Friday, February 23, 2007

A liberals take on "breaking the American will"

A long standing argument used by proponents of the war in Iraq uses the logic that to pull out is to send the signal that the American will to fight was broken. The administration touts the stated goal of Al Qaeda to break our will in Iraq, and claims that to pull out before "victory" is achieved is to validate the terrorists strategy.

In using this logic, the White House asks Americans to think of the great wars this nation has seen in our history. However, there is a major difference between the historical times that Americans have toiled through war without breaking, and the Iraq war. That major difference is the justness of the cause.

Is there anyone who would argue that Americans ought to support the continuation of an unjust war. If there is, then I have no reason to argue with them, because their position is so far gone that there is no reasoning with them. If we can agree that a war started on mistaken logic ought to be brought to conclusion as soon as possible, and that we who think that way are in fact patriots, it is easy to see why a withdrawal from Iraq is not actually breaking the American will at all. Remember, this is still (nominally at least) a Republic. It makes perfect sense that for this nation to embark on a great struggle, that our cause ought to be manifestly just, lest the public rightly demand that the unjust struggle cease, and seemingly hand our enemies a victory by default.

So when the White House compares Iraq to the American Civil war, World War Two, or the Revolutionary War, they would do well to remember the reasons this nation entered and endured those calamitous wars.

Our nation came into existence with the ruinous war of Independence, and the justifications for that war can be found in the document that founded this nation. Compare the Declaration of Independence against the rhetoric that led this nation to war in Iraq, and you will note a marked difference: We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal. Those words changed the world. The logic of the declaration in detailing the various reasons for separation of the colonies from England and tyranny is expressed in terms that can not be argued.

Against those causes for Americans to endure a ghastly war, consider Colin Powells speech before the U.N.
Numerous human sources tell us that the Iraqis are moving, not just documents and hard drives, but weapons of mass destruction to keep them from being found by inspectors.


We also have satellite photos that indicate that banned materials have recently been moved from a number of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction facilities.
The list of fabrications used to justify the invasion of Iraq went on and on. This speech, this ultimate case for war in Iraq is a very sad case when compared to the cause for the Revolutionary war.

Now as I ramble on here, remember that it is the White House asking us to make these comparisons. I am merely doing their bidding, but the logic they try to use is destroyed by their own comparisons.

Next let us consider World War II. The cause of that war was the Japanese surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. The case was made by Franklin D. Roosevelt and these are his famous words:
Mr. Vice President, Mr. Speaker, members of the Senate and the House of Representatives: yesterday, December 7th, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy - the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.
There is no ambiguity. The reason we entered WWII are not in doubt. No one has ever, or ever will question Americas justness in that war. Consider that call to war against President Bush's speech in Cincinnati on Oct. 7, 2002:
America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof -- the smoking gun -- that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
So as we compare the two wars, it is apparent that the cause of Americas entry into WWII was obvious and just, whereas the reasons given for the invasion of Iraq were wholly fabricated.

Last, in thinking of reasons to continue a great struggle, let us consider the Civil War. Abraham Lincoln made the case for the continuation of that struggle in the greatest speech in American history.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
A year had not passed from the time Lincoln signed the Emancipation Declaration til he gave the Gettysburg Address. That struggle was for the very existence of America as a Republic. A struggle to free a race from bondage. A great struggle that would end with either the death of America, or the rebirth of this nation in greater freedom. There could be no greater cause than that on which to base the following two years of death on a biblical scale in the Civil war.

Yet when we consider the various reasons listed to continue the Iraqi occupation, who can name them. I mean realistically, not some fanciful diatribe about flowering democracy in the middle east and so on. The only reason I can fathom is to allow this President to exit from power and pass the responsibility for the disaster he has birthed to the next President. This realization, or a similarly bleak one, has been reached by the majority of Americans, and it is not their will that has been broken in reaching that realization. It is the veritable dawning of the truth in our collective minds.

Let me end this by pointing to another struggle which we are engaged in, and which shows no sign of seeing the American will being broken. The attacks of 9/11 led to our invasion of Afghanistan. Let me quote the President as he stood on the smouldering rubble of the twin towers on 09/14:
I can hear you. (Applause.) I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. (Applause.) And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.
That then was this Presidents call to just war. A call that the American people and the international community followed enthusiastically as we invaded Afghanistan and deposed the Taliban. There is no call for retreat from that field of battle. If anything, the voices from my side of the political divide have decried the lack of focus and will in Afghanistan.

It would behoove this administration to heed their own calls to compare the great struggles of our past with our current wars. And they should take heart in the fact that America has not lost it's will in a war that is widely considered just. I know I take heart in the fact that Americans do not seem to want to blindly continue a war that is widely acknowledged to have been mistakenly embarked upon.

Comments: Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Subscribe to Posts [Atom]