by John Hawkins | June 26, 2002 11:04 am
Was I Right When I Said We Should Hit Iraq? Of Course I Was…: Todd LaClair wrote a response to my “Congress Wobbles And It May Fall Down Column” and I thought some of the points he raised deserved a response. I’d recommend reading the article because I’m only going to hit the high points…
“Mr. Hawkins criteria for going to war against Iraq are as follows, 1) Hussein is an unbalanced dictator, 2) Hussein hates the US, 3) has chemical weapons 4) has biological weapons, 5) has ties to Al Queda. On all points Hawkins is correct, but these do not equal war, unless the you mean going to war against the world”
Many countries meet one or more of these criteria but only a handful including Iraq, Iran, and possibly Syria meet them all. Lebanon is a Syrian puppet state, Cuba and Libya are spent forces on the terrorist front, and North Korea we need to take on for slightly different reasons. Other nations like Pakistan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, etc. all have issues that need to be dealt with but we don’t need to use the military to handle them because the threat isn’t as great from them — yet. I favor using the military where it’s appropriate, to get rid of Hussein, to topple the Iranian government, and to deal with North Korea and Syria if necessary. Personally, I think N. Korea and Syria will roll over after we hit Iraq and I think it’s possible that Iran might actually have a revolution before we even get there. That means Iraq is logically our next military target.
“I doubt the strength of Husseins power, does anybody actually believe we will see the Iraqi navy off the coast of Maine anytime soon?”
That’s a complete red herring. The danger from Hussein is not his military forces, it’s the weapons of mass destruction that he already has and is continuing to pursue along with his connection to terrorists. If 11 million illegal immigrants can get into the United States, isn’t it entirely plausible that a few dozen terrorists carrying Iraqi made nuclear weapons could sneak into the US? Of course it is and that’s why Hussein has to be removed from power.
Here are what LaClair suggests doing instead of hitting Iraq…
“1) Bring the troops home from the 100 countries in which they now reside. Build an actual Defense System (you know, like the department is named) with AWACS overhead, carriers patrolling the coasts, and troops as a second layer of defense on the southern and northern borders.
2) All men ages 18-40 from the 22 terrorist supporting countries would have their visas stripped and be escorted to the nearest exit. If we cannot tell the good guys from the bad guys, the all guys must go.
3) Wage an investigative and special ops war against Al Queda.”
All three of those things are good suggestions but Israel is a perfect example of why those measures are inadequate. They have anti-terrorist measures that go far beyond what LaClair is suggesting, including things we could never implement because of the Constitution. Yet Israel, despite stopping untold numbers of attacks, cannot adequately defend it’s citizens. That’s because you can’t defeat terrorism with defense and limited strikes.
Our nation is so big and has so many high value targets that we couldn’t truly protect our borders even if we implemented an unconstitutional police state. Furthermore, our special ops and intelligence agencies are full of very talented people. However, their effectiveness is extremely limited in nations with hostile governments. So again, unless we deal militarily with the nations that are openly supporting terrorists, we are not going to make a real and significant difference in stemming the flow of attacks. That again brings us back to the use of massive military force as the only way deal with the terrorist threat in certain nations, Iraq being first and foremost among them. If Iraq wants to stop producing weapons of mass destruction and also stops supporting terrorism, then not only would we no longer need to invade them, but sanctions against them could be lifted. If they insist on continuing these practices then we invade them, remove Hussein, and thereby possibly save millions of American lives. And then? It’s Iran’s turn…
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