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Did we invade the wrong country?

from the word-to-the-wise dept.

For those unfamiliar with the site, Orson Scott Card's includes more than just links to past and future fantasy and science fiction works by the award-winning author - Brother Card also writes a regular column on world politics.

In July, he offered an excellent post on why we invaded Iraq instead of Sudan, Syria, or Iran. I know we've been hammering this topic a lot on this site, but Card really nails it here.

    Iraq and Afghanistan were campaigns in that war. But the terrorist jihadists have not given up. They will certainly mount another attack in the United States, timed to cause maximum harm. When we make it harder to attack some targets, that only redirects them to attack others.

    More American blood will flow. And when it happens, President Bush will not have to eat any extravagantly triumphant words, because he didn't say them. [...]

    The Iraq campaign achieved much; but the war is still young.

    Well, no, the war is actually quite old -- it can probably be dated to the bombing of the Marine barracks in Beirut.

    But we only started treating it as a war in 2001. And from that point to now, it is hard to imagine any government in history that has ever managed a war of comparable difficulty as well as this government has managed it.

You can read the entire article here. Also of note is something he wrote back in December 2003 called "Good War and Bad War, Victory and Failure" that does a great job of outlining the ethical and moral defense of the war on terrorism, including the war in Iraq. Brother Card, a Democrat, stands with the President.

Anyway, take a gander for yourself...

Awesome article porgo

Seriously, your submission is awesome. I remember reading an article by Card last winter about why he was embarrassed by the sorry crop of democrats running for the nomination. I'm always interested in his take on things because he thinks so independently of everyone else and has such good insights that others either don't see or aren't able to articulate. (I would fall into both of those categories.)

Hopefully I can find the link to that article sometime tomorrow ...

Here's the thing about that...

We took the war where it belongs: out of America. Orson Scott Card (AKA Mr. 1-hit Wonder) thinks we have earned retaliation, but I see things differently. I think we're fighting terrorists IN Iraq and Afghanistan now instead of NY. Not only that, but we have begun a dramatic shift in the region. I think that 35 million free Iraqis can have a tremendous influence on the Arab world.

Awesome post

great find porgo. I like reading Card's commentary when I can. I agree with you that the war is against terrorists groups now and i think it's good that it's over there and not here. I just feel sorry for the innocent people that are suffering because of a few insurgents.

renounce war and proclaim peace

i meant to post this earlier, in another thread. on the question of whether the BoM teaches pacifism in every case, OSC has a great exchange with one reader.

    "Motive, as always with the Lord, is everything. People who go to war for gain, for pride, boasting in their strength, or to dominate others are condemned. ("The world's only superpower!") But people who go to war to defend themselves, or to defend the helpless, or to uphold the rule of law (as with the war against the King-men), and with an attitude of humility and submission to the will of God, are clearly blessed. The Book of Mormon does not ever say "war is good," but rather the opposite. However, it does also say very clearly that there are times when war is unavoidable, and the righteous then beg the Lord to help sustain them."

Card's "Folk of the Fringe"

I'm nearly done reading "The Folk of the Fringe," Card's fascinating 1989 book about life in a post-apocaylptic state of Deseret. The characters are realistic and the situations are believable. There's a screenplay in there somewhere.

Secure the borders

A great way to keep the war out of America is by securing the borders, something Bush (and Chris Cannon) doesn't seem interested in. I wish I was wrong when I say that.

i wonder how he feels now

recent cia reports show that saddam was no threat to the us. he had no wmd's. was incapablle of making wmd's. there was no saddam-al qaida link. the guy was a sorry, scared man who lived in fear.

wrong on both

first your secular arguement fails in that, as reports have shown, iraq was no threat to the united states. he had no weapons of mass destruction, nor had he the ability to make them. sure there were terrorists in iraq. that is not doubted, but there are also terrorists in saudi arabia (where most of the 9/11 hijackers came from), pakistan, iran, sudan, most countries in the middle east, vietnam, thailand, the phillipines, and much of south east asia. let's not also forget indai, england, and out own united states. should we next go attack them?

your second arguement fails for the same reason. all of the sources you quoted from the book of mormon and president hinckley refer to war as a measure of self-defense. this war is not about self-defense. it is a technology to bring democracy to the middle east, something that bush, cheney, and rumsfeld will admit.

tyler, you just don't get it

hey man, i didnt say it was this talk. and you're missing his entire point. he clearly states that war can be justified. YOU interpret it to mean only in defense, i interpret it as taking action against those who would attack my neighbor. the good samaritan took action to help the injured man, ignoring his own danger and the scorn of those around him. he did it because somebody needed to help the man. how is this any different? iraq had decades of history in attacking its neighbors, attacking us (shooting at our planes, financially supporting terrorists and suicide bombers), and killings its own people. how can you defend that? we should have cleaned house a decade ago. but the people in charge were only thinking of themselves, and about how "messy" it would be. well, we pulled out and hundreds of thousands were murdered by Saddam in retaliation for their support of the US. so this time we cleaned house, and yes it is messy, but it needed to be done. just as many other houses need to be cleaned. not all will require open war - some can be dealt with through sanctions and dialog. but in the case of Iraq, clearly those tactics were not working. only the foolish argue that they WERE working.

as for the prophet, i am not going to argue with you about what he implied. that's for you to decide for yourself. all of us need to live what each of us know to be the truth and the light. but don't think that the gospel automatically falls down on the side of pacifism. there is a time to stand up and do what is right. i believe that is just what we are doing as a nation to free the opressed of Iraq.

good spin, man

and yes, i am really, really, really smart.

