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  • Why did the United States go to war against Iraq in 2003? The decision was controversial

  • at the time and remains so today. But the reason was clear: Saddam Hussein, the brutal

  • dictator of Iraq for 35 years was the central threat to peace in the Middle East.

  • With that threat removed, the Bush Administration believed the establishment of a functioning

  • democracy in Iraq would encourage the growth of democracy elsewhere in the Arab world.

  • As democracy spread, terrorism would retreat.

  • But it is on the blood-stained life and career of Saddam Hussein that we need to concentrate

  • in order better to understand why the United States felt forced to act in 2003.

  • We begin with the Iran-Iraq War, which Saddam started in 1980 and which lasted until 1988.

  • One million people died in the course of the decade-long struggle. And during that war,

  • Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) -- especially poison gas --

  • were used on a regular basis by both sides.

  • Once his war with Iran ended, instead of building up his shattered nation, Saddam decided to

  • embark on another lunatic adventure: In 1990, he tried to grab 19% of the world's oil supply

  • by invading Kuwait.

  • His brief annexation of Kuwait proved to be another disaster. The Mother of All Battles,

  • as Saddam called it, turned out to be a 3-week rout, his Iraqi army utterly defeated by a

  • US-led coalition. But rather than trying Saddam as a war criminal,

  • America and the West allowed him to stay in power.

  • This appeasement eventually led Saddam, once again, to draw entirely the wrong conclusion

  • and to his making yet another colossal mistake. He arrogantly believed that his Iraqi army

  • might actually defeat the United States in a second encounter.

  • His trump card, he believed, or at least attempted to make the world believe, was his possession

  • of WMD - large quantities of poison gas and, if only in his imagination, a rapidly progressing

  • nuclear weapons development program. There was no reason to doubt that he had WMD,

  • as he had used poison gas in his war against Iran. No one -- not the Germans, not the Russians,

  • not the British -- had any doubts about this.

  • Looking back, at the twelve years between the Gulf War and the Iraq War, Saddam might

  • have been able to re-establish international credibility by complying with the 16 reasonable

  • UN resolutions passed between November 1990 and December 1999. These resolutions simply

  • required Saddam to, among other things: 'destroy all of his ballistic missiles with a range

  • greater than 150 kilometers; stop support for terrorism internationally and prevent

  • terrorist organizations from operating within Iraq; and bear financial liability for damage

  • from the Gulf War'.

  • But Saddam spent the 1990s defying and mocking America and Britain in every possible way.

  • He attempted to shoot down Royal Air Force and US Air Force planes over the no-fly zones

  • created to prevent him from mass-slaughtering his own citizens; he corruptly profited from

  • the UN oil-for-food scandal while Iraqi children starved to death; he offered $25,000

  • to the families of every Palestinian suicide-bomber; he harbored many of the world's leading terrorists,

  • and he expelled UN weapon's inspectors.

  • By the time of the terrorist attack on the United States of 9/11/ -- something for which

  • Saddam was not responsible nor ever blamed for -- any War against Terror that did not

  • involve toppling this brutal dictator, who might supply WMD to terrorists for future attacks,

  • would have been absurd.

  • Still, had he backed down and accepted repeated United Nations resolutions - especially those

  • requiring him to prove he had destroyed his stockpiles of WMD and had no nuclear weapons

  • development program, there would have been no U.S. action. Instead, he only became more bellicose.

  • That's why some leading Democrats -- such as Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden and

  • John Kerry -- voted to authorize the second Iraq War. Only later did they recant their

  • decisions after claiming that they had been lied to by the Administration. But there had

  • been no need for the Bush Administration to lie. Its assessment of the threat Saddam posed

  • concurred with that of the Clinton administration, as well as with numerous European intelligence

  • services. And the road to a democratic Middle East had to begin in Iraq. A vicious, mass-murdering,

  • despot who had convinced the world that he had WMD and would use them, stood in the way.

  • In the spring of 2003, that was obvious both to Republicans and many Democrats as well

  • as to the leadership of Britain and dozens of other nations. That's why President Bush

  • took America to war against Iraq.

  • I'm Andrew Roberts for Prager University.

Why did the United States go to war against Iraq in 2003? The decision was controversial


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B1 中級 美國腔

美國為何入侵伊拉克 (Why America Invaded Iraq)

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    James 發佈於 2021 年 01 月 14 日