Last Updated on September 28, 2002 by Paulette Brown-Hinds

By Hardy Brown

Any politically savvy American knows that the “War on Terrorism” has been elusive at best.

We may have destroyed a nation that we now have to help rebuild when we attacked the Taliban of Afganistan, but our true target Osama bin Laden has never been found. And now President George W. and his administration have named the newest culprit, Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, first by implying he was building and hiding weapons of mass destruction and then by challenging the United Nations to send weapons inspectors into Iraq. All along Bush and his advisors are preparing the American people for war. When the UN demanded that the Iraqi government allow inspectors to examine their facilities and the Iraqi government accepted, Bush then said that Hussein could not be trusted. Bush told us that we will need to use force because Hussein is a major threat to Democracy and must be stopped.
It was clear that from the beginning that the Bush administration needed a fight, and a fight that they think they can win. Never mind that experts have said that Iran and Saudi Arabia do more to support terrorism and terrorist activities than Iraq. Never mind that the 9/11 attacks were facilitated by our own biased and mismanaged immigration policies. And never mind that the “weapons of mass destruction” used in the 9/11 attacks were common everyday modes of transportation. And you better believe that the next attack will be just as common and unexpected as before. So, the question is why not just jump into a war with Iraq, when that is clearly what our president wants to do?
The answer, I believe, is Bush’s attempt at diplomacy. This tactic is a Bush favorite: talk about it long enough and everyone will believe it’s inevitable. It will eventually make sense to everyone and the approval ratings will not falter. However, his overriding arrogance shines through. What happened to our desire and need for open debate? What happened to our moral compass of justice and fairness?
Instead we hear, “it’s my way or no way. If you object, you’re unpatriotic. Wanted: Dead or Alive.”
To me this is a dangerous approach in a free society. We need, instead, local and national debates on this issue to strengthen our country’s position as a first class global leader.