Dec 08, 2023
Dec 08, 2023
There is a strongly held, but publicly unsubstantiated belief within this administration, that when we go to war, a number of things will fall in place like the non-energy requiring transformation of an inducing protein structure turning on a gene transcription.
France and most European allies will offer material and logistical help.
Iraqi army will fall apart and offer no resistance and the Iraqi population will welcome the US forces as liberators.
Saddam will not use WMD on US troops or Israel and thus casualties will be small. He will not destroy his or any other countries' oil assets.
If missiles are fired at Israel, it will not retaliate.
Any agitation or uprising in Jordan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia or the Gulf States will be temporary and easily controlled.
Germany, Saudi Arabia, Japan and Egypt will offer financial help and or nation building manpower in the post-war phase.
The Kurds and Arabs, both Shii and Sunni will not fight amongst themselves and will form a unified Federal entity without making Turkey weaker or Iran stronger by forming an independent Kurdistan or Southern Iraq joining Iran respectively.
If, as is most likely, the above highly improbable combination of favorable developments do not occur, then there will be high casualties, ours and civilians, destruction of oil assets with soaring prices, a depression in the US and we will be bogged down in Iraq and have to give military support to governments in the Middle East, falling faster than a row of dominoes. There will be terrorists crawling out of the woodwork. Psychopathic, power hungry, arrogant rogues like Saddam can be restrained by a straitjacket, tranquilized and quarantined by force. Euthanasia is not the only inevitable prescription. We did encourage his misadventures and he miscalculated and was unlucky and inept. We are stronger, more adept, but with the new security doctrine, no less power hungry and arrogant, though much stronger militarily. I fervently hope we don't miscalculate and are not unlucky.
I would think that after the September 11 tragedy, our main objective would be decreasing the number of terrorists, the possibility of attacks by them and their access to WMD. The announcement of an Iraq attack is surely likely to lead to co-operation between Iraq and the Bin Laden group. They are likely to provide Bin Laden followers with toxins and means of delivery. If Iraq is successfully attacked, it will breed more terrorists in the region and a democratic Iraq is hardly likely to be embraced by the corrupt, despotic and fanatically religious neighbors. It is imperative to demonstrate visible progress and healing in the Israeli-Palestinian festering sore, before subjecting ourselves to new self-inflicted wounds. Containing Saddam by rigorous inspections and persisting with no-fly zones and other deterrents will insure more safety for us and less money and manpower commitments.
For those of you who think my thesis is ridiculous and the rosy scenario inevitable, all I can say is, I am sure you reply to every E-mail from Nigeria and think that the stock market will be at Dow 30000, next summer. By the way would you like to buy the Brooklyn Bridge really cheap? There is even an interest free installment plan for those who can't do it in a single payment or so reliable intelligence sources are supposed to have said!
To be fair and give the administration credit for having intelligent analysts, some of whom are not ideologically handicapped, let me paint a picture of what I think, their thoughts are. They have painted themselves into a corner with repeated threats and cannot afford to lose credibility, as they did with Milosevic in Bosnia and Kosovo in the early stages. It is better to get him before he has nuclear weapons.
Saddam is an ideal villain to make an example of. Even if there is a temporarily increased flow of chemical and biological weapons in the hands of terrorists, delivery systems and route of entry are very difficult and can be guarded against. This will intimidate other possible terrorism inclined renegade states like Syria and Iran. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Gulf States will roll over and willingly play dead. Funding for terrorists will dry up. Whether the victory is clean or pyrrhic, the potential benefits are influencing upcoming elections and diversion of attention from a sinking economy and stock market. Potential executive and crony capitalism scandals and Cheney and Bush financial shenanigans will be forgotten in the euphoria of patriotic hoopla or mourning. No one will worry about deficit spending and cuts in Social Security, Medicare can be demanded as necessary sacrifice for national safety and pride. Extra spending will stimulate the economy and enrich defense and other businesses contributing to the party. We are currently rich and strong enough and Europe still feels beholden. Russia and China are weak and need our aid and trade respectively. All that may not last forever as Germany has started refusing to kowtow, so strike while the iron is hot enough to be pliant and malleable!
More by : Gaurang Bhatt, MD