The Answer Guy Online

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Monday, September 23, 2002


Ten Reasons Why This New Iraq War Is A Terrible Idea:
1. Tens or hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqi people will die without any obvious benefit.
2. Thousands of American servicemen and women will also die, also without any obvious benefit.
3. Billions of dollars will be wasted, which would be better spent on clothing, housing, and feeding this nation's people, not to mention fighting actual terrorism.
4. This war with Iraq will inspire and encourage more terrorist acts directed at the United States, Israel, and the West in general, than it will deter, preempt, or thwart.
5. In an age where international cooperation will become ever more important in matters military, economic, and sociocultural, this would be yet another middle finger aimed at the rest of the world by this administration.
6. Any Iraqi leader, while it is hard to imagine a worse one than Saddam Hussein, would pursue obtaining weapons of mass destruction. Two main regional adversaries are pursuing nuclear weapons - Israel is likely an undeclared nuclear state, and Iran is known to be working on a nuclear weapons program. Not to mention a highly unstable Pakistan being a declared nuclear power.
7. Iraq will likely try to draw Israel into the war.A war that involves Israel is a terrible idea in the current climate there. It will lead to more brutal crackdowns on Palestinians, which will breed ever more desparate suicide bombings.
8. Even if Iraq's attacks on Israel don't precipitate a "clash of civilizations," ethnic tensions in Iraq spilling over into Turkey and Iran - and creating refugee crises in those and other Middle East states - should give the U.S. much more pause than it presently does.
9. Installing a compliant client state in Iraq would as a matter of a necessity be a militaristic despot. (A theocratic state would not work given the Sunni-Shi'a split, a monarchy is not likely workable in such a multiethnic state.) Is there any reason to believe either this despot could be toppled or that he could become essentially another Saddam?
10. A U.S. economy already in recession should not be inviting a shock in oil prices for the questionable benefits of "regime change" in Iraq. And that's before you consider what oil shocks would do to other petroleum consumer states and trading partners in Europe and Asia.

And all of this assumes the war with Iraq is more cakewalk than quagmire, and that Saddam falls in about a month or less.

And yet few in public are speaking out against this war with Iraq that now seems all but inevitable. I'm just bewildered. The politicians, I suppose, are afraid of ending up like many of those who opposed Desert Storm. Democrats in particular are afraid of being painted as the anti-war party. Which reminds me that most of America's worst foreign policy blunders came when would-be opponents were afraid of speaking up for fear of being soft on communism or soft on terrorism or soft on something.

Blind rage is something ascribed to radical Islamist terrorist cells. But there's more than a little of it in America's latest Middle East policy declarations. It is not only unbecoming of a bedrock member of the world community; it is ultimately unproductive.


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