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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Most Righteous War of All

The Soviet Politburo hoped that some day the Franco-German axis, initiated by French President Charles de Gaulle some 40 years ago, would break up NATO and deliver Western Europe into Soviet hands.

In the 1960s, the West did not disintegrate. Gaullist France itself became isolated -- neither Germany nor anyone else in Western Europe was ready to seriously undermine solidarity with the United States in the face of tens of thousands of Soviet tanks in Central Europe.

Today, with the old Soviet Union in ruins, France and Germany (supported by Belgium) are ready to undermine Western military cohesion to save the totalitarian dictatorship of Saddam Hussein and his Baath party from being overthrown.

Of course, today Russia is too weak to seriously exploit the new rift in the West. But many in Moscow are happy to see it happen: The dream of a "multipolar" world seems to be materializing. France, Germany, China, Russia, the Vatican -- i.e. all, or almost all, world centers of power with the exception of Washington are joining forces to prevent the U.S. war machine from rolling Hussein out of office.

It would seem strange that so diverse a collection of forces would unite to defend a bloody Nazi-style dictatorship in Iraq. But actually this de facto alliance has existed for decades.

In the 1930s, West European pacifists were the prime political force that supported appeasement of Adolf Hitler. In the 1940s, the Vatican wholeheartedly cooperated with the Nazis and after the demise of Hitler helped war criminals to escape justice. In turn, the Nazis used environmentalist and antiglobalist slogans to fight what they believed was the Jewish-dominated "world plutocracy."

I lived for almost 40 years under a totalitarian regime, and I know from first-hand experience what life without freedom means. Anti-war protesters in Western Europe and America do not know and could not care less.

Only by military means can millions of Iraqis be released from total servitude, and Hussein destroyed along with his Baath party that has ruled Iraq since 1958. If there ever existed such a thing as a "just war" then the coming U.S.-led invasion of Iraq could be the most righteous of them all.

In 1991, after a military victory and the liberation of Kuwait, allied forces stopped short of Baghdad. A ceasefire was signed that left Hussein in power.

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It's easy to envisage a similar scenario in 1944: After the liberation of France and Belgium, the war could have stopped at the borders of Hitler's Reich. A ceasefire could have been signed (the Germans were at the time actively trying to start negotiations to organize such a ceasefire). A UN inspection team could have been deployed to destroy Hitler's ballistic missiles and other weapons of mass destruction. Hitler and his party would have continued to rule in Berlin and would surely have played games with UN arms inspectors, using underground factories and so on.

Western pacifists, the Vatican and all those that today adamantly oppose the liberation of Iraq by force would surely have liked an outcome that would have left Hitler in power and saved many German lives and German cities. The Germans were in fact liberated against their own will -- the majority continued to support Hitler to the bloody end.

In April 1975, Hussein visited Moscow to ask for Soviet help to build a full reactor to make nuclear weapons. Although Russia agreed to supply Iraq with staggering amounts of conventional weapons, it balked at helping Baghdad go nuclear. In September 1975, Hussein went to Paris to meet politicians with far fewer scruples than Soviet Communists. The French prime minister at the time, Jacques Chirac, signed an agreement to sell Hussein a reactor and arms-grade uranium.

If Chirac and other French politicians had had their way, Hussein could have made tens of nuclear bombs by 1990. The war to liberate Kuwait would never have taken place or would have turned into an all-out nuclear confrontation between Iraq, Israel and the United States. The tragedy was avoided when in 1979 Israeli agents near Toulon destroyed two French-built reactors en route to Iraq. In 1981, the Israelis bombed to debris the French replacement reactor in Iraq before it could be made operational.

Maybe France and Germany are so loyally trying to save Hussein because they want to cover up their long-time cooperation in helping to build weapons of mass destruction? Is the treachery of the past feeding more treachery today?

Pavel Felgenhauer is an independent defense analyst.