I’ve become increasingly distressed and appalled by the world climate, both for what this administration is trying to do and what everyone else is doing about it (nothing).

I saw a headline yesterday that read: "US Steps Up Diplomacy Efforts for War with Iraq." Does anyone but me see the horrific oxymoron there? Using diplomacy as a tool to consecrate war? Huh? Let’s try an exercise shall we? Every time you see the word WAR replace it with FIRE. And every time you see the word SOLDIER or ARMY replace it with FIREFIGHTER. If you do that, you will not be tricked into seeing something that ain’t there. Let’s use diplomacy to try to convince the world that it’s time to start a fire. Now that doesn’t make sense does it?

A fire is something you don’t want. A fire is a failure, whether it be electrical wiring, a space heater, an accident, or arson. In any of these cases, it’s obvious. You send in the firefighters to put it out. There’s the blaze, let’s put it out. We have to save what people we can, get them out, maybe lose some of our own lives in the process, but in the end we put the fire out and go back to the fire station.

If you see smoke, there’s probably a fire. You send in the firefighters. They put it out. Anything short of that you DO NOT send in firefighters. Let me repeat.

Firefighters fight fires.

Why do I need to say it again? Well, there’s this guy that thinks that firefighters must also fix electrical wiring, stop arsonists, make sure space heaters aren’t next to the drapes, and that people don’t let kids play with matches.

Inspectors inspect wiring to prevent fires. Police arrest arsonists. Manufacturers and good education help people prevent accidental fires from heaters. Parents watch their kids to make sure they don’t play with matches.

Soldiers fight wars.

Soldiers are not police. Soldiers are not parents. Soldiers are not inspectors. Soldiers are not babysitters. We only fight wars when there is one, when diplomacy has FAILED, when an accident has happened, or when an crazy man has done something horrible.

WE GO PUT IT OUT! Then we go home. We leave the job then to the UN (Police), Inspection Teams, International Aid organizations, and other specific international bodies.

Bosnia? We went in, we kicked ass (put out the fire), and then stood down. We now have troops as part of the UN peacekeeping force, but let me be clear. They are not fighting fires. They are firefighters working for the city government trying to see that no more fires break out in this fire torn area. Our soldiers are working for an international body and are NOT fighting a war. The US firefighting team is not there. The UN Police force IS there though, of which we are a member.

Is that clear?

So, let’s summarize. We can’t go into Iraq, until one of the following happens:

  1. There is a fire. Saddam does something stupid.
  2. There is smoke. Saddam does something stupid.

If neither of those things is the case, than the US CANNOT go in as itself, a great firefighting squad.

If there is imminent danger, kid playing with matches, passing them around, a space heater is dangerously close to a drape, a guy buys some gasoline and matches, or we notice that the electrical system is not up to code, then we send in inspectors, police, observers, and a construction crew to make repairs.

We CANNOT do those jobs, no more than a firefighter can wrestle an assailant to the ground, babysit the kids, and be the handyman that puts your house up to code.

Our soldiers stand ready to move at a moment’s notice. We pledge to put out fires whenever the fire house bell rings. We will put out a fire if one erupts. We will put it out quickly, with as little loss of life as possible, and we will do our jobs. But, we DO NOT like to stand idly by while our fire captain runs out of firehouse with a can of gasoline and a match calling to us as he scrambles out, "Hey guys, I’ll have some work for you in a minute."