Nagging questions about the war
As the debate in the letters to the editor about the war rages on, I find myself wondering where the writers retrieved certain “facts.” Many seem to be working under the impression that to be antiwar means to be pro-Saddam. No one in the antiwar movement supports the brutal dictatorship of Saddam Hussein. Hussein’s human-rights violations are well documented. Another “fact” is that antiwar protesters are against the troops. This too, is incorrect.
Another “fact” disseminated throughout the news media is that there are parallels between World War II and our non-legitimate war on Iraq. As the granddaughter of Holocaust survivors, I am well versed in the history of WWII. Though Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in 1991, he has invaded no nation since then. This is unlike Hitler, who invaded half of Europe and then proceeded to put to death as many as 12 million people, including Jews, homosexuals, Gypsies and Polish nationals. Though the United States provided humanitarian relief to Europe after the war, since then our government’s track record on humanitarian intervention is far from admirable.
If our government is so concerned with humanitarian intervention, why did we not intervene sooner in Bosnia? I vividly recall our media showing bodies flowing down the rivers of Rwanda, and our government did absolutely nothing. Why was our nation the only one that did not support the formation of the International War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague? Why did we set up brutal regimes in Iran, Chile and Panama and through the School for the Americas support the training of death squads in Indonesia, Nicaragua and El Salvador?
The fact that our government awarded billions in rebuilding contracts [to American corporations] before the war even started should concern the American people. The American people should also be aware of these facts:
• In 1999, General Anthony Zinni testified before Congress, “The Gulf Region with its huge oil reserves is of ‘long standing vital interest’ to the United States and the U.S. must have ‘free access’ to the region’s resources.”
• In 2000, oil executive J. Robinson West was quoted as saying, “There is a strong feeling that Saddam Hussein is the greatest threat to oil production in the Middle East.”
• Vice President Dick Cheney’s former corporation, Halliburton, through its subsidiary Dresser Industries completed a deal for construction of new pipelines in Iraq.
Whatever opinions anyone holds about this war, the American people owe it to themselves to ask some very critical questions about who in our government and corporate sectors profits from this action.