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Clinton's tired, old actions in Iraq are wrong in every way

by Charley Reese
of The Sentinel Staff

Published in The Orlando Sentinel, Nov 22 1998

 

Bill Clinton's death-or-sanctions policy in Iraq is wrong.

You should know that the policy is for two purposes: to maintain an excuse to keep Iraqi oil off the market so the price of oil, already at its lowest point in 10 years, won't go lower, and to make a lying, draft-dodging, adulterer and perjurer seem presidential.

More bombing would be morally wrong, strategically wrong and tactically wrong.

It is morally wrong because it kills innocent people. It is strategically wrong because it will strengthen Saddam Hussein -- or his regime, should he be accidentally killed -- and it will enrage the average Arab citizen in every single Arab country. It will make every Arab government less stable. It is tactically wrong because we will have spent a billion or more dollars and gotten nothing for it.

The Iraqis' position is that they have gotten rid of their chemical and biological weapons and that, if the sanctions are lifted, the United Nations can continue its arms inspections. Quite logically, they have concluded that the United States has no intention of lifting the sanctions no matter what they do.

Now, does Iraq have arms hidden away? I doubt it, but even if it does, it doesn't matter. Let's get real. For 50 years we deterred the Soviet Union from using its arsenal of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons -- an arsenal a million times larger than anything Iraq could hope to have. We deterred the Soviet Union even though there is no way we could have fought a nuclear war with that country without losing our own country in the process.

So why do the liars in Washington pretend that Iraq, a Third World country of about 19 million people, cannot be deterred? The firepower on one American submarine could kill every man, woman and child in Iraq and render the land uninhabitable for a generation.

Because Saddam Hussein is mad? He isn't. He's a dictator. He plays rough, but he isn't mad. Have you forgotten that during the Gulf War Iraq did not use any of its chemical or biological weapons? That was Saddam Hussein's decision. He's quite rational. After all, for seven years, he has frustrated the United States' desire to get rid of him.

The United States and Great Britain -- which have maintained the economic embargo on Iraq -- are responsible for the deaths of half a million Iraqi children, according to U.N. estimates. The Iraqi government says that 1.5 million Iraqis have died as a result of the sanctions.

Perhaps some of those left-wing magistrates in Europe should issue arrest warrants for Clinton and Tony Blair, the British prime minister. I would say that killing 500,000 innocent children is closer to a crime against humanity than Gen. Augusto Pinochet's 4,000 -- all adults and all trying to overthrow the government of Chile at the time they were killed.

The disastrous consequences of Clinton's policy won't be immediately evident to most Americans, many of whom seem to take a vicarious pleasure in watching U.S. forces kill foreigners on television. But you can bet your life savings that a time for payback will come.

We are hopelessly alienating an important part of the world. We are driving Syria and Iran into mending their fences with Iraq. We are making it difficult and perhaps impossible for any Arab leader to be seen as an ally of the United States and not risk assassination at the hands of his own people.

And sooner or later, maybe years from now, Iraqis will get their vengeance. And for what cause will Americans haved died? A few cents' extra profit for the oil companies, a political ploy by an American sociopath.

 

[Posted 11/21/1998 7:42 PM EST]

(c) 1998 Orlando Sentinel Online


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