March 22, 2003


Posted by Scott at 07:00 AM

I was driving home from the YMCA yesterday around 1PM. The sun was shining. It was warm. I opened the sunroof. I was listening to the radio when they broke in to give live audio coverage from downtown Baghdad just as the air campaign was starting. It was a horrifying sound. Worse than any war movie but now with the knowledge that it was real, not a Steve Spielberg movie.

The only thing that gives any balance to hearing something like that is to read accounts from inside Iraq prior to the war. The acts of Saddam towards those inside Iraq made my stomach turn more than yesterday's audio clip. The author wraps it up this way:

Many Iraqis wonder why the world applauded the military intervention that eventually rescued the Cambodians from Pol Pot and the Ugandans from Idi Amin when these took place without UN help. They ask why the world has ignored the crimes against them?
All these crimes have been recorded in detail by the UN, the US, Kuwaiti, British, Iranian and other Governments and groups such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty and Indict. Yet the Security Council has failed to set up a war crimes tribunal on Iraq because of opposition from France, China and Russia. As a result, no Iraqi official has ever been indicted for some of the worst crimes of the 20th century. I have said incessantly that I would have preferred such a tribunal to war. But the time for offering Saddam incentives and more time is over.

I have not been an advocate for a military effort to "liberate" a country. I've always been of the opinion that our military is for our defense, not policing the world. I do hope, however, that long term Iraqi people are freed from such dictators as a side effect of this action. No one doubts that Saddam was an evil man. I think much of the protest has been over how we deal with him.

My other concern for Iraq is whether the different ethnic factions within Iraq can live together once Saddam is out of power, or will the world have another Bosnia on it's hands?