Like it or not, the United States is at war. For the second time in twelve years the United States is fighting the Iraqi regime led by megalomaniac Saddam Hussein. If the anti-war protesters have their way, you can be certain we will have to go back there for a third time. Human death is a terrible thing. No one wants war. However, when diplomacy fails as blatantly as is did in Iraq, other courses of action must be taken.

In the 1960s, the United States fought against the threat of communism and the subsequent ‘domino effect,’ and the public rightly revolted. In an effort to either rekindle the zeal of their parents or relive past experiences and protest something, people have galvanized behind the war in Iraq. However, the cause, this time around is not justified. Hussein and his regime pose a clear and present danger to the United States. On many occasions he has stated his desire to acquire nuclear weapons and his willingness to use them. He is a leader who has an eye on history. He longs for his name to be written down in Arab history books next to the likes of their greatest heros -people like Nebuchadnezzar, who forced the Jews into Babylonian captivity and Saladin, who fought the Christian crusaders and retook Jerusalem.

Repeatedly Hussein has said he wants to fulfill the promise of Egypt’s great nationalist leader Abdul Gamel-Nasser and restore Arab unity and the greater Arab nation to its rightful place in the world, and use any means necessary to accomplish this.

Thousands take to the street to protest war on such a man. In San Francisco last week, protesters in front of television cameras burned the American flag. How does this make the United States look to the international community including Iraq? Weak and splintered. If protesters wanted a symbolic gesture they should wash the flag, not burn it. Hussein is convinced, much as he was over a decade ago, that the United States can not handle a bloody war and that the Western populace will demand a cease fire. Protesting emboldens him into thinking the Americans can be made to fold.

The civilian casualties the neo-hippies are claiming have been perpetrated by the Iraqi regime. The Pentagon claims Hussein had his tailors create 15,000 American and British uniforms so that disguised Iraqi troops could terrorize and slaughter Iraqi citizens, allowing Hussein to blame coalition forces. This is someone the protesters want to keep in power?

This is certainly not the first time American streets have been filled with protesters calling for uninvolvement. During World War II millions were screaming and carrying signs urging the United States not to get involved in a war on another continent. Fortunately, we had a president with enough fortitude and foresight to see that military action was the only course of action available to bring an end to another megalomaniac’s regime.

There is an old proverb whose moral is “complaining never got anything accomplished.” The protesters are doing nothing more than complaining. I ask, if you are so anti-war then what is your solution?

Should we pull our forces out and let Hussein continue to murder and oppress his own people and accumulate more weapons of mass destruction? Should we wait for him to launch a chemical or biological attack on U.S. soil?

To quote our president, “We will meet that threat now, with our Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines, so that we do not have to meet it later with armies of firefighters and police and doctors on the streets of our cities.”

Rettinger is a senior and can be reached at

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