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Students debate justification for Persian Gulf War (2)

I think Avik S. Roy '94 misses a very important point about the Persian Gulf crisis ["Threat of Persian Gulf war sparks student debate," Jan. 16]. The belief that there was little choice but to use force to resolve this situation seems misguided.

There has always been another option. If the energy, time and money that was used to put half a million troops in the Middle East had instead been channeled into a concentrated effort, truly international in nature, to make sanctions effective, destabilizing the government of Saddam Hussein, ousting him, and helping to put a more stable government in its place, we may have been able to avert the very many ugly consequences this war will have.

Sanctions were working, although we only gave them a few months. Countries that backed out of such an international coalition could have been dealt with by having similar sanctions imposed on them, thus helping to prevent the scenario that such a coalition would eventually fall apart.

It is true that relief for the Kuwaiti people would not be immediate, but it is not clear that the use of force will result in a lasting peace for this region either.

We have not been consistent in the past in our efforts to deter aggression and end human rights violations around the world. The very administration that has taken us into war against Saddam Hussein worked rather hard in the past to shield him and his record from possible investigation by members of our Congress.

Nevertheless, this does not mean that this aggression should have gone unpunished. It is sad to think, however, that although we have had the option throughout this crisis to really make sanctions work, we have been bullied by the president into believing that we can only bring peace to this region by first bringing more war.

Milan Singh G->