America needs to finish what it started in Iraq

Lately, it seems like everywhere I look, people have “Iraq Distracts” bumper stickers, the world news mentions the $87 billion we’re giving to Iraq for the reconstruction, newspapers mention the rise in U.S. deaths since our successful invasion back in April, and the Daily has redundant opinion columns about how we’re wasting time, money and lives in Iraq. But then I take a closer look, and I notice the same people with these opinions are the ones who questioned the humanitarian objectives back when we were still considering an attack.

I’ll admit we probably made a mistake when we invaded. Sure, we ousted a horrible despot, but we did it on flimsy grounds, and President George W. Bush, whether it was intentional or not, lied to us. But now, it seems like anyone with a liberal streak wants us to simply withdraw from Iraq and leave them alone. Leave them to finance the reconstruction, leave them to do all the work rebuilding and leave them to reshape their shattered economy and political environment.

While I agree U.S. tax dollars should stay here in the United States to pay for schools, health care, welfare or whatever other thing people seem to think they’re entitled to by virtue of living here in this awful nation they hate so much, I also think we need to help reshape Iraq and get its people back on their feet. Without the help of our soldiers and our financial assistance, Iraq can never be expected to recover from something as tragic as having their major cities all but obliterated.

So basically, after the war, we had two choices: We either walk in and out, leaving Iraqis to lick their wounds and wishing they had not messed with the United States, or we stick around afterward to help them pick up the pieces and get back on track, thereby confirming Bush’s promise that this war is not against the civilians.

Bob Larson is a linguistics graduate student. He welcomes comments at [email protected]