Monday, March 24, 2008

Why Iraq?

I hear a lot of folks question why we are in Iraq and Afghanistan - well, not as many people question Afghanistan because they can easily make a direct connection between Al Qaeda and Bin Laden with Afghanistan. But the reasons are really the same - we are at war against terrorism in this world - not against a nation state as in previous wars. There is no enemy to oust from a certain territory or nation - no borders to reclaim and reestablish; no spoils of war to return to the rightful owners or heirs.

But why did we go to Iraq, the pundits ask? There were no "direct" ties to Al Qaeda in Iraq or with Saddam Hussein, they say.

Did there have to be?

Saddam Hussein was a terrorist himself and definitely supported terrorist acts. Do we forget that he paid families up to $30,000 per family member that committed a suicide terrorist act in Israel?

One windfall that the media seems to fail to address is in Israel. Think about it......when was the last time you turned on the news and heard of a suicide bombing in an Israeli marketplace or on a bus in Israel? I can't remember the last one and would wager that it has been years. Not counting the recent shooting that happened at a school in Israel nor the brief war/skirmish with Hezbollah in southern Lebanon, I can't think of a suicide bombing there in the past few years - THANK GOD!

But also thanks to the US military and our President for taking it to the terrorists in their home countries or the nations which harbor them.

I went back and re-read President Bush's speech following September 11. Here it is in its entirety - I have put in bold the paragraph about nations harboring terrorists: Let us never forget, please......

September 11, 2001 - President George W. Bush - Speech to the Nation

THE PRESIDENT: Good evening. Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist acts. The victims were in airplanes, or in their offices; secretaries, businessmen and women, military and federal workers; moms and dads, friends and neighbors. Thousands of lives were suddenly ended by evil, despicable acts of terror.

The pictures of airplanes flying into buildings, fires burning, huge structures collapsing, have filled us with disbelief, terrible sadness, and a quiet, unyielding anger. These acts of mass murder were intended to frighten our nation into chaos and retreat. But they have failed; our country is strong.

A great people has been moved to defend a great nation. Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shattered steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.

America was targeted for attack because we're the brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world. And no one will keep that light from shining.

Today, our nation saw evil, the very worst of human nature. And we responded with the best of America -- with the daring of our rescue workers, with the caring for strangers and neighbors who came to give blood and help in any way they could.

Immediately following the first attack, I implemented our government's emergency response plans. Our military is powerful, and it's prepared. Our emergency teams are working in New York City and Washington, D.C. to help with local rescue efforts.

Our first priority is to get help to those who have been injured, and to take every precaution to protect our citizens at home and around the world from further attacks.

The functions of our government continue without interruption. Federal agencies in Washington which had to be evacuated today are reopening for essential personnel tonight, and will be open for business tomorrow. Our financial institutions remain strong, and the American economy will be open for business, as well.

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I've directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.

I appreciate so very much the members of Congress who have joined me in strongly condemning these attacks. And on behalf of the American people, I thank the many world leaders who have called to offer their condolences and assistance.

America and our friends and allies join with all those who want peace and security in the world, and we stand together to win the war against terrorism. Tonight, I ask for your prayers for all those who grieve, for the children whose worlds have been shattered, for all whose sense of safety and security has been threatened. And I pray they will be comforted by a power greater than any of us, spoken through the ages in Psalm 23: "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me."

This is a day when all Americans from every walk of life unite in our resolve for justice and peace. America has stood down enemies before, and we will do so this time. None of us will ever forget this day. Yet, we go forward to defend freedom and all that is good and just in our world.

Thank you. Good night, and God bless America.