Friday, February 21, 2003

Today's NYTimes editorial by Kenneth M. Pollack scares me.
Saddam Hussein believes that once he has acquired nuclear weapons it is the United States that will be deterred. He apparently believes that America will be so terrified of getting into a nuclear confrontation that it would not dare to stop him should he decide to invade, threaten or blackmail his neighbors.

America has never encountered a country that saw nuclear weapons as a tool for aggression. During the cold war we feared that the Russians thought this way, but we eventually learned that they were far more conservative. [...] Only Saddam Hussein sees these weapons as offensive — as enabling aggression.

It's the uncertainty that's so difficult. What's really going on? Does Saddam truly threaten my life and the lives of those like me in Western countries? Are we in greater or less danger if US invades Iraq? What are the costs in human lives on both sides if US does invade Iraq? With so many lives hanging in the balance, it's depressing that we either do not have experts that know the answers, or they're not getting through. So many reasonable-sounding people have such divergent opinions.

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