efforts at benevolence always backfire. Inevitably, unintended consequences
overwhelm the short-term and narrow benefits of authoritarian programs
designed to make the economic system fair, the people morally better,
and the world safe for democracy. One hundred years of intense government
"benevolence" in the United States has brought us to the brink
of economic collapse, a domestic police state, and perpetual war overseas.
And now our obsession with conquering and occupying Iraq is about to
unleash consequences that no one can accurately foresee. The negative
possibilities are unlimited and the benefits negligible.
warned that the planned pre-emptive invasion of Iraq could prove so
destabilizing to the region and the world that it literally could ignite
a worldwide conflict big enough to be called World War III. Nuclear
exchanges are perhaps even more likely to occur under the conditions
of an expanded Middle east war than they were at the height of the Cold
War, when the Soviets and U.S. had literally thousands of nuclear weapons
pointed at each other. If we carry out our threats to invade and occupy
Iraq, especially if we do so unilaterally, the odds are at least 50-50
that this worst case scenario will result.
scenario would be a short war, limited to weeks and involving few American
and Iraqi civilian casualties. This, in combination with a unified Iraqi
welcome, the placing into power of a stable popular government that
is long lasting, contributing to regional stability and prosperity,
and free elections, just is what our planners are hoping for. The odds
of achieving this miraculous result are probably one in 10,000.
the consequences will be severe and surprising and not what anyone planned
for or intended. It will likely fall somewhere between the two extremes,
but closer to the worst scenario than the best.
are numerous other possible consequences. Here are a few worth contemplating:
Iraqi or regional Arab support materializes. Instead of a spontaneous
uprising as is hoped, the opposite occurs. The Iraqi citizens anxious
to get rid of Hussein join in his defense, believing foreign occupation
and control of their oil is far worse than living under the current
dictator. Already we see that sanctions have done precisely that. Instead
of blaming Saddam Hussein and his dictatorial regime for the suffering
of the past decade, the Iraqi people blame the U.S.-led sanctions and
the constant bombing by the U.S. and British. Hussein has increased
his power and the people have suffered from the war against Iraq since
1991. There are a lot of reasons to believe this same reaction will
occur with an escalation of our military attacks. Training dissidents
like the Iraqi National Congress will prove no more reliable than the
training and the military assistance we provided in the 70's and the
80's for Osama bin Laden and Saddam Hussein when they qualified as U.S.
war against Iraq may well prompt traditional enemies in the regions
to create new alliances, as the hatred for America comes to exceed age-old
hatreds that caused regional conflicts. Iraq already has made overtures
and concessions to Iran and Kuwait, with some signs of conciliation
being shown by both sides. Total domination of the entire Persian Gulf
and the Caspian Sea regions by the U.S. will surely stir survival instincts
in these countries as well as in Russia. As the balance of power continues
to shift in the U.S.'s favor, there will be even more reasons for countries
like China and Pakistan to secretly support the nations that are being
subjected to U.S. domination in the region. The U.S. will never have
a free ride in its effort to control the entire world's oil supply.
Antagonisms are bound to build, and our ability to finance the multiple
military conflicts that are bound to come is self-limited.
may jump at the chance, if chaos ensues, to fulfill their dream of an
independent Kurdish homeland. This, of course, will stir the ire of
the Turks and the Iranians. Instead of stability for northern Iraq,
the war likely will precipitate more fighting than the war planners
ever imagined. Delivering Kurdish Iraq to Turkey as a prize for its
cooperation with our war plans will not occur without a heated and deadly
struggle. Turkey is already deeply concerned about the prospect for
Kurdish independence, and only remains loyal to America because U.S.
taxpayers are forced to subsidize an already depressed Turkish economy
caused by our Iraqi policies. More money will pacify for a while, but
either frustration with the perpetual nature of the problem or our inability
to continue the financial bailout will lead Turkey to have second thoughts
about its obedience to our demands to wage war from their country. All
of this raises the odds that Islamic radicals will once more take control
of the Turkish government. These developing conditions increase the
odds of civil strife erupting in Turkey.
