The questions for the Cross-Blog Iraq Debate have been set:
- To Be Answered By Anti-War Bloggers:
1) If you were President of the United States, what would be your policy toward Iraq over the next year? What advantages and disadvantages do you see in your proposed policies versus the current path being pursued by the Bush administration?
2) Is there any circumstance that you can conceive of where the United States would be justified in using military force without the support of the UN Security Council — or does the UN always have a veto against US military action for whatever reason?
3) American and British military force has allowed Northern Iraq to develop a society which, while imperfect, is clearly a freer and more open society than existed under Saddam Hussein’s direct rule. Do you agree that the no-fly zones have been beneficial to Northern Iraq — and if so, why should this concept not be extended to remove Hussein’s regime entirely and spread those freedoms to all Iraqis?
4) Do you believe an inspection and sanctions regime is sufficient and capable of keeping weapons of mass destruction out of the hands of the Hussein regime — and should this be a goal of U.S. policy? In what way is an inspection/containment/sanctions regime preferable to invasion? Civilian casualties? Expense? Geopolitical outcome?
5) What, in your opinion, is the source of national sovereignty? If you believe it to be the consent of the governed, should liberating Iraq from Saddam Hussein’s regime be U.S. policy? If so, how do you propose to accomplish this goal absent military action? (And if in your view the sovereignty of a state does not derive from the consent of the governed, then what is the source of sovereignty?)
To Be Answered By Pro-War Bloggers:
1. Attacking Iraq has been publicly called a “pre-emption” of a threat from Saddam Hussein’s regime, whose sins include launching regional wars of aggression. Do you think there is a clear and reliable difference between pre-emptive and aggressive warfare, and if so, what is it?
2. What do you feel are the prospects that an invasion of Iraq will succeed in a) maintaining it as a stable entity and b) in turning it into a democracy? Are there any precedents in the past 50 years that influence your answer?
3. How successful do you think the military operations and “regime change” in Afghanistan have been in achieving their stated objectives? Does this example affect your feelings about war in Iraq in any way?
4. As a basis for war, the Bush Administration accuses Iraq of trying to acquire weapons of mass destruction (chemical, biological, nuclear), supporting terrorism, and brutalizing their own people. Since Iraq is not the only country engaged in these actions, under what circumstances should the US go to war with other such nations, in addition to going to war with Iraq?
5. The Bush Administration has issued numerous allegations about the threat represented by Iraq, many of which have been criticized in some quarters as hearsay, speculation or misstatements. Which of the Administration’s allegations do you feel stand up best to those criticisms?