When the Civil War began, President Lincoln made it very clear that his goal was to preserve the Union. This proviso was best articulated in his acceptance speech for the Republican Senate nomination in 1858: ‘A house divided against itself cannot stand.’
In the process of fighting the war, Lincoln came to realize that the best course of action for the United States was to emancipate all slaves in the Southern states, a story told in the Emancipation Proclamation. The moral of the story is that the conflict began to accomplish one goal and resulted in another. A similar scenario has emerged in 21st- century Iraq. We invaded Iraq to protect ourselves, but have succeeded in protecting 25 million others from the dictator that is Saddam Hussein. Additionally, regardless of what political pundits or your UCI professors may be telling you, we are making revolutionary strides in establishing democracy in that region.
The United States has now called off an active physical search of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Don’t mistake this to mean that we are giving up or admitting that there weren’t any weapons. My dad and I often discuss history and one thing he frequently reiterates is that the world didn’t know that Hitler had committed suicide until many years after the fact.
I have no proof whether this is true or not but it brings to light a very important point: What we know now may not be all there is to know. Just because we haven’t found any weapons yet doesn’t mean there is definitive proof that there were none. We know he had some; we gave him some, for God’s sake. Where are these weapons? It may be true that Saddam was better at hiding weapons and transporting them elsewhere (he had 10 years to practice) than he was at perfecting them.
The simple fact that Saddam wouldn’t prove that he didn’t have WMDs demonstrates the interest we had in removing him. This proof was an obligation initiated by his defeat in the first Gulf War. Let us not forget that he violated the sovereignty of Kuwait and had to be driven out by U.N. forces led by the United States in 1991. This is not a man interested in playing by the rules.
According to CNN.com, the Iraqi Survey Group states that Saddam constantly attempted to have U.N.-imposed sanctions lifted, while still preserving his ability to manufacture WMDs. Meanwhile, ABC reports that Saddam insisted he didn’t have any weapons. Well, if he didn’t have any weapons and he wanted the sanctions lifted, then why didn’t he just say so? Are we to believe the ranting of a crazy man? Of course, crazy is putting it lightly; he is the most despicable and merciless leader the world has seen since Hitler and Stalin. One must realize the gravity of the decision that President Bush had to make in March 2003.
He could have done nothing, potentially allowing Saddam to continue what he was doing or allow him more time to try to reconstitute his weapons programs, which would have continued the traditional lack of accountability to which Saddam was held by the world. This scenario would have also further weakened the credibility of the U.N. since it had made resolution after resolution to which Saddam turned a blind eye. Of course, as it turned out, we have come to realize that the U.N.’s credibility is worthless considering its inability to enforce its own resolutions.
On the other hand, Bush had the choice to invade Iraq and bring the fight to Saddam at a time when he still knew he could be defeated. Bush chose not to trust the defiant maniac responsible for countless hundreds of thousands of deaths