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A necessary,pre-emptive strike

April 25, 2004|by Nancy C. Boyer

To the editor:

The United Nations, for some peculiar reason, failed miserably in holding the Iraqi government to the requirements of 18 U.N. resolutions over a period of a dozen years in defiance of the nations of the world. Fortunately, our government stepped up to the plate to bring some sanity to the discussions in the United Nations in an effort to persuade them to act by outlining the crimes of this dangerous regime known as Iraq.

Unfortunately, to little avail. The dithering, discussion and delay went on for months. The United Nations, as well as all the intelligence agencies of the major countries of the world, were convinced Saddam was producing weapons of mass destruction. But because of financial entanglements with Iraq, they were reluctant to act with force. The Congress of the United States was also privy to the same intelligence information as was the Clinton administration. Mr. Clinton, lest we forget, also wisely called for "regime change" in Iraq in 1998. The current administration acted.

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If one is interested in the history of the last 65 or so years, one has to wonder how many lives would have been saved if the nations of the world who had the power, had "pre-emptively" taken out Hitler before countless millions of people had been tortured and slaughtered by the thug from Germany.

Would Neville Chamberlain have sought the mirage of peace with this evil doer had the people of the world been as outraged by the crimes against humanity perpetrated by the Nazis as they should have been, and been willing to "pre-emptively" remove him from power? Or could the horrors visited upon the Ethiopians by Mussolini in 1935 been stopped by nations threatening to take him out before his dreadful deeds were committed but after his intentions were well known?

After World War II, when the unspeakable crimes of the Nazis were spread before all nations, the civilized world raised the cry "never again!" So we have now an administration not willing to wait to take hits from thugs and scoundrels.

There is also a coalition of 30 plus nations, along with Great Britain, Spain, Italy, Poland, who were not willing to see a nation of 25 million ground into the dirt, and not willing to wait until Saddam unleashed additional horrors upon the world. The president did not say "the threat is imminent." What he said was Saddam is a "growing threat." All the world justifiably knew he was.

There is, of course, a world of difference (for those who are enlightened) between a "pre-emptive strike" to seek power and land, and a "pre-emptive strike" to protect and defend. The difference is clearly not that difficult to perceive. Reason and morality make that distinction obvious.

A lovely fallout benefit of the noble military action by the United States, in addition to freeing 25 million people and making certain no WMD programs progress, is the change of heart that seems to be occurring in Iran and in Libya. Let us hope that change comes fully to fruition.

Nancy C. Boyer
Hagerstown

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