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Once Hussein is gone, way is cleared for N. Korea

The question of “will we/won’t we,” in Iraq has finally been answered. We’re at war now and in the process of ending Saddam Hussein’s term as dictator of Iraq. Like it or not, and some people don’t, it has started.

I’m glad that Hussein is going to be removed. I disagree with the assessment that I’m pro-war. I would say I’m resigned to the necessity of military action in Iraq. Hussein has violated or ignored 17 U.N. resolutions since the end of the Gulf War. The original cease-fire, U.N. Resolution 687, has been violated. That alone is provocation for military action.

Hussein finally started to feign cooperation only after we started amassing troops in the region. Even then he would stall. The only thing he would respond to was the threat of being removed. It is more than just a threat; it is inevitable.

Even if you’re against the war, you have to admit that Iraq will be better without Hussein in power. Believe it or not, it was Hussein’s actions that led to the sanctions that have killed so many. All those deaths are his fault. The sanctions were brought on by Hussein’s unwillingness to comply with U.N. resolutions. The antiwar jet set is fond of pointing out that the sanctions have led to the deaths of countless people, but they rarely place blame where it correctly lies, with Saddam Hussein.

Hussein’s regime uses brutal torture tactics against people who disagree with him. Those complaining about Bush being a dictator couldn’t imagine the things Hussein does. According to a British report, Hussein uses the following torture methods: eye gouging, piercing of hands with an electric drill, suspension from ceiling, electric shock, sexual abuse, acid baths and mock executions. In addition to those, he also employs a method called “falaqa,” where the victim is beaten on the soles of their feet with cable until they lose consciousness.

Some people are asking why we’re focusing on Hussein when there are plenty of other evil dictators around the world. Good question. He’s the only one with a large pile of U.N. resolutions lying at his feet. Just violating the Gulf War cease-fire is enough for military action. We should have probably gone into Iraq in late 1998 after inspectors were expelled. That was a pretty clear violation. All that happened to Hussein then was a few rounds of cruise missiles. It was a weak message and he ignored it.

We shouldn’t forget that Saddam Hussein is the criminal here. More than anyone else, he had the power to prevent war and end the sanctions that were starving his people. How did he respond? By embarking on a non-stop palace- building project since the end of the Gulf War.

According to the State Department, “Saddam fits out these monuments with the finest foreign materials — from golden plumbing to the finest European marble and crystal chandeliers — smuggled in despite the embargo that Baghdad propaganda falsely claims blocks the import of food and medicine.” Knowing this makes it harder to blame America for Iraqis dying under the sanctions. These are not the actions of a man concerned with his countrymen. These are the acts of a man who is out for himself and for whatever power he can exert.

I agree that war is a horrible thing. Nobody is happy about it. But Saddam Hussein is a brutal dictator and a dangerous man. Iraq and the world will be better off when he is finally removed from power.

I hope Kim Jong Il is paying attention.

Chris Ricketts is a junior majoring in