Is it more reasonable for the United States government to attack Iraq than for the United States government not to attack Iraq?
Attack Iraq refers to the military takeover of Iraq and replacement of the Iraq government with one subservient to the United States government.
United States government refers to federal governmental administration, and armed forces, of the United States. The United States government is distinguished from the populous of the United States, even though the former may claim to represent the latter, and use and manipulate the latter in an attack on Iraq.
The United States government claims that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction, which could likely be used against the United States. Therefore, the U.S. government states that it has a right to preemptively attack Iraq in order to prevent Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction being used against the U.S. Although there is no reliable evidence that Iraq is in possession of weapons of mass destruction or that it has the capability to develop them. If anything, Iraq’s capability to develop weapons of mass destruction was destroyed during the Gulf War, and subsequent sanctions imposed by the U.S. and U.K. governments through the U.N. Security Council. Also, the U.S. was part of the U.N. weapons inspection teams in Iraq in the 1990’s, but choose to use the opportunity to spy on Iraq instead of carrying out legitimate weapons inspections. It lead to the Iraq government banning U.N. weapons inspections in 1998. Moreover, there is no clear evidence that the Iraq government would use weapons of mass destruction in an offensive mode against the U.S.
The U.S. government is an ally of Israel in its ongoing limited war with Palestine and indirectly the rest of the Arab world. The U.S. government provides Israel with diplomatic and economic support, and military support in the form of weaponry like helicopter gunships and F-16 fighter aircraft.
Israel is a nuclear power, with the capability of delivering nuclear warheads throughout the Middle East using ballistic missiles or military aircraft.
The U.S. government has troops stationed in Saudi Arabia to militarily secure Saudi Arabia’s ability to produce oil.
Iraq with about 110 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and 215 billion barrels of possible reserves, is the second largest producer of oil next to Saudi Arabia. Since 1990-1991, Iraq has faced economic sanctions from the U.N. Security Council (U.N. Resolution 986, with the U.S. and U.K. governments as the principle parties behind it), which have limited the amount of oil Iraq can produce and sell, and Iraq’s overall foreign trade. From a humanitarian standpoint, the U.N. sanctions have caused around 1.5 million Iraqi deaths, and have caused around 5 thousand Iraqi children to die every month. (720,000 children over the twelve years of sanctions.) Also, there have been a constant military containment of Iraq by the U.S. and U.K. governments through the economic sanctions as well as imposed no-fly-zones over Iraq and periodic bombings of suspected Iraqi military sites.
Since September 11, 2002, with the destruction of the World Trade Centers by the U.S. accused Al Qaida organization, the U.S. government has been on a so-called “War on Terrorism”, which translates into a war on any country, organization, or individual who is against the United States. Shortly after September 11, Afghanistan was attacked by the U.S. government on grounds that the Afghan government was host to the Al Qaida organization, and allowed the organization to use its soil to recruit and train members. No incriminating evidence was provided by the U.S. government about the connection between Al Qaida and the September 11 aircraft attacks. In its attack on Afghanistan, the U.S. government toppled the Afghan government and installed a puppet regime, while maintaining a military presence in Afghanistan and Azerbaijan, and deploying troops to Uzbekistan. The Caspian Sea which is in close proximity to these countries, contains possibly a third of the world’s untapped oil reserves. Prior to the attack on Afghanistan, U.S. oil companies had been trying to work out pipeline deals with the previous Afghan government.
To build its case against Iraq, the U.S. government claims without providing evidence that Iraq is linked to the Al Qaida organization and thereby the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Centers, and that Iraq’s president, Saddam Hussein is a threat to the so-called free world. Moreover, the U.S. government claims that it is necessary for it to act militarily against Iraq even if no other country agrees or participates.
