Perspective on Iraq War

I would like to offer an alternative viewpoint here, without diverging too much into the rationale behind the

US government position on Iraq. I ask anyone who considers attending an anti-war demonstration, in the interests of fair-mindedness, to please ruminate on it. Simply put, anyone who has been shot at on the battlefield despises war. I have spoken to many of those

in the Armed Forces who either experienced actual combat, or dreaded going to it. However, the world is not a

place to take light-handedly. There are groups of people who will behave in their own self-interests, who will

murder to acquire power, and then utilize it to oppress their citizenry, and threaten neighboring countries. This

is such the case in Iraq. Saddam Hussein’s pursuit of WMDs is motivated by a desire to secure his seat of

authority in the region, and increase the size of his sphere of influence. Consider this: why would he develop

such programs otherwise? He poses a potentially dramatic destabilizing force in the region, especially to places

which are teetering on the edge of civilian rebellion such as Saudi-Arabia. Should he acquire them, he would be

enabled, with the advantage of deterrence to attempt to expand his borders. An action such as this would be of

massive consequence, and the US would be forced to intervene. Hussein has been given a multitude of opportunities

to disarm himself, and has consistently violated UN resolutions. On a side note, there were few protests about US

action in places such as the Balkans, and Somalia, where America’s military and NATO eviscerated the dictatorship

of Slobodan Milosevic, and attempted to supply aid to millions in Operation Restore Hope. Iraq’s people are in a

situation under the harsh rule of a despot. Iraq will change a great deal under democratic order. Insofar as

“no blood for oil,” it is the stated goal of the Bush administration to allow Iraq to retain control of its oil

deposits, without the US being involved. Additionally, if America’s goal was to simply obtain oil, we would only

have to lift the sanctions, and it would flow freely, but Hussein would have vastly more resources to continue his

nefarious campaign. It should be noted as well that the US had the opportunity to claim Iraqi oil fields in 1991, and chose not to. Also, the question of a long war involving heavy casualties should not be a concern. Saddam

Hussein’s regime is built on fear. He doesn’t have the loyalty of his military, save the Republican Guard, to

deploy much of resistance, or launch a chemical/biological attack. In 1991, thousands of Iraqis surrendered

immediately, some, in a notable example, even to an unarmed journalist. Also, he killed a majority of his top

advisors and generals after losing the Gulf War. Given the fact that America has been quite forthright in the

position that anyone who wishes to have a place in the new government of Iraq will not fight us, and Saddam’s

complete lack of loyalty, his infrastructure will dissipate almost instantaneously. Civilian casualties are an

unfortunate association with war, but will be very minimal consequent of effective planning, and its short-duration. After all, the US military was quite effective in minimizing civilian casualites in the first Gulf War. Some might argue that depleted uranium from the US Military is a cause for leukemia in Iraq’s population. This is largely unsubstantiated speculation. US soldiers are constantly exposed to this substance, and according to a 1999 National Defense Research Institute report, living in close proximity to depleted uranium with “continuous exposure at that rate for 24 hours a day for 365 days would produce an annual dose of about 2.6 rem (8,760 hours at 0.0003 rem/hr), slightly more than half the annual occupational limit.” Terrorist attacks will not increase in volume on

America, simply because any terrorist already in America will attempt to commit an attack on us anyway. While

some might be attempted around an Iraq invasion, those people were put here for a purpose long before Iraq was

contemplated. Also, resultant of an effort to devestate America’s economy, what is preventing Hussein from supplying terrorist organizations with chemical or biological weapons? Although Iraq is secular and does not endorse Muslim extremism, he does share with them a common enemy. Another argument which I would like to address here is that UN inspections are effective, and war is pre-emptive at this stage. In the opinion of the US government, inspections only produce results if a country desires to disarm. A perfect example of this is South Africa. They wished to clear their name to the world, and as a result were able to fully comply with UN mandates in a period of a few years. Hussein has had 12 years, and the debate continues over whether or not he is disarming. There is the question over how much more time for inspectors is required. Dissenters to US policy believe that inspectors are quite capable of preventing the proliferation of WMDs. However, historically, with regard to Iraq, this has not been the case. US DoD, and UNSCOM have cited a myriad of examples in which defiance was experienced in the years leading up to 1998 when inspectors were forcibly removed from Iraq. Rolf Ekeus, the former head of UN’s Iraq inspection team, says that UNSCOM is not confident in having detected or destroyed many of Iraq’s WMDs. In a famous example, UN inspectors were alerted in 1995 to extremely high quantities of previously unsuspected weapons programs being developed by Hussein by two of his sons-in-laws. This provided a gigantic leap in disarmament, one which would never have been reached if the two men, who later returned to Baghdad and were executed, had not come forward. Also, as far as intelligence goes, CIA and similar allied agencies believed that Saddam was many years away from nuclear weapons in 1991. However, upon close examination of his programs at the end of the Gulf War, it was determined to be more like 6 months. The US victory set him back a decade, but the US government feels he is quite close again. The logic for a war is that America will have to come into conflict with Iraq eventually anyway,

resultant of Hussein’s desire to dominate the region. His possession of WMDs will be horrible for its future.

He is very close to them currently. While war is one of the worst things that man can bring upon himself, it is

also a necessary action at times. He has been given a multitude of opportunities including 14 UN Resoultions all repeating the same thing. It is obvious that he chooses to not be cooperative. My question is when do we draw the line? We do not wish to make the same mistake Neville Chamberlain did.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *