Having spent time in Iraq (on an archeological survey), I have strong feelings about the current war. The oppressed people of Iraq have been desperately awaiting liberation for years. Those antiwar demonstrators who so smugly believe they have the high moral ground are actually giving aid and comfort to one of the most ruthlessly oppressive regimes in history.
The brutality of Saddam Hussein's Big Brother regime would impress even George Orwell. I have spoken to beaten, tortured, maimed and bereaved citizens of Iraq who want nothing more than the complete annihilation of every vestige of Hussein's criminal rule. Clearly, it's our troops who have the high moral ground in their important mission of liberation. The minds of "peace" demonstrators remain hermetically sealed to the true meaning of peace. Perhaps when the full, grisly extent of Hussein's atrocities emerge in the aftermath of war, some of these demonstrators will awaken from the fantasy world in which they're now living and have the integrity to apologize to the Iraqi people.
Keith W. Stump
One of the stated goals of the Bush administration is to liberate the Iraqi people and create a democratic form of government. Does this mean that after the war, when we set up a democracy for them, we will accept the results of their elections regardless of the results? Hardly. If the people of Iraq were to elect a Muslim fundamentalist government that is hostile to the U.S., there is no doubt that we would then find a justification to liberate the Iraqi people (and their oil) from their misguided use of the democratic process.
If our government is so desirous of spreading democracy, why aren't we pressuring our ally, President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan, a military dictator, to schedule free elections? Could it be that the Bush administration knows that such elections would result in a fundamentalist Muslim government that would be hostile to the U.S.? It would be refreshing if this administration would be honest and tell us that this is simply a military action to remove a government perceived as being economically, politically and militarily hostile to us. Without such honesty, the bulwark of our democracy -- an informed public -- is continually threatened, in some ways more so than by Hussein.
After the war is over, we are obviously going to have great problems getting the Shiites, the Sunnis and the Kurds to agree to anything in the way of a united Iraq. We will be spending much time, money and effort trying to make it work and undoubtedly will garner lots of enduring resentment in the process. The country was created after World War I and has been held together by the iron hand of Hussein. This is Yugoslavia all over again: a nation of different groups that despised each other, held together only under a dictatorship. Finally, there is relative calm in that area as they each go their own way. Perhaps this is the solution for Iraq. If the Kurds had their own land they might stop being a threat to Turkey, and the Shiites and the Sunnis could carve up the rest as they wish.