U.S. should take out dictators

Michael J. Greenberg

Let’s face it: Nothing in this world is perfect. Everything we do is bound to benefit some and hurt some. It’s a simple fact of life. Whoever argues otherwise is kidding himself.

Bush going overseas taking out dictators, good or bad?

Depends on who we’re talking about. For the fairer sex there, it’s likely a great thing. For their future generations, it’s very likely a godsend. But to their dictators, it’s a scary, bad thing. And for the few journalists who get millions in local currencies for writing to help maintain those in power, it’s a horrible thing. Some women I know think it’s a bad thing because Uncle Sam’s spending their tax dollars helping improve the women’s lot in other countries while the women’s lot in our country continues to fall short of men’s.

Clearly, everything has good and bad to it. I’m not denying this, but the United States has the power to oust dictators overnight with air strikes, and it must use it.

We can get highly technical, spending taxpayers’ money, arguing for weeks ‘til midnight in Congress talking about weapons of mass destruction, but that’s beside the point. To me, this whole war is not about WMD (by the way, “can’t find it” doesn’t imply “it’s not there” or “wasn’t there before we arrived” — apparently some high-octane “intellectuals” have forgotten this simple lesson in logic). It’s about one and one thing only: taking out those darn dictators.

President Bush’s goals are noble. But we need to leverage our strength and minimize exposure of our weakness. Clearly, our strength lies in our superior air power that allows us to take out rouge regimes with surgical bombings of key targets, which see minimal casualties, low war costs and yet much better and quicker results. Prolonging foreign occupation to clean up situations is a U.S. weakness. Just leave the dirty, time-consuming, touchy-feely, nation-rebuilding work to the inefficient and indecisive United Nations, which is forever begging for us to “outsource” such jobs to it.

Let’s start with Myanmar, where a woman, Aung-San Suu-Kyi, secured a landslide electoral victory 15 years ago and has been under house arrest for 16 years since the military regime declared martial law and nullified the election outcome of 1990. Let’s continue with North Korea, with which we certainly should avoid Clinton’s “carrot-and-carrot” offers of incentives that only encourage rouge nations to build ever more nuclear weapons!

Such quick, decisive air strikes on so many fronts may outrage the world (especially those high-paid, sitting-around-doing-nothing U.N. bureaucrats in New York), inciting international legal debates on national sovereignty. However, we may be surprised to see it’s much more acceptable to the world than our current policy. True, they may be shocked by those one-day air strikes, but by the time they sit down for dinner, it’s already done, and the dictators are probably gone too. We won’t have hundreds of thousands of troops on their lands, reminding them every day of the war and perhaps even giving their former oppressors something — foreign occupation — to argue about.

Plus, our soldiers won’t be in harm’s way.

Michael J. Greenberg is a graduate student and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater.

Editor’s note: Michael J. Greenberg is a pseudonym. He can be contacted through the editor at [email protected].