A United States attack on Iraq would further destabilize the Middle East, and create further hatred for the United States government for its increased harm to the Iraqi people. The hatred would translate into resistance against the U.S., which would manifest itself in attacks on U.S. interests anywhere in the world, attacks on its citizens, and boycotts of its products and services. Further, the attack on Iraq would further convince the Muslim world that the U.S. and Israel governments are on a crusade against it. Furthermore, there is no viable political alternative to replace the Iraq government even if the U.S. government is successful in its attack on Iraq, which would leave a void and state of instability in Iraq.
The United States is the strongest country militarily and economically in the world. It has the largest nuclear arsenal, containing around 6 thousand nuclear missiles and bombs. Also, it has an unknown amount of biological and chemical weapons, and is presently pursuing military systems for war in space.
In an attempt to avert war, the Iraq government has allowed weapons inspectors to return to Iraq with the only condition that the terms for inspections agreed to by the U.N. secretary general be upheld, and despite the U.S. government’s past record of using the inspections to spy on Iraq. A possibility exists for the U.S. government to sabotage any forthcoming inspections, by claiming insufficient cooperation from the Iraq government or using the inspections to spy, thereby establish a perceived ground for war with Iraq. Or the U.S. government may use its power and influence to get the U.N. to demand less reasonable conditions for inspections, like ‘anytime, anywhere’, thus push Iraq to non-cooperation and ultimately an attack by the U.S. government.
The basis for the determination of more reasonableness is the well-being of humanity from the choice of a U.S. attack on Iraq or not a U.S. attack on Iraq.
1. By the U.S. government arguing and acting out that it has a right to preemptively attack another country because it possibly has weapons of mass destruction which could be used against the U.S., the U.S. government establishes a precedence for any other country to preemptively attack another country for possibly possessing weapons of mass destruction which could be used against it. (E.g. India/Pakistan, China/Taiwan)
2. The U.S. attack on Iraq will create more conflict and violence in the world by further destabilizing the Middle East and creating further grounds for resistance in the Muslim world and elsewhere to the U.S. government.
3. The U.S. attack will set precedence for declaring war without sufficient evidence, and using military means to resolve conflicts, thus encouraging more armed conflict in the world, and the increased proliferation of arms as countries prepare further for military defense and offense.
4. By establishing the condition that weapons of mass destruction are only permissible if a country can defend itself against countries which want to eliminate its weapons of mass destruction, establishes a precedence that in order to develop weapons of mass destruction and maintain them, a country must develop an effective deterrent, which would likely be linked to developing weapons of mass destruction. Thus, the U.S. government attack on Iraq would actually encourage the covert development of weapons of mass destruction.
4.1 The U.S. attack will establish an hypocritical ground for war, because the U.S. government has more weapons of mass destruction than any other country, and has been reckless in the assertion of its power (e.g. blatant bias to Israel in the Israel/Palestine conflict, attack on Afghanistan). Such an hypocritical approach establishes that might is right, thereby will encourage further conflict and proliferation of arms, while undermine law based on equality and fairness.
5. If the U.S. government influences the U.N. to impose less reasonable conditions for inspection of arms, or uses the inspection process to provoke Iraq, which in turn results in a U.N. sanctioned U.S. attack on Iraq, then the rule that might is right will be in effect.
5.1 The mere fact that weapons inspectors are required for Iraq and not other countries like the U.S. or Israel establishes the existence of might is right.
6. If the U.S. government is using weapons of mass destruction as an excuse to attack Iraq in order to get control of its oil reserves through a puppet Iraq government, then the ground for the U.S. attack is might is right through its perceived right to improve its economic well-being or prevent its economic decline. It follows from this ground that the U.S. government is entitled to attack Iraq or any other country for economic gain, just as any other country is entitled to attack any other country for economic gain.
Not attack Iraq
1. By the U.S. government successfully attacking Iraq, the world will be without a country capable of using weapons of mass destruction.
2. By the U.S. government attacking Iraq, it will discourage other countries from developing weapons of mass destruction, thus reduce their proliferation.
There is no relevant ambiguity with the arguments against a U.S. attack on Iraq.
Not attack Iraq
1. It is unclear that the U.S. attack on Iraq will result indefinitely in a country incapable of developing and using weapons of mass destruction.
