View Full Version : Fighting Words – ‘Bring’m on!’

07-20-03, 06:25 AM

Guest Column: Fighting Words – ‘Bring’m on!’

By Alan Caruba

There is considerably irony and hypocrisy in the fact that the same people and nations that decried the intention of the United States to invade Iraq and rid it of its despotic leader and gangster government, are now calling on the United States to do the same in Liberia. Why do Iraqis have less right to freedom than Africans?

Why do so many here in America and around the world resist the spread of democratic values and systems in preference to allowing despots to wreak havoc in the lives they control and to threaten other nations?

And why do despots like those running Iran and North Korea, or fanatics like Osama bin Laden think they can take on the United States of America? They seem oblivious to the lessons of history and to America’s warrior spirit. It was that spirit that led President George W. Bush to say, “Bring’m on” when asked about the current attacks on US forces in Iraq.

Historically, Americans have almost always shown a reluctance to go to war. This was true of World War I and similarly, prior to World War II until the attack on Pearl Harbor. Once in the fight, though, we showed a talent for war that simply confounded enemies who, even to this day, see Americans as a weak people, more concerned with the comforts of life.

What President Bush understands and most Americans are only beginning to grasp is that our level of force in Iraq, supported by allied troops, gives us total supremacy in Iraq. Moreover, it forces the lingering diehards to spend themselves on attacks that should serve to stiffen the American determination to stamp out the vestiges of Saddam’s 35 years of oppression. While the headlines focus on the victims of these cowards, other headlines reveal we are killing or jailing the perpetrators on a daily basis. In the meantime, we have begun to transform Iraq into a truly modern nation, one that does not pose a threat to us or to its neighbors. Literally within weeks of routing Saddam, a new national council is in place to assume its role in governing Iraq.

Transforming a dictatorship into a democracy takes time and, predictably, the whining of those who want to make political capital of this reveal their contempt for our achievement in Iraq. A generation from now, young Iraqis with no memory of Saddam will wonder what all the shouting was about, but for now we must do the heavy lifting to get to that point.

Like presidents before him, Bush had to decide whether the war on Iraq was worth the effort. Following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, he demonstrated our ability to sweep Afghanistan clean of the Taliban and put al Qaeda on the run, but Iraq was, in some ways, optional. He could have chosen to do nothing. History, however, tells us that option always leads to larger wars. When the British and French handed Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland over to Hitler in 1938, they only whet his appetite to conquer all of Europe. Today’s despots are no different.

Thus, the war on Iraq, taken without the “permission” of the United Nations and opposed by France, Germany and Russia, was a decision to end the growing threat of Middle Eastern madness in the Middle East, rather than wait for it to enflame the entire area and spread from there.

The war in Iraq had a number of easily identifiable objectives:

(1) Regime change, the ridding of Saddam Hussein from control.

(2) In doing so we removed an agency for support of al Qaeda and those engaged in aggression against the United States, Israel, and several Muslim nations.

(3) We gave ourselves leverage against the Saudis. Iraq has the second largest reserves of oil in the Middle East. While its income will finally benefit the people of Iraq, its flow will lessen leverage the Saudis have over the United States. We still import about 18 percent of our oil from Saudi Arabia.

(4) The victory in Iraq will embolden the vast majority of Iranians who want to rid themselves of that nation’s despotic ayatollahs.

(5) It has required the other oil-producing nations of the region to choose to ally themselves with the United States.

(6) It opens opportunities for new pipelines to transfer oil from Russia as well.

(7) It increases pressure on Syria to remove its troops from Lebanon and allow the restoration of democracy there.

What is impressive is not just the words of a true leader, but the willingness of Americans and its allies to take on this monumental task, to go in harm’s way in order to avoid a far worse conflagration. We have learned the lessons of the last century of wars and are applying them to the enemies of freedom in this new century. So, bring’m on!

Alan Caruba is the author of “Warning Signs”, published by Merril Press and his weekly commentaries are posted on www.anxietycenter.com, he Internet site of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, 2003