President George W. Bush is planning to try to take care of a problem that his father, former President George H.W. Bush, was unable to do with the help of several of the world's most powerful nations. Nearly all of those nations have called in sick this time around, not being willing to expend the resources (and lives) that a second war against Saddam Hussein would cost.
Sure, they say, Hussein is still being a pain in the anatomy, but he's not as dangerous now as he was a decade ago, when the Sandbox War trashed his military power and generated a new set of jokes ("FOR SALE: Kalashnikov rifles, Iraqi issue, unfired, dropped once").
War with Hussein is apparently unavoidable. He must be removed, as a destabilizing factor in Mideastern politics and a threat to his neighbors. Everyone except the United Nations knows that he is trying to develop mass-effect weaponry, probably from a sense of inferiority (or perhaps because his soldiers can't drop a virus and surrender).
Modern math (Weltpolitik version) says that it's wrong to kill a tyrant, but it's okay to kill thousands of his innocent subjects and one's own soldiers in an attempt to remove him from power. I'm sorry, this one just makes no sense to me.
Remo Williams, "The Destroyer" in the series of books and the movie "The Adventure Begins," is told by his Korean mentor, Chiun, that "assasination is the highest form of public service." In some cases, this is true, such as when killing one evil man will save thousands of people who actually LIKE America.
I have a son who has reached military age. I do not want the first thing I hear from him since 1996 to be "If you are reading this, I was killed in action"! I also don't want some Iraqi father to get a similar message from a son conscripted to die for Saddam, especially when just one bullet would solve the problem.
Yes, I know that there is a law prohibiting the United States government from assasi- nating Saddam Hussein (or any other leader). This is a stupid law, and I would be willing to bet that it would be voted out of existance if the members of America's political elite were told that THEY had to go invade Iraq. It is easy for politicians and bureaucrats to order men and women into danger, but something else to stand up in the shooting gallery themselves.
Of course, all government leaders want to imagine that they are safe. They don't want people to get used to the idea that government leaders of ANY stripe are suitable targets.
Consider the millions who were killed after Adolf Hitler's evil became known in the West, or the millions killed at Josef Stalin's orders. Two successful hits, one per tyrant, would have made a vast difference in the world over this last half-century. If we throw our military against Hussein, what will the next half-century have to pay for our political elite's squeamishness? Are we really willing to pay this price?
I think that we are not. The first President Bush, President George H.W. Bush, was voted out of office in large part for his bungling of the Sandbox War. Most of our allies in that venture don't want to play this time around. There is a lesson in this, one which few are willing to actually assign as homework, and that lesson is that we are getting tired of the "Chicken Hawks" in Washington sending good men and women (and children) to graveyards for political gain.
Ronald Reagan knew this, and he was careful not to waste lives in adventurism, even when he had the excuse to do so.
We Americans have been pretty solidly behind the military action in Afghanistan, because we were striking back at those who attacked us. Hussein is trying to become as great a threat, but war is not a one-size-fits-all situation. We don't need the 101st Airborne to remove the threat, we need leaders like Remo Williams and Chiun, leaders who can reorganize Iraqi politics without making enemies of the thousands of Iraqis whose families would be "collateral damage" in an assault on their country.
Ask anyone in the personal-protection industry, and they will tell you that an attacker who is willing to trade his (or her) life for the death of their target will eventually succeed, and usually the first time they try. Saddam Hussein can't hide forever without losing control of his subjects. So, a determined assasin can save the thousands of lives, years of hardship, and millions of tears that one irrational law will cost.
That is a kind of cold equation which actually has a solution. If we have to do this, let's do it right.
The Problem of Rogue States:
Iraq as a Case History
The Middle East & the Arabs
The Threat of Radical Islam
More on the Threat of Radical Islam
War & Peace in the Real World
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
U.S. National Security Strategy
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
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