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Casus Belli By: David Harsanyi
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, August 16, 2002

Worldwide, leaders have announced that their support for the proposed American-led ouster of Iraq dictator Saddam Hussein hinges on President Bush making a compelling case for action. “That guy’s evil” doesn’t cut it with many of these heads of state, most of whom regard terrorists like Yassir Arafat as freedom fighters. Hussein’s frenzied hostility towards America, uninhibited support of terrorism (illustrated by generous $25,00 gifts to Palestinian suicide bombers’ families), the murder of thousands of his own citizens and his insistent efforts of adding weapons of mass destruction doesn’t seem to be adequate evidence either.

Many of these leaders also seem to be somewhat distressed that Bush hasn’t unveiled his chosen means or timing for an attack. Despite the admirably closed-lipped policy of the president and his administration, there has been no shortage of speculation. One plan reportedly involves a three-pronged invasion from the north, south and west by as many as 250,000 American and British troops. Most logical, however, is an intense U.S. aerial bombardment followed by an invasion by specialized combat forces. Still, European leaders, while hardly supporting an invasion (with the possible exception of Tony Blair) would like to be key participants in strategy meetings at the Pentagon.

The same hypocritical Europeans that cry about the Israeli “nazi” tactics when relocating a handful of Arab terrorists, see very little wickedness in an Iraqi regime that forcibly relocated around 150,000 Marsh Arabs from southern Iraq by draining the marshes in which they lived. Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder of Germany recently made a public declaration that his government would provide neither troops nor money for an American-led invasion of Iraq. While he whimpered about Israeli aggression against civilians, accidentally killed while utilized as human shields by Palestinian terrorists, he conspicuously failed to consider Hussein’s mass murder of between 70,000 and 150,000 Kurds in 1989, including 5,000 in nerve gas attacks, as much of a problem at all.

And while German support will not be forthcoming, British support, is also far from certain.

Veteran Labour Party leader Gerald Kaufman, warned Blair not to follow Bush towards war:  "There is substantial resistance in the Parliamentary Labour Party against war on Iraq, not just from the usual suspects.” The former Labour foreign policy spokesman also writes that "Bush, himself the most intellectually backward American president of my political lifetime, is surrounded by advisers whose bellicosity is exceeded only by their political, military and diplomatic illiteracy." Can you imagine that, a more intellectually backward president than Ronald Reagan! This sort of brainless, “intellectually backward,” anti-Americanism has been par for the course in Europe -- not to mention an array of anti-American specialist here at home. And these are our allies.

"This [Hussein] is an evil man who, left to his own devices, will wreak havoc again on his own population, his neighbors and, if he gets weapons of mass destruction and the means to deliver them, on all of us," summed up White House National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice. Is evil a good enough reason to invade? Maybe not for Europeans, but for most Americans it is.

A recent ABC News/Washington Post Poll shows that 79 percent of Americans see Iraq as a threat and 69 percent favor U.S. military action to force Saddam Hussein from power. (ABC called this ‘lukewarm support.’) In addition, 57 percent support a U.S. invasion of Iraq with ground troops. That number drops to 40 percent if it means heavy U.S. casualties, as one would expected from such a loaded question.

A report published by the US State Department earlier this year, said that Iraq had "enough production components and data remain hidden and enough expertise has been retained or developed to enable Iraq to resume development and production of weapons of mass destruction." A UN report released in March last year stated that Iraq still had chemical and biological weapons -- as well as the rockets to deliver them to targets in other countries, including American allies.

Hussein, who according to Said Aburish, a former high-ranking functionary in Hussein’s government, has a library filled with books about Stalin and worships the Communist dictator, will use any weapons at his disposal. Nuclear physicist and Iraqi defector Khidhir Hamza says that Iraq did not relinquish certain critical components of the nuclear program to the UN inspectors, and that it retains the expertise necessary to build a nuclear weapon, which would be completed within the next couple of years. Do European leaders doubt that a merciless, yes evil, dictator like Hussein, one who has invaded two countries and threatened the stability of the whole Middle East time and time again, would use these weapons?

Isn’t that kind of evil worth stopping?

David Harsanyi is an NYC-based writer. Visit his website (http://dharsanyi.blogspot.com/) or email him at david_harsanyi@yahoo.com.

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