America’s Wars - Just or unjust?
So is America the world's protector or bully? We believe the evidence indicates protector.
Iraq (2003 - present) - Morally Just, but was it worth the cost? Destroying a dictator as evil as Saddam is certainly beneficial for Iraq and for the world. Iraq was an international terrorist state under the control of a madman - Saddam Husein - as evil as anyone in history. Saddam started a war with Iran in 1980 and invaded Kuwait in 1991 where more than 1,000 Kuwaiti civilians were executed. For more than 20 years, Saddam's thugs have committed genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity. This list includes the gassing of 5,000 in Halabja and other villages in 1988; the genocidal Anfal campaign against the Iraqi Kurds in 1987-88; the violent suppression of the 1991 Kurdish uprising that led to 30,000 or more civilian deaths; the draining of the Southern Marshes during the 1990s, which ethnically cleansed thousands of Shias; and the summary executions of thousands of political opponents. Hussein plotted to assassinate President Bush in 1993 when he visited Kuwait City.(1) President Clinton launched air attacks against Iraq as a result. Not even the Soviet Union at the height of the cold war dared to attempt to assassinate the President of the United States.
Prior to the US invasion of Iraq, the world was unanimous in its belief that Saddam had the potential to produce weapons of mass destructions. Although this assessment turned out to be wrong, this does NOT make the US invasion unjust.
Iraq under Saddam was a major state sponsor of international terrorism. The report from the 9/11 committee states: “Baghdad actively sponsored terrorist groups, providing safe haven, training, arms, and logistical support, requiring in exchange that the groups carry out operations ordered by Baghdad for Saddam's objectives. Terrorist groups were not permitted to have offices, recruitment, or training facilities or freely use territory under the regime's direct control without explicit permission from Saddam. Saddam used foreign terrorist groups as an instrument of foreign policy. Groups hosted by Saddam were denied protection if he wanted to improve relations with a neighboring country and encouraged to attack those Saddam wanted to pressure. If they refused Saddam's "requests," they were exiled from Iraq”(2)
Known terrorists were living freely in Iraq - given sanctuary by Hussein.
• Abu Abbas - a leader in the Palestinian Liberation Front, his group hijacked the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro and murdered an elderly American passenger Leon Klinghoffer in 1985. He was captured by US forces in Iraq and died in prison.(2)
* Abu Nidal - While enjoying safe haven in Iraq, his group conducted a number of terrorist attacks on Jewish and Israel targets in the 1970s and 1980s, including murders at synagogues and attacks on El Al airline passengers in Turkey, Austria, Belgium, and Italy, and the hijacking of a Pan Am airliner (Pan Am 73) in Karachi, in which 22 people (2 Americans) were murdered.(2)
• Abdul Rahman Yasin - He helped make the bombs used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack. Yasin is the only participant in the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993 who was never brought to justice.
The invasion of Iraq caused Libya to voluntarily give up their weapons of mass destruction.
Afghanistan (2001 - present) Morally just. The Talliban gave sanctuary to Bin Laden, the mastermind behind 9/11. The Talliban were butchers of their own people. The world is a much safer place with them scurrying from cave to cave.
Gulf War (1991) Morally just. Saddam invaded Kuwait and would undoubtedly have gone into Saudia Arabia if the US hadn’t gotten involved. Saddam at this time was at the peak of his power and was well along in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. The US turned Saddam into a loser in 4 days and put a huge dent into Iraq’s ability to continue with their weapons programs.
The Cold War (1945-1990) - Morally just. The US lead the free world in holding the line against the advancement of Soviet Communism - a brutal dictatorship that had killed MILLIONS since 1917.
Panama (1989-90) Morally just. Manuel Noriega was a budding dictator. In 1989, he nullified the presidential elections won by opposition parties. Panama had become a center for drug trafficking and money laundering with Noriega’s direct involvement. Noriega also encouraged roving bands of thugs to harass Americans. On Dec 16, 1989, an American serviceman was murdered by Panamanian troops.
On Dec 20, 1989, US forces invaded Panama. Several hours later, Guillermo Endara, who had won the presidential election earlier that year, was sworn in as President of Panama. Noreiga was eventually captured and brought to the US for trial.
Most people in Panama supported the US removal of Noriega.
Libya (1980s) Morally just. Khaddafi was another Muslim fanatic and international terrorist. Several bombing attacks against Libya kept Khaddafi in his box.
Grenada (1983) Morally just. Grenada is a small island nation in the Caribbean. In 1979, Maurice Bishop overthrew the government of Eric Gairy. Under the Socialist Bishop, Grenada began a military buildup and aligned his nation with the Soviet Union and Cuba. Promised elections by Bishop were cancelled and political opposition was repressed. These issues raised concerns in Washington but things came to a head on Oct. 13, 1983 when Bishop was overthrown by a hardline Marxist named Bernard Coard. Days later, Bishop and dozens of supporters were massacred by the military and general anarchy took hold. With 800 US medical students on the island, the Iran hostage crisis still fresh in everyone's memory, and Coard’s real intentions unclear, President Reagan decided to take action.
On Oct 25, US troops, with support from several other Caribbean nations, invaded and secured the island in 4 days. Most of the islanders seemed relieved and did not oppose US troops.
Political Left view: Opponents of the invasion cite 2 causes to support the belief the invasion was unjust and immoral:
1) The US asked other Caribbean nations to request US help in removing Coard from power in order to legitimize our invasion. This proves nothing. The Caribbean nations were not manipulated into requesting US help against Grenada. They did so willingly. Coard was viewed as a very destabilizing and menacing influence in the Caribbean by other nations. They wanted him removed from power.
2) The invasion was not necessary as Grenada and Cuba promised that students were not in danger. This is typical of the left. They will take at face value promises and statements made by murderous dictators - in this case Castro and Coard. Smart people know not to take anything dictators say at face value - and Ronald Reagan was not about to trust the word of two thugs and hope for the best.
The political left proudly claims that post invasion information indicates the students were never in danger - information gathered after the bad guys were removed. Again, this is typical monday morning quarterbacking and proves nothing. Had the invasion not taken place, there is no way to know what would have happened. Reagan had to deal with known facts at the time.
Vietnam (1965-1974) Morally just. After Ho Chi Minh defeated the French colonialists in 1954, the parties met at Geneva to work out a final solution for Indochina. Vietnam was divided in half, with the north being communist and the south being free. Vietnam was supposed to be reunited by an election in 1956. Eisenhower called off the election because Ho Chi Minh had the election in the north rigged. Observers sent to monitor the elections where not allowed to do their job. This was not a civil war, rather a war of communist aggression against South Vietnam.
Political Left view: The Left believes that Ho Chi Minh wanted to be an ally of the US. This was a scam by Ho. Naturally the Left was naive enough to take his statements at face value. This was diplomacy by Ho designed to fool the Left - which is not hard to do. There was no way that the US was going to align itself with a Communist dictator. Every thing Ho believed went against basic US beliefs.
Korea (1950-1953) Morally just. Another war of communist aggression. The communist north invaded the south without warning. The US saved the south from being overrun. The South Korean people overwhelmingly supported US troops.
One War veteran returned to South Korea in 1997 on a tour sponsored by the Korean government. The tour buses were marked so people could see they were carrying US veterans of the war. In many of the towns they rode through, Koreans of all ages saluted the buses. The Korean people were very happy to see the US veterans.(3)
World War II (1941-1945) Morally just. The US saved the world from imperial Japan and Nazi Germany.
World War I (1917-1919) Morally just. The US saved western Europe from Germany.
3. American Legion Magazine, June, 2010