Monday, April 09, 2007


Most of the things I write about are things that I have a definite opinion about. Believe it or not, despite my frequently belligerent tone, there are many issues de jour about which I am undecided.
  • Timetables. As angry as I am about this giant rat hole we dove into, I am not entirely comfortable with a predetermined timetable for withdrawing from Iraq. On the one hand, I am pretty sure Iraq is destined to implode before it's ready to evolve. On the other hand, I hate to think of the genocidal mess we're going to leave in our wake. Now, if I thought there was a chance to salvage any kind of 'victory' in Iraq then I'd say we should go for it. There isn't one. We need to leave. But setting a departure date will create unnatural activity in Iraq as all sides calculate the best way to exploit that date. Also, trying to cut off funding (as congress would like to do) is a dangerous game when you've got this kind of operation in progress. I understand what the Dems are trying to accomplish since Bush would have us stay in Iraq forever, literally. The problem is that he is the commander and chief, he controls foreign policy, and, short of impeachment, he's going to be in the WH for another 651 days. The best of all ugly options may be to let Petraeus do his thing, have congress apply appropriate oversight, and quietly announce to withdraw 5 minutes into our next president's term. Hard to say.
  • Illegal Aliens. I am not afraid of immigration... I feel rather sympathetic toward folks who are trying to build a better life for themselves and for their families. What bothers me is that the current situation is untenable. Illegal immigration is breaking our infrastructure. Keeping these people straddling the door with one foot in and one foot out isn't helping anyone. I'm thinking we need to lock down the borders, provide the current illegals with amnesty, and then allow controlled immigration to proceed in an orderly fashion. I am also not too obsessive about cultural diversity -- I'm more of a 'melting pot' person (my family being a product of it). Controlled entry will also allow time for integration and time to monitor the impact on the economy, infrastructure services like health care and education, etc. Plus we really need to secure our borders. Other than those things I guess it's just not a hot button topic for me.
  • Global Warming. I don't understand why anyone would be hostile to this topic. Is it really so inconceivable that we're altering the environment? And even if it's not our human habits that are altering the environment, isn't it pretty clear that the environment is changing anyway, for whatever reason? And if the environment is changing, what's the risk to us? If there's a risk to us, shouldn't we be thinking about how to mitigate it? As you can see, all I have are questions -- no room for bloviation.
  • Iran. I suspect this is going to be Cold War II, in which we must strategically outplay our enemy without tactically warring against them. As with the Soviets, overt military action will likely result in consequences too horrible to contemplate. The brutality of the regime makes them evil but in my gut I don't believe they're an existential threat to us (survival and prosperity being items of mutual interest). My gut isn't all that well informed, however, so I'll continue to listen to the broader arguments and see if I can't glean some truth out of that.


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