Third Party & Independents Archives

Now that we have finally caught Saddam can the actual war on terrorism begin?

Saddam is definitely a bad guy and I applaud his capture. It is the one positive thing to come out of a pre-emptive war that was launched on a pack of lies. We have successfully dealt with an evil regime that though evil, had been successfully neutralized by the first Bush administration and then by Clinton. Iraq had no longer posed a threat to anyone and the pictures of a ragged Saddam and the rat hole he was found in really underscores this point. This subject has been debated endlessly and as far as the war on terror goes Iraq was never significant. Now that we have Saddam one has to wonder if it is finally time to start a real war on terror.

To begin such a task I suggest we look for a country that fits the following criteria:

  1. They must provide substantial financial support to terrorist groups like al Qaeda.
  2. They must provide personnel support to terrorist groups like al Qaeda.
  3. They must have an abysmal record on human rights.

Note: Item number three is really not critical when considering a war on terror. I just included it because it seemed to become the central argument for invading Iraq when evidence for the other items went lacking.

If you are thinking Saudi Arabia you win a gold star. It is amazing to me that we have made such a fuss over Iraq and have yet to do anything about the country that attacked us on 9/11. Saudi Arabia has provided millions of dollars to al Qaeda under the guise that it is protection money to insure that Saudi Arabia itself is not attacked by al Qaeda. Gee, maybe we should have tried that. Seventeen of the terrorists that flew those planes on 9/11 were Saudis and not one was an Iraqi. Despite all this we invade Iraq while members of the Saudi royal family get rides in the pickup truck at the Crawford ranch. The Bush administration even went so far as to block out passages in a report on 9/11 that was critical of the role Saudi Arabia played in the affair. As an American citizen should I be concerned about this?

For an interesting article by Rich Lowry that underscores the lack of initiative by Saudi Arabia in dealing with the terrorist threats that they support check out the following link.

http://www.nationalreview.com/lowry/lowry200311121042.asp

The evidence on Saudi Arabia’s support of terrorism is extensive but to be complete we should also consider the issue of human rights. We treated Saddam like he was something unique in the world when we described the atrocities his regime committed against the Iraqi people. The truth of the matter is that guys like Saddam are more common than we want to admit. I did a little research into the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia and what I found was a tale of complete abuse by the Saudi government. Beatings, torture, forced confessions, lack of counsel, vague charges, amputations, and beheadings in the infamous “Chop Chop” square represent the normal routine. Condemned prisoners are often not even told of their fate until it is carried out. Their families are not notified until after. It is a deplorable situation. For additional information you can start with the following link. I must warn you that these things are more difficult to read when the government in question is considered a US ally as opposed to a boogey man like Saddam.

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/saudi/justice.html

The bottom line is that if we want to be serious about dealing with international terrorism then we need to be consistent in our approach. So far Bush only seems interested in pursuing terrorism in places that will financially benefit his corporate backers. It is policies like this that undermine the credibility of the effort and make it almost impossible to generate the international support required to succeed. I’m ready for the war on terrorism to begin and Saudi Arabia is a good starting point.

Posted by William Flynn at December 17, 2003 3:13 PM