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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • I have been repelled by Saddam Hussein and his regime for over twenty years, ever since he invaded Iran. I was appalled when the Reagan administration improved relations with Iraq and even began providing military aid in spite of knowledge that it was using chemical weapons. And I really think that the world would be a better place if Iraq were disarmed.

    But I have to say that the present Bush administration scares me much much more than Iraq does. Perhaps there is some justification to going to war against Iraq, but currently Iraq is very far down on the list of threats to world peace. Clearly the US government is using any piece of disinformation it can dream up to promote this war. For example, Powell raised the specter of Iraq's mobile biowarfare labs. Well, if Iraq can produce effective biological weapons in mobile laboratories, their technology has advanced far past anything even the US is known to be capable of.

    It's obvious that the inspections are a major irritant to Hussein. If the speech by Powell showed anything, it showed how effective the inspections are so far. Previous inspections went a long way to disarming Iraq, so I just can't see any justification for not continuing the inspections as long as possible to see how much can be accomplished. For Bush to say that he's "losing patience" or warning Hussein that "the game is up" is an awfully childish way to approach this problem.

    So why does the administration want to fight a war so much? It's clear that they hope to use their power to reshape the globe in any way they please. This may be seen in such documents as Building the Bridge to a More Peaceful Future, Rebuilding America's Defenses, and the National Security Strategy. A short summary of these documents is here. [commondreams.org]

    So what would the benefits be of a quick, easy victory by the US in an all-out war against Iraq? We would have a place to permanently station troops to dominate the Persian Gulf region. We could dismantle the bases in Saudi Arabia, and thus deprive Islamic extremists of the excuse that we're occupying their holy land to justify terrorist attacks against the US. We could even apply more pressure against the monarchy in Saudi Arabia to become more democratic and become a true force for moderation in the Islamic world. Wouldn't it be lovely if all this went as planned?

    The only trouble with this is the chances of everything going right are very low. If the war doesn't go as smoothly as hoped, if the Iraqi people suffer enormous damage from the war, and if the US effort to rebuild the country is as lackluster as the current one to rebuild Afghanistan, Iraq may well turn into the most fertile ground for producing terrorists we have yet seen. Further, the more the US attempts to use its increasingly preeminent position in the world to suit its own ends, the more Russia and China will view the US as a threat, and the farther we will slide back into a new cold war. We may even find certain countries in Western Europe winding up on the other side.

    I just hope the US has a little more to offer the world than its tremendous capacity to destroy.

    • "Again: inspections are for the purpose of disarmament. They are not working; they will not work. Disarmament of Iraq is a requirement, not an option. Because inspections are not working, and will not work, we need another way to disarm Iraq."

      You are talking about inspections in terms other than disarmament. That is entirely inappropriate. Please stop.

      And, again, I did not say anything about war, and, in fact, said, "And I would love to hear ideas for disarmament that do not amount to war."

      I wish peop
      • Aziz said destruction of the missiles "would be unacceptable" not that they would never be destroyed under any circumstances. It's too soon, therefore, to say that "inspections will not work."
        • Aziz said destruction of the missiles "would be unacceptable" not that they would never be destroyed under any circumstances. It's too soon, therefore, to say that "inspections will not work."

          That is wrong on two counts.

          First: we already have plenty of evidence inspections have not worked, and are not working. This was just offered as more evidence of this, not the evidence. More to the point, Iraq must itself show evidence that inspections can work, and this situation is counterevidence of that.

          Seco
    • But I have to say that the present Bush administration scares me much much more than Iraq does. Perhaps there is some justification to going to war against Iraq, but currently Iraq is very far down on the list of threats to world peace.

      By all this respect, this can't be quite true. The German health department has recently stocked up vaccine for an estimated 100 million people after it became evident that the Iraq has pox viruses at its disposal. So are you afraid that you might become a target of biologi
    • Interesting that there are many intelligent, well-reasoning people who would disagree with the assumptions you assert are "clearly" true. Any particular reason you felt you had to imply that these are clear to everyone and anyone who does not agree with them are clearly wrong?

      thus deprive Islamic extremists of the excuse that we're occupying their holy land to justify terrorist attacks against the US.

      Interesting idea I haven't heard before. And how exactly would that be a bad thing?

      We could even

      --
      J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers