Saturday, March 23, 2002

IRAQI TROUBLES: A lengthy piece in this week's New Yorker discusses the numerous crimes Saddam Hussien has committed against his own people and why we should be afraid of his non-conventional weapons capabilities. An interview with the author of this article, Jeffrey Goldberg, appears on the New Yorker's website. Most experts agree that Hussein has mustard gas, VX, and sarin (the nerve gas used in the 1995 cult attack on the Tokyo subway), and likely used these agents, and a few others, against Kurds in Northern Iraq during the waning years of the Iran-Iraq War. If it hadn't been for the Israelis unilaterally destroying the Osirak nuclear reactor in 1981, Iraq would probably have been a nuclear power by the time of the Persian Gulf War. Of equal concern these days, is the support that Hussein and the Iraqi ruling establisment give to Al Qaeda. While there is no proof that Hussein ordered any type of action against the United States, it is clear that the Iraqi government has provided protection for terrorists fleeing Afghanistan, and has given at least moral and some financial backing for bin Laden's terrorists. Also a group of terrorists in Iraq that are sympathetic to Al Qaeda, have been receiving direct government support. Iraq, and Mr. Hussein in particular, view themselves as leaders of the Arab world, and as a power that can destroy the Jewish state. That's why during the Gulf War, Iraq fired 39 missles at Israel, in an attempt to get a response from Israel, and cause the U.S. to lose her Arab allies. Iraq will soon have nuclear capabilities (the Isreali ambassador to the U.S estimates within three years), so the window for containment is diminishing. A response to terrorism in the Middle East must go through Baghdad, before a permanent solution to the problems can be obtained.

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