Certain an opinion not based on evidence or fact.
I am amazed at the length that a Rhodes Scholar would go to draw the wrong conclusions from history.
In his first "for instance" he states: "To the contrary, it could well become a giant recruiting vehicle for al Qaeda and its imitators. Young Muslims around the world will see U.S. action without U.N. approval as neocolonialist, motivated more by a desire for Iraqi oil than Iraqi freedom. Many could become terrorists, striking at Americans anywhere in the world. If Americans are safe abroad only when they’re accompanied by bodyguards, it will be difficult, among other things, for the United States to succeed in the world economy." This in direct opposition to unilateral movement against Saddam.
What the former Senator has failed to pick up on in history is that although we have spent untold billions in money, medicines and supplies to the Arab Nation’s, these fringe groups still are able to establish a large recruiting against the U.S.. This due, in many cases, because the help we send does not get to the people it is designed to help. The powers that be secure and deal out what they feel is necessary to the people leaving their economy in a state of poverty and a life style just a step or two above the Stone Age.
The additional support of the U.N. will do nothing to change the idea they already believe that the U.N. is nothing but a puppet to U.S. designs and wishes.
In his case 2, he frets about destabilizing the region such as Saudi Arabia. First understand that the only reason that the Saudi’s even give us "lip service support" is because as much as we require their oil, they require our money and military strength. They are no more our real allies than France has ever been since the 60’s.
This entire region of the world has been unstable and fighting within themselves since before the birth of Christ. They seem unable to have a unity of commonality within the borders of their own country. Certainly our removal of a vastly unpopular leader, such as Saddam, is going to change nothing in the greater picture.
Add to this the number of countries such as Turkey, Qatar…etc that not only stand with us, but allow us to station and stage troops in preparation of a possible war, it counters his argument.
In case 3 Senator Bradley is concerned with old allies such as Germany that oppose us. Germany has the luxury of saying what they want thanks in whole to our intervention against Communist aggression, to our military support and our financial support after WW II.
I put this question to you Senator, how long do you think it would take for Germany to join in and support us if we said, "since you are not willing to support us we are going to pull all troops, weapons and bases from your country. Starting this month."?
My bet is that they’d jump on board so fast the French would gag on their cheese or choke on their glass of wine.
The sooner the U.S. wakes up and ties foreign aid and other assistance to policy the sooner we’d have better support within the world community. The problem is we don’t and those who benefit the most from our tax dollars abroad understand they can say anything and support anything they want without recourse from us.
Case 4: "Bush’s strong remarks ignored the fact that military actions often have unpredictable consequences. For example, the 1991 Persian Gulf War led to a continuing U.S. presence in the Islamic holy land — something the British and French always avoided — and radicalized a generation of Muslims, helping to create the atmosphere for the emergence of Osama bin Laden"
Surely the Senator is aware the bin Laden was never more than a money man. He was in fact a supporter of the U.S. while we provided arms and money to Afghan against the Soviet invasion. In fact, if not for our military actions the Afghans would have never been able to drive the Soviet’s out.
Again, the Senator fails to learn from history. While we were of use and help, our "actions" were welcome, even requested. Then 9/11 is our thanks. Perhaps it is true that "No good deed goes unpunished". But often history shows that inaction results in terrible results, (one of which we’ll cover later).
Case 5: " The president did not point out that the prospect of unilateral U.S. invasion has caused Iraq’s neighbors to put away traditional animosities and begin to consult on what it could mean for them’
Again Senator, you fail to see that these people never get along for long. And most of those you mention are either staying out of it or are allowing their country to be used as a staging area.
You could have saved a lot of ink and some trees and simply stated that you believe that nothing, most likely a bio attack linked from Saddam, is a reason to go to war. Please remember to write another op-ed when some bio attack or dirty bomb kills thousands of Americans here at home because we failed to act and respond to a threat.
I hope you are willing to write the families of those who suffer a letter and explain why you made such a stance.
In closing you make the statement: "Throughout the Cold War, we spent billions of dollars to contain the Soviet Union. Presidents rallied international support, bolstered our defenses and built consensus, but they never committed forces to a European war. Containment worked."
Containment worked Senator? Please tell that to the almost 100 million people that lost their lives to communist aggression in the course of 70 years. Please tell that to the 50 million that starved to death in China in the 50’s.
Tell that to those who fought against the Soviet’s during the invasion of Afghanistan, who fought for 10 years, with our support, how well "containment" worked.
Please tell that to those in South America that are still trying to stop and capture leftist rebels who were supplied with money and arms via Cuba, from the Soviet’s.
Saddam’s aim is to hamper us, plain, pure and simple. The fringe groups of Muslim’s resent of our lifestyle and influence in the World is not going to diminish simple because we are not in the area. They want to see us destroyed.
You may be willing to attempt to contain someone from providing them a means to accomplish their goal. But containment, appeasement and inaction has cost the World far too many lives.
Saddam has proven that he isn’t going to change, as evidenced by the last decade. These fringe groups aren’t just going to go away because we ask them to. War is never my first choice, but it sometimes becomes the final and only choice.