War against Saddam: Now, it is inevitable
A United States-led war against the regime of the dictator Saddam Hussein is now inevitable. The so-called anti-war protestors, the French and the Germans and the Bush Administration itself have painted the world into a corner with no honorable or even politically practical way out other than war.
Following September 11, 2001, the Bush foreign and military policy team realized the forces of al Qaeda depend on two elements: vigorous financing and physical sanctuary by Arab/Muslim governments.
The Bush Administration also knows we cannot protect our homeland from further attacks by al Qaeda unless we are willing to forfeit many of our personal freedoms. Unwilling to destroy our freedoms here at home and, given that decision, knowing even more devastating attacks by al Qaeda are likely, the Bush Administration adopted a “defeat them overseas” strategy.
Step one was to destroy the symbiotic relationship between al Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Step two is to give the Arab/Muslim states in the Middle East a “free home demonstration” that state-sponsored terrorism against the United States and its allies, to include Israel, will not be tolerated. Obviously, the best place for that “free home demonstration” is within Iraq, the most egregiously outlaw state in the region.
The establishment of United States hegemony over Iraq, which is both central to the Middle East in geography and central to world’s economy with regard to petroleum, is designed to serve notice on the Arab/Muslim world that the United States is going to defeat terrorism at its source rather than suffer more of it here at home.
The invasion of Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban was a no-brainer; however, the Bush Administration was hopeful a regime change in Iraq could be accomplished without war. In a fit of what now looks like naiveté, the Bushies thought Saddam could be brought into compliance with the United Nations’ many resolutions ordering him to disarm by a credible showing of credible force backed by strong diplomacy.
But the Bushies underestimated the venality of the French and the Germans and clung naively to the idea that “domestic politics end at the water’s edge.” Unfortunately, the American Left has worked both covertly and overtly to sabotage a win-without-war strategy.
Moreover, the Bush scenario took too long allowing the anti-war protestors (many of whom are not so much anti-war as they are anti-American and anti-Bush) time to mobilize just as France and Germany decided they do not want the United States to establish hegemony at the geographic center of the Middle East and its oil.
The obstructionism of the French and the Germans, who have no oil of their own, is based almost entirely on their desire to continue to get oil illegally from Iraq at the favorable prices being afforded to them by French President Chirac’s long-time personal friend, Saddam Hussein.
The French also have an ego problem. They yearn for the glory (gloire) of a yesteryear so far in the ancient past no one can remember it. We need to get on with what is best for the United States and our true friends and, when Chirac complains, tell him: “Merde Happens.”
Having come this far, a pull back would show the al Qaeda terrorists that the United States doesn’t have the will to face down those who, for obviously selfish reasons of oil, national prestige and partisan politics, oppose us. An American retreat would embolden al Qaeda. Thousands of new recruits would flock to its ranks.
Moreover, President Bush would be faced with a revolt by his own party members who see the wisdom of trying to defeat the terrorists abroad, and thus, keep them from mounting attacks against us here at home.
The good news is: Our investment in this unwanted war to oust Saddam will be a major step toward a more secure homeland and, over the long run, promote peace and stability in the Middle East.
William Hamilton, a nationally syndicated columnist and featured commentator for USA Today, is the co-author of The Grand Conspiracy and The Panama Conspiracy – novels about terrorist attacks on Colorado’s water supply and the Panama Canal, respectively.
©2003. William Hamilton