- General Washington and his troops had not weathered the winter at Valley Forge?
- Major General Samuel Smith (also a Senator from Maryland - that man truly understood the definition of "fighting for what you believe in") and Major George Armistead hadn't successfully defended Baltimore after the British mowed down Washington and burned down the White House?
- President Lincoln had allowed the South to secede and break apart the Union?
- General Pershing and Colonel George Marshall (later became the first five-star general in military history) had not led their troops through the Meuse-Argonne Offensive which repelled the Germans out of France but at the loss of over 26,000 men?
- General Patton hadn't come to the aid of the encircled 101st Airborne at Bastogne and won the Battle of the Bulge with losses topping 80,000 men?
- President Truman hadn't ordered the atomic bombs to be dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, ending the Pacific Campaign of World War II?
Wars have been fought on United States soil to protect freedom, but more importantly, wars have been fought on foreign soil to protect and to spread freedom. Kaiser Wilhelm threatened Europe in World War I. Hitler, Mussolini and Tojo did the same (including Asia) in World War II. Were it not for the United States, there's no telling how many foreign nations would be under brutal dictatorships with entire generations knowing nothing of "freedom".
Today, the anti-Vietnam crowd and their counterparts from the next generation are up in arms over the War on Terror. With the casualty level over 2,100 (5,100 including 9/11), they think the costs of the conflict far outweigh the potential benefits and want our troops to come home. As expressed in the "What If?" scenarios above, one has to ask what would happen if we abandoned the Iraqis yet again? We saw what happened when we left the resistance to be slaughtered by Saddam after the first Gulf War. If we leave, history may repeat itself at the hands of the Muslim extremists that peaceniks refuse to think of as anything other than "freedom fighters".
Well I'm sorry, but the only freedom fighters left in the world today are the men and women of the United States armed forces and their allies abroad. The enemy presents itself in various forms but the mission never changes: protect and spread freedom at ALL costs. One cannot put a price tag on freedom. The best thing we can do is to fight in honor of those who sacrificed their lives for that mission.
God Bless the troops and their mission, may His blessings shine upon them and the Iraqi men and women who will, come next week, head to the polls yet again surrounded by mortar attacks and suicide/homocide bombers. May they lift their ink-stained fingers in triumph and defiance toward the evil forces that threaten them daily.