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freedom v. weapons

I tried to read Sean Penn's whole screed. I really tried. I kept falling asleep.

Perhaps our administration did declare that weapons of mass destruction were the reason for going into Iraq. I never declared it as my reason for wanting this war. Yes, it was one reason, but not all of it.

I have not, as someone in a comment on an older post said last night, been used like a cheap hooker. Those of us still defending this war and its outcome have other things in mind. Like freedom.

Did you really expect that within a month of the war, Iraq would be some sort of carbon copy of the United States, filled with open markets and democratic elections and prospering people? Are you so naive to believe that freedom can come in a week, a month, even a year?

There are signs of a new life in Iraq. An internet cafe has opened. There are more newspapers now than there have ever been in that country. There are people walking free in the streets, admitting their loathing of the former regime. There are children who have been freed from prisons, mother reunited with their sons who they had assumed to be dead.

Uday is no longer raping young women at whim. Heads are not being chopped off in public view. People do not cower in fear in their own homes, afraid that at any moment Saddam's people will rush in and kill them for some imagined slight.

The torture chambers are dismantled. The prisons are empty. The acid baths are gone.

Is that not enough for you? Will it always be for you an argument over weapons? I question anyone who claims this war was unjust because we have yet to find definitive proof of Saddam's weapon making escapades. How can you tell a person sitting in an internet cafe in Baghdad, reading news that he had never been able to view before that he does not deserve that?

How can you tell a child that he does not deserve to be back home with his parents after being freed from a prison because there were no WoMD to be found?

The end does justify the means. It takes time for freedom to flourish. It takes time for democracy to be installed. It takes time for wrongs to be righted and reapirs to be made and for the stench of a rotten regime to dissipate.

Yes, there will always be factions that want to rule in their own way, with violence or threats or an iron fist. We have that here right in our own country. We have domestic terrorists. We have extreme minorities on both sides of politics. We have cross-burners and gay bashers and groups that condone the destruction of private property to get their way. It's the nature of man to oppose, whether that opposition is just or not. It's the nature of man to want a society to be ruled in his own way, according to his own views. Fortunately, in our country, we have a system that enables the people to speak out against those who want to use tyranny to express their views. We have a system where majority rules, where the extreme among us are kept in check, where we don't allow illegal entities to rule our people.

That will come in Iraq. The free United States was not built in a day or even a month. Freedom takes time.

Personally, I don't care if they never find a weapon of mass destruction. What I care about is the people of Iraq. I care that good things have happened because of this war and it makes me angry that there are people who refuse to see that or acknowledge it, that they are so wrapped up in their hatred for Bush that they would deny a tortured Iraqi woman her freedom just to laugh in the face of the president's supporters.

Would you be happier, Sean Penn, if we never went into Iraq? I'm sure you would be.

Would the Iraqi people be happier? I doubt that.

If we have our right to live free, why would you deny that to others? Is freedom only viable when it is attained by an administration you admire?

This is not about Iraq for Penn and his kind. It is about their selfish hatred for George Bush. It is about the craving they have to be able to say I told you so, about their need to be right, always right and to prove everyone else in the free world wrong. They care about nothing but themselves and their self-centered ideology.

I have not been used by this administration like a cheap hooker. But most of you who oppose this war on the grounds of lack of WoMD have been used by the anti-Bush movement, by Scott Ritter and Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore and Robert Fisk. Your slogan should not be "Not in My Name," it should be "No Freedom for Iraq." That's what your ideology comes down to.

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Comments

I agree and now send your "Freedom v. Weapons" to Mr. Penn!

I don't generally jump into political conversations (you say it so much better than I EVER could), but wasn't Saddam and his band of criminals actually Weapons of Mass Destruction? Isn't it enough that they are no longer killing? Maybe I'm too naive but I say 'mission accomplished'!!

That's fucking beautiful, Michele. Seriously. I was about to try to say the same thing to some tard in the comments at my blog, but I think I'll just link this instead. Thanks!

Amen.

(After all, why can't liberty be its own religion?)

One might also point out that even if WMD were the only reason, we don't have to find finished weapons. We have found clear evidence that the programs were ongoing, in addition to previously undeclared chemical weapons and illegal missiles (in violation of the agreements "ending" the first Gulf War). That is enough to justify the destruction of Saddam's government.

