Finally putting our money where our mouths are

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On Sept. 11, 2001, some radical Islamists stole airplanes with which to attack the U.S.  The overwhelming majority of these murderers were Saudi Arabians and had been educated in the intolerant version of Sunni Islam, called Wahhabi Islam, in the government schools and mosques of Saudi Arabia.
These inspired Saudis felt that attacking the U.S., or for that matter Shia Islam or any other belief system, was doing Allah’s work. Apparently none had a connection with Saddam Husein or Iraq.
We couldn’t invade Saudi Arabia because we needed their oil.  Therefore, we invaded Iraq, against the wishes of the U.N. and most of our allies.  
I suspect that President George W. Bush chose Iraq as the target because President Saddam Hussein had tried unsuccessfully to kill his daddy, President George H. W. Bush, a few years before.  That is only my theory, which I consider valid until disproven, but it seems to fit the facts of the case.  
By invading Iraq we also eliminated an enemy of both Iran and al-Qaeda. The invasion also violated a long-standing American tradition of supporting dictators, e.g., in Pakistan and the middle east, as long as they seemed to be our allies.  President Jimmy Carter proposed that we only give aid to democracies.  He was laughed out of the White House.
Recently a lot of the American-backed Arab dictators have been challenged, without obvious U.S. involvement, by their own populace despite decades of oppression.  
Several dictators have left their countries rather than slaughter their citizens.  In Egypt the military announced that it would not fire on the rebels and President Mubarak abdicated.  
So far only Moammar Gadhafi of Libya has chosen to slaughter opposition Libyans rather than accede to his population’s demands. I know of no contrary evidence and even the U.N. believes this so much that they ordered other nations to protect the populace of Libya by whatever means necessary.  This raises the question: should the U.S. use its firepower to nullify Gadhafi’s use of firepower against his captive populace?  
I say yes as long as we don’t send troops on the ground as we did in Vietnam and Iraq.  
This country has long spoken in favor of defending human rights. Now we are finally putting our money where our mouth is.

John Lilley
Los Alamos