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[casi] Bush's War

Dr. Art Goldschmidt

What drives President Bush to go to war with Iraq?

Saddam Hussein may be a thug and a fraud, but he has opened his country without preconditions to 
United Nations weapons inspectors. Iraq claims that it has no weapons of mass destruction. By 
contrast, North Korea claims to have nuclear weapons, which it could readily use against South 
Korea or Japan. Iraq did invade Iran in 1980 and Kuwait in 1990, but it cannot and will not attack 
any of its neighbors now.

Although many Arab governments might accept a regime change in Iraq, one that has been engineered 
by the United States, Israel’s main backer, is not welcome. Some Arab heads of state, whose 
legitimacy is open to question, will wonder if their number will come up next. An American invasion 
of Iraq will poison U.S.-Arab relations, which are already bad, notably at the popular level. Arab 
boycotts of American soft drinks, fast-food restaurants, and cigarettes have cut deeply into 
long-established markets.

Will a military invasion of Iraq be quick, cheap, and effective? No one can predict the outcome of 
a war or a battle. There are too many imponderables. Saddam’s elite Republican Guard, which would 
face a bleak future without him, will bitterly resist an invasion, making it more likely to be 
prolonged, costly, and ineffective. But will Saddam choose to flee into exile and abandon his 

The United Nations Charter, which the United States signed in 1945, forbids unilateral attacks by 
its members, unless the Security Council has determined that a country has threatened world peace. 
The U.S. government at present has little use for the U.N.

Bush has won the support of the Senate, the House of Representatives, and his advisers. They 
believe that an attack on Iraq will help in the war on terrorism.
We think not. We believe it will inspire desperate men and women to commit new acts of terrorism 
against America and its allies. If Iraq has any biological, chemical, or nuclear weapons, it will 
unsheathe them, probably against Israel, in response to an American attack.

Clearly, the Bush administration’s foreign policies are not aimed at building peace in the Middle 

Vengeance for a 1993 terrorist attack on George Bush the father is a cause Arabs might understand, 
but that motive rarely comes up in W’s speeches.

The real motive is a three-letter word that begins with O and ends with L. And Iraq has plenty of 

Roger Stroope
Austin College
"Ideas are more powerful than weapons."

"Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of 
obedience…Therefore [individual citizens] have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent 
crimes against peace and humanity from occurring" -- Nuremberg War Crime Tribunal, 1950

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