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Editorials

Iraq is a "Fatal Attraction"
By Solon
Mar 5, 2003, 2:50pm

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Remember the movie "Fatal Attraction" with Glenn Close as the woman who pursues Michael Douglass after a brief fling? Well that story was quite a shocker in its depiction of the jilted woman as a stalker. And though it was a little extreme, it wasn't something to be entirely dismissed. What looks good at night as an interlude may turn out quite differently in the light of day.

But what does this have to do with Iraq?

Consequences, that's what this is about.

Yes, the US can go into Iraq and kick butt and take over the country.
But what are the consequences?

Look at War in Iraq I for starters!

The loss of life both American and Iraqi could be substantial and really any life is too much. And sadly most casualties will be civilians!

The environment will be a mess.
Mess might not be accurate. It might be pretty damn unlivable from the carnage, depleted uranium weapons, and residues from chemical and biological warfare!

It's pretty certain that Iraq will burn or destroy the oil wells. And again the results from the previous mishaps are still not cleaned up. Some estimate that the costs to restart and bring the oil business up to capacity could reach 50 billion.

And what about the people of Iraq, the multitudes who are facing starvation now and the new ones who will have to face it pretty soon.

Then there is the rebuilding of the country, for the published plan is to begin with a massive air strike to level Baghdad and destroy the infra-sytrcture. And what about water and sewerage which still have not been addressed also from Iraq I. Really very little was rebuilt from the first war especially if it just involved the population as opposed to the government, oil industry or the army.

Then there is the fighting within the country for power between the different groups like Sunni (religion in power), Shiites (religion of Iran,) the Kurds, the remains of the army, the oil industry and the business community.
And there is the neighbors. Turkey would like just a small piece in the north where the Kurds are located. Russia is already deep in for loans for the oil industry and wants payback. Iran is still looking to get even from their war and anxious to unite religiously. And Israel looms large in any discussion of the region.
That is why the one US general said that you might need a force of 200,000 US soldiers to govern Iraq afterwards.

And let's not forget time as a factor. This war and and its effects on the region may take 3-10 years or more to work its way out.

It's starting to make sense as to why Bush the Elder did not pursue Saddam back to Baghdad and remove him from power. At that time the talk was that Saudi Arabia and the other Arab states did not want to replace Saddam because of the effect on the entire area.
The word "destabilize" was used frequently.
But what is different now?
The answer is not much!

And what about the consequences to America?
The use of "preemptive strike" opens the US up to a charge of war crimes before an international tribunal. And isn't just legal but perceptual in the eyes of the world.
Muslims could unite together against a perceived "holy war" which would only make a war on terrorism more difficult to stop.
The economy is already floundering and showing no signs of recovery and the karma of this war would be harder still to overcome.
This is still a peace loving nation in spite of what the Bush administration says.

And if you think that the positive side involves cheap gas prices then think again for the same middle men are still involved. And the costs of this war (billions heading toward a trillion) will have to be paid by somebody!

Consider too, that war always contains a wildcard, something you didn't expect, some unknown. As an example the Japanese never expected an atomic bomb in WW II.

So are you sure you want to get into this?
There is still an opportunity to look forward in time based on the likely turn of events and then look back to see if it was worth it.

Remember the girl in the movie, it turned into a nightmare.

There's still time here to consider all the consequences and choose an alternate path.

Sometimes reason and the light of day brings a truth that you couldn't face in the darkness of night.

And that applies to a "Fatal Attraction", too.

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