Letter: People of Iraq consider us 'even'
I read Ms. Svendsen's letter on the Iraq War, and noted her feelings on this important issue. I am a Prescott native who was recalled from retirement to serve there in Baghdad during the Surge Campaign and again in the Shi'a heartland of south-central Iraq in the advisory New Dawn campaign in the war's last year. This letter is my effort to clarify, support or refute some points Ms. Svendsen raised.
The globally emerging idea to remove Saddam Hussein did not have the absolute acceptance that the international mandate of Operation Desert Storm did a decade before. Even so, by late 2002 there was growing international as well as bipartisan concern that there existed in the world a national leader who defied the U.N. and Western nations concerning the status of his WMD programs. What I discovered was that Saddam had not quite completely cancelled these programs, but that they had lapsed anyway, most likely due to lack of funding and years of U.N. pressure. Some chemical munitions remained, but we concluded his Army had missed destroying the remnants we
Saddam's two sons, Qusay and Uday, who died in combat, were dangerous men who likely would have further destabilized the region had they come to power after their father. They had conducted systemic rapes of young Baghdad women that their secret police chose for them. They remind me of the issues now emerging in North Korea.
I asked Iraqi political and military leaders their opinions, and they agreed overall that Iraq's people consider us all roughly "even." The Coalition fixed utilities and other things that Saddam had left unfinished or broken, but the war led to much destruction and the unleashing of grievances, which is still not resolved. Perhaps history will be the final judge of the Iraq War.
Dr. David Alegre
Lt. Col., U.S. Army (Retired)