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The War on Iraq is part of the war on terror, not to introduce democracy

Reader comment on item: 100 Bin Ladens on the Way?

Submitted by Shep Fargotstein (United States), Apr 8, 2003 at 16:56

I don't think anyone in the world "wants' war. Sometimes it is imposed, in which case one has no choice but to become a participant. Would we be in Iraq if there hadn't been a 9-11? Would we be there if Saddam wasn't supporting terrorist groups with direct links to Al-Qaeda? Would we be there if he wasn't on the verge of helping Muslim extremists acquire weapons of mass destruction to be used against us and our allies?

I doubt it. Would we have waged this war solely to "liberate" the Iraqis, and to install democracy? I don't buy that argument either. If democracy finds fertile soil in Iraq, fine. That's a collateral benefit that we would, of course, welcome. But, it is not the catalyst for going to war. If that were the case, then we've just started, because there are another 50+ countries around the world where tyrannical regimes rule. This war is about combating extremist Muslim terrorism (and those who support it) that has reached the far corners of the earth, not about spreading democracy, or liberation.

There are those in the pro-Arab camp who suggest that the deep anger of the Arab world against the West will never be resolved without the USA changing course on its support of Israel. They suggest that all Israel has to do is "relinquish" land for a Palestinian state, and the problems between the West and the Muslim world will vanish. I don't buy that argument because it's just not supported by the facts. Israel is far from the center of Muslim discontent.

Let's presume for a moment that Israel capitulated, and a Palestinian state was created. Let's also presume that Israel and the Palestinian country lived in a state of tenuous peace. This wouldn't change the fact that extremist Islamic terrorists are waging war in dozens of major conflicts around the world (Philippines, Kashmir, Argentina, Bali, Russia, Algeria, etc) - slaughtering innocent civilians along the way - all in the name of local grievances that have nothing to do with Israel, and everything to do with spreading this radical ideology. Suggestions by the Arab world that all the West has to do is sacrifice Israel in order to put a halt to Muslim displeasure with the USA is tantamount to a demand that the free world capitulate to terrorism – or else. To do so would only embolden those who advocate terrorism, and lead the free world into a future where the only rules are intimidation and chaos.
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