Wednesday, August 01, 2007

The Sin of Pride

Salon published a piece today that precisely captures my view of the war in Iraq even before it was launched. Written by Gary Kamiya, it describes the arrogance of launching a war and thinking you can control the events the war precipitates. Here's a key quote:

Making war is like playing dice with God -- using His dice. This is why war should always be a last resort. What's stunning about the Iraq war is that its architects not only ignored this obvious truth, but also ignored the consequences that could have been, and were, foreseeable. To start an unprovoked war on false pretenses and pie-in-the-sky promises of a vast regional transformation, besides being unethical, is an act of almost cosmic folly. To put it in Christian terms, it is the cardinal sin -- the sin of pride.

Even without knowing there were no weapons of mass destruction or the connection with Al Qaeda was a lie or the unbelievably incompetent way the war would be prosecuted, it was clear to me that Bush was oblivious to the real consequences of war to those real people in its vicinity. He arrogantly thought that because his motives were pure and that he was doing God's will, the decision to launch a war would be vindicated, even if not in his lifetime.

Here's another great quote that really captures Bush's version of religious faith:

He sees it as a form of humility, a poor sinner's acceptance of God's will. Bush believes that God is on the side of this war, and that everything will therefore come out all right in the end. He does not care about the real world -- because for him it isn't the true reality. The war in Iraq, that horror in which real human beings are dying, is merely a stage before good finally triumphs over evil. And if that victory does not take place in our lifetime, it doesn't matter: All that matters is that he fought the good fight. This is why he did not concern himself, and still doesn't, with details such as whether this war is winnable in any non-biblical time frame.

Really, really scary.