In Iraq, it's time to trim our sails
To the editor:
I am amused by Mr. Currier's Readers' Opinion/Editorial article in February 10th's newspaper. Any article about Iraq in our local newspapers has absolutely no chance of changing the outcome of the civil war in that country.
In 2003, President Bush wanted ".to disarm Iraq, to free its people and to defend the world from grave danger." Our Armed Forces and the coalition of the bribed disarmed the Iraqi military, freed the Iraqi people from Sadam Hussein, and found that there never was any "grave danger" to the world. Wasn't that "Mission Accomplished?"
Mr. Currier now believes that we should stay in Iraq until it has a ".functioning democracy that is capable of governing itself and defending itself from all enemies foreign and domestic." The Iraqi people may not want a "functioning democracy." I do not understand what the phrase "that is capable of governing itself" means in this context. I cannot foretell the future but I do think that it will take a very long time and a whole lot of money to rebuild the Iraqi Armed Forces and Police so that the Iraqi government can defend itself.
When we had our Civil War in this country, our population then was about the same as Iraq's population now. I seriously doubt if a foreign country, let's pick China, with different customs, traditions, religious beliefs, language, culture and government could have successfully intervened in our Civil War and reestablished peace and prosperity under a totally different form of government. Why would anyone think that our country can successfully intervene in Iraq's Civil War?
Mr. Currier's article is long on assumptions and short on facts. He does mention "foreign wars" once but fails to mention such mundane issues as logistics, number of enemy combatants, costs, history of enmity between the religious factions, area, length of borders, .etc.
Mr. Currier cannot foretell the future either and his many assumptions of what will if we leave Iraq are just that, assumptions. His assumptions may be just as wrong as the assumptions the President made when he got us into this mess.
There is much more that I could write but I want to make this letter only half as long as Mr. Currier's letter. So, I will close with two quotations.
"Every country has the government it deserves." Joseph De Maistre.
"Any fool can carry on, but only the wise man knows how to shorten sail." Joseph Conrad.
A serious defense of atheism
To the editor:
Contrary to the claims of the superstitious majority, atheism is not a "religion" or a "faith," but the application of a principle that is taken as axiomatic in any other walk of life: a conclusion reached by objective evidence; or, in the case, the lack thereof.
Atheists are told spitefully that they lack "faith," which is simply a euphemistic spin. The conotation of the word "faith" has been so distorted that its actual denotation has been lost: belief without evidence. So, to clarify things: yes, we atheists do lack belief without evidence.
We are also told that this lack of evidence is indicative, of all things, of the existence of God. "Can you prove that God doesn't exist?" asks the believer. No, I can't. Neither can Christians prove that unicorns, Poke'mon, and dragons don't exist. By popular Christian logic, this means that they must exist. This is why, in our court systems, one is innocent before proven guilty. Imagine a prosector applying the principle that Christians perpetuate: "Can you prove that you didn't commit this crime?" This technique works as a fine silencer against religious skeptics with a lower aptitude for fast-paced debate, but for serious intellectual discourse, it is laughable.