Putting away partisanship

I ask because I'm disheartened at the liberal opposition to the War in Iraq. Know that when I speak of "the left" or "liberals," I am including myself in that group.,”When did the left trade in its humanitarianism for isolationism? When did it stop being concerned with the basic human rights of people abroad?

I ask because I'm disheartened at the liberal opposition to the War in Iraq. Know that when I speak of "the left" or "liberals," I am including myself in that group. I am astonished, however, at my liberal comrades' unwillingness to get behind the Iraqi people in their struggle for democracy against violent extremists.

Let's first look at what has been accomplished in Iraq since the U.S. invasion. A vicious tyrant, who ruled through force and fear, has been removed from power. The country held its first free elections in January. Shiites and Kurds, once terrorized majorities, are finally holding positions of power. A constitution was drafted and passed easily in this month's election after it was altered to garner Sunni support.

Where is the praise from the left or, at the very least, the acknowledgement that these things are positive? The antiwar crowd's compassion for the Iraqi people is artificial. They talk of the tragedy of civilian causalities during the U.S. bombing campaign, but what of the innocent deaths at the hands of insurgents who are vile enough to murder their own people to fit their nihilistic agenda? Silence.

I'm no conservative and certainly no great Bush supporter. I don't agree with the president on a single domestic issue and I didn't vote for him last November. I also have genuine problems with some aspects of this war and how it's being conducted.

For example, Abu Ghraib was a disgrace. The pictures of U.S. soldiers holding leashed prisoners while casually smoking cigarettes was a near-nightmare scenario.

All we had done to portray ourselves as benevolent freedom-bringers was destroyed when the pictures from inside Abu Ghraib were released.

But let's start calling this war what it is: a battle between modernity and religious fundamentalism, freedom and oppression, and yes, I dare say, good and evil. And let us call its opponents by their true name: isolationists.

The politicians who feel that America can just stand by and watch world events are as wrong today as were the men and women who wanted no part of World War II. I can understand the feeling of betrayal at the lack of weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq. I'm personally frustrated because only after the failure to find them did the Bush administration get it right in shifting the focus to the Iraqi people. I fail to see the nobility in the "No Blood for Oil," pull-out-now crowd. I don't believe for a second that the far left cares about the troops, and it's quite clear they don't care about the people of Iraq.

Compassion, justice and the right of all people to live free-they're all liberal values.

I don't have to reconcile my liberalism with my support of Saddam's removal. I supported Saddam's removal because I'm liberal. I hope more leftists can find it in them to put partisanship aside and get behind this liberation.