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To attack or not to attack? That is the question on American minds as tensions with Iraq continue to rise. But the real question—the question we should be asking—is: Why is this even in question at all?
Let’s face the facts, shall we? Saddam Hussein has murdered scores of his own people. He’s waged a number of wars on his neighbors, including Kuwait, Israel and Iran. He’s also tried assassinating a former American president, George H.W. Bush, so it’s really no wonder that his posturing has captured the passions of Bush 41’s son.
And yet, although there’s no question that the Butcher of Baghdad needs the proverbial boot, the current President Bush has met with much resistance in his efforts to sock it to him. Again, though, the question is: Why? Saddam Hussein’s hardly a big teddy bear, and you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who disagrees, so why in the world are world leaders refusing to fall in line?
Well, in the midst of rising sentiment against an American-led attack on Iraq, the answer’s become indisputably clear. Just one year after the world mourned with America, anti-Americanism is as rampant and self-righteous as ever.
You see, after last year’s terrorist attacks, America was a sleeping superpower no more. You need not look further than the fields of Afghanistan to see what the USA is capable of when roused. However, having seen America’s unmatched military prowess for themselves, other nations—both foes and friends alike—now fear America’s warpath will run through their countries. They seem to forget that we only attack when provoked.
Nowhere is this conflagration of illogical fear more evident than in the United Nations, where it envelopes and permeates the order of their day.
The UN has been awfully outspoken when it comes to America’s plans for attacking Iraq. Its member nations have demanded that the USA gain approval before taking action. This is partly economic, of course, having as much to do with trade as it has to do with their meek ethical assertions. But the overriding cause for their contention is simply that America is powerful—powerful enough, in their minds—and the fear that unilateral success in a return to the Persian Gulf might make us more powerful and, in turn, more apt to ignore their petty resolutions.
Their attempt to control America is farcical. It’s feeble at best.
You want to talk about defying UN resolutions? Let’s talk about Iraq. Let’s talk about a country that’s defied UN resolutions no less than 16 times, as President Bush recently pointed out.
The UN is practically begging us to allow weapons inspectors to settle the score. Well, here’s an idea: How about Saddam allows weapons inspectors to settle the score? After we defeated him the first time in 1991, the UN resolution demanded unfettered access for weapons inspectors, and yet the UN has done nothing since Saddam kicked inspectors out in 1998.
It’s been four years now. Lord only knows how many weapons Saddam’s produced in the interim.
That’s why the UN has no moral authority on this issue. Through their actions, and especially their inactions, they’ve become an increasingly obsolete operation. I mean, if a dangerous dictator such as Saddam doesn’t have to do what they say, why the Hell should we?
Of course, there are those who proclaim Saddam’s no threat at all. They say that, should weapons inspectors make their triumphant return to Iraqi soil, they would prove Saddam’s supposed nuclear and biochemical stockpile is either an exaggeration or altogether fabrication. This an entirely different issue, albeit an issue that’s equally troubling.
The argument’s been made that Saddam’s too big a coward to risk his own destruction in another war with America, but, while it’s true he’s a coward, just think about all the Palestinians suicide bombers whose families he financially supports. If this madman wants to wipe Israel off the face of the Earth, and if he thinks it will secure his secular sainthood, isn’t it possible that he’s willing to die in so doing? Because the Palestinian suicide bombers sure are.
One man who seems to disagree is Pat Buchanan, who wrote on September 2nd: “History suggests that nations build nuclear weapons not to go on the warpath, but as deterrents to adversaries.” He’s absolutely, positively 100 percent correct that history has shown this. However, only a handful of men in history have ignored the taboos of germ warfare, and Saddam Hussein just so happens to be one of them.
Whereas nuclear weapons are essentially born of the same territorial needs as other weapons—say, cruise missiles or daisy cutters—biochemical weaponry exists not just for winning wars but for inflicting pain and suffering. Any jerk can try and take over a land that’s not his own, but it takes a special kind of jerk—a terrorist like this fellow—to go straight for the civilian throat and punish whole populations. That’s pure evil, and that’s your case against Iraq.
Saddam set a precedent with his use of chemical weapons against the Kurds. He may or may not be able to take out the USA with nukes, but, rest assured, he can poison our crops and drinking water, and he can give us anthrax and small pox.
Which brings me to the elite media.
Recent surveys and studies suggest that the elite media has, indeed, been stacking the odds against American action in Iraq. The
Weekly Standard‘s Jonathan V. Last compiled proof of the anti-American trend in an article published on theweeklystandard.com last Thursday. In that article, he quoted Pico Iyer of the Los Angles Times as saying: “I worry that the John Wayne stance [America is] projecting outside its borders is taking it further away from a world that it needs desperately to get closer to.”
Mr. Last also quoted British journalist John Pilger, who wrote in the Mirror that Usama bin Laden and the tandem of George W. Bush and Tony Blair are “two sides of the same coin.”
The thing that makes this interesting is the fact that it was the media that was targeted by last September’s anthrax mailings. While Americans were busy hording Cipro by the cellar-load, it was our nation’s journalists who had the most reason to fear.
And the same goes for Senator Tom Daschle. He says we need a smoking gun. Well, we haven’t got gunpowder, but we’ve got powder—anthrax powder—and it came from a letter sent to Daschle’s very own office. Back when the forged fourth grader’s handwriting that adorned that envelope was fresh in our minds, I wouldn’t have believed that Daschle could staunchly condemn our attacking a criminal with known biochemical capabilities less than one year later. Yet he has.
But as the line of war critics grows, so does the Axis of Evil and its long list of adversaries.
Those who are not for us are against us—that is the thesis of the Bush Doctrine. There’s nothing nonsensical nor John Waynesque about it. Turning to The Weekly Standard yet again, we see this summed up rather profoundly. “The war skeptics,” writer Richard Lessner says, “should be obliged to tell us something: Exactly which American city are they willing to bet that they’re right? Pittsburgh? Newark? Cheyenne? San Diego?”
Mr. Lessner is frighteningly right.
Authorities recently arrested three alleged terrorists en route to Miami and another five in the outskirts of Buffalo. The Floridian affair may turn out to be a hoax, and the details of the Western New York arrests are largely unknown, but I, for one, wouldn’t wager the well-being of any city—be it Buffalo, NY, even Berkeley, CA—without a thorough investigation.
Saddam himself may not hit us with weapons of mass destruction, but if Bush and Blair’s assertions are true, and if Iraq and al-Qaeda are in cahoots, then American-dwelling terrorists could conceivably deliver small pox or dirty nukes on Saddam’s behalf. It’s a chance we cannot take. If Saddam wants us as badly as it seems, nothing’s out of the question, and that’s precisely why the forthcoming call to arms shouldn’t be questioned at all.
President Bush has made America’s policy clear. He wants a regime change and that’s the bottom line.
We probably should’ve marched in and taken the madman out of commission back in March—back when we had the momentum—but we didn’t. That doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got to usurp Saddam Hussein’s power.
And whether we do it diplomatically, militarily or even covertly, as long as we do it then that’s all that counts.
As always, I have faith in President Bush. His challenging the UN to “show some backbone” is proof that he’s on the right path. Rest assured, a lesser leader would’ve launched a few missiles into Iraq’s aspirin district then wiped his hands and called it a day.