Can we fight a war, kill foreign leaders, declare victory, and then leave? How about travelling the world looking for monsters to slay? Will this keep us free and safe?
In the past week, three events occurred around the globe that have great implications for American freedom. On Thursday of last week, Col. Moammar Kaddafi, the acknowledged head of the government in Libya, was shot in the head on a public street corner by a young Libyan man wearing a New York Yankees cap and in the presence of about 25 witnesses, none of whom have stated that Kaddafi was armed. President Obama praised Kaddafi's demise, while human rights groups condemned it. The rebels who chased him from office have proclaimed themselves to be the legitimate Libyan government, and the U.S. has welcomed them. As recently as 2006, then-President Bush and then-British Prime Minister Tony Blair proclaimed Col. Kaddafi a partner in the war on terror. And as recently as 2009, Sen. John McCain personally met with Col. Kaddafi, and promised to provide him with military weapons.
On Friday of last week, President Obama announced that all American military personnel in Iraq, except for about 100 who provide security for our new billion dollar Vatican-sized embassy in Baghdad, will be home before Christmas. Why did we go to Iraq in the first place? First, it was to seek out and destroy weapons of mass destruction, but none was found. Then we got involved in a civil war, and took sides with the group that had been excluded from the government. Then we were told that our purpose was regime change because Saddam Hussein was a bad guy, whether he had WMDs or not. Then we captured Saddam and he was tried in a kangaroo court and executed. We lost 4500 troops, 32,000 more were injured, 650,000 Iraqis were killed, and over two million Iraqis fled the country. This, along with our military adventurism in Afghanistan, cost the American taxpayers about a trillion dollars. The stated purpose for our departure is the decision of the popularly-elected Iraqi government to decline to afford immunity to American military personnel. Stated differently, the Iraqi government -- which we installed -- decided that after ten years, Americans in Iraq needed to obey the same laws as Iraqis do. That was too much for us, and so we are leaving.