Saturday, July 16, 2005

Whose Side Are the Terrorists On?

I think that all intellectually honest Americans have thought about whether the US-led coalition should have invaded Iraq. Apart from the argument that the country presented an imminent threat to the US owing to an active weapons of mass destruction program, there is another more troubling argument to my mind. Perhaps we have not liberated Iraq at all. The continued insurgency appears to indicate that a significant number of Iraqis are distressed by our having removed Saddam from power. Perhaps the dictator, for all of his brutality, actually represented the hopes and aspirations of a majority of Iraqi people.

Now, I am not an idealist, and I recognize that the US might still have had compelling reasons to depose Saddam Hussein, even in the absence of a WMD program capable of threatening the US and despite the fact that he might well have been the "democratic" choice of the majority. The problem was that I could not discern what that might be, at least not from the Administration's statements. (I could, and can make, the case in my own mind, but I will leave that for another blog entry.)

The evident trend of the last several months in the terrorist bombing campaign inside Iraq, however, has laid to rest any thoughts that I had about Saddam's support among the Iraqi people, as well as the support that the so-called insurgents have. If the terrorists (more correctly named) have the support of the Iraq people, why are they killing them indiscriminantly? Why are they killing those who support them and whose hopes they represent? I can only answer the question in a single sentence: the Iraqi people are their enemies. From that I conclude that if we were to pull our troops out of Iraq at this juncture, we would be consigning the Iraqi people to mass slaughter, greater than any perpetrated upon them by Saddam Hussein. If we stay, we will win because they will (and are) prepared to fight those who would oppress them -- the terrorist "insurgent-liberators."

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