It appears that our President George W. Bush is determined to invade Iraq and, with some reservations, I support the planned attack on Iraq.
The major reason I support military action against Iraq is simple: if the United States does not gain military control of the Middle East–and soon–that region will be the scene of a terrible war, a bloodbath rivaling World War I or World War II. Such a war will leave several million people dead, devastate a vital region of the world and undoubtedly drag in the United States and other countries. It would be a war that could leave tens of thousands of Americans dead, and produce many more casualties than Bush’s projected attack on Iraq.
Virtually all of the Arab regimes in the Middle East are at or close to a point of collapse. The Arabs have not shared in the massive wave of economic prosperity that has swept the world over the last two decades. Arab governments remain wedded to discredited ideas of command economies and political oppression like those which devastated the Communist world. Political unrest is growing in the Arab world and Islamic radicalism is spreading. In the next few years we could see Arab regimes in Syria, Saudi Arabia, the Gulf States, Jordan, Iraq and possibly Egypt overthrown and replaced by radical Islamic regimes.
Such regimes would launch an all-out war with Israel and probably create Middle Eastern killing fields to rival those of 1970s Cambodia. As in Afghanistan they would be training grounds for terrorists who would launch an all-out attack on the US and Europe and stage dozen of September 11th type atrocities. These new terrorists might be armed with weapons of mass destruction.
If this isn’t bad enough, some of the nations in the Middle East might take drastic action if they saw the area falling into complete chaos. If Iraq were shown to be developing a nuclear bomb, or Saudi Arabia was about to fall to Islamic terrorists, Israel might launch a preemptive nuclear strike against Riddyah or Bagdad and kill millions. Turkey, Egypt and Iran might invade the Arab nations to bring radical Moslem regimes to heel. Iraq might take advantage of Islamic revolution in Saudi Arabia to invade that nation.
The possibilities for chaos and bloodshed in the Middle East are endless and there’s only force on Earth capable of controlling that volatile region: the United States of America. Quite simply there can be no serious hope for peace in the Middle East without a large American military presence in that region. There is no way that we can control the Middle East while Saddam Hussein is in power in Bagdad and Iraq is stockpiling weapons of mass destruction.
The Middle East today is much like Europe after World War I. The United States, after helping the British and French defeat and destroy Imperial Germany, pulled out. The result was a dangerous power vacuum which was filled by Nazi Germany. This led eventually to World War II and the Holocaust. After World War II, when America decided, wisely, to stay in Europe for the long haul, Europe remained at peace for fifty years. A similar situation occurred in Southeast Asia: when the United States pulled out of that region in 1975, the result was disaster. Communist North Vietnam invaded and occupied its neighbors, South Vietnam and Laos, and the weak military regime in Cambodia was overthrown by the homicidal Khemar Rouge. The result was a bloodbath in Cambodia in which three million people died and a wave of Communist oppression from which that region has never recovered.
So there are very good reasons for the United States to move against Iraq and invade the Middle East. Among them, securing the oil fields and preventing worse violence. Of course, the real question may not be if we should attack Iraq and invade the Middle East, but when we should do it.