I often hear the mantra that our troops are "defending our freedom" in Iraq. I find that Iraq is an interesting location to defend "our" freedom, especially when Iraq has never attacked the US nor our freedom--a fact that puts Iraq in stark contrast with the US government. Let's check out the facts.
How often have Iraqis come to America to take American lives over the last 15 years? I'll wait for an answer to that one. Meanwhile, I'll remind you that the US government has taken the lives of plenty of Americans over that time frame--the most horrific incident occuring at Waco in 1993, when roughly 80 worshippers were killed ... because the government thought they were weird. Defense of religious freedom, anyone? Defense of the right to worship without the government killing you? How about a defense of the freedom to be weird? I don't think those freedoms are better defended due to our action in Iraq. But anyway...
Final breakdown of murdered American civilians (last 15 years):
Score - US Government - (more than) 80, Iraq - 0
Then, how often have Iraqis raided the wallets of American citizens to do God knows what with the loot? While you ponder that one, I'll let you know that the US government gobbles up over a third of our GDP and regulates (plans) our economy which costs us over $800 billion dollars each year. Our freedom to use the fruits of our own labor is being violated by the US government everyday. Iraq still has not forcefully taken anything. So, where can we best defend our economic freedom, here at home, or in Iraq? Given that the biggest threat is our own government, I'd say that our economic freedom can only be defended here.
Final Breakdown of property stolen from Americans:
Score - US Government - untold billions, Iraq - 0
If you still believe that Iraq is (was) the main threat to our freedom, then you could probably give me an instant in which an Iraqi imprisoned Americans for consuming something with their own bodies that he didn't approve of. Or, maybe you're not in a tale-telling mood, and will recognize that the US government has imprisoned millions for such "offenses" in the "War on Drugs" while Iraq has done nothing to Americans in this regard.
Do Iraqis force us to send our children to schools of their choosing? Did they ever impose a mandatory retirement program on us? Do they forcefully take our income to dole out to special interest groups? Do Iraqis snoop around our email or violate our civil liberties? Have they ever attacked America or violated any of our freedoms?
They have not, and the US government has. Given that simple fact, which of our freedoms can be effectively defended in Iraq? Shouldn't our main concern be here at home?