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Military needed Iraq war

Sue Gray tries mightily to evoke some compassion for the suffering of the Iraqi people. She takes an awful lot of heat from the very frustrated people who have become caught in a conflict between “freeing” a people, and having just killed some 10,000 of them.

This “liberation” is being conducted by the same two countries that imposed sanctions on Iraq over a 10-year span that, according to the U.N., caused the premature deaths of at least 500,000 Iraqi children. During those 10 years the U.S. and the U.K. bombed Iraq at will and destroyed much of the country’s infrastructure. The radioactive munitions (depleted uranium) used by the U.S. have left a growing legacy of cancer and birth defects.

OK, let’s just say for argument that the U.S. intentions are honorable, but we are just a little clumsy. Saddam had to go; that is the same Saddam that was put into power, and sustained, by none other than our own CIA. (With the approval of Carter, Reagan and Bush I.)

But how to remove a murderous dictator? Guess what, it is not all that hard. Check a recent book by David Wallechinsky. There are more than a few dictators that are now unemployed. Charles Taylor, for example, was just sent packing from Liberia.

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What will we spend in Iraq? $200 billion? More? What would the Hussein clan have accepted for a full pardon and safe passage to a wonderful tropical island paradise, a la Napoleon on the island of Elbe? Say $5 billion? Cheap. In a few years the Husseins would have killed each other off anyway.

But hey, let’s face it, as General Shumaker pointed out, the military needed this war, they can’t just train and train. He said this war was “the great silver lining” of 9/11.

It is one thing for the professional military to take the hits and get their asses shot off. But I am reminded by a comment by Randal Robinson, who is recognized for his tireless struggle against the Apartheid in South Africa. He said that most Americans know nothing about Iraq. If there had not been a complete media campaign to go to Iraq, there would have been no support for a war.

Now many Americans justify the war by telling us what a bad guy Saddam was. No argument.

But here is the real test of their conviction. It is one thing to send a poor minority kid to Iraq to do the dirty work. But how many American supporters of the Iraq war would be willing to give their own lives for the removal of Saddam? Putting a flag on your car, or singing the national anthem at a baseball game are not what this is about.

Now, let us have a little more compassion for the suffering Iraqi people.

Patrick Hunter

Carbondale


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