Consequences Of War - King Features Syndicate

Ralph Johansen michele at
Tue Feb 11 14:16:01 MST 2003

Fwd by Anne Williamson:

King Features Syndicate
February 10, 2003

Consequences Of War
Charley Reese

I have no doubt that George Bush will launch an attack on Iraq, with or
without United Nations Security Council approval. I have no doubt that the
United States will win the war, though some Iraqi defectors have said
recently that it might not be as easy as American officials think. But we
will win.

So let's look at what the consequences are likely to be:

1. American lives will be lost. I've heard some military brass refer to the
146 killed in the first Gulf War as "negligible." I personally don't think
the loss of even one American life is negligible. I think the casualties
will be much higher. The fact that Iraqi soldiers ran from Kuwait - whose
invasion they didn't think much of in the first place - doesn't mean that
they will run away from defending their homes, their wives and their

2. America will be morally discredited. We will have attacked a country with
a population of 20 million that did not attack us. Nobody in the world
except politicians in Washington and London (if them) believe that Iraq, so
terribly weakened by the Gulf War and the sanctions, is a threat to anybody.

How can President Bush keep saying Iraq is a threat to its neighbors, much
less the world, when Iraq's neighbors keep saying, "No, it is not a threat"?
Every one of Iraq's neighbors - Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Iran
and, most especially, Israel - is more powerful than Iraq.

3. The Islamic world will be enraged, and that's more than 1 billion people.
Terrorism directed against the United States will be increased, not
decreased. However we see it, the war will be seen as an attack against
Islam, as an attempt by the United States to recolonize the Arab world and
to establish between ourselves and Israel domination and hegemony.

4. The United States will be tied down in Iraq for a year or more. We should
learn from the Israeli experience. They went into Lebanon like a hot knife
through butter, but they found that they couldn't stay. We will find out the
same thing in Iraq. Even if we install a puppet government, we'll have to
prop it up or else it will be overthrown.

5. The war will cost us between $100 billion and $200 billion. The president
has not budgeted for that expense. The war and its likely effect on oil
prices will certainly damage and could wreck our economy. Nobody is going to
help us pay for it. The Arabs in the Gulf States are already saying to
America about Iraq, "You break it, you buy it."

6. The Middle East will be destabilized - to what extent, it's impossible to
predict. Some now-friendly governments could be overthrown. Nearly all will
be forced to change their attitude toward the United States to appease their
people. The forces of extremism will be greatly strengthened, and the
moderates will be greatly weakened and perhaps rendered completely
ineffective. Again, we should learn from the Israelis. They have not been
able to kill their way to security and peace. Every time they crush an enemy
militarily, they generate more and more hatred. The Middle East is not a
region where memories are short or where forgiveness has much of a standing.
Revenge is deeply imbedded in the culture of that region.

7. Finally, the United States will have served notice on every other country
in the world that it will launch a pre-emptive attack against any country it
imagines might be a threat, directly or indirectly, in the future. If you
want a formula for a dangerous, unstable world, that's it. No country in the
world will trust us again.

© 2003 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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