The War In Iraq Was Worth It Despite The Fact That Innocents Died

I received an email from a reader, jsl@be**.***, that covered a topic I wanted to address. Here’s the email in it’s entirety…

“Your editorial “11 reasons why we were right to hit Iraq” abstracts the war into ideas and ideals. How do you feel about the 13,000 – 15,000 Iraqi civilians killed as a result of our invasion? You can be proud of what we have done, but this deserves at least a mention.

Personally I am horrified to be a citizen of a nation that can kill innocent people on so large a scale and call it a success.”

First of all, let me set aside the fact that I think it’s totally despicable — although all too typical for liberals — to blame America for Iraqi civilians murdered by terrorists, criminals, and insurgents. Some Al-Qaeda terrorist cuts some poor guy’s head off and people like jsl go, “See, the United States caused that!” If these people could get half — no, one third — as mad at the terrorists as they do at the US, maybe the left wouldn’t be dead weight in the war on terrorism.

But I digress. That wasn’t what I wanted to really talk about. Here’s what I wanted to really hammer home…

The reality is that you fight a war; innocent people will die. That’s what war is like and there’s no way around it, particularly in this age of Jihadi terrorists and militia fighters who dress like civilians and use innocents as cover. That’s how it is, how it was, and probably how it always will be.

So if you say, “Hey, no matter what happens, I don’t support any war that gets innocent blood on our country’s hands,” what you’re in a roundabout way saying is that there is nothing worth fighting for. Maybe people like jsl believe that, but I don’t.

A lot of innocent people died in the Revolutionary War, but I’m proud we fought in it and won it. I’m proud that America fought to keep Europe free in WW1 and WW2.

Maybe jsl isn’t. Maybe he thinks we should have left France in the hands of the Germans rather than kill civilians to kick them out. Maybe he thinks the Philippines would have been better off pinned underneath a Japanese boot than freed at the cost of Filipino lives. Perhaps he believes we would have been better off letting North Korea swallow South Korea than shedding enormous amounts of American blood and, yes, killing a lot of innocent South Koreans fighting that war…but I think we did the right thing.

And we’re doing the right thing in Afghanistan and Iraq by helping those people towards freedom. Yeah, it’s hard on our soldiers; yes, it’s expensive; yes, innocent Iraqis & Afghans have been killed. The flip side of that is that Saddam Hussein, the Taliban, and much of Al-Qaeda’s leadership have been smashed and 50 million people are going to become FREE.

If — God forbid — the US were ever enslaved and there were nations that could help us regain our freedom (although if we can’t help ourselves, who could?), I’d want those countries to fight to help us even if a lot of innocent Americans died. Better to die on our feet than live on our knees. That’s what our Founding Fathers believed and it’s what I think most Americans believe. But again, I expect jsl and company have a philosophy more akin to “better red than dead”.

I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on the subject.

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