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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Politics (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ziggy (25) on 2002.08.28 8:31 (#12275) Journal
    All this about when we should attack is crazy talk, unless there is the possibility of us attacking unnecessarily.
    That's a very simplistic analysis of the situation. Any good political science class would highlight a few issues here:
    • Iraq has engaged in and is likely continuing to engage in developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. These are offensive weapons, designed to inflict civilian casualties, not achieve military objectives.
    • Iraq has been at war with the US, and is likely to be at war with the US again. Future engagements are also likely to be in the form of state sponsored terrorist acts.
    • Iraq has also resisted and ignored UN mandates to allow weapons inspectors to verify that these "weapons of mass descruction" are being destroyed. Iraqi claims that the US used the UN inspection program to bring spies into Iraq may be founded.
    That's all assuming that there is a legitimate justification to go to war with Iraq. There's another set of scenarios where Shrub is playing a "Wag the Dog" card to go to war to increase his chances of reelection, or some other set of reasons not directly tied to Iraq attacking (or about to attack, or potentially attacking) the US.

    On the one hand, there's a case to be made for a preemptive strike. On the other hand, a preemptive strike will very likely destabilize the delicate political balance in the Persian Gulf, leaving an even bigger mess. On the third hand, there's the political fallout of going to war (and failing to lead the nation). Or not going to war (and failing to lead the nation).

    The only clear issue here is that this is a very complex situation that can't be simplified down to "yes we should attack NOW!", "no we shouldn't attack", "we should wait until we are attacked", or "we should wait until we have evidence".

    Or, more concisely, there are no simple answers here, no matter how you look at it.

    • That's a very simplistic analysis of the situation.

      Despite the apparent implication, "simplistic" is not a synonym for "incorrect."

      * Iraq has engaged in and is likely continuing to engage in developing chemical, biological and nuclear weapons. These are offensive weapons, designed to inflict civilian casualties, not achieve military objectives.

      I agree with all of this except for the "is likely." "Is possibly," yes. But I should clarify the point: I am not against action against Iraq in such a case,