Monday, May 29, 2006

Restating the case for the war in Iraq

I wanted to post a succint defense of the war in Iraq that I read on Orkut today. The author's name is Peter Lusby. I would like to see the new White House Press Secretary Tony Snow explain Iraq in terms like this.

The known facts are that, in the 1990s, Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, and programs to develop more of them. The UN call for him to stop the programs and destroy the weapons was to be enforced by inspections, but he threw the inspectors out. By 2003, there was no way for the new inspectors to determine whether or not Saddam was in compliance. No records existed of the destruction of the weapons known, on the basis of Saddam's own earlier statements to UN officials, to have existed. No documentation existed to show what had become of the facilities, materials, and organizations involved in the WMD development programs known, once again on the basis of Saddam's own admissions, to have existed. The fact that Saddam was probably being conned by his own people is irrelevant.

But, leaving aside completely the issue of WMD, Saddam's régime was a blatant, open and public supporter of international terrorism. For the world to allow this thug and his henchmen to thumb their noses at the whole world, and continue to supply arms, money, training and sanctuary to Hamas and its fellow travellers was intolerable. It was essential to send a clear message, to every government who might be tempted to use terrorism as a tool of foreign policy, that the world would no longer sit idly by and let this happen.

As a result, Erupoean terrorist groups like the IRA, the ETA, and the Corsican separatists have been largely defanged, deprived of money, weapons, and popular support. Suicide attacks on Israeli civilians have dwindled to a tiny percentage of what they used to be. Governments of countries like Pakistan, Indonesia, Libya, Columbia, have all cracked down on terrorist activities, rather than risk being the next to suffer the wrath of American outrage.

Pragmatically, this administration has achieved a watershed in the elimination of terrorism as a tool for change. The war is not yet over, and it probably never will be, but at least the problem has suddenly been cut down to manageable proportions.