In recent weeks, President George W. Bush has taken his “responsibility era” of government down yet another irresponsible road. His fervent push to declare war on Iraq has found opposition from many Americans and indeed from much of the world that does not buy the dramatic pleas to the United Nations or the recently “found” evidence that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction.
Admittedly, there is no hard evidence available for the American people to look at and decide where they stand on the issue. Thus we must turn to analyzing the arguments for and against war. And with everyone from members of Congress to members of the United Nations disagreeing with a United States attack, the opposition is quite widespread.
Perhaps the most convincing argument against war, however, was made by the former weapons inspector of Iraq who, after spending five years in that country, stated that there is no possible way that it has the means to create weapons of mass destruction. Furthermore, the facilities that are needed to create such weapons are so large that they would be literally impossible to hide.
As if five years of intensive monitoring were not enough, the Iraqi foreign minister invited Congress to inspect any site thought to be developing weapons. Speaker Sadoun Hammadi promised that a delegation would be allowed to “thoroughly inspect any plants and installations allegedly producing, or intended to produce, chemical, biological or nuclear weapons.” America declined, calling the invitation a trick.
Our refusal begs the question, if past inspections have turned up negative, and we will not even attempt to inspect the country again, how can the Bush administration state that Iraq is developing weapons of mass destruction?
The answer to this question is not easy to find, but the best place to look is in the rhetoric of those who support the war. While the following inferences are entirely speculative, they are based on some logical connections that might help explain why George W. Bush is so intent on warring against a country that most of the world agrees is not a threat.
First of all, the events of September 11 made the ensuing “War on Terror” quite possibly the most supported war in American history. Although Iraq is not, and never was, our greatest worry in that war, public opinion is such that the Bush administration needs only to categorize a nation as “terrorists” to gain widespread acceptance of war. But what will war with Iraq accomplish?
First, Bush wants to oust Hussein (and perhaps finish what his father could not). Second, the Bush administration finds itself right in the middle of the worst economic landslide since the Great Depression. As the old equation goes, war always helps big business, and big business helps the economy. And if big business puts a candidate in office, it is not unthinkable that that candidate would have some obligations.
These accusations are not meant to masquerade as truths. Instead, they are meant to show that the President and his administration have very powerful reasons for taking personal interest in this war. After all, it is hard to trust an administration’s motives when the best excuse for pursuing the war against Iraq’s assertions that they have no weapons is, to quote Donald Rumsfield, “They’re lying.”