Monday, September 20, 2004

The Morality of War - Part 4

So, here we are in 21st Century America, a land where our Constitution still dictates the boundaries of Law, yet we must take off our belts and watches before entering many public buildings. There is a clear difference between the type of War President Bush has waged, and the type of War Senator Kerry says he would wage.

First, Senator Kerry: The Democrat's nominee for President is a combat veteran from Vietnam, who opposed the war then, and now says we should not have invaded the way President Bush proceeded. Senator Kerry, however, has never gone into specifics about his plan. He seems to believe that the United States needs the support of the United Nations in order to go to war, their abysmal record in protecting innocents notwithstanding. Kerry also seems to disrespect the committment of nations like Great Britain and Pakistan, preferring instead to curry favor with the old continental powers of Europe long past, such as France and Germany. He has said he would respond if America is attacked again, yet seems oblivious to the fact that America was already attacked in 2001. Kerry favors response after the fact, to proactive measures in advance. He seems also, to believe that unless America is directly attacked by a nation or group, we should not use force against them, even where there is cause and provocation. HIs entire history in the Senate, has been on eof cutting Defense budgets and opposing the needs of our military. The sole conclusion I can reach, is that a Kerry Presidency would be hesitant, slow, indecisive and weak, Carter with higher stakes. Whatever one thinks of War, under Kerry it would not be prevented, only bloodier and conducted at our enemy's whim. I can only call such a worldview immoral, as it puts the blood of men at smaller value than political image.

As for President Bush, he has his failings. More than a thousand servicemen have died fighting the present conflict, and because there is reason to believe the President underestimated the cost, he bears fault for that. Further, until Iraq is secure and stable, there is the risk that the war was fought for a cause which has not been accomplished. However, against that, we must measure the fact that Bush's actions prevented a follow-up attack on U.S. soil by al Qaeda, and he has freed two nations from tyrannical regimes, both known to suport and promote terrorist groups. He has demonstrated resolve in a noble cause, and has trusted his generals and cabinet to know and perform their responsibilities. He has recognized and met the strategic threat from Global Terrorism, and has balanced the limits of his office with a bold initiative to lead the offensive to remove this threat from American territories and allies. President Bush has invested the force and authority of the United States, to lead the world to greater security and freedom, by creating the opportunity for the Middle East to choose its own path, rather than be goaded by tyrants and madmen, and despite the lies of his enemies, has put duty ahead of politics, and the good of the nation ahead of present comfort.

The future is uncertain, but it was always so. President Wilson dared to believe that the First World War made the world safe for Democracy. Though he failed to anticipate Hitler and Tojo, it was nonetheless well for the world, that American Marines entered France in 1917, and setlled a war which otherwise might have been even worse in cost and misery. President Roosevelt dared to believe that we might treat with Stalin, though he knew the man was a monster. Though FDR failed to foresee the Iron Curtain or the rise of Communist China, it was well for the world that American forces ended the wars in Berlin and Tokyo, or it might, again, have been even worse for those who could not ignore the bombs and the tanks. Ronald Reagan dared to believe that America would lead the nations out of Communism. Though he failed to foresee the rise of Islamofascism, or corporate terrorism, or the global alliance between murderers, it is well for the world that Reagan faced down the Politburo, or we might not have the means to take on the terrorists.

And so, we come now to the present danger, a crisis one candidate thinks we can hide from, but which our President has resolved to face and defeat. The battles will be of both common and new appearance, some obvious and som ehidden, some easy and some at ghastly cost, but the morality of the moment is to defend our land and children, by taking out the enemy where he bases, and changing the landscape which bred such monsters. By ending these enemies, we may give their nations hope for their own future, and so better insure our own, and if War has any morality, surely this is where it is found.

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