To the editor,
Because there are important reasons for opposing a war with Iraq, I pray our government will avoid it.
From World War II until the dissolution of the Soviet Union, deterrence successfully prevented thermonuclear war between the two superpowers. Iraq is much smaller and weaker than the Soviet Union and lacks the means for directly attacking the United States. Our policy towards Iraq should be one of deterrence and containment -- not a policy of pre-emptive strikes.
If we make a pre-emptive strike, we would be the aggressor under international law. We would have bypassed the peacekeeping role of the United Nations and would have alienated many former friendly countries whose help is needed for the war on terrorism.
Iraq knows that one false move would instantly create an international coalition to bring an end to the regime. So, Saddam Hussein will be very careful. Informed observers have found no link between the secular regime of Saddam Hussein and the fanatically Islamic al-Qaida. Nor have U.N. inspectors yet found weapons of mass destruction.
A U.S. attack upon Iraq could result in heavy civilian casualties. If the war continues, it could result in heavy military casualties and vast devastation. Rebuilding a devastated Iraq would be costly. The United States would pay the full cost of a unilateral attack, further weakening our sick economy.
Although the United States is militarily powerful, any attempt at worldwide U.S. hegemony is neither moral nor practical.
John A. Bond,