Had someone told Sean Penn that we were invading Iraq because the CIA had learned Saddam was operating papparazzi training compounds, he would have become a "hawk".

Good points all. Just recently I saw some airhead on CNN (My hotel didn't get any other news channel, so that was all I had) lamenting that Iraqis are now forced to stand in line for gasoline and sundries. Oh, my, that's just awful. At least there were no long lines when the torture chambers and human shredding machines were operating. Really, it's hard to even HOLD a gas can when your fingernails have been ripped out by Uday's goons.

Yes, Bush's motives for the war were impure. However, that's true of just about every president. Regardless of the motivation, it's hard to see how getting rid of Saddam wasn't a good thing.

It does mean that we're now committed to nation-building in Afghanistan and Iraq. Whether or not we follow through in both places will have a major impact on world events for at least the next few decades.

I'm going to have to disagree with one point, Michele. Would Sean Penn be happier if we didn't go to war? No, because he would then be denied the opportunity to buy a page in the paper to say "I told you so." He loves the war, because look how much publicity he's getting. And when even that's not enough, he's buying the publicity.

If anyone's having trouble getting through Sean Penn's full page ad, here's the short version:

Hey. Remember me? Sean? You know, from the movies? Yeah.

Wonderfully said.

Perfect. Just perfectly, wonderfully put.

I'm going to make a tee shirt that says:

"No blood for freedom"

Any idea what else it should say or show?

The pre war battle for public opinion was mishandled- and I say that as a supporter of the war also. The primary reason for this war was to remove a dictatorship and to bring democracy to a despotic and stagnant part of the world.

The Bush administration could have simply declared this war a mission to bring liberty to an oppressed people. The issue of WMD's should have been placed in the background. It was always to tenuous and vague. Clarity of purpose would have been preferable.

That said the 'where are the weapons' brigade are merely serving to confirm my suspicion that much of the anti war movement is really just a loose conglomeration of snuff porn enthusiasts.

Its as if they wanted to see WMD's used and now they feel disappointed they didn't get what they wished for.

I know Im right too. Here in Australia I've often encountered 'peace' supporters who found the footage of September 11 to be spectacular and cathartic - or even funny. They want more of it.

We never went to war with Iraq to free the Iraqi people. That was never a high-priority objective, just a foreseeable side effect, as inevitable as the outcome of the war, itself. The Iraqis' lives were in such a sorry state in the past decade, that any situation, barring Earth bumping into an asteroid, would have made things better for them. We still have a half-year left on the calender for 2003. Large enough of a window of opportunity to knock off a few more dictators and tyrants around the world, free its people, and still be home by Christmas. Perhaps, even early enough to complete these campaigns and send Afganistan a Hallmark card, should old aquaintance not be forgotten. A declaration of war is a serious matter. The reasons for sending troops to a foriegn soil, can not be vague or unaccounted for. The major reason, that justification for the Iraqi War can be discounted, today, is the low number of casualties incurred by the U.S. military and coalition forces. If the number of U.S. casualties had been high on the battle field, the post-war justification and search for WMD would have carried with it a much more hostile scrutiny. If, WMD had been used in the war by the Republican Guard, the act would have legitimized the war at that point, immediately, but the American death toll would have been very high. Many opinions profess that Saddam Hussein never exercised his WMD option, but this would never have been the scenario in the real world. Unless you're prone to believe that Saddam Hussein would have qualms about using his arsenal with impropriety, WMD would have been aimed and utilized in the jihad. Saddam, already a dead man walking in the company of Stalin et. al, would not be too overly concerned about sending some unwelcomed infidels to their own afterlives. The invasion of Iraq, and its quest to rid the world of Saddam's stockpiles of WMD, becomes a paradox, that is, of hoping not to find what you're looking for, even with the spectre of political fallout on the homefront. Any concerns about negative international reactions, could be resolved, by putting the U.N. building on a barge and towing the diplomatic household to the Persion Gulf for relocation. Currently, the death toll for the Iraqi War is low and the original reasons for the war seems not as important as the pictures of happy Iraqis, in the streets, enjoying their new found freedom. Maybe then, "well enough" should be left alone, for not withstanding, the $80-billion-plus tab for occupation and reconstruction, the search for WMD may become the "quagmire" that we were all told about--I am not, though, of this opinion. But that's just one bloggee's personal opinion, on one day in June.

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