February 06, 2003

The Road To War Last

The Road To War

Last night, I received an e-mail from a blog lurker who tried to tell me that impending war in Iraq was a moral evil, and that I was a Bush supporter who believes everything the government says. Now, I don't get many e-mails about my blog (most people use the comment engine if they have something to say), so I sat and stewed on this one for awhile.

Here's the deal: I haven't always been a supporter of the war, and I'm not a Bush supporter, and I certainly don't believe everything the government says. I voted against Bush in 2000, and I'll likely vote against him in '04. I don't think his tax cuts are doing any good, and I think he's too cozy with the wealthy and big business. His record thus far on the economy has been abysmal, despite all his Hoover-esque cheerleading. So no, I'm not a Bush supporter.

And I wasn't always a war supporter. Initially, when Bush started his push for war, I took the moral high ground and tried to defend my position. Unfortunately, a no war in Iraq stance is an indefensible position. Sure, it sounds great, to make peace, not war, but for war opponents, the argument stops there. They'll say that there has to be a peaceful alternative, but then they clam up and don't offer any such alternatives. Let the inspection process work, they'll say, but the inspection process has been in place for over a decade, and it has failed, miserably.

And yes, I'm fully aware that civilians die during wars, but the simple fact is that civilians die under Saddam's boot heel every day in Iraq. Is it somehow more morally acceptable to allow regimes to kill and terrorize their own? So long as it's not the U.S. doing the killing, that's fine? We didn't allow Milosevic to continue his ethnic cleansing, and it took missiles and bombs to stop him, and it was the right thing to do, and so is this.

I really don't care if there is or isn't a terrorist link to Iraq. That doesn't matter to me. As far as I'm concerned, Saddam Hussein is a terrorist in his own right. It's astounding to me that so many people don't seem to understand the danger this man poses if he has even one vial of anthrax. This is not a peaceful man we're talking about. This is a man who has known nothing but war throughout his reign. War with Iran. War with Kuwait. War with the world. And peace activists think Saddam can be reasoned with? Good God, people, get a clue. He came to power through ruthlessness and killing, and those have been his hallmarks ever since.

Saddam is working to produce chemical and biological, and possibly nuclear, weapons. And, no, the inspectors haven't found them, because, if you have a clandestine weapons operation going on in your country, you're going to do your damned best to keep any and all evidence carefully hidden. And that's exactly what he's doing. Oh, and I can assure you he's not developing toxins to inject into his wrinkles to make them go away. He wants the weapons so he can have a dangerous bargaining chip at his disposal. Seriously, once he has a nuclear weapon, or a sufficient supply of biological and chemical agents, everything else is academic. He wants them so he can use them. He tried the traditional warfare thing and got waxed. Now he's trying something else. It's all he knows, and he has to be disposed of.

Then there's the argument that removing Saddam will destabilize the Middle East. Something I've noticed lately is that the Middle East is about the most unstable theater on earth. What does it say when the most stable thing in the Middle East is Saddam Hussein? Good God. If that's stability, I'll pass. I won't deny that a power struggle will likely ensue once Saddam's oppression machine is dismantled. The Kurds, the Shiites and the Sunni are all going to want a share of the power, and they may fight to get it, but at least they won't be tinkering in the desert trying to figure out how to lob a smallpox Scud into Tel Aviv.

But, oh, that's right, this is a war for oil isn't it? Of course oil is a factor, but it's by far the smallest component of this impending conflict. Yes, booting Saddam will include the added benefit of having access to the world's second largest oil reserves, but on their way to the oil fields, U.S. soldiers will take the time to free thousands of dissident Iraqi prisoners who were previously doomed to torture and death. I'm sure they won't give a flip one way or the other if their freedom came partially due to oil. I imagine they'll just be glad to be alive. And free.

And, finally, we have those who demand U.N. backing before going to war. I'll tell you what, after watching the U.N. bicker and resolve, and resolve, and resolve to make resolutions to resolve resolutions resolving their intent to resolve a resolution of force against Iraq, I'm not entirely sure the U.N. is a viable body for determining world order, and I'll tell you why. Outside of the U.N. theater, countries make deals with other countries, just as France has financial interests in Iraq. So, now you have a tangled web of debts owed between countries that are in danger of being nullified in the event of a regime change. So, when it comes to war, the U.N. is hamstrung by countries that have a vested interest in not making war. France isn't threatening a veto because it's the humanitarian thing to do. They're threatening a veto because they want Iraq to pay up first. So no, I don't view U.N. backing as an imperative precondition for war in Iraq.

To the person who dropped me the e-mail last night, I hope this explains my position a little better. If not, I guess I really don't care.

Posted by Ryan at February 6, 2003 11:09 AM
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