The United States came close to getting rid of Saddam once before. The Gulf War was a strong effort to end his regime. Unfortunately, the job was not finished. Charles W. Freeman Jr., President of the Middle East Policy Council, argues, ˘The failure to translate a stunning military defeat of SaddamĂs forces in Kuwait in 1991 into a political humiliation for him is what has left him in power÷ (Laipson 1). In the time since then, Saddam has grown more powerful and more sure that he cannot be defeated. He has come to believe that no one else in the world has his same reckless lack of fear. He has come to believe that he can do as he pleases without answering to anyone.
Ending SaddamĂs regime may actually have some benefits in a region of the world that is already unstable. Patrick L. Clawson observes that a change in regime would be likely to make Israel more willing to make other compromises toward Middle East peace: ˘An Israel that is more relaxed about its eastern front is likely to be more prepared to make some concessions on the West Bank on security matters. This would also make it easier for Israel to consider what can be done about the Golan÷ (Laipson 7).
While backing him into a corner might make him more likely to use these weapons, allowing him to keep them and hide them makes him a continuing danger. Venter contends, ˘Iraq has tended to be devious throughout the inspection period÷ (51). Those who argue for time to inspectors to do their work overlook the fact that Saddam has been very good about keeping inspections from showing anything at all.
Rothschild also observes that declaring war on Saddam will weaken American connections with current allies and cause havoc in the Muslim world, especially among nations that already have shaky relationships with the United States. Yet, SaddamĂs connections are mostly with the terrorist fringe. This action may encourage more attempts to wage terror on Americans, but many of these groups and