Since Aug 16, 2004
That said, I understand why we are there.
The people who planned 9/11 (OBL and his nasties) are driven by a religious, fanatical ideology. They literally want their beliefs forced on the whole world. Al-Qaeda has clearly stated that they want to install the Islamic Caliphate - an Islamic government of sorts, with Sharia law being the rule of law for everyone.
He and his ilk prey on people in the Middle East who have no hope for their future, or for the future of their families. They are born and raised under oppression and corruption. They have few freedoms. They are lied to from the cradle to the grave via schools and state run media. They dont have access to outside information like we do, so they are misinformed, uninformed, and outright brainwashed in many instances.
Way too many are dirt poor with no hope of moving up, not by being a good, honest person anyway.
What it boils down to is that they dont have much to look forward to or live for.
So Osama bin Laden and people like him offer these people hope - a hope of Paradise and 72 virgins and all that.
They spread lies about the US and Israel in particular, and the West in general. The leaders of these failed countries like Saudi Arabia and Egypt and many others find this to be convenient for them because it points the focus away from their own failed leadership and directs their peoples frustration and anger towards us instead.
15 of the 19 hijackers came from Saudi Arabia.
So we are facing an evil ideology. That ideology is most rampant in Saudi Arabia, and places like Pakistan, Egypt, Syria, etc.
What do we do about it? We can have airtight borders and inspect all incoming shipments but that wouldnt have prevented 9/11, and it wont prevent whatever they are cooking up now.
So what do we do? We cant literally blow away 1/3 of the world. The fallout would blow this way and hurt us as well. Its just not physically possible.
We cant blow away just one or two or even three dangerous countries either because that would incite the rest of them.
So what can we do?
Thats what Bush meant about draining the swamps, although hes terrible at communicating what he has in mind. (Im not much for words either, but bear with me.)
If you have a mosquito infestation then swatting them wont work, and spraying them wont work. Youll never completely get rid of them either. The best thing you can do is drain the swamps and get rid of their breeding grounds.
Thats what were trying to do in Iraq.
Well, because the general populace in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are so extreme, and their rulers barely have them under control.
Iraq on the other hand, has a relatively educated population with less extremism than in neighboring countries. They are more into the 21st century than their neighbors.
The plan was to bring freedom to Iraq. With freedom generally comes prosperity and a hope for the future, something most in that region dont have now. Iraq was supposed to be the shining city on the hill, showing the neighboring peoples that they, too, could have something to look forward to besides their current lot of corruption and oppression and hopelessness.
Had we been successful (or if we are able to become successful) in making Iraq that shining city on a hill, then that would spread around them. Freedom is awfully powerful.
This is getting long but if we can help make Iraq successful then the people around them will want that too, and then they will be too busy having a life to come onto our soil and hurt us. They wont be interested in flying planes into our buildings, or being suicide bombers, because they would have too much to lose.
Right now they have nothing to lose, and Paradise to gain. We need to try and change it so that they have something more to pin their hopes on than a false hope of 72 virgins. The only way we can do that is to try and give them freedom - freedom to find out that theyve been lied to by their state run media - freedom to question what is in the Koran and learn that they are being brainwashed - freedom to read the bible if they want - freedom to work and make an honest living and provide for their families - freedom to complain about their leaders and change laws with their votes...
We face an evil ideology that has already hurt us and is planning to hurt us even more, and they have alot of support.
What other viable solution to the problem is there? I haven't heard any.