Sunday, March 27, 2011

Libya vs. Iraq - Some Thoughts

Did you know that Chimpanzees and Humans share overwhelming similarities in their genetic makeup? Though the percent varies depending on how deep the data goes, the similarities range from the high 70s to the high 90s. In other words, the similarities greatly outweigh the differences on the genetic level, yet the two are so completely different that no rational person taking a holistic view could mistake a Chimp for a Human. Yet, a top scientist locked in a room with only the two genetic codes in front of him could toil through a majority of the genetic code before finding any significant differences!

The point of this is simply to repeat the ancient observation that little can be understood about the true nature of things by examining their similarities; only by understanding their differences do we really get to know them.

The cartoon I recently posted comparing Libya vs. Iraq is a good example of the futility of focusing on similarities, or for that matter, the petty differences. As many commenters have pointed out, the cartoon, and those who liked it, cannot make a strong enough case that the two conflicts are comparable. Of course, the cartoon is limited to being a caricature of hypocrisy, ignorance and irrational devotion. It is not meant to argue a case that the two conflicts are equivalent. However, the nature of caricature is that it only works through exaggeration and that has resulted in quite the debate among viewers which has shed much heat but little light. (Also some funny stuff and some really nasty stuff too!)

So what do I think? Are these two wars comparable and if not what are the salient differences? For me, they are not comparable actions in their essence. Iraq was about trying to save American lives by enforcing something which came to be known as “The Bush Doctrine”, and Libya is about trying to save non-American lives on one side of a civil war by enforcing something known as UN 1973.

You may agree or disagree with “The Bush Doctrine” and the threats posed by the Iraqi regime, but your representatives in Washington voted for it overwhelmingly and that is what Democracy in a Republic looks like. Deal with it.

As for UN 1973, you may agree or disagree with it, but your representatives in Washington have no say in it whatsoever. That is what Global Totalitarianism looks like. Deal with it.