It’s all over the news. I’m sure everyone has heard. The war with Iraq has begun. We’ve made some strikes against them, and they’ve retaliated with missiles. It’s only going to go downhill from here.
The hope, with this war, is that when it’s all over Saddam Hussein will no longer be a threat to anyone. There’s been world-wide arguments over how best to remove this threat, and many nations and people are against resorting to war. However, I think if you look at history, you will see that Saddam has never responded to anything else. I understand, and agree with, the desire to accomplish this end without war. But after 12 years of wrangling with Saddam, the only time there has ever been any progress towards disarmament has been when he’s had the military might of the free world breathing down his neck.
If our allies had joined with us in our resolve to resort to war if Saddam didn’t disarm, then he just might have done so. But with any hint that our resolve would waver, he feels free to defy the rest of the world.
Enter France. Together with Germany and Russia, France has been the biggest opponent of threatening force against Saddam Hussein. Their argument is understandable. Their sentiments are admirable. Unfortunately, the world does not always conform to our peaceful yearnings. They failed to look at our experiences with Saddam Hussein. They failed to acknowledge that force, or the threat of force, is the only thing that Saddam has ever responded to. Even with their opposition, though, progress was being made. Until just a few days ago, there was hope for a peaceful resolution.
Ironically, it was France’s refusal to contemplate the possibility of war that ultimately led to war’s inevitability. France, just a few days ago, stood up and said “We will veto any resolution that threatens war. No matter what the circumstances.” With this finality, they guaranteed Saddam that the UN would not come after him, and thus removed the one and only motivation that he had for change. As soon as they said those words, they cemented his defiance. And they committed us to war.
Surely, it was not what they intended. Surely, they wanted peace. Surely, they were wrong.
I do not hate France. I don’t share the sentiments of much of the rest of the US that the French are all “cheese eating surrender monkeys.” I may snicker at such statements, but I don’t feel them in my heart. I believe that they had the best of intentions. I only regret that those intentions have led us down the road to hell.