Friday, January 04, 2008

Blogger killed in Iraq

G'kar has been killed in Iraq. Rocky Mountain News covers his death.

he posted on obsidian wings and all alone in the night

Most relevant of his comments on all in the night

Presidents almost always turn towards the military because they have so much more control over the military than they do over anything else they can accomplish, so it seems an easy way for them to establish a legacy. And the American people have a disturbing tendency to see military power as far more capable than it can ever be. The former will never change, but it may be possible to change the latter, a paradigm shift that would make it at least more difficult for the President to make war. But such a change will require a major shift in American attitudes, one unlikely to occur quickly. Until then, some structural changes to place more roadblocks in the way of Presidents convinced of the efficacy of military action would at least make it a little more difficult for America to wind up in yet another country bleeding with little hope of strategic gain.

Thoughtful stuff.

and on his situation in iraq

Soldiers cannot have the option of opting out of missions because they don't agree with them: that violates the social contract. The duly-elected American government decided to go to war in Iraq. (Even if you maintain President Bush was not properly elected, Congress voted for war as well.) As a soldier, I have a duty to obey the orders of the President of the United States as long as they are Constitutional. I can no more opt out of missions I disagree with than I can ignore laws I think are improper. I do not consider it a violation of my individual rights to have gone to Iraq on orders because I raised my right hand and volunteered to join the army. Whether or not this mission was a good one, my participation in it was an affirmation of something I consider quite necessary to society. So if nothing else, I gave my life for a pretty important principle; I can (if you'll pardon the pun) live with that.


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