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Iraq War Protests
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Dead People? In A War?
Authored December 13, 2003

I heard the same thing just before the coalition went into Afghanistan that I am hearing now. And in the middle of the Iraq War it is still the most vacuous argument against the mission that it was for Afghanistan. "We have to stop because of those that are dying." There are two major problems with this utopian logic.

The first is those who believe that the war should stop because of the deaths are forgetting the necessary price for anyone's freedom. In a war with a necessary end result deaths are regrettable but requisite. The second is that our enemy does not care about the deaths that their means cause, they will not stop because of collateral damage and the numbers of people that die now because of war to kill the enemy are infinitesimal to the number of people that would be tortured or killed if we did not see this war through.

People Are Dying...Stop The Insanity

One of the problems that anti-war people have in their protest is the logic that because people are dying (either civilians or military) we must stop the war. There is no historical demonstration that this line of thinking ended a conflict successfully. In fact history bears out the opposite.

Let us travel through time. The year is 1776 and the Colonials were getting fed up with the monarchy. A little war started and in it revolutionaries actually (brace yourself) died. Civilians also *gasp* died. Fortunately for the sake of the soon to be United States of America they did not stop because of many allied deaths or civilian casualties. They pressed on because the end goal was far more important, had bigger ramifications for the future of all then those who died.

They recognized the good of the whole over the good of a few. Fortunately for all of the hundreds of millions of Americans and refugees and citizens of countries we have helped financially and militarily in the 228 years after those revolutionaries did not balk at the 10,623 who died in that war. Proportionally speaking that would mean 850,000 people would have to die in Iraq to be at the same rate as the Revolutionary War. They knew the importance of their fight and the end result was much higher than even human life including their own.

Fast forward a bit to a civil uprising in the 1800's. The issue was slavery and the slave trade was the latest fashion in parts of Africa, Asia, Europe, the Far East, the Middle East and North, Central and South America. However, in the United States there was a war to end slavery. The Union lost 2 1/2% of their population to end slavery. Most of that 2 1/2% were fighting for something that they themselves already had: Freedom. They understood how important freedom is. They were willing to give their lives for other people's freedom from oppression. (Just for the curious, in order to match the benevolence of the Union we would see 12.4 million deaths in Iraq.)

Sometimes wars are fought not only for the benefit of others in the immediate future as was the case in the Civil War, but also for the benefit a many in the distant future. That was the case in World War II. The United States knew that Hitler was an evil man and knew that his evil would spread around the globe like a terrible virus (much the same as state sponsored terrorism has spread in the 1990s). Sadly, the peaceniks and absolute isolationists had a unity that prevented us from entering the war earlier than late 1941. Their rationale was cost. Cost in money, cost in lives and cost in resources were all more important than freedom from evil. It took a direct attack against our own land to get us to understand that some things, like defeating evil, are more important that our own lives.

Lucky for the entire world the people that protest the war now on the grounds of the number of dead did not exist in those times. If they had the world would have looked like this. The United States would not have existed, instead we would have still been under the British rule that would have executed anti-war rhetoricians for sedition. Slavery would still be wide spread globally and accepted (and for those who wish to blame Anglos or Americans for that keep in mind that Africans, Muslims and Middle Easterners were engaged in the slave trade of their own people centuries upon centuries before even Columbus set sail). Slavery would have existed until Hitler took over the world and exterminated all but Arians.

Anti-war discourse simply because of the number of dead is the rationale that wisely was rejected in years past and should be abandoned now because of both its danger and its absence of perspective and reason.

The Evil That We Fight Now

In the late 1940s we lost over 1 million people (which is nothing compared to the civilian and military lives the British and Russians lost) to fight an evil that overtly killed civilians for their political opposition. A few thousand deaths to fight state sponsored terrorist is a very miniscule price to pay. State sponsored terrorism (which actually include bin Laden, Arafat, Hussein and the rogues in North Korea, Iran and Syria) is just as evil as Hitler. Several million deaths would be justified in fighting the current evil; in liberating hundreds of millions of people; in ending theological states that engage in genocide of minorities.

In the late 1940s we lost over 1 million people to end an evil that tortured people simply for the type of people they were. Back then it was the Jewish people. Today it is the Jewish people of Israel, the Western people, the Shiites in some countries and the Kurds in others...the list goes on and on. Tens of thousands of deaths in the war against the existing genocide supporters is a small price to pay to end that genocide.

We should not cry for the end of the war because of those deaths. We should weep for their death and strengthen our resolve to continue fighting against the evil that supports bin Laden and Hussein and Arafat. For each death we should vow to kill 2 of theirs. War is ugly, to be sure, but its ugliness is necessary and worthy if the end goals are just and worthy. In Iraq they are just and worthy. The entire war on terror is just and worthy. Each death is regrettable but necessary.

The Sad Part

When American Senators are heralding the good of Osama bin Laden and not being castigated there is something wrong. When people fail to make the connection between Sadaam Hussein and Adolf Hitler there is a breakdown in cognitive processes. When the media stands up for North Korea and Iran they are neglecting the link to the evil of World War II Japan and Italy. When France, Russia and Germany stand in the way of rooting out Hitler-esque evil that exists throughout the Middle East they then prove the adage that to not know your history is to not know yourself.

When Americans become so complacent in their assumed freedom (including their freedom to protest the government) that they forget the historical price they then begin to deny that same freedom to others. Only sheer ignorance or total xenophobia can account for embracing a freedom to deny the same freedom for others. That is exactly what the peaceniks are doing right now.

I know the very first line of criticism will be that I am not over there and have no room to speak. I hesitate to do it because it will sound cliche, but I wish I could be there fighting for freedom. Their freedom is our freedom and my life is a small price to give so that others may be free. Age and medical conditions prevent me from being able to, but in the next couple of days I will be on an airplane and I welcome the opportunity to give my life to kill some of the enemy. I fly with the hope that a state-sponsored terrorist makes the mistake of standing up and attempting to commandeer the flight.

That is something that too few people understand, and the ones whose understanding is so impaired are the ones screaming the loudest against the war on terror (which Iraq is a part of, and soon too will Iran and North Korea as well).

The truly sad part is that the protesters are actually yelling to protect nations that would cut the tongues out of protesters like them, and for that mere punishment the protesters would be lucky.

Those who protest the war on terror because there are deaths need to review history and see that death is a necessary and unavoidable consequence of war. That consequence, no matter how big, is acceptable if ending evils such as Hitler, tyranny, slavery and all ties to al Qaeda. Those who protest the war are defending and evil as great as Hitler...I could not sleep with that on my conscience. How any human being could I do not know.