Recently, someone made a post on our church chat room with the title “A Depressing Morning”. It was written by a medical doctor who became a follower of Christ through our church when he came from Korea to Houston for training. He wrote about his feelings as he watched the bombing of Baghdad on TV. He was confused about how President Bush, who is very public about being a born again Christian, can invade a country.
For those of you who might have similar questions, let me share my personal opinions about this issue.
Many people, including Koreans, firmly believe that this war is about oil. But I don’t believe this to be President Bush’s primary motivation. I think Bush is following the footsteps of President Truman, whose decisions helped end WWII.
In the battle for the island of Okinawa in the final stages of WWII, 50,000 US soldiers and 100,000 Japanese soldiers were killed. There were also 100,000 Japanese civilian casualties. Based on statistics like this, President Truman decided that invading mainland Japan would have resulted in hundreds of thousands of casualties on both sides. So he made the difficult decision to drop the A-bomb. This of course had huge consequences – many people died and many more suffered because of the bomb. However, it was probably the right decision at the time. Within two days, Japan surrendered unconditionally and WWII ended without the many more casualties that would likely have been incurred otherwise. And importantly, after the war America made a huge effort to help Japan build a democratic government and enjoy tremendous growth both economically and socially.
I think President Bush has similar motivations. He has decided that it is better to get rid of the dictator Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction before it becomes an unmanageable threat and he uses it on other countries (or his own people). Doing so will require pain and suffering. But it might prevent much more pain and suffering in the future. And hopefully, with active support for postwar Iraq, it will bring peace to both Iraq and the rest of the world.
The way coalition forces are fighting the war shows that it is indeed their goal to break down Saddam’s regime and construct a new democratic government. They encourage Iraqi soldiers to surrender and treat them well so that they will become a backbone of a new army. They have been using smart bombs, which can hit within 30 feet of targets, so they destroy only government and military buildings and minimize civilian casualties.
I am not certain if starting this war was a good decision or if the war will turn out the way President Bush hopes. I don’t know how history will judge President Bush. Perhaps he will be seen as a liberator and a force for world peace. Perhaps he will be seen as a belligerent imperialist. Only time will tell.
But for now, we must believe in and support President Bush. Let us pray for a quick end to the war, and the least number of casualties on both sides. And let us pray for President Bush to become a world leader who cares for not only America’s interest but also for the peace of the whole world.
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