Apparently the Bush Admin is so desperate to build support for a war against Iraq, that they are willing to use very questionable propaganda, regardless of hard evidence according to this story which says "Despite deep doubts by the CIA and FBI, the White House is now backing claims that suspected Sept. 11 skyjacker Mohammed Atta secretly met five months earlier with an Iraqi agent "
There have already been claims that this didn't happen, but instead of waiting to find out the truth, this admin is willing to spread a possible lie in order to get the American people behind the Shrub and his much needed war. Dubya's poll numbers are dropping and the Republicans are in full panic mode with the upcoming elections. This is really disturbing, that they would take such an approach. As an average citizen, I realize the possible threat that Iraq poses, especially to his neigboring countries. And I can see where in the future they might obtain long range nuclear capabilities. But I really don't think that Sadam would unleash a nuke on another country, or at us, knowing that they would be instantly annihilated. Same as the cold war with Russia, the deterrent effect of knowing that the US would respond to any type of nuclear attack in kind, and with much greater force would prevent Iraq from actually using any nukes.
But here is what I think is really happening here. Dubya wants to finish his father's war, it's personal with the Bushies. It's also political, because in wartime, patriotism outweighs good sensibilities, and therefore shores up the public support behind whoever the president is. And Dubya fears that if Iraq acquires nuclear weapons, we wouldn't be able to just waltz in there any time we feel like it ( the deterrent effect of nukes goes both ways you know ) and that is the real fear. Not that they would use them against us, but that it would prevent us from attacking them. Once Sadam has nuclear capability, if we were to strike first, there is no doubt in my mind that Sadam would use whatever means necessary, from nukes to biological weapons of mass destruction. But I don't really think that he would use them unprovoked, they would just be a way for him to secure his power, much like the many other countries that have nukes.
So I guess for me, in order for me to support an all out pre-emptive strike against Iraq, and putting hundreds of thousands of our men into harm's way, I would need to know what threat does Sadam pose aside from aspiring to have a strong defense, and insuring his dictatorship. I am not saying there isn't a good reason, but I haven't heard one, because all this admin talks about is that they are trying to acquire these weapons. That can't be our only basis for going after them, there has to be real convincing evidence that their goal is to try to destroy the US and allies at any cost, a suicide mission in effect. And I don't see Sadam as a suicide bomber, like we see with a lot of these terrorist, who are willing to do so, because they have nothing to lose.
We also must think about the consequences of toppling Sadam. What happens after we do so? Do we install a government of our liking? Or do we turn it over to their people, and let them choose their own leader since we believe in democracy? If we do, I'm sure that they will elect leaders who are as anti-American, if not more, than Sadam. Will it fuel even more hate towards the US in surrounding arab countries? These are things we must consider, because that is where the real threat lies. Terrorists are born out of hate, and despair. And the more despair we reign down on these countries, the more terror will be reigned down on the rest of the world. We are afraid to face cold hard facts, it's easier just to use our muscle, and try to force these countries to like us, than to use our brains and figure out what truly needs to be done to eliminate terrorism. I don't think we can simply just wipe all terrorists off of the face of the earth by killing or incarcerating them. Sure, we'd get rid of a lot of them, but as quickly as we do, more will be born to carry on where the others left off.
I don't have all the answers, and I realize that we do have to use force sometimes in this battle against terrorism. But I would feel much better, if someone was willing to really think about the cause and effect here, and start working towards a real solution. It's isn't an easy thing to do, we need leaders who are not simple minded and only know one way (war). We need leaders who really understand foreign policy, and the depth of the situation in the middle east and around the world. It's not as simple as good and evil. Dubya seems to think it is, and that's why I think he is going to lead us on a dangerous path, and if we continue in this bull-headed direction, our future will be in jeopardy.