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"The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt." - John Philpot Curran



Soon our government will declare victory in Iraq. Our troops will remain as "peacekeepers" for awhile, and then, hopefully, they will be allowed to return to American soil. But there is still a major question that needs answering: why were we there in the first place?

Long before the war began we were told that military action was necessary. "We really don't want to do this," Uncle Sam said with resignation, "but we have no other choice. Saddam Hussein is a threat to the security of the United States, and he must be removed from power."

So, the Bush administration set out to do just that.

The first step was to lay before Congress and the nation the damning evidence necessary to make the case against Saddam. Through that process America learned how Iraq had been in violation of numerous U.N. resolutions. The people realized that allowing an evil (i.e. non-Korean) dictator access to weapons of mass destruction could jeopardize the future of not only the U.S. but the entire world. Worse, they saw the indisputable evidence that there was a possibility that Iraq might be kind of linked to al-Qaida, Osama bin Laden and the terrorist attacks of 9/11.

The evidence presented was so overwhelming that Congress authorized the president "to use the Armed Forces of the United States as he determines to be necessary and appropriate." War was not declared, but, then again, the Constitution only serves to hinder government action in situations like this.

Once the people of the U.S. believed they were in imminent danger, Sec. of State Colin Powell presented the same evidence before the U.N. (You see, in this age of globalism it is considered bad manners for a sovereign nation to act unilaterally in its own defense.) The evidence was so convincing that over 40 countries of the 191 member states of the U.N. signed on—military powerhouses like Eritrea, Dominican Republic, Palau, Solomon Islands, and Tonga.

Now, it's all but over. There are a few pockets of resistance scattered throughout northern Iraq, but for the most part the world is safe from terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. Safe, that is, if you don't count those nations that actively fund and train terrorist organizations. Safe, if you exclude those nations that actually have weapons of mass destruction.

Again, I just want to know why we had to invade Iraq, a nation that did not attack us. Why, when we know of other dictators who have successfully tested WMD, did we commit thousands of troops and billions of dollars to removing the head of a third world country? Why, when we can easily trace the funding of terrorism to countries like Saudi Arabia, did we decide to go after Iraq? Why, when our own government refuses to repeal the unconstitutional gun control laws it has forced upon us, are we expected to feel safer with Saddam out of the picture? Why, when a handful of terrorists killed over 3,000 Americans with box cutters, are we more secure now that the Republican Guard has been destroyed?

There are many so-called conservatives who will say that to ask these questions at such a time as this is an act of treason. At the very least it is lending aid and comfort to the enemy. Now that the troops have been committed, criticism of the president's decisions should cease. "Those men and women in uniform are over there fighting for your right to dissent," they say. "How dare you utilize that right during a time of war!"

Why? It's a simple question, one that deserves a straight answer. Our actions today will have consequences tomorrow, and I just want to know what to expect.

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