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Old 03-20-2003, 05:57 PM   #16
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Not exactly true. He said it would be better with UN support. I wish STING were posting these days. He knows the book inside and out. In my opinion having scoured the pages of this book for more hours than my wife appreciates, the current coalition does not meet the standards that Pollack felt we needed. Specifically, he felt we could do it without the UN with enough support of the Gulf Countries.

It adds to my belief that Powell, who I love, and Bush have failed diplomatically.

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Old 03-20-2003, 06:02 PM   #17
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One more comment....I wish he did not title it The Threatening Storm: The Case for Invading Iraq

It is his conclusion, but he presents five scenarious total for the situation. The beginning also provides an excellent history of Iraq and Saddam as well.

It is a good read.

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Old 03-20-2003, 06:53 PM   #18
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Though I will not refute its facts or its figures, I do not agree with it as a rationale for war.

Razors pain you; Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you; And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren't lawful; Nooses give;
Gas smells awful; You might as well live.

Dorothy Parker, 'Resumé'
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Old 03-21-2003, 09:48 PM   #19
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No Containing Iraq

By Rachel Bronson

Newsday, March 13, 2003

Members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as war opponents across the globe, are arguing that the containment of Iraq can work or be made to work. French Foreign Minister Dominique de Villepin has stated categorically that "the method we have chosen works."

This was echoed in a recent Foreign Policy article in which professors John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt argued that "both logic and historical evidence suggest a policy of vigilant containment would work." Recently, Newsday, The Washington Post and others have run similar pieces. While containment may once have been a viable alternative, it is not one now. Today, containment is an unsustainable and morally bankrupt policy.

Containment has three basic components: inspections, economic sanctions and a robust military presence. Economic sanctions are supposed to compel Saddam Hussein to disarm. Inspectors are intended to confirm that Hussein is indeed disarming, and military force is required to deter Hussein from lashing out at his neighbors while undergoing one of the most comprehensive disarmament regimes in history.

The real problem with containment is that it is not working. Hussein remains committed to re-arming. He builds missiles in excess of proscribed limits, trains his troops to dispense weapons of mass destruction, and has failed to account for a worrisome stock of chemical and biological weapons. Even the 250,000 troops now amassed on his border have not compelled him to offer records on his weapons program. That he doesn't have such records is simply not credible, compelling Hans Blix to quip "mustard gas is not marmalade. You keep track of how much mustard gas you produce."

Meanwhile, economic sanctions are leaking, and leaking badly. Syria illegally imports approximately $3 billion a year in Iraqi oil. Illicit trade between Iraq and its other neighbors has increased over time. The military component is running into trouble as well. During the 1990s, the United States undertook repeated military strikes against Iraq in order to "keep Saddam in his box." Each attack resulted in decreasing international support and further limitations on American action.

Containment also brings with it a host of significant costs. In the Mideast, Washington's force posture is giving succor to radicals who threaten the very existence of friendly states. America's military presence has become a rallying point for extremists and even moderate opponents of local regimes. Osama bin Laden is the most extreme example. This is the most compelling link between Iraq and terrorism, not the one President George W. Bush offers. The perpetuation of American containment policy destabilizes the very countries it aims to protect.

Even more disturbing is containment's human cost. Sanctions were put in place because they were expected to be a short-lived effort to compel disarmament. They have backfired. They have not compelled disarmament but have had a disastrous effect on the Iraqi population. Sanctions-induced food rations are withheld from anyone disloyal to the Iraqi regime. According to a 1999 U.S. State Department report, Iraq uses 40 percent of the oil-for-food money to purchase medicines for primary care, while 60 percent is used for high-cost medical equipment and exotic treatments reserved for elite members of society. The International Committee of the Red Cross reported that the sanctions have destroyed Iraq's health-care industry, which has resulted in "high infant and child mortality, a reported increase in maternal mortality and a decline in life expectancy."

Here in the United States we may take comfort in the platitude that sanctions are not hurting the Iraqi people; Hussein's use of them is. But Washington continues to support a policy that it knows is being used for nefarious ends and is therefore complicit in the suffering of the Iraqi people. America should be actively trying to eliminate sanctions, not "tighten them."

Proponents of containment suggest that the experience of the Cold War can be overlaid on the Mideast, yet fail to acknowledge the differences between then and now. During the Cold War the cornerstone of U.S. containment of the Soviet Union was the placement of American troops and equipment in essentially friendly and stable countries whose governments and populations largely supported its aims. In the Mideast these conditions do not exist. While Iraq is not the Soviet Union, neither is Saudi Arabia West Germany.

Mideastern countries are simply too small and unstable to support the mighty American military presence that is necessary to contain Hussein. Even before the recent build-up, Kuwait provided training areas for the U.S. Army, Saudi Arabia hosted significant air assets, Bahrain housed Central Command's forward naval headquarters, the United Arab Emirates provided important docking facilities, and Qatar and Oman pre-positioned billions of dollars of American equipment. Turkey, Iraq's northern neighbor, made the defense of the northern no-fly zone possible.

Some may argue that Washington could devise a more robust offshore American military presence, or lift sanctions. Unfortunately, containment advocates have not laid out a practical strategic and tactical plan to make an offshore alternative work. Whatever form it could take, though, would require a considerable deployment of assets at a time when America has significantly drawn down its forces around the globe and is having problems fulfilling existing global responsibilities. Lifting sanctions would only provide more resources to Hussein while allowing his weapons program to continue unhindered.

War, of course, brings with it its own strategic problems and moral challenges. As usual, politics is about choosing between bad and worse alternatives. Containment sounds attractive because it doesn't seem to require much sacrifice. The problem is it is costly and it isn't working. The Bush administration is right to replace the policy of containment. Unfortunately, it is pursuing the only realistic alternative.


Rachel Bronson is director of Middle East Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations.
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Old 03-22-2003, 03:29 PM   #20
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Silence is defening....LOL

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