I applaud Bill Edwards for being a gun owner, teaching gun safety, and not falling into the tired old trap of having to define himself as a conservative or NRA guy. Guns are still a problem in this country and it does need to be talked about. Hope everyone doesn't get so involved compensating for their manhood with their guns that they can't even have a reasonable dialog about it.
Here's my fundamental problem with the Iraq thing: how does this constitute "protecting our freedom" as we've heard so much? Is Iraq on the verge of overthrowing the US? I don't think so. This idea that we must have war in order to avoid war reminds me of the famous caption in one of my history books, where the general from vietnam is justifying that "we had to burn this village in order to save it." The evidence that Iraq is harboring terroists is flimsy at best. I heard Rummy last month say something to the effect that there's no time to wait for proof. Is Saddam likely to allow rogue terrorists into his country? If you were a terrorist, wouldn't Iraq be the last damn place on your list of countries to be?
As to the notion of fighting back, Al Qaeda attacked us, not Iraq. Is this transference? We can't get Osama, so we'll get these other guys instead. The terrorists are the major threat. There is no doubt they would use awful weapons against us. The fight against terrorism must be more than weapons and missiles and soldiers, however. This is very much a battle of the minds. The Iraq invasion will create more terrorists against us, and that is more dangerous than the poison gas stockpile itself. Dangerous weapons are available in nearly every country. Part of the effort against terrorism means defying their worst expectations of us and forming a real worldwide coalition dedicated to the principles of the sanctity of life.
Poison gas. If we’re so worried about him using it, what better way to guarantee it than storming the gates. Iraq knows good and well that one move like that and it is blown off the radar. Gone. Iraq has been deterred from using these weapons, but now we risk pushing them to use these weapons. By contrast, Al Qaeda terrorists are not deterrable in the classic sense and have much stronger connections to other countries, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Yes, Saddam is a tyrant. Democracy would be better. But can we seriously go in, remove Saddam, and set up a government like our own for their people? Democracies must be for the people, by the people. I don’t see it as our place to form their governing system by military overthrow. It is for the Iraqi people to form their own democracy, and in that effort we should do whatever we can to help, but it is not for us to decide. What happened to “humble” foreign policy? So again, how does any of this relate to protecting our freedom? Why role the dice on Armageddon when there is no clear reason to do so? Clearly an Armageddon type of situation will likely result from reaping the whirlwind of terrorism. A unilateral invasion of a nation in the middle east fosters the climate of terrorism. We become “the man” keeping them down.
In the face of North Korea’s nuclear capabilities, some disturbing elements come to contrast. Iraq is oil-rich, and North Korea isn't. Saddam tried to kill poppy Bush and Kim Jong-il didn’t. North Korea is 6 months away from nuclear weapons and Iraq isn't. We need to do better than this. I’m praying to Rick’s dressed-up black Jesus right now that the majority of voters don’t vote for Bush in 2004. Oh yeah, I forgot, that doesn’t matter...