What is the Deal?
October 5, 2002
What is the deal with Iraq?
By Jan A. Larson
What is the deal with Iraq? No one with their head out of the sand denies that Saddam Hussein is a ruthless, merciless dictator. He's a known killer and has no regard for human rights, witness the gassing of the Kurdish population in northern Iraq and his total disregard for the Iraqi people since U. N. sanctions were imposed in 1991. Saddam had his minions invade Kuwait and when they were on the brink of being driven out, he had them torch the Kuwaiti oil wells, burning millions of gallons of crude and darkening the skies for weeks. He launched scud missles at Israel and Saudi Arabia and there is ample evidence that he is developing or has developed weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations inspectors, charged with searching out such weapons, were expelled from Iraq in 1998.
If it looks like a duck and it sounds like a duck, folks, it is a duck.
Saddam Hussein looks like a duck and he sounds like a duck. The French and Germans, along with a sizeable number of people in this country, however, don't believe that is a duck they're seeing and hearing. Some of those who are "not so sure" that Saddam is a duck even went so far as to go to Iraq and still aren't convinced. A contingent of U. S. Congressmen recently returned from Iraq after saying that we should take Saddam's stated willingness to comply with U. N. resolutions "at face value." There is no reason that anything Saddam says should be believed. The stakes are too high in 2002 to give anyone with Saddam's rap sheet the benefit of the doubt. By the time the doubters are "convinced" of the danger that Saddam poses, there may be thousands, tens of thousands or even several hundred thousand people dead. These doubters are reminiscent of the doubters of the intentions of Adolf Hitler. A policy of "containment" then resulted in thousands of innocent people being tortured and killed during the Holocaust. We simply cannot wait for evidence of Saddam's intentions. The risks are too great.
War is not something to be entered into lightly. People die in war. Americans will die in a war with Iraq. Putting our collective heads in the sand and hoping that Saddam will somehow "get better" only raises the price that must be paid. Make no mistake, there is a price to be paid. Either we pay it now or we pay it later.
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