The obtuseness of the Left never fails to amaze me. Reading the local 'progressive' rag, the Austin Chronicle, today, I noticed editor Louis Black has chosen to lend his support to the Iraqis voting this weekend by waxing nostalgic about the protests against the war (notice the distinct tone of martyrdom that permeates his article, much as in the Tim Robbins speech to the National Press Club. This is the most laughable frequently used liberal tactic - decrying the lack of one's freedom by freely engaging in protest, shouting at the top of your lungs about how you're being silenced, when the real problem is that no one cares to listen to your ranting). Black says of the anti-war crowd: "They marched because the United States was gearing up to invade Iraq, and they knew that was wrong". Black is very sadly mistaken here; it would have been wrong to NOT invade Iraq. In fact, the lives being lost now are being lost because a good man, George H. W. Bush, made a very bad blunder in not deposing Saddam after the first Gulf War.
Thus, we see the costs of inaction on one front - by not driving into a wide open Baghdad in 1991, when the entire world acknowledged the justness of our cause, tens of thousands of lives have been lost when we had to finish the job 12 years later. This is indeed an immense burden, financially and emotionally; far greater would the price have been had George W. Bush continued to turn a blind eye to the Iraqi menace. Saddam Hussein was a sadistic dictator who supported terrorism and had no moral problem with WMDs, even if he didn't have a current stockpile, with a hatred of the United States and Israel and an iron grip on his subjects. The invasion of Iraq was justified in numerous ways. Saddam was an affront to international law, a menace to his neighbors, a ticking time bomb that would have eventually exploded.
Suppose we indulge ourselves by imagining a world without the 2003 invasion. Saddam, of course, would have eventually died. While life remained, he would have continued to terrorize his subjects, and used ill-gotten profits intended for humanitarian purposes to buy influence with the Europeans who were anxious the lift the sanctions. Without the threat of UN action over his head, he would have proceeded to rearm quickly, before events turned against him again, and the WMD factories would have proceeded with due haste. He would know his time was drawing to a close, and would long for that great strike against his enemies that would ensure his place in history.
Even had the above not come to pass, upon his death, we would have been subjected to the ascension of his brutal, nihilistic sons. Those who are so outraged by the disgraceful actions of the justly denounced soldiers of Abu Ghraib should take some time to read of the horrors routinely inflicted upon the poor souls who chanced to offend Saddam's offspring. No hope would remain in a country under the thumb of these despots.
No, Mr. Black, Mr. Alterman, Senator Kennedy, Ms. Streisand, Mr. Robbins, it was not wrong to invade Iraq, but it was very wrong to have allowed ourselves to come so close to such a fate as that I have outlined above. We truly were blessed to have a president who knew that 9/11 was perhaps the final chance to take the offensive decisively against the rogue nations that encouraged and sponsored the politics of terror.
With the passing of Ronald Reagan, the Radical Left was astonished to find their once-mortal enemy was so beloved by the world. The stock response they spewed to the just praise for Reagan's decisive role in bringing down the abominable Soviet Union was that it would have eventually collapsed under its own weight, it was a failed state (strange how you seldom heard that BEFORE Reagan), Reagan just happened to stumble along, and really, it was Gorbachev more than anyone who deserved the praise. Bull.
Gorbachev was reacting to forces he could not control and trying to preserve the Soviet system, not destroy it. Years of inaction by the Left had resulted in a permanent, dangerous stand-off between a economic and military superpower and a tin-horn dictatorship that owed its prominence on the world stage to the cowardice of those who preferred peace at any price to freedom. Ronald Reagan was buried a hero because he pushed that decaying monstrosity, deliberately, over the precipice. To those who said we were spending too much on the military, he responded, "Not enough". To those who said he had foolishly provoked the Soviet Union by calling it an 'evil empire' (which it surely was), he responded, "Tear down this wall". And when the dominoes started to fall, he was shrewd enough to befriend Gorbachev and provide him face-saving cover as the once-proud Soviet bear went into permanent hibernation with a whimper, not a bang.
We will always have with us the squeamish moral relativists who describe as fascists those who would take an active role in promoting the cause of freedom. One need look no further than the hysterical hand-wringing Bush's Second Inaugural Address has caused among the promoters of the 'live-and-let-live' mentality. The costs of inaction, where liberty and democracy are concerned, are far too vast; we must push forward, ignoring the catcalls and the abuse, for our cause is just.