Everything is big in Texas, including the penchant for conflict. The president has it. Maybe that is why he’s so determined to start a war with Iraq.Of course we’ve been down this road before but this time it feels more like a detour. The road to bin Laden is apparently blocked so the president has shifted his focus to Saddam Hussein. He said in his January State of the Union Address that Iraq was a part of “an axis of evil.” According to Bush, Hussein is developing weapons of mass destruction both nuclear and biochemical.There may be some truth in that, but why is war always the solution? His first response was to attack. For months, the president has been unsuccessfully trying to rally allies to support his attack on Iraq. His own Secretary of State, Colin Powell is in opposition along with other U.S. government officials. Sen. Carl Levin, Armed Services Committee chairman, said Congress must debate the issue. “Everyone shares the goal of trying to find a way to change the regime in Iraq,” said Levin, D-Mich, according to an article on Fox.com. But he said military leaders have privately expressed concern “that the administration has not looked at the price that has to be paid in terms of the military attack.” Other countries are not rushing to help either. Instead of rallying behind him, the United Nations urged Bush to present his arguments before the U.N. General Assembly. Bush sited the fact that Iraq has not allowed U.N. weapons inspectors into the country since 1998. If that was truly his concern, Bush would have been working on Iraq before now.It seems Iraq has become a scapegoat.The terrorists of Sept. 11 were of Saudi Arabian origin. But the United States wouldn’t dare go to war with Saudi Arabia because we’re too busy exploiting them for oil. In fact, the president had Saudi ambassador Prince Bandar come to his ranch in Texas last month to make sure he wasn’t offended by Bush’s threats to Iraq.Bush even apologized to Bandar for a statement made in a report read before the Pentagon’s advisory panel that said Saudis were involved at every level of the terror chain.”We don’t think a case has been made in terms of war against Iraq, and we don’t believe that people have thought through the consequences,” said Adel al-Jabeir, foreign policy adviser to Saudi Prince Abdullah to CNN. Iraq has agreed to allow weapons inspectors into the country, had the U.N. allowed Bush to start the attack, this would not have been accomplished. Imagine what else can be resolved when the United States behaves like the respectable world power that it is, instead of a cowardly bully.Bush needs to resort to more negotiations. Starting a war will only create another generation of terrorists who despise the United States. Bush should respect Iraq and try to resolve any issues non-violently. If he did then there would be no reason to worry about what weapons they had, because they would no longer desire to use them against the United States.
-Chaundra Perkins for the Editorial Board.