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The Book of Matthew: Democrats taking wrong stance in regards to Iraq

Published: October 19, 2007
Section: Opinions

Welcome to a special edition of the Book of Matthew!

I would like to thank Noah Klinger 08 for giving me the idea for todays column. I appreciate his efforts to contradict my views, because that is exactly what democracy is all about. Of course, I cant let him get off that easily.

The problem that I have found with many debates is their lack of a good rebuttal. Its always fun to watch campaigning politicians make statements that their opponents misquote, and its even more fun when these politicians do little or nothing to clarify their words. So, after reading Mr. Klingers letter to the editor regarding my article on the Iraq War, I realized that he made several points that merited a rebuttal. Therefore, beginning with today, once a month I will devote an article to addressing letters to the editor that I believe merit a response. As I do this, I encourage readers of The Hoot to write further counterpoints, in order to extend the debate.

In his letter, Mr. Klinger seemed disappointed with my article and decided to insult me, calling my article jaw-droppingly inane and suggesting that I start living in the present. I do hope that I never sink to such a level in my own argument. I am here to discuss my opinion on an issue, and though I admit I do argue strongly, I am not trying to make any arguments personal.

I still hold firm my position that the Democrats are taking the wrong stance on Iraq. However, when I said this it was not meant to merely refer to the Democratic presidential candidates, but to the party as a whole. For example, this spring Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid declared, the war is lost, an extraordinarily rash statement for a person of his position to make. Unfortunately, he is not the first Democrat to say something like this. Most Democrats in Congress share his view, and the Democratic presidential candidates are not much better. They share a disdain for the war, with the possible exception of Hillary Clinton, who has flirted back and forth to try to find the position that gets her the most support. Barack Obama, on the other hand, calls Iraq a dumb war;

while Dennis Kucinich promises a complete withdrawal within three months of the day he takes office.

Sadly, the anti-war tendencies of the Democrats are caused by politics and the news media, which are both horrible sources. Since a Republican president initiated this war, the Democrats feel bound to oppose it as soon as it is not going absolutely perfect. Then again, its hard to see how the war is going at all.

Every time we turn on the nightly news there is another report on the death toll in Iraq, usually accompanied by some pictures of horribly burned bodies. Hate to break it to everyone: war isnt pretty and it never has been. Yet, the war in Iraq is much lighter on American casualties than other wars of the 20th century of similar length (as bad as this sounds to say). However, the news media has chosen to horrify and frighten the American public in a way that terrorists envy. Every combat death is reported to the finest degree, while the gains that our soldiers make are often forgotten. Now, I do not mean to sound cruel to the troops;

on the contrary, I support the troops as much as anyone. But every soldier who joins the military joins with the knowledge that war is possible, and no soldier is forced to join.

Despite what Mr. Klinger says the U.S. military has done more good than harm in Iraq. Sure, Iraq was peaceful before, but only on paper. Saddam Husseins iron fist kept his citizens in line, and it is possible that we will never know the full extent of the atrocities that he committed while in power. How can the removal of such a leader be a bad thing?

Anti-war critics keep saying that the effort to stabilize the country is taking too long. Of course its going to take long! The Iraqi people have not had a democracy for decades, and it will take some time to get used to. However, I am convinced that once the Iraqis learn what it means to be democratic they will bring their country back from chaos themselves. We must do whatever it takes to make this happen, even if it means drastic measures, like partitioning the country along ethnic lines.

We can win this war, and we will win once the Iraqis have a democratic government stable enough to handle their challenges themselves. This will take time and patience, but it will pay off in the end. The only way we can lose is if we let our patience run out, and leave Iraq to be destroyed before it is ready to take care of itself.

So by all means readers, send in your views. I dont expect you to take my opinions lying down anymore than I would take yours, and I know there are plenty of you out there that can present good arguments about anything. I look forward to writing back in next months special edition.