Time is right to invade Iraq

(U-WIRE) NORMAN, Okla. – Since the Persian Gulf War in 1991, Iraq has been the staple of evil for many politicians.
Now that the United States wants to invade Iraq, key figures involved with the 1991 conflict say the timing is almost right.
Ken Levit, president of the University of Oklahoma-Tulsa and former counsel to CIA director George Tenet, said the problems that center on convincing other nations Iraq should be dealt with immediately are in the intelligence. He said the 1991 conflict had a threat that was less complex and more concrete.
“(Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein) had invaded Kuwait in 1991,” Levit said. “Now the threat surrounds the support of terrorism, the possession of weapons of mass destruction and the technology to proliferate the weapons of mass destruction.”
Because of the complexity and security of the intelligence, the case has not been presented to the public but has been made long ago to those with the proper security clearance.
Edward Perkins, former U.N. ambassador and executive director of the International Programs Center, said there are many issues from 1991 that are still around 12 years later. One of them is the resolution to restore the status quo of the area, a resolution he had a hand in forming.
“In a nutshell, Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait. The United States led a coalition to push him back to Iraq,” Perkins said. “It’s reasonable to assume (illegal weapons) are still there. He’s a menace to stability in the Middle East, and there’s no evidence that he’s complied with the resolution.”
OU President David L. Boren, former U.S. senator, was a key figure in the Senate Intelligence Committee during the 1991 crisis. When the U.S. Senate voted to support Bush Sr. in the attack on Iraq, he voted against it. Boren said he voted against the war because the goal was not clearly defined, and there was no effort to remove Hussein.
“I knew that if he remained in power, he would remain a threat to the Middle East,” Boren said. “I believed that we would have to go back into Iraq if we did not remove him.”
Boren said there needs to be international support to enter Iraq, or the United States will lose face among key allies that could keep stability in the Middle East.

February 11, 2003


The Miami Hurricane

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