1998: Remember when President Clinton bombed Iraq to destroy chemical weapons?
At the time of the air strikes, Iraq was continuing its attempts to build weapons of mass destruction including nuclear, chemical and biological agents. Fearful of Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein’s belligerence, and his penchant for using those weapons against his own people, the U.N. sent in weapons inspectors in 1997. After repeatedly refusing the inspectors access to certain sites, Clinton resorted to air strikes to compel Hussein to cooperate.
Back then, I supported President Clinton’s decision. In fact, his mistake was to stop after 4 days. Iraq was in violation of UN resolutions, the cease fire that ended the First Gulf War of 1991 and shooting at US and UK planes.
President Clinton’s decision was made around the time of the US House vote on impeachment. Nevertheless, I did not see the connection between the vote and the bombing. It was important to deliver a message to Saddam Hussein that the US patience was running out.
It’s interesting to go back and watch the newsreels from that day.
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