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1. War with Iraq won’t make us safer.
A unilateral attack by the United States will inflame anti-U.S. sentiment, feeding right into Bin Ladin’s own evil rhetoric, and may stimulate more attacks by fundamental extremists.
2. There is no imminent threat.
There is no hard evidence that Iraq has nuclear weapons. Recent UN reports suggests inspections have shown no evidence that Saddam’s robust nuclear program of the 1990s has continued. According to these same reports the United Nation’s believes Iraq has little means to deliver chemical and biological weapons to threaten countries in the Middle East, let alone the U.S.
3. A preemptive attack violates the U.N. charter.
The U.N. Charter forbids member countries from attacking another country except in self defense. If the U.S. puts itself above international law it will further encourage other nations to do the same. Not to mention the contradiction of the United States in relation to the numerous U.N. resolutions Israel has broken with their dealings of occupied territories of Palestine. While Israel continues to receive the majority of US foreign aid, totaling a staggering 1.6 trillion dollars since 1973, with over 50% supporting Israel military operations in Palestine.
4. Our allies don’t support us in this war.
U.S. allies in the Middle East oppose a U.S. attack on Iraq. Our European allies have urged the U.S. to work through the U.N. An invasion of Iraq would isolate the U.S. from the rest of the world and shatter the principles of international cooperation and mutual defense that are key to U.S. and global security.
5. Thousands of innocent people may die.
Pentagon estimates say that an invasion of Iraq could lead to the deaths of 10,000 innocent civilians. The CIA also reports that if Saddam does possess biological weapons, he is more likely to use them in defense if attacked by the US, putting even more of Iraqi civilians and US troops at risk of death.
6. Young American men and women will fight and die.
U.S. military action and possible occupation is likely to produce far more casualties than the previous Gulf War or the war in Afghanistan. Many combatants will suffer physical and psychological repercussions for years after the war ends.
7. Funding for education, environment and health care is already being cut in order to pay for the “war on terror.”
Estimates put the cost of a war with Iraq at $60-$100 billion with ongoing billions for occupation and rebuilding Iraq, a drunken thought if one realizes our economy is currently suffering an awful recession. Also the environmental impact of another Gulf War could potentially threaten even more oil reserves, and endangered species (if set on fire like the first Gulf War), as well as contributing greatly to global warming- which Bush after his 2003’s State of the Union address- is acknowledging actually exists.
8. Things may not be better after a war.
We have no guarantee that a new regime in Iraq will make life any better for the Iraqi people, who already live under a tyrannical dictator. Or that Iraq will be any friendlier to the U.S. than Saddam currently is. The Taliban were once our allies in Afghanistan. Will the new regime in Iraq become our enemy after a few years as well?
9. There are other options.
The U.S. can work through the U.N. using mechanisms such as the resumption of weapons inspections, negotiation, mediation, regional arrangements, and other peaceful means. Most significantly trying Saddam in an international court of law for War Crimes, such as was done post-Bosnia conflict for Slobodan Milosevic, is an option. This may also entail prosecuting certain United State’s officials and companies who openly supplied Saddam with biological components.
10. The American people have deep misgivings about this war.
Many people know deep down that this war makes no sense. They are starting to speak up and make themselves heard. You can add your voice to activities in your own community. In the rhetoric of our President Bush, a proclaimed Christian, one must wonder, has he ever thought-“Who would Jesus bomb?’ The response surely would not be the innocent people of Iraq who have already suffered greatly because of Saddam, along with the U.N. sanctions supported and controlled by the United States.
JOSH FRANK is a 24-year-old writer and activist living in Portland, Oregon. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org