Editorials

Iraq: One less reason for war

ONE FEWER REASON

A war still in search of a rationale

The number of appeasers seems to grow every week and there were a couple of real surprise additions last month.

The appeasers, you might remember, are those who questioned the motives and rationale of America’s war against Iraq. Those who disputed the government’s reasons for the war were branded unpatriotic and were said to be supporting the enemy.

Then came a press briefing Sept. 16 when the secretary of defense was asked about a poll that showed 70 percent of Americans believe Saddam Hussein was personally involved in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The secretary answered by saying, “I’ve not seen any indication that would lead me to believe that I could say that.”

One day later at a congressional hearing, the president stated, “We’ve had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th.”

This is exactly what critics of the war were charging before the first bombs fell, back when the president seldom failed to mention Saddam Hussein and Sept. 11 in the same breath.

The statements by top administration officials continue to clarify the situation, while still leaving it very empty.

It wasn’t because of 9-11.

It wasn’t because of a terrorist connection.

It wasn’t for nuclear weapons. The vice president joined the appeasers Sept. 14 when he said that he misspoke about that earlier.

It wasn’t for the chemical weapons said to be 45 minutes away from launching.

It’s apparently not for the always-mentioned weapons of mass destruction that neither the United Nations nor the U.S. military teams can locate.

It wasn’t because of a threat to America.

It must not have been for the people of Iraq or more thought would have been given to what might follow after the war. The brutal dictator is gone, but utilities and security are in worse shape than before.

It’s a war still in search of a rationale, and some people suggest there’s not much left to use other than oil.

The secretary of state tried out a new reason recently: the mass graves that were created 15 years ago. It’s surprising that he would use that as a rationale for war, since he served as national security advisor when the graves were created, when this country remained silent about Saddam’s chemical attacks.

When Morenci’s first soldier from the war returns in a casket, will he be hailed as a hero who died to protect his country or will he be seen as a victim who died for his government?


    - DGG, Oct. 1, 2003