fundamentalism in the entire region will get a shot in the arm once
the invasion of Iraq begins, especially in Saudi Arabia, Yemen, and
Turkey. Our placing the Shah in power in Iran in the 1950's was a major
reason that the Ayatollah eventually made it to power in the late 1970's
a delayed but nevertheless direct consequence of our policy. Balance
of power in this area of the world has always been delicate, and outside
interference serves only to destabilize. There's no evidence that our
current efforts will lead to more stability. Promoting democracy, as
it's said we're doing, is a farce. If elections were to occur in most
of the Arab countries today, Osama bin Laden and his key allies would
win. Besides, it seems we adapt quite well to working with military
dictators that have ousted elected leaders, as we do in Pakistan by
rewarding their cooperation with huge subsidies and future promises.
chaos that may erupt, several countries might see an opportunity to
move on their neighbors. Already we have been warned that cooperation
from Russia means no American criticism or resistance to its moves in
Georgia or Chechnya. China could attack Taiwan. North Korea could renew
its struggle against South Korea. India may see this as an opportunity
to settle the Kashmir dispute with Pakistan with the real risk of nuclear
war breaking out. It seems the obsession about Iraq's improbable possession
of nuclear weapons far exceeds the more realistic possibility that our
pre-emptive strike against Iraq may precipitate a nuclear exchange between
these two countries, or even a first strike with nuclear weapons by
Israel against Iraq.
Israel to use the chaos to further promote their occupation and settlements
in the Palestinian homeland and possibly even in Lebanon. Israel's possession
of nuclear weapons in a period of outright war will surely serve to
intimidate her neighbors and intensify her efforts to further expand
the Israeli homeland.
Iraqi civilian casualties result, as indeed is possible though not deliberate,
expect more worldwide condemnation and even a UN resolution condemning
what others will call American War Crimes. Our refusal to be subject
to the International Criminal Court, while demanding others be tried
in the court, will never sit well with the world community. Our position
is a far cry from what it ought to be demanding national sovereignty
while promoting neutrality and friendship with all nations.
CIA has warned that war with Iraq will more likely cause Saddam Hussein
to use any massively lethal weapons that he might have than if we don't
attack him. Also, they warned that the likelihood of al Qaeda attacks
on our own soil will increase once an invasion begins. This, of course,
could cause a wave of well-placed snipers around the United States.
now admitted that over 150,000 U.S. servicemen are suffering from Persian
Gulf War Syndrome as a result of the first Persian Gulf War. Our government
would like to ignore this fact, but a new war literally could create
an epidemic of casualties of the same sort, since the exact etiology
is not completely understood. The number of deaths and injuries that
might occur from an occupation of Iraq is unknown, but conceivably could
be much higher than anyone wants to imagine.
now sweeping the world will significantly increase once we launch our
attack. Already we have seen elections swayed in Europe, Turkey, and
Pakistan by those unfriendly to the United States. The attitude that
the world's "King of the Hill" must be brought down will escalate,
especially if the war goes poorly and does not end quickly with minimal
likely will get a real boost in membership once the war breaks out.
Membership is already pervasive throughout the world without any centralized
control. We should expect this to continue, with an explosion in membership
and a negative impact around the world. Our attack will confirm to the
doubters that bin Laden was right in assessing our desire to control
the Middle Eastern resources and dictate policy to the entire region
while giving support to Israel over the Palestinians.
weak economy could easily collapse with the additional burden of a costly
war. War is never a way to make the people of a country better off.
It does not end recessions, and is much more likely to cause one or
make one much worse. A significant war will cause revenues to decrease,
taxes to increase, inflation to jump, encourage trade wars, and balloon
the deficit. Oil prices will soar and the dollar will retreat ever further.
we're hearing demands for a military draft to be instituted for both
men and women. I see that coming, and it will serve as another source
of domestic friction as our economy deteriorates and unemployment rises.
Under these conditions the standard of living for all Americans is destined
to go down.
This war, if of any significant duration, in time will be seen as a
Republican war plain and simple. Along with a weak economy, it could
easily usher in a "regime change" here in the United States.
The conditions may justify a change in leadership, but the return of
control to the opposition party will allow them to use the opportunity
to promote their domestic liberal agenda and socialize the entire economy.
result, regardless of the size and duration of the coming war, will
be that the people of the United States will be less free and much poorer.
The bigger the war, the greater will be the suffering.