Member Rara Avis
I've been thinking about this a lot lately. War is definitely coming, and Bush has set a new precedent in saying "Enough diplomacy -- now we blow stuff up."
However, the U.S. also plans to rebuild what it blows up, and wants to set Iraqi away from the murderous Baath party, of which Saddam is a member. And which, by that leader's law, most Iraqis are forced to join when they're 3 to 5 years old via shady "youth organizations."
The hope is, once Iraq is rebuilt, democracy will spread like wildfire to all points of the Middle East community, handily reducing the chance of terrorist attacks in the future to the U.S. and the rest of the world's citizens.
However, I think this is inherently naive thinking. You don't just clear out a religiously fanatical killer and his minions -- who have no problem killing their own friends in political opposition (Saddam staged a palace coup in 1979, became president, and then named names of those he felt were obstacles to his rule, including friends close to him for 20 years) -- and expect the seeds of democracy to fly freely through the air.
What happens if there is major resentment on part of the Iraqi people, of U.S. military occupation? What happens if the new ruler is as bad, in some ways, as the old one? And what would happen if Bush gives up on his plan to rebuild Iraq, because he realizes its going to take much longer than the two year estimate the administration has bandied about?
In Collin Powell's autobiography, Powell mentions a time when Dick Cheney was putting heavy pressure on him during the first Gulf War to look into the possibility of using nuclear weapons on Iraq. Powell said "I don't want to let that genie out of the bottle," even as Cheney persisted.
Cheney is now the vice president of the United States, and a fierce proponent of war hawk thinking. I just hope that Bush doesn't kowtow to pressure.
Of course, it's also still credible thinking to wonder if this is really about oil. And I'm sure, in some way, it still is. But maybe this war will do good for Iraq despite the U.S.'s ulterior intentions. If this war is quick -- the administration gives a ludicrous estimate of this war being over in two weeks' time -- it would be good for the Iraqis, good for America, good for everybody.
But if this becomes a long, drawn-out battle, with who knows what atrocities going down on the battlefield, and who knows what terrorists spreading their attacks across the world in revolt, with our country's economic future currently in ruins thanks to a $1.3 trillion deficit ...
I don't even want to think about it.
There are other, major problems in the world that still need dealing with. Africa is experiencing its worst droughts in 30 years, and millions are going to starve to death as the oilfields burn -- all the humitarian money right now is going toward the citizens of Iraq, gearing up for war.
And what of North Korea? By talking out of one side of his mouth about Iraq but not the other about a dangerous nuclear power, it's no wonder Bush is losing credibility. And while I don't think you can invade North Korea without unleashing a nuclear counterattack by its leader, omething has to be done, and soon, or we're going to be entering a second Cold War, with "terrorism" being the handy placeholder for what was once taken up by "communism," and the arms race started up anew.
Pray for the troops, and that this war is a quick and surgical strike. May there be a minimal loss of life and limb, for all sides. There's no such thing as "both sides" in a war. It's all more complicated than that.
I've seen this happen
in other people's lives.
Now it's happening in mine.
[This message has been edited by bsquirrel (03-18-2003 12:52 PM).]