The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Bombs Over Baghdad

Why bomb Saddam?

Why not?

Slobodan Milosevic killed how many people before the U.S. (UN Peacekeepers came in later) wiped the floor with him? It was enough to describe Milosevic as a Hitler prototype. But Saddam Hussein’s killed tens of thousands of his own people, and we let him get away with it…why?

In the Sept. 19, 2001 issue of The Torch, the “Campus Conversations” article had four of eight students saying we shouldn’t wipe out the Taliban, because we would kill so many innocent people and have so many soldiers die. A few weeks later and with limited causalities, say goodbye to the Taliban. In the first Persian Gulf War, it was argued that we’d lose thousands of soldiers. By the time the truce was signed, we had barely broken triple digits (148 people).

The U.S. gave Saddam bioweapons to fight Iran. Don’t we have the responsibility to clean up our mess? The UN inspectors? After ten years and nothing done, how many people think that anything will get done NOW? What has the UN done to Saddam but put sanctions on Iraq, sanctions that do nothing but hurt the Iraqi people and leave Hussein unhurt?

We went to war in the Gulf to wipe out his weapons of mass destruction (see: Caleb Carr, “The Lessons of Terror.”), why not now? Besides, when SJU went to a Nike factory in Mexico, everyone tore them to shreds because Nike directed what they saw; Saddam Hussein isn’t crafty enough to imitate Nike?

What about our allies, like the French? The French gave Saddam parts for nuclear weapons in the early 80’s, and they’ve been helping Iraq despite the sanctions. Who wants to place money on what the French have given to Iraq lately?

I hear cries of “wait for the UN and our allies!” And if Saddam’s six months away from getting nukes, it takes six months to assemble the UN, and what then? We pray that he won’t wake up in a fit of pique and nuke Iran or Israel, perhaps?

“But the Middle East isn’t worried!” Why should they be? We came running to their aid last time, so why should they help us get rid of what is only a potential problem?

Why don’t we go after Iran or North Korea instead? They already have nuclear weapons. Next question?

Why don’t we deal with terrorism? According to Bill Safire of the New York Times, the head of Iraqi intelligence met with someone in Al Qaeda’s chain of command before 9-11-02. Must I draw you a flow chart?

This is our next step on the war on terror, please make no mistake about it. The Taliban crumbled, odds are that Bin Laden is buried in the sands of Tora Bora, and we haven’t had a terrorist attack in one year; that was step one. Step three might be wiping out the French…or at least having a very long talk with Mr. Chirac; maybe we can even talk with the House of Faud in Saudi Arabia about 15 hijackers.

CNN logic is nice, but never assume that a gut reaction is wrong because it’s merely a gut reaction. Logic’s good, but logic is a tool, and like all human tools, it can be faulty.

Last point: once upon a time was a place called Ethiopia. It was invaded by a man named Benito Mussolini. The League of Nations told him to back off. He didn’t. The League of Nations did nothing and it died.

Once upon a time was a man named Saddam, and he wanted weapons of mass destruction. The United Nations imposed restrictions. He didn’t follow them. The UN… well, let’s wait and see.

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