2/23/03

Should We Go To War?


Memphians are bitterly divided about whether war is the moral way to deal with Iraq. For a moment, let's set that debate aside and do something easy - like consider our self-interest. Take as fundamental one simple premise: No American wants to suffer physically or economically. War in Iraq frustrates both of those desires.



Unless there is broad-based international agreement about disarming Iraq it is reasonable to expect the following to happen:



* The United States will attack and occupy Iraq. Some estimates call for a 5- to 10-year occupation at a cost of around $1 trillion.


* Our economy will shift toward paying for these expenses. Al-Qaida will still be at large and will find it easy to rally new followers for more attacks. As a result the United States will face decades of terrorist attacks like 9/11. Given the amount of shipping flowing through Memphis, we are a big and easy target.


* During a war Iraq will likely attack Israel and Israel's prime minister, the hawkish Ariel Sharon, will respond with tremendous force. Will other Arab countries take the opportunity to become involved? Bet on it. The Mideast will become a violent conflagration.



Even those whose only concern about the Mideast is its energy will not find this outcome to their pocketbook's liking.



Supporting this scenario isn't patriotic, it's apocalyptic. No president deserves support for taking a great country like America in a direction such as this. Americans who are loyal to our principles and to the troops who fight to defend them should say no to anyone who would betray them. And that includes the President.


David Hildebrand

Memphis


Published in GoMemphis (Commercial Appeal)

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