Saturday, March 8, 2003

Six Questions about War with Iraq

With war perhaps only hours away now, we are still left with questions regarding the need to invade and conquer Iraq. The administration of President George W. Bush has proffered numerous rationalizations for war, but none seem adequate to explain why we must attack an insignificant foreign state that would otherwise appear to lack the intent, means, or opportunity to harm us in any meaningful way. So the questions remain.

If the war is really about U.S. “national security,” why don’t we just attack those states that pose more of a clear and present danger to us—like North Korea, with its unstable leadership, long-range missiles, and advanced nuclear-weapons program?

If the war is really about limiting the spread of “weapons of mass destruction,” why don’t we just destroy the storage and production facilities for these weapons?

If the war is really about fighting terrorism, why don’t we just use special-operations units in conjunction with air strikes to destroy or capture the terrorists, while defeating any Iraqi forces that happen to get in our way?

If the war is really about a “regime change” in Iraq, why don’t we just kill Saddam Hussein al Majid al Tikriti?

If the war is really about “liberating” the people of Iraq, why don’t we first demand that Saddam hold free elections monitored by an international commission of observers?

If the war is really about the control of oil, why don’t we just invade Iraq with combined arms, defeat Saddam’s forces in detail, set up a long-term occupation force, and install a friendly, “democratic” government?