Many argue that the cost of American lives in Iraq has been too high. How soon we forget that we once had a war called the Civil War in which hundreds of thousands of Americans died. A hundred years before that, we were ruled by our own perceived tyrant, the king of England. Likewise Saddam Hussein killed hundreds of thousands of his own people. I applaud the U.S. for standing up to a tyrant. Who knows what Hussein was going to do next? The price of freedom isnever cheap."How soon we forget that we once had a war called the Civil War in which hundreds of thousands of Americans died??? " Excuse me, Mr. Johnson, who has forgotten? It is not a problem with "us" forgetting, it is a problem of you fundamentally misunderstanding the events of which you speak.
With regard to the Civil War, need we even point out that this conflict was HERE rather than a world away? Let's also note that Lincoln took our nation to war to protect a union that he believed was worth holding together, a national idea joined and bound by "the mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearthstone, all over this broad land." It is difficult to imagine a starker contrast between that cause and this ill-conceived invasion of a fractured legacy of European colonialism where the competing sides cannot even be rationally identified.
Mr. Johnson then refers to our rule by a "tyrant" where he again displays his ignorance of history. While the phrase may have been tossed around by firebrands and agitators, few Americans, even revolutionary leaders, perceived King George as tyrannical. Arrogant, stubborn, petty and incompetent, yes (...hmmm, that sounds familiar...) but tyranny? No.
Besides that, Mr. Johnson, how does that have anything to do with the present mess? You present two instances of domestic insurrections and compare them to an unwarranted and unlawful invasion of a sovereign nation? You equate the establishment of permanent U.S. bases and a stooge government in Iraq while thousands are butchered monthly with freedom?
We did not "stand up" to a tyrant, sir. We destroyed a country. We sowed that wind and reaped the whirlwind of a region in chaos. You also say that we did not know what Saddam Hussein would have done next. Yes, we do. He would have continued to rule over a functioning society in a repressive and often cruel fashion, under close U.S. surveillance. People would have suffered, but for the most part, they would have worked and lived rather than hide and die. We do know one thing he would not have done, however, and that is attack Iran. If only the same were true of our leader.