Important questions must be answered
December 5, 2002
The Nov. 11 issue of The Nation quotes Dick Cheney from a New York Times interview on April 13, 1991, a little more than a month after the Gulf War ended.
“If you’re going to go in and try to topple Saddam Hussein, you have to go to Baghdad. Once you’ve got Baghdad, it’s not clear what you do with it. It’s not clear what kind of government you would put in place of the one that’s currently there now.
“Is it going to be a Shia regime, a Sunni regime or a Kurdish regime? Or one that tilts toward the Baathists, or one that tilts toward the Islamic fundamentalists? How much credibility is that government going to have if it’s set up by the United States military when it’s there?
“How long does the United States military have to stay to protect the people that sign on for that government, and what happens to it once we leave?”
These questions are as relevant today as they were then. Does it just seem like it to me, or is there not more than a hint of arrogance? Despite 9-11, we should ask these questions, and maybe more so because of 9-11.
Unless all the questions can be answered as to the role that Iraq ? its government, not fringe fanatical groups within its borders (they exist within our borders, too) ? played in the attack on America, then we cannot justify a preemptive strike.
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We should finish our business in Afghanistan. It is my understanding that their military has not been paid in months. How can we expect them to keep supporting the existing government?
Much in the way that we supported them in their fight against the Soviet Army with arms and supplies, we must support them in their rebuilding process with shelter, schools, hospitals, technology, whatever is needed to keep hunger and disease and cold from claiming the lives of their people.
Mary H. Gish