Updates on War in Iraq
Personally, I have opposed this war for a long time. I agree absolutely with the Bush administration that Hussein is a terrible dictator, but I have a hard time grasping why we are not dealing with a fundamentally more dangerous situation in North Korea, or why we are at this very moment "allied" with a military government in Pakistan, a Monarchy which is only nominally friendly in Saudi Arabia (interesting note: about half of all Americans believe most of the September 11th hijackers were Iraqi, not Saudi). Anyway, I believe that supporting bad governments for short-term gain is only going to wind up hurting us in the long run (as it did with our support of Hussein in the 1980s).
One difference I see with Iraq is that we have exhausted every possible diplomatic resolution. We have been working on the Iraq issue for twelve years. There comes a point where you have to back up your words with actions. We have tried every peaceful solution, and have patiently tried for over a decade.
Is this the same case with Saudi Arabia, NK, or Pakistan? I think not. We are still talking with these nations, and there is a good chance that we can resolve issues with those countries without ever firing a shot.
Furthermore, it is impossible to declare war on one man. If we could truly only direct our action against Hussein and his thugs, this would be an entirely different matter. The fact is, though, that the Iraqi people, as well as the American and allied troops, are going to suffer terrible losses in this war. War is always hell, no matter what the reason, and if a war can be averted, and the noble goals of disarmament and democratization achieved through peaceful means, then the path of diplomacy, however difficult, should be pursued.
Yes, war is always hell. But for the Iraqi people, life is already hell. Yes, innocent Iraqi civilians and conscripts will be killed by US troops. But frankly, the US intends to wage the cleanest war we know how. We are specifically using precision targeted munitions. We're not going to carpet-bomb Baghdad like we once did Berlin; we have intel inside the city laying out targets for us and will have very little collateral damage. We actually have an EMP bomb, an incredibly clean weapon that knocks out communications stations by frying the hardware, leaving the people almost untouched.
No, we can't wage war on only one man. And we have seen that any diplomacy we know of has failed. Is there a more peaceful way to disarm Hussein and Iraq? I don't know of one.
In Foundation, Asimov wrote that "violence is the last resort of the incompetent". I disagree with this only in that some people can not be persuaded without direct force. War is surely the last resort for foriegn policy. But I see only two alternatives: fight this war, or let Saddam build up Nuke/Chem/Bioweapons until he's ready to do some incredible damage--to us, to other Arabs, or to his own people.
Do you see a third alternative?