The following is from an editorial I sent in prior to the start of the war in Iraq. I think its main points still stand, and with Israel being criticized for using bombs that actually cause death and destruction, and leaders still arguing over whether or not it was and is right to attack terrorists and their sponsors, and of course the fact that it is the 5th anniversary of 9/11, it seems like a good time to post it here.
The only legitimate function of Govt. is to protect the individual rights of it's citizens. The degree to which a Govt. fails in that function, or even violates the rights of it's citizens, is the degree to which that Govt. is illegitimate.
Any Govt. that as a matter of policy violates the rights of it's citizens, physically abuses them, employs false imprisonment, torture, terror and execution, against it's own citizens, is entirely illegitimate, and has no claim to sovereignty. Any legitimate Govt. has the right to overthrow that Govt., since if they don't support the rights of their own citizens, they are not going to care a whit for the rights of other Govt.'s and their citizens. However, any legitimate Govt. considering whether or not to overthrow such an illegitimate Govt., must first consider whether that Govt.'s existence is enough of a threat to it and it's citizens, as to justify the expense to them, of overthrowing it.
Iraq has repeatedly attacked neighboring Govt.'s, some of which, American Citizens have real interests in (Kuwait, Saudi Arabia). It has declared its hatred for, and the desire to destroy, both America, and it's friends, one of which is Israel - the only Govt. in the region with any semblance of support for the individual rights of it's citizens, and so the interests of American citizens as well.
Iraq publicly, as a matter of policy, supports terrorism, especially terrorism towards Israel, bestowing rewards on the families of suicide bombers, and exhorting others to follow in kind.
That in itself, would be enough justification for our overthrowing the Iraqi regime, though perhaps if this were the only information in our possession, it could be legitimately argued whether the cost would justify the expense of doing so. However, there is additional information abundantly available to further weight the argument for war.
Terrorists have struck at American interests, and American citizens overseas deliberately, since the 70's. They have gotten bolder as time has past and we have done nothing substantial to stop them, other than pinprick retaliatory attacks.
They have kidnapped and murdered our citizens, they have bombed our troops housing, our embassies, our airplanes, our warships.
If there was any legitimate argument over whether the cost outweighed the expense, it should have been put to rest when the USS Cole was bombed. It should have been blindingly clear that terrorists had declared war on people of the United States of America, it was then high time that we recognized it and returned the war to them. At that point, the only legitimate function of the Govt. of the USA, had been struck at, and that we did nothing in return was unforgivable, an act of irresponsibility and cowardice which has already cost the lives of thousands.
But wait, there's more.
Terrorists seek Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). WMD are horrifyingly portable, their possession by terrorists, would swiftly bring the assault on American's from overseas, to our own shores faster than the INS could say "Visa Approved".
Any illegitimate Govt. which supports terrorists, and which also has or seeks to create WMD, are clearly an obvious threat to the safety of Americans and our Govt. - they are a clear and present danger.
After 9/11, any argument, that any nation which openly supports terrorists should not be destroyed, borders on treason - certainly moral treason, if not actual treason against the people and Govt. of the USA.
The only argument I have with the Axis of Evil, is that it has too few members.
Iran, Iraq, N. Korea, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, PLO( or whatever sham acronym they are currently operating under), should be charter members, one and all. A serious investigation should be begun to determine whether China should be included as well.
I hope that their names have been left off the list only as a matter of logistical implementation, and that as one is knocked off, another will immediately take its place.
For anyone in possession of these facts, to argue that we mustn't war upon any of these nations, and even worse, that we mustn't because it might anger the terrorists and cause them to step up their attacks on us (implying that they recognize that they are, in fact, already attacking us), is such a craven act of willful stupidity, such a blatant case of turning away from the facts of reality, as to make replying against it almost too disgusting an act to engage in, since it makes it appear as if it is a point worthy of argument.
The pre-war activities have already been commenced in Afghanistan. It is now time to begin the real war, Starting with Iraq, and ending only when every terrorist and terrorist sponsoring illegitimate Govt. has been wiped from the face of the earth.