Have you heard of ‘Not In Our Name‘? They’re a group of B and C level celebrities, writers, politicos, & academics who are against the war. Their numbers include Edward Asner, Noam Chomsky, Tom Hayden, Casey Kasem, Edward Said, Susan Sarandon, Gloria Steinem, Oliver Stone, Gore Vidal, & Kurt Vonnegut. The general idea this organization is trying to get across is that the “war on terrorism” shouldn’t be waged in their names because they believe it is immoral. Well, they may not want this war associated with their names, but because I believe this is a just war, I have no such qualms.
To begin with, let me say that I’m proud of what we did in Afghanistan. After 9/11 we could have gone into Afghanistan with guns blazing and killed everything that moved like the Soviets did. But instead, we took great care to minimize civilian casualties. While the Soviets killed more than half a million Afghans when they invaded, credible reports put the number of civilians we killed at somewhere between 500-1500. The Soviets actually mined the fields to keep farmers from being able to grow food. On the other hand, we dropped packets of food to those who were starving. Conquering Afghanistan was the goal of the Soviets. In contrast, after we destroyed the Taliban and scattered al-Queda, we started working on setting up a fledging Democracy in Afghanistan. Even today we’re giving Afghanistan billions, helping to train their military, and trying to stabilize the country as we hunt down members of al-Queda on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border. Afghanistan has a long way to go, but because we did the right thing, 27 million people were freed from Taliban oppression.
Speaking of oppression, the sooner we free the 24 million people in Iraq who’ve been pinned under Saddam’s iron boot, the better. We may be going to Iraq because Saddam is a threat to us, but our invasion will likely be a good thing for people of Iraq and for the entire region. A belligerent dictator will be removed & his people will be freed and fed at last. I’m glad that Hussein is going to be toppled, happy that his people are going to be free, and I am gratified that the United States will be the nation that’s going to make it happen.
We also can hold our heads high about the way we’ve supported Israel. It would have been very easy for us to turn on Israel after 9/11. The nations that surround Israel and hunger for her destruction would have been grateful. The appeasers in Europe who’d do anything to avoid conflict would have been pleased as well. But when it counted the most, we stood up for a loyal ally, a Democracy, a brother-in-arms in the war on terrorism, and a country that has been far more patient with their implacable Palestinian enemies than any other nation would have been in their place. Unlike our allies in Europe who have been wetting their fingers and sticking them up in the air to help them decide whether to stick with America in the war on terrorism, we took a stand with our Israeli allies when the chips were down. That speaks well for our nation’s character.
Our nation also chose correctly when we decided to go after terrorists worldwide. 9/11 woke us up to a threat that we had been neglecting for far too long. These terrorist groups that are crashing planes into buildings, blowing up pizza parlors, taking hostages in theaters, and bombing nightclubs are not misunderstood victims, they’re evil people who have to be stopped. By going after these terrorist groups and the regimes that support them, the United States is not only doing what’s in our own best interests, but in the best interests of the innocent people worldwide who have been victimized by these terrorist groups. The sooner we wipe these terrorists out, the better off everyone will be. It’s going to be costly, difficult, and time consuming to cripple and/or destroy all the terrorist organizations of global reach. But the fact that the majority of Americans understand why it has to be done and support doing it tells you that Americans still have their heads and their hearts in the right place.
This ‘war on terrorism’ is a noble and necessary war that the United States has to fight. As Edmund Burke said, “All it takes for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.” I for one am genuinely grateful to live in a nation that refuses to cower in the face of evil, even if others have and will continue to do so. All Americans should be proud that our nation is in the thick of the battle against terrorism because only with our help does good have an opportunity to triumph.