The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

The Mercury News tried to sneak this letter to the editor by me, but after my nap I am a fighting force.

Use diplomacy, not war, to defuse Saddam

THE Bush administration still needs to make the case for killing in Iraq.

Last week, Secretary of State Colin Powell used a combination of props and assertions to tell the world what it knows: that Saddam Hussein is a very bad character. Let's hear reason, not more fear-mongering, before we commit to pre-emptive war.

The missing link is the logic that leads us to the clear and present danger. Why is Saddam now deemed a clear and present danger, while he was not in 1991-92 with many more weapons of all kinds and a much stronger army and infrastructure than he has now? Regarding the Al-Qaida/Iraqi government connection: Why are some officials in both the CIA and the FBI disputing it, on grounds of the strength and the reliability of the intelligence?

Discipline, diplomacy and negotiations have allowed us to win without war against China, Cuba and the former Soviet Union. Let's continue to use these cost-effective, value-positive tools.

Carolyn Dille
Santa Cruz

Some arguments against war on Iraq are reasonable. Some are not, and the worst is "why go after Saddam now when we didn't in 1991?" In the first place there are different circumstances, such as one fewer skyscraper in New York. Also this argument reifies the past; why assume that Bush the Elder's decisions were flawless?

I hope Dille doesn't work in the medical industry. I can imagine an office visit:

Dille: What's the matter?

Patient: I have a lump here, and I'm afraid it might be malignant.

Dille: How long have you had it?

Patient: Since last year.

Dille: Well what has changed since 2002? Stop wasting my time like this!

After-the-post doubletake: What's up with this "Discipline, diplomacy and negotiations" stuff? Does Dille want us to tie Saddam up and spank him? Or is that self-discipline? Should Bush and Rumsfeld do the G. Gordon Liddy thing where they hold their hands over a candle as long as they can stand it?



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