Friday, April 11, 2003

By Alexander Marriott
UNLV Rebel Yell: April 14, 2003

Wednesday April 9, 2003 was a truly great day in modern history. Connecticut Senator Joseph Lieberman, a man whom I rarely agree with, declared that it was “VI Day,” for Victory in Iraq. But it was more than just that, it was a victory for all men everywhere against the irrationalism that has made people like Saddam Hussein possible.

Philosopher Ayn Rand once said that, “The spread of evil is the symptom of a vacuum. Whenever evil wins, it is only by default: by the moral failure of those who evade the fact that there can be no compromise on basic principles.” For far too long those in power have lived by compromise as the basis of dealing in foreign affairs. April 9 was another sign that that may be ending, slowly, but surely. Of course compromise is ok when the parties compromising at least agree in fundamentals. This is not the type of compromise Ms. Rand or I am referring too though.

Modern political philosophy is built on pragmatism, the belief that beliefs ought to surrender to whatever “works,” which ironically is defined differently depending on the particular beliefs of those deciding what “works.” This is the reason most people have given up on communism, because “while good in theory, it can’t work in reality.” Instead such people who think communism is “good in theory” now say that Democratic Socialism is the way to go, because that “works.”

The reason all of this is important to our War on Terrorism is simply that since Eisenhower let the Egyptian Socialist Dictator Nasser steal the property of the West, it has been acceptable, in American Foreign Policy, to either compromise vehemently with one’s enemies or just outright do nothing when provoked and attacked.
Nixon halted the Israelis from total victory in the 1973 war, so that the Arab aggressors wouldn’t be destroyed. Jimmy Carter, noted genius and paragon of peace the world over, let Iran fall apart and then did nothing when the Iranians openly declared their intention to destroy the west and America in particular, while holding Americans hostage. Luckily this cost him the Presidency.

Ronald Reagan made the situation worse by entering Lebanon and then running away when terrorists, sponsored by Iran, blew up a Marine barracks in Beirut. Libya openly sponsored all sorts of terrorist actions in Europe that ended up killing Americans. In return they received a few bombs, but the regime of Khadafi was left in place. George H. W. Bush liberated Kuwait from Saddam, but failed to liberate the Iraqis from him because the international coalition wouldn’t have approved, despite the moral question in play (if it is in one’s power to remove illegitimate tyrants, should one do so?) and his call on Iraqis to rebel and then not supporting them when they actually rebelled.

Bill Clinton continued this pattern by enduring numerous attacks, the bombing of US military apartments in Saudi Arabia, the first World Trade Center bombing, the Iraqi assassination plot against George H. W. Bush, the bombing of two of our African embassies by Al Qaeda, the attack on the USS Cole by Al Qaeda, and the flagrant violations by Saddam Hussein of his cease-fire obligations. For all this Bill Clinton chose to fight air wars in Bosnia and Kosovo instead, only occasionally firing cruise missiles at Bin Laden and Saddam.

George W. Bush probably would have been just as happy to continue in this shameful and inept manner except that the events of September 11, 2001 will not let him. Americans finally had to start dealing with terrorism and the states that sponsored it or be destroyed by them over time. We don’t compromise with the terrorist sponsoring states anymore once we focus of them, but we are still compromising with the United Nations, which is run by despots and tyrants no better than Saddam. Hopefully after the horribly long and useless process that preceded this operation in the War on Terrorism the Bush administration will not use the UN to defend America again.

The peace protestors were clearly wrong, as usual. The Iraqi people don’t love Saddam; they haven’t risen in a nationalist jihad to protect him from the American, British, and Australian forces in the country. They realized, unlike millions of people in America, that Saddam was a worthless illegitimate tyrant and were all too happy to be rid of him, perfectly willing to risk death from errant US bombs, missiles, and bullets. Hopefully the new Iraqi government, once it comes into being, will remember that millions of people all over the world fought to keep them oppressed and to allow Saddam to develop Weapons of Mass Destruction, which we are just now starting to discover.

You cannot compromise your ideals in politics, domestic or foreign. Slowly President Bush is realizing this. America must defend itself against the forces that are arrayed against it, whether it is Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction, Syria’s support for terrorism against our Israeli allies, North Korea’s willingness to sell weapons to terrorists, or Iran’s Islamist Jihad against the United States and their nuclear weapons program.

The irrational hope that you can defeat your enemies by compromising with them, or even more absurd, not fighting them at all, is what has gotten us to our current predicament. The only way to defeat our enemy is to hold to our values and destroy all who wage war against us, meaning the terrorists and the states that harbor and support them. The victories, which we have gained in Iraq and Afghanistan, will not end the terrorist threat when there are still governments in the region that are supporting Islamist Terrorism. To squander our momentum now and not press our counter-attack further would be a fatal mistake, one I hope that President Bush will not make.

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