Thursday, December 05, 2002

When I posted my comments below to an alumni board a friend responded with a tirade against about my response to terrorism. Here is how I responded:

Thank you for responding to my post.

What would I do? Back in a previous message I posted a long list of resources that offer analysis of why war with Iraq is unnecessary. Some of these articles also list alternatives to a war. Please take the time to read these. Here are a few that offer specific alternatives to the war:
http://www.fourthfreedom.org/php/t-si-index.php?hinc=www_report.hinc
http://www.thestranger.com/2002-10-17/feature.html
http://www.foreignpolicy-infocus.org/papers/iraq3.html
http://members.tripod.com/~lutheran_peace/LJEIraqarticle10a.html (you skip over the religious stuff in the first paragraph)
"Disarming Iraq: Nonmilitary Strategies" David Cortright and George Lopez, 9-02, www.armscontrol.org
"With weapons of the will: How to topple Saddam Hussein, nonviolently," Peter Ackerman & Jack DuVall www.sojo.net

Much of your response deals with the problem of Osama and terrorism in general. This different issue than the question of war with Iraq which is what I was responding too.

There is no evidence that the Iraq government has supported Al-Qaeda, Osama or any other terrorist organization that has attacked the US. In fact, the Iraq government and Al-Qaeda are bitter enemies. Osama has issued a “fatah” against Saddam and considers the B’ath party he governs to be too secular. Saddam considers Al-Qaeda and other extreme Islamists to be a threat to his power and has had them executed.

Large-scale military acts and invasions have not stopped terrorism – especially terrorist networks like Al-Qaeda that are very decentralized. Before Israel’s invasion of Lebanon in the 80s there were an average of 5 Israelis killed every year from terrorism. Now that many die almost every week.

If you ask anti-terrorism experts they will tell you that the best way to defeat terrorism is not through mostly military options but through addressing the underlying root causes of terrorism. Please read this article: http://www.alternet.org/story.html?StoryID=11601 Note that it is not crazy “liberals” pointing this out but CIA terrorism experts.

You also brought up the massacre of Kurds in Iraq. This is a significant war crime. Saddam should be brought before an international criminal court and tried just like Slobodan Milosevic. The US government should not have been supporting Saddam when he did this. Donald Rumsfeld, our current secretary of war, should NOT have been in Iraq offering support to Saddam while the massacre was occurring. The US government should not be supplying Turkey with the military equipment that it is using against Kurds in that country. Try telling THAT to all the Kurds who are suffering.

Even the conservative estimates suggest that we will kill more Iraq civilians during a full-scale invasion than were killed by Saddam during the Kurdish massacre. So I am not sure how such a war would bring any justice to this world.

You also tried to paint my perspective as simply a “liberal” view. As I pointed out previously some of the best anti-war analysis is coming from a conservative viewpoint. See:
http://www.cato.org/dailys/08-19-02.html
http://www.antiwar.com
http://www.tompaine.com/feature.cfm/ID/6420
http://www.nowarblog.org

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