Over the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about politics and conscience, and where one stops and the other begins. My thoughts on this really started coalescing when I wrote about how I feel about Iraq about 6 weeks ago, and I’ve been thinking about it contantly over the past couple of weeks mainly due to ongoing events in Lebanon.
The bottom line is that it’s a good thing that the Lebanese people are demonstrating peacefully to end the Syrian occupation of their country. One day, if we’re really lucky, Iraq will be safe and self-sufficient enough for thousands of Iraqis to take to the streets and demand that the US end its occupation of their country as well. Unfortunately, I spend an inordinate amount of my time trying to figure out to what degree our invasion of Iraq and the election there has spurred what’s going on in Lebanon. And that’s where politics and conscience start to diverge. It’s a good thing to try to figure out which actions bring out which results, but that all too often devolves into an argument about who gets credit for what. And that leads to feeling unhappy about good news because it bolsters your opponents.
So my goal is to focus more on conscience and less on politics, in this space anyway. My conscience tells me that it’s a good thing that many of the Lebanese want to be free from foreign occupation. What more is there? I guess mostly I want to note that I hadn’t even realized until recently how much politics was distorting my view on things. Reading every piece of news and pondering how it helps or hurts your side in the political debate is no way to live.