By Daniel Johnson-Kim, Student Reporter
That is the question millions of Americans are now asking themselves in retrospect of a three-year war that becomes more complicated as time passes.
I fully agree that three years is not long enough to redesign a government, overthrow a dictator and liberate a people as Dani Linthicum wrote in her column regarding the American people’s eagerness to throw in the towel. But it is a long time for American tax dollars to support an unjustified cause.
When did America become the epitome of democratic imperialism? When did America give itself the right to inflict its political and religious views on the rest of the world?
I guess the answer to those questions is March 20, 2003.
That is the day the United States began bombing Baghdad to liberate the Iraqi people and find the alleged weapons of mass destruction Saddam Hussein was hiding. That is the day the American people were forced to support a war with weak justifications and even weaker preparations.
Three years later, we now know no weapons of mass destruction exist in the “liberated” country of Iraq, and the Bush administration continues to deny ever claiming ties between Hussein and the Al Qaeda ring leader Osama Bin Laden.
The United States doesn’t have the job to babysit a country that is on the verge of a civil war. In no way should American soldiers continue to police a nation that is separated by generations of disagreeing Islamic sects.
A successful country and truly liberated people in Iraq will only come to fruition if the Iraqi citizens and government choose to unite for the good of their own country. The power to mend Iraq and halt an ensuing civil war is primarily in the hands of its own people.
The current administration should do more than weakly threaten the newly established Iraqi government with troop withdrawal and claim success with a limited number of trained Iraqi troops. The President should instead present an ultimatum to the local politicians and legislators and threaten them to step into power and prevent their country from falling into a violent civil war. The American people should continue to pressure President Bush to take more substantial steps toward effective diplomacy in Iraq and not prolong our unpopular occupation.
So what does this have to do with 18-to-21-year-old college students in Abilene?
When approached with that question, remember the soldiers dying daily in Iraq are men and women our age. It is the responsibility of our generation not to let our peers die in the crossfire of a civil war that is out of their control to resolve. We hold a moral obligation not only as Americans but as Christians, to find the most successful resolution to the chaos in Iraq. That resolution will only come if the Iraqi government steps up and the United States steps down.
Why should we continue to use our military resources where they have no effect? When will this administration admit they made a mistake and take responsibility for those mistakes?
These are questions that we should all ask ourselves before supporting a war that continues to escalate into the realm of chaos.