Friday, November 28, 2003

Morally And Intellectually Bankrupt

You are defeating the terrorists here in Iraq, so that we don't have to face them in our own country.

It's time President Bush makes up his mind. Have we killed upwards of thousands of Iraqi civilians in order to free Iraq, or in order to draw our enemy into Iraq so we can fight them there instead of Peoria?

I'm guessing the answer is both, which, upon analysis, doesn't fit. If we are just fighting Saddam's henchmen, then we are just fighting for Iraq's liberation. Saddam was no direct threat to us in the homeland.

If we are also fighting a cadre of terrorists we've drawn into Iraq by our presence, and who are contributing to the chaos and terror in the Iraqi countryside, then we have greatly raised the ante of our responsibilities, and find ourselves in the odd position of liberating a people we are using as pawns on a chessboard.

As our strategy becomes more and more untenable, and its definition of success, in the face of dire conflicts, more and more diminished, we are left in a very undesirable situation. We have to succeed, to avoid leaving Iraq to a chaotic world of terror and civil war, and to avoid the inevitable moral accounting of our acts in Iraq, in terms of their effects on the innocent civilian, over the past decade.

The number of deaths in Iraq, due not only to this war but to the irresponsible sanctions since 1991, is staggering. We have to ask ourselves why.