Once upon a time, certain US government officials got worried about a dictator in Iraq named Saddam Hussein. Saddam had control over a group of fundamentalists, who followed his every word.
And even worse, Saddam was fascinated by weapons of mass destruction. Weapons that had no purpose other that the mass destruction of innocent Americans. The government officials had intelligence agents in the field, and these intelligence agents reported back that Saddam, as leader of Iraq, had ordered his followers to go to various countries for the express purpose of acquiring these weapons of mass destruction. Saddam was secretly acquiring dual technology such that seemingly ordinary parts could be used to convert legal weapons into weapons made illegal by various resolutions of the United Nations. |
The government officials were not willing to wait for Saddam to make a direct attack on innocent Americans. The intelligence reports on his program to convert dual use technology to weapons of mass destruction was unimpeachable. Besides, waiting for Saddam to actually use the weapons would be too late. Waiting for a "smoking gun" would simply mean that one had waited too long. As government officials later said, "Only fired guns smoke." Action had to be taken to prevent a terrible tragedy.
Still, some folk inside the government urged caution. Saddam had not made any overt moves. The public might not appreciate a lightning raid by the full might of the US military against Saddam. Fortunately, someone swore that Saddam had gassed his own citizens. This was the straw that broke the camel's back. This was the proof of a heinous crime that called for quick action. Anyone who would gas his own countrymen must be stopped. A Security Council resolution was passed, violations of the resolutions of the United Nations were listed, and a well armed group of US soldiers suited up to put an end to the menace.
Sadly, there were women and children in Baghdad. Still, the women, at least, could not be counted as completely innocent, because they had chosen (or at least tolerated) Saddam as their leader. And the goal was to liberate the children from the evil molester. Yes, bombs would be used, but collateral damage would be kept to a minimum, and the troops would not forget the primary mission of getting the evil Saddam before he could use his weapons of mass destruction against innocent Americans.
The attack was approved by the US leadership at the highest levels. The raid was executed with well-armed troops. Although Saddam's followers offered token resistance, the outcome of the battle was never in doubt. How could one man and his misguided minions hold out against the might of the military troops of the United States?
The attack, after initial setbacks, was a success. Tanks and guns obliterated Baghdad. Saddam, madman that he was, mounted a suicide defense, which was, of course, unsuccessful in preventing his defeat. Regrettably, many of the women and children perished during the liberation. Baghdad was reduced to rubble. After the fact, there was some question about the initial evidence used to justify the attack, but the menace to Americans that was Saddam Hussein was eliminated. Such of his followers who were not killed were convicted in military courts.
The world was made a safer place. Although rumors arose that another terrorist bombed a US embassy exactly two years later (resulting in the deaths of men, women and children), no one could "prove" that the actions of the United States "caused" the subsequent act of terror. What was undebatable was that Saddam would never again threaten Americans. Americans would no longer have to fear a man such as him. And that was worth any price.
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