1-hit wonder?

are you kidding me? the guy has won multiple awards, and has written some of the best science fiction and fantasy of the last 30 years? not to mention his excellent books on the women of the old testament. there's the enders series, the subsequent ender's shadow series, the alvin maker series (pseudo joseph smith story), the homecoming series (BoM in space), standalones like the worthing saga, enchantment, wyrms, lost boys, etc. many of these works have earned him industry awards. for those who have not read beyond ender, you need to expand your horizons...

another recommendation

for those interested in the more religious threads of discussion on this topic, may i also recommend they take a look at, a site OSC helped create and basically run by his personal friend and oft editor, Kathryn H. Kidd. the message boards are for church members, and contain some great exchanges...with regular input from OSC and KHK.

tyler, you are greatly mistaken

first, from a secular standpoint:

    John Kerry has said that George Bush has failed to build alliances, he said that this was "the wrong war at the wrong time" and he has called the allies we have a "coalition of the coerced and bribed". Kerry's sister, Diana is leading a campaign called Americans Overseas in his name. In a recent interview with an Australian newspaper titled "US 'endangers Australians'" she said "Australia has kept faith with the US and we are endangering the Australians". Kerry is not building alliances he is tearing them down. For the sake of his own political ambitions he ignores the progress we have made in Iraq and the war on terror, and focuses instead in our difficulties. In the debate he said "Osama bin Laden uses the invasion of Iraq in order to go out to people and say that America has declared war on Islam." John Kerry should read bin Laden's fatwa. In it, bin Laden encouraged his supporters to "spread rumors, fear and discouragement among the members of the enemy forces". Sound familiar?

    A Fact Based Argument for the War in Iraq, By J. Michael Washé, 10/13/04

second, from a spiritual standpoint. this quote is from President Hinckley from the April 2003 Conference:

    "In a democracy we can renounce war and proclaim peace. There is opportunity for dissent. Many have been speaking out and doing so emphatically. That is their privilege. That is their right, so long as they do so legally. However, we all must also be mindful of another overriding responsibility, which I may add, governs my personal feelings and dictates my personal loyalties in the present situation.

    "When war raged between the Nephites and the Lamanites, the record states that “the Nephites were inspired by a better cause, for they were not fighting for … power but they were fighting for their homes and their liberties, their wives and their children, and their all, yea, for their rites of worship and their church.

    “And they were doing that which they felt was the duty which they owed to their God” (Alma 43:45-46).

    "The Lord counseled them, “Defend your families even unto bloodshed” (Alma 43:47).

    "And Moroni “rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it—In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children—and he fastened it upon the end of a pole.

    “And he fastened on his headplate, and his breastplate, and his shields, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren” (Alma 46:12-13).

    "It is clear from these and other writings that there are times and circumstances when nations are justified, in fact have an obligation, to fight for family, for liberty, and against tyranny, threat, and oppression.

    "When all is said and done, we of this Church are people of peace. We are followers of our Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who was the Prince of Peace. But even He said, “Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword” (Matt. 10:34)."

more on saddam and iraq

here's an article reprinted in today's deseret news.,1249,595098796,00.html

trust me. i get it.

"the good samaritan took action to help the injured man, ignoring his own danger and the scorn of those around him. he did it because somebody needed to help the man. how is this any different?"

it is VERY different. the good samaritan didn't attack anyone. he didn't kill any innocent civilians. he didn't go strike the levites and priests when it was the thieves who committed the attack. he wasn't aggressive towards anyone. this is an EXTREMELY POOR comparison to make.

"iraq had decades of history in attacking its neighbors, attacking us (shooting at our planes, financially supporting terrorists and suicide bombers), and killings its own people. how can you defend that?"

i'm not defending saddam and iraq from those things. however, much or even most of that was in the past. you are still completely ignoring the fact that SADDAM AND IRAQ WERE NO THREAT TO THE UNITED STATES WHEN WE DECLARED WAR ON THEM, neither had they been for more than ten years. this was not a defensive war.

"we should have cleaned house a decade ago. but the people in charge were only thinking of themselves, and about how "messy" it would be."

is that how you describe the deaths of thousands? as messy?? recent reports show that there was no need to "clean house" a decade ago as iraq's weapons program died and they were no threat to anyone anymore.

"so this time we cleaned house..."

you call that clean?

"...and yes it is messy..."

wait... is it messy or clean?

