We don’t like war.

After growing up on a hefty helping of Arnold, Sly, and countless video games, we might have an appreciation for high tech weaponry, or the occasional circular saw blade to the forehead.

But that doesn’t mean we can’t see the futility in spending so much blood and treasure on breaking more things, when so much in this world requires fixing.

Some things are beyond repair–like the American left. We’re calling in air strikes on the next hippy that says the words “evil” and “America” in the same sentence. We’ve had enough of that nonsense.

Most of the things that U.S. elites do make us cringe in embarrassment.

Today was different. For a moment, as the Marines helped Iraqis to topple a statue of Saddam Hussein in central Baghdad, we felt damned proud.

Maybe it wasn’t the “fall of the Berlin Wall.” So what? The context is completely different anyway. Just look at it for what it was. At times like these, one notices that America does stand for something special, even if it’s usually hard to see through the double standards.

Critics are right to suggest that the U.S. didn’t pay much attention to this part of the world before. When it did, it was only to preserve the status quo, and keep the oil flowing.

This time, the oil will continue to flow, but the status quo will be radically changed. With any luck, it will be for the better. We take Christopher Hitchens’ position on this one: just because the U.S. is largely responsible for the current state of affairs in the Middle East doesn’t prevent it from finally coming to its senses, and really doing something about it.

One can continue debating the necessity of war in Iraq, and the motivations behind it. But after today’s events, there’s less hope for the “No blood for oil” crowd.

War has never been the best way to convince people that you come in peace. If a better way exists, then we stupid humans haven’t been able to figure it out.

It would’ve been nice if Bush and Co. were able to tweak the recipe for the Marshall Plan by leaving out the war part. Dishing out big slices of an economic pie is the best way to turn the Middle East into the next happy-go-lucky consumer paradise; Germans and Japanese are still too busy making cars and little stereos to cause any trouble.

In Iraq, some guy with a lot of tanks and a porno mustache stood in the way. After 12 years of sanctions and air strikes, he wasn’t budging. The U.S. military is awfully good at nudging things along.

This war isn’t over yet. We’ve got a long way to go to the Promised Land. Capitalism and democracy are still pipe dreams. Iraq may never be free of ethnic strife, greasy oil politics or the lingering effects of depleted uranium munitions.

But rest assured, the Iraqi people will be free of a brutal dictator, thanks to American idealism and its smoking guns.

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