Moral Clarity and the Iraq War
by Roberto Diego
Copyright 2004 by Roberto Diego - Permission to distribute or reprint is allowed so long as copyright mark and all links are included.
Perhaps those of us that have gone before have developed a finer sense of moral clarity. Perhaps I am unique and few would agree with me. Perhaps our younger people are smarter than I and know more. Perhaps they don’t.
I happen to be one that understands that believing a lie accomplishes nothing that is good. The Germans under Nazi rule believed many lies. The Russians during the cold war believed and created many lies about the United States. Today, we are hearing many lies about George Bush and around the world we are being vilified because we have taken a stand against terrorism.
When I say “we” I mean our President has taken a stand. I don’t think “we” have taken a stand. The liberal media has certainly taken a stand against George Bush and the war effort. The liberal media questions whether George Bush lied when there is no evidence that he did. They question the rightfulness of a war by questioning a number of reasons Bush made for going into Iraq. This questioning gives our enemies propaganda to use against us and emboldens them to commit atrocities against the Iraqi people and Americans. The world, including the American media, is coming to the conclusion that the U.S. is an aggressor around the world, a war mongering nation in search of power, dominance and oil. They have forgotten the lesson of 911.
It is a lie to say we are only after oil in the Middle East. It is a lie to say that George Bush lied about the reasons for going to war. It is a lie to say that we had no good reason to go into Iraq. It is a lie to say that the Iraqi people would have been better off without our going in. Now, here is the truth:
The United States of America is a free country. As a free country, we are one of the few in this world that welcomes immigrants and gives them the opportunity for success and good living in our country. We (most of us) understand that freedom is the prerequisite of a “moral” society. When people are free to make decisions for their own lives and, for the most part, benefit from those decisions, they will live better, happier lives. As a free country we represent the idea that all people should be free to think what they want, say what they want and do what they want as long as that doing does not harm others. There are few countries in the world that represent these ideas or even practice them with conviction.
A free country means a free economy. In a free economy, the individual is allowed to go into business if he or she chooses and he is allowed to run that business for profit without undue penalty. For the most part, economic decisions are made by individuals rather than government - and individuals live and prosper according to the quality of those economic decisions. When people are free to associate and trade with one another without governmental interference, the best decisions are made and, overall, more people benefit. The result, though not the goal, of a free economy is prosperity and affluence. We are the freest economy in the world and the most prosperous. Our products, our quality and our abilities are sought after around the world. Our strength is a result of our freedom.
As a free society, we must necessarily be a “secular” society. This means that we function in this society as individuals without allowing any institution a monopoly on our ideas. Dogmatism, moral legislation and government interference in free choices, both personal and economic, are at a minimum here. This means people can believe what they want and need not fear retribution from government or other agencies. We do not have a theocracy because we know that to allow one set of ideas to dominate and control our ideas and choices is the essence of dictatorship.
Because we understand the value of freedom, because we experience the difference freedom makes in the quality of our lives, we know that the problem in many the nations of the world is that they are decidedly not free. Many of them are dictatorships that hold tight control of all commerce within their territories in order to ensure that no one prospers unless the government allows it, unless the leaders of the government and their families and friends, are able to muscle in on the profits. Others are so overly "socialized" that they are weak and ineffectual in building a strong middle class. Most of these nations are poor because they are not free. Most of them will never be prosperous because individuals in those territories are not considered important. Individuals are merely servants of the government and they prosper only at the whim of the government.
Because we know that freedom makes a difference, we hope that more nations, for the sake of their citizens, come to understand what causes prosperity. We hope that those nations will eventually realize that dictatorship and government dominance of the lives of citizens is what makes them poor. We hope for the establishment of freedom in as many nations as possible – for the sake of the people. Since we are a prosperous country, sometimes, we misguidedly think that by sharing our prosperity with other nations that we are helping them move toward freedom. Our generosity is not appreciated.
One thing that our prosperity has created among its citizens is a lack of understanding of just how predatory a dictatorship is. Because we are free and can say what we want, we assume that the lives of others in other countries must be somewhat similar. We don’t fear a knock on the door at night. We don’t fear being accused by our neighbors of being a spy. We don’t fear torture chambers and 24 hour interrogations. We don’t fear that our dissent will cause a black car to pull up in front of our houses. We even think that the citizens of other countries have access to the same things we have, such as air conditioning and cell phones and the Internet.
