Friday, October 03, 2003

WMD: So after six months of searching, no weapons of mass destruction have been found. But it also appears that Saddam Hussein intended to continue producing WMD. I've been a huge defender of President Bush and the war in Iraq, so I do find it a bit unsettling that the threat doesn't yet appear to be as imminent as we originally thought. But I still think we were right to depose of Saddam Hussein.

U.S. intelligence experts may have overreacted to the threats Saddam posed. Intelligence gatherers concluded that Saddam had stockpiles of WMD that could be deployed at a moment's notice. They convinced Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush that Iraq was harboring these weapons. While no canisters have been found, capabilities still existed.

According to the report submitted to Congress, investigators have confirmed that Saddam still had laboratories to create WMD and had plans to recreate his weapons program. That alone is justification for invasion.

We have to remember the timeline: Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1990 without provocation. Saddam was about to continue his invasion into Saudi Arabia, a country that would have been incapable of defending itself. Besides these actions being morally wrong, Iraq also threatened the global economy. If Saddam were successful in 1990, he would have controlled a huge percentage of the world's oil reserves. With much of the world reliant on Middle Eastern oil, leaving Saddam in charge of the tap would have created economic chaos throughout the world.

So the United States intervened. Yes, the First Gulf War was partly about oil. But it wasn't an effort to steal it for ourselves or American companies. It was an effort to preserve the status quo so Saddam wouldn't wreck economic havoc on the globe.

During the fight, we discovered Saddam had large caches of chemical and biological weapons -- the same stuff he used on Kurds. Our troops got sick from exposure to the illicit weapons. We also found out that Saddam was well on his way to developing nuclear weapons.

Saddam was defeated in First Gulf War. He invaded an innocent neighbor, and he lost. We let him stay in power in Iraq under certain conditions, including that he destroy his WMD, prove that he destroyed them, and let U.N. inspectors verify that he didn't have WMD anymore.

For years after the war, Saddam interfered with the inspection process. He prevented inspectors from confirming that WMD had been destroyed. President Clinton knew that Saddam still had the banned weapons. And in 1998 when U.N. inspectors left because of Saddam's stonewalling, Clinton launched an aerial bombardment.

At that time, it was believed that Saddam could be contained. Then 9/11 happened. Terrorists used the only weapons they could get their hands on (commercial airplanes) to attack and kill as many people as possible. The only reason they didn't use chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons is because they didn't have any.

Suddenly Saddam's unaccounted-for WMD was no longer a regional issue. Saddam had ties to terrorists. Al Qaeda and other international terrorists resided and trained in Iraq. We could no longer afford to assume that Saddam had destroyed his weapons without letting anyone know. Colin Powell provided strong evidence that Iraq was hiding weapons. We were justified, fighting a war on terrorism, to prevent terrorists from getting their hands on whatever Saddam had to offer. We were also justified in deposing Saddam because he violated the treaty ending the First Gulf War -- the treaty that left him in power only if he met certain conditions. And we were just plain smart to create change in the Middle East by setting up the first democracy that land has ever seen.

So now that the invasion is over. We haven't found any actual banned weapons yet. But we have found that Saddam had laboratories and plans to recreate his arsenal of WMD. It also leads credence to the theory that Saddam was still creating WMD, but he destroyed them at the last minute before the invasion so he wouldn't get caught -- biding his time with guerilla warfare, hoping American soldiers leave so he can resume power.

Saddam wasn't some innocent head of state. He was a ruthless dictator bent on regional domination. And he had ties to terrorists who were out to destroy as much of Western Civilization as possible. We couldn't afford to wait and see what Saddam planned to do with his illicit weapons program.

I know critics are going to continue to rake Bush over the coals for this new report. While I'm disappointed that our intelligence community is so weak, I'm still convinced, based off of what I've seen, that we did the right thing by getting rid of Saddam Hussein.

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