Saturday, September 28, 2002

Five reasons to oppose invasion: I just posted these on a comment board at ColdFury, and it occured to me that I'd like them to be seen by at least a few more folks. So to the three regular readers of this blog, here they are:

I'll admit that my first reason for opposing invasion is lack of trust of Bush. It's a distrust based on his record, his statements, his biography, and what I can glean of his personality based on what's in the public record. But I don't expect to change anybody's mind here on that, so I'll just state it and let it drop.

Second reason: Successfully overthrowing Saddam will then require a sustained effort at peace keeping and, yes, nation building. Bush has said, again and again, that he does not feel we have any business getting into that business, and he's never retracted that statement. If you don't believe in building nations up, you're the wrong person to go around tearing them down.

Third reason: Whatever our reasons for invading Iraq, from the outside, this could easily be mistaken for an imperialistic maneuver to install a puppet regime in an oil-rich region. This plays directly into the negative traits that our enemies in the war on terror have accused us of. While I do not believe in letting our enemies control our behavior, the easier it is to point out the obvious untruth of enemy propaganda, the smaller their recruitment pool becomes.

Fourth reason: This would be the first time that the U.S. has launched a pre-emptive invasion. We can argue till the sun comes up about whether it's legal or illegal, either way I'm not comfortable with setting that kind of precedent, and before we do, I'd like to see a stronger case made.

Fifth reason: This invasion will be very, very expensive. It's estimated that the first Gulf War cost about $64 billion dollars, of which only about $7 billion came out of our coffers. Now, if we assume that about 75% of that was fixed costs dealing with getting everybody and all the equipment there, then we're talking about $48 billion in fixed costs, then $16 billion in ongoing, time dependent expenses. I don't know of any credible and experienced sources who would suggest that this will be over as quickly as the first Gulf War, so let's pull a number out of the air and say it'll take 4 times as long (about six months). That comes to $112 billion dollars, all born by the U.S. (and possibly Britain). We're probably talking about more, which means at least a 50% increase in defense spending, when we're already spending money we don't have.

So, ignoring my own gut instinct to not trust Bush, we're still talking about a governmental action that will cost over a hundred billion dollars (and no one knows how many lives), risk further destabilizing an already volatile area, give our enemies a big PR boost, and set a very disturbing foreign policy precedent.

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