Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Weighing In On Capturing Saddam And Being No Safer

Saddam did not have WMD. He was not an imminent threat. The likelihood of a mushroom cloud caused from his hands nil. Not before he was captured, and not before we went to war. Now, the chaos of Iraq is a welcome development for the likes of Al Qaeda and Islamicist terrorists. They never liked Saddam, and they know that the likelihood of the next Iraqi regime, or at least its people, being more sympathetic and available to them is a real possibility, since the challenge we have before us to establish security, freedom and liberal democratic capitalism in Iraq is very, very daunting.

Saddam was a threat to his people. He tortured people. Sponsored rape rooms. He did this as an ally of ours, and under our watch. Since he wasn't a threat to us, but served as an effective counter-balance against, guess what, radical Islam in the form of Iran, we tolerated him. He was never a threat to us, but definitely was to his own people and to other peoples in his region.

How does suddenly capturing him now make us safer? Maybe if he had WMD, and was enabling Al Qaeda with support, but none of this seems to be panning out. So, talk about the rape rooms all you want - the fact that a scumbag like Saddam Hussein is out of power is an unquestioned positive development, but that's no justification for war, or, though it gives the people of Iraq the potential for a safer future, any reason for us to feel any safer.

Indeed, our actions in shamefully justifying this war and ignoring overwhelming world opinion, not to mention slandering our own allies, has hurt the war against international terrorists set to strike us, and these are the people we need to feel safer from, since they are an imminent threat. By our bumbling in regards to Iraq, we've greatly expanded their recruitment base, and stirred up unprecedented anti-American feelings, even in the free world, and even after unprecedented consensus on the war in Afghanistan. All in all, our ratings worldwide are at epic lows, and this when we admit that in order to prevail against the threat of Islamicist terror we must win the "battle for hearts and minds".

We are not winning this battle, and, in reality, don't even seem to be rationally fighting it. Don't ask yourself, as many Americans did in the wake of 9/11, "why do they hate us"? That's old news. It's time to ask yourself "why do they really hate us now, even in free societies, and this after an unprecedented showing of support and solidarity, at least in the free world, in the wake of 9/11"?

If you don't ask, they won't tell. If you don't listen, they won't raise their voices. Does anyone remember when the French claimed that "we are all Americans"? I hope so. And while we smile smugly about how we "saved" Iraq and made ourselves safer by getting rid of the bogeyman in the form of Saddam Hussein, more and more suicidal terrorists are preparing themselves for martyrdom, while our traditional allies are slipping away (or, better yet, as we are pushing them away), becoming more and more reluctant to be associated with us, with the danger we ignore, as we magnify rather than diminish the terrorist threat before us, and as hearts and minds become filled with fear at the prospect of what we will do next.