”The (regime) possesses and produces chemical and biological weapons. It is seeking nuclear weapons. We know that the regime has produced thousands of tons of chemical agents, including mustard gas, sarin nerve gas, VX nerve gas.”
“Saddam Hussein is a man who is willing to gas his own people, willing to use weapons of mass destruction against Iraq citizens.”
The above quotes by then-President George W. Bush helped propel the United States into Iraq, the second major conflict in the now 12-year-long “War on Terror” that began after that tragic morning of Sept. 11, 2001.
The Bush Administration argued that Saddam Hussein possessed chemical weapons and had used chemical weapons. It was enough to convince a majority of members in the U.S. House and Senate to approve the Iraq War Resolution in 2002.
After war began, the chemical weapons and other weapons of mass destruction never surfaced. That’s not surprising, considering the chemical attacks Saddam Hussein committed against his own people, the rebel Kurds in the north, occurred more than 10 years before this resolution was even imagined.
On Aug. 21, just weeks before the 12-year anniversary of 9-11, Bashar Assad, the president of Syria, used sarin gas on his own civilian population. Ample video footage shows men, women and children writhing on the ground after being attacked by the neurological agent.
President Obama and his administration have worked hard to convince Congress to approve some type of action – a strike against Assad’s regime for the use of chemical weapons in Syria’s civil war.
But this time, lawmakers on both sides of the aisle seem united against any military intervention.
I don’t know if the U.S. should get involved militarily or not, but I do know it is the utmost hypocrisy for the same body that supported an invasion of Iraq to not support a strike against Assad.
First, it was questionable whether Saddam Hussein still had chemical weapons at the time of the invasion. Ten years later that evidence has still not materialized.
Second, it’s strange Congress was so outraged over chemical weapons attacks by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s they would support going to war over it, but when it’s happening right now, and might happen again any day, they tap the brakes.
There is no question the people of the United States are sick and tired of war. Thousands of U.S. men and women have been killed in war since 9-11. Tens of thousands more suffer every day with injuries and psychological trauma.
- 4,448 Americans have died since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.
- More than 32,000 have been wounded according to the Department of Defense; unofficial estimates total more than 100,000.
- 2,079 U.S. service men and women have died fighting in Afghanistan since 9-11.
But how can the moral saber of the United States remain sharp and clear of purpose when it turns a blind eye to weapons of mass destruction being used in Syria today? How can the U.S. have any justification left for invading Iraq 10 years ago if they don’t attempt to bring Assad to justice for his war crimes?
Twelve years ago today, the world stood united with us after terrorists tragically altered the skyline of New York City, the face of the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania with the blood of innocents.
So why today, when a leader in the Middle East terrorizes his own people with sarin gas, do politicians in America suddenly want those victims to stand alone?
Brandon Evans is a reporter for the Messenger.