I am not trying to tell you what to think.

  1. There is so much that seems slanted toward the USA starting a war. The president and his appointees as well as most Democrats seem to be convinced. I am concerned that those of us who are not sure are depicted as misinformed or worse (even on this board I have been accused of supporting the SH regime- NOT TRUE!). I want us to truly be the best we can be and live up to our ideals as Americans. That is why I post opinions not in the mainstream media.
    I will say again, I think SH should prove he has disarmed and leave office. I also think he is a lying manipulative egotist who will do anything to stay in power so my hopes are not likely to happen. He does smoke and is overweight so may have a CVA or MI. If he did I would not be sorry!


    12 Reasons to Oppose a War with Iraq
    By Russell Mokhiber and Robert Weissman

    Millions of people around the world last weekend demonstrated against a war on Iraq.
    There was no mistaking the message: No war.
    But, particularly with the airwaves and op-ed pages dominated by war-mongers who mock and mischaracterize the burgeoning peace movement, there remains a need to continually reiterate the common-sense reasons to oppose a war. Here are a dozen:
    1. Iraq is no threat to the United States.

    With one of the weakest militaries in the region, Iraq is surely no threat to the world's lone superpower. There is no evidence it has or is close to having a nuclear capacity. There is no evidence that it has the means to launch a chemical and biological attack against the United States, if in fact it has such weaponry. There is no evidence of any Iraqi connection to al-Qaeda.
    2. Iraq is deterrable.

    Even if it had the means to threaten the United States, Iraq would be deterred by the certainty of an overwhelming military response in event of any attack on the United States. That Iraq is deterrable is shown by its decision not to use chemical or biological weapons (CBW) against the United States or Israel in the Gulf War.
    3. Iraq's only conceivable threat to the United States is in event of war.

    "Baghdad for now appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States," wrote CIA Director George Tenet in an October 2002 letter to Congress. "Should Saddam conclude that a U.S.-led attack could no longer be deterred, he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions."
    4. Other terrorist risks rise in event of war.

    A U.S. attack and subsequent occupation of Iraq will provide new inspiration-and new recruitment fodder-for al-Qaeda or other terrorist groups, and will stimulate a long-term increased risk of terrorism, either on U.S. soil or against U.S. citizens overseas.
    5. U.S. soldiers are vulnerable to chemical or biological attack in a war.

    Although there is little reason to doubt the U.S. military will triumph relatively quickly in event of a war, U.S. soldiers face non-negligible risk of casualty. House-to-house fighting in Baghdad would be perilous.
    If Bush administration accusations that Saddam maintains a CBW capacity are true, and if its claims of intelligence showing Iraqi plans to use CBW in event of war are both non-fabricated and accurate, then U.S. soldiers are at major risk. Last Sunday, 60 Minutes reported that army investigations show between 60 and 90 percent of its CBW protective gear malfunction. A Pentagon spokesperson actually suggested that holes in gas masks could easily be covered by duct tape.
    6. Inspections can work.

    To whatever extent Iraq maintains weapons of mass destruction, it is clear that the previous inspections process succeeded in destroying the overwhelming proportion. Iraqi intransigence notwithstanding, inspectors are now making progress. Despite the histrionics of the administration, past experience suggests the inspection process can work and finish the job.
    7. Common sense says: Err on the side of non-violence.

    Since Iraq poses no imminent threat to the United States nor any of its neighbors, it makes sense to continue to give inspections a chance. War can always be resorted to later. But once a war is commenced, the opportunity to achieve legitimate objectives without violence are lost. In addition to the obvious costs, the use of violence tends to beget more violence, spurring a highly unpredictable cycle.
    8. The doctrine of preventative war is a threat to international law and humanity.

    Conceding there is no imminent threat to the United States, the administration has sought to justify the war under a doctrine of preemptive, or preventative, action. But if it were legitimate to start a war because of what another country might do sometime in the future, then there would be very little legal or moral constraint on war-making. This proposition is dangerous and immoral.
    9. Reject empire.

    Many of the leading proponents of a war are motivated by desire to demonstrate U.S. military might, and commence an era when U.S. military power is exercised more routinely to satisfy the whims of elite U.S. factions. Many proponents now overtly defend the idea of U.S. imperialism, justified on the grounds that the United States- apparently unique among all previous aspirants to imperial authority- is motivated by promotion of democracy and human rights. But all empires have proffered such self-serving rationalizations to legitimize narrow self-interest. The present case is no different. Imperialism is fundamentally incompatible with democracy.
    10. Revenge is not a legitimate motive for war.

    There seems little doubt that part of the Bush administration motivation for war is the desire to "get" Saddam, since he refused to go away after the Gulf War and allegedly targeted the president's father. Saddam is an awful and brutal dictator, and an assassination attempt, if there was one, is a heinous act. But revenge should be no basis for war.
    11. There are better solutions to our energy problems.

    It overstates the case to say a war with Iraq would be a war for oil. There are too many other contributing factors to the rush to war. At the same time, it is not credible to claim designs on Iraqi oil are not part of calculus. And it is hard to see the United States caring much about Iraq if the country did not sit on the world's second largest oil reserves. But it is past time for the United States (and the rest of the world) to move beyond oil and carbon-based sources of energy. Existing efficiency technologies and renewable energy sources, if deployed, could dramatically reduce reliance on conventional energy sources; and modest investments in renewables could soon move us away from an oil-based economy.
    12. Iraqi lives are at stake.

