In the past, CityBeat has argued vehemently against the United States invading Iraq. We thought the policy in the Middle East had much more to do with U.S. economic and military interests than a genuine concern about weapons of mass destruction or the threat of terrorism or the welfare of the citizens of Iraq.
And we have expressed broader concern that a policy of preemption displays a uniquely American brand of arrogance that will only create more enemies around the world. Preemption could also give other nations carte blanche to attack their neighbors, demonstrating to the international community that the Americans had set a precedent, we argued.
It was our fear that our roughshod-running would compel those who already find us distasteful to lash out violently against our interests-and our citizens-and compromise our war against the real terrorists.
We were wrong.
It's clear to us now that America was left no choice but to set the wheels of war in motion. We're convinced now that Saddam Hussein is evil incarnate, a tyrant who has savagely murdered citizens of his own country and subjected those who have managed to survive his rule of terror to a life of pain and misery. All the while, he has thumbed his nose at an international community that has been all too patient for 12 long years.
We were wrong to doubt the motives of U.S. leadership, which, we now see, wants only peace and stability around the world. How could we have thought President Bush and his key advisors had anything in mind other than liberation of innocent Iraqis and the safety of freedom-loving people everywhere?
The discovery that Iraqi soldiers are equipped with chemical-weapons safety kits provides overwhelming evidence that Saddam's regime has stockpiled weapons of mass destruction and is planning on using them-not only on coalition soldiers but probably also on mainland America, most assuredly delivered by his friends in the Al Qaeda terrorist network.
With its public humiliation of POWs, its use of human shields, its violence against Iraqi citizens fleeing the city of Basra, Saddam's regime has shown that it has no regard for civilized rules of war. That despotic government must be crushed.
And thanks to a broad, cohesive coalition of dozens of nations around the world, we're well on the way to accomplishing just that. Although some naysayers are suggesting that we've completely misjudged the Iraqi resistance and are bogged down on the outskirts of Baghdad and Basra, no one ever said this war would be an easy one. The coalition has not diverged from the plan. Yes, some lives have been lost, but casualties are a unpleasant fact of war.
No one knows how long the war will go on, but the outcome is certain: the coalition will prevail and the Iraqi people will be freed from the clutches of a corrupt, brutal government.
What's truly exciting is that once the war is won, the United States will not only help establish a U.S.-style democratic government in Iraq, which is clearly what everyone there wants, but it will also enjoy a strong presence in the Middle East and can assist other countries in reforming their governments. Our presence will also no doubt allow for greater peace in the region.
CityBeat has become convinced that the Bush administration's policy of preemption is the correct direction, not only for the United States and its interests abroad, but also for the world as a whole. There must be a dominant power, and the U.S. is the only country positioned for it.
Iraq is just the first step. There are other countries capable of doing harm to America and its friends: North Korea, Iran, Syria and Libya to name but a few. We must strike at them before they strike first. The future of the world depends on us.
April Fool. *