Editor, Daily Nexus,

Henry Sarria states in “Center of the Middle: Middle East Politics and Hussein Focus on Israel” (Daily Nexus, Feb. 21) that Saddam has an “ultimate goal, which is to eliminate the state of Israel from the Middle East.” But this is not the whole truth.

Eradicating Israel is an intermediate step for him on his path to dominate the Middle East. He is a secularist, and he couldn’t care less if Israel were a Jewish state, Christian state or even Muslim state. He is a power-hungry dictator first and a Muslim second. He sees Israel not as the final step toward ridding the Arab world of Jews but as the biggest obstacle toward driving the West from the Middle East, which could then untie his hands to take out all the other Arab nations one by one.

If Hussein cared most about eliminating Israel, his support would be much more spread throughout the Arab states named in the Sarria article. How else could one justify the infighting in Iraq and the power struggles between Iraq and both Iran and Kuwait? Hussein barely has control outside of Baghdad and has little more than business ties with the radical Muslim extremists who have bombed Israel and the U.S.

Only when Saddam controls the Arab world can he control the oil. Oil gives him all the power and money he desires. This is the true dictator, one who is jealous of the West and all the riches we have and the lifestyle we lead. The Arab-Israeli conflict only concerns him insofar as he fears the ties Israel has with the U.S. and how it stands in his way to control all the Middle East’s oil exports.