Tuesday, January 19, 2010

...and One Thing I Do Understand

When some 80-90 percent of Brits are against their country entering into the war in Iraq, but their government takes them in anyway, telling their populace it's in the U.K.'s best interests, but never explaining what interests, and the Blair government ends up not accountable to anybody for it,

When the American government takes this country into war on the basis of lies (and yes, they were lies, not just faulty intelligence!), and has never explained to us what the REAL reason for that war is/was, and the administration remains unaccountable to anybody for it,

That is not democracy.  We do not live in a democracy, and somehow, we need to face up to that.


Anam Cara said...

First, we live in a democratic republic (or a representative democracy). It was never intended to be a democracy - our founding fathers were very much opposed to a democracy. I am amazed at how many people aren't aware of that simple fact of civics/American history.

It must be that schools no longer talk about different forms of government and teach what they are. It's really not all that hard. We homeschooled and our kids knew the difference between a democracy, a republic, a theocracy, an oligarchy, a monarchy, and communism by the end of third grade.

And you really don't want to live in an direct democracy since when the majority rules, the minority has no voice at all.

As for the war in Iraq, please remember that nearly EVERYONE believed at the time that there were weapons. There were very few nay-sayers. It is very easy to be a Monday morning quarterback about all this, forgetting how things were.

We often say about something "I wish I could do it over again." I've learned that in almost every instance, if I knew exactly (and only) what I knew then, I'd make the exact same decision. It is only in light of new information that I would change my mind/actions.

During Desert Shield/Storm while my husband was deployed, I kept 2 journals. One was factual - I did this, I did that. The other went into the whys of my actions. I could recognize even then that later I might criticize myself for some choices I made, things I said. But I knew that at that moment, I was making the right or only possible choice given my circumstances. I am very glad I can look back and see the why concerning decisions I made - in that perspective, it all makes perfect sense.

That brings us to: at this time, knowing what we know now, should we be in Iraq? Who can say except God alone.

But the administration IS accountable to all the voters in that you can always vote for someone else. My personal thought is that if someone is an incumbent, I am voting for the other guy for the next few elections. The house (and senate) need to be cleaned. I just wish we could do the same thing with the judiciary.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Thank you, Anam, for making that excellent point. This is a supposed to be a republic.

My point is, it doesn't do the will of the people. Most Americans were against the (second)Iraq war from the beginning. And even those who were in favor were deceived by the lies. Saddam Hussein was a terrible guy, but he was never allied with Al Quaida, for example, and he had nothing to do with 9/11.

And our government knew the intelligence re WMD was at best far too skimpy to justify war, and at worst, doctored. The weapons inspectors were telling us loud and clear there was nothing, it had all been removed by them earlier.

So what is the REAL reason we have spent so much blood and money and grief over there? Nobody has ever told us.

Anam Cara said...

I think you need to define exactly who you mean by "our government knew." A good number of people in our government (to include many congressmen we normally consider "liberal" or "doves") were in favor of the invasion. Many of these people get the same intelligence briefings the President gets. Congress voted 2 to 1 to authorize the invasion. Maybe those people were deceived about the WMD, but "the government" did what they believed was best based on the information they had AT THAT TIME.

The reports of the weapons inspectors were not as clear as you are implying. The world knew the weapons had been there. The UN inspectors could not account for what had happened to them. Scott Ritter said there were no weapons years after he was no longer an inspector (he resigned several years earlier because Iraq wasn't cooperating and the UN wasn't helping and at that time he said nothing could be verified), Hans Blix said that Iraq was not being cooperative and had not accounted for the destruction of weapons. People had to decide which one to believe - someone currently working with the situation, or someone who information was several years old (and who had changed his views after NOT doing the job).

(I guess I just don't buy the idea that this entire thing was a hoax to advance one person's agenda which is what it seems you are implying. I am not into conspiracy theories.)

Also, if you will check, you will see that AT THE TIME polls taken showed that the Amercian people favored the invasion. Maybe they also had bad information, but AT THE TIME the government did exactly what they wanted.

But “the people” can change their minds quickly and within months, they decided it was a mistake. By that time, we had committed.

You say your point is that the government doesn't do the will of the people. At times, it may seem that way. If a person spends much time with those who think the same way he does, it is natural to project those beliefs on a wider group of people when, in fact, it could be that only that small group has those beliefs. Haven't you ever had the experience of wondering how someone could believe something that never occurred to you? That's because your belief in that area had never before been challenged by a different idea. You couldn’t imagine that someone would think differently – when, in fact, you might be the minority. You were engaging in group think – and that can be dangerous as the Space Shuttle Challenger showed us.

AT THE TIME, "the government" was doing the will of "the people" when our forces invaded Iraq. The majority of people polled and the Congress all approved of the action. Later, with more information, the "will" has changed. But once down a road like this, one can't simply bail out.

The reason we are there is because AT THE TIME it was believed that there was a good reason to be there. The reason we are still there is because we can't just up and leave - it takes time once military has committed to an action.

Before he retired my husband was an advisor several 4-star generals. One of the things that concerned one of the generals he worked for was that every military action should from the beginning be not just a plan of invasion, but also how and when to get out. Congress and "the people" don't think that way and seem surprised that you can't just change your mind and walk away. Sadly, I don’t think anyone did what that general thought was so important and so here we are, we are still there, trying to figure out how and when to get out.

DebD said...

It is accountable to some extent because we voted them out when we got the chance.

But, I do think you're right that the gov't doesn't do the will of the people but what they perceive is "good for the country". A select few decide what is good for us. Last night my husband was watching the post-elect. news and the MSM he was watching was saying that the election meant that the Dems. *had* to push the health care bill through even if it meant they'd lose in the next election because it was "in the best interest of the country" - they said nothing about "the people have spoken." It is very frustrating to be treated like one is a silly child. Sigh.

Anam - I appreciated your special insight. I shall go read it a bit more closely now.