Thursday, August 25, 2005

The War in Iraq




The War in Iraq

It’s All About Oil?

It’s All About Religion?

My country, the United States of America, is fighting a war in Iraq. The Congress voted to go to war. Now approximately 2,000 men and women have died in this war. Some Americans are starting to protest against our continuing to wage war.

One argument that does not sound very convincing to me is that President Bush lied to the Congress about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction that would result in a clear and present danger to the USA. I am not convinced by this argument because almost everyone in the world thought that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Are they trying to tell me that President Bush is more intelligent than almost everyone else on the planet, and he knew that Saddam did not have any weapons, and he lied to Congress about this? I don’t think so.

The next argument is that this war is all about oil. The businessmen in multinational oil companies are roundly vilified as being personally responsible for getting the US in a war in Iraq so that they could make huge profits from Iraqi oil. I am also having some trouble connecting the dots on this explanation. How do these businessmen know how this is going to end? War is Hell. Bad things can happen in wars including destruction of oil fields. Remember Kuwait?

The next argument is that this war is all about religion. It seems like these days that it is extremely popular to take swipes at politicians and leaders who are openly religious. I can understand a resentment for some of the things that this guy and this guy say and do. However, I do not blame the religion. Remember that Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, or Bhudda are not saying or doing these things that are bad. People are saying and doing bad things in the Name of Jesus, Allah, Jehovah, or Bhudda. That is a BIG difference. The other important thing to remember is that there have been wars fought around the Mesopotamia region of the world before the religion of Christianity, ISLAM, and Bhuddism were practiced.

My argument for why we are fighting a war over there is that we need to keep the evil jihadist terrorists from ever again getting as powerful as they most recently were. I do not want the Taliban to return to power in Afghanistan or take over the power that is up for grabs in Iraq with the toppling of Saddam. The USA is the most powerful nation in the world, and no other country can do as much as we can to prevent the evil jihadist from grabbing power. Also a victory in the Mesopotamia for the USA will reverberate out of Iraq to the neighboring countries and even Africa. I do not like war, but this is a war that we have to win. The consequences of losing this war are just too unacceptable to consider.

You can get some pretty good historical information about the Mesopotamian region here. This is an exerpt from this web site:

It was therefore over a crippled and impoverished land that Osee ruled as a vassal-King. For relief from this galling pressure he turned to Egypt, the only nation that could then pretend to cope with Assyria. He ceased paying the annual tribute and allied himself with Sua (So), a ruler of Lower Egypt, and Hanan, a Philistine prince of Gaza. The expedient was a ruinous failure; Egypt, always a false friend of Israel, deserted Osee. Tiglath-pileser's successor, Shalmaneser (the fourth of the name), having learned of this conspiracy, came down upon the Kingdom of Israel and made Osee a prisoner. But the patriotic revolt was a national one and survived the king's capture. Samaria, the capital, held out desperately against a besieging Assyrian army for three years, and was not taken till 722 B.C., Sargon II having meanwhile succeeded Shalmaneser. It was the death-blow of the Kingdom of Israel. An Assyrian inscription found in the ruins of Sargon's palace at Nineveh informs us that he carried away 27,290 of the people. War, famine, and earlier deportations must have much reduced the population. To fill the place of the dead and exiled Israelites, Sargon brought in among the remnant Babylonians and other pagan peoples from conquered lands. The Northern Kingdom became the Assyrian province of Samaria, and from the intermarriage of its various races arose the Samaritans. Out the depopulation of the former kingdom of its natives was far from complete. The bulk of the populace, composed of the poorer and least influential inhabitants, was allowed to remain, so that we read in the Assyrian monuments of a later futile effort of Hamath, Arpad, Simnira, Damascus, and "Samarina", i.e. samaria, to shake off the lordship of Sargon. (Schrader, keilinschriftliche Bibliothek, II, 56, 57.) But the Israelitic stock left in the land was gradually merged into the composite race of Samaritans.

(2) The Ten Tribes in Exile

The exiles were settled by their conquerors "in Halah and Habor [a river] by the river of Gozan, in the cities of the Medes". Their colonies were therefore in the heart of Northern Mesopotamia and in Western Persia, then subject to Assyria. In Mesopotamia, or Assyria proper, the Israelites were assigned to the region centring about the city of Nisibis, which is mentioned by Josephus as their leading settlement. The exiled of the Ten Tribes remained and multiplied, never returning to Palestine. (See authorities cited by Schurer in art. "Diaspora" in sup. vol. of Hastings' Bib. Dict., 92.) Wellhausen and others who assume that the banished Israelites of the Northern Kingdom lost their identity and disappeared in the surrounding population regard the explicit testimony to the contrary of Josephus in his "Antiquities": "the ten tribes are beyond the Euphrates until now, and are an immense multitude [myriades apeiroi), not to be estimated by members." We may well believe that the swarming Hebrew population of Southern Russia is composed in large part of descendants of the Israelites expatriated in Northern Assyria and the regions south of the Caspian. No particulars of the lot of these transplanted inhabitants of the Northern Kingdom have reached us. We may only surmise from the manner in which they multiplied that their situation was at least a tolerable one.

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