Wednesday, April 28, 2004

OpinionJournal - The Real World: "It's looking more and more as if one of the best reasons to get rid of Saddam Hussein was that it was probably the only way to get rid of Oil-for-Food."

This is a good piece outlining why Saddam was a threat, but I have to take dispute with Ms. Rosett's perspective on it, as outlined in this opening sentence. She seems to forget that many, many on the left, and some on the right, in this country were calling for another way to completely eliminate the Oil-for-Food program: an end to all sanctions. If sanctions were lifted, the theory goes, the Oil-for-Food program would be superfluous, as the Iraqi people would receive open trade, and enough food and medicine to sustain the country. I wish Ms. Rosett had addressed this, as she leaves the door for this argument wide open.

The problem is, she is right in her closing statement: "Basically, Oil-for-Food was Saddam--just slightly harder to spot, swaddled as he was in that blue U.N. flag." Lifting sanctions would not have solved this problem, it would merely have lifted the blue flag. Yes, more money would have gotten to the people of Iraq. Yes, the baathists would certainly have been better off. But the people he was executing on a regular basis? They would have continued dying. The people he refused food, work, basic healthcare, and even housing? They would have continued suffering. The money Saddam funneled to terrorists, as Ms. Rosett outlines? It would have continued flowing. We need to be clear: the only way to end Oil-for-Food for the benefit of the Iraqi people was to set them free, to take away the man who robbed them at every turn, for his own benefit and to support his mission to destroy western society. Saddam needed to go. We are paying a huge price for taking on that challenge, in every innocent Iraqi death, and every American soldier we lose. But there is no question that the Iraqi people now have a potential they could never have gained on their own. There is no question that we must see this through to the only acceptable end: a free Iraqi people, living without fear from their own countryment, and those who seek to destroy them from without.

No comments: