Iraq and goals

Recovered from the Wayback Machine.

I listened to the President’s speech on Iraq last night. I’m not surprised at the familiar refrain of Saddam Hussein being an evil man, nor was I surprised about the tie-in with September 11th.

There was a strongly inconsistent message in the President’s speech that I’m a bit surprised no one seems to have noted. President Bush emphasized the need for Iraq to disarm, but also brought into the message questions about terrorism, treatment of its people, and other factors outside of the original UN security resolution:

And that is why America is challenging all nations to take the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council seriously. Those resolutions are very clear. In addition to declaring and destroying all of its weapons of mass destruction, Iraq must end its support for terrorism. It must cease the persecution of its civilian population. It must stop all illicit trade outside the oil-for-food program. And it must release or account for all Gulf War personnel, including an American pilot, whose fate is still unknown.

The confusion about the focus of our goals was further enhanced by direct attacks on Saddam Hussein:

The dictator of Iraq is a student of Stalin, using murder as a tool of terror and control within his own cabinet, and within his own army, and even within his own family.

What are our goals? Do we want to disarm Iraq? Or do we want to depose Saddam Hussein? The former is within the charter of UN security resolutions, the latter is not. Sending arms inspectors back and allowing them unfettered access will, hopefully, result in disarmament, but won’t remove Hussein from office.

Which does the President want? Disarmament? Or Hussein? There’s a world of difference between these two. A word of difference.

In the meantime, if you want your views known, contact your Congressional representatives. I would also recommend that you contact your local politicians (mayor, governor, and so on). And you might want to consider joining whatever demonstrations are happening in your area that support your viewpoint.

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