Some observations on the current status of our response to the Iraqi threat and other aspects of the War on Terrorism:
- I hope President Bush hasn’t allowed France to compromise our sovereignty in negotiating a UN Security Council resolution on Iraq. Can someone please tell me how France, not to mention the UN itself, has any moral authority to be instructive to the U. S. on its defense and foreign policy?
- Paul Craig Roberts has offered the best note of caution on Iraq that I have read. Basically, he is asking the right questions, most of which have to do with U. S. resolve for a protracted conflict, i. e., “do we have the economic and cultural strength for such an undertaking?” This is the one thing I worry most about—our political and moral will to wage total war. Put another way, how will we handle a 21st century Battle of Shiloh?
- Surprisingly, a Duke University professor, Joseph M. Grieco, has written in support of military action against Iraq, and for the reason that, as now with North Korea, it will be too late if we wait until Saddam Hussein acquires a nuclear weapons capability. In an interesting analogy, he believes the recent nuclear arms disclosure has placed us in a Cold War-type “mutually assured destruction” standoff with North Korea, as it would with Iraq, allowing Saddam hegemony in the Middle East, which would be totally unacceptable. Hmmm. Right conclusion, partly correct reason. The liberation of Iraq is the right thing to do for the enhancement of freedom in the world.
- My friend Barry Klein has responded with e-mails and several articles critical of the Bush Doctrine, much of it from the libertarian or paleoconservative perspective, outlining certain U. S. foreign policy double standards, accusing Bush of imperialism, etc. As I have attempted to make clear in previous issues, we can no longer take comfort in defining American interests in terms of the old Cold War paradigm, and many of the “deals” and arrangements that have been sustained over the past fifty years must be re-examined and scrapped. We have postponed this reality since 1991, but on 9-11-01, it hit us in the gut. Double standards that have produced tyrants such as Saddam Hussein and the duplicity of the Saudi royal family, among others, can no longer be tolerated, even if a case can be made that the U. S. has been somewhat complicit in their continued existence. I’m afraid we’re in for a long, difficult war, some of which will be fought to correct some mistakes on our part. Better now than later.