Critical Section

This War

Friday,  03/07/03  12:01 AM

I could understand if one opposes the upcoming conflict because one consistently opposes all conflict. But if you would allow that there are at least some circumstances that would justify taking up arms in defense of this nation and its citizens, read on...

A few things to think about when someone says we have no right to strike against middle-eastern extremists:

- The bombing of PanAm Flight 103
- The bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993
- The bombing of the Marine Barracks in Lebanon
- The bombing of the military Barracks in Saudi Arabia
- The bombing of the American Embassies in Africa
- The bombing of the USS COLE
- The attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11/01
- The attack on the Pentagon on 9/11/01

Set aside your political biases and take a moment to consider the thousands of innocent lives - most of them American lives - lost in these attacks. Consider what the trend of these attacks portends for citizens of this country if we do nothing.

Is it appropriate to oppose the Bush administration's plans on the grounds that we should not attack "because we have not been attacked?" No.

What about the claim that this is all about oil? To someone committed to a liberal position, it may feel good to characterize this campaign as being only in the interest of "Big Oil."  There is no question that big business influences policy in this country - whether it be fiscal policy, war, or health care reform. This has always been the case, and always will be, regardless of which party rules which branch of government in any given year. Get over it. But to say that we are wrong to strike because this is all about oil, and we have no real beef with these people, is just insulting to the intelligence of anyone who looks even casually at recent history.

Now, the question remains: Who are "these people?" Does striking at Saddam Hussein serve the purpose of protecting Americans (and other innocent people around the world)? Is Iraq an appropriate target at this time? That's a very important question, and it is a question about military intelligence. Our military intelligence says that Saddam is an imminent threat to add to the list of attacks above. If you know anything about him, you know that Saddam is a powerful and wealthy dictator, with a long history of savagery, who has dedicated his life to taking down Western Civilization. He is known to have WMD and has in fact used such weapons against his own people.

I could understand if one opposes this conflict because one feels that our military intelligence is not to be believed. But realize that, in taking that position, one posits that Bush, Colin Powell, Condoleeza Rice, and many others are intentionally misleading this country (read lying). I have no proof that they are lying. Do you?

There is one thing we do have proof of, and it can be seen in the list above: Proof that there are many people actively working to kill innocent Americans in large numbers, and that the intensity of their efforts is increasing.

Don't get me wrong - in general, I am very cynical about politicians. But this is not a time for generalizations; this is a time to think clearly and critically about the specifics of the current situation.

If you say this is only about oil, I say look at the list of attacks, and the trend.

If you say we have no right to strike against people who have not harmed us, I say look at the list of attacks. And the trend.

If you say that attacking Iraq in order to separate violent anti-American extremists from weapons of mass destruction is not necessary, I ask:

What do you know about the US military intelligence that I don't?

-- received via email 3/6/03, and posted anonymously...

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