Eliminating the Threat:
Why Saddam had to be removed from Power
It must be understood that United States is now engaged in a Great War, a world war, the third world war since the defeat of the Germans in World War I. The Germans came back for a second round in 1939, and the Allied victory in 1945 seemed to seal a great peace upon the world. But with the rise of the oil monarchies in the Middle East, the balance of power shifted, and vast amounts of money has been put into the hands of nations that less than a hundred years ago were still locked in tribal societies. On September 11, 2001 the culmination of a series of attacks upon the United States took place when the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed. This was preceded by attacks on the marines in Lebanon, upon the US embassy in Kenya, upon the USS Cole, and upon the World Trade Center in 1993 when terrorists attempted to topple the twin towers. In each instance the US response to the massive bloodshed from these suicide bombings was to back away after a fruitless attempt to find and punish these faceless enemies. George W. Bush’s response was appropriate in the wake of 9/11. He decided to take out the governments that were sponsoring terrorism and terrorist organizations. The Taliban, known sponsors of Al-Quada, were rooted out of Afghanistan. Saddam Hussein, a long known supporter of terrorists also became a target. The American message was: if you support attacks on America, no matter how tangential the connection, we are going to take your governments out wherever they are.
A closer look at the notorious regime that has occupied Iraq for the last string of decades reveals one of extreme totalitarian nature. Saddam Hussein’s Baath party have ruled and controlled Iraq’s vast resources by subjugating its citizens, as well as fellow government officials, to extreme, and often fatal forms of intimidation, terror, and fear.
His rule has also consisted of various military engagements that have demonstrated relentless aggression towards other nations in the Middle East. More importantly, however, is the fact that this Iraqi government has historically supported and aided different terrorist organizations in furthering their destructive goals that aim to raise fear in nations that operate under ideals of freedom and liberty. Iraq has also persistently pursued the development of weapons of mass destruction, by spending large portions of its oil revenues to import technologies that facilitate the development of these weapons. Because of these reasons, and the fact that Saddam has shown the international community that his ambitions lie in developing dangerous weapons that pose potential grave danger, it was imperative that the United States and a handful of allies invaded and replaced the evil dictatorship in Iraq to ensure the safety of the United States, as well as the world.
To understand why a dictator like Saddam Hussein is a threat to the international community, it is important to understand his brutally insane nature that has made him comparable to the likes of some of the most atrocious dictators in world history. To control Iraq, Saddam used fear as a means to keep his government in check, the same type of terror he imposed on Iraq’s populace. Known as the “Saddam Diet-, Hussein would order his ministers to exhibitions at government events where graphic weapon demonstrations were used to show what would happen to dissenters of his cause (Kaplan 7). Referring to himself in the third person, Saddam was quoted in a speech in 1982 by saying, “Saddam Hussein exists in every corner, every place, every eyebrow and every heart in Iraq.”” If someone made a joke about Saddam in public, they were punishable by
death. The same held true if someone overheard another referring to Saddam in derogatory ways and failed to report it to the authorities, even if that someone was a family member. There was absolutely no toleration for anything anti-Saddam. He has also sponsored a type genocide that targeted various religious and ethnic groups such as the Shiite and Kurd populations that resides in many areas inside Iraq’s borders. Saddam even targeted these ethnic groups in other countries such as Iran, and in 1980 Iraq invaded Iran and started murdering tens and thousands of Shiite and Kurdish individuals. Human Rights Watch estimated that Iraq’s aggression towards the Kurds resulted in the number of deceased Kurds reaching in the 100,000’s (Kaplan 13). Even Kuwait fell victim to an invasion by Iraq that resulted in the 1992 Gulf War. Saddam continued his vicious ways, being indifferent to the savage killing of Kuwaiti civilians and military units by Iraq soldiers. A 1992 U.S. government report estimates that Iraqi forces executed or tortured to death over 1,000 Kuwaitis during the brief occupation (Kaplan 20). Saddam’s tyrannical behavior towards his own citizens and neighboring nations makes one wonder what he would do if ever given the opportunity to inflict destruction on nations such as the United States, who Saddam reveres as a primary enemy.
