Thursday, October 19, 2006

Evil Prevails When Good Men Do Nothing

written by:

The new cry from the left and doves around the world is: "..America is killing innocent people in Iraq and Afghanistan". The numbers have run as high as 650,000 and as low as 30,000 . The fact that, even in today's high tech battlefield, many civilians will die is a sad and unavoidable reality. The history of war has always been that the civilian population will nearly always suffer the majority of casualties in a conflict . Certainly it is arguable that in an insurgency or a civil war those numbers are likely to rise due to the fact the conflict is prosecuted mainly in areas of population where life attempts to continue even amidst the carnage.
The statement that " innocent " civilians die however gives me pause. How would one calculate the numbers of truly innocent civilians vs. those who aid and assist the enemy in many ways. These may range from simple silence to hiding weapons and combatants to actively participating in the fighting. In a war such as Iraq, where the enemy and the civilian population are nearly indistinguishable from one another,this number proves even harder to quantify.
Muslims around the world are constantly berating us with the fact that they are by and large a peaceful people practicing a peaceful religion. However, I have yet to see the massive protests of terrorism and insurgent violence so common in the Muslim world when they are celebrating a successful terrorist attack on the west or denouncing Israel. Where are these innocent peaceful Muslims? When Al-Zarqawi was killed in Iraq, the credit goes to an informant giving away his location. Saddam's sons Uday and Qusay were caught the same way. Why does this not happen everyday? Are we to believe that no one knows who these insurgents are? No one knows in which houses the IED's are produced? There is no witnesses to the bombs being planted or the snipers lying in wait?
Many will say that is due to the people fearing for their lives and no doubt this is true. Surely standing up and singling someone out may very well get you killed. However they are dying by the thousands anyway and no matter what estimate you take into account. We keep asking the Iraqi people to stand up and yet we defend their right to silence. Were the German people not responsible in part for the holocaust? They stood silent as thousands of people all over Germany were rounded up and sent to concentration camps. Their fear of personal suffering and resulting silence led to a national suffering that was expressed first in the Holocaust and then by the relentless destruction wrought upon Germany as the war turned against her. So silence out of fear does not make you an innocent.
There are also many people in Iraq dying in secular violence between Sunni, Shia and Kurds. This violence has begun to surpass dramatically the violence directly involving coalition forces. Many of those participating in the violence have never directly participated in an attack on US forces. However, they are fighting a religious driven civil war. They also serve to increase the level of overall deaths in the country and complicate the mission of providing security to the nation. American and Iraqi forces are attempting to defeat the terrorists such as Al Queda and at the same time quell a rising tide of religious violence by the peaceful followers of Mohammed. These people who participate in the religious violence are certainly not innocents and they have added dramatically to the numbers of civilian deaths which are ironically being attributed to U.S. forces.
Our soldiers are characterized as terrorists and cold blooded killers by members of our own government. Accused of torture, brutality and terrorizing the Iraqi citizenry. We must realize that the reasons Iraq continues to be a blood bath is because these innocent civilians keep refusing to assist the US and coalition forces for many reasons other than fear. How many just want to see dead US soldiers? How many are actively wanting the US to lose so they and their comrades can pursue their own goals? The fact that Islam continues to be the main driving force in Iraqi loyalty is by far outweighing any sense of national pride or shared history. One need only look at the fact that Muslims are always talking peace and yet perpetually waging war. They react with astonishing fury to any perceived insult by waging war, the threat of war or outright murder.
Please don't misunderstand the horrors of war are real and many. Many very good and decent people have died in Iraq. People who believed in the chance for democracy and innocent children have all been sacrificed in the flames of conflict. This is something we all abhor. The power to prevent more deaths, the ability to stop the violence and stop the killing lies not with the number of US forces on the ground but with the Iraqis themselves. It is their choice to remain silent and fearful. Their choice to prosecute tribal and religious wars within the conflict. They have the blood of innocents on their hands more so than anyone else. This war could end in 6 months if the Iraqi people exercised their courage, determination and power. They must stand up and say enough! They must end their silence so this war can end and bring this brutal ugly chapter of Iraqi history to a close.