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"Inspections" and "Containment"
Jim Wrenn (James R. Wrenn, Jr.)
Self-evident flaws in
contentions that "inspections can work" and Saddam Hussein can be "contained."
The flaws in the "inspections can work" argument are so
numerous that to expose them all would continue to obscure two
fundamental flaws rarely, if ever, exposed by opponents of such
argument. Therefore, the sole purpose of this commentary is to
expose those two flaws:
that forcibly disarming Iraq and removing Saddam Hussein's regime
will create a "payback" motivation for terrorists to
launch 9-11-type attacks against us-- the negative implication being
that a continuation of inspections would minimize such
Second, that the West's
having "contained" the Soviet Union until its collapse is
proof that continuation of "coercive inspections" could
"contain" Saddam Hussein.
these flaws ought to be self-evident, however, does not negate the
emotional appeal of the "inspections can work" and
"containment" arguments. Exposure of these flaws will
negate, if not reverse, such emotional appeal in the minds of all but the
most ideologically blind.
premises of the
"inspections can work" argument.
Many, although not most, "inspections can work" proponents
concede the inspections they now consider to be so effective would
not be occurring absent the presence of a massive U.S. military
presence in the Gulf region in a hair-trigger state of
readiness. Some, although not many, also
concede that for inspections to continue in a manner they would deem
effective would require indefinite continuation of a major
portion, if not all, of such military presence.
However, even if one were to assume such arguments to be correct,
they would not support the conclusion for which they are advanced--
i.e., that such "peaceful" disarmament of Iraq (leaving
Saddam Hussein in power) would minimize "payback"
motivations for more 9-11-type attacks on us. To the contrary,
to follow such "peaceful" method would create equally
powerful "payback" motivations. Ground Zero is
conclusive proof that such assertion is not idle speculation
regardless of whether there may, or may not, have been direct,
indirect, or tenuous connections between Iraq and 9-11 or even none
Such self-evident proof is the undisputed fact that a prime
motivating factor that enabled al Qaeda to induce its fanatic
followers to commit the 9-11 attack was the deep resentment among
fanatical Muslims against the presence of U.S. military facilities
and personnel in Persian Gulf countries. Those same fanatics
would be no less resentful of continuation of such presence (especially
one dwarfing the pre-9-11 presence) to maintain
hair-trigger coercion of Iraq to continue "cooperating"
with "inspections." Not only would the
"peaceful" disarmament route fail to reduce such risks, it
would more likely increase them by leaving in place a terrorist
regime able to use the powers of a state to covertly assist and
encourage its natural allies (such as Hamas) as well as its
natural adversaries (such as al Qaeda) to increase the tempo and
scale of attacks against our troops,
our military facilities, our allies and our country.
premises of the "containment" argument.
Virtually all "containment" proponents recite the mantra that
our having "contained" the Soviet Union with its "far more
dangerous" weapons for nearly 50 years is proof that we could
effectively "contain" Saddam Hussein even if he were to
develop nuclear weapons (or were to have already them). Like the
"inspections can work" argument, the fact that the flawed nature
of the "containment" argument ought to be self-evident to
those willing to engage in critical analysis does not negate its emotional
appeal (especially in the minds of entertainers.).
Throughout almost the entirety of our 50 years of successful
"containment" of the Soviet Union, the world of nuclear armament
was a bipolar one: Western democracies versus the Soviet
Block. Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD) deterred the Soviet Union
from using terrorist surrogates to strike us with a nuclear bomb because
in that bipolar nuclear era, the Soviets knew that such action by them
would result in our immediate, massive retaliation against them.
Thus, the bipolar nature of the Cold War era created a powerful deterrent
that no longer exists in today's era of increasingly proliferating
multi-polar nuclear armament.
In an era of increasingly multi-polar nuclear armament, it would be truly
mad to assume that megalomaniacal, sociopathic tyrants (such as Saddam
Hussein) possessing nuclear weapons would be "deterred" from
using terrorist surrogates to deliver nuclear horror to the West.
Unlike the Soviet Union in the bipolar Cold War era, such tyrants could
easily believe they could utilize such delivery-by-terrorist method
without the West being certain enough about the source to be willing to
retaliate automatically (or ever).
of freedom versus evil of tyranny.
It's not rocket science and but merely common sense that we must make
moral distinctions (based on the morality of freedom versus the immorality
of tyranny) between possession of weapons of mass destructions by
sociopathic or fanatical tyrants and possession of such weapons by
democratic countries disciplined by the morality of freedom.