One dozen good reasons
for going to war in Iraq
It pains me to see the deep division among U.S. citizens over an issue -- the war in Iraq -- that affects its sovereignty and security. History is testimony that even the greatest fall. Have the terrorists and the U.S.-haters succeeded in starting a chain of events that will lead to the ultimate collapse of the United States? Is this the beginning of the end for America?
Divisions run deepest between the Democratic and Republican parties on the question of invading Iraq. It is too sad that the house is divided; we have forgotten the old adage "United we stand, divided we fall."
To expend so much acrimony over the fate of an insane foreign dictator such as Saddam Hussein is absurd. Some internal sensitivity seems to be missing on this issue. Why should we care more for the rule of that criminal dictator than the concerns for our own well-being? However, some U.S. citizens are so absorbed in their "turn-the-other-cheek" syndrome that they fail to see calamity hovering above them. The U.S. invasion of Iraq was purely self-defense; we did not ask for this war. And don't give me the argument that Iraq never attacked U.S. interests, because it did.
How many of you have lived in the Middle East? I have, and, therefore, I think I have a good understanding of Middle-Eastern issues. There is no reason for U.S. citizens to lose sleep over a trivial, small time, erstwhile dictator. People seem to think that the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was the only reason for going to war, but nothing can be further from the truth.
Let me give you at least a dozen reasons why the United States was justified in going to war in Iraq:
1. Congress (you, the people!) authorized the invasion with bi-partisan support.
2. The United Nations was convinced that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction. That was the reason it appointed the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission.
3. Iraq had violated 16 U.N. resolutions imposed in response to the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
4. The United States had already been "at war" with Iraq. U.S. pilots had been frequently fired upon by Iraqi missiles since the 1991 Gulf War.
5. As a consequence, the United States amassed troops in the desert. These troops could not have waited indefinitely until French and German sentiments were assuaged.
6. Saddam was a cancerous tumor on humanity's face, using torture and chemical weapons on his own people, and being extremely capricious in his decisions.
7. We should not stand idly by when our human brethren (Iraqi citizens) suffer from severe oppression and deprivation over a prolonged period.
8. Saddam supported the enemies of the United States and Israel; his regime gave monetary rewards for terrorist activities against Israel.
9. Saddam attempted to assassinate a former, serving U.S. president (George H.W. Bush).
10. There was, and is, an al-Qaida connection with Iraq, no matter how small.
11. Not even the smallest element of al-Qaida should be spared punishment for the heinous crime of 9/11.
12. If the war is not fought in Iraq, it could be fought in the United States.
People oppose the U.S. war in Iraq as if it was a sin; on the contrary, it was sinful to allow Saddam's sin against his people to persist.
So please stop talking only of WMD's when it comes to Iraq, and start talking about these one dozen points, and more. All these reasons were abundantly visible even before the actual war started. Let us see the truth! Are we so mad that we will set aside a dozen important issues and focus on one small non-issue?
Amarjit Singh is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Hawaii-Manoa.