October 5, 2002
WAIT 'TIL YOU SEE THE WHITES OF THEIR AFTERBURN?:Iraq strike would set dangerous precedent (JUAN ANDRADE, October 4, 2002, Chicago Sun-Times)
If Bush is allowed to launch a preemptive attack against Iraq without violent provocation and without a multinational coalition that includes Arab nations, there will be horrific casualties--American and Iraqi troops, innocent civilians, truth, our national honor, and containment. Collateral damage will include a devastated U.S. airline and airline-related industry, a comatose economy, a declining stock market, higher unemployment and a crippling deficit. No price can be adequately assessed to such losses, but containment is the one loss from which we may never recover.
Unless Bush is stopped, preemption, where a nation that feels threatened can unilaterally attack another sovereign nation, will replace containment as our guiding foreign policy principle. To President Bush, preemption is a good thing. Bush wants preemption to be the cornerstone of his foreign policy. He proudly calls it the Bush Doctrine. Bush honestly believes that preemption will make the world safer. Nothing could be further from the truth. He could not be more wrong.
Preemption will further destabilize many volatile regions throughout the world. By attacking Iraq, America will internationally legitimize the use of force by one nation against any neighbor whose actions may pose a real or perceived threat to the national security of that country. This new U.S.-sanctioned principle of preemption would jeopardize any effort to peacefully resolve the kind of conflicts that routinely break out in Central America, South America, Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia.
Instead of making the world safer for future generations, Bush will be making the world a more dangerous place.
Here's just one example of how insipid the argument against preemption is. Pakistan is an inherently unstable state, governed by an unpopular military dictatorship that is opposed by both the Left and Islamic fundamentalists. It also has nuclear weapons. Combine the two and suppose that a fundamentalist revolution was underway, quite possibly aided by remnants of al Qaeda and the Taliban. Does that seem terribly far-fetched?
Posted by Orrin Judd at October 5, 2002 1:39 PM