Dayton is wrong on Iraq

Sen. Mark Dayton, D-Minn., epitomizes the hypocritical stance of the leftist faction of the Democratic Party. His column, “Congress would be wise to go slow on Iraq,” (Oct. 3) presents a biased interpretation of history. While espousing the need for congressional authorization, Dayton claims the United States has never in its history used pre-emptive force. The junior senator is mistaken.

In August 1998, former President Bill Clinton unilaterally attacked Afghanistan without congressional approval. He pre-emptively bombed Sudan without congressional approval and without informing the full Joint Chiefs of Staff. In March 1999, Clinton bombed Yugoslavia without obtaining a precious U.N. mandate. Now with a Republican in the White House, a U.N. resolution has suddenly become crucial. Here’s a news flash for those who don’t already know: The United Nations has no power. If it did, then it would be able to enforce its own resolutions.

The United Nations plays an important role in world affairs, but the man in the Oval Office wears the pants when U.S. national security is at stake. Clinton, the American president who often unzipped his pants in the Oval Office, recently voiced support for Iraqi disarmament. This is a noble goal, but disarmament and regime change are inseparable; we will never procure one without the other. “Violence solves nothing” makes good parental policy when spoken to children. “Violence solves nothing” makes bad foreign policy when spoken to ruthless dictators. Saddam Hussein has ignored U.N. resolutions for 11 years, while simultaneously reconstructing his destructive capabilities.

On Oct. 22, 2001, CNN conducted a chat room interview with Dr. Khidhir Hamza, the former Iraqi nuclear physicist who was forced to spend more than 20 years building Hussein’s nuclear weapons program. In the interview, Hamza said, “Saddam has a whole range of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, biological and chemical. The nuclear program is his primary weapon Ö according to German intelligence estimates, we expect him to have three nuclear weapons by 2005.”

On Sept. 24, British Prime Minister Tony Blair published a 50-page dossier that estimates Hussein could launch chemical warheads within 45 minutes and could acquire a nuclear weapon in one to five years.

Dayton counters this by arguing “that threat does not appear to exist today or within the next few months.” This is an incomplete position. If we don’t act pre-emptively now, then when? Should we wait until our generation inherits a world where madmen posses nuclear arsenals? Should we wait for another empty U.N. resolution? Active citizens must ask these questions. Anti-Hussein propaganda circulating college campuses will not provide the answers. Lefty-liberal leaders will not provide the answers. The leftist faction of the Democratic Party continues to feed the public old fears, stale politics and leftover rhetoric from the 1960s. On Election Day, American voters everywhere should clean out the fridge.

Chris Routhe, junior, applied economics