It is of obvious consequence that the events on 9/11 rendered the world a different place. Many of the actions the United States has taken, whether unilaterally or with international support, can be directly linked to the heinous attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Since that day, the U.S. has committed a great deal of effort to combating terrorism in the international arena – we attacked the core terrorist network in Afghanistan and removed a brutal dictatorship in Iraq. Our initial actions were not only necessary, but further involvement is essential to defend against further attacks.

Not only has our presence in the Middle East dismantled the hub of al-Qaeda’s power hierarchy, but the United States government has also brought down a man notorious for the systematic decimation of thousands of Iraqi citizens. To sit and protest our country’s involvement in foreign affairs is analogous to having protested the removal of Hitler at the height of World War II. For those of you who blindly disagree with me, I challenge you to garner some facts about the countless Kurds being used as guinea pigs for Saddam Hussein’s benign mustard gas experiments.

Anyone remotely familiar with basic Middle Eastern geography is well aware that nestled between Iraq and Afghanistan is a little country populated with enough fundamentalist religious zealots to make al-Qaeda look like a drop in the bucket of global threats. I am, of course, referring to Iran, and since I’m from that country I have deeper knowledge of Iranian politics than most Americans who rely primarily on third party reporting. To develop plausible scenarios of the actions Iran will take in the near future, one has to study the political history of the fundamentalist regime in Iran. If you are so inclined, our library provides a good amount of literature from the Iranian revolt of 1979 with excellent analysis of the political methodologies implemented thereafter. Iranian politicians are very cunning individuals – they have a knack for manipulating public opinion through intermediaries placed throughout their country and the nations they want to influence. One such example is their campaign to develop atomic power under the guise of alternative energy.

According to a July 2003 CNN column, weapons inspectors from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) found samples of enriched uranium when they conducted inspections of Iran’s nuclear facilities. For those of you not familiar with atomic weapons, enriched uranium is a key element for the development of weapons grade material needed to construct a nuclear bomb. If Iran was indeed interested in using atomic research for energy uses, it would not need to create any enriched uranium. It’s safe to assume that Iran has zero intention of using nuclear power for any purpose other than creating a crater of America’s closest ally in the Middle East – Israel.

Our position in the Middle East pertaining to Iran is of utmost importance to global security, as is our utilization of the Iraqi oil supply, which should impact the Saudi economy just enough to lessen our dependence on their oil supply and prevent Saudi Arabia from becoming an economic threat.

Now, you may disagree with my analysis of the situation all you want. You can call me a zealot, and a war monger – that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. But I would like to leave you with one simple question: Could the United States have had the presence it now does in the Middle East if the events of 9/11 had not occurred?

Sam Kamyans is a senior mathematics major.