Tuesday, May 31, 2005

"We're not in a war!"

As I sit here in the cube farm where I work, I'm privy to a lot more conversations than I'm used to. My previous job was doing network engineering in conditions that were, shall we say, less than conducive to quiet contemplation. OK, it was a noisy place where someone sitting literally on the other side of my same cube wall could be having a relatively normal conversation and I'd just barely hear it. This is a very different environment. If someone 3 cubes down as a "voice-lowered" comment for their neighbor in the 4th cube down, I'll hear it with very little difficulty. It's a nice office here and that's one of the side effects of having a quieter environment.

So, about 5 minutes ago I heard one of the folks hurriedly tell another one to go look, "right now," at CNN.com. They sounded rather urgent about it and, after the other person made a disgusted "Oh, my God" comment, I figured I'd go have a look. The story is headlined, "Cheney: Iraq War Will End Before 2009," and goes on to quote the VP saying the insurgency is in its final thoes. So what comment does this elicit from my co-workers?

We're not in a war!

I should be stunned. I should be sitting here in disbelief that anyone would say something so colossally stupid. I should have on my face the same look that someone would have had in 1944 hearing some moron claim the US wasn't in a war. But I don't. I'm shaking my head at the sheer ignorance of the comment, but I'm not surprised that someone's saying it, openly and proud. The African embassy bombings, the USS Cole, the Saudi dormatory bombings, and - oh! - let's not forget 4 aircraft hijackings and 3 impacts into buildings killing 3000 people in 2001. (That's not a definitive list, by the way.) Just how many times does an organization have to launch lethal attacks against this country's citizens before you get to say we're at war? These people, and people like them, are living in a fantasy world where we can't possibly be at war with anyone not flying the Nazi swastika. Even then, those people absolutely must overfly our terroritory with heavy bombers and level 6 or 7 blocks with iron bombs, which must be followed up with impassioned speeches in Congress and a unanimous declaration of war. (Said declaration must include an exact timetable of when, where, and how the war is to be fought along with the overriding "exit strategy" clause which will delineate precisely when the war will end.)

We are at war and it's a war we didn't start. The enemy - and that's what they are - aren't fighting us to right a wrong we did them. They're fighting because they don't want us breathing air. They don't want us taking up space. They don't want us any way but dead and forgotten so they can go back to their halcyon days of the 6th century, where men had it good and women knew their place as property. Denial of our state of war is ludicrous and a willing self-deceit by those who utter such denial. As Mr. Mill said, they are miserable creatures kept free by the exertions of better men.

I don't have a link to the transcript of the interview but, in reading the report there on CNN, I note that they don't actually quote him saying "the war will end by 2009." Did he actually say that or is this a little poetic license with the headline by CNN. I'll keep looking.