Standing and Watching

Voice Card  -  Volume 19  -  John Card Number 20  -  Fri, Apr 5, 1991 1:47 AM

This is ONE OF 3 responses to VC 19 Stuart 2 ("Hard to Believe")...

The Middle-East is surely the most paradoxical and heart-breaking area in the world. It seems like madness for our army to stand by while Sudam Hussein snatches victory from the mouth of utter defeat, and yet I find myself once again a reluctant supporter of the president's policies.

From a legal standpoint the president is probably right. The UN is founded on the principle of self-determination and the sovereignty of its member states. The Allies were empowered by these unique circumstance ONLY to liberate Kuwait. Critics may rightly point out that this didn't stop us from invading Panama, and legalities become meaningless in the chaos of war, but there is still something to be said for at least trying to respect international law. The alternative is chaos.

The real problem, however, is that the alternatives to Sudam's nightmarish government seem to be just as bad or even worse. The Shiites and Kurds seem to be radical, fanatical, and unable take Iraq or hold it together. Sudam has murdered all his more reasonable opponents. All that remain are thugs and cutthroats as ruthless as he is. We could destroy Iraq altogether and break it up into a bunch of Beiruts, but this would hardly be an improvement.

I find it interesting that many of the people who were so opposed to the use of force are now screaming at Bush to reopen the war. Kuwait, for all its faults, was worth saving. And we have saved Kuwait. But Iraq seems beyond hope at this stage. It is agonizing to stand and watch while this monster butchers his own people, but as far as I can tell it may be the lesser of two evils.