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A longtime force for good ...

August 12, 2009 - Lee Smith
As I write this — and as you read it — U.S. Marines are on the offensive in Afghanistan, attempting to take away ground and supply routes from the Taliban, who hold a particularly evil view of the world, and offer nothing but more misery to the Afghani people should they retake power. Thankfully, that isn't likely to happen, given U.S. intervention in Afghanistan and the backing of that intervention by most Afghanis.

As I noticed the new Marine offensive taking place this week, I felt pride in my country and its ideals. Some people mistakenly believe that military force is somehow inherently a sin. It isn't. Force is simply a tool. Whether it is employed for good or ill is what matters.

Just off the top of my head, I can think of numerous nations around the world that the United States has conquered. Our perhaps unique contribution to military history is that conquering does not interest us. Rather, rehabilitation of our former enemies does. Like Germany and Japan, two successful modern democracies. Or Mexico, a troubled but friendly nation. The United States also has held sway over Cuba, The Phillippines, portions of North Africa, Italy and Austria. In more recent years, we have liberated Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. The collapse of our Cold War adversary, the Soviet Union, freed millions of people in Eastern Europe ... and in Russia.

Those who do not like military intervention (or simple military readiness) — in any form — might ask themselves what the world would look like if the prevailing world military was not our own. It is with this luxury underpinning them that they can scoff and deride the greatest force for good ever.


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