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Sunday, February 26, 2006

Dean was right 

From a speech Dean gave on Feb. 17, 2003:

We have been told over and over again what the risks will be if we do not go to war.

We have been told little about what the risks will be if we do go to war.

If we go to war, I certainly hope the Administration's assumptions are realized, and the conflict is swift, successful and clean.

I certainly hope our armed forces will be welcomed like heroes and liberators in the streets of Baghdad.

I certainly hope Iraq emerges from the war stable, united and democratic.

I certainly hope terrorists around the world conclude it is a mistake to defy America and cease, thereafter, to be terrorists.

It is possible, however, that events could go differently, and that the Iraqi Republican Guard will not sit out in the desert where they can be destroyed easily from the air.

It is possible that Iraq will try to force our troops to fight house to house in the middle of cities - on its turf, not ours - where precision-guided missiles are of little use.

It is possible that women and children will be used as shields and our efforts to minimize civilian casualties will be far less successful than we hope.

There are other risks.

Iraq is a divided country, with Sunni, Shia and Kurdish factions that share both bitter rivalries and access to large quantities of arms.

Iran and Turkey each have interests in Iraq they will be tempted to protect with or without our approval.

If the war lasts more than a few weeks, the danger of humanitarian disaster is high, because many Iraqis depend on their government for food, and during war it would be difficult for us to get all the necessary aid to the Iraqi people.

There is a risk of environmental disaster, caused by damage to Iraq's oil fields.

And, perhaps most importantly, there is a very real danger that war in Iraq will fuel the fires of international terror.

Anti-American feelings will surely be inflamed among the misguided who choose to see an assault on Iraq as an attack on Islam, or as a means of controlling Iraqi oil.

And last week's tape by Osama bin Laden tells us that our enemies will seek relentlessly to transform a war into a tool for inspiring and recruiting more terrorists.

We should remember how our military presence in Saudi Arabia has been exploited by radicals to stir resentment and hatred against the United States, leading to the murder of American citizens and soldiers.

We need to consider what the effect will be of a U.S. invasion and occupation of Baghdad, a city that served for centuries as a capital of the Islamic world.


Via Benj Hellie at Leiterreports.

-Ziggy Stardust  17:39 EST | |

About us:

This weblog is an ongoing, if periodic, effort by several friends to stay in touch, in reading material, and in ideas.

Lucky Luciano is a former Italian Stallion real estate hustler and Benedict Arnold CEO turned shady lawyer-to-be. He lives in Denver.

Ben is a Paramedic and would-be philantropist who lives in Denver. He knows everything about nothing.

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Ziggy Stardust has no past.

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