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U.S. hopes to help Iraq by getting rid of Saddam

Upon reading the guest column “Iraq a threat? We should be skeptical” by Larry McGrath (Youth Page, Sept. 16), I was shocked by the twisting of facts. His statement that proposing a war on Iraq is troublesome may be true, but it would be even more troublesome to submit to Saddam Hussein as a world power 20 years from now. Saddam would be someone ready to strike anyone who stands in his way, or doesn’t believe what he believes.

And then McGrath speaks about the “atrocities” that the U.S. has inflicted on the Iraqi people since the Gulf War. Atrocities? Maybe atrocities inflicted by Saddam Hussein. And then he asks us to “(c)onsider the sanctions imposed upon Iraq following the Gulf War in 1991, which have left the country devastated. After only four years of the destruction of infrastructure, embargos on medicine and food imports, and widespread malnutrition, 567,000 children had already died.”

Did Mr. McGrath miss the fact that the U.S. has been sending food and medicine to Iraq since the Gulf War? I guess so. Of course, the Iraqi people haven’t been receiving it. Why? Saddam Hussein has been keeping it from them, in an effort to keep them weak and obedient to his wishes. Why did so many people die? When the Iraqi people rebelled, Hussein sent his troops, who slaughtered every man, woman and child because they had dared to defy him. Mr. McGrath must have missed the stories of the people who were fleeing Iraq, and who were cruelly slaughtered before they reached the border. I don’t see the U.S. in this historic truth. The Iraqi people want Saddam OUT. They proved that when they rebelled. I agree, however, that we encouraged them to rebel, and we should have come to their aid.



Then McGrath wonders why we attacked Iraq then, but we ignored invasions of other countries: “Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. showed little concern when other countries were invaded: Iran by Iraq, East Timor by Indonesia – in fact, little happened when Iraq killed Kurds in ’88.” Why? Does he really not know? Iraq was getting too powerful when they took a country like Kuwait. Kuwait was very rich in oil, and Iraq would become too powerful. We simply had to attack. We were doing what we had to do.

In his next paragraph, McGrath writes, “Even if Iraq threatens us with ‘nuclear blackmail,’ as Dick Cheney says it will, by the same token I’d hope America would never succumb to the demands of some bigger nation. So why should we ever expect Iraq, which was once technologically advanced and near the top of the Middle East, to do the same? We fought a revolution when we were in such a predicament. Iraq, on the other hand, has yet to indulge in such a backlash.”




I can make more than one point. First of all, America is neither starving its citizens, nor is it killing them for no more reason than leaving the country. And the U.S. allows trials. So, we should hardly be compared to Iraq. Also, he asks why we expect Saddam to submit. We don’t. But what would Mr. McGrath say if we attacked without even giving him a chance? And also, when he states that the Americans fought a revolution and the Iraqi people haven’t ever “indulged” in such a “backlash,” is he suggesting that we should never have fought the revolution? I hope not.

And then, in his last paragraph, he writes: “Is Saddam a threat? Sure. Is his record on terror comparable to the terror committed against him (or rather, the Iraqi people)? That’s questionable.” Well, as I’ve already pointed out, Saddam was the one who committed the terror against the Iraqi people. We tried to help them.

I feel strongly about this subject. I believe Saddam should be removed from Iraq, and I also believe the Iraqi people would agree. Saddam is who the U.S. is going after, not the Iraqi people. I think we should have ousted Saddam 10 years ago.

Elisha Soch, 12, is home-schooled and lives near Scotts Flat Lake. Write her in care of Youth Page, The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945, or at


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