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04/07/2003 Archived Entry: "Iraq War Quiz"

On the Political Front:

Good Russmo cartoon this week, entitled "Drive-thru."

If you are critical of anti-war voices take the Iraq War Quiz offered at North American Samizdat. It will give you insight into the mindset of many anti-war advocates. For a fairly balanced presentation and discussion of the issues surrounding the war, Austin Cline does a good job on his site War and Morality. And I offer my own opinion.

I have no way to sort through the contradictory claims coming out of Iraq to determine what is or is not true -- especially when the Coalition contradicts itself from day to day. Ten days ago, the British had taken Basra: now they are still fighting for it. The Coalition troops are said to be executing a precision war yet friendly fire seems to have claimed as many Coalition troops as the enemy has. Is Saddam alive or dead? It used to matter but now Bush has declared Saddam irrelevant just as Osama became irrelevant after "getting him" occasioned the invasion of Afghanistan. Those spinning the war change their tunes more quickly than a Wurlitzer. Of course, the Bush administration openly declared their intention to conduct a war of disinformation...but I thought it would be directed at the Iraqis, not the American public.

I have a better grasp on economic matters. The US economy continues to be stalled or decline, depending on the optimism of the commentator, but things are looking up for the oil companies with whom the Bush administration has such close ties. "Big role urged for oil firms after war!" declares an MSNBC report . It continues, "Iraqi exiles and senior U.S. officials agreed Saturday [at a meeting] that international oil companies should take a leading post-war role in reviving Iraq�s oil industry...briefing papers to the meeting obtained by Reuters showed a clear consensus among expert opinion favoring production-sharing agreements (PSAs) to attract the major oil companies." That is likely to thrill oil companies harboring hopes of lucrative contracts to develop Iraqi reserves that rank second in size only to Saudi Arabia�s. Other news sources are already speculating on the "end of OPEC" and the US explanation of grabbing Iraqi oil is already being advanced -- "Some in the US administration believe certain OPEC member countries use their oil revenues to finance terrorism." Let's see...if I think one country is financing terrorism, then I am justified in grabbing the resources of another country in order to become competitive with the evil-doer?

On the Personal Front:

As I plodded through snow up my neighbor's lane yesterday, I noticed the tracks of her dogs at play, with the pawprints circling around and bounding without logic...reflecting nothing but good fun. I also saw a surprising number of rabbit tracks and noted that the pawprints did not pursue them. When I mentioned the word "rabbit" some minutes later over coffee, I learned that my neighbor was not as sanguine as me about the farmers who recently lined our gravel road to hunt wolves and coyotes (both terms up here for "wild dogs"). The wild dogs were killing their newborn animals, especially the lambs, and so gunshots rang out for a few weeks. My neighbor explained that the wolves also killed rabbits and other wild nuisances -- or, rather, they used to -- but now her farm is being overrun by the hopping creatures who have already nibbled to death many of her plants and young trees. We haven't experienced this problem on our side of the fence, probably because our two dogs have almost unlimited access to the outside and they aggressively hunt down any animal they know is not part of the farm. My neighbor, who cages her dogs at night and otherwise restricts their activities, is likely to have her vegetable garden devastated this summer because of rabbits, racoons and the other nibblers that will be abundant because they are now unchecked by their #1 predator. Interesting...the unintended consequences of actions. What benefits the farmers who raise animals will harm the farmers who raise crops.

Best to all,

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