bullet points on Iraq

Steven has responded again in our weblog conversation and gives me what I ask for. There's a number of other statements I want to address within that post (especially his consistent misconceptions about Islam), but I'll have to save that for later. The bullet points he states though are here:

First, we are moved to urgency by the fact that Iraq may be close to developing nuclear weapons. We cannot permit that to happen because of the unacceptably high likelihood that such weapons will eventually be used against us, or that they will support a threat against us. If Iraq has nukes, it won't be possible for us to apply sufficient influence within that part of the world to begin the process of reform we require to be safe.

Second, we need to conquer Iraq so that we can rebuild it and make it more prosperous so that all the other Arabs around it will see that it isn't just heathen Americans who can become successful, and that Arabs can do it too. We need to make Iraq a better place, with people who are happier, more free, and more prosperous while still being Arab and Muslim. And in particular, we must free the women of Iraq, to show the women in neighboring nations that they don't have to be treated as animals.

Third, we need to conquer Iraq to put the "fear of God" (as it were) into governments of all the neighboring Arab nations where the traditionalists still hold sway, so that they will be much more likely to permit the few initial reforms we require from them which will start the process of cultural change moving. When we have substantial military forces right on their borders, it will be much harder for them to say "no" to our demands.

Fourth, we need to conquer Iraq because the "Arab Street" only respects power. We have to prove to them that we actually can do it and that we're willing to do so. That's their culture and it's different than ours, but that is how they think and we have to take it into account. (That, by the way, is the reason there was no rising of the "Arab Street" after Afghanistan; it's because we won convincingly.)

Steven says that any one of these is sufficient rationale to invade Iraq.

In addition, there are some bullet points raised in the comments section of my previous post on the topic. I will resummarize these here also.

From "buffpilot" :

1) Iraq has chemical weapons, probably basic bio weapons, and is trying to get nuclear.
2) Iraq has used chemicals on its own citizens
3) Iraq is the most advanced in WMD of the Arab/Islamic countries and thus the most immediate threat
4) Taking over Iraq, like Japan ala 1945, will provide a solid base of manuever against the rest (both militarily, culturally and economically). Links directly to NATO through Turkey.
5) Iraq has a nominally secular culture (Tarek Azis (sorry spelling) is christian), that can be changed the easiest into a more liberal western democracy - by rewritting their constitution ala Japan 1945.
6) Iraq has oil assets to help rebuild itself with assistence ($ and knowledge) from the western democracies
7) Its small population make it again easier than say an Egypt or Pakistan.
8) Once Iraq is back on its feet and is succesful, like Japan is now (in comparison to any of SDBs Arab/Islamic countries), it will provide the beacon that may push changes throughout the Islamic world to free, secular, democratic governments
9) Lastly, by defeating the biggest, nastiest country in the area its far less likely that any country will challenge us and will force them to assit in hunting down the terrorists among them or face invasion

Abraham Liesch suggests one more:

1.5: "Iraq is likely to use WMD or cause its WMD to be used against the U.S. or its allies."

and suggests this modification:

2: "Iraq can only be stopped from developing WMD *in time* by direct full-scale invasion."

Abraham says that if he were convinced that any single of these bullet points were wrong, he would change is view from favoring an attack to being opposed.

He also points out these four logical possibilities:

1) We are right about Saddam and depose him quickly.
2) We are wrong about Saddam but depose him anyways.
3) We are right about Saddam but do not depose him.
4) We are wrong about Saddam and do not depose him.

These are exactly what I was looking for, and I still want more. If you have comments, please do add your two cents' worth. I'll try to summarize these and then present my analysis point by point later on.

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