Bush has claimed Saddam is dangerous. He has harped on two themes in presenting a case for taking Saddam out. These are that Iraq has weapons of mass destruction and that Saddam has links to Al Quada. I believe both these statements may be true. Certainly the first is clearly true. I have no doubt Saddam has weapons of mass destruction and very nasty ones. I do not know where he sits in the development of nuclear devices, but I would bet he has large stockpiles of chemical and germ weapons, and he has proven in the pass he has no qualms about deploying such things.
What links he may have to Al Quada and Osama bin Laden is more difficult to prove, but there is certainly a possibility. Both Saddam and Osama are very dangerous men, but they have different worldviews and one cannot see them becoming fast friends. However, both are capable of using each other to advance their own ambitions. My guess would be they would join together, even if they held their noses the whole time they were in cahoots, if it would serve their purpose again the United States, Britain and the rest of the “infidel” world. If somehow through such an allegiance, they should defeat the “Western World”, I think they would turn to the job of trying to kill each other.
If such a horrid scenario should happen and the United States and Britain fall at the hands of these guys, then France and Russia will have a problem. If Saddam would then destroy Osama, France and Russia would breathe somewhat easier because they are all ready in bed with Iraq on oil and other business; however, they would wake up in such a world with the realization they were now at Saddam’s mercy.
If Osama should prevail, then France and Russia would quickly find themselves targets, but if the United States has been taken down, whom would they turn to save them?
Of course, I don’t believe Saddam or Osama will prevail against the U.S. in the end. It may depend on how much the politicians get involved.
Now lets talk about the personalities being dealt with and their motives that make them dangerous. The most pressing is they are true believers and they have charisma. They also have means. This is a combination that can lead to great good or to great evil.
For instance, Mahatma Gandhi was such a man. Gandhi has been born into a wealthy family of the ruling class. His father was a prime minister and Gandhi was sent to universities and became a lawyer. He had means, connections, career and charisma. He could have lived a life of relative ease and success by going along. But he became a true believer in a cause in his middle years and he sacrificed much to free his country from British Rule. He did not resort to violence or terrorism to do this, but to passive resistance. He was in the end shot for his troubles, not by the British, but by an Indian, still the end result was his country gaining its sovereignty from England and a legacy of admiration to this day, not to mention the inspiration to other freedom fighters, such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
Gandhi was a man of means, charisma and true belief in a cause that used these ingredients for ultimate good. Osama has the same ingredients, but is using them for evil, although, in his own mind he is fulfilling the commands of Allah, a very dangerous combination, indeed. Unlike Gandhi, Osama has no truck with peaceful protest and passive resistance. His approach is through the barrel of a gun and bombs strapped to the bodies of other true believers.
Osama was born to wealth and is himself a man of wealth. He is also an intelligent person, well educated. He could have gone into the family business and lived a life of ease. Instead, he chooses to live a life of self-deprivation for a cause and that cause is to drive the infidel out of the world. If he had a bomb big enough, he would gladly blow all non-Muslims off the face of the earth.
If one doubts his ability to bring harm, all one has to do is trace his history of destruction right up to the collapse of the World Trade Center. If he could work a deal with North Korea for nuclear material, he would. If he could work a deal with Iraq for germ warfare, he would. He is not a man who would turn down opportunity to gain implements to further his cause because of the filthy hands that handed it to him.
Osama was handed a good deal of means by the United States at one time. Some people actually use that against us, rather then look at the betrayal of Osama against us. Osama was a leader against the Russians in Afghanistan at a time that Russia was considered our enemy number one. The United States gave support to people resisting invasions of their country by Russia. Blaming ourselves for giving money and weapons to Osama at that time is something akin to blaming the Army for the training and weapons they gave Howard Uhrah when he went on a mass murder spree in New Jersey.
A difficulty in running Osama to ground is he is a man without a country, but shielded by many. One must try to find him and then pin him down, but he can simply move somewhere else. This is why it becomes important to warn countries they will be held accountable with dire consequences if they harbor terrorists. One must narrow his escape routes and his supplies.
Hussein is a different cat. He has the ingredients now of both Gandhi and Osama, but unlike them he was born into a poor family in a poor village. He reached the top power in Iraq, which he has held for something like 30 years, by brains, stealth and ruthlessness. He has a cause as well, but his cause is himself.
Gandhi moved to free his country. Osama is driven by his visions of what Allah demands. Saddam is driven by his sense of destiny and his own self-importance. He is an isolated megalomaniac with complete control of a nation and its people. He is a man who had many narrow escapes in his life and believes his survival of these instances proves his invulnerability and that he is the chosen one to lead Iraq back to the glory that was Babylon. I do not think that he would ever concede to the demands of the United States or the United nations, because he believes in his own mind that he can defeat these enemies in the long run. And he listens to no one, except the voices in his own head.
Then there is oil. There is an expression that money makes the world go around. That may be true, but it is oil that keeps the wheels of the world turning. Control the major supplies of oil and you control the world.
Protestors chant about not fighting a war for oil. But if oil is at the center of this fight, it is worth fighting for. Criticism is leveled at Bush that he covets Iraqi oil. The United States can get along without Iraqi oil, and in fact, could get Iraqi oil easily through the oil for food program or by lifting sanctions. Whether Bush and Chaney have any more draconian ideas about Iraqi oil, I do not know.
One does have to consider Saddam’s ambitions about oil, however, and think about how this mess kind of got started back in 1992.
Iraq invaded Kuwait, a country it could have easily and quickly overran. Saddam’s official claims were that Kuwait really belonged to Iraq and it was simply taking back what belonged to it. But among the real reasons for the invasion was oil. Not so much that Saddam simply wanted Kuwait’s oil, but that it was the stepping-stone to controlling the oil in the Middle East. Saddam saw Kuwait as a stepping stone to the United Arab Emeritus and from there the overthrow of the Royal family in Saudi Arabia. In other words, this was a move to fulfill his destiny as the savior and Anointed leader of the Arab world. Controlling the Middle Eastern oil would make him a true world power. There is absolutely no reason to believe Saddam has abandoned these ambitions then there is to think he would not employ weapons of mass destruction to accomplish it.
Saddam is in his mid-sixties. He is growing older. Age can become an enemy of a dictator, but it can also become a prod to move on one’s ambitions. One may feel they have a destiny, but they may also be aware of the clock ticking and so feel now is the hour.These are dangerous men. And we are in a crucial point of history. I think war is about to come, for better or worse. Let us hope we are quick about it, that we are committed to then rebuilding Iraq as a free nation and that we can then pin down Osama. Anything less may be very disastrous