Wednesday, July 25, 2007

A Few Notes

There are seven family members and friends who are closer to me than is anyone else. Up until the mid-1980's one of that seven was religious. In the last 20 years, two more have become devout Christians. So now it's three out of seven. Purely anecdotal evidence, I know -- but I wonder how many other people have noticed a similar increase in religious friends and family?

On a totally different subject, Robert Tracinski rocked my world tonight with his bombshell essay, "Why Keep Fighting?" He argues that America's justification for invading Iraq was not to establish democracy -- that came later -- but to stop Saddam's aggression and his weapons of mass destruction. These are the same justifications we will need to attack Iran. If we pull out of Iraq, we will be accepting the principle that we shouldn't be in Iraq and shouldn't invade Iran.

If Tracinski is right, then Yaron Brook and Alex Epstein, who argue that the Iraq War is primarily an altruistic mission of neoconservative nation building, are wrong.

Whoever is right, the problem for the confusion goes all the way to the top, to President Bush. He has mixed premises; untangling them is a complicated job.

4 comments:

Joshua said...
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madmax said...

Yes. Its very confusing and Objectivists are divided on the issue of whether or not Iraq was inherently altruistic or not. I tend to think it was. As for Tracinski, I've grown less and less interested in his commentary over the years as he at times sounds like a rank conservative. But every now and then he's good for an insightful essay or two.

Inspector said...

What precludes both of them from being right? Yes, the initial cassus beli involved the threat of aggression and wmd, but nation building did become the mission.

Jennifer Snow said...

No increase in # of religious people here, but the close people in my life are all hardcore philosophically so I don't see that happening in any case.

I'm also having a tough time deciding whether any of these people are actually "close" to me at all, but that's another story.