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A Different Opinion On Desert Storm This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   In January's issue of The 21st Century, I read with interest the opinions of Neel Shah and R. S. regarding the crisis in the Middle East. While both articles were well written, I disagree with many of the points that were made.

First, I completely support President Bush's decision. While I wish that a peaceful solution could have been worked out, I believe that this war is, unfortunately, necessary.

One of the drawbacks to being a superpower is that we have a responsibility to smaller, weaker countries. We don't "fancy ourselves as the world's peace-maker" as Randi put it; we don't really have a choice. How would we feel if we were citizens of Iraqi-occupied Kuwait, and America, the only real hope for liberation, said "It's your problem. We don't want to get involved?" Also, Saddam Hussein is not a hero, as Neel suggested he may be, and certainly not a hero in the tradition of Otto von Bismarck. I find it more appropriate to compare him to Adolph Hitler. Recall that Hitler first invaded Czechoslovakia, then Poland, proceeded to take over half of Europe, then attempted to destroy the rest. Instead of creating a peaceful alliance, he created a brutal dictatorship. I believe Hussein would most likely follow this course of action.

Also, it's not just the fact that Saddam took over Kuwait, it's the way he took it over. His forces have waged a campaign of terror and destruction. According to Amnesty International and eyewitness accounts, homes and businesses were being destroyed, people were being tortured, children were being abused and sometimes their families were forced to watch. Are we supposed to just sit back and let this happen?

I also have a hard time agreeing with Randi's argument that the soldiers didn't know what they were getting into when they joined the armed forces. True, the brochures are colorful, and the benefit of earning college money is attractive. However, I cannot believe that the recruits are so foolish as to think that they would always be flying around in hot air balloons and having a good time with their buddies. All of them know and are informed of the risk that they may someday die in a war. That understanding is part of being a soldier.

Hopefully the war will end quickly and our troops will be home soon. As for all you anti-war protesters out there, Saddam Hussein has you right where he wants you - angry and fearful. If all the anti-war energy was converted into support for America and our troops, it might make their job easier and Saddam's job a lot harder. n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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