Stop the Zipper War Before It Starts
Why is President Clinton talking about a reprise of
the 1991 Persian Gulf War?
We’re told it’s because U.N. inspectors believe that
Iraq has hidden “weapons of mass destruction.” But
of course so does the United States. And Britain,
France, Russia, the Ukraine, China, India and
Pakistan. Iraq doesn’t even hold a regional
monopoly, as Israel certainly has atomic weapons
atop U.S.-designed rockets aimed this very moment at
Hussein’s Baghdad palaces.
Insanely-destructive weapons are a fact of life in
the fin-de-Millennium. There’s already plenty of
countries with atomic weapons and the missile
systems to lob them into neighboring countries.
Hussein probably doesn’t have them, and the weapons
U.N. inspectors are worried about are chemical. This
is the “poor man’s atomic bomb,” a way to play at
the level of nuclear diplomacy without the expenses
of a nuclear program.
Clinton seems oblivious to the irony of opposing
Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction with our own. The
aircraft carriers and battle fleets that have been
sent into the Gulf in recent weeks are loaded with
tactical nuclear missiles.
If the possession of weapons of mass destruction is
wrong for Iraq, then it is wrong for everyone. It is
time to abolish all weapons programs and to build
real world peace along lines of cooperation.
He’s our Bully
Most Americans, on hearing a call to let Hussein be,
will react with disbelief. Conditioned to think of
him as our modern Hitler, anyone opposing a new Gulf
War must be crazy, someone unfamiliar with the
history of the appeasement of Hitler prior to World
War II that allowed him to build his military to the
frightening levels of 1939.
But Americans have alas not been told too much of
more recent history. Saddam Hussein is our creation,
he’s our bully. It started with Iran. Obsessed with
global military control, the U.S. government started
arming regional superpowers. We gave our chosen
countries weapons and money to bully around their
neighbors and we looked the other way at human
rights abuses. We created and strengthened dictators
around the world, including the Shah of Iran. A
revolution finally threw him out of power and
ushered in a government understandable hostile to
the United States.
Rather than take this development to mean that the
regional superpower concept was a bad idea, the U.S.
just chose another regional superpower: Iraq. We
looked the other way when the two got into a war,
and started building up Iraq’s military arsenal,
giving him the planes and military equipment we had
given Iran. This was a bloody, crazy war, where huge
casualties would be racked up only to move the front
a few miles, an advance that would be nullified when
the other army attacked with the same level of
casualties. The United States supported that war.
International human rights activists kept
publicizing the abuses within Iraq, and denouncing
him for use of chemical weapons. They got little
media attention because it was not in U.S. political
interests to fight Hussein.
Nothing’s really changed now except U.S. political
interests. Hussein is still a tyrant. He’s still
stockpiling chemical weapons. Why are U.S. political
interests different now? Why does Bill Clinton want
U.S. media attention focused on Iraq? Look no
further than Big Bill’s zipper. Stop the next war
before it starts. Abolish everyone’s weapons of mass
destruction and let’s get a President who doesn’t
need a war to clear his name.