We also aren’t aware of why people hate us. They hate us because of what we have, but more than this, they hate us because of the kinds of people our freedom has made us. It has made us into self-assertive people who say what we think, look at the facts and decide the right course of action based upon those facts. They hate us because they love our movies and our music. They hate us because they wish they could have everything that we have but know that, for the most part, those things are not achievable or they are forbidden to them. They hate us because our honesty with ourselves makes it possible for us to enjoy our lives and to smile and laugh.
Iraq, under Saddam Hussein, was a brutal dictatorship that crushed opposition and kept its citizens living in fear. It destroyed any semblance of opposition – and that means murder. They controlled every element of the economy and kept their people poor while the gangsters lived in opulence. They did not seek to provide freedom for their people nor did they want freedom for any nation they attempted to conquer. They had no right to an ounce of anyone’s territory, especially the territory they controlled. They were not rightful owners of Iraq, but despotic villains engaged in looting, plunder, rape, murder and they did develop and possess Weapons of Mass Destruction. Against such an oppressive ‘government’ any nation has a right to defeat and destroy the leaders.
On 911, our country was attacked in the most brutal manner. Affluent citizens of this country, living lives they enjoyed, found themselves jumping from the highest buildings in the world onto concrete pavement. Their lives were ended and the lives of their families were destroyed. 911 was a spectacle of free people attacked in the name of dictatorship, in the name of hatred of the good, in the name of hatred of our country. We need a foreign and military policy like that outlined by President Bush: 1) put all nations on notice that if they harbor terrorists, they will eventually have to deal with the United States, 2) use the U.S. military and intelligence agencies to find the location of anyone it considers responsible for 911 and anyone seeking to commit terror against the U.S., and once found, do what we must to take them out, and 3) enlist the aid and support of all freedom loving nations in this effort. This is "our" war, our time and the future is in our hands. If we retreat from Iraq, as the liberal media is trying to make us do, it will not be like Vietnam where the strongest argument was that we had no vital interests in that war - we have a vital interest in winning the war against terror and the war in Iraq - if our survival is important. For you liberals out there, do you think it is more important to win an election and destroy our ability to fight this war on terror or do you have the honesty and integrity to call the war "hands off" and to encourage your media to get a grip on the seriousness of this situation and start reporting the war without slant and bias?
Was Iraq involved in the 911 attack? That question has not been fully answered yet. They might have been. Iraq was a dictatorship, the most visible and the most openly hateful toward America. Its leaders were openly hostile to America and could certainly have been involved. If they were not involved, they might be in the future. They harbored terrorists and they supported families of terrorists. They ran a terrorist training camp called Salman Pak that even had a jetliner for training on hijackings. The camp contained significant amounts of chemical agents and trained not just Iraqis but foreign fighters as well. They harbored Al-Zarqawi who was and is wanted by the United States as a terrorist. This man was fighting for the Taliban in Afghanistan. wounded there, and received medical treatment in Iraq. He was in the country when the U. S. invasion began. He is the man that has taken credit for beheading Nicholas Berg. Face it, the Iraqi leadership under Saddam Hussein was a gang of thugs that wanted America out of the way so they could resume their efforts to conquer more oil lands. In this respect, they had the same goal as bin Ladin who wants to get the Americans out Saudi Arabia in order to take over that country. Taking out Saddam Hussein was fully consistent with the Bush Doctrine.
It is a good thing for the Iraqi people that Iraq be a free country. For the American media to distort the reality in the world and in Iraq in order to do political damage to George Bush is an unprecedented misuse of the power of the media. It is a clear example of a lack of moral clarity by our modern media and a lack of understanding of the real issues. The media today is giving us selective stories with selective slants, dropping of context and lack of perspective, book after book, lie after lie, scandal after invented scandal, all with the goal of defeating the only President in modern times to take a stand for freedom in the world. That the American media is dependent upon the advertising dollars earned by companies whose products are bought by the American consumer is particularly scandalous. The real scandal in our time is that the American media, in violation of their responsibility to give us in-context information, for the sake of slanting opinion against one man and against freedom, has engaged an effort to use propaganda and the BIG LIE. The fairness doctrine has given way to political propaganda masquerading as news. Believing a lie accomplishes nothing except the goals of deceivers – and deceivers tend to be dictators.
This election will either be the end of freedom or the end of the liberal media. As a person that considers himself a liberal in terms of general political opinion, I totally repudiate the tactics and methods of the liberal media. Posted on 5/23/04
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See Also: Saddam's Al Queda Connections
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