One aspect of the Bush and Blair administrations going into Iraq is never published, and I think that it is a shame, as history is the greatest teacher and is always relevant. While some lament the loss of some of their freedoms, how many correlate Saddam’s Iraq with 1940’s Germany?
I don’t like to throw around the Nazi card, as it is over used and is not something to be used lightly. Having said that, consider the similarities.
Hitler, known from now on as AH, was killing his own citizens, much like Saddam did in the “Cities War” when he gassed the Kurds in northern Iraq. Germany was ordered not to build an army, but AH did it anyway. Germany was ordered not to build a navy, but AH did it anyway. Germany was ordered not to go into the Rhineland, but AH did it anyway.
Saddam invaded Kuwait, unprovoked, for resources and power, much like Germany did to its neighbors. The world stood up and condemned his actions, and sanctions were placed against his country, much like was done to Germany after WWI.
When AH started to disregard the world court, that being the UN or the League of Nations, (I truly don’t care what it was called when, it is the same animal), the world sat back with its thumb up its derriere and watched, making it of no effect. (For those of you in college, that means it was totally useless.)
He raised his middle finger to the entire world and laughed. He laughed because they were so apathetic and gullible. If the world court, or even one strong country, had have said enough, then maybe WWII could have been averted. I am not saying that Saddam would have started WWIII, but who really knows. It will start somehow, somewhere.
Hindsight is 20/20, and is easy to analyze. What takes a true leader, however, is the political will to act before you get to that point.
WMD’s or not, I for one truly do not care. Saddam was thumbing his nose at the whole world. The US obtained perfectly legitimate sanctions against Iraq through the UN, but when push came to shove, the world was unwilling to back up their words, thus reducing them to only rhetoric.
We saw this happen at the onset of WWII, and frankly, I don’t care about the bad intel or the non-existent WMD program. The world as one should have taken this tyrant down for simply stalling, lying, and trying to out maneuver the inspections of his country, as legally demanded by the rest of the planet. They were under sanctions for beginning a war of aggression, and any attempt to avoid the consequences should have been dealt with harshly and immediately. Instead, we all stood around and watched his arrogance for years.
Was the war legal? I don’t know, but it doesn’t keep me up at night. The people of Iraq are safer, the world is more stable, and the tyrant now only poses a threat to the camera as he irons his undergarments. Do the ends justify the means? They sure do this time. And the best part is that someone acted before a global tragedy unfolded.
It is only through actual decisive action that the world will ever be able to avoid another Hitler, and from watching how many were opposed to somebody actually doing something about Saddam, the future doesn’t look all too promising.