One might argue that even if Saddam has terrorized his neighbors and citizens, it is still not the business of other nations to judge his actions and remove him from power. However, it must not be forgotten that Iraq has enjoyed close ties with terrorist organizations such as Al-Qaeda, and in recent years these groups have joined together with tyrants like Saddam Hussein to achieve a unilateral goal: causing chaos and disorder in the United States and Israel. CIA director George Tenet revealed that U.S. officials have documented contracts between Al-Qaeda and Iraqi operatives, and that “solid evidence of the presence in Iraq of Al-Qaeda members, including some that have been found in Baghdad- (Tenet Letter). Another report by Tenet in October of 2002 exposed that “Iraq has provided training to Al-Qaeda members in the areas of poisons and gases and making conventional bombs.”” Iraq has also shown close ties to the terrorists that were involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The bombing’s ringleader, Ramzi Yousef, was admitted into New York carrying an Iraqi passport, investigators conclude that it was created by Iraqi agents who were operating in Kuwait during 1990-1991 (Kristol 24). Hamas has also gained from Saddam’s ability to assist terror networks by receiving training in Iraq’s Salman Pak terrorist camp (Rose). The Salman Pak camp functions as a training base for terrorists that train in areas that range from assassination, hijacking, and even kidnapping. An Iraqi defector told the New York Times that “We were training these people to attack installations important to the United States.”” Another defector told Aviation Week and Space Technology that located at the base were Boeing 707 airplanes that were used to teach Islamic extremists how to take over and fly them (Kaplan 26). Satellite photographs captured pictures of the planes on April 25, 2000, in the very location that was described by the quoted defectors (Kaplan 26). When taking all of this information into account, it is essential to understand that terror organizations such as Hamas and Al-Qaeda operate with the sole intentions of striking fear in the minds of citizens in nations such as the United States. People tend to forget that sponsored terrorist organizations are out to win. They will do whatever they need to do, take whatever time they need, and spend any amount of money necessary to win. Because of the sweeping
efficiency of various U.S. secret agencies (FBI, CIA), the terrorists have come seeking refuge in large countries such as Iraq with hopes to promote their inhuman desires. If people are too nave in their wishful liberal thinking to see that evil dictatorships like Iraq, and terror organizations such as Al-Qaeda are working for the same common goal, then these terror networks will continue to thrive in these countries and will continue to have success in bringing forth attacks on the United States and its allies. By going into Iraq and removing Saddam from power, the United States has set the tone for the war on terrorism. The message that was sent to Iraq and the whole Middle Eastern region is: support terror, and we will take you out.
One of the most important reasons why it was urgent for the U.S. and its allies to go in to liberate Iraq’s citizens from Saddam’s brutal dictatorship is because of his ruthless effort to produce and use weapons of mass destruction. Again, it may not be the business of America to take action against a regime that murders its own people, and it may not even be the business of America to intervene with a tyrant who associates itself with known terrorist organizations, but it better be the business of America and the whole international community to remove a leader who does all of the above and also develops and seeks to use weapons of mass destruction. Even during Bill Clinton’s presidency this was a problem that posed a threat to the security of the United States. In 1998 Clinton said, ” will be more lethal if we allow them to build arsenals of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them. There is no more clear example of this threat than Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.”” According to UNSCOM (the U.N. weapons inspection program), Iraq began its unrelenting quest to produce weapons of mass
destruction back in 1974, when Saddam held the position of vice-president in Iraq’s government. Iraq even attested to the international community that in 1978 it carried out plans to “research on micro-organisms for military purposes- (Kristol 27). Saddam has used these chemical agents to torture his own people, but an even more important fact to observe is the idea that he could make these dangerous chemical weapons available to the various terrorist groups he supports. If the thought concerning chemical and biological weapons being in the hand of a murderer tyrant with a deep hatred for the U.S. doesn’t raise the issue that the regime must be taken out of power, think about the idea of nuclear weapons. German intelligence has reported that Iraq possessed more than “10 tons of uranium and one ton of slightly enriched uranium. Iraq has enough to generate the needed bomb-grade uranium for three nuclear weapons by 2005- (Kaplan 32). Why not take Saddam out now before he has the capability to use the leverage of a nuclear bomb against the world. It is in the interest of the United States to prevent exactly that from transpiring. By not invading Iraq to remove the Saddam regime may mean the destruction of America itself when a terrorist cell detonates a nuclear weapon in the heart of an American city. The confidence and assertiveness of American business will be shattered; world markets will crumble; monetary systems will vanish like nuclear fallout. To keep peace in the world means taking evil men with enormous capabilities like Saddam out of power.
In this era of advanced technology and rapidly growing globalization it is vital to understand that the deadly weapons that pose a threat on the free world will be made readily available to terrorists if regimes like Saddam are not overthrown. Saddam
Hussein has proven to the world over the last few decades that he will not hesitate to produce weapons of mass destruction, or to even train and support terrorist organizations that operate to destroy the United States and the principles it stands for. Saddam is a dictator with vast amounts of money who has purchased arms, explosives, paid rewards for suicide bombers, waged war on two of his neighbor countries and murdered thousands of his own citizens with chemical weapons. This evil man must be seen as intolerable in this state of siege that America finds itself in. By taking Saddam out of power, America and its allies have taken the first steps in eliminating a hostile terrorist front that potentially posed grave danger to the U.S. and its future endeavors.
Kaplan, Lawrence F. and William Kristol. The War Over Iraq: Saddam’s Tyranny and America’s Mission. San Francisco, CA: Encounter Books. 2003.
CIA Director George Tenet letter to Sen. Bob Graham, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, 9 October 2002.
United Nations Report Annex C, “Status of Verification of Iraq’s Biological Warfare Program- (hereafter Annex C), 25 January 1999.
Bush administration and British government presented further evidence: White House Background Document, “A decade of Deception and Defiance,”” 12 September 2002
David Rose, “Iraq’s Arsenal of Terror,”” Vanity Fair, 2 May 2002