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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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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_ Iraqi loss of life, plus (probably) relatively small numbers of US military personnel lives lost. 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). This would also harm the chances of peace between Israel and Palestine, as well as being likely to increase tensions between Israel and its neighbors. Finally, with Saddam Hussein gone, there's no telling what could happen to whatever bio/chem weapons Iraq may have in the chaotic interim between his fall and whatever government ends up in charge next.

    Even if I didn't think that the war was outrageously immoral, I'd think it was plain stupid, from a purely selfish point of view. 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. 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. Look what happened to Afghanistan, and they were onyl guilty by proxy! Similarly, he's not going to use them against Israel, because that would also guarantee a massive attack by the US.

    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. If we could then do that for Saudi Arabia, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Palestine, and all the other Muslim countries/people currently suffering under brutal dictatorships, we might even win the so-called war against terrorism!
    • And you therefore will not convince very many people. You are not addressing, in any way, the primary issue of disarmament, the issue which has been the primary focus of the UN resolutions, the issue which is before our leaders. You will only convince those people who already tend to agree with you, which isn't very helpful to your cause.
      • My goal (and the goal of protests in general) is not to convince other people to think like me. The goal is to convince the current administration that there is a large segment of the population that doesn't support their endeavors to go to war.

        The latest polls (NYT/CBS) show the majority of Americans as unsupportive of military strikes without UN approval, and they show the majority of Americans supportive of more time for the inspectors. Bush has said repeatedly that he will gain the support of the A
        • The goal is to convince the current administration that there is a large segment of the population that doesn't support their endeavors to go to war.

          And, what do you hope to accomplish by that? Do you think lack of support will change their minds, that they will wake up and say, "Well, we know inspections failed and that Iraq is in material breach, but because a large segment of America -- that knows who Joe Millionaire is, but has never heard of Hans Blix -- thinks we need to continue with inspections,
      • 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 t