"but it needed to be done"

why? to disarm saddam from the weapons he did not have? to stop the relationships with al qaida that did not exist? was it to stop the genocides that seized a decade ago? or was it to take revenge on an innocent people for acts committed against us by mostly saudis and pakistanis?

"but in the case of Iraq, clearly those tactics were not working"

except that iraq was sucessfully disarmed, the genocides stopped, and iraq was no longer a major threat to other nations. what exactly did not work? have you looked into any of the recent intelligence reports.. or are you purposely staying ignorant of them?

"only the foolish argue that they WERE working."

so all of the weapons inspectors and those in the intelligence who just reported that iraq has not had any weapons of mass destruction for a decade now, that iraq was no threat, and that iraq lived up to it's sanctions are all foolish? and since you seem to know more than all of them... you must be really, really, really smart


Wow porgo you must really be a fan.

Expand my horizons?

Are you seriously trying to tell me that reading (BoM in space) and (pseudo joseph smith story) are really going to expand my horizons? Maybe he did win plenty of awards, they probably sound something like, "Best Sci-Fi Writer in the Known Galaxy" or "Professor John Frink's Meritorious Award For Stellar Achievments glavin!" or how about, "The Galctic Overlord's Scribe Award" (sorry about the Simpson's reference there.) Or I could just go read Wyrms. Sounds facinating.

you should go read the entire text

tyler, you really should go back and read all that president hinckley has said on this topic. he wasn't just talking about war as a defense, but about war in the name of justice and feeing the oppressed, and he was speaking specifically about the war on terror. in fact, i am trying to find the link, but he even went so far as to say that those who stand against this effort will be judged for standing in the way, for working against the effort to bring freedom to the globe.

war is bad. nobody is arguing that. but sometimes it is the ONLY way to reach peace.

where are the reports?

tyler, I haven't seen these reports. Could you give me some links, and tell me where to find the portions that back up your claims? I'm not being sarcastic here, i just want to see them for myself because I don't know that they're quite as conclusive as you're saying they are.

you must not like the Sci-Fi

Card has written plenty of things that are not science fiction that are pretty good. Lost Boys is a great book. He also writes for those animated scripture videos.

Try Lost Boys and see what you think.

i meant expand your OSC horizons

no, OSC is not going to reveal all of the mysteries of the universe. but you'll enjoy them. lost boys is a little depressing. i highly recommend enchantment - a modern spin on the old sleeping beauty story. great read. his short stories are also excellent. for an LDS flavor, read Saints, the story of a woman who joined the church back in Joseph Smith's time, or Folk on the Fringe, which are post-apocolyptic LDS short stories, post WW3, in a newly reformed Nation of Deseret. good stuff, maynard.

jordo ... you should read more before judging his work

Orson Scott Card is an amazing writer. He has blown me away time and time again. It's easy to try and stereotype science fiction authors, but Card is far from a mere sci-fi author. He has written in many different generes and proven himself to be a remarkable thinker.

The last book of his that I read was (i believe) Shadow Puppets ... or whatever the last Ender's Shadow book called. And seriously, it may have been the best Card book yet. Though it's fiction it seemed like virtually every paragraph was filled with brilliant insights--abstract ideas about human nature / etc that I had maybe thought about at a cursory level but which Card nailed, right on the head.

Seriously, he is a brilliant author.

I can't say I've read much of his LDS themed books though, but I'll hopefully I'll get around to it at some point. =)

Anyway, go read all the Ender books--they're awesome. Wyrms and Pastwatch are also good.

OK fine

I'll admit I haven't read much Card and that he might be the next Charles Dickens of Science Fiction. Still, didn't anyone think it was funny to say his awards had stupid names, implying that science fiction isn't literarily that important? Anyone? How about the Simpson's reference in there with the Professor John Frink? Man, throw me a frickin' bone here.

i did read it. i think YOU should read the entire text

president hinckley makes no such claims in his talk of being judged for standing in the way as you suggest.

read the whole thing here,5232,23-1-353-27,00.html

he did say that certain things influenced his "personal feelings and dictates [his] personal loyalties." however, he does not explicitly say what those feelings are.

a declaration of war is NEVER the ONLY way to peace. iraq didn't attack. iraq did not make any threats. iraq did not have the ability to attack. iraq did not instigate this war. the united states declared war on an innocent country and has killed hundreds of thousands of its people in the progress, civilian and military.

am i the only one who pays attention to the news?

the full report is here

it's rather long, so here are some summaries and statements,1249,595098796,00.html,1249,595096643,00.html,1249,595092075,00.html

oops, that was me

Sorry, I'm in the library stuck in this advanced writing session thing ... I didn't realized I wasn't logged in.

Yeah, I guess I did...

I did actually think that the fake science awards were pretty funny. And your simpsons episode reference reminded me of the episode when the comic book guy was walking down the street and a nuke was coming right for him. The last thing he says,"I've wasted my life."

they were funny--i have to ad

they were funny--i have to admit.