Editorials

Iraq: Saddam's capture

SADDAM’S CAPTURE

Time to reflect on his “success”

Sunday was a day of cheer for many Iraqis as the tyrant who ruled over them for 30 years was taken into custody by U.S. troops. Saddam Hussein was a vile presence not only to his own people but those in neighboring countries.

It’s great reason for the people of Iraq to celebrate, but it means nothing to the president’s nebulous “war on terrorism.” Instead, the war against Iraq continues to serve as a distraction to the battle against al Qaeda.

Push aside for a while all the arguments about whether the war against Iraq was justified, wise and well-planned in regard to the aftermath. Forget all of that for a moment and think about the actions and inactions of the United States and other countries that played a role in Saddam’s “success” as a ruler.

Many will simply dismiss the past as history, but history is often known to repeat itself. While Iraq was using chemical weapons against Iran in the 1980s, the U.S. was forging a new relationship with Saddam through then-presidential envoy Donald Rumsfeld.

Eventually full diplomatic relations resumed between the two countries and Saddam’s buying frenzy began. American helicopters made his chemical attacks much more successful. Additional weaponry from American firms strengthened Saddam’s military.

It wasn’t only the United States. France, Russia and Germany were all involved in arms sales to the dictator. Years later, we reaped what we sowed and ended up using

our own weapons of mass destruction to destroy Saddam’s government.

We can’t be so quick to arm and prop up a tyrant merely because he is the enemy of our enemy. Foreign policy has to get better to prevent future altercations such as our attack on Iraq.

    - DGG, Dec. 17, 2003