“When the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.” -Thomas Jefferson
There are no truer words today. It is a joy to see the Iraqi people in the streets cheering our soldiers on their march to Baghdad. While I still don’t think the basis for this action is solely to free the Iraqi people, it is refreshing to see them happy at our arrival.
My take on this war in Iraq is obviously not one of U.S. aggression, but of continuance to enforce mandates placed on Hussein’s regime stemming from the 1991 Gulf War. Iraq invaded Kuwait, which led to a coalition of forces, led by the U.S., to assist Kuwait in driving Iraqi forces back to their own country. In this military defeat, Saddam’s regime agreed to certain conditions in exchange for a U.S.-led coalition cease fire. The conditions included the destruction of WMDs Iraq had built, and the ceasing of all further development of such weapons. U.N. inspectors were sent into Iraq to insure compliance. Those inspectors were kicked out in 1998. However, since we were enjoying a booming economy, we didn’t pay much attention. We had become apathetic to the dangers in the world.
September 11 woke us up. We were surprised with an attack on our very own soil by madmen who sought to destroy our way of life as well as murder as many Americans as possible. So began the war on terror.
The war on terror necessarily included those outlaw regimes around the world that would seek to supply terrorists with opportunity and weaponry to destroy anything American. It is confirmed that Saddam Hussein’s regime routinely paid money to the families of suicide bombers in Israel. This backing of terrorism, coupled with the hatred of America shared by al Qaeda, led us to determine Iraq posed a significant threat to the U.S. and the world.
As such, it was time to deal with the issue in Iraq that had been largely ignored for 12 years, despite the violation of 17 U.N. resolutions. Bush did everything diplomatically asked of him, including getting approval from Congress and the U.N. and built a coalition larger than we had in 1991. The key difference was that some ‘major’ players were opposing our stance. However, after close look, those countries (France, Germany, Russia, China) are involved in significant conflict of interest given that they’ve provided much of the weapons Iraq possesses. In a startling revelation, it was confirmed France had been violating a U.N. sanction on the sale of arms to Iraq as late as 2002. It’s no wonder these countries didn’t want this resumption of war to happen.
“Resumption of war” you ask? Yes. This is not a pre-emptive strike for war’s sake. This is not the U.S. unilaterally declaring war on another country without provocation. This is a resumption of the battle from 1991 to drive Iraq out of Kuwait and enforce U.N. resolutions. A war that was put on hold in exchange for promises of the destruction of WMDs by Iraq.
So you see, there is no need for a direct link of Iraq to 9/11. There is a need, however, to rid a tyrannical regime of its weapons that someday, some way, would find their way into the hands of those who attacked us on 9/11. This war is just. This war is needed. This war is liberating… of Iraqis and of freedom and safety itself.