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Letter: Saddam must be ousted, sooner rather than later

War is a terrible thing; one that will, inevitably, both cause and sustain casualties. Sometimes, however, such a terrible course of action must be taken to prevent yet a worse one that would bring more problems. Saddam Hussein is a threat. He has launched missiles at Israel, invaded Kuwait and oppressed the Kurds, proving himself an aggressive and vicious leader.

We know of Saddam's malicious tendencies. We also know that he has biological weapons, because we helped him develop and use them against Iran. His latest offer of inspections is worth attempting, but what if he changes the offer, as he always has?

While the support of allies is important, that cannot be our primary concern. For example, if Europe were urging the United States to invade Mexico, the United States would be wrong to blindly follow that advice. We need to heed advice but realize that we must be independent. The war in Afghanistan was supported because it was reactive rather than preemptive, but that logic requires that Saddam kill thousands of Americans before we attack.

Unfortunately, we don't know exactly what a war would accomplish. We don't know what would replace Saddam, and we don't know exactly what he's capable of doing. We're often forced to make choices in times of uncertainty. Although the survival of the United States is not at stake, we are playing a high stakes game nonetheless. Winston Churchill explained that, "If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without bloodshed, if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly, you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you."

Saddam is not going to take over the United States. But there are people he is going to kill, and there are people he is going to oppress. At what point do we stop him? Must we wait for him to kill thousands of ours before we can act?

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