Comment on Citizen's Declaration Against the War in Iraq

As I too mourn the loss of those who will be injured and killed, I don't feel that this citizen's declaration would accurately reflect my views.  While I believe war is evil, and that dipomacy has not held the world to a unified confrontation of the issue, I don't find it as simple to automatically be "anti-war."  Though timing is questionable, Saddam Hussein only understands one language and in light of the new warfare, not addressing such threats will more quickly destroy the international regime as we now enjoy it.

  I recognize the threat of the pre-emptive doctrine being abused, and I do think that many Americans are willing to go to war because it is a movie to them, but I don't know that the justification for non-action is clear cut.  I feel that the members of the security council have demonstrated political weakness that has equally contributed to the divide.  I think that were they the world hegemon and were the focus of attacks that they would be as anxious as we are to end state-sponsored terrorism.  September 11th happened because we waited and did nothing.  The world system cannot take many more occurences like that, and the number of people afflicted by that potential splintering far outnumbers the number that will die in Iraq.

  I also dare to say that the Iraqi people desparately need liberation as well.  Its hard to swallow but since waiting until western Europe and Russia were on the verge of defeat before stepping in to WWII we have adopted a doctrine of intervention.  Many say the 10 million lives lost (and exceeding 30 million indirectly) in WWII would have been lessened had we accepted the responsibility as the new world power, and I don't think we're willing to let that happen again.

  I think that Bush royally screwed up in his diplomacy towards the Muslim world, and towards members of the UN Security Council but I agree with being rid of Saddam.

  Are you watching the news?  Do you see the thousands of troops surrendering, thousands of saved lives because of the strength of U.S.
resolve?  Can you imagine how much greater that would be with the support of key allies?  Can you imagine the change when Saddam is out, aid is in?  There is no simple answer.  No one party is completely guilty or completely right, but when it is already under way, pragmatism calls for the best way from here on out.  Should we pull out now and leave the Iraqi infrastructure destroyed, leave Saddam to slowly get up and begin all over again?

  As we should not be so quick to turn other people's countries into a war zone, neither should we be so fast to condemn them to a life time of oppression and poverty.  How much attention and aid were we as individuals sending to Iraq when this wasn't an issue?  Were most of us even thinking about it?  So we win the anti-war issue.  We get them to withdraw and then we all go back inside and watch "friends" and leave kids banging iron into chains in a dirty gutter just to survive.  Dismal certainty or uncertain potential?  Hard question.

Reed Allen
March 24, 2003