Wednesday, April 09, 2003

My response to an editorial in yesterday's paper

The author said this war doesn't make him feel safer -- that he was never afraid of Saddam's tin-pot dictatorship, and pointed out that Saddam had no missiles that would go over 200 miles and he couldn't even fly over 2/3 of his country. He was concerned as well that his teenage son may have to go fight someday because of this action.

Perhaps you have zoomed in too close and you're not seeing the bigger picture. You say you've never been afraid of tin-pot Saddam, and cite the fact that he didn't have missiles that could go over 200 miles and he couldn't even fly over 2/3 of his country. Both true, but it is part of the bigger context of why we went to war in the first place. Saddam has proven that he will do what he thinks he can get away with, and he's up to no good. The reason Saddam doesn't have missiles that can go over 200 miles and can't fly over 2/3's of his country is not because the Sacred U.N. passed resolutions drawing magic lines in the sky and forbidding him to have such missiles. Rather it is because the U.S. has been there enforcing those resolutions with real planes and real missiles and real guns. This is the main reason for a fairly permanent and substantial U.S. military presence in the middle east since the Gulf War. It unfortunately gives the appearance to the Arab street that we are occupiers. This was at the core Bin Laden's anger at the U.S. There is something to the saying "fish or cut bait". Before we leave, we have to get rid of the reason we stayed there in the first place; and that is to contain Saddam Hussein's regime. Leaving him there would be a grave mistake. The no-fly zones would be gone, and there'd be no chance for even farcical inspections. Saddam would be once again free to test the waters -- at which point you should definitely be afraid.

I have a step-son in the Marine Reserves who will likely go active when he graduates in a year. I fear for him, too, but I also see what's going on in the world. If the bad guys are the only ones allowed to act with force, the bad guys will soon rule the world. I'm proud he's willing to step up and face them.

Except for ending slavery and stopping Nazism, Communism, and Facism, war has never sovled anything.