I am an eternal optimist, and I generally only like to think good thoughts. I look for the beauty, the elegant solution, the good. Every time I try to write something otherwise, I struggle to find the words. I have tried on a number of occasions, and thrown away my attempts. It is alien to me, and I'm probably not being coherent at all. But it has become too much to bear, and something must be written.
Once upon a time, in a different world, in a bar in the east village, I heard the words "I believe in war". That band is gone now. They spoke to me in many ways, most of them simple joys, but this was one thought I could not share.
I don't believe in war.
I don't believe in fear. I believe that humanity is meant for something better than simple violent evolution. I believe that the fact of our conscious thought gives us the right to imagine a better future. Anything less would be a waste of our enormous potential. If war is the answer, the question is the wrong one.
To those who would hurt for the sake of hurt, I say "find a better way".
To those who would feed the cycle of distrust and destruction, I say "find a better way".
There are things we wish we could uninvent, more ways to die than to live, more ways to kill than to help. Violence in the name of peace is not an answer.
I have witnessed the shadow of death slide gracelessly along my path, and it is a feeling I could go the rest of my life without. To those who live with it and cannot escape, you have my sympathy. To those who would bring it on, you have my pity.
There are unanswered questions:
Did we bring this on ourselves? I don't think I did. Did our foreign policy bring this on us? Possibly. I don't think I have a way to tell. Do other people have a right to try to kill us, simply for being us? I don't think so. Is this about oil? Maybe. Should we reduce our dependence on oil? Absolutely. Is there any way to break the cycle? Not without breaking the cycle! What do the terrorists want? I have no fucking clue.
But, setting aside the evidence or lack thereof, here are the vastly simplified possibilities:
|Iraq is funding terrorists||Iraq is not funding terrorists|
|We go to war against Iraq||We liberate Iraq. Much death. The terrorists that are already funded declare open season on the US if they can. Things get messy from here, as the Middle East destabilizes. The cycle runs amuck. Everyone lives in fear.||We liberate Iraq. Much death. Things get messy from here, as the Middle East destabilizes. Maybe. Maybe it's a quick and simple operation. Seems unlikely though. Everyone lives in fear.|
|We do not go to war against Iraq||Terrorists declare open season on the US. Much death. The administration says "we told you so". We stumble about blindly looking for invisible enemies. We live in fear.||The status quo holds. There's a chance of breaking the cycle.|
I don't believe in war. This is a path without end, and no good can come of it.