Call me a war hawk

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 3, 2003

Suffolk News-Herald

Last Wednesday night the boss called from home and said, &uot;The dimwit is on TV. Better check it out.&uot;

Sadly, I knew immediately of whom he spoke and then found the station broadcasting President George Bush’s speech. Coming in the middle, it was difficult for me at first to tell if the president had declared war, was about to declare war, or announce that Saddam Hussein of Iraq was either about to be dethroned or had just been dethroned. Eventually it became apparent that President Bush was only making another appeal for public support of his impending war against Hussein.

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I really didn’t need convincing that America should depose the man.

Lately, I’ve come to think that a military strike against Iraq and, for that matter, North Korea, would be a very good thing.

This is not stemming from a hatred of people in those cultures, for I know of no one from either nation. But government propaganda aside, I’m inclined to believe that Hussein and Kim Jong II are major menaces in the making. Just to look at them creeps me out.

I am not alone in this matter; several people in the past week or so have agreed with me that atomic weapons would be just the things to put those two in their place. I almost always add that the only drawback is that radioactive fallout has a nasty way of coming back to bite the attacker. Perhaps a neutron bomb would be safer?

Regardless of method, my stance remains that America should go after those two. The justification for this thought is inspired by a posthumous story* written by J.R.R. Tolkien, of all people.

In brief: A king learns that a genuine evil is growing far away, and has good reason to take the news seriously. He quails at the thought and ponders the proper course:

&uot;…To prepare or to let be? To prepare for war, which is yet only guessed: train craftsmen and tillers in the midst of peace for bloodspilling and battle: put iron in the hands of greedy captains who will love only conquest, and count the slain as their glory? Will they say to Eru: &uot;At least your enemies were amongst them? Or to fold hands, while friends die unjustly: let men live in blind peace, until the ravisher is at the gate? What then will they do: match naked hands against iron and die in vain, or flee leaving the cries of women behind them? Will they say to Eru: At least I spilled no blood?

&uot;When either way may lead to evil, of what worth is choice?….&uot;

Folks, I propose that in our case the latter choice is best, and considering what took place in the United States of America on Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2001, I trust you’ll agree with me. If we don’t show our enemies that we can match serious action with all the talk, then we’ll not only find ourselves attacked again and again, but also lose the respect this nation might still command from other countries.

By swiftly squashing Hussein and Jong II, any nation that harbors open (or secret) ill will or weapons will think again and again before trying anything against us. Perhaps our victories would compel other countries to seek out and eliminate their own troublemakers. If Osama bin Laden is genuinely alive and well and living in Argentina, for example, he could find himself a hunted man with no place left to hide.

Stephen H. Cowles is the managing editor of the Suffolk News-Herald, and his opinion in no way speaks for the Suffolk News-Herald or anyone who works here.

*&uot;Aldarion and Erendis: The Mariner’s Wife&uot; from &uot;Unfinished Tales&uot;