I would like to be anti-war, but I just can't be.
Here's why - I believe that Al-Qaeda needs to be defeated. I don't believe that Islamo-fascism should be understood or placated or appeased. I think it should be beaten.
What Al-Qaeda stands for is oppression and tyranny. They do not believe in freedom, human rights, liberty, civil rights. They do not believe that people should be given the opportunity for free or personal expression. They do not believe in openness or tolerance.
Their vision of the world is one of domination and forced conversion in which my son would be compelled to pray toward Mecca five times a day and my daughters would be unable to gain an education and succeed. The creativity and passion of my wife would be stifled. And Vintage would not exist.
And this is not just true of my family and church, but every family and church. And because of this they need to be stopped.
Honestly, I do not believe that the anti-war movement as it currently is constituted offers a plausible means of stopping Al-Qaeda. Rather I think that the stratergies I hear articulated by the Moveon.orgs and the Democratic presidential candidates is one of weakness and defeat. We can't win, they say, so we should just bring the troops home. But what is the result of this? An emboldened enemy that learns that if it holds out long enough, we will simply give up. Does anyone remember Black Hawk Down?
Weakness is not the path to victory. Strength is.
And so I support the war. And I wish it would be fought with more strength. I support the war because I agree with the vision that the President cast in the lead up to the war in Iraq and in the campaign of 2004. He said that Iraq was a front in the Global War on Terror. He said that if Iraq could be free where people were allowed the right of self-governance with the economic prosperity that brings, then a light for freedom and opportunity would be established in the Middle East. He said that this light would grow, changing the climate of repression and hate that breeds terrorists in so many Islamo-fascist countries currently. That's what he said, and I agreed with him.
I still do.
And so I wish we would fight to win the war and then bring our troops home. (Which, on a side note, is why the President's poll numbers are so low, I think. For every dissatisfied anti-war person out there, I think there is a dissatisfied pro-war person who wishes we would fight with more vigor and less political correctness. Maybe the "Iraq is a Vietnam-esque quagmire" mantra is a self-fulfilling prophecy.)
But I also wish that there was another way to create this beacon of light and opportunity in the Islamic world. I wish it didn't take the exerted strength of military resolve. I wish it could take the exerted strength of moral resolve.
I wonder how Martin Luther King Jr. would fight Islamo-fascism.
I wonder how Mahatma Gandhi would fight Islamo-fascism.
I am inspired by the Burmese monks who are currently fighting for their freedom in Myanmar. But these monks are not fighting with guns and bombs. They are fighting with peaceful statements of strength. They are fighting with rose petals in London and masks of Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, their leader who inspired U2's amazing song Walk On.
They haven't won yet. But I believe they will. The strength of their moral resolve will change the climate of their country, melting tyranny and bringing a new dawn of freedom.
Could we fight terror in a similar way?
I haven't heard anyone articulate this kind of vision, but when I do, I will be ready to get on board. Love wins. And sometimes so does an ass-kicking army.