America Has Always Exported Liberty

© 2003 by Doug Patton

This week, like many Americans, I had my fill of the intellectually smug, America-hating, self-proclaimed moralists among us who keep repeating the mantra that the United States of America is in any way comparable to the bloody tyrants we are trying to eradicate from the face of Iraq.

The brutal regime of Saddam Hussein, a sadist dictator who for a quarter century has systematically raped, tortured and murdered his own people while plundering their resources, is about to come to an end. The only questions that remain – and they are big ones – is how long it will take and how costly it will be.

Along the way, America must endure the wails of dissent protected by our First Amendment. It would be refreshing if those doing the wailing would at least read history.

When the Nazi regime was defeated in 1945, the United States could have left the country in ruins or enslaved its people as the Soviets did. Instead, we helped the German people rebuild, retool and learn how to rule themselves. We also helped them to become an economic powerhouse.

Likewise, Japan was utterly defeated and under our complete domination. They had viciously attacked us. They had killed thousands of our greatest generation. Yet, we gave them the authority to determine their own destiny, to choose their own leaders, to become a free country.

These two powers had made war on us, and with the fate of the world hanging in the balance, we defeated them and then chose to give them their own self-determination.

On September 11, 2001, America was attacked without mercy. Our leaders have tried to tell us that a link existed between that attack and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, but the know-it-alls of Hollywood and the media knew better. Now, with terrorists from al-Qaeda to Hesbala to Islamic Jihad showing up to fight alongside Saddam’s Republican Guard, the truth is beginning to unfold. Evidence of chemical and biological weapons turn up daily along the route to Baghdad, and each mile brings our troops closer to finding the cache of banned armaments we know this regime has.

So, don’t even try to equate what we are doing or how we are doing it with the people we are facing on this battlefield. Bravery and cowardice have rarely been more strikingly evident than they are in Iraq. There we are, in military uniforms, fighting a war by the rules. Meanwhile, Saddam’s loyal fanatics dress in civilian clothes and ambush our troops.

Out of all the terrible weapons in our arsenal, we take great pains to use only those that perform pinpoint surgical strikes on strategic military targets. They hide in Mosques, schools, hospitals and confiscated homes, using helpless women and children as human shields.

Our forces are made up of volunteers. They coerce conscripts at the point of a gun.

We reach out to their people with food, water and candy for the children. They reach out to us with suicide bombers.

We treat prisoners with the respect demanded of civilized nations on the battlefield. They shoot them in the back of the head, display their bodies on television and then throw them into shallow graves.

We seek to seize control of the massive Iraq oil reserves in order to turn those resources over to the Iraqi people. Saddam Hussein, who has squandered that wealth for his own crazed self-aggrandizement, torches the precious oil fields when it becomes apparent that he is no longer in control.

We seek to live in peace and see freedom flourish throughout the world. They seek to kill us, on the battlefield and off, and to go on brutalizing their own people.

We fight for our security and for Iraqi independence, and go to war as a last resort. They fight simply to dominate and to enslave.

We export liberty. They export terror.


Doug Patton is a freelance columnist who has served as a political speechwriter and public policy advisor at the federal, state and local levels. His weekly columns can be read in newspapers across the country and on, where he serves as the Nebraska Editor and as a member of the GOPUSA news team. Readers can e-mail him at


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