Among the most laughable excuses for invading Iraq was the one that said that the U.S. government invaded the country to help free the Iraqi people from Saddam Hussein’s tyranny. That was the big excuse that was trotted out after the WMD excuse proved to be unfounded.
For one thing, there was never any concern for the well-being of the Iraqi people prior to the invasion. Recall, for example, the 11 years of brutal sanctions that preceded the invasion. Year after year, the Iraqi people were suffering economic devastation from the sanctions. Even worse, Iraqi children were dying by the thousands every year. In fact, the mindset of U.S. officials was captured perfectly by U.S. Ambassador the United Nations Madeleine Albright, who declared that the deaths of half-a-million Iraqi children from the sanctions was “worth it.” That was in 1996, and there wasn’t a peep of protest from her boss, President Clinton, or any other U.S. official. That’s undoubtedly because they agreed with her. The sanctions lasted another seven years.
How is it possible for U.S. officials to have invaded Iraq out of love for the Iraqi people when they were so willing to sacrifice Iraqi children for regime change over a period of 11 years? After all, once a year or two went by without Saddam Hussein’s resignation or ouster from power, wouldn’t a legitimate concern for the Iraqi people be manifested by a lifting of sanctions that were killing their children? Why continue the sanctions for some 12 years?
Jacob G. Hornberger
The Future of Freedom Foundation