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  • First of all, I do think that it's worth saying that other nations are just as bad, inspections may work (for certain value of "work"), and that it is just about oil.

    But if you don't buy all that, another point that could be made is simply that it is in our (the US's) own best interests to _not_ go to war, no matter what. To make this point successfully, I think it's simply necessary to show that the consequences of the war are worse than not going to war. The consequences of war would include _massive_
      • First of all, I do think that it's worth saying that other nations are just as bad,
        inspections may work (for certain value of "work"),

      I see no reason to believe inspections will "work" for any value of the term. Inspections didn't work for the allies after WWI in Germany, the UNSCOM inspections in Iraq didn't work (nothing was turned up for years until Saddam's son-in-law defected and told us where all the weapons were), and they didn't work in North Korea.

      Well, if you in favor of delaying, dragging things out, thwarting the allies, then maybe inspections are "working".

      • ...and that it is just about oil.

      The French opposition to the ousting Saddam may well be 'just about oil'. []

      • The US would also be reinforcing perceptions of US hostility towards Arabs, thus increasing the effectiveness of Islamic extremist movements in the area, leading to increased threats of terrorism for the US (and western Europe as well).

      Those perceptions are reinforced continually. Every day the Arab media shows starving and disease ridden children of Iraq with the clear implication that the US led sanctions are the root cause. Never mind that they've had 'humanitarian' oil sales for 5 years now, the money from which is apparently going to fund mobile biolabs and more and better missiles.

      So, the status quo is the best of both worlds for Saddam and Bin Laden. Saddam gets money to continue to develop all kinds of hideous weapons and he gets to blame the US on the deprivations in his country. Bin Laden gets to whip up anti-American hatred over the US "murdering" millions of Iraqi children.

      • I think I'm a lot safer with the status quo, even if that measn that Saddam Hussein is in possession of some bio/chem weapons. He's not going to give them to terrorists, because they hate him almost as much as they hate the US.

      Your assurances don't calm me a bit. Osama Bin Laden has always hated Americans, yet he gladly took American weapons, training and money in Afghanistan and used them only in his campaign to oust the Russians. He could have turned those weapons on Americans at the time, but knew that wouldn't forward his cause. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda in general are not so blinded by hate that they can't make a strategic alliance to further their ultimate goals. Saddam is well aware of this history.

      Just recently, a Bin Laden tape encouraged the faithful to join with the leaders of Iraq in fighting off the crusaders. This is a clear signal to Al Qaeda members that it's acceptable to work with Saddam Hussein if it's to thwart "the crusaders" (Americans and allies).

      If Saddam were to give out packets of weaponized Anthrax, smallpox or Nuclear material from which to make dirty bombs to Al Qaeda, it would be very unlikely that these assets would be used against him. Why would Al Qaeda dilute their base by turning on Arabs? Even Arabs that they hate?

      • He can't effectively use them against us in the US via a rocket or anything like that, because he clearly lacks the technology to do so, and while he's power-mad, he's not stupid.

      Saddam is power-mad and has apparently not budged an inch from his desire to control the region, it's oil and ultimately the world with oil as a weapon. It's true that his arsenal when deployed from Iraq could not bring about the destruction of the US, but it would be very effective in rolling over Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. Only the US and the US allies stand in his way.

      That's exactly why he would give them to Al Qaeda. I said this elsewhere, but it bears repeating: It's not lost on Saddam that the $500,000 investment by Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks yielded $700,000,000,000 in economic damage to the US.

      Everybody talks about US arrogance being the problem here and I have to say that I do feel there is a danger from US arrogance. It is arrogant to believe we can absorb many well-coordinated terrorist attacks using weapons of mass destruction and still remain a power capable of eliminating our enemies. This is the arrogance that I fear.

      • And if we don't go to war, we could actually do something crazy like, I dunno, support legitimate democratic opposition to Hussein. If a real people-supported, non-extremist, non-fundamentalist government took control of Iraq, that would be safest for us.

      Oh yeah, what a great idea. <sarcasm level='very thick'>Now, why didn't that stupid George W Bush think of that!?</sarcasm> You mean like this [], or this [], or this [], or this [], or this [], or this []?

      Unfortunately, there are significant problems in coordinating Iraqi opposition [] and Saddam [] brutally [] oppresses [] any opposition, both in Iraq and abroad [].