Soon we hope to have hearings on the pending
war with Iraq. I am concerned there are some questions that won’t be asked –
and maybe will not even be allowed to be asked. Here are some questions I would
like answered by those who are urging us to start this war.
1. Is it not true that the reason we did not bomb the Soviet Union
at the height of the Cold War was because we knew they could retaliate?
2. Is it not also true that we are willing to bomb Iraq now because
we know it cannot retaliate – which just confirms that there is no
3. Is it not true that those who argue that even with inspections
we cannot be sure that Hussein might be hiding weapons, at the same time imply
that we can be more sure that weapons exist in the absence of inspections?
4. Is it not true that the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency
was able to complete its yearly verification mission to Iraq just this year
with Iraqi cooperation?
5. Is it not true that the intelligence community has been unable
to develop a case tying Iraq to global terrorism at all, much less the attacks
on the United States last year? Does anyone remember that 15 of the 19 hijackers
came from Saudi Arabia and that none came from Iraq?
6. Was former CIA counter-terrorism chief Vincent Cannistraro
wrong when he recently said there is no confirmed evidence of Iraq’s links to
7. Is it not true that the CIA has concluded there is no evidence
that a Prague meeting between 9/11 hijacker Atta and Iraqi intelligence took
8. Is it not true that northern Iraq, where the administration
claimed al-Qaeda were hiding out, is in the control of our "allies," the Kurds?
9. Is it not true that the vast majority of al-Qaeda leaders who
escaped appear to have safely made their way to Pakistan, another of our so-called
10. Has anyone noticed that Afghanistan is rapidly sinking into
total chaos, with bombings and assassinations becoming daily occurrences; and
that according to a recent UN report al-Qaeda "is, by all accounts, alive and
well and poised to strike again, how, when, and where it chooses"?
11. Why are we taking precious military and intelligence resources
away from tracking down those who did attack the United States – and who may
again attack the United States – and using them to invade countries that have
not attacked the United States?
12. Would an attack on Iraq not just confirm the Arab world's worst suspicions
about the US – and isn't this what bin Laden wanted?
13. How can Hussein be compared to Hitler when he has no navy or air force,
and now has an army 1/5 the size of twelve years ago, which even then proved
totally inept at defending the country?
14. Is it not true that the constitutional power to declare war
is exclusively that of the Congress? Should presidents, contrary to the Constitution,
allow Congress to concur only when pressured by public opinion? Are presidents
permitted to rely on the UN for permission to go to war?
15. Are you aware of a Pentagon report studying charges that thousands
of Kurds in one village were gassed by the Iraqis, which found no conclusive
evidence that Iraq was responsible, that Iran occupied the very city involved,
and that evidence indicated the type of gas used was more likely controlled
by Iran not Iraq?
16. Is it not true that anywhere between 100,000 and 300,000 US
soldiers have suffered from Persian Gulf War syndrome from the first Gulf War,
and that thousands may have died?
17. Are we prepared for possibly thousands of American casualties
in a war against a country that does not have the capacity to attack the United
18. Are we willing to bear the economic burden of a 100 billion
dollar war against Iraq, with oil prices expected to skyrocket and further rattle
an already shaky American economy? How about an estimated 30 years occupation
of Iraq that some have deemed necessary to "build democracy" there?
19. Iraq’s alleged violations of UN resolutions are given as reason
to initiate an attack, yet is it not true that hundreds of UN Resolutions have
been ignored by various countries without penalty?
20. Did former President Bush not cite the UN Resolution of 1990
as the reason he could not march into Baghdad, while supporters of a
new attack assert that it is the very reason we can march into Baghdad?
21. Is it not true that, contrary to current claims, the no-fly
zones were set up by Britain and the United States without specific approval
from the United Nations?
22. If we claim membership in the international community and
conform to its rules only when it pleases us, does this not serve to undermine
our position, directing animosity toward us by both friend and foe?
23. How can our declared goal of bringing democracy to Iraq be
believable when we prop up dictators throughout the Middle East and support
military tyrants like Musharraf in Pakistan, who overthrew a democratically-elected
24. Are you familiar with the 1994 Senate Hearings that revealed
the U.S. knowingly supplied chemical and biological materials to Iraq during
the Iran-Iraq war and as late as 1992 – including after the alleged Iraqi
gas attack on a Kurdish village?
25. Did we not assist Saddam Hussein’s rise to power by supporting
and encouraging his invasion of Iran? Is it honest to criticize Saddam now for
his invasion of Iran, which at the time we actively supported?
26. Is it not true that preventive war is synonymous with an act
of aggression, and has never been considered a moral or legitimate US policy?
27. Why do the oil company executives strongly support this war
if oil is not the real reason we plan to take over Iraq?
28. Why is it that those who never wore a uniform and are confident
that they won’t have to personally fight this war are more anxious for this
war than our generals?
29. What is the moral argument for attacking a nation that has
not initiated aggression against us, and could not if it wanted?
30. Where does the Constitution grant us permission to wage war
for any reason other than self-defense?
31. Is it not true that a war against Iraq rejects the sentiments
of the time-honored Treaty of Westphalia, nearly 400 years ago, that countries
should never go into another for the purpose of regime change?
32. Is it not true that the more civilized a society is, the less
likely disagreements will be settled by war?
33. Is it not true that since World War II Congress has not declared
war and – not coincidentally – we have not since then had a clear-cut victory?
34. Is it not true that Pakistan, especially through its intelligence
services, was an active supporter and key organizer of the Taliban?
35. Why don't those who want war bring a formal declaration of
war resolution to the floor of Congress?