Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Tag: Iraq War

ISIS and Iran: Bigger Threats to Each Other than to the West

During the past week, I went on a bit of a roadtrip (it’s the reason for the gap in posting). While I was driving around, I listened to some talk radio, most of which was religious, conservative, or both. I found what I expected to find–there’s a lot of fear-mongering and threat inflation on talk radio. But what really stood out to me was just how inconsistent it all was. Let me explain what I mean.

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American Sniper: Was Chris Kyle Defending Our Freedom?

Seth Rogen and Michael Moore recently made snarky comments about American SniperClint Eastwood’s Iraq War movie loosely based on the life of Chris Kyle, a Navy SEAL with 160 confirmed kills. This has angered a lot of people on the right, who scold the snarksters for their lack of appreciation for the men and women who, they say, defend our freedom. The “they defend our freedom” line gets thrown around a lot when discussing military policy, but when is it really the case that soldiers defend our freedom? Is this an automatic, intrinsic feature of being a soldier, or does it depend on additional factors? Let’s think about this.

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How Protests Work

Eight protesters have been arrested for blocking a Washington DC highway. The protesters were objecting to racial disparities in the criminal justice system, as well as low wages. This offers us an opportunity to discuss protests as a tool for achieving political ends. How do protests work? How do protesters use protesting to accomplish political objectives?

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What Happens if ISIS Wins in Iraq?

Those arguing for US military action in Iraq to stop the advance of ISIS/ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria/Iraq and the Levant) frequently claim that if the United States does not take action and ISIS prevails, Iraq will become a launching pad for terrorist attacks against the United States. This argument frequently gets run whenever anyone wants to intervene in a Middle Eastern country, but does it really stand up? Let’s investigate.

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Tomas Young’s Iraq War Letter

So today there’s an open letter going around the internet from a fellow by the name of Tomas Young directed toward George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. Young is terminally ill and has chosen to parlay that into an opportunity to vent his anger at Bush and Cheney over the feckless war they waged in Iraq. Having myself been opposed to the Iraq War as early as 2002 (and yes, I was quite young to be in opposition), I agree with some of what Young has to say, but I think he makes a common mistake in conflating two contradictory responses to the war.

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