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Sunday, May 11, 2008

The Iraq War: Necessary or Not?

War is an evil. Let's get that out of the way so everybody is clear where I stand on the issue of human violence towards humans. It is evil. If we all loved one another, seeing ourselves in the context of divine creations, children of the same Father, the world would be a much better place.

I am sad to report, however, that not everyone sees things that way. There have been, are, and always will be those who see human life as just one more pawn to be played in the grand scheme of conquest and greed. Hitler was one of those, as were Stalin, Mussolini, Mao, Fidel, and many others. Saddam Hussein was also one of them.

I have just read the book Saddam's Secrets by Georges Sada, the head of the Iraqi air force for many years under Saddam Hussein. He reports, from a vantage point at the top of Saddam's military, that chemical and biological weaponry was indeed a part of Iraq's armaments, even after the recent invasion. During the first Gulf War, Saddam ordered his military to drop them on Israel, but changed his mind at the last minute. He would often use them against his own people. He would brag to his cohorts about his ability to mislead and hide things from the U.N. inspectors, that is, when out-and-out bribery proved ineffective (which was rarely).

As American troops began the march to Baghdad, Saddam had three passenger airliners emptied out to be used as cargo planes. He loaded them with his weapons of mass destruction, and flew them to Syria, who agreed to store them (for a fee) until things blew over. At the same time, Saddam sent truckloads of chemical and biological weapons over the Syrian border under the pretext of offering emergency aid, as Syria had just suffered a natural disaster. Georges Sada received this information from the pilot of one of the passenger jets used for that purpose.

Saddam had also paid Chinese scientists millions of dollars to develop a nuclear bomb for him. This way, he could claim with a straight face that Iraq had no nuclear weapons program. It didn't; it was paying someone else for that. We can only thank God they never delivered.

Another source, Saddam's mistress, reveals that she witnessed meetings between Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda at least twice, during which Saddam gave large sums of money to the organization. The idea that there was no link between Saddam and Al Qaeda is ludicrous. Saddam spread his money freely among rogues of all sorts in the Arab world. Doing so pacified them toward his regime, and caused problems for his enemies (namely us).

Did we have to go to war? No. We've never had to, not even after Pearl Harbor. Submission is always an option. We could have simply ignored the dangers, and allowed the Muslim extremists to wreak havoc on us as they wished. George W. Bush could have talked to Saddam, just as Obama wants to dialogue with our enemies today. In our culture, this is a sign of intelligence and reason. In Arab culture, this is a sign of weakness and vulnerability. Look what years and years of trying to pacify terrorists and tyrants has gotten Israel-- missiles from Gaza. What a brilliant move that was!

War is evil, but a temporary peace at the later expense of our children and families is far worse. Sometimes, leaders are called to choose the lesser evil. I believe that is just what our president has done. Let the simple and the naive ridicule and revile him; in the end, he ought to be judged by the fact that since September 11, 2001, we have yet to be attacked. You may question the methods, but not the results. He is responsible for the security of those he governs. I believe that he is supremely loyal to that responsibility. Unlike those whose quest seems to be the development of a positive image, both to the American public and to the rest of the world, President Bush will endure the hate-speech of liberals if the end result is our safety. You may take him to task on immigration, the budget, No Child Left Behind, and many other issues, but at least he has his priorities straight. National security is the one, essential function of government.

At the end of the day, if you aren't safe in your own country, what else matters?

2 comments:

  1. I work at our city's Police Dept and work in an office next to our Homeland Security agent. What I sometimes hear come out of that room scares me but I also know that this man, as well as many others, are giving hours upon hours of time to keep us safe. There are terrorist cells all over our country and most of us go through each day without a thought of the danger. Who would have thought there were such people right here in our little city? BUT THERE ARE. And they are in your city too. Pres. Bush did the right thing and at the initial time we all backed him - or at least the majority did. What is happening now is what we saw with past conflicts - after time and casualties, people become irate with the need for war so they state they are against it. Show them pictures of 9/11 again, or of the aftermath of a terrorist attack elsewhere. We need to let these people know that we WILL NOT stand by and let them continue their rampage of hate and destruction.

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