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Right Aim for the Wrong Reasons - ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive
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Allegedly, the son of a Libyan Sheikh who was arrested by the Pakistan security services misled the US government and told his interrogators a strategic relationship existed between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein, warning that his colleagues were being trained by the Iraqis in the use of lethal and chemical weapons.

It was also claimed the arrest was a significant coup in the war against terror now in its fourth year and a catalyst for the Iraq war.

As for the war and its administration, it is alleged that Ahmed Chalabi, the fugitive banker, acted as a strategic guide on Iraq . His ideas caused a number of problems for the US administration, least of all when he advised the Iraqi army be dissolved, thereby creating a force of over 300,000 disgruntled ex-fighters and 5 million very upset dependents.

The above two accounts are currently being debated in an attempt to determine whether invading Iraq was right or wrong. Despite all the new discoveries, the evidence still point out an error of judgment. The story on uranium in Niger which was allegedly sold to Saddam was one of the loose proofs the war was based on.

The decision to go to war against Iraq was taken because Saddam was head of a rogue regime which refused to change its ways and, therefore, needed to be destroyed. Iraq under Saddam Hussein was not a peaceful country like Morocco or Bahrain ; it was a much feared and maligned dictatorship whose leader committed many crimes and hid the evidence implicating him.

Whatever the upcoming days will reveal, no one will be shedding any tears for the departure of Saddam. After a decade in which he did not change his policies, it was abundantly clear that the Iraqi dictator had to be removed as the war against him stopped in 1992 but was not completed.

Regardless of the debate on the reasons to go to war, the truth remains that level of evil and violence of Saddam”s regime was unmatched by other regimes in that area. He might have been the victim of lies concerning illegal weapons or his alleged ties with al Qaeda but his government was not innocent; it spared no one from its wrath, except the few that collaborated with it and received oil payouts.

Even when Iraq was under economic sanctions and military pressure, Saddam did not stop threatening his neighbors or degrading his citizens. Those who say that evidence against the former dictator is not sufficient should consider the sizeable proof accumulated by the United Nations regarding his oppressive policies. Thousands of pages explain how oil revenues were wasted on bribes in order to defeat the economic embargo to shore up political support and acquire forbidden items instead of buying milk for the children of Iraq who suffered greatly as a result.

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Abdulrahman Al-Rashed is the former general manager of Al-Arabiya television. He is also the former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat, and the leading Arabic weekly magazine Al-Majalla. He is also a senior columnist in the daily newspapers Al-Madina and Al-Bilad. He has a US post-graduate degree in mass communications, and has been a guest on many TV current affairs programs. He is currently based in Dubai.

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