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Why War? This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.


   Everyone's talking about it.The public, fed largely by corporate media pundits, remains divided anduncertain. Just open a newspaper and you're sure to see one of the big boys onCapitol Hill salivating over the prospect of waging war on Iraq. The Bush,Cheney, Lockheed Martin and Halliburton team is just waiting to rally the masses,wag the dog and stimulate the economy, but at what price?

They tell usthat Iraq threatens America's security, that the tragedy of 9/11 has highlightedthe need to overthrow such malicious, anti-American regimes. Bush and Ashcroftsound like modern-day McCarthys when they proclaim that one is either with us orwith the terrorists. I, for one, am still trying to figure out who "us"refers to, as I'm certain that my country doesn't believe thinking, skepticismand peaceful opposition is subversive.

Funny, in all the slick rhetoriccoming from the Capitol, there's no mention of oil at all. Could it havecompletely slipped Bush's mind that when he talks of "regime change" inIraq, he's talking about the country with the world's second largest oilreserves? Could it be that for the first time in history that economic factors -the trillion-dollar potential of the area - have nothing to do with this proposedwar? Let's take a look at some interesting facts conveniently overlooked anddownplayed in the arguments of everyone's favorite ex-oil man, George W. Bush.

Argument: The Iraqi regime is hostile and oppressive. It's our duty tofight such tyranny.

Fact: Saudi Arabia has a similar track record, thoughthe monarchy there remains in power not through the will of the people, but withthe support of American troops occupying the area. Why do we keep them in powerwhile threatening a bombing campaign against Iraq? One word - oil. Though bothcountries possess large oil reserves, the Saudi Arabian monarchy is willing toshare with us, provided our military helps them stay in power and suppressesinternal discontent.

Argument: Iraq has a deplorable human rightsrecord and illegal nuclear weapons. We must intervene.

Fact: So doesIsrael. Is Bush considering bombing them, too? Furthermore, the claim that Israelpossesses illegal weapons of mass destruction is virtually indisputable, whereasthe claim that Iraq possesses such weapons remains to be proven.

Argument:Iraq evicted UN weapons inspectors; they must have something tohide!

Fact: Iraq didn't evict the inspectors, they were removed by UNSCOM(the United Nations Special Commission) when word reached them that the U.S. wasabout to launch the bombing campaign "Operation Desert Fox."Furthermore, it was widely believed, and later confirmed by the U.S. press, thatthe UNSCOM illegally gathered information on previous inspections which they thenpresented to Washing-ton to enhance the efficiency and power of the four-dayattack. The use of inspections to further American espionage explains thereluctance of the Iraqi government to re-admit inspectors. Additionally, even theU.S.-friendly UNSCOM holds that they destroyed at least 95% of Iraq's chemicalweapons, and by 1998 virtually all of Iraq's delivery systems, includingmissiles, were rendered inoperable.

Argument: All it takes is one missile,one weapon of mass destruction, to bring about havoc and chaos.

Fact:There's a big difference between the 9/11 fundamentalist-led attacks by Al Qaedaand Saddam Hussein's secular regime; while Al Qaeda is interested in moralprinciples (for which they're willing to die), Hussein is interested inmaintaining and, if possible, augmenting his power. A rash attack, Hussein iswell aware, would ultimately prove suicidal and could bring about an end to theIraqi state. Furthermore, no evidence has been made public that Husseincollaborated in any way with Al Qaeda, especially when one takes into accountthat the fundamentalist Al Qaeda group poses the biggest threat to Saddam'ssecular regime in the Middle East.

But say we do wipe out Saddam - westill won't have solved the problem. Instead of addressing the cause of contempt,bombing and devastating countries and inflicting imperialist, greed-driven regimechanges will only serve to breed more hatred and resentment, the likes of whichspawned the 9/11 attacks. More bombs won't solve this problem. A comprehensiveand intelligent foreign policy will.






This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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