Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Why War In Iraq Was Necessary: Okay. With all the ranting going on, I'm going to do my best to explain why we had to go to war with Iraq, why it was a good thing, and why it's undermining our purpose and diminishing the sacrifice of our troops for so many people to call it evil.

(And I mean aside from the fact that Kerry wouldn't have done a dang thing different.)

I used an high school analogy before. This time, let's use a political one.

Let's pretend that a Mob event gets out of control. A Mafia crime results in the death of hundreds of people. The government decides it wants to eliminate the mob, for the public good.

Here's the problem--there's not a big building somewhere with the word "MOB" on the marquee for us to bust into and arrest them all. The mob is all over the place, hiding behind legitimate businesses, non-legitimate businesses, and other such facades.

The "Mob" isn't even one cohesive unit. There are families and groups and organizations that at times may work together and at times may be in violent opposition to one another. Even though the big event that incited us against the Mafia may have only been done by one mob "family," an essential part of the war against the Mafia is that we bring down all mob families, not just the one in question. We've decided we're against the very concept of organized crime.

So how do you do that?

There would be two steps you'd have to take right away.

1. You would have to shut down their "businesses" so they don't have funding to manage their operation.

2. You would have to make sure that all appropriate government agencies were willing and able to support your anti-Mafia efforts. Any public officials who were known to be Mafia members or in support of any mob efforts would need to be removed immediately. Otherwise, any claims you had on being able to stop the mob would be ridiculous--they could all hole up in Vegas or Chicago or whatever town they knew would offer them safe haven.

Once you got started, you might not even have to remove all the corrupt officials. Once you removed, say, the mayor of Chicago, maybe the Police Chief in Las Vegas, the leaders in New York and Philly would wise up and start rounding up their mob bosses and turning them in. You'd still have to watch them with one eye, but they'd cooperate a lot more than if you just begged them and hoped for the best.

The parallels with the War On Terror are obvious. Rather than the mob, we have the terrorists. And rather than mayors, we have the leaders of nations. When the terrorists proved they were willing to attack Americans on American soil, it became clear that we had to do something about them, or risk the death of more innocent Americans.

It isn't even that terrorists killing Americans was new. Freespace had a great link today to a chronology of Militant Islamic Attacks on the West. But September 11th opened people's eyes up to the reality of what terrorists really and truly wanted to do to them.

Consequently, any national leader, any country, that openly promoted terrorism was an enemy to the civilians in the United States as surely as the corrupt and uncooperative mayors in my analogy were.

In Afghanistan, the situation was obvious. This state sponsored the same terrorists, the same mob family, if you will, that caused the catastrophic event. It was plain that their leadership had to go. Although some of the left tried to voice dissent at that time, the American public wouldn't have it. In that instance, the reasons were clear. We'll say that's Chicago.

Then came the next step--Iraq. We'll say Iraq is Las Vegas. And even though everybody knows the mayor of Las Vegas is corrupt--everybody knew Saddam sponsored terrorism; he was paying kids to blow themselves up in Israel, for crying out loud--they're still not sure, because the guys he's working with are different than the guys who did that one big thing that scared us all, and the only stuff they can prove he did didn't really affect us.

And what's worse, the UN didn't seem to have our backs.

But think about it--why would they? In this analogy, the UN is basically a counsel of mayors. What motivation would they have to support any policy that would set a precedent for pulling mayors out of office?

Of course countries are going to be against replacing governments. If he's able to stop the mayor of Las Vegas from being pulled out of office, the mayor of Philadelphia doesn't have anything to worry about, does he?

The fact is, Saddam was in violation of the terms of the UN agreements. Even Blix agreed on that point.

What about the WMDs? Did Bush deliberately lie?

As has been said before, if Bush lied, then so did Clinton, and Kerry, and Gore, and every other political leader up to that point. Everybody thought he had the weapons.

And even if he did have them, which many news reports and stories say he may have, he had months to get rid of them or sell them or hide them before the invasion anyway, while dodging Blix and the rest of the inspectors.

But really, that's not the most important part, and the continual re-emphasis of that--which was brought up more to try to force the UN's hand into acting than to provide justification to the American people for the war--is distracting to the real cause for liberation.

The real reason we sent our kids to die over in Iraq was to send a message, loud and clear, to the leaders of the world--we're not going to let you harbor people who would kill innocents. You must help us bring them to justice.

This is why it is such a dishonor to the lives of our troops that we can't get more united behind the liberation of the Iraqi people. It's because our lack of unity weakens the strength of our message. It's a hard sell trying to convince the leader of a Middle Eastern nation that if he doesn't quell the terrorists in his own country that he may be next when all he has to do is turn on CNN to see that a tremendous number of people in the US think the President is a liar who goes to war for no reason, and that a large number of people would rather vote in a man who pledges to get us out of there.

So the message is being weakened. The sacrifice of the soldiers who have worked in service to your freedom and mine has been diminished. The world is not becoming as safe as it could have, had we presented a united front.

The President, of course, can't talk like this. First, he'd be accused of trying to politically manipulate the populous using the war on terror, playing partisan games.

Second, it's harder to posture with another country when you've explained in public speeches that you've been seeking a way to posture.

Please don't get me wrong. I'm not saying Michael Moore should be tried for treason or any of the other crazy, anti-first amendment things that the fringe right is saying. The fact that we're able to dissagree and dissent and suspect the worst and accuse the President of all sorts of things is what makes this country great.

But make no mistake--voting for Kerry would make our country less safe. If he's elected with only one mandate--get us out of the Middle East--the terrorists will be emboldened to act without fear of reprisal.

And if reprisal is not an option, that leaves only one other means of dealing with them--appeasement.

That will be their belief, and they will act according to that belief.

But if, on the other hand, Bush is re-elected in a strong and solid showing, that will also send them a message. And that message is that the American People will not allow terrorists to control us. We will act against people who seek to harm us, or any other innocents. That we are united in our opposition and our ideology.

Is the world safer for me, today, right now, this moment, because Saddam is out of power? Unlikely.

But will the world be safer in 20 years, when my daughter is graduating college, because this man was not allowed to realize his ambitions?

It can't be doubted.

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