Holy Scripture tells us that ‘To every thing there is a season," including "a time of
war, and a time of peace" (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 8). On September 11, 2001 our nation got a vivid glimpse at just how relevant these words are to us today. Although we were well aware of the horrors of terrorism, we were now plunged headlong into the battle, ready or not. This horrendous event set the stage for what became known as the "War on Terror."
Surrounded by some of the best military minds of our day, President Bush proceded to present us with his bold vision . Although the immediate targets were Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qeada organization, it was understood from the very beginning that this was to be a war against terrorism wherever it was found. In the words of popular TV commentator Bill O’ Reilly:
There are around the world thousands of Islamic fanatics who want to kill Americans because they believe Allah is (sic) down with that. These people are taught from the time they are children that Jews and Americans are undeserving of life on this planet. There is no negotiation with the most of these zealots; there is nothing one can say to dissuade them. They want blood and they will use any and all means to get it. (1)
To me, it seems perfectly logical that an assault on global terrorism would include targeting the infamous "Butcher of Baghdad," Saddam Hussein.
Although the initial premise that Saddam was in possession of weapons of mass destruction has yet to be solidly verified, the case for war does not stand or fall based on this. Even for those who disagreed with the war, could anyone honestly question that the world is a safer place with Saddam out of power? Even if weapons of mass destruction are never found, is this fact alone not enough to justify the war effort?
At the beginning of the war, Saddam’s now deceased son Ouday was quoted as saying that "Bush is not like Clinton. He means business. I have a feeling that the end is near." As the "Strike and Awe" offensive got underway, the American public sat transfixed as the message rang out loud and clear: If you harm or threaten the security of the United States, this is what you can expect. We were seeing a vivid illustration of President Reagan’s philosophy of "Peace through superior fire power."
Unfortunately, the post-war rebuilding phase has not always gone as well as initially hoped. With each American soldier killed, the unrest in our nation understandably grows. Has President Bush handled every aspect of the war perfectly? Obviously not. I do feel that he has been short sighted in much of the post-war operation, and I believe that Senator Leiberman’s proposal to send in more troops should be seriously considered. However, President Bush never claimed that either the War on Terror or the war in Iraq would be quick or easy. While it is true that both Saddam and Bin Laden are still at large, our military is still working diligently and each new triumph brings us closer to meeting our ultimate objectives.
Contrary to the incessant cries of the President’s detractors, the war is far from being the dismal failure they have painted it to be. Consider the following:
• Roughly two-thirds of the Al Queda leadership has now been brought to justice.
• 45 of the 52 leaders of Saddam Hussein’s network have been either captured or killed.
• 50 million people who once lived under a brutal dictator are now free.
It is for this reason that I believe this cause is noble and deserving of our continued support. The decision to go to war is never easy, and each loss of American life leaves our nation with an unfillable void. However, the defeat of Saddam Hussein (which I believe will lead to his eventual capture) will (although it will take time) help bring some much-needed stability to a very troubled part of our world. Each murderer who is no longer a threat makes life better for all of us, and each terrorist captured or killed brings victory that much closer to our grasp. As President Bush so elequently put it:
My fellow citizens, the dangers to our country and the world will be overcome. We will pass through this time of peril and carry on the work of peace. We will defend our freedom. We will bring freedom to others and we will prevail. May God bless our country and all who defend her. (2)
(1) O’Reilly, Bill. "Its the War, Stupid" BillOReilly.com.10 September, 2003 <http://www.billoreilly.com/currentarticle> 15 September, 2003.
(2) President George w. Bush. Speech delivered March 19, 2003. BushCountry. <http://www.bushcountry.org/bush_speeches/president_bush_speech_032003.htm> 18 September, 2003