I'm trying to understand why we are on the verge of war with Iraq, I really am. I understand that Saddam Hussein is a bad man and that the country would be better off without him. But why is he any worse of a threat today than he was at any point in the past several years since the first Gulf War?
I read the article by Condoleeza Rice in the New York Times the other day (1/23/03) hoping it would shed some light for me. The article was titled "Why We Know Iraq Is Lying." Unfortunately, the article told me next to nothing about why we are on this war path. She makes the point that other countries that voluntarily disarmed were more cooperative and less deceptive than Iraq - including South Africa, Ukraine and Kazakhstan. But we were never on the verge of invading those countries and there are still many regimes out there than have not disarmed in this manner. What has Iraq done lately to make it stick out as such a serious threat to world peace? We have never linked Hussein to the 9-11 terrorist attacks and as best I can tell this whole emphasis on vilifying Hussein is not getting us any closer to catching Osama Bin Laden and his band of Al-Quada terrorists.
So my biggest question is still Why Now? Most of the weapons of mass destruction that we believe Iraq has is stuff it acquired during and before the first Gulf War, when the odds are good that we were the ones who gave it to them. Remember that back in the 80s we saw Iraq as a countercheck to the religious radicals in Iran. Hussein's secularity, which the administration today criticizes (even going so far at to deem him an atheist) was seen as a positive aspect back in the early 80s when the biggest bugaboo of the time was the Ayatollah Khomeihni. If Iraq was such a dangerous regime back in the mid-90s, what was Dick Cheney doing over there as the head of Halliburton making millions of dollars by rebuilding the Iraqui infrastructure that was destroyed during the first Gulf War?
What is it about Iraq today that makes it more of a threat than Iran or Libya or Syria or Lebanon or Yemen or Indonesia or Malaysia or Pakistan or Somalia or Sudan? And so on. Not to mention North Korea and China.