Steve Chapman sounds like a Euroweenie here:
- Wouldn’t it be nice to be rid of Saddam Hussein? That’s how the Bush administration has managed to frame the debate over war with Iraq. In its cheerful scenario, there really won’t be much of a fight: Our peerless military will crush all resistance, the Iraqi army will quickly disintegrate, the dictator will meet his just fate, and Iraq will enter the community of civilized nations under American tutelage.
Disingenuous set up: the situation is far more urgent than “wouldn’t it be nice to be rid of Saddam.” Chapman’s grand solution: um, he doesn’t have one.
- A poison gas attack on Tel Aviv could precipitate a nuclear strike against Baghdad, killing hundreds of thousands and creating unimaginable repercussions.
Could anything be worse than that? Maybe so. Daniel Benjamin, co-author of the new book, “The Age of Sacred Terror,” points out that in the chaos of war, Iraq’s worst weapons could be smuggled to Al Qaeda by enterprising military officers or by Saddam Hussein, intent on exacting revenge against America by any means possible–creating what Benjamin calls “the greatest proliferation disaster in history.”
It was possible to deter Saddam Hussein from using chemical and biological weapons. But those weapons may soon be in the hands of fanatical terrorists who can’t be deterred–ready for use whenever Osama bin Laden gives the word.
Americans are looking forward to a brief, easy conflict that will make the world a safer place, and they may very well get it. But they should also realize that more than any war we’ve fought in the past half-century, this one carries the real risk of catastrophe.
Every war risks catastrophe, every breath you take comes with it a worst case scenario. It seems to me even/particularly under Chapman’s dire possibilities, we’d better get in there with massive force as quickly as possible and take care of this mess rather than waiting for it to come to us. A double squeeze on Saddam and al Qaeda at the same time would seem to be our best approach.