Gary Smith wrote:

> And it is a terrible tragedy. Anytime innocent peoples are killed to make
> a statement, then it is a definite tragedy.
> And you are right, it is a movement. Clearly there are those nations that
> definitely support this movement by their actions. Saddam has shown by
> his actions that he supports terrorists. He may not be Muslim, but he
> pays the check for many actions. In our nation, we call that aiding and
> abetting. Iraq is a threat, moreso than Pakistan (whose government is
> friendly toward us and enabling our war right now).

This is a false perception. You are paying billions a year to prop up a military
dictatorship there. The forces of fundamentalism are building up like angry water
against a dam, (this is, after all, the *home* of the Taliban, this is where they
came from) and before too long the dam will break. Then you will be facing an
islamic fundamentalist state with the bomb.  And while "enabling [your] war" (am
not sure what you mean by that, incidentally -- no military actions against
Afghanistan are taking place from Pakistani soil), they are also encouraging (or
at least failing to stop) terrorist actions in neighbouring India, from
incursions into Kashmir to a blatant, in-full-daylight attack on the Indian
national parliament buildings themselves.  This is very much like the situation
with the shah in Iran before Khomeini came to power. Only the Pakistanis have the
bomb, *and* they are ill-disposed towards the world's largest democracy, having
already fought 4 relatively contained conventional wars with them.

> That could change,
> but for now Iraq is one of the big boys on the block, with an agenda of
> greater power. Leopards don't change their spots, and Saddam's spots are
> very visible from decades of war and destruction.

"Decades"? They've only been your enemy for 11 years. Remember that their attack
on Kuwait came just after your own ambassador, a woman whose first name was April
(can't remember her last name off the top of my head) met with Saddam and assured
him the US had no intention of stopping the US from doing anything in the region
-- thinking, because the US's intelligence was woefully inadequate in the region
-- that he was referring to Iran, not Kuwait.). The US actively encouraged Iraq
during the long war with Iran, and, despite supposed sanctions in place, buys
almost 300 million bbls of crude oil from Iraq annually.

This is the problem when you treat foreign affairs as an extension of domestic
affairs, which is precisely what Bush is doing. You don't see the long term
effects of your action. Then you get bitten on the backside and you wonder what
the heck happened.

As I predicted in my Dialogue article on moral war 11 years ago:

"It is into this kaleidoscope from hell that American forces rushed, too innocent
to know the mistakes they were making. From a military point of view, the war was
over in a trice; Americans are now home (more or less), the al-Sabahs are back in
their palace, and the West thinks that's the end of it. However, this war is far
from over, from the point of view of residents of the Middle East. Nothing is as
it appears in the Middle East: when Egypt's Gammel Abdul Nasser was dealt what we
thought was a humiliating defeat in the Six Days' War in June 1967, he was
actually hailed as a hero in the Arab World. We don't understand why this should
be so, but until we figure it out, we will continue making the same mistakes over
and over. Unless we really enjoy cuddling up to snakes, we had best leave the
countries of the region to sort out their own affairs.

"As Latter-day Saints, we need to continue to support individual members of the
armed forces (of all the countries where we live) and their families. However, we
should also make our voices heard loudly and clearly: war is madness, and we
repudiate Babylon. "  ("Is there such a thing as a 'moral war'", Dialogue, 24/4,
Winter 1991: 160.)

And without meaning to be prideful or boastful, I do think that sounds an awful
lot like what Elder Nelson just taught us in General Conference.

> K'aya K'ama,
> Gerald/gary  Smith    gszion1    http://www

Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland

"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and
falling short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
--Michelangelo Buonarroti

Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author
solely; its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer,
nor those of any organization with which the author may be associated.

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