Recently I've been conversing with a Canadian friend about the Iraq War. While he agrees that Hussein needed to go, he questions whether or not we exhausted all diplomatic options before we went to war. In the course of this conversation, I thought of the following analogy, and thought I'd share it with my readers:
You are lost in the wilderness. You've been lost for weeks, and have run out of food. You don't know if anyone knows that you're missing, or if anyone cares. Rescue might be on its way, it might not. You've now been without food for days and are growing weak. You know how to hunt and gather, and have the wherewithall, but to do so requires you leave your shelter. You know that the best way to be found is to stay put, and that in this wilderness, the more you travel, the less likely rescue. But if you stay in place and are NOT rescued, you will starve to death. So which do you do? Who is more foolish -- the man who stays put and starves to death, or the man who goes hunting and is never rescued? Who is wiser -- the man who stays put and is rescued, or the man who goes hunting and survives because he found food? Hindsight is, as they say, 20/20. Furthermore, there reaches a point at which you can no longer choose -- you must start hunting by day x or you will be too weak to hunt. You can only lie there and wait for either rescue or death. If you're going to hunt, you must act before then.
And to those of us in the US who support the president, that's the point we feel we were at. Sure, the immediate threat of an attack by Hussein was not that great. But we were watching what he was doing, and how the world was reacting, and it appeared apparent that the rest of the world's willingness to stick it out until he caved. And it was further apparent that he was going to ride out the sanctions and then go back to his old ways. Now maybe we were wrong -- maybe help was on the way, maybe the world would have grown a spine and stood up to him with us. But how were we to know? And how long could we wait to find out, and when would it have been too late? I for one, am glad that we did somehting before we no longer could.