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August 30, 2005

Perspectives on the War on Terror

Two columns today are well worth reading as they both provide perspectives on the War on Terror that need to be heard. First, Lorie Byrd contends that it's time to set the record straight about the war and deals directly with some of the common criticisms about the war:

What is rarely, if ever, addressed by the opponents of President Bush and the current war is whether or not the decision he made was a correct one if everything we thought about the status of Saddam’s WMD capability had been correct. Dick Cheney made the argument for the decision in at least one speech around the time of the release of the Kay report. In that speech he argued that knowing what we knew then, and looking at it in the shadow of the 9/11 attacks, it would have been irresponsible NOT to have invaded Iraq. Republicans who fail to make that case, and instead weaken their stance on the war in reaction to declining public opinion polls, risk losing the advantage they have long held over Democrats on issues of national security and defense. Even many of those voters who have not supported the Iraq war and view President Bush as a trigger happy cowboy are likely to prefer a candidate that supports the war – even if there are some reservations about the way the war was executed – to one who originally supported it only to back down when the going got tough.

Even more striking is Dennis Prager's column today in which he asks opponents of the war to answer one simple question:

All those who support the American war in Iraq should make a deal with anyone opposed to the war. Offer to answer any 20 questions the opponents wish to ask if they will answer just one: Do you believe we are fighting evil people in Iraq?

That is how supporters of the war regard the Baathists and the Islamic suicide terrorists, the people we are fighting in Iraq.

Because if you cannot answer it, or avoid answering it, or answer "no," we know enough about your moral compass to know that further dialogue is unnecessary. In fact, dialogue is impossible. Our understanding of good and evil is so different from yours, there is simply nothing to discuss. Someone who was asked a hundred years ago "Do you believe that whites who lynch blacks are evil?" and refused to answer in the affirmative was not someone one could dialogue with.

This war is not about a particular religion. It's not a war against a nation or group of nations. It is a war against evil. We cannot afford to back down or withdraw. We must fight this war until the end.

Posted by Tom at August 30, 2005 10:43 AM

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On the positive side:
That is a beautiful photo at the top of your page, and the "stones cry out" font and text is a nice addition.

On the negative:
That first article was really lame (she purported to provide answers to questions that have gone addressed, then didn't) and Prager's question is just ridiculous. Here, I'll answer it:

Are we fighting evil people in Iraq? Sure. We are an evil people fighting evil people. All have sinned, Brother Prager.

Are they "more" evil than we are? I don't know. How do you measure evil?

How evil does one nation need to be to invade another unprovoked? And I'm sure many of you on the right claim we were provoked. Well, we weren't. Your statement to the contrary doesn't make it so.

What provoked us? WMD?

There were none.

But we thought there were!

That just shows the moral bankruptcy of the pre-emptive invasion idea.

But what if there were?

What if there were? We have WMD, is it okay for them to therefore invade us?

I'm not criticizing the author of this blog, but I am asking you to use your God-given reason. You say, we must fight this war against evil until the end. If that is the case, then this will truly be a war with no end, because, as I said to begin with, all have sinned. Evil won't be gone 'til we are.

But then, maybe that's the purpose of this war on evil after all.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at August 30, 2005 06:25 PM

And, as a follow up, are you willing to answer Prager's 20 questions, since I answered his? Or how about just 10?

1. Do you believe in Just War Theory?
2. Do you think this Iraq Invasion fits within its scope?
3. Did you know that the current pope didn't think it did, that in fact, he questioned whether any modern war can be Just?
4. Is Jesus your Lord, favorite philosopher or role model?
5. Do you think Jesus would have dropped bombs on Iraqis?
6. Is it okay to invade a country because you think they might be a threat to you?
7. Is it okay then for China to invade the US, as long as they think the US might be a threat to them?
8. Is it wrong to target a civilian population for death and destruction, as the terrorists did on 9/11?
9. Was it wrong for us to do so at Hiroshima?
10. What would Jesus do?

Posted by: Dan Trabue at August 30, 2005 06:33 PM

Great posts, Dan. Some people want to think of the war in Iraq as a battle between good and evil. But it's just not that simple.

Posted by: dem at August 31, 2005 10:02 AM

Thanks, dem.

What? No answers? Play fair! I answered Prager's question...

Seriously, I'd love an answer, so as to try to see how you fit what the Bible teaches with what you support.

Posted by: Dan Trabue at September 1, 2005 09:26 AM


Thanks for your questions. You're asking some good questions that don't always have easy answers. To be fair, I'd like to try to answer your questions in a separate post on Just War Theory beacuse I think the issue you are raising is whether the war is just and whether it is also Biblical. I'll try to post a response here within a few days.

Posted by: tom at September 1, 2005 09:43 AM