    Unless a war brings immediate abdication by Saddam, military action is sure to cause massive casualties among Iraqi conscripts and especially among Iraqi civilians. Solidarity with the Iraqi people-not their brutal government, but the people-requires opposition to a war almost certain to cause them enormous suffering.
    Russell Mokhiber is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Corporate Crime Reporter. Robert Weissman is editor of the Washington, D.C.-based Multinational Monitor, <http://www.multinationalmonitor.org>. They are co-authors of Corporate Predators: The Hunt for MegaProfits and the Attack on Democracy (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press; <http://www.corporatepredators.org>).
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  2. 58 Comments

  3. by   SusyZeke
    Brilliant post spacenurse - thanks.
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    I agree. thanks, spacenurse. The thought of war should be a disturbing one unless it is clearly unavoidable.

    A war with Iraq is, at this time, very avoidable IMHO.
  5. by   kmchugh
    Thought the article was way off the mark. I am on call this weekend, but hope to try to get a little time to come back. I want to respond to each of the 12 points.

    Kevin McHugh
  6. by   Tilleycs
    I couldn't help but laugh as I was reading this article. Do they really believe all of this, or was it just a chance to get their names in print? I don't have time to fully address each point, but here are just a few thoughts and reactions...

    1. Iraq is no threat to the United States.

    WHAT??? He's a threat to the entire WORLD. He's defied the UN over and over again. He's a threat to his own PEOPLE. He may support terrorists. This same article acknowledges the fact that "Saddam is an awful and brutal dictator". So which is it?

    2. Iraq is deterrable. That Iraq is deterrable is shown by its decision not to use chemical or biological weapons (CBW) against the United States or Israel in the Gulf War.
    So he has chemical and biological weapons, and has refused to disarm over the years since the Gulf War, but he's no threat to the United States. Uh, yeah...

    3. Iraq's only conceivable threat to the United States is in event of war.

    What about the terrorists he may support? Should we allow him to attack us or someone else first? And what about his own people? Should we continue to allow him to kill his own people?

    4. Other terrorist risks rise in event of war.

    And Sept. 11th happened during WHICH war? No war? Hmm...

    5. U.S. soldiers are vulnerable to chemical or biological attack in a war.

    Just like Saddam's own people have been vulnerable to them when he has used/tested those weapons on them.

    6. Inspections can work.

    Oh sure, if you've got no problem extending deadlines 50 times or so, and giving him plenty of notice where you'll be performing the inspections so he can clean up. Inspections CAN work if you are unwavering in your terms and the consequences if they are not met. The UN has been/done neither.

    7. Common sense says: Err on the side of non-violence.

    That's right, we should leave Saddam in power. He's such a great leader, a true provider for his people, and a respecter of international groups like the United Nations. Now, what does common sense say we're supposed to do about the REAL madmen of the world?

    8. The doctrine of preventative war is a threat to international law and humanity.

    No problem! We'll just hang out and wait to see what he does next with the weapons and to his own people. And HOW many of his people are starving and dying because he is using his country's wealth for himself instead of taking care of his own people???

    9. Reject empire.

    Oh, that's right, WE'RE the evil empire. Saddam is the good guy. How could we have forgotten? Silly and forgetful bunch, we Americans. Oh wait, don't you say that "Saddam is an awful and brutal dictator" in your very next point? So which is it?

    10. Revenge is not a legitimate motive for war.

    That's right, those who support using military force against Iraq do so merely because we want to give our President the chance to say, "Yeah! Take that! Who's your daddy now, Saddam?" Forget the fact that he's refused to disarm and has refused to cooperate with the UN inspectors. Forget what he's done to his own people. We just want GWB to be able to say, "Boo yah!"

    11. There are better solutions to our energy problems.

    So what's the solution for getting a "an awful and brutal dictator" out of power before he does something else?

    12. Iraqi lives are at stake.
    Exactly right - if we don't get Saddam out of power, HOW many more Iraqis will die at HIS own hand?
  7. by   fergus51
    ...
  8. by   Mkue
    I don't have a problem with war protesters, let them protest. At this time I'd rather direct my energy towards supporting US troops.

    I really wish CNN and other news channels wouldn't report (deployment info) when and where our troops are going and what they will be taking, where they will be located.. TMI... this should be kept confidential.

    mkue
  9. by   maureeno
    a Pandora's box
    of lawlessness
  10. by   shay
    Question....why weren't any of the peace protesters demanding peace and disarmament from Saddam?
  11. by   c.wicks
    Originally posted by maureeno
    a Pandora's box
    of lawlessness
    The Press.....

    A box FULL of Pandora's
    Reporting the news?
    Or spinning twisted tales?
  12. by   donmurray
    The UN is already demanding peace and disarmament from SH. We are supposedly the upholders of truth, justice, and the rule of law. Behaving like scofflaw cowboys is not the way to demonstrate these principles.
  13. by   Mkue
    Originally posted by shay
    Question....why weren't any of the peace protesters demanding peace and disarmament from Saddam?
    Good question.

    Are the protests more about anti-Bush or anti-war?
  14. by   teeituptom
    Well for me they are both Anti Bush and Anti war

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