Voices carry

President Bush has made a smart move with regards to the continuing war in Iraq. He’s asked the United Nations to step in and give our country a little aid in getting the country back on its feet and giving the people of Iraq back the right of self-determination as quickly as possible.

He’s got a little ways to go, though. If peace and democracy are ever going to work in that country, he’s got to allow the United Nations to take the leadership role in the rebuilding of that country. Memories are long, and many people, both here and there, felt and feel that our war in Iraq was unjust. It is difficult for anyone who has felt downtrodden to turn for help to the force that they believe put them down, let alone to accept advice on how to live their lives.

In America, the best way ordinary citizens can help is to raise their voices, get out their pens and fire up their e-mail programs, in order to let their representatives know that they want full accounting of how our president intends to spend the $87 billion he asked for in his Sunday night speech. Every bit of that $87 billion comes from people like us who would like to see more federal dollars spent in schools or used to create jobs.

Americans, too, must not forget what we are fighting for. Whether we were right when we invaded Iraq is irrelevant at this point. If we want to make a change in our leadership, we can make it in November next year. Even if there was speculation that we invaded for the wrong reasons, like to secure oil for ourselves, there were good humanitarian reasons to remove a dictator who killed innocent people and filled mass grave after mass grave with their bodies. Hopefully, war dissenters can find some redemption in that.

The most important thing to remember is that the war is not over in Iraq or in Afghanistan. We Americans must keep up the pressure on our politicians not to leave those countries in chaos. If these wars and the ongoing war on terror are the legacy of Sept. 11, 2001, we must ensure that those victims did not die in vain, and their sacrifice and the sacrifices of their families will result in a safer world where liberty isn’t just a concept for the lucky.