Here’s hoping conservatives are right about the war |

Here’s hoping conservatives are right about the war

I know there are some folks who will find this hard to believe but I hope, more than anything in the world, that I am proven wrong – very, very wrong.

I hope the conservative commentators are absolutely right in their predictions this war will not contribute to a dramatic rise in terrorist acts against Americans in the coming days. 

I hope their conviction that America’s pre-emptive action in Iraq will demonstrate to the world this nation is driven by altruistic motives that will result in the spread of democracy and freedom.

I hope those who are influencing President Bush will make obvious their political acumen with a rapid peace, very limited casualties on both sides and a stable Iraqi government to lead us into the 21st century. I hope for these things with all my heart.

Nothing would make me happier than the realization our men and women who so bravely risk their lives in that faraway desert are engaged in a noble and essential military action that promises a safer future for the world. How I hope this will be the war that proves that violence doesn’t always beget violence!

 Once Saddam and his ilk are removed, I hope my conservative peers are right in thinking other demagogues will soon disappear from the scene, as well. My stomach turns a bit, however, when I think of the incredibly chummy relationship America has with Saudi Arabia and our willingness to turn our backs, imitating ignorance, as that oppressive dictatorship exports its particularly virulent form of Islam to the rest of the world.

How satisfying it will be for our leadership if we do discover Iraq is harboring weapons of mass destruction. I will breathe the same sigh of relief as my conservative brothers and sisters over their containment and destruction. I only hope we will not have to massively destroy too many innocent civilians to accomplish our mission.

I am as moved as anyone when I watch interviews of Iraqi immigrants to America who tell horrifying stories of torture and imprisonment. My heart is stirred when they speak of returning to their native country to join in the fight for freedom. 

I do not waver in my hope their yearnings will become reality but I worry, perhaps more than some others, they may not represent the majority of Iraqis. 

I worry that our liberation of their native land may not result in the desired outcome. Past Middle Eastern histories do not portend well for the future.

This past week, the Los Angeles Times ran a photo of my cousin’s son, a captain in the Marines. He is a helicopter pilot stationed now in the gulf awaiting the call to action. The photo showed him hearing the news his wife had just delivered a healthy boy.

The pleasure our family will have when he returns home to see his son for the first time is quite indescribable. I want that moment to come soon. I couldn’t care less if my lingering doubts about a quick peace are proven to be way off the mark. I want this officer and gentleman and family member to return home safe and sound.

Just as our right-wing countrymen and women desire it, we liberals are also hoping for long-lasting peace in the world. We certainly differ on how that may be accomplished but surely we agree on the ultimate goal.

The continuing charge by some conservative voices that questioning the policies of our nation’s leaders is somehow slightly treasonous is both erroneous and strikingly undemocratic. 

It is my understanding America hopes to be a model of freedom for people trapped in dictatorial regimes. Those freedoms include our right and, indeed, our obligation to engage in loyal debate over our nation’s policies. 

If we are not willing to allow such deliberation in our own country, what is the point of “liberating” the people of another country?

Columnist Rich Mayfield appears in this space on Saturdays.

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