Enemies of the Better
Michael Ubaldi, April 21, 2004.
I've not really understood a lot of the criticism of the war and its aftermath, in that much of the criticism seems to assume that it's possible to have perfect knowledge (even in advance of events), perfect predictive ability, and perfect execution of plans - that, in other words, perfection is not only possible, but required.
In fact, this undertaking is inherently difficult and problematic, the failures of bureaucracy an occupational hazard (forgive the pun) because at present only bureaucracy can oversee such an incredible scope of social, military and cultural transition. There's a historical record for it and very few seem to care to read even a whit of it. I've been tempted over the past several days — especially in light of criticisms of the Coalition Provisional Authority yesterday — to quote from a few texts recalling the difficulties within Douglas MacArthur's SCAP. Not as a shield against constructive criticism, which has never been my intention, but simply for perspective. True enough, some critics have made valid points against CPA; and MacArthur had the prerogative, administrative support and personal will to run an extremely tight ship within and without, some things CPA perhaps lacks. Yet as Jeff declares, "At some point, we all either learn to live with this or we learn to live under the tyranny of those who do understand." This war on terror is only a chapter in the greater struggle between free men and authoritarians. It will neither be easy nor won soon, and can only be won by improving a world that is today only half-free. Better we learn now when we're not physical fighting for every one of our lives.
Childbirth is neither pretty nor altogether safe for mother or child. But no one ought to blame the Creator, who gave it to us as a gift for this world. Without it, we perish. So is freedom a welcome toil for its foremen and stewards.
DIFFICULT, NOT IMPOSSIBLE: Today's events in Basra are tailored to kill liberalizing Iraqis while discouraging the American public largely in control of the occupation's future. The animal cruelty of the shared enemy of Americans and Iraqis should give us an even deeper conviction to destroy their sickened, regionwide culture — unfortunately, doubt competes with righteous indignation. The better half of National Review, one of them in Iraq no less, report that our military is more than up to the job, and most Iraqis are more than ready to make the best of democratic capitalism.