White House List: Top 10 Reasons to Disarm Iraq, Depose Saddam
1. Iraq's government openly praised the September 11th attacks on America
In the aftermath of the attacks on America that killed thousands of innocents from 80 countries, Saddam Hussein said, "America is reaping the thorns planted by its rulers in the world."
2. Iraq shelters and supports terrorist organizations
Iraq shelters and supports terrorist organizations that direct violence against Iran, Israel, and Western governments. Al Qaeda terrorists escaped from Afghanistan and are known to be in Iraq. In 1993, Iraq attempted to assassinate the Emir of Kuwait and a former U.S. President.
3. Saddam Hussein has an appetite for nuclear weapons
In 1995, after four years of deception, Iraq finally admitted it had a crash nuclear weapons program prior to the Gulf War. Were it not for that war, the regime in Iraq would likely have possessed a nuclear weapon no later than 1993. Iraq still employs capable nuclear scientists and technicians and retains physical infrastructure needed to build a nuclear weapon. Iraq has made several attempts to buy high-strength aluminum tubes used to enrich uranium for a nuclear weapon.
4. Saddam likely possesses biological and chemical weapons
United Nations' inspections revealed that Iraq likely maintains stockpiles of VX, mustard and other chemical agents, and that the regime is rebuilding and expanding facilities capable of producing chemical weapons. On at least 10 occasions, Saddam Hussein's military forces have attacked Iranian and Kurdish targets with combinations of mustard gas and nerve agents through the use of aerial bombs, 122-millimeter rockets, and conventional artillery shells. Iraq has admitted to producing tens of thousands of liters of anthrax and other deadly biological agents for use with Scud warheads, aerial bombs, and aircraft spray tanks. U.N. inspectors believe Iraq has produced two to four times the amount of biological agents it declared, and has failed to account for more than three metric tons of material that could be used to produce biological weapons. Iraq is expanding and improving facilities that were used for the production of biological weapons.
5. Saddam's repression of the Iraqi people
In the late 1980's Saddam Hussein launched a large-scale chemical weapons attack against Iraq's Kurdish population killing thousands. Former UN Human Rights Special Rapporteur Max Van der Stoel's report in April 1998 stated that Iraq had executed at least 1,500 people during the previous year for political reasons. Tens of thousands of political opponents and ordinary citizens have been subjected to arbitrary arrest and imprisonment, summary execution, and torture by beating and burning, electric shock, starvation, mutilation, and rape. Wives are tortured in front of their husbands, children in the presence of their parents. Saddam blames the suffering of Iraq's people on the U.N., even as he uses his oil wealth to build lavish palaces for himself, and buy arms for his country.
6. Saddam's Abuse of Children
Child labor persists and there are instances of forced labor. There are widespread reports that food and medicine that could have been made available to the general public, including children, have been stockpiled in warehouses or diverted for the personal use of some government officials. Saddam has held military training camps for children between 10 and 15 years of age.
7. Violence against women
Human rights organizations and opposition groups received reports of women who suffered from severe psychological trauma after being raped by Iraqi personnel while in custody. Amnesty International reported that, in October 2000, the Iraqi Government executed dozens of women accused of prostitution.
8. Iraq has not returned prisoners
In 1991, the U.N. Security Council demanded that Iraq return all prisoners from Kuwait and other lands. Iraq's regime agreed. It broke its promise. Last year the Secretary General's high-level coordinator for this issue reported that Kuwait, Saudi, Indian, Syrian, Lebanese, Iranian, Egyptian, Bahraini, and Omani nationals remain unaccounted for -- more than 600 people. One American pilot is among them.
9. Saddam possesses prohibited missiles
Iraq possesses a force of Scud-type missiles with ranges beyond the 150 kilometers permitted by the U.N. Work at testing and production facilities shows that Iraq is building more long-range missiles that it can use to inflict mass death throughout the region.
10. Weapons inspectors have been shut out of Iraq for four years
It's been almost four years since the last U.N. inspectors set foot in Iraq, four years for the Iraqi regime to plan, build, and test behind the cloak of secrecy. The first time we may be completely certain Saddam Hussein has a nuclear weapon is when, God forbids, he uses one.