March 14, 2003
In The News
It is hard to believe that Baghdad used to be one of the world’s great cities; the capital of an empire stretching from North Africa to the edge of China. A city made famous -- in part -- by the stories “Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves,” and tales from "A Thousand and One Nights.” It was the city of great prosperity: gleaming with modern hospitals and universities, filled with shops and restaurants rivaling the world’s finest.
Even as recently as the 1970's, Baghdad had the world’s second largest oil reserves and continued to prosper economically. However, those days ended in 1980, a year after Saddam Hussein formally assumed the presidency and Iraq went to war with Iran. The conflict claimed more than a quarter of a million Iraqi lives and forced the government to divert billions of dollars from social programs and redirect it into weapons buying programs.
Then in 1990, just two years after the war’s end, and just as the Iraqis were hoping to make a fresh start, Saddam Hussein sent tanks into Kuwait. The controversial move, as you know, triggered the Persian Gulf War and widespread economic sanctions.
Shortly after Saddam lost that war in a devastating fashion, he agreed to disarm. However, today, a full twelve years later, he continues his quest for weapons of mass destruction.
Saddam has deceived the United States, the United Nations, and those countries who love democracy worldwide.
The United States, under the leadership of President George W. Bush, gave Saddam one final chance. The President, working through the proper international forum, obtained U.N. Resolution 1441, which instructed Saddam to disarm or face the consequences.
Saddam Hussein had his chance. He could have complied with Resolution 1441 by completely destroying his weapons. He has made the choice not to.
The United States and the United Nations have evidence that Saddam has produced more than 25,000 liters of Anthrax and 38,000 liters of botulinum toxin. Furthermore, he has not accounted for 1.5 tons of VX nerve gas. Keep this in mind: only a single drop of VX nerve gas is needed to kill a human being.
Saddam has more than 30,000 munitions capable of delivering these chemicals. The U.N. inspectors have already discovered up to 16 -- all along, Iraq has denied their very existence.
This is not to mention the fact that Hussein has been working to acquire nuclear weapons, as well as other weapons of mass destruction.
The case against Iraq is clear. Iraq is guilty of violating U.N. Resolution 1441, which clearly states that Iraq must not produce or possess weapons of mass destruction.
Because of Saddam’s actions and inactions, it appears that the days of Hussein’s oppressive and brutal government are numbered.
After listening to veterans whom I have had close relationships with, there is no doubt that war is a terrible, terrible, thing.
That said, and understood, there are still times when free nations must stand against those despising and threatening the free world. This appears to be one of those times.
As we see news reports, and hear stories of our uniformed men and women laboring against this regime, let us labor in prayer for our troops, and for the oppressed people around the world.