U.S. created a mess by removing Saddam

Americans find themselves in an odd place in history. Our government seems feckless as mayhem, murder and unspeakable atrocities abound with seeming impunity in the Middle East. We witnessed, once again, the beheading of an innocent reporter. Christians are being slaughtered just for being Christians. And millions of people are being driven from their homelands as the raging sectarian wars continue.

So we must ask ourselves if removing Saddam Hussein from power was a good idea, and if siding against Bashar al-Assad in Syria’s civil war is another step in the wrong direction. The “devil you know” axiom comes to mind.

Yes, Saddam massacred scores of thousands of his own people, and was a threat in the region. Assad used lethal gas to annihilate his enemies, women and children. How could America ever effect comity with these bad actors?

But for all of their faults, these two tyrants were not a threat to America. There was no talk of imminent danger to the homeland from them. Now, that is all we hear.

Thousands of Americans lost their lives or limbs fighting for freedom. But for what purpose? Now, bloodthirsty savages commit heinous crimes against humanity, and no one seems to be able to contain them – like Saddam did in Iraq and Assad did in Syria. Our involvement in one country’s affairs and non-involvement in the other seems to have released the brake and the entire region is on the road to perdition. All the pots are boiling. How do we lower the heat?

Americans have endured two major wars and priceless treasure has been squandered. Does the president who promised to get us out of the wars now set a course that surely will lead to more Americans losing their lives? And if he doesn’t do just that, and strike a blow for freedom in the world, what is in store for America as the zealots grow stronger and bolder?

William E. Leggiero Jr.