I am not nearly as much a student of history as I should be but I wonder just how our nation will eventually work its way out of our current situation. The war in Iraq is surely making progress toward establishing a democracy in that part of the Mideast but just how and when will our participation cease? And when - if ever - will petroleum-based products ever reach a point where consumers are not paying far too much of their income to exist?
I'm not convinced that the price of gasoline and the war in Iraq are related. Liberals and conspiracy theorists would have us believe the two are related but I suspect there's much more than meets the eye. What I don't understand is why our nation is taking such a passive role in expanding our access to oil other than that which is in the Mideast. If we allow the environmentalists and the tree-huggers to control our fate, then I suspect that someday the war effort will be the least of our worries.
But here's what I don't understand about Iraq. We all accept the premise that our military might is second to none. Why then are we fighting a street war with an enemy that plays by other rules? Why put soldiers in harm's way when we have aircraft that are sophisticated beyond our imagination?
Here's what the experts are saying. Out of 18 or so provinces in Iraq, the violence is limited to just four. The insurgents have virtual control over these four regions. You have to assume that this area also contains the civilian sympathizers. So accept that for what it's worth, pull the military and send in the planes.
I know the parallel is different but look at the end of World War II. We had the option of sending wave after wave of military into Japan but instead, we dropped two bombs and ended the conflict in less than two weeks. We saved thousands of American lives and perhaps more from the Japanese side. Did innocent people die? Yes, without a doubt. And would the same be said about Iraq? Most certainly.
If we started this action with shock and awe, why now are we resorting to playing the enemy's game on the enemy's home field? And why do we allow this "game" to be conducted by their rules? I just don't understand.
We believe that our military is so powerful that no other nation would ever dare challenge us. But unless we prove that power beyond a doubt, there will be rogue nations who might just take that leap of faith. North Korea comes to mind.
What we have to understand is this. The religious differences in the Mideast will for all eternity bring armed conflict to that region. It will never change. Until it threatens American lives, we should allow those parties to resolve their differences in whatever manner they see fit. But when our security is threatened, we need to show our might in terms that will frighten all of mankind.
We think in civilized terms. Our enemy does not. To continue our current path is futile, costly and ultimately, doomed. We need to display our might and then mourn for those who die in the process.