Some Questions to Think About (Before Going to War)…
February 03, 2003, 1:00am

I wrote these questions in September, 2002, but never put them
on my website. I think they are still relevant questions and are
worth considering:

1. How many body bags does the military expect to send home to

2. What is the cost of the war in billions of dollars? One advisor
to the president estimates the war would cost up to $200 billion,
but he was quickly replaced by a more conservative successor.

3. Are there estimates for how long American troops would have
to stay there? Are they remotely realistic? A lot of knowledgeable
people predict a very long and expensive haul.

4. What are the costs in civilian lives and social and environmental
destruction (i.e. is Saddam going to burn oil fields again)?

5. How much of this war is about oil?

6. How much of this war is a vendetta against “the man who
tried to kill my dad”?

7. Why now? For 11 years (without attacking the United States)
Saddam Hussein has been defying U.N. resolutions, as many countries
have. Since writing these questions last September, the international
community is now faced with a prime example of this situation, with
North Korea defying multilateral nuclear proliferation treaties.
The Bush administration’s response has been a policy of containment.
Why the double standard? Could this be because North Korea doesn’t
have oil?

8. If we preemptively attack Iraq, will Iraq strike Israel who
will then retaliate, leading to the Arab world responding, which
will set off the powder keg in the entire Middle East and will disrupt
the continuity of some Arab nations Mr. Bush counts among his allies?

9. Is there really an alliance between Iraq and Al Qaeda, since
one society is secular and one is fundamentalist? (I’ve read that
bin Laden had issued a Fatwa calling Hussein an apostate who needs
to be destroyed.)

10. What is the responsibility of a powerful nation to follow the
rule of international law? … We should be setting an example for
the rest of the world.

11. Will Hussein give weapons of mass destruction to Al Qaeda?
(I’ve read Hussein would be afraid to … because if Al Qaeda
obtained weapons of mass destruction, one of their first targets
would be Iraq).

12. What will be the increased terrorist threat to the United States
as a result of going to war with Iraq?