#90 Iraq, WMD and War Does it all have to be one thing? (Watt Thoughts)
For over ten years now Iraq has been presented as a danger to our country. In the Gulf War we fought Iraq , but mere to free Kuwaiti from it. Since that time we have heard continuous stories on dangers of Iraq. Under the current administration and the two previous administrations (Democratic and Republican) we have regularly attacked Iraq in the no-fly zones that the United Nations (UN) established at the end of the Gulf War.
At the end of the Gulf War, we did not invade Iraq or try to kill Saddam Hussein although there was strong sentiment in the American public then for that. Our objective was to free Kuwaiti that had been attacked and overrun by Iraq. As part of the peace accords that Iraq agreed to, Iraq was to give up all Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD), allow the allies to maintain a no-fly zone in northern and southern Iraq to protect the minority citizens in those areas that Iraq had used WMD on previously. In addition Iraq was to allow UN inspectors to verify that all WMD had been destroyed and to allow these inspections on an on-going basis. These actions were to allow Saddam Hussein and Iraq to become a responsible nation in the world.
Iraq made the inspections harder and harder and forced the UN to withdraw their inspection teams. From the reports we have been exposed to, apparently Iraq has not given up on WMD. In addition an oil embargo was enacted against Iraq and was partially lifted to allow Iraq to sell oil for food and drugs for citizens. All this time Hussein has continued to build more elaborate palaces for himself. The reports we have in large masses starving and the blame is placed on United States for an oil embargo and lack of money to buy food and drugs
. President Bush has identified Iraq as part of the "Axis of Evil" long ago and has been urging Iraq to come clean and to use the oil money and other income to help its people. President Bush believes that we are threatened by the WMD that Hussein has and is developing and that this must be stopped now or that we will have another tragedy similar to or worse than 9/11. He has basically drawn a line in the sand and told Saddam this has gone far enough. Either destroy your WMD, prove it, or face an attack by a military force to replace him.
We stand at that crossroads today and basically for the last year. President Bush has gone to the United Nations, like his father did, and gotten the Security Council to pass yet another resolution requiring the end of WMD and allow inspections to verify. Finally in the late fall this was passed and Iraq went along allowing inspections and giving documents.
The questions are now have the inspections found Iraqi compliance, have the inspections found Iraq in violation, have the inspections been allowed to really occur, and should we attack.
The inspections have gone on for two months and appear to not finding good for Iraq. In many ways this is a surprise as the head of the inspection team was expected at beginning to not find any problems about Iraq, but we hear his doubts. He and rest of team have requested time to made more thorough inspections.
In some ways the inspections have been more allowed by Iraq than expected. They have allowed the team into the palaces (which are much more than a building), and have allowed the team to talk to some scientists. In other cases the scientists have refused to talk, which may be an indication they are scared, or just scientists that don't make things public.
To make Iraq realize that this administration is serious we have made a military buildup near Iraq. Not only does this tell Hussein that we are serious, but if we decide to attack we don't have to wait months to get the military there like in the first Gulf War.
There are many who are convinced that the only reason we are challenging Iraq to get rid of WMD and threatening war is to be able to free oil for the United States and for Bush supposedly to make a fortune on the oil. The problem with this argument is that essentially since before the Gulf War we have hardly used any oil from Iraq and our supplies have been plentiful. Yes the price of gas has gone up over the last few years, but comparatively speaking it is cheap. Look at what we were paying for gas in the late 70s compared to various other items. Yes I would like cheap gas to put in my car also, but we do need to look at more ways of becoming more energy efficient. We have improved immensely in the last 30 years but progress still needs to occur. I also remember in 1973-74 when all predictions were the world would run out of oil in 30 years and that we were entering and ice age. Neither seems true today from reports.
So what should President Bush do now? He should continue maintain a military ready in the Middle East and the United States to fight Iraq. We should allow the inspection teams (chemical and nuclear) to complete their inspection. Hopefully Iraq and Hussein will get rid of the weapons that were banned from them. Note that we are not trying to disarm Iraq, just remove WMD. Normal defensive weapons can remain. If the inspections teams find they have not, then this should be end of Hussein with a war effort that is directed at him and not Iraq in general. We should then make sure they become a good citizen of the world. From all indications the buildup has forced Hussein to improve by agreeing to his old agreement to allow inspections. If the team finds them clean, then we need to begin a withdrawal, but keep watch. This is a question of security and basic life for our citizens and for the Iraqi citizens. What else can we do as private citizens? We can pray for God's guidance with all the leaders that a peaceful solution can be found, or that if that is not possible that the world leaders make the best decisions for the world's people.
However it does not end there. We know North Korea is dealing some of the same. We will need to put the pressure on them to comply also. Just as a side note, since the early 70's the United States destroyed and has not kept chemical or biological weapons, so we are not being hypocrital in denying these to them. As far as nuclear weapons most nations of the world including all of these long ago signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty to keep nuclear weapons from spreading to nations that were not already nuclear. Both North Korea and Iraq need to take actions that will result in better conditions for their people. They need to stop the starvation. Yes al nations have some people whose conditions are not best, but those are starving their people. We may have people that do not get to eat what and as much as they like each day, but we are not starving them top death.
By working within the UN we are allowing communication to still occur, and maybe a peaceable solution. Likewise once we have tried this then the world needs to consider force just as was needed against Hitler in the 40s, and Hussein in the first Gulf War. There comes a point when peaceful means will not prevail and force can prevail. If we can not have a war that will be preferred as long as it does not set up a worse war later. Examples of opposite are Chamberlain in late 30s and Afghanistan in the 90s.
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