- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 15, 2002

Debate is ongoing in the United States and world community regarding the U.S. decision of removing Iraq's Saddam Hussein, but there can be no question he represents a menace to the stability of the region, to world peace and to his own people.
Twice in the past he tried to develop nuclear weapon to dominate the Persian Gulf and intimidate Iraq's neighbors. Presently he is accumulating different kinds of WMD and determined to acquire nuclear weapon. He has violated 16 times the resolutions of the U.N. Security Council. He, after disintegration of Iranian armed forces, and the decimation of military officers of Iran by the revolutionary clerics, invaded Iran to become "lord paramount" of the Persian Gulf to control oil wealth and dominate the entire Middle East.
He used 101,000 chemical and biological shells against Iranian forces who were defending their country against invading Iraqi forces. An invasion that left 400,000 dead and 900,000 wounded. He gassed his own people and relocated more than 400,000 Kurds. Again he tried to dominate the Persian Gulf again with the invasion of Kuwait in 1990. And after defeat in this war by U.S. and coalition forces, he massacred Shi'ites of the South. If the U.S. did not move to oust Saddam from Kuwait, he would now be sitting on 65 percent of world energy with one of the world's biggest armies, equipped with nuclear weapons.
He has killed his ministers who dared criticize his policy.
Those who think Saddam will agree to full and unfettered United Nations inspections do not understand the psychodynamics of Saddam Hussein. He has been cheating and playing with U.N. and world community for years. He may be willing to make a tactical concession to save his skin but, if he agrees, he will not succumb to effective inspection regime, and inspection will never ensure the disarmament of Iraq. His real strategic goal is acquiring nuclear weapons with which to dominate the most important energy center of the world. Once Saddam has acquired a nuclear weapon, it will be too late to stop him from materializing his goals.
President George W Bush, in declaring the two despotic regimes of Baghdad and Tehran an "axis of evil" in the Middle East, made the right, courageous and necessary decision. The only way to remove those regimes from having access to weapons of mass destruction, especially nuclear weapons, is removing those regimes and paving the way for real reform and democracy.
People such as President Saddam Hussein and the Supreme leader of Iran Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, whose regimes and existence have been based on blood, will not change by negotiation and the influence of good people. Their dictatorial systems are founded on continuation not rapture. As Niccolo Machiavelli Put it in "Discourses": "for a licentious and mutinous people may easily be brought back to good conduct by the influence and persuasion of a good man, but an evil-minded prince is not amenable to such influence and therefore there is no other remedy against him but cold steel."
Apart from the good it would achieve for the Iraqi people, the removal of the truly evil regime of Saddam is of the utmost importance because:
It will contribute to the fall of despotic Iranian clerical regime that is the fountainhead of international terrorism.
It will immensely help to extirpate the roots of terrorism from the Middle East that has been the kernel of evil since 1979, with the coming of clerics to power and the promoting of international terrorism and jihad against "infidels."
It will contribute to peace and stability of the strategic region of the Middle East and the Central Asia.
And, finally, it facilitates real reform, democratic movement and freedom in the region.

Assad Homayoun is president of the Azadegan Foundation for Democratic change in Iran.

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