Putting Iraq in perspective

Posted: Jan 07, 2006 12:05 AM
Even though that icon of the Democratic party Bill Clinton argues that our troops belong in Iraq until that country is able to take care of its own security matters, most of the loudest voices on the left continue to clamor that we’re involved in a quagmire. By definition, by the way, a quagmire is any armed conflict either begun or prolonged by a Republican administration.

I happen to believe that we were right to invade Iraq and to rid the place of Saddam Hussein and his vile progeny. At the time we went in, I didn’t know if Hussein possessed WMD, but along with Kennedy, Kerry and the Clintons, I was pretty confident he did. However, I didn’t need that as an excuse to do the right thing. If Hussein didn’t possess the weaponry, so much the better, because it would mean he couldn’t unleash them on our soldiers. To me, it was enough that he was a brutal tyrant; a menace to the entire Middle East; a man who sent $25,000 in blood money to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers; and someone who, unlike the despots in Iran and North Korea, had lost a war, signed a peace treaty and then, thanks to the corrupt and gutless member states of the U.N., ignored its provisions with impunity.

As I say, I was in favor of invading Iraq whether or not Hussein was funding research on a nuclear bomb for many of the same reasons I would have been predisposed to invading Nazi Germany in the 1930s and getting rid of Adolf Hitler, even if I’d been unaware that Werner von Braun and his band of elves were working on the V-2 rocket.

For all the faults that people find with President Bush, a few of which even I acknowledge, his determination to bring democracy to a part of the world where it’s almost as rare as a ham sandwich convinces me that history -- at least history written by the politically unbiased -- will judge him favorably.

None of this should be taken to mean that I don’t take the deaths of our men and women as seriously as do those on the left. No decent person can read the statistics and be unmoved. A roll call of the names of those decent human beings, young people for the most part, their innocent lives cut tragically short, is enough to bring tears to the eyes of even the staunchest conservative.

Knowing that recently, in a single month, nearly 40 Americans were killed in just one city, 400 in a single year, is reason enough for me to join with my fellow Americans in a heart-felt plea: “For God’s sake, Mr. President, please bring home the troops….from Detroit.”