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Trading blood for oil?

Tom Boyd

Perhaps not. But if not for oil, then why are we shedding blood?We sat in comfortable chairs and discussed the pros and cons of war under the amber stage lights of the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek.As distant as we were from the grim front lines of the impending war in Iraq, those who heard potential 2004 presidential candidate Gary Hart’s presentation March 14 came away with a great sense of urgency and a very real fear for our fellow citizens.We didn’t know when and if the nation would go to war at that point. But anyone with common sense walked away with a firm belief in one simple fact: If we go to war with Iraq, this nation will face multiple, perhaps devastating terrorist retaliations over the course of the next six months.Now we are at war, and Hart joins former Virginia Gov. James Gilmore as one of the many experts, pundits and savants preparing the nation to face civilian casualties sometime in the near future.So as we watch this Gulf War on TV (via the 500 “embedded” journalists who cover it from within friendly ranks), we do it with the knowledge that our own people are in danger. I agree with Hart when he says that our nation will reach a “Severe” terrorist danger ranking after a few weeks of the war. Terrorism is simply too difficult to stop, and all but the most major attacks will be impossible to thwart.Balance the war upon a scale. On one side are the lives that will be lost during this war, and on the other side the benefits of accomplishing our nation’s objectives in Iraq.All I can say is that, after much discussion and intrepid research, I haven’t yet decoded the true national objectives of our government in Iraq.So it’s impossible to know which way the scales balance.If we are there to liberate Iraqi citizens, then why aren’t we liberating the suppressed people of the Congo, or Chinese practitioners of Falun Gong (who are being imprisoned by the thousands for practicing a peaceful form of spirituality), or Southern Sudanese Daki peoples, or any of the any other hundreds of groups that live in oppression in this world? And where were we during the Rwandan genocide?I’m not satisfied by the “liberation” argument, and people who cling to it are suspiciously nave.So I’m hoping that the reason we are risking our citizens’ lives, the lives of our soldiers, and the lives of Iraqi citizens is because NOT doing something now would create a greater risk down the road.And I’m praying that our government can show us legitimate evidence of this by war’s end.If they do, then President Bush has not betrayed our trust.And if there is no legitimate evidence that Hussein is part of an aggressive enemy network with overseas strike capability and weapons of mass destruction, then we are unfortunate, irresponsible citizens of a corrupt country


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