By Steve Holt, Opinion Editor
The booming sounds and faint flashes of light that came to television viewers at about 8:30 p.m. CST signaled the “opening stages” of the United States’ attempt to unseat and disarm Saddam Hussein in Iraq, President George W. Bush stated Wednesday night. It wasn’t, however, the beginning of the all-out war.
The early strikes had a specific goal-kill Saddam.
Make no mistake about it, Bush approved early attacks on what CIA Director George Tenet called the “target of opportunity.” More than 40 satellite-guided Tomahawk cruise missiles were shot from United States warships in the Red Sea and Persian Gulf at a specific bunker location where Saddam Hussein and other Iraqi leaders were believed to be.
In this small-scale strike, Bush and military officials attempted to end the struggle with Iraq in a way that wouldn’t compromise any American lives. For this, the president and his officials should be applauded.
The act should serve as a symbol of the intentions of the United States and its president. America looks not to decimate the country of Iraq or wage war against its soldiers or people, but to free those people from an evil dictator.
Within minutes, the early strikes to kill Saddam were over, and success was unknown. But with them, the name of the mission in Iraq changed-to Operation Iraqi Freedom.
God’s blessings to our armed forces, our president and the Iraqi people. Freedom for an oppressed people is near.