Going Against The Flow

The oddly named uggabugga has created a
rather intricate flowchart of possibilities after an attack against Iraq
. Naturally enough, the chart would seem to indicate a whole host of nasty problems that would rise up if we were to take action against the Hussein regime.

This reminds me of an old trick pulled by nearly every high-school debater on the planet. No matter what the action is, it can somehow be shown to cause a nuclear war. I always made it a point to penalize debaters who made those arguments – they’re patently rediculous and done simply for effect, but it appears some people still want to waltz those reactions out.

As uggabugga himself admits, "Other events listed are those considered not impossible (revolt in Pakistan, India-Pakistan war, China leans on Taiwan), even if unlikely."

Just because something is remotely possible does not mean that you should alter policy to prevent it. It’s possible that I can be run over by a truck walking to work tomorrow, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to call in sick. Every action has risk, and the risks of inaction on Iraq far outweigh the risks of action. Turkey isn’t going to pull an invasion of Northern Iraq out of its sleeve, and China isn’t dumb enough to assume that they can use the distraction to attack Taiwan. It’s like saying that attacking Iraq will cause the Babylonian god Marduk to awake from his multi-millennial slumber and starting consuming US troops whole. It just ain’t going to happen.

There are some legitimate concerns in there as well. The worry about the OPEC states using the "oil weapon" is a valid thing to worry about. Then again, even that won’t have the consequences that uggabugga worries about. The OPEC states depend on oil revenues, and don’t have much for financial reserves. Unless they want to eat their oil, they can’t cut back too far.

I’ll give credit to uggabugga for some creative thinking, but once you remove the most unlikely options on the list the picture looks much different. Yes, invading Iraq has its risks, but the potential for a nuclear-armed Iraq is much more worrisome than the effects of taking action.

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