I posted these questions to a discussion list and got a bunch of half-assed non-answers. Maybe some of the doves in cyberspace (particularly those who have protested against war) can shed some light?
The questions are obviously biased toward my point of view, because, well, they’re my questions. But as always, I remain open to counterpoints provided they are based on reason.
(A) Why weren’t any of the protesters demanding that Saddam Hussein disarm, as the United Nations has repeatedly ordered him to do in 17 different resolutions?
(B) Where were the protestors during the decades that Saddam Hussein brutally oppressed millions of innocent people and unleashed chemical weapons on those who opposed him? What is it about a coalition of nations intervening and putting a stop to his regime that is so much worse?
And please, don’t answer that it’s wrong because the U.N. hasn’t approved force. See the next question.
(C) Few of these protesters marched when the United States bombed Kosovo, even though in that case there was little or no “immediate threat.” There was no U.N. mandate for war, either. In fact, the resolution merely warned Milosevic of “additional measures” if he failed to comply, which is even more tepid than the “serious consequences” and “final opportunity” Hussein was given in 1441. What makes this case so different, other than the offenses being so much more indisputable and horrific?
(D) It has become abundantly clear that the inspections process will not disarm Saddam Hussein, yet Bush’s detractors oppose using force to do so. If Saddam will not disarm peacefully, which he won’t, then how else are we going to disarm him? By e-mail?
(E) Many who oppose war state that if Saddam Hussein will not disarm, we should settle for containment. What will they say if Iraq’s nuclear program achieves its goal, and Saddam, armed with a nuclear deterrent, begins another brutal campaign of killing to consolidate his control over the Kurd and Shiite areas of Iraq? And please, don’t dismiss this as mere speculation. Saddam has a history of such brutality.
(F) More on containment: What will you say if states in the region are successful in developing nuclear weapons? What if terrorists gain control of chemical, biological or nuclear devices from sympathizers in these states? Not necessarily Al Qaeda, but Hamas, Hezbollah and Islamic Jihad — groups that these states aid on a regular basis.
Three nukes and Israel is wiped off the map forever. Shall we simply hope that this doesn’t happen and trust in the sanity and restraint of despotic dictators and terrorists? Or should we state, as the conservatives did in Kosovo, that as long as American lives are not immediately put at risk we ought not to get involved?
And again, don’t just dismiss this as mere disasturbation. Just as those who support war should consider the potential consequences of their actions, those who oppose it must also consider the potential consequences of inaction.
(G) Do they have a better idea for what course of action the United States should take? What is it?