President Obama now has diplomatic opportunity
President Obama just asked Congress to postpone debating a military response to Syria’s war crime violations pending diplomatic solution. Why does he have this option?
In 1988, Saddam Hussein gassed civilian natives. Ninety-eight planeloads of deadly chemicals were sprayed on the Kurds of northern Iraq. More than 10,000 were immediately killed. Population ratios suggest that above 3,000 of these dead were children.
The truly horrific nature of this attack was belatedly discovered. In l998, the United Nations was alerted to unexpected consequences. Dr. Christine Gosden was assigned to investigate. Her report, delivered in 2000, revealed that during the 12 years post attack there were zero normal pregnancies and zero normal children born in the gassed region. This report asserts that the reproductive capacity of an entire culture had been destroyed.
President Bush shortly thereafter expressed concern similar to that professed by Obama. He petitioned Congress to approve U.S. participation in a military coalition acting to overcome the Hussein regime and destroy these chemical weapons.
The weapons were not found, but Georges Sada, commander of the Iraqi Air Force, said that the U.N. was duped into transporting these weapons into Syria (deja vu?) as part of a humanitarian relief operation. An Iraqi civilian jury convicted Hussein of crimes against humanity.
Bush rather quietly steered a steady course through an unappetizing war and the minefield of inflamed rhetoric consequently generated. The United States remained united, fully supporting our military. Extraordinary personnel persevered through tough conditions. Many of our wounded, including several who suffered loss of limbs returned to the war zone.
Bashar Assad knows that we have been proofed. So does Obama. His opportunity to now showcase diplomacy exists because Bush bequeathed an advantage: We have the will to succeed.
John D. Williams
6339 Old Walland Highway
Walland, TN 37886