Let's look at the definition of war:
war (wÃ´r) Pronunciation Key
- 1. A state of open, armed, often prolonged conflict carried on between nations, states, or parties.
- 2. The period of such conflict.
- 3. The techniques and procedures of war; military science.
- 4. A condition of active antagonism or contention: a war of words; a price war.
- 5. A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something considered injurious: the war against acid rain.
- 1. A condition of active antagonism or contention: a war of words; a price war.
- 2. A concerted effort or campaign to combat or put an end to something considered injurious: the war against acid rain.
Now look at the definition of a battleground:
batÂ·tleÂ·field (bÄt'l-fÄ“ld') Pronunciation Key
n. In both senses also called battleground.
- 1. An area where a battle is fought.
- 2. A sphere of contention.
So, if we are fighting a War on Terror is Iraq a war unto itself or is it just one battlefield in the war? Think hard about this one because it is very important.
Let's take a moment to look back at a few recent wars:
The American war of Independence (also called the American Revolution) involved fighting between those who wanted America to break away from the British Empire and those who did not. That may be a broad brush to paint these two parties with but it fits.
During this war there were many battles, many battles. At one time the British seized control of New York City and nearly captured General Washington himself! Did Americans force their fledgling government to give up on the "War in New York"? Of course not! New York City was just one battlefield among many.
Let's fast forward to the American Civil War, a very bloody war where most of those who died were Americans. Civil wars tend to be that way as they are often fought between citizens of the same nation, hence the name "civil" war. They don't call it a "civil" war because people are being polite.
When things started going bad for the northerners did Lincoln throw in the towel and give up? No, he changed generals and appointed Grant as the new General in charge of his armies. Even though Lee was a superior tactician Grant had much better resources on his side and was able to defeat Lee and his forces.
Were there protesters marching in DC after each battle? Were there people telling the president that it was OK to fight in Virginia but not in Georgia? Of course not! The generals fought their battles where ever they found their enemies.
Are you getting the picture yet? No? Let me bring something a bit more current, and a lot more global, to your attention.
World War 2.
World War 2 was a war fought between the Allied powers and the Axis powers. The major players on the Allied side were; England, America and Russia. The Axis powers are most known for consisting of Germany and Japan. Yes there were other smaller nations involved on each side such as Italy but the major movers and shakers on both sides are listed above.
World War 2 was waged across most of Europe. The Russians, who began on the side of Germany, later switched sides and became an enemy of Germany. I don't readily call them a "friend" of the Allied powers because they had a bad habit of taking American bombers and reverse engineering them and producing their own from those engineering plans. If anything, the Russians were out for themselves.
As the war waged many countries became battlefields. France was a battlefield. Italy was a battlefield, Germany was a battlefield, Northern Africa was a battlefield!
Did the Allied powers ignore the battlefield of France because the Germans were based in Germany? No, that would be stupid. The Allied powers fought the Germans (and the Japanese) where ever they found them.
Fast forward to the present. The terrorists groups who have taken to the umbrella name of "Al-Qaeda" have been attacking western interests for years. In fact, these groups declared war on America long before America even realized they were there.
After the events of 9-11 unfolded this war could no longer be ignored or treated as a minor problem. Now that both parties were in agreement that a war was going on America acted.
Afghanistan became the first battlefield in this new "Global War on Terror". Even though Bin Laden managed to escape death his forces were on the run. His safe haven in Afghanistan was no longer as safe as it once was.
The continued saber rattling of Saddam Hussein brought America's (and the worlds) attention back on him. All those years of sanctions appeared to not be working. Most of the world's Intelligence communities believed he had WMDs. The final line in the sand was drawn and the invasion began.
Unlike Afghanistan, Iraq did not begin as a battlefield in the War on Terror. No, Iraq began as a war unto itself. Once the Iraqi army was defeated and Saddam removed from power terrorist elements descended on Iraq and turned the country into a battlefield in the War on Terror.
Iraq is no longer about WMDs. Iraq is now about killing the terrorists who have decided to make that country a battlefield. American forces are not fighting Iraqis over there, they are fighting terrorists. Until the terrorist elements who have decided to bring the war to Iraq are defeated American forces can not leave.
What many anti-war people fail to understand is that war is not the opposite of peace. Peace is not simply "the absence of war".
The anti-war movement wants the fighting in Iraq to end no matter who wins. Well, if Americans leave now who wins? The terrorists win. Their main goal is to drive us out of the Middle East. By leaving they win.
We need to stop calling Iraq a war. The Iraq war ended when we found Saddam in a spider hole. What we have now is a country that has become a battlefield in the War on Terror. No one told Roosevelt that he had to leave France because the Germans were in Germany. So why is the American left telling Bush to get out of Iraq when terrorists are still there?
Some Democrats have even decided to stop using the term "War on Terror". They (falsely) believe that if they call it something else it will become something else. There is a word for that line of thinking: denial.
Arthur Neville Chamberlain tried this approach with the Munich Agreement and quickly declared that the agreement represented "peace for our time." In March of 1939 Germany invaded Czechoslovakia. So much for appeasement.
Think about it.
-- Danny Mc Guire