A time for war, a time for peace

The war to disarm Iraq and overthrow Saddam Hussein is justified, in that it is moral, timely and necessary to ensure the safety of the United States of America and its allies.

Since taking control of Iraq more than two decades ago, Hussein has proven himself to be a ruthless tyrant who brutally oppresses his own people and relentlessly seeks to procure weapons of mass destruction. With that in mind, some might ask what makes Saddam Hussein more dangerous than any other totalitarian ruler with a similar profile, such as Kim Jong Il of North Korea. The answer to that question lies in the history of Mr. Hussein’s actions.

The Iraqi despot has waged war without provocation, invading Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990, the latter incursion necessitating the Persian Gulf War. Hussein used internationally forbidden chemical weapons to poison his enemies in the struggle with Iran, as well as in the internal suppression of Kurdish rebels and civilians immediately following Iraq’s defeat in 1991. During the Gulf War, Iraq launched SCUD missiles into Israel, a non-combatant state, with the sole intent of inflicting as many civilian casualties as possible.

These examples provide irrefutable proof that Saddam Hussein will not hesitate to kill innocent civilians with whatever weapons he has at his disposal.

Opponents to the war may argue, however, that even if Hussein is hiding weapons of mass murder, he now poses no threat to the United States. This argument relies on the idea that fanatical Islamic fundamentalists, such as the terrorists who executed the attacks of Sept. 11, would never ally themselves with Iraq’s secular regime because of the vastly different ideologies between the two.

A brief history lesson on the Axis powers of World War II, however, could quickly dispel this line of reasoning. Surely if Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime, which claimed to exist for the advancement of the Aryan race, could ally itself with Imperial Japan, then an Arab dictator in a Muslim region could very likely collaborate with Islamic fundamentalists to terrorize their common enemies. Some say such a scenario is doubtful; yet, before they witnessed it, how likely did they consider the destruction of the World Trade Center and the mass murder of 3,000 Americans to be?

To those that argue that the use of force was rushed and that diplomacy was not given enough time, perhaps 12 more years of Iraqi deception and the defiance of 17 more United Nations’ resolutions would confirm that Saddam Hussein will never comply with the world’s demands. Resolution 1441 was created to resolve the dilemma and provided the legal basis for the use of military force in the event of further Iraqi defiance.

For those who are concerned about a negative world opinion of the United States, it must be understood that other nations, such as France and Russia have a vested interest in seeing Saddam Hussein retain control of Iraq.

Others just despise and fear American power and, even more so, the demonstration of that power.

Of course, there are many countries who were genuinely devoted to finding a peaceful solution to the disarmament problem. However, in the words of legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, whose nation suffered the disastrous consequence of the misguided diplomacy that was World War II, “Virtuous motives, trammeled by inertia and timidity, are no match for armed and resolute wickedness.”

To the peace protesters, let it be known that the continuation of Hussein’s tyranny guarantees the suffering of the Iraqi people. While the war to oust Hussein will certainly inflict casualties of its own, at the very least, it will give Iraqis a chance to experience freedom.

Finally, to those who argue that the financial cost of the war and its aftermath will be too great, let them dare attempt to estimate the price of the 3,000 American lives lost on Sept. 11.