Apply Smart Sanctions and Remove Saddam

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Apply Smart Sanctions and Remove Saddam In light of our recent success in Afghanistan, the administration now has "Iraq on the radar screen," according to National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice. Hopefully, increased attention on Iraq will reveal that the economic sanctions aimed at bringing down Saddam Hussein hurt vital U.S. national interests and seriously undermine our legitimacy abroad-all while doing little to achieve their original purpose. In the Nov. 28 Time Magazine article "Weapons of Mass Distraction," Eric Brown condemns Saddam Hussein-not economic sanctions-for the suffering of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis. While Wang acknowledges that Osama bin Laden and Saddam have used these sanctions as an excuse for Iraqi poverty and as evidence that the U.S. is the "world's greatest terrorist and sponsor of terror," Wang rejects modifying the sanctions in their current form to avoid being influenced by such "pernicious propaganda." He argues that Western policymakers should instead worry about the "enormous threat" Saddam Hussein poses "to the sovereignty and stability of every country in the region." Regrettably, the current sanctions on Iraq have been ineffective. The starkest indication came on September 11. Strong evidence suggests Iraq supported terrorist activities related to the attacks on that infamous day, sanctions notwithstanding. Sanctions have also been ineffective in preventing Saddam's Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) programs. He has repeatedly obstructed U.N. weapons inspections with few consequences. Since the Shi'ite uprising at the end of the Gulf War in southern Iraq, there have been few domestic threats to Saddam's power. In fact, the tribal divisions and demographics of Iraq-Kur... ... middle of paper ... ...nt "smart sanctions" on Iraq to target Saddam and his military and WMD programs directly. This would involve unprecedented intellectual creativity on the part of policy makers, bureaucratic efficiency and coordination among parties, and, most of all, strong leadership on the part of the U.S. Second, we need to remove Saddam from power through external force. This was an option immediately after the Gulf War, and the international community missed their chance. However, in the aftermath of September 11, there exists another opportunity to form a coalition against the immoral Iraqi regime. There have been strong indications from ranking members of the Bush administration that this is their next preferred course of action. Such a move depends on the right mix of careful diplomacy and public relations, both of which would be well served by restructuring the sanctions.

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