The Decency of War

Response to Daily Herald’s “Tribalism that Defends Hussein is Breft of Sense of Decency

In her column “Tribalism that defends Hussein is bereft of sense of decency,” Mona Charen manages to group all Sunni Muslims and all liberals as tribal heathens who care nothing about “morality, compassion and a love of justice” (Oct. 23).

She opens her column with a story of a Sunni grandmother who, while watching Saddam’s trial, told The Washington Post, “I almost cried. Every country in the world has terrorism. All the presidents in this region torture their people. Why, of all the countries, do they come after us?” Charen takes this quote as proof that Sunnis live by tribal instincts that let Saddam get away with crimes because he committed them against non-Sunnis.

What the woman actually meant by these comments is unknown, but there are many explanations that are far more plausible than she loves Saddam no matter what. Her questions are quite relevant to all opponents of fighting war against evil. She has seen the utter destruction her country is in after months of intense bombing campaigns. She knows how many thousands of innocent Iraqis have lost their lives for a so-called better life for their fellow Iraqis. And she cannot help but wonder why the United States chose her country as a playing field for their soldiers when so many other countries are also led by torturing dictators, some of which are very close allies to America.

And for those liberals who “cannot even bring themselves to celebrate the American-led liberation of Iraq from one of the worst monsters of our time,” these liberals cannot rejoice because they realize that Iraqi citizens are going to continue to be killed off for years to come and that the death of thousands can never be justified.

Charen concludes by claiming that event though weapons of mass destruction were not found, the war was still “a highly moral mission.” It is the critics of this war who display the true sense of decency. They are more concerned with the morals of telling the truth than the morals of killing thousands for a dim chance at a better life for those spared.