Friday, December 2, 2005

Freedom


A problem that a lot of the anti-war protesters have is their concept of freedom.

When we talk about how we’re over here “fighting for freedom” some people disagree because they don’t see how Americans fighting over here is defending their freedom. When they speak about what is worth fighting and dying for, if it goes outside america’s borders, then it is not of our concern. And to be honest with you, this global war on terrorism is only partially a defense of American freedom. Call me a na├»ve optimist, but I see our role in Iraq, the global war, and the planet itself as much higher and much nobler than that. I don’t see us so much as defending a particular country’s freedom but defending freedom for the human race as a whole. Take the borders of countries out of the picture—for a moment imagine that we are, in fact, one world, one civilization. If Rhode Island was being oppressed, I highly doubt that the other 49 states would say that it wasn’t worth their sons and daughters lives to defend their right to freedom. The Iraqi people, as human beings, have the right to freedom. All people on the planet share this right. We have the responsibility not only as the world’s only superpower but also as human beings to defend their right to freedom. This is the burden that we have as a result of the lives we have been gifted by God to have—to ensure that others have the same opportunity to exercise this right. The fact that others won’t jump in with as much sacrifice and commitment as we have is irrelevant in my eyes. If we turn our backs and leave others to the mercy of evil people whose hatred drives them to kill children on the streets to prevent this opportunity, then we have diminished our worthiness to this right ourselves.

As most of you know I’m not a big proponent of quoting polticians—even when said politician happens to be the Commander-in-Chief. However, the speech he gave a couple of days ago at the US Naval Academy had a lot in it that mirrors my views of the war and what our goals and objectives are, and consequently what our strategy should be. I’ve only taken a few of the statements in order to keep this short:

This is an enemy without conscience -- and they cannot be appeased. If we were not fighting and destroying this enemy in Iraq, they would not be idle. They would be plotting and killing Americans across the world and within our own borders. By fighting these terrorists in Iraq, Americans in uniform are defeating a direct threat to the American people. Against this adversary, there is only one effective response: We will never back down. We will never give in. And we will never accept anything less than complete victory.

Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a message
across the world that America is a weak and an unreliable
ally. Setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would send a signal to our enemies -- that if they wait long enough, America will cut and run and abandon its friends. And setting an artificial deadline to withdraw would vindicate the terrorists' tactics of beheadings and suicide bombings and mass murder -- and invite new attacks on America. To all who wear the uniform, I make you this pledge: America will not run in the face of car bombers and assassins so long as I am your
Commander-in-Chief.

One of those fallen heroes is a Marine Corporal named Jeff Starr,
who was killed fighting the terrorists in Ramadi earlier this year. After he died, a letter was found on his laptop computer. Here's what he wrote, he said, "[I]f you're reading this, then I've died in Iraq. I don't regret going. Everybody dies, but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so they can live the way we live. Not [to] have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.

There is only one way to honor the sacrifice of Corporal Starr and
his fallen comrades -- and that is to take up their mantle, carry on their fight, and complete their mission
.”

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