Busted Halo
feature: politics & culture
February 28th, 2002

Should the U.S. Attack Iraq?

 
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Will we ever know why the elder and younger Presidents Bush have such a fervent obsession with toppling Iraq?

Morally, can the United States government justify making war on the people of Iraq on the grounds that it possesses weapons of mass destruction when the U.S. is the only nation ever to have used the atomic bomb?

It all comes down to the laying out of a solid premise.

Every dramatist is familiar with premise. It’s the foundation of all good drama. It’s a surefire way of building something from nothing and having people buy into it. A solid premise can always be made into a well-made play. And a solid premise can always sell a war to the public.

So which premise is at play with the U.S. plan to invade Iraq and topple Saddam Hussein?

Here’s the premise as I see it right now: “Iraq is willing to use weapons of mass destruction to destroy its enemies.”

However, the Gulf War proved that we are as capable of using weapons of mass destruction as Iraq.

Disagree? Have you ever seen a cluster bomb detonated over a column of field troops?

The assumption is that Iraq is stockpiling deadly weapons and they’re not telling. It is a curious assumption given our extremely sophisticated intelligence-gathering capabilities.

Some who have been to Iraq to inspect its weapons capacity insist there is no threat�like Scott Ritter, team leader of the UNSCOM weapons inspection team that went into Iraq between 1991 and 1998. Ritter insists that Saddam Hussein did not expel U.N. weapons inspectors in 1998. In a report in the May issue of “Washington Report on Middle East Affairs,” Ritter claims that although he was kicked out several times, his team, nonetheless, returned to Iraq and successfully disarmed Iraq as intended. border=0>
Ritter recently told the Media Watch Group that the U.S. intended to discredit the work of the inspectors because it would have forced a lifting of sanctions (which the U.S. government did not want). As a result onerous conditions were imposed on the inspection process that provoked another confrontation with Iraq. And Ritter says that the confrontation led to the U.S. pulling inspection teams out of the country.

In an AP report dated August 6th reporter Sameer Yacoub states that “U.S. officials say visits by lawmakers would not satisfy the president’s demand for rigorous inspections on Iraq.” And to think this was a United Nations matter.

Even German Chancellor Gerhard Schroder has spoken against a military attack on Iraq�and he’s an ally .

So where’s the evidence that justifies an attack?

Wherever there is lack of evidence you always go back to the premise.

Perhaps the evidence is as elusive as our rarely seen Vice President Dick Cheney. Although the press rarely gets to know where Cheney is going, or with whom, he manages to attend fundraising events in countless cities.

And by now, everyone knows that the V.P. and the Bush administration are as closely aligned with the oil industry as this country has seen in many decades.

So, would it be farfetched to think that any invasion plan has as much to do with oil as it does with any weapons of mass destruction?

 
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The Author : Edward Ortiz
Edward Ortiz is a journalist and writer from western Massachsetts.
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