The war in Iraq actually served two purposes. One was the protection of our oil supply and the other the demise of a totally ruthless Saddam Hussein.
In his State of the Union address on Jan. 23, 1980, President Jimmy Carter, as a result of the Arab oil embargo in 1973 and 1974, set forth a major policy change on the Middle East that became known as the Carter Doctrine. The purpose was to protect vital interests of the United States in the Gulf region.
In 1990, Saddam Hussein sent troops to take over Kuwait's oil with the intent then of taking control of Saudi Arabian oil fields. President George H.W. Bush put the Carter Doctrine in action and chased the Iraqi forces back home. This action was basically about oil.
While the subsequent war in Iraq was also about oil, it was also about terrorism. The fact that "weapons of mass destruction" were never confirmed in Iraq during that war does not take away from the fact that he did earlier use a terrible weapon, mustard gas, to kill many thousands of Kurds in Northern Iraq. From 1986 to 1989, he slaughtered approximately 182,000 Kurds.
Through starvation or forced migration he also eliminated over 200,000 "Marsh" Arabs from Southeastern Iraq's marsh area. After Desert Storm, the U.S. encouraged Kurds and Shiites to rebel against Saddam. Once they did, we failed to support them and he again slaughtered thousands. It is estimated he may have killed a total of 800,000 of his own countrymen.
The subsequent war in Iraq resulted in the capture and death of Saddam Hussein. Had that not been done, there is no way of knowing how many more thousands of people he may have slaughtered. Mr. Lowe of Vienna in his recent letter stated that we lost about 4,000 troops in that war, a terrible price to pay, especially to people who lost family members or friends. I, too, lost a family member and two friends to the war; however, I believe a life is a life whether it be an American, a Kurd, a Shiite, or a Sunni.
There are many of us who believe the Iraq war served the Middle East and all of us well by ridding the world of Saddam Hussein.