Consider these consequences
Most discussions regarding the potential unilateral pre-emptive strike on Iraq have involved points made by hawks and doves. However, most of us in the great middle are probably “realists.” Realists espouse a pragmatic approach dealing with all of the possible consequences of our actions and their effects on us all. Unfortunately, realists are getting no hearings in the White House and little in Congress or the media.
Possible consequences of an American war in Iraq are:
1. Unpredictable instability from the Mediterranean to India. For instance, if Pakistan were to fall to the Islamists, they would have a new training ground and access to nuclear weapons. What would we do then?
2. The war could cause a proliferation of new terrorists resulting from our arrogance in unilaterally invading a sovereign Islamic nation, combined with TV views of Muslim civilian casualties and destruction.
3. The main Bush goal is regime change. Would this then legitimize that as an acceptable action by other nations – for instance, India removing the Pakistani leadership by war?
4. Many American casualties if “smart bomb” strategy is unsuccessful.
5. Outspending our ability to afford it, thus severely affecting our economy.
Can we really afford to keep forces in Korea, Okinawa, Europe, Philippines and Afghanistan while also financing a costly war in Iraq, including an absolutely necessary post-war occupation for an indefinite period? What about the next problem area? The money to finance all this must come from the federal budget, with drastic impacts on education, transportation, agriculture, business, Social Security, state and local budgets, etc. All the while, interest rates and fuel costs will rise dramatically, further impacting the economy, our income and daily lives.
Bush and his advisers overestimate the extent to which we can impose our will and underestimate the consequences of doing so. Also, they have not shown the impacts on us of paying for it or what the end game is. There are too many unknown, unpredictable and serious consequences for us to pursue this go-it-alone policy. Let us accept our limitations.
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