"Until the United States learns how to bring actual freedom to a nation, all efforts to save the rest of the world must stop." Amber Pawlik

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Why Liberating Iraq has Failed

I was really outraged to learn that in Iraq, as many as 58 students were stoned to death for dressing "emo"--in tight clothes in a Western style. The students have been targeted in part due to perceived homosexuality. Religious thugs lure them into a park and assault them with concrete bricks, aimed at their torsos and heads. It is difficult to tell what role the Iraqi government played in it, but they certainly played a hand. According to several news reports, the Iraq Moral Police posted on the Iraqi Ministry of Interior's website that they plan to eliminate the "emo" trend, giving implicit authorization to the thugs.

Isn't this the country we "liberated" just 9 years ago? That liberation is quickly proving to be a complete failure. I propose there was a glaring problem with the so-called liberation: the United States went in, toppled Baghdad within 3 weeks, and then said "Well, whatever government you democratically want to elect is fine with us." †The thugs who have ruled and terrorized this part of the world for centuries mock any ideal of a democratic vote. They easily maneuvered their way into power. A religious government was voted into place that did not value freedom, rights, or keeping the peace.

If there is ever a desire to bring "freedom" to a country; that a military's primary or even secondary purpose in fighting a war is to save and liberate the people of another country--and are you listening those who want to spill United States blood and treasure for people in third world countries?--then actual freedom needs brought to that country and not democracy. Do you know what "democracy" brings? It brings about a government that, by majority vote, agrees that a person can be punished for mere dress. If many people vote that this is a punishable crime; then the minority or individual that wants to dress as he or she pleases has their right taken away. This is exactly as it is in Iraq where people by law must wear Islamic dress. Stoning young students to death for how they dress is the logical outcome of democracy. Take a look at it; grovel in it; be reminded of exactly what it means.

What is that you say? They can punish dress but they cannot do it without a trial? You just advocated the 6th amendment of the United States; a staple of the objective law and constitutional republic that is the United States--which is distinctly not a democracy.

After invading Iraq, we should have finished the actual job of establishing freedom. Freedom means freedom from physical coercion. These are some of the rights the Iraqi people would have had freedom been established:

         The right to free speech

         The freedom of religion

         The right against search and seizure without probable cause

         The right to a fair and speedy trial by a jury

         The right against excessive punishment

Although a sensitive topic, especially for those in the Middle East, I would also include the right to bear arms. It would have been a game changer for the students stoned to death for how they dressed.

But doesn't that make us big meanies? Won't people protest that we are forcing our way of life on them? This is the mantra of leftist multiculturalism; that all cultures are equal; and the ideals of freedom are no better or worse than tyranny, just different.

First, imagine if we just did it; we said "Ok, Iraq, your government will have freedom of speech." Who would protest this? Who in their right mind would say, "No, I don't agree with that, they should democratically decide if they want free speech or not." Or, how about the right to a fair trial? If we said, "Yes, your government will sponsor the right to a fair trial," who would disagree with this? It is obvious that only tyrants that would disagree with these things. †

It is impossible to "force" freedom. It would be different if we said, "Our way of government dictates that everyone must be a Christian and we are going to demand your country do the same." This would be dictating how every person in that country should be. But freedom doesn't dictate anything; it only offers a choice. Freedom says, "Any person in your country can be any religion they want." Anything else is distinctly not freedom; indeed as in Iraq where Islam is now forced. And that is the beauty of freedom: If a person wants to be Islamic, they still can be. If a person wants to dress in an Islamic way, they still can. They just can't force another person to do it. The fact that some people are offended by Western style dress be damned!

If the United States is going to invade another country for the explicit purpose of liberating them, I propose it had better get good at establishing a constitutionally-bound free government afterwards. With as rich of a history as the United States has in freedom and with as sophisticated as our military and intelligence is, this is a skill we should be able to develop. I do not think it would be difficult and, if done right, would be a rather stealthy process in which most of the protests that we are "forcing" something on the country were thwarted. Certainly, bringing free speech and fair trials to a country can be packaged in a sunny, benevolent wrapping. If the United States can't do this, then it needs to permanently cease ever "saving" the people of another country ever again.

I will concede however that, even if the United States had the backbone to do this, a problem of how to keep the peace arises. Freedom tends to only work when the majority of a populace is fundamentally peaceful and the only crime that needs stopped is pockets here and there. If enough of the populace is criminal minded, then the labor and resources needed to go into security increases and may be so great that the government cannot do it.

In Iraq, is enough of the population peaceful enough that peace can be maintained? Is the Iraqi government equipped to handle the crime that is there? Is the government willing to handle the crime that is there? If you have ever read God Willing by Captain Eric Navarro, whose mission when in Iraq was to train Iraqi soldiers, you will understand my pessimism.

To get freedom to work, it requires that the people who are freedom and peaceful minded be bigger, stronger, and more well equipped than the criminals in society. If you are opposed to guns, you are a fool. Being opposed to guns means that guns will be taken out of the good guys' hands and put into the bad guys' hands. Criminals don't care about what laws or rules you want to enforce on them; they do what they want and positively thrive under any kind of prohibition.

This makes the fact that these killings happened after the United States, with the cloak of security it provided, left Iraq all the more pertinent. It also underscores how these killings are taking place: it is random unidentifiable thugs who are murdering people while the government sits back and does nothing, perhaps giving a weak verbal condemnation but also giving the go ahead with statements on their website. The government doesn't have to carry out the violence to see it happens; it just has to do nothing. It cannot be emphasized enough: strong security is the backbone of liberty. Without it, any Constitution is just a piece of paper.

If the government refuses to clean up crime, who can? Perhaps the victims? Perhaps if the young students had the right to bear arms, the thugs would think twice.

As far as invading Iraq, I will not forget that, 10 Ĺ years after 9/11, there has not been one terrorist attack aimed at the United States. There have been riots at United Nation building in other countries, but these are spontaneous acts of violence, not terrorist attacks. I really want you to marvel at this: not one terrorist attack. And by terrorist attack, I don't mean only at the level of 9/11 but any whatsoever. This was distinctly not the case pre-9/11. In 1993, there was the bombing of the World Trade Center. In 1998, there were bombings at the U.S. embassies in Africa. In 2000, there were the bombings of the USS Cole. Since 9/11, when our country developed a more robust foreign policy, there hasn't been anything of the sort since--10 years out! Something about our foreign policy has been working; it is clear that punching noses in the Middle East has had value.

But in as far as our goal was to "liberate" Iraq or Afghanistan or now Egypt, it has been a failure. Until the United States learns how to bring actual freedom to a nation, all efforts to save the rest of the world must stop.

Amber Pawlik
March 11, 2012

Islam on Trial: The Prosecutionís Case
Amber Pawlik
An article that argues that the violent ideology of Islam is the root of Islamic terrorism. Until we challenge Islam ideologically, Islamic terrorism will not be defeated. It includes a statistical study of the Koran which found over 50% of it is hatred of infidels. 16 pages long.

This article is protected under the US Copyright Act of 1976. No part may be copied.

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