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[casi] "Reasons" for war...

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  I made the mistake of turning on the local talk-radio station. I knew better but I was out doing 
errands and just turned on the car radio without thinking about it. Instantly, my sense were 
assailed by a non-stop diatribe of why "we" (meaning our kids but not those of the radio 
personality in question) had to invade Iraq. I kept hearing jingoisms about "time running out" and 
mentioning that the attack "should" start as soon as the UN inspectors turn in their report on the 
27th, as if it is a foregone conclusion that the UN inspectors will submit a memo saying, "Go ahead 
and nuke them, we think they are scum!"

  Well, I changed the car radio buttons to point to some mellow music stations and won't tune back 
to Clear Channel ever again. But I thin it is time to take a close look at the supposed case for 
war, in order to reply to the pro-war salesmen, should they ever get their fingers unplugged from 
their ears, or the craniums dislodged from their sphincters.

Is there a case for war?

1. Has Iraq invaded the US?

A: No.

2. Okay, who HAS Iraq invaded?

A: Nobody for the last 10 years.

3. Does Iraq have Weapons of Mass Destruction?

A: Not that the UN inspectors have found, and Blix just announced he doesn't think there are any. 
Bush keeps screaming "Iraq isn't disarming" to which Iraq replies, "We don't have anything to 
disarm WITH!"

4. What about those chemical weapon warheads?

A: What was found were empty warheads, that could be used for chemical weapons, but tests show they 
have never had those chemicals in them. This means those warheads, 16 in all, are as dangerous as 
the empty warheads military buffs buy at the surplus store to decorate their dens with. Iraq says 
the warheads were listed in their declaration. Bush says they were not. Blix says that the complete 
Iraqi declaration hasn't been translated yet.

5. What about the documents which prove interest in nuclear physics?

A: These appear to have been papers written by college students in a quest not for weapons, but for 
an advanced college degree. Iraq has a justifiable and legal interest in nuclear power for 
electrical generation, except that Israel bombed their reactor.

6. What would happen if Iraq obtained weapons of mass destruction?

A: Nothing. Iraq can have all the weapons of mass destruction it wants. It just can't use them. 
Your parents and grandparents got stuck with a $5 trillion bill to create a US nuclear deterrent 
capability. The instant Iraq uses a weapon of mass destruction on the US or its allies, the US 
nuclear force will melt Iraq down into a green glass parking lot. Saddam is many bad things but he 
is not stupid. He knows he cannot use a weapon of mass destruction. Maybe he can put them on 
display in a museum.

7. But Iraq is shooting at our planes!

A: Iraq, like any other nation, has a right to protect itself from invasion. The "no-fly" zones are 
illegal. The UN did not approve them. Every time a US plane flies into Iraq it is committing a 
technical act of war by invading their air space without permission. Were another nation to fly 
their aircraft into US air space without permission, the US would shoot that aircraft down and 
nobody would find that response unusual.

8. But what about the "Secret Intelligence" the US says proves Iraq has weapons of mass destruction?

A: The UN inspectors just finished checking the CIA's list of "sites of concern" and found nothing 
at all.

9. Rumsfeld says that not finding any weapons proves Iraq is hiding them.

A: Not finding any weapons proves that no weapons were found. If Rumsfeld wants to insist weapons 
are there in Iraq, the burden of proof is on him to show the world, and that proof had better be 
able to withstand close scrutiny.

10. But didn't Saddam gas his own people?

A: There doesn't seem to be any solid evidence that he did so. However, the United States, having 
gassed a church full of women and children in Waco with a poison gas that's illegal to use in 
warfare does not have the moral high ground to pass judgment on other nations.

11. Isn't Iraq in defiance of UN Resolutions?

A: It is only if it is PROVEN that Iraq has illegal weapons of mass destruction.

12. Shouldn't we invade Iraq if it is proven to be in defiance of UN Resolutions?

A: A lot of nations are in defiance of UN Resolutions. The record holder is Israel. One cannot 
argue for invasion of Iraq solely on the grounds of defying the UN without also justifying invasion 
of Israel for the exact same reason.

13. If the US nuclear deterrent can keep Saddam from using any weapons of mass destruction he has, 
then just why is the US so eager to actually invade Iraq?

A: Oil. The US Government is broke; so deep in debt that all the income tax paid by all the 
citizens cannot keep up with the interest payments. The American people are burdened by high 
taxation, most of which is hidden in excises, fees, tariffs, etc. and passed onto the citizen 
hidden in the price of consumer goods. The government has had to recently borrow more money just to 
make the payments on the money it already owes, and borrows so much money that it drives up 
interest rates, which means YOU pay more for the money you need to borrow as a result. All 
businesses take that increase interest, plus the taxes and fees they pay and pass them onto you in 
the final retail price. You would be amazed just how much of the purchase price of anything you buy 
eventually tracks back to government.

Because of high taxes and regulatory compliance, manufacturing started to leave this nation about 
20 years ago. The government tried to conceal it with the "service economy", a silly notion that 
you can make a nation prosperous by doing each other's laundry. While the exchange of service fees 
back and forth among the citizens resulted in more opportunities for taxes to be assessed, very new 
money was coming into the nation because the nation wasn't making as many products to sell outside 
the nation. Over time, money shifted from the population into the government, which meant cash flow 
to tax declined even more.

Because products we used to make and sell are now purchased from outside the nation, we have a 
trade deficit growing by a billion and a half dollars a day.  That kind of deficit makes a 
devaluation of the dollar inevitable. This will cause the debt problem to increase, since the debt 
is payable in the currency of the nation in which the lender does business in. As the dollar drops 
in value, it will take MORE dollars to pay off the same debt.

Finally, there is the stock market. The Plunge Protection Team used market tricks to run the 
indicator numbers up for political gain during the 90s. But that did not actually signal a healthy 
stock market, it actually signaled a dangerously over-valued market, worse than the market in the 
weeks leading up to 1929. Toss in scandals like Enron, and the US stock market has a severe 
credibility problem.

The US Government cannot wave a magic wand and make the stock market a good investment overnight. 
Likewise, it took 20 years for manufacturing to be driven out of this nation and will take 20 years 
to build back up. The only possible way for the US Government to avoid defaulting on the debt when 
the dollar crashes (which it will do as soon as the real estate bubble bursts) is to reverse the 
trade deficit, and the only way to do that is to turn Mideast oil from an imported product to an 
exported one.

And THAT is the reason for the push to war.

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