History will judge if Iraq War was right course

July 4, 2014 at 2:04 a.m.

Editor, the Advocate:

Given the present debacle in Iraq, let's revisit our involvement in that area.

Were the two Gulf Wars and the ongoing Afghan war worth the price we paid in blood and money? I was less than enthusiastic about each of the Gulf Wars because I thought that Saddam Hussein would use his weapons of mass destruction if he were cornered. The fact that we took 30,000 body bags to the first Gulf War was daunting, to say the least. Saddam didn't use any weapons of mass destruction in either war, and we didn't find any when we took over Iraq, even though we know he had them when he used them on his Kurds. What happened to them?

Both Hussein and Assad, of Syria, were both regimes run by an Arab Ba'ath party. Could Assad's sarin gas have come from Iraq? Afghanistan was different. We had to go after Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida. That country turned out to be a tar-baby (as in Disney's "Song of the South") as it had for Alexander the Great, the British and the Russians. It was, is and will always be a social, political and economic basket case.

In 2003, we took Iraq out of the WMD business. Gaddafi, in Libya, spooked and dropped his WMD programs (which included a nuclear option). That left only Iran in the WMD sweepstakes.

There is no doubt that had we not taken Saddam out, he would have kept pace with Iran, Gaddafi would have continued his programs, and the Saudis would have panicked and started their own programs.

The U.S. paid a huge price to keep Iraq and Libya out of the nuclear weapons business. Only history can decide if it was worth it.

Carleton K. Thompson Jr., Hallettsville



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