Being in attendance at an art college in the Northeast, I am naturally surrounded everyday by strong antiwar sentiment. It’s almost a prerequisite that you must denounce Bush Jr. as an ignorant, warmongering, Bible-belt buffoon, just so you can be considered moderate.
One would think that this staunchly liberal environment would influence my political leanings to the left; but having to bear with weekly Harpers readings in modern media class, and hearing such aphorisms as “Michael Moore is my hero” or “This is such a fascist state“ — these have only had the opposite effect on me, serving to repel me from the extreme liberal predilection for pejorative sloganeering. (Not to say that pejorative sloganeering is an exclusive trait of the left; such a disposition is common to extremists of both sides, as should be revealed by a cursory look over the comments sections of most any warblog.)
And so, I remain an ambivalent moderate. I hate war, I feel for the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire, and I detest the media frenzy over even the pettiest details coming out of the battlefield. At the same time, I cannot support an oppressive, abusive regime like Saddam’s, and I refuse to descend to a nominal “No Blood for Oil” ad hominem approach without considering each side’s respective “higher ground” stand. It’s not just about oil-grabbing, Muslim-killing, or America-hating; there are deeper political motives and principles at stake which need to be addressed.
Further input that I have valued of late: The War Behind Closed Doors, a PBS documentary on the hidden background of preemption following Gulf War I; and The Dane’s blog posts on borders, comparisons to Hitler, the validity of preemptive strikes, oil, and shock and awe. What a guy.