The Questions I Ask Myself About The War On Terrorism

by John Hawkins | March 11, 2003 5:05 pm

The Questions I Ask Myself About The War On Terrorism: When you face a tough decision, it’s always a good idea to know the pros and cons of what you’re about to do. Well, that has been done to death when it comes to the invasion of Iraq. At this point, just about every war related argument, point, counterpoint, cliche, slogan, and insult has been made, hurled, and shouted ad nauseum. In fact, I’ve even been trying to talk about things other than war lately (with only minimal success) because there’s not much else to say at this point other than, “Enough talk — Let’s Roll.”

That being said, there is one aspect of the war on terrorism that has not been adequately explored or debated and that is, “what happens if we don’t invade Iraq & allow Saddam Hussein to remain in power?” There have been some pro-war people who have touched on the issue, but it has been like kryptonite to Superman for the anti-war crowd. Let me lay down a list of things I see happening if we were to forego invading Iraq. Keep in mind, I consider all of these things to be likely scenarios although the time period they occur in may be a bit different than I have listed here…

1-2 Years

— Sanctions are lifted from Iraq & Saddam gets close to developing nukes or does so.

— North Korea starts producing 20+ nukes a year and selling them to the highest bidder (if we’re not willing to deal with Iraq, what makes you think we’ll be able to stop N Korea?)

— Iran acquires nuclear weapons or gets close to doing so.

— Al Qaeda moves the majority of their operation to the “terrorist belt” (Iraq, Iran, Syria, Lebanon, the Disputed territories, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan).

— Many Islamic nations stop cooperating with us in the war on terrorism or at least only cooperate minimally.

— The United States will be hit with multiple terrorist attacks.

3-5 Years

— Iraq, Iran, Syria, Saudi Arabia, & perhaps Libya all develop &/or buy nukes. Once one has nukes, all of them will try to acquire them.

— The United States will be hit with multiple large scale terrorist attacks possibly featuring WMD.

— Europe’s assistance in the war on terrorism will almost cease. This is because they’ll recognize that the US can no longer be relied upon in a conflict and because with their mediocre millitaries, appeasement and hoping the “wolf will eat them last” will be their best bets.

5-10 years

— One of the surrounding nations will fire a nuclear missile at Israel and Israel will retaliate by wiping out that country or even by wiping out many of the population centers in the region.

— Either by accident or design, terrorist groups will acquire nuclear weapons and will use them in multiple cities in the US and in other nations arounds the world.

I don’t think those are farfetched scenarios either. Up until this point, the world has been fairly successful at keeping the nuclear genie bottled up. Sure, the Soviets may have been evil & ruthless, but they were rational as well. While they were willing to take some losses to achieve world domination, they weren’t going to risk being wiped out in a nuclear exchange with the United States to do it. The same goes for China.

But in the last decade, the crazies in North Korea have gotten their hands on the bomb. Pakistan, an unstable nation that has semi-regular coups & fights periodic wars with India also has nukes. Now we have Iraq & Iran working on nuclear programs to boot. These are not nations that can be trusted with nuclear weapons and if we allow these weapons to spread, especially to terrorist supporting nations, they are going to be used — quite possibly against us. Maybe before 9/11 you could be excused for thinking “that can’t happen here,” but no one has that excuse anymore.

Now people bring up all kinds of consequences that we may have to face if we do what it takes to win the war on terrorism. The UN may be gravely damaged, our relationship with Europe may suffer, the amount of anti-Americanism may rise around the world, etc, etc. When I hear that sort of thing, I weigh it against waking up one morning in say 2009 & hearing that NYC, LA, Chicago, and Dallas were all just obliterated by nuclear weapons smuggled into our country by terrorists.

So you know what you need to ask yourself? Is it more important that we may damage our long-term relations with France or that we may see mushroom clouds floating over our cities? Should we be more concerned about killing civilians while we’re liberating Iraq or one day reading about millions of dead Americans who have been vaporized in nuclear attacks?

That’s what I ask myself when people start talking about the negatives of invading Iraq. As far as I’m concerned, if it’s constitutional, and it’s not worse than seeing American cities disappear under mushroom clouds, I’m willing to see our country do whatever it takes to win the war on terrorism.

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