Steve Swedberg

While walking around campus, I have seen posters for Kathy Kelly, which is Students for Leftist Action’s (SLA) speaker for the month of January. Observing the poster with the faded peace symbol in the background gives me a strong notion that this speech will consist of “give peace a chance” and “remove our troops from Iraq.” After all, Kelly is a pacifist and the coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence.When it comes to my perspective on the Iraq War, it really is a mixed bag. I do not approve of how we got there. We entered the war under the false pretense of preemption when, in reality, the Iraq War has merely been a preventative war. The information regarding the WMDs, which got us into the war, was faulty at best. It has cost us billions of dollars of taxpayer money and 4,000 American lives.

My criticism of the war, however, would have to stop there. Stopping a brutal tyrant from killing and torturing his own people is always a plus. It’s definitely beneficial that Saddam hasn’t been giving $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers. We are also in the process of building an ally in that region of the world, something that American foreign policy can use. It’s also great that we are helping to build democracy for millions of people.

More importantly, a simple geography lesson will bolster the pro-Iraq policymakers’ stance. We currently have troops stationed in Afghanistan, as well as troops in Iraq. What is between those two nations? Iran! Iran is an Islamist theocracy that is building up its nuclear program. “President” Ahmadinejad has already publicly announced that he intends to wipe Israel, America’s greatest ally, off the map. If a situation like this can strike fear into a Left-leaning organization such as the Anti-Defamation League, it’s safe to say that Iran is going to be a huge part of American foreign policy in the near future.

What is difficult to fathom is the interconnectivity that Iraq, Iran, and Israel all have. Looking at each of these issues as separate is a mistake. They are each fronts of a global jihad. And this isn’t something that began with 9/11, either. Although I would argue that this Islamic extremism, in effect, started with the creation of the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928, it really started taking hold in the 1970s. The Munich Massacre at the 1972 Olympics, the Iran Hostage crisis of 1979, 9/11 and the London bombings in 2005, are just a few of the attacks amongst the long list of those perpetrated by radical Muslims. It is not only the brutality and shamelessness in which these attacks are carried out that scares me. It is the fact that they are motivated by a religious fervor to kill all the infidels (i.e., any non-Muslim and any Muslim who disagrees with the radical interpretation), and the fact that they are patient enough to wait for decades on end to carry out their goal of global jihad. What is most unnerving, though, is that they are growing in number. In spite of all the horrific attacks we have seen already over the years, we haven’t seen the worst of it. If they’re growing and we’re becoming more complacent or apathetic about the issue, they will win, and by the time that happens, the words “I told you so” will have no bearing on the situation.

Personally, I would love to see Kathy Kelly, a non-Muslim woman, walk into the headquarters of Hamas or Hezbollah and try to discuss non-violent alternatives with them. It would probably result in her beheading. In her speech, I’m sure she will utter something along the lines of “War has never solved anything.” This is utter nonsense. After all, war not only solved slavery in America, but also Nazism, communism, and various other incidences of genocide…you get the point.

What Kelly and other pacifists need to get through their heads is that this is an enemy that has no respect for international law, does not believe in the sanctity for life, and will not, under any circumstances, succumb to peace with the “infidel.” Evil such as this has never been vanquished by a peace treaty. Appeasing to the enemy has never worked, either. Neville Chamberlain would know best: No matter how much it pains us to admit it, war is the answer. War has eradicated many evils in the past, and now, we must use war to eradicate the evil of Radical Islam.

As always, I appreciate comments or inquiries to my articles. You can send those to my e-mail address at swedbers (at) lawrence.edu.