Reasons for Peace...
At the risk of becoming one of those that Mike Sanders terms 'part of the terrorism value chain"
here are my reasons against a war with Iraq.
I believe that like our court system where the onus is on the prosecution to present a beyond a reasonable doubt argument to support their opinion, the government has the burden to show why America needs to go to war with Iraq. It is not the job for peaceniks to provide reasons that we shouldn’t. Indeed if that were the case we would be spending our days supplying reasons to stay out of Sweden and Iceland and any other country that happened to catch our attention. Let’s attack Germany. There were terrorists there. The 9/11 terrorists met and planned there. There are probably still terrorists there. They have nuclar capabilty.
Now the government’s main argument for war rests in the theory of weapons of mass destruction. Iraq may be producing them. We have fairly conclusive proof that they have access to chemical weapons. (Often biological and chemical weapons are lumped together but I think it is important that they be treated separately. A biological weapon program presumes a level of research and technology beyond the chemical and I have not seen or heard any evidence linking such capabilities to Iraq. They have chemical weapons not bio-chemical.) Where have they used these weapons? On their own people. Have they used them in an aggressive way against the United States or any of its allies? No. During the Gulf War when they were firing SCUD missiles at Israel they deployed conventional warheads.
Other countries could be producing weapons of mass destruction. Like Saudi Arabia for example. They have the money. They have the technology. They certainly have the terrorists but we’re not looking twice at them. We did not go to war when Pakistan or India were developing their weapons programs and Pakistan certainly isn’t a poster child for responsible government.
Well... Saudi Arabia hasn’t violated any UN Sanctions. Not like Iraq. This is true but I think they have certainly done more than enough to jump ahead on the list. Iraq has denied entry to weapons inspectors. Saudi Arabia has been base camp for terrorist activities, openly supplied money to them and their families, and is the single largest source of known terrorists. We’ve never sent weapons inspectors there for them to be turned away.
NZ Bear dismisses the argument
that there are better targets as a dodge. If it is a dodge, it is a very good one because the choice of targets points to a choice of reasons. If the government’s choice does not match their stated intention then there is reason to call the action into question.
The government wants to attack Iraq under the guise of continuing a war on terrorism. But Palestinian and Saudi actions are much clearer examples of terrorism. It seems logical then that there are other reasons for this attack other then terrorism and the American people deserve to know what those reasons are.
And the idea that the only reason that one would make this argument is to be able to appear to want to take action while actually standing in the way is an ad hominem attack casting dispersions on the person making the argument without addressing the argument itself.
The war against Iraq damages the international standing of the United States. With the noted exceptions of Israel and Great Britain every other country has said that an attack on Iraq would be destabilizing and unwise. Every other country.
When Secretary Powell points out this destabilizing of international relations to the President and the American people he is seen as bucking the party line. I have heard him called unpatriotic and cowardly when what he was actually being was honest and forthright. While the United States is the single strongest economic and military force on the planet it is still dependent on other countries for its wellbeing. We should consider carefully the effect of damaging the relations that we have in the global community and whether the gains that we might make in taking out Hussein actually measure up against the harm. I don't believe anyone has seriously considered a 'cost analysis' of this action.
In his speech to the United Nations Bush called for immediate compliance with the UN resolutions in order for Iraq to avoid an attack. The government of Iraq has made steps to comply with that demand without condition. Perhaps Iraq will harrass and hinder those inspectors when they arrive but is it right to go to war when the country is taking action which seems to comply with our conditions? And now that they have started to comply we've changed those conditions. No longer do we want an end to a program aimed at creating weapons of mass destruciton. We are demanding that Iraq change leadership and disarm unilaterally.
Finally, a war against Iraq shifts the United States from active defender to aggressor. No longer can we take the moral high ground of defending our nation. Pre-emptive is ‘before proof’ acting to assure that a potential outcome never becomes an actual one. We may believe that one possibility is likely but it is never a certainty. And once we open that door and allow ourselves to become the aggressor to “protect our interests’ from the possibility of attack, I want to know what that door opens out onto and how shallow our definition of “protecting our interests” might one day become.
Already we have sacrificed some of our moral character and our precious freedom in defense of our country through such measures as the Homeland Security Act. Before we give up more I want to know that there is an end to it. The Homeland Security Act did not come with a timetable or expiration date. Those freedoms are gone and gone forever regardless of whether we ever “win the war on terror”. I think decisive proof and an explanation of the reasoning behind choosing Iraq is the least our government owes us.
They also owe us an answer to the question “who’s next?”
Just my opinions...