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    From: (Jms at B5)
 Subject: Re: Attn JMS: What about now?
    Date: 12/19/2002 2:56:00 PM  

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>I still support an attack on Iraq - for my
>own reasons, regrdless of Bush's reasons. I want to make sure Iraq
>doesn't use nukes/bio/Chemical weapons against any of its enemies.
>Saddam is a true threat to the Middle East and to the world. I don't
>feel like having a repeat of when I was 8 years old in the shelter,
>with a gas mask on

Don't blame you. So I guess the question before us is not so much "does the
end justify the means?" as "does the means assure the end?"

There are any number of governments -- friendly or hostile to the US -- that
have these weapons. Do we take out all of them? With so much of this out
there, does it make it one whit safer for the US?

On top of the best of my knowledge, and I'm happy to be corrected on
this, Saddam has never made an actual threat to attack the US. Even the CIA
came back and said that the odds of Saddam attacking the US are very close to
zero...unless he feels he's cornered and no longer has anything left to lose.
He might then use it locally, or give it to others.

And let us remember that so far the Bush administration has not produced one
whit of proof that these weapons exist in the first place. So we have a
conundrum on our hands: either he has them, and we guarantee an attack by going
after him, or he doesn't have them, in which case why are we going in?

The thing about regime change from outside is that it never works. Any time
we've done it in the past, we've ended up making the situation worse, and had
those ghosts come back to haunt us later, in Iran, Iraq, the Phillipines, you
name it.

The only time it does work is when it's the people of the nation rising up.
And they do, sooner or later. They rose up in Poland, in East Germany, in
Russia proper, and elsewhere. And that, for me, is the telling point: someone
from the outside coming in does not have the moral authority to make the change
stick, or make decisions with the best interests of the local population at

If, in 1775, prior to our declaration of independence, the Austrians had said,
"Look, we think you Americans are being oppressed, the British have these
terrible weapons, we're going to liberate you," and they did so, putting in a
puppet government, or setting up Austrians to run the country...would we have
ever accepted that? Would we not have in time risen up against them?

GIving support internally to rebel forces in Iraq? Sure. Responding to a
direct attack against the US? You bet. Maybe even to just an announced

But none of that is ever going to guarantee the safety of the US. Our friends
in Europe have learned this lesson already, with terrorist actions in both
France and Britain for decades. But rather than torch their liberties,
egalities and fraternities, they set their jaw and endured it, allowing their
law enforcement arms time to deal with it...and for the most part, that's been

You want a guarantee that it can't happen here, but it can...and it will,
because in truth there's nothing that anybody can do to stop a handful of
dedicated fanatics. The only surprise here is that it took this long for it to
happen. And when it did happen, it came from a small group with lots of
sponsors, not as an act by one given nation against the US.

If Al-Quaeda had WMD, you can bet your ass they would've used them by now. But
what we've had have been small, limited operations. Nor -- and this is
strictly my opinion -- will any nation give them WMD to use on their behalf

For one reason: if that were ever to happen, if a big biological or chemical
attack were ever perpetrated against the US, there is absolutely no doubt in my
milnd, or in their mind, that we would glass over whichever country was

So as long as our enemies have something to lose, we're safe. Back them into a
corner...and I'm not so sure.

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