There seems to be some confusion between patriotism and common sense lately. This is what most nationalistic movements bank on. No one should speak up with the voice of reason; if you do, you will be shouted down, called a coward, and publicly shamed.

There have been more harsh treatments for men and women of reason. Just look at how many firing squads were active in the 20th century in countries that did not allow freedom of speech.

Therefore, let’s review where we were, where we are, and where we should be. Yes, we were shamelessly attacked on 911. Approximately 2752 innocent people were murdered on that day. We should never forget that.

Al-Quaida, Osama Bin Laden, and his associates reluctantly claimed responsibility. We invaded Afghanistan to pursue them and their allies. We did capture and kill some of them. So far, this seems like a reasonable response from the U.S. government and its “allies.”

After a while, Saddam raised his head and most of us believed he had weapons of mass destruction. Intelligence agencies, from more than one country, also believed this. Some of the countries that disagreed with the invasion of Iraq were concerned that the technology we might find were components they exported to Iraq.

On top of that, it was not a good time to “rattle the saber,” against, or to antagonize, the United States government, so Iraq was invaded. Some people still believe, to this day, that those weapons are in Syria or Iran now. Some people also believe this invasion was unfinished business from Desert Storm.

We may never know the real story, or it may be told long after our life times are over, but Saddam has been captured, displaced, and is now on trial for crimes against the Iraqi people. Iraqis have elected their own government, and it is time for us to move on. Let’s leave with the British and wish the Iraqis the best of luck with their new government.

Democracy is not an easy road to travel – just ask anyone from the former Soviet Block countries. There are “growth pains” and a “learning curve” to deal with. The United States had a full-scale civil war before resolving its regional differences. It is arguable that we still have those regional differences to this day. Look at the way the United States votes during a Presidential election.

? Copyright 2005 – Paul Jerard / Aura Publications