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What sort of peace?

Reader comment on item: Profs Who Hate America

Submitted by R. L. Kaylor (United States), Nov 17, 2002 at 02:54

Those who hold the United States and the Soviet Union, China, and North Korea (as well as other assorted dictatorships) on the same moral plane would almost certainly attribute U.S. goals and objectives in its impending war with Iraq to mere economic interests (an absurd, if not unreformed Marxist, notion). Economic interests DO play a role in great power relations, but this case speaks for itself.

Strategically speaking, ridding an NBC/M-armed Saddam from the region is unquestionably the paramount objective. Not only does Iraq threaten Israel and friendly Gulf States, but Saddam may well possess NBC-armed ballistic missiles capable of striking Europe. This presents a political, strategic dilemma: the United States, by not acting, would have demonstrated that it does not protect its allies and friends, thus undermining treaty commitments and jeopardizing future economic and military relations. In addition, allowing Saddam to remain would not only permit him to continue using terrorism as war by proxy, but it would also permit him to blackmail U.S.- friendly nations and thus threaten vital U.S. interests throughout the Gulf. This, of course, means oil interests.

Most Americans misunderstand the importance of oil: low transportation and energy costs boost the U.S. economy. As the price of oil goes, so goes the price of nearly everything. Control over Iraqi oil would pay for the war effort as well as undercut the price of Saudi oil and the rest of the OPEC cartel, thus stimulating the American economy through reductions in transportation costs (as the United States is also a transportation economy).

Saddam is indeed a killer ruling a terrorist state. His successful removal also jeopardizes the dictatorship of Bashar Assad, the mullahs in Iran, and the House of Saud, another positive development for U.S. interests.

War asks a very simple question, and your readers should consider it carefully: in what kind of peace do I want to live?

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