2 April 2003 A few days ago Professor Carroll had some comments in the paper. I would like to address some of them now that I am again calm.
I disagree with you on several points and I will take them one at a time. I do not disagree with your right to voice your opinion.
First, you stated that the U.S. originally helped to arm Hussein. As a 20 year veteran of the U.S. Army, I don’t ever remember being issued an AK-47, RPG, or even a T-72 Soviet Main Battle Tank. If you are referring to possible bio weapons, then we must look at the fact that the only items sent to Iraq was for medical research and not weapons grade. As in all cases of technology, it can be converted to function as a weapon without much trouble. Think about smallpox, the cure was so effective that the world has been without a major outbreak for at least 20 years. Therefore, we have not required it to be given to kids before they start grade school.
Second, we as a sovereign nation do not require U.N. authorization to wage war. Clinton did not seek U.N. approval when he sent our troops into Kosovo. How many wars has the U.N. prevented – none. Why? The U.N. has no troops, planes, navy, nor arms to enforce their resolutions. In fact, the U.N. has had about the same effectiveness at preventing wars as the League of Nations. How can we respect an organization that has truly been used against the U.S? Let us remember Italy and invasion of Ethiopia. A fight between a nation with modern weapons against primitive tribes carrying single shot rifles, spears, and bows. The League of Nations could not and did not stop this from happening. The U.N. has not been able to force Hussein to comply with the numerous resolutions that have been imposed upon Iraq over the last 12 years. As for Allies, we have enough that remember what it is like to live under an oppressive ruler. Tiny poor Albania has provided a 70-man commando unit to aid the U.S. Remember this country is a follower of Islam. The reason they gave for helping the U.S. is that when ethnic Albanians were being killed in Kosovo, America came to their aid. Albania understands and respects the help Muslims received from a Christian Nation. They do not care about our religion, just that we, as a nation believes each man has a right to be free.
Third, your point on the shock and awe and civilian casualties during a battle are well founded. If is one has never been close to the tremendous amount of firepower that we are able to deliver than you will understand that the military is really trying to keep civilian casualties to a minimum. Even with out a nuke, the U.S. has the ability to turn Baghdad into a smoldering ruin with civilian deaths in the hundreds of thousands. No soldier willingly seeks to hurt civilians. That is not the way we are trained. During WW II, there was no consideration for civilian casualties, we simply tried to bomb, Germany, Italy and Japan back into the Stone Age. Today, with our precision-guided weapons, the military is able to reduce the civilian deaths. However, we see that the Enemy is more than willing to force women and children to become human shields.
There is one point I do agree with you on and that it is truly unfortunate we had to go to war. As a professional soldier most of my adult life, I am all for diplomatic solutions. However, it really does take both sides, and Iraq under Hussein was never going to be honest. We must remember that WW II started in this same manner. Give Hitler what he wants. The Rhineland, no German army was to be allowed. Hitler did it and the world looked the other way. We need more land. Take Austria and we will throw in the Czech Republic at no extra cost. Sure you want to gas your own people? No problem we will look the other way. The statement of Peace in our Times by a British Prime Minister only cost the world millions of dead with know true ability to know the correct body count. Why? It is simple, everyone waited for someone else to say, NO, STOP this, it is wrong. When the world failed to act, Hitler would just take more and more until 1939 and the Polish invasion then we had WW II. Why is the British willing to be our ally in this matter? They remembered the cause of WW II. America at the start of WW II in 1939 truly wanted to remain neutral. You who are opposed to war should ask your parents or grandparents about December 7th, 1941 and you might try putting some of that high dollar education to work and actually read a history book. Can we the world really call ourselves humane if we let a madman loose on the world again. I think not.
Mark CraddockGraduate Student