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Jason Holliston
 
Monday, July 07, 2003  
Doing What's Right

George Bush gets it. That seems to be the emerging theme of the upcoming Liberia mission. My friend Michael Totten has argued in his blog that we have a responsibility to that country, due to its history and close ties to the United States. It was an American (private, for the most part) colony, staffed by freed slaves from the North, and has, until the excrement started to hit the fan, a staunch ally and partner of our country. Perhaps some people need that extra push to get them on board, but I don't.

I'm a firm believer that with America's incredible military power and huge economic machine, we're duty-bound to help, assist, and fix when we can. That doesn't mean that every time something goes wrong in the world we should stretch our neck out -- we're not all-powerful. But with some things, we can make an enormous difference; that much is very clear. I was never on board with the Iraq War because of the weapons of mass destruction and the terrorist links, even though that's a very viable reason. I was never on board with the missions to Kosovo and the surrounding states because of possibility of the violence spreading, though that's an excellent reason. I supported these actions because they were the right thing to do, and we could do them without undue pain. We could do them without harming our ability to help the next time we were in a position to help mend broken peoples.

When the debates were raging on the subject of our second excursion to Iraq, I would get into discussions with anti-war believers. I would bring this point up: there's no doubt that Iraq will be a better, safer, freer, and happier place with Saddam gone, and a democracy in its place. They'd never argue directly against that point, but they would attempt a lame end-around. They'd attack the motives of our Command-In-Chief, saying that we're only going to get their oil, make the Sunnis make Nikes, and addict them to Big Macs. They'd never consider the possibility that perhaps it's just the right thing to do, and something we should have done 12 years ago.

What is their explanation now? What does Liberia have that's so incredibly important to Big Business? It's unlikely that Liberia will be a first world country in my life time, even though I hope the best for them. I don't see Domino's Pizza leaning on the Bush Administration because they see dollar signs in pepperoni pizza being delivered all over Monrovia. Bush is likely to commit because he sees an example of a situation that we can help resolve with a minimal of our resources. Really, folks, it's just that easy.

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