2. It is unclear that the U.S. attack on Iraq will discourage other countries from developing and using weapons of mass destruction, because there will be a need to develop them, and use them if need be, to protect one’s country from other countries that already possess them or are in the process of possessing them.
1. It is unknown to what extent the U.S. attack on Iraq will cause more armed conflict and increased proliferation of arms.
2. It is unknown how much resistance to the U.S. will occur in the aftermath of the U.S. attack on Iraq. Nor is it known in what form the resistance will manifest itself.
3. It is unknown what are the real intentions of the U.S. government in wanting to attack Iraq. Though the intentions tend to favour the U.S. government’s desire to take control of Iraq’s oil reserves, and further destabilize the Middle East to both justify its increased control of the region and help its ally Israel, because there is no clear evidence that Iraq has weapons of destruction nor is there clear evidence that Iraq would use weapons of mass destruction in an offensive mode against the U.S.
Not attack Iraq
There is no relevant incompleteness with the arguments supporting a U.S. attack on Iraq.
Determination of comparative reasonableness:
Though the U.S. attack on Iraq may discourage other countries from developing weapons of mass destruction (Non-contradiction, Not attack Iraq, point 1), any discouragement will be undercut by the relative security and power that comes with possessing weapons of mass destruction, and the elimination of threat from countries which possess weapons of mass destruction to those countries that do not possess them (Non-ambiguity, Not attack Iraq, point 2). Also, the hypocrisy of the U.S. government possessing more weapons of mass destruction than any other country, using its military power recklessly, and allowing its allies like Israel to possess weapons of mass destruction despite its military adventure against Palestine, will undercut any deterrent from the U.S. attack on Iraq. (Non-contradiction, Attack Iraq, point 4.1) More important, the U.S. attack on Iraq comes down to might is right, whether the U.S. is seeking to eliminate Iraq’s possible weapons of mass destruction or take control of its oil reserves. (Non-contradiction, Attack Iraq, points 3, 4, 4.1, 5, 5.1, 6) Therefore, the U.S. attack will encourage increased conflict and proliferation of arms by making it clear to every other country that advancement is through might, and apparently the ultimate might is weapons of mass destruction.
Is humanity better off with more armed conflict and increased proliferation of lethal arms?
It appears that humanity is facing enough struggle from Nature in the form diseases, viruses, and scarcity of natural resources that armed human conflict is self-destructive and counter to the well-being of humanity. Also, the increased threat of use of weapons of mass destruction from more armed conflict and increased proliferation of lethal arms (Non-contradiction, Attack Iraq, points 1, 2, 3, 4, 4.1, 5, 5.1, 6) is enough to say that the U.S. attack on Iraq is less reasonable than not a U.S. attack on Iraq.
To resolve the situation with Iraq, the U.S. government has to remove its hypocrisy of possessing weapons of mass destruction and allowing its allies to possess them, but not other less powerful countries like Iraq. (Non-contradiction, Attack Iraq, point 4.1) In other words, either the U.S. government has to work honestly towards the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction or accept that all countries may eventually have them. If the U.S. government is after Iraq’s oil reserves, then the U.S. government has to recognize that such a policy will make the world more violent and conflict-filled (Non-contradiction, Attack Iraq, point 6), and that by the U.S. government respecting Iraq’s right to its oil reserves and pursuing Iraq’s oil if desired within a framework of equity and fairness for all of humanity, the world would be a less violent and conflict-filled place.
Note, if there is clear evidence that Iraq possesses weapons of mass destruction, and that it intends on using them against the U.S. in an offensive mode, then it more reasonably appears that the U.S. government would have a right to defend itself against Iraq by preemptively attacking it. Though this scenario is not applicable to the evaluation, because there is no clear evidence that Iraq either possesses weapons of mass destructive, and if it did, that it intends on using them in an offensive mode against the U.S.
Mr. Stephen Garvey is a philosopher and writer, and publisher for Inexpressible Publications who resides in Canada.
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