There are numerous debates concerning the commitment of U.S. military forces to compel Saddam Hussein to comply with the demands of U.N. weapons inspectors. Our president has marshaled his forces to try to persuade the American people that his desire to punish Iraq for noncompliance with U.N. resolutions is justified and will have a lasting consequence.

The president has not presented a convincing argument that it is necessary to commit American blood and treasure in this endeavor. Albeit weapons of mass destruction are indeed horrible and should be eliminated, Saddam has not shown to either his Arab neighbors or the rest of the world that he has any intention of using such weapons outside his borders.What is the strategic rationale for committing American blood and treasure? Is America or our way of life at risk? If the effort is to slow or retard the manufacture of chemical and/or biological weapons, how is any military action taken going to be of any true consequence? Do we commit our military forces to conduct repeated air strikes against suspected targets in Iraq every six months? Clinton has publicly stated that we cannot destroy Iraq's ability to manufacture such weapons. Why should we commit an act of war by putting young Americans at risk if we cannot define the objective and know if we have achieved it?

Since U.N. inspectors are denied access to inspection sites, what is the U.N. prepared to do about it? Why is it America and not this august world body that sends enforcers to its resolutions? Additionally, the Arab nations do not seem inclined to recognize the threat the president portrays. They felt threatened during Desert Shield/Storm but do not appear to be so now. We should ask ourselves the simple question . . . Why?

Michael Dunn

Brigham City