September 12, 2002

Open Letter to Professors

My professors seem amused by my conviction that invading Iraq is a good idea. What makes it all the more frustrating is I’m using the exact same tools my professors gave me, logic and reason, and yet we are arriving at completely opposite conclusions. We can’t both be right, so let’s duke it out, shall we?

What throws me off my rocker is my profs are still hanging on to sentiments that were new when Bush took office. They still think jokes about Bush’s intelligence are funny, and they play it as a subtle justification for their cause. “Our president can’t form a complete sentence, so his proposed course of action can’t possibly be right. Har, har, har!” I’d love to see the forwards that my profs circulate among each other.

“Hey, you get the one with G.W. Bush and all the monkeys? Har, har, har!”

Now, I’m all for political commentary and keeping the president in check, but could you please act like you’ve thought things through a little bit in the past year? I don’t expect you to instantly agree with my rationale, but at least have some rationale of your own that extends beyond “Bush is an idiot.” I mean, damn. I feel like I’m learning all my logic and reason from idiotarians.

And please, if we’re not actually going to discuss the issue, keep the political commentary out of the classroom. When we’re discussing interragatory sentences, don’t use shit like, “Is Bush impeached, yet?” It’s cute commentary that doesn’t allow a counter-argument, but it is incredibly distracting. With the stupid things I have heard over the past two weeks, I’ve had to hold myself down a couple of times to keep from going ninja and beating people up for no reason. Hey, I’m all for questioning my beliefs, as the only way a thesis can become stronger is if it is met with an antithesis.

‘Saddam does not pose a threat. He does not have the infrastructure to build nuclear missiles.’

We have satellite photos that show new construction around old nuclear facilities in Iraq. I doubt Saddam is building orphanages.

‘It’ll be a big mess. We’ll stir up a hornets nest that will require 250,000 American troops for years, just to maintain order in the region.’

A bigger mess than a new crater in New York? A bigger mess than a couple million infected with anthrax? A bigger mess than the dissolution of the free world in the name of Allah? If we’re gonna play the ‘possible universes’ game, let’s throw in all the possibilities, ok?

“If it comes down to it, would you be willing to go over there?”

That’s an appeal to emotion, and has nothing to do with the truth or falsity of a statement.

‘If we invade, Saddam will use weapons against us that he would have never considered using.’

So you at least admit he has weapons. If he would never consider using them, why, pray tell, does he want them so bad in the first place? Once Saddam has nuclear weapons he has the power to do whatever foul thing he wishes, and can threaten us to back off by dangling a nuke over Israel. That’s the situation we’re trying to avoid; an intelligent madman with the leverage to act on his wild fanaticisms.

If this becomes the case we will need to fight him on his own terms, not ours.

My issue with the deal is that we don’t hold Iraq to the same standard as we do other countries. Other countries are developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, but they’re not a threat to our oil reserves, so who cares?
Iraq isn’t a direct threat to the United States. To be a direct threat, they’d need some way of propelling weapons to the United States. Even if one assumes that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction, they’re only a threat to people in neighboring countries, and to the integrity of foreign oil for the United States.
If Iraqs neighbors don’t want to protect themselves from the threat Iraq poses to them, why should we protect them, against their wishes?
The United States needs to spend its money at home on public transportation and low fuel consumption vehicles, to reduce its fuel consumption, rather than on a war abroad to increase fuel supply.

i once heard an interesting comment from a man far wiser than i. the situation isn’t applicable to this, but the comment is. looking at the individuals he was addressing, he stated the first purpose of warriors as he was taught. the purpose, he claimed, was for warriors to draw a line in the sand to provide a basis for talk.
i have yet to see a line that doesn’t keep shifting. i have yet to see any administrations in which talk would not fall on deaf ears.
i think bush and co. made their decision about iraq long ago and the current discussion/debate is little more than an appeasement to the polls. i like the idea of the u.n. as an international arbiter, but when we flout it so readily, we destroy it, leaving little ground for nations without an army our size to debate. by our unilateral actions the u.s. is destroying one of the few forums for debate in the world.
if caution is not followed, lines will no longer be drawn, and discussion will die.
i’m afraid to see what happens as unchanging ideologies continue to fight for superiority.