Posted: March 18th, 2023
So much has already been said about Iraq War and the grave error that United States made by invading Iraq that it seems absurd to even suggest that this war was justified. But we must not ignore both sides of the coin. We have already discussed the anti-war arguments and have come to believe that serious judgment errors were made when United States, Britain and Australia agreed to launch military attacks against Iraq. Its now high time we looked deeper into some of the reasons Iraq was invaded to decide for ourselves whether our government did the right thing or not.
To start with, let us consider the scene in Iraq had the war not been launched. Saddam Hussein would still be the President, ruling the country with an iron hand and simply stopping at nothing. He took pride in not paying any heed to international codes and regulations and ignored UN laws on many occasions. Despite the fact that there were probably no weapons of Mass destruction found in Iraq, we do have enough evidence to believe that such weapons could be developed since Saddam administration possessed enough chemical and biological intelligence. In his public testimony, David Kay, U.S. weapon expert did agree that there were no WMD found in Iraq but we need to read his extended views to understand why the war was waged in the first place and why it was justified. Kay argued that despite the fact that WMD turned out to be a hollow scare, there is reason to believe that Saddam would have used his knowledge of chemical and biological weapons to restart germ and gas warfare programs.
I think the world is far safer with the disappearance and the removal of Saddam Hussein. I have said I actually think this may be one of those cases where it was even more dangerous than we thought. I think when we have the complete record you’re going to discover that after 1998 it became a regime that was totally corrupt. Individuals were out for their own protection. And in a world where we know others are seeking WMD, the likelihood at some point in the future of a seller and a buyer meeting up would have made that a far more dangerous country than even we anticipated with what may turn out not to be a fully accurate estimate.” (David Kay testimony: 2004)
David Kay also confirmed that Saddam was a threat to the world because he had blantantly ignored UN regulations on several occasions. The Saddam regime had to be toppled because his disctatorship was becoming more of a liablity for the internatyional community since Saddamsimply refsued to abide by the international laws. He was consistently amassing dangerous knowledge about development of sophiticated weapons but refused to report his activities.
In my judgment, based on the work that has been done to this point of the Iraq Survey Group, and in fact, that I reported to you in October, Iraq was in clear violation of the terms of Resolution 1441. Resolution 1441 required that Iraq report all of its activities: one last chance to come clean about what it had. We have discovered hundreds of cases, based on both documents, physical evidence and the testimony of Iraqis, of activities that were prohibited under the initial U.N. Resolution 687 and that should have been reported under 1441, with Iraqi testimony that not only did they not tell the U.N. about this, they were instructed not to do it and they hid material.” (Kay testimony: 2004)
We must not forget that with Iraq possessing the capability to develop dangerous lethal weapons, the terrorists groups around the world would have gained easy access to this knowledge as well. They were willing to pay the price to acquire the intelligence required to develop biological weapons and with Iraq acting as the breeding ground of terrorists, this information would have sooner or later leaked out to all terrorist groups in the world making the potential victims even more vulnerable.
Saddam Hussein’s removal as head of the state is in itself a great achievement as is clear from David Kay’s testimony. The man was ruthless in his ambitions and he would have turned out to be another Hitler had America and its allies not decided to launch military attack. Many critics argue that Saddam could have been contained and war wasn’t necessary. But they must be reminded of the facts to help them understand that containment without military action was no longer possible since Saddam had repeatedly thwarted all attempts of non-military containment. Once he threw out the U.S. inspectors in 1998, United States made numerous attempts to restore them but failed.
Inspection is at the heart of containment, and as Mr. Blix so often emphasizes in his book, “Disarming Iraq,” only a credible military threat could restore the inspectors, and only maintaining that threat could keep them there. Mr. Bush did succeed in restoring the inspectors in the fall of 2002, but it was not possible to maintain a military threat for more than a few months. A serious force could not be retained in the region for any considerable period, and once reduced could not realistically be replenished, considering all the doubts there would be as to whether a threat required new forces. We now know the inspectors would have shortly reported there were no weapons (probably because the stockpiles, the red-herring of all red-herrings, were destroyed and the facilities dismantled or hidden), making it impossible to again threaten Iraq. (Borden: 2004)
Anti-war quarters obviously believe otherwise. They refuse to accept that there was no other way of containing Iraq but through military attacks. They only react to the fact that there were no weapons of mass destruction found in Iraq and feel that since David Kay also confirms this, there was certainly no reason to launch military attack against Saddam’s regime. They believe that Bush actually deceived the public and Congress in his desire to attack Iraq when other means of containment were available. They feel that since containment worked in some cases in the past such as Soviet Union, it would have worked in Iraq’s case as well.
This may sound like a valid argument but we must not forget that Saddam was no ordinary dictator. He was a man who would ruthlessly pursue his ambitions even if that meant using chemical and biological weapons to wipe out a sizeable population. This is evident from the fact that Saddam attacked his own neighbors and used chemical weapons too. “…the U.S. State Department lists 10 incidents of Iraqi chemical attacks between August 1983 and March 1988. All were launched against Iranian and Kurdish populations, resulting in casualty tolls in the tens of thousands. Saddam would have used these weapons against Americans, too, if he’d been given the chance.”(Feulner 2004) The critics argue that U.S. should have used other means of containment the way it did in Soviet Union’s case. Undoubtedly United States’ use of non-violent containment during the Cold war worked extremely well, but for that kind of containment there are certain requirements which were found missing in the case of Iraq. In the word of Senator McCain:
For a policy of containment to work, as it did in the Cold War, four components are necessary: reliable allies; a clear goal with a consistent doctrine; the economic and military capability to enforce the doctrine; and the political will to support the demands of the policy. We had each of these assets — allies, doctrine, capabilities, and political will — during the Cold War, when a policy conceived in the 1940s endured over four dangerous and tumultuous decades until our adversary collapsed. We enjoy none of these assets today with regard to Iraq. (Senator McCain statement: 2003)
Thus while it may appear to the opponents of war that other means of containment were available, the U.S. administration knew that those means were could never work in the case of Iraq because of the absence of significant factors. A policy of containment couldn’t possibly work and regime change was thus found to be the only alternative. This alternative could be achieved with military attack only. We therefore believe that the world is definitely a much safer place now with Saddam no longer enjoying a position of power in Iraq.
Arthur Borden, Saddam, the uncontainable; Any terror group could have done his bidding.(OPED) The Washington Times; 9/20/2004
David Kay: Public testimony: Key excerpts: Retrieved online 24th September 2004:
ED FEULNER, Iraq war is just and necessary The Record (Bergen County, NJ); 9/21/2004;
U.S. Senator John McCain Center for Strategic & International Studies Washington, D.C. February 13, 2003 Retrieved online 24th September 2004:
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