Tim's View of the 2003 U.S. Iraq War
In a nutshell, Iraq was poorly run under Saddam Hussein and Iraq did pose a threat, but the U.S. should not have gone to war.
Reasons to go to war (from the U.S. perspective):
1) Removes a significant threat from the middle east in an expedient manner.
2) Keeps the U.S. public focused on a war rather than it's economic challenges. There's nothing like a war to rally the troops.
3) Makes us look strong.
4) Gives the U.S. a chance to test its new weapons for real.
5) Presidents need to show they are men of action.
6) Survival of the fittest.
7) Machiavelli was right.
Reasons to maintain peace:
1) War set's a bad precedent and is hypocritical. Iraq did not attacked the U.S. yet the U.S. attacked them. This thinking will work against us. The U.S. has more weapons of mass destruction and has killed more people with them than any other country. Therefore other countries should declare war on the U.S. to remove it as a threat. This provides others with justification for 9/11 -- just the thing we want to prevent.
2) Proves that might makes right.
3) Machiavelli was not right.
4) Shows the world that the U.S. is a bully economically, politically, and militarily.
5) Shows the world that the U.S. is arrogant and only cares for it's own interests.
6) Confirms the world image of the U.S. as a gun slinging cowboy.
7) Who are we to forcibly change the government of another country? Do we want others to do this to us?
8) Undemocratic. The U.S. says it supports democracy, yet the U.S. chose not to let the U.N. (the worldwide democratic body) decide how to handle Iraq. The wheels of justice may turn slowly, but it is important to let them turn and reach a conclusion.
9) Unchristian. Jesus said turn the other cheek. Mister Rogers asked "Will you be my neighbor?" The good Samaritan helped the traveler. Attacking another is totally against the fundamental principles of Christianity. (Note however that "religious" reasoning resulted in some of the worst tragedies in our world -- Hitler's Germany, Salem Witch Trials, Spanish Inquisition, Crusades, etc).
10) Waste of resources. A war is a huge expense in terms of money and in life. These resources are used to destroy other resources. This is not economically productive. Imagine what could be accomplished if all that money and all those lives were used for positive purposes. It is even more astonishing that President Bush wants to reduce taxes (gov't income) while drastically increasing expenses. But I guess he wants to make sure the rich in the U.S. make out like bandits with some extra cash -- after all it's only the rich and powerful that really count.
11) The U.S. should live up to its ideals and be a role model to be respected, not a bully to be feared. It is a risk to let another country attack us first. But as an extremely powerful nation with high ideals, we should wait until we are attacked before attacking another. Plus Iraq was very poor and weak -- no serious threat to the U.S. Do we want the rest of the world (and ourselves) to be inspired by the U.S. Constitution? Or do we all want to live in the 1984 world of Big Brother and police states? It is hard and takes time to achieve world peace (and solve world hunger) -- but we can do it better with plowshares than with swords.
12) It's a bad example to set for our kids. Should parents hit them before they hit us?
For some related perspectives please see:
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By the way, I'm proud to live in a country where I can freely speak my mind without worrying about my life. I want to make sure the U.S. stays this way for everyone.
Timothy S. Oey
Originally written: April 5, 2003
Copyright 2003 Timothy S. Oey