Sunday, October 19, 2008

American War and Humanitarianism

I don't know how many of you caught debate #2 last week, but there was a great oppurtunity missed out by McCain to make a point that keeps going around in my head. First they went round about the Iraq war and Obama was hammering the fact the we went in at all and what a mistake it was. Then when asked about using the military to go into a place for humanitarian reasons and no national security threat he was sure that we were supposed to go places to stop those atrocities. He said that of course we could not go everywhere, but mentioned the crises in Darfur, Africa. Why McCain did not respond with something about Saddam Hussein using chemical weapons against the Kurds in the north I have no idea. Were those chemical weapons he used on tens of thousands of Kurds not mass destructive enough for everyone? Is Iraq not close enough to fanatical muslims and Afghanistan? Should we have gone to Africa instead? Maybe we should bring all our troops home and regroup, deny all requests for military aid to our allies and humanitarian crises everywhere for a time. Then when the time does come for us to step into a serious situation, like the Battle of the Bulge and WWII when our grandfathers went in with their superior tanks, people will look at Americans like heroes again.

I know there's a lot of opinion going around that Americans have become imperialistic and greedy goons. I can't disagree with that. On the other hand I know we spend a lot of money helping after disasters like tsunamis and earthquakes. I bet some people are grateful when our navy shows up after disaster strikes. All I know is it's a tricky trail to tread.

I was watching Extreme Home Makeover last night. I'm always overwhelmed by the humanitarian nature that goes out to nurture people when they see fit. It's that spirit of America that makes me proud to be here, even in this complex clusterf**k of government we have these days. Frustrating as it is, I have to look at it like another challenge even smart people have trouble understanding, let alone having a clear answer for a solution.