Letter: Saddam not the worst

By The Daily Illini

This is in response to the letter, titled “Think for yourself,” from Tuesday.

First of all, I am sick and tired of people using the ousting of Saddam Hussein to retroactively validate the Iraq invasion. The removal of Saddam from power was not the reason the Bush administration stated for going to war.

Now that no weapons of mass destruction have shown up, people claim the removal of Saddam Hussein is the real victory. There are other ways to bring about regime change in a foreign country without resorting to war. If this was our true motivation, then war should have been used as a last resort rather than a pre-emptive strike.

Secondly, Saddam Hussein was a terrible dictator, but he was certainly not the worst of our era, as the letter by Tom Olson claims. North Korea, Sudan and Iran all are run by oppressive, violent regimes as terrible as, if not worse than, Iraq, not to mention Osama bin Laden and Abu al-Zarqawi. It’s hypocritical to claim regime change was the reason for going to war in Iraq when there are leaders out there who are more violent, oppressive and dangerous to the United States.

The Iraq war was the result of botched intelligence and dishonest priorities. At a time when the monthly death toll among Sudanese refugees is about 10,000, it seems a crime that we are now forced to send billions of dollars to Iraq when the international community has yet to gather the $300 million requested by aid workers in Sudan.

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But now, we must commit our troops and our resources to stabilizing Iraq in the wake of the power vacuum that we have created. I wish that – in retrospect – people could look back and admit that, just maybe, the Iraq war was a bad idea.

Richard Aycock

senior in ACES