Apr 28, 2003

Editorials & Oinion
Mike Dowty: Reality refutes objections to Iraq war

April 27, 2003

One by one the short-sighted objections to the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq explode as fallacy. Yet the Doves just don’t get it.

We went to war amid dire warnings that millions of civilians would die, that the Arab Street would erupt, that our troops would be butchered in a bloody “Stalingrad” battle for Baghdad, that the rest of the world would hate us and our actions would breed a thousand Osama bin Ladens.

Once the war began, we were told the war plan would surely bog us down in a military quagmire because we did not have sufficient troops on the ground.

It took the U.S. military a mere three weeks to produce a resounding answer for all these doomsday scenarios: WRONG!

But no sooner had our troops toppled the Saddam Hussein regime then the critics simply shifted their focus elsewhere. It didn’t matter that they were wrong about the war plan, that they were wrong about the reaction of the Iraqi people, that they were wrong about just about everything. The smoke just kept on blowing.

The invasion was still a mistake, they insisted, because …

•We haven’t found proof of weapons of mass destruction, the main justification for the war.

•We let the looters run wild.

•We couldn’t get the lights turned back on.

•We couldn’t get medicine into the hospitals.

•We couldn’t catch most of the regime higherups and we don’t know what happened to the big fish.

But even those objections were typically shortsighted. As you read this, the looting is mostly over, the lights are on, the medicine is there and a dozen or more of the topcats are in U.S. custody.

So what now?

Does anyone still want to claim this was an immoral war? That’s a pretty hard sell after the street celebrations when Saddam’s statue went down and the torture chambers were emptied out. Perhaps some still consider it an “illegal” war. Tell that to the coalition in this “unilateral” action, which has now swelled to 90 countries.

If you think there’s not much left to whine about, think again. Howard Dean, the Democratic presidential candidate and current darling of the anti-war left, says Iraq is now in danger of becoming a fundamentalist state aligned with Iran, which would make it a far greater threat to the United States than the Saddam Hussein regime was.

Those hoping for “regime change” in Washington are now banking on diplomatic failure in Iraq to make up for military success. But like Chicken Little, who lost his credibility for proclaiming the sky is falling, the Bush-bashers are finding it harder and harder to get people’s attention.

Surely the news reports from Iraq continue to be negative and gloomy, as they were before and during the war. Yet these issues too shall pass, leaving the not-so-loyal opposition as exposed as Dixie Chicks. The people who have been wrong about everything to date should pay close attention to the remarks of Gen. Jay Garner, the American in charge of rebuilding Iraq, before they go out on another limb. Garner told CNN Thursday the process of rebuilding the country after Saddam's ouster “will go faster than people think.” 

“This is a tough job,” the general admitted, “and it’s very difficult to take people out of a darkness and lead them into light. Once they have been standing in light long enough, their eyes will adjust.”

You have to wonder if that principle applies to people who have blinded themselves in their hatred for this president. Certainly most Americans not carrying such emotional baggage were reluctant to go into war, but most of us rallied around the troops and the cause once war started and we are greatly relieved by the outcome. We are not oblivious to the obvious. George Bush’s aggressive approach to terrorism has, so far, prevented a single attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11, 2001. It has now brought down two regimes that clearly sponsored and harbored terrorists. As a side benefit, it has liberated two countries from unspeakable oppression.

Evidence abounds that Iraq was producing chemical and biological weapons in mass quantities. For a number of reasons, officials have been tight-lipped about their finds to date, which has heartened critics who hope the U.S. will be embarrassed on this subject. The difference between the two camps, then, is one focuses on the security of the United States and revels in our success, while the other remains obsessed with a political campaign it lost in 2000. Get over it.
Mike Dowty is the editor of the Livingston Parish News.

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