Monday, April 19, 2004
The Five Theses
On Why We Shouldn't Have Attacked IraqMany of us took our stances on the Iraq war long ago, and amid all the dialog about the war, we rarely take time to remember the reasons why we take a particular stance for or against it to begin with. Hopefully we all have reasons. Reasons are important. Martin Luther kicked off the reformation by writing up his reasons and nailing them to The Church door at Wittenberg. (Notice I don't say "The Catholic Church door" since prior to Luther there was no such distinction.) So, in honor of Luther, I am nailing my reasons for why we shouldn't be in Iraq to my blog.
1. Pre-emptively striking Iraq out of fear that they were going to strike us was probably wrong, and is still unsubstantiated.It is probably wrong because we have no direct proof of their intent or their development of WMDs. While it is true that Hussein was recalcitrant in his dealings with weapons inspectors, it is certainly unsubstantiated as MUCH of our intelligence has proven to be wrong, and we have yet to find any definitive prove of the existence of WMDs. I was against the war prior to its beginning because I did not feel the evidence I was shown was worthy proof--especially since I had suspicions about point "3". I think my instincts were right. Now that we are there, and have about a thousand Americans (and how many Iraqis?) dead, our original intent, it would seem, is no longer the issue with most people.
2. Pre-emptively striking Iraq was a bad precedentDuring the Salem witch trials, if you pissed someone in town off, you risked them going to the town council and telling the council that they saw you twitching and muttering to satan. If they did, they gathered the pitch, piled up the twigs, and summoned you to a trial. In fact, NONE of the dead were ever scientifically proven to be a witch. Yes, if someone has a nuclear bomb almost built and we know they intend to use it on us, it behooves us to take care of business. But it also behooves us to HAVE EVIDENCE. Without this evidence, America established a horrible precedent that if we don't like you, all we have to do is pull a few strings and build a case against you. Did you piss off the President or his dad? Watch the skies for F117A's. Is this how it happened? I don't know but it doesn't matter. This is how our detractors will always see it. Oops.
3. Pre-emptively striking Iraq was probably a red herring.To say that this "pre-emptive strike" is the real reason behind this attack is--in my opinion--not true. Our real reasons for going into Iraq have a direct relationship to the dwindling supply and thus rising cost of oil. If anyone doubts this, or the importance of oil to our economy, read this or this, or both. The President does know about the importance of oil to our economy. I believe that instead of taking a stance that encourages the development of renewable resources, he is attempting to extend our access by establishing a stronger military presense in the Middle East that is not in Saudi Arabia. Can I prove this? No. Do I need to to have my opinion? No. If I were to be burning President Bush at the stake over it, it would be my obligation to prove it. But I'm not. The fact is that long-term financial stability in the US requires us to have a long window of time wherein the production of oil does not peak. Remember 1973? It's not because oil was scarce that prices went up, it's because oil production in the US peaked, and increased our dependancy on foreign oil. At the current rate, some experts feel that world-wide production of oil will peak in 2007. Short of a nuclear terrorist attack, this is probably the biggest thing on the US radar screen. Hmmmm ....
4. That we ousted an evil dictator does not justify what has happened.Yes, the Iraqis were telling us they loved us, and hated Saddam. Yes he was evil. But no, that doesn't justify what we did. There are arguably worse dictators in the world, such as Kim Jong Il and King Faud himself. Why aren't we attacking Riyadh? Oh yeah ... they're our "friends".
5. This war merely augments our flawed policy with the Middle East.Now we've done it. We've militarized another generation of bored, rich, Islamic youth. What are they going to do with all that time, money, and those degrees in Theology? Even if we succeed in democratizing Iraq, these "terrorists" will simply move to either Syria, Iran, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Pakistan, Qatar, Indonesia, Morocco, Azerbaijan, or maybe Djibouti just because it sounds funny. There are about 20-odd other countries as well. Most of these countries have Muslims who either dislike or hate America for its intrusive foreign policy and our insistance that we establish our hegemony in the Middle East, including areas that are considered sacred and where "infidels" are not supposed to tread. Those are my first five reason. If someone else can come up with 90 more, I'll be happy to add them to the list and call this our new 95 Theses.