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Blood on our Hands

The conversation in the US of late is whether or not we should pull out of Iraq or some other scenario.  It may seem that this is an issue segregated from religion and Christianity but I refuse to believe that one’s ideas- religious or otherwise- have no bearing on real life… indeed, if they did, they’d be fundamentally pointless.

Parallels to Vietnam have been made and in some respects I think they are accurate.  The problem is that the parallels are not extended far enough.  If we take a fairly common Liberal notion that our people in our own particular nation are not more valuable than the people of another nation, you see this principle extended in support of a withdrawal… “Who are we to impose our views on another?”  In fact, the principle, if it means anything, means that when we see people in another nation being ruthlessly oppressed it is not enough to hide behind our own particular flag and refuse to risk the lives of our own citizens to help them.  After all, our particular nation’s citizens are no more valuable than citizens in other nations…
Vietnam, of course, was a mess, and I think everyone agrees it ought to have been handled differently.  And yet the threat that Communism posed was legitimate and real.  Millions died at the hands of Stalin, Lenin, and Mao, and it did not happen out of sight.  We lost some 50,000 American servicemen in Vietnam… were they more valuable than the hundreds of thousands that would be slaughtered after our withdrawal?  What about the overflow into Cambodia, where Pol Pot slaughtered a million or more of his own people practically uncontested?  The blood of these individuals is on the hands of those who clamored for a withdrawal from Vietnam, just as the blood of the millions that died at the hands of the USSR and China are on the hands of the rest of the world after World War 2 as they allowed evil men to do as they please- this after taking such definitive action to remove another set of very dangerous evil men from the scene.

Tracing these events to our modern day is not difficult but it is informative.  After the coalition forces allowed Saddam to stay in power after the first Gulf War Saddam brutally massacred tens of thousands of people that the coalition had goaded into action… and then failed to support.  Liberals count some half a million people that died as a result of the sanctions during the 90s… a half a million people plus the tens of thousand rebels killed by Saddam directly… that would still be alive today.  The blood of these individuals is on the hands of the first Bush presidency and the United Nations.  By some estimates, nearly a half a million more have died in the current conflict…  and some 3,000 American soldiers (who are no more important, right?) all of whom would still be alive had Saddam been toppled in 93 and a united coalition actually fixed the mess instead of putting a band-aid on it.

Now we find ourselves in a mess once again and it hardly matters how we got here.  But history is clear that if we withdraw our soldiers (who are no more important than the citizens of Iraq) the power vacuum will be filled with those prepared to employ the standard formula.  I do not want the blood of these thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and possibly millions when we start counting the unforseen but inevitable Pol Potian type consequences, on my hands.

There is only one moral solution (assuming those people are no more important than our own people) and that is for the world and the United States to actually fix the mess.  Fix it like Japan and Germany were fixed after WW2.  Fix it like the south was fixed in the American Civil War.  Fix it.   History abounds with examples of what happens when a situation is not fixed… it is a mania to believe the same won’t happen again.  Do you want the blood of these millions on your hands?  I don’t.  Fix the problem.


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