Recently Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid stated that the war in Iraq is lost and it is impossible to win. He was talking in defense of the Congressional plan to put into spending authorizations a mandatory withdrawal date for US troops in Iraq. Putting aside the concept of Congress attempting to take the role of Commander in Chief upon themselves, let us ponder two issues that arise from this declaration.
First, let us examine the idea that the war is lost and we should start bringing the troops home starting in October. If this is true, then why should we wait until October? Why should we maintain any US troop in harms way for even a single day if the war is lost and unwinnable? Obviously it takes time to disengage from a conflict while in contact with the enemy, and it is the most difficult maneuver to accomplish successfully (to whit the withdrawal under fire from Viet Nam). Still, one wonders why we would delay the withdrawal until October with all troops to be gone in mid 2008 if we have lost and cannot win. What would we say to the families of those soldiers that die from now until October? Unless of course we are waiting to see if we can turn things around, but the proposed legislation offers no way of measuring success.
Which leads to the second question that arises from Senator Reid’s remarks. If we lose in Iraq, then who has won? In a war there are winners and losers. If we are the losers, then who are the winners? Logically it would appear that the two main forces that oppose us in Iraq would be the winners. One would be the forces of Islamic Jihad in the form of Al Qaeda, another would be the destabilizing forces in Iraq that want to grab what power they can for themselves. Theoretically there will be regional fallout but it is very difficult to foretell what the effect on Iran, Syria, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, and other countries would be from an Iraq that fell into chaos.
Coupling the two arguments and you get even more of a reason to withdraw right now. If we have lost and cannot win, then the sooner that we get out and allow the chaos to settle into whatever form it takes afterwards the better off we will be.
There is of course one other group that wins if the US looses in Iraq…and that would the the very group the Senator Reid speaks for.
Today as I was driving into work I was listening to a local radio station talk about a series of incidents involving Border Patrol agents. There is the case of Ramos and Campeon, of Gilmer Hernandez (though not a Border Patrol Agent), and now of an Agent named Nicholas Corbett who was attacked by an illegal immigrant and who shot and killed him.
Then I also heard today about a Border Patrol agent that has been convicted of harboring illegal aliens. Who was he harboring? His legally adopted daughters. Now he is awaiting incarceration at the Yazoo City Federal Penitentiary (the same lockup where Mexican gang members beat up Ramos a few months ago). In the meantime, his daughters were held in a Federal facility for a year and evidently deported back to Mexico.
Throughout this there has been a cry for President Bush to change his mind on his current immigration policies. For him to secure the border and to enforce immigration laws. The irony of the situation is that one of the qualities of President Bush that has engendered him to the Conservative movement is that President Bush sticks to his guns and does not waver in the face of public sentiment or opinion.
So now that President Bush has made up his mind about immigration reform (wanting to grant what amounts to amnesty to millions who have entered the country illegally) do we really think that writing letters, calling the White House, or even marching in the streets will change his mind?
There is a bill currently pending in the Canadian Parliament introduced by Joy Smith, a member of the Conversative Party. She introduced this bill speaking about it being used to stop human trafficking and child pornography. Fortunately, these are all things that are illegal under Canadian Law. So that makes you wonder exactly what MP Smith is wanting to accomplish.
Michael Geist did the leg work to look through this bill and pull out some of the things in it that it’s supposed to accomplish:
- an ISP licensing system, administered by the CRTC, that is defined far too broadly (it could conceivably tag you as an ISP if you have an open Wi-Fi network in your home)
- Know Your Subscriber rules that would require ISPs to refuse service to any past offenders (or immediately end service and notify the government if they find out someone is a past offender)
- Power for the Minister of Industry in Canada to order sites blocked that fall under certain guidelines, offering fines and imprisonment for ISP officers who refuse
- Power for the Minister of Industry to allow shortcuts to facilitate e-data searches
I am quite sure that MP Smith only has the best intentions in mind and if it were her household and she wanted to block what her kids wanted to see on the Internet, I have no issues with this. My issue is the same one that I have with the majority of social conservatives (and, to note, this one of the places where circular politics comes into play since many Governmental Liberals would agree with this viewpoint in pursuit of the Nanny State). She is trying to use the Government to make decisions for people. Child Porn and Human Trafficking are already illegal. You shouldn’t need another law tacted on top of it. Yes, there are some sites out there that are offensive and perpetuate “hate” speech. However, it’s still speech and isn’t breaking a law. It isn’t the place of Government to come in and regulate what you can or can’t say so long as you don’t infringe on someone else.
Instead of pursuing something like this, perhaps MP Smith could turn her attention to something other than trying to mother Canada with this law. Me personally, I’m just waiting for someone in Congress to try and put this forward in the US. My answer then will be the same as my answer now: thanks, but no thanks. I already have a mother. I don’t need a government full of them.