Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Wednesday, June 25, 2003

A good column from Guam.

Saddam Hussein has long made known his aspirations for Iraq to become a superpower that would dominate the Middle East, destroy Israel and drive out the Americans. He needs weapons to bring that about, and he says time is on his side. He attacked and gassed the Kurds in 1974; he invaded Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990. He has used chemical weapons, paid and encouraged suicide bombers, built a monument in Baghdad to honor them, and sheltered terrorists who are plotting biological and chemical attacks against America. Is Hussein a threat?

Hussein built weapons programs from 1991 to 1998, when he kicked out U.N. weapons inspectors, and from 1998 until today. Had he waited longer before invading Kuwait, his nuclear scientists could have provided him with nuclear arms. Considering his behavior and his track record, what would be the cost of a future war with a nuclear-armed Iraq?

What are likely outcomes of a successful war against Iraq? Rogue regimes will realize that democratic nations may confront their threats. The people of Iraq will breathe better: ask Iraqis, Iraqi non-Arabs, and non-Sunni Muslims. The resulting political and economic reforms would have the potential to encourage similar reforms in the Arab world. Radical and virulent anti-Westernism would have its wings chopped.

Nothing is certain, of course, but knowing that the alternative to action is a perpetuation of oppression, radical militancy, terror and fear, I would gamble for change. A war against Iraq may not make the world less perilous and more safe, but without action, it is certain that terrorist attacks will continue and danger will not subside.

< email | 6/25/2003 03:31:00 PM | link

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