The Freeman's Burden:

To defend the principles of human liberty; to educate; to be vigilant against the ever expanding power of the state.

Friday, January 28, 2005


My thinking about the Iraq adventure has evolved over the past couple of years as my head and my heart have vied for supremacy. The realist (and libertarian) in me is appalled by the idea of a war of choice, but the idealist in me can't help but get a little teary when I think about where the Iraqi people have been and where my country has a chance to help them go. There is much to regret; allowing the looting, failing to secure important locations, disbanding the army, etc. But there is much to praise, such as the courage of the US troops and the Iraqi people. Did George Bush lie to get us here? It is a debate that will go on for years. I told friends and family before the invasion even began that the WMD argument was nothing more than fodder for the masses. To paraphrase Tommy Lee Jones from Men in Black, "Person is smart, people are naive, stupid and easily manipulated." Having read Paul Wolfowitz's 1992 quadrennial Defense Review made what was going to happen very obvious. This war was never about WMD or an eminent threat. It was about writing a future for the Middle East that would offer them hope and by extension, offer us peace. That is a laudable goal and perhaps the only way to bring the American people along was to use an easily-digestible fear tactic. But that is very cynical as well and unbefitting the commander-in-chief of the most powerful country in the history of the world. Be that as it may, where ever you are, there you are. And here we are, on the eve of the first democratic election in more than 50 years. No matter how you feel about the war or George W. Bush, now is the time for all of us to hope and pray for the future of the Iraqi people, the Middle East and those warriors that have sacrificed so much to bring us to this moment. To do any less would be unbecoming of any one that beliefs in the values we cherish.


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