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Letter to the Editor: Reasons for going to war in Iraq remain unclear

Wednesday, March 19, 2003

To the editor:

There remains great confusion about the Iraq war. Is it about disarmament? If so, this is under way.

Is it about regime change? If so, without U.N. approval, military action designed to achieve this would be a breach of the U.N. charter.

Of course, when Saddam Hussein was on our side in the war against Iran, he enjoyed U.S. support, and much of his current military arsenal grew as a consequence. But removing offensive dictators is not a U.S. foreign-policy objective. Nor, as the U.N. charter decrees, should it be.

Is it about anti-terrorism? If so, no convincing evidence has been presented to indicate either a link between Iraq and Sept. 11, 2001, or that Iraq is a serious terrorist threat to the United States. Every time the Bush administration tries to make this case, the intelligence community demonstrates it to be concocted or grossly exaggerated.

Is it about breach of U.N. resolutions? If so, then why is, Israel, that perennial flouter of U.N. resolutions, so frequently lauded and applauded, and why now denigrate the United Nations?

Frighteningly, there is abundant evidence that the president's advisers have long planned to take advantage of some event that justifies military action in the Mideast simply to assert U.S. control in the region and promote U.S. business interests. Maybe Bush is just a pawn in their strategic plan and the real reason for war is none of the above.

ALAN R.P. JOURNET

Cape Girardeau