Iraq: Prewar opinions

(written Jan 19, 2003).

The issue of the pending war with Iraq is not a simple one.

The case for the opposition to the war may be summarized as follows:

All of these arguments I totally accept.

The only meaningful argument for the war against Iraq, in my view, is that replacement of the Hussein regime by almost anything else will have immediate positive effects for the majority of the people of Iraq. I also feel that the Western war planners are probably right and that the war will be won relatively quickly, although there will presumably be a civilian deathtoll of many thousands during the fight for Baghdad, and perhaps tens of thousands caused by the expected crisis for food and water during the months afterwards.

Nevertheless, I think one should recognize that the war against Iraq will have some very positive effects for most of the Iraqi people, who will be freed from a very brutal dictatorship. The future Iraqi regime will ensure that the oil reserves are placed in the hands of Western corporations, but at the same time, it will probably bring about a great change for the better in the quality of life of most of the population. What matters more .. the freedom and well-being of the Iraqi population, or the issue of who controls the oil? Would the mother of someone being tortured in Saddam's prisons care that the West is telling lies to justify its war?

Should one then support the war, despitethe fact that the stated justifications for it are lies and distortions?

In opposing the war because the real reason for it is control of oil reserves, is one actually betraying the Iraqi people, and opposing their chance of finally ridding themselves of an odious dictator: a sadist and a torturer?

I am sure that most of those opposing the war are also weighing up these difficult alternatives.

On balance, I do oppose the war, and I am taking part in demonstrations against it.

But in part, I will be demonstrating not so much against this war, as against the next one, and the one after that. And I hope that the (fictitious) mother of an Iraqi prisoner would understand that.

The USA, and the UK as its shameless attack poodle, is embarking on a true program of global domination, which is leading to disaster. Public protest in the West is essential to put some sort of brake on this program.

In Iraq, enforced "regime change" will be followed pretty surely by:

Opposition for this war is also opposition for these dreadful future scenarios. Despite the reservations stated above, we must oppose it, for the sake of the future.

Back to the top page of my personal site.

I welcome debate! I will try to respond to emails as soon as I can.