biggest tragedy is that the US has no sense of that. To lose a generation to war. We're acting like a nation of gunslingers, shoot first and focus on the glory of battle.
There is nothing honorable about winning a battle. There is nothing honorable about killing thousands of people, soldiers or not. There is no honor in that. It's what happens when some combination of the people involved choose that their continued survival is not compatabile with the continued survival of others. There's no glory in that, any more so than there is glory in grubbing for nuts and berries in the wilderness to survive. You can dress it up however you want, but it's not right. It might need to be done on occasion, but it isn't right.
I'm not a pacifist. If you come at me to beat me, I'll meet you with a knife. If you come to stab me, I'd prefer to meet you with a gun, and so forth. But it is not by any means a preferred solution. In general, the long term benefits outwiegh the short term solution.
By invading Iraq without UN approval, all those podunk-would-be-leaders-of-the-fundie-is
- This war will increase terrorism, not decrease it.
- This war increases the probability that Iraq will stage an attack with WMD, not decrease it (ask the CIA)
- The increase in risk means more security-paranoia, and the populace will be more and more willing to give up their freedoms- which has a direct impact on my life.
There's been so much double dealing and hypocrisy about this whole thing, that the public is terribly misinformed.
But lets get down to the human cost. Who's going to be fighting agaist us? Poor starving people who haven't eaten in weeks, and try and surrender before the war even starts. They don't know why we're going to attack, but what choice do they have? And what about the "Shock and Awe" strategy? Level Bagdhad with cruise missles and they'll just surrender? You know what I would say? "You've destroyed my home, you've killed my family, and taken away the city that I live in. If this is your liberation, I've got a clip full of bullets with your names on them, and I'll die first!"
As metaphorge put it, if you've got a woman in an abusive relationship, do you send a swat team in, riddle the place with automatic weapons fire until the abusive partner is dead? Possibly killing the woman in the process? No. And that's what this boils down to.
"Men with purple hearts carrying silver guns, they'll kill a man for what his father has done." - Bright Eyes, "Don't Know When but a Day is Going to Come"
But once again... I'm stuck... I feel this way, my arguments seem cogent to me, but how do you convince deaf ears?