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The Aims and Prosecution of the War with Iraq
[March 17, 2003]

By Nicholas Provenzo

After months and years of unheeded ultimatums, the US stands on the brink of war with Iraq. In his television address last night, President Bush gave Saddam Hussein one last chance to save himself: he and his sons must quit Iraq within 48 hours. It is considered unlikely that Saddam will heed this deadline.

With war hours away, it is incumbent upon us that we consider both its prosecution and its aims. This war has been forced upon us because of Iraq’s refusal to comply with the terms of the cease-fire ending the first Gulf War twelve years ago. The corpses of Saddam’s victims litter a thousand graveyards. Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction threaten the innocents of the world.  Saddam’s lies bring fear to all within his reach. Iraq is not an idle threat that can be contained or appeased. The free peoples of the Earth can not live safe in a world with Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein must be removed from power and Iraq must be made free.

In fighting this war, the American armed forces and its allies should use all military force necessary to destroy Iraq’s ability to project force. The Iraqi military must be allowed only two options: surrender, or destruction. Iraqis that surrender peacefully should be paroled accordingly. Iraqis that fail to surrender should pay the full price for their intransigence.

Any attempt by the Iraqi military to use chemical or biological weapons upon the US and its allies should be met with massive retaliation, targeting those weapons systems and the chain of command that deployed them. If militarily justified, the US should not hesitate to deploy its nuclear arsenal as a tool of retaliation against an Iraqi chemical or biological attack.

While Iraqi non-combatants are targets of no military value and by the law of civilized warfare, they should be spared from direct attack, the emphasis in fighting this war must be on achieving victory while minimizing the risk and harm to American and allied armed forces. Civilian casualties, however regrettable, are an inevitable part of war, and the blame for their loss rests solely with Saddam Hussein and those that support his regime. So-called human shields should be considered non-uniformed enemy combatants, regardless of their nationality, and no consideration for their safety, or the safety of other civilians should compromise the safety of American and allied armed forces, or enter any decision to attack legitimate targets necessary for the successful prosecution of this war.

If Israel is attacked by Iraq, Israel’s right to self-defense must be affirmed. Unlike the first Gulf War, where Israel was pressured not to retaliate against Iraq’s Scud missile attacks, the world must acknowledge that Iraq is one of Israel’s gravest threats, and that Israel has every right to protect itself from that threat if attacked. If other Arab nations act to prevent Israel’s self-defense, they should be considered to be allies of Iraq and held accountable for their actions.

The US and its allies should make no consideration for the opinion of another world power unless that power offers men and material for the successful prosecution of this war. If the UN Security Council proposes a resolution condemning the US and its allies for the war against Iraq, the US should veto the proposal, and those nations that support such a resolution should be considered to be allies of Iraq and held accountable for their deeds. In addition, the president should propose to the Congress that the US leave the UN on the grounds that it is an institution incompatible with the advance of American ideals. The Congress should pass that resolution.

Those guilty of murder and other horrors under Saddam's regime should be held accountable for their misdeeds. As a condition for rebuilding postwar Iraq and mitigating the suffering of its people, the Iraqi people must form a free, individual rights republic, with constitutional safeguards for the protection of basic freedoms, including the right to life, liberty, property, and due process under the law. No provision of the new Iraqi government should be made on the basis of religion, ethnicity or sex. The US and its allies should guarantee the safety of the Iraqi people until such time as the new Iraqi government is able to competently and peacefully provide for its own security. Time should be of the essence in restoring a legitimate government to Iraq.

Iraq’s nationalized industries, including its oil production facilities, should be privatized by auction to the highest bidder, and all auction proceeds should go to the Iraqi treasury. No distinction should be made between Iraqi and international bidders, and under Iraqi law, foreign ownership rights should be enforced with the same strength as domestic ownership rights.

If these aims are accomplished, both the safety of the America and its allies will be advanced, and the Iraqi people will be made free. The means are justified by the threats. The ends are righteous. While our thoughts rest with our men and women who will bear the dangerous burden of this war, we are comforted by the nobility of the cause to which they dedicate themselves. We can not know how great the price they will be forced to pay, but we know it is a price worth paying.


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