This month, I longed for an event that would have global interest. It seems that those wishes have come true. December saw a month where journallers from around the globe turned their eyes towards the middle east. On December 16th, images reminiscent of the Gulf War of August 1990 graced our television sets once again. Operation Desert Fox, the "substantial" military strike headed by the US and Britain against Iraq, sent many online journallers to their keyboards. It also witnessed many of those same eyes turning to the proceedings in the United States of America's Congress. To many, these two events are unseparable.
Erin of Treacle Well writes a scathing letter to President Clinton in her December 16th entry. The Dallas, Texan sees in the 'Wag the Dog' scenario: "I believe that because your job is in serious jeopardy, you decided to take action immediately ... but with the motive of self-preservation, not peace-preservation."
From Upstate New York, Sarah of Shivering and Stunned agrees with Erin. "He obviously had real reasons to bomb Iraq, but he did a month ago and a year ago too. I really think the only reason he's doing now is because he's about to get impeached in the house and he doesn't want to be the only president this century to be impeached. So he pulled the one card he has- Iraq- in an attempt to get the house to postpone the debate. It worked. They did. And U.S. troops are killing citizens in Baghdad." she observes in her December 16th entry. "I don't think I'm really a pacifist. (although this sounds suspiciously like one of those 'I'm not a feminist but I believe in equal rights' speeches that I can't stand, so maybe I am.) ....I just think war should be used as an absolute last resort and I don't think it is here."
For Sacramento Californian, Jan Yarnot of Mossyrocks News, the Iraqi bombing is especially touching. "My niece is on the Carl Vinson steaming toward the Gulf." she states in her December 17th entry. She sees a positive connection between the impeachment hearings the military action. "At least fear of impeachment gave Clinton a backbone! It's the right action, but should have happened 6 months ago, or even 3 weeks ago."
Some see the impeachment of the United States President and the Iraqi bombings as unrelated.
"It is a sad day for all of Western Civilization," begins Urban Catwoman's December 19th entry. The Toronto, Canada resident asks, "What kind of world do we live in that an excellent president can be ousted from office for having oral sex behind closed doors? ...Why can't the American politicians say to themselves, 'hey..there's a war about to break out. Maybe we should delay these proceedings and allow Bill to finish what he started with Saddam 'screw-you-Clinton' Hussein!?'"
Also of Toronto Canada, Rick McGinnis of The Diary Thing, sees a problem with the timing of the bombing, but not with its proximity to the impeachment in his December 17th entry. "I fail to see how launching an offensive against Iraq three days before Ramadan is particularly sensitive to Islam, considering that, if Iraq is going to respond, they'll undoubtedly be forced to do so during the holy month; I've never heard of an modern army taking days off, never mind weeks, for religious reasons. (Anyone remember the Yom Kippur War?)... After all, if he's so sensitive to religious scruples, how ethical is it to start a war before Christmas?"
Californian Lizzie of If you see her say hello notes, "it's unlikely that Clinton could have convinced the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the entire British government to support air strikes just to save his fat philandering ass, particularly since this probably isn't going to save him, anyway." Her December 17th entry observes that the US "has made a lousy self-appointed watchdog -- as a nation, we're shallow-minded, self-centered, quick-tempered, immature, and inconsistent -- but I can't join the folks who think the world doesn't need a watchdog."
In his journal, Baker Street, Michael Hardy writes about having mixed feelings on the airstrikes. "There is a tiny, isolationistic bit of me that says we aren't the world's policeman, that we should take care of our own troubles and intervene in the affairs of other nations only when our borders are threatened... But I also know that's unrealistic, and probably uncharitable... If I wouldn't want a stranger on the street to get robbed, why should my country allow a group of people to be continually brutalized?" he reasons in his December 16th entry. The near-Washington D.C. resident believes that the US President "did the right thing for the right reason. The timing is there -- Iraq balked, we threatened, they promised to comply, we relented, they reneged. If we threatened and relented again, we would have had no credibility... But I hope it will be over fast, and I hope it will be our last time there." He comments later on the Clinton impeachment.
Isaac of exist enounces his political apathy in his
December 17th entry. The University of Michigan student chimes, "As I get older I find my political opinions getting fuzzier and fuzzier. I don't think it's apathy. I'm just sad and weary, I suppose. Sick of it all. I want to secede."
Military brat Karen Abbot of The Naked Truth was surprised about the Iraqi situation because she hasn't been keeping up with it. Instead of offering her opinions on the current situation, she reminisces on the start of the Gulf War when she was living in Sicily. "I still remember clear as day when the Gulf War started. My father came bursting into my room about 2 hours after the bombing started to wake me up for school and was yelling that the war had started, that Bush finally did it... I remember that first day, nothing got done at school. Every classroom had a t.v. in it and all we did was watch the bombing. It was weird and being where we were, it hit all to close to home."
The mother of a 19 year old son attending the Citadel, Mary of Easy Writer, uses the Iraqi bombings to reflect upon her son. "My stomach did a few flip flops as I thought about the boys being over there and not being able to send e-mail or let me know how or what they are doing." she writes in her December 16th entry. "I would never try to make [my son] feel that what he has chosen as a career is not what I would like for him to do but, I did tell him that as his mom, I would always care and worry about where he was and what was happening... Funny thing about being a mom. No matter how old a child becomes, they are still that child in our eyes and hearts and we always love, care, and worry."
John Copeland of Lincoln, England, writes in his Diary of a Superannuated Soul, "I think that I basically agree with the bombardment, for something clearly had to be done when Saddam Hussein was warned that action would be taken against him if he did not accord with United Nations resolutions." in his December 16th entry. Over the next few days he continues to comment on the middle east action. December 17th: "I am beginning to fear, much as I applaud the military action, that President Mr. Clinton and Mr. Blair are going to need some egg-on-the-face wipes." December 18th: "America is intensifying its bombing campaign against Iraq, raising yet
again the horrible and humiliating spectre of Vietnam in which more
and more bombs were dropped with little effect. Sadly, it seems that
the strategy has not really been thought through, for did the
Americans really believe that bombing would beat Saddam Hussein into
submission, pleading for the inspectors to come back?" He concludes on December 20th: "...the bombing of Iraq may have come to an end. Presumably somebody one day will ask what this limited campaign achieved, other than to strengthen Saddam Hussein's position and show to the Arab world that once again he has managed to survive an assault from the West. What seems so ironical is that Reagan, Thatcher, Major, and now Clinton who seems about to go, have all gone into the pages of history whilst Saddam Hussein remains, and as firmly in power as ever. However, we had to do something, and something we have done."