The Times That Try Men’s Souls

The vile murder of 27 US soldiers this week serve as a reminder of the horrors of war and the nature of the enemy we fight. We are fortunate that the level of casualties in this war have been comparatively light – the battle for Baghdad could have been a bloody urban seige such as the ones that decimated the Russian forces trying to recapture Grozny.

Yet every death in this war is a tragedy – both coalition and free Iraqi. The barbarians inside Iraq fight not for the freedom of the Iraqi people, but in the cause of subjugating them to either radical Islamism, or the same Ba’athist tyranny that the Iraqi people suffered under for decades. This war is in many ways is a low-level civil war in which free Iraqis are joining with the coalition to stop the murderers from plunging their nation into darkness. They understand that the path to a strong and proud Iraq is found in standing united against terrorism. With each attack, the “insurgency” of fascist reactionaries distances themselves further and further from the Iraqi people.

This is a dark summer for many military families in Ohio who know face the loss of their sons in a conflict for a people far away. Yet the peace and security of this country remain linked with the security of Iraq – we cannot allow the butchers of al-Qaeda to have safety anywhere, and leaving them Iraq would ensure that they could plunder and oppress the people of Iraq just as they did the people of Afghanistan.

The cause for which our brave men and women have devoted their lives is a cause that is just. The people of Iraq deserve the chance to live free from the threat of carbombings and beheadings. They deserve to have a government based on the universal doctrines of human rights.

Those who would use their deaths to criticize and diminish the mission in Iraq need to understand that this war is not just Bush’s war, it is our war. It is a war against a reactionary and violent ideology that hates women, hates gays, hates science, and will murder anyone who stands in their way. That is not a simplistic reaction, that is what they truly believe. Especially those who take on the clothing of “progressive” thought should consider that to the Islamists, anything not in shari’a is jahiliyya – educating women, tolerating homosexuals, expressing atheism – all of those things are crimes worthy of death to these reactionary murderers.

The values we stand for – democracy, the rule of law, religious freedom and tolerance, all of these things transcend the temporal and meaningless concerns of domestic politics. We cannot allow the cancer of radical Islam to continue to spread. Moderate Muslims must be clear in standing against terrorism, and the West must be united in the desire to ensure that another September 11, Bali, Madrid, or London attack never occurs again. The next attack could be with nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, killing thousands and bringing the world economy to its knees.

These are the times that try men’s souls, but we must not surrender to defeatism and despair. Our cause is just, our battle winnable. We are in a war of resolve, and we must summon the same courage our grandfathers and great-grandfathers did when they went away to a war in a faraway place for a people they did not know – their strength made them the greatest generation – our strength can ensure that the values they fought and died for remains strong for the next generation.

4 thoughts on “The Times That Try Men’s Souls

  1. “It is a war against a reactionary and violent ideology that hates women, hates gays, hates science….”

    I didn’t realize it was a war against Southern Baptists!

    Seriously though, at what point do you “we’ll leave when we complete the mission” people recognize this is Vietnam, Chapter 2? One has to go back a long time in the chapters of history to find the last “war of occupation” that was victorious for the occupiers. It amazes me to continue seeing the level of historical ignorance of the Iraq war apologists who honestly believe that Chapter 2 of the Vietnam War will end differently than Chapter 1.

    Not every week will be as bloody as this one was, but plenty weeks will be….in 2005 and beyond. The only question is how far into the future will that “beyond” apply before we take the hint?

  2. Mark,

    To paraphrase the old chestnut: Those who are ignorant of history are doomed to repeat it…

    In this case the ignorance is apparently on the part of the naysayers who try to liken the situation in Iraq to Vietnam. I won’t even bother to take to time to list all the differences.

    As to your contention that wars of occupation have not been successful, I seem to remember WWII wound up being a war of occupation in both Germany and Japan. Both of them did develop healthy, democratic societies as a result.

    Every lost life in our cause is tragic. But failing to fight the fight there would result in far worse consequences down the line.

  3. But, Chief,

    You forget that America was the agressor in WWII! Nothing more than a bully trying push around regimes with innocent (and legitimate) attempts at empire, genocide, tyranny…

    It’s fun when we can make up our own reality! 😉

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