The War in Iraq Is Going Either Very Well or Very Poorly… Or So-So… I Think
“After listening to the numerous opinions on the Iraq War, it has become quite obvious that something is happening in that country. The current state of affairs will most certainly be detrimental to the Middle East’s future unless it is beneficial or of no effect whatsoever. This goes doubly for Iraqis themselves. And I can say that with great certainty as it the opinion of the numerous pundits who have been to Iraq or read a book on Iraq or saw numerous news stories on Iraq as well as the numerous pundits who have listened to those pundits. While some (or many) may argue that some (or many) of those opinions are based more on biases than facts, it is important to remember that that doesn’t mean those opinions are wrong. Unless they are wrong… but they may not be. So keep that in mind….”
An excellent editorial emphasizing the fallacy of those ‘Who have it all figured out’ and their direct extrapolation of their infinite knowledge to a crystal ball like assessment of the current state of world affairs. It is amazing how every cab driver, school teacher, coffee shop hippie bum, IT desk jockey (I am not exempt) “knows” exactly what will happen in Iraq, why it happened, what should have been done, what shouldn’t have been done, and what the world will be like because of it in 50 or 100 years. As this amusing and entertaining editorial emphasizes, no matter what you feel you will get plenty of information, books, news articles, media, and pundits to back you up. The war in Iraq may cause civilization to come to an end, inspiring a global jihad, or it may prevent it’s collapse through precipitating a Berlin wall like collapse of fundamentalist terror breeding states in the middle east. How do you _know_ what the outcome will be?
Lets take a step back and try to make a healthy assessment of the current state of the world and what is going on it. No one has it all figured out, the Iraq war would not have turned out perfect no matter how much planning went into it (but it could have been better?) nor do you or I know that invading Iran instead would have been better, or that invading no where would have not merely adjusted the current ‘cause celebre’ to simply something else, there always has been one, after all. US intervention during the cold war certainly seeded a lot of the animosity present in the Middle East today, but western culture in general breeds plenty of animosity on it’s own, without military presence in the holy land or historical meddling. The world, the current geo political climate, is very complex, and very large, and no single human mind can completely understand it. To come to an ‘opinion’ of the war in Iraq after reading a couple news paper articles and then proclaiming divine wisdom, is really the height of arrogance.
The are many compelling and intelligent arguments to be made for and against the war in Iraq and there are many stupid arguments on both sides. It can be quite common that people with identical values (the desire to see a safe, free world for ourselves and our children for example) can come to entirely different conclusions yet both remain completely logical. The key difference will likely be in their information sets. Some people keep their information sets confined and censored, others open and constantly adjusting. One must learn as much as possible and form as rational an opinion as possible, but one also must pick a go-no go date and finally act on their judgment. You cant perpetually deliberate on a complex decision, especially if it is one that is a matter of life and death. Yet the matter of life and death decisions are the ones that ought to be deliberated most carefully.
What line do you tread? How sure are you of your opinion? Would you stake your life on it? Your wealth? You car? You could be completely and utterly wrong, even if you perpetually aspire to always be accurate, rational, and un biased. You can stand by your own judgements if they are rational and well informed, but be carefull in condemning others for judgements different than yours, they probably know many things you do not, and vice versa, but you both probably have many common values.