To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in response to Kevin Gurney’s Jan. 30 article “Let’s go behind the lies.” I wish to address several things in the article that I thought needed to be clarified.
First, the difference between Iraq and North Korea should be obvious. North Korea did not prosecute a war on its neighbor, lose to the U.N. coalition and then refuse to abide by the peace agreement that it agreed to.
Yes, North Korea has weapons of mass destruction; yes a brutal dictator runs the country. But wisely, as in Iraq, diplomacy will be tried first before resorting to war.
Secondly, I am confused about your use of this passage in your article “Bush strategy has little to do with concern over … human rights concerns (we knew about those when we supported Saddam’s invasion of Iran in 1980).” It seems that you are using mistakes made in the past to justify inaction now. You seem to be saying that because we ignored these human rights abuses in the past, that now in 2003, it is OK to keep ignoring them?
Also, I wish to ask you a question that I have struggled with myself. When diplomacy fails, what other options are there? I don’t want to go to war with anybody, but after 12 years of diplomacy failing to make Iraq abide by the peace treaty they signed, what other options are there? Do we just simply keep on trying to verbally force Iraq to change its ways, impose more useless economic sanctions that only hurt the people of Iraq, or do we absolve Iraq of its obligations and make the whole idea of a United Nations completely useless? I don’t know the answer to this question, but it is important to consider it in any argument about not going to war against Iraq.
Lastly, as stated in your article, oil is the “vital interest” that the Bush administration speaks of, but the fact that interest exists does not mean that we should shirk our duties as a member of the United Nations or that we should ignore the human rights abuses and the fact that up till now diplomacy has failed in Iraq.
Senior Natural Resource Management.