|I want to hold your hand|
With all the armchair generals and war pundits playing the 'what if'
game about the coming Iraqi
war, no-one seems to be playing the 'what if' game about a non-war. Suppose the
latter-day John-Lennonists and other Lefties get their way, and
Saddam is left to play with his chemistry set unhindered? What are the likely
- He happily plays, and then gets bored and goes back to doing horrible
things to small animals (ie his subjects). The Left seem happy for him to do
this. Apparently corrupt Middle Eastern
dictatorships have absolute sovereignty - it's just
wealthy first world
countries are not allowed to control their borders. He has gassed the Kurds before, and the Left seemed to regard it as an unfortunate
misunderstanding - certainly nothing to use force to stop.
- He uses the chemistry set against a neighboring country. As none of
those countries are supporting a US move against him, it's a little
hard to get excited about this.
- He uses his chemistry set against Israel or the US. Now we're
cooking with poison gas!
What if Saddam uses Weapons of Mass
Destruction (WMD) against a non neighbor? The main candidates are Israel
and the US. England is also a
candidate, and Chechnya and western China could end up in the
cauldron if he passes them around his mates, but frankly, Australia is way down on the
So what happens if the Americans don't go to war, and then get WMD'd for
their trouble? Let's just say that the the political fallout would be
greater than any nuclear fallout. The outcome would be quick, brutal and
And there would even be a good side: the Left would be silenced for an
entire generation. Definitely a win for Australia though, on balance, not such
a good turnout for the US.
So the only wrong move that Australia can make here is to either
- discourage the Americans from going in; or
- refuse to follow them if they do go.
It's kind of quaint that the world's only superpower desperately wants
Australia to hold its hand as it goes into Iraq. If they don't go that would
be fine, but it would be a mistake for us to refuse to do so.
If something bad happened, Uncle Sam would never forgive us.