In response to the article by Ms. Crawford, published on Tuesday, the 25th in “The Houstonian,” I submit this rebuttal of certain key points.
The writer describes a sense of despair in that there were no apparent representatives from Sam Houston State at the anti-war rally that she attended over the past weekend. In her own words, she writes, “We have got to wake up SHSU. You can choose to believe … whatever other new lie they’ve come up with for justification to kill innocent people halfway around the world”. I feel the need to disagree with this statement, for a variety of reasons.
First of all, I am afraid that I simply cannot picture Bush, Rice, Powell and Rumsfeld sitting down to talk about killing people gleefully. The above statement by Ms. Crawford effectively paints a picture of our heads-of-state as killers. It is only this writer’s opinion, but I believe that Bush is just as human as the rest of us. I do not believe that he rejoices in deaths of innocents. Bush’s character aside, though, there are solid reasons supporting action against Iraq.
To understand all of the current situation with Iraq, we must look back. The UN has passed several resolutions regarding Iraq, and the behaviour expected from this rogue state. How easy it is to forget that Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, invaded a neighboring country, fired unprovoked SCUD missles at Israel and threatened to commit acts of terrorism and take hostages. The resolutions state, among other things, that Iraq totally and unconditionally depart from its agenda to obtain weapons of mass destruction, and that authorized member states will use whatever means necessary to support Iraqi compliance. Let us not kid ourselves: Iraq has not complied. If you don’t believe this, then answer why in 1997, Iraq decided to expel all of the UN Inspectors and monitors. Some might argue that Iraq, as a sovereign state, has a right to be free of foreign influence. These people might remind themselves that Iraq agreed to the UN resolutions in order to avoid further armed conflict as a result of the Kuwaiti invasion. Iraq has not conducted itself in a manner worthy of being treated as a sovereign state.
The next question might be, “If Iraq is so bad, then why are we only doing something about it now?” Good question. Consider, though, that up until lately, we’ve spent eight years under the leadership of a president who, despite his effectiveness, was an appeaser. Clinton was an excellent diplomat and, in his own way, a brilliant man, but he was not the type to buck public opinion and do something simply for the rightness or wrongness of it. Bush is different. Bush has nowhere near his predecessor’s charisma, nor political savvy, but he knows, as apparently many know at SHSU, that there comes a point when a line must be drawn.
September 11, 2001 was a wake up call. It reminded us that this is a hostile world, and that there are those who would destroy us given the chance. I reject those who say that it was a call for the United States to stay out of foreign affairs. No, it was a reminder that there are evil men out there that will slit our throats in the night if we let them. I am not afraid to use the word evil. Moral relativism declares that there is no evil. Men who fly planes into buildings filled with people are evil. Men who attack innocents in order to further their goals are evil. Men who offer money to suicide bombers are evil. Evil cannot be reasoned with, it must be purged. The time has come to get down to business, and to destroy those who would destroy us. I cannot respect the opinion of anybody who knows the first thing about Saddam Hussein and claims that he is good for the Iraqi people. His time has come, he must go, and we will remove him — by ourselves if necessary.
This coming conflict is not about oil. We are not out to colonize Iraq, or to subjugate its people. We are first and foremost out to topple a regime that is a serious threat to its people, and to us. US war plans do not target civilians and we have told the Iraqi people that our quarrel is not with them. I do not doubt that there will be civilian casulties. War is Hell. We are forced into the unhappy situation of having to choose between the lesser of unpleasant choices. Nobody enjoys going into war, not even Republicans. To imply that this is a personal grudge of our president, or that we’re out to kill innocents is, frankly, ignorant and sickening.
Before the beginning of World War 2, a similar situation existed, with war-weary powers choosing to ignore a certain despotic dictator rather than to take him out early. Hitler was appeased and disregarded. Nobody wanted more war. Read your history books; diplomacy is good, but there is a time and place for force. That, Ms. Crawford, is why this SHSU student is not carrying a homeade SHSU banner in an anti-war rally.