Sunday, November 25, 2007

A fun discussion on the war

Jane Sage and I had an accidental discussion about the War on Terror at work today. It was all in good fun, and we both gave our honest answers, knowing that our opinions didn't mean a whole lot.

"So, Jane, what are your solutions to the world's problems?" I asked as soon as I plopped down in a chair at work. I don't know what I was thinking by asking that, but it was the first thing to plop into my mind.

"Oh," she said, slouching back in her chair, and smiling, "I think what we need to do is have our leaders of the world get together, and work out a way of solving the worlds problems without going to war."

I honestly didn't have politics in mind when I asked that, and actually thought she'd come back with somehting funny. That's the mood we were in anyway. I absorbed what she said, and figured she'd be quick to change the channel. She didn't.

She continued, "I think we could get by without being in Iraq right now."

"I can understand that," I said "And I think you are in pretty good company." I smiled and set my feet up on the counter by the computer.

"I just think that they are their own kind of people over there, and they have their own way of living. I think Saddam, however aweful he may have appeared to us, understood the Muslims and all the different sects in Iraq and the nations around Iraq, and, in his own way, had things pretty well under control."

"I would agree with you there. Except, it is proven that he harbored terrorists. I don't think it's such a bad thing that we took him out."

She smiled, nodded.

I continued, "I think this Iraq war should have been fought like the 1991 one, where we went in, accomplished our goals, and went out. We could have left a few troops there, but we should have let them hash things out for themselves. If they put a good democratic leader in office, great. If they put in another thug, we could take him out later if he posed a problem."

She grimaced, "You really think so?"

"And that would have put us in better position to knock out thugs that still exist."

"Yeah, maybe, but I just don't think Iraq was a good idea. I think no matter what we do Muslims are still going to act like Muslims. "

"I can't disagree with you. That's the other side of the coin. Many people believe what you just said. Muslims aren't like us."

"I think modern civilization came out of democracy. I read that somewhere."

"Yeah, me too. It was Christianity that is what lead to what we have in the West, and the reason is because we Christians believe that if you are good and happy in your life that will lead to you going to Heaven. That you can have fun in life and still get there."

"As opposed to the Virgins." She laughed, and raised her arms in supplicaiton. It was neat to me that while we disagreed on the Iraq war, we saw eye to eye on most other issues. If potiticians worked to find common ground in a good-natured way as this, perhaps they'd be better apt to solve the world's problems.


"I agree with you totally." I set my feet on solid ground again, and leaned forward in my chair. Jane still hadn't budged. If the phone didn't ring, we could have continued the conversation well into the night. But it did ring, and she answered it.

I had more to say, but was just as happy to not bring up the issue again. It didn't matter to me either way. No matter what happens with the worlds issues, I'll still go on about my life in as happy a fashion as always. If I ever learned anything from my dad, that was it.

Jane hung up the phone, and said, "Anyway," she smiled, paused a moment, before continueing, "I think we could get together and solve any problem."

"We could."

"So, what were you saying before..." she motioned to the phone.

Well, " I said, "You have to look at it another way. And I think this was Bush's gamble: that democracy will spread."

She smiled. I could tell she was enjoying the discussion, despite that we disagreed. Otherwise she wouldn't have brought it back up. And I don't think that either one of us was going to change the others mind, but it was a fun discussion nonetheless.

I continued, "You know, that if even a few Iraqi's enjoy the benefits of their freedom, that other Iraqi's will want that too. And, not only that, that their neighbors will want the same."

"I think what the Muslims really want is the Virgins. I think they are more concerned with what they do after death than in life."


"That's why I just think this whole war in Iraq isn't going to accomplish much. And if we--"

"We've created a United States base right in the middle of the Muslim Naitons in Iraq. That way, we now can watch over all the other Muslim nations." I had more to add, but didn't because I knew I had cut her off.

"It created more terrorists."

"I don't agree," we were both smiling, "I think that by us fighting over there we basically brought the terrorists out of hiding."

"You think Bush was that smart to think of all that?"

"I don't know, I don't know what he's thinking other than what I read. And I read this prior to the Iraq war. He talked about it."

"I don't know if he's that smart." Jane is smart, and she knew enough not to call Bush an idiot or a liar, but I'm sure she was leaning that way. Such name calling would have not moved the discussion along.

"I think he's made many mistakes, we can grant him that."

"I don't think we learned anything from Vietnam." I thought about telling her this war is nothing like Vietnam, but decided not to go there. "I think all we do when we get involved in these people's problems is cause more problems."

"If you remember, it's radical Muslims who are the terrorists. They are the one's who want to destroy us. They are the one's who forced us to take action."

"True. You make a good point. But Iraq didn't attack us."

"Yes, but Saddam did harbor terrorists. He did pay Palestineans families who had a member participate in suicide bombs. While he did lie about WOMD, he had them once. He said he would rebuild them as soon as the U.N. and U.S. calmed down."

"He was shocked we kept our word, but I still think there was a better way."

I leaned forward in my chair, and tried to work toward common ground, "The truth is, people can day all they want that it's working or not working, but the only way we'll ever know is 20 years from now when we can look back."

"That's right." Cool. Now we're in position to end this great discussion.

"Or 100 or even 200 years from now."


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