Sunday, November 29, 2009

We Are Them

iran, united states, evil,
There's been so much hysteria concerning Iran and nukes and islamofacists lately that I did a little digging, and realized, much to my horror that Walt Kelly was right:

We have met the enemy, and he is us.

Iran isn't the crazy, nuke-hoarding, war-mongering evildoers.

That would be the United States of America.

Yeah, that didn't make me happy, either, because I like to think nice things about myself and my fellow citizens, but we're the evil. Us, not them.

Iran hasn't been involved in a war since 1796. Since 1796, the US has been involved in 10 wars (not including the Civil War, because we were fighting ourselves): The War of 1812, The Mexican-American War, The Spanish-American War, WWI, WWII, The Korean War, The Vietnam War, Desert Storm, Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (the names of those last two make me throw up a little in my mouth).

Iran has never detonated a nuclear weapon. In fact, it's debatable as to whether or not Iran even has a nuclear weapon. The United States is the only country that has ever actually used a nuclear weapon for its intended purpose. We have nukes and satellites and spy drones and fancy jets and we've proven ourselves more than willing to use them.

Look at the world through the eyes of a citizen of anywhere other than the US and ask yourself, who is more dangerous? Who is more violent, more likely to destroy? Who has proven, through current events and over 200 years of history, to be the one to fear?

Yeah, kids, that would be us.


  1. While I generally approve of this message, you have at least one factual error. Iran has been involved in a war since 1796, that would be the Gulf War (not the American Gulf war against Iraq, but the Iraq-Iran Gulf war). That took place in the 1980s.

    Though, to be fair, Iran did not start that war, Iraq did, with the backing of the US (though...we did sell weapons to both sides later on, from what I remember from history class).

    I think many will criticize you for saying we are the evil, not Iran. After all, we are not the ones denying the holocaust or calling for Israel to be "wiped off the map" (which does not mean what people think it means). I would ask those people, however, to ask themselves how much actions vs words matter in the debate over who is the most evil. Sure, the US does not deny the single greatest atrocity of the 20th century, but it committed the second greatest atrocity (atomic bombing of Japan). The US also does in fact deny its evil past. Assassination of democratically elected leaders, the carefully orchestrated coup of democratic governments, simply because they were too leftist for our tastes. Not only do we commit evil, but we deny some of the evil exists, and in other causes, we deny that our evil actions were in fact evil.

    People can create their own continuum of evil vs good, and place individuals, countries, and institutions on them. But I, like you, think that any objective measure would have the US further toward the evil side than Iran.

    And this does not mean I would rather live in Iran. By any objective measure, in terms of domestic policy, Iran is worse than the United States. The purpose I think PF is raising here is that on the international stage, as states acting with other states and other nations, which has proven to be more evil? Undoubtedly, the US has.

  2. Oh, another factual error. It is not debatable where or not Iran has a nuclear weapon. They do not have one. Any debate on that subject is done by those unconcerned with reality.

    Now, there may be some debate over whether or not Iran "wants" a nuclear weapon. Frankly, I cannot think of many states that would not want a nuclear weapon, so, why it concerns us uniquely that Iran wants one when Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, Indonesia, Brazil, Mexico, Sweeden, Italy all probably want one too is strange. What is hardly up for debate is whether or not Iran is actively trying to develop a nuke. All available evidence says they are not trying to develop a nuke, and they stopped in 2003. All available evidence says that their nuclear program is for domestic energy purposes only.

  3. Only 10 wars my ass. I started to write a snarky response but ran out of steam after Granada, Panama, Cuba, Nicaragua, Laos, Haiti etc etc etc

  4. Whoops, sorry, my mistake. The United States has only ever been at war five times! Korea was a "police action". Vietnam was mere "military assistance." Afghanistan is a "peacekeeping mission." Nicaragua, like our current not-terrorism in Iran are "special activities."
    What a relief!

  5. I'm guessing it was very easy to write that post. No analysis of whether any of those wars was justified or necessary to our defense. No discussion of who started them or what the issues were, and whether the net result of each war was good or bad. No mention that some of them did not involve the United States at all when they started.

    If your position is that war is always wrong, fine. You are not alone. But in that case, condemn all the parties in all the wars that you listed, and not just your own. It's easy to condemn one's one conutry. It will even endear you to certain groups of people. However, it is simplistic at best and unpatriotic at worst.

    I'm not a my-country-right-or-wrong kind of person. Neither will I say that my country is evil and all the others are good.

    By the way, if I felt that my country was evil, actually evil, I would want to move to a country that wasn't, such as Iran. I'm just saying. . .

  6. Renaissance Guy (damn, I can't believe I'm actually responding to you):

    Let's see here:

    War of 1812: completely unjustified due to dick-wagging over felt need to go to war by the original American War Hawks. Britain didn't want it, most of America didn't want it, New England nearly seceded over it.

    Mexican-American War: Kinda-sorta justified. Texas requested annexation by the United States, Tyler botched the whole thing, left Polk to clean up his mess.

    Spanish-American War: Not at all justified. America was looking for a piece of the late-19th Century imperialist pie, yellow journalism and a naval accident gave the decision makers all the excuses they needed.

    WWI: The war itself was unjustified on pretty much every level. US involvement was basically inevitable, however. I count this as a, "Meh."

    WWII: Yeah, they call this "the good war" for a reason...

    Korea: The first year, yes. Right up until MacArthur started bombing China and brought them in, though...

    Vietnam: Not even close to justified. More South Vietnamese were fighting for the Viet Cong than not. The Vietnamese had wanted the French out and succeeded in kicking them out. The entire North/South split was the result of the geopolitical "necessities" the containment policy, not due to any desire by anyone in the country to live under a Western-imposed and supported "democracy." Also, the bombings of Cambodia and Laos, not so much cool, either...

    Desert Shield/Storm: Eh, this one was pretty good as far as wars go.

    Afghanistan: It depends on what the end goals were. People didn't much like the Taliban, as much because they didn't like that the Taliban was in bed with Al Qaeda. However, after the initial good moves the US screwed the pooch and killed a lot of people who didn't deserve to get killed. Justified? Maybe. Well executed? Not so much. The problem is that the US went in to a foreign country to solve its own problems without really thinking about what the people in that other country wanted. This is a common refrain in American history.

    Iraq: Hell no. The time to take out Saddam was 1991. Bush the First didn't because he knew what would happen: pretty much what we're seeing now.


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