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« President Bush: ‘It is time for this country to start building nuclear power plants again’ | Main | Good move: Bush tests if Democrats care at all about saving Social Security »

June 23, 2005

Comments

Murdoc

While I agree with Zinmeister's observations, saying that the war is "over" and that freedom has been "won" are both poor choices of words.

Even though President Bush was right when he said major combat operations were over two years ago, the war is not over. And it has a long way to go. Proclaiming that it's over just strengthens the arguments of those who want to pull out early.

And the struggle for freedom is never "won". We're still fighting for freedom in the United States today.

I know that you know all this. I just hesitate to put things in those terms when so much depends on so much.

Frank Warner

Good points there, Murdoc. In a real sense, the war that began with Saddam Hussein's 1990 invasion of Kuwait is not over. The fight goes on. Soldiers and civilians are dying.

But in Zinmeister's sense of the word "war," as the struggle to establish a democracy where there was fascism, all the important factors point to victory. A government has been formed, most adult Iraqis risked death to vote for it, the Iraqis are not even close to civil war, and they themselves now are beginning to stamp out Saddam's dead-end fascists and the suicidal fanatics from the outside.

When I wrote "Freedom Won," I did not mean that the forces of liberation had won freedom once and for all. The side of freedom has won. There remains dangerous work ahead, as Zinmeister said. Eventually, it will be up to democratic Iraqis every day to protect their freedom if they wish to enjoy freedom's lasting peace. It's a republic, if they can keep it.

No, the bigger war isn't over, but so many key missions have been accomplished that with even lower levels of continued U.S. support victory for freedom in Iraq is 99 percent certain.

I accept your point that we can't say the War is Won, in the sense that all the major enemy units have stopped and signed a surrender. And we can't suggest our troops aren't still needed in Iraq. But the decisive battles probably have been fought, Saddam is in jail, and neither he nor the jihadists are going to be running Iraq.

We will need a U.S. military presence in Iraq for several more years. It only makes sense. We kept a presence in Germany and Japan long after World War II (60 years later, we have tens of thousands of American troops in both nations), and we still managed to say that war was over in 1945.

Americans in Iraq are risking their lives for a vital service and a worthy cause. By guaranteeing the democratization of that nation, they are assuring us, the Iraqis and the world that dictatorship will not come back to bite us, or to bite the Iraqis and their neighbors.

That is why we must see this through to democracy and stability in Iraq. Dictatorship is war. When freedom wins, peace wins.

Red Star

Iraq a facist? Iraq was the most liberal, open minded, well educated, moderate society in the Middle East, but look at the country now. It is utterly devastated, on the brink of a civil war; and who do we thank that for? Thanks to the American, there'll be compatriots, families and friends in Iraq that will be seperated just like North and South Korea, with Vietnam almost another example. Let the fate of a nation - for better or worse, be decided among themselves and not by outsiders.

Red Star

Except:

Iraqis say that thanks to America they got freedom in exchange for insecurity. Guess what? They say they'd take security over freedom any day, even if it means having a dictator ruler.

I heard an educated Iraqi say today that if Saddam Hussein were allowed to run for elections he would get the majority of the vote. This is truly sad.

Then I went to see an Iraqi scholar this week to talk to him about elections here. He has been trying to educate the public on the importance of voting. He said, "President Bush wanted to turn Iraq into a democracy that would be an example for the Middle East. Forget about democracy, forget about being a model for the region, we have to salvage Iraq before all is lost."

One could argue that Iraq is already lost beyond salvation. For those of us on the ground it's hard to imagine what if any thing could salvage it from its violent downward spiral. The genie of terrorism, chaos and mayhem has been unleashed onto this country as a result of American mistakes and it can't be put back into a bottle.

I asked a 28-year-old engineer if he and his family would participate in
the Iraqi elections since it was the first time Iraqis could to some degree
elect a leadership. His response summed it all: "Go and vote and risk being blown into pieces or followed by the insurgents and murdered for cooperating with the Americans? For what? To practice democracy? Are you joking?"

http://www.agonist.org/story/2004/9/30/174422/573


Frank Warner

Now that dictator Phan Van Khai has returned to Vietnam to imprison a few more dissidents, Red Star is back to give us the totalitarian point of view.

Red, what was it like, licking Khai's boots, while he was here?

Frank Warner

The 300,000 to 400,000 Iraqis in mass graves might have argued that Saddam's Iraq wasn't so stable. So might their families.

The more than 1 million who died in the Iran-Iraq war might have argued Saddam's Iraq wasn't so stable. So might their families.

They 100,000 a year who died partly because Saddam was stealing from the Oil-for-Food program might have argued Iraq wasn't so stable. So might their families.

It's like Vietnam. Had Ho honestly been committed to liberty, had he held one free election or allowed one freedom, there would have been no Vietnam War. There would have been no millions dead. There would have been no re-education camps and Boat People, and probably no Killing Fields in Cambodia next door. And Vietnam today wouldn't celebrate its "victories" by releasing thousands of dissidents who should never have been in prison to start with.

Totalitarian calm is not stability. It is the muffling of screams.

There is no real peace without freedom.

Red Star

Warner, you idiot.

What if a powerful nations says to the Black and Hispanic people of USA to push for succession by providing weapons and means for revolt? How would the USA enjoy that? I'm sure the white brother hood wouldn't enjoy their good lively hood destroyed. Ok this scenario is not very relevant today, but how about 50 years ago?

Stop your idiotic babble about promotion of democracy. If democracy was so vital and crucial as if it's the pinnacle of modern advanced society, then why is the entire Western world (with the exceptio of the kiss ass UK) not endorsing USA's actions?

Warner, get a passport and do some travelling around the world and you'll find that the Cold War is over and that no matter what the "colour of the cat it may be, as long as it catches mice" will suffice. Only the USA has a unilateral evil hunger to create positions of self interest. But creating a myth to its own people about Freedom and Democracy.

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