Letter to the Editor: Moving Iraq Beyond Good and Evil

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It’s letters like Trevor Covington’s Feb. 24 letter “Fighting the War Differently” that make me wish people would stop speaking of the possible war with Iraq, or any of these recent events, in terms of good and evil. Why do people think there is some kind of universal law of morality governing mankind? There isn’t.

One of the most insightful things Bush said was, “If you’re not with us, you’re with the terrorists.” The statement rings true for all sides in conflicts. Anyone who is against our interests is a terrorist. If you don’t back us, you’re backing “them.” In the current conflict, Hussein is threatening our interests. Whether those interests concern weapons of mass destruction, oil or simply his attitude, we can enforce our policies as we choose because, quite frankly, we can. He’d be justified in doing the same thing–if he could.

Protecting interests goes both ways. Obviously, al Qaeda felt the people it protects were threatened by the United States when its members flew planes into our symbols of trade power. So what if they killed civilians? Civilians are as much a part of the United States as the military. If you’re a patriot, you’re a legitimate target.

The United States doesn’t kill civilians because of a ridiculous rationalization that lets us believe that killing a soldier is more justified than killing a civilian. Oh, and it looks bad in the press, too.

The only thing that will prevent this war from happening is if there is greater interest in not having a war. Most Americans will start caring if the economy is severely impacted by the war or if there are increased incidents of terrorism. See? Terrorism works. We’ll just have to see whose form of terrorism is more effective.

Chris Condrat

Junior, Electrical Engineering