Jeff Ackerman wrote and interesting column this morning, where he praised President Bush’s leadership following 9/11, but thinks that Bush took a wrong turn in attacking Iraq. I remind Jeff’s readers that Iraq has already proven they were a threat to stability in the region by attacking Kuwait, and Saudi Arabia could have been next. We could not afford to have Saddam control that much of our oil supply, so we attacked Iraq in 1990-1991. Was that also a wrong turn? The Taliban fled Afghanistan when the US arrived, some into the mountains on the Pakistan boarder, some al-Qaeda to Iraq and Iran.
While we could keep Saddam under control using our air power with no fly zones, we could not keep him from allowing al-Qaeda to build training camps, and devise new ways of attack Christians and Jews. If you will recall, Saddam used his missiles attack Israel and refused to let UN inspectors do their job to assure the world he was not building WMDs. Did we want al-Qaeda to have access to these WMDs. He was training two thugs, his sons, to take over when he passed on. This religious and political cancer was not going to go away until it was cleaned up, which is what the current President Bush decided to do. It is truly unfortunate the first President Bush did not take care of Saddam in 1990-1991, but he would have unleashed the sectarian warfare then rather than now. Regardless, then or now, it was something that needed to be cleaned up. History will determine if Bush’s decision to clean it up was truly a wrong turn.